Saraki Tasks Sports Ministry, NFF Ahead of World Cup

As congratulatory messages continue to roll in for the Nigerian Super Eagles on qualifying for Russia 2018 tournament, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has chimed in through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, that the Senate would work to ensure that Nigerian players were well equipped and prepared for the 2018 tournament.

He said, “Right now, we must begin to plan and work towards victory for our Super Eagles. They have made us proud on the field; now, the NFF, the Ministry of Sports, the sponsors and all concerned stakeholders must work together to ensure that our players and the team thrive at the World Cup.

“As our players continue to make us all proud and demonstrate the greatness in our diversity, I want to also congratulate all Nigerians. We can truly achieve great things when we come together.”

“I want to congratulate our players for the way that they have played throughout this whole qualifying phase. It is my hope and the hope of millions across the country that our Super Eagles will represent our nation and the continent well at next year’s World Cup. It was great to have been in Uyo to cheer you on to victory”.

Buhari Waiting for WAFU Cup Trophy, NFF Tells Eagles

Secretary General of the Nigerian Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi has charged home-based Super Eagles to do everything possible to beat the Black Stars of Ghana in the grand final of the WAFU Cup of Nations because President Mohammadu Buhari is eagerly waiting to celebrate with the trophy.

The Super Eagles are yet to concede a goal in the maiden sub-regional football tournament and they defeated the Black Stars 2-0 in their last group match to qualify for the semifinal.

Sanusi hinted that a huge financial reward awaits the players and their handlers if they win the trophy, although he did not give details.

The coach Salisu Yusuf-led home-based Eagles made it to the final by beating the Squirrels of Benin Republic by a lone goal in the semifinal, while the Ghana Black Stars handed a 2-0 defeat to Niger Republic.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick Gets New CAF Appointment

The Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, has been appointed the President of Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, and Media Committees of the Confederation of African Football, CAF.

Pinnick’s appointment was made at the ongoing first Executive Committee meeting of the CAF taking place at the Sheraton Hotel in Manama, Bahrain.

This is the maiden meeting since the elective General Assembly of 16 March 2017 where Ahmad Ahmad emerged as the new CAF president and Pinnick was voted into the Federations’ Executive Committee.

Fifteen (15 points) are on the agenda, with the background outlining matters to be implemented in the next four years by the new Executive elected in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and led by CAF President Ahmad.

Super Eagles Crisis: NFF Refuses To Pay Rohr

The Nigeria Football Federation has  engaged in a desperate effort to source money to pay the Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr his salary arrears.

The development came barely a  day after Cameroon’s Belgian coach Hugo Broos threatened to quit his role at the Indomitable Lions over management and funding problems in the team, who won the  Africa Cup of Nations  for the fifth-time in Gabon on  February 5.

Cameroon, who are  the hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, face Nigeria in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header on August 28 and September 2.

NFF was in dire financial straits — and was battling to secure a regular source of income  for Rohr’s $4,700- a-month salary from the beginning of this year.

It was learnt on Thursday that the German manager’s  employers had yet to pay him his January  and February salaries.

But it wasclaimed on Thursday that Rohr was being owed three months’ salary by the NFF.

“Rohr has not been paid for three months now. The NFF say they are broke,” the outlet quoted an unnamed source as saying.

To avoid the embarrassment of failing to pay  Rohr, it was learnt that the NFF was discussing with  three companies to take over the  payment of the former Burkina Faso coach’s salary.

The NFF is also said to be worried about how to pay the bonuses and allowances of the players during the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers.

But the NFF allegedly suspended contract talks with the firms due to  the internal wrangling over the federation  president Amaju Pinnick’s nomination for the CAF executive committee  election and his  involvement in electioneering.

Pinnick dethroned  his fierce opponent Moucharafou Anjorin of  Benin Republic in the March 16  CAF election in Addis Ababa  to   become the  third Nigerian to become a member of the continental body’s  executive after Oyo Orok Oyo and  Amos Adamu.

Our correspondent learnt that the NFF had revived talks with a number of companies, including the three they had earlier approached for help, to raise money for Rohr’s salary.

