Fellaini: United Will Do Anything To Qualify For UCL

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Marouane Fellaini says Manchester United will do anything possible to make to the champions league.

Manchester United can qualify for the UCL by winning the Europa league and will have to secure a win against Rostov in the second leg of their last 16 match.

United are facing a tense battle to qualify through the EPL, as they’re fighting to make it to the top four.

“Monday was a hard game for us at Chelsea – 10 players for one hour,” Fellaini told a press conference. “It was difficult to win the game. But we lost, now we look forward. It is important we win the game.

“It was a long trip [back from London] but we are professional. We know how to recover. We trained a little bit yesterday, a nice recovery. We will be ready.

“All the players, staff and supporters want to be in the Champions League next season so we will do everything to be there. We have the squad and the players, we are confident. Everyone will see that against Rostov. We are confident.

“We have played good teams in Europe. In the Premier League, every game is tough. Every game is difficult. We have to take it game by game.

“We have had a lot of games, played all the competitions but all the players are ready to play. We have good fitness, we have good staff, a good recovery department so we are all ready. That’s football – to play a lot of games.”

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Spalletti: Europa Qualification Is Up To Roma

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Luciano Spalletti says overturning the first leg deficit against Lyon is up to Roma, as he believes they can make the team qualify for quarterfinals.

Roma have suffered four losses in their last six games. Losing 4-2 in the first leg of the match to Lyon.

Spalletti complained about Roma’s concentration in the match and believes they still have the quality to qualify for the last eight.

“We can’t afford to make bad decisions,” he told a press conference ahead of Thursday’s clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

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All The Latest Football Transfer News From Across Europe

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Italy

Reigning Serie A champions Juventus made contact with Leicester City regarding the availability of Riyad Mahrez. (Calciomercato)

Manchester United and Inter Milan target Dries Mertens does not want to sign a new deal with Napoli, increasing speculation that the Belgium international will leave the San Paolo at the end of the season. Mertens has impressed throughout this campaign, scoring 19 Serie A goals. (Gazzetta Dello Sport)

Juventus are monitoring the situation of Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian. The 27-year-old hasn’t been able to nail down a regular spot in Jose Mourinho’s side, and is expected to leave Old Trafford this summer. (Calciomercato)

Max Allegri looks set to snub overtures from Arsenal and sign a new deal with Juventus. The Italian coach had also been linked with Barcelona following the announcement that Luis Enrique will step down at the end of the season. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

 

Alternatively, Roma could be interested in the services of Allegri should the 49-year-old leave Juventus this summer, according to club legend Roberto Pruzzo. (Calciomercato)

Another potential new arrival at the Stadio Olimpico is Vicente Iborra, who Roma have identified as the ideal replacement for Kevin Strootman, should the Dutch midfielder depart the Giallorossi for Manchester United or Inter Milan. (Calciomercato)

Ligue 1 side Lyon are interested in bringing Inter’s 30-year-old striker Eder to the club this summer as a replacement for in-demand forward Alexandre Lacazette, should the French forward leave the club. The Italy international has struggled for the Nerazzurri this term, finding the net just six times in 30 appearances. (Gazzetta dello Sport, via Le10Sport)

Spain

Chelsea have sounded out Real Madrid over a possible deal for defender Sergio Ramos. Antonio Conte is thought to be a long-time admirer of the 30-year-old, who has ten goals this season. (Diario Gol)

If Real are unable to prise Thibaut Courtois from the Blues, then Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno could be an alternative. “I am 25 years old and can aspire to new heights,” Leno said recently. (Fichajes.net)

Another player on Barcelona’s radar is Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti. The Italian impressed for the French side in the first-leg of their round-of-16 tie against the Catalans, and the La Liga club are thought to be ready to spend €70m for his services. (Mundo Deportivo)

Monaco star Bernardo Silva was very close to a move to Barcelona last summer, with the deal only falling down due to their inability to offload Arda Turan. Since impressing so much for the Ligue 1 side this season, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea have all joined the race to sign him. (Mundo Deportivo)

Bayern Munich are interested in Las Palmas’ 27-year-old midfielder Roque Mesa as a replacement for the retiring Xabi Alonso. Mesa has scored one goal and provided two assists in La Liga this season. (Marca)

France

Angel Di Maria wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer, with a shock switch to Barcelona a possibility. The Argentine winger is thought to want to join up with his friend Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp. (Le10Sport)

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Marko Grujic Will Not Be Leaving Liverpool On Loan Says His Agent

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Earlier today, we brought you news of a potential loan deal for Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic after Dinamo Zagreb expressed an interested in the 20-year-old.

