Ad
Category

Sport

Category

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has again set his sights on buying Arsenal following a report that Alisher Usmanov is exploring a sale of his 30 per cent stake.

The Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the Russian billionaire, that Usmanov has grown frustrated that the club’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, is unwilling to engage in takeover talks and has given up all hope of acquiring the club outright.

Asked about the report later in the day, Dangote, who has held an interest in buying Arsenal since 2010, confirmed he would pursue a takeover in two years.

“We will go after Arsenal from 2020 … even if somebody buys, we will still go after it,” Dangote told Reuters.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick was on Thursday appointed as 1st Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football.

According to punch, The position became vacant after erstwhile President of the Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi resigned from office in June following an undercover exposition of corrupt practices in the GFA.

In a letter to the members of the confederation, which was signed by its Secretary General, Amr Fahmy, CAF announced that Pinnick’s appointment would be ratified at the continental body’s next Executive Committee meeting in September.

The letter read, “Following the resignation of the 1st Vice-President Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, CAF President, after consulting the members of the Emergency Committee, appointed Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick as 1st Vice-President.

“This decision is immediately applicable, in accordance with article 27 para. 2 of the Statutes, which will be ratified by the Executive Committee in its session scheduled on the 27 and 28 of September 2018.

“We thank you for kindly taking note.”

Pinnick was most recently a member of CAF’s Executive Committee.He is currently at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he played a role as match commissioner in Sweden’s victory over Switzerland. He is also set to be the match commissioner as Uruguay and France go head-to-head in a quarter-final encounter on Friday.

Meanwhile, the former Delta State Commissioner for Sports is in the middle of a leadership tussle in the NFF after Chris Giwa resumed at the Glasshouse office of the Nigeria Football Federation in Abuja, as the president of the football body on Monday.

Giwa, who was elected as NFF president on August 26, 2014, has been locked in a battle with the Pinnick-led NFF board, after an order from a Jos High Court had stopped the election which brought Pinnick to office on September 30, 2014 in Warri, Delta State.

Giwa’s takeover came after the Ministry of Youth and Sports directed the NFF to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on April 27, which restored the orders of the Federal High Court setting aside the purported election into the Executive Committee of the NFF held on September 30, 2014.

Mikel Obi questioned the Video Assistant Referee decision which denied a Nigeria a second penalty in their last group match against Argentina in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

The below-par South American side won the encounter 2-1 in the controversial clash to land in the Round of 16.

The match was tied at 1-1 and Nigeria were coasting towards the next round when the unlikely hero of the encounter Marcos Rojo headed the ball against his own arm in the box.

Nigeria, who had cancelled out Lionel Messi’s first-half goal through Victor Moses’ well-taken penalty, appealed for a penalty.

Forty-one-year-old Turkish referee CuneytCakir was forced to consult VAR for a definitive verdict as the Nigerians insisted it was a penalty, before ruling that Rojo did not commit a foul.

Rojo went ahead to win the game for La Albiceleste, and the Super Eagles captain Mikel was left venting his fury at Cakir and VAR.

Speaking to reporters at the Mixed Zone after the match, the veteran former Chelsea midfielder only refused to hit the nail on the head – that his team were robbed.

However, the 31-year-old, who guided the Eagles to a second round exit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, said, “I have nothing against VAR but I would say it goes for the lesser teams and works for the big teams.”

Mikel said the referee admitted that the Manchester United defender headed the ball onto his own arm but refused to explain to him why he waved Nigeria’s penalty appeal.

He said, “We’ve seen it again in the dressing room, it was a clear penalty. There wasn’t any way the referee could not give that.

“The referee looked at the VAR. He said it hit the hand. I asked why he did not give us a penalty, he said he did not know.”

“We did everything we could,” the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner said.

“In the second half we pushed and pushed. It just wasn’t to be. It is a young team and in four years most of them will be ready for this tournament.

“I’m very proud of the boys and what we have achieved. I think we have done really well. We have to keep going.”

The Super Eagles on Tuesday crashed out of the 2018 World Cup after a 2-1 loss to South American giants Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Two goals from Lionel Messi and Marcos Rojogave the Argentines the three points, which sealed qualification for the La Albiceleste after they finished second. Victor Moses got the consolatory goal from the spot for the Eagles.

Nigeria finished third with three points while Croatia topped Group D with nine points after defeating Iceland 2-1 in the other match in the group.

Eagles coach Gernot Rohr retained the starting line-up that defeated Iceland last Saturday. He started teenager Francis Uzoho in goal while William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogunand Kenneth Omeruo were in the defence. Brian Idowu, captain Mikel Obi, OghenekaroEtebo, Moses and Wilfred Ndidi were in the midfield. KelechiIheanacho and Ahmed Musa were in the attack.

Argentina started the better of the two sides as they settled against the Eagles. The Eagles went close to opening scoring in the third minute but Uzoho gathered Gonzalo Higuain’s tame effort.

In the fifth minute, Nigeria went on a counter attack and Iheanacho was left unmarked but the Leicester City striker could only shoot into the legs of the retracting defender. Musa also went close in the eighth minute but he shot over the bar.

The Argentines resumed their torment on the Eagles dominating the midfield and Messi put La Albiceleste in the lead in the 15th minute. Ever Banega’s long pass found the Barcelona star unmarked and he got past Omeruo before putting the ball beyond Uzoho.

The Eagles had an appeal for a penalty turned down in the 18th minute after Iheanacho was kicked in the head by an Argentine defender, who was trying to clear a corner kick. But Uzoho was called into action again in the 26th minute when he blocked Higuain’s attempt to lob the ball over him.

The Deportivo La Coruna keeper once again saved a free-kick from Messi in the 32nd minute. The teenager tipped the effort.

READ ALSO : We Will Play Argentina With a Tough Mentality – Gernot Rohr

Rohr brought on Odion Ighalo for Iheanacho in the second half and the Eagles dominated play. Nigeria got their equaliser from the spot in the 48th minute. Javier Mascherano fouled Balogun while defending a corner and Moses converted.

Argentina poured out in search of a winner but Nigeria thwarted their efforts. The Eagles had another penalty appeal turned down by the referee despite consulting the VAR after Rojo handled the ball in the area.

Ighalo had several attempts to extend the Eagles lead but failed to take the chances. However, Rojo sealed the win for the South Americans in the 88th minute after a cross found him unmarked. The Manchester United defender sent his shot beyond Uzoho to seal qualification for the two-time champions.

The Eagles have thus crashed out in the group stages of the World Cup for a third time. They didn’t go beyond the group stages in 2002 and 2010.

Coach Gernot Rohr has admitted that the Super Eagles must be on the attack against Argentina in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday and diligently take the chances that come their way against the two –time World Cup winners.“Simply put, we must take even half chances, and be on the offensive as much as possible. Perhaps, a draw could be good to qualify, but we cannot think and play for a draw.

Sometimes, when you play for a draw, you get punched in the face late in the day.“It will be a tough game and we must go with a tough mentality from the start to the end.”

The Eagles returned to their Sanatorium Istochnik Hotel in Essentuki on Saturday having no illusions that Tuesday’s match will be a piece of cake. In the evening, they saw how reigning world champions Germany came from behind to defeat a Swedish team that had chances to win but apparently played for a draw in Sochi.

Nigeria’s army is presented with less days to prepare for the game against the South Americans than they had for the second match against Iceland following the opener against Croatia. There were five days to get ready for Iceland after the loss to Croatia but three days to prepare for Argentina after the win over Iceland.

The Argies have been Nigeria’s perennial Nemesis at the FIFA World Cup. In five previous appearances, the Eagles have had to play Argentina in the group phase on four occasions. It was only in France 1998 that both teams ended up in different sections.

Argentina have won all four, though narrowly. And while bookmakers would be quick to emphasize the gulf in class, Argentina won the last of their two FIFA World Cup titles 32 years ago, and current form (determinable only by recent results) does not present Lionel Messi and company as unbeatable.

In Russia, their opening 1-1 draw with Iceland was followed by a stunning 3-0 lashing by Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod, meaning the Eagles (who got their campaign back on track with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd) and the Albiceleste arrive the 67,000 –capacity Zenit Arena on Tuesday via different trajectories.

Skipper Mikel John Obi, defender Kenneth Omeruo, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and forwards Ahmed Musa and Victor Moses were in the Nigeria squad that lost 3-2 to the Argies in Porto Alegre on June 25, 2014.

Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi suffered a fractured metacarpal in Friday’s 2-0 win over Iceland.

Mikel temporarily left the pitch in pain towards the dying minutes of the game, but had to come back in as Nigeria had used up their three substitutes.

On Saturday, Gernot Rohr told KweséESPN the injury was not serious and that Mikel would play. He updated that information on Sunday afternoon.

“Unfortunately there is one injury. We have the captain who has a fracture of the metacarpal, but I think he can play with a cast.

“Our medical team is working on it,” Rohr said in a video posted on the official Super Eagles Twitter handle.

The metacarpal bones form the intermediate part of the skeletal hand located between the phalanges of the fingers and the carpal bones of the wrist which forms the connection to the forearm.

Nigeria departed on Sunday afternoon for Saint Petersburg, where they will face Argentina on Tuesday.

The Super Eagles have arrived here in Kaliningrad for Saturday’s Group D clash against Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, reports Completesportsnigeria. com.

The players and their officials arrived ij the city at around 6pm following a three- hour flight from their Essentuki camp base.

The three-time African champions are lodged at the Mercure Hotel.

They will have first feel of the Kaliningrad Stadium pitch on Friday by 5pm.

Croatia also arrived in Kaliningrad from their Iliceva base on Thursday.

Two-time world champions Argentina and debutants Iceland will clash in the other Group D clash on Saturday.

Super Eagles forward Victor Moses has urged his Super Eagles’ teammates to remain focused as they begin their Russia2018 World Cup campaign against Croatia on Saturday.

The Chelsea star apologized to fans for their poor performance in the friendly games but vowed to be in their best form against Croatia.

Got something to say? The let your voice be heard! Back Pass *Sport related topics only*
“We’ve come here a long time here at Esentuki, but I think you can see in the training that we were doing very well. Now there is a match with Croatia, a very strong team, but we are gunning for the win,” he told Croatian outlet sportske.jutarnji.hr.

“This game is very important to us because it is very important to start winning and get a good result. We are optimistic, we want to beat Croatia.

“Yet these were just friendly matches, although we were sorry we lost, especially against England. But we look good at this point; we will be good in opening game against Croatia.

“Croatia is a great team with many top players; they are strong individuals and team. They have a particularly strong midfield and attack, the most important thing for us is to be concentrated, then we can beat Croatia.

“The most important thing is not to lose this first game because they are sometimes the most important. Croatia can beat anyone, but Nigeria can beat Croatia. We’ll have to do it like a team.”

Moses chose no country as his favorite to win the World Cup.

“Everything can happen in our group, all teams can advance,” he added.

Bayern Munich and Austrian International star, David Alaba, paid a goodwill visit to the Nigeria Super Eagles team camp in Austria on Friday, in the company of West Ham forward, Marko Arnautovic.

Alaba, born of a Nigerian father during his visit was full of kind wishes for the Nigerian team as they begin their world campaign on Saturday, June 16.

The left-back also thanked Nigerian football fans for their support and show of love to him. “I want to thank Nigerians for their love and support. I know there is a lot of love for me over there,” Alaba said.

He also concluded saying “I wish the Super Eagles only the best in Russia.”

The Super leave their camp today for Russia.

Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel, has backed Gareth Southgate’s England team to challenge for the World Cup this summer in Russia.The former Chelsea midfielder was left impressed by England’s performance in their 2-1 win over the Super Eagles on Saturday night at Wembley.
Goals from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane were enough to begin preparations for Russia with a win, though Alex Iwobi pulled one back for the visitors to deny England a clean sheet.

On account of what he saw, Mikel believes England “have a good chance” of going all the way in Russia. “I think they have a very good chance of going all the way because the youthfulness and energy in this team… you can feel it,” he said.

“I think the pace in the team, you can feel it, and that is why we had some problems in the first half.“In the second half we corrected some mistakes and played a lot better. I think the England team have a good chance.”

Nigeria were completely outplayed by England in the first half but reacted after the interval through Iwobi before making their opponents work for the win.The Super Eagles, who are in Group D alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia, are aiming to go further than the round of 16 that they reached in Brazil four years ago.