Connect with us

Sports

Nigerians Snap Up World Cup Tickets After Flight Boost

Published

on

Nigerian fans, among the most exuberant and vociferous in Africa, have been snapping up World Cup tickets in the last few days after more flights to South Africa were approved.

“We have discussed ways of bringing fans from qualified African nations and Nigeria bought 1,000 tickets over the last days because they got a commitment that they will be able to fly to South Africa with a local airline,” FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke told reporters at the weekend.

“Mobile ticket centres will be set up in South Africa’s neighbouring countries in another attempt to make the June 11 to July 11 tournament more accessible to African fans,” he added.

Critics have said Africa’s first World Cup is out of reach for all but a tiny proportion of the continent’s fans because of a lack of flights, the consequent high price of tickets and absence of any other transport options.

Many fans wanting to travel to South Africa from Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon, three of the qualifiers, would currently  have to fly via Europe on scheduled flights.

Fans in South Africa and other countries have complained that the normal system of buying tickets over the internet is unsuitable for Africa where supporters have little access to computers and are not used to booking in advance.

“We are opening ticket centres in South Africa and have mobile units in South Africa and neighbouring countries on April 15.

“Fans will be able to buy tickets for 20 dollars without having to fill in forms and this will increase sales of tickets in South Africa and elsewhere in the continent.

“We have put everything in place,” Valcke said.

Nigerian fans stand out for the non-stop drumming, singing and trumpets which form a backdrop to their team’s games.

Continue Reading

Sports

Alcaraz Overwhelms Djokovic To Defend Wimbledon Title

Published

on

Carlos Alcaraz powered to victory over an out-of-sorts Novak Djokovic in a bewildering final to defend his men’s singles title at Wimbledon.
A repeat of last year’s showpiece, it failed to live up to the five-set thriller of 12 months ago as Djokovic appeared helpless against the dominant Spaniard.
After squandering three championship points when trying to serve out the victory, Alcaraz held his arms aloft after edging through the third-set tie-break for a 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win.
For a second straight year, Djokovic was attempting to equal Roger Federer’s record of eight Wimbledon titles.
The 24-time major winner was also trying to move ahead of Margaret Court to take sole ownership of the all-time record for the most Grand Slam singles titles.
Graceful in defeat, Djokovic shared a smile and warm embrace with Alcaraz at the net after the comprehensive defeat.

Continue Reading

Sports

Uruguay Coach Blasts Copa America Organisers

Published

on

Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa has lashed out at the plague of liars running the 2024 Copa América, two days after his team’s semifinal against Colombia ended with a brawl in the stands involving players and fans.
At a fiery, extraordinary news conference, Bielsa criticized the lack of security provided to Uruguayan families; argued that his players were obligated to climb into the crowd to protect their loved ones; and said that post-brawl punishments should not be for the players, “but rather for those who forced them to act how they acted”, tournament organisers.
And Bielsa did not stop there. He blasted the patchy, temporary grass fields laid down for this Copa América, which is being hosted by 14 stadiums across the United States.
He also said the “training fields were a disaster.”
He suggested that Bolivia had been unable to train because one pitch was so bad.
He said that  Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, who blasted the quality of the field at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on opening night, had been threatened and told not to speak out again. (At multiple news conferences since, Scaloni has indeed declined to discuss the state of fields when asked.)
Bielsa noted that U.S. authorities, such as those in charge of the stadiums, have responsibility for some of this, but “they have not lied,” Bielsa said.
He instead directed most of his criticism at CONMEBOL, the South American soccer confederation primarily in charge of (and primarily profiting from) the tournament. “They say that the pitches are perfect, and all these lies that they have told!” Bielsa ranted, gesticulating furiously.
At one point, he cut himself off, and acknowledged: “I’m saying everything I promised I wouldn’t say.” But he couldn’t hold back.
He had been asked by a reporter whether he feared that his players who fought with fans would be sanctioned for their roles in the melee. “The players reacted like any other human being would,” Bielsa responded as he grew angry. He said that their families had no escape route. “And if you see your woman, or your mother, or a baby, being attacked, what would you do?”

Continue Reading

Sports

Euro 2024: Mikel Oyarzabal Clinches Victory For Spain

Published

on

Mikel Oyarzabal scored a late goal to give Spain a 2-1 victory over England in the Euro 2024 Final yesterday at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
Coming off the bench, Oyarzabal scored the winning goal to give Spain a record fourth European Championship, their first since 2012.
Following a cagey first half in Berlin, in which neither team scored, Spain increased the intensity early in the second half.
A lovely infield shuffle from the 17-year-old Lamine Yamal followed by a cross-pass in the path of Spain’s left-winger, Nico Williams ended up as the opener.
Williams slotted the ball past Jordan Pickford at the bottom corner of the far post to make Spain go ahead of the game.
In the 70th minute, Cole Palmer was substituted in for Kobbie Mainoo.
The Chelsea player took three minutes to combine alongside Jude Bellingham for England’s equalizer.
The winner finally came via another substitute, this time for Spain, as Oyarzabal pounced onto a Marc Cucurella’s low cross from the left to see his team win the game.

Continue Reading

Trending