The Savannah Conference won their third straight DStv Premier Basketball league All Star game at the weekend inside the indoor hall of the National Stadium, Abuja in a tightly contested match to beat the Atlantic Conference 81 -77 points.In an ebullient display of skills, the Savannah Conference tutored by Sani Ahmed led 31-22 after the first quarter and won the second 26-22 to lead 57-44 at half-time. However, the tide turned in the third quarter, as the Atlantic Conference led by Coach Adewumi Aderemi, fought back with a 23-12 point lead, and almost closed out the game after leading 10-7 in the fourth quarter by a 77-76 scoreline with 25 seconds to end the game. Two-time MVP, Abubakar Usman of Kano Pillars had other ideas as he scored three points from the free throw line, taking his game tally to 13 points and helped Savannah Conference win the game. Speaking after the enthralling match, General Manager, Marketing, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho, expressed pleasure over the evolution of the All Star game in the country.“Our commitment towards the game has been consistent. You will recall that the first All Star game was hosted in Kaduna in 2010. Since then, we have held the All Star games, introducing innovation and excitement at every turn.Today was no exception with Supersports beaming the match live to Nigerians. We are here for the long haul and we intend to take the game round the country,” Mabutho said.Speaking on the development of basketball in Nigeria, Mabutho said that “the future of the game of basketball looks very bright and promising which explains our rationale for bringing the All Star Game to Abuja for the first time. The attendance was good with the calibre of high profile guests that attended the Game including the wonderful fans that turned up. It has been a wonderful experience, one that deserves applause, considering the standard of play on the court, and the passion exhibited by the fans. They all lived up to the billing.”Starters for the Savannah Conference included the trio of Abubakar Usman, Mathew Onmonya, and AbdulWahab Yahaya from Kano Pillars, Timothy Kwaor of Gombe Bulls and Stanley Gumut of Mark Mentors, while the Atlantic Conference paraded Wilfred Romeo from Kwara Falcons, Romaric Quenum from Nigeria Customs, Victor James from Royal Hoopers, Emuhowa Oghenetano from Delta Force and Owolabi Suleiman from Oluyole Warriors on its starting rooster.The lively occasion also featured the Skills challenge, Slam dunk contest and 3-point shootout competition amongst the players.At the end of the All Star Game, Romeo Wilfred emerged as the Most Outstanding Player while Kano Pillars, Dele Ademola won the MVP prize. Lucky Subel also from Kano Pillars won the Slam Dunk Contest with 48 points while Suleiman Owolabi won the Skills Challenge and Akpara Akita of Bauchi Nets won the 3 point contest with 23 points.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Both Real and fellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid were banned after breaching rules over the transfer of foreign players under the age of 18.In a statement on the club’s official website, Real said: “The decision highlights the injustice of the original ban imposed by Fifa, although the club regrets that the CAS lacked the courage to revoke the ruling entirely.”No information has been given regarding Atletico’s appeal against their ban and fine.FIFA initially ruled on the case in January, but the appeals meant both Real and Atletico could sign players last summer.The world governing body’s investigation concerned players aged Under-18 who played in competitions for Atletico between 2007 and 2014, and Real from 2005-2014.FIFA bans the transfer of Under-18s to different countries unless they meet strict criteria. It brought in the rules to help protect children from exploitation and trafficking.Now, Under-18s can only be transferred abroad if:the player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasonsboth clubs are in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and the player is aged between 16 and 18 – even then the buying club must meet more criteria relating to education, training, living conditions and supportthey live within 100km of the club.Last year FIFA dealt with more than 2,700 applications for the transfer of a child to a club in another country. Almost 400 of those applications were rejected.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Real Madrid have had their ban on signing players reduced to one transfer window following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).The Spanish side had originally been barred from signing players for two windows by world governing body FIFA.They remain banned from registering new players this January but will now be able to make signings next summer.The club has also had its fine reduced from 360,000 Swiss francs (£282,000) to Sfr 240,000 (£188,000).
