The Cowboys have re-signed Blake Jarwin, giving their fourth-year player a $24 million, three-year contract with $9 million guaranteed. The move came a few weeks after Witten said he wanted to keep playing, even if it wasn’t in Dallas.Witten set a club record by spending 16 seasons with the Cowboys, the most recent last season after retiring and spending one year in broadcasting. The 37-year-old is also the Dallas leader in catches and yards receiving. Witten is one receiving touchdown behind Dez Bryant’s career franchise record of 73.Jarwin had 365 yards receiving and three touchdowns last season. The fourth-year pro tied the Dallas club record for touchdowns receiving in a game for a tight end in 2018 with three in the regular-season finale at the New York Giants. Those were the first three TDs of his career.The 25-year-old Jarwin joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and spent most of that season on the practice squad.— Schuyler Dixon in Dallas The 39-year-old tight end announced his retirement in a message on Twitter on Monday, marking the end of a 15-year NFL career that included two stints in New England, as well as stops in Cleveland, New Orleans and Baltimore. Watson retires with 547 catches for 6,058 yards and 44 touchdowns. He was drafted by the Patriots in 2004, winning a Super Bowl ring as a rookie. He spent his first six seasons in New England. “I entered this league with a duffel bag and a dream,” Watson wrote in his Twitter post. “I exit holding the loving hand of my best friend, my wife of 14 years, and the (seven) tender gifts God has graciously given us to lead and love.”His best season was in 2015 with New Orleans when he caught 74 passes for 825 yards and six touchdowns — all career highs.He initially planned to retire following the 2018 season but was courted by several teams. The Patriots eventually signed him to a one-year, $3 million deal as they looked to fill the hole created by the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Wood is a Texas native who played in college for SMU before spending training camp of his rookie season with the Dallas Cowboys.___6:55 p.m.A person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos have agreed to a four-year, $44 million free agent contract with offensive guard Graham Glasgow.The deal includes $26 million in guarantees. The deal with the pending unrestricted free agent was agreed to Thursday. Spain was completing a one-year contract he signed with Buffalo a year ago as part of the team’s major overhaul of its offensive line.Spain is a fifth-year player who started 16 games at left guard and finished with the second-most snaps on offense for the Bills last season.Spain’s return assures Buffalo’s offensive line has the potential of returning fully intact.— John Wawrow reporting from Buffalo, New York.___ The Minnesota Vikings have reached an agreement with punter Britton Colquitt on a three-year, $9 million contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract had not yet been finalized. Colquitt will get $5 million in guaranteed money, the person said.Colquitt was eighth in the NFL last season with a net average per punt of 42.6 yards. He was the only punter in the league with 12 or more attempts, according to SportRadar, who did not have any touchbacks. The 11th-year veteran joined the Vikings in 2019, after three seasons with Cleveland and six seasons with Denver.— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis___ Although the versatile Glasgow can also play center and incumbent Connor McGovern is set to hit free agency, Glasgow will get his first look at guard following the Broncos’ decision to cut ties with oft-injured right guard Ronald Leary.— AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton reporting from Englewood, Colorado.___6:40 p.m.The Tennessee Titans are keeping veteran Dennis Kelly around with a new multi-year contract after losing right tackle Jack Conklin to the Cleveland Browns. — Kyle Hightower, reporting from Boston___12:55 p.m.The Minnesota Vikings have placed the franchise tag on safety Anthony Harris, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the one-year, $11.441 million contract was not finalized. Harris was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, after a breakout 2019 season. The defending NFC champion Niners locked up one of the key pieces of their defense with a long-term deal instead of using the franchise tag.Armstead was a first-round pick for San Francisco in 2015 but didn’t make a big impact in his first four seasons in the league as he dealt with injuries that limited his playing time in 2016-17 and finding the right fit for his skills.___4:15 p.m.Ben Watson is hanging up his cleats for the second time. The Titans announced they had agreed to terms. Kelly has started 16 of his 58 games since the Titans acquired him in a trade in 2016 that sent Philadelphia wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Kelly has been versatile, starting at right tackle, left tackle, left guard and tight end in his career.The 6-foot-8, 321-pound Kelly caught two touchdown passes last season, including one in Tennessee’s loss to Kansas City in the AFC championship game.Originally drafted in the fifth round in 2012 out of Purdue by Philadelphia, Kelly has started 31 of his 88 games.— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee __ Steven Wine in Miami, with John Wawrow in Buffalo contributing.___3:35 p.m.Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster is retiring.The 11-year veteran made the announcement on Instagram, saying “when the time comes, you just know and now is a time for me to take a bow.” Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on NFL’s free agency. Teams were required to use franchise tags on players by noon EDT Monday. Teams can negotiate with representatives of free agents for the next two days but cannot finalize any agreements. (all times EDT):___7:20 p.m. ___5:40 p.m.Free agent tackle Jack Conklin has agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract with the Browns, his agent Drew Rosenhaus told The Associated PressConklin, perhaps the best tackle available on this year’s market, will get $30 million guaranteed and earn $20 million in his first year, Rosenhaus said. Conklin will only be 28 when the deal expires.The No. 8 overall pick in 2016, Conklin spent the past four seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He started all 16 games last season and helped block for NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry. ___7 p.m.The New Orleans Saints and long snapper Zach Wood have agreed to terms of a four-year contract worth nearly $4.8 millionWood’s agent, Mike Abadir, confirmed the agreement on Monday.The 27-year-old Wood has played for New Orleans since 2017, when the Saints’ current run of three straight playoff seasons began. The Falcons cut backup tight end Luke Stocker on Monday, one of several moves to clear cap space. The Falcons also cut offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo and are releasing running back Devonta Freeman and cornerback Desmond Trufant.Atlanta had two second-round picks in this year’s draft, No. 47 and No. 55 overall. The Ravens acquired the No. 55 pick.Hurst played in 16 games with Baltimore in 2019, including four starts. Early on, it became evident that another tight end, Mark Andrews, would be quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite option.Hurst finished with 30 catches — third among Ravens tight ends — for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Andrews had a team-high 64 receptions for 852 yards and 10 TDs, and 270-pound tight end Nick Boyle had 31 catches for 321 yards.Hurst, the No. 25 overall pick in the 2018 draft from South Carolina, started only four games for Baltimore over two seasons. He missed the first four games of the 2018 season with a foot injury. Offensive lineman Ereck Flowers has agreed to terms on a $30 million, three-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.The deal was confirmed by Flowers’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who said $19.95 million is guaranteed.Flowers played for the Miami Hurricanes, was a first-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2015 and started 46 games at tackle for them in his first three NFL seasons.He started all 16 games last year for Washington, splitting his time between guard and tackle.The Dolphins are in the market for four starting offensive linemen in free agency and the draft. The Raiders are in dire need of upgrades at linebacker after a revolving door at the position the past few years. The only linebacker who started a game last season that is still under contract with the Raiders is Marquel Lee.The 26-year-old Kwiatkoski was a fourth-round pick by Chicago in 2016. He had his most extensive playing time last year when he had career bests with 76 tackles, three sacks, one interception and four passes defensed.— Josh Dubow reporting from Alameda, California___1:55 p.m. Bostic is staying with Washington after just one season there. He was tied for second on the team with 105 tackles in 2019.New coach Ron Rivera and his regime liked Bostic enough to bring the veteran back. The soon-to-be 29-year-old will play in a different system under new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.Bostic is entering his seventh pro season after previously spending time with the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers. He has 419 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks in 86 regular-season games.Washington is expected to be a major player in free agency after releasing tight end Jordan Reed, cornerback Josh Norman and wide receiver Paul Richardson to clear salary-cap space. The team already put the nonexclusive franchise tag on starting right guard Brandon Scherff for $14.781 million.The Redskins are stocked along the defensive line with 2017 and 2018 first-round picks Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne and could select Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick. They also have Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Anderson as outside linebackers and impressive 2019 pick Cole Holcomb inside to pair with Bostic. — Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, N.C.___4:25 p.m.The San Francisco 49ers have traded star defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 13 pick in this year’s draft.A person familiar with the deal said Buckner will receive a new contract worth $21 million a year from the Colts. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal and contract can’t be finalized until the start of the league year Wednesday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed their franchise tag on linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who led the NFL in sacks last season.The move had been anticipated ever since coach Bruce Arians stated late last season that the 27-year-old Barrett “ain’t going anywhere” after setting a team record with 19½ sacks in 2019.Barrett signed a one-year, $4 million contract in free agency with the Bucs last winter after spending the first five seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos. The franchise tag for an outside linebacker calls for a salary of about $16 million for 2020.The decision to place the franchise tag on Barrett also means quarterback Jameis Winston will become an unrestricted free agent if Tampa Bay does not re-sign the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft by Wednesday.Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards last season, but also became the first player in league history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a season. The Seattle Seahawks have given a second-round tender to restricted free agent tight end Jacob Hollister, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the designation. NFL Network first reported the designation.Hollister is coming off the best season of his young career, and will earn $3.259 million for the upcoming season if he stays with Seattle. Hollister can still negotiate with other teams, but the Seahawks would receive a second-round pick if they choose not to match.Hollister entered last season with eight career receptions, but due to injuries took on a big role in Seattle’s offense. Hollister had 41 catches for 349 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games. He’s expected to continue having a role as a pass catcher for Seattle even with the signing of Greg Olson and the expected return of Will Dissly from injury.— Tim Booth reporting from Seattle. ___3:45 p.m.A person familiar with the negotiations says defensive end Shaq Lawson has agreed to a $30 million, three-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL free-agent signing period hasn’t started. The contract could be worth up to $36 million, and $21 million will be guaranteed.Lawson spent his first four NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills and last year had a career-high 6 1/2 sacks, which would have led the Dolphins. He was a first-round draft pick by the Bills in 2016. The trade of Buckner came almost immediately after the 49ers announced a deal to keep defensive lineman Arik Armstead with a five-year contract worth up to $85 million before he hit the open market.