The General Manager of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Yusuf Alli, has said the organisers are ahead of their target after achieving the Bronze Label status within two years of existence as they look forward to Gold Label soon. Speaking at a press conference heralding the third edition of the 42.1km race, Alli said the organising body was putting everything in place to achieve another world-class event this weekend.
“The race is the second to attain bronze label status within two years in the whole world,” Alli said. “We are already ahead of ourselves because the target is to achieve gold label status in five years. However, we are appealing to more sponsors to come on board so as to achieve this. “We are also ready to set record of over 200,000 athletes at the start. We appreciate the acceptance and interest of Lagosians.” Speaking at the conference, the chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, said the target of achieving Gold Label status was not just a dream, but work was going on to make it a reality.
He revealed that this year’s event would witness a lot of firsts, one of which would be the 10km race and also the increment in numbers of sponsors. Tandoh said: “This has put more focus Lagos as the host state and having other great artist’s like Sound Sultan is part of exposing the state with regards to His Excellency’s goal of showcassing the city as a mega state through tourism, entertainment and sports.
“I want to use this opportunity to applaud the commitment of the project consultant, Nilayo Nigeria Ltd, for its dedication, commitment and hardwork and also Access Bank for its support.” In his own remarks, the president of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria, Ibrahim Gusau, said the federation was committed to the race and personally would be running on Saturday while calling on Nilayo Nigeria Ltd to replicate the race in other part of the country. Others present at the briefing were the director of Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuoku, Chairman of GAC Motors, Diana Chan and Senior Brand Manager, SevenUp Bottling Company, Segun Ogunleye among others.
Moses eyes Mourinho’s scalp
The last time Chelsea and Manchester United clashed Blues’ winger Victor Moses was not fit to play but the Super Eagles forward is expected to be on the starting list when the Antonio Conte men storm Old Trafford on Sunday.
Moses has faced Jose Mourinho’s side a couple of times since the Portuguese took charge at Man United and he usually enters into such contest to prove to the Special One he was wrong to jettison him when they were both at Stamford Bridge.
The Nigeria international was sent out on loan three times- to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham- during Mourinho’s time at Chelsea and the player at a time expressed his frustration at the coach’s attitude.
“He never spoke to me. I thought in my head, “He’s got his own players already,” Moses had told ESPN.
“I think we chatted a couple of times on the phone – he asked if I was alright at Liverpool, but that was it.”
Moses has continued to be an integral part of Conte’s team since last season and could be one of those that can damage United’s ambition to finish in second position when the two sides meet on Sunday.
Enyimba set to extend unbeaten run
Seven-time Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enyimba, will this weekend hope to extend their unbeaten run as they take on Sunshine Stars in one of the MatchDay 10 games scheduled for various centres across the country.
Enyimba have lost just a game this season, a 2-0 defeat away to Katsina United in a MatchDay 3 game and since then have been unbeaten.
Speaking on this weekend game, the club’s midfielder, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu, said they are working hard to win the title after after a long time and the only way to do that would be to continue getting points home and away from home.
“It’s unheard of that Enyimba last won the title in 2015, we are used to lifting trophies so we want to do that this year,” he said.
“With the way we started the season, I am sure we are going to achieve our set target. We don’t just want to perform alone in the league but also on the continent where we will be playing in the CAF Confederation Cup.
“This weekend game is another opportunity for us to extend our unbeaten run and also to move further on the league table.”
The club is currently fourth on the log with two points separating them from Akwa United who are top of the league albeit with one outstanding game.
Sunshine Stars on the other hand will be targeting at least a point to cover up for the three points recently deducted from the team by the League Management Company due to crowd violence in their last league game against Kano Pillars.
Still basking in the euphoria of their qualification for the first round of the CAF Champions League, NPFL champions, Plateau United will be away to newly promoted Go Round FC with the sole aim of getting the maximum points like they did away from home on the continent.
In some other matches, Wikki Tourists will be playing at home against Katsina United same as FC IfeanyiUbah who will be hosting Nasarawa United.
In Lokoja, the adopted home of Niger Tornadoes, the team will be welcoming Abia Warriors as El-Kanemi travel away to play against Yobe Desert Stars.
Lagos-based MFM defeated AS Real Bamako of Mali 2-1 on aggregates in their CAF Champions League game during the week and playing again at home against Lobi Stars will give them the chance to move up on the table.
Kwara United will be playing at home against Rivers United as Heartland travel to Uyo to meet CAF Confederation Cup campaigner, Akwa United.
Akwa United currently top the table with 16 points from eight matches while Tornadoes occupy the rear position on the table.
Obaseki boosts Dynamite Force with N25m, bus
Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki has given the sum of N25million (Twenty- Five Million) and a bus to the newly promoted NNL side Dynamite Force Football club of Benin to help them start the new NNL football season.
Commending Governor Obaseki and members of his team, head coach of Dynamite Force Johnbull Egharevba described Governor Obaseki as someone who is committed to using sports in checking unemployment and youth’s restiveness in the state, he expressed appreciation to the governor for his magnanimity, adding that Dynamite Football Club will not disappoint the people of Edo State.
“We are very happy for this gesture; it shows that our governor is a man committed to his word. During the campaign, he did promise us that he will do all he can to ensure that youths of this state are taken off the streets using sports as a machinery for job creation. What he has done now has shown that sports in the state will soon regain its lost glory.
I want to assure him that we will not disappoint the confidence he has on us as a team, our aim is to fight hard and move our team to the Nigeria elite league side. We also want to thank the former governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for his supports too, and also the deputy Governor Comrade Philip Shaibu, they have all done very well for us. God will continue to bless them, I know that very soon, Edo State will return to the top in the annals of Nigeria sports.”
Meanwhile, the only government owned Female Football team in the state, Edo Queens FC, may likely not take part in this seasons’ Women League, as fillers reaching from the Women League office in Abuja suggest that Edo Queens FC is the only female team yet to register for the forthcoming League season due to commence very soon.
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