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Africa has great potential for youths through sports – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerian youths to believe in the potentials abound in Africa. He made the remark at the opening ceremony of the African Wrestling Championships on Wednesday at the Alfred Diete Spiff Civic Centre in Port Harcourt.

The President, who was represented by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, said that sports was the only tool that could unite and promote peace and coexistence among Africans. “Africa remains the bride of the next civilisation. Therefore, we must exploit the potentials of sports to create jobs, to entertain our people, to promote peaceful coexistence, to improve on tourism and promote the health wellbeing of our nation. Investing in sports is the next step Africa must look into.” President Buhari charged the athletes to be good ambassadors of Africa and compete fairly.

“This is an opportunity to showcase the very rich talents you possess. This championship will afford you the opportunity to excel because athletes who will be competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be produced here, therefore, I urge you to compete fairly and honestly and ensure that the benefits accruing from this competition remain the ultimate goal for all.”

President Buhari who had earlier commissioned the Alfred Diete Spiff Civic Center also commended the Government and the people of Rivers State for hosting the championship and renovating the venue of the tournament to international standard. He also used the opportunity to appeal to continent youths to believe in Africa and the greatness therein.

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World Cup: Rohr shuts door on Enyeama

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Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, has finally ruled out goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama’s return to the national team.

 

The coach said the inability of the former captain of the team to secure playing time had played a huge role in his decision.

 

Speaking with journalists at the inaugural Aiteo/Nigeria Football Federation Awards on Monday, Rohr said his main target was to take active players to the World Cup and Enyeama does not fit into that quota.
“He is not playing anywhere, so we cannot take players who are not playing,” Rohr said.

 

“We are working hard to have the best of our legs taken to Russia and we don’t have the luxury of naming a player that has not been playing in recent time.

 

“Each time we have a problem, there is always a good answer and I hope it will be the same for the World Cup.

 

“We currently have so many players in camp and we want to continue monitoring them. The most important thing is for them to be in best shape for the Mundial.”

 

There have been calls for the return of the Lille of France goalkeeper who retired from national team duties after falling out with former coach, Sunday Oliseh.

 

After the retirement of Enyeama, Wolverhampton Wanderers goalie, Carl Ikeme, stepped in before he was later diagonised with acute leukemia, a situation that ruled him out of action.

 

Enyeama had in the past snubbed all emissaries to return to the team, there was however subtle attempt by the goalkeeper to return to the team when he started having problems with the manager of his club, Marcelo Bielsa.

 

Goalkeepers in the running for the World Cup are current first choice and home-based Eagles captain, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Chippa FC of South Africa star, Daniel Akpeyi, Deportivo La Coruna youngster, Francis Uzoho and Plateau United goalie, Dele Ajiboye.

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Eagles must start well in Russia –Iroha

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Ex-international, Ben Iroha, has urged the Super Eagles to hit the ground running when the World Cup starts in Russia by claiming positive result in their first match, which is against Croatia.

 

The former left back said the outcome of the first game could determine how far the team would go in the competition, so the players must throw everything into the tie with the European country.

 

He said the team could progress from the group, which includes Argentina and Iceland with solid preparation, focus and determination.

 

“To me, the group is an open one. However, if we have early preparations and keep the boys together and pray we don’t lose our best legs to injury, then I am confident we have a decent chance of doing well at the World Cup.

 

“The Eagles must also take their first match seriously because a good start offers confidence and will boost their morale,” the former told AOIFootball.com.

 

Iroha featured 50 times for Nigeria between 1990-1998, played in two edition of the World Cup (1994 and 1998) and also won the Nations Cup in Tunisia ’94.

 

He was also the assistant coach to the late Yemi Tella when the Golden Eaglets conquered the world in 2007.

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Oil/Gas Games: NNPC, Shell win T/ Tennis team event

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Team NNPC on Tuesday emerged winners of the table tennis team event at the ongoing Nigeria Oil & Gas Industry Games.

 

The trio of Keye Surajudeen Adekunle, Hassan Aliyu and Maiyefa Monday proved too difficult for their counterparts from Chevron represented by Oyinbo Olaleye, Okeifa Francis and Segun Francis by 3-0 to be crowned winners of the event.

 

The more experienced Team NNPC used a combination of good serves and strokes to subdue their opponents to rhe admiration of the crowd in the entertaining encounter decided at the table tennis hall of Ikoyi Club 1038.

 

In the women category, three time defending champions Mojisola Adeniran and Chizoba Onuoha of Shell defeated the duo of Adefiseso Adetola and Adjeke Felicia of NNPC to emerge winners.

 

An excited Mojisola told our correspondent that she was overjoyed retaining the title with her team mate because younger players boastedto stop them prio to the competition.

 

“I’m really overjoyed with the victory because it is not easy winning it for the third time. Many young player are getting stronger every year and some of them even boasted we’re not going to survive the preliminaries”, she stated.

 

The singles preliminaries will begin today at the same venue.

 

Meanwhile, the heavy in Lagos yesterday disrupted proceedings at the tennis section as all the eight courts were flooded by water which prompted some of the matches to be abandoned with the officials announcing that the event will continue today.

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