Monday, March 28, 2011

Muhammad Buhari @ Abuja National Stadium

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Togolese football has received a major boost with the news that both coach Stephen Keshi and star player Emmanuel Adebayor are to return.

Real Madrid striker Adebayor quit the international game after a gun attack on the Togo team bus at the 2010 Nations Cup killed two members.

Adebayor has reportedly assured the federation he will play in Saturday's Group K qualifier in Malawi.

Nigeria's Keshi is already in Togo as he replaces Frenchman Thierry Froger.

Keshi previously led Togo in 2007 and between 2004-2006, a spell when he qualified the Hawks for the 2006 World Cup.

However, a run-in with the Togolese Football Federation (TFF) after the 2006 Nations Cup meant Keshi was replaced before Germany 2006 got underway.

But Keshi, who has yet to sign an agreement with the TFF, has returned for a third time after Froger resigned to take charge of French side Nimes earlier this month.

Adebayor also withdrew from Togolese football - three months after a rebel attack in northern Angola prompted the Hawks' withdrawal from the 2010 Nations Cup.

"I have weighed up my feelings in the weeks and months since the attack," he said in April 2010.

"It is a moment I will never forget and one I never want to experience again."

But after travelling to Madrid to meet with Adebayor, TFF president Gabriel Ameyi says he received an undertaking from the former Togo captain that he will end his international exile.

"We can only hope against hope at this stage," said Ameyi.

The former Manchester City and Arsenal striker says he will fly direct to Malawi from Europe for the match.

His assurances to Ameyi prompted the TFF to formally include Adebayor in their squad for Saturday's clash in Lilongwe.

The Hawks, who lie fourth in their five-team group, desperately need to win the game if they are to have any hope of securing an unlikely qualification for the 2012 Nations Cup.

Super Eagles host Argentina

Nigeria’s Super Eagles will play a high-profile friendly against Lionel Messi’s Argentina on June 1 in Abuja.
Officials informed that the friendly is being bankrolled by one of the team’s leading sponsors, Guinness.
An event to announce the details of the match will take place in Lagos later Wednesday.
This will be a rematch of a 2010 World Cup group game between the two countries in Johannesburg.
Argentina won 1-0 courtesy of an early Gabriel Heinze powerful header, but goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was in inspired form to deny Messi on at least two occasions.
The South Americans also beat the Eagles 1-0 in a 2002 World Cup group clash.
Both teams have twice clashed in the final of the Olympic football event.
Nigeria beat Argentina 3-2 to win an historic Olympic Gold at Atlanta ’96, while the South Americans got their revenge at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Argentina inspired by Messi also denied Nigeria the 2005 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Messi and company won 2-1.
The June friendly will be a good tune-up match for the Eagles prior their Nations Cup qualifier away to Ethiopia.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ferdinand to play on for England after losing captaincy

Rio Ferdinand is still available for England duty despite controversially losing the captaincy, according to a source close to the player.
BBC Sport revealed last week that boss Fabio Capello's decision to return it to John Terry had upset Ferdinand.
It was suggested the defender, who has a long-term injury, was appalled by Capello's off-hand treatment and considered his international future.
"Rio will never turn his back on England," the source said.
"He loves playing for his country and Fabio Capello cannot change that."
The Italian has confirmed that Terry will captain England in this weekend's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales, the friendly against Ghana next week, and beyond.
The Chelsea defender is due to hold a press conference alongside Capello on Friday.
The issue threatens to dominate the build-up to this Saturday's match in Cardiff and a first call-up for Wolves winger Matt Jarvis.
Ferdinand seemed to avoid meetings with Capello on both Wednesday and Saturday as the manager visited Old Trafford for matches against Marseille and Bolton.
Several members of the England squad are thought to be unhappy at the reinstatement of Terry after he was stripped of the role following allegations of an affair with a former girlfriend of ex-team-mate Wayne Bridge over a year ago.
At the time Capello vowed never to select Terry as captain again, but Ferdinand's injury problems have brought about a dramatic U-turn.

