Stephen Keshi To Resume As Eagles Coach – NFF

KeshiThe Executive Committee of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), says that it expects Stephen Keshi to resume as the Head Coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles next week.

The Executive Committee mandated the secretariat to reach out to the 2013 African Nations Cup winner and conclude the details of his contract.

NFF Spokesperson, Emeka Iyama, said that a three-man committee was set up by the NFF and they were having talks with Keshi’s lawyer to ensure that the processes are concluded in time to resume work.

“We expect that the signing would be next week so that he can resume work ahead of the fast-approaching 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying series,” he said.

Stephen Keshi’s immediate task would be a 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifier on September 7 between Nigeria and Rwanda.

South Africa and Sudan are also in the group, with the top two qualifying for the finals in Morocco in January.

Stephen Keshi, whose initial contract expired with the World Cup in Brazil, expressed his willingness to continue after leading the Super Eagles to the 2013 African Cup of Nations title and a place in the round of 16 in Brazil.

Osaze faces three-match ban

Super Eagle striker, Peter Odemwingie faces a three-match ban after he received a straight red card for kicking Sascha Reither in West Bromwich Albion’s 0-3 defeat to Fulham in the Barclays English Premier League on Saturday.

The score was 1-0 to Fulham at the time of Odemwingie’s misconduct after Dimitar Berbatov bagged his first goal for the Cottagers.

The striker, who scored on the opening day of the season, shocked all when he lashed out at an unsuspecting Reither leaving the referee with little option but to send him off.

Odemwingie, who will miss his club’s next three matches, has now apologised for his actions.

“I lost my temper. I’m a professional and should have kept my cool, but it happens,” he said.

He further revealed that he wanted to foul Reither without any malicious intent.

“I wanted to foul the player because I thought he was angry towards me. But I should cool my emotions.

“I’ve said sorry to the players and to the staff. It’s a lesson to learn.

“I am looking at the incident in a different way now.

“That moment went very fast for me, I felt a kick on my ankle and felt an injustice that the linesman was so close but nothing was given.

“But now I think it was my fault. I lost my temper. I’m a professional and should have kept my cool, but it happens. It’s not my habit.”
Meanwhile, the WBA manager, Steve Clarke has refused to criticise the 31-year old Nigerian.

“We’re all human – we have emotions. Peter felt he had been fouled, felt it was a free kick and reacted in the wrong way. The red card is there and he has accepted the punishment, we all have to accept it and move on,” he said.

Arsenal to play Super Eagles in Abuja

English Premier League side Arsenal will on August 5 play the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a pre-season match in Abuja.

It will be the first time Arsenal have played in the West African nation.

“We are delighted to announce that Arsenal Football Club will face the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Abuja,” said promoter David Omigie of DanJan Sports.

DanJan Sports say that agreement has been finalised with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to provide a strong Super Eagles side.

“The NFF have agreed that the country will present a strong side as Coach Stephen Keshi continues his development process,” Mr Omigie said.

“The Arsenal manager [Arsene Wenger] will also use this game to showcase his full squad for the 2012/2013 football season.”

The London club traditionally hosts an annual pre-season tournament at the Emirates Stadium, but they opted to postpone the event for a year because of the 2012 London Olympics.

The visit to Nigeria will conclude Arsenal’s pre-season after tours to both China and Malaysia in July.

On their official website, Arsenal said: “The club last visited Africa during a tour to South Africa in July 1993.”

“It is returning as a result of the fantastic support which exists for the team, not only in Nigeria, but across the entire continent.”

DanJan Sports revealed that tickets for the match will go on sale from 4 July.

Remembering Yekini – Odegbami says late footballer was not mad

Segun Odegbami, a former Super Eagle captain and a close friend to late Nigeria football Legend, Rashidi Yekini on Friday said that there was no reason why the late footballer should have died.

“The Rashidi I saw six weeks ago, the Rashidi that I have been communicating with three weeks ago was very sane,” Mr Odegbami said.

The former captain said Yekini died a sacrificial death “for all that have been happening in the Nigeria sport.”

Yekini was not broke – Kayode Tijani

A sport journalist, Kayode Tijani who was close to the late Nigerian football legend, Rashidi Yekini on Wednesday refuted media reports that the former Super Eagle striker was mentally deranged and broke.

“Yekini is broke and needs rehabilitations, yet he does charity works,” Mr Tijani said.

He said Yekini had properties in Spain and Portugal and income from these properties goes to his First Bank account at Ibadan.

Keshi names squad for Peru friendly

The Super Eagle coach Stephen Keshi on Wednesday named a 31-man squad the friendly against Peru schedule for this month.

The squad consists of five Europe-based professionals and 26 players from the domestic league.

Former youth international midfielder Obiora Nwankwo is joined by defender Gege Soriola, forwards Nnamdi Oduamadi, Raheem Lawal and Ekigho Ehiosun.

Keshi’s domestic player pool includes three goalkeepers and nine defenders, while the rest is made up of midfielders and strikers.

The team is scheduled to depart for Lima on May 19, four days before the game.

Camp opens on May 6.

The squad

GOALKEEPERS
AGBIM CHIGOZIE-WARRI WOLVES
AKPEYI DANIE – HEARTLAND FC
OKEMUTE ODAH – SHARKS FC

DEFENDERS
PAPA IDRIS – KANO PILLARS
EGWUEKWE AZUBUIKE E – WARRI WOLVES
OSHANIWA JUWON AYO – SHARKS FC
OBOABONA GODFREY ITAMA – SUNSHINE FC
NURA MOHAMMED – ENYIMBA FC
UZOCHUKWU OGONNA – RANGERS FC
SHEHU MAIJEMA – WIKKI TOURIST
HAMZA IKENNA ONWUEMENYI – AKWA UNITED
OBIHOHA MARCEL – GOMBE UNITED

MIDFIELDERS AND FORWARDS
HENRY UCHE – ENYIMBA FC
UZOENYI CHRISTANTUS EJIKE – RANGERS FC
MBA SUNDAY – WARRI WOLVES
GABRIEL RUBEN SHALU – KANO PILLARS
NWACHUKWU OBINNA – HEARTLAND FC
KALU UCHE – ENYIMBA FC
OSSAI UCHE – WARRI WOLVES
IZU AZUKA – SUNSHINE FC
JABASON SOLOMON – AKWA UNITED
IMENGER BARNABAS – KWARA UNITED
HASSAN HUSSEIN – DOLPHINS FC
GBOLAHAN SALAMI – ENYIMBA FC
EMMA NWACHI – DOLPHINS FC
PIUS SAMSON – RANCHERS BEES FC

Odemwingie on Arsenal’s radar

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to rekindle his interest in West Bromwich Albion and Super Eagle striker Peter Osaze Odemwingie, according to reports.

A handful of international newspapers had claimed that the Gunners are preparing a summer bid for the player, who has notched 10 goals for the Baggies in the top flight this season.

An £8 million valuation stopped Arsenal from making a move for the player last summer, with Wenger reluctant to part with such a figure for the 30-year-old.

However, the former Lokomotiv Moscow star has hit a fine run of form in the Premier League in recent weeks, scooping the Player of the Month for February with a hat-trick at Wolves and brace against Sunderland when they visited the Hawthorns.

After signing a new deal at the Midlands club last summer, Odemwingie rejected an offer from mega-rich Anzhi Makhachkala in January.

With the weight of expectation on Robin Van Persie’s shoulders, Arsenal boss Wenger has unsurprisingly been linked with a number of strikers in recent months, with French hitman Olivier Giroud one of those thought to be on the Emirates Stadium radar.

Gervinho and Park Chu-Young have both failed to inspire when given their brief opportunities at the highest level for the Gunners, leaving the French manager to consider his options for the end of the season.