Friday, November 30, 2018

Real Madrid’s Bernabeu To Host All-argentine Copa Libertadores Final

South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL on Thursday confirmed that the twice-postponed Copa Libertadores final second leg between Argentine rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played on December 9 at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Originally scheduled for last weekend at River’s Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, it was postponed after some Boca players were injured when their team bus came under attack from their arch rivals’ fans throwing projectiles.
Boca appealed to CONMEBOL’s independent disciplinary committee to be awarded the trophy and have River expelled from the competition, but that was also rejected on Thursday.
Instead, CONMEBOL hit River with a two-game stadium closure “that will be applied from 2019” in official continental competitions, and “a $400,000 fine.”
In a separate statement issued late Thursday, Boca Juniors said it “did not share” the arguments of the CONMEBOL disciplinary panel and planned to appeal.
CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said that Real president Florentino Perez had offered use of the Bernabeu “for free.”
“Madrid is the city with the biggest Argentine population in the world, outside Argentina,” said Dominguez.
“It’s the 10th safest city in the world, it has the airport with the greatest connectivity, and it’s a city with a football tradition.

I Am A Warrior, I Have Fought Many Battles – Emmanuel Emenike

Emmanuel Emenike has described himself as “a warrior” who has conquered many battles, as he looks set to return to action after six months away.

I am a warrior, I have fought many battles - Emmanuel Emenike lailasnews

Emenike has dared those who doubt he could make a successful comeback after six months out of action and an acrimonious split with Greek champions Olympiacos.
“I have been fighting since I was a child, and my family gave me that courage every time,” stated the 2013 AFCON Goal King in an interview.

“Playing football has not been easy for me, but I always fight hard in training and prove myself at any given chance to prove I am ready to deliver, and that’s why people see that aggression in me.
“I don’t give up, I love challenging myself and to respect others.”
“I play football with passion, I don’t see it as a means of surviving at any point, and it has really helped me in many ways in my career.
“Only those who know me will understand why I am aggressive on the pitch, I always want the best for my teams and ensure everybody is happy in the dressing room.
“As a matter of fact, to be heroic is to be courageous enough to die for something.
“I have seen, witnessed and battled many challenges in this game, but God has been faithful, he always justifies my name Emmanuel.”

Europa League: Arsenal Seal Top Spot With Dominant Win

A young Arsenal side cruised to victory against Vorskla Poltava in Kiev and secure top spot in the Europa League Group E.

Europa League_ Arsenal seal top spot with dominant win lailasnews

The match had initially been in doubt because of security concerns in Poltava, but Uefa intervened and moved the tie to the Ukraine capital.

Teenage forward Emile Smith Rowe scored his second goal in as many European starts, before Aaron Ramsey converted his first penalty for the club.

Nineteen-year-old Joe Willock claimed his first senior goal for the club four minutes from half-time in below freezing conditions.

With qualification already certain before kick-off, Unai Emery’s men knew three points would clinch top spot because of a better head-to-head record with second-placed Sporting Lisbon.
Arsenal will now avoid the four best teams dropping down from the Champions League in the last 32.

Arsenal took the lead in the 10th minute when the ball fell kindly to Smith Rowe inside the area following a deflection from a Vorskla defender.

The talented forward showed poise and composure to tuck the ball into the net, before Ramsey – in his final season for the club – dusted himself off after being bundled over inside the area to roll the ball past Bohdan Shust from the spot.

The Londoners continued to dominate the match, enjoying just under 60% of possession and limiting the hosts to only two shots on target – Petr Cech’s only real involvement in the bitter cold.
Willock added the gloss to an impressive first-half performance minutes before the interval with a finish of which club legend Thierry Henry would have been proud.

