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ICC W’Cup Trophy Arrives Nigeria, Today

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The trophy of the International Cricket Council’s World Cup will arrive in Nigeria on Monday for a three-day tour of the country.
The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), in a statement yesterday said the tour is part of the build-up to the 2019 World Cup.
“Nigeria, in spite of not being eligible to participate in the World Cup competition in the UK in June, was picked as one of the countries trophy that would visit.
“This was in recognition of the country’s growing interest in the game,” the NCF President, Prof. Yahaya Ukwenya, said in the statement.
He said he and his team in the NCF board could not have thought about this about 18 months ago, when they assumed leadership of the federation.
“I believe we have communicated to the world how passionate our team is, in several ways, and how ready we are to grow the game.
“In these few months that we have run cricket as a new board, our zeal is what has earned us this” he added.
According to the statement, the trophy would be hosted in Abuja and Lagos.
While in Abuja, it would be received by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung.
It would then visit some iconic places, such as the Shehu Musa Yar’ adua Cultural Centre and the Katampe Hill.
In Lagos, the trophy would be received by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, before being displayed at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval on Lagos Island.
Also, Uyi Akpata, the NCF Vice-President, said in the statement that having the trophy in Nigeria was indeed an honour to the country.
“The tour of the World Cup Trophy is presently the biggest activity in the game of cricket and Nigeria has been placed on that map by sheer effort of the dedicated people that make up the leadership of NCF.
“We have a lot of people in the cricket community that have been yearning to have a taste of the World Cup Trophy.
“We are working out a very fair ground that will be inclusive for all the groups represented in Nigeria, including students, members of the diplomatic community, sports professionals, enthusiast and fans” he said.
Akpata added that the efforts of the board since inception has seen Nigeria move from Division 2 to Division 1 in the under-19 category.
“The hitherto-unranked women’s national team has been ranked 36th in the world.
“The NCF also kicked off a grass roots development programme through which more than 3,000 kids were reached in 2018, with double that figure being targeted in 2019,” he said.
The World Cup trophy will depart Nigeria on Wednesday.

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Ghana Legend Names Okocha Africa’s Best

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Ghana star, Mohammed Kudus has named Nigerian legend Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha as his greatest African footballer of all time, drawing parallels between Okocha’s style of play and his own.
Kudus, currently plying his trade with West Ham United, praised Okocha for his exceptional skills and entertainment value on the pitch.
Okocha’s illustrious career includes numerous achievements such as winning the Goal of the Year award in Germany in 1993, multiple Nigerian Footballer of the Year titles, and being named the BBC African Footballer of the Year twice.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Kudus expressed his admiration for Okocha, emphasising the lasting impact of his creative flair and ability to entertain fans. He highlighted Okocha’s unique style of play as a source of inspiration for him as a young footballer.
”I will say Jay Jay Okocha. I will say explaining from my lens how I see creative players and entertain. That can never be washed away and the fans can never forget that,” Kudus told our source.
Despite joining West Ham United last summer, Kudus has quickly established himself as a crucial player for David Moyes’ side.
With stellar performances throughout the season, Kudus has garnered attention for his impressive contributions on the pitch. In his debut season, the midfielder has netted an impressive 13 goals in 38 appearances, solidifying his role as a key player for the club.

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HFN Sets Deadline For League Registration  

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The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) have called on teams that will participate in the Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 to complete all documentary registration on or before May 4, 2024.
The Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 kick off with phase 1 to hold in Benin City, Edo State from May 12th to the 25th , 2024 and the HFN said all teams must document all their registration regarding player registrations, loans and transfers as soon as the 4th of May 2024 according to a statement addressed the officials of the twenty two participating teams by the Secretary General of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) Mr. Almu Umar Lambu.
“A total of 25 players and 4 officials shall be registered for the Season as there shall be no more registration in the Second Phase and all participating clubs should note that documentary registration of players, transfers and loans shall be completed on or before 4th May, 2024.” Mr. Lambu said.
Mr. Lambu also revealed that the HFN will hold an anti-doping seminar for players and officials during the course of the first phase of the Ardova Handball Premier League 2024 in Benin City, Edo State.
“Also Clubs should note that there will be Anti-Doping Seminar during the league to be organised by the HFN Medical and Anti-Doping Commission” Mr. Lambu concludes.
The top tier Handball league which is the biggest handball event in Nigeria, was to begin on April 28 through to May 11, 2024 but has now being shifted by two weeks by the Handball Federation of Nigeria for effective preparation in tandem with the sponsor Ardova PLC and will now hold from May 12 to 25, 2024.
Teams are expected to arrive Benin City on May 12, 2024 while hostilities will then begin the next day, May 13 through to May 24, 2024. Departure is May 25, 2024.

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Athletics: Ofili, Nathaniel Qualify For Paris Olympics

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Favour Ofili and Ezekiel Nathaniel have booked their places to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Ofili won the women’s 200-meter event in day one of the Tom Jones Invitational on Friday, hosted by Florida at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville.
The Port Harcourt, Nigeria, native blazed out of the blocks and clocked an event-winning time and No. 4 time in the world of 22.33 seconds (+1.4 m/s).
She defeated Anavia Battle who came through in 22.56s and Ida Karstoft in a new National Record of 22.60s
Her time dips under the Paris 2024 Olympics’ standard of 22.57 seconds, punching her ticket to the Olympics in her first season after turning pro.
It is her fastest time outdoors since 2022 where she set the Nigerian National Record of 21.96s the same year.
Nathaniel on his part shattered the Nigerian 400m Record at the Tom Jones Invitational, running a brilliant 48.29s.
The feat has seen Nathaniel automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, surpassing the Olympic standard by almost half a second.
Chris Robinson of the United States won in a time of 47.95s ahead of Clement Ducos, who ran 48.26s.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s High Jump event, Nigeria’s Erhire Best won clearing a Season’s Best (SB) of 2.21m.
He defeated Riyon Rankin on countback, having needed just one attempt to clear the winning mark while Rankin took three tries. BJ Jennings was 3rd with 2.13m.

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