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Solskjaer urges crackdown on online abuse

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Solskjaer urges crackdown on online abuse

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said players need more protection from social media companies, describing racist abuse and death threats directed at them as “serious incidents.”

United midfielder Paul Pogba was the target of online abuse after missing a penalty in Monday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, prompting the club to issue a strong statement condemning the views.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard last week urged social media companies to take action after 21-year-old striker Tammy Abraham was targeted after the team’s UEFA Super Cup loss to Liverpool.

“We need to protect individuals. When there’s death threats and racism, it’s serious allegations, serious incidents,” Solskjaer told reporters on the eve of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace.

“Sometimes you get annoyed, what can we do about it as Manchester United? We’re not going to ban our players on social media, we have to spread the good word instead.”

Solskjaer backed Frenchman Pogba to rise above the abuse and emerge stronger.

 “Paul is fine, he’s a strong character and it makes him stronger. I cannot believe we still sit here in 2019 taking about these instances,” the Norwegian added.

 “Social media is a place where people can hide behind fake identities. There’s so many Ole Gunnar Solskjaers on social media that I know are not me.

 “The authorities have got to do something about the ones who spread this hate. You feel sorry for them really — they must have problems themselves.”

Pogba will continue to share penalty duties with striker Marcus Rashford despite the miss against Wolves, reports Reuters.

“I’m sure you’re going to see Pogba score a penalty again for United. Let’s see when we get the next one. We’re practising penalties still,” Solskjaer said.

“There’s no fighting amongst them. We’re disappointed that we didn’t win the game, but the talk is always more difficult when you don’t get a result.”

United are holding talks with other clubs over the transfer of Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez, who played in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Sheffield United on Tuesday.

“There are still talks with some clubs but he played in that game and played well, he’s working hard… let’s see in September what’s going to happen,” Solskjaer added.

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Lyon donates N750,000 to chess championship winner

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Lyon donates N750,000 to chess championship winner

Bayelsa state Governor-elect,  David Lyon  at the weekend said his administration would use sport to restore hope  among the youth in the state.

The Governor-elect  was represented by Prince Ebitimi Amgbare at the presentation  N750,000 to  Miss Deborah Quickpen.

Quickpen  who is only seven yerae old will represent Nigeria at the African Youth Chess Championship coming up in Namibia this month.

According  to Hon. Lyon, “It is for this reason that our incoming administration intends to use sport as a veritable tool for development, with  the understanding that sport can serve as an impetus for social transformation and change as the state moves to the next of rapid socio-economic development.

He noted that sport can also serve as a tool for crime prevention, conflict resolution and promote inclusive good governance,  with a view to creating a peaceful environment for meaningful development.

While appreciating the good gesture of the Governor-elect, recipient of the seven hundred and fifty thousand naira cheque, Miss Deborah Quickpen thanked the Governor-elect for coming to her aid to enable her represent Nigeria at the forthcoming African Youth Chess Championship in Namibia,  assuring that she will not disappoint the country at the continental competition.

Also speaking,  father of the girl, Mr. Ben Quickpen, who also is the current world’s number 10th man in scrabble and a three times national champion in the game, expressed surprise that his daughter would be sponsored to participate in the forthcoming African Chess Youth Championship in Namibia by the Governor-elect whom he had never met in life.

On his part, Chairman,  Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Samuel Numonengi, said the good gesture of the Governor-elect in taking up the bills of Miss Quickpen to enable her participate in the African Youth Chess Championship speaks volumes of his benevolence and passion for sports development.

Also speaking, a lecturer with the Niger Delta University,  Amassoma,  Dr. Phillips Okolo described the gesture of the Governor-elect as a pointer to good things to come to Bayelsa state. 

He used the occasion to appeal to the incoming administration to run an open and inclusive government where every stakeholder would be accommodated irrespective of political divides.

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AFCON 2021: Eagles’ll qualify for final – Aribo

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AFCON 2021: Eagles’ll qualify for final  – Aribo

Super Eagles new sensational midfielder, Joe Aribo, has declared that the Super Eagles will qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, as he believes they will maintain their momentum in the qualification series.

