Nigeria’s 35th Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare on Friday took an inspection tour of the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
Dare, who was newly sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday had promised to reinvent the sporting industry in Nigeria.
Dare said that the turf of the MKO Abiola Stadium was a big concern to Nigerians, adding that big matches are needed to be played at the complex. “We have some matches to play, especially by the Super Eagles, and Nigerians want to know the duration it will take to fix the turf. Is it going to be in days, weeks, months to complete work on the turf?,” Dare asked.
The Sports Minister also said: “We are going to be innovative in trying to see how we can get extra funding. We are going to privatise the football pitch. I don’t want to put a timeline, but it is at the top of the agenda because we know it is taking some time and Nigerians are interested and want these matches to be played here.”

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I’m going to be a minister for youth development and sports development. I understand that soccer is loved by most Nigerians, but in the same breath badminton cycling, Tennis and other sports will all get equal attention.
“We will find a way to make sure that beyond football we will also get others sports up to speed.
Speaking further, Dare said reiterated his commitment to developing sports in Nigeria while expressing his satisfaction at Africa’s only velodrome.
“The fact that the velodrome is functionally, that is what we should expect from all the facilities around the stadium, and other facilities in the country.
“We committed to youths and sports development; we have been charged to look for innovative ways to be able to generate funds for our ministry,” he concluded

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The victorious D’Tigress team and some members of the Nigeria Basketball Federation board led by its president, Engineer Musa Kida paid a courtesy call on the newly appointed Honorable Minister of Sport, Dare Sunday in his office in Abuja.
The brief ceremony which had the Permanent Secretary and high ranking officials of the Ministry of Sports saw the presentation of the 2019 Afrobasket Women trophy to the Honorable Minister.
While presenting the trophy, NBBF President, Engr Kida described the occasion as a significant one which marks the beginning of many things to come for the new minister while in office.
He said the courtesy call was the federation’s way of welcoming the Honorable Minister Dare Sunday to office while celebrating the 2019 Afrobasket feat with him as the number one sports administrator in Nigeria.
“We are glad as a federation that we are the first to welcome the new minister to office with a trophy which we won in Senegal. This is not just another event for us as NBBF, it is a landmark achievement as we have been presented with such a golden opportunity to interface personally with the Honorable Minister.”
Kida said at a crucial time like this with many international events to prosecute, it was imperative for the NBBF board to visit the minister and have firsthand information about what is happening within the federation.
“Our men are in China and we all know how they got there. The women are the current African Champions. So, we needed to see the Minister and tell him about our plight. We are quite hopeful with the meeting we had with the Honorable Minister that things can only get better.”

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While addressing the team, Honorable Dare Sunday said, “Basketball has come to stay in this country. You serve as ambassador for other girls and for the youth that we want to develop. I want to thank you for this victory. Nigerians want to thank you for this second victory.”
He challenged the NBBF board and the D’Tigress to intensify their hard work stressing that the result of hard work is more work.
“We want more laurels. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari will continue to give the D’Tigress the support it needs both financially and otherwise. You heard how the president followed the games and at some point once we have a confirmed date, D’Tigress will be in Abuja and I will lead them to present the cup to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Present at the event were the duo of D’Tigress players, Sarah Imovbioh and Kunaiyi Pallas Akpannah who represented the team while the NBBF had in attendance, Babatunde Ogunade, Col Sam Ahmedu 9rtd) and Alhaji Abba Kaka.

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A new history has been written for the 2017 afrobasket defending champions D'tigress who successfully defended their title.

The 2019 champions faced a hostile Senegal and an outrageous 15,000 plus crowd to stand tall as champions once again.

D'Tigress who had the luxury of the Nigerian basketball president Engr. Musa Kida and the ambassador of the Nigerian embassy in Senegal, gave all it took to retain the championship.

The heart wrenching final which saw D'Tigress take the lead and dominate in the first and second quarters could not withstand the crowd pressure in the second half, tieing the game with the host but eventually bossing their win to a second back to back title.

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The quarters ended (10) - (14), (24) - (32),  (37) - (48), (55) - (60) from the first to the fourth quarter respectively in a very tight fashion.

Ezinne Kalu and Evelyn Ahkator made top five for the tournament while Ezinne Kalu received the MVP award.

D'Tigress remains unbeaten in the African tournament with a 13 - 0 run as they qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic pre-qualifiers scheduled to hold in Dakar, Senegal in November.

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Chairman Columbia Heartland Supporters Club,  Nkemakolam Ugwuegbula gave the charge while speaking in a chat with SportsFlame during the Naze Millionaires players opening screening excercise in Owerri.

"One good characteristics of The Working One is he can't be boss around, he is result driven as we have seen him do it with MFM FC of Lagos.

"He is one of the best coaches in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). His pedigree speaks volume and he's dedicated and hard working."

Asked about the aims and objectives of Columbia, "The Supporters Club is self sustaining with its main aim, to drum support for our darling team to winning matches, even when the morale is low or high.