Super Eagles Striker Isaac Success Signs New Long-term Contract With Watford

Super Eagles striker, Isaac Success, has been rewarded with a new long-term contract by his Premier League club, Watford.
The 22-year-old committed himself to the Hornets for five more years in a deal which runs until 2023.
Watford chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury confirmed the new deal on the club’s website:
‘This is a just reward for Isaac’s continued hard work and application this season. We look forward to seeing him develop further over the coming years.’
Success joined Watford from Granada during July 2016 for what was then a club-record fee of around £12.75million. The 22-year-old has scored just three goals in six starts so far this season

EPL: De Gea Signs New Contract With Manchester United

Manchester United goalkeeper, David De Gea, has signed a new one-year contract at Old Trafford.
According to Sky Sports, De Gea’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season but will now run until the summer of 2020.
The 28-year-old was heavily linked with a move to both Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in recent weeks.
The Spain International, who has made 250 appearances for the Red Devils, joined United from Atletico Madrid back in 2011.
De Gea was outstanding in his side’s Champions League 1-0 win over Young Boys on Tuesday night.
The shot-stopper has so far kept two clean sheets in the English Premier League, EPL, this season for the Old Trafford club.
De Gea is expected to be in goal when Man United clash with Southampton on Saturday in the Premier League fixture.

Alexis Sanchez Picks Up Hamstring Injury In Manchester United Train

Alexis Sanchez will not play for man United against Southampton at the weekend after suffering a hamstring injury in training
Alexis Sanchez has scored just once this season and been displaced in Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up by Anthony Martial. He will now undergo tests to determine the severity of the issue.
Alexis sustained a hamstring injury in training on Thursday which requires further investigation to confirm severity,” a club source revealed.
Much excitement accompanied Sanchez’s move to United, with the ‘Red Devils’ seeing off rival interest from Manchester City to land the forward back in January.
However, Sanchez has scored just four goals in 30 appearances for United since and was left out of the squad completely for the Champions League victory over Young Boys on Tuesday

Europa League: Giroud, Hudson-Odoi Shine As Chelsea Thrash PAOK

Olivier Giroud and and 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi were both on fine form as Chelsea thrashed PAOK Salonika in the 5th Europa League Group L game.
Europa League_ Giroud, Hudson-Odoi shines as Chelsea thrash PAOK lailasnews

Olivier Giroud scored twice as Chelsea saw off PAOK Salonika to secure top spot in Europa League Group L.

The Frenchman curled home from Pedro’s pass before burying a volley from Cesc Fabregas’ lofted through ball to give the hosts a two-goal lead at the break.

The Greek visitors had been down to 10 men since the seventh minute with Yevhen Khacheridi dismissed for diving in and denying Giroud a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

A depleted PAOK tired further in the second half and 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi found the net before substitute Alvaro Morata headed in the youngster’s cross with his first touch off the bench.
Chelsea play Hungarians MOL Vidi on 13 December in a final dead-rubber group game.

After Maurizio Sarri’s 18-match unbeaten run as new Chelsea manager came to an abrupt halt with a 3-1 defeat by Tottenham on Saturday, the Italian changed all 10 outfield players for this encounter.
It gave several fringe players a chance to stake a claim for more first-team game-time.

With Morata still not fully convincing up front, Giroud now has four goals in his last three Blues games.
The France international lacks Morata’s pace, but followed his precise first with a clever dart in behind the PAOK defence and a powerful first-time effort.

NFF Motivates Falcons with $10,000 Win Bonus against South Africa

NFF President Pinnick in a group photograph with the Super Falcons’ players and officials in Accra on Thursday.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has opted to double the winning bonus of the Super Falcons as a big incentive ahead Saturday’s 11th Women Africa Cup of Nations Final against the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in Accra.
President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, made the pledge when he met with the players and officials at the AH Hotel, Accra on Thursday, as he delivered the good wishes of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and the football –loving populace of Nigeria to the Cup holders.
The Falcons had earned $3,000 for a win in the group phase but were earmarked for $5,000 each for victory in the Final.
“I want to let you know that the Government and the good and great people of Nigeria are happy with your performance in the championship so far. They are looking forwards to you retaining the trophy by beating South Africa on Saturday.
“Let me commend the lofty commitment, dedication and resilience that you have displayed so far in the championship, alongside that unique Nigerian spirit that was most in evidence against the Cameroonians in the semi final. You are indeed true champions, and we believe you will retain the Cup on Saturday. Go out there and win on Saturday and earn yourselves $10,000 each, as against the $5,000 that the NFF earlier promised.”
The two captains, Onome Ebi and Rita Chikwelu on behalf of the team expressed gratitude to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), the NFF, the Nigeria media and football –loving Nigerians at home and in the diaspora for their support to the team, and pledged that they will overcome the Banyana Banyana in Saturday’s final in order to return to Nigeria with the trophy.
Ebi said: “We have the World Cup ticket now, which was always our first target here. The second is winning the Cup for a third successive time and ninth time overall. It is a mission we are determined to accomplish on Saturday.”
Nigeria defeated South Africa 2-0 in the final of the second edition of the competition in Johannesburg in 2000, to retain the Cup they had won at the inaugural edition in Nigeria two years earlier.

‘LaLiga Playing a Key Role in the Growth of Football’

L-R - Media and Communications Coordinator LaLiga Nigeria, Ayodeji Adegbenro, Delegate LaLiga Nigeria, Guillermo Perez Castello, LaLiga Ambassador, Mutiu Adepoju, and Managing Director LaLiga Nigeria, Javier Del Rio
In a bid to promote the development of football, both locally and globally, LaLiga oversees training programmes, value-enhancing initiatives and has signed numerous agreements with international organisations.
Speaking at an interactive session in Lagos thursday, Managing Director LaLiga Nigeria, Javier Del Rio, stressed that these efforts are all part of the institution’s quest to ensure that the experience garnered throughout the history of the Spanish league serves to assist the growth of the game and its values across the globe
The LaLiga clubs are also heavily involved in this mission, running various strategic projects and signing international agreements, whilst also opening academies and sporting schools throughout the world. The Barcelona Academy in Lagos with over 300 youth players is one of such,” he noted.
For almost three seasons now, LaLiga entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) that allows both Nigerian clubs have insight into the management of the successful Spanish club’s.
Nigeria’s U-15 youth team has also benefited from regular the partnership same as the women’s league, the NWFL.
Del Rio also stressed that Spanish football’s governing body and its clubs aim to develop the local game internationally, while working to become the second most popular competition in each country, behind the respective domestic leagues.
“This operation is based around the following four lines of action: institutional relations, the training of players and coaches, protecting the integrity of the game and social responsibility.
“In terms of institutional relations, LaLiga has secured over 30 agreements with federations, leagues and other institutions in countries including the United States, Argentina, Portugal, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand and Japan.
“These partnerships enable the organisation to explore potential cooperation schemes and projects involving the sharing of knowledge and ideas,” he emphasised.
One area in which this knowledge sharing is seen is in the second line of action: the training of players and coaches. Through its network of expert coaches, LaLiga has rolled out projects in more than 30 countries, where nearly 10,000 coaches and over 120,000 players have benefited from training on the LaLiga methodology, which combines on-field work at all levels with instruction on respect and the values of fair play.
The aforementioned values are also evident in LaLiga’s day-to-day work, with the organisation’s foundation leading projects including LaLiga Santander Genuine, Future Fans (Futura Aficion) and the Fair Play Social scheme, all of which seek to repay society for part of all that it has given LaLiga.

