Donald Trump is known for mocking his political rivals, and the eve of the Democratic Party’s Iowa caucuses gave him fresh ammunition.”I have little nicknames for all of them,” the US president told pro-Trump Fox News host Sean Hannity, the night before Democrats vote for their nominee in the Midwestern state, to officially start the presidential election season.Senator Bernie Sanders holds a narrow lead among the Democratic contenders. She is “not true to it,” Trump said, before returning to “crazy Bernie” — a moniker Trump has regularly used for Sanders.The Democrats are “now sort of rigging the election against him,” the president said.Joe Biden, over whom Sanders holds a narrow lead, makes Trump “think of sleepy.””I just watch him. He’s sleepy. Sleepy Joe,” said Trump, repeating a sobriquet he has previously used for Barack Obama’s former vice president.As for former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, he is “very little.””You know, now he wants a box for the debates to stand on,” Trump said of his fellow New York billionaire.”There’s nothing wrong. You can be short… He wants a box for the debates. Why should he be entitled to that?”Bloomberg’s team fired back at Trump’s comments.”The president is lying,” said campaign spokeswoman Julie Wood in a statement. “He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan.”Topics : “I think he’s a communist,” said Trump, for whom name calling and character smearing are an integral part of his campaign for re-election in November this year.Trump added: “I think of Bernie sort of as a socialist but far beyond a socialist.”Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist.”At least he’s true to what he believes,” Trump said, in contrast to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sanders’ fellow progressive in the race.
Nigerian players and officials to the 2018 World Cup may have packed their bag and baggage out of Russia after Super Eagles losst to Argentina in the final Group D game but the memory still lingers in the minds of soccer loving Nigerians and the last may not have been heard of what transpired in Russia. Heads will definitely roll and for some players, it may be the last time they willÂ put on the green and white shirt of the national team. With accusing fingers being pointed at the teamâ€™s striker, Odion Ighalo, the big question is whether the Watford of England striker would end up being the sacrificial lamb. Kunle Adewale in St. Petersburg, reportsBefore the kickoff of the World Cup in Russia, Odion Ighalo was full of optimism, hoping that he would be injury-free and do well for Nigeria.In a chat with THISDAY before the Mundial, the former Watford of England striker said: â€œWith the support of my teammates I am optimistic that the team would go far considering the kind of preparation we have put in. We know what is at stake and we wonâ€™t disappoint, thatâ€™s just all I can say.Â We are aware that we are in a tough group but we know what we must do to advance without pressure.â€However, it was not to be as the Super Eagles failed to progress to the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup – the third time in Nigeriaâ€™s sixth appearance at the biggest soccer fiesta.Like in every unsuccessful mission, the question about where things went wrong would always be asked and â€˜Mission to Russiaâ€™ was no exception.After X-raying the teamâ€™s failure, Ighalo was found to be the most culpable, more especially after failing to convert any of the begging chances that came his way especially in the match against Argentina in which the Super Eagles needed only a draw to progress.The Yatai Changchun striker indeed admitted to having let the country down and was quick to tender his unreserved apology, saying: “I apologise to Nigeria. I apologise to my team-mates. I take responsibility for this game because if he had taken those chances I had that would have made it a different ball game.â€œItâ€™s a sad day for me, the boys and the country because we went out in a bad manner and we deserved more in the game. We had a penalty in the game and another one which the referee did not give. I missed a couple of chances that would have finished the game but thatâ€™s football because sometimes you win and sometimes to lose.â€What started as mere accusing fingers being pointed at him quickly turned to a death threat.The striker has received death threats following the opportunities he missed against Argentina in St. Petersburg before Marcos Rojo’s late strike ended the Gernot Rohrs’ side Russia campaign.The 29-year-old wrote: “For those who want to kill me, please – I am someone’s child. We did our best, but sometimes things don’t always go the way you want – but life has to go on.â€œGreat experience to be at the World Cup, and I enjoyed every moment of it.”Remorseful Ighalo further said: â€œI understand how Nigerians feel, and I understand the frustration when you donâ€™t come out of the field with the right result. Itâ€™s normal for people to criticise the coach and the players. We were building and rebuilding our team, and we had no faith in the team before he came. We lost to a team with Messi and other top players and we have learned from our mistakes.