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FIFA President Advocates Criminal Charges Against Racists

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has spoken forcefully against racism in football, adding the naked injustice being meted to players across some football grounds ‘is no longer acceptable’.
Racism has dogged association football for many years as players, officials, and fans suffer abuse because of their skin colour, nationality, or ethnicity.
But speaking Thursday, February 8, at the ongoing UEFA Congress in Paris, France, the Swiss was unequivocal that racism remains a danger to the beautiful game of football even as he advocated for criminal charges against perpetrators.
He said: ‘’I don’t want to make a long speech today, on the contrary, I want to be very short, I want to mention just one topic and that one topic is racism,” the 53-year-old told the UEFA gathering in Paris. “We live in a divided world. We say that Football unites the world but our world is divided, our world is aggressive, and in the last few weeks and months as we have witnessed unfortunately a lot of racist incidents.
“This is not acceptable anymore. We have to stop this, we have to do whatever it takes to stop this. Racism is a crime, racism is something terrible and I can be standing here and say to you all this and you can be sitting there nodding at me and saying yes, that’s right and we will continue and still racism moves on.
“We have to eradicate that and we have some tools in place, the problem is that we have different competition organisers, different competitions, different rules, and what we all do is not enough. So we have to take responsibility for this. The tools that we have are of course a three-step process of the referee who can stop the game, interrupt the game, and ultimately even abandon the game, the disciplinary consequences will have to be a forfeit against the team who has been responsible for the abandonment of the game if a game has been abandoned.”
Apart from the three-way process mentioned to curb racism on the pitch, Infantino has equally advocated that criminal charges should be brought against perpetrators of the dastardly act.
He continued: “We have to start criminal charges against those people who have acted in a racist way, we have to ban them from stadiums worldwide, we have to invest in education because, obviously racism is a problem of society but that’s not enough, that’s not the answer.
“So what I suggest to you in addition to all these is that we work all together in the next three months before the FIFA congress in May, in Bangkok and at the congress in May in Bangkok, we come all together with a strong resolution united all together, all 211 countries of FIFA for the fight against racism. Let’s stop racism, let’s stop it now, let’s do it all together in a united way.”

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Obuah Lauds Nwabali Over Chieftaincy Title

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The proprietor of Go Round FC , Bro. Felix Obuah cups he was  on cloud nine seeing  his former ward, Super Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper  at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023  in Cote d’Ivoire,  Stanley Bobo Nwabali,  being conferred with a chieftaincy title at his Egbema Kingdom home in  the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State .
The 27-year-old  Chippa United goalie was led to the ceremony  on Sunday by Bro. Obuah as  he first paid a courtesy call to the ONELGA council headquarters where the Chairman, at the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics which he noted, engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
Sir Vincent Job announced a  cash gift  of N5 million in addition to a street  being named after .
At the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics “This is the dream of every father, that his son or daughter makes it to the top. When we started, I had the dream that one day if they put in their best, they will reach the zenith of their careers,” Bro Obuah said.which he noted , engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
A grand reception was later  held in Nwabali’s honour at the Community Primary School, Okwuzi where top dignitaries  including  Sir Job, Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly and member Representing ONELGA Constituency I, Hon Franklin Nwabochi as well as member representing ONELGA Constituency II, Hon Dcns Nkemjika Ezekwe showered encomiums on the Super Eagles shot stopper.

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Rivers Hoopers Coach Sure To Make Statement

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Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu says his team will face a huge task after Thursday’s 2024 Basketball Africa League draw.
Hoopers were drawn against former champions US Monastir, APR of Rwanda, and Senegal’s AS Douanes in the Sahara Conference.
Top two teams will advance to the BAL playoffs scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 24 to the first of June.
There will also be a slot for two best third-placed teams from across the three conferences (Kalahari, Nile, and Sahara).
“The group is obviously a very tough one, Odaudu said.”
‘’Former champions US Monastir, APR who defeated the Rwandan team (REG), who were at the BAL last year; they are a very tough team too. Of course, last year’s finalist, AS Douanes, is in that group, so we have been placed in the group of death.
While the other two conferences will hold in March and April, the Nigeria Premier League Champions won’t play until May 4.
Odaudu added, ‘’Notwithstanding, we have enough time to prepare and be there. We will overcome once the jump ball comes.’’
Since the inaugural edition in 2021, Rivers Hoopers and Kwara Falcons are the only Nigerian teams who have played in the BAL, and neither have gone past the group stage.
The former Nigeria international wants his team to be the first Nigerian team to make it to the playoffs of the Basketball Africa League.
“First and foremost, getting out of the group is our target for this year’s BAL. We are tired of just going to participate and coming back home after the first round.
“For us this season, we want to ensure we get to Kigali and be in the playoffs. Whatever happens from there on is a bonus.

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SWAN Gets New Leaders In Rivers

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has elected a new leadership.
On Monday, February 19, Peter Abaje of DAAR Communication was voted Chairman alongside other executive members: Vice Chairman – Deinma Abaku; Secretary, Ekpor Temple; Financial Secretary, Bath Ndubuwa, and Eyo Kelvin, Welfare Officer, who will pilot the administrative activities of the association for three years.
While other officers were elected unopposed, Mr. Abaje beat the out gone Chairman, Ms Sarah Atonye David by 10 votes to five to emerge.
The election was held under the supervision of Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya National Ex Officio, who represented the Zonal Vice President, Azuka Chiemeka.
Inaugurating the newly elected officials, Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya described the electoral process as peaceful and orderly and charged the Executive members to live above board by re-positioning the association in the state as no excuses would be given for non-performance.
He encouraged them to be creative and look inward to discover and showcase the abundant sports talents existing in Rivers State and also appealed to them not to apply personal interest to move the association forward.
In his inaugural speech shortly after the election, Peter Abaje, the newly elected Chairman of SWAN in Rivers State, said that the conclusion of this election signaled a new dawn in the state chapter of the association and vowed to lift the association to greater heights.
The Chairman also promised to carry every member along in the scheme of things as well as operate an open-door policy.
“The new leadership under my watch would collaborate with the private institutions and Rivers State Government to promote and develop community sports as well as encourage the education of members in areas of sports journalism, he assured.
Members of the association who voted and witnessed the election process, applauded the SWANECO for delivering a hitch-free, fair and transparent election.

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