Former Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, has changed his stance in the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate.
Lampard also picked Messi ahead of Ronaldo. However, he is now tilting towards the Manchester United forward, because of his big game performances.
Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap, the former England midfielder stated that the Portugal captain has the edge because of his semi-final and final performances.
According to him, Ronaldo has proved his game-winning ability since his return to England.
Neville asks: “Messi or Ronaldo?”
To which Lampard responds: “You know what, I’ve always been a Messi man… and then I watched your debate with Carra (Jamie Carragher) recently.
“I actually think about Ronaldo’s output and actual numbers and goals in big finals, and semi-finals like we’ve seen. I think I may give him the edge now.”
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Champions League: Tuchel names five top players that’ll miss Zenith vs Chelsea game
Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel, has named five top players that will miss his side’s Champions League tie with Zenith on Wednesday night.
Chelsea head to the game following a 3-2 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League in their previous fixture last weekend.
Chelsea currently top the Champions League Group H with 12 points from 5 games, while are in the third position with 4 points from the same number of games.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Tuchel said the likes of Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Trevoh Chalobah, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho would not take part in the Zenith clash.
“We had a bit of an acute overload due to injuries and the schedule. Due to our injuries in some positions, like central midfield, when we struggle. The game tomorrow is not the problem, it’s more the game that comes up on Saturday,” Tuchel said.
“We had an early game against West Ham and then a late game against Zenit. We had a day off and a good training session today. We can let anybody play of the 17 players plus goalkeepers we have. The problem is the next match on Saturday because we will lose time to sleep, arrive back very early on Thursday, and then we face an intense team in Leeds who have prepared to face this match.”
“Ben Chilwell is out, N’Golo is out, Trevoh Chalobah is out, Mateo Kovacic is out, and Jorginho is out,” he added.
NAHCON Chairman mourns Babalakin
The Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, has expressed his condolence to the family of late Hon. Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin, JSC (rtd.), who passed away on Saturday, December 4, 2021.
The Chairman’s condolence message, on behalf of NAHCON, its Board Members and entire staff, was signed and made available to DAILY POST by Fatima Sanda Usara, Head, Public Affairs.
Alhaji Hassan noted that the late Justice Babalakin contributed immensely to nation building and indeed humanity.
“His name is surely imprinted in gold in the nation’s judicial system, and he has engraved his name in Nigeria’s history,” the NAHCON Chairman observed.
He went on to describe the late Justice Babalakin’s life as worthy of emulation, lamenting his death as a great loss to his family, the Muslim Ummah, our country and beyond.
It would be recalled that the late Hon. Justice succeeded Prof. Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa (deceased) as the president of the Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria (MUSWEN), an organization which he had co-founded in 2008.
Late Justice Babalakin was a disciplinarian per excellence and a supporter of youth. He had zero tolerance for corruption.
Alhaji Hassan, while praying the Almighty Allah to forgive the shortcomings of late Babalakin and grant him jannatul Firdaus, urged the younger generation to emulate the sterling qualities of the late jurist which has endeared him to many even after death.
He also prayed for the Almighty to give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Culpable homicide: Man sentenced to death by hanging in Jigawa
A Jigawa State High Court of Justice sitting in Hadejia, on Tuesday, sentenced one Magaji Hussaini (alias Lushe) to death by hanging, after finding him guilty for the offense of culpable homicide in Kirikasamma Local Government Area of the state.
The defendant was arraigned before the court for allegedly using a stick to beat one Muhammad Alhaji (deceased) on his neck and caused injury to the deceased which resulted in his death at Rugar Lamido Dadi Fulani Settlement, Kirikasamma.
The prosecution counsel presented 6 witnesses and tendered 3 exhibits which were statements of the defendant at Kiri Kasamma Divisional Police Office, Statements of the Defendant at SCID Dutse and the photograph of the deceased.
Presiding Judge Hon. Justice Ado Yusuf, while delivering his judgment, said the court was satisfied with the evidence of the prosecution and had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
He, therefore, sentenced him to death by hanging after finding him guilty for the offense of culpable homicide which is punishable to death under section 221 (b) of the Penal Code Laws of Jigawa State, 2012.
NWFL bans Osogbo stadium from hosting matches over deplorable condition
The Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL) has declared that the Osogbo Township Stadium is no longer suitable to host any of its league matches in the state.
This was made known in a letter dated December 6, 2021, with reference number NWFL/COO/ADM/NWPC/Vol.1/189 and signed by Modupe Shabi, its Chief Operating Officer.
