Sixteen teams across the Male and female categories are set to compete in the quarter-finals stage of the GTBank Masters Cup. The tournament, which is now in its8th season, will take place on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th March 2019.
Kicking off the matches at the Campos Mini Stadium on Tuesday will be the female team of Greensprings Schools Lekki, which will square off with Lead-Forte Gate College, Lekki. Later in the day, CMS Grammar School Bariga will face Federal Science and Technical College, Yabato contend for a spot in the Male category of the semi-finals.
On Wednesday, the female teams will again set the ball rolling as Corona Secondary School, Agbara will face Atlantic Hall, Epe, and later, in the Male category, Kings College, Lagos will compete with Jubril Martins Memorial Grammar School, Iponri.
The GTBank Masters Cup tournament since its inception has grown into one of the major platforms for discovering and developing exceptional football talents and many of its alumni are now on trials and scholarships with football clubs and academies in Nigeria and abroad.
Some of the outstanding players to look out for this season are: Celestine Chwang of Kings College and AyinlaAbiola of Answar-ud-deen Girls High School. So far, both players are the highest goal scorers in the male and female categories.
The full schedule of the GTBank Quarter Finals Season 8 is:
Greensprings School, Lekki vs Lead-Forte Gate College, Lekki
Answar-ud-deen Girls High School, Itire vs Ansar-ud-deen College, Isolo.
CMS Grammar School, Bariga vs Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba
Anwar-ul-islam Model College, Agege vs Igbobi College, Yaba.
Corona Secondary School, Agbara vs Atlantic Hall, Epe
Queens College, Yaba vs Answar-ud-deen Girls High School, Ojokoro.
Kings College, Lagos vs. Jubril martins Memorial Gram. School, Iponri
Baptist Academy, Obanikoro vs. Whitesand School, Lekki.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi is back in the national squad for the first time since 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Messi will play in, at least, one of their friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco this month, coach Lionel Scaloni said on Thursday.
The Barcelona forward has not played for his country since their last-16 exit at the hands of eventual champions France, opting to take a sabbatical after what was a disappointing tournament for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
However, Scaloni said in January that he had a “good feeling” about Messi’s possible return from his self-imposed exile, and included him along with 30 other players.
“Leo has been selected, we’ll decide later if he plays one game or two,” Scaloni told reporters in Buenos Aires. “I will make that decision.”
Messi is Argentina’s leading goal scorer with 65 goals but he is often criticised for not reproducing his club form for the national side.
He joins a squad featuring four goalkeepers, 10 home-based players but no Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain or Mauro Icardi.
West Ham United midfielder Manuel Lanzini also returned to the squad for the first time after suffering a knee injury days before the World Cup that ruled him out of action for nearly nine months.
Goalkeepers: Agustin Marchesin, Juan Musso, Esteban Andrada, Franco Armani
Defenders: German Pezzella, Gabriel Mercado, Juan Foyth, Nicolas Otamendi, Walter Kannemann, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Gonzalo Montiel, Renzo Saravia, Lisandro Martinez
Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Guido Rodriguez, Giovani Lo Celso, Manuel Lanzini, Roberto Pereyra, Angel Di Maria, Matiaz Zaracho, Ivan Marcone, Domingo Blanco, Rodrigo De Paul
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Martinez, Paulo Dybala, Angel Correa, Lautaro Martinez, Dario Benedetto, Matias Suarez.
UEFA took the unusual step on Friday to explain a series of controversial Video Assistant Referees (VAR) calls in this week’s Champions League last 16 ties.
European football’s governing body bowed to pressure by bringing forward the introduction of VAR into the Champions League for the knockout rounds, having not used the technology for the group stages.
￼Ajax and Manchester United benefited from disputed decisions in sealing dramatic comebacks to eliminate holders Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
The handball given against PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe to award United a stoppage time penalty, which Marcus Rashford converted to complete a 3-1 win on the night at the Parc des Princes and progress on away goals, was branded “a disgrace” by injured PSG star Neymar.
￼Even former United players Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen said in their roles at TV pundits the penalty should not have been awarded.
However, UEFA explained why Slovenian referee Damir Skomina reversed his original decision not to point to the spot having been alerted to watch a replay of the incident by the VAR.
“Following the on-field review, the referee confirmed that the distance that the ball travelled was not short and the impact could therefore not be unexpected,” said UEFA’s statement.
“The defender’s arm was not close to the body, which made the defender’s body bigger thus resulting in the ball being stopped from travelling in the direction of the goal. The referee, therefore, awarded a penalty kick.”
