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Celtic emerge champions, Hearts relegated as Scottish season ends

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Amb. (Dr,) Dickson A. O. Akoh FCITr, FCPA
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Celtic have been declared 2019/2020 Scottish champions for a record-equalling ninth successive season by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), while Hearts were relegated.

This ending came after the clubs voted on Monday to end the Scottish Premiership season early because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

`The SPFL has today announced that, following consultation with all 12 top-flight clubs, the Board of the SPFL has determined that the 2019/20 Ladbrokes Premiership has been concluded with immediate effect,” the SPFL said in a statement.

“The decision means that Celtic are crowned 2019/20 champions and Hearts have been relegated to the Championship.

When the season was stopped in March because of the pandemic, Celtic were 13 points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers, who had a game in hand.

Also, Hearts were four points adrift at the bottom of the standings.

Places were decided on a points-per-game average.

Hearts said they were still considering legal action, saying they had been “unfairly penalised” because of the pandemic.

In a statement, the Edinburgh club said they would be submitting a member’s resolution offering a “pragmatic solution” to the issues the game is facing.

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Hearts believe there is an appetite for a restructuring of the Scottish leagues.

“It is our belief that this resolution, if supported, will provide an opportunity to avoid disproportionately disadvantaging —- financially and otherwise —- any club,” the club said.

“This is possibly the final chance for our game to stand together, protect each other and not only survive but flourish in the aftermath of this terrible pandemic.

“As previously intimated, the club has been taking legal advice throughout this process and is continuing to do so.

“We hope that the resolution being prepared will avoid the need to go down this route. Legal action will be both time consuming and expensive.

“However, the cost to the club of relegation will outweigh these considerations.’’

Last week Scottish clubs failed to support a request by Rangers for an independent investigation into SPFL’s handling of the season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The resolution, backed by Hearts and Stranraer.

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It was put forward after serious misgivings about how a previous vote on the SPFL’s plan to end the lower leagues early, and possibly the Premiership too, was carried out.

The SPFL executive committee last week met all 12 Premiership clubs about declaring the season over.

Media reports had it that relegated Hearts had made a final push for a revamp of the league structure.

Scotland’s three lowest tiers were ended immediately in April, with positions also decided on a points-per-game average, although the door was left open for a resumption of the Premiership.

That has now been ruled out.

Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were declared winners of the Championship, League One and League Two respectively.

The SPFL released end-of-season payments of over 1.8 million pounds (2.18 million dollars) to clubs to ease their financial burden.

“We will all have rather seen the league season played out on pitches, in stadiums and in front of supporters,” SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan said.

“COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on sports competitions around the world and the repercussions will be felt for a long time.”

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Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell dedicated the club’s title, their 51st compared to Rangers’ 54, to the fans.

“I am so proud of our team and proud of you for all you have given us,” he said on Celtic’s website.

“While we rightly celebrate this fantastic, deserved achievement, we must take time to consider the wider circumstances we have all been experiencing.”

Celtic also won nine league titles in a row from 1965 to 1974, a feat matched by Rangers from 1989 to 1997.

Credit: Reuters/NAN

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RSDF, Naija Ratels Congratulate Ilerika Over Sports Award

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Sports Award: RSDF, Naija Ratels congratulate Ilerika 
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Following his decoration as the Sports Administrator of the year by My Media Africa Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF) has congratulated the Secretary of FCT Football Association Haruna Usman Ilerika.

President of the Foundation, and proprietor of rising Nigeria Women club, Abuja-based Naija Ratels, Barr. Paul Edeh, described the honour as well-deserved.

Barr. Edeh said he has known coach Ilerika as a hardworking administrator and technical personality in football affairs.

“On behalf of the Foundation and the Naija Ratels, I congratulate you for this honour which I believe you deserve. I have always known as a hardworking coach and administrator.

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“You have continued to make FCT and Nigeria proud in many ways. I know that this award will propel you to continuously do more,” Barr. Edeh, a seasoned sports administrator said in a statement on Saturday.

Ilerika is on the services of the Federal Capital Territory Administration as the Secretary of the FCT Football Association and at the same time, a professional coach.

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He is a CAF C and CAF B Licensed coach and a CAF/NFF football instructor who has a masters degree in public administration.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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Six teams to Slug It At  NSK Polo Tournament, In Argungu 2021 World Tourism Celebration

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Six Polo giant-teams and clubs across the country are billed to take part in the five-day stretched program of events competing for various trophies as part of the activities pencilled to celebrates 2021 World Tourism Day in Arungungu in Kebbi state.

The teams include; the Vibrant polo teams NSK Farms, Ayutan Farms, Weststream Ponies and NFVCB Polo Team. Others are Gagdi Farms and Pali Resorts Polo Team.

In a statement signed by the Director, Media & Public Relations Ahmed Mohammed Sule said that teams will battle it out for quite a number of highly rated and prestigious trophies which includes the President’s Cup, Governor’s Cup and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation’s (SGF) Cup. As well as the Sultan’s Cup and the Emir of Argungu’s Cup.

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According to the statement, activities are bracing up for the NSK Polo Tournament and cultural festival as part of events line up for the 2021 World Tourism Day Celebration holding in Argungu, Kebbi State from Saturday 25th to Monday 27th September 2021.

“Our search on the level of preparedness of the team showed that all the teams are in high spirit bracing up to the challenges of the game with each hoping to emerge victorious over and above the rest. This is a clear indication that all the teams are potential champions.

“NSK Farms Polo team from Kebbi state will be led by Nura  Kangiwa, Ayutan Farms team from Yola Adamawa state is led by Alhaji Tanko Ayuba, first President of Nigerian Polo Federation. The polo team of Weststream Ponies from Zaria, Kaduna State is led by Abdulkarim Jibrin, Treasurer of the Nigerian Polo Federation

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“Others are NFVCB Polo Team\ from Abuja, FCT under the leadership of Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, Gagdi Farms polo team from Jos, Plateau state led by Alhaji Adamu Gagdi and Pali Resorts Polo Team from Bauchi, Bauchi state.

 

“Organizers of the polo tournament promised that the tournament as part of activities lined up for the observance of the 2021 World Tourism Day is going to a spectacular sports tourism event with visitors and spectators expected to come from within Nigeria and beyond, including the neighbouring country of Niger Republic.”

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FG Unveils Committee For Ten-Year Nigeria Football Development Master Plan

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The Federal Government Thursday unveiled Ten-Year Football Development Master Plan for Nigeria as part of its determination to ensure growth and development of football in the country.

This follows the charge given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammudu Buhari to stakeholders in football administration in the country to produce a Ten-Year Football Development Master Plan for Nigeria, a committee was on Thursday constituted by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to carry out the assignment.

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In a statetment issued by ministry in Abuja, the members of the Committee are listed as follows Emmanuel Babayaro, Sunday Oliseh, Chief Olusegun Odegbami(MON), Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo, Barrister Adokiye Amiesimaka(MON), Barrister Musa Amadu

Other membrs include, Dr. Bode Durotoye (Ministry Rep), John Opubor (NESG. Rep. OPS), Hon. Ayo Omidiran, Mr. Ogbu Augustine Ojiabor, Tobechukwu Okigbo(MTN), Ade Ojeikere, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Alhaji Mohammed Sanusi(SG NFF), Ogbuefi Tony Nnachetta, Mr. Yemi Idowu and Muhammad Daha Umar Faruk .

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The date and venue of their inauguration, as well as their Terms of Reference and other relevant information will be communicated in due course.

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