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Reinforcing Fair Play in International Sporting Bodies By Idris Olorunnimbe



The ongoing Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games has reinforced the unshakable belief that Africa is an unstoppable force. Our Nigerian athletes have made us proud by exhibiting a determination that transcends the inability of the Nigerian government to provide the expected optimum support. 

Seye Ogunlewe and Enoch Adegoke representing Nigeria in the 100 metres men’s race, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, representing Nigeria in Shot Put, Bode Abiodun and Olajide Omotayo representing Nigeria in the men’s table tennis team amongst others reinforced the undeniable truth that Nigeria, and indeed Africa is overflowing with talents that refuse to be buried regardless of unfavourable conditions. They have again permanently etched Nigeria on the international sports terrain. 

This also brings to mind the Nigerian Bobsled team led by Seun Adigun and the Nigerian Skeleton athlete, Simidele Adeagbo who represented Nigeria at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, who defied the extreme cold to make history for Nigeria. We are simply unstoppable.

Finishing the 100m in 10.19 seconds and recording his season best at the ongoing Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Seye Ogunlewe is equally a force that has shifted the attention of the world to Nigeria, alongside Enekwechi, Abiodun and Omotayo who won silver medals in shot put and in men’s table tennis respectively. 

In our celebration, it is vital to reflect and inculcate a desire to see change, especially when the need for change is glaring. Rising above the norm of satisfaction with mediocrity in Nigeria, several people, are determined to be the movement, a movement of change and a shift in thinking and sporting behaviour. This group of advocates, to which I proudly belong to, are calling for an increased attention to detail at international sporting events, an application of the governing rules to all participants regardless of whom they are or where they are from.

 Although the Nigerian government has undoubtedly failed in its duty to provide total support for our athletes, as Nigerians, we will not fail in our duty to bring to the fore matters that may jeopardise our athletes reaching their full potential. 

Often, it appears that neither the effort of these athletes nor the corporate or personal investments that have gone into taking them to the international events are appreciated, not to mention rewarded. Thus as Nigerians, we have come to realize that we must always speak up for ourselves since those that ought to speak for us seem to be saddled with other seemingly more important activities. 

It is for this reason that we call on international governing bodies across all forms of sport to maintain fair play at all times and periodically review its rules where appropriate. Regrettably, despite the laudable achievements of most Nigerian and foreign athletes at international sporting events, cases of favouritism and bias towards specific athletes on the part of governing bodies and cheating on the part of athletes have been recorded. 

For this reason, some may have lost confidence in the decisions these bodies take in specific cases. Sports is one of the last bastions of equality and fair play and when it falters, then it is truly a sorry sight.

It is the application of this equality rule that guarantees a level playing field for every athlete, regardless of whom they are, thus giving every competitor a chance in the limelight. It is equally vital to reinforce the necessity for sports governing bodies to steer clear of favouritism, especially in the definition and enforcement of rules, springing from whatever existing personal or collective bias. Consequently, this is a call for a reawakening on the part of all concerned bodies and individuals to ensure our sporting games are free of avoidable and unnecessary behavior that continue to take us several steps backwards.

About Idris Olorunnimbe

A consummate strategist and philosopher, Idris has a Law Degree from the prestigious University of Lagos, Nigeria. As an entrepreneur, he has helped build an unusually wide variety of businesses, including a Pre-School, an Automobile Company, a Record Label, and two Nigerian fashion brands. He continues to serve in advisory capacity in those companies even as he admits that Temple represents a culmination of his life’s work. Idris has a passion for public service, and he worked as a Senior Special Assistant to Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, then Governor of Nigeria’s leading State, Lagos, from 2007-2015. Before then, he co-wrote a policy paper on driver reorientation in Lagos which led to the introduction of Drivers’ Institutes in the State. He mentors several young creatives, and frequently engages in public speaking in that capacity. An avid art collector, he has long standing relationships with creative talents and entertainers alike and is one of the industry’s top investors. He has supported several concerts, shows and sports tournaments in Nigeria. Idris is married with three daughters. He is a proud Lagosian and has lived in the city all his life.


