Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lulu, others plead not guilty

Former NFF President Sani Lulu Abdullahi and his three associates on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption at an Abuja Federal High Court.  

Lulu, along with former Secretary General Bolaji Ojo-Oba and former executive committee members Amanze Uchegbulam and Taiwo Ogunjobi appeared in court facing a 10-count charge including mismanagement of over N900 million of Nigeria's World Cup budget and paying allowances to over 170 unauthorized persons during the World Cup in South Africa.

All four men entered not guilty pleas and were given stringent conditions to be freed on bail.

Justice Donatus Okorowo ordered each of the officials to deposit a N100 million bail bond and produce two sureties by Wednesday.

One of the sureties must be a senior public worker, while the other must be of high standing in Nigeria.

The guarantors will have to present their tax clearance certificates for the past three years and also have fixed property in Abuja.

A trial date is yet to be fixed. 

Flamingoes ready to pop hosts party

Nigeria are aiming to be party poppers when they confront hosts Trinidad and Tobago in the early hours of Thursday at the FIFA Under-17 Womens World Cup.  

The Flamingoes got their campaign off to the best possible start when they came from behind to beat defending champions North Korea 3-2 on Sunday.

Coach Peter Dedevbo says confidence is high after that victory.

“Our confidence is high,” was Dedevbo's understated assessment.

But the hosts, who also claimed an opening day win against Chile, are also riding their own crest of victory-inducing confidence.

“We can play better,” was the warning of T&T’s Norwegian coach Even Pellerud after the hosts made history with a 2-1 win over Chile, a first for a women’s team from the Caribbean country in a FIFA competition.

The game comes up at midnight Nigerian time.  

Story by: KickoffNigeria 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lulu, others in court on corruption charges

Former NFF President Sani Lulu Abdullahi and three others will go on trial on Tuesday on charges of corruption. 

Lulu is joined by former First Vice President Amanze Uchegbulam, former Executive Committee member Taiwo Ogunjobi and former Secretary General Bolaji Ojo-Oba.

Nigeria's anti -corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have detained all four men in preparation for their arraignment on Tuesday.

EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said the suspects would appear before Abuja  Federal High Court Judge, Mr Justice D. Okorowa.

Among the charges brought against the quartet are:

• Payment of estacodes/allowances of $800,000 to 220 delegates to the World Cup in South Africa. Only 47 of which were authorised NFF officials

• mismanagement of N900million World Cup funds;

• purchase of over-inflated luxury buses for the Super Eagles;

• incurring a $125,000 fine in South Africa over a deal with Hampshire Hotel;

• mismanagement of $250,000 to charter a faulty aircraft for the Super Eagles from London to South Africa; and

• spending $400,000 for a friendly match between Colombia and Nigeria in London.

The officials were originally questioned on July 6 by the EFCC. 

SIASIA still interested in Eagles job

Samson Siasia has said that he is still interested in the Super Eagles coaching job but will only apply if the conditions set by the Nigeria Football Federation are okay with him.

''It is not what I can give now because it is a decision I have to really sit down to make. But the decision to apply or not will depend on the guideline set for those interested in the job. If the conditions are okay with me then I‘ll apply but I guess its best we wait and see the conditions first,'' Siasia stated.

Siasia, who led the Olympic Eagles to silver in Beijing, said that the NFF have to explain why he would be starting afresh.

''That is the question for them. They should be the one to explain why the process should start all over again. They, not me, are in the best position to explain why I reached that far and then will now have to start afresh with every other person.''


I want to bring back the glory days - KESHI

Stephen Keshi has shown interest in coaching the national team again after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) declared the post vacant last week.

Keshi said he was ready to handle the Super Eagles if given the opportunity once again.

'The Big Boss' as he is fondly called, said he is ready to inject new ideas into Nigerian football, saying Nigeria is not taking her rightful place in the football world.

"We need to bring back our glory days in the area of football.

"Money is not everything and this will not drive us to runs Nigerian football but the most important thing is to bring back Nigeria's past glory.

