Showing posts with label Features. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Features. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

SPORT: Messi hits four as Barca maintain perfect start

SPORT: Messi hits four as Barca maintain perfect start

Barcelona's forward from Argentina Lionel Messi (C) celebrates after scoring with Barcelona's defender from Spain Aleix Vidal<br />during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against SD Eibar at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 19, 2017. PAU BARRENA / AFP

Lionel Messi added four more goals to his soaring early season tally as a much-changed Barcelona maintained their 100 percent start to La Liga by routing Eibar 6-1 on Tuesday.

Paulinho and Denis Suarez also netted for the second consecutive game as Barca stretched their lead at the top of La Liga to seven points over Real Madrid, who host Real Betis on Wednesday.

"That Messi scored four goals now isn't news," said Barca boss Ernesto Valverde after the Argentine's 43rd career hat-trick.

"He has done it so many nights, in so many games. To keep repeating it is the most difficult thing.

"He is an extraordinary player. I have run out of words for him."

Messi played in a more central role as Valverde heavily rotated his side for the first time since taking charge with Luis Suarez dropping to the bench among six changes from Saturday's hard-fought 2-1 win at Getafe.

And contrary to their fortunes last season, Barca's back-ups proved Valverde can take the luxury of resting some of his star names with Paulinho particularly impressive on his first start.

Messi opened the scoring in nonchalant fashion from the penalty spot on 21 minutes after Nelson Semedo had been felled by an ungainly challenge from Alejandro Galvez.

Paulinho's 40-million-euro ($48 million) signing from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande was one of a series of moves that drew stinging criticism for Barca's board following Neymar's world-record departure for Paris Saint-Germain.

However, after coming off the bench to score the winner at Getafe, Paulinho powered home his second Barca goal from Denis Suarez's corner seven minutes before half-time.

Paulinho also played his part in Barca's third with a cute dummy that freed Messi and, when his shot was parried by Marko Dmitrovic, Denis Suarez fired home the rebound.

Sergi Enrich reduced the arrears when he capitalised on some sloppy Barca defending to slot home David Junca's cross.

However, Messi quickly restored Barca's three-goal lead with a lovely measured finish from the edge of the box.

The five-time world player of the year completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark by prodding through Dmitrovic's legs from Paulinho's pass.

And he added his 12th goal in just eight games this season three minutes from time after a neat one-two with Aleix Vidal.

Anger fuels Zaza

Barca lead second-placed Sevilla, who host Las Palmas on Wednesday, by five points with Valencia now just a point further adrift as they moved up to third thanks to Simone Zaza's seven-minute hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of Malaga.

By contrast, a fifth straight defeat to start the season sees Malaga slip to bottom of the table and plunges coach Michel into further danger of becoming the second La Liga boss to be sacked this term.

"I am tremendously proud of the performance of the players. It is a joy to be able to enjoy it with our fans," said Valencia coach Marcelino.

Santi Mina got the rout started after just 17 minutes with a neat header from Carles Soler's cross.

Zaza then completed his first ever hat-trick with three clinical close-range finishes between the 55th and 62nd minute before substitute Rodrigo rounded off the scoring.

And the former Juventus striker shrugged off a bust-up with Marcelino after being dropped for Saturday's 1-1 draw at Levante.

"I didn't have anything to prove," Zaza told BeIN Sports Spain.

"What happened on Saturday is already forgotten, I think it is normal that a player is angry when he doesn't play."





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SPORT: Aiteo Group reaffirms commitment to NFF deal

SPORT: Aiteo Group reaffirms commitment to NFF deal

NFF President Amaju Pinnick (right) with Aiteo Group DMD Francis Peters

Oil and gas outfit, Aiteo Group yesterday disclosed that it remained committed to its sponsorship deal with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), which started on May 1, 2017.

Reports yesterday disclosed that the company was not happy with the way the NFF was treating the relationship, citing the poor visibility of the prime competition, Aiteo Cup, which was formerly known as Challenge Cup.

But in a statement yesterday, Aiteo denied the reports, saying, “the multi-billion sponsorship deal was a management decision meticulously taken upon due consideration of its benefits to the development of football in Nigeria, tremendous social capital and unifying effect on every stratum of Nigeria endeavour.

“The deal is effective for five years and we have no plans to renege on our decision. We hereby assure our valued stakeholders and Nigerian public that all aspects of the NFF pact, which includes paying Nigeria national team coaches will continue to run without hitches for the agreed five-year term. In line with best practice, we will review annually, to bring even more value for both parties and our stakeholders.”

The statement added that as the official naming rights sponsor of the Federations Cup, now Aiteo Cup, Aiteo will continue its funding of the tournament.





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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

SPORT: James hits first Bundesliga goal as Bayern go top

SPORT: James hits first Bundesliga goal as Bayern go top

Bayern Munich's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates during the German First division Bundesliga football match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Bayern Munich in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany, on September 19, 2017. PATRIK STOLLARZ / AFP

James Rodriguez scored his first Bundesliga goal on Tuesday to help Bayern Munich top the table for the first time this season following a 3-0 win at Schalke 04.

The Colombian was involved in all three goals after winning the penalty which Robert Lewandowski converted for the opening goal before his deft chip saw Arturo Vidal fire home.

After five games, the victory in Gelsenkirchen put defending champions Bayern top for the first time, but Borussia Dortmund can regain the lead if they win at Hamburg on Wednesday.

The away win was a boost for Bayern who confirmed Tuesday that goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer had undergone another operation on his left foot and is out until January.

"That wasn't so easy, but at the end we managed to dominate," said Neuer's replacement Sven Ulreich, who now finds himself as Bayern's first-choice goalkeeper after wanting to quit in the summer.

"Of course it's a tough situation for the team and Manuel, but we hope he'll be back soon."

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti rotated the squad with James on the right wing as one of six changes from the side which beat Mainz 4-0 on Saturday.

James won a penalty on 23 minutes when the video assistant referee confirmed his cross had been knocked away by the hand of Schalke defender Naldo.

Lewandowski dispatched the penalty for his sixth goal in five games.

James, who signed a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid in July, then fired home on 29 minutes when Corentin Tolisso's pass found him with acres of space in the area.

It was a sublime chip over the Schalke defence from James which was then drilled home by Vidal on 75 minutes.

Leipzig stumble

The win left Bayern two points clear at the summit while Augsburg are up to third, with 10 points, after their shock 1-0 home win against RB Leipzig.

Austria midfielder Michael Gregoritsch scored Augsburg's winner after only four minutes in Bavaria, but Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl paid the price for making nine changes as his team played poorly.

Belgium striker Divock Origi, on loan from Liverpool, scored his first goal for Wolfsburg in their 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen before Fin Bartels equalised.

Origi showed his pace to win a foot race for the ball and stabbed home on 28 minutes as Wolfsburg's new coach Martin Schmidt, who replaced the fired Andries Jonker on Monday, picked up a point.

Earlier, Brazil striker Raffael scored two second-half goals as Borussia Moechengladbach climbed to seventh after their 2-0 home win at home to Stuttgart.

It was Stuttgart's first game since captain Christian Gentner suffered multiple facial fractures and concussion in a collision during Saturday's win over Wolfsburg.

Gladbach's Raffael opened the scoring by finishing the move he started with a superb 57th-minute goal after releasing Nico Elvedi on the wing and firing home the Swiss right-back's cross.

Stuttgart defender Dennis Aogo gave away a penalty when he held Belgian forward Thorgan Hazard back in the area and Raffael slotted away the spot-kick on 74 minutes.





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METRO: ‘I caught my wife, driver making love’

METRO: ‘I caught my wife, driver making love’



A businessman, Moses Ojiekomhan, on Tuesday told Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court, that he caught his wife, Joy with his driver Emeka Osuh, making love at their Lagos home.


Ojiekomhan, the Managing Director of Legend Logistics and Integrated Concept Limited, Ikeja, stated this during her (Joy) arraignment on a two count-charge of conspiracy and stealing.

Joy pleaded not guilty.

The mother of two, through her counsel Mr J. Uwabuche, accused Ojiekomhan of abducting their 18-month-old baby.counsel Mr J. Uwabuche, accused Ojiekomhan of abducting their 18-month-old baby.counsel Mr J. Uwabuche, accused Ojiekomhan of abducting their 18-month-old baby.

According to the police, in a charge marked G38/2017, last June 30 at about 11:30am, Joy, 37, conspired with Osuh, who is now at large, to steal N1,136,400 belonging to Legend Logistics and Integrated Concept.,136,400 belonging to Legend Logistics and Integrated Concept.,136,400 belonging to Legend Logistics and Integrated Concept.,136,400 belonging to Legend Logistics and Integrated Concept.

According to prosecuting counsel, Mr. E. I. Onine, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 411 and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.Onine, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 411 and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.Onine, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 411 and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.Onine, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 411 and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Uwabuche, who urged the court to admit Joy to bail on liberal terms, said the matter was between husband and wife, and that reconciliation was ongoing between both of their families.

This was not opposed by Onine.

But before writing her bench ruling, Chief Magistrate Helen Omisore turned to Ojiekomhan and sought confirmation of the duo’s relationship.

Ojiekomhan replied: “We once lived together as husband and wife but we are now separated. They have charged me to court for child abduction.

“I caught Emeka, who is a driver in my company, sleeping with her in my house.”

The prosecutor added that police investigation found that the two were once husband and wife, but separated after Ojiekomhan found Joy and Osuh in his bed.police investigation found that the two were once husband and wife, but separated after Ojiekomhan found Joy and Osuh in his bed.police investigation found that the two were once husband and wife, but separated after Ojiekomhan found Joy and Osuh in his bed.

Uwabuche, however, pointed out that Ojiekomhan took away their 18-month-old baby from the defendant.

“An Ogba Chief Magistrates’ Court, in Court 4, has even issued a warrant of arrest against him,” the defence counsel said.defence counsel said.defence counsel said.

He stated that Joy’s arraignment was a ploy by the police to prevent her from appearing in court today to testify as a witness on the child abduction charge against him.

Following the conflicting claims, Magistrate Omisore called for the case file, examined it, and ruled on the defendant’s bail.

She said: “The defendant is hereby granted bail in the sum of N500, 000, with two sureties in the like sum. One of the sureties must be a blood relation to the defendant, have three years tax certificate payable to the Lagos State government. Both the home and office addresses of the sureties must be verified by the prosecutor.”
The case continues on September 27.



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NEWS:Iraq PM rejects any Kurdish independence referendum

NEWS:Iraq PM rejects any Kurdish independence referendum

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. - AFP

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday said he rejected any type of referendum on independence for the northern autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

"The referendum is rejected, whether today or in the future, in the Kurdistan region within the 2003 borders or in the disputed areas," he told journalists.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani has announced an independence referendum for September 25 in oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan, and the provincial council in the neighbouring province of Kirkuk has said it will also take part.

Beyond the three provinces that have made up Iraqi Kurdistan since the fall of Saddam Hussein after a US-led invasion, Iraq's Kurds have also claimed territory in Kirkuk, as well as the Nineveh and Diyala provinces.

Abadi also hinted at a possible military intervention in Kirkuk, which is home to diverse communities including Arabs and Turkmen who oppose the vote.

"If a Kirkuk citizen is exposed to danger, it's our legitimate duty to impose security," he said.

On Monday, Iraq's supreme court ordered the suspension of the referendum to examine claims it was unconstitutional.

Abadi's office said it had filed a complaint against the referendum, after parliament in Baghdad voted twice against it.

Barzani has said a "yes" vote would not trigger an immediate declaration of independence, but rather kick-start "serious discussions" with Baghdad.

Analysts say Barzani is using the referendum as leverage in his Kurdish Regional Government's long-standing disputes with the federal authorities in Baghdad over territory and oil exports.





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NEWS:FG pledges better funding of road projects nationwide – Fashola

NEWS:FG pledges better funding of road projects nationwide – Fashola

Babatunde Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the Federal Government would henceforth ensure better funding of the various ongoing road projects across the country.

Fashola stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at a meeting he held with contractors handling various Federal Government’s projects in the country.

Fashola told the contractors that funds would be made available in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to ensure that contractors were paid quarterly.

He, however, urged the contractors to ensure that roads across the country were made passable ahead of the yuletide season by ensuring that failed sections of their various projects were rehabilitated.

Fashola said the meeting was called for the contractors to inform the public what they should expect from the companies in the last months of the year when traffic is going to be heavy.

The minister called on the contractors to ensure that they regularly informed members of the public of challenges contractors faced during raining seasons in the construction sector.

“Let the Nigerian people know what is happening on our roads when they are not maintained during the raining season, also this happens in other part of the world.

“Even with the best of maintenance, some rains are heavy and sometimes causes flooding, you will lose some of the infrastructure like it happened in some parts of America,” he said.

In their various contributions at the meeting, the contractors called for better funding regime to address the current deplorable state of roads across the country.

They blamed the deplorable state of roads on rains and poor funding.

In his contribution, Mr Wolfgang Goetsch, the Managing Director of Julius Berger PLC, blamed the slow pace of project execution by his company across the country on inadequate funding.

He said construction business was capital intensive that requires proper funding for future planning and management of both human and capital resources.

Goetsch pledged the readiness of Julius Berger to expedite actions when funds were released as scheduled for the execution of its projects ahead of the yuletide season.

Mr Nabeel Esawi, the Chief Engineer, Renold Construction Company (RCC), blamed the slow pace of project execution on the heavy rains, particularly in the southern part of the country.

He said tremendous progress would be made during the dry season, adding that RCC had commenced the rehabilitation of failed sections of roads being handled by the company.





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NEWS:NPA boss assures safety of vessel on Nigerian waters

NEWS:NPA boss assures safety of vessel on Nigerian waters

Container-laden vessel arriving the port

Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, the Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), has assured that the agency would ensure the safety and security of vessels on the nation’s territorial waters and seas.

Usman, who gave the assurance in a statement signed by Mr Abdullahi Goje, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication of the authority on Tuesday in Lagos.

She said that NPA management prioritised security and safety of vessels to encourage international trade.

The managing director also pledged to synergise with the Committee on Harmonised Standard Operating Procedure on the arrest, detention and prosecution of offenders in the maritime environment.

This she said was necessary “to harmonise issues toward covering all areas of concern in respect of the subject.”

“NPA management is paying premium toward contributing effectively in the area of providing arrested vessels’ location on the nation’s waters,’’ she said.

She said NPA would take swift actions to evacuate such vessels to create enabling environment for greater operational efficiency, restore sanity at anchorages and engender more funds for the nation.

Bala-Usman said solicited the support of stakeholders to ensure that the measure to ensure safety on the nation’s waters was adhered to spur international trade.

NAN reports that there was a robbery attack on board a tanker vessel anchored at the Lagos General Purpose Anchorage on Aug. 19.





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NEWS:IPOB: PDP tells APC blame game won't work

NEWS:IPOB: PDP tells APC blame game won't work

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to look inward in resolving the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) crisis.

The party gave the advice in a statement by its National Caretaker Committee’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeye, on Tuesday in Abuja.

It said that it was again constrained to react to a statement credited to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, noting excuses and blame-game would not help in solving the problem.

The party said that the minister on Sunday tried to shift blames of the poor handling of the agitations of IPOB by the current administration to an opposition.

According to it, it is worrisome that government blamed opposition parties, which they have conveniently labelled looters, for the activities of IPOB.

It urged the APC to look inward in locating the looters using their ill-gotten wealth to sponsor separatist agitation against the government of the day.

It stated that no external enemy was working against the APC government and advised the party to do soul-searching and correct the anomaly.

“We wish to put on record that agitation for the actualisation of the State of Biafra was a total silent voice while the PDP was in power.

“That was because of the Government of inclusiveness we provided for Nigerians who were made to experience what a genuine national government meant.

“Finally, as a party, we had condemned and we are still condemning separatist movements tailored towards balkanising the nation.”





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SPORT: Boos can make Bale better - Zidane

SPORT: Boos can make Bale better - Zidane

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale runs for the ball during the UEFA Champions League football match Real Madrid CF vs APOEL FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane believes the harsh treatment meted out to Gareth Bale by his own fans at the Santiago Bernabeu can push the Welshman to greater heights.

Bale bounced back from jeers as Real opened their Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win over APOEL Nicosia last week by scoring just his second goal of the season in spectacular fashion in a 3-1 victory at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

"It is part of a player's career, but at times it is good to note that you are not doing things well," said Zidane on Tuesday ahead of the Spanish champions' La Liga clash with Real Betis on Wednesday.

"I am not speaking just about Gareth, but in general. It happened to me and I think it is good because you want to react and do better in the next game."

Zidane has consistently pleaded for patience with Bale, who missed four months of last season through injury, and failed to win his place back in the side for the Champions League final in June.

And despite a full pre-season, Zidane believes it is still some time before Bale will hit top form again.

"I have always said we need to have patience with him," added the Frenchman.

"We know how good he is if he is completely fit, but he will need time and we will see that.

"It will still take more time to see the best of Gareth, but he is already doing very well."

Zidane has the luxury of welcoming back Cristiano Ronaldo for the visit of Betis after he completed a five-game domestic ban for pushing a referee in the Spanish Super Cup.

"We are happy that he is back and I hope it is the last time that we don't have him," said Zidane.

"Cristiano is happy because what he likes is to play and be with his teammates."

