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Arsenal Finetunes Plans To Tour Nigeria

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English Premier League side Arsenal are finalising plans for a pre-season visit to Nigeria this summer.

Officials from the London club were in Nigeria to inspect more facilities across the country for the tour, scheduled for August.

The Organisers DanJan Sports and Arsenal officials also met with some fans of the North London side.

“It’s been a lovely time here, the energy level is absolutely unbelievable,” Arsenal’s marketing director Angus Kinnear, said.

“We are still inspecting potential facilities in different states and the fans are excited about the tour.

“Essentially, the connection with the fans has been amazing.

“Arsenal went to Asia last year and what we’ve seen on the ground here is encouraging.

“Like we’ve emphasised, there is a strong desire to connect with our fans in Africa and the first step starts in Nigeria.”

The club traditionally hosts an annual pre-season tournament at the Emirates Stadium, but they opted to postpone the event for a year because of the 2012 London Olympics.

As part of their preparation for the 2012/13 season, the club have opted to connect with their huge fan base in Africa, by visiting the continent.

John Okusi of DanJan Sports said: “Arsenal has got a huge fan base in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, so far everything is going well.”

“They’ve been to several states and officials are excited about the prospect of hosting the club here.

“There are only few things to be sorted out.”

On a lighter note, Angus Kinnear revealed how the fans stunned him with their reaction to the North London derby victory against Tottenham Hotspur.

“The celebration and mood of the fans was shocking.” Kinnear said.

“They celebrated that victory more than what I’ve ever experienced in London.

“It’s amazing and I’m touched. The passion is incredible”

Interestingly in July 2008, DanJan Sports brought two other English clubs, Manchester United and Portsmouth, to the Nigerian capital Abuja for pre-season friendly.

Manchester United took on Portsmouth before Pompey then played against Nigeria Premier League (NPL) side Kano Pillars.

The English Premier League is hugely popular in football-mad Nigeria, with millions of fans following the league on both terrestrial and satellite television.

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Tokyo 2020: Naomi Osaka Beats China’s Saisai In Straight Sets

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka returns a shot to China’s Zheng Saisai, during their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s singles, first round tennis match at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo .
Japan’s Naomi Osaka won in straight sets on her highly-anticipated return to court at the Tokyo Olympics yesterday, while world number one Ashleigh Barty crashed out in the first round.
Osaka, the star of the opening ceremony, defeated China’s Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-4 in her first match since taking an eight-week break for mental health reasons.
“I feel like more than anything I’m just focused on playing tennis. Playing the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Osaka, chosen as the first tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday.
“I feel like the break that I took was very needed, but I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again.”
The Australian Open champion had not played since May, when she walked out of Roland Garros, saying that media commitments were harming her mental health.
Osaka showed few signs of rust as she reeled off the opening five games on the Ariake Coliseum centre court, which likely would have been packed to capacity if not for a spectator ban because of coronavirus restrictions.
The second seed broke the 52nd-ranked Zheng for a 2-1 lead in the second set and closed out an 87-minute victory on her third match point.
The 23-year-old Osaka is attempting to become Japan’s first Olympic tennis champion. She will play Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic in the last 32.

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Insurance FC Records Second NNL Win On Return

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Bendel Insurance recorded their second win in a row since returning to the second tier of Nigeria National League with a 1-0 win over Abia Comets on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Defender Tanimu Benjamin scored the only goal of the encounter in the 26th minute to hand the hosts the maximum points.
Both results have brightened their chances of qualifying for the Super 8.
According to Tidesports source, the Edo State Government in June withdrew the team from the competition after several of their players were injured by home fans during their game against Remo Stars in Ikenne, Ogun State.
On their return, Insurance pulled off an away win over Holy Arrows in Enugu before the win at the weekend 
“I am happy with the goal and the overall performance from the boys. Our aim is to return to the topflight and we are working hard to achieve it,” goal scorer Benjamin, who was injured in the violence at Ikenne, said

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Karagumruk To Pay Musa N1bn Annually

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Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa was on Thursday unveiled by Turkish Lig 1 side, Fatih Karagumruk, having signed the winger on a two-year deal with an option to extend the deal for another year.
Tidesports source gathered that the financial details of the deal were undisclosed by both club and player, Musa will earn about$2.5million (N1.02billion) annually with a weekly pay of $40,000, with bonuses.
Karagumruk were promoted to the Turkish topflight in the 2019/2020 campaign, ending a 35-year wait for a return to the Super Lig and want to remain there, thus, the acquisition of star players like Musa.
“It’s a good deal no doubt, the club wanted Musa because of his wealth of experience, having played at the World Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Since they were promoted to the topflight two seasons ago, their major aim is to remain in the Turkish topflight and also win games against the big sides like Galatasary, Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor and they believe Musa can help them achieve their goals. That’s why they signed him for $2.5million annual salary, besides bonuses and allowances,” a close friend of Musa said.
It was also reliably learnt that there were financial incentives for Musa, if the club qualified for European competitions, and if he ended up as their highest scorer at the end of the season.
Musa, in an interview with newsmen said Karagumruk’s ambition was a major reason he joined them.
“I was very impressed with the team’s philosophy, style of play and it’s clearly an ambitious club.

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