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France beat Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup

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WORLD CUP: Lagos diverts traffic at Stadium Thursday, over Nigeria, CAR Qualifying March

…. Vladimir Putin allows Football fans visa-free entry to Russia till end of year***

France overwhelmed Croatia in Russia to clinch their second FIFA World Cup, winning 4-2. The first was on home soil in 1998. This time, French President Emmanuel Macron was on hand at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium to take the trophy back to Paris, where a football fever has gripped the residents.

The match was a thoroughly entertaining Final, in what, as FIFA reported was a fitting end to an outstanding tournament. Despite Croatia having the majority of possession in the opening stages, France took the lead in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. Antoine Griezmann’s lofted free kick from the French right was nodded into his own net by Mario Mandzukic. Ivan Perisic levelled with a calm effort from the edge of the penalty area, but he would turn from hero to villain. A cross from the French right-hand side was handled by the Croatia No4, with a penalty awarded after a VAR review.

After the interval, France increased their lead through Paul Pogba, whose performances in the tournament deserved a goal in its finale. After Kylian Mbappe stretched the Croatian defence, Griezmann teed up Pogba, who finished after seeing his initial effort blocked. After his tireless running tired the Croatian defence, it was only fitting that Mbappe himself got on the scoresheet, hitting a sweetly-struck effort from the edge of the penalty area with which Danijel Subasic stood no chance.

Mandzukic then scored in the same net, but this time to Croatia’s advantage, capitalising on some carelessness by France keeper Hugo Lloris to reduce the deficit. In the end, the big No17’s strike was not enough to spark yet another miraculous Croatian comeback, and Les Bleus emulate their heroes of 1998 – including coach Didier Deschamps – in securing their second World Cup title. Related

In the meantime, Foreign Soccer fans will be allowed to travel to Russia without visas until the end of 2018. The announcement was made by President Vladimir Putin after the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday. “I think we will do the following: for foreign fans who currently have fan IDs, we will give them multi-entry visa-free travel until the end of the year,” Putin said.

Russia had allowed soccer fans to travel to Russia without visas to attend the World Cup once they obtained fan IDs that were issued to supporters with match tickets. The fan IDs which permitted ticket-holders to enter Russia had initially been due to expire on July 25.

Putin said Russia was “proud” of its hosting of the football World Cup and called the tournament a success “in every respect”. “We can surely be proud of how we organised this tournament. We have made this grand event a success in every respect,” Putin said in a televised address after France’s victory against Croatia on Sunday.

“We have done it for our supporters, for Russians who are passionate about the sport and for all those who love sport across the world.” Putin thanked the foreign fans who came to Russia for the tournament.

Before it started a month ago, there had been concerns due to the memory of violence between Russian and English fans during the Euro 2016 tournament in France. Fans at this World Cup “showed that sport and football can manage not to divide people and not lead to fights and disputes, but unite people on the basis of common values,” Putin said.

“People tried to scare us by saying the English would come and commit hooliganism… But everyone behaved in a most exemplary manner.”

Now, “foreign supporters who currently have fan IDs will be able to benefit from multiple entries into the Russian Federation without a visa until the end of the year,” Putin said.

Despite high diplomatic tension between Moscow and the West, world football officials and personalities as well as world leaders have lined up to praise Russia’s hosting of the tournament. Russian leaders revelled in last night’s dramatic match after French players lifted the trophy.

The game was watched by Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

Putin said he had congratulated both leaders. “A score of 4-2 in a final — I can’t remember seeing a score like that and few people could,” Putin said. “Both teams were magnificent… I am sure everyone liked the way they played, and so did I.”

Vanguard with additional report from Zee

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Ikoyi Club Hosts Asiodu At 90 Golf Tournament

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The Chairman of the famous Ikoyi Club 1938 Alhaji Tafa Zibiri-Aliu, is set to lead other dignitaries to a golf tournament at the Club to celebrate the former Permanent Secretary and Secretary of Petroleum Chief Philip Asiodu (CON, CFR), who turned 90 years recently.

The Golf Kitty which is invitational, and comes up on Thursday 14th March 2024, at the Golf Section of the Club, will have in attendance the Captain Mr. Tade Adekunle, and other distinguished members playing, according to Dr. Austin Irabor a member of the Club who spoke on behalf of the organizers.

He pointed out that it promises to be a true celebration of excellence at the Ikoyi Club 1938 golf course, as members, veterans, captains of industries, and leaders in government and business amongst others gather at the club’s golf course for the 90th birthday celebration golf kitty in honour of Chief Philip Asiodu, who was also a Chief Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Golf Kitty is scheduled to hold on the 14th of March 2024 as part of the activities for the celebration of Chief Asiodu’s 90th birthday.

Chief Asiodu  is the Patriarch of the Asiodu family of  Nnikwu village, Umuaji, Asaba, Delta State, and a distinguished senior member, a veteran of the Ikoyi Club, and the Golf section for many decades

Also, speaking on behalf of the family, Ogbueshi Peter Osamgbi noted that “Chief Asiodu’s landmark age attainment comes as a thing of great joy to us, family and friends of the Retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Former Secretary of Petroleum of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and  Chief Economic Adviser to the President, who is also the Izoma of Asaba”

Pointing out that the sporting engagement through golf is a testament to his blessed life and a celebration of one of Nigeria’s revered economists and dedicated public servants.

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Super Eagles Loss To Ivory Coast Not A Disgrace- Ahmed Toro

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…As Bauchi fans hail referee Beida for good officiating 

Sani  Ahmed Toro, former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and ex-member House of Representatives, has commended the Super Eagles’ resilience at the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Ahmed Toro in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the aftermath of the Super Eagles 1-2 loss to the Elephants, said that the outcome of the match was not a disgrace.

The Super Eagles on Sunday failed to fly past the Elephants at the finals of the AFCON 2023, played at the 34th edition of the game, at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan.

Ivorian combative Sebastien Haller, scored the tap in a winning goal to help the hosts 2-1 win over Nigeria.

On-field captain, and Most Valuable Player of the tournament, William Troost-Ekong, with a thumping header as he rose to meet Samuel Chukwueze’s flick-on from a corner, but Franck Kessie equalized just after the hour mark after being left unmarked at the back post from a set piece with another header.

The Ivorians then repeated their comeback strategy as Borussia Dortmund player, Haller, tapped in from Simon Adingra’s cross into the goal.

Ahmed Toro

Ahmed Toro, however,  commended the team for their bravery even though most football pundits did not give them a chance.

“The Super Eagles of Nigeria did their best having gone far till the final match. We were not disgraced at the AFCON.

“Some of us expected them to win, but the game did not go our way. The Federal Government of Nigeria has done its part, so also the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to motivate the team.

“In all, it was a good fight from the Super Eagles,  because this was against all odds or expectations. For every sports-loving Nigerian, we wanted a victory.

“The Super Eagles deserve our commendation, so I congratulate them,” he said.

Ahmed Toro also said it was time for the Eagles to start thinking about the World Cup qualifications.

“We now have to go back to the drawing board and make sure that we qualify for the World Cup, we should focus on that.

“Going forward, we must make sure that we qualify for the World Cup because AFCON is over now, this is the right time for us to put our house in order,” he said.

In another development, the football fans in Bauchi State have praised referee Dahane Beida, of Mauritania, for good officiating during the Cote d’Ivoire finals win over Nigeria, at the 34th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles to capture the African crown, they came from behind to beat Nigeria 2-1, to win the AFCON 2023  title on Sunday, Feb. 11. 

Some football fans in an interview with the News Agency of  Nigeria (NAN) at midnight on Monday in Bauchi, lauded the officiating referee for unbiased officiating.

Mr Adamu Imam, a football fan, said the referee was composed and focused while officiating the match.

“The Mauritanian referee has put in his best to see that the game was perfectly coordinated, without much argument and fewer yellow cards issued. 

“So, I must commend his professionalism at the 2023 AFCON finals.”

Nasiru Ibrahim,  a sports commentator,  said the match was neat and was well-officiated by the referee.

“The referee has done well,” he said. 

Ibrahim, however, said that the Super Eagles coach made some mistakes.

“It was unexpected, and I am devastated. I am hoping to be able to bear the pain of the loss,” he added.

A sports writer, Jennifer Emmanuel, said the referee knew his job, “as a referee, he was impartial to the two teams”. 

“There was no sentiment nor bias in officiating the finals, he deserves commendation,” she said.

According to her, I feel bad but we accept everything in good fate, that’s football for you, Congratulations to Côte d’Ivoire .

“They played like patriots. no matter what happened tonight maximum respect to the super eagles,” Jennifer said with a salute.

Another Sports Enthusiast, Abubakar Waziri, however, noted that while officiating the match, the Mauritanian referee made some mistakes, adding that “it is the beauty of the game”. 

“The Super Eagles played more of a defensive game,  instead of attacking at the beginning of the match.

“There was much pressure on the defence because our midfield was not well coordinated, this put pressure on the defense,” he said. 

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Super Eagles Soar Past S/Africa, Berth In 2023 AFCON final

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Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday in Bouake qualified for the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), after defeating South Africa in a pulsating semi-final clash.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match played at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake,  was decided on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of tension-soaked encounter.

The match started on a fast pace, with the South Africans dominating play but was pegged back by the resilient Nigerian defence,  Marshalled by Captain William Troost-Ekong.

The cagey first half ended goalless, despite the forays by both teams.

But in the second half, Nigeria took the lead after Victor Osimhen was fouled inside the 18-yard box.

Ekong stepped up to put the Eagles one goal up.

However, late in the game, substitute Alhassan Yusuf gave away a penalty, which Teboho Mokoena tucked away.

The match was eventually decided on penalties, with Nigeria winning 4-2 after a nervy shoot-out.

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winning penalty as Nigeria booked their place in the final, sparking a wild celebration in the stadium.

Nigeria will now face the winners of the Cote d’Ivoire vs DR Congo match in Sunday’s final.

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