Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Martins’ brother dies of heart problem

Ladi Martins

Ladi Martins, the older brother of Nigeria international Obafemi Martins, died Monday in Lagos suspected to be of a heart problem.

MTNFootball.com learnt that Martins has struggled to eat normally for the past few days and when he finally had a meal Sunday morning, he began complaining of heart problem by evening.

He would give up the ghost at Doren Hospital in Ajah on the outskirts of Lagos the following day.

Obafemi Martins confirmed the shock passing away of his 27-year-old brother who also played professionally in Europe for some time.

Family member Otunba Kay David Lawson announced that Ladi will be buried at Victoria Garden Cemetery in Ajah, outskirts of Lagos, later Tuesday.

This is yet another personal tragedy for ‘Oba-goal’, whose mother was killed in a horrific car accident in Lagos a few years ago.


Nigeria, Ghana game cancelled

Taye Taiwo & Andre Ayew

Tuesday's international friendly between Nigeria and Ghana has been called off on the advice of the Watford police. 

The game was due to be played on Tuesday night at Watfotd's Vicarage Road, but Hertfordshire Constabulary
 advised the club that, following well-publicised outbreaks of civil unrest across pockets of London and other cities, they will not be able to police the fixture. 

The game has been called off following widespread unrest in certain parts of London and England.

Due to concerns regarding policing, the organisers of the game have advised that the fixture cannot be hosted.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

WYC - second round fixtures, date and time (Nigeria Time)

Date   Time         Venue           Team
10/08   02:00     Pereira             Cameroon - Mexico
09/08   23:00      Cali                 Portugal - Guatemela

10/08   02:00     Bogota             Colombia - Costa Rica

09/08   23:00     Medellin          Argentina - Egypt

10/08   23:00    Armenia         Nigeria - England :thumbs: :thumbs:

10/08   23:00    Manizales         Spain - Korea Republic

11/08   02:00   Barranquilla      Brazil - Saudi Arabia

11/08   02:00   Cartagena         France - Ecuador

Nigeria sink Saudis to finish perfect

Nigeria needed only draw to take first place in the Group D, but not diverging from their typical attacking displays beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 to stamp authority on their fine group campaign and set up a Round of 16 encounter with England. The Saudis, on the other hand, will meet Brazil.
The Africans in standard form committed numbers forward, but it was Saudi Arabia who had the first chance. With just two minutes gone, Saudi defender Salam Aldawsari tested Nigerian goalkeeper Dami Paul, but the keeper was threatened little by the attempt. 
There was little in the way of goalmouth action, despite a dangerous shot from Uche Nwofor in the 18th minute. The striker’s effort deflected off a Saudi defender and nearly found its way into the back of the net.
Saudi Arabia settled into a counter attacking approach, and on 30 minutes Ali Alzubaldi sent in a fine cross from the right wing, but Yahya Dagriri narrowly missed the chance to tap home. And after a free-kick opportunity for Nigeria, Dagriri received the clearance to counter with pace. Nearly surprising Paul, the No7 tried his luck with shot from the left side.
Dagriri was then left cursing his efforts as he missed what could and should have been a goal for Saudi Arabia. Salem Aldawsari found the forward unmarked in the area, but he ballooned his golden opportunity over the crossbar.
Nigeria quickly punished Dagriri for the miss too, as Omoh Ojabu passed behind to Ahmed Musa from inside the area, and the No7 fired a rocket past Abdullah Alsdairy to take a one-goal lead into the break.
Saudi Arabia searched for an equaliser at the start of the second half, but a dangerous free-kick from Abdullah Otayf was denied by Paul.  Omoh Ojabu was pressing at the other end, troubling the Saudi defence, although was unable to get a powerful shot off.
On 80 minutes, Saudi Arabia nearly had the equaliser they desperately needed when Nigeria keeper Paul mishandled a simple back pass. The keeper scrambled and ultimately saved himself from the tragic fate of scoring an owl goal.
In the final ten minutes, Nigeria pushed to double their lead and ensure a first place finish atop of the group. Olarenwaju Kayode put the game out of reach, pushing a fine volley pass from Nwofor into the back of Alsdairy’s net.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Arsenal face Udinese in Champions League play-off

