Wenger Admits Uncertainty Over Future At Arsenal

Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger Arsene Wenger has admitted uncertainty over his future as the club after failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Arsenal ended this season’s league with a 3-1 home win over Everton on Sunday, but Liverpool’s 3-0 victory against Middlesbrough oust Arsenal out of the top four.

“It is annoying (to miss out on the Champions League), but we had a spell during the season that was difficult and it was difficult for me in my personal situation,” he said.

“We were playing in a hostile environment. The players came back stronger in the last two months and I’m very proud of them for doing that,” Wenger said.

While Wenger accepted the uncertainty about his future had been counter-productive, he said his commitment to Arsenal could not be questioned.

“I was focused on my job. I am professional,” said the Frenchman, who has been in place since September 1996.

“I love this club enough to do my best every single day. One thing you cannot question is my love for this club. I’ve turned down every club in the world to stay here.”

Arsenal will be playing Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

Real Madrid Wins Spain’s LaLiga

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 40th goal of the season has helped Real Madrid won the Spain’s LaLiga, sealing a 2-0 victory at Malaga on Sunday.

It was their first title in five years and their 33rd.

Madrid beat out Barcelona at the top of the table by three points as the Catalans’ come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Eibar in outgoing coach Luis Enrique’s last home game in charge wasn’t enough for a third straight title.

In Barcelona, Enrique was given a warm send-off at the Camp Nou as he was greeted with a giant banner reading “One of us forever”.

In the same development, Lionel Messi rounded off the scoring with his 53rd goal of the season in stoppage time.

Opera Announces Victor Moses As Brand Ambassador In Africa

Opera  is kicking off a partnership with football professional Victor Moses, Chelsea starter and Nigerian national team star player. Moses will be the brand ambassador of Opera Mini, the most popular browser in Africa. Starting today, Moses will be featured in the new Opera Mini TV commercial as well as a range of collaborative projects extending throughout 2018.

“Football is one of the most popular types of content consumed by Opera Mini users throughout Africa”, says Jørgen Arnesen, Global Head of Marketing and Distribution at Opera. “Victor Moses is a perfect match for Opera, being not only a high performer, but also a great role model and natural ambassador of his home country Nigeria.”

This coincides with Opera’s recent announcement to invest $100 million USD (30 billion Nigerian nairas) in Africa  over the next two years with the goal of strengthening the internet ecosystem in countries such as Nigeria.

Nigeria is home to the second largest population of Opera Mini users. Search, social networking and sport are the most popular content consumed by Opera Mini users in this country. One fourth of them check out live scores and sports news when browsing. This number is relatively higher than the ones in other African countries.

On the topic of the recent partnership, Victor Moses states, “I am proud to be in partnership with Opera and am looking forward to working together. The Opera team have taken me through their plans and vision for the brand in the Nigerian market and it’s made me incredibly excited about the future. I’m delighted to be a part of such a groundbreaking campaign.”

Opera recently launched its first nationwide TV and radio commercials to announce a faster and more affordable internet experience with the Opera Mini browser. Already airing in South Africa and Kenya, there will be a special version for Nigeria. Victor Moses will be challenging his on-field speed against Opera Mini’s.

‘Rich’ Fans Don’t Influence Me, Says Wenger

Arsene Wenger dismissed protests from Arsenal fans seeking his removal as manager and called on his players to focus instead on the club’s push for Champions League football next season.

An emphatic 4-1 win at Stoke kept the Gunners in contention for a top four finish and a 21st consecutive season of elite European football.

But while Wenger’s name was sung out heartily by supporters inside Stoke’s stadium early in the game a plane flew overhead carrying a banner calling for the Frenchman not to return next season.

“When you say fans, who do you mean? The rich ones?” said Wenger when asked for his reaction.

“Look, I am paid to do my job for the club I love and I will do that as long as I’m here with full commitment. I’m not influenced by that at all, all I do is give my best.

“We have 69 points today so let’s make 72 on Tuesday and after that I will give my best for as long as I’m here for the values of this club and for the club.

“I want to focus on football and the rest is less important. I’m not in politics. I’m in sport, I love sport and give my 24 hours a day for what I love. I am in a public job, some agree with me, some not.”

Earlier in the day, reports in France had even suggested that Wenger has already agreed a one-year deal to remain in charge at the Emirates, but the 67-year-old refused to confirm or deny the claim.

