Category: Sports

Full Last 16 Fixtures, Date and Time for Qatar 2022


Following a sensational end to the group games of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup on Friday, the round of 16 games will immediately follow up on Saturday (today).

The group climaxed with Group H games that saw Ghana and Uruguay bow out even though the South Americans won 2-0. South Korea also joined Portugal in the next round courtesy of a late winner by Hwang Hee-chan.

While highly rated teams like Germany, Belgium, and Uruguay failed to make it out of the group stage, Japan, South Korea, and Morocco pulled surprises to top their respective groups.

As there is no break after the group stage games, the second round gets underway on Saturday with games between the Netherlands and USA as well as between Argentina and Australia.

Full Last 16 Fixtures for Qatar 2022 World Cup +Plus Time

See the complete second-round FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule below:

Match 50 – Saturday, 3 December Argentina-Australia, Time: 20:00

 Match 51 – Sunday, 4 December England-Senegal, Time: 20:00

Match 52 – Sunday, 4 December France-Poland, Time: 16:00

Match 53 – Monday, 5 December Japan-Croatia, Time: 16:00

Match 54 – Monday, 5 December Brazil-Korea Republic, Time: 20:00

Match 55 – Tuesday, 6 December Morocco-Spain, Time: 16:00

Match 56 – Tuesday, 6 December Portugal – Switzerland, Time: 20:00


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Athletes lament poor conditions at sports festival

Some athletes partaking in the 21st National Sports Festival, dubbed “Nigeria’s Olympics,” have voiced worries about the accommodations, electricity, and transportation plans with over 14,000 of them in attendance.

There were worries that Delta wouldn’t be able to accommodate the largest number of competitors ever at the national event on the scheduled date, but the state finished building the facilities for the event in record time, to the admiration of Nigerians who love sports and sports minister Sunday Dare.

However, in a separate conversation with our correspondent, some of the participants rued the poor arrangement on ground for their contingents.

Team Osun Para-table tennis coach Adigun Mutiu said he had high expectations ahead of the trip to Asaba, but confessed he was now disappointed on his arrival.

“Our expectation is that Asaba will give us the best festival experience, but accommodation has posed a great challenge since we arrived. Can you imagine that we don’t have light and water (in our camp)?

“For some of us from Osun, we feel really bad about that. We aren’t supposed to lack these basic amenities for a day. So far too, we haven’t seen shuttle buses for easy transportation,” he said.

Margaret Chidi from Imo State, a Para-athlete, reiterated Mutiu’s concerns.

“The festival has been okay but the only challenge we have is that the special athletes were not given friendly facilities,” she said.

A female Taekwondo athlete, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also told our correspondent about the discomfort at the Old National Youth Service Corps camp.

“There is no electricity and there are no sockets in the rooms where we are camped,” she said.

“The bathrooms are unisex and the male athletes have been entering the bath place without caution, which is embarrassing. There is also not enough water for all of us to take our bathe. Again, those who get to the bathroom late can’t shower.”

However, another Para-table tennis coach Ilesanmi Olatunji from Ondo State said they were happy with the facilities in their camp.

“The accommodation is okay and the organisation has been fantastic. My personal target here is to win gold for my state in Para-table tennis,” he said.


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Oliseh lauds Morocco, Senegal historic World Cup achievement

Former Super Eagles coach and member of the FIFA Technical Study Group for the 2022 World Cup, Sunday Oliseh, has hailed Senegal and Morocco for reaching the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Morocco edged past Canada to top Group F and reach the World Cup knockout stage for the first time in 36 years.

Morocco finished on seven points, two more than runners-up Croatia, to advance from the group stage of the tournament to the next for a second time, 36 years after they became the first African country to do so at the Mexico World Cup in 1986.

The Atlas Lions, whose previous trip to the last 16 came in 1986, finished above 2018 finalists Croatia, while Belgium, ranked second in the world, are out after finishing third in the group.

Oliseh was impressed with the performance of the two African sides at the World Cup.

“The euphoria here in Qatar is infectious as my in-laws, Morocco, achieve a historic second round World Cup qualification. First, Senegal; now this. What a World Cup for Africa with African coaches! “I feel more is coming.” Oliseh said on Twitter.

He also applauded Mohammed Kudus for his creative display in Ghana’s 2-0 defeat to Uruguay, adding that the future of the Black Stars is bright.

“Just watched Mohammed Kudus, a superstar on which Ghana can rebuild a top Black Stars team. A skilful, fast creative, humble, strong, sharp, shooter, hardworking with leadership “on pitch” qualities.


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Germany Players Protest in World Cup Photo

Germany’s players covered their mouths for the team photo before their World Cup opener against Japan on Wednesday in protest at FIFA’s refusal to allow rainbow-themed armbands.

The captains of seven European teams had planned to wear the anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament in Qatar as part of a campaign for diversity, but backed down over the threat of disciplinary action from football’s governing body, including yellow cards.

The rainbow armbands had been viewed as a symbolic protest against laws in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Germany’s football federation said in a tweet moments after the photo protest that “human rights are not negotiable.”

“This is not a political position; human rights are not negotiable,” the DFB tweeted.

“To ban the armband is like banning our right to speak,” the federation added.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino was at the Khalifa International Stadium for the Germany-Japan match.

The German government spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, said earlier in the day in Berlin that FIFA’s decision to bar captains from wearing the “One Love” armbands was “very unfortunate.”

“The rights of LGBTQ people are non-negotiable,” Hebestreit said at a regular press conference.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who was to attend the game in Doha against Japan, said FIFA’s ban was a “huge mistake.”

Not only players but fans should also be allowed to show pro-LGBTQ symbols “openly,” she told reporters in Qatar.

Security staff at the World Cup have ordered spectators to remove items of clothing featuring rainbow logos.

Supporters should however “make a decision for themselves” about whether they wanted to wear the symbols, Faeser said.

Underscoring tensions at the tournament over the issue, Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen said on Tuesday in Qatar that he was “afraid” to talk about human rights.

Vertonghen, speaking on the eve of Belgium’s opening game against Canada later Wednesday, said he did not feel comfortable.

“I’m afraid if I say something about this, I might not be able to play tomorrow,” the defender said.

“It’s an experience I’ve never had in football before.” I feel controlled. I’m afraid to even say something about this.

“We’re just saying normal things about racism and discrimination, and if you can’t even say things about it, that says it all.”

“I want to appear on the pitch tomorrow, so I’ll leave it at that.”


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Saudi Arabia Stun Argentina with Epic Comeback

Saudi Arabia stunned Lionel Messi’s Argentina on Tuesday, beating the two-time winners 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.

Salem Al-Dawsari hit a stunning winner to sink the red-hot favorites, bringing the South American side’s 36-match unbeaten run to a shuddering halt.

The win was fully deserved after Saudi Arabia came from behind after Saleh Al-Shehri cancelled out an early Lionel Messi penalty.

Playing a risky high defensive line, the athletic Saudis rode their luck in the first half when, three times, Argentina had the ball in the net only to be denied by an offside call.

But in a chaotic start to the second half, the Saudis swarmed all over Lionel Scaloni’s team and scored twice as the Arab nation beat the South Americans for the first time in five attempts.

In a first half dominated by Argentina, it seemed only a matter of time before Saudi Arabia’s risky defensive tactics would cost them.

That condensed the game into a sliver of green turf around the halfway line as the Asian side happily allowed Argentina’s back four to pass the ball among themselves.

It seemed Saudi Arabia were facing a long afternoon after VAR intervened to award a penalty when Saud Abdulhamid wrestled Leandro Paredes to the ground in the box at a corner.

Messi waited for goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais to dive to his left before coolly rolling the ball into the opposite corner.

But if the Saudis felt aggrieved at the technology, it would later help keep them in the game.

Three times Argentina had the ball in the net only to be denied by razor-tight offside calls, the first given by VAR.

