The Tipperary under 17 Footballers have won their first ever Munster championship clash.They beat Clare 0-14 points to 0-10 at Semple Stadium.The new Under 17s competition will replace the Minor grade next year. Tipp lead 0-08 to 0-02 after a strong first half and extended the advantage to 0-10 to 0-02 before the Banner fought their way into the game.Manager Matt Doherty says his lads tired a bit after the break but he’s happy they had enough to see it out.They’ll now play Kerry in next month’s semi-final.
Photo © Tipp FM Manager Liam Cahill says they’ve prepared well for the game.Throw in on Thursday is at 7.30pm in Semple Stadium, Thurles and we’ll have full live coverage of the game here on Tipp FM.Clare face Limerick this evening at Cusack Park in the first semi final. Tipp face into the Munster Minor hurling semi final this Thursday as defending All-Ireland champions.Their opponents Cork haven’t won a Munster minor title since 2008, and will be out to redeem themselves after a poor second half performance against Tipp in the same stage of the competition last year.Having had a long lay-off since their provincial quarter final in April, Tipperary will be hoping they’ve addressed any problems from that game.
EL-Amin defeated Kakuri in a thrilling final at the foremost IBB Sports Complex venue of the prestigious annual polo festival, to claim their 16th IBB Cup crown and head into other tournaments in the national tour full of confidence.Kakuri dribbler, Ibrahim Babangida had pushed his ambitious side on a revenge mission with a goal in the early minutes of the cracking final that had two state governors, Senator Muhammad Jibrilla Bindo of Adamawa and host Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger, first class emirs from the north and thousands of polo buffs all watching from the edge of their seats.But just as the hard-playing Kakuri appeared to have taken control of the contest, the reigning champions who were not prepared to be taken prisoners and risk their treasured title came storming back with three quick fire goals from the Mohammed Babangida, Bello Buba, Ibrahim Mohammed and Aminu Alhaji that saw them reclaim the initiative and pull clear.Team patron, Babangida was understandably delighted with EL-Amin’s first major win this year against their great rival, which sets them up nicely for a possible Georgian Cup curtain-raiser against Kakuri at the Kaduna International Polo Tournament holding at the legendary Murtala Mohammed in November.“The IBB Cup and Minna annual tournament is a major part of our build up towards other high goal tournaments and to win the event’s biggest prize and General Abdulsalami Cup as well before our teeming supporters who traveled from across the country to cheer us, is a major plus,” Babangida said.“We will now go back home and savour this victory, then after the Ramadan we will be back in camp to focus on our future tournaments. We know that it is not going to be easy but we have the chemistry and what it takes to come out clear,” stressed Babangida.The Kaduna based El-Amin was the brightest star of the prestigious Minna event, retaining the event’s biggest prize, the glittering General Abdulsalami Cup and carting home personal awards in an action-packed week that was hailed by everyone from royalties to politicians, business gurus, diplomats and polo enthusiasts.“I feel great to realise how much joy one’s effort has positively impacted the lives of the teeming polo enthusiasts across the country and Minna in particular. Their support and belief in EL-Amin has always been the driving force and I want to dedicate these victories to our teeming fans,” Babangida declared.As in all high stake polo competitions in the country, the fight was always going to be a four-way battle pitching Kaduna, Katsina, Port Harcourt and host Minna. Yola, Bauchi, Zaria and Jos were not really ready for the fierce Minna polo rumble.As the festival climax with pomp, it was not too surprising that at the end of the competition that threw up plenty of anxious moments, the prizes were evenly shared by the big four, with Kaduna EL-Amin smiling home with the juiciest part of the pie.Babangida added another special to his loaded caps as he stepped out to lead Minna Air Peace to their first Governor’s Cup, while Katsina Danmarina got their wish, defeating a determined field to clinch the General Hassan Cup.The IBB Sports Complex, venue of the glamorous annual polo carnival, was always filled to capacity on a daily basis, as the battle for the coveted Emir of Minna Cup rage and when the dust finally settled, it was Port Harcourt’s Octopus Clan who had the last laugh, carting home the royal polo crown.Governors Bindo, Bello and , Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF) President, Francis Ogboro, were led by the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Farouk Bahago to give out prizes to the winners at the colourful closing ceremony.“I congratulate the winners and the losers alike and urged them to remain disciplined and always adhere to the rules of the game not only during tournaments, but while playing their clubs chukkas,” Ogboro declared in his closing remarks.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram EL-Amin Polo Patron, Mohammed Babangida (left) receiving the IBB Cup from the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello while his Adamawa State counterpart, Governor Muhammad Jibrilla Bindo and President of the Nigerian polo2016 MINNA POLONigeria’s most successful high-goal polo team, EL-Amin, has sent out a Georgian Cup warning to its rivals after a ruthless display that saw it retain the high stake IBB Cup title at the expense of Kaduna Kakuri at the just concluded 2016 Minna Polo Tournament
Unlike most kids of his generation denied access to football, Gbenga Okunowo enjoyed the support of his parents. He is one of few Nigerians who have played for one of the power houses of European football, when FC Barcelona signed him in 1997. He tells Kunle Adewale how a nagging knee injury stopped him from achieving his dream of becoming a Camp Nou legendGbenga Okunowo started playing football as early as his nursery school days, during inter class meetings, but little did he know that it would serve as a means of livelihood. After his primary education, Okunowo went to African Grammar School, Apata, Ibadan, Oyo State, he continued to play football.Unlike most parents of his generation that would scold their wards for going out to play football, Okunowo’s parents did not discourage him from taken to his first love. “Thumbs up for my parents; they did not come into my way anytime I went out to play football. Even my mom that does not know anything about football gave me all the encouragement,” he recalled.After his secondary school, Okunowo joined Liberty Boys Club, later moved to Exide Sparkers and it was there he was spotted by coaches of the national U-17 team just before the World Youth Championship in Ecuador in 1995.After an above average performance in Ecuador where Nigeria could only manage a quarter final place, his performance caught the eye of Shooting Stars Sports Club, and he played for the Oluyole Warriors. He was later invited to the Nigeria U-20 team and then the U-23 team to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He also played for the Super Eagles on a few occasions.“In 1997, I was part of the team that represented the country in the Meridian Cup in Portugal and it was from there the scouts of Barcelona Football Club spotted me. They invited me for a week trial after the tournament after which I was invited for another round of one week trial, and after four days of training with the team, I was given a contract by the club and signed to their youth team. After then, Xavi Hernandez introduced himself to me as being a member of the Spanish team that lost to Nigeria in the Meridian Cup”, he said.After just one season (1997-98 season), Loius van Gaal, who was then the coach of Barcelona saw the potential in Okunowo and drafted him to the senior team.Recalling life at the Nou Camp, Okunowo said, “Barcelona is a team that loves to give youth a chance to play and I happened to play under a very great coach (Van Gaal), who encourage me a lot and shaped my game tremendously.”One game Okunowo would not forget in a hurry was the group stage match of the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League match against Manchester United where he was given the responsibility of marking the duo of the Red Devils strikers-Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.“Due to the numbers of injury to a number of our defenders at that period, I was drafted to the back. As a professional and playing for a big team like Barcelona, one must be ready to play in any wing. There was a lot of pressure on me in that game and considering that Yorke and Cole were the two best strikers at that time, made me so uncomfortable but I still gave my best and it was a relief we did not lose the game,” he recalled.Okunowo also takes pride in having the privilege of playing alongside such great players like former World Footballer of the Year, Rivaldo. “I developed good relationship with all my colleagues during my time at Nou Camp and I still keep in touch with a number of them. Rivaldo and I still talk on telephone and when we happen to see, which is very rare, we still relish the good days in Spain,” he said.After returning from the 1999 U-20 Championship hosted by Nigeria, Okunowo could no longer pin down a regular shirt as Van Gaal preferred his countryman, Michael Reizeger to him. He was soon sent on loan to Portuguese powerhouse, Benfica.“Barcelona wanted me to gain experience and that was why they sent me to Benfica. It was not true that I was sent on loan because of Reizeger. In fact I was the one that agreed to the loan deal because I wanted to play regularly to develop myself.