Arsenal have been drawn against Udinese in the play-off to reach the group stage of the Champions League.
The Gunners will be at home for the first leg of the tie against the Italians on Tuesday 16 August, with the return leg seven days later.
Germany's Bayern Munich face FC Zurich of Switzerland, Dutch side FC Twente take on Portugal's Benfica and French side Lyon take on Russia's Rubin Kazan.
The draw for the Europa League is scheduled to take place at 1230 BST.
Arsenal face the qualifying tie to reach the group stage of the Champions League for a 14th consecutive season because they finished fourth in last season's Premier League.


  • Finalists - 2006
  • Semi-finalists - 2009
  • Quarter-finalists - 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010
Boss Arsene Wenger will serve a one-match touchline ban, which is hanging over from last season's second-round exit to Barcelona in the Nou Camp.
Wenger was charged with using "inapproriate language" towards match official Massimo Busacca after he showed Robin van Persie a second yellow card for shooting at goal after he had blown his whistle for offside.
Van Persie's dismissal means he will sit out the first leg against Udinese, while midfielder Samir Nasri is also banned after been reprimanded by Uefa for his outburst at Busacca.
The first leg of their tie with Udinese is sandwiched between the first Premier League game of the season at Newcastle and the visit of Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday 20 August.
The second leg, in Italy on 23 August, precedes their Premier League trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.
Champions League play-off draw:
Wisla Krakow v Apoel Nicosia
Maccabi Haifa v Genk
Dinamo Zagreb v Malmo FF
FC Copenhagen v Plzen
BATE v SK Sturm Graz
Odense BK v Villarreal
FC Twente v Benfica
Arsenal v Udinese
Bayern Munich v FC Zurich
Lyon v Rubin Kazan
Ties to be played 16/17 and 23/24 August

Source: BBC

Odemwingie doubtful for Nigeria V Ghana Friendly

Osaze Odemwingie is a doubt for Nigeria's friendly against Ghana in London. 

Odemwingie, recently recalled after a two-match suspension by Nigeria, took an ankle hit in his club's pre-season game against Bristol City on Saturday, and was among several first team regulars left out of the West Brom squad that travelled to Greece to face Olympiakos.

"I still have a bit of pain around my ankle and although it is recovering well, I will have to be 100 percent fit before I can play," Odemwingie tells KickOffNigeria.com.

"Our next pre-season game is against Parma, and I dont think I will be ready for that.

"But I am doing my best and the medical team are working really hard to get me back and fully fit again.

"I'm hoping I can be ready on time for the game on Tuesday, but if I am not 100 percent fit, I don’t think I will risk it."

Nigeria play Ghana on Tuesday, August 9, at Watford's Vicarage Road ground. 

Source: kickoffnigeria.com

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nigeria Flying Eagles progress beaten Croatia 5-2

Nigeria won their way into the knockout stage of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a storming 5-2 victory over Croatia.

A heavy pitch didn’t thwart the Africans who held a 2-1 half-time lead and, after extending their advantage just past the hour mark, substitute Uche Nwofor bagged a double to end Croatia’s hopes of a top-two finish.

Both teams enjoyed early openings, notably with a back-heel from Mario Ticinovic finding Andrej Kramaric, whose shot from inside the penalty area hit the side netting.

However, it was Nigeria that opened the scoring, with a neat pass from Abdul Ajagun finding Olarenwaju Kayode, who fired home with a low shot past the exposed goalkeeper.

There were further openings for Nigeria from Edafe Egbedi and Ahmed Musa, before they extended the advantage with a wonder goal from Terna Suswan who fired a powerful drive from 30 yards.

Croatia, however, pulled a much needed goal back three before the interval with Zvonko Pamic’s free-kick headed home by Ivan Lendric.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Nigeria defeat Guatemala 5-0 at the U20 World Cup

Nigeria made a perfect start at the Under-20 World Cup on Sunday, thrashing Guatemala 5-0 in their Group D opener in the Colombian city Armenia.
Two Edafe Egbedi first-half goals and second-half strikes by Abdul Ajagun, Olarenwaju Kayode and Ahmed Musa were enough to sink the Central Americans.
The Flying Eagles now top the group on goal difference, after Saudi Arabia beat Croatia 2-0 on Sunday.
Coach John Obuh's side next face Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

It only took two minutes for the Nigerians' power to be felt as Ramon Azeez fired a powerful shot over the crossbar.
Six minutes later, Musa edged past Jose Andrade down the left flank and slotted back to Egbedi, who fired home from close range.
This is Nigeria's eighth appearance in the tournament, but the west Africans are yet to win their first title despite having reached the final twice.
On Saturday, other African representatives Cameroon drew 1-1 against New Zealand in Group B, with Mali losing 2-0 to South Korea in Group A.
Egypt, who started on a good note when holding two-time champions Brazil to a 1-1 draw, play Panama later on Monday while Brazil faces Austria in the other group match.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ghana drop Kevin-Prince Boateng from Squad to face Nigeria

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has been left out of Ghana's squad to play Nigeria in a friendly in London next month, MTNFootball.com can exclusively reveal.

The German-born player is not part of Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic 18-man squad for the match to played at Vicarage Road.

Norway-born Goalkeeper Kwarasey has been handed his first call-up in the squad made up of only foreign-based players.

France-based youngster Rabiu Mohammed gets his first call-up into the squad as a replacement for injured Michael Essien while Nana Asare gets back into the team to justify himself for the left-back position.

The 23-year-old Kwarasey had his nationality status confirmed by Fifa two months ago and could be in line for his first cap.

Left-back Asare, who plays for Dutch side FC Utrecht, has been handed another opportunity by the Serb to seal a permanent place in the team.

The Feyenoord trainee was first invited by Stevanovic in February during an exhibition match against Togo in Belgium.

Boateng has been dropped as the loyalty question about him lingers on.

He claims he is recovering from surgery despite playing for the Italian champions in a friendly last Wednesday against Solbiatese.

Ghana face the Super Eagles at the Vicarage Road Stadium in a warm-up game to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland at home in September.

Ghana squad:

Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Unattached), Adam Larsen Kwarasey (Stromgodest,Norway)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (FC Dnipro), John Paintsil (Leicester City), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Nana Akwasi Asare (FC Utrecht), John Mensah (Olympique Lyon), Isaac Vorsah (TSG Hoffenheim), Jonathan Mensah (Evian Thonon-Gaillard)

Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Evian Thonon-Gaillard), Anthony Annan (Schalke 04), Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille), Kwadwo Asamoah, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu (Udinese), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan)

Strikers: Dominic Adiyiah (Karsiyaka), Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland), Prince Tagoe (TSG Hoffenheim)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bin Hammam handed lifetime ban by FIFA

ZURICH, - (AFP) - Asian football supremo Mohamed bin Hammam was on Saturday banned from the game for life after being found guilty of corruption following a two-day hearing of FIFA's ethics committee.

The 62-year-old Qatari, the president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), had been accused of trying to buy votes in the FIFA presidential election with $40,000 cash gifts to Caribbean football officials.
"The official Mr Bin Hammam is hereby banned from taking part in any kind of football activity at national or international level for life," said ethics committee deputy chairman Petrus Damaseb at FIFA headquarters.
Whistle-blowers said Bin Hammam tried to bribe officials to vote for him by distributing cash-stuffed envelopes during a Caribbean Football Union (CFU) meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on May 10-11.
CFU officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, also being investigated by the ethics committee over claims they helped hand out the money, were eached banned from football-related activity for a year.
Former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner was also charged over his alleged role in the affair, but his resignation from FIFA last month prompted the organisation to drop all the charges against him.
Bin Hammam's subsequent withdrawal from the presidential election gifted a fourth straight term in office to his former ally Sepp Blatter, who made cleaning up FIFA's tarnished image a post-election priority.
Bin Hammam had already all but conceded defeat prior to the announcement of the ethics committee's verdict.
"It seems likely that FIFA has already made its decision weeks ago," he wrote in a blog post on Friday. "So none of us should be completely surprised if a guilty verdict is returned."
Friday's 13-hour session did not wrap up until after 10:00 pm local time (2000GMT), while Saturday's hearing began at around 9:00 am local time beneath grey skies in the Swiss financial capital.

