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Sports Minister Reaffirms February Festival Date

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The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has reassured that the February 14th 2021 kick off date for the National Sports Festival remains Sacrosanct.
According to the Minister, “after the National Sports Festival in February this year, we will move to the National Youth Games and continue the build up to the Olympic Games.”
Building quality facilities and engaging good coaches, which are keys to producing World- class athletes, require heavy investment.
“We have asked for 25 percent of the Lottery Fund to come to sports. Jamaica and England give between 31 to 38 percent of their Lottery Funds to sports, but right now we are getting nothing from the fund. We hope to get the approval for the Lottery Fund money in the first quarter of the year.”
On the adopt-an-athlete initiative, which was introduced to cater for athletes’ welfare, Dare said it has been successful so far, assuring that this year, it would   accommodate more athletes.
“The initiative provides $10, 000 training funds for home-based athletes, while the foreign-based get $20, 000. The money’s goes directly to the athletes, who are expected to use it for their training, medicals and travels for competitions.
The benefiting athletes sign MoUs with the adopting companies or individuals so that all the parties are protected.
“The initiative was stalled by the COVID-19 outbreak last year, but more companies have lined up to be part of it. We’re looking at an initial 48 athletes benefiting.”

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Euro 2024: Mikel Oyarzabal Clinches Victory For Spain

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Mikel Oyarzabal scored a late goal to give Spain a 2-1 victory over England in the Euro 2024 Final yesterday at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
Coming off the bench, Oyarzabal scored the winning goal to give Spain a record fourth European Championship, their first since 2012.
Following a cagey first half in Berlin, in which neither team scored, Spain increased the intensity early in the second half.
A lovely infield shuffle from the 17-year-old Lamine Yamal followed by a cross-pass in the path of Spain’s left-winger, Nico Williams ended up as the opener.
Williams slotted the ball past Jordan Pickford at the bottom corner of the far post to make Spain go ahead of the game.
In the 70th minute, Cole Palmer was substituted in for Kobbie Mainoo.
The Chelsea player took three minutes to combine alongside Jude Bellingham for England’s equalizer.
The winner finally came via another substitute, this time for Spain, as Oyarzabal pounced onto a Marc Cucurella’s low cross from the left to see his team win the game.

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Napoli Reject PSG’s €200m Offer For Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia

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Napoli have turned down a mammoth €200m bid from Paris Saint-Germain for Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen and his teammate Kvicha Kvaratskhelia.
According to Italian sources, the French champions tabled the mega offer in an attempt to secure the services of both players. However, Napoli are only willing to consider offers for Osimhen this summer.
PSG’s interest in both players is well documented, but Napoli remain firm in their stance regarding Kvaratskhelia. The Georgian international is considered indispensable, and the club have no intention of parting with him this summer.
Osimhen, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the former Serie A champions, has a release clause in his contract reportedly set at €130m. However, with a lack of concrete proposals, Napoli may be open to negotiating a lower fee for the Nigeria international.
PSG’s interest in the duo comes as no surprise, with the French side desperately seeking marquee signings to fill the void left by Kylian Mbappé’s impending free transfer to Real Madrid.

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Squash: Apata Tops Ladder At Lagos Country Club

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The Squash Section, Lagos Country Club recently held its annual 2024 WorkNigeria Squash Ladder tournament where winners emerged in various categories.
The nine-day tournament climaxed last Friday with Bunmi Apata becoming the number one on the gold ladder in the men’s category,
Funmi Bamkole, past president and a patron of squash topped the Ladder in the veteran category and the chairman of the section, Semoore Badejo came tops in the super veteran category.
In the female category, Mrs Abiola Kolawole came first followed closely by Moniola Gege and Mrs Wuraola Adeseun.
The just concluded annual tournament saw players playing a cumulative number of three hundred and forty-three games with Mr Adeboye Teriba winning the prize for the player who played the highest number of games. Kolawole Adeyemi won the prize for the most improved player of the tournament.
In his remark, the president of Lagos Country Club, Mr Seyi Adewunmi commended the high spirit of sportsmanship among the playing members and noted improvement on the standard of the game over the years.
He urged the sectional executives to keep raising the bar in subsequent tournaments.
Olufemi Oyebanjo, the managing director of Worknigeria, sponsors of this year’s Ladder tournament expressed satisfaction on the massive turnout for the event and members obvious enthusiasm towards the game of Squash.
This, according to him, resonates with the goal of the organization to ensure that it develops sound minds fit for the labour market. “When you engage in a rigorous sport like Squash, you are not only fit physically but, you are equally alert, mentally. And this ensures your productivity at your place of work”, he concluded.

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