Hello EB readers , we bring to you sports news for the week. All that happened in the world of sports this week.

HEADLINES
MARTINEZ LEAVES WIGAN

ZIDANE TO ASSUME NEW ROLE AT REAL MADRID

WC QUALIFIER : KENYA GETS CASH BOOST TO BEAT NIGERIA

Much more below. …..
MARTINEZ LEAVES WIGAN
Coach Roberto Martinez will not go down to the Championships with Wigan Athletics has he confirmed his desire to move on for a bigger challenge on Tuesday.
Martinez’s decision to quit Wigan further fuels speculation that he his the top choice to replace David Moyes at Everton after the Scot went on to replace retiring Sir Alex Ferguosn at Old Trafford.
Last stint
Martinez led Wigan to FA Cup glory, but has magic touch failed him in the same week as the club were relegated from the Premier League and he was immediately linked with the exit door.
With David Moyes leaving Everton for Manchester United, Martinez was installed as the hot favourite to take over at Goodison Park.
It is believed that Everton chairman Bill Kenwright made an approach to his Wigan counterpart Dave Whelan who said all plans were on hold until Martinez informed him of his decision.
Martinez flew back to England on Tuesday for talks with Whelan and at an emotional meeting, the Spaniard confirmed his desire to move on.

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ZIDANE TO ASSUME NEW ROLE AT REAL MADRID
Former France and Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane is set to be handed a new responsibility at Real Madrid according to club president Florentino Perez.
Perez revealed that the France 1998 World Cup winner will become the new sporting director, while also adding that the club is yet to decide on who takes over from Jose Mourinho.

The club chief in an interview disclosed that Zidane is expected to play a key role in the new Real Madrid project as they prepare for life after Jose Mourinho.
-If there are no other candidates for the presidency on Tuesday, we will take possession and start with the subject of the coach.
-First we will speak with the coach because, although people don’t believe it, we have still not spoken with anybody.
-We want this to be led by Zidane and I would also like it if he was Madrid coach some day.
-Once the coach arrives, he and Zidane will look at what we can do to take a step up in quality. Zidane will be the one entrusted to make the new signings with the coach.
The 40-year old midfielder currently holds an advisory position at the Benabeu and  if Perez’s re-election as president for four years is confirmed next week, the Frenchman will see his influence at the club increase.
Jose Mourinho is set to leave the Los Blancos after today’s final league game Osasuna and appointing his successor will be top of Perez’s agenda.========================================================================

WC QUALIFIER : KENYA GETS CASH BOOST TO BEAT NIGERIA

Harambee Stars have been promised an increased allowance if they beat the Super Eagles in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on June 5.
The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) increased allowances for players and the technical staff ahead of the crucial game against Nigeria.
Motivation
Sam Nyamweya, the FA President said on Monday that the increase by over 100 percent is aimed at motivating the team for the June 5 home game against the African champions.
-The players have been earning Kshs 3,000 per day (US$35.30) and now the increase to Kshs 10,000 per day (US$117.65) should motivate the team better to be able to beat Nigeria, africansoccer.weebly.com quote Nyamweya as saying.
The Harambee Stars of Kenya will host Nigeria at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.
The home side will have to be at their best to revive their hopes of making it to the next round of the qualifiers. Kenya are bottom of Group F, a point behind Namibia while Nigeria are joint top with Malawi on five points.
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3SC accuse NFF in keeper transfer riddle

Shooting Stars of Ibadan have pointed accusing fingers at the Nigerian Football Federation, as they seek to solve the riddle of Emmanuel Daniel, their goalkeeper who is playing with Enugu Rangers.

Daniel is playing in League matches for the Coal City side, and has now represented the Flying Antelopes in the CAF Confederations Cup, but the Oluyole Warriors insist they still have his clearance with them.
Questions

– The NFF have questions to answer, because we still have Emmanuel Daniel’s registration papers with us. Shooting Stars Media Officer, Jubril Arowolo said in an interview.

– if we have his registration, and we have not cleared him for anyone, where did he get a new registration paper to play with? And if he is playing both on the league and on the continent, then there is a serious case of complicity, Jubril added.
-3sc-warn-rangers-over-keeper: Shooting Stars raised the alarm about the Daniel situation early in the year, with warnings to Rangers about the status of Daniel. But they claimed they got no communication from the Enugu side.

Now, with Daniel expanding his appearance to the continent, 3sc-threaten-rangers-with-caf-over-keeper” the Ibadan side have threatened to take their case to CAF.
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Daniel saga: Shooting Stars accuse Rangers, NPFL.

Shooting Stars of Ibadan have accused Enugu Rangers and officials of the Nigeria Professional Football League of colluding to deny them of fair hearing in the case of Emmanuel Daniel, the 3SC keeper with Rangers.

Both clubs have made claims and counter claims on the goalkeeper, but Shooting Stars are insisting the NPFL are not handling the matter right.

Emmanuel Daniel is our player, because he has a contract with us, he received his October salary, and only asked for permission to go on vacation, a club official told futaa.com.

On the 2nd of November, we received a letter from Rangers with an offer of N2.5m, we replied that we will only give him to them on loan, at N3m. They didn’t say anything further.

Then, on the 25th of March, they wrote another letter with the same offer. It was after this that an officer of the NPFL called to tell us that Daniel is a “free agent”, how does that work?

If he is indeed a free agent, why did they write us twice, four months apart asking for his services? We will pursue this all the way.
The NFF and the NPFL have not made any statements since the controversy started raging.
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NFF gives Nationwide League autonomy
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has given the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL) self-autonomy to search for potential sponsor.
NFF board member and chairman of the Nigeria Nationwide League, Alhaji Ahmed Mu’azu Kawu stated this while briefing newsmen on Monday after their board meeting held at the league’s secretariat in the FIFA Goal Project, Package B of the National Stadium in Abuja.
Independent
He said the NNWL as an independent league board is now free to look for sponsors from anywhere.
-We had meeting with NFF and they have agreed that we can look for sponsorship. Though NFF is our parent body, but the league has independent board that can look for their own sponsors from anywhere, he said.
According to him, the Nigeria Nationwide League is now sanitized and the quality of football played at that level is improved enough to attract sponsors.
-The league has been sanitized and its quality of football has also improved tremendously because both the players, club officials and referees are now happy to give their best.
-This season, we have low cases of field encroachment and protests. The referees are doing their best and fair in their officiating.
Good tool
-So, the Nationwide League will be the largest football league in the country and a good political tool for any organisation or government to fish on.
-In all the security challenge we have been facing, we have not recorded any case of bomb explosion in a football field or during football matches. Football is still being played in Maiduguri home of Boko Haram.
Mu’azu Kawu added that football can be used to solve security problems, poverty and unemployment if really government is serious about developing it at the grassroots.
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Confederations Cup: Brazil stadium roof collapsed

A roof part of one of the stadia  that will host the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil has collapsed.
The roof of the Arena Fonte Nova in the northeastern city of Salvador apparently was not able to sustain the large amount of water that settled on top of it after it rained heavily overnight on Monday.
Injuries
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Workers tried to remove water from the roof to keep other parts from collapsing. Television images from local channel Record showed about 20 people using buckets to clear the sections of the roof which still had water on it. Part of the canvas covering the stands was seen hanging.
Local organizers said engineers were sent to the venue to investigate what happened.
The collapse happened the same day Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff praised the country’s preparations for the Confederations Cup.

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Beach Eagles laments ouster

Beach Eagles star Bartholomew Ibenegbu is pained by the team’s inability to book a ticket to the FIFA Beach soccer world cup in Tahiti.
The Adamu Audu Ejo coached side were beaten 9-8 by Senegal in the semifinal in the African Beach Soccer championship concluded in El Jadida, Morocco.
Saddened
Ibenegbu, who failed to make the trip to Morocco due to injury, said he is deeply saddened that Nigeria will not be represented at the World Cup in September.
-I felt deeply pained at the defeat of Supersand Eagles in Morocco and non-qualification for the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup coming up in Tahiti, he said in a chat
-I think luck must have played a fast trick on them as this will be the first time Nigeria will be missing at the Beach Soccer World Cup.
-Of course, losing to Senegal in the semifinals must have poured cold water on their morale going into the third place game against Morocco knowing fully well that the World Cup party is over for them.
Tested and proven
-I don’t think my presence would have changed the situation because the crop of players in the team are tested and proven.
-They have to take heart, comeback for serious work on the next edition.
African champions, Senegal and runners-up, Ivory Coast will represent the continent at the global fiesta in Tahiti.
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Kenya vs Nigeria: KENYA FA want public holiday

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have requested the government to declare June 5 a public holiday as the Harambee Stars will host the Super Eagles in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Sam Nyamweya, the FA President wants the government to announce June 5 a public holiday to allow Kenyans to watch their national team in the stadium and TV.
Support
-I kindly request the President and his Deputy to make this great day a public holiday so that Kenyans can get time to throng into Kasarani Stadium and see for themselves our boys taking on the African champions, because it’s another chance for Kenya to qualify for the World Cup, said Nyamweya
Kenya forced Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in the first leg played in Calabar, and the Stars are confident of claiming all three points at stake on June 5.

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FORMULAR 1
Mercedes to be investigated after Ferrari & Red Bull tyre test protest

Mercedes face an investigation by Formula 1’s governing body the FIA after being accused of taking part in an illegal tyre test.
Red Bull and Ferrari lodged an official protest at the Monaco Grand Prix after discovering tyre supplier Pirelli used Mercedes to do a three-day test.Formula 1 tyre test row explained
In-season testing in F1 is forbidden. Pirelli says it has a contract with the FIA allowing limited testing.
The Monaco GP stewards are to prepare a report for the FIA.A statement  said the governing body “may bring the matter before the International Tribunal”.
It added that under the terms of its contract with the tyre manufacturer it had allowed Pirelli to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car, “provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so”.
It adds: “Following this communication, the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or from Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore, the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to take part in this test.”
The International Tribunal, effectively for these purposes the FIA’s court, can impose any number of penalties, ranging from exclusion from the world championship to a fine.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said: “As it is to do with the sporting regulations, you might expect a sporting penalty, but because it is not really clear what could be the effect on the race weekend, it is maybe bigger than that.
“I honestly don’t know what should be the solution. Because there is no precedent, I have no idea what should happen.”
Red Bull and Ferrari have accused Mercedes of breaking article 22.4 of the sporting regulations, which forbids in-season testing other than for a single three-day young driver test or for very limited straight-line aerodynamic tests.
“A three-day test has taken place with a current car running on tyres that are going to be used in the next grand prix and irrelevant of what you call it, that’s testing”
Christian Horner Red Bull team principal
Pirelli say they are allowed to ask teams to do up to 1,000km of testing, which was as much as Mercedes did over three days at the Circuit de Catalunya in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix, the race before Monaco.
Rival teams were not informed about the test, which not only involved Mercedes’ 2013 car but also race drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Rival teams are angry because extra testing could give Mercedes a technical advantage. Mercedes say they sought permission from the FIA, which approved the test. Mercedes have been struggling with heavy tyre usage this season.
The tyres used were development designs for next season and a new tyre Pirelli wants to introduce at the Canadian Grand Prix, the next event after Monaco. Pirelli is aiming to introduce rear tyres that are less vulnerable to delamination following a series of failures. But the plan is in dispute – Ferrari, Lotus and Force India have yet to approve it.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he had only learnt about the test on Saturday night.
“I can understand Pirelli wanting to test the tyres,” he said.

CRICKET
India cricketers held over ‘fixing’.

Indian fast bowler S Sreesanth, arrested earlier this month over allegations of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League, has been remanded in custody.
Sreesanth was arrested with Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, fellow bowlers from the Rajasthan Royals team.
Sreesanth has denied the charges and has proclaimed his innocence.
The families of Chandila and Chavan have also said they are innocent. The arrests have shocked many Indians.
Spot-fixing involves illegally rigging parts of a match, for example by timing the delivery of a deliberate wide or no-ball, to benefit bookmakers or those betting on matches.
The players have been suspended by India’s cricket board and the Rajasthan Royals.
Sreesanth, who was in police custody, has now been remanded to judicial custody until 4 June, reports say.
The three cricketers along with 11 bookmakers were arrested in connection with the spot-fixing inquiry on 16 May.
Chennai Super Kings top official Gurunath Meiyappan and actor Vindoo Randhawa have also been arrested in connection with the scandal. Both deny the charges.
The sixth season of the IPL, which is considered to be the world’s showcase for Twenty20 cricket, ended on Sunday.
Top Indian and international players took part, contributing to what is the world’s richest cricket tournament.
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GOLF

Matteo Manassero becomes youngest winner of the PGA Championship.

