By Dipo Olowookere
Premier League defending champions, Leicester City, have sacked their manager, Claudio Ranieri, who led them to their first league trophy.
His sack comes weeks after the board of the club stood solidly behind the 65-year-old Italian tactician.
The Foxes have struggled for life since the beginning of this season and are just few points away from relegation.
The club management fired the Ranieri after his Champions League 2-1 loss at Sevilla on Wednesday.
After his fairy tale league win last season, Ranieri fell out with few of his players and their performance this season has been woeful.
Meanwhile, a staunch fan of Leicester City, Gary Lineker, a former England international, described the development as shocking.
“After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad,” Lineker said.
Truimphant Delta State to Host 2022 NSF
By Adedapo Adesanya
Delta State, the winner of the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF), will host the next edition of the festival in 2022.
This was announced on Wednesday by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, at the closing ceremony for the 20th edition of the festival tagged Edo 2020 in Benin City.
“Following the evaluation of the bids and the physical visitation to the prospective States, I hereby announce Delta State as the next host of the National Sports Festival in 2022,” he said.
“Congratulations to Delta State for emerging the overall winner of the Games of the 2020 National sports Festival.
“I’m glad to note that the Federal Government received bids to host the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival in 2022 from 6 states namely: Delta, Ebonyi, Imo, Kaduna, Kano and Ogun.
“I congratulate the government and people of Delta State for emerging the preferred State and wish them best of luck in the organisation of the 21st National Sports Festival.”
Team Delta Triumphs
Team Delta emerged winners of the festival which ended yesterday. The South-South state dominated the tournament, raking in a total of 158 gold medals, 116 silver and 110 bronze.
Team Edo came second with 129 gold, 104 silver and 108 bronze, while Team Bayelsa finished third with 56 gold, 55 silver and 58 bronze.
Rivers State came fourth in the 12-day event with 33 gold, 34 silver, and 61 bronze after which Lagos took the fifth position with 32 gold, 40 silver, 54 bronze.
Oyo State emerged sixth with 31 gold, 30 silver, 42 bronze, while Akwa Ibom emerged the seventh position with 20 gold, 24 silver, and 44 bronze, Akwa, Ogun followed next with 16 gold, 23 silver, 39 bronze to emerge eighth.
Kano took the ninth position with 11 gold, 22 silver, 33 bronze, and Imo took 10th place with 10 gold, 13 silver, and 26 bronze.
Controversy had almost marred the just-concluded festival when the Local Organising Committee (LOC) said it would have to halt the competition due to the inability of the federal government to fulfil the funding commitment it made towards the event. It took the intervention of the Minister of Sports to avert the stoppage of the festival.
A Market and Cultural Analysis of Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2021
Justice League (2017) was a cinematic marvel of epic proportions. The original film by Zack Snyder had a domestic opening weekend of $93,842,239.
With Warner Brothers at the helm, Justice League quickly hit its mark with its two-hour run time. The film was showcased in 43 markets and ultimately racked up an incredible $229,024,295 domestically. Internationally, box office takings were huge, with $428,900,000.
The combined worldwide total of the original release was $657,924,295. Although impressive, the film’s domestic takings only rank at #156 in the USA, and #135 in China – the second-largest market for the release of this film.
In 2021, Zack Snyder and the film studios decided to treat superhero fans to something truly out of this world. It was the launch of Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2021. This action/adventure/fantasy flick exploded onto the scene on March 18, to rapturous applause.
Sadly, it’s not at cinemas, but that doesn’t mean superhero film freaks can’t watch it. Already, the film boasts a ranking of 8.3/10 from 198,000 reviewers on IMDb. Folks, this is absolutely spellbinding stuff, the likes of which you’re unlikely to witness anywhere else.
We’re talking truly amazing, adrenaline-loaded entertainment direct to your screen, the likes of what you would find at a top-rated online casino in South Africa, from the moment you power up. But the true majesty of Snyder’s work of art isn’t merely the hard-hitting special effects; it’s the duration of pulse-pounding entertainment that everyone is treated to. We’re talking 4 hours and two minutes of exhilarating superhero-themed excitement.
Of course, the director’s cut makes the world of difference to the story. It ties in many loose ends, expands character development, and presents us with closure after Superman was killed off in the 2017 film. But this film really needs to be watched with laser-sharp focus; it’s riddled with insights into what is likely to happen to the main comic book characters, including Wonder Woman. But before we get there, some information into what the film is all about…
Superman Returns Bigger, Badder, and Tougher Than Before
Superman was killed in the first Justice League of 2017. The world mourned his loss, but the remaining superheroes realised that something had to be done to resurrect him in the face of overwhelming evil. So, begins a treacherous journey that will have you on tenterhooks throughout.
Batman (assisted by Alfred) spearheads the initiative to band together a group of remarkable superheroes to fight against Steppenwolf, played by Ciaran Hinds. Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, enlists the help of several meta-humans, including The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman & Cyborg.
Together, they are immensely powerful, particularly Wonder Woman. But without Superman, they seem less than capable of stopping Steppenwolf from obtaining all three boxes to unravel the mystery that is the Antilife Equation.
Suffice it to say, the superheroes managed to use one of the boxes to resurrect Superman after they dig up his corpse and return it to fluid miasma of the Kryptonian spaceship. Of course, nothing runs smooth, and viewers are in for some pretty tense moments once Superman returns to the world of the living.
Overall, it’s impossible to fault this extraordinary slice of filmmaking. It’s truly like the Ben Hur of superhero films, but there’s nothing boring about this one whatsoever. Viewers lapped it up in their droves, and now that it’s screening on HBO, it’s going to bring in the dollars, big time.
Spoiler Alert: Cyborg has some pretty grim premonitions in this film, and if you don’t want to know what happens to some of the characters, close your eyes during these harrowing ‘flash’ scenes.
Win iPhone 12 Pro Max in Melbet Bet and Win Promo
Melbet – one of the most competitive betting sites in Nigeria has decided to reward loyal customers with numerous prizes in the Bet and Win Promo.
Betting on sports is fun, exciting and pulsating, and winning is also fun and more rewarding.
Apart from playing to win on Melbet, you also stand the chance to win prizes including iPhone 12 Pro Max every month. Melbet app is not just a sports betting platform, but the sports betting platform that every football-loving Nigerian must-have.
By downloading the Melbet app, and placing bets within the month, you are able to win amazing prizes including iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12, and AirPods.
For a chance to win, complete these easy steps:
- Download the Melbet app for Android (Click here to Download).
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- Place bets through the Melbet app, and place accumulator bets consisting of 3 or more events, each with odds of at least 1.5, with a minimum of 500 naira stake.
- For every bet, you’ll get one point. The more points you get, the higher your position on the leaderboard.
- Every month, the top 10 ranked players with the highest number of points are rewarded with prizes.
Melbet app download is within a minute, and you now have the best and fastest sport betting app in the palm of your hand and can now access your favourite games on the go and start winning all the way.
Rite Foods Thrills at Elegushi Peace Cup in Lagos
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Last Friday will remain memorable in the minds of sports lovers, guests and residents of Lagos, who attended the 11:45 edition of Elegushi Peace Cup.
The event was put in place to commemorate the 11th coronation anniversary and 45th birthday celebration of the Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi (Kusenla III).
Rite Foods Limited, a Nigerian foods and beverages company, was at the venue of the celebrity football matches held at the Campus Mini Stadium, Lagos Island to add to the excitement.
It was an exciting experience for all as four teams which comprised team Nollywood, team Music, team Comedy and team Soccer, played a novelty tournament to promote peace and unity among Nigerians, especially the youths.
Team Nollywood players were top actors and filmmakers in the movie industry like AY, Fred Amata, IK Ogbonna, Rykardo Agbor amongst others. The music team comprised performing music stars and music makers like Zlatan, TG Omori, Praiz, Spyz etc.
Ex-super Eagles stars like Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Daniel Amokachi, Ikpeba, Garba Lawal made up team soccer while team comedy includes top comedians like Akpororo, I go Save, Maleke, AY etc.
In the tournament, Team Nollywood emerged winners, thus clinching the trophy, with the next edition dubbed 12:46.
Speaking at the event, the monarch explained that the tournament was put together to promote peace and unity through passion.
He said it is his belief that for peace to reign in Nigeria, every stakeholder must rise up at this critical period with good initiatives that will complement the existing efforts by the various arms of government, and that “the traditional institution, as the custodians of the nation’s history and heritage must be supported to lead this new drive.”
Also commenting, the Assistant Brand Manager of Rite Foods Limited, Ms Bolu Adedugbe, stated that the company remains committed to promoting the cultural values and heritage of the people as well as youth and sports development by creating valuable experiences through such platforms, hence, it has decided to celebrate with the Oba who is keenly interested in youth and sports development.
“Elegushi Peace Cup created the platform for us to emotionally connect with our consumers and actively engage in community development to encourage sports and promote peace.
“The Fearless energy drinks brand, being the frontline sponsor, shows the brand is on the right platform as it has created its desired experience for consumers.”
She further congratulated the Oba for being a pillar of support for youths by championing causes to promote peace and unity.
The Fearless energy brand as well as other Rite Foods products were readily available to keep all players, guests and fans refreshed and energized for the occasion that was spiced up by entertaining moments of football played by A-list celebrities and ex-international award-winning players, leaving fans clamouring for more enjoyment already created by the Rite Foods brand.
SuperSport Wins 2022 FIFA World Cup Broadcast Rights
By Adedapo Adesanya
A famous pay-TV in Africa, SuperSport, a product of MultiChoice, has won the rights to broadcast all the 64 matches of the FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022.
The company, which prides itself as the World of Champions, obtained the rights after sealing a deal with the world’s football governing body, FIFA.
SuperSport, with the development, continues its long-standing association with football’s governing body and reaffirms the firm as Africa’s home of world football.
SuperSport’s pay-TV broadcast rights extend to all platforms across sub-Saharan Africa and represent even more opportunities to provide fans with compelling live content.
According to the company in a statement, the FIFA World Cup always excites fans and the kick-off times will be most convenient for our viewers, given friendly broadcast time-zones.
