Messi Partners Pique…In Davis Cup Deal

Messi Partners Pique…In Davis Cup Deal

16/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28536198

Messi emerges as one of Pique’s backers for Davis Cup as the legendary tennis competition gets new ownership

You could not accuse Gerard Pique of thinking small when it comes to his company’s partial takeover of the Davis Cup, one of the most historic competitions in any sport.

It transpires that among the list of his blue chip and billionaire backers is Lionel Messi, his long time friend and Barcelona team-mate.

Pique revealed the Argentinian superstar’s involvement prior to the draw for November’s inaugural finals week, launched on Thursday night at this city’s stately seat of regional government.

Great Britain, champions of 2015 at a time when Pique’s Kosmos enterprise was unheard of in tennis, were drawn to face Kazakhstan and Holland in the round robin stages, not exactly the group of death.

Prior to that, Pique sat down to give an expansive insight into his motives for his company’s 25-year deal to run the competition. It is one of the more curious tie ups that the global business of sport has seen, and one that this most decorated of footballers has somehow found time to do while playing more minutes in La Liga this season than any other player.

Those with a stake include Oracle tycoon, Larry Ellison, one of the world’s richest men, and Japanese e-commerce billionaire, Hiroshi Mikitani. Also in the background is Messi, who Pique says is the most informed of his Barcelona colleagues about the project.

‘Leo knows more than anyone about this because he is involved in Kosmos,’ said Pique, dappered in a business suit with a handkerchief protruding from his breast pocket.

‘He is a partner, he is part of the Kosmos family, he likes tennis. We have a relationship of 18 years since he arrived at the club and I always try to share with him things I’m thinking, he loves to be part of it and he wanted to be part of it.’

Pique’s partner is Latin pop superstar, Shakira, with whom he has two children, and he admits that his Barcelona team-mates wonder how he fits everything in, while producing displays on the pitch that have been getting rave reviews.

‘They said to me they don’t understand how I’m doing all of this. Some of them don’t follow it but some of them know about it, and they are pretty excited and want to come to Madrid.

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‘Work On Songnè Yacouba’

‘Work On Songnè Yacouba’

16/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28536199

Songne Yacouba.

ASANTE KOTOKO Head Coach, CK Akonnor has been told to work on his top striker, Songne Yacouba.

The Burkinabe import who initially scores with ease for Kotoko, has become a pale shadow of himself in the CAF tournament so far.

Black Stars deputy trainer, Ibrahim Tanko, has therefore urged Coach Akonnor to work on the top striker.

He said it is normal in football for a striker to experience a goal drought as happening to Yacouba now.

However, he suggested that Coach Akonnor should have time and assist the striker to rediscover his scoring boots.

“Akonnor is a former player so he understands. He will surely work on Yacouba to help him score again,” he said.

Coach Ibrahim Tanko also praised Kotoko’s goalkeeper, Felix Annan, for his wonderful display against Zesco United.

The goalkeeper saved a penalty and also made some mind-blowing saves to help Kokoto beat Zesco 2-1 in Kumasi.

Tanko Ibrahim said Felix Annan is doing well “and we shall invite him into Black Stars if he performs more than the other goalkeepers.”

In an interview with Nhyira FM, the Ghana coach indicated that national team call-ups are done based on merit.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr.,Kumasi

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Herbert Mensah Puts His Hand Up For Rugby Africa Presidency

Herbert Mensah Puts His Hand Up For Rugby Africa Presidency

16/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28531254

Herbert Mensah

Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, was nominated today by the Board of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) for the position of President of the World Rugby continental body, Rugby Africa.

Rugby Africa will be electing a new EXCO at an Annual General Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco on 2 March 2019.

Herbert Mensah spoke about the nomination and about Rugby in Africa after the nomination was submitted. His address can be heard on YouTube.

Mr. Mensah’s nomination was accompanied by the following background sketch.

As you are aware Herbert and his administration took over the rein at Ghana Rugby in June of 2014and in fewer than four years steered the Union that was sitting with “nothing” after 11 years since its establishment in 2003 to achieve some remarkable feats:

– Introduced a professional online and decentralised Rugby Management System, scrumIT, that has revolutionised the administrative running of rugby in Ghana,

– Introduced an online financial accounting system and can boast of the ONLY sports Association that have produced Audited financial statements since 2015,

Established the first-ever ten teams domestic league and since 2018 incorporated both a men’s and women’s section to the annual Ghana Rugby Club Championship,

– Resuscitated Women in Rugby in Ghana and built a team that will take part in this year’s Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Cup as well as in the yet to be announced Women’s Fifteens Tournament,

– Introduced youth development on the basis of the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” Programme that has seen more than 5,000 new participants introduced to the Game of Rugby Union with a target of 10,000 for 2019,

– Successfully not only hosted but won two Rugby Africa Men’s Fifteens Tournaments, the 2017 Regional Challenge, and the 2018 Bronze Cup,

– Through persistence got Ghana Rugby into the Rugby Africa Men’s Fifteens tournament in 2017 and will again compete for Olympic qualification in 2019,

Herbert was also elected to the Board of the Ghana Rugby Olympic Committee because of his achievements with Ghana Rugby but also because he is deemed to be the person who revolutionised sports administration in Ghana during his tenure as Chairman of the famous Kumasi Assante Koto FC when he was appointed by the King of the Asantes.

Herbert is a Rugby man at heart and in his rugby days played county rugby in Sussex and also represented Saracens in the UK. He also played rugby in Zimbabwe where he scored a try against a visiting Italian side.

Herbert is also well known as the person who hosted the 1996 Max Brito Extravaganza in Accra to raise funds for the Ivorian player who got paralysed in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. This was also recorded for prosperity by World Rugby in the documentary, “The Last Amateur Tour | World Rugby Films” –

His achievements were also acknowledged by World Rugby in the documentary titled “Ghana Rugby’s rapid growth” .

Herbert’s nomination is based on his vision to introduce Ghana Rugby to a new era where the most important stakeholders, our Rugby Players, will benefit from increased participation, better facilities for Unions and Federations and better support from its governing bodies.

As his second priority, he will restore the integrity of the Association, Rugby Africa, so that it is truly an Association run by its Members, the Unions and Federations, for its Members.

His biggest mission will be to resolve the most important strategic stumbling block, namely sustainable funding, to ensure that the situation that Rugby Africa finds itself in does not continue into the future.

In his words, “It will definitely not be business as usual…”

Herbert on his nomination for the Presidency of Rugby Africa:

About Ghana Rugby

Ghana Rugby is the official full member of both World Rugby (2017) and Rugby Africa in Ghana-West Africa and is responsible for the management and development of the Game Rugby Union in the country. The Union is governed by a Constitution and administers five KPAs (Key Performance Areas) namely: (1) Youth Development & Growth through the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” Programme, (2) Women in Ghana Rugby, (3) Training & Education, (4) Domestic Competitions and (5) International Performance.

Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, was nominated today by the Board of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) for the position of President of the World Rugby continental body, Rugby Africa.


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Akonnor Hails Annan …Kotoko Bags GH¢ 440,000 From Gate

Akonnor Hails Annan …Kotoko Bags GH¢ 440,000 From Gate

15/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28530111

Felix Annan

Asante Kotoko safest pair of hands, Felix Annan is in the good books following his stellar performance in their CAF Confederations Cup game on Wednesday.

To coach Akonnor, the goalkeeper’s performance places him (Akonnor) in a difficult position as to how to describe him.

The fine goalkeeper demonstrated brilliance to deny ZESCO United an opportunity to cancel Kotoko’s lead by saving a penalty before recess.

Thereafter, he made a timely intervention which ensured the Porcupine Warriors finished the Kumasi game with a 2-1 win, to hand them three points.

 And describing the agile shot stopper after the game, coach Akonnor told the media “Felix is brilliant and we are so happy to have him. No words to describe him. He helps the team a lot.”  

Annan has saved two of the last three penalties he has faced in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Kotoko next face Nkana FC on February 24.

Meanwhile, Kotoko’s director of communications, Sarfo Duku, has confirmed that his outfit earned an equivalent of ¢440,000 from the game.

“It’s true we made ¢ 440,000 from the gate proceeds.”  
“Deduction is now ongoing to know the net for Asante Kotoko”

It has emerged that Kotoko sold over 25,000 tickets with prices ranging from GH¢ 80, GH¢ 50 and GH¢ 20 which saw the stadium almost full.

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum   

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GTF Holds DNSS Programs

GTF Holds DNSS Programs

15/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28530112

Lartey Otu (L) with Kim Sungso

The Ghana Taekwondo Federation in its quest to develop the sport, has officially opened the IOC funded Development of National Sports System (DNSS) programs   at the Korea Sports Complex in Tema, Community 3.

The Federation will for the next three months organize three development courses/seminars, beginning with the 2nd National Referees Licence Course, Administrators Seminar and 2nd National Coaching Licence Course at the Korea Sports Complex.

The residential programs which have started with the 5-day Referee Licence Course for 40, continue with the Administrators Seminar for 20 participants (2 from each region) from March  11 to 15 and then a 10-day Coaching Course (April 3 -12).

President of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation, Frederick Lartey Out, appreciated the development assistance of IOC, World Taekwondo Peace Corps, and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, stressed on the need for local assistance from the Sports Authority and corporate bodies.

He also outlined the importance of the DNSS program as Taekwondo is becoming a household name with high enthusiasm in athletes.

“We want to bring up to standard, Taekwondo Officiating in order to give more quality to our tournaments and reduce incidents of bad officiating. We will also train 20 Administrators and secretaries in sports management, events planning and others to help in the development of the sport; training and licensing 40 coaches from the ten member regions to help these coaches establish new taekwondo clubs in their localities and train more athletes.”

The Opening Ceremony saw in attendance, Papa Asante representing the Director General (DG) of the National Sports Authority, Prof. Peter Twumasi, who in his speech outlined the vision of the new DG and the renewal of the NSA mandate of supporting Sporting Federations.

Also in attendance was the Ambassador for the Republic of Korea, Kim Sungsoo, who pledged the continuous support of the Embassy and the Republic of Korea to the Ghana Taekwondo Federation, in the promotion and development of the sport in Ghana.

Secretary General of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Richard Akpokavie, who officially opened the DNSS program, acknowledged the effectiveness of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation.

From The Sports Desk

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Ghana To Host World Ping Pong Tourneys

Ghana To Host World Ping Pong Tourneys

15/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28530113

 The Minister (5thL) poses with the delegation at his office

Ghana has been handed the mantle to host two major International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) tournaments in April.

The two World Championships; the World Junior Circuit (WJC) and African Junior and Cadet Championship (AJCC), would take place in Accra from April 1-5 and April 7 to 13, 2019 respectively.

This was made when a delegation from the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), led by its President, Khaled El-Salhy, paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Youth and Sports,  Isaac Asiamah, who stated that, the government was willing to restore its lost glory by staging the tournaments.

The minister was grateful to the ITTF and ATTF for choosing Ghana to host such important tournaments as the country possesses great potentials in table tennis.

“We are ready to host the world and Africa in April and all arrangement in terms of security, accommodation and transportation will be addressed.

“We are also grateful to ITTF for deciding to provide table tennis equipment which have already been shipped to Ghana for the tournaments. For us, we want to use sports as a tool for job creation and that is why we want to develop other sports and not focus on football only.

“I must also let you know that table tennis is one of our prioritized sports that we intend to use to create jobs for our youth. I must also commend the leadership role showed by Mawuko Afadzinu and we want to assure him of our support,” Asiamah stated.

 Khaled El-Salhy, President of ATTF in his remarks stated that, Ghana is one of the powerhouses of table tennis in the 1970s and in the last five years, the Mawuko Afadzinu-led GTTA board has been making frantic efforts to restore the glory of Ghana in the sport.

“We know the potential of Ghana in table tennis and I was sure that with the staging of this kind of tournament, the country has the chance to unearth talents that will bring back the glory of Ghana.

“ITTF and ATTF will continue to support Ghana and with the staging of the tournament, Ghana will be the focus and this will surely project the image of Africa and Ghana,” the ATTF boss said.

The WJC is one of the ITTF junior circuits, where players across the globe amass points to qualify for the end-of-the-year World Junior Finals, while the AJCC is Africa’s qualifiers for the World Junior Championship as well as a platform to select African team for the World Cadet Challenge.

From The Sports Desk

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Osu Hosts Fist Of Fury Today

Osu Hosts Fist Of Fury Today

15/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28530114

Moses Foh Amoaning

The Bukom Fist of Fury Boxing League returns today with some interesting bouts at the forecourt of the Osu Mantse Palace.

According to President of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation (GABF), the League has been exciting and kept the boxers, especially those in the national team, the Black Bombers very busy and active.

He said the Bukom Fist of Fury came at the right time to save Ghanaian amateur boxers and appealed to other companies to support the programme.

The fixtures for Week 8 have been released by the Technical Department of the GBF with CSPY facing Sea View, Seconds Out will clash with CQBF and Akotoku will lock horns with Wisdom.

Attoh Quarshie Gym which has been performing well under the guide of coach Akai Nettey, assistant national team trainer will challenge PPBA.

So far, it has been wonderful, and friendly exchanges since the competition moved to the communities from the Bukom Boxing Arena to Chorkor, to Bukom to James Town to Sukura and now Osu.

The gravy train is also coming back with the entertainment package which has faced some challenges due to lack of funds, and it may stop in your community.

The entertainment aspect of the show has been slow of late and the production team appeals to personalities and organisations to support the series which brings fun and entertainment to the people.

Clyde T. Narh, the production manager, said lack of funds has made it very difficult to put pieces together, but will try to catch up with the rest of the League.

The Bukom Fist of Fury Boxing League ends after 26 weeks, comprising two segments of 13 weeks each.

 Meanwhile,  organisers of the Bukom Boxing League aka Fist of Fury have congratulated Richard Commey for defeating Isa Chaniev in round one to claim the IBF Lightweight  title.

From The Sports Desk 

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Kotoko Pass ZESCO Test

Kotoko Pass ZESCO Test

14/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28522726

GOALKEEPER FELIX Annan saved a first half penalty to help Kotoko to labour to a 2-1win over visiting Zesco United to give a lifeline to their Africa Confederation Cup campaign yesterday.

Kotoko started the game on a blistering note as they bombarded the goal area of the visitors, which eventually paid off in the 9th minute when Kotoko eventually broke the deadlock.

Kotoko’a top striker, Sonie Yacouba, who had experienced a goal scoring drought for some time now, turned a provider as he set up Kwame Bonsu, whose shot was deflected into the yawning net.

The goal seemed to have increased Kotoko’s confidence as they continued to open fire on the visiting Zambian team, who only resorted to ballooning the ball to safety to prevent more goals from Kotoko.

Kotoko were presented with a glorious goal scoring opportunity barely one minute after the opener, but Sonie Yacouba, unsurprisingly blew the ball away with an empty goal post at his mercy.

Kotoko were punished for the miss as Zesco were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute, but goalkeeper Felix Annan rose to the occasion by punching the spot kick to corner.

Backed by the home supporters, Kotoko deservingly grabbed a second goal, which proved to be the match winner when Yacouba, again, turned a provider for Emmanuel Gyamfi to score at close range.

From recess, Kotoko continued to enjoy a lion’s share of proceedings but Yacouba continued to miss all the decent chances that were presented to him to the chagrin of the home fans.

Against the run of play, Zesco United reduced the deficit when their Ghanaian import, Osman Rahim, came from the bench to hit the back of the net from close range to set the match wide open.

Both teams searched for a goal but Kotoko came very close to scoring when Emanuel Bonsu’s header hit the post to safety. Zesco were reduced to ten men, with two minutes left to play after a rough tackle by Ntonga.

Kotoko then managed to protect their slim lead to end the game 2-1 and record three points in the process. There were wild jubilations at the stadium and Kumasi in general after the crunch contest.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi

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NYA Boss Cautions Youth

NYA Boss Cautions Youth

14/02/2019, Ghana, Multi Sports, Daily Guide (Publication), Article # 28522727

Emmanuel Sin-yet Asigri

Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority(NYA),    Emmanuel Sin-yet Asigri has advised the youth of Ghana to be moderate, decorous,  and prudent during this year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations.

In a solidarity statement to extend his profound greetings to the youth in reveling the day which falls on February 14 each year,   Asigri advised the youth to focus on the real essence of the day which fundamentally is to spread and show love and to refrain from all manner of excesses and negative inclinations, and rather consider sports as a tool for development.

He said the campaign against drugs and substance abuse notably, tramadol, which the Authority launched last year, remains in earnest and called on the media to join hands with the Authority in the effort to address the danger.

“I wish to  appeal to other media outlets to also join the NYA in this well intentioned pursuit to end the scourge of tramadol abuse and to aid equip our youth to become responsible citizens to contribute their quota to the nation’s building and development exercise, as well as channel their efforts to sports and other ventures,” Asigri stated.

The NYA boss advised the youth to patronize domestic products such as the ‘Golden Tree’ Chocolates especially during such festive occasions in a bid to help promote the cocoa industry and the local economy as a whole.

He mentioned the health benefits of cocoa as possessing anti-oxidants that help reduce blood pressure, delay ageing and fight tooth decay, among others.

The CEO reiterated the NYA’s preparedness and resolve to collaborate with stakeholders to uphold and consolidate the core obligations of the Authority which remains to Promote in the youth a sense of self-reliance, leadership, discipline and civic responsibility and to ensure the total development and empowerment of the Ghanaian youth for their meaningful participation in the development of the country.

He added “I remain upbeat about the youth development agenda. My tenure as CEO of the NYA has offered me a rare opportunity to meet and interact with Ghanaian youth across the spectrum. I am placed in a unique position to appreciate the situation of our youth and we shall continue to work hard to ensure their overall wellbeing.” 

From The Sports Desk  P

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