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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Anthony Nlebem

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UAE to host 2022 edition of FIFA Club World Cup

The much talked about FIFA Club World Cup returns to Abu Dhabi for the fifth time, the UAE Football Association and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council announced on Wednesday. The UAE capital previously hosted the FIFA Club World Cup in 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2018. Now fans can prepare for another edition of the massively popular competition in 2022. Barcelona and Internazionale emerged winners of the first two editions in Abu Dhabi while Real Madrid were crowned champions of the next two in 2017 and 2018. “We are absolutely delighted to host the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi for the fifth time,” Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said. Read Also: FIFA to name new date for Club World Cup “It goes without saying the competition brings both the fan-favourite clubs and players from around the world. This is awesome and a tremendous honour for us. We would like to thank Fifa for the confidence and faith they have on us, based on the past successes of playing host to this immensely popular competition.” Al Awani said Abu Dhabi would remain committed to staging world-class sporting events every year. “We remain single-minded in our commitment to bringing world-class sports events to Abu Dhabi and making the UAE a central hub for sporting events,” Al Awani said. “It is of the utmost importance to us to offer a safe environment for the event, especially after successfully hosting a world-class sporting event that received praise for the organisation and for the best Covid protocols. “We welcome fans to the Club World Cup with our traditional Arabic hospitality, state-of-the-art infrastructure and stadia, with world-class travel and leisure facilities.” A February date seems most likely given the Africa Cup of Nations will be staged in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6. Chelsea will be Europe’s representative after winning last season’s UEFA Champions League, while Al Ahly of Egypt are also confirmed participants. Either Palmeiras or Flamengo will represent South America, with the Brazilian duo meeting in next month’s Copa Libertadores final.

Runners enthusiastic as Access Bank Lagos City Marathon returns as full race

On February 12, 2022, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will join other elite races across the world to return as a full race with about 80,000 to 100,000 runners expected to participate in the full marathon and the 10km fun run. This was revealed by Yussuf Alli, General Manager, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. The 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City was an elite only race because of Covid-19. Other elite races like London, Tokyo and others were also elite- only races while many races were cancelled. But since September 2021 label races that were elites only in 2021 or were cancelled have returned as full races with thousands of runners. They include the Berlin Marathon, London Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Boston Marathon and others. The New York Marathon is slated for November 7, other races slated for the latter part of the year and early 2022 are Amsterdam Marathon, Dubai Tokyo, Paris, Houston and others. Alli revealed that the World Athletics and Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) are excited that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will return as a full race. Read Also: How Access Bank Lagos City Marathon impacts economy “I also want to use this medium to assure our numerous runners especially the 10km fun runners who came to our office or contacted us on phone, emails and via our website that on February 12, 2022, we will have a full race and that it will include the 10km race. I appeal to intending runners to step up their training”. The General Manager also said there will be a world press conference first week of November 2021 to unveil plans for the 2022 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, “This is our 7th edition, we are the first marathon in Nigeria to organise a 7th edition. We are also the first race to win a World Athletics Bronze Label in Africa after two editions and the first in the world to win the prestigious Silver Label after four editions. Last year, World Athletics gave us the Elite Road Race Label, we are one of the most sought after elite races in the world, in terms of prize money we rank among the top 10 in the world and in the number of participants we are top five in the world, I could go on and on. To achieve all these before our seventh edition calls for celebration and the celebration is not just for staff, sponsors and vendors but for the media and thousands of runners that love and throng our race,” Alli added.

Here are four potential contenders for Newcastle’s coaching job

Following the sack of Steve Bruce as the manager of Newcastle United, the action has thrown up discussions as to who takes over at Saint James Park. Steve Bruce left Newcastle United by mutual consent just 13 days after the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of the Premier League club. Newcastle’s new Saudi owners earlier granted Steve Bruce a lifeline as manager, but the lifeline ran out of time and now the owners have kicked Bruce out of the club. The 60-year-old leaves after more than two years in charge in which he led the team to a 13th and 12th place finish on the league table. His position had come under scrutiny even before the club takeover, with fans frustrated by an uninspired start to the new season and with the team sitting bottom in the Premier League having failed to win a game since the start of the season. “I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club,” Bruce said in a statement. Newcastle said it was in the process of recruiting a new head coach and would not comment further at this time. Read Also: What’s next for Newcastle United after £300m Saudi Arabia takeover? Graeme Jones has been appointed to take charge on an interim basis for the team’s match against Crystal Palace on Saturday. This could be the start of rebuilding Newcastle United following the £300m Saudi Arabia takeover two weeks back. There have been notable names for the job at Saint James Park. The likes of Frank Lampard, erstwhile Chelsea boss, former Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, ex-Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte and Steven Gerrard among potential candidates to succeed Steve Bruce at Newcastle. Here are possible names for the big job at Newcastle United. Frank Lampard Frank Lampard has been out of work since he was sacked by Chelsea in January. The former England midfielder only lasted 18 months at Stamford Bridge. He got sacked after a run of just one win from five Premier League games. Lampard got accolades for his good job with Chelsea’s youngsters. Experts say he stands a good chance of managing Newcastle after gathering experience from the Chelsea job. Antonio Conte Antonio Conte looks like the most experienced man for the job. Conte held talks with Tottenham in the summer but rejected Daniel Levy’s hesitant transfer plans. Should he get the job the Italian, who won the league with his last three clubs – Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Juventus – would inevitably be given a much bigger budget at Newcastle, where the wealth of the new owners will beat that of Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour. Steven Gerrard Steven Gerrard guided Rangers to their first Scottish title since re-forming, but the consensus has always been that his gig at Ibrox is a trial run before he takes a Premier League job. He is often touted as the man to eventually take over from Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. But the question here is that will he drop the dreams and opportunity of managing Liverpool, a club he played his entire career for to coach Newcastle? Brendan Rodgers It will definitely be a difficult venture to convince Brendan Rodgers to quit Leicester City after winning the FA Cup last season. The 48-year-old has eight major honours on his CV but has spoken publicly about his commitment to the Foxes.

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