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S’Eagles: It’s Time To Rely On Our Own– SWAN President

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Following the Super Eagles shock loss and subsequent crash out from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon at the last 16 stage, the President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Sir Honour Sirawoo has called for an introspection from the managers of football in the country and the taking of the right decisions to ensure that the national team builds on the positives noticed at the Championship.
The SWAN President, who was of the opinion that the Eagles ouster at the first knock-out stage after so much promise was unfortunate, believed that the team under an indigenous coach put up more impressive performances than they have done in recent years under an expatriate. He, thus, called for the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to look inwards and give more opportunities to local coaches.
“It’s time to rely on what we have, our own”, said Sirawoo. ‘I think it’s time to give the local coaches opportunities to get better because the more you give an individual chances, the better he becomes. Austin Eguavoen has done well despite not getting beyond the Round of 16’.
According to the President, who is also the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Rivers State,” it is unfortunate that we had to crash out at the stage we did but that should not make us to begin to clamour for foreign coaches. We have good number of local coaches who have done well with our youth teams and some who distinguished themselves with national teams of other countries. We should be able to open them up to opportunities and equip them by sending them on courses to improve themselves”
Sir Sirawoo agreed that technical and tactical deficiencies on the part of the Nigerian bench contributed to the loss to Tunisia, as the team failed to react early and positively to the opponents’ strategy, he however, believes that Nigerian coaches have the potential to develop and take the country to the desired height if given the room, support and cooperation by the relevant authorities.
On the chances of the Super Eagles surviving Ghana and qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the President was positive that Nigeria would qualify.
“I think we would qualify for the world cup and going by what we have seen at the AFCON, Nigeria’s team and performance were better than Ghana and considering that the Eagles were missing some key game-changing players at the AFCON, I don’t see Ghana stopping Nigeria.
“Also, by the time the final qualifying round would come, I expect that due analysis on why we failed in Cameroon, what needs to be done to get better and the right personnel to prosecute the matches would have been concluded. In fact, I think Nigeria should be able to beat Ghana and be at Qatar 2022”, concluded Sirawoo.

By: Gabriel Nwanetanya

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Okowa Lauds Athletes Ahead Olympics Trials

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President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa, has once again mandated all athletes looking to represent the country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to attend the Nigerian Trials, which hold from June 16 to 18 inside the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin-City.
Making his stance clear in Monday’s release by the athletics body, Okowa commended the athletes for their determination to qualify for the Olympics.
He said, “The athletes have shown commitment, determination, and desire to succeed in their careers by picking Olympic qualifications. They deserve our collective appreciation.”
He added, “The athletes would be picked in accordance with their performances at the trials because it would largely determine who goes to Paris for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli, says the state is waiting to welcome athletes for the trials.
He said, “We are the hosts of the national trials, and athletes and spectators are welcome.”
The trials are expected to throw up the best of Nigeria’s athletes based at home and abroad for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

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Emerging Star Eyes Olympics Place For Nigeria

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Nigerian track and field star, Favour Ofili, has set her sights on the upcoming national Olympics trials after she pulled off a stunning victory in the women’s 100m at the New York Grand Prix, defeating a stellar field that included Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica last Sunday.
The 21-year-old clocked a season-best 11.18secs to take the win, America’s Morolake Akinosun was second in 11.20secs while her compatriot Aleia Hobbs ended in third place in 11.21secs.Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo Olympics 100m and 200m gold medalist, could only manage ninth place in 11.48secs as she continues to search for her best form this season.
“Just like practice, stay calm and just go, finish your transition because that’s the issue, and whatever happens will happen. I wanted to get the standard here and I give God glory for the win,” Ofili told Tidesports source after the race.
“For the trials, stay calm and just do what I know how to do, go back and do some training before I go back home for the national trials.”
The Olympic trials are scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State from June 16 to 18. The trials will serve as the selection of the nation’s athletes for both the Senior Africa Athletics Championships, holding between June 21 and 28 in Douala, Cameroon and the Paris 2024 Olympics, which hold from July 26 to August 11.

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Olympic Day Celebrations Hold June 29

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The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), at the weekend, said the annual Olympic Day celebrations would be held on June 29 across the country.
The Olympic Day is a global event that commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Movement, founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894.
Speaking with news men, the Secretary-General of the NOC, Babatunde Popoola, said this year’s celebration holds special significance as it precedes the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
It’s where Nigerian athletes will compete and inspire the world with their achievements.
“Olympic Day is a chance for people of all ages and abilities to experience the magic of the Olympic Games in their own communities.
“It is an ideal platform to highlight the benefits of physical activity and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect,” Popoola said.
Popoola said that NOC had received positive responses from various states and stakeholders, and preparations were well underway for the nationwide celebration.
He added that no fewer than 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory have indicated their plans to organise activities for the event.
The states are: Abia; Anambra; Bayelsa; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Ebonyi; Lagos; Kogi; Gombe; Jigawa; Kebbi; Kano; Kwara; Taraba; Imo; Ondo; Plateau; Rivers; Nasarawa and Osun
Also speaking, the Chairman of the NOC Sport For All Commission, Abdul Ibrahim, said that Olympic Day was a special day to come together, move together, and learn about the Olympic values.
“We encourage everyone to participate and experience the joy that only sport can bring,” he said.
According to him, a series of activities have been lined up in Lagos, with fitness clubs at the National Stadium Complex and the general public gearing up to take part in the global event.
“The celebration will conclude with the presentation of diplomas signed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach.
The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel and other dignitaries will officially flag off the event in Abuja,” he added.

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