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Gideon John, Wale Akinola Win VBank Snooker & Billiards Tournament

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Snooker winners Shehu Bamidele, Gideon John and Victor Ukueku

The 2021 VBank Open Snooker and Billiards Tournament held in partnership with the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, closed in grand style over the weekend, with Gideon John emerging the biggest winner of the night after defeating Shehu Bamidele, 3-0. Wale Akintola took the billiards game in an exciting 150 to 135 win.

The tournament which kicked off on Tuesday, 6th April 2021, had 32 initial players before whittling down to the Top 4 who played their hearts out last Saturday. Victor Ukueku bested Abiodun Christopher in a match of five frames to clinch the third-place prize of N80,000 and consolation prizes.

Snooker champion, Gideon John

Snooker champion, Gideon John

Speaking at the colourful closing ceremony, Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, VFD Group, Efeturi Doghudje thanked the management of Lagos Country Club for a successful competition and all the players for conducting themselves professionally. “I thank the president of LCC, the patrons, captain and members of the Snooker and Billiards section and the guests that are here to witness and cheer the players. Your presence shows the importance you attach to this championship. On behalf of Vbank, I congratulate the winners and hope that you continue to represent the sports at all levels “

A delighted Gideon John walked away with the highest cash prize of N150,000 and an extra sum of N20,000 being prize money for the Highest Break of the Snookers tournament, which he set at 38. First runner up, Shehu Bamidele, won N100,000 in cash prize as well as branded gifts.

Similarly, for the Billiards Championship which held simultaneously, top 3 winners emerged Friday. First-place winner, Wale Akinola, received N100,000 cash while Edafe Agbah came third winning N50,000 only. Snooker’s Victor Ukueku took second place in the billiards tourney winning another N80,000. It was a night of pleasant surprises and upsets.

Wole Akinola, Billiards champion

Wole Akinola, Billiards champion

VBank, the digital banking app and product of VFD Microfinance bank, continues to blaze the trail in its identification with Snooker games as this is its second Snooker tournament in six months, each time giving away fabulous prizes and cash gift. In closing this tourney, the section captain at LCC, Osasogie Osazuwa, was grateful for a successful hosting.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Sport Business

Iheanacho’s Leicester Underdog as FA Cup Final Airs on StarTimes

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Chelsea will face Leicester City for the FA Cup final in Wembley on Saturday at 5:15 pm.

The match will air live and in HD on StarTimes’ World Football channel.

The FA Cup final will be immediately followed by the Coppa Italia final on May 19 and Europa League final on May 26 and then cascade to Euro 2020. All matches will air on StarTimes basic bouquet at N1700 monthly (antenna users) or smart bouquet at N2200 (dish users).

On Saturday, the Blues go into the FA Cup final at Wembley against Leicester City as the favourites, especially as their last two results saw them beat some pretty impressive opponents.

Thanks to a stellar squad led by two German internationals Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are the favourites of the final. But Leicester could surprise the Blues, which are battling on many fronts.

One African international who is bound to feature in the game is Kelechi Iheanacho, who has formed a deadly striking partnership with Jaimie Vardy upfront for Leicester. The Nigerian international was on target again on the weekend for his side in their 4-2 home defeat against Newcastle, to take his tally for the season to 11. He scored 10 of those goals in his last nine matches.

Authorities have said that some 22,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley.

That leaves millions of other football fans who will want to see the match. And for African football fans there is great news as the game will be screened live and in HD on the StarTimes football channels.

StarTimes Nigeria PR Manager, Lazarus Ibeabuchi, said: “Football lovers in Nigeria can look forward to this exciting showpiece on StarTimes at the most affordable rate in the market. Active subscribers can watch on the go by downloading StarTimes ON mobile app and linking it to their decoders, at no extra cost, to access the same content on up to three mobile devices. Also, non-subscribers can also watch live sports, sought-after TV channels and over 2000 video-on-demand content for as low as N400 weekly, with an option to subscribe with their MTN airtime, via our StarTimes ON mobile app.”

