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Category: Sports

“I WAS CLEANING GUTTERS FOR ₦20”-NIGERIAN FOOTBALLER, VICTOR OSIMHEN

Super Eagles and Napoli star, Victor Osimhen, has revealed how he performed menial jobs to survive before his journey into professional football.

The 22-year-old narrated how he used to do menial jobs like cleaning gutters and fetching water to survive.

He said, “Most people are familiar when I say this because they have come through even worse situations than mine and where I grew up, nothing is promised there because whatever you want to get, you have to work so hard for it”.

The international footballer said, “I remember when I was growing up, I was cleaning the gutters for 20 Naira, for my landlord and did some cleaning jobs for my neighbors close to my house, fetch water for 80 Naira, I think”.

He also expressed how important it was working for his money and helping his family, which, he said, was satisfying. He said he found pleasure in doing these things because he believed when he worked so hard to get money, it helped him have the consciousness on how to spend the money and help his family. “While growing up, my brother was selling newspapers, my sisters, oranges. I was in the traffic with water and I’d had to chase cars, give them water to get the money. I feel like these struggles helped me in life. I am grateful for where I am today because of what I’d been through. It shaped me into the man I am. I am really grateful to God for that”.

Victor James Osimhen plays as a striker for Serie A club Napoli and the Nigeria national team. He is known for his composure and finishing and is widely regarded as one of the most promising and most in-demand African footballers.

Osimhen began his senior career in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg in 2017. Following a season and a half at the club, he moved to Belgian side Charleroi on loan in 2018–19, before moving to France at Lille. In 2020, Osimhen transferred to Serie A club Napoli for a club-record fee of €70 million.

Story: Sani Asma’u

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D’TIGRESS EMERGE AFRICAN CHAMPIONS THIRD TIME IN A ROW

Nigerian Women’s basketball team D’Tigress are now champions of Africa for the third time in a row after beating Mali 70-59 in the final of the 2021 Women’s AfroBasket.

The game took place at the Palais Polyvalent des Sports in Yaounde, Cameroon, on Sunday 26th September 2021 with Nigeria blowing away Mali 22-11 from the start of the game.

Though the second quarter became tougher, D’Tigress managed to go into the break with a seven-point lead while the third quarter, ended 28-14.

Mali came out more robust in the fourth quarter, but it was too late to put up a fight with the D’Tigress able to consolidate on their lead. The fourth quarter ended 21-11 to round up the game 70-59.

Story: Asma’u Sani

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TEAM NIGERIA MEDALISTS GET ROUSING WELCOME ON RETURN TO ABUJA

Team Nigeria Tokyo 2020 Olympics medalists, Blessing Oborududu and Ese Brume arrived to a rousing welcome at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Saturday 7th August 2021. The Nigerian team ended the Tokyo Olympics with two medals won by Ese Brume in the long jump event and Blessing Oborududu in the women’s wrestling event.

Team Nigeria Tokyo 2020 Olympics Medalists, Blessing Oborududu and Ese Brume

The Minister of Sports Mr. Sunday Dare commended the athletes for making the country proud and said, “Nigerians are proud of your tenacity, hard work, and dedication that has put our country on the global map. We are very proud of your attainment.”

25-year-old athlete, Ese Brume, won Nigeria’s first medal in the tournament after finishing third in the Women’s long jump event to claim the bronze medal for Team Nigeria. She was grateful to Nigeria for the opportunity and thanked the Minister for his relentless support. She also dedicated her medal to Nigerians. “The medal is dedicated to all Nigerians that believed and supported me, the minister, Honourable Dare I’m proud I was able to repay their trust with a podium finish.”

32-year-old Blessing Okorodudu won Nigeria’s second medal after finishing second in the 68kg women’s freestyle wrestling to claim the silver medal. She made history by becoming the first Nigerian wrestler to win an Olympic medal.

Blessing was full of gratitude for the support she got. “It gladdens my heart to return home with a silver medal, I give glory and admonition to God. The Minister of Sports Mr. Sunday Dare was tremendous in his support throughout the Olympics and I am saying a big thank you to him. To all Nigerians that supported me with prayers and words of encouragement, I can’t thank you enough”. 

The former Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Damishi Sango congratulated the present minister Mr. Sunday Dare and Team Nigeria for their outstanding and special performance at Tokyo 2020 Olympics and further said, “All Nigerians must celebrate this performance because this is our best performance since 2000 (The Sydney Olympics) and everyone should be proud of the team. The minister should hold his head high for this achievement.

“Winning a silver and bronze is not an easy task despite all the challenges faced by the team. I must commend the minister for what he has done and achieved. He and the team should hold their heads high because they have made Nigeria proud. We must all celebrate because winning medals at the Olympics is not an easy feat.”

The Federal Government of Nigeria promised to reward the athletes who win medals at the Olympic games with cash prizes of $15,000, $10,000, and $7,500 dollars for gold, silver, and bronze medalists at the Tokyo Olympics.

The government on Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, rewarded Oborududu and Brume with the sum of $10,000 and $7500 respectively for their outstanding performance at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Story: Ehizogie Ohiani

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NIGERIAN ATHLETES, ADEGOKE AND AMUSAN BREAK RECORDS IN THE TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS

Two athletes representing Nigeria at the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Tobi Amusan, and Enoch Adegoke have broken the country’s records in athletics with Enoch qualifying for the final of the 100m men’s event and Tobi

For the first time in 25 years, Nigeria will have a representative in the final of the 100m men’s event at the Olympic Games. This is as a result of Enoch Adegoke breaking the jinx on Sunday, 1st August 2021, by qualifying for the final of 100m men’s event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Enoch Adegoke

Adegoke, who is participating in the Olympic Games for the very first time, qualified for the final after running 10.00 secs in his semi-final race.

Before now, the last time Nigeria qualified to the final in the men’s 100m event was at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, a feat achieved by Davidson Ezinwa.

Adegoke beat Asian record holder, Femi Ogunode, British star, Zharnel Hughes, and 2021 World leader, Travon Brommel, to win his 100m heat.

It was a tight race for the Men’s 100m semi’s which ended in a photo-finish with Adegoke ending up in second place in 10:00seconds, the same time as American, T Brommell, while Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes who clocked 9:98secs, came in the first place.

Tobi Amusan

Amusan has also won her first semi-finals in women’s 100m hurdles, clocking in 12.62 seconds, thereby becoming the first Nigerian to qualify for the 100m hurdles finals at the Olympics, and in the process, breaking Nigeria’s 21 years Old record set by Gloria Alozie at Sydney 2000.

The 23-year old had on Saturday, 31st July 2021, won Heat 3 of the 100m Women’s Hurdles with a time of 12.72 seconds to qualify for the semi-finals before running a faster time to also win her semi-final race on Sunday, 1st August 2021.

Story: Hilda Katu

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NIGERIA SET TO WIN FIRST MEDAL AT THE 2020 TOKYO OLYMPICS

After one week of turmoil for Nigeria at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with so many issues surrounding the disqualification of athletes from Athletics, Nigeria is set to win her first medal after Blessing Oborududu secured Nigeria her first medal at the games by qualifying for the final of the women’s 68kg wrestling to get either a GOLD or Silver.

Blessing Oborududu during the match against Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold

Oborududu fought three rounds to qualify for this much-anticipated medal making her the first Nigerian Wrestler in history to attain this as Nigeria has won a medal in the wrestling event at an Olympic Games before.

In the qualifying match, she fought against Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold and went into an early 4-0 lead, then added 3 more points, ending the contest by 7-2 to emerge as the winner of the bout by points.

Blessing Oborududu Celebrating her Victory

Blessing Oborududu is a 32-year old Nigerian and a graduate of Business Administration from the Niger-Delta University, Bayelsa State Nigeria.

Story: Ehizogie Ohiani

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5 NIGERIANS LISTED TO ORGANIZE MAIDEN CAF WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

Five Nigerian officials from Nigeria have been shortlisted to play important roles in the organization of the qualifying tournament for the maiden edition of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Champions League Competition slated for Cote d’Ivoire from 15th to 30th July 2021.

First on the list is Nigerian Football Federations’ Acting Director of Competitions, Ruth David. She is to serve as one of the match commissioners in the tournament slated for Cote d’Ivoire. Ruth will be joined by 4 other Nigerian Women in the organizing of the qualifiers tournament. They include Felicia Okwugba, who is to act as a technical instructor, Yemisi Akintoye as a referee, Friday Mfon as an assistant referee, and Promise Uwaeme an information technology official.

CAF Women’s Qualifiers set to begin

Six teams from Nigeria will participate in the championship, including the winners of the Super 6 Tournament, Rivers Angels, which is held in Ijebu-Ode. Others are Association Sportive de la Police de Niamey, from Niger Republic, Onze Sours de Gagnoa, from Cote d’Ivoire, Hasaacas Ladies Football Club from Ghana, Amis du Monde Football Club from Togo and Union Sportive Forces Armees, from Burkina Faso.

The inaugural edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League competition will be held in Egypt in July 2021. The tournament will involve the top women’s club teams of Africa.

Story: Abdul Dauda

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LEICESTER CITY FEMALE DEFENDER, ASHLEIGH, HOPES TO PLAY FOR SUPER FALCONS IN FUTURE

23-year-old Leicester City Women’s defender, Ashleigh Plumptre, has expressed her desire of playing for the Nigerian Senior Female Team, the Super Falcon, and get the opportunity to meet with Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi, of the Nigerian Senior Men’s Team, the Super Eagles, whom she described as her role models.

Ashleigh Plumptre

“Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho have been good role models for me,” she told the BBC. It’s funny we haven’t met but that’s all because of Covid but at some point hopefully, we’ll be able to meet each other.”

The 23-year-old is currently having her second spell with the Foxes and in the 2020-21 season, she helped the club to win the FA Women’s Championship title, earning a two-year contract for her fine showings in the campaign.

23-years-old Leicester City defender, Ashleigh Plumptre, at the City win of the FA Women’s Championship.

Since her return to the Foxes in 2019, she has been unable to link up with Super Eagles stars Iheanacho and Ndidi. “With Leicester, Plumptre has featured for various England youth teams but she is still eligible to represent since her father is a Nigerian. She hopes to get a chance to play for the Super Falcons in the future.

“The idea of me being able to play for Nigeria, I would happily grab that with both hands,”.
“Representing something that really means to somebody is very important. Obviously, there’s a lot of things I can openly say that I don’t know about Nigerian culture but I want to learn because I know that it’s in me, and it’s in my sister and in my dad.

“We can only get it from my granddad, he’s the only thing that we know in terms of Nigeria. I’ve obviously visited Nigerian relatives in America and in England. “Seeing this little journey my sister and I have been on, and the understanding of our family heritage, not just that but watching Nigerian documentaries and learning about the past is incredible.”

Plumptre also hailed the quality in the Super Falcons squad and praised Asisat Oshoala for her exploits abroad. “When you look around there are several Nigerian players playing at the top level of the women’s game,” she pointed out.

Story: Abdul Dauda

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FCT HOSTS 68 CRICKET PLAYERS FOR MAIDEN EDITION OF NORTH CENTRAL INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT

Not less than 68 players are expected to feature in the maiden North Central one-day Invitational Cricket Tournament scheduled to hold on Sunday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

Emeka Onyeama, Chairman of FCT Cricket Association said this at a press conference on Thursday 10th June 2021, in Abuja. Onyeama said the event, which will feature only male players, would serve as pilot a scheme for the development of cricket in the zone.

“In a bid to develop the game of cricket in FCT and North Central as a whole, we have earmarked this event as a means to promote the game at the grassroots.

