Pinnick: Gernot Rohr’s New Contract Will Have Clauses

File: President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick

 

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has restated that the new contract for Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, will have some new provisions. 

The President of the NFF,  Amaju Pinnick, said this on Monday when he appeared on Channels TV’s Sports This Morning. 

According to him, Rohr whose present deal elapses in June 2020 will be handed a new contract soon.

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“He has a contract. And the contract states clearly that he has the right of first refusal. Now, we are sending the contract to him,” he explained.

“And the contract definitely will have maybe one or two provisions but not radically different from what he has. And that is the truth.”

Speaking further, he said: “When people talk about Gernot Rohr, I know a lot of  people who were antagonistic when we brought him the first time.”

Pinnick added that “People said he is not fit to coach Nigeria” but the said the football body has always been steadfast and does not take individual decisions.

He said: “We take a collective decision and at times we also engage the ministry (Youths and Sports Development). Whatever we are doing is in the best interest of the country.”

On the payment of the coach and players in naira, he said the NFF will back any government decision, saying the body is part of the government and will do anything to protect the interest of the country.

“When they play in Nigeria, their bonuses have been in naira. When they play abroad, we pay them in dollars but that can even change.”

The NFF boss explained: “Like I said, we are going to take many difficult decisions that will go across board because we need to promote our fiscal policy.

“If the government is saying that we need to strengthen our naira, we should not be paying in dollars. We are an integral part of the government.”

Pinnick revealed that the NFF is doing a lot behind the scene to help the country in the fight against coronavirus, adding that no one expected the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Behind the scene,” he stated,  “we do quite a lot. We are going to support some of these centers even if it is buying some tubers of yams. We have to do that. COVID-19 is something that nobody expected.”

 

 

 

 

 

Iheanacho Back As Rohr Invites 24 Players For AFCON Qualifiers

A file photo of Super Eagles. AFP photo

 

Nigerian international, Kelechi Iheanacho has returned to the national football team after he was axed from the Super Eagles squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Iheanacho made the 24-man list released by the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, on Wednesday, ahead of the quick-double 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone this month.

Rohr also called up for the first time, Germany–based defender, Kingsley Ehizibue, who plays for FC Koln, and Holland-based forward Cyril Dessers.

Team captain Ahmed Musa, Vice-captain William Ekong and defender Kenneth Omeruo made the list.

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There are also goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Leon Balogun and Olaoluwa Aina, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen in the list of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, five midfielders and eight forwards.

Nigeria currently sit top of Group L on six points, having won their first two matches.

The Super Eagles will play the first-leg game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Friday, 27th March, before flying to Freetown to confront the Stars at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in the return four days later.

The Super Eagles will also play Benin Republic in Porto Novo in June and a home tie against Lesotho in early September.

All invited players, as well as technical and administrative officials, are to report to camp on Monday, March 23, 2020.

See Fill Squad List Below:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany).

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Wigan Athletic, England); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kingsley Ehizibue (FC Koln, Germany).

Midfielders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Etebo Oghenekaro (Getafe FC, Spain); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (Heracles Almelo, The Netherlands); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France).

Why I Accepted Super Eagles Coaching Job – Yobo

 

Former Everton defender Joseph Yobo has described his role as the assistant coach of the Super Eagles as a national call.

He also said giving back to society is what he enjoys doing and sees the Eagles job as an opportunity to serve the country.

Yobo was named as the assistant coach of the three-time African champions on February 12th, 2020, by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The former Fernerbache man told Channels TV’s Sports This Morning that it was not an easy decision for him to take up the job but admitted that he saw it as a chance to give back to the country.

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A file photo of former Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo. Photo: Twitter- @thenff

According to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner, he initially felt the time was not right for him to go into coaching but noted that his passion for football made him change his mind.

“It has been an exciting moment for me. It was not an easy decision to make,” Yobo explained.

He admitted that “It is not a lane that I was ready to go into immediately because I don’t think the environment was ready for me but for the passion and the love I have for the game.”

Also, he revealed that coaching is “what I have always wanted to do inside of me” but he never talked about it with anyone.

Yobo said that “having served as an ex-player and captain for many years, that was another avenue to give back.

“So, it was almost like a national call to serve again. And I looked at this opportunity and I said, you know what, I have to give it a go and be able to give back again to the people; give back my knowledge and my service to my nation.”

