Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has put paid to insinuations that he is on the verge of dumping his job as the Nigeria National team coach after describing the news as fake.
Speaking ahead of the team’s friendly game agaisnt Brazil on Sunday, Rohr said he is focusing on the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and not thinking of any other things.
“The game against Brazil will show how much we are progressing after finishing third at the Africa Cup in Egypt,” he said.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to learn a few more things that will make us better and stronger for future challenges. “This is an important test game for us, and we are here to learn from the best. We hope for a very good game against Brazil on Sunday.
This will help us prepare ourselves for the 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho next month.
“After the 2019 AFCON, two of our top players (Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo) retired and we have to see how to replace them. We saw a little bit in our friendly against Ukraine last month and hope we can improve on that performance tomorrow.
“A good showing against Brazil will help our confidence a great deal.”
Tokyo 2020: Ex-Olympian pledges assistance to athletes
reparation by Team Nigeria ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has received a boost with a former Olympian, Isaac Uche, offering to assist the athletes through the 1st Uche Isaac Sprint/Relay Athletics Championship scheduled for next year in Lagos.
The maiden championship, which would hold on April 11, 2020 at the Yaba College of Technology Mini-Stadium, would see athletes compete in the 100m, 200m, 400m, relays and other activities.
According to the sponsor, Uche Isaac, the competition will help to prepare Team Nigeria athletics contingent for both Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic games.
“I am tired of people blaming government or the Athletics Federation of Nigeria for failure to prepare athletes for major games. Having benefited in the past, l have decided to give my little contribution to put our athletes in good shape,” Isaac said.
A sprinter in his active days and currently member Abia State Athletics Association, Isaac disclosed that the competition would be continuous, following what he described as huge demand across the country.
He however regretted the downward trend in Nigerian sprint events, especially among the male sprinters, and called for swift reversal.
“This is the reason I am urging the athletes to explore this opportunity to prepare themselves for major games,” the sponsor also said.
Over 100 athletes from all over Nigeria will compete in the one-day All-Comers championship where cash and other prizes will be won.
Tottenham sack Pochettino
ottenham have sacked head coach Mauricio Pochettino after five years in charge of the Premier League club.
The former Southampton boss, 47, was appointed in May 2014 and led the club to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool.
But Spurs have made a disappointing start to the current campaign and are 14th in the Premier League.
“We were extremely reluctant to make this change,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
“It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste. Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.
“It falls on the board to make the difficult decisions – this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff – but we do so in the club’s best interests.”
Pochettino’s assistant Jesus Perez, and coaches Miguel d’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have also left the club.
Tottenham said in a statement that they would provide an update on new coaching staff “in due course”.
Pochettino guided Tottenham to the League Cup final in his first full season while two third-placed finishes sandwiched a runners-up spot in the Premier League in 2017.
As well as guiding Spurs to a runners-up finish in last season’s Champions League he also secured a fourth-place finish in the league.
His impressive results led to links with Real Madrid and Manchester United.
However, Spurs have failed to build on last season’s exploits this term. As well as their disappointing league form, they were knocked out the League Cup by League Two side Colchester and hammered 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Tokyo 2020: NB restates support for Team Nigeria
Nigerian Breweries Plc, Nigeria’s foremost brewing company, has restated its commitment towards the development of sports in Nigeria as one of the major sponsors of Team Nigeria to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Speaking during a state house dinner held at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja in honour of the President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Thomas Bach who visited Nigeria recently, the Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mrs. Sade Morgan stated that the company’s support for the Olympic Team is in continuation of the strong and long term relationship that exists between the company and the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC).
“As an organisation, Nigerian Breweries is a major partner with NOC and has a long history of supporting projects like this. We do this to show our commitment to the growth of the Nigerian sports sector,” she said.
She further explained that the company is backing Team Nigeria to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games with two of its leading brands, Amstel Malta and Star Lager, adding that while Amstel Malta is the official Malt drink for Nigerian contingent, Star Lager is the official Lager of Team Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Secretary General of the Nigerian Olympic Committee, Mr. Olabanji Olabanjo expressed profound appreciation to Nigerian Breweries Plc for providing the needed impetus through the partnership that is poised to bring excitement and encouragement to all the athletes representing the country.
“We are happy to have Nigerian Breweries Plc as our partner. Amstel Malta and Star are brands we are excited to work with to bring this partnership to life for our athletes and the teeming fans,” Olabanjo said.
