Kwara monarch urges Nigerian football stakeholders to ensure stability in sector



The Elerin of Erin-Ile in Kwara, Abdul Ganiyu Ajibola, on Friday urged Nigerian football stakeholders to ensure the stability of football activities in the country.

Ajibola, while receiving in Erin-Ile a delegation of the Kwara Football Association, said there was the need for peace to reign in the sector if progress was to be made.

While congratulating the new Kwara FA board, the monarch advised the members and other stakeholders to see the development of the industry in the state and nation as their ultimate goal.

“You should strive to achieve this, and ensure you disregard selfish interests or gains,’’ he said.

Ajibola emphasised the need for the FA to address internal problems without government interference.

He pointed out that Nigerian football had been dwindling in recent years, especially at the local level, due to lack of understanding and poor administration.

“I remember that sometime ago I bought some trophies to help support a football event.

to avoid conflicts in the community.

“This is not just about my community. This is something that has been happening across the country and it boils down to the administrators who should sensitise all of those in football, starting from the grass roots, to the need to avoid negative acts,’’ the Elerin said.

The traditional ruler was later presented with a giant trophy and jerseys by the association for the upcoming state Governor’s Cup competition.

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)


GOtv Boxing Night 20 brings WBF Heavyweight bout to Nigeria



The 20th edition of GOtv Boxing Night will be headlined by a World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental heavyweight title bout between US-based Nigerian, Onoriode “Godzilla” Ehwariemi, and Argentina’s Ariel “Chiquito” Baracamonte.

This was announced in Lagos on Thursday at a press conference addressed by the organisers, Flykite Productions.

The bout is one of the nine scheduled for the show slated to hold on Dec. 28 at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

Jenkins Alumona, CEO of Flykite Productions, explained that the bout, which is the biggest to be staged on Nigerian soil in decades, is a part-fulfilment of the promise to host world-class bouts at the show.

Nigeria has not hosted a bout of this profile in decades. We made a promise to put Nigeria back on the global boxing map and we are happy to see the promise come to fruition.

We believe this bout provides an indication of the return to health of Nigerian boxing since GOtv launched an intervention to revive the sport which, long before 2014, was in coma,”Alumona said.

He added that the nine-bout event will also feature live musical performances by Zlatan Ibile, Mayorkun and Oritsefemi among others.

In addition to the headline clash, fights lined up include the West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight title defence by Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, who takes on Ghana’s Ezekiel Anan.

WABU welterweight title defence by Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde against Ghana’s Sanitor Agbenyo.

National featherweight challenge clash between Taiwo “Esepo” Agbaje and Olusegun Moses; as well as national super featherweight duel between Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola and Sikiru “Omo Iya Eleja” Shogbesan.

Also in action are Adewale “Masevex” Masebinu, who takes on Olanrewaju Segun; and Adeyemi “Sense” Opeyemi, who fights Sadiq Adeleke.

Alaba Omotola takes on Bolaji Abdullahi; and rising female ring artist, Cynthia “Boby Girl” Ogunsemilore faces Aminat Yekini.

The best boxer at the show will win a cash prize of N1million attached to the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.

Edited /Oluwole Sogunle


CAPTION: L-R; Jenkins Alumona, MD, Flykite Production; Bamidele Johnson, COO, Flykite Production; Jenifer Ukoh, PR Manager, GoTv; Rafiu Ladipo, President, Nigerian Boxing Board on Control (NBBofC); and Remi Aboderin, General Secretary, NBBoFC, during a press conference on GoTv Boxing night held at The Regent, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday.

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Former Spanish footballers sentenced to prison for raping teenager



(Reuters) Three former Spanish football players were each sentenced on Thursday to 38 years in prison for gang-raping a minor in 2017, the latest high-profile sexual violence case in Spain.

The three men at the time played for fourth division club Arandina FC.

They knew that the victim was underage when they raped her in their apartment in Aranda de Duero in northcentral Spain,’’ the judge said.

The issue of sexual violence has been thrust in the spotlight in Spain in the wake of several trials, including the so-called Wolf Pack case.

In this case, five men were sentenced for raping a teenage girl during Pamplona’s annual bull-running festival.

At issue in the Wolf Pack trial, as well as a string of others, was the fact that Spanish law currently does not legally recognise rape.

It only looks into it if physical violence or intimidation is employed.

The Socialist government has appointed a panel to review relevant parts of the penal code.

In the sentencing of the football players, the judge said the girl, who was less than 16 years at the time, was unable to react to the assault.

He said this was due to the disparity in age and physical strength between her and the attackers.

The attack took place with the lights off, taking the victim by surprise and creating an atmosphere of intimidation, the judge added.

The victim had initially told friends and relatives on social networks that she was not raped.

But the court said it accepted her subsequent statement that she did not submit voluntarily to the men.

The three men were convicted for rape and for helping the other two take part.

Olga Navarro, the players’ lawyer, called the sentence “embarrassing” and said the court was imprisoning three innocent young men, who have denied any wrongdoing.

The men insist the girl was lying.

We’re not rapists. We were naive and they’re trying to screw up our lives,” one of the men, Carlos Cuadrado, said after the sentence.

Another, Victor Rodriguez, said the sentence was the result of social and media pressure.

The sentence can be appealed.


