Sunday Dare Calls On Influential Nigerians To Support Sports Development

The minister says influential people have a vital role to play in the development of sports in Nigeria.


The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has charged Nigerians occupying influential positions to use their platforms to contribute to sports development in the country.

At the unveiling of the 2021 edition of the Nanaye Dickson Traditional Wrestling Competition in Abuja, Mr Dare commended the efforts of the Senator representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson, and wants people with the same status to emulate him.

The Nanaye Dickson Traditional Wrestling Tournament is an annual sporting event launched in 2012, in honour of the memory of Senator Dickson’s late father, a community leader, an unbeaten wrestling champion, and promoter of the game in his time.

The championship has a major objective to promote grassroots Ijaw Traditional Wrestling, culture and also serve as a talent hunt for the youths of the state.

The minister recalled how the Federal Government adopted the annual wrestling classic initiated by the senator as a national event.

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“Senator Dickson has re-affirmed he is a lover of sports. He supported its development as the former Governor of Bayelsa State and now as a Senator,” he said.

Mr Dare urged members of the National Assembly to identify and focus development on a particular sport that has the prevalence of talents in their respective areas in order to produce a new generation of talented athletes in the country.

Bayelsa State has a track record of producing some of the nation’s finest wrestlers.


In his remarks, Senator Dickson said that his interest in sports and commitment to its development remain the same even after his administration which built a sports academy, sponsored a football tournament known as the Restoration Cup for eight years and the Nanaye Dickson Wrestling Classic which was adopted by the Federal Ministry of Sports.

He said the event will continue to honour wrestlers from Bayelsa and hope they will keep dominating the sport in Nigeria and the African continent. The state has the highest concentration of wrestling champions.

A major talking point from the event was the presentation of bank drafts of N2 million to Bayelsa-born Olympic Silver medallist, Blessing Oborodudu, and N500,000 to her coach, Mr. Victor Kode.

The President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Mr Daniel Igali, who was represented by the Vice President, Mr Christopher Amkpila, appreciated the Senator for his unwavering support towards the development of the sport.

According to Senator Dickson, the Henry Seriake Foundation, which unveiled the Nanaye Dickson Wrestling Tournament, is also the sponsor of the ongoing community-based grassroots football competition, the Ofuruma Pepe Cup, which involves 100 teams and 1000 young boys.

“As you all know, as governor of Bayelsa, I did my best to promote sports in all its ramifications. We established a sports academy, we have several young people who are receiving both academic training as well as exposure to sports development that is taking place even now.

“For eight years, we also sponsored a football tournament known as the Restoration Cup, and the products of that initiative are all over the world, and I want to thank my team for that. We also sponsor the wrestling classic named after me and my father.

“I’m grateful that your predecessor and you adopted our wrestling classic as a national classic. All the wrestlers in our country assemble there in readiness for international competitions,” he said

Chairman of the occasion, who is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, called on politicians to emulate Senator Dickson stressing that no money invested in sports development is wasted.

Senator Ogba said he was not surprised that the former Governor decided to sustain his interest and investment in sports development even after leaving office because sports investment means investing in the future.

British Minister Urges Premier League To Give Financial Aid To Smaller Clubs

In a handout picture released by the BBC shows Britain’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden speaking to British journalist Andrew Marr during an appearance on the BBC political programme The Andrew Marr Show in London on September 27, 2020. (Photo by JEFF OVERS / BBC / AFP)


The British minister with responsibility for sport has urged the Premier League to give financial support to cash-strapped Football League clubs in a bid to ease the financial damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The English Football League says its teams will lose £200 million ($255 million) this season while matches are played behind closed doors due to the pandemic.

Having already lost £50 million last season after the lockdown forced spectators out of stadiums, there are fears some clubs in the three divisions below the Premier League could go out of business without financial help.

Britain’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden believes it is the wealthy Premier League that should step in with a bailout package rather than the government.

“We stand ready to support clubs because they are such an important part of our local community,” he told Sky News.

“The first thing we need to look to is the Premier League and I’ve been in contact with them this week.