According to the letter, the decision to declare the stadium unfit for league matches was arrived at after an inspection of the structure.
The letter, which declared that the current state of the stadium is not good enough to host any of the NWFL matches until it is fixed, also stated that the body hoped that the necessary facelift will be carried out on the stadium facility.
As a result of the directive, all home matches of the Osun Babes Football Club in the 2021/2022 NWFL Premiership Season will be played at the Lanre Leke Stadium, Ile-Ogbo, Osun State.
Reacting, a former Osun United Football Club press officer and Secretary, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Osun Chapter, Tajudeen Ahmad, stated that there are certain standard requirements for approval of home venues for clubs.
Ahmad added that if this were not met, appropriate sanctions was expected from the league management as in the case of Osun Babes.
In his words, “I could remember the last time NFF President, Amaju Pinnick came to Osogbo. He wasn’t satisfied with the condition of the pitch and promised to inform the Governor about it but nothing has been done up till now.”
While lamenting that it is unfortunate that Osun cannot have a standard stadium in spite of the high level of the state’s involvement in sports and the number of budding talents it has produced, Ahmad stressed that good performance of players and clubs is a function of a good pitch.
Expressing optimism that that state government will find a solution to the current problem, the Osun SWAN scribe noted that it is a challenge on those at the helms of affairs to do something on the pitch, dressing room and other areas identified by the NWFL.
“I hope there won’t be a double standard by NWFL cos there are many stadiums not up to the standard of Osogbo Township Stadium in Nigeria and league matches are approved to be played there. They should maintain fairness and justice in their decision to all teams,” he said.
The impact of the change in match venue he highlighted will be that Osun Babes will miss the support of many Osogbo fans, unfamiliar pitch in Ile-Ogbo, business opportunities near the Osogbo stadium will be negatively impacted.
Others he stated include; the stress of travelling between Osogbo and Ile-Ogbo for the players and loss of revenue for the FA and Sports Council due to free entrance to the match arena.
Champions League: Pat Nevin tells Tuchel players to start Zenit vs Chelsea game
Former Chelsea star, Pat Nevin, has handed manager, Thomas Tuchel, the names of players to start the Blues’ Champions League tie with Zenit.
Chelsea will tackle Zenit away in Russia on Wednesday.
Tuchel’s men head to the game following a 3-2 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League last weekend.
But Nevin wants Tuchel to feature defender Reece James in midfield against Zenit.
He also wants the German to play Ross Barkley against the host.
Writing in his column for Chelsea’s official website, Nevin said: “Could Chelsea consider a few tweaks here and there in Russia? I reckon a number of options might be worth looking at. Reece James in midfield? Yes, I know we would miss his crosses from the right, but then we might get even more of his hammer shots from 30 yards as a bonus, and anyway, it could be worth seeing how he manages.”
Nevin added: “Even a little tweak of the system itself as a one-off, just to have a look, might be worth a try, considering others are getting used to our current methods. There are also a few players such as Ross Barkley who need some more minutes, who will come into the manager’s mind.”
EPL: Man United finally pick manager to succeed Rangnick
Manchester United only appointed Ralf Rangnick for a period of six months because they have set their sights on replacing him with Ajax boss, Erik Ten Hag at the end of the season.
The 63-year-old Rangnick was awarded a six-month deal last week and his contract includes a two-year consultancy role that starts next season.
The Telegraph reports that the German, who started his Old Trafford career with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, was only given a short-term deal because United’s hierarchy has concluded plans to appoint Ten Hag this summer
Ten Hag had, a few days ago, made his desire to take up a new challenge in Europe very clear.
Paris Saint-Germain boss, Mauricio Pochettino, Brendan Rodgers of Leicester City and Zinedine Zidane are the other names linked to the Old Trafford permanent job.
NCC Board Chairman, Akande tasks telecom operators on licensing obligations
The Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, has urged telecoms licensees across different segments of the Nigerian telecommunications sector on the need to adhere strictly to their licensing obligations in order to ensure the robust provision of services to the consumers.
Akande made the call in his remark at the third edition of NCC’s 2021 “Talk to The Regulator” (TTTR) Forum, which took place at Visa Karena Hotels, Port Harcourt, over the weekend.
At the forum held with a focus on “Improving Stakeholder Satisfaction”, Akande stated that the essence of conducting the stakeholder engagement forum across the country’s geo-political zones was to demonstrate to the Commission’s licensees that responsibility does not end in issuing of licenses alone but rather in working with the licensing authority to address issues affecting their operations.
Beyond the issuance of licences to operators, Akande declared that the Commission is legitimately concerned with providing the necessary regulatory frameworks and initiatives capable of ushering in an environment that encourages seamless implementation of the licence conditions.
“In return, we expect the licensees to deliver on their licensing conditions and I want to use this opportunity to challenge our licensees to always comply with their licensing obligations and conditions in order to provide the much-needed services to the generality of Nigerians,” he said.
Speaking earlier on the centrality of the stakeholder engagement to the regulatory activities of the Commission, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the Commission considers feedback from stakeholder’s engagement initiatives imperative for building a robust licensing regime in the Nigerian telecom sector.
The EVC, who was represented at the forum by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, reiterated the Commission’s commitment to stakeholder engagement as a means of deepening collaboration with NCC’s licensees, identifying areas of concern, and jointly developing and implementing practical solutions.
The NCC boss noted that the focus of deliberations for the series of stakeholder engagement had been on licensing processes, policies, and procedures, all geared towards improving Stakeholder Satisfaction, a central factor to all NCC’s regulatory activities. He emphasised the need to curate insights from each geo-political zone to encourage mutually-beneficial relationships and enhance understanding between the Commission and its key stakeholders.
According to Danbatta, measurable success has been recorded essentially because of Commission’s focus on prioritising stakeholders. “Achievements such as contributions to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew to 14.42 per cent in Q2’2021; active internet subscriptions have reached over 140 million; teledensity which now stands at 99.98 per cent; and 40.01% per cent broadband penetration, all as at the end of September 2021,” he said.
Speaking further, Danbatta said to achieve national policy targets and maintain progressive growth in the telecoms industry, “efforts must be jointly made to harness the full cooperation of licensees to highlight areas hampering the progress of the Commission’s stakeholders.
“We have started making necessary adjustments to reflect the views of our licensees in Kano and Lagos. Port Harcourt will not be an exception,” Danbatta assured.
He reiterated that the meeting is organised in keeping with the Commission’s strategic objectives, which seek to guarantee continuous interface with the critical stakeholder in the industry, for collaboration in seeking solutions to challenges of licensing in Nigeria.
Further underscoring the significance of stakeholder engagement and sensitisation in the Commission, Danbatta said the forum affords stakeholders a platform to raise questions about the challenges of licensing and their operations. He said such a forum also avails the Commission ample opportunity to adequately respond to the concerns that may be raised.
At the Focus Group Discussions (FGD), participants reviewed and discussed licensing trends, regulatory process, implementation of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) regulations, assigning of shortcodes, type-approval obligations, and Commission’s expectations.
Commission’s propositions for the survival of smaller licensees were also discussed in a session termed “Listen to the licensee,” as they were not only given ample time to air their grievances but also made to proffer solutions for Management’s consideration. Also, mutually-beneficial positions on multiple taxations, surrendered licences, Right-of-way (RoW) for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) boosters, amongst others, were part of the issues discussed.
The Port Harcourt edition of the TTTR was a sequel to previous editions of the stakeholder engagement forum which took place in Kano on October 16, 2021 and Lagos on November 25, 2021.
The event had in attendance members of NCC Board: Prof. Millionaire Abowei; Clement Baiye; Chief Uche Onwude; as well as Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil; and his counterpart in Licensing and Authorisation, Muhammed Babajika, whose department facilitated the organisation of the forum.
EPL: Rio Ferdinand names player that’ll play every game for Man United under Rangnick
Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand has named midfielder Fred as one of the players that will become a ‘mainstay’ under Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford.
Fred, who was one of the players heavily criticised under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign, seems to have found his boots under Ralf Rangnick.
The Brazilian did not just net the winner for Manchester United on Sunday but delivered an impressive display in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
It was Rangnick’s first game in charge and club legend, Ferdinand believes the 28-year-old will be ‘galvanised’ in United’s new system.
“When a new manager comes in there’s always a player or two who jumps out from the pack and you go, ‘I didn’t expect that from him, I didn’t expect him to be that player’,” Ferdinand told Vibe with Five.
“Galvanised, a new lease of life, you see something different in them. Fred could be that guy under this manager.
“Because the way he plays in terms of intensity, he gives you everything, he’s sharp, he gets about people.
“If he’s doing that with somebody giving him that tactical nous now, from a structure, Fred could become a mainstay in this team, trust me.
