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.

Golden Eaglets: We Don’t Need To Brag, We Just Want To Win – Amunike

The Golden Eaglets Assistant Coach, Emmanuel Amunike has warned that in football, it is not good to brag as the most important thing to focus on is how to win, even if it is by half a goal.

He said this on ‘Sports This Morning’ during the preview of the Golden Eaglets second group game against Sweden. He sounded a warning that the 6-1 score line of the team’s first game versus defending champion, Mexico does not mean Sweden will be easy.

While reacting to a question on how many goals Nigerians should expect in the game against Sweden, the former Super Eagles attacker who was speaking via the phone from UAE said:

“Sometimes you don’t expect to score a lot of goals, bearing it in mind that also these teams, what made them to be in this tournament, that means they’re good. The likes of Spain, France, they didn’t make it, and then Sweden, Croatia are here”.

He further said each game brings different challenges and plan, but the objective of the team is to win the game and consolidate their qualification for the next stage. He assured that the boys are in good mood, and even though everyone is expecting a very tough challenge, he expects victory.

The Media Officer of the team, Morakinyo Abodunrin, also speaking from UAE had earlier expressed optimism that the boys and the coaching crew are all in good spirit for the game but also warned that winning the tournament requires having to play 7 games, so it is too early to start celebrating just one victory even if it was 6-1 against the defending champions.

Sweden won their first game 4-1 against Iraq. Victory for either of the teams will make them top the group and guarantee qualification into the Round of 16.

Presenting new UAE goal king; Asamoah Gyan

channels_television_asamoah_gyanHis UAE club Al Ain walloped Baniyas 3-0 as he scored a brace in the game on Friday,  he is now the top scorer of the UAE league, we present to you one of the best players in the world of football presently making Africa proud,  Asamoah Gyan.

Asamoah Gyan has so far scored 15 goals in the league making him the top scorer of the league although he was yellow carded over a squabble with Mohammed Jaber who plays for Baniyas as he couldn’t hide his nervousness and frustration which he said was necessary as it is part of the game of football.

Gyan was simply unstoppable in the game which took place at the Tahoon Bin Mohammed Stadium as Al Ain got ahead with his goal before recess and another some minutes after recess and the sealer for Al Ain which was also from his control of a long ball on the bounce and swerving an opponent to score in the 84th minute.

Gyan who is presently on loan from English club Sunderland said he has his striking partner Yasser Al Qahtani to thank as he has made his success at the club possible as he hailed the Saudi striker.

Al Ain is in contention for the title a 10th time and as it is according the coach they are on their way to clinching the title thanks to Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan.

SSS arrest seven in connection to kidnapping of UAE national

The State Security Service has arrested seven individuals suspected to have a hand in the kidnapping of United Arab Emirates national, Mohammed Khamis Ali, who was released from captivity on March 19 after being held for 60 days.

The SSS said on Thursday that the seven-man gang had lured the Emirati business man into Nigeria on 20 January, under the hoax of a business deal in the nation’s commercial hub of Lagos. He had been seized and held prisoner in a remote locale near Osun state.

“(Al Ali) was lured to visit Nigeria for a phantom business transaction by a fake company, Finuche Investments, was abducted by a kidnap syndicate and held hostage for about 60 days,” SSS spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar told reporters.

Kidnapping has become a major enterprise in Africa’s most populous nation, with the vast majority of the victims being Nigerian, but in recent months, a number of foreigners have been abducted, including the British and Italian nationals that were abducted and killed shortly before a failed rescue operation by British and Nigerian forces.

Ogar reporters that while the seven gang members, who had been tasked to guard al Ali during his captivity, are now in their custody, the masterminds of the attack still remain at large.

She addressed reporters, with the suspects behind her as she spoke. The suspects claimed that they had released the Emirati after it had become apparent that their bosses were no longer contacting them with further instructions on what to do with their victim.

Neither Ogar nor the suspects mentioned payment of a ransom.

The SSS spokesman said the seven suspected kidnappers will be charged to court while investigations continue in order to fish out the kidnapping mastermind.

Federer Beats Murray to claim Dubai title

Fans’ favourite Roger Federer helped himself to a record fifth title when he fought past Britain’s Andy Murray in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open at a packed Dubai Tennis Stadium on Saturday night.

Watched by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman, Dubai Sports Council, for a major part of the first set, the Swiss went on to record a 7-5, 6-4 victory.

The capacity crowd rose to the occasion to welcome Federer as champion for a record fifth time in Dubai following his earlier successes in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. “I think I played well in the big points tonight and that is what made the difference,” Federer said.

He received the winner’s trophy from Shaikh Hasher Maktoum, Dubai Director of Information and President of Tennis Emirates; Shaikh Ahmad Al Sabah, Chairman, Kuwait Tennis Association; Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Vice-President, Tennis Emirates; Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman, Dubai Duty Free, and other officials.

Making his fourth appearance here, Murray had never previously got past the quarter-finals. But during the course of the week he showed all signs of maintaining his career edge against the former world No 1.

Playing both Djokovic — whom he beat in the semi-finals — and Federer at the same tournament for the first time ever, Murray was broken for the only time in the opening set in the 11th game. That put Federer 6-5 up and then served out 7-5 in 52 minutes.

In the second set, Federer assumed early control with a break in the third to go 2-1, up but squandered the advantage as Murray bounced right back with a break — the first against Federer’s serve in 65 service games — and then hold for a 3-2 lead.

Federer had not previously been broken since the semi-finals in Rotterdam against Nikolay Davydenko last month.

However, Federer was far from finished as he broke Murray a second time when the Scotsman netted a backhand return in the ninth game to enable the second-seeded Swiss to serve out for set and match in an hour and 36 minutes.

Federer received the winner’s cheque of $409,170 (Dh1.5 million).