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Nigeria Can Now Boast Of Level 3 Coaches, As IOC/NOC Course Ends In Bayelsa



The Nigeria Wrestling Federation in conjunction with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has concluded a level 3 IOC coaching course for the coaches/Referees of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation.

The training which took place in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital, was an opportunity for coaches/referees to achieve their maximum potential performance with applications of international guidelines and aiding Nigerian wrestlers in reaching their peak.

In closing remarks, President Nigeria Wrestling Federation Champion Daniel Igali eulogised the massive impact the training course would have on the federation’s coaches/Referees as well as the athletes.

“I must say a very big thank you to the IOC, UWW and the NOC because this for me is very massive as you know your coaches and referees are what determine the outcome of every Federation.”

“I’m very glad we now have accredited level 3 coaches in Nigeria which means the level of instruction is going to be higher and I believe heading into Paris 2024 the contingent would be better prepared.”

Also speaking, the president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee represented by Tony Nezianya explained that Wrestling Federation was singled out for the training due to its achievements in international competitions.

“We’re very pleased to organize this because we have evaluated all the sports we have in Nigeria and thought that wrestling has the best opportunity of making us proud and giving us that prestigious Olympic gold medal.”

“The Wrestling Federation has been impressive recently winning a lot of medals and we think they deserve to have this course.”

Assessing the level of performance by the coaches/referees, American Wrestling instructor Zac Dominguez expressed confidence that with time Nigerian athletes would benefit greatly from the training.

“They’re soon to be great coaches all came with open minds to learn but Wrestling is like a marathon it’s going to be a journey so they’ll have to keep learning and keep improving.”
Another Wrestling Educator from Tunisia Ahmed Khedhri maintained the importance of the training course.

“This course is very important for Wrestling in Nigeria because it’s a perimeter to empower their learning and I commend them for their active participation.”

A trainee Oyinbrakemi King who among others attained the level 3 IOC licence expressed joy and gratitude to the Wrestling Federation led by Champion Daniel Igali for investing tangibly in them.

“I’m short of words but I’m very happy. I want to thank the president of the Wrestling Federation for providing them with a beautiful facility that made it possible for the instructors to come to Nigeria and I promise that we will continue to work hard and improve”.


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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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