ITTF Commends Nigeria Open

 

 

 

Impressed by the world-class organisation of the event and the huge followership the annual ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open commands globally, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has described the tournament as a model for others.

At the press briefing to herald the tournament in Lagos, Executive Vice President, ITTF, Dr Alaa Meshref, said upgrading the tournament to Challenge Plus was done as a result of its global acceptance by players.

READ ALSO: FIFA Team Inspect Ogbe Stadium, Others For U-20 Women’s World Cup

“We are happy to have a tournament with the fans coming to watch and this has improved with more players eager to come to Nigeria,” the ITTF chief said

He commended the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the Lagos State Government for their commitment to table tennis, while hoping that the tournament would continue to set example for others.

Meshref said: “We are excited with what is happening in Nigeria when it comes to table tennis and we are thrilled by the commitment of those involved in the organisation of this championship. We believe that in no distant time, the tournament will rival others in Europe and Asia in terms of prize money. We must commend the NTTF and Lagos State Government for what they are doing to the sport. ITTF will continue to support this tournament. It is a model for others in the world.”

For the president of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Engr. Ishaku Tikon, the tournament has continued to set new records with over 32 nations competing this year. “We are grateful to our sponsors and we want to thank the sports-loving governor of Lagos State for his commitment to the tournament. I welcome every player to Nigeria this year,” the NTTF chief said.

Tokyo 2020: Dennerby Invites 30 Super Falcons For Algeria

Nigeria’s players celebrate after winning the France 2019 Women’s World Cup Group A football match between Nigeria and South Korea, on June 12, 2019.

 

As part of preparation for the first round of the African qualifying race for the Women’s Football Tournament of next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Super Falcons’ Head Coach, Thomas Dennerby has invited 30 players to start a camping programme in Abuja as from Thursday, 8th August.

Nigeria has been drawn to face Algeria in the first round of the qualifying fixtures, with both legs of the fixture to be concluded between 26th August and 3rd September 2019.

READ ALSO: FIFA Team Inspect Ogbe Stadium, Others For U-20 Women’s World Cup

The Nigeria Football Federation has announced that the return leg of fixture, which first leg will be in Algeria, will take place at the Agege Stadium, Lagos – one of the venues inspected by a FIFA team on Tuesday as possible host venue of the 10th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup that Nigeria is bidding to host next year.

All invited players are expected to arrive at the Abuja camp on Thursday, 8th August 2019.

Goalkeepers: Jonathan Alaba (Bayelsa Queens); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Delta Queens); Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels)

Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Ibom Angels); Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo); Abidemi Ibe (Bayelsa Queens); Ugochi Emenayo (Nasarawa Amazons); Margaret Etim (Rivers Angels); Maryam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Maureen Okpala (Confluence Queens); Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons)

Midfielders: Peace Efih (Rivers Angels); Osarenoma Igbinovia (Bayelsa Queens); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Cecilia Nku (Rivers Angels); Adebisi Saheed (Bayelsa Queens); Cynthia Aku (Rivers Angels); Regina Otu (Pelican Stars); Celine Ottah (Bayelsa Queens)

Forwards: Adejoke Ejalonibu (Nasarawa Amazons); Rafiat Sule (Rivers Angels); Joy Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens); Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels); Nneka Julius (Edo Queens); Tessy Biahwo (Bayelsa Queens); Lola Phillip (Nasarawa Amazons); Celine Ottah (Bayelsa Queens); Rofiat Imuran (Sunshine Queens); Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens)

Falcons Coach Dennerby Invites 26 Players For WAFU Women’s Cup

December To Remember: Falcons Arrive In Abuja As Nigerians Praise Team
Super Falcons arrive in Abuja on December 2, 2018, after beating South Africa at the 2018 AWCON final. Photo: [email protected]

Super Falcon’s coach, Thomas Dennerby, has invited 26 players for the West African Football Union (WAFU) Women’s Cup Tournament in Abidjan, capital of Cote d’Ivoire.

The offer made to the players comes less than 2 weeks to the commencement of the regional competition.

Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defender Glory Ogbonna, midfielder Amarachi Okoronkwo and forward Alice Ogebe are among 26 invited players.

Veteran midfielder Osarenoma Igbinovia and forward Chioma Wogu have also been called, as well as former captain Evelyn Nwabuoku.

READ ALSO: Channels Kids Cup: 32 Schools Unveiled For Lagos Preliminaries

Goalkeepers Alaba Jonathan, Christy Ohiaeriaku and Chiamaka Nnadozie will contest for the number one position with Oluehi, who maintained her place among the sticks as the Falcons won a ninth African title in Ghana last year and has kept the position ever since.

All invited players have been asked to report to camp in Abuja on Sunday, 28th April as training sessions would commence on Monday, 29th April.

The tournament will begin on May 8 to 18 with the Super Falcons to play in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and Mali. Host nation Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Senegal, Togo and Ghana in Group A.

Djokovic Crashes Out Of Mexican Open

Novac Djokovic Crashes Out Of Mexican OpenSecond seeded Novak Djokovic suffered a shocking defeat on Thursday night at the Acapulco International competition in Mexico.

The Serb was defeated 7-6, 7-5 by Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals of the Mexican Open.

He was seen off in straight sets by his 21-year-old opponent, who produced the best performance of his career.

The one hour 47-minute clash was the first ever meeting between the pair.

Kyrgios fired amazing 25 aces in the match to edge past 12-time grand slam winner Djokovic.

The Australian faces American Sam Querrey in Friday’s semi-finals.

 

 

Sanusi Promises To Improve National Teams’ Preparations For Tournament

sanusiThe newly appointed General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, has promised to improve Nigeria’s national teams’ preparations for international competitions.

Dr. Sanusi stressed that adequate preparations would help the team perform better in major tournaments.

The NFF General Secretary also pledged to do his best to attract meaningful sponsorship that would help the development of grassroots football.

Dr. Sanusi took over from Barrister Musa Amadu, after he resigned from his position on Thursday.

The Executive Committee of the NFF announced the appointment of Dr. Sanusi, as the new General Secretary of  the NFF, after Barrister Musa Amadu submitted his resignation.

Cote d’Ivoire Beat Ghana 9-8 To Win AFCON 2015

AFCONThe Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire have defeated the Black Stars of Ghana 9-8 on penalties to win the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2015.

The Ivorian’ winning goal was scored by the goalkeeper, Barry.

The game had ended scoreless after regulation time.

Cote d’Ivoire also beat Ghana on penalties to clinch their first AFCON title in Senegal, 1992.

More details to follow

Joseph Yobo Predicts Ghana Will Win AFCON 2015

afconFormer Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo, has predicted that Ghana would win the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ongoing in Equatorial Guinea.

“I tip Ghana to win the tournament. As our brothers and long term allies, I would like them to win the tournament. Above all, I think they have a good team,” he said.

The Black Stars beat host country, Equatorial Guinea, in the semi-final to land in the final match against Ivory Coast who beat Algeria to progress.

Yobo, who confessed that he has not been following the tournament, feels the Black Stars led by former Chelsea Manager, Avram Grant, have shown enough resilience to win the trophy.

The Sunday evening duel would be a replay of the 1992 AFCON final, which saw Ivory Coast defeating Ghana to win in Senegal.

It is believed that the Black Stars, gunning for a fifth continental glory, would also be seeking revenge.

Ghanaian Striker, Jordan Ayew, has, however, said that the AFCON 2015 final match against Cote d’Ivoire would not be about revenge for the 1992 defeat that the Ghanaian team including his father – Abedi – suffered at the hands of the Elephants.

While expressing his hope for a win against the star studded Elephants, he said that the team’s focus would on ending their three decades of heartbreak in Africa’s biggest football prize.

Jordan insisted that he and his brother, Andre would not have revenge at the back of their minds when they walk on to the pitch to face Africa’s best player for four years, Yaya Toure; former Arsenal forward, Gervinho and other top players who make up the equally glory starved Ivorian team.

“We want to win the game on Sunday not because of 1992, but because we have not won an AFCON tournament since 1982,” Jordan said.

AFCON 2015: We Will Win This For Ghana – Ayew

ayewAhead of the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON 2015 final match that is to hold at the Bata Stadium on Sunday, the Ghanaian team are optimistic of the outcome.

Andre Ayew, the Ghanaian forward has vowed that the Ghanaian team will fight to win Sunday’s AFCON final match against Cote d’Ivore for the whole of Ghana.

The Ghanaian forward has shone in this competition, scoring three goals but he insisted it was the result of the confidence he has enjoyed both from his teammates and the coach.

“I have tried to raise my game because I have been given responsibilities both on and off the pitch. It is due to the group and the confidence from the coach,” he said.

He also blamed inexperience for the Black Stars loss at the 2010 AFCON final to Egypt saying that 14 players had been brought from the U20 World Cup and the team was in the final after three months of the tournament where they were attacking, but couldn’t score.

Ayew said, “I remember the red coat my father wore (sitting on the sidelines in the 1992 final). My father is a Ghanaian and so I want to win this cup for all Ghanaians.”

Ghana last won this competition in 1982 with Andre’s father, the legendary Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew, one of the top stars from that triumph in Libya.

Ten years later, Ayew senior could not play another Africa Cup final after he picked up a second yellow card against Nigeria in the semi-final and Cote d’Ivoire went ahead to beat the Black Stars 11-10 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes of action. “When you get to the final, you need to do everything to win the trophy,” he said.

Ghanaian Black Stars Captain, Asamoah Gyan, returned to training in Bata on Saturday ahead of the AFCON 2015 final against Ivory Coast.

Gyan did not join his colleagues during the team work out, but trained separately with physical trainer Jamie Lawrence due to his health status.

Gyan must pass a late fitness test to make Avram Grant’s starting line-up for the final against Ivory Coast.

The 29-year-old missed Ghana’s AFCON 2015 semi-final against Equatorial Guinea due to a hip injury he suffered against Guinea last Sunday.

Avram Grant, the black star coach also said that reaching the final of the AFCON tournament is as important to him as reaching the UEFA Champions league final.

“For me, I do not rate any final as the best; it’s a good achievement we have reached with these guys and all Ghanaian should get behind the team,” he said.

The former Chelsea boss took charge of the West African giants three weeks to CAF’s flagship competition, but has managed to reach the final of the competition.

CAF Champions League: Rangers Held To A Draw

[highlight]Enugu Rangers, Nigeria’s representative in the 2013 CAF Champions League could only scrape a 0-0 draw against Angola’s Recreativo Libolo on home soil at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium yesterday.[/highlight]

With this result, Enugu Rangers has boxed itself and its chances of moving to the next round of the competition as they will hold by the Angolan club for the second leg in a fortnight to end the third round tie which will determine who moves on or bow out.

It was rather unfortunate for Rangers as from the blow of the whistle, it was an attacking strategy but for the Angolan keeper Landu ensured that Rangers didn’t get the much desired win on home soil as he stopped all efforts to get the ball behind him failed even though Rangers were gifted an opportunity to lead through Emeka Eze in the dying minute but he went off target, ending the game at a drab 0-0 draw.

Goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim captained Enugu Rangers into the encounter. it would be recalled that Agbim and another Rangers players Sunday Mba were in the heat of a transfer saga that left Rangers an option of paying quickly for Agbim’s transfer fee to Warri Wolves to ensure the goalkeeper get registered for the encounter because Agbim was the only fit goalkeeper Rangers could boast ahead of the CAF Champion league clash of Sunday.

Emenike Bitter With NFF, Keshi For Neglect

Emenike; Nigeria’s top scorer at the recently concluded Afcon 2013 is not a happy man right now and he has expressed his unhappiness over his neglect by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the coach of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi.

It is no longer news that the Nigeria Super Eagles are now African champions at the event which took place in South Africa, but it was during the Afcon 2013 tournament that Emenike suffered a hamstring injury against Mali and that has kept the utility player on the bench for weeks after the tournament.

According to the player, after the Afcon 2013 tournament, he was abandoned and his injury became his own responsibility. But his club stood by him during this time even though he sustained the injury while away on National Duty; a responsibility NFF and Keshi shelved.

Emenike used the opportunity to thank his club for their support and effort in his recovery process during the hamstring injury even though he wasn’t on duty for his club when he sustained the injury but despite that they stood by him.

“I must give kudos to my club for taking good care of me even though I didn’t get the injury while playing for them,” he said.

The player said he is embittered by the attitude that Keshi and the NFF put up towards his injury as they never bothered to check up on him or even place a call, indicating that the football body and even Keshi didn’t do well at all.

“I must be honest with you, I have not been treated well by the coach and the NFF because they ignored me so soon, so fast,”.

“Nobody from NFF and the coach have called to ask me about my injury. I am bitter about this.

“It is unfair and I can tell you that is why some players don’t come to give their best for the national team.

“When a player gets injured on national duty, I think the country’s football authority and coach ought to keep in touch to let him know he is loved and cared for.

“I am not a use-and-dump player. I will not act as one at all because my club career is very much important to me than anything.”

“I am not worried about that but I just need to tell them it’s unfair. It is not everything that is money, but a call just to show you care could change someone’s problem at a particular time.”

“I can’t wait to return to my best form. I feel like playing and banging in the goals for my club right now.

“I am happy with my rehabilitation and I will start joggling soon and I believe I will respond well because I have missed the game so much.”

Arsenal topples Montpellier in UCL clash

Other English team in Champions League action last night recorded success as Arsenal opened their Group B campaign with a 2-1 victory in Montpellier. After going behind to a Younes Belhanda goal in the ninth minute, Arsenal struck twice in three minutes through Lukas Podolski and Gervinho and hung on despite second-half pressure from the French champions.

Arsenal was out to win even though it was not all good for the Gunners as the Assistant Manager Steve Bould had to charge following Wenger’s UEFA match ban.

Bould was pleased with the result and had special words for Podolski, who scored his third goal in three matches for his new team saying it was difficult for Arsenal because the Gunners were a bit tired in the second half after perfect execution in the first but it was very humid and the crowd got behind them in the second half.

He continued saying ‘Podolski has made a real impact because he has never any finisher as good as Podolski-ever on every foot he is present’.

Bould added that the win would give the team’ a psychological boost for their Barclays Premier League match away to City on Sunday.

Meanwhile, three-time champions Manchester United who are looking to play a third European Cup final at Wembley, having beaten Benfica in 1968 and lost to Barcelona two years ago, are at home to Galatasaray, the Turkish champions today.

The new European Champions Chelsea will begin their title defence today night also to host Italian champions Juventus at Stamford Bridge.

It would be recalled that Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich to win their first European Cup in May.

MTN World Nigeria golfers championship

One of the major telecoms company MTN Nigeria hosted the MTN World Nigeria golfers championship.