Ordega hat-trick fires Falconets into quarter finals

Nigeria cruised into the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 women’s world cup clinging onto the top spot of their group.

Nigeria grouped with Brazil, Korea Republic and Italy thrashed Italy 4-0 to earn a place in the quarter-final thanks to Francisca Ordega who scored an hat-trick to ensure victory for the Falconets.

Italy was beaten by Korea Republic and played a draw with Brazil, Italy needed a victory against Nigeria by at least two goals to ensure their quarter-finals ticket but unfortunately it was mission impossible for Italy.

Before the clash with Italy, the Falconets had a one-point advantage at the top of Group B knowing victory against Italy will give a spot in the quarter-finals and also make them group winners.

Ordega opened the scoring midway through the first half and before the end of the half she doubled Nigeria’s lead against Italy prompting the vision of Nigeria cruising to a comfortable victory in Kobe.

Ordega completed her treble just two minutes into the second half of the game.

Substitute Osarenoma Igbinovia iced the cake with a fourth a few minutes from full time as Nigeria booked a quarter-final.

For the quarter-final clash, Nigeria will be going headlong with either Japan or New Zealand.

World Cup 2014:Lampard declares interest

Come 2014 world cup in Brazil, Captain Frank Lampard will likely be a frontrunner for England’s World Cup campaign from playoffs to the finals as he declared his interest to be part of the 2014 team as he hopes also that his age will not begin to tell before and during this period in terms o fitness and contribution on field.

Lampard who will be 36 come World Cup 2014 in Brazil will be the captain of England’s international friendly with Italy in Berne after missing the Euro 2012 finals through injury.

The Chelsea Captain and England Captain believes that if he puts his best in his playing career and he is at an optimal performance then his chances of making it into the team will not be in doubt as he knows that there are younger players vying for his position on field.

Lampard who has won 90 caps for England so far said he wouldn’t want to laze around for the wrong reasons so as to win 100 caps.

 

But the Chelsea midfielder never considered retiring after being forced to sit out the Euros and is now looking forward to being one of the senior members in a youthful-looking squad as Hodgson looks to the future.

He said he is excited to amongst a younger squad as people will talk about the merits of this friendly each year but overall, he feels the manager has picked a very intelligent squad because he rested players who played in the Euros and brought in some young players to get a feel of the England set-up which he concluded it is a good move.

Olympic Warm-Up: Neymar on call for Brazil against G.Britain

They have been tagged as the favourites to win the Olympic gold medal in London and to send further warning to contenders, in a warm up game against Great Britain showed their superiority as they thrashed the British 2-0, thanks to Neymar.

The South Americans won the game courtesy of first-half goals from Sandro and Neymar.

Neymar, Brazil’s key figure was in sensational form, ripping apart the Great Britain defence time and time again.

It was precisely Neymar who set-up Brazil’s first goal, when in the 12th minute he curled a free-kick into the back post, and Sandro was at the right place at the right time to nod home.

Ten minutes from half-time Brazil were awarded a penalty kick, when Micah Richards impeded Hulk in the area. Neymar stepped up to the spot and made no mistake to put the Brazilians two goals to the good.

In the second period Great Britain improved a touch, and came close to scoring through Craig Bellamy, but the Welshmans effort was brilliantly saved by Brazil goalkeeper Rafael Cabral.

Although Stuart Pearce’s side played some decent soccer at times, they proved much inferior to a Brazil outfit that demonstrated that they will be the team to beat at the Olympic Games.

In the last quarter hour of the game, Brazil dominated their opponents with slick passing, and dangerous attacking moves.

They created a number of opportunities to extend their advantage, but late efforts from Lucas Moura, Neymar and Pato were saved by Great Britain goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Great Britain, who played their first game for 41 years, needs to improve a great deal if they intend to survive out of a group which consists of South American champions Uruguay, Senegal and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile Brazil, who has never won the Olympic gold medal, is the overwhelming favourites to win a group which includes Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand.

Court of Arbitration for Sport faults Bin Hammam’s ban

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overturned the a life ban placed on former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam from all soccer-related activity over bribery allegations meaning Hammam’s appeal was victorious pending the time a proper investigation is completed on the allegations meted against him as it will be re-opened.

Qatari Bin Hammam remained suspended from the game after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which he previously headed, opened a disciplinary case against their former boss over alleged financial wrongdong earlier this week.

He was banned for 30 days, which was extended to a worldwide ban by FIFA on Wednesday.

The CAS said it upheld Bin Hammam’s appeal therefore annulling the decision rendered by the FIFA Appeal Committee and lifted the life ban imposed on Mr Bin Hammam.

Bin Hammam, a former member of FIFA’s executive committee, challenged Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer’s world ruling body last year.

