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Eagles ‘ll not disappoint, Musa assures

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Eagles ‘ll not disappoint, Musa assures

 

Super Eagles forward, Ahmed Musa, has expressed confidence that Nigeria can go far at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which begins in Egypt next week.

Most fans are of the conclusion that the team will not have a good outing at the AFCON – a tournament that Nigeria missed the last two editions despite winning in 2013 – but Musa said the team should not be written off.

The Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia winger believes that the quality of strikers in Gernot Rohr’s side can take the three times African champions far in the competition.

“As a player if you allow that to come into your head, you will never reach your goal of what you are doing. As you can see we have a lot of strikers, it’s not only Ahmed Musa that is going to score,” Musa said.

“At the end of the (2018/2019) season, we have a lot of strikers with 20, 17, 15 goals. I ended up with seven, so I think we have a very good opportunity to go far.

“Go back and check the league, you’ll see a lot of good players in the teams, not only Musa. I think Saudi League is one of the best leagues that spend a lot of money to make their league better,” Musa added.

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Why I joined Everton – Iwobi

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Why I joined Everton – Iwobi

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uper Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi says he has no regrets over his Everton move as he feels at home, although he still struggles with the scouse accent.

 

 

The Nigeria international joined the Toffees from boyhood club Arsenal on deadline day for a reported 35m pounds. Iwobi has spent a majority of his 23 years on earth with Arsenal but he has no regrets over his decision to leave.

 

Speaking on why he decided to leave, the Super Eagles star told Skysports in an interview that he wanted to improve himself as a player.

 

 

He said “It’s so far, so good, I feel like I’ve got a new home and I’m really comfortable here. “I got a few phone calls [about the deal] and spoke to my agent – it took about a day of talking to the manager and talking to Marcel Brands. It wasn’t really hard and I got convinced.

 

 

“I was very comfortable [at Arsenal] and I was on holiday so I didn’t think about any move. I got the call and thought about if this would be a better chance for me to improve myself as a player. I thought that this was a big opportunity and I shouldn’t turn it down. I’ve got no regrets about the decision”

 

 

He also added that Marco Silva’s vision also convinced him to join the club and he wants to be part of the success.  “The ambition that Marco Silva has also persuaded me to come – the drive, what he wants to achieve and the way he saw me in his plans, I feel like I’m able to help him do that,’ he said

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National Youth Games: Ondo athletes, coaches protest unpaid allowances

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National Youth Games:  Ondo athletes, coaches protest unpaid allowances

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ndo State athletes and coaches yesterday protested against the leadership of the state’s sports council following the non-payment of their allowances at the ongoing National Youth Games currently being held in Ilorin, Kwara State.

It would be recalled that the NYG

 

which is a 10-day event for athletes whose ages are not more than 15 years started on  September. 7 and will end on 17.

 

One of the coaches, Moses Usifo, who spoke with journalists on behalf of the aggrieved athletes and coaches, accused the state government and the management  of the sports council of negligence.

 

According to Coach Usifo, the act could simply be described as “wicked and barbaric.”

 

 

“Its still shocking that most of our athletes at the ongoing national youth games in Ilorin are starving,  yet competing,” he said.

 

 

The boxing coach revealed that the athletes and coaches had not been given a dime since the commencement of the event and efforts to solve an imminent crisis proved abortive.

“We were told to wait till the month end before we get the allowances but we have resolved to stop competing and remain in Ilorin until we are paid,”

 

The national youth games tagged ‘Kwara 2019’ ends on Monday.

Reacting to the development, the Commissioner for Sport and Youth Development, Dotun Owanikin, said “To the best of my knowledge, this information is not true.

 

“I know you will discover at the end of the day that the remainder of the officials allowances had been scheduled for payment shortly after the games while the athletes had been fully paid.

 

“Fully paid. l mean all athletes. The officials will receive their balance of allowances when they return to Ondo state.”

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Spain trounces Argentina to win FIBA World Cup

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pain started on fire and put the shackles on Luis Scola to crush Argentina, 95-75, for the gold medal in the FIBA World Cup at the Wukesong Sports Arena in Beijing, China, on Sunday, September 15.

 

 

Ricky Rubio delivered 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists to lead 6 players in double figures as Spain reclaimed its place at the basketball summit by recapturing the World Cup crown it won 13 years ago.

 

Spain jumped to a 14-2 lead, ended the maiden period up 23-14, and never looked back from since by limiting Argentina star Scola to 8 points on atrocious 1-of-10 shooting from the field.

 

Chalking up a game-high 28 points in their semifinals win over France, Scola was expected to come up big for an Argentina team seeking to complete unfinished business after settling for silver in the 2002 World Cup.

 

Scola, though, found no openings on offense and was kept scoreless in the first half – with his first points coming off a pair of free throws with 3:29 minutes left in the third quarter and Spain leading 60-41.

 

Argentina managed to narrow the gap to 12 points, 66-78, before Rubio – who clinched the final and tournament Most Valuable Player awards – knocked down the foul shots that restored order for Spain.

 

Rubio then sank the proverbial dagger from long distance with 1:31 minutes left to give his side a 93-72 cushion.

 

Marc Gasol – who was named into the World Cup All-Star 5 with Rubio – finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Rudy Fernandez put up 11 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

 

Sergio Llull fired 15 points as brothers Willy and Juan Hernangomez added 11 points apiece for Spain.

 

 

Gabriel Deck paced Argentina with 24 points, Nicolas Laprovittola chipped in 17 points, while Facundo Campazzo had 11 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals in the loss

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Dare banks on business model to revive sports

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…frowns at state of facilities

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he Minister of Sports Sunday Dare is banking on a business model to revive the sector in Nigeria.

 

Dare at the weekend said the state of sports in the country was beyond what government alone could handle.

 

He stressed that there was need for corporate Nigeria to embrace sports sponsorship again to help athletes in respective sports grow better and boost the sector generally.

 

 

The minister, who assummed office less than a month ago, said he was determined to use the business model to woo sponsors and create an enabling enviroment to get results.

 

Dare said: “Getting support from private sector is key because the budgeting allocation to sports is low. We have been running on deficit over the years and it is bad.

 

“The Tokyo Olympic Games is coming up and we need to move fast to get things right by blocking the huge hole in budgeting.

 

“It will be a big one because we will involve President Muhammadu Buhari. Top organisations will be involved and we have made contacts with some of them already.”

 

The minister bemoaned the state of facilities in the country with a pledge to make the National Stadium in Lagos and Abuja funtional again.

 

 

 

 

“Many of the facilities are in bad state and we will try a tripartite arrangement to make it happen.

 

 

“I have read so many books on reforms and sports policy in the ministry and the only problem is implementation. There wont  be anymore committees, rather, we will focus on implementations,” he said

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Tandoh applauds organisers of youth games

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he Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, has applauded the Grassroots and Youth Development Department of the Sports Ministry, headed by Dr. Ademola Are, for the excellent organisation of the 5th National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara State. 

Dr. Tandoh, said in Ilorin, that, the Youth Games is the only solution to speedy disappearance of world class athletes from Team Nigeria.

 

 

He said: “This year’s National Youth Games is well organised compared to what it was in the last three editions. The most striking improvements are the facilities, the screening exercise was also near perfect. What these tell us is that, the organizers of the Youth Games have listening ears on further development of the Games.”

 

 

He added: “The other improvement was on the performances of Team Lagos at the 2019 Games. For us, it has been nothing but excellent, considering the fact that, we presented Under-15 athletes as stipulated by the rules of the Games’ organizers.

“Last year was our first participation in the National Youth Games and we finished second place despite not taking part in all the sports. At the end of the Games, we went back and decided to re-strategize and some of those strategies have worked for us, as we strongly gave consideration to some of the sports we have comparative advantage.

 

“We are beginning to see the results, so far, the Team Lagos has done very well, with the even spread of medals covering various sports, and it gives us good advantage. We believe so much that at the end of the Games we would have put up our best performance so far in the history of the National Youth Games.”

 

He stressed that: “We take delight in the overwhelming improvement and top performance of Team Lagos in the swimming event. This was a sport that we won only silver and a bronze at the last edition of the festival. This year, we won five gold medals, nine silver and two bronze medals in swimming.

“In this year’s Youth Games, out of the two hundred and forty eight athletes presented by Team Lagos for the Games, only two were screened out by the facial analysis screening methodology approach by the NYG screening team.

 

 

This improvement was made possible by a carefully selected training and developmental regime put in place by the Lagos Sports Commission, with the support of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who himself is a passionate follower of sports.

“It was also a one hundred percent performance in the football event, where Team Lagos won all the available gold medals in the event, in the male and female categories.”

 

 

Tandoh noted that: “Aside from all the medals so far won by Team Lagos athletes, the performances of the athletes have been wonderful in all the sports. We expect that such heartwarming performances will continue.”

The Lagos Sports Commission chairman stated that, for Lagos State our focus as a commission is sports development, in form of school sports and Community base development. Infact, the national Youth Games for us is more important that the National Sports Festival, because we believe this is where we begin to produce those talents that we will present to represent the state and indeed Nigeria.                         

 

 

“We take it very seriously, in each of the sports we have restrategized after the last National Youth Games. We constituted the boards of the state sports associations December last year and they are all in place. I must say that, I am very happy with what many of the boards have done since they resumed activities. We are beginning to see the production of new athletes. I must say that, out of the athletes representing Team Lagos at Ilorin 2019, only about 30 percent are returnee athletes from the last Games. That production line has started and that is what gives us great joy. And ofcourse, we could not have done these without the support of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who gave us everything that we required to prepare for this Games. We are looking long term.

 

“We believe in Lagos that sports development should be the focus of all states Sports Commissions. Let us begin to bring up all these talents from the youth and that is why I strongly support the decision of the Director of Grassroots, Youth Development in the Sports Ministry, Dr. Ademola Are, who reduced age-grade of participants in the Youth Games from 17 years to 15 years. Whem it come to youth development, the younger the better. With Under 17, the focus was always on winning competitions and not developmental. The Under 15 category for the National Youth Games is good because what that tells you, is that, you have to start preparing your athletes from age 10 and that is the best time to prepare them, and that will provide the opportunity in four to five years time for these youngsters to reach their target marks.

 

 

“For us in Lagos, the Youth Games is actually the test of the work the Sports Commissions and the Sports Agencies across the country are doing.”

Tandoh also appealed to sports administrators from all the states of the federation to stop using over-aged athletes for age-grade events. 

 

 

“We want to appeal to some of the Sports Agencies from across the country, that it is not a do or die thing. We have seen some athletes at Ilorin 2019 that are far above the regulated 15 years old. I am a medical Doctor I have a bit of insights into knowing athletes that are overaged. By using over-aged athletes, the administrators, will forced to falsify athletes ages. It’s not a do or die thing, if your athletes are 15 years or more, then you begin to prepare such athletes for National Championships of the sports or the National Sports Festival. Let the Under 15s only compete at the SYG, lets know those who are the true Under-15s because that is what Nigeria will benefit from. We don’t want over-aged atheletes at 19 years old or 20 years, to come here to win nine gold medals and after one year he or she is nowhere to be found. That doesn’t augur well for sports development. So I want to appeal to all of us administrators to stick to what the rules say. For example in Lagos, before this edition of the National Youth Games, we had our own screening and took out athletes that we felt were overaged, or looked over aged. 

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Lampard tips Abraham for England call up

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helsea Manager, Frank Lampard, is full of praises for Nigerian Tammy Abraham for his performance last Saturday against Wolves and has backed for a call up to the English senior national team the Three Lions.

 

 

Abraham put up a brilliant display to earn a hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers last Saturday in Chelsea’s 5-2 victory.

 

Abraham scored in the 34th, 41st and 55th minutes to to inspire the Blues to their second win of the league season.

 

Eligible to represent Nigeria, owing to his parentage, the 22 year-old’s international career has been a subject of debate, with the Nigeria Football Federation hoping to convince him to suit up for the Super Eagles.

 

Although he has not ruled out the possibility of playing for the three times African champions, the forward is more likely to commit his future to England, having played in every age-grade team.

 

Speaking after Saturday’s game at the Molineux, Lampard expressed confidence in his forward’s chance of breaking into Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions.

 

‘The goals were exactly the sort you want from him. He has to sustain it and keep playing at that level, then he’ll have a great chance.’

 

 

Abraham has now scored seven goals in three league games for the Blues.

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‘IAAF missing money, an embarrassment to presidency ‘

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inister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, at the weekend in Lagos said it was a big embarrassment for the President of the country, Mohammadu Buhari, after it was revealed that $150,000 mistakenly paid into the account of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria by the International Association of Athletics Federation got missing without a trace.

 

 

It would be recalled that the AFN was expected to receive $15,000 from the international body and later realised the mistake of excess $135,000 which it requested for immediate refund.

 

However, it took a threat of an international ban by the IAAF before 50 percent of the money was refunded by the immediate past minister of sports, Solomon Dalung.

 

“The presidency was not happy especially the President,” Dare said.

 

“It was a big embarrassment for Nigeria and it has painted us in a bad light.

 

“What baffles me was the initial denial and later acceptance of the money paid. So after aggreing to have received the excess money, why not return immediately? And what was the money used for?

 

“Well, on my honour, we are going to find a way of refunding the balance before the end of September so as to take this shame off Nigeria.

 

“The IAAF look at us as an irresponsible country and that’s not true of Nigeria and Nigerians, so we are going to refund the money.”

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2019 Lagos Open Tennis: ITF sets registration deadline for September 19

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orld tennis governing body, the International Tennis Federation has given players across the world Thursday, September 19, 2019 as registration deadline for the first leg of this year’s Lagos Open Tennis Championship.

 

 

The Lagos Open, which enters its 19th edition, holds from 7-20 October. It t has been an annual tennis championship being staged to celebrate the sitting Executive Governor of Lagos State and also a destination for emerging young tennis players across the world to fight for ATP points, The tournament is played within the course of two weeks (Futures 4 &5) at the Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos.

 

The ITF directed that players should register for the first leg of the tournament latest by 14:00GMT this week’s Thursday, while withdrawal deadline is Tuesday, 24 September, 2019 by 14:00GMT.

 

The first leg serves off with a day qualifying matches on Monday, 7 October, while the Main Draws in both the singles and doubles of men and women events start the following day with the final of the leg holding on Sunday, 13 October, 2019. This leg has as its prize money $50,000 to be shared $25,000 each in both the men and women’s categories.

 

 

For the second leg, the ITF also directed that players should register latest by Thursday, 26 September with the withdrawal deadline fixed for Tuesday, 1 October, 2019. The qualifying matches for the second leg hold on Monday 14 October with the main draws starting the following day.

 

The finals of the second leg, which traditionally is the grand finale with its usual closing ceremony, holds on Sunday, 20 October, 2019. The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other important dignitaries are expected to watch the finals of the singles events.

 

This leg also has as its prize money $50,000 to be shared $25,000 each in both the men and women’s categories.

 

It would be recalled that in last year’s tournament, British youngster, Jack Draper, caused a major upset in the finals of the second leg watched by the former Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode and other important personalities, as well as hundreds of school children who were mobilised to watch live tennis action from the older players.

 

Draper became the youngest winner of an ITF Futures tournament in Nigeria following a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over highly experienced top seed, Tom Jomby of France. The 16-year-old Brit was to after the Lagos Open went on to play in the 2019 Wimbledon Open and made surprising improvement of his tennis career.

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Gov Okowa Pre-Season Tourney: Ikoyina, Anyanwu strengthen Cynosure grip on second place

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keyina Chisom and Ifeanyi Anyanwu earned Cynosure FC a 2-1 win over Remo Stars at  the Stephen Keshi Stadium which strengthens their grip on second place in Group B of the Gov Okowa Pre-Season Tourney.

 

The Abakaliki side have picked six points from three games at the tournament in Asaba.

 

Remo Stars have now lost two in a row, but they put up a good fight in Asaba, reducing the tally through birthday boy Akemini Kingsley.

 

It took just 15 minutes for the Deji Ayeni-managed side to edge in front. The Abakaliki-based outfit scored through Ikoyina who capitalised on a defensive gaffe to fire to the top corner of the net.

 

Dan Ogunmodede’s boys would pay for their failure to convert clear cut chances, though, as Cynosure doubled their lead.

 

Anyanwu whipped a free kick through a sea of bodies and it landed at the back of the net four minutes before recess.

 

Cynosure goalie Olugbu Onu kept out two shots in the opening four minutes of the second half.

 

In the 51st minute, Akemini halved the scoreline with a delightful curler into the far corner after latching on to Ismail Yakubu’s sumptuous cross.

 

Anyanwu was unable to double his tally when, he was played through with a simple lofted pass, with John Bright this time getting a touch to the attempted lob.

 

The Sky Blue Stars, now with one draw and two defeats, enjoyed their fair share of possession in the remainder of the match, but a wayward strike at the back post three minutes from time was the best they could offer.

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EPL: Watford comeback to deny Arsenal three points

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EPL: Watford comeback to deny Arsenal three points

Watford fought back from two goals down at half-time to draw at home to Arsenal in Quique Sanchez Flores’ first match since being reappointed Hornets manager.

They levelled the scores when Roberto Pereyra rolled in a late penalty after Tom Cleverley had reduced the deficit when Gunners defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos gave away possession inside his own area, to take only their second point of the season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had put the visitors in front when he collected Sead Kolasinac’s pass on the turn before firing past Ben Foster.

Arsenal doubled their lead as Aubemeyang finished a sweeping team move but the hosts improved after the break as the Gunners unravelled in front of the vociferous home support.

The Hornets had their chances to complete a stunning comeback with a decisive third, but the otherwise impressive Gerard Deulofeu dragged his effort narrowly wide.

The result sees Arsenal move into seventh in the table, while the Hornets remain rooted to the foot of the table.

 

Aubameyang papers over defensive frailties

The Arsenal striker is one of the most clinical forwards in the English top flight, having scored with seven of his last nine shots on target, and the Gunners are quite capable of blowing teams away going forward thanks to the potency of Aubameyang and the technical ability of Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos.

 

They demonstrated their attacking flair as they went through 20 passes for their second goal – but glaring issues remain at the back.

This was evident as early as the 10th minute as the red and white shirts backed off and space opened up for Cleverley, whose fierce effort was well saved by Leno.

Five minutes later, and Etienne Capoue was given the same time and space but could only shoot over the bar.

The Gunners want to play out from the back, and even though Matteo Guendouzi lost possession deep inside his own half on two occasions they persisted with their approach.

And Sokratis eventually made the mistake that always looked likely to happen, before Deulofeu diverted the ball into Cleverley’s path for Watford’s first goal, reports the BBC.

David Luiz was brought in from London rivals Chelsea to shore up the defence over the summer, but the Brazilian has endured a difficult few weeks at the start of his Arsenal career, and has now conceded two penalties in three matches.

 

Luiz brought down Pereyra with a lunge in the final 10 minutes and the substitute stepped up himself to take the penalty and salvage a point for the hosts.

 

In the first game of the day, Alex Iwobi was unable to lift his side, Everton as they lost 3-1 to Bournemouth.

 

RESULTS

Bournemouth 3-1 Everton

Watford 2-2 Arsenal

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