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FG Set To Implement National Sports Industry Policy

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In the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration, the Federal Government has assured that it will implement the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration to provide opportunities for corporate and private sector participation in the development of sports in the country.

The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, stated this today in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja while answering questions from newsmen.

He stated that the present administration has endorsed the National Sports Industry Policy as both corporate and private sector play critical roles in sports sponsorships and infrastructure upgrades, adding that the policy has also provided an opportunity for moving sports away from mere recreation to business

Besides, the Minister added that one of the key policy objectives of the present administration is that sports can be used as a source of unity, peace and stability of the country, job creation as well as providing an opportunity for inclusivity in participation in sports by both male and female

He explained that government intends to set up machinery for interface with the newly discovered talents from the just concluded National Youth Games (NYG) with a view to securing scholarships for their nurture to the elite stage, and also for sighting of facilities and infrastructure across the country at grassroots to provide early exposure and grooming for budding talents

Senator Owan Enoh informed that the investment and funding in sports comes largely from both the corporate and private sectors the world over because it is a huge and vast area adding that there was a time in this country when the private sector was much more involved in funding sports and providing scholarships

That, he said, may have reduced quite substantially but that one of the major focuses of the Ministry now is to see how we can get back and sell ourselves to the private sector, to see how much we can build trust and confidence so that competitions and initiatives of the Ministry can have the endorsement and huge support of the private sector

The Minister who recognised the critical role welfare plays in the overall performance of athletes, assured that the Ministry under his watch will not only set up a well-planned welfare scheme to cater for non-active and active sportsmen and women but also ensure that the country shows them recognition for their contributions through provision of various honours, among others for their sacrifices.

According to him, Anybody who has had cause to fly the National Flag high, represent the country, we should be able to show them gratitude and recognition because it is a no mean feat

He assured further the Ministry will continue to work assiduously with various sports federations with a view to ensuring early preparations and participation of our athletes in both national and international competitions for podium finishes.

In addition, the Minister assured that the administration will give support and strength to the existing Anti-Doping Committee to ensure the clean participation of our athletes in these competitions.

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Manu Garba proud of Eaglets as team countenances Niger Republic

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Coach Manu Garba has asserted that he is proud of the Golden Eaglets after Thursday’s scoreless encounter with their Burkina Faso

Coach Manu Garba has asserted that he is proud of the Golden Eaglets after Thursday’s scoreless encounter with their Burkina Faso counterparts in the Group B opener of the WAFU B U17 Championship.

Five-time champions Nigeria created several scoring chances particularly late in the game at the Accra University Stadium, but failed to utilise even one that could have earned them the three points and handed them early leadership of the pool.

However, Garba said the boys played a cohesive game in their first-ever international outing and deserve credit for their display.

“We are proud of our team’s performance. Although we didn’t secure the win that we hoped for, our players showed great teamwork and sportsmanship. We look forward to our next match and the opportunity to continue growing and improving.

“The boys will get better with experience and exposure.”

Against the Burkinabes, the Eaglets showed flair and fluency, but a heavy downpour in the final 15 minutes of the game disrupted the general flow of play, with the pitch waterlogged and effective control and passing impossible.

The Golden Eaglets go up against their counterparts from the Niger Republic on Sunday evening (6pm Ghana time; 7pm Nigeria) with renewed hope and vigour to pick up the three points that will enhance their chances of a place in the last four.

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Dominican Republic 2024: Olowookere says girls focused on Burkina Faso, not Senegal

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Head Coach Bankole Olowookere has assured that the Nigeria U17 girls have their minds firmly trained on Saturday’s FIFA U17 Women’s World

Head Coach Bankole Olowookere has assured that the Nigeria U17 girls have their minds firmly trained on Saturday’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifying match against their counterparts from Burkina Faso, and not on the final round of the qualifiers against either of Senegal and Liberia.

“We have one hurdle to cross before the final hurdle, and that is what we are thinking about. Yes, we know it would be either Senegal or Liberia in the final round, but we have to first get past the roadblock mounted by Burkina Faso.

“We threw away a lot of opportunities in the first leg. If we had converted those chances, we would be sleeping easy and thinking this is a formality match, but we did not. On Saturday, we must convert our chances and that can only be done by good presence of mind and focus.”

Olowookere led the Flamingos to third-place finish at the last edition of the global finals in India, and knows only victory on Saturday will propel his girls to a final round fixture that will present the opportunity for a return to the World Cup.

Senegal thrashed Liberia 3-1 in the first leg of their fixture in Dakar and look poised to be the team waiting in that final round.

On Thursday, the Flamingos received motivation from the NFF Technical Director, Coach Augustine Eguavoen and the CEO of Enugu Rangers FC, Barr. Amobi Ezeaku, who were both at the team’s training session.

Eguavoen said: “I’m pleased with what I have seen, and I can assure you that I will deliver my monetary gift to you after the match.” On his part, Ezeaku, who also expressed delight with the display of the girls at training, promised the team the sum of one million naira.

Saturday’s encounter at the MKO Abiola National Stadium will commence at 4.30pm. The first leg in Bamako last Saturday ended 1-1.

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Dominican Republic 2024: Olowookere sure of final hurdle ticket as Flamingos return

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Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, are back in the country following their FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifying match against Burkina Faso’s U17 girls in Bamako, Mali on Saturday that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Head Coach Bankole Olowookere said on arrival in Abuja on Tuesday that the support of Nigerians based in Bamako helped put the Flamingos in the spirit during the first leg, and the tactician is calling on Nigerians based in Abuja and environs to storm the MKO Abiola National Stadium this Saturday to support the girls as they aim to stroll past the Burkinabes into the final round of the race.

“We appreciate the support of Nigerians for the Flamingos over the years, but we are calling especially for their support this weekend when we take on the Burkina Faso girls in the return leg of our qualifying fixture. The Flamingos will be ready to make the nation proud by winning to reach the last round of the qualification series.

“I have the players to do the job. All we are asking for is support from the stands. Our objective is to not only win the ticket but to go to the World Cup and surpass our last outing of third-place finish in India in 2022.”

Chidi Harmony scored for Nigeria in the 55th minute but poor communication in the defence led to Burkina Faso equalizing with six minutes left through Rainata Oubda.

Victory over the Burkinabes will set the Flamingos up for the final qualifying fixture, against the winner of the Senegal/Liberia fixture. The Senegalese lead 3-1 going into the second leg in Monrovia this weekend.

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