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Oliseh Laments Enyeama’s Late Withdrawal From Tanzania Tie

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Super Eagles’ Head Coach
Sunday Oliseh on Wednesday lamented the late withdrawal of the team’s first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, from tomorrow’s  2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.
Enyeama’s withdrawal from the game against Tanzania has presented Carl Ikeme and Ikechukwu Ezenwa as the only options for Oliseh.
The match, a Group G Match Day 2 fixture, is scheduled to take place in Dar es Salaam.
Oliseh told newsmen at the team’s weekly interactive session with the media that Enyeama’s late withdrawal had put the team in a precarious and complicated situation.
“The player himself withdrew for reasons I don’t know but what I can’t say on this is that the late withdrawal has put me in a very tight situation, I must confess.
“I made it clear from the onset that the task ahead of us is very difficult because we are practically starting afresh.
“With all due respect Enyeama is a good goalkeeper, but this development is not a pleasant one. However, we have to forge ahead because there is nothing I can do,’’ he said.
Oliseh said however that the development had shown that believing so much in a player would not augur well for the team.
He said this was why he had since resolved not to build the team around one individual.
The coach pointed out that his philosophy had been centred on teamwork.
“What happens if our best player falls sick a night before our match. Should Nigeria withdraw from the encounter?
“It is also not a sign of respect to my other players, to say because one person is not playing the team will fumble.
“We have to respect the choice of the player if he withdraws himself,’’ he said.
The Eagles coach also insisted that the situation did not mean that he was under any pressure to win in Tanzania, saying the match was not a do-or-die.
“The only time in my life that I was under pressure was 20 minutes before our match with Bulgaria at the 1994 World Cup. Ever since then, I have learnt that pressure is what you live with.
“There are three things that can happen in a game. We can win, draw or lose. But, we are building now and everybody can see that. But I am very optimistic.
“I am not looking at what happens if we lose, win or whatever. I want to see my team play to serve Nigeria and whatever the result is, we will take it like that.
“However, our objective is to qualify, and we still have games to play. Even if we win on Saturday, the journey is just starting,’’ he said.
Oliseh nonetheless expressed the optimism that Tanzania would fall in Dar es Salaam even with his little knowledge of the team.
The former Eagles captain said the video clips of the Tanzanian team’s matches, which he obtained from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), had enough to help his team achieve victory.
He, however, noted that coaching the Super Eagles would be a difficult task with the level of criticisms and analyses Nigerians provide before and after every match the team played.
The Super Eagles, comprising of 17 foreign-based and six home-based players departed Abuja yesterday for Tanzania for the encounter in a chartered flight.
Nigeria and Egypt are currently topping Group G of the qualifiers, having both secured the maximum three points from their first group matches.
Egypt are however better placed, with a superior goal margin, having defeated Tanzania 3-0 in their first encounter, while Nigeria secured a 2-0 win over Chad.

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Reps Summon Dare Over Doping Crisis At Tokyo

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The House of Representatives has begun investigation of the disqualification of Nigerian athletes at the 2020 Olympics over alleged doping, asking the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, to come and explain the preparedness of the Nigerian contingent for the sports festival.
Tidesports source gathered that the resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion at the plenary on Wednesday titled, ‘Need to Investigate Activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on Failed Doping Test by Nigeria Athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.’
Consequently, the House resolved to “invite the Minister of Sports and Youth Development (sic) to brief the Committee on Sports on the level of Nigeria’s compliance with extant regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the independent anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit.”
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put necessary measures in place to ensure compliance with extant regulations at both local and international competitions, while mandating the Committee on Sports to “investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrence.”
Moving the motion, Mr Babatunde Ayeni said the Nigerian delegation to the Olympic Games fared well in terms of performance, thereby raising the country’s rating in the comity of nations.
Ayeni recalled the outstanding performance of the Nigerian Football Team which bagged the historic first soccer gold medal at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States of America.
The lawmaker lamented the incident of July 20, 2021, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes, including the highly-rated Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing.
He recalled that the Athletics Integrity Unit alleged that Okagbare, who won the opening heat of the Women’s 100 meters, had tested positive for human growth hormone.
 “The House is also aware that the allegation further affirmed that the affected athletes failed to comply with the rules requiring those from countries deemed to be at high risk of doping to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10 months’ period leading up to a major event.
“The House is concerned that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests,” Ayeni added.

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NYG: Rivers B’Ball Team Intensifies Preparations

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Coach of the Rivers State Male Basket-ball Team, Dagogo Okumgba, has said that preparation, are in top gear for the forthcoming 2021 edition of the National Youth Games (NYG)scheduled to hold in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Coach Okumgba disclosed this yesterday during an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the team is doing everything necessary to get a better outing in Ilorin when the chips are down, saying that the players are in high spirits and are poised to compete favourably when the competition gets underway.
The coach said his players are committed to their preparations for the task ahead and determined to do the state proud at the games come November this year.
“We are doing our part to prepare as a team and wait for a go ahead from the Sports Ministry for camping so as to further prepare and fortify on the earlier made preparation,” Okumgba added.
The team qualified from their zone at the recently concluded zonal elimi-nation for team sports ahead of “National Youth Games” coming up next month.
It would be recalled that the zonal elimination for team events which comprised Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Edo states took place in Asaba, Delta State, fortnight ago.
The date for the competition was earlier fixed for September 7 to 17 this year.

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10 Athletes To Represent Nigeria At Winter Olympics

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Following the successful completion of its inaugural Olympics Trials in Lagos last Saturday,  the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria has stated that 10 athletes would represent Nigeria at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games.
Technical Director, BSFN, Dr. Seun Adigun disclosed this in Lagos.
“Ten athletes will be named for the Winter Olympics.
“We will have two athletes for Bobsled, two in the Monobob women’s team, two athletes for the Bobsled men’s team, two male Skeleton and two female Skeleton athletes for the national team,” Adigun, who played a key role in Nigeria’s debut at the last Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang, Sourh Korea, said.
President, BSFN, Solomon Ogba stated that the team would train on ice in Europe, ahead of the Winter Games.
“This is the first stage of the preparation for the Olympics before the athletes train on ice,” Ogba said.
History was made earlier in the year when six athletes, who were selected from the first-ever trials in Lagos, trained and participated on ice for the first time in Pyeongchang.
Tidesports source reports that after a few days of training on ice, Perpetua Nwanna and Alawode Sekinat won bronze medal in their debut competition, after finishing third in the women’s double Bobsleigh IBSFSliding Korea Cup.

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