NewFanzone Football Transfer Round Up For August 30th 2016

Done deals:

– Middlesbrough have signed defender Calum Chambers from Arsenal on a season-long loan deal.

– Schalke have signed Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka on a one-year loan from Sevilla.

– Zulte-Waregem have completed the signing of Kingsley Madu from AS Trencin on a three-year deal.

– Arsenal have confirmed the signing of striker Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna on a long-term contract.

– Lorient has announced the signing of right-back Steven Moreira from Rennes on a four-year-deal.

– Nantes have signed Mariusz Stepinski from Polish side Ruch Chorzow on a four-year-deal.

– Watford have signed midfielder Kenedy from Chelsea on loan for the rest of the season.

– Anderlecht have signed Massimo Bruno and Hamdi Harbaoui from Leipzig and Udinese respectively.

– Galatasaray have signed Kolbeinn Sigthorsson from Nantes on loan with an option to buy.

– Swansea City have signed defender Alfie Mawson from Barnsley.

– Inter Milan have signed Gabriel Barbosa from Santos on a five-year deal.

– Crystal Palace have signed striker Loic Remy on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

– Hull City have signed Will Keane from Manchester United on a three-year deal.

– Aston Villa have signed striker Jonathan Kodjia from Bristol City for £15million.

– QPR have completed the signing of Idrissa Sylla from Anderlecht on a three-year deal.

– Watford have announced the signing of Adrian Mariappa on a three-year deal.

– Munir El Haddadi have signed for Valencia from Barcelona.

– Hull City have signed midfielder Ryan Mason from Tottenham on a three-year deal.

– Celtic have confirmed the signing of Cristian Gamboa from West Brom on a three-year deal.

– Ajax have signed Hakim Ziyech from FC Twente on a five-year contract.

– Arsenal have completed the signing of Germany international defender Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia.

Skhodran Mustafi photo credit: Вячеслав Евдокимов https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Skhodran Mustafi
photo credit: Вячеслав Евдокимов
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

– Inter have loaned Caner Erkin to Besiktas with an option to buy at the end of the season.

– Juventus have loaned midfielder Luca Marrone to Belgian club Zulte Waregem.

– Granada have completed the signing of attacker Artem Kravets on loan from Dynamo Kiev.

– Sparta Prague have signed former Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky on a free transfer.

– Fenerbahce have signed Jeremain Lens from Sunderland on a season-long loan.

– Barcelona have completed the signing of Paco Alcacer from Valencia on a five-year deal.

– Norwich have completed the signing of striker Nelson Oliveira from Benfica on a four-year deal.

– Burnley have confirmed the signing of Patrick Bamford from Chelsea on a season-long loan.

Today’s reports and rumours:

– Porto defender Bruno Martins Indi is due for a medical at Stoke City on Wednesday,according to reports.

– Vicente Iborra will not move to Sunderland after Sevilla changed their mind about selling the midfielder.

Axel Witsel photo credit: Вячеслав Евдокимов - fc-zenit.ru https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Axel Witsel
photo credit: Вячеслав Евдокимов – fc-zenit.ru
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

– Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel is in talks to sign for Juventus, according to reports.

– AS Monaco Vice President Vadim Vasilyev has announced that the club’s summer transfer window is over.

– Everton have told Napoli they are ending their interest in Manolo Gabbiadini, according to reports.

– Cardiff and Norwich are in advanced talks over the transfer of striker Kyle Lafferty, according to reports.

– According to Sky Sports sources, Sevilla have agreed a deal with Manchester City to take midfielder Samir Nasri on loan until the end of the season.

– According to L’Équipe, Sunderland are in advanced discussions with Lorient for the transfer of defensive midfielder Didier Ndong.

– Cardiff have terminated the contract of Federico Macheda

– Stoke chairman Peter Coates says the club will not be held to ransom over signing West Brom striker Saido Berahino.

– Arsenal player Serge Gnabry will join Bayern Munich permanently before spending the rest of this season on loan at Werder Bremen, according to Sky Sports Germany.

– Liverpool have reportedly submitted a £30m bid for Gremio and Brazil forward Luan.

