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Ukraine name squad for Eagles

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kraine coach Andriy Shevchenko has called up twenty-four players for the upcoming European Championship qualifier against Lithuania and friendly with three-time Africa champions Nigeria.

 

 

Of the 24 players called up for preparation and participation in the games, three are on the books of British clubs including Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City) and Maryan Shved (Celtic).

 

 

An analysis of the roster revealed that three goalkeepers, eight defenders, eleven midfielders and two strikers have been invited by manager Andriy Shevchenko.

 

 

Yevhen Shakhov, Sergey Sidorchuk, Nikolay Shaparenko and Artem Besedin have been placed on standby.

 

The Ukrainians will face Lithuania on September 7 in Vilnius and take on the Super Eagles in the first ever meeting between the two countries at the Dnipro Arena on September 10.

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Brazil to play Nigeria, Senegal in Singapore

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Brazil to play Nigeria, Senegal in Singapore

* Oct 10 v Senegal; Oct 13 v Eagles

The Brazilian team will play against Senegal and Nigeria at the National Stadium of Singapore, on October 10 and 13 according to information from the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) website.

The football federation also made the announcement on its twitter handle.

According to the Brazilian FA website, Senegal and Nigeria are “two of Africa’s main forces today”.

That explains why the Brazilians decided to utilize the next FIFA window for the matches. The National Stadium of Singapore, reopened in 2014 with a capacity of 55,000 fans, will be the scene of the clashes scheduled for the 10th and 13th, at 8pm local time (9am Brasilia).

On October 10, 2019, the Brazilian National Team will play their first ever game against Senegal. Best African team in the FIFA Ranking, Senegalese are in the 20th position of the classification.

Three days later, on October 13, Brazil and Nigeria (33rd in the FIFA Ranking) face off on the same stage. It will only be the second major squad match against the Nigerians. The first was in 2003, with a 3-0 Brazilian victory in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. Gil, Luís Fabiano and Adriano scored the goals of the triumph.

The opposing teams come from good results in 2019. Senegal and Nigeria finished second and third respectively in the June and July African Cup of Nations. The choice is in line with the concept established between the president of the organization and the Brazilian National Technical Commission, to play against top 50 opponents of the FIFA ranking whenever possible.

– We chose two of the best African teams because they are high level confrontations and against a school that the Brazilian National Team has had few encounters in recent years. It was a wish of the Technical Commission, so we went after these opponents – commented the Coordinator of the Team, Juninho Paulista.

Under coach Tite, Brazil faced only one African team. In November 2018, with a goal from Richarlison, defeated Cameroon. The match was held in Milton Keynes, England, and marked the season’s end for the team, reports Sports Village Square.

This will be the second pass of the Brazilian National Team through the refurbished National Stadium of Singapore.

In October 2014, also in a friendly period, Brazil defeated Japan 4-0, with four goals from Neymar, before an audience of approximately 51,000 people.

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Serie A: Dzeko wants Mkhitaryan at Roma long-term

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Serie A: Dzeko wants Mkhitaryan at Roma long-term

Edin Dzeko has paid tribute to his new Roma team-mate Henikh Mkhitaryan after his Roma debut, demanding that he stays at the club beyond his loan deal.

The Armenian made his first appearance for his new club on Sunday evening, scoring in their 4-2 win over Sassuolo.

Dzeko, who also scored in the victory, has heaped praise on the on-loan Arsenal winger after the game in Rome.

He said: “I expect it from him. I know him as a great player, and he is a very good addition to our attacking team who wants to play football.

“I am one hundred per cent sure he is going to be a big help for us. I was definitely happy to see this transfer happen.

“After we played for our national teams and he scored two goals against us I told him ‘my friend, next games you have to score for Roma as well!’

“He’s a great pro. I remember him also from Borussia Dortmund times and he will be a big player for us. Hopefully, he can stay a long time here.”

“Hopefully he will [stay]. He will see that we are playing football here and immediately he scored a goal so hopefully, he can have more goals and a lot of assists for us.

Mkhitaryan signed for Roma on a season-long loan deal from the Gunners on Deadline Day, along with his former Manchester United colleague Chris Smalling and Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta.

The Italian side currently sit eighth in Serie A and get their Europa League campaign underway on Thursday when they face Istanbul Basaksehir, reports skysports.

Despite its recent introduction to the Premier League, VAR has been used in Italy since 2017, but Dzeko says that there is still work to do before it’s perfected.

“We’ve already had it for the second year. It’s nothing new for us. It can improve definitely but it definitely helps as well,” he said.

“So, hopefully in the future, it can help the referees also because their job is not easy. We know that. Also, with VAR, they have to improve even more.

“It’s a new thing for the Premier League, like I said. I think it can definitely help.

“Maybe the only thing I don’t like with VAR is too many penalties. Every handball is penalty!”

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Serie A: Dzeko wants Mkhitaryan at Roma long-term

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Serie A: Dzeko wants Mkhitaryan at Roma long-term

Edin Dzeko has paid tribute to his new Roma team-mate Henikh Mkhitaryan after his Roma debut, demanding that he stays at the club beyond his loan deal.

The Armenian made his first appearance for his new club on Sunday evening, scoring in their 4-2 win over Sassuolo.

Dzeko, who also scored in the victory, has heaped praise on the on-loan Arsenal winger after the game in Rome.

He said: “I expect it from him. I know him as a great player, and he is a very good addition to our attacking team who wants to play football.

“I am one hundred per cent sure he is going to be a big help for us. I was definitely happy to see this transfer happen.

“After we played for our national teams and he scored two goals against us I told him ‘my friend, next games you have to score for Roma as well!’

“He’s a great pro. I remember him also from Borussia Dortmund times and he will be a big player for us. Hopefully, he can stay a long time here.”

“Hopefully he will [stay]. He will see that we are playing football here and immediately he scored a goal so hopefully, he can have more goals and a lot of assists for us.

Mkhitaryan signed for Roma on a season-long loan deal from the Gunners on Deadline Day, along with his former Manchester United colleague Chris Smalling and Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta.

The Italian side currently sit eighth in Serie A and get their Europa League campaign underway on Thursday when they face Istanbul Basaksehir, reports skysports.

Despite its recent introduction to the Premier League, VAR has been used in Italy since 2017, but Dzeko says that there is still work to do before it’s perfected.

“We’ve already had it for the second year. It’s nothing new for us. It can improve definitely but it definitely helps as well,” he said.

“So, hopefully in the future, it can help the referees also because their job is not easy. We know that. Also, with VAR, they have to improve even more.

“It’s a new thing for the Premier League, like I said. I think it can definitely help.

“Maybe the only thing I don’t like with VAR is too many penalties. Every handball is penalty!”

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Gernot Rohr: No more’ goalkeeping concerns for Eagles

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Gernot Rohr: No more’ goalkeeping concerns for Eagles

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has said the team’s goalkeeping concerns are over as the country looks forward to the qualifying rounds of the next Africa Cup of Nations in November.

The Manager said this in an interview on NFF twitter handle after the team was held to a 2-2 draw by Ukraine in Dynipro that the problem that had plagued the goalkeeping department of the national team was now a thing of the past.

Since Vincent Enyeama retired, the Super Eagles have struggled to find a decent replacement, with the likes of Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi failing to impress.

Although Francis Uzoho did better than those two when he was given the chance, his form dipped since he moved to Cyprus due to lack of activity at his club.

However, after switching clubs last summer, he is back playing regularly and that showed in his performance in Nigeria’s match with Ukraine last Tuesday.

The former Bordeaux Manager said in NFF twitter handle that “Our goalkeeper, Uzoho, is much better, because he is playing in his club, and even in the goalkeeper positions we had problems, but we see that, we have already the answer.”

Rohr went on to say that the team will be playing friendlies against African teams in the next round of international break because of the AFCON qualifiers which begin in November.

When asked about possible opponents of the team in October, Rohr said: “We have to play against African teams, because the qualifiers are against African teams.”

He said the Super Eagles would play Benin at home first and then go away against Lesotho hence his the decision to play African sides in friendly.

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Crisis hits Falcons’ camp over NFF’s interference

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Crisis hits Falcons’ camp over NFF’s interference

Omission of Super Falcons skipper’s name Desire Oparanozie is causing ripples in the camp of the team preparing for a two-legged second round 2020 Olympic football qualifier against Cote’d’Voire  on 30th September and 6 October.

It was learnt that former Super Falcons coach, Thomas Dennerby, has threatened to quit the team if he is not allowed free hand to pick his team.

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF on September 13 published the names of invited players for the qualifiers with many questioning the exclusion of captain of the side, Desire Oparanozie, from the list of seven overseas players for the match.

The exclusion of the captain has raised eyebrows in some quarters with many arguing that the list is a suspect.

Our correspondent leant that Coach Thomas Dennerby did not prepare the list as he left the team immediately after the second leg qualifiers against Algeria in Lagos under acrimonious circumstances and agitations over unpaid bonuses led by the captain.

“I can confidently tell you that the list was not prepared by the coach (Thomas Dennerby). Someone else did but I do not know. You cannot have a match of this magnitude and not invite your team captain.

“This tells you that NFF is divided. Some persons frustrated the coach. They did not allow him to invite players he needs and they would want to impose players on him. This is some of the reasons he abandoned the team,” the source said.

The NFF according to report has asked Falconets’ Head Coach, Christopher Danjuma, to take charge of the team for the Cote d’Ivoire game.

However, in a message on the Sports Minister’s Twitter handle, Sunday Dare revealed that he would intervene to ensure Dennerby who was appointed in 2018 continue as head coach of the Super Falcons.

“I have personally stepped into the matter of Thomas Dennerby, the Coach of Super Falcons. I received a brief this morning and will proceed to seek a quick resolution to ensure he continues to Coach Nigeria’s female team,” Dare tweeted on Monday.

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Kalu emerges Europe’s top dribbler ahead Pepe, Di-Maria

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Kalu emerges Europe’s top dribbler ahead Pepe, Di-Maria

Samuel Kalu is the best dribbler in Europe top five leagues, ahead of PSG’s Angel Di Maria, Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe and Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir.

The 22-year-old winger, who is in his second season with Bordeaux, has the highest dribble percentage in Europe.

Kalu played a vital role in Bordeaux’ 2-0 victory over Metz in Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash at Matmut Atlantique.

A product of GBS Academy, he has been a regular in Paulo Sousa’s side following his move from Gent in 2018 – a team he joined from AS Trencin.

The Nigeria international has successfully executed 22 dribbles out of 47 attempted, putting him ahead of some of the world’s most talked-about players known for that.

Just behind Kalu is Arsenal’s Pepe, who has completed 19 dribbles despite his barren run at the Etihad Stadium.

The 2018 World Cup winner Fekir, who plays for Real Betis, is just behind that at 18 out of 25 with PSG’s Di Maria’s 18 over 41 dribbles rounding out the top four.

The Girondins are ninth in the French top-flight with eight points from five outings.

They host Brest in their next outing on September 21.

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GOtv Boxing Night 20: Scorpion, Baby Face promise explosive ring return

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GOtv Boxing Night 20: Scorpion, Baby Face promise explosive ring return

West African Boxing Union (WABU) welterweight champion, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, and national super featherweight champion, Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola, have promised to return to the ring in an explosive fashion at GOtv Boxing Night 20, scheduled to hold on 12 October.

The two shinning stars are billed to fight at the event slated for the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos. In his last fight at GOtv Boxing Night 19, Baby Face famously knocked out Ghana’s Eden Biki, who was punched into unconsciousness in the 10th round. The WABU champion next opponent is Jafaaru Suleiman.

Speaking in Lagos on Monday, the WABU champion said he’s already looking beyond Sulaimon, whom he said he plans to use as preparation for the African Boxing Union title bout.

“Sulaimon is not an opponent in the real sense. He’s a training apparatus. I’m looking beyond the fight, as my target is the ABU title,” he said.

Oyekola, whose last engagement saw him dethrone long-reigning champion, Taofeek “Taozon” Bisuga at GOtv Boxing Night 18 in Ibadan, said his next opponent, Sikiru “Omo Iya Eleja” Shogbesan, will suffer the same fate as Bisuga, who suffered a first-round technical knockout after falling thrice. The Ibadan-based boxer, who spoke in a phone chat, advised Shogbesan to pull out of the bout or risk being beaten legless.

“There is no dispute about me being the best in my category. Bisuga is well placed to tell Shogbesan how I made him see stars. If Shogbesan ignores my advice, the walls of the Indoor Sports Hall will appear to him as wobbling by the time I finish with him,” said Scorpion.

GOtv Boxing Night 20 will be headlined by the much anticipated pairing of ABU lightweight king, Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, and WABU champion, Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, who face each other in the ABU title bout. Also on the card is the national bantamweight title bout between Sadiq Adeleke and Opeyemi “Sense” Adeyemi.

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Okowa pre-season tourney: Rivers Utd, Lobi Stars hit semis

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Okowa pre-season tourney: Rivers Utd, Lobi Stars hit semis

Rivers United and Lobi Stars on Monday qualified for the semifinal stage of the Gov Okowa Pre-Season Tourney following a 1-1 draw with MFM FC and 2-1 win against Remo Stars respectively in their final group matches.

MFM FC under fire since the competition got underway went in front courtesy of a 4th minute spot kick from Clement Ogu, they were however given warning of what to expect when Chigozie Ihunda’s penalty kick came off the bar and they were pegged back by Bakari Bamba 85th minute equaliser.

A delighted Stanley Eguma, the head Coach of Rivers United said after the game that the main reason for taking part in the competition was to give some of their new players’ game time.

“We took part in the Gov Okowa Pre Season Tourney with a view of giving some players some test games,” he said. “And this has paid off as we now know the quality of each and every player.”

Rivers United got eight points from four matches in Group A as their opponent got a solitary point as they exited the competition in the group stages.

Goals from Chinedu Udeagha and Abdulkareem Mumini secured a 2-1 win for Lobi Stars against Remo Stars on Monday – with nine points guaranteeing their place in the last four.

For Remo Stars, they bowed out of the competition with some positives despite picking a point and suffering three defeats.

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FG to adopt camping system to nurture youths

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FG to adopt camping system to nurture youths

In furtherance of the goal and objective of the creation of the National Youth  Games to discover and  develop  young athletes into podium performances  at  future competitive  sporting events, locally and internationally, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will introduce the Camping System of nurturing the skills of the U-15 athletes to attain national aspirations for Youth and Sports Development.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, gave this policy direction at a media interactive session at the University of Ilorin, venue of the ongoing 5th Edition of National Youth Games.

While pouring encomiums on the vision behind the NYG, Dare opined that the Games is a renaissance of real grassroots sports development in the country.

He added that it is the deliberate  plan of the ministry to turn over the discovered talents of the Games to the Federations for subsequent and proper management of Skills of  the U-15 talents through the Camping System.

Dare recalled the earlier meeting he had with the  States  Director of Sports recently,  as he praised their collaborative efforts, stressing, without them, the Games would not have been possible.

Furthermore, the minister said that the Ministry will in collaboration with the States strive to improve  the capacity of Athletic Coaches through enhanced capacity building programme to achieve the vision and objective  for high  performance in Athletics generally.

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3×3 FIBA Africa Nations Cup teams begin camping in Abuja

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3×3 FIBA Africa Nations Cup teams begin camping in Abuja

The  senior men and women’s 3×3 teams and the under 18 boys and girls have commenced camping at the Package B of the National Stadium, Abuja  in preparation for the 2019 3×3 FIBA Africa Nations Cup which comes up in Kampala, Uganda from November 7th to 11th, 2019.

Kano Pillars duo of Okoh Lucky Subel and Godwin David were invited alongside Abuchi Ibe Agu and Anyaoha Wisdom of Gombe Bulls.

Koko Victor Antony (Rivers Hoopers) and Ndibe Emmanuel complete the list of invited players for the camping which opened on Sunday, 15th, August, 2019. They hope to improve on the bronze won in the 2018 edition.

First Bank’s Okoro Ifunanya coming from a solid performance at the African Games in Morocco earned another call up to camp alongside team mates , Kelani Sumbo (First Bank) and Umeh Gloria (Plateau Rocks).

Agbotan Success (Delta Force), Okah Chinwe Hope (Air Warrior) and Theresa Mac-Dangosu (Abuja) complete the list of players invited for the women’s team.

The u-18 boys team include Oyebanji Mustapha (Kwara Falcons), Odufuwa Kanyinsola (Hoops and Read), David Adetutu (Abuja City Chiefs), Emmanuel James (Abuja City Chiefs), Godwin Peace (unattached),  Samaila Antibas (unattached), Michael Ayodele (unattached), Oyedokun Olamilekan (UNILAG) and Akomolafe Oyekanmi (UNILAG).

The u-18 girls comprise Onuorah Chika (First DeepWater), Agba Agatha (Benue Princes), Joseph Godgift (MFM), Ezebilo Grace (MFM), Gbihi Cynthia (Dolphins) and Okeke Chidinma (Dolphins) who were all invited after a strong showing at the recently concluded second phase of the Zenith Women Basketball League.

Linda Adejoh (Blackgold Queens), Omaga Olivia (Air Warriors), Ubi Majomary (Dolphins) and Nwachukwu Ifunanya (First Bank) complete the list of 10 players invited to the u-18 girls camp.

Acha Chris, Christopher Okoh, Juliana Akhere and Nnorom Mark will be in charge of the teams while Simon Evbuoman has been picked as the accompanying referee.

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