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.
Current Eagles can be great as ’94 squad – Bonfere Jo
Former Super Eagles coach, Bonfere Jo, believes the current national team has the capacity to achieve success like the 1994 and the 1996 squad that won the football event of the Atlanta Olympic Games.
Bonfere was the assistant coach to Clement Westerhof who won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 while he was in charge of the 1996 team that won Africa’s first Olympic Games gold medal.
Speaking with New Telegraph, the coach said the team, had shown, with the game against Brazil recently, that they are a great side.
The coach led the then U-23 team to a 4-3 defeat of Brazil in the semifinal of the football event of Atlanta Games and tipped the national team for greater things, he however advised them to work harder to achieve their potential.
“It is a bit difference, I led the U-23 team against them 23 years ago, but now the full national team played a 1-1draw with them,” he said.
“If you work very hard as a coach and with quality players, you can always get result, so that’s what Nigeria should continue to do.
“If you have good players and good man in front of them, then you can reach very high as a national team, otherwise it will be nothing.
“They have to work very hard as a team to achieve a greater height they deserve. They have all the opportunity to reach that height but hard work is quite necessary.”
Super Eagles are scheduled to face off against Benin and Lesotho in November as they begin their journey to the 2021 AFCON.
FIFA to pay Uzoho’s wages worth €20,548
FIFA will be responsible for Francis Uzoho’s wages for the entirety of the time he will be out of action, as part of their compensation scheme to clubs whose players suffered injury during international break.
The Super Eagles goalkeeper, suffered a horrific injury that will sidelined him for six months when he was on duty with Nigeria in their international friendly clash with Brazil in Singapore on Sunday.
The Super Eagles medical team however confirmed that the player would sit out of the actions for about six months , which means he might not play for the club again this season.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s friendly with Brazil was sanctioned by the world football governing body, coupled with the fact that the game was played on a date on the FIFA international match calendar and both teams did not make more than six substitutes each.
Therefore under FIFA’s Club Protection Programme, clubs whose players suffer injuries while in action for their country are compensated and the maximum daily compensation has been set at €20,548.
Although the money will be fixed salary that the club was pay to the player for that period and the player must be sidelined for more than 28 days before a claim can be processed.
CHAN Eagles can overrun Togo – Amapakabo
Coach of Super Eagles home-based team, Imama Amapakabo, has made it clear that the side must not fail as they continue their preparation ahead of the crunch clash with Togo in the second leg of the final qualifying round for the 2020 African Nations Championship.
The National Team B were battered 4-1 by the Sparrow Hawks of Togo before inflicting another defeat on the team when both sides met at the WAFU/FOX Cup of Nations in Senegal in recently.
Speaking at the team training camp in Lagos, Amapakabo said they have a big work on their hands and must be ready.
“We have a big job at hand, and I have been drumming it into the ears of the players that we cannot afford to fail,” the former Rangers of Enugu coach said.
“The Togolese won 4-1 on their home ground; nothing says we cannot do better on our own home ground.
“We have to be focused and determined. We must create chances and put them away, because we cannot afford not to be at the African Nations Championship,” said Amapakabo.
Meanwhile, the team continue to prepare themselves for the crucial task scheduled for this Saturday at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.
Amapakabo and wards have been training at the FIFA Goal Project, National Stadium, Abuja since returning from their expedition at the WAFU/FOX Cup of Nations in Senegal last week.
Nigeria finished as runner-up at the last edition of the African Nations Championship staged by Morocco early last year.
The winner over two legs between Nigeria and Togo will book a slot at the 6th African Nations Championship finals scheduled for Cameroon in June 2020.
Real ready to hijack Chukwueze deal from Barca, Atletico
Real Madrid are ready to snap up Nigeria’s Samuel Chukwueze ahead of rivals Barcelona and Atletico who have also shown interest.
Our correspondent learnt from a Spanish transfer market website Fichajes that the Los Blancos were considering a swoop for the Villarreal wonder kid to replace Wales star Gareth Bale if he leaves the capital outfit in the upcoming transfer windows.
Chukwueze has been on the radar of Atletico who attempted to prize him away during the last summer transfer window while Barcelona have already pencilled him down as alternative to Neymar should they fail to land the Brazilian next summer.
Bale has become increasingly unpopular at the Satiango Bernebue and has been tipped for a move away from the club.
Sources said Real were willing to allow the former Tottenham star leave after a deal to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning fed through at the last minute in the summer transfer window.
Fichajes also claimed that Los Blancos were combing the market for a winger and Chukwueze has emerged as a low cost alternative to replace Bale.
It has been suggested that Villarreal are resigned to losing Chukwueze at the end of the 2019-2020 season, with a host of clubs, including Liverpool, keen to sign the winger.