Italy’s Matteo Manassero became the youngest winner of the PGA Championship when he beat Simon Khan and Marc Warren in a play-off at Wentworth.
The 20-year-old birdied the fourth extra hole to edge 2010 champion Khan after Scotland’s Marc Warren dropped out on the first hole.
The trio ended on 10 under, one clear of Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and overnight leader Alejandro Canizares.
Lee Westwood had a two-shot lead after four but carded 73 to end seven under.
Manassero, who has now won four European Tour titles, is 60 days younger than Bernard Gallacher was when the Briton lifted the title in 1969 at the age of 20 years and 97 days.

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BASKETBALL NEWS FROM THE NBA

LeBron James scored 16 of his game-high 30 points in the third quarter to lead the Miami Heat to a 90-79 comeback victory against the Indiana Pacers Thursday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals to take a 3-2 series lead.

Miami trailed most of the game before taking control in the third quarter. Led by James, they quickly erased a four-point halftime deficit and are now just one victory from advancing to the NBA Finals for a third straight season. The winner of this matchup will play the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals.

James made 13-for-26 from the field, including three 3-pointers. He also had eight rebounds and six assists. With Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combining for just 17 points, the Heat received big lifts from Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers. Haslem scored 16 points on 8-for-9 shooting, while Chalmers had 12 points and six assists.

Paul George led the Pacers with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Center Roy Hibbert finished with 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting.

THE STAT: The Pacers only had 13 points outside of their front court of Hibbert, George and David West.

TURNING POINT: After an awful first half, the Heat came out with a sense of urgency in the third quarter. They started with an 11-3 run and never looked back. The Heat outscored the Pacers 30-13 in the quarter.

HOT: After somewhat of a slow start, James took control in the third quarter. He did it mostly with his midrange game but also found time to affect the game as a facilitator and defender. His scoring was needed with Bosh and Wade struggling in the early going.

NOT: It’s been and up-and-down series for Pacers guard Lance Stephenson. He grabbed all the headlines in Game 4 only to have all sorts of difficulties tonight. He missed his first four shots and played out of control at times.

GOOD MOVE: The Heat needed to attack the paint more and the spark was Chalmers. Early on, he was the only player who didn’t shy from taking the ball toward Hibbert. It gave the Heat a sense they could crack the Pacers’ interior defense.

BAD MOVE: The referees made a controversial call when Heat center Chris “Birdman” Andersen remained in the game after shoving Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough in the second quarter. The play was similar to when Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed was ejected for pushing James in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

NOTABLE: The 16 points in the third quarter were the most by a Heat player in a quarter this postseason … Andersen has made all 15 of his shots in the series … Wade has been held under 20 points in 11 straight games.

The series heads back to Indiana on Sunday monrning for Game 6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.========================================================================

ATHLETICS:

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah has switched from the 10,000m to the 5,000m for his opening Diamond League race of the season in Eugene.

Farah, who won 5,000m and 10,000m gold at London 2012, changed events after suffering with a stomach virus.

It means he will avoid facing world record holder Kenenisa Bekele over the longer distance.

Christine Ohuruogu, Robbie Grabarz and Greg Rutherford are among the other Britons competing at the event.

David Rudisha, who bettered his own world record to win 800m gold at last summer’s Olympics, has been forced to pull out with a knee injury.

Farah now races today, saturday and will face his training partner Galen Rupp, who took 10,000m silver in London, 5,000m bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya and former world champion Bernard Lagat.

The women’s 400m also boasts a strong field comprising six of the top eight in the world. They include all three medal winners at London 2012: champion Sanya Richards-Ross, silver medallist Ohuruogu and DeeDee Trotter of the USA.

Rutherford, the Olympic long jump champion, will face a difficult job if he is to win his first Diamond League event of the season.

He faces the last three Olympic gold medallists: Dwight Phillips, who won gold in 2004, and Irving Saladino, who won the first ever Olympic medal for Panama when he was crowned champion in 2008.
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TENNIS:

MEN’S

Novak Djokovic overcame Argentina’s Guido Pella on a rainy Paris day to set up an intriguing third-round clash against Grigor Dimitrov at the French Open.

