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Lagos Open Tennis: Prime seeds advance to semifinals

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Lagos Open Tennis: Prime seeds advance to semifinals

Frenchman Tom Jomby continued his great run at the Lagos Open International Tennis Championship with a 7-5, 6-2 quartefinal win over Niki Poonacha of India on Thursday. The top seed, who won the first leg of the combined $100, 000 prizemoney event, was stretched by the seventh seed in the first set but he proved his mettle in the second hitting a number of winning shots. It was another French triumph over India as third-seeded Arthur Rinderknech overcame a stern test from Aryan Goveas, the eighth seed, in what was adjudged the game of the day. Britain’s Jack Draper, the fourth seed, and fifth-seeded Danylo Kalenichenko of Ukraine completes the final four following triumphs over Tyler Lu of the USA and Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe, the second seed.

In the Women’s Singles, Swiss prime seed, Conny Perrin defeated seventh-seeded Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-2 while unseeded Indian, Riya Bhatia upsets Slovenian fifth seed, Nestja Kolar 6-2, 6-3. There were celebrations among the legion of Indian players, who have the highest foreign represen-tation in Lagos, as sixth seed Pranjala Yaldapalli was impressive in a stunning display against second seed, Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel 6-3, 6-4. She is now two wins shy of retaining the title she won at the expense of Perrin last Saturday.

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UEFA League: Memphis Depay clashes with Lyon fans over Marcelo donkey banner

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UEFA League: Memphis Depay clashes with Lyon fans over Marcelo donkey banner

Memphis Depay has lashed out at Lyon fans who displayed a banner calling centre-back Marcelo a donkey after the Ligue 1 side had qualified for the group stage of the Champions League.

Depay scored a late goal to secure a 2-2 draw against Leipzig on Tuesday and sent Lyon through, but was then incensed by a fan who entered the field brandishing the banner with a picture of a donkey on it that urged his Brazil defender Marcelo to “Get Lost.” It is part of an ongoing and increasingly tense dispute between the Brazilian defender and sections of the Lyon support who no longer want him at the club.

Depay sprinted half the length of the field and tried to yank the banner from the fan, who moved to the side and then backed off into the stands. But more Lyon players joined in to back up Depay and, although there were no physical altercations, Marcelo was shown on television aiming a middle-finger gesture with both hands raised, reports The Guardian.

Depay, the club captain, was barely able to contain his anger when speaking to French broadcaster RMC Sport after the game. “Look in my eyes. I’m upset, angry. I don’t know what to say,” the Netherlands forward said. “You know how hard it is for the team when we know that somebody on our team has troubles with the supporters? What do you expect from us?

“You go to the supporters and thank them and they say crazy, crazy things about somebody’s family, somebody’s kids,” Depay added. “I have no words. It doesn’t make sense.”

He urged people “higher up in the club” to take appropriate decisions. “It’s very, very difficult to keep myself calm,” Depay said. “You can see on the camera, they [some of the fans] spit on us. What can I say? I’ve never seen something like this.”

Lyon’s coach Rudi Garcia, who is unpopular with sections of Lyon’s support having previously coached bitter rival Marseille, backed Depay’s intervention. “He’s a real captain and he’s acted and spoken like a captain,” Garcia said. “It shows the strength and unity of this team.”

On the field, Depay had underlined his growing value to Lyon with his 82nd-minute equaliser to maintain his record of scoring in every group game he’s played so far. He latched on to a loose ball in the penalty area and struck an angled shot into the bottom left corner.

Referee Anthony Taylor gave the goal after a video review ruled out a foul by Depay on a defender as they challenged for the ball. “We’re proud, we started the game badly but we managed to get the draw, that’s means we have not sunk, we have the right state of mind, we are united, we are strong,” Depay said.

The former Manchester United forward has been in sparkling form for club and country this season, scoring 17 goals in 21 appearances.

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UEFA League: Mourinho bans Spurs’ players from watching 7-2 Bayern defeat

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UEFA League: Mourinho bans Spurs’ players from watching 7-2 Bayern defeat

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has banned his players from watching their 7-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich.