High Definition coverage will be across multiple channels with expert analysis, in-depth digital offerings, supplementary programming and much more in keeping with the grand scale of the event.
To be contested by 32 teams, including champions France, the World Cup will be held for the first time from November 21 to December 18, and the first to be held in one city.
The FIFA acquisition sits alongside SuperSport’s already substantial offering that includes all the major football leagues from around the world.
Speaking on the deal with FIFA, Mr Marc Jury, Chief Executive of SuperSport said, “This is fantastic news, especially after the success of the 2018 tournament, a fitting celebration of the beautiful game.
“The FIFA World Cup always excites fans and the kick-off times will be most convenient for our viewers, given friendly broadcast time zones.”
SuperSport is Africa’s premier sports broadcaster, producing and broadcasting local and international sport for GOtv and DStv pay-TV customers across sub-Saharan Africa.
SuperSport provides a mix of 35 channels, offering a wide selection of the best local and international sports action across a multitude of disciplines.
Now available on DStv and GOtv as well as on SuperSport.com and DStv Now in 50 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
Presence of Nigerian Players in NBA Basketball Grows Stronger Than Ever
Nigeria has quietly churned out some of the world’s best basketball talent for nearly four decades.
Some of the nation’s hardcourt claims-to-fame are homegrown while others are connected through family heritage. Either way, Nigeria’s influence on global basketball and the National Basketball Association (NBA), North America’s top tier in the sport, is at an all-time high.
Nigerian Dominance Begins with a Dream
The history of Nigerians in the NBA traces back to one superstar—Hakeem Olajuwon. The mighty seven-footer from Lagos debuted as the league’s first native African with the Houston Rockets in 1984.
Olajuwon started his athletic career as a soccer goalkeeper, eventually transitioning to basketball at the age of 17.
Despite his relative obscurity, he received an invitation to play basketball in the US with the University of Houston Cougars. Olajuwon’s skills rapidly developed in the American college ranks. By his third season with the Cougars, he had earned the nickname Hakeem “The Dream” for a seemingly effortless style of slam dunking. Fans and the basketball press considered him the best amateur player in the nation.
Olajuwon’s call to turn pro was answered when the Houston Rockets chose him with their first pick in the 1984 draft. That year, future NBA Hall-of-Famers Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton were drafted behind Olajuwon.
The Dream spent 17 seasons in the NBA between 1984 and 2002. He was awarded the league MVP in 1994 and led the Rockets to consecutive championships in 1994 and 1995. One of the greatest centres of all time, Olajuwon was enshrined in the NBA Hall-of-Fame in 2008.
Nigerians and sports fans across Africa followed The Dream’s career. He grew basketball’s popularity throughout the continent to new heights.
Naturally, Nigeria was the first country targeted by the NBA when its Basketball Without Borders (BWB) program launched in Africa in 2003. BWB is responsible for cultivating the NBA and FIBA brands while developing international talent.
Today, Nigeria’s impact is felt at the very top of basketball. Take Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, for example. Antetokounmpo was born to a Nigerian family that emigrated to Greece from Lagos. Antetokounmpo looms large as one of the NBA’s brightest stars. He is greatly responsible for fueling Milwaukee’s rise to the top of American NBA betting odds and his team’s push into the playoffs in each of the last four seasons.
Nigeria Celebrated at 2020 NBA Draft
If the signals weren’t already clear, November 28, 2020, proved Nigeria’s influence on the league once and for all. The date marked last year’s NBA draft, an occasion that saw pro teams select eight players of Nigerian heritage.
The Cleveland Cavaliers started the action by selecting Isaac Okoro in the first round with the fifth overall pick. Okoro, a six-foot-six-inch deft ball handler out of Auburn University, was born in the US to Nigerian parents.
Following Okoro, Onyeka Okongwu was chosen by the Atlanta Hawks as the draft’s sixth pick. Okongwu, another US-born prospect of Nigerian heritage, previously played at the University of Southern California.
The Miami Heat plucked University of Memphis standout Precious Achiuwa with the 20th overall pick. He joins four other players of Nigerian heritage on the Heat: Bam Adebayo, Andre Iguodala, Kezie Okpala, and Gabe Vincent.
Zeke Nnaji (22nd overall), Udoka Azubuike (27th overall), and Desmond Bane (30th overall) completed the first round of Nigeria-connected talent. Nnaji went to the Denver Nuggets, Azubuike was picked up by the Utah Jazz, while Bane currently dons a Memphis Grizzlies uniform.
The selections of Achiuwa and Azubuike mark the first time two Nigerian-born players were taken in the first round.
Nigerians selected in the second round included Daniel Oturu (33rd overall, Los Angeles Clippers) and Jordan Nwora (45th overall, Milwaukee Bucks).
Thirty-seven years after Olajuwon opened the door for Africans to enter the NBA, Nigeria’s sway in basketball’s golden league is stronger than ever.
Efforts such as the BWB program are also responsible for Nigerians developing a love for the game. Current US college basketball players such as Efe Abogidi (Washington State) and Abdul Ado (Mississippi State) ensure Nigeria’s influence will be felt for years to come.
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