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FC Barcelona fires head coach Xavi Hernandez

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FC Barcelona has fired its head coach Xavi Hernandez as confirmed in an official club statement released on Friday afternoon in Spain.

“The president of FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, announced this afternoon to Xavi Hernández that he will not continue as coach of the first team in the 2024-25 season,” the statement began.

“The meeting took place at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper and the sports vice-president, Rafa Yuste, and the sports director, Anderson Luís de Souza, Deco, as well as Xavi’s assistants, Òscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre, were present.

​​​​​​​”FC Barcelona would like to thank Xavi for his work as a coach, which adds to an unparalleled career as a player and captain of the team, and wishes him all the luck in the world.

“Xavi Hernández will lead his last game as first team coach this Sunday in Seville.

“In the coming days, FC Barcelona will inform about the new structure of the first team,” the statement concluded.

The development is the latest of a series of twist and turns related to who mans the Blaugrana dugout.

In January, Xavi announced that he would be stepping down from the high pressure head coach role on June 30.

Later in April, however, he went back on that decision following a meeting with Laporta and it was announced that he had agreed to see out his contract which expires on the same date in 2025.

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FIFA rankings: Super Eagles drop 8 spots globally, now 5th in Africa

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria have dropped eight places from 30th to 38th in the world based on FIFA’s latest rankings.

According to the list released on Thursday by the world football governing body, the three-time African champions have also moved two steps behind to the fifth-best team on the continent.

Nigeria’s current rating is due to uninspiring results in the just-concluded round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

In June, the Eagles drew 1-1 against South Africa in their fourth game of the qualifiers and lost 2-1 to the Benin Republic in the following match.

The team’s latest string of performances condemned Nigeria to fifth place in the qualification group, having previously drawn against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The results also mounted pressure on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which announced it would appoint an “expatriate” technical adviser for the team.

Shortly after the NFF’s announcement, George Finidi resigned as the Super Eagles head coach after just two games in charge.

Morocco and Senegal maintained their lead as the best African teams, while Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire climbed to third and fourth on the continent.

Meanwhile, Argentina remained number one globally, with France and Belgium in second and third. Brazil leapfrogged England to fourth in the global rankings.

The next FIFA world ranking will be released on July 18, 2024.

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Finidi George responds to accusation made by Victor Osimhen in viral video

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Former Super Eagles coach Finidi George has reacted to Victor Osimhen’s recent, widely shared remarks on social media.

Osimhen went live on Instagram to deny claims made by some that he had staged an injury to be excluded from the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The Napoli forward has not been involved in Super Eagles games since the AFCON final and has missed all the qualifying games.

The situation has caused a lot of stir on social media, which has led to several comments from fans and legends.

Osimhen’s rant has led Nigerian journalist Colins Udoh to look into the matter and ask for more clarification from Finidi.

Udoh contacted high-ranking officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), who denied rumours that Finidi had charged Osimhen with staging an injury.

He also revealed his chat with Finidi, who said that after the public commotion, he had been in touch with Osimhen.

Udoh said on Instagram, “So I called a couple of people who were at that meeting between Finidi, the NFF, and the minister to find out if what is alleged to have been said was actually said, and so these people are usually very, very senior and reliable people and I was told categorically that Finidi did not say the things he’s alleged to have said.

“He did not say he wasn’t going to beg Osimhen. He did not say that Osimhem was not committed. in fact, he did confirm when he was asked about Osimhen’s absence that he called him from Germany, and that’s why he was excused.

“It was when the issue of player’s commitment was raised; that’s why he said he would not beg anybody to play for the Super Eagles, but he did not mention any player by name, specifically

“And so, I also called Finidi himself to ask him if that was the case and he also confirmed to me that he never said any of those things.

“In fact, he corroborated what the other gentleman had told me and that he would have no reason to call out any player, whether in public or in private, and that he would address issues with the players themselves if there were any issues.

“And then, as soon as the video was brought to his attention, he said he reached out to Osimhen and let him know that one, he never said those things, and two, even if he had, Osimhen should have reached out to him first to find out if he did say, what he was alleged to have said, rather than going, public with such disrespect.

Finidi declared that he would have dealt with any problems in private and that he had never made such claims.

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Amusan wins fourth consecutive national women’s 100m hurdles title

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Tobi Amusan has claimed her fourth consecutive national title in the women’s 100 metres hurdles event.

The 27-year-old dipped at 12.78 seconds and was way ahead of her competitors in a one-sided final of the event on Monday at the national Olympic trials in Benin, Edo state.

The victory was Amusan’s fourth national title in a row, having swept to victory at the Olympic trials in Lagos in 2021 before winning twice in Benin in the last two years.

In the women’s 100 meters, Favour Ofili clinched the national title and booked an automatic qualification for the Paris Olympics.

The 21-year-old clocked a season-best of 11.06 seconds to finish ahead of Olayinka Olajide, who came second in 11.37 seconds, and Justina Eyakpobeyan in third.

Kanyinsola Ajayi won the men’s 100-meter crown with a blistering 10.14 seconds.

He defeated Alaba Akintola, who clocked 10.16 seconds, and Usheoritse Itsekiri, who finished second and third.

Chukwuebuka Enekwechi won his fourth consecutive men’s shot put national title. He only needed three attempts to his 21.37 meters mark which was insurmountable by his opponents.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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