BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


Ahead of the 2020 Edo state elections, the state athletes appealed to Governor Godwin Obaseki to pay their 2018 National Sports Festival award prizes.

The athletes hailed Governor Obaseki for agreeing to host the 2020 National Sports Festival adding that it will boost the sporting image of the state.



One of the athlete who spoke on condition of anonymity said the payment of the award will encourage athletes to put in more efforts for the state.

He said, "I am using this singular opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki to pay our 2018 National Sports Festival award prizes. 

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The state government are doing their best in terms of sports equipments and facilities but must also remember the key actors. 

" We want the governor to know that if these prizes are paid, it will further boost the morale of the athletes to vote for him in the coming elections".



Another athlete said, " The state government led by Godwin Obaseki did well by agreeing to host the 2020 National Sports Festival. Sports is getting a facelift as most of the stadia are passing through constant renovations.

" The youths are the future and most of the athletes are potential voters. Majority of the athletes are loved by their supporters because they have won laurels for the state and country; Governor Godwin Obaseki can get a large chuck of vote from the athletes", he ended.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


The Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja will soon get a facelift as the final stage of the agreement with Dangote Group is almost concluded leading to contractors moving to site.

According to Youth and Sports Development Minister Mr. Sunday Dare,

" Work will soon commence at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja. We were on the verge of completing the documentation process, review contracting process for the rehabilitation of the Moshood Abiola Stadium before Covid-19 struck. We had to shut down the whole country, a global shut down as the case maybe".



Dare further said, " Remember, it is a private company and they had to go through a lot of processes, they had to invite more than 8 different contractors. They have to visit the stadium, they have to turn in their bill of quantity and also sit on a review board.

" They also had to decide  which contractor was the most suitable to give us the best job. Being the National stadium, all of these take time, they are normal standard operating procedure. 

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" I am glad to say that very soon, we are now at the stage of purchasing order and we must remember that we cannot force or accelerate the process because we are dealing with a well respected Nigerian who is bringing in his money without any plans to recoup anything to maintain the National Stadium".

On plans for other National stadiums, the Minister stated his Ministry has concessions approval to concession the national stadium, Surulere and that the process has been on going but was delayed due to lack of concession advisers.



" We have been able to overcome that. In the next couple of weeks, we will have those who are interested  in taking over the  national stadium Surulere concession and hostel come forth and the normal process of concession will take place. 

" We are also looking for special intervention funds of about 5 - 10 billion Naira from the government that would enable us renovate  and upgrade other sporting assets across the country," Dare assured. 

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen has reportedly agreed to a summer move to Italian Serie A side, Napoli, from French side Lille, Italian sports news source Gazzetta dello Sport reported that, the Nigeria international has told Lille directors he wishes to join Napoli this summer.


According to a tweet by European Transfer Football expert Nicolo Schira, indicated that Lille are asking for € 60 million from the Italian Serie A side for Osimhen after a sterling performance this summer.

The Italian journalist also confirms that Napoli is indeed so much interested in signing the talented Nigerian this summer, while the latter would like to sign a five-year contract with remuneration fixed at €4M per / year (that is about N1,736,009,400 Billion Naira).

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis is prepared already offering €55m to bring Osimhen to Naples.


 

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A number of clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur were previously linked with Osimhen asking for his signature.

Unarguably, Red - Hot Osimhen is one of the most talented youngsters in Ligue 1 during the course of this season before Coronavirus pandemic shutdown football activities across the globe. 




The sensational forward has hit 13 goals and four assists in 27 apperances for his club and would be among the Super Eagles Billionaires if his transfer to Serie A side Napoli is sealed in the summer.

Osimhen who is currently in Nigeria to lay to rest his late father, Elder Osimhen who died three weeks ago in Lagos. 

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has made it known that he has a free hand to select his players.

According to African Football, The Franco-German tactician, who recently extended his contract as the Super Eagles head coach, indicated that nobody can dictate to him on who to select for national duty.



Coaching the West African giants comes with a lot of pressure and Rohr will not allow anyone to dictate how he picks his players.

" It is not a part of my contract to take players who are not so good. I can choose my players myself. Rohr told Channels TV.

" It is the most important [thing]. So, nobody can tell me ‘You have to pick this one or that one.



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The 66-year-old tactician explained that he critically looks at players before inviting them to feature for the Super Eagles.

" I can take the best players and I don’t do it alone. We have a team and our staff. I have my assistant, I have my analyzer,” he continued.



" Each Monday we have our meetings and we speak about the games played at the weekend and what our players did.

" We have to take the best ones no matter where they are coming from."

Rohr will be hoping to guide Nigeria to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and 2022 FIFA World Cup finals when international football resumes, which also form part of the conditions in his new contract he signed recently."


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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has expressed his excitement at signing an extended loan contract which will keep him at Manchester United until the end of January 2021.

The former Super Eagles player’s initial loan at the Red Devils from Shanghai Shenhua expired at the end of May, but the clubs were able to negotiate an extension which means Ighalo will be able to finish the current season and feature in the opening months of the next campaign.



According to African Football, The 30-year-old made an impressive impact at United after his surprise move in January 2020, scoring four goals from eight appearances across all competitions.

" I’m really happy,” Ighalo is quoted by United’s official website. “It’s a dream for me to be here. I’m buzzing and ready to go.

" I feel okay. The last few days have been difficult as there have been different talks about it but now I’m really happy so I need to concentrate fully. I’m here until the end of January, so it’s good for me.



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" I decided I want to stay and I’m happy. Since the first day I arrived, I made it clear that I wanted whatever it takes to continue that work. It was very difficult, there were some talks, but I’m happy they finally agreed and got everything done. Everything is official now.

" I’m sending thanks to the Shanghai president and director for the support because they know this is what I want. So I’m thanking them and I’m happy that this has happened. They wish me all the best too.



" Like I’ve said, since I was young, I’ve been supporting this club and playing for it is a dream. Now I’ve extended my loan, it makes it more even clear and I’m committed as I know, in my head, I’m here until January ending. I just want to work hard and enjoy it, support the team and do whatever I can to make us go higher and higher.”

Man United are likely to return to competitive action with a match away to Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend of 19-21 June.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


The Nigeria e-Sports Federation has lauded the federal government as well as all citizens for their efforts so far in containing the dreaded coronavirus pandemic that
has claimed the lives of thousands of people across the world.

Secretary of the federation, Mr. Christopher Yaba, who handed down the commendation after a board meeting of the federation held on June 2, 2020,  members for their compliance with the lockdown directives.

While underscoring the need to holistically fight the global scourge, the e-Sports federation further reassured its young, and energetic followers of their commitment to continue building on the solid foundation laid by the founding fathers of e-sports in the country.



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The federation also implored its athletes to brace up for the 2020 online National League Games (NLG), adding that a portal for registration would soon be made public. 

As a body that focuses on sports, the organisation commended its partners for their consistent support while also calling on investors to take advantage of the huge opportunities embedded in e-sporting activities in Nigeria.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


Shooting stars General Manager Rasheed Balogun has stated that league cancellation must not be an option as the discussion on how to end the league continues to generate reactions among fans and stakeholders in Nigerian football.

Balogun speaking in a chat with Brilla Sports said the idea of having the NPFL stopped without relegation or promotion of teams from the NNL should be jettisoned as this will be a great disservice to NNL clubs who have spent so much resources in preparing for the season and have continued to pay players salaries keeping their teams together in the process.


" Remember we have played some games before the lockdown, we have honoured some away games, paying bills for our fans and players, even home games we spent a lot of money and the best they could reward us with, is to cancel the league. 

" Let me also inform you, for this season we have our replica jerseys for our passionate supporters and we have not even sold 1/3 of it, we spent money importing those replicas, how do we make our profit to run the team, that is absolute inconsideration,'


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He also alleged that the plan is been masterminded by relegation threatened teams who want to use that as a means to keep their league status for next season. 

" As far as I am concerned I believe no decision has been taken yet, still a suggestion opened for deliberations, we have stopped playing since December and since December both private and Government - sponsored teams have been doing everything humanly possible to play players’ salaries.


" If they now feel, the best decision is for the league to be canceled, who wants to be responsible for these players till the beginning of next season. Do you know how much we have spent since last season preparing for this season?

Those people that are masterminding this plan is the combination of those that would be relegated from the NPFL to NNL.”

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