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 Lifts Ban On Ogunjobi, Others

NFF-logoThe Nigeria Football Federation has lifted the ban from all football-related activities, it placed on former Secretary-General of the federation, Taiwo Ogunjobi.

According to a communique signed by Emeka Inyama, the Executive Committee of the NFF, chaired by reinstated President, Aminu Maigari, also lifted the ban placed on Mr Adedapo Lam-Adesina, who is the former Commissioner of Sports in Oyo state, Mr Chikelue Iloanusi and Mr Harrison Jalla.

“In the spirit of fair-play, leading to the elections, all persons banned for various lengths of time, are hereby unbanned. These persons are: Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, Mr. Adedapo Lam-Adesina, Mr. Chikelue Iloanusi and Mr. Harrison Jalla,” the Committee said, noting that “the ban on Mr. Ahmed Shuaib Gara-Gombe had long been lifted”

The Executive Committee advised all football stakeholders in the country to “refrain from actions capable of causing divisions, rancour and acrimony in Nigeria football”.

The Executive Committee of the NFF also decided that the General Assembly of August 26, 2014 would be composed of the delegates to the 2013 General Assembly in Warri, including those from Plateau and Yobe State Football Associations.

“In view of the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria football, there is the absolute need to present a new roadmap leading to elections into the NFF Executive Committee, for consideration and approval by the General Assembly, being the supreme body of Nigeria football, at the Congress slated for Tuesday, 26th August, 2014 in Warri, Delta State,” it said.

Members of both the Electoral Committee and Electoral Appeals Committee, who were earlier removed, would also be re-admitted at the Congress to continue with their electoral duties.

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.

Linus Mba Becomes First Casualty Of FIFA Suspension

Linus MbaFIFA Referees Advisor and Consultant to the Nigeria Football Federation on refereeing, Linus Mba, has become the first casualty of the FIFA Suspension order on Nigeria.

Mba, who was appointed three weeks ago as the Match Commissioner for the Sierra Leone and Seychelles African Cup of Nations qualifier in Freetown on July 19 has been replaced.

On Monday, the retired FIFA referee and former member of the CAF Referees Committee got a letter from CAF regretting his replacement.

The letter signed by Amr Fahmy Manager, Nations Cup said in part: “I regret to inform you that due to the suspension of the Nigerian FA, we had to temporarily suspend all appointments for any officials/referees from Nigeria, so we were left without any choice but to replace you for the above-mentioned match.”

Fahmy letter read: “…price that experienced men like yourself, good servants of African football, have to pay.”

Few hours before CAF’s decision, the referee consultant had received a mail from the General Secretary, Sierra Leone Football Association, Chris Kamara, that his tickets and other documents for him and the referees were to be sent by Wednesday.

This decision has come on the heels of suggestions that before Tuesday the Nigeria case would be normalized to allow FIFA lift the suspension order.

The Eaglets are expected to leave on Wednesday to Congo DR, while the Super Falcons are set for the African Women Championship draws in Windhoek, Namibia, this weekend, but that would only happen if Nigeria normalizes the relationship with FIFA.

The fate of Mba would further explain the powers of FIFA sanctions as adopted by Confederations and other Federations worldwide.

FIFA Got It Wrong In Suspending Nigeria- Idah Peterside

Idah_petersideFormer Nigerian International, Idah Peterside, on Thursday expressed worry over the suspension of Nigeria from all football activities by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

Peterside said, who said FIFA got it wrong this time around, read Article 13, par. 1 and article 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, which obliges member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

Peterside, making his argument, wondered who “the third party is?”, insisting that we have had instances where government interfered with our football and we refused and said this is wrong.

“But in this case, an individual (Victor Rumson Baribote) took the FA to court” noting however that the FA made a mistake by not sending the individual’s name to FIFA “because this is not government interference, this is an individual grievance”.

He said had the FA or Sports Ministry reported Mr Baribote to FIFA and secured a life or 30 year ban, he will be ineligible to engage in football activities even if the court decides to rule in his favour.

World football’s governing body had suspended Nigeria from all international competition, after a court order, instituted by the owner of Nembe FC, Mrs Ebiakpo Rumson Baribote, sacked the Aminu Maigari-led Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and gave a mandatory injunction compelling the Minister of Sports to appoint a senior member of the civil service in the NFF to command, control and manage the affairs of Nigeria football.

FIFA banned Nigerian football teams from competing in any international competition, be it at club or national level, on a temporary basis on Wednesday.

The emergency committee of FIFA set a deadline of Tuesday, July 15, for Nigeria to resolve the issue.

FIFA said that Nigeria had ignored two key FIFA statutes that guarantee no form of government interference in the management of Nigerian football.

“During the period of suspension, the NFF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches,” a FIFA statement said.

FIFA said the suspension would be lifted once “the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF General Assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without interference in their affairs.”

Messi Needs To Be On Maradona’s Level

Peterside also praised the two teams that played in yesterday’s (Wednesday) World Cup semi-final for being careful and not opening the floodgates of goals as seen during the Brazil-Germany match on Wednesday.

The World Cup in Brazil would have seen an all European final but for two misses during the penalty shootout by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder, which handed a place in the final to Argentina.

Peterside noted that the game wasn’t fantastic because the players restrained themselves, failed to come out and play “because no one wanted to be hammered”, adding that “I am happy for Argentina because of Messi.

“Messi is a genius. We want him to be up there with the Maradona’s and Pele’s of this world because he deserves it and I think they will win it against Germany”, he said.

He further noted that final matches of competitions “always never have rules; it is just one game to the cup” adding that “we just play.

“In the history of the World Cup we have never had an entertaining final because you have 90 minutes to write your name in pebbles so it Is not always beautiful football” he said.

He however noted the strength of the German team describing them as a “rigid team that is just going for the kill”.

Germany had put seven goals past hosts Brazil in the first semi final of the competition played at the Estadio Mineirao.

FIFA Suspends Nigeria Football Federation

Sepp-Blatter_FIFAThe world football governing body, FIFA, has suspended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect, on account of government interference.

The body’s Emergency Committee’s decision is coming after a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on July 4, in which it expressed its great concern after the NFF was served with court proceedings and consequently an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football was granted by a High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

After the court order the Nigerian Minister of Sports appointed a senior member of the civil service to manage the NFF until the matter was heard in court.

The authorities then appointed a person who decided to convene an extraordinary general assembly on 5 July 2014. This extraordinary general assembly was convened in violation of the NFF statutes.

Originally, an elective congress had been planned by the NFF to take place on 26 August 2014.

The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs.

Article 13, par. 1 and article 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

It bars teams, including clubs, from Nigeria form taking part in any international sporting event, as provided by article 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes.

During the period of suspension, the NFF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches.

The most immediate effect is that Nigeria will not be entitled to participate in the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (5-24 August 2014) should the suspension not be lifted by 15 July 2014.