World Cup: Nigeria’s Flamingos Thrash New Zealand

The Flamingos had lost their first match against Germany. [email protected]_SuperFalcons


Nigeria’s Flamingos bounced back from their opening game defeat against Germany, thrashing New Zealand 4-0 at the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup on Friday.

Goals from Amina Bello, Miracle Usani, Taiwo Afolabi, and Etim Edidiong ensured the Nigerian girls grabbed all three points on the plate in the Indian city of Goa.

Hungry to make amends for the disappointment against Germany, the Nigerian girls went all out for an attack against New Zealand.

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The first goal came as early as the 16th minute. The other goals followed in 34th, 75th, and 90th minutes to complete the rout.

The win keeps the Flamingos’ hopes of qualifying for the quarter-final of the tournament alive. They will face Chile in their last group match with a win enough to take them to the quarter-final of the competition.

Earlier, Chile defeated New Zealand 3-1 in their opening group game. The South Americans will now play against Germany in their second game later today.

World Cup Fans Do Not Need COVID-19 Vaccination – Qatar

In this file photo taken on December 10, 2021, a view of the Education City Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)


Coronavirus vaccinations will not be mandatory for the million-plus fans going to the World Cup in Qatar this year, the Gulf state said Thursday.

But players and match officials may be forced into a secure “bio-bubble” if Covid-19 cases take off again, with the threat of expulsion from the tournament for those who breach the secure environment, the health ministry said.

The 29-day tournament will be the first major global sporting event with fans since the eruption in December 2019 of the Covid pandemic, which has since killed more than six million people.

Qatari organisers, who have predicted that more than one million people will pack Doha for the matches, and football’s governing body, FIFA, have said they want the event to be a sign the world is getting over the devastating pandemic.

But Qatar’s health ministry warned in its World Cup guidelines that special measures would be ordered “in the event of a worsening pandemic situation in the country”, such as the emergence of a threatening new variant.

With Covid-19 currently considered under control, “there will be no vaccination requirement for participants and visiting spectators,” the ministry said.

All visitors aged over six will have to produce negative Covid-19 tests before taking flights to Qatar for the tournament that starts on November 20.

Fans will have to wear masks in public transport but authorities are only recommending the use of masks at the eight stadiums in the Doha region where matches will be played.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 in Qatar will have to isolate for five days, the guidelines added.

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Bio-bubble ready 

Organisers and FIFA are most worried about the first two weeks of the tournament when four matches a day are planned and the peak number of supporters from the 32 competing nations will be packing stadiums, fan zones and tourist spots.

Some estimates say there could be up to 350,000 visiting fans in Doha at the same time during the weekend of November 26-27.

Officials say Doha airport and the city’s roads will be facing peak pressure that weekend.

Because of the pressure on accommodation, only fans with tickets can enter Qatar from November 1, though each person with a ticket is allowed to invite three guests.

Each person entering the country must download a special fan pass, a Hayya card, and Qatar’s anti-Covid health application, Ehteraz.

The app has to be shown at the entrance to metro stations and most shopping malls.

“If metro stations and malls want to check the app, then people need to be ready for some queues,” said one tourism consultant who is advising a major chain of hotels in Qatar.

Other measures may also be difficult to enforce because of the shear numbers, experts said.

The ministry is recommending a one metre (three feet) space between diners in cafes and restaurants.

Virtually every team at the World Cup will have players who have refused to have vaccines, officials acknowledged.

England’s Premier League said this year that 15 percent of players had refused vaccines.

Qatar’s health ministry said it would force players, referees and officials to stay in a secure “bio-bubble” if coronavirus cases take off “to allow for the safe operation and continuation of the event.”

Hotel rooms, training facilities and transport to and from stadiums would all be sealed off.

“Breaching the bubble arrangement may result in an immediate dismissal of the violator from the event and removal from event hotel and accommodation,” the ministry said.


Russia Banned From Euro 2024 Qualifying Draw

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows the UEFA logo at the organization's headquarters in Nyon. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
In this file photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows the UEFA logo at the organization’s headquarters in Nyon. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP


Russia will not take part in the draw for qualifying for Euro 2024, UEFA and the country’s football federation confirmed on Tuesday.

The Russian national team and Russian clubs were banned from international competitions earlier this year by UEFA following the invasion of Ukraine.

“All Russian teams are currently suspended following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee of 28 February 2022 which has further been confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 15 July 2022,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

“Russia is therefore not included in the UEFA European Football Championship 2022-24 qualifying draw.”

READ ALSOFIFA Quash Appeal To Kick Ecuador Out Of World Cup

Russia saw an appeal against the ban rejected by CAS in July.

“The Union is currently awaiting for the full text of the CAS decision, following the study of which a decision will be made on further steps,” the Russian Football Union said.

Russia were also banned from the upcoming World Cup in Qatar by FIFA.

The team had originally qualified for the European qualifying play-offs.

The Russian women’s side were also kicked out of this year’s Euro in England, with their place taken by Portugal.

The 2024 European Championship will be hosted by Germany, with the qualifying draw set for October 9 in Frankfurt.

Germany’s interior minister has also asked for Belarus to be banned from the tournament due to the country’s backing of Russia.


South Africa To Bid For 2027 Women’s World Cup


South Africa’s football association is planning a bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, its top executive said Tuesday.

“We welcomed the world to South Africa when we hosted the men’s FIFA World Cup 12 years ago, and we would like to be given an opportunity to roll out the red carpet again in 2027 during the women’s tournament,” said SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe told AFP.

The decision to bid was made at the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) weekend executive council meeting.

South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA men’s World Cup, becoming the first and only African country to have hosted the prestigious competition.

But it faces stiff competition from other bidders such as Netherlands, Belgium and Germany which have already launched a shared bid for the 2027 tournament.

READ ALSO: FIFA Quash Appeal To Kick Ecuador Out Of World Cup

The United States of America has indicated a desire to bid for the 2027 or 2031 contest.

South Africa had been in running for the 2023 clash but pulled out.

In 2010 it hosted 64 matches during the month-long tournament in 10 stadiums, five were built from scratch, and five received upgrades.

The stadiums are now used by football and rugby teams.

South Africa, Morocco, Zambia, and Nigeria are the African countries that have qualified for the 2023 WWC to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Cameroon and Senegal are among 10 teams who have qualified for play-offs with three places up for grabs.


FIFA Quash Appeal To Kick Ecuador Out Of World Cup

FIFA logo.



FIFA on Friday rejected an attempt by Chile and Peru to have Ecuador thrown out of the World Cup, where they will play the opening match against Qatar.

The complaint centred around Byron Castillo, a defender who played in eight of Ecuador’s qualifiers for the World Cup.

The Chilean football federation (FFCh) said there was evidence that Castillo was born in Colombia in July 1995 and not in Playas, Ecuador in November 1998.

The FFCh alleged “use of a falsified birth certificate, false declaration of age and false nationality”.

Following a hearing on Thursday, FIFA’s Appeal Committee confirmed an earlier ruling by the Disciplinary Committee.

“On the basis of the documents presented, the player was to be considered as holding permanent Ecuadorian nationality,” FIFA said.

With just over nine weeks until the opening game on November 20, Chile or Peru can still appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ecuador finished fourth in South American World Cup qualifying to secure the last automatic regional berth.

They have been drawn against Qatar, Netherlands and Senegal at the finals.

Peru finished fifth and lost a playoff to Australia.

Chile ended up seventh, five points behind Ecuador. Castillo appeared in both matches between the two countries — a win for Ecuador and a draw.

Super Falcons Depart USA, Shift Attention To Japan Friendly

Super Falcons meet with a number of Nigerians based in Kansas City, Missouri


Nine-time African champions and FIFA World Cup ever-present, Super Falcons of Nigeria have flown out of the United States of America after a two-match tour in which they lost the second narrowly to three-time world champions USWNT.

Mexico –based forward Uchenna Kanu became the first Nigerian to score against the USWNT in 20 years when she slotted into the net in the 50th minute for the equalizer in the two teams’ second encounter at the Audi Field in Washington on Tuesday. The Americans won the first session in Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday by four goals.

An own goal by defender Oluwatosin Demehin in the 25th minute had put Nigeria behind in the game, just minutes after goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie made a double save from marauding USWNT attackers.

Rose Lavelle restored USA’s lead in the 66th minute when she nodded in at the far left of Nnadozie’s goal off a pull-out by Megan Rapino.

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The delegation of Super Falcons departed from the United States on Wednesday, with the focus now shifted to the friendly with Japan scheduled for next month.

The Falcons will take on the Senior Women National Team of Japan in a prestige international friendly match at the Noevir Stadium, Kobe on Thursday, 6th October. The date falls within one of the FIFA Women International Windows for this year.

Nadeshiko Japan, which is the alias of the Women National Team of Japan, are rated 13th in the world. Both teams have clashed only once at a competitive level – at the 2004 Olympic Women’s Football Tournament. Nadeshiko pipped the Falcons 1-0 at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus on 14th August 2004.

