Gateway vs Stationery Stores, COD UTD vs 3SC, Ranch Bees vs DSS AFC, Full NNL Week 2 Fixtures here

  • NNL WEEK 2 FIXTURES GROUP A

    KWARA UTD FC vs KOGI UTD 22/2/2014

    WIKKI TOURISTS FC vs NIGER TORNADOES FC 22/2/2014

    PLATEAU UTD vs FRSC FC 22/2/2014

    SPOTLIGHT FC vs NIG. PRISONS FC 22/2/2014

    TEAP FC vs MIGHTY JETS FC 22/02/2014

    ADAMAWA UTD vs JIGAWA G’ STARS 23/02/2014

    RANCH BEES FC vs DSS FC 23/02/2014

    SUPREME COURT FC VS SOKOTO UTD 23/02/2014

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    NNL WEEK 2 FIXTURES GROUP B

    GABROS FC vs AKWA STARLET FC 23/02/2014

    PRIME FC vs BENDEL INSURANCE FC 22/2/2014

    ABIA COMETS FC vs GO-ROUND FC 22/2/2014

    GATEWAY UTD vs STATIONARY STORES FC 22/2/2014

    3SC vs COD UTD 22/2/2014

    MFM FC vs REMO STARS FC 22/2/2014

    EKITI UTD FC vs UNICEM ROVERS FC 22/2/2014

    FIRST BANK FC vs ABS FC 23/2/2014

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  • Two Weeks to IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland

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    In just two weeks’ time, the focus of the athletics world will fall on Sopot, Poland as the 15th edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships gets underway on 7 March.

    Much of the spotlight will be on the combined events, as both world champions from Moscow will be competing.

    World and Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton of the USA leads the heptathlon entries in what will be his only combined events competition of 2014. Eaton will be defending the title he won in Istanbul two years ago and will be looking to surpass the world indoor record of 6645 he set on that occasion.

    In what looks set to be a high-quality competition, Eaton will be joined by 2013 IAAF Combined Events Challenge winner Andrei Krauchanka, world silver medallist Damian Warner, European champion Pascal Behrenbruch, European indoor champion Eelco Sintnicolaas, World University Games champion Thomas Van Der Plaetsen, world indoor silver medallist Oleksiy Kasyanov and European under-23 champion Kai Kazmirek.

    The women’s pentathlon is headed by Hanna Melnychenko. The Ukrainian was the surprise winner of the heptathlon title at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow and has already shown good form this season, setting PBs in the shot put and 60m hurdles.

    Despite some pre-event withdrawals, the heptathlon in Moscow last year proved to be one of the most exciting competitions of the championships. The contest in Sopot will be something of a rematch with four of the top six heptathlon finishers present.

    Melnychenko will be up against world silver medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton, US champion Sharon Day, Germany’s Claudia Rath, world leader Yana Maksimava, Nadine Broersen of the Netherlands, Ukrainian champion Alina Fyodorova and Poland’s Karolina Tyminska, who narrowly missed out on a medal two years ago in Istanbul.

    The invites for the combined events in Sopot are awarded to the 2013 IAAF Combined Events Challenge winners, the top three athletes on last year’s outdoor world season lists, the top three athletes on this year’s indoor world season lists, plus one wild card.

    Both the pentathlon and heptathlon get underway on the first day of action in Sopot and the winner of the pentathlon will be the first gold-medal recipient of the championships.

    Source: IAAF

    Sauber F1 Team Test one Day two Bahrain International Circuit-20th February 2014

    Circuit: Bahrain International Circuit / 5.412 km

    Driver: Esteban Gutiérrez

    Weather: Sunny, air 20-27 °C, track 22-30 °C

    Chassis / engine: C33-02 / Ferrari

    Laps today: 55 laps, 297.66 km

    Fastest lap: 1:40.717 min

    The second day of testing in Bahrain saw Esteban Gutiérrez taking over the Sauber C33-Ferrari. In the morning the team ran several aero tests and systems checks. In the afternoon running time was compromised because of an electrical issue. In total Gutiérrez completed 55 laps today.

