Hundreds of Lagos residents, including children,at the weekend turned out to catch a glimpse of the iconic FIFA World Cup which arrived in the country last Wednesday.
Tidesports source who covered the arrival of the trophy at the Tafawa Balewa Square reports that the residents defied scorching sun to see the trophy.
Many of the excited residents told newsmen that it was a golden opportunity to see the cup.
They thanked the organisers, Coca Cola, for the gesture.
Football, dance and music were also used to spice up the event, while Coca Cola offered free drinks.
A nine-year-old boy, Taiwo Tivlam, said that it was a wonderful experience for him and his two siblings.
Tivlam said his dream would be to play football and represent the country at World Cup competitions.
“When my parents told me about this trophy tour, I thought it was a joke until we got to TBS and I witnessed it. I am really excited,” he said.
Tamilore Douglas, an undergraduate, extolled the organisers, saying that seeing the trophy was a lifetime experienced for her.
“I enjoyed every bit of it because everything was orderly. I hope the country enjoys more of this in years to come,” she said.
Also, Silvia Noah, also nine-year-old, said that she wished the cup would stay longer in the country for more people to see.
“The cup is so beautiful and shinning; I don’t know if we can keep it,” she said.
Messrs Uzor and Morayo Fadeke, businessman and public servant, respectively also hailed the organisers, describing the opportunity as golden.
Tidesports source also reports that the trophy which arrived in Abuja on Wednesday is on tour of 91 cities in 51 countries across six continents before the commencement of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The trophy arrived in Lagos on Friday and left Nigeria on Saturday evening for Senegal.
The tour is the fourth global tour by the FIFA World Cup, and the third time it would be visiting Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles is in Group D alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia in the 2018 World Cup tournament to hold from June 14 to July 14.
The 2018 World Cup final match will be played inside the 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 15th July.
Sports Development Subject to Economic Performance – Consultant
A golf consultant, Sam Emetelu, has said that golf like any other sport cannot thrive when a nation’s economy is unstable.
Emetelu said this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to him, the state of a country’s economy plays a vital role in the development of other sectors.
In view of this, he said, there had been little activities for golfers in both the amateur and professional categories.
“Sports in recent time has been struggling, it’s not just peculiar to golf. So, the backlash is that activities have been slow, because it is an election year.
“When the economy thrives, other sectors thrive too; it’s not rocket science.
“The only thing that has been sustaining golf is committed individuals who are lovers of the game who invest their money in because of their love for the sport,” he said.
He, however, predicted that the last quarter of the year would take a more positive turn as companies and individuals would have started regaining momentum.
“With the ember months, most corporate organisations are taking stock and probably thinking of how to structure their Corporate Social Responsibility, maybe then they’d think of sponsoring golf tournaments.
MTN To Co-Sponsor Nigerian Football League
MTN Nigeria has entered into a partnership with the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), GTI Investment Ltd. and Propel Sports Africa to sponsor the Nigerian league.
Media Officer of GTI Investment Ltd., Andrew Ekejiuba, said this in a statement this week in Lagos.
He said following the recent announcement of the joint venture between the NPFL, GTI and Propel Sports Africa to stream NPFL games live, Propel Sports was delighted to announce that it had entered into a deal with MTN Nigeria for the exclusive broadcast of the league.
He said the sponsorship would cover eight live games each weekend, which would translate to over 300 games per season.
Chairman of Propel Sports Africa, Basil Kabbani stated: “The engagement with MTN has been amazing, from the Digital VAS, to the Marketing and Commercial team, their approach has been consistently professional.
“The enthusiasm for the NPFL content has been infectious. From the very start of our negotiations, we knew MTN was the right partner to give our great content, the platform it deserves.”
The deal, concluded by Propel Sports Africa president, Edward Simons, and MTN Chief Operating Officer, Hassan Jabar, would include in-and-post-game highlights delivered in real time to MTN subscribers through the NPFL Live OTT platform.
Osimhen Can Win Ballon d’Or – Peseiro
Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro believes Napoli forward Victor Osimhen can win the Ballon d’Or in the future.
Osimhen is among the 30 players nominated for the 2023 Men’s Ballon d’Or as well as one of the 12 nominees for the 2023 FIFA The Best Men’s Player Award.
He is the first Nigerian male footballer in 24 years to get nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
Peseiro believes the 24-year-old has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or award in future even if it seems unlikely for him to achieve the feat in 2023 as he is set to compete with a star-studded cast of nominees.
Pesiero is optimistic that Osimhen can claim the award in future as he does not lack any potential to do it.
“He (Osimhen) can surely win the Ballon d’Or in the future. He’s not lacking anything to do it,” Peseiro said in an interview with Tidesports source.
“He has different characteristics than other players that are at the top at this moment, but he scores a lot as well.”
Osimhen had a stellar 2022–23 season with Napoli, leading the club to their first Serie A title in 33 years, and also won the golden boot.
The Napoli striker scored 26 Serie A goals last season to guide the Partenopei to the Scudetto for the first time in more than three decades.
He also becomes the 7th Nigerian male footballer and 8th Nigerian player to earn a Ballon D’Or award nomination after Finidi George (1995), Austin Jay-Jay Okocha (1995), Daniel Amokachi (1995), Nwankwo Kanu (1996, 1999), Victor Ikpeba (1997), Sunday Oliseh (1998), and Asisat Oshoala (2022, 2023).
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