Danagogo Hails Okagbare, Others

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Tammy Danagogo

TAMMY Danagogo, Nigeria’s sport minister, is happy with the performance of Blessing Okagbare, double gold medallist, as well as other medallists in Team Nigeria for making the nation proud in the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Speaking at end of the games held, Danagogo particularly praised efforts of Okagbare for making history by becoming the first Nigerian to win double sprint gold medals in the Commonwealth Games. “Okagbare has shown that with determination you can achieve your dream in whatever endeavour you set out for yourself. She has been consistent over the years and has remained focused despite missing the ultimate medal in some competitions before now,” the minister said, adding: “I want to congratulate all other gold medallists, as well as those who won silver and bronze for their effort as well and hope that they will build on their successes in Glasgow for future competitions especially as we begin preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games.”

The minister equally commended the governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, for their relentless support for their state athletes who represent Nigeria at international sports competition.

No Liverpool Bid for Balotelli

Balotelli
Balotelli

LIVERPOOL football club is not interested in signing Mario Balotelli, AC Milan and Italian striker. Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool FC said emphatically while denying the rumours making the rounds that the player was on his way to Liverpool club.

Rodgers spoke about the footballer in glowing terms when he was asked about him, but the Northern Irishman said that his admiration would not translate into a formal offer for the 23-year-old striker. “I can categorically tell you Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool,” Rodgers told a press conference in Miami on Sunday, August 3.

“In my last press conference I was asked a question about Mario Balotelli and I talked about what a talent he was and what an excellent player he was. And the next day it was written as if we were signing him. I just gave my perception of him as a player. It shouldn’t be transmitted into us signing the player,” Rodgers said.

Since Liverpool lost Luis Suarez, its star striker to Barcelona last month, Rodgers has brought in Rickie Lambert, an English striker, from Southampton. Divock Origi, a teenage Belgian striker, has also joined the club from Lille, but was immediately loaned back to the French side.

Visa Delay Halts Ideye’s West Brom resumption

BROWN Ideye, Nigerian football striker who plays for the country in Super Eagles squad is having a setback in getting a visa and work permit to join West Bromwich Albion, his new club.

Ideye, 25, joined the Premier League side from Ukrainians Dynamo Kiev last month for an undisclosed club-record fee, signing a three-year contract with an option for a further year.

Ideye
Ideye

However, he has yet to travel to the United Kingdom, meaning that he would miss a number of pre-season friendly matches before the beginning of the season. “Officials at the British High Commission (in Nigeria) are still working on it,” Ideye told the BBC Sport website.

“The club has fulfilled all the necessary requirements, but I have been told that the British High Commission requires up to 15 days to sort this, which is preventing my ability to travel. The public holiday in Nigeria last week (Eid) slowed things down a little bit on this side.

“I hope to get it sorted in the next couple of days because I can’t wait to join my new team-mates in England,” he added.

In view of the situation Ideye is likely to miss West Brom’s opening Premier League game at home to Sunderland on August 16.

“I need to join the team first then train with the squad in front of the manager (Alan Irvine) and so far I have not been able to do that,” he said.

Ideye scored 34 goals in three seasons with Ukrainian giants Dynamo, having previously played for Sochaux and Neuchatel Xamax after starting his career in his homeland with Ocean Boys.

He has won 24 caps for Nigeria, scoring five times, but was left out of the squad that reached the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil.

— Aug. 18, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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