Seven-time champion Rafael Nadaldefeated Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on friday.

Djokovic was held up once again by the rain in the second set but, when on court, wasted no time in seeing off world number 83 Pella 6-2 6-0 6-2, to reach the last 32.

He will next meet Dimitrov, the Bulgarian 26th seed, who beat Djokovic on the Madrid clay earlier this month.

Dimitrov made it through around a couple of rain delays with a comprehensive 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win over France’s Lucas Pouille on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and Djokovic was clearly determined not to hang about on Chatrier.

FEMALE:

Third seed Victoria Azarenka reached the French Open third round with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Germany’s Annika Beck. But 2011 champion and sixth seed Li Na lost 5-7 6-3 6-2 to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on a day interrupted by several rain delays at Roland Garros.

Defending champion Maria Sharapova led Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-2 4-2 when play was suspended for a final time.

Ninth seed Sam Stosur will play 18th seed Jelena Jankovic next after both won in straight sets. Britain’s Dominic Inglot and his partner Treat Huey won through to round two of the men’s doubles.

Inglot and his Filipino partner Huey beat Tobias Kamke and Florian Mayer of Germany 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. British pair Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray were beaten 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 by Feliciano Lopez and Andre Sa.

Heather Watson and her Ukrainian partner Irina Buryachok went out of the women’s doubles 3-6 6-4 7-5 to Oksana Kalashnikova and Alicja Rosolska. Belarus’s Azarenka, 23, faces Alize Cornet next after the French 31st seed beat Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1 6-3.

Mattek-Sands’s best Grand Slam showing came at Wimbledon in 2008, when she reached the fourth round. She appeared on the verge of defeat in the second set when rain prompted a 90-minute delay but was a different player on her return.
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Federetions Cup: NFF releases fixtures

The Nigeria Football Federation have made public the fixtures for the 2013 Federations Cup competition after draws were conducted on Thursday in Abuja.

All the 20 Premier League clubs in the country, plus 22 clubs from the second-tier National League, nine clubs from the Nationwide League and 12 non-League teams are all in the run for the prestigious trophy currently held by Heartland FC.

The Naze Millionaires won last year’s edition when they defeated Lobi Stars 2-1 in the final played inside the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos on August 26, thanks to a 90th minute header from Brendan Ogbu.

Already the NFF has announced that this year’s edition will be a clear departure from the past having opted for the knock-out system from start to finish as played in countries like England.

2013 FEDERATION CUP
MEN’S DRAW

*Ingas(Enugu) Vs Ranch Bees,
*Sharks Vs Kogi United
*Yarma Light(Gombe) Vs Akwa United,
*Makwada Vs Grays(Osun),
*Enugu Rangers Vs Dan Lawan(Jigawa),
*Rising Stars Vs Samba Kurna,
*Plateau United Vs Wikki Tourists,
*El-Kanemi Babes Vs Niger Tornadoes,
*Warri Wolves Vs Dynamite(Edo),
*Katsina Spotlight Vs Bago Mission(Zamfara)
*El-Kanemi Warriors Vs Apa United,
*Global Academy Vs Kano Pillars,
*Leopard FC(Cross River) Vs FC Taraba,
*Gombe United Vs Bussdor FC,
*Adamawa United Vs Nasarawa United,
*COD(Lagos) Vs FC Lokoja,
*Nembe City Vs Igbo Ambassadors(Ebonyi),
*Fountain(Ekiti) Vs Sunshine Stars,
*Shatima United(Zamfara) Vs Remo FC,
*Enyimba FC Vs Police Machine,
*Gateway Vs 3SC,
*Fadama FC(Kebbi) Vs JUTH,
*Dolphins Vs NAF(FCT),
*Akwa Starlets Vs Kwara United,
*Jnr. Dandura Abia Warriors,
*Kaduna United Vs Unicem Rovers,
*Arewa Pillars Vs ABS,
*Prime FC Vs Bayelsa United,
*MFM FC(Lagos) Vs Court of Appeal,
*Crown FC Vs Lobi Stars.