Two back-to-back friendlies in 2013 were won 2-0 each by Nadeshiko.

Japan’s entertaining girls won the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2011, beating Team USA in a pulsating penalty shoot-out after regulation time ended 2-2. Nadeshiko thus became the first team from Asia to win a senior FIFA World Cup trophy.

The Super Falcons have participated in every FIFA Women’s World Cup finals since the competition began in 1991, reaching the quarter-finals in 1999. They are one of the 32 teams that will take part in the biggest-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup finals set for nine cities in Australia and New Zealand from 20th July – 20th August 2023.

India Under-17 Women’s World Cup Back On As FIFA Lift Ban

FIFA logo.


The under-17 Women’s World Cup will go ahead in India from October 11 after world governing body FIFA lifted a suspension on the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday.

The AIFF had been plagued by governance issues, and was subsequently suspended on August 19 by FIFA “due to undue influence from third parties” — member associations must be free from legal and political interference.

The ban impacted all football there from men and women, from professional down to grassroots, including the scrapping of the under-17 Women’s World Cup.

But Friday the FIFA Council decided to lift the suspension after a temporary mandate of administrators proved successful.

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AIFF have now been handed back full control of daily affairs pending fresh elections, FIFA said.

“FIFA will continue to monitor the situation and will support the AIFF in organising its elections in a timely manner,” FIFA said.

“As a consequence, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled to take place on 11-30 October 2022 will be held in India as planned.”

The AIFF’s troubles saw former chief Praful Patel remain in office beyond his term without fresh elections.

FIFA ruled his presidency invalid and appointed administrators to stage fresh elections.


FIFA Suspends Indian Football Federation Over Third-Party Influence

FIFA logo.



FIFA has suspended the Indian football federation meaning that the country will not currently be able to host the under-17 Women’s World Cup in October.

Football’s world governing body said its council unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation “due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes”.

Federations must be free from legal and political interference, according to FIFA rules.

The AIFF is in disarray and being run by administrators after former chief Praful Patel stayed in office beyond his term without fresh elections, which courts ruled invalid.

Fresh elections are to be held on August 28 and the poll process began last week after India’s Supreme Court approved a timeline prepared by the administrators.

India is due to host the U-17 tournament on October 11-30 but FIFA said on Monday that because of the suspension it “cannot currently be held in India as planned”.

FIFA said that it was “in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved”.

Indian men’s and women’s national teams also cannot play junior or senior international games during the suspension.

Former men’s captain Bhaichung Bhutia called the suspension “very harsh”.

“At the same time I think it’s a great opportunity to get our system right,” he told Indian sports news outlet Sportstar.

“And very important that all the stakeholders — the federations, state associations, sport ministry — come together to get the system right and everybody work for the betterment of the sport.”

India captain Sunil Chhetri had recently advised his players “not pay too much attention” to the FIFA ban threat as the situation was out of their control.

“The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” FIFA said.

FIFA Confirms Qatar World Cup To Start One Day Early

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.


FIFA on Thursday officially brought forward the opening match of this year’s World Cup by one day to November 20 in a rare change so that hosts Qatar feature in the gala game.

Football’s top officials universally approved the decision, FIFA said in a statement while Qatar said it would give unspecified help to fans affected by the change.

On the old schedule, Qatar against Ecuador was to be the official inauguration match on November 21 but Senegal against Netherlands would be the first match of the day. England against Iran would have been second.

Qatar had also been frustrated as it has invested in a huge opening ceremony show.

“Host country Qatar will now play Ecuador on Sunday 20 November as part of a stand-alone event,” said FIFA.

“The opening match and ceremony of this year’s tournament at Al Bayt Stadium have been brought forward one day following a unanimous decision taken by the bureau of the FIFA Council today.”

The bureau is made up of FIFA leader Gianni Infantino and the six heads of the contintental confederations.

‘Smooth tournament’ vow

“The change ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition of marking the start of the World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions,” added FIFA.

Under the new plan, the Group A game between Senegal and the Netherlands has been shifted from 1:00pm (1000 GMT) on November 21 to a 7:00pm start. There is no change to England’s opening Group B clash against Iran.

Qatari organisers, who have spent billions of dollars preparing for the event, immediately welcomed FIFA’s gesture.

“Opening the first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Middle East and Arab world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Qatar,” said the organising committee in a statement.

“The impact of this decision on fans was assessed by FIFA. We will work together to ensure a smooth tournament for the supporters affected by the change,” they added without giving details.

