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Jonathan, Football Enthusiasts Hail Super Eagles’ Victory

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria after qualifying for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Tidesports source gathered  that Nigeria became the first African nation to book a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after a 1-0 win over Zambia on at the weekend in Uyo.
Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored the winner as Gernot Rohr’s side qualified for a record sixth World Cup appearance.
In a tweet via his official Twitter handle, Jonathan applauded the fighting spirit of the Eagles, saying the team exemplified the “can do Nigerian spirit”.
“I am not surprised that you have qualified. Thank you @NGSuperEagles. You exemplify the can do Nigerian spirit,” he tweeted.
A cross section of football enthusiasts who spoke to newsmen in separate interviews also applauded the team’s performance against the Chipolopolo.
Tunde Popoola, Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) congratulated the Eagles, adding that their victory demonstrates how great Nigeria is in diversity.
“The Super Eagles continue to make us all proud and demonstrate the greatness in our diversity.
“Congratulations to all Nigerians. We can truly achieve great things when we come together,” he said.
Godwin Bamigboye, Chairman, Nigeria Football Coaches Association, FCT Chapter on his part heaped praise on Coach Gernot Rohr for the crucial role he played in qualifying the team for the World Cup.
“Alot of eyebrows were raised when the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) appointed Rohr as the head coach of the Super Eagles.
“Well, look who has taken the team to next year’s World Cup.
“The German coach has shown tactical acumen, leading the Super Eagles through the qualifying campaign without defeat so far and making fans believe in the team again.
“He again displayed excellent tactical and technical prowess through his vital substitutions in the match against Zambia.
“The introduction of Arsenal’s Iwobi injected pace into the Eagles’ attack as the Zambians found it hard to cope with Iwobi’s runs from the right wing.
“Mikel Agu also brought calm and stability to the Eagles’ midfield.
“That’s the difference! Football has gone scientific and it takes a sophisticated coach to find the winning formula when the chips are down,” he said.
Emmanuel Babayaro, an ex-international praised the Eagles for the hard-fought victory, adding that the Zambians were a difficult nut to crack.
“Congratulations to the boys and technical crew for the hard-fought victory. This has to stand out as one of the toughest games played in the qualifier so far.
“They might have been defeated, but hats off to the Chipolopolo for coming this far with their young and fearless squad.
“Coach Nyirenda’s boys caused Nigeria alot of trouble on Saturday, after beating Algeria home and away in the last round of matches.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they qualify for the next World Cup,” he said.
Nduka Ugbade, also an ex-international and former Assistant Coach of the Flying Eagles hailed the Eagles for picking up the World Cup ticket, adding that it wasn’t ‘a walk in the park’ for the Eagles.
He, however, urged the NFF to begin preparations for the World Cup immediately to ensure that the team also have a successful campaign in Russia 2018.
“Kudos to the Eagles for making us proud to have worn the green white green colour.
“Zambia proved to all, including the watching NFF officials, that every game will not always be a walk in the park.
“It is not too early to start preparing hard for the World Cup as June is around the corner.
“Rohr has to look at the left-back spot where every wide man seems to get the beating of Elderson Echiejile and see if Ola Aina can step up to the challenge.
“Also, a decent back-up for Odion Ighalo is needed as well as an upgrade on Onazi too,” Ugbade said.
With one more match to play, Nigeria are on top of Group B with 13 points and have thus qualified for the World Cup as group winners.
Zambia, African champions Cameroon and Algeria with seven, six and one point respectively have all crashed out of Russia 2018.

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Adesanya Beats Vettori To Retain UFC Middleweight Title

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UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya cruised to victory over Marvin Vettori as he retained his undisputed 185-pound title in the main event of UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona.
The pair had previously met, when Adesanya claimed a split-decision victory over Vettori in April 2018 in the Nigerian-born Kiwi’s second UFC bout.
But in Saturday night’s rematch Adesanya, 31, showed his class with a virtuoso performance as he picked apart the Italian over the full five-round championship duration at the Gila River Arena.
Vettori started the bout in aggressive fashion and landed an early takedown, but Adesanya soon settled into his work and dominated the striking exchanges, using repeated kicks to Vettori’s lead leg to punish the challenger from range.
Adesanya’s control of the bout caused plenty of consternation in Vettori’s corner between rounds, as coach Rafael Cordeiro implored his man to be more aggressive in his pursuit of the takedown.
But Vettori simply had no answer for the champion, who looked in complete control as he cruised to a shutout decision victory with all three judges scoring the bout 50-45 in Adesanya’s favour.
After the result was officially announced, Adesanya dedicated his victory to his teammate Fau Vake, a promising up-and-coming fighter who died in May from injuries sustained in an alleged attack in Auckland, New Zealand.
“I just want to say Fau Vake, Fau Vake, Fau Vake, I love you, man… This fight I dedicate to you, Fau,” he said.
Adesanya then said he wanted his next title defence to come against Australia’s former champion Robert Whittaker, but on the condition that the fight takes place in Adesanya’s hometown of Auckland after Adesanya dethroned Whit-taker in Melbourne in their first meeting at UFC 243.
“We need to run that back in my territory this time,” he said.
In the night’s co-main event, Brandon Moreno completed a remarkable career turnaround as he captured the undisputed UFC flyweight title.
Moreno, 27, submitted reigning champion Deiveson Figueiredo via third-round rear-naked choke to capture the title.

