Pogba un­sure on fu­ture, happy at Ju­ven­tus Ok­ag­bare tests Rio cre­den­tials at IAAF Di­a­mond League

Daily Trust - - SPORT - By Mansur Abubakar @mansur_112 By Joshua Odeyemi @josh_flexy

Paul Pogba said he still does not know where his fu­ture lies or when Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho might con­tact him after he was ques­tioned on the sub­ject by ESPN broad­cast­ers.

The Ju­ven­tus mid­fielder, in Los An­ge­les for the 2016 ESPY award cer­e­mony, was speak­ing in Span­ish to ESPN De­portes broad­cast­ers.

Dur­ing the in­ter­view, three replica shirts were pulled out of a bag one after the other and shown to the player, and he was asked to give his views.

MWith the con­clu­sion of Na­tional and Con­ti­nen­tal Cham­pi­onships around the world, at­ten­tion has been shifted to the ninth leg of the IAAF Di­a­mond League se­ries in Monaco, where Nige­ria’s sprint queen Bless­ing Ok­ag­bare is ex­pected to test her Rio Olympics cre­den­tials. Sev­eral other African and Euro­pean cham­pi­ons are set to ixed re­ac­tions have trailed the lat­est world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body, FIFA’s rat­ing of coun­tries an­nounced yes­ter­day.

The As­sis­tant Tech­ni­cal Direc­tor of Nige­ria Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (NFF), Coach Shiju La­gunju who spoke with Daily Trust said though FIFA uses ver­i­fi­able in­dices to rate coun­tries, the rat­ing is of no ef­fect on the per­for­mance of the teams.

“I don’t be­lieve in it [the rank­ing], it doesn’t show the qual­ity of our game,” he said.

“Does it re­ally mat­ter that Bel­gium, ranked 2nd was beaten by Wales? Does it re­ally mat­ter that Spain, ranked 8th was de­feated by Italy or Brazil who are in the top ten, un­able to make the knock out stage of COPA Amer­ica?”

He in­sisted that one can only as­cer­tain the strength of a team when the chips are down, ex­press­ing op­ti­mism that Nige­ria will bounce back as the re­build­ing process will soon start yield­ing re­sults.

On his part, Head coach of the Nige­ria Pro­fes­sional Foot­ball League side, Warri Wolves Mansur Ab­dul­lahi said Nige­ria’s rank­ing was un­for­tu­nate, noth­ing that “It shows that Ea­gles are not im­prov­ing.”

Also, the Chair­man of the FCT chap­ter of Sports Writ­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (SWAN), Kay­ode Adeniyi who ex­pressed dis­may over the rank­ing, said it was be­ing an­tic­i­pated since the team did not play any match in light up the Her­cules Meet­ing which be­gins in the French mu­nic­i­pal­ity to­day.

Africa’s fastest wo­man, Ok­ag­bare and cur­rent na­tional men’s 100m cham­pion Seye Ogun­lewe were re­cently named among the 35 ath­letes for next month’s Games in Brazil. She will com­pete in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and long jump at the Olympics, tak­ing part in this event will af­ford her the chance to try her­self against the world’s best ahead of Rio.

Top on the list of par­tic­i­pants at the IAAF event is Euro­pean 100m Cham­pion Dafne Schip­pers, who clocked an im­pres­sive 10.90s on her way to re­tain­ing her ti­tle in her home city of Am­s­ter­dam. Also in­cluded in the ex­cit­ing line-up is Ja­maica’s Veron­ica Camp­bell-Brown, who will be aim­ing for a win after fail­ing to fin­ish in the Top 3 at the Ja­maican Tri­als. USA’s Moro­lake Aki­nosun (10.95s) will also be hop­ing to make her first Di­a­mond League berth a re­mark­able one.

Paul Pogba

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