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Yaya Returns To Elephants

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The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) has confirmed the return of Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure to the Elephants squad for this month’s friendlies in France.
The 34-year-old quit international football after leading his country to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations title, but reversed his decision in December.
Named in a 24-man squad for fixtures against Togo on Saturday and then Moldova three days later, officials are excited about his return after a three year absence.
“The federation had a good discussion with Yaya Toure about the two friendlies and he gave his commitment to be in France before his inclusion,” a top FIF official told Tidesports source.
“It’s also a big boost for the team ahead of important qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
“He loves his country and many people revere him for his contributions, we are just happy to have him back in the team again.”
Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, Toure has rarely featured in the Manchester City side, appearing in 13 matches in total this season and just six of them as a late substitute in the Premier League.
After making his international debut against Egypt in June 2004, Toure has gone on to win 100 caps for his country, scoring 19 goals.
In 2014 he took over the captain’s armband following the retirement of star striker Didier Drogba.
He has played in six Nations Cup tournaments, suffering defeat in the final in 2006 and 2012, and appeared in three World Cups.
Toure captained his country to a first Africa Cup of Nations triumph since 1992 in Equatorial Guinea in February 2015.
However, in his absence Ivory Coast suffered an embarrassing group stage exit at the 2017 tournament and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The faltering Elephants, who lost 3-2 at home to Guinea in their opening Group H encounter last June, will resume qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in September with a trip to Rwanda.

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Organisers Explain 2021 NSF Postponement

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The 21st edition of National Sports Festival earlier scheduled for November 2 to 15, 2022, in Asaba, Delta State, will now hold from November 28 to December 10, 2022.
According to a statement by the Festival Secretary, Peter Nelson, and addressed to all Commissioners of Sports and Directors of Sports, the postponement was at the request of the host, Delta State.
“I wish to convey the request of Delta State Government to shift the date of the 21st National Sports Festival earlier scheduled to hold from November 2 to 15, 2022.
“It is now shifted to start on November 28 to December 10, 2022.
“The reason for the postponement is to give Delta State more time to complete some of the facilities needed for the festival,” the statement reads.
It will be recalled that the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State, which was tagged: “Edo 2020,” also suffered several postponements until it finally held from April 2 to 14.

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Nigeria Must Embrace Grassroots Sports Dev – Amusan

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Women’S 100 metres hurdles world record holder, Tobi Amusan, believes that grassroots development programmes and top-notch training will help the country discover more athletics world champions.
Speaking in Lagos at a dinner organised in her honour by The Plug, an entertainment firm, tagged ‘Tobi Amusan’s Homecoming,’ she blamed the exodus of the Nigeria’s top athletes to other countries to what such nations offer the athletes.
“Grassroots sports development is something we lack here and the reason we often lose our top athletes to other countries of the world.
“From my experience training in the United States, if we can have such development here, we can groom young talents and unearth more Tobi Amusans,” she said.
On the recent ratification of her record by World Athletics, Amusan said: “That my world record was ratified by the world body means that I am drug free and that I am clean. I feel great about it. Every time I am on the track, my eyes are always set on how to win and I execute it by winning.”
She also spoke on the recent reception by the Federal Government, saying, “It is great feeling that we were recognised by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they took into account and they recognised the fact that we did the nation proud. It is such a great feeling getting the national honour.”
She acknowledged the support she got after her world record feat, with her followers on Twitter rising from 3000 to 150,000 under 24 hours, saying it showed that people appreciate what she is doing.
On the criticism by men’s 400 metres world record holder, Michael Johnson, after her record breaking race in Oregon, U.S, Amusan said she was not bothered. “Honestly, I kept doing my thing because after the World Championships, I had other competitions to attend. I don’t dwell on negativity… I look on the bright side of the sport.”
At the event, Flutterwave, which used the occasion to declare it has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amusan, said: “It is very difficult to find athletes who embody our core values the way Tobi does.”

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YSFON : Academy Coach Begs For Assistance

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The Head coach of the De Kings International Football Academy (DKIFA) of Port Harcourt Okpaleke Chika King is begging the Rivers State ministry of Sports,  private and corporate individuals and all lovers of football for financial support to assist his team represent the state in Youth Sports Federation Of Nigeria (YSFON) competition.
He said that his team was representing Rivers state at the ongoing Chief of Naval Staff National (YSFON) Competition in Ilorin, Kwara State. He said he had written a letter to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals for assistance.
King made the assertion on Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt before leaving for Kwara state.
According to him he had nothing to do than to borrow money for the journey believing that when the State’s Commissioner for Sports sees the letter he would not fail to respond to it.
“ As you can see, my boys are ready for the competition but we lack support.
“ I have written to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals to assist us  but I have not gotten any reply, yet.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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