But ‘The Assassin Baby’ battled his way back to the UFC in mid-2019 and climbed to the top of the flyweight division. His first shot at the gold came last December when he and Figueiredo, 33, produced one of the fights of the year in a bout that ended in a majority draw.
It demanded an immediate rematch, and Moreno produced the best performance of his UFC career to defeat Figueiredo and claim the undisputed 125-pound title.

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Sports Minister Charges Usman To Develop Martial Art

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has charged Kamar Usman to use his clout to develop Martial Arts in Nigeria.
Kamarudeen “Kamaru” Usman (born May 11, 1987) is a Nigerian-American professional mixed martial artist, former freestyle wrestler, and graduated folkstyle wrestler. He currently competes in the welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the reigning UFC Welterweight Champion. Usman was also The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament winner. As of March 23, 2021, he is #2 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.
As a wrestler, Usman primarily competed at 84 kilograms and was the 2010 US University World Team Member.[8] Collegiately, he competed at 174 pounds and was the 2010 NCAA Division II National Champion, a three-time NCAA DII All-American, and a NAIA National qualifier
The Minister made this appeal on Friday when he hosted the champion in his office in Abuja.
“Today we just hit another notch of excitement as a ministry and as a country having Usman Kamaru, who is nicknamed “Nightmare” for his opponents in the octagon in the country.
Kamar, who has a staggering 19 wins out of 20 fights has established himself as a legend in the Welterweight category. Kamaru embodies two cultures; a Nigerian by birth and an American by immigration, moved to the USA at the age of 8 and is returning to the country for the first time as an adult.
The Minister said “it is commendable for you to have identified fully with your country and also the Ministry that has the mandate for Sports Development. The Ministry is concerned with a large number of Youth who are engaged in sports and are interested in your kind of sports because it has become a rave because it falls under the radar of the Mixed Martial Art and we are concerned about growing it. Having you here, as the champion, it will be great to have you headline that and start to see how at a national level and as a country we can work together to see your success remain and to see you get other youths interested in this sport.”
“Your story is well told, you signify the Nigerian Spirit; that of being dogged and rising to the top the feats you have achieved is no mean feat. For me I can’t say it enough; countries must leverage on their strength, not dwell and emphasise their weaknesses and you have signpost the good from Nigeria. As the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, we celebrate you and thank you for being a true Nigerian and remaining patriotic not just to share your success but to identify with the country. The greatest beneficiaries of this visit will be the youth of the country, who are interested in the Mixed Martial Art.”
Kamaru expressed excitement to be in the country. “I’m delighted to be here and above all during my visit to the country I aim at creating a long-lasting relationship. I represent martial art now and I want to work on making it easily accessible to everyone interested. I understand the responsibilities that I have with my platform and I want to put that to good use I want to be able to effect changes and part of being able to effect change is creating that foundation so people can actually see a future, different from what they are now, because I understand the restrictions. With my space, I want to be able to create something that will pull interested people out.”

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AFN Election: Committee To Hold Election, Today

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All is set for the 2021 Elective Congress of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in Kebbi State.
The Electoral Committee Chairman, Prince Jambright  Sumanu told Tidesports source in Kebbi on Saturday that last minute preparations were in top gear.
Sumanu said that the election is significant in so many ways, hence the committee cannot afford to let millions of Nigerians home and abroad down.
The Elective Congress is set to hold today,  for many, will not just unite the athletics family once again but will herald the dawn of a new era in the internal workings of the federation where the constitution trumps individuals or sentiments.
“All eyes are now on the AFN elections. Everybody is looking up to us for justice. With these reputable members of this committee, we are ready to do our best.”
Speaking on the guidelines expected to be met by intending contestants,  Sumanu said that the committee expects a full compliance in line with international standards.
“We expect that interested candidates must come with nomination forms from their zones while also meeting up with World Athletics guidelines, as well spelt out in the constitution of the AFN.”
The Chairman affirmed that interested candidates with documented history of drug abuse, doping or convictions should do themselves the honour of staying off their radar.
Sumanu assured that a level-playing ground will be provided for all candidates with an option of an appeal for any contestant who is aggrieved or not satisfied with the outcome of the screening, election conduct or result.
“There is an electoral body in charge of appeal cases and we have Legal Officers who are on ground to handle their grievances. 
“Due to the peculiarity of this electoral congress, the election will be safer and authentic than what we have had in the past because we are expecting people to submit their forms of intent to contest till midnight (Saturday, 12th, June)”, the committee chairman stated.
“After that, we will download forms that were submitted online and collate with those who  have submitted hard copies.
“We will not likely go to sleep from that 12th. We will go into the production of the ballot papers. That, is even a secret document. I need to say that we will not print the ballot papers until about 2 hours to the elections. This is to ensure that the ballot papers are not exposed until voting time” he said.

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