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Athletes Hail AFN Over Payment Of Entitlements

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Some track and field ath
letes have  expressed gratitude to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for the payment of their outstanding Golden League prize money.
The  athletes threatened to boycott the third leg of the league held in Akure on May 10.
The athletes, who made the threat, said they were owed prize money for the two previous editions held in Abuja and Ilorin.
Some of them who spoke with newsmen said the payment would serve as motivation for their participation in the next leg of the league.
Precious Okoronkwo, winner of the long jump at the Abuja leg of the league, said the payment of the money had gladdened her heart.
“I went to Akure with misgivings and bad mood due to persuasion of my coach.
“He urged me to attend but I was gladdened when the prize money was paid after the Akure edition,” she said.
Nkem Eziala, third place winner in the 100m in Abuja and Ilorin events, said that with the payment the athletes would perform better in the next leg.
“With the commencement of the payment, the next league will witness a better performance by the athletes,” Eziala said.
According to the 17-year-old sprinter, the Akure leg witnessed a low turnout of athletes unlike the previous editions because of the outstanding of prize money owed by the federation.
She said that with the payment the athletes would turnout in large numbers for the next competition in Akure on May 26.
“The more the athletes, the better for the league for it will bring about stiff competition which makes for better evaluation of athletes,” Eziala said.
Mercy Abiere, a long jumper said that with the payment, athletes would be more focused to meet the national standard ahead of the All Nigeria Athletics Championships in Calabar in June.
Another jumper, Ruth Usoro, however, tasked the AFN to promptly pay athletes at the end of any competition.
The AFN’s league is organised every two weeks in different states to harness talents for national assignments.
The winner of the first position is to earn N40, 000, second place N30, 000, while the third and fourth positions are to get N20, 000 and N15, 000 respectively.
The fifth placed athlete is to earn N10,000 and the sixth to get N5,000, while the first place winners in relay are to get N30,000, second N25, 000 and third N20,000 respectively.
The next leg of the league which was initially billed to hold in Kaduna will now take place in Akure.
Athletes and official rejected the choice of Kaduna as the host due to the security situation in the state.

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Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions

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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.

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Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses  – Aikhomogbe

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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.

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Enyimba Players Vow To Support  Finidi

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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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