FIFA Picks UAE Officials For Nigeria Vs Mexico

Golden-Eaglets-Amunike-fifa-NigeriaThe world football governing body, FIFA, have picked United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Mohammed Mohamed for the crucial semi-final match between the Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets and Mexico.

Referee Mohamed will be assisted by his countrymen, Mohamed Alhammadu and Hasan Almahri, while Peru’s Diego Haro will be the reserved referee for the match.

Both sides have played three times at the Under-17 level with the Golden Eaglets winning two of the encounters.

The Golden Eaglets spanked Mexico 6-1 in the group phase of the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and also defeated the Mexicans 3-0 in the final of the tournament in the UAE.

FIFA Sacks Entire Thailand FA Board

fifaWorld football governing body, FIFA, has sacked the entire Executive Committee of Thailand’s Football Association (FAT).

This is coming four days after its President, Worawi Makudi, was suspended pending an ethics investigation by FIFA.

Worawi, who had been President since 2007, was provisionally banned for 90 days over a possible breach of FIFA’s code of ethics.

FIFA said that it had put in place a so-called “normalisation committee” to oversee the election of a new Executive Committee by February 16, 2016.

Super Eagles Move Up Four Places In Latest World Ranking

super eaglesThe Super Eagles of Nigeria has moved four places up in the latest monthly world ranking released by the world football governing body, FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.

The team sits 10th in the continent and 53rd in the world, while Algeria remains the best football playing nation on the continent as the national team remain unchanged on the 19th spot in the world.

African Champions, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire is second in Africa and 21st in the world.

The Black Stars of Ghana, Tunisia and Senegal completes the continent’s top five.

However, the indomitable lions of Cameroon, Congo, Cape Verde Islands and Egypt also recorded improvements in their rankings to make up the top 10 teams in Africa.

Last month, the Super Eagles dropped 14 places to the 57th position.

Linus Mba Becomes First Casualty Of FIFA Suspension

Linus MbaFIFA Referees Advisor and Consultant to the Nigeria Football Federation on refereeing, Linus Mba, has become the first casualty of the FIFA Suspension order on Nigeria.

Mba, who was appointed three weeks ago as the Match Commissioner for the Sierra Leone and Seychelles African Cup of Nations qualifier in Freetown on July 19 has been replaced.

On Monday, the retired FIFA referee and former member of the CAF Referees Committee got a letter from CAF regretting his replacement.

The letter signed by Amr Fahmy Manager, Nations Cup said in part: “I regret to inform you that due to the suspension of the Nigerian FA, we had to temporarily suspend all appointments for any officials/referees from Nigeria, so we were left without any choice but to replace you for the above-mentioned match.”

Fahmy letter read: “…price that experienced men like yourself, good servants of African football, have to pay.”

Few hours before CAF’s decision, the referee consultant had received a mail from the General Secretary, Sierra Leone Football Association, Chris Kamara, that his tickets and other documents for him and the referees were to be sent by Wednesday.

This decision has come on the heels of suggestions that before Tuesday the Nigeria case would be normalized to allow FIFA lift the suspension order.

The Eaglets are expected to leave on Wednesday to Congo DR, while the Super Falcons are set for the African Women Championship draws in Windhoek, Namibia, this weekend, but that would only happen if Nigeria normalizes the relationship with FIFA.

The fate of Mba would further explain the powers of FIFA sanctions as adopted by Confederations and other Federations worldwide.

FIFA Suspends Nigeria Football Federation

Sepp-Blatter_FIFAThe world football governing body, FIFA, has suspended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect, on account of government interference.

The body’s Emergency Committee’s decision is coming after a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on July 4, in which it expressed its great concern after the NFF was served with court proceedings and consequently an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football was granted by a High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

After the court order the Nigerian Minister of Sports appointed a senior member of the civil service to manage the NFF until the matter was heard in court.

The authorities then appointed a person who decided to convene an extraordinary general assembly on 5 July 2014. This extraordinary general assembly was convened in violation of the NFF statutes.

Originally, an elective congress had been planned by the NFF to take place on 26 August 2014.

The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs.

Article 13, par. 1 and article 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

It bars teams, including clubs, from Nigeria form taking part in any international sporting event, as provided by article 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes.

During the period of suspension, the NFF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches.

The most immediate effect is that Nigeria will not be entitled to participate in the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (5-24 August 2014) should the suspension not be lifted by 15 July 2014.

Blatter Eyes Football Pundit Career After Retirement

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has opened on his plans after his retirement saying after he steps down from the office of the number one football body in the world he will be going into the business of football analysis.

Blatter who has been occupying the position since 2005 intends to analyse matches both on television and radio.

Given his longstanding aversion to technology, it is also unclear how Blatter would fare with Sky’s studio gadgetry but the 76-year-old said he planned to “live a dream he had when he was a young boy” and work in the media as a “radio commentator or reporter”.

When it was suggested he could become a Sky Sports pundit, he replied: “I would comment on the games but I would not say ‘now he passes right or left’ because everybody can see that on TV, but I would make my comments on tactics or techniques.”

Blatter was controversially re-elected unopposed in 2011 for his fifth term as president and said at the time that he would retire in 2015 but he had recently hinted he could go on. Yet in an interview with Sky Sports he insisted that he would leave Fifa at the age of 79.

Although he has had an up-and-down relationship with the UEFA President, Michel Platini, over the years, Blatter also appeared to anoint the former France international as his chosen successor. “This could be a good possibility … I am not so sure that he would be willing to go into the position as Fifa president – he has not declared officially.

“But he could, would, should be a good successor always and ever. And the successor shall go on with, I would say, the globality of football and not confine football only in a few countries.”

Blatter continued to skirt around the topic, saying that as things stood the tournament would be played in the blazing summer heat but refusing to rule out a switch at a later date – if the organisers proposed it.

The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee conversely continues to say it is preparing for a summer tournament but will consider a switch if Fifa suggests it.

“If there should be any movement or change because you have heard declarations that it should be played at the end of the year and not in the hot season – for that we should receive from the organiser a demand or a request,” Blatter said. “It is a question mark as you say and it is a good question but I cannot give you a definite answer now.”

The Fifa president also insisted that his “roadmap” to reform and greater transparency was on track. After the storm of criticism and corruption allegations that engulfed Fifa in 2011, he said it would be finalised at its Congress in Mauritius in May.

He said, apparently without irony, that some of the topics up for debate would include “new statutes, some changes, speaking about the term of office, if there shall be an age limit, how the president shall be elected to have more consensus for a candidate and so on”.

Blatter also responded to the booing directed at him during the London Olympics when he appeared on the pitch at Wembley: “This was just a very, I would say, a small boos. Stars are always booed so I’m a star, you have to take it this way. I thought that the public in the Olympic Games, they would be a little bit better educated.”

I Want To Avoid Creating Problems For Any Player — Keshi

Following the row going on between Nigeria and the club managers of Millwall and Newcastle; Kenny Jackett and Alan Pardew over Nigerian defender and Millwall’s Danny Shittu and Newcastle player Shola Ameobi, Super Eagle head coach; Stephen Keshi said he will be willing to let the players be, if the row will affect their careers as he is not out to let them lose favour in their various clubs.

“I would not want to cause any problems for any player over something like this because it is his career and eventually he will have to return to his club,” he said.

This is coming after Nigeria hit out at Newcastle United for not allowing Shola Ameobi to play at next month’s African Nations Cup in South Africa.

Nigeria has been drawn in Nations Cup Group C with Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and defending champions Zambia.

Pardew responded to the naming of the Nigerian player saying Ameobi cannot go to South Africa and the national team manager;Keshi knows the reason why which he is not revealing.

“The national team manager knows the reasons – which I am keeping to myself.”

The African tournament which will be holding from Jan. 19th- Feb 10th named Newcastle Ameobi in the provisional list but Alan Pardew whom Keshi claimed he has never met in his life has refused to let the player report to the Super Eagles training camp in Portugal.

“I don’t know what is in his head or what he is thinking about. I have never spoken to Alan Pardew in my life; I have only seen him on television.”

Keshi said during an interview on the Supersports channel that Pardew cannot stop Ameobi from reporting for National duties because the Afcon is a competition backed by FIFA; the World football governing body.

“Alan Pardew knows he cannot stop Shola from going to the Nations Cup because the competition is sanctioned by soccer’s ruling body.”

Pardew’s Newcastle is not sitting comfortably right now on the English Premier League table as the club is just five points above the relegation zone in 15th spot, hence the reason the manager is not letting Ameobi answer to national call.

Keshi also reacted to Kenny Jackett’s refusal to release Danny Shittu who was also named in the Eagles provisional list as the Millwall manager said Shittu would not be going to the Nations Cup.

Keshi said the English clubs feel they have every right on these players so they feel they can stop them from playing for their countries. He said they really have to understand the importance of the Afcon tournament.

“I don’t know why the English clubs are trying to stop their players from going. Do they feel these players don’t have the right to play for their countries?”

“Clubs have to understand how important this competition is.”



FIFA signs goal-line technology deals with GoalRef and Hawk-Eye

Finally, the resolve on seeking solutions from the goal-line technology is beginning to take proper shape as the World football governing body; FIFA took a positive step towards it as it signed licence agreements with two goal-line technology providers; GoalRef and Hawk-Eye.

The two technology providers were authorised to install their systems around the world after negotiations and final agreements towards the deal was over and according information the goal-linetechnology will be introduced in the English Premier League 2013-14 seasons.

It would be recalled that sometime in October 2011, the World football governing body began looking into the reliability of this goal-line technology systems due to series of high-profile controversies about whether or not shots had crossed the line.

And after these tests were done it came about that the two goal-line technology providers came out tops in that their systems were reliable in detecting whether the whole of a football had crossed a goal-line.

But some leading figures in football, including UEFA president Michel Platini, remain opposed to technology.

Platini is refusing to allow its use in UEFA competitions, instead preferring additional assistant referees, such as those seen at Euro 2012 and in the Europa League.

Platini said he will never be convinced on the goal-line technology as he will also not change his views on the matter saying that his idea is to help referees by putting up more referees.

FIFA in a statement released towards the deals signed said “Between October 2011 and June 2012, both companies passed a series of extensive laboratory and field tests, tests in simulated match situations, as well as tests in live matches.

“This milestone in the goal-line technology process, which began in 2011, means that the two companies now have official authorisation to install their respective goal-line technology systems worldwide.”

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which makes the game’s rules, gave the go-ahead to the use of technology as calls for its introduction increased around the world.

The debate was intensified by incidents such as the goal scored by Frank Lampard for England against Germany in the last World Cup, when the referee failed to award a goal despite the ball clearly crossing the line.

But hurdles remain before the systems are in full use, and FIFA explained: “Once a system has been installed in a stadium, it undergoes a final inspection to check its functionality.

“This is carried out by an independent test institute and the results of this so-called ‘final installation test’ must be successful. Only a positive final installation test qualifies a system to be used in official matches.”

Both systems are due to be used in competitive games for the first time at the Club World Cup in Japan in December, with GoalRef installed at one of the tournament’s two venues and Hawk-Eye at the other.