Eidur Gudjohnsen about the 2018 FIFA World Cup: “Iceland Has A Tough Group, But We Are Quietly Confident”

With 75 days left until the start of the biggest football event on the planet, the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Football Park continue its journey through Russia, giving an early taste of the tournament to fans in each of the Host Cities. After the opening ceremony in Sochi last weekend, today Football Park opened its doors in Rostov-on-Don.

Some very special guests are set to attend each stop of the football Roadshow, making the atmosphere there even better. Portuguese FIFA Legend Nono Gomes was part of the Sochi opening last Saturday, and today Rostov football fans were thrilled to see former Iceland, Chelsea and Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen. Eidur came to visit the city, where his compatriots will face Croatia in their final group match of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“I’m happy to be at this Football Park, which will also be the FIFA Fan Fest venue during the World Cup. As we can see, a lot of people are having fun here today and even more will enjoy it during the tournament. I’m sure that Icelandic fans, who will come here to support the team, will feel the same”, said Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Eidur Gudjohnsen about the 2018 FIFA World Cup: “Iceland has a tough group, but we are quietly confident”
Photo credit: FIFA

Icelandic football fans will be well represented at FIFA’s flagship event this summer, with some 8,000 of them having already secured their tickets. Sales are currently ongoing at FIFA.com/tickets.

“The most important thing for the Iceland team is that they return home after the World Cup with their heads held high, no matter what the result is. We have a tough group, but we’re quietly confident.”, added Gudjohnsen.

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EKOFOOTBALL BEACH SOCCER EASTER FIESTA HOLDS ON 2ND OF APRIL 2018

The 2nd edition of the Ekofootball beach soccer Easter Fiesta is scheduled to take place on the 2nd of April 2018, at the Hard Rock Café, Oniru, V/I, Lagos. The event kicked-off last year as a means by which the Lagos State Football Association thanked its affiliates for their efforts and also to mark the successful hosting of the AFCON Beach Soccer tournament by Lagos State in late 2016.

It is a beach soccer invitational, open to selected teams the State, registration is free. It is also a social event for friends and family and includes Beach football various games, music and refreshment.

Last year’s edition saw 4 select sides from various football clubs and a team representing telecoms giants MTN. Freestan Football club emerged victorious at the end of the tournament and they will be looking to defend their title this year. This year’s edition will see 4 participating teams namely:

• Messiah FC
• Freestan FC
• Smart City FC
• Stationery Stores

Shade Johnson, Ekofootball’s Head of Projects remarked that this year’s edition will be fun-filled and more exciting than last year’s edition and will also feature more musical performances by upcoming musical acts with Bet9ja as the main partners.

ITTF Museum Officially Launched in Shanghai China

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Museum has officially opened today, 31 March 2018, in Shanghai, China, together with the China Table Tennis Museum.

The ITTF Museum, which was originally housed at the ITTF Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, made its star-studded opening with ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT, Honorary President XU Yinsheng, Vice Mayor of Shanghai WENG Tiehui and Deputy Director of Admission of Sport of China CAI Zhenhua, as well as World & Olympic Champions ZHANG Yining, WANG Liqin, Jorgen PERSSON and LI Xiaoxia.

Upon the opening of the museum, ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT shared “It’s a great honour to be here at the Opening Ceremony of the ITTF and China Table Tennis Museum, I truly wish the museum could be a new window for promoting table tennis culture and inheriting table tennis spirit. China has made great contributions to our sport, hence we decided to move our ITTF Museum from Lausanne to Shanghai, where we believe it will bring more opportunities and benefits in showcasing our sport. ”

“The ITTF is pleased to see the museum embrace visitors from all over the world with a new appearance, and we will continue to give maximum support including future world exhibitions, an ITTF documentation center and ITTF liaison center, making it more comprehensive and professional. Meanwhile, the ITTF will donate items and documents to the museum after each World Championships and World Cups.”

The ITTF Museum, home to over 8,000 table tennis exhibits, has officially opened together with the China Table Tennis Museum in Shanghai.

Home to over 8,000 table tennis exhibits, the ITTF Museum houses the most extensive range of table tennis items, detailing the past century of development in the sport, and showcases exclusive exhibits such as the first pair of table tennis rackets and items from past Champions, including shirt from DENG Yaping and sneakers from ZHANG Jike.

The Museum features several sections across four floors, including exhibitions galleries, Hall of Fame, a 3D movie theatre as well as a multimedia interactive zone where visitors can play against World Champions using VR technology in the museum. Talks with World Champions, table tennis experts and table tennis stars will also be held at the museum from time to time.

