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Sergi Barjuan Appointed Barcelona’s Interim Coach

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BREAKING: Sergi Barjuan Appointed Barcelona's Interim Coach

Barcelona, on Thursday, October 28, 2021, confirmed the appointment of Sergi Barjuan as interim head coach following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman was relieved of his duties after Barça slipped to a calamitous 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano; a result that leaves the Catalan giants a lowly ninth in La Liga.

Newsrand reported that talks are at advanced stage with former midfield talisman Xavi Hernandez about succeeding Koeman on a permanent basis, but his release from current employers Al-Sadd is unlikely to be immediate.

That’s led Barça to announce that Barjuan will take the reins for now, and they issued the following statement on their official website:

The statement read: “FC Barcelona hereby announces that Sergi Barjuan, the current coach of Barça B, shall be taking provisional charge of the technical management of the senior squad. His interim position as first-team head coach shall end as soon as the club has hired a full-time head coach to replace the dismissed Ronald Koeman.

“FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, shall be officially introducing Sergi Barjuan to the first team squad this afternoon before the training session at the Ciutat Esportiva.

“Sergi Barjuan will be attending to the media tomorrow Thursday from 1.00 pm CEST in the pressroom at the Ciutat Esportiva to discuss the game against Alavés, with president Joan Laporta also appearing.”

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Op Ed

Tinubu: Can We Continually Abide In Sin That Grace May Abound?

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Tinubu: Can We Continually Abide In Sin That Grace May Abound?

When former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu informed President Muhammadu Buhari about his interest to succeed him in office, amongst other things, he expressed his admiration for the latter’s administrative performance, such that he said he would like to continue his ‘good works’

Tinubu, whose candidacy in the next year’s presidential election is arguably the most controversial, said the government of the day has been excellent, adding that as a matter of fact, it is miles better when compared to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s. His words: “I have the confidence, vision, and capacity to build on the foundations of Mr. President and turn Nigeria better. The past of the administration before us is being corrected by the incumbent and you can’t take away from that. By the time we came in, we did not pay the counterpart funds to start our rail lines. But today, you have the comfort of enjoying rail services from Lagos to Ibadan, you have Kaduna’s as well and other excellent infrastructures. Let us think back and be intellectually inquisitive as to the past and present and what the future holds for Nigerians.”

Going by macroeconomic indicators, such as inflation rates, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rates, lending rates, unemployment rates, and population growth rates, which economists use in ascertaining governments’ performances, it is a no-brainer to conclude that if Tinubu was not only massaging Buhari’s ego to secure his support for his long-life ambition, then it’s a foul that only succeeded in making a mockery of the government of the day. This is because since Buhari came to power under the flagship of the APC, he didn’t only fail in his promises, but also dampened the state of the economy. No wonder Nigeria ranked among the seven worst countries on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index just 19 months after he ascended to power.

Just last year, the official exchange rate of Nigeria, saw Naira, which is likely to be further devaluated as 2022 progresses, declined in value by 6.03%, as it closed at N435 per $1 on Friday, December 31. Just as it is the case of naira, unemployment has been a topical issue among several Nigerians, as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last estimated it at 33.3%, which indicates that at least 23 million Nigerians were without jobs. More so, under Buhari’s watch, the country experienced an extension of unstable inflationary pressure from 2020, such that at the end of Q1 2021, the 18.17% price index recorded was the highest monthly rate since 2017.

Talking of the alarming insecurity situation of the country that has displaced millions of people from their homes, seen several schools closed, and that has driven farmers away from their fields, such that food prices have increased astronomically, one would wonder how the APC chieftain concluded so easily that the works of the President have been good. And is it not more worrisome that he promised to continue from where he would stop? Ha! Was this not what Apostle Paul (a renowned character in the Bible), had in mind when he asked: “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” 

If not already, the aforementioned question would sooner or later become more relative when the APC finally concludes on its preferred candidate for the highly-anticipated 2023 presidential race. Because really, what can the ruling party brag about? Is it the infrastructures that failed to address the inflation, unemployment, and insecurity crises that have brought untold hardship on millions of Nigerians? Is it the economic policies that were yet to reduce the risk of running a business in the country? I mean, what would it be?

It is, however, noteworthy to mention that as it was in the case of Buhari, Tinubu’s age and academic qualifications have been a source of concern for members of the public, particularly in recent times. How the latter tends to address these things remains unknown, at least for now. But unlike how the grace abounded for Buhari in 2015 and 2019 even despite his shortcomings (age and education) and underperformance, this writer feared that it may not be further extended for Tinubu to warm his way into people’s hearts.

Written by Damilare Famuyiwa

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Guinea-Bissau Welcome Players Ahead Of Match Against Nigeria

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Guinea-Bissau Welcome Players Ahead Of Match Against Nigeria

Ahead of the final group stage game against Nigeria at the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), Guinea-Bissau welcomes back players. 

According to the team, five players who missed previous games due to Covid-19 is expected back after negative result in the current result.

The players are Nanu, Alfa Semedo, Mimito Biai, Maurice Gomis and Joseph Mendes.

READ ALSO: Things To Look Out For When Buying Used Cars In Nigeria

Edgar Pires , media officer of the Guinea-Bissau team disclosed this, stating that the players have been cleared by officials.

“The players trained with the team, which is a big boost but they will have to undergo another test again before the game,” Pires said.

It is also expected that their coach Baciro Cande, who missed the game against Egypt due to COVID-19, will return to the bench for the game after he also tested negative.

In his absence, Cande’s assistant Emiliano Te was in charge of the team in their 1-0 loss to Egypt. Guinea Bissau is currently third in the group with a point from their opening two games but they need to avoid defeat against the Eagles and hope Sudan fails to get a win in their final fixture against second-place Egypt.

Nigeria currently leads the group with six points having defeated Egypt and Sudan 1-0 and 3-1 respectively, while seven-time champions, the Pharaohs, are second with three points. Sudan is bottom with just one point with an inferior goal difference of -2 to Guinea Bissau, who have -1.

Group Table

Group DCountryPWDLFAGDPoints
1Nigeria22004136
2Egypt21011103
3Guinea-Bissau201101-11
4Sudan201113-21

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Aubameyang Breaks Silence Over His Departure From AFCON

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Aubameyang Breaks Silence Amidst Leaving AFCON

Gabon National Team is expected to finish the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with the absence of their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Arsenal forward who tested positive for covid-19 before the start of the competition is expected to return back to England.

The 32-year-old is yet to feature in the tournament, as he was expected to play their game against Ghana but will miss out on that due to medical issues.

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Aubameyang has been reportedly diagnosed with heart lesions forcing him out of the competition.

The former EPL golden boot winner, took to his social media to address rumors of him leaving Gabon training camp.

“We have some problems that are hard to resolve by themselves, then rumors get thrown into the mix.

“We have to look after our health first and foremost. I’m not going to talk about the false rumors and I truly hope our team goes as far as possible,” he tweeted.

His departure was revealed by the country’s coach, also adding Mario Lemina too will be let go from the competition.

“Since yesterday, the decision was taken to send them home to their club,”

“We can’t judge it here [in Cameroon], we can’t assess the pathology of Covid here.

“It’s important that Mario returns to Nice and Pierre returns to Arsenal,” he added. “It’s a decision that we’ve taken among ourselves.”

The Gabon Football Federation subsequently confirmed in a statement that the players are being released from international duty.

“The Gabonese Football Federation has decided to put the players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina back at the disposition of their clubs in order for them to follow more in-depth exams,” read a brief communique.

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