Category: Sports

Courtois says Chelsea expect tough challenge from Saints

Premier League champions Chelsea will not underestimate Southampton on Saturday as they aim to keep up the pressure on the sides around them in the top four, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said. Chelsea are third in the league, 14 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and three behind second-placed Manchester United after 17 games, and Courtois says the London side must continue winning to either chase down City or at least finish second. “It’s a tough game, Southampton drew against Arsenal and it’s always difficult against them home or away,” Courtois told the club’s website. (www.chelseafc.com) ”We have to be ... Read more

Mourinho asked to explain pre-match Man City comments

LONDON  –   Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been asked by the Football Association to explain comments he made before his club’s Premier League derby match against Manchester City on Sunday. The FA said on Thursday that Mourinho had been asked for his “observations” on comments he made on Dec. 8 in interviews ahead of Sunday’s game, which United lost 2-1. It did not, however, specify the comments under investigation or what — if any — rules might have been broken. During a pre-match news conference, Mourinho questioned City players’ ability to stay on their feet, saying: “A little bit ... Read more

Nigerians Turn To Sport Betting for Extra Income As Economy Bites

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) –Millions of unemployed, underemployed and middle-class population in Nigeria are turning to sports betting and lotteries in hope of earning extra incomes to survive the financial hardships in an economy coming out of recession. The gaming industry in the country has seen exponential growth lately as participants in this industry stake through about 45 betting companies and websites, according to BusinessDay reports. Those seen fuelling the revolution in this over N40billion industry are: Nairabet, Merrybet, Bet9ja, Naijabet, Lovingbet, Surebet247, Supabets, 1960bet, Nairastake, Parknbet, 360bet, Sportybet, Plusbet, Skybetnaija, 9jadollarbet, Visabet, Winnersgoldenbet, Bet365naija, Championsbet, Saharabet, Marsleisure, 9japredict, ... Read more

Four-day test to have minimum of 98 overs per day

A minimum of 98 overs will be played on each day of the inaugural four-day test between South Africa and Zimbabwe starting later this month in Port Elizabeth. The African neighbours will play the first test match shortened by one day from Dec. 26, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) granting it official status and welcoming countries to experiment with the format. ICC playing conditions deem that a minimum of 90 overs must be bowled per day during a five-day test match, so play will be extended for an extra 30 minutes to accommodate the additional eight overs. A first-innings ... Read more

FIFA Club World Cup: Bale rescues Real Madrid

Abuja   –     Substitute Gareth Bale scored Real Madrid’s winner as the European champions survived a scare to beat local side Al Jazira 2-1 on Wednesday and reach the Club World Cup final. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bale scored with his first touch after coming off the bench in the 82nd minute. Al Jazira’s Brazilian forward Romarinho gave the Abu Dhabi team a shock lead in the 40th minute of an action-packed encounter. This was after heavy favourites Real twice hit the woodwork and had two goals ruled out, one after a long consultation ... Read more

NTA Commends NCC’s Interest In Sports

(Sundiata Post) — The biggest television network in Nigeria, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) interest in promoting sporting activities. The commendation was given by the managing director of an NTA subsidiary, NTA TV Enterprises, Maxwell Loko, when he led a high-powered delegation on a courtesy call on the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, at the commission’s headquarters, yesterday. Loko, who said the NTA management has monitored the commission’s zeal for sports promotion over the years with keen interest, commended the commission for singling out sports as one of the ... Read more

Buhari approves appointment of managerial staff for AUSC Region 2 headquarters

By Dorcas Jonah Abuja –   President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja announced his approval of appointment of managerial staff of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 2 Headquarters. Buhari, represented by the Minister of State for Power, Works, and Housing, Suleiman Hassan, made the announcement at the opening of the First Session of the AUSC Region 2 Ministers Meeting. He said the approval would facilitate the easy take-off of the AUSC Region 2 Secretariat in Abuja. Buhari also directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to accord diplomatic status to the secretariat staff. “My country will ... Read more

West African Ministers of Sports meet in Abuja

By Dorcas Jonah   Abuja   –     The First Session of the West African Ministers of Sports Council Meeting will open in Abuja today. Nnake Ikem-Anibeze,  Special Assistant on Media to Nigeria’s sports minister,  Solomon Dalung, said that the meeting would hold at the Conference Hall of the  ECOWAS Parliament. President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare the meeting open. But he will be represented as he is away in Paris France, for the Planet One Summit. Ikem-Anibeze said that the President or his representative would also launch  the Permanent Secretariat Headquarters of the African Union Region 2 (AUSC REG 2)  in ... Read more

