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Juventus president reveals who made decision for Allegri’s departure

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Juventus coach, Allegri calls UEFA Champions League ‘bastard’ competition

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Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, has claimed that it was outgoing boss, Max Allegri, who made the decision to leave the club.

Speaking at a press conference to pay tribute to Allegri, Agnelli refused to discuss the club’s next manager.

The Bianconeri announced on Friday that the 51-year-old would be departing the club at the end of the season despite having a year left on his contract.

Allegri has won five successive Serie A titles since replacing Antonio Conte in 2014.

“Today I’m here to speak only about Allegri and celebrate what he’s achieved at Juventus.

“He’s written this extraordinary story by himself. I won’t be answering any questions about the Coach for the 2019-2020 season.

“Max has been very courageous since the start, the circumstances in which he arrived was difficult.

“We had to wait 14 months, until the memorable July 16 2014, when he accepted to become – amid general protests – the coach of Juventus.

“As we were about to drive up, we were alerted that the crowd was waiting for us. The driver wanted to take us to a secondary entrance, but I insisted we’d come to the main gate, because we had no reason to hide or be ashamed.

“It takes huge courage to take Juve on July 16 and go on to the Scudetto and Champions League Final in the same season. That takes cojones and Max has them.

“These five years have been marvellous for me. Five Championships, four consecutive doubles – these achievements are extraordinary.

“We also had 18 months as neighbours, and Andrea Barzagli was living between us too, so we had breakfast together at the same bar almost every day. We shared visions of life, football and everything else, seeing each others’ kids grow up.

“We came back to win the title against Napoli when everyone had already written our sporting obituary. This season we won with weeks and weeks to go.

“I think above all and else, I have found a friend, someone I can confide in on many, many, many matters. At this point, I also have to consider the planning and future of Juventus.

“When this team comes together in July, it will begin with the objective of winning, both in Italy and in Europe,” Agnelli said.

Agnelli then confirmed that it was Allegri’s hope to end on a high, that was the reason for the break.

“As time went on, we all considered and analysed various situations and I cannot deny there is some sadness in realising this was probably the best moment to close one of the most extraordinary eras in the history of Juventus.

“This is what happens when intelligent people look at a situation and decide to end on a high rather than drag it forward.

“Max was the director of all this, the leader of the orchestra, so I want to present him with this jersey.

“Thank you Max for everything you’ve done for Juventus and me,” he added.

An emotional Allegri added: “I thank the President and all the players in all my years.

“I’m leaving this team with success and with great potential. My exit changes nothing.

“I still have a great relationship with Juventus, the President, vice-president Pavel Nedvěd and sporting director Paratici.

“When I arrived, I found a great structure. I’m confident in this company, they’re a great company. These are wonderful men.

“Tomorrow we must celebrate for two things. First because we won the historic eighth Scudetto and second because Barzagli is leaving, the Professor of defending.

“I am very emotional, sad and moved. But enough is enough. Tomorrow we need to celebrate against Atalanta,” he said.



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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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