IF GOVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River State is to be believed, this year’s National Sports Festival, holding between November 23 and December 7, is going to be a very grand occasion. Speaking at the unveiling of the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival theme song, logo and mascot held at the Venetian Arena, Calabar, recently, Governor Imoke said the unveiling marked the beginning of what would be a truly remarkable journey in the history of sporting events in Nigeria. The governor said the nation should not expect anything less in this year’s edition tagged, “The Centenary Games – Calabar 2014.”
“Calabar 2014 will be a true celebration of all that is great about Nigerian sports as together, we aim to make this event a passionate and vibrant exhibition of the peace, serenity, heritage and generosity of spirit of the good people of Cross River State, not neglecting the real and long-lasting legacy of the festival in form of the sporting infrastructure and the tangible sense of pride and fulfilment amongst the citizenry after a successful hosting of the festival,” Imoke said.
Injury Ends Del Potro’s Season
JUAN Martin Del Potro, Argentine world number eight, is likely to miss the rest of the season because of a second wrist operation in four years. The 25-year-old will undergo surgery on his left wrist on Monday after pulling out of the Sony Open recently.
The United States Open champion in 2009, Del Potro had surgery on his right wrist in May 2010 and was sidelined for eight months. After winning the Apia International in Sydney in January, Del Potro withdrew from events in Dubai and Indian Wells.
Malawi pulls out of 2015 Afcon
MALAWI will not be participating in the African Nations Cup holding in Morocco in 2015. The Flames, as Malawian football team is called, have been forced to withdraw from the Afcon qualifiers because of lack of financial constraints faced by the Malawi Football Association, FAM.
“We have no choice but to forgo the Nations Cup because government advised us to prioritise,” Walter Nyamilandu, president of FAM, told BBC Sport, adding: “We have, therefore, prioritised the Under-20 Championship for the sake of development – and also the consequences of pulling out of that tournament would have been far-reaching since we have already confirmed our participation.”
West Predicts Super Eagles Victory Over Argentina
TARIBO West, former Nigerian footballer, is optimistic that the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s football team can beat the Argentina’s national team when they meet at this year World Cup tournament in Brazil.
Going a lot further, West said that the current Super Eagles would not only beat Argentina in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but would go ahead to surprise the world by reaching beyond all expectations.
The Super Eagles have not had much luck against Albiceleste, the Argentina team, losing in three World Cup attempts in 1994, 2002 and 2010. But the former Nigerian defender who is now a pastor expects the Super Eagles to turn the table in Brazil.
“Once beaten twice shy, I believe that we have learnt from the experience of the Eagles’ last meeting with Argentina at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The technical crew also understands that. The match against Argentina this time around will be more positive,” West told Goal.
He showered praises on the team Stephen Keshi, the Nigerian coach and described the team’s performances so far as impressive. “The Super Eagles players under Keshi have been wonderful and they are all doing well in their club side. We only need to support the team with prayers and I believe this time the team will surprise Nigerians and Africa as a whole. The defence line of the Eagles as well as other departments of the team is capable of withstanding any opponent coming for the 2014 World Cup. The secret weapon of the present Super Eagles team is that the players are hungry for success and the best place to showcase their talents is on the world stage which the World Cup has presented them. So, they are raring to go,” he said.
— Apr. 7, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT