20 table tennis coaches undergo refresher course in Ibadan-NOC



The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation say they have assembled 20 table tennis coaches in Ibadan for a refresher course under the Olympic Solidarity Coaching programme.

NOC’s Spokesman, Phemmy Adetula made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.

According to the statement, the programme is in collaboration with the International Table Tennis Federation.

It said that the course to be supervised by Abdulmalik Ibrahim of the NOC also included participants from some African countries like Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tunisia.

The statement quoted Olabanji Oladapo, the Secretary-General, NOC, as saying that the course was to update the coaches on modern techniques of the game.

“It is the hope of the NOC that coaches that are participating in this programme will take advantage of it and exploit the expertise of the instructor to improve their technical abilities.

“International Table Tennis Federation Instructor, Ahmed Aldawalatly from Egypt is in charge of the course where 20 coaches are currently taking part.

“The course which commenced on May 13 will end on May 18,” he said.


Female sport veterans distribute netball equipment to FCT School



Athletes of , a non-governmental organisation on Monday distributed netball equipment to the Royal Family Academy in Wuye, Abuja.

Toyin Aluko, chairperson of AFFAN, said the group was created to guide girls on the right path to life using sporting activities while the Academy will serve as the talent hub.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the group is made up of ex internationals.

We (AFFAN) have represented this country in various sports during our hay days and as women we know how sports have turned things around for us.

Someone gave us that opportunity; someone brought sports to us and discovered the talents in us. It is the same thing we want to do for the girls in Nigeria.

We want girls from remote communities, low-income families to see sports as tool to change their lives and families while bringing glory to the country.

We all got introduced to sports in schools and now that we have gotten to the peak of our careers, we have decided to act as role models to the girls,’’ she said.

Aluko, who has served on the board of various sport federations, said the choice of netball was to bring back the glorious days of the sport to the country.

We have decided to begin with netball because the sport has declined in terms of players and fan-base. I played netball in 1970s and I can’t really tell how netball phased out.

But the game is popular among member countries of the Commonwealth and Nigeria has being missing out in its participation at commonwealth games.

Introducing the girls to the sport will mean that netball will be back and we could find ourselves at the Commonwealth Games and possibly the Olympics,“ she said.

She said that the association would be partnering with other corporate bodies to distribute equipment to schools in Nigeria as well as scholarships for students.

The Director of the Academy, Rifkatu Ogunbiyi, was delighted to receive the equipment while assuring the association that the school would make judicious use of them.

We are happy that we are the first school to receive the netball equipment and to commence the teaching of the sport in our school.

This is an answered prayer because I had desired that the school have a netball team before I retire. Now, this is a confirmation that it is about time.

You are not just reminding us but kick starting it for us and we are so delighted. It is history.

We will get more netball equipment to add to these and in no distant time, athletes will be discovered here,’’ Ogunbiyi said.

Other members of AFFAN who were present were Toun Engre, a former national Table Tennis champion, and Essien-Anwan Bluejack, a former national volleyball captain and Benjamin Obe, a handball veteran and the only male in the pack.

NAN also reports that equipment distributed include nets and balls.

Edited by: Joseph Edeh/Ismail Abdulaziz


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200 golfers for 2019 Tiger Open in Ibadan



No fewer than 200 golfers were expected to feature at the 24th Tiger Amateur Open Golf Championship scheduled for between Dec. 13 and Dec.15 at Tiger Golf Club (TGC), Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment, Odogbo, Ibadan.

The Tiger Open was the biggest amateur golf tournament in Nigeria in which golfers compete in various categories for prizes.

The Ibadan Captain of the club, Alfred Amubioya said in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Ibadan that the 2019 edition will be unique because of its composition.

Amubioya said that for the first time, invited golf professionals would take part in the tournament.

He also said that participants would vie for prizes in no fewer than fifteen categories.

Some of the participating clubs were- Ikeja Golf Club, Ikoyi Golf Club, Abeokuta Golf Club, Sagamu Golf Club, MicCom and Country Golf Club, Ada.

