Tennis: NTF Umpire Urges Former Players to Assist Budding Talent | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Tennis: NTF Umpire Urges Former Players to Assist Budding Talent

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 7, 2014

An Umpire with Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Saidu Musa, yesterday called on former national players to assist budding talents in the sport to achieve their dreams of becoming professionals.

Musa said in an interview in Lagos that former players should be able to give back to the society that made them.

I am calling on players that benefited from tennis in the country to make positive impact on the sport by sponsoring programmes.

Nigerian Tennis Player in Action During the CBN Tennis Championship.

The sport gave them the fame and made them and so they should reciprocate by sponsoring programmes, he said.

Musa, a member of the NTF technical committee, said that the National Sports Commission could not carry the sport development alone without the help of the federation itself.

The development of tennis should not be left for government alone, but rather a collective responsibility of the past players in collaboration with the national body, he said.

Musa said that the coaches also need to regularly acquaint themselves with the current trends in the game.

If we must move forward at all, coaches must update their knowledge regularly because technical rules keep changing.

Let them watch video tapes of international championships, read and study the dos and donts of tennis.

The more they involve themselves in workshops and seminars, the better for them in their career, he said.

According to him, everything is not about the players, coaches needed experience too and that nobody buys experience, it is acquired.

Source: NAN

Pistorius Speaks on First Day of the Defence Case: Apologises for Killing Steenkamp | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Pistorius Speaks on First Day of the Defence Case: Apologises for Killing Steenkamp

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 7, 2014

An emotional Oscar Pistorius took to the stand on Monday and started giving evidence in his murder trial in Pretoria.

The double amputee called the Blade Runner began his testimony with an apology to Reeva Steenkamps family, saying he was simply trying ton protect her, in a trembling voice.

The trial was delayed for more than a week after one of the assessors assisting the judge fell ill.

Prosecutors says Mr. Pistorius murdered his girlfriend Steenkamp- a reality TV celebrity and a law graduate- in February 2013 after an argument.

Oscar Pistorius Trial Day 17: Pistorius Says His Mother Was Already In Coma By the Time He Was Informed She Was Ill.

The Paralympic champion denies shooting her deliberately, saying he mistook her for a intruder.

Mr. Pistorius told Miss Steenkamps relatives he could not imagine their pain.

Miss Steenkamps mother, June, sat stony-faced while the athlete spoke on.

He said there hasnt been a moment since this tragedy happened that I havent thought about your family.

I wake up every morning and youre the first people I think of, the first people I pray for, I cant imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that Ive caused you and your family.

I was simply trying to protect Reeva. I can promise that when she went to bed that night she felt loved.

Ive tried to put my words on paper many, many times to write to you. But no words will ever suffice.

Mr Pistorius said he is taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills because he is afraid to sleep.

He says he wakes in the night in terror.

The athlete, 27, talked about his difficult childhood after being born with parts of both legs missing and needing to wear prosthetic limbs.

He says he got his first prosthetic legs at the age of 13 months.

While detailing his family background, Mr. Pistorius talked about his ties with his late mother, stressing she was very important to him.

I grew up in a loving home. My father was not often around we grew up mostly with my mother.

My parents separated when I was young and my mother passed away when I was 15.

It was very unexpected, Mr. Pistorius says of his mothers death. Everything I learnt in life I learnt from her.

My mother didnt ever want me to see my disability as something that would hold me back She didnt baby me.

Mr. Pistorius says his mother had a lot of security concerns when he was growing up and that she would often call the police because there was a lot of crime near the family home.

He said his mother even kept a firearm under her pillow in a padded bag.

When asked about his faith, Pistorius said: Religion is very important to me, but admits he struggled with his faith following the passing on of his mother.

He even adds meeting Steenkamp was a blessing as he has always wanted a Christian girl.

Trial was adjourned early after defence says Pistorius is exhausted. Pistorius says he didnt sleep last night.

Defence lawyer Barry Roux said he will call 14 to 17 witnesses in his case to testify on ballistics, urine emptying, damage to the toilet door, sound, and disability and vulnerability.

Keshi Denies Illegally Sharing from Afcon Cash | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Keshi Denies Illegally Sharing from Afcon Cash

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 7, 2014

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has described as ridiculous a media report which quoted his ex-assistant, Sylvanus Okpala, as saying the money given to the team by the Cross River State government following last years triumph at the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) was shared with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The report quoted Okpala as saying the money was taken from those of officials and players in order to ensure peace, which has long eluded the team.

