NFF Charges Super Falcons To Win In Bata

falconsThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, has urged the Super Falcons and the national under-23 men’s team to give the country a good representation as both teams leave for crucial games in the race to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Pinnick, who met the Falcons at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, on their way to Bata, where they would face their Equatorial Guinean counterparts on Sunday, gave some words of encouragement to the team.

“The whole country is proud of what you have done in the past, winning seven African Women Championship titles out of nine so far, and qualifying for the Olympics in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

“Your superiority on the African continent has never been in doubt. What is left is for us to take that capability to the global stage. The entire nation has faith in you to overcome in Equatorial Guinea and eventually qualify for the Olympics,” he told the players.

The Falcons have a battle on their hands, having only drawn the first leg at home 1-1 against the only other substantial rival they have on the African continent.

“On Sunday, Nigerians expect you to deliver as you have always done. A place in the final round of the qualifying race to the Olympics is certainly within your grasp.”

In his response, Coach Christopher Danjuma gave the assurance that the Falcons would take the Sunday, August 2 match as a battle that must be won.

“The way it is, we have no choice but to fight and fight, because we must score goals. I want to assure Nigerians that my team is up to the task.”

Okotie Urges Nigerians To Love Beyond Ethnic Sentiment

okotieA senior pastor of the Household of God Church and a former presidential candidate of FRESH political party, Rev. Chris Okotie, has urged Nigerians to show love beyond ethnic sentiment.

Rev. Okotie made the statement in an Easter message on Sunday.

He urged Christians and Nigerians of other faith to emulate Jesus Christ, whom he said showed his love for mankind when he died and resurrected for all to be saved.

Christians all over the world celebrate Easter to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Chris from the dead and the redemption of mankind, as taught by the faith.

Easter is a day observed on the first Sunday after the “Pascal full moon” or the first full moon of spring following the spring equinox, which constantly falls on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25, according to the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582.

Policemen Attack Channels TV, Guardian Newspaper Crew

policemenPolicemen have attacked a joint crew of the media on their way to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters along Muritala Mohammed Highway, in Calabar.

The joint crew, which comprises a team of Channels Television and Guardian Newspaper was attacked around the Calabar roundabout, by RCC Junction on Sunday evening.

They were said to be on their way to the INEC headquarters in the Cross River State capital, to get an updated information on collation of the election results.

It was also recorded that the men dispensed tear gas into the eyes of a Channels Television stringer on election, Saviour Asuquo, also destroying the camera, as well as other valuable items.

A Guardian reporter, Miss Tina Todo, and the taxi driver were also reportedly manhandled by one of the officers.

Report says that the journalists sought permission from the Policemen on duty before filming the town.

Israel Prepares For Election

israelVoters in Israel are preparing to go to the polls in what is expected to be a tightly-fought election, to elect a leader.

Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, faces a challenge from a Centre-left Alliance that has promised to restore ties with the Palestinians and the international community.

Candidates from both parties spent Monday making one last appeal to voters. Neither side is expected to get more than a quarter of the votes.

While results could be declared soon after the close of polls, a definitive conclusion appears likely to take some time.

A lengthy period of negotiations over the formation of the next coalition government could follow.

No party has ever won an outright majority in Israel’s election, meaning it has always been governed by a coalition.

Much of the focus of the campaign has been on international issues, from Israel’s relationship with the United States to concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme.

But many of the candidates have concentrated on socio-economic problems in Israel, including the high cost of living and slow economic growth.

The future of the city of Jerusalem has been a central election issue.

Mr Netanyahu has consistently accused his centre-left challengers of being willing to relinquish Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its indivisible capital in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war – as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

But Zionist Union party co-leader, Yitzhak Herzog, has accused Mr Netanyahu of “panicking”.

Visiting the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism, on Sunday, he pledged to “safeguard Jerusalem and its residents in actions, not just words, more than any other leader”.

AFCON 2015: We Will Win This For Ghana – Ayew

ayewAhead of the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON 2015 final match that is to hold at the Bata Stadium on Sunday, the Ghanaian team are optimistic of the outcome.

Andre Ayew, the Ghanaian forward has vowed that the Ghanaian team will fight to win Sunday’s AFCON final match against Cote d’Ivore for the whole of Ghana.

The Ghanaian forward has shone in this competition, scoring three goals but he insisted it was the result of the confidence he has enjoyed both from his teammates and the coach.

“I have tried to raise my game because I have been given responsibilities both on and off the pitch. It is due to the group and the confidence from the coach,” he said.

He also blamed inexperience for the Black Stars loss at the 2010 AFCON final to Egypt saying that 14 players had been brought from the U20 World Cup and the team was in the final after three months of the tournament where they were attacking, but couldn’t score.

Ayew said, “I remember the red coat my father wore (sitting on the sidelines in the 1992 final). My father is a Ghanaian and so I want to win this cup for all Ghanaians.”

Ghana last won this competition in 1982 with Andre’s father, the legendary Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew, one of the top stars from that triumph in Libya.

Ten years later, Ayew senior could not play another Africa Cup final after he picked up a second yellow card against Nigeria in the semi-final and Cote d’Ivoire went ahead to beat the Black Stars 11-10 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes of action. “When you get to the final, you need to do everything to win the trophy,” he said.

Ghanaian Black Stars Captain, Asamoah Gyan, returned to training in Bata on Saturday ahead of the AFCON 2015 final against Ivory Coast.

Gyan did not join his colleagues during the team work out, but trained separately with physical trainer Jamie Lawrence due to his health status.

Gyan must pass a late fitness test to make Avram Grant’s starting line-up for the final against Ivory Coast.

The 29-year-old missed Ghana’s AFCON 2015 semi-final against Equatorial Guinea due to a hip injury he suffered against Guinea last Sunday.

Avram Grant, the black star coach also said that reaching the final of the AFCON tournament is as important to him as reaching the UEFA Champions league final.

“For me, I do not rate any final as the best; it’s a good achievement we have reached with these guys and all Ghanaian should get behind the team,” he said.

The former Chelsea boss took charge of the West African giants three weeks to CAF’s flagship competition, but has managed to reach the final of the competition.

AirAsia: More Bodies Found As Search Teams Battle Rough Weather

AirAsiaAn official has said that 30 bodies have been recovered along with pieces of the broken-up AirAsia plane in the Indonesian-led search for Flight QZ8501 that is concentrated on 1,575 square nautical miles of the northern Java Sea.

Ships and aircraft criss-crossed the seas off Borneo on Friday hunting for the wreck of an Indonesia AirAsia passenger jet, but bad weather again hindered the search for the plane and the black box flight recorders that should reveal why it crashed.

Strong winds and heavy seas have stopped divers from looking for the fuselage of the Airbus A320-200, which plunged into the water on Sunday while en route from Indonesia’s second-biggest city, Surabaya to Singapore with 162 people on board.

“Waves were between 3 and 4 meters today, making it difficult to load bodies onto ships and between ships,” Head of Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency, Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, told reporters in Jakarta, adding that some vessels would search through the night.

“Tonight we are sending tug boats which should make the (body) transfers easier.”

The multinational search operation based in Pangkalan Bun, the town in southern Borneo closest to the search area, was bolstered on Friday by experts from France’s BEA accident investigation agency, which attends all Airbus crashes.

Officials said that the French team’s hydrophones – sophisticated underwater acoustic detection devices – and towed sonar equipment brought by other international experts could not be used on Friday because of high waves.

But naval vessels from Indonesia, the United States and Singapore with in-built anti-submarine capabilities were using sonar to sweep the sea floor.

US.Bound Passengers Likely To Switch On Mobile Phones For Security Use

TSA Adds Screeners For Busy Summer Travel SeasonPassengers using airports that offer direct flights to the US may be forced to switch on their mobile phones and other electronic devices to prove to security officials that they do not contain explosives.

“During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones,” the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said

“Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveller may also undergo additional screening.”

The TSA did not disclose which airports would be conducting the additional screening. It was reported last week that passengers at British airports travelling to the US were facing extra checks on phones. Belgian officials said passengers there would also have devices checked.

