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Five-year After, SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit Returns to Birmimgham

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The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit is to return after a five-year absence in Birmingham next April, it has been announced.
The event is due to take place between April 7 and 11 in the English city which last year hosted a successful Commonwealth Games.

It will be held in Birmingham’s world acclaimed International Convention Centre (ICC) in the heart of the city.

It will be the first time the event has been held since it took place in the Gold Coast in 2019.

First, Chinese capital Beijing and then Olympic capital Lausanne in Switzerland had been due to stage the 2020 edition, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to it being cancelled altogether.

Yekaterinburg was first supposed to host the summit in May 2021, before it was rescheduled to November 2021, and then again to May 2022 before being taken away from Russia following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

It will be only the second time the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit has been held in the United Kingdom following London in 2011, the year before the country’s capital hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“I can think of no better place than the West Midlands to build on the momentum of the brilliant Birmingham Commonwealth Games by hosting SportAccord.

“A city of inventions, iconic landmarks and firsts, Birmingham’s rich tapestry of history, heritage and culture will provide a unique delegate experience.

“With superb facilities, as well as accommodation all highly accessible within a square mile, sports leaders and decision makers can focus on what really matters in this new era for sport – unique networking and valuable insights from a dynamic line-up of world-class speakers.

“We look forward to bringing the magic of SportAccord to Birmingham in 2024.”

Last year, Ferriani had expressed his “dream” to have Vladimir Putin join fellow political leaders Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in attending the key international sport convention.

The International Olympic Committee member and President of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation President revealed he had “a vision” for SportAccord of the Russian, United States and Chinese heads of state attending to share their thoughts on sport.

The SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit will mark the biggest gathering of Olympic leaders, officials and sports since the city hosted the 97th edition of the International Olympic Committee Session in 1991, which also took place at the ICC.

That event was opened by the late Queen Elizabeth II and was notable for the selection of Nagano as host of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and the election as IOC members of future Presidents Jacques Rogge and Thomas Bach.

That Session also played a part in further augmenting the rapidly growing momentum behind moves to allow South Africa back into the Olympic Games.

IOC members gave the 11-member Executive Board and IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch the authority to readmit South Africa once the last pillars of apartheid had been removed.

As well as being a vital part of the build-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, next year’s event is expected to see extensive lobbying as the campaign to succeed Bach as IOC President in 2025 intensifies.

For Birmingham, it will be another chance to shine on the world stage after last year’s Commonwealth Games.

“We all know how incredible the Commonwealth Games was for the West Midlands, but last year’s spectacle must be the start of a new sporting journey for our region – not the end,” Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said.

“If we want to keep hosting the world’s biggest sporting events then showcasing our region to sport’s global decision makers is mission critical.

“That’s why this SportAccord conference is so important – and why I’m delighted we’ve been able to pull it off.

“This is the first time the conference has been held in the UK for over a decade, and the last host – Australia’s Gold Coast – secured the 2032 Olympic Games.

“There is no question therefore just what a major coup this is for the West Midlands, and we now must ensure we make the most of the opportunity and use it as a springboard for our future.”

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Nigerian League

Dreams FC land in Uyo for crunch clash with Rivers United

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Ghanaian club, Dreams FC have arrived Uyo for their CAF Confederation Cup clash with Rivers United.

Abdul Karim Zito’s side top the Group C table with 12 points from five games.

The Ghanaian FA Cup champions need just a point from the game to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Rivers United occupy third position in the group with nine points from same number of matches and just 1-0 win will be enough for the Port Harcourt club to qualify for the knockout round.

The encounter is slated for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Sunday.

Tunisia’s Club Africain and Academica do Lobito of Angola will clash in the other group game.

 

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Nigerian League

StarTimes to air four NPFL games weekly

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StarTimes has increased its weekly live broadcast of Nigeria Professional Football League matches to four from February, instead of the usual two live matches per week.

The Pay-TV firm said fans should brace themselves for an electrifying weekend as the NPFL serves scintillating fixtures on Beta Sports channel 244 on StarTimes.

As the sun sets on Saturday (today) at 5:30pm, Remo Stars take on Bayelsa United. Remo, renowned for their attacking flair, aim to extend their winning streak, while Bayelsa, hungry for points, will be out to play party spoilers.

Also, Doma United square off against Sporting Lagos on Monday. The stakes are high as both teams jostle for mid-table supremacy.

Midweek, two matches were already aired live. Some of the other matches scheduled for this weekend like the Gombe United vs Shooting Stars match have been rescheduled to Tuesday.

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NPFL U-17 Youth League: Elegbeleye Reveals Major Reason Behind Programme Creation

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The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has revealed that the major reason for making inroads into the NPFL Youth League is to have a pool of players the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) can consider for international youth tournaments.

At a media parley in Benin, venue of the maiden edition of NPFL Youth League Playoff, NFF 2nd Vice-Chairman and NPFL Chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye also said the league body has picked some former Super Eagles players whose recommendation would be relied upon to assemble a solid structure for the junior national teams.

“Nigeria have an enviable record of winning the U-16 World Cup on five occasions. However, we couldn’t even qualify from Africa the last time the competition was held due to our lack of planning.

Now that we know that without good planning, you can’t get result, we decided to come up with the idea of the NPFL Youth League exclusively for players in the elite league.

With that, we hope to have a pool of talented players where NFF can pick for U-17 Africa Cup of Nations or FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

He insisted that NPFL should be the main focus of such players.

Four ex-Nigeria International players were unveiled as brand ambassadors.

They are current Super Eagles coordinator Patrick Paschal; Nigeria’s third highest scorer of all time, Yakubu Aiyegbeni; Seyi Olofinjana, a chemical engineer and NFF technical director, Augustine Eguavoen.

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