The Republic of Ireland Under-19s need a win this evening if they’re to progress to the European Championship finals. Saturday’s defeat to Sweden means Tom Mohan’s side need to beat Group 7 hosts Belgium tonight, and hope the Swedes drop points to Italy. Both games kick off at 6pm. The likes of John Egan, Conor Hourihane and Daryl Horgan could all make first starts in a green jersey. O’Neill says these friendlies play an important role in his side’s development. Kick off at the Aviva is at 7.45.
Football’s world governing body’s described video referees as “the future”, defending their role in the Confederations Cup.Fifa president Gianni Infantino said in a statement, it’s helping referees make correct decisions at what’s a “milestone tournament”.The VAR (pron: V-A-R) system’s been used five times in Russia during the first round of group games. Photo © Pixabay
Stock photo of horse racing | Photo © Pixabay The Noel Meade runner came home ahead of Balko Des Flos at odds of 8 to 1, with Outlander back in 3rd.It was a disappointing run for triple Gold Cup winner Sizing John who finished well behind, as did second favourite Yorkhill.That was the second of two Grade Ones on Day 3, with Apple’s Jade winning the Christmas Hurdle for Gordon Elliot.However the race was marred by the death of Nichols Canyon who suffered a fatal fall at the half-way stage.The Willie Mullins 7 year old won eight Grade Ones, and was also the only horse to beat Faugheen when he won the Morgiana Hurdle two years ago.Victory for Apple’s Jade was the second of the day for Elliot, while Noel Meade also took the final race of the day with Snow Falcon.Meanwhile there was also success for Tipperary at today’s card in Limerick – Fethard trainer Harry Kelly saddled a welcome winner when Great Trango ran out a game scorer in the opening race while Joseph O’Brien’s High Sparrow took the closing race. There was further success for Tipperary at both Leopardstown and Limerick today .Joseph O’Brien enjoyed back to back winners with Hardback in the 1.50 Novice Handicap Hurdle and Alighted in the 2.25 Flat Race.Road to Respect has claimed the Leopardstown Christmas Chase in a 1-2-3 for the Gigginstown House Stud.
6,277 fans watched on as Tipperary’s senior hurlers went down at the hands of Clare this afternoon in a physical competitive encounter.A good start to the game from Tipp slipped quickly, and half time saw Clare lead 13 points to 10 – both teams with 7 wides each at that stage.Tipp brought the gap back to 1 point in the closing stages of the second half but a point, followed by a goal in the final play of the game from Clare’s David Reidy ended Tipp’s hopes of a win, and it finished up Clare 1-21 Tipperary 0-19. On a positive – Cathal Barrett and Ronan Maher in their new midfield partnership, as well as stallwarths Noel McGrath and Jason Forde faired well for the Premier this afternoonSpeaking to Tipp FM Tipp manager Michael Ryan says Clare finished the game well…Meanwhile, Clare joint manager Donal Moloney said Tipp pushed them all the way, but their preparations stood to them…
Nigeria legend Mercy Akide-Udoh says women’s football worldwide, and especially on the African continent deserves greater attention and investment.Akide-Udoh was one of the legends of the game, and the only former African woman player, invited by FIFA to attend the General Assembly in Mexico in order to help chart a new course for football, and the Nigeria super star said women have been given short shrift for too long“Girls train as hard as the men, play as hard as the men but women footballers are treated like second class citizens, especially in Africa. That needs to change,” Akide-Udoh said.“The girls must be treated with respect, they must be paid as well as the men, and they must have proper domestic competitions to play in.“It is very important for sponsors to invest in women’s football as many of these girls are also breadwinners for their families.“To do that, we need to sit down, talk about what is wrong with the game and find workable ways to make things better.”She praised FIFA President Gianni Infantino for his initiatives in reshaping football“It was a good experience intact ingenuity him. He has some bright ideas to move football forward and I believe that with everyone’s support, he will make things better.”Mia Hamm and Luis Figo were appointed as the player representatives in the FIFA Council, and Akide-Udoh said they would be great representatives“Mia and Luis have the full support of all of us as our representatives on the FIFA Council and I have no doubt in my mind that they will do a fantastic job.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
18TH NESTLE MILO SEC SCH B’BALLThe 18th edition of the Nestle Milo Basketball Championship for Secondary Schools was finally rounded off at indoor sport Hall of Asaba Stadium, Delta state, with two thrilling finals in the girls and boys’ categories.The curtain raiser was the girl’s final match which featured St. Judes Girls Secondary School Amarata, Bayelsa State andWesley Girls Snr Sec School Lagos. The girls final match was full of expectations, Wesley Girls Senior Secondary School Lagos State, gave the Asaba crowd something to cheer as they dethrone last year’s champions, St Jude girls sec school Amarata Bayelsa state 30-29 points in well contested game to emerge champions.The boys’ final match was thrilling and sensational, Government Secondary School Karu FCT Abuja, almost recorded an upset against Osadenis Mixed Secondary School Asaba Delta State. But thanks to the shooting prowess of the championship ‘Most Valuable Player’ Marvelous Mba of Delta State who lifted his team’s spirit with his several three pointers to make it 57-49 points.Earlier in the day, Crowther memorial college Lokoja, Kogi state went past Henson Demonstration School Benin,Edo State 40-37 points to win the third-place match in the boys category.Also, Government Secondary School, Gboko, Benue State defeated Yejide girls grammar sch,Ibadan Oyo State 30-28 points to pick the bronze in the girls’ category.In his address, Mr Femi Akintola, Category Manager-Beverages, Nestle Nigeria PLC, said no fewer than 9,000 schools participated in this year championship in both male and female categories.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The others are Sikiru Olatumbosun, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, both of MF, FC, Lagos, Lobi Stars goalkeeper,Okemute Odah and the duo of Charles Henlong, Al Hassan Ibrahim from Wikki Tourists. Also in camp were Plateau United’s Kelechi John, Shedrack Oghali of Warri Wolves, Gabriel Wassa of Niger Tornadoes and goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa of FC IfeanyiUbah. Wassa and Ezenwa however did not train with the squad following knocks they copped in their last club engagements.The team will resume training Wednesday morning, and will later watch the round of 16 FA Cup cracker between Enyimba FC and El Kanemi Warriors in Abuja.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Kano Pillars midfield strong man, Rabiu Ali led the early arrivals as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) All Stars camp for the first LaLiga Tour opened in Abuja Tuesday.In all, 13 of the 37 players invited by Coach Salisu Yusuf arrived Abuja and trained inside the Main Bowl of the National Stadium guided by Yusuf and goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu.The NPFL All Stars, a product of the League Management Company (LMC) and Spanish League (LaLiga) techincal and commercial partnership are due to embark on an international friendly match tour during which they will play LaLiga sides, Valencia and also play Malaga in the Carranza LaLiga World Club Tournament on August 10, 12 and 13.Among the early arrivals are FC IfeanyiUbah’s Ismaila Gata, Kano Pillars’ Jamiu Alimi and Ifeanyi Mathew.
Pioneer Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) and one-time Chairman of the Federal House of Representatives Committee on Communications, Hon Nduka Irabor, has called for urgent action for the revival of Nigeria sports.Speaking on the topic “Nigeria Sports: Strategies for Revival and Growth”, at a seminar organised by the Lagos chapter of the Sports Writers Association Nigeria (SWAN) as part of activities to mark their Merrybet-Lagos SWAN Week, Irabor outlined a number of measures that should be taken to stem the ugly tide and build capacity to enable the realisation of the full capacity of the sports sector. He also decried the prevailing situation where the Nigeria business community has developed a penchant for association and sponsorship of foreign sports bodies to the negligence of such bodies in the country.Irabor pointed out that while all the football leagues in Nigeria received only $10m in sponsorship in one year, the Nigeria corporate community paid out about N150billion to foreign football leagues and clubs, an attitude which he stressed seriously injures and negates efforts at nation building.Principal among the solutions proffered by Hon Irabor is that the government should properly re-articulate its policy for sports, taking into consideration the fact that sports has become a serious global economic and business factor.Also, the former lawmaker said the government should as a matter of imperative develop new creative ways for the funding of sports.He called for the involvement of businesses, communities, the public and individuals to contribute in tackling the critical deficit in sports facilities, equipment and trainers nationwide.While pointing out that the sports trust and lottery system has been developed and applied for the funding of both grassroots and elite sports in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, he regretted that the Nigeria version of the same set up has remained only so in name. He insisted that Nigerians do not know how much is raked in and where and how the income is applied.Irabor also advised that the nationâ€™s sports governing establishment should be re-invented to give way for competent professionals in various sports administration, management and technical disciplines to be engaged in the implementation of planned programmes as against the present civil service driven system which is further worsened by constantly changing political appointees.He advised that no investment is too much in sports considering its social, economic and health benefits, noting that it behooves the government and people to realise their faults and seek to make amends in policies, institutions and practices if they are truly desirous of achieving global competitiveness in the sector.The two discussants at the seminar, Dr Kweku Tandoh, former Director of Sport at the Lagos State Sports Council and current Chairman of the Nigeria Sports Award Panel, and Mr Mitchel Obi, President of AIPS Africa, strengthened Irabor’s position.Obi warned that the Nigeria sports was now in a â€˜crisis situation’ while Tandoh called out for the â€˜political willâ€™ for action.The seminar which held on Wednesday, August 16, at the Lagos SWAN Secretariat, National Stadium, Lagos was chaired by the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Mr Tunde Popoola, with the Lagos Liaison Officer of the Federal Ministry of Sports, Dr Segun Akinlotan, and Nigeria’s first and only individual Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa present at the event.Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode, Director of Sports Development at the Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr Moses Kolawole, and representatives of Merrybet, sponsors of the Lagos SWAN Week, were also in attendance.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
WORLD CUP 2018The Managing Director, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Mr. George Polymenakos has charged the Super Eagles to go for glory in the upcoming FIFA Mundial in Russia this summer.He expressed this optimism while speaking at the press conference that heralded the arrival of the original FIFA World Cup Trophy in Nigeria for the third time courtesy of Coca-Cola and its bottling partners, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited. While felicitating with the entire Nigerian football family, which is already buzzing with excitement and happiness, he expressed the companyâ€™s delight to have this unique opportunity to connect with the consumers through their passion point and make them happy with the World Cup Trophy Tour experience.â€œWe at NBC and Coca-Cola would always be committed to bringing happiness and refreshment to Nigerians, this partly informs why we are aligned with FIFA on this World Cup Trophy Tour that would see the trophy touch 91 cities and 51 countries, spreading happiness and psyching up the people to get ready for what is unarguably the greatest sporting fiesta coming up this year in Russia,â€ he said.Speaking at the VVIP Viewing Experience of the FIFA World Cup Trophy, the Minister for Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, expressed the hope that with the presence of the FIFA World Cup Trophy which is currently on tour in Nigeria, the Super Eagles would be motivated to do well in Russia 2018 World Cup Finals.Also expressing his delight that Nigeria is one of the few special countries where the trophy would be seen in two different cities.â€œI commend the efforts of the management of Nigerian Bottling Company Limited and Coca-Cola for this memorable moment, they have always been a good partner for the development of sports in Nigeria. I task other corporate bodies to emulate what they have done today and even do better,â€ he said.Some of the ex-football stars who were part of the tour include; Samson Siasia, Austin Eguavoen, and former French International, Christian Karembeu. The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour would berth in Lagos today and will be on parade at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
With 10 goals across all competitions for his Swiss club -FC Zurich, former Nigeria Professional Football League top scorer- Stephen Odey seems to be announcing himself to Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr for a national team call-upStephen Odey took his goal tally for the season to 10 goals across all competitions as FC Zürich claimed a 2-0 win against Grasshopper in the Swiss Super League last Sunday.Zürich dominated the game and had 24 shots on target, one of which was the 84th-minute goal netted by the former Mountain of Fire striker . The 20-year-old has registered his name on the scoresheet in the three competitions he has played for FC Zürich this term, including the Super League, Swiss Cup and Europa League.Odey has tallied six goals in the Swiss top flight, one in the Europa League against Bayer Leverkusen and three in the Cup.Since his transfer to Switzerland in October 2017, Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has not looked at his direction for an invitation to the national team.With their win in the derby, FC Zürich climbed to third place in the standings.In a chat with former Nigerian international Waidi Akani, he is of the opinion that if he keeps on scoring for his club there is no way the Super Eagles coaches would not look at his direction soon.“With the Nigeria Football Federation planning series of friendly matches for the senior national team in preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in a yet to be named venue, if Odey continues with the rate he is going he might probably get a look at for one of one of the friendly matches ahead of the 2019 AFCON.“Even if he does not make it to the AFCON, an invitation would be a boost to his morale. He is still very young with several international competitions ahead of him.“Brazil does it very well, anytime their young players are doing very well, he gets an invitation to the national team for friendly matches just to boost his morale and I think we should be toeing the line too,” the former Super Eagles defensive midfielder said.Continuing, Akani said, “Odey has always been a hard-working footballer, we all saw what he did while he was with MFM FC while still playing in the local league. If not for his move to Switzerland he would have probably finished as the season’s highest goal scorer.” Every season, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) pitches a new star and in 2017, Odey of MFM FC was the star man.His striking form left opposing teams in tears and sorrow, and placed MFM FC as a major contender for the league title and eventually earned them a continental ticket in 2018.The sudden resurgence of the club appears to be tied to the magical boots of Odey whose goal count hits 18. This striker did not just drop from the moon; he is a product of the GTBank Principals Cup, a grass root football development programme of Guaranty Trust Bank.Odey played in the second edition of GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup where he was the captain of the winning Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege. He also topped the list of the GTBank 13-man All Star Team of the Year. It is, therefore, no surprise that the little mustard seed is fast growing into an oak.In January 2017, Odey received the NPFL Bloggers’ Award as the most valuable player of the month. And in the 2017 season, he was the first player to score a hat trick among over 200 players in the league.His exploit led to his invitation to the Super Eagles CHAN Team doubleheader qualifiers against Benin Republic in August in 2017.His impressive performance led to his signing a four-year contract with Swiss club-FC Zurich.Odey joined FC Zurich last year on a four-year deal and will earn an $8,000 a month at the club, thereby becoming the third Nigerian player to represent the club after the late Rashidi Yekini and Ike Shorunmu.Initially, the former MFM star struggled for game time at Letzigrund during his debut season, often making cameos, scoring three goals in 19 competitive appearances, playing a total of 581 minutes.However, for the current campaign, Odey has seen his stock rise as he is now the focal point of the Zurich frontline, a result which has seen him net 10 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions, spending 1,494 minutes so far on the pitch.Odey’s only involvement with the Super Eagles to date came in a friendly with Corsica last year where he featured alongside his former MFM teammate Sikiru Olatunbosun. He has also been involved with the B Team, playing in the 2018 Africa Nations Championship qualifiers.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram