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AFCON: Lagos State Govt establishes 10 viewing centres

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The Lagos State government has announced the establishment of 10 viewing centres through the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) and sponsorship from private sectors, to ensure uninterrupted update on the ongoing AFCON championship in Cameroon.

LSSC indicated that the gesture is also a demonstration of spirit of sportsmanship.

The agency’s Director of Public Relations, Titi Oshodi-Eko, who made this known in a statement Friday, explained that the public/private sectors viewing centres had kicked off across the state in earnest.

Oshodi noted that the viewing centres, which were adequately secured, were located at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos Island; Abesan playground and Naval Yard Ajegunle.

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Others are Bishop Aggrey Youth Centre, Mushin, Epe Recreation Centre, Italewa Ikorodu, Badagry Grammar School, Badagry, Agege Stadium Agege and Mobolaji Johnson Sports Center, Rowe Park, Yaba.

In addition, the government and the Private Sectors also want the people to have a feel of football action in the tournament and more importantly to connect to each other as football cut across classes, ethnics and religious,” she said.

Oshodi added, “As part of this administration’s theme, the viewing centres will serve as an avenue to bring people together for a better world and this is what LSSC is doing with the AFCON Viewing Centres.

“It’s a place where people from different backgrounds will come together to watch live matches, have fun and enjoy themselves.

“This will serve as an added value that Private Sector is interfacing with the State Government to develop sports in the State,” she said. NAN

The Eagle

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Iwobi’ll be Eagles game changer in Oran ­­‑ Egwuekwe

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Alex Iwobi

FORMER Super Eagles defender Azubuike Egwuekwe has backed the national team to overcome their hosts Desert Foxes of Algeria when they faceoff at the Miloud Hadefi Olympic Complex in Oran on Tuesday (today), saying in-form Everton forward Alex would be the “game changer.”

The Eagles were held  2-2 last Friday by an Algerian side largely made up of domestic league players in a test game played behind closed doors in Constantine, with Iwobi scoring an amazing goal from outside the box.

AFCON 2013 winner Egwuekwe believes the Eagles can get a result against the Foxes despite the quality in the Algerian team.

“Of course, the Eagles can win; they are playing well under the new coach (Peseiro). But you know, Algeria is a very strong side, however, as a Nigerian, I have to support my country. I believe we are going to come out victorious,” Egwuekwe told PUNCH Sports Extra.

The former giant centre-back believes that the exploits of Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi will be pivotal in the game.

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“We have a lot of talents in Nigeria, but, for me, at this moment, Alex Iwobi will be the game changer, because he has been in top form since the beginning of this season in the Premier League. I believe that if he starts, he is going to make a difference for the team.”

Also, 2008 Olympics silver medallist Femi Ajilore said the friendly was an opportunity for new players to show the stuff they were made of.

“I am not expecting much from them, but I am expecting a little from the new players in the team. I am not expecting much because we have a lot of issues, when you look at the injured strikers (Victor Osimhen and Umar Sadiq) but of course, it’s an opportunity for some other young ones that are just entering the team to step in.

“Of course, the Algerians have been doing so well in recent times; they’re on a winning streak, so all I want to see is the introduction of the few new players in the team so we can access how good they are.”

The former Warri Wolves captain also spoke on emerging star Raphael Onyedika; the new boy in the Eagles camp.

“I am expecting a bit from him, this is his first time at the national level, and I am happy to see him because he has managed to shine at the same place where I shined; in Midtjylland, and now, he is in Club Brugge, playing in the Champions League, which has added more to his profile. I am expecting to see his integration in the team and also a good performance so that he can be a regular in the team,” Ajilore told The PUNCH.

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Tyson Fury must ‘shut up’ on social media to resume Joshua fight talk – D Whyte

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  • Targets fight with Joshua

British boxer Dillian Whyte says Tyson Fury should “shut his big mouth up” on social media and allow talks to resume for a British battle with Anthony Joshua.

Fury has declared on social media that his fight against Joshua is off after a contract was not finalised by a 5pm deadline Monday, which had been set by the WBC champion.

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury

Whyte also hinted in an interview with Sky Sports that he might set up a new fight with Joshua should Fury decide not to change his mind.

