Dalung Says Siasia Has Not Resigned, Gernot Rohr’s Appointment Unofficial

Solomon Dalung, Samson Siasia, Gernot RohrThe Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, says he has not been officially informed of the appointment of a new foreign coach for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The NFF had in early August, appointed a German, Gernot Rohr, to manage the Eagles, despite Mr Dalung’s preference for a local coach.

He claimed that Coach Samson Siasia, who led the Nigeria’s U-23 football team to win a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, had not resigned, contrary to media reports, although his contract with the NFF had lapsed.

Siasia had told reporters that he had on August 27 resigned as the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 football team because of what he describes as “a disrespectful system”.

Mr Dalung’s frowned at the treatment meted to Siasia by the NFF, alleging that they withdrew his official car in Abuja while he was battling to secure a medal for Nigeria in Rio.

While hinting that he had met with Siasia on Monday, he said Nigeria needed him ‎in football development.

Samson Siasia
Coach Samson Siasia

The Sports Minister further pointed out that even if the NFF would not re-engage him, the Federation should at least, give him some peace of mind to enable him make his contributions in a personal capacity.

He noted that it would be sad to have such coach leave Nigeria for another country out of frustration, just like many athletes did as witnessed during the Rio Olympics.

Abysmal Outing Of Team Nigeria

Dalung also cleared the air on the $390,000 donation to Siasia and his team by a Japanese surgeon, saying that after he met the donor in Rio, he was convinced there were no strings like match-fixing attached to the donation.

He attributed the abysmal outing of the Nigerian Olympic contingent to late release of funds and inability to develop home-grown talents.

The Minister emphasised the need for the National Sports Commission which he said was unfortunately scrapped by a government committee that recommended merger of ministries.‎

He was at the State House on Tuesday in Abuja to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria’s outing at the ‎just concluded Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Since Team Nigeria were able to win bronze medal in football, Mr Dalung urged the President to host the team.

Dream Team Win First Medal For Nigeria In Rio

Nigeria-dream-Team-in-Rio-OlympicsThe Dream Team VI on Saturday won Nigeria’s only medal at the Rio Olympics.

The football team, led by John Mikel, defeated hard-fighting Honduras 3 – 2 to clinch the bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

Sadiq Umar scored a brace with Aminu Umar also getting on the score sheet before the Central Americans fought back to take the game to 3-2.

They were earlier denied a place in the finals when they lost 2 – 0 to Germany while Brazil also beat Honduras 6 – 0.

The African Champions have so far, won three medals in their Olympics history.

They won gold in Atlanta 1996, Silver in Beijing 2008 and now have a bronze medal in Rio 2016.

Yusuf Invites 26 Players For Super Eagles Friendlies

Super Eagles-Salisu Yusuf-Eagles FriendliesSuper Eagles Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has called up 26 players for the international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe.

The three-time African champions would take on the Les Aiglons of Mali in France on May 27 before flying to Luxembourg to play the country’s national team on June 1.

Yusuf, who was installed as interim Head Coach by the Nigeria Football Federation last week, picked a relatively young squad that also includes former U-20 and former U-23 players.

All the invitees in the goalkeeper categories are: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars).

The defenders invited are: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal), Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05, Germany), Gbenga Arokoyo (Gaziantepspor, Turkey), William Troost Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway), and Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal).

For the midfielders, players called up are: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium), Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), and Etebo Oghenekaro (SC Farense, Portugal).

The players invited in the forward category are: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Victor Moses (West Ham United, England), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia), and Brown Ideye (Olympiakos FC, Greece).

Nigeria, Brazil Confirm Friendly Match Date

BrazilThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) have confirmed that their U-23 squads will play an international friendly match in Brazil on Thursday, March 24.

“The CBF is happy to host the champions of Africa, Nigeria Olympic team on the March 24 FIFA date at 7pm at the stadium of Kleber Andrade in the city of Cariacica, Vitoria, Espirito Santo.

“The match will serve as preparation for both teams for their participation in the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” the statement from CBF read.

NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport told thenff.com: “The match is sealed. We are happy to be able to swing this one and it will serve as good preparation for the Nigeria Olympic team ahead of Rio 2016.”

Both teams were involved in one of the most memorable matches in the history of the men’s football tournament of the Olympics, back in 1996, when the Dream Team came back from 1-3 down to eliminate Brazil in the semi finals. Nigeria beat Argentina 3-2 in the final to claim Africa’s first–ever Olympics football gold.

Meanwhile, Coach Samson Siasia, has listed a total of 30 players for the international friendly match against Brazil coming up towards the end of March.

The list is a mixture of old players that Siasia has worked with over the course of the qualifying matches for the All-Africa Games and the Games proper and the qualifying matches for the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations and the championship proper, as well as new faces he intends to take a close look at.

According to Coach Siasia: “For now, I want to assume that I don’t have a team, as every Nigerian player within the age bracket that is good get a chance to fight for a place in my team to the Olympics. I intend to use friendly games like this to try out as many players as I can, so that as we get closer to the games I will have a mental picture of the players I will be taking for my final training camp before the Games.

“For now, I invited this large number of players because I know not all of them will be able to make it even though we have sent out invitation letters to all of them. My major concern now is for them to come with letters from their clubs indicating that if they are eventually selected for the Games, their clubs will allow them report to camp when needed.”

Siasia added that as a lot of overseas-based players have shown interest in playing for the country at the Olympics, he intends to utilize all FIFA free windows so as to enable him and his assistants assess as many of them as possible.

“For now, we are concentrating on those players we have no picture of how they will adapt to our playing pattern.‎ We intend to invite more of such players as we go ahead. We already know some of the overseas –based pros we intend to work with, so we will be inviting those known faces as we progress in our build up to the Games.”

Among those invited from the domestic scene are goalkeepers Emmanuel Daniel and Yusuf Mohammed and defenders Erhun Obanor, Sincere Seth, Segun Oduduwa and Ndifreke Effiong. The overseas-based legion includes Captain Azubuike Okechukwu, Dele Alampasu, Stanley Amuzie, Saviour Godwin, Aminu Umar and Etebo Oghenekaro.

Invited Home Based Players

  1. Emmanuel Daniel
  2. Yusuf Mohammed
  3. Segun Oduduwa
  4. Erhun Obanor
  5. Sincere Seth
  6. Ndifreke Effiong
  7. Ubong Ekpai
  8. Bright Onyedikachi
  9. Stanley Dimgba

Overseas Based Players 

  1. Dele Alampasu
  2. Stanley Amuzie
  3. Usman Mohammed
  4. Azubuike Okechukwu
  5. Sadiq Popoola
  6. Etebo Oghenekaro
  7. Saviour Godwin
  8. Aminu Umar
  9. Alex Iwobi
  10. Iyayi Believe
  11. Junior Ajayi
  12. Taiwo Awoniyi
  13. Peter Olayinka
  14. Theophilus ‎ Solomon
  15. Godswill Ekpolo
  16. Sergio Uyi
  17. Ovbokha Agboyi
  18. Nathan Oduwa
  19. Musa Mohammed
  20. Saturday Ekiego
  21. Victor Osimhen

Coach Samson Siasia has been appointed to lead the Super Eagles. Fatai Amao will guide the U-23 in the interim.

 

Umar, Onuachu To Miss All Africa Games Qualifier Against Zambia

Aminu Umar
Nigeria’s Aminu Umar runs on June 24, 2013 during a group stage football match between Cuba and Nigeria at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup.

 Nigeria’s Olympic team coach, Samson Siasia, will miss the services of Aminu Umar and Paul Onuachu in this weekend’s All Africa Games qualifier against Zambia in Lusaka.

Umar’s Turkish club Osmanlispor has notified the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that the former Flying Eagles striker will not be released for the encounter.

Osmanlispor are seeking promotion to the Turkish elite division and Aminu’s services are needed for the promotion chase.

Danish club Midtjylland have also informed the NFF that striker Paul Onuachu would  also not be available, as he is nursing an injury.

The Nigerian team is expected to depart for Lusaka on Thursday for the game scheduled for Sunday April 12.

Under 20 World Cup: Nigeria Thrashes Cuba 3-0

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria bounced back from their loss in their first match at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Turkey with a well-deserved 3-nil victory over north American representatives Cuba.

Aminu Umar gave Nigeria the lead in the 19th minute after some good work down the left flank from Olanrewaju Kayode who cut the ball back for him to tap in.

Umar was on hand again to score the second with a back heel after a cross from the right was smartly turned in 23rd minute

Team captain Abdul-Jelil Ajagun scored the third in the 65th minute but was unable to extend Nigeria’s lead after missing a penalty in the dying moments of the match.