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Europa League: Iwobi Missing In Arsenal Win Vs Vorskla; Saka Makes Debut; Kalu, Odey In Action

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Europa League: Iwobi Missing In Arsenal Win Vs Vorskla; Saka Makes Debut; Kalu,  Odey In Action

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By Adeboye Amosu

Super Eagles winger, Alex Iwobi, was missing in action in Arsenal’s 3-0 win against Ukranian club, Vorskla Poltava in a UEFA Europa League clash on Thursday in Kiev, with Nigerian-born youngster, Bukayo Saka making his senior debut in the encounter, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Iwobi, who has been one of the key performers for the Gunners this season was among the senior players rested by Arsenal manager, Unai Emery ahead of Sunday’s London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

Saka came in Welshman, Aaron Ramsey in the 69th minute of the encounter.

Born September 5, 2001 in London, Saka is now the youngest Nigerian-born player to debut for the North London club at 17 years, 11 months, 5 days.

Chuba Akpom who was 17 years, 11 months, 5 days when he made his competitive debut in a 3-1 win vs Sunderland on September 14, 2013 previously held the record.

Third on the list is Chuks Aneke, who first played for Arsenal’s senior team aged 18 years, 2 months, 17 days.

The 17-year-old was promoted to Arsenal’s under-23 team at the start of the season and recently got his debut with England’s under-19 squad in a match against Moldova, two months after he played for the U18s.

Two months ago, Saka got his first England U18 cap and signed his first professional contract with the North London club, then scored in the 4-0 mauling of Moldova in a EURO U19 Championship qualifier.

Saka has been involved in all matches played by Arsenal in the Premier League 2 this term, eleven in total, most recently against Derby County.

Emile Smith-Rowe opened scoring for Arsenal in the 11th minute, while Ramsey added the second from the spot in the 27th minute.

Joe Willock scored the Gunners third goal four minutes before the break.

In another Europa League clash, Nigeria winger, Samuel Kalu featured for 81 minute in French club, Bordeaux 2-0 win against Czech side, Slavia Prague.

At the Stadion Letzigrund, Zurich, former MFM striker, Stephen Odey was in action for 90 minutes as his club FC Zurich fell to a 2-1 home defeat to AEK Larnaca of Greece.



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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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