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Showing posts with label Super Eagles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Super Eagles. Show all posts

Nigeria escapes FIFA ban, recognises pinnick as NFF president

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21/08/2018

The World Governing body, FIFA has stepped down its decision to ban Nigeria from international football competitions after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) met the needed requirement to avoid such ban on Monday by accepting Amaju Pinnick as the authentic NFF President.

FIFA had given Nigerian authorities until 12 noon on Monday to resolve the leadership tussle inside its football governing body.

At 11.38am, a few minutes before the deadline, Laolu Akande, Special Assistant to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, announced on Twitter that the government recognised the Pinnick-led executive as the authentic leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The FG has already conveyed to FIFA its firm position recognizing Amaju Pinnick-led NFF as the current & only NFF Exco.

Pinnick has been engaged in a legal battle for the leadership of the NFF with his rival Chris Giwa since a contested election in 2014.

Giwa was declared the winner of the election, which was held in Abuja on August 26 of that year, while Pinnick won a second poll that was conducted the following month in Warri.

After Giwa took over control, world football governing body Fifa faulted the move, slapping him with a five-year ban for breaching its code of ethics. The body then announced that it recognised Pinnick as the NFF president.

The FIFA ban on Giwa was seemingly disregarded by Nigeria's Supreme Court, which recognised him as the true NFF president.

Sports Minister Solomon Dalung later directed the football federation to comply with the court ruling.

Nigeria has a long history of being threatened with FIFA sanctions for the government or court interference in NFF affairs.

The dispute now appears to be over, to the delight of Super Eagle fans, who had feared they might miss out on next month's qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations.

AFCON Qualifier: Rohr to release Super Eagles list for Seychelles clash this week

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19/08/2018

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr is expected to release the team list for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier against Seychelles this week.

The German tactician who is scheduled to arrive Nigeria on Monday to begin preparation for the AFCON qualifying match against Seychelles on September 7, would meet with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials including the Technical department to vet the Super Eagles team list.

Nigeria are third on the table with zero points having lost their opening fixture against South Africa 2-0 and would be desperate for three points in their next game.

Some of the regular players such as Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Odion Ighalo, Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are expected to be in the team.

One player that would be missed is Super Eagles and Chelsea winger, Victor Moses who early last week announced his retirement from the senior National team.

William Troost-Ekong joins Udinese

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18/08/2018

Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong has joined Udinese from Turkish Super Lig club Bursaspor, on a reported €3.3m deal.



The centre-back who was an integral part of Nigeria's team at the recently concluded FIFA World Cup joined Bursaspor from Gent in 2017 for €1m.

“Ekong is a player with an important physical structure. He is good in the air, can defend very well and support the attack as well.
“We talk about an aggressive central defender, strong in contrast and with an excellent game reading: a thoughtful, non-instinctive leader who always tries to play the ball, all characteristics that go very well with the game of our coach (Julio Velazquez)." - Udinese’s technical director, Daniel Prade.
Troost-Ekong would be 25 years old in a month time and would be hoping to make a major impact in Italy. While at Bursaspor, he featured in 32 games scoring 3 goals, spending only a season at the club.

Nigeria drops in latest FIFA rankings

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17/08/2018

Nigeria has slipped down one spot in the latest FIFA rankings from number forty-eight to forty-nine after failing to qualify for the second stage of the World Cup in Russia.

2018 FIFA World Cup winners, France climbed to the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking in the first edition of the global rankings since they emerged world champions.

France who went up six places are followed by in third place winner at the World Belgium, Brazil is seated third, while World Cup finalist Croatia climb 16 places to fourth, Uruguay, England, Portugal complete top seven in the global rankings.

Germany dropped 14 places to 15th, Argentina now seats 11th, after slipping down 6 places, Chile is 12th, while Poland drops to 18th. All due to disappointing World Cup campaigns.

Tunisia is world’s number 24, and Africa’s No.1. They are followed by Senegal, Congo Dr, Ghana, Morocco, Cameroon and Nigeria in seventh place.

Egypt had a worse fall. Mohamed Salah’s Egypt dropped from 45th to 65th.

