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CAF Awards: Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang make top three list

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Reigning Confederation of African Football Player of the Year, Mohamed Salah, Senegalese player, Sadio Mane and Gabonese player, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, have made the top three list for the 2018 awards.

CAF made this revelation on Tuesday on their website. CAF revealed that the three players were the top three finalists for last year’s awards.

The Player of the Year will be unveiled at the Awards Gala on 8 January 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.

In a statement, CAF said that “Aubameyang had maintained his stand amongst the top three finalists since 2014, thus five times in a row and equaling the record of Ivorian legend Yaya Toure and Ghanaian midfield supremo Michael Essien. Four-time Player of the Year, Toure, achieved the feat (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and Essien (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). The 29-year old will be hoping to lay his hands on the enviable crown a second time.

“Salah, 26, made history becoming the first Egyptian to be decorated Player of the Year since the inception of the awards scheme in 1992. It is the second time, he has made the final three and Salah has his eyes set on joining the elite league of players to win the honour back-to-back. Senegalese El Hadji Diouf (2001, 2002), Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon (2003, 2004) and Toure (2011, 2012) are the only three to win successive titles.

“It is a hat-trick for 26-year old Mane in the top three, coming third in 2016 and second in 2017. He will be hoping to be third time lucky and become the second Senegalese to win the topmost individual honour after Diouf.”

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Dangote, Otedola promises Super Eagles $75k (N27m) for each goal in remaining AFCON matches

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria have gotten a major boost in their 2019 African Cup of Nations campaign, as Nigerian billionaires, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola have pledged $75,000 for every goal scored in their remaining games. 

The Super Eagles team had earlier gotten $75,000 from Aiteo Group, for the three goals scored in their 3-2 victory over Cameroon in the Round of 16. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave each player $5,000, while Hosea Wells Okunbo, a businessman, promised $20,000 per player. 

As they take on Algeria on Sunday in the Semi-Final Match of the 2019 AFCON, Dangote has promised $50,000 per goal, while Otedola pledged the sum of $25,000 for each goal scored. 

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‘I’m calling the shots’ – Andy Ruiz says he will refuse a rematch with Anthony Joshua in the UK

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The rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua may not be happening in the UK, as the Mexican-American heavyweight is pushing for the fight to take place in either of his two home countries. 

Andy Ruiz had claimed the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, after he defeated Anthony Joshua in a fight which took place in Madison Square, New York, United States. Speaking to TMZ Sports on plans about the rematch, he said; 

“I haven’t talked to him, but I’m pretty sure he’s training hard for the rematch and so am I. I want the rematch to be in Mexico or New York City again, Vegas, or here [in LA].”

When asked if the Nigerian-born British boxer will agree to this, he said; 

 “It doesn’t matter because I’m the champion… I’m calling the shots… We’re the A-side.”

This contradicts fight promoter, Eddie Hearn’s claim that Anthony Joshua will have the final say over where the rematch takes place.

The Nigerian-born British boxer is in Nigeria at the moment.

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NFL player, Carl Granderson sentenced to six months in jail for sexual assault

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New Orleans Saints defender, Carl Granderson was taken into custody during a court appearance on Thursday and ordered to serve six months in jail by the presiding judge, who refused to accept a plea deal entered in his sexual assault case.

Granderson pleaded not guilty in April to one count of third-degree sexual assault and another count of sexual battery. He agreed to a plea deal that would have reduced the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor count of unlawful contact and canceled a jury trial that was scheduled to start Monday.  

Nevertheless, Judge Tori Kricken of the Albany County (Wyo.) District Court called off the deal and remanded him to jail immediately. The judge also assigned a one-year jail sentence on the sexual battery charge, which will be suspended upon completion of the six-month jail term. It will be converted to one year of supervised probation.  

The Saints were abundantly aware of the charges against Granderson, but gave him a team-high $85,000 to sign as an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming in April. During minicamp in June, Saints coach Sean Payton said, “We felt real comfortable with everything we knew, and so far he’s done a good job here.”  

The alleged assault occurred Nov. 25, after the Wyoming season had ended, and off campus, according to the school.  Granderson graduated Dec. 15, but the football program did not offer an immediate defense of Granderson.  “The sexual assault charges recently filed against Carl Granderson are serious, and the allegations are troubling,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said in a statement. “I want to assure the people of Wyoming that we hold our young men to the highest of standards, and this alleged behavior is unacceptable.”

In four seasons with the Cowboys, Granderson had 96 tackles,16.5 sacks and three interceptions. He also played in the Senior Bowl. Granderson became the third Wyoming athlete, and second football player, to face criminal charges during the 2018-19 school year.

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