The Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) is ready to host the 16th edition of the Research Institutes Games Association of Nigeria (RIGAN) Games, an official said at the weekend.
The institute’s Acting Director-General, Prof. Samson Duna, told newsmen in Abuja that the 2019 RIGAN Games would hold from December 13 to December 22 in Ota.
“We are ready to host the best-ever RIGAN Games, through the provision of world-class sports facilities.
“Facilities to be used for the games are at an 80 percent stage of completion. So, we are ready and waiting,’’ he said.
Duna said NBRRI was expecting to take the Games to another level with the quality of facilities being put in place.
“NBRRI will change the face and status of the RIGAN Games through the provision of sports facilities that are of an international standard.
“In addition to this, we are making sure that provisions are made for all officials involved in officiating to apply international standard rules and regulation.’’
He added that all rules and regulations of international standard must be applied in order to raise the bars and ensure a top quality competition at the end of the day.
Duna also disclosed that efforts were underway to attract corporate bodies to partner with RIGAN, the games’ national association.
Speaking also to newsmen on the Games, the National President of RIGAN, Prof. Rabiu Adamu, assured that the 2019 Games would be unique in view of the addition of new events.
“We at the association level are gradually improving the Games and the Association at large year in year out.
“For example, this year’s edition of the Games is going to be a unique one due to the addition of new events to it.
“These new events include basketball male and female five-a-side,’’ he said.
The RIGAN president also said the admission of two new research institutes to the association was delightful as it would further enhance competition.
He however said all participating institutes were expected to pay their games’ levies on time and begin their preparations in earnest.
“This is important because the levies will be used as one of the criteria in the screening of competitors before participation in the games.’’
The RIGAN Games’ Media Consultant, Udochukwu Emmanuel, also said that about 2,500 sports men and women were being expected at the biennial Games.
“They will be from 30 research and development institutes across the country.”
Super Eagles’ Future Very Bright -Rohr
Nigeria national team coach, Gernot Rohr, believes that the Super Eagles have ‘good future’ after they played out a 1-1 draw against Brazil in last Sunday’s international friendly in Singapore.
The 66-year-old German tactician paraded a young team against the five-time world champions, following a spate of withdrawals by some of his experienced players, including Captain Ahmed Musa.
The team, however, gave a good account of themselves with Joe Aribo, making his second appearance for the Super Eagles, scoring the opening goal in the 35th minute before Casemiro’s second-half effort saved the South American champions from defeat.
The draw is the second in a row for the Brazilians after they were held by Senegal in last week’s friendly outing.
Rohr is impressed with the performance of his side but admitted the three-time African champions still have to improve.
“It was tough for us as the second game because Brazil would not have wanted to leave Singapore without winning, and it feels very good to know that we can play so well against some of the biggest names in football,” Rohr said in a post-match press conference.
“We didn’t have our best team here, but our wingers gave Brazil a lot of problems on the counter-attack and I am proud of our players. They can have a good future.
“We can still improve in defending set-pieces. We have height, with players as tall as two metres, but we have to be better in the air.
“It is not enough just to have good size, they need to jump well with good timing.”
Rohr believes African football is improving after both Nigeria and Senegal avoided defeat against the world number three.
“These results are good for African football when Senegal and Nigeria did not lose to Brazil, one of the strongest teams in the world,” he added.
Nigeria will hope to secure good results when they take on Benin Republic and Lesotho in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games in November.
Federer Still After Elusive Olympic Gold
Roger Federer has confirmed he intends to play in next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo as he chases an elusive gold medal in the men’s singles.
The Swiss great, who turns 39 during the Games, is one of the sport’s most decorated players but he has never won the Olympic singles title.
Federer won silver at London 2012 after losing to Britain’s Andy Murray.
“At the end of the day, my heart decided I would love to play the Olympic Games again,” Federer said.
Federer, who missed Rio 2016 through injury, did win a gold medal at Beijing 2008 in the men’s doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka.
In the singles, 20-time Grand Slam champion, Federer finished fourth at Sydney 2000, lost in the second round at Athens 2004 and reached the quarter-finals in Beijing.
“I’ve been debating with my team for a few weeks now, months actually, what I should do in the summer after Wimbledon and before the US Open,” added Federer, ranked third in the world.
“I carried the flag twice for Switzerland in Athens and Beijing, I’ve got a gold and a silver, and I would love to play again, so I’m very excited.”
Minister Moves To Give National Stadium, Lagos Facelift
Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has embarked on a bid to give the National Stadium, Lagos a facelift.
Dare embarked on an inspection tour of the decaying edifice alongside Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Femi Hamzat at the weekend.
In a series of tweets, the sports minister is keen on refurbishing the sporting facility ‘to the glory it deserves’.
Built in 1961and expanded in 1972, the hallowed ground for Nigeria’s sporting glory hosted the 1973 All-Africa Games. On the ground, the country lifted her first Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980.
However, it has gone into disrepair since the Abuja National Stadium was constructed to host the 2003 All African Games.
The 2004 LG Cup Four Nations Tournament was the last football championship hosted inside the stadium’s main bowl. In the stadium, Senegal silenced Nigeria 1-0 thanks to Papa Khalifa Sangere’s 25th-minute strike to mark the country’s last outing at the imposing edifice popularly called sportscity.
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