Behind World Cup: speculation or conspiracy?

Sergio Romero of ArgentinaSource:Getty Images

THE wife of an ‘injured’ Argentina star has dropped a huge bombshell, claiming that he is fit for the World Cup and that the FA lied because ‘many people want him out.’

‘ARGENTINE FA LIED’: STAR’S WIFE

Argentina keeper Sergio Romero had been ruled out of the World Cup following a knee injury, but according to his wife, he’ll be fit for the tournament.

Eliana Guercio says Romero’s knee injury is not serious and that the South American nation’s football association lied about his condition adding that ‘there are many people that want him out.’

Speaking on the Los Angeles De La Manana TV show, Guercio said: “There’s nothing broken. It’s a piece of loose cartilage.

“The doctors told him he was OK for the World Cup.

“The recovery [from the injury] is two to three weeks maximum.

“But with how my husband is and the effort he puts in he could be ready for the first game.

“There are many people that want him out.

Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero
Argentina’s goalkeeper Sergio RomeroSource:AFP

“They said it was broken to justify it. I’m tired of the lies.

“I don’t know if those that speak are inept, uninformed, cowardly or have personal interest, which in all cases would be the worst reasons.”

Manchester United player Romero was thought to be first choice for Argentina in Russia having been selected alongside Willy Caballero and Franco Armani.

NIGERIA JERSEY PRE-SALE INSANITY

Nike has reportedly received over three million orders for Nigeria’s World Cup jersey despite the fact it doesn’t go on sale until later this week!

The shirt has been widely hailed and features a bright green and white colour scheme with a unique zig zag pattern –meant to pay homage to the strip the nation wore at the 1994 World Cup in USA.

It doesn’t go on sale for another six but demand is already out of control.

BRAZIL INJURY WORRY

Brazil’s team doctor says Douglas Costa has a minor thigh injury but will recover in time for the World Cup in Russia. Brazilian football confederation doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Wednesday that Costa picked up the injury during Juventus’ 2-1 win against Verona last weekend. Lasmar said Costa is not expected to start training on the pitch with his teammates until the end of the week at the national’s team camp in Teresopolis, outside Rio de Janeiro.

Lasmar added that it’s still unclear whether Costa will play in Brazil’s pre- World Cup friendlies against Croatia on June 3 and against Austria one week later. But he said the striker will remain a part of the World Cup squad.

-AP

Mathew Leckie of Australia and Douglas Costa of Brazil contest for the ball
Mathew Leckie of Australia and Douglas Costa of Brazil contest for the ballSource:AAP

‘A BIG MISTAKE’: DESCHAMPS SLAMS RABIOT

France boss Didier Deschamps has slammed Adrien Rabiot after the midfielder ruled himself out of World Cup duty.

The midfielder was reportedly fuming after he was left out of the 23-man squad to head to Russia. He was named on the stand-by list but has insisted that he would not take his place should he be called upon to cover an injury.

Rabiot’s decision has been slammed by France boss Dider Deschamps who said the 23-year-old would come to regret the decision.

“I was obviously surprised. I can understand his immense disappointment but I’m convinced he made a huge mistake.

“Hopefully it will help him grow up and think. When you play at the highest level, you can let your emotions take over. I’m surprised because he is a young player with only a few caps.”

France's midfielder Adrien Rabiot
France’s midfielder Adrien RabiotSource:AFP

Originally published as ‘Tired of the lies’: Wife’s astonishing World Cup conspiracy

You may want to know these FAKE universities in Nigeria…

THE National Universities Commission, NUC, has said a total of 58 fake universities were carrying out illegal operations at the moment in Nigeria.

The commission also disclosed that it was investigating eight other universities for running illegal degree programs.

Library of one the universities

To this end, it has warned people seeking admission into universities against patronizing any of the institutions, saying doing such action would be at their risks as certificates obtained from them will not give them opportunity to serve in the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC or employment in the country.

The commission which disclosed this in its weekly news bulletin, obtained Thursday in Abuja,explained that the affected universities have since been closed down for going against the national minimum standard for education.

The NUC, in the bulletin which dated back to May 14,2018, added that the universities were yet to be licensed by the federal government.

The affected universities, according to the commission are:

Morgan Freeman Accused of Sexual Harassment

No fewer than eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior and harassment while working with them on film sets or at promotional events.

CNN reported on Thursday that it spoke with 16 people as part of its investigation into the 80-year-old actor, some of whom also alleged inappropriate behavior by Freeman at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.

CNN said eight people told the network they were victims of what some labeled harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman. It said eight others told the network they witnessed the actor’s alleged misconduct.

CNN also said other sources denied having seen any questionable behavior by the actor, and that those sources described him as being professional on set and in the office.

In a statement, Freeman said he was sorry to anyone who had been made to feel uncomfortable or disrespected.

“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” It said.

“I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected – that was never my intent.”

Freeman, whose career has spanned 50 years and more than 100 movies, won a Oscar in 2005 as best supporting actor for his role as a former boxer in “Million Dollar Baby.”

The Presidency says Nigeria’s economy is on the right track

ABUJA—THE Presidency said, Thursday, that the nation’s economy was on the right track with steady growth under the present administration.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said though the opposition elements might not see the positive growth in the economy, the report of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, was the evidence that the economy was in safe hands under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

He said:  “Some people have made it a pastime to talk as if there is no silver lining in the sky as far as the Nigerian economy is concerned. They carry on as if it is doom and gloom all the way, a thoroughfare of woes. This they do, to hoodwink the public and, peradventure, gain political advantage for themselves or their principals.

Adesina
Adesina

“But facts are stubborn things. Those arrayed against facts may abhor and deride them, but there they are, staring them starkly in the face. Here are some current facts about the Nigerian economy, which naysayers may not be able to do anything about:

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the economy has recovered from the slow-down and eventual recession, which started in 2014. There has been improvement with stronger growth for three successive quarters. From contracting by 0.91 per cent in Q1 2017, the economy has grown by 0.72 per cent in Q2 2017, to 1.17 per cent in Q3 2017, and 2.11 per cent in Q4 2017.

“The Q1 2018 GDP shows that the economy has recorded a GDP growth of 1.95 per cent, compared to a contraction of 0.91 per cent in Q1 2017.

“The growth is driven by agriculture and industry, which shows that finally, after more than 50 years of lip service, the Nigerian economy is on the road to diversification. The oil sector’s contribution to GDP is 9.61 per cent, while non-oil sector’s share is 90.39 per cent.

“One of the factors responsible for the positive performance of the economy in Q1 2018 was the spending of about N1.5 trillion on infrastructure projects in 2017.

“For the past 15 months, inflation has declined consistently from 18.72 per cent to 12.48 per cent. The country is steadily on the road to single digit inflation rate.

“The first quarter of 2018 saw a continuous growth in total capital importation into the country, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase since Q2 2017. The total value of capital imported is  $6,303.63  million, a 17.11 per cent growth over the figure reported in the previous quarter.

“Foreign reserves stand at  $47.79  billion, compared to  $29.6billion inherited in May 2015, after about six years boom in oil prices in the international market. The increase came at a time of modest oil prices, showing transparency and accountability by government.”

“Nigeria’s Stock Market ended 2017 as one of the best-performing in the world, with returns of about 40 percent.

“Tax revenue increased to N1.17 trillion, in Q1 2018, a 51% increase on the Q1 2017 figure.

“Milled rice production has increased from 2.5MT to 4MT, and rice imports have dropped from 580,000MT in 2015 to 58,000MT in 2016. Millions of dollars have been saved.” he said

According to him, those   are just little among the good things happening to the Nigerian economy.

He said that only the willfully blind would not see it, noting that would not stop the good work.

On exiting recession last year, he said President Muhammadu Buhari had said he would not consider the job done, until the ordinary man feels the impact of the rebounding economy on his life and pocket.

“We are inexorably on that road, no matter what scoffers may say.” he stated.

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What did Maradona speak on Super Eagles?

Argentina legend, Diego Maradona has said that his country may not beat the Super Eagles and the other teams in Group D of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Maradona once again criticized national team boss, Jorge Sampaoli.

The legendary footballer said this in an interview with Abu Dhabi Sport on Wednesday.

He criticised Sampaoli’s tactics and acknowledged that the Super Eagles, Iceland and Croatia will not be easy opponents.

He said, ”I have many doubts, many doubts. Hopefully it goes well already in the first round. It’s Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia, and it’s not easy, it’s not easy.

”With a team that has no experience, that has no leader, that has no game plan … It seems to me that we are risking a lot of prestige, that we win, and that we are throwing it away.

”I got news from Argentina that he wants to play 2-3-3-2. It’s ridiculous, it was played in 1930.”

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will face Argentina in their final Group D fixture at Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018.

Nigeria Super Eagles Face Familiar Foe!

Getting past the group stage is the minimum target for Nigeria but they will also have to get the better of tough European pair Croatia and Iceland.

BENGALURU – Nigeria are the only African team returning to the World Cup finals after playing in Brazil four years ago and must get past a familiar foe if they want to reach the second round again.

Nigeria have been paired with Argentina for the fifth time in six World Cup appearances, having finished second to Lionel Messi and his team in their group at the 2014 finals and advancing to the last 16, where they lost to France.

Getting past the group stage is the minimum target for Nigeria but they will also have to get the better of tough European pair Croatia and Iceland if they are to advance.

The Super Eagles are not short on confidence going into the tournament after defeating Argentina 4-2 in a friendly in Krasnodar last November and beating Poland away in March.

They also had to come through a World Cup qualifying group that included Algeria, who also got to the last 16 in Brazil, Zambia, and reigning African champions Cameroon.

“We have some exceptional players. We’ve found the right cocktail, the good mix between youth and experience,” said coach Gernot Rohr after Nigeria finished five points clear at the top of their qualifying group.

The German coach, whose quiet demeanour belies a steely approach, has successfully brought order and routine to a previously chaotic set-up. He has also elevated emerging talent quickly into key roles in the team.

“We decided to integrate a lot of young people; players like Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and others who were already at big clubs,” he said. “With these new players and some old ones, we built a team that is solid.”

As part of a smoother, stronger administrative set-up this time around, Nigeria have implemented an extensive World Cup warm-up schedule, which includes a match against England at Wembley on 2 June.

They have also attempted to head off the distractions that have hampered previous campaigns, notably arguments over money.

But the team always carry an unrealistic burden of expectation when they go to the World Cup, with the vast majority of Nigeria’s population of 186 million demanding some measure of success.

Nigeria have advanced past the first round three times but never reached the last eight –- which remains the benchmark of African achievement at the World Cup.