FIFA Threatens To Suspend Nigeria Over NFF Elections

FIFA President Joseph Blatter addresses news conference in HavanaNigeria face yet another ban and the possibility of expulsion from the African Nations Cup if they continue to uphold the results of disputed elections last week, FIFA warned on Wednesday.

Nigeria have until Monday to restore to power Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Aminu Maigari, deposed in an election last week while he was detained by police in a second attempt to oust him from office since the World Cup.

FIFA said in a statement it had sent a letter to the NFF confirming that Nigeria will be suspended “should there still be persons claiming to have been elected to NFF positions on 26 August 2014 and occupying their offices on Monday, 8 September 2014 at 07.00.

NFF elections last week saw Chris Giwa take over as president but his election has been widely disputed within Nigerian football and rejected by FIFA.

Maigari was arrested at the same time as the poll, in an unsubtle attempt to keep him from the vote, and held by police but not questioned and later released.

The involvement of security forces led Nigerian media to speculate the giant west African country’s government were seeking to unseat Maigari but wary of FIFA’s policy of no government interference in the running of its member associations.

Maigari had also been held for a brief period after arriving home from Brazil in July following Nigeria’s elimination in the World Cup last 16 when a first bid to sweep him from power was made by rivals.

A court order was obtained by a rival faction ordering an immediate election in July but world football’s governing body rejected this too, suspending Nigeria for seven days before the status quo was restored.

FIFA’s latest threat means Nigeria could be stopped from playing their scheduled Nations Cup qualifier in South Africa next Wednesday which would effectively see them out of the competition and unable to defend the title they won in 2013.

They can however go ahead with the opening Group A qualifier against Congo in Calabar on Saturday.

“Should the new deadline not be respected, the NFF will be automatically suspended until the board claiming to be elected vacates the premises of the NFF and the NFF General Secretary is able to perform his work without interference,” FIFA said.

“The NFF Executive Committee as it was composed on 25 August 2014, meaning under the presidency of Aminu Maigari, should then convene as soon as possible a first extraordinary general assembly to elect the members of the electoral committee and a second extraordinary general assembly in the shortest time possible allowed by law in order to proceed with the elections of new NFF office-bearers.”

Nigeria Invites 23 Players For AFCON Qualifiers

AFCON QualifiersAfrican Champions, Nigeria, have called up 23 players for the 2015 Nations Cup qualifying matches against the Red Devils of Congo and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

The list released by the Nigeria Football Federation features goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama; defenders, Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose; midfielders, Ogenyi Onazi and John Mikel Obi, and forwards, Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike.

Monaco of France defender, Elderson Echiejile, who missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to injury, Nosa Igiebor and Schalke 04’s Chinedu Obasi are all back for the qualifiers.

Home–based quartet, Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kunle Odunlami and Gbolahan Salami, who were part of Nigeria’s third place finish at the African Nations Championship in South Africa earlier in the year, would be making a return to Capetown.

Enugu Rangers’ topman, Christian Osaguona also add to the number of players from the domestic league.

Nigeria starts its AFCON qualifiers with Congo in Calabar on September 6, and later leave for Cape Town to take on the Bafana Bafana on September 10.

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United, Nigeria)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC, Spain); Joel Obi (Inter Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke (Schalke 04, Germany); Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen FC, Netherlands); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AS Varese 1910, Italy); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Christian Osaguona (Enugu Rangers)   

Roundup On ‘Sports This Morning’ – April 4, 2014

Sports This MorningThis is the Friday edition of ‘Sports This Morning’ on your award winning Channels Television.

Yemi Adebayo takes us on a trip starting with top stories in the world of sports.

The countdown to FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014 continues with 69 days to the biggest football event on the planet; we look at the readiness of Brazil to host the world and also focus one of the teams that the world would be expecting to make clear statements at the tournament, the Azzurri.

Meanwhile, the question on everybody’s lips is who wins the Women’s FIFA U-17 World Cup? Is it going to be Japan or Spain? You may have found out the winner but the analysis on this edition of the show would be a delight.

In the Nigerian Glo Premier League, the League Management Company has granted Nembe City FC provisional admission into the league after the club met conditions set by the body.

We also bring you some analysis of the great boxing match-up that promises to be a classic. Timothy Bradley says he is ready to prove doubters wrong by beating Filipino boxer Manny Pacquaio in their scheduled rematch.

Let’s also take you to South America, Argentina to be precise, as Boca Juniors takes on River Plate.

 

NFF Is Trying To Frustrate The Environment For Keshi

Nnamdi Obanya,Sports Analyst, Nnamdi Obanya, believes that the allegations made against Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, might just be moves by the Nigeria Football Federation to frustrate the environment in order to justify its desire to hire a foreign coach.

Obanya, who was speaking on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television acknowledged an earlier statement by the NFF that they had no plans to sack Keshi, but they had also been found out planning to bring in a foreign coach to “assist Keshi”.