Maradona quits after just two months at Argentine club, Gimnasia
Diego Maradona has resigned as coach of Argentinian first division club Gimnasia La Plata after two months in charge and the club on the brink of relegation.
Gimnasia sit 22nd in the table with Maradona winning three and losing five times out of his eight games.
Maradona’s decision to quit his post comes after Sunday’s announcement by Gimnasia President Gabriel Pellegrino that he will not run for reelection. Pellegrino has been at the helm since 2016 and the Argentina legend’s resignation is perceived by the local media as an act of loyalty to the club president, reports ESPN.
“Maradona is no longer the coach of Gimnasia,” Pellegrino told Radio La Red. “He said that he was there to add not to subtract.”
The presidential elections are held every three years and will take place on Saturday. Maradona had considered remaining in charge for the last three games of the year but has decided to relinquish the reins immediately.
Pellegrino was responsible for bringing the 1986 World Cup winner back to work in Argentina for the first time since 2010, when Maradona left the helm of Argentina’s national team.
Argentinian newspaper Clarin report that Maradona is also going through a difficult personal time and also has health issues.
Earlier this month, Maradona, 59, played down concerns about his health and stated he was “more alive than ever”. Maradona left his job as coach of Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa in June after nine months in charge to focus on his health. He underwent a knee operation before deciding to take the Gimnasia job on September 5.
After Sunday’s game against Arsenal, Gimnasia play away to Banfield on November 29 before hosting Cordoba on December 8.
JUST IN: Spurs sack Pochettino
Tottenham have sacked head coach Mauricio Pochettino after five years in charge of the Premier League club.
The former Southampton boss, 47, was appointed in May 2014 and led Spurs to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool, reports the BBC.
But the club have made a disappointing start to the current campaign and are 14th in the Premier League.
“We were extremely reluctant to make this change,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
“It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste. Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.”
NFF commends Minister, submits report on teams’ outings
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has hailed the move of the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare to request for a report on the performances of the various National Teams in recent weeks, just as the football governing-body submitted the requested report on Monday.
“It was a good move by the Honourable Minister to request for the report. As he said, there has to be stock taking and after that, accountability. The NFF is enamoured by the move and we have submitted the requested report.
“For us, there is nothing to hide. We have detailed all the issues and the forces at play, and explained that in so much as these tournaments are important, they are mainly and strategically developmental. Even at that, we approach every match/tournament with the intention of winning, but it is practically and absolutely impossible based on indices, records and scientific laws of probability,” President of NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said on Tuesday.
In a 15 –page letter signed by Mr. Pinnick, the NFF detailed issues of funding (inadequacy and late release of same) and the toxic and disruptive environment in which it has had to operate for the past 18 months (with the Federation’s leadership and brand falsely and maliciously dragged from one investigative agency to the other and from one court to the other on same baseless allegations) as core reasons for the poor outings of the Super Falcons, CHAN Eagles, Golden Eaglets and Olympic Eagles in recent international matches/tournaments.
While acknowledging the importance of the qualifying matches/tournaments in which these teams participated and fell short, the Federation defended the technical crews of the teams and justified why they are the best for the positions as at the time they were hired by highlighting their track records.
Enrique returns as Spain manager following daughter’s death
Luis Enrique, whose daughter died from bone cancer in August, is returning as Spain manager five months after stepping down for personal reasons.
Enrique resigned in June after 11 months in the job and announced in August that his nine-year-old daughter, Xana, had died.
The 49-year-old former Barcelona boss was replaced by his assistant, Robert Moreno, reports the BBC.
Moreno was in charge as Spain beat Romania 5-0 on Monday.
It saw Spain wrap up qualification for Euro 2020 without losing a game.
Moreno, who also worked under Enrique at Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona, said after taking the job he would “step aside” if Enrique ever wanted to return.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales said: “Everyone knew that if Luis Enrique wanted to come back he had the doors open.
“Luis Enrique will continue to the Qatar World Cup [in 2022].”
Enrique was appointed national team boss following Spain’s exit from the 2018 World Cup in the last 16.
He was in charge for the Nations League, where Spain failed to reach the semi-finals, and remained in place for the beginning of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
The Spaniard travelled back home for personal reasons before Spain’s 2-0 victory in Malta in March and Moreno was placed in temporary charge.
Enrique then stepped down three months later.
