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Nigeria Others Battle For Relay Tickets In Benin

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Four African countries, Ghana, Botswana, Togo and the Benin Republic are expected to participate in the relay events, as the national trials organised by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to select athletes for Oregon 2022 World Championships and the Commonwealth Games in England begins in Benin City tomorrow.
Tidesports learnt that only the Nigerian women’s 4x100m and the mixed relay teams have qualified for Oregon 2022, while the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams were yet to qualify as well as the women’s 4x400m relay team.
An official hinted that the Nigerian women’s 4x100m and the mixed relay teams also need to improve on their current ranking to guarantee qualification, as the country is currently ranked 16th in both events, which means the nation is occupying the last qualification spot.
According to an AFN official, the four countries, Ghana, Botswana, Togo and the Benin Republic want to use the AFN’s National Trials in Benin City to strengthen their relay squads.
“We are expecting these four countries to arrive in Lagos today (yesterday). Maybe, one or two more countries may join us on Friday,” the official stated.
Meanwhile, reigning African Games 100m champion, Raymond Ekevwo and reigning World U20 Athletics Championships 200m kings, Udodi Onwuzurike, will be among the six top ranked athletes that will seek to be in the national team for the first time at the 2022 Nigerian Athletics Championships in Benin.
Ekevwo and Onwuzurike will go head-to-head in the short sprint, with the latter on top of the Nigerian 100m list with the 10.03seconds he ran early this month.
Onwuzurike will participate in his first National Championships and will also be gunning for the 200m title, where he stands as the overwhelming favourite.
Also aiming for their first titles are sprinters Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola and Rosemary Chukwuma.
Ashe holds a personal season’s best of 10.04s in the 100m and won a silver medal in the event at the 2022 NCAA outdoor championships early this month in Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
Akintola, the reigning National Sports Festival 200m champion, will also be bidding for his first title in the history of the Nigerian championships.
Like Ashe and Ekevwo, Akintola also holds a personal season’s best of 10.04 seconds achieved this year.
Chukwuma, the African Youth Games and African U20 double sprint champion is also seeking her first national title in the sprint event. With the confirmed absence of Favour Ofili, Chukwuma will have Tokyo Olympics semifinalist, Grace Nwokocha, compete in both the 100m and 200m events. Nwokocha is the defending champion in the half-lap race.
Also waiting to mount the podium as national champion is 400m barrier runner, Ezekiel Nathaniel, who ran 48.42 seconds last month to break Henry Amike’s 35-year-old record in the 400m hurdles. The athlete, who turned 19 on Tuesday, is waiting to be crowned Nigerian champion for the first time.
Home girl, Tima Godbless, will also be dreaming of upstaging the U.S.-based duo of Chukwuma and Nwokocha after improving from the 11.48 seconds achieved last year to 11.25 seconds in the 100m event at the 22nd African Athletics Championships in Mauritius about a week ago.

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LMC Explains 30Mins Added Time In Katsina Utd, Remo Stars Clash

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The League Management Company (LMC), custodians of the Nigerian Professional Football League (LMC), yesterday, explained that the referee in the Matchday 35 game between Katsina United and Remo Stars, at the weekend, was forced to add extra minutes to the game to make up for the time wasted when fans encroached on the pitch.
In a statement sent to Tidesports source, the LMC said it became necessary to correct the impression created by some social media accounts that have been spreading information that the match had over 30 minutes of added time.
It said: “The match was disrupted by players of Katsina United, who protested Remo Stars second equalising goal late in the game. In the process of the players contesting the referee’s decision, there was an encroachment on the field of play and it took some time before the encroachment was cleared and normalcy was restored.
“The goal stood and the match duly restarted to conclude the remaining added minutes. However, most of those commenting, including some sports journalists followed the match on online live game trackers such as Livescore, Betway, flashscore and it needs to be pointed out that these platforms hardly indicate that a game was inactive and most times leave their match clock active throughout the match.
“It is not possible for a referee to allow 30 minutes of added time in a 45 minutes half. We appeal to fans and the media to always verify the information they share, especially such that are detrimental to the health of the brand.”
The LMC recalled that on “MatchDay 33, there was a similar incident in the match between Lobi Stars and Heartland, which had several stoppages due to injuries and time wastage right from the first half. The game was not concluded on time and the same Internet websites/blogs reported the match as having 27minutes of added time, which was totally not correct but also created similar confusion.
“Furthermore, it must be emphasised for the general public to note that only the match official is in charge of the official timing of a match and not any online websites/blogs. The LMC is, therefore, awaiting the official match reports on the encroachment at Katsina, so as to take appropriate actions/sanctions on any party found to have erred pursuant to the stipulations of the NPFL framework and rules.”

