Al-Nassr winger Ahmed Musa and some Super Eagles officials will jet off to Austria via Abuja on Saturday night ahead of the upcoming friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia, Super Eagles Media Officer Toyin Ibitoye has disclosed.

Ibitoye has disclosed that everyone associated with the national team is looking forward to the friendlies after close to a year without international football due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of the European-based players summoned for the two friendlies are expected to report for international duty as from this weekend, after their club engagements.

" We'll be playing on the 9 and 13th of October, on the 9th against Algeria and on the 13th against Tunisia, preparations are going very well," Ibitoye said.

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" We have crossed the t's and dotted the i's and we are looking forward to traveling, those of us going from Nigeria on Saturday.

" The captain of the team Ahmed Musa and some officials will be leaving from Abuja on Saturday night and the players could be joining us from their different clubs after their games this weekend.

" We are looking forward to these games, coming together again as a team, bonding, an opportunity for us to play together again, and I believe they will be worth our while.

" Nigeria lost 2-1 to Algeria the last time the two countries faced off at the 2019 AFCON, while they beat Tunisia 1-0 to win the bronze medal in the tournament staged in Egypt.

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All is set for the arrival of Berackiah International premium partner Abigol Football Management and Agency to Nigeria from Italy.
Mr Mathew Olohunleke, CEO Abigol Football management and Agency is expected to fly into the country in preparation for the Berackiah Football Coaching clinic coming up later this year.
The maiden edition of the coaching clinic is centred on the importance of sports activities in promoting unity and harmony in the country.
The programme will be drawing football coaches across all the 774 local governments in Nigeria.

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The CEO Berackiah international, Mr Nwigwe Wonders Nduka appreciates the Abigol boss for coming down to the country amid the difficult time of Covid-19 pandemic.
He described him as a patriot whose love and passion for his fatherland and the development of grassroots football is second to none.
Mr Mathew Olohunleke during his visit will be meeting with the leadership of the NFF, Chairman Nationwide League One,  Allhaji Mohammed Alkali,  President of Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA) Coach Ladan Bosso,  Alhaji Abba Yola, President Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and other notable football stakeholders.

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The Super Eagles were earlier scheduled to face the Elephants on the ninth of October, but the Ivorians pulled out of the tie last week to the disappointment of Nigeria’s German tactician

Head coach Gernot Rohr has expressed his dissatisfaction that the planned international friendly between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire was cancelled, only to be replaced by another match against African champions Algeria.

The Elephants cited internal problems as the reason for abandoning the Nigerian friendly but then, days later, announced an engagement with Belgium scheduled for the same day.

The Nigeria Football Federation wasted little time completing arrangements with Algeria as the new opponent and will now face two North African giants (Tunisia, the other) in the second week of October.

Rohr, though, would have preferred his side face another black African football nation as the alternative to Cote d’Ivoire in preparation for the upcoming Afcon and World Cup qualifiers.

The Super Eagles occupy Group L of the African Cup of Nations qualifying stages with three other black nations, including Benin, Sierra Leone, and Lesotho.

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At the same time, Nigeria have been drawn in the same group with Cape Verde, Central African Republic, and Liberia in the second round of Africa’s World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

Rohr regrets the Ivorians’ snub, but the former Gabon coach is pleased that the NFF could find a late, top-quality team to replace the Elephants.

" Of course, we have Algeria now, but I regretted that we are not going to play Cote d’Ivoire again because we had planned to play at least a game against a Black African team,” 

" But now we have to play against two Maghreb teams; unfortunately, we don’t have Maghreb teams, not for the AFCON qualifiers and not for the Qatar 2022 World Cup too.

" But it’s okay because it was very difficult (to get a replacement) in the last moments to replace the Ivory Coast team,” Rohr said.

Nigeria face Algeria and Tunisia on the 9th and 13th October, respectively, ahead of the Afcon qualifying doubleheader against Sierra Leone in November.

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Governor Nyesom Wike knows the value of sports to the socio-economic development of society, and he is applying it appropriately with the right key for the benefits of the people, the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye has said.

He stated this shortly after inspecting on-going rehabilitation and regrassing work at the main and practice pitches of the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium and renovation work at Rivers United Football Club Camp in Port Harcourt.

Iyaye disclosed that the state’s owned football clubs, Rivers United and Rivers Angels will use the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Igwuruta-Ali as the venue for their home matches in the 2020/2021 football season.

Recall that the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, which had previously hosted both teams is presently being used as an isolation center for Covid-19 patients.

Accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Sir Honour Sirawoo, The Sports Commissioner also inspected dressing room facilities and other remedial works around the sports complex to ensure they were being done according to specifications.

He stressed that the rehabilitation of the football pitches in the stadium was aimed at ensuring that both teams were given conducive environment for optimal performance in local and continental matches.

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According to him, " I am impressed with the rate at which the rehabilitation is going on. The contractor has assured us that he will deliver on schedule and of good quality; with what we have seen so far, he will meet the deadline.”

The rehabilitation of the pitches will see the contractor installing about 120 sprinklers in addition to the provision of several boreholes, pumping stations, and generator to guarantee regular maintenance of the football field.

At the Rivers United Camp, he tasked the contractor to expedite action on the renovation work, while insisting that all materials to be used must be of the best quality in order to make the players comfortable.

He thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for the seriousness he attaches to issues surrounding sports; the reason he said, has made the State host several local, national and international competitions.

" We must give kudos to Governor Nyesom Wike, he doesn’t joke with sports-related issues and you can all see the result. We have some of the best sporting facilities and you can see that we have hosted a lot of events,” he stressed.