A prized move to a more glamorous club is on the cards for the Diamond Academy product, having impressed for club and country over the last one year.
Chukwueze dazzled for the Golden Eaglets at the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup and was snapped up by Villarreal in August 2017 after turning 18.
Lagos agog for 10th Korean Ambassador’s Taekwondo Cup
High-octane action is guaranteed when the 10th Korean Ambassador kicks off on Thursday October 17 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
From the registration, eight national athletes that represented Nigeria at the recently concluded 12th African Games will be competing for medals at the two-day tournament.
Among the national athletes expected in Lagos are: African bronze medallist, Benjamin Okuomose [male heavyweight +87kg], ex-African champion Uzoamaka Otuadinma who came away with a bronze in the female -73kg and Commonwealth gold medalist Josephine Esuku [female -46kg], who returned a fortnight ago from a Tokyo 2020 test event in Japan.
Other national team athletes are defending Korean Ambassador Champion and Most Valuable Player of the last 2018 edition, Ifeoluwa Ajayi, Peter Itiku [male welterweight -80kg], [male featherweight -63kg], Abdulfathi Sanusi [male fly weight -58kg], Arinola Abdullateef [male fin weight -58kg].
With the star prize of new flat TV screens to be dished out to the best male and female athlete, as well as gifts of equipment to medallist plus vital national ranking points, the taekwondo stars will have their work cut out against other gladiators in the country, keen to impress and rise up the national ranks.
National athletes like Ajayi, who is the defending Korean Ambassador champion in the male -63kg was the Most Valuable Player of the last 2018 edition, will be hard pressed pressure to retain the MVP award he won last year as he is competing in the higher male -68kg weight category.
Registered so far to compete in 16 kyeorugi events and five poomsae events are 170 athletes from 25 teams, including athletes from Nigeria Army, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Civil Defense and Security Corps, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba
Final registration numbers will be ascertained when the online portal closes by 6pm GMT on 14th October 2019.
Lagos Open Tennis 2nd Leg: Quadre, Blessing scale first round hurdles
Two Nigerian players survived first round scare when the main draws of the second leg of 2019 Lagos Open Tennis served off on Wednesday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
Oyinlomo Quadre was too much for her opponent from Denmark, Dasam Divine Nweke, who she beat in straight sets of 6-0,6-0 to qualify for the second round in the women’s singles. Also Blessing Samuel made it to the second round after she beat compatriot Muhammed Jumai in another straight sets of 6-2, 6-1. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Aziz Ouakaa made a surprised performance on Day One of the Main draws as he stopped opponent from Ukraine, in a three sets thrilling game. Quakaa, a first timer in the Lagos Open Tennis, defeated tournament’s 7th seed, Eric Vanshelbosim 5-7,6-3,6-3. Nigerian Joseph Imeh Ubon could not complete his match against top seed in the men’s singles, Tunisian Mausouri Skander as the game was stopped 3-0 in the first set. Zimbabwe’s Garanganga Takanyi had a smooth ride over Nigeria Paul Emmanuelin a game that ended 6-1,6-3. Seventh seed Camry Hemery from France, who was the champion of the first leg, won his first round game on Wednesday.
Hemery beat Nigerian Sylvester Emmanuel 7-6 (4), 3-0. Emmanuel retired in the second set of the match. Top seed in the women’s singles, Mendez Seone from Austria beat Swedish Fanny Ostlund in straight sets of 6-2,6-2. South African teenager, Kruger Isabella defeated Tunisian Chiraz Bechri 6-4, 7-5.
In other results, France’s Setodji Thomas defeated Nigerian Abayomi Oluseyi Phillips 6-2, 6-4. Osewa Michael Oluwatosin lost 3-6, 1-6 to French Meraut Tristani. Nigerian Ronke Akingbade was defeated by Nastja Kolar from Slovenia
1-6, 0-6. Runner up in the women’s singles final in the first leg, Brazilian Laura Pigossi won her match against Anette Munozova of Sweden 6-4,6-0.
Zenith Bank/Delta Principals’ Cup: Screening continues till final –Sunday
…as q’finalists emerge Friday in 8 centres
The Chairman, Technical Committee of the ongoing Zenith Bank/Delta Principals’ Cup football competition, Lucky Sunday, has declared that the screening process of the tournament will not end until the final day.
Sunday said the Technical and Verification Committee (TVC) of the competition had made so much progress in the 2019 edition which started last month.
In the final stages of the LG prelims, about five players from different schools were expelled.
The Tech Committee boss said: “We are determined to avoid any team an undue advantage over the other. There are various means we use aside the mandatory birth certificate and school identification documents.
