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A Nigerian journalist, Babatunde Ojora has asked Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp to apologise for regarding the African Cup of Nations as a little tournament. The Liverpool manager, following his side's 2-0 win against Porto, was called up on what he said on Saturday when he described the Africa Cup of Nations a 'little tournament' while talking about international breaks. But Ojoro who works with OJB Sports demanded an apology and believed Klopp would never say a 'little tournament in Europe' “Hi Jurgen, during your last pre-match presser, you deliberately called the Africa Cup of Nations a "little tournament". “I think it's an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the people on the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology,” he told the coach. A taken aback Klopp replied, "I didn't mean it like that, come on," Klopp said. "So I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the African Cup of Nations as a 'little tournament' or the continent of Africa as a little continent, not at all. "What I meant was, if you watch the whole press conference then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to, because I said there are no international breaks until March now. "'I said 'oh there's a little tournament in January' and I didn't mean a little tournament, I was just saying it's still a tournament, it's ironic. It's still a tournament, a big one. We lose our best players to that tournament..." The journalist retorted and said, "But you wouldn't say that in Europe, you wouldn't say a 'little tournament in Europe...'" "I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time,” Klopp replied. "I know that I would never think like this. I don't understand why you thought this to be honest, but that's really not OK as I would never do that. But that is it now." By SaharaReporters, New York Source::
The current world record-holder in the men’s 65kg weightlifting category, Paul Kehinde, aka Olumi Agberin, is dead. Kehinde was also a former world number 1 Para Powerlifter, Olympic Gold medallist and Commonwealth Games Champion. Kehinde died on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 33 years old. He was born in Epe, Lagos State. His achievements include winning Silver at the 2011 World Championship, Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and Gold at the 2015 All African Games (setting an African record of 214 kg). He also won Gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games (broke the world record twice with lifts of 218kg and 220kg), Gold at the Mexico World Championship with another world record lift of 220kg and another Gold at the 2018 FAZZA World Para-Powerlifting Championship with a record-breaking lift of 220kg. He won Silver at 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia and Gold at the 2018 African championship. By SaharaReporters, New York Source:
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development have been accused of failing to distribute $100,000 (N41.1million) allowances donated by three banks to Nigeria’s women basketball team for their Tokyo 2020 Olympic participation. Speaking with SaharaReporters, a member of the senior women basketball team, D’Tigress, revealed that their allowances, bonuses, training grant worth $4,900 had also not been paid. She added that none of the D’Tigress team members would show up in camp in preparation for the February 2022 FIBA World Cup if the Nigerian government failed to pay them. She said, “The last time we checked, some of our allowances, bonuses and training grants have not been paid. All our accounts numbers have been submitted but still no remittance. Donations made by banks for players, officials, volunteer stipends etc. dating all the way back to 2018 but I will let the managers address the vendor/contractor’s situation. “They forget we all have a relationship and do communicate; $500 each 2018 FIBA World Cup for players and officials; $1,000 each for finishing final 8 in FIBA World Cup; $1,000 each bonus for winning AfroBasket in Senegal for 2019 players and officials. “$300 - $400 each Mozambique Olympic Qualifier allowance balance, were supposed to be paid $100 per day; $2,000 each training grant balance from Tokyo Olympics, players only. The $100,000 donated by three Nigerian banks to all the players and officials that made D’Tigress Olympics qualification possible final roster. The men also got $100,000 assigned to them, the total was $200,000. “Miscellaneous expenses by players and officials; the full breakdown has been submitted to the outgoing Basket Ball President and the honourable minister, Sunday Dare. “With all due respect to the association leadership, the Presidency, the Ministry and NBBF administration old and new, if these monies are not paid before the next qualifier of the next tournament in February 2022, FIBA World Cup, the entire D’Tigress team will not show up in camp. We are all saying this as one unit and one voice.” On the poor outing of the team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic, she said, “Whoever watched the Olympics games and knows Nigerian Basketball could see that something was wrong. We didn’t play our best because we weren’t treated or given the best during one of the greatest stages and moments of an Athletes career. “Yes, we had some injuries, could have executed better but there were a lot of distractions around us like; Not knowing who we have available on the team. Not having enough practice time with each other to build cohesiveness. “Our head coach did not prioritize adequate preparation nor trust his staff enough to delegate significant responsibility. Poor decision by the outgoing President Musa Kida, he avoided the D’Tigress in camp because we inquired about our money amongst other basic things, when he made it to the U.S, he bypassed us in Atlanta to Vegas to support the men’s team. He did not support us with any leadership personnel. “I believe each player that has been a part of D’Tigress since 2017 has their own thoughts and feelings about the dissolved NBBF Board and coaching staff over the course of the time. It is evident that our voices haven’t been heard, our request for little things ignored, we are not being celebrated and recognized as this team deserves, instead allowances and bonuses are being owed by the NBBF and Ministry. “Once again, not having a General Manager (GM) on the team created unwanted disorder. This was the icing on the cake for all players with the emotional buildup over the years. We knew all we could do is stick together, try to stay positive and enjoy the Olympics the best that we could. As a team, we know if we were well prepared to play in the Olympics, that there would be no doubt we could have advanced out of our bracket. To our loyal Fans that has been by our side, we appreciate you all.” By SaharaReporters, New York Source:
