Monday, March 25, 2019

Mourinho Names Two Clubs That’ll Play Final



Former Manchester United and Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, has tipped Serie A champions, Juventus to play La Liga champions, Barcelona in the Champions League final this season.

Juventus will tackle Ajax in the Champions League quarter-final next month after defeating Atletico Madrid in the last 16 a few weeks ago, while Barcelona will face Manchester United after defeating Lyon in the last 16.

But Mourinho believes both Juventus and Barcelona have the perfect mix of qualities required to win the Europe top-flight trophy this campaign.

“Juventus and Barcelona are the big candidates to play in the Champions League final, but the English sides are there, as well as Ajax and Porto,” Mourinho told AFP.

“Juve and Barca have experience, talent and each a special player. Normally, when you have a special player, your team is better.” He said.

Mourinho added: “Champions League quarter-final next month. We all talk about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but I prefer to talk about Juventus and Barcelona.

“I know everyone focuses on individuals, but I will always be a football coach and football will always be a team sport.”

Emmanuel Amuneke Qualifies Tanzania for Nations Cup After 39 years



Emmanuel Amuneke of Nigeria has guided Tanzania to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1980 after a 3-0 win over Uganda on Sunday.

The East African nation shocked Group L leaders to record a historic victory in front of home fans at the National Stadium on Sunday.

Goals from Simon Msuwa, Erasto Nyoni and Aggrey Morris booked the Taifa Stars’ place in Egypt as they displaced Lesotho to finish second in the group log with eight points from six games.

Tottenham Unveil Their New Stadium with a Win Against Southampton

English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur have moved into their new stadium which was celebrated with an under 18 win against Southampton at a test event in front of almost 29,000 fans.

 
Tottenham unveil their new stadium with a win against Southampton

However, the club’s manager Mauricio Pochettino believes the noise from the crowd in the 62k capacity stadium can be loud enough to drown Manchester City when they face in the round of 8 of the UEFA Champions League.

Thanking Tottenham fans for their patience while away on exile at Wembley Stadium, Pochettino said:

“The pay-off is going to be amazing and a massive help for the team to have the possibility to finish this season well.

“We know we have a massive challenge in the quarter-final of the Champions League but with all our fans, 62,000 people behind us, we can make possible our dream to be in the semi-final. Why not?

“This is our new house, our new home, and it’s going to be magic.

“White Hart Lane was magic, but this is going to be one of the best in the world.

“When it starts to feel like home, it will be unbelievable. I really believe the future of the club is going to be fantastic.”

Tottenham unveil their new stadium with a win against Southampton

Tottenham unveil their new stadium with a win against Southampton

Tottenham unveil their new stadium with a win against Southampton
 

Manchester United Enters Race to Sign Chelsea Winger



Manchester United have joined a list of clubs, in the race to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea in the summer, according to the Daily Mail.

Hudson-Odoi, 18, made his England debut in the 5-0 demolition of the Czech Republic on Friday night.

The teenage winger was called up by Gareth Southgate, despite failing to make a single Premier League start for Chelsea this season.

Hudson-Odoi has been linked with a host of clubs in recent months. Bayern Munich saw four separate offers for him knocked back by Chelsea in January and are expected to return with another bid in the summer.

Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool have also been credited with an interest.

Chelsea are desperate to hang onto Hudson-Odoi, but his currentcontract with the club is set to expire in 2020 and he has rejected their offer of an extension in a deal worth a reported £85,000 per week.

