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CAF Awards 2023: Osimhen Jets Off To Marrakech, Misses Napoli Training

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Victor Osimhen has travelled to Marrakech, Morocco to attend the CAF Awards 2023, missing out on Napoli’s training session on Monday morning.

La repubblica reports that the Nigerian striker didn’t train with his Napoli teammates at their training base at the Castel Volturno.

Instead, Osimhen took a a private flight from Capodichino Airport to Marrakech, Morocco, to be part of the award ceremony.

READ ALSO: EPL: Cascarino Slams Ten Hag For Starting Out-of-form Man United Attacker

The 24-year-old is nominated for the Men’s Player of the Year alongside Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and PSG defender Achraf Hakimi.

The forward is looking to become the first Nigerian to win the prestigious award since Nwankwo Kanu claimed the prize in 1999.

The CAF Awards 2023 will hold at Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, on Monday night (today).

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Five-goal Haaland Crushes Luton As Man City Reach FA Cup Quarter-finals

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Manchester City’s Erling Haaland scored five times as the FA Cup holders ran riot in a 6-2 rout of Luton in the fifth round on Tuesday.

It was the second time Haaland had hit five goals in a single game for City after his heroics in the Champions League last 16 second leg win against RB Leipzig in March 2023.

Aided by Kevin De Bruyne’s trio of assists, Haaland completed his treble inside the first 40 minutes at Kenilworth Road.

Jordan Clark struck twice to briefly reduce Luton’s deficit to just 3-2.

But any Luton hopes of an incredible comeback were ruthlessly erased by Haaland as the Norway striker scored twice more after the interval to send City into the quarter-finals.

READ ALSO: Euro 2024 Qualifiers: Spain Keeper Expresses Fear, Wants Haaland Tamed

Mateo Kovacic netted to cap City’s second six-goal haul this season after their 6-1 thrashing of Bournemouth in the Premier League in November.

Haaland now has 27 goals in all competitions this season, making a mockery of the critics who took a swipe at him after a misfiring display in a recent draw against Chelsea.

Saluting De Bruyne’s role in his demolition of Luton, Haaland said: “Kevin is massive. It’s a pleasure playing with him. We know what we both want from each other.

“He’s doing what he does best. It clicks well. He’s a smart player.”

On his own form since returning from a foot injury that sidelined him for two months, Haaland added: “I’m getting back to my best. Finally I’m feeling good.

“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s coming, we’re coming. Exciting times ahead. We are ready to attack.”

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: Messi, Haaland And Bonmati Lead Ballon d’Or Nominees

City have won 14 of their last 15 games in all competitions as they try to emulate last season’s Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble.

Haaland and De Bruyne are rounding into form in time for Sunday’s crucial Premier League showdown against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

The only frustration for City was Jack Grealish’s first half injury, the latest setback in a disappointing season for the England winger.

Predatory Haaland –

City needed just three minutes to take the lead this time as Haaland finished off a flowing move.

Matheus Nunes clipped a clever pass to De Bruyne and he picked out Haaland inside the Luton area, where the City striker fired past Tim Krul with ease.

De Bruyne was the provider again in the 18th minute when Haaland bagged his second goal.

Taking Haaland’s lay-off in the halfway line, De Bruyne unfurled a sumptuous pass that sent the Norway star clean through on goal for a typically predatory finish.

READ ALSO: Liverpool To Face Chelsea In League Cup Final

Haaland completed his treble in the 40th minute, accelerating onto yet another sublime De Bruyne assist before dinking a deft finish over Krul from 12 yards.

It was Haaland’s eighth hat-trick for City and his first away from the Etihad since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2022.

Clark reduced the deficit five minutes later with a superb long-range curler that fizzed into the top corner with City keeper Stefan Ortega rooted to the spot.

Ross Barkley came up with a lofted assist the equal of De Bruyne’s earlier gems and Clark took the pass to drill into the roof of the net in the 52nd minute.

But yet again De Bruyne and Haaland proved impossible for Luton to stop.

Kyle Walker’s eye-catching pass with the outside of his foot set De Bruyne free in the area and he unselfishly teed up Haaland for a 55th minute tap in.

Haaland got his fifth three minutes later, taking Bernardo Silva’s pass and shooting low under Krul’s weak attempted save.

Kovacic smashed a 20-yard drive past Krul in the 72nd minute to put a bow on City’s evening to remember.

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EPL: Ten Hag Reveals Mistake Man Utd Made Against Fulham

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Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag has revealed mistake his team made defending during the closing stages in their Premier League 2-1 defeat against Fulham on Saturday.

Ten Hag lamented his team lacked coordinated pressing in the build-up to Fulham’s shock late winning goal.

Calvin Bassey gave Fulham the lead in the second half but Harry Maguire equalized for the host.

Man United threw caution to the wind thereafter in their search for a winner and were caught cold when Adama Traore powered away from Christian Eriksen and Maguire to tee-up Alex Iwobi, who scored the winner.

READ ALSO: Man Utd Confirm Deal For Striker Hugill

However, Ten Hag was not impressed by the way in which Fulham were able to launch an attack which started near their own corner flag with a throw-in, insisting that his team let the visitors escape.

It was a throw-in [for Fulham] in the corner, we had them under pressure and we have one player in the wrong position,” Ten Hag told the BBC.

As a team we should manage that and make sure everyone is in the right position. We let them escape and it is avoidable.”

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Nigeria’s Basketball Team Withdraws From Afrobasket Qualifiers Over Lack Of Funds

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Nigeria’s basketball team popularly called the D’Tigers has withdrawn from the Afrobasket qualifiers window over lack of funds.

D’tigers made this announcement on Wednesday evening after it complained of not getting funding from the Federal Government.

The PUNCH reports that President Bola Tinubu, in January, cleared the outstanding payment that FG owed the Super Eagles and other sporting teams of the country.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Man To Death By Hanging For Killing 11-yr-old

According to a statement on the X handle of Tinubu’s Media Centre, on Sunday, the payment entails the clearing of the senior national team coach salaries running up to 15 months, payments of allowances and promises due to the senior national teams, females, and Under-20 national team.

The statement reads, “President @officialABAT has approved the payment of N12 billion outstanding backlog for Nigeria’s National teams of various sports, which includes Super Eagles and others.

“The payment entails the clearing of the senior national team coach salaries running up to 15 months, payments of allowances and promises due to the senior national teams, females, and Under-20 national team.”

However, D’Tigers on its X handle wrote, “Despite several 2020 Olympians committing, D’Tigers forfeit this AfroBasket Qualifiers window due to lack of funds from the government.”

READ ALSO: US, Europe Stocks Drop As Dollar Rises

Recall that in 2022, former President, Muhammadu Buhari, approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from international basketball competitions for two years.

A statement issued by the then Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, said the presidential directive followed the intractable crisis that has dogged and crippled the development of basketball in the country in form of the leadership crisis at the Nigeria Basketball Federation.

The statement said the decision to withdraw the country was made to concentrate efforts by the government towards revamping the sport from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund.

The sports ministry also said an Interim Management Committee will also be set up to oversee the management and development of the domestic basketball leagues in the country to further address other related issues around the development and advancement of the game in the country and to utilise the period of break to address all contentious issues among stakeholders.

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