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U-17: Eaglets, Guinea Fight For Supremacy, Today

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Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets will be gunning for their second win at the African U17 Championship in Niger on Wednesday when they face their Guinean counterparts.
It is a straight battle for one of the semifinal tickets in Group A after both teams won their opening games Nigeria beat hosts Niger 2-0, while Guinea beat Zambia 1-0 in what was considered a much better display than what the Eaglets showed.
Both teams have met twice in this competition in 1995 when Nigeria won 2-1 in a group game and drew 2-2 in another group game in 2001.
They were billed to clash in the final in 2001, but Guinea were disqualified due to a FIFA ban on them for government interference in football running and replaced by Burkina Faso, who Nigeria thrashed 3-0.
Guineans best shot in this competition was reaching the 2001 final and winning bronze medal in 1995 edition.
The top-of-the-table clash at the Stade General Seyni Kountche starts at 3pm and the winner will automatically become the first African flag bearers at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in Chile later in the year.
Nigeria Football Federation , NFF director of competitions, Mohammed Sanusi, who is in Niamey with the team, said a victory is non-negotiable as Nigeria look to book an early ticket to the finals in Chile to go and defend the world title.
“We are the champions of the world, and that we must underscore boldly here. The Eaglets did well to win their first match against the host nation despite all the odds against them. There is no way Guinea will stand up to our boys on Wednesday.
“The NFF have provided everything the team need to succeed and we expect nothing but victory against the Guineans.”
Meanwhile, Golden Eaglets coach Emmanuel Amuneke has warned  that Guinea will be tricky customers  in the  crucial CAF U17 Championship clash in Niamey
“We are not getting carried away after the victory against Niger because we know Guinea can be tricky after watching them against Zambia,” noted Amuneke.
“We came here with one objective: To qualify for the World Cup in Chile and after that we can begin to talk about other things.
You can see that if you allow them, they can play but if you follow our instructions, we would all have reason to celebrate  after the game.”
Already, the Nigerian camp has indentified gifted number 11-shirted Abddoulaye Jules Keita as the lynchpin in the Guinean line-up as well as captain Mohammed Mary Kurume who holds forth in defence, not forgetting agile goalkeeper Mousa Camara, who foiled Zambia repeatedly on Sunday.
The Guineans will seek to avenge their twin loss to their Nigerian counterparts on the road to the last championship in Morocco following a 3-0 and 4-0 win in Calabar and Conakry, respectively.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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