Sports

FIFA Agrees to Expand World Cup to 48 Teams

Soccer's governing body, FIFA, voted on Tuesday to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from its current 32, brushing aside concerns that the expansion would lower the overall standard of the tournament and make it too big and unwieldy, Reuters reports.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino, fulfilling a promise he made during last year's election campaign, said the move meant that "more can participate and many more will have a chance to dream".

Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA Best Player Award

Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world's best player at the inaugural Best Fifa Football Awards in Zurich.

Real Madrid and Portugal forward Ronaldo, 31, beat Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann to the prize.

Ronaldo also won the Ballon d'Or in December, with both honours recognition for success in the Champions League with Real and Euro 2016 with Portugal.

Carli Lloyd of the United States was named the world's best female player.

Footballers Risk 67% Memory Loss –Study

Footballers are at a risk of developing memory reduction of up to 67 per cent as a result of heading the football a study by the University of Stirling has shown.

The study showed that brain function and memory of a player is significantly affected for as long as 24 hours after heading the football, according to a report by the BBC.

Researchers said they had identified “small but significant changes in brain function” after players headed the ball 20 times.

Anti-Corruption: Buhari Welcomes FIFA Reforms

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja said his administration would pay keen interest to accountability and transparency to fast-track football development in the country.

The president stated this when he received Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) President, Gianni Infantino, and the Secretary-General, Fatma Samuora, at State House.

Buhari challenged football administrators to fashion out strategic programmes to develop the game.

NFF to Sensitise Clubs, Media on FIFA’s New Football Rules

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said on Monday that it will soon begin to sensitise clubs and other stakeholders to football rules as reviewed by FIFA.

Linus Mba, FIFA Referees Advisor and Consultant to the NFF on Refereeing, told the News Agency of Nigeria, that the sensitisation would commence fully in September.

Mba, however, said the reviewed laws were expected to take effect from June 1.

Nigerian League Signs 5-Year Partnership Deal with Spanish La Liga

The League Management Company (LMC) on Tuesday in Abuja signed a five-year partnership deal with the Spanish Premier League (La Liga) for the development of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Shehu Dikko, LMC Chairman, led its management while La Liga President Javier Tebas, led the Spanish delegation to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Mourinho to Manage at Old Trafford in Charity Game

Jose Mourinho will soon get to test out life in the manager's seat at Manchester United sooner than many expect.

Mourinho and Leicester City's Claudio Ranieri were announced on Wednesday as the managers for Soccer Aid, a match which raises money for Unicef to be played at Old Trafford on June 5.

Former Chelsea boss Mourinho will take charge of the England team while Ranieri will be in charge of the Rest of the World side.

Mourinho has been linked with several jobs since being sacked from a second stint at Chelsea in December.

New FIFA Sponsor Wanda Hopes for Role in World Cup Bidding Process

New FIFA sponsor Wanda hopes signing a partnership deal with the world football governing body can give it influence over where future World Cups will be held, the Chinese firm said on Monday.

``As a partner of FIFA, Wanda will be better placed to play a role in the bidding process to host major football events such as the World Cup, closing the gap on international football and enabling Chinese football to have a say in international football,’’ the Chinese conglomerate said in an online statement.

World Indoor Championships: Nigeria’s Relay Team in Final

Nigeria’s male 4 x 400 metres relay team on Saturday in Portland, U.S. ran a season best to advance to Sunday’s final at the four-day 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian side clocked 3 minutes 7.98 seconds to finish third in heat two of the event.

They had finished behind the U.S. and Jamaica respectively in their three-team heat, with U.S. clocking 3:05.41 and Jamaica clocking 3:07.30.

The championships will end on Sunday night, with the 4 x 400 metres men’s relay event rounding off the competition.

Nigerian Athletes at World Indoor Championships

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has released entries of athletes participating at the World Indoor Championships holding in Portland, Oregon.

The IAAF named 13 Nigerians for the meet to run from March 17 to March 20.

Ogho-Oghene Egwero made the 60m dash, Stephen Mozia in the Shot put, Tosin Oke and Olu Olamigoke are to feature in the Triple Jump.

Orukpe Eraiyokan and Samson Oghenewegba will feature in the 400m.

In the men's 4x400 relay team are Orukpe Eraiyokan, Noah Akwu, Abiola Onakoya and Isah Salihu.

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