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NFA Crisis May Cost Nigeria Another AFCON – Ladipo

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The President-General of
the Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club (NFSSC), Rafiu Ladipo,  says he was concerned that Nigeria may lose another Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ticket.
Ladipo said on Monday, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, that Nigeria stood the chance of not qualifying for the 2017 AFCON if the ongoing leadership crisis was not settled.
The 2015 AFCON is holding presently in Equatorial Guinea without Nigeria, who are the defending champions, after winning in South Africa in 2013.
Ladipo, who blamed the country’s failure to qualify on the crisis, said the Eagles might be distracted from the qualifiers for 2017 AFCON if the parties involved continue to disagree.
“We should blame our failure to qualify on the crisis which rocked the NFA, and that crisis of leadership was necessitated by the board elections.
“Before we knew what was happening, we had started losing matches. Whereas the Eagles were expected to qualify even before the last two games, we lost games we were not supposed to lose,’’ he said.
Ladipo said he was at the NFA secretariat to let the association know how to prepare for the 2017 AFCON.
He said many Nigerians would not want a repeat of the Eagles’ failure to go for the competition.
“Some NFA officials are there (at Equatorial Guinea, venue of the 2015 AFCON) and I hope they will come back with some lessons that will ginger our boys and put them in a better position to qualify for the next edition of AFCON,’’ Ladipo said.
He said the NFA must put its house in order to avoid a repeat of what happened in the 2015 qualifying series.
The NFSSC official said the distraction which characterised the Eagles’ participation in the qualifying series contributed mostly to the non-qualification.
Ladipo urged the NFA to ensure the Eagles qualified and go on to win the 2017 AFCON to make up for the absence at the ongoing edition.
He said his club lost so much financially due to the country’s inability to qualify for the biennial competition.
“Before now, members of the club had put aside substantial amounts of money to produce souvenirs like T-shirts, caps and other materials which they are going to sell to make money for the club.
“What we had put in place before we realised that we could not go ran into millions of Naira.
“We were going to the qualifiers with some souve

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RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports

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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.

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24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship

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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.

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Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials

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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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