By George Aluo
Jose Mourinho was his very loquacious self after his side, Tottenham failed to grind out a result at Anfield midweek against Liverpool. Rather than accept defeat, Mourinho whose side had only about 25 percent of possession in the game they lost by 2-1 insisted that he had a better team. Speaking after the highly entertaining game, Mourinho said the better team lost. “I told Klopp that we were better today. Yes, Liverpool won but we were better…we had better chances and deserve not to lose. We should at least have gotten a point,” Mourinho insisted. Mourinho also claimed that the referees gave Klopp a special treatment declaring that if he (Mourinho) had done some of the things Klopp did on the bench, he would be shown a red. Klopp was however quick in dismissing Mourinho’s stand declaring that Liverpool deserve the maximum points having dominated the game and surviving what he called “Tottenham’s counter attack monster.” “We dictated the pace of the game from start to finish and got a deserved late goal that sealed our victory,” Klopp stated, even as he praised his lads for fighting until the very last minute. Brazilian international, Firmino was the one that ensured victory for the reigning EPL champions with his 87th minute header off a corner kick. Sallah had struck in the 27th minute to give Liverpool the lead which Son’s strike in the 37th minute from what looked like offside cancelled out.
Basketball: FIBA strikes new deal ahead 2023 World Cup
FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, and Smart, the Philippines’ leading mobile services provider, have announced a new global partnership ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. The announcement was made last week at a virtual press conference hosted by Smart, FIBA and Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas (SBP). This four-year partnership will run through until December 31, 2023. Under the terms of the agreement, Smart is granted exclusivity in the category of telecommunications worldwide. The partnership provides key commercial rights across all FIBA competitions, including the men’s and women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, FIBA Continental Cups for both men and women, FIBA Youth World Cups, the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 and FIBA’s pinnacle event, the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023. Smart will play a pivotal role in the lead up to, and during, the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, using their latest Smart 5G technology. The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is set to take place for the first time across three nations, the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, from August 25 to September 10, 2023.
The Group Phase will be held across all three host countries, with the Final Phase to follow in the Philippine capital city of Manila. FIBA and Smart will work together to create a wide array of exciting experiences for both athletes and fans around the world. Present at today’s virtual press conference announcement were Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT Chairman, SBP Chairman Emeritus and FIBA Central Board Member; Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart President and CEO and SBP President; and FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis. “Our partnership with FIBA is a milestone for the whole nation, just as it is for our company. Through Smart’s mobile innovations, we look forward to introducing immersive digital experiences that will bring hardcourt action to the fingertips of basketball fans around the world and connect us all in our love for the sport,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan. Alfredo S. Panlilio said that this is a milestone not only for Smart but, more importantly, for the nation. “This is a huge step in bringing our athletes closer to the world stage. Smart has always been at the forefront when it comes to supporting Filipino athletes and their journey to greatness,” Panlilio said. Andreas Zagklis added: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Smart Communications as a FIBA Global Partner. Joining forces with a leading telecommunications company such as Smart will bring unrivalled opportunities in the lead up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Giving our fans the best ever experience, whether at home or in arenas, is a crucial aspect of any FIBA event, and even more so for this flagship competition. We are looking forward to working with Smart to harness their state-of-the-art technologies and 5G capabilities to deliver the most connected and engaging FIBA Basketball World Cup to date.
Athletics: Kenya Airways Becomes Official Airline Partner of Lagos City Marathon
The number of global brands entering into partnerships with Access Bank Lagos City Marathon increased on Wednesday as awarding-winning airline, Kenya Airways joined the rich list of partners. With Access Bank as Headline Sponsor, the rich list of partners include 7UP Bottling Company, Eko Atlantic City, Eko Hotels, Revolution Plus Property, Bet9ja, and Skechers, the Center of Excellency Lagos is the Host City The deal to bring Kenya Airways onboard the award-winning Access Bank Lagos City Marathon was brokered by the Project Consultant and Managing Director Nilayo Sports Management Limited, Bukola Olopade. In a statement signed by Olukayode Thomas Head Communication and Media Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Olopade said, “We are happy to have Kenya Airways as the official airline partner of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, an event that has redefined the trajectory of races in Africa and across the rest of the world. “This is a partnership that is coming at the right time because the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has positioned Lagos as a global marathon destination and that is fostered by organisations like Kenya Airways who value quality and topnotch delivery which is our signature across all our races.” Hafeez Balogun, Country Manager, Kenya Airways Nigeria added that “We are involved with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon because the ideal behind the event tallies with our culture of promoting the African spirit. Africans are champions of marathons and Kenya Airways is the pride of Africa. We are eagerly looking forward to another excellent show of African spirit of strong will power, determination, and perfect finishes at the 2021 Lagos City Marathon.” The sixth edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, winner of the prestigious World Athletics Bronze and Silver Label is slated for the 13th of February 2021. The event hosts over 100,000 runners from across the world each year including top elite runners however due to COVID 19 precautions for road races, only 10,000 runners will be allowed to participate in the next edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. Nilayo Sports Management Limited is the foremost sports management and marketing company in Nigeria. With over two decades of experience, NSML promotes sporting activities from grass root level to the international level in Africa.