Terry available for Stoke game

first_imgJohn Terry is available for selection and in contention for Chelsea’s game against Stoke this weekend.It was feared the Blues skipper would be sidelined for a further six weeks when he underwent keyhole surgery on a knee problem.But his recovery has been quicker than expected and Terry was an unused substitute for Tuesday’s FA Cup win at Birmingham.AdChoices广告“He’s available. We’ll have to take it in small steps,” confirmed interim boss Roberto Di Matteo.“For him to recover in just two weeks is really good. He’s done really well to recover so quickly and is determined to help the club.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Katsina Set to Host Hitch-free 2018 NFF Elections

first_imgBalele who also doubles as Chairman of the state owned NPFL side, Katsina United FC, stressed that the state looks ahead to welcoming all the congress men and football stakeholders in the country as well as the international observers from CAF and FIFA.“We are ready in Katsina to host the NFF elections. His Excellency, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari is happy to host this event and the people of Katsina that are passionate about football welcome all the NFF delegates, football stakeholders and the international observers to our state,” observed Balele yesterday.Against speculations that there may be no security for the delegates at the venue of the Congress, Balele dispelled such and assured all of the topnotch security surveillance at the place.“We want to assure everyone that adequate security has been provided for hitch-free exercise and we are very hopeful that everyone will leave Katsina with beautiful memories at the end of the day,” concludes the Katsina FC boss.Meanwhile, incumbent Amaju Melvin Pinnick is aspiring to become the first president of the NFF to be returned for a second term in the last five decades.The 48-year old Vice President of CAF has a tough challenger in Aminu Maigari, the man he took over the baton from in 2014.Maigari is banking on the structure he put in place while he reined as NFF chief between 2010 and 2014 to reclaim the mandate he was forced to abdicate after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.Also in the race for the coveted NFF top job is former General Secretary and later Chairman of Chairmen, Taiwo Ogunjobi.The ex-international is considered one of the most informed technocrats in football administration in the country but lacks the war chest to prosecute grabbing the choice NFF position.The fourth candidate in the race for the NFF presidency is a relatively unknown amateur club proprietor, Chinedu Okoye.His Lafia, Nasarawa-based Bimo FC was on Monday kicked out of the NNL for breaches.Another keen contest to look forward at the NFF elections is the position of Chairman of chairmen where the current Chairman, Ibrahim Gusau wants to keep his office against a formidable foe, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the chairman of Anambra State Football Association. He is also the proprietor of NPFL clubside, FC IfeanyiUbah.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Duro IkhazuagbeDespite threats of court injunctions from a minute section of the Nigerian football family, Katsina State Government announced yesterday its readiness to host a hitch-free 2018 Congress of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) where a new executive committee will be elected to pilot affairs for the next four years on Thurday, September 20.Aminu Kurfi Balele, Senior Special Assistant on Sports to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, said yesterday that everything needed to have a rancor-free elective congress have been put in place.last_img read more

USC defense must blend old with new

first_img“Inside the 20s” runs Thursdays. To comment on this story, email Nick at nselbe@usc.edu or visit   dailytrojan.com. Every year, across the country, the same thing happens: Schools hire a new head football coach or new assistants. Once spring practice starts, the new schemes and playbooks that each new coach brings are proclaimed to be so much better than those that came before.Sure enough, early returns on new USC Defensive Coordinator Clancy Pendergast and his 5-2 defense are positive, and many are happily envisioning a 2013 season in which the spread offenses of other Pac-12 schools are utterly befuddled by Pendergast’s revolutionary new strategies.But we’re smarter than that.We know that, for the most part, the onus will be on both returning players and incoming freshmen to improve upon last season’s underwhelming performance, in which the Trojans finished fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring defense and seventh in total defense. Though these numbers were not awful, they definitely are not at the standard that should be expected of USC and its bevy of four- and five-star defensive recruits.Though much will be made of Pendergast and his ability to “fix” the USC defense, whether or not that will be accomplished will mostly come as a result of returning players getting better and new players making an immediate impact.For the former, the Trojans have a number of candidates. USC returns seven starters on the defensive side of the ball from a season ago, a group that does not include senior defensive end Devon Kennard, a starter from 2011 who missed all of last season because of injury. Each player had varying levels of success last year and all definitely have room for growth.Chief among those who need to make the biggest leap is junior linebacker Lamar Dawson. Dawson was one of the most sought-after prep players in the country in 2011 and was given the honor of wearing jersey #55 in his first season on the team. The Kentucky native took over the starting role midway through his freshman season and started nine games last season, recording 77 tackles, good for fourth on the team.But Dawson’s impact on defense has been a bit underwhelming. He has shown an inability to stand out, at least among fans, and has made few “big plays.” He recorded only two tackles behind the line of scrimmage last year and has just two interceptions and one forced fumble in his career.To be blunt, much more was expected from Dawson when he arrived on campus. Injuries have played a part in his relative ineffectiveness. He’s dealt with an ankle sprain each of the last two seasons, but a large reason why USC’s defense faltered a year ago was because of Dawson’s failure to establish himself in the middle of the field, something that he will have to do this year if the defense is to make any significant strides.Of course, there is always the possibility Dawson gets benched in favor of a more successful combination of linebackers. But at 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, he has the potential to wreak havoc on opposing offenses, and the coaching staff would much rather have him earn playing time than get beaten out by someone else.USC also has the luxury of several freshmen who can make an instant impact on the defensive side. The player that seems to be the leading candidate to play right away is defensive back Su’a Cravens. The versatile player has already received rave reviews from USC players and coaches alike during the first few spring practices of his career. He’s even drawn comparisons to former players Nickell Robey and Robert Woods, who started in the first game of their freshman seasons.What makes Cravens’ expected impact even more exciting is that it will come in the secondary, an area in dire need for the 2013 Trojans. USC ranked sixth in the conference in pass-defense efficiency last year and must replace three starters: Robey and safeties T.J. McDonald and Jawanza Starling. The only returning player with any starting experience is defensive back Josh Shaw, a Florida transfer who has played both cornerback and safety.Having Cravens step in right away would be huge, because the last thing the secondary needs is a revolving door situation at multiple positions, much like last year’s second cornerback spot. And with fellow freshman defensive back Leon McQuay III also standing out in the early going, it isn’t hard to envision a tandem of Cravens and McQuay as a mainstay on the backline for years to come.Change for the sake of change is not a good thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Trojans’ new 5-2 defensive scheme will hinder its performance next season. What it’s going to come down to is how all this amassed talent can gel together. And if returning and incoming players can create some semblance of synergy, then performances like last year’s awful Oregon game will be nothing but a distant, terrible memory.last_img read more

Oshae Brissett invited to NBA Draft Combine

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 14, 2019 at 6:49 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Syracuse forward Oshae Brissett was among 10 players at the NBA G League Elite Camp to advance to the NBA Draft Combine, per ESPN.center_img AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBrissett, who averaged 12.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his sophomore year with the Orange, participated in the Elite Camp with former Syracuse teammate Tyus Battle. Battle did not receive an invite to the Draft Combine.The inaugural G League Elite Camp replaces the NBA G League Elite Mini Camp and is open to 2019 NBA Draft hopefuls, allowing a select group of players to advance to the NBA Draft Combine. The selection was made from a poll of NBA Executives, per ESPN.The NBA Draft Combine began Tuesday and will run through Sunday, May 19. Brissett will have until May 29 to decide whether he will withdraw his name from the 2019 NBA Draft and return for his junior year at Syracuse. Commentslast_img read more

Creedon criticises referee after Armagh loss

first_img“I know it’s an old saying in the GAA, a referee makes a big difference, but I thought David Coldrick had a howler.”The Tipp manager said the penalty decision was dubious and Robbie Kiely didn’t deserve to be sent off. He said: “He’s [David Coldrick] not fit for inter-county refereeing. Not with that performance anyway. If he’s refereeing in places like Armagh with a partisan crowd, he has to be brave enough and bold enough to make the right calls. “He made an awful lot of dubious ones and I know we’re not supposed to be giving out about referees but we’re putting too much effort into this to be, you know, robbed.”He added: “Tipp were the best team, but we didn’t win.”The full time score was Armagh 2-8 Tipperary 0-13. Tipp will face Limerick next Sunday in the second round of Division 3 in Semple Stadium. The Tipp team dominated the second half even though they were down to fourteen men for most of it after Robbie Kiely was sent off. Peter Creedon spoke to TippFM Sport after the match and he said the referee had a big impact on the game. He said: “I’m angry and I’m angry on behalf of the team really because you know the referee did us out of a match. last_img read more