— Josh Dubow in Santa Clara, California___4:20 p.m.The San Francisco 49ers have signed defensive lineman Arik Armstead to a five-year contract worth up to $85 million before he hit the market as a free agent. Associated Press ___12:55 p.m.The Patriots have placed a franchise tag on Patriots left guard Joe Thuney, his agent Michael McCartney said in a tweet shortly before the start of the legal tampering period.Thuney, a third-round pick in 2016, has been one of the most dependable pieces on the Patriots’ offensive line over the past four seasons. The nonexclusive tag is expected to cost the Patriots around $14.7 million this upcoming season.If he had hit free agency Thuney was expected to be one of the most sought-after guards on the market. He has not missed a single game and wasn’t whistled for a single penalty in 2019. The Latest: AP source: Hollister gets 2nd-round tender Foster made the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Tennessee in 2009. He became a steadying force on a unit that evolved into one of the league’s best, helping pave the way for a high-powered offense that led Pittsburgh to four straight playoff appearances from 2014-17. Foster turned 34 in January and the Steelers have several placements ready. Though he had a year left on the two-year, $8.25 million extension he signed in 2019, Foster figured to become a salary cap casualty if he didn’t decide to step away from the game. The Steelers are in the process of clearing cap space after placing a franchise tag on outside linebacker Bud Dupree earlier Monday. —- Will Graves reporting from Pittsburgh___2:40 p.m. A person with direct knowledge of the deal says the Dallas Cowboys and tight end Blake Jarwin have agreed on a $24 million, three-year contract.The agreement essentially means the Cowboys believe Jarwin can replace Jason Witten as the starter.Witten has said he wants to return for a 17th season, but the Cowboys haven’t indicated it will be with them. Witten set the club record by spending 16 seasons with Dallas, the most recent after taking a year off to try broadcasting.The person said the deal includes $9 million guaranteed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because deals can’t become official until the league year begins. That’s supposed to be Wednesday.Jarwin had 365 yards receiving and three touchdowns last season. The fourth-year pro tied the Dallas club record for touchdowns receiving in a game for a tight end in 2018, when he had three in the regular-season finale at the New York Giants. Those were the first three TDs of his career. — Schuyler Dixon in Dallas___2:30 p.m.A person familiar with the deal says free agent linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski has agreed to a contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Kwiatkoski can’t officially sign the deal until the new league year starts on Wednesday. He began his last NFL season by serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance following his final season in New Orleans in 2018. He appeared in 10 games for the Patriots in 2019, catching 17 passes for 173 yards.___3:55 p.m.The Dallas Cowboys are moving forward with their plan to replace record-setting tight end Jason Witten. — Charles Odum in Atlanta and David Ginsburg in Owings Mills, Md. ___4:55 p.m.A person with knowledge of the move said the Redskins on Monday agreed to re-sign inside linebacker Jon Bostic to a $6.6 million, two-year deal.The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract cannot be official until the start of the new league year Wednesday. The NFL negotiating period began Monday. ___1:45 p.m.The Indianapolis Colts have released defensive tackle Margus Hunt and will re-sign receiver Daurice Fountain.Releasing Hunt will save the Colts roughly $4 million against the cap.He signed a two-year deal worth $9.1 million last year after having his best season in the NFL. But he lost the starting job in 2019 and wound up with 17 tackles, no sacks and no tackles for loss. 5:10 p.m. The Atlanta Falcons have acquired tight end Hayden Hurst from the Baltimore Ravens, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because the trade won’t be officially announced before the NFL’s business year begins Wednesday.The Falcons also acquired a 2020 fourth-round pick from the Ravens. Baltimore acquired second and fifth-round picks in this year’s draft from the Falcons.The Falcons needed help at tight end after losing two-time Pro Bowler Austin Hooper to free agency. The Browns were looking for an upgrade at both tackle spots, and will slot Conklin in on the right side while perhaps drafting one next month. There are some top prospects available in this year’s class.Conklin will give added protection for quarterback Baker Mayfield, who didn’t trust his line enough last season and bailed on plays. He can also open holes for running back Nick Chubb.__ Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland.___5:30 p.m. Hooper was one of the main free agency targets for Cleveland, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because teams can’t officially announce deals until Wednesday.Hooper has spent the past four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He’s had more than 70 catches the past two seasons.NFL Network reported the sides have agreed to terms on a package that will make Hooper the NFL’s highest-paid tight end.By adding the 25-year-old Hooper, the Browns will have another offensive playmaker for quarterback Baker Mayfield, who struggled in his second NFL season. Hooper will be a dependable option to go along with star wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.New Browns coach Kevin Stefanski preferred to run two-tight end formations during his one season as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator. Hooper could be paired with 2017 first-round pick David Njoku, who missed most of last season with a broken wrist suffered in Week 2. Green, 31, wants to finish his career in Cincinnati, where he has put down roots. Although he’s open to a multi-year extension that would pay him as an elite receiver, he has objected to staying for only one more season on a franchise designation.Green has said he’ll skip voluntary offseason workouts if he’s tagged. The Bengals are expected to take Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow or another quarterback with the first overall pick in the draft, and having Green in offseason workouts would accelerate a rookie’s development.The Bengals are free to negotiate with Green on a long-term deal through July 15.___12:55 p.m. Fountain spent all of last season on injured reserve after suffering a dislocated and fractured left ankle in training camp. The Colts offered the exclusive free agent a one-year tender, which his agent, Andy Simms, says he will sign. Fountain was Indy’s fifth-round pick in 2018.— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.__1:15 p.m.The Browns are working toward a deal with two-time Pro Bowl free agent tight end Austin Hooper, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. March 16, 2020 The Vikings cleared salary-cap space to keep Harris by agreeing to a two-year, $66 million contract extension with quarterback Kirk Cousins that reduced his salary-cap hit for 2020 by $10 million. The Vikings also agreed to a new four-year, $12.25 million contract with fullback C.J. Ham, who was set to be a restricted free agent.— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis___12:50 p.m.The Buffalo Bills have announced re-signing offensive lineman Quinton Spain to a three-year contract. Hooper had 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns last season.— Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland.___1 p.m.The Bengals used their franchise tag on A.J. Green, giving them time to try to work out a long-term deal with the star who is one of the most accomplished receivers in franchise history and would be a vital part of breaking in a new quarterback. — Stephen Whyno reporting from Washington___4:35 p.m.The Panthers have released longtime special teams player Colin Jones.The 32-year-old Jones played eight seasons with the Panthers, also serving as a reserve safety. He led the team in special teams tackles with nine in 2019 and finished his career in Carolina with 61 special teams tackles, second-most in franchise history. More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
(REUTERS) – Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur each have three players among the eight nominations for the Premier League Player-of-the-Season, while the coaches of both teams have also been shortlisted for the Manager-of-the-Year award.Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is the favourite for the players’ prize, having already been named the PFA (Professional Footballers Association) Player-of-the-Year and the FWA (Football Writers Association) Player-of-the-Year.Belgium international Eden Hazard and Spain full back Cesar Azpilicueta are the other Chelsea players on the list, while Tottenham are represented by striker Harry Kane, midfielder Dele Alli and defender Jan Vertonghen.Aarsenal striker Alexis Sanchez has also been included, along with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who currently leads the league’s scoring charts with 24 goals.Chelsea secured the title on Friday and lead the table by seven points from Tottenham Hotspur going into the final games of the season.Antonio Conte, who guided Chelsea to the title in his first season in charge, faces competition from Paul Clement, who took over with Swansea City four points adrift at the bottom in January but guided them to safety with a game to spare.Mauricio Pochettino, whose Spurs team are guaranteed a second-place finish, Burnley’s Sean Dyche, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe and West Bromwich Albion’s Tony Pulis are the others on the Manager-of-the-Year shortlist.
Five years after winning Eko 2012 National Sports Festival in Lagos, Delta State athletes and their officials have been waiting for another opportunity to showcase their skills. It will come Monday, as the sixth Delta Sports Festival begins at the 14,000-capacity Ozoro Polytechnic Stadium.The festival, which will run till May 12, will be held at four different venues spread across the state, Asaba, Agbor, Obiaruku and Ozoro. The opening and closing ceremonies will hold at the newly commissioned Ozoro Polytechnic ultra-modern Sports Stadium.Speaking ahead of Mondayâ€™s opening ceremony, the head of Delta State weightlifting team, ex-Olympian, Coach Emmanuel Oshoma, said that the festival is a major boost to both the athletes and their officials.â€œThe athletes are so happy with the state government for this sports festival because since we returned from Eko 2012 National Sports Festival, some of the athletes have not participated in any sporting events. For instance, my event (weightlifting) has not witnessed any competition, but with this sports festival, the athletes are excited competing for medals again.â€œSome of them who have been competing only at the local government level, this is an opportunity for them to show their skills at the state level. They are also looking forward to pocket some allowances at the end of the festival,â€ Oshoma stated.Some of the athletes who also spoke on Sunday on arrival at Ozoro expressed joy over the high standard of sporting facilities at the venue.Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is expected to declare the festival open later Monday, while Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, will be the special guest of honour among other dignitaries and sports enthusiasts that will grace the occasion.While Ozoro will play host to track and field as well as football event, Obiaruku will host the swimming event. The Agbor Township Stadium will host cycling event, while Asaba, the state capital, will be the venue for other events like weightlifting, wrestling, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, squash and tennis.Delta Sports Commission Chairman Tony Okowa and Commissioner for Information Patrick Ukah, who is a member of the Main Organising Committee, said on Sunday that the festival would afford the state the avenue to put in place a strong team for the defence of its title later this year when the National Sports Festival holds.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Will Coach Gernot Rohr and his wards keep tradition going or would enter into record books as the first generation that failed in that task of bringing home to football-mad Nigerians what is now termed ‘Golden bronze’ as consolation?With that less than convincing display from the semi final clash with Algeria last Sunday, not even the incurable optimists amongst Nigerian football fans is ready to wager a bet on this 2019 Eagles. They are simply not convincing in all departments.This perhaps may make the encounter with Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles another moment of anxiety for our countrymen (and women). It is bound to be a feisty confrontation of Eagles as the Tunisians appear more convincing to walk away with the consolation third place medals at the end of hostilities at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo this night.However, if Rohr is able to tinker with his team for the Eagles to be able to lift their game to the level that saw them crush both Cameroon and South Africa, perhaps that may assuage the anger of Nigerians calling for his sack.Nigeria, in her 18th appearance at the Cup of Nations, has made the semi finals for the 15th time – a remarkable record of almost always getting to the business end of the championship. The country has failed to reach the semi finals only thrice before: 1963 (debut, in Ghana), 1982 (Libya), 2008 (Ghana).Of the 15 times Nigeria has made the semi finals, the Eagles have gone ahead to win the title three times, picked up the silver medals four times and won bronze medals seven times.The silver medals have come from Cote d’Ivoire 1984 (after losing final to Cameroon); Morocco 1988 (after losing final to Cameroon); Algeria 1990 (after losing final to Algeria) and; Ghana/Nigeria 2000 (after losing final to Cameroon).Triumphs have come from Nigeria 1980 (after beating Algeria in final in Lagos); Tunisia 1994 (after beating Zambia in final in Tunis) and; South Africa 2013 (after beating Burkina Faso in Johannesburg).The only previous time both Eagles have clashed in the third place match of the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1978, but the encounter in Accra did not end as the Tunisians abandoned the match following Segun Odegbami’s equalizer late in the first half.CAF duly awarded the match to Nigeria 2-0 and the Green Eagles received the bronze medals.In other confrontations at the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria lashed Tunisia 4-2 in a group phase match at the 2000 finals that Nigeria and Ghana co-hosted, while Tunisia, also on home ground, edged Nigeria on penalties after their semi final clash in Rades in 2004 was stalemated at 1-1 after regulation and extra time.Perhaps the most memorable clash between the two at the AFCON remains their quarter final battle in 2006, also in Egypt.Cup holders Tunisia shot into a comfortable lead during the penalty shoot-out following another 1-1 stalemate after regulation and extra time at the El Masry Stadium in Port Said. But Nigeria rallied through saves by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and the Eagles eliminated the defending champions.Tunisia famously stopped Nigeria in the race to the 1978 FIFA World Cup (defender Godwin Odiye scoring in his own net in Lagos in November 1977), but Nigeria also eliminated Tunisia from the race to Spain 1982 after penalty shoot-out in Lagos following a 2-2 aggregate scoreline.Tunisia ejected Nigeria from the race to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, winning 2-1 on aggregate, but Nigeria rode on Tunisia to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa – the first FIFA World Cup staged on African soil.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram After failing to reach the final of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations with that last thunderbolt by Riyad Mahrez of Algeria that crushed Nigeria’s fourth title ambition, history favours the Super Eagles to beat the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia to claim the bronze medals.Of the seven times that Nigeria has played in this losers’ final, the Super Eagles have never lost a third place match at the AFCON.It was like that in Ethiopia in 1976 (against Guinea), Ghana in 1978 (against Tunisia), Senegal in 1992 (against Cameroon), Mali in 2002 (against Mali), Tunisia in 2004 (against Mali), Egypt in 2006 (against Senegal) and Angola in 2010 (against Algeria).
Frankie Paul singing at a benefit concert for a prosthetic leg Jamaica’s Minister of Entertainment and Culture, Olivia “Babsy” Grange has expressed sorrow at the passing of the Jamaican reggae/dancehall artiste Frankie Paul.The reggae artiste died late Thursday following a long illness. In a release issued shortly after his death, Grange said although she was aware of Paul’s recent illness, his death came as a surprise.Grange recalled Frankie Paul’s contribution to the music since the 1980s, and the inspiration he had become to people with disabilities, especially the blind and the visually impaired.“Frankie Paul was an extremely talented artiste and musical genius whose skills earned him the title of ‘Jamaica’s Stevie Wonder’ due to his visual impairment, his vocal prowess and skill with musical instruments. It was not surprising that when Stevie Wonder came to Jamaica in October, 1975 to perform
The Porcupine Warriors have lifted the cup for the sixth time following Sunday’s victory in KumasiAsante Kotoko are champions of the 2019 Ghana President’s Cup following a 2-1 home victory over arch-rivals Hearts of Oak on Sunday.Kofi Kordzi scored first for the Phobians but a Mohammed Alhassan’s own goal and a Naby Laye Keita effort secured a comeback win for the Porcupine Warriors at Kumasi’s Baba Stadium.It is the sixth President’s Cup triumph for Kotoko, two titles more than Hearts.Sunday’s fixture was a replay of an original match which was called off under 10 minutes due to a heavy downpour in September.Hearts broke the deadlock through a 35th-minute penalty by Kordzi who made no mistake from 12 yards after Ampem Dacosta was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.On the stroke of half-time, Kotoko levelled the score as Alhassan unfortunately directed a ball into his own net following a Patrick Yeboah cross.On 65 minutes, Yeboah once again showed up with another cross, which was this time headed into the net by Guinean striker Keita.There was more misery for the Accra-based side in injury time as goalkeeper Ernest Sowah would be sent off for a second bookable offence following a foul on substitute Matthew Cudjoe.Hearts tried to find a way back into the game but their efforts proved inadequate as the referee whistled to bring the game to an end.The match also served as a warm-up fixture for both sides ahead of start of the Ghana Premier League on Saturday.The President’s Cup, which has returned after a one-year absence, is in honour of Ghana’s sitting president Nana Akufo-Addo. Source: Goal.com
Ex-Black Stars and Metz defender, Anthony Baffoe has refuted claims by former teammate Anthony Yeboah that he refused to hand over the captain’s armband despite pleas from the latter’s management ahead of the 1992 Afcon final against Côte d’Ivoire.Following the suspension of Abedi Pele, Tony Baffoe was handed the captain’s armband ahead of Tony Yeboah who was the deputy to the Maestro.According to Anthony Yeboah, Baffoe did not deserve to be named captain of the side as that was his first tournament and there were older-serving Black Stars players like himself.Yeboah then claimed that Baffoe refused to hand him the captain’s armband despite calls from his manager to do so.“To be honest I was very surprised and at the same time, the Kumasi group was shocked so it was affecting us during the game. They knew I was the assistant captain. That time Tony Baffoe was new in the national team and shouldn’t have been captain”. He shared with veteran journalist, Kwabena Yeboah.”My manager even called Tony [Baffoe] and asked him to give me the armband but he refused,” Yeboah said.In an interview on GTV Sports+, the former Black Stars defender, Tony Baffoe described his appointment as skipper as a surprise.“I remember we were having a team meeting and Otto Pfister announced Anthony Baffoe will be the captain of the team, that’s how the news got to me”.The former Black Stars defender, who shared a room with Abedi Pele during the tournament stated that he never had a conversation with The Maestro on the captaincy.“Let me reveal something interesting. People thought Abedi Pele had a hand in my selection as captain. Abedi never mentioned anything about captaincy to me and this I can assure you”.Contrary to the account of Tony Yeboah, Baffoe stated that he was never contacted by Yeboah’s management team.“I didn’t have a manager, I worked with a lawyer. To set the record straight, I saw an interview that Anthony Yeboah said his manager called me to speak to me and management to hand the armband to him. No body called me. It is not true”.
Last month, England international Rachel Unitt ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in her knee for the second time in 16 months.Another long lay-off could signal the end of a career for the 32-year-old who has earned 102 caps for her country.More worryingly, she is the fourth Notts County player to suffer the injury this season and the ninth player to be injured in this manner during 2014 in the Women’s Super League (WSL) top division.On the face of it, their plight could be viewed as bad luck. But is there more to it than that?Crucial cruciates – ACL injuries in the WSL this seasonRachel Unitt, Ellen White, Sophie Bradley, Anna Green (all Notts County)Lucy Staniforth, Nicole Rolser (both Liverpool) Danielle Lea (Manchester City)Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah (Everton)Alex Windell (Bristol Academy)The hips don’t lieResearch by world governing body Fifa has suggested that female footballers are between two and six times more likely to suffer this injury because of physiological differences such as generally wider hips, which increase the leg’s angle into the knee, and under-developed muscles which prevent the knee from turning in upon landing.However the rate of injuries to the whole body for women is lower than for men. There has been a sharp increase in serious knee injuries since the women’s game moved to a semi-professional league in the summer of 2011.Not all clubs in the WSL keep historical records on these injuries, but the Football Association does. Their figures show that in the opening WSL season just one England international suffered an ACL injury, but that rose to five last season and six this season.”Broadly speaking, there are two ways that you can tear your ACL,” says former England chief medical officer Pippa Bennett, who worked with ex-England manager Hope Powell. “Landing from a jump with a straighter knee and cutting and turning with your knee falling inwards a little bit. This is what we call an increased valgus angle.”I was with the England teams for 15 years and on average, we would probably have four or five players in the team who have had an ACL injury at some point in their career. So we do see these spikes and troughs.” Research has suggested that female footballers are between two and six times more likely to suffer an ACL injuryElle Turner is a sports scientist at Manchester City Women’s team, which joined the WSL this season. She says that when she started working with the squad last January, there were players who she considered “an ACL injury waiting to happen.””In football, you get forces going through the body at four times the body mass and if players are not able to move correctly, that’s when the risk goes through the roof for injuries,” she says.”A lot of female footballers have poor hamstrings and poor gluteus medius muscles, which are the muscles at the side of the hips that correct the knee and brings it back into alignment. So we work on them on a daily basis.”Too much football?There are concerns in the game that more could be done to protect players, with the spike in knee injuries this season coinciding with an increased load on the players’ bodies. Liverpool Ladies won their first title last season after committing to full-time training. This season, many other teams have followed suit in an attempt to usurp Matt Beard’s side, who will battle it out with Chelsea and Birmingham for the title next weekend. Effectively, some players have gone from part-time to full-time footballers in a matter of months. Is it too much, too soon?As Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor says: “Everybody wants to see the women’s game progress. But on the other hand, it doesn’t want to progress on the back of a lot of injuries that are unnecessary.”Helen Vaughan, lead physiotherapist at Manchester City adds: “I definitely think that the increase could be discussed as a factor. We know movement patterns and the quality of movement is lost when players fatigue so I think a big part of it is fitness levels.”Add in a clustered schedule, which the likes of Beard have criticised before, and it is a potentially risky cocktail.The move to a summer league three years ago has been classed a success by many in the game as it avoids fixture clashes with men’s teams and the risk of waterlogged pitches in winter. With nearly all teams renting stadiums from lower league men’s teams, though, they still have to fit in their matches around other schedules and allow a break in the middle of the season so that pitches can seed. Even so, Bennett says that more medical advice should be taken on board when deciding the fixture list. During her time at the FA, she says her medical team were not consulted about the schedule.Rachel Unitt (right) has only played seven times for Notts County because of knee injuries”There are loads of factors that go into scheduling matches, not purely the science and medicine behind it,” she adds. “Accessibility to pitches, TV rights etc… but certainly some input medically would be a benefit I’m sure in the future.”FA director of women’s football Kelly Simmons accepts that striking the right balance is a “challenge”. Yet she insists that the FA now works together with the elite unit at St George’s Park and is attempting to establish an even spread of matches. “If you’re asking England manager Mark Sampson or the elite unit, they’d probably say one fixture a week is ideal,” she says. “Outside of that then maybe no more than a midweek fixture every other week so you’ve always got that chance to build in recovery timing.”Plastic pitchesAnother factor that could have direct impact on Sampson, too, is the use of synthetic pitches. Research has shown that injuries tend not to be more common than on grass but a PFA study says that players feel less sure about artificial surfaces.Liverpool and Everton both use a 3G pitch in the WSL, with the sides being hit by five ACL injuries between them in the past two seasons. Synthetic turf will also be used at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, a decision that has seen a group of players suing Fifa in protest.Sampson, though, has said he has no issue with the plans, saying the surface may actually help his team.”Some people can adapt to changing between surfaces well, certainly the younger players that went to the under 20s World Cup in Canada last August came back saying it was fine,” says Bennett. “They are young players, they can adapt.”As we get older, the ability of our muscles, our tendons, our ligaments, our bones, to adapt to the change of surface actually becomes more difficult.”As a medic we want to get the players fit but their long-term health has got to be paramount as well.England captain Steph Houghton says that no players ‘deserve’ to suffer an ACL injury”Every club needs to invest in a really good backroom staff to look after their female players.”One club which has embraced that is Manchester City, with players there having access to the medical care and facilities which minimise the risk.As club and England captain Steph Houghton says: “I feel that as a squad we are generally one of the best prepared teams in the league.”It’s upsetting when you see some of your close friends getting ACLs and you think, they don’t deserve it.”Nobody deserves to have an injury like that. It is something we’ve got to try and combat.”Whether it is changes to training, pitches or scheduling which is needed, it is clear that there is a willingness from all sections of English football to ensure that the number of ACL injuries this season remains an anomaly.
