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Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United

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Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes held meetings with United at Carrington on Tuesday, but his position remains unchanged and he wants to play for a club in the Champions League and win major trophies. United do not want him to go, however, and Ronaldo has started training with the team having missed the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to family reasons.

His potential options elsewhere are limited. Chelsea are not an option anymore, while Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid appeared to publicly rule themselves out this week. “As we’ve seen on Instagram, Ronaldo has been keeping fit, so there are no concerns from Manchester United over his fitness or physical level; he’s one of the fittest players in world football.

“Ultimately, The Portuguese forward did state his desire to leave Old Trafford, but he’s running out of options, and it seems like he’s actually going to have to stay. Perhaps he will try and swing it where the 25 per cent pay cut in his contract will be waived away by United, perhaps he wants to manoeuvre and muscle a new deal, we’ll have to wait and see. But it doesn’t look like Stamford Bridge is on his cards.

“Chelsea have distanced themselves from a deal for Ronaldo, as have Bayern Munich, Napoli and a lot of other elite clubs that Jorge Mendes, who is Ronaldo’s agent, has tried to sell him to. “An offer from Saudi Arabia is astronomical but ultimately, it does not give Cristiano Ronaldo what he wants, which is that legacy. He wants to achieve Champions League records that he thinks no one else will be able to attain in the future.

“He wants to sign off at the absolute highest level. Now, it looks increasingly like he will have to stay at Manchester United because there are no biters from the big clubs.

“Everyone has their forwards already, and Chelsea, who are the only club looking like they could actually potentially be spun by what Cristiano Ronaldo offers off the pitch because we were told that Mendes, while being in front of these clubs, was putting forward his numbers in terms of social media influence, sponsorship that he rakes in, the commercial gain of his shirt sales and stuff like that. But even they now say he is not in their plans. Their immediate aim is to strengthen the defence.

“So, that leaves Ronaldo really with not many choices. We know that he does want to be competing at the highest level so if he does go to Saudi Arabia that cuts against everything he has said and everything we actually know about him and his career.

“Manchester United have always been very calm and very comfortable. They have insisted he is not for sale, and he will see out the last year of his contract. How they manoeuvre this now going forward we’ll see, but Ronaldo is keeping fit, so they have no issues or problems or fears over what state he’ll report back to pre-season in.”

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Tennis: Rainoil rains N13m on 100 players

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Rainoil Limited in partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank on Tuesday announced that no fewer than 100 top ranked players would participate at the 12th edition of the Rainoil Tennis Open 2022.

The Group Managing Director, Gabriel Ogbechie, in a press conference at the Tennis Section of the Ikoyi Club 1938, reiterated the brand’s commitment towards the development of Tennis.

He appealed to the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) to beam its searchlight on young talents that can be groomed into world beaters with international standard.

“I am delighted to announce that this year’s edition will be one to remember, our partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank will make this year’s championships a delight, for both the fans and the spectators.

“We look forward to more partnership going into the future; we’re very passionate about Tennis, we have being supporting it for 12 years if not more.

“Tennis is a sport through which we can encourage our very young players, tennis will not only take our young boys and girls out of poverty, it will catapult them into prosperity.

“My expectations are numerous because of my passion for tennis, but my topmost wish is to have more young talent, the current number one ranked player in the world is barely 19 years-old, his career span will be longer,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the winner of the men’s category will go home with N1.5 million while the runner up will go home with N750,000.

In the women’s category, winner gets one million Naira, while the runner up gets N500,000.

In light of the disparity of the prize money, Ogbechie said that the inadequate number of professional tennis players is a factor to consider.

“Total prize money is about 13 million Naira, the prize money is the highest in the history of tennis in Nigeria; the men’s draw we got 48 players to play while women is 32.

“We would have loved to make a draw of 48 for women too, but it’s a struggle to women who are pros to play, we are seriously looking at leveling up the prize money,’’ Ogbechie said.

NAN reports that the tournament is scheduled to serve-off from Dec. 12 to Dec. 18 at the tennis section of the Ikoyi Club 1938.

Also speaking at the event was the Lady Captain of the tennis section Chizoba Onuoha, she applauded the Rainoil for being consistent, she also commended Stanbic IBTC.

“We at the Ikoyi Club 1938 are elated, every edition of this tournament is always better than the previous edition, I’m confident that this year’s edition won’t be different.

“Like our passionate sponsor said, we need more of this partnership in order to develop the sport,’’ she said.

Also speaking at the event was a representation of the tennis federation, Essien Sunday, he gave a rundown of how the players would be selected.

“For the men, 36 top players, four wildcards, 36 draws, while the women’s category 20 top players, four wildcards, the wildcards will be selected by stakeholders,’’ he said.

Omotola Egbedeyi, Manager Oil and Gas also of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Emmanuel Omuajine, the Executive Director of Rainoil, called on tennis lovers to come out in their numbers to watch.

“Its going to be full of live, come see professionals display their skills in a highly competitive championships,’’ he said (NAN)(www.nannews.com.ng)

 

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Winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship gets listed in The World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR)

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Emmanuel Ojeabulu, winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Open Golf Championship has been listed in the WAGR. The premier golf championship whichwas held from 18 – 20 November at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 was keenly contested by over 190 low handicap players from several golf clubs in the country. Benin based Emmanuel Ojeabulu won the 3-day championship.

Playing three-shots off the pace going into the last 18-holes, Ojeabulu played one of the best golf of his life, maintaining steady pars for a closing 74, 3-over the course par to win the World Amateur Golf Ranking recognized event by two shots.

Ojeabulu started his game with an opening 75, a second day score of 78 and a closing 74 to replace Ilorin based Aminu Kadir, the tournament defending champion on the winners list.

Overnight leader, 20-year-old product of David Mark Golf Academy, George Paul who was tipped to win the tournament collapsed under pressure closing with an unimpressive 79 to lose by two-shots.

In the third position is Muyideen Olaitan, three-time winner of the coveted FirstBank Lagos Open trophy while Iyare Osaze was further down on the winners chart by one-shot, leaving perennial contender, Olajide Owolabi, who shot tournaments best score of 72 on day two of the competition in the fifth position.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, sponsors of the annual Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has pledged its commitment to the continuous sponsorship of the tournament which is one of the longest running gol tournaments in Nigeria.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 61st edition of the tournament in Lagos on Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan who was represented by Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited Mr. Olusegun Alebiosu said “This year made it 61 years of our undiluted commitment to this cause, and we are absolutely delighted with the amazing support and partnership we have enjoyed from Ikoyi Club 1938 thus contributing to building a legacy not only for golf and golfers, but sports in its entirety.

To all the amateur golfers produced at this year’s championship, these champions are an inspiration and testament that you can do the impossible and I look forward to celebrating you as winners in future championships. Remember that in the words of Ben Hogan, “The most important shot in Golf is the next one”, he added.

Satisfied with the turnout of the participants, Golf Captain, Tony Oboh thanked the sponsors for keeping the tournament going, saying FirstBank commitment should be emulated.

“It is not easy to keep a tournament like this going, I therefore congratulate FirstBank for their commitment”, Oboh said.

Since its debut, FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has been the most consistent and premier amateur golf event in West Africa and has produced great champions most of who are competing in the elite professional golf cadre. Last year, the Championship threw up Ilorin based Aminu Kadir who won the landmark edition. It is expected that this year’s edition will produce another great winner.

 

Other FirstBank-sponsored sporting events include the Georgian Cup of Kaduna Polo Tournament, sponsored for 102 years; the Dala Tennis Hard Court in Kano Club for over 30 years; the Obasanjo Pro-Amateur Golf tournament of Abeokuta Club now in its 6th year. The Bank’s influence in the development of sport in Nigeria is under its [email protected] initiative.

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THE 61ST FIRSTBANK LAGOS AMATEUR OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP TEES OFF THIS FRIDAY

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In furtherance of its commitment to the development of sports in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that the 61st edition of the FirstBank sponsored Lagos Amateur Golf Championship has been scheduled to tee-off at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 on Friday 18th, to Sunday 20th of November 2022.

 

To be played over 54-holes (3-days), the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship is a World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) listed competition that attracts the best golfers from the amateur scene, not only in Nigeria but across the world. The emerging winner of the Championship, the Amateur Champion for the year, also earns points that contribute to their WAGR ranking. The 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship is also supported by Seven-Up Bottling Company, One Spirit Company and Palton Morgan Holdings.

 

On behalf of the tournament organisers, Ibukun Obatoyinbo, Director Concierge Sports said “FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has been the premier amateur golf event in West Africa. It is notable that some of the top golf professionals within this environment have been participants & past winners of the Championship. As we mark the 61st edition this year Concierge Sports are committed to the continued promotion & support of the development of the sport in Nigeria. We are confident that a new set of stars will emerge courtesy of FirstBank’s unwavering sponsorship of the Championship. We look forward to an exciting 2022 edition.”

 

Anticipating the thrills of fun and excitement to be witnessed in the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Tournament, Oluwaseyi Otulana, Chief Marketing Officer, Palton Morgan Holdings said “Palton Morgan Holdings is proud to be a partner at the 61st edition of the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship. The game of golf is truly a game of the masters and as the budding masters converge this year at the Ikoyi Club 1938 Golf Course, a long-standing tradition since the Championship’s inception in 1960, we look forward to an exciting tournament as participants journey from far and near to grace this prestigious event.

 

We understand that great things come from humble beginnings which is why we are glad to be a part of this year’s event. Palton Morgan as masters in our own right wishes all the participants the best of luck.”

 

Speaking ahead of the 61st edition, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications highlights FirstBank’s consistent role in driving development through sports: ‘’As an institution that is woven into the fabric of the society for nearly 129 years, FirstBank has been at the forefront of the growth and development of sports in Nigeria for decades. Our constant commitment to sports is a demonstration of our belief that sport remains a major vehicle for social and economic development. From infrastructure development, employment generation to social skills, sport remains a unifying force for socio-cultural interaction and development regardless of language, culture and religion.’’

 

Assuring participants of a memorable tournament, Dr. Anthony Oboh, Golf Captain, Ikoyi club 1938 stated that “It’s our pride and honour to welcome participants to the 61st edition of the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship, the premier amateur golf event in West Africa. 61 years of continued partnership with FirstBank has been phenomennal. It is a partnership we are proud of and we look forward to fostering for many more decades.

 

To participants from across Nigeria and Africa, we invite you to enjoy our facilities. This 2022 edition promises to be more exciting and better than those before it. Go swing, enjoy your golf, and we can’t wait to congratulate the Amateur Champion for the year.”

 

Expressing his appreciation to FirstBank for its unbroken sponsorship through the years, Ademola Mumuney, Chairman, Ikoyi Club 1938 noted that “golfing in Nigeria and particularly Ikoyi Club 1938, cannot be sufficiently described without due recognition of FirstBank’s consistent and unbridled partnership, year over year, for more than six decades. Greatness is well exemplified in this fusion of Golf and FirstBank. I hope other organisations would latch on to this for better enhancement of sports in Nigeria”.

 

Since its debut, FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has been the most consistent and premier amateur golf event in West Africa and has produced great champions most of who are competing in the elite professional golf cadre. Last year, the Championship threw up Ilorin based Aminu Kadir who won the landmark edition. It is expected that this year’s edition will produce another great winner.

 

Other FirstBank-sponsored sporting events include the Georgian Cup of Kaduna Polo Tournament, sponsored for 102 years; the Dala Tennis Hard Court in Kano Club for over 30 years; the Obasanjo Pro-Amateur Golf tournament of Abeokuta Club now in its 6th year. The Bank’s influence in the development of sport in Nigeria is under its [email protected] initiative.

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