Former President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Appeal Committee, Abdulhakeem Uthman Mustapha SAN has advocated for standard turf across the league venues in the country.

Mustapha stated this during the inspection of the pitch at the Kwara State Stadium in Ilorin on Saturday.

He said good pitches are critical to the success of quality football players.

Mustapha who solely funded the re-grassing of the pitch of the main bowl of the state stadium complex noted that pitches aid players to complement their talents.
"Having natural turf has gone beyond para venture, it is now in the FIFA regulations and CAF has endorsed it that all the turf must be grass because of the hazard nature of synthetic"

The Legal Icon explained that for the state to attract FIFA and CAF organised football competition to the state, it is important for Kwara to have a natural grass turf which is now achieved in compliance with FIFA rules.

He commended Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq led administration in the state for his immense investments to sports development.

Mustapha said there is a limit to what the government alone can do to the growth of the sports sector, and that necessitated his funding of the re-grassing as a way of giving back to the community.

SGFC Athletics Sports Club has secured a partnership deal with top European kit brand Select Sports.

The deal will provide the club with Football kits equipment for a season.

SELECT Sports is a sports manufacturing company that produces sports equipment. SELECT was founded in 1947 by the then Danish national football team goalkeeper, Eigil Nielsen. He was the national team’s first-choice goalkeeper and played in 28 national matches from 1940 to 1951.

According to the General Manager of SGFC Athletics, Olatoye Olawale, This deal will provide top-quality football kits and equipment from Select Sports, this will undoubtedly boost the performance and image of SGFC Athletics Sports Club. It's a significant step forward for the club's athletes and their competitive edge.

" This is something we've been working on for a very long time. Select is a strong sports brand in the European market and they saw what SGFC Athletics is doing and they feel it is going to be a good thing for them to collaborate and encourage the club in the area of Football Equipment".

" They have top quality equipment and that is why they are coming on-board as a way of encouraging football development in Africa.

They work with several clubs, most especially in Denmark, Sweden and in some parts of European countries and that is why they feel they need to have an extension in Africa. As we know they are not really strong in Nigeria".

"Our club is one of the lucky clubs in Nigeria that will enjoy this great benefits. It is a way of giving back to football development in Africa and encouraging top talent never to give up on their dreams and that is why they see this as their goals and vision which aligns with our own goals and purpose as well that is why the two teams are coming together".

"It's not something that just happened over night there have been discussion upon discussion for about eight months now and it something that should have happened last season but to one reason or the other we could not activate it so we decided to activate it now and as you can see it has started yelding profit, we hope to make it a long time collaboration and we hope to also expand it so they're coming on-board in the area of equipment but they can still do more we hope that one day we can have Select Store in Nigeria", He said.

The jersey will be launched at the SPOCS Scouting tournament holding in Ikenne, Ogun State Nigeria from the 2nd - 5th October 2023.

Nationwide Division One League one (NLO)  side SGFC Athletics Sports Club will take part in what seems to be one of the biggest scouting tourneys in the country, SPOCS Scouting Tourney.

The tourney is expected to  have twenty eight (28) teams across the country on parade including Nigeria Premier League clubs like Bendel Insurance, Shooting Stars and NNL side Beyond Limit. The event will be held at the Remo Stars stadium in Ikenne, Ogun State.

The tournament is organized by SPOCS Nigeria which is an extension of the renowned sports agency SPOC Global that manages a lot of top talent worldwide with the aim to further discover and harness talent for the global football market.

SGFC Athletics  will be going into the tournament fresh from lifting the just concluded 2023 Ciroma of  ILORIN cup in August. The club will also  return to Ikenne for the first time after lifting the maiden edition of the 2022 Evolution Cup.

SGFC Athletics also finished top of the Kwara State center of the 2023  NLO abridged league season before losing out to Shooting Stars Team B in the first playoffs round.

Reacting to this development was the President of the club Richard Opanuga who stated that this would be an excellent opportunity for the players to demonstrate their skills and catch the attention of professional teams (scouts) that would be available.

" This is an opportunity we have to grab, the event will provide us with the opportunity for our players to go out there and show case what they have which will give them the opportunity to sign up with International football clubs.

“This is a good initiative from SPOCS it is one of its kinds like I said we just have to tap into this. At SGFC Athletics we have the talents to parade and I am confident that it is a sign that something good is just about to happen" He said.

In a memo titled "Re-Financial Requirements of Club Licensing Regulation", the Chief Operating Officer of the NPL Board, Davidson Owumi reminded the respective leadership of the 20 clubs of an earlier memo on the subject and declared that provisions of the Club Licensing Regulations would be applied henceforth.

Owunmi; "It has become necessary to remind all clubs that registration for the season will only be completed on provision of satisfactory evidence of compliance, particularly in cases of reported indebtedness to former and serving players and Officials".

Furthermore, the memo invited Clubs that have had their cases adjudicated on by the NFF Arbitration panel to approach the NPFL Registration schedule officers with evidence of compliance and or letters of mutual consent settlements.

To Clubs with established case(s) of indebtedness, the League warned that they will not be permitted to register new player(s) in line with the provisions of the Club Licensing Regulations.

The 22nd edition of the Olumide Oyedeji Basketball Camp and Clinic will start Monday, August 21, 2023 at the  Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos,  as the journey to discover the next set of basketball stars in Nigeria dunks off.

Hundreds of kids from Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, and Ekiti state and other geo-political zones between the ages of 5 years and 18 years will participate. Top Nigerian coaches will train the kids between 9am to 4pm.

Founder of the OOYF, Olumide Oyedeji, informed that all plans are in place for an unforgettable experience for prospective campers. Adding that the camping will not only focus on basketball training, but will also feature curriculums on career choices, personal development, and motivational talks from some friends of the OOY Foundation.

The Federal House Committee on Sports has invited the leadership of Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) and National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) over World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) threat to ban all Nigerian from participating in all sports.

This follows Nigeria's inability to comply with international standard as laid down in the World Anti-Doping code. 

After lifting ban on Nigeria in November 2018, WADA is furious that the country has not fulfill the promises made to comply with international Anti-Doping regulations. 

To this end, WADA has concluded plans to ban Nigeria from participating in all sports if nothing is done before the end of August, 2023. 

To save Nigeria from the international embarrassment, the Chairman, House Committee On Sports, Hon. Ekene Adams has invited the leadership of Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) as well leadership of National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) to a Meeting scheduled for Tuesday 22nd August, 2023. This is to put heads together and come up with plans to stop WADA from the imminent suspension capable of putting the country's image in bad light.

" Anti-doping has become very important in sports that athletes and countries alike can be banned  from participating in sports if they do not comply with international anti-doping regulations." Honourable Ekene said.

He added, "To save innocent athletes and Nigeria from the embarrassment, the House Committee On Sports has mapped out plans to stop the imminent suspension by inviting the leadership of NOC and NADO to appear before it.

" Due lack of time, we need to act as quickly as possible to forestall WADA ban pronouncement at the end of August. Sports is a very important tool for addressing youth restiveness and engaging youth for meaning achievement in life. Nigeria has huge population of youth and the benefit this group gain from sports can not be overemphasized and must not be taken away from them. If Nigeria is banned again, it is the innocent Nigerian athletes that will suffer from it. This Government does not need the distraction and embarrassment the issue of anti-doping will generate for the country nationally and internationally." He concluded.

Debutants Ijebu United claimed the bragging rights against a 10-man Shooting Stars, whom they beat 4-3 on spot kicks to set up interesting clash with Beyond Limits in the final of the Optima Energy Gold Cup.

The Remo Stars International Stadium in Ikenne will host the grand finale of the 11th edition of the pre-season tournament on Saturday at 3pm.

It was a game of both halves for Shooting Stars and Ijebu United who replaced defending champions Remo Stars who pulled out, owing to this weekend's CAF Champions League preliminaries.

However, the Oluyole Warriors were their own on doing as they should have nailed Ijebu United by four goals in the first half but were wasteful with the begging chances that came their way. 

3SC who had the chance of making a third consecutive Optima Energy Gold Cup final, took the lead from the penalty in the 27th minute after Ayobami Adekunle was awkwardly brought down just before pulling the trigger inside the six yard. 

The referee made no mistake to point to the spot, leaving Adelowo Gbolagade with the duty to power 3SC infront for the first goal. 

A minute later, Chinedu Anozie was forced to make a world class save to deny Ijebu Utd a chance to level up from a thunderous strike from 22yards.

Shooting Stars then had a couple of chances to seal up the game but were naive at goal, thus ending the half with the one goal lead.

Twenty-one minute into the second half, the Oluyole Warriors were reduced to a man down, as Gbolagade the goal scorer was shown a red carded following his rash tackle on his marker. 

Three minutes to end of the game, Ijebu United were rewarded for their never-say-die efforts no thanks to Ifeanyi Ihemekwele who jumped heights in-between his marker to nod his effort beyond the reach of Anozie for the equalizing goal.

With spot kicks needed to decide who battles Beyond Limits in the final, Ijebu United would count themselves lucky as they won the penalty shootout 3-4 after 3SC failed to make the most from their opponents two misses.

Ikenne based Beyond Limits and its Ogun State counterpart Ijebu United were first teams to secure their spots in the semi-final of the ongoing Optima Energy Gold Cup pre-season tournament.

After the completion of Matchday 2 fixtures in Group A on Sunday, Beyond Limits and Ijebu United made it two wins out of two, and garnered 6points each, but the former leads the log with a better goals difference of plus 7 goals, after they put six goals past Hammola FC on Matchday 1 while the latter has plus 4 goals.

Ijebu United sealed a ticket to the knockout stage after putting two goals past bottom place Hammola FC, to record their second win of the tourney.

After a drab first half, Eguonu Collins got the game to life hitting the first goal in the 56th minute, after he put Ijebu United in front with a good assist from tournament top scorer Ifeanyi Ihemekwele.

Twenty-one minutes to towards the end of the game, Ibrahim Ajagun put the icing on the cake for Ijebu United after he made it 2-0 with a nice finish.

Beyond Limits were second to qualify from the group after they showed no mercy to former champion Sunshine Stars; who paraded more of players on trials, as they fell 2-0.

It took the newly promoted Nigeria National League team 20 minutes to drown the Owena Whales, with Onyebuchi Obasi scoring in the 6th minute from the young Sky Blue Stars first real chance at goal.

Kparobo Ariehi then fired home with a lovely lob over thr goalkeeper for Beyond Limits second goal of the evening.

Both Beyond Limits and Ijebu United will on Tuesday battle for the braging rights in Ogun State and who seal top spot in the group, while Sunshine Stars and Hammola FC will battle for pride.

The 11th edition of Nigeria's esteemed is taking place at the Remo Stars International Stadium and FC Ebedei Stadium in Apele-Sagamu, Ogun State.

Debutant Ijebu United got their campaign in the Optima Energy Gold Cup on a flourishing start with an upset, as they whipped Sunshine Stars 4-2 in the opening fixture of the 11th edition of the pre-season tourney at the Remo Stars International Stadium on Friday.

It was a game of two halves for Ijebu United; with two penalties for both teams, as Ifeanyi Ihemekweele made a bold statement scoring a hat-thrick for the Nigerian National League club. 

Former champion had the chance to take the lead in the 10th minute with Olalusi Micheal attempt on goal saved by Ijebu United goalkeeper.

Seven minutes later, Ijebu United took a surprised lead after Babus Gaye beat his makers to volley his effort to the top right corner of goal, with the first striker of this year’s edition.

Ihemekweele gave his team a two gaol cushion in the 35th minute scoring from the spot after Sunshine Stars goalie gave away a penalty, as he was adjudged to have made a technical foul on the striker by the ref and his assistant.

The team, then went into the break with the lead as Sunshine Stars was denied a life line by the woodwork via a powerful strike from a set-piece at the edge of the box.

It was joy turned soar for Ijebu United early in the second half, after they thought they had taken Sunshine Stars to the cleaners with the two first half goals, only for the Owena Whales to draw level within five minutes.

The duo of Moses Omodueke scored from the spot for Sunshine Stars in the 58th minute to make it 2-1 while Opeoluwa Olufemi put the game on level terms, when he made the most from Ijebu United's school boy defending, as he pounced on a cross from Vincent Temitope.

Sunshine Stars were made to pay the price of a poor defending, which left Ihemekweele to score his brace and his team’s third goal of the match.

The Optima Energy Gold Cup top goal scorer then put the icing on the cake for Ijebu United, after he completed his hat-trick with nice tap in off a counter attack, assisted by Osheka Elijah in added time.

Ijebu-Ode now leads Group A with full maximum points and a plus 2 goals difference from a game.

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