IOC Tags Aruna Quadri Africa’s All-time T’tennis Best

Two years after becoming the first African to reach the quarterfinal round of the table tennis event at the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has tagged the Nigerian as Africa’s most successful Olympic table tennis player of all time.
IOC published an interview with the Nigerian on its official website recently and they lauded the Oyo State-born athlete for etching his name in the annals of world table tennis history in Brazil.
IOC wrote, “Two decades after he took up table tennis on the streets of Oyo, in south-western Nigeria, Quadri Aruna became the first African to reach an Olympic quarterfinal.”
Quadri reveals in the interview how he beat players “far better” than him at Rio 2016, while recalling his early battles to succeed against all odds and stresses the significant debt he owes his talented wife.
“I actually had no confidence against Chuang Chih-Yuan [Chinese Taipei’s four-time world tour champion, whom Aruna faced in the third round] because earlier in January that year I lost in Germany in the first round 4-0 to him. So in Rio I was like, “I have lost before, now I have nothing left to lose, he is a much better player than me.” So, I said to myself, “Just give your best, play and enjoy.” Then I was able to win the first two sets and the match was a different spirit entirely.
“Against Timo Boll [Germany’s three-time Olympic medal winner, whom Aruna played in the fourth round] I was feeling the same way. I was aware the whole world was watching. But before Timo was able to understand my game; I was already 3-0 and it was really too late for him to come back. I stepped up my game and played without pressure because I knew all the players in the Olympic Games are very, very good.
“My performance in Rio really made table tennis much more popular in Nigeria. Whenever I am in the airport now so many officials recognise me now and on the streets, not just where I came from, so many people wave.
“More priority needs to be given to table tennis. Governments need to put people who want to work in sport in the right positions. I am supporting so many players, about six juniors. When I was young no one was able to support me, even with equipment, but these days I am able to help them, to give them equipment and let them play for free.
My wife was a very good player. Now she doesn’t play professionally. She plays for pleasure, but she is a very good training partner and sometimes she beats me. I am very thankful to her, she is always looking after the kids when I am not at home, which is one of the reasons she is not playing professionally anymore,” Quadri said.
For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, Quadri said: “Like every athlete, I want to do better than I have done before. I want better results in Tokyo. I am always thinking about it. That’s why I am playing in more and more tournaments: it’s preparation for difficult matches in Tokyo.”

WBF Title Bout Headlines 17th GOtv Boxing Night

The 17th edition of GOtv Boxing Night will be headlined by the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental super featherweight bout between Nigeria’s Seun Wahab and Tanzania’s Issa Nampepeche. This was announced on Thursday by the organisers at a press conference in Lagos. The WBF Intercontinental super featherweight clash entitles to the winner to take a shot at the WBF world title in the division.
The fight is one of the two international clashes billed to take place at the event holding on December 28, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. The second international duel in the eight-fight line-up will see US-based Nigerian Oluwafemi Oyeleye take on Meshack Mwankemwa of Tanzania in a middleweight challenge.
Also scheduled to be in action is crowd favourite, Olaide Fijabi, who will face Yusuf Mufutau in a light welterweight challenge contest.
Fights on the card also include national lightweight challenge duels between African Boxing Union champion, Oto Joseph and Hammed Ganiyu; Rilwan Oladosu against Mubarak Hamzat; and Ridwan Oyekola against Nurudeen Fatai.
In the middleweight division, Femi :Akintayo will take on Ebubechukwu Eze, a graduate of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 1. The bantamweight division will see action between the best boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 4, Opeyemi Adeyemi, squaring up with Jamiu Dada.
President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, said the WBF title fight is a sign of GOtv’s desire to put the country back on the world boxing map. GOtv Boxing Night 17, which will feature live artiste performances, will be broadcast live on Supersport to viewers in 47 African countries.
The best boxer at the event will go home with N1.5million and the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy. Fans who attend the event will win GOtv decoder in raffle draws.

Ambode for Grand Finale of 50th Asoju Oba Cup

Akinwunmi Ambode
  • winners to get surprise packages
The sporting loving Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode is expected to the special guest at the grand finale of the 50th Asoju oba Molade Okoya-Thomas Table Tennis Cup which ends on Friday November 30 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The governor whose support for table tennis has been confirmed with his presence at the last two finals of the ITTF Nigeria Open will again shows his support for the sport with his presence at the finals of the longest running table tennis tournament in Africa.
Aside the governor, dignitaries and friends of the late instigator of the tournament, late Chief Dr Molade Okoya-Thomas will also be available to grace the colourful golden jubilee anniversary of the championship.
Already winners in the cadet, junior and doubles events have been decided but the icing on the cake for the players hold with surprise packages for the winners in the men and women singles events.
According to Deji Okoya-Thomas, the support of the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Sports Commission cannot be underestimated as the tournament continues to receive massive support from all and sundry even after the demise of the initiator three years ago.
“The Lagos State Government has always supported this competition in one way or the othe

NSF President Seeks Cooperation to Revive Squash

Boye Oyerinde
President of the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF), Boye Oyerinde has appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to join hands in reviving the game of squash in the country.
Oyerinde stated this on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy call to the Chief Executive Officer of HS Media Group, Taye Ige as part of his efforts to parley with the media to promote squash in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) was founded in 1974as the governing body that oversees the sport of squash, but little is known about the game by Nigeria which the president described as an interesting game that can shoot Nigeria into fame in the world if proper awareness is created with the help of the media.
“Our plan and strategy is to rebrand the game of squash in Nigeria and the sport really needs a lot of attention,” he said.
“We took stock of all the squash courts in the country and we realized that we have over 300 squash courts in this country but less than 10 per cent of them is being used. Some of them have been converted to living rooms, stores and churches”
“We also took stock of our players and we realized also that we have over 400 registered players in our database and we know they will keep coming once we have lots of competitions”
“As I speak we don’t have a squash national team but we have very good players that could play in any competition in the world and come out with flying colours.
“I know squash facilities and equipment are not cheap to purchase or maintain so we actually struck a deal with a company called Black Knight who promised to provide us with the basic equipment on a subsidized rate to encourage us”
“So we want to see how we can have a various training program to revive the sport in this country. Our target is to build a new set of players who can represent Nigeria in squash competitions across the globe”
“ As you know all this cannot be achievable without you the media to properly project the game to Nigerians so that they can key into it and by so we will be growing the sport and also create and an avenue for people to leave the streets and become useful in the country.” He added.
In his response, the CEO of HS Media Group thanked the president for his foresight in reviving the game of squash and promised he will try his best to ensure that they assist in whatever ways to ensure the sport receive the needed awareness.

Falcons/ Banyana Match Live on DStv, GOtv

Nigeria’s female national team, the Super Falcons, will be looking forward to their third consecutive continental title and 11th overall in the 2018 Total Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
The Super Falcons have dominated the continental title over the last two decades, winning 10 of the dozen Cup of Nations titles contested to date, has meant that they are inevitably favorites going into a tournament with the rest of the continent having to play catch up.
What started as a joint mission for Ghana, Algeria, Cameroon, Zambia, South Africa, Mali and Equatorial Guinea, will now see the Banyana Banyana of South Africa contest for the title against the Super Falcons of Nigeria, who South Africa defeated at their opening game by a goal to nil.

Nigeria suffering a defeat against rival South Africa in their opening match has given Banyana Banyana a boost that the Super Falcons are not invincible but beatable in the competition they have dominated.

Banyana Banyana will hope they can do it all over again in Saturday’s decider to be broadcast live across two SuperSport channels – SS9 (channel 229) on DStv and SS Select 1 (channel 31) on GOtv, as well as on the go via live streaming on the DStv Now App at 4.45pm.

Traffic Cameras Catch Cheats Taking Shortcut at Shenzhen Half Marathon

Almost 250 runners in a half marathon were caught cheating when traffic cameras captured them taking shortcuts through bushes.
Organisers of the race in Shenzhen, China, also discovered 18 runners wearing fake bibs and three runners they described as “imposters”.
All who cheated are now facing bans.
“Marathon running is not simply exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every runner is responsible for him or herself,” organisers said.
Footage captured by Shenzhen police traffic cameras showed runners cutting through bushes to an adjacent carriageway, instead of continuing along the road and making a U-turn.
Organisers said the 237 people caught cheating would have run two or three kilometres less than the full 21-kilometre (13.1-mile) distance.
The annual race in China’s fourth largest city typically attracts about 16,000 runners.
News of the cheating led to the People’s Daily newspaper – one of China’s biggest publications – to urge runners to “respect the marathon and respect sporting spirit” in an editorial.
Last year, organisers of the Beijing Half Marathon introduced a facial recognition system to stop runners using ringers to run on their behalf.
China has held 1,072 marathons and other road races this year, up from 22 in 2011, according to figures from the Chinese Athletics Association.