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Ladipo Unhappy About Crisis In NFF

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The President-General of
the Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club (NFSSC), Rafiu Ladipo,  has said that he is concerned that Nigeria may lose another Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ticket.
Ladipo said, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, that Nigeria stood the chance of not qualifying for the 2017 AFCON if the ongoing leadership crisis was not settled.
The 2015 AFCON is holding presently in Equatorial Guinea without Nigeria, who are the defending champions, after winning in South Africa in 2013.
Ladipo, who blamed the country’s failure to qualify on the crisis, said the Eagles might be distracted from the qualifiers for 2017 AFCON if the parties involved continue to disagree.
“We should blame our failure to qualify on the crisis which rocked the NFF, and that crisis of leadership was necessitated by the board elections.
“Before we knew what was happening, we had started losing matches. Whereas the Eagles were expected to qualify even before the last two games, we lost games we were not supposed to lose,’’ he said.
Ladipo said he was at the NFA secretariat to let the association know how to prepare for the 2017 AFCON.
He said many Nigerians would not want a repeat of the Eagles’ failure to go for the competition.
“Some NFF officials are there (at Equatorial Guinea, venue of the 2015 AFCON) and I hope they will come back with some lessons that will ginger our boys and put them in a better position to qualify for the next edition of AFCON,’’ Ladipo said.
He said the NFF must put its house in order to avoid a repeat of what happened in the 2015 qualifying series.
The NFSSC official said the distraction which characterised the Eagles’ participation in the qualifying series contributed mostly to the non-qualification.
Ladipo urged the NFA to ensure the Eagles qualified and go on to win the 2017 AFCON to make up for the absence at the ongoing edition.
He said his club lost so much financially due to the country’s inability to qualify for the biennial competition.
“Before now, members of the club had put aside substantial amounts of money to produce souvenirs like T-shirts, caps and other materials which they are going to sell to make money for the club.
“What we had put in place before we realised that we could not go ran into millions of Naira.
“We were going to the qualifiers with some souvenirs’ preparing for the AFCON proper, but the last game in Uyo shattered our dream,’’ Ladipo said.
He however contended that the Super Eagles absence from the ongoing tournament in Equatorial Guinea had reduced the glamour which usually accompanied the competition.
Two groups have been at loggerheads over the leadership of the NFF following two board elections conducted on August.26 and September 30 in Abuja and Warri respectively.
While the Chris Giwa-led group is part of the August  26 election, the Amaju Pinnick-led board were part of the September 30 election.

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Eagles May Play Home Games In Abuja

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Plans are underway to have the Super Eagles move their home games to Abuja after Dangote Group handed over the rehabilitated MoshoodAbiola National Stadium, Abuja to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Contractors, Aron Nigeria Limited, handed over the rehabilitated stadium to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Friday.
The rehabilitation work was carried out on the main bowl pitch and scoreboard.
Tidesports source reports that Dare had clamoured for the return of the Eagles to Abuja on several occasions, stating the need to have a permanent home stadium.
The Eagles last played at the Abuja stadium in 2012
“It is my wish that the Super Eagles and indeed the national teams of Nigeria, like elsewhere, have a permanent venue to play their matches rather than playing from one place to another,” Dare said last month while speaking to State House correspondents.
“There are great benefits for countries’ national teams to have a particular venue where the players understand very well. I believe very soon the Super Eagles will be playing their matches in Abuja or Lagos if the national stadium is fully ready too.”
In the last 10 years, the Eagles have played their home games at the GodswillAkpabio Stadium Uyo, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin and AdokiyeAmiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.
They, however, made a return to Lagos after 10 years and for the first time for a competitive match in 20 years when they played Lesotho in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the TeslimBalogun Stadium on March 30.
They ended up playing their remaining World Cup qualifiers and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Lagos.
While the Eagles were hoping to make the TeslimBalogun Stadium their new home, news emerged last week that the Confederation of African Football had banned the stadium from hosting matches.
In a letter dated October 17, which was sent to the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mohammed Sanusi,CAF said the stadium “lacks the CAF criteria and requirements in order to properly host international competitions”.
The letter signed by CAF Development Director Raul Chipenda said the stadium failed to implement the recommendations addressed to the NFF after the previous inspection.

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Court Bars Bash Ali From Defaming Minister

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Justice O.C. Agbaza of the High Court of the Federal  Capital Territory (FCT) has issued a restraining order, barring Bash Ali from further making or publishing any denigrating or defamatory material against the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
Tidesports source reports that the Minister had far back as June 25, 2021, approached the Federal High Court, Abuja division seeking a restraining order and charging Bash Ali with libel and defamation of character.
The lawyers to the minister from the Keyamo Chambers spent months unable to serve Bash and the judicial workers strike. Upon resumption and with the serial defamation by Bash Ali continuing, the lawyers approached the court. This time, the Keyamo team and Wole Olanipekun team as counsels secured the restraining order.
It would be recalled that sometime in April 2021, Bash Ali had in a letter, which he made available to the public, made several allegations against the Minister.
The Minister denied those allegations and to assert his innocence, the Minister filed Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/1269/2021seeking injunctive reliefs and pecuniary damages from Bash Ali on account of the defamatory publication.
Despite the pendency of this suit, Bash Ali recently published a video on social media in which he repeated those false allegations against the Minister and also issued several threats against the Minister and the Ministry.

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Nigeria’s Saidu Elected As Commonwealth Handball Scribe

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Nigeria’s Jibril Saidu has been elected the new secretary of the Commonwealth Handball Association.
The election, which took place via zoom on Monday, saw Saidu emerging unopposed but still polled 100 percent of the available votes.
Saidu,a former player became the second Nigerian to be elected as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Handball Association succeeding General Ishola Williams who held the same position for almost three decades.
Also, Ruth Saunders, former President of South Africa Handball Federation defeated Steve Neilson of Scotland to become the first woman president of the Association.

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