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I did not sanction the closing of Accra Sports Stadium – Sports Minister

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During his appearance before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday, February 5, Minister Ussif denied any role in the closure decision, underlining that the major objective of sporting facilities is talent development and competition.

Mustapha Ussif, the Youth and Sports Minister, has distanced himself from the decision to close the Accra Sports Stadium in December for non-sports events.

The shutdown, according to the National Sports Authority (NSA), was to allow for social gatherings throughout the holiday season, notwithstanding the current 2023/24 Ghana Premier League season.

Teams including Hearts of Oak, Accra Lions, and Great Olympics were told to reschedule their home games owing to the stadium’s unavailability, causing popular outrage.

During his appearance before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday, February 5, Minister Ussif denied any role in the closure decision, underlining that the major objective of sporting facilities is talent development and competition.

“The main purpose of our sporting facilities is for us to use those facilities to develop talent and also for competitions whether national or international,” he said.

“No, I did not [authorize the closure of the sports stadium in December]. I am aware [the stadia was closed] and I did call him [Peter Twumasi] to ask. My major concern was the pitch.

“Even though the NSA by law is the authority having the powers to manage all the sporting facilities for us and to ensure they are in good shape, once we have a major tournament coming; the Africa Games and we have also the Premiership ongoing, my major concern is how much we are getting from these social events that we are giving out these facilities to” the Sports Minister noted.

He said that NSA chairman Peter Twumasi had told him to cease renting out the venue for such activities.

“It’s something that I have engaged the Director General on that going forward this should not be done because at the end of the day whatever you get from these social events might not be able to maintain the pitch,” Minister Ussif added.

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Thomas Partey returns from months of injury as Arsenal thrash Sheffield United

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The victory moves Arsenal two points behind leaders Liverpool. It maintains the Gunners in the championship fight, while Sheffield United is 11 points from safety with only 11 games left. Arsenal scored after just five minutes, and the only surprise was how long it took them. They broke United open down the left before cutting the ball back for Odegaard, who scored from 10 yards out. The advantage was doubled in the 13th minute when Bukayo Saka's low cross was deflected into his own net by Bogle, who got his legs tangled with the ball deflecting off his ankle, and it was immediately extended when Martinelli hammered in via a deflection after Jakob Kiwior's cut back.

Thomas Partey returned from injury as Arsenal won their eighth Premier League game in a row, defeating Sheffield United 6–0 at Bramall Lane.

The Gunners were ahead 3-0 after 13 minutes and 5-0 at halftime against the league’s worst team.

Mikel Arteta’s squad scored goals through Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, and Ben White, as well as an own goal by Jayden Bogle.

The victory moves Arsenal two points behind leaders Liverpool.

It maintains the Gunners in the championship fight, while Sheffield United is 11 points from safety with only 11 games left.

Arsenal scored after just five minutes, and the only surprise was how long it took them. They broke United open down the left before cutting the ball back for Odegaard, who scored from 10 yards out.

The advantage was doubled in the 13th minute when Bukayo Saka’s low cross was deflected into his net by Bogle, who got his legs tangled with the ball deflecting off his ankle, and it was immediately extended when Martinelli hammered in via a deflection after Jakob Kiwior’s cut back.

During the first half, Havertz made it 4-0 by tucking into the bottom corner after a Martinelli through pass.

Arsenal sliced through United at will, and on 39 minutes, Rice finished low past the exhausted home goalie Ivo Grbic.

The visitors did not let up after the interval, as another well-executed play resulted in right-back White blasting powerfully past Grbic with his left foot.

The Gunners are the first English league team to win three straight away games by five or more goals, while United, who appear bound to relegation, are the first to lose four consecutive home games in all competitions while surrendering five or more goals.

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Maybe he wants an autograph – Asamoah Gyan hits back at NDC MP

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Speaking to Radio XYZ, Mr. Dafeamekpor said that the former Black Stars captain was a longtime follower of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who did not desire glory for their opponents. In reaction, Asamoah Gyan stated that the NDC MP is only seeking attention for his autograph. "Perhaps he wants an autograph. Do not worry. "I will sign one for him soon," the former Sunderland attacker joked on X (previously Twitter).

Asamoah Gyan, former Black Stars captain, has replied to charges made by Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, that he purposely missed a penalty during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He claimed that Gyan’s vital miss in the quarter-final match against Uruguay, which would have made Ghana the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals, was politically motivated.

Speaking to Radio XYZ, Mr Dafeamekpor said that the former Black Stars captain was a longtime follower of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who did not desire glory for their opponents.

In reaction, Asamoah Gyan stated that the NDC MP is only seeking attention for his autograph.

“Maybe he wants an autograph. Do not worry. “I will sign one for him soon,” the former Sunderland attacker joked on X (previously Twitter).

The former Black Stars captain has faced a storm of criticism after being selected to the NPP manifesto committee.

The 38-year-old will lead the party’s Youth and Sports subcommittee, reporting to Vice President and NPP flagbearer Dr Bawumia.

Despite the attacks, Asamoah Gyan says he is motivated and ready to give his share to country building.

As Africa’s leading World Cup scorer with six goals, he is determined to use his knowledge to restore Ghanaian football.

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Jose Peseiro has resigned as Nigeria’s head coach

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He agreed to an extension till the end of the tournament after lowering his compensation from $70,000 to $50,000. Despite guiding Nigeria to the AFCON final, which they lost 2-1 to host country Ivory Coast, both sides chose to separate ways. Peseiro congratulated the NFF and those who helped make his term unforgettable, including Sir Amaju Pinnick, President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, and all of the staff and players.

José Peseiro, the head coach of Nigeria’s national side, the Super Eagles, has stepped down after his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation expired.

In a statement posted on X, the Portuguese coach acknowledged his thanks for the chance, saying, “We completed our deal with the NFF yesterday. It was an honour and privilege to coach the Super Eagles. It’s been 22 months of incredible devotion, sacrifice, emotion, and enthusiasm. We feel fulfilled.”

Peseiro’s original contract with the NFF expired shortly before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.

He agreed to an extension till the end of the tournament after lowering his compensation from $70,000 to $50,000.

Despite guiding Nigeria to the AFCON final, which they lost 2-1 to host country Ivory Coast, both sides chose to separate ways.

Peseiro congratulated the NFF and those who helped make his term unforgettable, including Sir Amaju Pinnick, President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, and all of the staff and players.

“We would like to express our gratitude to Sir Amaju Pinnick (the president who signed us), President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, the NFF, all the Staff, and especially all the PLAYERS, with whom leading has been a great pleasure.

“Guys, we are thankful; it has been a privilege to be part of this family. We will miss you, but we will always be there for you, no matter where you are. A big hug to all of you.”

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