Nigerians have heavily criticised the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare following a embarrassing outing regarding the sportswear of Nigerian athletes at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. Initially, there was the shameful disapproval of 10 of the nation’s athletes from competing at the Tokyo Olympics by the Athletics Integrity Unit. Then, the day the first batch of Team Nigeria arrived Tokyo, the team was dressed in different colours and the appearance of the team made a lot of negative impressions and an obvious signal that something was wrong in the West African country. Before Team Nigeria’s departure, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had unveiled Afa Sports as the official kits supplier for Team Nigeria. Meanwhile, it was learnt that Nigeria had a subsisting contract with German sportswear giant, Puma. Sunday Adeleye, a former Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) said he had never seen such a thing before since he became an adult and followed Nigeria’s participation at the Olympics. "An athlete going to the Olympics should be well-motivated, and kits are part of it; not when people appear in bathroom slippers and apparel in different colours,” he said. The embarrassing drama has also resulted in the termination by Puma of $2.76 million contract it had with the AFN. “As a direct consequence of the recent developments, particularly at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and pursuant to clauses 9.2 and 7.3 of the Agreement, we hereby terminate the Agreement with immediate effect. “PUMA especially declares to be discharged from any or all obligations towards all stakeholders involved and reserves all rights against these entities and individuals,” PUMA stated this in a statement signed by its Director, Manuel Edlheimb. Nigerians took to social media and vented their anger on the sports minister, Dare for allowing Nigeria's infamous corrupt system to disgrace its sports representatives on the global stage. A trending video showing Nigeria’s shot put medal hopeful, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, washing his jersey ahead of his final game at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics also riled many Nigerians online. The TikTok video was initially uploaded by the athlete on his Instagram page, @thechuksay, before he deleted it. The caption in the video indicated that the athlete was given one jersey for the competition. “When you made the Olympic Finals, but you only have one jersey,” he wrote. Consequently, Dare became one of the most trending subjects on Twitter, with many users asking him to resign. They also showered praises on the athletes for their pains in Japan, based on some reactions SaharaReporters extracted from Facebook. Trisha Everest Rock-Strong said, “Sad, they should have a New Jersey each time they go for competition. Nigeria is such a sad country compare to the western world. These Nigerian Olympic (athletes) should be in a five-star hotel, with everything on the tip of their hands.” Sema Inam said, “Yet they expect results from where they didn't sow. When it's time enough, God will reward all of them. Please let them be kind enough to assist you guys back to wherever they invited you from, to endure the embarrassments. Welcome home compatriots.” In her comment, Chidimma Peace Godswill said, “See other countries, down to their kits and face masks! Well packaged. But here, corruption! All the money that would have been used to cater for and support our athletes was shared on a round table meeting.” “It is all about corruption. I can bet my last dime everything was provided for but the chronic corruption endemic in all facets of our engagements ruin all plans,” Clement Ubaru. “The people entrusted with taking care of things would rather take care of their pockets. Yes, the buck stops at the minister’s table. He should have done better by demanding and getting regular feedbacks both from the athletes and the officials. That is how sane arrangements work.” “This is so embarrassing…I'm just glad that the guy understands how things run in his country. I'm also happy that he has let everyone know the situation,” Caleb-Omini Eteng said. Kelechi Okere said, “The only solution to all these problems is recognition of the sovereign state of Biafra and all these shows of shame will stop. But as long as you continue to hold down Biafra, you will continue to have all these types of embarrassing situations.” “What is really wrong with our sports ministers, present and past. It's crazy, God bless our athletes in spite of all this drama they've shown dexterity,” David Danladi. In her elaborate comment, Etz Queen Harnuh said, “My best advice to Nigeria athletes is, they should create a group and name it NOC, Naija or Nigeria Olympics committee, where there can represent the country but not governed by the country, even if the country is banned from participating, they can still be involved, that is what Russia athletes did, theirs is ROC. Everyone can go and read on it. To stop our athletes from being embarrassed. Do you know when Nigeria sports page was refreshed last, 2016? The minister of sport doesn't have any plans for our athletes, that's why a lot of them were disqualified. That's why we are not going with a lot of medals cause no form of support is shown. NOC IS THE WAY FOR NIGERIA ATHLETES, SHALLOM.” By SaharaReporters, New York Source:
Former World Boxing Champion, Deontay Wilder, has disclosed that he has traced his roots to Edo State, Nigeria. In a viral video seen by SaharaReporters on Saturday, Wilder said he would like to go back home to learn about his culture. The United States professional boxer said, “I want to go back and learn more about my culture and information with things about me. Once I’m done with what I’m doing, I’m going back to see my tribe, Edo. “I want to see my culture and my ancestors and learn a lot of things. We all have lots of things that we are connected to that we know nothing about. I’ll love to go there and do research about my roots and my tribe.” Wilder, who adopted the moniker “Bronze Bomber”, enjoyed a five-year reign as the WBC heavyweight champion between 2015 and 2020, losing his strap in a bout with Tyson Fury in February 2020. It is not immediately clear if Wilder’s realisation of his roots informed his moniker, “Bronze Bomber.” The Binis in Edo State are known for their expertise in bronze works. Unfortunately, many ancient Benin bronze carvings were carted away to the West during colonial raids. After suffering his first professional defeat at the hand of Fury in a seven-round bout last February, the former WBC champion will in July seek to reclaim his title as he takes on Fury for the third time. The fight is billed to be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada on July 24, and the winner would challenge Anthony Joshua. Nigeria has been a force in world boxing since the 1940s, producing top boxers like Dick Tiger and Hogan Bassey; both undisputed world champions, Tiger at middle and light heavyweight, and Bassey at featherweight. Nigeria has had a fair share of boxing champions, producing the likes of Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. By SaharaReporters, New York Source: