It’s thought Tipp football manager Liam Kearns could be on the radar of other counties looking to full vacant managerial positions.In his two-year term as manager Liam Kearns guided Tipp to a Munster final, All Ireland semi final, and to winning Division 3 of the league this year – gaining promotion to Division 2.Tipp football coach Shane Stapleton says other counties could be watching.
Photo: Pixabay La Liga have refused to take the deposit from Neymar’s lawyers for his move to Paris Saint Germain.The system in place means the player must buy himself out of the contract and then get compensated by his new employers however La Liga have confirmed that they have rejected the offer.They have yet to clarify why they have refused the deposit.
“Yes, I have read of plans by Sweden to include someone like Zlatan Ibramovich as one of their over –aged players for the Games. Good for them, but as far as we are concerned, there is nothing like fear. For us, we are trying to put up a team, and that will determine which players we are going to bring. We have played against players of stronger calibre than Zlatan. We have played against Lionel Messi and Di Maria and others.“We would rather think of the fact that they have a strong team that will play against us, and not individual players. I don’t want to jump around and start mentioning names, and later if those players are not available, we would be disappointed. So, I have to be sure of what I am doing and when that time comes we will release the names.”On the issue of players like John Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi showing interest in playing for Nigeria at the Olympics, Siasia remarked: “I guess that because Mikel missed out the last time, he wants to make up for it. Not only that, the last couple of games he has played for the Super Eagles, he has been playing very well, and if he wants to be part of the team, of course he is welcome, but as I said we have to look at the positions we really, really need people. We are not going to select players because they play for the Super Eagles or because they are still under the age bracket. They have to compete with those players who actually qualified the team for the Olympics.”Coach Siasia confirmed that he has sent a provisional list of 60 players for the Games. According to him, “if your name is not on that list, then no Olympics for you. That’s why we put as many names as we can, we don’t know the Europe -based players whose clubs would release for the Games.”The U-23 coach said he smiled and stood near Brazil coach, Dunga after the draws at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro: “I told myself this is the man I would be playing against in the Final Match!”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Report to camp Monday or forget trip to BrazilDream Team VI Head Coach, Samson Siasia, has warned that any of the players invited from the domestic leagues who fail to report to camp by Monday, April 25 should not bother coming to camp, as the technical crew will work with only players available to them and are willing to play at the Olympics.Speaking after the team’s training session at the practice pitch of the Abuja National Stadium, yesterday, Siasia said he does not want to make the mistake of the past when players who had been penciled down by the coaching crew were not available when needed.“I want to work with only the players on ground, and to get them to the shape I want,” Siasia reiterated.On the issue of other teams in Nigeria’s Group B already announcing plans to include very experienced over-aged players, the U-23 gaffer said the technical crew and the players are not scared of any individual player, but would rather bother about the quality of opposition at the Olympics’ football event.
The year’s second Grand Slam tournament is just around the corner, and all eyes will be on world number one Novak Djokovic as he attempts for the fifth time to complete his career Grand SlamDjokovic will start as the favourite to finally win the French Open for the first time, having been denied by Rafael Nadal in the 2012 and 2014 finals, as well as in the 2013 semi-finals, and by Stan Wawrinka in last year’s final. But as always, Nadal, Wawrinka and world number two Andy Murray, who defeated the Serb to win in Rome last week, will headline the contenders keen to stop Djokovic from finally completing his Grand Slam set.Let’s now take a look at some of the contenders for the 2016 French Open men’s crown.Novak DjokovicCurrent world ranking: 1Titles won this season to date: Doha, Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, MadridFrench Open historyBest result: Runner-up three times (2012, 2014 