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Nigeria, North Korea Friendly Gets FIFA Approval

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FIFA has approved the warm-up friendly between Nigeria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea scheduled to hold on June 6 in Johannesburg.

A press statement signed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)’s spokesman, Ademola Olajire, and made available to newsmen on Saturday, stated that the two countries needed to get the world football body’s approval for the game.

Olajire said they also needed approval of the host association, the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) for the game billed for Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

He said the approval letter was signed by FIFA’s Competitions Executive Directive, Jim Brown.

   The NFF spokesman said the game against the  North Koreans would be of immense benefit to the super Eagles in preparing for their group game against Korea Republic (South Korea) holding on June 22 in Durban.

The Eagles are expected in Durban today from London aboard a chartered flight.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s first round opponents, Argentina arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Diego Maradona, the Argentine coach, said on arrival at the or Tambo International Airport, that he was looking forward to the championship.

“I’m excited to be here, I love South Africa and I’m looking forward to the world cup,” Maradona said.

Argentina and Nigeria are to open their campaign on June 12 at the Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg.

Denmark also arrived early on Saturday, bringing to four the number of countries already in South Africa.

The Danes will face the Netherlands, Cameroon and Japan in the first round.

Australia and five-time winners, Brazil arrived early last week.

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Delta Insists To Host Best Ever NSF Opening Ceremony Nov 30 

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After months of preparations, the 21st National Sports Festival tagged Delta 2022 will finally begin on November 30, with the State government insisting on delivering the best ever Games in history of Nigeria sports.
With two brand new indoor sports hall, a new swimming pool, new tartan track, new shooting range all within the Stephen Keshi Stadium as well as new hockey pitch at Okpanam and new hostel facilities at the NYSC camp at Issele-Uku, the Secretary of Local Organising committee (LOC), Chris Anazia declared yesterday that Delta would leave a legacy that will be difficult to surpass in the nearest future.
“Whenever Delta agree to do anything, we always go for the best,” Anazia said. “We are not just going to host a sports festival, but the best ever in the history of the Games. I am sure by the time the festival ends on December 10, all Nigerian athletes and officials will praise the government and people of Delta State for a job well done.”
Apart the hostel facilities being put in place at NYSC camp at Issele-Uku, headquarters of Aniocha north local council, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is also building hostels in some schools in Asaba to serve as accommodation for the athletes.
According to Anazia, arrival date for State contingent in November 28 and 29, while the opening ceremony will hold on November 30.
Meanwhile, the Adviser to the LOC, Chief Solomon Ogba, has revealed that the Festival Torch of Unity, which has been moving round the country will arrive Delta State on November 28, and will travel round all local government headquarters for chairmen and council officials to have a feel.
Ogba, a former Sports Commissioner, ex-President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently the First Vice President of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), stated that the Festival Torch of Unity would arrive Asaba on November 30, the day of the opening ceremony.

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U-23 AFCON: Bosso Invites 40 Players To Camp 

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The  Head Coach of the U-20 Boys’ National Team, Isah Bosso, has called up 40 players to begin camping in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from today in preparation for the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations finals in Egypt
This is according to a statement by the Nigeria Football Federation Communications Department, obtained on Saturday.
The list is made up of five goalkeepers, nine defenders, 13 midfielders and 13 forwards. The players will stay at the Serob Legacy Hotel in the Wuye area of the nation’s capital.
The seven-time African champions triumphed at the WAFU B U-20 Championship held in Niger Republic in May and thus qualified to represent the zone at the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations to be staged in Egypt from February 18 to March 12.
All four semi-finalists at the U-20 AFCON will fly Africa’s flag at next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup finals holding in Indonesia.

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WAC: Amusan, Brume Others Set To Compete

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Five Nigerian female athletes have qualified to compete at the 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships next year August in Budapest, Hungary,  Tidesports source  reports.
The five athletes are sprinters Favour Ofili, Grace Nwokocha and Rosemary Chukwuma; sprint hurdler Tobi Amusan and long jumper Ese Brume.
The five individual athletes secured their qualification at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last August while Amusan automatically qualifies as the reigning World 100m hurdles champion albeit she could have made the cut either through the entry standard or the wild card her Diamond League victory conferred on her.
The Commonwealth Games period fell within the qualification window for the Championships.
Two of the five relay teams the women’s 4x100m and the Mixed 4x400m also secured qualification to the championships, the flagship event of World Athletics.
The two relay teams are able to secure qualification following the cancellation of the 2023 World Relays in China due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three other Nigerian athletes also qualified provisionally for the World Athletics Championships as area champions.
They are Oyesade Olatoye (Hammer Throw), Chioma Onyekwere (Discus) and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (Shot Put).
The trio won their respective events at the 22nd African Athletics Championships in Mauritius last June.

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