Rio judges and refs won’t be used until probe finishes

first_imgIreland’s Michael Conlan was one fighter who complained of being “cheated” after his bantamweight quarter-final loss to Russian’s Vladimir Nikiti.The International Boxing Association says the majority of calls were received positively.Meanwhile, former Irish featherweight world champion Barry McGuigan says boxing authorities should set up a fund to help fighters who’re struggling with mental health issues. It’s after Britain’s heavyweight title holder Tyson Fury said he’d taken cocaine and was suffering from depression.McGuigan told the BBC that the sport’s been “blind” to problems like it.last_img read more

Read More →

Bennett adds to 2017 tally

first_imgThe 26 year old has already notched up stage wins in Paris Nice, the Tour of Slovenia and Czech Cycling Tour this year. Carrick on Suir’s Sam Bennett outgunned some of the world’s top sprinters in winning the Munsterland Giro yesterday.Just millimetres separated the first four at the end of the 198 kilometre race in Germany.The Bora Hansgrohe rider edged out Phil Bahaus of Team Sunweb, Andre Greipel of Lotto Soudal and Marcel Kittel of Quickstep Floors.last_img

Read More →

Players’ Union Tackles Rangers, Others over Outstanding Salaries

first_imgAlso listed to miss continental appearance is third-placed team in the just-concluded NPFL season, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi who is listed as one of Nigeria’s flag-bearers in the CAF Confederation Cup.The umbrella body for professional footballers in the country, the National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers (NANPF), yesterday warned the three clubs that they stand to be disqualified from the 2017 Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions if they fail to settle all outstanding debts owed players and coaches.National Public Relations Officer of the body, Ogidi Mohammed Mutairu, insisted yesterday that Rangers International FC, Rivers United FC, and Wikki Tourists FC must settle the debts or risk being dragged before CAF for the invocation of the Article 3.1of the CAF Club Licensing Regulations.“We are therefore insisting that this culture of clubs depriving players and coaches of their livelihood must stop,” the statement noted.A statement from NANPF reads in part: “In the light of the above, we as the recognised labour union passionately championing the cause of professional footballers in Nigeria are concerned that in the midst of the jamboree and fanfare that followed the achievement of these clubs, the purported cash gifts and allocations to these clubs following their success, they (club managements) seemed to have sworn to starve players and coaches of their salaries and as usual disobey NFF Arbitration Committee decisions.”“Consequently, we have written to these Nigerian clubs that qualified for 2017 CAF competition and their Commissioners for Sports in the respective states, clarifying the following: That It is in the best interest of the players, coaches, the clubs, the country and image of the game, that the management of these clubs liquidate all these debts to current and former players and obey the NFF arbitration decisions without delay.“That refusal, delay or neglect of payment is a “mortal sin” that will lead to unintended consequences and embarrassments, as these clubs will have to contend with CAF in express breach of Article 3.1 of the CAF Club Licensing Regulations.”The players’ union claimed to have received complaints from players and coaches that they are heavily huge sums of money in form of salaries and allowances including those of 2014/2015 season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Threatens clubs with expulsion from CAF competitionsDuro IkhazuagbeChampions of the 2015/2016 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) season, Rangers International Football Club of Enugu and runners up, Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt are on the verge of losing their spots in the CAF Champions League due to indebtedness to their players and officials.last_img read more

