NFF Inspects Uyo Stadium For AFCON Qualifying Matches

Federation Cup, NFFAn inspection team led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, has expressed satisfaction with the current state of the playing turf of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The stadium is slated to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier between Nigeria and South Africa in eight weeks time.

Green, alongside NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme inspected the magnificent facility, nicknamed “Nest of Champions” which hosted the 2017 AFCON qualifier between the Super Eagles and Tanzania in September 2016, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying battle between the Eagles and the Fennecs of Algeria five months ago.

“We are delighted with the state of the playing turf and other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, I can tell you that the pitch is just as it was when the Super Eagles played Algeria in the World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

“The fact that Julius Berger has also started some work on the turf is even more re-assuring. They are adding manure, and afterwards will do cutting and rolling, and they have the benefit of the weather at this period. By the time we host South Africa on June 10, the pitch will be one of the very best anywhere in Africa”, he said.

The visit to the capital of Akwa Ibom state was to ascertain the condition of the playing pitch and indeed other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, as well as the level of commitment of the State Government to hosting the big match.

After the inspection, the team reported, “Every inch of the field is covered by grass and the grass is lush green. Julius Berger (the company that built the stadium) has commenced work on the field for the purpose of bringing it to the best standard possible.

“Every other facility is in good condition. The condition of the field, as it is now, is good enough for matches to be played on it.

“The Akwa Ibom State Government has continued to show desire and commitment to hosting the match.

“However, in order to maintain the lush green state of the pitch, the inspection team has advised that no activity be carried out on it until ongoing work is completed and the 2019 AFCON qualifier between the Eagles and the Bafana Bafana is played”.

The “Nest of Champions” will also play host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches between the Super Eagles and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on August 2017 and between the Super Eagles and the Chipolopolo of Zambia on October 2017.

Congo Will Fall On Sunday – Siasia

SiasiaHead Coach of the U-23 National Team, Samson Siasia, has expressed confidence that his team will overcome their Congolese counterparts in Sunday’s African U-23 Championship final round, first leg qualifier at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday.

Siasia, who led the Under-23 team to runner-up position at the Men’s Football Tournament of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, said this in a chat with the media at the Hotel Presidential abode of the team.

“I am very confident that Nigerians who will troop out en masse to see our match on Sunday will see one of the best displays ever by the Dream Team.

“As a team, my boys have always created chances, but our greatest problem has been to convert these chances to goals. We have been doing a lot of work in this critical area and if what I have seen in training of recent is anything to go by, then I can assure Nigerians that these boys will make them proud by scoring enough goals against the Congolese come Sunday.”

On the issue of the non-availability of most of the overseas-based professionals he invited for the game,Coach Siasia said neither himself nor the NFF has been taken unawares, as the match is only a qualifier for a continental competition and not on the FIFA calendar.

“For this reason, the clubs in Europe and elsewhere are not obliged to release these players, and that was why we have been concentrating efforts in building the team around home -based professionals.”

The team, however, has the services of former junior international striker Umar Aminu, who was able to convince his club to release him for the game.

On his word to the fans who are expected to troop into the stadium for the game, Coach Siasia said he is appealing to them to fully support the Dream Team from the first blast of the referee’s whistle till the final whistle.

The Congolese delegation was being expected in Port Harcourt on Friday evening.

Kenyan official, Anthony Ogwayo, will be the referee, with his compatriots Gilbert Cheruiyot, Joshua Achila and Andrew Juma Otieno as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee respectively.

The match commissioner is Alim Konate Aboubakar from Cameroon.

Meanwhile, Congo will be parading a high-powered 23-man squad including 11 foreign-based professionals for a final round of CAF Under-23 championship qualifier against Nigeria.

Among those in the selection by coach Claude Leroy are midfielders Philzgérarld Mbaka, Juvrel Loumingou, Ravy Tsouka as well as strikers Mavis Tchibota, Kevin Xavier, Brandon Koubemba and Ulrich Poutou.

The consistently successful 67-year-old Frenchman hopes to repeat at Under-23 level what he achieved at senior level and edge Congo closer to Rio de Janeiro and a first Olympics football appearance.

Congo eliminated the highly-rated Ghana to set up the clash with Nigeria’s Olympic team.

Siasia Impressed With Port Harcourt Stadium

SiasiaNigeria’s Under-23 team coach, Samson Siasia says he is satisfied with the quality of the playing surface at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium were his side will face Congo in the 2016 Olympic qualifier.

The team held their first training on the venue which will host Sunday’s match and Siasia was left impressed with the playing pitch.

The winner of the tie will qualify for the 2015 CAF Under-23 championship in Senegal between November 28 and December 12, 2015.

The Local Organising Committee set up by the Rivers State Government for a successful hosting of the qualifier had assured the Under-23 National Team of total support in their quest to earn a big win against their Congolese counterparts on Sunday.

The Chairman of the LOC, Boma Iyayi, gave this assurance on Monday when he led members of the committee to formally welcome the team to Port Harcourt ‎ at the team’s training session at the Adokiye Ameisiamaka Stadium.

Coach Siasia, while responding to the LOC, said that the only way they can make Nigerians happy is to play well and win well on Sunday.

Rivers LOC Assures Under-23 Team Of Massive Support

Under-23The Local Organising Committee set up by the Rivers State Government for a successful hosting of the African U-23 Championship final round, first leg qualifier in Port Harcourt, has assured the Under-23 National Team of total support in their quest to earn a big win against their Congolese counterparts on Sunday.

According to the NFF website, this assurance was given on Monday when the Chairman of the LOC, Boma Iyayi, led members of the committee to formally welcome the team to the Garden City‎ at the team’s training session at the Adokiye Ameisiamaka Stadium.

Assuring Coach Samson Siasia that the Rivers State government has mandated them to ensure that they lack nothing in their quest to do the nation proud, Iyaye‎ said that they have been working round the clock to not only make the team comfortable but to also ensure that the stadium is in good shape for the game as this will be the first international match to be played at the stadium.

“On behalf of the government and people of Rivers State we want to assure you that you will get massive support from the people on the day of the match as the government has thrown the gates open for the fans to come and give you massive support. All you need to do for us is to win well and do us proud,” Iyayi said.

Coach of the Under-23 team, Samson Siasia, thanked the LOC members for the support they have received since their arrival in Port Harcourt. He gave an assurance that the only way they can make Nigerians happy is to play well and win well on Sunday.

Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Barrister Chris Green, who is also Chairman of the Rivers State Football Association and a member of the LOC, also visited the team on Monday, charging the players and officials to perfect tactics and techniques for a massive win on Sunday, in order to make the second leg an easier encounter.

NFF To Hold Emergency Congress On July 30

NFF logoIn the aftermath of the impeachment of Aminu Maigari as President, the Nigeria Football Federation has announced that an emergency congress will hold on Thursday, July 30, 2014 at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The congress is expected to ratify the impeachment of erstwhile President of the federation Maigari from the NFF Executive Committee.

Part of the communiqué issued from Thursday’s EXCO meeting read “An Emergency Congress of the Nigeria Football Federation will be convened in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Thursday, 31st July, 2014 to ratify the impeachment of Alhaji Aminu Maigari from the NFF Executive Committee”

The NFF also constituted a three-man sub -committee to open discussion with the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi on a possible renewal of his contract which expired after the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The Acting NFF President, Mike Umeh, who presided over the concluding part of the meeting after the removal of Aminu Maigari, named the three men as Barrister Chris Green, Deji Tinubu and Felix Anyansi.

A communiqué of the meeting signed by Chief Emeka Inyama says “the Executive Committee has mandated the technical subcommittee to open channels of communication with Keshi with a view to extending his contract, as the NFF is still interested in working with him. The sub-committee is to report back to the Executive Committee within a
week.

“The Committee mandated the NFF management to proceed with discussions with a number of African countries with the view to seeing the Super Eagles playing a friendly match on FIFA window of Wednesday, 13 August, as part of preparations for the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches’’.

The Executive Committee also insisted that all financial issues with players and officials must be thoroughly deliberated upon and agreed with the players of the national teams.

“Henceforth, all financial issues with players and officials must be thoroughly deliberated upon and agreed ahead of major matches and competitions, to avoid the kind of embarrassment brought upon the nation at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, when players boycotted training sessions before the Round of 16 match against
France,” the communiqué read.

The Committee expressed satisfaction with all arrangements made for the Golden Eaglets and the Super Falcons ahead of their international engagements.

“The committee expressed satisfaction with all arrangements so far made for the different national teams, namely; Falconets, Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets ahead of important international matches and qualifying games, and also directed the technical subcommittee to meet in a few days to harmonise all arrangements in this regard.”

It was also agreed at the meeting that 2014 Men and Women Federation Cup competitions will hold as scheduled in Lagos on Saturday, 16 August, while the planned Elective Congress/General Assembly of the NFF will still hold as scheduled on Tuesday, 26 August.