"We have our members all around  Nigeria and we converge at any stadium where Heartland is playing its NPFL or AITEO Cup matches.

"Further we are not violent nor encourage violence on and off the pitch as our members are responsible people in the society.

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Let me state clearly that nothing has happened to any team that has come here to win since we came on board, football is about you win, draw or lose.

"I also wish that our match officials will be more professional this season as some of them could be the reason why fans want to harass them. Such act is not always good for our football", he stressed.

His deputy, Ndubuisi Chukwu assured that the new coach will succeed but must not have an indiscipline player in his squad.

"You know some of our NPFL players can be stubborn and not professional off the pitch as they like going to parties and like womanizing, at the end it tells on their form.

"We'll help him monitor them as they live in our community and also communicate to him when we see such player taking part in such immoralities."

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The Organisers of the Onitsha City Marathon will on Sunday, August 18, 2019, be in Lagos to meet selected members of the creme-de-la-creme of the Nigeria sporting press at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos Nigeria.

In a statement signed by Chisom Okereke-Ekpe, Head of Marketing and Branding of the Onitsha City Marathon (first international marathon in the South-East) she said Lagos is the heart of sporting press in Africa and there is no way an event of this magnitude will be done without carrying the vibrant Lagos press along.

“We know the importance of the Lagos sporting press and its environs, that is why we have chosen to have this parley in order for all to be aware of what we are planning to do,” she said.

According to Okereke-Ekpe, the maiden Onitsha City Marathon will take place on October 5, 2019, but she explained this edition will only be half marathon while subsequent ones will include both the 10km and 5km races.

She said: “We are starting with just half marathon this year but from next year, it will definitely be bigger with the addition of the 10km and 5km races.

“The race will start by 6.30am and registration is absolutely free for everyone capable and ready”

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According to the organisers, registration for the Onitsha City Marathon will run through till the end of September to allow for more participants.

Over 20,000 runners from across the world are expected to take part in the race which coincides with the popular Ofala Festival.

The Onitsha City Marathon have secured the needed endorsements from all relevant professional bodies including the IAAF/AIMS following the expert touch by world-renowned Course measurer, Norrie Williamson from South Africa.

Also,  the Obi of Onitsha has given his blessings for this historic race.

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The management of Mountain of Fire and Ministries Football Club of Lagos have unveiled Tony Bolus as the team's new head coach following the departure of Fidelis Ilechukwu.

Bolus, a former assistant to Imama Amakpakabo at Rangers International FC of Enugu and former head coach of Giwa FC was considered by the team's management after rigorous screening exercise of top coaches to carry on with the legacy and philosophy of the modest Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side.

The Kogi-born tactician who won the last edition of the annual DK Olukoya Cup in Lagos has penned a deal that will keep him with the Lagos-based team until 2022.

The manager disclosed to MFM FC media team shortly after the unveiling ceremony that he will consolidate on the  standard of the team.

"MFM has standard already that we really need to start building on, you know it has been a team that has been to the continent.

"Lagos State as a whole has talent and we need to build on what the former coach has put on ground. He has done a good job and we will continue from where he stopped," he said.

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Bolus expressed his profound gratitude to the General Oveseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Church World Wide, Dr Daniel Kolawole Olukoya who was present at the unveiling event alongside Director General of Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr Oluwatoyin Gafar, the vice chairman of the team, Pastor Frederick Alewi and the director of the team, Barrister Davidson Adejuwon, the board and supporters of the team for counting him worthy to lead the team at this point in time.

"I need to appreciate the board of MFM, the management and my father in the Lord Dr. DK Olukoya for having the faith in me and for giving me this task.

"Also I need to appreciate the fans of MFM FC, they have been solidly behind the team and I just plead for their support. 

"You know we are starting all over again so they just need to have patience with us. I need their support to succeed and I promise that we will give them good football and the desired results."

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Newly appointed General Manager of Heartland Football Club, Chief Chukwudi Ifeanyi has promised fans to watch out for good football, proper management, transparency and support for the new technical crew to be able to achieve the set target by his Excellency of playing continental football next season.

Speaking exclusively with at the Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri, where the screening for new players is presently holding under the watchful eyes of the new Head Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu "The Working One" and some members of Board of Directors.

Chukwudi said, "We have really lacked good management, also players transfer and acquisition have been poorly done, most of our players in the past were acquired on loan but this present leadership with the support of the Governor is to buy all our players, we own them, develop them and market those that are marketable and the team will play good football.

"The screening excercise has really being promising and opportunity to all Imolites that play good football but we can not really see where they are, we have played them, seen them and hopefully few of them will play for Heartland Football Club this new season.

"We are also having corporate sponsors, international firms are also coming and we would also do good football business so we could build the club financially to make it stronger both locally and globally, he further said.

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Chukwudi emphasized on the signing of " Working One" as a dream come true, "I recommended him to His Excellency because he matches my vision to grow this club, he would be the one to lead this club to the next level; I have known him for a long time, he has this love for young footballers, he knows how to groom and nurture them and bring out the best from them just exactly what he did with Stephen Odey, for me he is the best for now in Nigeria.

" We would not interfere in his decision, not from me or from the management; nobody would tell him what to do because it is part of the contract we signed with him. He will choose and reject, whatever he presents to us is what we will use to work, the season of complimentary cards or recommendation letter is over, he enthused.

He concluded, Ilechukwu should stay focused, should not allow interference, he should remain himself and achieve double of what he has achieved with MFM FC of Lagos because Imolites are expecting nothing less than good football and better standing on the league table by the end of the season.

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The 2017 Afrobasket defending champions D'tigress matched up Cameroon in the second (2nd) game of group B at 4:30PM yesterday in Dakar, Senegal.

The game a quarter final decider for both teams, who had previously thrashed Tunisia in their first group games respectively were out for blood.

The game tipped off with a strong offence from Coach Otis Nigerian side, who played it hard against the Cameroonians and left no room for baskets, with great ball rotation and a strong transition defense the team was raining baskets on the Cameroonians.
The first quarter ended strong for D'Tigress, Cameroon (07) - (21) Nigeria.

In the second quarter Coach Cumming-Price of Cameroon tried to get her players into the game using her big men to garner fouls and shoot from the free throw line. The Nigerian bench was quick to neutralize the attack by the infusion of Aisha Mohammed Balarabe a more experienced post player. The second quarter ended  Cameroon (23) -  (49) Nigeria.

After the half time bench mark, D'Tigress came on the floor with total dominance on offence and an air tight defense which left the Cameroonians disoriented and left in disarray. The third and fourth quarter ended (33) -  (72), (39) -  (106) respectively in favor of Nigeria.

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The 67 points difference proved the reigning champions are out for full battle in the quest to retain the title. 

The conquest saw a top performance from D'Tigress No 10, Promise Amukamara who controlled the floor and aced 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and  2 steals while Cameroonian's No 1, Amina Njoukou 16 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assists and 2 steals were not enough to get her team level.

A collective hard work by Nigeria saw Aisha Mohammed Balarabe, Promise Amukamara, Adora Elonu and Ify Ibekwe ice 14 points individually to seal a big win for the team.

D'Tigress qualifies for the quarter final and faces the winner from the quarter final qualification match up today.

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The men’s senior national basketball team, the D’Tigers have arrived Lagos, Nigeria for the next phase of training ahead of their 2019 FIBA World Cup outing after weeks of training in the United States of America.
The strong contingent led by Head Coach, Alex Nwora arrived Nigeria aboard a Delta Airline from Atlanta to continue their world cup preparation.
The initial list of 44 players invited to camp has been pruned to 15 as training hits home stretch.
Captain, Ike Diogu led the list of the last 15 players in camp alongside Uzoh Benjamin Chukwukelo, Ireogbu Ike, NBA rising star, Okogie Joshua Aloiye, Nwamu Ike, Nwora Jordan Ifeanyi, Aminu Al Farouq, Stanley Okoye and Vincent Nnamdi Gabriel.
Others are Ekpe Udoh (Utah Jazz), Chimieze Metu (Sam Antonio Spurs), Zanna Talib, Aminu Abdul Alade, Akindele Jeleel Ayodeji and Michael Eric.
While in Lagos, the team will continue their training and play a couple of tune-up games as well as interact with members of the media and their teeming fans before their departure for China on the 19th of August.

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So far, the team has played 4 friendlies and won 3 against fellow World Cup bound Dominican Republic which they defeated twice as well as Canada.
Nwora will be assisted by Cyprien Glynn Ray, Burlesson Kevin and Ogoh Odaudu
List of Invited Players
Point Guards
Uzoh Benjamin Chukwukelo (CB Caballeros de Culican)
Ireogbu Ike (Science City Jena, Germany)
Shooting Guards
Okogie Joshua Aloiye (Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA)
Nwamu Ike (Sioux Falls Skyforce, NBA)
Nwora Jordan Ifeanyi (University of Louisville, USA)
Vincent Nnamdi Gabriel (Stockton Kings, NBA)

Small Forwards
Aminu Al Farouq (Portland Trail Blazers, NBA)
Stanley Okoye (Tecnyconta Zaragoza, Spain)
Power Forward
Diogu Ikechukwu Somto (Bayaman Vaqueros, Puerto Rico)
Zanna Talib (Montakit Fuenlabrada, Spain)
Ekpe Udoh (Utah Jazz, NBA)
Aminu Abdul Alade (Capitanies de Arecibo, Puerto Rico)
Chimezie Metu (San Antonio Spurs, NBA)
Michael Eric (Darussafaka, Turkey)

Akindele Jeleel Ayodeji (Hapoel SP Tel-Aviv, Israel)

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