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Springbok star Etzebeth denies allegations of gun assault

Reacting to social media allegations of the incident, Etzebeth said they were “completely untrue”

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Springbok star Etzebeth denies allegations of gun assault
South Africa's lock Eben Etzebeth is tackled by England's flanker Brad Shields during the international rugby union test match between England and South Africa at Twickenham stadium in south-west London. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Springboks lock, Eben Etzebeth has denied assaulting or pointing a gun at a homeless man on the eve of the Monday afternoon announcement of the Rugby World Cup squad.

A first choice in the South African national team for much of this decade, Etzebeth is considered a certainty to be among the 31 players who will be picked for the global showpiece in Japan next month.

Reacting to social media allegations of an incident in Langebaan, 135 kilometres north of Cape Town, Etzebeth said they were “completely untrue”.

“It is completely untrue and unfounded to claim that I physically or racially abused anyone in Langebaan as has been reported on social media,” he told the South African media.

“Multiple witnesses can corroborate that. I am and will always strive to be a true ambassador to this beautiful rainbow nation and the sport that I love.”

A statement from national body South African Rugby said “we have spoken to Eben and he categorically denies any physical or racial abuse on his part as has been alleged in social media.”

“(SA Rugby) has no tolerance for acts of violence or racial abuse. We will co-operate with the authorities in any way necessary. Our Rugby World Cup squad will have no place for anyone who transgresses those principles.”

Etzebeth is leaving Cape Town-based Super Rugby team the Western Stormers after the September 20-November 2 World Cup to join French Top 14 outfit Toulon.

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Anti-graft agency seizes NFF chiefs’ properties in Nigeria

Rasheedat Okoduwa said “many officials of the NFF are under investigation

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Senior NFF officials under investigation
Courtesy: NFF - thenff.com

Nigerian authorities on Monday seized a dozen properties from senior officials of Nigeria’s top football body, including its president Amaju Pinnick, in a fresh corruption probe.

Agents of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) took over 12 properties – half belonging to Pinnick, including a property in London — in the latest investigation to target senior officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), accused of laundering millions of dollars.

ICPC spokesperson Rasheedat Okoduwa said “many officials of the NFF are under investigation. What they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

NFF bosses led by Pinnick are currently under three separate corruption probes, including a 17-count charge in courts ranging from failure to declare assets and embezzling $8.4 million (7.5 million euros) paid to the federation by world football governing body FIFA.

The case continues on September 26.

In a separate case, Pinnick, general secretary Mohammed Sanusi and three NFF accountants have also been charged to court over an alleged theft of over $10 million in grants from both FIFA and the African Football Confederation (CAF),  meant for the development of football in Nigeria.

In July, CAF sacked Pinnick as vice president of the body following the charges against him, which he denied, with the NFF branding the investigations a “witch-hunt.”

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Kenyan World Olympic champion Kipyegon prepares to defend title in Doha

Kipyegon made a winning return to the track after a two-year maternity break at the Prefontaine Diamond League in June

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Kenyan World Olympic champion Kipyegon prepares to defend title in Doha
Gold medallist Kenya's Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Kenya’s Olympic and world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon said she was fit and ready to defend her title in Doha after edging Winnie Chebet in the Kenyan trials on Friday.

Kipyegon made a winning return to the track after a two-year maternity break at the Prefontaine Diamond League in June, but a hamstring injury in training interrupted her racing season.

“I thank God I have managed to come back stronger after the long maternity leave, and today I am able to win my race and book a ticket to the world championship,” said Kipyegon, who timed her sprint perfectly to edge the African champion Chebet in the photo-finish.

Kenyan World Olympic champion Kipyegon prepares to defend title in Doha
Gold medallist Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon poses on the podium during the victory ceremony for the women’s 1,500m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 8, 2017. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)

“I am completely healed from the injury and ready to defend my title in Doha, where I expect to meet strong opposition from Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.”

Selah Jepleting finished third in 4:05.26  and will join Kipyegon and Chebet at the world championships.