“I never regretted leaving for Portugal because I was playing regularly there and moreover, Benfica is also a big club. However, the injury denied me a chance to make my name at Barcelona; but for the injury, I would have been one of the club’s legend today,” he said.Van Gaal recalled Okunowo from Benfica after he represented Nigeria at Sydney 2000, but unfortunately he suffered a knee injury and underwent surgery.“It was a very sad moment in my life as I was ready to fight for a regular first-team role when the club recalled me from loan at Benfica. I was determined and in great shape during the pre-season before I started feeling pain on my knees,” he said.After recovering from the injury, he was loaned to Badajoz in the Spanish second division, he later moved to Greek outfit Ionikos after his contract ended at Barcelona in 2001.Okunowo moved to Romanian side, Dinamo Bucharest on a free transfer in 2003. But after playing two matches for the Red dogs, he cancelled his contract and joined Albania club, Tirana. Okunowo spent a season at Ukrainian club, Metalurh Donetsk and a season-long loan at Ukrainian side, Stal Alchevsk before joining Maldivian football VB Sports in 2009. He was also at Waltham Forest before returning to Nigeria to play for Sunshine Stars of Akure.Despite playing for a top team like Barcelona, one would have thought Okunowo would have a firm grip of the Super Eagles shirt, but not so as he only managed to play for the senior national team few times. He however blamed it on an injury.“Actually, with my status then, I was supposed to play more for the national team but for the injury I picked after the Nigeria/Ghana 2000 Africa Cup of Nations. I had to go for surgery which put me out of football for almost a year and half because I did not want to force it. Had it been I forced it, I would not be able to walk now. So, after being out of football for a year and half, it was difficult making a comeback to top flight game. And who remembers you again after that long a time out of football,” he wondered.Asked whether the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, (as the federation was called then), supported him, Okunowo said: “Nigeria doesn’t support you when you are injured; it is only when you are playing that the federation is aware of your existence. When you get injured, you only pray that God should send a helper to you because the federation will never be there for you. My case was not the first and it would not be the last. But the leopard would never change its skin. Nigeria will always remain Nigeria”.Okunowo now works as a scout and supplies football clubs with players. “I helped a lot of Nigerian clubs with players and also served as advisers to some of these clubs. Like Ikorodu United, I supplied them with players when team was facing difficulties but it was too late to salvage the situation. I just hope they would be able to keep these players next season,” he said.He cited corruption, lack of sponsors and non-payment of salaries as some of the factors hindering the development of the Nigerian League.“The League lack sponsors, salaries are not paid and there is too much corruption in the country. In our days, without a solid contract, a footballer does not travel abroad. But now, with just $500, a player is ready to travel out of Nigeria to play,” he noted.The father of three takes pride that all his children (a female and two boys) took to football. The female, who is the first child, plays for Colchester United, the second plays for Colchester City while his last born plays in Ipswich FC. But Okunowo hopes they would move to Barcelona when they are grown up.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Danladi revealed that he believes that the Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr will stick with the same corps of players that executed the final AFCON qualifier game against Tanzania with a few additions to be added to strengthen the teamA notable returnee to the squad would be Arsenal FC forward Alex Iwobi who missed the game against Tanzania through injury.Owing to his new found form he is expected to make the final cut for the game against Zambia, Danladi hinted.Zambia welcomes Nigeria to Ndola on October 9.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Zambia has named a strong 33-man provisional squad for next month’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria with overseas stars Rainford Kalaba, Kennedy Mweene and Stoppila Sunzu all included.The other foreign-based call-ups of Collins Mbesuma (Highlands Park/South Africa), Chisamba Lungu (Ural/Russia), Lewis Macha (Kaizer Chiefs/South Africa), as well as Nathan Sinkala, Kabaso Chongo (TP Mazembe/DRC) and Kalengo Winstone (AC Leopards/DRC),The bulk of the squad is drawn from the domestic league with seven players from CAF Champions League semi-finalists Zesco United.The squad was picked by assistant coach Wedson Nyirenda.Meanwhile, a member of the NFF Technical Committee, Isaac Danladi, has disclosed that the committee would be meeting soon, to finalise preparations for the game against Zambia.
Hammed Shitu in IlorinA two- day Kwara NUJ Inter- chapel Table Tennis Competition sponsored by Hon. Tope Olayonu, representing Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives kicked off yesterday at Press Centre of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ilorin. The ten chapels in the state NUJ participating in the competition include; NTA, Correspondents’, State Information, Kwara TV, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) , Harmony, and National Pilot.Others are Federal information, Unilorin F.M, and Radio Kwara.The event is part of the 2016 Pre-press Week activities of the Kwara Council of NUJ.Chairman of Kwara State NUJ, Mallam Abiodun Abdulkareem who yesterday declared open the tournament said that, the competition was organised to keep members physically and mentally fit.He praised the lawmaker for sponsoring the tournament which he said will further foster unity and friendship amongst working journalists in the state.At the end of yesterday’s games, Yinka Owolewa of Correspondents’ chapel advanced to semi- final, having won three games from five matches with 11 points. He is to play Babatunde Jimba of Kwara TV who won all his five games to pick maximum 15 points.In the second semi-final, Bolakale Alabi of NTA who won four out of five games with 13 points is to play Yusuf Abubakar of Information Chapel who had nine points from two games.Also yesterday, a statement issued by the Chairman, Kwara NUJ Organizing Committee, Sulyman Aremu, and Secretary, Lekan Onilu, respectively said final and closing ceremony of the competition will take place by 2pm today at NUJ press centre, Ilorin.The statement said Hon. Olayonu, Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Governor (Media and Communications) , Dr. Mideen Akorede , Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba and heads of media establishments in the state are expected to grace the ceremony.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
He said the donation followed the federal government’s flag-off of the donation of sporting equipment’s to about 2,000 public primary schools nationwide in May 2016 in Abuja.He said the equipment donated, valued at several millioms of naira, which covered nine different sports reaffirms that government is passionate and committed to advancing, uplifting and promoting grassroots sports in Nigeria.“This is a clear demonstration of government’s desire to foster better inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of our society especially school children“This exercise of equipping our public primary schools with quality sports equipment through funding from the national lottery is a clear demonstration of government’s desire to foster better inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of our society especially school children.“We are confident that this intervention programme will lead to the discovery of new talents in sports that abound in our communities and rural areas and also assist their physical and professional development,”Gumel said.Gumel tasked the benefitting primary schools to put the equipment to good use, and ensure their proper securitySpeaking at the occasion, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to channel available resources to develop Nigeria’s economy.Lawal who was represented bv the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Dr Amina Shamak, stated that the renewed focus on the lottery industry was consistent with the federal government’s economic blueprint aimed at diversifying its economic base.“Government is determined to harness needed resources wherever they may be found in order to continue to develop our economic potentials and apply them to the generality of Nigerians”, he said.Lawal said government is determined to devote full attention to the industry to ensure it performs to meet fully, the revenue and development aspirations of our people.Lawal said government has identified sports as a major revenue earner and capable of contributing significantly to our gross earnings outside of oil.The state governor, Professor Ben Ayade who received the equipment lamented that it was unfortunate the country only gets representation in very few sports during international sporting events.Represented by his deputy, Profesor Ivara Esu, the governor said the gesture by the Federal Government would enable youths to engage in other porting activities besides football and learn them to excel at all levels.Ayade urged the benefitting schools to share with neighboring schools and ensure the equipment are put to good use.The sports equipment donated were for football, badminton, handball, table-tennis, volleyball, basketball and athletics.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Bassey Inyang in CalabarThe National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTR) has donated equipment worth millions of Naira to 38 public primary schools in Cross River State.Speaking at the event which took place yesterday,the NLTF’s Executive Secretary, Habu Gumel, said the donation was in line with the Federal Government’s gesture to equip public primary schools for sporting excellence.
When these teams first met in the league last season the Gunners ran out 3-0 winners, but that defeat proved to be the catalyst for the Blues, as it prompted Antonio Conte to change to his preferred 3-4-3 formation. What followed was a 13-match winning streak.When Arsenal travelled to Stamford Bridge for the return match they were beaten 3-1, but they were victorious at Wembley when the two teams met in the FA Cup final, where goals from Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez helped them to a 2-1 win.The two capital clubs have played each other since then – a pre-season friendly which Chelsea won 3-0 in China – but the Community Shield will be a real test of both sides with the 2017-18 season fast approaching.While today’s match may be a charity friendly, Wenger and Conte will expect their teams to give their all as they look to begin the new campaign with full bragging rights.Wenger has a decision to make on whether to involve Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean was handed an extended summer break following the Confederations Cup and only returned to training on Tuesday after suffering from illness meaning both he and Shkodran Mustafi, who also played in the tournament, could be left on the sidelines.Club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette and fellow new recruit Sead Kolasinac are in line to feature but, while Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are expected to be fit after minor niggles, Francis Coquelin (ankle), Gabriel (knee) and Jack Wilshere (leg) miss out.Diego Costa’s continued exile and Eden Hazard’s broken ankle mean Chelsea will have a new-look strike-force.Strikers Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi could be deployed together, while Pedro could play with a protective mask following the facial injury sustained in the Beijing friendly against the Gunners.Tiemoue Bakayoko, the midfielder signed from Monaco this summer, has a knee injury, but Victor Moses is free to play despite his dismissal in May’s FA Cup final. His ban applies in the Premier League season opener against Burnley.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Kick-off: 2pmArsenal and Chelsea resume their London rivalry at Wembley today as the FA Cup winners and Premier League champions battle for more silverware in the Community Shield.In a repeat of the 2015 edition, which the Gunners won 1-0, both teams get a chance for an early victory ahead of this weekend, when the Premier League kicks off.
