FIFA, UEFA, Others Shower Praises As Okocha And Siasia Celebrate Birthdays

 

Former captains of the Super Eagles, Jay-Jay Okocha and Samson Siasia have celebrated their birthdays.

The football legend turned 46 on Wednesday while Siasia, former coach of the Nigerian football team turned 52.

Although both men were well congratulated by their fans and the football community, Okocha’s birthday caught the attention of the world’s football governing body, FIFA.

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Others who congratulated the former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Bolton player are the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), UEFA, and the English side.

The NFF took to Twitter to celebrate the two former Super Eagles captains.

Read the tweets below:

African Football Legends Honour Ambode In Testimonial Match

 

African and Nigerian football legends lit up the Agege Stadium during a testimonial match in honour of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode as he ends his tenure in office.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Habib Haruna, on Saturday, described the game, which was watched by a full capacity crowd at the stadium as thrilling.

The game had the biggest Nigerian stars coached by Olympic gold medal-winning coach, Bonfere Joe.

The Nigerian legend team had; Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Samson Siasia, Daniel Amokachi, Augustine Eguavoen, Mutiu Adepoju,  Emmanuel Amunike, Taribo West, Uche Okechukwu, Garba Lawal,  Peter Rufai and Ike Shorunmu.

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Others include Finidi George, Victor Ikpeba, Obafemi Martins, Tijani Babangida, Julius Aghahowa and Sam Sodje, while Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu and Ayo Makun, popularly known as AY, featured in the game.

Meanwhile, The African legend team, coached by former U-17 Golden Eaglets coach, Fanny Amun had the likes of El Hadji Diouf, Diomansy Kamara, Titi Kamara, Christian Karembeu, Stephen Appiah, Didier Zokora, Lomana Lua Lua, Khalilou Fadiga and Seydou Keita.

The game opened with a guard of honour for Governor Ambode by both teams, as he made way to perform the official kick-off for the match.

Kanu Nwankwo opened the scoring in the first half before Titi Kamara equalised for the African legends within a space of two minutes. A fowl in the penalty box by Taribo West on El-Hadji Diouf was converted by Titi Kamara which put the African stars 3-1 at half time.

In the second half, goals from either side ended the game in a thrilling 4-4 draw.

The Governor was also inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Nigeria Supporters Club (NSC) for his unwavering support towards sports development and especially football in Nigeria.

The event was also spiced up by music performances by top Nigerian artistes, including Two Baba, Small Doctor, among others.

Yaya Toure Wins BBC African Footballer Of The Year

ToureManchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, has been voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2015.

The 32-year-old midfielder becomes only the third player, after Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu and Jay-Jay Okocha, to receive the honour twice.

Football fans voted for Toure, who first won in 2013, beating off competition from Andre Ayew (Ghana and Swansea), Sadio Mane (Senegal and Southampton), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and Borussia Dortmund) and Yacine Brahimi (Algeria and Porto) to win the latest honour.

He thanked his fans for their support and promised to keep giving his best.

“I am very proud to be named BBC African Footballer of the Year and would like to thank everyone that voted. I work hard every day to be the best I can be, so to be nominated seven consecutive times and win this award for a second time means a lot to me.

“I would also like to pay tribute to my fellow nominees and this fantastic initiative, which celebrates African footballers – shining a light on our wonderful continent.

“We have so much talent in Africa, so I am determined to continue to achieve on the pitch and use my success to help lead the way for the next generation,” Toure told BBC Sport.

Two of the beaten nominees have won the award before, Algeria’s Brahimi in 2014 and Ghanaian Ayew in 2011. Gabon’s Aubameyang was on the shortlist for the third year running, while Senegalese Mane made it for the first time.

Warri Wolves Is Not Under Delta FA – Okocha

okochaFormer Super Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha, says Nigerian Premier League side, Warri Wolves is not under the Delta State Football Association’s care.

Okocha was on Sunday Sports on Channels Television to discuss football development in Nigeria and the challenges faced by the Warri club.

Austin Okocha, who is also the Delta State Football Association Chairman, while clarifying the ownership of the club, stated that the Delta State Sports Commission was directly responsible for Warri Wolves.

He identified funding as one of the major challenges of the club but added that the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has promised to sort the situation out. He noted that there has been some delay in the approval of their fund by the House of Assembly.

JJ also spoke about his post as the Chairman of the Delta State FA, which he said was driven by his desire to give back to the society.

“If I don’t give back to the community, it would be a great loss after spending so many years in Europe gathering experience.

“My focus is now on grassroots, to see if I can bring back the grassroots football in Delta State, because the future belongs to the youth,” he said.

Delta State is being represented at the Channels National Kids Cup competition for primary schools across the country and Okocha also promised that he would do his best to assist the kids and be there for them.

AFCON 2013 Final: Keshi Leaves Emenike And Moses Out Of Training

Super Eagles chief coach Stephen Keshi has left out the striking pair of Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses from the team’s training session ahead of Sunday’s final against Burkina Faso.

Keshi has decided to take precaution on the two key players after they suffered knocks in their 4-1 semi-final win over Mali on Wednesday.

Reports has it that the team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, advised the technical crew to excuse the duo from today’s training to allow them undergo tests.

Emenike is expected to resume training with the rest of the squad by Friday while Moses will have to wait for a scan to know the extent of his injury.

The Super Eagles are expected to meet the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the final match of the 2013 African Cup of Nations on Sunday at Soccer City in South Africa.

Meanwhile, the coach has called for caution from Nigerian fans, saying his team is still far from greatness, though the potential is there for all to see after the team reached their first Africa Cup of Nations final in 13 years on Wednesday.

Keshi was also pleased that his plan to leave out several senior players from the current side had gone well.

The former Togo and Mali handler was a player the last time Nigeria won the trophy back in 1994, captaining a team that included future stars like Daniel Amokachi, Jay-Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, and Finidi George.

He is bidding to become the second man to win the continental showpiece as a player and coach after Egyptian Mahmoud el-Gohary.

Christopher Katongo Wins BBC African Footballer Of The Year

Zambia’s Christopher Katongo has been named the 2012 BBC African footballer of the year.

The 30-year-old Zambia captain beat off competition from Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Younes Belhanda and Yaya Toure to become the first winner from southern Africa in the history of the award.

The shortlist for the award was drawn up by football experts from every country in Africa, who based their choices on players’ skill, technical ability, teamwork, consistency and fair play.

While all the players on the shortlist have enjoyed a superb year, with four of the players picking up silverware, it is Katongo whose performances and achievements have been considered by African football fans to be the greatest.

Ex- Nigerian international Jay-Jay Okocha remains the only player that has won the award back to back in 2003 and 2004 while playing for Bolton in the English premier league.