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AC Milan banned from Europa League due to FFP breaches



The Rossoneri, who successfully appealed against a suspension from continental competition ahead of 2018-19, have now seen sanctions confirmed by CAS

AC Milan have been excluded from the 2019-20 Europa League as a result of Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.

The Serie A giants will play no part in continental competition during the upcoming campaign, despite having secured a fifth-place finish last season.

They ended 2018-19 one point behind arch-rivals Inter and outside of the Champions League spots.

The Rossoneri were due to participate in Europe’s secondary club tournament, but they have been forced to withdraw after failing to adhere to FFP regulations.

A statement from CAS read: “AC Milan is excluded from participating in the UEFA Club Competitions of the sporting season 2019/2020 as a consequence of the breach of its FFP break-even obligations during the 2015/2016/2017 and the 2016/2017/2018 monitoring periods.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body is invited to issue a Procedural Order, acknowledging the outcome of the present arbitration(s) and terminating the AC-01/2019 proceedings relating to the 2016/2017/2018 monitoring period, which have become moot.”

Milan had faced similar sanctions ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, with UEFA having brought charges against them intending to block their participation in the Europa League.

That decision was overturned on appeal by CAS and the Rossoneri were reinstated but the Italian giants have been unable to repeat that success 12 months on.

Having been allowed to compete in 2018-19, Milan ended up being knocked out at the group stage.

A side then managed by Gennaro Gattuso finished third behind Real Betis and Olympiakos, falling at the first hurdle.

There has been plenty of change at San Siro since then, with Marco Giampaolo now at the helm but he will not get the chance to take in European action during his debut campaign.

With Milan being ruled out of the Europa League for 2019-20, Italian football has one place to fill.

That invitation will drop one place down the final standings in Serie A from 2018-19, with Torino seemingly now replacing Milan.

Their campaign will start at the second qualifying round, with Roma joining old adversaries Lazio in securing a passage straight through to the group stage.

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Glo Felicitates with Tobi Amusan on Third Diamond League Win




Leading provider of digital and telecommunications services, Globacom, has congratulated its brand ambassador, Tobi Amusan, on her victory in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the Diamond League final in Oregon, United States.

Amusan won the race on Sunday night in 12.33 seconds to win the Diamond League for the third time in a row. She captured her maiden Diamond League trophy in 2021 and had successfully defended it in 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Globacom, which applauded Amusan for the remarkable accomplishment, said in a statement on Tuesday that her triumph, “despite her recent setback, has demonstrated that she is a bright professional who still has a lot to give the world of athletics”.

“With the third Diamond League trophy in her kitty, Amusan remains a true African ambassador at the world stage and an inspiration to millions of youths who look up to her as a role model”, Globacom said.

The company praised Amusan for embodying the resilience and work spirit of the Nigerian people and challenged her to keep progressing, win more laurels, and create a lasting impression on the world of athletics stage.

Amusan has now won three 100m hurdles championships, making her the second woman in Diamond League history to do so after Dawn Nelson-Harper.

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AFCON: Super Eagles Wallop STP 6-0, As Osimhen Grabs Hattrick




Victor Osimhen scored thrice as the Super Eagles dispatched Sao Tome and Principe 6-0 in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier on Sunday.

The strikes took the Napoli hit man’s tally to 10 in the qualification series as the rampant Super Eagles soared over a helpless foe at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Osimhen opened the score sheet for the Super Eagles in the 13 minute when he slotted past the Sao Tome goaltender. Atalanta’s Ademola Lookman scored three minutes from the half-hour mark to double Nigeria’s lead.

While Coach Jose Peseiro’s side sought a third goal, the teams headed into the tunnel for half-time with the score line pegged at 2-0.

On resumption, the 2013 African champions continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, launching attack after attack.

Their dominance eventually paid off as in form Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi beat the Sao Tome goalkeeper from close range to triple Nigeria’s advantage in the 51st minute.

Not done, Osimhen scored his second of the day in the 69th minute and had his hattrick ten minutes later to take his tally in the qualification series to 10.

Samuel Chukwueze’s introduction around the 72th-minute mark added more firepower to the Eagles’ attacking line. The AC Milan man wasted no time to score.

Chukwueze’s 85th-minute strike sealed one of the biggest wins for the Super Eagles in recent times. Nigeria had earlier defeated Sao The Falcons and True Parrots Team 10-0 in the reverse fixture last June, taking the aggregate score to 16-0.

With the win, Nigeria sealed their spot as the winners of Group A in the qualifiers for the Ivory Coast tournament billed for next year.

Nigeria played six matches en route to qualification for the competition. They lost one and other games to finish as group leaders with 15 points. Their only defeat was against Guinea Bissau who pipped them 1-0 earlier in the year.

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FIBA Women’s AfroBasket Rwanda 2023: Witnessing the Prowess of Nigeria’s D’Tigress




By Dolapo Aina

The national basketball women team of Nigeria D’Tigress had a phenomenal run in the city of Kigali which is the capital of Rwanda during the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2023 tourney. The ladies went past Congo DR, Egypt, Rwanda and at the finals had to re-assert dominance over The Lionesses of Senegal (the final was the closest game which would be termed as tough for the ladies from Nigeria.) The tense game was expected as the game was more of a West African showdown in East Africa: The Jollof War in Kigali. The Nigerian community in Kigali were all out in their numbers to cheer the ladies to assured victory.

The assured victory was evident from the beginning of the tourney as the camaraderie between coach Rena Wakama and the ladies was as glaring as the sun bouncing off the hills in Kigali. Their poise, confidence and preparedness in all their games were unmatched whether on the court or courtside. Nevertheless, during the final, D’Tigress were very professional. With the unrelenting support of the Nigerian community engineered by the Nigerian diplomats at the Nigeria High Commission in Kigali; the Nigerian community metamorphosed into one of the most vociferous Nigerian sports supporters one would ever find outside Nigeria, the ladies were super-charged. On a lighter note, it is doubtful if anyone in Sub-Sahara Africa is as vociferous as a Nigerian if it comes down to a shouting contest. The decibels at the BK Arena for the Nigerian games against Rwanda and Senegal might just be one of the loudest recorded sporting jubilations at the magnificent edifice situated in Remera in Kigali.

Senegal was not playing hard defence against Nigeria during the first half quarter of the game. Therefore, the Nigerian team was making most of their shots, including three shots, and that was the reason D’Tigress were in the lead at the end of the first half. To be blunt and honest, Nigeria could have tightened up even more on their defence during the first half. The Nigerian supporters comprising the Nigerian community in Kigali took a break from the drumming, singing and hyping.

During the second half, Senegal came back from halftime with nothing short of a vengeance which is more of a West African rivalry. The Lionesses from Senegal came back prepared to fight. Senegal tightened up on their defence tremendously and rebounds were made as the final statistics from FIBA revealed.

Now, during the third quarter, Nigeria’s lack of defence hurt them because it enabled Senegal to garner points. The third quarter was quite a defining set because during the third quarter, some of the Nigerian players, once they had possession of the ball, would gravitate to the right-hand corner of the court before they would try to take a shot. Senegal noticed it also, so two or more of the Senegalese players would force the Nigerian player into a corner. And once this was done, the Nigerian player would then be unable to pass the ball. At this point, the Nigerian player would desperately try to make the shot but would miss. And this happened time and time again.

One could tell that towards the end of the third quarter and the early part of the fourth quarter, the Nigerian players were getting nervous and frustrated. They were missing their shots and fumbling and turning over the ball a few times and Senegalese were able to gain possession and make shots. Meanwhile, Senegal did get a little overzealous with their defence a few times and D’Tigress of Nigeria were able to get quite a few foul shots called in. The Nigerian supporters were still unrelenting.
Rena Wakama who is Nigeria’s coach was always pacing the courtside and making the appropriate changes when the time called for it. She called the ladies in with about four to five minutes left in the game for a strategising session which turned out to be the rallying point and tonic the team needed. Once that strategizing session ended, the ladies came back on court fighting and charging like tigresses at any obstacle. They tightened up on their defence; they increased their rebounds and assists. They came back in hitting three-point shots. The ladies came back into the game fighting to win. They came back hungry and realised they did not come this far to lose. Nigeria ended the game (84-74) in grand style with a three-pointer shot that sent the players of D’Tigress and the Nigerian community in Kigali into joyous pandemonium.

Nigeria’s Amy Okonkwo, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player told FIBA website that: “We have a coach that believes in us. It has us fighting till the end, even in adversity. So, we knew we had our destiny in our hands. Even when Senegal came back, we knew we had to step up, to keep together and we made it happen. I was playing in Mexico this summer, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to come and lead. And I had the opportunity to lead the team. I told to myself that I was not coming to Kigali to lose anything. And being MVP is a huge honour.”
Rena Wakama, Nigeria’s head coach who was ubiquitous during the final stated that: “Against Mozambique, we were down by 10 or 12 points. I looked into their eyes, and they told me: “Coach, we’re not going to lose this game and they came back to win. That was the defining moment for me. It has been a long year for me. I asked God for a sign, and this trophy was the biggest of them all.”

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