Happy New Year to all Sports Fans and Lovers. This is our first Sports Roundup This new year .
In Brief ::::………
Namibia 2014: Falcons reach final round, as Sierra Leone withdraws
NASCOM, YSFON plan football tourney for schools
NFF appraises clubs of conditions for 2014 Inter-Club competitions
Fashola receives Commonwealth Baton, gets IOC honour
FIFA secretary general Valcke rules out Qatar 2022 summer World Cup
NTTF, ITTF to sign agreement on Lagos World Tour in Dubai
Maigari bags Sports Achiever of the Year award
Now in Details click here …..
1.Namibia 2014: Falcons reach final round, as Sierra Leone withdraws
Nigeria’s Super Falcons have reached the final round of qualifying series for the 2014 African Women Championship, after Sierra Leone announced her withdrawal from the clash with the six-time African champions.
Both teams were due to square off in a qualifying duel in February but Sierra Leone’s voluntary exit means the Falcons will now have to waitfor the winner of the fixture between Kenya and Rwanda to know their final round opponents.
In a letter dated 9th January, addressed to the General Secretary of the Confederation of African Football and copied the NFF, the Acting General Secretary of the Sierra Leone Football Association wrote: “I write with regrets to inform you of our decision to withdraw our National Female football team from participating in the aforementioned Championship scheduled to kick off mid-February 2014.
“This decision which was reached at our last Executive Committee is due to the present financial status of our Football Association which makes it difficult to honour our proposed fixture against Nigeria in February this year.”
It would be recalled that the U-20 Women National Team, Falconets walloped their counterparts from Sierra Leone 10-0 in Abuja in the first round of their 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualification series in October 2013, and followed up with a 6-0 hammering of their hosts in Freetown on 9th November.
The 9th African Women Championship finals will be held in Namibia between 11th – 25th October, 2014.
2. NASCOM, YSFON plan football tournament for schools
In continuation of its efforts to encourage age grade tournament in schools, National Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM) and Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) are planning to stage a national football tournament in schools.
According to NASCOM Chairman, Yemi Idowu, the idea of the competition is in line with the ideals of the committee, which is collaborating with component bodies in executing their programmes. YSFON is a component body of NASCOM.
“We just finished the 2013 National School Sports Festival and it will be ideal for us to keep up the momentum by also supporting YSFON in its programmes and that is why we want to partner them to organize this tournament for school age children. You will recall that we had always been emphasising that NASCOM is not going to organize competitions but that we will support component bodies by creating conducive environment for them to carry out their programmes,” Idowu said.
The NASCOM boss however, said that the modalities for the competition would be decided by YSFON while children across the country have equal opportunity to be part of the competition because not all them are in schools in certain parts of the country.
Already, Idowu said under the present dispensation of the National Sports Commission (NSC), an enabling environment has been created for school age sports to thrive in the country.
“Our target based on the mandate given to the committee by the NSC is to focus on schools and organization of competitions for school children in order to enhance talent identification. For us at NASCOM, we believe that regular competitions for students will help the country to quickly identify talented children, who will in near future become world-beaters. So we are going to work closely with YSFON to ensure that the arrangement for the tournament begins so that it will not affect the academics calendar in schools,” he added.
“We are already discussing with some potential sponsors to persuade them on the benefits of sponsoring the competition. They will definitely get good publicity from supporting a NASCOM programme. We are also getting ready for the 2014 National School Sports festival now,” Idowu said.
YSFON President, Nasir Gawuna confirmed this, saying that this is part of programme of the body, as preparations are top gear to put machinery in place for the tournament.
“As a member of NASCOM board, we have started putting proposal together to ensure that this tournament is organized and I want to assure you that when everything is set we will make it known including the modalities for the competition,” YSFON boss said.
3. NFF appraises clubs of conditions for 2014 Inter-Club competitions
The Nigeria Football Federation has fully briefed all clubs representing Nigeria in Inter-Club competitions this year of the various conditions and regulations they must abide with.