and 2015)Perhaps losing to Andy Murray in the Rome final last week might be what Novak Djokovic needs.It means the Serb will enter the French Open with little pressure, though he will be desperate to finally break his duck at Roland Garros, having blown his best chance yet last year when he lost to Stan Wawrinka in the final in four sets.That came after he defeated Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, and required two days to defeat Murray in the semi-finals. Having to play across three days eventually contributed to his four-set defeat to Wawrinka.This year the top seed will again start favourite ahead of the likes of defending champion Wawrinka, nine-times champion Rafael Nadal, world number two Andy Murray and 2009 champion Roger Federer.Djokovic has continued to dominate in 2016, first winning a record sixth Australian Open crown, completing the Indian Wells and Miami double for the sixth consecutive year and winning the Madrid Masters for the second time after 2011.However, he has also had the occasional slip-up; his quarter-final retirement-enforced loss to Feliciano Lopez in Dubai marked the first tournament since Doha in 2015 in which he failed to reach a final, while he was upset by rising Czech Jiri Vesely in his opening match at Monte Carlo last month.All the clay court preparation the Serb has put into his pursuit for a maiden French Open title will count for nothing if he does not end up being mentioned in the same sentence as “champion” for the very first time on June 5.Prediction: ChampionAndy MurrayCurrent world ranking: 2Titles won this season to date: RomeFrench Open historyBest result: Semi-finals three times (2011, 2014 and 2015)2016 has been an eventful year to date for Andy Murray, in more ways than one.The Scot kicked off his season with a fifth runner-up showing at the Australian Open, after which he became a father for the very first time when his wife Kim Sears gave birth to a baby daughter.That was then followed by poor performances at Indian Wells and Miami, whereby he lost in the third round at both events.Again the clay court season has brought out the best in Murray, first reaching the semi-finals in Monte Carlo where he lost to Rafael Nadal in three sets, and then reaching back-to-back finals in Madrid and Rome, winning the latter tournament.His victory over Novak Djokovic in the Italian capital on his 29th birthday came after he ended a two-year coaching partnership with Amelie Mauresmo, and now it appears the Scot will play at Roland Garros without a coach.The French Open remains the only Grand Slam tournament which Murray has yet to reach the final, but if he can continue on his recent good form, then anything could happen. Being seeded second means he won’t face to face Djokovic until the final, but he may have to face nine-times champion Nadal in the quarter-finals.Prediction: Semi-finalsStan WawrinkaCurrent world ranking: 4Titles won this season to date: Chennai, DubaiFrench Open historyBest result: Won (2015)Apart from titles in Chennai and Dubai, season 2016 hasn’t exactly quite gone to plan for reigning French Open champion Stan Wawrinka.The 31-year-old first failed to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open for the first time since 2013, and also failed to reach the quarter-finals at four of the five Masters events this year to date.But at the one event in which he did well, he lost to clay court king Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters; he also reached the quarter-finals at a smaller event in Marseille where he lost to Benoit Paire, the same man he beat in his Rome opener last week before he lost to Juan Monaco in the third round.It will now remain to be seen how Wawrinka fares in his French Open title defence.As is the case this year, Wawrinka entered last year’s tournament with little expectation but defeated Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic in succession to win his second Grand Slam title and deny the latter his chance to complete the Career Grand Slam.His fourth seeding will mean that he cannot face any of Djokovic or Andy Murray until the semi-finals, while he cannot face third-seeded Federer until the final. He may, however, have to face nine-times champion Nadal in the quarter-finals.So, can Wawrinka successfully defend his French Open title or will last year’s victory be exposed as a fluke?Prediction: Semi-finalsRafael NadalCurrent world ranking: 5Titles won this season to date: Monte Carlo, BarcelonaFrench Open historyAustralian Open result: First round2016 has so far been one of mixed fortunes for nine-times French Open champion Rafael Nadal.After starting the season by reaching the final and losing to Novak Djokovic in Doha, the Spaniard suffered his first ever first-round exit at the Australian Open, and suffered the ignominy of winning the tournament’s “wooden spoon” in doing so.The 14-times Grand Slam champion then suffered from further disappointing results, losing a pair of clay court semi-finals in Buenos Aires and Rio before losing to Djokovic in the semi-finals at Indian Wells.He was then forced to retire in his opening match at Miami, but by the time the European clay court swing came around, his form returned. The 29-year-old won titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, before losing to Murray and Djokovic in Madrid and Rome respectively.Not for the first time, Nadal will not start as the favourite to win the French Open, which he has done nine times between 2005 and 2014 inclusive, with the only blot being in 2009 where he was upset by Robin Soderling in the fourth round.That, and his straight-sets quarter-final defeat by Novak Djokovic last year stand as the only two defeats the Spaniard has suffered at Roland Garros since debuting eleven years ago.While his form this year has been rather indifferent, Nadal will again be expected to make a deep run on the Parisian red clay, but his seeding of fifth could thrust him into a quarter-final showdown against either Djokovic or Wawrinka later on.Prediction: Runner-upJo-Wilfried TsongaLocal favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will again carry the hopes of the home nation, who have not had a homegrown male champion since Yannick Noah in 1983. The 2008 Australian Open finalist was recently forced to withdraw from the Rome Masters due to injury, and it could impact on how he fares at RolandGarros.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The midfielders are Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi and Nosa Igiebor while the forwards include Brown Ideye, Imoh Ezekiel, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo and Victor Osimhen.Team administrator Dayo Enebi Achor confirmed yesterday that Belgium –based Moses Simon and Slovakia –based Kingsley Madu will arrive today.The delegation of Tanzania’s Taifa Stars is expected to arrive in Nigeria today, while the match officials will jet in tomorrow.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Franco-German coach, Gernot Rohr, took charge of the Nigeria senior men’s squad, Super Eagles, for the first time yesterday as the team began training sessions ahead of Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania.Rohr and a number of players could not fly to Uyo from Lagos on Monday as ARIK airline eventually cancelled their flight after many hours. But the entourage landed in Uyo just after noon yesterday.On arrival at the team’s Le Meridien Hotel, Coach Rohr had a meeting with his assistants, backroom staff and players present, before the evening’s training session at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.In camp as at Tuesday evening were Skipper John Mikel Obi, Assistant Captain Ahmed Musa, goalkeepers Emmanuel Daniel and Ikechukwu Ezenwa. Defenders in camp include, Musa Muhammed, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Jamiu Alimi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong and Elderson Echiejile.
The chairman, Lagos Divisional Football Association, LDFA, who thanked the chairman of Lagos State Football Association, Seyi Akinwunmi, for appointing him as the chairman of LSFA’s Chairman Grassroots Committee, said his appointment paved the way for him to have adequate knowledge of grassroots football.Oyekan, who had earlier donated set of jerseys to the winners of Eko Football Fiesta Under- 13 and 16 and a trophy to the LSFA, said he would not relent in his efforts to help indigent players, adding that the gesture would complement the effort of the LSFA to further develop the game at the grassroots level.According to him, Jankara playground, Lagos- Island, which is being managed by Bombata Football Association, BOFA, had produced great football players like, Gbolahan Salami, Edem Etebor, Omoyegun Nirudeen, Festus Odini, and Adekunle Dawodu, among others.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram As part of his commitment towards helping young talented footballers to achieve success, a member of the Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, Prince Ifalada Oyekan, has donated football kits to football players.Oyekan, who made the donation last Saturday to young football players, who played at Jankara playground, Lagos- Island, gave football boots, shin guards, hose and jerseys to players whose desire was to earn a living through football but did not have kits to build a solid career in football.
WWE SMACKDOWNFemi Solaja in New York courtesy MultiChoiceThe sweet revenge for Shinsuke Nakamura against The Singh Brothers was one of the major high point at the WWE SmackDown bouts late Tuesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Two days ago the Japanese wrestler was handed his first single loss of the championship to Jinder Mahal.The loss to Mahal was caused by the Singh Brothers who distracted Nakamura long enough for the champion to gain the upper hand for the controversial victory.However, at the SmackDown event, it was a different scene as Mahal watched helplessly as the master of flying kicks gave the challengers enough dose of punishment.Before the bout, Bryan, an acquaintance of Nakamura had told Mahal that it’s payback time by going up against his cronies the Singh Brothers.In the ring, Nakamura blasted both Sunil and Samir Singh, knocking them around with hard strikes. A distraction from Mahal opened the door for the heels to battle back.A triangle choke, though, was enough to put away the brothers. Mahal tried to ambush Nakamura afterward, but he countered with a Kinshasa.The flamboyant Japanese wrestler won via Samirâ€™s tapout to a triangle submission leading to a pin fall and thereafter blues and red lighting illuminate the hall as passionate fans celebrate with him.Before the bout, AJ Styles kicked off the night by issuing an open challenge for his U.S. title. McMahon screwed him over and few minutes later, Shane-O-Mac stepped out to highlight his dominance, stating he called the match fairly.In hot exchange of words, Styles demanded to defend the title, and the commissioner agreed to the match. Owens, though, demanded to choose his own referee.And per McMahon, this would be Owens’ last shot at the championship while Styles held it.“I told the world that I am the workhorse of the WWE,” Styles responded following Owens claim that “you should be focused on your right hand hitting the mat three times,” he responded.The efficient segment followed up the SummerSlam controversy well. Owens, Styles and McMahon all had a ton of tension here. We’re getting closer and closer to the McMahon vs. Owens feud that will be the highlight of SmackDown in the coming weeks.And WWE continues to find ways to keep the Styles-Owens matchups interesting. KO picking the ref is a unique, fun stipulation. The last-chance element of the bout adds high stakes.In the women tag team championship match, Natalya and Carmella teamed up against Naomi and Lynch in the epic battle. In exchange of pin fall claims, Natalya and her partner were on the losing side.The stage appearance of Naomi was awesome, wearing a sweet Technicolor-esque dream coat during her entrance. She hung it on the ring post, then immediately got in Natalyaâ€™s face.Naomi started the match against Carmella, who danced around the ring for a lap before tagging in Natalya. They lock up as the fight got to a break.Upon return, Lynch hit a running legdrop on Natalya. The new champion attempted to call a timeout, then pulled Lynch into the turnbuckle and kicked away at her. Natalya hooked a sleeper on Becky, who freed herself, only to be floored by a discus clothesline.Natalya pushed Lynch back into her teamâ€™s corner. She attempted to tag Carmella, who dropped to the floor to avoid getting involved in the match. Natalya glared down at her partner. Lynch took advantage of the situation with a schoolboy, then hit an enziguri.Both women regained their feet. Lynch hit a charging Natalya with an elbow in the corner, but was thrown onto her face when she climbed the ropes to follow up. Natalya scored a two count, then yelled, â€œWhat are you doing?â€ at Carmella. Outside the ring, the wave is back in Brooklyn.In the exchange, Naomi and Becky Lynch beat Natalya and Carmella when Naomi pinned Carmella after a split-legged moonsault.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
True to its promise of winning this year’s edition of the Quadrangular Games, host Ikoyi Club 1938 has jumped into the lead on the medals table with a total of 24 points from events concluded so far in the competition.The Quadrangular Games, a yearly event is rotated among four clubs, Ikoyi Club 1938, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, The Apapa Club and Lagos Country Club Ikeja. Each gold medal won at the event fetches five points, silver three points and bronze one point.In badminton, out of three events competed in the seven games, Ikoyi Club captured a gold and silver medals in the Ladies Singles, while Lagos Country Club picked a bronze in the Ladies Doubles, Ikoyi Club also won a gold and silver medal leaving the bronze for Lagos country Club.It was the same result in the Mixed Doubles event where the host grabbed the silver and silver with Lagos Country Club settling for the bronze.In the men’s table tennis Singles event, Kunle Onamusi of Lagos Country Club walked over his opponent from The Apapa Club while Akeem Mustafa of Ikoyi Club beat Leke Olubola of Lagos Lawn Tennis Club 6/4, 5/7, 11/9.In the same way, Tochukwu Adino of Ikoyi Club walked over Alh Samuel Shuaibu of The Apapa Club, while Idemudia Ojiagbe of Lagos Country Club defeated Jude Osaji of Lagos Lawn Tennis Club 6/2,6/2.In the Veteran Singles (50+), Walter Eze of Ikoyi Club beats Feso Jide of Lagos Country Club 6/3,6/0, while Garry Rilwan of Lagos Lawn Tennis Club outgunned Edet Akpaso of Ikoyi Club 7/6,3/0. Victor Ogbeide of Lagos Country Club walked over his opponent from The Apapa Club same for Dapo Aboaba of Lagos Lawn Tennis Club who walked over Tony Anene of The Apapa Club.Two events were concluded late yesterday in the Billiards, Snooker and Pool out of four games. The concluded events were Billiards Open and Billiards Veteran.As at press time yesterday, Lagos Country Club had three points as against 24 points by Ikoyi Club, while The Apapa Club and Lagos Lawn Tennis Club had no point to show for their participation in the games so far.lkoyi Club was looking forward to extending its lead with the swimming events which began yesterday night.The 2017 edition of the quadrangular games is featuring ten sporting events, snooker, billiards and pool, table tennis, lawn tennis, badminton, squash, swimming, soccer, chess, scrabble and ayo. The competition will end on December 2.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
While defensive doubts have arisen â€“ against Argentina and Japan respectively â€“ both have stood firm, with Belgium now enjoying their best major tournament since Mexico 1986.The Red Devils will be without a key â€“ if less flashy â€“ part of their puzzle against France, with Thomas Meunier picking up a second booking prior to them being wiped for the semi-finals. Les Bleus will however be buoyed by the return of Blaise Matuidi, after sitting out a suspension of his own.Belgiumâ€™s Coach Roberto Martinez may be willing to switch to a classic 4-4-2 approach, without Meunier to call upon, to adapt to the French. If so, Nacer Chadli may start on the right, with Yannick Carrasco returning on the opposite flank. The Red Devils are looking readier than ever physically, psychologically and in their football to prove that their â€œgolden generationâ€ moniker is justified.Les Bleus impressed against Argentina through offensive flair, and against Uruguay by their unitâ€™s solidity.Now, they need to beat the most spectacular team of the tournament so far. Belgiumâ€™s biggest threat: Eden Hazard. Franceâ€™s solution: Ngolo Kante. This clash between the Chelsea team-mates (and two of the best players of the competition) will likely be key to the result.FACTFrance havenâ€™t met any side more often than Belgium, having played them on 74 occasions. However, they have only met twice at the World Cup, with their last meeting coming in the third-place match at Mexico 1986, and have played each other in just eight friendlies since.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram France and Belgium now have to see who will be pursuing gold and who is left searching for bronze as the first semi final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup holds this evening here at the St Petersburg Stadium.The ticket is just an hour and a half of football away from a potentially career-crowning final football showpiece on Sunday in MoscowThe pair arrived with high hopes but outsiders had their doubts about whether the two extravagant jigsaws comprised of stupendous talent could be pieced together in time for a true assault on the Final.
SWAN President, Mr. Honour Sirawoo in a statement, particularly praised the sports ministry and those handling the NYG for the level of arrangements put in place for the overall success of the games.“Although I am yet to be on ground, but information from SWAN members covering the games reveal tremendous and visible improvement above previous editions and this is quite commendable.I commend in strong terms the tenacity of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development under the leadership of the Minister, Barr. Solomon Dalung for achieving this feat of sustainability of the youth games.“I am particularly not happy however with the inability of some states to participate in this year’s edition. With this singular act, young boys and girls from these states are being deprived opportunity to showcase their God-given talents that could help shape their future.“Let it be known that engaging young ones in positive activities such as sports is also an avenue to address restiveness and social vices, hence my appeal to states not participating in this year’s edition to consider youth empowerment and development through sports as priority going forward.”Sirawoo commended states that have committed their resources in sponsoring athletes participating in the NYG, stressing that it is a worthy venture that will yield results not only to their respective states but the country at large.He also applauded the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for engaging the sports media and assured that the sports writers will not disappoint in discharging their duties of constructive reportage of the games.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Adibe Emenyonu in Benin CityThe Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has commended the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for it’s concerted effort towards the sustainability of the National Youth Games (NYG) where young talents for grooming are being discovered yearly.This is just as the body has taken a swipe on Zamfara and Yobe states that are not participating in the ongoing 4th edition of the NYG at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.