Others included Tiger Golf Club, Ogbomoso Golf Club and Ekiti Golf Club, Kaduna

Golf Club, Jaji Golf Club, Ibom Golf Club, Otukpo Golf Club and IBB Country Golf Club.

He said golf enthusiasts all over the country were always looking forward to the Tiger Open considered as the climax of all golf events in the Nigerian golf calendar.

This year’s edition will be different with the number of participants expected and prizes to be won.

This year will be the 10th edition we are playing the Tiger Open on our course (Tiger Golf Club) having played the first 15 editions at Ibadan Golf Club (IGC).

“We are expecting no fewer than 300 participants and guests to the city of Ibadan to take part in the tournament,’’Amubioya said.

Edited by: Emmanuel Okara/Ali Baba-Inuwa


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Russia banned from Olympic Games for altering doping data



Russia was banned from the Olympics and other major world championships on Monday after sporting officials decided to punish it for tampering with doping-related laboratory data in another blow to Russia’s already tarnished sporting reputation.

The decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), imposed a four-year ban on Russia participating in a range of top-flight sporting tournaments, a period covering the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup.

WADA’s executive committee took the decision after concluding that Moscow had tampered with laboratory data by planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.

The decision to punish Russia with a ban was unanimous, a WADA spokesman said.

Russia, which has tried to showcase itself as a global sports power, has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

Its doping woes have grown since, with many of its athletes sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Monday’s sanctions, which also include a four-year ban on Russia hosting major sporting events, were recommended by WADA’s compliance review committee in response to the doctored laboratory data provided by Moscow earlier this year.

One of the conditions for the reinstatement of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the athletics doping scandal but reinstated last year, had been that Moscow provide an authentic copy of the laboratory data.

The sanctions effectively strip the agency of its accreditation.

RUSADA head Yuri Ganus could not be immediately be reached for comment. His deputy, Margarita Pakhnotskaya, told the TASS news agency that WADA’s decision had been expected.

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov last month attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical issues.

Russia’s punishment leaves the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete at major international sporting events without their flag or anthem for the next four years, something they did at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Some Russian officials have tried to cast WADA’s behaviour as part of what they say is a broader Western attempt to hold back the country.

Igor Lebedev, a lawmaker and deputy speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said on Monday the move was a serious blow to Russian sport that required a tough response from Russia’s authorities, the RIA news agency reported.

If RUSADA appeals WADA’s punishment, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Edited by: Joseph Edeh/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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AFN: Shehu-Gusau vows to unravel corrupt practices



Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, embattled President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), has said that the federation will work diligently to unravel all corrupt practices in the federation.

Shehu-Gusau said this on Sunday in a news conference to address the situation of things happening in the federation.

He said that the measure was in keeping with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to accountability and transparency,

On the inauguration of our Board in July, 2017, I was confronted with an allegation in respect of USD150,000 paid to the AFN.

I was accused of mismanaging the funds and in keeping with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to accountability and transparency, I submitted myself to the relevant agencies for investigation.

The individual reports exonerated me from any culpability but raised questions which the agencies are diligently pursuing.

My action in submitting myself to be investigated laid the foundation for the misunderstandings being experienced in the AFN today.

It is common knowledge that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has been doing everything within his powers to attract foreign investments.

He is also irrevocably committed to creating jobs, especially for our teeming youth,” he said.

He said that securing alternative means of funding the activities of the federation would ease the pressure on government.

The sponsorship deal signed with Puma attests to the capacity of this board to attract private funding for sports from within and outside the country.

It will also create jobs for the youth of this country as sports has the capacity to create enormous job opportunities.

This is part of the reasons we seek autonomy to enable us increase the funding base of the Federation.

I am pleased to inform Nigerians that the Puma sponsorship deal, which is in kind, will run from Sept. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2022.

It is unique in the sense that Puma will deliver kits worth USD2.76m to the Federation in Abuja, that way, we do not have to spend scarce resources available to be travelling to Germany to collect the kits.

We are working hard to ease the pressure on government yet some people are bent on frustrating our efforts.

