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Manchester United’s surprise move for Romelu Lukaku has left Alvaro Morate in limbo.

The Real Madrid striker was convinced as late as Wednesday that he was days away from being a United player and that he would soon be on a plane on their tour of the USA next week.

But as United now close in on a £75m deal for Lukaku instead, Morata has been left surprised and stranded at Real.

Morata is now hoping that Chelsea will come back in for him and spend the money that they had intended to spend on Lukaku, before they were out-manoeuvred this week by United. If Morata were to end up at Stamford Bridge it would mark the eventual conclusion of a courtship that has lasted for years.


Antonio Conte has been a long-term admirer of Morata and hoped to sign him after arriving at Chelsea in 2016. Morata, too, has always wanted to play for Conte ever since his time at Juventus. Morata played for Max Allegri, but in a team built by Conte, whom all of his team-mates still revered.


But the contact between Chelsea and Morata had gone quiet recently as Chelsea targeted Lukaku instead. Morata had an offer from Milan but had been convinced by Jose Mourinho, who gave him his Real Madrid debut, to go to United. But United and Real Madrid could not agree a fee.

Therefore, United decided to turn their attention to Lukaku instead this week, and now Morata is left hoping that Conte will come back for him again.



Friday, 07 July 2017 17:11

FIFA hammers Sudan FA

FIFA wielded the big stick on Friday and suspended the Sudan Football Association (SFA). The order effectively stripped Sudan from participating in all international competitions.

The football governing body said the suspension was with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council dated 27 June 2017.

“FIFA has taken note that, despite the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council, the decree of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice of 2 June 2017 has not been declared null and void. As a consequence, FIFA has been obliged to suspend the SFA in accordance with the aforementioned decision adopted by the Bureau of the FIFA Council.

“The suspension will be lifted only once the decree of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice of 2 June 2017 is declared null and void and the Board of Directors of the SFA with its President, Dr Mutasim Gaafar Sir Elkhatim, is reinstated.

“Following its suspension, the SFA loses all its membership rights as defined in art. 13 of the FIFA Statutes. The SFA representative and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.

“This also means that neither the SFA nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA or the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Moreover, and in accordance with art. 16 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes, other member associations may not entertain sporting contact with the SFA during its suspension.”


Manchester City and Super Eagles striker Kelechi Iheanacho is close to making move worth £25 million (about N1.25 billion) to former English Premier League champions Leicester City.

According to media reports on Thursday, the 20-year-old is in advanced talks with the Foxes and is thought to be well interested in making the switch.

Iheanacho, who has been very impressive for the Super Eagles and since making his debut for Manchester City in 2015, has scored 21 goals in 64 games in all competitions.

He signed a new contract last August, which is to end in 2021, but saw his playing time limited by the arrival in January of Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus.



Super Eagles’ England-based goalkeeper Carl Ikeme is to begin chemotherapy after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia, according to media reports in London on Thursday.

The 31-year-old player of Championship side Wolves was said to have returned “abnormal blood tests” during pre-season testing and further checks were also said to have confirmed the diagnosis.

Ikeme has been with Wolves for his entire career, making more than 200 appearances for the club.

Thirty-three of those were recorded last season, having previously been in the team that won the League One title in 2013/2014.

“It would be an understatement to say that everyone at Wolves has been shocked and saddened to hear the news of Carl’s diagnosis,” the club’s managing director, Laurie Dalrymple, said.

“That relates to both players and staff as Carl has been at the club for a very long time and remains such an integral personality within the group.

“At the same time, we all know what a fighter and a competitor Carl is, and I have no doubt that he will take all of those attributes into this battle.

“Similarly, its goes without saying that Carl and his family will receive the full love and support that we at Wolves can provide.

“We are all with him every single step of the way towards a full recovery.’’

Football clubs in England, as well as players and team-mates of Ikeme, past and present, have been offering their support to the goalkeeper on social media.





Video by Damie Okulaja 


Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, paid a condolence visit to the family of orator, elder-statesman, distinguished diplomat and the Danmasinin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, on the Third day prayer in Kano State. 


While on the visit, the Acting President paid a courtesy call to the Emir of Kano. 


According to the Acting President, "One of the things for me that is heart-warming is that we can still talk about a truly great Nigerian. You know these days, sometimes it’s hard to find role models, very difficult to find people who you can say - I would like to be like this person."


"I do not know how many people spoke the English language better than Alhaji Maitama Sule. If there’s anything that I would have wanted to take away from him before he left, it’s that great power of oratory and eloquence that he had."


The Super Eagles have dropped to the 39th spot from 38th in the July FIFA World Rankings.

The rankings table on FIFA’s website on Thursday indicated that Nigeria now has 715 points as against 730 it had in the June rankings.