Britain’s Department for Transport (DFT) advised that the new restriction meant any electronic device with a flat battery would not be allowed on flights,

Nigeria Vs Mali To Kick-off Semi-final Games

After sorting the boys from the men at the on-going Afcon 2013 in South Africa, the stage is now set for the rest four teams namely Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana to vie for the two top spots in the finals of the African tournament come the 10th of February in an all open game today as Nigeria and Mali will be locking horns as the first semi-final game of the day to determine the first qualifier for the finals.

Looking at these four teams, Nigeria has made a surprise run to the semi-final, despite the lack of big-game experience possessed by most of their defenders, both for club and country.

The Super Eagles players have been exceptionally brilliant especially the duo of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses both plying their trades for Chelsea, sealing the mouths of pundits as the Super Eagles warded off pressure from their back line.

Ghana is the biggest remaining side with the largest stable of talent and best recent results in international play, but there’s considerable talent on all four remaining teams, and none should be counted out.

In the late game, Ghana faces off against Burkina Faso, who is finally reaching their potential. They’ve failed to turn their players’ athleticism and extensive Ligue 1 experience into good showings at the Africa Cup of Nations until this edition of the tournament, where they have been arguably the most consistent of the four remaining teams.

Aguero sure of early return against Stoke – Mancini

Argentine and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has given a major boost to his teammates and manager Roberto Mancini after he broke the news that he could be ready and fit for the clash between Manchester City and Stoke City, as City will be travelling to Stoke come September 15th.

The injury which the Argentine sustained in Sunday’s EPL match against Southampton which also ended 3-2 in favour of the Blues’ sprung initial fears amongst his teammates and management, thinking it will rule the striker out for the whole of the season.

But City boss Roberto Mancini confirmed after a scan had been done on him and with a period of assessment that Aguero could be back within a month.

According to Mancini, the whole squad has been worried over the injury but they are happy that he will be back after the international break which is obviously fantastic news for them all and the recent development came as a relief for everyone, Aguero inclusive.

There was also encouraging news about two of Mancini’s other injured stars. Gareth Barry and Micah Richards could also see first-team action sooner than expected.

AYC U-20 Prep: Flying Eagles beaten 1-0 by Rwanda

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles suffered a 1-0 defeat against Rwanda in a friendly today at the State Regional in Kigali.

It was an 85th decider after France-based striker Bon-Fils Kabanda’s goal made the difference between the two African sides.

The Flying Eagles had so many scoring chances from the blow of the whistle in the first half could make it count for them before Kabanda had the opportunity to notch up Rwanda.

At the beginning of the match, Rwanda showed some flashes when Charles Tibingana coming close to getting the opening goal for the home team with a header from inside the box which narrowly missed its mark.

And immediately Nigeria retaliated with Chidi Osuchukwu’s shot which screamed wide and minutes later striker Alhaji Gero’s effort was deflected for a corner kick.

Osuchukwu then carved out one of the best chances of the day in the 42nd minute.

His left-footed shot from inside the box was scrambled by Rwanda goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera for a corner kick.

Both Gero and right-back Shehu Abdullahi also saw their efforts failing to hit target in the dying moments of the first half.

With the Second beginning, Aminu Umar’s shot from an acute angle crashed against the side netting as Nigeria dictated the pace.

They had introduced several of their top players like Aliyu Mohammed, Uche Agbo, Jonah Usman, Harrison Egbune, Hassan Abubakar and Yahaya Adamu.

In the 63rd minute of the match, Emmanuel Sebanani ought to have put Rwanda ahead but he wasted the chance from a very big opening.

Agbo also threatened the Rwanda goal at least twice and, in between, substitute goalkeeper Usman saved a goal-bound header by Rwanda.

The match was played at the same stadium the Super Eagles held the Rwandan senior national team to a goalless draw late in February in a 2013 African Nations Cup qualifier.

The Rwandan junior side, which recently defeated Tanzania twice away from home, are billed to host Mali in a 2013 AYC qualifier the same weekend Nigeria face the Ngorogoro Stars of Tanzania.

In a post-match interview, Coach John Obuh said he will not be bothered with the score line of the game although he admitted that it was a good game even though a draw would have made more sense.

He said the real purpose of the prep game is not to lose focus ahead of the real game which is the qualifiers against Tanzania come Sunday in Tanzania and good enough he has taken on some corrections ahead of the game in Dar Es Salam.