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*Ambode approves N3.6bn for Onikan stadium*Okays viewing centre for Russia 2018Gboyega Akinsanmi After one year of high politics that undermined its expression of interest in the National Stadium, Surulere, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday disclosed that the Federal Government had finally agreed to cede the facility.Consequently, the state government said its top functionaries would go to Abuja next week to finalise the process of handing over the National Stadium in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.The Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Mr. Kweku Tandoh made the disclosure yesterday at a ministerial press briefing he addressed at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa. Ikeja.He addressed the press briefing alongside the Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; the Director General of LSSC, Mr. Babatunde Bank-Anthony and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information & Strategy, Mrs. Kofoworola Awobamise among others.The state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had on March 1, 2017 inspected the National Stadium alongside the Minister of Sports & Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung and other state functionaries.At the inspection of the sports facility, the minister lamented that the edifice â€œis in a sorry state. The level of dilapidation is very embarrassing. It can never be equated with our civilisation as a people.â€In response to an inquiry on the plan of Lagos State to take over the National Stadium,Tandoh disclosed that President Buhari had already gave verbal approval to release to the facility during his two-day visit to Lagos in March.He explained that Ambode re-presented the request of Lagos State to take over the National Stadium mentioned in a speech he delivered the presidential dinner the state government organised for the president during the visit.After the governor re-presented the request, Tandoh said the president verbally gave approval â€œto release the facility to the Lagos State Government,â€ noting that the process of handover would commence next week.Just on Monday, Tandoh disclosed that Ambode gave directive that he should proceed â€œto Abuja next week to deliver some communication that is necessary and put in place handover of the National Stadium to Lagos State. I hope this time the federal government will hand it over on the terms of the Lagos State Government.â€He gave insight into diverse issues that undermined the stateâ€™s interest to take over the sports facility, Tandoh noted that the state government signified interest in taking over the National Stadium completely.He noted that state government â€œdid not just signify interest to take over the National Stadium completely. The state governor met with the Minister of Sports and Youth Development. They agreed to inspect the facility. And they eventually inspected the facility in 2017.â€œLater, they were signs and signals that the federal government was not ready to hand over the facility to Lagos State. It was as if the federal government only wanted concession agreement with Lagos State.â€œThe arrangement simply required Lagos State to fix the sports facility and use it for an agreed period of time. But the federal government will still be the owner. That is not what Lagos State wants,â€ he noted.After explaining that the federal governmentâ€™s readiness to transfer the National Stadium to Lagos State would boost sports development, the chairman disclosed that N3.6 billion had already been approved for the reconstruction of Onikan Stadium in Lagos Island.He noted that the Onikan stadium â€œhas been modelled to an all-covered ultra-modern international stadium with the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) certified artificial turf and multipurpose arena for entertainment concerts with capacity to accommodate 10,000 spectators.â€Concerned by the state of the economy ahead the 2018 World Cup holding next month, Tandoh disclosed the governor had approved establishment of three viewing centres for the 2018 World cup in Russia.He said the three locations selected for the viewing centres â€œare Ajegunle, Alimosho and Mushin Local Government. The centres will be in place for the duration of world cup and will serve as venues where people in those areas can watch world cup matches free of charge.â€â€œThe viewing centres will operate all through the world Cup for residents not to miss any action from Russia. Preliminary works have already commenced on the construction of Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle.â€He said approval had also been given for the employment of full time coaches as well as contract coaches, while training grants were also paid for a total of 300 state athletes in individual sports, combat sports, team sports, racket sports, traditional sports, para-sports and deaf sports.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Football spring practice opened Tuesday afternoon, and the team’s focus is on improving everyday. Everyone had some first day kinks, but players said that it felt good to be back on the field.“It feels great,” senior wide receiver Darreus Rogers said. “I’m playing faster. This is probably the smoothest I’ve been since I’ve been here.”Junior wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster agreed but also mentioned the quick turnaround from hard workouts to full practice.“My legs are kind of tight and sore,” Smith-Schuster said. “Yesterday was our first day squatting, so then to come out here full speed running … but it feels good.”Coaching TurnaroundWith first-year head coach Clay Helton at the helm, a slue of new coaches has been added to the staff including his brother, quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton.“It was a great first day,” Tyson Helton said. “A lot of excitement, a lot of focus which is the way it should be. There’s a lot of talent out here, and I’m looking forward to working with them every day.”The coaches have been well-received by many players who are saying that they are totally on board with the new staff as well as their new implementations.“This coaching staff is amazing — they make me want to work hard and be perfect,” Rogers said.Offensive players said there was going to be a lot more action for the receivers on offense this year to create a more balanced offensive scheme.“We have new signals and plays, so we have to adjust to that,” sophomore tailback Ronald Jones II said. “The team likes the new plays and new systems. There are a lot more receiver sets because we don’t really have a fullback yet. It looks like we’re going to be a lot more balanced this year, which is good.”Quarterback FrenzyFour quarterbacks saw significant reps for the Trojans on day one including redshirt junior Max Browne, redshirt freshman Sam Darnold, redshirt sophomore Jalen Greene and true freshman Matt Fink. Tyson Helton said he was impressed with his quarterbacks for where they were at the beginning of the season.“Quarterbacks were about where you’d think for a first day; there’s a lot of things we need to correct but pretty good overall,” Helton said. “There were a couple jitters early, but once they got in the groove, I think they realized ‘Hey, this is just like anything I’ve always done.’”Browne and Darnold are expected to be the frontrunners in the quarterback competition, but Greene received a significant amount of reps during practice as well. Helton said he was specifically impressed with the play of Browne, Darnold and Greene.“They understand the plays and the mechanics of the plays, we just have to get better and better on the technique side of things,” Helton said. “The young freshman Matt Fink, it’s his first day out here, so limited reps, but we wanted him to have some success, so we put him in certain situations, and he took advantage of them.”Dealing with the different quarterbacks is a challenge for receivers according to Smith-Schuster, but he had nothing but praise for them after practice.“Max Browne has a cannon that we have to get used to,” Smith-Schuster said. “Sam Darnold has that accuracy, and Jalen Greene, who has that speed, but also throws with his left hand. Trying to catch from different quarterbacks is kind of hard, so I’m glad we’re doing it at the beginning of spring.”
DDTV: Click on the video above to see this wonderful video of Joseph Duffy which includes an in-depth interview with the MAA fighter about his career.The video is aptly called ‘The Story So Far’ and Duffy discusses the highs and lows of his MMA career as well as his brief foray into the world of professional boxing. After a sensational two-fight return to Cage Warriors, Duffy was snapped up by the UFC and he’ll make his debut in Dallas in March.Duffy is labelled as the last man to beat Conor McGregor who is now the undoubted star of the entire sport.But as this video shows Duffy’s has done more than just beat McGregor.He has shown tremendous resolve in the face of adversity and is now finally getting the reward his natural talent deserves. He’s only ever lost ONE fight and that was in a fight he completely controlled, but a broken hand and an unfortunate slip resulted in defeat.That fight was for a European title, however Duffy is now where he wants to be and is where he belongs.The Donegal invasion of the UFC begins in Dallas in March with a large crowd of Duffy supporters from Donegal and Wales expected to travel stateside to cheer on the humble Burtonport fighter.One Burtonport man who will definitely be ringside is Duffy’s close friend Christopher ‘Jimmy Johnny’ O’Donnell who has never missed a fight Duffy has participated in.Duffy starts his UFC career against veteran Vagner Rocher.One thing is for sure that it is only ‘The Story So Far’ as Duffy has many chapters to write yet. DDTV: WATCH VIDEO ON UFC STAR JOSEPH DUFFY – ‘THE STORY SO FAR’…… was last modified: January 21st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DDTVJoseph DuffyMMAnewsSportUFC