Although the coach is said to be unhappy with the development, the prospect of  helping Nigeria qualify for the World Cup and dishing  out instructions from the dugout to the three-time African champions in Russia delights the 63-year-old  former Niger coach.

However, spokesman for the NFF Ademola Olajire said he was not aware if  Rohr is being owed by the federation.

“I am not aware if the NFF is owing the Eagles coach,” Olajire told The PUNCH on the telephone on Thursday.

“ If the coach is owed, I believe he would have come out to say that he is being owed. We should rather focus on the positives of the team rather than distract them with negativities such as this.

“The coach is building a young team of success-hungry players, that should be the focus of every Nigerian and not unsubstantiated rumours like whether the coach is being owed or not.”


Source: Punch

Visa Crisis: Nigeria- Burkina Faso Friendly cancelled

The friendly match between Nigeria and Burkina Faso has been cancelled, the match was supposedly to hold next week but most of the Burkina Faso Players have not been not granted visa entry to the venue for the game, the Nigeria Football Association (NFF) said .

The NFF said that seven Burkinabe players failed to secure British entry visas, forcing Monday’s match at Barnet in north London to be shelved.

The Super Eagles were using the match as part of preparations for their remaining qualifiers for the World Cup 2018 and Africa Cup of Nations 2019.

NFF official Chris Green said the cancellation was “no fault of either the organisers or the Nigeria Football Federation”.

“We will announce further plans for the Super Eagles’ preparation for these two important qualifying campaigns in due course,” he added.

Burkina Faso officials were told of the visa issues late on Friday.

On Thursday, Nigeria drew 1-1 with Senegal in the first of its two scheduled friendly matches in the British capital.


Source: Supersport


John Ogu, Called For Friendly Matches Against Senegal And Burkina Faso

Israeli-based Nigerian striker John Ogu was among the early callers to the camp of the senior national team in England after the player posted a message on twitter early hours yesterday.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had set yesterday as the deadline for invited players to report to camp, for this weekend’s friendly matches against Senegal and Burkina Faso.

Ogu, who plies his trade with Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Tel Aviv informed fans of his departure after boarding a plane to England to join members of the coaching staff and a few England based players who have already linked up.

“Off to London for the Senegal and Burkina Faso friendly games. Journey mercies I pray for Great God,” he wrote via twitter.

Nigeria will take on fellow African countries Senegal and Burkina Faso in the upcoming international window on March 23 and 27 respectively.

Both matches will be played at the Hive Stadium in London.

Of the 25 players called up by Rohr for the friendlies, no less than seven are based in England, including Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Moses.

The team will use the friendlies to prepare for their upcoming 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against South Africa in mid-June according to head coach Gernot Rohr.


Source: Daily trust


NFF Leadership Crisis : Fifa Slams Ban Extention on Chris Giwa and Four Others

World football’s governing body FIFA on Tuesday said it had extended a ban on five officials who have been involved in a leadership battle for control of the game in Nigeria.

FIFA said its disciplinary committee had “decided to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity” on Chris Giwa and four others.

The ban would apply worldwide, it said in a statement on its website.

Giwa, the former owner of Giwa FC in the central city of Jos, has insisted since August 2014 that he was elected as the rightful president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

But the result of the ballot was disputed and prompted FIFA to threaten to ban Nigeria from international competition unless the election was re-run.

Amaju Pinnick was duly elected as NFF boss but Giwa has since dragged the federation to court to challenge its legitimacy.

In May last year the NFF banned him and his supporters for impersonation and breaching FIFA rules by taking football matters to a civil court.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) also confirmed the ban


Le Guen Rejects Super Eagles Job

Paul Le Guen has reportedly rejected his appointment as coach of the Super Eagles.

According to French sports newspaper, L’Equipe, the former Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain boss claims the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), did not meet his contractual terms.

Le Guen was named by the NFF as Sunday Oliseh’s replacement on Monday, subject to agreement on terms and conditions.

But it is understood that the Frenchman disagreed with some of the conditions he was given and is unwilling to shift grounds.