Speaking from Abuja after reading the story, Keshi said: I want to assume that Sylvanus was misquoted, but if not then there is no truth in such a claim, because the NFF have never asked or shared from any monies given to the team by supporters and well-meaning Nigerians and state governments.”

Keshi Rejects Claims He Shared Afcon Cash With NFF Officials.

We have our rules here in the team and the team administrator normally liaises with the captain and other relevant authorities before such monies are doled out.

“Indeed, the Cross River Government was very clear about who gets what and the money was paid direct to the account of all the players and officials.

He also stressed that blackmail will go nowhere in correcting perceived wrongdoing on the part taken by Okpala, who maybe is angry with the NFF over his present employment status.

I don’t know why the media and some of our friends like to drag me into all these controversies when we should be concentrating on preparation for the World Cup,” he added.

“Maybe the name Keshi just evokes some form of joy in their minds and the only way to appreciate it is to put me under the searchlight all the time, it’s not fair on me please.

Injured Leon Balogun Recovering Fast | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Injured Leon Balogun Recovering Fast

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 7, 2014

Fortuna Dusseldorf defender Leon Balogun says his recovery from a foot injury he sustained on international duty with Nigeria has been swift, but stressed he has been warned against any hasty return to training.

Balogun’s dream debut for the Super Eagles was cut short by injury when he collided with an advertising board within five minutes of coming on for the injured Efe Ambrose during the friendly encounter against Mexico on March 5th.

Speaking on his rehabilitation on Sunday, the 25-year-old said he will drop the Plaster Of Paris (POP) on the injured foot by the end of this week, adding he does not feel any pain on the broken metatarsal anymore.

Leon Balogun Says His Recovery from Injury is Swift.

The recovery rate is perfect and by the end of the week I should drop the boot on the toe but I dont want to make the mistake of many players who immediately rush back to training even when at the moment I feel no pain. I should be able to tell you my next move by the end of the week, but I will be ready when the Eagles are getting back to camp, he said.

Balogun again praised the NFF leadership headed by Alhaji Aminu Maigari for the concern they have shown towards his recovery and promised to rededicate himself to the Nigerian cause when he recovers fully. From the NFF, to the coach and all Nigerians, I am very grateful for all the concern they have shown me and I pray that I can repay them when I recover fully, he declared.

Chess: NCF Invites 50 Players for Chess Olympiad Trials | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Chess: NCF Invites 50 Players for Chess Olympiad Trials

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 7, 2014

The Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) has invited 50 players for the first stage of the trial to select players that will represent the country at the 41st World Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway in August this year.

The first stage of the trial, according to the Technical Director of the NCF, Bode Durotoye, come up at the Media Centre National Stadium in Lagos from 23rd-25th of this month.

The selection process was based on performance rating of chess players within a calendar year of rated tournaments and all the six gold medalist at the last National Sports Festival held in Lagos, says Durotoye. The list is is made up of 30 male and 20 female players.

One of the Invitees Oyeyemi John Fawole Shared First Place at the 2014 Gibraltar International ChesS Festival.

We are using the Olympiad time control over eight round Swiss event pairing and Bucholz would be used to break the ties after which 10 players each from male and female will qualify for the final round of the trials which will come up in Ibadan next month, Durotoye remarked last week.

The invited male players includes; Benjamin Omorere, Hakeem Edunwale, Kolade Onabogun, Onovughe Ochuko, Emmanuel Maduagwan, Oladapo Adu, Olamide Ajibowo, Igboloku,o Felix, Odion Aikhoje, Ademola Sorungbe, Dennis Ogbogho, Odum Martins, Rotimi Ajele, Oluwaseyitan Femi, Koko Obele, Efemuai Benedict, Joma Crim Chuks Okoh, Oyeyemi John Fawole, Bomo Kigigha, Olufemi Balogun, Eugene Ekpoikong, Bunmi Olape, Aniefiok Nekanem, Adeyinka Adesina, Tosin Akinwale, Biola Akinseye, Michael Ijisakin and George Erekosima.

In the female list are, Doris Adebayo, Ogechi Emmanuel, Nkem Omishogbon, Olabisi Rabiu, Mandy Enarevba, Omolabake Coker, Hafsat Bello-Osagie, Tobi Olatunji, Nsisong Asanga, Irene Ajibola, Modupe Fasola, Tiritfemuwa Ofowino, Blessing Davis, Millicent Aigbogho, Yemi Osundaikin, Beatrice Okwubor, Nneoma Aguta, Queen Princewill, Ada George Jica and Patience Sylvester all made the list of invited players for the trial.

LMC Warns Clubs Over Use of Disparaging Comments on the Nigeria League | INFORMATION NIGERIA

LMC Warns Clubs Over Use of Disparaging Comments on the Nigeria League

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 8, 2014

The League Management Company (LMC) has warned clubs to desists from issuing disparaging statements that brings the Glo Premier League to disrepute.

The league body statement come in the wake of the criticism leveled against referee Paul Umuago by Sharks FC manager Gbenga Ogunbote, after disallowing Ibrahim Ajanis goal in the 18th minute of Saturdays Port-Harcourt derby when another player obstructed Dolphins goalkeeper and the goal-bound ball.

According to a statement from the office of the Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, clubs were reminded about existing regulations, which have provided appropriate channels for conveying grievances and protests against perceived wrong doings by match officials or opponents.

LMC Wants Clubs to Follow Proper Channels on Probable Cases of Misconducts By Appointed Match Referees.

“The LMC wishes to admonish Clubs who have issues with the outcome of matches or conduct of match officials to take advantage of existing procedures and channels of seeking redress and desist from making media pronouncements, especially the print and social media which not only prejudices public opinion but also questions the integrity of the League”, the statement read.

However, clubs and fans were further assured that any shortcomings on the part of the appointed match officials will be addressed and any form of misconduct will attract adequate sanctions on culprits.

The statement added: “while the LMC will not accommodate acts of violent physical and verbal attacks on our appointed match officials and any persons within the jurisdiction of a match, proven acts of misconduct against any of them will be sanctioned in line with prescribed regulations.

“Football is a beautiful game that is meant to be enjoyed, in victory or in defeat. Fans and officials must therefore learn to accept results and allow the LMC to take care of disciplinary issues for the game to grow.

Sharks boss Ogunbote told sports writers in Port Harcourt after his team drew goalless with Dolphins that the referee had no reason to disallow a goal scored by his side in the first half.

My striker, Ganiyu Ibrahim, scored a good goal in the 14th minute of the game, only to be disallowed by the referee.

My team was organised and played well only to be disallowed a good goal.

This is football. We can also get a point when we meet Dolphins in their ground in the second round of the league, he said.

(Materials from the News Agency of Nigeria was used in this report.)

Flying Eagles Touch Down in Casablanca | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Flying Eagles Touch Down in Casablanca

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 8, 2014

Nigerias under-20 mens team arrived in Casablanca for the two-legged international friendly games against their Moroccan counterparts on Sunday.

The Flying Eagles media officer Sam Audu confirmed that the team touched down at the Mohammed V International Airport at about 2 pm local time.

The Flying Eagles have settled down at the Wellness Sports Centre on the outskirts of Casablanca, ahead of their two test games.

It is a four-star facility with several well-kept football pitches, a standard swimming pool as well as basketball, handball and tennis courts, Audu said via telephone.

Flying Eagles Will Play Morocco in a Two-Legged Friendly.

According to Audu, the Nigerians have already been informed of the kick-off time for the encounter. The team will train at 7pm later on the hotel ground.

We have been told the kickoff time for the two games that will come up on April 9 and April 11 in Rabat; it is 4pm local time, he added.

Both nations are preparing for 2015 African Youth Championship qualifiers next month.

Nigeria will face the winners of the match between Kenya and Tanzania, while Morocco will take on the winners of the clash between Togo and Equatorial Guinea.

Tanzania forced Kenya to a goalless draw in Nairobi in the first leg of the qualifiers played last weekend. The second leg matches will take place on the weekend of 25-27 April.

Next years AYC will be hosted in Senegal in March.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: How Mikel Becomes Chelsea’s Last Resort | INFORMATION NIGERIA

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: How Mikel Becomes Chelseas Last Resort

Posted by: Deolu on April 8, 2014

With less than 12 hours before Chelseas crucial Champions League second leg, quarter final match against PSG holding at Stamford Bridge, midfielder John Obi Mikel has shrugged off his recent injury setback and is firmly in the frame for the match.

Mikel missed Saturday’s game against the Potters with an injury but has now shaken off the knock in time for the visit of Les Parisiens.

The midfielder trained with the rest of his Chelsea teammates at Cobham on Monday.

Mikel has lost his place in the Chelsea first team in recent weeks largely due to the presence of Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic, who joined the club in January from Portuguese side Benfica.

* Jose Mourinho and his lads would be hoping they oust PSG tonight

Matic is Cup-tied having represented Benfica in the Champions League earlier this season and with Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Ramires suspended for Tuesday’s game, Mikel is highly favoured to get a look in from manager Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea lost the first leg 3-1 at the Parc des Pinces last week but will progress to the semifinals with a 2-0 win on Tuesday, a feat Mourinho believes can be achieved.

Addressing the media on Monday, the Portuguese coach stated that he was confident his side will progress to the last four.

“I believe, and my players believe, that is the most important thing.

“If PSG tomorrow is knocked out it is a big disappointment for them. If we are knocked out, it is something a lot of people expect,” Mourinho said.

Chelsea’ll Score More Goals Than PSG After Two Legs- Mourinho | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Chelseall Score More Goals Than PSG After Two Legs- Mourinho

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 8, 2014

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Cameroon international Samuel EtoO is not 100% fit, but may have a role to play in tonights Champions League quarter-finals second leg tie with Paris St-Germain.

EtoO, who suffered a hamstring injury in the 6-0 drubbing of Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and has missed the clubs last three games, is in line to return against PSG, after training on Monday, although aside from his team mates.

I dont think he (EtoO) is fit, fit. But to play tomorrow? Maybe, said the Portuguese boss 24 hours to Tuesday nights kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

I think we are going to win. We are going to score more goals than them.- Mourinho.

The Blues have to overhaul a two-goal deficit if they are to keep any hope of winning an European trophy this season, after clinching the Europa League in 2013 and the Champions League in 2012.

The last time PSG played at the Bridge, they held Mourinhos side to a goalless draw in 2004- the first time Mourinhos failed to win an European fixture with Chelsea, having recorded four wins prior.

But Chelsea last came from two goals down to win an European fixture against Napoli in 2012, when they trailed 3-1 after the first-leg where Ezequiel Lavezzi struck twice for the Italian side. The Argentina forward was also on target to give PSG the 2-goal advantage at the Parc des Princes.

If you ask me if I think we are going to win tomorrow, yes I think we are, Mourinho added. Thats the most important thing to listen to.

In the end of the two legs I think we are going to score more goals than them, pure mathematics. By the end it can be 4-3 or 5-4 in our favour. If I dont think that way I can go home tomorrow.

My reasons to believe? The reasons are not important, the belief is important. I believe and my players believe. That is the most important thing.

We have to enjoy the risk of the situation. At 9.30pm we can be out and we know that we have this risk but at 7.45pm we have a chance to be in the semi-final. At 7.45pm we have to have a smile on our face, going, playing, giving everything, and seeing what happens at 9.30pm. At 7.45pm we will believe we can do it.

The Portuguese boss also explained that PSGs lack of recent experience in the European championship will count for nothing, adding that he has no special plans for midfielder Thiago Motta, because he side will have to get off pressing for goals and all through.

Thiago Motta is good but can play free tomorrow, Ive no defensive plan for him. We have to attack, not worry about him, he added.

Winger Andre Schurrle, who came off injured against Stoke on Saturday, should be fit for the decisive tie.

John Obi Mikel may replace the suspended Ramires or the ineligible Nemanja Matic.

Meanwhile PSG will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who came off with a thigh injury in last weeks first leg.

Edinson Cavani, PSGs £55m summer signing from Napoli, will replace the Swede in the attack.

Rooney Trains With United Squad Ahead of the Trip to Munich | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Rooney Trains With United Squad Ahead of the Trip to Munich

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 8, 2014

Wayne Rooney trained with his Manchester United teammates this morning ahead of the clubs Champions League quarter-finals second leg tie with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

The English champions trained at the clubs Aon Training Complex before traveling to Germany where, upon arrival, the manager holds his press conference.

The England international, 28, has been struggling with a badly bruised toe, and was rated doubtful for the return leg at the Allianz Arena after he picked up the injury in last weeks 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney in Action This Morning at the Aon Training Complex.

Good training session with the lads ahead of the Bayern Munich match tomorrow night, the striker said on his Facebook page.

Its a massive game for us against a top side but well be going in confident and looking to progress into the semi-finals.

Ashley Young and Patrice Evra also trained despite picking up knocks during the win at Newcastle United.

Club legend Ryan Giggs, who missed the 4-0 win at Newcastle, and Jonny Evans, who returned for the Under-21s in their home win over Aston Villa at on Monday night, both took part.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola is likely to play Toni Kroos in place of the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield while Philipp Lahm will play at right-back, according to German newspaper Bild.

Returning Brazilian defender Dante will replace the suspended Jarvi Martinez.

Mario Gotze and Mario Mandzukic are expected to lead the attack as the Bavarians hope to capitalise on home advantage and silence the Premier League club.

We only have 14 first-team players so I havent got too many options, manager Pep Guardiola told reporters in his news conference on Tuesday. If we win, were through. If not, were out. It will come down to small details.