Prosperity Cup: Organisers Extend Deadline For Collection Of Forms

…Registration Hits Over 160

Organisers of Nigeria’s largest Grassroots Soccer Tournament, the Prosperity Cup, (Bayelsa Governor’s Cup) have extended the deadline for collection of forms for community football clubs to the 18th of April, 2022.

The extension was necessitated by overwhelming appeal by communities via several phone calls, as well as besieging the secretariat for an extension, to enable them put their teams together.

As at Friday, about one hundred and sixty (160) teams, have so far purchased registration forms to participate in this year’s edition of the Football Tournament.

The teams comprises of one hundred and fifteen (115) communities, thirty (30) churches, and thirteen (13) other institutions.

Yenagoa, the state capital has the highest number of registered teams so far with seventy eight (78), Ekeremor – twenty three (23), Ogbia – twenty five (25), Southern Ijaw – twelve (12), Sagbama – twelve (12), Brass – eight (8), Nembe – seven (7), while Kolokuma Opokuma has the least number of teams with only five(5) teams.

Official draws will take place tentatively at the end of April, with the Prosperity Governor His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State, as the Special Guest of Honor who is expected to present jerseys, balls and other Sports kits to participating communities.

Subsequently, the Deputy Governor, His Excellency Senator Lawrence Ewrudjakpor shall kick off the first match at the Samson Saisia Staduim.

Director General of the tournament, Mr. Ono K. Akpe who came out with this in a statement, on Friday, expressed his delight with the huge interest expressed by communities and organisations in the state. He stated that the number of teams registered so far for the tournament was a reflection of confidence and interest of youths and communities in the state on the tournament as well as an endorsement of Prosperity administration of Governor Douye Diri.

He assured Bayelsans that the organisers would ensure the tournament lives up to and even surpasses the standard it has been celebrated for.

Holders Algeria held by Sierra Leone in their 2021 AFCON Group E opener

Algeria’s forward Baghdad Bounedjah (C) kicks the ball next to Sierra Leone’s defender Umaru Bangura (R) during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Algeria and Sierra Leone at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 11, 2022. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
Riyad Mahrez and his teammates failed to spark as reigning Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Algeria drew goalless with Sierra Leone in their opening Group E fixture.
Heading into the delayed 2021 tournament aiming to become the first team to win consecutive AFCON titles since Egypt won three in a row between 2006 and 2010, Algeria were favorites.

They dominated on Tuesday but could not find a way through Sierra Leone’s solid rearguard.

Appearing at only their third AFCON finals and their first since 1996, Sierra Leone went close themselves midway through the first half through Alhaji Kamara and Umaru Bangura.

But they only managed one attempt on target throughout.

The second half was all Algeria, yet Mohamed Kamara pulled off some excellent saves to deny Yacine Brahimi and Manchester City’s Mahrez.

One-time England international Steven Caulker made a superb block from Sofiane Bendebka.

Algeria were able to call on the likes of Baghdad Bounedjah —- who netted the winner against Senegal in the 2019 final —- and Said Benrahma from the bench.

But the West Ham attacker spurned a glorious opportunity late on as the holders’ profligacy proved costly in an underwhelming start to their title defence.

They are in a group that also includes Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea.

Hon Seriake Dickson Unveils Ofurumapepe Cup

By Our Correspondent

In the spirit of continuity, Senator Representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Hon Henry Seriake Dickson has officially unveiled the Henry Seriake Dickson Football Tournament, Ofurumapepe Cup revelling that the tournament is aimed at youth empowerment and grassroot development.

Addressing Journalist in Abuja at the unveiling on Friday, Hon Dickson insisted that this was a fulfilment of the promises he made to the people while in government as the governor of Bayelsa state to prioritise sports development in the state.

According to Hon Dickson, through the Henry Seriake Dickson foundation, the lives of youths in the state will be transformed through Sports which will bring youth restiveness, cult activities and other vices to it’s barest minimum.

He explained that the records will show that sports were one of the projects he took seriously as the governor adding that the tournament will amongst others encourage the development of grassroot sports and apart from football, traditional wrestling swimming will also be introduced considering the terrain of the state.

‘‘As a governor we promoted sports development, we took wrestling to the national award stage and I am happy to mention that most of our athletes are doing well and they benefited from that program. So, the ofurumapepe football competition is hereby unveiled.