Good Structures Will Return Fans to Stadium

first_imgNot wanting to be like the proverbial prophet that was not honoured in his home land, he decided to return to his fatherland after over 10-year sojourn in the United States, where he established various football academies and equally planted youth programme in some European countries. Henry Abiodun spoke to Kunle AdewaleLike many upcoming footballers Henry Abiodun had high hopes looking into the future that he would one day become a great footballer but a nagging knee injury at the age of 15 cut short his ambition of fulfilling his dreams. But the dogged Abiodun would not allow the injury to put-pay to his football ambition as he secured admission into the popular Nigeria Institute of Sports (NIS) from where he obtained his grade three, two and one certificates. As a young man, he cut his coaching teeth with Obeya Babes of Oturupo in Benue State and later Exide Sparkers of Ibadan before pitching tents with the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria and he was responsible for making the YSFON to have a very strong presence in Oyo State, from where he rose to be the vice chairman of the federation.But still raring to go he left for the United States in 2001 where he attended several coaching schools and because of his flair for youth soccer he established his now famous youth academy-Shalom Soccer Academy, which has produced a reasonable numbers of players. Due to his success with his academy Abiodun has served as consultants for other academies in the United States and Europe and also helped countries in planting soccer academies.“I started my academy with just one hundred dollars and with only six players and today I have developed over 30 players that have passed from the Challenge to the Classic and to the Olympics development levels in the U.S. I deal with identification and youth programmes,” he said.The coach had since returned to Nigeria in his quest to contribute his quota to the development of football in the county especially through youth development.On why he returned to Nigeria in spite of the successes he recorded in America, he said: “Firstly I’m a Nigerian and then there is a point you get to outside your fatherland and you start having the feelings that you are needed back in your country. When you start from the scratch in a foreign country and rose to becoming the directors of about three organisations there is always the feelings that you are also needed back home. I left Nigeria with the highest football coaching certificate the country can offer and also emerged as the best student of my set and having gone through various courses in America and have been of tremendous help to the football development in America and some European countries, so why not Nigeria.”Despite having left the shores of Nigeria for over 10 years and with a lot of changes in the country’s football, Abiodun never doubted that he could still fits in very well into Nigerian football system.“I’m a very flexible person and having been to several countries and not have difficulties in adapting to their system. Moreover, I always have a lot of friends in Nigeria and kept abreast of Nigerian football even from the grassroots. Also, having been a player and administrator with YSFON and formerly a director of coaching in Oyo State before I left for the U.S. it was easy to adapt very well and quickly too,” he said.Poor officiating have been a regular occurrence in the Nigeria’s league but it was this department of the game the returnee coach scored high when answering question on what has changed about Nigerian football since his sojourn to the United States and when he came back.“The referees have come a long way in trying to improve the standard of officiating. Formerly you cannot win away from home, but now teams’ record away wins in the league unlike years back when goal-bound moves by away teams attract the referees’ whistle for one dubious infringement. If the clubs are well tutored and the players work hard enough they can win anywhere which is very good for Nigerian football development. The other change that I noticed have changed since my return is in the stadium facilities. Most of the turfs used by the clubs now are not really bad when compared to what was obtainable many years back,” he said.The technical director of Shalom Youth Academy is not really disturbed by the empty stands at our different stadia during league matches, as according to him if well addressed it would be a thing of the past in the nearest future.“With good structures on ground fans will return to the stadium but when there is no structure in place there will be disorganisation and there is no way fans would be attracted under such circumstance. One obvious thing that is taking away fans from the stadiums is the influence of European Leagues of which standard is far better compare to our league. But unfortunately we are not doing enough in terms of sponsorship and packaging the local clubs. Football clubs are beyond going to play every weekend, it’s supposed to be an institution where you grow young players. If all Nigeria Premier League clubs have youth identification and development programme they will attract friends who want to watch their mates and parents that wants to see their kids to the stadium,” he opined.He said some young Nigerians had also passed through his academy most of who were born in the United States. “I’m still monitoring their progress because they are great talents,” he said.Asked if his presence in Nigeria would not affect his academy, the former YSFON coach said: “I believe in vision and when you have vision and focus it lives after you. I was once in Europe during a particular summer where I had the sixth Italian Camp programme which I usually run and I brought Italian technocrats that I invite to the camp which had over 50 players and without my presence it was very successful. Even now that I’m not in my camp things are going on smoothly because I can run the day-to-day affairs of my academy from wherever I may be in the world. The world is now a global village and I can follow up the affairs in my camp on the internet, face books and by many other means. I have the programmes set for them as the technical director of the organization. Things are moving fine in my academy and nothing suffers,” Abiodun said.Meanwhile, Abiodun was recently relieved of his job as the technical director of Sunshine Stars by the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA), which manages the club because of failure to work together with head coach, Samson Unuanel.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

COVID-19 : Unnamed Barcelona player tests positive

first_imgOne Barcelona player has tested positive for Coronavirus, but the club say he has not been in contact with any of the squad that are competing in the Champions League.Barcelona conducted coronavirus tests on Tuesday on nine players – Pedri, Trincao, Matheus Fernandes, Jean-Clair Todibo, Moussa Wague, Carles Alena, Rafinha, Juan Miranda and Oriol Busquets  who are due to return for pre-season training on Wednesday.One of the nine who has not been named  returned a positive test. The club say he is asymptomatic and is quarantining at home.In a club statement, Barcelona added that the matter has been reported to the health authorities and all of the player’s recent contacts have been tracked.The nine players who were tested are not part of the first-team squad that is set to travel to Lisbon on Thursday for Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich on Friday.The competition is being concluded with a mini-tournament in Portugal after being postponed at the last-16 stage in March by the pandemic. Source: Sky Sports Tags: BarcelonaCoronavirusSpanish La Ligalast_img read more

Ivorian FA suspends presidential elections after Didier Drogba’s application is validated

first_imgThe Committee’s statement said it had “received a note, sent by 4 members of the Electoral Commission, denouncing the actions of the Chairman of their commission and declaring that they do not align themselves with the decisions that he and certain members of the commission have adopted.”Sidy Diallo, outgoing FIF PresidentDiby had reportedly approved Drogba’s application due to pressure from the overwhelming popular support for Drogba’s candidacy, as hundreds of his supporters accompanied the former Chelsea striker to submit his forms.He had believed that rejecting Drogba’s candidacy would have fuelled an already tense situation in the country with not just the FA Presidency elections but Ivory Coast’s presidential elections as well.According to FIF, he admitted “to have acted in all naivety, to preserve social cohesion, in this sensitive period and to have found an ad hoc solutionThis, FIF’s Executive Committee, feels compromises the elections.A new Extraordinary General Assembly has been set for August 29 where a new electoral body will be convened and a new date will be set for the elections in Abidjan.The statement concluded that the Executive Committee of FIF will ensure that the electoral processes adhere to the statutes of FIF, CAF, and FIFA.Read excerpts of the statement from FIF below (in French): The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) has suspended its upcoming presidential elections which had been set for September 5, citing “serious shortcomings” in the electoral process.FIF took the decision just days after one of the candidates in the race, Didier Drogba had his application validated by the Federation’s electoral body.It had been doubtful that Drogba’s application would be accepted, with concerns raised over whether he could meet the election requirements.The Ivory Coast Footballers Association (AFI), one of the five main interest groups in Ivorian football had refused to endorse his candidacy, drawing a suspension from FIFPro.However, Drogba’s application was controversially accepted after he got the endorsements of three Ivorian Ligue 1 clubs, two Ligue 2 clubs, two Championnat Division 3 clubs and an interest group (referees).A statement signed by the outgoing president, Sidy Diallo, announced the suspension of the election stating that the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) which is responsible for validating the  applications had “violated the electoral code ”The statement also added that “the electoral process no longer inspires confidence and that the neutrality of certain members of the electoral body was in doubt.”The Executive Committee said it had received complaints from some members of the electoral body about certain actions of its Chairman, René Diby, which put the integrity of the whole process in doubt.More from Citi Sportslast_img read more

MTN Spoons golf returns to Sakumono Saturday

first_imgThe second quarter of the 2013 season of the exclusive MTN Spoons golf tournament tees off at the Celebrity Golf Club in Sakumono, near Tema this Saturday July 27 with fun, competitive action and excitement promised. *64 golfers are expected to compete Saturday for the right to eventually emerge champions of the second quarter of the tournament specially played in knockout format at players’ own convenience.Proudly sponsored by leading telecommunications entity, MTN as part of their ever expanding commitment to golf and sports in this country, the smooth courses of the plush Celebrity Golf Club will be the setting for the 18-hole one-day tournament teing off at 8 am setting the club agog with excitement.According to the sponsors, MTN sees platforms such as the Spoons golf tournament maintain constant interactions with their cherished customers. They explained that it’s one of many reasons why they will continue to support more golf tournaments including Accra open and Ghana Open later this year.The CEO of MTN, Michael Ipkoki, will deliver an address.last_img read more

James Worthy wonders whether Kobe Bryant can dial it back

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error James Worthy has one concern about Kobe Bryant, and it has nothing to do with whether he will recover from a torn left Achilles tendon.Worthy, who won three NBA titles with the Lakers during the Showtime Era and is an analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet, openly wondered if Bryant will adjust his aggressiveness out of health and personnel concerns.“One of the biggest challenges for Kobe this year is, can he step back?” Worthy said. “He’s been in the league for 17 years, has a lot of miles on the body and has had a lot of injuries. Can he find a game that will allow other guys to flourish?”Bryant has steadily progressed on his injured left Achilles tendon, but has yet to resume basketball-related activities. It remains uncertain if Bryant will return for the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 27 against the Clippers, let alone whether he can mirror last season’s effort when he averaged 27.3 points on 46.3 percent shooting and six assists per game. That’s one of many uncertainties the Lakers face this season, something Worthy addressed in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper.Worthy believes the Lakers will finish fifth in the Western Conference behind the Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. Although he described the Lakers as a “dangerous team” next season, Worthy hardly believes they will win an NBA championship or reach the Western Conference finals.The Lakers’ fortunes hinge plenty on Bryant’s recovery, obviously.“Kobe is not a human being,” Worthy said. “He’s an alien. I think he will come back and play well.”Read more of Worthy’s interview on Mark Medina’s Inside the Lakers blog at http://www.insidesocal.com/lakers.last_img read more