*Champions Heartland FC were given a bye
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Caf President Issa Hayatou to grace Kenya vs Nigeria match

A top Kenya FA official has said that the African boss will arrive in Nairobi on June 3, two days to the decisive World Cup qualifier at Moi Kasarani

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Issa Hayatou will grace the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Kenya’s Harambee Stars and Nigeria’s Super Eagles at Moi Kasarani on June 5.

“Hayatou has confirmed that he will attend the Kenya v Nigeria match. He (Hayatou) will jet into Nairobi on June 3. Hayatou has a good relationship with Kenya FA President Sam Nyamweya and wants to be part of the crowd at Kasarani on Wednesday (June 5),” the source, who sought anonymity, added.

Hayatou has been the President of Caf since 1987. In 2002, he contested for Fifa presidency but was defeated by current President Sepp Blatter. He is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

President of Caf for over two decades, Hayatou has overseen particularly successful Fifa World Cup appearances by Senegal, Nigeria, and Cameroon, and pushed for African places in the finals to increase from two to five, with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa seeing the hosts garner an automatic sixth spot for an African team.

Wednesday’s match is crucial for both teams as the winner will put themselve in a better position of reaching the World Cup showcase slated for Brazil.

Kenya managed a 1-1 draw against the African champions in the first leg match played in Calabar and will be hoping to better the performance despite missing key players – goalkeeper Arnold Origi and striker Dennis Oliech through suspension.
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The South African Football Association will celebrate the 20th Year Anniversary of the Senior Women’s national football team’s participation in international football.

The Banyana Banyana, as they are called, played in their first international match against neighbours Swaziland on May 30, 1993, and have played 154 international matches since then.

In that time, the team qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, and finished as runners up at the African Women’s Championships three times and became the first South African national football team to beat Nigeria in an international game.

The team is now ranked 53 in the world, and is sponsored by two major brands in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the most successful women team on the African continent, the Super Falcons, are not sponsored, and no celebrations have been held in their honour.
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FOREIGN SPORTS:

Fifa racism measures could see teams expelled or relegated:

Teams could be relegated or expelled from competitions for serious incidents of racism after tough new powers were voted in by Fifa.

First or minor offences will result in either a warning, fine or order for games to be played behind closed doors.

Re-offenders or serious incidents could lead to a points deduction, expulsion from competition or relegation.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter believes the measures ‘send a strong signal to the racists that their time is up’.

The ‘resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination’ was passed with a 99 per cent majority at the world governing body’s congress in Mauritius.

Nonetheless, Blatter accepts further work needs to be done.

“While we, in this hall, can all agree that racism must be stopped, more must be done outside, back in our respective home nations,” said Blatter.

“We need zero tolerance and strict punishments everywhere. We must lead. We must set a tough, uncompromising example.

“Football can show the way. We can make a difference. With our newly-formed task force, led by Jeffrey Webb, and the tough resolution before you this week, we can send a strong signal to the racists that their time is up.

“But we need the help of all. We cannot win this battle alone.”

Fifa commissioned a task force to address the issue of racism after a friendly game between AC Milan and Pro Patria was abandoned due to racist chanting.

Their verdict includes putting an official inside the stadium to identify potential acts of racism and ease the pressure on the match referee.

Further to the regulations that relate to clubs, the new measures will see any individual who commits a racist offence banned from stadiums for a minimum of five matches.

The five-match suspension is one that has been introduced by the Football Association, whose chairman David Bernstein sat on the task force panel in Mauritius.
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Barcelona to honour Abidal

Barcelona have announced via their official website that their departing defender Eric Abidal will be honoured after the last game of the season against Malaga.

Though nothing out of this world is been planned, Abidal is to receive a tribute from the players and fans.

Abidal will be leaving FC Barcelona after today’s match although he is expected to return to the club once he has retired from active duty.

Barca President Sandro Rosell has spoken about how the club wants “to show Abi how much we love him” and has encouraged everyone to come along to give him the send-off he deserves.

Activities

-Once the game is over, all of the players will be wearing a shirt saying “MERCI ABI22” and will make their way to the centre circle while 22 child members will form a guard of honour for Abidal, his daughter and their cousin Gerard.

-This will be followed by a video in honour of Abidal, and team captain Carles Puyol will present his colleague with a commemorative shirt as a memento from the whole squad.

According to Barcelona, the idea is for the ceremony to be simple but emotional, and will end with a few words of thanks from Abidal, who will leave the ground through a guard of honour formed by his team-mates.