He withdrew his candidacy, and was then provisionally suspended, days before the June election over allegations that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes at a meeting in Port of Spain.

The CAs said further that Mr Bin Hammam was more likely the source of the monies that were brought into Trinidad and Tobago and eventually distributed at the meeting by Mr Warner and in this way, his conduct, in collaboration with and most likely induced by Mr Warner, may not have complied with the highest ethical standards that should govern the world of football and other sports.

He was banned for life and subsequently lost an appeal at FIFA. Proceedings against former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, also present at the meeting in Trinidad & Tobago, were dropped after he resigned his post.

CAS said the three-man panel voted 2-1 in Bin Hammam’s favour but added that his behaviour was not of the highest ethical standard.

Capello close to sealing Russia coaching job

Inching closer to becoming the new head coach of the Russian national team, Fabio Capello and the RFU crossed another hurdle after agreeing to the terms of personal contract.

Capello is currently jobless, after leaving the English national team because of the country’s Football Association action against John Terry who was stripped of the captain’s arm band against his wishes.

The Russian Football Union’s acting president, Nikita Simonyan confirmed the progress saying ‘The personal contract has been agreed and what is remaining for the contract to be sealed finally is the signature of the parties’.

Russia chose Capello from the list of 13 local and foreign coaches, which was revealed earlier this month and included the likes of Pep Guardiola, Harry Redknapp and Rafael Benitez.

As hopes are high on the contract, the media in the country are so optimistic that the deal will be totally sealed and announced officially to the footballing world by Friday, a deal that will keep Fabio Capello in Russia for the next two years as agreed, making the Italian the highest paid coach in the world, with an annual salary of $12 million.

While in some quarters, the information making the round is that the 66-year-old Italian will only get $6 million annually which is less than what Dick Advocaat, his predecessor.

Capello has won five Serie A titles with AC Milan and Roma as well as two Spanish crowns and the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid.

Falconets billed for Korea August 1 – NFF

The Under-20 female of Nigeria the Falconets has been confirmed by the football management body of the country;the NFF to be leaving the country for Korea by the first of August to boost their preparations for the FIFA U20 female World Cup taking place in Japan another Asia country.

NFF Spokesperson on this particular matter, the General Secretary of the local football governing body, Musa Amadu said 25 players and 11 officials have been enlisted to intensify their build-up for the World Cup in Korea before they fly out to Japan.

It would be recalled that the Falconets representing Nigeria in the same competition two years ago when they became the first African female team to reach the final of a FIFA tournament.

And for this year’s edition,the Falconets are sitting in Group B with  Brazil, South Korea and Italy.

FIFA ranks Nigeria football low again

World football governing body, FIFA, has released rankings for the month of  May with World and European champions, Spain maintaining top spot.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles again lost grounds against their fellow African nations as they dropped three places from their position in the last rankings released for the month of April, bagging 63rd position in the world and 12th in Africa.

Ivory Coast, Algeria, Ghana, Mali, Zambia, Gabon and Libya maintained their positions in Africa while South Africa moved up four places to 14th in Africa and 67th in the world to bag the most improved African team for the month of May.

Cameroon tightly-gripped their previous position as they remained 64th and 13th in world and Africa respectively.

African champions Zambia emerged the 40th best country in the world while scooping 5th position in Africa.

Spain, Germany, Uruguay, Netherlands, Portugal, Brazil, England and Croatia maintained the top eight positions.

Roy Hodgson confirmed as England manager

The Football Association of England has confirmed Roy Hodgson as the new manager responsible for the English national team a in 4 year deal which will end after the conclusion of Euro 2016.

It was agreed that he will not be leaving West Brom his present club just yet but until the club plays its last two games to end the English Premier League as the management of West brom and the English FA agreed to conclude Hodgson’s deal.

The English FA earlier in the day a statement was released confirming the new deal with the 64-year old today at 4pm.

Roy Hodgson took Switzerland to the FIFA World Cup in 1994 – their first Finals competition for 28 years and he also achieved a FIFA ranking of third in the world as well as successfully qualifying the Switzerland for Euro 96.”

West Brom has been left in a limbo now and serious search for a replacement of their former coach as the club management expressed disappointment despite agreeing with the coach to leave the club. However club Chairman (West Brom), Jeremy Peace says the management would have liked him to sign a new contract with club and talks were already in process.

May 13th which will mark West Bromwich’s last game for the season will also mark the departure of Roy Hodgson as the head coach of West Bromwich Albion.

Background

Roy Hodgson was born 9 August 1947.

He has managed sixteen different teams in eight countries one of which was the Switzerland national team that he guided to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup and qualification for Euro 1996; Switzerland had not qualified for a major tournament since the 1960s.

From 2006 to 2007, he managed the Finland national team, guiding them to their highest ever FIFA ranking of 33rd place, and coming close to qualifying for a major tournament for the first time in their history.

He has been the beaten finalist in the UEFA Cup, with Inter Milan in 1997 and the UEFA Europa League with Fulham FC in 2010.

Hodgson has also coached many notable club sides including, Blackburn Rovers, Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Udinese and Liverpool.

He has served several times as a member of UEFA’s technical study group at the European Championships, and was also a member of the FIFA technical study group at the 2006 World Cup.

Hodgson speaks five languages and has worked as a television pundit in several of the countries in which he has coached.

Blatter to visit Morocco

The Moroccan football federation has announced that plans have been concluded for a two day working visit by Fifa supremo, Sepp Blatter, on April 29, the federation said on Thursday.

Blatter will be accompanied by CAF president Issa Hayatou. “The main achievements as well as challenges and projects of our national football will be the focus of the meeting between Blatter and officials of Morocco football,” the FRMF said.

Morocco will host the Fifa Club World Cup in 2013 and 2014, following the body’s executive committee decision last December.

Morocco will thus become the first African nation to host such a competition which brings together in December every year the club champions of the six continental confederations and the best team in the domestic league of the host country.

CAF has also awarded Morocco the hosting rights for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Blatter will also visit neighbouring Algeria, whose FA, founded in 1962, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

 

Former FIFA president Joao Havelange hospitalised

A Brazilian radio report says former Fifa president Joao Havelange has been hospitalised in Rio de Janeiro.

Radio Band News says the 95-year-old Havelange was admitted to the Samaritano Hospital late Sunday night.

The cause of his hospitalisation is however yet to be ascertained as neither his spokesman nor the hospital was available to comment on the issue.

Late last year, Havelange resigned from the International Olympic Committee citing undisclosed health reasons. The resignation came while he faced a possible suspension for allegedly taking kickbacks from former Fifa marketing partner ISL in the 1990s.

Havelange presided over FIFA from 1974-1998, when he was replaced by current president Sepp Blatter.

 

Amos Adamu loses bribe appeal

Nigeria’s former FIFA Executive member, Amos Adamu has lost his appeal against a three-year ban over World Cup bid bribes.

Adamu was sanctioned by the football’s world governing body after being accused of seeking bribes in the run-up to the decision on who should host the 2018 and 2022 world cups.

He took his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which has now considered the sanction was not disproportionate.

CAS said in its ruling: “The CAS panel stressed that it was of crucial importance that top football officials should not only be honest but should evidently and undoubtedly be seen to be honest.

“With respect to the behaviour of Dr Adamu, the CAS panel was comfortably satisfied that he was far from actively and unambiguously refusing the improper offer set forth by the alleged lobbyists.

“In conclusion, the CAS arbitrators considered that the sanction imposed by FIFA was not disproportionate and was even relatively mild given the seriousness of the offence.”

Adamu was filmed by reporters from a British Newspaper, the Sunday times, who posed as lobbyists for a consortium of American companies that wanted to bring the world cup to the United States.

Adamu was found to have asked for 500,000 pounds to build four artificial football pitches – a breach of FIFA rules which led to his original suspension and a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs.

FIFA ranks Nigeria low, Zambia high

A February ranking by the world football governing body, FIFA showed that Nigeria has dropped from 45th which it was in January to 56th position.

FIFA ranks Nigeria low, Zambia high

The ranking also showed that Zambia shot up 28 places, breaking into the top 50 for the first time in eleven years after winning the African Nations Cup on Sunday.

The Chipolopolo (The Copper Bullets) moved into 43rd spot, their highest position since February 2001, after beating Ivory Coast on penalties following a goalless final in Libreville.

However, despite the African Nations Cup title, Côte d’Ivoire moved up to 15th remaining Africa’s highest-positioned team.

Aside from the two finalists, third-placed Mali is ranked 44th, while the host nations of the African Nations Cup, Gabon was ranked 45.

Fellow co-hosts Equatorial Guinea, a team made up largely of Spanish lower league players, leapt from 151st to 110th after surpassing all expectations by reaching the quarter-finals.

Spain stayed top of the rankings while Germany moved up to second and Netherlands dropped to third even though neither side played a game in the last month.

FIFA said the change was “due to the devaluation of matches from previous years.”

Similarly, Brazil dropped to seventh and Portugal moved up to sixth while Argentina dropped out of the top ten, losing their place to Denmark.

Rankings (last month’s positions in brackets)

1. (1) Spain

2. (3) Germany

3. (2) Netherlands

4. (4) Uruguay

5. (5) England

6. (7) Portugal

7. (6) Brazil

8. (9) Italy

9. (8) Croatia

10. (11) Denmark