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Mahrez, Mane, Salah nominated for African Footballer of the Year award



Mahrez, Mane, Salah nominated for African Footballer of the Year award

…As Gov. Makinde assures 3SC ’ll secure promotion ticket to NPFL***

Liverpool pair Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City have been named as the three candidates for this year’s African Footballer of the Year award, to be decided next month.

Senegal talisman Mane will be the favourite for the award ahead of his Egyptian club mate after Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League.

However, he faces stiff opposition from Mahrez, who won the English Premier League with Manchester City and also captained Algeria to the Africa Cup of Nations title in mid-year.

The nominees were named on Sunday after being selected by a panel of technical experts from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) plus former players and media.

Also read: Draw for 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League Round of 16

The coaches and captains of the 54 African national teams will now vote for the winner, to be announced on Jan. 7 at a ceremony at Hurgada in Egypt.

Salah has been African Footballer of the Year the last two years while Mahrez was the winner in 2016.

Sane was third in 2016 and runner-up to Salah the last two years.

In the meantime, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde on Sunday in Ibadan assured supporters of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan that the team would secure promotion ticket this season.

He gave the assurance at the Lekan Salami Stadium at Adamasingba in Ibadan after a match involving 3SC and Ekiti United Football Club of Ado-Ekiti.

The 3SC took on Ekiti United FC in a week 5 match of the 2019/2020 Nigeria National League (NNL), and defeated Ekiti United 1-0 through an 87th minute goal by Chinedu Enuademu.

The governor expressed optimism that 3SC were due for promotion into the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

“3SC are due for promotion into the NPFL this season and our administration will do everything humanly possible to ensure the club is promoted. We must regain the club’s lost glory,” he said.

Makinde said his being there on Sunday to watch the match was to support the team and ensure the team secured a promotion ticket into NPFL from their group.


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Super Eagles Continue To Falter In 2026 World Cup Qualifiers



Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

Kelechi Iheanacho’s 67th-minute goal saved the Super Eagles’ blushes on Sunday as they continued on a bumpy ride in the 2026 World Cup Qualification Competition.

The goal drew the Nigerian side level for a 1-1 ending against Zimbabwe in their Group C Match Day 2 fixture at Butare in Rwanda.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Walter Musona had given the game’s hosts a 26th-minute lead from a free-kick from about 30 metres out.

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The goal again underlined the need for the Nigerian team’s technical crew to have a re-think about their goalkeeping department.

It was a kick goalkeeper Francis Uzoho should have been able to do something about, given the distance, but he only leapt when it was too late.

NAN reports that the result means Nigeria has only two points from two matches in the group, and will host South Africa on June 5 in their Match Day 3 fixture.

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Remo Stars lead NPFL table after whipping Shooting Stars 3-0



Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

Remo Stars Football Club of Ikenne on Wednesday shot to the top of the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) table with a comprehensive whipping of the Shooting Stars FC.

In their Match Day 6 fixture at the Remo Stars Stadium in Ikenne, the hosts were clinical in annihilating the Oluyole Warriors and were two goals up by half-time.

The game’s opening moments were marked by a little exchange of scoring chances which were not utilised as a result of poor finishing.

But Remo Stars soon made their doggedness count when they scored in the 22nd minute through Ahmed Akinyele who utilised Sodiq Ismail’s assist.

The Shooting Stars did fight back, with young midfielder Abdullahi Lawal shooting a few inches wide from about 20 metres out after a pass from Joshua Akpan in the 37th minute.

But it was the hosts that went on to register their name on the scoreboard three minutes later when Sikiru Alimi converted a penalty kick to double their lead.

Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

The visiting side redoubled their efforts in the second half, injecting fresh legs in Gideon Monday and Douglas Archiv who replaced team captain Taofeek Malomo and Oke Kayode respectively.

However, their finishing kept on letting them down as the hosts stood resolute when on the back foot.

Alimi went on to make it a brace for himself and extend his side’s lead with their third goal in the 64th minute.

The hosts only needed to wind down the clock thereafter, as the Shooting Stars continued to search for a goal in the three matches they have played away from home.

The result took Remo Stars to 12 points from four wins and one loss in five matches, with a +4 goal difference.

As for the Shooting Stars, it is their second loss in three away outings, conceding five goals and scoring none.

It made it 10 points from three wins, one draw and two losses from six games, scoring a total of seven goals and conceding eight.

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Kenyan Marathon Runner Ekiru Receives 10-year Doping Ban



Kenyan marathon runner, Titus Ekiru has been banned for 10 years, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said Monday, on account of both doping and tampering in a case that involved collusion with a high-ranking doctor in a Kenyan hospital.

One of his positive tests, for triamcinolone acetonide, came at the Milan Marathon in May 2021, which he won in a time of two hours, two minutes, and 57 seconds, which would currently rank him the seventh-fastest all-time marathon athlete.

The ban comes after an investigation found the 31-year-old obstructed the AIU’s probe into two adverse analytical findings (AAFs) by using false information and documentation.

His ban runs from the date of his provisional suspension on June 28, 2022 until June 27, 2032. His results on and since May 16th, 2021 have been erased and he must forfeit all race prizes and money.

Ekiru also tested positive after winning the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Nov. 26th for pethidine and its marker norpethidine.

An investigation showed Ekiru received injections of banned substances during undocumented hospital visits, and the AIU was able to determine medical documents submitted to explain his AAFs were forged and inconsistent with hospital and pharmacy records.

“For athletes involved in doping and the entourage who assist them, there is one strong message from this case – there is nowhere to hide,” said AIU chair David Howman.

Ekiru won at least 10 marathons or half-marathons between 2017 and 2021.

– Reuters

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