Corporate bodies, Private organisations and interested individuals have been asked to get involved in the development of sports particularly football at the grassroots.
The Chairman of Ekiti State Football Association, Mr Ayodeji Alabi, who made the appeal, said that the desired results would be difficult to achieve if the running of football and other sports generally was seen as sole responsibility of the government.
He pointed out that full involvement of both private organisations and individuals through huge investment in grassroots football development would help in the discovery and identification of raw talents that could be nurtured to stardom.
The Ekiti FA boss spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital at the weekend during a get-together organised by the management of Phoenix Athletic Sports Limited for members of the Ayodeji Ogunsakin-led state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).
He said the association was ready to support organisations as well as individuals with genuine interest to developing the youths of the state through the instrumentality of the game of football.
“It takes discipline and determination to make things work. It will interest you to see how best we can develop the game of football from the grassroots. Every genuine agenda geared towards youths and football development at the grassroots will get our support as the body that is saddled with the administration of the game in the state,” he stated.
He, however, stressed the need for the stakeholders to ensure that the game be runned the way it should.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Athletic Sports, Mr Bayo Olanlege, commended the sports journalists for their contributions towards the development of sports in the state.
Mr Olanlege, who bankrolled a national league side, Phoenix football Club stated that the mandate of the organisation was to hunt for young sports talents and groom them for national and international meets.
While noting that the support of the state FA was pivotal to generating ideas for football development in the state, he disclosed that plans were on by his organisation to float a basket ball team.
Mr Ayodeji expressed SWAN’s readiness to support the organisation in its efforts at revolutionising and developing sports in the state and the country at large.
The Sport Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Osun state chapter, has inducted the Governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola as the first Grand Patron of the association in the state.
The Governor, while giving his acceptance speech, said that he was honoured being installed as the first grand patron of the association.
Aregbesola tasked the journalists to be more active in sports reportage by asking questions when necessary.
Aregbesola said the honour and investiture was more of an assignment and said he was willing to take up the position and challenges attached.
“I am willing to be the grand patron of your association, though the economic situation now in the country is not palatable, I will play my part to support the association.
“Count me as a worthy member of the association because I will do everything I can to support you.” he said
He said sports could be used as a means of promoting social development and engagement, and tasked sport writers to contribute more as a tool of restructuring the society.
He reinstated his administration’s commitment to sporting activities like calisthenics in public and private schools in the state and the re-commencement of the “Walk to Live” programme.
Speaking at the investiture at the Governor’s office, Abeere, the state chairman of SWAN, Mr Adeyemi Aboderin, said that the Governor was being honoured and inducted, as recognition of his numerous contributions to the development of sports and healthy living in the state.
Aboderin described Aregbesola as the best sports loving governor in the country.
According to Aboderin, the tradition was that a performing governor should be inducted as Grand Patron of SWAN and that the governor would be the first beneficiary of such an honour in the history of the state.
He said the synergy created by this investiture means that a stronger relationship would be formed between the state SWAN and state government, which would create possible ways of moving sports forward in the state.
Speaking at the induction event, the National President of SWAN, Mr Honour Sirawoo, who was represented by the South-West Vice President of SWAN, Mr Boye Ajayi, said that the association was proud to have the Governor as the grand patron of the association in the state.
He said the Governor was being appreciated as a performing sports governor. He congratulated and also thanked him for taking up the role and position.
He said the association was waxing stronger in the state and stated that having the governor as the grand patron would boost the association’s strength.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of a plaque and medal by the National President and State Chairmen of SWAN to the Governor as the association’s state grand patron.
Foreign scouts are expected to witness the 2016 Governor’s Cup football competition in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.
The Director of Sports in the state, Abubakar Ago, who disclosed this at the draws of the competition, said it would kick off throughout the state on Monday, December 19.
The draws brought together football lovers and administrators within and outside Yobe State, including members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and club owners among others.
Mr Ago said that the 2016 competition has been expanded to give room for participation from private and individual teams, contrary to that of the previous years where only local government teams were allowed to participate.
He said that the aim of the competition was to uncover the hidden talents that abound in the state.
The sports director said five centers have been selected for the competition, adding that Potiskum, Gashua, Nguru and Geidam township stadia would all be occupied from December 20.
He further urged participating footballers to display their best performances as the competition would be witnessed by foreign scouts.
The opening match of the competition would be between Damaturu Local Government FC and a Damaturu metropolitan club, Ajari United.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Club Owners, Mr Alloy Chukwuemeka, says about eight corporate bodies are currently jostling to sponsor the Nigeria Premiership League for the next season.
Mr Chukwuemeka hinted reporters of the development on Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists in Osogbo, at the monthly Sport Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) stakeholders forum tagged “SWAN Platform”.
He said the NPFL Club Owners had received a proposal from the League Management Company (LMC) that the league would begin by first week of December tentatively.
The NPFL Club Owners Executive Secretary further explained that the proposal would be considered at the Annual General Meeting of the Club Owners.
The General Manager, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Football Club, Ilorin commended the LMC for turning the league around, saying “it is now attractive with many firms lobbying to be part of it.
“The LMC has turned around the league in Nigeria. The league is now attractive, and there are eight firms lobbying to be part of LMC. The LMC has set a standard and that is why lots of firms want to be part of the Nigeria Professional Football League”.
The football administrator while responding to questions on moving football and sports generally forward in the state, insisted that a return to school sports was the only way to identify exceptional talents.
He revealed that the Kwara Football Academy gave ABS FC 10 of its best players every season through a partnership between the two clubs.
The ABS FC Director of Football also recommended community ownership of football clubs, as practiced in other climes based on what he learnt from the LMC organised LaLiga Tour in Spain earlier in the year.
He said: “Immediately I came back from Spain, I went to my village (Ehime Mbano) and I met with my Local Government Chairman and we formed Mbano United. I bought jerseys and balls for the team, because in Spain their clubs are built on their culture. Football community ownership is very important.”
“I will recommend that for us to develop the sporting sector, it is imperative that we re-introduce sports in our schools. This way, new talents can be encouraged and assisted to get to higher heights in this profession”
On the controversy trailing the final Nigeria National League (NNL) match between ABS FC and Gateway FC, Mr Chukwuemeka countered claims that there were few security men at the stadium, maintaining that there were about 78 policemen at the stadium that day.
He condemned the action of the Ogun State Commissioner of Sports who he said ordered Gateway FC players not to play the match, stressing that it contravened the rules guiding the game and operations of the NNL.
Mr Chukwuemeka also expressed the belief that the Nigeria Football Federation would put in everything to ensure that the Super Eagles qualify for the World Cup.
He said not qualifying for Nations Cup back-to-back was still painful and applauded the efforts and impact of Super Eagles coach, Genart Rohr.
Mr Chukwuemeka, who is also a National Officer of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, thereafter commended Osun SWAN for the Monthly Stakeholders Forum and promised to take the programme to other states across the federation.
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has condemned Gateway United FC’s refusal to play against the Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC, citing the inadequacy of security personnel.
SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo, who made the censure, stated that whatever grievances they had could have been settled after the match.
He also criticised the interference of the Ogun State Commissioner for Sports whom he said directed the players against playing.
Gateway Refuse To Play
Spectators had arrived at the Ilorin Stadium as early as 3:00pm on Sunday to watch the all-important match where Gateway and ABS sought outright win to gain promotion to the Nigerian Professional Football League.
When the match officials and referee called out the two teams, it was only the ABS that came out to the pitch.
Despite several blowing of whistles by the referee, the Gateway players refused to come on the pitch as the officials waited till 4:30pm before awarding three goals and three points to the hosts.
The officials, led by the match commissioner, Ezra Zuma, took the decision after 30 minutes when ABS players and referees were already on the pitch.
With the resolution, the Ilorin side have 24 points and 21 goals to lead Group B2 of the lower league.
The General Manager of Gateway United FC, Tunji Onatolu, alleged that the ABS did not provide enough security, contrary to article Three-Four of the NNL and NFF which stated that a minimum of 50 security officials must be provided by the home club.
He also claimed that all the antics played by their host were pre-staged and pre-determined and vowed to challenge the decision of the match commissioner.
Rejecting the claims, ABS Director of Sports, Aloy Chukwuemeka, stated that the rule indicated that 50 security personnel should be provided for any match and that they provided about 70 security officials.
He purported that Gateway United had come to Ilorin with antics but were beaten ahead by the ABS FC.
Chukwuemeka, however, dedicated the victory to the proprietor of the club and the Nigerian Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, has described sports as a veritable tool for economic development, just as he called on financially-muscled Nigerians to invest in sports.
Mr Daniel made the remarks in Sagamu while playing host to members of the National Executive Committee of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) who were at his residence to pay him a courtesy visit.
He noted that sports can create employment, empowerment and above all, develop the society economically.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on well-meaning Nigerians who have the financial muscle, people like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr. Mike Adenuga and host of others to try as much as possible to invest in sports.
“I heard in the news some time ago that Alhaji Aliko Dangote wants to buy Arsenal Football Club. Well, he is a businessman, he must have seen the potential of making profit by acquiring the club but I want him to look inwards and consider having a Dangote Football Club in Nigeria.
“By doing this, there will be employment for some set of people and those depending on them for their daily needs will also benefit indirectly.
“It is also funny when I hear people say that sports does not bring any kind of profit when invested in. I remember when we hosted the Gateway Games in 2006, I think we recorded about 92 million Naira profit after the competition.
“Therefore, it is important to note here that sports as much as I know is one of the most profitable ventures. Aside the economic value attached to sports, it also reduces social vices in the society because whenever any sporting event is taking place, the environment becomes friendly and devoid of any form of criminality,” he said.
In his address, SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo, stated that the former governor’s tremendous achievements in the sports sector while in office prompted the council to visit him.
“We are here today (Friday) to let you know that all what you did to develop sports in Ogun State and Nigeria at large when you were serving as governor did not go unnoticed. And that is the reason we are here tell you that you are recognised and highly appreciated for your efforts.”
Sirawoo went on to announce Mr Daniel as the association’s national patron.
He, however, hinted that the formal investiture would be held at a later date and at the convenience of the recipient.
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Nasarawa State, Northcentral Nigeria, has honoured former House Committee Chairman in the State House of Assembly, Mr Othman Adams.
At a Valedictory match in honour of the Sports Icon, Mr. Adams was commended for his contribution in the development of Sports in Nasarawa.
Speaking at the match between SWAN team and Coaches Association in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, Mr Adams commended the public and private sector collaboration for the establishment of a Sport Development Fund.
He explained that it would ease the financial burden of the State Government.
The call for the establishment of the fund was also re-emphasized by stakeholders present at the valedictory match.
The chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Sports Writer Association of Nigeria, (SWAN), Fred Edoreh, has urged the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) congress members to take a position on who the right leader of the federation is.
He warned that if the case in court was not withdrawn before FIFA’s Friday’s deadline, the sanction that Nigerians were afraid of would come.
“FIFA is saying; “you have a way of settling our matters that is globally accepted. The more you go to court, the more you suffer FIFA’s ban and that is where we are”.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Monday, Mr Edoreh questioned how the NFF could avoid getting a FIFA ban, explaining that “one of FIFA’s decision would be centred on the fact that NFF decision to go to court is contrary to FIFA’s rule.
He blamed the legislators for the issues surrounding the NFF, stating that over the years, there had been two documents affecting the NFF status; the NFA Act, the NFF status and the refusal to harmonise the Act.
He said that the NFA act was not acceptable to FIFA although it is known by our law, and the NFF status that has been accepted by FIFA is not known by our law.
Mr Edoreh stressed the need for the two documents to be harmonised so could be used as a single document that is in line with the Nigerian Law.
He insisted that there should be a clear negotiation and understanding between the Chris Giwa led faction and the Amaju Pinnick group in the NFF in order not to attract FIFA’s ban.
Friday the 8th of February, 2013 was a grim day for the Ighile family, the management and staff of Channels Television, sports journalists, sports authorities and indeed the nation.
It was the day that Channels TV Sports Editor, Joseph Ighile died.
Mr Ighile only just returned from South Africa where he had been covering the on-going 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Aged 48 years, the late Ighile was a graduate of the then Bendel State University, now Edo State University, Ekpoma, where he studied English and Literature.
Joe’s sojourn in the media dates back to the early 90’s at the Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) where he was involved in youth programmes.
He joined Channels Television in 2003 as a reporter/producer and before his death was the head of the sports desk.
A multiple award winner and member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) media and publicity committee as well as the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), the late Ighile is survived by his wife, Ngozi, and two children; Favour and Mercy.
Joe’s infectious smile, his dedication to work, solid human relations and a positive disposition to life will remain indelible in our hearts and minds.
Burial arrangements will be announced by his family.