Barcelona Thrash PSV 4-0 With Messi Scoring Hat-trick

Barcelona Thrash PSV 4-0 With Messi Scoring Hat-trick

Lionel Messi scored his 48th career hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven in their opening Champions’ League group game.

Barca’s captain curled home a stunning free-kick to open the scoring before Luis Suarez’s clever 20-yard lob hit the crossbar.

The impressive Ousmane Dembele spun to lose two defenders and blasted home Barcelona’s second from outside the box.

Messi half-volleyed Ivan Rakitic’s aerial pass home for their third before Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti was sent off for two yellow cards.

The 10 men got a fourth goal when Suarez picked out Messi, who guided the ball past goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet from 15 yards.

The other game in Group B saw Inter Milan come from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at the San Siro.

Messi, now Barcelona’s captain after Andres Iniesta’s departure, looks to have put another disappointing World Cup behind him – he scored once as Argentina lost in the last 16 in Russia.

He has now scored seven goals in six games this season, as well as going close with another free-kick in the second half and creating good chances for Suarez and Roberto.

All his goals were excellent. First he whipped in his eighth free-kick of 2018 – right into the top corner beyond Zoet’s reach from 20 yards. He sweetly struck home Rakitic’s lofted ball and late on met Suarez’s pass to add a third.

He has now scored 104 goals – including eight hat-tricks – in the competition and has netted in a 14th consecutive Champions League campaign, a joint record with Real Madrid legend Raul.

Barcelona have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage for three consecutive years – with Real Madrid winning the tournament in each of those campaigns.

Barca players have spoken this summer about how much the Champions League means to them as they bid to win it for the first time since 2015.

Last season’s Spanish double winners looked sharp against a side who had won their previous seven games and scored 13 goals in the past two – although PSV were better than the 4-0 scoreline suggests.

With starts for nine of the 11 players who capitulated to Roma last season, Barca began the game strongly and Philippe Coutinho, on his Champions League debut for the club, headed over from Suarez’s cross.

Zoet made good saves to deny Sergi Roberto and Coutinho.

PSV put up a good fight – Steven Bergwijn curled just wide from outside the box, Gaston Pereiro shot over, Mexican World Cup star Hirving Lozano missed chances and Angelino forced a Marc-Andre ter Stegen save with a 30-yard drive.

It was only 1-0 until the 74th minute before the game got away from PSV, who lose for the first time in 90 minutes under new manager Mark van Bommel, the former Barcelona midfielder.


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Sierra Leone Face FIFA Ban After Anti-graft Officials Raid FA Offices

Sierra Leone Face FIFA Ban After Anti-graft Officials Raid FA Offices

Sierra Leone face the prospect of a ban from international competition by FIFA after the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) followed through on a threat to raid the offices of its football association on Tuesday.

The ACC had threatened the move last week after sending a letter to Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president Isha Johansen, telling her to step down over allegations of match-fixing involving the national team.

Johansen and her secretary general Chris Kamara have been banned from the SLFA offices by ACC officials, but the remainder of the staff have been allowed to continue their work. Both deny they have done anything wrong.

“Staff at the SLFA offices have been warned not to have any business with Johansen and Kamara and not to allow them into the secretariat.

“Anyone who goes against the orders will face the law,” ACC official Alhassan Kargbo told BBC Sport.

FIFA said earlier this week that they were monitoring the situation in the country and are likely to view the forced removal of Johansen as government interference in football affairs, especially as they are conducting their own investigation into the match-fixing allegations. FIFA are looking at matches as far back as a World Cup qualifier against South Africa in 2008.

They are also chairing negotiations between the Sierra Leone sports ministry, SLFA officials and various other stakeholders over delays to football association elections.

The delays have been caused by a number of factors, including a resistance to integrity checks that FIFA wants carried out on those who intend to stand for positions.

Johansen, who intends to stand for re-election, was briefly detained in 2016 over alleged graft but was released without charge and also survived being ousted by the SLFA executive committee last year as FIFA refused to recognise the move.

She claims to have received numerous death threats in recent years but is determined to stand again for the post of president when elections eventually take place.

“I have been called all kinds of vulgar names … received so many death threats … but I haven’t entertained such abuse.

“I want to be a pioneer for good governance, gender equality and inclusivity in football, to make a difference in a man’s game,” Johansen told Reuters last year

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ECOWAS Pledges To Tackle Insecurity In The Sahel Region

ECOWAS Pledges To Tackle Insecurity In The Sahel Region

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has restated its commitment to tackle security situation in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, in the bid to bring lasting peace and sustainable development to the region.

The President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Brou, said this in his address at the High Level Meeting of Regional Organisations organised by the commission on Tuesday in Abuja.

Brou, represented by Gen. Abdullah Boureima, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, said the security situation in the region had become fragile and, therefore, the need for renewed efforts.

