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I'm ready to initiate reforms for true reconciliation - Pinnick

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President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has disclosed that he would initiate reforms that would help to reflect true reconciliations.

He stated this on Thursday after being declared the winner of the NFF Presidential election held in Katsina State, where he polled 34 votes to beat strong contestants such as Maigari and Ogunjobi who had eight and two votes respectively.

“Like I said, no victor there’s no vanquished, football is the winner, Aminu Maigari is my big brother. I even call him my father and Taiwo Ogunjobi happens to be a big brother as well. We just need to do what we need to do,” Pinnick told journalists after his re-election.

“First we will initiate reforms for our statutes. There are something we need to capture in the statutes that will reflect true reconciliations and we have to do it right away. It’s not about me, but the executive committee and the congress that believe in us.

“But I will also want to thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for providing an enabling environment. I’m from a micro minority in Nigeria less than 400,000 people. I came to the far North to win an election what more do you need to know that the government provided a level playing ground.

“This election rekindles my belief in Nigeria and what this has done is compelling us to do something unique for Nigerian football.

“This is the turning point for Nigerian football. But people must be aware that we need to develop football beyond mediocrity, the narrow confines of ethnicity, non challant attitude.”

I want to win CAF Confed. Cup - Afelokhai

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Enyimba international goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai, has disclosed his desire to win the CAF Confederation Cup with the Peoples Elephant this season.

Afelokhai who has become an integral part of the team, played a key role in Emyimba's qualification from the preliminary stages to the knockout stages, where they held Rayon Sports of Rwanda in Kigali last weekend.

However, he told Cafonline that winning the continental trophy would be a welcome development for him.

"My dream is to win at least a continental cup with Enyimba; I’ll do my best to be part of history and win the Confederation Cup,” the 28-year-old Afelokhai said in an interview with ahead of this weekend’s decisive second leg quarter-final tie to be played at the newly renovated Enyimba International Stadium in Aba.

“We had a good match in Kigali against Rayon Sport and the result was okay; but we must overcome Rayon Sports in Aba so that we can qualify for the semi-finals.”

Pinnick dusts Maigari, Ogunjobi to be re-elected as NFF President

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Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick has been re-elected for a second term after winning today's (Thursday) election held in Katsina State.

Pinnick defeated oppositions such as Aminu Maigari and Taiwo Ogunjobi to reclaim the seat for the second time after first assuming the post in 2014.

He remains the first President to retain the NFF seat since the history of the position.

South Africa to host Nigeria at FNB Stadium

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Bafana Bafana will return to their happy hunting ground at FNB Stadium when they host Seychelles and Nigeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Coach Stuart Baxter’s troops last played at FNB stadium almost a year ago when they beat Burkina Faso 3-1 in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers‚ with goals from Percy Tau‚ Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi.

Bafana will play Seychelles in a back-to-back home and away matches – the first scheduled for Saturday‚ October 13 at FNB in Johannesburg (kickoff 3pm).

Three days later SA will be away against Seychelles at the Stade Linite in Victoria on Tuesday, October 16 (kickoff 4.30pm Seychelles time‚ 6.30pm SA time).

Following the Seychelles games Bafana host the clash against Nigeria at 2010 World Cup Final venue FNB on Saturday‚ November 17 in their penultimate 2019 Afcon qualifier (kickoff 3pm).

They play away against Libya‚ who have been staging home matches at neutral venues‚ on March 22 or 23.

Bafana have four points after an away win against Nigeria and this month’s 0-0 home draw against Libya in Durban.

Libya lead Group E with four points‚ on goal difference from SA. Nigeria are in third place with three points after getting their campaign back on track with a 3-0 away win over Seychelles this month.

Seychelles are yet to collect points‚ and are bottom of the table.

The 2019 Afcon will be played in June and July in Cameroon.

Real Madrid more of a team without Ronaldo - Bale

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Gareth Bale says Real Madrid work together more as a collective unit without former talisman Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese forward moved to Juventus in the close season.

The Welsh winger is thriving in the absence of Ronaldo and Madrid have three wins from four La Liga matches.

Bale is Madrid’s key weapon as the Champions League starts again this week, with Real facing Roma on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“It’s maybe a bit more relaxed (without Ronaldo),” Bale told the Daily Mail. “I suppose there is more of a team, more working as one unit rather than one player.”

Madrid’s all-time top goalscorer Ronaldo was crucial to the club’s three consecutive Champions League wins under former coach Zinedine Zidane, although it was Bale who scored twice against Liverpool in the 3-1 triumph in May’s Kiev final.

Bale came on from the bench and said he was annoyed about not starting the match, with that rage fuelling him to score a brilliant overhead kick.

“(I was) angry. Quite angry, to be honest. Obviously, I felt I deserved to start the game,” said Bale.

“I’d been scoring goals. So yeah, I suppose it was hard to put the anger aside.”

With Ronaldo out of the way he is essential to new manager Julen Lopetegui’s Madrid, with the defending champions ready to start their bid for a fourth consecutive trophy on Wednesday in Group G.

Hazard can be Premier League top-scorer - Sarri

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Eden Hazard can score 40 goals this season and win the Premier League Golden Boot, according to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri after the Belgium forward scored a hat-trick to maintain the club’s perfect start to the season.

Sarri believes Hazard can become the best player in Europe and outstrip even arch poachers Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah following his three goals in a 4-1 victory against Cardiff on Saturday.

“We have spoken and I told him he can score 40 goals,” said the former Napoli manager. “He has to improve some things, but he can do it.”

Hazard himself has hailed Olivier Giroud as the world’s best target man after the World Cup-winning striker laid on two goals for him.

Giroud is yet to find the net for Chelsea this season but already has three assists in five Premier League games while Hazard has found the net five times.

And the 27-year-old paid tribute to the Frenchman for creating his first two goals at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

“Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world, I think so,” said Hazard.

“When he gets the ball he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us it’s a pleasure to play with him.”

Despite Chelsea’s fluency in attack, Sarri is aware the Stamford Bridge team must improve their defending.

The Italian boss wants to turn Chelsea into the best team in England but says Liverpool and defending champions Manchester City will be the league’s pacesetters.

“Eight players joined us this summer,” he said. “So I think it’s normal that in this period we have some defensive problems. We can cope with the problems with the quality in the offensive phase, but not in the defensive phase.

“So I have to organise better the defensive phase and the players have to understand that. I think my opinion in this moment, two teams, Liverpool and Manchester City, are better than us.

“We have to improve step by step. My target is to become the best team in England in one year, 18 months. That’s the target.”

Ogunjobi, Maigari target Pinnick's NFF job

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The official list of candidates vying for places in the Nigeria Football Federation Executive Committee for 2018-2022 has been released by the electoral committee.

In the list released on Friday, four persons are battling for the presidency, including incumbent Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who is also the 1st vice president of CAF, member of the organising committee for FIFA competitions and president of AFCON.

Mr Pinnick, a former chairman of the Delta State Football Association and executive chairman of the Delta State Commission, is the highest –placed Nigerian ever in football’s boardroom globally.

He would be looking to break the tradition that has been the norm in football administration in Nigeria as no president has served two terms consecutively at the NFF in recent years.

Indeed since after independence, no Nigerian has headed the NFF for more than four years at a stretch.

There is also Aminu Maigari, immediate past president of NFF, who was for several years chairman of the Bauchi State Football Association and also headed the Bauchi sub –seat for the FIFA U17 World Cup that Nigeria hosted nine years ago.

Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former Nigeria international defender, also has his hat in the ring.

Mr Ogunjobi captained and administered one of Nigeria’s traditional powerhouse clubs, Shooting Stars of Ibadan, served as Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association (2002-2005) and was Member of the NFF Executive Committee 2006-2010.

He is presently chairman of the Osun State Football Association.

There is also Chinedu Okoye, proprietor of amateur league club, Bimo FC.

For the first vice president’s position, there are two candidates.

The incumbent, Seyi Akinwunmi, will be up against another South West chieftain, Sunday Dele-Ajayi.

Incumbent Ibrahim Gusau will battle club proprietor, Patrick Ubah for the slot of chairman of chairmen on the board.

For other positions on the executive committee, Rabiu Inuwa, a member of the present board, is the only candidate from the North West.

The battle in the North Central has been somewhat narrowed with the withdrawal of FCT FA chairman Musa Talle.

However, Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ and Honourable Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, ranking members of the board, have to contend with Busari Ishola, chairman of Kwara State FA.

Similarly, incumbents Babagana Kalli and Musa Duhu from the North East have to contend with Farouk Yarma Adamu.

In the South East, Chidi Ofor Okenwa (presently Chairman of the Nigeria National League), will vie with Enyimba FC chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu (ranking Member of Board); Jude Obikwelu (Vice Chairman, Anambra State FA); Emmanuel Ochiagha (Vice Chairman, Imo State FA) and; Emeka Inyama (former Chairman of the NNL and former Chairman of NFF Marketing and Sponsorship, and also Chairman of NPFL side Abia Warriors).

From the South West, only Ganiyu Majekodunmi, chairman of Ogun State FA, is seeking an Executive Committee member position. From the South-South, Oswald Atuake from Cross River State is up against Emmanuel Ibah, chairman of the Akwa Ibom State FA.

Elections into the NFF Executive Committee 2018-2022 will hold as scheduled on Thursday, September 20 in the city of Katsina. 

Success targets Mourinho's downfall

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Super Eagles striker, Isaac Success will face the biggest test of his career as Watford host Manchester United on Saturday at the Vicarage Road.

Success has made four Premier League appearances even though a few have come as a substitute.

Watford have collected 12 points from their four league fixtures this term and will be looking to overcome a United team that has won two and lost two of their four matches during a tough start to the season.

Saturday will be the 31st meeting between Watford and United in all competitions. United have won 20 of the previous 30, suffering just five defeats.

United have won nine of their 10 Premier League meetings, including a 4-2 victory at Vicarage Road last season.
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