Keshi revealed that Nigeria has not been doing well in the past while noting that the trend must change.

“This is not where we were in the past so there is need for development in terms of our football.

"We need to bring back that joy, that glory that we always experience in those days," Keshi concluded.


Etuhu commits to Cottagers

                                                            Nigerian midfielder pens new deal

Dickson Etuhu has signed a contract extension at Fulham which will keep him at the club until 2014.
The midfielder joined the Cottagers fromSunderland in the summer of 2008 and has become a mainstay in the starting XI since then.
He was able to strike up an instant understanding with skipper Danny Murphy and the pair have played an integral role in the club's recent success.
Not averse to getting stuck in, while remaining more than capable of knocking the ball around,Etuhu has proven to be a shrewd acquisition for the Cottagers.


They hope there will be more to come from the 28-year-old in the future, with his career having gone from strength to strength.
Over the course of the past 12 months, he has turned out for Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations and the 2010 World Cup and helpedFulham reach the final of the Europa League.
Etuhu has also started the 2010/11 season in scintillating form, with new boss Mark Hughesseemingly able to bring the best out of him.
He opened his goal account for the new term in the Cottagers' last Premier League outing against Blackpool, and will be hoping to maintain his current high standards throughout the course of the campaign.
Source: Sky Sport news

FIFA to Implement Video Technology to Judge Diving

The world football governing body seems to have removed the sleep from their eyes, poured themselves a fresh cup of coffee, and in a shocking turn of events, looks to be attempting some ‘governing’ as they’ve recently stated they’ll allow national associations the use of video footage when it comes to punishing diving and simulation.
In a statement released to the press recently, a FIFA spokesperson used clamorous phrases to describe their intent such as, “serious sanction”, “stamp out”, “deterrent”, and “right wrongs”, all pretty determined terminology being thrown around from the federation once deemed inept at making the big decisions needed for the betterment of the game.
In this somewhat welcoming turn of events, FIFA has changed their stance on the controversial topic from just a few years ago when the Scottish FA approached FIFA with a proposal to use video evidence for these such circumstances. Scotland’s proposal was then turned down on the basis that it was against the existing rules of football. Credit to FIFA though who’ve now allowed the Australian Federation to punish two players, Perth Glory striker Michael Baird and Central Coast midfielder Patricio Perez, and have subsequently banned them for two matches for simulation and gaining penalties.
These new developments in the use of video technology go against article 79 of the official FIFA disciplinary code which states that the disciplinary decisions taken by the ref on the field of play during a match are final. If you connect the dots, any such occurance or violation spotted by video replay after the ending of a match and then punished for would be against FIFA’s code. An interesting and progressive step forward by FIFA.
As it pertains to the Aussies, the Australian national association has cited UEFA’s stance on former Arsenal striker Eduardo in a Champions League qualifier against Celtic in 2009 as precedence for the infraction. Eduardo’s dive to win a penalty in real time was difficult to catch in the heat of the moment. Yet video replays blatantly proved Celtic keeper Artur Boruc avoided all contact with Eduardo who went to ground to deceive the referee.
In this instance of Arseanl v Celtic, the charge against Eduardo was based on Article 10 paragraph 1c of the UEFA disciplinary regulations which states that players can be suspended for purposely trying to deceive a match official in attempts to make said official make an incorrect decision.
In the Eduardo example and now in the case of the Australian club players, FIFA have made the right decision and an important step forward. Football fans will still want to see progress made in goal-line technology and other aspects of the game that will benefit its overall appearance across the world, but for now, FIFA have taken a step in the right direction.

Monday, September 6, 2010

2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Fixtures, results and tables for the qualifiers for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
In groups A to J, the pool winners plus best two runners-up qualify for finals with co-hosts Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The top two sides in group K, which has five teams, will go through automatically. 
Holders: Egypt Group A
Cape Verde 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Liberia 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Zimbabwe 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Mali 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
03-05/09/10: Cape Verde 1-0 Mali 03-05/09/10: Liberia 1-1 Zimbabwe
08-10/10/10: Mali v Liberia 08-10/10/10: Zimbabwe v Cape Verde
25-27/03/11: Cape Verde v Liberia 25-27/03/11: Mali v Zimbabwe
03-06/06/11: Liberia v Cape Verde 03-06/06/11: Zimbabwe v Mali
02-04/09/11: Mali v Cape Verde 02-04/09/11: Zimbabwe v Liberia
07-09/10/11: Liberia v Mali 07-09/10/11: Cape Verde v Zimbabwe
Group B
Guinea 1 1 0 0 4 1 3
Nigeria 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
Madagascar 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
Ethiopia 1 0 0 1 1 4 0
03-05/09/10: Nigeria 2-0 Madagascar 03-05/09/10: Ethiopia 1-4 Guinea
08-10/10/10: Madagascar v Ethiopia 08-10/10/10: Guinea v Nigeria
25-27/03/11: Nigeria v Ethiopia 25-27/03/11: Madagascar v Guinea
03-06/06/11: Ethiopia v Nigeria 03-06/06/11: Guinea v Madagascar
02-04/09/11: Madagascar v Nigeria 02-04/09/11: Guinea v Ethiopia
07-09/10/11: Ethiopia v Madagascar 07-09/10/11: Nigeria v Guinea
Group C
Zambia 1 1 0 0 4 0 3
Libya 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Mozambique 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Comoros Isl 1 0 0 1 0 4 0
03-05/09/10: Mozambique 0-0 Libya 03-05/09/10: Zambia 4-0 Comoros
08-10/10/10: Libya v Zambia 08-10/10/10: Comoros v Mozambique
25-27/03/11: Mozambique v Zambia 25-27/03/11: Libya v Comoros
03-06/06/11: Zambia v Mozambique 03-06/06/11: Comoros v Libya
02-04/09/11: Libya v Mozambique 02-04/09/11: Comoros v Zambia
07-09/10/11: Zambia v Libya 07-09/10/11: Mozambique v Comoros
Group D
Algeria 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Tanzania 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
CAR 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Morocco 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
03-05/09/10: Algeria 1-1 Tanzania 03-05/09/10: Morocco 0-0 Central African Republic
08-10/10/10: Tanzania v Morocco 08-10/10/10: Central African Republic v Algeria
25-27/03/11: Algeria v Morocco 25-27/03/11: Tanzania v Central African Republic
03-06/06/11: Morocco v Algeria 03-06/06/11: Central African Republic v Tanzania
02-04/09/11: Tanzania v Algeria 02-04/09/11: Central African Republic v Morocco
07-09/10/11: Morocco v Tanzania 07-09/10/11: Algeria v Central African Republic
Group E
Senegal 1 1 0 0 4 2 3
Cameroon 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
DR Congo 1 0 0 1 2 4 0
Mauritius 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
03-05/09/10: DR Congo 2-4 Senegal 03-05/09/10: Mauritius 1-3 Cameroon
08-10/10/10: Senegal v Mauritius 08-10/10/10: Cameroon v DR Congo
25-27/03/11: DR Congo v Mauritius 25-27/03/11: Senegal v Cameroon
03-06/06/11: Mauritius v DR Congo 03-06/06/11: Cameroon v Senegal
02-04/09/11: Senegal v DR Congo 02-04/09/11: Cameroon v Mauritius
07-09/10/11: Mauritius v Senegal 07-09/10/11: DR Congo v Cameroon
Group F
Gambia 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
Burkina Faso 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
03-05/09/10: Gambia 3-1 Namibia
08-10/10/10: Burkina Faso v Gambia 25-27/03/11: Burkina Faso v Namibia
03-06/06/11: Namibia v Burkina Faso
02-04/09/11: Namibia v Gambia
07-09/10/11: Gambia v Burkina Faso *Mauritania withdrew Group G
South Africa 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
Egypt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sierra Leone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Niger 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
03-05/09/10: South Africa 2-0 Niger 03-05/09/10: Egypt v Sierra Leone
08-10/10/10: Niger v Egypt 08-10/10/10: Sierra Leone v South Africa
25-27/03/11: South Africa v Egypt 25-27/03/11: Niger v Sierra Leone
03-06/06/11: Egypt v South Africa 03-06/06/11: Sierra Leone v Niger
02-04/09/11: Niger v South Africa 02-04/09/11: Sierra Leone v Egypt
07-09/10/11: Egypt v Niger 07-09/10/11: South Africa v Sierra Leone
Group H
Ivory Coast 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
Benin 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Burundi 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Rwanda 1 0 0 1 0 3 0
03-05/09/10: Ivory Coast 3-0 Rwanda 03-05/09/10: Benin 1-1 Burundi
08-10/10/10: Rwanda v Benin 08-10/10/10: Burundi v Ivory Coast
25-27/03/11: Ivory Coast v Benin 25-27/03/11: Rwanda v Burundi
03-06/06/11: Benin v Ivory Coast 03-06/06/11: Burundi v Rwanda
02-04/09/11: Rwanda v Ivory Coast 02-04/09/11: Burundi v Benin
07-09/10/11: Benin v Rwanda 07-09/10/11: Ivory Coast v Burundi
Group I
Ghana 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
Sudan 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
Congo 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
Swaziland 1 0 0 1 0 3 0
03-05/09/10: Sudan 2-0 Congo 03-05/09/10: Swaziland 0-3 Ghana
08-10/10/10: Congo v Swaziland 08-10/10/10: Ghana v Sudan
25-27/03/11: Sudan v Swaziland 25-27/03/11: Congo v Ghana
03-06/06/11: Swaziland v Sudan 03-06/06/11: Ghana v Congo
02-04/09/11: Congo v Sudan 02-04/09/11: Ghana v Swaziland
07-09/10/11: Swaziland v Congo 07-09/10/11: Sudan v Ghana Group J
Uganda 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
G Bissau 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Kenya 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Angola 1 0 0 1 0 3 0
03-05/09/10: Guinea Bissau 1-0 Kenya 03-05/09/10: Uganda 3-0 Angola
08-10/10/10: Kenya v Uganda 08-10/10/10: Angola v Guinea Bissau
25-27/03/11: Guinea Bissau v Uganda 25-27/03/11: Kenya v Angola
03-06/06/11: Uganda v Guinea Bissau 03-06/06/11: Angola v Kenya
02-04/09/11: Kenya v Guinea Bissau 02-04/09/11: Angola v Uganda
07-09/10/11: Uganda v Kenya 07-09/10/11: Guinea Bissau v Angola
Group K
Botswana 4 3 1 0 5 2 10
Tunisia 3 1 1 1 5 4 5
Malawi 3 0 3 0 4 4 3
Togo 3 0 2 1 4 5 2
Chad 3 0 1 2 3 6 1
01/07/10: Chad 2-2 Togo 01/07/10: Tunisia 0-1 Botswana
09/07/10: Togo 1-1 Malawi 09/07/10: Botswana 1-0 Chad
11/08/10: Chad 1-3 Tunisia 11/08/10: Malawi 1-1 Botswana
03-05/09/10: Tunisia 2-2 Malawi 03-05/09/10: Botswana 2-1 Togo
08-10/09/10: Malawi v Chad 08-10/09/10: Togo v Tunisia
17/11/10: Togo v Chad 17/11/10: Botswana v Tunisia
25-27/03/11: Malawi v Togo 25-27/03/11: Chad v Botswana
03-05/06/11: Tunisia v Chad 03-05/06/11: Botswana v Malawi
02-04/09/11: Malawi v Tunisia 03-04/09/11: Togo v Botswana
07-09/10/11: Chad v Malawi 07-09/10/11: Tunisia v Togo
Story from BBC SPORT: