Raheem Sterling says he is preparing for the biggest game of his life after receiving the Football Writers’ Association player of the year award.
A stunning season with Manchester City and England has been backed up by impressive work off the pitch in the fight against racism.
Sterling’s form has earned him the Professional Footballers’ Association young player of the year award and the writers’ trophy, which he collected in London on Thursday.
Manchester City head to their final game of the season at Brighton on Sunday a point clear of Liverpool, who host Wolves, at the top of the Premier League.
In his acceptance speech at the FWA dinner he said: “Right now, being here and getting voted the writers’ player of the year is amazing and on Sunday I have the biggest game of my life to go and win. It’s very special.”
He added: “My mum is the biggest inspiration on my life, whenever something is going wrong I always think of my mum. She is always fighting, I have seen her fighting through the hardest things. If I see what she is capable of, that’s where I get my fight from.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wrote to congratulate Sterling in the evening’s programme and praised him for his stance against racism.
He wrote: “He has faced so much adversity and instead of hiding from it, he has taken control and become a role model for young people everywhere.”
Nikita Parris thanked Manchester City for their support after winning the FWA women’s footballer of the year award.
The England forward said: “It’s massively improved me as a player, I wouldn’t be here without the support of Manchester City.
“The support they give the women and men is unbelievable. We continue to push on to win trophies, it’s great Raheem and I are here but we keep wanting to win awards with the team.”
U20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: FIFA inspection team arrives today
FIFA inspection team will arrive in Nigeria today to inspect facilities for the country’s FIFA U20
Women’s World Cup 2020 hosting rights bid, the Nigeria Football Federation [NFF] confirmed on Sunday.
Christopher Exley, Sara Jane Booth, Kliment Taseski, Rhiannon Ceirwen Martin and Heyral Kaj Jurgen are the FIFA officials expected in Abuja by Nigeria’s top football officers.
The FIFA delegation from the headquarters of world football body in Zurich will make a detailed inspection of the hosts’ venues, training grounds, hospitals and stadia earmarked for the event.
In a statement to the press, NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire said Lagos, Asaba, Benin City and Uyo have been picked as the four host cities for the women’s age-grade tournament billed for the summer of 2020.
“A five-man inspection team from world football governing body, FIFA will arrive in Lagos on Monday for a four-day inspection of facilities and equipment that Nigeria has put forward to host the 10th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup championship next year,” the statement read.
“The inspection team will begin its work in Lagos on Tuesday, with visits to the Onikan Stadium (match venue), St. Nicholas Hospital and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals), Teslim
Balogun Stadium, National Stadium Legacy Pitch, Eagle Club, Campos Square and the University of Lagos Sports Centre (training sites) before a courtesy call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Government House in Alausa.
“Joined by NFF President Pinnick, General Secretary Sanusi, Mainasara Illo (Coordinator of the Bid), Aisha Falode, Commissioner of Police Garba Baba (security) and Dr. Paul Onyeudo (medical), the team will fly to Benin City same day to inspect facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium (match venue), Western Boys College and University of Benin Sports Centre (training sites) and the Edo Specialist Hospital and University of Benin Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals).
“The contingent will check out the facilities in Asaba and Uyo on Wednesday. In Asaba, the Stephen Keshi Stadium is the proposed match venue, while training sites are Asaba Squash Courts and St. Patrick’s College. The referral hospitals are St. Luke’s Hospital and Asaba General Hospital.
“In Uyo, the focus will be on the Godswill Akpabio Stadium (match venue), Ikot Ekpene Stadium and Godswill Akpabio Training Pitch (training sites) and Ibom Specialist Hospital and University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals).
“The inspection party will then fly to Abuja on Thursday for a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Olusade Adesola (representing the Honourable Minister) and a courtesy call on His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) at the Presidential Villa.”
Nigeria reached the final in 2010 and 2014 but lost to Germany on both two occasions.
No African nation has hosted a FIFA organised women’s football tournament – a streak Nigeria will be aiming to break by staging the 10th edition next year.
Nigeria beat Cameroon to reach Quarter-Finals
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, after defeating the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon 3-2 in Alexandria.
Odion Ighalo scored a brace, and Alex Iwobi got one goal to book Nigeria a match next Wednesday with the winner between Egypt and South Africa.
Buhari urges Super Eagles to honour Nigeria in AFCON
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Super Eagles to play every match for the honour of their motherland as they file out in their first match against Burundi in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019), holding in Egypt.
The President, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday, urged the Eagles to lift the flag of Nigeria high, and reinforce the reputation of the country as a football powerhouse on the continent.
He said: “I will be watching, just as millions of Nigerians would also do.
“You have our solid support, and we will cheer you to victory,”he said.
He added: “Nigerians are known for their unconquerable spirit. Show this in the group stages, and even beyond. Nothing but lifting of the diadem is good enough for our country,”he stated.
He also enjoined the Super Eagles to be mindful of fair play, and sportsman like conduct, as they strive to return home with the AFCON trophy.