Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Evening

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Germany

Max Meyer has turned down another contract offer from Schalke, with Arsenal intersted in the player. The Royal Blues fear losing the 22-year-old for nothing this summer having already seen Leon Goretzka agree a free transfer to Bayern Munich for the end of the season. (Bild)

Borussia Dortmund could miss the opportunity to sign on-loan Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi on a permanent basis as his fine form for BVB has alerted other clubs. The 24-year-old has five goals in six games since moving to the Bundesliga in January. There is no permanent clause in the deal, however, leaving the Blues free to sell to the highest bidder. (Kicker)

Meanwhile, Dortmund coach Peter Stoger is in line for a new contract in April. The former Cologne boss has impressed the BVB hierarchy since succeeding Peter Bosz in December. The 51-year-old had been viewed as a stopgap initially but has lost just one of his 12 Bundesliga matches – against Bayern Munich – since taking up the role and is set to be rewarded with a new deal beyond this season. (Bild)

Spain

Yannick Carrasco has denied he left Atletico Madrid for Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang purely because of money, claiming he still wants to earn a place in Belgium’s World Cup squad this summer. The forward completed his move on Monday along with teammate Nico Gaitan, but denies not playing in Europe will hinder his chances of making Roberto Martinez’s squad. (Marca)

Real Madrid target Neymar looks set to miss next week’s Champions League last-16 clash at the Parc des Princes. The Brazilian suffered a sprained ankle and a fractured metatarsal in the Parisians’ win over Marseille on Sunday. (AS)

Legendary Real Madrid forward Raul has backed under-fire coach and former teammate Zinedine Zidane to remain at the Bernabeu beyond this season. The club’s former captain said: “He’s only been in the job for just over two years and he has already won the Champions League twice and a whole load of other trophies. You cannot really ask more of a coach. He’s under contract,” he continued. “I’d like to see him stay, without any doubt at all.” (AS)

Italy

Real Madrid are prepared to pay more than €150m for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer. The Serbian is also attracting interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Lazio, meanwhile, have cancelled the clause which entitled the midfielder’s former club Genk to 50 per cent of the player’s next transfer fee. Lazio president Claudio Lotito has satisfied the Belgian side by paying €9m up front. (Il Messaggero)

Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina has increased in significance with the suggestion Internazionale captain Mauro Icardi should be fit for the game, which could be his final match against Milan as Nerazzurri captain. The Argentine forward has missed Inter’s last four Serie A fixtures but should return on Sunday at San Siro. However, the match could be his final Milan derby as the Manchester United target will be available for €110million between July 1-15 due to a clause in his contract. (Corriere della Sera)

Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah looks set to end his association with the Bianconeri this summer by joining Inter on a three-year deal worth €2.5million per season. The versatile Ghanaian, 29, has been at the Allianz Stadium since 2012 but has made just 11 Serie A starts this season. (Tuttosport)

France

Paris Saint-Germain teenager Yacine Adli is on the radars of Arsenal, Juventus and Barcelona. The 17-year-old will cost £250,000 at the end of his deal, and reports from France suggest Adli is not convinced about the prospect of joining countryman Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium. (L’Equipe)

France could be without Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman for this summer’s World Cup. The 21-year-old has undergone surgery for a partial rupture of his ankle ligaments and is now facing a race against time to be fit for Russia. (L’Equipe)

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Figo Asks For More Time For Zidane

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Luis Figo believes the criticism levelled at Zinedine Zidane is unfair, as he insists they have forgotten about his accomplishments.

The French manager took over Madrid from Benitez and won the UCL five months later.

Zidane went on to prove his worth by winning the La Liga and the UCL, the first team to do the back-to-back in the UCL.

However, Madrid has had a poor season, and the former Blancos star has been criticised. And Figo wants more time for him.

Speaking to Omnisport, Figo said: “The coach of Real Madrid is always under pressure and you know that you depend always on results.

“But sport is like that. For me, you can win every year. But since he picked the team, I think he did fantastic, great.

“But the problem normally in football is it depends on what you do in the last games.

“People forget very fast what you achieved in the recent past. But I think the people are happy, the players are happy with him and that is the most important.”