There was no controversy about the equalizer three minutes into the second half, though, as Al-Shehri ran onto a touch from Feras Al-Brikan, beat Cristian Romero on the outside, and slotted the ball back across goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and into the far corner.

The sizeable Saudi contingent in the Lusail stadium—wwhere the World Cup final will be held—eexploded in joy.

Suddenly the Argentines were rattled, and five minutes later the turnaround was complete.

Al-Dawsari’s clever turn in the box beat two defenders before he shifted the ball past a third and rifled an unstoppable shot into the top right corner.

The crowd was going wild, and Hassan Al-Tambakti punched the air in delight after his desperate sliding tackle denied Messi a clear shot at goal.

Every Al-Owais save, including a point-blank block from Nicolas Tagliafico’s close-range prod, was greeted with rapturous cheers.

There was late drama after Al-Owais collided with Yasser Al-Shahrani and seemed to knock him out as his knee struck the defender’s head.


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Beer ban at Qatar World Cup stadiums lurking

According to reports, World Cup host Qatar is pressuring FIFA to stop the sale of beer at the eight World Cup stadiums.

The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, but it is due to be available in the area immediately outside match venues and fan zones, as well as within hotels.

Budweiser is one of FIFA’s biggest sponsors, but was told on Saturday to relocate stalls selling its product at stadiums to less prominent locations.

The Times reports that Qatar 2022, now wants to go even further and that discussions are ongoing between FIFA and Budweiser.

The PA news agency has approached FIFA and Budweiser owner AB InBev for comment.In response to the request to move its outlets, AB InBev told Sky News, “AB InBev was informed on November 12, and is working with FIFA to relocate the concession outlets to locations as directed.

“We are working with FIFA to bring the best possible experience to the fans. Our focus is on delivering the best possible consumer experience under the new circumstances.’’


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“See as Portugal turns our Super Eagles into Super Fowls.” – reactions trail 4-0 friendly defeat

A cross-section of Nigerians on social media have reacted to the Super Eagles’ 4-0 international friendly defeat to Portugal on Thursday night.

Gogan TV reports that a first-half brace from Bruno Fernandes and a second-half goal each from Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario gave Portugal the victory over Jose Peseiro’s side.

The match was played at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon.

Reacting to the development, some Nigerians on Twitter expressed sadness over the outcome of the result, thanking God that the Super Eagles did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while others criticized Emmanuel Dennis for his display against Portugal.

Also, another section called for the sack of Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro, while others singled out Bright Osayi-Samuel and Samuel Chukwueze as the only players that performed brilliantly against Portugal.

Here are some comments gathered from Twitter:

@IamDannyben, “See as Portugal turns our Super Eagles into Super Fowls.”

@Mohnice_, “You look at how the Portugal vs. Nigeria game is going on and you thank God the Super Eagles didn’t qualify for the World Cup.” “Because I don’t think there is a team we can manage to beat with these bums called footballers.”

@IfeoluwaIsaac2, “Bruno Fernandes has forgotten most, or his fans are Nigerians… “He’s singlehandedly tearing our national team apart.”

@dezfootieFaced with the daunting task of silencing PSG’s Nuno Mendes, he did so in brilliant fashion, conceding and later winning a penalty.”

@Regular_NiceGuy, “The sad thing about the Portugal vs. Nigeria match is that Nigerians don’t even have light to watch the match.”

@PoojaMedia, “Are “most” Super Eagles players overrated? “Because why are we playing like this?”

@gyaigyimii, “The Super Eagles’ Twitter page stopped giving updates after halftime; why are you running?”

@sportingshina, “Peseiro is one of Pinnick’s legacies. The sooner we fire him now, the better for the Super Eagles. Man is tactically inept. Imagine it is Brazil; the Super Eagles are playing tonight.


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Adesanya released following arrest

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who was reportedly arrested for taking brass knuckles through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, has been released.

The PUNCH had reported how the 33-year-old, who lost his title by TKO to Alex Pereira in New York last Saturday, was arrested by Port Authority police in the American Airlines terminal on Wednesday.

Brass knuckles are a Class A misdemeanor in New York, and it is also illegal to bring them aboard an airplane. Although, it’s not clear where Adesanya allegedly stored the weapon.

His release was confirmed by a Canadian-based Combat Sports reporter who works for ESPN, Marc Raimondi, on his verified Twitter handle, referencing a statement issued by Adesanya’s manager, Tim Simpson of Paradigm Sports Management, on the incident on Wednesday.

The statement reads: “Israel was handed a gift by a fan, which he put in his luggage. When the item was flagged at the airport, Israel quickly disposed of it and cooperated with authorities.

“He has complied; accordingly, with that, the matter was dismissed, and he is on his way home.”


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Mayweather wins exhibition fight over Olatunji; gets black eye

Undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather defeated British-Nigerian Deji Olatunji in a huge exhibition boxing fight in Dubai on Monday morning, but not before Olatunji landed a punch in the fifth round to stun the Dubai crowd.

To no one’s surprise, it was Mayweather who came away with victory, but not without the efforts of the YouTube star, who took Mayweather to the sixth round before the fight was stopped in the American’s favour. The fight was a relaxed one with Mayweather even spending time in his opponent’s corner in between rounds.

The 45-year-old boxer beat the Youtuber convincingly without even breaking a sweat in the exhibition bout.

The crowd shouted, “Come on, Deji” with Mayweather even taunting him by keeping his hands at his side and entertaining the crowd.

The fight carried on and after a while, Mayweather decided it was time to end it, as he’s already put on a show, and in the sixth round he released the beast which was too much for Olatunji, who gave up, as he couldn’t keep his guard up, a clear sign that he had enough, with referee Kenny Bayless forced to stop the match.

This was Mayweather’s latest mega-money venture coming against the brother of famed YouTuber, boxer and singer, Olajide Olatunji, popularly known as KSI. This is the fifth exhibition fight for Mayweather since his retirement.

Although Olatunji took it seriously and trained for the bout as if there was a championship belt to be fought, as he even outweighed Mayweather 175.2 to 154.3, about 21 pounds more than the legendary fighter, he eventually lost.


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UFC: I would’ve beaten Pereira if we went on – Adesanya

Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, believes that he would have retained his belt against Alex Pereira on Sunday at UFC 281 at the Madison Square Garden if the referee hadn’t called a stoppage when he did.

Adesanya was up on the scorecards three rounds to one, when he slipped in the middle of the octagon. He tried to recover but it was the beginning of the end.

As Adesanya retreated to the fence, Pereira followed and peppered him with punches to the face, stunning him and nearly knocking him unconscious. Referee Marc Goddard ended the fight as Adesanya’s body went limp, though Adesanya protested the stoppage as he attempted to regain his composure.

Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) defeated Adesanya for the third time when he stopped the then-champion by fifth-round TKO. The loss was Adesanya’s first at middleweight and his first stoppage defeat. Duties -Ondo Female Regents

“I was fine. First thing I said to the referee was that I was fine, I was still lucid. But yeah, sh*t happens,” the Nigerian-New Zealander told reporters in the post-fight press conference.

“Well, I talked to my coaches and I trust them. But I was fine, my eyes might have rolled back a little bit but I was lucid.

“My ego would say at least let me go out on my shield but I don’t think I would have gone out because I was still there. He might have gone on to win that round but I would still be champion.”

Adesanya responded positively to talks of a rematch, “Of course, this is my third fight in 10 months. Every time I fight, I risked losing (the belt). I put it on the line because I am not trying to do it just once and this is what happens, but again, dare to be great, and I am.

“Right now, I am just focused on rehydrating and doing the obligations.”

Adesanya doesn’t think a potential rematch would be more challenging than the fight at the Garden.

“No, I know what he can do. He hit my peroneal nerve so that’s where my footwork was compromised. Kudos to him for investing in those calf kicks because it really paid off.

“Like the Wolf of Wall Street, I’m still here, I’m not f*cking leaving. It’s not over.”


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