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Minister Tasks Federations On Preparations …Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has urged national sports federations to commence preparations ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in order to achieve success.
Dalung who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2017 National Karate Open Championship in Abuja said sports federations hoping to win laurels at the 2020 Olympics must commence preparations early.
Represented by the Director of the Sports Ministry’s Federation and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD), Tayo Oreweme, the minister noted that the Tokyo Games would be karate’s first Olympic outing.
“This will be the first time karate will feature at the Games, hence the need to commence preparations and be part of that history,’’ he said.
Dalung said it was important that preparation should commence immediately in view of the need for the Karate Federation of Nigeria to have its athletes qualify for the Games.
“I hope that the federation’s technical team has been able to identify high-profile athletes from this championship who will be nurtured to stardom to win medals at the Olympics.
“To qualify for the Olympics, all hands must be on deck.
“I want to encourage the federation to spread its tentacles, to get to the corporate and private organisations, as well as the World Karate Federation, for financial and technical support which will ensure successful outings at the qualifying competitions,” he said.
Dalung also called on the national federations to concentrate more on constant organisation of zonal and national competitions for all age categories.
“This is what will help you to identify and nurture potential athletes to represent Nigeria at international competitions,’’ the minister said.
Earlier, President of the federation, Silas Agara, had said karate was becoming a global sport capable of building bridges of love, friendship and cooperation among nations.
“It is for this reason that its inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has come to us as a positive development.
“It is my hope and expectation that all stakeholders, athletes, coaches, referees, administrators and sponsors will strive to make our collective dream come true in our determination to place our country on the map of world recognition.
“I urge all participants in the national championship to commit themselves to the sport with all sense of patriotism, having in mind that the essence of participating in competitions is not only the euphoria of winning.
“Have it in mind that there is more fulfilment in the coming together to enhance national integration,’’ he said.
Agara restated the federation’s resolve to open up opportunities for all athletes, regardless of gender, class or age, in order to enable sportsmen and women realise their aspirations.
He promised to ensure equal development and promotion of karate in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT through sustained courses, seminars, competitions and provision of access to facilities.
Agara said no stone would be left unturned as the federation sets out to identify athletes who possessed the needed potential for the 2020 Olympics.
Tidesports source gathered that FCT and Lagos won gold in the Karate female and male team events respectively.

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Pinnick Woos FIFA For Tenure Elongation

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The drama, intrigues as well as clandestine moves that have characterised the September 2022 planned Nigeria Football Federation, NFF election took a new twist recently as incumbent president of the federation, Amaju Pinnick has written to FIFA seeking for tenure extension by shifting the election to 2023
According to Tidesports sources, in a letter sent to the world body last week  and signed by General Secretary, Muhhamed Sanusi, the outgoing board led by Amaju Pinnick appealed to the world body to allow it to hold the forthcoming election next year’s January instead September.
Amaju Pinnick and his board were reelected for a second term in office on September 20, 2018 in Katsina and his tenure is meant to elapse next month.
However, sources revealed that the letter was already sent to FIFA before the NFF topshots informed the board members in an online platform of the federation.
The plan is to read the FIFA response at the AGA expected to take place this week in Bayelsa State.
The source added that the members were irked that a few people on the board took such a decision without informing others from the beginning and they are hoping to use the response to extend their tenure at the Annual General Assembly scheduled for Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“It is indeed a taboo. Rather than get the consent of the board members and the Congress before sending the letter to FIFA, the letter was sent.
“There is no doubt, a few people at the top echelon of the current board want to remain in office beyond the September date,” our source revealed.
“There is a tentative date of August 16 for the AGA in Bayelsa and another date of September 21 for the elective Congress in a yet to be decided venue but it is clear the current board is reluctant to leave office.
“The majority of the board members are resolute to take out this current leadership for so many reasons especially because many of them were never informed about crucial decisive issues in the administration of the game,” a source told Tidesports source
Although Amaju Pinnick had stated time without number that he would not seek a new term in office, the former Delta State FA Chairman recently said that “influential people” are pushing him to contest for a 3rd term.

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Nigeria U-21 Volleyball Team Departs For Tunisia

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As the team departed for Tunisia at the weekend for the African U-21 Volleyball Championship Nations Cup, President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod, has said that the country is all out to gain from the outing to qualify for the World Championship.
He stated this while biding the team farewell at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Friday, adding that the target for the participation of Nigeria is to qualify for the world championship, stressing that, “We are also building them up for the All African Games next year and the next Olympics,” he said.
Also Speaking with Sports Writers, Coach Sani Mohammed Musa of the male U-21 men, said that the team are African champions and have featured in World Championship twice.
He said that bearing in mind that the North Africans would be battle ready for Nigeria, they will leave no stone unturned to ensuring they achieved their objectives.

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Female Footballers, Officials Abducted In Edo

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Six people, which include players and officials of a grassroots female team, have been reportedly kidnapped by gunmen in Uronigbe, a border community between Edo and Delta states in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
Tidesports learnt that the six victims were kidnapped around 6pm on Friday, while returning from a game at Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
A source in the community said the kidnappers had contacted some families demanding a ransom of N5million each for the victims.
He said, “They (footballers) went to Owa-Alero to play a football match, but on their way back, they were kidnapped at Uronigbe area, the boundary between Delta and Edo States.
“The victims include Mrs Precious Agbajor, one Abraham, Nancy, Beatrice, the driver and one other person. They are six in number that are in the kidnapper’s den.
Tidesports learned that the matter has been reported at the Uronigbe police station.
“The kidnappers have contacted the family of Agbajor and asked them to pay N5million for his wife.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Delta State, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the kidnap, adding that the incident happened in Edo State.
His Edo State counterpart, Chidi Nwabuzor, said from the records available at the State Command, there was no information on the incident.
“You know we transmit our records to Force Headquarters everyday. There is no such record before us. From the Command’s record, no such incident happened on Friday, so the police will not give account of anything unreported.
“It is only when an incident is reported that the police can act on it. In most cases, citizens are not aware of the powers to report incidents. So the record I have from the Command is that no such incident happened  on Friday, Saturday and even on Thursday.”

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