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Nigeria vs Seychelles: Why I Invited Ighalo – Rohr

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Despite criticism in some quarters over the inclusion of Odion Ighalo in the 28 players invited to prosecute the country’s September 7 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifier against Seychelles in Victoria, Head Coach Gernot Rohr, has appeared unperturbed.

The German tactician has rather stuck to his decision as the national team gets set to open its camp in Abuja before jetting out for the September 7, away clash.

He noted that though Ighalo who last scored for the Eagles a year ago against Cameroon in Uyo, missed begging chances against Argentina in Russia which failed to impress some of the fans, he nonetheless deserves another opportunity to make amends.

He insisted that Ighalo still has a role to play in his formation to secure the maximum 3 point in the crucial duel adding that “this is an opportunity for him(Ighalo) prove his critics wrong.”

Rohr continued, “He has been scoring in China and he is very motivated to do so for the Super Eagles now.”

On Sunday, the 29-year-old striker scored his 16th goal in the Chinese Super League. The Nigerian international emerged the hero of Changchun Yatai after he scored the equaliser to make sure they didn’t lose at home to Hebei CFFC in a game which ended 2-2.

The former Watford striker who scored 15 goals for Changchun Yatai last season put a smile on the faces of Changchun Yatai fans as he scored in the 89th minute to level the goal margin.

A breakdown of the 28-man squad released on Friday showed that 24 players were listed as regulars, while four players were listed as stand-by, comprising Uche Agbo who plays for Standard Liege, Belgium, Eze Stephen who stars with Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Musa Mohammed starring for Hnk Gorica, Croatia and Blessing Eleke.

The 24 invited players are goalkeepers Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC) and Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa).

Eight defenders were invited including Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Semi Ajayi (Rotterdam United, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain) and Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn 07, Germany).

Rohr picked six midfielders comprising Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto, Portugal) and Joel Obi (AC Chievo Verona, Italy)

Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia) leads the list of strikers which include Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone FC, Italy); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England) and Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France).

Team Administrator Dayo Enebi Achor revealed on Friday that the invited players are expected to fly directly to Seychelles, arriving on Monday, 3rd September, while the one player (goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa) and team officials travelling from Nigeria will fly into Victoria on Sunday, 2nd September.

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GTBank Lagos Polo Gallops Off With Silver, Low Cup Matches

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High-class polo would be on center stage for ten days as the prestigious Lagos Polo International Tournament which has GTBank as main sponsor gallops off Wednesday at Polo Club Road, Ikoyi.

The Silver Cup, the traditional event opener, would set hostilities rolling with three matches on the card as teams from Lagos, Kano and Ibadan battle for supremacy while the Low Cup would close the day’s activity.

Of the 33 teams that would vie for honour in four cups twelve of them would stake their pride in the Silver Cup, which is the lowest grade in the tournament.

For the medium-goal Low Cup, five teams would be contesting for the top prize. The medium-goal Low Cup and the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup, which would round off the polo extravaganza, will feature two teams, STL of Lagos and Rubicon of Kano.

The Open Cup as well as the Majek Cup, which are billed for the concluding weekwould have high-profile players from Argentina, United Kingdom, South Africa and a host of top Nigerian players participating.

Debuting STL of Lagos has Abuja-based Almat to contend with and a triumph for any of the contesting teams would see them joining the elite group of winners which include 2018 champions Fifth Chukker of Kaduna.

Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, SegunAgbaje, stated that the financial institution identified with polo because of the love it had for the game as well as sports in general.

According to him, “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.”

Agbaje reiterated GTBank’s commitment by pointing that the sponsorship of this year’s tournament demonstrates the bank’s strong belief in the role of sports in developing and uniting the society. He stresses that the tournament has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated social and sporting events of the year in Nigeria.

Tournament Manager, SeyiOyinlola, promised two weeks of exhilarating and thrilling polo urging “polo lovers to turn out in large numbers to come and feel the glamour associated with game of Kings.”

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GTBank Masters Cup Season 8 Enters Quarter Finals Stage

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Sixteen teams across the Male and female categories are set to compete in the quarterfinals stage of the GTBank Masters Cup. The tournament, which is now in its 8th 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:

Tuesday


Female

Greensprings School, Lekki vs Lead-Forte Gate College, Lekki

Answar-ud-deen Girls High School, Itire vs Ansar-ud-deen College, Isolo.

Male
CMS Grammar School, Bariga vs Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba

Anwar-ul-islam Model College, Agege vs Igbobi College, Yaba.

Wednesday

Female
Corona Secondary School, Agbara vs Atlantic Hall, Epe

Queens College, Yaba vs Answar-ud-deen Girls High School, Ojokoro.

Male
Kings College, Lagos vs. Jubril martins Memorial Gram. School, Iponri
Baptist Academy, Obanikoro vs. Whitesand School, Lekki.

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GTBank Sponsors 2019 Lagos International Polo Tournament

Gbemileke Ajayi

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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’scompetition 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 tournamenthas 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.

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