Besiktas Target Amokachi For Coordinator Role

Turkish side Besiktas have reportedly indicated interest to hire their former striker, Daniel Amokachi, as the club’s coordinator of football administration.

Amokachi, now an assistant coach of the Super Eagles, joined Beşiktaş for £1.75m in 1996 and was a fans favourite in the three seasons he spent at the Turkish giants. He scored 19 goals in 77 appearances for the club before he left in 1999.

According to, the Black Eagles have ‘thrown forward’ the former Nigeria international’s name for the post, with Besiktas’ president, Fikret Orman, in support.

If Besiktas succeed in hiring the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games gold medallist, he is expected to create a harmonious working environment technically at the club.

After a distinguished playing career abroad, Amokachi returned home and has handled several managerial roles ranging from club to the men’s national team
By ’Tana Aiyejina
Culled From : PUNCH

NEW ATTACKING ROLE: Osaze gets West Brom praises

OsazeWest Brom manager, Steve Clarke, has hailed out of favour Super Eagles forward, Osaze Odemwingie after his return from suspension.

Speaking with on Wednesday, the former Liverpool coach revealed that the Nigeria international is more than willing to embrace his wide-positions for West Brom – revealing the role was not new to him.

The Baggies top scorer striker has been used as a wide forward since Clarke’s summer arrival, a position the Eagles ace also occupied briefly under Roy Hodgson when the ex-Albion man ventured from his usual 4-4-2 formation.

Due to Albion’s attacking options – they effectively have five strikers vying for one central role and two wide positions – Osaze has found himself on the flank.

The 31-year-old has spent long periods of his career occupying wider roles, notably at Lokomotiv Moscow and during his earlier times at Lille, although he has expressed a preference for playing more centrally during interviews in the past.Clarke feels his experienced forward’s potency is not diminished from the position he is currently occupying.

His two most recent performances have certainly taken the eye.

“He came into the Manchester City game as a substitute and was really lively,” said Clarke.

“They were starting to tire so it was a good time for him to come on.

“He made a big contribution last weekend (at Newcastle) as well and has always been very motivated.

“He wanted to see how the club would develop, he’s happy here, he’s comfortable, he’s a good worker and I have no complaints about him.

“I remember watching him last season – he scored some goals from the right. He keeps telling me he got a hat-trick against Wolves playing on the right.

“When we were at Chelsea and played Lokomotiv in a pre-season friendly, he was playing on the right then too.

“It might be a new position to people watching him here but it’s not a new position to Peter.”

Clarke feels Odemwingie has more than made up for his sending-off at Fulham. He was given a straight red card for violent conduct after lashing out at Sascha Riether. Odemwingie apologised after the game before sitting out three games.

He was reintroduced to the side immediately after his ban and has impressed since.

“It was a blow for him to be sent off at Fulham,” continued Clarke.

“I said at the time it was out of character. I think he learned from it and he apologised for it. I he showed that in the game against Queens Park Ranger when I put him straight back into the side and he did very well.”

Called from The Nation

Ref called Mikel monkey — Chelsea

John-Mikel-Obi-360x270The race-row that has engulfed Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg intensified further on Wednesday as two Chelsea players claimed they heard him call teammate Mikel Obi a ‘monkey’.

It has emerged that the pair of unnamed stars say this is what happened during their match with Manchester United on Sunday — but the official categorically denies making any racist comments.

Clattenburg has been accused of saying to Mikel, ‘Shut up you monkey’ as he booked him for dissent as well as calling Juan Mata a ‘Spanish t***’ in their 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Mystery had surrounded what Clattenburg actually said to Mikel – until these allegations were made Wednesday morning.

But a source close to the referee told The Sun, “He said nothing of the sort – and he will fight this all the way.

“There is a lot of noise on the pitch and the players could have easily misheard.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s race case against Clattenburg is in serious danger of collapsing completely after it emerged that the club have employed independent lawyers to investigate the claims of their players.

The club are expected to conclude their internal investigation into allegations that the referee racially abused Mikel and swore at Juan Mata.

The external lawyers will then provide Chelsea with legal opinion as to whether their case will be successful. Despite issues over the available evidence, Chelsea remained robust.

