AFCON 2019: Super Eagles Beat Seychelles 3-0

Nigeria’s forward Ahmed Musa and teammates celebrate their victory at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 22, 2018. PHOTO: Mark RALSTON / AFP

 

Nigeria’s Super Eagles are back in contention for a place at the 2019 African Nations Cup after defeating Seychelles 3-0 at the Stade Linite Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Odion Ighalo, Chidozie Awaziem and Ahmed Musa gave the Super Eagles a comfortable win at the stadium in Victoria, Seychelles.

Gernot Rohr’s men now have three points and could move to second position if either of South Africa or Libya win in the other Group E Match.

President of Seychelles, Danny Faure and the Vice President, Vincent Meriton were both in attendance as Nigeria thrashed the Pirates of Seychelles.

The match referee was Devis Omweno from Kenya and was assisted by Compatriot Gilbert Cheruiyot and Ugandan Mark Isorlko.

Nigeria’s next game will be against Libya On October the 10th.

Cameroon, Burkina Faso Through To AFCON Semis

Cameroon, Burkina Faso Through To AFCON SemisCameroon’s Indomitable Lions have booked their place in the semifinals of the African Nations Cup at the expense of Senegal via penalties after an exhausting encounter in Franceville.

No goal was scored in normal time despite both sides creating good scoring opportunities. The situation was the same in extra time.

However, Cameroon emerged winners in the shootout which ended 5-4  in their favour.

Senegal’s Liverpool star man, Sadio Mane was the only player to miss his spot kick as the Cameroonian keeper guessed the ball would be sent through the middle.

Burkina Faso earlier booked a place in the semifinal of the ongoing African Nations Cup (AFCON) finals with a 2-0 victory over Tunisia in Libreville on Saturday.AFCON: Burkina Faso Beat Tunisia 2-0 To Reach Semi-Final

It had been a frustrating one for both teams for most part of the match until the introduction of former Chippa United forward, Aristide Bance late in the game.

Bance turned out to be the game changer in the 80th minute when he drilled home a free-kick, low and hard into the bottom corner.

Minutes later, it was 2-0 and wrapped up for Burkina Faso.

Tunisia had a corner cleared and Nakoulma raced clear with only the Tunisia keeper, Aymen Mathlouthi to beat at the halfway line. The Burkina Faso forward rounded him and sent the ball into an empty net.

Meanwhile, Ghana have been boosted by news that injured captain Asamoah Gyan’s time at the 2017 AFCON may not have been over.

Gyan was taken off during the Black Stars’ 1-0 defeat to Egypt after 41 minutes on Wednesday following what was initially reported as a groin injury.

His withdrawal, coupled with post-match comments by Coach Avram Grant that “it is not looking good” for the striker, prompted concerns that Gyan’s tournament might be over.

But the football association have confirmed their skipper is back at the team’s camp in Oyem as they get set for a quarter-final meeting with DR Congo on Sunday.

Stephen Keshi’s Death: Family, Delta Sports Commission, Govt React

keshiThe family of Late former Super Eagles’ player and Coach, Stephen Keshi has expressed shock over the death of the Nigerian sports legend.

At the family compound in Illah, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, the mood of the people was pensive, as one of the family members, Mr Ogbuenyi Iwediebo and Mr Rapu Onwordi said that Keshi was missed by all of them.

The family also said the funeral arrangements would soon be made known.

Reacting to the news, the Executive Chairman, Delta Sate Sports Commission, Mr Tony Okowa, eulogised Keshi, saying his contribution to the growth of football in Nigeria was unequalled.

Meanwhile, the Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has described the sudden demise of former Super Eagles Player and Coach, Stephen Keshi as tragic and a monumental loss to football in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.

The Governor in a tribute contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, extolled the leadership qualities and sterling contributions of the former Super Eagles Captain and Coach to the growth and development of football in Nigeria and Africa.

According to Governor Okowa, the sterling contributions of Mr Keshi to the development of football in Nigeria and Africa was legendary, commendable and worthy of emulation.

“Keshi is a great patriot and achiever, having led Nigeria to win the African Nations Cup twice as a player and Coach.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I commiserate with the family of the late Stephen Keshi, and the entire football loving fans in Nigeria over the demise of the late Super Eagles former Captain and Coach.

“The remarkable achievements recorded by the Nigeria Super Eagles in 1994 and 2013 were unarguably due to his indefatigable role as the Captain and Coach of the Super Eagles in those glorious years culminating in the winning of the African Nations Cup,” the Governor stated.

55 Years Of Sports: Onyali, Odegbami Score Nigeria Low

OdegbamiFormer national 100 metres champion, Mary Onyali, has likened 55 years of sports in Nigeria to a sleeping giant that needs to wake up and start winning again.

Onyali, who was a guest on the Friday edition of Channels Television’s ‘Sports This Morning’ reiterated the importance of investing in talent discovery and development through productive school sports programmes.

The Atlanta 1996 Olympics bronze medallist explained that the athletics did well in the 80s and 90s because the country gave good attention to home-grown talents and infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, 1980 African Nations’ Cup winner, Segun Odegbami, also believes football in Nigeria has performed below its potentials in the 55 years of Nigeria’s existence.

Odegbami credited the success of the game in the 80s to result-oriented grassroots development programmes.

The ex-international explained that the league was also good and most of the talents in the country emerged from the academicals which gave their career a longer lifespan.

Both Nigerian sport legends agreed that Nigeria would only regain its lost glory by reinvesting in grassroots development and schools sports.

Equatorial Guinea To Host 2015 African Cup Of Nations

Nations CupThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) have announced that Equatorial Guinea will host the 2015 African Nations Cup after Morocco was stripped off the event hosting right, having asked for it to be postponed over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.

Oil-rich Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s smallest countries with a population of just over 600,000, hosted the 2012 finals with neighbours Gabon but will take on the 16-team tournament on its own from January 17 to February 8.

Morocco was on Tuesday stripped off the right to host the finals with the north African country also disqualified from taking part in the tournament after its request for a postponement was rejected by CAF.

The decision on the new hosts was made after a meeting in Malabo on Friday between Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang and CAF President Issa Hayatou.

“The head of state of Equatorial Guinea agreed to host the competition. As a result, the CAF executive committee confirm that the tournament will go ahead and Equatorial Guinea will compete as the host nation,” a statement from African soccer’s governing body said.

African football’s governing body also announced that Equatorial Guinea will play in the tournament – despite the team being disqualified in July for fielding an ineligible player in a preliminary qualifier against Mauritania on May 17.

Matches will be held at four venues in Bata, Ebebiyin, Mongomo and the capital Malabo. In 2012, the tournament was hosted in Malabo and Bata.

The draw for the finals will be in Malabo on December 3.

Nigeria’s Sports Minister Asked To Intervene In NFF Crisis

George Aluo.The Minister of Sports in Nigeria, Tammy Danagogo, has been asked to intervene in the Nigeria Football Federation’s crisis and avert possible sanction by the world football governing body, FIFA.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has seen series of leadership tussles, in the last few months.

Emphasising the need for the Minister to wade into the crisis, a sports editor with the Sun Newspaper, George Aluo, on Tuesday, said that a timely intervention would save Nigeria’s football and give needed morale to the Super Eagles in their remaining 2015 African Nations Cup qualifier matches.

He attributed Nigeria’s present struggle to qualify to the crisis and further urged those involved to seek nation’s interest rather than their selfish interest.

Many thought the crisis had ended when the Amaju Pinnick led board was put in place, but the Chris Giwa faction of the NFF went to court and secured an order removing Pinnick from office.

The world football governing body sees the issue as an interference in the administration of football in Nigeria and had warned that it would ban Nigeria from international games if the issue was not resolved.

A Family Case

In a telephone conversation with Channels Television, Giwa said that the case in the Plateau State High Court, which ordered the Mr Pinnick to vacate office, had nothing to do with FIFA.

“There are issues on ground and I don’t want us to cover it up. The case we have in Nigerian court has nothing to do with FIFA. It is a family case. We have an issue and we decided to go to a court in Nigeria. We have two cases. The one that involves FIFA is the one in Switzerland and the case that involves we Nigeria is the one in court in Jos. It has nothing to do with the rules of the game,” he claimed.

But Aluo insisted that any issue that involves football administration is not supposed to be taken to a conventional court and urged Giwa to withdraw the case.

“It is against FIFA rules to take cases that are supposed to be treated in a court set up by the governing body for such issues.

“Thank God the harmer from FIFA has not come.

“FIFA is not happy in banning anybody. Because it will not derive any joy in seeing Nigeria not being part of its family. What FIFA is saying is that we should do the needful and respect the statutes of football.

“We are not doing that at the moment. I don’t think that we are doing the right thing.

“The way the stakeholders are going about it in this country, they are not telling themselves the truth. They are deceiving themselves and at the end of the day, it is the country that will suffer if we are banned. The earlier we do the needful the better for us.

“The Sports Minister should know a few things. Whether he is in or out of sports. You don’t need to be involved in football to know that football matter is not taken to the conventional court.

“If it is taken to the conventional court, it affects the administration,” he said.

To resolve the issue, the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, had scheduled a meeting with the NFF President and Mr Aluo believes President Jonathan’s intervention would lay the crisis to rest once and for all.

Keshi Should Have Stuck With Nations Cup Team – Amaju Pinnick

sports commissionerThe Executive Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick has said that Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi should have stuck with the team that played for the African Nations Cup in 2013.

He stated that the team Nigeria will be playing with Bosnia is not a team one can trample on neither can Argentina be easy for the Super Eagles.

“If Nigeria has the best team it would be possible for Nigeria to win the world cup, what I thought Keshi would have done is to stick with the Nations Cup team because they bring luck” he noted.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, the Sports Commissioner highlighted  the last match with Nigeria and Iran, stating that there was no connection between the goalkeeper and the defense, no connection between the defenders and the midfielders, likewise the midfielders and attackers.

“That is the football that was played over 20 years ago but in modern day football, if a team is going to score you will see it from the defense, the calculation, movement and technicality” he explained.

He further stated that the Iran coach  Carlos Queiroz trained his team for such an outcome because he had worked as an assistant coach with Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and has coached some of the big teams in the world, “He is a coach that is very seasoned and Nigeria cannot win the World Cup” he stated.

The Commissioner also commended Stephen Keshi on his job so far on the Super Eagles, but advised that he should look inwards and take advise from people.

If We Don’t Win Today, We Should Come Back Tomorrow – Peterside

vlcsnap-2014-06-16-10h46m59s81A former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, on Monday predicted a win for the Keshi-led side in their opening FIFA World Cup game against Iran in Brazil and bury the ghosts of past World Cups by winning their first game at the football showpiece event for the first time since France 1998.

He, however, noted that “if we don’t win today, we should come back home tomorrow”, wondering how we will cope with Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Peterside said: “Patriotism apart, we should win because I think we have grown over the years and we are African champions” insisting that we should win, not for Super Eagles per se but for Africa”.

He added that it was good to put the players under pressure or else they “won’t do well”, maintaining that that he has a problem with the team following the performance of the players during the build up to the competition.

He, however, noted that “Keshi has proved us wrong” citing the victorious outing at the African Nations Cup in South Africa. He made a lot of changes and “pundits started analysing his team; but he proved us wrong,” he said.

He also queried the overhauling of the players in the Super eagles stating that in a “normal society, you bring in 6 to 7 new players” within a period of four years, but “he has brought in 20 players and that means that it is after the first game that we will begin to assess our team”.

With 26 goals scored so far in the competition, the former media officer of the Super Eagles described the tournament so far as “great”, adding that top class goals by players like (Lionel) Messi and (Robin) Van Persie are the kind of things that make you happy”.

He further talked about the pressure players go through at World Cup and went down memory lane to state Argentina’s Diego Maradona’s reason for taking cocaine during his playing days as stated by the legend himself. According to him, Maradona had said that he needed something to calm him down.

Peterside insisted that the field has become level and no team should be underestimated. “If we don’t win today, we should come back home tomorrow.

“If we don’t beat Iran, what are we doing in Brazil”, he asked.

Coach Stephen Keshi will be looking to make history as the first Nigerian to captain and coach a Nigerian team to the World Cup finals by nicking a first win in six attempts as the Super Eagles look to lay a marker in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Nigeria is placed in Group F alongside Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina.

No Transfer Negotiation Yet For Mba, Agbim – Warri Wolves

Warri Wolves has claimed that there has not been any negotiations or dealings whatsoever between them and Enugu Rangers concerning players Sunday Mba and Chigozie Agbim.

The duo of Sunday Mba and Chigozie Agbim were part of the Super Eagles team that saw off other contending ocountries against the Super Eagles,ensuring that Nigeria lifted African Champions title  at the Afcon 2013, and it can also be said that the same tournament brought about the saga presently plaguing the playing careers of the players.

One of the officials of the Delta based club confirmed that Warri Wolves haven’t had any dealing with Enugu Rangers as regards these players and that they are applying hide and seek as a tactic to deceive clubs anticipating to bid for these players and Nigerians as well.

The transfer saga got messy after Sunday Mba who happens to be under Rangers camp began to get bids from several clubs in Europe and Africa after the Afcon 2013 tournament and a lot was revealed concerning the process at which these clubs conduct transfers without proper documentation or verbal contracts and this was exactly the situation which Sunday Mba, Chigozie Agbim and Michael Egbeta got into, as this can also be said for several other NPFL players.

Reacting to the statement made by Warri Wolves, the chairman of Enugu Rangers claimed that  Rangers were about to pay  N12million to Warri Wolves, being the alleged amount wanted on both Mba and Agbim.

He further stated that the decision of the club on paying the said amount to Warri Wolves to finally end the saga is still in place so as for Rangers to begin to enjoy the full services of these two players before their all-important clash with Recreativo de Libolo of Angola in the CAF Champions League.

Odegbami’s Daughter Nominated For Women4Africa Awards

Nigerian lady, Funmi Odegbami has received nominations in the categories of Best Makeup Artist of the year and Best Educator of the year at the prestigious Women4africa Awards 2013.  

Women4africa is a United Kingdom (UK) registered organisation focused on celebrating  and empowering  Africa and its women by supporting and  celebrating their role in their communities via conferences, supporting education and awarding prestigious awards, recognitions and special honours on such women identified and nominated by the public.

‘Women4africa Awards’ is one of the organisation’s major events held annually at a prestigious London venue where a number of nominated women are awarded for their hard work and creativity.

Having worked and trained with some of the most prestigious names in the world of makeup and beauty, Ms. Odegbami established herself as a major player in the field. Her impressive portfolio includes work on the catwalk, editorial, TV, music videos, events, celebrities and more.

In 2005, Ms. Odegbami established MiNK London, a reputable makeup artist training facility that offers accredited makeup courses at the highest standards of training available; attracting thousands of students from all over the world.

When asked what motivates her, Funmi responded “a desire to make a real difference in the world”.

The 2nd Annual Women4africa Awards is scheduled to take place on Saturday 18th May 2013 at The Great Hall, Kensington.

Funmi is the daughter of Segun Odegbami, a member of Nigeria’s 1980 African Nations Cup winning team.

 

Nigeria Vs Mali To Kick-off Semi-final Games

After sorting the boys from the men at the on-going Afcon 2013 in South Africa, the stage is now set for the rest four teams namely Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana to vie for the two top spots in the finals of the African tournament come the 10th of February in an all open game today as Nigeria and Mali will be locking horns as the first semi-final game of the day to determine the first qualifier for the finals.

Looking at these four teams, Nigeria has made a surprise run to the semi-final, despite the lack of big-game experience possessed by most of their defenders, both for club and country.

The Super Eagles players have been exceptionally brilliant especially the duo of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses both plying their trades for Chelsea, sealing the mouths of pundits as the Super Eagles warded off pressure from their back line.

Ghana is the biggest remaining side with the largest stable of talent and best recent results in international play, but there’s considerable talent on all four remaining teams, and none should be counted out.

In the late game, Ghana faces off against Burkina Faso, who is finally reaching their potential. They’ve failed to turn their players’ athleticism and extensive Ligue 1 experience into good showings at the Africa Cup of Nations until this edition of the tournament, where they have been arguably the most consistent of the four remaining teams.

Adebayor Blames Coach For Togo’s Exit

In the aftermath last night’s 1-0 extra-time quarter final defeat to Burkina Faso, Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has blamed manager Didier six for the team’s ouster from the nations cup.

Adebayor criticised the Frenchman’s style of management pointing out flaws in his approach to the game.

His sentiments were shared by goal keeper Koffi Agasa who had no kind words for the manager.

However the coach choose to take positives from the performance of the hawks  than to join issues with his players citing the teams’ progress to the quarter final for the first time as an achievement.