Alexis Sanchez Scores As Manchester United Beat Ac Milan On Penalties




Alexis Sanchez was in scoring form as Manchester United defeated AC Milan 9-8 in a thrilling penalty shoot-out in their International Champions Cup fixture in Carson, California.

The Chilean 12th minute goal that gave the Red Devils the lead only lasted for three minutes before Suso equalized for the Serie A side. At the end of 90 minutes neither team could add to the initial goals as scores stood at 1-1.

The encounter had to be decided by the dreaded penalty shoot-out and at the end of the day a total of 26 kicks was required to separate the two sides as Manchester United proved superior with a 9-8 score line.

Sanchez took his shot beyond the reach of Gianluigi Donnarumma to open the scoring for Manchester United but Suso’s perfect finish brought AC Milan level on scores with Jose Mourinho’s side.

Donnarumma was later replaced by former Liverpool Pepe Reina with both shot-stoppers showcasing topnotch during the encounter, while former Premier League player Fabio Borini’s effort at goal was saved by the post as no other goal was recorded.

During the penalty shootout Manchester United’s Joel Pereira stopped Borini and Suso from scoring and then scored United’s fifth kick, on the other hand Reina responded by making a save of his own thus taking it to sudden death.

Every player on the pitch took his turn and had to restart again with the first takers as Andreas Pereira and Ander Herrera each netted their second kick.

However, Milan’s Franck Kessie, failed to match Pereira’s two out of two record as his second penalty kick sailed over the cross bar to hand Manchester United a hard-fought win.

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School Bans Football Because Students Are Learning To Dive Like Neymar




A primary school has banned football after a outbreak of diving and play-acting inspired by Brazil’s Neymar. The Brazilian striker is one of a number of players accused of simulating fouls and going down too easily in the World Cup.

The beleaguered headteacher of Home Farm School in Colchester, Essex says a rash of youngsters copying him has led to a need for a school to go back to the rules of the game.

Richard Potter said: ‘Many of the children were reenacting diving and emulating the trained, professional players they had seen.

‘These are four to 11-year-olds who are trying to emulate the older players. This was causing a lot of arguments.

‘So we have said there’s no football for one week, and for that reason each class has to write their own rules so that it is played fairly.’

He says during the week’s ban the pupils will be sitting with the teachers and will write their own rules for a fair match.

The head teacher is not the only one to criticise Neymar, who was widely ridiculed for rolling around on the floor after a Mexican player stood on him in Brazil’s last-16 tie.

His behaviour sparked a series of mocking memes, with even Brazil’s boss Tite saying he was giving a bad example to children.

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I Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Award Penalty To Nigeria – Turkish Referee Tells Mikel




Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakin said he did not know why he did not award the penalty for the handball of Argentine defender, Marcus Rojo, for Nigeria on Tuesday evening, according to Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi.

Mikel said the referee admitted that the ball touched the hand of Marcos Rojo in the 82nd minute of Tuesday’s game but he put up a defense in not awarding the crucial spot-kick.

The penalty, if awarded and scored at a time the match was 1-1, could have wrapped up a second round ticket for the Eagles.

Speaking at the post-match briefing in St Petersburg, Mikel said: “I asked the referee if he thought the ball struck Rojo’s hand and he said ‘yes; The referee told me that the ball came off Rojo’s head before it hit his hand.”

Mikel added: ”I then asked Cakur why he didn’t award the penalty to Nigeria, he said: ‘I don’t know.’ That was sad because we checked the match video in the dressing room and it was a clear penalty kick.

“When the ball touches your hand in the penalty box, it’s a penalty. No two ways about that. Maybe he didn’t want to give us the second penalty. It is sad we had to exit the competition this way.

Speaking about his future with the national team, Mikel said he would be most delighted to lead the boys going further into the future.

I’m happy playing with this bunch of players. I expect them to grow into a great side and I think this team would make a good impression in the next four years. They are good boys with bright future,” he said.

“Of course, we did everything we could; we pushed and pushed to get the goal but it was not to be.

