Enyimba International Football Club of Aba were held to a disappointing goalless draw by 10-man Al- Hilal FC of Sudan in Sunday’s CAF Champions League Second Preliminary Round first leg clash in Aba.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Peoples’ Elephant were dominant all through the duration of the match, but lacked the cutting edge on the final third.
Enyimba fired an early warning to Al-Hilal FC when Nelson Ogbonnaya planted his headed effort from Stanley Okorom’s free kick into the side netting just five minutes after the start.
The visitors heeded the warning and applied caution in their defensive approach, absorbing all that the hosts threw at them at the end of a one-sided first half.
Enyimba again came close to breaking the deadlock two minutes later when Okorom hit the side netting from a free kick almost on the same spot as the first.
Ghana import, Daniel Darkwa drifted up field and just when he was about getting a clear sight on goal, he was tripped by Abuaagla Named.
Enyimba’s centre-back, Ifeanyi Anaemena added his name to the list of those who missed scoring opportunities when he swept his glorious chance waywardly over the crossbar in the 12th minute.
This was after Onuwa Emeruwa’s sleek touch off Dimgba’s cross from the right.
On the quarter hour mark, Stanley Okorom stung the gloves of goalkeeper Salim Macoola with a rising strike from distance, but the shot stopper did well to push the ball away for a corner.
Five minutes later, Al- Hilal were reduced to 10 men with Nazar Nassr shown a straight red card for violent conduct, after the defender had stepped on Enyimba defender, Daniel Darkwa.
With the numerical advantage, Enyimba patiently worked and waited for the breakthrough as they encamped in their opponent’s territory and continued to pile countless pressure on Al Hilal’s defence.
Obi Damson had his effort parried by the goalkeeper in the 42nd minute and the ball came back gloriously for him, unfortunately his second bite at the cherry went wide off target.
For the first time in the game, the visitors sneaked behind Enyimba’s back line with Barnet Named getting to the byline, but his left foot effort was easily caught off by goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.
Perhaps, the best chance of the half fell on Dimgba who found his way into the crowded Al-Hilal box.
He twisted and turned all the defenders who virtually got fixed on a spot but his shot towards the far post went wide to the consternation of the packed stands that included governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
Both sides went into the break on equal terms.
The restart followed same pattern as the first with Enyimba in absolute control of the game but were unable to break down the visitor’s resolute defence.
Al-Hilal found an opportunity for a counter attack with Mohammed Darac firing a left foot drive that went marginally wide with Afelokhai fully stretched in the 51st minute.
In a frantic move to shore up his attack, coach Usman Abdallah substituted Obi Samson for Bashir Abdulrahman and Martins Usule for Onuwa Emeruwa.
The move almost paid off as Abdulrahman came close to finding the back of the net with a fierce strike from close range, but the goalkeeper reacted brilliantly, pushing the ball for a corner.
With seven minutes remaining on the clock, Stanley Dimgba fired a ferocious shot from the edge of the box but Macoola went down early enough to gather.
Al-Hilal displayed tremendous composure, organisation and confidence as they repelled every Enyimba offensive till the final whistle.
The Peoples’ Elephant will travel to Sudan on Sept. 29 for the return leg.
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Feature: Istanbul’s cafe resorts to well-dressed mannequins to ensure social distancing after reopening
Customers entering a cafe in central Istanbul on Tuesday were surprised when they saw some well-dressed mannequins sitting at some tables among other customers.
“My friend and I decided to have a chat in this cafe for the first time in three months as the figures related to the COVID-19 cases have been in decline for a while in Turkey,” Mahmut Nuvit, a customer of the cafe, told Xinhua.
“We thought it would be empty over hygiene and social distancing concerns,” he continued with a smile on his face. “As soon as we stepped in, we noticed a different kind of crowd, and later realized that … some were mannequins.”
The management of the Varuna cafe and restaurant in the crowded Beyoglu district on the European side of the city has recently decided to use mannequins to implement the social distancing rule differently.
“Instead of leaving some of our tables empty, which would make the venue look bizarre and isolated, we simply treated the mannequins as our customers,” Ulas Volkan Celik, a manager of Varuna, told Xinhua.
The health ministry demanded the facilities leave at least 1.5 meters between each table and 60 centimeters between the chairs to secure the social distancing rule.
Now, there are a total of 16 mannequins sitting on eight out of 35 tables, all wearing daily outfits.
The staff had spent almost three weeks in preparing them for the big reopening on Monday.
“We found out that there are dressers specialized in dressing up mannequins,” Celik explained the process.
“But we did not apply to any stylist. We dressed our own clothes on mannequins,” he added.
The management has received a significant interest both from passersby and the customers, according to Celik.
“Even at the stage of our preparation, those who saw the models walked in and started taking photos,” he said, noting since the reopening, the customers have been saying of the cozy atmosphere inside the cafe.
“There is nothing more repellent than an empty cafe or restaurant, no matter where you are in the world,” Celik said.
(Special for CAFS) Nigerian police kills 2 suspected kidnappers in northern state
Two suspected kidnappers were killed and six others arrested in a police operation in Nigeria’s northern state of Katsina, local authorities said on Friday.
The suspects were killed and arrested on Wednesday following raids on their hideouts, state police said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos.
Katsina police spokesman Gambo Isah said 130 rustled cows, 225 sheep and one AK-47 rifle were recovered in the operation.
The northern part of Nigeria has witnessed a series of attacks by gunmen in recent months.
Tunisia reopens cafes, restaurants as pandemic winds down
After a lockdown of more than two months, Tunisia on Tuesday conditionally reopened cafes and restaurants as part of its partial lifting of the anti-coronavirus restrictions.
Under the government’s decision, customers have to take away with the ordered drinks and meals without staying in the cafes and restaurants, in order to avoid gatherings.
These conditions will continue to be applied until June 4, after which cafes and restaurants will resume their activities normally.
On May 21, Lobna Jribi, Tunisian minister in charge of major national projects, announced new measures to revive the economy.
Jribi told a press briefing that 75 percent of activities in the industry, services and construction sectors, which were previously closed to curb the spread of COVID-19, will resume activity on May 26.
The gradual opening of the economy remains dependent on compliance with the preventive measures, including wearing masks, social distancing and hand hygiene.
The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.
Iran allows reopening of restaurants, cafes after 2 months of closure over COVID-19
Besides, the cafes will begin their services without offering tobacco, said Farhadi in a video press conference. The use of Hukka is very popular in the Iranian tea houses and cafes.
Iran has gradually eased restrictions on economy and cultural activities since early April. The country suspended economic, sports and cultural activities since early March following the reports of first COVID-19 cases on Feb. 19.
Greece reopens restaurants and cafes, allowing travel to all islands
Greece took more steps to normality on Monday, reopening restaurants and cafes while allowing travel to all the islands.
Two months after the shutdown of the catering sector and the introduction of strict travel restrictions as part of the efforts to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, Greeks queued at airports and ports wearing masks and keeping safe distances and are able to visit their favorite coffee shops and restaurants again.
Members of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Greece performed at the Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” to celebrate the day and greet travelers as the airport is getting prepared for the delayed tourism season this summer.
Until Monday, only a few international and domestic flights had been permitted.
The entire country was in lockdown from March 23 to May 4 and in the past three weeks the government has been gradually lifting preventive measures.
Retail shops and shopping malls have returned to business, middle and high school students have returned to classes and on June 1 primary schools will reopen along with hotels as social and economic activities in the last few sectors restart.
“I think that with the reopening of the catering sector, the atmosphere has changed,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after strolling down commercial streets at the port of Piraeus on Monday, according to an e-mailed press statement issued by his office.
Mitsotakis spoke with shop owners and customers about how they were adapting to the new normality, which includes additional outdoor seats for restaurants and cafes and a limit of six seated customers per table.
“The danger is not permanently over,” Mitsotakis said in an interview with local television STAR on Monday evening, urging Greeks and foreign visitors to continue observing health safety rules suggested by experts.
In his views, Greece’s success in containing the virus so far lies, to an extent, to the timely implementation of measures.
“We had been following developments regarding the coronavirus in China since January… When we saw the first data of what was happening in Italy it was absolutely clear that Greece would not be spared in this pandemic,” he said.
He explained that the government had a first response plan in place and took preventive measures starting with the cancellation of carnival festivities before the first case was confirmed in Greece on Feb. 26.
The prime minister expressed confidence that with this spring’s experience Greece will be better prepared for a possible second wave in autumn.
Greek authorities have so far registered 2,882 confirmed COVID-19 infections, including 172 deaths, according to an e-mailed press release issued by the Health Ministry on Monday.
Since Sunday four new cases were reported and one death.
Cafes, restaurants in Vilnius, Lithuania, become shop window for local fashion designers
Cafes and restaurants became a platform on Thursday to showcase collections by local designers affected by the COVID-19 lockdown as the country has allowed bars, cafes and restaurants to operate under strict safety rules.
“Empty tables inside our restaurant look rather odd, and we don’t have any way to remove them,” said Bernie Ter Braak, owner of the local restaurant Cozy, who proposed the idea with local fashion designer Julija Janus.
“Therefore, we decided to reach out to our neighbors, fashion boutique stores, and invited them to use our empty tables to showcase their newest collections,” the restaurant owner said.
A few dozen restaurants and cafes in Vilnius Old Town are participating in the initiative, which is planned to run until the end of May, according to Go Vilnius, the official development agency of the City of Vilnius, one of the event’s organizers.
More than 60 mannequins dressed in fashion pieces of local designers and brands from 19 boutiques have been placed to fill the space between dining tables.
At each table, visitors can find information about the exhibited items and where each piece can be purchased.
“This way, restaurants expect to be able to maintain the required indoor social distancing while helping designers gain attention for this season’s newest fashion trends,” Go Vilnius wrote in its release.
Starting from Monday, cafes, bars, restaurants and other catering services in Lithuania have been allowed to resume indoor services provided they guarantee certain security requirements such as distances between tables, customer flow regulation, safety measures for workers, and limitation of working hours.
Poland reopens restaurants, bars, cafes, hair salons under rules enforced by sanitary authorities
A waiter wearing a face shield serves coffee in Warsaw, Poland, on May 18, 2020. As the third phase of lifting restrictions, Poland has reopened restaurants, bars, cafes and hair salons on Monday under rules enforced by the sanitary authorities. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/Xinhua)
COVID-19: CAF initiates financial entitlement payments to clubs
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) says it will accelerate the payment of final tranche of financial rewards to participating clubs in its interclub competitions for the 2019/20 season.
The continental football governing body, in a statement on Saturday, said this was in light of growing concerns and evolving nature of COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the suspension of football activities across the continent.
The statement quoted CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, as saying that the distribution, which has since begun, is to reduce the financial burden on the 32 clubs that reached the group stages of the Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup.
“Clubs will receive their dues based on the established prize monies for each competition till the quarter-final stage, when the two competitions were suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19.
“The world of football, and for that matter African football, is going through unprecedented difficulties.
“The current situation has had a telling effect on African football stakeholders, and CAF is being responsive to the needs of our Clubs, one of our key stakeholders, by facilitating the payment of their prize monies well ahead of time,’’ Ahmad said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that usually, clubs received their financial entitlements for the inter-club competitions at the end of the season.
The statement, however, noted that CAF is monitoring the situation closely and working with the relevant authorities, including the Wealth Health Organisation (WHO) on the impact of the virus on the continent, and will announce developments at the appropriate time.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Greece to reopen restaurants, cafes, shopping malls in May as COVID-19 cases climb to 2,819
Greece continues to ease its anti-coronavirus restrictions as the country’s total infections climbed to 2,819 on Saturday with nine new cases reported over the last 24 hours.
The Health Ministry said on Saturday that two deaths from COVID-19 had been reported over the 24-hour period, bringing the country’s death toll from the disease to 162 since the start of the outbreak in the country on Feb. 26. So far, a total of 126,283 diagnostic tests have been carried out across the country.
With cautious steps, shopping malls, diet centers, zoos and botanical gardens will reopen on May 18, the Ministry of Development and Investments announced in an e-mailed press statement.
The ministry stressed the necessity of wearing protective face mask and observing 1.5-meter distance while people are in enclosed shopping malls.
Restaurants and cafes will be open for business again on May 25, a week earlier than the initial planning, the ministry also announced on Saturday.
Greece was under full lockdown since March 23 until May 4, when the government started to gradually lift restrictive measures.
After the reopening of a few schools and shops in the past two weeks, more and more restrictions on economic and social life, like traveling, are eased.
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