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Flying Eagles Qualify for Semi Finals of 12th African Games

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2019 FIFA U20: Flying Eagles Target Another Three Points Against USA
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Nigeria’s U20 boys, Flying Eagles, qualified for the semifinals of the men’s football event of the 12th African Games after a hard fought 2-2 draw with hosts Morocco on Friday, evening at the FAR Sports Complex Rabat.

The result meant the Flying Eagles garnered five points from three games behind Burkina Faso who topped the group, and ahead of Morocco and South Africa.

The Flying Eagles fell behind after Morocco profited from some slack defending to allow Mohsinne Abba to head home the opener in the 12th minute.

Morroco looked the better side for much of the first half but Nigeria came back strongly towards the close of the first period and were duly rewarded when Ahmad Ghali was brought down in the box.

Team captain Ibrahim Abubakar stepped forwarded and slotted home the spot kick at the second time of asking, after the Moroccan goalkeeper saved his initial effort.

The first half ended 1-1 but Morocco were soon back in the saddle from another spot kick as the referee ruled that Habibu Yakubu had handled in the box.

The hosts scored to lead 2-1 after 72 minutes as Nigeria faced elimination.

Coach Paul Aigbogun threw on lanky striker Chinonso Emeka and it proved a good decision, as the striker scored with just a minute left of regulation time to put Nigeria through to the last four.

Iwobi, Aina key to Arsenal Olowu’s Nigerian Aspirations

Arsenal U23 star, Joseph Olowu has revealed that the pace set by his compatriots and buddies, Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina and others who chose the Super Eagles instead of England was among the reasons he decided to switch his allegiance to Nigeria.

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Olowu admitted that it was a tough decision for him to pick Nigeria over England because of what he has gained from the latter but that he doesn’t foresee any problem with that.

He stressed that he has started trying to update his knowledge of Nigeria and that he is also quite open to learning a few new things about the country and its vast cultures.

“Considering that I have lived in the UK all my life and I’ve grown up here since I was young it did come as a tough decision because this country has given me so much,” Olowu said in a chat.

“If I am being honest my experiences in the UK have shaped me into the person I am today and for that all I will always be grateful. I know quite a lot about Nigeria already like I listen to a lot of Nigerian artists and I really enjoy the food a lot. I do look forward to learning a lot more about the country and its cultures.” 

The 2017-18 Premier League 2 Division One winner with Arsenal opined that positive information he has received from both Nigerian internationals has strengthened his conviction that he made the right decision to offer his services to Nigeria.

The youngster added that he grew to become motivated by the heroics of the Kanu Nwankwo led Dream Team I that won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta Georgia, USA and that the contributions of Nigerian players within and beyond the United Kingdom become additional inspiration for him to be identified with the West African nation.

“There are many players that have inspired me to play for the Super Eagles from the 1996 Dream Team to the current squad,” Olowu continued.

“But I think the players that have motivated me the most are Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina because they both came through in England but still chose to represent their motherland.

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He (Alex Iwobi) inspired me because he was once in the Arsenal academy I am in now. He broke through into the first team and that showed the young players they would be given the opportunity if they worked hard and earned it.”

The 19-year-old defender has begun the season impressively with Arsenal U-23 who are currently joint top along with Chelsea on seven points from three matches in the Premier League 2 Division One table.

He has helped them to two victories over Blackburn Rovers (away) and Brighton (home) and a home draw against Everton in the three matches played thus far.

Olowu affirmed that he will continue to offer his best to the Arsenal junior teams with the hindsight that he could be called up to train with the senior team before the end of the season.

Africa Games 2019: Makanjuola Eyes Gold in the Men’s Football Event.

Water FC winger, Success Makanjuola has his sights set on the gold in the men’s football event in the 12th Africa Games going on in Rabat, Morocco.

Speaking after the match in which the Under-20 team held the host nation Morocco to a 2-2 draw, automatically sending them packing, an excited Makanjuola said, “It is becoming more and more possible with each match we play. I mean the gold. We gave it our all and thankfully we scored a goal in the dying minute to equalise”.

“We played as a team even though the match was a  tough one. We expected it to be tough too as they are the host nation. Thankfully football luck was also on our side. There’s really nothing stopping us if we work harder and continue to give it our all.”

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The former Under-17 World Cup player who came in as a substitute for  Collins  who went off injured in the match against Morroco Friday evening concluded by saying, “we hope to make Nigeria proud by coming home with gold, God being our helper”.

Nigeria midfielder Okobi shines as Eskilstuna United thrash Kungsbacka

The Super Falcons star gave an assist to help Mangus Karlsson’s ladies extend their unbeaten run on Saturday

Ngozi Okobi made an impressive impact in Eskilstuna United’s 4-0 triumph over Kungsbacka in Saturday’s Swedish Damallsvenskan encounter.

The 25-year-old starred in her side’s 1-1 draw against the champions Pitea last week and was hoping to help her side maintain their unbeaten run going into the short break.

The visitors started brightly against their struggling hosts but waited until they find a breakthrough after Felicia Rogic assisted Loreta Kullashi to secure the opener five minutes from half time.

After the restart, Okobi found herself in a good position but eventually set up Lisa Dahlkvist to double the lead for Mangus Karlsson’s side in the 67th minute.

Four minutes later, Nigeria’s Halimatu Ayinde came close to increasing the tally for Eskilstuna but her effort went wide.

In the final 15 minutes, Julia Tunturi teed up Loreta Kullashi to net the third in the 77th minute before the former player sealed the triumph off Felicia Rogic’s assist seven minutes from time.

Okobi played for 73 minutes of the encounter, while compatriot Ayinde lasted the duration at the Påskbergsvallen Stadium in Varberg.

The result helps Eskilstuna climb to seventh on the log with 21 points from 15 games and they will host second-placed Göteborg after the break on September 7.

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Foreign News

Husband of Slain Kenyan Runner Tirop Seeks Plea Bargain

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The husband of slain Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop is seeking a plea bargain after initially denying a charge of murder, his lawyer said yesterday.

Tirop, a rising star in the world of athletics, was killed last October in her home in Iten, a high-altitude training hub in western Kenya for top runners.

Emmanuel Ibrahim Rotich was arrested after a dramatic late-night chase the day after Tirop’s body was found with stab wounds, and has been in custody ever since.

The 41-year-old denied a charge of murder at a November court appearance.

But in the latest twist in the legal saga, his lawyer Ngigi Mbugua told the Eldoret High Court that Rotich was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of attracting a more lenient sentence.

The prosecution said it was not against the idea of a plea bargain but wanted Tirop’s family to be involved in the process.

A hearing on Rotich’s request will take place on 22 September.

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Ganduje Appoints Galadima Acting Kano Pillars Chair

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Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has appointed Ibrahim Galadima as acting Chairman of Kano Pillars Football Club.

The appointment is with immediate effect, the governor said.

Surajo Shuaibu Yahaya who had chaired the club was relieved of the job.

The appointment of Galadima who is Chairman of Kano State Sports Commission to oversee activities of Kano Pillars is part of routine exercise in sports administration of Ganduje, a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Abba Anwar said yesterday.

“As Kano Pillars is facing more competition in National Premier League (NPL) it will be good to have a leadership that will perfectly lead the Club.

“Ibrahim Galadima, Chairman of Kano State Sports Commission, will now replace the current Chairman of Kano Pillars FC, Surajo Shu’aibu Yahaya.

“Galadima will serve in acting capacity, before the appointment of a substantive Chairman,” Ganduje said.

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SPORTS

FIFA Emerges Best Global Sports Federation on Governance Standards

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International Federation of Association Football (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)
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By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja

FIFA has been rated among the international sporting federations with the best standards of governance following a review conducted by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.


FIFA was among seven out of 33 international federations who achieved a score of 175 points or more out of 200 and were placed in the top group, A1, which the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations described as “an exclusive group”.

The federations were divided into five groups according to their score, with the target score, regarded as satisfactory, set at 130 for full members of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.


It was the fourth such review conducted by by the association, with FIFA also placed among the leading international federations and the previous was in the year 2020.

The aim of the project, led by ASOIF’s Governance Task Force, is to promote and ensure a culture of good governance within the international federations and help drive continuous progress.


The review looked at five aspects of governance – transparency, integrity, democracy, development and control mechanisms – and these were further divided into ten sub-sections, with a score of zero to four awarded for each.
The review began with a self assessment in January and February this year where international federations were asked to complete a questionnaire and determine a score for each question, providing explanatory evidence for their decision. These assessments were then independently moderated by an external sports governance consultancy.

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The assessment took place in the context of the ongoing global pandemic, which has severely affected sport, but was conducted before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused more uncertainty in the sporting world.

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