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Arsenal To Play In Nigeria, August 5

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English Premier League club, Arsenal, will come to Nigeria for a pre-season match in Abuja on 5 August.

According to the organisers, DanJan Sports, Arsenal’s opposition are likely to be a leading African national team.

It will be the first time the Gunners have played in Nigeria.

“We are working on the opposition and once that is finalised we will announce it to the public in conjunction with the London club,” David Omigie of DanJan Sports said.

“Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and the club with arguably the biggest fan base in the country is visiting in August.”

On their official website Arsenal said: “The club last visited Africa during a tour to South Africa in July 1993, and is returning as a result of the fantastic support which exists for the team, not only in Nigeria, but across the entire continent.”

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.

The visit to Nigeria will conclude Arsenal’s pre-season tour after playing in both China and Malaysia in July.

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

As well as the match between the two, Portsmouth also played against Nigeria Premier League side Kano Pillars.

But DanJan Sports plan to go a step further this time around.

“We learned a lot from the 2008 tour and this one is going to be bigger,” Omigie stated.

“Arsene Wenger wanted a detailed plan and information. Facilities and other areas were well covered by the club.

“This is the beginning of big things between the club and the continent of Africa.”

The organisers are confident the stadium in Abuja will be able to host the game adding that Arsenal are happy with the venue after recent visits.

This is despite the Nigeria Football Federation saying Thursday that Abuja will not be hosting the Super Eagles’ 2014 World Cup qualifier against Namibia on the opening weekend of June nor its 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier second leg against Rwanda a fortnight later.

According to speculation in the local media Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Egypt are all among the potential opponents for the Gunners.

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Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.

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D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket

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Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.

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Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45

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Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered  that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.

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