A retired athlete, Mr Joshua Kio, has urged sports administrators in the country to give all Nigerian athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents at the National Sports Festival (NSF) by removing all unnecessary barriers.
Kio gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday.
He said as long as athletes were resident in Nigeria, they should be allowed to participate in such fiestas.
Kio, who participated in the maiden edition of the fiesta in Lagos in 1973, maintained that putting a limit to the age of participants in the fiesta would run counter to sports development.
The former athlete, who is currently the Director, Sports Institute, Isaka in Okirika Local Government Area of the state, said if participation was based on age limit, so many talents in the country would waste.
“At the National Sports Festival level, I think the status quo should remain where it is not now brought back to age categorisation again. Let it remain the way it is for senior. As long as you are strong; I mean there should not be limiting barrier. It should open for all senior athletes as long as you are resident in Nigeria; not the one you go and bring outside; I don’t subscribe to that.
“As long as you are a Nigerian, there should be no limitation. It’s a measure of development, if I was in long jump for 17 years or more and there was nobody to push me up, it means that that particular event is static.
“But if there is developmental programme and new athletes are being brought up, it means that within a short time, they should push me away and new ones should take over.
“Somebody who has the natural tendency remains in a particular sport for so long. It is an indication that there is no development in that particular event or sport.
“So the state cannot now say it will stop somebody from participating because they know he or she has been participating and can always win. I can be 40 years and still beat all these small boys.”
Kio said that he participated in three sports, including long jump, 4×100 metres relay, and 110 metres hurdles
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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