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Vanguard Newspaper 14 February 2018

46 — Vanguard,

46 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2018 Onazi back from injury Nigeria and Trabzonspor midfielder Ogenyi Onazi is set to return to training this week after recovering from a knee injury. The Super Eagles midfielder has recovered from a knee knock that saw him miss Trabzonspor’s 0- 0 draw away at Genclerbirligi on Saturday. Onazi has not featured for Trabzonspor in their last three games in the Turkish Super Lig, but was on the bench against Fenerbahce and Goztepe before being granted a special leave prior to the Genclerbirligi draw. The 25-year-old also took timeout to praise the new Super Eagles kit for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which was launched in London last week. “I had a slight knock on my knee but I will resume training this week with the team,” Onazi told CSN. Wenger under pressure! Restore Arsenal to the Champions League next season or... rsene Wenger is under A increasing pressure to ensure Arsenal qualify for the Champions League next season as they consider an early decision over his future. The Gunners want to avoid the uncertainty that destabilised their Premier League form last season, partly caused by Wenger’s long-running contract saga. Wenger’s position is coming under increasing scrutiny again and there is a feeling behind the scenes that the club need to address the matter before it drags on into next season. Having eventually signed a two-year deal ahead of this season, Wenger is once again entering the final 12 months of his current contract. And certain members of the club’s hierarchy would prefer his future to be settled ahead of next season to avoid a repeat of the tumultuous 2016-17 campaign in which they failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 1997-98 Modric not better than Mikel Chelsea for many years and he is doing well in the Chinese Super League. I think they will fight for that position on the field of play.” Siasia urged the Super Eagles not duel on their unbeaten run to the Russia 2018 tournament. Croatia play Adding that good against Nigeria on preparations will be key. June 16 at the FIFA “They’ve done well but 2018 World Cup and the problem is that most it is widely believed of our players are not Real Madrid’s Modric playing in the big leagues and Barcelona’s Rakitic and they don’t get enough could be a huge playing time, the World Former influence for the the Cup is not where to do Super Eagles Croats. However, Siasia physical activities,” he striker and says that despite continued. coach, Samson Siasia Mikel’s move to China, “They need to play is of the opinion that his game has not dropped. friendly games and make Super Eagles captain “Mikel is in the same sure they understand John Obi Mikel is in the quality with Modric and themselves. The match same class with Rakitic, even though against Argentina should Croatia’s midfield duo Modric plays in Real not be a yardstick though Luka Modric and Ivan Madrid,” he told Goal. we did very well and we Rakitic. “Mikel has played in were all surprised. F Adepoju backs Moses to shine at Russia 2018 ormer Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju has hailed Victor Moses’ spectacular form ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament. Moses scored for Chelsea in their Premier League game against West Brom on Monday night. It was his second goal from 19 games for the Blues this season. And Adepoju is optimistic Moses playing his natural attacking midfield position will do well for the Super Eagles. “Great game and goal from VictorMoses,” Adepoju tweeted. Mason quits football after horror clash with Cahill ull midfielder Ryan Mason has been H forced to retire from football, just over a year after he fractured his skull in a Premier League match against Chelsea. The 26-year-old collided with Chelsea centre back Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge on January 22, 2017. He had to have emergency surgery and spent eight days at St Mary’s Hospital in London recovering from his ‘life-threatening injury’ before being released. Mason explained in a statement on Tuesday that the decision to retire was taken on medical grounds. ‘I can confirm that following specialist season. There appears to be three options for the Gunners: the Frenchman leaving at the end of the season, confirming he will leave when his current deal expires in the summer of 2019 or handing Wenger yet another contract extension. •Wenger •Onazi medical advice I am having to retire from playing professional football,’ Mason said. ‘I have worked tirelessly in order to be able to return to the pitch. ‘Unfortunately, having taken expert medical advice I now have no option but to retire due to the risks involved given the nature of my injury. ‘I am and always will be eternally grateful for the incredible network of people around me who have helped me to recover from what was a life-threatening injury in January 2017. ‘Thank you to my amazing fiance, Rachel, who has been by my side and lived every single day with me since the injury, helping •Moses Siasia: Rakitic, to give me the strength I’ve needed no matter how tough things got. We are so lucky to have now become the proud parents of our perfect baby boy George. ‘To my Mum, Dad, sisters, and all of my family and close friends, thank you for everything. Despite how tough it’s been and the challenges I’ve faced along the way you’ve all been there supporting me and words will never truly do justice to how grateful I am for your love and support. ‘I would like to thank everyone at Hull City, especially The Doc Mark Waller and all of the medical team for helping me to recover. FIFA Summit: Infantino, Ahmad, 20 others to storm Nigeria “He’s already sending shivers down Super Eagles’ Fifa World Cup opponents’ spine.” Nigeria are zoned in Group D and will have to navigate their way past Argentina, Iceland and Croatia to book a place in the knock-out stage of the competition. Nigeria will be the destination and attention of world football for three days, when the FIFA Executive Football Summit takes center stage between February 20 and 22 at the Eko Hotels in Lagos. President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, while confirming the news said the country is ready to host the event and hopes the summit helps strengthen Nigeria’s relationship with other football federations. “Gianni Infantino will be in Nigeria on Monday (February 19) for the FIFA Executive Summit which will be a three-day event and this will bring all international media down to Nigeria,” Pinnick said. Pinnick also confirmed that those expected to be in attendance are CAF President, Ahmad, FIFA General Secretary, Fatima Samba Samoura, President of the Dutch FA, Michael Van Praag, Slavisa Ikokezia, President of Serbia federation a as well as six presidents from the Caribbean nations and 12 from the African continent. A total of 25 presidents are expected to be in attendance at the summit with Pinnick also positing that the entire event will be funded by FIFA and will also boost the country’s economy. This will be the second time in less than four months that Infantino will be visiting Nigeria, a clear indication that the country is gradually taking its rightful place in world football. •Cahill West Brom sack chairman, CEO est Bromwich Albion W have sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman after the club’s poor results this season, the relegation-threatened Premier League side said on Tuesday. The club, owned by Chinese investment group Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Ltd, added that Mark Jenkins would reprise his role as CEO, having recently been appointed as a director of the club’s controlling company WBA Holdings. “We would like to thank John and Martin for all their efforts since their appointments and wish them well for the future,” a club spokesperson said. “There is much to do but for now the focus must solely be on the remaining games of this season,” said Jenkins, whose previous stint as CEO lasted 14 years. West Brom are bottom of the league after 27 matches, with 20 points after three wins, 11 draws and 13 defeats. They have lost their last three league games. •Mason

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 — 47