“We note the increasing violence in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria, violent and terrorist activities, conflicts take toll on the population and on the future generation.

“The meeting has become important for us to promote cooperation on actions that will benefit people in the Sahel region.

“With a population of more than 350 million the Sahel covers 16.6 million kms; ECOWAS is at the heart of the Sahel because it is made up of a large number of Sahelian countries.

“On the other hand, in one way or the other, Sahelian issues directly or indirectly affect all ECOWAS countries.

“The Sahel region faces many challenges such as drought, poverty, malnutrition and illicit trafficking.”

According to him, the combination of these socio-economic problems cause instability, seriously threatening peace and security in both Sahelian and non-Sahelian-states.

“Sahelian issues directly or indirectly affect all ECOWAS; this meeting provides an additional opportunity for us to enhance synergy around issues of common interest to ECOWAS, regional and international organisations.”

In his address, Dr Ibn Chambas, Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, said efforts were ongoing to tackle the threats to stability and development. He decried violence the related to pastoralism, noting that it had increased in frequency and geographic scope. According to him, this year has also shown the continuous impact of climate change and food security on the Sahel population.

Chambas said socio-economic inequalities, including the lack of access to basic rights, services and economic opportunities, violence and challenges to the role and participation of women, continue to hamper progress.

“In view of these challenges for several years, we have mobilised and launched responses, each on our own; gaps in coordination have been raised during meetings of Ministerial Platform since 2014. “Nonetheless, we should acknowledge valuable lessons learned from various initiatives designed to assist the region and successes achieved; it is relevant to reaffirm our common objectives concerning our difficulties.”

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Primary: Lagos APC Picks Salvador, Six Others To Screen Ambode, Others

Primary: Lagos APC Picks Salvador, Six Others To Screen Ambode, Others

The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has set up a seven-member committee to screen aspirants for the October 4 state assembly primary.

The state chairman of the party, Tunde Balogun, inaugurated the committee on Tuesday at the ACME road secretariat of the party.  Members of the committee include: former deputy-governor of the state, Femi Pedro; the commissioner for health, Jide Idris; a party chieftain, Wale Oshun; and member of the party’s Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Abayomi Finnih. Moshood Salvador, a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, who joined APC officially on Saturday, is also among members of the committee.

Speaking with reporters after the closed-door inauguration, Mr Balogun said the setting up of the committee was in preparation for the state assembly primary.

He said the committee, which would begin work on Wednesday and finish on Friday, was to ensure that aspirants met the requirements to contest in the primary.

Mr Balogun explained that each of the members of the committee would chair a sub-committee with members, to respond to the high number of aspirants.

“We have a large number of people who are to be screened to contest in the state house of assembly primary.

“We have 40 seats in the state and over 230 aspirants are to be screened.

“This is a large number, and that is why each member of the committee is chairing a sub-committee to rise up to the challenge. “We are prepared for this enormous job, and we are even expecting members from the national secretariat to do the work,” he said.

He assured that the committee would carry out its responsibility without let or hindrance. On the inclusion of Mr Salvador in the committee, Mr Balogun said it reflected the party’s promise that all defectors would be treated equally like the others.

The chairman said the APC would not renege on its promise to ensure new members were fully integrated.

He described the excitement generated by the emergence of two challengers to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the party’s governorship ticket as good for internal democracy.

Mr Balogun said that the emergence of a former commissioner of establishment and training, Jide Sanwo-Olu and a former commissioner of works, Obafemi Hamzat, reflected the beauty of democracy.

The chairman said the governorship candidate would be determined by party members at the primary.

He described APC as a truly democratic party which had redefined governance in the state.

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MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy And The New Nollywood

MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy And The New Nollywood

Tunde Bello

On 1 October, incidentally Nigeria’s Independence Day, the Nigerian film and television industry will begin its walk to freedom from the plethora of challenges that have held it down from becoming a world class entity.

The envisaged walk to freedom, given the progress it has made despite mile-high odds, is not expected to be a long one and starts with the take-off of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy in Lagos as part of a continent-wide initiative conceived to considerably raise the standard of local content production by producing the next generation of filmmakers, who are to be provided with skill sets capable of taking them to global prominence.

The same day, two other MTF Academies will take off in Zambia and Kenya. Each of the regional academies will admit 20 young men and women with a desire to make careers in film and television and become entrepreneurs.

 Launched in May, the MTF Academy, the first of its kind on the continent, is part of the broader MTF Project, which also includes the MTF Masterclasses and the MTF Portal.

The West African regional MTF Academy, like the others, will offer students the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, film editing, audio production and storytelling over a year-long programme fully funded by MultiChoice.

The programme, which is being run in conjunction with reputable educational institutions in host countries, will help students develop their talents, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through a comprehensive curriculum, which will see them leave the Academy with the knowledge and skills to contribute professionally to the film and television industry.