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    Photo credits Sauber F1 Team

    Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:

    “In the morning we were able to work through the programme. We did several installation laps and short runs, focusing on checking the different systems settings. This way we ensure the drivers and the team know exactly what to expect when changing the settings

    of this complex power train. Like yesterday, we also gained experience on the hard and the medium tyre compounds and completed several aero tests. Unfortunately in the afternoon we lost time because of an electrical issue.”

    Esteban Gutiérrez:

    “The morning was very productive. We managed to do a lot of laps and understand a lot of things that need to be done. There is a lot of work to do to understand everything properly, especially the engine and electronics. In Jerez it was important that everything was running and functioning. Here in Bahrain it’s time to put everything together and make sure all the components are in tune, so we can start working on the potential of the car.”

    What comes next

    Today Esteban Gutiérrez will be driving again, before Adrian Sutil takes over on Saturday.

    Source : Sauber F1 Team

    NFF doubles Flamingoes’ win-bonus, allowances

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    The camp of the U-17 Women National Team, Flamingoes, erupted in joy on Thursday after NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, announced that the Federation had decided to increase their allowances and match bonus by one hundred percent.

    While on a visit to the team’s Serob Legacy Hotel, Abuja on Thursday, on his way to a special meeting with CAF President Issa
    Hayatou in Cairo, Maigari charged the girls to go all out and do Nigeria proud at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup finals taking place in Costa Rica from 15th March – 4th April.

    “Only yesterday, our dear leader, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR pledged even more support for sportsmen and women vying to bring glory to Nigeria. And as you are also aware, every individual or team that lifted the name of the nation in one way or the other has been honoured by President Jonathan.

    “The NFF charges you to concentrate very well and be focused during your final training camp and to pay attention to the instructions of your Coaches. That is the only route to success in Costa Rica. I have faith that after your final training programme, you will be well
    prepared to lift the World Cup trophy.”

    The Flamingoes are now scheduled to depart Nigeria through Abuja on Friday, 21st February, aboard a Lufthansa Airline flight, for a 19-day training camp at the Browns Sport and Leisure Club in Faro, Portugal.

    Already, the Nigeria Football Federation has secured a top grade friendly for the team, with the U-17 Women National Team of Belgium, to be played in Brussels on Tuesday, 4th March. A number of games with some clubs in Portugal are also on the line.

    The team will return to Faro from Brussels and then fly from Madrid, Spain to San Jose, capital of Costa Rica, on 12th March, with their first match of the tournament against China on 16th March.

    Caterham F1 Team T02 BAHRAIN – DAY TWO REPORT

    Bahrain – 20th February 2014

    Driver: Kamui Kobayashi, car #10

    Chassis: CT05-#02

    Total laps: 66

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    Kamui Kobayashi. Photo courtesy Caterham F1 Team

    Kamui Kobayashi: “It was good to be back in the car and even though we had quite a few interruptions in the morning with a telemetry issue, we still completed 66 laps which is another useful day’s work.

    “It’s still too early to know where we really are, but being able to build the mileage every day is the only way we’ll be able to get the most out of the car. Reliability is going to be so important this year, and it’s good that the issues we’ve had here have been fixed well enough to allow us to keep running. It’s also good to finish the day with a relatively quicker lap, but even though everyone knows laptimes don’t really mean anything in the tests, it’s good for the team to start to see us unlocking some of the car’s performance.”

    Cedrik Staudohar, Track Support Leader, Renault Sport F1: “From our side today was comparatively problem-free. We completed another decent number of laps and continued to unlock the Power Unit’s performance, working steadily to improve driveability and outright pace. Tomorrow Marcus is in the car and we would obviously like another clean day to give him the maximum time to continue his familiarisation with the 2014 car. We have a lot more pure performance to come and the plan is to continue building as we go through the tests, so tomorrow we would like more of the same that we saw from Kamui and the team today.”