The ranking also saw the national team become sixth in Africa behind Egypt, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia and Cameroon respectively as against Nigeria’s fourth position in the continent in June.

On the global scene, Germany have capped a sensational week on the international stage by returning to the top of the FIFA World Rankings for the first time since being knocked off the spot exactly two years ago.

Following their 1-0 win over Chile in the FIFA Confederations Cup final in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the newly crowned champions have narrowly overtaken Brazil (2nd, down by 1 point) and leapfrogged Argentina (3rd, down by 1 point).

European neighbours, Poland (6th, up 4) also have cause to celebrate, having risen to their best-ever ranking.

Spain, however, dropped from the first ten to now place 11th.




It's 50 years since the start of the Biafran war, one of Africa's bloodiest post-independence conflicts. What was the Nigerian conflict about and why does its legacy still matter today?

Video journalist: Roderick MaCleod, Reporter: Tomi Oladipo

Barcelona and Lionel Messi have finally come to an agreement and the player will renew his contract with the Catalan club until 2021, with a further one-year option.


As for the Argentine's release clause, under the new deal it will be set at 300 million euros.


For the Blaugrana, this is a relief as they can now fully focus on their other summer business now that the star of the team has committed his future to the Camp Nou institution.


The 30-year-old, who is currently enjoying his honeymoon after last Friday's wedding, will put pen to paper on this new deal next week when he returns to Catalonia to join his teammates for the start of pre-season training.



A 26 year-old Nigerian, Samuel Adepoju, has turned a star in India as he flawlessly sings a folk song, the Lollipop Lagelu in Hindi.

The Bhojpuri track originally sung by Pawan Singh has found a fan in the Nigerian resident, whose stage name is Samuel Singh.

Adepoju has posted his effort on Facebook and within a few days it has generated more than 350,000 views and over 12,000 shares. On You Tube, it is slowly attracting attention, garnering over 12,000 views

On his Facebook Wall, Adepoju also showcases his other Hindi songs, one of them a dancehall version of a song Brown Rang by Honey Singh.

India’s HindustanTimes newspaper asked Adepoju where he heard the song first?

“A friend from Chile had recommended the song to me and said I could wow a crowd if I sang Lollipop Lagelu.”
“I first heard the song during my college days in Jaipur when I participated in a cultural event.

“He taught me the chorus and within a few minutes, I’d gotten the hang of it. That performance had gotten me the loudest cheers I’ve ever received.”

Did the lyrics boggle his brain?

“I’m not sure about the meaning of the song but I have heard that it’s usually played in a lot of marriage ceremonies in and around Bihar. Learning the pronunciation wasn’t hard as I know a bit of Hindi and tried to relate it to that,” he told HindustanTimes.

Adepoju’s story is inspirational, a departure from the frequent reports about his compatriots being arrested for drug offences or romantic scams.

His love for Indian music began after he arrived the country for cancer treatment.

“The country (India) is filled with good music from good people. Listening to Indian songs during my treatment, I would find myself at peace — feeling happy and sad at the same time,” he adds.

“And even though the treatment took away my left hand, I got through the tough period thanks to every friend I made in India during my medical and educational stay.



Former Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama is one of 11 players who has been told they are no longer required by new Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The French club's new Argentine boss has also sent messages to Zambia's Stoppila Sunzu, Tunisia's Naim Sliti and Ivory Coast's Junior Tallo saying they are not part of his plans.

Enyeama, who played 101 times for the Super Eagles,only signed a new deal last season and could choose to follow the lead of Tallo.

"As for me, I'm under contract. I will respect the two years I have left. I'm in no hurry," the Ivorian told French Newspaper L'Equipe.

"I want to establish myself at Lille.

"It's the club that wants me to leave. We'll see if they find a solution between now and the end of the transfer window. I'm calm. It's a bit bizarre, but I'm handling it OK.

"I was informed like the others, by text. We're under contract, the club does what it wants.

"We would have liked to have had a discussion. But it's a business choice made by the bosses.

The club has already made some summer signings including Burkina Faso international goalkeeper Herve Koffi following Lille's disappointing 11th place finish in Ligue 1 last season.

But the African quartet, former captain Rio Mavuba, Eder, Julian Palmieri, Marko Basa, Éric Bauthéac, Lenny Nangis and Marvin Martin have been ordered to stay away from the rest of the squad as pre-season started on 3 July.

Enyeama, who joined Lille in June 2011 and has made 164 appearances, welcomed the signing of Koffi last month.

On Monday, Enyeama tweeted a photo with some of his fellow outcasts, who also include Montenegro international Marko Basa,       France international Marvin Martin and , stating: "Always a pleasure to be back with the team."




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