Biggest Sports Story Today: NFF’s N1.6b Budget, Real Madrid’s win & More
====The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been allocated the sum of N1.6 billion naira in the 2017 budget recently passed by the National Assembly.
A breakdown of the budget shows that the sum of N905,695,005 million was earmarked for overhead cost while the sum of N500 million is for tournament qualifiers and participation while personnel cost got the sum of N106,287,450 million.
The federation will spend N94, 447,715 million for salaries and wages while the 2017 Federations Cup for male has N90 million. Salaries of national coaches will take N10 million, publicity and adverts will cost the sum of N2, 169,344 million.
====Heartland head coach Ramson Madu is ecstatic after his side pulled off an away victory at neighbours Abia Comets.
The Naze Millionaires came from a goal down to win 3-1 at Comets in Wednesday’s Nigeria National League (NNL) rescheduled matchday 12 clash at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
Olaworumni Ibrahim put the Umuahia landlords in front in the eighth minute while Heartland evened the scores off the foot of talisman Odinaka Ahiaeke in the 16th minute.
However, it was Francis Momoh who doubled the Owerri outfit’s goal tally in the 48th minute while Ahiaeke grabbed the winner in added time to hand his side the crucial three points at stake.
Madu said his side were convincing in victory in all spheres against their hosts.
====Technical manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma is impressed with the performance of the new players that joined the club during the transfer window.
Three of them, Ayo Saka, John Odumegwu and Onoriode Odah took part in the club’s Caf Confederation Cup game against Club Africain in Tunisia on Sunday.
Odumegwu scored United’s solitary goal in the 1-3 defeat while Saka and Onoriode displayed sparks of brilliance with Eguma giving a seal of approval to the trio.
Rivers United’s next game in the Caf Confederation Cup is against another North African side, FUS Rabat.
====Away from Nigeria, on the heels of their emphatic 4-1 victory over celta vigo last night, Cristiano Ronaldo is leading a group of Real Madrid players, who want manager Zinedine Zidane, to start Isco ahead of Gareth Bale, in next month’s Champions League final.
Bale has not played since Madrid’s defeat in the El Clasico, after picking up a calf injury.
Apart from Ronaldo, captain Sergio Ramos is also reported to have backed his countryman, along with Pepe, and Fabio Coentrao.
====Over in England, Sergio Romero displayed some eye-catching pre-Europa League final form by saving a penalty as Manchester United drew 0-0 at Southampton in their penultimate Premier League game on Wednesday.
United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed Romero will start against Ajax in Stockholm next Wednesday and his early save from Manolo Gabbiadini helped the visitors stop the rot after successive losses to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Argentina international, deputising for the rested David de Gea, also produced a string of saves early in the second half at St Mary’s to keep Claude Puel’s Southampton at bay.
The result had no material impact on United’s season, given they were already guaranteed to finish sixth, and means Mourinho’s men have now drawn 15 times this season.
====Arsenal striker, Alexis Sanchez, has slammed the club’s supporters over their protests asking for manager Arsene Wenger to leave.
Sanchez has backed the Frenchman, to bring in new players in the summer and change the club’s fortunes around next season.
He said”it is very bad. He is the manager who gave a stadium to the club, won cups, and he has been 21 years in the job. He is the creator of the stadium, the players and style of the club.”
The Chile international’s future is also up in the air, as he is yet to agree a new deal with Arsenal.
====The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisation responsible for delivering the infrastructure required to host the tournament, has announced that the first proposed host venue of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ Qatar, Khalifa International Stadium, has been completed a full five years before the tournament begins.
Expanded to seat more than 40,000 spectators, the stadium has undergone extensive renovation works ahead of the tournament in 2022, when it will host matches until the quarter-finals.
These include the installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar’s successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26°C and the stands at 24-28°C year-round while using 40 percent less energy than traditional cooling methods.
====In Tennis, World number one Angelique Kerber was knocked out of the Italian Open in a surprise straight-set defeat by Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday.
The world number 68 won 6-4 6-0 in 56 minutes, meaning both Kerber and men’s top seed Andy Murray exited the Rome tournament at the second-round stage.
British number two Kyle Edmund also suffered a straight-set defeat by Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.
The 22-year-old world number 53 lost 7-5 6-4 in one hour and 46 minutes.
====in motor sports, Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has been injured after he was hit by a car while cycling in Italy.
The 35-year-old, who has been racing for Red Bull Honda’s World Superbike team this year, is being treated at a hospital in Cesena.
The American competed in the latest round of the World Superbike championship in Italy last Sunday.
He won his only MotoGP championship in 2006, preventing Valentino Rossi from winning a sixth successive title.