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Okpala Advises NFF On Player Invitation 

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Former Super Eagles assistant coach, Sylvanus Okpala, has called on both Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and handlers of the national team not to beg any player born outside the country to play for the team this year.
Speaking with Tidesports source on Monday, on the way to success for the Super Eagles in the new year, Okpala stated that the ability of a player to decide by himself to play for Nigeria without any pressure would go along way in helping the team instil high level of commitment while prosecuting matches.
He said that Nigeria has abundant talented players in both the domestic and foreign leagues that are good enough to motivate foreign-born Nigerians to play for their country without being pressurised.
“One thing that must be corrected for the Super Eagles to return to it’s glorious days is, for coaches and the NFF not to beg any player to play for the team. When a player turns down the offer of playing for the Super Eagles, he should be left alone,” Okpala said.
He continues: “A player can’t give his best to the team if he is pressurised to play for the Super Eagles. Commitment level of players is very important in a team. Even if you have the eleven best players in one team, and there is no 100 per cent team spirit, the team will not succeed.
“ Begging players to play for Nigeria is one of the factors that is killing the Super Eagles. We have talents everywhere that can motivate any overseas-born player to play for Nigeria.”
Speaking further, Okpala said: “When I was assistant coach to Stephen Keshi, we used both foreign-based and domestic players. The foreign-based players fought for a place in the team, and that is why the commitment level of the Super Eagles was high at that period.
“The present Super Eagles handles should work hard to get credible players who are hungry for success into the team,” he said. Okpala also called on the NFF to map out what he described as “well tailored programme to reposition the nation’s football from the grassroots level.”

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Rivers International Marathon To Celebrate Fubara’s One Year

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Former Nigeria international goalkeeper, Peterside Idah says next month’s Rivers International Marathon will be used to celebrate the one year anniversary of His Excellency,  Siminalayi Fubara as the Executive Governor of Rivers State.           Idah, who is the race’s head of media and communications said the event could not have been better timed and organizers have keyed it into the one year celebration of Governor  Fubara’s tenure.       “We want to use this race to celebrate the one year anniversary of our Governor, Fubara who is the main reason Rivers State has been officially termed as the sports hub of the nation by John Enoh, the Minister of Sports Development,” Ida said. Continuing, Idah revealed that the Rivers International Marathon has received massive backing from Governor Fubara as well as corporate Nigeria.        “Governor Fubara is the biggest supporter of the race and we are determined to organise a race befitting the status of Rivers state as the new destination of sort for sports in Nigeria,” Idah stated, adding two financial institutions have thrown their weight behind the race.    “Globus and Zenith bank are backing us as partners and this shows that corporate Nigeria is appreciating the giant strides we have taken in terms of sports development and the many benefits that come with organizing a road race.

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BAL : Rivers Hoopers Arrive Rwanda, Attend Playoff

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Nigeria’s representatives at the 2024 Basketball Africa League (BAL), Rivers Hoopers on Sunday landed in Kigali, Rwanda ahead of the competition which dunks off on May 24th .
The Tidesports source hinted: “The KingsMen have arrived in Kigali, Rwanda for the Playoffs. Dakar was good, Kigali be great.”
The KingsMen will face AS Douanes of Senegal in one of the four seeding games in the playoffs in Kigali on May 24th.
The two teams played against each other twice in the Sahara Conference that ended last week in Dakar, Senegal with each winning one game apiece.
The winner between Hoopers and AS Douanes (Game 40) will play against the winner between Petro de Luanda (Angola) and US Monastir of Tunisia (Game 39) in the semi-final, while the loser of the tie will square up against the loser of Game 39 in the quarter final.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s hip-hop star, Adekunle Kosoko aka Adekunle Gold and AG Baby, are among the list of top celebrities who will perform at the 2024 African Basketball League playoffs in Kigali.
The finals usually attract top celebrities from both the sports and music community And this time around, BAL 4 playoffs will feature performances by local and international acts, including the likes of Nigeria’s Adekunle Gold and Rwanda’s very own The Ben, Chris Eazy, Ish Kevin, Kevin Kade, Ariel Wayz, Kivumbi King, Bwiza, Ishami Talent, Inganzi Ngari cultural troupe and Kenny Sol.
The selected artists will perform during the halftime shows of the finals. Globally with special performances to spice up the halftime show atmosphere.

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WAFU U-17: Togo, Nigeria Clash Must-Win For Garba

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Golden Eaglets head coach, Manu Garba, is leaving no margin for errors in ensuring the team beat Togo today in their second Group B match of the WAFU Zone B U-17 Cup of Nations in Ghana.The record five-time world champions made a stuttering start to their campaign with a barren draw against Burkina Faso at the University of Ghana on Thursday, but boosted their title defence with a 1-0 win over Niger Republic on Sunday at same venue, with Raphael Adams’ 31st-minute strike separating both sides.
Nigeria are second in the group with four points, the same as Burkina Faso, who have their nose in front on a superior goal difference. Garba looks to finish at the top of the pile and has declared their last group game against the young Hawks another must-win.
“The Golden Eaglets will have to beat Togo on today. The Togo U-17 team is good, and Nigeria will not underrate them,” Garba saider Alleged N8bn Air Fraud, Food PricOthers
“We have trained the players on goal-scoring drills. Nigeria should have scored three goals against Niger. So, we hope that the players will convert more of their chances against Togo,” he added.
Niger are in the third position with three points from their 3-2 win over Togo, who, though rock bottom, are not pushovers but largely undone by errors.
The tournament, running from May 15 to 29, will see the top two teams from the group facing the best teams from Group A, which includes Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Benin Republic, in the semi-final.
The two countries that qualify for the final will represent the region at next year’s U-17 African Cup of Nations.

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