Showing posts with label SPORTS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SPORTS. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

2015 Nations cup: Keshi must brace up for war – Bafana coach

Bafana Bafana head coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba has warned Nigeria boss Stephen Keshi that he must ‘brace himself for war’ ahead of their clash in Cape Town  on Wednesday.
South Africa welcome the Super Eagles to the Cape Town Stadium in the second round of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers in midweek.
The Group A clash will see a confident Bafana take
  on nemesis Nigeria, who are wounded by their 3-2 opening weekend defeat to Congo-Brazzaville in Calabar.

South Africa, mean while, are brimming with confidence following their 3-0 win in Khartoum  on Friday, but will face a different challenge all together when the Eagles land on South African soil.
Keshi’s men famously won the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa while the West Africans trounced Bafana 3-1 in the 2014 CHAN tournament at the very stadium where the two rivals will meet  on Wednesday.
“This Nigeria team has been giving us nightmares, but we will fight in every game,” said Mashaba.
“When two Elephants meet, it is grass that suffers. Watch out, brace yourself for war that day [when Mashaba meets Keshi], because, like I have indicated earlier on, they [Nigeria], have given us sleepless nights.”
Mashaba, who took over from Gordon Igesund in July, feels a win  on Wednesday  would change a lot of things football in South Africa for the better.
“This is one time they must brace themselves for war up to the fullest, it won’t be an easy walk in the park for both teams, but what we are looking for is to come out victorious and that win will change a lot of things in our football, both in administration, media wise, any structure that you talk about,” Mashaba added.
“We win that game [and] things will change for the better.”

Amadu writes FIFA on update on NFA crisis

  Abuja - The Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Musa Amadu, has written the world football governing body (FIFA) intimating it of the latest development in the country’s football house.
Amadu told newsmen in Abuja after close of work on Monday that the letter was to inform FIFA that he and few others returned to office and worked in the football secretariat unhindered.


FIFA had on Sept. 3 threatened to suspend Nigeria from football after it declared as illegal the Aug. 26 election that produced, Chris Giwa, as NFA Chairman.
FIFA had subsequently directed that the Aminu Maigari-led NFA board be returned to office to supervise a fresh election into the NFA board.
It also directed that the Maigari-led group return to office on Monday to perform their duties unhindered.
“I can confirm to you that I did write a letter just now to FIFA which I copied CAF informing them about the event of today.
“The development is in line with FIFA directives that we be allowed to come to the secretariat and do our work unhindered.
“Also those persons claiming to be elected did not come to the office just to allow us to do our work and I think at the end of the day reason has prevailed.
“This is because the crisis is inimical to the development of football for a big country like Nigeria which is a powerhouse in African football.
“I believe that the event of today will be cemented and peace will return to the Nigeria football,’’ Amadu said.
The NFA scribe explained that his reason for copying CAF was to ensure that Nigeria’s second AFCON qualifying match against South Africa went unhindered in Cape Town on Wednesday.
He pointed out that Maigari and his board members was expected back any time from now to ensure election into the board was concluded Sept. 25.
“From the letter we got from FIFA on Sept. 3, it was stated in clear terms that the Maigari-led board will preside over two emergency congresses.
“The first will be to elect members of the Electoral Committee and the Appeals Committee as well as another congress leading to election within the shortest possible time.
“I am not a member of the congress but I know that congress is trying to see that this election is held within the shortest possible time and for us to have election probably by Sept. 25.
“This is to enable the next NFA board to carry out their mandate from 2014 to 2018,’’ Amadu said.
NAN reports that the Giwa-led faction of the NFA board did not show up at the football secretariat on Monday.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Barcelona (Barca) signs Mathieu on a four-year deal

BARCELONA has reached an agreement with Valencia to sign left-back Jeremy Mathieu for €20 million, the Catalan club has announced.

  The Frenchman is set to sign a four-year deal at the Nou Camp and will provide competition for Jordi Alba on the left side of defence.

  “FC Barcelona and Valencia CF have reached agreement for the transfer of the French player, Jeremy Mathieu,” read a statement on www.fcbarcelona.com.

  “Jeremy Mathieu will sign a contract with FC Barcelona for the next four seasons, plus an optional season more.

  “The cost of the transfer is €20 million (£15.8 million) and the buyout clause will be €50 million.”

  Mathieu travelled with the Valencia squad to Madrid as a stop off on their way to Peru as part of their pre-season tour, but will now travel to Barcelona to sign his contract with the Catalans and join Luis Enrique’s side for pre-season training.

  The Frenchman came through the ranks at Ligue 1 side Sochaux, making his professional debut in 2002 and eventually moved to fellow French side Toulouse in 2005.

NFF may decide coach Stephen Keshi’s fate today

IF the meeting of the executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) held at the NFF Secretariat, Abuja, today without members throwing fisticuffs, the board would decide whether Super Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi, retains his job or not.

  A source close to one of the camps in the board told The Guardian yesterday that since the botched attempt to remove the Aminu Maigari-led executive, some members have been waiting for this opportunity to vent their anger on the leadership.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Brown Ideye joins West Brom for £10m

 Brown Ideye
Nigeria Super Eagles striker, Brown Ideye, has signed for English Premiership side, West Bromwich Albion for a fee of 10 million pounds.

Ideye The 25-year-old signed a three-year deal with an option to increase it by a year.

He has been given jersey number nine and is to play alongside his compatriot, Victor Anichebe.

“Brown is a quality striker and I’m looking forward to working with him,” head coach Alan Irvine told the club’s website

“He’s a strong, quick, powerful player who likes to get in behind defences and has plenty of Champions League and international experience,” he added.

Brown Ideye joins West Brom from Ukranaian side, Dynamo Kiev.
He has played for Ocean Boys football club in the Nigerian League and also for clubs in Switzerland and France.

He was a prominent part of the Nigerian squad that won the African Nations Cup but was not selected for the World Cup.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Court restrains Maigari, NFF congress, others

A Plateau High Court sitting in Jos on Wednesday granted an Order of Interlocutory Injunction restraining the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, the Executive Committee members as well as the NFF Congress from running affairs of Nigerian football forthwith pending the determination of the Motion on Notice before the court. In granting the Order, Justice P.L. Lot said, “that interim injunction is granted restraining the second defendant, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, and all other purported members of the Executive Committee and Congress of the first defendant (NFF) from further controlling, commanding or managing the affairs of the first defendant and all football matters in Nigeria pending the hearing, and determination of the motion on notice. “An Order of mandatory injunction is granted compelling the fourth Defendant (Minister of Sports) to appoint a senior members of the civil service in the first defendant (NFF) to command, control and manage the affairs of the said first defendant and the football matters in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice in this matter”. Following the Order, which compelled the Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Tammy Danagogo to appoint a senior member of the civil service in the NFF to “command, control and manage the Affairs of the NFF and football matters in Nigeria,” he has accordingly appointed Lawrence Longyir Katken as Acting Secretary General of the NFF. In a letter personally signed by the minister to Katken, he said, “Further to Suit No. PLD/J 342/2014 and an order of mandatory injunction, issuing from Hon. Justice PL Lot,....you (Lawrence Katiken) are hereby directed to act as Secretary General of the NFF, and to take over the full management of the NFF. “You are to hold this position pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice in the referenced suit”. The owner of Nembe FC, Ebiakpo Rumson Baribote (Plaintiff) had through her Counsel, S D Ekara, holding brief of T. D Quidon Esq, filed a Suit No PLD/J 342/2014, asked the Court to grant an Order of Interim Injunction restraining the second defendant, (Alhaji Aminu Maigari) and all the Committee and congress of the first defendant (the NFF) from further controlling, commanding or managing the Affairs of the first defendant and all football matters in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for Interlocutory Injunction filed in this case. Justice Lot fixed July 11, 2014 for hearing on the motion on notice.(Guardian)

