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Falana Storms NFF Over Mba’s Ownership

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A lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has accompanied the management of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu to the secretariat of Nigeria Football Association (NFA) over the ownership of Super Eagles player Sunday Mba.

Warri Wolves FC and Rangers are claiming ownership of Mba, who displayed an outstanding performance in the 29th Africa Cup of Nations competition in South Africa from January to February.

Both clubs and Mba appeared before a-four-man NFA Judicial Panel of inquiry to state their cases.

The sitting was, however, adjourned to Thursday, March 7, for the committee’s final verdict.

Falana told newsmen after the sitting that he was at the Glasshouse to contribute his quota to the development of football in the country.

“I have come here to do my duty, not just as a lawyer, but as someone who is interested in the development of football in this country.

“If there is any inhibition, we have a duty to remove it and allow this player, who is a rising star to achieve and exploit his maximum talent and capability.

“That is why we need to speed up with this matter.

|I don’t go to court if am not sure of my case. It is not about money but as I did make clear to all the parties, we need to determine the fate of this player; we should not allow this case to hang on his head like a sword of Damocles.

“He should be able to move on and exploit his talent maximally in his own interest and in the interest of the country,” Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said.

He said he might seek legal action if it was the wish of his client, if the matter did not go in their favour.

The Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, said that the commission was waiting for the committee’s verdict before taking the next step.

“The truth is that they do not know the enormity of damage they are doing to the player’s career because we have written that the full weight of the law should be applied here.

“Player, team and everybody that is culpable must be sanctioned and that is the truth.

“To me, there are no issues, we have submitted all the relevant letters to the panel.

“We tendered the letter Rangers wrote requesting for Mba. We also submitted Mba’s contract paper with us for two years; everything the committee requested from us was tendered.

“I believe the only document Rangers tendered was a document showing that Mba signed a six-year contract with them that ended in 2012.

“The issue is not about Sunday Mba, Rangers or Warri Wolves. It is all about redefining a focus for Nigerian football. It is about giving us a tomorrow.

“A situation where you see Rangers bringing a Senior Advocate of Nigeria leading four other lawyers does not speak well for football,” Pinnick said.

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Tokyo 2020: Nigerian Wrestlers Are Medal Hopefuls -Coach

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National wrestling coach Akuh Purity, has stated that Nigerian wrestlers going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have real medal chances this time, compared to the 2016 Olympics with less than a month to the games in Tokyo.
Purity, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source stressed that better exposure and competition experience already put the Nigerian wrestlers as medal prospects.
He added that the wrestlers had actually competed against the very best in the world in the run-in to the Tokyo Olympics and have an idea of almost whatever anyone of the top guns will offer.

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Ex-D’Tigers Player Becomes NBA Head Coach

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Former D’tigers player Ime Udoka has been appointed the new coach for Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Udoka had been considered a front-runner for the job, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last Friday that Udoka was among the candidates who received second interviews.
Udoka, 43, spent seven years on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, including the 2013-14 season, when the Spurs won the NBA title.
He joined the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and was with the Nets last year.
Udoka was a member of the Nigerian national team, for whom he played at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

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B/Volleyball: Nigeria Defeats Kenya In Olympic Qualifiers

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Nigeria beat Kenya 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-13) in the golden match to record their first win in the men’s category of the Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers in Morocco.
Nigeria Team A (Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon) lost to Kenya Team B 0-2 (15-21, 13-21) in the first encounter before Nigeria Team B consisting of Emenike Ezike and Emmanuel Chidebere defeated Kenya Team A (21-16, 21-16) in the second encounter.
The head coach of Nigeria beach volleyball team, Francis Imoudu commended the players for putting all their effort against Kenya.
Imoudu stated that Kenya gave Nigeria a good fight but the better side won the game.
He said, “This win is an indication that the men’s team is ready for their remaining opponents. I must commend the fighting spirit of the team because bookmakers had given the game to the Kenyans but we shocked Africa.
“Kenya is a good side but Nigeria did not show them any respect on the court. We will take each game as they come and all we need is the support of Nigerians home and abroad for these boys to succeed”.
Reacting to the victory, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod lauded the players for recording their first win of the beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers.
He said the Federation will continue to support the team adding that the players should show no respect to their remaining opponents in the qualifiers.

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