AFP Photo: This file picture shows President of Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Qatar's Mohammed bin Hammam, arriving at FIFA headquarters in Zurich for his hearing before FIFA ethics committee over bribery allegations.

Bin Hammam corruption case timeline
A timeline of the corruption scandal involving former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed bin Hammam, who was banned from football for life by FIFA's ethics committee on Saturday.
December 2, 2010
- Qatar sensationally awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup, controversially overcoming competition from Australia, the United States, South Korea and Japan.
Bin Hammam, a former chairman of the Qatar Football Association (QFA), plays a key role in pre-vote lobbying.
January 6, 2011
- Bin Hammam, then aged 61, wins a new four-year term as president of the AFC, the world's largest football confederation, after an uncontested election.
March 18, 2011
- Bin Hammam confirms that he will challenge his former ally Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential election in June.
March 28, 2011
- Bin Hammam accuses the 75-year-old Blatter of dragging FIFA down and says "people have been judging the entire organisation by the unpopularity of its president".
May 25, 2011
- FIFA announce that they are opening a corruption investigation into four officials, included Bin Hammam and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.
Bin Hammam and Warner, 68, are accused of offering $40,000 cash gifts to national association representatives at a Caribbean football summit on May 10-11, in return for their votes in the presidential election.
Bin Hammam says he "completely denies" the charges and later calls them a "conspiracy".
The four people, including Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, are ordered to appear before FIFA's ethics committee in Zurich on May 29.
May 29, 2011
- Bin Hammam withdraws from the FIFA presidential election, hours before he is due to face the ethics committee.
Bin Hammam and Warner are provisionally suspended from all football activities by the committee, but Blatter is cleared over allegations that he knew about the payments made at the Caribbean meeting.
May 30, 2011
- Bin Hammam says he will appeal against his suspension.
June 1, 2011
- Blatter is elected unopposed for a fourth consecutive term as FIFA president.
June 20, 2011
- Warner resigns from all his positions in international football, prompting FIFA to drop their investigation into the claims against him.
"As a consequence of Mr Warner's resignation, all ethics committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained," says a FIFA statement.
July 6, 2011
- FIFA announce that the ethics committee hearing over the charges against Bin Hammam, Minguell and Sylvester will take place behind closed doors at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland on July 22 and 23.
July 7, 2011
- Bin Hammam says he is "hoping to receive a fair hearing -- one which will not be influenced by any political agenda or motivation".
July 22, 2011
- Bin Hammam decides not to attend the opening day of the ethics committee hearing, leaving his defence in the hands of his legal team.
In a blog post, he says he is expecting a "guilty verdict" but declares that "justice will eventually prevail, whether through the FIFA Ethics Committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport or, if necessary, through other courts or legal proceedings in courts where we will be equal and no special privileges will be granted to either party."
July 23, 2011
- Bin Hammam is banned from all football-related activity for life at the close of the ethics committee hearing.

FIFA statement on Mohamed bin Hammam
FIFA Ethics Committee statement after a life ban was handed out to Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam on Saturday:
"The FIFA Ethics Committee, under the chairmanship of Petrus Damaseb (Namibia), has today decided to ban football officials from taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for periods of between life and one year, after they were found to have breached various articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The decisions, which were taken during a two-day meeting of the Ethics Committee held in Zurich on 22 and 23 July 2011, are the following:
- Mohamed bin Hammam (FIFA Executive Committee member) was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for a period of life.
- Debbie Minguell (Caribbean Football Union official) was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for a period of one year.
- Jason Sylvester (Caribbean Football Union official) was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for a period of one year.
- Furthermore, Chuck Blazer (FIFA Executive Committee member) received a warning for comments he made on 30 May at the CONCACAF Caucus held in Zurich. These comments suggested some CFU members were "under investigation", when this was not true."

Mexico humiliate Flying Eagles

Nine-man Flying Eagles rounded off their pre-Fifa Under-20 World Cup with a 4-1 loss to Mexico at the Copa de la Republica tournament in Panama City on Friday night.

Nigeria head coach, John Obuh, waxed philosophical again after the heavy defeat to Mexico.
Obuh said: “It will be a disaster if we dwell on this match with the World Cup just around the corner.”
The Nigerian U20s got off to a strong start inside 22 minutes through VVV-Venlo man, Ahmed Musa.
The speedster opened scoring courtesy of a low drive from top of the box after a fine build-up.
It was the Flying Eagles first goal in three matches.
Obuh threw new arrivals Ramon Azeez and Olanrewaju Kayode into the deep end from kick-off, and it was the hustling style of Asec striker, Kayode that seem to trouble the Mexican defence from the outset.
Mexico equalised on 33 minutes when Diego De Buen finally powered home a free kick from the edge of the Nigerian box after Kenneth Omeruo had fouled a goal-bound Mexican forward.
Kayode then came close twice before Mexico made it 2-1 after Alan Pulido skinned Omeruo before delightfully chipping past goalkeeper Danjuma Paul.
The restart was delayed for over 10 minutes after Nigeria refused to go back to the pitch in protest over the failure of the referee Roberto Moreno to protect them on the pitch.
After the Flying Eagles were pacified, they continued to press for a leveller with Musa and Terna Suswam involved in a superb interchange of passes only for the ball to overrun Musa inside the box.
Ulises Davila then increased the lead by Mexico after 58 minutes and soon after the Flying Eagles were dealt a big blow when Omeruo was sent off for his second booking after what looked like an innocuous challenge.
On 71 minutes, Ogungbe cleared off the goalline with Paul well beaten.
Moments later Mexican dangerman, Alan Pulido put the game beyond the reach of the Flying Eagles with a fourth goal.
Nigeria’s bad day in the office was complete in the 79th minute when Abduljaleel Ajagun saw red. He was first booked for a late tackle and then sent off for dissent.
In the other game of the night, hosts Panama beat Portugal 2-0 to allow Mexico emerge winners of the invitational tournament.

Nigeria: Danjuma Paul (skipper) – Terna Suswan, Felix Odoh, Kenneth Omeruo, Emmanuel Anyanwu (Ganiu Ogungbe 46) – Ramon Azeez (Philemon Daniel 46), Abduljaleel Ajagun, Sani Tahir, Ahmed Musa, Egbedi Edafe (Bright Ejike 46) (Chimezie Mbah 76)– Olanrewaju Kayode (Uche Nwofor 46)
Coach: John Sam Obuh
Mexico: Carlos Lopez – Kristian Alvarez, Nestor Araujo (Skipper), Diego De Buen, Jorge Garcia (Marvin Pinon 69), Cesar Ibanez, Jorge Valencia, Saul Villalobos (Carlos Orrantia 56), Taufic Guarch (David Ramirez 61), Ulises Davila (Edson Rivera 74), Alan Pulido (Erick Torres 77)

Coach: Juan Carlos Chavez

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nigeria Flying Eagles U20 World Cup squad

Nigeria under-20 coach John Obuh has retained majority of the players that won the African Youth Championship in South Africa for the World Cup in Colombia.
Captain Ramon Azeez and top scorer at the AYC Uche Nwofor are included in the final 21-man squad of the Flying Eagles.
Injury knocked out Lazio of Italy's Onazi Ogenyi while defender Jamiu Alimi of Belgian club Westerlo was also omitted.
Local stars Gbenga Arokoyo, Kelly Godwin and Chidi Osuchukwu also missed out on the final cut.
Despite dominating the African scene, Nigeria are still chasing their first success at the World Youth Championship since it started in 1979.
The Flying Eagles finished as runners-up at the 1989 and 2005 editions, losing to Portugal and Argentina respectively.
Nigeria have been drawn in Group D against Guatemala, Croatia and Saudi Arabia.

