Sport

African countries gear up for return to international football

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African countries are gearing up for a return to international football in October but with many borders throughout the continent still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic most teams are headed to Europe to play.


Cameroon are travelling to the Netherlands, Guinea to Portugal, while the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Tunisia head to Austria where it is easier for them to assemble squads because they are mostly made up of European-based players.

The next FIFA window for international football, from Oct. 5 to Oct. 13, is the first opportunity for African national teams to play since last November.

The pandemic saw international football cancelled for all except European countries this month. 

And uncertainty over travel around Africa led the Confederation of African Football to put back the resumption of official competition to November.

Next month’s window will allow African countries to play much needed friendlies to prepare for upcoming qualifiers for both the next Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup finals.

Nigeria have arranged friendlies against the Ivory Coast and Tunisia on Oct. 9 and Oct. 13 in Austria, while Cameroon have a friendly against Japan in Utrecht, after which they will stay in a training camp in the Netherlands for a few more days.

Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao this week named a preliminary squad of 33 players for the match and camp.

Guinea play the Cape Verde Islands on Oct. 10 and Gambia on Oct. 13 in Faro.

The Democratic Republic of Congo are travelling to Morocco for a training camp and a behind-closed-doors international against their hosts in Rabat on Oct. 13.

Senegal will also play Morocco in Rabat on Oct. 9.

African champions Algeria have yet to announce their plans but media reports say they will also go to Austria.

South Africa are trying to organise two matches at home next month against neighbouring countries but have yet to finalise arrangements as they await for a possible reopening of their borders in the coming weeks.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/african-countries-gear-up-for-return-to-international-football/

Economy

Survival Fund: FG releases registration schedule as portal opens Monday

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As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries for the Survival Fund opens on Monday, the Federal Government has released the timetable  for categories of businesses to register.


A statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Project Delivery Office stated that the portal which opens at 10 PM, will have educational institutions as the first category of beneficiaries to register.

“Nigerians interested in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site for registration will be open from 10 pm Monday September 21, 2020.

“In order to ensure seamless registration process, the Project Delivery Office (PDO) has designed a registration schedule.

“Registration for Payroll Support will start with educational institutions on Monday and will be followed with businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday September 25 beginning from 12 A.M.

“The portal will also be open to other category of small businesses from 12 A.M., on Monday September 28, 2020,” the statement said.

The office therefore advised those interested in benefiting from the fund to take note of the schedule and also log on to http://www.survivalfund.ng to register for the payroll support initiative.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the survival fund is a conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in MSMEs from the shock of the COVID– 19 pandemic.

The scheme is estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country, while targeting an average of 35,000 individuals per state.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/survival-fund-fg-releases-registration-schedule-as-portal-opens-monday/
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Sport

Osimhen, young lad with head of 40-year-old — Gattuso

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Napoli’s coach Gennaro Gattuso on Sunday dished out rare praises on new Nigerian signing Victor Osimhen, describing him  as “a young lad with the head of a 40-year-old”.


Osimhen became Napoli’s record signing when he joined from Lille in the summer for a reported 70 million euros.

He was brought on for his debut after an hour of Sunday’s Serie A match and the Nigerian made an instant impact in their 2-0 win.

”I was struck by Osimhen’s serious attitude. He has not forgotten where he came from and the sacrifices he made.

”He built himself up on his own and I congratulate him for his will and desire.

“He is a young lad with the head of a 40-year-old. I hope he does not make mistakes and does not change his attitude,” Gattuso said.

Osimhen, 21, grew up in a tough district of Lagos, lost his mother at a young age and along with his brother and sister, sold bottled water in Lagos traffic to help his family make ends meet.

Gattuso said he wanted to get Napoli back into the top four again after last year’s turbulent season, where they finished seventh after a late recovery and won the Coppa Italia.

”It  is natural that, given the history of the last 10 years, we want to return to the top four.

”I want to see a well-organised team that have clear principles in their heads and that know how to make themselves available in difficult moments,” the coach said.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/osimhen-young-lad-with-head-of-40-year-old-gattuso/
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Politics

Edo 2020: NCFront commends security on neutrality, wants more from INEC on logistics

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The National Consultative Front (NCFront) on Sunday commended stakeholders for peaceful and credible Edo gubernatorial election, applauding the security for its neutrality and professionalism.


The group disclosed this in its “Major Assessment and Verdict on Edo Governorship Election”, it issued.

It was jointly issued by Comrade Isa Aremu, Dr Tanko Yunusa, Prince Chris Azor, Mr Georgina Dakpokpo, Ayaba Olubunmi and Mr Ejiro Ofoye on behalf of NCFront Elections Monitoring Team.

The nonpartisan group, which commended the security for visible neutrality and professionalism in preventing thuggery and attempted malpractice in some polling units, advised the officers not to rest on their oars.

According to the group, more are still expected from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on logistics and in the conduct of some political parties and their agents.

The group said that party agents were expected to be more adherent to subsisting electoral ethics and rules, which forbade voters’ inducement, vote buying, thuggery and violence during elections, ballot snatching and stuffing.

It said that the political parties should always exercise respect for the Peace Accord their parties and candidates signed before elections.

“NCFront wishes to call on the INEC, as the main elections management body in Nigeria to always ensure that improved elections logistics are henceforth put in place and deployed on time.

INEC must urgently employ latest technology required to make elections transparent and credible in Nigeria so that elections are not ruined by violence and ultimately decided by the Courts instead of the electorate.

“However, the Police, being the lead security agency, would still need to do more to assure the Nigerian electorate, especially, through improved conduct of its personnel that they can reliably stand on the part of the law in maintaining peace and order during elections.

“This must be done instead of their regular recourse to intimidation of eligible voters, which has always occasioned recline of voters on election day and electoral manipulation in another instance,” it said.

The group, however, commended INEC for being above board in its conduct during the poll.

The NCFront also commended the Edo people for the relative peace witnessed during the poll and credibility of the electoral process, inspite of the violent build up.

The group while congratulating the winner of the election called on Gov. Godwin Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory by extending the hands of fellowship to all his fellow contestants in building a united and stable government and state.

NAN reports that NCFront, a nonpartisan pan-Nigerian conscience group, deployed 600 cadres of observers/monitors, in conjuction with its INEC accredited partners, in the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo for monitoring of the governorship elections.

NCFront said that it also observed a widespread lack of adherence to INEC’s guidelines on COVID-19 protocols.

The group commended INEC for giving priority to Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), and other vulnerable groups especially the elderly during the electioneering process.

It, however, added that some of the polling units were not accessible to some categories of PLWDs.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/edo-2020-ncfront-commends-security-on-neutrality-wants-more-from-inec-on-logistics/
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Politics

Edo Poll: APC supporters commend Buhari for providing level playing field

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The Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing a level playing field for contestants in the just-concluded Edo governorship election.


The BOS said this in statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary of its Enugu State chapter, Chief Anike Nwoga and Mr Godwin Onwusi on Sunday in Abuja.

It described Buhari as a statesmanship and a father of the nation, adding that he had enriched the health of the country’s democracy by observing its core tenet.

“The BSO is happy that Mr President enriched the health of our democracy by observing the core tenets of democracy.

“This, he did, by resisting the temptation to deploy the proverbial federal might in favour of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the BOS said.

Also in another statement, the United Patriots had congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki for his re-election as governor of Edo.

The group’s National Chairman, Mr Chukwudi Ezeobika said Obaseki’s victory remained a plus to the country’s democracy and an end to imposition of ill will on the electorate.

The group commended law enforcement agencies for their professional conduct before, during and after the election.

It commended, especially the Police for exhibiting high level of professionalism and devotion at election.

“We salute the courage and perseverance of the Edo  people who turned out in their huge numbers to exercise their franchise and vote for the candidate of their choice.

“We remain resolute in our belief that good governance will enhance more participation of Nigerians in future elections and permanently dislodge the ills of god “fatherism’’ and imposition of candidates on the people against their wish.

“As we approach the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for Oct. 10, we are optimistic that the serenity, security and decorum exhibited by all stakeholders in the nation’s electoral process in Edo, will be brought to bear,” it said.

The group appealed to Nigerian youths to be part of this great struggle to redeem the country and its democracy from abuse.

It said this they could do by protecting and preserving the sanctity of the country’s electoral system, knowing fully well that the future of the country was dependent on such struggle.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/edo-poll-apc-supporters-commend-buhari-for-providing-level-playing-field/
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