￼Ajax’s third goal in a 4-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu was reviewed over whether the ball had gone out for what would have been a Madrid throw-in prior to Dusan Tadic’s finish.
UEFA said referee Felix Brych was right to award the goal in the absence of conclusive proof the ball crossed the touchline.
Porto’s comeback from a 2-1 first leg defeat to beat Roma 3-1 after extra-time was also marked by big VAR calls.
The Portuguese side’s winner came from a penalty awarded by VAR three minutes from time.
Roma then had a penalty claim of their own turned down when Patrik Schick tumbled inside the area.
“Last year we asked for VAR in the Champions League because we got screwed in the semi-final and tonight, they’ve got VAR and we still get robbed,” raged Roma president James Pallotta.
￼However, UEFA insisted on the Schick incident “no clear and obvious error had occurred and that there was no ground for a VAR intervention and an on-field review.”
Some of the most renowned indigenous and international polo teams are set to convene in Lagos, Nigeria to compete for highly coveted trophies in the 2019 Lagos Int’l Polo Tournament. Sponsored by leading African Financial Institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. This year’s competition will begin on March 13, 2019, and will see both Nigerian and foreign teams compete in five main cups, namely; the Silver Cup, Open Cup, Oba of Lagos Cup, Low Cup and Majekodunmi Cup.
Over the years, GTBank has been at the forefront of supporting Polo; widely revered as the Sport of Kings, and promoting the Lagos International Polo Tournament, which has hosted reputable personalities such as His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Played on the grounds of the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi, the premier polo club in the country, the tournament has featured polo greats like Alphonso Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres, and Alan Kent, and promises to provide top class action and entertainment for all polo lovers.
Some of the players expected to light up this year’s tournament include Tomas Fernandez Llorente, a seven-goaler from Argentina; South Africa’s Tom De Bryune +6; and Diego White a +6 handicap player from Argentina. Other professionals expected include Chris Mckenzie +6, Pedro Soria, Leroux Hendrix, and Martin Waiganjo. Polo enthusiasts will also be treated to a variety of activities ranging from thrilling performances by music stars to an exquisite experience at the exclusive GTBank Lounge where guests will be treated to epicurean cuisine and vintage wine.
Commenting on GTBank’s sponsorship of the 2019 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament, Segun Agbaje, Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “We love the game of polo, the passion and the symbiosis between the players and their horses, but most importantly, we hold a strong affinity to the sport of kings because it reflects quality, competitiveness, and fair play; some of the values that have made GTBank a Proudly African and Truly International Financial Institution.” He further stated that; “Our sponsorship of the 2019 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament, which has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated social and sporting events of the year, demonstrates our strong belief in the role of sports in developing and uniting our society.”
Guaranty Trust Bank plc is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that have maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, most especially in sports education. The GTBank Masters Cup, as well as the Principals Cup tournaments in Lagos and Ogun states, are some of the projects the bank has taken up in this regard.
LaLiga table toppers and defending champions, Barcelona, will on Saturday, seek to continue their march to yet another title when they take on relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou. The match is one of Week 27 matches to air live exclusively to GOtv MAX subscribers.
The match will be air at 6.30 pm on SuperSport Select 4 (channel 34). Barcelona is currently on a hot streak; last week, the defending champions defeated their fierce rivals, Real Madrid, 3-0 away from home in the El Clasico, following an earlier 1-0 victory over the same opponents in the Copa del Rey semi-final, also at the Santiago Bernabeau. Barcelona will hope to win their 19th match of the season and maintain a seven-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid. Vallecano could not have had more difficult opponents after the home battering in the hands of Girona in their last match, their fifth loss in as many matches. They have also conceded 45 goals, an unwanted tally the rampaging Barcelona frontline of Lionel Messi Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are well placed to increase.
Second-placed Atletico Madrid is in action on Saturday when they host 11th-placed Leganes in what is expected to be a tough game. The match will be live at 4:15 pm on SuperSport Select 4.
The Madrid-based team has regained form after a mini-slump, which saw them lose to Real Betis and Barcelona. Manager Diego Simeone will bank on Antoine Griezmann and last week’s two-goal hero Alvaro Morata, on loan from Chelsea, to deliver the goods.
However, Leganes, who are punching above their weight this season, have won four of their last eight matches and are playing some eye-catching football after their near-catastrophic campaign last season. They are managed by Mauricio Pellegrino, one of the rising stars on the European coaching circuit.