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LOC Unveils NSF Logo, Mascot In Asaba

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The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2022 National Sports Festival has unveiled the logo and mascot for the 21st National Sports Festival, NSF, scheduled to commence in November this year.
Speaking with journalists, Secretary of the LOC, Sir, Chris Anaziah said the logo and mascot would be unveiled in Asaba at the Government House Unity Hall with His Excellency,, the Executive Governor of Delta State, and the People’s Democratic Party’s Vice-Presidential candidate, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as the chief host of the event.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare with other members of Main Organising Committee (MOC) headed by the Sports’ Ministry Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Isma’il Abubakar, will also be present that the unveiling ceremony.
The LOC had earlier through its Chairman and Secretary to the Delta State Government, (SSG) Chief Patrick Ukah, reiterated Delta’s commitment to the hosting of the 21st National Sports Festival as the best of the festival since its inception.
He had asserted that the Asaba 2022 National Sports Festival will be the best of its kind as it will be second to none since the inception of the games in the country since 1973.
He noted that Delta, as a major sporting state in the country, is committed to providing the best of facilities for citizens of the country and not just Deltans alone.
Delta 2022, will be the first time perennial champions, Delta State, will be hosting the “National Olympics”

 

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NPFL Can Become Best In Africa – Coach

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Super Eagles Coach, Jose Peseiro, is thrilled by the quality of talents in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), saying the league has the potential to become Africa’s best.
Speaking after watching a Matchday 35 game between Akwa United and Plateau United at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Peseiro described Nigeria as a country full of talented players, who have proven themselves at the highest level of football, while commending the organisers of the league and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for upholding high standard to discover and nurture football talents in the country.
The Portuguese said he enjoyed the quality of play by the teams, as well as the fans’ passion, promising to go round all the football venues next season to see the players and also know where he can contribute to the development of the league.
“This is my second time watching the NPFL game… first was in Kwara, now in Uyo and so far, I can say the quality of the league is high and the players are committed.
“The season is almost over, but from next season, I will go round all the football venues and watch the players and see how many we can bring into the national team. After the game, I interacted with the coaches, gave my assessment and also asked them how I can improve my team.”
He reiterated his promise that the Super Eagles are open to everyone, regardless of where they play.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has congratulated Rivers United for winning the 2021/22 NPFL.
Rivers United have officially been confirmed the champion of the 2021/2022 NPFL season following Plateau United’s 1-2 away loss to Akwa United last week.
A statement by Wike’s Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri, said the governor commended the players and coaching staff of the club on Sunday, following the memorable victory, which ended their five-year title wait.
Wike attributed the achievement to the talented team’s determination, adding that it is most heartening that by virtue of the league win, the club will represent the country at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League next season.
He added that Rivers United’s triumph at the 2021/2022 NPFL has brought a wave of joy and happiness to the people of Rivers State and the country at large.
“I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to the coaching staff, particularly, the capable players of Rivers United for the valuable efforts they made to emerge the winner of the 2021/2022 NPFL.
“The government and good people of Rivers State are very proud of the team’s exploits following their dogged performances and resilience display throughout the 2021/2022 season. It is worthy to note that over the years, Rivers United has brought so much joy and happiness to football fans and supporters all over the country. This victory, no doubt, marks a major milestone in Rivers State football’s history.”

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