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Fans Query CAF Over Enyimba, Rivers Draw

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Nigerian fans have questioned the decision of the Confederation of African Football to pair two Nigeria Professional League sides Enyimba and Rivers United against each other in the Confederation Cup.
In the draws on Friday, Enyimba, who dropped from the Champions League, would face either Rivers United or South African side, Bloemfontein Celtic, in the final preliminary stage of the Confederation Cup.
The Rivers, Celtic tie is yet to be decided with CAF postponing the second leg after the Nigerians won the first leg 2-0 away from home.
The return leg was called off by CAF after the Nigeria Football Federation wrote to them today, asking that the game be postponed and possibly relocated to a neighbouring country following COVID-19 regulations.
The NFF said the request followed the refusal of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to step down on some of the COVID-19 protocols for the South African contingent.
Reacting ahead of the potential clash between the two Nigerian clubs, some of the fans said it was a ploy by CAF to eliminate one of the teams.
“They are apparently trying to eliminate as many Nigerian clubs as much as they can,” Adeyinka Adegbayibi tweeted.
Olalekan Owolabi also said, “Two NPFL teams meeting in the final Confederation Cup qualification game is a bit unfair for Nigeria.”
“CAF what is your problem with Nigeria. Why will two Nigeria teams Enyimba and Rivers United meet. This is bad,” Gomba Hamilton also said.
“African football and planning. What’s the rush, has it always been like this? Two teams from the same federation meeting this early in a continental competition. A draw was made but what are the odds? Three teams from Tunisia and they did just enough to avoid themselves,” Samuel Abayomi added.
While CAF is yet to decide on the date for the second leg of the Rivers versus Celtic clash, the first leg of the second preliminary round will be played February 14, with the second leg billed for February 21.

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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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