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SCRABBLE: $41,000 For Grabs, As PANASA President’s Cup, African Tourney Begin In Lagos

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Players across the world converge in Lagos, Nigeria to participate in the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup (PPC) and the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) where $41,000 has been set aside as prize money.

The inaugural editions of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup (PPC) and the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) begin Thursday morning at the Orchid Hotel, Ikota-Lekki and the Chrisland School also in Lekki, Lagos State.

Sports Marketing International (SMI) reports that $32,000 dollars is the prize money pool for the President’s Cup and $9,000 dollars has been set aside as prize money for the African Youth Scrabble Championship. The AYSC has lots of spot prizes and gift items ranging from Laptops to tablets and smartphones for the participants.

Over 225 players from Africa and America are competing for honours at the twin events that will last for four days. Players from countries such as Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, The Gambia, Uganda, the United States of America and host Nigeria will feature at the events.

The PANASA President’s Cup (PPC) is an elite one-category event open to scrabble players across the globe, while the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) is reserved for young players in Africa who are 19 years and under, with two categories to compete for, U-15 and U-19.

The governor of Turkana County Province of Kenya, His Excellency Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai Napotikan who is the special guest of honour will declare both Championships open beginning with the President’s Cup by 8am and the African Youth Scrabble Championship by 10am all within the Lekki axis of Lagos State.

The governor on arrival paid a courtesy visit to the Oba Oniru of Ireland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II and he also visited a frontline Pan-African educationist, Dr Mrs Winifred Awosika, the founder of the famous and prestigious Chrisland Schools.

On Saturday, after two scheduled rounds of games, the visiting young players will go on an excursion to landmark locations in the city of Aquatic Splendor like the National Museum, Lekki Conservation Park, Kalakuta Museum, Nike Arts Gallery and do some shopping too.

In a bid to encourage more female participation in the game of Scrabble, the Continental Governing Body of the game of words has earmarked special prizes for the best female at the end of the challenging and gruelling competition that will last for four days with 25 rounds of games.

In addition to the individual prizes, the top team will smile home with 1000 dollars. A team at the President’s Cup is made up of at least three players from the same country and it’s limited to only the African countries at the championship.

The winner of the President’s Cup will get 5,000 dollars and the Gbenga Ojofeitimi trophy, and SM Quartey trophy will be handed to the second prize winner and a cash prize of 2,500 dollars and 1,700 dollars and the Ojior Osikhena trophy goes to the third best player.

Nine rounds of games will be played on Day 1 of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup and the games start at 9am, each player has 25 minutes per round of game. It’s both PANASA and WESPA rated, and their rules apply in this Championship. The 2021 Collins Scrabble Words Dictionary is the reference material for the tournament.

Former African champion and winner of the Engineer Toke Aka National Jubilee Championship, Nsikak Etim is the President’s Cup number one seed, West Africa Scrabble champion and holder of the NSF Green Jacket Eta Karo is the second seed while Health Education student at the University of Lagos who is also the winner of third edition of Governor Douye Diri national championship, Enoch Nwali completes the top three.

The highest-ranked foreign player in the 135-man strong field that includes eight ladies is Kenya’s Allan Oyende at number 8 and Gitonga Nderitu another Kenyan at 15th while Uganda’s Edgar Odongkara is at number 20.

Ogun State-born coach and player Bukunmi Afolayan who is also into music is the highest-ranked female participant at number 40.

Kenya with 13 players has the largest contingent outside the host nation, Nigeria. Uganda is in Lagos for the President’s Cup will 11 players, 10 from Liberia and Ghana, the next host of the event is in town with a 7-man strong team.

Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia and the United States of America are represented by one wordsmith each at the President’s Cup (PPC) taking place at the serine and classy Orchid Hotel Ikota-Lekki in Lagos.

The top 20:

1 2353 NGA Nsikak Etim
2 2247 NGA Eta Karo
3 2209 NGA Enoch Nwali
4 2208 NGA Godwin Victor
5 2207 NGA Wellington Jighere
6 2188 NGA Dojo Oluwatimilehin
7 2150 NGA Emmanuel Umujose
8 2147 KEN Allan Oyende
9 2140 NGA John Aiyedun
10 2133 NGA Dennis Ikekeregor
11 2067 NGA Cyril Umebiye
12 2058 NGA Hakeem Olaribigbe
13 2048 NGA James Ewruje
14 2032 NGA Ezinore George
15 2029 KEN Gitonga Nderitu
16 2025 NGA Abiola Adegbola
17 2017 NGA Precious Igali
18 1999 NGA Olumide Oyejide
19 1955 NGA Anthony Ikolo
20 1992 UGA Edgar Odongkara

Six rounds of games will be decided in the African Youth Scrabble Championship on Day 1. 24 rounds of games will be played over four days of competition at the AYSC held at the prestigious Chrisland School Lekki.

In the U-19 category, nine Kenyans and 24 Nigerians will be vying for the top prize while three countries, host Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda are represented in the U-15 event, 12 Kenyans, three Ugandans and 46 Nigerians including 8-year-old scrabble whiz kid, Saviour Onazi.

The Scrabble feast will be brought to a befitting end on Sunday with the first PANASA Awards and Gala Night starting at 7pm Nigerian time. During the Gala Night. PANASA will unwrap the details of the next host of the President’s Cup, the African Youth Scrabble Championship and the dates for the African Scrabble Championship to be hosted by Sierra Leone next year among other plans and programs of the continental body of Scrabble.

The Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup (PPC) and the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) have enjoyed huge corporate and individual backing.

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Nigeria Premier League

Ebi Egbe Lauds Elegbeleye, Aluo On Improved Fortunes Of Nigerian Football

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Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football

Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football league, particularly, the NPFL and the NNL, ably led by Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye and George Aluo respectively.

According to Egbe, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimitchelle Sports Facilities Company, Elegbeleye, has turned the NPFL to an attractive brand and with huge crowds coming back to watch the matches.

“I’m very impressed with what Hon. Elegbeleye is doing with the NPFL. Standards of matches have improved tremendously and importantly, the crowds are coming back to the stadium to watch their favourite teams.”

Egbe was equally effusive in praises for the Chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, who he commended for bringing vitality and improved organisation to the NNL.

“And without a doubt, George Aluo, has improved the organisation and standard of the league. The ongoing NNL Super 8 is a testament to the fact that the league can only get better,” Egbe said.

He went ahead to admonish well placed individuals and corporate organisations to give more supports to the Nigerian local football bodies.

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Nigeria Premier League

10th Nigeria Pitch Awards: Sanwo-Olu, Elegbeleye, Soname, Finidi in the spotlight as ceremony holds on Saturday

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There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

Shina Phillips, chief organizer of the awards, said on Thursday that all is set for a ceremony that will be full of panache, glitz and glamour.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a memorable tenth edition of the awards. All is set, and we are in Uyo not only to put up a super-show, but to mobilize resources within our capacity to support the Super Eagles to victory in tomorrow’s match. As an organization, we will continue to genuinely appreciate the NFF, the Super Eagles, all our friends, enablers, affiliates and commercial partners, for their support over the past 10 years, and to promise that the values of transparency, integrity and credibility will never depart from the Nigeria Pitch Awards.”

Nominees have been picked in all 18 award categories, with the winners to be unveiled on Saturday. The award categories include Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Midfielder of the Year, Striker of the Year, Queen of the Pitch, King of the Pitch, Sam Okwaraji Award, Football Pitch, Football-Friendly Governor, Corporate Sponsor, alongside several honours for media representatives.

Goalkeeper of the Year: Kayode Bankole (Remo Stars); Amas Obasogie (Bendel Insurance); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

Defender of the Year: Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC); Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce SK)

Midfielder of the Year: Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC)

Striker of the Year: Robert Mizo (Bayelsa United); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Queen of the Pitch: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico de Madrid Femenino); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC)

King of the Pitch: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Emeka Obioma (Enyimba FC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Team of the Year: Super Falcons; Enyimba FC; Remo Stars

Coach of the Year: Daniel Ogunmodede (Remo Stars); Finidi George (Enyimba FC); Randy Waldrum (Super Falcons)

Sam Okwaraji Award: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Ahmed Musa; Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars)

State With The Best Grassroots Football Development Programme: Edo State; Delta State; Lagos State

Football Pitch of the Year: Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos; Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo

Football-Friendly Governor of the Year: His Excellency Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom State); His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State); His Excellency Godwin Obaseki (Edo State)

Corporate Sponsor of Football: Bet9ja (Sport Betting); GTI (Financial Services); MTN (Telecom)

Sportsmanship Award: Hon. Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye (Chairman, NPFL Board)

Football Journalist of the Year (Print): Christian Okpara (The Guardian); Charles Diya (New Telegraph); Johnny Edward (Punch Newspapers)

Football Journalist of the Year (TV): Miyen Akiri (TVC); Mozez Praiz (SuperSport); Cecilia Omorogbe (Channels TV)

Football Journalist of the Year (Radio): Olawale Adigun (Mainland FM); Yinka Oyedele (Brila 88.9 FM); Anthony Bekederemo (Brila 88.9 FM)

Football Journalist of the Year (Online): Samuel Ahmadu (Savid News); Tobi Adepoju (Oganla Media); Kunle Solaja (sportsvillagesquare.com)

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Nigeria Premier League

Eyimba FC International on expansionist mission- Ekwueme

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Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the

Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the implementation of an expansionist idea that would spread the club franchise, further past its current torrents, the club Sporting Director, ex intetnational , Ifeanyi Ekwueme has disclosed.

Ekwueme speaking in Kano last Tuesday,.further revealed that the club management under the pilot of Atlanta 96, Olympics football gold medalist, Kanu Nwankwo has embarked on the implementation of a newly designed development template that would stampede the influence of the club franchise on Nigerian, African and international football climes.

He said, Eyimba fc is a trademark that has excelled over time, Kanu Nwankwo regime currently at the helms of affairs at the club is building on the heroic achievements of the club by resorting to building bridges across Nigeria and beyond.

Ekwueme said ” we have signed partnership that involves exchange programmes, we are committed to coaches development mini and major projects

He further said ” we now have the requisite development structures, with our now in place youth football and semi professional talent development programmes , this is vital and critical.

” Eyimba is not a stagnant or zero football brand, we are a broad football brand, that is why, we are committed to partnerships that are results oriented and have them spread across Nigeria and extend same to the continent and beyond.

He averred that though there are challenges, the current leadership of the club is focused and committed towards surmounting the hurdles and posed to take the club to the zenith of club side football, where Eyimba fc is rightly believed to belong to.

Ekwueme appealed to the fans and their partners to keep faith with the Eyimba fc brand , stating that the club has witnessed enviable improvements in the area of football coorporate administration that he said is now yielding dividends and would continue to help the Aba football warlords to improve in the delivery of mandated club football services and business divdends expected by all stakeholders.

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