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Transfer: Nigerian midfielder joins Czech Republic club on loan

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Nigerian midfielder, Ubong Moses Ekpai has joined the Czech Republic club, FK Milada Boleslav on a season-long loan deal.

Ekpai moved to Milada Boleslav from Czech Republic champions, Slavia Prague.

The 26-year-old has already started training with his new teammates.

“We used the opportunity to agree on a loan with the player and the club, he is a speedy type of footballer who knows how to navigate the opponent’s penalty area,” Mlada Boleslav manager, Pavel Hoftych told the club’s official website.

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“When he captures the team’s well-being, he is a player with a difference, with his arrival we have multiplied our options on the wings.”

Ekpai played for Nigeria Professional Football League clubs, Akwa United and Kano Pillars before moving to Israel in 2019.

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BREAKING: Bayern Munich to part ways with Tuchel

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German giants Bayern Munich will be parting ways with its manager, Thomas Tuchel, at the end of the season, Sky Germany reports.

Theheute reports that Tuchel will leave Bayern after both sides had “fair and positive discussions” and came to an agreement.

An official announcement is set to be made in the coming days by Bayern.

The Bundesliga champions have also reportedly started a search for a new coach with Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp among the top contenders.

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Details later…

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Osimhen May Miss Napoli’s Champions League Clash with Barcelona

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Napoli could be without Victor Osimhen when they host Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 after the striker missed their last-gasp 1-1 home draw with Genoa in Serie A yesterday due to fatigue.

Osimhen returned to his Italian club after helping Nigeria reach the Africa Cup of Nations final which they lost 2-1 to hosts Côte d’Ivoire last Sunday.

“According to him and the doctors, the boy is at his lowest,” coach Walter Mazzarri told DAZN.

“Coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations it wouldn’t have been the best choice to risk it and let him play for a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes, so the doctor told me.”

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The tournament took its toll on Osimhen, who suffered stomach pains ahead of the semi-final against South Africa and was only cleared to play the day before the match.

The 25-year-old scored one goal in the tournament but his performances played an important role as Nigeria reached the final for the eighth time.

“Today (Saturday) he had an anti-fatigue training, tomorrow (Sunday) he will train. We hope to have him ready for Barcelona (but) his presence will not be certain,” Mazzarri said.

“Since I arrived I’ve never had him. He was injured, I had to recover him gradually. Then there was the Africa Cup of Nations,” the Napoli gaffer concluded.

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Sports Betting: House of Reps want awareness on negative impact of gambling

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Leading the debate on the motion titled ‘Need to curtail the dangerous effects of sports betting and direct the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to comply with the Lottery Regulatory Commission Act, 2005,’ in a session presided over by the Speaker Tajudden Abbas, Kelechi noted that “sports betting is expanding like wildfire globally, including Nigeria, which has growing betting outfits such as Naira Bet, Bet9ja, Sure Bet, Winners Golden Bet Max Bet, Merry Bet, 1960 Bet, Bet Colony, Stakers Den, Bet 360, Bet 365, Apollo Bet, etc,” noting that “approximately 60 million Nigerians aged 18 to 40 are engaged in sports betting.”

He further stated that the House is “aware that the National Lottery Act, 2005, provides for the establishment of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the National Lottery Trust Fund and is intended to ensure the fair operation and protection of players, stakeholders, and the public.

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“The House is aware that Section 2 of the regulations stipulates that a licensee, appointed agents, franchisees, or operators shall adhere strictly to government policies on social responsibility in designing, advertising, and marketing.

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“The House is worried that weak or neglected regulations of sports betting have dangerously led to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or addiction; strained or broken relationships due to lying or stealing from friends and family; financial problems, legal issues, and job loss due to excessive loss or debt; increased crime rates; and eventually committing suicide,” stressing that “most players prefer betting through their mobile phones instead of visiting retail outlets in order to evade control and regulations.”

He also opined that if sports betting is properly regulated and supervised, “it will generate tax revenue for the government and contribute to economic growth.”

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The House adopted the motion, urging the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation to implement comprehensive nationwide campaigns to raise public awareness about the negative consequences of youth engagement in sports betting.

It also directed its Committee on Inter-Governmental Affairs to hold a public hearing on the dangers and benefits of sports betting in Nigeria and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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