Among some of the terms, was Le Guen arriving with a support staff, including an assistant and a goalkeeper trainer. It was also gathered that the Frenchman was unwilling to move to the country, which was one of the terms set by the country’s football governing body.

Ideye Talks Tough Ahead Of World Cup Qualifiers

Brown Ideye already sounds ready to go up against Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia ahead of the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualification scheduled to start in October this year.

The Olympiakos forward calmly explained that it was always expected that the final round of World Cup qualification in Africa would pitch some of the powerhouses on the continent in the same pool as Nigeria have now found themselves in Group B.

The 27-year-old made it clear that Nigeria’s Super Eagles cannot afford to “cut corners” this time against very sturdy opponents in Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.

The former West Bromwich Albion striker, however, believes that Nigeria can qualify from their group provided they “win matches” and “play well”.

“At this stage of football, tough groups like the type we have found ourselves are to be expected. To get to the World Cup, we cannot cut corners or relax or take things for granted. The World Cup is the biggest football stage where you meet the best of the best, so getting there will be tough.

“Now, we have to be prepared to work hard. If we work hard together as a team we will win matches and if we win our games we will qualify. The media have to be involved in this as well. They (media) have a huge role to play in motivating and psyching our team to do well. Everything is in our hands, we must plan well and ensure our house is in order. I believe we will qualify,” he said.

Ideye and his Nigeria teammates will begin their quest for a World Cup away to Zambia in Ndola on October 3 this year and end their qualification games at Algeria in Blida on November 6, 2017.

Algeria Name New Coach For Nigeria Showdown

The Algeria Football Federation have announced Serbian Milovan Rajevac as the new head coach of Les Fennecs.

The 62-year-old replaces Christian Gourcuff who left his position in April after a fall-out with the Algerian Federation.

Rajevac has had stints with Qatar and was in charge of the Back Stars of Ghana at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa helping them to reach the quarter-finals.

The Algerian Football Federation didn’t disclose the details of his contract but it is expected that he will guide the team towards qualifying for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

Rajevac is also likely to lead the number one-ranked team in Africa to the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon as Algeria look to win her first continental title since 1990.

Les Fennecs will have to contend with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Zambia and Cameroon in Group B of the final round of the Africa zone of the World Cup qualifiers.

Amodu Died Of Frustration – Cousin

A relative of the late Director of the Nigeria Football Federation, ‎Shaibu Amodu, has said that the former Super Eagles coach died after complaining of pain in the left side of his chest.

Akuri Afegbua, who is a cousin to the late Shaibu, also said that the late coach died of frustration from the alleged non-payment of his financial entitlements by the NFF and the Edo State Government.

Amodu died on Saturday morning in his sleep at his residence in Benin, Edo State.

The 58-year-old father of eight from Okpella in Etsako East Local Government Area of the state, was also said to be the Executive Director of the state youth football development agency before he resigned last year.

But Afegbua said that he had complained of not being paid by the football federation and the state government and how his financial status had made it difficult for him to take care of himself and his immediate family.

According to him, Amodu ‎had travelled to Benin to demand the payment of his outstanding entitlements before he died.

He said tearfully, “I think he died of frustration, his financial status. He was not paid. He was complaining of not being paid and had no money to maintain himself and his immediate family.

“I think the purpose of him being in Benin was to put in a bill for his payment, both NFF and the state government.”

‎Afegbua explained that the late coach had a history of high blood pressure.

“We were together yesterday. In the afternoon, he called to say that he was feeling some pain in the left side of his chest and he called in a doctor.

“The doctor test him; he had 140 over 100 as his blood pressure. The doctor said that it was not bad, he could continue with his fasting,” he explained.

He also added that the ex-Eagles coach was full of life on Friday when he assisted one of his uncles to secure a bail at a police station.

He was also said to have led in the prayer to break the fast on Friday, before he was suddenly found dead at about 4am on Saturday.

“Apart from that he complained of pain in his chest, he was perfectly okay. We came back this morning to wake up to do the normal fasting but met him dead.

Afegbua said Amodu’s death had left a great vacuum that could never be filled‎.