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Afrobasket qualifiers: D’Tigers lose all three games as first phase ends

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Nigeria’s D’Tigers lost 78-62 to Cape Verde in their third game of the qualification tournament for the 2025 FIBA Afrobasket.

D’Tigers struggled throughout the match at the Mohamed-Mzali Sports Hall, Monastir, Tunisia, on Sunday.

The defeat was Nigeria’s third consecutive defeat of the qualification tourney after losing the previous games against Libya and Uganda.

Like the earlier two games, only nine players from the 12 names on D’Tigers’ roster were available for the match against Cape Verde.

But the team showed little concern about its depleted ranks early in the game, winning the first quarter 24-16.

However, it was all Cape Verde in the second quarter as they overtook Nigeria and led 39-33 at halftime.

D’Tigers struggled extended into the third quarter as the Cape Verdeans refused to relinquish their control of the game.

In the final quarter, Cape Verde secured a 16-point victory as the first window of the qualification came to a close.

D’Tigers would need an improved performance when the second phase of the qualifiers commences in February 2025.

The group’s top three teams will qualify for the 2025 FIBA Afrobasket.

Nigeria’s preparation for the recently concluded window was plagued with controversies as D’Tigers announced its withdrawal from the qualifiers on Wednesday.

The team cited “lack of funds from the government” as the hindrance, but John Enoh, minister of sports, intervened, and arrangements were made to ensure Nigeria’s participation.

D’Tigers did not arrive in Tunisia for the competition until a few hours before their first game.

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EPL to adopt semi-automated offside technology next season

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The English Premier League (EPL) says semi-automated offside technology will be used in matches from next season.

The league announced the decision in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The decision was made after a unanimous agreement by all the clubs at a Premier League Shareholders’ meeting.

The technology will be ready for use from the 2024/25 season after the autumn international breaks.

“The new system will be used for the first time in the Premier League next season, and it is anticipated the technology will be ready to be introduced after one of the autumn international breaks,” the statement reads.

“The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.”

The first usage of the semi-automated offside technology in top-level football was at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The offside rule has been subjected to change in recent years, with the video assistant referee (VAR) technology also deployed to assist the on-field officials in checking for offside calls leading to a goal.

The EPL further updated its offside rule in the summer of 2023 to include that “a player who is clearly offside should not become onside on every occasion when an opponent moves and touches the ball.”

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Nigerian chess master, Tunde Onakoya sets to break Guinness World Record

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Nigerian chess master, Tunde Onakoya has revealed plans to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

Onakoya who made the plan known on his X account on Friday said that he is “doing this for the dreams of millions of children across Africa without access to education.”

He added that the attempt will hold on April 17th at the New York City’s Times Square and he is to play chess for 58 hours without a single defeat.

He wrote, “On the 17th of April 2024, I will attempt to break the Guiness World record for the longest Chess marathon in the heart of Times Square New York City for 58 hours without losing a game. Doing this for the dreams of millions of children across Africa without access to education.”

Onakoya disclosed that the attempt will start at 10am and would be available for all to stream on YouTube.

He appealed to Nigerians residing in New York, urging them to come forward and provide their enthusiastic support as he strives to establish a new world record.

Tunde Onakoya is renowned for his philanthropic efforts, notably utilizing chess as a tool to offer opportunities for young people residing in the marginalized areas, often referred to as ‘slums,’ within the country.

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NFF reappoints Manu Garba as Golden Eaglets head coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reappointed Manu Garba as the head coach of the Golden Eaglets.

The federation announced the appointment in a statement on Friday.

Garba held the same position in 2013 when he led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

His world-conquering squad included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and Dele Alampasu.

After a brief stint handling the men’s U-20 squad, Garba was reappointed to the Golden Eaglet role in 2018.

His second spell bore little success as his team crashed out in the Round of 16 of the 2019 U-17 World Cup in Brazil.

Garba’s latest stint with the team will commence with the preparation for next month’s WAFU B U-17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.

He will be hoping to put together a team that will surpass Nigeria’s performance at the 2023 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), where the country crashed out in the quarter-final and failed to qualify for the age-grade World Cup.

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