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Disqualification Of 10 Nigerian Athletes: We Take Responsibility -AFN Insists

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The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Thursday admitted “lapses” on its part over the disqualification of 10 athletes from Tokyo Olympics for not complying with out-of-competition drug testing requirements.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced the disqualification of the Nigerian athletes on Monday.

The AFN, which has been plagued by power tussle for several years, said they would take responsibility for the lapses that led to the disqualification.

“The AFN bears responsibility for any lapses that may have occurred during the process and reassures Nigerians that our performances (at Tokyo Olympics) will not be negatively impacted,” it said in a statement.

“All our athletes resident in Nigeria and who qualified for the Olympic Games completed the three mandatory tests,” it said.

“Most of our top athletes resident in the USA also completed their tests,” the AFN said.

“However, a few athletes in the American collegiate system were tested, but those tests were deemed not to have complied with WADA (world anti-doping agency) sample collection and analysis standards.”

The AFN said it had appointed a top official to head its medical and anti-doping commission.

Star sprinter Blessing Okagbare, who will compete in the 100m and 200m in Tokyo, was critical of the country´s sports officials.

“The sport system in Nigeria is so flawed and we athletes are always at the receiving end of the damages,” she said.

“They were busy fighting over power, exercising their pride over Puma contract/kits forgetting their major responsibility – the athletes.

“It´s sad that this cycle keeps repeating itself and some people will come out to say I am arrogant for speaking my truth. It´s my career,” she added.

aGENCY rEPORT

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AFCON 2021: Eguavoen’s Failure To Change Tactics Behind Super Eagles’ Loss To Tunisia, Says NFF

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is not happy with the elimination of the Super Eagles from the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The football house feel its Technical Director, Augustine Eguavoen, who acted as interim head coach at the tournament in Cameroon, could have fielded a different team and tactics against Tunisia.

Nigerian won its first three games at the AFCON against Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau, playing expansive football with reliance on wing play from Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze.

However, the Tunisians found a way to shut down Simon and Chukwueze, winning 1-0 in the round of 16.

“We can’t be predictable for three consecutive matches straight up,” a senior NFF official told ESPN in a not-so-veiled criticism of Eguavoen.

“We ought to have changed tactics and even personnel to surprise them, too.

“Everyone was too heartbroken to have straight thoughts. But now, we have to maintain our heads, be stable, and focus on making the best decision for Nigeria.”

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Buhari Sympathises With Victims Of Market Fire Incident In Onitsha

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with victims of the fire incident at Main Market and Relief Market in Onitsha, Anambra State.

This was contained in a statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Friday in Abuja.

Recall that firefighters on Friday battle to put out a raging fire caused by a fallen petrol tanker in the state.

The fire reportedly destroyed several goods.

According to report, the fire started after a petrol tanker conveying fuel fell around Obodoukwu road, along the Onitsha-Owerri road in the commercial city.

Reacting, Buhari directed Federal Government agencies working with the Anambra government to give the necessary succour to victims.

He also urged public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to assist those whose means of livelihood had been affected by the unfortunate incident.

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2023: Buhari Will Give Us Guidance On Zoning, Says Gov Abiodun

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Ahead of the APC National convention in February and General Elections in 2023, the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun is confident that the President Muhammadu Buhari will give necessary guidance to ensure that equity and justice is reflected within the party’s zoning formula.

The Governor expressed this view after a visit to the President at the State House in Abuja on Friday.

He was accompanied by a broad delegation including former governor of the state, Olusegun Osoba; Chairman of the Council of Obas, Oba Babatunde Ajayi; former deputy governor, Alhaja Salimot Badru and a foremost industrialist, Chief Sulaiman Adegunwa.

Governor Abiodun who thanked the president for his recent visit to the state (where a number of projects were commissioned), equally spoke on the issue of zoning.

He noted that the party is working on a formula, which according to him will be made known after an approval by the National Executive Council.

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