Since the advent of this current leadership, there has been one problem or the other, all geared towards directly administering the Sports Federations.

“The AFN is not the first and if something is not done to curtail their excesses, it will definitely not be the last,” he said.

Edited by: Emmanuel Nwoye/Maureen Atuonwu


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NPFL: Abia’s haul gives Sunshine maximum three points



Sunshine Stars Striker, Israel Abia, on Sunday had a haul to ensure that his team emerged winner of the match day seven encounter of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) encounter against Nassarawa United.

The match, played at the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure, had Chidi Solomon scoring the first goal for Nassarawa United in the 36th minute before Abia restored parity in the 40th minute .

Abia gave the home team the lead in the 45th minute after meeting Wasiu Jimoh’s corner to ensure that the home team went into the half leading 2-1.

As the second half resumed, Mohammed Abdallah restored parity for the visitors to make the game 2-2 in the 48th minute before Abia added the third a minute after to make it 3-2.

Abia made it his fourth goal in the 78th minute after he had connected with Anthony Omaka’s cross to secure a comfortable 4-2 win over Nassarawa United.

Sunshine Stars Coach, Kabir Dogo said he was happy that his team won its home match after it had defeated Akwa United 1-0 in the match day six encounter.

Dogo said his team won the game through perseverance and hard work after his team had not scored much in previous encounters in the season.

“First of all I have to thank God and commend my boys for a Job well done,

” This is the first time in the last five years that Sunshine is winning double home, it is not an easy game.

Nasarawa United have a good record against Sunshine anytime they play here even during my time with Nasarawa united. We were able to score the goals through hard work and prayers.

During our training we dedicated one hour for strikers alone, thank God it yielded results today.

With the support for the people of the state we will remain focused till the end of the season,” Dogo said.

The Acting Technical Adviser of Nassarawa United, Abubakar Arikya, said his players played well in the first half.

Arikya said his team would plan better ahead of the week eight encounter against Kano Pillars.

We are still building the team, we will have a good plan ahead of our next match against Kano Pillars at home. We will take it the way we took this match but we are going to make some changes.

A lot of things are happening in the team, we are not playing to our pattern against Kano Pillars.

” By God’s grace we will have the day,” he said.

(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)

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Osun United FC 0-3 loss to 3SC, a lesson- Omokaro



Coach Bright Omokaro of Osun United Football Club says his team’s 0-3 loss to Shooting Stars Sports Club(3SC) is a lesson to return to the drawing board.

Omokaro said this while fielding questions from newsmen on Sunday after the team’s 0-3 loss to 3SC in the Nigeria National League Match Day 3 played in Ibadan.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the home team, 3SC, secured a maximum three points having dominated the entire game.

NAN also reports that 3SC secured its three goals through Opeoluwa Olufemi, Najeem Olukokun and Fatai Gbadamosi in the 32nd, 54th and 79th mins respectively.

Apart from the first and second goals which were secured through brilliant team work, the third goal was secured through a free-kick.

Omokaro said that the team’s defeat was a great lesson to intensify their play from the drawing board.

To me, football is a game and you have play it through commitment. It is a good game. As far as I am concerned, the team Shooting is telling me to go back to my drawing board and intensify the team,” he said.

He expressed readiness to do everything humanly possible to ensure the team wins its remaining matches.

We started very late, about three weeks ago, while other teams are already in camp for six to seven months.

It is a game of football. What I need now is to go back to the drawing board and intensify my game.

I am going to do everything humanly possible to win the remaining matches,” he said.

The ex-international, however, expressed disappointment at the officiating, saying it was one factor drawing Nigeria football backward.

If you are beaten clearly five to nothing, no problem. The game of football is all like that, but manipulation is very bad.

” The referee ignored several uncalled for infringements in the game,” he said.

Coach Edith Agoye of 3SC expressed joy over the result of the match, saying he was satisfied with the team’s 3-0 win at home.

Agoye, however, said that the team still needs to do a bit more on its performance,noting that the team was lucky to have got three goals from its few chances.

We were not perfect today, but the best thing is that we got three goals from the few chances we had.