The Pharaohs failed to win a game in the World Cup, falling 3-1 to Saudi Arabia in the last match.

Egypt’s fall is the biggest drop down is the biggest drop by any football team in the history of rankings.

The new ranking formula, which was approved by the FIFA Council in June after a lengthy period will be adding and subtracting points won or lost for a game from the previous point totals rather than averaging game points over a given time period as in the previous version of the rankings.

The changes mean that inactive teams now preserve their point totals, with no devaluation of older games. Points are dropped, however, from losing or drawing against weaker opposition, with the only exception to this rule applicable to matches in knockout rounds of major competitions such as the FIFA World Cup.

Iwobi happy to score winning penalty against Chelsea

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02/08/2018

Super Eagles midfielder, Alex Iwobi has revealed that he felt elated scoring the winning penalty in Arsenal's pre-season game against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Iwobi who was put-on in the 63rd minute, was calm as he scored the final penalty in the International Champions Cup, ICC match that saw Arsenal beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the end of normal playing time.

Antonio Rudiger put Chelsea ahead in the 5th minute through a powerful header from Cesc Fabregas' corner. With only a few minutes left on the clock, Alexandre Lacazette converted a cross by Reiss Nelson in the 93rd minute pushing the game to extra time.

The penalty shoot-out saw all players score until Peter Cech stepped up and saved Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot, then Iwobi swooped in and won the game for the gunners.

Speaking on how he felt after the game, the 22-year-old took to Instagram and said; "More Minutes Tonight & Happy To Score The Winning Pen  ⚽️ Thanks For All Your Support Ireland!  #AFC."



Iwobi recently agreed on a new five-year contract at Arsenal, moving his wages at the Emirates Stadium to £70,000 a week.

Don't allow Salisu's bribery allegation affect Super Eagles AFCON preparation - Dosu tells NFF

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31/07/2018

Ex-international, Dosu Joseph has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) not to allow the bribery saga involving the chief coach of the Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf, to affect the preparation of the team for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Nigeria is expected to face Seychelles on September 7 and Libya in must-win games having lost their opening fixture 2-0 against South Africa, to sit third in the group.

The Atlanta Olympic gold medalist told Soccernet.com.ng that Salisu's bribery scandal should be resolved in order not to hamper Nigeria's AFCON preparation.

"It's so sad that at this point in time in our football when we should be planning on how to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, we are now embroiled with a bribery allegation on coach Salisu Yusuf," Dosu told Soccernet.com.ng.

"To me, I think this is just a distraction that can jeopardise Nigeria's preparation for the game against Seychelles on September 7.

"I will advise the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to handle this case with caution so that it won't affect the Super Eagles quest of qualifying for AFCON."

Carl Ikeme to be given new role at Super Eagles

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30/07/2018

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced that it would offer retired Super Eagles’ safe hands, Carl Ikeme coaching education as a goalkeeper trainer and then absorb him into the technical crew of the senior national team.

NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi disclosed at the weekend that the Federation was in contact with Ikeme, who announced his retirement from the game on Friday afternoon, with a view to training him as a goalkeeper coach.

“Carl Ikeme was an embodiment of absolute dedication, commitment and patriotic fervour in the games that he played for the Super Eagles. The circumstances of his retirement from the game are somewhat depressing, even as we thank God for his life.“The Nigeria Football Federation will find the resources to send him on a coaching course, and afterwards, absorb him into the technical crew of the Super Eagles. That is the least we can do for such a dedicated patriot.”

Dr. Sanusi revealed that the NFF knew about Ikeme’s plan to retire from football. “A few weeks ago, he had spoken on phone with the NFF President and first Vice President of CAF, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to intimate him on his (Ikeme’s) desire to retire. Even though he was sad about, the NFF president commended his fighting spirit and respected his decision, and also said he would rather allow the player or his club to break the news.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC of England goalie Ikeme, diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July 2017, but who entered into complete remission only last month, announced his decision to retire from the beautiful game on Friday. He played 191 matches for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, and was pivotal in the club’s promotion from League One to the English Championship. He is currently being heavily celebrated for uniting a club more renowned for its divisive tendencies.

Ikeme was in goal for the Super Eagles in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Swaziland home and away, and away to Zambia; the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Tanzania home and away, and against Egypt at home, and; in friendly matches against Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroun and Niger Republic.

Ikeme Quits International Football

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27/07/2018

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme has finally quit the round leather game after announcing it today (Friday).

Ikeme, who was diagnosed of leukaemia cancer last year (2017) by Wolves medics and missed playing for the Super Eagles at the just concluded 2018 World Cup in Russia, said his announcement from club and country football was based on doctors advise.

He spent his whole career as a Wolves player where he played over 200 matches but made loan appearances for eight other clubs

'I spoke with the doctor and he suggested I should retire, because of the toll the treatment has taken on my body,' he told the club's official website.

'He thinks it's what is best for me and I can't really risk trying to come back, my health is the priority.

'I want to be here for my children, family and friends. In the grand scheme of things with my life in danger, it's the minimum price I have to pay to spend the rest of my time with my family.

IKEME'S CAREER

Wolves (2003-18): 207 appearances
Accrington Stanley on loan (2004): 4 appearances
Stockport County on loan (2005-06): 9 appearances
Charlton Athletic on loan (2009): 5 appearances
Sheffield United on loan (2009): 2 appearances
QPR on loan (2010): 17 appearances
Leicester on loan (2010): 5 appearances
Middlesbrough on loan (2011): 10 appearances
Doncaster on loan (2011 & 2012): 15 appearances
Nigeria (2015-18): 10 appearances

'It's not really set in since speaking to the doctor. In time I can have a good look back, it's been incredible for me personally to have been at Wolves from 14 to 31 – playing for just one club is something I'm proud of.

'It's nice to have been a one-club man because it's rare these days. I'm proud that I can always come back to Wolverhampton and always have friends here, and be loved, it's incredible.'

After the announcement Ikeme tweeted, he said: 'Thank you for the support over the years. My last day as a footballer. But one I am happy and great full for !!! (sic) Thanks to everyone to do with @wolves and everyone in football I have met.'

He spent his whole career as a Wolves player where he played over 200 matches but made loan appearances for eight other clubs.

Nigerian coaches should learn from Salisu's scandal

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25/07/2018

Ex-international, Victor Ikpeba has admonished all Nigerian coaches to learn from the sad bribery scandal involving Super Eagles Chief coach, Salisu Yusuf.

Known to be in charge of the Home-based Eagles, Salisu was caught on camera receiving money from two men pretending to act like Football agents.

In the short video clip, Salisu was been told to select two of their players for the CHAN tournament in order to get a good deal abroad.

“I’m shocked at what happened to Salisu Yusuf. This should be a lesson to all our indigenous coaches,” Ikpeba wrote on his Twitter handle.

Troost-Ekong influenced my decision to play for Nigeria - Ebuehi

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Super Eagles defender, Tyronne Ebuehi has disclosed that William Troost-Ekong was a major factor behind his decision to represent Nigeria.

Ebuehi featured for the senior national at the just concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia where the team crashed out in the group stages.

However, the Benfica newly recruit told BBC that Troost-Ekong played a major role in his decision to play for Nigeria.

"Born in the same city [Haarlem] as me, Troost-Ekong gave me some advice and told me about the benefits of playing for Nigeria," he said.

"As a big brother he had played for the Netherlands at junior levels before choosing Nigeria, so he also had a big role to play in my decision."

Rohr can look beyond Mikel's availability for 2019 AFCON qualifiers - Nwosu

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19/07/2018

Ex-international, Henry Nwosu has challenged the technical crew of the Super Eagles headed by Gernot Rohr not to force team's captain, Mikel Obi to play for Nigeria once the qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations begins if he feels he needs time to rest.

Mikel, who was part of the Super Eagles squad that crashed out in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has initially hinted on contemplating whether to play on for the senior national team till AFCON 2019 in Cameroon.

However, Nwosu told Soccernet.ng, that Mikel's availability or absence shouldn't create any kind of debate in the team ahead of the 2019 AFCON Qualifiers.

