Football fans in Ebonyi
have urged football authorities in the country to use Saturday’s Super Falcons’ African Women football Championship (AWC) victory to evolve lasting peace to the Nigerian Football Association (NFA).
The Falcons defeated Cameroun’s Les Lionnes 2- 0 in the final of the 9th edition of the competition played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windoek, Namibia.
The victory, which was Nigeria’s seventh in the championship, has qualified the team for the FIFA Women World Cup in Canada in 2015.
Nigeria, Cameroun and Cote d’Ivoire, which placed third after defeating their South African opponents in the third-place match, will represent Africa at the world cup.
Some of the fans who spoke with Tidsports source on Sunday in Abakaliki called on all interests in the NFA crisis to use the victory of the female team to come together and move the nation’s football forward.
Former Commissioner for Sports in the state, Chief Nicodemus Omenka, while congratulating the players for the victory, said that women in particular, had always brought honour to Nigeria in sports.
“The Falconets nearly won the last FIFA U-20 World Cup and that was at the height of the NFA crisis.
“The Falcons have replicated that effort by winning the AWC at a time a High Court judgment dashed all hopes of truce in the NFA crisis by sacking the Pinick Amaju-led new board,” he said.
He, however, said that the team’s victory would provide the “tonic” for the resolution of the crisis “so that football in the country will have a focus.”
A retired permanent secretary in the state, Mrs Judith Okoh, attributed the falcons’ victory at the tournament, to the “seamless team-selection” by Coach Edwin Okon.
According to her, the coach displayed a high level of technical competence by effectively merging youth with experience in making the team’s selection.
“This covered the lapses of late preparation by the team as the players blended well with established players, including old war-horse, Perpetua Nkwocha,” she said.
On his part, Bredan Nwankwo, the coach of Galaxy Football Club of Abakaliki, appealed to Mr Chris Giwa to withdraw all suits against the incumbent NFA leadership “for the good of Nigeria’s football.”
“I appeal to him and members of his faction to consider the future of Nigerian football by withdrawing the suit to allow us to savour the falcons’ victory.
“I urge relevant stakeholders such as President of the Senate, David Mark, to intervene in the crisis and ensure that Giwa and his men were adequately pacified,” he said.
Another fan, Mrs Gloria Asokuh, a civil servant, urged all stakeholders, including the Federal Government, to address the NFA issue before it festered further.
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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