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.

World Cup Trophy For Nigeria

The original World Cup trophy to be in Nigeria on Wednesday.

According to the Nigeria Football Federation, the trophy will land at the  Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja  aboard a chartered flight at 11am.

Sports minister  Solomon Dalung and the NFF president Amaju Pinnick will be the first to have a view of the trophy on the aircraft before it leaves the airport.

“From the airport, the trophy, accompanied by officials of Coca-Cola’s Global Office and Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, including Coca-Cola Nigeria Managing Director Bhupendra Suri and Managing Director of Nigeria Bottling Company Georgios Polymenakos, will make its way to the Transcorp Hilton Hotel,” wrote.

“The iconic prize of world football will then be on its way to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, where President Muhammadu Buhari, his deputy  Yemi Osinbajo and  members of the Federal Executive Council will view the trophy.”

The World Cup trophy will tour 91 cities in 51 countries across the six continents.

This is the fourth Global Tour by the FIFA World Cup Trophy, and the third time it will  be visiting Nigeria.

Morocco launch Bid Logo For  Fifa 2026 World Cup

After failed attempts to host the tournament in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010,the north African country are set for a fifth World Cup bid lunch.

The campaign and logo to host the 2026 Fifa World Cup have been disclosed

Joining the rivalry are Canada, Mexico and the United States but the North Africans are committed to staging the global showpiece on African soil again after the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

The country’s Minister of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies, Moulay Hafid Elalamy has been named the Chairman of the Bid’s Committee while former Caf Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani has been appointed as its Chief Executive.

Morocco will be aiming to become the second nation to host the quadrennial event on the African soil after South Africa in 2010 with the release of its campaign logo which reflects the Kingdom’s national unity and plural identity.

Having hosted the 2013 and 2014 Fifa Club World Cups and the on-going African Nations Championship, the bid chairman Moulay Elalamy disclosed that a victory to stage the world’s biggest sporting event will be for the whole African continent.

“Morocco 2026 will showcase the best of football, at the heart of the world,” Elalamy said.

“We promise to stage a tournament overflowing with real passion and to celebrate the values of unity and peace.

“A World Cup in Morocco will deliver commercial success and leave a long-lasting legacy and if we win the honour of hosting we believe the winners will be football, the young people of our nation, Africa and the world.”

A Fifa Congress on June 13, will decide the bid that will host the tournament which will involve 48 teams, after Fifa approved expansion from 32 teams.

Mikel: Russia 2018 Ticket Is Dream Come True

Captain Mikel John Obi has reiterated his boundless joy at the Super Eagles’ qualification for next year’s FIFA World Cup finals.

“This is really a dream come true. The team and myself, we worked very hard for this believing we could do it, and we are over the moon that our aspiration has been met.

“I want to commend everyone who has been involved in this: the players, the coaches, the backroom staff, the NFF. It was not easy but we knew from the beginning that we would have to fight hard for every point and we did.”

The former Chelsea FC of England midfielder could have been going to his fourth World Cup finals, if Nigeria had not narrowly (head-to-head principle) missed the 2006 finals in Germany and he had not been injured just before the 2010 finals in South Africa.

“There is nothing one can do about that; everything comes in God’s time. I am grateful to God for this ticket and we will go to Russia and give our very best.”



Source: Nigeria Football Association

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.

Nigeria Likely To Miss Out, As FIFA Announces Top Seeds For Africa’s World Cup Qualifiers

World football governing body FIFA will next month announce the top five seeds for the African zone of the 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament with Nigeria most likely to miss out.

FIFA will announce the top seeds between June 8 and 10 ahead of the main draw on June 24 in Cairo, Egypt.

The qualifiers to be played on a league basis of 20 teams divided into five groups will begin in October with the winners of the five groups qualifying for Russia 2018.

Experts say the current FIFA rankings will be one of the yardsticks to be used and this will most certainly work against Nigeria, who are now a disappointing 14th ranked team in Africa and are not likely to achieve any remarkable jump by the June rankings.

Africa’s top five ranked teams by this month are Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana , Senegal and Egypt in that order.

Previous World Cup records will also be taken into consideration and this could well help Nigeria’s cause after they reached the Round of 16 in Brazil two years ago.

With the seedings, Africa’s top teams will avoid themselves on the road to the next World Cup in Russia.

FIFA Investigates Beckenbauer Over 2006 World Cup

The FIFA Ethics Committee said on Tuesday it has opened an investigation against six men led by German icon Franz Beckenbauer in connection with the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

A statement said the investigatory chamber is probing organising committee chief Beckenbauer, former German football federation (DFB) presidents Wolfgang Niersbach and Theo Zwanziger, and three other former high-ranking DFB officials: Horst R Schmidt, Stefan Hans and Helmut Sandrock.

FIFA said it is investigating `in the context of the 2006 World Cup host selection and its associated funding’ after studying the final report of external law firm Freshfields which was published on March 4.

“In the cases of Niersbach and Sandrock, the investigatory chamber will investigate a possible failure to report a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

It could constitute a breach of art. 13 (General rules of conduct), art.15 (Loyalty), art. 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperating and reporting) and art. 19 (Conflicts of interest) of the FCE.

“In the cases of Mr Beckenbauer, Dr Zwanziger, Mr Schmidt and Mr Hans, the investigatory chamber will investigate possible undue payments and contracts to gain an advantage in the 2006.

“The World Cup host selection and the associated funding, could constitute a breach of arts 13, 15, 18 and 19 as well as art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

The Freshfields reports said it found no evidence of vote-buying when Germany was awarded the tournament, but revealed unclear payments, including from an account held by Beckenbauer.

The probe centred on a payment of 6.7 million euros (7.3 million dollars) from German tournament organisers via FIFA to Louis-Dreyfus in 2005.

The money was deliberately declared as a payment for a World Cup cultural event which never took place, according to Freshfield.

Beckenbauer is a former FIFA executive member and received a warning and fine recently for not cooperating with an ethics committee probe on the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Niersbach resigned as DFB president in November over the affair but remains on the executive committees of FIFA and the European body UEFA.

Qualifying For World Cup Will Be Difficult – Odegbami

Former Nigeria international Segun Odegbami says the Super Eagles must go through a difficult  World Cup qualification process to secure a spot at Russia 2018.

Sunday Oliseh’s men face Egypt in a make or break African Cup of Nations qualifier double-header before continuing their qualification process for the World Cup later in the year.

According to the former Eagles striker, the country does not possess the quality that can make the qualification process an easy task.

“Nigeria does not have the players,” Odegbami told the media. “Just a few are emerging that starts to give us hope. I think we might still qualify for Afcon.

“To qualify for the World Cup is going to be extremely difficult this time. And if we do, we will be very lucky. That is my own view.

“I think within the next three to four years then we might have a proper Super Eagles if we do things right. If we look into our domestic league, develop it properly, arrange for our players or support them so that they can go to the right environment, for training.

“Give them all the motivation they need, take care of them and