“The TVC officials visit the schools unannounced to verify and ask questions accordingly. I personally visited nine schools. In the committee, we have 10 people that are seasoned football administrators and we are all working hard to ensure a true winner emerges.”
For the zonal eliminations which started only on Wednesday in eight cenres, Sunday added that the TVC would still be on duty.
The commissioner for basic and Secondary School Education in Delta State, Chief Patrick Ukah, said he was impressed with the process so far.
Ukah charged all the officials of the developmental; competition to maintain the high standards expected in the tournament.
“We are trying to teach the young ones about the rudiments of the game and it has to be with the best standards in terms of facilities, officiating and general operations, Ukah noted.
After the opening zonal games on Wednesday, decisive matches of this stage of the competition take place in eight centres on Friday to determine the quarterfinalists of the 2019 edition of the competition.
GOtv Boxing Night Mini excites boxers
The introduction of GOtv Boxing Night Mini, which debuts on November 16 at the Rowe Park Sports Complex, Lagos, has sparked excitement among boxers. The decision to introduce GOtv Boxing Night Mini was announced on Monday by the organisers, Flykite Productions.
According to the organisers, GOtv Boxing Night Mini, which will hold more frequently at various venues, will give boxers more opportunities to fight and build their fight profiles to increase their eligibility for international titles.
Speaking in separate interviews, boxers commended the sponsors for increasing the opportunities to fight, saying many talented ones seeking avenues will benefit from GOtv Boxing Night Mini.
Kamaru “Slow Poison” Aremu, a boxer yet to make his professional bow, said he believes that his chances of getting an opportunity to fight have been boosted with the introduction of GOtv Boxing Night Mini.
“I like GOtv Boxing Night and I have tried to be on the bill a few times, but I have not succeeded. With GOtv Boxing Night Mini, which will hold more regularly than the big ones, I believe that boxers in my shoes will have opportunities to fight and also feature at the main event,” he said.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Sikiru “Omo Iya Eleja” Shogbesan, who has had one fight at GOtv Boxing Night, but is seeking more to boost his fight profile.
According to him, the competition for spots on the bill at the main event is stiff, making it tough to be selected.
“GOtv are about the only serious sponsors of boxing in Nigeria. It means getting to fight at the main event is tough. But with the mini edition, boxers stand to have more opportunities, as GOtv Boxing Night Mini will hold more frequently,” he said excitedly.
Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight champion, who is billed to fight at the maiden edition, said the tournament will provide him an opportunity to keep in shape for the African Boxing Union lightweight title bout against incumbent champion, Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, in December. Both boxers were billed to clash for the title at GOtv Boxing Night 20. The bout had to be postponed, following a shoulder injury suffered by Joe Boy.
Nig vs Togo: Go for early goals, Okpara tells CHAN Eagles
Ex –Super Eagles defender, Godwin Okpara, has challenged the Home-based Super Eagles to score early goals when they confront Togo in the return leg of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers scheduled to take place in the Agege Stadium, Lagos.
The Imama Amakapabo’s wards have an uphill task to undertake after falling to a 4-1 defeat in the first leg played in Lome last month.
However, Okpara believes the Nigerian can overturn the three goals deficit if they are able to score as early as the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game.
“If they can start the game well, utilise the first 10 to 15 minutes of the match to score their first goal then they are on course. But everything depends on them now,” he advised.
Meanwhile, he stated that not only in club football do we see games where teams overturn huge loss, stressing that happens in national team games too.
“Beating the Sparrow Hawks of Togo is a possible feat because this is football, anything is possible. Anything can happen; you can’t underrate any team, so it is possible. Forget about international or not, club side or not. What happens at the club level can still happen in national team; it is football, anything can happen,” he said.
Shaibu, Ladipo eulogies Obaseki
Edo State government, football families, friends and well –wishers gathered at the University of Benin Sports Complex to pay their last respect to the pioneer chairman of the Nigeria Football Premier League and one time chairman of Bendel Insurance FC Late Chief Oyuki Obaseki.’
In a novelty match played in his honour involving ex- football stars, and seasoned football administrators, it was victory for the departed soul of late Obaseki as the Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu scored twice in both halves to help Ex-Insurance beat the NFF Selected Side 3-1. Darlington Obaseki scored the second goal for the Insurance side through Shaibu’s assist.
“He was our legend and football icon. For all of us that have played this round leather, we celebrate him because; he contributed immensely to the development of football in Nigeria. For Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, he described late chief Oyuki Obaseki as the best football administrator Nigeria has ever produced, adding that it will be very difficult to have administrators like him.
“Chief Obaseki’s achievement in Nigerian football cannot be quantified, without messing words; I want to say that he has been the best football administrator ever in the history of Nigeria. Nigerian football family would miss him greatly, and we will continue to remember him for his pragmatic leadership.”
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