“I think with Fred he’s been hammered by everyone, what he has got is a mentality you’d love to put in any young kid. He doesn’t hear the noise, he just gets on with what he’s doing, he goes out there and plays.”
Manchester United will hope to continue their return to form on Wednesday when they tackle Young Boys in the Champions League group stage and many supporters of the club will hope to see Fred continue his impressive display.
Omicron: Senate condemns UK for placing Nigeria on COVID-19 red list
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday condemned in strong terms the United Kingdom Government for placing Nigeria on COVID-19 red list.
The condemnation came through a motion sponsored by the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Ekweremadu lamented that the UK’s action did not reflect Nigeria’s effort at curtailing COVID-19 and expressed shock that as a country with the least record of COVID-19 in the world, the UK government came up with the harshest policy against Nigerians.
He said: “Very distinguished colleagues, the motion is on the need for the British government to remove Nigeria for COVID-19 red list.
“We note with satisfaction Nigeria’s effort in the containment and treatment of COVID-19 cases.
“Further notes that Nigeria is the only country with the lowest record of COVID-19 cases and placing Nigeria on COVID-19 red list with its concomitant implication is that it will affect many Nigerians who plan to travel for Christmas and new year holidays with their families to or out of United Kingdom.”
The lawmaker said those with valid visas would not be allowed into the UK, saying Nigeria should be unbanned with immediate effect.
“It means Nigerians who planned to visit the UK will be denied visa and those with visa will not be allowed to enter the UK. We note that Nigeria has consistently complied with COVID-19 protocols.
“We are worried that targeting African countries for COVID-19 travel ban amounts to profiling and discrimination as well as an attack on our long time diplomatic relations with the UK.
“We are aware of the global concern over vaccines burden and the resultant consequences on low-income nations in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.
In his remark, the Senate President called on the United Kingdom to remove Nigeria from the red list, stating that such action should be taken with caution given that the country has long time diplomatic relations with the UK.
Recall that the UK has placed Nigeria on the red list for the existence of Omicron, a COVID-19 variant.
Champions League: Chelsea get major boast ahead of Zenit clash
Chelsea have been handed a major injury boost ahead of their Champions League clash with Zenit on Wednesday night, The Times reports.
Chelsea midfielder, Mateo Kovacic, is said to be in line to face Zenit at the Krestovsky Stadium as he returns from injury.
The 27-year-old has recovered from his injury and began full training on Monday.
Kovacic has missed Chelsea’s last eight games with a hamstring injury.
The Croatia international sustained the injury in the last minute of a training session back in October.
Meanwhile, Chelsea will have to beat Zenit in Russia on Wednesday to guarantee a top spot in their Champions League group.
Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, may not want to risk playing Kovacic against Zenith but will be hoping to have his star fit and back in the squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash at home to Leeds United.
The kick-off time for Zenit vs Chelsea is 6:45 pm.
EPL: Odegaard reveals Arsenal’s major problem under Arteta after defeat to Everton
Arsenal midfielder, Martin Odegaard, has revealed the club’s major problem under Mikel Arteta, following their Premier League 2-1 loss to Everton on Monday night.
Arsenal were defeated by Everton following goals from Richarlison and Demarai Gray.
Odegaard did score a goal for the Gunners at Goodison Park.
But Odegaard believes Arsenal’s major problem was that they ‘stopped playing’ and surrendered the initiative to Everton during the encounter.
“It’s a hard one to take. I think in general we were not at the level we needed to be at today,” Odegaard told Sky Sports after the defeat.
“We had some good moments, but we have to do much better. We should have been better.
“It’s hard to say. That’s just how it is sometimes. It’s hard to say exactly what happened. We have to do better when we have that lead. We stopped playing and gave them the game they wanted to play.”
When asked whether he felt a mindset problem was to blame for Arsenal surrendering their lead, Odegaard added, “I think it is.
“When you’re leading 1-0, you get afraid to lose the win and in my opinion, that’s what we did wrong today.
“You go for the second goal and that was the intention, but we didn’t manage to do that on the pitch.”
EPL: I’m not happy with what I see – Leboeuf on why Chelsea won’t win title
Chelsea hero, Frank Leboeuf has named N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic as big elements missing in Thomas Tuchel’s team.
He said he is ‘not convinced’ by the club’s performance of late and feels the two midfielders are ‘big elements’ missing from the team.
