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Abuja stadium gets CAF approval for 2023 AFCON qualifiers — after FIFA sanction

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has approved the use of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja for the qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The approval, which was contained in a letter written to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and dated May 1, comes at about the same time when FIFA sanctioned Nigeria over fans’ invasion of the Abuja stadium.

The approval also ended speculations that the facility would be barred from hosting international matches in the wake of crowd disturbances after the March 29 second leg World Cup 2022 playoff game between Super Eagles and Black Stars of Ghana.

In its sanction, FIFA ruled that the AFCON 2023 qualifier involving Nigeria and Sierra Leone at the Abuja stadium, scheduled for next month, would be played behind closed doors.

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D’Tigress call on FG to reverse basketball ban

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D’Tigress have called on the federal government to reverse its decision to withdraw Nigeria from international basketball competitions for two years.

Last week, Sunday Dare, minister of sports and youth development, announced the ban, adding that it was part of efforts by the government to revamp the sport from the grassroots.

The development came amid the ongoing power tussle within the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

Reacting to the FG’s resolution on basketball via a Twitter thread on Friday, D’Tigress said they “do not agree with this ban.”

The team also said it would take “away all our future competitions, accomplishments and goals to elevate, inspire, and make Nigeria proud!”

The African champions added that they have worked hard to be “Afrobasket Champions” and will “passionately love to represent in this upcoming FIBA Women’s World Cup competition.”

“We, as the Women’s national team of Nigeria, would like to speak on the government’s recently placed two-year ban on all Nigerian Basketball International competitions,” D’Tigress wrote.

“The D’Tigress team would like to state that we do not agree with this ban. This ban is taking away all our future competitions, accomplishments and goals to elevate, inspire, and make Nigeria proud!

“We would like to be given the opportunity to play for our country that we passionately love to represent in this upcoming FIBA Women’s World Cup competition.

“We have worked very hard to be 3x Afrobasket Champions, Olympians, and now we are blessed with another opportunity to continue that representation for Nigeria.

“We want Nigerian basketball to continue to grow and succeed on every level, from the local leagues, grassroots and even on the international stage!

“We believe that all levels of Nigerian basketball can excel with the proper attention, togetherness, and organization. Our team is a testament to how successful Nigerian basketball can be and how we have been an inspiration to all Nigerian athletes across the globe.

“We wish to express our gratitude to all the coaches, medical staff, organizers, and fans. This ban not only penalizes us but you all as well. Your commitment and loyalty to our team will never go unnoticed.

“Our goal is to play and represent Nigeria proudly! We, as the Nigerian Women’s National team, plea for the reversal of the International Basketball ban for Nigeria. We hope to be heard! Thank you.”

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US Soccer announces equal pay for men and women teams

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The US men’s and women’s national soccer teams will receive equal pay under a landmark collective bargaining agreement announced by the US Soccer Federation on Wednesday.

“This is a truly historic moment. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world,” said US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone.

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Oshoala becomes first African woman to win golden boot in Spanish Primera Division

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Asisat Oshoala, Super Falcons striker, is the joint top scorer in the women’s Spanish Primera Division.

The 27-year-old Nigerian achieved the feat despite missing three months of the season due to recurring injuries.

She scored 20 goals in 19 league appearances for Barcelona Femeni and will share the award with Geyse Ferreira of Madrid CFF, who netted 20 goals in 27 appearances.

Oshoala is now the first African woman to win the highest goalscorer gong in the Spanish Primera Division since it began in 2011.

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