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Kunle Solaja, Nigerian Reporter Who Has Covered 9 World Cups, Honoured By FIFA

A Nigerian journalist and publisher of Sports Village Square, Kunle Solaja has been honoured by FIFA, in collaboration with the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), for his coverage of nine World Cup tournaments.

The veteran sports journalist was celebrated alongside 81 others in a ceremony held in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.

Solaja and South Africa’s Mark Glesson are the only Africans decorated with the prize.

They were presented with a certificate of achievement jointly signed by Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, and Gianni Merlo, the AIPS president.

A miniature replica of the World Cup trophy was also awarded to the journalists.

Speaking on the achievement, Solaja said he is inspired by journalists who have covered more than 15 World Cups and described the recognition as fulfilling.

“It’s been very fantastic. The World Cup, to me, is the biggest worldwide spectacle that we can talk about. To be part of it has been very amazing and very fulfilling for me too,” he said.

“I’m further inspired by people who’ve covered 15, 16, 17 World Cups, and I hope I’ll be able to do that. In my first World Cup, I met a man, Diego Lucero, who was then known to be the only man to have watched all the editions of the World Cup.”

Solaja covered his first World Cup in 1990. He has since then travelled to all the venues of the subsequent editions to report the quadrennial competition.

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In Last Minute Manoeuvering, Everton-bound Arnaut Danjuma Joins Tottenham

Arnaut Danjuma has been confirmed as a Tottenham Hotspur player just few moments after he had agreed a deal and passed a medical at Merseyside with Everton.

Danjuma joins Spurs on loan from Villarreal, marking their first signing of the January window, a deal hijacked by the North London club in a last-minute swoop.

The Netherlands international, who was not selected for the World Cup in Qatar, underwent a medical yesterday and will replace Lucas Moura in Conte’s squad.

The 25-year-old agreed a move that will see him spend the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign with Antonio Conte’s side.

Danjuma also confirmed his arrival at Spurs on social media with a tweet showing three pictures of him completing his move and tagging it with the club’s motto, saying: ‘To dare is to do. Let’s get to work.

Tottenham are also holding a crucial round of talks over a move for Sporting right wing-back Pedro Porro.

Spurs hope to close a deal for the 25-year-old, but Sporting are holding out for his £39.5million release clause.

 

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Relegation-threatened Everton Sack Manager, Frank Lampard

Everton have announced the sack of manager  Frank Lampard following the Toffees’  Premier League loss to West Ham this past weekend.

In the so-called “El Sackico” match, Lampard’s team lost to the Hammers 2-0 at the London Stadium.

Daily Mail reported on Monday that due to the outcome, which left Everton two points from safety in the Premier League’s relegation zone, the club’s under-pressure board decided to fire Lampard.

Following the loss, owner Farhad Moshiri met with other board members in the capital.

He had made a rare appearance at the West Ham game where he bizarrely claimed it was “not his decision” to fire Lampard. Following those talks, a choice was made regarding Lampard’s future.

The departure of the manager won’t likely calm the Toffees’ fan base, either, as they have recently been criticizing those in authority for what they see to be years of making bad decisions.

Nuno Espirito Santo, who is presently in charge of Saudi Arabian team Al-Ittihad and was previously the manager of Wolves and Tottenham, is one candidate being considered to replace Lampard.

Sean Dyche, who is unemployed after leaving Burnley at the end of last season, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.

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Court Orders Remand Of Brazil Star, Dani Alves

A Spanish judge has ordered that Brazil football player Dani Alves be jailed on remand without bail following an alleged sexual assault of a woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

According to the regional court system on Friday, the 39-year-old who has denied any wrongdoing was taken to the Brians 1 jail outside Barcelona.

Earlier on Friday, Alves appeared before a Barcelona judge after local police detained and questioned him.

The public prosecutor had requested he be jailed without bail pending trial.

Alves’ representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

His Mexican club Pumas UNAM announced they had terminated his contract with immediate effect.

“The club reiterates its commitment to not tolerate acts by any member, whoever they may be, that go against the club’s spirit and its values,” Pumas sporting president Leopoldo Silva said.

“We cannot allow the conduct of one person to damage our work philosophy, which has been an example throughout history.

The alleged victim had filed a complaint earlier this month and the case remains open over a crime of sexual assault, Catalonia’s court system said in a statement.

Alves had said earlier this month that he was at the club with other people but denied any such behaviour.

“I was dancing and having a good time without invading anyone’s space,” he said.

“I don’t know who this lady is… How could I do that to a woman? ”

Alves played for FC Barcelona from 2008 to 2016 and briefly returned to the LaLiga team for the 2021/2022 season

He has played for the Brazil national team since 2006, making 126 appearances and scoring eight.

(Reuters)

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