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8 years after death, FIFA, NFF, football greats celebrate Yekini

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Football governing body, FIFA, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and football greats have paid glowing tributes to late Super Eagles striker, Rashidi Yekini, eight years after his demise.

It would be recalled that Rashidi Yekini passed away on May 4, 2012 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital at the age of 48.

“Today we remember one of the World’s most feared strikers of his time, Rashidi Yekini who passed on to glory on this day in 2012. May his soul continue to Rest In Peace,” the NFF wrote on its official Twitter handle.

Football Idol, Rashidi Yekini

Also, FIFA posted on its World Cup Twitter handle, Yekini’s celebration after netting Nigeria’s first goal in the competition in 1994, describing it as one of the most iconic goal jubilations in the tournament’s history.

“Rasheed Yekini produced one of the most iconic celebrations in #WorldCup history after scoring the @NGSuperEagles’ first-ever goal in the competition,” the football body tweeted.

“Africa sadly lost of its greatest-ever players #OnThisDay in 2012, but his legend will live on eternally.”

His former teammates, Mutiu Adepoju and a former Super Eagles captain and coach, Sunday Oliseh, reminisced their days playing together for the national team.

“8 years ago today,” Oliseh tweeted, “we lost Nigeria’s greatest striker of all time in Rashidi Yekini. May his blessed soul rest in peace.”

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In a related development, Adepoju popularly addressed as the “Headmaster” in his playing days, recalled how Yekini rescued the team in difficult times.

According to a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle, he described playing alongside the former Vitoria Setubal goal poacher as an honour, adding that Yekini gave his all for the country.

“Whenever we seem down and defeated, you always conjure your magic wand and get us out of trouble with your goals,” he wrote. “It was never a dull moment with you in camp as everyone’s ribs would be cracked at your jokes.

“You were never a contentious person and you saw everyone as your brother not minding their backgrounds. I will never forget you, Nigerians will never forget you. Always in our hearts. Rest in peace king Rasheed Yekini. You were created to score goals and your class remains unmatched!”

Also commending, an ex-Ghanaian defender, Anthony Baffoe, the former Abiola Babes star was one of the continent’s most dreaded strikers.

Baffoe tweeted: “One of Africa’s most terrific strikers Rashidi Yekini -today marks his 8th year of leaving us. Continue resting in peace Rashidi.”

The late Yekini was born in Kaduna and began his football career in the Nigerian league where he featured for teams like Abiola Babes, Julius Berger, and Gateway.

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His stint abroad saw him lining up for Africa Sports National of Ivory Coast from where he teamed up with Vitória de Setúbal in Portugal and emerged as Primeira Liga’s top scorer in the 1993–94 campaign.

He struck 21 times during that season and went ahead to play for Sporting Gijon, Olympiakos, and FC Zurich.

Yekini made his senior debut for Nigeria in 1984 and went on to net 37 goals in 58 matches – the highest so far in the country’s history – until his retirement after the 1998 World Cup.

At the Senegal 1992 and Tunisia 1994 AFCONs, he scored four and five goals respectively, to emerge as the top scorer. Yekini was a member of the Super Eagles side that played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and also featured in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

 

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World tennis champion, Djokovic tests positive for COVID-19

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Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic, Tuesday disclosed that  he has tested positive for coronavirus, joining a slew of other infected players who took part in an exhibition tennis tournament in the Balkans.

According to AFP, “Novak Djokovic tested positive for a virus COVID-19,” read a statement from his staff. “He is not showing any symptoms “.

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Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi cleared of rape

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Callum Hudson-Odoi will not face any further action regarding a rape allegation, the Chelsea winger said on Saturday.

Hudson-Odoi was arrested on May 17 and released on bail.

But the England international has now said the police will not be pursuing the matter.

“At a time where there are bigger things happening in the world right now, you may also be aware of serious allegations that were made against me,” Hudson-Odoi wrote on Twitter.

“I have stayed silent and assisted the police fully throughout their enquiries, as I knew the day would soon come when my name would be cleared.

“Following a full and thorough investigation, the police have now confirmed they will take no further action.”

The 19-year-old added: “I would like to use this platform to thank everyone who has stood by my side and supported me during this difficult period.”

Hudson-Odoi made a full recovery after becoming the first Premier League player to test positive for COVID-19 in March and has been taking part in Chelsea’s preparations for the Premier League resumption next week.

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£53m Deal: Chelsea close to signing Werner

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Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign striker Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, British media reported Thursday.

The 24-year-old had been thought to be attracting interest from Premier League champions-elect Liverpool but it appears Chelsea have in fact met the German’s reported release clause of some £53 million ($67 million).

Were Chelsea to bring Werner to Stamford Bridge it would be a major feather in the cap of the west London club.

For the past year, there has been speculation linking Werner with a move to Anfield but time appears to be running out for the Reds, with the forward’s release clause expiring on June 15 — two days before the Premier League is set to restart after a coronavirus-enforced break of several months.

The Germany international has scored 31 goals for Leipzig in all competitions.

Chelsea have already agreed on a deal to sign Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech.

AFP

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