Sports News: FIFA, UN bring football training to classrooms in Ivory Coast

Children at primary schools in the Ivorian commercial capital Abidjan traded classrooms for football fields last week to take part in a FIFA initiative to make the sport more accessible and contribute to education.

Ivory Coast is the first country in West Africa and the fifth on the continent to join FIFA’s Football for Schools (F4S) programme, launched in 2019 with pilot projects in Puerto Rico and Lebanon.

Children in yellow bibs and white jerseys practised passes and dribbled between cones under the guidance of FIFA instructors.


“When they play on football fields they banish violence, build leadership (skills) and communicate with others,” F4S manager Fatimata Sow said in Abidjan.

The programme is run in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and aims to contribute to the schooling of around 700 million children by combining sports and education.

“The workshops … connect football with education. Life, football and technical skills are taught in a session,” said F4S instructor Antonio Buenano

According to FIFA’s website, each of its participating member associations will get a one-off grant of $50,000 to run the programme. It remains unclear how many member associations will be involved.

Learning equipment will also be distributed to schools.

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Sports News: Golfers Sets For 2022 Cancer Awareness Golf Tourney In Ibadan

In a bid to keep enlightening golfers against the deadly disease called cancer, all is set by the organizer of the annual golf event tagged: Cancer Awareness Golf Tournament scheduled for between 25 and 26 November this year at the prestigious Ibadan Golf Club (IGC).

The unique golf tourney was conceptualized by a concerned golfer and former Lady Captain of IGC, Mrs. Lizzy Afonja who claimed to have lost scores of loved ones to cancer, but believed enough awareness about cancer, using golf could reduce the scourge.

While speaking ahead of the tournament with newsmen in Ibadan, Mrs.Afonja, the initiator of the tourney said most people lack enough knowledge about the dreaded disease which is responsible for the rise in the volume of victims.

“We are using this golf tournament to carry out advocacy against the deadly disease called cancer; it is killing people around us irrespective of age or background. The campaign is to enlighten people on tackling it if the symptoms are noticed early in the body.

“Cancer can happen in any part of your body, it’s very painful to me because I have lost many loved ones to cancer, for the past 24 years I have lost over 20 friends, and that was why I came up with this idea to use golf to advocate for cancer awareness whereby doctors will come around and enlighten us about scourge”, Afonja noted.

The respected Lady gofer who once managed the lady section of the Ibadan Golf Club in the past added that golfers will have a touch of the lush-green course of the IGC, while medical practitioners will also hold a health talk to enlighten the participants about the preventive measures against cancer on the 25th, the first day of the tournament. The following day, Saturday 26th will be for the competition and closing ceremony.

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Sports News: Nigeria Set to Join YouthConnekt Africa

To Enjoy Investment Acceleration Boost for Nigerian Youth

Nigeria is set to join YouthConnekt Africa, a youth forum that brings together young people from across the African continent.

The Nigerian Delegation led by directors in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports: Olusegun Olufehinti, Hajiya Amina Dauran and the Special Assistant on youth and ICT to the Honourable Minister Kemi Areola is currently attending the YouthConnekt Africa Summit held in Kigali Rwanda to solidify the partnership between Nigerian youth and the youth across the African continent under the umbrella of YouthConnekt Africa.

Following the commitment of the Federal Government to promote entrepreneurship and strengthen youth policy, which is the subject of a sectoral policy letter focusing on citizenship, volunteerism, social cohesion, and employment of young people and women that correspond to the objectives of YouthConnekt Africa, the Federal Government through the Youth Ministry decided to approve Nigeria joining the youth group.

This decision, to join this initiative, was taken for the sole purpose of the socio-economic transformation of the Nigerian youth

This decision, to join this initiative, was taken for the sole purpose of the socio-economic transformation of the Nigerian youth.

During the Intergenerational Dialogue at the opening ceremony of the Summit, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda reiterated to the African Youth that, “You must play a part in what you become. You must play a part in what your society becomes. No matter how small. You must make that decision to play a part. If you wait for handouts, that’s what you become.”

Also speaking at the event the Rwandan Minister of Youth and Culture, Rosemary Mbabazi highlighted the importance of the ‘3Ps’ for youth empowerment, which are; Policies, Programmes and Partnerships.

While Rigathi Gatchgua, the Deputy President of Kenya reminded the youth that happiness is an attitude of the mind and urged them to focus on the years that they are young, ensuring they take advantage of their youthfulness vigor, energy, and opportunities to build the best future for themselves and others.

As Nigeria continues to implement an ambitious range of programmes aimed at training and empowerment of the youth, through a strong focus on education, the creation of decent jobs, and strengthening policies for social inclusion.

Youth Minister Sunday Dare stated that he strongly believes the YouthConnekt platform will help enhance these areas of focus for the African youth.

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Sports News: Ex-super eagles player, Mikel Obi retires from football

On Tuesday, Nigeria’s ex-international, Mikel John Obi announced his retirement from football after about 20 years in the game.

Obi took to his Instagram page to announce his retirement from football.

According to him, “there is a saying that “all good things must come to an end”, and for my professional football career, that day is today

“I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.

“All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, teammates, and most importantly my ever-loyal fans. You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days when I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.”

Obi said he would also like to encourage everyone who might have been inspired one way or the other in the course of his career to never give up on their dreams, saying that every time on thought about quitting, “remind yourself why you started.”

“This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you,” he said.

Born on 22 April, 1987, Obi is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.

Obi began his career with local club Plateau United, before joining Norwegian club Lyn at 17 in 2004. In 2006, he made a controversial transfer to English club Chelsea after Manchester United claimed they had already signed him.

He stayed with Chelsea for 11 years, before moving to China with Tianjin TEDA in 2017. After two years in China, he returned to England on a short-term deal with Middlesbrough, before joining Trabzonspor on a free transfer in July 2019.

Mikel moved back to England in August 2020 joining Stoke City. In a 14-year international career between 2005 and 2019, he played 91 times for Nigeria, scoring six goals.

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Sports News: Pogba’s brother charged in extortion case, mulls appeal

Paul Pogba’s brother Mathias has been charged and detained over the alleged extortion of the France and Juventus midfielder.

An investigation was opened last month into allegations Paul was the target of an extortion plot by his brother and childhood friends demanding a 13 million euros ($13 million) sum.

Mathias, who is a free agent after a spell with French fourth-tier side Belfort came to an end in April, threatened to share “explosive revelations” in a video posted on social media.

The 32-year-old has denied taking part in extortion attempts against his brother.

However, it emerged on Saturday that he and four others have been charged and will now be held in jail while he awaits a decision from the judge regarding bail.

Mathias’ lawyer confirmed to French outlet BFMTV that his client intends to challenge the decision.

“It’s a decision we do not understand especially because the courts have recognized Mr. Pogba did not participate in the acts of kidnapping, which his brother was allegedly the victim of,” the lawyer said.

“Mr. Pogba could perfectly have and should have been released during this judicial investigation. So that will not stop there, we will challenge this decision from a legal point of view so that Mr. Pogba can be released as soon as possible.

“This is an individual who has never been talked about, who has a clean criminal record, who is not a thug, who is presumed innocent. And the elements of this file, it is my assessment, show that he did not commit any criminal offense.

“So for a person who may not have, and I’m telling you certainly not, committed a criminal offense, ending up in prison is something extremely difficult. So we are going to fight so that he can get out as soon as possible.”

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Sports News: We can handle 2025 AFCON says Guinea sports minister

Guinea’s military government has told a Confederation of African Football (CAF) mission that it will meet the timetable for staging the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).

CAF has sent a team to the West African state to assess its readiness to host the tournament.

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who appointed himself president after taking power in a coup in September 2021, met the delegation on Wednesday.

“They came with a message, and this message was, ‘Is 2025 feasible for us [Guineans] or not?’,” Sports Minister Lansana Bea Diallo said.

The CAF team held out the possibility of postponing CAN 2025 until 2026 or 2027, he said.

“The president was straightforward – ‘We made this a national priority, and the national priority is for 2025, we won’t go for 2026 or 2027, we will organize it in 2025’,” the minister was quoted on state TV late Wednesday as saying.

