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Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Purple Track Considered Fastest in Olympic History Unveiled

Purple Track Considered Fastest in Olympic History Unveiled


First-of-its-kind newly installed Purple Track at the Stade de France, (The France National Stadium), Paris has been unveiled for 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This track has been described as the fastest in Olympic history.


Legendary Carl Lewis had the rare honour of unveiling the colourful tracks which will play host to athletes World over starting from the 1st of August, 202. The beautiful stadium situated in Saint-Denis will be looking to host spectators to its full capacity of 80,698.


The ingenious purple track called the Mondo track is different from the traditional terracotta and engineered to be the fastest surface yet, capable of creating a delightsome and exciting time for athletes who will be gracing the summer games. 



The track adorns two beautiful shades of purple - one for competition areas and another for the technical areas, all designed to enhance the visual experience. This promises a splendid output for TV broadcasts and media coverage, ensuring we all don’t miss out on even the tiniest details of our athlete’s performances.



One more thing – expect record breaking performances, Olympics Record obliterated, World Records smashed with fresh ones ‘installed’.


©Ifeoluwa Leo 

Your Sports Analyst 


Please follow Ifeoluwa Leo-Olagbaye for your precise, in-depth match analysis and detailed sports update.


First-of-its-kind newly installed Purple Track at the Stade de France, (The France National Stadium), Paris has been unveiled for 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This track has been described as the fastest in Olympic history.


Legendary Carl Lewis had the rare honour of unveiling the colourful tracks which will play host to athletes World over starting from the 1st of August, 202. The beautiful stadium situated in Saint-Denis will be looking to host spectators to its full capacity of 80,698.


The ingenious purple track called the Mondo track is different from the traditional terracotta and engineered to be the fastest surface yet, capable of creating a delightsome and exciting time for athletes who will be gracing the summer games. 



The track adorns two beautiful shades of purple - one for competition areas and another for the technical areas, all designed to enhance the visual experience. This promises a splendid output for TV broadcasts and media coverage, ensuring we all don’t miss out on even the tiniest details of our athlete’s performances.



One more thing – expect record breaking performances, Olympics Record obliterated, World Records smashed with fresh ones ‘installed’.


©Ifeoluwa Leo 

Your Sports Analyst 


Please follow Ifeoluwa Leo-Olagbaye for your precise, in-depth match analysis and detailed sports update.

#AFCON: Gabon, Nigeria Eliminated as Bokina Faso, Tunisia progress to Quarter Final

#AFCON: Gabon, Nigeria Eliminated as Bokina Faso, Tunisia progress to Quarter Final

 Gabon and Nigeria have been eliminated in the ongoing African Nations Cup in Cameron.


The first match of the the round of sixteen between Bokina babes saw Gabon if through penalty shootout after the match ended 1:1.


In the second game of the the day, which was the battle of the Eagles, Nigeria list by 1:0 to Tunisia.

 Gabon and Nigeria have been eliminated in the ongoing African Nations Cup in Cameron.


The first match of the the round of sixteen between Bokina babes saw Gabon if through penalty shootout after the match ended 1:1.


In the second game of the the day, which was the battle of the Eagles, Nigeria list by 1:0 to Tunisia.

#AFCON: Nigeria's Super Eagles defeat Guinea Bissau 2:0

#AFCON: Nigeria's Super Eagles defeat Guinea Bissau 2:0


Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the national team of the Guinea Bissau by two goals to zero as the Nigeria team proceeds to the round of sixteen of the ongoing African Nations Cup in Cameron.


The two goals came in the second half from Sadiq and Eking.


Eagles in their opening match defeated Pharos of Egypt by 1:0 . Their second match against Sudan ended 3:1 as they secured the 9 full points of the group D.


Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the national team of the Guinea Bissau by two goals to zero as the Nigeria team proceeds to the round of sixteen of the ongoing African Nations Cup in Cameron.


The two goals came in the second half from Sadiq and Eking.


Eagles in their opening match defeated Pharos of Egypt by 1:0 . Their second match against Sudan ended 3:1 as they secured the 9 full points of the group D.

#AFCON: Nigeria's Super Eagles beat Sudan 3:1, through to next stage

#AFCON: Nigeria's Super Eagles beat Sudan 3:1, through to next stage


The Super Eagles of Nigeria are through to the next stage in the ongoing African Nations Cup in Cameron having secured six maximum points.


The Eagles defeated the Sudanese National team 3:1 to secure another three point after defeating the Pharos of Egypt 1:0 in their opening match.


So, the three Goals scored by Samuel Chukwueze in the third minute, Taiwo Awoniyi (45th), and Moses Simon (46th) were all the three-time AFCON winners needed to progress to the second round of the tournament.



The Super Eagles of Nigeria are through to the next stage in the ongoing African Nations Cup in Cameron having secured six maximum points.


The Eagles defeated the Sudanese National team 3:1 to secure another three point after defeating the Pharos of Egypt 1:0 in their opening match.


So, the three Goals scored by Samuel Chukwueze in the third minute, Taiwo Awoniyi (45th), and Moses Simon (46th) were all the three-time AFCON winners needed to progress to the second round of the tournament.


#AFCON: Almighty Sallah was no where To Be Find as Nigeria's Super Eagles Defeat Pharos of Egypt

#AFCON: Almighty Sallah was no where To Be Find as Nigeria's Super Eagles Defeat Pharos of Egypt

 

Nigeria's Super Eagles defeated the Pharos of Egypt 1:0 courtesy of Kelechi Iheanacho first half goal.

The Liverpool and Egyptian international star M. Shalla was no where to be found on the pitch to save the Pharos as the Eagles sealed the opening three points.


This is a deserved victory for Eagles of Nigeria.

Aside Mo Sallah (Liverpool), Trezeguet (Aston Villa) the star player was also  pocketed throughout the entire match


The super Eagles' head coach Austin Eguavoen showed his strength as top class defender during his playing days. 


Congratulations to the Eagles and all Nigerians.



 

Nigeria's Super Eagles defeated the Pharos of Egypt 1:0 courtesy of Kelechi Iheanacho first half goal.

The Liverpool and Egyptian international star M. Shalla was no where to be found on the pitch to save the Pharos as the Eagles sealed the opening three points.


This is a deserved victory for Eagles of Nigeria.

Aside Mo Sallah (Liverpool), Trezeguet (Aston Villa) the star player was also  pocketed throughout the entire match


The super Eagles' head coach Austin Eguavoen showed his strength as top class defender during his playing days. 


Congratulations to the Eagles and all Nigerians.



Manchenster United lost at home against Visiting Aston Villa

Manchenster United lost at home against Visiting Aston Villa

 So the FULL TIME ended in favour of the visitors as the final whistle goes on a game in which pretty much everything has gone wrong for United. Villa are 1-0 winners at Old Trafford.


Villa send the ball in and were able to defended it thereby went away with three points in the end. 


Man United were duly punished
as a great header from Hause gave Villa the needed points. 

Missed!
Bruno Fernandes takes it... and it's an awful penalty. Skied over the bar. It was Hause who handballed, ironically. 

Fernandes missed a 93rd-minute penalty as Aston Villa won at Old Trafford for the first time in 12 years in a pulsating match.

He blazed high over the bar in front of the Stretford End as United’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to an end.

Having suffered an early Carabao Cup exit at home to West Ham, United have lost their past two games without scoring.

 So the FULL TIME ended in favour of the visitors as the final whistle goes on a game in which pretty much everything has gone wrong for United. Villa are 1-0 winners at Old Trafford.


Villa send the ball in and were able to defended it thereby went away with three points in the end. 


Man United were duly punished
as a great header from Hause gave Villa the needed points. 

Missed!
Bruno Fernandes takes it... and it's an awful penalty. Skied over the bar. It was Hause who handballed, ironically. 

Fernandes missed a 93rd-minute penalty as Aston Villa won at Old Trafford for the first time in 12 years in a pulsating match.

He blazed high over the bar in front of the Stretford End as United’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to an end.

Having suffered an early Carabao Cup exit at home to West Ham, United have lost their past two games without scoring.

AFCON DRAWS: Nigeria in group D with Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau

AFCON DRAWS: Nigeria in group D with Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau


NIGERIA'S Supper Eagles have been drawn in group D of the competition along Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau.

As no team can be underrated any longer in football competitions, Egypt, the seven times champions and Nigeria, the three times winners are still the favorites in the group.

