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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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Rivers United Know Confed Cup Foes, Dec 12

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The Confederation of African Football has fixed December 12 for the group stage draws of the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, Tidesports can confirm.
Group stage draws for both interclub competitions were initially slated for November 16, but CAF announced a postponement via its website, a day before the event.
The draws will now be held almost a month after the initial date, as confirmed by Africa’s football governing body.
“The Group Stage draw for the 2022/23 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup will be conducted on Monday 12 December 2022 in Cairo, Egypt.
“The TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup will be live from 13h00 (11h00 GMT) followed by TotalEnergies CAF Champions League at 14h00 (12h00 GMT).
“Both draws will be live on CAF digital platforms and also CAF TV partners,” CAF wrote on its website.
With the development, it means Nigeria Professional Football League side, Rivers United, will find out its group opponents in the Confederation Cup Dec 12.
The media officer of the club, Charles Mayuku, also confirmed that the new date has been communicated.
“CAFCC: @Rivers United FC to Know Foes December 12th. The group stage draw was initially fixed for November 16th but had to be postponed due to some reasons.
“According to the update coming from CAF, December 12th has been fixed for the draw at its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt,” Mayuku tweeted on his official Twitter handle
Since scaling the hurdle of Al Nasr Benghazi in Libya, the club has been training at the Adokiye Amesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, while also looking forward to the money-spinning stage of the competition.
Rivers United are in the running for the second-tier competition with 15 other clubs.

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Cricket: Nigeria Team Arrives Rwanda For W/Cup Qualifier

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Nigeria’s men’s senior cricket team, the Yellow Greens, has arrived Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 Africa Sub Region B World Cup qualifier yesterday.
The team arrived Rwanda via Zimbabwe, where they embarked on a week-long training tour with four warm-up games against the Midwest Rhinos cricket club in Kwekwe. Nigeria won the series 3-1.
It began with a 122 to 126 runs loss in the first game, before the Yellows Greens followed it up with comprehensive wins in the last three games, edging Rhinos by 102-59, 82-39 and a 112-111 runs.
National coach, Clive Ogbimi, expressed optimism about the impact of the training tour on the players.
“We selected a team of international standard for the tour and the chaps have learnt a lot, especially in the areas of fielding and organising play.
“You will notice that in four games, Nigeria batted first and we didn’t get last 125 runs. It shows that a little more is to be done, regarding the batting. We start well, and we must be able to finish well.
“On the other side, the batters will have to show tremendous belief in their abilities and Coach Steve and I have always emphasised that as well. Putting all of that together, we had brilliant performances from the players to win the nervy games and we hope to go to Rwanda with that winning momentum,” Ogbimi said.
Upon the arrival of all teams today, technical meetings will follow Wednesday, while actions will begin on Thursday with four games per day till December 9.

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21st NSF: RSG Tasks Team Rivers To Win As Opening Ceremony Takes Place, Today

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Today, Asaba, the capital city of Delta State  will be at the center stage in Nigeria as President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare  the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) open at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
Before Team Rivers left her base yesterday, the State Government has charged athletes to put up impressive performance as the State Government is expecting nothing less than top position at the festival.
The State Commissioner for Sports, Barrister Christopher Green gave the charge yesterday, while addressing athletes in Port Harcourt, saying that he had no doubt that his athletes will perform credibly.
According to him, Team Rivers athletes have the potentials to top the medals table because  there was adequate preparations and motivations for the festival .
“What His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike is  expecting is nothing less than first position because he has released funds for the Festival.
“ As I speak, no athlete in the State is being owed one dime, all camp allowances and other payments due athletes have been paid, consequently, what we  expect in return was  to  the win the festival and make the state proud”, Barrister Green said.
Earlier, the Commissioner had said at different fora that he was poised to develop sports in the State in all ramifications, saying that no good athlete in the State will die in penury.
”As a Commissioner I will ensu re that I develop other Sports and not only football. Let me also say it here I am not commissioner for football, but I am commissioner for Sports.
“You all are aware that our Governor is a sports loving person, that is why he gave Sports deveploment priority and he was awarded  the Power of Sports Africa (POS Africa) award”;  he stated.
General Yakubu Gowon, initiated the National Sports Festival in 1973 as a platform to bring together youths from all parts of the country to compete, using sports as a tool to achieve national healing after the brutal 30-month civil war.
He saw the sports festival as a rallying point for national unity and cultural integration. It was named the Unity Games.
The maiden edition of the NSF took place in 1973 at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

By: Tonye Orabere

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