“There’s no information about that,” said Wenger. “Nothing.”

Arsenal’s fifth win in six games lifted them to within a point of fourth-placed Liverpool although Wenger insisted he was only focused on Tuesday’s meeting with Sunderland and the final game of the season against Everton.

“We have 69 points tonight so we have come through a difficult period in March,” said Wenger.

“At the moment we have consistency and let’s finish well. We have a big game on Tuesday, we play every three days.

“I don’t think like that about our chances. I think let’s do our job and go to 72 on Tuesday and focus to win the game. Sunderland have nothing to lose.”

Guardian

Kwara Deputy Speaker Admonishes Youths On Sports Activities

Deputy Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Mathew Okedare has stated the need for parents and guardians to encourage their wards to engage in sporting activities in order to assist their physical and mental development.

Okedare stated this at the closing ceremony of the maiden Maigida U-15 football competition jointly sponsored by him and Hon. Mohammed Adebayo in collaboration with Moro Local Government Education Authority at Bode-Sadu on Thursday.

The deputy speaker who described sports as very necessary and important said the gesture is to discover talented youths in the area with a view to provide a platform that would secure their future and enable them grow academically.

Okedare explained that sports provides opportunities for the youths rather than engaging in nefarious activities that would at the long run ruin their lives and affect the society.

He stressed that the local government is blessed with people who have distinguished themselves at various capacities and have been great ambassadors of not only the Kwara State but the nation at large.

As a lawmaker, Okedare pledged that the House would not relent in enacting laws that would cater for the people’s welfare and ensure that the society is safe for all and sundry.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Moro Local Government Education Authority, Mallam Busari Idris expressed his delight at the programme appreciated the legislators for their support towards the success of the football competition.

Idris commended all participating teams for displaying maturity and high level of discipline, noting that such programme would further assist them in the future.

8 teams that participated in the competition qualified from different zones in the local government with the Seventh Day Adventist Secondary school, Shao emerged victorious over Budo Oba Junior Secondary School through penalty shoot out on 5-4 scoreline.

German Government Rehabilitates Sports Facilities In Ogun State, Donates IT quipment

The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the German government marks the official opening of the rehabilitated sports grounds of the Muslim Girl High School in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on May 11, 2017.
Speaking at the event, GIZ’s portfolio Manager, Mr. Michael Sato who represents the country Director, Dr. Thomas Kirsch, said the support dates back to a visit of a government official in 2014,
“This very football ground we are officially opening today was rehabilitated and a multi-purpose court and changing room constructed.  The upgrading project included a total construction budget of 95,000 EUR. The site has been completed in time and certified successfully for this handover today.
He added by saying that he hopes the school ground could be used for all-round sports activities,
“We hope that the new sports grounds offer the students of your school access to regular sport activities – such as football, volleyball, handball, lawn tennis and badminton – and to development opportunities through sport.  
“We would therefore like to use this opportunity to also acknowledge the support given by the German Government to your school in the area of IT, and specifically the donation of 10 sets of internet ready PCs and 2 printers.
The Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria, Mr. Ingo Herbert, however, urged Nigerians to operate with Team spirit.
“Team spirit is the secret of the success of the German economy and this should be emulated by Nigerians,” he says.
The commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in the state, Mrs. Modupe Mujota, represented by Mr. Salako Taiwo, coordinating director/zonal education officer, charged the students and management of the school to put to use positively the donated facilities.
 “Let me charge the direct beneficiaries of these projects to maximize the opportunities provided by upscaling their academic performance and competitive exploits such t  hat our benefactors will be encouraged to do more, school management are also urged to carefully maintain the facilities provided so they can serve us for a long period of time,” she says.
While thanking the German government, Principal of the school, Mrs. Ibrahim Bolanle Wasiat said,
“Construction and rehabilitation of sporting facilities are German Embassy’s second fulfilled promises to the school, May almighty God continue to replenish the pocket of the donor, “she says.

GTBankMastersCup (Season 6) Enters Quarter Finals Stage

The Quarter-final matches of the 2017 GTBank Masters Cup (Season 6) are set to hold on Thursday the 11th and Friday the 12th of May, 2017 at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos.

The knock-out phase of the prestigious football tournament will feature 8 games that will see the last 16 teams in both the male and female categories of the competition continue their quest to clinch the highly coveted trophy. This season has already produced an exciting array of football skills and talent, and the quarter-final games are sure to raise that excitement with eye-catching match ups.

The girls will kick off the quarter finals on Thursday with Greensprings School, Lekki playing against Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, while Ansar-Ud-Deen Girls High School, Itire plays the second game of the day against Dowen College, Lekki. The Greensprings male team will play against Eko Boys High School, Mushin in an afternoon fixture, while the game between Kings College, Lagos and Anwar-Ul-Islam College, Agege wraps up the day.

On Friday, the female teams will again set the ball rolling with a match-up between Jibril Martin Memorial Grammar School, Iponri and Ansar-Ud-Deen College, Isolo. In the second game, the defending champions Queens College, Yaba will seek to retain the trophy when they meet International School, Akoka. The afternoon games will pitch Jubril Martin Memorial Grammar School, Iponri against St. Gregory’s College, Ikoyi, and St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka against International School, all in the male category.

Seven out of the sixteen teams that will be playing in the quarter finals have won the tournament in the past and will be looking to repeat the feat. Three schools, Jubril Martins Memorial Grammar School, Iponri, International School Lagos, and Greensprings Schools, Lekki, will field both male and female contingents for the first time in this phase of the competition.

Established in 2012, the GTBank Masters Cup is an annual football competition for first generation and private secondary schools in Lagos State, to promote camaraderie and foster friendliness amongst competing schools.

Commenting on the competition, Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said “We are proud to lead this initiative that provides an avenue for students to showcase their talents and passion for the game of football even as they remain committed to their academics.” He further stated that “This competition paves the way for youths to cultivate their sporting talents and aptitudes, while fostering and building a healthier lifestyle at a critical stage in their lives”.

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that has maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports in-classroom and out-of-classroom educational programmes, infrastructure development, students’ scholarship and teachers training across Africa.

 

 

Inter Milan Sacks Manager, Stefano Pioli

Inter Milan have sacked its Manager, Stefano Pioli after a run of seven league games without a win.

It was Inter’s second managerial change of another disappointing season, with the club seventh in Serie A.

Pioli succeeded Frank de Boer in November and got off to a promising start by winning eight of his first 10 league games in charge.

That ignited a push for a return to the Champions League although those hopes were extinguished by a 2-1 defeat at home to Sampdoria at the start of April, the first of five losses in their next six games.

Channels

Kwara, Kogi Win 1st Olushola Owolabi U-17 Table Tennis Championship

The duo of Abdulrosheed Baide and Idrisu Zakari of Kogi State has emerged the champion of 1st Olashola Owolabi Table Tennis championship in the male category.

The Kogi boys came from 2-0 down to win the duo of Rafael Seun and Awwal Jawondo of Kwara State 3-2 in the final.

Kwara had won 2-0 in the first single match before Zakari level up against Seun to set up a double match.

It was all Kwara in the final of the female category match as the duo of Iyanu Falana and Sukurat Aiyelabegan beat Rofiat Jimoh and Falilat Muhammed 3-0.

Speaking after the final matches, the sponsor, Mr. Olushola Owolabi, said the tournament was conceived out of love and passion for the game.

He added that he wants to use table tennis to encourage and engage the youth meaningfully.

Owolabi expressed his desire to keep the championship going as an annual event and announced that the 2nd edition would hold in Kogi while the 3rd is scheduled for Niger.

He also announced his desire to contest as a board member at the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation Zonal election in May.

He said his goal is to be remembered as a young man who is ready to serve as a leader in the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation Board.

Nigerian Army Female Wrestler Wins Gold Medal At African Championship

As Nigerian Contingent continue to record successes at the ongoing African Wrestling Championships Marrakech, Morocco, a female Private Soldier of the Nigerian Army, Private Gofit Winnie has yesterday Saturday 29th April 2017, won a Gold Medal for Nigeria in the 75kg event of the Women Freestyle Wrestling Competition.

Private Gofit is not new to success as she also doubles as the National Champion for Judo and Wrestling in the 75kg category. Nigerian Army Wrestlers formed part of the Nigerian National Wrestling Team to the championship, which will end later today with the final bouts of the male category wrestling.

Anthony Joshua knocks out Wladimir Klitschko in Heavyweight Fight

In an epic Wembley battle with 90,000 spectators in attendance to watch the fight, Anthony Joshua retained his IBF world title and added the WBC “super” belt by stopping Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round of their heavyweight contest.

