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NCF Releases List For Africa U-19 Championship

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The Nigeria Cricket Fed
eration (NCF) has released a 16-man list for next month’s Africa Male Under-19 Cricket Championship.
About 21 players reported to camp last week in preparation for the championship, scheduled to take place from February 13 to February 20 in Tanzania.
The list given to newsmen by the NCF in Abuja at the weekend includes Okpe Sylvester who will serve as the team’s captain and Adiamo Mojeed the cricket keeper.
Others are Akachukwu Moses, Tay Abiodun, Ahamefule Sunday, Okhide Eboehi, Igbineweka Olaye, Yussuff Mustapha and Ajekun Daniel.
Also in the list are are Olaleye Olayinka, Joseph Tabat, Onwuliri Chukwudi, Simon Samson and Ayinde Babatunde,
Doumotimi Franklin and Adewoye Dimeji.
Five players, including Obesesan Afiz (Ogun), Mgbojikwe Chukwudi (Anambra), Daniel Gim (Kaduna), Onosetale Ofenmu (Edo) and Sadiku Shakiru (Lagos) did not make the final list.
Uthe Ogbimi, Senior National Team Coach of the NCF told newsmen that the players failed to make the list not because of performance but due to their date of “birth matrix.
“Due to the late circular from the ICC concerning age matrix, we find out that out of the 21 players originally invited to camp, five of them have to go.
“Though, the players are U-19 years of age and duly qualified to play in the Africa championship.
“The new rules from ICC means that you will not just be U-19 for this tournament, you have to be U-19 by the time the U-19 World Cup takes place.
“In effect, they are asking countries to go further down the line to get probably 17-year-old players to play u-19 tournaments, this brought the screening out of five of our players.’’
According to Ogbimi who is one of the team’s selectors, Obesesan Afiz, Mgbojikwe Chukwudi and Daniel Gim will be greatly missed at the championship.
Harry Tamuno, the U-19 Head Coach and his assistant Onoja Oche as well as Obalola Tajudeen, the Team Manager will also join the train to Tanzania.
The team was expected to have departed for Kenya on Monday on a pre-tournament tour, from where it will proceed to Tanzania for the championship.

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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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