Zidane also repeated he is set to become the latest member of the Madrid side that has won back-to-back Champions Leagues to extend his contract with the club.

"The issue of the renewal is done, but that doesn't mean anything," added Zidane, whose current deal runs out at the end of the season.

"What it is important for me is the day-to-day. I don't look further ahead than what I am doing each day."

Marcelo, Isco and Dani Carvajal have all extended their deals at the Bernabeu to 2022 in the past week.





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SPORT: Neuer out until January after foot op - Bayern

SPORT: Neuer out until January after foot op - Bayern

Bayern Munich's German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer poses during a photo shooting for a FC Bayern Munich sponsor in traditional bavarian clothing in Munich, southern Germany, on September 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GUENTER SCHIFFMANN

Bayern Munich have confirmed their Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer will be out until January having undergone another operation on Tuesday after again fracturing his left foot.

The 31-year-old had only returned at the end of August after fracturing the same foot in April.

He suffered the fresh injury in training on Monday as Bayern prepared for Tuesday's German league match at Schalke.

"The fact that Manuel Neuer has suffered a new injury means we are all very sorry for him", said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"The operation went optimally and that is the most important thing now.

"Manuel will be available for us again, back at his old strength, in January."

This is Neuer's third operation on the same foot in six months after minor surgery for a toe injury in March and then again in April after initially fracturing his foot.

Neuer's latest injury blow sparks concerns about Germany's skipper nine months before the World Cup kicks off.

He last played for Germany in a World Cup qualifier in October 2016.

Neuer will miss Germany's key World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland in Belfast on October 5, where a win will book the holders' place at Russia 2018.

With Neuer out, Barcelona's goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who deputised when Germany won the Confederations Cup in July, is set to fill in for the world champions.

Neuer's Bayern understudy Sven Ulreich will now take over for Munich until the winter break at the end of December.

Neuer will miss Bayern's remaining Champions League group stage games, including their key away match at Paris Saint-Germain on September 27.

He will also miss their league and cup double-header against RB Leipzig at the end of October and away Bundesliga match at current leaders Borussia Dortmund in early November.

Neuer's Bayern and Germany team-mates quickly rallied around.

"You will come back stronger, my friend," wrote Bayern winger Franck Ribery on Twitter, while Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski offered a 'get well soon'.

Germany star Toni Kroos offered "you'll be fit again soon".

Bayern confirmed Neuer underwent the operation at a clinic in Tuebingen, south-west Germany, by head surgeon Ulrich Stoeckle, who has inserted a plate in his foot.

Stoeckle has previously treated stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery and David Alaba.





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SPORT: Man Utd fans urged to drop 'racist' Lukaku chant

SPORT: Man Utd fans urged to drop 'racist' Lukaku chant

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 17, 2017. Manchester United won the game 4-0. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF

British anti-discrimination group Kick It Out on Tuesday called on Manchester United fans to stop a "racist" chant about striker Romelu Lukaku.

The 24-year-old arrived from Everton in the summer for a fee that could reach £90 million ($121 million, 101 million euros) and has quickly become a popular figure among supporters, netting seven goals in as many games.

Lukaku already has a chant in his honour but the song, to the tune of the Stone Roses' "Made of Stone", refers to the size of his penis, using a stereotype about black men that has led Kick It Out to call for action.

"Kick It Out is aware of footage of alleged racist chanting by supporters of Manchester United that emerged on Wednesday," said a spokesman for the group.

"The lyrics used in the chant are offensive and discriminatory. Racist stereotypes are never acceptable in football or wider society, irrespective of any intention to show support for a player.

"We have contacted Manchester United regarding the issue and will be working closely with them and the FA (Football Association) to ensure that it is addressed swiftly."

A United spokesman said: "We are seeking advice from the relevant bodies. Manchester United has a zero-tolerance (approach) towards all forms of discrimination."

Scott Patterson, a season-ticket holder who runs the The Republik of Mancunia blog, called the chant "drivel that belongs in the 1980s".

"It's a cheap and insulting stereotype that has no place in this day and age," he posted.





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SPORT: Barca lower Dembele recovery time after operation

SPORT: Barca lower Dembele recovery time after operation

Barcelona's French forward Ousmane Dembele (L) and Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi leave the field after the Spanish Liga football match Barcelona vs Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE

Barcelona hope record signing Ousmane Dembele could be back in action in three and a half months after successful surgery on a torn hamstring in Helsinki on Tuesday.

"Dembele was successfully operated on Tuesday to repair a ruptured biceps femoris in his left leg," Barca said in a statement.

"He is expected to be out for three and a half months."

The Catalan giants feared their record 105 million-euro ($125 million) signing could be sidelined for four months after suffering the injury attempting a backheel in Saturday's 2-1 win at Getafe.

It is the first major injury of Dembele's career and Barca boss Ernesto Valverde admitted a more experienced player may have picked up on signs all wasn't well before completely tearing the muscle.

"He doesn't have experience of recognising small niggles or more explosive moves that can mitigate these type of things," Valverde said on Monday.

"A backheel is the most aggressive move for the hamstring. Possibly a more experienced player wouldn't have done it."

The 20-year-old may have paid a heavy price for missing most of his pre-season preparation as he went on strike from training at Borussia Dortmund to try and force through his dream move to the Camp Nou.

He will be sidelined for the rest of Barca's Champions League group campaign and faces a race against time to take part in the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid on December 23.





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SPORT: Ox right to pick Liverpool, says Klopp

SPORT: Ox right to pick Liverpool, says Klopp

Liverpool's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (R) reacts with Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson at the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 9, 2017. Manchester City won the game 5-0. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reassured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that he has not made a mistake in swapping the Emirates for Anfield despite a lack of game time.

The 24-year-old left Arsenal in a £35 million ($47 million, 39 million euros) deal on transfer deadline day but has so far been restricted to just 57 minutes in three substitute appearances, having previously started all four matches for the Gunners and also two for the national team.

The England international is set to make his first start on Tuesday in the League Cup at Leicester.

"I thought it made complete sense for Alex to change club and to come here," said the Reds boss. "He has settled in perfectly. He knew at least all the England players and a few others.

"He is a really nice lad so it is easy for him to settle into a new team. He knows the situation.

"He played all the games for Arsenal from the beginning and now he comes here and is on the bench so it looks, 'Oh, not the best decision', but it is long-term thing.

"We want to use him and to prepare him also. It is all good from this side at the moment."

Klopp dismissed suggestions Oxlade-Chamberlain's development had been stunted at Arsenal.

However, he hoped to bring out more in a player whom he believes was still growing under Arsene Wenger's leadership.

"A new start is very often a kind of relief, that's how it is," he added.

"You are in a situation with your old club - and I don't say this about Alex specifically -- and you accept it and it is difficult to make the next step.

"Arsenal changed a lot since Arsene is there. I am sure they didn't always play with three at the back and with wing-backs and so Alex played in different positions when he was there.

"It is the highest quality if you can play in different positions in the Premier League. That says a lot about you."

Klopp will also give first starts of the season to third-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward and midfielder Marko Grujic among a series of changes as he juggles four matches in 11 days.





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SPORT: Rio Ferdinand launches bid to become pro boxer

SPORT: Rio Ferdinand launches bid to become pro boxer

(FILES) This file photo taken on April 1, 2013 shows former Manchester United English defender Rio Ferdinand gesturing during the English FA Cup quarter-final replay football match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in London. Former England footballer Rio Ferdinand is due to announce on Tuesday he is going to try and become a professional boxer just two months away from his 39th birthday, according to the Daily Telegraph. Ferdinand, who won 81 caps and made over 300 appearances for Manchester United, is an avid boxing fan and has said spending time boxing in the gym has helped clear his head after losing his wife and the mother of his three children Rebecca Ellison to breast cancer in 2015./ AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK

Former England football captain Rio Ferdinand confirmed Tuesday he will train to become a professional boxer with the ultimate aim of challenging for a title belt.

The 38-year-old former Manchester United star, who retired from football in May 2015, is taking part in online betting firm Betfair's "Defender to Contender" project and will be training with former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall.

Ferdinand will be seeking to qualify for a British Boxing Board of Control licence before starting training and competing for a title belt.

"Boxing is an amazing sport for the mind and the body," said Ferdinand. "I have always had a passion for it and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to show people what's possible.

"It's a challenge I'm not taking lightly -- clearly not everyone can become a professional boxer -- but with the team of experts Betfair are putting together and the drive I have to succeed, anything is possible."

Ferdinand, who will also work with personal trainer Mel Deane, added on Twitter: "It's happening... Can't wait to get started with the team @betfair have put together, @richiewoodhall and @meldeane #DefenderToContender."

The ex-West Ham, Leeds, Manchester United and QPR defender, who currently works as a pundit with BT Sport and the BBC, will hold a press conference in London on Tuesday.

