Sporting Highlights Of The Weekend: The Good, The Noteworthy And The Absurd

Sporting Highlights Of The Weekend: The Good, The Noteworthy And The Absurd

The Good

Nigeria retains Africa Scrabble Championship title

The African scrabble title will remain in the country after Saidu Ayorinde overthrew teammate 2015 champion Nsikakabasi Etim at the just concluded championship in Tema, Ghana.

Hold your hat now, that’s not the best news to come out of that event, get this, there were nine Nigerians in the top ten. I’m not kidding, 9! Here they are;
Eta Karo (2), Umebiye Cyril (3), Nsikakabasi Etim (4), Rex Ogbakpa (5), Ogbogu Azubuike (7), Dennis Ikekeregor (8), National Scrabble Coach Anthony Ikolothe (9), and John Curtis Ebomah (10).

Now add this to Wellington Jighere, the first African World Scrabble Champion (2015) and yeah you guessed right he’s Nigerian too, and it seems like we’ve got this English thing on lock. Wonderful, or should I say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Super Sand Eagles defy all odds to qualify for World Cup

What do you get when you bring together a mash of futsal and football players to compete at a beach soccer tournament? A World Cup berth.

It has been a sporting feast for Lagosians these past few days as the Copa Lagos and Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations held on the sands of Eko Atlantic. The Super Sand Eagles won many hearts en route to the final where they lost 8 – 4 to Senegal. More importantly, by reaching the final they grabbed a ticket to the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas after failing to make it to the last 2 editions.

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to do Cristiano Ronaldo things

Photo credit: Mirror Football

So here’s a list of things that’s happened for the Portuguese superstar as culled from Mirror Football

1.     His Ballon d’Or win
2.     Scoring his 500th career goal
3.     Winning the Club World Cup
4.     Scoring a hat-trick in a final (his 40th career hat-trick btw)
5.     Joining Pele as the only player to score a Club World Cup final hat-trick
6.     Winning the Adidas CWC golden ball
So Ronaldo is now possessed of a set of golden balls, make of that what you will.
Not bad for a week’s work. 

The Noteworthy

Pinnick for Africa, yay!

The Annual General Assembly of the NFF was a key fixture this weekend after the sour scenes last weekend when the Super Falcons took to the street in front of the National Assembly to protest unpaid allowances and bonuses.

Sports Minister Solomon Dalung in his address to the assembly at the opening ceremony raised several issues; division within the board as regards Pinnick’s candidature for a CAF executive slot, late submission of memos for payments which led to the Falcons debacle, a FIFA audit query which alleged the mismanagement of a one million dollar grant ($1.1m) amongst others. The speech, of course, led to a handshake event (or rather non-event) between the Minister and NFF boss, good to know Mourinho and Arsene don’t have a monopoly on that.
However, the assembly passed a vote of confidence on the executive committee and endorsed Pinnick for Africa, fun times ahead.

Mikel still plays for Chelsea…on twitter

Conte, Conte, Conte. What else can I say, the magnitude of the turn-around is just stunning. Chelsea is top of the log, nine points clear of closest contenders Liverpool who are in action tonight.

One man’s not having it so good, Mikel John Obi has not played a single minute of football for Chelsea in the Premier League, even worse he has not made the bench for any of the 17 matches so far. Safe to say that the Super Eagles captain is headed for new pastures, the question is when? He must move in January if you ask me, he has enough quality to earn a regular berth at a midlevel team in the PL and Nigeria cannot afford to have a captain who is a social media mascot for his team.
Thanks to all the fans travelling up to @SunderlandAFC tonight … with your support lets go 6⃣ points clear 🔵⚪️ #KTBFFH #TopOfTheLeague

— Mikel John Obi (@mikel_john_obi) December 14, 2016

The Absurd 

Gundogan Shirts

C’mon guys really?

So Gundogan’s not dead. Seriously. It might not look like it from the look on these guys’ faces but seriously he’s alive. Look;
Thanks to my teammates 👏👏🏽 & of course – congrats to my boys to this crucial win against #AFC👍 PS: Don’t worry – I’m still alive 😉 #MCIARS

— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) December 18, 2016

Manchester City’s 2 – 1 comeback victory over Arsenal featured a frankly comical statement from the Citizens and Social media predictably seized upon it with aplomb;

Nice touch from City re: Gundogan named shirts. Assuming ‘nice touch’ means pointlessly over the top gesture for still alive human being.

— Andrew Allen (@AAllenSport) December 18, 2016

When the whole team wears Gundogan shirts when he’s out for 2 months and you’ve been out for ages and no one cares

— FootyYapper (@FootyYapper) December 18, 2016

But on a more serious note the Chapecoense tributes, now this for a mate who will just be missing some months of football, left me wondering, what is the NFF and by extension, the LMC is doing for slain 3SC player Izu Joseph? The just concluded Super4 featured a minute of silence for Chapecoense but a similar memorial for Izu Joseph was conspicuously absent. We must do better.

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