The Nigerian who retired from international football in 2014 after making his debut for the Super Eagles in 2001, attributed his stay in the national team to hard work and the grace of God.

“I will say I am blessed. I am thankful to God for the privilege to be able to showcase my talent,” he said.

“Playing for the national team is not easy. And to be that consistent for many years is only by the grace of God and hard work.”

Furthermore, he said he wants to help the younger generation, adding that “What I enjoy doing is giving back. And that’s all I can give to the younger generation.”

Super Eagles Retain Spot On FIFA Ranking

A file photo of Super Eagles of Nigeria during a training session.

 

 

The Super Eagles have retained their 31st position in the latest FIFA ranking.

According to the index released on Thursday by the football governing body, Nigeria are third in Africa behind the Teranga Lions of Senegal and Tunisia.

The West and North African countries are 20th and 27th respectively on the world stage.

Algeria and Morocco who also sit 35 and 43, trail the Eagles as fourth and fifth to complete Africa’s first five teams.

Meanwhile, Belgium maintained their position as the best globally while World Cup winners France and Brazil are second and third.

England are in the fourth position just as Uruguay sit fifth.

Nigeria will face Sierra Leone at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Delta State on March 23.

Both teams are meeting in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier match with the return leg to be played in Sierra Leone the following week.

Joseph Yobo Appointed Super Eagles’ Assistant Coach

A file photo of former Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo. Photo: Twitter- @thenff

 

 

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has appointed former Super Eagles defender and captain Joseph Yobo as assistant coach of the team.

Yobo will replace Imama Amapakabo in the technical crew of the senior men’s national team.

He played for the Nigeria U-20 team, the Flying Eagles – during the FIFA World Youth Championship (now known as FIFA U20 World Cup) in 1999.

The attack-minded defender won his first cap for the senior team in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match away to Zambia in Chingola in April 2001 and played in three FIFA World Cup finals in 2002, 2010 and 2014.

He also played in six Africa Cup of Nations finals – 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013, capping it with leading the Super Eagles to their third continental title in South Africa in 2013.

Yobo played a total of 100 matches for Nigeria at the senior level.

He is a thoroughbred and dedicated professional who played his club football in five countries, including sterling appearances for Olympique Marseille in the French top flight, Fenerbahce in Turkey and Everton FC in the English Premiership.

The 39-year-old scored several crucial goals for the Super Eagles in important qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.

He was also among the scorers when the Eagles thrashed South Africa’s Bafana Bafana 4-0 in a group phase match in Tunisia 16 years ago.

Born Joseph Michael Yobo on September 6, 1980, the flamboyant stopper also played club football in Belgium with Standard Liege, Tenerife in Spain and Norwich City in England, having started out with Michellin-Harcourt in Rivers State in 1996.

World Cup Qualifiers: Nigeria To Face Cape Verde, CAR, Liberia

Nigeria’s Super Eagles celebrate after scoring a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier final against Seychelles in Asaba, the Delta State capital on March 22, 2019. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn in Group C of the African qualifying series for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Forty countries across the CAF region were divided into 10 groups of four teams each for the penultimate stage of the continental journey to Qatar.

Nigeria, three-time African champions, will play Cape Verde, Central African Republic, and Liberia in the second round of the continental qualification route.

The winner of the group will qualify for the final round of the qualifiers, which will be played on a knockout basis with the eventual five winners advancing to the world cup in Qatar.

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) explained that the final round will have the 10 teams drawn into five home and away ties, with the five winners securing the ticket to represent Africa at the tournament scheduled for 21 November to 18 December 2022 in Qatar.

The group phase of the qualifiers starts in October 2020 and will last until October 2021.

See the groups below:

Group A

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Djibouti

Group B

Tunisia, Zambia, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea

Group C

Nigeria, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Liberia

Group D

Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Malawi

Group E

Mali, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda

Group F

Egypt, Gabon, Libya, Angola

Group G

Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia

Group H

Senegal, Congo, Namibia, Togo

Group I

Morocco, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan

Group J

DR Congo, Benin, Madagascar, Tanzania

FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Ends Decade On A High

Nigeria’s defender Kenneth Omeruo (2nd-L) celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium on June 26 , 2019. Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have ended the year with their highest world ranking in the last decade, FIFA rankings reveal.

According to data released by the football governing body on Thursday, the Eagles ended the year in the 31st position.

The last time Nigeria finished a year higher was in 2009, when the team was 22nd in the world.

However, with a total of 1493 points, the Super Eagles remained third in Africa, behind Senegal and Tunisia.

This year, the team finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt, losing to eventual winners Algeria in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Belgium finished as the number one football team in the world for the second successive year.

World champions France and Brazil were second and third respectively, while England and Uruguay completed the top five.

 

Super Eagles Move Four Places Up In Latest FIFA Ranking

A file photos of Super Eagles of Nigeria during a training session.

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved four places up in the monthly The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rankings released by the world football governing body.

The three-time African champions now occupy the 31st position in the world and third in Africa.

Senegal retained their spot as the best playing nation in the continent and 20th in the world, they are closely trailed by Tunisia who moved two spots to the 27th position.

Algeria also improved in the latest ranking moving three places to the 35th position in the world.

Morocco, despite dropping a spot to the 43rd position completes the continents top five playing nations.

AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Nigeria Fight Back To Beat Lesotho

Photo: Super Eagles Twitter Handle

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria came from a goal down to beat the Crocodiles of Lesotho 4-2 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Lesotho took the lead on the 13th minute before Iwobi leveled the scores for the Super Eagles.

A brace from Victor Osimhen and one from Chukwueze ensured a maximum of three points for the Super Eagles.

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Awaziem’s own goal on the 90th minute reduced the deficit for Lesotho, but the win was enough to secure a second win for the super Eagles who beat the Republic of Benin 2-1 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Wednesday.

Nigeria will play Sierra Leone next year having six points and top group L.

The three-time African champions are aiming for their 19th appearance in the tournament, after winning their eighth bronze medal in the 2019 edition in Egypt.

Quiz Of The Week: Who Scored Nigeria’s Winning Goal Against Benin Republic?

Super Eagles Beat Squirrels Of Benin 2-1

A file photo of Super Eagles. AFP photo

 

Nigeria’s Super Eagles kick-started their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign on a winning note by beating the Squirrels of Benin Republic 2-1.

The squirrels drew first blood with Stephane Sessegnon’s 3rd-minute goal, which stemmed from a flaw in the Nigerian defense line.

However, Victor Osimhen brought the Eagles back into the game which was played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, with an accurate kick from the penalty spot after Ola Aina was fouled in the box.

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The Eagles went on to claim the match through Samuel Kalu’s lovely solo effort, handing Nigeria the entire three points at the 63rd minute of the keenly contested Group L cracker.

Nigeria now leads the group, after other group contenders Sierra Leone and Lesotho pulled a 1-1 draw in their qualifier game.

Rohr Replaces Idowu With Anaemena As Eagles Prepare For Squirrels

World Cup: Gernot Rohr Says Russians Will Support Nigeria
A file photo of Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

 

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up Enyimba FC defender, Ifeanyi Anaemena, to the team’s camp.

This comes as the team prepare to open their 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign against Benin Republic’s Squirrels on Wednesday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Anaemena will also be part of the squad for the Day Two clash with Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday next week.

But Russia-based left-back, Bryan Idowu, who submitted his international passport for renewal will not be available because the document is not ready for him to travel to Nigeria for the encounter.

In October, Anaemena was impressive for the Eagles team B in their 2020 African Nations Championship qualifier against Togo at the Agege Stadium.

He has also been a key player for Enyimba, two-time CAF Champions League winners, as they reached the group phase of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.

Captain Ahmed Musa and 13 other players arrived at the Eagles’ Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resorts on Monday while the remaining nine squad members re expected on Tuesday morning.

The 14 who trained on Monday evening are Musa, goalkeepers – Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Maduka Okoye; defenders – Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi; midfielders – Alex Iwobi, Ramon Azeez and Wilfred Ndidi; and forwards – Samuel Kalu and Victor Osimhen.

Those arriving on Tuesday morning are defenders William Ekong, Anaemena, and Abdullahi Shehu; midfielders Mikel Agu and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo; as well as forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Paul Onuachu, and Emmanuel Dennis.

Ayodele-Aribo, who plays for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, has scored in the Eagles’ last two games – against Ukraine (2-2) and Brazil (1-1) – incidentally the only two matches he has played for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles will train at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Tuesday evening before their match with the Benin Republic on Wednesday.