Froome faces tough questions after positive Vuelta test

LONDON  –  Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome could potentially be stripped of his Vuelta a Espana title after a urine test he gave during the race in September showed excessive levels of an asthma medication. The 32-year-old Briton, who rides for Team Sky, says he has done nothing wrong and would provide “whatever information” world cycling’s governing body UCI requires. Froome became the first British rider to win the Vuelta and the first man to claim a Tour de France/Vuelta double in the same season since the Spanish race was moved to after the Tour. Regarded as one ... Read more

Kwara plans boosting schools sports with academicals football tourney

By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus   Ilorin   –     The Kwara State Government on Wednesday in Ilorin said it would boost the development of sports in schools with the introduction of a secondary schools football championship. The state’s Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Musa Yeketi, said this while declaring open a one-day seminar on schools sports, which was organised by the ministry. He said the championship would be known as “Kwara Academicals Football Competition’’. “Kwara state is committed to the development of sports, especially in schools. “The present administration in the state will continue to ensure the full ... Read more

Manchester City keen to strengthen defence in January

Abuja   –       English Premier League leaders Manchester City plan to strengthen their defence in the January transfer window, manager Pep Guardiola has said. The Spaniard said this was to avoid a lack of squad depth as they compete on multiple fronts. Injured defenders John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy are all expected to return next year. This will leave Guardiola with limited options as his team target domestic league and Cup honours, along with the UEFA Champions League. “In that department we have too few players and to handle all competitions we are in trouble, real trouble if this ... Read more

Nigeria docked points, World Cup qualification unaffected

ZURICH   –  Nigeria have been docked two points for fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier against Algeria but their place at next year’s finals in Russia has not been affected, FIFA said on Tuesday. Nigeria, who had already qualified for the finals, drew 1-1 but FIFA awarded the match to Algeria by a 3-0 scoreline after the Super Eagles fielded the ineligible Abdullahi Shehu who had failed to serve a one-match ban for accumulated yellow cards. “This sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria ... Read more

Russia’s Olympic Committee to support its neutral athletes at Winter Games

MOSCOW    – Russia’s Olympic Committee agreed on Tuesday to support its athletes who choose to compete in next year’s Winter Games in South Korea as neutrals following a ban on the Russian national team. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week banned Russia from the Games, due to take place in Pyeongchang in February, for what it called “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system. But it left the door open for Russian athletes with a clean history of non-doping to be invited to compete as neutrals under an Olympic flag, not a Russian one. President Vladimir Putin said last ... Read more

Van Gaal says Manchester United under Mourinho is “boring’’

Abuja –   Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes the club have become more boring under his successor Jose Mourinho, saying he would prefer to watch local rivals Manchester City in action. During the Dutchman’s two-year stint as United manager from 2014, the club secured fourth and fifth-placed league finishes along with an FA Cup triumph. However, Van Gaal was regularly criticised for his negative tactics. Mourinho’s United won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season in charge but the Portuguese has been accused of “parking the bus” in big games. But Van Gaal believes ... Read more

Tottenham’s Wanyama returns to training after knee injury

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama returned to training for the Premier League club on Monday as he recovers from a knee injury sustained at the start of the campaign. The 26-year-old Kenyan international, who missed just two league games last season, featured in the north London club’s first two matches before picking up the injury ahead of the home match against Burnley in August. “Victor Wanyama joined part of training today as he continues his rehab,” Tottenham said on their official Twitter account, along with a picture of the player in action. Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks and Mousa ... Read more

UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid draw formidable PSG, as Chelsea get FC Barcelona

Abuja –   Title-holders Real Madrid will have to overcome a sizeable obstacle when the UEFA Champions League resumes in February, after Monday’s draw pitted the 12-times winners against Paris St Germain (PSG). Bidding for a third successive title in Europe’s elite club competition, Real paid a heavy price for not winning their group. They were drawn with the big-spending Parisians who were tipped as many people’s favourites ahead of the draw in Nyon. Five-times champions FC Barcelona will face English champions Chelsea, one of five English Premier league clubs in the draw. Tottenham Hotspur, who topped their group ahead ... Read more

Leaders Manchester City go 11 points clear on derby day

LONDON    –  Manchester City beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford to go 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League on Sunday while Liverpool and Everton drew 1-1 in a snowswept Merseyside derby at Anfield. City’s victory marked the first time a team have won 14 consecutive English top-flight games in the same season and ended United’s run of 40 home games unbeaten in all competitions. Pep Guardiola’s side took the lead in the 43rd minute through David Silva but poor defending allowed United to hit back immediately with Marcus Rashford grabbing an equaliser before the break. ... Read more

Suarez and Messi give Barca win as Atletico keep up chase

VILA-REAL  –   Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi fired Barcelona to a 2-0 victory over 10-man Villarreal as the leaders won for the first time in three La Liga games to stay five points clear on Sunday, while Atletico Madrid edged Real Betis 1-0. Barca looked set for a third consecutive league draw as they created scant opportunities but they were presented with the advantage of an extra man when Villarreal midfielder Daniel Raba was given a straight red card for a wild, studs-up challenge on Sergio Busquets on the hour mark. Barca did not take long to cash in ... Read more

NCC doles out N17m to winners of tennis championship

By Florence Onuegbu   Lagos   –   The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given out N17 million to winners of its Tennis Cup 2017 competition. The Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said at the grand finale of the tournament in Lagos that the competition had given the commission satisfaction and fulfillment. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tournament which started in July featured 12 teams. Team Civil Defence defeated Muller 4 – 0, to win the NCC’s Tennis Cup 2017 competition, hence, carting the star prize of N7million. Team Muller came second, and went home with N5 ... Read more

Team Civil Defence Wins N7 Million NCC Tennis Prize

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) Team Civil Defence has carted away the grand prize of 7 million naira after emerging as the winner of the 2017 Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) Tennis Tournament. This brings to an end months of nationwide lively and competitive tennis matches as well as anxiety and healthy enthusiasm that also characterised the atmosphere at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club during the weekend where the final matches were played. Team Civil Defence, veterans in the NCC Tennis League, defeated Team Muller 4-0 to emerge the Winner of the 2017 NCC Tennis Cup. Other participating teams also left the courts ... Read more

Nwankwo urges for more support for tennis tourney at Abuja Country Club

By Ikenna Osuoha   Abuja   –      Obiora Nwankwo, President of Abuja Country Club, has called for more support for the club’s President Cup tennis tournament. Nwankwo who spoke after the 2017 edition of the competition which ended late Saturday said more support was necessary as the competition was key to the sport’s development. “Abuja Country Club’s President Cup tennis tournament is an annual event designed to encourage the fitness of our members. “We therefore need total support for the tournament. But it goes beyond being just a club tournament, because it is key to promoting tennis in Nigeria,’’ he said. ... Read more

Manchester United Announces Melitta As Club’s First Official Coffee Partner

By Abraham Jonah, Managing Editor, Middle East (Sundiata Post) — Manchester United and respected coffee specialists Melitta have announced a multi-year partnership which will see the brand become the Club’s first Official Coffee Partner. Melitta, part of the family owned Melitta Group, will be the club’s exclusive coffee partner in Europe, with the partnership covering UK, Ireland and Germany. As part of the agreement more than 200 fully automatic Melitta coffee machines and makers will be installed within Executive Club boxes and hospitality areas around Old Trafford. With an estimated 6,000 Kilogrammes of coffee consumed each season, the famed stadium ... Read more

Ex-Cameroon defender who committed World Cup’s “worst tackle” dies

 Former Cameroon international Benjamin Massing, whose crunching tackles at the World Cup in 1990 earned him an infamous reputation, died aged 55 on Sunday, local media reported. The defender’s scything body check on Claudio Caniggia in the opening game against Argentina in Milan was later dubbed the worst tackle in World Cup history. It reinforced an unwanted reputation of defensive brutality that surrounded Cameroon’s unprecedented run to the quarter-finals of the tournament, going further than any African side had done before. Massing was sent off in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup and sat out the next three, ... Read more

Russia 2018: Super Eagles will qualify from Group D– Supporters Club

By Mike Mbonye Johannesburg    –       The Nigeria Football Supporters Club, South Africa chapter, says the Super Eagles have potentials to qualify from Group D during the Russia 2018 World Cup. Nigeria is in Group D with Argentina, Croatia, and Iceland. The Chairman of the club, Osita Okeke, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday that the Eagles have character and quality to qualify from the group. “ There is nothing to fear. The Eagles have all it takes to scale through the group. They should remain focused and take each ... Read more

