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Moses shortlisted for Chelsea’s top award

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Super Eagles forward, Victor Moses, has been shortlisted for Chelsea’s Player of the Year for the 2017-18 season, writes the official website of the Blues.

 

The right wing-back is amongst the 30 players who made appearances for Chelsea’s first-team nominated for the prestigious award.

 

It would be a tall order for Moses to win the accolade with the likes of N’Golo Kanté, Eden Hazard, Willian, Andreas Christensen, César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso all included on the roster.

 

This season, the winger has played 32 matches in all competitions, scoring three goals and registering same number of assists.

 

No player of Nigerian descent has won Chelsea’s Player of the Year since its inception in 1967 and Belgium dazzler Hazard has received three of the last four awards.

 

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi won Chelsea’s Young Player of the Year in 2007, while Dominic Solanke and Fikayo Tomori collected the Academy Player of the Year prizes in 2015 and 2016.

 

The winner of Chelsea’s Player of the Year will be announced at the club’s annual end-of-season awards ceremony, which takes place on Thursday May 10.

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Wilder offers Joshua $50m for heavyweight mega-fight

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Deontay Wilder told Anthony Joshua “the money’s in the bag” as prospects rose Wednesday of a blockbuster world title unification bout between the unbeaten heavyweights.

In a Twitter video posted Wednesday, America’s World Boxing Council world champion Wilder backed up reports that his camp had emailed Britain’s Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn an offer of a minimum of $50 million.

“I’ve got something special for you,” Wilder tells Joshua in the video. “By the way, all the money is in the bag. I expect you’ll be a man of your word.”

Joshua, who unified the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization heavyweight titles by out-pointing New Zealand’s Joseph Parker on March 31, had already been recorded saying he’d “take $50 million up front” to fight Wilder.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Wilder promoter Lou DiBella had confirmed the offer for a fight in the United States sometime between September and December.

“We’ll see how badly he wants the fight,” DiBella told the newspaper. “Anthony Joshua has said he’d accept this offer. If Eddie Hearn is not looking to stop it from happening, they now have an extraordinary offer to consider.”

ESPN reported that both camps had confirmed the offer, adding that it was for one fight, with no rematch clause, and would have to be the next bout for each fighter.

The winner of a Joshua-Wilder bout would be the first man to hold all four major heavyweight titles simultaneously, and Joshua told the BBC this month that he’d rather face Wilder than Russian Alexander Povetkin, the WBA mandatory challenger.

Joshua, 28, won his first world title in 2016 and has made five defenses, taking his record to 21-0 with 20 knockouts.

Wilder, 32, improved to 40-0 with 39 knockouts when he knocked out previously unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz in the 10th round in Brooklyn, New York, on March 3.

AFP

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Messi scores in trademark tussle in EU court

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Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi may register his name as a trademark for sports equipment and clothing, the EU’s second-highest court said, as he was famous enough to overcome phonetic similarities with Spanish bicycle clothing brand Massi.

The case reached the EU General Court after the Spanish brand successfully complained to the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The EUIPO said that Messi and Massi were almost identical visually and phonetically and some would find it difficult to the tell the two apart, but the court disagreed.

“Mr Messi is, in fact, a well-known public figure who can be seen on television and who is regularly discussed on television or on the radio,” the court said on Thursday.

Widely considered one of the world’s greatest soccer players, Lionel Messi, 30, scored his 600th professional goal last month and is the all-time highest scorer for both Barcelona and Argentina’s national team, reports Reuters.

The court said that even though some people may not know Lionel Messi, this was unlikely to be the case for those buying sports equipment.

Messi can still appeal the decision at the EU Court of Justice.

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Rohr leaves spaces for two alternate players

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Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, will make space for two alternate players after releasing his final list of 23 players for this year’s World Cup on June 1.

 

With the Eagles’ final squad for Russia 2018 set to be issued a day before their penultimate build-up friendly to England on June 2, Rohr hinted he would take along two extra players in the advent of injuries to any member of the selected 23.

 

The 64-year-old German also disclosed that Nigeria’s provisional list of 35 players would be forwarded to FIFA on Monday May 14 exactly a month to the kickoff of the World Cup. The provisional list would be a prelude to the three-phase last lap of World Cup camping for the team.

Our correspondent learnt that players on the provisional list would open camp for the next phase of the build-up in Abuja and play a friendly against DR Congo on May 28, before departing for London for the June 2 clash with England.

The team will then be pruned to a final roster of 23 players, whose names will be submitted to FIFA latest by Friday June 1.

 

Nigeria’s final list will be submitted 24 hours before the friendly against England at Wembley Stadium, but Rohr said there would be two extra players on standby with the team in London in case of any injury.

After the battle with the Three Lions, the Eagles will then proceed to the third and final phase of camping in Austria, where they will take on Czech Republic in the last friendly game on June 6 before flying to their World Cup base camp in Yessentuki, Russia.

 

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