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FIFA names three Moroccan female referees for 2023 Women’s World Cup

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World football governing body, FIFA, has named three Moroccan females referees to officiate at the 2023 Women’s World Cup scheduled for Australia and New Zealand from 20 July and 20 August.

The trio, Bouchra Karboubi, Soukaina Hamdi, and Fatiha Jermoumi, were selected after their recent sterling performances at FIFA tournaments as well as other international and domestic competitions, FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday.

The FIFA list of appointed match officials features Karboubi as main referee while Jermoumi and Hamdi were named assistant referees for the international tournament.

“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected on-field match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina, said in the statement.

Another Moroccan referee, Adil Zourak, was named as the video match official (VMOs).

Karboubi made headlines in 2022 after she became the first female referee to officiate the final match of Morocco’s Throne Cup while Jermoumi was also chosen as Karboubi’s assistant referee in the same match.

Karboubi set another personal record in 2020 when she became the first female referee to oversee a match in Morocco’s top-tier professional football league, the Botola Pro 1.

Jermoumi was also present as an assistant referee during the historic match, reflecting the Royal Moroccan Football Federation’s (FRMF) vision of promoting and regularly selecting female referees to oversee men’s games.

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Kenya’s Edwin Kibet wins 2023 Lagos City Marathon

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Kenyan long distance runner, Edwin Kibet Koech, has won the 8th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon held in Nigeria on Saturday.

The 39-year-old Kibet finished the 42km race in two hours, 14 minutes and six seconds to beat Ethiopia’s Dekeba Shefa and fellow Kenyan, Bernard Sang, who finished second and third respectively.

For his feat, Kibet took home the grand prize of $50,000, while Shefa and Sang carted home $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.

In the female category, Alemenseh Guta of Ethiopia was the first woman to cross the finish line, with compatriot Kebene Urisa and Kenya’s Naomi Maiyo coming second and third respectively.

The annual event sponsored by one of Nigeria’s elite financial institutions, Access Bank, was recently upgraded by the world athletics body to a gold label, meaning that the winners of both the men and women’s races have also qualified for the marathon events at the 2024 Olympics scheduled for Paris, France.

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Nigerian tech billionaire, Dozy Mmobuosi, set to acquire Sheffield United in £90m deal

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A Nigerian tech billionaire, Dozy Mmobuosi, is reportedly on the verge of acquiring English football club, Sheffield United, in a deal said to be in the region of £90 million.

Sheffield United which is in the English championship, is likely to gain promotion back to the English Premier League as it is in the top three of the second tier of the league.

The Blades’ push for promotion back to the EPL this season suffered a glitch after they were hit by a transfer embargo last month amid financial difficulties but if the sale is successful, they would have enough funds to go into the transfer market.

The sale deal has been confirmed by the English Football League (EFL) in a post on its website, where it said the issue relates to the non-payment of a transfer fee that was owed.

The EFL said the embargo which prevents Sheffield from buying a player for the next 18 months unless they win promotion, was imposed because the Blades failed to keep up payment instalments on signings.

“This included payments to Liverpool for forward Rhian Brewster, who was signed in October 2020 for £23.5m.”

The Blades current owner, Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has been struggling to maintain the funding needed to keep the club going and was understood to be open to selling the club.

And that has opened the door for the Nigerian billionaire whose company, Tingo Mobile, is valued at around £7 billion, to make a bid to buy the club.

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