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Coach Didier Deschamps hails players as France head to 2018 World Cup final

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St Petersburg — France coach Didier Deschamps heaped praise on his players after they reached the World Cup final with a 1-0 win over Belgium on Tuesday, saying the lost final at Euro 2016 was still on his mind.
Samuel Umtiti’s 51st-minute header sent the French into the final and Deschamps’ side will face England or Croatia in Moscow on Sunday as they look to lift the trophy for the second time following their triumph on home soil in 1998.
“This is exceptional. I am very happy for my players, we showed character and the right mentality,” said Deschamps, who captained France in 1998.
“Two years ago, I remember what happened two years ago,” he said in reference to his team’s 1-0 defeat to Portugal in Paris in the Euro final. “We will go into this final to win it, as we have still not gotten over the (2016) final.” Deschamps may have bitter memories from that Euro final in front of a home crowd, but he is now on the verge of joining an elite club of coaches who have also won the World Cup as players.
Brazilian Mario Zagallo won the 1958 and the 1962 World Cups as a player and then coached Brazil to the 1970 title, while Franz Beckenbauer was captain of West Germany in 1974 and led them to the world title in 1990 as their coach.
“I feel very proud for my group. We have been 49 days together,” Deschamps said. “There were a lot of things, a lot of difficult things. Everyone can take credit.” Teenager Kylian Mbappe, who was not part of the France team two years ago, said even in his wildest dreams he would not have imagined reaching the World Cup final.
“It is unbelievable. It is the dream of dreams, the dream of the future, everything,” said 19-year-old Mbappe, who tormented the Belgian defence with his runs.
“I don’t have the words. Not even in my wildest dreams, and I am a big dreamer, would I have imagined this,” he said.
“There is still one more step to take, but we are proud of what we have done.” “In the changing room, Didier Deschamps was happy. We were all happy, all hugging. (France) President Emmanuel Macron came down to see us. Everyone is with us, we’re all in this together.” Asked what Macron, who had been in the stands, said, he replied: “He said he would come back for the final, to see us with the Cup.”
Reuters

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José Mourinho sacked by Manchester United after Liverpool defeat

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Manchester United have sacked José Mourinho following Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, ending a tenure that began in May 2016.
A poor start to the Premier League season has seen United slip 19 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, and fall off the pace in the hunt for a top-four place. They have won only once in six league matches, drawing during that sequence with struggling Southampton and Crystal Palace.

The club issued a statement on Tuesday morning which read: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.
“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future. A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”

Relations between the manager and the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, also seemed strained after the club did not sign a central defender this summer. The club concluded that of the players in that position targeted by Mourinho whom they could potentially land, none was an upgrade on the existing squad.
A sense of disunity at United was encapsulated when Mourinho stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy before a Carabao Cup defeat by Derby County and confronted him at training the following morning. The manager has criticised his players’ “mental approach”, attitude and quality.

Mourinho has seemed less than happy since the buildup to the season, when he described preparations as “very bad” because many of his senior players were resting after the World Cup.
The manager demanded “respect, respect, respect” for his three Premier League titles following United’s 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham in late August but will not get a chance to add a fourth at Old Trafford.

In two full seasons at Old Trafford, Mourinho won the Europa League and League Cup (2016-17) before finishing second in the Premier League last season and reaching the FA Cup final. In that period since replacing Louis van Gaal, United’s spending stands at £364.3m on eight buys.
Zinedine Zidane, available following his surprise decision to resign his position at Real Madrid following their Champions League success over Liverpool in May, has been linked with the United job.

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ANAMBRA WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN : 5 DAYS TO GO.

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THE SPECIAL EDITION OF ANAMBRA WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN TAKES PLACE ON DECEMBER 22, 2018.
TAKE OFF POINT: DO’S OFFICE OPP GOVERNOR’S LODGE, AMAWBIA.
TIME: 6:30AM PROMPT
ROUTES: FROM THE GOVERNOR’S LODGE THROUGH EKE AWKA, FINOTEL, AROMA AND TERMINTE AT EKWUEME SQUARE.
…powered by ANAMBRA STATE SPORTS DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (ANSDC).

