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Europa League Final: Go, Make History, Conte Charges Inter

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Coach Antonio Conte has backed Inter to “leave their mark on history” by sinking Sevilla in the Europa League final tonight.
In a warning to his players, Head Coach Conte said the thrill of their run to the showpiece will be soon forgotten if they fail to come away with the trophy.
Although the former Juventus boss knows his team will be facing Europa League specialists, who won the competition in three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016, he is confident Inter can triumph in Cologne.
Speaking in a news conference ahead of tonight’s game, Conte said Inter would have no fear of the opposition, declaring his team have grown “braver” over the first season of his reign.
“I was involved in a number of finals in my playing career,” said the former Juventus and Italy star. ”I won some of those matches but I also lost a number of finals.
“What I’ve realised is that people only remember when you win finals.
“I won the Champions League but I also lost a further three in the final. The people who leave their mark on history are those that win those matches and trophies.”
Inter crushed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in Monday’s semi-final, teeing up a shot at a Sevilla side who battled past Manchester United.
“We should be proud we’ve reached a European final for the first time in 10 years,” Conte said.
“But history is written by the conquerors, the winners. History will only record ultimately the team that wins this season’s Europa League.
“It’s a shame but equally that’s added motivation for us.”
Conte, a three-time Serie A champion as coach of Juve and Premier League winner at Chelsea said he took the Inter job only because he sensed there was a chance of silverware.
He stressed he always needs to be sure there is a sniff of success before taking a job, even if it amounts to just a one per cent possibility. Now the chance of a first trophy at Inter is far greater.
“All the players, the staff, the kitman, the groundsmen, all of them have that feeling and that percentage has only grown day in, day out because the players are very willing to work hard,” said Conte.
“They’ve got a lot of desire to improve. They want to lead from the front this season and achieve something. Credit goes to the players and my perception has grown day in, day out working with these players.
“All of them bought into the work we did and became braver as the season has gone on. The braver we became, the greater scope we had to go on and win a big trophy like the Europa League.
“We need to make the most of the opportunity.”
Asked about the potential fear factor involved in facing a team such as Sevilla, Conte said: “I don’t use the word ‘fear’. I don’t want my players to have it in their locker either.
“We really rate the opposition and we rate their history in this competition.
“That said, if we’ve managed to reach the final it’s because we also have our strengths and we will try to play to our strengths.”

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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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