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Postecoglou praises Tottenham’s bravery against Arsenal

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Ange Postecoglou hailed Tottenham’s bravery at Arsenal, but expressed his bemusement at the handball rule after Cristian Romero gave away a penalty in the 2-2 draw.

Spurs grabbed a share of the north London derby spoils after captain Son Heung-min struck either side of half-time.

An own-goal from Romero in the 26th minute broke the deadlock at the Emirates, with the Argentina defender deflecting Bukayo Saka’s shot beyond team-mate Guglielmo Vicario.

Son fired home before half-time from James Maddison’s cross, but Arsenal made the perfect start following the restart when Romero was penalised for handball after he blocked Ben White’s shot from close proximity.

Saka rolled home the 54th-minute spot-kick but 108 seconds later Tottenham were level when Maddison won possession from Jorginho and played in Son, who netted his 150th Spurs goal.

“It’s not about being happy with the result, for me it was about the performance,” Postecoglou said.

“You can get a result here, a draw, and like I said before you can walk away knowing that ‘you know what, we escaped’, but I don’t have that feeling now.

“I think we went toe-to-toe with a top team and at times I thought we really asserted our dominance on the game. At times they did but that’s what happens when you face top sides.

“Even if we had lost today, and I don’t like losing, but for me to keep pushing these guys, they need to feel that out there that what we talk about and work on, they can see it come to fruition and when it does against a top team, being brave with our approach, that’s the key thing. For me I’m pleased.”

Postecoglou was less enthusiastic about the decision to award a penalty for Romero’s close-range block on White and likened it to the handball given against Wolves’ Joao Gomes at Luton on Saturday.

He added: “I’ve got no idea about the handball rule. I really don’t. I saw the one yesterday at Wolves and it just seems if it hits your hand it’s a penalty and then other times if it hits your hand, it isn’t a penalty.

“I’ve got no idea. It is the one rule in the game I just don’t understand.

“Unless we start developing armless defenders I don’t know how you are supposed to block things and be in a natural position.

“It is what it is. You kind of hope these things even themselves out over the course of a year but I don’t understand the handball rule.

“I think any clarity would be good because I have got no idea.”

Opposite number Mikel Arteta was disappointed Arsenal failed to make it three wins in a row over their rivals.

A key moment occurred after Romero’s own-goal when Gabriel Jesus won back possession from Maddison inside the area, but his 14-yard effort was blazed over the crossbar.

Arteta said: “We are very disappointed not to earn the three points, that’s for sure, and especially when you go in front twice in the game and have the opportunity to win it.

“We had control of the game, could have made it 2-0 with Gabi and then you concede the goal and you have to bounce back. We did and scored the goal but it’s a shame that within a minute you concede the other one.

“I think that affected the team emotionally quite a lot and we lacked some composure to make more passes in the final third.”

Arteta also leapt to the defence of Jorginho, who was introduced at half-time in place of the injured Declan Rice, after the ex-Chelsea midfielder was robbed of possession by Maddison for Tottenham’s second goal.

“What happened is I love him and we love him,” the Arsenal boss insisted.

“Errors are part of football. They’re allowed to make errors because they play and we don’t play. We are all with him.”

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Nigeria Premier League

Ebi Egbe Lauds Elegbeleye, Aluo On Improved Fortunes Of Nigerian Football

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Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football

Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football league, particularly, the NPFL and the NNL, ably led by Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye and George Aluo respectively.

According to Egbe, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimitchelle Sports Facilities Company, Elegbeleye, has turned the NPFL to an attractive brand and with huge crowds coming back to watch the matches.

“I’m very impressed with what Hon. Elegbeleye is doing with the NPFL. Standards of matches have improved tremendously and importantly, the crowds are coming back to the stadium to watch their favourite teams.”

Egbe was equally effusive in praises for the Chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, who he commended for bringing vitality and improved organisation to the NNL.

“And without a doubt, George Aluo, has improved the organisation and standard of the league. The ongoing NNL Super 8 is a testament to the fact that the league can only get better,” Egbe said.

He went ahead to admonish well placed individuals and corporate organisations to give more supports to the Nigerian local football bodies.

