Christiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid Wins Chinese Most Valuable Player Award
By Victor Dafam
Real Madrid superstar, Christiano Ronaldo has been awarded the Most Valuable Player by Chinese supporters.
The 31-year-old has already claimed the two major football’s individual awards, the Ballon d’Or and the Inaugural, the Best FIFA Men’s Player award.
The Portuguese captain has now been named MVP for 2016 by Dongqiudi, a Chinese website backed by the Suning Group, which owns Inter Milan.
The former Sporting Lisbon forward, who became the first footballer to be named European Sportsperson of the year by PAP, thanked supporters who voted for him for the Dongqiudi prize.
Ronaldo wrote on his official Instagram page, “Thanks for the support of Chinese fans.”
Real Madrid will be up against Celta Vigo on Wednesday in the second leg of the Copa de Rey quarter-final at Balaidos where Ronaldo is expected to lead the attack and looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.
The Premier Soccer League has released an amended fixture list for the remainder of the 2016/17 PSL season
By Victor Dafam
The amended version includes the fixtures that were either postponed or abandoned in the first half of the league (period: August- December 2016).
The 2016/17 season has been an extremely challenging season to manage for the League. It has been necessary to take into account external factors such as the Olympic Games, the Africa Cup of Nations, and the impact that Mamelodi Sundowns achievements had on our programme.
The amended fixture list also accommodates the four South African clubs participating in the Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup.
Unfortunately the League has had to make provision for the possible need for further amendments in the month of April/May 2017. The nature of these changes (if any) will, to a large extent, be determined by how our four clubs participating in CAF competitions perform in the initial stages of their respective competitions.
The League has also, with the consent of SAFA, and with a view to address outstanding matches, scheduled the first Absa Premiership fixture in 2017 for Friday, 03 February 2016.
The final games of the season will be played on the 17th of June 2017.
This year’s Nedbank Cup final is scheduled for June 27.
Here are the final fixtures of the season in full:
Kaizer Chiefs vs. Bidvest Wits – FNB Stadium – 15:00
SuperSport United vs. Platinum Stars Lucas Moripe Stadium – 15:00
Golden Arrows vs. Orlando Pirates – Moses Mabhida Stadium – 15:00
Ajax Cape Town vs. Baroka FC – Cape Town Stadium – 15:00
Free State Stars vs. Chippa United – James Motlatsi Stadium – 15:00
Polokwane City vs. Cape Town City – Old Peter Mokaba Stadium – 15:00
Maritzburg United vs. Bloemfontein Celtic – Harry Gwala Stadium – 15:00
Highlands Park vs. Mamelodi Sundowns – Makhulong Stadium – 15:00
The Netherlands international will remain at the Allianz Arena until the end of next season despite claims he could leave this summer
By Victor Dafm
Arjen Robben has reached an agreement with Bayern Munich over a new contract that will keep him at the club until June 2018.
The Netherlands international’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, but he has opted to stay put for an additional season.
Robben joined Bayern from Real Madrid in August 2009 and has since established himself as a key figure at the Allianz Arena.
The 32-year-old has made over 200 appearances for the Bavarians, winning five Bundesliga titles, four DFB Pokals, the Champions League and the Club World Cup during his time at the club.
is personal highlight came in the 2-1 Champions League final win over Borussia Dortmund in 2012-13, when he netted the winner in the closing stages at Wembley to help his side to European glory.
“Arjen is one of the best players in the world in his position,” chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “He has been at Bayern for nearly eight years and has become an integral part of this club.
“We are very happy that he will be wearing the Bayern jersey for one additional season.”
Robben added: “I am happy that I will be playing at Bayern for one extra year. Bayern are one of the best clubs in the world and Munich is like a second home to me and my family.
“I want to keep playing at the highest level and win as many titles as possible.”
Robben follows in the footsteps of fellow winger Franck Ribery, who signed a one-year renewal back in November 2016.
The Gunners goalkeeper admits two key men caught up in long-running contract extension sagas need to be shown that the team can match their ambition
By Victor Dafam
Petr Cech says Arsenal team-mates Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez need to be shown “how much we need them” as speculation regarding their respective futures rumbles on.
Both men are due to be out of contract in the summer of 2018 and are yet to commit to extended stays at Emirates Stadium.
Debate as to when they might sign has dragged on for some time now, with Ozil revealing that his decision hinges on Arsene Wenger remaining in the Gunners dugout.
Alexis has also hinted that he would be prepared to put pen to paper, but talk of big-money offers from China refuse to go away.
Cech believes it is now up to those already tied to the club on a long-term basis to convince the key men to stay put, urging everyone connected with Arsenal to display ambition.
“I think for us it is important to show them how much we need them in the team and to show them how much we want to win,” he told the Evening Standard.
“Then obviously it will make their decision easier. If they see that we are competitive, everybody is ready to win things together and they know how important they are for our team, then this will make their decision easier.”
While much of the attention before and during the current transfer window has focused on possible outgoings at Arsenal, there is still plenty of time for fresh faces to be brought on board.
Wenger, though, has admitted of late that he is unlikely to enter a tricky mid-season market.
He said: “I believe it’s completely against the spirit of what a football club should be.
“Once you are on the train at the start of a season, you stay on the train until the end of the season. I personally don’t think that it is right.”
Cech believes Arsenal already boast a healthy strength in depth and will have no complaints if Wenger decides to follow his recent recruitment trend and steer clear of January additions.
He added: “On Saturday [against Swansea] we were missing players due to injury and so they are all basically close to fitness and back to the squad, apart from Santi [Cazorla], who will need a little bit more time.
“If everyone is fit then we have a strong squad. So this is probably why the boss said what he said. It is his decision. We concentrate on our game and then we train. If he brings in a player or not, that is his decision.”
Adamawa to invest in sports for poverty eradication
The Adamawa state coordinator of Poverty Eradication Programme, Mr Tanko Ayuba Audu, has reiterated the state government’s determination and willingness to invest more in polo game to encourage youth’s participation in the sports.
Ayuba disclosed this in an interview at Jos Polo 2016 Annual Game, in memory of founding fathers of polo in Nigeria.
He said government across the 36 states have contributed positively to the growth and development of sports in Nigeria, as panacea to peace building.
Audu assured of government’s readiness to give priority attention towards promoting grassroots sports, and empowerment of youths to end irresponsible living.
The coordinator said that he was very impressed with the number of supporters club that turned out to witness the Adamawa state polo team; which shows that the youths are embracing sports.
Audu prayed almighty God to continue to sustain the tempo of the existing peace in the country, especially the north east were crisis had paralyzed business activities, and peace is gradually returning to the communities.
Weighed down with ‘depression, drinks and drugs’, I tried to kill myself – Ex-world boxer
Former world boxing champion Ricky Hatton tried to kill himself when he suffered from depression after quitting the ring, the Briton said on Thursday.
Hatton, who won titles at light-welterweight and welterweight, retired in 2012 but had already been struggling with depression, drink and drugs.
“I tried to kill myself several times,” the 38-year-old said. “I used to go to the pub, come back, take the knife out and sit there in the dark crying hysterically.
“In the end I thought I’ll end up drinking myself to death because I was so miserable.’’
Hatton, who registered 45 wins in 48 bouts, said that even if he did not always drink he still could not cope with depression and that led to cocaine use.
“I was coming off the rails with my drinking and that led to drugs. It was like a runaway train,’’ he explained.
Hatton, who now works as a trainer and agent, said fighters needed a support system like footballers, especially after retirement when many found life tough outside sports.
He added that the poverty from which most boxers emerge does not prepare them for life after boxing.
“The thing is ….. with boxers ….. we come from council estates. So, it’s very, very hard,” said Hatton.
“It’s an individual sport. So, you get in the ring on your own and then when you retire you tend to spend the rest of your life on your own.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Hatton’s best performance came in 2005 when he stopped Australian Kostya Tszyu.
The victory added the IBF light-welterweight title to the WBU belt he already held.
He had a perfect 43-0 record until he was floored by Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas in 2007 and was never the same again.
Serena Engaged to Heartthrob, Reddit co owner
She is getting hooked to Reddit co-owner Alexis Ohanian.
The 35 year old tennis star broke the news fittingly on Reddit as she travelled to New Zealand.
Williams announced their engagement while she was in the air between Los Angeles and Auckland, where she was due to play the ASB Classic next week.
Williams made the announcement in a poem.
“I came home. A little late. Someone had a bag packed for me. And a carriage waited. Destination: Rome. To escort me to my very own ‘charming.’ Back to where our stars first collided. And now it was full circle. At the same table we first met by chance. But by choice. Down on knee. He said 4 words. And I said yes.”
Ohanian shared Williams’s Reddit post on his Facebook page with the message: “she said yes”. He also commented on her Reddit thread, writing: “And you made me the happiest man on the planet”.
Williams and Ohanian had been dating for about a year, and were relatively private about their relationship prior to this announcement.
Williams, one of the greatest tennis players of all time and one of the premier athletes in American history, holds 38 Grand Slam titles, including 22 won in singles. Her most recent major victory was at Wimbledon earlier this year.
Ohanian is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and in-demand speaker.
The couple are yet to announce a wedding date.
Report by NAN
2016 ASIAN INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO SHINJI OKAZAKI
Shinji Okazaki has expressed his joy at being named Asian International Player of the Year for 2016. The Japan attacker beat compatriot Shinji Kagawa and Korea Republic’s Son Heungmin to the prize.
