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FIFA: Nigeria Football Players Union set to report non payment of salaries

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The Nigeria Players Union has made known its intention to formally intervene over non-payment of players salaries by the Nigeria Football Federation and Nigeria Professional Football League by sending a letter to Football’s governing body.

The union which comprises of active and retired football players said the non-payment of salaries and its implications further pronounced as clubs suffered financially during the Coronavirus enforced lockdown.

This was disclosed on Monday, June 29 by the Chairman of the Nigeria Players Union and former Super Eagles star, Tijani Babangida while granting an interview with Brila FM.

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According to Babangida, who was part of Nigeria’s 1996 Olympic Games gold-winning squad, the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 Africa Nations Cup, most players in the Nigeria domestic league have been at loggerheads with their clubs over their salaries, but he has assured he will ensure FIFA and the worldwide players union, Fifpro intervenes in the matter.

“About the intervention of the Players Union, it is between 2015 till date. They (FIFA) asked the union to compile names and clubs so that they can be able to send for them and be able to see it,” Babangida told Brila FM.

“Well, I was surprised when they (Fifpro) called me to tell us FIFA already are asking us to write them. We had already communicated with the captains of the clubs because we have a platform.

“We have already all the club captains to come forward and bring all the names and (owing) clubs and I think we already have from Taraba United who said they have been owed since 2015 and we will send all these names we are going to gather to FIFA and Fifpro,” Babangida stated.

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Crystal Palace’s Zaha subjected to online racial abuse

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Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has been subjected to racist abuse on social media and the forward shared screenshots ahead of their English Premier League (EPL) game at Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Cote d’Ivoire international tweeted images of the messages he received from an individual on Saturday, which included one of the members of the white supremacist organization the Ku Klux Klan.

“This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening. We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse,” Crystal Palace said on Twitter.

Former Arsenal and Crystal Palace striker Ian Wright offered his support to Zaha.

“People like to make these experiences seem like it’s not the norm for black people. It’s always an outlier. `Not one of us’. `Not a real (insert club) fan’,” Wright tweeted.

“These are real people and daily experiences. Sooner we accept it the better we can deal with it.”

When the English top-flight restarted after a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all players had “Black Lives Matter” on their shirts in the opening round of games.

This was in the place of their names.

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However, teams have been taking a knee before matches kick-off to show their support for the campaign.

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Hamilton wins Styrian Grand Prix in Mercedes one-two

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Finnish Teammate Valtteri Bottas, the winner of last weekend’s season-opener behind closed doors at the same Austrian circuit, finished a distant runner-up with his championship lead cut to six points.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completed the podium on a sunny afternoon at his team’s home Red Bull Ring after starting on the front row and being passed by Bottas in the closing stages.

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Struggling Ferrari provided a major talking point with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel colliding on the opening lap and both retiring from the race.

“What a weird year it is, but it’s great to be back up here, to be driving with this kind of performance,” said Hamilton, who started from pole position after a sensational lap in a rain-hit qualifying and remained in complete control.

“I’m so grateful to be back in the first place. It feels like a long time coming since the last race last year, and to come back in after a difficult weekend last week is a great, great step forwards.”

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The Briton, who wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt on the starting grid, again took a knee with other drivers before the start as part of an anti-racism campaign.

Sunday’s race was the first time a circuit has hosted two back-to-back rounds in the same championship year, with the original calendar ripped up and rewritten due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bottas, who started fourth and now has 43 points to Hamilton’s 37, said his afternoon had been about damage limitation.

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“I still got good points, still leading (overall) so it’s not too bad. Yesterday wasn’t ideal,” he said.

Red Bull’s Alex Albon finished fourth with Lando Norris fifth, a result that moved the 20-year-old McLaren driver up to third in the standings, after overtaking both Racing Point drivers on the final lap.

Mexican Sergio Perez was sixth for Racing Point, ahead of Canadian teammate Lance Stroll, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo eighth for Renault.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz completed McLaren’s double points finish in ninth and Russian Daniil Kvyat picked up the final point for AlphaTauri.

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Sports: Wolves see off woeful Everton to move into top six

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Wolves bounced back from back-to-back defeats to move into the Premier League’s top six on Sunday by inflicting another miserable away the day on Everton in a 3-0 win at Molineux.

Raul Jimenez’s penalty and Leander Dendoncker’s header a minute either side of half-time put the game out of Everton’s reach before Diogo Jota beat Jordan Pickford at his near post 16 minutes from time to round off another performance that will see the England number one scrutinized.

The victory lifts Nuno Espirito Santo’s men back ahead of Sheffield United into sixth and within four points of fourth-placed Leicester, who face Bournemouth later on Sunday.

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Fifth could also be good enough for the riches of Champions League football next season should Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competitions fail when the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s verdict is revealed on Monday.

Should Wolves win their next two games against Burnley and Crystal Palace, they could have the chance to snatch Champions League football from Chelsea when they visit Stamford Bridge on the final day of the season.

Goals have been hard to come by for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men since the season’s restart last month with just four in their previous five games.

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But they were given a helping hand by an Everton side meandering towards the end of the campaign with little purpose.

Daniel Podence lured Lucas Digne into committing a penalty in first-half stoppage time and Jimenez coolly sent Pickford the wrong way for his 25th goal of the season.

Dendoncker doubled the host’s advantage early in the second half as he flicked Pedro Neto’s in-swinging free-kick into the far corner.

Pickford has made a string of eye-catching errors since the Premier League’s return and was inches away from conceding an embarrassing third as Podence’s shot squirmed between his legs before he just recovered in time to prevent the ball going over the line.

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Burnley’s Nick Pope shone in a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday to end Liverpool’s perfect home record in the Premier League this season to further his case for ousting Pickford at the international level.

And the Everton stopper did his case little favors when Wolves’ third goal did arrive as Jota controlled Ruben Neves’s great long pass over the top before firing in at the near post from a narrow-angle.

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