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    Robin Frijns, Reserve Driver, Caterham F1, Marcus Ericsson, Caterham F1 and Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham F1.
    Photo Courtesy Caterham F1 Team

    Sochi Olympians elect Bjørndalen and Wickenheiser to IOC Athletes’ Commission – Record turnout by athletes

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    Photo courtesy IOC

    Ole Einar Bjørndalen from Norway (biathlon) and Hayley Wickenheiser from Canada (ice hockey) have been elected to the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by their peers at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for a term of approximately eight years.

    A new Olympic record was set by the Sochi athletes after 80.87 per cent of them made their way to the voting booths to cast their votes.

    IOC President Thomas Bach said: “As one of the founding members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, I very much appreciate the high participation in the vote. It shows the value that athletes place on being part of the decision-making process and helping to shape the future of the Olympic Movement.”

    The announcement was made today at the Coastal Olympic Village by IOC Executive Board members Claudia Bokel (also Chairwoman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission) and Anita L. DeFrantz (also Chairwoman of the Election Committee). The election was held over the past 21 days in the three Olympic Villages located in the coastal and the mountain clusters.

    Bjørndalen was elected with 1,087 votes, followed by Wickenheiser with 758. The two new members will replace Rebecca Scott and Saku Koivu, who were elected to the Athletes’ Commission at the Turin Games in 2006 for a term of eight years each.

    Claudia Bokel said after the announcement: “The athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Games, and our Commission is their voice in all decisions taken by the IOC. During the Games, our Commission members listen to the athletes’ concerns and opinions in all three Olympic Villages.” She added: “We also aim to offer them the best support possible outside the Games, for instance when it comes to questions of career transition with tools like the Athlete Career Programme and the newly launched MOOC. I am sure that our two new colleagues will make an important contribution to our work.”

    On 23 February, Bjørndalen and Wickenheiser will be proposed to the IOC Session for IOC membership. Pending approval, they will then be officially introduced at the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Games on 23 February.

    Some 2,871 athletes were eligible to vote and had nine candidates from the same number of countries to choose from. Votes needed to be cast for two different athletes from two different sports. The candidates had to be presented by their National Olympic Committees, which were required to have their own Athletes’ Commission to select the candidate. In order to be eligible, the candidates had to be 18 years or older on 23 February 2014, have participated either in the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 or in Sochi in 2014, and have never been found guilty of a doping offence during their sports career.

    Background Information

    The IOC Athletes’ Commission is currently comprised of 22 members who are past or active Olympians. They are the voice of the athletes within the Olympic Movement and are tasked with defending their interests. As the link between the athletes and the IOC, the Commission members are involved in many key IOC activities, including the process to evaluate candidate cities seeking to host the Olympic Games, the composition of the sports programme for the Games and the fight against doping.

    The Athletes’ Commission also oversees the IOC Athlete Career Programme, established in 2005, to facilitate education as well as job opportunities for athletes during and after their sporting careers. The Commission’s chairperson, a position currently held by Claudia Bokel, also sits on the IOC Executive Board.

    Dike’s Injury Rankles Keshi…Turns Prayer Warrior For Others …Commiserates With Falode

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    Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi

    Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi was practically in tears on Tuesday evening when he learnt of the injury to power playing Toronto FC of Canada forward, Bright Dike. He has already instructed team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran to get in touch the medics of the player’s club to know the extent of damage done to a potential World Cup debutant.

    “No, no, this is very sad. I can’t believe this is happening to a player with such enthusiasm to play for Nigeria at the highest level, we will surely miss him, if it’s true he would not be ready on time for the World Cup. I can’t think of any replacement for now until we get to the real facts of the matter”

    Keshi said in Florianopolis, Brazil, where he is presently attending the FIFA seminar for Mundial 2014 along with coaches of other qualified nations and their officials.

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    The former Anderletch of Belgium and Strasbourg of France libero also revealed that he has turned a prayer warrior for all the players he is planning to take to the World Cup, and he was sure God will protect them against any form of injury in the run-up to the World Cup. “We just have to commit all the other players to God’s hands, because we can only do well if our players are in good health”, he said.

    On the return of Skipper Joseph Yobo to the team, Keshi said he was recalled because he has recently come back to a reach vein of form, warning however that his recall to the team does not guarantee a World Cup place. “He played well against Manchester City, which I watched but he must be consistent and we pray he should be in good health, those are the attributes we want in all the players that will go to the World Cup”.

    The national team coach also expressed grief at news of the death of the son of National Womens’ Team Coordinator, Aisha Falode, Master Toba Falode. “We in the Super Eagles join the NFF and the entire football fraternity to mourn with Falode. We pray God to grant her the fortitude to bear the loss”, he said through team’s Media Officer Ben Alaiya.

    FIFA Seminar Excites Nigerian Delegates

    Nigerian delegates to the Brazil 2014 World Cup Workshop/Seminar in Florianopolis, Brazil say they have benefitted immensely from the weeklong event, which they will avail the national team and Nigerian football, when occasion warrants.

    Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, said it was a revealing session for him, as it afforded him an opportunity to meet some of the best coaches in the world. “Some of the coaches we have here, were the same coaches some of us were adoring in our playing days. To be rubbing shoulders with them on the same platform is a rare privilege and we must thank the NFF and FIFA for this opportunity”, he said as he exchanged pleasantries with Brazilian coach, Luis Filipo Scolari.

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    Keshi and Brazilian Coach Felipe Scolari share a moment during lunch time on Wednesday at the ongoing FIFA Seminar in Florianopolis, Brazil

    Eagles Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor, who was also at a similar event at the South African 2010 World Cup, said there have been a few changes to the last seminar, as FIFA continues to evolve as one of the most influential bodies in the world. “The seminar will surely help us when the World Cup starts”, he said.

    On his part team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, who has been the most engaged of all the delegates here said it has been another eye opener for him in the field of sports medicine. “We have been told the latest discoveries in medicine, new medical terms, drugs, steps against anti-doping, preventive rather than curative approach in athletes’ management and new rules from international bodies like the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Health Organisation.

    NFF Marketing Department’s Chuks Alizor, said he has gained fresh insights into international sports marketing, which will come in handy in his job with the NFF. “FIFA was simply fantastic with this seminar and I thank the NFF for bringing me here to learn new things”, he said.

    Team Security Head, Assistant Commissioner of Police Abubabakar Baba, was mouth agape at the huge deployment of security operatives and other salient security details unveiled during Wednesday’s session. “Security wise I have gained a lot but I must also say FIFA has a lot of planners that will make this year’s World Cup free of security threat”, he said.

    NFF Security Committee, Dr Christian Emeruwa spoke in a similar vein, describing the knowledge gained at the seminar as an eye opener. The Nigerian delegation is expected back home

    Caterham F1 Team T02 BAHRAIN – DAY ONE REPORT

    Caterham F1 Team T02 BAHRAIN – DAY ONE REPORT

    Bahrain – 19th February 2014

    Driver: Robin Frijns

    Chassis: CT05-#02

    Total laps: 68

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    Robin Frijns photo credits Caterham F1 Team

    Robin Frijns:

    “We’ve obviously made quite a lot of progress since Jerez and having finished the day with 68 laps, a lot more than the other Renault powered teams, I think everyone can be quite pleased with how this test has started.

    “For me it’s still too early to really tell how quick the car is because we haven’t yet started running anywhere near full performance levels, but overall it feels ok. I wasn’t getting a lot of grip from the back end to begin with but we made a few changes to the aero balance and by the end of the session it was starting to come together, especially on the mediums which we tried in the afternoon – the grip levels on those was much better and I could really start to push on that set.

    “That’s my last day in the car before the season starts and I’m happy to finish in the car in Bahrain with that mileage completed. I’m enjoying being part of this team – they all know what they have to do to start pushing up the grid, and being part of that is good.”

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    photo credits Caterham F1 Team

    Cedrik Staudohar, Track Support Leader, Renault Sport F1:

    “Today was obviously a more positive start to the test than we had in Jerez but we still have work to do to increase the performance levels to achieve the targets we have set for this stage of the season. A lot of work has been done since the first test, much of which has helped us achieve the mileage we did today, and after running without any major Power Unit problems throughout the whole day it is clear we have made significant progress, both for us and with the team.”

    SWAN FCT Chapter Commiserate With Aisha Falode, Mourns Walter Oyatogun.

    The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, FCT chapter has commiserated with former NFF Media and Publicity Committee member Aisha Falode, on the loss of her son, Toba Falode.

    Chairman, SWAN, FCT chapter, Kayode Adeniyi expressed shock on hearing the news which he described as sad, unfortunate and unthinkable while also praying that God grants the Falode family the fortitude to bear the loss.

    “I want to say here that the entire sports writers in Abuja are shocked to here this sad news, it is totally unthinkable that a young boy with such a promising future has been lost just like that. We deeply mourn with her at this time. Kayode lamented

    Meanwhile Kayode Adeniyi also said that SWAN also mourns the passing away of veteran broadcaster, Mr. Walter Oyatogun, who died in Lagos last weekend at the age of 78, after suffering a third stroke.

    Oyatogun, a veteran broadcaster, who ruled the airwaves in Nigeria sports television commentary in the 1970s and 1980s, died on Friday, 14th February at the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos.

    Nigeria female U17 defeats Nasarawa Amazons in Abuja Friendly…….Departs to Faro for Training tour, Friday

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    With less than a month to the female U-17 World cup in Costa Rica, Nigeria U17 women has intensified preparations with a 2-0 victory over the country’s women league champions, Nasarawa United, in a friendly match in Abuja.
    Goals from Uche Kanu and Onyebuchi Goodness in separate halves, handed the Faro-bound girls the victory in the tie, played at the FIFA Goal Project Centre on Wednesday.

    The coach Bala Nkiyu led wards through Uche Kanu grabbed the lead in the 7th minute and later saw several attempts on goal off target in the first half with Aminat, Chiwnedu both recording a miss.

    However, Nasarawa Amazons failed to find a breakthrough for an equalizer as the resilient Nigeria flamingoes sealed up its defense line. Unfortunately, the HamzaAbdullahi led women lost hope when Onyebuchi Goodness fired home to make it 2-0 for the Flamingoes.

    Interestingly, the 2-0 victory over the Amazons became the second victory for the Flamingoes after an earlier 2-1 victory in Lafia during their Federation tour.

    Meanwhile, a 34-man delegation of the Nigeria cadet women team made up 25 players and 9 officials are expected to leave the country for a training tour in Faro, Portugal on Friday.

    Nigeria Shifts focus to doubles as Portugal’s Montiero defeats Aruna Quadri at ITTF Qatar open

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    The superb outing by Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri could not prevent him from being shown the exit in the men’s singles of the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour tagged: “Qatar Open holding in Doha after the Nigerian lose narrowly to Portugal’s Joao Monteiro.

    The experience of Portugal’s Monteiro was what saved the France-based Portuguese from the brink of defeat against Quadri.
    For every point that Monteiro won against Quadri, the Nigerian made the Portuguese to work for as Monteiro won the first game at 11-7. But an improved Quadri leveled up with an 11-9 win in the second game.

    The next two matches went in favour of the Portuguese at 11-8, 11-8. Undeterred by this lead, Quadri recovered to match up with 11-8, 11-9 win to put the encounter at 3-3.