On Sunday, Real Madrid, who are currently distressed, will hope to begin their recovery from back-to-back home defeats in the hands of Barcelona and UEFA Champions League exit in the hands of Ajax Amsterdam when they confront Real Valladolid away from home. The El Clasico loss to Barcelona has left them trailing the Catalan side by 12 points. They will, however, be motivated by the possibility of picking up Spain’s final automatic UEFA Champions League ticket. Real Madrid manager, Santiago Solari, who is under immense pressure, has a chance of getting some respite from 16th-placed Valladolid, who have lost four of their last five games and are struggling to maintain their top-flight status. The match will air live at 8:45 pm on SuperSport Select 4.
The round gets underway on Friday with the clash between Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol. It will air at 9 pm on Friday on SuperSport Select 4.
Games on Saturday include Alaves vs Eibar and Getafe vs Huesca, at 1pm and 8:45pm respectively, both on SuperSport Select 4. Games for broadcast on Sunday are Celta Vigo vs Real Betis, at 12pm, Girona vs Valencia at 4:15pm, Sevilla vs Real Sociedad, at 6:30pm and Levante v Villareal at 6:30pm. All matches will air live on SuperSport Select 4 (channel 34) the home of LaLiga on GOtv.
GOtv subscribers are encouraged to take advantage of the “Top Up” campaign and upgrade to GOtv MAX by paying a reduced fee of N2, 500 to gain access to all the exclusive football games on GOtv Max.
The newly elected EXCO led by Mr Khaled Babbou has in the spirit of unity and as part of the strategy to have more inclusion and teamwork, invited Mr Herbert Mensah to join the Rugby Africa Executive Committee as a special non-voting member under section 8 of the by-laws of Rugby Africa.
Mr Herbert Mensah is invited to contribute his experience in building commercial value for Rugby Africa competitions, which is a core strategic focus for the Executive Committee. “Rugby Africa recognise that there is a need to improve funding support for rugby activities or initiatives and is committed to developing sustainable solutions for its members participating in these activities”, said Mr Khaled Babbou, “Mr Herbert Mensah shall play a key role in this strategy.”
The newly elected EXCO shall also formulate strategies to focus on Good Governance within the membership of Rugby Africa and strengthen competitions for the youth and women, in both the sevens and fifteens codes of the game.
Spanish aristocrats, Real Madrid, will, on Saturday, host their eternal rivals, Barcelona, at the Santiago Bernabeu in the 178th El Clasico. The famous rivalry between the two teams, which takes centre stage in Round 26 of the 2018/19 La Liga season, will be broadcast live and exclusive to GOtv MAX subscribers on SuperSport Select 4 (channel 34) at 8:45 pm.
This would be the second LaLiga clash between the two rivals this season following the 5-1 win for Barcelona in October.
Barcelona, the defending champions and current league leaders, will be buoyed by their 4-2 victory away at Sevilla last week. The Los Blaugrana, who are seeking their 18th win of the season, will be led into battle by captain Lionel Messi, who currently tops the LaLiga goal chart with 25 goals.
But Real Madrid cannot be dismissed as no-hopers despite their patchy form this season. The Los Blancos, currently third on the log, trail Barcelona by a massive 12 points. Santiago Solari’s men will be encouraged by their hard-fought 2-1 win against Levante last Sunday and will need no other motivation to halt, even temporarily, their rival’s progress. They will rely on their talented strike force of Karim Benzema, Vinícius Jnr. and the resurgent Gareth Bale to deliver the much-needed goals. Form, however, rarely matters in the El Clasico, as it is a game traditionally runs on passion and near-tribal rivalry.
Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, explained that the broadcast of the high-profile match to GOtv MAX subscribers is a way of giving football fans access to the best Spanish football live.
“Real Madrid and Barcelona are the most famous teams in Spain and have huge following in Nigeria. Being the home of La Liga, we are delighted to bring to our subscribers the El Clasico on GOtv MAX,” he said.
Mabutho urged GOtv subscribers, especially those on GOtv Plus, Value and Lite packages, to take advantage of the “Top Up” campaign and upgrade to GOtv MAX by paying a reduced fee of N2, 500 in order to have access to the game and other exciting programmes.
This weekend’s LaLiga matches will kick off with the clash between Rayo Vallecano and Girona on Friday at 9 pm. The match will air live on SuperSport Select 4.
Saturday’s games include: Espanyol versus Valladolid (showing at 1 pm on SuperSport Select 2 and 4); Villarreal versus Alaves (showing at 4:15 pm on SuperSport Select 4); Huesca versus Sevilla (showing at 6:30 pm on SuperSport Select 4).
