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Kroos Sorry Over Pedri’s Injury

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Toni Kroos has apologised for injuring Pedri in Germany’s Euro 2024 loss to Spain, insisting it was “not my intention”.
Pedri was forced off in the first few minutes of the quarter-final on Friday, having hit the turf after a foul from Kroos.
The latter avoided a booking for the tackle but received a yellow card later in the game, which Spain won in the final moments of extra time.
Pedri, 21, will not feature for Spain in their semi-final against France or be fit for the final, should his nation qualify, while Kroos, 34, was playing his final ever match on Friday.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, the Germany midfielder wrote, “Very important to me: Apologies to @pedri and wishing you a good recovery!
“It was obviously not my intention to injure you. Swift recovery and all the best. You are a great player.”
Elsewhere in his post, Kroos said: “I didn’t expect us, in such a short space of time, to be able to have a realistic shot at winning the title and to get back on par with the best teams. For that reason, I’m so proud of what this team achieved.”
Germany trailed Spain through a Dani Olmo goal, but the Euros hosts equalised in the 89th minute when Florian Wirtz scored. However, Mikel Merino struck in the 118th minute, as Spain triumphed in extra time to eliminate Julian Nagelsmann’s team.
It was the coach’s first tournament in charge of Germany, who were knocked out of the last two World Cups in the group stage and exited the previous Euros in the last 16.
Meanwhile, Spain have confirmed Pedri’s injury as a grade two knee sprain.
La Roja reached the semi-finals on Friday after they beat the hosts 2-1 in Stuttgart.
But they will now have to do without the Barcelona midfielder for the remainder of the tournament.
In a statement from the Spanish Football Federation at the weekend, they confirmed that Pedri suffered a grade two lateral knee sprain after a heavy challenge from Toni Kroos.
It means that Pedri will miss the rest of the tournament but the midfielder “will stay in Germany and support his team mates”, according to the RFEF.

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NNL Confirms Relegation Of 12 Clubs  To NLO

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Ahead of the 2024/2025 season, the board of the Nigeria National League (NNL) has confirmed the relegation of 12 clubs  across  the four groups that played in last season’s league to the third tier National League One (NLO).
Similarly, the promotion of four clubs from the NNL  to  the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) was also  confirmed.
The  NNL had recently concluded the season with its super eight championship at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu, where the quartet of  Nasarawa United, El-Kanemi Warriors, Beyond Limits and Ikorodu City FC gained promotion to the elite league.
The NNL in a letter dated July 13, 2024 to the NFF, confirmed the relegation of Stormers FC, Abeokuta, Ekiti United FC of Ado Ekiti and 1472 FC of Lagos from conference A. Also confirmed  were FC One Rocket of Uyo, Giant Brillars FC of Enugu and Trade Safe FC of Lagos from conference B  while NAF FC of Abuja, ABS FC of Ilorin and EFCC FC of Abuja dropped to the NLO from conference C.
Similarly, Mailantarki Care FC of Abuja, Jigawa Golden Stars of Dutse and City FC of Abuja completed the dropped clubs from Conference D.
Confirming the promotion and relegation of the clubs, chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, said the board has formally notified the NFF ,its parent body  about the final outcome of the 2023/2024 season.
The veteran journalist added that the board is currently preparing for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where it will formally receive all the clubs that would participate in the new season.
“To the glory of God,  the 2023/2024 NNL season ended with giant strides recorded by the board. We have formally notified the NFF of the promotion and relegation of the various clubs that gallantly participated in the league last season,” Aluo said. “Our next program is the Annual General Meeting of the board and clubs, where we will receive the four clubs that dropped from the NPFL and the eight that got promotion from the NLO.”
He added: “We are set and have promised Nigerians that we will improve on our last season’s performance. We have raised the standards at NNL and the new season will no doubt be competitive as our performance has propelled many of the clubs that participated in last season to become giant killers in Nigerian football,” Aluo stated.

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Super Falcons To Land In Bordeaux

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2004 quarter-finalists Nigeria were scheduled to arrive in the French city of Bordeaux yesterday night as the countdown begins for their first outing at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 16 years.
The nine-time African champions, who must negotiate an interesting group that also includes Brazil, Spain and Japan, will depart Spain aboard an Air France flight and arrive in Bordeaux minutes before 11pm.
The delegation of 18 players, four alternate players and officials is scheduled to arrive at the team’s Hotel Mercure abode minutes before midnight.
Quarter-finalists at the Athens 2004 Olympics, the Super Falcons last featured at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, when they lost 0-1 to Korea Democratic People’s Republic, 0-1 to Germany and 1-3 to eventual silver medallists Brazil.
Women’s football began as a demonstration sport at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. The Super Falcons made their entry in 2000 in Australia, where they lost 1-3 each to China, eventual winners Norway and eventual silver medallists USA.

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Nwokolo Donates Kits To Lagos Community

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Nigeria-born boxer, Emeka Nwokolo, has expressed his desire to fight in Nigeria in 2025 while donating boxing kits to young pugilists in Lagos during a press briefing at the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control office in the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State.
The United States-based fighter, who recently won his fourth and fifth professional titles in June, is on a visit to his homeland where he was born before migrating with his father, legendary boxer Charles Nwokolo.
“I think by next year, by the grace of God, I’ll have a fight coming up in Nigeria. I am going to fight in Lagos or in my hometown, where my dad comes from, in Anambra,” Nwokolo said.
The 31-year-old, who currently holds the WBA North American Boxing Association super welterweight and Universal Boxing Organisation world super welterweight belts, donated gloves and other boxing equipment to aspiring boxers in Lagos.
Secretary General of the NBBofC, Remi Aboderin, praised Nwokolo’s gesture, stating, “This guy is an inspiration to other young ones in Nigeria. More Nigerian boxers are looking up to him to be like him and even maybe want to surpass him.
“He has come in and given back to the society, he came with gloves and other kits and he has shared them among the young ones. On behalf of the NBBofC, we want to thank the Nwokolos for their impact in Nigerian boxing.”

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