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Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare has showered encomiums on the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation for its continued efforts in rewriting the history of basketball in Nigeria.

Speaking recently in Lagos, Hon. Sunday Dare noted that the NBBF board under the leadership of Engr Ahmadu Musa Kida has made Nigerians proud with great achievements at the national, continental and international stage.

Reeling out the achievements, the minister who recently celebrated his one year in office reemphasised that, “Nigeria’s Men’s Team are the first in Africa and 23rd in the world. D’Tigress are the first in Africa and 14th in the world. These rankings were premised on the numerous victories and accolades by both teams at both Africa and world levels”.

Still on the unprecedented records set by the board, Sunday Dare eulogised the board for masterminding such noble achievements unrivalled in the history of African basketball.

" First team in the world to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, 17th place finish at the World Cup which ensured qualification for the 2020 Olympics as Africa’s best placed team after beating host China.

" Nigeria is the only African team to have qualified for the Olympics and the only African country to have the men and women’s teams at the Olympics. If you hold these two feats up anywhere in the world, it is going to stand and swallow the best performances ever by any African country for that matter”.

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The Minister who hosted D’Tigress after the team successfully defended its FIBA Afrobasket title in 2019 announced that it was the first trophy he received barely a month after resuming as the Sports Minister.

" I got a clear sign, a moment of epiphany that perhaps the first victory coming from basketball was a clear sign that I must devote time, resources and support to basketball”.

Meanwhile, he has assured that the present leadership of the ministry has placed premium importance on grassroots sports programmes and development which is a sure way of providing a nursery for elite podium performance.

" As such, I urge everyone to support the efforts of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari in repositioning sports development in Nigeria. The indicators are there. Recently, the Federal Government reclassified sports from mere recreation to sports as business.

" Sports with the business model will create jobs for our youths, generate a new stream of revenue for government, contribute between 2% to 3% to GDP, add value to the talents of our athletes and attract private investors”, Sunday Dare concluded.

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Super Eagles reliable Midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi have suffered a groin injury ahead of the FIFA International friendly match slated for next month, and has also been ruled out of Leicester City’s match against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in the English Carabao Cup coming up later today. 

Ndidi who has been drafted to the central defense to fortify the team has been excellent in his new role for the club, but has been managing a groin injury since the start of the season and has been advised by Leicester City medical team to take a break.

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This will come as a huge blow for Leicester City who so far have won two games in the English Premier League this season, Ndidi has been playing in the center half position with the likes of Morgan and Johnny Evans out due to Injury problems. 

As far as those two matches were concerned, Ndidi clearly bossed the center half position signalling some form of switch in the future.

Ndidi will undergo further tests today before his return to action can be determined, While Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr might not be able to count on his services in the two high profile friendlies against Ivory Coast (October 9) and Tunisia (October 13) in Austria

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Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare while hosting the Bayelsa state Commissioner for Youth and Sports  Dr. Daniel Igali on Tuesday  assured Nigerians of Olympic medal haul in Wrestling.

According to the Minister; " If we're sure of a Sport that would fetch us medals at the Olympics it is Wrestling, considering the fact that the federation had done so well. The Wrestling Federation under the leadership of Dr. Daniel Igali Vision, dream and focus are in line with our plans and we are sure that the likes of Blessing Oborodudu and Odunayo Adekuroye would win medals at the Olympics."

The Minister congratulated Igali on his appointment as Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development in Bayelsa State.

" It gladdens our heart when you were appointed Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development because we believe that once we have seasoned athlete like you in this position, we are sure that you will get on the same page with the policy of the Federal Government on youth and sports Development. 

" For us that is a plus and we believe that in the next four years as Commissioner, you will work closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in line with our Vision of grassroots Development. 

" Partnership with private sector and state governments. I also want to thank you for speaking to the Adopt Initiative. We were already on an accelerated pace to get as many as athletes as possible adopted before Covid-19 slowed us down. 

" Some of those that promised to adopt were also affected because their company were shut down and there was a general downturn. We have picked up again and i recall clearly that you are also a product of adopt initiative in Canada where you actually hit the peak of your performance. We hope that this adopt initiative is something that has sustainable model  to support our athletes other than the Olympics". 

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We celebrate you as an Olympian, we salute your effort to ensure that you share that podium with other Nigeria wrestlers which is why one of our greatest hope of medals at the Olympics is Wrestling among the eleven sports that we have chosen. 

" We can almost take it to the bank that we would get medal from Wrestling due   to  your leadership, discipline and professionalism. We hope we can sustain the tempo till next year so that our Athletes will have podium performance. 

"Let me also say that we have 32 sporting Federations supervised by the Ministry. Without mincing words, i think the Wrestling Federation remains of one of our  best federations. I can see the connection between having a leadership that is purposeful, that is collegial, democratic and  not unilateral, respect the code of governance and the constitution set by the board. 

" You can see the connection with what happens with the quality of the athletes and i hold Wrestling federation as one that we want to have a constructive relationship with the Ministry. We also want federations where the leadership pays attention to the welfare and the development of its members particularly the Athletes. 

Igali thanked the Minister for his giant strides in the last one year since assuming Office 

" First and foremost i appreciate the Minister for the cordial working relationship with me over the last one year. Early this year you were instrumental in ensuring that two of my Athletes Blessing Oborodudu and Odunayo Adekuroye qualified for the Olympics and also getting top world ranking.

I also commend the adopt an Athlete Initiative from which a lot of Athletes had benefited. Igali solicited the Minister's support to vie into office of the World wrestling body, partnership with the Bayelsa State Government and plans to organise the maiden edition of the Bayelsa State Sports Festival.

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