Female MMA fighter, 26, dies from brain injury during fight
An amateur MMA fighter has died after suffering a fatal brain injury during a fight this weekend.
Saeideh – known as Sai – Aletaha, 26, collapsed during the bout at Central Hall in Southampton on Saturday night and was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition but died the next day, reports metro.co.uk.
Hampshire Police said inquiries into exactly what happened are ongoing, while tributes to Sai, a British-Iranian student at Loughborough University, have been paid online.
A post on the Facebook page for Southampton’s Lookborai gym – where Sai was a member – said: “Following the show Saturday we regret to announce that one of our team mates unfortunately suffered an injury leaving her in a critical condition that she tragically will not recover from. “Saeideh Aletaha was a lovely character with a beautiful soul. Her dedication to the sport was 110% travelling miles every day just to train.
“She found her place with us just a few months ago but has become a part of the family and will be sorely missed.
“This news comes as a devastating blow to us all at the gym and the whole community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”
A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said an ambulance was sent to Central Hall to answer a call shortly after 8.50pm on Saturday reporting that a participant in a martial arts event had collapsed.
The lightweight MMA fighter, described by friends as a ‘beautiful soul’, was taking part in the Fast & Furious Fight series organised by Lookborai and Exile Gym, which had doctors and paramedics at ringside.
A post on the Fast and Furious Fight event’s Facebook page said: “All competitors get in prepared that they may be injured and this is something not expected to happen 99.9% of the time.
“But, it can and in this we make the environment as safe as possible with pre and post medicals from a doctor, and full medical cover throughout with doctor, paramedic and ambulance on site alongside our experienced team of staff with numerous first aiders, safety is not something ever skimped on in any of our 19 shows and all matches are made equal. “Thoughts of course go out to all family, friends and team mates, if anyone needs any support please come to us or your coaches.
“Thank you to our team on the night who acted with utmost professionalism and carried their duties out above and beyond to react to the situation, and again we are here for any of you that needs it in this sad time.”
Hampshire Police said: “We were called shortly before 1am on Sunday November 17 by colleagues at Southampton General Hospital informing us of a woman who was being treated in hospital for a life-threatening brain injury.
“The woman, aged 26, died in hospital later that day.
“Inquiries into exactly what happened are ongoing. Next of kin have been informed.”
Man United announce almost £140m increase in net debt
Manchester United have announced their net debt has increased by almost £140m in their latest financial figures, even after posting another revenue increase for the first quarter of 2019-20.
The startling increase in debt levels from £247.2m to £384.5m, a rise of 55.5 per cent, will do little to appease disgruntled fans, unhappy with the way the club is run by the Glazer family owners and executive Vice-chairman Ed Woodward, reports Sky Sports.
United have posted revenues of £135.4m for the first quarter of 2019-20 which represents a £400,000 increase on the same period for the previous year.
Commercial revenue was £80.4m, a 5.9 per cent increase on the previous year, but the club are expecting 2020 annual revenue to be down this year to somewhere between £560-580m, compared to £627.1m for the year ending June 30,
2019, even though the club’s wage bill has dropped slightly.
In part that will be due to the club’s lack of Champions League football this season. Broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £32.9m, a 23.1 per cent and £9.9m drop on the same quarter the year before.
“We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment,” Woodward said.
“The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our academy are already beginning to bear fruit.
“We are very proud to be shortly approaching a milestone 4,000th game featuring an academy player, and we are particularly optimistic regarding the considerable young talent currently coming through.
“Our ultimate goal is to win trophies by playing exciting football with a team that fuses graduates from our academy with world-class acquisitions.”
Euro 2020: Italy records biggest win in 9-1 demolition of Armenia
Italy recorded one of the biggest wins in their history as they completed their successful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign by thrashing Armenia 9-1.
Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo both scored twice while Chelsea’s Jorginho converted a penalty in the second half.
Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli, Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa also scored for the dominant Italians, reports the BBC.
Edgar Babayan did manage to grab a consolation for Armenia with a stunning long-range strike.
Babayan’s finish stopped Italy equalling their biggest win – a 9-0 defeat of the United States in Brentford in 1948.
However, the emphatic victory continues an impressive turnaround in fortunes under former Manchester City boss Robert Mancini.
The Italian took charge of the national team following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and led them to 10 wins from 10 in qualifying for Euro 2020 – conceding just four goals – as they finished top of Group J.
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