The Chairman of Lobi
Stars of Markurdi, Dominic Iorfa, on Tuesday said that the high level of competition by teams as the 2015/2016 Nigeria Premier Football League began showed their readiness.
Iorfa, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos, said their adequate preparation was responsible for the away wins recorded at the competition’s first matches.
Tidesports source reports that the opening fixtures of the premier league produced four away wins with Lobi Stars of Markurdi being among the teams.
The Benue team defeated their hosts 3SC at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan by a lone goal through Ajia Emmanuel.
The other away wins are MFM FC beating Nasarawa United at Lafia Township Stadium, while Wikki Tourist piped El-Kanemi at Sani Abacha Stadiun, Kano.
Ifeanyi Uba also got the victory over Giwa FC at the Rwang Pan Stadium in Jos.
Iorfa, who hails from Gboko town in Benue, said that most teams in the league had now realised what it takes to play in the competition.
He said that the league results across the country revealed the seriousness now attached to winning away matches by the clubs.
“The results clearly demonstrate that the teams are getting ready. Taking a cue from what happened on Sunday, you will see passion and determinations from the clubs.
“The pre-season preparation of some of the teams was fantastic. Most teams went on camping not within their area but to other states in order to curb distractions.
“This is how it should be; we have seen the preparations of most teams in the federation, many going to other parts of the country to adapt to their environment.
“They also travelled to avoid distractions from home people and that really gave big incentives to the team. The results of the games were fantastic,’’ he said.
Iorfa told newsmen that the teams playing in the premier league had come of age and that they were poised to win though not by all means.
According to him, the League Management Company (LMC) deserves credit for the good organisation of the competition.
He also called for adequate remuneration for the match officials.
“I think we have to thank the LMC for the hard work and equally Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for doing their best.
“It is unexpected to see four teams losing at home; it is a rare thing in the history of Nigerian football. This also shows that the referees are coming of age.
“The match officials and referees are trying to be stable in their officiating and not to favour any side. This is how the league should be played,’’ Iorfa said.
“Good officiating is what tilted most people to watch overseas matches at the expense of ours but I think the good times are here now.
“I hope the LMC will continue in this momentum and also see to the grey area of providing good incentives to the match officials to discourage biased officiating.’’
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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