Liverpool were denied a seventh European crown as Real Madrid became the chapions of the continent once again thanks to Vinicius Junior’s strike in a Champions League final marred by chaos outside the Stade de France.
Paris stepped in as host after UEFA stripped St Petersburg of the showpiece following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it did not provide a fitting host as European royalty went toe-to-toe in the biggest club match of the season.
Kick-off had to be delayed by 36 minutes due to substantial security issues outside the Stade de France, where Liverpool where edged out 1-0 in a tense, engaging final settled by Real star Vinicius Jr.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were unable to find a response to the second-half strike as Carlo Ancelotti, managing a record fifth Champions League final just a year after leaving Everton, oversaw the Spanish giants’ 14th European Cup triumph.
It was a heartbreaking end to a memorable season for Liverpool, who won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup before being pipped to the Premier League title by a point and losing in the French capital.
Liverpool had settled quickest in Paris, where Thibaut Courtois denied Mohamed Salah – a man in search of revenge following his injury in the 2018 defeat to Real – before tipping a Sadio Mane strike onto the post
Karim Benzema, this season’s Champions League top scorer, saw a goal ruled out for offside just before half-time and the LaLiga champions caught Liverpool napping in the 59th minute, landing a match-winning blow.
Vinicius Jr snuck behind Trent Alexander-Arnold to turn home Federico Valverde’s low cross and Courtois produced one of the best performances of his life to keep Liverpool at bay.
Salah led the charge for an equaliser that never arrived on a night that will be remembered by many for the farce outside the Stade de France, which led Liverpool to request a formal investigation midway through the final.
2025 AFCON: Nigeria-Benin, Four Other Nations Bid To Host
Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Zambia, and Benin-Nigeria want to replace Guinea as hosts of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, CAF president Patrice Motsepe confirmed on Saturday.
Guinea, chosen in 2014 to stage the premier African national team tournament, withdrew last year after little progress had been made in preparing for the biennial event.
CAF officials will do inspection tours of all the candidates this month with the winners to be announced on February 10 this year.
South African billionaire businessman Motsepe said the successful country or countries would offer the best “transport, logistics, hotels and beautiful stadiums”.
“Each region will have a chance to organise a CAN (Cup of Nations). We cannot assign the organisation of the CAN successively to the same region.”
Benin and Nigeria are in west Africa, as are the Ivory Coast, who will host the 2023 Cup of Nations.
AFRDC 2023: Irabor tees off golf tournament in Abuja
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor on Friday in Abuja, teed off golf kitty tournament to mark the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
Irabor, represented by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said the tournament was organised in partnership with the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) to celebrate the retired and fallen heroes.
He said the event was significant in remembering the nation’s fallen heroes who had paid the supreme price for defending Nigeria and those still alive who gave their best in service to the nation.
He said that there were other sporting activities organised to mark the day, adding that it was the first time the armed force would partner with NGF to organise a golf tournament.
He said that apart from golf, many other sport activities were also lined up for the occasion.
Also, Otumba Olusegun Runsewe, the President of NGF and Director-General, National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), commended the CDS for approving the partnership for the tournament.
Runsewe said there was the need to celebrate those that laid down their lives for the peace and unity of Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria had moved to the next level of golf development in line with international standard.
According to him, the International Standard is that any measure on a golf course must be branded.
“So, I’m happy to show you that if you go on the course now every measure has this international standard.
“We have 250 Pro golfers from professionals, amateurs, women among others, and it is an 18 hole golf course.
“I want to assure you that with this partnership, we are going to open more windows in Nigeria,” he said.
Similarly, the Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, said the tournament was organised to honour the fallen heroes who had paid the supreme price to keep Nigeria together.
Akpor said that there were living veterans as well as those who bore the scars of war and operations and the handicapped.
He said that the sporting activities were about building consciousness of the military and supporting them to continue to be the pride of the nation.
“So, while we are here doing this golf kitty, we also have those who are injured who are also playing a game at the National Stadium as we speak.
“They are playing the Citizen sitting volleyball and Wheelchair basketball,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)reports that the injured and soldiers living with disability known as Invictus team played citizens sitting volleyball match with the FCT team at the indoor arena of the National Stadium.
Ekiti FA Hails Bamidele on MOB CUP Championship
……. charges organizing Committee to maintain good
The Ekiti State Football Association has lauded Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele popularly known as MOB for the ongoing MOB Unity Cup across the Ekiti Central Senatorial District.
Chairman, Ekiti State Football Association, Bayo Olanlege commended the Title sponsor Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele for creating the platform to keep the youth busy and positively engaged during the yuletide in his constituency.
“Our distinguished Senator has done well for Ekiti youth in his constituency, dolling out cash to organize a competition of that magnitude is something worth commending”
Olanlege further congratulated the organizing committee headed by the Chairman, Ekiti State Coaches Association, Mr. Kehinde Anjorin, the young and vibrant Femi FACOM Popoola, the ever articulate Mayowa Afolabi and others doing a very good job in ensuring proper coordination of the tournament across all the centers.
He charged the committee to keep up the good job and improve on the foundation laid at the local football council level as the stage is set for the inter local football councils after the draws.
The MOB Unity Cup competition is underway across five local government covering the Ekiti Central Senatorial District which includes – Ado, Efon, Ekiti West, Ijero and Irepodun/Ifelodun LGAs.
According to the organizer the third place and final matches of the championship are billed for January 30th and February 4th,2023 respectively in Ado Ekiti, the State Capital
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