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SWAN Congratulates New Sports Minister …Reels Out Expectatios

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The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has congratulated the newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, describing his appointment as well-deserved.
“His appointment as Minister for Youth and Sports represents a new frontier in the administration of sports in Nigeria and one that is expected to usher in dynamism, resourcefulness and focused leadership.
“As the umbrella body of all sports journalists in Nigeria, affiliated to the Association Internationale de la Presse sportive (AIPS) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), SWAN calls on the new Minister to give every Sport adequate attention, unlike some of his predecessors that focused mainly on football to the detriment of others.
A statement issued by the National Secretariat of SWAN and signed by the Deputy Secretary General, Babafemi Raji, noted that over the years, the fortune of Nigeria in international championships had continued to dwindle due largely to lack of concerted effort to discover budding talents that abound in the length and breadth of the country.
“SWAN believes that Nigeria deserves more than what the country is getting from sports in view of the abundance of natural talents in practically every field; hence our hope that you will give priority to grassroots sports.
“Equally of importance to SWAN is the regrettable state of  federal government-owned sports facilities; we make bold to say that they are mostly in dire need of rehabilitation, especially the pitch of the now Moshood Abiola National Stadium, where it is evident that anthills are freely springing up due to lack of maintenance.
“The recent embarrassment the country faced after the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) allegedly diverted about $135,000 the world Athletics body mistakenly paid to it, is yet to abate, just as athletes representing the country at international championships were thrown out of their hotel accommodation; amidst cases of unpaid allowances and corruption in the sector.
“SWAN equally expects that the yearly allocation to the sports sector from the federation account will significantly improve, because sports is a huge industry, that if well programmed has the potential to meaningfully engage a lot of the teeming youths.
“SWAN will be ready to support you push for an increase in the allocation that comes to the ministry, by engaging relevant government agencies both at the executive and legislative arms,’’it added.

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Nigeria Now 34th Position In FIFA Ranking

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Nigeria has dropped by one spot in the FIFA ranking for September, placing 34th on the ranking table.
In the ranking table on the world football governing body’s website yesterday, Nigeria garnered 1, 482 points in the month under review as against 1,481 it had in August.
However, in spite of the drop by a spot, Nigeria still occupy the third position on the continent behind Senegal and Tunisia who have 1,546 and 1,493 respectively.
On the global scene, Belgium remain top of the FIFA World Ranking after an action-packed number of weeks in international football.
In the period under review, 78 friendlies, 74 continental qualifiers and 60 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers took place.
Although the teams in the top 10 remain unchanged, there has been some movements.
France (second, up 1) and Brazil (third, down 1) have traded places, while Spain (seventh, up 2) are the top 10’s biggest movers.
The Cayman Islands (193rd, up 11) and Grenada (160th, up 13) are the joint-biggest climbers by points, reaping the rewards after their successful showing in the CONCACAF Nations League.
Indeed, Grenada’s 13-place surge means that they are September’s highest climber by ranks.
Other notable upwardly-mobile nations include Jamaica (47th, up 5), who have broken into the top 50.
Others are the Republic of Ireland (28th, up 4), Russia (42nd, up 4), Guatemala (133rd, up 11), Suriname (142nd, up 9), Montserrat (187th, up 9) and Djibouti (186th, up 9).
Djibouti recently overcame Eswatini (150th, down 11) over two legs to advance to the second round of Africa’s World Cup qualifying for just the second time.
Meanwhile, Kosovo (119th, up 1) have been rewarded for their impressive performances in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying by reaching their best-ever position in the FIFA ranking.
The Cook Islands are not ranked in the latest standings due to not playing an international “A” match in the last four years.
After their next international “A” match, they will be included in the ranking table again with their points total from July 2019, plus/minus the points won or lost in the new match.

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LSSC Salutes Sanwo-Olu, Lauds Athletes

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The Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) is full of appreciation to the Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the support towards the state’s participation at the just concluded 5th National Youth Games (NYG) held in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Team Lagos came second overall at the end of the tournament, which ended on Monday at the University of Ilorin with 72 med- als consisting of 22 gold, 36 silver and 14 bronze medals, while Delta State with 41 gold, 32 silver and 31 bronze medals and Team Bayelsa with 17 gold, 6 silver and 22 bronze came second and third respectively.
Team Lagos was taking part for the second time in the history of the Games, which started since 2013.
Lagos was second in her first outing in 2018 and the state’s youthful and budding athletes ensured that they retained the position in their second outing in Ilorin.
Team Lagos was also adjudged as the Best Team in the March Past and was given an award of commendation in this year’s NYG.

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Adekuoroye Wins Bronze Medal At World Wrestling Championships

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Nigeria’s foremost female wrestler, Odunayo Adekuoroye, yesterday won a bronze medal at the ongoing World Wrestling Championships in Kazakhstan.
The 25-year-old defeated Anastasia Nichita of Moldova 10-0 in the women’s 57kg category to win the medal.
Adekuoroye had earlier beaten Sun Jong of North Korea 12-2 via technical superiority last Wednesday which helped her to gain a 2020 Tokyo Olympics slot.
The Tidesports source reports that Risako Kawai of Japan defeated Ningning Rong of China 9-6 to clinch the gold medal in the category.

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