Aruna Quadri To End 2015 As World Number 50

quadriNigeria’s Aruna Quadri will end 2015 as the world number 50 tennis player.

This is according to the latest ranking released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

In 2015, Quadri featured in more than five ITTF World Circuits, with his best being the Lagos Open, where he played in the final against Assar.

In Europe, he took part in the German, Spanish, Polish, Croatian and Swedish Opens.

Quadri was also in the Kuwait and Qatar Opens where he managed to make it to the last 32 in some of the tournaments.

His best outing in Europe was at the Croatian Open where he made it to the last 16.

Under-17 World Cup: Mali Joins Nigeria In Semi-Final

Under-17The Malian Under-17 have joined their fellow Africans, Nigeria in qualifying for the semi-final of the 2015 Under-17 World Cup.

Mali’s miserly defence continued in their 1-0 victory over Croatia, with Les Aigles stretching their impressive run without conceding to almost five hours.

Sekou Koita’s first-half effort was enough to see off the Europeans, despite a booking for captain Abdoul Dante meaning their leader and defensive organiser would miss the historic semi-final.

This is their first FIFA U-17 World Cup semi-final.

Nigeria had earlier on Sunday night punished Brazil’s profligacy and strolled into the last-four with a 3-0 victory.

With eight semi-finals for holders Nigeria, they have now set a FIFA U-17 World Cup record, after surpassing Brazil by beating them in the Chile 2015 quarter-final.

Nadal Beats Dimitrov 6-4 4-6 6-3 As Wawrinka Crashes Out

nadalSpain’s Rafael Nadal has advanced to the quarter-finals of the Basel International, with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

Nadal who had earlier beaten Lukas Rosol in the first round, dug deep to defeat his Bulgarian opponent, despite dropping the second set.

Second seed, Stan Wawrinka, won the first set against big serving Croatian, Ivo karlovic, but was beaten 3-6 7-6 6-4 as Karlovic used his combination of aces and powerful forehands against the Swiss.

Wawrinka could not rely on his trademark, backhand, to save him, with Karlovic winning the tiebreak in the second set to level the score and go on to win the third set 6-4 with three straight aces to finish.

Migrant Crisis: EU Member Countries Hold Emergency Talks

migrantEuropean Union (EU) member countries have held an emergency meeting to determine a common response to the migrant crisis.

Ten EU and three non-EU states were present at the meeting, but Turkey’s absence seems suspicious.

A draft statement has been put together, calling on countries to stop waving through migrants, without their neighbours agreeing.

It also proposes to bolster EU patrols at Greece’s borders and to send 400 extra guards to Slovenia.

Last week, Hungary closed its border with Croatia, causing a backlog of migrants seeking another route, though Slovenia.

The Slovenian Government on the other hand, has accused Croatia of deliberately dumping thousands of migrants on the border.

Earlier, front line countries in the middle of the migrant crisis have threatened to close their borders, to avoid becoming buffer zones for new arrivals.

Migrant Crisis: Balkan States Threaten Border Closures

migrant crisisFront line countries in the middle of the migrant crisis have threatened to close their borders, to avoid becoming buffer zones for new arrivals.

Bulgaria Romania and Serbia said they would act if states further north, which migrants hope to reach, close their doors.

The threat came ahead of talks between Balkan states and European Union (EU) members.

Slovenia’s President, Borut Pahor, said his country would “act on its own before it is too late,” if no solution was reached.

Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, had previously refused to rule out building a fence along its border with Croatia.

The International Organization for Migration said that more than 9,000 migrants arrived in Greece everyday last week – the highest rate so far in 2015.

Most of the migrants – including many refugees from the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – want to claim asylum in Germany.

Migrants Crisis: Tensions Rise In Balkans As Numbers Increase

migrants-4Tempers are rising among thousands of migrants heading north through Balkan States as their route to western Europe is stalled by new controls.

Croatia had asked its northern neighbour Slovenia to accept 5,000 migrants daily, but Slovenia said it would only take half that number.

The move had led to a build-up of people on Croatia’s border with Serbia.

Hungary, citing security concerns, had closed its borders with Serbia and Croatia, forcing migrants to switch to a slower route via Slovenia.

Buses crammed with people were backed up in Serbia on Sunday, and tempers flared between frustrated migrants and overstretched police officers.

Thousands of asylum seekers travelled north through the Balkans, with most aimed to reach Austria, Germany and other EU States.

Explaining Slovenia’s new restrictions on Sunday, Interior Ministry State Secretary, Bostjan Sefic, said that its northern neighbour, Austria was only accepting a maximum of 1,500 people a day.

He said that Slovenia “cannot accept unlimited numbers of migrants if we know that they cannot continue their journey”.

Migrant Crisis: Slovenia Braces After Hungary Border Closure

Migrant Crisis: Slovenia Braces After Hungary Border ClosureDesperate migrants have begun arriving in Slovenia by bus from Croatia, after Hungary shut its border with Croatia to try to stem the numbers arriving en route to Western Europe.

Hungary closed its border, reinforced with a razor-wire fence, at Friday midnight, but many of the migrants aimed to continue north to Austria and Germany.

European Union leaders had earlier failed to agree on a plan backed by Hungary to send a force to prevent migrants reaching Greece.

Hungary’s closure of its border with Croatia comes just a month after it shut its frontier with Serbia, which was another transit route to Western Europe.

According to BBC, Hungarian Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, noted that border controls with Slovenia would be temporarily reinstated to safeguard Hungary from a “mass wave of unidentified, uncontrolled migrants.”

Hungary and Slovenia are both part of the passport-free Schengen zone, but Croatia is not.

‘Bring Under-17 FIFA World Cup Home’ Buhari Tells Golden Eaglets

U-17-world-cupPresident Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria who are in Chile to participate in this year’s under-17 FIFA World Cup Tournament to bring back the world cup, as a perfect end-of-the-year gift for soccer-loving Nigerians.

The President made the demand on Friday while extending his best wishes for a triumphant outing to the Golden Eaglets.

A statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said President Buhari urged the Golden Eaglets to do their utmost best, as the tournament opens on Saturday, to match the outstanding performance of their victorious predecessors who have won the competition four times including the inaugural edition in 1985 and the last tournament in 2013.

The President assured the Golden Eaglets and their handlers of the full support of the Federal Government and all Nigerians, as they strive to bring more sporting glory to their fatherland by outplaying all their opponents in Chile and winning the Under-17 World Cup for a record fifth time.

“President Buhari will follow the team’s progress through the tournament in Chile with keen interest and high expectation in the belief that the boys have the skills, dedication and determination required to make Nigeria world champions at the youth level once again,” the statement further read.

He called on the players to stay focused, avoid all distractions and put their globally acknowledged skills, ability and doggedness on display against the USA on Saturday, Chile on October 20, Croatia on October 23 and in all their subsequent matches to win the tournament and “give millions of soccer-loving Nigerians the perfect end-of-the-year gift”.

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Golden Eaglets Leave For Chile

Golden Eaglets To Leave For ChileUnder-17 world champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria would leave for Santiago in Chile on Tuesday evening.

The world champions’ arrival on the South American continent is ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup which would hold from October 17 to November 8.

The team on Monday, rounded off their tour of Argentina with a convincing 2-1 win over the U-20 side of racing club of Buenos Aires, as Victor Osimhen and Funso Bamgboye scored the goals for the Eaglets.

Golden Eaglets coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, described the impressive performance of team as very encouraging, adding that the pre-World Cup camping in Buenos Aires had added value to the team’s preparation ahead of Chile 2015.

The world champions have been drawn against USA, Croatia and hosts, Chile in Group A of the World Cup tournament.

Croatia Closes Serbia Road Borders

croatiaCroatia has closed seven of its eight road border crossings with Serbia, following a huge influx of migrants.

Security officials says more than 11,000 people entered the country since Hungary fenced off its border with Serbia earlier this week.

Some migrants are also planning to walk to neighbouring Slovenia which is in the European Union’s (EU) border-free Schengen area.

Huge numbers of people heading north from the Mediterranean have created a political crisis in the EU.

The crossing on the main road linking Belgrade and Zagreb at Bajakovo, appeared to be the only one left open.

Migrant Crisis: UN ‘Shocked’ Over Clashes In Hungary 

un-ban-ki moon-hungaryUN Secretary General, Ban ki-moon has expressed shock after Hungarian Police fired teargas and water cannon to force migrants back from its border.

He said that such treatment of asylum seekers was “unacceptable”.

Hundreds were involved in clashes at the Hungary-Serbia border on Wednesday, trying to breach a razor-wire fence.

More than 5,000 migrants have entered Croatia so far, avoiding Hungary and another 7,266 entered Germany on Wednesday.

German Police said that this was more than double the number that crossed the previous day, adding that most were picked up on the border with Austria.

Germany is the final goal of many migrants, as the European Union (EU) remained divided over how to deal with the crisis.

Golden Eaglets Hold Korea To 1-1 Draw In Suwon

golden_eagletsNational Under-17 team, the Golden Eaglets forced host, South Korea to a 1-1 draw at the on-going 2015 Suwon Invitational Tournament.

Lee Sangheon scored the curtain raiser as early as the third minute for the home team, but Funsho Bamgboye, making his debut for Nigeria on the international stage, brought the game into parity in the 26th minute, with a lively volley.

Thereafter, it was a ding-dong affair, as both teams searched for the winner with beautiful style of play.

With the result, Nigeria and Korea are jointly in second position behind Brazil who beat Croatia 2-1 in the tournament’s opening match.

The Eaglets’ second game of the Suwon tournament would be against table leader Brazil, while Croatia will face Korea at the Suwon World Cup stadium.