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NFF To Fortify Super Falcons For World Cup

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has hailed the heroic outing of the Super Falcons at the 2022 Women’s African Cup of Nations after their semifinal loss to host Morocco just as the federation has also secured top friendly matches for the team in readiness for the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
The team is scheduled to play the United States Women’s National Team in Kansas City and Washington D. C in September, and also fly to Japan to take on the Asian team in Kobe in October.
“Of course, we would have been happy to be in the Final and chase a 10th   title but I am happy with the performance of the team and the way and manner they approached the game despite all sorts of setbacks and intimidation,” President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Melvin Pinnick said yesterday.”To play 50 minutes of a game with only nine players is not an easy task.
“The Super Falcons gave their all and were truly fabulous. They had the ‘Nigeria spirit’ in them and showed a sense of patriotism, were dogged and refused to give up. Penalties are forever a lottery, so it could have gone either way. I commend the team for the outing.”
The expulsion of midfielder Halimat Ayinde in the 49th minute reduced Nigeria to 10 players, before referee Maria Rivet from Mauritius handed forward Rasheedat Ajibade a red card in the 70th   minute, which cut Nigeria’s playing strength by two for the remaining 50 minutes (20 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time) of the thrilling encounter.
Uchenna Kanu had a touch on Nigeria’s goal in the 62nd   minute though it was recorded as an own goal by Yasmin Mrabet, and Nigeria could have put the match in the bag when substitute Gift Monday rocked the crossbar with a well-taken shot from outside the box 11 minutes into extra time.
“Our girls did a massive job on a night they were not only depleted but challenged by laser lights trained on their eyes by the crowd. I am enamored by their resilience and tenacity,” the FIFA Council Member further noted. “The next step now is for the Federation to do everything possible to prepare the team adequately for the FIFA World Cup finals coming up next year.”
Pinnick added that he is delighted with the strong pipeline at the moment, with the U20 girls and U17 girls having also qualified for their respective FIFA World Cup tournaments and boasting interesting prospects who can easily fit into the senior team.

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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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