Timbilil however have a word of advice for the two Nigerian road runners: “It will take many years of consistent hard work and competitions for Nigerian and indeed West African road runners to get to the level attained by the East Africans in road races.”She however welcomed the idea of Nigerians embracing marathons and road races since Kenyans too are also moving into short sprints, throws and jumps,“The more the merrier, it will be great to have Nigerians on the international marathons and road races circuit, they are our brothers and sisters, that means more money for Africans and Africa from the highly lucrative road running circuit.”The Kenyan runner posited that for Nigerians to join the global elites, they need to have more marathons at home.“The Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon is not enough; you guys need more races at home and a developmental programmes that will start at the school level.”Timbilil who placed second at the last edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is determined to win the ultimate prize at this year’s edition.She made her marathon debut in 2008 and her first major race of 2010 came at the Roma Ostia Half Marathon which she won in a time of 1:10:34, beating home favourite, Rosaria Console.Two years later at the 2010 Amsterdam Marathon she was among the leaders from the start and by the 35 km mark she had outrun the field, eventually winning the race by a margin of two minutes with a personal best of 2:25:03.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram ACCESS/LAGOS MARATHONTop Kenya marathoner, Alice Timbilil, yesterday praised the courage of two Nigerian marathoners, Oluwaseun Olumide and Ronke Olumudi who have vowed to win the ultimate prize of $50,000 at the February 11, 2017 Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon but was quick to add that such wishes remain mere dream for now.With a personal best of 2:25.03, Timbilil who was second at the 2016 edition of the Access Bank /Lagos City Marathon in 2:38.49, said: “The feats of British runners like Paula Radcliff, the Japanese, the Chinese and even the Americans have shown that one does not need to be born in high altitude, be a Kenyan, Ethiopian, or East African to excel in marathons and road races but it does not happen overnight.
Plateau United outclassed Akwa United 3-0 in Jos Sunday to stretch their lead on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) standings to five points.Emmanuel James, Emeka Umeh and Kabiru Umar were the goalscoring contributors for Plateau United at the Rwang Pam Stadium as the Jos-based club continue to edge towards their first-ever top flight title.Plateau United has now amassed 51 points from 28 matches this season.Second-placed MFM FC did not play yesterday as their game against Rivers United in Port Harcourt was postponed.Enyimba moved up four places to third after recording an emphatic 3-0 win over El-Kanemi Warriors at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Ikechukwu â€˜Mosquitoâ€™ Ibenegbu opened the scoring with a stunning free kick on the stroke of half time while Chinonso Okonkwo added the second for the Peoples Elephant with a straightforward tap in just after the hour mark.Stanley Dimgba scored a late third for Enyimba as they completed a comprehensive victory at home.The Ilorin Township Stadium played host to the dayâ€™s most exciting game; a six-goal slug fest between ABS FC and Sunshine Stars which the visitors edged 4-2.The champions, Enugu Rangers have been anything but convincing this term and yesterday, they drew 1-1 with relegation-threatened Shooting Stars at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.Aguda Godwin had put the Flying Antelopes ahead on the half hour but Abu Azeez snatched an unlikely point for the Oluyole Warriors with the equalizer in the 80th minute.Chinedu Udechukwu and Suleiman Ibrahim were both on target for Katsina United in the 2-1 win over Lobi Stars at the Muhammadu Dikko (Karkanda) Stadium while Wikki Tourists were 2-0 winners over Kano Pillars thanks to goals from Ahmed Usman and Chinedu Onyelonu.Abia Warriors continued their steady season with a 2-0 win over Nasarawa United in Umuahia with Adetunji scoring the Warriorsâ€™ second from the penalty spot shortly before the end.Sani Abbani and Sani Suleiman ensured El-Kanemi Warriors left the Pantami Stadium, Gombe with their tails firmly between their legs as their strikes, either side of half time proved decisive for Gombe United in the 2-0 victory.MATCH DAY 28Abia Warriors 2-0 NasarawaGombe Utd 2-0 El-KanemiKatsina Utd 2-1 LobiABS 2-4 SunshineWikki 2-0 Kano PillarsRangers 1-1 3SCEnyimba 3-0 TornadoesPlateau Utd 3-0 Akwa UtdRemo Stars Vs IfeanyiUbah (PP)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
A two-man advance party of the Nigeria Football Federation, led by the Director of Competitions, Mr. Ayobola Oyeyode, is set to depart for the capital city of Seychelles this weekend for next week’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between the Super Eagles and the Pirates of Seychelles.The advance party has been mandated to engage with the officials of the Seychelles Football Federation on all matters of logistics regarding the comfortable stay and conducive preparation atmosphere of the Super Eagles ahead of the match.Officials informed thenff.com that matters such as accommodation, feeding, local transportation, training pitch and security would be addressed. The team will also assess the match venue and pass information to the Eagles’ technical crew. Nigeria-based members of the Super Eagles’ technical crew and backroom staff will depart Nigeria on Sunday, to prepare for the arrival of the players who are expected to start arriving on Monday. Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa will travel with the crew that will fly from Abuja.The Seychelles Football Federation has already scheduled the Group E, Matchday 2 encounter for the Stade Linite in Victoria, which is the capital city and also within the island of Mahe, one of the main islands in the archipelago of 115 islands that are in Seychelles. The match kicks off at 4.30p.m. Seychelles time (1.30p.m. Nigeria time) on Saturday, September 8.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Former champions, Chelsea lost their 100 percent Premier League record when London rivals West Ham United held them to a 0-0 draw but at the Emirates stadium, fellow Lo don rival, Arsenal proved better with at 2-0 win over Everton FC.Needing a two-goal win to depose Liverpool at the top of the table, Chelsea struggled to make clear chances despite having the majority of possession and stayed third behind the Merseysiders and champions Manchester City.The home side could have punished them but Michail Antonio, who was deputising for the injured Marko Arnautovic, missed two first-half chances and Andriy Yarmolenko headed wastefully wide. West Ham, with only one win so far from their six matches, remain 17th, one place above the relegation zone.Despite having barely 30 percent of possession in the first half, West Ham finally came alive after 30 minutes with two good chances for Antonio.Sent through by record signing Felipe Anderson he shot too high but then forced goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into a good save after being set up by Yarmolenko.For all their dominance, Chelsea made barely one real opportunity before the interval when N’Golo Kante arrived to head wide from Willian’s smart volleyed cross.In the second half it was two of Chelsea’s substitutes who went closest. Alvaro Morata’s first attempt hit goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in the face and later Ross Barkley’s curler was also kept out by the home goalkeeper.Chelsea have another chance to knock Liverpool off the top when they play them at Stamford Bridge on Saturday — three days after the clubs meet in the League Cup at Anfield.Later yesterday, Arsenal broke down a determined Everton defence to win 2-0, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring two second-half goals in two minutes to give the Gunners their fourth straight Premier League win. Everton had created most of the early chances as they looked for their first victory at Arsenal since January 1996, but they were unable to find their way past goalkeeper Petr Cech.French striker Lacazette broke the deadlock just short of the hour mark for the Gunners, running in from the left before elegantly curling the ball into the far corner just beyond the reach of outstretched England keeper Jordan Pickford.Gabon international Aubameyang doubled the lead two minutes later from what appeared to be an offside position, sending Pickford the wrong way from close range.The win — and Arsenal’s first clean sheet of the season — pushes the Gunners up to sixth in the table, while the Toffees stay in 12th place.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Equatorial Guinea had been excluded by CAF in October for fielding an ineligible player.On Wednesday CAF reversed that decision following an appeal from Equatorial Guinea, who were restored to the finals in place of Kenya.Kenya were awarded a place in the finals in October when CAF ruled Equatorial Guinea had fielded an ineligible player in qualifying.CAF’s Appeal Board announced on Wednesday that: “The player Annette Jacky Messomo is eligible to play for the national team of Equatorial Guinea.”In the original ruling CAF upheld a protest from the Football Kenya Federation over the eligibility of Messomo.The decision at the time was that: “The player in question was allegedly of Cameroonian nationality and had played for several European based clubs.”In response FKF released a statement saying: “It is our belief that both CAF and CAS will treat the matter with the seriousness that it deserves, this even as Harambee Starlets remain in camp in preparation for” the tournament.The letter added that FKF stands by its assertion that Messomo is ineligible to play for Equatorial Guinea.The news of the successful appeal came just as Kenya drew 1-1 with Ghana in a friendly on Wednesday.As it stands two-time winners Equatorial Guinea will be in Group B for the finals that are due to begin on 17 November.They would open their campaign against Zambia on 18 November before facing South Africa and defending champions Nigeria.Should Equatorial Guinea finish in the top three at the Nations Cup in Ghana they would not qualify for next year’s World Cup in France after a ruling by Fifa in 2017.Football’s world governing body expelled Equatorial Guinea from the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France for fielding 10 ineligible players and using forged documents.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram AWCON 2018Kenya’s Football Federation (FKF) has condemned a Confederation of African Football (CAF) decision to reinstate Equatorial Guinea to the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.They say they are “profoundly astonished” by the move, which represents “a great injustice” and plan an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Mothers returning to tennis will have increased protection for their rankings on the WTA Tour from next season.Players coming back from childbirth, or injury, will now be able to use their previous ranking to enter 12 tournaments over a three-year period.But Serena Williams’ wish for returning mothers to be seeded in line with that ranking has not been granted. The WTA has instead decided to guarantee they will not face a seeded player in a tournament’s opening