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Rufai: I Have Solution to Nigeria’s Goalkeeper’s Problem

first_imgDuro IkhazuagbeAs Nigeria continues to grapple with getting a quality goalkeeper for the senior national team, the Super Eagles, ex-international Peter Rufai has insisted that he has solution to the festering problem.Yesterday, Franco-German handler of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, invited 23 players for the international friendly with Ukraine without the inclusion of South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi who was the country’s Number 1 goalkeeper to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. Peter Rufai The Kaiser Chief goalkeeper reclaimed the shirt from Francis Uzoho who was between the sticks for Eagles at the World Cup in Russia where Nigeria failed to make it out of the group stage.But for the leukaemia that ended Carl Ikeme’s career after starting the 2018 World Cup qualifiers brilliantly in Ndola, Zambia, Ikechukwu Ezenwa would not have had the opportunity of becoming the first choice goalkeeper for the rest of the matches en-route the Mundial.Apart from Ikeme whose quality measured close to Vincent Enyeama who vacated the post after an illustrious career, all other three goalkeepers have never really lived up to the quality of the pre-Ikeme era.Nigerians now resort to prayers each time any of the current three goalkeepers are between the sticks. Poor goalkeeping by Akpeyi stopped Nigeria from reaching the final of Egypt 2019.But yesterday, Rufai, who remains one of the country’s best goalkeepers to date, told THISDAY that this problem remains because those in charge of the country’s football at both NFF and state FAs have ignored his thesis on how to solve the matter.“For me it remains an embarrassment that a country of over 170 million people are running from pillar to pole and are unable to get just one quality goalkeeper that can be called world-class.“Couple of years back when this problem started, I offered to help and even gave my proposal to the League Management Company and the NFF. It was to also involve state FAs so that when fully implemented, goalkeeping will no longer be problem of the country any more. As I speak with you, that proposal remains on the shelf,” revealed Rufai fondly called Dodo Mayana in his period with the senior national team.He insisted that there was little Rohr could do for the national team so long as there is no “what we can call a Nigerian playing policy in place.”In Rufai’s words: “when there is a policy in place, successive coaches or even players coming from anywhere around the world will have to adjust to the Nigerian policy. This is the only way we can return to the top where our football ought to belong.”If Germany-based Fortuna Dusseldorf goalkeeper, Emil Maduka Okoye, who Rohr invited for first time for the friendly with Ukraine gets his first cap on September 10, he will become the fifth goalkeeper to be tried since Enyeama walked away from the Super Eagles.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

How britbet is bringing innovation to pool betting

first_img Share Kenneth Alexander: Industry’s regulatory future is in-play as live sport resumes June 15, 2020 Share SBC Digital Summit Latinoamérica’s Land-Based 2.0 track to focus on casinos, lotteries & payments June 11, 2020 Related Articles HBLB ups prize money commitment by 50% July 31, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Aiming to bring some much needed innovation to the pool betting landscape, britbet recently unveiled a plethora of new pool betting markets, as it looks to grow the value and target market of pool betting. We spoke to David Williams, the Director of Communications at britbet who detailed the importance of britbet’s fresh approach to pool betting, as well as how it can elevate the overall value of horse racing as a betting product. SBC: How important is it that britbet is taking a fresh approach to Pool betting?David Williams: Every element of the betting landscape has experienced high levels of innovation in recent years with the exception of the pool betting environment. We are firmly of the view that it is crying out for innovation around products, bet types and the interaction of customers with britbet on-course and online. We’re confident that a combination of fresh thinking, innovative products and technologies will help to promote our partnership approach to pool betting which is by racing, for racing. Our 55 partner racecourses are incentivised to promote pool betting to their racing audiences and with their significant reach they can amplify an approach which we know will resonate with customers who care as much about the sport as we do. SBC: Can detail further the different bet types you’re offering to pool betting players?Whilst there will be some reassuring familiarity around some of the key bet types currently in the marketplace, we are augmenting that range with some exciting new bet types that – in time – we hope to prove really popular. Our First Four and First Five correct-order bet types are new to UK audiences but will frequently carry some really big pool guarantees which will appeal to customers who wish to have a crack at life-changing returns. Some of the innovations we are introducing around our multi-leg bets which will include exciting aspects such as Cash Out and syndicate opportunities – are genuine firsts for the industry and we are working on ways to generate the levels of excitement we believe they warrant. The significant pool guarantees that we are promising will help to ensure that specific customers and groups of customers are rewarded with effective rates that are very competitive and better than existing industry norms.SBC: With the new bets you’re introducing into pool betting, what type of market are you looking to open pool betting up to?As we motor towards our July launch we are firmly focusing on the 5 million+ customers who will come into contact with britbet in our first year. For a start-up operation we have that enormous advantage of potential customer-base and we are determined to get that right. We know we have infrequent racegoers who might only visit their local course once a year and for those customers we will promise a welcoming and elevated level of service, the opportunity of FreePlay options and some easy-to-access betting opportunities. For the more regular racegoer we know that our “by racing, for racing” positioning will resonate with their love of the sport and its sustainability, but we also know that our success will be even greater if our products and our value proposition is pitched correctly.For sports bettors, the innovations we bring, such as Cash Out, will align pool betting with many of their other products, especially football, and we hope to prove to this audience that pool betting can be relevant, appealing and exciting. We have an enormous range of potential customers and will target each of them with focused marketing and comms efforts.SBC: How much can innovation in pool betting help to elevate the value of horse racing as a betting product?We’re in no doubt that pool betting is ripe for growth. It is the most significant aspect of the racing betting ecosystem that has been under-exposed and we are keen to correct them with our energy, vision and innovation. We’re also wide awake to the reality that – culturally in the UK, at least – fixed-odds and guaranteed returns are the starting point for the majority of race-going customers, so the challenge is not insignificant. We need to get the education piece right and it will take time to bring the scale of customers over that we aspire to, but that is a challenge we are relishing, and with a cocktail of exciting products and a very clearly defined message that britbet supports the racing industry, we are hopeful of making the right kind of difference.”SBC: How much can innovation in pool betting benefit the retail betting market?As we move towards launch, the retail betting market is not a core priority for britbet and we are focusing much more so on the opportunities we have through our partnership model with the 55 racecourses and the customers it will bring our way. Over time, we will look to engage with enthusiastic operators who value the racecourse-led partnership that sustains the britbet brand and believe that our products and innovations will ultimately prove appealing to a wide range of potential B2B partners.last_img read more

Cleveland police investigate response to Kareem Hunt incident, NFL access to records

first_img Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes on Kareem Hunt video: ‘We don’t do those things’ The Chiefs released Hunt last Friday after seeing the video released by TMZ. The footage doesn’t identify the woman, but it is believed to be connected to an individual who came forward after an incident that occurred Feb. 10. Abigail Ottinger, 19, claimed she was “pushed and shoved” during a dispute in Cleveland, alleging to police that Hunt assaulted her around 3:45 a.m. on a Saturday outside his hotel apartment, according to Cleveland.com.Police responded to the scene, but charges were not filed and no arrests were made “because officers say they were unable to determine if a crime had been committed,” according to TMZ.The woman told police in February that the argument started when she refused to hook up with a member of Hunt’s entourage, TMZ reported. Cleveland police are opening an internal investigation into the response of Kareem Hunt’s case and allegations of assault after a video from a February incident was released last week showing him shoving and kicking a woman in a hotel hallway. “The Cleveland Division of Police is conducting an internal investigation regarding the overall response to the February 10, 2018 incident,” Cleveland police said in a statement.  One item the police are investigating is how the NFL obtained a copy of the Feb. 10 assault report, though the organization did not file an official records request. “Following an internal review, it has been determined that in February 2018 a member of the Cleveland Division of Police provided a copy of the police report involving the February 10, 2018 assault incident at The 9 to a representative from the National Football League,” the police said in a statement. “The report did not go through the official public records request process.” Related Newscenter_img According to previous public records reviewed by The Kansas City Star, it appeared the NFL had not filed an official request for the records until Nov. 30, the day TMZ posted video of the incident on its website. Additionally, the Chiefs never made a formal request for the assault report, according to public records reviewed by The Star.The NFL released a statement Tuesday, responding to reports claiming the league did not file an official request for the records until TMZ released the video last Friday. The league explained how it had obtained the written reports and that the information was prepared by the officers who responded to the incident in February.”We had multiple verbal conversations with Cleveland police officers and requested surveillance video immediately upon learning of the incident in February,” NFL vice president Brian McCarthy said in a statement, via NBC News.”In addition, NFL representatives also made requests for surveillance video to the hotel property. We also obtained and reviewed the material developed by the police, which included the written reports prepared by the officers who responded to the incident, and later the interviews that were recorded by bodycams and the recordings of the 911 calls.” Former Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt speaks for first time since releaselast_img read more

Norway-Liberia’s Laudable Contribution to Curbing Climate Change

first_imgThe current United Nations Summit on Climate Change, which opened in New York this week, is already the most successful climate meeting ever held.In several such past meetings,  the most industrialized countries and biggest carbon emitters, notably the United States, China and others, have not only been in denial about the looming catastrophe that increasing carbon emissions are bringing upon the world.  These nations have historically also refused to go along with any proposals that would reverse the rapid global warming advance because they claim it hurts their economies.  The industrial giants in these countries have also fully backed their governments, frustrating every  attempt to reverse global warming, which threatens to have a horrific effect on life as we know it on planet Earth.But U.S. President Barrack Obama set the positive and decisive tone at this year’s Summit.  In his speech Tuesday, he told the Summit, “We cannot condemn our children, and their children, to a future that is beyond their capacity to repair.”He then made this confession,  which none of his predecessors had ever made: “So today, I’m here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and its second largest emitter, to say that we have begun to do something about it.He outlined a number of successful measures the US has taken :* harnessed three times as much electricity from the wind and 10 times as much from the sun as we did when I came into office.* Within a decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas, and already, every major automaker offers electric vehicles.* We’ve made unprecedented investments to cut energy waste in our homes, buildings and appliances, all of which will save consumers billions of dollars.* We are helping communities build climate-resilient infrastructure.* Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced, more than any other nation,  our total carbon pollution .  But we have to do more.  Last year, I issued America’s first Climate Action Plan to double down on our efforts.  Under that plan, my administration is working with states and utilities to set first-ever standards to cut the amount of carbon pollution our power plants can dump into the air, making this the single most significant step USA has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.* New actions in renewable energy and energy efficiency will save consumers more than $10 billion on their energy bills and cut carbon pollution by nearly 300 million metric tons through 2030.  That’s the equivalent of taking more than 60 million cars off the road for one year.* Got private sector leaders who’ve agreed to slash, by 80 percent by 2050, consumption of dangerous greenhouse gases known as HFCs.* More than 100 nations have agreed to launch talks to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol — the same agreement the world used successfully to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals.* President Xi of China and I have worked on this together.  Just a few minutes ago, I met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, and reiterated my belief that as the two largest economies and emitters in the world, we have a special responsibility to lead.  That’s what big nations have to do.”Big nations have a particular responsibility, yes.But so do small nations like Liberia .  And that is what we, with the generous assistance of Norway, also did this week, in New York.  The Norwegians have provided US$150 million to help save Liberia from deforestation.  This money is being given us to halt the logging industry and still make money by retaining our forests.What will happen to forestry workers? We suggest that GOL uses some of that money to invest in agriculture–tree crops (citrus, coffee, cocoa, almond, cashew nuts, plums and rubber);  as well as pineapples, vegetables–greens, pepper, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.Our farmers should also invest in cassava and other tubers, rice and livestock–cattle, pigs, poultry and eggs.This is a very serious mission that will ensure an alternative the extractive industry.  Instead of cutting down our trees, we must start growing food, making use of the fertile land and great rainfall God has given us.Our first step is to retrain our forestry workers and turn them into agricultural producers.  Then we must find them the land, seeds, scions, irrigation systems and farm implements–not just the cutlass and hoe–but tractors and other modern tools that will make them successful.These initiatives will definitely contribute to the reduction in carbon emissions, arrest the advance of climate change and restore with full force, life on planet Earth and the livelihood of its inhabitants.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more