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    PECTACLE•••Choreographers pull all the stunts with an horse, a giant soccer ball and an hippopotamus during colourful opening ceremony of the 17th National Sports Festiva in Port Harcourt on Sunday. Photo by Henry Unini

    Sports needs more than money

    ADMIRABLE efforts are always being made to resuscitate the National Sports Festival, but it is clear the days of the National Sports Festival, as a productive venture are shortening. The increasing low standards, cheating, corruption, poor officiating and can only turn the festival into a huge ceremony with all the trappings in place. We are witnessing one in Port Harcourt.

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    Bye Battered Blatter

    I WRITE about Joseph Sepp Blatter as if he is dead. It is deliberate. Blatter has been in FIFA in the past 36 years. He inherited his iron fist from the Belgian-Brazilian Jean Marie Jo o Faustino Godefroid Havelange, who competed in water polo and swimming in the 1936 and 1952 Olympic Games. Now 95, Havelange, who ruled FIFA for 24 years, was deep in the scandals around the 1998 transmutation of Blatter from Secretary-General to President of FIFA. Other re-elections of Blatter (2002, 2007) have swirled more scandals.

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    Gradual Death Of Football

    SOME may not notice the gradual death of football, which will ultimately affect the health of sports. Some think the growing number of factions in the Nigeria Football Association (it insists on calling itself Nigeria Football Federation, illegal as it knows the name is) does not mean anything.

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    Again, Age Agitations

    WE may be getting somewhere with this issue of the age of Nigerian football players, or sports people altogether. Not too long ago, depending on your real age, Nigerian players had no reason to tamper with their age since most competitions were open – if you were good enough you weighed in. Juniors, intermediates, and seniors competed for the few opportunities.

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