Still, the Angels won’t let him forget – and he doesn’t want to forget – that he is a guy on a minor league contract, trying to crack a big league roster and learn his way around the majors.“He’s down to earth,” Andrelton Simmons said. “He’s not a one-man show. He doesn’t walk around like he’s all that. He’s humble and willing to learn, willing to say hello.”The 23-year-old Ohtani was asked earlier this spring about facing Ichiro Suzuki, and his answer began with “Hopefully I’ll be on the roster …”Despite some unsightly numbers in the spring, there has been little doubt from the day Ohtani arrived in camp that he was a big leaguer. A series of roster moves Thursday virtually guaranteed it.Part of his transition to the majors, though, has happened off the field. Ohtani has joked in the clubhouse, and been the butt of jokes. He’s become video game buddies with Blake Parker, bonding over Clash Royale. Ohtani has gone golfing with his teammates, and played shooting games on the basketball court. He and Andrew Heaney attended a hockey game together when the Ducks were in town playing the Arizona Coyotes. All of this despite still speaking little English.“I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I feel I am fitting in well,” Ohtani said through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.Ohtani also said he feels his larger assimilation, to the United States, has gone smoothly: “I have no problems off the field. Everything is fine.”Inside the clubhouse, his teammates seem to have accepted him quickly.“I think he’s getting along great,” Parker said. “I think he’s learning English every day. He just wants to be one of the guys. That’s how I feel. He wants to fit in. He wants to have fun. He wants to stay loose. He’s obviously a competitor on the field, but he likes to joke around and have fun.”Parker said their video game rivalry has allowed each to learn some of each other’s language.“There is always competitive trash talk going on,” Parker said. “You always learn the bad stuff first.”Members of the Japanese media have said Ohtani seems to be happier in general than in Japan.“He’s always smiling,” Garrett Richards said. “He always looks like he’s in a happy mood.”Added Kole Calhoun: “If I was him, I’d be happy too. He can throw 100 and hit a ball 500 feet. That’s impressive.”Despite all of the hype and media attention surrounding Ohtani and his exploits, it doesn’t appear to have affected Ohtani’s place in the clubhouse.His media conferences have mostly taken place in an auxiliary media facility constructed in a tent in the parking lot. On most of the days before and after he’s pitched, the Angels have prevented any media from talking to Ohtani. Other days, he has conducted interviews with a small group of reporters, acting as representatives for the rest.Partly, it’s an issue of time management, because Ohtani already has the demands of pitching and hitting. Also, the Angels wanted to create space for Ohtani to be at ease, growing comfortable in his new environment, despite the millions of eyes on both sides of the globe watching his every move.“He’s a humble guy,” Parker said. “He just wants to come out here and do his job, just like the rest of us.”ALSORichards gave up two runs in three innings in a minor league game Friday, instead of facing the A’s, the Angels’ opponent in the first series of the season. Manager Mike Scioscia still hasn’t named Richards the opening day starter, but he did refer to him as the “lead dog” of their rotation. …Heaney (elbow inflammation) said he’s improving every day. He has been cleared to throw up to 90 feet. Heaney is expected to start the season on the disabled list. The Angels have five healthy starters, and they don’t need a sixth until April 12. Heaney said he couldn’t project if he’ll be ready by then. If he’s not, the Angels could bring up Nick Tropeano or Parker Bridwell. …Ohtani and Tropeano are scheduled to pitch against each other in an intrasquad game at the Angels minor league complex on Saturday at 11 a.m., before the regular game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Tempe Diablo Stadium. …Scioscia said Matt Shoemaker and JC Ramírez will pitch two of the three Freeway Series games, but he wouldn’t say which ones. Ramírez, who pitched Thursday, would be in line to start Tuesday. Shoemaker, whose last outing was Tuesday, could go either Sunday or Monday. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error TEMPE, Ariz. — As Shohei Ohtani stepped to the plate, the Tempe Diablo Stadium public address system blared the bouncy little J-pop tune, “Fashion Monster.”The Angels’ dugout roared in laughter at the sound of the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu song, which is popular among young girls in Japan. The joke, which was spawned by players commenting on Ohtani’s skinny jeans, brought a smile to Ohtani’s face.It was perhaps this spring’s definitive “one of the guys” moment for Ohtani as he tries to blend in with his teammates in circumstances that are anything but typical.Ohtani is the Angels’ only rookie who is attempting to pull off the historic feat of succeeding as a pitcher and a hitter. He’s the only one who brings with him a corps of 50 or 60 media members. He’s the only one who can’t speak the same language as any of his teammates.
Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Q: Any word on what would happen to contracts if the season never happens? (That one-year Mookie rental isn’t looking good right now …) – @TheSlickrockA: Obviously this is also still to be negotiated. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.Q: If the mid-May start comes off, and there is a desire to try to squeeze in a full season, will we see some scheduled doubleheaders on the weekends? – @trivialnunzA: I can’t see them even coming close to a full season. I understand they want to play “as many games as possible,” so I suppose one way to do that would be to add some doubleheaders. I think that’s more reasonable than extending the season and ending up with the World Series at a neutral site in November or something. So, yes, I think doubleheaders are the simplest way to add more games without messing up the schedule too much. I’d expect them to mostly be within your division, though.Q: Is Tempe Diablo going to be shutting down? In an article yesterday it said facilities were able to be used Tuesday or Wednesday. Looks like that is going to change. – Travis BrewerA: As of Sunday night, the facilities in Tempe were supposed to be open Monday for players to work out informally, either individually or in very small groups. The facilities at Angel Stadium are expected to be ready for the same type of workouts, starting Tuesday or Wednesday. MLB has said they won’t flat-out close spring training facilities, although they do want teams to be strict about keeping the groups small and practice social distancing.Q: Jeff, do you see a lot of time in the office since you’re a beat writer? Was just curious about what a beat writer journalist’s life is like compared to maybe a columnist (for context, I was a journalism major, so i’m just curious!) – Job AngA: I am almost never in the office. I go in about once a year for meetings. When I’m not at the ballpark, I am always working at home, so this unexpected shutdown is not that much different from a normal January to me.Q: Favorite Arizona eating spots during Spring Training? – @f2fguyA: I have plenty of them. My No. 1 restaurant is Carlsbad Tavern, in Scottsdale. I also really like North Italia, Richardson’s and Kuka Sushi.Q: Favorite moment in your career so far? – @LUEVANO23A: That is a tough one. I saw Barry Bonds hit his 756th homer, breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time record. I think perhaps the most memorable thing I’ve ever seen was last year’s Angels game when they pitched a combined no-hitter wearing Tyler Skaggs jerseys. I actually wasn’t even working that night, but I was at the game with my son and father. I suppose that makes it ineligible for a moment in my “career,” technically speaking.Related Articles While Major League Baseball is on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, we took some questions on Twitter and our Facebook page about the Angels and other baseball topics.Q: Staying positive. How would a complete season or even short season benefit the Halos? – @catfishmcflyA: The Angels definitely could benefit if the season is shortened, which at this point looks like a certainty. Shohei Ohtani, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, was going to have his innings limited this season, so they would have him at the end of the 162-game season instead of the beginning. But if the season starts in late May or early June, and only goes 100 games or so, Ohtani could be available the entire time. The Angels were also going to be without Griffin Canning for at least the first month as he recovers after having a platelet-rich plasma injection, so now he could possibly be ready by the new Opening Day. Finally, in general, the shorter the season, the less the advantage for the better teams. That means the Houston Astros won’t have as big an advantage over the Angels, or any team, for a 100-game season as they would for a 162-game season.Q: Who should start at first base on Opening Day: Pujols or La Stella? Seconde base: La Stella or Fletcher? Right field: Goodwin, Fletcher, Adell? – @shandy92606 A: As of a couple of days before the shutdown, Tommy La Stella told me he had not put on a first baseman’s glove at all during spring training. I think a lot of fans had the idea that La Stella would play that position, but the Angels clearly never considered it a serious option. Albert Pujols figures to get most of the time at first base, with probably Matt Thaiss playing the games he doesn’t. At second, it will probably be La Stella against righties and David Fletcher against lefties. In right field, I expect some combination of Fletcher and Brian Goodwin until Jo Adell is ready. As for who plays on Opening Day, that’s hard to say. It might depend upon whether they’re facing a righty or lefty.Q: Did Michael Hermosillo make a case for starting in right field? He had a good spring until it got shut down. – Mario MolinaA: Hermosillo had just missed some time with a hip injury before the shutdown. I think he was a pretty safe bet to make the team as the fourth outfielder (or fifth if you count David Fletcher), but I didn’t see him getting a lot of starts ahead of Brian Goodwin or Fletcher in right.Q: What happens with the players’ salaries. Are they still paid while on shutdown? – Sean CronkiteA: The question of salaries is still being negotiated. All we know right now is that players on 40-man rosters will continue to get living allowances for a few more weeks. Players are never paid until the start of the regular season, so no one has missed a paycheck yet.