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Nigerian WC captain pays $28,000 to free father from abductors

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Abuja:The father of Nigerian World Cup skipper John Mikel Obi who was kidnapped last week has been freed, police said.
“Michael Obi, the father of the (Super) Eagles captain, has regained his freedom,” the spokesman for Enugu state police in southeast Nigeria, Ebere Amaraizu, said late .
Amaraizu said the senior Obi’s captors did not hurt him after seizing him at gunpoint last Thursday evening in Enugu, but they forced him to walk for about five kilometres (three miles) barefoot in heavy rain.
He said the Eagles skipper paid a ransom of 10 million naira (about $28,000) to obtain the release of his father, who is in his sixties.
No arrest has been made but police are on the trail of the abductors, he said.
Obi senior has been kidnapped once before, in the central city of Jos in 2011.
Kidnapping of prominent and rich people and their families is common in southern Nigeria. The victims are usually released unhurt after a ransom is paid.

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Need to find the right balance before 2019 WC: Kohli

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Leeds :Virat Kohli said that India will be looking to finding the right combination in the remaining ODI matches that they play before the 2019 World Cup. “We’ve got to get our act right and get the balance of the side and make sure we are not over-reliant on one skill,” he said while speaking in the post-match presentation ceremony following India’s eight-wicket loss to England. India also lost the series 2-1, which was the first time they had lost a bilateral ODI series since January 2016 and also Virat Kohli’s first ODI series loss as captain.
However, Kohli did not exactly spell out what areas they need to work on to be ready for the World Cup. “Well, quite a few,” Kohli said. “That is what every side is looking for: they are looking for the best balance they can have possibly. All these sort of series and these sort of losses will tell us exactly what we need to work on and the things we need to rectify come World Cup time.”
Having put 258 on the board, India fell short of the mark required for a competitive second inning. “We were never on the mark as far as the runs on the board was concerned, we were 25-30 less,” said Kohli. “England were really clinical with the ball, bat and the field as well. We were just not good enough.”
India’s fragile and unstable middle order was exposed this series as their mighty top order failed to get going. They decided to go for Dinesh Karthik in place of KL Rahul, who was going through a fine patch of form in the preceding T20I series but failed to score in the first two ODIs. Kohli dismissed the effect that change had on India’s chances in Leeds. “We thought Dinesh did well, but he couldn’t convert his start, so I don’t regret the batting order changes. Shardul was meant to get some exposure, and Bhuvi needed to make a comeback. When the changes don’t come off, they look unnecessary so it must be taken in our stride,” he said.
Kohli stated he was left surprised with the behaviour of the pitch which was slow throughout. He said initially with the new ball it had been two-paced, but subsequently became slow which helped spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. “They suffocated us through the middle overs really well. And the two spinners again joining hands and bowling 20 overs together. They really bowled well in partnerships. That is what you need as a side – you need bowlers to step up and bowl in partnerships. None of them got greedy, they just kept containing the runs and got the results eventually.”
India and England have now both won three matches in total on this tour with India winning the T20I series 2-1 and England winning the ODI series by the same ratio. The two teams will now play a five-match Test series. “The Test squad is pretty settled, and it’s going to be a lengthy series. We want to play tough cricket and we know the English side will provide us with that,” he said.

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Mbappé donating his winnings to charity – and the total could be more than $500,000

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Paris :France’s 19-year-old soccer star is reportedly donating his entire World Cup winnings to charity.
Mbappé’s wages over the tournament were estimated to be around £17,000 ($22,500) per game, in addition to a bonus of £265,000 ($351,000) for winning the tournament.
The charity of Mbappé’s choice helps get hospitalised and disabled children into sport.
Kylian Mbappé had a World Cup that made pundits drool.
The 19-year-old scored four goals in seven games and dazzled spectators with his mercurial pace and composure under pressure – and it helped France to victory.
Mbappé’s wages are estimated by Sports Illustrated to be around £17,000 ($22,500) per game, as well as a £265,000 ($351,000) bonus for winning the tournament. Given that France played seven games throughout the World Cup, Mbappé’s earnings totalled just over $500,000 – but he won’t see a penny of it.
Sebastien Ruffin, general manager of the charity Premiers de Cordee told Le Parisien: “He’s a great person. When his schedule allows it, he intervenes for us with pleasure.
“He has a very good [relationship] with the children, he always finds the right [words] to encourage them. I sometimes even feel that [he] takes more pleasure to play with the kids than the kids themselves.”
Mbappé caught the attention of soccer legend Pelé after he became the second youngest player in history to score in a World Cup final. Their exchange on Twitter highlights the young man’s class and humility.
“He is the guy who will be standing up on that Ballon d’Or podium in years to come,” former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said after the final.
If Mbappé’s generosity continues to correlate with his talent, the world will be a better place for it.

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‘Where, where?’ asks Pogba in cheeky Congress tweet on Achhe Din

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New Delhi:The Congress posted a video of French footballer Paul Pogba looking around in mock confusion and purportedly asking “where, where, where…” even as his colleagues watch on with amusement. Providing a political context to the clip is its strictly tongue-in-cheek caption: “When someone says ‘Achhe Din’.”
The Congress’ take on the issue – “Pogba and us, same feels” – headlined the post.
Achhe Din, translating to ‘good days’, was the very slogan that the BJP-led Narendra Modi successfully used to win the 2014 elections in an environment of disenchantment against the erstwhile Manmohan Singh government. However, political rivals have pointed out that many of the promises made by the saffron party in the run-up to the elections – including the creation of one crore jobs a year and the assurance of crediting Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every Indian – still remain unfulfilled in the regime’s fourth year running. Efforts to explain away some of the unfulfilled promises, such as BJP president Amit Shah’s clarification that the Rs 15-lakh remark was largely “proverbial” in nature, have failed to impress detractors.
The Congress’ video tweet came soon after France beat Croatia 4-2 in the finals to win the FIFA World Cup, and photographs of Pogba holding the trophy were splashed on newspapers across the globe. He was among the three French players who scored goals that day.
Last seen, the post had garnered 376 comments, besides 1,700 retweets and 4,700 likes.

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