Hamilton: Rosberg Says Debate over Rival’s Tactics is ‘Pointless’

first_imgFormula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg has said the debate around Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s tactics in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is “pointless”.Hamilton ignored team orders and drove deliberately slowly in an attempt to back Rosberg into rivals.Mercedes could take action against Hamilton, but Rosberg said he “understood” the Briton’s tactics.“It’s done, it’s a thing of the past and it’s fine,” said the German, 31.Hamilton, 31, went into the race 12 points behind Rosberg and needed to win – with the German finishing lower than third – to take the title. Mercedes repeatedly ordered Hamilton to speed up during the race, but he ignored their commands and told his team to “let us race”. Rosberg still finished second to secure his first F1 world title.Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Rosberg refused to be drawn on the subject, saying he “respected” Hamilton because they were “really good friends back in the day”.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Ex-Rangers Star, Obiekwu, Slumps, Dies in Action

first_imgTragedy has again struck Nigerian football after former Enugu Rangers star Henry Obiekwu slumped and died while playing a friendly in Enugu Monday.Former Super Eagles defender Kingsley Obiekwu aka ‘Shagari’ confirmed the passing of his younger brother Henry.Eye witnesses said right fullback Henry asked to be replaced during the friendly match with his youth team Samba FC at the UNEC Stadium in Enugu Monday morning after he complained of severe chest pain.He later slumped and was rushed to several hospitals before he was confirmed dead at the Eastern Nigeria Medical Centre in Enugu. FC Taraba was Henry’s last club.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Abia Warriors Unveil Everton as New Manager

first_imgAbia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia has formally unveiled Brazilian Coach, Rafael Everton Lira as its new Manager.At a short but impressive ceremony which took place at the Warriors home ground in Umuahia, Club Chairman, Chief Emeka Inyama disclosed that the former Fluminense FC of Brazil playmaker, has signed a two-year contract with the Abia State owned club. Chief Inyama said in signing Everton, Abia Warriors has given him the mandate to restructure and re-organise the playing architecture of the club in order to achieve the required results.In an answer to a question, the Abia Warriors Chairman said the club, having sojourned in the elite division of the Nigerian league for four seasons, now has a bigger ambition and has therefore given Everton the mandate to be part of the big contenders for the league at the end of the season as well as groom marketable players for the business of the game.He assured the coach of management’s support at all times and wished him the best in his new assignment.Responding, Everton said he has come to Umuahia with the intention of making the club one of the best in the land adding that he was happy with what he has seen on the ground.Everton, who also played for Sport Club Do Recife before he hung his boots as a player, said he recognises the challenges before him as the new Abia Warriors chief tactician and hoped he would help the club realise its ambition of at least getting one of the continental slots at the end of the season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Niger Tornadoes Management Committee Dissolved

first_imgLaleye Dipo in MinnaThe Niger state government on Monday dissolved the management committee of the professional premier league side Niger Tornadoes of Minna.The dissolved committee was headed by Malam Adamu Aliyu, the principal private secretary to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.A statement announcing the dissolution signed by the Director of Sports Alhaji Baba Sheshi said the dissolution was on the directive of the state governor.The letter with reference No: GHS/COS/045 dated 14th December 2017 states: ” Mr Governor has approved the dissolution of the Tornadoes Management Committee with immediate effect “The ministry wish to appreciate and thank you for your meritorious and selfless service you rendered to the team and state in general, we wish you the best in your future undertakings,” a copy of the letter made available to THISDAY read in part.It was however learnt that lack of cooperation between the dissolved management team and other stakeholders was responsible for the dissolution of the management committee.A new management is to be inaugurated by the state government after the Christmas break.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Eagles Test-run with Poland Clash

first_imgThis is the first official match between Nigeria and Poland at the senior level. It is also the first Grade ‘A’ game for Eagles as they begin final preparations for the battle in Russia in summer.Without any doubt, Poland has FIFA World Cup pedigree, having come third twice – in 1974 and 1982. The present generation led by inspirational Captain, Robert Lewandowski, has all the qualities of past Polish great teams. Their performance in Group E of the European World Cup qualifiers- five points ahead of second-placed Denmark and scoring 28 goals in six matches- stands Poland out as a good test for the Super Eagles.The Bayern Munich star striker who has scored 51 goals for his country – an all-time goals record for Poland, may prove too efficient if Eagles backline fail in the task of keeping him and fellow Polish forwards in check.From the Rear, Rohr have the rare chance to throw his preferred choice for Eagles’ Number 1 jersey, youngster Francis Uzoho into the battle for baptism. In the absence of substantive first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, who is down with leukemia, the gamble with Ikechukwu Ezenwa paid off during the African qualifiers but the World Cup appears a bigger stage. Daniel Akpeyi who was expected to step up to claim the shirt after Ikeme was diagnosed with the ailment has fallen short of every test placed before him. His woeful performance during the first game of the AFCON 2019 qualifier against South Africa in Uyo was a minus for him.It is a popular dictum that you don’t change a winning team but with the World Cup, it is a different kettle of fish. The warm up matches are veritable ground for coaches to try out different options and an experienced gaffer like Rohr will not fail to take the chance.In the left back position, it is an opportunity to try out new boy, Brian Idowu, to see how he can effectively fit into the back four that has right back Shehu Abdullahi as well as central defenders Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong.In the middle where the problem of the team has remained largely unresolved since Austin Jay Jay Okocha retired, the game in Wroclaw will no doubt show the amount of work done so far for the cohesion of that depart of the senior national team. Defensive midfielders should be the pair of Wilfred Ndidi and stand-in captain Ogenyi Onazi. Up field, Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi are expected to get starting shirts to run the wings.In Rohr’s preferred 4-3-2-1 formation, improved Kelechi Iheanacho is expected to play behind Odion Ighalo in the attack. And if it proves ineffective, the Franco-German coach has promised to try out other formations. The score-line however remains unimportant as Poland rated 6th in FIFA rankings is miles ahead of Nigeria in 52nd spot.Eagles likely starting XI – 4-2-3-1: Francis Uzoho – Brian Idowu, Leon Balogun, William Troost, Shehu Abdullahi – Wilfred Ndidi, Ogenyi Onazi (skipper) – Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho – Odion IghaloINTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES(Today)Poland v Nigeria (8.45pm)Argentina v Italy (8.45pm)Germany v Spain (8.45pm)Holland v England (8.45pm)Turkey v Rep. of Ireland (8.30pm)Japan v Mali (1.20 am)Russia v Brazil (5.00 pm)Bulgaria v Bos-Herze (6.00pm)Portugal v Egypt (8.45pm)France v Colombia (9.00pm)Greece v Switzerland (7.00pm)Serbia v Morocco (8. 30pm)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLYDuro IkhazuagbeWith 83 days to the start of the World Cup 2018 in Russia, Nigerians will have a feel of what to expect from Gernot Rohr and his wards at the Mundial this night when stand-in Captain, Ogenyi Onazi leads glory seeking Super Eagles in an international friendly with Poland at the 42-000 capacity Stadion Wroclaw.last_img read more

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NFF, LMC, Osun Gov, Others Mourn Late Ogunjobi

first_img* NPFL coaches, players to wear black armband in his honourThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has expressed shock at the death of its former Secretary General and one-time Member of the Executive Committee of the federation, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi.The 66-year old former international defender passed on early hours of yesterday after a brief illness. “I cannot find the words as much as I try. A very big tree has fallen in Nigerian football and we are all devastated. If the NFF had a flag of its own, it would fly at half-mast for several weeks.“Chief Ogunjobi was one of the strongest pillars of association football in Nigeria and the entire Nigerian football fraternity will miss him badly.The Members of the NFF Executive Committee, Management and Staff of the NFF, Members of the Congress, eminent football stakeholders and other workers in football in these shores are in shock,” President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said on Monday.Similarly, Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, in a tribute to the late football administrator said he had difficulties coming to terms with the news of Ogunjobi’s passing and described him as someone who has played a big role in the nation’s football as a player and an administrator.In the words of Dikko, “Chief Ogunjobi is one of the heroes of League football in Nigeria having captained IICC, a traditional club in our league system that stands today as an institution.“He also later led the club as an administrator to the CAF Champions League finals before rising to the pinnacle of football administration in the country as Secretary General of the NFF.”The LMC Chairman announced that in honour of the fallen football hero, a minute silence would be observed before kick-off at all NPFL Match Day 9 fixtures on Wednesday while players and coaches are also to wear black armbands as a mark of respect for the dead.Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, described the late Ogunjobi as an illustrious son of the state who served diligently till he breathed his last.“As the Chairman of the Osun State Football Association, he gave his best in the service of the state, galvanizing the youths and pushing for the development of sports, football in particular,” Governor Oyetola said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Adeniyi Adesina.“I commiserate with the widow, children, family members, friends and the Nigerian sporting family, over this irreparable loss.“Ogunjobi will be sorely missed. He gave his best as a club football player, national team player, and as an administrator, who rose to the pinnacle as Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).“His tenure as Osun State Football Association chairman brought tremendous development to football in this state. May his soul rest in peace,” Governor Oyetola said.He enjoined the family to take solace in the fact that “he lived a life of service to God and humanity.”Ogunjobi, an ebullient and respected football administrator, captained the first set of Nigerian academicals to defeat the Ghanaian academicals in the early 1970s and was a key member of then IICC Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan before he travelled to the United States of America for further studies. This was the reason he was not part of the IICC’s Africa Cup Winners Cup-winning squad of 1976.He returned to Nigeria a few years later, and was a member of the young Green Eagles’ squad that Chief Adegboye Onigbinde coached to win the silver medals of the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.It was time to make his mark in administration, as he won plaudits and fame managing IICC Shooting Stars and Julius Berger FC of Lagos at various times, before becoming the Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association in 2002. He was in the position for three years.Fondly nicknamed ‘Skippo,’ Ogunjobi, in 2006, won election into the Board of the Nigeria Football Federation, under the presidency of Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, and served meritoriously as Chairman of the Technical Committee.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Amapakabo Gets Okechukwu, Awoniyi Boost for Zambia