Having failed to tie a new deal with the Catalan giants Abidal is tipped for a move to the Middle-East to continue his football carer having overcome serious health challenges that previously threatened his career.
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LOCAL FOOTBALL

NPFL: Gombe United Debunk Lobi Stars Claims.

Following the 2-2 draw recorded by Lobi Stars away against Gombe United, Gombe United was made to understand that management of Lobi Stars Football Club made bizarre claims that they were harassed and intimidated after the game.

Lobi Stars went ahead twice in the game before Gombe United equalized in the 38th minute and towards the end of the game.

The officials of Lobi Stars in their report said they were denied their first away win due to poor officiating and hostile fans.

The management of Gombe United Football Club however said that the claims were absurd and unfounded.

“The claim that the windscreen of the players bus was smashed was a blatant lie. The team surreptitiously left Gombe after the game claiming the fear of their lives was also unfounded”

Lobi Stars claim of being led out of the stadium by security officials was also denied by Gombe United.

“They have no plan to spend further night in Gombe and no single Gombe United fan followed them to the hotel with any form of threat. Baseless claims like these are unhealthy in Nigerian football.
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Week 15 RESULTS

26/05/2013 Heartland 1-0 Sharks
26/05/2013 Rangers 2-0 Sunshine Stars
26/05/2013 NASARAWA UNITED 2-1 ABS
26/05/2013 Enyimba 1-0 3SC
26/05/2013 NEMBE CITY 2-0 Akwa United
26/05/2013 Warri Wolves 4-0 BAYELSA UNITED
26/05/2013 Kaduna United 1-0 Wikki Tourists
26/05/2013 kwara United 3-0 Kano Pillars
26/05/2013 Gombe United 2-2 Lobi Stars
26/05/2013 Dolphins 1-0 EL-KANEMI-WARRIORS

Week 16 FIXTURES

5/6/2013 Sharks – Rangers
6/6/2013 Sunshine Stars – NASARAWA UNITED
6/6/2013 ABS – Enyimba
5/6/2013 3SC – NEMBE CITY
6/6/2013 Akwa United – Warri Wolves
6/6/2013 BAYELSA UNITED – Kaduna United
5/6/2013 Wikki Tourists – kwara United
5/6/2013 Kano Pillars – Gombe United
6/6/2013 Lobi Stars – Dolphins
5/6/2013 EL-KANEMI-WARRIORS – Heartland

TODAY’S MATCH JUNE 1

Kano Pillars – Heartland FC

NPFL 2012/2013 SEASON TOP SCORERS (WEEK 15)
PLAYERS CLUB GOALS
Isah Akor Heartland FC 7
Bishop Onyeudo Gombe United 7
Oghenekaro Etebor Warri Wolves 6
Dele Olorundare Sunshine Stars 6
Musa Najere Warri Wolves 5
Victor Namo Nasarawa United 5
Rabiu Ali Kano Pillars FC 5
Sibi Gwar Enyimba FC 5
Haruna Babalo El kanemi 5
Fred Okwarah Dolphins FC 5
Ubong Ekpai Akwa United 5
Joseph Osadiaye Warri Wolves 4
Gbolahan Salami Shooting Stars 4
Okiki Mosampa Nembe City FC 4
Yahaya Adamu Kwara United 4
Ali Adamu Kaduna United 4
Uche Ihuarulan Bayelsa United 4

NPFL 2012/2013 TABLE

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Heartland FC 14 25
2 Kwara United F.C 15 25
3 Kano Pillars 14 25
4 Dolphins F.C 15 24
5 Nembe City F.C 15 23
6 Bayelsa United F.C 15 23
7 Enyimba 15 22
8 Nasarawa United F.C 15 22
9 Gombe United F.C. 15 22
10 Enugu Rangers 13 21
11 Sunshine Stars F.C 15 21
12 Warri Wolves F.C 15 21
13 Akwa United 15 20
14 Kaduna United F.C. 15 20
15 Shooting Stars 14 19
16 El-Kanemi Warriors 15 18
17 Lobi Stars 15 18
18 ABS F.C 15 16
19 Wikki Tourists 14 14
20 Sharks F.C 15 14
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Yours Truly Evatese

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