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30-day Countdown to Euro 2020 on StarTimes

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Startimes Inestorsking.com

The UEFA Euro 2020 is now just 30 days away and fans around the world are gearing up for what promises to be a unique and thrilling tournament.

The European Championship will take place between 11 June and 11 July in 11 different cities. There will be 51 games, with the group stage – running from 11 to 23 June – a torrent of live football, with three matches most days.

African fans will be able to watch all matches live and in HD on the StarTimes Sport channels as well as on StarTimes ON streaming application, as the leading digital TV operator secured the broadcasting rights to the Euro 2020.

All 24 teams at the final tournament are guaranteed to play at least three games. Then the top two in each of the six groups along with the four best third-placed finishers will proceed to the knockout phase – where things get even more exciting. From that point, every game is sudden death: win and teams reach the next round, lose and they are going home.

Two teams will ultimately make it all the way to the 11 July final at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Football fans can acquire StarTimes decoder set including one-month bouquet at only N7400 for DTT (antenna) or N11,200 for DTH (dish) and watch all 51 games live and in HD.

African fans have been forced to pay ever higher prices to watch major competitions in the past. We know what they have been going through during the past year, COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on all of us. At StarTimes, we want to ensure that nobody is excluded from this amazing football festival,” says Lazarus Ibeabuchi, StarTimes Nigeria PR Manager.

Streaming users are not left out and will be able to enjoy the whole tournament for N1000 a month on StarTimes-ON app.

Euro 2020 was postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament kicks off with Turkey taking on Italy in Rome on June 11.

Which Country is Hosting Euro 2020?

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition, UEFA decided to host it in several cities across the continent.

The venues are currently scheduled to be:

•              Wembley Stadium in London (England)

•              Stadio Olimpico in Rome (Italy)

•              The Olympic Stadium in Baku (Azerbaijan)

•              Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg (Russia)

•              La Cartuja in Seville (Spain)

•              Arena Națională in Bucharest (Romania)

•              Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

•              Hampden Park in Glasgow (Scotland)

•              Parken Stadium in Copenhagen (Denmark)

•              Puskás Aréna in Budapest (Hungary)

•              The Allianz Arena in Munich (Germany)

How does the group stage look?

Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland

Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia

Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia

Group D: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic

Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia

Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany

GROUP STAGE

Friday 11 June

Group A: Turkey vs Italy (20:00, Rome)

Saturday 12 June

Group A: Wales vs Switzerland (14:00, Baku)

Group B: Denmark vs Finland (17:00, Copenhagen)

Group B: Belgium vs Russia (20:00, St Petersburg)

Sunday 13 June

Group D: England vs Croatia (14:00, London)

Group C: Austria vs North Macedonia (17:00, Bucharest)

Group C: Netherlands vs Ukraine (20:00, Amsterdam)

Monday 14 June

Group D: Scotland vs Czech Republic (14:00, Glasgow)

Group E: Poland vs Slovakia (17:00, St Petersburg)

Group E: Spain vs Sweden (20:00, Seville)

Tuesday 15 June

Group F: Hungary vs Portugal (17:00, Budapest)

Group F: France vs Germany (20:00, Munich)

Wednesday 16 June

Group B: Finland vs Russia (14:00, St Petersburg)

Group A: Turkey vs Wales (17:00, Baku)

Group A: Italy vs Switzerland (20:00, Rome)

Thursday 17 June

Group C: Ukraine vs North Macedonia (14:00, Bucharest)

Group B: Denmark vs Belgium (17:00, Copenhagen)

Group C: Netherlands vs Austria (20:00, Amsterdam)

Friday 18 June

Group E: Sweden vs Slovakia (14:00, St Petersburg)

Group D: Croatia vs Czech Republic (17:00, Glasgow)

Group D: England vs Scotland (20:00, London)

Saturday 19 June

Group F: Hungary vs France (14:00, Budapest)

Group F: Portugal vs Germany (17:00, Munich)

Group E: Spain vs Poland (20:00, Seville)

Sunday 20 June

Group A: Italy vs Wales (17:00, Rome)

