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Kwara gov to host USA ’94 Super Eagles

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The Governor of Kwara State Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has promised to host the 1994 Super Eagles in recognition of their role in lifting the image of the country and to keep the memory of the late Rashidi Yekini alive.

The Governor made this pledge while on a visit to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare where they also discussed prospects in youth and sports development and areas of mutual collaboration.

Governor Abdulrazaq announced that progress had been made to immortalize late Nigerian football icon Rashidi Yekini by naming the Kwara State Sports Complex Stadium, Ilorin, after him. “We will send a bill to the State House of Assembly to immortalize Rashidi Yekini with the name of the stadium changing, after the approval.”

The Minister reminded the Governor of the series of letters that had been written to the Kwara State Government to immortalize Yekini with the naming of the stadium after the late football legend.

Governor Abdulrahman said he was a passionate follower of the US ’94 squad. “I was at the stadium in the US when Daniel Amokachi scored what seemed to be the best goal against Greece. It was quite memorable for me as an ardent lover of the game of football. After that goal, I fell in love with Jersey “Number 14” which Daniel Amokachi aka “The Bull”, wore.”

The Governor said he is looking forward to hosting the USA ’94 Squad in Ilorin,  to relive the memory of the late  Yekini who hailed from Ira Local Area of  Kwara State.

The Special Assistant Sports to the President, Daniel Amokachi said he was excited that the Governor had deemed it fit to rename the Kwara State Stadium after his late teammate, even as he was looking forward to the Governor hosting the team.

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Inter Milan signs midfielder, Arturo Vidal

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Inter Milan have reached an agreement with Barcelona to sign Chile midfielder, Arturo Vidal for one million euros ($1.17 million) on a permanent deal.

The two clubs, Inter Milan-Barcelona, announced this on Tuesday.

Vidal, who joined Barca from Bayern Munich in 2018, will be reunited with Inter coach Antonio Conte, who signed him for Juventus in 2011 and where he stayed until 2015.

“The Italian club will pay Barcelona 1 million euros in variables,” Barcelona said in a statement here.

“Barcelona would like to publicly express their gratitude to Arturo Vidal for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future.”

Meanwhile, Vidal made 96 appearances for Barca in two seasons, scoring 11 goals and providing 10 assists in all competitions. He helped the Spanish side win the La Liga title in 2018-19.

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Arsenal sign new goalkeeper ahead of Liverpool clash

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Arsenal on Monday announced the signing of a new goalkeeper, Alex Runarsson, ahead of their Premier League clash with Liverpool on September 28.

Runarsson joined the Gunners from the French club, Dijon.

Arsenal stated this in a statement via the club’s official website.

The statement reads: “Goalkeeper Alex Runarsson has joined us on a four-year contract from French club Dijon.”

Reacting, Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta told the club’s official website: “We want to create healthy competition for places, and we look forward to seeing Alex bring further depth to the goalkeeping position.”

Runarsson, 25, will wear the number 13 shirt for Arsenal.

The Iceland international made 13 appearances in all competitions for Dijon last season.

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Halep wins Italian Open as defending champion Pliskova retires

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Top seed Simona Halep won her first Italian Open title on Monday after defending champion Karolina Pliskova retired injured while trailing 6-0, 2-1 in the final.

World number two Halep, 28, was competing in her third Rome WTA final, having finished runner-up in 2017 and 2018 on the clay at the Foro Italico.

“Finally after two finals I could win this title,” the Romanian said.

“I love this tournament and I’m really happy to have this beautiful trophy in my hand.

“In 2013 here I started to go to the top in world tennis. I really enjoyed and I really was happy on the court that I could play the semi-finals back then. Since then I have started to play really well.”

Pliskova, the second seed, was playing with her left thigh heavily bandaged.

The Czech struggled with her serve from the outset, falling behind to a double break, handing Halep a 3-0 advantage with a double fault.

Halep saved three break points against her on her next service game before conquering a first one-sided round in 20 minutes.

Pliskova had treatment on her lower back and upper leg before the second set but pushed on with a break for 1-1 after half an hour.

But the 28-year-old called time in the third game, heading towards Halep to signify the end of the match after 32 minutes.

In total, Halep converted five of seven break point opportunities for her eighth win in 13 meetings with Pliskova, who converted one of four.

Wimbledon champion Halep’s 22nd career title comes just a week before the start of the French Open which she won in 2018.

Halep extended her winning streak this season to 14 consecutive victories.

She won the Dubai title in February, before the coronavirus lockdown, coming back to claim victory in Prague last month having skipped the US Open.

Former world number one Pliskova, now ranked four, had been having a successful week on clay after her disappointing second-round exit in the US Open where she was the top seed.

In the men’s final, world number one Novak Djokovic will bid for a record 36th Masters title later Monday against Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

The Serbian, a four-time winner, is currently tied on 35 Masters crowns with Rafael Nadal, who fell in the quarter-finals this week to Schwartzman.

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