Brasil 2014: Enyeama is sixth best goal keeper, polls reveal

SUPER Eagles goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama has been rated the sixth best shot stopper at the on going Brazil 2014 World Cup with a save rate of 80.8 per cent. The Lille of France goalkeeper and with 94 caps was instrumental to Nigeria’s qualification to the second round after several saves in the game against Bosnia and thwarted the Argentines a number of times. The former Enyimba FC goaltender was voted as one of the best goalkeeper in the French league for his club Lille last season and the best hand in the goalpost in Africa was already a fan favourite for comedy classics such as “leaning against the goalpost, while the opposition attacks. Enyeama kept 11 consecutive clean sheets in Ligue 1 matches during the first half of the season. According to the polls conducted by Mirror of London, the following goalkeepers were credited with the highest number of saves. David Ospina (Colombia) When the manager of the other team single-handedly blames you for his own side’s loss, then you know you played pretty well. Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez labelled Ospina as being “extraordinary”. Save rate – 90 per cent Keylor Navas (Costa Rica) If you want to score a penalty against Keylor Navas, then you’re going to have to do something pretty special. The Costa Rican keeper was integral in getting his side through to the quarter-finals. Save rate - 87.5 per cent Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) The Belgian keeper is a cult hero in his own country, where fans of the towering giant recreate his finest saves in video form and post them to YouTube. He has quietly got on with his job at the World Cup. Save rate - 85.7 per cent Tim Howard (USA) Has won the praise of the Barrack Obama (and the rest of America) for his superb performance against Belgium, in which he made a world record 16 saves. Save rate - 82.4 per cent Manuel Neuer (Germany) Probably his finest moment at this World Cup so far has been his fleeting appearance as a right-back against Algeria. You want to score against a German goalkeeper? Sorry, pal, no can do. Save rate - 81.3 per cent Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria) The Lille goalkeeper is well-known in France for his charismatic and solid displays, and THAT video of him leaning on a goalpost while the opposition are bearing down on goal has been watched by the majority of humans on earth. Save rate - 80.8% Rais M’Bolhi (Algeria) The type of guy you don’t mess with! The boss of his 18-yard box, M’Bolhi pulled off some sensational saves for Algeria against Germany, and kept his side in the game. Save rate - 76.7 per cent Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico) Along with Mexico coach Miguel Herrera, Ochoa has become something of a sensation at the World Cup. Save rate - 76.8 per cent

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Zidane appointed to coach Real Madrid feeder team next season

MADRID (AFP) – France legend Zinedine Zidane has been appointed coach for next season of Real Madrid’s feeder team, third-division side Castilla, the club said Wednesday.
“Zinedine Zidane will manage Castilla next season,” Real Madrid said in a statement on the club’s website.
“Zizou, who was Carlo Ancelotti’s first squad assistant coach this year, will start a new stage of his career at Real Madrid.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Robben and Van Persie – Dutch double trouble

(AFP) – Both goal-scorers against Australia on Wednesday, Dutch forwards Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie now have three goals each and seem determined to leave their mark on the World Cup.
Quite apart from the number of goals, the quality of their performances has also been roundly applauded.
Robben was clocked at 37 kilometres per hour (23 miles per hour) during Holland’s 5-1 rout of Spain — a record for a footballer — while Van Persie’s glorious diving header in the same game appears destined to become one of the images of the tournament.

The statistics reveal that the Netherlands, who have already scored eight goals in only two games, are heavily dependent on their two attacking stars.
In his last eight matches for the Oranje, Robben has scored at the exceptional rate of a goal a game.
Van Persie, meanwhile, has found the net 12 times in his last 13 appearances, notably netting a double in the 2-0 win over Andorra, a hat-trick in the 8-1 rout of Hungary, and another brace in the crushing victory over Spain.



Between them, the pair have accounted for 65 percent of the 29 goals that Holland have scored this season, making them by some distance the most productive players since Louis van Gaal returned as coach two years ago.
Their form for the national team can be traced directly to their performances at club level.
Robben scored 21 goals in 45 matches for Bayern Munch last season, while Van Persie claimed 18 goals in 28 games despite enduring a difficult campaign at Manchester United under David Moyes.
Van Persie’s goal against Australia took his career total to 247 goals in 519 professional games for club and country.

