Passionate Lagos fans are eagerly looking forward to welcoming the African teams for the maiden Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament.
The tournament holds in Lagos from September 13 to 21.
“I will support the Mali team, even though I know that Nigeria will win the cup,” says Emmanuella, a JSS 2 student of Birrel High School, Sabo, Yaba.
For her friends, Bose and Ifeoluwa, both students of Onike Girls Secondary School, the Aisha Buhari Cup will provide them the opportunity to see four-time African Woman Player of the Year winner, Asisat Oshoala.
“Most of our classmates talk about Asisat Oshoala; will she play? We will like to come and watch her play for Nigeria.”
Emeka Ndidi, a shop owner at Shitta, Surulere, believes the rivalry between Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon is the spice that makes women football on the continent tick.
“You know the rivalry between Super Falcons and these other countries is a big one. It will be interesting to watch them and see if they can measure up to Nigeria.”
Nigeria, Cameroun, Ghana, South Africa, Morocco and Mali are the teams expected to test their might when the tournament kicks off September 13.
Meanwhile, the Federation Malienne de Football has announced a provisional squad of 38 players for the Aisha Buhari Cup, with the players set to resume camping early this week.
Mali are ranked ninth in Africa and 84th in the world.
They will be joined in Lagos by hosts Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, South Africa and Cameroun.
Organisers Explain 2021 NSF Postponement
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.
Nigeria Must Embrace Grassroots Sports Dev – Amusan
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.”
YSFON : Academy Coach Begs For Assistance
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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