â€â€œIghalo wanted to score goals and make his name. Top players have also missed great chances in the tournament and we should not crucify him. Some of Ighaloâ€™s goals and assists contributed to our World Cup qualification. We cannot because of one competition ask him to leave the national,â€ Super Eagles Coordinator, Patrick Pascal said.Speaking in the same vein, former Nigeria international and Super Eagles media officer, Idah Peterside, said football is a teamâ€™s game and that it should not be fair to single out one person when the team fails.â€œIt takes collective responsibility for a team to win, so why one or two players should be singled out for blame when the team fails. The whole team took the glory when Nigeria defeated Iceland, not only the goal scorer (Ahmed Musa). Why is it now that we lost to Argentina that a player is being singled out for blame?â€œIt is true we were all optimistic after Icelandâ€™s victory and looking at it critically we didnâ€™t play too badly, except for few errors which we paid dearly for. All we needed do now is looking forward to how to improve on the present squad and start preparation in earnest for the coming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, rather than wasting time and energy on the blame game,â€ the former goalkeeper cum pastor concluded.In a separate interview before the World Cup, Ighalo was said to have warned his teammates not to be carried away by the teamâ€™s smooth sail during the qualifiers and the recent 4-2 victory recorded against South American giant-Argentina, as such successes could have an adverse effect on the team in the competition proper.â€œNaturally, such feat should be a morale booster to the team with the World Cup just a few months away but it could also have a ripple effect as the team might get carried away by such achievements at the competition proper. We should just put behind those little successes and focus properly on what is coming ahead of us if we really want to do well in Russia,â€ Ighalo told THISDAY.The striker indeed admitted that the recent victories recorded by the team had taken away the â€˜underdogâ€™ tag Nigeria would have enjoyed at the World Cup. â€œNow, we are the team to beat. We are now like the proverbial golden fish with no hiding place,â€ he noted then. Ighaloâ€™s position in the Super Eagles was initially threatened when Rohr was quoted as saying that â€œonly three China-based Nigerian players would make it to the World Cup (which he later denied) after shutting out Ighalo and other China-based players in the two friendlies against Senegal and Burkina Faso.â€œItâ€™s very difficult to monitor the players in China. Also, I was satisfied with the performances of the young players I have been working with for the past two weeks in France and that was why we decided to keep this group,â€ Rohr said.A further threat to Ighaloâ€™s position to the Mundial after the German-born manager expressed his disdain over the lack of decisive strikers in the Super Eagles fold during the teamâ€™s double-edge friendlies against Poland and Serbia, culminating to the extension of an invitation to â€˜old warhorseâ€™, Obafemi Martins.The Franco-German tactician expressed his willingness to increase his striking options as the team continues to build up for the World Cup, maintaining that Martins and other Nigerian strikers who are hoping to be part of the World Cup party would have to be playing and scoring consistently to earn a call-up and Martins, who plays for Shanghai Shenhua fits into that category, having helped his club to win the Chinese FA Cup last November, beating rival Shanghai SIPG, with the 33-year-old scoring in both matches of the two-legged final.He scored the only goal in his team’s 1-0 first leg victory and also got their second goal in the return leg which finished 3-2 in favour of SIPG.â€œYes, the door is open to all our best players, including Martins.He is scoring a lot of goals and we need to get competition for all the positions, especially centre-forward.Â We have a lot of opportunities for the strikers, and so Martins, if he is scoring goals, will be welcome,â€ Rohr had said.However, just when many were thinking that Obagol might be part of Super Eagles party to Russia as all directions were turning towards him to help solve the teamâ€™s inability to hit the target, the injury came knocking.There is no doubt that heads would role at the end of the World Cup as some officials and players, if not coaches would be made the sacrificial lamb.The big question on the lips of observers therefore is, have we seen the last of Ighalo in the Super Eagles shirt in Russia.Ighalo was born on June 16, 1989. He started his career at Prime FC and later moved to Julius Berger and in 2007, he moved to Lyn in Norway. A year after was signed by Udineze of Italy but was loaned out to Granada in Spain, before signing for Watford in 2014.Last year, he moved to Changchun Yatai in China for a fee of Â£20m.In March 2015, after a series of strong performances for Watford, the then newly appointed Super Eagles interim coach, Daniel Amokachi invited Ighalo to the senior national, and he said then, “I feel good because it is my dream to play for my country.”With death threat hanging on his neck, it remains to be seen if he still feels good playing for his country.