‘‘With the ofurumapepe cup, our dream of promoting grassroot sports development did not end with my tenure as a governor, as I promised through the Henry Seriake Dickson foundation we will continue with this laudable objective.

‘‘By next week our local organising team will be meeting with all the community youths in the Bayelsa west senatorial district and all necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the best results are achieved as expected’’ he stated.

With the theme ‘‘Youth empowerment for Peace and Development’’ the sports loving senator explained that football and traditional wrestling has been expressively harnessed by his administration adding that the cup instituted was in honour of his late father who was a maiden wrestling champion.
He however called on youths in the region to actively identify with the ofurumapepe football tournament and channel their very productive energy towards initiatives that will develop their minds and body.

‘‘I also want to use this opportunity to call for peace in all our communities as the youths come out in mass to participate. I call for the spirit of sportsmanship there will be no losers at the end of the events. I also want to call on all our security agencies to support this initiative’’ he said.

Speaking earlier, Technical Consultant of the Henry Seriake Dickson Football Tournament and Ofurumapepe Cup , Mr Ono Akpe, while enumerating the various prizes that are up for grabs stated that all is set for the kick off as Hon Henry Dickson has provided all the jerseys, sports kits, football, trophies among others for the 76 participating communities.

‘‘On Wednesday 17 November, Jerseys and sports kits will be presented to the 76 communities in Sagbama and Ekeremor local government area which makes up the Bayelsa west constituency while the finals will be held on Wednesday,22 December at Toro-oruwa Sagbama.

‘‘The first price is 1.5 million naira, 2ndPrice is 1 million naira, 3rdPrice is N500,000, 4thPrice is N250,000.

‘‘There is going to be 6 constituency champions from the 2 constituency, 3 from Sagbama and 3 from Ekeremor each will get N250,000 and the runners up at the constituency level will get N100,000 each.

‘‘For the next two months from November to December, youths of Bayelsa West Senatorial district will be actively engaged.

The Ofurumapepe football tournament, according to the organisers, is scheduled to kickoff on Sunday 21 November.

Australian swimming mourns former Olympic champion John Konrads

Australian swimming was in mourning on Monday after the death of Olympic gold medallist John Konrads at the age of 78.

Latvia-born Konrads, who learned to swim at a migrants camp in rural New South Wales state, won the 1,500m freestyle gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics and set a raft of world records as a teenager in the late 1950s.

Along with sister Ilsa, who won a freestyle relay silver at Rome, the two were known as the “Konrads Kids”.

“As a swimming sensation in the 1950’s and 60’s, John Konrads dominated the world swimming scene, breaking every freestyle world record between 200m – 1,500m by the time he was 15,” Sport Australia Hall of Fame chairman John Bertrand said in a statement.

“Our condolences are with his sister Ilsa, the Konrads family and the many lives John touched within the swimming and broader communities.”

John Konrads kept the Olympic 1,500m gold in Australian hands, edging silver medallist Murray Rose, who won the 1956 title in Melbourne.

Konrads also won bronze in the 400m freestyle and 4x200m relay at Rome.

JAMB registers over 300,000 for UTME, 8,000 for DE

The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), has so far registered more than 300,000 candidates for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

According to the board’s weekly bulletin obtained from the board’s website by our correspon dent on Monday, JAMB has also registered more than 8, 000 Direct Entry (DE) candidates.

“Total profile code generated so far is 497,528.

“Total UTME pin vended is 344, 115, while total pin vended for DE is 10, 848. Total registered candidates for UTME, 316, 132 and total registered candidates for DE is 8, 490.

“Total candidates who have indicated interest in sitting for the mock UTME are 126, 402,’’ it said.

According to the bulletin, candidates can send their National Identity Number (NIN) from any SIM of their choice provided the SIM has not been used by another candidate to register for UTME/DE in the past.

JAMB said that this was contrary to its earlier statement that only the SIM that was linked to a candidate’s NIN could be used to send their NIN to 55019.

our correspondent reports that the board had on Sunday said that candidates could only generate their profiles by sending their details to 55019 on the SIM linked to their NIN.

It, however, advised them to follow the right process to be successfully registered.

“The right process is to send the word `NIN’, allow one space in between, and then insert the eleven digits NIN number and send to 55019.

“Any other process is wrong and would not generate the profile code for the candidate.’’

Our correspondent also reports that the mock UTME earlier scheduled to hold on April 30, is now to take place on May 20, while the examination will take place from June 5 to June 19.

Registration for UTME/DE which began on April 8, will end on May 15

Golf: We need more tournaments, sponsorship – Oche

Andrew Oche, Nigeria’s number one professional golf player, on Tuesday called for regular tournaments and more corporate sponsorship for the game to develop in the country.

Oche made the call in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos, on the effect of COVID-19 lockdown on golf.

“To be honest with you, coming out of lockdown is coming with it’s up and down, things are beginning to normalise and stabilise now.

“We are still obviously trying to get our feet back in terms of playing tournament in Nigeria, post lockdown, I think we have only played one or two professional tournaments in Nigeria.

“I personally have played on two European event, and couple of events at the Safari in Kenya, that qualified me for two European tours,’’ he said.

When asked how golfers are faring given the absence of regular tournament in the country, Oche, the winner of the 2020 Kitante Open, told our correspondent that some of the golfers are currently playing in Cote d’ Ivoire.

“Back home it can be better, a lot of our guys are here in Cote d’ Ivoire, that’s to tell you how much people are willing to compete, we have about 10 Nigerians playing the Ivorian Open.

“We hope that we can continue to keep the flag of the country flying, and we hope that we can have more tournaments to play at home,’’ he said.

He stressed the need for private and corporate organisations to support golf by organising regular competitions to help players sharpen their competitive skills.

“We cannot over emphasis the need for sponsorship for this game to thrive, we have the First Bank Open that has being running for decades, imagine if we have more.

“The future of professional golfers depends on a lot of commitment from stakeholders, players and potential sponsors,’’ the number one ranked player said

China claims first victory in men’s curling worlds

China edged Denmark 6-5 in the 10th round for its first win at the ongoing world men’s curling championship held in Calgary on Monday.

Although when the Chinese players took to the court later in the 11th round against the Netherlands, the team suffered another defeat losing 10-2.

China opened the match against Denmark with a hit to score two points in the first end. But it was a tight match as the teams were tied at 5-5 after the ninth end. In the tenth end, China skipper Zou Qiang drew his final stone onto the button inside two Danish counters to score one point for a 6-5 win.

Against the Netherlands, China underperformed and trailed 8-1 by the fifth end break. The Dutch squad scored two more points in the seventh end for a 10-2 lead and China conceded the match.

It was also the Netherlands’ first win at the world championship.

Source: Xinhua

Tiger Woods back home and recovering after car accident

Golfer Tiger Woods said on Tuesday he is back home and continuing his recovery after suffering severe leg injuries in a car accident last month.

“Happy to report that I am back home continuing my recovery,” the 45-year-old golf great said on Twitter.

“I will be recovering at home and working on getting stronger every day.”

The one-car crash left the 82-time PGA Tour winner with a fractured right leg and shattered ankle and stunned the world of sport and beyond, with former U.S. Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama among those who offered support.

Woods, who was treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center as well as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, thanked his medical team as well as his fans for their well wishes.

“I am so grateful for the outpouring of support and encouragement that I have received over the past few weeks,” said Woods.

Woods, who has endured numerous back and knee injuries throughout his career, is considered the greatest golfer of his generation, having won 15 major titles, and the only modern pro to win all four major golf titles in succession.

He capped one of the most remarkable comebacks in all of professional sport in 2019, when he broke an 11-year major drought to win his fifth Masters title.

The Los Angeles Police Department said earlier this month it was investigating data from the “black box” recorder inside the car driven by Woods but have said the incident was an accident.

Wolves goalkeeper awake, talking after head injury in defeat to Liverpool

Rui Patricio was awake and talking after being knocked out in Wolves’ 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, club manager Nuno Espirito Santo has confirmed.

The goalkeeper needed 14 minutes of treatment on the pitch following an accidental collision with team-mate Conor Coady late on.

He was carried off on a stretcher in worrying scenes which brought back distressing memories for Wolves.

Striker Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull in a clash of heads with David Luiz at Arsenal in November and is yet to return.

Diogo Jota scored a first-half winner on his return to Molineux, but Nuno was able to reveal the positive news on Patricio.

He said: “He is OK, he is awake, he is conscious. He’s speaking and remembers what happened. He is in good hands, and he is being assessed by the doctors.

“You have to take the right precautions, but he is OK. It was a collision with the knee of Coady, a big knock to his head but he is OK.

“We have to wait (before knowing whether he will miss games) and the following hours are important. He is going to be with the doctors and we have to wait for what’s happening.

“These situations can happen, even in a normal situation of the game.

“We played a good game, we competed well. We should do better with the final touch and final passes, but there was a good attitude and we fought until the end. They competed and gave everything they had.”

Wolves were undone by former striker Jota who scored his first goal since November following a knee injury.

He settled the match in first-half stoppage time when he finished a fine move from 16 yards [14 metres] after Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane combined.

Liverpool had lost six of their previous seven top-flight outings, but victory at mid-table Wolves lifted them to sixth in the Premier League.

However, they are still five points behind Chelsea as they chase a top-four spot.

Coady headed Wolves’ best chance over the bar and Salah had a goal disallowed for offside with four minutes remaining before Coady caught Patricio with his knee as the pair tried to stop the striker.

The goalkeeper needed oxygen and lengthy treatment before being replaced by concussion substitute John Ruddy.

“It was an awful situation. In these moments, everything loses importance immediately,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

On his team, he added: “Diogo has had an impact since he has been back and it makes it more special he was able to score. It was a perfect moment to score, a second before the half-time whistle.

“The rest of the game was a lot of defending but I’m completely fine with that. It’s what I wanted to see, that we understand the situation. It’s not about being Liverpool on a gala night.

“I’m really happy about the performance. I couldn’t be more happier with the dirty three points.

“We had very good moments where we should have done better. Defensively the whole game was really good, but I didn’t like the start, we weren’t active enough.”

2021 CHAN: It’s hosts Cameroon vs holders Morocco, Mali vs Guinea for places in the final

Hosts Cameroon will face a tough hurdle against defending champions Morocco when they lock horns in the African Nations Championship (CHAN), semifinal on Wednesday at Limbe Omnisport Stadium.

Cameroon brushed aside two-time champions DR Congo 2-1 in the quarter-final, while Morocco humbled Zambia 3-1.

However, this semifinal presents yet another anticipated thriller as Morocco Coach, Houcine Ammouta, has made it clear that the Atlas Lions are well prepared for the semi-final clash.

“We are a good team ready to play good football and win. I know it will be a tough game because we are playing against the hosts who also have a good team,” he said.

Ammouta added that although most of his players are new to the team, he is impressed with their work rate and hunger to play good offensive football.

“This tournament is also helping us build the team,” he noted.

The Atlas Lions will hope that their leading striker at the tournament with three goals, Soufiane Rahimi, together with skipper, Ayoub El Kaabi, will find their scoring boots in this crucial match.

Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions will be led by Salomon Charles Banga, Yannick N’Djeng and Felix Oukine Tcheoude to get the goals, hoping to sink the defending champions.

In the group stage Cameroon beat Zimbabwe 1-0 before they settled for a 1-1 draw against Mali and went on to draw goalless against Burkina Faso.

Morocco who netted six goals in the group stage beat Togo 1-0 before they settled for a goalless draw against Rwanda, and humbled Uganda 5-2.

This is the first time Cameroon will appear in CHAN semi-final. They will also face Morocco for the very first time in the competition.

In the other semifinals, Mali  and Guinea will meet in a neighbors’ derby with one ticket to the final

West African neighbors Mali and Guinea lock horns in an exciting derby on Wednesday at the Japoma Stadium in Douala.

Reaching CHAN 2020 semi-finals is surely no accident for either Mali if Guinea. Before the start of the tournament, the Eagles were among the favorite teams for the title, while the Syli National were considered serious underdogs.

Both teams reach the semifinals for the second time in their CHAN history, and ironically the first time for both sides was in Rwanda 2016.

Mali reached the final and finished second, while Guinea lost in the semis to eventual champions that year, DR Congo.

The pressure will be a little more felt on the Malian shoulders. The Eagles did not hide it from Day 1 that they are in Cameroon to play for the title.

“We want to play the final at all costs. We will do everything to be able to get there,” Mali coach Nouhoum Diane said.