Group A: Switzerland vs Turkey (17:00, Baku)

Monday 21 June

Group C: North Macedonia vs Netherlands (17:00, Amsterdam)

Group C: Ukraine vs Austria (17:00, Bucharest)

Group B: Russia vs Denmark (20:00, Copenhagen)

Group B: Finland vs Belgium (20:00, St Petersburg)

Tuesday 22 June

Group D: Czech Republic vs England (20:00, London)

Group D: Croatia vs Scotland (20:00, Glasgow)

Wednesday 23 June

Group E: Slovakia vs Spain (17:00, Seville)

Group E: Sweden vs Poland (17:00, St Petersburg)

Group F: Germany vs Hungary (20:00, Munich)

Group F: Portugal v France (20:00, Budapest)

KNOCKOUT PHASE

Round of 16

Saturday 26 June

1: Group A Second Place vs Group B Second Place (17:00, Amsterdam)

2: Group A Winner vs Group C Second Place (20:00, London)

Sunday 27 June

3: Group C Winner vs Third Place Group D/E/F (17:00, Budapest)

4: Group B Winner vs Third Place Group A/D/E/F (20:00, Seville)

Monday 28 June

5: Group D Second Place vs Group E Second Place (17:00, Copenhagen)

6: Group F Winner vs Third Place Group A/B/C (20:00, Bucharest)

Tuesday 29 June

7: Group D Winner vs Group F Second Place (17:00, London)

8: Group E Winner vs Third Place Group A/B/C/D (20:00, Glasgow)

Quarter-finals

Friday 2 July

QF1: Winner 6 vs Winner 5 (17:00, St Petersburg)

QF2: Winner 4 vs Winner 2 (20:00, Munich)

Saturday 3 July

QF3: Winner 3 vs Winner 1 (17:00, Baku)

QF4: Winner 8 vs Winner 7 (20:00, Rome)

Semi-finals

Tuesday 6 July

SF1: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF2 (20:00, London)

Wednesday 7 July

SF2: Winner QF3 vs Winner QF4 (20:00, London)

Final

Sunday 11 July

Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2 (20:00, London)

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Crypto.com Becomes Official Cryptocurrency & NFT Sponsor Of The 2021 Coppa Italia

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Lega Serie A and Crypto.com announced that they have reached an important partnership agreement on the occasion of the 2021 Coppa Italia Final, which will see Atalanta challenge Juventus on 19th May at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia.

Lega Serie A is proud to be the first football league to sign a partnership agreement with a cryptocurrency and NFT platform. The partnership, which begins with the Coppa Italia Final is expected to extend long into the future. To commemorate the first time Atalanta and Juventus meet at the Coppa Italia Final, a special NFT collection will be made available including the official trophy, match highlights, and more.

With the fastest growing crypto app and over 10 million users worldwide, Crypto.com is proud to be Lega Serie A’s first cryptocurrency partner. Together the two organizations will create new experiences for football fans in Italy and beyond, starting with special NFT collectibles available exclusively at Crypto.com/NFT.

“We are extremely proud to announce this prestigious partnership with Crypto.com, a leading company in the world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs – said Luigi De Siervo, CEO of Lega Serie A – We are the first football league in the world to sign an agreement in this new market which is extremely innovative and relevant not only for sports fans, where other world-class leagues such as the NBA have been operating in recent months. In this way Lega Serie A aims to expand its target audience and continues the international growth of the brand, always looking to the future and innovation. The Coppa Italia Final will be an expression of these values and will offer millions of fans around the world an exciting experience not only on the pitch but also before and after the game, thanks to the many commercial and marketing initiatives that we will organize with our partners”.

“We are proud to collaborate with an exceptional partner such as Lega Serie A, the latest in an exciting roadmap of sports partnerships we’ll soon be announcing,” said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com. “It’s a unique opportunity to support the world’s most popular sport during the historic match between Atalanta and Juventus, surely to be watched by football fans world-wide. Through our partnership, we will bring together the best of blockchain technology and football by co-creating NFTs sure to become instant classics and highly coveted collectibles.”

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