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UNILAG’s Enock Nwali wins Asaph Zadok National Scrabble Championship in style for Lagos

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The first of the four events at the National Scrabble Festival - Gateway 2024, sponsored and hosted by the Ogun State Government

The first of the four events at the National Scrabble Festival – Gateway 2024, sponsored and hosted by the Ogun State Government, the Asaph Zadok National Scrabble Championship lived up to expectations on the final day on Wednesday at the Adebowale Banquet Hall, at the serene and cozy Rolak Hotel and Suites, in the ancient and historical city of Ijebu-Ode, South-West, Nigeria.

University of Lagos health education student and current African Scrabble Champion, Enock Nwali, won the three-day championship as he scoped 20 wins, a draw, and a plus 1220 cumulative points from 28 rounds of games. Fellow Teammate, John Aiyedun claimed the 2nd spot with 19 victories, 9 losses and +701 points.

The duo represented Lagos State at the tournament.

Excellent hosts, Ogun State were rewarded for their immense, immeasurable support for the National Scrabble Festival, tagged Gateway 2024 as University of Lagos (UNILAG), final-year Pharmacy student and current West Africa Scrabble Champion, Doko Oluwatimilehin secured the 3rd position.

Doko grabbed the final podium spot with 18 wins, 10 defeats and +1057 cumulative points.

Enock Nwali, will be decorated with the prestigious NSF National Green Jacket on Sunday, during the Awards and Gala Night for winning the Asaph Zadok National Scrabble Championship.

Defending champions Delta State, who lost out woefully in the both team and individual event, could do nothing but settle for 4th and 5th spots as Doko Oluwatimilehin and company gave no room for errors.

PANASA President Cup winner and 4th seed Godwin Victor, took the 4th place with 18 wins and +779 was his cumulative spread, former World Champion and two time African Scrabble Champion, Wellington Jighere completes the first five with plus 720 points from 18 wins.

Cross Rivers’ Victor Ewarah finished the annual championship in the 6th place, losing 11 and winning 17 matches with a positive cumulative spread of +660 points, Delta State’ Emmanuel Umujose was 7th on the same number of wins but +657 cumulative points was most disappointing as just 3 points pushed him below Victor.

National Sports Festival gold medalist, Jimoh Abdulmumini, added lots of spice to the hosts celebrations as he finished 8th becoming Ogun State’ 2nd ambassador in the top 10.

Bayelsa State’ Ben Quickpen and Rivers State’ Sunday Oshodi, were the last two on 17 wins, Oshodi recorded +164 points and Quickpen finished above him with a better spread of +456 points.

Ryan Jacob representing Akwa Ibom was the guardian at the gate, with his 16 wins, 11 losses 1 draw and +327 points fixing him the 11th spot.

Lagos’ Joseph Okere, Cross Rivers’ Anthony Odok, Oyo’ Dokun Esan and Team Delta captain and coach, two-time African Scrabble Champion Dennis Ikekeregor, all won 16 of their 28 games.

Joseph Okere had a spread of +660 points, Anthony Odok’s plus 284 placed him 13th on the chart, 14 placed Dokun Esan and Dennis Ikekeregor on the 15th spot, had cumulative negatives of minus 64 and 85 respectful.

Ogun State definitely were not up for jokes as they had four of their executives in the top 20.

Cyril Umebiye was the third in that board at the 16th spot, winning 15 games and losing no more than 13 helped him added to glitter to the coats and wigs of the tournament hosts.

The fourth son of the soil in the top 20 was Samuel Adebola, with equal number of games as Cyril and +374 cumulative points that earned him the 18th position. Lagos’ Adeyemi Adeosun trailed Samuel with +297 cumulative and the same win-lose ratio.

Edo State’ Ezinore George made sure that 9 State found their names in the top 20, 15 wins and plus 220 cumulative points was the final arbiter of his noble endeavors.

Gbadebo Olufemi and Khaleel Adedeji made it 6 in the first 30, with Gbadebo in the 26th place after squaring half of his games, his plus 403 spread added swag to the ‘Man Covered with Grace’.

Khaleel Adedeji, finished the thrilling and eventful championship as the 30th contender, capping a loudable showing by the Gateway Team.

The Chairman of Ogun State Scrabble Association, who also doubles as the President of the Continental Governing Body of Scrabble, the Pan Africa Scrabble Association (PANASA), Adekoyejo Adegbesan, was on hand to congratulate the winners, He also thanked them for bringing their best to the Gateway State, who are the title sponsors of the event.

The good works of the Ogun State Government is far from over as the 2nd event of the 4 in 1 NSF National Scrabble Festival – Gateway 2024, the NSF Annual General Meeting (AGM) takes center stage on Thursday (tomorrow), at the Adebowale Banquet Hall, in Rolak Hotel and Suites, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, South-West, Nigeria.

After the AGM of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation, closes on Thursday, the NSF Inter Club Challenge Finals – Challenge your Limit, starts on Friday.

Twelve clubs will be participating in the NSF Inter-Club Challenge Finals, the biggest club competition in the Nigeria Scrabble circuit, the most competitive scrabble circuit on planet earth and Abeokuta Scrabble Club will be holding it tight for Ogun State.

Delta State represented by Warri SC, will be hoping to retain at least one of their three National Scrabble Festival titles, but for one thing the land of the Awojale, is certainly not Abuja, the last host of the annual festivity and may not be Delta State’ glory land.

Anambra SC, Apex SC of Abuja, Benin SC, Ikorodo SC, Jos SC, Kaduna Central SC, Pyramids SC of Lagos, Surulere SC, Uyo SC and the star studded UNILAG SC, the favourites for the title, are the other clubs ready to slug it out in the acension race to be crowned Inter-Club Champions.

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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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