Chelsea will proceed with the case against the referee only if they are satisfied the claims made by the players after the game will stand up to the FA’s burden of proof.

It means they will need to satisfy an FA commission ‘on the balance of probability’, but they also have to negotiate the complexities of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the affair.

If the case breaks down, it will reflect badly on Chelsea, who made their claims of inappropriate language against Clattenburg in a strongly worded statement on Sunday, two hours after the final whistle.

Earlier it emerged that the club and Mikel could be charged with misconduct by the FA after the Nigerian had to be restrained from manhandling the referee in his dressing room following the clash.

Clattenburg did not mention the behaviour in the ‘extraordinary incident’ report he filed on Sunday, but he now has to make a detailed statement to the FA. Clattenburg’s assistants, Michael McDonough and Simon Long, and fourth official Mike Jones have filed reports in which they say they did not hear the Durham official say anything inappropriate.

All four were in the referee’s room when Mikel burst in with Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay and manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Mikel’s aggressive manner, along with the behaviour of other Chelsea officials, raises the possibility of FA action against the club.

Both Mikel and Mata claim they have a witness to Clattenburg’s comments, and PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, who has assessed both complaints, told Sportsmail the pair have his ‘100 per cent support’.

Culled from Punch

Chelsea beat Manchester United in nine-goal thriller

chelseaChelsea have beaten Manchester United 5-4 after extra time at Stamford Bridge to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

United had led 3-2 before Eden Hazard scored from the penalty spot with the last kick of normal time to force an additional 30 minutes.

Daniel Sturridge and Ramires then secured the Blues’ passage into the last eight on a remarkable night in West London.

United enjoy the early possession and they were rewarded with 22 minutes on the clock when Oriol Romeu was dispossessed before Ryan Giggs slotted in.

Chelsea rarely threatened in the first half but they found themselves level on 35 minutes as David Luiz converted from the penalty spot following Alexander Buttner’s foul on Victor Moses.

However, the Red Devils regained the lead on 43 minutes thanks to Javier Hernandez’s composed finish from Anderson’s through ball.

It took Chelsea only two minutes after the restart to get themselves level for the second time in the match as Gary Cahill powered home a header from Juan Mata’s corner.

A thrilling cup tie swung United’s way once again soon after when Nani rounded off a slick move by dinking the ball over Petr Cech.

Chelsea should have made it 3-3 on 70 minutes, but Cesar Azpilicueta somehow headed over the crossbar from Mata’s cross with the goal at his mercy.

They were appealing for a penalty soon after when the ball appeared to strike Michael Keane on the arm, only for referee Lee Mason to wave away the protests.

The home side continued to press for an equaliser and they got it with the last kick of normal time courtesy of substitute Eden Hazard’s penalty following Scott Wooton’s foul on Ramires.

Wooton’s night got worse in the first half of extra time as the young defender gifted the ball to Daniel Sturridge who rounded Anders Lindegaard before slotting in.

The match grew wide open as United surged forward to force the penalty shootout and Chelsea made sure of the win in the final minutes when Ramires latched onto Hazard’s threaded past to round Lindegaard and score.

There was a final twist as Giggs cut the deficit from the penalty spot after Azpilicueta had bundled over Hernandez, but it was too late for the visitors to find an equaliser.

Culled from NaiJ

Manu to Reinforce Eaglets Against Mali

Manu Coach Manu Garba (MFR) has assured that the Golden Eaglets would be better and stronger as the team steps up preparation for its third and final 2013 Under-17 Championship qualifier against Mali in November.

The Nigerian Under-17 team has scored a remarkable 17 goals and conceded one in four qualifying matches against Niger and Guinea; and Garba has revealed that the team would even be reinforced against Mali for better performance.

“We have said repeatedly that this team is still work in progress and the players in camp know that none of them is guaranteed a place in the team,” Garba said after the 4-0 win against Guinea in Conakry on Sunday. “There are even some good players who have passed the mandatory Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test and we are going to bring some in order to fortify the team for our next game against Mali.”

Adding some fresh players notwithstanding; Garba maintains absolute confidence in the capability of his wards in crossing the Malian Rubicon after the West African country dispatched Mauritania 6-3 on aggregate at the weekend.

“The mentality of our players is strong and it is tuned towards just one thing: winning,” Garba confidently said.

“There are four things that should be the hallmark of a good team and I tell you that our players have already tremendously showed them. These are commitment, composure, concentration and confidence, and that is why it is always difficult for our opponents to match us.”

The Golden Eaglets returned from Conakry on Monday, departed Lagos on Tuesday for their base in Calabar to begin earnest preparations for their third round-first leg game against Mali at the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium on November 18.

Meanwhile, Ganaeka Ibrahima, Guinea’s petit goalkeeper, has admitted Golden Eaglets superiority following the Junior Syli Stars 7-0 aggregate lost to their Nigerian counterparts in the 2013 under- 17 qualifiers.

It was Ibrahima’s agility over the two-legged matches, that stopped the Golden Eaglets from recording a double figure score line but he only had words of praises for the Nigerian conquistadors!

“The Nigerian team is good and have good quality,” Ibrahima, who was adjudged the best player with some instinctive saves during the first leg in Calabar, said through an interpreter.

“They played good football and it showed when we played them in Nigeria and here in Conakry.”

culled from Thisday

EPL: Chelsea Formally Report Clattenburg for FA

Mark Clattenburg Chelsea have formally complained to the Football Association over alleged ‘inappropriate language’ aimed at John Mikel Obi by referee Mark Clattenburg.

The complaint refers to an incident in the Blues’ 3-2 defeat by Manchester United on Sunday, reports the BBC.

Chelsea complained to the match delegate and the FA subsequently started an investigation.

The club said there was insufficient evidence to support a claim of alleged verbal abuse against another player.

A Chelsea statement read: “This is a result of a thorough investigation carried out by the club, and led by outside legal counsel, of all information available to us including interviews with a number of players and staff.

“Following Sunday’s Premier League game against Manchester United, club board members were quickly made aware, upon entering the home dressing room after the final whistle, that there were allegations of inappropriate language directed at Chelsea players by Mr Clattenburg during the game.

“Board members began establishing the details of the allegations, speaking to all relevant players and staff. After those initial interviews it was clear that the matter had to be reported.

“The correct protocol for doing so was to report the incidents to the match delegate, and the club took immediate steps to inform him as soon as he was available. It was not a decision the club took lightly.”

culled from Thisday

Is John Terry a racist?

John Terry Found Not Guilty For Alleged Racial Abuse Against Anton Ferdinand

John Terry is a world-class soccer player. He is captain of the English Premier League powerhouse Chelsea. He has captained the national squad for England. And in a heated exchange on the field in October 2011, he called QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, brother of Rio, his former England centre-back partner, a “f***ing black c**t”.

Since then, Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy, has faced criminal charges (and was acquitted in court), and has been banned for four matches by the Football Association for his words.

Is John Terry a racist? For Peter Herbert, chair of Britain’s Society of Black Lawyers, the answer is clearly yes. When the Football Association declared that Terry had made a racist statement but was not a racist, Herbert said, “That is an unbelievable application of logic and one, as a discrimination lawyer, you find quite incredible.”

Labelling someone a racist has serious implications. For many people in Europe and North America – thankfully – being a racist places you beyond the pale of polite society. Athletes may lose lucrative sponsorships, as well as a shot at future careers as spokespeople or commentators. In their daily lives, they may be shunned by friends and teammates and derided by strangers.

Scholars have grappled for a long time with how to know if someone is a racist. Most of them have come to the conclusion that being a racist is not an either-or proposition. Many scholars now think of “racist” as a category much like “stupid”. Some people are definitely stupid, others are definitely not, and some people are in between on the sliding scale of humanity. Whether you are judged to be racist, or stupid, may depend on who is judging you, and that judgment can change over time.

Intensity and consistency are two key elements that can help us identify racists. How strongly does someone hold a racist opinion? Is that person open to modifying it, or is it fiercely held in the face of all evidence to the contrary? And does a person consistently adhere to a wide range of racist opinions, or is their racist statement a one-off event?

Viewed through this lens, there is a wide gulf between someone who utters a single racist insult and someone who is a dyed-in-the-wool racist.

Where does John Terry fall on this spectrum? To know, we have to look at his record. To its credit, the Football Association did just that. In its disciplinary ruling issued in late September, it concluded that, “It is not the FA’s case that Mr Terry is a racist. There is a large body of testimonial evidence, including statements from black footballers, to say that he is not.”

Of course, the FA and the public cannot know for sure if John Terry is a racist – only he and his close friends and family might be able to know his deeply held beliefs. But based on what the FA has seen and what his other footballers have said, it seems much more likely that Terry’s outburst was an isolated incident.

That doesn’t absolve Terry from charges of racism. Terry could have immediately admitted his insult, apologised for it, and reaffirmed his commitment to fighting racism in word and deed. But instead he claimed to have spoken those words as a question of sorts – did you think I called you a f***ing black c**t? The FA rightly found this defence ridiculous. But more importantly, many of his fellow footballers have also found it a poor substitute for an admission and an apology.

A fortnight ago, more than 30 players refused to wear the “Kick It Out” anti-racist campaign’s t-shirts as a form of protest against the ineffectiveness of English football’s anti-racist initiatives. Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson asserted that all players should back the campaign, only to have his veteran black defender Rio Ferdinand – brother to Anton Ferdinand, the target of Terry’s verbal dagger – ignore his coach by refusing to don the shirt. Even more consequentially, rumours are circulating that some players may break away to form a stand-alone Black Players Association. According to Professional Footballers Association chairman Clarke Carlisle such a move “would instantly define ‘us and them’ and that’s something we really need to work against”.

But John Terry’s outburst already defined the “us” and the “them”. He has since apologised for his racist words, but when faced with a court trial last February, Terry defiantly proclaimed, “I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence.” Until Terry openly admits that his racist statement was spoken in anger, apologises unreservedly, and reaches out to black players to find out what he can do to repair the damage, there will be no way for him or the FA to kick racism out of football.

Culled from Aljazeera

Arsenal Win Hailed As Greatest Cup Comeback

LONDON – (AFP) – Arsenal’s 7-5 victory against Reading was on Wednesday hailed as the greatest comeback in League Cup history, after the Gunners overturned a 4-0 deficit to secure a place in the quarter-final draw.

The Times newspaper called the 12-goal thriller on Tuesday “The Miracle at the Majedski” while the Daily Telegraph’s correspondent said: “This was one of the craziest of cup ties, Mad Stad living up to its nickname.”

The Sun tabloid went further, describing the victory at Premier League strugglers Reading’s Majedski Stadium as “the greatest ever escape” in the history of the competition.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was also full of praise for his side and assessed that the victory was one of the best of his long career.

“We went from disaster to saving our pride,” Wenger said. “The fans stayed behind the team throughout and I have to give them credit. It was difficult to be worse in the second half than we were in the first.

“Maybe this is one of my greatest victories. You cannot play for Arsenal and give up, no matter what the score.

“This (tournament) is not one of our priorities but if we had gone out the way we played in the first half, it would not have been one of my proudest moments as well.

“But this was like a tennis game. It’s important to win and to be in the hat for the quarter-final.”

Arsenal head to Manchester United on Saturday, when they will return to the scene of one their most embarrassing scorelines in recent memory.

Wenger’s side suffered an 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford last season and there seemed to be danger of history repeating itself against Reading, even though Wenger had fielded a largely second-string side.

They were 4-0 down before Walcott replied on the stroke of half-time.

But with the Gunners appearing to only have pride to play for, Oliver Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Carl Jenkinson all struck to send the tie into extra time.

Giroud and Francis Coquelin even threw their shirts into the away end at the full-time whistle as they thought a replay was on the cards but that moment of farce only added to the drama on an extraordinary night.

It was not over there, as Arsenal’s Marouane Chamakh and Reading’s Pavel Pogrebnyak swapped goals before Walcott and Chamakh killed off Reading for good deep into extra time.

Walcott, who is at the centre of a contract dispute, was himself unsure whether he had scored a hat-trick, despite walking off with the match ball.

“I’d love to have goal-line technology to get the hat-trick but if they’ve not given it, then well done Carl (Jenkinson)!” he said. “I’ll have to give the ball back to the referee!”

“Walcott did very well,” added Wenger. “I know he is a great player and many players did well. Theo scored goals and was efficient. He wasn’t the only one.”

Walcott urged his Arsenal team-mates to build on the victory before heading to Old Trafford.

“Hopefully we can take that into the Premier League,” he said. “We were good going forward, but maybe we were not great defensively at times. But we showed everyone what we can do and showed our character.”

Reading are yet to win in the Premier League this season and this collapse will do nothing to boost their confidence ahead of Sunday’s trip to bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers.

However, Reading manager Brian McDermott says the result against Arsenal will have no bearing on that or any future league games.

“It was suicide, what went on in the second half and extra time,” he said. “I wasn’t comfortable, even being 4-1 up, and I don’t know why. I just had that feeling. They hurt us and we didn’t play.

“But it has nothing to do with the league. You play each game on its merits. But I’ve never seen anything like it at Reading. It was extraordinary.”


Manchester United & Tottenham join Arsenal, City & Liverpool in race for Wilfried Zaha


Arsenal are also strongly considering a bid for Zaha while revealed earlier this month that Manchester City and Liverpool have already made enquiries for the winger.

Steve Rowley, Arsenal’s chief scout, was joined in the stands at Palace’s victory over Leicester last weekend by senior scouts from United and Spurs, with the Premier League big-hitters ready to battle for the 19-year-old’s signature

Zaha, who played a starring role against Leicester, is considered the most talented player in the Championship and has already made 107 appearances for Palace having made his debut at the age of 17 and become a first-team regular.

The England Under-21 international is under contract until 2017 and Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has claimed it would take £20 million to lure him away from Selhurst Park, although the bidding is more likely to start at around £10m in January, with foreign clubs also expressing an interest.

Liverpool and Spurs are keen to improve their wide options and are long-term admirers of the Football League’s 2011-12 Young Player of the Year, while United, City and Arsenal are all looking to snap up the best young talent in the country.

With such a scramble for his signature, Zaha’s next club could come down to the finances involved, although the versatile forward is a boyhood Arsenal fan.

He is the latest Palace academy graduate to attract the attention of the big Premier League clubs, following John Bostock, Victor Moses and Nathaniel Clyne.

Culled from

Venezuela friendly: Keshi invites 24 home-based pros


Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, will next week begin preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations slated for South Africa in January with 24 home-based players he has called to camp in Abuja.

The players, who are expected to hit camp on November 4, will begin earnest trainings for the international friendly match against Venezuela in Miami, United States of America on November 14.

The list includes two goalkeepers, nine defenders and 13 midfielders and strikers.

The Venezuela game is one of the friendlies that have been lined up to toughen the Eagles ahead of the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup.

Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya, quotes Team Secretary, Dayo Achor, as advising all invited players to resume at the Bolton White Apartment, Abuja unfailingly on Sunday, November 4.

Meanwhile, Eagles will begin final preparation for the AFCON on January 4, according to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Secretary General, Musa Amadu.

It’s a known fact that clubs would not release players for the AFCON until two weeks to the tournament. What this means is that Coach Stephen Keshi has at least two weeks for intensive training. So, with that in mind the Eagles would begin final preparation on January 4,” Amadu said.

NFF technical committee chairman, Chris Green, who just returned from South Africa where they inspected training sites and facilities ahead of the championship disclosed that the federation plans to set up a training camp in Europe before the team moves to South Africa.

We are thinking of assembling the players in Faro, Portugal, before proceeding to South Africa for the team’s final phase of camping. The idea is to begin the camp in Faro with players from the home front, then have the foreign-based join up, Green said.

Culled from Nigeriamasterweb

Eko 2012: LOC engages 18, 000 security men


The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos has engaged the services of 18,000 security personnel in preparation for the festival.

Secretary, Security subcommittee of the festival, Dele Adeniran, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the officers would ensure adequate security during the events.

The security personnel will mostly be police officers because we do not want to create tension with the presence of other security personnel.

Adeniran added that 2,500 ushers have also been recruited to guide athletes, officials and others to venues, in case they miss their way.

The ushers, he said, would include Civil Defence Corps, Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) Brigade, Man-O-War and NYSC members.They will act as tourist guides to contingents during the festival,he added.

According to him, both the security personnel and the ushers will be trained to ensure they fall in line with the spirit of the festival.

Culled from Nigeriamasterweb