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10th Nigeria Pitch Awards: Sanwo-Olu, Elegbeleye, Soname, Finidi in the spotlight as ceremony holds on Saturday

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There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

Shina Phillips, chief organizer of the awards, said on Thursday that all is set for a ceremony that will be full of panache, glitz and glamour.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a memorable tenth edition of the awards. All is set, and we are in Uyo not only to put up a super-show, but to mobilize resources within our capacity to support the Super Eagles to victory in tomorrow’s match. As an organization, we will continue to genuinely appreciate the NFF, the Super Eagles, all our friends, enablers, affiliates and commercial partners, for their support over the past 10 years, and to promise that the values of transparency, integrity and credibility will never depart from the Nigeria Pitch Awards.”

Nominees have been picked in all 18 award categories, with the winners to be unveiled on Saturday. The award categories include Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Midfielder of the Year, Striker of the Year, Queen of the Pitch, King of the Pitch, Sam Okwaraji Award, Football Pitch, Football-Friendly Governor, Corporate Sponsor, alongside several honours for media representatives.

Goalkeeper of the Year: Kayode Bankole (Remo Stars); Amas Obasogie (Bendel Insurance); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

Defender of the Year: Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC); Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce SK)

Midfielder of the Year: Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC)

Striker of the Year: Robert Mizo (Bayelsa United); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Queen of the Pitch: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico de Madrid Femenino); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC)

King of the Pitch: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Emeka Obioma (Enyimba FC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Team of the Year: Super Falcons; Enyimba FC; Remo Stars

Coach of the Year: Daniel Ogunmodede (Remo Stars); Finidi George (Enyimba FC); Randy Waldrum (Super Falcons)

Sam Okwaraji Award: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Ahmed Musa; Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars)

State With The Best Grassroots Football Development Programme: Edo State; Delta State; Lagos State

Football Pitch of the Year: Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos; Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo

Football-Friendly Governor of the Year: His Excellency Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom State); His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State); His Excellency Godwin Obaseki (Edo State)

Corporate Sponsor of Football: Bet9ja (Sport Betting); GTI (Financial Services); MTN (Telecom)

Sportsmanship Award: Hon. Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye (Chairman, NPFL Board)

Football Journalist of the Year (Print): Christian Okpara (The Guardian); Charles Diya (New Telegraph); Johnny Edward (Punch Newspapers)

Football Journalist of the Year (TV): Miyen Akiri (TVC); Mozez Praiz (SuperSport); Cecilia Omorogbe (Channels TV)

Football Journalist of the Year (Radio): Olawale Adigun (Mainland FM); Yinka Oyedele (Brila 88.9 FM); Anthony Bekederemo (Brila 88.9 FM)

Football Journalist of the Year (Online): Samuel Ahmadu (Savid News); Tobi Adepoju (Oganla Media); Kunle Solaja (sportsvillagesquare.com)

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Eyimba FC International on expansionist mission- Ekwueme

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Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the

Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the implementation of an expansionist idea that would spread the club franchise, further past its current torrents, the club Sporting Director, ex intetnational , Ifeanyi Ekwueme has disclosed.

Ekwueme speaking in Kano last Tuesday,.further revealed that the club management under the pilot of Atlanta 96, Olympics football gold medalist, Kanu Nwankwo has embarked on the implementation of a newly designed development template that would stampede the influence of the club franchise on Nigerian, African and international football climes.

He said, Eyimba fc is a trademark that has excelled over time, Kanu Nwankwo regime currently at the helms of affairs at the club is building on the heroic achievements of the club by resorting to building bridges across Nigeria and beyond.

Ekwueme said ” we have signed partnership that involves exchange programmes, we are committed to coaches development mini and major projects

He further said ” we now have the requisite development structures, with our now in place youth football and semi professional talent development programmes , this is vital and critical.

” Eyimba is not a stagnant or zero football brand, we are a broad football brand, that is why, we are committed to partnerships that are results oriented and have them spread across Nigeria and extend same to the continent and beyond.

He averred that though there are challenges, the current leadership of the club is focused and committed towards surmounting the hurdles and posed to take the club to the zenith of club side football, where Eyimba fc is rightly believed to belong to.

Ekwueme appealed to the fans and their partners to keep faith with the Eyimba fc brand , stating that the club has witnessed enviable improvements in the area of football coorporate administration that he said is now yielding dividends and would continue to help the Aba football warlords to improve in the delivery of mandated club football services and business divdends expected by all stakeholders.

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