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AFCON Qualifiers: Keshi Back To Eagles Temporarily

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Stephen Keshi will return as Nigeria coach for next month’s Nations Cup qualifiers, only days after appearing to rule himself out of the job.
Keshi’s contract expired on 30 June and he said last week he had given up on negotiations over a new deal.
But he has now “temporarily abandoned” his decision to walk away.
“I want to respect the wishes of Nigerians and the appeal by the Sports Minister to handle the team at least for the two games,” he said.
“The need to answer the patriotic call and respect the wishes of Nigerians informed my coming for the key games.
“I’m going to see out these two games and we’ll hopefully then sit down and talk about a new contract”
“We worked so hard to win the Nations Cup in South Africa, I think we should do all that we can to defend it in Morocco next year,” he added  on Monday.
Talks over a new contract have been ongoing since July but have been held up by problems within the federation, including the sacking and the FIFA-ordered reinstatement of the governing body’s president Aminu Maigari.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is understood to have offered Keshi a new four-year deal and the same N5 million-a-month salary he was paid in his first stint as manager, while the coach has asked for an increase.
With the NFF board divided (two rival factions locked in a bitter leadership row), Keshi says negotiations over a new deal will have to wait until after the game against Congo on 6 September and South Africa four days later.
“They want me to carry on but nothing has been finalised, but officials, fans and the players want me to stay.”
He added: “I’m going to see out these two games and we’ll hopefully then sit down and talk about a new contract, if everything can be agreed.
Despite a bitter leadership crisis currently rocking the country’s football authority, Nigeria has already named a 23-man squad for their upcoming qualifiers.
The defending champions will also face Sudan in Group A with the top two advancing to January’s finals in Morocco.

Enyimba’s Mfon Udoh scored against Taraba United on Sunday to steer the people’s Elephant to third spot on the log.

Enyimba’s Mfon Udoh scored against Taraba United on Sunday to steer the people’s Elephant to third spot on the log.

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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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