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.
Luka Modric ‘beats’ Ronaldo to win 2018 Ballon d’ Or award
Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award, the prestigious prize given to the best football in the world.
Modric beat five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann to the honour at a glamorous ceremony in Paris, France.
Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player, while Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the first women’s Ballon d’Or.
The Croatia captain has proved a crucial part both of Real Madrid’s third successive Champions League triumph, beating Liverpool in the final 3-1, and as captain in Croatia’s impressive run to the World Cup final which earned him the tournament’s Golden Ball.
In 2018, Modric won his third consecutive Champions League trophy with club side Real Madrid and led Croatia to their first World Cup final, losing 4-2 to France.
The 33-year-old’s prize sees an end to the 10-year duopoly of Messi, who finished fifth overall in his lowest ranking since 2006, and Ronaldo, who came second. France and Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann finished third, with his France team-mate Mbappe fourth.
Harry Kane, the only English player on the 30-man shortlist, ranked 10th in the poll after winning the World Cup Golden Boot in Russia as he captained England to their best finish in 28 years.
Premier League trio Mohamed Salah (6), Eden Hazard (8) and Kevin De Bruyne (9) were also in the top 10.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, dropped to 12th having been voted third best in last year’s poll.
World Cup winners N’Golo Kante (11) and Paul Pogba (15) finished in the top 20 after being recognised for their performances in Russia.
Njoroge shines, wins 57th FirstBank Lagos Amateur Golf Open
By Golf Nigeria
He came, he saw and conquered; that better describes the performance of the visiting Kenyan, Sam Njoroge, who stole the show on his first ever visit to Nigeria, where he also won his first ever International tournament; the 57th in the series of the annual Firstbank sponsored Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship, which holed out at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 on 18 November 2018.
The 2-handicaper arrived Nigeria on Thursday, November 15th had a feel of the course later in the day, returned on Friday for another quick survey of the course, before unleashing his golf skill on his peers, even though he said the thought of winning was far from him when he got the invitation to be part of the international amateur championship.
“I told myself this is my first visit, so I don’t expect I can win. I just want to play good golf, enjoy my game and leave the rest”, he said in a chat with Golf Nigeria.
But all that changed after his opening round of 3-over par 75 when he found himself in contention in a field of 90-contenders, mostly Nigerians, many of whom had played on the course severally.
Scaling through the half way cut, Njoroge seemed better prepared for the final round. Aided by what many described as his flawless swing, chipping and sublime putting skill, the young man instantly became the topic of discourse around the Course. Some described his as a ‘witch’ on the Course; while others simply say he is destined for a great future in golf.
Their thought and admiration for the Kenyan was eventually confirmed when he carded a level par 72, winning the competition by 4-shots over one of the tournament favourites, Monday Eze, who closed with 1-over 73, for 151-total.
Eze shots an opening 78 before, 4-shots off the winners opening 75 to duck in the second position. Eze who was disappointed at the outcome actually gave a good account of himself. He has won the coveted trophy twice and was gunning for his third title before the visitor pushed him down the leaderboard.
Emmanuel L. was two-shot further back at 11-over par, over 36-holes while another Nigerian, Emmanuel Olusegun came fourth at +12. Biodun Oyewoga completed the top-5 category in the competition at +17 over two-days.
Already, Njoroge is eyeing pro golf career in Europe, saying, all things been equal, he hopes to be in United Kingdom by June next year in pursuit of long life dream of becoming a professional golfer. His sojourn, he said would be funded by friends, admirers and supporters.
Njorige is not just good in the sport; he is Kenya’s number One amateur and holds his Club’s; Kenya Railway Corporation Golf Club’s record of 61-gross, a feat he attained early this year.
Njoroge holds a High School Certificate, has done a course in Business Studies and did a little bit of IT.
On his assessment of the Nigerians he competed with, he said, “They are good, it is just that they are not consistent,” Probed further on what he meant by their inconsistency, he simply said, “Lack of practice”.
Now 23, Njoroge started playing golf at the age of 9 and never Caddied before he turned amateur.
Analysts say his victory is a pointer to the international status of FirstBank Lagos amateur open, one of the longest running amateur event in the world and a challenge to the Nigerians he played with.
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