â€œMy next target is to win the main Commonwealth title come December but I must admit that my lastfight against the Malawian was my toughest bout. My opponent, Kammwamba, was not a pushover as he is a very technically boxer.“He never gave up easily as he was all over me throughout the encounter. I never expected the bout to go all length because I thought I could easily knock him out early into the fight. But I also realised that a good boxer should not just focus on knocking out his opponent but just focusing on fighting till the end. I have also learnt a lot from the fight because it got to a stage, I was a bit tired. I must also credit my coach for his support and motivation throughout the bout,â€ he said.Oto who will be aiming for the Commonwealth title later in the year said he hopes to return to training next week in preparation for the bigger task in December. â€œI am going back to training from next week in readiness for the main Commonwealth title bout which I believe will be against a tougher opponent and for me I need to correct some of the mistakes I noticed in my last bout. I am going to be fully ready for the title fight in December,: Oto added.He however, commended the management of WEO ALLSPORTS, who are the managing firm catering for the boxer alongisde Olaide Fijabi.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Oto Targets C’wealth BeltAfter confirming himself as the Commonwealth Africa lightweight title holder with a win over Israel â€œMoney Machineâ€ Kammwamba of Malawi at the GOtv Boxing Night 12, Joseph â€˜Joe Boyâ€™ Oto is targeting the main Commonwealth title in December.Oto defeated Israel â€œMoney Machineâ€ Kammwamba of Malawi to make history as the first ever winner of the title.
Brands and Marketing Director at StarTimes, Qasim Elegbede reinstates the companyâ€™s commitment on the continuous broadcast of the Bundesliga games.â€œThe satisfaction of our subscribers is our greatest joy, we are always on our feet to sustain the good standard we have built over the years. We are currently working so hard to give our subscribers the opportunity to experience more exciting football experience with the World Cup forthcoming in the comfort of their homes,â€ Elegbede said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram With the crowning of Bayern Munich as champions last weekend in Augsburg, live Bundesliga action resumes this weekend on StarTimes Nigeria, with a mouthwatering derby clash between Schalke and DortmundÂ on SundayÂ byÂ 5:30 PMÂ African Time on StarTimes (Channel 254 and 245).Dortmund and Schalke treated the world to one of the greatest matches in Bundesliga historyÂ when the Royal Blues completed one of sport’s greatest ever comebacks after being 4-0 down at half-time at the Signal Iduna Park.The arch-rivals meet for another Revierderby at the Veltins-Arena with the winner having one hand on second place.The numbers from the reverse fixtures held last November are formidable, the emotions produced among players and fans both frenzied and fraught with fear, depending on which set of colours you identified with.And the stakes are very high. They may only be playing to finish second, but you can bet both of these teams will battle to the bitter end in order to achieve that runners-up spot at each other’s expense.Schalke hold a one-point advantage, so know the significance of what a win would do for them. Indeed, a fifth consecutive draw between these sides would suffice to keep Domenico Tedesco’s charges ahead.Facing the team with the second best defensive record in this season’s Bundesliga, Dortmund can counter that by pulling out their Marco Reus card, the 28-year-old is always a threat in this fixture, having scored six times in 12 Revierderbies.Dortmund will be banking on Belgian striker; Mtchy Batshuayi to score the goals which they hope will lift them to victory against their eternal rivals.In other games holding today, and which StarTimes will show live to its customer , Leverkusen host Eintracht Frankfurt, Hertha Berlin confront Cologne, Hoffenheim tackle Hamburg, Stuttgart entertain Hannover while champions , Bayern Munuich will have the opportunity to present the Bundesliga crown to the fans when they host Borussia Moenchengladbach at the Allianz Arena.