They came in large numbers; young, talented and of course, with hope in their eyes. It could not have been otherwise, given the fast rise of Rilwan â€œBaby Faceâ€ Babatunde, discovered at GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 1, to the status of the next big thing on the circuit.For two days, the premises of Walan Hotel (formerly Dâ€™Rovans) in Ibadan brimmed with young boxers, as GOtv Boxing NextGen 3 held at a venue famous for boxing. The programme, an audition for boxers aged between 18 and 25 and seeking to join the professional ranks, attracted boxers from as far as Jos, Abuja and the South-East geo-political zone.In attendance were members of the Nigerian boxingâ€™s coaching royalty. They included Joe Mensah, Obisia Nwakpa and Jerry Okorodudu, who were on the judgesâ€™ panel. Also present was Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, President, Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Mr. Remi Aboderin, General Secretary, NBB of C; and Mr. Lateef Opaleye, Chairman, Oyo State Boxing Association. Speaking at the opening, Mr. Jenkins Alumona, CEO, Flykite Promotions, the organisers, said the initiative is a continuation of the revival of Nigerian boxing being undertaken by GOtv. He noted that the first two editions of the programme held in Lagos, but was moved to Ibadan because the city was where GOtv launched in 2007 and also has a long association with boxing. Alumona advised participating boxers to see the programme as an opportunity to go further in their trade, adding that Mr. Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Chairman, MultiChoice Nigeria and GOtv Boxing, had undertaken to pay for the professional licences and medical tests for all those selected.The sparring sessions, said the judgesâ€™ panel headed by Coach Joe Mensah, were impressive. The two days devoted to sparring sessions at the Walan Hotel Gym, managed by the Oyo State Boxing Association, saw over 200 boxers attempt to catch the eyes of selectors. On the closing day, the panel had drawn up a list of those adjudged the best in readiness for announcement at a ceremony held at July 21 Hall, The Law Hub, Ring Road, Ibadan.Speaking at the ceremony, Alumona advised those that did not make the cut not to be discouraged. He counselled that failure to make the court should spur them to be better next time. Dr. Ladipo, President, NBB of C, cautioned the young boxers to avoid womanising and use of harmful substances if they want to get to the top of their game.A total of 23 boxers were selected, with three adjudged as being the most promising. Abuja-based Razak Ramon emerged as the most valuable boxer. He was followed by Akure-based Daniel Emeka and Lagos-based Sulaimon Adeosun. Each of the three boxers was given a GOtv decoder. Others selected also got prizes.A cash support of N100, 000, courtesy of the Chairman, GOtv Boxing, was announced for the Oyo State Boxing Association, while that of N50, 000 was announced for the Boxing Coaches Association in the state.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Sunshine has only earned 13 points from the 12-week old topflight and is scheduled to play Yobe Deserts on Sunday in Akure.A former coach of the team, Henry Abiodun, was asked to step into the saddle as Udiâ€™s replacement.Ondo Stateâ€™s Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye who announced Udiâ€™s sack yesterday said his ministry took the decision following letters received from the Ondo State Football Agency over the act of insubordination and gross misconduct of the Delta born coach.“Following a letter received from the management board of Ondo State Football Agency on misconduct and insubordination of the Head Coach of the Sunshine Stars, Duke Udi had been asked to step aside.“The management, board and the Ministry of Youth and Sports management at a joint meeting yesterday agreed that coach Duke Udi should step aside with effect from today March 13 and the Technical Director of the team, Coach Henry Abiodun with a CAF â€˜Aâ€™ Licence should lead the team,” the statement from the commissionerâ€™s office announced.While reacting to his sack, Udi told journalists on telephone that he had not be contacted on the matter stressing that he just left the teamâ€™s training for his residence.“If it is so, that is no problem. I have a one-year contract with the team and if anybody is asking me to leave, they must respect my contract and pay me my money.“Leaving is not a problem. I just left training and nobody told me anything like that but if stepping aside is the next thing, they have to pay me because I have a one- year contract running,” the coach told THISDAY later yesterday evening.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram James Sowole in AkureBarely 24 hours after Kwara United eased out influential John Obuh from the dug out of the Ilorin club for poor performance, Ondo State-owned Sunshine Stars have also dumped ex-international Duke Udi.Instead of blaming Sunshine Starsâ€™ 17th position on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) log on Udi, the management of the Akure Gunners insisted his sack is due to his alleged misconduct and insubordination.
Mr Langat led management of the dairy company on a morale-boosting visit to the Nigerian Para-powerlifters camp ahead of the Lagos 2019 Para-Powerlifting tournament, which was officially declared open on Sunday at the Oriental Hotel in Lekki, Lagos and urged the team to go ahead and prove their mettle in the competition.The Friesland Campina Wamco boss noted that: “In the past, we have seen you make Nigeria proud in competitions outside the shores of the country and now that it is in your domain, I want to assure you that we are going to give you all the necessary support you need to clinch all the medal.“FrieslandCampina Wamco is very happy to be associated with you the ‘Unstoppable Team’ because you have inspired lots of life and we want you to continue in that same spirit so that others will continue to learn from your successes. Langlat told the elated Para-powerlifters.“We began this journey together with you and we want to continue to build on that success and as a result of that, the bus we promised you will be here to ease your mobility at all times because it is equipped with very modern facilities,” he assured.Langat told the athletes that Peak will continue to champion their course and vowing not to relent until the whole world hears about the Para-powerlifters’ exploits.Speaking earlier, Mrs. Oreoluwa Famurewa, Director of Corporate Affairs, FrieslandCampina Wamco Plc., told the athletes that Peak Milk will continue to provide them with the needed dairy products to nourish their body on daily basis to improve their health and well-being.On his own part, the Marketing Director, FrieslandCampina Wamco, Chris Wullf-Caesar charged the Nigerian team to go for gold and set unmatchable records in the world of Para-Powerlifting that will etch their names in the record books.The athletes, thereafter, went into a rigorous training session to the admiration of Mr. Langat and his senior management team as a demonstration of their readiness for the competition.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Peak Milk has reiterated its commitment to sustain its unflinching support in terms of nutritional values and training facilities towards the continued success of the Nigerian Para-powerlifting Federation in international tournaments.The Managing Director of FrieslandCampina Wamco, manufacturers of Peak Milk, Ben Langat, gave the assurance over the weekend when he visited the Nigeria Para-Powerlifting gym at the National Stadium Lagos, equipped and maintained by Nigeria’s No.1 dairy product, Peak Milk.
Nigeria internationals Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi are set to get a new coach at Leicester City following the dismissal of Frenchman Claude Puel yesterday.The handwriting was on the wall that Puel was the next Premier League coach to be sacked following Leicester City’s poor run of results with six losses in their last seven games in all competitions and the 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday was the final straw for the Foxes higher ups.Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr has an excellent relationship with Puel and the German admitted that he was in touch with the former Southampton coach over the striker’s lack of first team opportunities before the 2018 World Cup. ”Leicester City Football Club has today (Sunday) parted company with Claude Puel, who leaves his position as First Team Manager with immediate effect,” Leicester City said in a statement on its website.“The club would like to thank Claude for his efforts in leading the team during his 16 months in the role and wish him well in his future career.”Puel, 57, leaves the club 12th in the Premier League having lost five of their last six league games.The Frenchman guided Leicester to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League in his first season but the club are now looking for their fourth permanent manager in 23 months.Assistant manager Jacky Bonnevay will also leave the club, with first-team coaches Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler set to take temporary charge of the squad.Leicester’s next game is at home in the Premier League against Brighton on Tuesday.Puel was appointed on a three-year deal in October 2017, succeeding Craig Shakespeare who in turn followed 2015-16 Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri in managing the club.The former Lyon boss had been dismissed by Southampton in June 2017 and arrived at Leicester four months later with the club third from bottom of the league.He led them to ninth in the table, just their second top-10 finish in the Premier League since 2000.This season, Leicester have won nine of their 27 league matches, including back-to-back victories over Manchester City and Chelsea over the festive period.But Puel’s style of play and recent team selections have been met with hesitation from Foxes fans.Puel incensed some fans by fielding a weakened side against Manchester City in a Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat, with James Maddison and Marc Albrighton starting on the bench, while Jamie Vardy did not feature at all.The Foxes’ 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Newport came after Puel made seven changes to his side – with Maddison and Vardy named on the bench – despite choosing five Premier League winners in the starting XI.Striker Vardy, who has scored eight Premier League goals this season and is the club’s highest goal scorer this campaign, recently admitted that Puel’s tactical approach did not suit his style of play.“Does it? No, but is that down to me to adapt to it? Yes. And obviously the only way I’m going to do that and keep progressing is working hard on the training field,” he said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
“We should break new ground by winning for the fourth time”, he said, saying that Star Lager beer is solidly behind the Super Eagles.“The win in the opening match no doubt as brought shining moments to Nigerians and we expect the team to go all out in the remaining group phase games.” Oriakhi stated after the Saturday night encounter.The Super Eagles are presently top in Group B having secured maximum points in their opening game while Guinea and Madagascar are behind with one point each having played out a 2-2 draw also on Saturday.“The team has seven matches leading to the winning of the competition. They have won one and are leading the group. Two more matches at the group stage and one in the Round of 16 puts the team within medal range if they scale the quarter finals hurdle”, Oriakhi, the marketing director of the biggest brand supporter of the Super Eagles.Meanwhile passionate fans at various locations across the country also had a taste of the Star Lager shining moments following the Super Eagles win in Alexandria on Saturday night, as they were treated to premium entertainment. The lone strike by Ighalo literarily summarized a wonderful nite of the Shine On Naija Campaign of Star Lager beer in its television commercial that was unveiled last Friday.Star Lager beer recognizes that behind the passion associated with the game of football, is the greatness and victory that is not only up to the players on the field. It is about the millions of fans united by passion and pride that sparks and ignites winning moments.“We (Star Lager) want to celebrate the passion and pride of the fans as the true power behind the winning moments of the Super Eagles as they attempt to win the biggest continental football glory again,” Oriakhi remarked.After the match on Saturday, many fans were rewarded with wonderful gift items in a raffle draw that was held after the match. Prominent dance groups also entertained the fans at the various Star Fan Parks across the country.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram “One down, six more to go”, that was the immediate reaction of the Marketing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Oriakhi, the brewers of Star Lager beer, the official partner of the Super Eagles and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the moment Nigeria recorded a hard-won victory over Burundi who put up stiff resistance in the opening Group B match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.The Super Eagles who are returning to the continental showpiece after missing back-to-back editions secured all three points against the hard-fighting Burundi national team on Saturday courtesy of a well-taken goal scored by Odion Ighalo.While commending the Eagles for not letting down their numerous fans across the world with their winning start at the Continental show piece, the Marketing Director for Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Emmanuel Oriakhi has urged the team to take the matches one after the other and that winning the championship next month should be the ultimate goal.
Most Nigerians here in Egypt were a bit relieved that the Super Eagles’ anticipated clash with Ghana will not come up after all because Cameroon did not win its last group match against Rep of Benin to finish top of the pile. The relief may have been short lived considering the fact if Nigeria succeeds against the current champions of Africa, Cameroon, Eagles next match is likely to be against host, Egypt next week Wednesday at the Cairo International. Now you understand Nigeria’s hard way in this edition in the land of the Pharaohs.Cameroon and Goal DroughtCameroon coach Clarence Seedorf is confident his Lions will find their scoring magic after the defending champions were held to 0-0 results in their last two matches at the Africa Cup of Nations. The Dutchman, whose side must face Nigeria in the round of 16 after finishing second in Group F, said that it was just a question of details and precision, adding that in football there were simply times when the goals dry up.“Scoring goals in football … there are sometimes teams that don’t score for weeks, strikers who don’t score for months, we are very confident that our strikers will score goals, our players will score goals,” he told reporters after the 0-0 draw with Benin. It remains to be seen if Nigeria’s Eagles will open their flanks for the Lions to have easy way.NIGERIA VS CAMEROON HEAD-TO-HEADP W D L F A GDNigeria 22 13 6 3 36 17 +19Cameroon 22 3 6 13 17 36 -19Fans Unite Behind Super Eagles at Star FanMadagascar President Charters Plane for FansParkIt wasn’t what they expected but the cross section of fans at the Star Fan Park at the National Stadium in Lagos and other designated parks across the country on Sunday remained resolute that the Super Eagles can still go all the way to conquer at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.Despite being the overwhelming favourites, the Super Eagles were stunned 2-0 in their last group game on Sunday by Madagascar.Goals from Lalaina Nomenjanahary and Carolus Andriamahitsinoro settled the clash in Alexandria as Madagascar surprisingly finished on top of Group B ahead of three-time African champions Nigeria.As always, it was a carnival-like atmosphere at the Star Fan Park as fans trooped in massively to see the Eagles soar in style into the knock out phase.The official beer for the Super Eagles provided another electrifying atmosphere, which availed fans to win lots of prizes as they took part in trivia and other fun games.While Coach Gernot Rohr’s decision to field a second string side proved costly, the fans at the Star Fan Park described the loss against Madagascar as a temporary setback.