While there are still at least two games left in the NBA finals for the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, a different kind of victory was announced on Thursday.

Nike has secured an eight-year global merchandising and marketing partnership with the NBA that will not only make Nike the official apparel provider for the association, but will also allow the brand to feature its trademark swoosh on every uniform. This is the first time an apparel partner has negotiated the right to feature its logo on the uniforms in the history of the NBA. According to ESPN, Nike paid $1 billion for the partnership.

Nike has partnered with the NBA in various ways since 1992, but Adidas currently produces the uniforms and will continue to do so until its contract expires in 2017. The German apparel company announced in March that it would not renegotiate the deal, deciding instead to focus on endorsing individual players — players who must now wear Nike logos on the court.

Uniforms are already a big part of Nike’s business. It signed an apparel deal with the NFL in 2012 and with USA Basketball, which oversees national teams for competitions like the Olympics, in 2006.

Nike’s new NBA uniforms will make their debut in the 2017-2018 season.

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774 football teams to participate in Christian/Muslim Youth Peace Cup

Ernest Ujubuonu, the National Coordinator of Rainbow Unity and Peace Development, an NGO, on Wednesday said 774 football teams would participate in its maiden Christian/Muslim Youth Peace Cup this year.

He,  in Abuja, said  that the tournament was to create unity among Nigerian youths.
Ujubuonu said that each local government would present one team that would represent each state at the zonal level, adding that it was is basically an invitational grassroots programme.
He said the preliminary matches would be played at their various local governments before the zonal elimination.

He added that the best two teams in each geo-political zone would play at the finals in Abuja.
The coordinator said the finals would take place Oct. 1 to mark Nigeria’s independent day, disclosing that the competition would kick off in September.

He said the NGO would also organise Women for Peace Cup competition which would involve 109 football teams to preach tolerance, justice, unity and love.

“We are organising two distinct youth football tournament across the country.

“These tournaments which will hold across all local government areas and senatorial district are to unite youths in the country no matter their religion.

“The Peace Cup is planned to hold in partnership and endorsement of youths and women organisations like FOMWAN, CAN-Women wing, JNI youth wing, NANS and NCWS.

“The competition is intended to unite Nigerian youths and women to rise up to their civil and religious obligation of ensuring that they don’t participate in any form of violence,’’ he said.

He said the draws for the tournament would be done later this month with the fixtures, adding that the two competitions would run concurrently

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Chelsea vs Gala: An opportunity missed- Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho acknowledged that Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw against Galatasaray in Istanbul in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie had to go down as “an opportunity missed”.

The London club took an early lead through Fernando Torres at the Turk Telecom Arena, but they failed to capitalise on their good start and Galatasaray came back to equalise midway through the second half courtesy of Aurelien Chedjou.

That means the tie remains open ahead of next month’s return at Stamford Bridge, when it could have been over after half an hour in Istanbul.

“The first half was an opportunity missed. The second half was a fair result,” Mourinho said.

“In the first half we were the better team. We had three or four chances, but then they put more pressure on us and we were more defensive.

“We were comfortable defensively but conceded a goal at a corner, which I don’t like (but) I think it was a fair result.”

Chelsea may be top of the Premier League and closing in on the Champions League quarter-finals, but they have suffered at times from the lack of a clinical striker this season and the performance of Torres came as a tonic for Mourinho, although the tiring Spaniard was withdrawn with a quarter of the game remaining.

“I think now he’s having a very acceptable season,” Mourinho said of Torres, who has scored six times in five Champions League starts, but Chelsea still missed too many chances for their coach’s liking.

“That’s our team. Some other teams would score three goals, we have five chances and take one.

“We create but we arrive in the last third of the pitch and the last decision – the correct pass, the right movement – is not correct.

“We are paying for that, but I cannot be critical. I just praise the fact that we had a very acceptable result in a stadium where it is not easy to play.”

Chelsea now turn their attentions back to the Premier League and two London derbies, away to Fulham and at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

And they do so as the only English side to avoid defeat, or even score a goal, in the Champions League in the last two weeks in the wake of poor results for Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United.

– Mancini plays the percentages –

Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini, the former City boss, dismissed doubts over the state of English football as he admitted his team remain very much the outsiders in the tie.

“The Premier League is the best championship in the world and Chelsea are one of the best teams,” said the Italian, whose own side are on a run of just one defeat in 20 matches.

His displeasure with Galatasaray’s start to the game was evident as he changed things tactically half an hour in, replacing winger Izet Hajrovic and introducing an extra central midfielder in Yekta Kurtulus, and that helped them eventually come back into the contest.

“We can’t show Chelsea the level of respect we showed them in the first half. They wanted to be able to counterattack us and we conceded too many of these.

“We made three or four mistakes and played with fear.

“The game in London will be difficult but after this game we have a 40 percent chance to go through,” added Mancini, who had previously measured their prospects at just 20 percent.

Nevertheless, Mourinho refused to be drawn on Mancini’s comments, and also had a swipe at the man he replaced as Inter Milan coach in 2008 by crediting their performance on former coach Fatih Terim.

“They were good last year and they are good this year. Basically it’s the team that Fatih built. The team that was champions last year and got to the quarter-finals. So I think Fatih did a great work (sic),” said Mourinho.

Nigerian Olympian bags life jail in South Africa

A former Nigerian Olympic athlete, Ambrose Monye has been sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa. Monye was sentenced alongside Andre Gouws for the murder of Channelle Henning.

They were sentenced at the North Guateng High Court in Pretoria.
After having denied for months, both of them confessed to being involved in the murder of the 26-year-old Henning.

She was shot in Faerie Glen, in the east of Pretoria on November 8, 2011 just after she dropped her son at a creche. At that time, Channelle and her estranged husband, Nick Henning had been locked in a custody battle.

Mr Henning was picked up by law enforcement agents in December after his best friend, Gouws told the court that Henning offered him a million Rands to have his wife killed. Gouws also told the court that he offered Monye R 50,000 to find killers who would do the job.
The killers, Gerhardus (Doepie) du Please and Willem (Tattoo or Pike) Pieterse are already serving 18-year jail terms, following their guilty pleas to the murder charge.

The Nigerian Olympian said he was ashamed of his actions. Back in 2011, Monye who represented Nigeria at the Seoul ’88 Olympics was acquitted of murder after he allegedly beat a man to death. The former athlete ran a security outfit, “Big Dog Security” but that was not enough to keep him off police radar for drug dealing. His lifestyle also drew attention. Though well built himself, the former athlete hardly ever went anywhere without his hefty bodyguards.

Authorities tried to investigate how he got his South African citizenship and if it was done legally. His ID number gives his age as 40, indicating that he represented Nigeria at the age of 14.

Words used to describe him by South African investigators include “strong and dangerous” as well as the “kingpin of Pretoria’s underworld”

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Mourinho takes swipe at ‘boring’ Arsenal

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has described Premier League title rivals Arsenal as “boring” for failing to score in Monday’s 0-0 draw between the sides.

The match at the Emirates Stadium was a bruising encounter, with Mourinho responding to accusations that his side had been unnecessarily physical by accusing Arsenal’s players of ‘crying’.

Arsenal’s fans booed Mourinho’s side off the pitch at the final whistle, chanting “Boring, boring Chelsea!”, but Mourinho believes that they should have directed their ire towards their own team.

“I think boring is a team that plays at home and cannot score a goal. That’s boring,” said the Portuguese, ahead of his side’s home game with Swansea City on Thursday.

“If somebody was boring, they were boring because (Chelsea goalkeeper) Petr Cech made zero saves.

“You go to your stadium and you fill your stadium, in weather like we had on Monday, to see victories. There is not a home fan in any club in the world who goes to the stadium and expects his team not to win.”

Mikel wary of Arsenal

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has warned that Arsenal are no small team, as he looks forward to a clash between both sides.
Chelsea will take on Arsenal on Monday December 23, 2013 in an English Premier League tie.
Mikel said the stability in Arsenal in the current season is a thing any team should be careful about. “There has been some stability at Arsenal. And I think people criticizing them for failing to win a trophy have helped too. They have not won a trophy yet but you can see they are heading in the right direction,” Mikel told Premier League Television (PLTV).
The Nigeria international also reserved words of praise for the Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger for staying true to his football ideologies and long-term project in North London.
“Arsene Wenger is building something at Arsenal and it’s showing now in the way they are playing and their current position on the league table.
“They have a very good chance of winning the league title but so do we,” he said.
Mikel has made league 10 appearances for Chelsea this season and has scored once for the Blues against Fulham on September 21 at StamfordBridge.

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