- ‘Do some damage’ -

The milestone of 250 is therefore in sight, although his suspension for Monday’s game against Chile means that he will have to wait until the knockout phase for his next opportunity to chase down the target.
When asked to explain their current productivity, the two players are quick to laud the tactical system put in place by Van Gaal, who will coach Van Persie at United from next season onwards.
“I’m a player who craves counter-attacks,” explains Robben.
“The fact that our defence plays very deep frees up a lot of space for Robin and me. We have the whole pitch for leading counter-attacks.”
His goals against Spain and Australia were the perfect illustration.
“The 5-3-2 allows me to play in a very direct way towards Arjen and Robin,” adds midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who is a key figure in the pair’s supply line.
“Against Australia it was less straightforward because the Australians were less attacking than the Spanish. But against Chile and again in the last 16, our system will do a lot of damage.”
However, Van Gaal is considering jettisoning the system as he is less than satisfied with his players’ conservation of the ball.
“It went better (against Australia) when we moved to a 4-3-3 after Memphis Depay came on,” explained the 62-year-old, who added that he would discuss the matter with his players.
Sneijder, though, is happy with things just the way they are.
“The 5-3-2 works,” he said. “You don’t change a winning system.”

Monday, 16 June 2014

"Iran will use Nigeria’s game today to gain global recognition"

Carlos Quiroz
The Iranian national team are not happy with the perception of many soccer fans and opponents in the Brazil World Cup.
They are saddened when people refer to them as the whipping team of Group F even before the first ball is kicked today against Nigeria. And so, they have agreed to use Nigeria’s game today to gain global recognition.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Brasil 2014 Osaze:will prove I have changed

Returnee Eagles forward Osaze Odemwingie insists he will prove that he is changed man when he links up with the African champions later this month for an international friendly against Scotland on May 28 at Craven Cottage, England and pre-World Cup training camp in Houston, Texas. Osaze has been handed a World Cup lifeline by Eagles coach Stephen Keshi, who named the 32 year old Norwich City forward in his 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup, kicking off June 12 in Sao Paolo. Osaze earned his place in the team after ending his feud with Keshi. The duo fell out after the former Lille and West Brom star was sensationally excluded from Keshi’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations squad. Nigeria won the title, all thanks to the striking duo of Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses. But following his public apology to Keshi and the Nigeria Football Federation and his rise in form in the EPL, which has seen him scored five goals in the colours of Norwich, the former Lokomotiv Moscow star has found his way back in the Eagles mix and vows to make the most of the precious opportunity to play at the biggest stage of world football. Osaze Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, Osaze said “I am very excited to be included in the provisional squad for the World Cup and hope to show everyone that I have changed and will prove my worth for the good of the team”. Odemwingie, 32, last featured for the Eagles during a barren draw against Rwanda in February 2012. And in separate chat with BBC Sport, Osaze who has played 55 time for Nigeria, admitted that “I made mistakes in the past but I’ve put all that behind me now. I thank the manager for this chance. “This is good for my career because I am in a better place right now. I just want to make my own contribution to the team and my country.” .

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Return of the Prodigal: Brazil 2014, Osaze, Yobo, Agbim make Keshi’s list

Ahead of FIFA’s May 10 deadline for the submission of final list of players selected to represent their countries at next month’s World Cup in Brazil, the Nigeria Football Federation Tuesday released a provisional list of 30 Super Eagles players for the mundial.
The list comprised of four goalkeepers. They are Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim and Daniel Akpeyi.

The team’s defenders selected for the mundial are Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Joseph Yobo and Kunle Odunlami.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Getafe draw tatters Barcelona title hopes

