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Kano: Why I Didn’t Shake Hands With Gov Abba Yusuf – Ahmed Musa

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Super Eagles striker, Ahmed Musa, has broken his silence on reports that he refused to shake hands with Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State.

Musa said his action was a sign of cultural respect, expressing shock that it was taken out of context.

A viral video had shown Musa refusing to shake hands with the governor after shaking the deputy governor.


In the footage, the former Super Eagles star bowed to the governor instead of shaking his hands.

But, in a statement issued on Tuesday, Musa said: “It has come to my attention that a moment captured almost a month ago has unexpectedly become the center of attention on social media.

“It’s disheartening to see a simple act of cultural respect blown out of proportion. In our Northern culture, the gesture of kneeling, shaking hands etc signifies the highest form of respect.

“This was my intention when I greeted the Deputy Governor in such a manner. However, when it came to greeting the Governor, I chose to bow and not shake his hands, honoring him in a way that is deeply rooted in tradition.

“It’s unfortunate that amidst all the pressing issues our nation faces – economic hardships, security challenges, religious clashes and more – this seemingly insignificant moment has garnered so much attention. Even national media outlets like ARISE TV have jumped on the bandwagon, diverting focus from issues that truly matter – highly disappointing I must say.

“What’s even more disheartening are the comments questioning my respectfulness, especially from those who don’t know me personally. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on where we choose to direct our energy. Shouldn’t it be towards finding solutions to the problems plaguing our society rather than getting caught up in needless distractions?

“I urge us all to channel our collective efforts towards addressing the real issues at hand. Let’s focus on uplifting one another, fostering unity, and working towards a better future for all. And with this, I rest my case.”

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Manu Garba Returns As Golden Eaglets Coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has appointed Manu Garba as the head coach of the U-17 male team the Golden Eaglets, 11 years after he guided them to the World Cup.

“The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets,” the football body said Friday.

He was in the same position when he led the team to victory at the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 – Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

That group included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali, and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

“The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals, and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy,” the statement read.

“The former Nigeria international will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.”

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Djokovic, Sinner Into Monte Carlo Quarters As Medvedev Rages

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Novak Djokovic avenged last year’s Monte Carlo Masters defeat by Lorenzo Musetti to reach the quarter-finals Thursday along with Jannik Sinner, while Daniil Medvedev launched into a furious tirade during his defeat.

World number one Djokovic made a poor start and endured a second-set wobble before coming through 7-5, 6-3 against the 24th-ranked Musetti, the man who beat him at the same stage 12 months ago.

“I don’t think I am still at my top level but it was a great test today against a great player, a very talented player,” Djokovic said.

“I am really glad to overcome the challenge and look forward to the next one.”

Djokovic goes on to play Alex de Minaur, the 11th seed from Australia, in the last eight.

The Serbian top seed dropped serve in the opening game against Musetti before working his way back to level at 4-4, and then snatched the set on a double fault by his opponent.

Djokovic broke twice early in the second set either side of losing his own serve to surge 4-1 ahead. Musetti clawed back to within a game but Djokovic broke again for 5-3 before closing out the win.

Djokovic has struggled to find his best form in recent times in Monte Carlo. He has not won the tournament since the last of his two titles in 2015, failing to advance beyond the quarter-finals in seven subsequent appearances.

Australian Open champion Sinner improved his record to 24-1 this season with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jan-Lennard Struff.

The world number two broke at 4-4 en route to pocketing the first set and won nine of the final 11 games to sweep to victory.

“I broke him quite early and then he broke me back. I knew it was going to be really tough, but I guess I returned really well, especially on second serves. I can be very happy,” said Sinner.

Sinner next faces Holger Rune who defeated the Italian in the semi-finals last year before finishing runner-up to Andrey Rublev.

Rune made the last eight after a three-hour 30-minute 7-6 (11/9), 3-6, 7-6 (7/2) win over Grigor Dimitrov, saving two match points in the 12th game of the deciding set.

“It was a great match,” said Rune. “I thought I played a very good first set, it was very long, one-and-a-half hours. So it was tough physically.”

Like Dimitrov, Rune had earlier completed a rain-delayed third round clash.

“I had a match earlier today which was two sets, so I played five sets today actually, which is pretty brutal,” added the Dane.

Medvedev tore into the officiating for the second day running as he was beaten 6-3, 7-5 by Karen Khachanov.

Medvedev was hit with a point penalty to start the final game after berating chair umpire Carlos Bernardes and then became embroiled in a heated discussion with the tournament supervisor.

The world number four had already been warned after hurling his racquet when he double-faulted to lose his service game and leave Khachanov a game away from victory.

Medvedev, who took issue with two line calls in his second-round win on Wednesday, felt aggrieved when a Khachanov forehand was not called out during a rally that resulted in the latter earning two break points at 5-5.

The arrival of the physio to treat a finger bleed at the ensuing changeover tipped Medvedev over the edge, with the Russian yelling “did I ask for the physio!” at the umpire.

‘Open your eyes’
He then demanded of the supervisor “who will take responsibility?” for the decisions.

Television replays appeared to show the shot in question from Khachanov had landed wide of the court.

“It’s second day in a row. Guys, open your eyes. Do something. It’s out,” raged Medvedev.

“The mark is out. They don’t know how to referee anymore. Who will take action?

“Yesterday the ball is out, it’s called in. Who will take action. This ball is out there. Who will take responsibility? It’s not my responsibility to referee the matches.

“It’s this guy in the glasses (the line judge). He doesn’t need glasses because he doesn’t see anything. He should not be a referee.”

Khachanov’s reward is a quarter-final Friday against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who saw off fifth seed Alexander Zverev 7-5, 7-6 (7/3).

De Minaur moved into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against fellow Australian Alexei Popyrin.

AFP

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Liverpool On Brink Of Europa League Exit After Atalanta Thrashing

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Atalanta stunned Anfield as Gianluca Scamacca scored twice in a 3-0 win on Thursday to leave Liverpool with a mountain to climb to reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Mario Pasalic added a third seven minutes from time to condemn Liverpool to a first home defeat in all competitions for 14 months.

The Reds had been favourites to end the Jurgen Klopp era by completing the German’s set of trophies won as Liverpool boss in his last game in charge in the Dublin final.

With Liverpool locked in a tight three-way battle for the Premier League title alongside Arsenal and Manchester City, Klopp showed that remains his priority as he made six changes to the side that were held 2-2 by Manchester United on Sunday.

Mohamed Salah was one of those left on the bench but he was unable to inspire a response despite being thrust into action right at the start of the second half after a lacklustre first 45 minutes from the home side.

Atalanta had won just two of their previous nine games in all competitions.

But the side sitting sixth in Serie A were a threat from the first whistle.

Pasalic missed a glorious chance to open the scoring after just three minutes when he fired into Caoimhin Kelleher’s face as the Irish international spread himself.

Harvey Elliott hit the crossbar and Darwin Nunez sliced wide when clean through on goal but those promising Liverpool attacks were few and far between.

Scamacca failed to shine during his one season in the Premier League with West Ham, but he has now scored three times in England for club and country this season.

Atalanta made the breakthrough on 38 minutes when the Italian international fired low through Kelleher’s grasp from Davide Zappacosta’s cross.

Teun Koopmeiners should have made it 2-0 before the break when he failed to beat Kelleher one-on-one.

Klopp reacted at half-time as Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Andy Robertson were sent on in a rescue mission.

However, even the changes failed to muster a response from a jaded looking side in their 50th game of the season.

Scamacca was offered an acre of space to slot home Charles De Ketelaere’s cross on the hour mark.

Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota were then introduced by Klopp but Liverpool continued to create little despite their abundance of attacking talent on the field and left themselves open to the counter-attack.

Atalanta took full advantage to close to within the brink of just their second ever European final.

Scamacca turned provider for the third after Szoboszlai gifted possession away inside his own half.

Ederson’s first effort was saved by Kelleher, but Pasalic thumped home the rebound to the delight of the travelling fans.

Liverpool have a history of thrilling comebacks in the European competition, most notably from 3-0 down at half-time in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan.

But they will need a fightback of that magnitude to keep alive the dream of sending Klopp out with a European trophy.

AFP

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