Monday, September 19, 2016

Afghan Athlete Banned For Doping

​Mohammad Naiem Durani of Afghanistan has been banned for four years for doping offences at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.

Durani tested positive for 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of banned anabolic steroids, following an out-of-competition test in Rio on 8 September.

Despite being his country's sole representative in Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, he tested positive for a substance that is prohibited at all times, both in and out of competition.

The 42-year old, who finished 16th in the men's javelin F44 and was disqualified, will remain banned until 13 September 2020.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

LMC Appeal Jos High Court Ruling; Says It Won't Be Intimidated

​​The League Management Company (LMC), the body in charge of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) have appealed and also filed for a stay of execution the ruling of a High Court of Jos, Plateau State which committed the Chairman, Shehu Dikko and the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Salihu Abubakar to prison for alleged contempt on Friday.

Justice Kunda had in his ruling on Friday ordered that the two officials be committed to prison for 14 days for disobeying his earlier order that the league should be suspended if Giwa is not reinstated.

Reacting to the ruling, the LMC, in a statement expressed shock that the Judge who had earlier admitted that he lacked the jurisdiction to continue hearing the matter following LMC’s appeal of his two earlier rulings could issue such an order.

While stating that the Court of Appeal has set Monday, September 19 for hearing of the motion for stay of execution of the order, LMC insisted that the company and "its officials are law-abiding and will continue to seek the protection of the laws of our land in carrying on their lawful business. LMC will not be browbeaten or intimidated into abandoning this resolve or to act outside the laws of the land”.

The statement traced the genesis of the case at the Jos High Court and made reference to a public statement it issued recently. “In the notice we informed the public that the LMC had appealed against the order of Justice I.I. Kunda made on ex parte application of the plaintiff directing that Giwa FC be reinstated to the league. Along with the appeal LMC also filed a motion before the Court of Appeal, Jos for a stay of proceedings pending determination of the appeal. Based on that, LMC indicated that the league would continue”.

The statement continued, “The LMC authoritatively confirms that the Court of Appeal has fixed the motion filed by LMC for stay of proceedings in the Jos High Court for Monday 19th September, 2016. In his ruling on another motion filed by Mustapha Abubakar before the High Court notwithstanding LMC’s motion for stay of execution fixed for hearing on Monday 19th September, 2016, Justice Kunda agreed that having regard to the motion pending before the Court of Appeal, he had no jurisdiction to hear Mustapha’s motion and he struck it out. But surprisingly, notwithstanding his concession that he had no jurisdiction to entertain Mustapha’s motion, the judge still went ahead to make an order to stop the league even when there was no motion before him for same. LMC appealed against that order and filed a motion before the Court of Appeal for stay of the order”.

The LMC also faulted the ruling citing the failure to personally serve the Forms 48 and 49 on the Chairman and the COO. It pointed out that having failed to personally serve the two officials, Mustapha Abubakar served the hearing notice to the counsels to the LMC.

“Of course, counsel to LMC went to Jos High court to raise objection based on lack of personal service of forms 48 and 49 on the Chairman and the Chief Operating Officer of LMC. However shockingly, the judge said that service on the company was sufficient and he rejected the objection. He then proceeded to make an order committing the Chairman and the Chief Operating Officer to Prison, notwithstanding that there was no motion before him for that purpose”.

The LMC said it had learned of the possibility of this ruling in the media over a week ago but did not believe that any court would make an order to commit anybody to prison without an application for the purpose.

The League body disclosed that it has briefed its attorney, Chief Akin Olujinmi, CON, SAN and noted that “the way the judge had handled the matter raises issues of judicial integrity. The LMC along with its Chairman and Chief Operating Officer will, apart from the appeal against the said orders, exercise their right to address a petition against the judge to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for appropriate intervention”.

Source: LMC Press Release

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Rio 2016 Paralympic: Ugwunwa Shatters World Record To Win Gold

​On a day that began with disappointment for Team Nigeria in the Rio 2016 Paralympic, Flora Ugwunwa became a succour for the country with a breathtaking win, setting a World Record of 20.25m mark and inspiring a total medal win for the African continent in the women’s F54 Javelin throw on Day 6.

Ugwunwa went on to erase Tunisian Hania Aidi’s World Record (WR) of 18.86m set at the IPC World Championships in Doha last year.

The 32 year old surpassed the mark by almost 2m, throwing an impressive 20.25m in her third attempt to also shatter Liwan Yang’s Paralympic Record (PR) of 17.89m set at the London Games four years ago.

Aidi set a Personal Best (PB) of 18.88m to take Silver, while South Africa’s Ntombizanele Situ won the Bronze medal with a PB of 17.90m in what was an Africa haul of the medal. 

Ugwunwa was a GOLD medallist at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville, and her feat in Rio earned Nigeria its second medal in Track and Field, following Laurrita Onye’s GOLD medal run in the women’s Shot put on Sunday.

Her win takes Nigeria’s tally of GOLD medals to seven, and is the country’s tenth medal overall at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Earlier, Commonwealth Gold medallist, Ibrahim Abdulazeez missed out on a medal in powerlifting Men's 97kg, finishing 6th after he suffered an injury while, Opeyemi Jegede, competing in the Men's powerlifting 88kg category, could only finish 5th. 

Source: Making Of Champions 

Friday, September 09, 2016

'Real Madrid Transfer Ban Absurd

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has slammed world football governing body FIFA for imposing a one-year transfer ban on irregularities in the signing of foreign players under 18 on the club.

FIFA dismissed Real and city rivals Atletico Madrid’s appeals against a two transfer window ban on Thursday, meaning they won’t be able to register any new players until January 2018 unless further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport are successful.

While very confident that the team’s results will not suffer from the transfer ban imposed by FIFA, Zidane is not happy with the football body and describe their move as "absurd".

He is also concerned at how the ban will affect the youth section of Real as two of his four sons who play in the Madrid academy were among 39 players investigated by FIFA with the club eventually sanctioned for breaking the rules regarding the signing of foreign nationals under 18 in eight cases.

Under international football rules, players under 18 cannot be transferred to another country, except in limited circumstances, and all transfers need the approval of a special FIFA committee.

However, Zidane’s sons appear to meet that criteria as the former World Player of the Year’s family has largely been based in the Spanish capital since he signed for Real as a player in 2001.

“I don’t understand it at all and it bothers me,” Zidane said on Friday ahead of Madrid’s clash with Osasuna.

“I can talk about my (sons) that have been born and lived their whole lives here. It is absurd that they can’t play football.

“What we are going to do now is wait and hope that this subject is fixed as quickly as possible".

Zidane’s primary focus is on Saturday’s home game against Osasuna and the expected return of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema from injury.

Without the two, Real won their opening two league games, a 3-0 triumph at Real Sociedad and a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo.

Zidane did not reveal if Ronaldo, who got hurt in Portugal Euro 2016 final victory over France, will start on Saturday.

'Is Amazing To Be World Number One's - Kerber

Angelique Kerber has described her new found World Number one status as 'amazing'.

Kerber defeated Caroline Wozniacki in her semi-final in the semifinals of the US Open usurping current number one Serena Williams who lost against Karolina Pliskova to end 186 weeks at the top. 

She will officially become Germany's first number one since Steffi Graf in 1996 when the new rankings are released next week.

"To be number one in the world sounds amazing," said second seed Kerber.

"For me it's amazing to be, after Steffi, the number one player from Germany".
In becoming number one, she also protects her compatriot's record of consecutive weeks at the top of the rankings as Williams' defeat to Pliskova of the Czech Republic leaves the American tied with Graf on 186 weeks.

Australian Open champion and Wimbledon runner-up Kerber, who won Olympic silver in Rio, will take on Pliskova in Saturday's final in New York, as she attempts to win a second Grand Slam title.

Serena Williams Reign As World Number One Ends

Serena Williams was dethroned from world number one position as she was outplayed and beaten by Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals of the US Open.

Williams double-faulted on match point, losing 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to the 10th seed from Czech Republic.

The 34 year old American clearly looked tired and one will wonder if the lack of rest was a major factor as she clearly lacked the footwork.

But take nothing away from Karolina Pliskova, she took full advantage of the opportunity and was so aggressive especially with her first serve's which outworked Williams and her movement as as her timing.

With this result, Williams reign as world number one has ended.

She had also hoped to win an Open-era record 23rd major singles title.

She remains tied with Steffi Graf for both Grand Slam titles, and the WTA record of 186 successive weeks as world number one.

In the mean time,the woman who will succeed Serena Williams as World number one in the next WTA rankings, Angelique Kerber reached her third major final this year after dispatching Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets at the U.S. Open.

Kerber, who was already No. 1 before she even stepped on court as a result of Serena Williams' loss in the first semifinal, went out in a get new status, winning the first four games en route to a 6-4, 6-3 victory against Woznaicki, a former world number one now down at 74th in the rankings.

The German will face Pliskova on Saturday in a rematch of the final at Cincinnati nearly three weeks earlier.

Kerber would have taken over the No. 1 ranking then had she won that day, but Pliskova instead captured a breakthrough title and has ridden in that momentum since then and has gone on a ten game winning streak

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Aruna Quadri Moves Up in Latest ITTF Rankings

Africa number one in table tennis, Aruna Quadri has been ranked 25th in the world.

Aruna who made history as the first African to get into the quarterfinals of the Olympics retains his number one status as Africa's top table tennis star according to the September ranking released by ITTF!

It is another milestone for the 2014 ITTF star player even as the Nigerian prepares for another ITTF World Cup in Germany come October 1 to 3.

Source: ittf africa

El Salvador Refuses Bribe To Fix Match

El Salvador's national football team refused to take bribe to a fix Tuesday's World Cup 2018 qualifying game against Canada, officials and players revealed.

Team members played an audio recording of the person allegedly offering various incentives at a news conference.

The offer was allegedly made by an El Salvadorian who knew some of the players, but who wanted to help the Honduras national team.

Canada must beat El Salvador in Vancouver and hope Mexico defeat Honduras in the final round of Group A games to stand a chance of progressing.

El Salvador cannot qualify for the final round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Canada, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico are members of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

Three Concacaf nations will qualify for the 2018 World Cup automatically, with a fourth entering a play-off against a team from the Asian Football Confederation.

Source: BBC

Serena Williams Set Grand Slam Record With Most Win At The US Open

Serena Williams defeated Yaroslav Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the US Open to set a new Grand Slam record of 308 victories.

Williams defeated Shvedova 6-2 6-3 making history with the most Grand Slam match victories for any man or woman in the Open era.

The historic milestone moves Williams past Switzerland’s Roger Federer , who previously held the title with 307 major match victories and Martina Navratilova for the women with 306 match victories.

The 34 year old American will play fifth seed Simona Halep of Romania in the quarter-finals,who beat Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 7-5.

If she wins the New York tournament, the tennis star will surpass Chris Evert for the most U.S. Open titles and Steffi Graf for the most championships since the introduction of the Open era in 1968, when the Grand Slam tournaments agreed to permit professional players to compete with amateurs.
In other games,eighteen year old Ana Konjuh defeated 4th seed, Agnieska Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 to become the first Croat to reach the women's quarter-finals at the US Open.

The victory was a sweet revenge for Konjuh who held three match points against Radwanska in the second round at Wimbledon before falling 9-7 in the third round after stepping on a ball and turning her ankle.
Radwanska was tipped as the one of the two women to topple Serena Williams from the World Number one position.

With Radwanska out of the picture, second-seeded German Angelique Kerber is now the only player with a chance to end Williams's 186-week reign atop the rankings.

Kerber will try to take the next step on Tuesday in a quarter-final clash with 2015 finalist Roberta Vinci , the seventh seed from Italy.

Meanwhile, Venus Williams wasn't as lucky as her younger sister Serena as hard-hitting Czech Karolina Pliskova toppled two-time champion 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) on Monday to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final at the US Open.

Pliskova, who had never before made it past the third round of a major, derailed seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams’s bid to reach the last eight for the second straight year and scuppered a possible semi-final clash between Williams and her sister.

For the men, Andy Murray seemed determined to go one better last night as he blitzed Grigor Dimitrov with a near flawless display, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in just 2hr 1m.

The defeated was so emphatic that one will wonder if this was the same Grigor Dimitrov that had beaten Murray in Miami as recently as March as well the close Wimbledon quarter-final of 2014, which remains the only time he has failed to reach the last four in SW19 since he was 21.

Murray will face Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori in the last eight who had beaten Croatia's Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-4)

Monday, September 05, 2016

US Open: Djokovic Advances, Nadal Crashes Out

​Top seed, Novak Djokovic showed he is back with his best in the US Open as he ended Kyle Edmund's fine run at  to an end with a 6-2 6-1 6-4 fourth-round win.

Djokovic showed no signs of being rusty despite only completing six games in the past two rounds because of injuries to Jiri Vesely and Mikhail Youzhny.

The world number one needed treatment during the third set as the trouble he had with his upper arm in the first round flared up again.

But he came through unscathed to ensure his quest for a 13th Grand Slam title and third this year remains on track.

Edmund enjoyed something of a New York breakthrough, knocking out Richard Gasquet and John Isner in rounds one and three.
But the Briton was outclassed from the start by defending champion Djokovic who play France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight.

Meanwhile in what can be described as the biggest scalp of the night, Rafael Nadal was defeated in the U.S. Open's fourth round by 24th-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille in an epic five set thriller on Sunday.

The 4th seeded Spainard was defeated 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6)  prolonging the 14-time Grand Slam title winner's quarterfinal drought at major tournaments.

This is the first time since 2004 that Nadal failed to reach a Grand Slam quarter final.

Pouille's upset of Nadal helped put three Frenchmen into the quarterfinals of the American Grand Slam tournament for the first time in 89 years.

The 24th-seeded Pouille joined No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 10 Gael Monfils with fourth-round victories Sunday.

Pouille and Monfils will play each other for a berth in the semifinals.

The last time three Frenchmen reached the quarterfinals was back in 1927, when the event was known as the U.S. Championships.

The trio at that time was Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon and Rene Lacoste, all members of France's famed "Four Musketeers" group of tennis stars in the 1920s and 1930s.

In other games,Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat American Jack Sock in four sets to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the second straight year.

After failing to covert one match point in the third-set tiebreaker, the ninth-seeded Tsonga dominated the fourth for the 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-2 victory Sunday.

Sock, the last man from the United States left in the draw, was trying to reach his first major quarterfinal. No American man has made the last eight at the U.S. Open since 2011.

For the women, Second-seed, Angelique Kerber defeated Petra Kvitova in straight sets to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.

Kerber won 6-3, 7-5 on Sunday in a matchup of left-handers to set up a meeting with last year's runner-up, Roberta Vinci.

The German made her first major semifinal at Flushing Meadows five years ago, but this season came an even bigger breakthrough when she beat Serena Williams for the Australian Open title. 

The German could overtake Williams for the No. 1 ranking depending on their U.S. Open results.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Serena Williams Cruises Into US Open Round of 16

Top seed Serena Williams surpassed a record as she cruised into the fourth round of the US Open on Saturday.

Williams was dominant over Sweden's Johanna Larsson, beating her 6-2, 6-1  to surpass Martina Navratilova for the most Grand Slam wins by a woman with 307 wins.

She also matched Roger Federer wins for men.

Serena takes on Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova for a quarter-final berth.In the Men category, Stan Wawrinka, a two-time Grand Slam winner, had to struggle against Britain's Dan Evans and eventually saving a match point to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, (6/8), 7-6 (10/8)

The 3rd seed saved the vital match point at 5/6 in the fourth set tiebreaker which eventually break the will of his opponent.

Second seed Andy Murray was put to the test by Paolo Lorenzi in the third round of the US Open on Saturday, needing four sets to book his spot in the fourth round.

Murray, vying to become just the fourth man to reach all four Grand Slam finals in a calendar year, looked in commanding form in his first two matches but struggled against an inspired Italian opponent.

He made 47 errors in the first two sets before turning the match around with a change of tactics.

He put himself together, cut out the errors and dominated the third and fourth sets to finally secure victory.

Murray will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the last 16.

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro reached the fourth round for the first time since 2012 with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 6-3 win over Spanish 11th seed David Ferrer.

Del Potro, the 2009 champion but ranked 142 after a series of wrist injuries, will now face Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem - who celebrated his 23rd birthday with victory over Pablo Carreno Busta.

Kei Nishikori, the sixth seed from Japan and a potential quarter-final opponent for Murray, beat France's Nicolas Mahut 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2.

He plays 21st-seeded Ivo Karlovic next after the Croat beat 19-year-old American qualifier Jared Donaldson to become the oldest man to reach the fourth round since Jimmy Connors was 39 in 1991.

King Kanu Scores Hat-rick As Arsenal Legends Defeat AC Milan 4-2

Nigeria legend Nwankwo Kanu scored a hat-rick as Arsenal legends defeated AC Milan 4-2 in a charity match at the Emirate Stadium.

In a match that had all the Arsenal legends one can think of, Kanu, came in for Gilberto in the 25th minute and got the first goal .

Kanu celebrates with other Arsenal legends

An Emmanuel Petit's cross found the former Nigeria captain whose header beat Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

He then got a second goal with a diving header to cancel out Christian Vieri's tap in before scoring a penalty after Roberto Pires was fouled in the box area.

And the supporters wanted Coach Arsene Wenger to sign the Atlanta 96 Olympics gold medalist as they shouted "sign him up Arsene".

Kanu scores a penalty to get hat-rick

The fourth goal by Pires provided by Ljunberg was an awesome goal that you can only see in 2003-4 season.

Milan got a second goal via penalty by Vieri.

The former gunners played the trademark one-touch football Arsenal is known for; the type that would give modern Premier League footballers a run for their money. 

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