The 20th Edition of the National sports Festival hosted by Edo State ended on Wednesday night with a spectacular funfair and musical entertainment.
Team Delta was crowned as the winner of the fiesta tagged: “Edo 2020”, with a total of 384 medals, while the host State (Team Edo) took the second position with 341 medals followed by Team Bayelsa that won 169 medals ahead of 27 other teams that also won medals at the tournament.
In his closing remark at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium on Wednesday night, governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, eulogized Stakeholders – Athletes and organisers of the event for their efforts towards the success of the event where 32 games were competed for.
He also appreciated the cooperation of Nigerians particularly acknowledged the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and commended the team spirit of participating States throughout the Festival.
Angry fans on protested delay in payment of entitlements at the stadium where the torch of unity was put out and handed over to the next host – Delta State in 2022, amidst jubilation.
The youths vented their spleen when Governor Obaseki mounted the podium to address Nigerians at the venue of the closing Ceremony.
The two weeks Festival which began on April 2nd, and ended Wednesday April 14, 2021, had a total of 800 contingents from the various States of the Federation.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and paucity of funds had halted NSF before it was thereafter rescheduled.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday, dashed the hopes of sports enthusiasts, following his absence at the closing and the opening Ceremonies.
The snag was caused by bad weather arising from the rainfall, which prevented his aircraft from landing at the Benin airport to formally declare the NSF open on April 6, 2021.
Recall that the Edo State Government had threatened to shut down the NSF abruptly via a statement, the Project Manager, Media & Communications, Edo 2020, Ebomhiana Musa on Wednesday last week.
The LOC however stayed action on the action it took the hard decision an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening over lack of funds having expended its reserves to kick start the games before the federal Government made a substantial commitment of its pledge before the event began.
In his goodwill message on his Twitter account, the Delta state governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, commended all our athletes, Coaches and technical Staff for making the State in particular and Nigeria at large proud.
He wrote: “All your long hours on and off the track and fields have paid off! On behalf of the government and people of our great state, Delta: We are proud of you!”
NNL Club Owners Hail Good End to 2020/2021 League Season
The Nigeria National League Club Owners Association (NALCOMA) has hailed the leadership of the league under Senator Obinna Ogba for the successful conclusion to the Super Eight playoffs, in Enugu, which brought the 2020/2021 season to a fitting finale.
President of the presidents of NNL clubs, Abdul Sule while expressing delight at the completion of the league season noted that despite the myriads of challenges it had to grapple with, the NNL managed to earn the trust of the clubs, buy-in of critical stakeholders, including the NFF & Federal Ministry Youth and of Sports development.
“There were situations that almost marred the league and to know that the leadership of NNL stood firm amidst all those circumstances, means they merit our praises”.
The body of NNL club owners made their presence and support felt at the NNL Super-eight Play-offs staged at the Cathedral, the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu.
Abdul Sule, a former Nigeria International equally charged Niger Tornadoes, Shooting Stars Sports club (3SC) of Ibadan, Gombe United and Remo Stars football clubs who picked the four promotion slots to the Nigeria professional football league (NPFL), to be good ambassadors of the NNL.
“We are proud of our teams that have been promoted and wish them the very best in their new campaign, our prayer is to see them maintain their status in the NPFL in the forseeable future“.
“Above all, the four teams must ensure they maintain discipline and play by the rules in the NPFL, discipline should be the watchword, it is needed on and off the pitch for the good of the game we all love”
In the same vein Sule welcomed the clubs from the NPFL joining the NNL – FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Warri Wolves, Adamawa United and Jigawa Golden Stars ,to the NNL family while wishing them luck ahead of the coming season.
Sule went on to salute the NNL club owners and stakeholders who took time out to come to Enugu to witness the Super eight.
Some of the NNL Club owners present at the season-ending Super- eight were: Abia Comets President, Victor Nwakama who is the Vice President NALCOMA, National coordinator of NALCOMA, Olisa Onuchukwu of Nnewi United, Tony Rafua of FC Nilayo, Chief Alloy Chukwuemeka –ABS of Ilorin; Chidi Okonkwo of Delta Force, and Bernard Joman Eguakhide – Dynamite Force of Iyahmo.
The chairman of chairmen in the NPFL, barrister Isaac Danladi who doubles as the chairman of Nasarawa United topped the roll call of Club boses that were in Enugu to encourage the NNL.
NFF Honours Super Falcons set of 1999
The Super Falcons’ set of 1999 that reached the quarter finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup staged in the United States of America will be the star attraction of the 3rd NFF-Aiteo Football Awards holding at the Banquet Hall of Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Monday evening.
Ably led by Captain Florence Omagbemi, the Falcons defeated North Korea 2-1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with goals from Mercy Akide and Rita Nwadike, before losing 1-7 to the USA despite taking a second-minute lead through Nkiru Okosieme. Defeat to the Americans in Chicago stirred something in Africa’s lone flag-bearer at the first FIFA Women’s World Cup to feature 16 teams.
In their next match, the Super Falcons flew past Denmark 2-0 at the Jack Kent Cooke Stadium near Washington DC, the goals coming from Mercy Akide and Nkiru Okosieme. In the quarter finals, at the same venue, the Nigerian girls stormed back from three goals down to Brazil in the first half to tie the game 3-3, with Prisca Emeafu, Nkiru Okosieme and Nkechi Egbe the scorers. Brazil won in extra-time, in what was the very first time a women’s competitive game was decided by the golden goal. This was after 104 minutes.
“The performance of the Super Falcons in that tournament remains etched in the memory and it is important that we honour them with a special recognition award,” said President of NFF and FIFA Council Member, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick.
Fifteen members of that 1999 squad, as well as Coach Ismaila Mabo, will be on hand at the Banquet Hall of Eko Hotels & Suites on Monday night. Eight of them are being flown down from the United States of America. Sadly, attacking midfielder Ifeanyi Chiejine died last year.
The 20-woman Super Falcons squad are: Florence Omagbemi, Ann Chiejine, Yinka Kudaisi, Martha Tarhemba, Adanna Nwaneri, Eberechi Opara, Kikelomo Ajayi, Stella Mbachu, Rita Nwadike, Gloria Usieta, Marvis Ogun, Prisca Emeafu, Judith Chime, Nkiru Okosieme, Maureen Mmadu, Florence Iweta, Nkechi Egbe, Patience Avre, Mercy Akide, Ifeanyi Chiejine.
Imaobong Uko Signed by Baylor University at Texas
Akwa Ibom athletics’ teenage sensation Imaobong Nse Uko has been signed by Baylor University, Texas for scholarship and furtherance of her career.
The 17-year-old from Etinan, Akwa Ibom State, is a two-time national 400 metres champion at the National Sports Festival and recently represented Nigeria at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Uko on Wednesday helped Nigeria claim gold in the mixed 4×400 metres relay at the ongoing World Under 20 Athletics Championship in Kenya and will be aiming for another gold medal in the women’s 400 metres final.
A product of the Akwa Ibom Youth Games, Imaobong has been in fantastic form and has attracted several interests from universities in the United States of America.
Fresh from completing her secondary education at the Apostolic Church Secondary School, Ikot Oku Nsit, Imaobong will soon link up with Baylor University.
Daniel Tom Umoette, a certified world athletics coach who has nurtured her, has expressed happiness over the feat while wishing the teenager well in her new phase of life.
“We have been expecting this for a while. I am happy it is a reality. I wish her well.”