– Asamoah Gyan’s proposed move from Shanghai SIPG to Reading is off after both parties agreed not to go ahead with the loan, according to Sky Sports sources.

– Chelsea’s Juan Cuadrado will sign on loan for Juventus before the transfer deadline, according to reports.

– Tottenham have reportedly ended their interest in Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

– Lyon turned down a £43m offer from West Ham for France forward Alexandre Lacazette, according to the club’s owner.

– Sao Paulo and Rodrigo Caio are in formal negotiations for a move to Napoli, confirmed his representative.

– Crystal Palace are reportedly set to sign 28-year-old Genoa midfielder Tomas Rincon after agreeing a £6.8m fee for the Venezuela captain.

– Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho has been told it will be in his best interests to move to another club on loan, according to reports.

– Hull City are nearing a £10million deal for Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick and are also set to sign Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez on a season-long loan, according to reports.

Jack Wilshere photo credit: Brian Minkoff London Pixels https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode
Jack Wilshere
photo credit: Brian Minkoff London Pixels
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

– According to reports, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere is considering a loan move in England and to other clubs in Europe

– Stevan Jovetic’s return to Fiorentina appears to have collapsed, as they cannot agree with Inter how to split the costs, according to reports.

– AS Monaco have rejected a €20m offer from Atletico Madrid forThomas Lemar, according to L’Équipe.

– Napoli midfielder Omar El Kaddouri is reportedly close to Trabzonspor for €3.5million.

– Dijon and Nancy have made contact over the possible signing of Panathinaikos midfielder Mehdi Abeid, according to reports.

– According to reports, Leicester have had a £25m bid for Islam Slimani turned down by Sporting Lisbon.

– Mario Balotelli will reportedly undergo a medical at OGC Nice on Wednesday after stepping up their offer to Liverpool.

Diego Costa, Chelsea. photo credit actuasport.fr
Diego Costa, Chelsea. photo credit actuasport.fr

– Chelsea forward Diego Costa has admitted he was keen to rejoin Atletico Madrid earlier this summer.

– According to reports, Nikola Maksimovic is finally on his way to Napoli for €26m plus Mirko Valdifiori, on loan with obligation to buy at Torino.

– West Brom have seen their £15million move for Malaga midfielder Ignacio Camacho stall. That has prompted the Midlands club to make an ambitious £20million move for Sporting Lisbon’s Portugal midfielder William Carvalho, according to reports.

– Hull City and Sunderland are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of St Étienne defender Florentin Pogba before the transfer window closes.

– Senegalese attacker Moussa Sow will rejoin Fenerbahce on loan from Al Ahli in Dubai until the end of the season, according to L’Équipe.

– Fiorentina’s Marcos Alonso is heading to London to have a medical at Chelsea, according to Sky Sports sources.

– The Premier League’s spending surpasses £1billion for the first time in one transfer window.

– Turkish side Alanyaspor have announced that Brazilian striker Vagner Love will join them from AS Monaco on a two year deal tomorrow.

– Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic is taking a medical with Torino, according to reports.

– Standard Liege are in advanced negotiations for the transfer of Toulouse striker Aleksandar Pesic, according to reports in France.

– According to reports, Chelsea have made a £30million plus bid for PSG defender David Luiz.

– FC Sion have offered defender Leo Lacroix to Milan,according to reports.

– According to L’Équipe, Bordeaux have attempted to sign Swiss international defender Fabian Schär from Hoffenheim.

– Inter will reportedly meet Juventus for Stephan Lichtsteiner, but it depends on Juan Cuadrado’s situation.

Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo

– According to reports, Tony Pulis is poised to make a £32million move for Watford striker Odion Ighalo before the transfer window closes.

– Marseille have contacted free agent Charles N’Zogbia, according to reports in France.

– Antonio Conte has reportedly asked Chelsea to sign West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna, though David Luiz is an alternative.

– Sky Sport Italia claims Inter made an offer for Matteo Darmian, but Manchester United are not interested in selling the Italian defender.