” That is good enough. There are still some aspects we need to work on ahead of our remaining matches.

We got the chances, we scored them. Nothing more, nothing less. The way the team is going now, we can do whatever we want to do,” he said.

He stressed that the most important task for the team now was to continue creating chances in the game and taking them.

NAN reports that in attendance to watch the match were Hon. Debo Ogundoyin, the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr Seun Fakorede, Oyo State Commissioner for Sports, and Dr Rafiu Ladipo, the President-General, Nigeria Supporters Club.

(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)

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Ibadan chief seeks investment in sports, donates $3,000 to 3SC



Chief Adegboyega Adegoke, Executive Director, Finance, OES Energy Services, has called on all tiers of government in the country to develop grassroots sports as a way of curbing social vices among the youths.

He made the call while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan on Sunday after the Nigeria National League(NNL) Match Day 3 between 3SC and Osun United Football Club ended 3-O in favour of 3SC.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Adegoke, who was Chairman of the match, donated the sum of 3,000 dollars to 3SC as part of his contribution to the club’s upliftment.

Adegoke urged government to invest more in local football and grassroots competitions, saying this would go a long way in reducing social vices among the youths in the country.

He described sports as a great tool for youth development and urged government at the local, state and federal levels in the country to allocate more funds to sports development.

All tiers of government in the country need to invest more in grassroots sports. They should develop our local football clubs to get our youths engaged.

When youths are fully engaged, they will have no time to commit crimes,” he said.

The Ibadan Chief expressed joy that 3SC, which he described as the pride of Ibadan, Oyo State and South West region defeated its baby state, Osun, in the match.

I am happy that our team, 3SC, the pride of Ibadan, pride of Oyo State, pride of South West Geo-Political Zone secured victory over its baby state, Osun. It is clear to everybody that Osun state was created from Oyo State.

3SC as I said earlier is a pride to everyone of us here. In the past, 3SC made the country proud by winning many laurels for the state and the country as a whole.

We all need to join hands to return the past glory of 3SC and ensure it returns to Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL).

In my own little way, I give this 3,000 dollars to 3SC and I will continue to contribute my quota to the upliftment of the team,” he said.

Adegoke said that 3SC was not a product of any political party, but the glory and pride of the state, adding that sports is a unifying factor devoid of tribal or political affiliation.

He said that his foundation, Adegboyega Adegoke Resource Centre, had been much involved in youth development through vocational training.

He said the foundation had continually trained youths in several vocations such as candle and soap making, hair dressing, chalk making, tailoring and others, adding that some have graduated while others were still undergoing training.

(Edited by: Emmanuel Nwoye/Mufutau Ojo)

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Nigeria qualifies for 2020 World Ultra Runners Championship



South African, Nigerian and Zimbabwean teams have qualified for the 2020 World Ultra Runners Championship at the Valuejet Remo 50 kilometres Ultra Race held in Sagamu and Ikenne.

Dapo Sotiminu, Media Coordinator, 2019 Remo Valuejet Ulra Race, made this known on Sunday.

According to Sotiminu, Zimbabwe, who competed in the ultra race first time in the country’s history, finished as the overall third place.

In the women’s team event, South Africans were top with the combined running time, ahead of Nigeria which finished in second place.

The third position in the women’s category was not decided as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Madagascar, Niger, Cameroon, Mauritius and Ghana did not record points enough to be placed third as majority of their athletes didn’t complete the course.

With these efforts, South African, Nigerian and Zimbabwean teams had qualified for the 2020 World Ultra Runners Championship.

In the Men’s Individual Race, South Africa’s Thobile Mbolekwa returned at a time of three hours 02 seconds to win the men’s race

Mbolekwa became the champion and also set a championship record in Africa.

Zimbabwe’s Prosper Mutwra finished in second place at a time of 3:05:25 seconds.

Mutwra said he would stay back in Nigeria to stage a challenge against the Kenyans and Ethiopians at the Lagos City Marathon coming up in the next few months.

Nigeria’s marathon champion, Ilya Pam, from Plateau, finished in the third position at a time of 3:12:39 seconds.

