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SWAN, Heritage Times To Produce Special Compendium For Nigerian Legends

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The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has entered talks with the Heritage Times HT, a notable global media platform to advance the course of grassroots sports development in the country.

This was as the leadership of both organisations met in Abuja to discuss other areas of partnerships including finding ways of ensuring that the memory of active and late Nigerian sports icons are preserved through a well-harmonised compendium.

SWAN President, Mr. Isaiah Benjamin, who led a courtesy visit to the Heritage Times HT headquarters in Abuja, commmded its Publisher, Mr. Moses Siloko Siasia, for his determination and enviable contributions in the media which have yielded gainful engagements for teeming Journalists including sporting media professionals.

“You have continued to manifest as a shining light in both the media industry and other sectors within Nigeria and beyond. We are also aware of so many initiatives he has embarked upon to tap the potentials of young Nigerians. Indeed, such efforts reduce the pressure on the government to engage the young population. We can only urge you not to relent.

“It’s our desire to partner your organisation to do what you ordinarily have passion for in the area of discovery and empowerment of talented Nigerians. And there’s no other better means of engaging the youth meaningful other than using Sports as a tool.

“So, we are ready to go all the way with you and make more impacts across the country,” the President told Mr. Siasia who is also the Chairman of Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and owner of AfriHeritage Magazine.

Responding, Mr. Siasia pledged his readiness to partner SWAN in using sports as a leading employer of labour across the globe to unify Nigerians through timely and regular use of media channels.

He said his organisations were ready to offer the needed support in strengthening the unity of the country through sporting tournaments in the grassroot, especially in identified regions as a way of advocating peace. 

He said, “We should be thinking about how we can partner in grassroot football, basketball competitions, sensitisation programmes and other areas of sports. 

“This should be open to the vulnerable, people who are exceptionally talented but lack the means. This should be a means to support them to achieve their dreams and aspirations. 

“Also, in Niger Delta, North East, South East and other parts of the country, we can use sporting activities to foster unity among the people in these regions prone to crisis. It is tool that brings everyone together in the table of peace so we must not neglect that.

On the proper documentation of the memory of late and living sports legends, Mr. Siasia stated that energy should be deployed in preserving the memories of legends of the 70s, 80s and 90s, adding, “You can do this so that our people can read and study. It is a way preserving their history for the selfless services they offered to our country, the likes of Samson Siasia, Finidi George, Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Rashidi Yekini and those before them. 

“We are ready to support all efforts to keep their memory alive and this is the best we can do to appreciate them.”

While urging the sports journalists to use their pen to drive awareness and sell the Nigerian brand, especially the national premiership so that it can form a talking point in public discourse, Mr. Siasia tasked the sports journalist to work tirelessly to leave legacy for which they will be remembered for at all times.

On his part, SWAN Secretary-General, Amb. Ikenna Okonkwo, also thanked Mr. Siasia for his burning passion in driving youth development even beyond the shores of Nigeria.

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Liverpool offer too big to reject – Arne Slot

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Arne Slot says the opportunity to work at one of the "biggest clubs in the world" was "difficult to ignore" as he was confirmed as Liverpool

Arne Slot says the opportunity to work at one of the “biggest clubs in the world” was “difficult to ignore” as he was confirmed as Liverpool’s new head coach.

The Reds agreed a compensation deal worth £9.4m with Feyenoord in April after the 45-year-old was identified as the man to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Klopp, who had been in charge of Liverpool since October 2015, left the club following their season-finale win against Wolves on Sunday.

After the game, the 56-year-old German called on Liverpool fans to get behind their new boss, chanting “Arne Slot, na na na na na”.

Slot’s three-year contract at Liverpool will officially start on 1 June, subject to a work permit.

“It is certainly not an easy decision to close the door behind you at a club where you have experienced so many wonderful moments and worked successfully with so many wonderful people,” Slot told Feyenoord’s club website.

“But as a sportsman, an opportunity to become a head coach in the Premier League, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, is difficult to ignore.”

Following Liverpool’s announcement on Monday, Mohamed Salah appeared to suggest he would remain at Anfield next season.

“We know that trophies are what count and we will do everything possible to make that happen next season. Our fans deserve it and we will fight like hell,” the 31-year-old posted on X.

Liverpool rejected a £150m offer from Al-Ittihad for Salah last summer, but the Saudi Pro League’s director of football Michael Emenalo later said the door was not closed to the Egypt winger.

 

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Burnley’s Kompany surprise candidate for Bayern job

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Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is a surprise name on Bayern Munich’s list of potential candidates to become their new coach.

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is a surprise name on Bayern Munich’s list of potential candidates to become their new coach.

The Bundesliga giants have struggled to find a replacement for Thomas Tuchel, whose exit was confirmed last week after initially being announced in February.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso, Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann and Austria coach Ralf Rangnick have all turned the job down.

Talks aimed at persuading Tuchel to stay on failed to reach a positive conclusion, leaving Bayern with a problem.

Kompany has built a decent reputation during his time at Anderlecht and Burnley, although the Clarets’ relegation – following lofty pre-season expectations – has not reflected well on the Belgian.

However, he has knowledge of the Bundesliga from his time as a player at Hamburg and speaks German.

If Bayern were to make a formal approach, it is sure to be attractive to Kompany, who signed a five-year contract extension at Burnley in 2023 but refused to answer questions about his future after Sunday’s season-ending defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Bayern endured a trophyless campaign under Tuchel, finishing third in the league behind unbeaten champions Leverkusen and second-placed Stuttgart.

 

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Mikel Arteta is ‘creating a monster’ at Arsenal – Fabregas

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Cesc Fabregas has backed Arsenal to continue challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, claiming that Mikel Arteta

Cesc Fabregas has backed Arsenal to continue challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, claiming that Mikel Arteta is ‘creating a monster’.

Arsenal suffered disappointment on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday as City sealed a 3-1 win at home to West Ham to be crowned champions for the fourth campaign in a row.

Arteta’s side ended up two points behind Pep Guardiola’s men but Fabregas believes City have not received enough credit for their historic success in the Premier League.

‘It’s still an achievement,’ Fabregas told El Larguero.

‘They don’t give it that much attention either because it’s, ‘oh, they always win’, but it’s very difficult, very difficult.

‘They have a lot of money and they have the best players but it is also very difficult because you are competing in the Champions League against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona.

‘In the Premier League, Arsenal are creating a monster too and they [City] continue to beat them and compete well and it’s not the end.

‘My admiration comes from knowing what I do now and how much work does not stop to continue improving and analysing and creating game plans, what they do at the highest level every three days and switching from cup competitions to the league is amazing and I hope that one day I have the opportunity to be on the same pitch as them.’

When asked what he learned during his time under Wenger at Arsenal, Fabregas said: ‘How to be a manager.

‘Like now I am lucky to be experiencing something unique because when I know when I leave I will be a normal coach.

‘In the club where I work now I am lucky to control everything a little bit. The truth is that I think a lot not about how Arsene was the manager but how to control everything when it comes to scouting, how to manage staff, where to get your staff, how to control different groups, how to create a work culture within the club to make the whole family grow together.’

Asked what he took from playing under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Fabregas said: ‘How to manage the dressing room.

‘How to play with the players’ heads. He is the coach who has known the best how to play with my mind, both when I was not well or when I was.

‘He always made me feel the best and this is very important as I am seeing it day by day now.’

 

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