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Nigerian Youngster Eyes Tennis Stardom At WTA, US Open



An under-16 tennis player, basking in the euphoria of her victory at the just concluded Adewale Isa Foundation (AIF) 4th National Junior Tennis Championships, is aiming high already, saying that she is looking forward to making it big in the sport someday.

Khadijat Mohammed was outstanding in her match against her opponent Bright Emmanuel whom she defeated in a straight set of 6-4, 6-3 in the U-16 girl’s final in the game played at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.

Speaking on her victory, an elated Khadijat, who is looking forward to playing in the WTA, US Open and other Grand Slams in the next three to four years, admitted that it was not an easy final for her, as Bright gave her a run for her money.

She also commended the family of the late Alhaji Adewale Isa for making the championship possible.

“I feel really happy and grateful. I want to say a big thank you to the sponsors (Alhaja Olayinka Adigun and Nurudeen Isa), and a big thank you to my coaches and everybody who supported me.

“It was not an easy final for me because Bright actually gave problems in the early part of the first set and towards the end of the second set. Honestly, she is a really good player and made me work hard for my victory.

“Hopefully, in the next three to four years, I see myself playing in the WTAs, US Open and other Grand Slams,” she said.

Meanwhile, Aina Henry emerged champion in the U-16 boy’s final as he outplayed Awe Damilare in another straight-set 6-2, 6-2.

And for Aina, his victory was made possible by hard work and the hunger to achieve success against the best.

“For sure I’m really excited to have emerged champions in the tournament due to hard work. I was focused and trained regularly for it,” he said.

Speaking at the end of the championship, the daughter of the late Alhaji Isa, Alhaja Olayinka Adigun nee Isa admitted she was overwhelmed with the turnout of participants in this year’s edition and looks forward to a more significant championship next year.

She urged corporate Nigeria to partner with the Adewale Isa Foundation in taking Nigeria’s tennis to the next level.

In the U-14 events, Holzendorff Lerelay beat Benjamin Ndifreke 5-4, 2-4, 10-8 to win the girls title, while Amasiani Chukwudubem lost the boys final to Shamsideen Bello, who won the game by 4-1, 4-2.

For the girls U-12, Nana Roseline outplayed Kwange Emmanuel 5-3,2-4, 10-4, while Michael Joel saw off Ubiebi Peter 4-2, 5-3 to win the boy’s title.

All the finalists were rewarded with different prizes ranging from bags, rackets and other tennis equipment with the champions receiving trophies in addition.

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NPFL introduces Random Dope Tests for Players




The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has moved to curb possible existence of drug abuse by players in the league.

NPFL Chairman, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye said random dope tests would be conducted in the weeks ahead following the acquisition of testing kits from the United Kingdom.

NPFL Chairman, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye;

“We are committed to joining the NFF, CAF, FIFA and the global campaign for eradication of illicit substance use in sports and this will commence soon with random tests of our players.

“We are poised to arrest and stamp out illicit drugs use in the league where it exists and we plan to collaborate with relevant government agencies to launch an enlightenment campaign which will include displays on our MatchDay stadium boards and media channels.”

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Gusau says NFF working diligently to ensure Eagles, Falcons, others attain greater heights




 President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau on Tuesday disclosed that the football-governing body is working assiduously to ensure that all the National Teams perform much better in their competitions in the next one year, than they have done in the past year.

He made this pledge while reviewing the activities of the NFF and the teams in one year of his Board in office, and also articulating expectations for the next one year.

 While highlighting the achievements of the past year, which included a first-ever podium finish at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, quarter-final performance of the Flying Eagles at the FIFA U20 World Cup, qualification of the Super Eagles to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and best-ever outing by the Super Falcons at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Gusau asserverated that the Board and Secretariat have worked in tandem to remove toxicity from the system and enable a more conducive environment for the game in the country.

 “One of our priorities on coming into office was to ensure that the football environment was cleansed of so much toxicity that had threatened the health of the game and made some persons feel unwelcome in the system. We have tried our best to give everyone a sense of belonging with a policy of inclusiveness.

“Off the pitch, we are proud of the work of the Interim Management Committee that we constituted to organize the last NPFL League Season, which was commended by all stakeholders, and we also feel fulfilled about the constitution of the Boards of the NNL, NWFL and NLO with vibrant, knowledgeable and competent individuals who are capable of taking the leagues to the next level. Elections into the State FAs have also been largely peaceful and successful.”

 Gusau said his board will work assiduously and diligently with the secretariat and the Federal Ministry of Sports Development to see the Super Eagles off to a great start in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying series and to win the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire early next year.

 “We also want to see the Super Falcons reclaim their African title and return to the Women Olympic Football Tournament. Our expectations include making good progress in our plan for hostel accommodation and some playing pitches for the National Teams, through the FIFA Forward 3.0 program, and also see that the U17 and U20 Women National Teams achieve their best-ever outings at their different World Cups next year.

“We are working already with the new NPFL Board to grow the NPFL into the product that all administrators and stakeholders desire, and also with the boards of the other Leagues to improve the state of our domestic football. To achieve all these, we need money, so we are also looking to work even harder to grow our revenue base through aggressive marketing drive.”

The NFF boss said his team will also not allow any FIFA window for friendly matches to go unutilized. “As you can see, we have arranged two matches for the Super Eagles in this month’s window, against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique. Mozambique is in southern Africa where three of our opponents in the World Cup qualifiers, namely Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa also are. Playing Mozambique is a good opportunity for the team to have a sneak preview of what to expect against these three teams.”

Also at the parley were NFF Executive Committee Members H. E. Ali Silas Agara and Mr. George Aluo; NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi; Chairman of Anambra State FA, Chikelue Iloenyosi; NFF Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire; Director of Competitions, Ruth David and; Head of Member Associations, Ali Abubakar Muhammad.

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Attairu Hails Team Kwara Exploits At Asaba 2023 NYG




Hon. Umar Mohammed Attairu, the immediate past Special Adviser, Youth and Sports Development to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has joined good people of the state to congratulate Team Kwara for better performances at the just concluded 7th National Youth Game at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba in Delta State.

In a congratulatory message, Attairu said ” Honestly, this is a brilliant performance from Team Kwara. After about a week of intense sports activities, rivalries keenly contested by all the participating Athletes across the State, the desire of my principal Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to see Team Kwara either sustain their stand or improve the status on the National log at the 7th NYG Edition in faraway Asaba in Delta State came to pass by winning 13 Gold Medals, 13 Silver Medals and 9 Bronze Medals in various events placing them 5th on the log.”

“No doubt Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has spoken loud and clear by showing the pathway to greatness in words, quality investment in critical Sports infrastructure of international standard, reorganization, reward system for various participating Athletes representing the state in the last four years and a practical example was when two Kwara Athletes of NSF were rewarded with two brand new cars and various cash prizes accordingly early this year.

“I want to sincerely congratulate the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Sports Commission Mallam Bolakale Magaji, entire staff of the Commission, all the participating Athletes from Kwara State, coaches, Association Executives for justifying the confidence of my principal Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

“Honestly, the Governor, members of the Executive Council and relevant stakeholders in Sports industry are proud of you and your performance.

“Going forward, i want to urge you to resist all forms of distractions, continue to strive for greatness on and off the field and to further reassure all our participating Athletes that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is committed to your progressive development to becoming a core professional and relevant stakeholder of his continual support.”

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