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Published on January 28, 2019 at 10:54 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrew Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ During Syracuse’s match against No. 9 Michigan last Saturday at a tournament in Oxford, MS, Dina Hegab was in a familiar position. She dropped the first set and recovered to win the second. With Syracuse leading the Wolverines by one point, Hegab needed to win her third set to clinch the match.In commanding form, Hegab defeated Alyvia Jones, a sophomore, 6-0 in the third set, earning the Orange’s final point in its 4-2 win over the Wolverines.For Hegab, it was her second consecutive clincher. The next day, against Purdue, the senior added a third. During her four years at Syracuse, the Egypt-native has rotated between the fourth and sixth singles. This season, with the addition of transfer Guzal Yusupova, fifth singles has been Hegab’s home. In her matches, Hegab has leveraged her experience to overpower younger opponents, who usually don’t play upperclassmen at fifth singles. Hegab is undefeated this season, and two of her four singles wins have come against freshmen or sophomores. She’s exploited weaknesses along the way, a large part of why the Orange (4-0) remain undefeated.“Her game has evolved,” associate head coach Shelley George said. “She’s become a leader.”During her first match at Syracuse in 2016, Hegab earned the clinching point against No. 58 Columbia. From the sixth singles slot, she defeated freshman Sarah Hu in straight sets in SU’s 4-3 win.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring the next three years, Hegab bounced around different spots in the lineup. Up to fourth singles for a match, then back to sixth. She wasn’t in the lineup for last year’s season-opening win against Niagara. Head coach Younes Limam used a different combination for the first five matches in 2018, and, initially, Hegab wasn’t considered a starter. But five days later, she was back in the fifth slot and didn’t lose a game in her singles match against Colgate.As a senior, she’s usually playing against underclassmen because of Syracuse’s depth. Senior Gabriela Knutson has consistently held a top-3 lineup spot since her freshman year, as has Miranda Ramirez. Senior Masha Tritou was once a No. 3 singles player, ahead of Hegab, but has yet to play this season. Hegab has familiarized herself with her role, eventually using seniority to her advantage.In doubles, Hegab said freshmen are nervous at the start of matches. That’s fueled her strategy in the early season. She starts matches with aggression, like using a hard second serve to earn a point against Brown on Jan. 19. Brown’s third duo — comprised of a senior and freshman — fired returns into the net. Overpower opponents with aggressiveness, Hegab said, and they won’t catch up.Yusupova, Hegab’s doubles partner, focuses on powerful shots from behind the baseline. The two suffered their first doubles loss of the spring season last Sunday against Purdue, but before that, they won their first two matches 6-1 and 6-4. Against Columbia, they faced two freshman. Against Brown, one.“She already went through college tennis,” Hegab said of Yusupova. “It’s not like I’m playing with a freshman that I need to get to know and get to introduce her to college tennis.”Hegab’s own experience has benefited her this season. In singles, Hegab outlasts her opponents. Two of her four wins this spring are come-from-behind victories. Three of her matches have gone to three sets. George said that when Hegab’s out fighting, she knows Syracuse is in a good spot.Against Columbia on Jan. 19, Hegab led 5-3 against Andrea Kevakian in fifth singles with a chance to hold serve for the win. At deuce, play was stopped during Kevakian’s return as a ball from Libi Mesh’s practice game rolled onto the court. Kevakian shouted “Really?” and pumped her racket. But Hegab remained collected. She bounced the ball six times, leaned back, and served. After a four-hit rally, Hegab sent a forehand winner down the line to clinch the match.At Drumlins Country Club, Hegab usually competes on Court 1, away from Knutson and Ramirez, who attract the most attention. Numbers and pairings don’t matter to her, Hegab said. If she wins her match, regardless of what spot she’s in, her job is complete: move Syracuse one step closer to that fourth point.
Asante Kotoko Striker Kofi Nti Boakye says their triumph in the Super Cup will boost the team’s confidence ahead of the upcoming football season.Asante Kotoko beat New Edubiase 2-0 to lift the Ghana Super Cup at the Accra Sports stadium on Saturday.Striker Kofi Nti Boakye scored twice, one in each half with individual efforts that capped a good game for the man of the match. The former Liberty Professionals attacker is delighted at his team’s first trophy of the season. “I’m very excited I scored three goals to hand my team the trophy”. He told JOY Sports“This season will be better than last season because we have the materials to compete keenly in the league and in Africa”.“We hope to build on this performance to the premier league and our participation in the CAF Champions league”. Champions Asante Kotoko will begin their title defense at home to newly promoted side Amidaus professionals on October 7.