However, his agent Zoran Stojadinovic has now put paid to that possibility, telling Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti: “I am surprised, I don’t know why Mamic is talking about Gruijic coming to Dinamo. He may as well say ‘we want Messi’! It is simply a waste of words.

“Liverpool do not want to let Marko go anywhere, not even to bigger clubs than Dinamo. I spoke to Liverpool about Grujic’s future this winter and asked them about a potential loan deal, with Betis and Hamburg keen to sign him.

“But Liverpool said [Jurgen] Klopp counts on him. So there is no reason for Marko to join Dinamo

This serves to underline Klopp’s faith in Grujic, having made the Serbian the first permanent signing of his Liverpool reign at the beginning of 2016.

Arriving after a six-month loan back with Red Star Belgrade in the second half of last season, Grujic made a major impact in pre-season, including a goal against Barcelona at Wembley.

But the midfielder conceded in September that this campaign was always set to be focussed on settling in on Merseyside, with 2017/18 earmarked as his breakthrough season.

“I have the big pleasure of playing with some of the best footballers in the world,” he said.

“I want to get some minutes and games to try and improve myself for the future, [but] I think next season will be the one where I show what I can do.”

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Monaco Star Bernardo Silva Discusses Reports Linking Him With Manchester United And Chelsea

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Monaco star Bernardo Silva has admitted he is flattered by interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, but is happy in Ligue 1 for now.

“Yes I heard [the reports],” he told The Times. “I have no idea if it’s true or not. Of course it’s nice to be associated with that kind of club but I haven’t thought a lot about it.

“One day I would like to play in England or Spain, in one of the best leagues in the world, but for now I’m very happy here.”

Silva’s Monaco side is up against Manchester City for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals tonight, and he can further impress watching admirers with a big-match display.

 

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Salomon Kalou Signs New Contract Extension With Hertha Berlin

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Former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou has extended his Hertha Berlin contract, reportedly until 2020.

Kalou joined Hertha from Lille in 2014, and his current deal had been due to expire at the end of the season.

The club have not yet confirmed the terms of his new contract.

“I feel very comfortable in Berlin and I still have plenty that I want to achieve with Hertha Berlin. I would like to help the team continue to progress as it has in the last few years,” said the 31-year-old.

Hertha’s director of sport Michael Preetz said Kalou, who has scored 30 goals in 86 appearances, turned down other clubs to stay.

“Salomon is a real champion. He has won everything, but despite that he is still hungry for more. He is a model professional and a great example for all players,” said Dardai.

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Roma Considering Re-hiring Luis Enrique As Manager

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Roma are considering re-hiring Luis Enrique in the summer, reports Il Messaggero.

There are doubts over the future of current Roma boss Luciano Spalletti and the club’s owner James Pallotta is reportedly lining up a move for Luis Enrique, who managed the Italian side in 2011/12, as a possible replacement.

Luis Enrique announced earlier this month that he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season.

Enrique may have endured a rough time at Roma in the 2011/12 campaign but reports in Italy suggest a growing clamour for the Barcelona boss to return to the Stadio Olimpico, with the Asturian to be partnered by Sevilla sporting director Monchi.

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Ray Wilkins Doesn’t Relieve Romelu Lukaku Will Start Ahead Of Diego Costa If Chelsea Sign Him

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Chelsea will target Romelu Lukaku after he snubbed Everton‘s contract offer but is the striker best off staying at Goodison Park?

The 23-year-old has told Everton he will not sign their latest proposal.

Lukaku has scored 20 goals in all competitions for the Toffees this term and the club were willing to make him their highest-paid player.

Last month Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, stated his client intended to snub interest from Chelsea and commit his future to Everton.

Ray Wilkins expects the Blues to try and re-sign the Belgium international but he believes it may not be the best option for the player.

“He wouldn’t play in front of Diego Costa,” Wilkins told Premier League Daily.

Asked if Costa, who has 18 goals for Chelsea this season, will still be at the club in the summer, Wilkins said: “You’d hope so.

“If you look at Antonio Conte, when he was at Juventus he had Fernando Llorente, so he likes a big striker.

“So I wouldn’t put it past Chelsea to go back in for Lukaku. They sold him at £28m, they’re going to have to pay at least double to get him back. They’ll probably have to pay £60m for him.”

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House Of Reps Seeks To Clip President’s Power To Appoint EFCC Chairman

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The House of Representatives is on the verge to propose fresh amendments to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act, 2004, in a bid to strengthen the premier anti-graft agency in its fight against corruption.

The Punch reports that legislators are seeking to insulate the anti-graft agency from the sway of the Presidency, among others, enhance its financial autonomy, prescribe tougher penalties for stealing public money and create a special court for speedy trial of cases.

Senate Rejects Ibrahim Magu As EFCC Chairman

To this effect, four consolidated bills seeking to further empower the commission, passed second reading at a session presided over by the Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, in Abuja.

The bills were co-sponsored by the Chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes, Mr. Kayode Oladele; Mr. Bassey Ewa; Mr. Oladipupo Olatunde; and Mr. Bede Ucehenna-Eke.

One of the key amendments seeks to remove the power of appointing the chairman of the EFCC from the President, to be vested directly in the hands of Nigerians.

Under the extant provisions, the President appoints the chairman and forwards the name to the Senate for approval.

However, with the new proposal, members of the public will be responsible for the appointment of the commission’s chairman.

Speaking on the proposal, one of the sponsors, Ewa said: “This amendment will open up the EFCC so that the President will not be the sole person to either remove or appoint the chairman.

“In this new proposal, it will require a petition from the public to the National Assembly for a resolution.

“This resolution, when passed, will be forwarded to the President. Mr. President shall within one month, either accept the resolution or reject it.

“The National Assembly reserves the power to override his veto of the resolution.”

Ewa noted that this was to guard against the current practice whereby the President would want the chairman to be removed if he was not comfortable with the officer.

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In Cameroon: Troops Rescue 5,000 Hostages Held By Boko Haram

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Cameroon said its troops had rescued 5,000 civilian ‘hostages’ held by Boko Haram Islamists in a cross-border operation that left scores of jihadists dead.

Cameroonian troops carried out “a vast operation all along the Cameroon-Nigeria border and in Nigeria” from February 27 to March 7, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement seen by AFP on Wednesday.

The operation, dubbed Thunder 2, “led to the liberation of more than 5,000 people taken hostage by the terrorists”, he said, referring to Boko Haram.

“The freed hostages — most of them women, children and elderly people — were taken to a camp for displaced people in Banki, Nigeria,” he added.

“More than 60 terrorists” were killed, he said, adding that “21 suspects were arrested”.

Boko Haram, which wants to establish a caliphate in northern Nigeria, has been waging an insurgency since 2009.

Though it was born in Nigeria, the Islamic State-affiliated group has also carried out frequent attacks on “soft” targets in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, prompting them to form a regional force to fight back.

Some 200,000 Cameroonians from the Far North region near Nigeria have fled their villages in fear of the violence carried out by Boko Haram militants.

The UN Security Council earlier this month vowed to turn the spotlight on a “neglected crisis” affecting 21 million people in the Lake Chad region that straddles Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

AFP

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Just In: Nigeria Makes U-Turn, Allows Helicopters Shuttle Into Abuja Airport

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Following the temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, the Federal Government of Nigeria has revoked the ban on helicopters shuttle services from Kaduna to Abuja.

Earlier this week, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, had announced the ban on such services.

FG Bans Helicopter Shuttle From Kaduna To Abuja

However, while speaking to State House correspondents on Wednesday, the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said that the government had rescinded its decision on the matter.

He said with the latest development, helicopters can continue to be flying into and out of the Abuja airport. But warned that the city centre remained a no-fly zone.

The minister said, “On the helicopter issue, the National Security Adviser has the constitutional responsibility vested on him by the President to advise him on national security matters.

