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Foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank is set to hold the finals of the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup on Thursday 19th July at the Agege Stadium, Lagos. The prestigious tournament, now in its 9th year promises to be a thrilling encounter between the four qualifying teams as they stake their claim as ultimate champions of the football competition.

Considered one of the most followed grassroots football tournaments in Secondary schools, this year’s finals will kick off with a match between the qualifying teams in the female category; IsaleEko Senior Grammar School, Lagos Island and Girls High School, Agege.

In the male category, defending champions of the competition, Ijaiye Housing Estate Senior Grammar School will face arch-rivals St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka. Both teams will meet after a thrilling encounter atthe Semi Finals in which St. Finbarr’s College romped to a 2-0 win against Egan Senior Grammar School, Alimosho,to finish top of Group B. Except for St. Finbarr’s College which finished 2nd in 2015, two out of the four finalists have won the trophy in the past.

After the face off on Thursday, winners will be rewarded with the sum of N1,000,000.00, N750,000.00 and N500,000.00 and N250,000.00 for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4thplace winners respectively in both male and female categories.

Commenting on the Finals of the 2017 GTBank Lagos State Principals Cup, SegunAgbaje, the MD/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, stated that, “We are delighted to see schools aiming for their first ever trophies in this competition; it emphasizes the growing stature of the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup as a platform for the cultivation of dreams through hard work and discipline.”

Over the years, the GTBank-Lagos State Principals Cup has propelled the professional careers of several talented and now renowned players like Stephen Odey, who captained his alma mater- Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School to victory in the 2012 edition of the competition and is now a player in FC Zurich. Esther Adeboye, one of the Most Valuable Players in the 2014 Competition from State High School, Alimoshoalso joined the National Female U-17 Team – The Flamingoes – that represented Nigeria at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Guaranty Trust Bank, a youth oriented brand, maintains the lead in providing support for education and sports to enable young boys and girls explore their talents and reach for their dreams. It is one of the few Nigerian financial institutions that have maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, most especially in sports education. The Bank actively supports in-classroom and out-of-classroom educational programmes, infrastructure development, students’ scholarship and teachers training across Africa.

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AFCON 2019: Samuel Kalu, Who Collapsed In Training ‘Now Fit To Play Guinea’

Peter Okunoren

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The camp of the Super Eagles of Nigeria bubbled specially on Monday evening after news came that Samuel Kalu had been declared fit after he collapsed on Friday in training.

Kalu is now fit to feature for the Eagles at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations after another test was carried out on him in Cairo.

Dayo Enebi Achor, Super Eagles team administrator said that the doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, travelled to the Egyptian capital with Kalu to conduct the test alongside a CAF medical officer.

“Kalu has been declared fit to play as from now,” Achor said.

“His featuring in Wednesday’s match against Guinea however depends on if he is picked by the technical crew led by coach Gernot Rohr.

The pacy Girondins Bordeaux of France ace, who also performed creditably as a wing back in the AFCON 2019 ticket –winning 1-1 draw with South Africa in Johannesburg in November 2018, collapsed while about to take a corner kick at training in Alexandria on Friday evening.

He was quickly stabilised but taken to hospital for a round of tests, where he was said to be dehydrated and needed to take more fluids.

The scare knocked him out of the reckoning for selection for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Burundi in Nigeria’s first match of the 32nd edition of AFCON at the Alexandria Stadium.

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AFCON: Super Eagles Set For Burundi Clash

Peter Okunoren

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Nigeria will begin their journey at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with their opening match against Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium in Egypt on Saturday (today).

The three-time African champions, who are returning to the competition after missing the previous two editions, will be hoping for a winning start against the debutants, who were unbeaten in the qualifiers.

Nigeria finished top of their AFCON qualifying group, which had South Africa, Libya and Seychelles with a game to spare, while Burundi came second behind Mali in Group C of the qualifiers.

Eagles’ striker, Odion Ighalo, who is expected to lead his team’s attack at the tournament, finished the qualifiers as top scorer with seven goals.

Before the AFCON game, Nigeria had only played the Itamba of Burundi once, beating them 2-0 at the MKO Abiola Stadium, January 23, 1999 in a qualifying game for the 2000 AFCON.

While Nigeria boast many stars playing across various leagues in Europe and Asia, Burundi’s biggest star is Saido Berahino, who plays for Stoke City, same club as Eagles’ Oghenekaro Etebo in the English Championship.

This year’s AFCON is the 18th time the Nigerian side will be appearing in the African football showpiece.

The team will be presenting 20 debutants at the football showpiece, with the trio of captain Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa, and Kenneth Omeruo the only ones to have been at any other AFCON.

While many have seen the encounter as an easy ride for the Nigerian side, Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, believes it is their toughest tie.

“We prepare to face them with humility because they were unbeaten in the qualifiers. It’s difficult because all the big countries are here, but I believe the competition will be wonderful with passionate fans and nice pitches,” he said on Friday.

In terms of match day selection, Rohr seems to have made up his mind on players to use, with his preferred central defence pairing of Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong set to start.

Obi, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, Shehu Balogun, Moses Simon, and Ighalo are also assured of starting shirts barring any last minute injuries.

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Women World Cup: Super Falcons Release Strong Starting Eleven Ahead Of Germany Cracker

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Super Falcons have released a strong starting XI to face Germany at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup round of 16 tie.

According to Allnigeriasoccer, Super Falcons coach, Thomas Dennerby, made only two changes to his starting line-up that loss 1-0 to France at the group stage a few days ago after the suspension of Ngozi Ebere (red card) and Rita Chikwelu (accumulated bookings).

Barcelona striker, Asisat Oshoala, will lead the reigning African champions’ attack line.

The former Liverpool star will be assisted by Ordega and Oparanozie.

Nnadozie will be in goal, while Ayinde and Okobi will be at the midfield.

Evelyn Nwabuoku, Ohale Osinachi, Okeke and Ebi will mount the defence back four.

The kick-off time for the match is 4:30pm.

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