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Director General Gafaar Praises Performances Of Lagos Athletes

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As the competition enters its fifth day on Wednesday, the Director General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafaar, commended the performances of the players of the Lagos team during the ongoing 7th National Youth Games in Asaba, Delta State.

Gafaar said the results released on Tuesday after the day’s proceedings showed that all athletes were good ambassadors for the state, adding that more medals would be won as the tournament progressed.

“I am satisfied with the results of my players so far. They make us proud. I think they are responding very well to what we have thrown at them through good training,” he said.

The DG highlighted the contribution of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whose assistance helped make the trip to the Games successful and possible,

According to him, the generosity of the Governor has shown that he is driving us to this point, and I am happy that the children are reciprocating with their achievements and showing our dear governor that he is not supporting them for nothing.

“As a responsible father, he was very supportive in everything we did,” he said.

Gafaar highlighted the rule-abiding policy in Lagos that enabled most members of the Lagos squad to overcome screening hurdles before the start of the tournament on Saturday.

“Lagos shows class in everything we do. That’s why we call ourselves a “Center of Excellence”. We will maintain our profile. We know that most athletes are getting older and there should be a program to replace older athletes. This is why we are so committed to dedicating more resources to this development program.

“Everyone knows that in Lagos State we do not cut corners on costs. Our development program policy is realistic, and we must ensure that the rules of the game are followed scrupulously and to the letter.

Gafaar also revealed the mutual working relationship between the Sports Commission and various clubs in Lagos and commended the clubs for supporting the Commission to ensure a successful performance at the 7th National Youth Games.

“I must commend Ikoyi Club, Lagos Country Club in Ikeja and other private clubs in Lagos who believe in our grassroots programs. They supported our public-private partnership to promote sports development in the state.

“We create a strong synergy with our stakeholders, especially parents. I would like to congratulate all the parents of these children for believing in us and sending their children to take part in the Youth Games. I’m glad some of them are here. They have come from Lagos to see for themselves, and I think they are happy to see their children making the entire state proud. I must say that I really appreciate all the parents for their support,” said Gafaar.

Team Lagos are second on the official medal table as at Tuesday night with 12 gold, 9 silver and 8 bronze behind Delta who are leading with 21 gold, 14 silver and 9 bronze, while Team Bayelsa are in the third position with 9 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze medals.

The action continues across sports at various centres on Wednesday.

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National Anti-Doping Bill 2024: Sports Minister applauds Tinubu’s foresightedness

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The Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh salutes President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for placing premium on the National Anti-Doping Bill , thereby giving the Nation a reputation.

The transmission of the Anti-doping Bill 2024 to the National Assembly and the accelerated passage of same remains a landmark achievement of this administration. It is a show of the courageous and bold leadership of the president, a final and appropriate response to the perennial issues of doping that have characterized Nigeria’s relationship with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

Senator John Owan Enoh the sports minister always made it clear that this administration was greeted with WADA issuing a notice to ban Nigeria from International Competitions which degenerated to the point that the agency took Nigeria to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Amidst other non-compliant issues, the main challenge was Nigeria’s inability to domesticate the National Anti-doping Law and setting up a National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) as part of its obligation having signed the international convention in 1999.

“ for years,the country has grappled with meeting up to the expectations of the World Anti-Doping Organization ,despite being a foundational signatory for 25 years.
Nigeria has been in the eye of the storm due to its inability to domesticate the Anti-Doping Law with the backing of parliament.
I must thank our sports loving president for his foresight immediately the issues were brought before him .His foresight and actions have put the country on the right path in sports.
I also appreciate the National Assembly for the passage of the bill ,consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters during plenary.
The county will no longer have doubts of its participation in global sporting events, eligibility to host sports competitions amongst other perennial issues” the Sports Minister said.

This welcome development comes weeks before the country’s participation at the Paris Olympics 2024.

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Bafana Bafana Must Fall, Sports Minister Charges Super Eagles

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Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, on Monday, rallied support of critical stakeholders and Nigerians for Finidi George,

With the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in full swing, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has called on the Super Eagles to shift their focus from their recent African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and concentrate on the crucial task of securing a spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The Super Eagles are set to face Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Friday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, and Senator Enoh stated that Nigeria must approach the tie as a make-or-break one, as victory will put the team back on track for qualification.

“The FIFA World Cup is the biggest showpiece in football,” Senator Enoh emphasized. “We cannot afford to miss out on the World Cup again. The disappointment of missing the last tournament, especially after the disappointing home match against the Black Stars, must drive us to ensure we qualify this time.”

Senator Enoh urged all stakeholders, including players, coaches, and support staff, to be fully committed to the qualification campaign. “All hands must be on deck to ensure the team qualifies for the World Cup,” he stressed. “I urge the players to get the job done in the first half of the game by scoring early goals, so they are not under pressure in the second half.”

“The upcoming match against South Africa is critical,” Senator Enoh said. “The players need to put the AFCON glory behind them and concentrate fully on this task. Early goals will be key to taking control of the game and ensuring a less pressured second half.”

Senator Enoh concluded by expressing confidence in the Super Eagles’ ability to rise to the occasion and secure a much-needed victory. “We have the talent, the passion, and the support of millions of Nigerians. Let’s channel that into a winning performance and take a significant step towards World Cup qualification.”

The match will kick off at 8 p.m. local time on Friday, June 7, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo. Nigeria currently has two points from two games and sits third in their group of six teams.

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South Africa coach names Super Eagles winger as danger man ahead of WCQ

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South Africa coach, Hugo Broos, has named Super Eagles and Atalanta winger, Ademola Olajade Lookman as the danger man for Nigeria ahead of both teams’ clash this evening, Soccernet.ng reports.

Both sides met in the semi-final of the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast, with the Super Eagles emerging victorious after 120 minutes of intense football. Stanley Nwabali was the hero, denying Bafana Bafana twice from twelve yards.

Lookman is a leading candidate for the CAF Player of the Year Award, after a stellar season with Atalanta, getting to the Copa Italia final, and scoring a hat-trick against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League final.

Broos, speaking in his presser ahead of their game against Nigeria, highlighted the Atalanta man as the threat for his side but admitted their focus as a team won’t be on the former Leicester City forward.

“Obviously, the (Nigeria) danger man is Ademola Lookman, but we are not focusing on that. We are focusing on our game, we have the ability and we have proven that at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire,” the Belgian said in quotes revealed by Score Nigeria.

Lookman is primed to step up for the Super Eagles of Nigeria against South Africa tonight, alongside Victor Boniface, after the Nigerian attackers enjoyed success with their European club sides this season.

Samuel Chukwueze is a doubt for Finidi George ahead of tonight’s game. The A.C. Milan right winger did not take part in the final training session of the Super Eagles.

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