Some Ecuador fans may have to change flights to arrive in Qatar earlier and football sources said the date switch could force changes to some World Cup contracts.

But many companies linked to the World Cup expressed confidence that disruption would be overcome.

“It is something we will deal with,” said Jaime Byrom, chairman of Match Hospitality, which has a deal with FIFA to organise hospitality packages for World Cup matches and has locked in 450,000 tickets for the tournament.

“It is really not — compared to the other challenges that we could have faced or have faced in the past — a particularly large problem,” Byrom told AFP.

“We have to focus on those customers who are most affected and I guess in this case we will be looking at our Ecuadorian customers who are travelling from overseas, and making sure that they are on time for the match.”

Official countdown clocks for the event were quickly changed. The 100 day countdown to the opening match will now start on Friday, instead of Saturday.

The decision was also announced as Qatar staged the first official match at the Lusail stadium which will host the December 18 World Cup final.

Before more than 10,000 fans, and with players engulfed in air conditioning to ward off stifling summer heat, Al Arabi beat Al Rayyan 2-1 in the Qatar championship.

U-20 Women’s W/Cup: Nigeria’s Falconets Target Glory In Costa Rica

The Falconets have qualified for all editions of the U-20 World Cup. [email protected]_Falcons


The Falconets will start another quest for Nigeria’s first U-20 Women’s World Cup title in Costa Rica on Thursday. The competition started on Wednesday with Germany losing to Colombia in the first match of the tournament.

Drawn in a tricky Group C with Canada, Korea Republic, and France, Nigeria will battle with the Europeans in their first game at the youth competition.

The age-grade event, which was moved from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the 10th edition of the championship. 

Pedigree and Road to Costa Rica

Nigeria have featured in all editions of the championship since its inception. Channels TV/Benjamin Oluwatoyin.


Having participated in all editions since its inception in 2002, Nigeria is not new to the competition. They emerged runners-up twice – 2010 and 2014 and have reached the quarter-finals on five occasions. A group stage ouster in 2002 and 2016 is the West Africans poorest showing at the 16-nation tournament.  

But in the Central American nation, the Falconets will fancy their chances of going all the way to winning the title. 

Nigeria’s flawless form en route to the competition further heightens hopes among fans that they will put up a good showing in Costa Rica. They won six of their seven matches (drawing only away to Cameroon) to book a final spot. 

They began their campaign against the Central African Republic (CAR) in the second round of qualifiers and shipped 11 goals past them.  Their next opponents were the Republic of Congo whom they dispatched 4-0 in the first leg (their opponents did not show up for the second leg in Nigeria).

After this, the youngsters defeated Cameroon 3-0 on aggregate in the fourth round of qualification before they mauled hapless Senegal 7-2 on aggregate in the last qualification game. In total, they scored 28 goals, conceding only twice. Flourish Sabastine contributed seven of them. 

READ ALSO: Falconets’ Coach Names World Cup Squad As Team Depart For Costa Rica

Nigeria’s best outing at the competition was in 2010 and 2014 when they finished second. [email protected]_Falcons


Despite the team’s ruthless display during qualification, Falconets’ coach Chris Danjuma says his girls won’t rest on their oars. 

“We took a long route to get here, having to play four different teams in the qualifying series. I can tell you that we are prepared to make Nigeria and Africa proud,” he told the NFF. 

“It is not about being here to make up the number; it is about being here to make an impact.”

Going to Costa Rica, Coach Danjuma called up 21 players, made up majorly of those who featured in the qualification series. 

He will be relying on team captain Oluwatosin Demehin; the free-scoring front three of Mercy Idoko, Flourish Sabastine, and Joy Jerry to do damage against their opponents.  Esther Onyenezide, Adoo Yina, and Deborah Abiodun are expected to pull the strings in the middle of the pack. 

A Tricky Group?

These players will need nothing short of their best to make it out of a group that many have described as tricky considering the calibre of teams in it. 

Korea DPR, perhaps the most successful of the lot, won the cadet championship in 2006 and 2016. The Asians, one of the powerhouses in women’s football, will be eager to make it three trophies at the level. 

Aside from the two-time winners,  Group C has the Little Blues of France. With eight appearances in the competition,  they are looking to better their second-place finish at the 2016 edition of the Women’s U-20 World Cup.

Their championship credentials will be put to the test when they go head-to-head with Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose.

Speaking about France’s Group C opponents, Coach Sonia Haziraj admits her side face a daunting task against some of the top teams. She’s also particularly wary of Nigeria’s athleticism going into the first game. 

“I’m extremely wary of Nigeria. I have massive respect for the African game and Nigeria have a number of players who possess real quality. The Nigerians always get out of their group at the youth tournaments. I’ve watched them and they’re a well-drilled, hard-working side. They have great pace and are very athletic, and we’ll have to be ready to match them in that respect,” she told

“As for Canada, they’re a solid side. When I look at the teams we faced in the Sud Ladies Cup, I can see parallels with the sides we’ll come up against in Costa Rica. USA, with their pace and direct attacking play, are similar to Nigeria, whilst the Netherlands are very much like the Canadians in that they’re really disciplined, athletic and afford you very little in the way of space.

“When it comes to the South Koreans, we haven’t got too much of an insight. What we do know is that, just like all Asian teams, they’re a very tough side, a strong unit, and cover a lot of ground.”

As for Canada, they were the hosts of the 2014 edition and will begin a tasking first-round battle with Korea DPR. Their best finish was at the maiden edition in 2002. Then, the competition was for U-19s and the North Americans with a team including the young Christine Sinclair bowed to the US in the final at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

Since the tournament started, Canada have qualified eight out of ten times. 

While they did not make it to the last edition in 2018 and failed to qualify from their group in 2016, Canada’s head coach Cindy Tye says her team are no pushovers and are poised to make a statement this time. 

“We’re not underdogs here. The group feels that they’re in a very good space right now,” said Tye, who doubles as the coach of the Dalhousie University women’s team. “We’re very ambitious. We would like to podium. And we feel that we’re going to take some people by surprise as we go.”

Date And Time For Nigeria’s Matches At U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022

Below is a list of Nigeria’s matches at the U-20 Women’s World Cup as well as the date and time: 

11 August: France vs Nigeria. Time: 12 midnight (WAT)

14 August: Korea DPR vs Nigeria. Time: 21:00 (WAT)

17 August: Nigeria vs Canada. Time: 03:00 am (WAT)

Qatar World Cup To Start A Day Early On November 20 – Sources

The FIFA World Cup trophy is displayed during an event in New York after an announcement related to the staging of the FIFA World Cup 2026, on June 16, 2022. Yuki IWAMURA / AFP
The FIFA World Cup trophy is displayed during an event in New York after an announcement related to the staging of the FIFA World Cup 2026, on June 16, 2022. Yuki IWAMURA / AFP


The opening match for this year’s World Cup, between hosts Qatar and Ecuador, will be brought forward by one day to November 20, World Cup sources told AFP on Wednesday.

The move, which should be approved by the FIFA Council before the 100-day countdown starts this week, will retain the tradition of the first match featuring the host country.

Under the existing arrangement, Senegal and the Netherlands play the first game on November 21, followed by the official inauguration match between Qatar and Ecuador later that day.

The World Cup sources said that confirmation of the change was expected soon. FIFA and the Qatari organising committee declined to comment.

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“There were discussions and agreement between the two respective teams and there was a request from CONMEBOL — the South American confederation,” one World Cup source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity as no official decision has been announced.

“We wanted to follow the tradition that either the reigning champions or the host country be involved in the opening match,” the source added.

For fans who have tickets for the November 21 game, “any disruption will be dealt with so impact is minimal”, another tournament source told AFP.

Under the change, Netherlands v Senegal would be moved from 1:00 pm (1000 GMT) on November 21 to a 7:00 pm start. “It is a better slot for both teams for television and other areas,” said the World Cup source.


Last World Cup Tickets To Go On Sale Next Week – FIFA

The official logo of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unveiled on a giant screen in Madrid on September 3, 2019.



The remaining tickets for this year’s World Cup in Qatar will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from next week, FIFA said on Wednesday.

About 1.8 million tickets were sold in the first two batches of sales, FIFA said, without saying how many are now available.

Qatar will host the first World Cup in the Middle East from November 21 to December 18 at eight stadiums in and around the capital, Doha.

The latest tickets will go on sale online from July 5 at 12pm Doha time (0900 GMT) until 12pm on August 16, FIFA said in a press release.

“Huge worldwide interest is anticipated in the new sales period,” the world body said.

Officials said three million tickets are available in total, including those allocated to sponsors.

Last week, the World Cup’s chief organiser Hassan Al-Thawadi said 1.2 million tickets had been sold so far.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said there were five million ticket requests just for the final at the 80,000-seat Lusail stadium.

Doha, with a population of about 2.4 million and limited accommodation, is bracing itself for a huge influx of visitors for the 32-team tournament.

Last month, Qatar announced scores of daily shuttle flights from neighbouring Gulf countries, allowing fans to stay elsewhere and fly in to watch games.