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Njoroge shines, wins 57th FirstBank Lagos Amateur Golf Open

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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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SPORTS

Ban: I have done no wrong, Siasia appeals to FIFA, CAS

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Former Super Eagles’ Chief Coach Samson Siasia on Wednesday in Abuja said he has appealed against the life ban slammed on him by world football governing body FIFA.

Siasia told newsmen that his lawyers filed the appeal to FIFA on Aug. 27, while another appeal was filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Aug. 29.

He denied any involvement in any illegal act, such as match-fixing, saying he was well aware they are contrary to the ethics of the football sport.

“I wish to state that I have never been and would never be a party to any form of unethical conduct or perversion in the discharge of my duties in any capacity.

“I built my career in the football industry on the foundation of hard work, integrity, consistency and God.

“In all my career, I have done nothing but serve my country and clubs to the best of my personal and professional ability, with all my strength and might, with discipline, pride and passion and an awareness that it is a privilege to be an ambassador of our great nation.

“It is my greatest hope and belief that my country also stands by and with me at a time like this,” the former Super Eagles forward said.

The former player of French side Nantes and KSC Lokeren in Belgium said the entire proceedings and decision were only brought to his notice on Aug. 16.

“That was when the news broke in the public domain and friends and family started to call. I was totally unaware of the proceedings until I heard about FIFA’s decision.

“While I may not be able to publicly divulge the details and specifics, of the appeal, I think it fit to inform you that I have appealed against FIFA’s Decision and you all will probably hear the results as you heard about the ban.

“I am currently taking legal advice. My lawyer, Austin Otah, has been liaising with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and its counsel,” he said.

Siasia who also played for Nigeria at the youth level then expressed his gratitude to all Nigerians.

“I thank everyone who has supported me in one way or the other. I must state that this is the most trying period of my life.

“I am still dealing with the pains and challenges of my mother being kidnapped again and fighting to secure her release.

“I urge the nation to support me with prayers, goodwill and support of all kind. The demands are very heavy,” he said, struggling to control a surge of emotions.

Otah also reacted on the appeal.

“We have actually assisted Siasia to file his appeal and we are awaiting FIFA to acknowledge the receipt of the appeal. We are awaiting feedback from FIFA and CAS.

“The FIFA decision requires Siasia to appeal to CAS. We are exploring an internal appeal mechanism, and this will exceptionally be with the Appeal Committee of FIFA.

“But, that notwithstanding, we are still to ensure that his appeal rights are not impeded in anyway”, Otah disclosed.

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SPORTS

UEFA Champions League draw holds today

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Europe is set for a major soccer showpiece on Thursday: the live draw for the Champions League starting in September and the unveiling of player of the year, in men’s and women’s football.

The four pots for the draw for the group stage were confirmed Wednesday night as the curtain was drawn on the late qualifiers such as Ajax.

The ceremony begins at 18:00 CET on Thursday 29 August. It takes place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and will be streamed live on UEFA.com.

Which teams are in which pots?

The Champions of Europe’s top 6 leagues, the Champions League and Europa League winners are in Pot 1. So Liverpool are here along with Chelsea and Manchester City.



The following award winners will also be announced during the draw ceremony:

UEFA Men’s Player of the Year
UEFA Women’s Player of the Year
Goalkeeper of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season
Defender of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season
Midfielder of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season
Forward of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season

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FIFA Ban: I’ve done nothing wrong – Siasia

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Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia has expressed shock over his ban by FIFA and accused the world soccer ruling body of dishing out punishment without contacting him.

The former U-23 coach, in a swift reaction on social media following news of his ban, vowed to fight to clear his name.

He wondered how a person can be charged and found guilty of an allegation without being heard from.

He also dismissed claims by FIFA that a letter to that effect has been dispatched to him while re-echoing that he has not done anything wrong.

“I am shocked with FIFA ban, I was never questioned by FIFA.

“I don’t know anything about this. I did nothing wrong and I have not received any letter from FIFA,” he said.

Siasia, who led Nigeria’s Olympic team to Silver Medal finish in 2016, insisted he was hearing about the allegation and the said decision for the first time.

There are strong indications that the former Super Eagles star who scored 16 goals in 51 appearances for the national team will appeal the decision.

Some say the 52 -year- old former Lokeren of Belgium striker may drag FIFA to Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

The court has recently been inundated by cases involving fIFA and other stakeholders including Presidents of Football federations.

 

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