Roger Federer is aiming to be fit for next year’s Australian Open after injury wiped out the last half of his 2016 season. Federer, 35, has been out of action since late July – his last match was a Wimbledon semi-final loss to Milos Raonic. The 17-time Grand Slam winner had surgery in February before a back issue ruled him out of the French Open. “I’m working for the Australian Open,” the Swiss said. “I’m doing well.”
The Champions League group-stage is this evening. It’s set to begin at 5pm Nigerian time. The following are the Pots for the draw:
Pot 1: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Leicester City, Bayern Mnich, Juventus, Benfica, Paris St-Germain and CSKA Moscow
Pot 2: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Manchester City, Sevilla, Porto, Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen
Pot 3: Basel, Tottenham, Dynamo Kiev, Lyon, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Club Brugge and Monchengladbach
Pot 4: Celtic, Monaco, Besiktas, Legia Warsaw, Dinamo Zagreb, Ludogorets Razgrad, Kobenhavn and Rostov
Pot one are teams that won their domestic title. And the other pots are arranged by UEFA coefficient ranking. No two clubs from the same country can be in the same group – and neither can clubs from Russia and Ukraine.
Leicester City’s England midfielder Danny Drinkwater has signed a new five-year deal with the Premier League champions. “I’ve loved playing for this Club, it’s been perfect for me and my career and I want to be here for a long time to come. I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I’ve grown a lot as a player and a person in the last four years and Leicester City has been a massive part of that. I owe a lot to the staff here for helping me get to this point – they’ve been quality.”
United States goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended for six months by US Soccer for describing Olympic opponents Sweden as “a bunch of cowards”. The 35-year-old was speaking after Sweden knocked her side out of Rio 2016 in the quarter-finals, winning 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said her comments were “unacceptable”. World Cup winner Solo, writing on her Facebook page, said she was “saddened” by the decision. “I could not be the player I am without being the person I am, even when I haven’t made the best choices or said the right things,” she added. Solo will not be eligible for selection until February. In January 2015, she was suspended for 30 days following an incident during a training camp. Media reports claimed she was in the car when husband Jerramy Stevens was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Sweden lost 2-1 to Germany in the Olympic final.
Three Olympic champions from China are among 11 weightlifters who face being stripped of their medals after failing retests of their Beijing 2008 doping samples. The 11 medallists tested positive for a range of banned substances, says the International Weightlifting Federation. Among those to fail are gold medallists Cao Lei, Liu Chunhong and Chen Xiexia. The other eight medallists to test positive are from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Andrei Rybakou of Belarus, who holds the 85kg world record with a 187kg snatch and won silver in 2008, tested positive in the retests. The others to fail are Anastasia Novikova of Belarus, Kazakhstan’s Maria Grabovetskaya and Irina Nekrasova, Russia’s Khadzhimurat Akkaev and Dmitry Lapikov and Ukraine’s Natalya Davydova and Olha Korobka. They are all provisionally suspended until the cases are resolved.
Senegal international midfielder Henri Saivet has signed for French side St Etienne on a season-long loan from Championship club Newcastle United. The 25-year-old joined Newcastle in January but made only two appearances for the club, who were relegated from the Premier League. Saivet told the club’s website: “I am very happy and relieved to have the chance to play again. “I want to win the Greens. I will do everything to show I am motivated.”
Winger Victor Moses says Chelsea are targeting domestic cup success as the club are not in European competition. Antonio Conte takes charge of his first knockout game as Blues boss when League One Bristol Rovers visit Stamford Bridge later. “We want to carry on winning matches but this won’t be an easy game, they’re a League One side and it’s often difficult to play against teams from the lower leagues,” says Moses, 25. “This season every trophy is important, whether it’s the League Cup, FA Cup or Premier League. I think it’s going to be a very interesting season for us.”
Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has arrived in Manchester ahead of a proposed move to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. His joining Man City is likely to result in goalkeeper Joe Hart leaving the team.
Manchester City’s teenage forward Kelechi Iheanacho says he does not feel under pressure from Sergio Aguero. Aguero, 28, has scored six goals in three Premier League and Champions League games this season. “Sergio is a great striker and I am learning from him. It’s not pressure, it’s a dream come true,” added 19-year-old Iheanacho ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League play-off with Steaua Bucharest. “Pep [Guardiola] has brought his own style. It’s going to look easy on the pitch when you have lots of players to pass to. I haven’t had any private discussions with Pep. He has the final decision on the team and I have to work hard to be in his team.”
On the 15th of August 1945, the axis nations fighting in the Pacific theater defeated imperial Japan and two weeks later, Japan formally surrendered to allied forces led by the U.S. General, Douglas McArthur, who formally accepted the signed articles of surrender. But though the U.S. defeated Japan, they never decimated Japan’s great technological and industrial complex. They were visionary enough to distinguish these from Japan’s military industrial complex, which they scrapped. Realizing that Japan was decades ahead of the West in many technologies, the allied powers, led by the US, allowed those industries to remain as a going concern and took the unique step of enacting legislation and policies to enable them flourish. What they did in Japan, they also did in Europe. In Europe, the US, acting unilaterally, even went a step further by introducing the Marshall Plan through which America sent financial and other types of aid to help Europe (and especially Germany) recover from the ravages of the Second World War. The point of the allied and American actions in Japan and Europe is that technological advancement belongs to the human race and should not be allowed to suffer because of a quarrel or war amongst humans. This lesson was thoroughly established in 642 AD when the Library of Alexandria was burnt to the ground during the Muslim conquest of Egypt. It has been argued that that act set the world several centuries back in technological advancement and has become something to watch out for during the prosecution of a war. A war is a quarrel between or amongst people that is settled by means of violence. It is not a quarrel between or amongst technology, so civilized nations have pursued the policy of fighting wars while preserving technology. Gone should be the days of the scorched earth policy which is why despite the bestiality of the apartheid regime, President Nelson Mandela did not do a Mugabe, but rather left intact White owned farms, industry and universities and only insisted that they be opened to Blacks and other races. This brings me to Nigeria. I would like to state a fact that will be argued against, but still a fact that even those who would argue against it know to be true.
The Igbo (or Ibo) ethnic nationality of Nigeria are the most technologically advanced Black race on planet earth, bar none! This is a fact. A fact that was proven to be true for 30 months while they were landlocked in their constantly shrinking enclave known as Biafra.
Team Great Britain arrived Heathrow airport London aboard British Aireys this morning to a grand welcome by the people. The team came overall second (behind Team USA) in the Rio Olympics with 27 Gold, 23 Silver and 17 Bronze medals.
Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel expressed his pride after Nigeria U23’s 3-2 victory over Honduras ensured they won the 2016 Olympic Games bronze medal. The victory was secured by Sadiq Umar’s brace and second half from Aminu Umar and also ensured Nigeria join East Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Brazil as they only countries to have won all the medals in the Games’ men football event. A successful campaign in Brazil have sparked optimism about the Super Eagles’ chances of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia having missed out of two consecutives Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. “To lead this team to an Olympic medal, and make Nigerians proud – this is why I play football,” Obi tweeted. The 29-year-old was outstanding throughout the competition and got one of Nigeria’s goals in the 2-0 quarter-final defeat of Denmark. Having ended the championship on a high, he is expected to return to the Stamford Bridge where he is expected to battle for a regular place in Antonio Conte’s squad. Mikel has also been named in Nigeria’s squad to face Tanzania in next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The Rio Olympics ended with a spectacular carnival-inspired closing ceremony, and the official handover to 2020 hosts Tokyo. The colourful ceremony, lasting almost three hours, celebrated Brazil’s arts and was held in a wet Maracana. Among the highlights were Tokyo’s impressive showcase and a vibrant carnival parade. “These were a marvellous Olympics, in a marvellous city,” said International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach. “Over the last 16 days a united Brazil inspired the world, in difficult times for all of us, with its irresistible joy for life.” Bach officially closed the Games of the 31st Olympiad after 16 days of competition, featuring 11,303 athletes from 206 nations and a refugee team. One of the biggest cheers of the night came when Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared dressed as computer game character Super Mario, rising out of a huge green pipe in the stadium. The ceremony, watched by billions around the world, featured the parade of athletes and a dramatic extinguishing of the Olympic flame.
A benefactor has handed a reward of $390,000 to the Nigerian Olympic football team in Brazil after the West African country won bronze on Saturday. Japanese plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu had promised to reward the team after hearing about their financial difficulties before and during the tournament. Takasu fulfilled his promise by presenting cheques of $200,000 and $190,000 to coach Samson Siasia and captain John Mikel Obi respectively on behalf of the team. He met with them two hours after Nigeria defeated Honduras 3-2 in the bronze medal play-off. “The $200,000 covers the bonuses and allowances as promised and the $190,000 is for the bronze medal,” Takasu said. “I had travelled from Tokyo prepared to reward them anyway, and to watch them win the bronze inside the stadium was very fulfilling,” he added. Before arriving in Rio, Nigeria’s ‘Dream Team VI’ were held up in Atlanta, USA, because of a problem with the payment for their flight, and they only landed in Brazil just hours before their opening 5-4 win over Japan. Nigeria also had a troubled build-up to their quarter-final against Denmark after the players boycotted a training session in a dispute over pay. “This team showed resilience and fought the hardest to achieve success, despite all their problems – some people would have given up but they didn’t,” said Takasu. “In everything we must always let people understand that they are appreciated and not just in football but generally in life.”
Athletes, including triple jumper Olu Olamigoke, competed in Rio (L) in the same kit as worn at the World Athletics Championships in March (R)
Nigerian athletes in Rio received their Olympic kits only on day 13 of the Games. Most of them had finished competing by the time the outfits arrived. “We are disappointed and embarrassed. We’ve been wearing kits from the World Athletics Championships,” one athlete, requesting anonymity said. Nigeria’s men’s football team has its own sponsored kit – but it has been hit by funding problems and players only arrived hours before their first match. The team plays for bronze on Saturday (today) against Honduras. Africa’s most populous country has so far won no medals at Rio, with only three more days of competition left to go. Two athletes confirmed that they had only received their sports and ceremonial kits on Thursday.
Crystal Palace have signed Belgium striker Christian Benteke from Liverpool for a club record £27m. The fee for the 25-year-old forward, who has agreed a four-year contract, could rise by a further £5m. Benteke joined the Reds for £32.5m in July 2015 and scored 10 goals, but started only eight Premier League games under new boss Jurgen Klopp. He becomes Palace’s fourth signing of the summer after Andros Townsend, James Tomkins and Steve Mandanda. “I’m very happy to commit my future to Crystal Palace,” said former Aston Villa player Benteke, who has six goals in 26 games for his country.
Usain Bolt ended his Olympic career by claiming an unprecedented ‘triple triple’ and his ninth gold as Jamaica won the 4x100m relay final in Rio. Bolt, 29, had won the 100m and 200m in Rio and is the only man to win all three sprint events at three Games. He combined with Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade to lift gold in a time of 37.27 seconds. Japan won a surprise silver and the USA were disqualified to hand Canada bronze. “There you go, I’m the greatest,” said Bolt, who has won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the last three Games. He intends to retire after the 2017 World Championships in London and will not compete at Tokyo 2020, at which point he will be nearly 34. Bolt’s haul of nine golds is the joint highest among Olympic athletics. He is now equal with USA sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis, who won nine golds over four Games, and Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi.
Newly appointed Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has named youngster Victor Osimhen in his first squad. The German has named 23 players for the game against Tanzania in Uyo on 3 September in a 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier. Nigeria cannot qualify for the finals in Gabon, with Egypt claiming the qualifying place from Group G. Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi has not been included due to a thigh injury that has ruled him out for four weeks. Also missing is Oghenekaro Etebo, who is at the Olympics with Nigeria and scored four goals in a 5-4 win over Japan in their first match in Brazil. One member of the Olympic team on Rohr’s list is John Mikel Obi and he is joined by Chelsea team-mate Victor Moses. It will be Rohr’s first match as Nigeria boss and will give the German an opportunity to meet the players and discuss his future plans. Rio 2016 Olympic football goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel, FC Porto’s Chidozie Awaziem and Osimhen, top scorer at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, have been handed maiden call-ups. Israel-based midfielder Nosa Igiebor, overlooked since June 2014 gets a recall. The three-time African Champions are using the game to prepare for their opening 2018 World Cup qualifying match with Zambia in Ndola in October.
Usain Bolt won the men’s 200m to claim his second Rio 2016 gold, his eighth at an Olympics, and keep alive his hopes of an unprecedented ‘treble treble’. The Jamaican ran 19.78 seconds to come home ahead of Canada’s Andre de Grasse and France’s Christophe Lemaitre. Bolt, 29, has already won the 100m in Rio and will run in the 4x100m relay final today (02:35 Nigerian time, Saturday). Bolt is aiming to match his achievement of claiming gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012. The Jamaican, who said in February he would retire after the 2017 World Championships, has won all eight of the Olympic finals in which he has appeared.
Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has signed a two-year contract extension with the club. The 19-year-old scored 14 times last season even though 25 of his 36 appearances were as a substitute. New manager Pep Guardiola has rewarded him with a long-term deal on much improved terms. “Kelechi is a natural goalscorer. I knew about him before, but I’ve been really impressed with him since I arrived,” Guardiola said. “I like his personality, his attitude, his ability – we hope to help him reach the highest level and to realise his full potential.” Iheanacho was City’s third-highest scorer in all competitions, behind Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne. The Nigerian was a late substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sunderland.