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Kwara Stadium To Be Named After Rashidi Yekini

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has pledged to immortalise late Super Eagles legend, Rashidi Yekini, by naming the Kwara State Sports Stadium in Ilorin after him.

The governor disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, in his office.

He said the process was underway to rename the stadium after the former Super Eagles gangling striker, an indigene of the state.

“We will send a bill to the State House of Assembly to immortalise Rashidi Yekini with the name of the stadium changing after the approval,” AbdulRazaq said.

Earlier, Dare said the ministry had written series of letters to the Kwara Government on the need to immortalise the football icon.

Dare urged the governor to sustain his support for sports development as it was a veritable tool for engaging the youth and reducing social vices in the country.

“I want to thank his excellency for hosting our biggest youth games in Ilorin, let me inform you that we are coming to Ilorin again because of the facilities at University of Ilorin, soonest we will be around for the youth games.

“I love the fact that the governor also loves sport, I want to encourage your excellency to invest more on sports,” he added.

The minister also discussed several ways of developing youth and sports with the governor in line with international best practices.

Rashidi Yekini who hails from Kwara, died on May 4, 2012 in Ibadan at the age of 48.

He began his professional career at UNTL Kaduna in 1981, then played on the continent before moving to Europe, where he enjoyed a successful four-year spell at Vitoria Setubal in Portugal where he was the Primeira Liga’s top scorer in the 1993-94 season.

Yekini scored 37 goals as a Nigerian international, and represented the nation in five major tournaments, including two World Cups where he scored the country’s first-ever goal in the competition.

He was also named the African Footballer of the Year in 1993. (NAN)

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Super Falcons Beat Ghana 2-0 In AFCON Qualifier

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria took a two-goal lead over Ghana’s Black Queens in their Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture, thanks to a brace by Sweden-based forward Uchenna Kanu at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Wednesday.

The visitors had come close in the 11th minute when Grace Animah saw her fierce shot inside the box blocked by Onome Ebi for a corner. But it was much against the run of play and nine minutes later, Nigeria made pressure count when Kanu rose to meet a perfectly-weighted pull-out by Francisca Ordega and nodded past impressive goalkeeper Dumehasi Fafali.

Both teams, knowing the loser on aggregate will be without any major qualifying contest or tournament for the next two-and-half years, threw everything into the clash played behind closed doors on Lagos Island, but it was Nigeria that made the breakthrough again in the 26th minute, when Kanu rose highest in the box to meet Toni Payne’s corner kick and nodded firmly past Fafali and a clutch of watching defenders.

Former junior international Kanu could have added an assist to her impressive tally for the day when she darted past two defenders and squared for Asisat Oshoala, but Fafali foiled any intentions of the Nigeria captain.

Three minutes before recess, Grace Asantewaa unleashed from just outside the box but her shot rose far above goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie’s post.

In the second half, the Black Queens did something in the mould of throwing the kitchen sink at the Super Falcons, harrying, pushing, kicking and running all over to try and reduce the tally and make the second leg in Accra something to look forward to. But veteran defender Onome Ebi, youngster Opeyemi Sunday, Glory Ogbonna and Osinachi Ohale thwarted their efforts.

Grace Asantewaa was again foiled in the 50th minute by Nnadozie, who tipped her rising shot over the sticks. Two minutes later, Oshoala darted past her marker and headed for glory, but was again stopped by Fafali.

Ghana’s captain Portia Boakye was the usual energetic warrior with an uncompromising stance and worked well with Gladys Amfobea, Janet Egyir, and Ellen Coleman to minimize the damage from the Super Falcons.

At the fore, Princella Adubea, Vivian Konadu and Nina Norshie sought vainly to unlock the Nigerian rear.

In the 82nd minute, Fafali was on hand to neutralize a plan cooked by substitute Vivian Ikechukwu, leaving the scoreline still at 2-0. And with a minute to the end, the tireless Princella Adubea waltzed her way into the Nigeria box and found herself face to face with Nnadozie, only to see her close-range bullet parried and then cleared out to safety by Ebi.

Both teams clash again on Sunday at the Accra Sports Stadium, as from 4pm Ghana time (5pm Nigeria time), with the winner on aggregate qualifying for the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations holding in Morocco next year summer.

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Why I want To Fight Fury Before My Career Ends -Anthony Joshua

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British boxer Anthony Joshua celebrates after winning the heavyweight boxing match between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua for the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles in Diriya, near the Saudi capital on December 7, 2019.

Anthony Joshua has said he needs a fight against Tyson Fury “on my record” before his career is finished because boxing as a whole required at least one bout between the two British heavyweights.

Between them, the two boxers currently hold all the major versions of the heavyweight world title.

Talks of a unification ‘superfight’, which went on for months, appeared to be on the brink of ending in an agreement earlier this year only for a United States arbitrator to rule Fury had to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time.

As a result Fury, having previously drawn with and then stopped Wilder, is set to make the maiden defence of his World Boxing Council (WBC) belt against the American in Las Vegas next month.

Before then, Joshua is set to face World Boxing Organization (WBO) mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk in London on September 25, with a crowd of some 60,000 expected at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the home of the Premier League club.

But Joshua, also the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion, knows that a fight against Fury is the contest boxing fans want to see and that a question mark will hang over his career if he does not face the ‘Gypsy King’.

“Do I need Tyson Fury on my record? I need it,” Joshua told the BBC 5 Live boxing podcast.

“We need it for boxing. It’s what we all need, I need it. Come on, let’s see how good I am.

“Fight good fighters and they bring out the best of you. Training camp is hard. To get better is very difficult in boxing. To fight Tyson Fury is a big challenge.”

Joshua added: “Let’s see how far I can take myself during this period. It’ll be a good challenge mentally. Not about him, but because I actually want to do well.

“When I wake up in the morning early and I’m tired, my body’s battered, I still go out and do what I do. It’s great rewards and only someone like Fury can give that to me.”

AFP

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Arsenal Sign Ben White From Brighton

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Arsenal have signed Ben White from Brighton and Hove Albion on a long-term contract, the club announced on their website on Friday.

The 23-year-old defender joins the Premier League side after spending the summer with the Three Lions of England at the Euro 2020.

He had spent the 2019/2020 season on loan with Championship-winning side, Leeds United, who are now promoted to the Premier League.

Speaking about the player, Arsenal’s Technical Director Edu said, “Ben has been a key target this summer. He has so many qualities which make us so excited he’s joining us. Ben’s a young English player with a great future. He’s very strong defensively, good on the ball with a great passing range. We’re delighted Ben’s signed and we look forward to him growing with us.”

Manager Mikel Arteta said, “Ben was a top target for us and it’s great that we’ve completed his signing. Ben has been educated with two very good clubs, Brighton and Leeds, in recent seasons. He has benefitted well from two very good coaching set-ups and has shown with both Brighton and on loan with Leeds what a strong talent he is.

“Ben is an intelligent defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and his style fits perfectly with us. And of course, he is still young, so his age and profile fit with what we are building here. We are all looking forward to Ben being central to our future long-term plans.”

The defender has been handed the No. four shirt and will be part of the Arsenal squad to face Chelsea in The Mind Series friendly match at the Emirates Stadium this Sunday.

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