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Feet ‘n’ Tricks redeems pledges of over N20m, hands over Saloon Car, ticket, prize money

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Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited, organizers of the just concluded Nigeria National Freestyle Championship, in conjunction with its major sponsor, GAC Motors, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and VFD Group, have fulfilled their pledge as a brand new saloon car was handed to the 1st Prize Winner in the male category of the competition, McCarthy Obanor

The saloon car, travel ticket and other prizes, won during the very successful competition held last weekend at the Ikeja City Mall, were handed over to winners at an impressive ceremony held at the GAC Motor Office in Victoria Island Lagos and witnessed by other major sponsors of the event.

The winners apart from Mr. McCarthy Obanor, who will represent Nigeria at the World Super Ball Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, include Mayowa Bababunmi, a medical doctor, who placed second, winning N750,000. Others are 2nd runner up, Austine Abariode who went home with N500,000.00 and 3rd runner up, Ifeanyi Nwabeke, who received N250,000.00 for his freestyle football skills.

In the female category, Rasheedat Ajibade, the captain of Nigeria’s Under 17 Women National Team clinched the title, winning the sum of N1m. Ajibade, a professional footballer, defeated Chidinma Okeke, her teammate in the national team in the final. Okeke collected N750,000 for her second place effort. Nduibisi Esther and Unamba Augustina were 2nd and 3rd place winners, receiving N500,000 and N250,000 respectively.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of Feet ‘n’ Tricks Limited, Valentine Ozigbo, appreciated the sponsors – GAC Motors, FIRS, Five Star Music, VFD Group, Wakanow, Wine and Things, Scavi & Ray, Pinnacle Communications and media groups including Hip TV, Cool FM Group, DBN and Channels for their support.

He noted that the organisers would not have achieved this much in its first year without the belief the sponsors had in his company. “It is going to be bigger and better next year, we are going to be working with all that were part of this year’s and we promise a bigger and better tournament next year,” he concluded.

The Chairwoman of Choice International and representative of GAC Motors in Africa, Chief Diana Chan, said GAC Motors collaborated with Feet ‘n’ Tricks to give better future and sustainable leaving to talented young men and women in Nigeria.

While promising the commitment of her company to future editions of the competition, she said, “Our mission in Nigeria is to offer the next credible alternatives to users of vehicles in Nigeria through our sincere commitment to offering high quality products and services to our customers, and in doing this to support the creative arts and sports and talented young Nigerians in order to bring out the best in them.”

Alhaji Kunle Oseni, National Coordinator for Tax Enlightenment, FIRS, representing the Chairman of the agency said “FIRS is identifying with Feet ‘n’ Tricks as part of our corporate social responsibility given the very positive impacts professionalizing freestyle football would have for our young ones on the street, and then to enlighten our people more on tax matters.

Speaking on behalf of the winners, Mr. McCarthy Obanor, who will be sponsored to the world championship, thanked the organiser for giving freestyle footballers hope of bright future by committing huge resources to organising the competition despite the economic situations in the country. He promised to make Nigeria proud by winning the global event.

“For once , Free n Tricks have helped me in convincing my mother that there is future in freestyle football. Courtesy of the organisers with the support of the sponsors, I am not only a owner of a brand new car, a million naira, but most importantly, I will carrying my country’s flag in an international competition, what I have long for in my seven years of freestyling,” Obanor said

Cynosure of all eyes was on Mayowa Bababunmi, a medical doctor who placed second. Asked how he developed his talents despite his tight medical profession practice, he said Freestyle has become a passion and relaxation tool for him. “with my involvement, I believe I have encouraged other professionals to live their passion,”, Mayowa said

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Fraud: Man United boss, Mourinho sentenced to one year imprisonment

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly accepted a one-year suspended prison sentence for tax fraud in Spain.

Mourinho is alleged to have defrauded the Spanish authorities of €1.9 million (£1.78 million) during his time in charge of Real Madrid, using offshore companies in Ireland, the British Virgin Islands and New Zealand to conceal his earnings.

The Portuguese is thought to have earned around €3.3 million (£2.9 million) from image rights in 2011 and 2012, of which he has been fined 60 per cent.

El Mundo claims that Mourinho will accept in writing that he concealed that income from the authorities, avoiding the need for a trial and ensuring that he will not serve any jail time.

Mourinho is the latest high-profile football name to be penalised for tax evasion by the Spanish authorities, with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sanchez and Javier Mascherano also being caught in recent years.

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Fashanu, Tonto Dike, Siasia, others named Freestyle Football ambassadors

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Feet and Tricks International, organisers of the first ever African Football Freestyle Championship in Africa has named former professional English footballer, John Fashanu; Former Nigerian defender and former Head of Lagos State Football Association, Waidi Akanni; and former Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, Superstar actresses, Kate Henshaw and Tonto Dikeh as brand ambassadors for this year’s Championship. All with enviable careers and celebrated globally are undoubtedly a perfect representation of the sporting excellence the brand stands for.

Confirming this, the Chairman, Feet ‘n’ Tricks International, Valentine Ozigbo noted that ” Feet ‘n’ Tricks is on a mission to making Africa the home of freestyle football and providing a new platform for self-expression of skills in order to ultimately exploit the global appeal of the sport. In order to realize this, we decided to look for ambassadors, who exemplify the same passion for the sport like we do, and decided to work together with John Fashanu, Waidi Akanni, Samson Siasia, Kate Henshaw and Tonto Dikeh to actualize this dream”.

“Without a doubt, they have over the years demonstrated leadership in the sports and entertainment scene and beyond. To this end, we trust in their ability to help engage and inspire our target audience to accept as well as  promote freestyle football to the lofty height and the global phenomenon that it is now fast developing into. The infusion of Kate Henshaw and Tonto Dikeh into the event is to create an entertainment appeal to the sport and quip the interest of the youths. We are glad to have them onboard as brand ambassadors.” Ozigbo said.

The qualifying rounds and Nigerian championship will hold on September 13th -14th, 2018 at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos. After the qualifying rounds, the best 16 male and 8 female freestyle athletes in Africa will emerge to battle it out at the grand finale on September 15, 2018 in a keenly contested competition that is expected to produce the first African male and female Freestyle Football Champions.

The new ambassadors, while commenting on their new role as ambassadors of Feet ‘n’ Tricks International, took turns to commend the firm for the hard work that has seen it rise to the height attained within a short period, while also noting that the gesture is indeed an honour.

“I am in-tune with the mission of this tournament, to develop and sustain the growth of the art of freestyle football because I have a passion for the development of grassroot football. What feet and tricks is doing is basically creating an avenue to accommodate these freestylers who have been neglected all over the continent.” said Fashanu.

“My interest in this sport grew when I realised the huge potential it has to impact grassroots football and make an otherwise overlooked freestyler a celebrity, at no cost at all. I am happy to be part of this and I encourage people to register to attend the event.” Kate Henshaw said.

Waidi Akanni said, “Freestyle football is the foundation of beautiful football, and it is an honor to be an ambassador of a tournament that is determined to touch lives and mine this huge reserve of talent in Africa. Because of the lack of structure in the sport, it has been impossible to harness the economic and entertainment potentials it possesses.  This championship by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International brings structure and reward to the table, making it possible for freestyle football to be more than just a hobby.”

Tonto Dikeh said “Last year,  it was just a Nigerian Championship but this year, Feet ‘n’ Tricks has extended the event reach to Africa. It shows a growing company with a vision and I am happy to be brought on board as an ambassador. I am here to also encourage more women to be part of this game, because I have seen that this is one football sport that women find incredibly entertaining and awesomely beautiful. ”

The 2018 Africa Freestyle Football Championship is a perfect fusion of freestyle football and entertainment as top musical and dance artistes will be performing, including Falz, Vanessa Mdee, Kcee, Mayorkun, Slim Case and Mr Real. The championship will also host international freestyle professionals; Guinness world record holder, Iya Traore and Female freestyle legend, Raquel Benetti from Brazil.

While appreciating Feet ‘n’ Tricks, Samson Siasia said: “Associating with an organization that is poised to project and reward talent in Africa is a good one for me because I am particularly happy with the positive impact this championship is having on the youths in Africa, who have only their freestyle skills to survive. This puts them on a pedestal for the world stage, and I foresee a world freestyle football championship from Africa. Anything is possible”,

This event is endorsed by World Freestyle Football Association and proudly sponsored by Heritage Bank, Sprite,  GAC Motors, MTN, Startimes, FIRS, Eko Disco, Goal.com among others.

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SPORTS

EPL: Brighton beat Manchester United 3-2

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MANCHESTER UNITED slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion as Jose Mourinho’s men lost early ground on their title rivals.

United went into Sunday’s showdown at the Amex Stadium having watched reigning champions Manchester City and Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea secure three points against Huddersfield and Arsenal respectively.

Manchester United will have to come from behind in order to win their first Premier League title since 2013 though thanks to goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross.

Murray put Brighton a goal to the good after 25 minutes with a cute flick at the near post and Duffy was on hand two minutes later to extend their advantage.

Romelu Lukaku got United back into the game 10 minutes before the break but Jose Mourinho’s men failed to stay close to Brighton for long.

Gross stepped up and dispatched his penalty thanks to a deflection off David De Gea after Eric Bailly had a rush of blood to the head in the box.

United failed to muster a response in the second half and Paul Pogba’s late penalty came too late to threaten Brighton’s hopes of gaining three points.

The result leaves an increasingly under-pressure Mourinho down in the dumps while the Seagulls soar following their first win of the new season.

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