Mikel Arteta has spoken glowingly about the buzz new signing Thomas Partey has created, as the Ghana international arrived on transfer deadline day from Atletico Madrid for $58.8 million.
“Today (Wednesday), he will have his first training session. He will need to go quickly. He wants to play. We will see [on Saturday]. You see players adapting really quickly and others taking a long time,” Arteta said. “I’ve seen the buzz around the place. The fans are really happy, I’ve seen some really positive reactions. The same with the team and staff. We have rated him for a long time.”
On Kieran Tierney, Arteta revealed that the Scotsman could be available to play but more clarification is needed over the rules after he was forced to miss Scotland’s game due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
Tierney’s Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for COVID-19 and although Tierney tested negative, the health authorities in Scotland required him to self-isolate as the Arsenal left back, plus Celtic’s Ryan Christie and two members of the medical staff, were said to be in close contact with Armstrong.
“This is getting very complicated when we send players abroad and lose control. Some authorities have different regulations to the ones in the Premier League,” Arteta said. “We are still having some discussions and hopefully we will have more news.”
This game against Manchester City is a great chance for Arteta to show just how much progress he is making with Arsenal. They beat Man City 2-1 in the FA Cup semifinal over the summer on their way to winning the competition.
With Partey arriving to shore up central midfield, plus Gabriel looking solid at center back and Willian adding experience to their attack, the summer additions that Arteta has made look the part. Signing Bukayo Saka andPierre-Emerick Aubameyang to new contracts and extending Dani Ceballos’ loan deal helped too.
FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Drops By Three Spots, Now World 32nd
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have dropped by three spots in the October edition of the FIFA ranking to place 32nd in the world.
This was after losing one of their two international friendly matches and drawing the other within the period under review.
In the ranking table on the website of the world football governing body yesterday, Nigeria garnered 1,488 points in the month of October as against 1,493 garnered in September.
It would be recalled that the Eagles had on October 9 lost 0-1 to Algeria in an international friendly match and settled for a 1-1 draw in another with Tunisia on October 13.
The drop in the global spot has also dropped the Nigerian national team to the fourth spot on the continent behind Senegal, Tunisia and Algeria respectively.
They had occupied the third position in September.
On the global scene, the podium remained unchanged even as 120 international fixtures were played in the month of October.
Qualifying games for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the play-offs for UEFA EURO 2021, and UEFA Nations League fixtures were among the 120 internationals played over the last month which resulted in significant movement.
While the podium remains the same, the gap has narrowed between top-ranked Belgium and their immediate pursuers, France and Brazil.
This was in the wake of the Red Devils‘ loss to England (4th) in the UEFA Nations League — their first defeat since November 2018.
However, there are changes to the top 10: Spain (6th, +1) and Argentina (8th, +1) swapped places with Uruguay (7th, -1) and Croatia (9th, -1) respectively.
Further down the classification, Denmark (13th, +3), Algeria (30th, +5), Paraguay (35th, +5), Morocco (39th, +4), Scotland (45th, +4), and Hungary (47th, +5) all progressed.
The Hungarians, known as the Magyars, broke into the top 50 at the expense of Bosnia and Herzegovina (51, -1).
The biggest climber this month was Malta (180th, +6), who jumped six places courtesy of victories over Gibraltar (195th, unchanged) and Latvia (142nd, -5) and a draw with Andorra (145th, -8).
Also worthy of note is the progress of Ecuador (60th, +4), Panama (77th, +4) and Israel (88th, +5).
Federation Seeks Inclusion Of Para-Soccer In NSF
The President of Nigeria Para-Soccer Federation (NPF), Misbahu Didi, has appealed to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to include the sport in the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF).
Didi told newsmen yesterday in Abuja that including the para-soccer sport in the 20th NSF billed for Edo would tremendously help it to develop.
“We are appealing to the ministry to include para-soccer in the list of events to feature at the NSF.
“We need to encourage people with disability who are committed to the game and also want to promote the image of this country through sports activities.
“We want to encourage people with disability to enjoy the privilege of being part of the NSF.
“So, we pray and ask the ministry to please include para-soccer in the NSF,” he said.
Didi also praised the teams participating in the ongoing eighth edition of the National Para-Soccer League, which kicked off on Wednesday in Abuja and would end on Sunday.
“We thank God that the eighth edition of the Polio Day/National Para-Soccer Championship kicked off on Wednesday at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja.
“We have teams from eight of the states which indicated interest to participate in the championship. Initially, they were 12 and we put it in our plan.
“However, things have gone this way because of the challenges of the states and the issues of protesters across the country. Now we are here, and it will be a peaceful event.
“But we must appreciate the teams which are around for the event and their owners/state governments for showing interest and making sacrifice.
“We are grateful that they made the resources available for their participation,” he said.
The NPF president also expressed the gratitude of the federation to its sponsors and the media.
“We thank the media for their support and commitment in ensuring that our needs and programmes are publicised,” he added.
Deputy Governor Denies Sidelining Sports Commission Boss Ahead NSF
Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu says there is no iota of truth in the claim that he has sidelined Godwin Dudu-Orumen, the Executive Chairman, Edo Sports Commission from his duties as the state prepares to host the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF), tagged “Edo 2020”.
The denial came after Dudu-Orumen told newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja that the deputy governor had sidelined him in matters of the NSF.
Dudu-Orumen made the assertion when a news correspondent asked to know the state’s level of preparation for the festival following the lifting of the ban on contact sports by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
He said that Philip Shuaibu, the Edo Deputy Governor, who is also the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the festival, was the right person to know about the preparations.
“The Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Philip Shuaibu, is in a better position to answer questions on the National Sports Festival; I am a spectator.
“Statutorily, I am in charge of sports, but politically the deputy governor won’t let me do my job; so I am watching,” he said.
Dudu-Orumen had said he was a mere appointee as chairman of the sports commission with no knowledge of the goings about the NSF.
But swiftly, Shuaibu, through Musa Ebomhiana, his Chief Press Secretary, denied the allegation, saying Dudu-Orumen remained the dejure and defacto chairman of the sports commission in the state.
Shaibu is the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the festival, he said.
Ebomhiana said : “It is unfortunate if Dudu-Orumen said so. As it is today, he is the dejure and defacto chairman of the sports commission in the state.
“Nobody has taken over his position. Like I said, he is the dejure and defacto chairman of the sports commission as it stands today.
“He is just being economical with the truth. The deputy governor will not descend to the level of taking over his job as chairman of the sports commission.”
According to the chief press secretary, the deputy governor was among those who made him the chairman in the first place. The governor and his deputy presided over his appointment.
“As the man who superintends sport in the state, he can not descend to the level of taking over the job he himself gave out.
“As you are aware, the presidency has announced commencement of contact sports from 19th, which was two days ago.
“And you and I know what the situation has been in the past two days across the states.
“There’s nothing tangible that has happened for now. And the Council of Sports has to meet and advice Mr President on further pronouncement,” he said.
Tidesports source reports that COVID-19 pandemic which led to the suspension of sports activities since March 18, caused the indefinite suspension of the National Sports Festival which was originally scheduled for between March 22 and April 1.
It was also initially moved to between October 3 and October 13 and later scheduled to now hold between October 25 and November 4.
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