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Lionel Messi’s posters torn outside of Barca’s stadium

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Messi’s posters torn outside of Barca’s Camp Nou stadium

Naija News 247 – Naija News Today

Lionel Messi’s face was removed from outside the Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium on Tuesday as the Argentine closes in on a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 34-year-old’s shock departure from the Spanish side was announced last week and Messi waved goodbye to the club he spent his entire career at in an emotional press conference on Sunday.

Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday that he is set to commit to French side PSG on a two-year contract worth £500,000 a week and Barcelona have started their new era by removing pictures of their former captain from the club’s surroundings.

Messi took centre stage in a large image of multiple Barcelona stars including goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen, Gerard Pique and Antoine Griezmann, but construction workers took down the strips showing Messi’s face.

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The entire poster on the side of Barcelona’s 99,000-seater stadium has been removed following Messi’s departure, while club officials were also seen taking down smaller, street-side posters with the Argentina’s face on it.

The Argentine forward, who scored 672 goals in 778 matches for Barcelona and won 35 trophies in the process, is flying to France on Tuesday to complete his free transfer to PSG just over 48 hours after waving goodbye to the Catalan club.

An emotional Messi broke down in tears at a farewell press conference and called for ‘humility and respect’ from the club after he left.

“I tried to behave with humility and respect and I hope that is what remains of me when I leave the club,” he said.

  Wijnaldum warns his team-mates ahead of CL Match

Messi also revealed how much he was willing to sacrifice in order to stay at Barcelona. The Catalans agreed a new contract with the Argentine over the summer but the club where unable to get the deal approved by La Liga due to Barcelona’s financial problems.

He said: “I took a 50 per cent wage cut and we had closed the deal. The club did not ask anything else from me. They did not ask me to take a further 30 per cent cut, that’s a lie. We did everything possible.

“Honestly, when the elections happened (in March), I spoke with (club president Joan) Laporta, we had dinner and after that I was convinced I would be staying.

“My contract was never the issue… What I know is that I did everything I could. The club say it could not happen because of LaLiga.

  Ahmed Musa transfer rumors link to Kano Pillars

“I can guarantee you that I did everything I could to stay. Last year I didn’t want to and I said that, but this year it was different.”

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KSU Steelers thrash FUOYE Dazzlers 3-1 to win championship –

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KSU Steelers

The Kogi State University (KSU) Steelers are champions of the 2022 Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) championship after defeating FUOYE Dazzlers of the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti 2-1 in the final on Saturday.

FUOYE Dazzlers followed the footpath of AAUA Luminaries from Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, who became the first South-west institution to qualify for the final of the championship (excluding eFootball season).

AAUA Luminaries reached the final in the 2021 edition of the championship but were defeated 1-0 by UNIMAID Desert Warriors from University of Maiduguri.

KSU Steelers are also debutant in the final having defeated UNILORIN Warriors from University of Ilorin 1-0 in the other semi final.

Just 13 seconds into the game, FUOYE Dazzlers were awarded a penalty for an infringement on their player by Adah Fidelis. However, Dolapo Kolawole slotted it into the net to give the Ekiti contingents a 1-0 lead.

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It was long when KSU Steelers responded when Samuel Odutola scored in the fourth minute to equalise to bring his team back into the game.

FUOYE Dazzlers found the back of the net once again in the 25th minute but it was ruled out as the assistant referee raised the flag after the ball went off the line before Dazzlers’ player took the cross.

Three minutes before the halftime whistle, FUOYE Dazzlers goalkeeper Lawani Clinton made a good save to deny KSU Steelers the lead.

The first half ended 1-1 at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Pavilion in Lagos.

After several attempts from both sides for the first twenty-three minutes of the second half, KSU Steelers finally found the back of the to take the lead for the first time in the encounter.

  Wijnaldum warns his team-mates ahead of CL Match

Few minutes later, Odutola grabbed his brace of the evening to double KSU Steelers lead and sealed the victory for the Kogi State institution.

There were more goals in the match as KSU Steelers won 3-1 to become the first State University to win the annual football tournament.

Their captain Suleiman Mohamed scored the goal from a well-played through pass.

Meanwhile, UNN Lions from University of Nigeria Nsukka defeated UNILORIN Warriors 1-0 in the third place match to clinch the Bronze medal.

Lawrence Echere scored the only goal of the encounter in the second half.

HiFL is an annual football tournament involving higher education institutions across Nigeria. It was founded in 2017 and institutions partake in a preliminary round to qualify for the knockout stage.

UAM Tillers from University of Agriculture Makurdi won the inaugural edition of the championship in 2018.

  Ahmed Musa transfer rumors link to Kano Pillars

Thereafter, UNICAL Malabites from University of Calabar, LEADCITY Gladiators from Lead University (e-sports edition) and UNIMAID Deserts Warriors have all gone ahead to win the tournament.

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FG diversifying sports to enhance youth empowerment: Minister

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Minister of youth and sports development Sunday Dare (Credit: Twitter)

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says the federal government will explore all possible avenues for more youths participation in sports to empower them to become self-employed.

“This move is in line with the present administration’s policy thrust, which is geared towards making the teeming Nigerian youths entrepreneurial,” Dare said when he received the executive director of Hand-To-Hand Sports Federation of Moscow, Sorgai Poroshin.

Mohammed Manga, a spokesman for the ministry, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, received Poroshin on Dare’s behalf.

  Nigeria-Jamaica: Oshoala to miss Super Falcons opening clash today

“The ministry will put up workable modalities which will make Nigeria not to only key into programmes by Hand-To-Hand Sports but also open up more doors for our youths’ involvement in the various fields of sports worldwide,” Dare was quoted as saying.

The minister urged Nigerian youths to keep themselves abreast of news about the various policies, programmes and initiatives of the present administration.

He said this would enable them to take advantage of every available opportunity to better their lives.

  Wijnaldum warns his team-mates ahead of CL Match

Earlier, Poroshin said he was in the ministry to introduce the hand-to-hand game to the country.

He said the sport had been in existence in the past 16 years and has 38 countries on its membership list.

“The countries include Ghana, and there is the need for Nigeria to see the possibility of keying into it in view of its position as the giant of Africa.

  Ahmed Musa transfer rumors link to Kano Pillars

“Nigeria’s acceptance of the game will further open a new horizon for the country’s youths to make their mark in the group of sports-loving countries,” Poroshin added.

(NAN)

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Tears flow as curtain comes down on Federer’s glittering career

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Tears flow as curtain comes down on Federer’s glittering career

Roger Federer’s trophy-laden career ended with defeat on Friday, but for once the result hardly mattered as the Swiss maestro headed into retirement with tears in his eyes and cheers ringing in his ears.

With a sellout crowd of 17,500 at London’s O2 Arena willing him on, the 20-time Grand Slam champion returned after more than a year away to play tennis.

He played alongside Rafa Nadal, the Spaniard with whom he shared one of tennis’s most captivating rivalries.

With the clock past midnight, Federer could have sealed victory in the Laver Cup doubles clash when he served at match point in a tense deciding tiebreak.

But it was not to be as Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe ripped up the script.

Sock thumped a forehand winner and sealed a 4-6 7-6 11-9 win for Team World.

After a brief moment of stunned silence around the packed arena, the crowd rose to salute the 41-year-old Federer, whose elegance, charisma and sportsmanship has graced tennis and transcended sport during a 24-year career.

Federer produced moments of his trademark magic during a fiercely contested duel and kept his emotions in check.

But the tears flowed afterwards as Ellie Goulding sang while a montage of Federer’s feats was projected on the black court.

When he was hugged by wife, Mirka, children Leo, Lenny, Myla and Charlene, and his parents Lynette and Robert, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

  Nigeria-Jamaica: Oshoala to miss Super Falcons opening clash today

“We’ll get through this somehow. It’s been a wonderful day.

“I told the guys I’m happy, not sad,” said Federer, who announced last week that this would be his final event after struggling to overcome a knee injury.

“I enjoyed tying my shoelaces one more time, everything was the last time,” he added. “Playing with Rafa and having all the greats here, all the legends.”

Federer broke down as he thanked his wife.

“She could have stopped me a long, long time ago but she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to play, so it’s amazing – thank you,” he said.

Federer’s eagerly anticipated final bow came after British favourite Andy Murray had battled against Australian Alex De Minaur for two and a half hours, but lost.

Murray’s two Wimbledon titles made him a national sporting icon, but the night was all about Federer – a player who resides in the pantheon of sporting greats with the likes of Pele, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.

Even his practice sessions here have been standing-room-only affairs, and an electric atmosphere greeted him as he walked out into the cavernous arena alongside Nadal just after 10:00 p.m.

  Wijnaldum warns his team-mates ahead of CL Match

“I’ve done this thousands of times, but this one feels different. Thank you to everybody who’s coming tonight,” Federer posted on Twitter earlier in the day.

The crowd included Australian great Laver – the man who inspired Federer to create the team competition being staged in London for the first time.

Loud cheers accompanied Federer and Nadal, or ‘Fedal’ as they are nicknamed, on to the court and The Clash’s London Calling boomed out as they warmed up.

An even bigger roar went up when Federer punched away a volley in the opening game – his first competitive shot since defeat by Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon last year ended his dream of a record-extending ninth title on Centre Court.

During changeovers video screens showed iconic moments of Federer’s career with tributes from Nadal and his mother.

But this was no exhibition match.

American duo Sock and Tiafoe, pantomime villains for the night, tested Federer’s reactions with some lusty blows aimed at the Swiss maestro.

Federer was equal to pretty much everything, his silky shot-making and nimble footwork on show despite a long time away from the court.

The iconic pair, with a combined age of 77 and 42 Grand Slam titles between them, edged the opening set by breaking Tiafoe’s serve. But The Americans levelled as Federer and Nadal began to fade.

  Ahmed Musa transfer rumors link to Kano Pillars

Chants of “Let’s go, Roger, let’s go” resounded around the packed stands in the championship tie break as Federer and Nadal clawed their way towards a victory the occasion demanded.

Even the tennis gods could not intervene to allow Federer one last victory, but nothing could take the gloss off a night to celebrate a player who led tennis into a golden era.

“It still feels like a celebration for me and that’s exactly what I hoped for,” said Federer, who scaled unprecedented heights and rewrote the record books.

“It’s been a perfect journey and I will do it all over again.”

(Reuters/NAN)

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