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Figo Asks For More Time For Zidane

Featured Image

Luis Figo believes the criticism levelled at Zinedine Zidane is unfair, as he insists they have forgotten about his accomplishments.

The French manager took over Madrid from Benitez and won the UCL five months later.

Zidane went on to prove his worth by winning the La Liga and the UCL, the first team to do the back-to-back in the UCL.

However, Madrid has had a poor season, and the former Blancos star has been criticised. And Figo wants more time for him.

Speaking to Omnisport, Figo said: “The coach of Real Madrid is always under pressure and you know that you depend always on results.

“But sport is like that. For me, you can win every year. But since he picked the team, I think he did fantastic, great.

“But the problem normally in football is it depends on what you do in the last games.

“People forget very fast what you achieved in the recent past. But I think the people are happy, the players are happy with him and that is the most important.”

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Villas-Boas: City Are Spectacular

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Andre Villas-Boas has hailed Manchester City as a spectacular side, and believes Guardiola has made an impact.

Manchester City won their first trophy of the season, with the 3-0 thrashing of Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.

And are also on course to win the EPL, with a 13-point lead over United and could qualify for the quarterfinal of the UCL.

“In the league, they’re running away with it. [They won a] trophy on Sunday and their football is spectacular,” former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Villas-Boas said at the Laureus Awards.

“It took one year for Guardiola to settle, but the way the team is playing now is fantastic.

“Not only that, but it’s the consistency in terms of results. This consistency means that they go into every game with a lot of confidence.

 

“With such young players and quality players, they are really a team to look out for.”

 

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#LTF2018: Lagos Theatre Festival Kicks Off Today (Feb. 27)

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The highly anticipated 5th edition of the Lagos Theatre Festival (LTF) 2018 is expected to kick off from 27 February till 4 March 2018 in Lagos across various venues.

This year’s LTF will focus on presenting innovative interpretations of new ideas that will inspire and challenge audiences, and new works that will spark conversations and debates.

There are over 100 performances that will be held in unconventional spaces including UK showcases from Mara Menzies and Yolanda Mercy.  There are also over 10 workshops for artists and other theatre professionals’ professional development to choose from.

Whatever your interest, be it workshops, one-person shows, family shows or cabaret, we have you covered.

You can download the full calendar and festival brochure at www.lagostheatrefestival.com

Tickets are available at Freedom Park, Lagos Island and online at www.dealdey.com

Keep up to date with all festival activities on social media by using the hashtage #LTF2018.

Remember to wear comfortable shoes.

We look forward to seeing you at the festival.

More about LTF:

Lagos Theatre Festival (LTF) was conceived and launched in 2013 by British Council, the United Kingdom’s cultural organisation, inspired by the need to provide a platform for theatre makers in Nigeria to produce works for unconventional spaces and develop audiences for theatre productions.

“We want to encourage more experimental works in unconventional spaces and foster more inclusion with this edition of the festival which will feature performances, a carnival, workshops and variety evening shows in 6 days. Our series of build-up activities to engage audiences and stakeholders towards the delivery of the festival have already commenced, so the festival has already started.” said Kenneth Uphopho, director of Lagos Theatre Festival.

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UEFA Bans Samir Nasri For 6 Months Following Drip Treatment In 2016

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The European football’s governing body UEFA has banned ex-Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri from football for six months because of a drip treatment he took at a Los Angeles clinic in 2016.

Nasri received 500 millilitres of hydration in the form of sterile water containing micronutrient components on December 26, 2016, while on holiday.

It is understood that the 30-year-old French player took the treatment while on holiday, but it contravened World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) rules leading to a Spanish Anti-Doping investigation.

UEFA imposed the suspension, which it says is open to appeal.

The Frenchman received treatment from a private medical company, Drip Doctors, in his hotel room.

At the time he was on loan from Manchester City to Sevilla and posed for a photograph with the organisation’s co-founder Jamila Sozahdah that drew publicity.

Wada rules state there is a 50 millilitre infusion limit per six-hour period for active athletes but it was alleged he received 500 millilitres of hydration in the form of sterile water containing micronutrient components.

In February 2017, a request by Sevilla for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for Nasri was refused by Uefa, whose decision was later upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Nasri is currently without a club, having left Antalyaspor in January after just six months with the Turkish team.

The 30-year-old former France international played for Arsenal from 2008 to 2011 before moving to City for £25million, going on to win two Premier League titles during his time at the Etihad Stadium.

During his loan spell at Sevilla last season he made 30 appearances and scored three goals.

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Angry Lady Confronts Olamide Over Just 20 Minutes Performance At His Show In Germany (WATCH VIDEO)

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It was a fierce show of anger when a German based Nigerian dancer accused Olamide for undermining fans after he performed for just 20 minutes at his concert in Germany.

In a viral video that surfaced online, the Lady who was really angry at the duration of the rapper’s performance confronted him and addressed him as a coward but Olamide reporteldy walked away to avoid causing a scene.

Even though Olamide was not clearly seen in the video, the Lady was actually ranting at the fact that Olamide travelled from Nigeria to Germany to perform for just 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, it is expected that Olamide and the YBNL team will release an official statement to address this issue.

Watch Video Below;

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BREAKING: APC Announces Extension Of Oyegun’s Tenure

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced the extension of the tenure of the national working committee (NWC) of the party led by John Odigie-Oyegun by 12 months.

The decision was taken at the national executive council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday, February, 27, 2018.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the NEC meeting, the Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, said the extension would take effect from June 30.

His words: “The NEC met today and major decisions in line with the constitution of the party. We all aware that the tenure of current NWC and the executive members of this party both elected and appointed come to an end June this year.”

“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses and conventions and considering that our leader Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been charged with the responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we cannot afford to approach the general election with more disputes and crises adding that party have decided on line with article 13 which empowers the NEC to carry out the functions of its convention and the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of current NWC other executive committees at various levels for another 12months starting from June 30th.

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Nigerian Troops Arrest 10 Herdsmen ‘Caught Destroying Farms’ In Benue

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The Nigerian troops deployed to Yelwata under the ongoing “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma” (cat race) have arrested 10 herdsmen for destroying farm lands in Benue state.

It is understood that the herders were caught on Monday night in the act of destroying the farmland in Tse-Tigir and Tse-Ndugh villages in the state.

Nigerian Troops Arrest 10 Herdsmen ‘Caught Destroying Farms’ In Benue

Nigerian Troops Parades 10 Herdsmen ‘Caught Destroying Farms’ In Benue

A statement issued by the Director Army Public Relations, Brig.Gen Texas Chukwu, revealed that the suspects fled into the bush when they sighted the troops.

The statement reads: “The effort of the Nigerian  Army to fish out criminals and protect farmlands in Benue State and it environ on the ongoing EXERCISE AYEM AKPATUMA is yielding tremendous result as troops of Sector 1 Sub-Sector A, deployed at Yelwata while on routine patrol arrested 10 herdsmen destroying farmland at Tse-Tigir and Tse-Ndugh villages on Monday 26 February 2018.

 “While in the act of destroying the farmland the herdsmen sighted the aggressive troops and fled into the Bush. The determine troops pursued and arrest them.

“Items recovered were  5 motorcycle, 2 machetes, some assorted charms and the sum of One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira  (N 120,000:00) only. Suspect and items were handed over to the Nigerian Police for further necessary action.

“The Nigerian Army is determined to fish out criminals and recover weapons use in killing innocent citizens. Therefore the public is please requested to cooperate and support the Army on the ongoing exercise”.

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Nigerian Troops Arrest 10 Herdsmen ‘Caught Destroying Farms’ In Benue

Featured Image

The Nigerian troops deployed to Yelwata under the ongoing “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma” (cat race) have arrested 10 herdsmen for destroying farm lands in Benue state.

It is understood that the herders were caught on Monday night in the act of destroying the farmland in Tse-Tigir and Tse-Ndugh villages in the state.

Nigerian Troops Arrest 10 Herdsmen ‘Caught Destroying Farms’ In Benue

Nigerian Troops Parades 10 Herdsmen ‘Caught Destroying Farms’ In Benue

A statement issued by the Director Army Public Relations, Brig.Gen Texas Chukwu, revealed that the suspects fled into the bush when they sighted the troops.

The statement reads: “The effort of the Nigerian  Army to fish out criminals and protect farmlands in Benue State and it environ on the ongoing EXERCISE AYEM AKPATUMA is yielding tremendous result as troops of Sector 1 Sub-Sector A, deployed at Yelwata while on routine patrol arrested 10 herdsmen destroying farmland at Tse-Tigir and Tse-Ndugh villages on Monday 26 February 2018.

 “While in the act of destroying the farmland the herdsmen sighted the aggressive troops and fled into the Bush. The determine troops pursued and arrest them.

“Items recovered were  5 motorcycle, 2 machetes, some assorted charms and the sum of One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira  (N 120,000:00) only. Suspect and items were handed over to the Nigerian Police for further necessary action.

“The Nigerian Army is determined to fish out criminals and recover weapons use in killing innocent citizens. Therefore the public is please requested to cooperate and support the Army on the ongoing exercise”.

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Swansea Confirm Jefferson Montero Has Joined Ecuadorian Club Emelec On A Sub-loan

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Swansea have confirmed midfielder Jefferson Montero has joined Ecuadorian side Emelec for the rest of the season, in what looks to be a first of its kind – a sub-loan.

Montero has been in Spain with Getafe on loan from the Liberty Stadium all season, but now they have sent him out on a temporary deal despite not owning the 28-year-old.

The move is subject to international clearance.

Jefferson Montero signed for Swansea from Mexican club Morelia in July 2014, having featured for Ecuador at the 2014 World Cup.

He has scored twice in 72 appearances, and has two years remaining on his contract with the Welsh club.

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Swansea Confirm Jefferson Montero Has Joined Ecuadorian Club Emelec On A Sub-loan

Featured Image

Swansea have confirmed midfielder Jefferson Montero has joined Ecuadorian side Emelec for the rest of the season, in what looks to be a first of its kind – a sub-loan.

Montero has been in Spain with Getafe on loan from the Liberty Stadium all season, but now they have sent him out on a temporary deal despite not owning the 28-year-old.

The move is subject to international clearance.

Jefferson Montero signed for Swansea from Mexican club Morelia in July 2014, having featured for Ecuador at the 2014 World Cup.

He has scored twice in 72 appearances, and has two years remaining on his contract with the Welsh club.

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JUST IN: Buhari Refuses To Approve Peace Corps Bill

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, February 27, declined his assent to the Peace Corps Establishment bill passed by the National Assembly in 2017.

According to a letter read by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on the floor of the chamber, Mr. Buhari cited security concerns and financial implications amongst reasons for his decision.

Specifically, the president said the organisation is a duplication of existing security agencies.

Pregnant Women, Thousands Of Nigerians Struggle For Peace Corps Recruitment

Some members of the Peace Corps

The bill has been widely anticipated by many Nigerians who believe the creation of the corps will help address the nation’s unemployment crisis.

Bear in mind that the Peace Corps Bill had passed first, second and third reading on the floor of both Chambers of the National Assembly.

The bill was subsequently passed by the National Assembly in 2017 and forwarded to the Presidency for assent.

Details later….

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JUST IN: Buhari Refuses To Approve Peace Corps Bill

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, February 27, declined his assent to the Peace Corps Establishment bill passed by the National Assembly in 2017.

According to a letter read by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on the floor of the chamber, Mr. Buhari cited security concerns and financial implications amongst reasons for his decision.

Specifically, the president said the organisation is a duplication of existing security agencies.

Pregnant Women, Thousands Of Nigerians Struggle For Peace Corps Recruitment

Some members of the Peace Corps

The bill has been widely anticipated by many Nigerians who believe the creation of the corps will help address the nation’s unemployment crisis.

Bear in mind that the Peace Corps Bill had passed first, second and third reading on the floor of both Chambers of the National Assembly.

The bill was subsequently passed by the National Assembly in 2017 and forwarded to the Presidency for assent.

Details later….

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PSG Reportedly Considering Swapping Kylian Mbappe For Philippe Coutinho

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PSG are reportedly considering a potential swap deal involving Barcelona new signing Philippe Coutinho and Kylian Mbappe.

Numerous reports have indicated that Neymar, who became the world’s expensive footballer when he joined PSG from Barca last summer for close to £200m, is unhappy with Kylian Mbappe.