"I want the technical crew of the Super Eagles to prosecute the 2019 AFCON qualifiers with or without Mikel Obi in the team," Nwosu told Soccernet.com.ng

"Yes, he is one of Nigeria's most potent midfielders and has shown great commitment in the course of playing for the senior national team. However, if he decides not to be part of the squad that will prosecute the qualifiers or participate at the Nation's Cup, I don't think it will be ideal to force him to play for us.

"There is no doubt that Mikel is still an important figure in the Super Eagles, but then, the technical crew must start looking for another player who can fit into his shoes before 2019."

Moses, Omeruo to resume Chelsea preseason training, set for Man City Community Shield clash

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18/07/2018

By Augustine Akhilomen

Super Eagles duo of Victor Moses and Kenneth Omeruo are expected to resume Chelsea Preseason training ahead of their mouth-watering Community Shield clash against reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City on August 5.

Both Moses and Omeruo were part of the Super Eagles team at the just concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where Nigeria were eliminated from the group stages that had countries like Argentina, Croatia and Iceland.

Moses was an integral part of the Blues woeful campaign last season, where the team finished fifth on the log before winning the FA Cup after beating Man United 1-0 in the final.

Having managed to score three goals last season, the former Wigan star who’s yet to know Chelsea's next manager for next season would be hoping to maintain his spot and help the Blues win their first title of the season.

Meanwhile, Kenneth's future in Chelsea is yet to be ascertained but there are reports that his performance at the World Cup could paved way for a permanent stay in the London club ahead of the new Premier League season rather than him being loaned out to other clubs in Europe. 

World Cup: Ahmed Musa's goal nominated for goal of the tournament

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16/07/2018

Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa’s second goal against Iceland has been nominated among 17 other goals for the Goal of the tournament by FIFA.

Musa latched on to a long clearance deep from Kenneth Omeruo before leveraging on his speed to outrun his markers before slotting in the second goal.

Other goals nominated included Lionel Messi’s opening goal against the Eagles when Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 and Croatia captain Luka Modric’s goal against Argentina.

Fans will choose the overall Goal of the World Cup not later than Monday, July 23. Cast your vote on fifa.com.

Nwakali good enough for Super Eagles - Nwosu tells Rohr

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13/07/2018

Ex-international, Henry Nwosu has admonished Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr to look towards the direction of Kelechi Nwakali in preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles and Libya respectively.

Nwakali scored a stunning goal against Atletico Madrid in an international friendly match in May that got fans cheering his name.

Nwosu, who was part of the Green Eagles squad that won the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations hosted in Nigeria, told Soccernet.com.ng that the addition of Nwakali would give the team more balance and creativity in the midfield ahead of AFCON qualifier.

"At this stage, I don't think it will be wrong if the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr gives an opportunity to Kelechi Nwakali in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier," Nwosu told Soccernet.com.ng

"I am more concern on our midfield department because aside Mikel Obi and Oghenekaro Etebo, we don't seem to have another player who could open opponent's defence with ease."

Siasia calls for Rohr’s continuity as Super Eagles technical adviser

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12/07/2018

Ex-international, Samson Siasia has advised the Nigeria Football Federation to retain Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr despite Nigeria's failure to qualify to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Nigeria crashed out of the group stages after losing 2-1 to Argentina in their final game. Before that match, the team lost 2-0 to Croatia in their opening game and then defeated Iceland 2-0 in their second game.

Rohr, who was optimistic of the team chances of qualifying from Group D, will now focus his attention on the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers where Nigeria sits third in a group that has South Africa top of the group.

Although there are reports that uncertainty surrounds Rohr's possibility of remaining as Super Eagles manager, however, Siasia told soccernet.com.ng that the German tactician should remain in the helm of affairs for the sake of continuity ahead of AFCON 2019 qualifiers.

"I don't think it will be ideal for the Nigeria Football Federation to terminate the contract of Super Eagles Technical adviser, Gernot Rohr due to the team's inability to qualify to the round of 16 of the World Cup," Siasia said.

"For me, I don't think he has done badly with what I saw at the World Cup even though we expected much from him which didn't happen at the end.

"For the sake of continuity, I will implore the NFF to retain Rohr considering the fact that we can build a good relationship with the players ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this year."