The Museum is located at 796 Jumen Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China, and opens from 9am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday, with last admissions at 4pm.

7 days to go till first FIG Parkour World Cup

The start of the first FIG Parkour World Cup series is just a week away, with the inaugural competition scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 April in Hiroshima, Japan.

Some thirty athletes representing 20 nations are expected at this first official FIG Parkour competition, which is taking place as part of the Japanese leg of the FISE, the major urban sports festival.

It was at the instigation of the FIG President, Morinari Watanabe, that the FISE added this extra stage to the world circuit this year.

“In this way Hiroshima will become the city where we launched this great adventure with Parkour – an adventure that we hope will one day lead all the way to the Olympic Games,” said President Watanabe.

The Parkour adventure actually began in France in the 90s. Current President of the FIG’s Parkour Commission, David Belle, originally developed the Parkour concept in the 90s, according to precepts laid down by his father, a Parisian firefighter.

“When I was a teenager, I’d practise jumping and climbing over all these objects around me in my urban environment, but the idea of competition was totally foreign to me,” said Belle. “For me, Parkour is about mastery and self-control in overcoming obstacles as effectively as possible, and this spirit should not be lost in competition.”

“While the competitive element has its fans, what is important to us through this World Cup event is to promote athletes who respect the principles of our discipline and also to ensure an attractive showcase for the promotion of Parkour around the word,” added Charles Perrière, vice-president of the Parkour Commission.

The concept of promoting efficiency and self-control will feature strongly in the two event categories that appear in the World Cup programme, Parkour Speed-Run and Parkour Freestyle.

In Speed-Run, athletes must negotiate a series of different obstacles on a particular course – and do it as efficiently as possible against the clock.

In Freestyle, the athletes’ performances are judged by a panel which assesses the manner in which they negotiate the obstacles according to several criteria such as style, efficiency and control.

Only the top eight in the qualifying standings for each category will progress to the final, which will comprise four rounds of one run each in a knock-out format with “repêchage”.

The launch of the Parkour World Cup is part of a global development project for the sport. In addition to the competition, there will be performances and initiation workshops to allow the wider public to discover this discipline, which is first and foremost a training method, teaching people to better handle and overcome the obstacles around us.

This Hiroshima World Cup is the first in a series of three in 2018. The second stage will be held in Montpellier, France in May with the third and final stage in Chengdu, China in November, where the winners of the 2018 series will be crowned.

The programme

Friday 6 April:
Qualifications
Saturday 7 April:
Women’s Freestyle finals
Men’s Speed-Run finals

Sunday 8 April:
Women’s Speed-Run finals
Men’s Freestyle finals

Nigeria Judo Federation President Prince Timothy Nsirim Calls For Calm Ahead National Championship

President of the Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), Prince Timothy Nsirim has called for calm as the board is set to hit the ground running with the national championship scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in May 2018.

According to a press release signed by the media and communications director, Phemmy Adetula, when the NJF took delivery of new equipment donated by the International Judo Federation to aid the development of the sport in Nigeria. The equipment comprising 162 mats and cartons of Jodogis for all cadres was facilitated by Prince Nsirim who restated plans to revive judo with support of all the stakeholders.

Also, screens and projectors imported from China by the NJF President for officiating and technical use were also inspected by the board while in addition complementary equipment and devices will be procured by the Federation in due course.

The NJF boss said “I want to plead with all Judokas in the country, let us be calm so that we can move the sport forward. This is the first time in over 15 years that we had this kind of opportunity. More is coming if we are at peace. If we are not at peace, we will not attain the needed heights as a federation and that is why at the resolution of the board, I agreed with the choice of our new technical director. I accepted whatever decisions the board has taken and I want everybody to see it as a call to duty, a call to serve”.

On the forthcoming championship, Prince Nsirim said all Judokas wherever they are will be invited for the National Open championship in Port Harcourt in May.

“It will be an all comers event, a very strong championship and it will be sponsored by the Federation, myself and the executive governor of Rivers state, Mr Nyesom Wike. We will make it a great championship and all of us will be here, Rivers state sports commissioner, the state sports commission, all will be involved” said Nsirim.

President of the Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), Prince Timothy Nsirim

Board member, Professor Johnson Okpakor eulogised Prince Nsirim for his personal efforts and commitment to take Judo to a new heights.

“I gave kudos to the president for providing this great opportunity for our sports and this is just a starting point. If we have people like Prince Nsirim running sports federation, Nigeria will move forward and I pray that during his tenure, the sport will return to its glory days” said Okpakor.

As part of the board resolution at the end of their meeting in Port Harcourt,Rivers State, Mr Ewa Ekuta Olom, a current IJF A-licenced referee was appointed the technical director of the federation.

ITTF Confirms New 3-year Collaboration With Eurosport To Cover World-Class events in build up to Tokyo 2020

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is excited to announce that it has extended its partnership with Eurosport which will continue to show the sport’s major events until 2020.

The Europe-wide deal will see Eurosport broadcast all ITTF’s major events, including the ITTF World Championships, ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cups, ITTF World Tour Platinum and the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.

Eurosport will broadcast over 120 hours of live action, delayed coverage and highlights over the next three years across its two television channels and online at eurosport.com as well as the Eurosport App.

As part of the collaboration, which began in 2014, Eurosport will continue to promote the ITTF’s events and commercial partnerships in Europe.

Laurent Prud’homme, SVP Rights Acquisitions at Eurosport, said: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the ITTF and to have the opportunity to offer world-class table tennis to millions of viewers across the continent.

“As Home of the Olympics in Europe, Eurosport has a strong tradition of showcasing Olympic sports all-year round and we are pleased this agreement will contribute to this.

“With the biggest events of the world tour to be broadcast on Eurosport, our viewers will be able to watch the very best table tennis on the journey to Tokyo 2020.”

Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open

Matt Pound, Head of Media at ITTF added: “Since taking its commercial rights in house in 2017, the ITTF has made commercial and media growth a priority for all our products and partnerships like this one with Eurosport is a testament to the new strategy. We are thrilled to renew our relationship with the number one sport destination in Europe, with Eurosport continuing to promote table tennis across the continent leading up to 2020.”

The agreement, which runs for the period 2018-2020, includes the following events: ETTU European Table Tennis Championships, Table Tennis Top 16, ITTF Team World Cup, ITTF World Team Championships, ITTF Men’s World Cup, ITTF Women’s World Cup, ITTF World Tour Platinum Events, ITTF World Tour Finals

Key table tennis events broadcast on Eurosport in 2018:

24-25 March: ITTF World Tour Platinum Event, German Open, Bremen
29 April–6 May: ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships
2-3 June: ITTF World Tour Platinum Event, China Open, Shenzhen
21-22 July: ITTF World Tour Platinum Event, Korean Open, Incheon
29-30 September: ITTF Women’s World Cup, Chengdu, China
6-7 October: ITTF World Tour Platinum Event, Austrian Open, Linz
20-21 October: ITTF Men’s World Cup, Paris, France
10-11 November: ITTF World Tour Platinum Event, Australian Open, Gold Coast
TBC: ITTF World Tour Grand Finals

Chikwelu, Oparanozie To Lead Nigeria’s Super Falcons Against France

Just days after the Super Eagles concluded the first phase of their 2018 FIFA World Cup actual build–up with useful encounters against Poland in Wroclaw and Serbia in London, and the U20 boys concluded a two-match tour of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Senior Women’s Team, Super Falcons are also having a good kick with a prestige friendly against France.

The eight–time African champions are up against their French counterparts at the Stade MMArena in the city of Le Mans, France on Friday, 6th April 2018.

Super Falcons

Coach Thomas Dennerby, whose maidens composed entirely of home–based professionals took third place at the WAFU Women Cup of Nations in Abidjan in February following penalty shoot-out defeat by Ghana in the semi finals, will have the complement of foreign –based gladiators as well when they pitch battle with France as from 9pm on Friday next week.

Nigeria’s 17–woman list includes Rita Chikwelu, who captained the team to win an eighth continental title in Cameroon in December 2016, as well as big forward Desire Oparanozie, the effervescent Francisca Ordega, nimble–footed midfielder Ngozi Okobi and home –based goalkeepers Onyinyechukwu Okeke and Chiamaka Nnadozie.

U.S–based forward Courtney Dike and Ordega would be first arrivals in Le Mans on Tuesday, 3rd April – the same day the delegation from Nigeria will depart from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The Super Falcons will lodge at the Mercure Le Mans Centre.

Nigeria Super Falcons
photo credit: @NGSuper_Falcons

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Onyinyechukwu Okeke; Chiamaka Nnadozie

Defenders: Josephine Chukwunonye; Ngozi Ebere; Faith Ikidi; Ugo Njoku; Osinachi Ohale; Glory Ogbonna

Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu; Ngozi Okobi; Ini-Abasi Umotong; Ogonna Chukwudi

Forwards: Francisca Ordega; Desire Oparanozie; Courtney Dike; Esther Sunday; Anam Imo