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Issahaku, Ibrahim Mahama and Kotei Dzani – Meet the wealthy owners of Tamale City FC



The former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Abdul Nasiru Issahaku, recently announced a take over of Division One club Guan United which he subsequently renamed Tamale City Football Club (FC).

Dr Issahaku acquired a 50% stake in the team with owner of renamed Guan United Lepowura Alhaji M.N.D Jawula retaining a 10% stake in the team with Jones Alhassan-Abu receiving a 5% stake and the remaining 35% being split among Engineers and Planners CEO, Ibrahim Mahama and Group CEO of Groupe Ideal, Dr Nii Kotei Dzani.

Graphic Online understands that the club is hoping to adopt the successful model of Spanish giants Real Madrid and Kwame Nkrumah’s Real Republicans to achieve their goals.

The owners of Tamale City FC hope to leverage on their substantial financial resources to qualify for the Ghana Premier League in a season and have already signalled their intent by signing FIFA U-20 World Cup winning coach Sellas Tetteh as head coach.

Tamale City FC also has designs on becoming the third force of Ghanaian football behind Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak by recruiting the best players in the country.

Meet the owners of the Tamale City FC below;

Profile of Dr Issahaku

Dr Issahaku is an International Development Economist with several years of experience in economic policy management and development, having worked with reputable international and local institutions including the World Bank as a Senior Public Sector Specialist; the African Development Bank as a Principal Governance Expert; the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as a Development Management Officer; the Canadian International Development Agency as a Socio-Economic Advisor and Project Coordinator; and the National Development Planning Commission, Ghana as a Senior Planning Analyst.

Before his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Ghana, he was the Second Deputy Governor and Executive Board member with oversight responsibilities of nine departments including Economics, Statistics, Finance, Legal, Banking Supervision and Financial Stability.

He was Chairman of the Investment Management Committee of the Bank and a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee.

Dr Issahaku was a member of Ghana’s Economic Management Team. He chaired the Finance and Administration (F&A) Committee of the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company and he was the Commissioner and Chairman of the F&A Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund, which he restructured and helped restore to operational effectiveness before his appointment to the central bank in 2013.

Profile of Dr Nii Kotei Dzani

Dr Dzani is a distinguished Entrepreneur and Businessman with extensive business experience as an Economist and accomplished Business Owner.

He is also the Greater Accra member of Council of state.

He has considerable years of experience in managing Micro & SME financing operations in Ghana.

His academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana; and an Honorary Doctorate from the Oral Roberts University, Oklahoma, USA.

He also holds an MBA in Corporate Governance & Finance from the University of Hull, United Kingdom. He is currently pursuing a professional Law Degree.

Groupe Ideal’s portfolio comprises Ideal Finance, First Trust Savings, and Loans, Ideal Capital partners, Ideal Asset Solutions, Ideal Trade, TV Africa, Ideal Pension Trust, Ideal Insurance brokers, Tsaste Foundation, a CSR wing of the Groupe Ideal Financial Holdings, Force 64 Security, and Westfield Offshore Consult.

Groupe Ideal currently operates in the areas of Investment Banking, Business Finance, Trade, Asset Management, Mining and Offshore Consultancy Services, Media and Security Services.

Profile of Ibrahim Mahama

Ibrahim Mahama is among the successful businessmen in Ghana. He is also notable for being the brother of the former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama.

The 47-year-old was born in the month of January in 1971 to Emmanuel Adama Mahama and Joyce Tamakloe.

He is the owner of construction firm Engineers and Planners, which is among the largest West Africa with subsidiaries in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Congo Brazzaville.

He also reportedly has interests in Arcelor Mittal African assets, Asutsuare Poultry Farms which produces about 150,000 eggs a day and 10,000 live chicks. and MBG Limited, dealers in the sale and rental of heavy-duty vehicles and spare parts.

Profile of Alhaji Jawula

Lepowura Alhaji Mohammed Nuru-Deen Jawula, is the Lepowura of the Kujolobito Gate of Lepo-Kpembe in the Northern Region.

As the 20th Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), he distinguished himself so well that today, the continental football governing body, CAF, has appointed him to its Inter-Club Committee.

He has served as the Chairman of the Real Tamale United Football Club and owns women’s football club Lepo Ladies.

Alhaji Jawula has explained that he had to sell off Guan United because he did not have the financial resources to continue running it single-handedly.

In the past, Alhaji Jawula served as the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health. He is a long-standing member of the governing New Patriotic Party.


Source: Graphic Online

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Serena Williams knocked out in first round by Naomi Osaka



Serena Williams was knocked out of the Miami Open in the first round by Naomi Osaka as the 23-time Grand Slam winner continues her return after pregnancy.

Williams, unseeded after taking 13 months off to have her first child, was beaten 6-3 6-2 by the Japanese, 20.

The American lost serve twice in each set and was unable to break back.

Her defeat comes after the Miami Open director said seeding rules for players coming back after maternity leave were a “punishment” and “should be changed”.

Osaka is herself also unseeded but last week claimed her maiden title at Indian Wells to move up to 22 in the world.

Her powerful serve and relentless returning proved too much for Williams, who was broken at 3-3 and 5-3 in the first set and again at 3-1 in the second.

Osaka clinched victory when Williams sprayed a wide open forehand long, and will now face world number four Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the second round.

“I was extremely nervous coming on to the court. I don’t know if anybody knows this but Serena is my favourite player,” Osaka said.

“So just playing against her is kind of like a dream for me. I’m very grateful I was able to play her and it is even better that I was able to win.”

Williams, 36, made her return to the WTA Tour at Indian Wells earlier this month, losing to sister Venus in the third round.

She has no official ranking, which means she cannot be seeded for WTA events.

However, she can gain entry to eight tournaments in 12 months – including two Grand Slams – with her protected world number one ranking.

