The immediate past Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, has been commended for bequeathing the National Stadiums in Abuja and Lagos to the present administration in an improved state.
A statement issued on Sunday by Toyin Ibitoye, Dare’s Special Assistant on Media quoted prominent sports enthusiasts and former athletes as commending the minister for the legacies he left behind.
The pitch of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, had been abandoned for close to a decade and was becoming a breeding ground for livestock.
Similarly, the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, had been rendered otiose for much longer with no efforts made to rehabilitate it.
Dare had initiated the “adopt a pitch” programme and attracted the private sector in his aggressive drive to restore both national edifices to their glory days.
Dare Esan, a respected journalist commended the minister for the renovation of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos and the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Esan said Dare left the stadiums in a much better state than when he met them when he was appointed Minister of Sports in August 2019.
“For the Lagos Stadium, three key components, the track, pitch and digital score board have been delivered thanks to the adopt a pitch initiative which facilitated the Private Public Partnership (PPP) with the Premier Lotto group and its owner Pa Kensington Adebutu.
The facility has been out of use for over two decades.
“The track, an eight lane tartan track, has been professionally laid and lined. It is a beauty to behold,” Esan added.
Former Nigerian international athlete and sprint queen Mary Onyali, praised the former Sports Minister for restoring her ‘former stomping ground and venue of her many national and international sprint triumphs’.
“I am one of the happiest persons on earth right now with the delivery of the tartan track at the Lagos National Stadium.
“That stadium holds a special place in my heart and I thank Sunday Dare for delivering on his promise to rehabilitate the track and two other components of the edifice”.
The pitch of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, was also rehabilitated with water sprinklers installed, to ensure good maintenance.
Also in place were two new digital score boards.
The rehabilitation was bankrolled by the Dangote Group in 2021 under the former Minister’s PPP arrangement with the company.
All Nigerian national football teams have now used the pitch for their international matches after many years of its abandonment.
EPL: Fulham boss thumbs up Bassey’s display against Nottingham Forest
Fulham manager, Marco Silva has showered encomium on Calvin Bassey following his impressive performance in the club’s big win against Nottingham Forest.
The Nigeria international was deployed on the left side of a back three in the 5-0 thrashing of Steve Cooper’s side at the Vicarage Road on Wednesday night.
Bassey received rave reviews for his display in the game.
Silva praised the defender for adapting to the new position.
“Bassey played on the left-hand side, which is usually Tim’s role, and it was nice to see him perform as well, ” the gaffer said after the game.
The 23-year-old’s international teammate Alex Iwobi scored a brace for Fulham in the encounter.
Bassey joined Fulham from Eredivisie outfit Ajax in the summer.
He reminds me of Lampard – Evra hails Man Utd midfielder
Former Manchester United vice-captain, Patrice Evra has hailed midfielder Scott McTominay for his impressive display against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Evra said that McTominay reminds him of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, adding that the Scotland international always performs in big matches.
McTominay scored a brace as Man United defeated Chelsea 2-1 in Wednesday’s Premier League tie at Old Trafford.
His brace against Mauricio Pochettino’s side was his sixth goal this season in all competitions for the Red Devils so far.
He is Man United’s top scorer for the season so far and Evra is impressed with him.
“McTominay is always there when it is an important game scoring goals,” Evra told Amazon Prime.
“He reminds me a bit of Frank Lampard. He is doing this for United and the Scottish national team so very well done.
“He could have scored four. After the game he was a little bit disappointed. He had so many chances, he is always in the right place and always running into the box, this is why he reminds me of of Lampard tonight.”
CAF Awards 2023: Nnadozie, Abiodun, Super Falcons among final top three nominees
Chiamaka Nnadozie has made the final shortlist for the 2023 CAF Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year.
Nnadozie was outstanding for Nigeria at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The shot stopper also played a crucial role in her club, FC Paris’ maiden appearance in the group stage of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
South Africa’s Andile Dlamini and Morocco’s Khadija Er-Rmichi are the other goalies nominated for the award.
In the Women’s Young Player of the Year category, Deborah Abiodun will slug it out with Comfort Yeboah (Ghana) and Nesryne El Chad (Morocco).
Nigeria was among the final three nominees in the Women’s National Team of the Year category.
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