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‘We Played Against All Odds In Minna’

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Rangers’ Media Director, Foster Chime, has said that the team played against all odds  to secure a goalless draw with Niger Tornadoes on Sunday.
Chime told newsmen via telephone in Enugu that the officiating of the match was poor and below standard expected in a Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) match.
He noted that it was clear that the referee awarded an early  spot kick (penalty kick) just within five minutes of play to the home team.
“However, God and luck was on our side, the penalty kick was taken but was not successful.
“We also had many other  unjustifiable fouls and calls meant to taint  the match in favour of the home team.
“However, our boys were not deterred or provoked by the perceived bias of officiating but forced the home team to a goalless draw,’’ he said.
The media director, however, hailed the resilient and doggedness displayed by Rangers’ players.
“Today, I saw in our boys the hunger and desire to win against all odds and perceived disadvantage.
“I must commend them and say with this type of unshaken fighting spirit among our boys, Rangers would be unstoppable,’’ he said.
Chime also called on officials of the League Management Company (LMC)  to take time to watch the video clip of the match and assess  the poor and unfair officiating against the flying antelopes.
With the goalless draw, Rangers are currently 13th on the NPFL table with 32 points after playing 25 matches.
Rangers International FC, Enugu will play host to Ifeanyi  Uba FC, Nnewi on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu (The Cathedral).

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Ndidi Suffers Injury Setback

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Nigeria international, Wilfred Ndidi has had a reaction to his operation according to Leicester City Manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Foxes travel to Molineux this evening to tackle Wolverhampton Wanderers in an English Premier League match a fortnight following the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at King Power Stadium.
Ndidi recently returned to action after undergoing a successful knee operation, but he could miss the clash against Wolves.
“Wes (Morgan) is back in the squad and trained, so he’s come through that fine,” Rodgers said when providing an injury update on the club’s official website.
“Wilfred Ndidi is probably going to be doubtful for this game. He came back very, very quickly and played in the West Ham and Aston Villa games.
“But it was just a little reaction to his operation. We’ll see how he is.”
“Matty James wasn’t going to be fit enough at the start of the season to play as he was recovering from several issues,” he added.
“We didn’t want to put him under pressure.”He’s been able to sustain that fitness now and we were able to include him in the squad.
“He’s working hard and getting fitter all the time. To have him as a possibility, with the quality I’ve seen in him, makes us very happy,” he continued.
“He’s played in some of the Under-23s games, the one at Newport, so it’s just a case of him continuing with that work.”
Ndidi, 23, has made 21 appearances in the Premier League this season and netted two goals in the process.

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NSF: Lagos Rugby Team Rues Lack Of Training Kits

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The Lagos Rugby team yesterday lamented lack of training kits ahead of the coming National Sports Festival billed for March 20 in Benin.
Ayo Johnson, coach of the team told newsmen during their training session at the National Stadium, Lagos that some of the players had been injured due to bad pitch and lack of kits for the game.
He said that the team’s challenge had been facilities for training, adding that the few substandard facilities provided for the team were returned to those who brought them.
The coach said in spite of the setback the team was prepared for all oppositions at the games as it had been training hard with a view to challenge any state for the gold.
“We are ready for the games. We are going to give every challenger a run for their money.
“We have 35 players in camp, both male and female, but we will select the best 25 out of the number to represent the state,” he said.
According to Tidesports, one of the players, Stephen Kiki said they were training under a hash condition without the necessary facilities such as balls, tackle bags, cones, headgear, body armour, teeth guard and supplements.
“We need standard gym and proper medical care for our injuries,” he said.
David Oyekanmi, captain for the male team said if all the items mentioned were provided, especially good pitch for training, their preparation would have been much easier.
Onyekanmi said that in spite of this, they were training hard for gold.
“We are still training to get gold. The Lagos State Government promised us during qualifying stages that all we needed would be provided if we qualify.
“We want the government to keep to its promises because we have qualified for the games.
“All logistics needed should be provided. We have about 10 players with injuries due to no right facilities to train with.
“The game of rugby is a dangerous one. One could sustain a fatal injury if care is not taking,” he said.
The Captain of the female team, Halimat Tiamiyu said the camp was not easy for the ladies due to no protective facilities to train with.
She called on the state government to provide the logistics it promised the team because the players were committed to winning gold for the state.
Tidesports source reports that Ogun and Lagos States qualified in the rugby game to represent the Southwest at the 2020 National Sports Festival in Edo.

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School Sports Boss Hails Wike, Sirawoo

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Special Adviser on School Sports to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, Aribitonye M. Okiri, has commended the governor and the national President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Honour Sirawoo for attracting the World Congress of AIPS to Port Harcourt.
The World Congress of AIPS is the biggest convention of the entire sportswriters in the world(over 200 countries) at a place to discuss the developments of sports journalism scheduled to hold October this year, this will put the garden city of Nigeria on international sports focus.
The Special Adviser disclosed this yesterday, while addressing Sports Desk Officers of the Rivers State Universal Basic Education (UBE) in his office.
According to him, “the future belongs to the children and youths so we owe it a duty to train their bodies and minds for greater engagements”.
Okiri noted that school sports involves young, growing children and so we can start now to engage them adequately and assist to take them away from anti-social vices such as cultism, examination malpractices, gangsterism and drug abuse.
“ Sports is a powerful tool for building the minds of young ones and help to prepare them for higher tasks in the future, thus people in positions of authority have been advised to engage the youths properly and help raise a more dependable society,” Okiri said.
He equqlly said that the governor is concerned about the up bringing of Rivers children through sports, adding that they can be raised to develop love for the great virtues of life such ad hard work, honesty, love for God and develop self and also be respectful to elders.
Okiri, who was also a former state athlete, charged the UBE officials, led by the state Sports Officer, Alabo Fubara to partner with his office and execute programmes that would profit the youths and enable them to appreciate the importance of sports.
“They should understand the importance of sports, which emphasises a healthy mind in a healthy body, leading to a better society where the youths become better players and leaders,” he concluded.

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