Boxing used to be the most popular sport in Nigeria in the 1980s but completely disappeared from view until the beginning of the 2000s.
At the Africa Youth Games (AYG) in Algeria during the year under review, the boxers won six medals for the country.
However, at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, a team made up of five male and four female boxers only managed to win two bronze medals – Yetunde Odunuga in the 60kg category and Millicent Agboegbulem in the 75kg category.
Sports loving Nigerians, especially boxing followers had predicted two gold medals but we got two bronze medals.
What this shows is that things can be done better to prepare our athletes for these games.
These results also highlight that Nigeria is gradually losing its prominence in short sprints.
Meanwhile at the local level, the monthly GOtv Boxing Night continues to bring joy and happiness to the lovers of the game with regular boxing bouts, which has helped, in discovering some hidden talents.
Former Africa champion, and ex-Olympian, Jeremiah Okorodudu heaped the blame of the ‘not-too-impressive’ outing of the sport to the attitude of our administrators at the Sports Ministry and called for better organization in terms of appointment of the right administrators in running the affairs of the sport in the country.
“The problem facing our boxers will continue until we do the right thing which is putting the right pegs in the right holes.
“The boxers are there for us to develop but if the people at the helms of affairs are not interested in the sport, there is little or nothing we can do for its development,” Okorodudu said.
Okorodudu, however, praised the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C) under the leadership of Dr. Raifu Ladipo and secretary, Remi Aboderin for their efforts in developing the sport.
“They should not rest on their oars, though, they have done so well but they should keep up the good work and take the sport to greater heights.
“Boxing should be returned to the good old days where our boxers rule the continent and a force to reckon with in the world.
“I have said it severally that with good administrators, our boxers would be world beaters”, added Okorodudu.
In an effort to make progress in the sport, the Nigerian Boxing Federation (NBF) have begun plans to introduce a National Boxing League (NBL) with priority given to female boxers
The pledge was made during the full council of the NBF in the year under review with stakeholders in attendance who reviewed the previous year, the challenges, plans and aspirations of the federation.
The meeting, which was presided by the President, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, praised the special contribution of female boxers.
These earned a special commendation and plan to consolidate the feats in international championships. The commendation also reached the coaches and athletes who represented Nigeria at the AYG in Algeria.
The structure of the NBL shows that the male league would be the test case whereby the female sector of the league would be introduced later.
The full council thereby appealed to corporate Nigeria and the Federal Government to re-intensify their funding to the sport stating that the NBF is in a better shape to bring bigger and better honours to the nation in international sport considering the quality of young talents spotted during the National Sports Festival (NSF) held in Abuja.
Pinnick Woos FIFA For Tenure Elongation
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.
Nigeria U-21 Volleyball Team Departs For Tunisia
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.
Female Footballers, Officials Abducted In Edo
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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