December 8, 2018
More stars have confirmed their participation for “The Match: A Celebration of Excellence in Sports.” Amongst them are AFCON 2019 qualifiers leading scorer with six goals, Odion Ighalo Ivory Coast legend Didier Zokora.
The event, meant to celebrate Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s strides in Lagos, will pit past and present African stars against their Nigerian counterparts at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos, on March 16, 2019.
Ighalo, who plays in China, is reportedly excited with the prospect of joining some of the biggest names on the continent in celebrating Ambode for his efforts in sports development in the state.
Also listed for participation is former Tottenham Hotspur and Ivory Coast midfielder Zokora, who’s the Elephants’ most capped player.
Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, Senegal’s El-hajj Diouf, ex-arsrnal defender Kolo Toure, Ghanaian duo Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah and French World Cup winner, Christian Karembu, had already signified their intention to participate in the event.
From the home front, ex-super Eagles stars Samson Siasia, Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Okocha, Joseph Yobo, Julius Aghahowa and others will file out for the Nigerian Legends versus the African All-stars.
Liberian President, George Weah, is also expected to participate in ‘The Match.’
One of the organisers of the event, Waidi Akanni, an ex-international, said, “As internationals, we have seen the infrastructural developments in Lagos under Ambode. The Onikan Stadium that has been abandoned over the years is under reconstruction to meet FIFA standards. Teslim Balogun Stadium is undergoing similar reconstruction while the Agege and Epe stadiums are in fantastic shape not to talk of the Maracana sports complex in Ajegunle.”
Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United are beginning to discover their “mad-dog” mentality but knows points are more important than performances, Sky Sports reports. United have dropped to eighth in the Premier League table, 18 points adrift of Manchester City, after a run of four games without a victory.
Mourinho stated after last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southampton that his side lacked “mad dogs” willing to fight for the team but he was more pleased with his side’s display against Arsenal on Wednesday, when they twice battled back from a goal down to earn another 2-2 draw.
“There are special players with special characteristics,” Mourinho said, ahead of the visit of Fulham to Old Trafford on Saturday.
“Just to give you a couple of examples – (Ander) Herrera, (Marcus) Rashford – they are the kind of players that even if their game was not phenomenal, that intensity, that desire, that passion and that sacrifice is always present.
“But I prefer to say that the team as a team had that mentality. We have to try to transport that to this game. I know that it is only two days. I know that it is not easy.
“But no excuses. I sat here a few weeks ago speaking about the December month and no defeats – that is a reality – good
Adekunle Peter, Benin
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has assured that his administration has the capacity to host the 2020 edition of the National Sports Festival. Obaseki stated this during the opening ceremony of the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja on Thursday.
“My state is more than ready to host the next National Sports Festival as it’s high time we regained our lost glory in fights and good spirit but just one victory against Young Boys and three draws. We need points.”
Mourinho’s side have been criticised for their lack of running of season.
Through 15 games, United have covered 1,618km (averaging 108km per game) and made 1472 sprints (averaging 98 per game). Both those totals rank 16th in the league.
Liverpool and Manchester City are first and second in sprints while Arsenal and Tottenham are first and second in distance covered.
Mourinho appears to have taken the criticism on board as he was keen to point out his team improved in those areas against the Gunners.
United covered 108.5km, which is just above their season average, while Arsenal covered 114.5km.
They made 119 sprints, which is a significant increase on their season average, and that was more than 97 managed by Arsenal. sports,” Obaseki said.
He also urged Edo athletes to give their best at Abuja 2018.
“Edo State is known for producing great sportsmen and women and I charge you to ensure you do the state proud by winning medals,” he told the Edo contingent.
In his remarks, the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, confirmed that he had received two applications from Edo and another state to host the festival in 2020.