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error After the Warriors blitzed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Finals in five games and Durant was named the series MVP, the rest of the NBA realized that being great was no longer good enough.Now the only way to contend is by selling out and loading up on superstars. So now Gordon Hayward, drafted by a Utah team that in seven years he led out of the lottery and into the Western Conference semifinals, might forgo building with the team that is prepared to give him everything to play in Boston, a team more ready to contend.It’s a head-scratching time. The Collective Bargaining Agreement has proven to be as good of a friend to small-market teams as the Declaration of Independence was to the crown. The pact between the league and its players was designed to encourage players to stay put.It was designed for Paul George to want to stay in Indiana, but with a year left on his contract he has leveraged his way into a certain trade out of the Hoosier State, and could land in Boston or Cleveland, teams that won 51 and 53 games last season, met in the Eastern Conference finals and still realize they are at least one superstar away from challenging the Warriors.It was designed to keep Gordon Hayward in Salt Lake City. The Jazz can offer Hayward more than $44 million and one more year than anyone else.But if the fifth contract year and all that money wasn’t enough for Chris Paul, who as the president of the player’s association helped negotiate the charter known as the CBA, who’s to say it would be for anyone else?Paul’s now-former head coach, Doc Rivers, said in a local radio interview on Thursday that he doesn’t believe it’s the money that motivates free agents, that being able to win championships fast dictates player movement. The coming days will be an important test of that theory.If a majority of players are genuinely more interested in where they’re playing and who they’re playing with, then the system is broken. Dangling a few million dollars as an incentive to remain in place could prove to be irrelevant.If Boston, Cleveland and Houston are indeed successful in forming their own super teams, the rest of the NBA is forced out of the arms race. The divide between the haves and have-nots widens. More teams choose to bottom out in perdition like the Philadelphia 76ers.While star players have never been able to earn more in free agency, the value of a single superstar has never been less. That’s why Chicago dealt Jimmy Butler on draft night, and why players like Kristaps Porzingis, George and even DeAndre Jordan have all found themselves in trade talks.The NBA is on the cusp of monumental change.By Saturday morning, when the fiery orb emerges from the belly of the Atlantic and coffeehouses across the nation open their doors, the Boston Celtics could be more imposing than Cleveland and Houston best positioned to challenge the Warriors. Or, just maybe, the little guy will win. Perhaps Hayward will make like Stockton and Malone and vow to never leave Salt Lake, Blake Griffin will re-up with the Clippers, and the NBA will be able to raise those last shreds of parity to the top of its flagpole for one more season. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersYet, the summer of 2017 marks an especially hectic time in league history. Teams are clearing room for superstars to join other superstars to match the juggernaut and, seemingly, unstoppable Golden State Warriors.Boston, a team that came within three wins of reaching the NBA Finals not only won the draft lottery, but will enter the offseason with plans to add two more All-Stars. One, All-NBA point guard Chris Paul, has already said sayonara to his employer and teamed up with the runner-up in Most Valuable Player voting.Suddenly, the offseason feels like picking sides during a pick-up game at All-Star weekend.The league’s inability to smooth out a dramatic spike in the salary cap last season following its new TV deal gave Golden State the unexpected flexibility to sign Kevin Durant. Add the four-time scoring champion to a core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green that had already won a championship – and was already positioned to contend for more – and you create a monster.How is the rest of the league supposed to keep up? The only way to beat a team with potentially four future Hall of Famers is with an All-Star lineup of your own. Just after 9 p.m. on Friday, shortly after the Pacific Ocean swallows the sun and East Coasters seek companionship in the late innings of West Coast baseball, the cellphones of NBA executives, agents and players will begin to buzz. Twitter will crash.It is in those quiet hours between the last beer on Friday night and the first mug of java on Saturday morning, when most Americans finally put work behind them and get to sleep in, that the NBA’s offseason machine groans into motion, that the league is most alive. Players either find new homes or at least lay the ground work to earning their next millions. “It’s an exciting time, it’s a frustrating time. Every offseason is significant. Contenders are born with the decisions made and the money spent in the first minutes after the calendar at the league’s New York headquarters turns to July.