Rumours are rife that the Brazilian is worried about the 19-year-old forward stealing his limelight, and the Ligue 1 outfit are desperate to keep Neymar happy.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the French club could consider sending Mbappe to Barcelona in a swap deal that would involve Coutinho, who signed for the Catalan giants just last month from Liverpool.

PSG signed the teenager on loan from Monaco last summer, but have an option to buy him at the end of the season, and are believed to want around £263m if they sell.

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PSG Reportedly Considering Swapping Kylian Mbappe For Philippe Coutinho

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PSG are reportedly considering a potential swap deal involving Barcelona new signing Philippe Coutinho and Kylian Mbappe.

Numerous reports have indicated that Neymar, who became the world’s expensive footballer when he joined PSG from Barca last summer for close to £200m, is unhappy with Kylian Mbappe.

Rumours are rife that the Brazilian is worried about the 19-year-old forward stealing his limelight, and the Ligue 1 outfit are desperate to keep Neymar happy.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the French club could consider sending Mbappe to Barcelona in a swap deal that would involve Coutinho, who signed for the Catalan giants just last month from Liverpool.

PSG signed the teenager on loan from Monaco last summer, but have an option to buy him at the end of the season, and are believed to want around £263m if they sell.

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Ronaldo: I Can Retire Happy

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Cristiano Ronaldo believes he has achieved all he wants to in his career, and can retire happy.

The Portuguese star has been linked with an exit from Madrid, with contract dispute playing a role.

However, after winning five Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo insists he I happy at Madrid and did not expect the career he has had.

“I never dreamed I would win five Ballon d’Or awards. If I had to finish my career now I would do so super happy. I have won everything,” Ronaldo told Brazilian YouTube channel Central Desimpedidos.

“If I win another one, two or three Ballon d’Ors then I will be delighted but if not I already won five.”

 

When asked if had any more dreams to achieve in football, such as winning the World Cup with Portugal, Ronaldo said: “Sincerely I don’t think I have any.

 

“I achieved everything I dreamed of in football. I really think I have achieved so many nice things that I don’t have any more dreams.

 

“But if you ask me if I want to keep winning of course I do. Obviously I would love to win the World Cup. But if my career ended now I would be very proud. I never thought my career was going to be so nice.”

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Report: Manchester United Board Regret Signing Alexis Sanchez In January

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Members of Manchester United’s board regret signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January, according to El Pais

Manchester United caused a shock in the winter window when they swept under Manchester City’s nose to sign Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez was widely expected to join Pep Guardiola’s side, but in the end he moved to Old Trafford in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Since moving to United, the 29-year-old has not yet made a huge impression on the team having scored just once in seven appearances in all competitions.

According to El Pais, some members of United’s board have told Premier League executives that they regret signing Sanchez for three reasons.

The hierarchy reportedly feel that the player would have been much cheaper had they secured his signature in the summer when his contract at Arsenal expired.

In addition, it is believed that sections of the club have questioned his high wages amid concerns of unrest within the squad, in particular Paul Pogba, who allegedly wants a pay rise.

The publication states that the third reason relates to Sanchez’s age, with board members feeling that the attacker only has a few years left at this level.

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Report: Manchester United Board Regret Signing Alexis Sanchez In January

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Members of Manchester United’s board regret signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January, according to El Pais

Manchester United caused a shock in the winter window when they swept under Manchester City’s nose to sign Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez was widely expected to join Pep Guardiola’s side, but in the end he moved to Old Trafford in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Since moving to United, the 29-year-old has not yet made a huge impression on the team having scored just once in seven appearances in all competitions.

According to El Pais, some members of United’s board have told Premier League executives that they regret signing Sanchez for three reasons.

The hierarchy reportedly feel that the player would have been much cheaper had they secured his signature in the summer when his contract at Arsenal expired.

In addition, it is believed that sections of the club have questioned his high wages amid concerns of unrest within the squad, in particular Paul Pogba, who allegedly wants a pay rise.

The publication states that the third reason relates to Sanchez’s age, with board members feeling that the attacker only has a few years left at this level.

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Davido Rises In Defense Of Zlatan Ibile On Controversy With Segun Wire’s Family

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Following the reports that emerged yesterday about fast rising artiste, Zlatan Ibile being beaten up by Segun Wire’s family members, Davido has vowed to fight for the singer.

