Nigeria’s women’s bobsleigh team will make history in Pyeongchang as the first African sled to compete at the Winter Olympics. Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga hit the qualifying standard in November but needed to maintain their world ranking until 14 January. Nigeria will be represented for the first time at the Winter Olympics. Simidele Adeagbo will also fly the West African nation’s flag in the women’s skeleton. All three bobsledders were once track and field athletes before switching to winter sports, with Adigun competing in the 100m hurdles at the London 2012 Olympics.
Former football star George Weah has been elected as Liberia’s president. With nearly all ballots from Tuesday’s run-off vote counted, Mr Weah is well ahead of opponent Joseph Boakai with more than 60% of the vote. As news of Mr Weah’s victory emerged, his supporters began celebrating in the capital Monrovia. He will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, in Liberia’s first democratic handover in decades. “My fellow Liberians, I deeply feel the emotion of all the nation,” Mr Weah wrote on Twitter after the results were announced. “I measure the importance and the responsibility of the immense task which I embrace today. Change is on.”
Super Eagles of Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi has dismissed reports linking him with a move back to the Premier League and insisted he is happy playing in the Chinese Super League. The 30-year-old spent 10-and-a-half years at Chelsea before moving to Tianjin Teda back in January where he is the club captain. He has been named as a potential target for Everton but the Nigeria international has ended the uncertainty surrounding his future by claiming he wants to stay in the Far East.
Former Arsenal and France international striker Thierry Henry who is in Lagos for the Guinness Made of Black programme has been crowned the, Igwe of Football’ in Nigeria. Henry who is in Lagos to meet the ‘Be a Front Row Fan’ winners; a consumer promotion of the company also watched the West Brom v Manchester United EPL game at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Aside receiving the ‘igwe of football’ title, Henry also participated in the cooking of Jollof rice. The 40-year-old Frenchman retired from football in 2014 and is currently the assistant coach of the national team of Belgium. He had been known in the Nigeria’s football circles as “Igwe” during his playing days at Arsenal. Now he has been so ‘crowned’ on his first visit to Nigeria. Continue reading →
Egyptian Mohamed Salah has been voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017. Following a record number of votes, the Liverpool star won ahead of Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Guinean Naby Keita, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Nigeria’s Victor Moses. “I am very happy to win this award,” the 25-year-old said. “It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.” Salah, the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals, has enjoyed a stellar year for both club and country.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho became involved in a physical confrontation with Manchester City’s players after complaining about their post-derby celebrations, according to British media reports late on Sunday. The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph said Mourinho went to City’s changing room following United’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford because he felt their noisy celebrations were disrespectful. The newspapers reported Mourinho had a verbal altercation with City goalkeeper Ederson before having water and milk thrown at him by City’s players and being hit on the head with a plastic bottle.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or award for the fifth time – and the second year in a row. Victory took the 32-year-old Portugal international level with 30-year-old Argentine Messi, who won the most recent of his five awards in 2015. Messi’s ex-Barcelona team-mate Neymar, now at Paris St-Germain, was third. Last season, Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and their first La Liga title since 2012. Ronaldo added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to those he won in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, and Messi is the only other recipient of the award since 2009. “This is something I look forward to every year,” he said, after receiving the award on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. “Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”
Above are the various groups for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The tournament will start on June 14, 2018 with Russia and Saudi Arabia playing the opening game. Nigeria drew Argentina for the 5th time in a world cup group (including 3 consecutive draws since 2010 in South Africa). For Nigeria’s games:
Sam Allardyce has been appointed as Everton manager. The 63-year-old former England boss has signed a deal until June 2019 to become the permanent successor to Ronald Koeman, who was sacked in October with the club 18th in the Premier League. Allardyce has been out of work since leaving Crystal Palace in May.
West Brom have appointed former Newcastle and Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew as their new manager. The Baggies sacked Tony Pulis on 20 November after a run of 10 Premier League games without a victory left them a point above the relegation zone. Pardew, 56, who has been out of the game since being sacked by Palace in December 2016, has signed a deal until the end of the 2019-20 season. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to work with a talented group,” he said.
Former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has been named as sporting director of French club Monaco. The 52-year-old, who played for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup, will take charge of “all sport matters”, the Ligue 1 side said. Emenalo joined Chelsea in 2007 and worked in both scouting and coaching departments before being promoted to technical director in 2011. “I believe this is the right choice for me after leaving Chelsea,” he said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me in such a high-quality project.” A defender during his playing career, Emenalo spent time in Major League Soccer during the 1990s and also played seven games for Notts County in England.
Brazilian footballer Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison for taking part in the gang rape of a woman in Milan in 2013. An Italian court ruled the 33-year-old and five other Brazilians assaulted the Albanian woman, who was 22, after plying her with alcohol in a nightclub. The forward, who left AC Milan in 2015 after five years, was not in court but pleaded not guilty via his lawyer.
As Zimbabwe citizens were matching the streets of Harare yesterday to lend their support to the military’s bid to end the long rule of President Robert Mugabe, an Arsenal fan couldn’t resist voicing his views on Arsene Wenger too. Similar long rule?
Sergio Aguero was taken to hospital after fainting in the dressing room following Argentina’s 4-2 defeat by Nigeria in Krasnodar, Russia. The Manchester City striker had scored to put his side 2-0 up in the first half, but Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi found the net twice as Nigeria came back. Aguero regained consciousness in hospital, where he remained for tests.
A tearful Gianluigi Buffon said he was “sorry for all of Italian football” as he led a wave of international retirements after a World Cup play-off defeat by Sweden. Italy were held to a 0-0 draw in Milan and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958. Buffon, 39, said: “It’s a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup. “Blame is shared equally between everyone. There can’t be scapegoats.”
Patrice Evra has left Marseille by mutual consent and been banned from UEFA competition for the rest of the season for kicking one of his own fans. The former Monaco, Manchester United and Juventus full-back, 36, is banned by UEFA until June 2018, the same month his Marseille deal would have ended. Having played in the Europa League group stage, Evra would not have been able to play for another side in Europe this season even without his ban. He was fined 10,000 euros (£8,829). Evra aimed a kick at a fan next to the pitch before a Europa League game with Vitoria Guimaraes on 2 November.
USA goalkeeper female Hope Solo has accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexual harassment. The World Cup winner, 36, says the incident happened at the 2013 Ballon d’Or awards, before she went on stage to present an award. In an interview with Portugal newspaper Expresso, Solo – who has 202 caps – said: “I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass.” Blatter, 81, denied the incident took place, with his spokesman saying: “This allegation is ridiculous.” Solo, when asked why she has not spoken out on the incident before, added: “I was nervous for the presentation. It was the Ballon d’Or I was presenting. “After that I didn’t see him and that was kind of bad. I didn’t get to tell him directly ‘don’t ever touch me’. That’s the way I’ve always handled things – directly.”