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FG to Explore Economic Potential of Sports Industry

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Sunday Dare sports minister

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has announced that plans were ongoing to tap into the economic potential of sports in order to generate more revenue for the country rather than just viewing it as a recreational activity.

This was made known by the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, after he presented his ministry’s scorecard to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday.

He disclosed that the plans have been laid down already on how to explore all appropriate avenues to transform the classification of sports in the country from mere recreation to a profitable economic activity.

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Mr Dare said the ministry has started work to turn sports into an economic industry, where the country can generate billion of revenues.

He also disclosed that the ministry had signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with relevant organisations and held various inter-ministerial meetings with the sole aim of moving sports as an industry from a mere concept to pure economic action.

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“We realised when we came on board that the National Bureau of Statistics still classified sports as a recreation.

“And when you look around from South Africa to Brazil even to Jamaica, sports is classified as business. It is an economic activity.

“So, I think youth development in our country and under the ministry of youth and sports development is on a new trajectory, and the one that we are looking forward to is the 100 million African Development Bank (AfDB) Support for the DEEL programme,” Mr Dare said.

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The Sports Minister had received a delegation from the regional bank in March seeking to partner with government on initiatives aimed at ensuring that the Nigerian youth are employable and are equipped with skills necessary for the 21st century.

The DEEL initiative of the Ministry is aimed at Youth Development which represents; D – Digital Skills Acquisition, E- Entrepreneurship, E- Employability, L- Leadership.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Euro 2020 Kicks-Off Amid COVID-19 Threat (Full Fixtures)

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Euro 2020

By Adedapo Adesanya

Following a year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Euro 2020 will finally kick off on Friday (today), with the virus still a major issue that organisers have to contend with.

Unlike other previous editions of the continent-wide event held in one country or jointly hosted, the tournament would be held across Europe and will be played in front of limited crowds and with strict health restrictions in place.

The tournament, the 16th of its kind, will feature 24 teams – 20 from automatic qualification and the remaining four decided through the play-offs.

It will be held across 11 different cities in Europe, with UEFA celebrating the 60th birthday of the first European Championship (then called the European Nations Cup), which was held in France in 1960.

For the first time in the history of the competition, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used.

Cities, Stadium, and Capacity

City Stadium Capacity
Amsterdam, Netherlands Johan Cruyff Arena 56,000
Baku, Azerbaijan Olympic Stadium 68,700
Bucharest, Romania Arena Nationala 55,600
Budapest, Hungary Ferenc Puskas Stadium 67,889
Copenhagen, Denmark Parken Stadium 38,065
Glasgow, Scotland Hampden Park 52,063
London, England Wembley Stadium 90,000
Munich, Germany Allianz Arena 75,000
Rome, Italy Stadio Olimpico 72,698
Saint Petersburg, Russia Krestovsky Stadium 68,134
Seville, Spain La Cartuja 60,000

St Petersburg will have a stadium capacity of 50 per cent of fans in attendance, with the number potentially increasing before the tournament start date.

Budapest plans to hold supporters in full capacity, though they will have to comply with strict entry requirements.

Baku will have a stadium capacity of 50 per cent. Fans will be required to provide a negative Covid-19 test before entering Azerbaijan.

Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen and Glasgow have confirmed a capacity of 25 per cent to 33 per cent. All three cities will potentially increase their capacity by May, based on the success of their vaccine rollout and local COVID-19 situation.

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London will have a minimum capacity of 25 per cent for the three group matches and the round of 16 matches. They are also optimistic about having an increased stadium attendance for both the semi-finals and final.

Munich, Rome, Bilbao, Dublin as at press time are yet to provide additional details on their attendance plans.

Match ball, Mascot, & Slogan

The Uniforia ball, designed by Adidas, will serve as the match ball for all Euro 2020 matches.

The ball is mostly white and includes multi-coloured black strokes with additional blue, neon and pink stripes.

The name of the ball is taken from the combination of the words “unity” and “euphoria”.

Official Song

Dutch DJ Martin Garrix will be performing the tournament’s official song, which will be unveiled at the full opening ceremony in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico.

