Audi has demanded that Barcelona’s players return their free cars after the German manufacturer’s sponsorship deal with the Spanish champions expired.The club teamed up with the car manufacturer last year and Lionel Messi and Co were offered a nice freebie as part of the deal.According to Spanish newspaper Diario AS, the deal between Audi and Barcelona finished on 30th June.And Audi, who also has similar deals with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, want their free cars to be returned.Barcelona superstar, Messi picked up an Audi RS 6 that is estimated around £130,000.Sergio Busquets’ Audi R8 Coupe V10 is the most expensive of the lot at a whopping £192,000, while Luis Suarez’s Audi RS 6 Avant is priced at around £127,000.Below are what each player and the manager picked as their car.Sergio Busquets: Audi R8 Coupe V10 plus Daytona gray (£192,000)Gerard Pique: Audi RS 6 Avant performance Daytona gray (£127,000)Luis Suarez: Audi RS 6 Avant performance Daytona gray (£127,000)Lionel Messi: Audi RS 6 Avant performance Sepang blue (£127,000)Nelson Semedo: Audi Q7 Carrara white (£75,000)Marc-Andre ter Stegen: Audi SQ5 TFSI Mythos black (£71,000)Ernesto Valverde: Audi Q7 e-tron quattro Florett silver (£65,000)Jordi Alba: Audi Q7 Sepang blue (£65,000)Ivan Rakitic: Audi Q7 Graphite gray (£65,000)Philippe Coutinho: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI (£65,000)Ousmane Dembele: Audi RS3 Sportback Panther black (£56,000)Sergi Roberto: Audi RS3 Sportback Catalunya red (£56,000)Samuel Umtiti: Audi RS3 Sportback Catalunya red (£56,000)Every season the players would get brand-new cars with Audi selling the second-hand models. The company has given a three-week deadline for the players to return the supercars.Barcelona’s players had used the cars as their daily ride to and from the club’s training ground.The move ends a 13-year relationship between the Catalan club and German cat giant who also had deals with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.RelatedLaLiga: Suarez Returns To Barcelona Line Up With Messi To Miss Valencia ClashSeptember 14, 2019In “Spain”Audi Present Cars To Madrid Players (Photos)November 24, 2017In “Europe”Quique Setién: From Equatorial Guinea To Barcelona Via Cattle HerdingJanuary 15, 2020In “Spain”
The Nigeria cadet handball team competing in the IHF World Youth Championship were narrowly beaten 37-34 by hosts Macedonia on Thursday to record a second successive defeat in their debut at the tournament. Following a less than impressive display in their tournament opening loss to Bahrain, head coach Emeka Nnamani had vowed that his side would put up a much-improved showing against the hosts who are also making a first-ever appearance at the tournament.Nigeria’s showing matched the pre-game promise of their coach as they put up a vastly improved display with line player Ebinatei Kiripoimini Ekpodio particularly impressive as he top-scored for Nigeria with 11 goals. Back by a vociferous crowd, Macedonia proved resilient and ultimately prevailed against the gallant Nigerians with Martin Serafimov and Nenad Kosteski finishing with 10 and 13 goals respectively for the hosts.Nigeria must now secure a victory today against Denmark to keep their hopes of progressing to the next round alive.RelatedIHF World Youth Championship: Nnamani Talks Tough Ahead Of Nigeria’s Clash With MacedoniaAugust 8, 2019In “Handball”IHF World Youth Championship: Yet Another Loss For Nigeria in MacedoniaAugust 13, 2019In “Handball”IHF World Youth Championships: Nigeria Lose Third Straight Match to DenmarkAugust 10, 2019In “Handball”
Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President Musa Kida and board member Colonel Sam Ahmedu have both bagged FIBA appointments after they were appointed into the Finance and Legal Commissions respectively.The NBBF President and Ahmedu will serve on the commission for a four-year period.While breaking the news to the NBBF board, Kida said the latest appointment is a call to service towards the development of basketball on the global stage.“I wish to thank all my board members for their support since we assumed office in 2017,” Kids said. “Without their support, all the successes achieved would not have been possible. The latest appointment is a recognition of what we have achieved as a board.”“FIBA has continued to evolve and introduce more international competitions which means more money will be needed. I hope I can use my contacts to financially help FIBA which will directly and indirectly benefit Nigeria as one of the affiliated National Federations.”Ahmedu stated that being in the Legal Commission would afford him the opportunity to contribute to the legal aspect of the game in an era where there are conflicts between FIBA laws and that of the national federations.Sam AhmeduThe legal luminary who served in the Nigerian Army said “apart from conflict resolutions, the issue of eligibility of players would be one of his focal points to enable African teams to secure the services of their players born outside the continent.”Ahmedu who is a Central Board member of FIBA Africa is also the President of FIBA Africa Zone 3 comprising Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Niger Republic.Echoing the same sentiment, NBBF Vice President, Babs Ogunade said the appointments are a validation of the good works being put into basketball development in Nigeria and the continued rise of Nigerian basketball on the global stage.“We are really excited about these appointments. For FIBA to have deemed Kida and Col. Ahmedu worthy of their membership of these important commissions, I think it’s a welcome development which must be celebrated by all Nigerians.”Ogunade enjoined all basketball stakeholders in Nigeria to work with Kida to accelerate the development of the game.Related
New Manchester United signing Odion Ighalo owns the decision of returning to the Super Eagles of Nigeria, his agent Atta Aneke says.Ighalo announced his retirement from Nigeria’s men senior national team eight months ago but Coach Gernot Rohr recently revealed his desire to have the forward back in the Super Eagles’ set-up ahead of the 2021 Nations Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.However, agent to the former Watford striker Atta Aneke reportedly explained that Ighalo was only going to return if he wanted to. “For now we have not talked about a return to the senior national team,” said Aneke.“He is free to decide what he wants. It was his decision to retire from the team in the first place, so it’s up to him to rescind or stick by his decision.”Ighalo called time on his international career after Nigeria’s campaign at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.The 30-year-old finished the tournament as top scorer, with 5 goals and helped Nigeria pick a bronze medal. He joined Manchester United in a last-gap January transfer loan move from Chinese Super League side Shenghai Shenhua for the rest of the season. RelatedExclusive: Ighalo Reveals Rohr Super Eagles Comeback Discussions (VIDEO)June 4, 2020In “Featured”Gernot Rohr Reacts To Odion Ighalo Man Utd Move (AUDIO)February 3, 2020In “England”INSIDE AFCON 2019: How Odion Ighalo Shut His Critics Up With His FeetJuly 20, 2019In “AFCON”
Inter Milan wing back Victor Moses sustained an injury in training the Italian side announced on Monday.A statement on the club’s website said the 29-year-old was assessed at the Humanitas Research Hospital where it was discovered he had picked up a muscle strain in his left thigh.No timeframe was given for his return and Inter added that his condition will be reassessed in the coming days but he could miss Thursday’s clash against Napoli.Moses reunited with Antonio Conte at the San Siro club on a season-long loan from Chelsea in January with Inter also negotiating an option to buy as part of the deal with Premier League outfit.The former Nigeria international has made a total of seven appearances and created one goal across all competitions for the Nerazzurri since his move in January.RelatedVictor Moses Set To Reunite With Antonio Conte At Inter MilanJanuary 20, 2020In “Italy”Victor Moses Poised For Europa League Debut With InterFebruary 20, 2020In “Europa League”Odion Ighalo And Victor Moses On Verge of Europa League Round of 16 FaceoffFebruary 9, 2020In “Europa League”
Players and officials of all 20 Nigeria Professional Football League clubs will wear black armbands in tribute to Chineme Martins during Matchday 24 fixtures on Sunday the League Management Company has announced.Nasarawa defender Martins, 23, slumped and died during his side’s match with Katsina United at the Lafia Township Stadium last Sunday.In addition to donning black armbands, a minute silence will also be observed before kickoff at all venues while play will be interrupted in the 20th-minute for a one-minute applause in all match venues.#NPFL20 UPDATE FOR MATCHDAY 24🕯️ CHINEME MARTINS 🕯️– Players & officials of all 20 clubs to wear black armbands– One-minute silence to be observed before kickoff at all venues– One-minute applause to be observed at 20th minute of every game pic.twitter.com/JleFKkMoe8— League Management NG (@LMCNPFL) March 14, 2020Martins had donned the number 20 jersey for Nasarawa United prior to his unfortunate passing last week.The manner of Martins’ death shocked and angered many Nigerians who were horrified by the absence of qualified medical personnel to attend to the player after he slumped and the delay in getting him to hospital after the ambulance in the stadium failed to start.Nasarawa United were later fined N6m and given a suspended six-point deduction by the LMC because of the incident.The ministry of sports and the Nigeria Football Federation also decreed that no league matches will hold in match centres where the full complement of medical personnel and functional ambulance are absent.On Friday, the NFF constituted a committee to investigate the circumstances of Martins’ death and recommend measures to forestall a repeat.RelatedChineme Martins: Nasarawa United Defender Slumps And Dies During MatchMarch 8, 2020In “Featured”NPFL Round-Up: Plateau United Extend Lead As All 20 Clubs Pay Tribute To Chineme MartinsMarch 15, 2020In “Featured”Chineme Martins: Amaju Pinnick Inaugurates Committee To Investigate Player’s DeathMarch 17, 2020In “Featured”
Not since the all-conquering 1994 set of Super Eagles players have Nigerians been as excited about the national team as they are with the present crop of players – and for good reason.Across Europe’s top five leagues and even in the lesser leagues, Nigerian players continue to dazzle and are consistently ranked among the best performers.The impressive performances have also impacted on the market values of Super Eagles players according to data compiled by transfer market specialists Transfermarkt.co.uk.And according to the website, Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi is currently the priciest Super Eagle with a market value of £40.50m.Ndidi, 23, joined the Foxes in 2017 for £16m but has seen his value soar to £40.50m on the back of constant world-class performances at the base of Brendan Rodgers’ midfield.The former Genk player has made 29 appearances and scored twice for Leicester City in all competitions this season.Next on the list is Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi whose market value of £28.8m is a steep decline from the £40m the Toffees paid Arsenal for his services last summer but reflects the stop-start season he’s had after struggling with injuries.Lille striker Victor Osimhen, 21, and Villareal forward Samuel Chukwueze, 20, are both valued at £27m apiece.However, while Chukwueze’s value remained unchanged from the last updates, Osimhen’s has exploded exponentially from its previous value of £11.70m mirroring his status as one of the world’s most promising strikers.The striker who has been strongly linked with a summer move to Liverpool is Lille’s top scorer this season with 18 goals in 38 games in all competitions.Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has also seen his value rice as his resurgence this season is replicated in his market value which rose from £10.80m to £13.50m in the latest updates.The 23-year-old – recalled to the Super Eagles after being dropped for the 2019 AFCON – is enjoying a rebirth at the King Power and has scored eight times in 18 games in all competitions.Club Brugge forward Emmanuel Dennis has also enjoyed a spike in value to £10.80m following a breakout season capped by a memorable brace against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and a beautiful strike against Manchester United.Torino defender Ola Aina, on-loan Galatasaray forward Henry Onyekuru and Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa are all tied on £9m.Moses Simon on loan at French side Nantes from Spanish club Levante is valued at £7.20m – a massive improvement on the £5.40 the Spanish side paid Gent for his services two years ago.Simon’s stay at Nantes where he has notched nine goals and contributed eight assists in 30 appearances is likely to be made permanent after manager Christian Gourcuff expressed a desire to retain him beyond his loan.Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu who is rated as the 10th best dribbler in Ligue 1 by statisticians Opta is also valued the same as Moses.Meanwhile, Belgium-born Cyriel Dessers is has seen his market value nearly triple in worth to £3.60m following his exploits for Dutch side Heracles Almelo.The 26-year-old who earned a maiden call up to the national squad for the now-postponed 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Sierra Leone is the joint-leading in the Dutch Eredivisie with 15 goals in 26 games.The pair of Granada midfielder Ramon Azeez and on-loan Wigan defender Leon Balogun have seen dramatic drops in their values to £900k.Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has had a fantastic season for his PSL side and earned a recall to the national side following a long-term injury to Francis Uzoho.Although the 33-year-old’s value has risen like fine old wine, at £675k he is worth the least of current players in the national team.Top 11 Most Valuable Super Eagles PlayersWilfred Ndidi £40.50mAlex Iwobi £28.8mVictor Osimhen £27mSamuel Chukwueze £27mKelechi Iheanacho £13.50mEmmanuel Dennis £10.80mOla Aina £9mHenry Onyekuru £9mAhmed Musa £9mMoses Simon £7.20mSamuel Kalu £7.20 RelatedWilfred Ndidi Rated Top Passer in the EPLDecember 1, 2018In “England”Ligue 1 Champions PSG Trail NdidiMay 4, 2020In “Europe”Nigerians Don’t Appreciate “Big Name” Mikel Obi – Wilfred NdidiApril 19, 2020In “Featured”
MILAN (AP):Aaron Ramsey scored on his debut to send Juventus on their way to a 2-1 win over newly promoted Hellas Verona amid a strained atmosphere at Allianz Stadium yesterday.His goal cancelled out Miguel Veloso’s opener for Verona, who also missed a penalty. Cristiano Ronaldo was more successful with his spot kick for Juventus in the second half.“I’ve waited a long time for this moment,” said Ramsey, who has only recently returned to fitness following a hamstring injury. “I’m really happy, both for the victory and for the goal.”Juventus also needed Gianluigi Buffon to pull off a number of crucial saves to stop Verona from equalising in the second half.Ronaldo put Juve’s sub-par performance down to the players’ exertions midweek in the 2-2 draw against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League.There was a small protest outside the stadium before the match in Turin in support of the 12 hardcore Juventus “ultra” fan leaders who were arrested Monday after allegedly making illegal demands to the club to obtain more tickets.A group of around 20 fans chanted for their release while others handed out leaflets. There were also no flags or banners displayed in the Curva Sud, where the ultras normally watch the match from.
Action from Day Two of the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP): Football superstar Lionel Messi finally arrived in sports-crazed Israel yesterday after a Palestinian protest campaign derailed his previous visit and the latest round of cross-border fighting in Gaza threatened to scare him off once again.Messi and his Argentine teammates are in the Holy Land to play an international friendly against his Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez and the Uruguay national team. It’s a game that has been just as eagerly anticipated for its political ramifications as it has for its sporting star power.Suarez and his teammates arrived on Saturday after a friendly match in Hungary, while Messi touched down yesterday after a direct flight from Saudi Arabia, where Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in another friendly.A year ago, Argentina abruptly cancelled a World Cup warm-up match in Jerusalem, saying they was concerned for the safety of their players. The decision followed protests in the West Bank and other countries amid outrage that Messi would play in Israel. Demonstrations Those demonstrations included threats to burn Messi jerseys and brandished images of the Argentina national team’s jersey stained with red paint resembling blood. As a result, FIFA, football’s governing body, banned Palestinian football federation president Jibril Rajoub for a year for “inciting hatred and violence” against Messi.Today’s match was nearly nixed as well after last week’s two-day eruption of violence following Israel’s targeted killing of a Palestinian militant commander in Gaza. The Islamic Jihad militant group responded by firing hundreds of rockets into Israel, setting off warning sirens as far north as Tel Aviv – the site of today’s match. The fighting killed 34 Palestinians, including 15 civilians.Both Argentina and Uruguay were reportedly on the verge of calling off their participation.But they eventually decided to play after high-profile negotiations with Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli billionaire who is responsible for staging the match in Israel.The Palestinian BDS group PACBI condemned today’s match, accusing Argentina and Uruguay of crossing the “Palestinian nonviolent picket line, allowing Israel to use the beautiful game to sports-wash its crimes against Palestinians ”.