Sports News Update-Up By Osinachi Nwosu

Sports News Update-Up By Osinachi Nwosu

Akwa Ibom’s state government has appointed Otuekong Essien as the new technical director of Akwa United.
Essien, the deputy chief whip of the state’s House of Assembly was unveiled on Monday. And he is saddled with the task of coordinating the technical department of the Nigeria Professional Football League side.


Pinnick: Issa Hayatou must go

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick says African must follow the trends in global football administration by voting out long-serving President of the Confederation of African Football Issa Hayatou during CAF elections slated for March 16, 2017 in Ethiopia.
Hayatou is standing for an eighth successive term of office, but faces opposition from Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascar’s FA.
Pinnick said CAF needs a new generation of leadership on the continent, following the change at the top of the world governing body FIFA.


NNL begins March 17

BARING any last minute change of arrangements, the Nigeria National League (NNL) will kick-off on March 17 across the country.
This is due to a unanimous decision of the congress of the NNL in Abuja. Addressing the congress, the Independent Chairman of the NNL, Hon. Chidi Offo-Okenwa assured that his committee will do everything necessary to ensure that the clubs get their due.
Meanwhile, a communique issued at the end of the congress among other things adopted a four year tenure for the management board of all clubs in the NNL.
Similarly, the congress said it has prohibited all forms of direct interference in the management and administration of NNL clubs by government officials and agencies; adding that their role should only be supervisory.
Also the League Management Company (LMC) was applauded for its support to the NNL as well as other leagues in the country; even as it tasked the body not to relent on its quest to transform and sustain the successes recorded by the premier league body.
The congress equally adopted the immediate and full implementation of the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS) and National Transfer Certificate (NTC) by mid season to allow all clubs to fully be abreast of the system.


LMC institutes panel to verify Sunshine Stars salary indebtedness
Following reports of claims of salary indebtedness of Sunshine Stars to its players, the League Management Company has initiated steps to verify financial records of the club in exercise of its powers to inspect club financial records upon suspicions of breach of provisions of the League Rules in respect of overdue payables.
The LMC has pursuant to this set up a verification panel and in the interim has paid 50 percent of the players’ salaries which would be deducted from money due the club from the LMC.
In the letter signed by the Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, the LMC drew the attention of Sunshine Stars management to articles 8 and 8.1 of the Rules which empower “the Board either by itself or by any person appointed by to inspect the financial records of any Club which it reasonably suspects has acted in breach of these Rules.”
This followed a similar reprimand of players of Sunshine Stars for not complying with relevant provisions of League Rules in addressing issues of financial dispute with their employers.
An earlier letter from the LMC to the players had reminded them that the club had in the course of registration for the 2016/17 season submitted attestation documents, signed individually by each registered player of the club, with each player confirming that he was not owed salaries or financial entitlements as at 31st December, 2016.
The LMC has however noted and accepted apology letter signed by the club captain, Sunday Abe and vice captain, Adeniyi Alaba pledging to abide with the laid down process of enforcing their rights.
In the said letter, the players acknowledged their error and the embarrassment their action had caused the league and pledged to “restate their commitment to follow due process henceforth and assure the LMC that our players have
since resumed training ahead of this weekend’s match against Rivers United scheduled to hold on Sunday, February 26 at the Akure Township Stadium.”


NPFL: MFM Face Rangers Test; 3SC, Remo Stars clash In South-West Derby

Shooting Stars will host Remo Stars in a South-West derby at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan in the Nigeria Professional Football League On-Going Season.
Both teams have recorded just one win apiece from their last five games and will battle hard to secure maximum points in the game to improve their position in the table.
Also on Saturday, Akwa United and Abia Warriors will do battle at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
Seven games will be played on Sunday with the encounter between Lobi Stars and Enyimba the standout fixture for the day.
Lobi suffered defeat for the first time in five games against Rangers in the midweek and will be desperate to return to winning ways again.
Enyimba have struggled on the road this season having recorded just one draw and three defeats from four away fixtures.
Obaje brothers, Godwin and Joshua will battle for supremacy when table toppers, FC Ifeanyiubah and Plateau United clash in Nnewi.
The hosts sit in 19th position in the table and anything short of a win in this game will add to the pressure on their Ghanaian coach, Yaw Preko.
Former champions, Kano Pillars will face Katsina United at the Sani Abacha Stadium, while El-kanemi Warriors will host Nasarawa United in another encounter between two northern teams.
Under fire Rivers United coach, Stanley Eguma will be keen to see his side end their run of four games without a win when they take on Sunshine Stars at the Akure Township Stadium.
Sunshine Stars players have refused to train all week protesting over the non-payment of their seven- months salaries.
In Ilorin, ABS FC will hope to get the better of Wikki Tourists when both teams clash at the Kwara Sports Complex.
In the last fixture for the weekend, Niger Tornadoes will entertain Gombe United at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja.

LMC Pays 50% Sunshine Stars’ Players’ Salaries, Debits Club
The League Management Company have paid 50 per cent of the of Sunshine Stars’ players’ outstanding salaries, and duly debited the cash-strapped Akure club.
The money will be deducted from the fund accruable to the club from the LMC at the end of the season, it was also gathered.
Players of the Akure based club threatened to pull out of the Nigeria Professional Football League due to a dispute over unpaid wages.
The players have not received their salaries for the past seven months, while the club’s staff have not been paid for over 13 months despite an earlier promise that the outstanding debt would be cleared before February 15.
According to the media release sent to, the LMC however has set up a verification panel to look into the club’s financial records upon suspicions of breach of provisions of the League Rules in respect of overdue payables.
The Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar also reprimanded the players of Sunshine Stars for not complying with relevant provisions of League Rules in addressing issues of financial dispute with their employers.
The Players of Sunshine Stars had attested that they were not owed salaries or any financial entitlements as at 31st December, 2016.
The LMC has however accepted an apology letter signed by Sunshine Stars captain, Sunday Abe and vice captain, Adeniyi Alaba pledging to abide with the laid down process of enforcing their rights.
In the said letter, the players acknowledged their error and the embarrassment their action had caused the NPFL and pledged to restate their commitment to follow due process henceforth and assure the LMC that the players have since resumed training ahead of this weekend’s match against Rivers United scheduled to hold on Sunday, February 26 at the Akure Township Stadium
FC Ifeanyiubah Back Preko Despite Poor Run

FC Ifeanyiubah have thrown their weight behind head coach of the club, Yaw Preko despite the team’s poor run of form this season, reports
The Anambra Warriors failed to progress beyond the preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup, and presently occupy the 19th position in the Nigeria Professional Football League table after a poor start to the campaign.
But the management of the Nnewi club has backed the former Ghana international to turn things around at the club and are not thinking of bringing in a new coach.
FC Ifeanyiubah will host league leaders Plateau United in a week 10 fixtures at home on Sunday.


Mancini Is Top Contender To Coach Musa, Ndidi At Leicester City – Report

Italian manager Roberto Mancini is the main contender for the Leicester City job following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri , according to Football Italia.
Mancini is a free agent in football parlance after he was fired by Inter Milan two weeks before the start of this season, and has been linked with the vacant South Africa job in recent days.
The 52-year-old has coached in the Premier League before, from 2009-2013 at Manchester City, and the ex-Sampdoria star previously represented Leicester in 2001.
After 25 rounds in the English top-flight, Leicester City occupy 17th spot with only one point separating them from Hull City.
On Wednesday, Nigerian duo Ahmed Musa and Wilfred Ndidi featured for the King Power Stadium outfit in their 2-1 loss to Sevilla in the Champions League.

McLaren-Honda unveil new orange, black & white car for 2017 season

McLaren-Honda have unveiled their 2017 Formula 1 car in a brand new orange, black and white livery.
The new colour scheme, a change from dark grey, is a visible manifestation of a new era at McLaren following the departure of former boss Ron Dennis.
The orange reflects McLaren’s historic original racing colour, while the white is engine partner Honda’s corporate branding.
New executive director Zak Brown said the aim was “to get back to winning”.
McLaren have not won a race since 2012 and have had a disappointing time since the start of their new link-up with Honda in 2015. Last year they improved to finish sixth overall.
They have a new driver this year, with Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne joining two-time champion Fernando Alonso.
The new car features many of the design tweaks seen on other cars following the new regulations aimed at making the cars faster, more demanding and more dramatic.
There is a ‘shark fin’ engine cover and complicated aerodynamic detailing around the nose and in front of the bodywork on either side of the cockpit.
Two-time champion Alonso, who is entering his 16th season, said: “It is an important year for us. It has been a difficult 2015 and 2016 and we have high hopes this year we will come back to where we belong.
Vandoorne said he was looking forward to racing alongside Alonso and hopeful he could compete with the 35-year-old Spaniard.
Honda F1 chief Yusuka Hasegawa said the engine had been modified – made lighter, with more power and a lower centre of gravity.
Deontay Wilder to showcase skills against Gerald Washington

Deontay Wilder has promised his fans they will see a different fighter when he defends his WBC heavyweight crown against Gerald Washington on Saturday night.
Wilder will put his title on the line for the fifth time in his first fight since breaking his right hand and tearing a bicep during his eight-round win over Chris Arreola in July.
The knockout specialist Wilder, who boasts an impressive record of 37 straight wins with 36 by stoppage, has been spent his convalescence honing his boxing skills which he intends to showcase against the undefeated challenger.
Wilder enjoys an impressive 97 per cent knockout ratio; however, the big-hitting American revealed a fear of ending up on the canvas drives him on.
Washington (18-0-1-KO12), who turned pro only four years ago at age of 30 after just 14 amateur fights, is determined to size his chance of glory after being drafted in at short notice after Poland’s Andrzej Wawrzyk failed a doping test.

Leicester make contact with Roberto Mancini after Claudio Ranieri sacking

Leicester’s owners have “sounded out” Roberto Mancini about succeeding Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri was sacked on Thursday night, just nine months after leading Leicester to a fairytale Premier League title.
His assistant coach, Craig Shakespeare, is expected to be in charge for their next match which is against Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday night.
But City’s owners have wasted little time in looking for a permanent replacement, and understands they have already make contact with Italian Mancini.
Mancini, who spent a short spell on loan at Leicester as a player in 2001, is a Premier League title winning manager himself, having won it with Manchester City in 2012.
No formal discussion have taken place, with Leicester for now just finding out if Mancini would be interested.
Mancini, 52, has been out of work since leaving Inter Milan last summer.
We understand City have also made contact with “other possibilities” to replace Ranieri.

Leicester’s senior players unhappy with Claudio Ranieri

Leicester’s senior players told the club’s owners they were unhappy with Claudio Ranieri after the Champions League defeat at Sevilla, according to Sky sources.
The players met with the owners on Thursday morning following Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat in Spain.
The meeting was called by the owners – not the players – and they were told by the senior professionals that the relationship between Ranieri and the other members of the coaching staff, including assistant manager Craig Shakespeare, had broken down.
Ranieri was sacked on Thursday evening, just two weeks after the owners gave him their “unwavering support”.
First team coach Paolo Benetti and sports science coach Andrea Azzalin have also left the club with Ranieri.
First team coach Mike Stowell are expected to be in charge for the Premier League clash with Liverpool on Monday.

Europa League Round of 16 Fixtures

Manchester United have been drawn against Russian side Rostov in the last 16 of the Europa League.
United are last English club in the competition following Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Gent on Thursday night.
They will go to Russia in the first leg on March 9.
Other fixtures include:- Celta Vigo hosting FC Krasnodar, Apoel battling Anderlecht, it will be all German affair when Schalke confront Borussia Moenchengladbach, Lyon tackle Roma, Olympiakos faces Besiktas
Gent square up against Genk and FC Copenhagen confronts Ajax.


Europa League
Round of 16 Fixtures

Celta Vigo vs Krasnodar
Apoel vs Anderlecht
Schalke vs Borussia Moenchengladbach
Lyon vs Roma
Rostov vs Manchester United
Olympiakos vs Besiktas
Gent vs Genk
FC Copenhagen vs Ajax
First leg matches will be played on 9 March. Second legs to be played on 16 March.

Kalu Uche Returns For Third Spell With Almeria

Nigeria international Kalu Uche has returned for a third spell at Spanish Segunda División outfit UD Almeria, writes the official website of the Andalusian club.
After passing a medical examination, the experienced striker has penned a deal that will keep him at Almeria until the end of the 2016-2017 season.
Previously, he wore the jersey of Almeria for six years, from 2005-2011, scoring 39 goals in 172 league games, before returning to the club for the second half of last season.
Kalu Uche took part in his first training session with the Rojiblancos on Friday morning, before having an individual session at the gym.
The 2010 World Cup star has also represented Espanyol and Levante in Spain.

Lulu cautions Pinnick over Hayatou’s bid for CAF presidency
A former President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi , has advised the president of the Federation ,Amaju Pinnick, to tread carefully on his position not to support long-serving president of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou, who is contesting for the post for eighth successive term.
Lulu said that Hayatou deserves Nigeria’s support because the Cameroonian has proved over the years to be a true friend of the country, as well as a leader that has equally done so well for the continent’s football globally.
He said a matter like CAF leadership election requires consultation with the NFF Executive Committee, the Congress, and the Federal Government on “this sensitive matter that portends great implication for our image and foreign relations.”
According to Lulu,”it will be height of insensitivity and dangerous politics on the part of NFF president to just throw his support for Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar, as against Issa Hayatou, just because of his differences with the new FIFA leadership.
Lulu recalled the unquantifiable support advanced to Nigeria by Hayatou –led CAF during the country’s hosting of FIFA-under 17 World Cup in 2009, as well as the hosting of CAF Congress in the same year.

Written By Osinachi Nwosu . Twitter-@osinwosu31
& Daniel whyte. Twitter-@daniewhyte2

Whyte Daniel

February 24th, 2017

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *