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AFCON 2021: Super Eagles Target Round Of 16 Berth Against Sudan

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria face Sudan in their second Group D match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Saturday, eyeing a berth at the knockout stage of the biennial soccer competition.

Nigeria, three-time AFCON winners, had gotten off to a good start in the tournament following a 1-0 victory over record-holders Egypt in their first tie a few days back.

Three points against the Falcons of Jediane at the Estadio Roumde Adjia, Garoua, will see the 2013 champions book a spot in the round of 16.

Nigeria’s preparation for the competition had been marred with tussles over the release of players.

While Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, was left out based on health grounds; Watford did not release in-form forward, Emmanuel Dennis, a development that raised concerns among fans.

Aside from player availability, the sacking of long-time coach, Gernot Rohr, less than two months before the tournament also cast doubt on Nigeria’s participation. In his stead, former international, Austin Eguaveon, was named to handle the side.

But in their first game on Tuesday, the Eagles deservedly defeated the record-winners 1-0 after a dominated display.

Eguaveon’s side have an abundance of attacking options to do the damage against Sudan. Iheanacho is expected to continue his goalscoring form in Saturday’s game while winger, Simon Moses, who was a thorn to the Egyptian defence in the first match, has his work cut out for the day.

Midfielder Joe Aribo – the provider of the assist for the goal against Egypt – will carry much of the team’s creative weight while Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi shields the defence.

Ahmed Musa, the team’s captain, who missed the first game, could have a chance of adding to his international cap.

But there might not be a change of guard to the lineup that featured against Egypt. Defender Kenneth Omeruo is also expected to be fit for the match after he was stretchered off the pitch on Tuesday.

In a pre-match briefing, Eguaveon said the Super Eagles will not be carried away with the win against Egypt.

“I am happy with the players and their ability to give their best on the pitch. I am focused on winning against Sudan at the moment,” the 1994 AFCON winner said.

“I am not thinking about anything else or how we will start our third match. We are completely focused on our match against Sudan. Beating Egypt was not easy, and we are looking forward to continuing our victories and qualifying for the next round.”
Sudan

The Super Eagles opponents are only returning to the continental fiesta since 2012 and will want to make a statement in a group containing some of Africa’s soccer heavyweights.

They hosted the maiden edition of the competition in 1957 and won the AFCON in 1970 also on home soil.

But a lull saw them miss the competition for 32 years, only to qualify in 2008 as Ghana hosted the continent.

In 2012, the Sudanese reached the quarter-finals of the biennial fiesta, one of their best outings in recent years.

En route to Cameroon, they earned 12 points from Group C, beating South Africa to finish second. They also scored nine goals in the qualification series.

But just weeks before the tournament, Hubert Velud was dismissed following the country’s poor outing at the 2021 Arab Cup. They lost all group games, conceded 10 goals but scored none.

The development, however, is not deterring new coach, Burhan Tia, who insists his young side should not be underrated.

“Our team is young, and we are building for the future. The spirit, ambition, and motivation will be our strong weapons in the tournament,” he said.

“There is nothing impossible in football. The group might be strong, but with good preparations and concentration we will be able to make it to the knockout stage.”

His team seem to be repaying his confidence in them as they battled hard to draw Guinea-Bissau in their first game. While Nigeria is a tougher opponent, the Falcons are hoping to give Nigeria a run for their money on Saturday.

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Real Madrid Beat Frankfurt 2-0, Clinch UEFA Super Cup

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Real Madrid have claimed this season’s UEFA Super Cup after overcoming Frankfurt 2-0 on Wednesday.


Details later…

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I Never Demanded N50bn Monthly From Ambode, Tinubu Reacts As He Warns Peter Obi’s Supporters Against Promoting Fake News

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…Says Lies, Misinformation Won’t Take Ex-Anambra Gov Anywhere

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has debunked reports circulating in the social media alleging that he demanded N50 billion monthly from the former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode during his administration.

Recall that Ambode who emerged governor of the state in 2025, had only four years in office as his attempt to secure a second tenure failed after he lost the APC primary election in 2018.

A report recently emerged online alleging that part of his inability to secure the APC governorship ticket in 2018 was his refusal to remit the said amount to Asiawaju.

Debunking the report, a statement by the Director, Media and Communications for Tinubu Campaign Organisation(TCO), Bayo Onanuga said Tinubu could not have made such a demand.

“A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform. The fake news was reposted on Facebook by the Peter Obi Support Group, the same day – clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.

“Both the Facebook account and the website are replete with fake stories about Bola Tinubu, including a fake story credited to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, alleging that Tinubu demanded N50 billion monthly payment from him.

“The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50 billion revenue until after Ambode left office. Tinubu could not have demanded N50 billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Ambode.

“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: ‘When I become president, I will build more prison (sic) for Igbo’s and IPOB members – Tinubu’.

“The big surprise in all of these is that all the headlines have no supporting stories, and clicking them may bring a virus to your computer.

“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Mr Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians,” Onanuga reiterated.

The statement revealed that the site where some of the fake news emanated from has been identified as World of News with URL as world news.

According to Onanuga, “A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform”.

He also stated that Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process enriched if the 2023 presidential campaign sticks to issues of good governance that will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty rather than being dominated by the ravings of guttersnipes, who do not wish the country well.

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Police Dare Army Over Lagos Clash, Accuse Soldiers Of Abduction

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The Lagos State Police Command has dared 81 Division of the Nigerian Army to show a proof that any soldier was shot during a clash between some cops and army personnel last week.

Daily Trust had reported how Inspector Monday Orukpe attached to Ojo Division of Lagos Police Command was beaten to death by aggrieved soldiers last week.

The officer and his colleagues were attacked by soldiers while controlling traffic on the Trade Fair section of the ever-busy Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

The soldiers, who were reportedly returning from a course, got infuriated when traffic on their lane was stopped to allow other road users easy passage.

An eyewitness, Sule Abiodun, said the soldiers jumped down from their vehicle, grabbed the policemen and hauled them into their vehicle before zooming off.

The incident had created tension in the state, but an army delegation led by Brigadier-General KN Nwoko paid a condolence visit to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Abiodun Ablabi, last week.

However, on Wednesday, Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Benjamin Hundeyin, issued a statement in which he accused the army of attempting to twist what transpired.

He said in as much as the Lagos State Police Command was in a grieving mood and had decided to toe the line of civility, it would not accept misinformation.

He said, “The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a report credited to Major General Umar Musa, outgoing GOC 81 Division, claiming that a ‘police officer shot at the soldier during the altercation which clipped him in the ear but narrowly missed his vital parts.’

“The fact remains that on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at the Trade Fair area of Lagos State, about thirty Privates of the Nigerian Army attacked five policemen for stopping vehicles along their lane to pave way for a heavy duty truck joining the expressway. After the soldiers had brutalized the ASP leading the team, taken out his magazine, and abducted two Inspectors with their rifles, the next Inspector they attempted to attack fired a single shot into the air – an act that made the soldiers retreat.

“The single shot was into the air. At no point was anyone hit. The Lagos State Police Command challenges the Army authorities to present the soldier allegedly shot. While we mourn our fallen hero, and pray for the total recovery of the second abducted Inspector, we urge Nigerians to disregard the claim that a soldier was shot as there is absolutely no truth to it.”

Hundeyin added that the Lagos Police Command was awaiting the report of the panel of inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the incident.

The PPRO also asked the army to fish out the soldiers behind the torture and murder of the deceased officer, and return “the two AK47 rifles and three magazines carted away by the soldiers”.

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