Iceland FA Boss Issues warning To Nigeria, Others: We’ll Shock The World Like At Euro 2016

Icelandic Football Association President Guðni Bergsson is confident that the team can make it to the knockout rounds of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia like they their amazing performancein 2016 European Championship in France.

Iceland in the 2016 European Championship in France  got to the knockout stages without  any game loss to their Group F matches before losing to France in the last eight.

The underdogs, gracing the worldcup mundial for the first time, are drawn in the same Russia 2018 group as Nigeria, Croatia and Argentina.

“Getting into the World Cup is one of the most important events in the history of the whole of Iceland,” Bergsson told Russian News Agency TASS.

“We have a rather complicated group, but two years ago we already surprised the whole football community with a performance at the European Championships in France, and now we are ready to repeat.

“I cannot imagine how far our team will go in the World Cup, but I can say with certainty that those players who will go to Russia will play with the heart and with all their heart.”

The federation has chosen Gelendzhik as the team’s base during the forthcoming tournament and the former Bolton Wanderers player feels the resort town will enhance the team’s performance in the tournament.

“Before the final choice, we allocated two bases for ourselves, the first one in Rostov-on-Don and the second one in Gelendzhik. We originally planned that we would be based in the southern cluster, so that the team could thoroughly prepare for the matches. After visiting the base in Gelendzhik, all other options have disappeared: it is perfectly equipped with all the most necessary for preparation and the location in the mountains and proximity to the sea will add to our national team of energy,” he said.

“Another factor in the choice of the base is the close proximity to the cities of matches in the group stage, so long-term flights will not be a problem for our team, especially since we used to fly long distances when playing matches of the qualifying round .. In my opinion, for all teams this should not be a problem, because you need to come and play football, and not think about flights.

“At the moment, 80% of the (ticket) quota is bought; I can say that the fans of the Icelandic team will be no less than at the European Championships and about 20% of the total population of the country. Many plan their holidays even for the sake of one match in Russia and, in my opinion , it’s great, I’m absolutely sure that everyone who comes to Russia will get maximum pleasure and enjoy the beauties of Russian nature and learn the true Russian hospitality.”

TIceland will begin their World Cup campaign on June 16 against Argentina at the Otkrite Arena before facing Nigeria on June 22 at the Volgograd Arena and Croatia on June 26 in Rostov-on-Don.

Russia To Star Deaf Cat As World Cup Oracle

Russia on Monday announced a deaf white cat who lives in Saint Petersburg’s historic Hermitage Museum as its official prognosticator for the World Cup’

Achilles the Cat will hope to repeat the legendary and superb exploits of Paul the Octopus and other “psychic” animals tasked with predicting winners of football’s showpiece event.

“We will hold a special press conference and hand Achilles a Fan ID card,” the Hermitage Museum’s cat press secretary Mary Khaltunen told the R-Sport news agency.

The fact that Russia’s most fabled collection of art has a spokeswoman for cats may be news to some.

But R-Sport says Hermitage Museum cats are legion – and apparently football experts.

The cats were first brought to the Hermitage when Peter the Great made its Winter Palace into the new imperial home in the 17th century.

Empress Elizabeth of Russia eventually issued a decree demanding “the shipment of cats to the court”.

The Hermitage was turned into a private art collection after Catherine the Great’s death in 1796.

The Hermitage’s Cat Museum founder Anna Kondratyeva said Achilles went on sabbatical and “put on a belly” after also picking winners in last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia.

It was not immediately clear how well he did.

But the 4.7-kilogramme (10.4-pound) feline would have to be in top form to repeat Paul the Octopus’s correct prediction of all seven German wins at the 2010 World Cup.

The octopus also correctly picked final winner Spain by settling its tentacles over the Spanish flag when it was lowered into Paul’s tank.

Achilles’s selection process will be less dramatic: the cat will simply sticks his snout into the winning bowl of food.

“Achilles was born deaf, which may explain his heightened intuition,” R-Sport wrote.

 

Super Eagles Can Make Us Proud In Russia – Aregbesola

The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria for becoming the first African nation to secure a spot in next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

In a statement signed by the media adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure, Aregbesola urged to Super Eagles to keep their foot on the ground and do the nation proud in Russia next year.

An ardent Arsenal fan himself, Aregbesola urged the Nigeria Footballer Federation to continue to fully support the team.

“I congratulate the Super Eagles on the feat, who would have thought that in a group with football powerhouses like Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria, we would have qualified with a game to spare”.

“I am proud of what this team has been able to achieve so far and I believe they can make us proud in Russia. “

“The Nigeria Football Federation must from this moment begin to make arrangements that will ensure that we have a successful showing in next year’s competition”

“ For the first time in a long while, we are not having to depend on other countries to do us a favor for us to qualify”

Aregbesola also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for what he described as a milestone while also praising the team and members of the technical crew for their patriotism.

‘Baba Ijebu’ Splashes N50m on Super Eagles

As jubilation, celebrations and words of commendation continues to pour in following Nigeria’s qualification for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, Chief Kensington Adebutu,also known as Baba Ijebu, has rewarded the Super Eagles with the sum of N50m.

A statement by the Nigeria Football Federation, Ademola Olajire, said the businessman urged the Super Eagles to go for glory in Russia next year.

He said, “Adebutu was full of praises for the Super Eagles for their determination, professionalism and commitment throughout the qualifying campaign, which saw them overhaul the so-called Group of Death with a game to spare.

“Speaking with the duo of midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and match –winner

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”.

Super Eagles’ Victory, Independence Gift to Nigerians- Buhari

Following Alex Iwobi’s sterling goal to secure Nigeria’s place in the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, President Muhammadu Buhari through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, has described the victory as “very sweet, soothing and a 57th Independence Anniversary gift to the nation.”

The statement read, “As he joined millions of football-loving Nigerians in rejoicing with the players and their coaching crew, President Buhari called on all Nigerians to apply the values of perseverance, resilience, discipline, hard work and team-spirit which propelled the footballers to excel since the beginning of the qualifying matches, to all sectors of national life.

“The President promised that the Federal Government will continue to support the team within available resources so that the nation will maximise the unifying potentials of sports in general and football in particular.

“He enjoined the entire team and Nigerian Football Federation officials to remain steadfast and focused when they begin preparations for the global football fiesta in order to make Nigeria proud.

“President Buhari urged public, private organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to continue to assist the Super Eagles as the team heads for a sixth appearance at the summit of football competition.

“The President also appreciated the government of Akwa Ibom State for the invaluable support it has been rendering to the football team, describing it as worthy of emulation.”