AFCON: Fubara gifts Nigerian goalkeeper, Nwabali N20m, state honour – Newstrends
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AFCON: Fubara gifts Nigerian goalkeeper, Nwabali N20m, state honour

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Stanley Nwabali

AFCON: Fubara gifts Nigerian goalkeeper, Nwabali N20m, state honour

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, on Friday, said his administration will sustain purposeful governance and administrative efficiency because they are helping the people of the state to engage in ventures that bring honour.

Fubara spoke when he hosted the Super Eagles goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, who participated in the just concluded 2023 African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

The governor, who announced a N20million reward for Nwabali said he will also be bestowed with the honour of Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State.

Fubara also gifted N30 million to the Super Eagles’ crew who were present.

In a related development, for emerging as champions in the Louis Edem National League competition, Fubara gifted N50 million to the Rivers Hoopers Basketball Team.

This was contained in a statement issued by the media aide to the governor, Boniface Onyedi, and made available to newsmen.

Fubara said in providing leadership, his focus was to create an enabling environment in which Rivers people will continue to feel encouraged to do the right thing to align with what he is doing in changing the narrative of how Rivers State is perceived globally.

The governor commended the Rivers-born Nwabali for his excellent goalkeeping in the Super Eagles team, playing alongside other patriots in the just concluded AFCON, which has made Nigeria proud.

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He said, “I want to join the great and wonderful people of Rivers State to congratulate you, our brother Stanley Nwabali and our wonderful team.

“We are here again in just about four months after you won a local trophy.

“Today, you have brought a national trophy. So, when people say or talk behind us to ask what we are doing, we are achieving those things that are not, maybe, seen physically but they give joy and fulfilment.

“If we have not encouraged you in a way that motivated you, you won’t be where you are. So, it is part of purposeful governance and administrative efficiency.

“So, I want to thank you and assure you that we will continue to do our best.”

He urged residents of the state to continue to consciously do positive things that promote the state and attract honour.

The state Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, lauded Fubara for his support that motivated the Rivers Hoopers Basketball Team to clinch the national league trophy as champions.

Also speaking, a former Commissioner for Justice and one-time Super Eagles player, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka, while recognising the impact of sports development in the state, commended the purposeful leadership of Fubara.

AFCON: Fubara gifts Nigerian goalkeeper, Nwabali N20m, state honour

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EPL: Liverpool suffer title blow in loss to Crystal Palace

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EPL: Liverpool suffer title blow in loss to Crystal Palace

Andy Robertson insisted Liverpool will “keep fighting” despite their English Premier League (EPL) title hopes suffering a huge blow as they fell to a 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace at Anfield.

Eberechi Eze converted from Tyrick Mitchell’s cut-back to finish off a flowing Palace move early on and the visitors were deservedly in front at the break.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds ramped up the pressure in the second half but, just as in recent games against Manchester United and Atalanta, their finishing let them down as they fell to a first league loss at home since October 2022.

Defeat leaves Liverpool two points behind leaders Manchester City.

“I think we are always still in it. We are still there,” Liverpool full-back Robertson told Sky Sports. “We will keep fighting, keep going to the end, and let’s see where it gets us.

“With six games to go we will give it everything we have got. The problem is there’s two world-class teams doing it as well and that’s the difficult part.”

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Palace started brightly and led through Eze’s well-worked opener, before a slip from Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk gave Jean-Philippe Mateta a golden opportunity to double their lead.

The striker was clean through and lifted his effort past the returning Alisson Becker but Scotland skipper Robertson sprinted back to hook the ball off the line.

Liverpool rallied and Wataru Endo struck the bar after Palace failed to deal with a corner before Dean Henderson made a fine reaction save to deny Luis Diaz.

Oliver Glasner’s Palace retained a threat on the counter-attack until the break but were largely penned inside their own half in the second 45 minutes.

Henderson made another superb stop from Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota’s close-range effort was blocked by Nathaniel Clyne with the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen and Curtis Jones somehow sliced wide when through on goal.

Mateta did have another big chance to score the visitors’ second from a rare Palace attack but Alisson made a remarkable save from point-blank range.

Liverpool kept pushing for an equaliser but could not find a way through, with Mohamed Salah’s goalbound effort from inside the six-yard box blocked by Mitchell in stoppage time.

The Reds are now left to reflect on a potentially decisive loss with just six matches remaining in the league campaign.

EPL: Liverpool suffer title blow in loss to Crystal Palace

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Aston Villa stun Arsenal 2-0, dent gunners title challenge

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Aston Villa stun Arsenal 2-0, dent gunners title challenge

Aston Villa produced an outstanding performance to stun Arsenal at Emirates Stadium and leave Manchester City in pole position in the Premier League title race.

The game started with high anticipation for the Gunners after Liverpool’s shock home defeat by Crystal Palace but Arsenal were desperately disappointing and ended up well beaten as Villa boss Unai Emery made a winning return to his former club.

Arsenal were fortunate to remain on level terms for so long against the impressive visitors, who secured a deserved win to move three points ahead of Tottenham in fourth having played a game more.

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The only surprise was that it took Villa until six minutes from the end of normal time to open the scoring – Ollie Watkins and Youri Tielemans hit the woodwork in each half before Leon Bailey finally broke the deadlock with a low finish at the far post.

Arsenal were kept out in the first half when Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez made a stunning save from Leandro Trossard, but the visitors wrapped up the win when Watkins raced clear in the 87th minute to loft a composed finish over David Raya.

It completed a perfect weekend for reigning champions City, with Pep Guardiola’s side now two points clear at the top with Arsenal ahead of Liverpool on goal difference.

Aston Villa stun Arsenal 2-0, dent gunners title challenge

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Bayer Leverkusen win Bundesliga with five games to spare

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Bayer Leverkusen win Bundesliga with five games to spare

Bayer Leverkusen won their first Bundesliga title and got there with five games to spare thanks to a 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen.

Bayern Munich beat Cologne on Saturday to keep Leverkusen’s title celebrations on hold for at least a day.

But there were scenes of jubilation for Xabi Alonso’s team when the final whistle blew at BayArena on Sunday.

Victor Boniface’s 25th-minute penalty set Leverkusen on their way before Granit Xhaka and Florian Wirtz scored stunning goals in quick succession.

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Supporters stormed on to the pitch in mid-match when star man Wirtz added a fourth in the 82nd minute, and again when he completed a hat-trick soon afterwards.

Leverkusen’s landmark achievement ends an era of dominance for Bayern, who had won the past 11 Bundesliga titles.

Unbeaten in all competitions this season, Leverkusen remain on course for a remarkable treble in Alonso’s first full season in charge, with the German Cup and Europa League still in their sights.

Bayer Leverkusen win Bundesliga with five games to spare

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