round.As things stand, players must begin their comeback within two years, and then have a further year in which they can enter eight events under their protected ranking – the ranking held at the start of their absence.Those rules also apply to players returning from injury.But there is no protection in place for seedings, with tournaments able to use their own discretion to seed players.A seeding allows tournaments to ensure the world’s best players do not meet in the early stages of competitions and instead play lower-ranked players in the opening rounds.Williams returned to the sport in February after giving birth in 2017 and was not seeded at the French Open, her first Grand Slam appearance since her return, but was given a seeding of 25 for Wimbledon, despite being outside the top 32 in the rankings.The WTA’s rule change comes after the organisation canvassed the opinions of players earlier in the year.World number one Simona Halep and the five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova had both offered their support to Williams, but others like Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Johanna Konta expressed their reservations.The WTA has also clarified its clothing rule to ensure Williams is able to wear the black catsuit which caused a major stir at this year’s French Open.She dedicated the outfit to mothers and said it made her feel like a “queen from Wakanda”, in reference to the film Black Panther.“Leggings and mid-thigh length compression shorts may be won with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress,” the new rule reads.But Williams will not be able to wear it at Roland Garros next year, if the French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli gets his way. He has pledged to introduce a stricter dress code and says the outfit will no longer be accepted.Other rule changes include the introduction of shot clocks, which have been used most notably at the US Open, at all Premier Tournaments next year. Players will be given 25 seconds in which to serve.And in an attempt to reduce delays between sets, players will in future be allowed just one bathroom break per match.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The fifth edition of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search (GOtv Boxing NextGen 5) kicks off in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, today.The programme, which ends tomorrow, will hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara State Stadium Complex.According to Flykite Productions, organisers of the programme, GOtv NextGen Search aims to discover boxing talents aged between 18 and 25 and who are on the verge of turning professional. Participating boxers will engage in sparring sessions supervised by prominent boxing coaches, who will select those considered capable of joining the professional ranks. Selected boxers will have their professional boxing licences and pre-licensing medical examination paid for by the sponsors.Jenkins Alumona, CEO of Flykite Productions, explained that the programme is one of the ways the sponsors are arresting the decline of the sport, which is marked by a limited pool of professional boxers.“We are committed to improving boxing in Nigeria and the aim of the GOtv Boxing NextGen Search is to find a new crop of talented and aspiring boxers. We want to create a system that grooms younger replacements for those who are ageing and support them,” Alumona said.Since its debut in 2016, GOtv Boxing NextGen Search has produced stars such as Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, current West African Boxing Union (WABU) Champion; Taiwo ‘Esepo’ Agbaje, best boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 19; and Opeyemi “Sense” Adeyemi.The programme has been widely commended by the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame, Oyo State Boxing Association, Ogun State Boxing Association and the Kwara State Amateur Boxing Association.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Neymar sets Brazil record as youngest player to be capped 100 times Famara Diedhiou levelled from the penalty spot just before halftime after Sadio Mane was dragged down in the area.Neymar, who was not in the side that won the Copa America in June, had a relatively quiet game but went close with a 67th minute free-kick.He then teed up Richarlison whose shot from the edge of the box flashed wide.Ismaila Sarr and Mane both had chances to snatch the game for the Lions of Teranga.Although he failed to get on the scoresheet, it was still a big day for the 27-year-old, who became one of seven Brazilians to reach 100 caps.He has scored 61 goals for the Selecao, making him the third highest scorer in the history of his national team.Neymar is one behind Ronaldo but needs 16 to catch Pele who only played 92 matches. He has also provided 41 assists.He won an Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 but has experienced many disappointments for his national team, particularly at the World Cup.In 2014, in Brazil, a back injury in the quarterfinals against Colombia prevented him from being on the field for the 7-1 semifinal thrashing from Germany.He scored twice during the tournament in Russia four years later, but Brazil were dumped out at the quarterfinal stage by Belgium.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Neymar became the youngest player to make 100 appearances for Brazil on Thursday but the Paris Saint-Germain forward had to settle for a 1-1 draw as he failed to score in a friendly with Senegal in Singapore.Roberto Firmino opened the scoring for the Copa America champions with a stunning lob after a Coutinho lay-off in the eighth minute.As the half progressed, the livelier Senegal became, driven on by their captain Cheikhou Kouyate.