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‘Fitness, Key For Senegal’s World Cup Hopes’

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Stoke City’s Senegalese midfielder, Papa Alioune Ndiaye says it is vital his fellow international team-mates stay injury-free ahead of the World Cup.
Senegal has been drawn in Group H in Russia, alongside Poland, Columbia and Japan, and Ndiaye says the fitness of players will be key.
“We are not there yet, we have to focus on our clubs first but I hope no one gets injured so that we all go to represent our country and play our best,” Ndiaye told Tidesports source.
Russia will mark Senegal’s return to the World Cup for the first time since 2002.
At their last appearance, Senegal reached the quarter-finals, beating France along the way and Ndiaye admitted that the Senegalese players have started discussing Russia 2018.
“We are talking about it (World Cup) and it’s a great opportunity for our generation to play at the World Cup.
“We just have to be focused. If you think too much about it then injury will happen. We just have to play our game not to think so much about getting injured.
“With the help of God everything will be ok,” said the midfielder adding that being fit is “not only about the World Cup but as a professional you always have to look after yourself.”
Also known as Badou Ndiaye, the 27-year-old joined Premier League side Stoke City in January from Turkish giants Galatasaray.
A graduate of Senegal’s famous Diambars football academy, he has been capped eight times by the Teranga Lions and was part of their Nations Cup squad in Gabon last year.
He has become a regular in a Senegal side that boasts other Premier League stars including his Stoke City team-mate Mame Biram Diouf, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye and West Ham and Senegal captain Cheikhou Kouyate.
Meanwhile, Ndiaye says he is settling in well at his new English club and hopes Stoke can survive relegation.
Stoke City lie second from bottom in the English Premier League with ten games to go.
“We have a quality team with good players and we are working hard in training.
“We just have to keep working like this to take more points and I am positive that we will be safe,” said Ndiaye.

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Nigeria U16 To Battle Belgium, Others In UEFA Tourney

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Nigeria U16 national team, nicknamed Future Eagles will trade tackles with Belgium, Italy and England in UEFA U16 Development Tournament.
All games are to be played at the Pinatar Arena Football Center in San Pedro del Pinatar.
The Future Eagles are presently at Remo Stars Stadium Ikenne preparing for an U16 tournament before they leave for Spain today.
Meanwhile, the Future Eagles continued their preparations for their tournament in Spain with a 2-0 win over Beyond Limits’ U-15 side in Ikenne.

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Tennis: 72 Players To Feature In TPPA UTR Tourney

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Seventy-two Nigerian youth tennis players will feature at the maiden edition of the Tennis Players’ Parents Association UTR Nationals.
The TPPA UTR Nationals are the culmination of the regional events held across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The tournament takes place from April 8–13 at the tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja.
The five-day event will have over 72 players from across the country in the boys and girls categories for the U-12, U-14, and U-16, respectively.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the Tennis Players Association President, Segun Aluko, said winners of this year’s edition will receive educational support and equipment.
He also stated that the tournament aims to groom and nurture young tennis players in the country to stardom and help them bridge the gap between tennis at the youth and senior levels.
“As you all know, we have been doing great at the junior levels, but we need to ensure we groom more players who will also move up to the senior level and dominate the world scene, just like Novak Djokovic.
“TPPA UTR Nationals is a tournament organised to give opportunities to young tennis players to realise their dreams.
Meanwhile, our correspondent learned that the reigning champion of the J30 Abuja ITF World Junior Tour, Khadijat Mohammed, tops the list of players who got a wild card to play at the tournament.
In the boys U-12, Ahenjir Tertema, Mohammed Okandeji, Samuel Adegbite, and Korede Ogunkolade were listed, while Success Godwin, Barakat Ganiyu, and Grace Oritingbeni made the cut in the girls category.
In the boys’ U-14, Folaranmi Fafowora, Nathaniel Aluko, and Gabriel Igbinovia will battle for honours just as Bisola Ogunkolade and Lorelay Holzendorff will in the girls’ U-14.
For the U-16 girls, Jasmine Osho, Ndidi Osaji, and Adesewa Olaniyan received wild cards just as Kushimo Quzeem and Precious Aliya did for the U-16 boys.

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AAG:Nigeria Boxing Coach Decries Non-Payment Of Allowances

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Team Nigeria boxing head coach, Tony Konyegwachie, has expressed his displeasure over non-payment of allowances to some of the boxers who won laurels for the country at the 13th African Games in Ghana, Tidesports source reports.
Team Nigeria topped the boxing medals table at the Games with eight gold and two silver medals , but they have yet to be paid almost two weeks after the Games ended in Ghana, with three gold medallists Adam Olaore, Patricia Mbata and Cynthia Ogunsemilore, as well as Konyegwachie featuring prominently on the list despite promises made by the Sports Minister, John Enoh that athletes will not encounter any delay in getting their allowances.
A day before the end of the Games, the Ministry of Sports Development stated that it had begun payments of athletes and officials’ camp allowances and bonuses for winning medals.
“Today the 22nd of March, the athletes started receiving their camp allowances,” sports minister’s aide Diana-Mary Nsan said in the statement.
“A lot of athletes had doubts and fears but the trust and confidence has been restored. Athletes who won medals will also get their bonuses.”
“It’s unfortunate that some of our colleagues have been paid while we’re yet to receive any alert. We’re appealing to the Honourable Minister to wade into the matter and make sure we’re paid because our families are hungry and we need the money to settle some debts,” coach Konyegwachie said.
“I am very angry and it is making me bitter. I want it to be investigated as I feel some boxers are being robbed, three of my boxers and I have not been paid bonuses for the African Games while others have gotten theirs.”
Aside from the allowances, payments promised gold medallists are also being withheld. One of the boxer, Omole Dolapo, who has received his allowance told our correspondent that he was yet to get his bonus for his gold medals.
“I have gotten the allowance, but I know some of my colleagues are yet to get theirs. For the medal bonus, I have not received that, and we are still waiting for the payment,” he said.

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