AFCON FINAL QUALIFIERS TABLE

Group A
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Senegal 6    5    1    0    10    16
2  M’ascar 6    3    1    2    0      10
3  E’Guinea6    2    0    4    -2    6
4  Sudan  6    1    0    5    -8    3
Group B
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Morocco 6    3    2    1    5      11
2  Cameroon6    3    2    1    4      11
3  Malawi  6    1    2    3    -4    5
4  Comoros 6    1    2    3    -5    5
Group C
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Mali    6    4    2    0    8      14
2  Burundi 6    2    4    0    6      10
3  Gabon  6    2    2    2    2      8
4  S’Sudan 6    0    0    6    -16    0
Group D
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Algeria 6    3    2    1    5      11
2  Benin  6    3    1    2    -1    10
3  Gambia  6    1    3    2    0      6
4  Togo    6    1    2    3    -4    5
Group E
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Nigeria 6    4    1    1    8      13
2  S’Africa6    3    3    0    10    12
3  Libya  6    2    1    3    4      7
4  S’chelles6  0    1    5    -22    1
Group F
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Ghana  4    3    0    1    7      9
2  Kenya  4    2    1    1    3      7
3  Ethiopia4    0    1    3    -10    1
4  S’Leone 0    0    0    0    0    0
Group G
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Zimbabwe6    3    2    1    5      11
2  DR Congo6    2    3    1    2      9
3  Liberia 6    2    1    3    -4    7
4  Congo  6    1    2    3    -3    5
Group H
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD      Pts
1  Guinea  6    3    2    0    4      12
2    CIV    6    3    2    1    7      11
3  CAR    6    1    2    2    -4      6
4  Rwanda  6    0    2    4    -7      2
Group I
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD      Pts
1  Angola  6    4    0    2    3      12
2  M’itania6    4    0    2    11      2
3  B’Faso  6    3    1    2    3      10
4  B’swana 6    0    1    5    -7      1
Group J
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Tunisia 6    5    0    1    8      15
2  Egypt  6    4    1    1    11    13
3  Niger  6    1    2    3    -7    5
4  S’ziland6    0    1    5    -12    1
Group K
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD      Pts
1  G’Bissau6    2    3    1    1        9
2  M’bique 6    2    2    2    0        8
3  Namibia 6    2    2    2    -2      8
4  Zambia  6    2    1    3    1      7
Group L
    Team    P    W    D    L    GD    Pts
1  Uganda  6    4    1    1    4    13
2  Tanzania6    2    2    2    1      8
3  Lesotho 6    1    3    2    -4      6
4  C’Verde 6    1    2    3    -1      5

Super Eagles Striker, Ighalo Finishes as Top Scorer



Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, has finished the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series, as the top scorer.

Ighalo who plays for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, finished with seven goals.

The Nigerian frontman netted one more goal than Fiston Abdul-Razak of Burundi, who scored six.

Ighalo bagged one against Seychelles, a brace against Libya, a hat-trick against Libya, and one against Seychelles in the final rounds to move top on the list.

Eagles head coach, Gernor Rohr, will be banking on Ighalo to make an impact in this year’s competition, after Nigeria missed out on the last two tournaments in 2015 and 2017.

Fans Query Rohr’s Capacity to Deliver on Super Eagles’ Job


Super Eagles dismal outing in the last AFCON 2019 qualifier against Seychelles has reopened questions on the competence of Nigeria’s Franco-German Coach, Gernot Rohr to the lead the country’s football to El Dorado.

Three-time African champions Nigeria laboured to a 3-1 victory over the largely uncoordinated Indian Ocean island nation after ending the first half one-all.

Although there was nothing at stake in the match for a Nigeria beyond pride as the country’s passage to AFCON 2019 was sealed last November when Eagles drew 1-1 with South Africa in Johannesburg, it was meant to assess the team’s readiness to challenge for the continental title in Egypt next summer.

Most of the fans that thronged the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba for the match last Friday were unanimous in their opinions that Eagles were poor in form with no visible input of Rohr on the senior national team.

According to an Onitsha-based football academy proprietor, Chike Okolonji, the Super Eagles that played Seychelles did not represent the best of Nigeria’s rich football pedigree.
“ Look at the faces of fans here, majority of them came from far and near. Do you think they are happy? No, they are very sad despite the 3-1 victory because this team is not the Super Eagles quality we are used to. This team is poor,” fumed the academy proprietor shortly after the final whistle.

He wants the NFF to probe what is going on; why the team is playing badly ahead of AFCON 2019.

“How long will it take our German coach to give Nigerians the quality team we all are yearning for? This man has been here now for about three years. Is that not enough time for him to impact on our team if he’s a good coach? Sincerely, I don’t think Rohr have what it takes to return our football to the summit of African football,” Okolonji admonished.

He therefore urged the NFF to review his performance viz-a-viz the contract they entered into with him. “ If he’s not delivering as negotiated, this man’s contract should be reviewed. How can we be struggling at home with the team we defeated 3-0 away, was also beaten 8-1 by Libya. This is not acceptable.”

A top former Nigerian coach who did not ant his name in print told THISDAY inside the Stephen Keshi Stadium that the coach appears to be under the influence of some powerful elements in the country’s football who wants their wards in o feature for the team no matter their quality.

“I think some top persons are influencing this man’s team selection. Otherwise, why bring half-baked players from lower divisions in Europe to Super Eagles and expect him to succeed?” queried the top gaffer with stints in the national team.

He pointed at such players like Collins Jamilu, Paul Onuachu and even the first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho who has been off duty since loan move to Cyprus.

However, in what appears to be the defence of his team’s poor form last Friday, Rohr insisted that Seychelles came prepared to play frustrate his wards from free-flow football with defence game-plan.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game because we were going to face a rejuvenated Seychelles side with new seven plays from the team we defeated 3-0 away. They started their preparation very early in March,” observed Rohr to reporters at the post-match briefing.

The Super Eagles gaffer who also complained about the state of the Asaba Stadium turf believes some of the flaws noticed will be rectified in tomorrow’s international friendly with seven-time champions Egypt.

Goals from Odion Ighalo, Henry Onyekuru and substitute Moses Simon ensured Seychelles left Asaba empty handed.

Barcelona’s Coutinho in Shock Return to Premier League

Barcelona midfielder, Philippe Coutinho is set to return to the Premier League after leaving the English top-flight league in 2016.



AS reports that Coutinho’s agents, Kia Joorabchian and Giuliano Bertolucci, have made contact with Premier League giants, Manchester United and Chelsea over the possibility of signing the Brazilian international this summer.

The report claimed that both Joorabchian and Bertolucciy are expected to receive a response from Man United and Chelsea this week.

DAILY POST recalls that Coutinho had drawn interest from Man United and Chelsea over the past few months.

Barcelona chiefs are willing to take a huge loss on Coutinho as they are ready to negotiate offers in excess of €80million (£68.8million) for the Brazilian international.

Coutinho has ‘failed to convince’ Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde of his ability to secure a regular role in the first team since his arrival from Liverpool in 2018.


The 26-year-old had said last week that he has not been playing well for Barcelona so far this season.

Coutinho told Movistar+: “In the last few weeks, months even, I’ve not been playing well but I still want to improve.”

Nigeria Can Beat Libya Today to Progress to Next Round - Okechukwu


Captain of Nigeria’s U-23 team, Azubuike Okechukwu has posited that the team has learnt from its first leg loss in Tunis and will work hard to ensure it overturns the results and qualify for the next round of the qualifiers.
Nigeria is to play Libya today in Asaba in the reverse fixture of the qualifying round for the CAF Under-23 AFCON which also serves as qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The 21-year-old captained Nigeria to her maiden CAF U-23 championship title in Senegal four years ago and he still believes he has what it takes to repeat the same feat for the second time.
Speaking after the team’s arrival in Asaba, venue of the second leg, the Turkey-based midfielder blamed complacency and lack of teamwork for their 2-0 loss to the Libyans last Wednesday.
“In the first leg we did not play compact and we lost concentration and conceded two avoidable goals and the red card made it more difficult but hopefully we will do well in the second leg on Monday (today).
“I still believe qualification is very possible because we are Nigerians and everything is possible with our never say die spirit,” Azubuike said.
Nigeria will host Libya in the return leg of the AFCON U-23 qualifiers today, needing to win by three clear goals to stand any chance of progressing to the final round of the qualifiers.

Keshi Stadium to Host Final April 1

The final of this year’s edition of the Delta State Principals’ Cup has been fixed for April 1 and venue is the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

Incidentally, this venue has hosted international matches in recent time. The Super Eagles defeated Seychelles 3-1on Friday at the arena and today, the U-23 team will tackle Libya in an AFCON qualifier second led tie.

 Also tomorrow, the Super Eagle will clash with the Pharaohs in an international friendly encounter.