“For me, there is no cause for alarm, I believe the Super Eagles will bounce back after this defeat, it’s just one of those things in football” Adewale Akinwale who was one of the fans at the Star Fan Park on Sunday stated.Premium brand Star Lager continued with their tradition of rewarding fans for their passion for the Super Eagles and their loyalty to the beer.A raffle draw was conducted after the Eagles’ game and lucky fans won mouthwatering prizes.Babatunde Kolawole who is one of the lucky winners thanked Star Lager for bringing the AFCON action closer and also charged the Eagles to rise up to the occasion in the Round of 16.Also the duo of Abraham Mba and Chukwuka Adimoha who emerged as prize winners in the raffle draw thanked Star for the pleasant surprise while also tasking the Eagles to provide an improved performance in the Round 16.The Super Eagles, from an anticipated ‘soft’ Round of 16 match with any of the third-placed teams in Group A, C and D are now billed to face the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Alexandria on Saturdaynight.Madagascar President Charters Plane for FansExcitement has been building in the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar as the team emerged on top of Group B after beating three-time tournament winners Nigeria 2-0.“Barea”, who take their nickname from a breed of local cattle, will play Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday for a place in the quarter-final.“After hearing the demands of supporters, President Andry Rajoelina and the Madagascan state have decided to mobilise an Airbus 380, with 480 seats, to transport supporters,” Rinah Rakotomanga, communications chief for the presidency announced yesterday.The flight will leave Antananarivo on Saturday and return immediately after the game.But the adventure will not be for free — tickets cost about $600 including the flight, a seat at the match and meals.Rajoelina had announced he would attend the match, sparking a campaign to enable other fans to travel.“Do not go alone to Egypt President Andry Rajoelina, there are supporters who are ready to fill a plane and the empty stadium,” said former opposition MP Guy Rivo Randrianarisoa on social media yesterday.Madagascar will face a tough game at the weekend — they are ranked 108th in the world, with DR Congo in 49th.“Barea’s participation is historic,” said Jean Josue Njakasolo, 38, as he lined up to buy his ticket at an Air Madagascar ticket office.The price “does not mean anything compared to the honour that our national team gives us,” he said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Arc-rivals in Similar Bonus DisputeThe two old rivals have something in common at the on going Africa Cup of Nations. Money matter. Nigeria and Cameroon were involved in payment disputes in the current championship. Cameroon players initially refused to board their flight to Egypt, insisting on increase in allowances. Nigerian players initially boycotted training, asking that their allowances for the win against Burundi be paid. But on Saturday, these Stars will put money matters behind to see which of the two countries will qualify for the quarter final. And of course, that will be more money for the players.Hard Way is the Only Way for Nigeria
Super Falcons African champions Nigeria have taken a big step forward in their Tokyo 2020 Olympics African qualifying first round fixture against Algeria with a 2-0 victory over the Algerians in the first leg in North Africa on Wednesday night.Head Coach Thomas Dennerby had taken only home-based professionals to the battlefield in Blida, with foreign-based stars opting out due to club commitments. But it proved an opportunity for the home girls to make a statement.Relentless pressure told on the home team’s defence as a defender conceded an own goal after only 14 minutes, but there was to be no more goal in the first period despite the visiting team enjoying much of the possession. Nasarawa Amazons’ petite midfielder and former junior international, Amarachi Okoronkwo lashed home in the 53rd for Nigeria’s second, completing a miserable few days for Algerian women football, which also on Wednesday suffered the agony of losing the bronze medal match of the 12th African Games women’s football tournament to host nation Morocco in Rabat.On Monday, Algeria’s U20 girls received a 3-0 spanking from their Nigerian counterparts in the semi finals at the African Games in Morocco.Victory at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida means the Super Falcons are standing on robust credit ground ahead of Tuesday’s return leg against the Algerians at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram