Belgium Sacks Coach Marc Wilmots

Belgium, Marc wilmotsBelgian Football Federation has relieved Marc Wilmots from his job as the Head Coach of the National Team.

This is according to a statement by the Federation’s website.

“The Royal Belgian Football Association have made an agreement with Marc Wilmots to end his contract that lasted until 2018.

“We would like to thank Marc Wilmots for his work during the last four years.

“With Marc Wilmots as a head coach, the Red Devils have climbed from the 54th position to the top of the FIFA World Ranking.

He managed to win 34 games out of 51, including eight draws. Above all, the fans have reinstalled their love for the Belgian Red Devils during this period.

“The RBFA’s Technical Commission have made an evaluation of the recent UEFA Euro 2016 and have declared that the intended goals have not been reached.

“There is a common sense that the team needs a new impulse to lead this group towards a top result at a major tournament.

“The Belgian FA will immediately start the procedure to find a new head coach, in a transparent way. The idea is to start the upcoming games in September with a new coach, beginning with an international friendly game in Brussels against Spain on the 1st of September.”

Wilmots, 47, had been leading the national team since 2012 and managed to guide the team to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

Nigeria’s Quadri To Represent Africa at 2014 ITTF World Cup

ITTFThe International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Nigeria as one of the countries to participate at the 2014 World Cup.

Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri would represent Africa in the Men’s World Cup taking place in Dusseldorf, Germany on October 24 to 26.

Quadri secured qualification during the maiden African Top 16 Cup that took place in Lagos and the Nigerian would be making a second appearance at the tournament after his debut at the 2009 edition in Moscow, Russia.

For the women’s World Cup, Egypt’s Dina Meshref would be Africa’s representative when the tournament serves off in Linz, Austria on October 17 to 19.

The International Table Tennis Federation has confirmed that 20 women and 20 men would compete at the two events holding next month.

The players qualified for the prestigious World Cup events through their exploits at Continental Competitions, which simply means only the best of the best can compete.

Other players that earned automatic qualification to play in the 2014 World Cup were the current World Champions, Jike Zhang of China and Xiaoxia Li of China, while the two lucky players to receive a wildcard into the events are Greece’s Panagiotis Gionis and Romania’s Elizabeta Samara.

Some of the top stars competing at the 2014 World Cup include Olympic bronze medallist, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who will be aiming to win his first Men’s World Cup, judging by the home support he would enjoy in Dusseldorf.

Ovtcharov would be the locals’ favourite to win the Men’s World Cup, as would Austrian Liu Jia in the Women’s World Cup.

Liu qualified by sensationally winning the DHS Europe Cup earlier, and would be keen to take that strong form to Linz where she hopes to win a medal.

Asides Nigeria’s Quadri, other players competing in the men’s World Cup are China’s Jike Zhang, Greece’s Panagiotis Gionis, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, Denmark’s Michael Maze, France’s Adrien Mattenet, Russia’s Alexander Shibaev, Germany’s Timo Boll, India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta, China’s Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, Japan’s Matsudaira Kenta and Hong Kong’s Tang Peng.

Nigeria Will Be Tough To Defeat – France Coach, Deschamps

Didier+DeschampsFrance coach, Didier Deschamps, has admitted that his team face a tough clash when they take on Nigeria in the last 16 of the Brazil 2014 World Cup in Brasilia on Monday.

The Super Eagles qualified into the second round despite A 3-2 loss to Argentina in their last group game in Porto Alegre on Wednesday, while the Le Blues of France played out a goalless draw against Ecuador on Wednesday to confirm their place at the top of Group E

Deschamps, who was impressed with the Stephen Keshi led side despite the loss to Argentina, said France must “fight” again to get past Nigeria to seal their place in the quarterfinals.

The France 98 World Cup winning captain believes Nigeria has the qualities to trouble any team and they must focus if they have to go past the African champions to seal a place in the quarter finals.

“Some people thought we were the kings of the world after beating Switzerland (5-2) but Ecuador showed they have qualities, and Argentina had a difficult match against Nigeria.

“Nigeria are a strong, fast team who have great qualities and it is going to be a really difficult match and we will have to fight”, Deschamps said.

Nigeria and France have only met once , in a friendly affair at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on June 2, 2009. Joseph Akpala got on the scoresheet after 32 minutes to help the Eagles to a 1-0 victory.


Keshi: Yobo, Osaze, Lukman are not forgotten

Super Eagles head coach, Stephen Keshi has again declared that captain of the team, Joseph Yobo, Osaze Odemwengie, Haruna Lukman and Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke and others who have not featured in his plans are still part of the team but warned against being sentimental in the judgment of the public. 

“We don’t want to play names but any player who can bring success to the team is what we are after and if these players we have mentioned have it then they can go with us to the World Cup. We have players as old as 39years old playing at top level for their countries and some have been very successful at that, I want to see that happen in Nigeria”.

Keshi who also spoke extensively on the forthcoming African Nations Championship in South Africa, says he will make no promises of winning the trophy but hopes the team puts up a good performance and make football fans happy. “It’s because we’ve got little or no time and we are working with new boys on this project but I hope we do the nation proud at the CHAN tournament but I cannot promise the trophy”.

Meanwhile, the big boss has revealed that the team might be camped in the United States ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil. Preferably in a city that has the same climatic condition as Sao Paulo, which the Eagles have picked as their permanent base during the Mundial.

Keshi mentioned two cities, Miami, Florida and Houston, Texas as possible destination but added that the final decision will be taken by the NFF.

The former Super Eagles captain commended the NFF for being very supportive of the national team and declared that contrary to widely held views, all teams in the Super Eagles World Cup group are very dangerous. “Why are we talking of only Argentina, we can defeat Argentina but Iran qualified long before us and Bosnia Herzegovina also did their qualification in style with plenty goals and we must not underrate any of these teams”, he concluded.

As part of preparations for the 2014 African Nations Championship, Keshi’s home based team beat Nigeria Premier League side Niger Tornadoes of Minna 2-0 and will play another game with Plateau United on Saturday at the Abuja National Stadium.

Keshi Invites 25 Players For Ethiopia And Italy Game

Head Coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has called up 25 players ahead of the final lap of the 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia and the international friendly against Italy in November.

The Nigerian National Team will take on the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia, at the U. J. Esuene stadium, Calabar, Cross-River State in Nigeria on November 16 with a 2-1 advantage having won the first leg in Addis-Ababa courtesy of a brace from in-form striker, Emmanuel Emenike.

Two days later, the African Champions will take on 4-time world champions, Italy at the Craven Cottage ground of English Premiership club, Fulham FC in a high-profile friendly in London.

Coach Keshi has recalled brilliant young defender Kenneth Omeruo, a key component of his 2013 Africa Cup Of Nations winning squad and the rugged and attack-minded midfielder Reuben Gabriel as both men have been out of the squad for months owing to injuries.

Nigeria squad:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Francis Benjamin (Heartland); Efe Ambrose (Celtic, Scotland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea, England)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Victor Moses (Liverpool, England); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Nnamdi Oduamadi (Brescia, Italy), Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock, Scotland)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (SC Heerenveen, Netherlands).

I love Super Eagles; It is In My Blood – Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi on this edition of Sports Tonight answers myriad of questions from Nigerians via Twitter and he expresses his passion for the Super Eagles to excel.

He answered questions on the list of players for the forthcoming friendly match between Nigeria and South Africa, which exempts Super Eagles Captain, Vincent Enyeama.

The Big Boss also gave a hint on Osaze Odemwingie’s return to the Super Eagles, soon and what he’s done to get Mikel Obi give his best to the team and the future plans for the Eagles ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

Keshi was the guest on a special edition of Sports Tonight with Toyin Ibitoye from Channels Television studio in Abuja.

Nigerians Hopeful Of Winning Confed Cup

Nigerians have are hopeful that despite initial challenges the Super Eagles can surprise the world by winning the FIFA Confederation Cup.

