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Cup Of Nations Fall-out: Doomsday Postponed For Super Eagles

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Shuaibu Amodu can breathe a sigh of relief temporarily after his less than impressive ‘Super’ Eagles managed to scrape out a dour single-goal victory over their regional neighbours, the Squirrels of Benin. But can any Nigerian truly assert that they too can breathe freely?

Many football fans would no doubt answer in the negative, as the display of the team was only typical of the level of competence of the man in charge.  With this victory, Amodu and his gang of Chicken-breeders have only succeeded in pushing forward doomsday one game further.

Though there was a slight improvement in the team’s play relative to the first outing against the current champions, the Pharaohs of Egypt, the team still maintained that incoherent and untidy attitude. The lack of technical play in the team was all too evident, and the team was unable to manage one single counter-attack during the entire game. They were static, with no fluidity amongst the various departments; reflective of Amodu himself, who wore a perplexed expression throughout the game.

The Nigerian team’s showing was as interesting as watching paint dry. The side provided little exciting soccer artistry, if they still remember what that is, and it was just the individual determination from certain players that kept the side going.

Without any form of prejudice, I boldly assert that the better team lost on the day. The Beninoise team were unfortunate not to have won the game, and a little more experience on their side would have come in handy. Had Stephane Sesegnon and Rasaq Omotoyossi been a tad more clinical in their finishing, the Eagles would have broken through new lows.

Danny Shittu was undoubtedly the best player on the Nigerian side, closely followed by Dickson Etuhu, who was doing the quiet and yet dirty job in the middle of the pack. If these two players had not instilled their individual brilliance on the day, Nigerian fans would have been singing a much different song now.

Much like the first game, Yakubu Aiyegbeni still continued to show his poor form, missing arguably the best chance of the evening for the Nigerians. My grandmother would have tucked away the sitter he threw away early in the first half.

His penalty kick that gave the team the game’s goal was also far from impressive, and only the poor judgment from the Beninoise goalkeeper ensured the ball lazily strolled into the back of the net.

We should remain truthful to ourselves at this moment. The Nigerian team is still in tatters, and the short-term remedy lies in a total overhaul of the technical bench.

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Okowa Lauds Athletes Ahead Olympics Trials

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President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa, has once again mandated all athletes looking to represent the country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to attend the Nigerian Trials, which hold from June 16 to 18 inside the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin-City.
Making his stance clear in Monday’s release by the athletics body, Okowa commended the athletes for their determination to qualify for the Olympics.
He said, “The athletes have shown commitment, determination, and desire to succeed in their careers by picking Olympic qualifications. They deserve our collective appreciation.”
He added, “The athletes would be picked in accordance with their performances at the trials because it would largely determine who goes to Paris for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, says the state is waiting to welcome athletes for the trials.
He said, “We are the hosts of the national trials, and athletes and spectators are welcome.”
The trials are expected to throw up the best of Nigeria’s athletes based at home and abroad for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

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Emerging Star Eyes Olympics Place For Nigeria

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Nigerian track and field star, Favour Ofili, has set her sights on the upcoming national Olympics trials after she pulled off a stunning victory in the women’s 100m at the New York Grand Prix, defeating a stellar field that included Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica last Sunday.
The 21-year-old clocked a season-best 11.18secs to take the win, America’s Morolake Akinosun was second in 11.20secs while her compatriot Aleia Hobbs ended in third place in 11.21secs.Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo Olympics 100m and 200m gold medalist, could only manage ninth place in 11.48secs as she continues to search for her best form this season.
“Just like practice, stay calm and just go, finish your transition because that’s the issue, and whatever happens will happen. I wanted to get the standard here and I give God glory for the win,” Ofili told Tidesports source after the race.
“For the trials, stay calm and just do what I know how to do, go back and do some training before I go back home for the national trials.”
The Olympic trials are scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State from June 16 to 18. The trials will serve as the selection of the nation’s athletes for both the Senior Africa Athletics Championships, holding between June 21 and 28 in Douala, Cameroon and the Paris 2024 Olympics, which hold from July 26 to August 11.

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Olympic Day Celebrations Hold June 29

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The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), at the weekend, said the annual Olympic Day celebrations would be held on June 29 across the country.
The Olympic Day is a global event that commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Movement, founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894.
Speaking with news men, the Secretary-General of the NOC, Babatunde Popoola, said this year’s celebration holds special significance as it precedes the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
It’s where Nigerian athletes will compete and inspire the world with their achievements.
“Olympic Day is a chance for people of all ages and abilities to experience the magic of the Olympic Games in their own communities.
“It is an ideal platform to highlight the benefits of physical activity and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,” Popoola said.
Popoola said that NOC had received positive responses from various states and stakeholders, and preparations were well underway for the nationwide celebration.
He added that no fewer than 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory have indicated their plans to organise activities for the event.
The states are: Abia; Anambra; Bayelsa; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Ebonyi; Lagos; Kogi; Gombe; Jigawa; Kebbi; Kano; Kwara; Taraba; Imo; Ondo; Plateau; Rivers; Nasarawa and Osun
Also speaking, the Chairman of the NOC Sport For All Commission, Abdul Ibrahim, said that Olympic Day was a special day to come together, move together, and learn about the Olympic values.
“We encourage everyone to participate and experience the joy that only sport can bring,” he said.
According to him, a series of activities have been lined up in Lagos, with fitness clubs at the National Stadium Complex and the general public gearing up to take part in the global event.
“The celebration will conclude with the presentation of diplomas signed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel and other dignitaries will officially flag off the event in Abuja,” he added.

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