In a meeting at the NFF Secretariat on Monday, chaired by Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF informed the clubs that they must ensure genuine medical certificates of fitness for all their
registered players, secure insurance cover for all players, work hand-in-hand with their State FA, provide standard lush-green pitch, pay the way of CAF-appointed match officials, arrange accommodation
and local transportation for opponents and CAF-appointed match officials, provide clean dressing rooms and ensure adequate security and medical provisions before, during and after each home match.
“For your away trips, you must work together with the NFF to secure your visas in good time and must be of good conduct in everything you do, because those you are going to play away will still come and play you at home,” Sanusi said.
He also told the clubs that they must provide air transportation for the visiting opponents for any distance that is superior to 200kilometres, in line with CAF regulation.
Also at the meeting were NFF’s Assistant Director (Media), Ademola Olajire, Assistant Director/Head of International, Bola Oyeyode, Head of Inter-Clubs, Emmanuel Adesanya and Danlami Alanana of the Competitions department.
Enyimba FC of Aba was represented by Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu (chairman), Shedrack Odoemenam and Okey Nwabueke while Bayelsa United had Odogu Akpofini (chairman) and Thelma Agara in attendance. Kano Pillars was represented by Abba Galadima, Zakari Akilu Bichi and Usman Yahaya and Warri Wolves by Lawrence Omohwo.
Enyimba FC and Kano Pillars will fly the country’s flag in the CAF Champions League, with Bayelsa United and Warri Wolves seeking glory in the CAF Confederation Cup.
3. Fashola receives Commonwealth Baton, gets IOC honour
Lagos State was the last point of call for the Commonwealth Baton as Governor Babatunde Fashola received the delegation of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Tuesday as part of the baton tour of Nigeria.
Also, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) bestowed the highest honour on the governor as part of the 150 years anniversary of the modern Olympics.
According to the representative of (CGF), Sharad Rao, the baton tour across Commonwealth nations was lauched by the Queen of England in October 2013 with the final berthing in Scotland during the Commonwealth Games in July.
He described Nigeria as an important country in Commonwealth considering the performance of Nigeria at the games.
However, IOC plague to Fashola was presented by the President, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Sani Ndanusa, who said among the four outstanding individuals honoured across the globe based on his support for sports both in terms of providing facilities and organizing tournaments.
The NOC boss said that Lagos State has been able to stage 10 international sports tournaments, which he admitted was of international standard.
He added all these qualified the governor to be considered for the honour.
According to the Ndanusa, the choice of the governor was based on his immense support and contribution to sports development in the country.
“The IOC trophy is presented to an outstanding individual, who has contributed immensely to sports in a particular country. Four outstanding individuals are expected to get this award this year and Governor Fashola has been chosen as one of the recipients of the trophy, which also marked the 150 years of Modern Olympics. IOC also considered Fashola’s contribution particularly his involvement in sports as a former athlete in bestowing him the honour of the IOC Trophy.
In his response, Fashola, commended the CGF for its efforts to united the globe through the games, adding that efforts must be made by every nation to provide quality service to its citizenry.
He described the IOC award as a confirmation of the performance of the state Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development led by its commissioner, Wahid Oshodi and his team.
4. FIFA secretary general Valcke rules out Qatar 2022 summer World Cup
The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup will not be played in the summer months, world football’s governing body secretary general Jérôme Valcke announced.
President Sepp Blatter had already said that the showpiece tournament could only take place in November and December if it was to be moved from its traditional slot in June and July to avoid the searing heat in the Gulf, as he promised the event would not clash with that year’s Winter Olympics – which are likely to be held in the February.
However, Qatar 2022 – which was awarded the competition in 2010 – had remained hopeful that it could host the World Cup in the summer with the introduction of air-cooling technology in each venue.
But Valcke has now completely ruled out the prospect, insisting that the matches will be played between November 15 and January 15.