He also emerged the first Nigerian to cross the finish line, thus winning the special cash prize of N1 million donated by the Chairman of Valuejet Airlines, Kunle Soname.

In the women’s individual race, South Africa’s Saneliswe Mbangwa, emerged the champion when breasted the tape at 3:04:45 to win the women’s race.

Also, in the second place was Nigeria’s Elizabeth Nuhu Power after running a time of 3:47:39.

Nuhu Power had in November also emerged second place at the Lagos Women Run.

With her performance, Elizabeth Nuhu Power, won the Nigerian prize of N1million donated by Kunle Soname.

South African Leilani Scheffer won the third position at a time of 3:48:01.

The team winners and individual winners respectively got 2,000 dollars, 1,500 dollars and 1,000 dollars for their efforts.

Interestingly, this is the first time monetary prizes would be given in the 35 years history of Ultra Running in the world.

South African athlete, Thobile Mbolekwa, described the Remo 2019 as the most challenging in the ultra race event he has attended.

He lauded the organisation of the race and the crowd’s support along the routes of the race, which was flagged off at the Sagamu International Stadium.

Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, who was the Special Guest of Honour, applauded the courageous spirit and the zeal in the athletes to run the 50 kilometres race.

Abiodun said that Ogun government would be ever ready to support an event like the Valuejet ultra race which gives youths chance to develop themselves.

He promised that the race would be an annual event, saying that efforts would be taken to ensure that the next edition was glamorous.

The event was attended by President of International Association of Ultra Race (IAU), Nadeem Khan; President of African Ultra Race Federation, Solomon Ogba; President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Ibrahim Gasau, and the Chairman, Valuejet Airlines, Kunle Soname.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye

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CAF Cup: Enyimba defeats FC San Pedro, Morocco 1-0 to move to second position in Group B



Enyimba Football Club of Aba Sunday defeated FC San Pedro of Cote D’Ivoire at Enyimba International Stadium in the ongoing Total CAF Confederations Cup competitions.

The Aba elephants lost their Group D opening match with Hassannia Agadir a week ago in Agadir in Morroco which left the team at the bottom of the group.

Enyimba however, defeated the Cote D’Ivoire side with a lone goal after struggling very had to stave off the visitors’ pressures from scoring them.

Enyimba’s winning goal came through Martins Usule (9) in the 64th minute after the striker replaced Sampson Obi (7) who had an unrewarding day resulting in his removal in the second half.

The Coach Usman Abd’Allah’s side’s victory over FC San Pedro lifted them to the second position in Group D from the bottom position they had occupied last week following their earlier loss to the Moroccan side.

In a post match press conference held at Enyimba Stadium, Abd’Allah, said he was happy his team got the three points at stake notwithstanding their poor performance.

The coach said that CAF’s fixing of the match for 2 pm and injuries sustained by some of his boys were responsible for their poor performance on Sunday.

He promised that the team would improve its performance on time enough to qualify them for the finals.

Enyimba’s Captain, Ifeanyi Anaemena said that the first half performances of Enyimba which fans complained about in Morocco repeated in the match against San Pedro because of injuries and fresh players.

He promised that the team would work harder to improve their overall performances to be able to meet future expectations in the competitions.

Anaemena confirming the gravity of the injury that led to his removal from the field Sunday said that doctors have told him he would need two to three weeks to recover fitness to play again.

He noted that getting three points in the match after their poor performance in the first half was important as points are key in a group competition.

The goal scorer, Martins Usule said he was delighted to have helped the team gain three points stressing that although he trained hard, God was the reason for his improved performances.

Meanwhile, Enyimba FC Chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, said the fixing of Sunday’s match by CAF for 2 pm was not in any way the making of his team.

He said that Enyimba stadium floodlight had undergone improvements enough to support playing on the turf by 8 pm stressing that the time affected both the players’ performances and poor turn-out of spectators.

The Coach of FC San Pedro, Khemaies Labidi, during the conference said his team played very well stating that as young players, there was still room for improvement.

Edited & Vetted By: Maureen Atuonwu

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