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NPFL, GTI, Propel Sports Africa sign $5m deal to reposition league



In a bid to reposition the Nigerian league, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has signed a 5 million-dollar sponsorship deal with GTI and Propel Sports Africa.

The stakeholders announced the agreement at a press briefing on Tuesday in Lagos as part of efforts to restructure the league.

The partnership will enable live NPFL matches powered by GTI and Propel Sports Africa and live streaming of NPFL games on Over-The-top (OTT) platform “NPFL Live.”

The dedicated streaming app will allow fans to enjoy live matches and exclusive content, while Pixellot, provider of AI-automated cameras, would deliver good viewing and broadcast quality.

Abubarkar Lawal, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of GTI, said the unveiling and signing ceremony was a reminder that God’s timing was perfect.

“If you have a dream, the first thing to do is to visualise and articulate it. God kept positioning people, positive people that we needed to make this happen,” he said.

He said at the end of the day the federal government, state governments, clubs and individual investors would benefit financially from the project.

Gbenga Elegbeleye, the Chairman IMC, said one of the biggest challenges of the league was officiating.

“The referees complained of not being paid for three years, and I asked why keep working without renumerations? Obviously, the clubs are the ones financing them.

“We want a system that will work, there were lots of problems with officiating. So, we decided to fix that by providing renumeration a day before the match day, and provide accommodation for referees.

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“When GTI started paying, that week we had four away wins. We believe in this partnership; the winner of the league will get N100 million,” Elegbeleye said,

Also, Edward Simons, the President, Propel Sports Africa, said he had so much faith in the partnership.

“It’s a great day for GTI, NPFL and Propel Sports Africa. It’s a great opportunity.

“GTI has worked with passion to record a great level of success and we are glad to be partners in progress alongside the IMC. We know it’s going to be a long haul,” he said.

The Chairman of Propel Sports Africa, Basil Kabbari, stressed the need for the partnership, saying that the Nigerian sports industry was a good market.

Ex-international, Tijani Babangida, applauded the investors for giving home based players something to look forward to and for promoting the domestic league.

Nelson Ine, a director at GTI, said fans could invest in The Nigeria Football Fund (TNFF), with a minimum of N100,000 required to be a shareholder.

“In a few years’ time these fund would yield be the highest return on investment. Today Propel Sports Africa has given us an edge; without television sports is just an activity.

“Once it’s not on television it does not attract value. The NPFL is the most viable sports asset; the EPL was worth 10.6 billion pounds in 2022, anyone investing now will be happy doing so in the near future,” he said.


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Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium: We’ll beat Governor’s deadline – Ekweremadu Jnr.



• Enugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr. Lloyd Ekweremadu Jnr

…Says school sports to return

Enugu State Government is determined to see the state-owned football club, Rangers International, return to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium for its home matches before the end of November, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr. Lloyd Ekweremadu has reassured.

The commissioner gave the assurances while briefing Government House correspondents at the of the State Executive Council meeting, at the weekend.

He said that although the governor’s November deadline was tight, the Ministry was determined to ensure that the Flying Antelopes returned to the stadium, popularly known as The Cathedral, before November.

“The Executive Council was briefed on the issue of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and the expected return of our darling Rangers to play at our Cathedral and to generally bring the stadium back to effective use. We deliberated on the targets and steps being taken to meet set targets of the government.

“We are making progress. The turf, which is to be laid on the plain surface, is in Nigeria now. It has passed the very critical stage, which is Customs clearance, but there are a few other steps at the moment.

“Deadlines have been set and those deadlines are quite short and ambitious. But we are very optimistic and we know in fact that we will meet those targets and our goals. So, we are taking very proactive steps to ensure that we beat the target.

“The governor said in his 100 days in office speech that the stadium would be ready for use by November. But we are working round the clock to see that we even beat that time and deliver the stadium back to use in record time. And the Executive Council has resolved to put certain measures in place, which will ensure that we meet such targets.”

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He added that creative and innovative steps were being taken, particularly with regards to sponsorship, to bring Rangers to the winning ways of old.

Speaking further, Ekweremadu Jr said measures were being put in place to revive school sports in the state.

He said: “Steps are being taken through collaborations amongst various ministries towards actualising His Excellency’s vision to bring back and revitalize school sports. Our plans include bringing inter-school sports back, to serve as an opportunity for talent discovery, to engage the youth positively and actively as well as keep them away from social vices, crime and the like”, he stated.

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National team footballer killed by gunmen



A player for Panama’s national football team has been shot dead in the city of Colón.

Gunmen opened fire on a group of people, among them 26-year-old Gilberto Hernández, who had gathered in a building in the city.

Hernández died and seven others were injured in the attack.

It is not yet clear if the footballer, who also played for Club Atlético Independiente, was the target of the shooting or what the motive was.

There has been a rise in murders in Colón over the past months as two rival gangs fight for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes.

So far, more than 50 people have been killed in Colón, a city of 40,000 inhabitants, so far this year.

The port city, on the north entrance to the Panama canal, is a transit point for cocaine smuggled from South America through Panama to Europe.

The shooting happened on Sunday afternoon local time.

Two gunmen forced a taxi driver to take them to a building in the city’s Barrio Norte neighbourhood and opened fire on the group gathered there.

The gunmen fled the scene, but a suspect has since been arrested in a flat nearby.

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Tragedy as thunder strike kills referee during friendly match in Suleja



Tragedy struck on Tuesday after a Nigerian referee identified as Mustafa Coach 02, was killed by a lightening strike on a football pitch in Madalla Town, Suleja LGA of Niger State

Late Mustafa died during a friendly football match which was disrupted by heavy rainfall followed by thunder strikes.

The deceased, who was said to be a member of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), met his tragic death on Tuesday evening during the match played on the community’s school field in Madalla Town.

An eyewitness, Muhammed Musa, told Daily Trust that the match in which Suleja and Madalla youths participated, was on half time break around 5:20 pm when the incident happened.

“It was raining and all the footballers along with their fans were taken refuge inside the school’s classrooms. The referee along with his assistant (line man) rushed back to the field, demanding the players to join them.

“They were only at the centre of the pitch when the thunder struck. Two of them were rushed to a hospital, where Sulaiman was confirmed dead on arrival while his assistant was revived.”

A family member of the deceased, who simply gave his name as Ibrahim, said the the late Mustafa was buried Wednesday morning in Suleja town where he lived.

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