FIFA did, however, quickly move to play down Valcke’s comments, claiming that he had only been expressing “his view”.
It also stressed that no final decision on the dates for the World Cup will be made until after Brazil 2014 and only after a thorough consultation process involving all stakeholders.
European Professional Football League (EPFL) chair Frédéric Thiriez also added his voice to reiterate that “nothing new under the sun” had been revealed by Valcke.
UEFA already offered its backing to a winter World Cup when its members agreed at its Executive Committee meeting last year that matches could not be played in the Arab state during the summer because of the heat.
5. NTTF, ITTF to sign agreement on Lagos World Tour in Dubai
To officially seal the hosting of the Lagos World Tour, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) will this week in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sign the agreement on the tournament.
All the countries hosting the 2014 World Tour are expected to be present at the14th ITTF World Tour Grand Finals to conclude the arrangement for the championships.
NTTF will be led by its president, Wahid Oshodi while officials of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) led by its president, Khaled El-Salhy and its vice president, Olabanji Oladapo will also be in attendance to witness the agreement singing.
Speaking on the importance of the event, Oladapo said this is the final confirmation to the hosting nations in terms of the equipment and other modalities for the World Tour.
“I want to say this is the final step at confirming that any nation is hosting the World Tour. The tour is one of the qualification avenues for players to qualify to play in the World Tour Finals. So it is necessary that the presence of NTTF especially its president is required at the sign ceremony holding this week in Dubai. We as executive of ATTF will also be present at the event and we are hoping that this will open more opportunities for Nigeria,” the ATTF boss said.
He added: “The first Lagos Classics had opened the door for so many opportunities to Nigeria and like someone said to me that they thought that Nigeria was dead in terms of table tennis and that with the staging of the Lagos Classics, he was shocked at the way things are going. In fact, with the speed that we came out, it was as if we are waiting for this. That is exactly the way I want to define it that even up to the president of the ITTF, Adam Sharara, his comments, writings, and discussions has been encouraging. He said the fire is back in Nigeria and I am sure with the leadership, cooperation and advise of all of us, things will get better. ITTF sees Nigeria now as a flying country in terms of table tennis.”
He however, expressed optimistic that Lagos is capable to stage the World Tour come June this year.
“I want to say publicly that on behalf of the leadership of the table tennis community in Nigeria and the leadership of the world table tennis led by Adam Sharara, we are grateful to the Lagos State government for the opportunity they provided for the Lagos classics and the forthcoming Lagos World Tour this year, which is going to dovetailed into Africa Top 16,” Oladapo said.
It will be recalled that the NTTF and ATTF finalized the arrangement for the Africa Top 16 Cup holding in Lagos as well as during the last World Junior Championships in Rabat, Morocco.
6. Maigari bags Sports Achiever of the Year award
For the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, the tap of awards and honours is running at full strength.
At the weekend, the Association of Sports Veterans of Nigeria wrote to intimate Maigari of his imminent conferment with the award of Sports Achiever of the Year 2013, at the association’s traditional End-Of-The-Year get-together, taking place in Lagos on Friday this week.
Presenting the letter to Maigari in his office, General Secretary of
the association, Mr. Paul Bassey, noted that in its 10 years of
existence, the Veterans have not conferred award on any person.
“This will be the first time the Association will be conferring an
honour on any one, since it came into existence 10 years ago. The
reason is not far-fetched. As an interventionist body whose members
boast of years of invaluable experience, we have occupied ourselvesd
with behind-the-scene offer of pieces of advice and intervene when
necessary towards the development of sports in Nigeria.
“However, the monumental achievements of the Nigeria Football
Federation under your leadership has warranted this first in our modus
operandi,” Bassey told Maigari.
Maigari graciously accepted the award while praising the efforts of
the Veterans in intervening when necessary to see to the genuine
development of sports in Nigeria. He also promised to be personally
present at the Veterans’ get-together to receive the honour.