“One team each from Plateau and Kwara as well as two teams from FCT will be competing for honors at the event. “Three matches will be played at the event on Sunday. The four teams will be grouped into two and play against each other in a 10-overs game and the winners of both matches will feature in the finals, which is a 20-overs game.

“This event would foster unity among the North Central States and encourage the youths to stay off the streets and participate in sports, especially cricket,” he said.

Onyeama, who is also former president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), added that the association would cater for the teams’ accommodation, transportation and feeding.
The cricket administrator also assured that all COVID-19 guidelines would be strictly adhered to at the competition.

Story: Abdul Dauda

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‘SUPER EAGLES ARE READY FOR WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINALS IN SEPTEMBER’ -ROHR

The German tactician and coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, says he is confident the Super Eagles will be ready for September’s World Cup qualifier against Liberia despite seeing his men hold the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to a 0-0 draw during the second leg of the friendly played.

Despite relying on makeshift defenders, the three-time African champions ended the encounter at the Wiener Neustadt Stadium on a no-winner, no vanquished note.

Nigerian Super Eagle defenders Kenneth Omeru and William Ekong tackling a Cameroonian striker.

Although Rohr rued the chances missed by his team which he attributed to the absence of key players –  he is upbeat that his team would be set when their quest to qualify for Qatar 2022 commences against their West African foes.

“The result is not the most important thing in these friendlies,” he said on Super Eagles’ Instagram handles. “The most important thing is to test some players, to see some of these new faces. That was the case today, we didn’t want to concede.

We wanted to score but we could not, but when you are missing players like Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Samuel Kalu, and Henry Onyekuru, it’s not easy. “These players came in the middle of their holidays to work hard for ten days with us.

Super Eagle starting eleven against the indomitable lions of Cameroon on Tuesday 8th June 2021 in Vienna, Austria.

“The fruit of the work will come. I think we will be ready in September for our World Cup qualifier against Liberia. Rohr also reserved special accolades for Valentine Ozornwafor who held sway in Nigeria’s backline.

In the absence of William Troost-Ekong, the Galatasaray man provided cover for goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, while Nantes forward Moses Simon was drafted to play the left-back role.

According to Rohr, “we wanted to score but we could not, but when you are missing players like Osimhen, Chukwueze, Aribo, Kalu, and Henry, it’s not easy.” “These players came in the middle of their holidays to work hard for ten days with us. “These players came in the middle of their holidays to work hard for ten days with us.

Super Eagles midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo, holding off Cameroonian defenders during the 2nd leg of the International friendlies in Vienna, Austria

In the absence of William Troost-Ekong, the Galatasaray man provided cover for goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, while Nantes forward Moses Simon was drafted to play the left-back role.

“The fruit of the work will come. I think we will be ready in September for our World Cup qualifier against Liberia. ”Rohr also reserved special accolades for Valentine Ozornwafor who held sway in Nigeria’s backline.

Story: Abdullahi Dauda

Pictures: Instagram – @ng_supereagles

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ENYIMBA FC RANKED 12TH BEST AFRICAN FOOTBALL CLUB IN CAF’S 2021 RANKING.

Nigerian football club, Enyimba, based in Aba, Abia State, has moved up four spots to 12th place in the latest Confederation of African Football club (CAF) rankings for 2021.

Enyimba FC Team

Enyimba FC, The People’s Elephant, moved up to the 12th position, with 408 points from the 16th in the previous ranking, as a result of their impressive performance, which made them qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final draw.

Enyimba, two-time African Champion’s League winner is Nigeria’s only remaining representative on the continent in the CAF Confederation Cup and is also Nigeria’s only club in the Top 30 African Club List.

Egypt’s Ah Ahly ranked number one on the list followed by Tunisia’s Esperance and Morrocco’s Wydad Casablanca.

South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, Zamalek of Egypt, Congolese side TP Mazembe, Raja Casablanca of Morocco, Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel, Guinean side Horoya AC, Sudanese side Al Hilal Omdurman and Moroccan club RS Berkane, in that order, rank the top 11 clubs in Africa.

Story by: Osen Attah

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