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Jurgen Klopp ‘Really Excited’ to Face ‘Difficult’ Bayern Munich in UCL Last 16

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Jurgen Klopp is eager for his Liverpool side to test themselves against Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds will face the Bundesliga giants after Monday’s draw over two legs in February and March.
Klopp is used to facing Bayern from his time as Borussia Dortmund manager, including a meeting between the two sides in the 2013 Champions League final. Though he knows it won’t be easy, he’s keen to do so again.
Asked for his reaction to the draw, he told Liverpool’s official website:
“Difficult. Good draw. It was clear it would be difficult [and] they are obviously a top side. For me it’s nice, going to Germany. But it’s just the draw. So we have now time to prepare the game, a lot of time obviously, and hopefully we have all our players available then. It will be a tough one, an interesting one, and I am looking forward to it.”

Klopp managed Bayern stars Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels during his time with Dortmund, and the latter is relishing the prospect of facing his former mentor:

The match also bears significance for Reds midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri and two members of their backroom staff, head of nutrition Mona Nemmer and head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer, who have all spent time with Bayern, as Klopp noted:
“It’s nice for Mona and Korny and Shaq. I will meet former players [too] and it’s good. But at the end it’s a football game on the highest level and we have to play it. We knew it before, it’s not that anybody thought ‘thank God it’s Liverpool,’ so we don’t think ‘thank God it’s Bayern.’ It’s a tough one, but that’s how it should be. It’s the last 16 of the Champions League so there are only tough teams in, and I’m really excited about it.”
Liverpool’s failure to win their difficult Champions League group all but assured them of a tie with one of Europe’s elite in the next round, but the Reds have also returned to that camp after reaching the final last year.
History is on their side in this fixture, too, per Goal’s Neil Jones:

What’s more, Bayern have not been their usual imperious selves this season. They’re nine points off the top in the Bundesliga having failed to win six of their 15 matches.
Football writer Andy Brassell believes the Reds have little to fear from their opponents:

Despite their struggles, Bayern remain a side packed with talent and Champions League experience.
Since winning the competition in 2013, they’ve reached the semi-finals in four out of five seasons.
Their meeting with Liverpool should make for an exciting tie, but they’ll need to improve significantly if they’re to get past the Reds and reach the business end of the competition once again.

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Sports Festival: Okowa to reward victorious Team Delta with N229m

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Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has congratulated Team Delta for emerging victorious yet again in the just concluded 19th National Sports Festival.
This is even as the Team is to get a total of N2290 million going by the pledge made to them by the State governor to reward the team with one million naira for each gold medal, N500,000 for silver and N250,000 for bronze.
Team Delta emerged victorious at the the festival with 163 gold medals, 86 silver medals and 101 bronze medals to defend the throphy which they won at the Eko 2012 Festival.
Okowa who personally attended the closing ceremony of the games at the National Stadium Abuja, was elated that Team Delta set more games record on their way to successfully defending the National Sports Festival trophy.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu on Monday in Asaba, the Governor thanked the Delta State Sports Commission, all team members, coaching crew and supporters for their hard work and dedication which culminated in the victory of Team Delta.
Delta state lifted the trophy for the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival bagging 163 gold medals to beat Rivers State which got 69 gold medals in 2nd position and Edo State in 3rd position with 47 gold medals.
Earlier at the closing ceremony, President Mohammadu Buhari congratulated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State for his administration’s commitment to sports development.
Buhari who was represented at the ceremony by the Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung described the performance of Delta State as amazing, bagging a total of 352 medals.
In an interview at the closing, Governor Okowa congratulated Team Delta for emerging victorious despite being the defending champions.
According to him, “we are replicating what our late father, Dr Osaigbovo Ogbemudia thought us in old Bendel, we are not only developing sports facilities, we are doing all that we can to catch them young; we have the Principals and the Headmaster’s Cup and from January, we shall have athletics championship that will involve the secondary and primary schools in the state.”
“Beyond that, we will encouaage the young once to go into the future with the determination to succeed, we will continue to invest in sports, we congratulate Team Delta, they did very well and we are proud of them,” he said.

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Salah wins BBC African Footballer of the Year award

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Mohamed Salah has won the 2018 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.

The Liverpool and Egypt forward, who was the top choice from a five-man shortlist in an online vote of supporters, retains the prize he also won a year ago.
Salah finished ahead of Reds teammate Sadio Mane in the poll, as well as Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal) and Thomas Partey (Ghana).
The No.11 enjoyed one of the greatest debut seasons in Liverpool history, scoring 44 goals to help the club reach the Champions League final, and then represented his country at the World Cup.
And his form has continued into the current campaign; his winner against Napoli in Tuesday’s Champions League tie increased his tally for the season to 13 strikes.

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19th NSF: Rivers, Ondo win gold medals in 100m

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Usheoritse Itsekiri of Rivers and Bukola Boluwatife of Ondo State emerged winners of the men’s and women’s 100m races respectively at the ongoing 19th National Sports Festival (NSF) on Wednesday.
Itsekiri coasted home in a time of 10.27 seconds to win the male event’s gold medal, while Boluwatife crossed the finish line in 11.45 secs in the women’s race.
Egwero Oghene of Delta and Enoch Adegoke of Rivers finished in 10.32 secs in the men’s race, but the former won second place by arriving hundredths of a second earlier.
In the women’s category, Peace Uko of Cross River came second to take silver, while Joy Udoh of Delta returned in 11.53 secs to settle for the bronze.
Speaking with reporters after the race, Itsekiri said it was the sprint if his life, as he never expected to win gold.
“This was based on the fact that my personal best time was one of the poorest among the finalists,’’ he said.
On her part, Boluwatife said she was expecting nothing less than a victory because she had trained hard for the NSF.
Several athletics events were cancelled at the 19th NSF, with organisers citing inadequate funds.
Events such as 200m and relay races were not featured at the games, but action continues in 400m, shot put, javelin and other track and field events on Thursday.

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Team Anambra quest for medals haul continues on Day 6 of the 19th NSF

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There are 35 events billed for today across different sport centres as Day 6 of a very entertaining and highly competitive 19th edition of the National Sports Festival continues. *#TeamAnambra* with a total of 5 medals *(2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze)* won so far are set to feature in 10 events this Tuesday at the ongoing festival. The events and venues are:
*BOXING* – GYM HALL, AGUIYI IRONSI CANTONMENT
*CHESS* – CHELSEA HOTEL, CBD, ABUJA
*DEAF TABLE TENNIS* – INDOOR HALL, PACKAGE B
*JUDO* – VELODROME, PACKAGE A
*KICKBOXING* – GYM HALL, AGUIYI IRONSI CANTONMENT
*KUNGFU* – GYM HALL, MAMBILLA BARRACKS
*SCRABBLE* – VIP LOUNGE, PACKAGE A
*TABLE TENNIS* – INDOOR HALL, PACKAGE B
*TAEKWONDO* – VELODROME, PACKAGE A
*VOLLEYBALL (INDOOR)* – OUTDOOR COURT PACKAGE B
#NSF2018Update
#TeamAnambraForGlory
#TeamAnambraStrong

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Salah sends Liverpool atop, Chelsea tame Man City

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Mohamed Salah’s hat-trick fired Liverpool to the top of the Premier League on Saturday with an impressive 4-0 win at Bournemouth, while Manchester City stumbled at Stamford Bridge.
The defending champions had their unbeaten run in the English Premier League broken by Chelsea, with an emphatic 2-0 defeat.
At Old Trafford, Manchester United finally hit some free-scoring form with a 4-1 win over Fulham.

At the Emirates Arsenal laboured to extend their unbeaten run to 21 games, but left it late to beat Huddersfield 1-0 thanks to Lucas Torreira’s overhead kick seven minutes from time.
Chelsea inflicted the defeat on Manchester City with goals from N’Golo Kante and David Luiz.
Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling had early efforts denied by Kepa Arrizabalaga, before Chelsea took the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Eden Hazard’s cutback from a counter-attack found Kante, who fired into the roof of the net.
City trailed for only the second time this season and Ederson had to palm away Willian’s second-half free-kick to avoid the deficit being doubled.
David Luiz sealed the points, heading in Hazard’s 78th-minute corner as Arrizabalaga ensured a clean sheet with a fine late save from Gabriel Jesus.
But Liverpool took full advantage of kicking off first on the south coast to start a big week in the best possible fashion by moving a point ahead of their title rivals.
Salah had been rested from the start for Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Burnley that kept Jurgen Klopp’s men on City’s coat-tails, and the Egyptian looked to have benefited from a break as he looked more like the player who netted 44 goals in an incredible debut season at Anfield.
The visitors were slightly fortunate to take the lead on 25 minutes when Asmir Begovic fumbled Roberto Firmino’s long-range shot. Salah’s follow-up effort was allowed to stand despite him appearing to be marginally offside.
Salah made the game safe by showing determination to stay on his feet despite being fouled before finding the bottom corner early in the second-half.
Steve Cook’s own goal then made it 3-0 before Salah sealed his hat-trick by remaining remarkably cool to dribble past Begovic twice before prodding home.
“What Mo did around his two goals in the second half was just exceptional,” said Klopp. “I don’t know at the moment a lot of players who would have scored these two goals.”
United took advantage of Bournemouth’s defeat and Everton not being in action till Monday to rise up to sixth by ending a four-game winless run in the league with a comfortable victory over bottom club Fulham.
Jose Mourinho again rang the changes, but continued to leave Paul Pogba on the bench.
And it was three of those introduced to the side from Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal that scored in the first-half with Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku on target.
“We were strong, aggressive and intense,” said a happy Mourinho. “At times it was beautiful football. The first-half was perfect.”
Aboubakar Kamara’s penalty pulled a goal back for Fulham, but any hope of a fightback from the visitors was ended by a red card for Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Marcus Rashford added a fourth for the hosts.
Arsenal are still yet to lead a Premier League game at half-time this season, but again came good late on when Torreira acrobatically met Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross to lift the Gunners above north London rivals Tottenham into third.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s start to life as Southampton manager got off to a terrible start as Callum Paterson scored the winner in a 1-0 victory to move Cardiff up to 14th and three points clear of the bottom three.
Burnley also moved out of the drop zone courtesy of a first win in nine games as James Tarkowski scored the only goal to beat Brighton 1-0.
West Ham recorded a third straight win to move into the top half by coming from behind to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 thanks to second-half goals from Robert Snodgrass, Javier Hernandez and Felipe Anderson.

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Anambra Contingent Arrive Abuja For 19th National Sports Festival, Participate In Opening Ceremony

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Team Anambra is already in Abuja and participated in the match past at the Abuja National Stadium as part of the ritual for the commencement of the 19th National Sports Festival.

The Anambra contingent consisting of 105 athletes and 30 officials is being led by Chief Tony Oli, the Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission.

The spirit in the camp is high and both the athletes and officials are promising Ndi Anambra a great outing at the festival.


CONTENT PROVIDED BY IK NWOKEDI

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Anambra Launches State Football Season

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By EMMANUEL OKONKWO –

The Anambra state government has yesterday the 4th of December 2018 launched the state Football Season.
The football season which kicks off yesterday will be rounded off on the 27th of May 2019.

The competition whose opening ceremony is ongoing at the St. Mary High School, Ifite dunu in Dunukofia council area will feature Primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary institutions, security agencies, traders groups, among others.

 

The football competition is aimed at producing a formidable football team that would represent the state both locally and internationally, and as well supporting and showcasing young talents in the state to the world.
The Anambra state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano was represented at the occasion by the Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke.

 

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