The AFCON 2022 draw takes place Tuesday evening in Yaoundé.

Cameroon will host the COVID-19 pandemic-postponed tournament from January 9 to February 6, 2022. The 33rd edition of the Cup of Nations will be played in Cameroon (five cities, six venues)

Cameroon's Indomitable Lions are in group A with Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde.
Cameroon were selected to stage the 2019 tournament, but fell behind with their preparation and Egypt had to take over at short notice.

Below is the full draw of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Group A

Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B

Senegal, Guinea Zimbabwe, Malawi

Group C

Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D

Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea Bissau

Group E

Algeria, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea

Group F

Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

NIGERIA'S Supper Eagles have been drawn in group D of the competition along Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau.

As no team can be underrated any longer in football competitions, Egypt, the seven times champions and Nigeria, the three times winners are still the favorites in the group.

The AFCON 2022 draw takes place Tuesday evening in Yaoundé.

Cameroon will host the COVID-19 pandemic-postponed tournament from January 9 to February 6, 2022. The 33rd edition of the Cup of Nations will be played in Cameroon (five cities, six venues)

Cameroon's Indomitable Lions are in group A with Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde.
Cameroon were selected to stage the 2019 tournament, but fell behind with their preparation and Egypt had to take over at short notice.

Below is the full draw of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Group A

Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B

Senegal, Guinea Zimbabwe, Malawi

Group C

Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D

Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea Bissau

Group E

Algeria, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea

Group F

Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

#Tokyo2020: THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IS A LIVING IDEAS THAT CANNOT BE KILLED

#Tokyo2020: THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IS A LIVING IDEAS THAT CANNOT BE KILLED

THE WORTH OF A SOVEREIGN NATION WHO KNOWS THE TRUE MEANING OF INDEPENDENCE!

DESPITE THE US CRIMINAL BLOCKADE AGAINST THIS ISLAND OF 11.3 MILLION IN POPULATION, CUBA WENT WITH A DELEGATION OF 70 AND COMPETED IN 16-SPORTS & SHE IS 14TH AT THE #Tokyo2020 OLYMPICS (HELD JULY 23RD - AUG 8, 2021) WITH 15-MEDALS :
7-GOLD
3-SILVER
5-BRONZE
*THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IS A LIVING IDEAS THAT CANNOT BE KILLED!

By: Comrade Abiodun Aremu


Cuba tops Caribbean medal tally as Olympiad winds up




Seven Caribbean nations appear on the final medal table from the Summer Olympic Games which ended here yesterday, with Cuba topping the list.

The Spanish-speaking Caribbean country won 15 medals as Caribbean nations finished with 15 gold, seven silver and nine bronze.


For the Cubans, their gold came in boxing through Andy Cruz, Julio la Cruz, Arlen Lopez and Roniel Iglesias, along with three-gold medal performance in rowing, allowing them to end in 14th place on the overall medal table.

The other Caribbean nations on the medal table were Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Grenada. All but one of the medals won by this group of countries came in athletics.

Gold medal winners Elaine Thompson-Herah and Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas, along with Puerto Rican Jasmin Camacho-Quinn all made history.


Thompson-Herah became the first to complete a 100-200 metres ‘double-double’ and Parchment made Jamaica the first country other than the United States to win the 110 metres hurdles in successive Olympic Games.

That feat was last accomplished by the USA in 1988, when Roger Kingdom retained the title he won in 1984.

Miller-Uibo and Gardiner gave the Bahamas the honour of being the first Caribbean country to win both 400 metres gold medals in the same Games since 1984.


Camacho-Quinn is Puerto Rico’s first Olympic champion in athletics.

Jamaica’s medal haul of four gold, one silver and four bronze earned Thompson-Herah and her compatriots fifth place on the athletics medal table, behind the United States, Italy, Kenya and Poland.

The USA won seven gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals.

The much-maligned games, postponed from last year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, wrapped up yesterday with the closing ceremony in the country’s capital.

With rising COVID cases, the Games proceeded behind closed doors, with athletes forced to undergo extensive testing throughout the showpiece.

“There are no words to describe what you have achieved,” said Tokyo 2020 president, Seiko Hashimoto.

“You have accepted what seemed unimaginable, understood what had to be done, and through hard work and perseverance overcome unbelievable challenges.”

The closing ceremony showcased parts of Japan culture, amidst fireworks at the Olympic stadium, as the curtain came down on the Games, with France’s capital Paris set to take the baton in 2024.

“For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together,” said International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach.



Nobody has ever organised a postponed Games before.”

Final medal table

TOKYO, Japan, CMC – Assorted medal table from the Tokyo Olympics which ended here yesterday:

(GOLD – SILVER – BRONZE)

1 United States 39 – 41 – 33 = 113

2 China 28 – 32 – 18 = 88

3 Japan 27 – 14 – 17 = 58

14 Cuba 7 – 3 – 5 = 15

21 Jamaica 4 – 1 – 4 = 9

42 The Bahamas 2 – 0 – 0 = 2

63 Bermuda 1 – 0 – 0 = 1

63 Puerto Rico 1 – 0 – 0 = 1

68 Dominican Republic 0 – 3 – 2 = 5

86 Grenada 0 – 0 – 1 = 1


Source

THE WORTH OF A SOVEREIGN NATION WHO KNOWS THE TRUE MEANING OF INDEPENDENCE!

DESPITE THE US CRIMINAL BLOCKADE AGAINST THIS ISLAND OF 11.3 MILLION IN POPULATION, CUBA WENT WITH A DELEGATION OF 70 AND COMPETED IN 16-SPORTS & SHE IS 14TH AT THE #Tokyo2020 OLYMPICS (HELD JULY 23RD - AUG 8, 2021) WITH 15-MEDALS :
7-GOLD
3-SILVER
5-BRONZE
*THE CUBAN REVOLUTION IS A LIVING IDEAS THAT CANNOT BE KILLED!

By: Comrade Abiodun Aremu


Cuba tops Caribbean medal tally as Olympiad winds up




Seven Caribbean nations appear on the final medal table from the Summer Olympic Games which ended here yesterday, with Cuba topping the list.

The Spanish-speaking Caribbean country won 15 medals as Caribbean nations finished with 15 gold, seven silver and nine bronze.


For the Cubans, their gold came in boxing through Andy Cruz, Julio la Cruz, Arlen Lopez and Roniel Iglesias, along with three-gold medal performance in rowing, allowing them to end in 14th place on the overall medal table.

The other Caribbean nations on the medal table were Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Grenada. All but one of the medals won by this group of countries came in athletics.

Gold medal winners Elaine Thompson-Herah and Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas, along with Puerto Rican Jasmin Camacho-Quinn all made history.


Thompson-Herah became the first to complete a 100-200 metres ‘double-double’ and Parchment made Jamaica the first country other than the United States to win the 110 metres hurdles in successive Olympic Games.

That feat was last accomplished by the USA in 1988, when Roger Kingdom retained the title he won in 1984.

Miller-Uibo and Gardiner gave the Bahamas the honour of being the first Caribbean country to win both 400 metres gold medals in the same Games since 1984.


Camacho-Quinn is Puerto Rico’s first Olympic champion in athletics.

Jamaica’s medal haul of four gold, one silver and four bronze earned Thompson-Herah and her compatriots fifth place on the athletics medal table, behind the United States, Italy, Kenya and Poland.

The USA won seven gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals.

The much-maligned games, postponed from last year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, wrapped up yesterday with the closing ceremony in the country’s capital.

With rising COVID cases, the Games proceeded behind closed doors, with athletes forced to undergo extensive testing throughout the showpiece.

“There are no words to describe what you have achieved,” said Tokyo 2020 president, Seiko Hashimoto.

“You have accepted what seemed unimaginable, understood what had to be done, and through hard work and perseverance overcome unbelievable challenges.”

The closing ceremony showcased parts of Japan culture, amidst fireworks at the Olympic stadium, as the curtain came down on the Games, with France’s capital Paris set to take the baton in 2024.

“For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together,” said International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach.



Nobody has ever organised a postponed Games before.”

Final medal table

TOKYO, Japan, CMC – Assorted medal table from the Tokyo Olympics which ended here yesterday:

(GOLD – SILVER – BRONZE)

1 United States 39 – 41 – 33 = 113

2 China 28 – 32 – 18 = 88

3 Japan 27 – 14 – 17 = 58

14 Cuba 7 – 3 – 5 = 15

21 Jamaica 4 – 1 – 4 = 9

42 The Bahamas 2 – 0 – 0 = 2

63 Bermuda 1 – 0 – 0 = 1

63 Puerto Rico 1 – 0 – 0 = 1

68 Dominican Republic 0 – 3 – 2 = 5

86 Grenada 0 – 0 – 1 = 1


Source

PUMA TERMINATES 4-YEAR CONTRACT WITH ATHLETICS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA (AFN)

PUMA TERMINATES 4-YEAR CONTRACT WITH ATHLETICS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA (AFN)


German sports wear manufacturing giants PUMA has terminated its four -year contract with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.


In a letter dated Wednesday 4th August 2021 and signed by the company’s director Manuel Edlheimb, PUMA said it was officially notifying the Athletics Federation of Nigeria of its termination of Sponsoring and Licensing Agreement.


“We are referring to the licensing and sponsoring agreement signed between our company and your federation.

“As a direct consequence of the recent developments, particularly at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and pursuant to clauses 9.2 and 7.3 of the Agreement, we hereby terminate the Agreement with immediate effect.

“PUMA especially declares to be discharged from any or all obligations towards all stakeholders involved and reserves all rights against these entities and individuals”.


The Athletics Federation of Nigeria under the leadership of Engr Ibrahim Gusau signed a 4 year contract with PUMA in 2019 and was due to expire in 2022.

Part of the contract is that PUMA will supply apparels to all age categories to Nigeria’s Athletics team for four years at no cost. 

In addition, gold medalists at the Olympic Games will earn $15,000, silver medalists will get 5,000 while a bronze medal will fetch athletes wearing   the PUMA apparel at the games $3000.


The minister of Youth and sports Sunday Dare had vowed in a statement that Nigerian Athletics athletes to the Games will not wear PUMA because of a leadership tussle between the Ibrahim Gusau led AFN board and the one being championed by the minister.


Several efforts were made to give the athletes the PUMA kits including shipping bags of kits to Tokyo through the Nigerian Embassy in Japan but Mr Dare wrote to the Ambassador stopping him from sending the kits to the athletes.


It will be recalled that on September 3, 2020 the Department of State Services DSS cleared the Ibrahim Gusau led board and its marketing firm Dynamic Sporting Solutions Nigeria Limited of receiving money meant for the AFN.


German sports wear manufacturing giants PUMA has terminated its four -year contract with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.


In a letter dated Wednesday 4th August 2021 and signed by the company’s director Manuel Edlheimb, PUMA said it was officially notifying the Athletics Federation of Nigeria of its termination of Sponsoring and Licensing Agreement.


“We are referring to the licensing and sponsoring agreement signed between our company and your federation.

“As a direct consequence of the recent developments, particularly at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and pursuant to clauses 9.2 and 7.3 of the Agreement, we hereby terminate the Agreement with immediate effect.

“PUMA especially declares to be discharged from any or all obligations towards all stakeholders involved and reserves all rights against these entities and individuals”.


The Athletics Federation of Nigeria under the leadership of Engr Ibrahim Gusau signed a 4 year contract with PUMA in 2019 and was due to expire in 2022.

Part of the contract is that PUMA will supply apparels to all age categories to Nigeria’s Athletics team for four years at no cost. 

In addition, gold medalists at the Olympic Games will earn $15,000, silver medalists will get 5,000 while a bronze medal will fetch athletes wearing   the PUMA apparel at the games $3000.


The minister of Youth and sports Sunday Dare had vowed in a statement that Nigerian Athletics athletes to the Games will not wear PUMA because of a leadership tussle between the Ibrahim Gusau led AFN board and the one being championed by the minister.


Several efforts were made to give the athletes the PUMA kits including shipping bags of kits to Tokyo through the Nigerian Embassy in Japan but Mr Dare wrote to the Ambassador stopping him from sending the kits to the athletes.


It will be recalled that on September 3, 2020 the Department of State Services DSS cleared the Ibrahim Gusau led board and its marketing firm Dynamic Sporting Solutions Nigeria Limited of receiving money meant for the AFN.

(PHOTOS) Meet Ashanti Akpan, Chelsea Football Club Female Central midfielder, partly Nigerian and partly Polish

(PHOTOS) Meet Ashanti Akpan, Chelsea Football Club Female Central midfielder, partly Nigerian and partly Polish


Meet Ashanti Akpan, Chelsea Football Club Female Central midfielder, partly Nigerian and partly Polish.

Born to an Akwa Ibom Father, and a Polish mother, Ashanti plays for Chelsea Women’s Youth Team and is eligible to play Internationally for Poland, England & the Super Falcons of Nigeria.

Ashanti trained with the #CFCwomen senior team yesterday and is poised to be promoted when she turns 18.







Credit: Justice Nnaemeka McPherson



Meet Ashanti Akpan, Chelsea Football Club Female Central midfielder, partly Nigerian and partly Polish.

Born to an Akwa Ibom Father, and a Polish mother, Ashanti plays for Chelsea Women’s Youth Team and is eligible to play Internationally for Poland, England & the Super Falcons of Nigeria.

Ashanti trained with the #CFCwomen senior team yesterday and is poised to be promoted when she turns 18.







Credit: Justice Nnaemeka McPherson


NIGERIA: "Of Geography and Destiny"

NIGERIA: "Of Geography and Destiny"

 AS WHOLLY WRITTEN BY Kelechi Deca:

"Of Geography and Destiny"
----------------------------

"My dad didn't have nothing. He didn't have a house. He didn't have a car. No, he didn't. Not one in his name. … all he had was us. We basically are his legacy."


--- Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Antetokounmpo brothers (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Kostas Antetokounmpo ) are first trio of brothers to win NBA titles.



And like the four Basketball playing Antetokounmpo brothers, there are also the four Ogwumike sisters making waves in Women Basketball. Nigeria invited three out of the four sisters for the Olympics. That would have been another shot at history to have three sisters play in one team at an Olympic game.

Unfortunately, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) upheld the earlier decision by FIBA that Nneka Ogwumike, who was the WNBA MVP in 2016, has played for the United States team as an American citizen for too long, thus is not allowed to change status and play for Nigeria.

This left Nigeria with the services of only Chiney and Erica Ogwumike. Chiney was granted the ability to play with Nigeria as a naturalized player. She had asked the CAS to have that changed to giving her status as a Nigerian—the same as her sister Erica who is also on the Nigerian roster—since each country is only allowed one naturalized player.

-------------------------------

Where am I going with all these?

Geography is opportunity and opportunity is destiny, thus Geography is destiny.

There are dreams that are too big to manifest in certain environments, and some environments are certified dream killers. Even Biblical scholars can attest to this fact as God always inputs Geography in the manifestation of certain callings.


If Charles and Veronica Adetokunbo hadn't done Plan B, by escaping Lagos to Athens in 1991, there wouldn't have been the name Antetokounmpo not to talk of their four sons making waves globally in Basketball. Because of the uncertainty of their Plan B, they left their first son Francis with his grandparents.



For the Ogwumike sisters, we know the answers.

Nigeria has always been a country of great potentials since I was a kid. We keep celebrating the potential instead of harnessing them.


Three years ago, I wrote that if God caused a reincarnation of Serena Williams to be born in Nigeria with objective to become another Tennis star, our dearth of requisite infrastructure will frustrate such divine mission.


Imagine a country of 200 million but not up to 10 Olympic standard functional Tennis Courts.

But it has not always been this bad. Growing up I still remember Tennis events such as The Lord Rumens Classics, Ogun Green Courts, Ogbe Hard Courts, Kaduna Clay Courts, Kano Dallas Hard Court, John Player Clay Court and later Okada Tennis Championships which were among the Challenger series in Nigeria. Until Nigeria happened to them all.

We even had a David Imonitie who played qualifying rounds of Wimbledon and a Nduka Odizor who even got to the round of 16 at Wimbledon after which he ranked 64 in the World.



How one of the most populated country in the world does not have a thriving sports industry beats human compression. Sports should be the lowest hanging fruits to uplift thousands from poverty and create massive employments across board. But which sports can we say we're managing well?

200 million people, only football. When there are more others we can focus and invest in to give wings to myriads of talents all over the place. Yet we can't manage football well.


You may come here to remind me about environmental possibilism. I agree, but even at that, the environment still limits available choices an individual has.


For example, you can't become a top star in Cricket in Nigeria, you may achieve that in India, Pakistan, South Africa or West Indies. But you can become a football star in Nigeria. Yet there are places you can become a star in any sporting event under the Sun because of the environment.


So while reminding me of environmental possibilism, do not forget that geographical determinism still has the edge. You can't talk about utilisation of possibilities and at same time disregarding very excruciatingly limited choices.


The highest level of environmental possibilism we have been having is the sparks of individual brilliance that shine from time to time in virtually every areas of endeavour. But no society grows with just sparks when there should be geoup brilliance to create much needed lift effect for greater communal impact.


Environments do constrain ambition.

Even our Lord Jesus acknowledged the fact that an environment can even frustrate God's plan. Remember when he blasted them of "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”


Sorry, I forgot that I promised myself to stay clear of Nigerian issues?"

 AS WHOLLY WRITTEN BY Kelechi Deca:

"Of Geography and Destiny"
----------------------------

"My dad didn't have nothing. He didn't have a house. He didn't have a car. No, he didn't. Not one in his name. … all he had was us. We basically are his legacy."


--- Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Antetokounmpo brothers (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Kostas Antetokounmpo ) are first trio of brothers to win NBA titles.



And like the four Basketball playing Antetokounmpo brothers, there are also the four Ogwumike sisters making waves in Women Basketball. Nigeria invited three out of the four sisters for the Olympics. That would have been another shot at history to have three sisters play in one team at an Olympic game.

Unfortunately, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) upheld the earlier decision by FIBA that Nneka Ogwumike, who was the WNBA MVP in 2016, has played for the United States team as an American citizen for too long, thus is not allowed to change status and play for Nigeria.

This left Nigeria with the services of only Chiney and Erica Ogwumike. Chiney was granted the ability to play with Nigeria as a naturalized player. She had asked the CAS to have that changed to giving her status as a Nigerian—the same as her sister Erica who is also on the Nigerian roster—since each country is only allowed one naturalized player.

-------------------------------

Where am I going with all these?

Geography is opportunity and opportunity is destiny, thus Geography is destiny.

There are dreams that are too big to manifest in certain environments, and some environments are certified dream killers. Even Biblical scholars can attest to this fact as God always inputs Geography in the manifestation of certain callings.


If Charles and Veronica Adetokunbo hadn't done Plan B, by escaping Lagos to Athens in 1991, there wouldn't have been the name Antetokounmpo not to talk of their four sons making waves globally in Basketball. Because of the uncertainty of their Plan B, they left their first son Francis with his grandparents.



For the Ogwumike sisters, we know the answers.

Nigeria has always been a country of great potentials since I was a kid. We keep celebrating the potential instead of harnessing them.


Three years ago, I wrote that if God caused a reincarnation of Serena Williams to be born in Nigeria with objective to become another Tennis star, our dearth of requisite infrastructure will frustrate such divine mission.


Imagine a country of 200 million but not up to 10 Olympic standard functional Tennis Courts.

But it has not always been this bad. Growing up I still remember Tennis events such as The Lord Rumens Classics, Ogun Green Courts, Ogbe Hard Courts, Kaduna Clay Courts, Kano Dallas Hard Court, John Player Clay Court and later Okada Tennis Championships which were among the Challenger series in Nigeria. Until Nigeria happened to them all.

We even had a David Imonitie who played qualifying rounds of Wimbledon and a Nduka Odizor who even got to the round of 16 at Wimbledon after which he ranked 64 in the World.



How one of the most populated country in the world does not have a thriving sports industry beats human compression. Sports should be the lowest hanging fruits to uplift thousands from poverty and create massive employments across board. But which sports can we say we're managing well?

200 million people, only football. When there are more others we can focus and invest in to give wings to myriads of talents all over the place. Yet we can't manage football well.


You may come here to remind me about environmental possibilism. I agree, but even at that, the environment still limits available choices an individual has.


For example, you can't become a top star in Cricket in Nigeria, you may achieve that in India, Pakistan, South Africa or West Indies. But you can become a football star in Nigeria. Yet there are places you can become a star in any sporting event under the Sun because of the environment.


So while reminding me of environmental possibilism, do not forget that geographical determinism still has the edge. You can't talk about utilisation of possibilities and at same time disregarding very excruciatingly limited choices.


The highest level of environmental possibilism we have been having is the sparks of individual brilliance that shine from time to time in virtually every areas of endeavour. But no society grows with just sparks when there should be geoup brilliance to create much needed lift effect for greater communal impact.


Environments do constrain ambition.

Even our Lord Jesus acknowledged the fact that an environment can even frustrate God's plan. Remember when he blasted them of "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”


Sorry, I forgot that I promised myself to stay clear of Nigerian issues?"

(VIDEO) Jose Mourinho leads football tributes to Prince Philip, expresses ‘deep respect for Royal Family’

(VIDEO) Jose Mourinho leads football tributes to Prince Philip, expresses ‘deep respect for Royal Family’



Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was among the first from the world of football to offer his condolences to the British Royal Family after the death of Prince Philip – husband of Queen Elizabeth II – at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that Prince Philip – also known as the Duke of Edinburgh – had passed away. 

 Mourinho, speaking at a press conference before his host Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday broke off to speak of his sadness at the news. “I would like to express my condolences to the Royal Family, and to be very honest and say I have deep, deep, deep respect, the utmost respect to the Royal Family,” said the Portuguese. 

 “I believe that is not just this country that is going to be sharing these feelings because I’m not English, and I know that many like myself have the utmost respect.” 

 Also the English FA as well as a host of clubs took to social media to offer messages


Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was among the first from the world of football to offer his condolences to the British Royal Family after the death of Prince Philip – husband of Queen Elizabeth II – at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that Prince Philip – also known as the Duke of Edinburgh – had passed away. 

 Mourinho, speaking at a press conference before his host Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday broke off to speak of his sadness at the news. “I would like to express my condolences to the Royal Family, and to be very honest and say I have deep, deep, deep respect, the utmost respect to the Royal Family,” said the Portuguese. 

 “I believe that is not just this country that is going to be sharing these feelings because I’m not English, and I know that many like myself have the utmost respect.” 

 Also the English FA as well as a host of clubs took to social media to offer messages

Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus crash out of the Champions League after agonizing extra-time away-goals defeat to Porto

Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus crash out of the Champions League after agonizing extra-time away-goals defeat to Porto


(RT) Juventus have been ousted from the Champions League at the first knockout stage for the second straight season – suffering even more despair than they did last year by losing on aggregate to 10-man Porto via a 115th-minute goal.


In one of the most dramatic, unpredictable games of the season so far, Juventus repeated the rigmarole of their second leg of the round of 16 against Lyon last season, when they started as favorites despite being a goal down, only to swiftly concede a penalty.

This time, the inspirational Sérgio Oliveira, who was Player of the Match in both legs, sent goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way from the spot after 19 minutes in Turin to put Porto within sight of the quarterfinals.

With Porto 2-1 up from the first leg, the first goal was always likely to be crucial in the return. Having only conceded to Manchester City and Juve in the tournament so far this season, Porto looked comfortable and occasionally threatening for the rest of the first half.



10-man Porto eliminate Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus on away goal rules.Juventus won 3-2 but crashed out of #UCL on 4-4 aggregate. pic.twitter.com/BgzKQVINva— @Molatsportgist suspended (@chubbyMO_) March 9, 2021



Juventus knocked out of the Champions League in successive seasons by Ajax, Lyon and Porto. Three clubs not deemed "glamorous" enough for the European Super League by Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli. You absolutely love to see it.— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) March 9, 2021

All that would change in fewer than 20 second-half minutes. Federico Chiesa curled a stylish finish into the far corner of the net following a delicate Ronaldo set-up inside the penalty area four minutes after the break, and Mehdi Taremi was then bizarrely sent off for a second yellow card for kicking the ball away before Chiesa struck again.

Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado seemed to spend the entire night providing his teammates with a succession of crosses that were easier to score from than miss, so there could have been no complaints had his vicious diagonal strike from inside the penalty area gone in rather than smashed against the crossbar.

Chiesa beat keeper Agustin Marchesin with his pace but was somehow denied by heroic Pepe with the goal gaping, summing up a night when the Porto captain rose from a spell of medical treatment on more than one occasion to produce the most tackles and headed clearances of anyone on the pitch, putting himself in the way of almost every dangerous opportunity Juve would create.


