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NPFL champions to get N40m

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The champions of the 2015/16 Nigeria Professional Football League season are to get N40m from the Merit Award of the League Management Company.

Rangers International of Enugu and Rivers United of Port Harcourt are the two clubs in contention for the big prize money from a total of N200 million set aside by the LMC.

The winner between the two contenders for the final position on the league table at the end of the season on Sunday gets the N40 million cash prize.

The LMC said in a statement by its official, Harry Iwuala, that last season, the highest payout of N30 million from the Merit Award went to Enyimba International from a pool of N150 million.

The statement said that this year’s figure of N200 million represented an increase of 25 per cent.

It said, “The Merit Award pool has been witnessing an annual progression from N50 million in 2012/13 to N75 million in 2013/14 season and now N200 million.

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“The top three clubs on the final table usually received the chunk of the Merit Award which supports them financially in their preparation for the CAF Club competitions the next season.”
According to figures released by the LMC, the champions would have received a minimum of N90 million in all direct payments for the 2016 season.

It said, “This will include the Basic Award which comprises of pool of funds shared equally among all the 20 participating clubs and the Merit award paid to clubs based on their final position on the table.

“The Football Development and the Bonus award which is paid to clubs based on performances including incentives for improving match attendance, away wins/draw, fielding players under 18 years and hosting live broadcast matches.

“The lowest placed team in the NPFL this season would have received up to N55 million in direct payments from the LMC from all payment centres.”

It explained that in addition to the direct payments, clubs also benefitted from other indirect payments such as free registration of players and officials and free insurance.

Other benefits, it added, were payment of match officials’ indemnities and hotel accommodation as well as sponsored seminars and other engagements funded by the LMC.

Rangers are three points ahead of Rivers United with the Flying Antelopes hosting El-Kanemi Warriors at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium now called “The Cathedral’’ by Enugu fans.

They need a point to guarantee the title, while Rivers United must secure three points in Uyo against Akwa United.

The Port Harcourt side will seek to win big while hoping that Rangers will falter against their visitors.

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ESPN seal bumper broadcast deal with Tyson Fury

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British heavyweight Tyson Fury has reached a deal with ESPN broadcast, the deal entails that the platform will now be able to show his fights.



Fury reacted to the development by stating that “I’m delighted,”. “With ESPN and BT Sport behind me, the biggest sports.Adding that  “I’m only a fighter, I can only fight who they put in front of me. I want the biggest fights – the (Anthony) Joshua’s, the Wilder’s of the world and everybody.

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The deal with ESPN could have an impact on the 30-year-old’s rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

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“Everyone thinks it was a money-related issue, but it wasn’t” – Naomi Osaka

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World number one Naomi Osaka has cleared the air saying she was not willing to “sacrifice” her happiness following her surprise split from coach Sascha Bajin 16 days after winning her second grand slam – the Australian Open, after she won her first at the 2018 US Open.




“Everyone thinks it was a money-related issue, but it wasn’t,” said Osaka.

“I wouldn’t put success over my happiness. I’m not going to sacrifice that just to keep a person around.

“That’s one of the most hurtful things I’ve ever heard.”

The 21 year old Japanese, had worked with Bajin for just over a year when she announced the split on Twitter.

Bajin, the 2018 WTA coach of the year, is a former hitting partner of Grand Slam champions Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

Under him, Osaka rose from world number 72 at the start of 2018 to the summit of the rankings little over a year later.

Though no particular reason was given for the split as of now, but Osaka says issues with the German had been “brewing” at January’s Australian Open.

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“I think some people could see that, if they saw how we interacted,” she told reporters at the WTA event in Dubai.

“I’m not going to say anything bad about him because, of course, I’m really grateful for all the things he’s done.

“During the Australian Open, I was just trying to tell myself to get through it. I’m not sure, but I think you guys noticed.”

She expressed optimism over having a new coach in place before March 4, when the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells takes off.

“[The most important thing for me is] just to have a positive mindset,” Osaka added. “I don’t want someone that’s in the box saying negative stuff. That would be the worst.

“[I want] someone that’s kind of direct, not afraid to say things to my face. I’d rather someone say it directly to me than go around my back. That’s one of the biggest things.”

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