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Fashanu, Tonto Dike, Siasia, others named Freestyle Football ambassadors

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Feet and Tricks International, organisers of the first ever African Football Freestyle Championship in Africa has named former professional English footballer, John Fashanu; Former Nigerian defender and former Head of Lagos State Football Association, Waidi Akanni; and former Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, Superstar actresses, Kate Henshaw and Tonto Dikeh as brand ambassadors for this year’s Championship. All with enviable careers and celebrated globally are undoubtedly a perfect representation of the sporting excellence the brand stands for.

Confirming this, the Chairman, Feet ‘n’ Tricks International, Valentine Ozigbo noted that ” Feet ‘n’ Tricks is on a mission to making Africa the home of freestyle football and providing a new platform for self-expression of skills in order to ultimately exploit the global appeal of the sport. In order to realize this, we decided to look for ambassadors, who exemplify the same passion for the sport like we do, and decided to work together with John Fashanu, Waidi Akanni, Samson Siasia, Kate Henshaw and Tonto Dikeh to actualize this dream”.

“Without a doubt, they have over the years demonstrated leadership in the sports and entertainment scene and beyond. To this end, we trust in their ability to help engage and inspire our target audience to accept as well as  promote freestyle football to the lofty height and the global phenomenon that it is now fast developing into. The infusion of Kate Henshaw and Tonto Dikeh into the event is to create an entertainment appeal to the sport and quip the interest of the youths. We are glad to have them onboard as brand ambassadors.” Ozigbo said.

The qualifying rounds and Nigerian championship will hold on September 13th -14th, 2018 at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos. After the qualifying rounds, the best 16 male and 8 female freestyle athletes in Africa will emerge to battle it out at the grand finale on September 15, 2018 in a keenly contested competition that is expected to produce the first African male and female Freestyle Football Champions.

The new ambassadors, while commenting on their new role as ambassadors of Feet ‘n’ Tricks International, took turns to commend the firm for the hard work that has seen it rise to the height attained within a short period, while also noting that the gesture is indeed an honour.

“I am in-tune with the mission of this tournament, to develop and sustain the growth of the art of freestyle football because I have a passion for the development of grassroot football. What feet and tricks is doing is basically creating an avenue to accommodate these freestylers who have been neglected all over the continent.” said Fashanu.

“My interest in this sport grew when I realised the huge potential it has to impact grassroots football and make an otherwise overlooked freestyler a celebrity, at no cost at all. I am happy to be part of this and I encourage people to register to attend the event.” Kate Henshaw said.

Waidi Akanni said, “Freestyle football is the foundation of beautiful football, and it is an honor to be an ambassador of a tournament that is determined to touch lives and mine this huge reserve of talent in Africa. Because of the lack of structure in the sport, it has been impossible to harness the economic and entertainment potentials it possesses.  This championship by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International brings structure and reward to the table, making it possible for freestyle football to be more than just a hobby.”

Tonto Dikeh said “Last year,  it was just a Nigerian Championship but this year, Feet ‘n’ Tricks has extended the event reach to Africa. It shows a growing company with a vision and I am happy to be brought on board as an ambassador. I am here to also encourage more women to be part of this game, because I have seen that this is one football sport that women find incredibly entertaining and awesomely beautiful. ”

The 2018 Africa Freestyle Football Championship is a perfect fusion of freestyle football and entertainment as top musical and dance artistes will be performing, including Falz, Vanessa Mdee, Kcee, Mayorkun, Slim Case and Mr Real. The championship will also host international freestyle professionals; Guinness world record holder, Iya Traore and Female freestyle legend, Raquel Benetti from Brazil.

While appreciating Feet ‘n’ Tricks, Samson Siasia said: “Associating with an organization that is poised to project and reward talent in Africa is a good one for me because I am particularly happy with the positive impact this championship is having on the youths in Africa, who have only their freestyle skills to survive. This puts them on a pedestal for the world stage, and I foresee a world freestyle football championship from Africa. Anything is possible”,

This event is endorsed by World Freestyle Football Association and proudly sponsored by Heritage Bank, Sprite,  GAC Motors, MTN, Startimes, FIRS, Eko Disco, Goal.com among others.

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SPORTS

Inter Milan appoints Antonio Conte as new manager

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Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is set to be appointed as the new Inter Milan manager.

Italian Conte, 49, has been out of the game since he was sacked by Chelsea last July, ending a controversial two years at the club.

Inter are fourth in Serie A and will qualify for next season’s Champions League if they beat Empoli on Sunday.

However, it is understood that will not be enough to keep coach Luciano Spalletti in a job.

Chief executive Beppe Marotta, who left Juventus in October, hired Conte while he was in Turin and remains close to him.

Conte won the Premier League title in his first season at Stamford Bridge and the FA Cup in his second, but his time at the club was marred by a series of squabbles, which included texting striker Diego Costa to tell him he was no longer wanted.

Prior to that he won three titles in as many season with Juventus before spending two years in charge of Italy.

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Man Utd confirms Solskjaer as permanent manager on three-year deal

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Manchester United appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager on a permanent basis on Thursday, with the Norwegian signing a three-year deal at Old Trafford.

United announced the news via a statement on their official website.

He was then due to return to Molde but United’s form has meant he has now been given the job on a full-time basis.

Since returning to Old Trafford, Solskjaer has won 14 of his 19 games in charge, losing just three times.

He has led the Red Devils to within two points of the top four and the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

As a player, Solskjaer scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United.

In a statement, Solskjaer said: “From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club. It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here

“The last few months have been a fantastic experience and I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we’ve done so far.

“This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”

Old Trafford chief Ed Woodward added: “Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves.

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UCL: Man Utd into quarter-finals with shocking VAR review penalty

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Manchester United have shockingly defeated Paris Saint-Germain to make the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals — progressing on the away goals tiebreaker after a 3-3 aggregate draw — thanks to a stunning VAR decision that handed them a penalty in stoppage time.

A hopeful shot by Diego Dalot hit the arm of Presnel Kimpembe and bounced out for a corner, a result that everyone seemed OK with. But the referee went to the VAR stand to make sure, and came back with a shocking decision.

There’s no question that the ball hit Kimpembe’s arm in the penalty area. But with his back turned, his arm in a natural position, and no attempt by him to play the ball with his arm, it’s not a penalty most officials would give. PSG are going to be furious, and you’ll probably see UEFA forced to issue an explanation of whether or not the ref applied the rules properly.

Marcus Rashford was the one who stepped up to the spot for United, and he delivered the game-winner with a perfect penalty.

While PSG will feel conned by the decision to give United a penalty, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves for not winning the match outright well beforehand. Injuries forced United to start a lineup they hadn’t used all season, featuring bit-part players like Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, and Fred. Central defender Eric Bailly had to play at right back and made numerous mistakes before he was substituted in the first half. PSG shouldn’t have had a problem scoring multiple goals.

Instead, the most clinical finisher on the field was Romelu Lukaku, who scored two goals to give United the chance for that controversial penalty to be a game-winner. Lukaku pounced on a mistake in the second minute, then did excellently to round Gianluigi Buffon and finish from a tight angle.

PSG responded with a goal by Juan Bernat, but Lukaku got his second in the 30th minute, finding himself in the right place at the right time when Buffon spilled a shot by Rashford.

Source: SBNATION.COM

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