Read More →

Kylian Mbappe: From Bondy Babysit to World Cup Star

first_imgIn less than two years he has become a double Ligue 1 title winner and a regular for France and Paris St-Germain for whom he is expected to sign permanently this summer for 180m Euros.Mbappe spent his formative years developing his skills at AS Bondy in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris. The club are experiencing a surge in popularity and are inundated with new members wanting to follow in the footsteps of Mbappe.‘Kylian was born into football’AS Bondy’s senior team play in the 10th tier of French football, in the “Excellence” division of the League of Paris ile-de-France but they have a very successful youth system. Players who have passed through their age groups include Sevilla’s Sebastien Corchia and DR Congo international Fabrice N’Sakala.Until only three months ago, Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, was one of the sporting directors at the club looking after the age groups from under-10s up to under-17s but he has had various roles over 25 years at AS Bondy.“You could say that Kylian was born here at this club. He was here as a baby when his father was a player and a coach. He was always here and learning about football, even as a toddler. “When we played games, just before kick-off you’d see a two-year-old walk in with a ball and he’d sit with us to listen to the team talks. I think he’s the player here who must have heard the record number of pre-match team talks,” said Atmane Airouche, President of AS Bondy.“He was born into football and sport. His father was a youth leader, working with children in the local area and then he was brought in to AS Bondy. He only left us three months ago but his imprint will be here forever. He gave 25 years of his life to us. And his mother is also a big influence. She was a very good professional handball player,” he added. Antonio Riccardi, U-13s coach at AS Bondy, said that “His father is like my second father so I knew Kylian as a baby but the first time I coached him was when he was six years old. Just a few months after he had started playing here for the debutants age group you could tell he was different.“Kylian could do much more than the other children. His dribbling was already fantastic and he was much faster than the others.”‘He had posters of Ronaldo on his wall’“Kylian would always think about football, always talk about football, always watch football and if he wasn’t doing that he’d be playing football games on the PlayStation.“He’d even turn his living room into a football pitch. When he was young I used to take Kylian home from training and I’d babysit until his mother got home from work.“He always wanted to play in the living room! The sofa or the table would be the goal. He’d say: ‘Don’t tell my mother, don’t tell my father because they don’t want me to play here. Please don’t tell.’ So we used to play and I kept that secret for him. Luckily he never broke anything,” Riccard said. “He was a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo. They were the posters on his bedroom wall, but he was a fan of lots of great players. He didn’t follow a particular team but he was a fan of many top footballers. Ronaldo was definitely his childhood hero though,” he added.“He only thinks about football and that’s what makes the difference compared to others.“Other players think that once they’ve signed for a club or gone to Clairefontaine they’ve achieved something, that they’ve arrived. But no, the hard work is only just starting and Kylian knew that. He’d play anywhere.“If he came here now and fancied a game he’d just play even now he’s a pro. All he thinks about is the game,” Airouche noted.‘The others went out partying, he went to bed’Mbappe agreed to sign for Monaco at the age of 14. He is said to have turned down every other Ligue 1 side, plus Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.He made his first-team debut for Monaco on December 2, 2015 as a late substitute – in the process breaking former France striker Thierry Henry’s record to become Monaco’s youngest player at 16 years, 347 days.Mbappe was one of the stars of the Under-19 Euros in Germany in 2016, scoring five goals, including two in the semi-final. The top scorer at that tournament was Jean-Kevin Augustin, who has just left PSG to join German side RB Leipzig.“Kylian was always enthusiastic. You have to work hard when you have a talent like he does because if you don’t, others that are less talented but are working hard can catch up.“In Bondy there were no real moments of difficulty for him because he was far better than the others. But I know that in Monaco the first year was difficult for him because he had a coach that didn’t like him very much. Today that coach is no longer at Monaco and Kylian is in PSG and the national team. So it was the coach who was in the wrong,” Riccardi said.“We went to watch him at the under-19 final, which France won. We met him outside the stadium and we were shocked that he didn’t want to go partying with his team-mates. Instead he wanted to go straight home.“To him, he had achieved his goal to be European champion and was already thinking about his next goal: going back to Monaco, getting into their team, winning more titles.“I remember when Monaco became champions he was the only player on the pitch who didn’t have a mobile phone with him during the celebrations. All the others went out partying, he was the only one who went home to sleep. That’s what is so great about him.“Other professionals should learn from Kylian. You’ve never reached your goal. Work harder and harder every day,” Airouche said.‘He has the maturity of a 40-year-old’Mbappe often posts on social media about his family and is very close to his father, Wilfried, and mother, Fayza. He passed his high school exams in science and technology management, combining his studies with his football development.“He’s a little boy from Bondy who loves football and respects people. That’s what we give to our children here. He loves his town, he loves this club, he still talks about it to this day. He’s always behind us and when he gets the chance to see the little ones here he does it. That’s why lots of people like him because he is simply himself.“He is a young man who seems to have the maturity of a 40-year-old when he speaks. That’s his personality. Generous, respectful and when he comes here he’s always just a boy from Bondy and a boy from ASB,” Airouche said.“Kylian’s personality – when you see him speaking at 18 but sounding like he’s 30, talking with phenomenal maturity – is because of what his parents gave him. They’re people that always had their hands on their hearts, they helped a lot. Not just their children but the children here at the club, for them it was the same,” he added.“He’s the same now as he was back then. If he came here now he would say hello to all the young players here, he would give all the coaches a hug, he would take a ball and play with the others.“We still call and text each other and it’s the same easy-going conversations that we had when I was his babysitter. He will never change because his education is so good. Behind him he has his parents, who are fantastic people. He has a great family unit. He believes in family and he doesn’t want to let them down,” Riccardi said.  ‘Talent? Nobody has come close’“A move he used to do as a kid that he still does now in the ‘passement de jambes’ (the stepover). It was his trademark as a boy. From seven or eight years old he was doing that.“He was the best player I’ve ever seen in 15 years coaching here. Nobody has even come close. In Paris there are many talents but I’d never seen a talent like him. He was what we call a ‘craque’ (the best),” Riccardi said.“When he was little he was always the smallest but he had technique and vision in the game that most children just don’t have. That’s why when you see him now you notice he has amazing senses. He’s got eyes in the back of his head. He knows how to anticipate where the ball will go.“Here, he never played for his proper age group, he always played with older children because there was no point leaving him with kids his own age. He’d just get bored.“Physically that was tough because he was small, but he had the talent that made the difference. He was a phenomenon. Then suddenly, he grew up. I remember not seeing him for a while and then when we met up again he was suddenly as tall as me,” Airouche said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Alot has happened in a short space of time for Kylian Mbappe.Aged 19, he is lighting up the World Cup for France, scoring twice in their 4-3 victory over Argentina in the last 16.It is the latest step in a remarkable rise for a player who was celebrating passing his French high school exams just three summers ago. last_img read more