Guardiola reveals his time of doubts over tactics

MANCHESTER, England  – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s commitment to possession football is well established but ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with Manchester United, the former Barcelona coach revealed he had once doubted his philosophy – but only for 48 hours. The Spaniard’s zeal for passing and possession with intelligent use of space is almost ideological but he said that early in his career he had questioned if it was the right way. Guardiola began his coaching career in 2007 with Barcelona’s B team, who played in the lower divisions of the Spanish league and it was there that his ... Read more

Chelsea stunned by West Ham, Tottenham return to form

Abuja   –    Chelsea’s hopes of retaining the English Premier League title suffered a severe blow as West Ham United upset the form book to win the London derby 1-0 on Saturday. It was also a result which gave David Moyes his first victory since taking over as manager. Marko Arnautovic’s early goal and a gritty rearguard action by the Hammers inflicted a first league defeat in eight games on third-placed Chelsea who are 11 points behind leaders Manchester City. City take on second-placed Manchester United on Sunday. Tottenham Hotspur returned to form with a first win in five league games, ... Read more

Join us and you’ll win Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid president tells Neymar

Abuja –   Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has opened the door for Neymar to join the European champions by declaring it would help further the forward’s individual ambitions. Neymar finished third behind Lionel Messi and winner Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d‘Or on Thursday. But Perez has now suggested that the only way for the Brazilian to break the duo’s stranglehold on the prize — which has extended to a decade — would be to join Real. “Being in Madrid will make it easier to win the Ballon d‘Or,” Perez said. “Madrid is a club that gives a big ... Read more

Guardiola says he and Mourinho are like twins

Abuja –  Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have enjoyed a rivalry, in Spain and England, that has at times been acrimonious but the Manchester City manager believes they have something in common. The Spaniard believes that when it comes to the desire to win trophies they are identical. “Definitely. In that, we are twins,” said Guardiola when asked, ahead of Sunday’s derby clash, if he was as obsessed with winning as his United and former Real Madrid counterpart. “They want to win trophies, we want to win trophies. “I think Antonio Conte is the same as well, and Juergen (Klopp) ... Read more

Kompany highlights significance of Manchester derby

 The intense rivalry between neighbours and Premier League table toppers Manchester City and Manchester United makes their derby the biggest game of the season for the players, City captain Vincent Kompany has said ahead of Sunday’s clash. Both clubs have enjoyed stellar starts to the campaign with the Etihad outfit riding a 13-game winning streak to open up an eight-point lead and United losing just twice in 15 games to keep up their pursuit. The highly anticipated encounter could see City extend their advantage over second-placed United to 11 points and Kompany, who has first-hand experience of the ferocity of ... Read more

Commonwealth Games trials: Akwa Ibom weightlifting coach optimistic about team’s chances

By Dorcas Jonah Abuja –   Akwa Ibom Weightlifting Coach, Ekanem Ekanem, on Friday said he was confident that his athletes would qualify to represent the country at the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. “With the level of our preparations and exposure, I think I am going to have a good number of my athletes who will qualify for the Commonwealth Games,’’ Ekanem told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the ongoing National Weightlifting Trials at the Abuja National Stadium. He told NAN that six of his athletes are participating at the trials and he ... Read more

NCC Tennis League To Honour Alex Ekwueme at 2017 Grand Finale

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) The NCC Tennis League will honour the Late statesman Dr. Alex Ekwueme, GCON at the grand finale of the championship scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Race Course. The former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was a great supporter of the NCC Tennis League and attended the two editions of the grand finale as the special guest of honour. He was expected to attend this third edition and to sponsor in the 2018 edition a team in his name planned to be located at the Enugu Sports Club ... Read more

Bayelsa govt says it’s committed to sports development

By Christian Ogbonna   Yenagoa   –      The Bayelsa Government is committed to developing the potentials of the state’s sports men and women as part of efforts to rebuild sports in the state, an official has said. The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, expressed the commitment Friday in Yenagoa during a courtesy visit by officials of Bayelsa chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN). “It is in realisation of this objective that the state government embarked on the improvement of sports facilities to encourage sports men and women in achieving their maximum potentials,’’ ... Read more

Ronaldo pips Messi to win Ballon d’Or

Abuja   –    Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d’Or for world player of the year on Thursday for a record fifth time. The result meant Ronaldo became level with eternal rival and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi as the player to have won the prize the most times. The Real Madrid forward won the award, handed out by magazine France Football, for the second consecutive year having led his side to the La Liga title with 25 goals and a successive Champions League crown. He netted a total of 12 champions league goals including two in the 4-1 win over ... Read more

Messi says Argentina must improve to succeed at Russia 2018

Abuja –  Argentina captain Lionel Messi believes they need to improve if they are to stand a chance of winning next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. Argentina, who reached the final in 2014, struggled during qualification for Russia, going through three coaches before securing their place at the tournament. And it was all thanks to a Messi hat-trick in a 3-1 win away to Ecuador in the final qualifier. Messi’s side will kick off their World Cup campaign against Iceland on June 16, before facing Croatia and Nigeria in their other group stage fixtures. Next year’s tournament may be ... Read more

Adamu selects 10 players for COPA Lagos tourney

By Aderonke Ojediran-Lawal   Lagos   –     Ten players have been selected at the Brinin Kebbi camp of the Super Sand Eagles for the COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament, opening in Lagos on Dec. 8. The Head Coach of the team, Audu Adamu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that the new team would represent Nigeria at the CAF Beach Soccer tournament, billed for Egypt next year. “These selected players will represent us at the World Cup qualifiers in Egypt. I have so much hope in them and I’m confident that they will deliver. “Our performance ... Read more

Ronaldo sets new Champions League scoring record

MADRID   –    Cristiano Ronaldo set another Champions League record on Wednesday by scoring in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund and becoming the first player to net in all six group games. Ronaldo doubled the lead for Real in their final Group H match against Dortmund at the Bernabeu with a curling shot into the top corner from the edge of the area in the 12th minute. Ronaldo leads the scoring charts in the Champions League for the sixth season running with nine goals and is the top marksman in the competition’s history with 114 strikes, 17 more ... Read more

Russia ban must be analysed before taking action, Kremlin says

MOSCOW   –   Russia will have to carefully analyse the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban the country from the 2018 Pyeongchang Games before taking any measures, the Kremlin said on Wednesday. The IOC banned Russia on Tuesday from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games after evidence emerged of an “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system. The door was left open, however, for Russians to compete as an “Olympic Athlete of Russia” as long as they satisfy strict conditions that show they have a doping-free background. “Now, of course, we need to cast aside emotions and quite seriously analyse the ... Read more

Oosthuizen forced out of Joburg Open after freak injury

JOHANNESBURG   –   Local favourite Louis Oosthuizen has pulled out of the Johannesburg Open starting on Thursday after a freak accident that will go down as one of sport’s more unusual injuries. The 2010 British Open champion hurt his fingers when they were caught between two airport trollies as he returned to South Africa from competing at the Mauritius Open this past weekend. Oosthuizen, who is in severe pain and unable to grip his clubs, said he did not want to risk starting a tournament he could not finish and deny another player the chance to compete. “This morning ... Read more

Doping: Nigeria’ll ensure compliance with WADA Code to avoid sanctions, says Dalung

By Dorcas Jonah Abuja –   The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung,  on Tuesday, assured that Nigeria would comply with mandatory provisions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code to guard against sanctions. Dalung said at a 2-day Anti-Doping Seminar for Presidents and Secretaries of Sports Federations in Abuja, that Nigeria’s compliance with the code would insulate it from WADA’s sanctions. The seminar was organised by the sports ministry in collaboration with the National Anti-doping Committee. Cue in audio (Dalung) “The issue of doping has to do with protecting the integrity of competition in Sports. Nigeria athletes must ... Read more

Merseyside derby pick of the ties in FA Cup third round

Abuja   –     Liverpool will welcome Merseyside rivals Everton in the English FA Cup third round while holders Arsenal face a trip to second-tier Nottingham Forest following Monday’s draw. English Premier League leaders Manchester City are at home to Burnley, 12-times winners Manchester United host second-tier Derby County while Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Brighton & Hove Albion were pulled out of the hat at home to arch rivals Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough entertain Sunderland in a mouth-watering north-east clash. The third round, to be played from Jan. 5 to Jan. 7, sees teams from the Premier League and second-tier ... Read more