“We’re all agreed the Premier League needs to step up to the plate and they’re having intensive discussions with the EFL over how they can support those clubs.

“I have been speaking with the Premier League and I was very clear that we expect the Premier League to support the EFL.”

Premier League chiefs were frustrated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to scrap the planned reintroduction of fans from October 1 after a recent spike in coronavirus cases.

Dowden said the Premier League will meet on Tuesday to discuss the way forward now that the government has effectively ruled out any fans attending matches until March.

In his Sky News interview he added: “The direction is clear, we understand the Premier League needs to play its part.

“I’m in close consultation with them and I’m hopeful they will be able to reach a deal and provide that level of support.”

Asked if crowds would return by the end of the season, Dowden replied: “I would desperately love that to happen and we keep the situation under constant review.

“We are also investigating the use of new technology, working with the clubs who have done a fantastic job until now.

“If it’s all possible of course I would like it to happen, but, in this rapidly moving situation with the virus, we just need to exercise a little bit of caution which is what we’ve done in relation to October 1.”


Muguruza Calls For More Women’s Tennis On Tv

Garbine Muguruza of Spain  Photo: FRED DUFOUR / AFP


Former world number one Garbine Muguruza called Monday for greater television coverage of women’s tennis, as the game battles to recover from allegations of sexism that erupted at the US Open.

The Spaniard, who is struggling to end a slump in form that has seen her slip to 15th in the world, welcomed a new five-year deal the WTA has signed with the Tennis Channel in the US which aims to boost coverage and attract more viewers to the women’s game.

“I think it’s great, I think the more tennis we see is good,” the double Grand Slam champion said at the WTA Hong Kong Open as she prepared for her debut match at the tournament.

“Sometimes I feel that (television) plays more men’s matches, not only in the United States but also in other countries, in Spain as well, and people need to see (women’s tennis) in order to have their daughters play.”

Muguruza told reporters she believed tennis — where the earning gender gap persists despite the Grand Slams offering equal prize money — was “lucky” to suffer less from sexism than other sports.

But she added it was important the women’s game achieved a higher profile.

“Just to see it on TV helps people to realize there is also a women’s side.”

The women’s game was plunged into controversy at the US Open when losing finalist Serena Williams lashed out at umpire Carlos Ramos in spectacular fashion.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion lost in straight sets to Japan’s Naomi Osaka after a bad-tempered confrontation with Ramos that she later blamed on sexism.

Williams called Ramos a “thief” and a “liar” in a heated row with the Portuguese official that eventually saw her docked a game.

Williams later said women players could not get away with “even half of what a guy can do”.

Osaka pullout

The tournament also generated unwanted headlines after the United States Tennis Association admitted they were wrong to hand French player Alize Cornet a warning for slipping off her shirt on the court after realizing she had put it on back-to-front.

Muguruza, speaking on her 25th birthday Monday, admitted she had struggled for form in 2018 after two glorious years which had seen her clinch first the French Open in 2016 before being crowned Wimbledon champion last year.

“I’ve had a few injuries but every year you have something,” she said.

“I just think I’ve played a lot of matches that didn’t go my way, I’ve struggled in a few events and I couldn’t find the right quality of the game to beat these opponents — and I’m still searching for it.”

She has already missed out on the WTA season finale in Singapore after a poor season but said the Hong Kong field remained competitive despite world number six Osaka, who triumphed over Williams in New York, pulling out with a back injury.

“There is a very good player who’s not going to play but I don’t think I have more chances now than before — there is a very tough draw.

“I have no expectation. I’m just trying to finish (the season) well.”


Lagos Marathon: Abraham Kiptum Wins Race

Lagos City MarathonKenyan athlete, Abraham Kiptum, has won the maiden Access Bank Lagos City Marathon race with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 19 seconds.

The current world record is 2 hours, 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, Philibus Sharubutu is the first Nigerian to cross the finish line.

In the women’s category, Halima Hussen of Ethiopia emerged first, with a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes and 36 seconds.

The starting line of the race is the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos and the finish line is the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island.

The Lagos Marathon race hosts over 20,000 local and international athletes.

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, and other dignitaries were at the finish line to witness the event.

NFF Mandates Amodu To Work With Keshi

NFF Technical Director, Amodu Shaibu

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed that Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, will work with the federation’s Technical Study Group.

The NFF also says Keshi will no longer make a unilateral decision in the selection of the Super Eagles squad for international matches but will be supervised by Technical Director, Amodu Shaibu.

The President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, disclosed that the NFF Technical Director, Shuaibu Amodu and the Technical Study Group headed by former Eagles Captain, Austin Okocha, will oversee the process of selecting players for the team’s assignments.

While stating that the invitation of players in the Nigerian Super Eagles will no longer be an exclusive duty of Stephen Keshi, Pinnick noted that the Coach “will still have his input” in calling up players.

Reports say Amodu has been directed by the football federation to wield his powers as Technical Director as he will be held responsible for the team’s failure and not Keshi

Nigeria kicked off their campaign in the 2017 AFCON qualification with a 2-0 win in Kaduna last Saturday with Gbolahan Salami and Odion Ighalo getting the goals.

The Nigeria Football Federation re-engaged Mr Stephen Keshi as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles in April 2015. Keshi tutored the Eagles to a Nations’ Cup victory in 2013.

Keshi Signs New Contract As Super Eagles Coach

keshiThe Nigeria Football Federation has re-engaged Mr Stephen Keshi as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

At a contract signing ceremony in Abuja, the Acting President of the federation, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, said that the federation remains committed to the development of football in Nigeria.

Mr Keshi who tutored the Eagles to a Nations Cup victory in 2013, however appealed to Nigerians to support the national team in order to achieve greater success.

Stephen Keshi had, earlier in the month, appealed to Nigerian football fans to forgive the technical crew and the team for failing to qualify for the 2015 Nations Cup.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, Mr Keshi said that his second coming as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles would witness a total turn around for the team and the development of Nigerian football.

He further appealed to football loving fans to support the Super Eagles at all times, promising an improvement in the performance of the team.

There had been reports that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had agreed a new deal with Stephen Keshi, after a meeting between his representatives and the NFF in March.

Nigerians would be looking forward to the qualifiers for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where Nigeria is pitched in group G along with 7-time African champions, Egypt, Tanzania and Chad.

Stephen Keshi has been managing the Nigerian National Team since 2011.

Keshi Apologizes to Nigerians

keshiThe Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has appealed to Nigerian football fans to forgive the technical crew and the team for failing to qualify for the last Nations Cup.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, Mr Keshi said that his second coming as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles would witness a total turn around for the team and the development of Nigerian football.

He further appealed to football loving fans to support the Super Eagles at all times, promising an improvement in the performance of the team.

There had been reports that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had agreed a new deal with Stephen Keshi, after a meeting between his representatives and the NFF.

Sources said that the discussion between the two parties went well with a formal pronouncement still being expected.

Keshi’s apology comes as Nigerians look forward to the qualifiers for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where Nigeria is pitched in group G along with 7-time African champions, Egypt, Tanzania and Chad.

Stephen Keshi has been managing the Nigerian National Team since 2011.

Keshi, NFF Agree New Deal

keshiThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Friday agreed a new deal with the coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, after a meeting between his representatives and the NFF.

A source at the meeting told Channels Television that the agreement was reached after deliberations.

The source said that the discussion between the two parties went well, with a lot of maturity and mutual respect.

A formal pronouncement is expected in days.

It is not clear what the new deal is like, but the Super Eagles Coach had earlier termed the deal offered by the NFF as ‘a slave contract’.

Keshi is expected to submit a list of players to be invited for the friendly games against Bolivia and South Africa on Monday.

Stephen Keshi has been managing the Nigerian National Team since 2011.

U-20 Championship: Nigeria Beats Senegal 3-1

Flying EaglesNigeria’s Under-20 team, the Flying Eagles, on Sunday thrashed hosts Senegal 3-1, opening their campaign in the Group A of the 19th African U-20 Championship in Dakar on a bright note.

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria defeated the host nation to pick three points from the first game, which has been described as crucial for the team.