Read More →

Ekundayo to Establish Boxing Academies in Nigeria

first_imgLarry Ekundayo “I don’t just believe; I know I will still go very far, if there is someone like Bernard Hopkins, who at almost 50 was beating young prospects, then I can do better,” he said while speaking in Lagos on arrival.Ekundayo shot into the limelight when he won the African Boxing Union Welterweight, ABU title in 2015 but he recounted that it was a tough period in his life and needed to dig deep to become a Champion.“I remember trying to go to the Olympics back then for Nigeria but it didn’t work out. As a pro, I am making up for all the disappointments as an amateur,” he said.The 36-year-old boxer stressed that: “I think I was out of action for like two years but I came back strong to do what I have to do. That is my message for the youth that they should not be deterred by any situation they find themselves but make the champion in them come out.”The Lagos-born boxer said he already has his plans at helping the glory days of boxing return to Nigeria. Ekundayo disclosed that he will set up boxing academies in Nigeria and London where he can groom fighters to fight across the world.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Olawale AjimotokanEuropean International Boxing Federation champion, Larry Ekundayo has vowed to continue putting Nigeria in good light in the boxing world by winning more laurels.The boxer, who defeating John Thain in London in a fight that lasted 12 rounds to win the European International Boxing Federation title on 13 July this year, is presently on a six-day tour of Nigeria.last_img read more

Read More →

Eunisell Boot Holds in June

first_imgThe media hype around Lokosa’s award caught the attention of African Champions, Tunisia’s Esperance Sportive de Tunis, who offered the Kano Pillars striker a two-and-a-half-year contract in January this year.Lokosa was to say after signing the deal: “It was only after I was awarded the Eunisell Boot with all the publicity around it, that my career turned around.”According to the Group Managing Director of Eunisell, Mr. Chika Ikenga, “The Eunisell Boot was instituted not only to honour top performers, but to make players work on their game, be more competitive and to boost the profile and interest of the domestic, topflight league.”Ikenga stressed that the initiative is confirmation of Eunisell’s commitment to the development and increased interest in Nigerian football.“Too often we lose sight of the importance of the domestic league and its players, opting instead to follow the European and UK leagues for example. What we forget is that a significant percentage of those talented players are Nigerians, who started their careers at home in the NPFL, and even more remarkable, is the fact that our young stars rise to the top here and abroad without having had the benefit of local academies or sponsors in their formative years.”Eunisell extended the brand’s involvement in the domestic premier league with the launch of ‘Eunisell Boot’ in 2018.The company first became involved in the NPFL in 2015, when the decision was made to sponsor Rivers United FC. Eunisell subsequently made history as the first club sponsor in Nigeria to achieve five consecutive seasons with one team.Ikenga called on other well-meaning Nigerians, football enthusiasts and corporate sponsors to emulate Eunisell’s efforts in supporting the NPFL and players.“It’s time we got behind our own league, our clubs and players and recognise their incredible talent, and the contribution they make to the game. The prestigious trophy and value of the Eunisell Boot award will spur players into performing better we believe and we are indeed proud to be associated with our home-grown stars,” he said.An example of the impact of sponsorship on football is the popular English Premier League, which has been elevated to that of a global behemoth with the investment by Sky Sports – Only last year, the satellite broadcaster splashed a staggering £3.58 billion (N1, 682,600,000,000) for a three-year deal with rights to broadcast league games around the world.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Group Managing Director of Eunisell Limited, Mr. Chika Ikenga_ Eunisell Boot Award winner, Junior Lokosa_ and SuperSport Presenter, Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke, at the cheque and trophy Plans to host the second edition of the Eunisell Boot Award are in top gear. Sponsors, Eunisell, a leading global chemical solutions and production engineering solutions group, confirms the ceremony will hold in June.At the event, the top goal scorer of the 2018/2019 NPFL season, will be presented with the coveted Eunisell Boot trophy and N200,000 for each goal scored.Junior Lokosa, the highest scorer with 19 goals in the 2017/2018 NPFL season, won the inaugural edition and was presented with N3.8million and a glittering trophy.last_img read more

