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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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We Will Build Traditional Wrestling ‘Dambe’ Into A National Sport —- Minister

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The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare, on Tuesday, received members of the Dambe (traditional wrestling) association in Abuja.

The Minister promised to restructure Dambe in order for it to compete favourably with other sports while commending the founders of the Dambe association for taking the sport to other parts of the country.

The Minister who had addressed the fighters in the Hausa language before speaking collectively to the delegation, said, “I grew up in the northern part of the country and Dambe was predominantly a northern sport for fun. I commend you for making something out of nothing. You have taken the sport to other parts of the country and that is highly commendable”.

The Minister who expressed delight that the founders of the association are young people, said, “this is what we want to see. To see youth who use their brains, hands and innovative minds to do something for themselves and the country as a whole. What you have done is very encouraging and we are going to leverage on what you have done as co-founders”.

“You need to create a domestic league of Dambe fighters and make it more competitive in nature”, he urged.

“Dambe gives us another opportunity to keep the youth busy and take them off crime because it engages their mind and makes them productive”.

He also assured that Dambe would be brought into the fold of traditional sports so as to create structure and bring added benefits to it. He said, “Now we have an opportunity to invest in our youth through Dambe fight. We will bring Dambe into the fold of traditional sports. 25million views mean there is a global recognition and following. We also need to create localized competition and state-level competition. We need to bring that back into the country. We need to put an institution behind it. What is needed is government support”.

“From today, I have become an advocate of Dambe” he assured.

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BREAKING: Arsenal Sacks Unai Emery After 18 Months

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Arsenal has sacked head coach Unai Emery.

The 48-year-old has left the club following Arsenal’s worst run of form since 1992 with the Gunners winless in seven games and eight points off the top four in the Premier League.

Freddie Ljungberg will lead Arsenal for Sunday’s game away to Norwich City.

A 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League proved to be the final straw for the Arsenal hierarchy, who had hoped to be able to wait until the end of the season before making a decision on Emery’s future.

The Spaniard faced mounting criticism for fans not just for results but for a style of play at Arsenal that was viewed by many as too conservative.

Speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Josh Kroenke said: “Our most sincere thanks go to Unai and his colleagues who were unrelenting in their efforts to get the club back to competing at the level we all expect and demand. We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success.”

In his only full season in charge, Emery led Arsenal to fifth place in the Premier League, a run of two wins in their final seven games seeing them throw away a top-four finish and a Europa League final where defeat to Chelsea cost them Champions League qualification.

Returning to Europe’s top competition is a major priority for Arsenal both in terms of finances and prestige. It was felt that the club’s chances of qualifying were greater without Emery than with him.

Arsenal will be appointing just their third manager in 23 years with the likes of Mikel Arteta and Massimiliano Allegri expected to be under consideration for the role.

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Mourinho Meets Arsenal Chief, Set To Replace Embattled Gunners Manager Emery

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Arsenal is reportedly close to making their move to replace manager Unai Emery with former Chelsea boss, Mourinho.

Arsenal head of football, Raul Sanllehi dined with Jose Mourinho this week as the club considers pulling the trigger with a managerial change, according to The Times.

The Gunners have struggled to make progress under Unai Emery and growing concerns over fractures in his relationships with senior players have led to contingency plans being put in place.

According to the newspaper, Mourinho and Sanllehi had dinner together, with the former Manchester United boss said to have impressed with his plans for their squad.

It is claimed Emery has just one or two games remaining to save his job as club bosses seriously consider a move ahead of the November international break.

Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at the Emirate by Wolves on Saturday, with pressure mounting on Emery.

Mourinho has been holding out for a return to the Premier League as he eyes his first job since being sacked at Old Trafford almost a year ago.

The former Real Madrid boss have also retained a home in north London.

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