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CAF Approves 5,000 Fans for African Champions League Semifinals

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African Champions League Semifinals

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has given the green light that up to 5,000 fans will be allowed to attend Saturday’s African Champions League semifinals in Tunisia and Morocco.

In a statement issued on Friday, the African football body said the decision was arrived at after receiving an application from the host member and approvals from governmental and health authorities of the respective host nations.

Morocco and Tunisia are two countries that have some of the highest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths on the continent.

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Four-time winners Esperance de Tunis host defending champions Al Ahly at the Stade Olympique De Rades, Tunis, while two-time winners Wydad Athletic Club host Kaizer Chiefs at Complexe Mohamed V Stadium, Casablanca.

“CAF has stressed that all medical precautions should be followed at all times in respect to CAF Covid-19 health protocols,” the statement said.

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The return legs are scheduled to take place on June 26.

Prior to Saturday’s games, continental games involving clubs and countries in Africa have been behind closed doors or opened to a limited audience in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Esperance defeated Algeria’s CR Belouizdad in the quarter-finals on a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 aggregate score. The club will be focused on stopping Egyptian giants Ah Ahly who have won the Champions League for a record nine times.

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The Red Devils stopped Mamelodi Sundowns with a 3-1 aggregate win, which started with a 2-0 victory in the first leg.

Elsewhere in Casablanca, Wydad, who grabbed a late goal to send MC Alger packing with a 2-1 aggregate win in May, will aim to go beyond the semi-final this year when they battle South African giants, Kaizer Chiefs.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Tencent Limits Gaming Time for Minors After Criticism

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Tencent Gaming Time for Minors

By Adedapo Adesanya

China’s biggest gaming company, Tencent Holdings, will limit gaming time for minors and ban children under age 12 from making in-game purchases following a critique from the Chinese government.

On Tuesday, an article published by the Economic Information Daily, a newspaper affiliated with China’s official Xinhua News Agency called games “spiritual opium” and this led to a more than 10 per cent plunge in Tencent’s stocks.

Although the article was later removed, the damage was done as the company lost $60 billion in market value.

The newspaper article named Tencent’s wildly popular Honour of Kings game as one that minors were addicted to, and cited a student as saying that some played the game for eight hours a day. The online article was removed hours later.

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Spiritual opium has grown into an industry worth hundreds of billions,” the newspaper said, adding that no industry should be allowed to develop in a manner that will “destroy a generation.”

“Society has come to recognise the harm caused by online gaming and it is often referred to as opium for the mind or electronic drugs,” parts of the article added.

Parents quoted in the article spoke of children playing the game for seven hours a day, skipping breakfast to buy games and their grades plummeting.

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In response, Tencent said it will now limit gaming time for minors to one hour a day, and two hours a day during holidays.

Children under age 12 will also be prohibited from making purchases within the game, the company said.

Under Chinese law, users under age 18 can play online games for a maximum of one and a half hours a day, and three hours during holidays.

Tencent also called for the industry to control gaming time for minors and discuss the possibility of banning those younger than 12 from playing games.

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The critique of the gaming industry sparked a selloff of stocks in Chinese gaming companies including NetEase amid fears that the gaming industry could be the next to experience a clampdown.

Chinese authorities in recent months have targeted e-commerce and online education, implementing new regulations to curb anti-competitive behaviour after years of rapid growth in the technology sector.

In July, the Chinese government also banned companies that provide tutoring in core school subjects from turning a profit, wiping out billions in market value from online education companies such as TAL Education and Gaotu Techedu.

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Ese Brume Wins Nigeria’s First Medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Ese Brume

By Adedapo Adesanya

Long jumper, Ese Brume, has won Nigeria’s first medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as she claimed the bronze medal in the women’s long jump at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Tuesday.

She achieved the feat with a 6.97-metre jump, two days after she qualified for the finals with a jump of 6.76 metres.

Germany’s Malaika Mihambo beat Brume to the gold medal with a 7.00-metre jump while Brittney Reese of the United States won the silver medal.

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With the development, Brume’s long jump is the first individual event to give Nigeria three medals at the Olympics following Chioma Ajunwa’s gold medal at Atlanta 1996 and Blessing Okagbare’s silver at Beijing 2008.

She also joins both women as the only Nigerians to win individual World Championships and Olympic medals.

Brume’s win adds to positive news for Nigeria at the Olympics after a run of negative news of defeats and the disqualification of some of the country’s athletes.

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On Monday, Blessing Oborududu beat Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold to reach the final of the women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling.

The win guaranteed Nigeria a medal – gold or silver – at the Olympics.

Current Top 20 Standing as of 09:45 a.m. 

People’s Republic of China 30 19 16 65 2
United States of America 22 27 17 66 1
Japan 18 6 10 34 5
Australia 14 4 15 33 6
Great Britain 13 13 13 39 4
ROC 12 21 17 50 3
Germany 7 7 14 28 8
France 6 10 7 23 9
Republic of Korea 6 4 9 19 10
New Zealand 6 4 5 15 12
Italy 5 9 15 29 7
Netherlands 5 7 7 19 10
Czech Republic 4 3 1 8 20
Canada 3 4 7 14 13
Switzerland 3 4 5 12 14
Hungary 3 4 3 10 16
Brazil 3 3 6 12 14
Cuba 3 3 3 9 18
Croatia 3 2 2 7 21
Chinese Taipei 2 4 4 10 16
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Akwa United Emerge 2021 NPFL Champions

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akwa united

By Adedapo Adesanya

Akwa United was on Sunday crowned champions of the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after defeating Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM) FC with one game left to play at the top-flight competition.

The Promise Keepers defeated the Olukoya Boys 5-2 on home soil at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom to secure their first-ever league title.

The star of the match was Charles Atshimene who scored a hat-trick of goals to leave MFM FC winless in their last eight away matches.

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Atshimene opened the scoring in the 24th minute followed by Alimi Adebayo’s own goal on the stroke of half-time which gave Kennedy Boboye coached side a two-goal advantage at the break.

Akwa United continued their goal-fest after the restart with Mfon Udoh making it 3-0 in the 62nd minute. In the 68th minute of the match, MFM pulled one goal back through a penalty converted by Michael Mbonu.

The game’s hero, Atshimene, extended the gap as he scored his second of the match in the 87th minute.

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The Olukoya Boys responded four minutes later with their second goal in the encounter courtesy of Dennis Obasi in the 91st minute to make it 4-2.

To cap off the thrilling game, Atshimene got his hat-trick and 18th league goal of the season to complete the victory for the Promise Keepers in the 97th minute.

The win sealed Akwa United’s position at the top of the NPFL table with 71 points after 37 matches, nine points ahead of second-placed Nasarawa United, who are scheduled to play Enugu Rangers on Monday.

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The triumph secured the Promise Keepers’ first-ever top-flight crown in their 25-year history and it has added to their trophy cabinet which has two FA Cups (2015 and 2017) and the Nigeria Super Cup (2016).

Akwa United will be hoping to stretch their nine-game unbeaten run and also end the 2020-21 campaign on a winning note when they visit Lobi Stars of Makurdi on Thursday.

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