LMC Chairman Says NPFL All-Stars Can Spring Surprises

first_imgFred EdorehNotwithstanding the high pedigree of the LaLiga in world club football, Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, has sounded a warning to the Spanish teams lined up to engage the selected side of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) not to think it is going to be a stroll in the park against the All Stars from Nigeria.Dikko gave the warning while speaking to the Spanish press on Monday night immediately on arrival in the city of Valencia where the NPFL All Stars will take on Valencia CF in their opening game of the friendly tour.“The first assumption for football followers would be that it will be an easy run for the LaLiga clubs over the NPFL All Stars, given the high standard and pedigree of the Spanish league in comparison to growing Nigeria Professional Football League but they would be mistaken. This is football and I believe there can be surprises,” Dikko said.His optimism draws from the quality of players brought together into the NPFL All Stars many of who he opines are up to the challenge. “The NPFL All Stars has talented and experienced players. Many of them have played for Nigeria national teams at different levels, with different numbers of caps in the senior national team. Others have had experience in international and continental competitions. They are very confident players who will not be intimidated the rating of their opponents,” he explained.The NPFL All Stars departed Lagos on Monday morning and arrived Valencia by train from Madrid where they landed in the evening after a three hours stop in Casablanca, Morocco.Dikko however pointed out that the real value of the NPFL All-Stars LaLiga tour is not about the possible results of the matches but “the exposure it gives to the players, the opportunity to learn from a different environment with high quality players and high standard of organisation.”Captained by Enyimba FC of Aba top player, Chima Akas, the team parades some of the best legs in the NPFL. The list includes goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa of FC IfeanyiUbah, Nnewi, Theophilus Afelokhai of Enyimba FC of Aba and Emeka Nwabulu of Wikki Tourists, Bauchi.Others are Mathew Etim (Rangers), Austin Obaroakpo (Abia Warriors) and Jamiu Aliyu of Kano Pillars. Also in the squad are Enyimba’s Joseph Osadiaye, Rabiu Ali of Kano Pillars, Godwin Obaje of Wikki Tourists and Ezekiel Bassey of Enyimba.Obinna Nwobodo of Rangers, Emmanuel Ariwa (Akwa United), Ifeanyi Ifeanyi of MFM, Ismaila Gata of FC IfeanyiUbah, Samuel Nweke of Nasarawa United and Charles Henlong of Wikki Tourists also made the list.The rest of the squad are Dayo Ojo of Sunshine Stars, Chisom Egbuchulam of Rangers, Sikiru Olatunbosun of MFM, Chinedu Udoji of Enyimba and his teammate Dami Ojo.The team is being handled by Nigeria national team coach, Salisu Yusuf, assisted by Imama Amapakabo of Rangers International FC of Enugu and Nigerian ex-international, Ike Shorunmu as goalkeepers trainer.The All Stars will commence their test against Valencia CF today and go into the Carranza World Tournament on August 12, when they take on Malaga CF in Cadiz.Possible victory against Malaga will match them against either Atletico Madrid or Cadiz CF, hosts of the tournament for either the winner’s or third place contest scheduled for August 13.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

HRI reportedly considering sale of Tote Ireland

first_img UK and Irish tote launch ‘single unified online betting pool’ July 16, 2020 Related Articles Share Irish racing gets green light to resume in June May 15, 2020 Submit Share HRI boosts coverage of Irish racing with RTÉ agreement May 28, 2020 Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is reported to be in discussions with a number of third parties over the sale of all or part of Tote Ireland to private interests, with an extensive review of the Tote already taking place. Reported by The Irish Times, the Tote has faced a number of challenges in recent years, having struggled to compete with an industry dominated by online betting firms combined with a drop in footfall at Irish racetracks. Last year, figures showed a 33.3% drop in total Tote betting, down to €69.2m, which has largely been attributed to a changing international regulatory landscape. The Tote was impacted by the Israeli government to ban betting into pools, however it has also struggled to make up for the shortcomings in on-course turnover which also fell by 7.7% to just €10.7m.“If we continue to operate the way it is it will struggle going forward with such a small and competitive market involving bookmakers online and exchanges,” HRI’s chief executive Brian Kavanagh said on Sunday.The Irish Tote, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HRI, has been in operation for almost 90 years, and has committed to reinvesting all profits into the horseracing industry in Ireland. It has been reported that the findings of the review will be presented to the HRI board at its next meeting on 16 December, which will focus on the future of the Tote. No changes can be made until the licence is due for renewal in April of 2021.“We’ve been looking at the tote for some time, and the board has asked us to bring options back to them,” Kavanagh continued. “If you look at tote business globally, particularly in countries where there’s no monopoly, the on-course business is suffering the same way as on-course bookmaking is trending.“It looks like there’s move towards consolidation in totes, bigger international pools and stuff like that. They’re some of the options that are under consideration,.”Kavanagh did not confirm whether the potential sale of the tote to third parties would be for its entirety or for a percentage, however he emphasised that the ongoing review has placed a focus upon a long-term strategy rather than looking at specific negotiations. He said: “[That is] pre-empting discussions, but all options are being considered. The tote is not specifically HRI’s to sell. It operates on the basis of a licence issued every seven years by the government, and HRI has the technology and the people and the brand product.“I don’t want to pre-empt anything, but you would have access to capital, access to technology, access to international markets; all these are issues that other parties could bring to the table in a stronger way. If you look at global tote competition, Tote Ireland is a very small element within the context of totes that operate in other countries.” StumbleUponlast_img read more