“In his wisdom, he had earlier sent out letters banning helicopters operation into the (Abuja) airport but the National Security Adviser has earlier this morning (Wednesday) said helicopters will continue to fly into Abuja airport from wherever.

“Then, the procedure that they will use to approach the airport under landing spot will be advised accordingly before the end of today (Wednesday).

“This means that helicopters can come into Abuja and out bearing in mind that within the metropolitan city of Abuja, there are no fly zones and this is very normal in every country.

“They have areas where there are no fly zones but the National Security Adviser this morning approved that helicopters should enter Abuja airport and out but the procedures in which helicopters should enter into Abuja and the spot which the helicopters will land will be advised in due course and it shall be before the end of today (Wednesday).”

Sirika added that the operation at the Kaduna International Airport had been going on smoothly since the closure of the Abuja airport.

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Cholera Outbreak Claims Lives Of 80 Residents In Zamfara State

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No less than 80 persons have been killed by cholera outbreak in Zamfara State in the last one month, an official said on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

The Commissioner for Health in Zamfara, Alhaji Suleiman Gummi, while speaking with reporters said the disease had spread to 10 out of the 14 local government areas of the state, adding that 500 others were currently receiving treatment at various health facilities in the state.

Cholera Outbreak Kills 110 Persons In 48 Hours In Somalia

Gummi said the state government had established special camps and had deployed medicine and health personnel to contain the situation.

He said the state government had reported the case to the federal government and more medical assistance was being expected.

The commissioner appealed to the citizens of the state to keep their environments clean and also ensure to prepare their food under hygienic conditions.

The local government areas affected are; Bungudu, Maru, Maradun, Talata-Mafara and Bakura.

Others are: Shinkafi, Anka, Kaura -Namoda, Birnin-Magaji and Zurmi.

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated.

It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

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Gotze Out For The Rest Of The Season, Confirms Dortmund

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Mario Gotze’s metabolic illness will keep him sidelined till next season, Borussia Dortmund has confirmed.

It was announced last month that the Germany international will be out for an unspecified period of time due to the disorder.

However, the Bundesliga giants have confirmed Gotze will be out for the rest of the season.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “The goal for the player is to be fully prepared to play again at the start of the new season.”

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Senate Vs. Colonel Hameed Ali: Undue Arrogance, Disdain and Impunity

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Senate Vs. Colonel Hameed Ali: Undue Arrogance, Disdain and Impunity, By Ken Tadaferua

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Army colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retired), comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Office, summoned to appear before the Senate tomorrow, said today, he cannot be there because he has a management meeting. – News

Interesting. This spat between the Senate and Colonel Ali. The Senate is spitting fire. Ali is thumping his nose. At the men of the National Assembly.

This piece was written by Ken Tadaferua. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Five days after he was summoned, last Thursday, to appear before the Senate over Customs’ planned clampdown on vehicles without duty payment and just a day before his scheduled appearance, the retired Colonel wrote to say he will not be at the Senate due to a management meeting.

Senate Seeks Arrest Of Customs Boss, Hameed Ali

Apparently, Colonel Ali’s management meeting could not be rescheduled in all of five days. It also takes precedence over the Senate’s angry summons. Talk about a scornful rebuff and I give you Colonel Hameed Ali (retired).

And it is not the first time he has contemptuously poked his finger in the eyes of the senators over the matter of appearing in the Senate. Ali has never donned the uniform of the Customs he heads. Thus, an incensed Senate thundered that Ali must appear in appropriate Customs uniform before it.

Many had wagered that the proud retired soldier will not honour the two demands of the Senate. He will not be at the Senate. He will not put on the Customs uniform. Indeed, he was quoted as saying with imperial aplomb last week: “I was not appointed Comptroller General to wear uniform.”

But in writing, today, to the Senate instead of willfully ignoring the legislators, he has left a little window of doubt as to the absolute disdain with which he regards the senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I Won’t Appear Before You On Wednesday” – Customs Boss Hameed Ali Replies Senate

I think Ali is deploying military tactical flanking to contain the superior firepower and likely encirclement from the Senate. The retired colonel may be buying time and trying skirmishes, behind the scenes, to reach some kind of war armistice without losing face. But then, this is theoretical. The hard reality is a raging belligerence between the colonel and the Senate.