2019 AFCON Qualifiers: Super Eagles ready for Seychelles, Libya

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09/07/2018

Super Eagles of Nigeria will commence their dream of returning back to the Africa Cup of Nations as they face Seychelles on September 7 away from home.

The team which recently crashed out of the World Cup in Russia after managing just three points from three matches, will be hoping to pick the maximum points against Seychelles.

Having lost 2-0 to South Africa in their first qualifying game in Nigeria, the team knows they have to avoid any other defeat in a bid to challenge the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

Nigeria will also face Libya on October 10 in Tripoli in what is expected to be an explosive encounter.

It will be recalled that the Super Eagles have failed to qualify in two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations consecutively.

Super Eagles Future Is Bright - Balogun

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05/07/2018

Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun believes the team has what it takes to become a great team with the calibre of young and experienced players.

Having played in the three matches at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia where Nigeria crashed out in the Group stages that consist of Croatia, Argentina, and Iceland, Balogun pointed out that the future is bright for the senior National team if they maintain continuity with this team and a few added to it.

"It will be very important to keep going the way we have started," the new Brighton and Hove Albion signing added.

"We have experienced players, young players, talented players - and there are even more players that are not in the team yet - and we have to keep developing them and investing in their football education.

"We just have to keep working and keep our focus on advancing year after year and then in the next four years, we will have a good team - maybe an even better one."

Super Eagles Will Get Better In Qatar 2022 - Troost-Ekong

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04/07/2018

Super Eagles defender, William Troost-Ekong has said that the team would go beyond the Group stages of the next edition of the World Cup in Qatar with the experience gathered in Russia.

Troost-Ekong played a key role in the team at the World Cup despite Nigeria's ouster in the Group Stages of the competition.

However, he believed that Nigeria would advance beyond the Group stages in Qatar going by the amount of experience the players have gathered in Russia.

"This is what you need as a team," Troost-Ekong, 24, told BBC Sport.

"When you talk about that Argentinian team, that's a team that has experienced all levels, Croatia are the same while Iceland have played the Euros together.

"You need a tournament like this just to learn what it is like to play at this level, under this pressure, in front of the whole world.

"Hopefully by the next time we get to a World Cup, and if we can be part of that with all the players (who played in Russia), it will be nothing new to us and it might be easier for us to perform at a higher level."

My Father's abduction gave me phsycological trauma against Argentina - Mikel

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03/07/2018

Super Eagles captain and midfielder, John Mikel Obi has disclosed that he was psychologically affected upon hearing news that his father was abducted some few hours before the team played Argentina in their last Group D game of the World Cup in Russia.

It will be recalled that Nigeria lost the encounter 2-1  to the Albiceleste, ending their World Cup campaign but more attention was on Mikel as he had to battle psychological trauma for the entire 90 minutes.

This will be the second time the former Chelsea midfielder's father will be kidnapped as he was also kidnapped in 2011.

Mikel told the Guardian that he warned by the abductors never to inform anyone (including the NFF or Nigeria Police) of the incident if he doesn't want his father to be killed.

Although Mikel's father was released on Monday afternoon, he however noted that the incident was an experience he won't forget in a hurry.

“I played while my father was in the hands of bandits,” Mikel told The Guardian.

“I had to suppress the trauma. I took a call four hours before kick-off to tell me what had happened.

“I was emotionally distraught and I had to make the decision about whether I was mentally ready to play. I was confused. I did not know what to do but, in the end, I knew that I could not let 180 million Nigerians down. I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first. I could not even inform the coaches or NFF staff and only a very tight circle of my friends knew.”

He continued: “I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody. I also did not want to discuss it with the coach [Gernot Rohr] because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to him or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game. As much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not.

“Thankfully, my father was safely released on Monday afternoon. I thank the police authorities for their rescue efforts and the support I’ve received from friends and family members. Unfortunately, my dad is now in hospital receiving emergency treatment as a result of the torture he received during his capture."

Top 5 Naija Goals - June 2018

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01/07/2018


Hey everyone, welcome to SoccerNet TV's Top 5 Naija Goals for the month of June 2018.

This month saw a lot of exciting goals from Nigerian footballers both at home and abroad and we have ranked the goals and now present to you the best five out of them all.

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