Assistant Coach of the National U-20 team the Black Satellites and former National Star, Yaw Preko is confident his team can be a huge success just like the class of 2009.According to the young manager, the side has been going through some very tough drills in the last two months at the Ghanaman Soccer School of Excellence at Prampram including some decent friendly matches to sharpen their arsenals for the African Youth Championship in Algeria.For Preko, the opportunity to go to Europe and fine tune their training regimen ahead of Algeria could not have come at a better time.With the sides’ failure to retain the trophy they last won in Rwanda four years ago when they participated in the 2011 competition in South Africa, he believes that the current generation of the team knows what is at stake and should be intrinsically motivated to go out there and perform.He stressed that though a lot is expected from the team, management is doing its bit to maximize expectations so that the lads do not feel pressured to deliver.“Once you don a national team jersey, there is naturally pressure on you to deliver. You simply have to do your best and on the back of what happened in South Africa two years ago, we simply cannot afford to underperform. We want to make the nation proud and it is opportunities like this that can make us do that. The boys are determined to succeed and we believe things will turn out very well. “We would do our bit, that is, myself and my boss Sellas Tetteh to get the best out of the players and we would also expect them to make the necessary sacrifices to help us reach our targets. Management is also doing everything in its power to oversee to the best of preparations for the team so we simply do not have an excuse to underperform.”The Satellites, who will be leaving town later this evening for a training tour of Europe before heading to Algeria for the African U-20 tournament which is scheduled to commence on March 16, 2013.
The club reported that the goalkeeper is well, he is currently asymptomatic and the rest of the group will end his home isolation on March 27. The list of Calcium players suffering from the new disease continues to lengthen: Rugani, Matuidi, Dybala (Juve), Gabbiadini, Colley, Ekdal, La Gumina, Thorsby, Depaoli, Bereszynsky (Sampdoria), Vlahovic, Cutrone, Pezzella (Fiorentina), Zaccagni (Verona), Daniel Maldini (Milan, who also confirmed the positive from his father Paolo) and Sportiello (Atalanta). Marco Sportiello is the first Atalanta player positive to COVID-19. The Nerazzurro team, despite being located in Bergamo, the city hardest hit by the coronavirus with almost 7,000 cases, still had no infection, and was placed in preventive quarantine due to the cases that affected Valencia, its last rival in the match. of the Champions League from last March 10. Given this scenario, resuming training, something that teams like Lazio and Naples wanted to do this week, seems impossible until at least mid-April. The doctors from the Calcio teams signed an agreement that foresees the gradual return to individual work from April 4 and to group work from 13, although everything will depend on the development of the emergency in the transalpine country.
A 100 carat diamond, which is at the center of a lawsuit involving one Jefferson Sanoe, currently in detention at the Monrovia Central Prison, is reported to have been smuggled out of the country by a local diamond company, West Africa Diamond Limited, and sold in Dubai for US$1.5 million.Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case with the media, a senior staff at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), told the Daily Observer that the diamonds were allegedly smuggled out of the country by some of his fellow staff members. The information, however, could not be independently verified.The MLME is tasked with the responsibility of assessing and packaging diamonds for shipment out of the country by a diamond company approved by the Ministry, our source said.“The company was investigated by the National Security Agency (NSA). The only thing that happened was that executives of the company and some senior staffs of the Ministry met and somehow handled the matter among themselves. They were even planning to negotiate the release of defendant Sanoe from detention and also to drop the charges against him,” this source disclosed.Defendant Sanoe was arrested on October 21 in Gbarpolu County by state security for allegedly “stealing a diamond,” believed to have been owned by a MLME senior official.The creek in which the diamond allegedly went missing is owned by the minister’s sister, identified as Marthaline Weah, who brought the allegation against Sanoe, who is currently in prison because of his legal team’s inability to secure a US$3-million bond. Under Liberian law the crime — Theft of Property — is a bailable offense.The Minister for Land, Mines and Energy, Patrick Sandolo, when contacted by the Daily Observer via mobile phone, declined to comment, saying that he was attending a senior staff meeting. He however recommended his Inspector General, Mr. Fahneseht Mulbah, to speak on the issue. Mulbah denied that any of the staffs were involved into the alleged selling of the diamond. “I don’t have any knowledge about what you are saying,” Mulbah said. “The only thing that I know about is that a man named Jefferson Sanoe was arrested in Gbarpolu County for stealing diamond and is presently in jail, charged with a US$1.5-million theft.”“Though we are responsible to appraise diamonds before they leave the country for sale, we did not see this particular diamond that you are talking about. How would people accuse the ministry of helping West Africa Diamond to smuggle diamond that we didn’t see or know about?” he said.He further stated that they are going to investigate the matter, in order to establish whether or not some of the Ministry’s staff were involved.Further refuting the claims, Mulbah added, “We couldn’t hear the matter because it was criminal. Based on its criminal nature, it was the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the legal arm of the government that handled it. So how could we say, we are going to withdraw the matter from court to settle it? Is it our responsibility to do so?” he asked rhetorically, saying, “This issue is a complete lie.”When the owner of the West Africa Diamond limited, only identified as Tunkura, who is also the president of the Liberia Diamond Association, was contacted, he told our reporter to meet him at his Broad Street office. Unfortunately, when our correspondent appeared Tunkura was absent. A man, who identified himself only as Cummings, told our correspondent that he was appointed to speak on behalf of Tunkura.Asked about his company’s involvement into the alleged smuggling of the 100 carats diamond out of the country, Cummings said, “We don’t know what you people are saying. You can visit the Ministry to know if whether we have exported diamond in the last four months. Look, we have not exported diamonds for a long time. The record is there and you can check it for yourself,” he added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)