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Abuja Stadium Gets New Look, Ready To Host Eagles

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The Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, has assured that football matches would soon return to the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, as the stadium now wears a new look following its renovation by the ministry.
Formerly known as the National Stadium, Abuja, it was renamed after M.K.O. Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, in 2019.
The stadium, which was built at a whopping $360 million to host the African Games in 2003, had deteriorated while the environment looked unkept and rough with grasses growing all over the walkways and parking lot.
The Abuja stadium has been undergoing rehabilitation with re-grassing of the main pitch, replacement of the scoreboard and vandalised cables restored, which ensures the facility is well lighted at night to enhance security, all made possible due to the intervention and collaboration with the Dangote Group.
In a statement by the ministry and made available to Tidesports source, the minister assured that the work was almost at the completion stage.
“Football action will soon return to the main bowl of the newly renovated Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, as the pitch is now lush green and the scoreboard functional,” the statement reads.
“The new-look of the Stadium was made possible by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, after he made a plea to business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who agreed to bankroll the rehabilitation of the stadium.
“Prior to the intervention, the Moshood Abiola National Stadium had deteriorated to the extent that the pitch had become an eyesore and the scoreboard dysfunctional.
“The rehabilitation is in fulfilment of the mandate of the minister to renovate existing infrastructures and develop grassroots sports.”
“The adopt-a-pitch initiative has resulted in the rehabilitation of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.
Garba Lawal said, “A fantastic piece of news because this is the stadium we opened in 2003 and I remembered we lost 3-0 against Brazil, that was the day the stadium was opened and I played full minute that day.
 “It is an awesome ground and I’ve always wanted to see the Eagles in Abuja and Lagos. The minister did a wonderful job, the ministry, federal government and everyone involved did well to see that the stadium is ready.
“The most important thing now its the maintenance.

of the stadium which has always been our problem.”
Mutiu Adepoju added, “It is a good thing that our stadiums are having good shape especially the national stadium in Abuja.
“It is great news and one need to be happy about it and such developments are what we are looking for because this is what is good for our sports.
“Kudos should go to the minister for the good job and I am happy that the stadium is ready after renovation.”
The statement also revealed that there are plans to rehabilitate the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, Oyo State, through a private-public partnership model.

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Aisha Buhari Cup: FIFA, CAF Presidents Grace Kick-Off, Falcons Win 2-0

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Substitute Gift Monday handed Nigeria a sweet 2-0 victory on the opening day of the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament in the City of Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State led eminent political big-wigs, and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and CAF President, Patrice Motsepe led football’s top echelon, including President of NFF and FIFA council member, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to the showpiece at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.
Monday, interestingly a player of FC Robo Queens of Lagos, spurned in the air to meet a cross by Captain Asisat Oshoala in the 83rd minute and nodded past goalkeeper Fatoumata Karenta, six minutes after coming into the fray for Francisca Ordega.
The goal put the Super Falcons in the lead after a rather turgid day on Lagos island, with the Malians showing greater zest and desire in the opening half and returning after the recess with the same impressive fighting spirit.
The visiting Female Eagles had survived a raid on their area in the 5th minute as Nigeria looked to go into the lead with a corner, but the defence cleared. Nine minutes later, Ordega sidenetted from another quick dash upfront, and in the 18th minute, Ageusissa Diarra tested Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie from a 30-yard free-kick.
In the second half, Uchenna Kanu sidenetted in the 67th minute, before Oshoala, who should have scored with only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to get past Karenta. In the 74th minute, Karenta again saved from Kanu.
In the 83rd minute, Monday rose highest in the box and nodded past Karenta, bringing so much excitement to the arena.
One minute into added time, Monday was again at the end of an Asisat’s assist, and looped the ball over an advancing Karenta to put huge smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

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Enyimba Appoints Finidi George As Head Coach

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The former Ajax and Real Betis winger, George Finidi, who replaces Fatai Osho whose contract expired at the end of August, has joined the eight-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba FC, on a two-year contract.
George, a legend of Nigeria’s men’s senior national team, made 62 appearances for the Super Eagles in an illustrious playing career that lasted up to fifteen years.
He was a key member of the glorious era that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and represented the country at two FIFA World Cups, the 1994 and 1998 editions.
Tidesports source reports that at club level, George won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and went on to play for Real Betis, RCD Mallorca, and Ipswich Town.
His first official game as Enyimba head coach will be the CAF Confederation Cup’s second preliminary round fixture against Senegalese side, Diambers FC in mid-October.
Speaking to Enyimba’s media immediately after putting pen to paper, George said, “I have to say it’s a great opportunity for the club to have this confidence in me.
“I want to thank the chairman, the members of the board, and the supporters for even thinking about me. On my own part, I will be here to just work and do the job. It’s never going to be easy but I’m here to work and make the team win.”
Chairman of Enyimba, Felix Anyansi Agwu, stated that the arrival of George represents a new chapter for the club.
“I believe that the time has come for us as a club to open up a new chapter, a chapter that will showcase the many hardwork that has been going on behind the scene and usher in lots of success.
“For us to have engaged a coach like Finidi George who is coming from Europe is a clear statement of intent about our aspirations,” Agwu said.

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Arteta Sees Light For Arsenal

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he sees a bright future for the club despite suffering their worst start to a season for 67 years.
The Gunners climbed off the bottom of the Premier League table with their first goal and first points of the campaign by beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend.
However, Arteta’s position is still under scrutiny ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burnley after spending £150 million ($207 million) on new players during the transfer window.
The Spaniard claimed after beating Norwich he had enjoyed the “best 10 days of his career in this industry” during an international break when his side was rock bottom of the table.
And Arteta was equally optimistic on where Arsenal are headed with all six of his summer signings aged 23 or under.
“I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I’ve seen the light and I can see bright lights,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“There can be bumps in the road within that light, but I can see a lot of light.”
Arteta is also hopeful the criticism his squad suffered after defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City will only serve to make them stronger.
“It’s tough because it hurts, because you want to see something different. But what you want is not always what happens,” he added.
“Things happen for a reason and maybe what is happening had to happen and it’s going to be really good for the club and really good for myself and everybody experiencing that situation. We have to believe that.”

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