Vanguard Newspaper 14 April 2018
94 — SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 Nigeria paying for lack of planning — Rufai By Jacob Ajom Former Super Eagles cap tain, Peter Rufai is confi dent the Nigeria Football Federation's World Cup programme could yield the desired result if the execution is carried out to the letter. In an interview with our correspondent, Rufai said he is happy with the team's preparation so far. “Personally, I feel the team is doing what it ought to, in terms of the friendly matches they are playing. I think their preparations for the World Cup have been going on well as we are aware the NFF has mapped out friendly matches with teams from different parts of the world and help the coaches plug all the holes in the team before the World Cup.” He said Rohr's vision and vast experience in football management was a big factor that will work in favour of the Eagles. “I believe they are on the right track and in very good hands.” Rufai is not worried that former Nigeria number one goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama is not coming back even as he admitted that the decision gave him sleepless nights, time past. “Yes, I must confess, I was worried. But since Enyeama himself has maintained he is not coming back, I have resigned to fate. Now we have Francis Uzoho, Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa. We have them there and all of them are good. “The number one is still open. It is just the normal heat before Why Chrisland Schools appointed ex-internationals ernationals as Sports Ambassadors — Adeyemi Former Nigeria internationals Peter Rufai, Falilat Ogunkoya and Olumide Oyedeji were named Sports Ambassadors of Chrisland Schools during the •Oyedeji week, preparatory to the commencement of a weeklong clinic organised by the school management for its students and open to those within the age bracket from other schools as well. According to the Managing Director of Chrisland Schools, Mrs Ibironke Adeyemi, the will be all-encompassing as, apart from football, the participants will also be taken on basketball, athletics and leadership skills. The clinic will hold from April 15 – 20 at the Chrisland Schools High Performance Centre at Idimu. “We want to produce champions out of these kids,”she said. “Champions that can compete among the best in the world. That is why we are bringing some of Nigeria's best as represented by these ex-internationals who will act as not only role models but also mentor them.” On his part, former Super Eagles captain and first choice goalkeeper, Peter Rufai said, “this is the type of opportunity I have been looking for. When I retired from active football, I decided to go back to the grassroots so I can give back to the society that made me who I am today.” Can Tott ottenham emulate e Liverpool? Will Tottenham emulate Liverpool's success over Manchester City when they host Pep Guardiola's side on Saturday? We check the stats... City have now lost half of their previous 10 games in all competitions - including two defeats in the Premier League. That's some derailment from their Invincible-chasing league status three months ago - which ended with a 4-3 defeat to •Rufai a major tournament. The question: who is going to be number one will continue to linger on the lips of fans until the tournament begins in Russia. “But the problem of not knowing who is our number one now is as a result of our failure to plan. We did not plan to properly sustain that number one shirt. We are paying for poor planning.It is a tough decision by the technical crew to select just one out of the three goalkeepers at their disposal to be number.” When asked whether it was not dangerous for a country not to know who the number one goalkeeper is, few months to the tournament.Rufai said, “There is no danger. Like I said, it is a normal scenario. It could still be unknown to the general public but truth is, Coach Gernot Rohr knows his number one.” Liverpool in January. While defeats to Wigan in the EFL Cup and Basel in Europe could have been blamed on disrupted selections, their three successive defeats to date can not. Liverpool blasted City aside to progress into the Champions League semi-finals with a 3-0 home win and 2-1 victory at the Etihad - either side of Manchester United delaying City's Premier League coronation party last week. •Kane Commonwealth games: Nigeria moves to 8th position Nigeria last night swept to an unprecedented four gold medals and took a giant move to number 8 on the medals table ahead of such big countries like Jamaica, Malaysia, Kenya, and Botswana. South Africa remains the only African country ahead of Nigeria on the table as they maintained their 5th position with 13 Gold, 10 Silver and 12 bronze medals. Nigeria has 8 Gold, 5 Silver and 5 Bronze medals. Blessing Oborodudu started a night to remember for Nigeria with a stunning victory in the 68 kg freestyle against Daniella Lappage of Canada winning 3 – 1 to add to the haul of Nigeria’s precious gold. When Odunayo Adekuroye stepped to the mat, the hall exploded with sporadic applause against her Indian opponent, Pooja Dhunda. As they tried themselves for size, tension soared as Odunayo was warned and a point deducted from her. She did not look perturbed. When she finally got a real hold on her, she pinned her to the mat, GOtv Boxing Night 14: 4: Boxer ers s in war ar mood, talk tough Ahead of GOtv Boxing Night 14 holding at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Staidum, Lagos, on Saturday, participating boxers have been threatening to reduce their respective opponents to pulp. Djossou “Agoy” Basile, the Beninois boxer scheduled to fight Nigeria’s Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde for the West African Boxing Union (WABU) welterweight title, arrived Nigeria yesterday, vowing to win the title and N1million cash prize for the best boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 14 holding on Saturday. The chairman of Anambra State Cricket Association, Barrister Chuma Anosike is confident that the South East Zone will soon measure up to states like Lagos, Ogun and Kaduna, where the standard of the game is a bit more advanced in Nigeria. Speaking at a press conference in which he reviewed the just concluded Chuma Anosike South East Cricket tournament, the former Vice President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation said, "the tournament was an eye opener where some exciting talents were discovered,” he said, adding that another first in the tournament was the participation of female teams. “A few years ago, when it be- turned and twisted like a Crocodile overwhelming its prey. The Nigerian garnered 5 points. As they continued with victory moving towards Nigeria, the Indian in a flash produced a stunning move that saw her amassing 5 points. Odunayo, however, took victory beyond her and ended the glorious night on a victorious note beating her 7 – 5 to take the gold. An overwhelmed coach swept her off her feet and hauled her on his head to celebrate the gold. Odunayo had other ideas. Decked with a Nigerian flag, she danced to what has become a signature dance and the crowd roared in appreciation. Oluwatobilola Amusan also won gold in the 100m Women hurdle to keep Nigeria’s flag flying. The gold rush was not over as Suwaibidu Galadima, a Para athlete, capped the night with yet another gold medal in the T47 100 m final. Galadima led the field from beginning to finish 11:04secs. The 4 x 100 m Relay men got a bronze medal with a time 38:52secs. Amos Daniel also won a bronze in the Men’s 65 kg Freestyle. The title clash is one of the three scheduled for the event. Basile, who is highly rated around the West African sun-region, disclosed that he has seen Baby Face’s fights and knows what to do to take the title to his country. “I have seen him fight and I can tell you that he is just a boy in boxing terms. He has been fighting boys all along. But this time, he will fight a man, a real man. There is no hiding place for him. I will win the title and the N1million cash prize the sponsors are giving to the best boxer,” he said through an interpreter. Cricket: South East making steady progress – Anosike came obvious that the game was not growing at the national level, I decided that a “bottom up” approach was necessary to develop the game.” Anosike, who played cricket at all levels initiated a developmental programme which encouraged schools to play cricket, with Bishop Crowther Seminary, Awka as the focal point. He took another step and initiated the annual South East Cricket Tournament for the Chuma Anosike Cup. He said, “I am delighted that we have achieved some measure of success.” He said very soon, the zone will start challenging the likes of Lagos and Kaduna for top honours because of the abundant talent in the zone.
Chelsea want three points at Southampton Both clubs are in desperate need of a lift for very different reasons. While Chelsea look to lift spirits ahead of an FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, Mark Hughes' team quite simply need to take something from the match with games running out for them to stay in the Premier League. "Whilst the new Saints boss was more encouraged with the display in the defeat at Arsenal, it is all about points now for a team that have won only once in 19 league matches - against bottom club West Brom. "The reigning champions, who've had to deal again with rumours of Antonio Conte's immediate future again this week, need to show some cohesion and confidence, having registered just 12 points in 2018. Southampton will hope the Blues' clinical streak doesn't return this weekend. Chelsea have won their last four league games against Southampton - they've never won five in a row against them. Southampton have claimed one victory in their nine Premier League games against the Blues at St Mary's Stadium (D2, L6), winning 2-1 in March 2013 thanks to goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert. Chelsea have won seven times in all competitions at the St Mary's Stadium. The only visiting side with a better record are Manchester United, with 10 victories. SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 — 95 Buffon should have punched the ref - Tacconi Gianluigi Buffon’s restraint after being shown a red card by Michael Oliver has been hailed by Stefano Tacconi, with the Juventus legend admitting that he would have “punched his face in”. Gianluigi Buffon’s restraint after being shown a red card by Michael Oliver has been hailed by Stefano Tacconi, with the Juventus legend admitting that he would have “punched his face in”. An iconic goalkeeper of the modern was dismissed in controversial fashion as the closing stages of the Bianconeri’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Real Madrid descended into chaos. After seeing Medhi Benatia P pulled up for a stoppage-time aris Saint-Germain have made contact with push on Lucas Vazquez, Buffon Paul Pogba's representatives as they plot a bigmoney move for the Manchester United was sent off for contesting Oliver’s decision – with the midfielder, according to Paris United . English official later accused of The PSG hierarchy are unhappy with the Ligue having “a garbage bin instead of 1 leaders' last-16 elimination from the Champions a heart”. League and are planning a big summer of It could be that a memorable spending. European career is now over, with The club's France internationals were recently a 40-year-old performer instructed to speak to Pogba regarding a move to seemingly heading for Parc des Princes during the last international window. retirement, and Tacconi Score A Trip to Russia Promo: NBC, Coca-Cola admits that he would present W/Cup tickets to winners T have acted he Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC and differently Coca-Cola Nigeria have presented World Cup tickets to 2 lucky had he been winners in the ongoing “Score A Trip to Russia.” Promotion. The winners in Buffon’s presented with the ticket at NBC head office, Iddo, Lagos were Fashola boots at Moruf Adeyinka and Benjamin Muo. Santiago The ‘Score A Trip to Russia’ campaign is an ongoing promotion put Bernabeu. together by NBC/Coca-Cola, to reward esteemed consumers with an A man who all-expense paid trip to Russia 2018 to watch the FIFA World Cup matches made over which begin in June. 2 0 0 Speaking at the presentation of tickets to the winners, the Managing appearances Director of Nigerian Bottling Company, George Polymenakos for Juve in his described the promotion as an initiative to reward consumers who are playing days, told desirous of experiencing the excitement of watching the 2018 FIFA RMC Sport: World Cup live in Russia. “Knowing I Polymenakos noted that in addition to the trip to Russia, the winners of was going to the promotion would have the unique privilege to enjoy numerous special stop, I’d have experiences including a hangout with the Super Eagles, a 7-day boat punched trip experience from Stockholm to Russia and back to Stockholm as [Oliver’s] well as a glorious opportunity to hold the Nigerian flag when the Super face in. Eagles team confront Croatia in their first encounter at the tournament. PSG open talks with Pogba The long awaited 2018 Commonwealth Games is now in full sway, and it’s been a delight watching the Athletics event unfold at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia. It must be said that it hasn’t been a smooth sailing tournament for Nigeria. However, there was some cheering development in the men’s Shot put where Chukwuebuka Enekwechi won the country’s first medal in Athletics, taking Silver behind World Indoor and Outdoor Champion, Tomas Walsh of New Zealand. The men and women’s 100m finals have already been concluded, and South Africa’s Akani Simbine stunned tournament favourite and former World Champion, Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, to win the men’s 100m title in 10.03secs, while Blake finished 3rd. What makes Simbine’s victory even more remarkable is the fact that he inspired a 1-2 for South Africa, with teammate Henricho Bruintjies winning Silver with 10.17secs. It was a painful moment for Nigeria as Seye Ogunlewe narrowly missed out on a medal as he finished 4th despite clocking the same time of 10.19secs as Blake who took Bronze. Of course the development has sparked a lot of debates, but that will be the subject for another day. The last time Nigeria won a Commonwealth Games medal in the men’s 100m was in 2006 when Olusoji Fasuba took Silver behind Jamaica’s Asafa Powell. South Africa’s dominance in the men’s 100m in Gold Coast definitely underlines their status as a world power in the sprints and jumps, with reigning World Champion Luvo Manyonga Overcoming the ‘Jack of all trades’ syndrome in Nigerian Athletics winning the men’s Long Jump title at the Games, while teammate Ruswahl Samaai settled for Bronze. Usually, every country is known for something, and back in the day, Nigeria used to be regarded as a powerhouse in the sprints and the jumps. These days though, it’s becoming more difficult to identify where we really belong. At the ongoing Games in Gold Coast, different countries have been making emphatic statements in their strong areas, and considering our vast human resources as a nation, it would be good to return to the days when we were known for something. South Africa wasn’t the only country that displayed its dominance in specific events. Jamaica currently has the best male sprint hurdler in the world – Omar McLeod, who is the reigning Olympic and World Champion at only 23 years. So good is McLeod that he didn’t make himself available for selection for the Commonwealth Games, giving room for his compatriots to take his place at the Games. And so Jamaica had three finalists in the 110m Hurdles in Australia - Hansle Parchment, Ronald Levy and reigning World U-18 Champion - Dejour Russell. At the end of the day, Levy and Parchment took Gold and Silver respectively in spite of McLeod’s absence. It was another 1-2 for Jamaica in the women’s Triple Jump, as Kimberly Williams set a Personal Best of 14.64m in her final jump to take the Gold, while fellow Jamaican Shanieka Rickets took the Silver with a Season’s Best of 14.52m. One country that has demonstrated that you do not have to be a jack of all trades to excel in Athletics is Botswana. The South African nation has an estimated population of 2.25 million (as at 2016), but have now become a force to be reckoned with in the 400m (men and women). The country put up an impressive display in the men’s 400m at the ongoing Games, and produced a 1-2 finish, with Isaac Makwala racing to a much deserved Gold medal with a scorching 44.35secs, while his compatriot, the much younger Baboloki Thebe, claimed Silver in an impressive 45.09secs. It was a similar story for Botswana in the women’s 400m final as Amantle Montsho, who won the Commonwealth Games title eight years ago in Delhi, staged a comeback in Gold Coast to win GOLD ahead of defending champion Stephenie McPherson of Jamaica. What a comeback from 34-year old Montsho who is approaching the twilight of her career. It is instructive that Botswana’s revolution in Athletics was triggered by Montsho’s dominance on the continent from the mid to the late 2000s. Having won three consecutive African titles (2008, 2010 and 2012), and with her PB of 49.33secs, she is the one athlete who has come closest to breaking Falilat Ogunkoya’s African Record of 49.10secs set in 1996. Montsho also emerged World Champion in 2011, and won Silver two years later. This is what Athletics enthusiast and publisher of Athletics Sports Monthly, Leslie Koroma had to say about Botswana’s imperious performance in Gold Coast: “Congrats to the nation of Botswana who have come a long way from a non-factor to this point. It took one standout athlete, Amantle Montsho, to inspire others and her nation to change their way of doing business. Today Botswana can boast of a stable of world class athletes, and a Nike sponsorship for their Athletics Association. “The athletes who are carrying the flag for Botswana today should not relax, neither should they drift away from their sport after retirement as they now have a God-given duty to help Botswana continue this legacy of outstanding performances into the far future. This is the mistake most athletes from other countries in Africa made, by drifting away from their sport whose solid legacy they had built and today, because of the wrong people in the wrong places, those countries are suffering immense sub-par performances and shaming their nations on the global stage.” A word is enough for the wise!