FIFA U20 World Cup: Flying Eagles in great start, spank Qatar 4-0

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Nigeria got off to a flying start at the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland on Friday as goals by Maxwell Effiom, Henry Offia and Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru condemned Qatar to a 4-0 defeat in Tychy.

Home –based professional Maxwell Effiom got the seven –time African champions in front after only 12 minutes, and Sweden –based Henry Offia doubled the advantage 12 minutes later.

The two –time FIFA U20 World Cup runners –up kept a firm hand on things from that point on, and Offia should have made it three early in the second half but saw his weak effort parried for a corner kick.

Manchester City of England’s Ayotomiwa showed shrewdness and clinical competence when put through by a great pass, to make it three in the 68th minute.

Defender Aliu Salawudeen, on the books of Amuneke Academy, rifled into the net for Nigeria’s fourth after the ball fell into his path from a corner kick.

The Flying Eagles will head to the city of Bielsko-Biala, where they play the United States of America in their second game on Monday.


Anthony Nlebem

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Teams jostle for honors at Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament

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Eighteen highly rated polo teams from across the country are gearing up for Africa’s premium polo extravaganza as the annual Access Bank-UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament gallops-off at the Fifth Chukker Lawns of Kangimi Resort in Kaduna from Monday June 6 to Sunday to June 15, 2019.

Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, disclosed this in Lagos at a press briefing heralding the 2019 edition of the international tournament.

Teams comprising regulars, arch rivals and a handful of ambitious new comers would jostle for honours in three broad cup categories with the high stake Charity Shield leading the pack that include the glittering Access Bank Cup, newly introduced Usman Dantata Cup, and crowded UNICEF Cup respectively.

The first stage of the annual tournament will pitch 14 teams jostling for the UNICEF and the Usman Dantata Cup respectively, while the second stage promises to be a thrilling experience as six fully armed teams loaded with foreign professionals do battle for Access Bank Cup and the event’s biggest prize, Charity Shield.

Etuokwu said the bank will continue to maintain its yearly commitment in supporting UNICEF towards its projects for orphans and vulnerable children.

He pointed out that Access Bank and Fifth Chukker had over the years been supporting UNICEF and empowering people in Maraban Jos community and its environs in Kaduna in a pivotal commitment that has continually been lauded by the public.

”The partners are delighted that the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield is archiving its main objective of reaching out to the less privileged children in the society.”

 “This year’s tournament is more than an affirmation of our commitment to socio-economic wellbeing of mankind and acknowledgement of the impact the initiative has had on the lives of the orphaned and vulnerable children … Read More...

Premier League nets £4.2bn from overseas broadcasting deals

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The English Premier League’s windfall from international broadcast deals will rise 30 per cent in the next three seasons, increasing the spending power of England’s top football clubs by £1bn.

The top division in English football will net £4.2bn from the sale of international rights for the next three seasons to 2022, compared with £3.2bn for the three preceding years. The announcement was made by the Richard Masters, the interim chief executive of the Premier League, speaking at the FT Business of Football summit on Tuesday.

The boost from international broadcast revenues “allows the clubs to invest in their squads, and ensures another three years of competitive football,”  Masters said.

The increase will come as a relief to the 20 clubs that make up the Premier League, as the value of domestic rights deals are falling.

In February, Sky and BT secured the majority of the domestic screening rights for games held between 2019 and 2022, paying a combined £4.46bn — significantly less than the £5.4bn achieved in the previous auction.

However, people close to the deals said that after Amazon and other media groups also acquired television and radio rights for the Premier League, the final figure for domestic rights came to £5bn.

Premier League clubs have taken all four finalist spots in European competitions this season, with Tottenham Hotspur facing Liverpool FC in the Champions League final and Arsenal playing Chelsea in the Europa League final.

“The key thing about the Premier League is that you don’t know what’s going to happen. [There is] unscripted drama and a title race that goes to the wire: that’s what drives value,” said Mr Masters.


Source: FT

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Higuain close to Juventus return as Abramovich set to sack Sarri

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Gonzalo Higuain is getting closer to Juventus return, reports. The Argentinean joined Chelsea on loan in the January transfer window and the Blues are not likely to make his move permanent or extend his loan spell for one more season. The 31-year-old can join the Blues on a permanent deal for € 36 million or remain on loan in London for € 18 million but the Premier League giants are not likely to activate any of these two clauses.

Maurizio Sarri pushed to sign Higuain in the January transfer window but the Italian is also on his way out of Stamford Bridge. La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported earlier this week that Sarri is going to be sacked after the Europa League final.

Roman Abramovich, in fact, is determined to give the Chelsea job to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard with Sarri who is likely to return to Italy. The former Napoli boss has been linked with Roma, AC Milan and Juventus and the Europa League final will be his last game in charge of Chelsea. Both him and Higuain want to salute the Blues with a trophy in their hands.

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Wilder retains WBC heavyweight crown, says Joshua fight must happen

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Deontay Wilder knocked out Dominic Breazeale in the 1st round to retain his WBC heavyweight crown at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Wilder, 33, demolished his fellow American with 43 seconds of the opening round left – taking his record to 41 wins and a draw from 42 bouts.

Breazeale was on the ropes early on before finding a solid shot to respond to the champion.

But Wilder finished the fight moments later with a huge right hand.

Speaking about his potential contests with British heavyweights Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, Wilder said:  “no doors are closed” and that such fights “are in discussion”.

“All parties involved are talking,” Wilder told Showtime. “There’s too many people and opinions involved. It will take our teams to sit down, handle things, squash everything and get it done for the fans.

“The big fights will happen the way we all benefit. We risk our lives in here, so let us get our time to iron out our differences and you guys will know when it happens.”

Breazeale, 33, left the ring without talking to the media, fresh from a punch that left him sprawled on the canvas and unable to answer the count.

His counter-punch when cornered had briefly seen Wilder engage in a couple of grapples but – after a pause for breath – the champion followed a left-hand jab with a right to the jaw which was as accurate as it was destructive.

It was a 40th victory by knockout for Wilder and just a second career loss for Breazeale, following his 2016 defeat by Anthony Joshua.

“The power is real, it’s something that I don’t have to really train for,” said Wilder, who is convinced a showdown … Read More...