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Enugu Fans Happy With CHAN Eagles’ Performance

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Football fans in Enugu say they are proud of the home-based Super Eagles’ performance at the ongoing 2018 African Nation Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
The Eagles on Wednesday night booked their place at the final of the tournament after beating Sudan 1-0 to face hosts Morocco in the final.
The 2018 African Nations Championship, known as the Total African Nations Championship (also referred to as CHAN 2018) will be the 5th edition of the biennial football competition.
It is organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and exclusively featuring players from the respective national championships.
Nigeria ranked 51 in the world in the FIFA/Coca Cola is making its third appearance after finishing in the third place in 2014.
Some of the enthusiasts who spoke to newsmen in Enugu, yesterday said the players had surpassed their predecessors’ achievement of third place finish.
A former Nigerian World Boxer, Ikechukwu Okoronkwo, said that the current players had surpassed everybody’s expectation.
“At the very beginning, I never thought that they will reach this level when they draw their first match against Rwanda.
“When I watched their first and second matches and saw how the players missed goal scoring chances, I did not expect them to go beyond the quarter-finals.
“I am happy that those lost scoring chances did not come back to hurt them and as a true Nigerian, the trophy will be a better compensation for the country,’’ he said.
Rangers Media Officer Norbert Okolie said that the players had proved that they were there for business.
“We have not touched this trophy since its inception and for Nigeria to reach the final in Morocco, it is a huge success,’’ he said.
He called on the players to give it one more push as they have 90 minutes separating them and the trophy.
Contributing, Enugu State Boxing Coach Blaise Ude prayed that the team would be successful in the final.
“It surprised me to see the players survive the remaining minutes of the game against Sudan after been reduced to 10 men with Ifeanyi ifeanyi sent off in the 59th minute.
“In fact, everything worked in our favour on Wednesday night against Sudan as Dele Ajiboye the second goalkeeper came in for the injured Ikechukwu Ezenwa and made several saves,’’ he said.
Austin Ezenwata, who runs a football show in Abakpa Nike, Enugu, said that Nigeria deserved to be in final and hoped that they lifted the trophy.
“All the players were not exposed to international football and besides, they have no room in the squad used by the Nigerian coach to prosecute the 2018 World Cup qualifier,’’ Ezenwa said.
He advised the players to go for the trophy against Morocco and to ensure they scored an early goal in the match to ease pressure of the home crowd.

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Enyimba Appoints Finidi George As Head Coach

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The former Ajax and Real Betis winger, George Finidi, who replaces Fatai Osho whose contract expired at the end of August, has joined the eight-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba FC, on a two-year contract.
George, a legend of Nigeria’s men’s senior national team, made 62 appearances for the Super Eagles in an illustrious playing career that lasted up to fifteen years.
He was a key member of the glorious era that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and represented the country at two FIFA World Cups, the 1994 and 1998 editions.
Tidesports source reports that at club level, George won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and went on to play for Real Betis, RCD Mallorca, and Ipswich Town.
His first official game as Enyimba head coach will be the CAF Confederation Cup’s second preliminary round fixture against Senegalese side, Diambers FC in mid-October.
Speaking to Enyimba’s media immediately after putting pen to paper, George said, “I have to say it’s a great opportunity for the club to have this confidence in me.
“I want to thank the chairman, the members of the board, and the supporters for even thinking about me. On my own part, I will be here to just work and do the job. It’s never going to be easy but I’m here to work and make the team win.”
Chairman of Enyimba, Felix Anyansi Agwu, stated that the arrival of George represents a new chapter for the club.
“I believe that the time has come for us as a club to open up a new chapter, a chapter that will showcase the many hardwork that has been going on behind the scene and usher in lots of success.
“For us to have engaged a coach like Finidi George who is coming from Europe is a clear statement of intent about our aspirations,” Agwu said.

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Arteta Sees Light For Arsenal

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he sees a bright future for the club despite suffering their worst start to a season for 67 years.
The Gunners climbed off the bottom of the Premier League table with their first goal and first points of the campaign by beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend.
However, Arteta’s position is still under scrutiny ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burnley after spending £150 million ($207 million) on new players during the transfer window.
The Spaniard claimed after beating Norwich he had enjoyed the “best 10 days of his career in this industry” during an international break when his side was rock bottom of the table.
And Arteta was equally optimistic on where Arsenal are headed with all six of his summer signings aged 23 or under.
“I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I’ve seen the light and I can see bright lights,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“There can be bumps in the road within that light, but I can see a lot of light.”
Arteta is also hopeful the criticism his squad suffered after defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City will only serve to make them stronger.
“It’s tough because it hurts, because you want to see something different. But what you want is not always what happens,” he added.
“Things happen for a reason and maybe what is happening had to happen and it’s going to be really good for the club and really good for myself and everybody experiencing that situation. We have to believe that.”

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Former Kenya’s Minister Pays Fine, Skips Jail

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Former Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario has paid a fine to avoid spending six years in jail following his role in the misuse of public funds set aside for his nation’s 2016 Olympic Games campaign.
Early yesterday, Wario had been given the option of six years in prison or paying a fine of 3.6m Kenya Shillings ($33,000).
Wario was found guilty on Wednesday by the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Magistrate’s Court for misusing public funds allocated to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) for the Games in Rio.
Kenya won the most medals of any African nation in Brazil but were beset by scandals.
Athletes did not receive their Nike kits while some of them were stranded in a Rio shanty town, where gunshots were heard, as officials looked for a ‘cheap flight’ home.
In office from 2013 to 2018, Wario was guilty of “wilfully failing to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to management of public funds.”
Former Nock official Stephen Soi, who was Kenya’s chef de mission for the 2016 Olympics, was convicted on five charges of corruption after diverting money meant for athletes’ travel and accommodation as well as kit from sportswear giants Nike.
He must spend 12 years in jail or pay a fine of 105m Kenya Shillings ($950,000) but has the option to appeal against his conviction.
Both men have always denied any wrongdoing.
The courts established that Sh54 million ($490,000) set aside for the Kenyan team in Brazil could not be accounted for by the sports ministry officials in office at the time.
A total of seven people were initially charged in the case, including then NOCK president and former Olympic champion, Kipchoge Keino, but the charges against him and four others were dropped.
The scandal overshadowed Kenya finishing as the highest-placed African nation on the medals table in Rio, with six of their tally of 13 medals being golden.

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