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Gov Diri Redeems Cash Reward To Athletes, Administrators

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has ordered the release of the balance of cash reward pledged to athletes and sports administrators that participated in the last National Sports Festival in Abuja, a statement issued to newsmen on Friday, by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor on Media, Mr Daniel Alabrah, has said.
The immediate past administration of Seriake Dickson had pledged to reward the athletes and officials, following the performance of  Team Bayelsa, which placed fifth on the medals table. A part of the pledge was redeemed just before the administration left office on Febuary 14 this year.
The statement said Diri gave the directive for the payment when the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Daniel Igali, led a procession of the athletes and officials to the Government House, to celebrate with the governor and his deputy over their victory at the Supreme Court.
He assured them that their sports kits would also be provided before the contingent departs for Benin, Edo State, for this year’s sports festival, which holds in a fortnight.
“I charge you to do your best. Contest keenly and fairly, and return with laurels, Diri told them, while pledging to release their sports kits for the festival before their departure for Benin.
“I know that the indomitable Ijaw spirit will spur you on to achieving success,” Gov. Diri said, pledging that he will also continue to promote sports development in the state, just as he did when he was Commissioner for Youth and Sports and urged them to exhibit exemplary conduct while participating in the festival. .
The Governor, who expressed dismay at the state-owned Bayelsa United Football Club playing in the lower division of the Nigeria Professional League, challenged the team to work hard towards  returning to the premier league.
In his remarks, Igali, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, said the athletes and administrators were in the Government House to felicitate with the governor on his latest victory at the Supreme Court.
Presenting the state’s contingent for the sports festival to the governor, Igali also stated that Bayelsa United Football Club just participated in a pre-season tournament in Port Harcourt and emerged second, expressing his optimism that under Governnor Diri, the club would do better in the coming season.

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Rivers United, Wydad AC Clash: CAF Unveils Match Officials

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Ahead of the second preliminary round tie match against Rivers United FC and Wydad AC in the CAF Champions League, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revealed the match officials for the first leg.
The Pride of Rivers will play hosts to the Moroccan outfit, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Sunday, with Côte D’Ivoire officials in charge.
Ibrahim Kalilou Traore will be at the center of proceedings, assisted by countrymen Adou Hermann Desiré N’goh and Nouho Ouattara as First and Second Assistant, respectively.
Bienvenu Sinko, an Ivorian as well, will be the Fourth Official while Langtombong tombong Tamba, a Gambian national, will be the Match Commissioner.
Meanwhile, Ozi Salami Abdulrahim Onimisi will be the Covid-19 Officer as designated by CAF.
After the Sunday first leg, the second is slated a week later, in the Morocco with the aggregate winner advancing to the Group Stage of the Champions League.
The other team will then earn a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup, one step away from the Group stages.

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Cricket: Nigeria Beats Sierra Leone To Top Group

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Hosts Nigeria defeated Sierra Leone by 11 runs to top Group B in a nerve-wrecking game at the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup Africa Division Two Qualifiers in Abuja.
Nigeria won the toss and elected to bat. Usual suspects Paul Pam and Selim Saliu opened the batting order for Nigeria, putting up an excellent partnership to score a 100 for the team, before Pam was sent to the stands in the 27th over.
Pam’s dismissal was the twick Sierra Leone needed to dismiss the hosts successfully in the next 20 overs, limiting Nigeria to 184 runs, all out in 47.4 overs.
The second innings meant Nigeria needed to defend the score against a strong-willed Sierra Leonean side, with captain John Bangura steering the ship.
Bangura, who played 87 runs, not out in 118 balls, raced the run score for Sierra Leone, before Prosper Useni halted their pace, claiming six wickets in the process.
The visitors scored 173 all out in 41.5 overs.
The loss means they set up a clash against Kenya, winners of Group A on Thursday, while Nigeria will face the runners-up in Group A, Malawi.
Prosper Useni emerged player of the match with bowling statistics of six wickets and 26 runs in 6.5 overs.

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Super Falcons Fall To Japan 0-2

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Super Falcons lost 2-0 to a dominant Japan side in their friendly clash at the Noevir Stadium, Kobe yesterday morning.
The encounter which was the third ever between both teams saw Mina Tanaka scoring the two goals for the Nadeshiko.
Rany Waldrum was without Asisat Oshoala but had Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal, making crucial saves to keep the scoreline respectable.
Although the team fielded other stars like Rasheedat Ajibade, Michelle Alozie, Uchenna Kanu, Ngozi Okobe among others, they played second fiddle to the Nadeshiko.
Takana got Japan in the lead in the 64th minute tapping home from a freekick before doubling the advantage four minutes later from the spot.
The Super Falcons are now without a win in their last five games.

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