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NNL’s 2020/2021 Season Fails To Get Underway

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The 2020/2021 Nigeria National League (NNL) failed to kick off as expected on Friday as the two scheduled matches failed to hold as a result of non-appearance of match officials.
Tidesports source gathered that EFCC Football Club of Abuja were to host FC Taraba in Abuja in a Northern Conference A1 fixture.
Malumfashi FC was also to host Zamfara United in a Group A2 action in Malumfashi.
But both matches failed to hold as the referees for the games refused to show up.
Tidesports source reports that both teams at the Abuja venue, Area 3 Football Pitch, turned up for the game, while a substantial number of spectators and several others also showed up.
It was however learnt that the officials refused to show up in protest against non-payment of certain money by the NNL Secretariat for some time now.
When contacted, NNL’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Emmanuel Adesanya, confirmed the non-appearance of the match officials at both venues.
He also confirmed that the match officials were not at the match venues as a result of a protest over non-payment of some money being owed by the league organisers.
“We know that the match appointments were made by the Referees Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), while we also heard today that the referees did not show up for the matches.
“But we are handling the situation as it should be, and we are holding discussions with all parties involved,” Adesanya said.
He assured that by late Friday all contending issues would have been resolved.
“We want to resolve all matters by Friday night, so that today’s matches would be played on Saturday morning in both venues.”
The NNL COO said this would also help in ensuring the other Match Day 1 fixtures slated for Saturday in the league would not be disrupted.
“We want this slight disruption to remain as it is  —- a slight disruption. Once we can get the referees on the pitch by Saturday morning, we would have done it, and the league will go on as earlier scheduled,” he said.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as  4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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