It is apparent that the colonel has scant regard for the senators. I am of the same bent. I disdain many of the senators, not the least the very bumptious and rambunctious Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West). Bleating with empty arrogance from remunerations overload, some of these senators, yet still, harass and blackmail ministers, heads of parastatals, and corporate CEOs into offloading Ghana Must Go bags and contracts to fatten their already bulging private bank accounts.

It is common practice, amongst them, to unleash sordid media threats and campaigns of calumny peppered with deliberately skewered oversight figures against summoned victims who fail to do the needful. Be assured that many heads of parastatals and corporations secretly applaud the kangaroo punches, retired Colonel Ali, has delivered so far on the senators.

Not a few citizens wish the colonel will finish off the rogue senators with nice black eyes. A measure of how badly dented the image of the Senate and indeed the National Assembly have become. One that has regrettably lost dignity and respect.

Unfortunately, the colonel is not about the malfeasance of the “distinguished” senators. His battle is, yet another disease, that has ravaged this nation state for decades. That of military impunity and unbridled arrogance.

Ali believes, erroneously, that he is beholden, in classic Nigerian military tradition, to only the commander in chief of the armed forces, who appointed him to office. His attainment of colonel decorations in the army seem to count far above civilian national institutions, including the National Assembly and worse a paramilitary service like the Customs.

Having burnished his aristocratic skin to a golden hue with the uniform of the Army, it is certainly beneath Ali’s person to don the degrading uniform of the Customs which he had been appointed to manage. Arrant nonsense.

Even if Colonel Ali has a problem, as I do, with senators as individuals, he must realise that the Senate and the National Assembly are absolutely sacred institutions of our democracy. The institutions must be respected. They cannot be treated with public opprobrium. Today, the military is subject to the people’s will as dictated by the civilian constitution and its institutions.

I think Colonel Hameed Ali is, in this matter, unduly arrogant. He is, like a preying mantis, striking Kung-fu postures and prancing in vain, against his own shadow. It is like baying at the moon. He should show respect. He must be humble and disciplined.

Discipline is the traditional hallmark of the army. As a retired colonel, Ali ought be the epitome of discipline. One who ought realise that respecting the spirit, rules and traditions of the institutions one heads or works in, is key to internal discipline and cohesion. It boosts the image of the institution’s stakeholders, no less its chief executive.

Customs Boss, Ali’s Epic Response To Senate – ‘I Was Not Employed To Wear Uniform’

I should ask Colonel Ali a question. If a retired Customs officer were drafted to serve in the army under him, while he was still in active army service, would he tolerate the retired Customs officer’s inane argument that he was not appointed to wear army uniforms. That is the height of indiscipline. At any rate, what has colonel Ali achieved in his new office. The fusion of rude and greedy Customs officers on highways and markets harassing and extorting monies from innocent Nigerians? Ali needs to travel incognito on the Lagos – Benin highways to see the high nuisance value, Customs officers have become recently. But that is story for another day.

As already pointed out to Colonel Ali, there is precedence for him to follow in this matter. A general of the Nigeria Army, Major General Halidu Hannaniya (retired) promptly and proudly, attired daily, the uniform of the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, he was appointed to run. Who then is Colonel Hameed Ali (retired) to treat such basic decency with scornful levity?

Even if a retired general of the United States Army, the world’s greatest army, is appointed head of the Boy Scouts, he must proudly put on the Boy Scouts uniform. He must diligently embody the discipline which the Army inculcated in him and have humility enough to be of exemplary conduct to the institution, its peoples and the young folks watching to learn from him.

Therefore Colonel Ali, it is imperative that you come off your high horse. You do not represent a conquering army. You are a retired army officer in civilian democracy appointed by a civilian president to an institution whose best traditions, including its uniform, you must cherish. You will not go to God with military pips or an Army skin. There is no compulsion about military uniforms. You must learn to be humble.

It is my candid view that the Customs uniform will fit snugly the still toned muscles of the retired colonel. He should wear it and proudly too. He must respect the summons of the Senate. He can go there and bullshit the senators face to face and man to man. But the institution of the Senate he must not trivialise or desecrate. So Colonel, be a sport, don your uniform, respect the Senate summon. You will earn our applause.

If you won’t do these things, nicely resign as CG of Customs. Then go home, not in pride but as a disgrace to the Army and the nation. Slink away to nurse your colonel pips at home. Stay away from our democracy. We do not need any more of the rapacious impunity that soldiers with overblown egos used to damage this country.

The choice is yours. Good luck to you, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retired).

Ken Tadaferua is a media and marketing communications consultant. Twitter: @ktadaferua

This piece was written by Ken Tadaferua. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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Mourinho: Pogba Deserves To Be Respected

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Jose Mourinho says Paul Pogba has worked hard enough to deserve respect and doesn’t care about the critics that envy his money.

The midfielder joined United from Juventus for a world record fee, but he has not lived up to expectations.

He has been criticised for his performances and some believes he is yet to find the position where he shines best.

“He deserves respect and his family deserves respect. He is a kid that comes from a working family, a family with three boys, and I am sure they need a lot of food around that table every day as they are big giants. I am sure the mum and the dad had to work hard for many, many years for them.

“A kid that came to Manchester as a teenager, that fought for his career here, that was not afraid to move to another country to look for better conditions. He is a kid that reached the top of the world with his work. Nobody gave him anything.

“I am really worried with the previous generations because things are going in such a direction – envy is everywhere and I am very happy with Paul, the club is very happy with Paul and because of his personality he doesn’t give an ass what people say.”

Pogba, who left United in 2012 to join Juve, has scored seven goals in 40 appearances in his first season back at the club.

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What Mercy Johnson Said After Her Appointment As SSA To Kogi State Governor

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Nollywood star actress, Mercy Johnson Okojie, has acknowledged her appointment as the Senior Special Assistant to the Kogi State Government on Entertainment, Arts and Culture.

While seeing it as a great privilege, the AMVCA winner added that she would use the experience she had gathered over the years to serve the state.

On Tuesday, the State Governor Yahaya Bello, had announced Mrs Okojie’s appointment along with 62 others in a statement issued in Lokoja by the Secretary to the State Government ( SSG), Dr Folashade Ayoade.

While the appointments take effect from April 1, Ayoade said the rationale for the appointments was to “fill key positions with the right people and to broaden inclusiveness in governance by bringing people from more communities on board.”

The breakdown of the new appointees showed that 54 of them will serve as Senior Special Assistants while nine will work as Special Assistants to the Governor as Federal Constituency Supervisors for the Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) Connect Programme.

The SSG further stated that the appointments were made to recognise and encourage outstanding contributions to the New Direction Agenda.

Clearly elated, Mercy took to her Instagram page, @mercyjohnsonokojie on Wednesday, to confirm the development.

She said, “I am gratified with the official notification reaching me on my Appointment as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Kogi State on Entertainment , Arts and Culture.

“I am humbled, as i duely acknowledge this attending responsibility to serve my great state with the modest experience I have gathered over the years.

“With depth of gratitude, I want to thank the Governor of Kogi State; His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his wife, the first lady of Kogi state Her Excellency Mrs Rashida Bello for this unparalleled opportunity to serve.

“My endless gratitude goes to my husband, Prince Odianosen Okojie, for giving me his consent, knowing fully the sacrifices and adaptations he will have to put up with.

“To all my family, friends, colleagues and fans, thank you for all your prayers and well wishes, I am eternally greatful to Almighty God, to him be all the glory.”

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Rummenigge: Sanches Is Alonso’s Heir

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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern Munich chairman believes Renato Sanches has the goods to take over from Xabi Alonso.

After four years with Bayern Munich, the former Spain international announced he’ll be retiring at the end of the season.

This has prompted news that Bayern will be looking to buy a replacement, but according to Rummenigge, they might just look to Sanches instead.

The chairman’s support comes despite a tough start to life in Germany for Sanches, the 19-year-old struggling to live up to the high expectations following his move from Benfica last year.

“Our plan is for Renato Sanches to follow in Xabi Alonso’s footsteps,” the Bayern supremo told Sport Bild.

“That is the reason why we signed him ahead of this season.

“He definitely has the quality for it, although we might have to be a bit patient.”

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Fabregas: There Is More To Kante Than Being A Good Tackler

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Cesc Fabregas believes there’s more to N’golo Kante than being good at tackling and is asking football fans to see that also.

Kante scored the only goal in Chelsea FA Cup quarterfinal win over Manchester United, with a well taken long-range strike.

And Fabregas believes his fellow midfield partner has only been lauded for one aspect of his game, when there’s more to him.

“Unfortunately, football nowadays is based on your reputation,” Fabregas told Chelsea’s pre-match programme.

“Now N’Golo is becoming famous for chasing around and making tackles that recover the ball and end up in goals, but he does other things very well.

“But because this is now his reputation, people just look into this and they don’t look to see if he does something else. I think we are winners as a group.

“We hate losing but every manager is the leader of the team and he is like that too. So it makes us show it in a more positive way.”

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Hearn: Bellew May Need Surgery

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Eddie Hearn says Tony Bellew may require surgery for his right hand and could be out for at least five months.

The Liverpudlian broke his hand in his 11th round stoppage victory over David Haye and could require surgery after tearing a capsule.

Bellew will remain in the heavyweight class and is due for one more fight before the end of the year.

“I have spent time with my surgeon so he could assess what is going on and what we do going forward,” Bellew exclusively told Sky Sports. “I will just leave it with him, he knows best.

“I have damaged my hand. In there is some kind of tear; you have some sort of capsule over each knuckle and I’ve split it.

“I’ve also got a fracture in the hand, but when people just say ‘you’ve broken your hand’, essentially I have but it is a fracture.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time, but we’ll take it from there.”

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Old Woman Arrested For Selling Three-Year-Old Girl To Pay Rent

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An old woman has been arrested for being a member of a syndicate that allegedly involved in abducting children from Lagos and selling them in Anambra State.

The 50-year-old grandmother, Rita Eze, who admitted to the crime, was paraded along with one Ogochi Nwekei and Gladys Augustine at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters in Ikeja on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

A fourth suspect, Elizabeth, who was said to be ill, was not paraded.

The Punch had reported that Augustine, who claimed to be Mary John, connived with one Samuel, who is at large, to abduct three-year-old Oluwasemilore Adebiyi, from her parents’ residence in the Alagbado area of Lagos.

To give the plot the much needed currency, the 28-year-old Augustine enrolled for beads-making apprenticeship at Oluwasemilore’s mother’s shop in January, giving her name as Mary John.

About 7 days later, she fled to Anambra with the girl.

The girl was handed over to Eze, who confessed to selling her to Elizabeth through Nwekei, for N500,000.

Oluwasemilore was, however, recovered by the police after Augustine was arrested in the Badagry area of Lagos on February 23.

Narrating her own side of the story, the grandmother, Eze, said she took N40,000 from the proceed, gave Augustine N60,000 and sent the remaining sum to Samuel.

She added that she used the money to pay the rent on her apartment.

She said, “I met Michael in December 2016 at a party in Awka through a secondary school friend, who is an aunt to him. He told me that he impregnated a woman in Lagos and that he would send the child to me to help take care of her. When Gladys (Augustine) brought the girl, Samuel told me to sell her for N500,000.

“I informed Ogochi (Nwekei) and she said one of her friends, Elizabeth, wanted to buy a child. Elizabeth paid N500,000. Samuel told me to give Augustine N50,000 and another N10,000 for her transport back to Lagos, while I got N40,000. I sent the remaining N400,000 to Samuel. I used the money to pay my house rent. I have five children and grandchildren.”

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Bruno Martins Indi In Talks With Stoke Over Permannet Move

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Bruno Martins Indi has revealed he is in talks to make his loan move to Stoke permanent at the end of the season.

“We are talking to each other, the club and me. I have the intention to stay. We want to see what is going to happen,” the 25-year-old told Sky Sports News HQ.

“I was following Stoke City before I was here and I knew the way the manager wants to play. He gave me a lot of confidence to come here and he trusted me, I happy that I could give him that back.”

Despite Stoke being 11 points behind the seventh-placed Toffees, Martins Indi is relishing the challenge of attempting to catch Ronald Koeman’s side.

“That’s the biggest challenge for us,” he said. “We’re going to get there, it’s going to be difficult, but it’s a project I really like and I want to see how far we can go.

“We’re are now on a good run and we’re confident. People inside the club have already spoke about seventh, it’s a very good aim to get there and it’s going to be difficult.

“We just have to focus game by game and get the points.”

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Steve Mandanda Hits Out At Rumours Of Deal To Return To Marseille

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Crystal Palace goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has hit out at suggestions that he has agreed a deal to return to his old club Marseille.

A statement on the France international’s official Facebook page (in French) says that he has no current contact with the hierarchy at the Ligue 1 club and is focused on remaining in the Premier League with the Eagles. 

Within his message, which was posted in French, he says that he is surprised footmercato knows more about his future than him, and that there is currently no contact between Marseille and him.

He added that while he has a strong connection with Marseille from his time at the club, what is important to him is his present and his focus on helping Palace survive in the Premier League.

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Comme vous le savez je prends rarement la parole dans les médias, mais je vous avoue que je suis surpris par ce que j'ai…

Posted by Steve Mandanda on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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Senate Seeks Arrest Of Customs Boss, Hameed Ali

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The Senate on Wednesday agreed to issue warrant of arrest to compel the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), retired Col. Hameed Ali, to appear before it on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

The decision was reached unanimously and the motion passed today at their plenary.

“I Won’t Appear Before You On Wednesday” – Customs Boss Hameed Ali Replies Senate

The decision of the Senate is coming at the time when the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) suspended the implementation of its policy for duty payments on old vehicles.

The NCS, in a statement, earlier today, said the suspension was placed in order to resolve issues with the Senate Committee on Customs.

The statement read:

MOTOR DUTY PAYMENT PUT ON HOLD

Following the unnecessary tension generated as a result of misconception and misrepresentation of the Nigeria Customs Service planned motor duty payment, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) met with a view to resolving the impasse. They both agreed that the proposed motor duty payment, though in line with the provision of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C.45, LFN 2004 should be put on hold while the Senate Committee on Customs & Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions.

While payment of duty on vehicles or indeed any dutiable imported item remains a civic responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian, NCS Management has directed that the exercise be put on hold while expressing readiness to engage the Senate Committee on further discussions to bring them on board to understand the importance of the exercise to national security and economy.

Signed

Joseph Attah

Ag. Public Relations Officer

For: Comptroller-General of Customs

Meanwhile, credible reports have it that the presidency may have waded into the crisis between the Nigerian Customs Service and the Senate to avoid a showdown.

The Senate had summoned Ali to appear before it, in his full Customs regalia, but the CG said he would not wear the uniform.

Customs Boss, Ali’s Epic Response To Senate – ‘I Was Not Employed To Wear Uniform’

Buhari, a source in the presidency told This Day, has cautioned his appointees to avoid any confrontations with the legislature that would pit it against the executive.

In this regard, the president was said to have directed Ali to honour the Senate’s summons to prevent an escalation of the stand-off between both sides.

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Gonzalo Castro Signs New Borussia Dortmund Contract

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Gonzalo Castro has signed a new deal with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2020. 

The midfielder has been a key player for Thomas Tuchel this season, appearing in 30 of their 36 games in all competitions this seson.

He has made 71 appearances, contributing 10 goals, and sporting director Michael Zorc told the club’s official website: “Both on a sporting and personal level, Gonzo has become a very important member of the squad in a short space of time.”

Castro, who won five caps for Germany in the 2000s, added: “I’m really happy about the trust the club has placed in me.

“I can honestly say that it makes me proud to pull on the black and yellow jersey and play football in front of such amazing fans.”

 

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Arsenal Deny Reports That First-team Coach Boro Primorac Is About To Quit

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Arsenal have dismissed claims that first team coach Boro Primorac will leave the club this summer as “wild speculation”.

Primorac, a reported managerial target for Turkish club Konyaspor, is one of Arsene Wenger’s closest allies after joining the club months after Wenger in 1996.

He also worked with Wenger in Japan and has been described by the club as a “key member of the coaching staff”, who has earned Wenger’s “deep trust”.

But an Arsenal spokesperson confirmed to Sky Sports News HQ that Primorac has not resigned from the club and senior officials were “completely unaware” of any intention to quit and return to management. 

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