Barcelona launch fresh £90m bid plus two players for Neymar

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In a desperate move to sign Brazilian forward Neymar, Barcelona have made a fresh  £90m offer plus two players for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) , according to Sky Sports.

The LaLiga club have given PSG a list of six players that could be included in the deal, including Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, and Malcom.

It is understood the French club want over £200m for the 27-year-old.

Sky Sports News reported on Tuesday that Neymar had told PSG he wanted to leave, while their manager Thomas Tuchel admitted on Wednesday that he knew the Brazilian was keen on an exit before the Copa America.

PSG sporting director Leonardo said last week that Neymar could leave PSG “if there is an offer that suits everyone”, while also confirming “superficial contact” with Barcelona.

Sky sources understand PSG tried to convince Neymar to change his mind and the Brazil international did not tell his club where he would like to move to.

He was ruled out of the recent Copa America tournament – which Brazil won by beating Peru 3-1 in the final – because of an ankle injury sustained in a friendly against Qatar.

PSG signed Neymar for a world-record fee of £200m from Barcelona in August 2017.

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Amaju Pinnick’s tenure as CAF 1st Vice President expires today

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The term of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Melvin Pinnick as the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) along with that of the 2nd and 3rd Vice Presidents expired today.

In line with Article 22(4) of the CAF Statutes, every two years when elections are held at the CAF Congress (as took place today), the CAF Executive Committee on the proposal of the CAF President, elects a 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice President respectively from among its members.

Significantly, the renewal of Amaju Pinnick’s tenure was not proposed by the CAF President because of fundamental differences on focus and direction.

Pinnick accepted the decision of the President as it aligned with his own view having considered matters surrounding the administration of African Football which has dovetailed into the Nigerian Football space. He will however remain a bonafide member of the CAF Executive Committee to continue with his madate as such.

Pinnick further noted: “It has however been an excellent opportunity to serve as the number two football administrator in the entire African continent and my commitment to the game is perpetual while my support for my colleagues in the Executive Committee remains steadfast. I congratulate Omari, Lekjaa and Danny on the assumption of their new roles as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice CAF Presidents respectively”.

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AFCON 2019: Super Eagles battle Carthage Eagles for bronze medals

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It is a feisty confrontation of Eagles as the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia file out at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo for the third place match of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

The winning team of the third place match is awarded the bronze medals. Both Nigeria and Tunisia must recover adequately and pick up morale after losing in the semi finals on Sunday: Nigeria falling to a superb Riyad Mahrez free-kick at the death against Algeria and Tunisia crashing out courtesy of an own goal by Dyran Bronn against Senegal.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has appointed renowned Egyptian referee Gehad Grisha to take charge of proceedings. Grisha was in charge of two matches of the Super Eagles during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign: the 2-1 defeat of Zambia in Ndola in October 2016 and the 4-0 defeat of Cameroon in Uyo in September 2017.

Nigeria is making her 18th appearance at AFCON and has made the semi finals for the 15th time – a remarkable record of almost always getting to the business end of the championship. The country has failed to reach the semi finals only thrice before: 1963 (debut, in Ghana), 1982 (Libya), 2008 (Ghana).

Of the 15 times Nigeria has made the semi finals, the Super Eagles have gone ahead to win the title three times, picked up the silver medals four times and won bronze medals seven times.

The Super Eagles have also never lost a third place match at the Africa Cup of Nations, winning in Ethiopia in 1976 (against Guinea), Ghana in 1978 (against Tunisia), Senegal in 1992 (against Cameroon), Mali in 2002 (against Mali), Tunisia in 2004 (against Mali), Egypt in 2006 (against Senegal) … Read More...

AFCON: Gbajabiamila optimistic of Super Eagles’ victory over Algeria

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Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives has expressed optimism that the Nigerian Super Eagles would triumph over their Algerian counterparts at the semi-final of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Egypt this night.

Gbajabiamila said his optimism was not only based on the superlative performance of the Super Eagles at the ongoing tournament but also by their records over their today’s opponents.

He said history would repeat itself during the semi-final between the Super Eagles and the Desert Foxes of Algeria tonight.

“I have no doubt that the Super Eagles will be victorious today. From a total of 19 encounters, Nigeria won nine matches, Algeria won seven, while there were four draws.

“Considering the current superlative form of the Super Eagles, I have no doubt that we will be victorious today. I urge our boys to go out there, be determined and enjoy themselves,” the Speaker said.

Recall that the Speaker had penultimate Saturday, July 6, led a Federal Government delegation to boost the morale of the Super Eagles players during their knockout stage match with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, in a statement said, “due to the boost they received from the Speaker and members of his delegation, the Super Eagles defeated Cameroon by 3 goals to 2.

“They went ahead to defeat the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday 2-1 during their quarter-final match”.

 

James Kwen, Abuja

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles set to rewrite AFCON history

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Desert Foxes of Algeria will clash for a place in final on Sunday night in an AFCON 2019 semi-final encounter that promises lots of fireworks at the Cairo International Stadium, Egypt.

In the quarterfinals, Nigeria faced the challenge of South Africa. The Bafana Bafana had eliminated hosts Egypt in front of their public from the previous round. Udinese defender William Troost-Ekong allowed the Super Eagles to advance to the semi-finals by scoring the winning goal a minute from time.

“We worked so hard to be here. I am very happy that we are now in the semifinals. We worked hard to win this match and it was not easy”, man of the match Samuel Chukwueze said after South Africa’s game.

Three –time champions Nigeria are looking for their fourth title since winning their first on home soil at the expense of Algeria in 1980, while the Algerians are looking for their second title since their only title won on home soil at the expense of Nigeria in 1990.

Previous encounters between the Super Eagles and the Desert Foxes have always provided tremendous sparks, and the nature and balance of the rivalry is reflected in the record which shows that Nigeria has won eight of the previous encounters while Algeria had won seven, with five drawn.

After Nigeria swept to Africa Cup of Nations glory on the back of a 3-0 lashing of the Algeria in Lagos in 1980, the Algeria got their pound of flesh by not only stopping Nigeria from reaching the 1982 World Cup, beating the Eagles home and away for their first –ever FIFA World Cup ticket, but also edging Nigeria 2-1 in a group phase match at the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations in Libya.

At … Read More...