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Sports Ministry Reinstates Oshonaike For Commonwealth Games

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Former African Champion Olufunke Oshonaike has been instated into the table tennis team heading to the 2022 Commonwealth Games amid  pressure from all quarters after her initial omission due to undisciplined conduct at the last Tokyo 2020 Olympics,
Oshonaike who is Nigeria’s most decorated female table tennis player and the only female seven-time table tennis Olympian in the world, was omitted from the list of the four-man female team submitted by the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
According to a reliable source, the decision to omit her from the Commonwealth team was based on Oshonaike’s role in the face-off between the ministry officials and athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“When NTTF submitted the list of players for the Commonwealth Games, Oshonaike was part of the team because she was the second best Nigerian player at the 2022 Africa Cup in Lagos,” a reliable source told Tidesports.
“But on getting to the ministry, some top officials decided to expunge her name, blaming it on her attitude especially during the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“But there have been several calls to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare to restore her name back into the list because she deserved to be in the team.
“This was going on for weeks now but over the weekend, the pressure paid off and her name has now been included in the list of the team heading to Birmingham later this week,” he added.

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NOC Secures Support Scholarship  For Four Athletes

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After excelling at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where Team Nigeria topped the African medals table, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has changed gear towards ensuring another podium finish by securing scholarships for its athletes for Paris 2024 Olympics.
The NOC has named four latest recipients of ANOCA Athlete Support Progrmme for PARIS 2024, with the athletes all regarded as prospects for the Paris Olympic Games.
President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Engr Habu Gumel who is also ANOCA Treasurer- General, announced Enekwechi Chukwuebuka (Athletics), Kolawole Esther Omolayo (Wrestling), Ogbonne Eze Joy(Weightlifting) and Olarinoye Adijat Adenike (Weightlifting) as the recipients.
Gumel said that the funds would support their goal of competing in the Olympic Games.
The four Nigerian athletes are among the 50 athletes chosen by ANOCA as the Commission predicated the allocation process on performance criteria and sports and Olympic ethics.
The ANOCA Athletes’ Support Programme aims to provide support for the preparation and qualification of elite athletes with the potential to qualify and perform well at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Commission recommends that NOCs use part of the grant for their athlete support and preparation activities.
Throwing more light on the ANOCA Athlete Support Programme for Paris 2024, NOC Scribe, Banji Oladapo said: “Chasing an Olympic dream takes incredible determination and talent, these four athletes have all demonstrated they have what it takes. But they also need support to train, compete and maximize their performance opportunities around the world to provide the best opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Paris Games”.

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‘NFF Elections Must Hold By Sept 20’

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The First Vice President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwunmi, has said that the Executive Committee must uphold the authority of the NFF Congress that elections be held before the current board’s term expires.
In a three-minute video, the Lagos State Football Association boss declared his position for the staging of the polls in September.
“As you are all aware, there has been a dark cloud of uncertainties surrounding the administration of our football in the past few months.
“I wish to make it abundantly clear that I support the total adherence to the NFF Statutes, the supremacy of the congress and the commitment that NFF elections be held on or before 20 September 2022.
“As a football family, this is yet another time when we are called upon to come together and put football first.”
Akinwunmi, who is reputed for his grassroots football development efforts revealed that the process that would lead to the staging of the polls began with the Annual General Assembly expected to have held yesterday  in Lagos.
“In full alignment and agreement with the above, I’m aware that the NFF Statutes is the supreme law for the administration of football in Nigeria,  subject of course to any conflict with the laws of Nigeria. By virtue of the NFF Statutes, the annual general assembly as currently constituted is the supreme legislative body for the NFF.
“The General Assembly will consider a roadmap towards this year’s Elective Congress of NFF, as well as such items as may be proposed by the members or members of the Executive Committee”, had said.
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani has challenged Super Eagles legends Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Daniel Amokachi, Segun Odegbami and Tijani Babangida to emulate Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o and contest for the NFF presidency.
“The NFF election is here again. Ex-Nigerian Super Eagles should step forward and take the mantle of football administration.
“Emulate Samuel Eto’o & (Didier) Drogba. Where is Okocha, Nwankwo, Amokachi, Odegbami and Babangida?” he posed.

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African U-21 Volleyball: Nigeria Brushes Off Gambia

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Nigeria’s U-21 Volleyball team defeated Gambia 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-15) to record its second consecutive win at the ongoing African U-21 Men’s Nation Volleyball Championship in Tunisia.
In the first set, Nigeria won seven service points (29 per cent), 18 receivers’ points (82 per cent), one ace, had four maximum points in a row, four service errors and zero timeouts to record a 25-21 points lead.
Nigeria had a better outing in the second set with 12 service points, 13 receivers’ points, one ace, four maximum points in a row, zero service errors and no timeouts to win by 25-16 points.
In the final set, the Nigerians recorded one ace, five maximum points in a row, one service error, no timeouts, 12 service points and 13 receivers’ points to win 25-15.
Nigeria’s Abdulquadri Jaiyeola recorded 19 points in the match against The Gambia with 13 attacks, three blocks and one ace from service
Speaking after the match, Nigeria’s Head Coach, Sani Mohammed, said the team wants to finish top of the group to stand a chance of qualifying for the semifinals.
“This is a great result for the team; we want to secure all the available points in the group stage. The assistant coach, Suleiman Ajeigbe and I took our time to study The Gambians when they played against Tunisia. The Gambian side is good but we are better.
“The goal is to finish first in Group A and either meet Egypt or Cameroun in the second round. Any of the teams that come our way in the next round will be played with our last drop. The boys are ready to make Nigeria proud and get one of the available tickets to the 2023 FIVB World Championship,” Sani said.
Nigeria faced Tunisia in their last group match.

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