The 27-year-old British heavyweight has remained unbeaten in all 19 professional fights while the 41-year-old Ukrainian heavyweight has  had over 68 fights, 29 of them as champion in an 11-year stretch.

Joshua celebrated in the ring with a message that sounded like a recruiting call for all the lost youth he likes to represent: “If you don’t take part, you fail. Boxing is about character. There is nowhere to hide. No complications about boxing. Anyone can do this. Give it a go. You leave your ego at the door. Massive respect to Klitschko. He’s a role model in and out of the ring and I’ve got nothing but love and respect for anyone who steps in the ring. London, I love you. Can I go home now?”

For Klitschko, he acknowledged: “The best man won. It’s really sad I didn’t make it tonight. But all respect to Anthony.”

Meanwhile, Joshua, in his speech again challenged Klitschko for a rematch. His words: ” I’m not gonna say too much, in case he wants a rematch, but in terms of the boxing hall of fame, he’s a role model in and out of the ring.” But the dust will have to settle before rematches are discussed.

Messi’s 500th Barca Goal Sinks Real Madrid

Lionel Messi struck his 500th Barcelona goal with the last kick of the game to blow the La Liga title race wide open with a thrilling 3-2 win at Real Madrid on Sunday.

Messi had broken a three-year goalless drought against Madrid to cancel out Casemiro’s opener for Madrid in the first-half.

Ivan Rakitic’s stunning strike and a red card for Madrid captain Sergio Ramos for chopping down Messi 13 minutes from time put Barca on course for victory before James Rodriguez came off the bench to level four minutes from time.

However, fittingly, Messi had the final say with a brilliant finish deep into stoppage time to lift Barcelona’s hopes of a third straight La Liga title.

Fresh from dumping Bayern Munich out the Champions League in a 4-2 thriller after extra-time in midweek, Madrid had started confidently in another breathless encounter at the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo had strong appeals for a penalty waived away inside two minutes after he appeared to have been clipped by Samuel Umtiti.

Barca grew slowly into the game and had their first big chance when Luis Suarez dragged wide Jordi Alba’s fine cut-back from the edge of the box 11 minutes in.

Shortly after Messi was left floored and bloodied after being caught by a stray elbow from Marcelo.

The Argentine was still down by Ronaldo drilled another fine effort towards goal that Marc-Andre ter Stegen did well to parry to safety.

Unsurprisingly given both Madrid’s potency and Barca’s inability to defend set-pieces, the opener arrived from a dead ball.

Marcelo picked up the loose ball from a corner and when Sergio Ramos volleyed his cross against the post, Casemiro was on hand to tap into an unguarded net.

The lead lasted just five minutes, though, as with a handkerchief still mopping the blood from his cheek, Messi danced past Dani Carvajal and Nacho to fire home his first goal against Madrid for three years.

Ter Stegen was called into action again to prevent Real immediately retaking the lead as he flew to his left to save from Luka Modric’s long-range effort.

However, Barca ended the half feeling hard done by when referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez didn’t show Casemiro a second yellow card for upending Messi as he led a promising counter-attack.

Madrid were rampant at the start of the second period, but were met with a wall of resistence in Ter Stegen.

The German dived low to his left to turn international teammate Toni Kroos’s effort behind before diverting Karim Benzema’s goalbound header to safety with his outstretched foot.

However, Keylor Navas was also busy at the other end as he came to Madrid’s rescue on three occasions.

Firstly, he got a foot to Paco Alcacer’s prodded effort before pulling off acrobatic saves to deny Gerard Pique and Suarez.

Ronaldo then missed a guilt-edged chance to put Madrid back in front as he somehow turned the ball over from point-blank range after unselfish play from Asensio.

There was nothing Navas could do to deny Barca 17 minutes from time when Rakitic took aim from 25 yards and drilled into the top corner.

The match seemed to have swung decisively in Barca’s favour four minutes later when Ramos scythed down Messi to be shown the 22nd red card of his career.

However, even with 10 men, Madrid rallied and levelled when substitute James Rodriguez swept home Marcelo’s cross four minutes from time.

There was still time for one huge twist in the title race, though, as Sergi Roberto’s lung-bursting run led a Barca counter-attack to feed Jordi Alba and his cross was smashed into the corner by Messi.

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