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NPFL: Nasarawa State Govt Drums Support For Lobi Stars Ahead Abia Warriors Tie In Lafia



In shared solidarity, the Nasarawa State Government has continued to show support to border neighbours, Benue State, as the latter State’s men’s football team, Lobi Stars, use the Lafia City Stadium for their 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League Season home games.

After receiving unprecedented support from indigenes and residents of the State a fortnight ago in Lobi’s 3-2 win over visiting Sunshine Stars of Akure in the NPFL match-day two clashes, the Nasarawa State’s Government continues to strengthen the bond that binds both States together with the surprise visit of the State’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Jafaru Ango, alongside other top Government functionaries to the evening training session of the “Yes Father” Boys, as Lobi Stars are nicknamed, at the Lafia City Stadium on Thursday ahead of their match-day four encounters against Abia Warriors FC on Saturday, 21st October 2023, in Lafia.

Addressing the team, the Commissioner, Jafaru Ango, said Nasarawa and Benue States share many things in common, including sports.

“Politics aside, Nasarawa and the Benue States are one. We were all together before the creation of States, and you can testify to this by the mixture of ethnicities and cultures that exist in both States; you find some of your people here, so also some of our people there, as well as the cultures.

“Recently, your State Governor, His Excellency, Hyacinth Alia, wrote a letter to our Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, requested the release of the Lafia City Stadium to enable Lobi Stars to play their home games here, and the Governor graciously granted the request.

“Today, you have adopted the Lafia City Stadium as your home for the 2023/24 NPFL Season, the same place that our dear Clubs, Nasarawa United and Nasarawa Amazons use as their home ground.

“Ordinarily, one would have said the pressure would be much on the turf, but we are brothers, and we must be seen to be supporting each other to achieve our common goals.

“We want to see Lobi Stars succeed and even win the League on our turf, which would be historic, because not many teams could win the league on a make-shift venue, and we hope that that will spur our team, Nasarawa United, to return to the elite domestic football league.

“In your first home game here, some high-profile dignitaries from your State were here, including the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, my friend, the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Creativity, a House of Assembly Member, and other personalities, and I think they didn’t regret the reception they got from the Government and people of Nasarawa State.

“We are going to do more for Lobi Stars and Benue State here because a portion of our State’s Anthem talks about ‘passion, loyalty, peace and unity’.

“So, feel at home here; Nasarawa State is your home. We will continue to garner the needed support for the team and State to excel.”

Validating the position of the Commissioner, Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Barr. Isaac Danladi said it was the shared bonds between the two States that made it possible for the allocation of the venue as the home ground for Lobi Stars.

He revealed that Benue State had shown similar solidarity to Nasarawa State when the Lafia City Stadium was undergoing renovation as both Nasarawa United and Nasarawa Amazons used the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi, for their home matches in the past, and had success in their various leagues.

Danladi noted that Benue State and her people have continued to close ties with Nasarawa State in myriads of ways, emphasizing the concrete relationship he has been enjoying with Lobi Stars’ Vice Chairman cum Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Iorfa, and other worthy Benue indigenes.

He wished the Club well in their sojourn in Nasarawa State, and hoped that the Benue State Government would speed up the completion of the renovation work at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi.

Responding, Lobi Stars’ Captain, Daniel Atsaka, appreciated the Nasarawa State delegation for the visit.

He acknowledged that the support his team has been getting from their host State is the reason for their current performance in the league and would spur them to outperform their outings in the previous seasons.

He specifically commended the Permanent Secretary, Chief Barr. Isaac Danladi, for always checking up on the team to ensure everything is intact and in accordance with the mandate of the Club and League Organizers.

Other members of the Nasarawa State delegation included Rt. Hon. Shuaibu Sani(SSA to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Youth and Students’ Affairs), Comr. Hamza Moyi Awe(SSA to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Sports Affairs), Lawrence Shammah (Director, Sports Organizing), Mustapha Isa(Director, Administration and Supplies, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development), Abdul Yakubu Balarabe(Director, Finance and Accounts, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development), Haruna Viba(Director, Youth Development), Hajiya Hussaina Suleiman Nagogo(Chairperson, Nasarawa Amazons FC), Hajiya Fatima Yamusa(Head of Audit, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development) and Comr. Ja’afar Loko(Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Nasarawa State Chapter).

The match between Lobi Stars versus Abia Warriors FC will be held at the Lafia City Stadium on Saturday, 21st October, 2023, by 4pm, with supporters and fans encouraged to troop out en masse to cheer the host team to victory.

