- Iwobi Ruled Out Of Lesotho Clash
- Super Eagles Back In Lagos Camp
- Nigeria’s Vice-President Set To Declare 20th National Festival Open
- Lagos City Marathon Commences Registration For Virtual 10km Race
- Lewis Hamilton Clinches Bahrain GP
- Women’s Football Set To Usher In Europa League-style Tournament
- Action Attraction From The World Cup Qualifiers & More
Everton’s Alex Iwobi Departs Super Eagles’ Lagos Camp After Returning Second Positive Covid-19 Test.
The 24-year old is now officially ruled out of Nigeria’s final Group L Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Lesotho after testing positive for Covid-19, according to Super Eagles media officer Babafemi Raji.
Iwobi sat out Saturday’s 1-0 win over Benin in Porto Novo after testing positive for the virus but was allowed to travel back to Nigeria with the rest of his team mates on Sunday, with coach Gernot Rohr and a host of other Nigerian officials insisting on getting a second test on arrival in Nigeria.
“Iwobi has left the camp,” said Raji.
“Before he left, he did not show any symptoms, he was fine.”
Iwobi contributed two goals during Nigeria’s qualifying campaign for the delayed Cup of Nations billed for January 2022 in Cameroon.
Super Eagles Navigate Their Way Back To Lagos To Get Set For Lesotho Clash After Victorious Outing In Porto Novo.
Players and officials of three-time African champions Nigeria returned to their Eko Hotel & Suites camp in Lagos on Sunday after travelling via the waterways, same route as they did for their crunch Group L African Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against the Squirrels of Benin Republic.
Nigeria, who became the seventeenth nation to qualify for the finale billed to take place in Cameroon next year, have opted to travel for an international engagement by boat for the first time since the country gained independence in 1960.
The team had a stopover at a beach house in Ilashe village to relax a bit and have lunch, according to Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Lagos State on New Media, Jubril Gawat.
Accompanying Journalists say the players gave out gifts to villagers who came to cheer, with Fulham defender Ola Aina specifically requesting that his hefty cash gift be shared amongst the kids in the community.
On arrival in Lagos, Gernot Rohr’s team took Sunday off but are expected to have a light training session on Monday in preparation for the final qualifying game against Lesotho on Tuesday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
National Sports Festival
Benin City: Nigeria’s VP, Yemi Osinbajo Set to Declare 20th National Sports Festival Open.
The 20th National Sports Festival will be declared officially open by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yomi Osinbajo on April 6, according to Edo State Deputy Governor and Local Organizing Committee (LOC) chairman, Philip Shaibu.
Following several months of postponement due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the 12-day event will finally take center stage across various venues in Benin City from April 2.
“The Torch of Unity will arrive in Edo State on April 3, and go round the 18 local governments in the state,”said Governor Shaibu.
Lagos City Marathon
Lagos City Marathon Commences Registration of Athletes for Virtual 10km Race.
Athlete registration for a virtual 10km race billed for April 10 at the Lagos City Marathon has commenced, according to Project Consultant, Mr Bukola Olopade.
Olapade claims thousands of athletes who have been denied participation in this year’s edition, which will be open to elites only, have commenced online registration for the 10km virtual race.
“Thousands of runners can now run the 10km virtually from April 9 to April 11. We completely understand that our runners who come in their thousands to participate yearly will miss the thrill of the event, said Olapade.
“This is why we have put together the Virtual 10KM Race so that runners can still experience the camaraderie, health, and wellness benefits running provides”.
With strict Covid-19 protocols set to be in place, the physical race which was usually contested by over 100,000 persons from around the world will accommodate only 300 for this year’s edition.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton saw off a spirited challenge from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to emerge victorious at the first Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain.
Verstappen came very close to clinching victory when he took the lead with four laps to go, but was ordered to hand the lead back to Hamilton after getting penalized for running off the track to overtake the Briton.
The 23-year old voiced his displeasure over the radio about being ordered by his team to hand the lead back, but was told they had no choice.
Before the race, the drivers had been briefed by the race director about a rule that says they cannot not leave the track and gain a lasting advantage, and that officials can issue them the “opportunity to give back the whole of any advantage gained by leaving the track”.
The European Club Association (ECA) released it’s first football strategy on women’s football on Monday and one of it’s proposals is a Europa League-style tournament for women.
The ECA has launched a ‘Be a Changemaker’ strategy for women’s football aimed at “driving sustainability within the game, identifying new commercial opportunities and creating new women’s football clubs across Europe”.
Chief Executive Charlie Marshall says a women’s version of the Club World Cup will be underway “fairly soon” with the ECA seeing the tournament as part of its strategy to help develop the women’s game.
Claire Bloomfield, the ECA’s newly appointed head of women’s football has also hinted at the possibilities of a women’s Club World Cup.
“We have a responsibility to explore all opportunities that can help grow the competition landscape, both on a European level with a second-tier competition and then on a much more global scale, with a possible Club World Cup”.Bloomfield said
From next season, the women’s Champions League, which is currently the only European club competition in women’s football will adopt a new format which will feature a group stage and a round of 16 for the first time.
World Cup Qualifiers – UEFA Zone
GROUP B: GEORGIA 1-2 SPAIN
Spain left it late against Georgia as Dani Olmo scored deep into additional for the former world champions who snatched all three points in their 2022 World Cup qualifying fixture against Georgia on Sunday.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia broke the deadlock in the first-half for Georgia, who took an unlikely lead into half-time, leaving Spain on the brink of losing a World Cup qualifying fixture for the first time in 28 years.
La Roja restored parity after the break through Ferran Torres, following some brilliant work down the left by Jordi Alba to find the Manchester City attacking midfielder.
Alba also got the credits for assisting Olmo’s late long-range strike which ultimately ensured Luis Enrique’s men registered their first three points this qualifying campaign, having been held to a 1-1 draw by Greece in their first game.
GROUP I: ALBANIA 0-2 ENGLAND
England continued from where they left off last time out with a comfortable win over Albania in match day 2 of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Team captain Harry Kane opened scoring in the 38th minute via a diving header after combining brilliantly with in form Manchester United left back Luke Shaw for his 33rd international goal, before Chelsea’s Mason Mount added a second in the 63rd minute to seal the victory.
The Three Lions, who have now stretched their unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers to 23 games, will take on Poland at Wembley on Wednesday.
- Kazakhstan 0-2 France
- Armenia 2-0 Iceland
- Georgia 1-2 Spain
- Denmark 8-0 Moldova
- Albania 0-2 England
- North Macedonia 5-0 Liechtenstein
- Romania 0-1 Germany
- Kosovo 0-3 Sweden
- Bulgaria 0-2 Italy
- Switzerland 1-0 Lithuania
- Ukraine 1-1 Finland
- Austria 3-1 Faroe Islands
- Arsenal’s 22-year old Real Madrid loanie Martin Ødegaard is a transfer target for Premier League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool, according to AS.
- Midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 30, defender Alex Sandro, 30 and forward Paulo Dybala, 27, have all been tipped to leave Juventus this summer, according to Mail.
- The Turin based club are open to using Dybala, whose contract runs out in June 2022, as part of a swap deal for a number of targets, including 28-year old Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba, according to Football Italia.
- Former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has told TalkSport he believes Harry Kane has to leave Spurs if he wants to win trophies.
- Barcelona are planning a new deal to keep France forward Ousmane Dembele, 23, beyond the expiration of his current deal in 2022, according to Mundo Deportivo.
- 34-year-old France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is likely to remain at Tottenham this summer, despite his current deal coming to an end in summer 2022, according to Football London.
- Manchester United have opened talks with AC Milan to discuss the Italian club turning 22-year-old Portugal defender Diogo Dalot’s loan move into a permanent switch, according to Metro.
- Liverpool will prepare a £15m bid to try to sign Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir from Trabzonspor, with RB Leipzig and Sevilla also interested in the 24-year-old, according to the Express.
- Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna says he “would not be surprised” if Spain right-back Hector Bellerin, 26, left the Gunners, according to Goal.
- Serbia left back Aleksandar Kolarov, 35, could leave Inter Milan at the end of the season, with Bologna one of five clubs interested in signing the ex-Manchester City defender, according to Tuttosport.
- Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos, 31, is set to call time on hid international career after this summer’s European Championships, according to Marca.