Three young Nigerians, who discussed the prospect of the Super Eagles in the ongoing Confed Cup Channels Television’s Rubbin’ Mind, said they have confidence that Coach Stephen Keshi would lead his team to victory.

The young sport analysts including Zuby Mgbehoma, Blessing Meteke and Osamudia Idehen recommended the best strategies to adopt in winning the competition and listed some key players that will help Nigeria grab the trophy.

Eagles’ Bonus Row: Maigari Lied, NFF Is Not Broke, Pundits Say

Few months after winning the African Nations Cup, the Nigerian Football governing body has said that it is broke and will need to cut down its spending.

The Confederations Cup-bound Super Eagles had refused to take a $2,500-a-man bonus for Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Namibia in Windhoek.
The members of the team had insisted on being paid the full win bonus of $5,000 each.

The African champions failed to fly to South Africa from Namibia on Thursday due to a row over win bonus for a World Cup qualifier as they were all held up in their hotel rooms in Namibia an hour to departure to Johannesburg.

The Super Eagles ought to have flown out of Windhoek to Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon, and be on their way to Sao Paulo, Brazil, minutes before 6pm South African time.

And they would have been in Sao Paulo by midnight and connect immediately to Belo Horizonte, venue of their opening match of the FIFA Confederations Cup against Tahiti on Monday.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Aminu Maigari met with the team Wednesday night to explain to them that the organisation is broke and so the need to be prudent in their spending.

However, panellists on Channels Sport on Sunday including the Weekend Editor of SportsDay, Desmond Ekwueme, Jimmy Ogunlana and Yemi Bakara disagree with Mr Maigari’s position that the NFF is broke.

Mr Ekwueme described the disagreement between the Super Eagles’ players and the NFF as scandalous insisting that the purpose of winning the nation cup is to make money.

“Football is business. So if you are saying that after winning the nations cup, you don’t know that you have a brand – the trophy is a brand; the players are brand in their rights, even the NFF is a brand – so if you’re saying you don’t know you have a brand, somebody should just leave,” he said.

For Mr Bakare, the NFF is being dishonest.

“You say there’s no money and these boys are seeing you junketing around spending money lavishly,” he said.

Watch the video below for more.

Brazil sacks Mano Menezes as manager

Five-time world champions and 2014 soccer world cup host Brazil; on Friday dealt has given manager Mano Menezes the matching order, therefore ending the relationship between the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and Menezes.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) national squad director Andres Sanches confirmed the news as he said he broke the news to Menezes himself saying, “Nobody likes to receive news of these kinds of things in any circumstances, but everyone in football knows that these things happen.

However, a new coach will be announced come January 2013 as a search has begun for Menezes replacement.

It would be recalled that 50 year old Menezes replaced former Brazilian player Dunga following the team’s elimination in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup finals.

Menezes has not been able to shake away the under-performance plaguing the Selecao, following the team’s failure at the 2011 Copa America, where they lost in the last-eight to Paraguay, and at the Olympic Games in London this summer where they finished runners-up and ever since then his job has been on the line since Brazil’s humiliating 2-1 loss to underdogs Mexico at Wembley in August.

Menezes who was axed after a meeting with the CBF president Jose Maria Marin has garnered 20 wins in his time at the helm, six draws and five defeats talking record.

Media speculation has already linked former Selecao boss Luis Felipe Scolari with a return to the hot-seat after he guided Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002.

After the setback at the Olympics, Menezes appealed to Brazil’s football federation chiefs not to be panicked into sacking him.

Menezes said he believed that the Olympic loss could have been used to inspire Brazil to a sixth World Cup on home soil in 2014.

Menezes had previously coached Brazilian club side Gremio from 2005 until 2007, leading the team to the final of the Copa Libertadores where they were defeated by Boca Juniors.

He then took charge of Corinthians with whom he won the 2009 Brazilian Cup.

While Scolari remains the favourite to take over, some reports have linked Corinthians coach Tite and Santos boss Muricy Ramalho with the job.