Faced with an open group with equal points after the first set of match ended 1-1 between Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Zambia on Monday, Chelsea player Victor Moses is hoping to be back for Nigeria’s Second Match.
After the Burkina Faso match in an interview with Channel Television Sports correspondent Joe Ighile, coach Keshi said he hopes that Victor Moses will be fit for Nigeria’s second match which will be against the last edition champions Zambia on Friday.
Moses who via his social media network; Twitter lamented his not being involved in the Burkina Faso match.
The Super Eagles couldn’t keep their one -nil lead as they conceded to the Burkinabe in the 94th minute.
Moses sustained a minor injury during the last practice game in Portugal where he had an hamstring and was said to be back again fit for game as he joined the rest of the team in training but two days ago, the injury recurred which prompted coach Keshi to leave him on the bench.
Victor Moses hopes that he will be back on the field when Nigeria will clash with Zambia.
It was not an impressive opener for the Super Eagles in the Afcon 2013 after the squad gave out a late goal to settle for a draw against Burkina Faso.
Lesson learnt, Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has said he won’t be closing his ears on the note of warning sounded by Nigeria’s next opponent Ethiopia saying that addressing Sewnet Bishaw boys as a team not up to standard is wrong.
The Ethiopians have shown what they are made of after the squad with 10 men forced African champions, Zambia to a draw in Group C’s opening game on Monday.
Keshi said the Ethiopians have proved why they ensured their qualification for the Afcon 2013 with their performance against the Zambians.
Keshi also admitted that his team will have to buckle up as it has now been proven that the Super eagles will be up against strong opponents in the group.
“There are no weak teams here, and Ethiopia showed that they deserve to be at the competition. The group is a strong one,” said Keshi.
“The next game against Zambia is very important. We will put behind us the Burkina Faso game,” said the Nigerian coach.
Meanwhile, Nigerians who are football lovers have complained of biased nature of refereeing against the Super Eagles claiming that it was an obvious move by the Angolan referee against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in favour of their opponents on Monday.
The Eagles were held to a 1-1 after the Burkinabe scored the equaliser 40 seconds to the end of the match in the on-going AFCON in South Africa.
The Super Eagles camp will be full of so much relieve now as the Nigeria medical team reported that injured goalkeeper Austin Ejide will gain full recovery from his thigh injury in two weeks, which was seen as a major setback for the squad.
Austin Ejide who mounted the goalpost for the Super Eagles in a friendly against Cape Verde ahead of the AFCON 2013 got injured during this game which ended in a 0-0 draw can be rest assured to make the nations cup 2013 taking place in South Africa.
The medical report coming from the medical team with the squad in Faro has indicated that the thigh injury which the player sustained will heal in eight days but the player has also been given some time off the training pitch so he can be back to full recovery and join the squad for full training after wards.
The Chief Coach of the Super Eagles; Stephen Keshi said Ejide will be fully fit for the opening clash of the Super Eagles come January 21 but he is however standing by Daniel Akpenyi in camp as a possible replacement for Ejide if plans change.
“In fact, he should be ready for our opening Group C game against Burkina Faso on January 21.
“The doctor has explained that he has started his recovery therapy already and in four days, before we leave Portugal for South Africa, we should have a progress report on whether he has improved or not.
“If we have any negatives we may be forced to make a change but we don’t expect that. However we are still keeping Daniel Akpeyi in camp to forestall any unforeseen circumstance”, he said.
Garba Lawal; a former Nigerian international has refused to be swayed by the back-to-back lacklustre performance of the Zambians in preparation for the AFCON 2013 as he sounded a note of warning to the Super Eagles of Nigeria not to underrate the Chipolopolo.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are in the same group with the African champions and will be meeting January 25th, 4 days after Nigeria plays Burkina Faso.
In their Pre-Afcon games, Zambia has not been too impressive as the Chipolopolo lost to Angola and Tanzania and got a draw from their game against Morocco but this the former Super Eagles player said cannot be used as a yardstick to the Zambians as they can be very mean.
“Honestly I refuse to overlook the Zambians just because they have not done well in their friendly matches. Anyone writing them off because of the results in their recent friendly matches should have a re-think.
“Last year they won the Nations Cup. And before they won it, the Super Eagles defeated them 2-0 in Kaduna in 2011. At that time no one gave them a chance but they went on to win it. So I refuse to be carried away by their poor results in friendly matches and the Super Eagles too shouldn’t be carried away that they will find the Zambians easy,”.
The Black Stars of Ghana are now ahead with superior goal difference as Sudan defeated African champions; Zambia 2-0 to become group leaders with Ghana in group D of the 2014 World Cup qualifying games after the opening day matches were played.
Sudan now at par with the former Gold Coast, Ghana still achieved a feat as they got the biggest victories on home soil.
The best of the two teams will however be known soonest as both teams are having away matches next.
Zambia will be fighting back to retain its recent glory as it was the Copper Bullets that knocked out Ghana in the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup which the Zambia eventually won and they will be meeting Ghana on the 9th of June in continuation of the 2014 World Cup qualifying games.
The World Bank has urged Zambia’s government to stop setting prices at which it buys maize from local farmers and allow the prices to be determined by the market to promote sustainable growth in the agriculture industry.
Zambia announced this week that it would buy maize from small-scale farmers at 65,000 Zambian kwacha per 50 kg bag in the 2012/2013 season.
The government normally buys the maize at higher prices than those offered by private buyers to ensure higher returns for the farmers. It then sells it at reduced prices, locally and within the region.
The World Bank said the policy was costly and not sustainable in the long term and urged the government to review it.
“This old policy has not resulted in significant reduction in rural poverty and job creation. This policy direction has also limited private sector investments in the agriculture sector,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
Analysts have also raised concerns about Lusaka’s costly spend on maize, done via the Food Reserve Agency, saying the government was effectively using “treasury funds to subsidise the region”.
Zambia’s maize output declined by about 6 percent to 2.8 million tonnes in the 2011/2012 season.
A Nigerian investment bank will partner Zambia’s largest distributor of power to mines in the financing and development of six new hydroelectric power stations worth over $1 billion in Zambia, an industry official said on Thursday.
Michael Tarney, the managing director for corporate development at Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), told Reuters the six projects had a total capacity of more than 800 megawatts (MW).
Tarney was speaking after the signing of an agreement for the joint development of power projects by CEC and the Nigerian company.
“We are immediately looking at the $150 million Kabompo gorge hydro power project in north-western Zambia and the five Luapula river projects estimated to cost $1 billion,” he said.
The Kabompo project was moving well with financial close expected to be reached this year, he said.
“The Luapula projects have a combined capacity of 800 MW and this year we are doing feasibility studies but I think we should be starting construction maybe 2013-2014,” he said.
The relationship with Africa Finance Corporation should boost CEC’s chances of winning the bid for units of a Nigerian state power company lined up for privatisation, Tarney said.
Nigeria is currently blighted by persistent electricity outages.
It plans a multi-billion dollar privatisation of its power sector to improve efficiency and had split the distribution network of Power Holding Company of Nigeria into 11 different units valued at about $100 million each.
“The relationship with Africa Finance Corporation whose shareholders include the Nigerian government means we have a local partner,” he said.
African Finance Corporation CEO Andrew Alli said he was happy to find CEC as a potential partner.
The power privatisation in Nigeria offered an opportunity for huge investment by CEC and Africa Finance Corporation outside Zambia, Alli said.