Bergwijn scores winner as Netherlands edge Poland
Amsterdam, Sept. 4, 2020 Netherlands forward Steven Bergwijn scored just past the hour mark to secure a hard-fought win over Poland in their opening Nations League clash on Friday.
The hosts won by a lone goal as heavy home pressure finally paid dividends at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
The Dutch, runners-up in last year’s inaugural edition of the competition, were playing their first game since the departure of Coach Ronald Koeman to Barcelona last month, but kept up their crisp performances of the last two years.
Bergwijn tapped the ball home in the 61st minute after a characteristic sweeping move from the Netherlands, playing under interim Coach Dwight Lodeweges in their League A Group 1 match.
Frenkie de Jong’s sweeping ball and Hans Hateboer’s assist gave Tottenham Hotspur’s Bergwijn the simple task of finishing from close range to score his first international goal.
De Jong had hit the upright with the last touch of the first half, after a clever flick over the top of the defence by Memphis Depay.
De Jong chested the ball down and swiveled a shot toward goal, only to be denied by the woodwork.
There was also a good chance for Depay early in the second half but he was caught unawares when the Polish defence failed to clear an incoming cross.
Poland were missing Robert Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker was given time off, following Champions League success last month but saw Krzysztof Piatek force a good save out of Jasper Cillessen just past the half hour.
His side-footed shot was parried away by the keeper after Poland had split the Dutch defence with a quick counter.
However, it was their only real chance as the hosts dominated the match.
“Not many of our players had many minutes in the legs but we trained hard this week and worked well and we achieved a very professional performance as a result,” said Dutch Captain Virgil van Dijk.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN) https://nnn.ng/bergwijn-scores-winner-as-netherlands-edge-poland/
Nigeria, EU envoys meet to resolve access to airspace, travel ban
The Federal Government and envoys of the European Union (EU) on Friday in Abuja met to resolve the issue of access to airspace following the ban on some airlines by the Nigerian government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting is coming after the Federal Government opened its airspace on September 5.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the closed door meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the meeting was at the instance of the EU envoys.
Onyeama said that the meeting also discussed the issue of access to the European space of passengers coming from Nigeria, stating that the Nigerian side was very keen on knowing what exactly applied to Nigerians.
He further said there was obviously some misinformation which made the situation altogether not very clear.
“We understand that this has created some concerns and tensions, so we are here to listen to each other, diplomatically and politely.
“And in a friendly manner to try and see how we can begin to resolve outstanding issues of concern on either side.
“So, what we have asked the European side, to let us have, is the detailed information on Nigerians that can access European space from Nigeria.
“So, which category of Nigerians can in this present time and with the release and restrictions announced by the EU are affected? Who are the people considered on essential travel?
“And what chances does an average Nigerian have to visit a European country from here?
“So, to give us that information so that every Nigerian will be in a position to know whether they can access the European space irrespective of the fact whether they have a visa or no visa.
“There are a lot of Nigerians who have long-term visas, two-year Schengen visa and so forth and clearly, not all of them are able or have to write now as it stand, to enter Europe. So, we want to have that information,”Onyeama stated.
Onyeama also said that the Nigerian side decided and pointed out that just as the EU reviews its policies every two weeks, the Nigerian Government is also doing same and also look into the policies during PTF meetings.
Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria, said the availability of flights from Europe to Nigeria was very essential due to the ongoing collaboration between the EU and Nigeria.
Karlsen also said the EU appealed to its partners on the Nigerian side to reconsider the possibility of having again, some of the larger air carriers from Europe, flying with Nigeria.
He added that Nigeria was never picked out, even as he said there was never a ban against flights coming from Nigeria to Europe.
“Nigeria was never picked out, there was never a ban against flights coming from Nigeria to Europe, there was never, as I see it, a retaliation or reciprocity at play here.
“Merely, what Europe has done is exactly the same that Nigeria has done namely, looking at very carefully, what essential groups of people should come in a time of crisis.
“And how can we provide protocols to handle that in terms of testing and isolation, if needed,”Karlsen said.
In his remarks, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said Europe is the strongest partner of Nigeria as far as the aviation sector is concerned.
Sirika said that whatever was done was not targeted at the EU and was subject to review.
NAN reports that in attendance from the Nigerian side were the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State, Health, Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora; the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu.
The EU delegation included the Ambassadors of Germany, Netherlands, and France.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi
UN urges Belarus to grant entry to UN rights expert
Belarus should grant free access to specialised UN experts to monitor human rights issues, including prisons, the UN Human Rights Council urges in a resolution.
In addition to demanding entry for UN Belarus monitor Anais Marin, the Human Rights Council also calls on Belarus to stop using violence, torture and arrests to quash civil rights.
The resolution, which was initiated by European countries says Belarus authorities should start a dialogue with the opposition and civil society.
The resolution was adopted with 23 yes votes, two no votes from Eritrea and Venezuela, and 22 abstentions.
Similarly, Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, appealed to the UN on Friday for an international monitoring mission to be sent to Belarus to document an ongoing violent police crackdown on her supporters.
“The scope and the brutality of the extensive force used by the regime is in clear violation of all international norms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN,” Tikhanovskaya said in an address to the UN Human Rights Council.
At least 7,000 protesters have been detained in Belarus since a disputed presidential election more than a month ago.
The UN has received 450 reports of torture and other abuse of detainees.
President Alexander Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and EU member state Poland, for more than a quarter-century, tolerating little dissent.
Tikhanovskaya placed second in the Aug. 9 election, according to the disputed official tally.
She says she won and has demanded a new election. There have been protests in Belarus every day since the vote.
“We demand … an international monitoring mission to document the regime’s atrocities,” Tikhanovskaya, 38, told a special meeting of the UN council via video link.
She dismissed the Belarusian leadership’s allegations that, by seeking to intervene in Belarus’ post-election crisis, foreign powers have been meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
“It is very important to recognise that standing up for democratic principles and human rights is not interfering in internal affairs.
“It is a universal question of human dignity,” Tikhanovskaya said.
The UN Human Rights Council held the urgent debate in spite diplomats from Belarus and its close allies trying to prevent reports on violations from being presented at the meeting in Geneva.
“It is vital for the future of Belarus to break these cycles of increasing repression and violence,” Deputy UN Rights Chief Nada al-Nashif said.
“Civil society is a valuable partner, not a threat,” she added.
After al-Nashif’s speech, envoys from Belarus, Russia, Venezuela and China raised a long series of points of order to complain that the UN official had been allowed to speak, and to stop additional reports from a UN rights investigator and from Belarusian civil society representatives.
The Austrian diplomat, who presides over the Human Rights Council, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, finally issued a ruling to stop these interventions.
Belarusian Ambassador Yury Ambrazevic rejected all accusations voiced in the council, which heard video messages from the foreign ministers of Denmark, Slovakia, Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
“We believe it is not acceptable to use this body here to interfere in the election in any individual country,” Ambrazevic said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Tensions in Polish governing majority as lawmakers defy ruling party
The fault lines between Poland’s governing Law and Justice party (PiS) and its close allies were laid bare on Friday when several dozen lawmakers failed to support draft legislation.
Almost 40 lawmakers defied PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and voted against a bill that would liquidate farms which breed animals for fur, and would introduce a broad range of provisions to improve animal welfare.
Another 15 lawmakers abstained.
The legislation is believed to be important to Kaczynski, a known cat-lover, who also wants to open his socially conservative party to younger voters.
However, factions within the party criticised the bill, citing the economic impact on farmers, where PiS has a strong following.
Eventually the bill was adopted by the lower house thanks to the support of opposition lawmakers.
PiS has been embroiled in an internal power struggle in recent weeks over a prospective cabinet reshuffle.
This infighting provoked factions within the party to openly criticize Kaczynski and his political protege, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
This criticism came primarily from United Poland (Solidarna Polska), a PiS satellite party, which appeals to more conservative voters.
A number of recent initiatives, including a plan to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and anti-LGBT rhetoric can be attributed to United Poland politicians.
According to senior PiS members, the government reshuffle talks have now been suspended.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Sadiya Hamza
FIFA Ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th
In the ranking placed on the world football governing body’s website on Thursday, Nigeria garnered 1493 points during the period under review without playing any match.
The movement also placed Nigeria as the third in Africa behind Senegal and Tunisia who garnered 1555 and 1506 points respectively.
On the global scene, with the exception of Uzbekistan’s 2-1 friendly victory over Tajikistan, the countries back in action have all been European.
The successful staging of these games was nonetheless encouraging for teams from other confederations as they seek to resume international fixtures in the weeks ahead.
The 54 UEFA Nations League games which took place across Europe at the beginning of September had an immediate impact on the oca-Cola World Ranking, which had remained unchanged since April 9.
While there had been no movement among the leading quartet —- in descending order: Belgium, France, Brazil and England —- Portugal (5th, up 2) have moved into the top five.
This was as a result of victories over Croatia (8th, down 2) and Sweden (18th, down 1).
Other countries moving in the right direction are Spain (7th, up 1), Italy (12th, up 1), the Netherlands (13th, up 1), and Germany (14th, up 1).
Each of them gained one place respectively in the global classification.
Wales (21st, up 2) climbed two rungs but remain just outside the top 20.
Russia, hosts of the last FIFA World Cup, are further back in 32nd.
But they had the biggest gain in this edition, ascending six places courtesy of wins over Serbia (31st, down 2) and Hungary (52nd, unchanged).
In spite of not playing, Iran (30th, up 3) moved into the top 30 after Serbia and Turkey (32nd, down 3) dropped points.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru and Olawale Alabi)