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Nigeria’s Sports Minister wants states to tap into proposed sports industry policy

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By Goodluck Ikiebe

The Nigerian Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has called on state governments to identify specialized areas they can key into in the Sports Industry Policy which will soon be ready.

The Minister made the appeal during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, after watching Team Nigeria Wrestling final preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Mr. Dare commended Bayelsa state’s giant strides in establishing itself as the Wrestling capital of Nigeria.

“When I visited the new gym being constructed, I took time to look at the plans and was excited that it met international standards. It shows a government with foresight and committed to sports development.”

He added that, “in the last 20 months we have devoted our time largely into turning sports into an industry. Sports has been mere recreation in our country. when you look at all successful nations that have successful sports development, it is because they run sports as business.

“In another few days, we should be able to deliver for this country its first ever Sports Industry Policy.

Mr Dare explained that one of the middle pillars of that policy is infrastructure, the entire policies predicated on three “I”s.

“The first I is infrastructure. We must have infrastructural rationalization. So when I see a multi-purpose hall being built for wrestling, I see a state dedicated to a particular sport like you see in other developed nations, I know Bayelsa state is on the right path and will hold it as a model for other states, who want to make sports business”.

“I talked about three “I”s, the second I is incentive. There can be no sports development without the provision of incentives especially to the athletes but also to the organised private sector.

The third I is investment.
“Both government and the private sector must invest collectively in building sports. We hope that when that is delivered, we would have built in components for the federal government, state governments and the local governments.

But I think the most important leg that we have is the assembly of commissioners of youth and sports development who will work with us at the Federal level to agree on a blueprint that can be cascaded down to the states so that we are singing from the same hymn book.”

According to Mr Dare, “We hope at that point, each state will look at the best sports in which it is heavily talented. That’s the kind of sports development we want to berth and once we deliver that blueprint, we believe that successive administrations and Ministers of sports will work with it and will run with it this time,” the Minister assured.

Bayelsa state Governor represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, disclosed that the state had identified its sporting potential and is focused on combat sports and swimming.

He disclosed that the state was enlightening athletes to compete clean by abstaining from banned substances.


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Anthony Joshua breaks his silence after devastating defeat to Oleksandr Usyk

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Joshua was outclassed by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
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Anthony Joshua is determined to stay positive after his devastating world title defeat to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday.

Usyk turned in a boxing masterclass to take the IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight titles, dethroning Joshua in his own back yard at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Joshua immediately left the ring after the Ukrainian’s unanimous decision win and was taken to hospital to be assessed after taking damage to his right eye during the contest.

But he wrote on Twitter: ‘Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you!

London I love you and thank you each and every time

A rematch clause will give Joshua the chance to reclaim his titles but promoter Eddie Hearn has warned big changes are needed if he is to avenge the loss.

The fighter in AJ is already talking about winning the rematch.

‘It was a tough defeat. I had it reasonably close in the eighth and then Usyk ran away with it. If that happens again, he will get beat again.

‘Usyk’s confidence will be sky high. He has to impose himself but when you get to the level of AJ, there are no 10-round comeback fights or warm ups.

‘You are straight into the fight. He will be an underdog in that rematch.

‘He chose to take on a pound for pound great tonight, and it didn’t work out. He deserves credit for that but this is sport.’

Source: (Metro News)


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Breaking: Oleksandr Usyk punches down Anthony Joshua, becomes new heavyweight champion

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Oleksandr Usyk did exactly what he said he would do: follow an undisputed cruiserweight title success by becoming the unified heavyweight champion of the world by putting on a fantastic performance to dethrone Anthony Joshua via unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112, 115-113) to capture the IBF, WBA (super), and WBO heavyweight titles.

Both men felt the effects of their grueling 12-round duel with damaged right eyes apiece, but the timing of Usyk — both in his punches and when he switched from patience to aggression — were second-to-none and left most of Joshua’s key fighting strengths out of the situation entirely.

Joshua had done enough in isolation to keep it close and competitive but never really left first gear before Usyk’s excellent conclusion in the last two rounds sealed it beyond debate.

The result likely scuppers the previous plan of a four-belt unification between Joshua and Tyson Fury — which was the plan for the summer until Deontay Wilder successfully forced a trilogy bout with the current WBC champ. There was a rematch clause in the contract. Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn told DAZN during the post-fight show that Joshua would invoke it.

In the chief support, Lawrence Okolie made a comfortable first defense of his WBO cruiserweight title when he overwhelmed mandatory challenger Dilan Prasovic, scoring a knockdown in the second round before a body shot in the third prompted the official to wave it off.

Callum Smith marked his light-heavyweight bow with a brutal second-round knockout of Lenin Castillo, which caused a scare as the defeated boxer went limp in the ring. He did, however, show signs of recuperation as he was taken away by the medical team. It was Smith’s first fight since losing his super-middleweight title to Canelo Alvarez in December.

Campbell Hatton appeared extremely fortunate to get the referee’s decision against Sonny Martinez, 58-57, in what was a very rough outing in the young career of ‘Hitman’ Ricky Hatton’s son. And Florian Marku won an enjoyable main card opener against Maxim Prodan via split decision with extremely contrasting scorecards from the judges: 99-91 to Prodan and 97-93 and 96-94 to Marku.


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Breaking: Manchester United, Chelsea succumb to Premier League defeat

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Manchester City took revenge for their Champions League final loss to Chelsea and secured a big three points in the early running for the Premier League title with a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Gabriel Jesus’ deflected effort eight minutes into the second-half separated the sides, but City should have been more convincing winners as they laid down a marker after losing to Chelsea three times towards the end of last season.

The most painful of those came in Porto as Chelsea lifted the Champions League to deny City the crowning glory of the club’s rise since an Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008.

Pep Guardiola was fiercely criticised for his decision to start without a natural holding midfielder when the sides last met in May.

That error was rectified with the return of Rodri and the Spaniard’s poise helped Guardiola’s men completely dominate possesion.

However, City’s lack of a prolific goalscorer to turn that dominance into goals was again exposed.

Guardiola bemoaned on Friday that his side lack a “weapon” of the likes of Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku or Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo to decide games inside the box.

Instead, City have to rely on the collective of a richly assembled squad of creative midfielders as Guardiola named Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva in his starting line-up.

For all of City’s patient probing, it was when they took a pot shot from long-range that they looked most likely to break the deadlock before the break.

Rodri’s piledriver would have tested Edouard Mendy but for a deflection that took it over before De Bruyne also fired over when the Belgian found a rare pocket of space.

Rather than stepping into the shoes of the departed Sergio Aguero, Jesus has found himself deployed as a right winger so far this season.

Also, Chelsea lost to Manchester City on Saturday.


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