RelatedPosts Sanwo-Olu celebrates Sen. Tinubu at 60 Breaking: Sanwo-Olu okays full reopening of churches, mosques, cinemas, gyms Tinubu greets Lagos Deputy Governor at 56 The Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafar, on Monday said that the 100 days of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration had been fulfilling for sports. Gafar made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria while reflecting on the successes recorded in the first hundred days of the governor. He said that the 100 days had been sport rewarding with some critical sponsorship of international competitions such as Lagos International Badminton Classics and International Table Tennis Federation Challenge Plus among others. He said: “In this first 100 days, the administration of the Sanwo-Olu has done excellently well and it is sports fulfilling. “We have been able to hold the Lagos International Badminton Classics, ITTF Challenge Plus, we have hosted the FIFA delegation for the U-20 Women World Cup and Lagos State Sport Summer Camp. “We have also gone for the South-West Elimination for the National Youth Games which we qualified for in nine games out of the 14 available. We also have other sports that we partnered with. “The FIFA inspection team for the Women U-20 World Cup are satisfied with our bid and the state is ready to host. Also the summer camp is the first of its kind in the country. “More than this, we have embarked on the upgrade of our sports facilities. In line with all Sanwo-Olu’s promises during electioneering, it is promises made with promises kept.’’ On the readiness of the state for the National Youths Games in Ilorin, the LSSC Chairman, Kweku Tandoh, said that the state was prepared, adding that necessary incentives had been provided. He said: “We need to extend our deep appreciation to Governor Sanwo-Olu because within the three months of his administration, we have had many sponsored competitions. “For the Youth Games in Ilorin, we can say that we are very much prepared because we have had tremendous support from the government. “The junior athletes have been in closed camp now and they will be leaving on Friday. We are also able to insure every athlete with LASACCO Insurance. “It is not that we are envisaging bad things, but we want to do what we have to do. Also, we have also partner with the Ministry of Education about those school children going for the Games.’’Tags: Babajide Sanwo-OluLagos State Sports CommissionOluwatoyin Gafar
RelatedPosts Messi becomes football’s second billionaire + Top 10 UEFA Nations Cup: France fight back to sink battling Croatia Ronaldo scores 100th goal for Portugal Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has opened the door to early retirement.The former Manchester United and Real Madrid attacker admits his business interests are taking more of his time.He said, “I’m not crazy. I’m not obsessed with training, but with success, which is totally different.“I still love football. I love to entertain fans and people who love Cristiano. Age does not count, it’s just a question of mentality. Over the past five years, I have begun to appreciate the fact that I am mostly seen off the field (for his business activities).“So who can know what can happen in a year or two?”Tags: Cristiano Ronaldo
RelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th Omeruo welcomes second child Nigeria forward Kelechi Iheanacho is a January loan target for Turkish club Besiktas as his form and fortunes continues to wain in the English Premier League.The 23-year-old moved to Leicester City from Manchester City two years ago for around 25-million pound but has struggled to make an impact while Jamie Vardy leads the line in Brendan Rodgers’ side.He is now set to switch to Turkey when the next transfer window opens on January 1, reports on Thursday said.Iheanacho has also lost his place in the Super Eagles’ squad. He was left out for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt in mid-year and also last week’s friendly against Brazil in Singapore but did sit on the bench in September when Nigeria played in the Ukraine. But he has not played for his country since last November.This season Iheanacho has only played for Leicester as a substitute in the League Cup but made no Premier League appearances. Tags: Super Eagles
RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Watford forward Troy Deeney has reminisced about a match in 2016 where he was left so angry with Odion Ighalo that he opted to drive home rather than catch a plane with the rest of the team. Ighalo, who joined Manchester United on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in January, spent three seasons at Vicarage Road, scoring 39 goals in 99 appearances. Speaking to The United Stand podcast, Deeney was full of positive words about his former teammate, but admitted they almost came to blows following a game against United. “He trains well, he’s no hassle, genuinely I bet if you asked any person at United they’d say he’s no hassle,” Deeney said. “Absolutely slick, nice guy, genuinely he’s a Man United fan as well. “When we used to play, we played one year I ended up losing my head with him. “He had like four, five shots and then there was one – I remember (Timothy) Fosu-Mensah was playing, I think he was making his debut – and basically (Ighalo) got put in behind and literally all he had to do was square it and I’m rolling it in from eight yards out. “And then he shot and it went wide. “And he knew. “You know when you know, because he looked at me and was like: ‘Ah.’ “Like, this is gonna get sticky.” Watford ended up losing the game, and Deeney flew into such a rage that he insisted on making the long drive from Manchester back down south to clear his head. “I was in that much of a mood – because Mata scored and United won 1-0 – that I drove home. I didn’t get back on the plane,” he continued. “I literally said to the manager: ‘You put me on this plane, there’s gonna be problems, so let me just calm down’ and I drove from Manchester to Watford. “And this was like a Tuesday or Wednesday night. “He definitely wanted to score. “We spoke about it the day after, and I was just like: ‘Dude, we’ve just gotta win and if you’d let me score in that instance, Man United would have had to come out, you’d have had three of four other chances to score.’ “But he built that game up so much. “That was the game, he’s a Man United fan, a lot of his family in Africa are Man United fans. “So that was the game, in the same way Villa is that game for me. “It was never going to get physical between me and him or anything like that, it was just genuinely a pure frustration, like: ‘Dude, you’re better than that.’ “But he will be good for Man United and honestly I can see them keeping him next year. “I don’t see them getting rid.”Tags: Manchester UnitedOdion IghaloTroy DeeneyWatford FC
Meanwhile, Lambert has praised the fighting qualities of club captain Stiliyan Petrov in his year-long battle to overcome acute leukaemia. Petrov has again hinted that Petrov could eventually slot into a coaching role at Villa although recovering from his current illness is the number one priority. It is exactly 12 months since the Bulgarian was diagnosed with the illness. It was announced publicly on March 30. Asked about the chances of Petrov moving into coaching, Lambert said: “That is a wee bit away. I don’t think he could do the stressful job of being a manager. I think maybe he would like to work with younger kids or something like that if that was a field he was going to go down. “He was a great player and could give advice to everyone but the main thing is he recovers fully from a horrible illness. Thankfully he is getting there. Nearer the time I will speak with him. We will have to see how he feels.” Petrov is in remission and Lambert has nothing but admiration for the way his former Celtic team-mate has tackled the challenge. He said: “I am always in contact with Stiliyan. He is doing great and I don’t think anyone in this room can imagine what he has been going through, the way he has battled so strongly. He is doing really well and hopefully it’s not too long before he comes out of that stage he’s at. “Stiliyan has been a big, big loss to us. I can’t imagine what he has gone through at certain times. The way he has come through that has been unbelievable. Lesser people – no wonder they struggle through it. He was a really close friend of mine at Celtic and I’m delighted he is getting there.” The striker suffered a foot injury in training last month and there were initial fears that he may be ruled out for the remainder of the campaign. But the £24million capture from Sunderland two years ago is back in contention after missing only four games with his latest setback. Villa manager Paul Lambert confirmed: “Benty is back training. He had a little flu bug there for the last few days but I think he’s okay. He trained yesterday (Wednesday) morning so he’s back. He got a kick in training, one of the lads caught his foot. It was a bit tender to kick the ball, but he’s okay. It could have been worse, but he’s okay now.” Press Association Aston Villa have received a boost ahead of Sunday’s home game against Liverpool with record signing Darren Bent returning to full training.
Press Association Dublin and Tyrone will contest the National Football League final at Croke Park on April 28. Cillian O’Connor responded with a string of scores, but the Connacht side never looked like overhauling their opponents comfortable lead. Tyrone had skipper Stephen O’Neill in sparkling form as they saw off Kildare by 2-15 to 2-11 in the other semi-final. Mattie Donnelly and Mark Donnelly were the Red Hand goalscorers, with Paddy Brophy and paul Cribbin netting for the Lilywhites. It was O’Neill who produced two flashes of magic in the closing stages, firing over wonderful points to clinch the victory for the Ulster side. Dublin defeated Mayo by 2-16 to 0-16 in their semi-final clash, with Paul Mannion and Jason Whelan hitting their goals in the first half. The Dubs led by 2-9 to 0-8 at the interval, with Diarmuid Connolly and Bernard Brogan hitting superb points.
Villas-Boas has deservedly won many plaudits for the way he has kept Tottenham in the race for the Champions League despite a spate of injuries and the loss of Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart and Ledley King. His work, it seems, has not gone unnoticed in Madrid, where nine-time European champions Real are on the look-out for a man to replace Villas-Boas’ old mentor Jose Mourinho. Andre Villas-Boas is flattered to be linked with Real Madrid but insists he wants to carry on at Tottenham because he is fed up of changing clubs every summer. Although he is just 35-years-old, the idea that Villas-Boas could be on Madrid’s shortlist seems perfectly plausible. And, as any manager would, the Portuguese says he is honoured to hear of their apparent interest, although he understands it may just be pure speculation that has come about because Mourinho has made it clear he will leave the Bernabeu this summer. “The fact he (Mourinho) made it public that he is looking for an exit has ended up with a lot of speculation,” Villas-Boas said. “It’s very flattering but I think at the moment everybody is being linked with the Real Madrid job because there are now lots of coaches around.” Villas-Boas, like Mourinho, is no ordinary coach. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he did not have a long playing career and he is not obsessed with the game as some may suggest. When in charge of Porto, Villas-Boas said he wanted to spend just between 10 and 15 years in management while he also stated he wants to coach in Brazil at some stage of his career. “Yes, that’s (still) the case,” he said. “I definitely want to manage in Brazil. I would definitely move very, very soon to a club in a different league.” The last comment might set alarm bells ringing in some quarters, but make no mistake – this was not a case of Villas-Boas announcing to the world that he intends to leave for pastures new. Why? Because he has unfinished business – on a personal level and a professional one. He wants to repay Daniel Levy for showing faith in him so shortly after Roman Abramovich pulled the plug on the Portuguese’s “project” in west London 13 months ago. The fact that he turned down the Sao Paulo job last summer also adds weight to the idea he wants to go on and firmly re-establish his reputation in England with Tottenham after his roller-coaster spell at Stamford Bridge, where he was sacked after nine months. “For me it is always an honour (to be linked with Madrid), but I am completely focused (on Spurs),” Villas-Boas said. “I have a contract. I was given an opportunity (by Levy) and was extremely grateful. It’s different. At the moment I am very, very focused on trying to get another year at one club, the same club!” Press Association
French club Evian have announced they have reached an agreement with Hull for the sale of striker Yannick Sagbo. The 25-year-old had reportedly been in East Yorkshire to discuss terms with the Barclays Premier League newcomers and to undergo a medical ahead of a £3million move. A statement on the French club’s official website read: “Evian Thonon Gaillard FC and Hull City have reached an agreement for the permanent transfer of Yannick Sagbo. ETG FC wishes every success to Yannick for the rest of his career.” Hull have not yet commented on this latest development. France-born Sagbo, an Ivory Coast international, has previously been linked to Celtic and West Ham, the club of his half-brother Guy Demel. Tigers boss Steve Bruce has spoken of his admiration for the forward, who has previously played for Monaco, and of a desire to push through a deal. Hull have already signed George Boyd, Maynor Figueroa, Curtis Davies, Ahmed Elmohamady, Allan McGregor and Steve Harper as they prepare for their return to the top flight. Bruce has also been linked with a move for his former Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios, who is currently at Stoke. Press Association
United States international Altidore, 23, scored only once in 28 games for Hull but proved to be deadly in front of goal during two seasons in Holland, notching 31 times last season for AZ Alkmaar. Altidore told the Sunderland Echo: “I think I just became a better player in Holland than the one when I was at Hull. New Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore insists his two years in Holland have made him a much better player than during his previous spell in the Barclays Premier League. “On and off the ball and linking up with the players around me, I just got better. It’s that simple. I’ve become a much more confident player since then. “The two leagues are completely different, but we’re trying to play football which looks good and hopefully I can score some goals.” Altidore has also scored in four consecutive internationals for the United States in June. Press Association
Referees are under coming increasing scrutiny as a result of greater media focus as well as social media outlets, such as Twitter. And Halsey, who retired from officiating at the end of the last Barclays Premier League season, believes more needs to be done to support his former colleagues. Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes the pressure on top-flight officials could lead to one of them committing suicide. Press Association “There is no hiding place on the field and you have to be mentally tough. But it also follows you off the field more and more now and it can destroy you,” Halsey said in his autobiography which is being serialised in The Sun. “I do feel that referees should get more help to cope with the increasing level of mental strain. “In my view, given some of the episodes of recent seasons, it will not be long before a referee has a nervous breakdown. “I also believe that if we do not do something to help referees with mental health and stress issues, then we could see a suicide.” Halsey was the victim of two abusive tweets 12 months ago after officiating in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool, sending off Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey before awarding United a penalty, which was scored by Robin van Persie. The tweets, both of which referred to his throat cancer diagnosis in 2009, were widely condemned by other Twitter users and while Halsey received support from Premier League managers and friends, his former bosses were a lot less forthcoming. He said: “I got little from my bosses apart from a call from Mike Riley, the head of the PGMOL, and one from the Select Group manager Keren Barratt asking if I wanted to come off my next game at Southampton.”