Fresh from winning the Diamond League 1,500m title, Timothy Cheruiyot controlled his race from the gun at the trials, clocking 3:34.91 ahead of Ronald Kwemoi (3:36.61). World under-18 champion George Manangoi was third in 3:37.68.

“I am gunning to win the world title in Doha to make up for the disappointment of the 2017 World Championships in London where I finished second to my compatriot and training partner Elijah Manangoi,” said Cheruiyot.

Elijah Manangoi did not compete in the Kenyan trials but will run in Doha and defend his title as the fourth Kenyan athlete in the men’s 1,500m.

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Four-time African Footballer of the year, Eto’o retires from professional football

He is slated for a major role in the Confederation of African Football where he has vowed to fight corruption

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Cameroonian former footballer Samuel Eto'o holds the Africa Cup of Nations trophy

Cameroon’s four-time African Player of the Year Samuel Eto’o announced his retirement on Saturday at the age of 38, declaring “I need a rest”. “The end, towards a new challenge,” the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea striker posted on Instagram. “Thank you all, big love, adrenalin.”

“In a few months you’ll see me doing something new,” Eto’o, who has campaigned relentlessly against racism during his playing days, later said on the margins of an economic forum in DR Congo. “I need a rest, I’ve been running for 19-years,” he added light-heartedly in Kinshasa.

He stands alongside Liberia’s current president George Weah and Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba as a great of African sport and cuts a mythical figure in his homeland where he is close to national president Paul Biya.

Samuel Eto'o gives a press conference, on June 17, 2014
In this file photo taken on June 17, 2014, Cameroon’s forward and captain Samuel Eto’o gives a press conference, on June 17, 2014, in Manaus on the eve of their Group A match against Croatia at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. – Cameroon’s four-time African Player of the Year Samuel Eto’o announced his retirement on September 7, 2019, at the age of 38, declaring “I need a rest”. (Photo by Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP)

Pay Attention: FIFA bans ex-Nigeria football coach for match-fixing

He is slated for a major role in the Confederation of African Football where he has vowed to fight corruption to ensure funds go into infrastructure. CAF president Ahmed Ahmed says Eto’o would take up a key role in the African game. “Samual Eto’o will take charge of relations between the federations and CAF,” the Madagascan said last month.

The most memorable period of his club career includes five hugely successful seasons with Barcelona from 2004 to 2009. Despite an unfortunate knack for ruffling feathers, a return of 108 league goals from just 145 matches in five stunning seasons with Barcelona pays testament to his talent.

At his peak, he enjoyed electric pace, impeccable touch and instinctive shooting to make him one of the most feared centre-forwards in the world. He won a pair of Champions League titles and three La Liga crowns before departing under a cloud for Inter Milan after rowing with Ronaldinho leading to Pep Guardiola showing him the dressing room door.

He then spearheaded Jose Mourinho’s charge to a never to be forgotten treble with Inter of Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia titles in his first season in Italy. He led Cameroon to an impressive four World Cups in 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 and enjoyed huge success at the Africa Cup of Nations as the Indomitable Lions won in 2000 and 2002.

  • Cameroonian forward Samuel Eto'o arrives to attend a press conference after signing a one year contract to play for Qatar Sports Club
  • In this file photo taken on May 27, 2009 Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o runs with the ball during the UEFA football Champions League final
  • Chelsea's Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match
  • Cameroon and Antalyaspor forward Samuel Eto'o waves during the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony
  • Cameroonian forward Samuel Eto'o attends his presentation after signing a one year contract to play for Qatar Sports Club
  • Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o (C) arrives on Goree Island off the coast of Dakar on January 7, 2019, ahead of the CAF 2018 awards

Read: Eto’o appointed Qatar 2022 Ambassador

He was part of a golden generation that featured Rigobert Song, the late Marc-Vivien Foe and Geremi as Cameroon also won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, with the emerging Eto’o both scoring and converting a penalty in the shoot-out win over Spain in front of a blockbuster 114,000 crowd.

His pace left him as his career slowed down with low stints at Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala, Chelsea and Everton in the Premier League. Last year, after a short spell with Turkish side Konyaspor, he joined Qatar league side, Qatar Sports Club, his last club.

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