Matches Schedule

Matchday 1

11 June 2021

Match 1: Turkey vs Italy

Stadio Olympico, Rome, Italy

12 June 2021

Match 2: Wales vs Switzerland

Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan

Match 3: Denmark vs Finland

Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark

Match 4: Belgium vs Russia

Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia

13 June 2021

Match 5: England vs Croatia

Wembley Stadium, London, England

Match 6: Austria vs North Macedonia

Arena Nationala, Bucharest, Romania

Match 7: Netherlands vs Ukraine

Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands

14 June 2021

Match 8: Scotland vs Czech Republic

Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Match 9: Poland vs Slovakia

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Match 10: Spain vs Sweden

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La Cartuja, Seville, Spain

15 June 2021

Match 11: Hungary vs Portugal

Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary

Match 12: France vs Germany

Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

Matchday 2

16 June 2021

Match 13: Finland vs Russia

Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Match 14: Turkey vs Wales

Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan

Match 15: Italy vs Switzerland

Stadio Olympico, Rome, Italy

17 June 2021

Match 16: Ukraine vs North Macedonia

Arena Nationala, Bucharest, Romania

Match 17: Denmark vs Belgium

Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark

Match 18: Netherlands vs Austria

Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands

18 June 2021

Match 19: Sweden vs Slovakia

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Match 20: Croatia vs Czech Republic

Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Match 21: England vs Scotland

Wembley Stadium, London, England

19 June 2021

Match 22: Hungary vs France

Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary

Match 23: Portugal vs Germany

Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

Match 24: Spain vs Poland

La Cartuja, Seville, Spain

Matchday 3

20 June 2021

Match 25: Italy vs Wales

Stadio Olympico, Rome, Italy

Match 26: Switzerland vs Turkey

Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan

21 June 2021

Match 27: Ukraine vs Austria

Stadio Olympico, Rome, Italy

Match 28: North Macedonia vs Netherlands

Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Match 29: Russia vs Denmark

Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark

Match 30: Finland vs Belgium

Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia

22 June 2021

Match 31: Croatia vs Scotland

Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Match 32: Czech Republic vs England

Wembley Stadium, London, England

23 June 2021

Match 33: Sweden vs Poland

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Match 34: Slovakia vs Spain

La Cartuja, Seville, Spain

Match 35: Portugal vs France

Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary

Match 36: Germany vs Hungary

Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

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ROUND OF 16

26 June 2021

Round of 16 tie 1: Runner-up Group A vs Runner-up Group B

Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Round of 16 tie 2: Winner Group A vs Runner-up Group C

8pm

Wembley Stadium, London, England

27 June 2021

Round of 16 tie 3: Winner Group C vs 3rd Group D/E/F

Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary

Round of 16 tie 4: Winner Group B vs 3rd Group A/D/E/F

San Mames, Bilbao, Spain

28 June 2021

Round of 16 tie 5: Runner-up Group D vs Runner-up Group E

Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark

Round of 16 tie 6: Winner Group F vs 3rd Group A/B/C

Arena Nationala, Bucharest, Romania

29 June 2021

Round of 16 tie 7: Winner Group D vs Runner-up Group F

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Round of 16 tie 8: Winner Group E vs 3rd Group A/B/C/D

Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland.

QUARTER-FINALS

2 July 2021

Quarter-final 1: Round of 16 tie 6 winner vs Round of 16 tie 5 winner

Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Quarter-final 2: Round of 16 tie 4 winner vs Round of 16 tie 2 winner

Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany.

3 July 2021

Quarter-final 3: Round of 16 tie 3 winner vs Round of 16 tie 1 winner

Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan.

Quarter-final 4: Round of 16 tie 8 winner vs Round of 16 tie 7 winner

Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy.

SEMI-FINALS

July 6 2021

Semi-final 1: Quarter-final 2 winner vs Quarter-final 1 winner

Wembley Stadium, London, England.

July 7 2021

Semi-final 2: Quarter-final 4 winner vs Quarter-final 3 winner

Wembley Stadium, London, England.

FINAL

July 11 2021

Final: Semi-final 1 winner vs Semi-final 2 winner

Wembley Stadium, London, England.

The action kicks off tonight at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, where Italy take on Turkey in front of 16,000 fans.

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Nigeria Info, Wazobia Get UEFA Euro 2020 Broadcast Rights

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UEFA Euro 2020

By Adedapo Adesanya

In a bid to create a quality sport-broadcasting experience for Nigerians, leading media firms, Nigeria Info and Wazobia Max, under the auspices of AIM Group, have been awarded the broadcast rights from the official UEFA-licensed owner in Nigeria, Media Business Solutions (MBS), to freely air the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament across the country.

The competition would be broadcast across Wazobia FM, Arewa Radio, Cool FM Kano, and Wazobia Max both in English and selected local languages, including Pidgin English, Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba, in order to cater for the sporting needs of a wide spectrum of Nigerians.

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Commenting on the ground-breaking development, Mr Serge Noujaim, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Cool FM, Wazobia FM, Nigeria Info, Arewa Radio, described the partnership as one that would further strengthen the love Nigerians have for the game of football.

“We as a leading brand understand that most Nigerians are genuinely passionate about the game of football.

“That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to go a step further after the acquisition of the World Cup 2018 Russia broadcast rights by partnering with the MBS to freely broadcast the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament in a unique Nigerian style.

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“This partnership helps to reaffirm the position of Nigeria Info, Wazobia FM, Arewa radio, and Wazobia Max as the home of the biggest international football offering across the Nigerian-media space,” he enthused.

Complimenting the statement of the CEO, Mr Femi Obong-Daniels, the General Manager, Corporate Communications of the radio group, said, “We as a top-notch broadcast brand have taken a massive move to provide Nigerians with a premium sport coverage. We have done it before.

“We are doing it again and we do not know how to stop this upward trajectory we have found ourselves to be on. We are sure there are more to come as our precious partnership with MBS is just the beginning.”

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Speaking on the partnership with Nigeria Info and Wazobia Max, Mr Richard Dimosi Diasolwa, the CEO, MBS Group, stated, “We, as a multimedia organization, are always delighted to be affiliated with Nigeria Info and Wazobia Max.

“This is because we are sure it would afford Nigerians the opportunity to connect with the biggest European football competition in a unique way.”

The UEFA Euro 2020 tournament will commence from June 11, 2021, to July 7, 2021.

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Sports

Stakeholders Discuss Sports Development in North-West

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Sports Development

By Dipo Olowookere

Stakeholders in the sports industry in the North West region of Nigeria are gathering in Kaduna State for their second quarterly meeting.

The meeting commenced on Monday, June 7 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Media Centre, Kaduna and will end on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

Top on the agenda is how to develop the sector in the grassroots as well as the performance of the region at the recently-concluded 20th National Sports Festival tagged Edo-2020 as well as the maiden edition of the National Principal Cup at states, zonal and national level.

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It was gathered that the event is being organised by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, North West Zone, according to a statement signed by the Zonal Sports Co-ordinator, Mr Idris Abdullahi.

In the statement, it was disclosed that the meeting would also serve as an avenue for deliberations on the forthcoming intra-zonal U-17 Volleyball Championship scheduled for the last week of this month as well as to discuss preparations for North-West states participation at the 6th edition of National Youth Games (NYG) Zonal Teams Sports Eliminations and the tournament proper, including the hosting of proposed sports and related activities within the zone and sponsorship drive for zonal sports and related activities for the third and fourth quarter of the year.

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The Zonal Coordinator stressed that the meeting would also serve as an avenue for sensitization and awareness briefs on health services and capacity building programme by MARKANA- Sports and Empire Nigeria Consultants most especially as the programme is National Institute of Sports (NIS) accredited and compliant.

He further said the stakeholders will carry out an inspection of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Youth Development Volleyball Temporary Court constructed by Engineer Musa Nimrod, Chairman Caretaker Committee, the Nigerian Volleyball Federation (NVBF).

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“The meeting is powered by Mr Babangida Hussain, Chairman Jigawa State Weightlifting Association and supported by Surajo Yusuf, Board Member Zamfara State Basketball Association,” he said.

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