1. Inter Club Badminton Tourney
City Gate Badminton Club, Abuja has won the second edition of the International Inter Club Badminton competition held at the Badminton section of Ikoyi Club 1938 in Lagos state.
Police College Badminton Club came second, while the host placed third in the two day event.
The competition was initiated to foster a closer interaction within the badminton fraternity in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, as eleven clubs from Nigeria and Ghana participated in the tournament.
IKOYI CLUB INT’L INTER CLUB TOURNEY:-
City Gate Badminton Club, Abuja wins 2nd edition
Chairman, Badminton Section, Ikoyi club
Chairman, Lagos State Badminton Asso.
2. Anthony Joshua to learn next week if IBF will enforce Kubrat Pulev defence
Anthony Joshua will learn next week whether the IBF will enforce a mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev, according to promoters for both fighters.
The unbeaten 27-year-old successfully defended the IBF heavyweight belt and added the WBA 'super' title with last Saturday's sensational 11th-round stoppage win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley.
Promoter Eddie Hearn is considering a number of options for Joshua's next fight, which could include a rematch with Klitschko, or an IBF title defence against Pulev, the No 1 ranked challenger.
After collecting two belts, Hearn wants to press ahead with unifying the world titles but is working on reaching a solution with Pulev's promoter Kalle Sauerland, and the IBF, which could even strip the title from Joshua if he does not fulfill his obligation to the mandatory challenger.
3. FIFA ranking: Nigeria static at 40th
Nigeria maintained its 40th position in the world on the new FIFA ranking released by the world football governing body on Thursday.
The Super Eagles are still fifth in Africa behind Egypt (19), Senegal (30), Cameroon (33) and Burkina Faso (35), while Congo DR (41st), Tunisia (42nd) Ghana (45th) Côte d’Ivoire (48th) and Morocco (53rd) make up Africa’s top 10 in that order.
Brazil remain top of the latest FIFA world rankings published on Thursday which remain largely unchanged.
The South Americans – five-time World Cup winners — had surged to the top spot for the first time in seven years last month at the expense of great rivals Argentina.
World champions Germany are third followed by Chile and Colombia in a South American-dominated top five.
4. Odey, Olatunbosun Set for Eagles Call up
MFM FC attacking pair of Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun have been handed call ups to the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles.
The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leading scorer Odey and Olatunbosun are two of the four players from the country’s top division expected to be announced for the roster ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against South Africa in June this year.
FC Ifeanyiubah goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Akwa United striker Alhassan Ibrahim are also in the mix.
The four players are expected to join up with the overseas-based players called by Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr for the camp in a French island, Corsica.
However, the trio of Alhassan, Ezenwa and Olatunbosun have applied for their visas ahead of the trip to Corsica while MFM striker Odey is in Denmark seeking to join FC Midtjylland.
The squad for the trip to Corsica ahead of the match-up with Bafana Bafana of South Africa is expected to be announced soon.
5. Iran join seasoned trio in semis
Iran qualified for their first ever FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup semi-finals with a thrilling win in extra time 4-3 victory over Switzerland, while experienced sides Tahiti, Brazil and Italy also booked tickets to the last four.
Four-time champions Brazil edge past champions Portugal 4-3, 2015 runners-up Tahiti defeated Paraguay 6-4, Italy's 5-1 win over Senegal was the most dominant performance of the evening as the semi-final games will be played on Saturday.
FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP
Quarter final Results
Paraguay 4-6 Tahiti
Brazil 4-3 Portugal
Switzerland 3-4 Iran AET
Italy 5-1 Senegal
6. Rashford edges Man Utd towards Europa League final
Marcus Rashford’s stunning free-kick 23 minutes from time put Manchester United on the brink of reaching the Europa League final with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Celta Vigo on Thursday.
However, he was wrong-footed by Rashford’s free-kick as United took a giant step towards reaching the final in Stockholm on May 24.
The two sides meet again at Old Trafford for the second leg on May 11.
Rashford’s 11th goal of the season was just reward for United’s superiority as they close in on not just the prestige of winning the Europa League for the first time, but also the prize of guaranteed Champions League football next season it would bring.
Celta have already overcome losing the first leg 1-0 at home on their run to the last four with a 2-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 32.
But the Galicians need lightning to strike twice at Old Trafford as United look set for their first European final since 2011.
7. Wenger ready for peace with Mourinho
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is prepared to bury the hatchet with old foe Jose Mourinho ahead of Sunday’s home game with Manchester United.
Wenger regularly clashed with Mourinho during the Portuguese’s two stints as Chelsea manager, the rivalry spilling over into a touchline shoving match during an October 2014 game at Stamford Bridge.
The pair resume hostilities at the Emirates Stadium with their sides competing for a place in the Premier League top four.
Asked if peace could be made with United manager Mourinho, Wenger told reporters, “I am open always in life for everything, you know, for peace.
Wenger, who has never beaten Mourinho in the league, was reminded of his relationship with former United manager Alex Ferguson, which shed its initial spikiness to become cordial.
Arsenal approach the weekend in sixth place in the table, five points below United and six behind Manchester City, with a game in hand on both.
Wenger said if Arsenal fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League he will follow Mourinho’s lead by making the Europa League a priority.
Wenger is still to announce what he will do at the end of the season and has faced calls to stand down from disgruntled supporters.
United’s struggles in the post-Ferguson era have been held up as a warning to fans calling for Wenger to go, but he says his departure could prove to be a good thing.
8. Diego Costa/ Antoine Griezmann
To earn £620k a week Diego Costa is closing in on a move to China that will see him become the best-paid player in world football.
Tianjin Quanjian believe they have an agreement in principle to complete a stunning £75million deal for the Chelsea forward this summer having failed with an attempted swoop in January.
Tianjin, who are managed by Fabio Cannavaro, were plotting a second bid for Costa.
WHILE MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed personal terms with Antoine Griezmann, paving the way for his move to Old Trafford.
SunSport understands a five-year deal worth £280,000 a week has been accepted by the Atletico Madrid striker.
United will meet the £89million buy-out clause in Griezmann’s Atletico contract which, combined with wages and bonuses, could see the total cost of the transfer exceed £170M.
The France international, 26, is Jose Mourinho’s No 1 transfer target for next season as he rebuilds his squad to challenge for the Premier League title.