Cameroon, Egypt and Mali are the other African representatives at the World Youth Championship which is scheduled for 29 July - 20 August.
Nigeria's final squad for Colombia 2011:
Goalkeepers: Danjuma Paul (Nasarawa United), Kazim Yekini (Kwara United), Gideon Gambo (Sharks)
Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (Standard Liege/Belgium), Chiemezie Mbah (Warri Wolves), Gani Ogungbe (Gateway FC), Emmanuel Anyanwu (Enyimba), Terna Suswan (Vitoria Setubal/Portugal), Felix Odoh (First Bank Lagos)
Midfielders: Philemon Daniel (Kwara United), Abduljaleel Ajagun (Dolphin), Sani Tahir (Vejle/DEN), Ramon Azeez (Almeria/SPA)
Strikers: Ahmed Musa (VVV Venlo/Netherlands), Uche Nwofor (Enugu Rangers), Bright Ejike (Sharks), Olanrewaju Kayode (Asec/Cote d'Ivoire), Sani Emmanuel (Lazio/Italy), Omo Ojabu (Dolphin), Terry Envoh (Sharks), Egbedi Edafe (unattached)
Coach: John Sam Obuh

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Super Eagles Squad to face Ghana in Friendly

Osaze Odemwingie has been recalled to the Nigeria squad, and Columbus Crew midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo has also been named to face Ghana in London next month.

Ekpo is one of two newcomers, along with Warri Wolves goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, listed by Nigeria coach Samson Siasia on Tuesday.

Odemwingie last played for Nigeria in an African Nations Cup qualifier in March.

The forward has been excluded from the Nigeria set up by Siasia after leaving the team camp without permission.

Both men recently made up after an apology by the West Brom man, earning the striker a recall.

Also included in the team is Fenerbache forward Emmanuel Emenike who was arrested this month in Turkey in connection with a match-fixing investigation. He was released without charge.

However, there was no place for Dinamo Kiev forward Brown Ideye, who will be on standby.

Nigeria will use the friendly against Ghana to prepare for a Cup of Nations qualifier away in Madagascar in early September.
The two time African champions are three points behind group B leaders Guinea in the race for an automatic place in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Dele Aiyenugba, Chigozie Agbim

Defenders: Chibuzor Okonkwo, Taye Taiwo, Gege Soriola, Elderaon Echiejile, Joseph Yobo, Yusuf Ayila, Efe Ambrose

Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Fengor Ogude, Joel Obi, Kalu Uche, Emmanuel Ekpo, Solomon Okoronkwo

Forwards: Obinna Nsofor, Victor Anichebe, Ike Uche, Osaze Odemwingie, Ekigho Ehiosun, Emmanuel Emenike

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ekigho Ehiosun rises to shine

Warri Wolves all-action striker Ekigho Ehiosun has taken Nigerian football by storm this season with goals for both club and country.
The recently qualified petroleum engineer, who will celebrate his 21st birthday next month, made a goal-scoring debut for the Super Eagles in a friendly against Sierra Leone in Lagos in February.
It was a classic goal poacher’s goal as he pounced on a through ball delivered by fellow debutant Joel Obi just moments after coming off the subs’ bench.
‘Ehis’ has also fired four goals for the country’s Olympic team and was on target for the Eagles ‘B’ team four times at the recent WAFU Nations Cup hosted by Nigeria.
MTNFootball.com now sits down with the ‘Man on Fire’, who just wants to keep roasting defences match after match.
MTNFootball: Ekigho, you must be delighted to be picked for next month’s top games against Argentina and Ethiopia.
Ekigho Ehiosun: I was so, so happy that I was included in the team. I thank Almighty God for propelling me thus far in my career. I sincerely thank the chief coach, Samson Siasia, for believing in me. I thank coach (Simon) Kalika and the rest of Eagles technical crew for encouraging and guiding me also. I also thank my team mates for the love and brotherly love among us. I promise to do all my best and continue to work extra hard to justify my inclusion in the team.
Before the Nations Cup qualifier in Ethiopia, the Eagles will host Argentina in a friendly in Abuja.
EE: The friendly would be a good preparation for the important Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. I am sure we will do our best as a team to try and win and make Nigerians happy.
I would also make this appeal as a part of the team to tell the fans to be patient with us when the goals are not coming or whenever we are trying to do our best in the game and we are initially finding it difficult to break the Argentines. Their patience and support would definitely propel us to win the match on our own soil.
You are already being compared to the legendary Rashidi Yekini?
EE: It is not right for anybody to compare me with a legend like Rashidi Yekini who had represented this country in no small way. He has done great things for this country, while I am just beginning. I have been hearing his exploits since I was very young.
So, I want to be known as Ekhigo Ehiosun, not Rashidi Yekini, because the vacuum he has left behind is very difficult to fill.
Yekini is a player to look up to but I just want to be my real self and nothing more. What I set before me is to work extra hard every day to ensure I become a prolific scorer that my coaches can always rely on.
I am working hard and trying to listen to my coaches and also learn from my seniors in the Super Eagles so that I could be a complete striker everybody would be proud of.
Let nobody compare me with one of my idols, Yekini. I hope to achieve what he has achieved or even more in the nearest future.
So, are you under pressure any time you play for Nigeria?
EE: I love playing football. He has become part of me and I just try to enjoy myself and do my best on the field, so I don’t feel any pressure playing for my country or club. But I am always very happy any time I score goals.
Everybody expected the Eagles ‘B’ team to win the WAFU Cup only for Togo to upset you.
EE: Honestly, I don’t know what happened or what went wrong in that match. We did our best as a team but we were not lucky enough to emerge champions.
I was so confident that we would win because we were very ready to win. But that day everything just went wrong. I couldn't say what went wrong, so also my colleagues. I had thought that I would win my first trophy as an Eagles player but man proposes, God disposes.
We lost to hard luck. Luck was not just on our side. When luck fails you, you will do everything and it won't work. Our coaches did everything humanly possible for us to win the cup.
Let us leave that behind us now and face the Argentina friendly and especially the Africa Nations Cup qualifier away in Ethiopia. If we win these two games, I am very sure Nigerians would forget the WAFU Cup loss.
How would you describe the last three months of your career?
EE: Even if I were to surrender my whole body, it wouldn’t be enough to thank God for what he has done in my life and most especially my career. On and off the field God has done wonders in my life and words are not enough to appreciate what He has done for me.
In my life generally I need to thank Him from the bottom of my heart and to the depth of my soul.
On the back of such great form, you must be on your way to playing in Europe.
EE: I am currently enjoying my football with Warri Wolves. If something good comes my way, you people will know, but not until then.
Did your parents support you when you started out kicking the ball as a kid?

Joseph Yobo wins League title

Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo became a league champion with Fenerbahce, scoring the last of his club's four goals in a thrilling 4-3 win at Sivasspor.  

Closest rivals Trabzonspor won 4-0 at Emmanuel Emenike's Karabukspor to finish on the same 82 points as Fenerbahce, but Yobo's side claimed the title by virtue of their superior head to head record against Trabzonspor.

The victory handed Fener thier 18th title, one more than arch-rivals Galatasaray.
Needing a win to guarantee the title going into the last day of the season, Andre Santos put Fenerbahce ahead in the sixth minute, but they were pegged back on 20 minutes when Jakup Navratil drew level. Selcuk Sahin restored their lead near the end of the first half.

Second-half goals from the club's Brazilian captain Alex and Joseph Yobo sealed the victory for the visitors, and Erman Kilic's two late goals, the last on the stroke of time, could not stop Fenerbahce's party.

It was sweet payback for club, who were denied the title on the final day of last season by Trabzonspor, a 1-1 draw handing Bursaspor their first ever title.

Fenerbahce fans thronged the streets on the Asian side of Turkey's biggest city, chanting and waving flags in the club's blue and yellow colours. They last won the title in 2007 and both Galatasaray and the other major Istanbul club Besiktas have won the title since then.
Coach Aykut Kocaman, who took over from Germany's Christoph Daum,wins the title in his first season in charge, along with a host of new players including Yobo and Senegal's Mamadou Niang.  