“It’s a huge honour to collect this award from the Asian Football Confederation,” said the 30-year-old Leicester City player. “There are some really talented players to have come from Asia and who are playing their football for some of the world’s biggest teams, so I’m thrilled to be given this.
“I know that Shinji Kagawa and Yuto Nagatomo have won this award in the past, so I’m really happy and I hope I can continue to achieve things with Leicester City and Japan in 2017.”
Okazaki broke the deadlock in a 5-0 win over Afghanistan in March with one of Japan’s most breathtaking all-time goals. The result sent the Samurai Blue into the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
The former Stuttgart and Mainz man has since helped them seize ten points from five games in Group B, which has left Japan behind leaders Saudi Arabia on goal difference and above Australia and United Arab Emirates by a point. The top two will qualify directly to the 21st World Cup, while the third-placed finishers will go into the playoffs.
Okazaki also aided Leicester’s fairy tale Premier League triumph, scoring a superb free-kick to earn victory over Newcastle United in the run-in.
Overall, he has netted 49 goals in 103 internationals – shy only of Kunishige Kamamoto and Kazu Miura.
25 hearty cheers goes off to Super Eagles and Chelsea’s wonder player Victor Moses as he marks his birthday
Sports Minister Assures Super Falcons On Entitlements
Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has reassured African champions, the Super Falcons that they will receive all their entitlements.
The Honourable Minister, who was in company with NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, met with the players and officials at their Agura Hotel, Abuja on Thursday.
“I had to make time out to meet with you ladies again after receiving you on arrival in Lagos. In the past few days I have heard so much about the team’s grievances, challenges and issues here and there.
“I have also discussed with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation but I felt it is necessary for me to come and sit to discuss with you in order for us to understand ourselves better.
“The issues with the team date back to the All-Africa Games, bothering on allowances and bonuses. We are also aware that the coaches are also being owed.
“The point I want to make clear is that for this competition which this team have participated in and won, we are indeed overwhelmed by the performance of the team.”
The Minister urged the players and officials to be patient with the Government so that their laudable achievement can be appreciated: “Personally, I don’t want this achievement to be rubbished with whatever challenges we are facing because one thing that will stand to the end is our achievements.”
Dalung concluded by promising the Falcons that the process to sort out their money is in process, and it will be sorted out eventually: “But one thing I want you all to know is that there are procedures for getting such monies from the Federal Government.
“It is not like an ATM that you will just go to and bring out cash. Government has processes on how things are done. We are still processing and pursuing the entitlements of the team.”
AFCON Beach Soccer: CAF Officials, Teams Arrive Nigeria
The stage is set for the second edition of the Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations to be hosted by Nigeria as officials of the Confederation of African Football arrived in Lagos on Thursday.
NSCDC emerges winner of FEPSGA 2016 Public Service Games
By Isaac Garba, Jos
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has emerged the overall winner of the 35th edition of the annual Public Service Games, with a total of 33 Gold medals, 8 Silver and 1 bronze.
The weeklong event organised by the Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA), took place on the Plateau, at the Jos Township Stadium, with this years’ theme tagged: “Plateau Peace Games”, signalling the return of peace to the state.
Speaking on behalf of the team, the Commandant in charge of sports, Commander Ayodele Titus expressed gratitude that the team retained its place as the defending champion of the games which he said they have held for the past six to seven years.
Also on the tops of Gold cup grouping, the Customary Court of Appeal won the National Industrial Court: 3-2 after a goaless match, through penalty kicks, in the football category, retaining its position as champion after last year’s event in IMO FEPSGA 2015.
Furthermore, in the overall category, Team Plateau clinched the second position with a total of 7 Gold medals, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze, while Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) came third, with 4 Gold medals, 5 Silver and 5 Bronze.
Earlier, the Executive Governor of the state, Simon Lalong stressed the need for the sustainability of the games, saying that the games acts as a panacea for nation building; adding that on the plateau, there was a deliberate effort by his administration to ensure that peace is not compromised since assuming office the past one and a half year.
Lalong said: “as a government, we have committed ourselves in the past one and a half year to ensuring we restore and consolidate on peace through proactive peace building effort. We have set up institutional mechanisms and engaged communities, in ensuring we regain our time tested acclamation of being the home of peace and tourism.”
The National President FEPSGA, Dahiru Hassan, in his closing remarks, congratulated all the teams, saying there was no winner or loser as each time made remarkable efforts, adding that peace on the Plateau made it possible for the game to be successful.
Hassan who had earlier warned that his administration would not tolerate mercenaries imported into the teams, said no injuries was recorded and that FEPSGA is looking forward to host West Africa Public Service Games (WAPSGA) in Nigeria, come second quarter of 2017.