Moussa Sissoko photo credit: KamHeadley https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode
Moussa Sissoko
photo credit: KamHeadley
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

– Tottenham have reportedly offered a cut-price deal for Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

– Real Madrid could be willing to sanction a last minute Chelsea move for James Rodriguez, according to Marca.

– Clinton N’Jie has finally accepted to join Marseille from Tottenham on an initial loan deal with an obligatory option to buy, according to L’Équipe.

– Joe Hart’s loan move will only cost Torino €1million, according to Sky Sports Italia.

– Moroccan international winger Younes Belhanda has two offers on the table, from AS Roma and OGC Nice, according to reports.

– According to reports, Lyon have made an enquiry for FC Sion forward Moussa Konaté.

– According to reports, Hertha Berlin failed to convince PSG allow them to loan either one of their attacking starlets Jean-Kévin Augustin and Jonathan Ikoné.

– Brighton and Norwich are reportedly interested in signing free agent Nicklas Bendtner.

– German interational Julian Draxler has been told by Wolfsburg that he will not be leaving, despite an enormous offer between €75m and €90m, having been received from a huge European club, according to L’Équipe.

– Palermo’s negotiations with Liverpool for Mario Balotelli are “definitively closed,” said their director of sport.

– According to reports, Eliaquim Mangala may return to Porto on loan from Manchester City.

Bastian Schweinsteiger photo credit: Matt Janzer  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode
Bastian Schweinsteiger
photo credit: Matt Janzer
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

– Bastian Schweinsteiger has told José Mourinho he could still help Manchester United if given a chance though the midfielder insisted there is “no problem” with the manager despite being excluded from the first-team squad.

– According to reports, Yacine Brahimi is heading to Merseyside to complete a move to Everton which could be worth up to £35million to Porto.

– According to reports in Germany, Tottenham are ready to pay €45million for Schalke midfielder Max Meyer and make him the highest-paid player at the club with a weekly wage of £130,000.

– Aston Villa defender Micah Ricards is reportedly in talks with West Ham over a return to the Premier League.

– According to reports in Spain, Mauricio Pochettino has spoken to Isco in an attempt to convince the Real Madrid midfielder to join on loan, though a move to Malaga is more likely.

Football tit bits:

Wayne Rooney  photo credit: Дмитрий Голубович - http://www.soccer.ru/galery/667228/photo/480232 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Wayne Rooney
photo credit: Дмитрий Голубович – http://www.soccer.ru/galery/667228/photo/480232
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

– Wayne Rooney insists he wants to finish his career at Manchester United while announcing he will quit international football after the next World Cup in 2018.

– Sergio Aguero faces a three-match ban after being charged with violent conduct by the Football Association for elbowing Winston Reid in Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over West Ham United on Sunday.

– Hope Solo has announced she won’t be playing for her club side in the NWSL this season, “Mentally, I am not there yet”.

– England manager Sam Allardyce says Austin Okocha is the best captain he has ever worked with.

– Carlo Ancelotti believes Real Madrid will end their long wait to win La Liga this season.

Paul Ayorinde

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WBSC Unveils Nations, Logo For Inaugural U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 In Monterrey, Mexico

The World Baseball Softball Confederation today announced the participating nations and the new official emblem for the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup® 2016, which will be staged in Monterrey, Mexico, from 28 October to 6 November.

The 12 nations who will compete in Monterrey For the Title of World Champion in the U-23 category represent six continents:

Africa (1): World No. 36 South Africa

Americas — North and South America (5): No. 7 Venezuela, No. 8 Mexico, No. 15 Panama, No. 18 Nicaragua and No. 27 Argentina

Asia (3): No. 1 Japan, No. 3 Korea, No. 4 Chinese Taipei

Europe (2): No. 14 Czech Republic and No. 33 Austria

Oceania (1): No. 13 Australia

The inaugural U-23 world championship is an expansion of the U-21 Baseball World Cup, which was launched in 2014 and won by Chinese Taipei. Nations will be now allowed to utilise their top players up to 23-years-old.

“With all five Olympic continents represented and the top nations vying for the world title, the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 will further showcase our sport’s global reach and competition levels,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “This tournament will award the most world ranking points on the 2016 international calendar, so each game will be exciting and impactful.”

In the U-21 world championship in 2014, the selection of National Teams included players from clubs affiliated to the Australian Baseball League, Chinese Professional Baseball League, Korean Baseball Organization, Major League Baseball, Mexican Baseball League, Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League, and Nippon Professional Baseball.

The U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 will be the top international baseball competition of the year and will award 690 world ranking points to the nation that becomes the first-ever U-23 world champion. (View wbsc.org/rankings)

WBSC Unveils Nations, Logo For Inaugural U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 In Monterrey, Mexico
WBSC Unveils Nations, Logo For Inaugural U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 In Monterrey, Mexico

The new visual identity of the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup features the silhouette of a baseball bat handle at the base. The elements at the top of the emblem include the iconic baseball and red stitching — placed inside a hand. The middle section highlights the diverse action, energy and excitement of the ball — being caught, hit or thrown. The overall silhouette of the emblem reflects the world championship trophy of the U-23 Baseball World Cup.

The U-23 Baseball World Cup logo is the latest to be revealed within the Baseball World Cup new and unified branding system. The design project, which will include the Official Look, is being overseen by leading international sports branding agency, The Works, who have also rolled out the Official Looks for top sports properties from FIFA and UEFA.

The Official Look, Tournament Identity and trophy/medals for the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 Monterrey will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Coach Rohr Takes Charge As 20 Eagles Train in Uyo

Franco-German Gernot Rohr took charge of the Nigeria senior men’s squad, Super Eagles, for the first time on Tuesday as the team began training sessions ahead of Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania.

Rohr and a number of players could not fly to Uyo from Lagos on Monday as ARIK airline eventually cancelled their flight after many hours. But the entourage landed in Uyo just after noon on Tuesday.

On arrival at the team’s Le Meridien Hotel, Coach Rohr had a meeting with his assistants, backroom staff and players present, before the evening’s training session at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

In camp as at Tuesday evening were Skipper Mikel John Obi, assistant captain Ahmed Musa, goalkeepers Emmanuel Daniel and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defenders Musa Muhammed, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Jamiu Alimi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong and Elderson Echiejile, midfielders Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi and Nosa Igiebor and forwards Brown Ideye, Imoh Ezekiel, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo and Victor Osimhen.

Coach Rohr Takes Charge As 20 Eagles  photo credit: @theNFF
Coach Rohr Takes Charge As 20 Eagles
photo credit: @theNFF

Team administrator Dayo Enebi Achor confirmed to thenff.com that Belgium –based Moses Simon and Slovakia –based Kingsley Madu will arrive on Wednesday.

The delegation of Tanzania’s Taifa Stars is expected to arrive in Nigeria on Wednesday, while the match officials will jet in on Thursday.

NewFanzone Football Transfer Round Up For August 29th 2016

Done deals:

– Watford have signed Stefano Okaka from Anderlecht on a five-year deal.

– West Brom have signed forward Nacer Chadli from Tottenham on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

– Palermo have signed Bruno Henrique from Wolfsburg on a four-year deal.

– Celta Vigo have completed the signing of forward Giuseppe Rossi on a season-long loan deal from Fiorentina, with the option of a further year.

– Palermo have signed free-agent Alessandro Diamanti on a two-year deal with an option for a further season.

– Sporting Lisbon have completed the signing of Luc Castaignos from Eintracht Frankfurt on a four-year deal.

– Napoli have announced the signing of midfielder Marko Rog from Dinamo Zagreb.

– AEK Athens have signed Joleon Lescott on a two-year deal.

– Southampton have confirmed the signing of Sofiane Boufal from Lille on a five-year deal for a club-record fee.

– Udinese have confirmed the signing of Sven Kums on loan from Gent.

– Newcastle United have signed Achraf Lazaar from Palermo

– SC Bastia have signed Pierre Bengtsson from Mainz on loan.

– Romanian forward Nicolae Stanciu has joined Anderlecht from Steaua Bucharest

Today’s reports and rumours

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Dortmund and Dante of Munich compete for the ball photo credit ar.fifa.com
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Dortmund and Dante of Munich compete for the ball photo credit ar.fifa.com

– Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has made clear his desire to sign for Real Madrid.

– Wolfsburg have reportedly made a £24million offer for Tottenham forward Son Heung Min.

– Newcastle have agreed a deal with Chelsea to take Christian Atsu on loan.

– Sevilla are reportedly interested in Samir Nasri, as the midfielder looks set to leave Manchester City.

– Hull have joined Aston Villa and Derby in the race for £14million Bristol City striker Jonathan Kodjia, according to reports.

Edinson Cavani photo credit: Liondartois https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Edinson Cavani
photo credit: Liondartois
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

– Napoli do not need Edinson Cavani to return to the club as he would struggle to fit back into the team, according to president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

– Stoke City and Everton have entered the race to sign Manchester City outcast Wilfried Bony, according to reports.

– QPR have agreed a £1.75m fee with Anderlecht for striker Idrissa Sylla.

– According to reports, Juan Cuadrado’s agent Alessandro Lucci has flown to London to try can convince Chelsea to allow the Colombia international to join Juventus on loan again.

Juergen Klopp photo credit:  PAUL ROBINSON     https:::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:2.0:legalcode
Juergen Klopp
photo credit: PAUL ROBINSON
https:::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:2.0:legalcode

– Jurgen Klopp is eyeing Leicester’s Christian Fuchs to solve his left-back crisis at Liverpool, according to reports.

– PSG are willing to fork out €75m to sign Wolfsburg playmaker Julian Draxler, according to reports in Germany.

– Palermo sporting director Daniele Faggiano says the Serie A outfit is the “right place” for Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli to relaunch his career.

– Leicester City officials are reportedly working hard in Portugal to complete deals for Adrien Silva and Islam Slimani before Wednesday’s deadline.

– Fiorentina sporting director Carlos Freitas denies Chelsea have bid for Marcos Alonso, “so far no club has asked for our best players”.

– Liverpool agree fee with Lazio to sell Luis Alberto for €5m plus add-ons.

– Lazio’s Ravel Morrison is on the verge of a return to English football, according to reports.

– According to reports, Sunderland have failed in bids for Liverpool striker Danny Ings and Southampton frontman Jay Rodriguez.

– Domenico Criscito’s agent won’t rule-out a move to Inter, “there are many negotiations, let’s see”.

– Sporting Lisbon and Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva has “confirmed” he will join Premier League champions Leicester City.

Joe Hart photo credit: Football.ua https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Joe Hart
photo credit: Football.ua
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

– Italian side Torino want to sign City goalkeeper Joe Hart on loan before Wednesday’s transfer deadline passes, according to reports.

– Alan Pardew expects Crystal Palace to recruit “one or two” more players before the conclusion of the summer transfer window.

– Genoa President Enrico Preziosi reveals he rejected €15m plus bonuses from Napoli for Leonardo Pavoletti.

– Manu Riviere is hoping to end his Newcastle United nightmare with a switch to La Liga outfit Osasuna.

– Juventus have offered €15m for Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, according to reports.

– Barcelona are on the verge of completing a reported £25.6million move for Spain international Paco Alcacer from Valencia after the striker arrived for a medical on Monday.

– Crystal Palace are reportedly looking to land Ghana frontman Majeed Waris from
French side Lorient.

– Empoli are said to be “hours away” from signing Milan midfielder Jose Mauri on a season-long loan.

– According to reports, Arsenal defender Calum Chambers is expected to join Middlesbrough on a season-long loan.

– According to L’Équipe, Blaise Matuidi could still join Juventus this week.

– Manolo Gabbiadini’s proposed move to Everton has reportedly collapsed after Napoli failed to agree a deal for Fiorentina striker Nikola Kalinic.

– According to Sky Sports sources, Tottenham are waiting for Marseille to complete their loan arrangement for Clinton N’Jie before confirming the arrival of Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.

– Inter Milan have reportedly been offered Cesc Fabregas by Chelsea in a proposed swap with Marcelo Brozovic.

– Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan is set for a medical at Championship side Reading before a season-long loan from Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.

– According to reports, Manchester United have told defender Marcos Rojo, he is not for sale after rejecting two bids for the defender.

– Hull and Sunderland battling for £8million Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason ahead of deadline day, according to reports.

– West Brom are close to signing Spanish midfielder Ignacio Camacho from Malaga, according to reports.

– Norwich City midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu has today traveled to Kayserispor ahead of a possible move, according to L’Équipe.

– Crystal Palace are close to signing Chelsea striker Loic Remy on a season-long loan, according to Sky Sports.

– Galatasaray have returned for Nantes forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, according to L’Équipe.

– Liverpool have told winger Lazar Markovic that he can leave the club on loan, with AC Milan interested, according to reports.

– The FA have confirmed that Joe Hart has been given permission to leave the England camp this evening.

– Sunderland’s Jeremain Lens has confirmed that he is on the verge of a move to Fenerbache.

– Albanian international Lorik Cana has rejected an approach from Ligue 1 side Dijon, according to L’Équipe.

– Manchester United striker Will Keane has reportedly been given permission to join Hull City.

– According to Nantes President Waldemar Kita has revealed that AS Monaco midfielder Gabriel Boschilla will not be joining Les Canaris on loan this season as previously expected.

– According to Sky Sports sources, Arsenal are prepared to loan out Jack Wilshere to get first-team football.

– Joe Hart’s agent has reportedly claimed his client’s move to Torino is “done”.

Football tit bits:

Pep Guardiola photo credit: Football.ua https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Pep Guardiola
photo credit: Football.ua
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

– Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that he has not watched Manchester United play yet as the two teams prepare to meet at Old Trafford on September 10th.

– Sergio Ramos says the omission of former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas from Julen Lopetegui’s first Spain squad marks a ‘new era’.

– Sam Allardyce has confirmed that Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney will continue as England captain

– Marseille have granted U.S. businessman Frank H McCourt Jr. exclusivity in negotiations to complete a
takeover.

– Raheem Sterling says new work ethic behind improved his Manchester City form.

– Joachim Low believes the timing is right for Bastian Schweinsteiger and fellow veteran Lukas Podolski to retire from international duty with Germany after achieving everything.

– Luka Modric says it is a “great honour” to be named Croatia’s new captain ahead of the start of their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup.

– Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has withdrawn from the Argentine squad for their upcoming World Cup
qualifiers due to a problem with his left leg.

Paul Ayorinde

RIO 2016 Olympics: SWAN President Blames Stakeholders for Nigeria’s Poor Outing

The President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr Honour Sirawo says every stakeholder should be blamed for Nigeria’s poor showing at the just concluded Rio 2016 Olympic where the country won just a bronze medal in the male football event.

Sirawo, who spoke with journalists shortly on arrival from Brazil at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, stressed that rather than just heaping blames on the Minister of Youth and Sports, stakeholders including sports administrators, National Assembly Committees on Sports and Sports Journalists should also share part of the blame.

Nigeria Amateur Wrestlers at Rio 2016 Olympic Games photo credit: Nigeria Amateur Wrestling Federation
Nigeria Amateur Wrestlers at Rio 2016 Olympic Games
photo credit: Nigeria Amateur Wrestling Federation

“We should all share part of the blame. I guess if we had all raised our voices about Nigeria’s preparation especially judging from our performances at the London Olympic in 2012, though some sports writers did, which were overlooked, am sure we would have had better preparations for the Rio Olympic,” the nation’s number one sports writer stressed.

He recalled that shortly after Nigeria’s poor performance at the London 2012 Olympic, committees were set up to examine the country’s performance and prescribe workable way forward in ensuring better representations in subsequent competitions, emphasising that if those submissions were followed, Nigeria could have been better positioned at the Games.

The SWAN boss argued further that had the National Assembly Sports Committees in the course of their oversight functions inquired about the athletes’ preparations for the games and waded into the delay in the release of funds, perhaps we may have had a better outing.

Barrister Solomon Dalung with Aruna Quadri
Barrister Solomon Dalung with Aruna Quadri

“We can’t continue with this blame game attitude when there were ample opportunities for us to fix the process; for years, we have been shouting after failure without shouting about the process before the failure,”he stated

While commending the Nigeria Men’s Under23 Football Team for salvaging some pride for the country through the male football event, the SWAN President enjoined Sports Writers to be alive to their responsibilities of being the watchdogs and report appropriately lapses in the various sports sectors.

“Rio Olympic has just ended. Many countries have started preparations for the 2020 Olympic in Japan. We have no reason not to start preparing from now. As Sports journalists, let me assure you that our members will be on the trail of the sporting federations and to consistently find out what they are doing towards talents’ hunt and moves to keep athletes in shape for future challenges.

Aruna Quadri
Aruna Quadri

Sirawo expressed reservations that the National Sports Festival which has been a veritable platform for the discovery of talents has been in abeyance for nearly four years and called on the Federal Ministry of Sports and Government of Cross River to urgently resolve pending issues and ensure that the games hold soon.

“Unless we urgently define the place of sports in national development, employment opportunities and international public relations, sports may die a natural death. If that happens, we have to bear with the attendant effects of increase in social vices and youth restiveness. Sports is a wonderful avenue to engage our teeming youths, earn foreign exchange and boost tourism which will in turn benefit the economy of the country,” he summed up

PAY SIASIA- DALUNG BEGS NFF

Youth and Sports Minister Barrister Solomon Dalung has charged the Nigeria Football Federation to pay the U-23 National team’s Coach Samson Siasia.

The Minister gave the charge when Siasia paid him a visit Monday in his office in Abuja.

Solomon Dalung, NFF, Nigeria Football Federation, U-23, Samson Siasia.

Siasia had visited with his wife Eunice to thank the Minister for his support to the Dream Team from Atlanta to Rio where they won Bronze in the football event of the Rio Olympics and to officially inform him that his contract with the NFF has ended.

Barrister Dalung directed the Secretary-General Dr Mohammed Sanusi who was also present to ensure that Siasia gets the arrears of his five month’s salaries.

“Please pay him his five months’ salaries. They said he has resigned but he just said that his contract expired after the Olympics. His contract expired but you are owing him 5 months’ salaries and you have gone to employ a foreign coach and will pay him in dollars. It means you don’t like yourselves and nobody will sympathize with you. Please spare me the stress of talking about this salary issue or going to war with you on it. Please pay him and other coaches their outstanding salaries” Dalung said.

Solomon Dalung, NFF, Nigeria Football Federation, U-23, Samson Siasia

The Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Federation Dr Sanusi however said that efforts were already being made to pay the coaches their salaries.

“We have held meetings and we are waiting for the money to drop. The money is already there in our account but we need to regularise the TSA procedures before we can claim the money. We are almost through with the process. Once that is concluded, we will pay them” Sanusi assured.

The Minister is expected to be on an NTA Programme Tuesday Live with Coach Samson Siasia today(Tuesday) to review events leading up to Rio and Nigeria’s participation at the Games.

Rivers United Overcome Plateau United In Thrilling Match Day 33 Encounter

Goals either side of half time by Bernard Ovoke and Daniel Israel gave Rivers United a 2-0 victory over Plateau United on match day 33 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Ovoke converted a penalty in the 31st minute after Salomon Junior handled Guy Kuemian’s goal-bound effort in the 25th minute of the game played on Sunday.

Substitute, Daniel Israel completed the scoring for the hosts at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt in the 84th minute to seal maximum points for the ‘Pride of Rivers’.

Afterwards, the Plateau United head coach, Zachary Baraje said he was satisfied with the result.

“Fantastic. It was a good game. The result stands no matter what I say and I take it. The result is okay,” Baraje told Rivers United Media.

The Rivers United technical manager, Stanley Eguma also spoke after the game.

“I believe that the league is not over. If we keep working hard, we will maintain our position at the top till the end of the season.

Rivers United 2-0 Plateau United
Rivers United 2-0 Plateau United

“For today, it was a hard fought victory but my players did well under the circumstance.

“One side had to win and we were the better side,” he said.

Rivers United is now in second place on the NPFL standings with 53 points from 32 matches.