Chelsea sacked Carlo Ancelotti

Chelsea have sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti after he ended his second season at the club without a trophy.
He was dismissed following the 1-0 loss to Everton, as the west Londoners finished second in the Premier League.
The 51-year-old had one more year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.
A club statement read: "This season's performances have fallen short of expectations and the club feels the time is right to make this change ahead of next season's preparations."
Speculation had been mounting that Ancelotti would be sacked following Chelsea's first season without a trophy in three years.
They missed out in the Premier League as Manchester United clinched their 19th top-flight title last week, further compounded by exits in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup during the season.
The Blues, who were Premier League and FA Cup holders at the start of the campaign, finished nine points behind United and only ahead of third-placed Manchester City on goal difference.
Former manager Avram Grant suffered similar treatment when Chelsea finished second in the domestic table and lost the Champions League final in 2008 on penalties.

And ambitious owner Roman Abramovich, who bankrolled an audacious £50m move for striker Fernando Torresduring the January transfer window, will now start the search for a successor capable of recapturing the Premier League from Manchester United, while also guiding the club to the much-coveted Champions League trophy.

"Chelsea's long-term football objectives and ambitions remain unchanged and we will now be concentrating all our efforts on identifying a new manager," read the club statement.
Ancelotti had reiterated his ambition to remain at Chelsea, but insisted the decision was entirely down to the club's demanding hierarchy.

"I am now on holiday - but I am not sure how long my holiday will be," he said in his post-match media conference shortly before he was sacked.

"We haven't arranged any meeting but I think in the next week, now the season is finished, the club can address my job and they will take a decision.
"I have to wait and see what happens. I don't have to say anything to the club - they can judge me on my job for two years."

Managers since Abramovich took over Chelsea in 2003

  • Sept 2000-June 2004 Claudio Ranieri
  • June 2004-Sept 2007 Jose Mourinho
  • Sept 2007-May 2008 Avram Grant
  • July 2008- Feb 2009 Luiz Felipe Scolari
  • Feb 2009-June 2009 Guus Hiddink
  • July 2009-May 2011 Carlo Ancelotti
Ancelotti had been coveted by Abramovich after spending eight years in charge at AC Milan, guiding the Italian giants to two Champions League titles in 2003 and 2007.

He signed a three-year contract in June 2009, taking over from interim boss Guus Hiddink, who had guided Chelsea to the FA Cup before returning to take charge of the Russia national team.
Ancelotti's first season in English football began in spectacular fashion, winning the Premier League and FA Cup - sealing the former with a thumping 8-0 victory against Wigan on the final day of the 2010 calendar.

But his second year in west London proved significantly more challenging as he was twice thwarted by Manchester United domestically and in the Champions League, where Chelsea suffered a quarter-final exit to Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
Ancelotti's progress was hindered when lassistant manager Ray Wilkinsleft the club in November after they decided not to renew his contract.

The Blues had been top of the table but the former England midfielder's departure coincided with a poor run of form, losing 3-0 to Sunderland before a 1-0 reverse against Birmingham during a six-match winless league run.

Defeats by Wolves and Liverpool followed at the start of the year before a late-season renaissance revived their title hopes.

However, a 2-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on 8 May effectively sealed Sir Alex Ferguson's 12th Premier League title.
"Last year was really good, this year was not so good," added Ancelotti.

Chelsea's attentions will now turn to finding Ancelotti's successor, their seventh manager in the eight years since Abramovich took control of the club in 2003.
Porto's highly rated Andre Villas-Boas, Hiddink and former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard are all in the frame.

Dutchman Hiddink, who has a close relationship with Abramovich, revealed he still has an advisory role at Stamford Bridge.

"Since I left two years ago I've been advising the club on things concerning the squad," he wrote in De Telegraaf on Saturday.

"Sometimes I become a sounding board. It costs me very little time and I can combine it well with my position with Turkey. There is no conflict at all."