Nigerian football risks
another international ban only two months after FIFA suspended the country following direct interference by government in the game.
This latest ban would mean Nigeria forfeiting their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo and South Africa early next month.
The world football governing body has approved for a Nigeria Football Federation NFF general assembly for Warri tomorrow.
But in yet another flagrant interference by government, the sports minister, Tammy Danagogo, has allegedly ordered for elections into the executive committee of the football federation same day in Abuja.
Tidesports gathered that FIFA is likely to further clarify their position on the latest crisis that has engulfed Nigerian football today ahead of the congress in Warri.
In a bid for a peaceful resolution to the latest conflict, the secretary to the federal government (SGF), Pius Anyim, had “suggested” that the polls be conducted tomorrow, but he could not readily come up with an acceptable venue for this.
However, further consultations have now made Anyim, himself a qualified lawyer, to know his suggestion would be in clear breach of NFF statutes as well as an open defiance to FIFA order.
Former NFF vice-president Amanze Uchegbulam, who is also vice-chairman of the CAF appeals committee, told the SGF he will not be a party to the sham insisted on by the sports minister.
“Even if I’m finally given nomination form for the elections, I will not be part of any exercise in Abuja as it is an exercise in futility. It cannot stand the test of the time,” he argued.
Chairman committee on sports of the House of Representatives, Godfrey Gaiya, said yesterday in Kaduna that elections cannot take place in Abuja tomorrow because it did not follow laid down rules and procedures.
In a strongly-worded open letter to the sports minister, former Kano Pillars chairman Abba Yola warned litigations will follow any elections in Abuja tomorrow.
But on Saturday, controversial electoral committee chairman Amoni Biambo raised the ante when he invited congress delegates via email to the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja for the elections tomorrow.
Biambo clearly overstepped his bounds as only the president of the NFF, Aminu Maigari, is empowered to do so.
The elections must also be observed by representatives of FIFA, CAF and WAFU, and FIFA has already announced their observer will only attend the polls as ordered by the congress in Warri tomorrow.
Tidesports sources further gathered that the confusion that has now enveloped Nigerian football is being fueled by the “crazed desperation” of a particular NFF presidential candidate, who has compromised top government officials with cash and promises of appointments in the NFF.
In one of the meetings with Anyim, one of the top-ranked sports ministry officials openly alleged that this particular candidate had compromised some of those charged with organising the polls.
RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports
The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports.
He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered.
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents.
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said.
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development.
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.
24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship
The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including; 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 penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.
Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials
Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran 10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday.
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record. The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster. The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.
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