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Egypt Confirm As Host Of 2027 African Games




The Association of National Olympic Committee of Africa (ANOCA) awarded Egypt the hosting rights for the 2027 African Games, the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports announced on Tuesday morning.

The African Games, formally known as the All-Africa Games or the Pan African Games, are a continental multi-sport event held every four years.

The announcement was made by ANOCA on Monday, in which they confirmed that the 2027 African Games would be the African qualifiers for the LA 2028 Olympic Games.

Six-time winners of the tournament, Egypt, previously hosted the African Games once in 1991, winning the title at the time.

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3rd Ikpeba Football Challenge Warri ‘2023 begins Dec. 20




The 3rd edition of the Victor Ikpeba Football Challenge Warri ‘2023 has been scheduled to hold at the Army Children, School, Effurun, Warri, Delta State from Thursday December 20 to Saturday, 22, 2023.

According to the General Coordinator of the event, Mr. Dapo Sotuminu, the sponsor and initiator of the grassroot tournament, the 1997 African Footballer of The Year, Victor Ikpeba, the champion’s prize for the Ikpeba 2023 Football Challenge has been increased to two hundred and fifty thousand (N250,000). The winners, aside from the cash prize will also be presented with a giant trophy and gold medals.

While the first runners up will go home with a cash prize of N125,000, silver trophy and silver medals, while the third placed team will go home with N100,000, a trophy and bronze medals. And the fourth placed team N75,000.

Four individual awards will be presented to the best players in the tournament : the Most Valuable Player, Best Defender, Best Goalkeeper and Highest Goal Scorer will all be presented with plagues.

The four semi final teams will be presented with the Victor Ikpeba Football Tournament branded / customised jerseys.

The initiator of the tournament, Victor Ikpeba, noted that, the increased prize monies, were approved to further encourage the youth players’ participants in the tournament and also ensure that the players have a wonderful Christmas celebration.

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Football Stakeholders commit to FIFA’s new initiatives for talent discovery




There was palpable enthusiasm and avowed commitment to new initiatives on talent discovery and nurturing as a stakeholder workshop on FIFA Talent Development Scheme took Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja by storm on Thursday.

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi opened the workshop by expounding on the theme, saying the FIFA Talent Development Scheme is designed to discover football talents from the grassroots, which is truly a key component of the vision of the Ibrahim Musa Gusau-led NFF administration. “This is a welcome development for Federations like our own that are interested in growing the game from the grassroots. This workshop has the objective of enlightening all stakeholders on the scheme and to let them know the various aspects in which they have to support the Federation and where the Federation will support them.”

Dignitaries and stakeholders included a representative of Sports Development Minister, Senator John Enoh; Director General of the National Institute for Sports, Professor Olawale Morounkola; Member of the House Committee on Sports, Hon. Aminu Balele Kurfi; President of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau; NFF’s two vice presidents Chief Felix Anyansi Agwu and Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye; Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa; former NFF Board Member, High Chief Emeka Inyama; representatives of chairmen of the Senate Committee on Sports in both houses of the National Assembly; chairmen and secretaries of the State Football Associations; NFF Management and Staff; eminent coaches; former Nigeria international players including Dr. Olusegun Odegbami; former General Secretaries of the NFF Ambassador Fanny Amun and Barr. Musa Amadu; chieftains of the various Leagues; Super Falcons’ captain Onome Ebi; proprietors of leading football academies; sports marketing gurus and; prominent media personalities.

Gusau used the opportunity to espouse his Vision 2030 with so much passion and assurance, and charged the stakeholders that they no longer have any option than to do the hard lifting of discovering talent from the grassroots and nurturing them, with world football-governing body, FIFA’s decision to organize annually the FIFA U17 World Cup (male and female) from the year 2025.

“You can now see that we have no alternative to doing the hard work, and to do the work we have been elected to do with great energy, enthusiasm and diligence. The ethos of discipline, dedication and integrity must be enthroned, and we must commit to eliminating the scourge of age cheating at youth level.”

FIFA High Performance specialists Abdul Faisal Chibsah and Amit Desai expatiated further on the scheme, and pledged that FIFA will monitor the scheme globally for sincerity, credibility and sustainability.

NFF Technical Director and former Nigeria captain and coach, Augustine Eguavoen, explained the NFF’s long-term talent discovery plan and its strategic focus areas.

Odegbami, as well as Professor Morounkola, Coaches Isah Ladan Bosso and Sam John Obuh as well as former NFF scribes Amun and Amadu reported the positions of breakout groups, with emphasis on discovering truly young talents that will be nurtured through a sustainable process to keep Nigeria at the top of the global tree in U17 football.

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