He further validated his suspicion of a frustration game by the NFF by highlighting the inconsistency in their decision to hire a foreign coach when they had just sacked one of Keshi’s assistants, Sylvanus Okpala, owing to lack of funding to accommodate more wages for the technical crew.

Keshi has insisted that he needs Okapla back in his team and has complained that the NFF has been sitting on his request, with Okpala also having taken the NFF to the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

Obanya stated that the queries and public statements are being made about minor issues, explaining that issues concerning the details of Keshi’s leave approval and itinerary should have been an internal query and not one for the pages of the newspapers.

He believes that getting all these issues into the media might be a deliberate attempt by the Federation to make Keshi look bad, also noting that the tones of communication from the NFF lately have been showing a level of hostility.

He particularly berated the NFF for saying the coach was not solely responsible for his own team selection and going further by asking him to come and defend his selection of players. “I think a coach is meant to present his list and not defend it”, he said.

Obanya revealed that a source had said that Super Eagles striker; Ikechukwu Uche had been frozen out of the Super Eagles as payback.  The source, according to him alleged that Uche was one of the players used by the NFF to complain about Coach Keshi’s tactics as a way of casting doubts on his capacity and consequently justifying his removal after AFCON.

He noted that the NFF does not really know their role and are therefore focusing on other people’s jobs. He said that if they knew their own jobs, few months to the World Cup, Nigeria should have had proper marketing, branding, travel arrangements and other things in place, instead of disturbing Keshi.

He also mentioned the issue of TV Rights, explaining that a situation where the Nigerian national team is playing a friendly game abroad and Nigerians have to search all over the web for different sites that would stream matches showed that the NFF was not doing its job.

Super Eagles World Cup Jersey Unveiled

Ahead of the 2015 FIFA World Cup, the Nigeria Football Federation has unveiled two sets of jerseys for the Super Eagles in Abuja.

Speaking at the event held at the Federation’s secretariat in Abuja, Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said that the newly unveiled jersey was a deliberate attempt to rebrand the Super Eagles.

The Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Mr Ali Gaiya, who also spoke at the occasion applauded the efforts of the Nigeria Football Federation.

The newly unveiled jerseys were later presented to the representatives of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Senate President, David Mark.

The Super Eagles are to wear the newly launched jersey at the forthcoming international friendly against Mexico in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The new design was produced by Adidas, a leading kit manufacturer in the world and the official kit supplier of the Nigerian national teams.

UCL: Mourinho And Mancini React To 1-1 Draw

Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho was left to bemoan missed chances after a 1 all draw at Galatasaray and urged Chelsea’s fans to generate their own red-hot atmosphere in the return leg.

Fernando Torres scored after just nine minutes and Galatasaray drew level when defender Aurelien Chedjou took advantage of slack Chelsea defending at a corner.

Both managers are however wary of a tough game in the return leg.

Nigeria Beat Zimbabwe To Clinch CHAN Bronze

Nigeria have defeated Zimbabwe 1-0 to win the African Nations Championship third place play-off at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Chinonso Obiozor scored the only goal at the 85th minute to secure the bronze for the Super Eagles.

Zimbabwean midfielder, Masimba Mambare, was shown a deserved red card in the early minutes of the game for a high boot into the shoulder of Nigeria goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim, a development that made the team played 72 minutes of the game with 10 men.

Few goal-scoring chances were recorded in the game, with Nigeria getting most of the chances.

Zimbabwe’s only ball on target was Simba Sithole’s shot which Agbim held down, as it was a direct shot.

It was Obiozor’s first time in the championship and his pace and strength gave him an edge over their opponent.

On several occasions, he came close to scoring before he headed home Ejike Uzoenyi’s looped ball to get the Nigerian team the only goal that was enough to seal the victory over the Zimbabweans.

Libya and Ghana will lock horns on Sunday in the final match of the competition. It is the first time that Libya is putting up an outstanding performance in a football competition after the 2011 revolution that led to the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

Presidential Reception: Golden Eaglets Get Financial Rewards

The Federal Government is to give each player in Nigeria’s Under-17 team, the Golden Eaglets the sum of 2million Naira each.

President Goodluck Jonathan made the announcement at a reception in the presidential villa in honour of the Golden Eaglets.

The Golden Eaglets won the just concluded FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates by defeating defending champions Mexico by 3-0 in the final on Friday, November 8, and The President had promised them a heroes’ welcome “in appreciation of the great honour and glory they have brought to their fatherland.”

The financial reward is not limited to the players; the head coach of the team would be given the sum of 3million Naira, while the assistant coach gets the sum of 2.5million Naira.

Speaking at the reception, President Jonathan said this is a golden era in Nigerian sports and assured that his administration would provide the enabling environment for the Golden Eaglets to thrive and be the best in the world.

President Jonathan To Host Victorious Golden Eaglets On Sunday

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria on their 3-0 triumph over Mexico in the final match of the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Soccer Championship.

President Jonathan joins other proud and happy Nigerians in saluting the glorious achievement of the Eaglets in winning the Under-17 Soccer Championship for an unprecedented fourth time.

In a press release signed by Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Reuben Abati, the President commended the young Eaglets for the exemplary commitment, dedication, resilience, determination, patriotism and unity of purpose they displayed through-out the tournament to make Nigeria the World’s Under-17 Football Champion once again.

In fulfillment of his promise of a heroes’ welcome for the triumphant Golden Eaglets on their return home, President Jonathan will host a grand reception for the team at the Banquet Hall of the State House at 7PM on Sunday, November 10.

“This is in appreciation of the great honour and glory they have brought to their fatherland,” he said.

The President also urged the leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation to strive to ensure that “the world-conquering Eaglets, who have shown such immense potentials as youngsters, are  properly nurtured, trained and developed to represent the nation at higher levels in future international football competitions.”

He wished the Golden Eaglets and their handlers a safe journey home.

History: Golden Eaglets Win FIFA Under-17 World Cup

The Nigerian Golden Eaglets have won the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament in United Arab Emirates.

Nigeria became the most successful team in the history of the tournament as goals from Erick Aguirre (own goal), Kelechi Iheanacho and Musa Muhammed secured a 4th title for the Golden Eaglets.

The Manu Garba boys announced their presence to the football world at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup with a convincing 6-1 victory over the same Mexican team in their opening game.

The second match was however tougher for the team as they had to come from behind twice to record a 3-3 score line against Sweden.

Next came Iraq and their Asian counterparts Iran but both could not withstand the firepower of Nigeria.

With victory over Uruguay in the quarter-finals, and a surprising 3-0 revenge over Group F foes, Sweden in the semi-final, Nigeria booked a place in the final, as well as a chance to make history against defending champions and their opening game victims, Mexico.

The 3-0 final victory has denied the Mexicans a chance to retain the trophy they won in 2011.

Worthy of note are the individual honours won by the Nigerian players. Kelechi Ihenacho unsurprisingly became the most decorated, winning the tournament’s Adidas Golden Ball Award for the overall best player, alongside the Silver Boot Award for being the second highest goal scorer.

Nigerian goalkeeper, Dele Alampasu also won the Adidas Golden Gloves Award while the entire team won the FIFA Fair Play Award.

Nigeria has now become the most successful team in FIFA Under-17 World Cup history.

Jonathan Sends Delegation Led By Mark To Cheer Eaglets To Victory

President Goodluck Jonathan has constituted a high-powered delegation headed by the Senate President, David Mark to represent the Federal Government at tomorrow’s FIFA Under-17 World Soccer Finals between Nigeria and Mexico in the United Arab Emirates.

Other members of the delegation who President Jonathan has charged to ensure that the Golden Eaglets receive all necessary support and motivation for victory include the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji  Tanimu Turaki, the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and the Minister of State, FCT,  Olajumoke Akinjide.

The President told the delegation to reassure the Golden Eaglets and their handlers of his personal confidence and expectations that they will maintain their excellent track-record in this year’s Championship, and crown their winning performances with another victory against the Mexicans tomorrow.

President Jonathan also conveyed to the Eaglets, through the delegation, the best wishes of all Nigerians for their victory and promised the team that together with all other patriotic Nigerians, within and outside the country, he will be cheering them on to victory during the match.

He looks forward to receiving them at the Presidential Villa and showing them the full appreciation of the nation when, as expected, they return in triumph to Nigeria.

U-17 World Cup: Nigeria Beat Sweden 3-0, Qualify For Final

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets have booked their place in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a convincing 3-0 victory over Sweden.

Taiwo Awoniyi’s 20th minute strike gave the Manu Garba-led boys the lead, but the young lads had to endure pressure from their Scandinavian opponents all through the half.

However, goals from left back Samuel Okon and Chidera Ezeh late in the 2nd half gave Nigeria the victory.

Nigeria will now face Mexico who had earlier defeated South American giants, Argentina 3-0.

The defending champions, Mexico proved bookmakers wrong with a convincing victory over Argentina.

Two quick 1st half goals from Ivan Ochoa   in the 5th and 21st minute took the sting off the tie.

The Argentines who were yet to lose a game in the competition came up strong in the 2nd half but their efforts yielded no results as Mexico sealed the game when Marcos Granados found the back of the net in the 86th minute.

Nigeria and Mexico had earlier met in the tournament with Nigeria trashing the Mexicans 6-1.

Nigeria will be banking on the potent combination of Kelechi Iheanacho – one of the best players at the tournament with 5 goals and 7 assists and Taiwo Awoniyi who now has 3 goals in 2 games to earn victory in the final on Friday.