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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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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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