August 7, 2020:Lyon knock Juventus out in the Ro16March 9, 2021:Porto knock Juventus out in the Ro16Twice in seven months 🙃 pic.twitter.com/fhbjRNhANT— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 9, 2021



Cristiano Ronaldo since joining Juventus to "win the champions league"2018: Lost To Ajax (Quarter-Final) 2019: Lost To Lyon (Round of 16) 2020: Lost To Porto (Round of 16) With 9 Consecutive Serie A titles & the historic 10th in a row in doubt, was this transfer a failure? pic.twitter.com/Tc45xx9BuB— DKM 🏀⚽️ (@DKM_Sports) March 9, 2021


Ronaldo gave a hallmark look of despair after heading a Cuadrado cross wide from close range, and the momentum clearly appeared to be in his side's favor the longer the match went on against worn and depleted opponents.

Juventus are still yet to convincingly prove their collective spirit. Porto have an abundance of that, seeing them through to the 115th minute, when Oliveira tried his luck from distance, having survived Alvaro Morata suffering a goal ruled out for offside and Ronaldo being denied at close range by Marchesin.

It is hard to imagine Pepe and Porto's defensive wall turning their backs and jumping as aimlessly as Ronaldo and the rest of the Juventus line, supposedly set up to defend the free kick from a considerable distance, did when Oliveira thumped a low shot towards the near post, creeping beyond Szczesny.


Pepe was immense tonight 💪🏽 Had this man in his pocket 🤭#PortoJuventuspic.twitter.com/doSKbVgAUR— Lincoln Burrows (@KBurrows0) March 9, 2021



PEPE Emptying his Pocket after the match Juventus V FC Porto #ChampionsLeague morata Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/jCOVtIlZ8y— 🌟 GAINwithMID ⭕ (@CFCMid) March 9, 2021


With two away goals against them, Juventus now needed to score as many goals in five minutes or so as they had in a little under two hours. To their credit, they managed half the bargain as Adrien Rabiot powered in a header almost immediately.

There was even time for three or four half-chances around the Porto penalty area after that, Ronaldo seeing sight of goal and Pepe providing an acrobatic clearance at one point, despite having gone to ground clutching his hamstring not long beforehand.

Porto's aggregate win was deserved. Juventus only really showed the necessary urgency in the final 75 minutes of a 180-minute tie and, as was the case last season, that apparent lack of consistency and focus cost them dearly, albeit via some misfortune and an exit by the narrowest of margins.



Juventus were throwing everything at Porto 💥After 123 minutes, the ball was thumped into the penalty area 😬And 38-year-old Pepe pulled out the bicycle kick clearance 👏 pic.twitter.com/OooL7jDFPE— Goal (@goal) March 9, 2021



Sarri won the scudeto (Seria A) with Juventus in his first season, using Penaldo. Pirlo in his first season doesn’t seem like it😣 Rt for Sarri Like for PirloRonaldo Porto #ChampionsLeaguepic.twitter.com/BovIGg2Gaf— @D’SOYE🤩🩸 (@Opeyemi15293568) March 9, 2021

A two-time Champions League winner as a player with Milan, Pirlo's future at Juventus is now surely in doubt. The rookie manager was hired last year after Maurizio Sarri's failure to guide the club beyond the Champions League round of 16, and Pirlo faces a tough task to at least continue Juve's long run of domestic league titles, as Sarri did reasonably comfortably.

Pirlo argued that he has a long-term project and has faith in his players, who have taken the club to third in Serie A, ten points behind leaders Inter ahead of the closing stages of the season.

At 36 and with his contract expiring in 2022, Ronaldo must be questioning whether he wants to remain part of a squad led by an unproven manager whose achievements to date would be considered a failure had they been provided by an established coach without Pirlo's status in the game.

Remaining at Juve amid the uncertainty of another managerial change would also be a risky way to target major late-career silverware. Ronaldo is running out of chances to win the Champions League almost as quickly as Juventus seemed to run out of ideas against a functional, determined, deeply spirited but ultimately unspectacular Porto side who look like gatekeepers to winning this season's competition.

If PSG eliminates Barcelona tomorrow, we will watch the UCL quarter-finals without Messi and Ronaldo for the first time since the 2004-05 season


(RT) Juventus have been ousted from the Champions League at the first knockout stage for the second straight season – suffering even more despair than they did last year by losing on aggregate to 10-man Porto via a 115th-minute goal.


In one of the most dramatic, unpredictable games of the season so far, Juventus repeated the rigmarole of their second leg of the round of 16 against Lyon last season, when they started as favorites despite being a goal down, only to swiftly concede a penalty.

This time, the inspirational Sérgio Oliveira, who was Player of the Match in both legs, sent goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way from the spot after 19 minutes in Turin to put Porto within sight of the quarterfinals.

With Porto 2-1 up from the first leg, the first goal was always likely to be crucial in the return. Having only conceded to Manchester City and Juve in the tournament so far this season, Porto looked comfortable and occasionally threatening for the rest of the first half.



10-man Porto eliminate Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus on away goal rules.Juventus won 3-2 but crashed out of #UCL on 4-4 aggregate. pic.twitter.com/BgzKQVINva— @Molatsportgist suspended (@chubbyMO_) March 9, 2021



Juventus knocked out of the Champions League in successive seasons by Ajax, Lyon and Porto. Three clubs not deemed "glamorous" enough for the European Super League by Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli. You absolutely love to see it.— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) March 9, 2021

All that would change in fewer than 20 second-half minutes. Federico Chiesa curled a stylish finish into the far corner of the net following a delicate Ronaldo set-up inside the penalty area four minutes after the break, and Mehdi Taremi was then bizarrely sent off for a second yellow card for kicking the ball away before Chiesa struck again.

Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado seemed to spend the entire night providing his teammates with a succession of crosses that were easier to score from than miss, so there could have been no complaints had his vicious diagonal strike from inside the penalty area gone in rather than smashed against the crossbar.

Chiesa beat keeper Agustin Marchesin with his pace but was somehow denied by heroic Pepe with the goal gaping, summing up a night when the Porto captain rose from a spell of medical treatment on more than one occasion to produce the most tackles and headed clearances of anyone on the pitch, putting himself in the way of almost every dangerous opportunity Juve would create.


August 7, 2020:Lyon knock Juventus out in the Ro16March 9, 2021:Porto knock Juventus out in the Ro16Twice in seven months 🙃 pic.twitter.com/fhbjRNhANT— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 9, 2021



Cristiano Ronaldo since joining Juventus to "win the champions league"2018: Lost To Ajax (Quarter-Final) 2019: Lost To Lyon (Round of 16) 2020: Lost To Porto (Round of 16) With 9 Consecutive Serie A titles & the historic 10th in a row in doubt, was this transfer a failure? pic.twitter.com/Tc45xx9BuB— DKM 🏀⚽️ (@DKM_Sports) March 9, 2021


Ronaldo gave a hallmark look of despair after heading a Cuadrado cross wide from close range, and the momentum clearly appeared to be in his side's favor the longer the match went on against worn and depleted opponents.

Juventus are still yet to convincingly prove their collective spirit. Porto have an abundance of that, seeing them through to the 115th minute, when Oliveira tried his luck from distance, having survived Alvaro Morata suffering a goal ruled out for offside and Ronaldo being denied at close range by Marchesin.

It is hard to imagine Pepe and Porto's defensive wall turning their backs and jumping as aimlessly as Ronaldo and the rest of the Juventus line, supposedly set up to defend the free kick from a considerable distance, did when Oliveira thumped a low shot towards the near post, creeping beyond Szczesny.


Pepe was immense tonight 💪🏽 Had this man in his pocket 🤭#PortoJuventuspic.twitter.com/doSKbVgAUR— Lincoln Burrows (@KBurrows0) March 9, 2021



PEPE Emptying his Pocket after the match Juventus V FC Porto #ChampionsLeague morata Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/jCOVtIlZ8y— 🌟 GAINwithMID ⭕ (@CFCMid) March 9, 2021


With two away goals against them, Juventus now needed to score as many goals in five minutes or so as they had in a little under two hours. To their credit, they managed half the bargain as Adrien Rabiot powered in a header almost immediately.

There was even time for three or four half-chances around the Porto penalty area after that, Ronaldo seeing sight of goal and Pepe providing an acrobatic clearance at one point, despite having gone to ground clutching his hamstring not long beforehand.

Porto's aggregate win was deserved. Juventus only really showed the necessary urgency in the final 75 minutes of a 180-minute tie and, as was the case last season, that apparent lack of consistency and focus cost them dearly, albeit via some misfortune and an exit by the narrowest of margins.



Juventus were throwing everything at Porto 💥After 123 minutes, the ball was thumped into the penalty area 😬And 38-year-old Pepe pulled out the bicycle kick clearance 👏 pic.twitter.com/OooL7jDFPE— Goal (@goal) March 9, 2021



Sarri won the scudeto (Seria A) with Juventus in his first season, using Penaldo. Pirlo in his first season doesn’t seem like it😣 Rt for Sarri Like for PirloRonaldo Porto #ChampionsLeaguepic.twitter.com/BovIGg2Gaf— @D’SOYE🤩🩸 (@Opeyemi15293568) March 9, 2021

A two-time Champions League winner as a player with Milan, Pirlo's future at Juventus is now surely in doubt. The rookie manager was hired last year after Maurizio Sarri's failure to guide the club beyond the Champions League round of 16, and Pirlo faces a tough task to at least continue Juve's long run of domestic league titles, as Sarri did reasonably comfortably.

Pirlo argued that he has a long-term project and has faith in his players, who have taken the club to third in Serie A, ten points behind leaders Inter ahead of the closing stages of the season.

At 36 and with his contract expiring in 2022, Ronaldo must be questioning whether he wants to remain part of a squad led by an unproven manager whose achievements to date would be considered a failure had they been provided by an established coach without Pirlo's status in the game.

Remaining at Juve amid the uncertainty of another managerial change would also be a risky way to target major late-career silverware. Ronaldo is running out of chances to win the Champions League almost as quickly as Juventus seemed to run out of ideas against a functional, determined, deeply spirited but ultimately unspectacular Porto side who look like gatekeepers to winning this season's competition.

If PSG eliminates Barcelona tomorrow, we will watch the UCL quarter-finals without Messi and Ronaldo for the first time since the 2004-05 season

Bayern Munich’s Sarr reveals ultimate France dream

Bayern Munich’s Sarr reveals ultimate France dream


Bayern Munich winger Bouna Sarr is focused on representing France at the 2021 European Championship. The 28-year-old winger of Senegalese and Guinean origin has set his sights on representing Les Bleus in the 2021 European Championship



Born to a Senegalese father and a Guinean mother in Lyon, France, the 28-year-old had been invited by coach Didier Deschamps in November ahead of the Uefa Nations League games versus Portugal and Sweden – however, an injury then ruled him out.

Nevertheless, Sarr revealed that his immediate ambition is to play for the reigning world champions when Euro 2021 gets underway, while disclosing that his move to the Allianz Arena giants would draw him closer to that ‘big target’.

“There’s a word in French that’s even stronger than fighting… Perhaps you could translate as: I’m sweating blood for this big target,” Sarr told Bayern Munich magazine.

Bayern Munich winger Bouna Sarr is focused on representing France at the 2021 European Championship. The 28-year-old winger of Senegalese and Guinean origin has set his sights on representing Les Bleus in the 2021 European Championship



Born to a Senegalese father and a Guinean mother in Lyon, France, the 28-year-old had been invited by coach Didier Deschamps in November ahead of the Uefa Nations League games versus Portugal and Sweden – however, an injury then ruled him out.

Nevertheless, Sarr revealed that his immediate ambition is to play for the reigning world champions when Euro 2021 gets underway, while disclosing that his move to the Allianz Arena giants would draw him closer to that ‘big target’.

“There’s a word in French that’s even stronger than fighting… Perhaps you could translate as: I’m sweating blood for this big target,” Sarr told Bayern Munich magazine.

PSG sack Tuchel, Pochettino favourite to take over

PSG sack Tuchel, Pochettino favourite to take over

Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday confirmed the sacking of coach Thomas Tuchel, who had been at the club since July 2018, but did not name his successor.



"After an in-depth analysis of its sporting situation, Paris Saint-Germain decided to terminate Thomas Tuchel's contract," the French giants announced in a statement.

Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, the ex-Tottenham coach and a former PSG player, is widely reported to be the favourite to take over.

Tuchel, whose axing was widely reported but unconfirmed last week, managed PSG 127 times in all competitions, with 95 wins, 12 draws and 20 defeats.

His trophy haul featured two Ligue 1 titles (2019, 2020) as well as the French Cup and French League Cup in 2020.

The 47-year-old German also led the Parisian club to their first ever Champions League final last August, which they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Despite appearing to be adept at man-managing PSG's squad of superstar players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Tuchel reportedly upset the Qatari-backed club after complaining about an apparent lack of recognition at leading PSG to the Champions League final.

"I would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his staff for all they have contributed to the club," said PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi.

"Thomas has put a lot of energy and passion into the job, and we will of course remember the good moments we shared together. I wish him all the best for the future."

Less than three months on from the final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Tuchel has become the first PSG coach to leave mid-season since Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011.

- Barca date looms -

Tuchel departs the Parc des Princes having secured a last 16 Champions League clash with Barcelona and PSG sitting third in Ligue 1 -- a point shy of leaders Lyon -- despite being plagued by injuries, suspensions and coronavirus infections.

Should Pochettino take over, his opening match in charge will be January 6's trip to Saint-Etienne on Ligue 1's resumption after the winter break.

Then, on February 16, the Argentinian could face his first massive test against his compatriot Lionel Messi's Barcelona, with the return leg on March 6.

Pochettino was let go after five and a half years at Tottenham in the aftermath of leading the north London side to their first ever appearance in a Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019.

Although he has yet to win any silverware the former PSG defender's stock is high in managerial circles.

The Parisians will be keen to complete his signing and avoid missing their man who has been linked to the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barca in recent months.

Importantly, Pochettino, like Tuchel, is at ease in man-managing a dressing room crammed with a galaxy of stars.

Neymar has been at the centre of new controversy this week after Brazilian media reported that he is organising a huge New Year's Eve party despite the coronavirus pandemic -- claims his lawyers have denied.

Pochettino is the son of a farmer from Murphy, in the north of Argentina.

He is known as a stickler for detail, which coupled with his tactical acumen, devotion to an attractive style of play and his popularity amongst Parisian fans, makes him a potentially ideal fit as the new occupant of the PSG dugout.

He would have under his wing several compatriots such as Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes.

His anticipated arrival before the winter transfer window will allow him to bring in new faces, potentially one former Spurs charge, Inter Milan's attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.

And looking further ahead, given their Argentine ties, Pochettino may be the catalyst for six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi to start regarding PSG as potential new employers when he is free to move from the Camp Nou at the end of the season.


Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday confirmed the sacking of coach Thomas Tuchel, who had been at the club since July 2018, but did not name his successor.



"After an in-depth analysis of its sporting situation, Paris Saint-Germain decided to terminate Thomas Tuchel's contract," the French giants announced in a statement.

Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, the ex-Tottenham coach and a former PSG player, is widely reported to be the favourite to take over.

Tuchel, whose axing was widely reported but unconfirmed last week, managed PSG 127 times in all competitions, with 95 wins, 12 draws and 20 defeats.

His trophy haul featured two Ligue 1 titles (2019, 2020) as well as the French Cup and French League Cup in 2020.

The 47-year-old German also led the Parisian club to their first ever Champions League final last August, which they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Despite appearing to be adept at man-managing PSG's squad of superstar players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Tuchel reportedly upset the Qatari-backed club after complaining about an apparent lack of recognition at leading PSG to the Champions League final.

"I would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his staff for all they have contributed to the club," said PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi.

"Thomas has put a lot of energy and passion into the job, and we will of course remember the good moments we shared together. I wish him all the best for the future."

Less than three months on from the final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Tuchel has become the first PSG coach to leave mid-season since Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011.

- Barca date looms -

Tuchel departs the Parc des Princes having secured a last 16 Champions League clash with Barcelona and PSG sitting third in Ligue 1 -- a point shy of leaders Lyon -- despite being plagued by injuries, suspensions and coronavirus infections.

Should Pochettino take over, his opening match in charge will be January 6's trip to Saint-Etienne on Ligue 1's resumption after the winter break.

Then, on February 16, the Argentinian could face his first massive test against his compatriot Lionel Messi's Barcelona, with the return leg on March 6.

Pochettino was let go after five and a half years at Tottenham in the aftermath of leading the north London side to their first ever appearance in a Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019.

Although he has yet to win any silverware the former PSG defender's stock is high in managerial circles.

The Parisians will be keen to complete his signing and avoid missing their man who has been linked to the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barca in recent months.