“We want to thank all Nigerians for their support; we have to keep going.”

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Long History of Nigeria And Argentina Rivary on the Pitch of Play




Would a FIFA World Cup be complete without the Super Eagles facingArgentina? Doesn’t look like so. Since 1994, both countries have been grouped together in the first round of matches.

With Croatia already qualified by topping Group D, Nigeria and Argentina both need a win to reach the Round of 16- Argentina more desperately so. The highly rated La Albiceleste have yet to win a match at Russia 2018. Ahead of the extremely decisive match, here’s a look at the countries’ twenty-four years of World Cup rivalry.

USA 94:  Argentina 2- Nigeria 1

The Golden Generation of the Super Eagles took the world by storm in 1994. The players, led by Dutch coach Clemens Westerhof were rated fifth in the world at their World Cup debut, the ever highest ranking for an African team. Samson Siasia scored Nigeria’s only goal before Claudio Caniggia double gave Argentina the win. Both countries then crashed out in the second round after losses to Italy and Romania respectively.

Korea-Japan 2002: Argentina 1- Nigeria 0

The sides missed each other in France 98 faced each other again in Ibaraki, Japan. It would turn out to one of the worst outings for the Super Eagles. They lost 1-0 against Argentina in the first group game, lost again to Sweden and managed a draw with England. Argentina didn’t fare better either- they lost against Sweden and drew England as well, ensuring that both teams did not progress to the second round.

South Africa 2010: Argentina 1- Nigeria 0

Fourteen years after he led La Albiceleste as captain, Diego Maradona returned to the team as head coach. Argentina won by a goal through Gabriel Heinze’s header and went as far as the quarterfinal while a second defeat against Greece saw them exit the tournament early.

Brazil 2014: Nigeria 2- Argentina 3

Perhaps the most thrilling encounter between the two sides. Lionel Messi was the current holder of the Ballon D’or, but he had never scored against Nigeria. He rectified that quickly with two goals past Victor EnyeamaAhmed Musa leveled scores with a brace of his own and Messi had to be substituted before Argentina got their third goal and a win. Nigeria moved on to play France in the Round of 16 while Argentina lost to Germany in the finals.

Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr– thinks that the tide turns eventually. “Runs like that have to come to an end at some point,” he said at his press conference.
For once, Argentina does not have the upper hand as they go into the match later today in St. Petersburg. Their outing at Russia 2018 so far has been nothing short of disastrous. Not only are the players in an open revolt against their coach Jorge Sampoli, their star man Lionel Messi cannot even get a goal. All they have is a hope that their fifth meeting with Nigeria will yield the same result for them.

Russia 2018 Nigeria vs Argentina: A preview

Two-goal hero Ahmed Musa is also brimming with confidence; he now has four goals from two games against a Messi side- one in the Brazil group game in 2014 and the other when his Leicester side faced Barcelona. Nigerians hope the fifth time would be the charm for the Super Eagles.

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‘I Have Beaten Messi At Club Level, I Hope To Do It Again Today’- Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi Speaks




Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi has recalled that he had once beaten Argentina captain, Lionel Messi at club level and that he hopes to beat him again when Nigeria throws tackles with the La Albiceleste in their all important last group game on Tuesday.

The match will be played at the Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg by 7pm (Nigeria)

Mikel and Messi first crossed each other’s path in the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands in 2005 with the Barcelona superstar lifting the trophy and also best player of the tournament.

Since then, they have met several times at the international and club levels with the Argentine captain having the upper hand most of the time.

Mikel who now plays in China and Messi who has spent his carrier at Barcelona will rekindle their rivalry today when Nigeria and Argentina battle for a spot in the knock out stages.

The Super Eagles sit in second position in the group with three points, while Argentina occupy last position with just one point.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s always a pleasure playing against Messi. I have played against him so many times, be it national team, be it at club level,” Mikel stated during a short video interview posted on ESPN.

“Once in Chelsea, I managed to come out on top against him. In this tournament, I hope to do that. I hope the team will come out top against him.”

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