No doubt, the people of Delta will continue with this football feast on Monday next week when the final of the youth football competition sponsored by Zenith Bank takes centre stage.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who entered into a partnership agreement with the sponsors three years ago to revive the competition which was in limbo for 27 years, has confirmed that he will be present for the final.

The governor was present at the final of the first and second edition of the tournament and the young ones will also be glad to have him around this term.
Commissioner for Basic and secondary Education, Chiedu Ebie, confirmed at the weekend that Govvernor Okowa would be at the final.

The organisers led by Tony Pemu are excited as all the four finalists that will compete for honours on the final day.

Pemu said all arrangements have been concluded to make the April 1 date grand for all participants.
“We are all happy that the date is here and the schools are ready to excite us with their talents,” Pemu said.

Only last week, Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo, stated that plans were in place to make this year’s final better than the previous ones.
He commended the finalists of the competition which involved hundreds of private and public secondary schools in the state.

Obule Integrated School, Sapele and Boys Secondary School, Obiaruku will compete in the final while Ekpan Secondary School and Comprehensive secondary school will clash in the third place shortly before the final.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Passionate Klopp gets straight to the point, Liverpool’s Van Dijk says



English Premier League (EPL) leaders Liverpool are chasing their first league title since 1990 and Van Dijk said Klopp could be brutally honest when assessing their performances.
“He’s (Klopp) very passionate, he’ll tell you the truth at all times,” Van Dijk said on The Premier League Show.
“He won’t go beating about the bush. That’s something I personally like a lot and most of our players like it as well.
“We have plenty of meetings throughout the whole season where he is definitely not happy about some things.
“That’s a good sign, even when we’ve only lost one (league) game all season there have been some moments where we can do much better.”
Liverpool have the best defensive record in the league, having conceded 18 goals in 31 games, but Manchester City can leapfrog their rivals if they win their game in hand.
However, Van Dijk said the title race will go down to the wire.
“That’s the unlucky bit for us, that they (Manchester City) have been fantastic throughout the whole season. We have been doing in the league fantastically as well,” Van Dijk added.
“It’s something good for people that love football to see. I have a feeling it will go right to the end. We will give everything we have and they will too.”
Liverpool host Tottenham Hotspur, who are third in the standings, in the league next Sunday.(Reuters/NAN)

I Am Very Proud of My Players – Rohr

Nigeria vs Iceland

Manager Gernot  Rohr has hailed  the Super Eagles for  beating Seychelles 3-1 and finishing top of their 2019 AFCON qualifying group.

The Super Eagles rounded up their qualifying campaign for the next AFCON with a morale-boosting 3-1 win, courtesy of strikes from Odion Ighalo, Henry Onyekuru and Simon Moses, in between a consolation strike by Seychelles.

 The win ensured Nigeria of a top spot which in turn would make them be one of the seeded teams when the tournament’s draw is held next month in Egypt.

And reacting to the victory, Coach Rohr said that he was pleased with the  reaction of the team after they were pegged back by the goal by Seychelles.

 ‘’I am very proud of my players for this victory and the way they reacted after our opponents equalized. It is a testament of their resolve to always put in their best no matter the stiff opposition they come against.

 ‘’Our objective was to win the game and it was soothing seeing them achieve this target and I believe that going forward, this team would do much more in the game against Egypt. All the players did well and I am happy with their attitude and this is the way to go”, added Rohr.


Emmanuel Amuneke Qualifies Tanzania For AFCON After 39 Years

Emmanuel Amuneke qualifies Tanzania for AFCON after 39 Years lailasnews

Former Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Amuneke has qualified the Taifa Stars of Tanzania for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The team qualified for the AFCON 1st time in 39 years after they defeated Uganda 3-0 at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

According to a report by Completesports.com, goals from Simon Msuwa, Erasto Nyoni and a sublime header from Aggrey Morris secured Tanzania’s berth at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.

Amuneke’s charges finished second in group L with eight points, five behind leaders the Cranes of Uganda who have already qualified for Africa’s biggest football showpiece event.


The other group L fixture between Cape Verde and Lesotho ended in a goalless draw.

Both Uganda and Tanzania join hosts Egypt, Nigeria,Burundi, Mali, Cameroon, Morocco, Angola, Mauritania, Senegal, Madagascar, Algeria, Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Congo, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Guinea-Bissau and Namibia.