“And that’s the word of the head of state which has been given today,” he said.

Hosting Africa’s biggest sporting event is a major challenge for Guinea, which suffers a chronic lack of sporting and transport infrastructure.

The country also has a long history of political turbulence.

Last year’s coup saw the removal of octogenarian President Alpha Conde after bloody protests over his bid for a third term in office.

The takeover has stirred frictions with the influential West African bloc ECOWAS, which has been pushing for an early return to civilian rule.

On the eve of the CAF visit, Doumbouya issued a decree declaring the 2025 competition an issue of “national and priority interest”.

All spending for organizational needs “will be processed as a matter of urgency” and procedures will be fast-tracked to allocate land needed for the tournament.

In March, Doumbouya named a new organising committee after one of its members publicly doubted whether it was feasible to host the tournament in 2025.

The CAF mission appeared to have been encouraged by the visit.

“Today we are really reassured by Guinea’s preparedness,” said one of its members, Benin’s Mathurin de Chacus.

Doumbouya “spoke like a soldier – he’s determined to organize CAN for the Guinean public”, he said in remarks broadcast on television.

The delegation will brief CAF on the outcome of its mission, he said.

Guinea was originally scheduled to host the tournament in 2023, but this was pushed back by two years when the list of organizing nations was reshuffled in 2018.

The 2023 event will be hosted by Ivory Coast.



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NBA star Biyombo visits DRC, rallies youngsters in Goma

On a visit to Goma, capital of Congo’s North Kivu province Saturday, Congolese NBA star Bismack Biyombo tried to bring a smile to the young people back home despite tension there.

The 29-year-old Phoenix Suns Center called on the Congolese to unite for the good of their country which has been suffering from armed conflicts for more than 20 years.

“It is good to be with them under this beautiful sun and motivate them because the reality is that I too was once like one of these children…. I believe that they are going to do better than what we are doing to live. They have to do it with our support,” said Biyombo.

“We learned a lot of his advice. He showed us how the life of basketball works. Most importantly, he encouraged us to keep pursuing our goal,” said Gloria Asifiwe, a 15-year-old basketball player from Goma.

Biyombo’s foundation supports communities in Congo through athletics, education, and health. The organization runs academies launched in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Kivu.

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Sport Minister celebrates as Amusan Picks Nigeria’s First Ever Gold Medal, Brume Wins Silver for 2022 World Athletics Championships

It’s New Dawn for Nigerian Athletics Says Sports Minister Dare

Nigeria left her best for the last day of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America by winning a gold and a silver medal.

Tobi Amusan broke the 100m hurdles World Record in the semi-finals with an astonishing 12.12s and followed up with a (+2.5) wind-assisted 12.06s in the final.

The time in the final would not be recognized as it was well over the legal +2.0 wind assist allowed in Athletics.

Before then, she had run 12.40s in the heat to set a new African Record.

Amusan has now become Nigeria’s first-ever World Champion in athletics.

Team Nigeria would go on to celebrate another podium finish in the Long Jump, with Ese Brume’s 7.02m leap.

Brume won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

I am so proud of what Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume and even those who didn’t get on the podium have achieved in Eugene, Oregon

Reacting to Nigeria’s late rally for medals in Oregon and the country’s best performance ever at the Championships, Sports Minister Sunday Dare said these heartwarming feats would herald a new dawn for Nigerian athletics.

“I am so proud of what Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, and even those who didn’t get on the podium have achieved in Eugene, Oregon. This is the beginning of great things for Nigerian athletics. This is a new dawn.

“Years of hard work and consistently knocking on the door has yielded the right dividends. For the first time in our history, we have a World Champion. This is huge. Congratulations to Nigeria.”

The Minister also highlighted a few other positive results for Team Nigeria even though they did not end in podium finishes.

“These medals are not the only positives from the World Championships. The 4×100m relay teams(men and women)showed a lot of promise for the future.

“The women barely got here as the 16th best team in the world but they got so close to getting on the podium, the men also gave it their best shot and showed they have a bright future.

