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2019 AFCON: El Hadji Diouf predicts country to win trophy

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2019 AFCON: El Hadji Diouf predicts country to win trophy

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Former Senegalese forward, El Hadji Diouf, has tipped the 2019 African Cup of Nations hosts, Egypt to win the trophy.

Diouf said Egypt would be the team to beat when Africa’s best 24 teams battle for the Africa Cup of Nations title.

Diouf, who won the African Footballer of the Year in 2002, was in Nigeria at the weekend with the crème de la crème of the finest players in Africa of the 90s and 2000s that played a novelty game with the Nigerian legends that featured Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Samson Siasia, Finidi Grorge, Emmanuel Amunike, Uche Okechukwu, Austin Eguaavoen and others to celebrate Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode whose tenure ends on May 29.

“First I want to commend the changes we’ve witnessed in CAF. They are doing a fine job.

“I like the changes and innovations in CAF,” the former Senegal international told All Nigeria Soccer.

“Talking about the AFCON in Egypt, there are so many good teams that will be at the Nations Cup.

“Nigeria can win it just like any other country. It will be difficult with 24 teams playing time around.

“I cannot say this team or that team will win this tournament but we know that whenever Egypt hosts the AFCON, they win it.

“It’s just in the history of the tournament, they may win or not win but honestly the team that will win the AFCON must be mentally strong because there are so many good teams this year. It will be difficult,” El Hadji Diouf stressed.

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will hold between June 21 and July 19, 2019.



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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

Former Super Eagles player and Nigerian Football Ambassador, Daniel Amokachi, has been appointed as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports,” the appointment letter dated August 17, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, reads in part.

As special assistant on sports, Amokachi is expected to advise the President on all sports matters.

The former Everton of England forward, who was earlier in the year named Nigeria’s Football Ambassador, is expected to mentor youngsters and promote the game at the grassroots.

Nicknamed “The Bull”, Amokachi began his career in Kaduna with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna, played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He played in two World Cup finals, USA 1994 and France 1998. He was a member of Nigeria’s 1994 African Cup of Nations winning team and won the 2013 edition in South Africa as assistant to the late Coach Stephen Keshi.

Amockachi also won Gold with team Nigeria in the Football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday he will play at the US Open, ending speculation about his presence at the first Grand Slam tournament since the season restarted following the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

“I’m happy to confirm that I’ll participate at #CincyTennis and #USOpen this year,” the 33-year-old world number one tweeted.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” added the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

The US Open gets underway behind closed doors in New York on Monday August 31, with Djokovic arriving in the United States on Saturday to tune up in the Western and Southern Open, which is normally played in Cincinnati but has been moved to New York this year.

His decision to take part is a major boost for the US Open after a host of headline names pulled out.

Djokovic makes his competitive return after being heavily criticized for hosting a charity tennis event in the Balkans in June at which he and a raft of players tested positive for COVID-19.

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is pondering a move to retire the Super Eagles No.6 jersey previously worn by the late Sam Okwaraji, The PUNCH reports.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick made this known during an interview on a radio programme Sports Salsa, which was aired on Kennis 104.1 FM on Wednesday.

Okwaraji died of congestive heart failure minutes after he slumped during a 1990 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola on August 12, 1989, inside the main-bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of the Eagles.

“Someone made a proposal about retiring the jersey (No.6) at the start of the year and I think it is not too much for us to do that,” Pinnick said.

“I will forward the proposal to the executive committee for implementation because it has been said already. So, we will see how we can retire that shirt in honour of a great patriot (Samuel) Okwaraji.

“His (Okwaraji) death was very tragic because he was a player who showed dexterity, professionalism and maturity each time he played for the Eagles.”

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