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3SC will regain lost glory, Makinde assures

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday assured that his government would transform the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) and return it to the Nigerian Premier League.

Governor Makinde, who spoke at the Stakeholders Forum he hosted in the State of the Football Club at the Executive Council Chambers, Governor’s office, Agodi Ibadan, also restated his government’s commitment to transform the 3SC and ensure that it reclaims its lost glory.

Makinde said his administration is ready  to motivate and properly fund the club so that it could achieve the objective of gaining promotion to the premier league.

This was as stakeholders of the club, including the General Manager, Rasheed Balogun; Team  Manager, Dimeji Lawal and Supporters’ Club chairman, Oluwafemi Olaniyi, among others, lauded  Governor Makinde for his uncommon support to the 3SC in less than three months in office.

The stakeholders noted that the club had not only been underfunded by the last administration, it was also not given enough moral support even when it gained promotion to the NPFL.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that that the club should be playing in the Nigerian Premier League, in view of its rich history and dedicated fan base across Nigeria and even Africa.

 He maintained that the state government would “do whatever is necessary at this point; pick up the pieces and face the future to ensure that the club reclaims its lost glory.”

The Governor assured the stakeholders, including the management and the players of the club, that his government would properly motivate and fund the club by giving it the required resources.

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He directed the management of the club to forward a proposal to his office on any areas where it needed to fortify.

The Governor stated that his utmost concern was how the management would work hard to achieve desired goals, adding that he would make changes that would give desired result.

He, however, urged them to remember that to who much is given, much is expected, noting that if it would take a miracle for the team to gain promotion, then that miracle would happen, because his becoming the Governor of Oyo state was also a miracle.

“What happened at your last match in Asaba, you know when people start saying maybe it was by some uncommon means that we lost the match…, then I will tell you that my sitting here is a miracle. So, I say that 3SC will be promoted this season. If it will take a miracle, we will make it happen.

“We will make changes that can give us the desired result, what is important is that the management and the players should do their own bit, we will motivate you and properly fund the club. But to whom much is given, much is expected.

“We will give you the required resources and attention because of the importance we attach to the club. When 3SC is not doing well, you are not the only one feeling the pain; the generality of our people also feel the pain.

“We will look for ways and means to make things happen fast within the limit imposed by the governance structure. I have listened to you, and we will take into consideration what you have said,” the governor stated.

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The Governor stressed that some of the problems identified by the stakeholders will be resolved by the Government, saying that “some of the challenges of 3SC are surmountable. I was in this state in the early 80s when Leventis United got promoted from Division 3 to Division 1 and in one season, won the Challenge Cup from Division 3.

“What 3SC mean to me is that it is a club that the generations of Makindes have been supporting. I am a die-hard Supporter of 3SC.

“3SC will definitely get promoted this season, if it will take a miracle, it won’t be anything new because you have a miracle Governor in the State. We have to make it happen and plan for it.”

Makinde declared that a Special Assistant would be appointed in the office of the governor in order to give the 3SC and Crown Football Club effective attention.

He also promised to attend some of the club’s matches.

The Governor asserted that his Government would not mix politics with sport administration in the state, saying that the only thing he cared about was to take 3SC to where it belonged in the country.

“We are not going to mix the sport administration with politics. I don’t care where you belong politically, what I care about is that we will make 3SC sit where it belongs in Nigeria football. Nobody should be afraid of their job because of how you came.

Earlier the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Sports, Mrs. Olubisi Adegoke, attributed some of the challenges facing the club to lack of policy direction.

Adegoke also advocated for the establishment of Football Academy for the 3SC, where she said young players would be nurtured for future use.

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On their part, the 3SC coach, Edith Agoye; the General Manager, Rasheed Balogun; Team Manager, Dimeji Lawal; the FA chairman, Oba James Odeniran; the chairman of the Supporters’ Club, Oluwafemi Oyeniyi and the team captain, apologised to the governor over the failure of the club to secure promotion to the NPFL.

Agoye assured the governor that the club has competent players that could secure promotion to NPFL this season, asking, however, that the state looked in the direction of improving the funding of the club.

Lawal and Balogun also implored the governor to fund the club adequately and timely, even as they urged the governor to occasionally visit the players during training, as such would motivate the morale of the players.

The meeting was attended by the Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubanwo Adeosun; and Head of Service, Mrs Ololade Agboola; Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Olawale Mogbonjubola, among others.

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FIFA Slap Lifetime Ban On Samson Siasia For Taking Bribes

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World Football’s Governing Body, FIFA on Friday issued a lifetime ban on Samson Siasia, former Nigeria Football Federation official after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing.

In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.

The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).

Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team.

FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there.

Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.

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FIFA Issues Life Ban To Ex-Bolivian Football Chief

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FIFA on Thursday banned the former treasurer of South America’s football federation for life after an ethics panel found him guilty of bribery. 

Romer Osuna, who also once headed Bolivia’s football federation, was among a group of South American football officials charged with corruption in 2015 amid the unprecedented scandal that triggered sweeping reform within FIFA.

The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said in a statement that it had investigated a bribery scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015 in which Osuna was accused of “awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.”

“The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Osuna had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life,” it said.

FIFA also fined Osuna 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million, 922,000 euros).

Shortly after he was charged, Osuna had pledged to cooperate with investigators, both in Bolivia and in the United States, who were probing graft within world football.

AFP

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Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk Nominated For UEFA Awards

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Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named candidates for this year’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, European football’s governing body announced on Thursday.

The prize will be awarded to one of the trio during the draw for the Champions League group stage in Monaco on August 29, after they were shortlisted by a jury of coaches and journalists.

England’s Lucy Bronze, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France’s Amandine Henry have been shortlisted for the women’s award. All three play for European champions Lyon.

Van Dijk has joined Messi and Ronaldo, the two iconic players of their generation, on the shortlist after starring in defence for Liverpool as they won a sixth Champions League and came close to winning their first domestic league title in 29 years.

Messi won the first edition of the award in 2011 while Ronaldo has won it on three occasions, in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Luka Modric is the current holder of the men’s award after winning the Champions League and taking Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, while Wolfsburg’s Danish striker Pernille Harder bagged the women’s prize.

AFP

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