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Sports Minister Dismisses Reports On Nigerian Athletes Kits

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Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, has dismissed as ‘fake news reports that a British sportswear manufacturer had to answer a Save Our Soul (SOS) call from Nigeria’s Commonwealth team over kits.
Some media reports on Friday suggested that Gino Rufinato, manager of the MG Sportswear firm, which is based in a town near Birmingham, provided kits for the Team Nigeria contingent at the Games after it thought at first it was a “wind-up” before launching his 14 staffs into action.
According to the report, Rufinato’s team had to make 200 pieces of kit, including running vests and shorts and staff tracksuits. “It’s wonderful.”
“There’s all the fabric, the print, the designs to get out in two days, it was a bit difficult,” Rufinato stated.
However, the Special Assistant to the Sports Minister on Media, Toyin Ibitoye, told The Tidesports source on Friday that it was ‘fake news.”
“Team Nigeria came with its official kits from Abuja last week,” he stated.
About 300 Team Nigeria Kits were delivered over two weeks ago and have since been issued to almost all the athletes. These kits, which are the general kits procured by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, as is the practice, have since been issued to the athletes. These include tracksuits, house wear, sneakers, face caps, backpacks, trolley bags, shorts, and ceremonial wear.
He continues: “However, the competition kits for each federation differ. Each federation produces specific competition kits for its athletes. The Ministry is aware that federations have their own arrangements with different manufacturers with different delivery times and expectations which are being monitored very closely.
“We hope this clarification helps to put the matter in perspective so that all distractions to Team Nigeria athletes and officials are avoided.”

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Sambo: Nigeria Names Four-Man Team

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The Sambo Association of Nigeria has named a four-man team for their debut at the 13th African Games in Ghana from March 8 to 23.
Sambo is an offshoot of judo, jujutsu, boxing, folk wrestling and is currently recognised by the International Olympic Committee although it is yet to be listed for demonstration at the Olympics.
The contingent is made up of two men and two women, namely Jonah Kajido (79kg), James Chegwam (58kg), Fatima Ogbonyomi (65kg) and Charity Jatau (59kg).
Ahead of what will be the first appearance of the event at the Games, Vice President of SAN, Sheriff Hammed, expressed excitement about the prospect of Nigeria participating in the event.
“We carefully selected these athletes to represent us at the African Games based on their knowledge of the sport and Sambo being one of the demonstration sports in Ghana, we want to ensure that we are well represented in the event.
“This is the first time that Sambo will be part of the African Games as the sport is gaining ground across the globe and Nigeria should not be an exception. For now, the athletes are camping in readiness for the games as we are not just going there to add to the number but to make our presence felt in the event,” he said on Tuesday.
Hammed, who is also the joint Secretary, International Association of Combative Sports (Africa), said participating in the Games would give more people the opportunity to appreciate the uniqueness of the sport, being one of the fast-growing sports in the world.
We are hoping that taking part in the Games would give us the chance to popularise the sport among Africans and Nigerians. More African countries are now embracing the sport and hopefully, it will be part of the Olympics sports very soon with the way it is growing across the globe,” he added.

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Nwabali Receives Hero’s Welcome At Chippa United

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Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, received a warm welcome back at South African club, Chippa United, on Tuesday, following his remarkable performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Upon arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, the 27-year-old was greeted by hundreds of Chippa United fans.
In a video shared on Tuesday, he was seen engaging with supporters, taking selfies and participating in singing the club’s anthem.
Chippa United, via their social media handle, celebrated his return with the message, “He’s Back #NwabaliBobo.”
Nwabali’s standout performance during AFCON 2023 earned him cash gifts, a national honour, and a chieftaincy title in his hometown.
Due to his success, Nwabali has been linked with potential moves to other clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Union St Gilloise.

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Ayienugba Claims Women’s  Tennis Gold Medal In Police Games

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Winners have emerged in the tennis event at the ongoing 14th  biennial Police Games tagged ‘Oluyole 2024’ at the Ibadan Recreation Club with Funke Ayienugba of Zone 2 claiming the women’s singles gold medal.
In a one-sided match, Ayienugba defeated Dike Osinachi  of Zone 4 6-0, 6-0 to emerge champion, while in the men’s doubles final, twins Paul and Peter Alakwem of Force Headquarters defeated duo Idris and Aminci of Zone 2 6-1, 6-1 to win the gold medal.
Also, Agnes Ogar and Charity Philips of Zone 7 defeated Adedayo and Oyelowo 6-0,6-0 to emerge champions in the women’s doubles.
In karate individual kata (female category), Rita Edejoh emerged champion, while  Zinab Absalam clinched the silver medal, with duo Hamzat Olayinka and Holiness Iyoba ending up in third and fourth positions respectively.

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