Under a post by Zlatan Ibile about the incident on Instagram, Davido dropped a comment promising to make those who assault the artiste pay for their deeds.

See Below;

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Arsenal Have leaderships And Coaching Problems- Sol Campbell

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Sol Campbell has taken aim at the club following Sunday’s EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

Arsene Wenger and his team have come under fire after they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Pep Guardiola’s side at Wembley on Sunday.

Sol Campbell, who played for the Gunners for seven years across two spells, believes that the club’s main issues are lack of leadership and poor coaching.

“Arsenal have leadership and coaching issues which they’ve got to look at,” the Daily Mail quotes the retired defender as saying.

“They need to ask if the players cared about that particular game, or were they believing, when they walked out, that they’d lost the game already?

“If I was still there, I’d be trying to sense that before it started to happen, to see what kind of player and human being I had at the club. You can develop a stronger mentality within certain players, but they’ve got to want to pick it up as well.”

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Premier League Looking At Possibility Of Two-Week Winter Break

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The Premier League is close to accepting a proposal for a two-week winter break, starting in 2020.

The proposal means every Premier League football will be played on weekends, but the games are played such that there are five games one weekend, and five games the next.

This means all 20 teams in the top flight will have a free weekend, and a 13-day cushion.

However, the decision rests on the Football Association who must stop replays and move all their games midweek.

The Football League has stated it cannot afford the break, as it needs all the time it can get to play all 46 matches for each team.

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The Third Force: Of Ramaphosa, Abiola And Dangote

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The Third Force: Of Ramaphosa, Abiola And Dangote, By Yushau A. Shuaib

CLICK here to read more opinion articles

A sudden political change occurred recently when an international businessman, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa emerged as the new South African president. He has impacted positively on the life of his people through the Shanduka Group, a company he founded with investments in the energy sector, real estate, banking, insurance, and telecoms (SEACOM). He is also chairman of Bidvest Group and MTN, among others. He is one of South Africa’s richest men, with an estimated wealth of over $550 million.

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

I am a believer in individuals who have invested and deployed their skills in wealth creation schemes, rather than in wealth sharing. Public office can also be run as a serious business for stability and profitability in serving the interest of the stakeholders and the public. Nigeria has distinguished citizens like Ramaphosa of South Africa, who have deployed their businesses for wealth and job creation, the promotion and unity of citizens, and improvement of the economy, without being in politics or in government.

The current political atmosphere in Nigeria is undoubtedly charged after a bombshell letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking the latter not to recontest election in 2019. Obasanjo recommended a Coalition for Nigeria (Third Force) to rescue the country from its present political and economic brouhaha. The Third Force, according to Obasanjo, should be “a movement to break new ground in building a united country, a socially cohesive and moderately prosperous society with equity, equality of opportunity, justice and a dynamic and progressive economy that is self-reliant and takes an active part in the global division of labour and international decision-making.”

The tension-soaked letter has elicited diverse debates, with a series of meetings being held, alliances formed, apart from several alignments and realignments, which have even caused President Buhari to hurriedly constitute a Presidential Reconciliatory Committee for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), headed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As I write, there is a head-on collision between Tinubu and his party chairman, Odigie Oyegun.

In this intense period, some are mooting the idea of encouraging non-partisan, business savvy individuals, who have demonstrated leadership qualities and touched the lives of many Nigerians through their private ventures, to vie for top electoral offices.

In Nigeria, we had the likes of Late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, a successful businessman who was elected the country’s president in 1993 but whose election was annulled by the military junta. Meanwhile in contemporary Nigerian history, the likely name synonymous with that of Chief Abiola in terms of stupendous wealth, philanthropy, international networks, political connections and an iconic brand is Aliko Dangote. While Abiola was considered the richest Nigerian of his time before he died in custody in 1998, Aliko Dangote is currently not only the richest African but one of the richest in the world.

MKO Abiola was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State on August 24, 1937. He acquired entrepreneurial talents at a tender age when he sold firewood every morning before attending classes in primary school. As a teenager and talented music player, he performed at private parties in exchange for food and earned some money used in sponsoring himself to secondary school. At Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, where he was the editor of the school magazine, young Olusegun Obasanjo was his deputy editor.

Aliko Dangote was born on 10 April 1957 into a wealthy family. He is the great-grandson of Alhassan Dantata, the richest African at the time of his death in 1955. When he was in primary school, Dangote collected cartons of sweets [candy] on loan and sold them just to make money. Dangote was educated at the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa and Capital High School, Kano.

After a stint with a financial institution in Nigeria, MKO Abiola attended Glasgow University and obtained a first class degree in Accountancy. He joined some institutions in the public and private sectors before becoming vice president, ITT Corporation, a giant telecommunications firm. He had personal investments in farming, bookshops, radio communications, bakeries, publishing, airlines business, oil exploration, banking, sports, amongst others.

On his side, Dangote obtained a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. After his graduation, he worked for his uncle, Abdulkadir Sanusi Dantata, from whom he borrowed money to start commodities trading, cement and a building materials import business in Kano in 1977. Gradually, he expanded the business and relocated to Lagos, where he began importing cars and cement needed for Nigeria’s economic expansion. He has diversified into various economic sectors producing food, building materials, household items, among others, with factories scattered mostly in the southern parts of the country, than the North where he comes from.

Abiola’s immeasurable generosity earned him numerous titles and awards for philanthropic activities that were felt in schools, worship centres, cultural events, community development and support for the less privileged in the society. His philanthropism cut across the diverse ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, apart from receiving one of the highest awards of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), Dangote has bagged several local and international awards for philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Through the Dangote Foundation, he contributes millions of dollars annually to medical advancements, educational endowments, humanitarian gestures, among others, across all geopolitical zones in the country.

On the political front, Abiola’s attempts to vie for political office were thwarted in the late 70s and early 80s when he was betrayed by associates. He was reported to have withdrawn into his shell and faced his business after a powerful Shagari minister, Umaru Dikko told him point-blank that the presidential ticket of the then ruling party was not for sale.

In the same vein and probably for the fear of betrayal at the last hour, Dangote has ruled out the possibility of joining partisan politics. In an interview with Bloomberg, he declared that he is not cut out for politics but values his freedom and business. He said: “I’m not interested in active politics… The little freedom I have, politics would take away. I am not ready to give that up. There are businessmen who are interested in politics. I’m not one of them.”

Meanwhile, after shunning partisan politics for about a decade, Abiola was cajoled to contest for the presidency in 1992 in an election organised by the administration of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB). After accepting the nomination, MKO Abiola was eventually elected president of Nigeria on June 12, 1993. His election was influenced by his brilliant “Hope 93 Farewell to Poverty” campaigns, and his record of service to humanity across the ethnic, tribal and religious divide and through his huge investments in the economy. He even defeated his opponent, Bashir Tofa in his home state, Kano. The annulment of that election by IBB was one of the genesis of subsequent political and economic crises in Nigeria.

Since Dangote has denied any interest in electoral office at a period when most political parties and politicians have outlived their usefulness, what should be the way out? Can we commence a search for an illustrious Nigerian, untiring philanthropist, quintessential business mogul, conscientious and detribalised personality to salvage the country in 2019 through a Third-Force? Is there any alternative in sight among those that haven’t served in the political offices?

Yushau A. Shuaib is publisher of PRNigeria; www.YAShuaib.com; yashuaib@yahoo.com.

This piece was written by Yushau A. Shuaib. 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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Matthaus: Lewandowski Is Like Messi To Bayern

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Bayern Munich legend, Lothar Matthaus has lauded Robert Lewandowski and compared him to Messi.

The Poland international is a key player to Bayern Munich, scoring over 100 goals since he arrived from Dortmund in 2014.

And Matthaus believes Lewandowski, who already has 20 Bundesliga goals is an important player to Bayern.

“Lewy makes a difference, he cannot be replaced,” Matthaus said via the Bundesliga’s official website.

“Robert is an important figure in Munich like Messi is in Barcelona. However, when Messi gets injured, the image of the Catalan game changes completely. Bayern does not have this problem.

“Lewandowski is a key player, but the team is not as set up for him as the Real Madrid game under [Cristiano] Ronaldo or the tactics of PSG under Neymar.”

“Lewandowski really is an exceptional player,” Matthaus continued.

“Lewandowski does not have an alternate who guarantees the same quality. The Pole is currently the best nine in the world. Bayern will not find another player like that.”

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