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Virgil van Dijk slams Louis van Gaal’s claim that World Cup was ‘fixed’ for Lionel Messi

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Virgil van Dijk doesn’t believe last year’s World Cup was fixed by FIFA… after his ex-manager Louis van Gaal suggested otherwise.

Van Gaal, who coached the Netherlands at the tournament in Qatar, raised eyebrows by suggesting the World Cup was fixed so Lionel Messi and Argentina would be victorious. Argentina defeated the Netherlands on penalties in their quarter-final.

Van Dijk, who played in that game, was asked for his opinion on the matter ahead of the upcoming international fixtures. The Netherlands take on Greece and the Republic of Ireland over the next week, as their Euro 2024 qualification bid continues.

While Van Dijk accepts that “everyone is allowed to have an opinion”, he doesn’t agree with his former manager. Van Gaal stepped down from his role with the Netherlands after their World Cup exit, with Ronald Koeman returning to the hot seat.

“I heard it this morning, indeed,” Van Dijk told Dutch outlet NOS when asked about Van Gaal’s allegations. “And that’s actually it. It is of course his opinion. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. I do not share the same opinion.”

Van Gaal made his claim while speaking at an awards ceremony the previous evening. The former Manchester United manager suggested that refereeing decisions went against the Dutch in that quarter-final and thinks the result was “premeditated”.

“I don’t really want to say much about it,” said Van Gaal. “When you see how Argentina gets the goals and how we get the goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it all premeditated game.”

When pressed on his comments, Van Gaal added: “I mean everything I say. That Messi should become world champion? I think so, yes.”

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Men charged with murder of Kaizer Chiefs’ Luke Fleurs remanded

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Men charged with murder of Kaizer Chiefs’ Luke Fleurs remanded

Six suspects arrested over the murder of Kaizer Chiefs player Luke Fleurs have been remanded by the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on Friday.

Ndumiso Moswane, 26; Fernando Siva, 25; Nhlakanipho Dlamini, 21; Franky Xaba, 25; Maredi Mphahlele, 36; and Thembinkosi Hlomikhawu, 31, have been charged with murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice.

The suspects are expected to apply for bail during their court appearance next Friday.

All six suspects have opted to apply for the services of Legal Aid lawyers.

State prosecutor Arnold Limekhaya said the state intends to oppose the bail applications.

“We will oppose bail,” he told the court, indicating the state was yet to get the profiles of the men and their bail statements.

The 24-year-old Kaizer Chiefs defender and South Africa under-23 international was hijacked and fatally shot in the chest at a petrol station in Honeydew last Wednesday.

It is understood that the assailants drove off in Fleurs’ vehicle.

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Lagos FA to debut Nigerian Ex-International cup

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Lagos FA To Debut Nigerian Ex-International Cup

The Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) has concluded arrangements to organize a tournament involving Nigerian ex-internationals and their clubs’ teammates back in the day.
The Lagos State Football Association Chairman, Hajj Gafar Olawale Liameed, disclosed that the ex-internationals coming together to play football will inspire lots of youths.

“We believe in our ex-players. LSFA is determined to carry along ex-internationals and drive the game forward at every level,” Hajj Gafar stated.

“The tournament will see former Nigeria internationals based in Lagos adopt teams. For instance, if an ex-international is based in the area of Dino SC he can adopt them.

“The competition tagged ‘The Nigerian Ex Internationals Cup’ would see teams play on a home and away basis in the first phase before we proceed to the knockout stage.

“We want to have a clear identity and organize lots of programs. This is one of our innovations and we hope to take blessings from the Lagos State Government and Nigeria Football Federation,” the football technocrat enthused.

Hajj Gafar also reiterated LSFA’s commitments to the proper development of football in the centre of excellence.

“We’re determined to lead that development at every level and have created a robust plan for doing so using all our resources and knowledge.”

Meanwhile, former Nigeria internationals like Joseph Yobo, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Wasiu Ipaye have already thrown their weight behind the innovation by the LSFA.

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NFF appoints Manu Garba as Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

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The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

 

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 – Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

 

Garba’s world-conquering squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

 

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

 

The former Nigeria international will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.

 

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