    The seventh match, the decider was spectacular with both players fighting for each pint. But at the end, the Portuguese escaped with a narrow win of 12-10 to progress to the main draw of the competition.

    Before the tie against Monteiro, Quadri had overcame a highly-rated Chinese Taipei’s Wang-Wei Peng with a 4-2 win in his first group match.

    A disappointed Quadri said he was not too happy losing narrowly to the Portuguese.

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    “It was a sad day for me because I was close to making it to the main draw of the men’s singles and I lost narrowly to what I could say is ill-luck. In all, I was not disappointed with my performance but I am sad to have lost in such manner that I was looking for just a point to win,” he regretted.

    Continuing he said: “There are lots of differences in Qatar when compared to my performance in Kuwait. Though I am still lacking in the receiving tactic but I was always ready to make blocking anytime I received a service. As I am hoping to be at the German and Spanish Opens and I want to thank the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi for sponsoring us to these competitions, may God continue to help him.”

    Unlike Quadri, Kazeem Makanjuola was no match to his two opponents as he was walloped 4-0 by Singapore’s Zhaoxu Xin and Egypt’s Omar Assar.

    Meanwhile, the Nigeria’s duo of Quadri and Makanjuola are hopeful of good outing in the doubles event after setting up a clash against home boys – Qatar’s pair of Fahed Almughanne and Mohammed Alyafei in the preliminary round of the men’s doubles.

    The tournament is the highest prize money tournament in the ITTF World Tours with a total package of $500,000. 200 players from 35 countries are participating in the five-day tournament, which is one of the Super Series in the tour.

    Hayatou to host Maigari in Cairo as NFF condoles with Aisha Falode

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    President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, will be a special guest of CAF President, Alhaji (Dr.) Issa Hayatou in
    Cairo, Egypt on Friday.

    The CAF President has invited Maigari and presidents of four other federations whose teams would be representing Africa at this summer’s World Cup finals to a special meeting in the Egyptian capital.

    It is expected that the former 400m champion of Cameroon would seek to sound out Maigari and the FA Presidents of Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire on their teams’ preparations for the biggest showpiece in football, happening in Brazil between 12th June – 13th July.

    Africa’s football supremo is also likely to impress it on the FA chiefs on the need to adequately prepare their teams to make the
    continent proud in South America.

    No African team has made it to the semi finals of the FIFA World Cup in the past 19 editions, with only eight countries having lifted the
    trophy – Brazil, Italy, Germany, Uruguay, Argentina, England, France and Spain.

    Only Cameroon, in Italy in 1990, Senegal, in Korea/Japan in 2002, and Ghana, in South Africa in 2010, have flown Africa’s flag into the last eight of the FIFA World Cup, with Cameroon narrowly beaten by England in 1990 and Senegal eliminated by Turkey in Japan 12 years later. Ghana lost to Uruguay four years ago.

    Nigeria, champions of Africa, play two-time winners Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Iran in Group F, with Algeria up against
    Belgium, Russia and Korea Republic in Group H and Ghana to face Germany, Portugal and USA in Group G.

    Cameroon tackle Brazil, Croatia and Mexico in Group A and Cote d’Ivoire are up against Colombia, Greece and Japan in Group C.

    NFF condoles Aisha Falode

    The Nigeria Football Federation on Wednesday condoled Member of the CAF Media Committee, Aisha Falode, on the death of her son, Toba Falode.

    News of the unfortunate incident made the rounds on Monday, and it was learnt that the young man died at the weekend.

    The screen diva, a former Chairperson of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, has been a telling figure in Nigeria sports journalism and sports administration for decades, through her rare passion, diligence, keen attention to details and sense of duty.

    NFF President Aminu Maigari was dumbstruck when he learnt of the sad news. “This is a tragedy. It is very, very sad to hear of the death of such a young, charming and ambitious young man.

    “We feel very much for Aisha Falode and deeply mourn with her at this period. It must be so devastating to lose such a promising son at that young age.”

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