Imo is one of the 36 states of Nigeria and lies in the South East of Nigeria with Owerri as its capital and largest city. Its other major cities are Orlu and Okigwe, name=www. vanguardngr. com/> Located in the south-eastern region of Nigeria, it occupies the area between the lower River Niger and the upper and middle Imo River. Its Imo State is bordered by Abia State on the East, River Niger and Delta State to the West, Anambra State on the North, the State lies within latitudes 4°45N and 7°15N, and longitude 6°50E and 7°25E with an area of around 5,100 sq km. The main cities in Imo State are Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe, the Orashi River has its source in Imo State. Imo River, being the river in the State, drains through Abia State, where it is joined by Aba River from the North. There are Njaba River, Oguta Lake, Utu River and Awbana River in the State, otamiri River and its 9.2 km length tributary, Nworie River flow in the State. There are other rivers and creeks in the state including Onas Creek in Ohaji/Egbema, Okitankwo River in Umudi, the state is rich in natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead, Calcium Cabornate and zinc. Economically exploitable flora including iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree, other natural resources found in the State are white clay, fine sand and limestone. The main petroleum companies operating in the state are Addax Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, some of the established oil-rich and producing Local Government Councils include Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru East, Iho, Oru West, Obowo and Ngor Okpala. In addition to presence of oil and gas investors, independent global brewer, the company manages the world-class Awo-omamma Brewery, a multiple-line brewery plant. Many more opportunities in oil and gas are yet to be fully exploited, establishment of industrial parks and processing zones to harness the huge agricultural produce and minerals would give a major boost to the States economic growth and industrialization. No doubt, production centers would employ large number of labor, Oguta Lake, Palm Beach Holiday Resort in Awo-omamma and a host of other tourist sites along the banks of the 26 km-length Njaba River present hotspots for tourism. The economy of the State depends primarily on agriculture and commerce, the chief occupation of the people is farming. However, with a population density and over farming the soil has been degraded. Their cash crops include oil palm, raffia palm, rice, groundnut, melon, cotton, cocoa, rubber, maize, etc. food crops such as yam, cassava, cocoyam and maize are also produced in large quantities. The rainy season begins in April and lasts until October with annual rainfall varying from 1, 500mm to 2, an average annual temperature above 20 °C creates an annual relative humidity of 75%. With humidity reaching 90% in the rainy season, the dry season experiences two months of Harmattan from late December to late February. The hottest months are between January and March, with high population density and over farming, the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Heartland FC is a Nigerian football club based in Owerri. They play their games at Dan Anyiam Stadium. Until their 18th place showing and relegation in 2016, they were one of two teams in the top flight that had never been relegated, founded as Spartans FC, they won the Nigerian championship three years running from 1988–90. Their first international match was against Ararat Yerevan of the USSR which Spartans won 2–0 at the Township Stadium, Tetlow Road, Owerri, november 1985, Spartans FC renamed Iwuanyanwu Nationale FC following a successful change of ownership from Imo State Government to chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. January 1986, Iwuanyanwu Nationale embark on a 3-week training tour of Brazil, the club finished runner-up of Nigerian top league. 1987, Iwuanyanwu Nationale emerged as League winners ahead of Leventis United on goal difference and they later went on to represent Nigeria in CAF Champions Cup. 1988, Iwuanyanwu Nationale repeat as League champions as well as winning Nigerian FA Cup for first time, reach CAF Champions Cup final, winning 1–0 in first leg tie in Ibadan, losing 4–0 in Constantine, Algeria in return leg versus Entente Setif. 1989, Retain League title but lost FA Cup following 0–1 loss in final to BCC Lions,1990, Iwuanyanwu Nationale beat Stationery Stores of Lagos in Lagos in professional Leagues commemorative game 2–1. Nationale went on to emerge first pro league winners in Nigeria,1991, Nationale lose League title to Julius Berger, crash out of CAF Champions Cup to Nakivubo of Uganda in semi-final. 1993, Club regain League title following a 2–0 away victory over El-Kanemi Warriors in last league fixture to edge out Bendel Insurance to the title race, lose 3–0 to Espérance de Tunis of Tunisia in first leg tie, September 18. Aboard a chartered Oriental Airline, the team suffered an aircrash at Tamanrasset, two players, defender Aimola Omale and goalkeeper Uche Ikeogu lost their lives. CAF consequently shifted the return leg match in Owerri from October 3, Nationale crashed out following a 1–1 draw in the return leg match. 1999, Emerged regular League champions but lost title to Lobi Stars of Makurdi in the inaugural Super League play-off,2005, Finished third in Premier League and also in the Coca-Cola FA Cup with coach Stanley Eguma in charge. 2006, Imo State Government re-acquire ownership of the club on February 7 from chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu,2008, Finished second in Premier League by one point to Kano Pillars, earned a Champions League slot. 2009, Finished second in the 2009 CAF Champions League, losing to away goals to TP Mazembe after tying 2–2 on aggregate,2011, The club won the Federation Cup, its first silverware since its last league win in 1993. Heartland defeated highly fancied Enyimba 1-0 thanks to a late first half goal by their captain,2012, Heartland retained its 2011 cup win by defeating Lobi Stars 2-1 in the finals held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos thereby winning it again in 2012. Ending 18th in the 2016 Nigeria Professional Football League ensured the club went on relegation for the first time since its 40-year existence, Heartland was eventually penalized by the League Management for abandoning their game and 3 points and 3 goals was awarded to the home team, Plateau United. The result of this meant that MFM FC was safe would remain in the league at Heartlands expense, Nigerian Premier League,51987,1988,1989,1990,1993
Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax, also AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or simply Ajax, is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam. Historically, Ajax is the most successful club in the Netherlands, Ajax is historically one of the most successful clubs in the world, according to the IFFHS, Ajax were the seventh-most successful European club of the 20th century. The club is one of the five teams that has earned the right to keep the European Cup and to wear a multiple-winner badge, in 1972, they completed the continental treble by winning the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, and the European Cup. It also won the first organized UEFA Super Cup in 1972 against Glasgow Rangers, Ajax is also one of three teams to win the continental treble and the Intercontinental Cup in the same season/calendar year, This was achieved in the 1971–72 season. Ajax, Juventus, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea are the four clubs to have won all three major UEFA club competitions. They have also won the Intercontinental Cup twice, the 1991–92 UEFA Cup, as well as the Karl Rappan Cup, Ajax plays at the Amsterdam Arena, which opened in 1996. They previously played at De Meer Stadion and the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, Ajax was founded in Amsterdam on 18 March 1900. The club achieved promotion to the highest level of Dutch football in 1911 and had its first major success in 1917, winning the KNVB Beker, the following season, Ajax became national champion for the first time. The club defended its title in 1918–19, becoming the team to achieve an unbeaten season in the Netherlands Football League Championship. Throughout the 1920s, Ajax was a regional power, winning the Eerste Klasse West division in 1921,1927 and 1928. This changed in the 1930s, with the winning five national championships. In 1956, the first season of the Netherlands new professional league, the team were again Eredivisie champions in 1960 and won a third KNVB Cup in 1961. A year earlier, Johan Cruyff, who would go on to become the greatest Dutch footballer of all time, between them, Michels and Cruyff led Ajax through the most successful period in its history, winning seven Eredivisie titles, four KNVB Cups and three European Cups. Ajax won the Dutch championship in 1966,1967, and 1968, during the 1966–67 season, Ajax scored a record 122 goals in an Eredivisie season and also won the KNVB Cup to achieve its first league and cup double. In 1969–70, Ajax won a fourth Dutch league championship and second league and cup double in five seasons, winning 27 out of 34 league games, after this success, Michels departed to become manager of Barcelona and was replaced by the Romanian Ștefan Kovács. In Kovács first season, Ajax completed a treble of the European Cup, the Eredivisie, in 1973, Michels Barcelona broke the world transfer record to bring Cruyff to Catalonia. Kovács also departed to become manager of the France national team, in 1976–77, Ajax won its first domestic championship in four seasons and recorded a double of the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup two years later. The early 1980s saw the return of Johan Cruyff to the club, as well as the emergence of young players Marco van Basten, the team won back-to-back Eredivisie titles in 1982 and 1983, with all three playing a significant role in the latter
The club have played continuously in the top tier of the Italian football league system since its debut in 1909. Inter have won 30 domestic trophies as well as local rivals A. C. Milan, from 2006 to 2010, the club won five successive league titles, equalling the all-time record. They have won the Champions League three times, two back-to-back in 1964 and 1965 and then another in 2010 and their latest win completed an unprecedented Italian seasonal treble, with Inter winning the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto the same year. The club has won three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. Inters home games are played at the San Siro stadium, also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, shared with rivals A. C. Milan, the stadium is the largest in Italian football. The local team A. C. Milan are considered among their biggest rivals, as of 2010, Inter is the second-most supported team in Italy, and the sixth most-supported team in Europe. The club is one of the most valuable in Italian and world football and it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europes leading football clubs. The club was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with the Milan Cricket, the name of the club derives from the wish of its founding members to accept foreign players as well as Italians. The club won its very first championship in 1910 and its second in 1920, the captain and coach of the first championship winning team was Virgilio Fossati, who was later killed in battle while serving in the Italian army during World War I. In 1922, Inter remained in the top league after winning two play-offs, six years later, during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamed Società Sportiva Ambrosiana. The team wore white jerseys around this time with a red cross emblazoned on it, the jerseys design was inspired by the flag and coat of arms of the city of Milan. Their first Coppa Italia was won in 1938–39, led by the iconic Giuseppe Meazza, a fifth championship followed in 1940, despite Meazza incurring an injury. After the end of World War II the club regained its name, winning its sixth championship in 1953. He would transform Inter into one of the greatest teams in Europe and he modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the Verrou to include larger flexibility for counterattacks. The catenaccio system was invented by an Austrian coach Karl Rappan, herrera would modify it by adding a fifth defenders, the sweeper or libero behind the two centre backs. The sweeper or libero who acted as the man would deal with any attackers who went through the two centre backs. Inter finished third in the Serie A in his first season, second the next year, then followed a back-to-back European Cup victory in 1964 and 1965, earning him the title il Mago. In 1964, Inter reached the European Cup Final by beating Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final, in the final, they met Real Madrid, a team that had reached seven out of the nine finals to date
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Highbury, London, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club has won 13 League titles,12 FA Cups, Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893. They entered the First Division in 1904, and have accumulated the second most points. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, in the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double, between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position, Herbert Chapman won Arsenals first national trophies, but died prematurely. He helped introduce the WM formation, floodlights, and shirt numbers, Arsène Wenger has been the longest-serving manager and has won the most trophies. His teams set several English records, the longest win streak, the longest unbeaten run, in 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. They became Tottenham Hotspurs nearest club, commencing the North London derby, in 2006, they moved down the road to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal earned €435. 5m in 2014–15, with the Emirates Stadium generating the highest revenue in world football, based on social media activity from 2014–15, Arsenals fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2016, Forbes estimated the club was the second most valuable in England, on 1 December 1886, munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with David Danskin as their first captain. Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C. s first home was Plumstead Common, though spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead. Royal Arsenal won Arsenals first trophies in 1890 and 1891, Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893. They registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended later that year, Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers, businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall took the club over, and sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury and this saw their third change of name, the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to simply The Arsenal
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Portsmouth Football Club /ˈpɔərtsməθ/ is a professional football club in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, which plays in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. Home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the formation in 1898. Portsmouth have been champions of England twice, in 1949 and 1950, in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, Portsmouth played European heavyweights A. C. Milan. In this period, the club had international footballers including England players Glen Johnson, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David James, financial problems, however, soon set in and Portsmouth were relegated to the Football League Championship in 2010. In 2012, they were relegated, to League One. They began the 2013–14 season in the tier of the English football league system for the first time since the late 1970s. Portsmouth became the largest fan-owned football club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013, Portsmouth Football Club are nicknamed Pompey, a name which it shares with the city of Portsmouth and its historic naval base. Pompey is thought most likely to originate from the abbreviation of Portsmouth Point to the shorter Pom. The club was founded in 1898 with John Brickwood — owner of the local Brickwoods Brewery — as chairman, a blue plaque on the wall of 12 High Street Portsmouth commemorates the founding on 5 April. That first season was successful, with the club winning 20 out of 28 league matches, 1910–11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of Robert Brown as manager, the team was promoted the following season. League football was suspended during First World War, but following the resumption of matches Portsmouth won the Southern League for the second time, continuing success saw them in the Third Division for the 1920–21 season. They finished 12th that year, but won the division in the 1923–24 season, the club continued to perform well in the Second Division, winning promotion by finishing second in the 1926–27 season, gaining a record 9–1 win over Notts County along the way. Portsmouths debut season in the First Division was a struggle, the next season they continued to falter, losing 10–0 to Leicester City, still a club record defeat. Despite their failings in the league, however, that also saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final for the first time. Portsmouth managed to survive relegation, and their fortunes began to change, the 1933–34 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup final, beating Manchester United, Bolton, Leicester and Birmingham City on the way. The club was defeated in the final, this time to Manchester City. Having established themselves in the top flight, the 1938–39 season saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final and this time, Portsmouth managed to convincingly defeat favourites Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1. Bert Barlow and Jock Anderson scored, whilst Cliff Parker scored twice to complete a famous victory, League football resumed for the 1946–47 campaign after five years and Portsmouth continued in the First Division
Nigeria national under-17 football team
The Golden Eaglets are Nigerias national under-17 football team. They also won the African Under-17 Championship in 2001 and 2007, after the 2007 victory there was some discussion as to whether the success should be rewarded in the form of cash, or if longer-term investments were more suitable for teenage players. It was pointed out that some players had found themselves reduced to poverty due to injury or mismanagement of their funds. Heading into the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, head coach Henry Nwosu was replaced by John Obuh, in 2011 planning was thrown into disarray however in August when over half the team was determined by bone scanning to be overage and excluded from the team. Although Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, in their first match, the team defeated the defending champions Mexico with a 6-1 score. They only failed to defeat Sweden in the stage. In the final match they faced and defeated Mexico for a time, obtaining their fourth U-17 World Cup. *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks
Nigeria national football team
The Nigeria national football team represents Nigeria in international association football and is controlled by the Nigeria Football Federation. They are three time African Champions, with their recent title in 2013, defeating Burkina Faso in the final, during April 1994, the Super Eagles ranked 5th in the FIFA World Rankings, the highest FIFA ranking ever achieved by an African football team. They have qualified for five of the last six FIFA World Cups, missing only the 2006 FIFA World Cup hosted in Germany and their first World Cup appearance was the USA94 World Cup hosted in the United States. After playing other colonies in unofficial games since the 1930s, Nigeria played its first official game in October 1949, the team played warm-up games in England against various amateur teams including Dulwich Hamlet, Bishop Auckland and South Liverpool. The teams first major success was a medal in the 2nd All-Africa games. In 1980, with such as John Chiedozie and Tunji Banjo of Leyton Orient. Nigeria won the football event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, beating Mexico, Brazil. They were runners-up in the event in Beijing, losing to Argentina in a rematch of the 1996 event. In 1984 and 1988, Nigeria reached the Cup of Nations final, three of the four African titles won by Cameroon have been won by defeating Nigeria. Missing out to Cameroon on many occasions has created a rivalry between both nations. Nigerias national team image has undergone much evolution throughout its history, prior to independence, they were called the Red Devils due to their red topped kits. The name was changed to the Green Eagles after independence in reference to their colors as well as the eagle which adorns the countrys state flag, today, only the senior mens national team uses the nickname. The Womens national team are called the Super Falcons, and Nigerias underage teams are nicknamed the Flying Eagles, many important and long running strings of important matches have been played against various nations who could be considered occasional rivals. Of these nations, Ghana is widely considered to be Nigerias primary rival as the two sides have met one more than any other opponent. The overall record is dominated by Ghana though Nigeria has enjoyed periods of success, the most notable of these periods are at the earliest points of the rivalry in the 1950s, and the early 2000s. FIFA lists the first official match between the two as a World Cup qualifier match which took place in 1960, however both national teams had already engaged in numerous domestic friendlies and tournaments between themselves and other nations dating back to 1950. The national teams of these two West African countries were formed while both were still protectorates of the British Empire, the two sides played for several rivalry and tournament cups during this early period in which full international competition was barred to them. Nigerias direct neighbors to the east, Cameroon, have played Nigeria a number of times over the years, the teams have played three times in the African Cup of Nations Finals with Cameroon winning all three meetings
Football at the Summer Olympics
Association football has been included in every Summer Olympic Games as a mens competition sport, except 1896 and 1932. Womens football was added to the program in 1996. Football was not included on the program at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, however, sources claim that an unofficial football tournament was organized during the first competition, in which an Athens XI lost to a team representing Smyrna, then part of the Ottoman Empire. According to a source, this is an error which has been perpetuated in multiple texts, tournaments were played at the 1900 and 1904 games and the Intercalated Games of 1906, but these were contested by various clubs and scratch teams. Although the IOC considers the 1900 and 1904 tournaments to be official Olympic events, they are not recognized by FIFA, neither recognizes the Intercalated Games today. In 1906 teams from Great Britain, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and France withdrew from a competition and left Denmark, Smyrna, Athens. Denmark won the final against Athens 9–0, in the London Games of 1908 a proper international tournament was organised by the Football Association, featuring just six teams. The number of rose to eleven in 1912, when the competition was organised by the Swedish Football Association. Many of these matches were unbalanced, as evidenced by high scoring games. All players were amateurs, in accordance with the Olympic spirit, the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Ireland asked the Football Association to send an English national amateur team. Some of the English members played with clubs, most notably Derby Countys Ivan Sharpe, Bradford City F. C. Harold Walden. England won the first two official tournaments convincingly, beating Denmark both times, in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic games, the first South American teams entered the competition, Uruguay and Argentina. Football returned to controversy at the 1936 Berlin Games, the German organisers were intent on the return of the game to the Olympic movement since it guaranteed income into the organisations coffers. The Italian team intimidated a referee, peru scored a contested victory over Austria in overtime, with a fan invasion of the field at the very end. The Austrian team asked for the result to be annulled, FIFA agreed, the Peruvian team refused and left the Olympics. As professionalism spread around the world, the gap in quality between the World Cup and the Olympics widened, the countries that benefited most were the Soviet Bloc countries of Eastern Europe, where top athletes were state-sponsored while retaining their status as amateurs. Between 1948 and 1980,23 out of 27 Olympic medals were won by Eastern Europe, with only Sweden, Denmark, for the 1984 Los Angeles Games, the IOC decided to admit professional players. Since 1992 male competitors must be under 23 years old, and since 1996, players under 23 years old, with three over-23 year old players, are allowed per squad
Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country. Modern-day Nigeria has been the site of numerous kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia, the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms, Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, and plunged into a civil war from 1967 to 1970. Nigeria is often referred to as the Giant of Africa, owing to its large population, with approximately 184 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has one of the largest populations of youth in the world, Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims in the northern part. A minority of the population practise religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as native to the Igbo. As of 2015, Nigeria is the worlds 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and it overtook South Africa to become Africas largest economy in 2014. The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent, Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the globes next BRIC-like economies. It is also listed among the Next Eleven economies set to become among the biggest in the world, Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC. The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country and this name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator. The origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is likely an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism. The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD200, producing life-sized terracotta figures which are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa, further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem-Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa, the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, and the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture, Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri, in West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo Ukwu, a city under Nri influence. The Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, the oldest signs of human settlement at Ifes current site date back to the 9th century, and its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures
The Olympic Games are considered the worlds foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years. Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. The IOC is the body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure. The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in changes to the Olympic Games. The IOC has had to adapt to a variety of economic, political, as a result, the Olympics has shifted away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allowing participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship, World wars led to the cancellation of the 1916,1940, and 1944 Games. Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games, the Olympic Movement consists of international sports federations, National Olympic Committees, and organising committees for each specific Olympic Games. As the decision-making body, the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each Games, the IOC also determines the Olympic programme, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games. There are several Olympic rituals and symbols, such as the Olympic flag and torch, over 13,000 athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events. The first, second, and third-place finishers in each event receive Olympic medals, gold, silver, the Games have grown so much that nearly every nation is now represented. This growth has created numerous challenges and controversies, including boycotts, doping, bribery, every two years the Olympics and its media exposure provide unknown athletes with the chance to attain national and sometimes international fame. The Games also constitute an opportunity for the host city and country to themselves to the world. The Ancient Olympic Games were religious and athletic festivals held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, competition was among representatives of several city-states and kingdoms of Ancient Greece. These Games featured mainly athletic but also combat such as wrestling. It has been written that during the Games, all conflicts among the participating city-states were postponed until the Games were finished. This cessation of hostilities was known as the Olympic peace or truce and this idea is a modern myth because the Greeks never suspended their wars. The truce did allow those religious pilgrims who were travelling to Olympia to pass through warring territories unmolested because they were protected by Zeus
1996 Summer Olympics
A record 197 nations, all current IOC member nations, took part in the Games, comprising 10,318 athletes. The 1996 Summer Games were the first to be staged in a different year from the Winter Games, Atlanta became the fifth American city to host the Olympic Games and the third to hold a Summer Olympic Games. Atlanta was selected on September 18,1990, in Tokyo, Japan, over Athens, Belgrade, Manchester, Melbourne, and Toronto at the 96th IOC Session. Atlantas bid to host the Summer Games that began in 1987 was considered a long-shot and this would be Torontos fourth failed attempt since 1960. The Athens bid was based on the fact that 1996 marked 100 years since the first Summer Games in Greece in 1896, though Athens would eventually host the 2004 Summer Olympics. The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics at USD4.1 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 151% in real terms. This includes sports-related costs only, that is, operational costs incurred by the committee for the purpose of staging the Games. The competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. The cost and cost overrun for Atlanta 1996 compares with costs of USD4.6 billion, average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is USD5.2 billion, average cost overrun is 176%. The 1996 Olympics was predicated on the model established by the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The cost to stage the Games was US$1.8 billion, to pay for the games, Atlanta relied on commercial sponsorship and ticket sales, resulting in a profit of $10 million. Events of the 1996 Games were held in a variety of areas, a number were held within the Olympic Ring, a 3 mi circle from the center of Atlanta. Others were held at Stone Mountain, about 20 miles outside of the city, to broaden ticket sales, other events, such as soccer, occurred in various cities in the Southeast. The opening ceremony featured Céline Dion singing The Power of the Dream, the mascot for the Olympiad was an abstract, animated character named Izzy. In contrast to the tradition of mascots of national or regional significance in the city hosting the Olympiad, Izzy was an amorphous. The 1996 Olympics were the first to have two separate opening ceremony events, Savannah, because of its geographical separation from Atlanta, had its own opening ceremonies on July 18,1996. The event featured Worldwide Connection, a composed by Savannah native Jeffrey Reed and a concert by Trisha Yearwood. Atlantas Olympic slogan Come Celebrate Our Dream was written by Jack Arogeti, the slogan was selected from more than 5,000 submitted by the public to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau
Order of the Niger
Nigeria became independent on 1 October 1960 and in 1963 Nigeria became the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The republic instituted two orders of merit, the Order of the Niger and the Order of the Federal Republic. The two highest honours, the Grand Commander in the Order of the Federal Republic and Grand Commander in the Order of the Niger are awarded to the President and Vice-President respectively. The Presiding Judge in the Supreme Court and the Chairman of the Senate are qualitate, the Nigerians have followed the British example in the form and structure of the Order. There are also letters for the members of the Order of the Niger. Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger Commander of the Order of the Niger Officer of the Order of the Niger Member of the Order of the Niger There is a Civil Division, the ribbon of the latter division has a small red line in the middle. World Medals Index, Nigeria, Order of the Niger
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
The Igbo people, also erroneously known as the Ibo people, are an indigenous linguistic and cultural people of southern Nigeria. Geographically, the Igbo homeland is divided into two sections by the Niger River – an eastern and a western section. They speak Igbo, which includes various Igboid languages and dialects, the Igbo homeland is almost surrounded on all sides by other ethnic peoples of southern and central Nigeria namely, the Ijaw, Edo, Isoko, Ogoni, Igala, Tiv, Yako, Idoma and Ibibio. The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, in rural Nigeria, Igbo people work mostly as craftsmen, farmers and traders. The most important crop is the yam, celebrations take place annually to celebrate its harvesting, other staple crops include cassava and taro. Before British colonial rule, the Igbo were a politically fragmented group, there were variations in culture such as in art styles, attire and religious practices. Various subgroups were organized by clan, lineage, village affiliation, there were not many centralized chiefdoms, hereditary aristocracy, or kingship customs except in kingdoms such as those of the Nri, Arochukwu, Agbor and Onitsha. This political system changed significantly under British colonialism in the early 20th century, the Igbo became overwhelmingly Christian under colonization. Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart is one of the most popular novels to depict Igbo culture, by the mid-20th century, the Igbo people developed a strong sense of ethnic identity. Certain conflicts with other Nigerian ethnicities led to Igbo-densely populated Eastern Nigeria seceding to create the independent state of Biafra, the Nigerian Civil War or the Nigerian-Biafran War broke out shortly after. With their defeat, the Republic of Biafra once again was part of Nigeria, MASSOB, a sectarian organization formed in 1999, continues a non-violent struggle for an independent Igbo state. Due to the effects of migration and the Atlantic slave trade, there are descendant ethnic Igbo populations in such as Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Their exact population outside Africa is unknown, but today many African Americans, according to Liberian historians the fifth president of Liberia Edward James Roye was of Igbo descent. The Igbo people have had fragmented and politically independent communities, before knowledge of Europeans and full exposure to other neighbouring ethnic groups, the Igbo did not have a strong identity as one people. As in the case of most ethnic groups, the British, Chinua Achebe, among other scholars, challenged this because of its negative connotations and possible wrong definition. He suggested defining the Igbo people as a nation although the Igbo do not have an officially recognized state of their own. The most common name for the Igbo in English was formerly Ibo and they have also been known as the Iboe, Ebo, Eboe, Eboans, or Heebo. Their territory and main settlement have also been known by their name
Igbo (Igbo, English /ˈɪɡboʊ/, is the principal native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group of southeastern Nigeria. There are approximately 24 million speakers, who live mostly in Nigeria and are primarily of Igbo descent, Igbo is written in the Latin script, which was introduced by British colonialists. There are over 20 Igbo dialects, there is apparently a degree of dialect levelling occurring. A standard literary language was developed in 1972 based on the Owerri and Umuahia dialects, there are related Igboid languages such as Ika, Ikwerre and Ogba that are sometimes considered dialects of Igbo, the most divergent being Ekpeye. Igbo is also a minority language of Equatorial Guinea. The first book to publish Igbo words was History of the Mission of the Evangelical Brothers in the Caribbean, published in 1777. Shortly afterwards in 1789, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano was published in London, England, written by Olaudah Equiano, the narrative also illustrated various aspects of Igbo life based in detail, based on Olaudah Equianos experiences in his hometown of Essaka. From its proposal as a form in 1939 by Dr. Ida C. Ward, it was accepted by missionaries, writers. Standard Igbo aims to cross-pollinate Central Igbo with words from Igbo dialects from outside the Central areas, lexical categories in Igbo include nouns, pronouns, numerals, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and a single preposition. The meaning of na, the preposition, is flexible. Examples from Emenanjo illustrate the range of meaning, O bì nEnugwū, 3sg live PREP Enugwū He lives in Enugwū. 3sg live here this PREP time war He lived here during the time of the war, ndị Fàda kwènyèrè natọ̀ nime otù. Those Catholic believe PREP three PREP inside one The Catholics believe in the Three-in-One, Igbo has an extremely limited number of adjectives in a closed class. Emenanjo counts just eight, which occur in pairs of opposites, ukwu big, nta small, oji dark, ọcha light, ọhụrụ new, ochie old, ọma good, adjectival meaning is otherwise conveyed through the use of stative verbs or abstract nouns. Many names in Igbo are actually fusions of older original words, for example, one Igbo word for vegetable leaves is akwụkwọ nri, which literally means leaves for eating or vegetables. Green leaves are called akwụkwọ ndụ, because ndụ means life. Another example is train, which comes from the words ụgbọ and igwe, thus a locomotive train is vehicle via iron, a car, ụgbọ ala, vehicle via land, words may also take on multiple meanings
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, the UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The final of the 2012–13 tournament had the highest TV ratings to date, the pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country. During the 1990s, the format was expanded, incorporating a round-robin group stage to include clubs that finished runner-up of some nations top-level league. Clubs that finish next-in-line in each top level league, having not qualified for the UEFA Champions League competition. In its present format, the UEFA Champions League begins in mid-July with three qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams enter the stage, joining 22 other teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams, the eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competitions history, having won the tournament 11 times, including its first five seasons. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories, followed by England, the competition has been won by 22 different clubs,12 of which have won it more than once. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992, no club has managed consecutive wins, Milan were the last holders to defend their title. The reigning champions are Real Madrid, who secured their title in the competition after defeating Atlético Madrid on penalties following a 1–1 draw in the 2016 final. The first pan-European tournament was the Challenge Cup, a competition between clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Mitropa Cup, a competition modelled after the Challenge Cup, was created in 1927, an idea of Austrian Hugo Meisl, and played between Central European clubs. In 1930, the Coupe des Nations, the first attempt to create a cup for national clubs of Europe, was played and organised by Swiss club Servette. Held in Geneva, it brought together ten champions from across the continent, the tournament was won by Újpest of Hungary. Latin European nations came together to form the Latin Cup in 1949 and it was conceived in Paris in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs Cup. The first edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955–56 season, the first European Cup match took place on 4 September 1955, and ended in a 3–3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. The first goal in European Cup history was scored by João Baptista Martins of Sporting CP, the inaugural final took place at the Parc des Princes between Stade de Reims and Real Madrid
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues, previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, in 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase, the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner enters at least at the round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used. The title has been won by 27 different clubs,12 of which have won the more than once. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971, the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA, the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 1976, beating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each,1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs domination, when Maradonas Napoli beat Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. 1995 saw a third final, with Parma proving their consistency. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996, Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, either side of Sevillas success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final, in 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
African Footballer of the Year
The African Footballer of the Year award, presented to the best African footballer each year, has been conferred by the Confederation of African Football since 1992. An earlier African Footballer of the Year Golden Ball award was given out between 1970 and 1994 by France Football magazine, France Football discontinued the election from 1995 after the European Ballon dOr – also awarded by the magazine – had been opened to all players in the European leagues. On 2 February 2008, Sevillas Frédéric Kanouté was named the 2007 African Footballer of the Year, Kanouté is the first European-born player to win the award. The award by France Football magazine was awarded to the best African footballer between 1970 and 1994, the award was discontinued in 1995 after the European Footballer of the Year was opened to players of non-European nationality, the award being given to George Weah that year. It had already replaced by an official award given out by the Confederation of African Football since 1992. BBC African Footballer of the Year African Women Footballer of the Year FIFA World Player of the Year CAF Awards
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
A gold medal is a medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture, others offer only the prestige of the award. Many organizations now award gold medals either annually or extraordinarily, including UNESCO, while some gold medals are solid gold, others are gold-plated or silver-gilt, like those of the Olympic Games, the Lorentz Medal, the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the Nobel Prize medal. Nobel Prize medals consist of 18 karat green gold plated with 24 karat gold, before 1980 they were struck in 23 karat gold. In the United States, Congress would enact a resolution asking the President to reward those responsible, the commanding officer would receive a gold medal and his officers silver medals. Other countries similarly honored their military and naval victors in a similar fashion, Medals have historically been given as prizes in various types of competitive activities, especially athletics. Traditionally, medals are made of the metals, Gold Silver Bronze Occasionally. This standard was adopted for Olympic competition at the 1904 Summer Olympics, at the 1896 event, silver was awarded to winners and bronze to runners-up, while at 1904 other prizes were given, not medals. At the modern Olympic Games, winners of a sporting discipline receive a medal in recognition of their achievement. At the Ancient Olympic Games only one winner per event was crowned with kotinos, aristophanes in Plutus makes a remark why victorious athletes are crowned with wreath made of wild olive instead of gold. When Tigranes, an Armenian general learned this, he uttered to his leader, what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight. Men who do not compete for possessions, but for honour, hence medals were not awarded at the ancient Olympic Games. At the 1896 Summer Olympics, winners received a silver medal, in 1900, most winners received cups or trophies instead of medals. The next three Olympics awarded the winners solid gold medals, but the medals themselves were smaller, the use of gold rapidly declined with the onset of the First World War and also with the onset of the Second World War. The last series of Olympic medals to be made of gold were awarded at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. Olympic Gold medals are required to be made from at least 92. 5% silver, all Olympic medals must be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick. Minting the medals is the responsibility of the Olympic host, from the 1972 Summer Olympics through 2000, Cassiolis design remained on the obverse with a custom design by the host city on the reverse. Noting that Cassiolis design showed a Roman amphitheater for what originally were Greek games, Winter Olympics medals have been of more varied design
Substitute (association football)
In association football, a substitute is a player who is brought on to the pitch during a match in exchange for an existing player. Substitutions are generally made to replace a player who has become tired or injured, or who is performing poorly, unlike some sports, a player who has been substituted during a match may take no further part in it. Most competitions only allow each team to make a maximum of three substitutions during a game, although more substitutions are permitted in non-competitive fixtures such as friendlies. A fourth substitution in extra time is currently being trialled at several tournaments over a two-year period. Each team nominates a number of players who may be used as substitutes, these players typically sit in the area with the coaches. A player who is noted for making appearances, or scoring important goals. The origin of football substitutes goes back to at least the early 1860s as part of English public school football games, the original use of the term substitute in football was to describe the replacement of players who failed to turn up for matches. The substitution of absent players happened as early as the 1850s, the first use of a substitute in international football was on 15 April 1889, in the match between Wales and Scotland at Wrexham. Waless original goalkeeper, Jim Trainer, failed to arrive, local amateur player Alf Pugh started the match and played for some 20 minutes until the arrival of Sam Gillam, however, the use of substitutes in finals matches was not allowed until the 1970 tournament. The number of substitutes usable in a match has increased from zero to one. Substitutions during matches in the English Football League were first permitted in the 1965–66 season, during the first two seasons after the law was introduced, each side was permitted only one substitution during a game. Moreover, the substitute could only replace an injured player, from the 1967–68 season, this rule was relaxed to allow substitutions for tactical reasons. On the same day, Bobby Knox became the first ever substitute to score a goal when he scored for Barrow against Wrexham. Archie Gemmill of St Mirren was the first substitute to come on in a Scottish first-class match, the first official substitute in a Scottish League match was Paul Conn for Queens Park vs Albion Rovers in a Division 2 match on 24 August 1966. In England, the Premier League increased the number of players on the bench to five in 1996, according to the Laws of the Game, A player may only be substituted during a stoppage in play and with the permission of the referee. The incoming player may enter the field at the half-way line. Failure to comply with these provisions may be punished by a caution, a player that has been substituted may take no further part in a match, except where return substitutions are permitted. Unused substitutes still on the bench, as well as players who have been already substituted and these are liable for misconduct, though cannot be said to have committed a foul
The United Nations Childrens Fund is a United Nations programme headquartered in New York City that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group, the Polish physician Ludwik Rajchman is widely regarded as the founder of UNICEF and served as its first chairman from 1946. On Rajchmans suggestion, the American Maurice Pate was appointed its first executive director, in 1950, UNICEFs mandate was extended to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF relies on contributions from governments and private donors, UNICEFs total income for 2008 was US$3,372,540,239, governments contribute two-thirds of the organizations resources. Private groups and some six million individuals contribute the rest through national committees and it is estimated that 92 per cent of UNICEF revenue is distributed to programme services. UNICEFs programmes emphasize developing community-level services to promote the health and well-being of children, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord in 2006. Most of UNICEFs work is in the field, with staff in over 190 countries and territories, more than 200 country offices carry out UNICEFs mission through programmes developed with host governments. Seven regional offices provide technical assistance to country offices as needed, a 36-member executive board establishes policies, approves programmes and oversees administrative and financial plans. The executive board is made up of government representatives who are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, there are national committees in 34 countries, each established as an independent local non-governmental organization. The national committees raise funds from the private sector, UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions, and the National Committees collectively raise around one-third of UNICEFs annual income. This comes through contributions from corporations, civil society organizations around six million individual donors worldwide, UNICEF is present in 191 countries and territories around the world, but not involved in nine others. Many people in developed countries first hear about UNICEFs work through the activities of one of the 36 National Committees for UNICEF, the US Fund for UNICEF is the oldest of the national committees, founded in 1947. On 19 April 2007, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg was appointed UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, in which role she has visited Brazil, China, and Burundi. In 2009, the British retailer Tesco used Change for Good as advertising and they went on to call on the public who have children’s welfare at heart, to consider carefully who they support when making consumer choices. As part of the agreement, FC Barcelona will wear the UNICEF logo on the front of their uniform and this was the first time a football club sponsored an organization rather than the other way around. It was also the first time in FC Barcelonas history that they have had another organizations name across the front of their uniform, in January 2007 UNICEF struck a partnership with Canadas national tent pegging team. The team was officially re-flagged as UNICEF Team Canada, its riders wear UNICEFs logo in competition, the Swedish club Hammarby IF followed the Spanish and Canadian lead on 14 April 2007, also raising funds for UNICEF and displaying the UNICEF name on their sportswear. The Danish football club Brøndby IF participated in an arrangement from 2008 to 2013
Football U-17 World Championship
The FIFA U-17 World Championship is a competition that was inspired by the Lion City Cup that was created by the Football Association of Singapore in 1977. The Lion City Cup is the first under-16 football tournament in the world, following FIFAs then secretary-general Joe Blatters recommendation after he was in Singapore for the 1982 Lion City Cup, FIFA created the FIFA U-16 World Championship. The first edition was staged in 1985 in China, and tournaments have been played two years since then. It began as a competition for players under the age of 16 with the age limit raised to 17 from the 1991 edition onwards, the most recent tournament was hosted by Chile and won by Nigeria, with the next edition being hosted by India in 2017. Nigeria is the most successful nation in the history, with five titles. Brazil is the second-most successful with three titles and two runners-up, Ghana and Mexico have won the tournament twice. A corresponding tournament for players, the FIFA U-17 Womens World Cup, began in 2008. This continues until two remain to contest the final, which decides the tournament winner. The losing semi-finalists also contest a match to third place. From 1985 to 2005 there were 16 teams in the competition, each team played the others in its group and the group winner and runner up qualified for the knockout phase. From 2007 the tournament was expanded to 24 teams, divided into six groups of four teams each, the top 2 places in each group plus the four best third-placed teams advanced to the knockout phase. Competition matches are played in two 45-minute halves, in the knockout phase, until the 2011 tournament, if tied at the end of 90 minutes an additional 30 minutes of extra time were played, followed by a penalty shoot-out if still tied. Starting with the 2011 tournament, the time period was eliminated to avoid player burnout. The host nation of each tournament qualifies automatically, the remaining teams qualify through competitions organised by the six regional confederations. For the first edition of the tournament in 1985, all of the teams from Europe plus Bolivia appeared by invitation of FIFA. Key, aet - after extra time PSO - match won on penalty shootout Africa is the most successful continental zone with 7 tournament wins and 6 times as runner up. Notably the 1993 final was contested by two African teams, when the final has been contested by two teams from the same confederation. The African teams repeated the 1993 final with Mali replacing Ghana in 2015 when Nigeria, south America has 3 tournament wins and has been runner up three times
The Eredivisie is the highest echelon of professional football in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of football in the Netherlands. At the end of the 2015–2016 season it was ranked the 13th best league in Europe by UEFA, the top division consists of 18 clubs. Each club meets every other club twice during the season, once at home, at the end of each season, the club at the bottom is automatically relegated to the second level of the Dutch league system, the Eerste Divisie. At the same time, the champion of the Eerste Divisie will be promoted to the Eredivisie. The next two clubs from the bottom of the Eredivisie go to separate promotion/relegation play-offs, the play-offs are played in two groups. Each group has one Eredivisie club and three high-placed clubs from the Eerste Divisie, in both promotion/relegation play-off groups, each club plays a home-and-away series with the other clubs. The winner of each group plays in the following seasons Eredivisie. The winner of the Eredivisie claims the Dutch national championship, AFC Ajax has won most titles,24. PSV Eindhoven are next with 18, and Feyenoord follow with 9, since 1965, these three clubs have won all except for three titles. Ajax, PSV and Feynoord are known as the Big Three of Dutch football and they are the only ones in their current forms to have appeared in every edition of the Eredivisie since its formation. A fourth club, FC Utrecht, is the product of a 1970 merger between three of that clubs, one of which, VV DOS, had also never been relegated out of the Eredivisie. From 1990 to 1999, the name of the league was PTT Telecompetitie. From 2002 to 2005, the league was called the Holland Casino Eredivisie, since the 2005–06 season, the league has been sponsored by the Sponsorloterij, but for legal reasons its name could not be attached to the league. Within this deal the five largest Eredivisie clubs should receive 5 million euros per year for the duration of the contract, from the foundation of the Dutch football championship until 1954, the title was decided through play-offs by a handful of clubs who had previously won their regional league. The competition was purely an amateur one, the Royal Dutch Football Association rejected any form of payment, the call for professional football grew in the early fifties after many national team members left to play abroad in search for financial benefits. The KNVB would usually suspend these players, preventing them from appearing for the Dutch national team, after the North Sea flood of 1953, the Dutch players abroad organised a charity match against the French national team in Paris. The match was boycotted by the KNVB, but after the assembled Dutch players defeated the French, to serve the growing interest, a dissident professional football association and league were founded for the 1954–55 season
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A. C. Milan, is a professional football club in Milan, Italy, founded in 1899. The club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929–30. With 18 officially recognised UEFA and FIFA titles, they are the fourth most successful club in the world, with 18 league titles, Milan is the joint-second most successful club in Serie A, along with local rivals Internazionale. They have also won the Coppa Italia five times, and the Supercoppa Italiana seven, Milans home games are played at San Siro, also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The stadium, which is shared with city rivals Internazionale, is the largest in Italian football, inter are considered their biggest rivals, and matches between the two teams are called Derby della Madonnina, which is one of the most followed derbies in football. The owner of the club is former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, the club is one of the wealthiest in Italian and world football. It was a member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europes leading football clubs as well as its replacement. A. C. Milan was founded as Milan Cricket and Foot-Ball Club on 13 December 1899 by English expatriates Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin, who came from the English city of Nottingham. In honour of its English origins, the club has retained the English spelling of the name, as opposed to the Italian spelling Milano. Milan won its first Italian championship in 1901 and a two in succession in 1906 and 1907. In 1908, Milan experienced a split caused by disagreements over the signing of foreign players. Following these events, Milan did not manage to win a domestic title until 1950–51. The 1950s saw the return to the top of Italian football, headed by the famous Gre-No-Li Swedish trio Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl. This was one of the clubs most successful periods domestically, with the Scudetto going to Milan in 1951,1955,1957,1959 and 1962, in 1963, Milan won its first continental title by beating Benfica in the final of the European Cup. This success was repeated in 1969, with a 4–1 win over Ajax in the final, during this period Milan also won its first Coppa Italia, with victory over Padova in the 1967 final, and two European Cup Winners Cups, in 1967–68 and 1972–73. Milan won a league title in 1979, but after the retirement of Gianni Rivera in the same year. The club was involved in the 1980 Totonero scandal and as punishment was relegated to Serie B for the first time in its history, the scandal was centred around a betting syndicate paying players and officials to fix the outcome of matches. Milan achieved promotion back to Serie A at the first attempt, winning the 1980–81 Serie B title, in 1983, Milan won the Serie B title for the second time in three seasons to return to Serie A, where they achieved a sixth-place finish in 1983–84
It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, but a new league, the Lega Serie A, was created for the 2010–11 season. Serie A is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world, Serie A led the UEFA ranking from 1986 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1999. In its current format, the Italian Football Championship was revised from having regional and interregional rounds, the championship titles won prior to 1929 are officially recognised by FIGC with the same weighting as titles that were subsequently awarded. However, the 1945–46 season, when the league was played over two groups due to the ravages of WWII, is not statistically considered, even if its title is fully official. All the winning teams are recognised with the title of Campione dItalia, Juventus, Italys most successful club of the 20th century and the most successful Italian team, is tied for fourth in Europe and eighth in the world with the most official international titles. The club is also the one in the world to have won all possible official continental competitions. Milan is joint third club for international titles won in the world. Internazionale, following their achievements in the 2009–10 season, became the first Italian team to have achieved a treble, Juventus, Milan and Inter, along with Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio and Napoli, are known as the Seven Sisters of Italian football. For most of Serie As history, there were 16 or 18 clubs competing at the top level, since 2004–05, however, there have been 20 clubs altogether. One season was played with 21 teams for political reasons, thus, in Italian football a true round-robin format is used. In the first half of the season, called the andata, each team plays once against each league opponent, since the 1994–95 season, teams are awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss. Since Italy is currently rated fourth in Europe in terms of club football ratings, teams finishing fourth and fifth qualify for the UEFA Europa League tournament. A third UEFA Europa League spot is reserved for the winner of the Coppa Italia, if both Coppa Italia finalists finish among the top five teams in Serie A, the sixth-ranked team in Serie A is awarded the UEFA Europa League spot. The three lowest-placed teams are relegated to Serie B, any play-off was held after the end of regular season. The last championship playoff occurred in the 1963-64 season when Bologna, below is a list of Serie A clubs who have competed in the competition when it has been a league format. There are 66 teams that have taken part in 85 Serie A championships in a round that was played from the 1929–30 season until the 2016–17 season. The teams in bold compete in Serie A currently, Internazionale is the only team that has played Serie A football in every season. Serie A, as it is structured today, began during the 1929–1930 season, from 1898 to 1922, the competition was organised into regional groups
Sheffield United F.C.
Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in League One, the tier of English football. The football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, the club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is currently an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,609, Sheffield United won the original First Division in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899,1902,1915 and 1925. They were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936 and they reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003 and 2015. For most of the history they have played in red. Their closest rivals are Sheffield Wednesday, with whom they contest the Steel City Derby, Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg. The Wednesday had moved from Bramall Lane to their own ground at Olive Grove, Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally also the president of The Wednesday. Their darkest days came between 1975 and 1981 and they did fall back into the Third Division in 1988, but new manager Dave Bassett masterminded a quick revival which launched the Blades towards one of the most successful eras in their history. Successive promotions in the aftermath of the 1988 relegation saw them return to the First Division in 1990 after a 14-year exile and they survived at this level for four seasons and reached an FA Cup semi-final in the 1992–93 season before being relegated in 1994. Three years later, however, Warnock delivered a Premier League return as the Blades finished runners-up in the rebranded Football League Championship, Neil Warnock resigned as manager after the Blades went down. The Blades did reach the Championship playoff final in 2009 under Kevin Blackwell, in the 2011–12 season, the club finished third in League One, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, and entered the playoffs. With victory over Stevenage in the semi-final, United missed out on a return to the Championship after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town. In 2014, the Blades gained the nickname of giant-killers, having reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, losing 5–3 to Hull City. In 2014–15, they reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the Football League Cup, the club was formed by members of the Sheffield United Cricket Club, itself formed in 1854 and the first English sports club to use United in its name. Sheffield Uniteds predominant nickname is The Blades, a reference to Sheffields status as the producer of cutlery in the United Kingdom. Because of this, the nickname would also be used in reference to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, another nickname used was The Cutlers. In 1907, Wednesday came to be referred to as The Owls, in reference to their new ground in Owlerton, within Sheffield fans of the club are also sometimes referred to as Unitedites
Alan Kelly Jr.
Born in Preston, Kelly represented the Republic of Ireland internationally, winning 34 caps for his country. Both his father, Alan Kelly, Sr. who also represented Ireland, Kelly started his career at Preston North End in the Fourth Division, following the footsteps of his father, Alan Kelly, Sr. and played 142 League games for the team. He joined Sheffield United in July 1992 for £150,000, Kelly stayed with Sheffield United until 1999, despite their relegation from the Premiership shortly into his career with them. In total, he made 213 appearances for the Blades and he helped Sheffield United to the 1997-98 FA Cup semi finals at Old Trafford where they were defeated by Newcastle United. In the quarter final replay against Coventry City, the game went to a penalty shootout and Kelly saved from Dion Dublin, Simon Haworth, in 1999, Kelly transferred to Blackburn Rovers, making 39 appearances, and stayed there until his retirement from football in 2004. This time also included spells at Stockport County and Birmingham City. He made more than 470 appearances in all competitions at club level and he won 34 caps for the Republic of Ireland, and was a member of the Republics 1994 and 2002 World Cup squads. He was the teams second-choice goalkeeper on both occasions, and never played in a World Cup game, in the summer of 2006, Kelly was goalkeeping coach for the Soccer-Academy camps, located in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania in the United States. He is currently the coach of the Republic of Ireland national football team. After spending 18 months at Preston North Ends Centre of Excellence he became the new goalkeeping coach following the dismissal of Phil Brown, Blackburn Rovers Football League Cup,2002 First Division PFA Team of the Year, 1995–96, 1996–97 Profile of Alan Kelly
Raymond Ray Parlour is an English former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1992 to 2007. He spent his playing for Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Hull City. During his Arsenal career he was nicknamed The Romford Pelé, although the nickname was given with a sense of humour, on account of his solid performance. He has been described as a hero and praised as a fans favourite for his high-energy performances. He is now a pundit on television, as well as on radio stations BBC Radio 5 Live, in 2012 Parlour briefly came out of retirement to play for Wembley in the clubs FA Cup fixtures. Parlour is most famous for his time at Arsenal, where he played for 14 years and he joined Arsenal as a trainee in 1989, and made his debut for the Gunners against Liverpool on 29 January 1992, where he conceded a penalty in a 2–0 defeat. Parlour continued to be a player for the next few years. He properly broke through in 1994–95, and played in Arsenals European UEFA Cup Winners Cup final loss to Real Zaragoza that season. He was man-of-the-match in the Gunners FA Cup Final win over Newcastle United that season, however, he missed out on the 1998 World Cup that summer. In total, with Arsenal, Parlour won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, one League Cup and one European Cup Winners Cup having played 464 games and scoring 32 goals in all competitions. In March 2000, he hit a hat-trick in a 4–2 away win at Werder Bremen in a UEFA Cup quarter final tie, Arsenal went on to reach the final of the competition that year. Parlour was the only Arsenal player successful from the spot in their defeat to Galatasaray. Seven months later, he followed it up with another hattrick in a 5–0 demolition of Newcastle United at Highbury, in April 2001, he struck a spectacular 30-yard winner as Arsenal beat Valencia 2–1 in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final 1st leg tie at Highbury. Another one of Parlours finest moments in Arsenal colours came in November 2003 and these performances over the years have led many Arsenal fans to believe that he is one of the most under-rated players of his generation. As of May 2016, he holds Arsenals all-time Premier League appearances record of 333, in July 2004, Parlour signed for Premier League club Middlesbrough on a free transfer. He signed a contract at The Riverside. He played 60 games for Boro in two and a half years, and was a substitute in Middlesbroughs appearance in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final against Sevilla. Parlour was released from his contract on 25 January 2007 and for a brief period trained with old club Arsenal to regain fitness with a view to finding a new club, on 9 February 2007, he signed for Hull City until the end of the 2006–07 season
Marc Overmars is a Dutch former footballer and the current director of football at Ajax. During his footballing career, he played as a winger and was renowned for his speed, Overmars was born in Emst and was passionate about football at an early age. He began his career at SV Epe before joining Go Ahead Eagles youth team in 1987. He secured a place in the first team by the 1990–91 season and his stay at the club was short, after 31 appearances he signed for Ajax in 1992. He established himself as a key member of the team won three Eredivisie titles from between 1994 and 1996 and the UEFA Champions League in 1995. In December 1995, Overmars sustained a ligament injury which ruled him out of playing for eight months. In 1997, he joined Arsenal, his performances at the club were indifferent to begin with and attracted criticism from football pundits, by the end of his first season, Overmars became a focal point of Arsenals league and cup double success. In 2000, he moved to Barcelona in a deal worth £25 million, the club failed to win silverware during his stay and numerous managerial changes made him a peripheral player. A persistent knee injury prompted Overmars to announce his retirement in 2004, in 2012, he was named as Ajaxs director of football. Overmars represented the Netherlands national team for 11 years, Overmars was born in Emst, Gelderland, growing up on a family farm with his parents and assisting his grandfather with the potato harvest each year. His father Ben described him as a child, whose main interest was playing football. This had an effect on his schoolwork, Overmars was uninterested in school, Ben did not know whether he made the effort to take his exams just to please him. As a teenager, Overmars did weight-training which improved his speed and he also attributed his pace to his mother who was quick, but had no time for sports. Overmars began his career at local club SV Epe. In 1987, he joined Go Ahead Eagles at the age of 14, after making his breakthrough into the first team, he joined Willem II for ƒ500,000. After one season at Willem II, Overmars signed for Ajax in July 1992, both clubs settled on a transfer fee of ƒ2.5 million, after Ajaxs initial bid of ƒ1.5 million was rejected. Manager Louis van Gaal was very fond of Overmars beforehand and described him as a multi-functional player, Overmars debut came in a 3–0 win against Dordrecht on 16 August 1992. His first goal for Ajax was away to RKC Waalwijk in October, several teams chose to combat Overmars threat with heavy tackles, he detested this, adding, I do not fall on purpose, but if they keep kicking, I would sometimes give something back in return
Derby County F.C.
Derby County Football Club is a professional association football club based in Derby, Derbyshire, England. Their home matches are played at Pride Park Stadium, where the club moved in 1997. Derby County F. C. was founded in 1884, by William Morley, as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, it has spent all, additionally, the club was a strong force in the interwar years and won the 1945–46 FA Cup. Derby County F. C. was formed in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club in an attempt to give players and supporters a winter interest as well as secure the cricket club extra revenue. The original intention was to name the club Derbyshire County F. C. The opening day of the first ever season was 8 September 1888. They absorbed another Derby club, Derby Midland F. C. who had members of the Midland League, in 1891. Steve Bloomer, generally considered to be Derby Countys best-ever player, in 1895 the club moved to a new stadium, the Baseball Ground, which became their home for the next 102 years and adopted their traditional colours of black and white. Although Derby were inconsistent in the league, they did finish runners-up to Aston Villa in 1896 as well as achieving a number of third-place finishes. They were a force in the FA Cup, appearing in three finals in six years around the turn of the 20th century, though lost all three, in 1898,1899 and 1903. In 1914 they were relegated again, but instantly won the Second Division to get promoted, after two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921. Derby were one of clubs to close down after the outbreak of World War II but restarted in the early 1940s, in part due to the persistence of Jack Nicholas. In 1967, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor took over and led them to their greatest glory, though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they lost to Juventus. Cloughs frequent outspoken comments against footballs establishment eventually led to him falling out with the board of directors at the club, and Clough and Taylor left in October 1973. Such was their impact on the club that,37 years later, though they challenged well in their first season, Derby were soon hit hard by rising debts, falling attendances and dismal performances. However, Derby did manage to avoid going out of business, after relegation to the Third Division in May 1984, the club appointed Arthur Cox as manager. A lack of any investment from Maxwell quickly led to a decline. At this time, local newspaper businessman Lionel Pickering became the majority shareholder of the club, in 1992, Derby County paid £2
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club /ˈtɒtnəm, -tənəm/, commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football club located in Tottenham, Haringey, London, that competes in the Premier League. The clubs home stadium is White Hart Lane and their newly developed training ground is in Bulls Cross on the northern borders of the London Borough of Enfield. Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners Cup, in 1967, Spurs won the FA Cup for a third time in the 1960s. In the 1970s Tottenham won the League Cup on two occasions and were the winner of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies, the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield, in the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup. When they won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that they had won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. The clubs Latin motto is Audere est Facere, and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football, the club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby neighbours Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby. The club was formed in 1882, as Hotspur F. C. and played in the Southern League from 1896 until 1908, when they were elected into the Football League Second Division. Before this promotion Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901, since then, Tottenham have won the FA Cup a further seven times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice and also the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. The Cup Winners Cup victory in 1963 made Tottenham the first English team to win a UEFA competition, in 1960–61 they became the first team to complete The Double in the 20th century. Tottenham played their first matches at Tottenham Marshes on the public pitches. It was at this ground that Spurs first played archrivals Arsenal, there were occasions on which fights would break out on the marshes in dispute of the teams that were allowed to use the best pitches. Crowd sizes were regularly increasing and a new site was becoming needed to accommodate these supporters, in 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. They only remained at this ground for a year as in April 1899,14,000 fans turned up to watch Spurs play Woolwich Arsenal. The ground was no able to cope with the larger crowds and Spurs were forced to move to a new larger site 100 yards down the road. The White Hart Lane ground was originally a disused nursery owned by the brewery Charringtons, the landlord spotted the increased income he could enjoy if Tottenham played their matches behind his pub and in 1899 the club moved in. They brought with them the stand they used at Northumberland Park which gave shelter to 2,500 fans, notts County were the first visitors to the Lane in a friendly watched by 5,000 people and provided in £115 in receipts, Spurs won 4–1
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Middlesbrough Football Club is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995 and they played at the Linthorpe Road ground from 1882 to 1903 and at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995. They were one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. The clubs main rivals are Sunderland and Newcastle United, there is also a rivalry with fellow Yorkshire club Leeds United. The clubs highest league finish to date was third in the 1913–14 season, the club came close to folding in 1986 after experiencing severe financial difficulties before it was saved by a consortium led by then board member and later chairman Steve Gibson. Middlesbrough were deducted three points for failing to fulfil a fixture against Blackburn Rovers in the 1996–97 Premier League season and they were promoted the following season and spent 11 seasons in the top division before being relegated again in 2009. Middlesbrough won the League Cup in 2004, the clubs first and they reached the 2006 UEFA Cup Final, but were beaten by Spanish side Sevilla. After seven years in the Championship, Middlesbrough secured promotion to the Premier League in 2016 after finishing in second place, the clubs traditional kit is red with white detailing. The various crests throughout the history, the most recent of which was adopted in 2007. They won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and again in 1898, the club turned professional in 1889, but reverted to amateur status in 1892. They turned professional permanently in 1899, after three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division, where they would remain for the next 22 years. In 1903, the moved to Ayresome Park, their home for the next 92 years. In 1905, the club sanctioned the transfer of Alf Common for £1,000, over the next few years, their form fluctuated greatly, rising to sixth in 1907–08 before dropping to 17th two seasons later. The club rose to their highest league finish to date, third, World War I soon intervened and football was suspended. Before league football resumed, Middlesbrough won the Northern Victory League and they remained in the First Division for the next few seasons, but were relegated in 1923–24 after finishing bottom, ten points adrift of their nearest rivals. Three seasons later, they won the Division Two title, during that season, debutant George Camsell, who had signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, finished with a record 59 league goals, which included nine hat-tricks. He would continue as top scorer for each of the ten seasons. Their tenure back in the top flight lasted one season
Fulham Football Club is a professional association football club based in Fulham, Greater London, England. Founded in 1879, they play in the Championship, the tier of English football. They are the football team from London to have played in the Premier League. The club has spent 25 seasons in English footballs top division, the latter spell was associated with former chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed, after the club had climbed up from the fourth tier in the 1990s. The club has produced many English greats, including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and they play at Craven Cottage, a ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham which has been their home since 1896. Fulhams training ground is located near Motspur Park, where the clubs Academy is also situated, Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrews Church Sunday School F. C. founded by worshipers at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington. Fulhams mother church still today with a plaque commemorating the teams foundation. They won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887 and, having shortened the name from Fulham Excelsior to its present form in 1888, one of the clubs first ever kits was half red, half white shirts with white shorts worn in the 1886–87 season. Fulham started playing at their current ground at Craven Cottage in 1896, the club gained professional status on 12 December 1898, the same year that they were admitted into the Southern Leagues Second Division. They were the club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal. They adopted a red and white kit during the 1900–01 season, in 1902–03, the club won promotion from this division, entering the Southern League First Division. The club won the Southern League twice, in 1905–06 and 1906–07, Fulham joined The Football League after the second of their Southern League triumphs. The clubs first league game, playing in the Second Divisions 1907–08 season, the first win came a few days later at Derby Countys Baseball Ground by a score line of 1–0. Fulham finished the three points short of promotion in fourth place. The club progressed all the way to the semi-final of that seasons FA Cup, in the semi-final, however, they were heavily beaten, 6–0, by Newcastle United. This is still a loss for an FA Cup semi-final game. Two years later, the won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909–10 season. Fulhams first season in Division Two turned out to be the highest that the club would finish for 21 years, until in 1927–28 when the club were relegated to the 3rd Division South, created in 1920