Despite trailing Delta State on the medals table of the ongoing 2012 National Sports Festival in Lagos, Rivers state Commissioner for Sports, Hon Fred Igwe has declared that Team Rivers has done well at the sports fiesta.
Hon Igwe made this declaration while addressing members of the sporting press at the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN,Lagos, secretariat.
According to the Commissioner, the team had declared that they were coming to the festival to win and defend the title it won as hosts during Garden City Games 2011, with every confidence their preparations inspired.
The confidence, he said, was based on trust to perform and win on a level playing ground backed by fair play and transparency.
However, he believed that Team Rivers has not been getting fair treatment at the festival, especially, in officiating and handling of issues concerning the team.
“A lot of people don’t want Rivers to win at this festival, there is obvious bias against the team. How can one explain allowing officials that came with athletes to officiate at the games?”, he queried.
He cited the case of Team Rivers swimmer, Duotimi Gagbe, who was as good as at least nine gold medals, but was wrongly suspended and missed some of her events before the state could get a respite from the main organisers of the Festival, as a case of bad treatment to the aspirations of the team.
He was disappointed that competitions at this festival have been 60 per cent politics and 40 per cent performance based.
The Commissioner, however, expressed pride over the fact that Rivers state was able to produce the king and star of Eko 2012 by winning the 100m gold.
On Wednesday, Nicholas Imhoaperamhe of Team Rivers clocked a time of 10.57 seconds to win the 100metres men’s race and emerge the fastest man of the festival. Former champion,Chukwuma Onyeakwu of Cross River returned 10.56 sconds to beat Edo state’s Victor Ikhazobor to the silver medal.
Peace Ukah of Ondo, Margaret Benson of Delta and Mariam Edet Bassey Cross River states won gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively in the women’s 100 metres event.
“We are the king of the competition, we won the most prestigious medal(100m) of the meet”, stated Igwe.
EKO 2012: We have new revelations—Technical Director
The Technical Director, Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Tony Oghuma has said that new talents have been discovered at the on-going 18th national sports festival.
He said in Lagos on Tuesday that from the matches played , new revelations have emerged from some states.
He said federation was closely monitoring the performance of the new talents and others yet to emerge.
“So far, so good. What is important to me is the fact that we have had a lot of revelations here.
“Young players have emerged and we have been able to identify them ,which is good for the federation.
“To a large extent, I think the standard is high ,the standard is very high. But, I think, we can do better than this if a few things are put in place. One, we will see better volleyball at play, if the national sports festival is open to all volleyball players in Nigeria.
“You will find that, what you are seeing are just the beginners in the game. Our elite players, most of them do not have festival again, and as such, you can’t find them here,’’ he said.
Oghuma suggested that future national sports festivals be thrown open to enable the elite players compete with others.
He said the inability of elite players to compete because of the law restricting athletes who had taken part in three festivals, had affected the game.
The Technical Director said after the festival, emphasis would be placed on grassroots talent hunt and the need to sponsor more national volleyball championships.
“Talents are bound in Nigeria. Our only problem is to have the opportunity to show case them, by way of organizing competitions.
“That is why we have been pleading with Nigerians that are blessed with good finances, to come to the Nigeria Volleyball Federation to partner with us to sponsor championships ,so that these young stars can have an opportunity , to show case their talents,’’ he 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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