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Ex-Lawmaker Wants NFF To Manage Eagles’ Success

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A former House of Representatives member, Hon. Lumumba Adeh, says sustaining Nigeria’s upward movement in world football depended largely on how the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) manages recent successes.

He told Tidesports over the weekend in Abuja that NFF needed to be able to stand firm on issues particularly related to the Super Eagles.

Adeh listed the issues to include those of appointing a Technical Director as well as NFF’s relationship with Eagles’ head coach Stephen Keshi.

“Now, we can say that we are gradually getting there and that puts us in a good position to now aspire to out-do Egypt, Cameroon and Ghana and take our rightful place in African football.

“But the issue now is that we should be able to manage the present success, and fears will be whether our football managers can really sustain the pace,’’ he said.

Adeh noted that it was natural for fears to be entertained about whether the NFF could manage the success as the AFCON victory was not a result of its managerial acumen.

“I think it was through God’s intervention. Clearly, there was the hand of God in the entire arrangement. First, from the fixtures, and then down to the eventual progress of the team to the quarter-finals

“If one looks at our preparations and programmes, you will agree with me that it was not as a result of any deliberate planning or organisation that we got where we are now.

“I remember Keshi saying he needed time to take them where they are going,’’ the proprietor of JC Raiders of Jos said.

Adeh noted that, as an outcome of the AFCON 2013 victory, a lot of issues and controversies have arisen in relation to certain events or incidences during and after the tournament.

“If not properly managed, I am afraid, it is going to affect whatever gains Nigeria has made as a result of this victory.

“I was not in South Africa to know exactly what happened, but the steps the NFF were accused of having taken in the course of the competition, particularly in the preliminary round, may not have been right.

“It may for now be a normal way of making a coach sit up. But I want to take us back to the fact that this has been the style and character of the NFF and Nigerians have always been falling for it.

“We have always said it in times past that it is not at every outing that a national team or any club goes for that the coach gets sacked after a failure to win.

“But a coach that goes there and failed should be assessed to determine the kind of failure. If you allow him to remain in the system, it adds value to the system for subsequent benefits,’’ he said.

The former Vice-Chairman of the 2005 Interim Management Committee of the then Nigeria Football League (NFL) said the NFA was in the habit of diverting attention.

“The NFF has always been misleading football followers to believe that every failure is the fault of the coach and many people have never asked questions.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as  4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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