Woodhall, a former Olympic bronze medallist turned Team GB trainer, believes Ferdinand has the ability to turn professional.

"In all honesty, I think Rio can definitely box as a professional given time," he said. "He has natural power in his right hand, is extremely fit and is very enthusiastic to learn, which is encouraging.

"Style-wise, he's very raw and I'll have to develop this which will take time but he has all the natural ingredients, height and reach advantages over boxers in his weight division and definitely has potential to win a title in the future."

Ferdinand's love of boxing is apparent on social media, with a picture on his Twitter profile showing him draped in the WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight title belts of his friend Anthony Joshua.

The Londoner, who won 81 caps for England, was in attendance when Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in April and posed for pictures with the Olympic gold medallist.

There are also several videos on his Instagram page showing Ferdinand training with the gloves.

Former Sheffield United midfielder Curtis Woodhouse won the British light-welterweight title in 2012 after swapping football for boxing, while cricketer Andrew Flintoff won a one-off bout, of modest standard, against American Richard Dawson, having been mentored Barry McGuigan.





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SPORT: United's Herrera says pressure on big-spending City

SPORT: United's Herrera says pressure on big-spending City

Ander Herrera PHOTO: Man United

Manchester United's Ander Herrera says "favourites" Manchester City face intense pressure to win the Premier League after their summer spending spree and trophy less campaign last season.

The Manchester clubs are joint top of the table with exactly the same record -- 13 points from five games and a plus-14 goal difference.

United won the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield in Jose Mourinho's first campaign at the helm but finished a disappointing sixth in the league.

City ended third in the Premier League after a fine start under Pep Guardiola petered out in an ultimately trophyless campaign.

Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City spent the most of any Premier League club during the summer transfer window -- £215 million ($290 million, 242 million euros) while United splashed out more than £140 million.

"Man City have spent the biggest amount in the Premier League so they are the principle contenders for the title," said Herrera.

"We will try to be there as well. We have quality as well and we will fight for every title. But I think because of the money they have spent they are the favourites."

The United midfielder, who has struggled for time on the pitch this season, added: "We won three titles last season and City didn't win anything. They are under pressure.

"They are obligated to win titles. We won three last season so they have more obligation than us. But you know when you play for Man United, winning is an expectation and an obligation but I like that obligation to be honest."

United kick off their defence of the League Cup against Burton Albion on Wednesday, when Sergio Romero may get his first run out of the season in place of the ever-impressive David De Gea.

Herrera believes De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world but says United need to win trophies in order to ensure they keep the player, who has frequently been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

"Of course I can see him staying here for more years. How good is David now? We need to win titles to keep him with us. That is what we did last season," he said.

"Real Madrid are going to talk about it every summer because he is the best 'keeper in the world. But we don't think we are far from Real Madrid. We won three titles last season, the only English team to do it," he added.





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SPORT: Banned Rooney gets lift to training

SPORT: Banned Rooney gets lift to training

Everton's English striker Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF 

Everton striker Wayne Rooney was given a lift to training on Tuesday after he was banned for two years for drink-driving.

The 31-year-old was disqualified from the roads for two years and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order by a judge on Monday after he pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

Rooney, wearing a black baseball cap, arrived at the club's Finch Farm training complex in the passenger seat of a black Range Rover to prepare for the club's League Cup tie at home to Sunderland on Wednesday.

The former England captain issued a statement following his court appearance in which he apologised for his "unforgivable lack of judgement in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong".

Stockport Magistrates' Court in northwest England heard Rooney was almost three times over the legal limit when he was stopped driving a Volkswagen Beetle on September 1.





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METRO: Students, drivers clash in Ekiti over alleged rape

METRO: Students, drivers clash in Ekiti over alleged rape

There was tension in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State,  on Monday as some students and commercial bus drivers engaged in a violent clash over an alleged rape of a female student whose name was not disclosed.


The lady, a 200 level student of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, was allegedly raped by a commercial bus driver along College-Igbara Odo way on Sunday.

It was learnt that the victim, said to be battling malaria fever, had gone to a hospital in the town when she was raped by the driver.

 Enraged by the action, students of the college on Monday trooped to the streets and fought any commercial driver in sight.

This led to the blockage of the Ado-Ikere-Akure Way, thus disrupting traffic for several hours.

Many passengers were stranded as commuters travelling to Akure had to make a detour and return to Ado Ekiti.

The violence also disrupted commercial activities at the Odo Oja area of Ikere-Ekiti as many of them hurriedly closed shops probably to prevent looting of their wares.