Read More →

Golden Eaglets in Dead-rubber Clash with Australia

first_imgNigeria’s Under-23 Olympic Eagles shortly before departing Lagos for Egypt yesterday UNDER-17 WORLD CUPThe Golden Eaglets will take on Australia in a dead-rubber third Group B match today, at the Estadio Bezerrao, Brasilia. The kickoff is 9pm, Nigerian time.Hungary and Ecuador will also clash at the same time, at the Estadio Olimpico Goiania. Nigeria topped Group B on six points from two games. The Manu Garba’s team has already claimed a Round of 16 ticket .Ecuador are in second position on three points and need an outright win to advance as the second-placed team.For Ecuador, Australia and Hungary, there is also an opportunity to qualify for the Second Round as one of the four best third-placed teams across the six groups.GROUP BMP W D L GF GA GD PTSNigeria 2 2 0 0 7 4 3 6Ecuador 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 3Australia 2 0 1 1 3 4 -1 1Hungary 2 0 1 1 4 6 -2 1Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Read More →

COVID Kickoff: Central Arkansas-Austin Peay begin the season

first_img LIVE TV First Published: 29th August, 2020 08:51 IST Associated Press Television News COMMENT When Central Arkansas and Austin Peay signed up to play in the first game of the college football season, little did they know how notable it would become.With a large cloud of uncertainty still looming over the sport, the teams will start the shortened season Saturday night in the Guardian FCS Kickoff Classic before a limited number of fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.“We are the show in Week Zero and the game to really kick off football, not just college football but also professional football,” Central Arkansas coach Nathan Brown said. “Really the first live football game of the year is a big deal. We know it’s going to be a must-see game.“We’re representing football players and football coaches across the nation right now. So it’s a big deal and something that we’ve talked about and educated our student-athletes about.”It will be a chance to acclimate to the new reality for college sports in the pandemic. The NBA and Major League Baseball have played games without fans. The Big Ten and Pac-12 are among college conferences that have already opted out of playing this fall.And while the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big 12 are scheduled to play, that’s not a guarantee either.Saturday night’s game ordinarily wouldn’t cause much of a national ripple even though it does involve teams that made the FCS playoffs last season. But there is nothing ordinary about this season, or this game.ESPN will broadcast the contest but the announcers will be working remotely. There were only 2,000 tickets distributed to the schools and sponsors, about 9% of the 22,000-seat capacity at Cramton Bowl, down the road from Alabama’s Statehouse, officials said.Fans are required to wear masks entering the stadium or moving around, and practice social distancing at all times.Concession stands will sell only prepackaged items.One infectious disease expert said even with distancing in the stands, he’d worry about fans congregating at the entrances and exits more than about the players and coaches who are being tested regularly.“But my biggest concern is compliance with mask wearing,” said Dr. Michael Saag, a professor of infectious diseases and associate dean for Global Health at UAB. “I’ve seen plenty of venues where masks are required to get in and as soon as people walk through the turnstile or the door, the mask disappears or goes around the neck. Cheering and screaming as well as singing are some of the most egregious activities as far as putting the virus into the air around somebody.“And if somebody’s closer than six feet and a mask’s not being worn, even if it’s outside, there’s a pretty good chance of transmission.”Saag, who described himself as “a huge football fan,” said he wouldn’t go to a game as a fan. He also noted troubling images of some high school games around the state, where fans, many not wearing masks, packed the stands. Unlike high schools, colleges have the resources to test players and staff at least weekly.The Austin Peay and Central Arkansas teams were tested on Wednesday. Austin Peay interim head coach Marquase Lovings, who was elevated to the position in July, declined to disclose information on any COVID-19 positive tests on the team.Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague said the school has been testing weekly since early August.“There have been 3 positive results and those were not on the practice squad,” Teague said in an email. “We have lots of PPE and educate and remind daily of our procedures.”Central Arkansas isn’t heading back to Conway for a while after traveling to Montgomery on Friday. The team is heading straight to Birmingham after the game and remaining there through Thursday night’s matchup with UAB.The teams did travel to Alabama with a new focus on health beyond injuries.“Make sure nobody gets on the bus that’s sick,” Brown said. “Bottom line: that’s going to be the key to playing this football season and obviously keeping our players safe, but also keeping Austin Peay’s players safe and not spreading the virus. That’s really the big difference.”Image credits: AP SUBSCRIBE TO UScenter_img Last Updated: 29th August, 2020 08:51 IST COVID Kickoff: Central Arkansas-Austin Peay Begin The Season When Central Arkansas and Austin Peay signed up to play in the first game of the college football season, little did they know how notable it would become WATCH US LIVE Written By FOLLOW USlast_img read more

Read More →