STEPHEN Keshi, Nigeria’s head coach, does want Ikechukwu Uche in the Super Eagles team despite Villarreal striker’s dazzling form. Speaking about the Uche who plays in the Spanish football, Keshi said the striker would not be invited to the Super Eagles because of his manners.
“Ikechukwu Uche is not a player I have not seen play. His problem is that he wants to dictate how we play in Super Eagles, he wants to tell us the system we’re playing is not good,” the coach said. Besides, Keshi said of the striker: “Uche he has a very bad habit, that if you put him in the game he is not playing to instructions and he did that in the final of AFCON against Burkina Faso, he almost cost us. Again he did that against Zambia, in the second match when (Efe) Ambrose was given a red card. What we told him to do, he was doing the opposite.
“And if you don’t respect your team-mates and you don’t respect the team, then there is no point. I know he cannot do that in his club, then why do it in the national team? I don’t think I need a player like that in the team.”
Keshi’s statement has thus put paid to any hope that the 30-year-old player may have about representing the country in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil which starts in June. Uche has netted 11 times for his club Villarreal in La Liga this season but has been overlooked since the 2013 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, as well as for the Super Eagles’ upcoming friendly against Mexico.
Back to Winning Ways
ROGER Federer got his Dubai Tennis Championship campaign off to a winning start when he beat Benjamin Becker, a German player, 6-1 6-4 in his first round match. The five-time champion Swiss, who is seeded fourth in Dubai this time around, was at his clinical best and eased through to the last 16 in little more than an hour.
Arguably the highlight of the match was in the five-game of the second set with the score on 2-3 when Federer hit a ‘tweener’ between his legs to set up an easy winner. In the next round, Federer would meet the winner of the clash between Radek Stepanek and Michael Russel.
Earlier in the day, Andreas Seppi battled past Florian Mayer 4-6 6-1 7-5, while Roberto Bautista Agut had little trouble in dispatching Adrian Ungur 6-1 6-3 to set up a potential clash with Novak Djokovic in the second round.
Dimitry Tursunov, the eighth seed, also booked his place in the last 16 when he outclassed Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko 7-5 6-1.
In the night’s final match, Philipp Kohlschreiber, seventh seed, had little trouble with his first round opponent Thiemo De Bakker, beating the Dutch player 6-3 6-3.
Bolt, Farah, Fraser-Pryce up for Laureus gongs
USAIN Bolt, Mo Farah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Serena Williams are the top athletes in the running for the top Laureus Awards this year.
Bolt, sprinter and world 100m and 200m record holder, is nominated for the “Sportsman of the Year” award on the back of his three gold medals at the World Championships in Russia last year. The Jamaican is looking for a record fourth gong having also won in 2009, 2010 and 2013. But he is up against stiff competition as distance runner Farah, Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid footballer, Rafael Nadal, tennis player, Sebastian Vettel, Formula One world champion motor racer, and LeBron James, basketball star, are also in the race. Britain’s Farah is nominated after he became only the second athlete to win the 5,000 and 10,000m double at the World Championships.
In the “Sportswoman of the Year” category, Fraser-Pryce, current IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year, is a nominee for her feat in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m track races in Russia, last year.
She is up against Williams, world number one tennis player. The American tennis player had won the French and US Opens last year. Yelena Isinbayeva, world pole vault record holder, is also a nominee for winning gold in front of her home fans, last year.
Nadine Angerer, German football player, Missy Franklin, American swimmer and Tina Maze, Slovenian skier, also made the list of nominees.
Live Broadcast for Pistorius’s Trial
A SOUTH African judge has ruled that the entire murder trial of Oscar Pistorius could be broadcast live in audio while video filming could also be done in part. The Paralympian will go on trial on March 3, for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend, on Valentine’s Day in 2013. He has denied the murder charge, saying he mistook her for an intruder.
An application to film the trial was filed by MultiChoice, joined by media houses, eNCA and Eyewitness News. Dunstan Mlambo, a high court judge in Pretoria, ruled partially in their favour.
Mlambo in granting the application, said the media houses could broadcast the audio of the entire trial live, while sections of the trial could be filmed and televised live. These include opening arguments, evidence of experts, police witnesses and closing arguments.
Pistorius’ testimony as well as those of his witness would be excluded from broadcasting though.
The athlete’s legal team opposed the application, arguing that broadcasting the events would lead to an unfair trial, but the judge felt the application brought into sharp focus role of media and functioning of criminal justice system.
— Mar. 10, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT