He scored in their 1967 European Cup final win over Inter Milan – and in the 1970 showpiece against Feyenoord.The Scottish Premiership side say the Scotland international full-back passed away after a long illness.Gemmell also played for Dundee and Nottingham Forest.
However there was disappointment for the O’Donovan brothers.Gary and Paul finished their men’s lightweight double sculls final in fourth place. Ireland have their first gold medal at the World Rowing Cup in Serbia.Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll have finished in first place in the final of the lightweight men’s pair in Belgrade.Meanwhile Denise Walsh has claimed a silver medal in the lightweight women’s single sculls.
A reminder that there are no Allianz Football or Hurling League games today due to Storm Emma.Tipperary had been due to face Louth in Division 2 of the national football League, while the hurlers were due to face Cork in a double header in Semple Stadium.All the ties have been provisionally rescheduled for next weekend – and the GAA are expected to finalise fixtures on Monday. Meanwhile NTDL and TSDL soccer fixtures have been called off across the county – as have all Ulster Bank Rugby League fixtures.
Organisers of the IAAF bronze label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race have set Sunday May 1 and Wednesday May 4,2016 as deadlines for submission of completed registration forms for the fourth edition of the event scheduled to hold on Saturday May 7, 2016 in Okpekpe, Edo State.Spokesman for the race, Dare Esan, said in a statement at the weekend that international athletes wishing to participate in the race have until May 1 to submit their forms while local athletes must submit their entry papers three days later.“Entry form and other documents must be received by the deadline dates and entries mailed after the dates will not be accepted,” he said. Esan also revealed that screening and accreditation of athletes will begin from Thursday, May 5.“We insist that athletes must complete the authentic application forms with duly certified medical report before confirmation can be given,” he further said, adding that all relevant rules governing the organisation of the race will be obeyed to the letter.“The race has already set an indelible mark as the first to be labeled by the IAAF in Nigeria with the bronze label certification we got last year and which has been renewed for this year.“We are however very ambitious as we want to go a step higher to the silver label category. This desire informed our decision to hire a world-renowned international road race organiser in the person of Walter Abmayr to help with the technical organisation of the race as well as the management of the international elite field,” said Esan who added that the organisers have met with all the conditions for a silver-label grading next year.“What we are just waiting for is for the race proper to hold. We already have an international elite field spread across more than the five countries stipulated by the IAAF for a silver label rating.“The race course is measured to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) standard while full electronic timing will be used to generate the results,” Esan concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaEx-internationals, Mutiu Adepoju and Gbenga Okunowo have described the working relationship between Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and Spanish La Liga as an exercise in the interest of Nigeria.League Management Company (LMC) President, Shehu Dikko, on Tuesday signed a five-year strategic technical agreement with La Liga President, Javier Tesba in Abuja that will pave the way for the tour of Nigeria by some of the Spanish clubs.Adepoju, who featured for Real Madrid nursery team, Castella in 1989 before heading to Racing Santander, Real Sociedad and Salamanca in a 20-year sojourn in Spain, gave a thumb up to the deal, saying that Spanish teams for decades have consistently ranked as the world’s top football brands. “I am very excited by this deal. Let me say it clearly, Spain has the best league in the world. The UEFA Champions League is a case study of two Spanish teams that have consistently berthed the semi-final and final. So what else are we talking about? Nigeria will benefit from this arrangement,” Adepoju submitted.Adepoju, who represented the Super Eagles at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, said beyond his professional stint, he gathered an immeasurable knowledge in Spain where he acquired coaching certificate in addition to knowledge in football administration.“Their philosophy will serve our interest in long time,’’ Adepoju said. “The only thing here is that we have to be patient and do things in right way and not expect immediate results. We should have a long term plan. That is what the Spanish did and you can see the result as they have won the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, FIFA Champions Cup and European Cup. I believe we can do it too because we have the talent in Nigeria.’’Okunowo, who briefly played for Barcelona in year 1999, before he went on loan to Benfica of Portugal, reasoned Nigerians will have no regret entering into the technical agreement with La Liga.The former Housing Corporation of Abeokuta midfielder noted that the promotion of the Spanish genre in the country will present Nigerians an alternative platform to the English Premier League which is more ingrained in the consciousness of the public.“I have been to Spain before and I am sure we won’t regret this partnership. Their culture is similar to ours where respect is reciprocal. We see the future and the Spanish will be happy because Nigerians mainly watch English Premiership but now they can watch Spanish teams when they come for here for pre-season. I don’t think everything should be about the Premiership,’’ Okunowo submitted.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
However Jos club, Plateau United and MFM FC have re-written that script. Two teams battling for survival last season have switched things and it is safe to call it the ‘season of the underdogs.’TITLE RACEIt now seems like yesterday when Rangers International were crowned champions of the NPFL at their Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium home ground in front of their faithful amid a sea of red and white on 2 October, 2016.Eleven months after the Rangers story of winning a first league title in 32 years, a different narrative unfolded with two teams Plateau United and MFM FC, who have never won the trophy, going into the final day neck and neck. One point separates table-topping Plateau United on 63 points and second-placed MFM. So the NPFL will witness a 19th champion this Saturday no matter where the pendulum swings.As the season wore on, things remained the same at the top. After every match day, Plateau United kept remaining at the top of the standings except on only four occasions when MFM wrested top spot from them on Match-days 1, 14, 16 and 18. After every match-day, the top looked the same.Kennedy Boboye’s Plateau United went on a seven-game unbeaten run at the outset of this season until Akwa United ended that run on Match-day 8 with a 2-1 win after goals from Christian Pyagbara and Ibrahim Alhassan before Chima Ndukwu came off the bench to half the deficit.It was expected that Boboye’s men would lose momentum like previous teams Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors he has managed did in past seasons.Instead Plateau United have looked so assured in top spot like a well worn-slippers that fits them. But they face outgoing champions Rangers who they have only managed just one win against in their last five NPFL meetings on the final day. Add to that, Boboye’s team have failed to win in their last three league matches – a 1-1 draw at home to Rivers United and two losses on the road to ABS FC and Wikki Tourists.Plateau United captain Elisha Golbe believes they are focused, and unfazed by the numbers. He told npfl.ng: “We are battle ready, we are looking forward to lifting the league title. The game against Rangers is like a cup final for us and we are taking it very seriously. We have not come this far to miss out on the trophy.”On the other hand, MFM has largely depended on home form to stay in the race. Eighteen of their 17 victories (51 per cent, being the highest this season) have been at their Agege Stadium ground. Heavy defeats at FC Ifeanyiubah, Nasarawa United and Niger Tornadoes have not helped their goals difference. On this basis, some pundits are already handing the title to Plateau United considering MFM’s final day opponents are El-Kanemi who are undefeated in their last 31 home matches since a 3-1 defeat to Akwa United in March last year.BIG BOYS FALTER INTO CONTINENTAL TUSSLEWith MFM and Plateau United already assured of CAF Champions League spots, two of the big hitters are now left scrambling for what looks like crumbs from the table – a place in the less-fancied CAF Confederation Cup. Rangers, Rivers United and Kano Pillars initially tipped to finish in the top-three have found the going tough while the fight for third place is now between Akwa United and Enyimba with the former having their tails between their legs going into the final day.The Peoples Elephant are favourites to land the final place in the top-three ahead of Akwa United as they have a point superior over Abdu Maikaba’s team. Nevertheless they have to prove that when they face relegation-threatened Katsina United at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar where they have won their last 13 home games. The Promise Keepers will only hope Katsina United do them a favour while they aim to pull off a win over Kano Pillars as the race for third place is out of their hands to determine.THE BOTTOM-FOURRemo Stars and Gombe United do not have their fate in their hands any longer as they have been relegated. Two spots are now left to be confirmed to complete the quartet that will drop to the second tier at the end of this campaign.Mathematically, 13 clubs – from sixth to 18th position on the league table – could end up being relegated. In 18th-place ABS FC have 50 points and Lobi in sixth have 53 but it will take the Ilorin club a huge Cricket-like scoreline to usurp Lobi depending on results elsewhere as they play on the road.For ABS, Wikki Tourists and Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), it looks like a touch-and-go situation as a slip-up by any of them in their games on the road at Nasarawa United, Gombe United and Niger Tornadoes could mean the tolling of a bell. However, Abia Warriors, Tornadoes, Sunshine Stars, Katsina United, Rivers United, El-Kanemi, Rangers, FC Ifeanyiubah and Nasarawa United complete the roll call of the 13 still in the battle for survival.INDIVIDUAL BATTLESLobi Stars, still statistically in the race for survival will look up to their leading scorer Anthony Okpotu to help them in the final day game at FC Ifeanyiubah. Okpotu will also look to finish top scorer in the league this term. He needs just a goal to do so, and at the same time reach 70 goals in the NPFL especially with MFM’s Stephen Odey on same 18 goals with him now in Switzerland to tie up a deal with a club.The battle for the gloves is already done and dusted with Nasarawa United goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso on 15 clean sheets, two more than Mustapha Aliko of Tornadoes and Akwa United’s Olorunleke Ojo. Aliko and Ojo can only finish with 14 clean sheets apiece if their teams do not concede on Saturday.After 237 calendar days (as at 7 September) of 370 league matches that produced 741 goals averaging two goals per game, the NPFL meanders into one last matchday this term with a new champion waiting to be crowned.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram George AkpayenThe most competitive championship in the world, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), comes to a final stop this Saturday after nine months of incredible moments trimming down the race for the title to just two teams; Plateau United and MFM FC.All season, and even before the start of the campaign, there has been a constant spin by pundits on how the title race will shape up and who will finish in the top-three or survive the drop. Now all that will come to a halt like train on a steam engine whistling to a stop. The talk centered on the big guns Rangers International and Enyimba who have won the title seven times apiece as well as Rivers United that recruited some of the best talents in the country plus a pre-season in Spain.
Gov. Ugwuanyi while inaugurating the panel, stated the measure was in keeping with his earlier resolve to â€œensure the total revitalization and repositioning of the Club for future challenges especially, in the light of the internal strife and the mismanagement of the Clubâ€.The governor regretted that the ugly development had continued despite his administrationâ€™s best efforts and interventions, saying that it almost resulted in the Clubâ€™s relegation from the Nigerian Premier League during the just concluded 2016/2017 season.According to the governor, the panelâ€™s terms of reference are to â€œinvestigate and identify all the factors responsible for the continuing crisis in Rangers FC and recommend appropriate measures to curb them; articulate a road map for Rangers FC; determine and recommend appropriate amendments to the Rangers Management Corporation Law that would align it with the road map and specifically enthrone robust governance structure with clear reporting lines in keeping with international best practices and transparent accountability frameworkâ€.Other terms include to â€œinvestigate any other relevant matter(s) that may come to the knowledge of the panel in the course of the inquiry, not covered under paragraphs (1) â€“ (3) above and generally, in the light of its findings, make recommendations which the panel may consider appropriate for the total and sustainable revitalization of Rangers FCâ€.The governor appreciated the Chairman and members of the panel for accepting to lend their services to the state and to the teeming fans and supporters of the Club and expressed confidence that they will deploy their wealth of experience, knowledge and competencies in the discharge of their duties effectively and satisfactorily.Responding on behalf of other members of the panel, the chairman, Prof. Agu thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve the state in that capacity, noting that Rangers FC means more than a football team to the Igbo people.He assured the governor that they will deliver on their assignment in record time to ensure that the club receives the practical surgery it needs to bounce back to winning ways.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Following the recent dissolution of the Board and Management of the Rangers Management Corporation, among other decisions, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday inaugurated a 10-man Administrative Panel of Inquiry on Rangers International Football Club, â€œto carry out a diagnostic investigation of the problems of the Clubâ€.The panel which comprises state chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association and Nigerian Medical Association (NBA); Auditor General of Enugu State; representative of Nigerian Football Association; Chairmen of Enugu State Sports Writers Association and Rangers Supporters Club, Stateâ€™s Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, among others, has Prof. Agu Gab Agu and Mr. Kennis Ngene as Chairman and Secretary respectively. By Christopher IsiguzoÂ in Enugu