Both sides have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League and meet in Germany on Wednesday, two months after Bayern’s stunning victory in London.

“I forbid any image of it,” said Mourinho. “I watched it a couple of times, but not one image for the boys.”

Striker Harry Kane, midfielder Dele Alli and defenders Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier have all been rested, reports the BBC.

Tottenham are still without goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm, defender Ben Davies and midfielders Erik Lamela, Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele because of injuries and Mourinho wants some of his fringe players to take their chances.

“This is a great opportunity for some of them to play, to show what they’re capable of,” added Mourinho, a two-time Champions League winner.

“A player in competition is different to a player training, some of my boys didn’t have the chance to play many minutes in these five matches since I arrived.

“We have an incredible number of fixtures until the new year and it’s understandable that we’re going to make a few changes, rest a few players and give opportunities to others.”

Last season’s beaten finalists Spurs are second in Group B on 10 points, while group winners Bayern have won all five games so far.

Mourinho, a Champions League winner with Porto in 2003-04 and with Inter Milan in 2009-10, was in charge for Spurs’ match against Olympiakos and, despite falling 2-0 behind, a 4-2 victory secured their place in the knockout phase.

Tottenham, seventh in the Premier League, are playing seven times in December and their next two league matches are away at sixth-placed Wolves on Sunday and then at home to fourth-placed Chelsea on 22 December.

Bayern, who have been German champions seven years in a row, are struggling domestically and a 2-1 loss at leaders Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday left them seventh in the Bundesliga.

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Napoli sack Carlo Ancelotti despite UEFA League victory

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Napoli sack Carlo Ancelotti despite UEFA League victory

Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked as manager of Napoli after their 4-0 victory over Genk which confirmed their place in the Champions League knockout stage.

Domestically, a dreadful run of results has them them fall out of contention for the Champions League places for next season.

Napoli had started the season among the Serie A title favourites and were close to a famous draw in their second match of the season when they came from 3-0 down to level it up at 3-3 away to Juventus, only to lose through a calamitous Kalidou Koulibaly own goal in stoppage time, reports ESPN.

They won their next three matches in all competitions — including a 2-0 victory over Champions League holders Liverpool — before losing 1-0 at home to Cagliari. After winning two of their next three matches, they embarked on terrible run of form to fall off the pace in the hunt for the top four.

A 2-1 defeat away to Roma led president Aurelio De Laurentiis to order the players into a week-long retreat. However, after Ancelotti publicly said he was against the idea, the players refused.

That decision saw the entire first team fined 25% of their monthly salary but results did not pick up.

Ancelotti began his managerial career at Reggiana in 1995 before moving to Parma a year later where he led the club to second place in the table and qualification for the Champions League.

In 1999, he moved to Juventus but was sacked at half-time of the final league match of the 2001 season with the Bianconeri having finished second to Roma.

He was named AC Milan manager in 2001 and them to two Champions League trophies, one Serie A title and a Coppa Italia in a glorious eight-year spell.

Ancelotti left Milan for Chelsea in 2009 where he won the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season before being sacked. He then moved to Paris Saint-Germain and won the Ligue 1 in 2012-13 before leaving for Real Madrid.

At the Bernabeu, he won yet another Champions League as well as the Copa del Rey in his first campaign but was shown the door a year later. He was named Bayern Munich boss in 2016 and won the Bundesliga before he was sacked midway into his second season.

He joined Napoli in the summer of 2018 and led the club to second-place finish in his debut season.

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UEFA League: Ajax out, Chelsea, Liverpool progress

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UEFA League: Ajax out, Chelsea, Liverpool progress

Last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax were knocked out in the group stages as Valencia progressed instead with victory at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Rodrigo scored the only goal midway through the first half as he blasted into the roof of the net from Ferran Torres’ clever pass.

Ajax desperately pushed for the equaliser they needed with Lisandro Martinez and Hakim Ziyech forcing late saves from Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech.

Valencia had defender Gabriel sent off in injury time for clashing heads with Dusan Tadic in a very tense finale in Amsterdam.

Ajax were seconds away from reaching last year’s final before Lucas Moura’s injury-time strike sent Tottenham to the final instead.

Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt were among the stars of that team to leave last summer and they have not been the same since.

Two defeats at home – by Chelsea and Valencia – and a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge have ultimately cost them.

Valencia go through as group winners, with Chelsea in second after their 2-1 win over Lille.

And Captain Memphis Depay scored the key equaliser as Lyon rallied from two goals down to claim a Champions League last 16 place after a 2-2 draw with RB Leipzig.

Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner both scored from the penalty spot for the Germans before Houssem Aouar and Depay netted for Lyon, who reached the knockout phase as Zenit lost 3-0 to Benfica in the other Group G game.

Lyon’s Rudi Garcia made two changes from the side who beat Nimes on Friday as winger Martin Terrier and midfielder Lucas Tousart started.

Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, safe in the knowledge his side were guaranteed top spot, brought in five new faces following their convincing weekend victory over Hoffenheim.

In London, Chelsea survived a late scare to move into the Champions League knockout stages with victory over Lille at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard’s side were in complete control for the most part and set up the victory they required with first-half goals from Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea’s nerves were frayed when former striker Loic Remy pulled one back for Lille late on but they were able to close out victory to reach the last 16 after finishing a tough group in second place behind Valencia but ahead of last season’s semi-finalists Ajax.

And Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he loved that his side were “so smart” as they beat Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 to reach the Champions League last 16 as Group E winners.

The defending champions, who needed at least a point to progress, were on the ropes at times in the first half against a side who had scored 87 goals in 24 games.

But from the moment Naby Keita headed in Sadio Mane’s cross, there was only going to be one winner.

Mohamed Salah clinched victory 100 seconds later with an excellent right-footed finish from a ludicrously tight angle.

Klopp’s side needed the three points to top the group because Napoli beat Genk 4-0.

The Reds will discover their Champions League last-16 opponents in Monday’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland (11:00 GMT). Real and Atletico Madrid are both possible opponents.

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Crisis tears another federation board apart

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Crisis tears another federation board apart

Gymnastics TD resigns over wrangling in GFN

 

 

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arely a week after the board of the Athletic Federation Nigeria AFN was factionalised, another federation, the Gymnastics Federation of Nigeria GFN may tow the same line.

 

This is because of the Pillar of GFN, Coach Anthony Asuquo, has resigned his position as Technical Director on the board.

 

Asuquo in a letter addressed to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, said his resignation was due to constant wrangling between him and the current leadership of GFN.

 

The Coach revealed in the letter that the bone of contention was the money $760 about N273, 600 he borrowed the federation to get a ban lifted following GFN’s failure to pay an international affiliation fee.

He said when he requested for a refund of the money from the current board of the GFN, it refused to pay him.

 

The letter reads, “It is with great pleasure and having done a soul searching exercise that entails a lot retrospective review that confirmed that I am only a nominal member on the board of GFN, I hereby inform you that I have resigned from the board with immediate effect.

 

My decision to borrow out the money is borne out of the love I have for sport. I am grateful for the few periods I served as the technical representative on the board.

 

“My action became necessary being a passionate gymnast; I have previously voiced out some actions/inactions of the board especially the President that contradicts the values and norms of a true stakeholder. My action was wrongly viewed and I was tagged “a prodigal son.”

 

 

“I lend the federation money to pay Gymnastics Federation of Nigeria international affiliation fee to lift the ban placed on GFN, the sum of 600 Swiss Franc which amounts to 760 USD and in naira 273,600 only.

 

“The money was paid through my Keystone bank domiciliary account in the presence of the former Secretary General, Ngozi Amayo and the federation account officer named Soliu Alfa. Please, I am requesting for my refund from the GFN.”

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Ndidi credits Leicester’s run to Rodgers’ magic

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Ndidi credits Leicester’s run to Rodgers’ magic

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eicester City defensive midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, has lauded the management style and approach of Coach  Rodgers as well as the club’s structure.

According to Ndidi, the structure at Leicester is top notch  and also the coach is a good motivation to the team’s success.

 

”I’m happy at Leicester City because the club has a good ambition and structure; they are actually doing so much.  More so, my coach, he is very good;  he interacts with the players, he makes us to understand what we have to do and how to do them.

 

“It is not about playing the game and be talented, you will have to show it and have the confidence and show the personality of who you can really be on the pitch,” Ndidi told brila.net.

 

The Nigerian also believes Leicester City are capable of playing even better than they are now following their electric start to the season.

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Joshua keen to defend his titles in Nigeria

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Joshua keen to defend his titles in Nigeria

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nthony Joshua has revealed his desire to defend his world heavyweight titles in Nigeria.

 

The 30-year-old, who is of Nigerian heritage, said he began to dream of a fight in Africa after visiting the country earlier this year.

 

He said: ‘People had been telling me I should go back for ages. I went to the ghettos of the ghettos where it’s not all about egos and beef, it’s about people who are hungry to survive.

 

‘Africa’s rooting for me for sure, so I would definitely love to fight there.’

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Mourinho drops Kane, others for Bayern clash

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Mourinho drops Kane, others for Bayern clash

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ottenham manager Jose Mourinho is set to rest some of his players for Spurs’ final Champions League group match, away at Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Last season’s beaten finalists Spurs are second in Group B and have already secured their place in the last 16, behind group winners Bayern.

 

Mourinho has already said he will rest top goalscorer Harry Kane.

 

“I can say that Harry Kane will not play, but who will play, I need to think,” said Mourinho.

“The Bayern match will be one when I am going to rest some players.”

 

Tottenham, then-managed by Mauricio Pochettino, were embarrassed in the home match against Bayern in October, losing 7-2 in London, before the Argentine was sacked last month.

 

Mourinho, a Champions League winner with Porto in 2003-04 and with Inter Milan in 2009-10, was in charge for Spurs’ match against Olympiakos and, despite falling 2-0 behind, a 4-2 victory secured their place in the knockout phase.

Tottenham, seventh in the Premier League, are playing seven times in December and their next two league matches are away at sixth-placed Wolves on Sunday and then at home to a Chelsea side who are fourth on 22 December.

 

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Liverpool make Champions League round of 16 with win over Salzburg

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Liverpool make Champions League round of 16 with win over Salzburg

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iverpool clinched their place in the Champions League round of 16 with a 2-0 victory away to FC Salzburg on Tuesday, thanks to goals from Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah.

 

Like last season, Jurgen Klopp’s side went into their final group match without qualification assured and needed at least a point to guarantee their progression in the competition they won.

 

And both sides squandered numerous chances, with Salah and Salzbug’s Erling Haaland — who had scored in every Champions League game this season — were the most guilty parties.

 

However, the breakthrough did come when Keita headed past a group of Salzburg defenders into the net from Sadio Mane’s cross on 57 minutes.

 

Less than a minute later, it was 2-0 when Salah somehow found the net from an incredible angle after rounding goalkeeper Cican Stankovic.

 

The result means Liverpool finish as group winners — ahead of Napoli, who beat Genk 4-0 to secure their qualification — with 13 points.

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Etebo for talks with Stoke boss over lack of action

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igerian Stoke City midfielder Peter Etebo has expressed frustration over his lack of game time under Micheal O’Neil since returning from injury.

 

The Nigeria international was a regular starter under previous manager Nathan Jones but has find himself out of the team since returning from three weeks injury.

 

Etebo has missed all Stoke City games O’Neill has managed and it is appearing the new boss doesn’t fancy him in his new set up.

 

O’Neill previously claimed that ‘Peter hasn’t really been at the levels since he came back from injury and it’s difficult to start him’.

 

Reports has now have it that the player is now ready to seek a showdown talk with his manager regarding the issue.

 

The former CD Fierense of Portugal player has made 11 league appearances for Stoke City this season.

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