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2019 AFCON: Doubts Over Cameroon As Hosts

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Doubts over Cameroon’s readiness to host the 2019 AFCON has resurfaced and reports suggest CAF could be close to taking a vote of no confidence.
After a two-day meeting at the Egyptian holiday resort city of Sharm El Sheikh, which concluded at the weekend, the CAF Executive Committee reported that a projected video report on Cameroon’s preparation for the competition ‘showed a significant delay in the realization of the infrastructures’.
The slow pace of facility development is not the only reason being put up for the possible conciliation of the earlier hosting rights to Cameroon.
The on-going crisis in the Central African Country, between the largely Anglophone western Cameroon people and the majority French speaking parts of the country, is also a cause for concern.
The CAF Executive Committee report states that a joint CAF and FIFA commission will travel to the Country this month to study the security issues.
CAF was expected to declare their final position on Cameroon’s Afcon hosting rights this week but the executive committee postponed the announcement to November.
The Africa Cup of Nations with its new 24-team format will be held from June 15 to July 13 next year.
Caf said it had also sent an inspection team to the Ivory Coast, which is due to host the 2021 Nations Cup.
“Of the six stadiums required for the competition, four are to be built and two undergoing major renovations. For accommodation, three out of five cities have no infrastructure,” a Caf statement said.
Meanwhile, Caf has confirmed that the eight-team Women’s Nations Cup finals are set to take place from 17 November to 1 December in Ghana as planned with Accra and Cape Coast scheduled to host the matches.
Africa’s football body stated that “the Caf Secretariat will closely monitor the progress of preparations.”
Questions had been raised about whether Ghana was ready to host the Women’s Nations Cup especially in light of the recent crisis in the country’s football association.
The top three will all qualify for next year’s Women’s World Cup in France.
However Equatorial Guinea cannot play at the World Cup following a ban by Fifa “for fielding ineligible players and for the use of forged and falsified documents by two of its players.”
The ineligible players were used in the qualifiers of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for Rio 2016
Nigeria is the defending champion after beating hosts Cameroon 1-0 in the 2016 final.
The Super Falcons have won eight of the 10 tournaments played so far with Equatorial Guinea winning in 2008 and 2012.

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NYG: Rivers Basketball Team Embarks On Preparations

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The Rivers State Basketball Association,has commenced  preparations for the forthcoming 2021 edition of the  National Youth Games (NYG) scheduled to hold September, this year.
This was disclosed by  Head Coach of the body, Dagogo  Okumgba, yesterday during an exclusive interview with Tidesports, at the state basketball court.
According to him, the team has commenced the preparation, ahead of the upcoming sports fiesta to build and fortify its athletes for the task ahead  and other engagements that may likely come up in the future.
Coach Okumgba explained that the athletes were in high spirit and are doing well in their preparation for the competition, saying that they (athletes) would compete honourably, when the fiesta eventually gets underway.
“The athletes are working assiduously to ensure they compete favourably and are poised for victory at the NYG scheduled to be hosted by Ilorin,  Kwara State,”  Okumgba said.
However, the coach feared team sports might not participate in the competition, as he lamented their (team’s) absence at the National Sports Festival (NSF) held in Edo early this year.
“I think the decision was made as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to reduce the number of athletes to take part in the festival. I don’t know, if what happened then will repeat itself, considering the third wave of the virus,” he said.
He urged his athletes to keep faith and keep the fire burning, adding that they should not relent in their preparation for the competition, whether or not they take part in the fiesta, the preparation will definitely keep them fit for other engagements.
“ It is better to be ready than not, just as the motto of the Boys Scout, l believe early preparation, being prepared at all times, is one major  key to success,” he concluded.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Covid-19 Scare: Team Nigeria Undergoes Daily Tests In Tokyo

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As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Tokyo, venue of the 2020 Olympics, Team Nigeria’s camp has resorted to daily testing of the members of their contingent.
Tidesports source gathered that there had been daily reports of athletes and officials contracting Covid-19 at the Olympics Games Village in Tokyo.
The Tidesports also reported that a Nigerian official in his 60s was hospitalised after contracting the virus.
One of the athletes, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said athletes and officials were taking necessary precautions to ensure they did not contract the virus.
According to him, this includes daily testing and staying away from the public.
“We are doing everything that needs to be done not to contract the virus. We test daily and don’t mingle,” he said.
Another athlete, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was not the type of Olympics she would have loved to compete in due to the deadly virus. “It has not been easy here trying to adjust to the high temperatures. Covid-19 here is real. Athletes, particularly me, are very careful. Life isn’t easy here at all. Not the kind of Olympics I would have loved to take part in but in all, I’m glad to be here,” she said.
Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Femi Adetula, said the unnamed Nigerian official was already getting better but declined to name the official, saying the NOC was respecting his rights.
“It’s been confirmed that an official contracted the virus. He is in isolation, receiving treatment and he is doing fine. In a matter of days, the official will be out of isolation because of the recovery rate,” he said.

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NBA: Milwaukee Star Anxious To Visit Nigeria – Wants To Learn About His Roots

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Milwaukee Bucks All StarGiannis Antetokounmpo wants to visit Nigeria soon and  cannot wait to learn more about his roots.
Antetokounmpo, who produced a performance for the ages to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA title since 1971 after a 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns last Monday, was born in and represents Greece.
“Obviously, a lot of people don’t know where I’m from. A lot of people think my mom or my dad is from Greece, but no,. Both of my parents are black. Both of my parents are Nigerians.”  Antetokounmpo said.
“I grew up in a Nigerian home, Obviously, I was born in Greece and went to school in Greece. But at the end of the day when I go home, there is no Greek culture. It’s straight-up Nigerian culture. It’s about discipline, it’s about respecting your elders, having morals,” he said.
Antetokounmpo,  who said his original surname  Adetokunbo  was  mispelt  at the Greek Passport office,  hasn’t traced his roots in person yet, but hopes to visit Nigeria either this summer or next summer ,  revealing that he got his Nigerian passport in 2015.
“I want to see where my family comes from, where my mom was raised, see my family, see where my dad was raised. That is very important. I hope my kids can do the same thing for me,” Antetokounmpo said.
Meanwhile, Basketball legend and NBA Hall of Famer, Hakeem Olajuwon said Nigerians were proud of Giannis Antetokounmpo despite the Milwaukee Bucks All-Star representing Greece.
“I’m sure Nigerians are very proud of him, especially because of the way he has conducted himself and how he is dominating the league,” Olajuwon said. He has accomplished a great deal in such a short period of time,” he said.

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