first_imgImama Amapakabo UNDER-23 AFCONCoach Imama Amapakabo has received important boosts for today’s make-or-break Under-23 AFCON battle against Zambia with the arrivals in camp of team captain Azubuike Okechukwu and star forward Taiwo Awoniyi.The absence of the duo was greatly felt in the opening game of Group B that the defending champions lost by the odd goal to Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday, and Amapakabo is confident their arrival will spur his squad to a better performance against the Zambians. “I am happy we now have Awoniyi and our captain, Azubuike. They are integral to the team and were influential in our qualifying matches. We will throw everything into the game against Zambia because we have left ourselves no choice at this point.“I believe we have the team to not only overcome Zambia but go all the way in the tournament. We stumbled against the Ivorians but we have learnt from that and we now look forward to rescuing our campaign against the Zambians and South Africans.”Former Under-17 World Cup winner Awoniyi, who plays for FSV Mainz 05 in the German top division, landed in Cairo late on Sunday, while Turkey –based Okechukwu, who also captained the Class of 2015 and to the gold medal in Senegal, arrived in the early hours of Monday.Okechukwu’s midfield partnership with Kelechi Nwakali was impactful in the handsome home wins over Libya and Sudan in the qualifying series, while Awoniyi got the important opener and also created chances in the defeat of Sudan that landed the Olympic Eagles in Egypt.Nigeria take on Zambia at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Tuesday in a game they must pick up the maximum points to return to contention for a place in the semi finals of the competition, ahead of their clash with South Africa on Tuesday.Only the top three finishers at the Under-23 AFCON will qualify to fly Africa’s flag at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Tokyo, Japan next year.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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UCI relaxes COVID-19 exclusion rules at Tour de France

first_img WATCH US LIVE Last Updated: 28th August, 2020 22:34 IST UCI Relaxes COVID-19 Exclusion Rules At Tour De France Cycling’s governing body has relaxed the Tour de France’s COVID-19 exclusion rules on the eve of the race’s opening stage following complaints from teams that feared their riders would be unfairly excluded from the race. Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US Cycling’s governing body has relaxed the Tour de France’s COVID-19 exclusion rules on the eve of the race’s opening stage following complaints from teams that feared their riders would be unfairly excluded from the race.After meeting with team officials, the UCI said Friday that a team won’t be automatically sent home if two of its riders test positive for the virus within a period of seven days as was initially planned. According to the revised protocol, it will be up to Tour de France organizers to decide whether to throw a whole team out of the race.Tour director Christian Prudhomme said later Friday he was still waiting for French authorities to decide whether to allow organizers any leeway in making such decisions.“In the case of two or more riders from the same team testing positive for COVID-19 within a period of seven days at a Grand Tour, the UCI will give the event organiser authorisation to announce the withdrawal of the team for health reasons,” the UCI said.Initially, the Tour’s COVID-19 protocol stipulated that teams would be expelled if two or more of their riders or staff tested positive for the virus within a seven-day span. Under the new rules that will also be implemented at the Spanish Vuelta and Giro d’Italia, staff members will not be counted.Speaking with reporters, UCI president David Lappartient said the new protocol is different from the one devised by Tour organizers ASO, but stringent enough.“We also told the teams that they have to be strict,” he said. “We want the Tour de France to start, but we want the Tour de France to finish. That’s the goal for all of us.”Four staff members of the Belgian team Lotto-Soudal were sent home Thursday after “non-negative” coronavirus tests. The team said a mechanic and a member of the rider support staff returned “one positive and one suspicious result.” Both left the race bubble along with their roommates.The UCI said the latest revisions “come from the desire to optimise the interpretation of a positive viral diagnostic test and confirm that it indeed corresponds with a recent coronavirus infection.”In case of a positive result, the UCI also urged organizers to “do everything possible” to perform a retest and a blood analysis before the next stage.“These complementary examinations will be a very useful additional element in the global medical assessment, which will make it possible to evaluate the contagious character or not of the rider (or team member),” it said.The measure is aimed at avoiding false positive tests that could rule out healthy riders.The UCI said team members who test positive during the race will be isolated and will have to leave if a second test cannot be performed in time.Tour organizers have set up a mobile coronavirus lab that can produce results in two hours and handle 50 tests a day on race days. However, Prudhomme said he can’t guarantee a rider will be given the additional tests before he is removed from the race following an initial positive result.German team Bora-Hansgrohe was among those who expressed concern after one if its riders first tested positive and then tested negative Tuesday, prompting the withdrawal of its entire squad from the one-day Bretagne Classic race.“The adjustments made today to the UCI protocol have enabled us to find the right balance between the legitimate concerns of teams faced with the risk of exclusion and the vital preservation of the peloton’s health,” Lappartient said. COMMENTcenter_img FOLLOW US LIVE TV Associated Press Television News First Published: 28th August, 2020 22:34 ISTlast_img read more

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