Taiwo Awoniyi grabbed a brace in the game that saw the Nigerian side scoring their fist goal in the first nine minutes of the game.


Christiano Ronaldo Is Third Top Scorer In Real Madrid’s History

Cronaldohristiano Ronaldo  has scored a total of  290 goals since he started playing in Real Madrid, making him the third top scorer in Real Madrid’s history. Ronaldo has scored in all of the games he has played in the round of 16 stage of the Champions League since the 2011/12 season.

Cristiano Ronaldo began demonstrating his eye for goal since 29 August 2009 against Deportivo, when he got on the score sheet during a 3-2 win in the Santiago Bernabéu. The ease with which the Portuguese man is able to break records means that, in the space of just six years, his name is already being talked about in the same breath as the club’s all-time best players.

Ronaldo kept up his fantastic performance in the Champions League round of 16. Since the 2011/12 season he has scored in all of the matches in this round. In total, that means he has scored in seven successive round of 16 matches.

The run began in 2012 against CSKA Moscow, where Ronaldo scored a goal in a 1-1 game in Russia, and featured again in the return leg by scoring two of the team’s four goals.

Ronaldo was once again decisive in the game against Schalke 04.

A year later, the Portuguese player made a vital contribution in the win against Manchester United in the round of 16.

Ronaldo scored the Whites’ goal in the home leg and got the second goal in the away leg at Old Trafford that sealed through to the next round.

Last season, the Whites had a clear win over Schalke in the round of 16 where Ronaldo scored twice on the night of the 6-1 win and got another brace during the 3-1 win at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The run has continued this year, with the German team once again the opponents. Cristiano has scored five goals against them in three games.

Christiano Ronaldo continues to write his name in the Real Madrid records as he is now the club’s third top scorer of all time. Ronaldo’s header against Schalkebrings the forward’s tally with the Whites to 290 goals, thus equaling Santillana’s record.

The Portuguese star has reached this milestone after 280 games, while the Cantabrian needed 645 matches to do so. The only players ahead of Ronaldo are Raúl (323) and Di Stéfano (308).

Cote d’Ivoire Beat Ghana 9-8 To Win AFCON 2015

AFCONThe Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire have defeated the Black Stars of Ghana 9-8 on penalties to win the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2015.

The Ivorian’ winning goal was scored by the goalkeeper, Barry.

The game had ended scoreless after regulation time.

Cote d’Ivoire also beat Ghana on penalties to clinch their first AFCON title in Senegal, 1992.

More details to follow

Joseph Yobo Predicts Ghana Will Win AFCON 2015

afconFormer Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo, has predicted that Ghana would win the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ongoing in Equatorial Guinea.

“I tip Ghana to win the tournament. As our brothers and long term allies, I would like them to win the tournament. Above all, I think they have a good team,” he said.

The Black Stars beat host country, Equatorial Guinea, in the semi-final to land in the final match against Ivory Coast who beat Algeria to progress.

Yobo, who confessed that he has not been following the tournament, feels the Black Stars led by former Chelsea Manager, Avram Grant, have shown enough resilience to win the trophy.

The Sunday evening duel would be a replay of the 1992 AFCON final, which saw Ivory Coast defeating Ghana to win in Senegal.

It is believed that the Black Stars, gunning for a fifth continental glory, would also be seeking revenge.

Ghanaian Striker, Jordan Ayew, has, however, said that the AFCON 2015 final match against Cote d’Ivoire would not be about revenge for the 1992 defeat that the Ghanaian team including his father – Abedi – suffered at the hands of the Elephants.

While expressing his hope for a win against the star studded Elephants, he said that the team’s focus would on ending their three decades of heartbreak in Africa’s biggest football prize.

Jordan insisted that he and his brother, Andre would not have revenge at the back of their minds when they walk on to the pitch to face Africa’s best player for four years, Yaya Toure; former Arsenal forward, Gervinho and other top players who make up the equally glory starved Ivorian team.

“We want to win the game on Sunday not because of 1992, but because we have not won an AFCON tournament since 1982,” Jordan said.