(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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Saudi Arabia to host first-ever women’s tournament in March



Saudi Arabia will host its first-ever golf tournament for women from March 19 to March 22 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Jeddah.

The Ladies European Tour (LET) event will be staged in collaboration with Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, and will carry a winning purse of one million dollars.

It is also set to have 108 professionals participating.

I’m incredibly excited by this announcement and it is an honour for the Tour to be part of history in bringing the first-ever professional women’s golf event to Saudi Arabia,” LET CEO Alexandra Armas said in a statement.

Confirmation of adding Saudi Arabia to our schedule for 2020 is an exciting prospect… and having seen the quality of the event staging for the Saudi International, I am sure this will be a fantastic experience for our players.

A number of golfers have been roped in as ambassadors to promote the sport in the country.

These include Britain’s Carly Booth, Amy Boulden and Rachel Drummond, and Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth and Isabella Deilert.

Women’s rights are a contentious issue in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most gender-segregated nations.

The country has some of the world’s strictest social rules but it has been gradually chipping away at a guardianship system.

The system requires all women to have a male relative’s approval for important decisions.

This week Saudi Arabia announced it was ending entrances to restaurants segregated by sex.

The inaugural Saudi International men’s event was held earlier this year with four of the world’s five top-ranked golfers taking part.

This was after they were lured by lavish appearance fees for the European Tour’s first event in the country.

However, golfers including former world number ones Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have turned down offers to compete at next year’s tournament.

The Northern Irishman had cited Saudi Arabia’s human rights issues.

Amnesty International describes the Saudi regime’s human rights records as “heinous”.

The country has looked to host several sports events in the past few years.

Last week it played host to the heavyweight boxing title rematch where Britain’s Anthony Joshua beat Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr.


(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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FCT SWAN Week: Chidoka wins tennis event, advises journalists on participation in sports activities



Ndubueze Chidoka, the FCT Chapter Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), on Thursday in Abuja urged sports journalists to engage in sports activities.

Chidoka, a staff of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), gave the advice shortly after winning the tennis event of the 2019 FCT SWAN Week’s sports competition.

He said journalists should be interested in keeping themselves fit and not just reporting sporting events only.

“This exercise is good for all of us. It’s an opportunity to ease out the work stress, relax and have fun.

“A lot of us are amateur players, but we have learnt a thing or two from participating today.“

We were also told that when one is fit, he becomes very productive, so I encourage everyone to participate in sports,’’ Chidoka added.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Chidoka defeated Alex Alabi of TVC 10-8 in a best of 10 tennis finals organised by the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF).

I was reluctant about registering for the competition because of busy schedule, but I realised that keeping fit was very important.

“So, it’s a great one for me to have won the competition because my opponent (Alabi) is a good player and his height appeared to be an advantage.

“He was leading 4-1 earlier but probably lost concentration and I was able to snatch victory from him,” Chidoka said.

Speaking also, Alabi advised every individual to always maintain concentration in all they do.

I was leading earlier and a lot of people probably thought I was going to win.

“I can’t tell what happened next. But I think I lost concentration and he (Chidoka) took advantage of it.

“So, I will advise that every one needs to be focused and have full concentration in whatever they do.

“But, in the end, it was a great game and we had fun,’’ he said.

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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How selling in ‘go-slow’ prepared me for sporting excellence — Prof. Okonkwor



Mrs Cordelia Okonkwor, a professor of Human Kinetics and Sports Management has revealed how difficulties in her early life enhanced her career as a sports personality.

Okonkwor, a lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, told her story while delivering the 53rd Inaugural Lecture Series of the institution on Thursday.

The lecture is entitled, “Gender issues in women participation in competitive sports and leadership to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

She said while awaiting her admission into higher institution, she helped her father in his shop where she had to run and jump to sell goods to fast moving vehicles.

“I helped my father in his shop and sold items to fast moving motorists with all the risks but I never knew the experience was preparing me for Olympics.

“I never had time for myself in the day time and I read only in the night, I can say I saw ghost,” she said.

Okonkwor recommended that women should be assigned leadership roles in sports not out of pity but for what they could do.

She said that this would help them to optimally harness their potential in national sports development.

She said that the election or appointment of women into leadership positions in sports were done as mere tokenism rather than equal partners in sports business.

She also decried some of the barriers to active participation of women in active sports.

According to her, some of the barriers include religion, wrong beliefs that sports is harmful to women, political and social discrimination and media bias against women in sports.

Okonkwo said: “Sports development in Nigeria has witnessed a one-sided approach in favour of men.

“Though this discrimination based on gender is not peculiar to sports in Nigeria, sports rank very high as a field in which this type of segregation is sustained.

“Women in leadership positions in sports are disproportionately by far smaller in number than men.”

The sports and dance expert urged women to look beyond the limitations and engage in competitive sports as athletes and leaders.

She said sports and kinetics were critical for the achievement of SDGs and advocated that government at all levels should integrate women in sports because of their numerical strength.

“Women should form part of the policy and decision-making body in sports sector.

“Nigeria should use services of women physical educators to effect changes in women sports life in Nigeria and Igbo culture.

“Government at all levels, in collaboration with relevant agencies, should create support services that decrease the barriers limiting the access to leadership, education, training welfare package, facilities and publicity to women in sports,“ Okonkwo said.

(Edited by: Sam Oditah)






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