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Director General Gafaar Hails Team Lagos’ Outing At Asaba 2023 NYG



The Director General of Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafaar says Team Lagos had a remarkable performance at the just concluded 7th National Youth Games (NYG) held in Asaba, Delta State.

The youthful Lagos team were second on the medal table after winning 61 medals; 21 gold, 19 silver and 21 bronze trailing behind Team Dela which came first with 51 gold, 34 silver and 31 bronze, while Team Edo were third with 21 gold, 15 silver and 17 bronze.

Gafaar said the feat would have not been recorded if not for the exemplary leadership of Team Lagos management.

He said: “I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every member of the team for your outstanding performance in the just concluded Under-15 Youth Games. Your achievements have truly been remarkable, and you have made Lagos State proud.

“Throughout the competition, you showcased incredible skill, determination, and sportsmanship. Your hard work and dedication to your respective disciplines were clearly evident, and it paid off in the form of remarkable victories and exceptional performances. The way you conducted yourselves both on and off the field is a testament to your character and the values you hold dear.

“Your success is not just a result of your individual talent but also the collective effort of the entire team, coaches, support staff, and management. The synergy and teamwork displayed throughout the games were truly exemplary. You supported and encouraged one another, pushed each other to new heights, and never gave up, even in the face of challenges.

“Beyond your remarkable athletic achievements, you have become ambassadors for Lagos State and role models for aspiring young athletes. Your dedication, discipline, and commitment serve as an inspiration to others, and I have no doubt that you will continue to achieve great things in the future.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to the coaches, trainers, and support staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to prepare the team for this competition. Your guidance, expertise, and unwavering belief in the team were instrumental in their success. Your commitment to nurturing young talent and developing the future generation of athletes is truly commendable.

“Once again, congratulations on your outstanding performance in the Under-15 Youth Games. Your achievements have brought honour and glory to Lagos State, and you should be immensely proud of what you have accomplished. I wish you continued success in your sporting endeavours and hope to see each of you achieve even greater heights in the future.”


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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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