Chelsea’s Mourinho faces ex-Blues boss Di Matteo

Jose Mourinho comes up against the only coach to have steered Chelsea to the Champions League title when the Blues travel to Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke 04 on Tuesday.

Victory will confirm Chelsea’s place in the Champions League‘s knock-out phase, but the focus will be on Mourinho’s opposite number on the Schalke bench.

Chelsea coach Mourinho, the self-styled ‘Special One’, won the Champions League title as Inter Milan coach in 2010 and Porto boss in 2004, but the European crown has so far eluded him in his two stints at Stamford Bridge.

Premier League leaders Chelsea are unbeaten in their first 12 league matches — a club record — and strolled to a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at home on Saturday with goals by Diego Costa and Eden Hazard.

Chelsea face Schalke in Gelsenkirchen as Group G leaders, three points clear of their second-placed German hosts, but the Premier League side have a much better goal difference.

Di Matteo has won all four of his home matches since taking charge of Schalke last month and is in his first role since being sacked by Chelsea in November 2012, just six months after winning the Champions League title.

Mourinho clearly did not like to be reminded that he will be up against the only coach to bring the Champions League to Stamford Bridge and insisted it is Chelsea against Schalke, not him against Di Matteo.

“I don’t play against him,” said Mourinho dryly.

“If I play against him, he wins because he plays better than me. Unless I am fitter, which I don’t know, but normally he wins because he is much better than me.

“It is Chelsea against Schalke, it is not me against Di Matteo.”

Schalke earned a point at Stamford Bridge in September, before Di Matteo took charge, when Cesc Fabregas’s early goal for the hosts was cancelled out by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s second-half equaliser.

Mourinho said his team’s aim is to finish top of their group and have their place in the knock-out stage confirmed as quickly as possible.

“The group is easy to analyse, we can finish first, second or third,” he said.
“To finish third and go to the Europa League should be something that would be against the evolution of this team.
“This team wants to be a very good team and to be a very good team you have to play against the best teams in the best competitions.”

Di Matteo’s Schalke enjoyed a 3-2 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday, which ended Wolves’ eight-match winning streak and pushed the Royal Blues up to seventh in the table.

The Italian, also a former Chelsea player, said there will be no room for sentiment on Tuesday.

“For me personally, I’ll just concentrate on my work of trying to win the game for Schalke. Chelsea also played on Saturday and they are in the same position as us in terms of recovery,” he said.

“We have the Champions League game on Tuesday where everything is still open and anything can happen, but we want to take at least a point from the home game.”

Di Matteo has said he is considering using the 5-3-2 formation which worked well against Wolves, with full-backs Atsuto Uchida of Japan and Austria’s Christian Fuchs given licence to attack.
It paid off initially as Schalke raced into a 3-0 lead with Cameroon striker Eric Choupo-Moting scoring twice and Fuchs firing home a free-kick before Wolfsburg fought back.

Chelsea have Costa back to full fitness with the 11-goal striker saying he is “totally recovered” from nagging groin and hamstring injuries after a fortnight of rest during the international break.

“It’s easy to see the difference in him now. He can run, he can sprint, he can get behind people, he can challenge for every duel,” Mourinho said.

“It was very important for him to have these two weeks to recover properly.”

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Killer Squad’ Back in Ekiti‎, Says APC

The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has raised the alarm over threats to the lives of state lawmakers and accused the Nigeria Police of playing partisan roles in the state crisis.
A press statement by the state Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, said the party was shocked by the police undisguised support ‎for Governor Ayodele Fayose so far in the crisis rocking Ekiti State House of Assembly.

Olatunbosun, who alleged the return of a killer squad to the state urged the police to l‎ive up to their constitutional responsibility of providing security instead of helping to turn Nigeria into a killing field.

He criticized the police for providing protection to the seven Peoples Democratic Party members in the Assembly when they sat to illegally ratify the list of Commissioner nominees and the Local Government Caretaker members, as well as the purported removal of the Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin.
He wondered that the Police at the same time denied the APC lawmakers access into the Assembly Complex while allowing non-lawmakers to sit with the PDP seven.
Olatubosun also frowned on the police for taking Fayose’s accusation as its official intelligence report over allegation of a plan by APC to storm Ekiti with thugs recruited from a neighboring state to cause mayhem.
The APC spokesman in the state added that everyone knew that Fayose was planning to do what he was accusing the opposition of.
He said,  “why would a governor ask the APC lawmakers to return to Ekiti to cooperate in state’s development and at the same time lay landmines on their way to cause mayhem.
“As we talk, PDP thugs are under the tree close to a police post within the Assembly Complex smoking Indian Hemp but the police and DSS are doing nothing about it,” he added.

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Alleged Cloning Of PVC: DSS Raids Building In Lagos, Arrests Suspects

The Department of State Services (DSS) on Sunday said it has arrested some suspects in Lagos, allegedly cloning INEC’s  Permanent Voters Card.

A statement issued by the spokeswoman of the service, Ms Marilyn Ogar in Abuja said that it raided a building located at No.10, Bola Ajbola street, Allen Avenue, following a petition it received alleging “unwholesome activities’’ there.

“The petition alleged that those behind the activities were cloning INEC Permanent Voters Card with the intention of hacking into INEC data base, corrupting it and replacing them with their own data.

“Based on this information, the service placed the building under surveillance and having been convinced that some unwholesome activities were going on in the building, it undertook a raid of the premises.

“In the process, some persons were arrested, while a Server, three hard drive and 31 Ghana must go bags of hard copy document were recovered and taken away for further investigation’’, she said.

According to her, the said location had no sign post indicating whether it was a private or government office.

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2015: I Will Never Give Up My Presidential Bid – Atiku

Former Vice President and a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Sunday , said that he would not give up on his bid to become the president of this country now or in the future.

Atiku made this declaration in Dutse, Jigawa shortly before holding a closed-door consultation with Gov. Sule Lamido in Dutse.

He said he was determined to continue to vie for the office of President if he lost the present bid until he eventually scaled through in the near future.

Atiku, however, said that his chances of winning his party’s primary on Dec. 10 were bright.

He also said he was ready to support whoever emerges at the primary election to ensure that person’s victory at the 2015 presidential election.
Atiku had earlier told newsmen that he was in Dutse to interact with his party delegates ahead of the Dec. 10 presidential primary of the party.

The former Vice President criticised the alleged swoop on APC data office in Lagos by security operatives.

Atiku met with Lamido for one hour 30 minutes in his personal residence.
Newsmen were barred from covering the meeting as it was said to be “private’’.

Late Registration Of UPN Will Not Affect Its Performance In 2015, Says Chairman
The Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) said on Sunday its late registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would not affect its performance in the 2015 general elections.

The acting National Chairman of the party, Dr Maiwaazi Abubakar, said this in an interview in Abuja.

He said that many Nigerians across the country had accepted the party because of its ideology and its belief in giving in to superior arguments.

“It is not a party like other peripheral, non-ideological political formations; it is a party where the social components of party formation is fully operative.“

He added that with the achievements recorded by the founding fathers of the
party, UPN was sure of victory in the forthcoming general elections.

“It must be said of Pa Awolowo, a founding father of the party, that when the political arrangement limited the organisation’s option to regional level, he made the Western region, which he presided, a pacesetter in virtually all developmental endeavours.

“He was in league with the mature democracies in America and Europe. It must be said of Pa Awolowo that he introduced television to Africa even before South Africa did as a country.

“So, I will tell you that with these veritable backdrops, UPN will be able to conquer the so-called dominant political formations in the country.

“This will be done because of our history, pedigree, and the glorious era of Yoruba race, which Pa Awolowo encapsulated,“ he said.

The National Secretary of UPN, Abubakar Sokoto, also expressed optimism that the party would strongly contest elective positions with the major political parties irrespective of when it was registered by INEC.

“We started activities about six months ago but we have gone a long way to make a difference and people now see UPN as a party ready for serious business.

“We are already making moves and progress across the federation. In fact, we are already discussing with people who might want to contest for the presidency under the Unity Party of Nigeria,“ Sokoto said.

He said that the party already had governorship aspirants in states such as Ogun, Zamfara and Kano.

Sokoto described UPN as a strong political party that could provide the kind of change desired by Nigerians.

“UPN is an alternative for anybody who wants to contest election and make change in this country.

“We are sure that after the dominating parties finish their conventions, people will begin to troop to UPN because of the justice and democratic principles guiding us,’’ he said.

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NFF Must Sit up, says Rafiu Ladipo

President of the Nigeria football and other sports supporters club, Rafiu Ladipo has expressed grief over the non-qualification of the Super Eagles to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Equatorial Guinea.
Stephen Keshi’s men needed just a win against the South Africans but were stunned as Rantie’s brace denied the African champions a place in the next edition of the biannual Africa football showpiece.
In a no hold barred chat with the gaffer of the supporters club said something severe needs to be done to ensure the country qualify for the next edition of the competition.
“Wednesday was a sad day in the history of Nigeria football especially the followers of the game in the country. It was a day we had every opportunity to pick the ticket to the Cup of Nations. Unfortunately, our players messed up and threw everybody into mourning,” Ladipo lamented.
“This is not a good development for Nigeria football and I want to say that something drastic has to be done.

“Drastic in the sense that having failed to qualify, there will be another competition in the next two years and we have to start preparing.
“Are we going to wait for the eleventh hour to start preparing? Or are we going to wait till when the competition is near to start assembling the best legs?, I think we should start now.
The seasoned football administrator also fingered the Super Eagles players for their lackadaisical attitude against Bafana Bafana which nailed the country’s hopes of featuring in Equatorial Guinea while also advocating that the NFF should start preparing for the nest edition of the championship.
“Those players did not play with commitment. How on earth will a striker be free with the goalkeeper on three occasions without scoring?, he queried.
“If you create chances without converting them, then how do you win a match? The South Africans had two good chances and they convert them and that was all. For me, the players failed us.
“Also, the technical crew are also culpable because they cannot be exonerated. The way forward is that the Nigeria Football Federation should sit up and start preparing for the next African Cup of Nations, the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
“We need players who can do us proud. It is clear we have good materials across the world and even if they are average players, they can be turned to world beaters. We equally have players in the Nigeria Premier League that can be assisted to be world’s best.
“Something has to be done now because you cannot toy with the fate of every Nigerians. Nobody is happy. Anyway, we have the opportunity to rebuild because if you go with this kind of players to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, we will be out rightly disgraced,” he concluded.

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Enyimba Emerges Nigeria Federation Cup Champions

Kadiri Ikhana’s side put up a commanding display against the Pride of Rivers for their fourth Federation Cup triumph
Enyimba have emerged the Nigeria Federation Cup champions after defeating Dolphins 2-1 in a breathe taking final played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Second half strikes Mfon Udoh and Chinonso Okonkwo were all the defending champions needed to lift their fourth title in six years.
Dolphins were the better side in the first fifteen minutes of the game but could not break the deadlock as the Peoples’ Elephant’s defence line stood resolute with goalkeeper Femi Thomas making some brilliant saves.
First, it was Chidiebere Okolie who in the second minute forces Thomas to a top class catch before man of the match, Emem Eduok ensured the former Ocean Boys’ goalkeeper spill his wicked right footed drive.
Stanley Eguma’s team went into the half time break with heads held high as they proved to be the better side though their major undoing was missing glaring goal scoring attempts.
On resumption of the second half, Kadiri Ikhana’s side took charge of possession and were rewarded in the 52nd minute after Udoh opened the floodgates of goals.
He got the ball in the midfield from Markson Ojobo, breezed past three Dolphins defender before unleashing a rocket past helpless Sunday Rotimi who was in goal for Dolphins.
With less than 20 minutes to the end of the game,  Okonkwo doubled his side’s lead as he converted from a very close range.
Though, Eduok pulled one back for the Pride of Rivers in the 80thh minute but that proved as consolation as the Aba Millionaires successfully defended their trophy to the excitement of their fans.

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IGP Warns Youths Against Cultism

Worried about recent reports from some States of the Federation, on the involvement of youths in cult activities and ‘thuggery’, the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, advice youths to be law abiding and desist from any activity that will cause them harm.

 In a statement signed by Ag. CP Emmanuel C.S. Ojukwu, the IG said as a parent himself, the IGP is concerned about the wastage of young human lives in the unworthy exercise, and feels the hurts of parents whose children and wards are following the ways of destruction.

He enjoined youths to appropriate the many opportunities of development in the nation, obey the laws of the land, face their academics and vocations, and prepare adequately to lead the nation in the years ahead.

While advising youths to embrace good virtues, the IGP warned that the full weight of the law would be applied on recalcitrant, wayward and delinquent youths.

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