Games to be broadcast on Sunday are Eibar versus Celta Vigo (showing at 12 noon on SuperSport Select 2 and 4); Real Betis versus Getafe (showing at 4:15 pm on SuperSport Select 4); Real Sociedad versus Atletico Madrid (showing at 6:30 pm on SuperSport Select 4); and Valencia versus Athletic Bilbao (showing at 8:45 pm on SuperSport Select 4)
A bumper weekend awaits fans of the prestigious LaLiga, the top tier of Spanish football, as matches involving league leaders and defending champions, Barcelona; title chasers, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, as well as other encounters will be broadcast live exclusively to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and GOtv MAX subscribers.
Barcelona, encouraged by their hard-earned 1-0 victory over Valladolid last weekend, travel to the south of Spain to confront Sevilla who, at a stage this season, topped the table. Sevilla’s title aspirations have since floundered and they currently lie fourth.
They slumped to a 3-0 defeat in the hands of relegation threatened Villareal last weekend and will be occupied by the thought how to shut out an in-form Lionel Messi from adding to his 22 goals. The match will be live at 4.15pm on Saturday on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.
Second-placed Atletico Madrid will similarly take encouragement from their 1-0 win away at Rayo Vallecano. Star forward, Antoine Griezmann will hope to continue his goalscoring form while manager Diego Simeone will be hoping for a win as the perfect gift to celebrate his contract extension with the club.
But they are up against a Villareal team, who helped their cause for survival in the league with a resounding win against Sevilla. The match shows on Sunday at 4:15 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.
Real Madrid’s failure to sustain the momentum brought by their victory over city rivals, Atletico, saw them slump to an implausible home defeat to strugglers Girona last weekend, leaving them in third position. Santiago Solari’s men will, however, hope to bounce back against mid-table team, Levante, who will aim to continue their winning streak at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia. Levante beat Celta Vigo 4-1 in their last match. Their encounter with the wounded Real Madrid will be live at 8.45pm on Sunday on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.
The weekend encounters will kick off with the clash between Espanyol and Huesca on Friday at 9 pm. The match will air live onSuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.
Saturday’s games include: Getafe versus Rayo Vallecano (showing at 12 noon on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4); Deportivo Alaves versus Celta de Vigo (showing at 6:30 pm on SuperSport 7, 10 and SuperSport Select 2); and Athletic Bilbao versus Eibar (showing at 8:45 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 2).
Games to be broadcast on Sunday are Leganes versus Valencia (showing at 12 noon on SuperSport 7 and 10, and SuperSport Select 2 and 4), and Real Valladolid versus Real Betis (showing 8:45 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4).
Week 25 matches will be rounded off on Monday when between Girona take on Real Sociedad (showing 10 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4).
Action resumes in the LaLiga this weekend with league leaders, Barcelona, and their eternal rivals, Real Madrid, both in action. The games involving the two big timers and other encounters in the LaLiga will be broadcast live exclusively to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and GOtv MAX subscribers.
Barcelona, the defending champions, will, on Saturday, seek to recover from their disappointing goalless draw at Athletic Bilbao when they host struggling Real Valladolid. The match will be broadcast on SuperSport 7 to DStv subscribers and SuperSport Select 4 for GOtv subscribers at 8.45pm.
Valladolid, with just one win in their last 10 games across all competitions, are mired in the 15th position.
Real, who are brimming with confidence arising from their derby victory over Atletico Madrid last week, have hauled themselves into second position and will hope to kick on from there when they host Girona, who are one point above the relegation places, having lost six of their last matches in all competitions and are without a win in their last 13 outings. The match will be beamed live at noon on Sunday on SuperSport 7 and 10 as well as SuperSport Select 2 and 4.
Third-placed Atletico Madrid’s title hopes are fast fading after two consecutive losses to Real Betis and Real Madrid. They will hope to return to winning ways when they host relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano. The match is live at 4.15pm on Saturday on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.
Another mouth-watering clash will see 19th placed Villareal take on fourth-placed Sevilla. It is live on Sunday at 6:30 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4. Other games on Saturday are Celta de Vigo vs Levante (1 pm on SuperSport 7and SuperSport Select 2 and 4), Real Sociedad vs Leganes (at 6:30 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4. On Sunday, Valencia will take on Espanyol (4:15 pm), Real Betis will confront Deportivo Alaves (8:45 pm). The matches will be live on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.
Manchester City on Sunday defeated Chelsea 6-0 in the Premier League.
The victory sees City go top of the table, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference but with one more game played.
Sunday’s defeat is Chelsea’s worst since 1991.
City’s goals were scored by Sergio Aguero (3), Raheem Sterling (2) and Gundogan.
With the loss, Chelsea slip to sixth position on the log.