Uzoho is Our Number One Goalkeeper – Rohr

Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr has jumped to the defence of goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, whose error gifted Seychelles a goal in Friday’s AFCON qualifier that ended 3-1 in Eagles favour at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.



 Nigeria’s goalkeeper Francis Uzoho dives during a training session at Essentuki Arena in Yessentuki, southern Russia, on June 18, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP PHOTO /

With Eagles leading 1-0 in the first half and dictating the pace of the game, Uzoho made an harsh of a  pass that led to Seychelles equalizer which left a sour taste in the mouth of fans packed at the stadium but speaking during the post-match conference, Rohr said that the mistakes were bound to happen at times, seemingly absolving his goalkeeper of any blame. “Mistakes are mistakes and they are what they are and can be committed by anybody.

 Uzoho is our number  one goalkeeper and it is unlike him to make such an error. I know his worth and won’t rush to condemn him over this error.

 “We are also aware that he has not been a regular player with his club of late because of some reasons and such things can happen at any time to any player. Even journalists do make mistakes but  that does not mean that journalists are guilty and should be condemned.

 “We would go back and look at the mistake to guard against a recurrence”, said the Franco-German born trainer.


Edo Keeps Dudu Orumen Hanging on Sports Commission Job

Eight months after he was made Edo State Sports Commission chairman, Godwin Dudu-Orumen is yet to get a functional office and a job briefing from the government.




Dudu-Orumen, a renowned sports commentator and a Barrister at Law was appointed by Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki to help in his mission to revive Edo State sports, but reliable sources hinted that Dudu-Orumen is now counting his fingers as things have not turned out the way he figured.

 “He doesn’t have an office of his own, he has not received his briefs and most amazingly, he has not held any meeting with the deputy governor who is in charge of sports affairs in the State,” said an official of the Edo Sports Council.

“I’m aware that he has made several attempts to reach the governor who appointed him, but he has not been able to see or hear from the governor.“At the last National Sports Festival in Abuja he was just a mere spectator and he is getting frustrated by the development.

 He is just hoping that the governor will step in and resolve the matter for the interest of sports in the State,” added the official. It was gathered that his appointment is for a three-year period and it is seems there are more turbulent days ahead as several interests are at play.

 Edo State is home to prominent sportsmen and women who have represented the country, but during the selection interview for the position, Dudu-Orumen emerged the top choice of the governor for the job.

  Contacted on the phone for a comment; Dudu-Orumen did not confirm or deny the development neither would he expatiate on it.


WRESTLING: NWF Announces African Championships Team

The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) has announced a tentative 22-man list expected to represent the country at the 2019 African Senior Wrestling Championships in Hammamet, Tunisia. The list is made up of 16 athletes, 5 officials and an accompanying referee.



Odunayo Adekuoroye (right) wins wrestling gold

Subject to the availability of funds for their flight tickets and accommodation, the 22-man delegation is expected to depart Nigeria early next week for the continental showpiece slated for March 26-31 in the north African nation.

The list, which is headlined by 8-time (consecutive) African Champion Blessing Oborududu, also has Commonwealth Champions Odunayo Adekuoroye and Aminat Adeniyi as well as Mercy Genesis, Ifeoma Nwoye, Sunmisola Balogun, Hannah Reuben, Emmanuel Ogbonnaya, Amas Daniel, all African champions in their respective weight classes.

The wrestlers will be guided by experienced national team coaches Purity Akuh and Victor Kodei, with Dr. Oyinbo Samson attending to their medical needs.

NWF President Daniel Igali, a World and Olympic champion and Secretary of the Federation, Almu Lambu are expected to be part of the delegation, which will be accompanied by highly-rated referee Usman Yusuf, who will be on officiating duties at the Championships.

Nigeria are the defending champions in Women Wrestling, having won 9 of the available 10 gold medals at the last African Championships hosted in Port Harcourt a year ago.


Global Outreach to Launch Boxing, Beach Games in Nigeria



As part of efforts to promote professional boxing in Nigeria and also give the youths a veritable platform to exhibit their skills in beach sports, the Ooni of Ife Global Outreach, an international organisation has concluded plans to organise two major events in Nigeria


Chief Executive Officer, Oni of Ife Global Outreach, Dr Ayobami Oyedera said the essence is not only to promote sports but also the African culture

CEO Sal 2019,Yann Craven said  the  African Beach Games is a new International Olympic Committee project that will feature beach versions of soccer, handball, volleyball, tennis (doubles and mixed doubles), freestyle football and 3×3 basketball.

Others are athletics (Half Marathon), Karate (Kata), Coastal rowing (beach sprints), Kiteboard, Boardercross and Open Water Swimming (5km).


The competition, which will feature over 1000 athletes and 500 officials, will provide additional opportunities for federations to expand their roles by incorporating and starting new initiatives which offers potential athletes new experience and challenge.

The event will be staged at Santa Maria Beach Park and athletes will be accommodated at the 5-star all-inclusive resort of Sol Dunas Hotel.

54 countries, including Nigeria, will participate at the inaugural edition of the  African Beach Games The championship will take place on the island of Sal, Cape Verde from June  14th to  23rd   2019.

 The boxing event will see Former world heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson among the top boxing dignitaries expected at the Abuja Stadium for the African heavyweight championship fight holding in August 2019.

 Promoter of the bout, Savlo Montrond said  Names of the top boxers in the title fight will be unveiled next month in Nigeria.

The Africa heavyweight fight was last held in Cape Verde and won by Junior Maximus, who defeated Fasila Arrumi.

History As Nigeria Qualify For First Ever Cricket World Cup – ICC Cricket

Nigeria secured a dramatic, first ever spot in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2020, after they beat Sierra Leone by two wickets, on the final day of the Africa qualifying tournament in Namibia.
Set 139 to win, Nigeria endured a nervy chase, slipping to 87 for six at one point, before man of the match Peter Aho scored a priceless 21 not out to see them home.
The entire squad rushed onto the field in jubilation, as they confirmed their seat at their first ever global tournament
Aho had also taken two wickets earlier, when Sierra Leone posted 138 all out at Affies Park in Windhoek. On the adjacent field, Namibia had posted a massive victory over Kenya, so Nigeria simply had to win
Sierra Leone provided them with plenty of challenges, as Haroun Kamara’s 58 from 60 balls propelled his side to a testing target. John Bangura chipped in with hearty 21, and as Sierra Leone refused to go quietly.
Osman Sankoh’s late 24 also lifted the tempo, and the previously unheralded Abdulrahman Jimoh took two quick wickets for Nigeria the end, to stop the target getting any bigger.
In response, Nigeria endured a tumultuous time of it, not aided by a gathering storm. Isaac Danladi’s responsible 25 was crucial, while Miracle Ikaige also lent a hand with a vital 22. But the wickets kept on tumbling, and the pressure kept on mounting.
Aho’s nerveless intervention, mixed with occasional aggression, whittled down the target, and Nigeria were helped over the line by the cheering Ugandan squad. Namibia, on the other hand, were understandably cheering on Sierra Leone, having completed a 198-run drubbing of Kenya.
Skipper Divan la rooster was again in the runs, with 88 from 102 balls, and Jan-Izak de Villiers added a steady 55, as Namibia piled on the runs. Ramon Wilmot had set them on their way with a blitzkrieg 46 from just 31 balls, clubbing three sixes in the process.
The hosts eventually ended on 294 for five, as they finished the tournament like a freight train. They rolled Kenya over for 96, with Mauritius Ngupita yet again in the wickets. His three for 15 supplemented De Villiers’ burst upfront, as Namibia rushed through the East Africans.
In the final game of the tournament, Uganda’s Zephania Arinaitwe clattered a 40-ball 102, to blaze his side to an eight-wicket victory. He made light work of a target, after Tanzania had been bowled out for 144.
Ashish Shah scored 40 and Aahil Jasani 28, as Tanzania tried to mount a challenging total. Skipper Frank Akankwasa and Juma Miyagi took three wickets apiece, as Uganda finished off their tournament in some style.
The stage was then set for Arinaitwe to hammer nine sixes and six fours in his astonishing innings. He rushed to the total of 145 in just 12.2 overs, to demolish Tanzania, and finish off a dramatic week in Windhoek with quite a flourish.
Scores in brief
Nigeria v Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone 138 all out (H Kamara 58, O Sankoh 24, A Jimoh two for 2)
Nigeria 139 for eight (I Danladi 25, M Ikaige 22, P Aho 21 not out, O Sankoh three for 13)
Nigeria won by two wickets

Mikel Obi Sends Strong Message to President Buhari

He spoke in reaction to the kidnap and release of the mother of fellow Super Eagles star, Samuel Kalu.
“I called Samuel when his mother was kidnapped and gave him my advice as someone who has been through it twice. I knew how he would be feeling. I was glad when his mother was released because you don’t want anyone going through that.
“I suppose these things happen every day with different families and obviously we want to see the authorities take more responsibility, but Nigeria is a very crowded place and you can’t manage the security.
“You go out and you don’t know if you will come back. The government need to look into it and they can do more,” Mikel said on BBC World Service’s Sportsworld.

Hazard Speaks on Agreeing five-year Deal With Real Madrid

Chelsea midfielder, Eden Hazard, has rejected claims he has already agreed to join Real Madrid in the summer, insisting that “there’s nothing in the reports”.
It was reported in the Spanish press on Friday, that Hazard had agreed in principle a five-year deal to join Real in the summer, in a move that would make him their highest-paid player.
The return of Zinedine Zidane to the Santiago Bernabeu, is said to have convinced the Belgian to leave Chelsea.
However, Hazard who is currently on international duty, has refused to be drawn over the reports.
“There’s nothing in the reports. I’m only focused on tomorrow’s game against Cyprus.
“That’s all I’m thinking about,” he told ESPN.

Varane Speaks on Joining Man United



Real Madrid defender, Raphael Varane, has dismissed reports linking him with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu to join Premier League giants, Manchester United this summer.

Varane has been on Man United’s radar for the past two years and former Read Devils boss, Jose Mourinho, failed with his attempt to lure the 25-year-old to Old Trafford.

The France international said he is not unhappy at Real Madrid after he was linked with a move to Man United at the end of the season, stressing that he is not pushing for a move away from the Los Blancos.

“To say that I am not happy at Real Madrid is not true,” Varane was quoted by Metro UK as saying after France’s 4-1 win over Moldova on Friday night.

“I’m at Real Madrid. The biggest club in the world. “I’m constantly in a state of challenging myself because the requirement here is that of the highest level.

“I’m focused on my career. We had a tough time in the middle of the season where we had to fight. I’ve given my all in this shirt and I can be proud of that.


“I cannot control everything that’s said [in the media]. Many things aren’t right but I can’t say I’m unhappy in Madrid.

“We had a tough season, it’s the daily routine for players at the top. “I’m discreet and the problem when you’re a quiet person is you hear many things but talk little about yourself.”

Omeruo Targets Second AFCON Title in Egypt


Super Eagles’ defender, Kenneth Omeruo has set his sights on winning a second African Cup of Nations title after helping Nigeria finish top of Group E with their 3-1 win over Seychelles on Friday in Asaba, AOIFootball.com reports.
Omeruo, who remains the only AFCON winner among the 23 invited players for the clashes against Seychelles and Egypt, posited after the Seychelles game that his teammates must now continue working hard to ensure they are fit ahead of the tournament in June.
“Of course, we are dreaming of winning the title. I was part of the victorious team in 2013 and I will love to win it again. However, we are going to take the matches one at a time.
“On our part as players, we have to work hard in our clubs and get regular playing time to ensure we stay fit for the Nations Cup,” Omeruo said.
He further charged the NFF to organize quality friendly matches and proper preparation to ensure the squad is well prepared for the biannual tournament.
“All I can urge the NFF is to organize more friendly matches and training camps for us ahead of the tournament and I am very confident they will do it because they have been doing so lately,” Omeruo concluded.
The 24-year-old earned his 44th senior cap in the win over Seychelles and will be a huge influence if the country is to win its fourth AFCON title having starred in the 2013 edition in South Africa.
Since winning the 2013 edition in South Africa under the tutelage of late Stephen Keshi, Nigeria has failed to qualify for the two consecutive editions held afterwards.
Coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr however believes the team’s preparation for the AFCON 2019 has started.
“The preparations for the AFCON started already after our game in Johannesburg, because we have qualified in November. Since that time we are already preparing, searching for good players and scouting our actual players and we will have three full weeks of preparations for the AFCON in the beginning of June.
“ Everybody I hope by then they would have finished their seasons and it is very important for us that we don’t have any injuries,” Rohr stated.
Goals from Odion Ighalo, Henry Onyekuru and substitute Moses Simon ensured that the Super Eagles cemented their top position in their AFCON qualifying group.
The Super Eagles will be in action again on Tuesday when they face the 2019 AFCON hosts, Egypt in a high-profile friendly also at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba

Court Restrains NBBF Factions from Interference in Kwese Premier League

The Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) factions led by Musa Kida and Tijjani Umar, from conducting any fresh Premier Basketball League for the purposes of selecting the men basketball club representatives to the 2018/2019 African Continental Club Championship pending the determination of the substantive suit before it.
The management boards of Kwese Premier League and two clubs, Gombe Bulls Basketball Club and Kwara Falcons Basketball Club, who are both winner and runner up of the 2018 Kwese Premier Basketball League, had approached the High Court in Abuja, asking for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, their agents or servants whosoever, from substituting them with any other clubs to represent Nigeria at the Zone B African Basketball Club Championship or interfering in the Kwese Premier Basketball League.
The presiding judge, Justice A.I. Chikere, in an order of interlocutory injunction granted on March 18, 2019 restrained both factions of NBBF from further enforcing or imposing any guidelines or conditions for the purpose of selecting and/or conducting any league for selecting Nigeria’s male basketball representatives for African continental competition.
The substantive suit is scheduled for hearing on April 18, 2019.
Addressing newsmen on the court’s order, counsel to the plaintiffs, Josiah Daniel, said his clients were seeking the declaration of the court, that in face of fictionalised basketball federation in Nigeria and the absence of an extant update and FIBA approved local constitution regulating the affairs of NBBF, none of the existing factional executive boards of the federation was competent to regulate the plaintiffs who are nonpartisan, nonpolitical neutral basketball stakeholders in Nigeria.
He said his clients were, in addition to other reliefs, asking the court to declare them independent and autonomous bodies and self- regulating bodies, pending when the national basketball federation would have an updated and FIBA approved version of local constitution regulating its affairs.

AELEX, Falana Aiming to Consolidate

After AELEX picked the first win of Group A in the 2019 BOA Lawyers’ Football League that commenced last weekend, the law firm will today try to consolidate on that victory when they confront Perchstone & Graeys LP this afternoon at AstroTurf 2000 in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Similarly, favourites Falana & Falana leading Group B on three points have a date to keep with another past winner of the tournament, Lagos State Ministry of Justice (LSMJ) in top of the billing clash.
Falana lost their crown to Olisa Agbakoba Legal in the final of the last edition.
Before these two top games, Pinheiro LP is to tackle Templars in the opening match of the second week.
Other matches billed to hold today include; the clash between SOOB/NICCOM LLP and Olaniwun Ajayi, BA Law LLP/ Probitas Partners LLP versus DOA Law/Greychapel Legal, Aluko & Oyebode against ALP/SPA Ajibade and the battle between Wole Olanipekun/Dele Adeshina and UUBO/ACAS Law.
In the opening week of the BOA League, Aelex defeated Aluko & Oyebode 1-0 while Perchstone & Graeys LP battled to a 1-1 draw with George Etomi/FRA Williams.
Falana defeated Wole Olanipekun/Dele Adeshina 1-0, UUBO/ACAS Law drew goalless with LSMJ, while SOOB/NICCOM LLP beat Pinheiro LP 2-0.
The BOA Lawyers’ Football League is held annually in memory of the late notable lawyer, Mr. Bankole Olumide Aluko, a founding partner in the law firm of Aluko & Oyebode (A & O).
He died 17 years ago and ever since, his colleagues and associates have celebrated his life and times with the tournament.