(AFP) – Barcelona’s slim hopes of retaining their La Liga title were all but ended after they were held 2-2 at home by struggling Getafe on Saturday. The Catalans now trail leaders Atletico Madrid by three points with just two games remaining and having played a game more, whilst Real Madrid are just three points further back but with two games in hand over Barca. Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a fine finish, but Barca were pegged pack when Angel Lafita levelled just before half-time. The Spanish champions improved going forward after the break and deservedly went back in front when Alexis Sanchez drilled the ball home 23 minutes from time, but they were stunned in injury time as Lafita rose to head home Jaime Gavilan’s cross to secure a vital point for Getafe. “We have committed errors that are unbecoming of the professionals we are,” Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets told Canal Plus. “There are two games remaining and we will try to play them with honour because the league is practically lost. We hope that next season will be different.” A video tribute was played along with a minute’s silence to mark the death of former Barca coach Tito Vilanova before kick-off in the Catalans’ first home game since he passed away at the age of 45 on April 25. Possibly affected by that emotional start to the game, the hosts began slowly but went in front with their first clear opening on 23 minutes when Messi swept home Dani Alves’s low cross to register his 41st goal of the season. Pedro Rodriguez should then have made it 2-0 when he raced onto a wonderful through ball from Messi, but Getafe keeper Julio Cesar did well to narrow the angle and turn the Spanish international’s effort behind. Instead, Getafe were level in controversial circumstances eight minutes before half-time when Lafita controlled Pablo Sarabia’s looping free-kick before firing low into the far corner. The goal was initially ruled out by the assistant referee for an infringement by Lafita, but referee Jose Antonio Teixeira Vitienes overruled his colleague and allowed the goal to stand. Barca could still have been back in front before half-time had Sanchez chosen to shoot rather than square the ball to Messi when well-placed inside the area. However, Gerardo Martino’s men upped the tempo of their game at the start of the second period and Cesar did well to parry a thunderous volley from Messi three minutes after the restart. Sanchez then struck the bar as the ball looped up off the Chilean’s chest before Pedro forced another good save from Cesar. Barca did finally go back in front midway through the second-half as substitute Cesc Fabregas had an instant impact when his low cross fell perfectly for Sanchez to rifle home his 20th goal of the season. The home side should have added to their lead in the closing stages as Alves somehow headed wide Messi’s pinpoint cross from close range before the Argentine was at fault himself when his attempted lob over Cesar dropped onto the roof of the net. They were nearly made to pay nine minutes from time when a slick Getafe counter-attack ended with Sarabia’s fierce volley being brilliantly held on the line by Jose Manuel Pinto. However, there was nothing the keeper could do to prevent Lafita powering home his second of the afternoon in stoppage time to move Getafe three points clear of the relegation zone.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Odemwingie apologises to Keshi after long fall out with the Eagles coach

Odemwingie peter
There are very strong indications that out-of-favour Super Eagles player, Osaze Odemwingie may likely re-join the Stephen Keshi-led Eagles in their remaining friendly games before they hit Brazil for the World Cup in June.

Strong-headed Osaze was  left out of the Eagles in 2012 when he took offence for being substituted  after a very poor outing in a Nations Cup match in Rwanda. When Keshi wanted to recall him he expressed misgiving about his substitution and Keshi felt that he was not yet ready to play for Nigeria and give his all. Keshi looked away.

Osaze  took to Twitter to ease his frustration, blasting Keshi and the Eagles crew for what he reasoned was

wrong. But we gathered that he may have pleaded Mea cupa and Keshi is also set to welcome him back by inviting him to the team as soon as possible.

A very dependable source informed us that Osaze who appears  in form in his new club, Stoke City has apologised to the Eagles coach and told him to forgive him of his tantrums.

“Keshi is human and was touched by the change of heart of Osaze in asking for forgiveness. He(Keshi) wants the best for the Super Eagles. Since Osaze is doing well in his club and has shown remorse, he will soon open the doors for the ‘’prodigal son’’, our source said.

The Super Eagles would be glad to welcome Osaze who hit a brace against West Ham at the weekend as his club won 3-1.

While Osaze’s come-back remains a cheery news, our source was silent on the fate of Villarreal hotshot, Ike Uche whose chances of coming back to Eagles after his last outing in the African Cup of Nations win in South Africa are still unclear. Keshi had frowned that Ike Uche lacked  tactical discipline,  an accusation that shocked both player and keen watchers of football.(VANGUARD)

Wenger: Arsenal's Title will be Won or Lost at Stamford Bridge

Arsene Wenger believes that their title challenge hinges on their game against Chelsea next week at Stamford Bridge.

The Frenchman will lead the Gunners onto the field in what will be his 1000th game in charge of the north London club.

The 64-year-old has won three Premier League trophies with the Gunners and is looking for his fourth success  after nine years without a trophy. Their 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane has opened up the title race yet again after Chelsea lost to Aston Villa at Villa park on Saturday.

The Gunners took a different route to how their supporters are accustomed to, digging the game out amid a barrage of attacking threat from the home side.

However, Arsenal stuck to their task and rode on the back of a wonder strike from Tomas Rosicky in the 1st minute and defended doggedly with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny refusing their arch rivals any space through the middle.

A win at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho's first ever in charge of Chelsea at home, will take the Gunners one point within Chelsea, having played a game less.

"It gets us a bit closer to Chelsea and makes the game next week even more interesting. We are now back to four points, we have a game in hand and we have played two away games on the trot because Swansea was postponed so we have five games at home. We'll see, it makes the next game a very big one," Wenger told www.arsenal.com.

"The next game will have a vital importance. I believe as well we came out of three games, Everton, Bayern and today where mentally every time you have to be absolutely focused. That's where I think our defenders have done extremely well because there is no ordinary moment in a game like that and they managed to keep their focus up completely for 90 minutes in every single game," he concluded. (ibtimes, UK)

Barcelona scout for Liverpool managaer Brendan Rodgers to take over from Tata Martino

Barcelona are scouting Liverpool managaer Brendan Rodgers to take over at Nou Camp come the end of the season, according to the Sunday People.

New manager Tata Martino has failed to live up to expectations this season and the Catalans are looking at other options from across Europe to take over before the start of the upcoming season. Rodgers has done a brilliant job at Liverpool since his arrival from Swansea last season and his style of play is completely suited to the expansive style being deployed by Barcelona over the years.

His use of quick strikers by the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge ahead of fleet footed playmakers in the mould of Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson has been an asset for Liverpool this season, who are gunning for the title after two decades.

The northern Irishman's contract with the Reds ends in 2015 but the former Swansea man is confident of staying and has insisted that there will be a lot of time for them to discuss this after the season ends in May.

"I am happy here. It is an incredible club – I love being the manager here," Rodgers said.

"I haven't got an agent so I don't have someone pumping stories out there about me not being happy. There will be plenty of time, come the end of the season, to sit down and talk about a new deal," he added.

 Meanwhile, the shift of power has never tasted so good for Liverpool after their smashed Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford to keep their title hopes alive. The Reds rode on the back of two penalties from Steven Gerrard before Luis Suarez put the final nail in the coffin for David Moyes' side, in front of a crowd which has never seen such humiliation in over two decades.

The scoreline flattered the hosts, who could have been five down if Gerrard had scored his penalty and referee Mark Clattenburg had given the Reds another penalty for Michael Carrick's tackle on Daniel Sturridge in the box. Rodgers, who was in the heart of Liverpool's resurgence from seventh to the top will have to choose his options properly before signing a new deal. (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/)

Monday, 3 March 2014

Eagles fly to USA for Mexico


The Super Eagles delegation from Nigeria left Lagos for Atlanta, United States last night for the international friendly against their Mexican counterparts, that will take place in the American city on Wednesday.
The Nigerian delegation is headed by NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, while Chairman, National Sports Commission and Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi is expected
also for the game. Already, Coach Stephen Keshi is awaiting the team and his assistants in the United States.
Those on the Delta Airline flight to the United States include assistant coach Daniel Amokachi, Hyaondounou Valere and Ike Shorunmu, the goalkeeper’s trainer.

Team Doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, Physiotherapist Wale Oladejo, Psychologist Dr Robinson Okosun, Chidi Ngoka who is the equipment Manager, ACP Abubakar Baba, the Chief Security Officer, NFF Protocol man, Emmanuel Ayanbunmi and Media officer, Ben Alaiya.
Four players were on the trip with CHAN 2014  MVP Ejike Uzoenyi leading the likes of Azubuike Egwuekwe, Ebenezer Odunlami and midfielder Shehu Abdulahi for the grade A friendly.
The delightful thing for the team however is the fact that teenager central defender, Kenneth Omeruo has not only returned to top flight football in the English championship, with Middlesborough but was named the Mana of the Match in the weekend’s game against Sheffiled United, which his side lost 1-0. ‘’We’re simply delighted at the performance of Kenneth and the coach is glad that he has started tyo do those things that he is noted for’’, team administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor said.
Achor departed Nigeria on Saturday and by Sunday evening he was on the same flight with Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel to the United States for the friendly. I’m on the same flight with Mikel and Victor Moses is expected Monday(today) like all other players, because the coach has said he wants all his players in by Monday’’, Achor said.
The duo are expected to be first to be welcomed for the friendly by Keshi.
Wednesday’s friendly is expected to be played at the Atlanta Georgia Dome with both countries parading their potential World Cup squads for the encounter.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Enyeama wins Ligue 1 honour again

Super Eagles goal keeper, Vincent Enyeama, has been voted the best player in France’s Ligue 1 for the month of November. Enyeama, according to supersport.com, also won the UNFP prize, set aside for the league’s best performer in October. He racked up 59 per cent of the votes on offer to beat off competition from PSG superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic who nicked 32 per cent of the votes to finish in second place. Enyeama and Ibra will come face-to-face in direct competition when PSG hosts Lille OSC at the Parc des Princes on match day 19 of Ligue 1 on Sunday. Olympique Marseille midfielder, Florian Thauvin was a distant third in the overall classification with 9 per cent of the votes. Enyeama picks up the award for the second successive month despite narrowly failing to break Gaetan Huard’s long-standing record of clean sheets in Ligue 1 after Lille lost 0-1 to Girondins Bordeaux at the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas on match day 17. The 31-year-old has been in great form this season for Lille OSC where he has conceded in just three of the club’s 17 league games this season. He recently told supersport.com that his displays have been divinely inspired. “I don’t do these things. It’s God. God has always guided me in my career and he has been responsible for all I have been doing,” he said. The UNFP trophy will be presented to the Nigerian shot-stopper before the Ligue 1 game between Lille OSC and Stade de Reims on January 12, 2014 at Stade Pierre Mauroy.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Keshi dropss Ajia, Ogbonnaya, Picks 4 More For CHAN Camp

Coach Stephen Keshi
Coach Stephen Keshi
Coach Stephen Keshi and his technical crew have began the gradual process of elimination by substitution when yesterday afternoon, two players were asked to go for low productivity while four new ones were called up to strengthen the squad ahead of the CHAN tourney in South Africa next month.

The two players dropped are midfielder Mohammed Ajia of Bayelsa United and Elkanemi of Borno defender, Reuben Ogbonnaya. Head Coach Stephen Keshi, who spoke through his assistant, Dan ‘The Bull’ Amokachi, said there was little or no time to prepare the squad hence the need to quickly identify tournament materials.
The four players who are expected to join the squad in Abuja immediately are Bendel Insurance duo of Obannu Erhune, who stars for the Benin side in the central defence position and his teammate, Ikeleji Bello, who is central defensive midfielder. Others are Warri Wolves Ewenike Achibi also a midfielder and Mfon Udoh who recently crossed from Akwa United to Enyimba  of Aba. “We have been tracking these players for some times now and we want to give them a chance to prove themselves at a critical point like this and we hope they won’t disappoint”, Amokachi declared.

More players who fail to measure up will be asked to go by the weekend after Wednesday’s test match against Niger Tornadoes of Minna and another practice match that has been scheduled for Saturday both at the mainbowl of the Abuja National Stadium

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Super Eagles prepares for CHAN play Niger Tornadoes FC

Abuja – The home-based Super Eagles will play Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna in Abuja on Wednesday, as part of the team’s preparations for the 2014 Championship of African Nations (CHAN).

Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Mr Stephen Keshi, disclosed this to newsmen after the team’s training session in Abuja on Monday.

He said he was working towards pruning down the team’s list from the existing 30 to a final 23-man squad.

“As things are going, I don’t think we are going to play any national team.

“We might see ourselves in South Africa playing local sides, every three days, before the championship begins.

“But on Wednesday, we might have a practise game against Niger Tornadoes,” Keshi said.

The `Big Boss,’ as Keshi is popularly called, said he was not having selection difficulties, in spite of abundant talents in the team’s camp.

He noted that his utmost concern was getting a sizeable number of players required for the championship; as it would make the job easier to prepare the main squad for the competition.

Keshi commended the performance of the three invited Golden Eaglets stars, noting that they have been exceptional in training since the beginning of the camp.

The players are: midfielder, Kelechi Iheanacho; forward, Taiwo Awoniyi and goalkeeper, Dele Alampasu.

The Eagles’ training sessions returned to twice daily from Monday, following the conclusion of the National Youth Games (NYG), held in Abuja.

CHAN will be hosted by South Africa between Jan. 11 and Feb. 1, next year. (NAN)