Ugbade Lists 26 Players for Golden Eaglets’ Campaign at U17 AFCON
By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja
Golden Eaglets Head Coach, Nduka Ugbade, yesterday in Abuja released a list of 26 players picked for the country’s participation in the 2023 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria.
The list has 16 players from various football academies across the country, while the rest 10 are from amateur clubsides.
Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, who are five-time world champions arrived in the Algeri an city of Constantine yesterday night for their final preparations for the competition.
The team was earlier scheduled to finalise their preparations in Germany, ahead of the competition billed for Saturday to May 19.
“Following complications which arose in the process of securing entry visa into Germany for a planned final training camp in that country, the NFF opted to send the squad earlier to Algeria for the final build-up.
“Constantine, the renowned city where the Eaglets will take on Morocco, Zambia and South Africa in Group B, is the choice,” Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said yesterday in a statement.
The Eaglets, whose coaching crew is headed by Nduka Ugbade, swept all before them to win the WAFU B Under-17 Championship in Cape Coast, Ghana in June.
They have since put on display tremendous firepower in their preparations for the continental showpiece.
After resuming camp mid-March following the break for the general elections, the Eaglets played 12 friendly matches at their FIFA Goal Project pitch base in Abuja.
They won 11 of the matches and drew the other one, scoring a total of 66 goals and conceding 14.
“We are going to Algeria with confidence but with level heads. We’re the champions of WAFU B, but in essence, nothing has been won.
“What matters now are winning a ticket to the FIFA World Cup and winning the Africa Cup. I believe we have the boys to do the job,” Ugbade was quoted as saying before the team departed Nigeria on Sunday.
Nigeria will launch their campaign for honours at the 12-team continental championship on April 30, against Zambia at the 22,000-capacity Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui.
They will then take on Morocco and South Africa in other matches in Group B.
The top four-placed teams in Algeria will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup finals scheduled for later this year.
The invited players are Richard Odoh, Yahaya Danjuma Lawali, Emmanuel Michael, Haruna Abdullahi, Tochukwu Joseph Ogboji, Jeremiah Oluwaseyi Olaleke, Umar Abubakar, Abubakar Idris Abdullahi, Precious Tonye Williams and Ifeoluwa Adewale Olowoporoku.
Others are Charles Adah Agada, Hope Yusuf Linus, Jubril Opeyemi Azeez, Anongu Isaac Aondoakaa, Israel Nwachukwu Usulor, Temiloluwa Oluwayimika Adelakin, Simon Karshe Cletus, Tochukwu Simeon Ogbadibo, Light Chijioke Eke, Favour Oluwasegun Daniel, Chijioke Julius Linus, Quadri Oluwatobiloba Adewale, Gift Ukeh Adie, Musa Oluwaseyi Akinfenwa, Usman Ajibola Owoyemi and Matthew Awodi Kingsley.
Nigeria Badminton Federation President, Orbih Elected Member, African Badminton Confederation
By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja
The president of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Francis Orbih has been elected as a council member of the Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA).
His election climaxed activities of the world Badminton Federation (BWF)congress, which held Thursday, in Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia.
Orbih, a Lawyer, had earlier lost in 2021, when he sought for a two-year tenure.
On Thursday, however, he won election for a a four-year tenure, longer than the two-year tenure he unsuccessfully sought in 2021.
In a statement in Abuja, Orbih said with his victory, Nigeria was back in the boardroom where decisions about the administration of the game of badminton in Africa are taken.
“Nigeria will definitely have a better voice and wwould be able to influencing decisions,” an obviously joyful Orbih stated.
In the election also, Tukebana Michel Bau of Seychelles retained his post as the BCA President as he was returned unopposed, while Kingsley Mulenga of Zambia, who defeated the incumbent Amine Zobiri of Algeria emerged as the Deputy President.
Botswana’s Mpiwa Bosenogile defeated the incumbent, Mrs. Chipo Zumbrani of Zimbabwe to become the Treasurer.
A total of 11 members out of 21 contestants were elected into council. They are include: Odette Assembe Engoulou (Cameron);Rajen Pultoo (MRI); Dr Hesham Fouad Mohamed El Tohamy (EGY); Jeanette Moneoang LESHOTA. (LES); Simon Mugabi (Uganda); Aubin Houndagnon ASSOGBA (BEN); Dro Honore Zolobe (CIV);Francis ORBIH (Nigeria); Mohamed Moncef Zemmouchi (Algeria); Micheal John Noone (South Africa) and Michael Shamsu Mustapha (SLE)
Sports Sector to get N80bn Under National Development Plan – Minister
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, says the sports sector will receive N80 billion in the next four years, under the Federal Government’s National Development Plan (NDP).
Dare said this in Abuja while receiving the “Outstanding Youth and Sports Minister” award, presented to him by the Executive Board of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), led by its President, Habu Gumel.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award was presented to the minister for his contributions to sports development in Nigeria and the Olympic movement.
Dare said that a percentage of the NDP fund for sports sector would go directly to sports federations since they were the main propellers of athletes’ success, which had now been attributed to him.
“I salute the resilience of the sports federations. Their sacrifices and work in developing sports in Nigeria deserve commendation.
“In spite of the challenges of funding, they still turn up for international competitions, thereby giving the athletes the needed exposure and training required to compete at the elite level.
“We all know that without these athletes, nothing is possible in sports, while there will be no achievements,” he said.
The minister also identified funding as one of the biggest challenges of sports development in Nigeria, a problem, he said that the newly-approved National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) would alleviate.
“The incentives outlined in the Sports as Business Policy have been approved and will be announced soon.
“The technical committee has put finishing touches to the document and it will become fully operational soon.
“This will drive private sector support for sports and there will be a massive turnaround, as the funding issue will be confronted headlong.
“In the last four years, the sports ministry had moved from being a third tier ministry to being a first tier one.
“Just a few weeks back, the Federal Government approved N2.4 billon for a High Performance Centre to be established inside the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
“Before then, there was the Anti Doping Centre to be established in Nsukka, Enugu State,” he said.
Dare commended NOC for offering scholarships to many Nigerian athletes and combining its participation in sports with education.
Earlier, Gumel commended the minister for his numerous achievements, some of which, he said, included: the emergence of the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) and the ‘Adopt Initiative’.
Other achievements, he said, were the revamping of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), payment of monthly stipends to the families of departed sports icons as well as provision of financial support to ailing former and active athletes.
According to the NOC president, another remarkable legacy is the delivery of the headquarters and secretariat of Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) by the federal government.
He recalled that the ANOCA secretariat was inaugurated by the President of International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr Thomas Bach.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, thanked the minister for his ‘wonderful’ performance in office.
Abubakar, while wishing Dare well in his future endeavours, called for stronger cooperation between the ministry and the Olympic family. (NAN)
Head of French Olympic Committee Quits
French Olympic Committee chief, Brigitte Henriques, has stepped down, just over a year before the Paris Summer Games begin in late July 2024.
She announced her decision at a board meeting on Thursday, the committee announced.
French media reports said there had been a power struggle within the organisation.
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