He believes Fury has derailed plans with his public outbursts and advised his former opponent to remain silent while negotiations continue between both fighters.

“He (Fury) definitely needs to chill out,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “Some of the ways he does negotiating business, it’s all social media and shouting, screaming and calling people big dossers. I’m not an Anthony Joshua fan as well; I don’t really like both of them.

“Big fights sometimes it pays off to be a bit patient, and just shut his big mouth up a bit and stop talking s**t about the big GK (Gypsy King).

“Let the fight happen, you want the fight to happen or you don’t want the fight to happen. If you want the fight to happen be patient, there’s a lot of money, a lot of things at stake so it will take time.

“It’s a lot of things that can go wrong. He just needs to relax.”

Whyte has experienced organising fights with both men in the past and took a media silence at one point during the build-up to his fight with Fury earlier this year having initially been unhappy with negotiations.

He admits his fight with Joshua in 2015 had been more straightforward to make given the position they were both in at that stage of their careers.

Whyte said, “I think it could happen but Tyson Fury is putting a lot of pressure on, not intelligently, he’s just trying to use social media and it’s been a bit silly really.

“These big fights take time because there’s a lot that goes into it, there are a lot of commercial things and protecting your rights. It’s not just as simple as ‘ah sign the contract you big dosser’.

“Big fights take time and they have to get everything right otherwise it will fall over at the wayside if not done properly.

“Joshua fight was simple, we’d fought already before and it was a big fight and I’ve got a good team around me so we were quick with the paperwork.

“There was no ‘the deadline is this’, we took time to protect our own interests because the fight started as a normal fight that became a pay-per-view fight a week before the fight was due to happen.”

If the Fury fight falls through, Whyte insists he is ready to step in and face Joshua this winter as the pair seek a return to world title contention.

“If the Fury fight doesn’t get made with him and Joshua, me and Joshua can fight in December if he wants,” said Whyte.

“He’s training for it, he’s ready for it, he’s willing to take Fury on so if that fight doesn’t get made I’ll step up and take the fight with Joshua.”

Whyte is relocating to California for his next training camp ahead of a return to the ring later this year and is working with a new-look coaching set-up that includes American trainer Buddy McGirt.

McGirt has previously worked with world champions such as Sergey Kovalev, Antonio Tarver and Hasim Rahman.

“Buddy has been a two-time world champion, he fought a lot of good guys and has been in the corner of a lot of top guys as well,” said Whyte.

“He’s been around, had years and rounds of world title experience and I think that’s why I need at this stage in my career, somebody who can make little tweaks and has a bit more experience in big fights.”

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Ronaldo speaks after nasty injury scare

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has played down any fears that he could be a doubt for next weekend’s derby against Manchester City after suffering an injury to his face while on international duty with Portugal.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who scored his first goal of the season in United’s 2-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League just over a week ago, was left with blood streaming from his nose after clashing with goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik during Portugal’s 4-0 win over the Czech Republic in Prague on Saturday evening.

With just 13 minutes on the clock, Ronaldo, who later provided the assist for Diogo Jota to net Portugal’s fourth goal, collided with Vaclik, with the Czech Republic goalkeeper slamming into the United ace’s face with his arms. It was a purely accidental collision but it left Ronaldo requiring medical attention.

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Fortunately for him, Portugal and United, he was able to continue and completed the full duration of the match. And taking to social media in the aftermath of the 4-0 victory, the 37-year-old made no comment in relation to his injury, suggesting that he has suffered no lasting damage and is fine to feature in Portugal’s huge clash with Spain on Tuesday evening.

Taking to his Instagram page, Ronaldo wrote: “Great game, important team win! We stay focused on our goal. Thanks to the Portuguese audience for the fantastic support.”

Ronaldo, who also suffered a blow to his ankle during the contest, will be hoping to help fire Portugal to the finals of the Nations League when they face Spain in their final Group A2 clash on Tuesday. The 2016 European Championship winners will require just a point in Braga to seal top spot.

Spain, however, could leapfrog them and secure top spot with a win, meaning the contest has plenty riding on it. Meanwhile, the win over the Czechs was inspired by goals from United duo Diogo Dalot (2) and Bruno Fernandes.

The Nation
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