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AFCON: FG To Host Super Eagles In Abuja

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It could be recalled thst the Super Eagles lost 2-1 to the Elephants in the final on Sunday, but the Presidency is keen on appreciating them for reaching the final for the first time in 11 years.

The team’s media officer, Babafemi Raji, said the team left Abidjan at 2.45 pm local time (3.45 pm Nigerian time) on a chartered flight.

While another official confirmed their departure, Nigerians are looking forward to the team’s arrival.

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Rangers Crowned 2023/24 NPFL Champions

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Rangers International Football Club of Enugu, the flying antelopes have been crowned champions of the Nigerian Premier Football League 2023/2024 season.

The flying antelopes emerged champions with a 2-1 victory over Gombe United at the Zaria road stadium in Jos to clinch its 8th league title amazing 70 points from 38 matches played during the concluded league season.

Team captain Amobi Ezeakwu received the trophy and the winning prize of one hundred and fifty million naira from the Nigeria Football Federation president Ibrahim Musa Gusau.

Dignitaries who witnessed the match included the top Nigeria Football Federation board led by the chairman and other members of the football governing board; league board chairman Gbenga Elegbeleye as well as plateau state governor Caleb Mutfwang and his counterpart from Enugu Peter Mbah.

With the victory Rangers International will represent Nigeria alongside Remo stars in the African Champions League competition.

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Germany Survive Euro 2024 Scare As Hungarian Star Suffers Horror Injury

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Germany survived a scare to finish top of Group A at Euro 2024 as Niclas Fuellkrug’s stoppage-time goal rescued a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, while Scotland were eliminated after a last-gasp 1-0 defeat against Hungary whose striker Barnabas Varga suffered a sickening injury.

Dan Ndoye’s first-half goal in Frankfurt had put Switzerland on course to climb above hosts Germany into top spot.

But Fuellkrug’s late header ensured Julian Nagelsmann’s side advanced to the last 16 in pole position with seven points.

The Germans, who last won the Euros in 1996, will take on the Group C runners-up — currently slated to be Denmark — in the last 16.

Denmark, two points behind leaders England, play Serbia in their last group game on Tuesday.

Germany are also on track for a potential quarter-final clash with Spain, who have been among the best teams at the tournament so far.

Switzerland, who reached the quarter-finals at the last Euros in 2021, have now made the knockout stage in six successive major tournaments.

As Group A runners-up with five points, the Swiss will face the second-placed team in Group B in the last 16.

Although Germany were already through to the last 16 after beating Scotland and Hungary, Nagelsmann opted against resting his stars as he named an unchanged team for a third successive game.

Switzerland took a shock lead in the 28th minute as Ndoye met Remo Freuler’s cross with a close-range volley that flashed past Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Ndoye’s first international goal was made in Bologna as both he and Freuler played for the Serie A club last season.

Adding to Germany’s problems, Jonathan Tah was booked, earning the centre-back a ban for the first knockout game.

Germany dominated possession but Ilkay Gundogan scuffed wide with the goal at his mercy after Yann Sommer parried Jamal Musiala’s stinging strike into the midfielder’s path.

Their pressure was finally rewarded in stoppage-time when Fuellkrug rose highest to power his header into the top corner.

– Scotland misery –
In Stuttgart, Scotland were unable to secure the victory that would likely have taken them into the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time.

In 11 previous appearances at major competitions — eight World Cups and three European Championships — Scotland had bowed out at the group stage.

Once again, they will fly home early after taking just one point from their three matches.

Steve Clarke’s team, who lost to Germany and drew with Switzerland in their first two games, were sunk by a goal 10 minutes into stoppage-time from Kevin Csoboth, whose clinical finish capped a rapid raid from the Hungarians.

Hungary may not secure a last 16 berth despite their victory as they have only three points from their three games.

The four third-placed teams with the best records from the six groups will move into the last 16.

Hungary’s win came at a cost as Varga was stretchered off after a sickening collision.

Varga collapsed to the pitch and was struggling to move after chasing a long cross into the area as Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn came to collect the ball.

After a long delay, medics took the 29-year-old from the pitch while a sheet was draped around the stretcher.

Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai appeared to be in tears as he consoled his stricken teammate.

Varga was immediately taken to hospital after the incident where he was said to be conscious and talking.

“The condition of Barnabas Varga is stable,” the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) wrote on X.

“The Hungarian national team player is currently in one of the hospitals in Stuttgart. We will inform you immediately if there is any news on his status.”

In Group B on Monday, Italy take on Croatia, while Spain, already qualified in first place, face Albania.

Italy are second in the group with three points, while Croatia and Albania both have one point.

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Pitch Invaders Disrupt Portugal vs Turkey Euro 2024 Match in Pursuit of Ronaldo

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A Group F match at the ongoing Euro 2024 between Portugal and Turkey was interrupted several times on Saturday as pitch invaders repeatedly attempted to get close to Cristiano Ronaldo for a photograph.

The first intruder, a young boy wearing a red tracksuit top, emerged from the stands midway through the second half, approaching the Portugal captain. Ronaldo graciously posed for a photo before the boy ran off, attempting to evade the stewards who eventually caught and escorted him away to applause from the stands.

At least five other fans managed to get onto the pitch, either during the match or after the final whistle, attempting similar stunts. However, Ronaldo grew increasingly exasperated with the unwanted attention.

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez expressed relief that none of the multiple fans who invaded the pitch during the game had ill intentions. “It is a concern because today we were lucky that the intentions of the fans were good,” Martinez told reporters after Portugal secured qualification for the last 16.

Martinez acknowledged the admiration fans have for big stars but stressed the potential danger. “I think that we all love a fan who recognizes the big stars who are icons in their lands. I think we all agree with that, but you can understand that it is a very difficult moment if those intentions are wrong. Then the players are exposed, and we need to be careful with that. Probably there is a lot of security and protection and I don’t think it should happen.”

Martinez, the former Belgium boss, added, “Probably we should give a message to the fans that it is not the right way. You are not going to get anything out of it, and what you do is that probably the measures get worse for the future, and it is not good to get the players so exposed when you get people running on the pitch.”

Ronaldo, one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet, has dealt with similar situations throughout his career. His teammate, Bernardo Silva, who scored the first goal in the game, acknowledged the challenges that come with such fame.

“I am not really concerned. It is just a bit annoying in terms of always having to stop the game because a fan enters the pitch,” the Manchester City player said. “Apart from that, I think that is the price you pay for being so recognized in the world of football. But in terms of feeling in danger, I don’t think so, not me personally at least.”

The disruptions underscore the fine line between fan admiration and the need for player security, highlighting the challenges faced by high-profile athletes in maintaining a balance between their public and private lives.

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