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World Athletics Okays Okowa-Led AFN, Rejects Gusau’s Board

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The World Athletics has confirmed Tonobok Okowa as the officially recognised President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
Tidesports source gathered that World Athletics confirmed Okowa’s choice in an email.
“World Athletics has received information from both elections and based on the information provided, we are now working with the board elected in Abuja.
“The meeting in Abuja was attended by the most voting members plus the National Olympic Committee, and is the board with whom the National Olympic Committee dealt with for the purposes of entering its team to the Olympic Games,” WA Head of Communications, Nicole Jeffery, said in a statement sent.
World Athletics’ declaration therefore puts an end to the leadership crisis that has rocked the AFN since 2019, which led to parallel elections in Abuja and Kebbi on June 14, which produced Tenobok Okowa and incumbent, lbrahim Shehu Gusau as presidents.
Tidesports source also learnt that before the official recognition of Okowa as AFN president by WA, the global athletics body had sent the password for the official email of the federation and correspondence between both bodies to his camp. The Gusau-led group was previously in custody of the password.
WA told newsmen on June 30 that it revoked the initial access of the email granted to Gusau as standard procedure after the election.
“It is World Athletics’ standard practice to revoke all access at the time of a Member Federation election until the new office-bearers are confirmed. In the case of Nigeria, we are still verifying the information we have received about the two elections,” WA said in the email.
In 2019, former AFN vice president Olamide George led other board members to impeach Gusau (in his first term), but the Abuja High Court and Court of Appeal ruled in Gusau’sfavour as president of the country’s athletics body, until WA and Confederation of African Athletics directed that elections must hold latest June 14, where Gusau and Okowa returned as factional presidents.
It had earlier been  reported that the WA was yet to recognise any of the factions, with the world body informing our correspondent they were studying the reports from both elections.
While Okowa has continued to enjoy the backing of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, he also led the AFN delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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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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