Naomi Osaka tweet

Azarenka & Muguruza go through

Two-time grand slam winner Victoria Azarenka marked her fourth event since giving birth with a 6-3 6-0 win over American Cici Bellis.

The Belarusian pulled out of the US Open and the Fed Cup final earlier last year because of a custody dispute over her young son.

Azarenka, who made her first appearance of the year at Indian Wells last week, took just over an hour to brush past the 18-year-old.

Meanwhile, Bethanie Mattek-Sands lost in her first WTA Tour match since dislocating her right kneecap and rupturing a tendon at Wimbledon last year.

The 32-year-old doubles specialist had been awarded a wild card but slipped to a 6-2 7-5 defeat at the hands of France’s Alize Cornet.

And third seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain progressed after her opponent, 16-year-old American Amanda Anisimova, withdrew due to injury.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Manchester United striker to leave Old Trafford club



Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to leave Manchester United imminently.

Although there has been no announcement from United, it is understood manager Jose Mourinho has agreed to release Ibrahimovic from his present deal which expires on 30 June.

It is not known where Ibrahimovic is going but there has been intense speculation recently that he will join Major League Soccer outfit LA Galaxy.

Ibrahimovic, 36, joined United from Paris St-German in 2016.

The former Sweden forward scored 29 goals in 53 appearances for the Old Trafford side but does not appear to have fully recovered from the cruciate ligament injury he sustained against Anderlecht last April.

It has recently been suggested that he could come out of international retirement for this summer’s World Cup.

Earlier this month Mourinho had said that Ibrahimovic would be likely to leave at the end of the season.

However, it now appears as though he has already played his last game for the club.

The 36-year-old striker, who re-signed with United on a one-year deal in August, returned to action in November after a serious knee injury.

But he has only made seven appearances since and has not featured since the Premier League draw against Burnley on 26 December.

“We all think it is his last season at Manchester United,” Mourinho said on 2 March.

“I think he won the right to choose his life, his future, such an amazing player and an amazing career.

“Only that awful injury in the wrong moment broke a fantastic couple of seasons he could and should have with us.”

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England 58 all out: Trevor Bayliss says players like ‘deer in headlights’



England players were like “deer in the headlights” as they were bowled out for 58 by New Zealand in the opening Test, says head coach Trevor Bayliss.

In their first Test match since losing the Ashes 4-0 in Australia, England slipped to 27-9 before being dismissed in 20.4 overs at Eden Park, Auckland.

The sensational collapse was England’s sixth lowest total in Test history.

“We were nowhere near good enough. New Zealand bowled well but we batted equally badly,” said Bayliss.

“It was like deer in the headlights. Someone sneezes and everyone caught a cold today.”

At one point England had looked on course for their lowest-ever Test total and to break a record that had stood for over 131 years.

Somerset bowler Craig Overton saved England from that ignominy with an unbeaten 33 as only he and opener Mark Stoneman (11) made double figures.

Left-arm seamer Trent Boult took 6-32 and new-ball partner Tim Southee 4-25 as five batsmen made ducks, equalling an England record.

It swung around a bit but nothing different to any other first day of a Test match.

“The ball was pitched up and swinging and we were caught behind the crease for a lot of dismissals. Trying to get forward and negate the swing would have been the way to go.”

England’s lowest Test totals
45 v Australia, Sydney, 1887
46 v West Indies, Port of Spain, 1994
51 v West Indies, Kingston, 2009
52 v Australia, The Oval, 1948
53 v Australia, Lord’s, 1888
58 v New Zealand, Auckland, 2018
Lowest totals in Test cricket

How the collapse unfolded

  • 6-1: Cook c Latham b Boult 5 – no foot movement and edges outswinger to second slip
  • 6-2: Root b Boult 0 – captain has his off stump knocked back as he attempts to drive one that swings back between bat and pad
  • 16-3: Malan c Watling b Boult 2 – drawn forward and Watling takes fine diving catch in front of first slip
  • 18-4: Stoneman c Watling b Southee 11 – another batsman not moving his feet, another edge to Watling
  • 18-5: Stokes b Boult 0 – playing his first Test since September 2017, Stokes is cleaned up by a fine delivery that clips the top of off stump
  • 18-6: Bairstow c&b Southee 0 – driving on the up and smartly taken in Southee’s follow-through
  • 23-7: Woakes b Boult 5 – forward defensive, played on the walk, and is beaten all ends up by another inswinger
  • 23-8: Moeen b Southee 0 – a third batsman of the innings is bowled, Moeen inexplicably missing a low full toss
  • 27-9: Broad c Williamson b Southee 0 – captain takes sensational one-handed catch, diving high to his left at gully, as Broad departs with wry smile
  • 58 all out: Anderson c Nicholls b Boult 1 – fends short ball to gully

‘Players will feel utterly embarrassed’

Analysis by former England spinner Graeme Swann on BBC Test Match Special

The players will feel utterly embarrassed by their performance today. Sometimes it just goes horribly wrong and there’s nothing you can do about it.

It was a horrific day from start to finish. New Zealand bowled well but England’s technique has been found wanting.

They didn’t get out of their crease and they didn’t cover their stumps.

In all of my time playing and watching cricket I’ve never quite witnessed anything like this morning. The first few overs passed without any incident and then it was just a snowball of England wickets.

How’s stat?!

  • This was England’s lowest Test total versus New Zealand, eclipsing the 64 they made at the Basin Reserve in Wellington in 1977/78.
  • England faced just 124 balls in their innings – the 16th shortest innings in the history of Test cricket.
  • The total was England’s sixth lowest in Test cricket and the joint 32nd lowest of all Test-playing nations.
  • Craig Overton’s 33 not out meant he scored 56.9% of England’s total.

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