 During the course of the programme, MTF Academy students will produce television and film content that will be aired on our local M-Net channels across MultiChoice platforms such as Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Bongo, Zambezi Magic, M-Net and SuperSport to reach African audiences on the DStv and GOtv platforms

The MTF Academy for West Africa is headed by accomplished Nollywood professional, Femi Odugbemi. His role will see him transfer the vast repertoire of skills acquired from decades of working in Nollywood to the next generation of Nigerian and Ghanaian filmmakers, who make up the MTF West African Academy.

Odugbemi is a man with gravitas. Aside from being a leading light in Nollywood, he is a voting member of the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He recognizes the need for the next generation of African filmmakers to acquire skills that could significantly improve their craft and ensure greater acceptance of African storytelling globally.

”We must consciously build capacity so that our next generation film makers and producers can also create wealth and create employment by being entrepreneurs as well,” explained Odugbemi.

While the talent and doggedness of the African storyteller have yielded strong and steady streams of productions in the shape of hit movies, television shows and other content genres, the African film and television industry still trails its older counterparts on many counts.

These include, but not limited to, technical skills and access to funding. The African movie industry is huge, ranking third behind America’s Nollywood and India’s Bollywood.

According to Fortune Magazine, Nigeria’s Nollywood is Africa’s biggest film industry. Like Nigeria, a number of African countries have nicknames for their local film industries. Uganda’s is Ugawood, Ghana’s is Kumawood, while Tanzania’s is Swahiliwood. Even before the boom of the Afro film industry in the 90s, African talent for storytelling had been recognized. In 1987, Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé, became the first African filmmaker to win a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His film, Yeelen, won the Jury Prize at that year’s festival. African filmmaking has a long history Bon Voyage Sim, released in 1966 is one of Africa’s oldest animated film. The film was made by the Nigerien filmmaker, Moustapha Alassane, who is regarded as the Father of African Animation.

Majority of local African films are released and watched via the DVD platform, as opposed to at the cinema. Distribution channels are a headache for much of the African creative film industry, but local consumers nonetheless remain the backbone of the industry. With the curriculum designed to provide theoretical knowledge and practical, using top-tier industry experts, the march to excellence has begun.  Nollywood, Ugawood, Kumawood are all ready to soar.

“Professional training is key to success in any occupation. We need interventions like the MTF so that emerging filmmakers are better equipped in the creative processes that have scholarship and technology at their foundation. We must consciously build capacity so that our next-generation filmmakers and producers can also create wealth and create employment by being entrepreneurs as well,” explained Odugbemi.

The importance of this project to the future of the Nigerian film industry cannot be overemphasized.

Bello writes from Abuja


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Osun Should Sustain Progress By Voting APC- Buhari

Osun Should Sustain Progress By Voting APC- Buhari
Buhari who spoke at APC Mega rally organised to round off the campaign for the election of Oyetola charged the people of Osun to vote for Oyetola to sustain the good works of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
According to the President, to guarantee the consolidation of legacies such as massive infrastructural development, unequalled educational innovations, provision of quality health care delivery and a lot of programmes and projects, the people of Osun must vote Oyetola for continuity.
Buhari advised the people of Osun not to allow the dark days of infrastructural decay, corruption, ineptitude, and lackadaisical attitude to the growth and development of human and material resources return adding that, this could only be realized when APC is allowed to remain in government.
In his remarks, the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole also harped on continuity adding that Osun cannot afford to trust their destiny in the hands of incompetent people adding that Oyetola has what it take to rule a progressive state like Osun
According to him, the numerous achievements recorded by the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is not without the inputs of Oyetola who served as the engine room of Aregbesola administration.
According to him, Aregbesola has performed excellently despite paucity of funds adding that his achievements can not be allow to go down the drain by electing those without experience to govern the state.
His words: ” We need somebody with passion for development, we need somebody that has brain, we need people with character, we need people who are committed to the growth and development of Osun, these we can find in Oyetola.
Also speaking, the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu gave assurance that APC will emerge victorious in the forthcoming election adding that the administration of Aregbesola has the record of outstanding performance.
The incumbent, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola assured the people of Osun State of good governance if the status of Oyetola is allowed to continue where he stopped.
The Chairman, Osun APC campaign committee, Governor Abdullah Ganduje, Governor of Kano State said going by the response of the people of Osun during electioneering campaign, there is no doubt in the preference of the APC to other political parties.
No fewer that seven governors which included; Governors,  Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos, Nasir El’Rufai of Kaduna State, Abdullah Ganduje of Kano state, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state,  Abiola Ajimobi, of Oyo State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, the host, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and his Deputy, Mrs Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori attended the rally.
Others included: the first national chairman of APC Chief Bisi Akande, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yussuff, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai  Muhammed, Chief Olusegun Osoba among others.
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