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Diri hails Igali’s election into world wrestling body, lauds Bayelsa schools

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Yenagoa—Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has expressed delight over the recent election of the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, into the United World Wrestling Bureau.

According to his Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, the governor spoke on Thursday morning at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa shortly after the weekly health and fitness exercise tagged Prosperity Walk.

Diri said Igali’s victory as the first black to be elected into the global wrestling body has again put Bayelsa prominently on the world map of sports.

He described Igali, who is also president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), as a committed professional whose dedication to duty has paid off, urging others to emulate him.

He also praised the St. Jude’s Girls School and their male counterparts from Bishop Dimieri Grammar School for their performance in the ongoing World Schools Basketball Championship holding in Belgrade, Serbia.

The state’s helmsman disclosed that he was in touch with the state teams representing Nigeria at the tournament.

He said he was delighted at both teams victory over Hungary and Turkey in their opening group games.

According to him, “I like to use this opportunity to appreciate the sports loving men and women of Bayelsa State. Our state now occupies an enviable place in sports in the country.

“I have been in touch with our basketball teams in Serbia and they are doing well. The miracle keeps happening and it will never cease. Our prayers are with them till they come back victorious.

“Last week, our own sports commissioner represented us at the world body for wrestling and he came back as the only black man elected so far into the global body. This is what I keep preaching. Be committed to your work and with support from government you will do well. We are sure that more victories will come to the state.

“In Nigeria, anytime I travel, they ask me what is the magic in Bayelsa and I say, we trust in God always.”

Diri noted that with the performance of Bayelsa in sports, the state now occupied an enviable place in Nigeria’s sports and expressed the optimism that the state will continue to break more grounds in sporting events.

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2022 CAF WCL: Bayelsa Queens defeat Egypt’s Wadi Degla, advance into semi-finals

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Morocco—Debutant Bayelsa Queens have qualified for the semi-finals of this year’s CAF women’s Champions League, after thrashing Wadi Degla of Egypt 3-0 in their final Group B game on Sunday.

CompleteSports reports that Bayelsa Queens become the first Nigerian women’s club to qualify from the group stage of the club competition.

Goals from Juliet Sunday and Mercy Ikimi secured Bayelsa Queens’ passage into the semis.

The Nigeria league champions opened the scoring in the 8th minute thanks to Sunday before Ikimi made it 2-0 in 48 minutes.
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And in the 53rd minute, Ikimi got her brace to put Bayelsa Queens 3-0 ahead.

They will now face hosts AS FAR of Morocco in the semi-final on Wednesday, 9th November.

The second semi-final is between champions Mamelodi Sundowns and Tanzanian club Simba Queens.

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Nigerian football sets for new leadership, as Gusau emerges new NFF president

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Abuja—Ibrahim Gusau has been voted as the 40th president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Gusau who replaces Amaju Pinnick emerged president at the 78th Annual General Assembly that took place in Benin, Edo State, on Friday.

Premium Times reports that Only eight of the 11 aspirants were on the final ballot as Musa Amadu, Adam Mukhtar, and Suleiman Yahaya Kwande withdrew from the race. In the first round of the election, Gusau polled 21 votes, Seyi Akinwumi had 12 votes and Shehu Dikko had six votes.

Gusau would have been the outright winner of the election but he did not have the required 50 percent +1 votes of the total 41 votes cast.

According to the NFF election rules, every candidate that had at least a vote could be a part of the runoff but Shehu Dikko, Seyi Akinwunmi, and Abba Yola stepped down while Peterside Idah refused to step down.

It was reported that after the runoff, Gusau polled 39 votes to Idah’s one to emerge as the new NFF president.

Gusau was a member of the Pinnick-led NFF board when he held the position of chairman of club chairpersons. He is the Chairman of the Zamfara State Football Association.

Gusau who is also a CAF committee member will be president of the NFF for the next four years.

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Diri rewards Bayelsa athletes, footballers, coaches

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Yenagoa—Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has rewarded sportsmen and women and coaches from the state who participated in different competitions recently.

Olympic silver medalist, who won gold in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games, Blessing Oborududu, and sprinter Timma Godbless, who got gold in 4×100 relay for Nigeria in the African Senior Athletics Championship in Mauritius were among recipients of the governor’s gesture.

Among others were teenage table tennis sensation, Samuel Boboye, who won two gold medals for Nigeria in the Africa U-19 championship in Tunisia as well as
Bayelsa Queens, champions of the African Female Champions League WAFU Zone B tournament in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.

According the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, Diri while receiving the athletes and footballers inside the executive council chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa on Tuesday, said they made Nigeria and the state proud.

The governor noted that the performances of the athletes have placed Bayelsa prominently on the global map of sports, saying the state will reap rich rewards from their effort if they aim for more success.

Diri assured that his administration will continue to play its part in supporting sportsmen and women to enable them bring more glory to the state.

The state’s helmsman also assured Bayelsa Queens that his government will do everything to ensure the team had a hitch-free participation in the Africa Female Champions League holding Morocco.

He announced a reward of N2.5m for Commonwealth Games gold medalists, N1.5m for silver medalists while bronze medalists got N1m.

Similarly, coaches of gold-winning athletes got N2m each while their silver and bronze medal counterparts received N1m and N800,000 respectively.

Non-medal participants at the games also got N300,000 each.

African Athletics Championship gold medalist, Godbless, got N700,000 while Boboye received N500,000.

The governor also motivated Bayelsa Queens with N10m in addition to $1,000 each for the players and $3,000 for the three goals the team scored in a particular game.

His words: “We are indeed very proud of you. You went out representing not only our state but also Nigeria. You left no one in doubt that you were truly representing Nigeria.

“The people of Bayelsa are holding their heads high because of your sterling performances. Continue on that path. Success is difficult to sustain. People are already planning to overthrow you.

“Your state government will make every necessary arrangement for your travel and sustenance. Go to Morocco and conquer. If you deliver, my pronouncement will be more than what I have done today.”

Earlier, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, thanked the governor for his support for the development of sports in the state, saying it is largely responsible for the successes Bayelsa has had in recent times.

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