Athens Games Bronze medalist, Godday James, on Monday admitted that although the country has declined in athletics, he is optimistic that the situation can be rectified in future games.
According to the 28-year-old quartermiler, if the country worked hard, this can be corrected at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
James was among the country’s 4×400 relay quartet to the 2004 Athens Games.
The athlete, a serving officer with the Civil Defence Corps, Kaduna Command, spoke against the backdrop of the recent Presidential Retreat on Sports in Abuja.
He told newsmen on telephone that in spite of the country’s failure to win medals at the London 2012 Olympics, he believed that the country could get it right at the Rio Games.
“The London Olympics wasn’t a good competing ground for the country. It is not the kind of Games we like to look back to, but I believe we can get it right in 2016.
“I am optimistic that we can re-emerge as a force to reckon with before the next Games. If we really want to achieve, we must work toward it.
“I see us as a nation that looks back at our failures and try to effect corrections. I am confident we can do just that,” he said.
James said he was excited that stakeholders responded positively after the poor showing in London, stressing that it could only get better with everybody’s commitment.
He described the recent Presidential retreat as a step in the right direction, saying that President Goodluck Jonathan responded well.
“The responses from stakeholders are indications that they have the interest of our sports at heart.
“The presidential retreat is a good one. It is an initiative that I am hopeful will move our sports forward,” James said.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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