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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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Arsenal’s Saka Excites NFF President

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President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick had nothing but praise for Arsenal wonderkid Bukayo Saka as he spoke about foreign-trained players who can add value to the Nigerian national teams instead of other countries securing their services.
Pinnick has likened the Hale End Academy product to a goldfish with no hiding place, saying that the winger does not need to lobby before he is invited to the Super Eagles.
Since the experienced Delta State administrator became the NFF boss, foreign-trained players such as William Troost-Ekong, Carl Ikeme, Ola Aina, Brian Idowu, Joe Aribo, Maduka Okoye, Tyronne Ebuehi and Josh Maja have chosen to pledge their international futures to Nigeria over their countries of birth.
In an interview with Tidesports source, Pinnick stated : “A lot of people call me, ‘I have a boy that is very good, he’s 21, he’s an exceptional player, he can fit in into any team’.
“The first thing I say to them is that it’s a lie. Once a player is exceptional, it’s like a goldfish that has no hiding place.
“If you see somebody like Bukayo Saka for example, do you need anybody to sell that player? You don’t need anybody.
“There are shortage of good players globally, so once a player is exceptional that player is a goldfish and he’s surrounded by people that have interests immediately.”
The 18-year-old Saka has established himself as a first team regular for Arsenal this season despite the presence of more experienced players, making 29 appearances in all competitions.

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Ex-Liverpool Player Wants To Play For Nigeria

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Former Liverpool defender Michael Ihiekwe has been named to the League One Team of the Season so far in the 2019-2020 campaign by Whoscored in partnership with Sky Sports.
Ihiekwe has been a key player for high-flying Rotherham United who are bidding to return to the English Championship at the first time of asking.
The Liverpool-born center back has contributed to an impressive 7 goals (4 goals, 3 assists) from 38 games across all competitions and has been yellow carded on four occasions.
Described as a defender with robust physical presence, pacy, dominant in the air and descent on the ball, Ihiekwe has committed his international future to Nigeria over his country of birth.
Explaining the choice of Ihiekwe in the Best XI, Ben McAleer wrote : “Ihiekwe has returned a rating of 7.42 this season, that the second-best in League One.
“Maximising a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘aerial duels’, Ihiekwe is winning more headed battles per game (7.9) than any other League One player this term to help feature in this team.”

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Yobe Stars Mgt Slashes Salaries By 75 Percent

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The management of Yobe Desert Stars have resolved to cut down the club’s expenses following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rising from a meeting held on Friday, the club said players and technical crew of the main team will be receiving 25% of their monthly allowance while the feeder and Under-15 teams will receive 50% of their allowances.
This was contained in a statement signed by the chairman of the management committee, Hon Goni Bukar Lawan. Yobe Desert Stars is the first Nigerian club side that will be reducing the salaries of its team.
It will be noted that with the suspension of football activities across the globe, clubs in top leagues such as La Liga, Serie A, and English Premier League have begun to cut down the weekly salaries paid to their players.

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