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Asaba 2023 NYG: Team FCT Target Good Outing For Minister Nyesom Wike



Athletes and officials of Team FCT eventually departed Abuja early on Thursday for Asaba, the capital of Delta State for the 7th edition of the National Youth Games (NYG); which gets underway

The contingent is led by the Assistant Director in charge of Sports Development in the FCT Sports Department, Iyiola Ogundele and they are traveling by a road, in a convoy, with special security cover.

Mr. Ogundele said the goal of the team in Asaba is to better their overall performance, when the youth games was last held in Ilorin, in 2021.

“As you well know, the FCT now has a new Minister, whose track record as a lover of youths and sports is huge. We are compelled to ensure we excell by finishing in the top-5, with a view to wow him; and give the people of Abuja something to cheer as well. As you also know, these athletes are their children, and we are glad they were released to us”, Ogundele said.

On the occasion of the 6th NYG in Ilorin, Team FCT garnered a total of 36 medals, comprising 10 Gold, 9 Silver and 17 Bronze medals; to place a respectable 7th, despite featuring one of the smallest continent, who were strictly ages fifteen and under.

“The spirit of these youngsters are very high. Our coaches have also done their bits to pit them in their best shape. We have no complaints at all, as our welfare has been well catered for, even before the new minister resumed. Our expectation is to win over the Minister [Nyesome Wike] by posting good results”, he added.

Team FCT will be competing in 14 disciplines namely Athletics, Badminton, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Chess, Golf, Gymnastics, Judo, Karate, Shooting, Taekwondo, Tennis,Trado Sports and Weightlifting.

“These sports were carefully chosen being that they’re areas where we have comparative advantage over the years. The unique nature of Abuja, as a capital city also influenced our choices. Most of the athletes come to training sessions from their homes, and we are grateful to their parents who drives them to and from their practice centres”, Ogundele concluded.

Over 4,200 athletes and officials from the FCT and the 36 States of the federation are expected to converge on Asaba, the capital of Delta State for the fiesta, which runs at the Stephen Keishi Memorial Stadium and other adjoining venues until September 30, 2023.


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Xavi faces sack at Barcelona



Barcelona are poised to sack coach Xavi Hernandez just weeks after he made a U-turn and decided to stay at the club, Spanish

Barcelona are poised to sack coach Xavi Hernandez just weeks after he made a U-turn and decided to stay at the club, Spanish media has reported.

Catalan radio station RAC-1 said president Joan Laporta had decided to sack Xavi, with daily newspaper Sport confirming the news, while AS said Barcelona were already deciding who would replace the coach.

In January, Xavi said he would leave at the end of the season but, after a run of strong form, in April he and president Joan Laporta agreed the coach would stay for the next campaign, with his contract expiring in June 2025.

However, Laporta did not travel with the team for their 2-0 in at Almeria in La Liga on Thursday, with Spanish media reporting he was angry with Xavi’s pre-match comments.

The coach had highlighted Barcelona’s financial difficulties in comparison to the strength of new Spanish champions Real Madrid and other European giants.

“Barcelona fans have to understand, we’re not in the same situation (as those clubs),” said Xavi on Wednesday.

The coach stood by his words on Thursday when he was asked about Laporta not attending the Almeria match.

“They haven’t told me anything personally… We travelled with the sporting vice-president, more directors, all normally,” Xavi told reporters late Thursday. “I said what I think is real, that we will fight for all the trophies, with a lot of hope, with ambition, but that the situation is not easy.

“We are working very well, the club most of all, to change this situation.”

Barcelona won La Liga last season but were not able to defend the title. They went out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals to Paris Saint-Germain and will end the season trophy less.

Real Madrid thrashed Barca in the Spanish Super Cup final while Athletic Bilbao eliminated them in the Copa del Rey.

In April, Xavi, 44, said he was “full of hope” and that fans, players and “above all the confidence of the president and (sporting director) Deco” was what convinced him to stay.

Laporta said at the time that he was glad Xavi would remain at the helm and that it was good for the stability of the club.

“It’s great news that Xavi is staying,” the president told a news conference.

“The team we have, that is (still) consolidating, with very young players, needs that stability.

“Xavi is a reference for young players and we can see that – today I’m especially pleased, and the board have unanimously supported this decision.”

Laporta appointed Xavi, one of Barcelona’s greatest ever midfielders, to replace Ronald Koeman in November 2021.

As a player, Xavi made 767 appearances for Barcelona, winning four Champions Leagues and eight La Liga titles, as well as the World Cup with Spain.

During his time as Barcelona coach, he lifted the Spanish Super Cup last season, along with the league title.



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Kane to miss Bayern’s game at Hoffenheim



Harry Kane will miss Bayern Munich's final game of the season with a back injury - less than a week before Gareth Southgate announces his

Harry Kane will miss Bayern Munich’s final game of the season with a back injury – less than a week before Gareth Southgate announces his England squad for Euro 2024.

Bayern end their campaign at Hoffenheim on Saturday – live on Sky Sports – but Kane has not travelled with the squad.

“Harry Kane is receiving treatment from his personal doctor,” said Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel. “He can’t travel with us.”

Kane has not played since being replaced late in Bayern’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final second leg earlier this month.

Bayern were leading 1-0 in the Bernabeu – and 3-2 on aggregate – when Kane was replaced but conceded two late goals to exit the competition.

Tuchel explained after that defeat that striker Kane had suffered a back injury and on Friday he said: “It was already questionable in Madrid. It’s gotten worse.”

Bayern have endured a difficult campaign, failing to win the Bundesliga for the first time in 12 seasons and exiting the DFB Pokal to third-tier Saarbrucken.

owever, Kane has enjoyed a prolific campaign on an individual level, scoring 44 goals in 45 games across all competitions after joining Bayern from Tottenham in August.



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Van Persie lands first managerial role with Heerenveen



Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has been appointed as manager of Eredivisie side Heerenveen, the

Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has been appointed as manager of Eredivisie side Heerenveen, the Dutch club has announced.

The 40-year-old, who retired from playing in 2019, has signed a two-year contract in his first role as manager of a senior team.

He has previously spent time working at Feyenoord, the club he began and ended his playing career with, where he took charge of the under-18s side.

Van Persie is the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands national team and was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2012, one year before he won the Premier League title with Manchester United.

Heerenveen, who are 10th in the Eredivisie, face Sparta Rotterdam in their final match of the season tomorrow.



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