BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Evolution Cup joined the growing list of sponsors to support the maiden edition of Ifeanyi Chiejine Memorial Cup, donating several customized balls towards the competition slated for December. 

The maiden edition of the Ifeanyi Chiejine Memorial Cup will hold in Asaba, Delta state on the 15th of December 2022.


Ifeanyi Chiejine Memorial Cup will be used to immortalize and celebrate the former Super Falcons player and a member of the 1999 squad, Ifeanyi Chiejine, who while alive was a great personality who dedicated her life to the development of women football in Nigeria.

The timely donation was well received by the convener, Judith Chime in preparation for the sporting event which comes up in December. 

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Speaking after donating the balls, Project Strategist of Evolution Cup, Olatoye Olawale revealed the reason for the support. 

" We need to support the Ifeanyi Chiejine Memorial Cup and the convener, Judith Chime is a friend and also an ex-international who represented the Super Falcons. 

" Evolution Cup is all about development and making progress and this initiative goes in line with our goals. This is why we have donated match balls for the Memorial Cup. It’s a way to also encourage talent from grassroots. 

" We plan to do more of this, as Evolution Cup is not just about our tournament, it’s about how we can also support initiatives that is in line with our goals.” Olatoye Olawale said.
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


In Nine years the prestigious Nigeria Pitch Awards has become the longest running football awards in history, the organizers continue to sustain the platform that rewards footballers, administrators, coaches, clubs, sponsors and journalist in the industry for thier commitments and passion for the game and for the nation. 

This 9th edition, the organizers in a Press Conference earlier this week has promised to sustain the prestigious football awards and remain committed to the core principles of credibility, transparency and Integrity which they have adopted right from inception.
 

President of Nigeria Pitch Awards, Mr Shina Phillips revealed to the gentlemen of the press in Lagos that the award will kick off on the 1st of December, 2022 with the voting process and end on 16th January, 2023, while the announcement of nominees will be made on 21 February 2023 with the award ceremony slated for the month of March.

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Phillips also said," From inception, we set out by adopting a voting system that is transparent. Our voters, who are sports editors, and journalists cross the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, our partners, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the SIAO Partners have remained committed to the success of the Nigeria Pitch Awards.”

" We the active support of our partners and members of the press, I can boldly state that we all share one thing in common: we all love the game of football and are working towards making Nigeria a great footballing nation,” Phillips said.

The voting process for the 9th edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards will commence on Thursday, 1 December 2022, the organiser, Matchmaker Consult has announced.
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


The draws for Jagaban Cup would take place at the National Stadium Surulere Lagos on November 14th with 10 teams already confirmed. Time is 2pm.

Jagaban Cup was put together to canvass for APC Presidential Flagbearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the 2023 General Elections.

De Potters, FC Bethel, Olukismet, Jo Sportyne and 36 Lion would participate at the tournament.

Others are Smart City, Badagry United, MFM FC, Ikorodu City and Messiah FC. Competition will hold from November 15th to 18th at Mobolaji Johnson Arena.

Coordinator, Wale Joseph said participants have started preparation and assured Lagosians of a wonderful tournament.

Organizers are targeting at least five thousand youths who will be live at the Grand Finale.

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Those five thousand youths will influence another 50 thousand more across various communities in Lagos through grassroot football.

Clubs would be divided into two groups of 5 teams each for a round robin style format of 70 minutes per match.

The winner of each group shall meet in the final of 40 minutes per half game (80 minutes). 

The runners up of each group shall play 3rd place match of 40 minutes per half.

The project is an initiative of 36 Lion Investment, Diamond Sports and Lagos Enigma.

Top European scouts from Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway and Spain would be on ground to select talented players at the competition.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Evolution Cup ambassador, Bonfrere Jo visited the Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne which is the venue for the annual invitational tournament for NLO teams.

The former Super Eagles coach alongside Evolution Cup project strategist, Olatoye Olawale was welcomed by Remo Stars coach, Daniel Ogunmodede to the full tour of the facilities including the pitch, VIP areas, players camp, and workout facility on Sunday.


" This is quite an edifice for a proper football team. Remo Stars is a team that should be competing for the NPFL title, as they have everything in place to succeed. I’m really impressed with everything in this stadium.

" Evolution Cup being hosted here is a great opportunity for the players to get used to good stadium.” Bonfrere said at the tour. 

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Remo Stars coach, Daniel Ogunmodede said it was an honor to finally meet the man who won Olympics Gold for Nigeria. 

" It was an honor to finally meet the coach, who won Gold for Nigeria at the Olympics. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you, and I really appreciate your visit.” Ogunmodede said. 

Evolution Cup strategist, Olatoye Olawale revealed that things are now in place for the next Evolution Cup and a visit to the venue was a good plan made for the ambassador. 


" We just unveiled Bonfrere Jo as the ambassador for Evolution Cup and this is a part of the whole process. He needed to visit the stadium used to host the tournament and here we are.

" Preparations are now in place for the next edition of Evolution Cup, which comes up in few months.” Olatoye said. 

The next edition of Evolution Cup will come up in February 2023.
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


Former Super Eagles coach, Bonfrere Jo and Renowned Journalist, Sulaiman Adebayor Pooja have been unveiled as ambassadors for Evolution Cup. 

Bonfrere Jo, who led the Nigeria team to Atlanta 1996 Olympics triumph and FIFA, CAF accredited Journalist, Sulaiman Adebayor Pooja were both unveiled in a small event held in Lagos on Wednesday.

Project Strategist of Evolution Cup, Olatoye Olawale says the unveiling is a step to bigger things to come for all parties involved. 


" We are glad to unveil two big personalities in the Nigeria football world. It’s a step to bigger things to come.” Olatoye Olawale said after the unveiling.

" The idea behind Evolution Cup is about development and progress, it’s clear to see that our two ambassadors have lived through these qualities. For a coach to guide a relatively unknown team to Olympic triumph, beating the likes of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina shows his impact on progress and development of those players.” Olatoye continued. 

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Both ambassadors, Bonfrere Jo and Sulaiman Adebayor Pooja expressed their support for Evolution Cup following the unveiling on Wednesday. 

" I hope many teams will take advantage and support Evolution Cup. The young players have the chance to develop themselves through this platform and move to the first or second division teams. Evolution Cup is important for clubs, players and coaches for proper development and progress”. Bonfrere said. 

" It’s a good platform for everyone to tap into, the players, coaches and clubs. As an ambassador, I want to encourage everyone to be a part of this tournament. It’s a preparatory tournament that will help the players get ready for the main NLO season. 


" For the players, it is a good platform to improve and develop for the next level and also for the coaches as well. The second edition of Evolution Cup is coming up soon and everyone should tap into it, as it’s going to be bigger. 

" Now that the cadet teams and Super Eagles and suffering from raw talents, Evolution Cup will be like a base for discovery of talent.” Pooja said. 

SGFC Athletics won the maiden edition of the Evolution Cup earlier this year after beating Beyond Limits in the final on penalty shootout.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Tuesday, hosted the World, Commonwealth and African 100 metres hurdles, Oluwatobi Amusan and named her as the Ogun State Sport Ambassador.

A statement issued in Abeokuta by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, on Tuesday said Gov. Abiodun equally announced a cash reward of N5m Naira and also gifted the queen of the tracks a house in Ijebu-Ode.

The governor had on the 26th day of April, 2021 adopted the star athlete, whose exploits were made known to the governor by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare.

Speaking further at the event held at his Oke Mosan Office, Governor Abiodun described  Tobi Amusan as a role model to the girl-child and a practical example of a truism that what  a man can do, a woman can even do better.

" So, you will be our Sports Ambassador; I am happy that you said you are not from any other state. You are from Ogun and not from Lagos and you want to come back home. We also want to ensure that you come back home.


" We want to  assure you that as you come back home, you have a home here in the state.  So, in view of that, we are also going to be presenting to you a home in Ijebu-Ode.

" On top of that, we will be giving you a small token, we will be donating to you a sum of five million naira," he said.

Gov. Abiodun who noted that his administration is on cause to give the Ijebu-Ode Stadium the necessary facelift it needs, said that the call by the star athlete to use the stadium to train whenever she is in the country would further prompt his administration to fast track the rehabilitation of the stadium.

" We are in the process of rehabilitating a few of our sport facilities, I have spoken to the Minister of Sports and a few other people, but, now that we have one of our own who is saying that I want to train in that stadium, that puts us under a lot of pressure to ensure we prioritize Ijebu-Ode stadium because we want you to come and be training in that stadium," the governor added.

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While noting that his administration considers the role of women very important in all spheres of human endeavor, he said that the passing of a law to ensure the full emancipation of women in the state, is the beginning of an era where women get more responsibility.

The governor who noted that youths in the country can combine both sports and education without any disturbance, called on youths in the country to borrow a clue from the world champion who combined both and is doing well for herself.

Abiodun further described athletics as an avenue where discipline, leadership skills and inter-personal relationships can be learnt, adding that "Tobi has been able to succeed through a lot of discipline, hard work, persistence and a lot of faith in her ability".

The governor stressed that his administration views the Sport Ambassador and world champion as a point of contact for other youths in the country who have lost faith in what hardwork, persistence, faith and diligence can achieve.

He noted that the story of the World, Commonwealth and African Champion would further educate those who still look at the combination of sports and education as a waste of time.

In her remarks,  Tobi Amusan, while acknowledging the support of Governor Abiodun towards her success, called on the Federal Government to do more for athletes.

" All thanks to my governor for supporting me and I feel like the Federal Government can do the same when it comes to supporting athletes financially," she said.

Her coach, Abiola Onakoya also noted that the world champion is already giving back to the society through an athletics development programme named Tobi Abiola Athletics Development in Ogun State.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE   


The 21st National Sports Festival southwest zonal elimination kicked off  at the Lanreleke Sports Academy in Ileogbo with an opening ceremony on Tuesday.

Lanreleke Sports Academy is a  co-educational, fully residential and specialist Senior Secondary School, which boost of a world-class sports facility was founded in 2021.

Managing Director of Peculiar Ultimate Concerns Ltd, Engr Olanrewaju Adeleke in his remarks expressed his delights.


" We are delighted that all ball games of southwest zonal qualification of the National Sports Festival (tagged Delta 2022),  will be hosted at the Lanreleke Sports Academy in Ileogbo and Bowen University.

" It will be a beehive of activities here at the Lanreleke Sports facility in the next four days, as seven ball games will be hosted here.

" I want to express my sincere thanks to the Planning Committee members for their commitment as we showcase our facility to the world.

" Here at the Lanreleke Sports Academy, we are raising talents to become future champions. 58 students were offered admission in our maiden session, this year about 65 students have gained admission and they are all on full scholarships.

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The closing ceremony is billed for Bowen University, as the two institutions have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the area of academy and sports."

In an address delivered by the Osun State Commissioner for Sports, Honourable Azeez Olayemi Lawal, he itemized sed the importance of the event, as he charged the umpires on fairness.

" There are a lot of benefits the event will accord the State, economic boost of Ileogbo, showcasing the facilities within the state, as well as making friends among the participants.

" The organizers and officials must maintain fairness in their judgment as this is the only panacea through which the best teams (athletes) that will do the zone proud can be identified."

Over 800 athletes from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti State will be participating in football, basketball, handball, volleyball, hockey, base/softball and beach volleyball.

The 21st edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) which was earlier scheduled to take place between 2-15 November, will now hold from 28 November till 10 December.
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


The new President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau has given his pledge to run an inclusive administration, in which all stakeholders will be welcome to make suggestions and recommendations on the best way to deal with knotty and not-so-knotty issues.

" Administration at every level, that of football inclusive, requires the wisdom to be able to listen to everyone who has an idea and then pick the very best to deal with each situation at hand. Those of us in the Executive Committee are only privileged to be representing the entire fraternity.


" We will run an inclusive administration in which ideas and advice will be welcome from all quarters, and will be guided in our resolutions. It is very important to resuscitate the League and engender a massive football economy from which every stakeholder can benefit and also be happy to contribute to its growth.”

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A former Chairman of the Zamfara State Sports Commission, Ibrahim Musa Gusau served as a Member of the organizing committee for the African Nations Championship, and is today a Member of the CAF organizing committee for youth competitions, viz U17, U20 and U23. He is also a Safety and Security Officer of the Confederation of African Football.

Having served two terms as Chairman of Chairmen and Member of the NFF Executive Committee under the Amaju Melvin Pinnick administration, Gusau says he is determined to focus hard on the welfare of players and officials of the various National Teams, in order to ginger and motivate them for podium appearances at international competitions to the glory of the country.

 " It is important to prioritize grassroots football and youth development, and that we will take to heart. It is also important to win trophies, and both can go side-by-side. Winning trophies is good for our country’s image in the international sphere and also helps to motivate the upcoming stars at the grassroots level.”

The new NFF Executive Committee will hold its first meeting in Abuja in a few days.
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 


Defending champions Remo Stars retained their Optima Energy Gold Cup title after they edged their southwest derby rivals Shooting Stars 4-2 on penalties.

Remo Stars made history becoming the first team to win the Optima Energy Gold Cup title back-to-back and had goalkeeper Vincent Edafe to thank as he showed class during the penalty kicks after he made two saves.

The battle to claim the bragging rights lived up to its billing, as it was end-to-end football and fireworks from both teams.


The first real chance of the game came the way of the Oluyole Warriors in the 20th minute.

Samuel Stone muscled out two Remo Stars defenders to set up Tony Okachi who went past his marker to flick the ball into the box, leaving Edafe to push the ball awkwardly to the path of Joshua Akpan, but the attacking midfielder put his effort wide.

The Sky Blue Stars could have punished the Oluyole Warriors 12 minutes later after Samuel Anakwe dazzled past his markers but couldn't off despite having goalkeeper Bamidele Adeniyi beat in goal.

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Six minutes into the second half, Okorom Stanley's superb strike at goal from a set piece was easily saved by Bamidele as he was sharp with his timing of the ball.

With 10 minutes to end the game, Bamidele made two saves in less than two minutes, from a low drive shot and corner kick to deny the Sky Blue Star.

With no winner in regulation time, both teams needed spot kicks to settle scores.

It was Remo Stars that had the day after scoring four while Edafe was outstanding after he stopped two spot kicks of Shooting Stars.

The victory had Remo Stars smiling home with One Million Naira and a beautiful gold-plated trophy while 3SC was rewarded with half a million Naira.
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