The board of Nigeria National League (NNL) has commended Kano State Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Abba Yusuf for accepting to host the 2023 NNL playoffs scheduled to hold from August 6-10 at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano. Chairman of the NNL, George Aluo in a statement made available to the media on Tuesday, July 25, described the Kano state governor’s gesture as a huge boost for the development of the national league which remains the main foundation of Nigerian football. According to the NNL boss, the governor by his gesture has demonstrated his passion for the growth of Nigerian football and sports in general. “We, the board of the NNL want to thank the governor and good people of Kano state for accepting to host the 2023 NNL playoff in Kano.
We are delighted to receive the huge support of the Kano state government in moving Nigerian football forward and we appreciate your support,” he said. Eight clubs will be involved in the relegation playoffs which will determine the four teams that will remain in the NNL and the four teams that will be relegated in the Nationwide League. “We’re happy that the 2023 NNL relegation playoffs will hold in Kano State with eight clubs participating to determine which of the four clubs will be relegated to the lower league,” NNL boss noted. The eight clubs involved in play off are …ABS FC (Ilorin), Sokoto United FC (Sokoto), FWC Champions FC (Abuja), Adamawa United FC (Yola), Hensard FC (Yenagoa), Ikorodu United (Lagos), Smart City FC (Lagos), and Edel FC (Awka).
World Aquatics congress endorses relocation of headquarters to Budapest
World Aquatics General Congress 2023 which took place in Fukuoka, Japan last week has approved the move by the world swimming governing body to relocate her headquarters. The approval to move from Lausanne to Budapest, Hungary was one of the major decisions taken by the congress. Hungary has been a steady partner of international aquatics, having hosted 25 World Aquatics events since 2013, including the World Aquatics Championships in 2017 and 2022. The World Aquatics Championships are scheduled to return to the Hungarian capital in 2027, as well as next year’s World Aquatics Swimming Championships (25m). World Aquatics and Hungary also work together on the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme that sees up to 20 top international student-athletes receive university education alongside worldclass training support.
On 26 May 2023, World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam and Hungarian government officials signed a memorandum of understanding to further cooperate around a potential move of the federation’s relocation to Budapest. “I have always said that our athletes must come first,” said World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam. “This is a move that will put athletes at the centre of our headquarters, in a training centre. It will also save significant sums of money that can be invested in our athletes.” With Hungary’s proud history of and commitment to aquatic sports, Budapest currently features dedicated aquatics training and competition facilities that include the Duna Arena and the Alfred Hajos National Swimming Stadium. In addition to its current home base in Switzerland, World Aquatics operates several development centres around the world.
During the World Aquatics Congress, members also approved establishing a World Aquatics Foundation in Lausanne. Guided by the World Aquatics’ mission to ensure more people can participate, compete in and benefit from aquatic sports, the foundation will oversee the federation’s development work. This includes development and training, learn-to-swim programming, coaches and officials’ clinics and development, in particular programmes that use aquatic sports as a tool for social betterment. Separately, Lausanne will be the home of the Aquatics Integrity Unit. Proposed by the Reform Committee, the Unit was approved by World Aquatics Member Federations at an Extraordinary General Congress in Abu Dhabi (UAE) in December 2021. The Unit became fully operational on 1 January 2023. “World Aquatics has had a very close relationship with the City of Lausanne since first establishing an office there in 1986, and it is a relationship that I am very committed to continuing long into the future,” World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam said. “
The new World Aquatics Foundation, based in Lausanne, will benefit aspiring athletes in every corner of the world. In addition, Lausanne will be the home of the Aquatics Integrity Unit, which is central to overseeing our good governance. I am delighted that Lausanne will continue to be such an important base for World Aquatics.
FIFA World Cup 2026: Tender process opens for media rights ahead of African qualifiers
FIFA has opened an invitation to tender (“ITT”) for the centralised media rights to all of the African qualifying matches, which will determine the African teams that will compete at the FIFA World Cup 26™. An agreement was reached with all 54 member associations of CAF in August 2019, according to which the media rights to all African qualifiers for the 2022 and 2026 installments of the FIFA World Cup™ would be managed by FIFA under a centralised sales model. The agreement also specifies that all profits generated will be distributed among the 54 member associations of CAF. For the first time ever, up to ten African teams will have the opportunity to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 26 – a notable increase from the five qualifying berths that were available for the FIFA World Cup 2022™.
This therefore represents a momentous opportunity for a number of emerging footballing nations from across Africa to create history, while also giving more African fans a chance to follow their teams as they compete for a place on football’s biggest stage. The format of the African qualifiers has been extended for this edition, and it will be the first time that all 54 CAF-affiliated national teams will compete together from the outset of the tournament. This means that there will be a record of 273 qualifying matches, which will be played across the continent between November 2023 and November 2025. A group phase featuring nine groups of six teams, each playing home and away in a round-robin format, will see the nine group winners qualify directly for the FIFA World Cup 2026. The four best group runners-up will then compete in a play-off round to determine the CAF representative at the FIFA intercontinental play-off tournament, through which another spot at the FIFA World Cup 26 is available.
The CAF qualifying draw took place on 13 July in Côte d’Ivoire. The newly opened tender process will allow FIFA to select the media companies that are best placed to meet the required transmission and production commitments that will enable it to achieve its objectives of reaching the widest-possible audience and providing a high-quality viewing experience for fans. Media companies or organisations wishing to participate in the tender process can request the ITT by contacting AfricanQualifiersFWC2026@fifa.org. The bid submission deadline is 11:00 CEST on Tuesday, 29 August 2023.