The Blues suffered a 3-2 defeat at West Ham on Saturday which saw them drop from the top of the table into third.
Before Saturday, Thomas Tuchel’s side had draws with Burnley and Manchester United.
The west London side have suffered an extensive number of injuries this season with the likes of Kante, Kovacic, Trevoh Chalobah and Ben Chilwell all sidelined.
And Leboeuf feels the Blues are not as strong as they were earlier in the season to doubts if they can still claim the title.
“Lately, I’m not convinced about what I see,” Leboeuf told ESPN FC.
“You can say you have players injured because that’s the truth – [Ben] Chilwell.
“[Romelu] Lukaku just came back, we’re just seeing [Hakim] Ziyech coming back to his best but that wasn’t the case. Some others are missing – N’Golo Kante, [Mateo] Kovacic are big elements in the middle of the park.
“I guess [Edouard] Mendy is maybe in a doubt, Tuchel said he has kind of a lack of confidence right now.
“The football they play is interesting but it’s not convincing to me in the way that I don’t feel the strength that I used to see months ago
“Last year before Frank Lampard was sacked, in November, they were first or second and people were saying, ‘Chelsea may be a contender.’
“And then something happened in December time and they lost against Arsenal on December 26, and they were nowhere near it before Tuchel came in.
‘So, I don’t know if it’s going to be repeated, but let’s see.
“But I’m not happy with what I see. It’s interesting, but how can you lose after you lead 2-1, concede two stupid goals like that?”
EPL: Tuchel to sign Federico Chiesa for Chelsea
Juventus forward, Federico Chiesa, is being linked with a move to Chelsea at the end of the season.
According to football transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, would love Chelsea to sign Chiesa from Juventus at the end of the season.
Romano, however, insisted that Juventus won’t entertain selling the Italy international.
“We had rumours about Chiesa, and there are 100 million Chelsea fans asking me about Chiesa,” Romano told the Here We Go podcast.
“The rumours started because Thomas Tuchel loves this player. He thinks Chiesa is one of the best wingers in the game. He is a modern player, so Tuchel would love to have Chiesa at Chelsea. This is something true.
“Juventus are not planning to sell Chiesa. Juventus are not speaking to Chelsea. Chiesa’s people are not speaking to Chelsea. As of today, there is nothing.”
Recall that Chelsea are willing to make a ‘monster’ £84million bid to sign Chiesa at the end of the season.
Chiesa scored the only goal of the game when Chelsea lost 1-0 to Juventus in the Champions League a few weeks ago.
The 24-year-old has scored three times and has made one assist in 17 games in all competitions in the 2021-2022 season.
Police warn Osun residents against attacking operatives
The Osun State Police Command on Tuesday cautioned residents to stop the continuous attacks and inhuman treatments on its operatives.
Residents were also urged to toe the path of justice by reporting erring police officers to the appropriate authority, rather than taking laws into their hands or embarking on jungle justice.
The state Commissioner of Police, CP Wale Olokode, said this in a statement issued by the command’s spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola in Osogbo.
Olokode noted that the era of EndSARS is gone and on no account will the command tolerate or condone any form of unwarranted attacks on its officers.
The police boss urged members of the public to stop making false accusations, allegations and judgments against police officers, noting that the unruly behaviour portend some consequences.
While emphasising that the command has never covered up any erring police officer, he said the command is committed to disciplining any officer who exhibits any unprofessional conduct.
He advised the public to jettison unethical behaviours being exhibited by some members of the public and continue to be law-abiding citizens.
Olamide, Tope Alabi, Omah Lay, Mercy Chinwo make Boomplay’s 2021 most streamed artistes
Boomplay, a music streaming service, has released the most streamed artiste and songs from November 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021, in Nigeria.
Nigerian Afropop star, Olamide was announced as the most-streamed male artiste with Omah Lay at the second position followed by Burna Boy.
The top female artiste was Teni, followed by Tope Alabi while Mercy Chinwo was third.
In the most searched artistes category, Bella Shmurda emerged first with Davido and Naira Marley coming second and third respectively.
Joeboy’s Sip (Alcohol) which had one of the most viral challenges in 2021 came third on fast-rising songs to hit one million streams.
Here are other categories;
Most Liked Songs;
Feeling – Ladipoe ft Buju
Lie – Kizz Daniel
Understand – Omah Lay
Fastest rising songs to hit one million streams;
Coming – Naira Marley ft Busiswa
Understand – Omah Lay
Sip (Alcohol) – Joeboy