Importantly, Pochettino, like Tuchel, is at ease in man-managing a dressing room crammed with a galaxy of stars.

Neymar has been at the centre of new controversy this week after Brazilian media reported that he is organising a huge New Year's Eve party despite the coronavirus pandemic -- claims his lawyers have denied.

Pochettino is the son of a farmer from Murphy, in the north of Argentina.

He is known as a stickler for detail, which coupled with his tactical acumen, devotion to an attractive style of play and his popularity amongst Parisian fans, makes him a potentially ideal fit as the new occupant of the PSG dugout.

He would have under his wing several compatriots such as Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes.

His anticipated arrival before the winter transfer window will allow him to bring in new faces, potentially one former Spurs charge, Inter Milan's attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.

And looking further ahead, given their Argentine ties, Pochettino may be the catalyst for six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi to start regarding PSG as potential new employers when he is free to move from the Camp Nou at the end of the season.


Chelsea ends spell to beat West Ham 3-0 as Abraham scores twice

Chelsea ends spell to beat West Ham 3-0 as Abraham scores twice


Chelsea returned to winning ways on Monday, overcoming a nervy spell to beat West Ham 3-0 and reignite their challenge for a Premier League top-four place after consecutive defeats.

West Ham proved tricky opponents at an empty Stamford Bridge but lacked the firepower to respond to Thiago Silva’s early goal before two late strikes in the space of two minutes from Tammy Abraham killed the contest.

Frank Lampard’s team enjoyed a strong start to the season before losses to Everton and Wolves checked their progress but victory at the London Stadium lifts them into fifth position.

Champions Liverpool have opened up a five-point gap at the top of the table but behind them, just seven points separate second-placed Leicester from 11th-placed Wolves.

West Ham had the ball in the net in the seventh minute after a cleverly worked free kick but Declan Rice was denied by the off-side flag after a cute finish from a tight angle.

Three minutes later Chelsea were in front when Silva powered home a bullet header from Mason Mount’s corner.

The Brazilian found the net from close range after a well-timed run, giving West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski no chance.

Chelsea enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession after their goal without creating much of note but West Ham established more of a foothold as the half wore on.

Timo Werner had a golden chance to double Chelsea’s lead in the closing minutes of the first period but got the ball caught under his feet and Fabianski saved comfortably.

West Ham made life uncomfortable for Chelsea after the break but did not have enough of a cutting edge to hurt their opponents.

Abraham made it 2-0 with 12 minutes to go to settle Chelsea’s nerves.

Werner cut inside and saw his weak shot tapped in by the England international, who was played onside by Aaron Cresswell.

Two minutes later Chelsea made it 3-0 when Abraham fired home after Fabianski had kept out Christian Pulisic’s header.

Earlier, Burnley beat Wolves 2-1 to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone, thanks to goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood.

AFP


Chelsea returned to winning ways on Monday, overcoming a nervy spell to beat West Ham 3-0 and reignite their challenge for a Premier League top-four place after consecutive defeats.

West Ham proved tricky opponents at an empty Stamford Bridge but lacked the firepower to respond to Thiago Silva’s early goal before two late strikes in the space of two minutes from Tammy Abraham killed the contest.

Frank Lampard’s team enjoyed a strong start to the season before losses to Everton and Wolves checked their progress but victory at the London Stadium lifts them into fifth position.

Champions Liverpool have opened up a five-point gap at the top of the table but behind them, just seven points separate second-placed Leicester from 11th-placed Wolves.

West Ham had the ball in the net in the seventh minute after a cleverly worked free kick but Declan Rice was denied by the off-side flag after a cute finish from a tight angle.

Three minutes later Chelsea were in front when Silva powered home a bullet header from Mason Mount’s corner.

The Brazilian found the net from close range after a well-timed run, giving West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski no chance.

Chelsea enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession after their goal without creating much of note but West Ham established more of a foothold as the half wore on.

Timo Werner had a golden chance to double Chelsea’s lead in the closing minutes of the first period but got the ball caught under his feet and Fabianski saved comfortably.

West Ham made life uncomfortable for Chelsea after the break but did not have enough of a cutting edge to hurt their opponents.

Abraham made it 2-0 with 12 minutes to go to settle Chelsea’s nerves.

Werner cut inside and saw his weak shot tapped in by the England international, who was played onside by Aaron Cresswell.

Two minutes later Chelsea made it 3-0 when Abraham fired home after Fabianski had kept out Christian Pulisic’s header.

Earlier, Burnley beat Wolves 2-1 to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone, thanks to goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood.

AFP

How Chelsea handed David Alaba transfer boost, Bayern Munich chief offers confirmation

How Chelsea handed David Alaba transfer boost, Bayern Munich chief offers confirmation


The Bayern Munich chief executive - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - has revealed that David Alaba's time at the Allianz Arena is all but over after the club failed to strike an agreement with him over a new contract, Football.London reported.

According to the report, the Austrian defender, who has been on the books of the Bundesliga heavyweights since 2009, is out-of-contract at the reigning Champions League title holders at the end of the season. Despite having being an integral part of Bayern's plans in recent years, he looks set to leave the club at the end of the season, with him having refused to put pen to paper on a new deal.

Alaba, who has been transformed into a centre-back in recent months following the rise of talented left-back Alphonso Davies, has made demands that Bayern are not willing to meet, despite the best efforts of the German giants to reach an agreement.

Now, chief executive Rummenigge has confirmed that his time at Bayern is all but over, confirming that he will be free to speak to any potential suitors in less than two weeks time. "Bayern did everything we could to try and reach an agreement," Rummenigge said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "We had a lot of conversations, but we wanted answers from him by the end of October.


"This didn't happen and I don't know if we'll return to the negotiations. What I want to be clear about is that our offer showed exactly how much we value him, but he didn't accept it."

This news will have put a plethora of big-name clubs across Europe on red alert, including Chelsea, who have been closely linked with a move for the 28-year-old in recent weeks.

Though the Blues are currently well-stocked at centre-back, Chelsea may see an opportunity to sign Alaba on a free-transfer as too good an opportunity to turn down. At this moment in time, the Blues have five senior centre-backs on their books in the shape of Thiago Silva, who is poised to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori.

But with Silva now at the age of 36, Rudiger's future in west London in doubt and Tomori poised to leave on loan in January, Chelsea may feel as though they could use the signing of Alaba to their advantage, though a deal would not be formally concluded until next summer, once the Austrian's deal at Bayern comes to an end.

Chelsea are not the only club to have been tracking Alaba's development, with Spanish giants Real Madrid also reportedly keeping tabs on the situation. Despite that, Rummenigge claims he does not know anything about Madrid's reported interest.

Rummenigge added: "I don't know anything about the Real Madrid rumours.

"He's free to speak to whoever he wants from January 1."

The Bayern Munich chief executive - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - has revealed that David Alaba's time at the Allianz Arena is all but over after the club failed to strike an agreement with him over a new contract, Football.London reported.

According to the report, the Austrian defender, who has been on the books of the Bundesliga heavyweights since 2009, is out-of-contract at the reigning Champions League title holders at the end of the season. Despite having being an integral part of Bayern's plans in recent years, he looks set to leave the club at the end of the season, with him having refused to put pen to paper on a new deal.

Alaba, who has been transformed into a centre-back in recent months following the rise of talented left-back Alphonso Davies, has made demands that Bayern are not willing to meet, despite the best efforts of the German giants to reach an agreement.

Now, chief executive Rummenigge has confirmed that his time at Bayern is all but over, confirming that he will be free to speak to any potential suitors in less than two weeks time. "Bayern did everything we could to try and reach an agreement," Rummenigge said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "We had a lot of conversations, but we wanted answers from him by the end of October.


"This didn't happen and I don't know if we'll return to the negotiations. What I want to be clear about is that our offer showed exactly how much we value him, but he didn't accept it."

This news will have put a plethora of big-name clubs across Europe on red alert, including Chelsea, who have been closely linked with a move for the 28-year-old in recent weeks.

Though the Blues are currently well-stocked at centre-back, Chelsea may see an opportunity to sign Alaba on a free-transfer as too good an opportunity to turn down. At this moment in time, the Blues have five senior centre-backs on their books in the shape of Thiago Silva, who is poised to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori.

But with Silva now at the age of 36, Rudiger's future in west London in doubt and Tomori poised to leave on loan in January, Chelsea may feel as though they could use the signing of Alaba to their advantage, though a deal would not be formally concluded until next summer, once the Austrian's deal at Bayern comes to an end.

Chelsea are not the only club to have been tracking Alaba's development, with Spanish giants Real Madrid also reportedly keeping tabs on the situation. Despite that, Rummenigge claims he does not know anything about Madrid's reported interest.

Rummenigge added: "I don't know anything about the Real Madrid rumours.

"He's free to speak to whoever he wants from January 1."

Michigan State drops out of top five College basketball rankings after loss to Northwestern

Michigan State drops out of top five College basketball rankings after loss to Northwestern


In United State, Michigan State loss at Northwestern on Sunday night dropped the Spartans to No. 12 from No. 4 in this week's Associated Press college basketball poll.

The Spartans (6-1) return to action on Christmas Day on Friday with a 12:30 p.m. home matchup against Wisconsin.

Michigan (6-0) did not play last week but rose to No. 19 from its No. 25 spot.

The Wolverines also return to action on Christmas, at Nebraska at 6 p.m.

Gonzaga has strengthened its hold on the No. 1 spot after beating Iowa.

The Zags received 61 of 64 first-place votes from a media panel in the poll released on Monday. No. 2 Baylor got the remaining three first-place votes and No. 3 Kansas moved up two spots this week. Iowa, which dropped one spot after losing to Gonzaga, and Villanova rounded out the top five.

Gonzaga (4-0) returned last week after losing five games to COVID-19 issues and did not look rusty at all against the Hawkeyes. Freshman Jalen Suggs had 30 points and seven 3-pointers, and the Zags pounced on Iowa early to win 99-88 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Gonzaga had 54 first-place votes last week.

No. 10 Texas cracked the top 10 for the first time since reaching No. 6 in 2014-15.
AP poll

1. Gonzaga, 4-0 record, 1597 points (last week: 1)

2. Baylor, 5-0, 1538 (2)

3. Kansas, 7-1, 1426 (5)

4. Iowa, 6-1, 1365 (3)

5. Villanova, 7-1, 1304 (7)

6. Houston, 5-0, 1272 (6)

7. West Virginia, 7-1, 1225 (8)

8. Tennessee, 4-0, 1109 (10)

9. Wisconsin, 6-1, 1051 (12)

10. Texas, 7-1, 1035 (11)

11. Rutgers, 6-0, 878 (19)

12. Michigan State, 6-1, 839 (4)

13. Creighton, 6-2, 773 (9)

14. Missouri, 5-0, 768 (16)

15. Texas Tech, 6-2, 661 (14)

16. Virginia, 3-1, 510 (17)

17. North Carolina, 5-2, 492 (22)

18. Illinois, 5-3, 468 (13)

19. Michigan, 6-0, 367 (25)

20. Duke, 3-2, 352 (21)

21. Florida State, 4-1, 335 (15)

22. Xavier, 8-0, 249 (NR)

23. Ohio State, 6-1, 245 (20)

24. Virginia Tech, 6-1, 181 (NR)

25. Oregon, 6-1, 167 (NR)

►First-place votes: Gonzaga 61, Baylor 3.

►Others receiving votes: San Diego State 146, Richmond 142, Saint Louis 64, Arkansas 54, Indiana 53, Clemson 28, Florida 20, Georgia 19, Colorado 13, BYU 9, Purdue 9, Louisville 8, Northwestern 7, UCF 6, Minnesota 4, UCLA 3, Oklahoma State 3, LSU 2, Western Kentucky 2, SMU 1.



In United State, Michigan State loss at Northwestern on Sunday night dropped the Spartans to No. 12 from No. 4 in this week's Associated Press college basketball poll.

The Spartans (6-1) return to action on Christmas Day on Friday with a 12:30 p.m. home matchup against Wisconsin.

Michigan (6-0) did not play last week but rose to No. 19 from its No. 25 spot.

The Wolverines also return to action on Christmas, at Nebraska at 6 p.m.

Gonzaga has strengthened its hold on the No. 1 spot after beating Iowa.

The Zags received 61 of 64 first-place votes from a media panel in the poll released on Monday. No. 2 Baylor got the remaining three first-place votes and No. 3 Kansas moved up two spots this week. Iowa, which dropped one spot after losing to Gonzaga, and Villanova rounded out the top five.

Gonzaga (4-0) returned last week after losing five games to COVID-19 issues and did not look rusty at all against the Hawkeyes. Freshman Jalen Suggs had 30 points and seven 3-pointers, and the Zags pounced on Iowa early to win 99-88 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Gonzaga had 54 first-place votes last week.

No. 10 Texas cracked the top 10 for the first time since reaching No. 6 in 2014-15.
AP poll

1. Gonzaga, 4-0 record, 1597 points (last week: 1)

2. Baylor, 5-0, 1538 (2)

3. Kansas, 7-1, 1426 (5)

4. Iowa, 6-1, 1365 (3)

5. Villanova, 7-1, 1304 (7)

6. Houston, 5-0, 1272 (6)

7. West Virginia, 7-1, 1225 (8)

8. Tennessee, 4-0, 1109 (10)

9. Wisconsin, 6-1, 1051 (12)

10. Texas, 7-1, 1035 (11)

11. Rutgers, 6-0, 878 (19)

12. Michigan State, 6-1, 839 (4)

13. Creighton, 6-2, 773 (9)

14. Missouri, 5-0, 768 (16)

15. Texas Tech, 6-2, 661 (14)

16. Virginia, 3-1, 510 (17)

17. North Carolina, 5-2, 492 (22)

18. Illinois, 5-3, 468 (13)

19. Michigan, 6-0, 367 (25)

20. Duke, 3-2, 352 (21)

21. Florida State, 4-1, 335 (15)

22. Xavier, 8-0, 249 (NR)

23. Ohio State, 6-1, 245 (20)

24. Virginia Tech, 6-1, 181 (NR)

25. Oregon, 6-1, 167 (NR)

►First-place votes: Gonzaga 61, Baylor 3.

►Others receiving votes: San Diego State 146, Richmond 142, Saint Louis 64, Arkansas 54, Indiana 53, Clemson 28, Florida 20, Georgia 19, Colorado 13, BYU 9, Purdue 9, Louisville 8, Northwestern 7, UCF 6, Minnesota 4, UCLA 3, Oklahoma State 3, LSU 2, Western Kentucky 2, SMU 1.


Bayern’s Neuer emerges FIFA’s best men’s goalkeeper

Bayern’s Neuer emerges FIFA’s best men’s goalkeeper


The GOATkeeper is now officially The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper 2020 - Congratulations, Manuel Neuer! 

The FC Bayern captain received the FIFA award on Thursday evening as part of the virtual Best FIFA Football Awards, beating Alisson Becker and Jan Oblak.

"It was definitely one of the best years of my career, it was amazing what we did. Especially in the summer in Lisbon it was terrific," said the German national goalkeeper.

 "It's a tough time for us all without the fans in the stadium. We have a great mentality in our team, we play for the fans and give our best in every game," continued Neuer, who joined the virtual show from Munich.

Countless brilliant saves, dispairing top strikers and many other highlights - Neuer played sensationally in 2020: it couldn't have gone much better. His contribution to the treble win is undisputed and in the new season the FCB keeper has shone regularly, including most recently against Wolfsburg when he celebrated his 200th Bundesliga victory in the Bayern jersey. 

fcbayern.com congratulates the GOATkeeper on his well-deserved award as The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper 2020.

Source: FC Bayern


The GOATkeeper is now officially The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper 2020 - Congratulations, Manuel Neuer! 

The FC Bayern captain received the FIFA award on Thursday evening as part of the virtual Best FIFA Football Awards, beating Alisson Becker and Jan Oblak.

"It was definitely one of the best years of my career, it was amazing what we did. Especially in the summer in Lisbon it was terrific," said the German national goalkeeper.

 "It's a tough time for us all without the fans in the stadium. We have a great mentality in our team, we play for the fans and give our best in every game," continued Neuer, who joined the virtual show from Munich.

Countless brilliant saves, dispairing top strikers and many other highlights - Neuer played sensationally in 2020: it couldn't have gone much better. His contribution to the treble win is undisputed and in the new season the FCB keeper has shone regularly, including most recently against Wolfsburg when he celebrated his 200th Bundesliga victory in the Bayern jersey. 

fcbayern.com congratulates the GOATkeeper on his well-deserved award as The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper 2020.

Source: FC Bayern

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