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Association Chairman Decries Poaching Of Athletes

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The Chairman, Ebonyi State
Badminton and Weightlifting Association, Chukwudi Unachukwu, has said that poaching of athletes, hamper the development of his sports in the state.
.Unachukwu, told newsmen in Abakaliki that it had been the inability of the state government and the private sector to collaborate to develop sports that had been responsible for the poaching of athletes from Ebonyi.
According to Unachukwu the state always excels in grooming athletes only to lose them to other states because they had been unable to meet up with their welfare needs.
“The most prominent case is that of Chika Amalagha, that the state toiled to groom to continental and world championship level in weightlifting but was eventually poached by Delta.
“We all are witnesses to how she deteriorated in Delta because their main aim was not to develop her talent, but to use her in winning laurels.
“There is also the case of Mike Onwe, one of the best badminton players in the country, who was also poached by another State in spite of all efforts that we made to keep him.
“Our consolation is that the likes of Onwe still comes to the state as he cannot easily forget his roots as well as efforts made to develop him.
“Onwe was recently in the state and we used the occasion to present our best athletes to compete against him in order to improve on their skills and techniques” .
Unachukwu, then, urged the state’s present administration and the private sector to check the trend by investing in sports for the overall development of the state.
“We lack basic facilities and funds to cater for our athletes. For instance, I’m personally sponsoring a badminton competition aimed at discovering new talents and enhancing the skills of established ones.
“Other well-meaning people should also develop interest in sports, such as badminton and weightlifting,’’ added Unachukwu, the current President of the Golden Fitness club, Abakaliki.
He said that badminton was one of the best sports that one could take to, as the players could exercise all parts of the body.
The president said this could enhance a players’ skill and keep them physically and mentally fit.
“Several youths have used weightlifting as a springboard to achieve their life ambitions and subsequently becoming useful to their families and the society.
“Adequate attention should be paid to sports development by relevant bodies especially, in the current bid to check youth restiveness and other forms of criminality,’’ he said.

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There’s No Political Will To Fix National Stadium -Dare

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There is now a departure from the previous neglect and lack of political will to fix the abandoned National Stadium all over the country, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, said at the weekend, noting that the facilities would now enjoy political will.
The minister, who paid a one-day working visit to the National Stadium, Lagos, said that the stadium’s reinstatement was among his three point agenda as a minister.
According to newsmen, the minister in the company of the Chairman, Nigeria Women League, Aisha Falode and other directors in the ministry of sports visited the stadium that has suffered neglect for over 16 years.
Dare said that the ministry’s agenda for sports development in Nigeria would be in three key areas which includes, facilities maintenance, upgrade and management.
“I am on a working visit to the National Stadium, Lagos today, but I have visited MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna and Daura Township Stadium.
“I visited Daura Township Stadium because there is also a plan for grassroots development of sports in our agenda.
“For us in the Youth Ministry, we will focus, on three major things which includes, facility maintenance, upgrade and management.
“What I have seen here is because we have not done 100 per cent management and upgrade of the stadium over the years,” he said.
Dare said that his working visit to the stadium was not for ritual sake, but to have an holistic assessment of the stadium with a strong political will to fix it.
“Let me say that my coming here is not for ritual sake, I came with a renewed instruction from the President Muhammadu Buhari who gave the assignment.
“There is political will on the part of the president this time to make sure that national monuments like this are not neglected.
“For this, we will find out an option at which we can restore back to glory Nigeria as a football nation.
“We should have up to 10 or 12 international standard stadium and pitches up top FIFA standard. So, there is a renewed political will to restore the stadium,” he said.
Dare disclosed that a Public Private Partnership to bring back the stadium would not be jettisoned, adding that holistic assessment would be given to the facilities.
“A process is in place before I came in as minister and I cannot truncate that. The president has made a decision on the facility.
“My work is to inspect and provide the right advice from a professional standpoint. I will be working in conjunction with experts form the Nigeria Football Federation and the youth ministry.
“I hope that the arrangement with the Federal Government and Lagos state Government will come and we are also looking at Public Private Partnership  for a model to evolve and put the facility back.
“As I have said before I will not be only the Minister of Football, but sports. Nigeria has excelled in many sports; we have about 12 sports which we have competitive edge,” he said.

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Rangers Lose  1- 2 To AS Pelican In Libreville

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Rangers International Football Club of Enugu at the weekend lost 1 – 2 to Gabonese club, AS Pelican in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup, first round clash in Libreville.
Tidesports source reports that the hosts raced to a two-goal lead early in the game before Nnamdi Egbujuo reduced the deficit for the Flying Antelopes before the break.
Rangers fought hard to get the much needed equaliser but fell short against a resolute Pelican defence.
The Enugu club side will need to score at least a goal in the reverse fixture without conceding to scale through to the next round.
The second leg will be played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu on September 29.
Tidesports also gathered that the Flying Antelopes are looking to become the first Nigerian club to win the CAF Confederation Cup.

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GOtv Boxing Night 20: Real One, Joe Boy In War Of Words

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West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight champion, Rilwan ‘Real One’ Oladosu, has launched a fresh verbal attack on Oto ‘Joe Boy’ Joseph, the African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight champion, ahead of their 12 October ABU title bout at GOtv Boxing Night 20.
The encounter will headline the eight-bout event, which is scheduled to hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.
Speaking after his training at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos at the weekend, Real One described Joe Boy as a coward and boxer with limited ability. He boasted that he would expose the ABU champion’s limitations in brutal fashion.
“I know him very well. He is my boy; I know what he can do and what he can’t. He relies on raw power. He has no boxing brain. But raw power can only work against low-grade boxers. I’m not in that category. The ABU title is for me. His limited ability has taken him as far as it can. It is the end of the road for him on 12 October,” bragged Real One, who has serially claimed to have defeated Joe Boy in their amateur days.
Meanwhile, Joe Boy responded and said that he would teach Real One the lesson of his life.
“I’m really prepared for this fight because I know it’s a very big fight for me.  Rilwan was there before me, but I have leapfrogged him.
“He has been claiming that he defeated me before but even the fight that he said he won, I was robbed. How could someone be fighting three rounds and they were watching the time at 1 minute 30 seconds? So, I’m really prepared. Over the 12 rounds that we are scheduled to fight, he will be in a place worse than hell and that is if he lasts the distance. I’m going to beat him black and blue on that day,” boasted Joe Boy.
Analysts have put the upcoming fight in the same category as the fierce 80s rivalries featuring Hogan Jimoh vs Dele Jonathan, both deceased; and Joe Lasisi vs Jerry Okorodudu.

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