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Minister Wants All Hands On Deck Junior World Cup

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The Minister of Sports, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has called on Nigerians, especially the media to join hands with members of the Local Organising Committee [LOC], to make the FIFA U-17 Junior World Cup expected to take place in Nigeria a huge success.

Ndanusa who made the call while speaking to journalists shortly after inspecting facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe ultra modem stadium, Enugu recently, noted that the call became necessary because the importance of sports, particularly Football in the development of any nation cannot be over emphasized.

Maintaining that Nigeria is awaiting the final inspection of facilities at the various centers selected for the hosting of the forthcoming Under 17 FIFA World Cup, Ndanusa therefore called on contractors handling the various projects at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu to increase their pace of work.

The minister who was not happy with the slow pace of work at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, stressed the need for all ongoing works at the stadium to be completed before the final visit of the FIF A delegation later this month, adding that “Enugu needed to record 100% completion in all the facilities”.

Engr. Ndanusa, therefore, ordered the contractor handling the projects to ensure completion of work not later than the end of July this year.

He made it clear that it was only FIFA that has the final say, stating that the Local Organising Committee would only monitor and inspect facilities and allow FIFA to deliver its verdict.

The minister explained that they were in Enugu to inspect facilities for the forthcoming competition as well as to explore ways of assisting the Enugu in its efforts to grip firmly, the hosting right granted to it by FIFA.

“We are here to inspect facilities for the Under 17 World Cup. You should be aware that FIFA expects 100% completion of all the facilities in all the selected centers. Anything short of that will not be accepted. The workers should increase their work pace. We are looking for 100% and nothing short of that.

Continuing, the minister further said: “Remember, we are not FIFA, we don’t have the final say but there is need for workers to increase their commitment. As you are aware, FIFA delegation will soon come for the final inspection and anything short of 100% completion of facilities will not be accepted”, he warned.

Earlier while responding to the minister’s questions, the contractor handling the various works at the main bowl of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Staduim, Nuri Gewk assured that the stadium would be ready before the final visit of the FIFA delegation.

He explained that his workers have been working day and night to ensure that the various works at the stadium are completed before the final inspection.

In the entourage of the minister who had already left Enugu for Abuja after the inspection, were the Executive Committee Member of FIFA, Dr Amos Adamu, and the Vice Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of FIFA Under U-17 World Cup, Manasari Ilo.

Former Golden Eaglet, Rabiu Mohammed (10) in a previous U-17 competition

Former Golden Eaglet, Rabiu Mohammed (10) in a previous U-17 competition

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Obuah Lauds Nwabali Over Chieftaincy Title

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The proprietor of Go Round FC , Bro. Felix Obuah cups he was  on cloud nine seeing  his former ward, Super Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper  at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023  in Cote d’Ivoire,  Stanley Bobo Nwabali,  being conferred with a chieftaincy title at his Egbema Kingdom home in  the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State .
The 27-year-old  Chippa United goalie was led to the ceremony  on Sunday by Bro. Obuah as  he first paid a courtesy call to the ONELGA council headquarters where the Chairman, at the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics which he noted, engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
Sir Vincent Job announced a  cash gift  of N5 million in addition to a street  being named after .
At the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics “This is the dream of every father, that his son or daughter makes it to the top. When we started, I had the dream that one day if they put in their best, they will reach the zenith of their careers,” Bro Obuah said.which he noted , engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
A grand reception was later  held in Nwabali’s honour at the Community Primary School, Okwuzi where top dignitaries  including  Sir Job, Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly and member Representing ONELGA Constituency I, Hon Franklin Nwabochi as well as member representing ONELGA Constituency II, Hon Dcns Nkemjika Ezekwe showered encomiums on the Super Eagles shot stopper.

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Rivers Hoopers Coach Sure To Make Statement

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Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu says his team will face a huge task after Thursday’s 2024 Basketball Africa League draw.
Hoopers were drawn against former champions US Monastir, APR of Rwanda, and Senegal’s AS Douanes in the Sahara Conference.
Top two teams will advance to the BAL playoffs scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 24 to the first of June.
There will also be a slot for two best third-placed teams from across the three conferences (Kalahari, Nile, and Sahara).
“The group is obviously a very tough one, Odaudu said.”
‘’Former champions US Monastir, APR who defeated the Rwandan team (REG), who were at the BAL last year; they are a very tough team too. Of course, last year’s finalist, AS Douanes, is in that group, so we have been placed in the group of death.
While the other two conferences will hold in March and April, the Nigeria Premier League Champions won’t play until May 4.
Odaudu added, ‘’Notwithstanding, we have enough time to prepare and be there. We will overcome once the jump ball comes.’’
Since the inaugural edition in 2021, Rivers Hoopers and Kwara Falcons are the only Nigerian teams who have played in the BAL, and neither have gone past the group stage.
The former Nigeria international wants his team to be the first Nigerian team to make it to the playoffs of the Basketball Africa League.
“First and foremost, getting out of the group is our target for this year’s BAL. We are tired of just going to participate and coming back home after the first round.
“For us this season, we want to ensure we get to Kigali and be in the playoffs. Whatever happens from there on is a bonus.

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SWAN Gets New Leaders In Rivers

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has elected a new leadership.
On Monday, February 19, Peter Abaje of DAAR Communication was voted Chairman alongside other executive members: Vice Chairman – Deinma Abaku; Secretary, Ekpor Temple; Financial Secretary, Bath Ndubuwa, and Eyo Kelvin, Welfare Officer, who will pilot the administrative activities of the association for three years.
While other officers were elected unopposed, Mr. Abaje beat the out gone Chairman, Ms Sarah Atonye David by 10 votes to five to emerge.
The election was held under the supervision of Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya National Ex Officio, who represented the Zonal Vice President, Azuka Chiemeka.
Inaugurating the newly elected officials, Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya described the electoral process as peaceful and orderly and charged the Executive members to live above board by re-positioning the association in the state as no excuses would be given for non-performance.
He encouraged them to be creative and look inward to discover and showcase the abundant sports talents existing in Rivers State and also appealed to them not to apply personal interest to move the association forward.
In his inaugural speech shortly after the election, Peter Abaje, the newly elected Chairman of SWAN in Rivers State, said that the conclusion of this election signaled a new dawn in the state chapter of the association and vowed to lift the association to greater heights.
The Chairman also promised to carry every member along in the scheme of things as well as operate an open-door policy.
“The new leadership under my watch would collaborate with the private institutions and Rivers State Government to promote and develop community sports as well as encourage the education of members in areas of sports journalism, he assured.
Members of the association who voted and witnessed the election process, applauded the SWANECO for delivering a hitch-free, fair and transparent election.

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