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National Youth Games – Fulfilling Mandate For Talent Discovery

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The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, has hailed the annual National Youth Games, for creating a pool of talented athletes that would continuously represent the country at International competitions. To buttress this assertion, the Honourable Minister said ” The National Youth Games has been consolidating on it’s gains as evident in the performances of several Athletes discovered at previous editions of the Games in International sports arenas.”

Mr Dare, ably represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, gave this commendation recently, at the closing ceremony of the 5th edition of the National Youth Games, held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

The Honourable Minister seized the opportunity to state that talents discovered at previous editions of the Games had indeed made Nigeria proud in the comity of great sporting Nations, citing an instance of over 30 athletes discovered at the National Youth Games, who represented and won laurels for the Country in Athletics, badminton, Canoe/Kayak, weightlifting, Wrestling, Cycling,Judo and Taekawondo, at the last African Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria in 2018.

Other notable recorded achievements, according to the Hon. Minister, include medals won by starlets at the Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Commonwealth Games in 2018. To this effect, he said the 4 medals won at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October 2018, were won by the athletes discovered at the 2017 edition of the annual Games , namely: Chukwuma Rosemary, Ineh Emmanuel and Akintola Alaba Olukunle who won medals in Athletics, while Gbadamosi Adjiat, hit the podium in Boxing.

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While reeling and praising the accomplishments of the National Youth Games ( NYG) as mission fulfilled, Mr Dare enthused that National Sports Federations now look to the NYG as a ranking event, just as the States Sports Councils by same token look forward to the annual Games to gauge their sports developmental objectives.

Furthermore, he seized the opportunity to restate and emphasize the importance of contributions of the University of Ilorin to the Games success stories, adding, it is a partnership that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development cherished for future fruitful relationships.

Mr Dare equally acknowledged the States who presented athletes for these Games, stressing that it is another valuable example of partnership and synergy that assisted the Ministry to provide a pool and reservoir of talented athletes that would represent the country at International competitions.

In his address, the Honourable Minister stated that the commitment of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to grassroot sports development is clearly evident in the planning, execution and delivery of this year’s 5th edition of NYG.

He said ” it is a return to the cradle of Nigeria’s sport glory. By this same token, the Ministry is committed to resuscitate the moribund schools sports at both the Primary and Secondary levels in order to open space for greater grassroots participation in sports and the discovery of talents ”.

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Speaking on measures that would be adopted for eliminating age cheating in future editions, the Honourable Minister said that the Ministry would partner with the Nigerian Immigration Service and the National Identity Commission in the evaluation of the ages of athletes.

In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji AbdulRaman AbdulRazak praised the vision and objectives setting up the National Youth Games, adding that the increasing number of participants from States on yearly basis at the Games is a positive affirmation of it’s mandate of discovering talents for sports development in the country. He said Kwara welcomes everyone and as well, wished all participants and Officials safe travel home to their destinations.

Statistics available indicated that this year’s edition of the Games witnessed an increase in the number of sports from 33 to 34. Similarly, there was an increase in the number of athletes registered which stood at 3,893 from 33 States as against 2,973 athletes from 32 States in the 2018 edition of the Games, an increase of 920 athletes or 31%. Delta State led the Medals Table with 41 Gold, 32 Silver and 31Bronze,and Lagos came second with 22 Gold, 36 Silver and 14 Bronze while Bayelsa recorded 17 Gold, 6 Silver and 22 Bronze to clinch 3rd position.

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It was a colourfully uniting and relationship creation avenue for our young Nigerians from the North to the South and from the East to the West that history alone will record in years to come.

 

Ramon Balogun
Asst. Direct. (Information)
For: Director, Press

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Oyo: Sports Minister, Sunday Dare donates relief materials to Akesan fire victims

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare on Thursday said that the priority of all tiers of government should be to ensure that victims of the Akesan Market fire get the needed assistance to enable them get back on their feet.

He stated this in Oyo Town when he visited the Palace of Alaafin Oyo to present relief materials to victims of the fire. He said he was in the ancient town to also commiserate with the people on the fire disaster that razed Akesan market in the early hours of last Sunday.

“I have written and spoken with Minister of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, who is on lesser Hajj. She has assured that NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) will intervene.
“I am confident that the minister will do the needful when she visits Oyo next week,” the Minister disclosed.

“I had promised to work with all the relevant stakeholders to bring succor to those affected by the fire. Earlier today I was in Ibadan, where I engaged Governor Seyi Makinde on this matter. I will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders to see what intervention can be made to bring relief to victims of the fire.
“The priority is to ensure that victims of the fire get the needed assistance to help them get back on their feet,” the Minister added.

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Mr. Dare, who hails from Oyo State, later presented the relief materials to the Alaafin of Oyo.

The Minister also visited the burnt market where he encouraged victims of the fire not to lose hope while charging that they have the potential to rise up stronger from what had befallen them.

 

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Liverpool Wins Club World Cup

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Roberto Firmino was again the hero for Liverpool as the forward’s extra-time goal allowed Jurgen Klopp’s side to beat Flamengo 1-0 in the Club World Cup final in Doha on Saturday and lift the trophy for the first time.

Firmino was picked out by Sadio Mane and waited for goalkeeper Diego Alves to commit before slotting low into the net in the 99th minute of an absorbing contest at the Khalifa International Stadium.It was the moment that finally punctured the hopes of the Brazilian side and their vibrant support, after Liverpool had been denied a penalty by VAR at the end of normal time.The Qatari referee initially gave a spot-kick for a foul on Mane by Rafinha on the way into the box, but changed his mind following a lengthy review, forcing the contest into an extra 30 minutes.Still, the European champions had enough to come out on top, with Firmino repeating his semi-final heroics, when he scored an injury-time goal to secure victory against Monterrey of Mexico.The win allows Liverpool to complete a fabulous year with a third piece of silverware to go with the Champions League and UEFA Supercup.Having earned the title of world champions, if Klopp’s team can see out their huge lead at the top of the Premier League this season, they will have a case to be remembered as the finest side in the illustrious history of the club.Flamengo had been hoping to repeat their win over Liverpool in the old Intercontinental Cup back in 1981 and thereby become the first non-European winners of the Club World Cup since fellow Brazilians Corinthians beat Chelsea in 2012.They fell short, but they certainly gave the Premier League leaders a game in what was their last outing of a long season.

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– Van Dijk back, Firmino hits post –

Klopp had welcomed back Virgil van Dijk after the inspirational Dutchman sat out Wednesday’s semi-final due to illness.That allowed skipper Jordan Henderson to return to his usual midfield berth, while Firmino, Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold were all recalled after starting on the bench against the Mexicans.Firmino, Naby Keita and Alexander-Arnold all came close for Liverpool in the first six minutes as they came flying out of the traps.Fielding the same team that started their semi-final win over Al Hilal, the Brazilian and South American champions gradually settled into the game, spurred on by their raucous travelling support.Bruno Henrique, the star of their semi-final victory, had their best opportunity in the first half, coming inside from the left to meet a long ball forward by goalkeeper Alves before seeing his shot deflected past.The Rio giants, with veteran Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus on the touchline, matched the European champions for much of the first half but were lucky not to fall behind at the beginning of the second period.Less than two minutes after the restart, Firmino controlled Henderson’s ball forward and sent a shot off the inside of the post before seeing it rebound away.However, Liverpool also needed goalkeeper Alisson to come to the rescue with a fine stop from a Gabriel Barbosa strike, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then went off injured as extra time began to loom.Then Alves stretched high to his left to tip a net-bound Henderson shot from 25 yards over the bar before, with the match in injury time, the English side thought they had a penalty for Rafinha’s tackle on Mane.However, referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim dramatically cancelled the decision after coming across to review the footage on a pitchside monitor.Liverpool finally found a way through nine minutes into the first half of extra time though, with Mane finding Firmino after being pushed wide of goal by Rafinha.Firmino made no mistake, and Flamengo were unable to respond.AFP

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2019 Ballon D’Or Winners {See Full List}

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The winners and other top finishers in the four trophies awarded at the 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony on Monday in Paris are:

Men’s Ballon d’Or

  1. Lionel Messi (ARG/Barcelona)
  2. Virgil van Dijk (NED/Liverpool)
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Juventus)
  4. Sadio Mane (SEN/Liverpool)
  5. Mohamed Salah (EGY/Liverpool)
  6. Kylian Mbappe (FRA/PSG)
  7. Alisson Becker (BRA/Liverpool)
  8. Robert Lewandowski (POL/Bayern Munich)
  9. Bernardo Silva (POR/Manchester City)
  10. Riyad Mahrez (ALG/Manchester City)

Women’s Ballon d’Or

  1. Megan Rapinoe (USA/Reign FC)
  2. Lucy Bronze (ENG/Lyon)
  3. Alex Morgan (USA/Orlando Pride)
  4. Ada Hegerberg (NOR/Lyon)
  5. Viviane Miedema (NED/Arsenal)
  6. Wendie Renard (FRA/Lyon)
  7. Sam Kerr (AUS/Chicago Red Stars)
  8. Rose Lavelle (USA/Washington Spirit)
  9. Ellen White (ENG/Manchester City)
  10. Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER/Lyon)

Kopa Trophy

(Best player under 21 on December 31)

  1. Matthijs de Ligt (NED/Ajax Amsterdam then Juventus)
  2. Jadon Sancho (ENG/Borussia Dortmund)
  3. Joao Felix (POR/Benfica then Atletico Madrid)

Yashin Trophy

(Best goalkeeper, presented for the first time)

  1. Alisson Becker (BRA/Liverpool)
  2. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GER/FC Barcelona)
  3. Ederson (BRA/Manchester City)

AFP

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