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NPFL: GTI Thumbs Up Clubs, Lauds Media Coverage

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Partners to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), GTI Asset Management and Trust Limited, has expressed delight at the level of support and spirit of competitiveness among clubs featuring in the NPFL 2023/2024 season and also lauded the media for their coverage following the smooth kick-off of the elite league on September 30.

According to GTI Head of Media and Publicity, Andrew Ekejiuba in Lagos on Thursday, he commended the clubs for keying into the vision of GTI regarding implementing the business aspect of the game in all its activities.

“We believe that with time the plans of the Nigeria Premier League Board will see the light of the day given the massive coverage the NPFL is receiving.

“With the take-off grant of N10 million given to each of the 20 clubs this season by GTI and many other deals secured by the various clubs, we can see that the clubs have hit the ground running which has consistently reflected on the Matchday results,” Ekejiuba enthused.

“It is not surprising to see that home teams have stepped up their game as we are yet to record a loss in that regard. The worst-case scenarios are two draws recorded by visiting teams in Matchday 1 and Matchday 2 respectively.

“Also, the 2-0 annihilation of Enyimba International of Aba in Gombe by Gombe United in Matchday 2 is an indication that the gap between the so-called big teams and the lesser ones is nonexistent this season. By implication, the N150 million prize money expected for the winning team this season, courtesy of GTI is going to be keenly contested.”

The veteran sports journalist and author commended the clubs for painstakingly going out of their way to secure shirt deals and embarking on other sponsorship drives to assist them in navigating this season and becoming financially solvent.

“The efforts of Rangers, Sporting Lagos, Remo Stars, Bendel Insurance and other clubs to secure sponsorship deals ahead of this season are quite commendable and also an indication that these clubs are gradually queuing into GTI’s quest at seeing clubs being administered as a pure business enterprise.

“Therefore, we call on the clubs and match officials to maintain the tempo as we continue to partner with Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye’s NPL Board to deliver a flawless league to our great country.
“However, GTI as a strategic partner to the NPFL is leaving no stone unturned in laying a solid foundation for the league to thrive in the country and we believe that with the way NPFL is developing and evolving, by the next few seasons the elite league in the country will rank among the best in Africa.

The visibility the elite league is currently enjoying, following the weekly live streaming of the matches on the Over-The-Top (OTT) platform, is heart-warming and a step in the right direction. Our broadcast partner Propel Sports Africa should be commended for the innovation to enhance the visibility of the NPFL matches to local and global audiences.

“The introduction of The Nigeria Football Fund (TNFF) by GTI has also brought a positive turnaround to the NPFL such that the issue of funding for our elite league is no longer a problem. The Clubs, FA, match officials and NPFL staff can give testimony to the level of support and attention given by GTI in this regard.

“It is also worthy to note that the N1 per Unit cost of TNFF at the launch of the Fund has appreciated to N1.23 per unit which depicts a positive future for the growth of the Fund. Therefore, we call again on Corporate Nigeria and individuals who love our beautiful game to invest in TNFF,” Ekejiuba concluded.

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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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