It was gathered that the lady has been taken to hospital for treatment.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, said the police were on the trail of the driver.

“Yes, the lady was sick and was being conveyed to the college when she was raped. The police don’t tolerate any criminal action in any way and this won’t be an exemption.

“We have launched a manhunt for the man. The police are on his trail and we shall bring him to justice by the grace of God.”

Adeyemi described rape as the highest point of criminality which, he said, would not be tolerated.

He added that normalcy had returned to the town.




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SPORT: Dressing room fight between Neymar, Cavani after Lyon game revealed

SPORT: Dressing room fight between Neymar, Cavani after Lyon game revealed

Paris Saint-Germain forwards, Edinson Cavani and Neymar, had to be separated in the dressing room, after their 2-0 win over Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday night.


The two players were involved in an on-field spat over set-piece duties.

Cavani and Neymar argued over a penalty during the second half. The Uruguayan, who is PSG’s usual penalty taker, won the tussle but saw his spot-kick saved.

According to L’Equipe, tensions rose further in the dressing room afterwards.

Cavani left the pitch immediately after the full-time whistle, not joining the rest of his team-mates in waving to the club’s supporters.

He waited in the dressing room for his teammates to arrive and then reportedly stopped Neymar in his tracks, telling him in Spanish that he was unhappy with the club’s new poster boy’s attitude.

According to witnesses, Neymar responded before Cavani stood up and went face-to-face with the Brazilian, only for club captain Thiago Silva and Marquinhos to intervene.

Cavani is said to have showered and left through a back door, avoiding the mixed zone at the Parc des Princes, within 20 minutes of the final whistle.




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NEWS:Ebonyi throws weight behind Python Dance II

NEWS:Ebonyi throws weight behind Python Dance II

The Ebonyi Government has declared support for the ongoing Nigerian Army exercise – “Egwu Eke’’, Operation Python Dance II, in the South East zone.

Gov. David Umahi declared the support when he received the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai. He, however, urged the army to keep to its rules of engagement.

Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwu, Umahi noted that there was a misconception of the exercise by some people in the region.

He said that the first phase of the exercise, which took place in the zone between November and December 2016, recorded success without any reported case of human rights abuse or molestation.

“We support the army; we support the exercise, but please dance by the rules of engagement; dance in the bush, not in the street,’’ the governor said.

On the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafa (IPOB), Umahi condemned the activities of the group, saying “we do not address perceived injustice through violence’’.

The governor said the state was enjoying relative peace in terms of security.

He called for army establishment of army formation in the border between Ebonyi and Cross River, to address recurring communal clashes in the area.

Earlier, the army chief restated that the exercise was designed to sharpen the skills of personnel to be able to deal with internal security issues.

Buratai stressed that Egwu Eke was carefully planned in the interest of the South East and not targeted at any group, saying that security was “key to development’’.

“We assure you that our troops will abide by rules of engagement and code of conduct,’’ he said.

He said that alongside the exercise, the army would render humanitarian services such as medical outreach and sanitation in various communities in the region and urged the people to show understanding.





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NEWS:Fake Buhari UN speech in circulation, Presidency says

NEWS:Fake Buhari UN speech in circulation, Presidency says

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari the addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York, on September 20, 2016.<br />PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

The Nigerian government Tuesday said a fake text of President Muhammadu Buhari's speech to be delivered at the United Nations General Assembly is making the rounds online.

The government, however, did not give the details of the content of the 'fake speech'.

President Buhari is currently in New York for the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations, where he is expected to address the body.

He is also expected to hold a lunch meeting with President Donald Trump of the United States of America, along with other world leaders, the presidency said in a statement at the weekend.

During the General Assembly, Nigeria will participate in high-level meetings on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Building Momentum for Change,’ the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, organised by the African Union (AU) under the theme “Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend: from Commitment to Action,” among others.

At the events, President Buhari and members of his delegation would strive to project Nigeria as a strong moral force and responsible member of the international community.

Nigeria’s commitment to global peace, security and development would also be reaffirmed and where necessary, the need for increased international cooperation in the fight against corruption.

Other priorities for the Nigerian delegation at UNGA 72 include strengthening human rights institutions; the rule of law; support for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of terrorism, the recent flooding and mitigating the effects of climate change.

“The Nigerian delegation will also canvass the support of UN member states for the Buhari administration’s efforts towards combating illicit financial flows to foster sustainable development‎,” the statement said.‎





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