The Glasgow Rangers of Scotland midfielder added that he was happy being part of the Eagles’ in the matches and victories against Benin Republic and Lesotho, which were his first two competitive games for Nigeria, and he is now optimistic of better results coming ahead.

He stated further during 101.5 FM Radio programme monitored yesterday that he was equally happy that his decision to commit his international future to Nigeria was paying off, as he has two goals to his name in four matches,adding that the team is doing well within the short time he has been with them.

The 23-year-old box-to-box midfielder also spoke on his decision to accept playing for Nigeria, rather than stick out for an international future with England, saying it was mostly about the love of donning the colours of his father’s country, and he has nothing to rue in that decision.

Although the 23-year-old former Charlton Athletic sensation admitted it is a big challenge for him to wear Nigeria’s number 10 jersey vacated by the immediate past captain, John Mikel Obi, Aribo enthused that the team’s united spirit and his own determination to succeed with the squad will spur him into making his impact felt in all subsequent matches he is involved in.

“I am happy that we started well in the qualifiers. We’ve won our first two matches, and now we have to keep the momentum going. I am happy that I am part of this team and I believe we will qualify,” he said.

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WADA bans Russia from 2022 World Cup, 2020 Olympic Games

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WADA bans Russia from 2022 World Cup, 2020 Olympic Games

WADA bans Russia from 2022World Cup, 2020 Olympic Games

Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

It means the Russia flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

But athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.

WADA’s executive committee made the unanimous decision in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It comes after Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.

It had to hand over data to Wada as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2018 after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping scandal.

WADA says Rusada has 21 days to appeal against the ban. If it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Wada vice-president Linda Helleland said the ban was “not enough”.

“I wanted sanctions that can not be watered down,” she said. “We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible.”

A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned following the 2014 Games, which it hosted in Sochi. Russian athletes won 33 medals in Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015.

Despite the ban, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 – in which St Petersburg will be a host city – as European football’s governing body UEFA is not defined as a ‘major event organisation’ with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.

Rusada was initially declared non-compliant in November 2015 after a Wada-commissioned report by sports lawyer Professor Richard McLaren alleged widespread corruption that amounted to state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field athletics.

A further report, published in July 2016, declared Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.

In 2018, WADA reinstated Rusada as compliant after the national agency agreed to release data from its Moscow laboratory from the period between January 2012 and August 2015.

However, positive findings contained in a version courtesy of a whistleblower in 2017 were missing from the January 2019 data, which prompted a new inquiry.

WADA’s compliance review committee (CRC) recommended a raft of measures based “in particular” on a forensic review of inconsistencies found in some of that data.

As part of the ban, Russia may not host, or bid for or be granted the right to host any major events for four years, including the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Basketball player fined in China for not looking at flag during national anthem

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French former NBA player has been reprimanded and fined $1,400 by sports officials in China for not looking at the Chinese flag during the national anthem before a game.

Players with the Chinese Basketball Association are supposed to stare at the national symbol during the “March of the Volunteers”, but television images showed Guerschon Yabusele, who plays for Nanjing Tongxi Monkey King, had his head down before Friday’s game.

Yabusele was given a “serious warning” and a 10,000-yuan fine for not looking at the flag as required, the CBA said in a statement on Saturday.

Yabusele, who played forward for the Boston Celtics for two seasons before joining the CBA team this year, has not commented on the incident.

China’s government has stepped up the promotion of patriotism under President Xi Jinping, with legislation approved in 2017 to punish anyone who disrespects the national anthem with up to three years in prison.

Opinions on Yabusele’s punishment were divided on Chinese social media.

“He’s happy to take money from China, but he doesn’t respect it,” one person wrote on the popular Weibo social media platform.

“This player must be expelled immediately and his club must be disqualified from the championship,” another said.

But many found the sanction to be harsh.

“It’s nonsense. First, he’s not Chinese. Moreover, he stood up and didn’t make any insulting gesture,” one person wrote.

“He has his head down. So what? In what era does the CBA live? It’s 50 years behind.”

Yabusele is not the first foreign athlete to break patriotic rules in China.

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Valuejet IAU African Championship: How N1m incentive motivated Nigerians

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Some of the country’s long distance runners have praised the chairman of Valuejet, Kunle Soname, for motivating them to achieving success at the inaugural edition of the Valuejet IAU African Championship that took place in Sagamu, Ogun State, at the weekend.

The 50km Ultra-Marathon was won by South African as Nigeria finished in the top three with Ilya Pam and Elizabeth Nuhu finishing third and second in the men and women individual race respectively.

Speaking with our correspondent after the race on Saturday, the two Nigerians said they were more motivated after the announcement of another N1M for any of the country’s athletes who finished in the top five.

“Even though I wanted to win the race because we are tired of other countries coming to Nigeria to take away our prize money, but the extra motivation of N1m actually propelled us to do more than before,” Pam said.

“It was a difficult race because some of us are just participating in a marathon more than 42km for the first time, and at some point in the race, I was thinking I am going to win it after leading for more than 35km of the race, but the South Africans are used to it and they overtook me unfortunately but I kept my pace and finished third.

“I am a Nigerian policeman and I feel comfortable even though this is my first time running 50km race.

“It is not easy for a Nigerian policeman to do this thing because you have to be on duty and at the same time practice for the race.

“I appreciate the Inspector General of Police, who has been encouraging me. I traveled to represent the Nigerian Police in China at the World Police Games, where I came third.

“From there I picked up that motivation to compete with foreigners in Nigerian competitions.”

Nuhu who finished second in the women category said it was a great moment taking part in a race longer than the usual 42km.

It would be recalled that South Africa’s Thobile Mbolekwa won the men’s event in 3:00.02 while the women race was won by another South African,  Sanelisiwe Mbanjwa, in 3:04:45.

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EPL: Arsenal strike back to end winless run at West Ham

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EPL: Arsenal strike back to end winless run at West Ham

Arsenal came from behind to end their nine-match winless streak as Freddie Ljungberg enjoyed his first victory as interim manager at the expense of his former club West Ham.

Eighteen-year-old Gabriel Martinelli marked his full Premier League debut by side-footing an equaliser which cancelled out Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected first-half opener at London Stadium.

Within nine minutes, Nicolas Pepe had curled a magnificent second into the top corner and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired in a third reports the BBC.

The salvo turned the game on its head and piled the pressure on West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, whose side have taken four points from their past nine league games and conceded three times in three successive home games.

The Hammers remain a point above the relegation zone in 16th and face a trip to third-bottom Southampton on Saturday. Arsenal move up two places to ninth.

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Ex-United star, Herrera, among 36 players cleared of corruption

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Ex-United star, Herrera, among 36 players cleared of corruption

Paris St-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera is among 36 players who have been cleared of fixing a match between Levante and Real Zaragoza in 2011.
Zaragoza won the game but were accused of paying Levante players 965,000 euros (£812,851) to lose so they could avoid relegation in the 2010-11 season.
Leganes coach Javier Aguirre and ex-Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez were also among those who stood trial, reports the BBC.
All 41 people accused were found not guilty of sporting corruption.
In a statement, the court cited a lack of evidence.
However, two former Zaragoza officials were convicted of fraud.
The judge found former president Agapito Iglesias and former financial director Javier Porquera guilty of using 1.73m euros (£1.46m) from Zaragoza’s accounts to pay players relegation bonuses.
They were issued a jail sentence of one year and three months but are unlikely to serve jail time due to Spanish rules over suspended sentences for first-time offenders.

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UEFA League: Messi, Pique out of Barca squad to face Inter

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UEFA League: Messi, Pique out of Barca squad to face Inter

Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique have been left out of the Barcelona squad for Tuesday’s Champions League game against Inter Milan with coach Ernesto Valverde set to ring the changes.
Barca sealed top spot in the group with a win over Borussia Dortmund last time out, although Inter are still playing for their place in the round of 16.
Inter must equal or better Borussia Dortmund’s result against Slavia Prague to book their place in the knockout stages for the first time since 2012, reports ESPN.
In addition to Messi and Pique, Sergi Roberto has also been given a rest, while Jordi Alba, Nelson Semedo, Ousmane Dembele and Arthur Melo are all injured.
Alba and Semedo are both back in training but have not yet been cleared fit to return to competitive action.
Dembele is out until February and the club have given no timeframe on how long Arthur is expected to be sidelined with a groin problem.
Messi, Pique and Roberto have been rested ahead of games away against Real Sociedad on Saturday and then at home to Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season on December 18.
Argentina international Messi has been in dazzling form recently. His hat trick against Mallorca, which came five days after he’d won his sixth Ballon d’Or, took his tally to 12 league goals in just nine starts this season.
With so many regulars absent from the squad, Valverde has called up six players from the B team among the travelling party.
Forwards Ansu Fati and Carles Perez have been regulars with the first team this season, while goalkeeper Inaki Pena, defenders Ronald Araujoand Dani Morer and midfielder Riqui Puig have also been called up

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Liverpool star Mane is ‘new Ronaldo’, not like Messi – Danny Blind

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Liverpool star Mane is ‘new Ronaldo’, not like Messi – Danny Blind

Former Ajax and Netherlands manager Danny Blind believes Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’ and described him as a ‘super modern player.’
Mane has been in sensational form in Jurgen Klopp’s team this term, notching in 13 goals across all competitions with Liverpool sitting at the top of the Premier League.
The Senegalese forward finished fourth in this year’s Ballon d’Or voting and he is still in the running for the African Footballer of the Year award.
Blind, father of former Manchester United defender Daley, sees Mane as a complete player who has “all the qualities” an attacker should possess.
“Sadio Mane is the new Ronaldo in world football. As an attacking player he is absolutely fantastic. I can go through all his qualities – and he is superb in every aspect,” Blind told the Mirror.
“He can score with his left foot, right foot and with sensational headers. He can give brilliant assists, he is an incredible athlete, and I could go on even more.
“Mane is the super modern player. If you look at his skills, that is one great thing, but he is able to combine that with astonishing sprints right throughout the game.
“That requires so much power. You have to be incredibly strong both physically and mentally. Sadio has it all.
“I don’t compare Mane to [Lionel] Messi. I think Sadio is much more like Cristiano Ronaldo in his very best years.”
After being an unused substitute in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, Mane will be hoping to help the reigning European champions end their Champions League group campaign on a flying note against RB Salzburg, reports goal.com.
Liverpool lead Group E with 10 points from five games, a point above second-placed Napoli and need at least a draw to secure their place in the Round of 16.

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WADA hands Russia four-year ban

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WADA hands Russia four-year ban

*Affects 2020 Olympics, 2022 World Cup

Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

It means the Russia flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

But athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag, reports the BBC.

Wada’s executive committee made the unanimous decision in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It comes after Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.

It had to hand over data to Wada as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2018 after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping scandal.

Wada says Rusada has 21 days to appeal against the ban. If it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said the decision showed its “determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis”.

He added: “For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of Rusada’s reinstatement conditions demanded a robust response.

“That is exactly what has been delivered.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial.”

But Wada vice-president Linda Helleland said the ban was “not enough”.

“I wanted sanctions that cannot be watered down,” she said. “We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible.”

A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned following the 2014 Games, which it hosted in Sochi. Russian athletes won 33 medals in Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015.

Despite the ban, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 – in which St Petersburg will be a host city – as European football’s governing body Uefa is not defined as a ‘major event organisation’ with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.

How did we get here?

Rusada was initially declared non-compliant in November 2015 after a Wada-commissioned report by sports lawyer Professor Richard McLaren alleged widespread corruption that amounted to state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field athletics.

A further report, published in July 2016, declared Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.

In 2018, Wada reinstated Rusada as compliant after the national agency agreed to release data from its Moscow laboratory from the period between January 2012 and August 2015.

However, positive findings contained in a version courtesy of a whistleblower in 2017 were missing from the January 2019 data, which prompted a new inquiry.

Wada’s compliance review committee (CRC) recommended a raft of measures based “in particular” on a forensic review of inconsistencies found in some of that data.

As part of the ban, Russia may not host, or bid for or be granted the right to host any major events for four years, including the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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