“Our athletes in the short sprints also showed character. Some of them are competing on a high-level stage like this for the first time, rubbing shoulders with very experienced and tournament-tested veterans and legends, and not falling too far behind in extremely tough situations.

“They can beat their chests and be proud of their achievements. We now have the responsibility to continue to support them by creating the right environment for their growth.”

With the World Championships now over, the focus would shift to the Commonwealth Games starting later this week in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

“We have gained a great momentum going into the Commonwealth Games now, this will definitely inspire Team Nigeria to make a huge impact in Birmingham,” Dare concluded.

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Sports News: South/West Rep. Of NGF, Onwuegbu Rates IGC’s Welfare, Golf Course High

The zonal representative of the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), Mrs. Onwuegbu Bose Ngozi has attested to the rich golf tradition of the prestigious Ibadan Golf Club (IGC), describing their golf course and the welfare package extended to her in Ibadan as topnotch.

Onwuegbu who was in Ibadan during the recently held Captain’s inaugural tournament to perform oversight function as the South/West zonal representative of the NGF disclosed this while addressing newsmen after the event, saying she came to support Ibadan golf club and event.

“I’m very satisfied with all I have seen here because IGC is a friendly golf club, if you come here once, you will always want to come back again, they’re friendly, they’re nice people’ with fantastic golf course that you will wanted to play and play again”, said Onwuegbu.

The Lady Captain of Dolphin Golf Club who also emerged runner-up best net in guest ladies category with the scores of 106 gross over 78net during the golf tourney also promised to do her best in ensuring and encouraging more ladies’ participation in game golf at the South/West Nigeria.

“I have been doing my best in creating more awareness for the game among ladies since coming into office as a zonal representative on the NGF board and I will not rest on my oars until my set out goals are achieved”, said the widely traveled golfer.

She however described golf as a great game where she derived much joy and gladness socializing with elite; people of good culture and intellectuals, and playing walking round the big golf course, burning the calories are enough for her wellness.

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Sports News: How Team Woli Agba Walloped Ayefele Boys In A friendly Football Match

It was thrilling and fun inside the main bowl of Lekan Salami on Thursday when the Football team of Fresh FM 105.9 confronted Instagram Power Ministry (IPM) Football team in a friendly football match marking 20 years anniversary of a comedian and Gospel artiste, Ayo Ajewole popularly known as ‘Woli Agba’.

The Commissioner for Youths and Sports, in Oyo State, Asiwaju Seun Fakorede who was a special guest of honour at the event featured both teams and eventually scored a goal each for the two sides in a dramatic game that ended four goals to two in favour of the comedians.

Ayo Ajewole, the convener opened the scoring for his team with a superb turning, in-between the two defenders of the Ayefele boys before firing a thunderous shot that beat the goalkeeper hands down to record the first goal in the 18th minute of the game, after he doubled the score line with a penalty kicks few minutes to the end of the first half.

Among notable Stand-up comedians that feature in Woli Agba Team includes Tolulope Olayiwola, a skit maker popularly known as MC Remote, Ibadan-based comedian, Olowomoyela Oluwatobi Lawrence‎, popularly known as Peteru, and another talented skit makers Olamide Oladimeji Mayungbe, popularly known as Dele Omo Woli who always features with Woli Agba.

Notable AOPs that featured in the Ayefele Babes includes: Samuel Gbesabi, Jagunmade Adesina popularly known as PAJ1, Samson Akindele, Gbolahan Olalere, Yinka Olatunberu, Abiala Dahunsi Kaka, and Peter Peteru while Kenny Ogunmiloro and Jubril Arowolo are on the sideline tutoring the side.

Fakorede in his remarks after the match thumped up the gospel comedian for his resilience that prepared him to made headway in the comic industry, while congratulating him for the two decades attainments, urging other youths to emulate him by taking time to discover and nurture their innate talents.

“Our Governor here has created very conducive and enabled environment for youths succeed in whatever positive thing they laid their hands on. Woli Agba and many others here are evidence that Oyo State is favorably suitable for youth’s talent development”, said the Commissioner

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