Stephen Keshi today agreed to a new two-year contract to coach Nigeria’s national men’s football team, The Super Eagles, ending months of uncertainty and speculation over his future. Some opposed extending Keshi’s tenure as the Super Eagles coach after they failed to qualify for the recent CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. The 53-year-old has called for a fresh start on Tuesday at an official signing ceremony, saying any lingering bitterness needed to be put in the past. “This is the time for us to come together to fight for this nation,” Keshi said, adding: “I am begging you all to please put the past behind and let’s start afresh.” Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical committee chairman Felix Anyansi-Agwu also described Keshi’s second stint as coach as “a new beginning”. The entire (NFF) board has absolute confidence in the capacity of Stephen Keshi to take the Super Eagles to new heights,” he told reporters. Keshi’s initial contract of three years ran out after last year’s FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the last 16 knockout stages. He had previously steered the side to a win at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, raising his profile in Africa’s most populous nation after a string disappointments at the continent’s top tournament.
Novak Djokovic is “a machine” who will get close to Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record and go down as one of the greatest players of all time, or at least so says former British number one Tim Henman. Djokovic, 27, is aiming to lift to his eighth grand slam at next month’s French Open and close the gap on Rafael Nadal and Federer, who have 14 and 17 respectively. Henman, clearly an admirer, said: “It’s the way he’s hitting the ball from the baseline, how aggressively he plays and how he does it with so few unforced errors. “And then his movement and his athleticism – his ability to turn defence into attack is as good as I’ve ever seen. He is a machine.”
Carlos Tevez has denied reports he could leave Juventus this summer and return to his former club Boca Juniors. Tevez has said that he has no intention of leaving Turin before his contract expires in 2016. The Argentinian’s comments come amid reports he wants to return to his homeland and re-sign for Boca Juniors this summer. But Tevez, who has scored 17 goals in 25 Serie A games this season, dismissed the speculation as false and reiterated that he will be staying at Juventus. “That’s not true,” he told reporters in Turin. “I’m relaxed and I carry that with me on the field, without thinking about the future. “I think I will continue to the end, as agreed with the director.” Meanwhile, Tevez’s agent, Adrian Ruocco confirmed that the 31-year-old wants to end his career at Boca Juniors, but added that he will “respect his contract with Juventus”. “The only guarantee is that Tevez wants to respect his contract with Juventus,” Ruocco said.
There’s still no word on why tickets are not on general sale for the much-anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on 2 May. The MGM Grand holds 16,500 but only around 1,000 tickets are expected to be made available to the wider public. Contracts with the MGM Grand remain unsigned, while tickets are also not on sale for other venues across Las Vegas. Promoter Bob Arum cut a news conference short on Monday before questions could be asked about the ticket issues.
Chris Smalling has signed a new contract at Manchester United, which keeps him at Old Trafford until at least June 2019. The England international, 25, has won two Premier League medals with United, made 147 appearances, and scored nine goals since his debut against Chelsea in the Community Shield in August 2010. After agreeing the deal, Smalling paid tribute to boss Louis van Gaal.: “I am so proud to play for such a great club. We have developed as a team over the course of the season under the manager and we are now playing as a complete unit. “This is a very exciting time to be at Manchester United, we are all determined to get back to where we belong and competing at the highest level.”
Sunday 19 April 2015:
Abia Warriors 1 – 2 Wikki Tourusts
Akwa United 1 – 0 Ifeanyi Uba FC
Bayelsa United 1 – 0 FC Taraba
Enugu Rangers 0 – 1 Giwa FC
Kano Pillars 1 – 0 Enyimba
Kwara United 1 – 3 Heartland
Lobi Stars 2 – 2 Sharks
Nasarawa United 0 – 0 Shooting Stars
Sunshine Stars 2 – 1 Dolphins