The squad must report to their Hertfordshire team base by 2000 GMT on Monday, and Capello will explain his reasons for the change of heart at a team meeting tomorrow morning.
Steven Gerrard has been relegated to England's third-choice captain after Terry's return but defender Glen Johnson says both his Liverpool team-mate and Ferdinand will accept Capello's decision
"Obviously, every player that wears the armband will be very proud. I'm sure they'll be disappointed to have not kept it, but it's football and I'm sure they won't beat themselves up about it too much," said Johnson.
"I'm sure they'll get on with it as good pros and carry on doing the good job that they do.
"Obviously you're going to be aware of situations but the players just go about their job in the same way regardless of who wears the armband.
"The lads will just go about their work as they usually do."
Johnson, who played alongside Terry at Chelsea before signing for Portsmouth in 2007, added that he does not expect to see any difference in the way the England defender goes about his job either.
"He's been a fantastic captain for Chelsea and for England and whether he wears the armband or not he'll be the same as he is normally," he said. 


Victor Moses set for Nigeria bow

England Under-21 striker ready for Super Eagles

Victor Moses has finally confirmed his international allegiance is now with Nigeria.
Moses is an England Under-21 international, but the Super Eagles have long been trying to persuade him to switch to their colours.

Now the 20-year-old has decided to play for the country of his birth.
His agent Tony Finnigan confirmed to that Moses had made his decision.
"Victor has accepted the Nigeria call-up, and everyone at Wigan is fully behind him, which is important," Finnigan told

"Victor is linking up with the squad ahead of their game with Ethiopia and is really looking forward to playing for Nigeria."
Nigeria have confirmed that they have been able to bring Moses into their squad.
"We have called up Moses for this weekend's match against Ethiopia after we made a couple of changes in the squad," said Nigeria assistant coach Simon Kalika.


Nigeria are still hopeful of persuading other English-based players to make the switch, including Shola Ameobi and Nedum Onuoha.
"Onouha is a fantastic defender and very soon he and the chief coach would have a good meeting and we will start from there," Kalika disclosed.
"It was just a communication problem between the player and the chief coach and so in the end he wasn't able to discuss with Onuoha.
"But I am sure that he is proud to be a Nigerian and very soon he will signify his intention to join the team."


Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden out for six months

Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden is expected to be sidelined for six months after sustaining a knee injury at Manchester United on Saturday.
United defender Jonny Evans was sent off for the tackle on Holden during the Red Devils' 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
Holden, 25, had 26 stitches in the wound and stated that he would have surgery in London on Monday.
"I can promise you all I will come back stronger and better than before," he said on social networking site Twitter.
"I have had bad luck in the past and will continue to beat it."
The injury rules the United States international out of Bolton's FA Cup semi-final against Stoke on 17 April.
And the bad news comes just over a year after Holden suffered a broken leg while playing for his country in a friendly against the Netherlands.
On that occasion he was ruled out for six weeks with a broken right fibula, an injury sustained in a challenge with Manchester City's Nigel de Jong.
"First and foremost, our main concern is Stuart and his recovery," said Bolton boss Owen Coyle.
"He will get all the time and support he needs. Stuart has been outstanding this season and has shown he is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
"He has such desire, strength of character and a winning mentality and he will draw on those attributes in his rehabilitation."
 Holden joined Bolton in January 2010 from Major League Soccer club Houston Dynamo and signed a contract extension in September that is set to keep him at the Trotters until 2013.
He has been widely regarded as one of Bolton's best players this season and has helped improve their Premier League position where they currently sit seventh.


Kaduna United edge Foullah

Saviour Fidelis
Kaduna United produced an accomplished display to edge past Chadian club, Foullah Edifice 2-0 in a first leg CAF Confederation Cup round of 16 game.

The game was played at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Kaduna on Sunday. The Nigerian side took the lead on the stroke of half time via a display of genius by Ali Adamu.
Substitute, Saviour Fidelis was fouled at the edge of the area on 76 minutes and Linus Adams converted the ensuing free kick to give Maurice Cooreman’s side hope ahead of the second leg.
We deserved to win,” Fidelis told

“If we play at this level, there is no way we will not win in the second leg,” he boasted.
The return fixture comes up in a couple of weeks in N’jamena.
Kaduna United currently sit in 3rd place on the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) standings with 33 points from 19 games.


Enyimba hold Gabon's Sportive

Nigeria’s representatives in the Orange CAF Champions League, Enyimba FC on Sunday drew 0-0 with Union Sportive de Bitam of Gabon in a first leg round of 16 game.

Enyimba will now regard themselves favourites ahead of the second leg in Aba, in a forthnight. “We are pleased with this result,’ Chairman of Enyimba FC, Felix Anyansi Agwu told shortly after the game.

“We played better than our opponents but we were unfortunate not to convert numerous opportunities.
However, we are not too disappointed as a draw away from home in this kind of competition cannot be regarded as a bad result,” he stressed.

The Enyimba chief stated that the Peoples’ Elephants will not go to sleep despite the favourable result.
“We are experienced and know that it is not the end of the tie.

There is still a second leg to play and until that is executed, we cannot say we have qualified for the next round,’ he said. Enyimba have won the CAF Champions’ League title on two occasions.

Sunshine Stars of Nigeria outclass Tiko

Nigeria’s representatives in the Orange CAF Confederation Cup, Sunshine Stars took a giant step towards qualifying for the 3rd round of the competition with a 2-0 victory over Tiko United of Cameroon.

- Vote for Nigeria's 50 greatest players

Kayode Abiodun and Ajani Ibrahim both scored in the second half as the side currently in 2nd spot in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) produced a big performance to aid their cause. In truth, it was a game Sunshine dominated from start to finish and an 8-0 score line would have been a fairer reflection of the game.
However, profligacy by the Sunshine strikers coupled with the amazing reflexes of Tiko’s keeper, Idrissou Oumarou meant the first half ended scoreless.
The home side began the second half like a house on fire and deservedly got their reward seconds after the restart as Kayode Abiodun showed presence of thought to stab home from 10 yards.
Sunshine continued to dominate but chances came and went with alarming regularity without any tangible results to show for it.
It looked like it would end up as one of those days for Sunshine as Tiko, seeming content to lose 1-0, dedicated their resources on defensive duties.
It turned out to be a hazardous tactic as top marksman, Ajani Ibrahim, who had missed chance after chance all evening, arrived at the back post to head in a pin-point Ofem Inah cross into the net.
Sunshine almost made it 3-0 at the death but Ajani’s cut back to Dayo Ojo was wasted by the striker.
“We deserved to win and I am sure we will win again in Cameroun,” Coach of Sunshine Stars, Gbenga Ogunbote told after the game.
President of Tiko, Leotex Leonard was livid.
“The officiating was terrible and with better officiating, we would have gotten a better result,” he stressed. The second leg comes up in a forth night in the Camerounian city of Douala.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

John Terry returns as permanent captain of England

Chelsea defender John Terry has been reinstated as England captain.

The move by boss Fabio Capello had been widely expected, and comes ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales.
Terry lost the armband to Rio Ferdinand last year after reports he had an affair with the former partner of England team-mate Wayne Bridge.
But Capello said on Saturday: "After one year of punishment, Terry will again be the permanent captain. I think one year's punishment is enough."
Terry replaces Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who was reported to be upset at the prospect of losing the captaincy earlier this week.
Ferdinand is currently injured, and Capello had planned to meet him to explain his thinking at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
But the Italian told a media briefing at the Football Association's HQ at Wembley Stadium that Ferdinand "preferred not to meet me".
Terry was initially appointed England skipper by Steve McClaren in August 2006, and Capello reinstated him in August 2008 after initially experimenting with different players in the role.
Capello said he had been impressed by Terry's continuing leadership on and off the pitch in the past 12 months.
"John, when he played without the armband, was every time a leader on the pitch, a leader in the dressing room. He was really good every time.
"Always he is the same. He is a player that is himself a leader. This is really important. He is the biggest personality in the dressing room."
Rio Ferdinand in action for England
Ferdinand did not want to return the armband to Terry
Capello believes Terry will have learnt from his alleged off-the-field indiscretions and is confident he will have the support of the dressing room.
He said: "Sometimes the leader can make mistakes - not only him but I, you, all the people.
"It is not a risk making Terry captain again. He understood the mistake and he learnt from his mistakes.
"He will be a very important captain for us because when I choose him, I know he is a leader.
"I also think the players will be happy. I think so. They respect John Terry as a leader, absolutely."
Ferdinand will revert to his previous role as vice-captain when he recovers from injury with Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, also ruled out of the Wales clash through injury, next in line to wear the armband.
Capello continued: "I tried to meet Rio at the Manchester United game [against Marseille in the Champions League] on Wednesday.
"He was ready to meet me but he preferred not to meet us. I don't know why. It is a question for him, not me.
"I was ready, I wanted to speak with him and explain my decision.
"I hope I will meet him in the future to speak with him personally and privately, not by phone because I think by phone is not so good.
"I hope he will be fit to play for the national team because he is one of the most important people with his experience and value as a player.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nigeria to play Kenya in a friendly

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sports

Nigeri's Super eagles
The Super Eagles will file out against Kenya on 29 March
Nigeria have confirmed they will play Kenya in a friendly match at the Abuja national stadium on 29 March.
Original plans for the Super Eagles to face Zambia were shelved after officials expressed concerns about logistical problems.
But the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has sealed a deal to play Kenya, much to the delight of the players and coaching staff.
"I can confirm that we've struck a deal to bring the Kenyans to Abuja for the friendly," NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.
"And we are very pleased to get an opponent that will appeal to fans and equally give the technical crew stiff competition."
Both sides last met in November 2009 when Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 win against the Harambee Stars in Nairobi.
The Super Eagles had to win to have any chance of denying Tunisia.
They fought back from 1-0 down to lead 2-1, but conceded a 79th-minute equaliser, only for Obafemi Martins to seal an emotional win.
After failing to secure friendly games in the United States and in Malta for the team, Nigeria is now expected to face the Kenyans two days after a crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia.
Kenya are also expected to arrive Nigeria on Monday 28 March after their own qualifying game against Guinea Bissau in Nairobi.
"The logistics have been sorted out by both parties and it was clear that the Kenyans wanted to play us.
They are just as excited as we are about the match," Olajire said.
"We want Nigeria fans to see the players pit themselves against an opponent that is equally challenging for a ticket to next year's Nations Cup.
"This is going to be a great match and a fantastic occasion. I know that [coach] Samson Siasia and the team will put on a show that will make the country proud."
It will be the second friendly under new coach Siasia, the team were booed at the Lagos stadium after Sierra Leone scored against the Eagles in a friendly, which ended 2-1 in favour of the home team.
Nigeria are trailing group leaders Guinea by three points in their qualifying group.
They have three points after two matches, level with Ethiopia.
Madagascar are the other team in this qualifying pool with only the eventual group winners guaranteed an automatic berth to next year's Nations Cup to be jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.


U20 finals can boost South Africa

y Ed Aarons
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

South African FA chief Kirsten Nematandani
If we'd missed this chance, another four-year cycle would have been lost to our young players - which would have meant trouble for the seniors in 2014 and 2018
FA chief Kirsten Nematandani
South African FA President Kirsten Nematandani has no doubt that his nation will successfully host next month's African Youth Championship.
The Confederation of African Football chose South Africa this week after withdrawing the tournament from Libya because of its political problems.
The U20 finals will now take place between 17 April and 2 May.
"We are still working on (venues) because we have several interested parties," he told BBC Sport.
"But we must really thank the decision-makers at Caf for thinking of us.
"I understand that there were several countries who were interested but luckily they chose us."
Having not only hosted last year's World Cup finals, the first on African soil, South Africa also staged the African Womens Championship late last year.
"I must say it again confirms the confidence the continent has in South Africa after hosting the World Cup last year," Nematandani added.
"I have no doubt we will be ready - we have proven beyond reasonable doubt in the past that we are capable of hosting such a major event."
"It's not long ago that we hosted the African Womens Championship and Caf are on record saying how pleased they were with that."
Eight sides will compete at the two-week competition, with South Africa's under-20 team drafted in to replace their Libyan counterparts despite being knocked out in the qualifiers by neighbours Lesotho.
All four semi-finalists will go on to represent Africa at July's under 20 World Cup in Colombia and Nematandani admitted that it is vital that South Africa make the most of their second bite of the cherry.
"We've now been given a second lease of life and you cannot miss such an opportunity. We need to be amongst the top four that goes through to the world championship," he said.
"If we miss this chance, then that means another cycle of four years will be lost to our young players - which could mean trouble for the senior national team in 2014 and 2018.
"This is an opportunity to expose those kids to a high level of competition at Caf and Fifa level."

                     VIA BBC

Michael Essien resolve dispute with Dad

Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has ended the misunderstanding with his father amicably after the Chelsea star phoned his dad this week.

The world-class midfielder has resumed his support for the elderly man after the conversation to iron out their differences ended well.

Mr. James Kweku Badu Essien, an ex-footballer, turned to the local media for over one year claiming the Chelsea star had neglected him, a charge Michael denies.

Things got to a head last week when the father threatened to send the Chelsea star to court to stop him from using the family name.

James, who played for giants Hearts of Oak in his playing days, was angry that the pair have not been in contact for a decade.

But the Chelsea star has called the father to have the issue resolved with James insisting everything is okay.

“My own son Michael Kwabena Amponsah Essien phoned me yesterday and we spoke at length,” James Essien told Asempa FM.

“There was a misunderstanding between us but I want to world to know that we have solved this issue as father and son.

“I am very happy that my son took the bold step to call me for us to solve this problem. All the problems have been solved. May God bless him.

“I will never go to the radio station again or newspapers to talk about Michael in derogatory terms again.”

Essien will resume the support he offered his dad until their relationship turned sour.

John Obi Mikel - 2010/2011 [HD]

Not many players are so composed, so good at tackling and passing the ball as Mikel. Only 23 years of age but a real pest for the opponent. He might not get 20 goals a season but he does an invaluable job for the team - although it is not as noticeable to everyone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Nigerian league’s top scorers’ jinx

by Kunle Solaja

Why are Nigerian League top scorers always jinxed with the National Team.Can ahmed Musa change avert the "curse." Can he re-write history with the Super Eagles

Coach Samson Siasia will have his first competitive outing as Super Eagles’ handler later this month in the African Nations’ Cup tie with Ethiopia. He has already named a 24- team squad from which he intends to draw the 18 players for the game. Among the players is Ahmed Musa, the reigning hot shot of the Nigerian Premier League.

Musa topped the league’ scorers’ list last season when he put in a record 18 goals to erase the age-long 17 goals scored by Ishaya Jatau in 1990. Musa, like most top scorers of the past seasons, has since moved abroad, playing for VVV Venlo in the Netherlands.

If featured in the March 27 encounter, it will be his fourth appearance. His goal is still being awaited. Will he be the new Super Eagles’ scoring machine like Rashidi Yekini? It will be recalled that Yekini last played for Nigeria on June 28, 1998 in France and last scored on January 22, 1998. Thirteen years on, his 37 goal mark is still unmatched. The closest player to the goal mark is Aiyegbeni Yakubu who has 20 goals, 17 behind Yekini’s. Considering Yakubu’s epileptic appearances in the Super Eagles’ matches, it is doubtful, if he can surpass Yekini’s mark.

Back to the Nigerian league, it was only after 20 years of the professional league in Nigeria that the 17-goal mark established in the first season by Ishaya Jatau was surpassed by Ahmed Musa.

Since Musa’s feat, most football observers are hoping he would be the next goal scoring machine for the national team as did Rashidi Yekini. But the statistics on ground do not support the hope that the VVV Venlo striker will make big impact in the Super Eagles, prompting one to wonder whether the top scorers of the Nigerian league are under any spell not to perform at higher level. Worse still, they often don’t leave up to their ratings of the previous season.

They have mostly turned out to be “one season hot-shots”. Perhaps in the recent seasons, only Abubakar Babale of Sunshine Stars emerged the 2007/2008 top scorer with 14 goals and was in contention for the top scorer award in the 2008/2009 season.

Most of the top scorers have had difficulties breaking into the Super Eagles’ squad. It was only in 2009 that Joseph Akpala, joint top scorer with 12 goals along with Timothy Anjembe in 2005, scored against France in a friendly match. He has been struggling to get back into the mainstream Super Eagles.

Nigeria is therefore still in search of consistent lethal strikers. Take a look at all the domestic league’s top scorers, especially since the advent of professional football 21 years ago, a pathetic picture is painted.

Pace-setter, Ishaya Jatau who scored 17 goals for Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1990, was not capped more than five times for the Super Eagles. He scored only once – the African Nations Cup qualifier against Republic of Benin, in Cotonou on September 30, 1990. He had earlier been called up to the national team that featured in 1989 ECOWAS Cup after he had performed well with his former club of the season, Highlanders of Jos.

His poor marksmanship at the ECOWAS Cup cost him a place in the team that later featured in the Algeria’90 African Cup of Nations. He returned to the national team and scored a consolatory goal against Benin Republic in an African Nations Cup qualifier. His many misses in the match did not impress Coach Clemens Westerhof. In 1991, he scored just six goals in the league before travelling to Cote d’Ivoire which was then the transit point for Nigerian players seeking career in Europe.

Jatau did even better than the others. Subsequent top scorers of the league from 1991 to 1999 couldn't break into the Super Eagles. For instance, Olumide Harris, then a young enterprising player of Shooting Stars scored 14 goals to top the chart in the 1994 season. Months later in January 1995, he was a shadow of himself in the Under 20 side, the Flying Eagles that crumbled at the African Youth Championship hosted by Nigeria. He did not score in a championship he was tipped to be the major attraction.

In a similar vein, Eddie Dombraiye of the then Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now Heartland) was a top scorer in 1998 after hitting the net 13 times. He was drafted to the Under –21 side featuring in the 1999 World Youth Championship to be the hit man. Like Olumide Harris, Dombraiye did not make much impact in the team and later travelled abroad to Poland and played for LKS Lodz. The top scorer for the 1998 Season, Hassan Minda of Gombe United was not even capped in the national team.

In 1991, Bendel United’s Richard Ojomo scored 12 goals to emerge the league’s hot shot. He was one of the two players of the season to have scored hat trick when he put in three goals in a 5-2 home win against Ranchers Bees in a Week 22 match. Gabriel Okolosi of Julius Berger was the other hat trick achiever. Ojomo who was already in the twilight of his career in the 1991 season did not even have a call-up into the national team.

Arthur Moses, a Ghanaian and the first foreigner to win the hot shot award of the Professional League put in 10 goals in 1992 season while featuring for Super Stores. The following season, he scored just three goals. He later moved to Europe where he featured for different clubs in France – Toulon, Olympic Marseille and Nimes. He got a couple of call-ups into Ghana Black Stars and featured in the 1998 African Nations Cup finals in Burkina Faso.

Tony Nwigwe of Iwuanyanwu Nationale who emerged top scorer with his 13 goals in 1993 also got a couple of call-ups into the Super Eagles. He, however, could not find the net. It was in this period that Rashidi Yekini was in his deadliest form and easily overshadowed other contending scorers in the national team.,P. The top scorers after him – Olumide Harris (Shooting Stars), Ben Agadah (Gombe United), Peter Anyilobi (Enyimba), Paul Kpougoul (Jasper United/BCC Lions) and Emma Agbo (Iwuanyanwu Nationale), Ibenegbu Okechuku (El Kanemi), Ameh Aruwa (Kaduna United), Abubakar Ibrahim Babale (Wikki Tourists/Sunshine Stars) and Akarandut Orok (Akwa United) – did not earn places in the Super Eagles.

Ben Agadah scored 12 goals for Gombe United to emerge the top scorer in 1995. He had moved into oblivion ever since. First he moved to Cameroun and then returned to Nigeria,likewise Peter Anyilobi, the Enyimba of Aba striker whose nine goals fetched him the highest scorer award in 1996. Interestingly the nine goals were scored in the first stanza of the league before the player opted to further his career in Germany.

Other players could not catch up with him. In Germany, Anyilobi first featured for FC 08 Homburg in 1998/99 season before moving to Pirmasens. Paul Kpoughoul played for two clubs: Jasper United and BCC Lions to emerge top scorer in 1997. His total of 16 was just one behind the record set by Ishaya Jatau in 1990.

Emmanuel Agbo scored 14 goals in 1999 for Iwuanyanwu Nationale and was called up for the Under-23 team preparing for the Sydney Olympics but was not firmly established in the team. Like other top scorers in the past, he had his eyes in Europe and later joined SW Bregenz of Austria.

The next hot shot to be in the Super Eagles was Peter Ijeh in 2002,featuring for Julius Berger in 2000, he topped the goal chart with his 14 goals. He ventured to Norway and resumed his goal scoring spree. Just one match as a substitute in the Super Eagles’ game against Jamaica in Lagos was enough to dismiss him.

Uche Okereke of Rangers who emerged top scorer with 13 goals in 2001 had just one cap, an away game against Zambia in Chingola and that ended his international career. In 2002, Victor Ezeji of Dolphins and Ghana’s Joetex Frimpong (El Kanemi) were joint top scorers with 16 goals each. Ezeji was capped only twice for Nigeria. First, coming as a substitute in an African Nations Cup qualifier against Angola on September 8, 2002 and another LG Cup match against Libya in Tripoli, where he scored his only international goal in a 2-1 loss to the hosts.

What then is wrong with the Nigerian league’s top scorers that they don’t live up to the standard expected of them in subsequent seasons and also in the national team? This is begging for answers!

Top scorers who failed to make impact in Super Eagles

1990-Ishaya Jatau (Iwuanyanwu Nationale), 17 goals

1991-Richard Ojomo (Bendel United), 12 goals

1992-Arthur Moses (Super Stores), 10 goals

1993-Tony Nwigwe (Iwuanyanwu Nationale), 13 goals

1994-Olumide Harris (Shooting Stars), 14 goals

1995-Ben Agadah (Gombe United), 12 goals

1996-Peter Anyiolobi (Enyimba), 9 goals

1997-Paul Kpoughoul (Jasper United/BCC Lions), 16 goals

1998-Hassan Minda (Gombe United), 14goals

1999-Emmanuel Agbo (Iwuanyanwu Nationale), 14 goals

2000-Peter Ijeh (Julius Berger), 14 goals

2001-Uche Okereke (Enugu Rangers), 13 goals

2002-Joetex Frimpong (El-Kanemi), Victor Ezeji (Dolphins), 16 goals

2003-Chibuzor Ozurumba (Iwuanyanwu), Endurance Idahor (Julius Berger) 12 goals each

2004-Kabiru Alausa (Berger), 13 goals

2005-Timothy Anjembe (Lobi Stars), Joseph Akpala (Insurance), Charles Omokaro (Sharks), 12 goals each

2006 -Ibenebu Ikechukwu (El Kanemi), 10 goals

2007 - Ameh Aruwa (Kaduna United), 10 goals

2007/2008 - Abubakar Babale (Wikki Tourist/Sunshine Stars), 14 goals

2008/2009 - Akarandut Orok (Akwa United), 17 goals

2009/2010 - Ahmed Musa (Kano Pillars), 18 goals.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eguavoen calls up 12 FOREIGN-BASED PLAYERS

Under-23 coach Austin Eguavoen has called up 12 Europe-based players for this month's Olympic Games qualifier, including two previously named by senior coach Samson Siasia for the Super Eagles.

Obiorah Nwankwo and Nnamdi Oduamadi will both drop down a level to join Austin Eguavoen's team, but only after sending some time with the senior team.

Leicester City forward Danny Uchechi is among a pack that also includes goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, Kennedy Nwanganga, Haruna Lukman, Okeychukwu Uchebo, Chukwuma Akabueze and Nurudeen Orelesi.

Completing the list are Ganiyu Oseni, Alex Albert, and Ibok Edet.

The Under 23s play Equatorial Guinea in Benin City, one day before the Super Eagles engage Ethiopia in a 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier in Abuja.

Source: Kickoff Nigeria

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann set to rejoin Arsenal

Lehmann spent five years at Arsenal before joining Stuttgart in 2008
Arsenal are close to signing 41-year-old Jens Lehmann for the rest of the season, BBC Sport understands.
Injuries to Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone have left Manuel Almunia as the only fit keeper.
The ex-Germany keeper played 199 times for Arsenal between 2003 and 2008 but has been a free agent since retiring in 2010 after two years with Stuttgart.
If the deal is done in time, Lehmann is likely to be included in the squad for Saturday's trip to West Brom.
Lehmann, who played 61 times for Germany, left Arsenal in 2008 after losing his place to Almunia.
The German keeper was part of Arsenal's "Invincibles" - the team that went unbeaten during the 2003-2004 season - helping the Gunners win the Premier League, while he played a key role in their FA Cup final penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United in 2005.
The following year he was sent off in the first-half of Arsenal's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in the Stade de France.
Between August 2003 and June 2007, Lehmann kept the second most clean sheets - 52 - in the Premier League, just one behind Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.
Before his first spell with Arsenal, the German keeper played for Schalke, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
Fabianski, who last played since for Arsenal in the 0-0 draw with Manchester City on 5 January, has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, while compatriot Szczesny will miss the next six weeks after dislocating his finger during the Champions League defeat by Barcelona last week.
And Mannone, who has teen troubled by a thigh injury while on loan at Hull, is also out for six weeks.
The Italian keeper is receiving treatment at the Arsenal training ground.


Dad Tells Michael Essien: Drop My Name!

Michael Essien 
James Essien, the biological father of Chelsea star, Michael Essien, is beside himself with rage as a result of the player’s failure to cater for him in recent years.

Consequently, the father has stated that the midfielder should cease using the name ‘Essien’ as his surname. “I have been ill for over a year now. It is Kyeremeh (Berekum Chelsea board chairman) who takes care of me, and I see no point in him continuing to bear my name,” he said on Happy Sports yesterday.

Reacting to what might have caused the player’s allegedly irresponsible acts, he said, “His mother has been ill-advising him to stop providing for my upkeep. I will go all out to ensure that he stops using my name. “Even if I have to drag him to the law courts, I will do that,” he added.

The player is alleged to have shirked his duty of taking care of his father for some time now. A few months ago, the father was in the media soliciting for support to take care of his medical bills; and moved by compassion, the board chairman of Berekum Chelsea, Emmanuel Kyeremeh decided to remit Essien’s father occasionally.

Daily Guide Sports further probed into the matter in an interview with Mr. James Essien’s new ‘son’ Mr. Kyeremeh, who confirmed the story. “It is true that I support Mr. Essien. I don’t take full responsibility of his upkeep, but I do support him,” Mr. Kyeremeh said.

Readers will recall that James Essien, Father of Michael, in early 2008 made claims t o the Sunday Mirror, an English newspaper, that his son was not taking care of him. Two years later, the issue resurfaced, with allegations and counter-allegations by both father and son, attracting mixed reactions from the Ghanaian populace.
Daily Guide, in an effort to uncover the truth, took a trip to the father’s village where James Essien confirmed that indeed his son had neglected him.

Essien Dad
The Chelsea midfielder tried to douse the flames by releasing a statement, which read: “I have faced many many difficult challenges in my life but this is the hardest thing I have ever done as my heart bleeds over the false statements recently peddled by a small section of the Ghanaian media goaded by my own father.

“I had never wanted to discuss my family in public .“But for the thousands of Ghanaians and the highly respectable people of our country who have contacted me and know what I have consistently done for my father, I need to react to stop the attempt to destroy me in the eyes of the people of Ghana and disgrace my family. “Giving what I have done for my father, when I was told of the false, vile and degrading comments he made about me, I wept because people normally do not get insults for doing good.

“But my father decided to pay me back in such a terrible way. Because of this I have been unfortunately forced to say what I have done for him because he has gone to the extreme to disgrace my family. I will like to state the following facts:

1. My father currently lives in a three-bedroom house (not mud house) I instructed my sister to build for him with my own money.

2. He is visited monthly and more recently twice a week by my sister Diana on my orders to regularly give him money and other essentials I send. My mother, whom he has insulted so much, also provides for him.

3. I bought a car for him to make his transportation easier and part of the money I provide for him is used to fuel the car or repair it when it breaks down.

4. When his illness broke out I asked for him to be taken to the Asikuma Hospital but he said he wants traditional medicine. I provided money for him to undergo traditional treatment. It came to nothing and I ordered for him to be taken to the hospital. My family, I believe have also organised for a nurse to come home and look after him on regular basis.

“Because of these reasons and many more reasons I won’t state publicly, I am shocked by what he is alleged to have said but God knows I have done my best to thoroughly look after a man who didn’t even raise me or take part in my up-bringing and who has 8 other children who can help.”

This latest development seemed to have reopened an old wound, and whether or not this would fester or die a natural death, only time will tell.
Source: Daily Guide

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dolphin NPL first round champs!

Dolphin of Port Harcourt have topped the Nigeria Premier League by the halfway mark after a 2-1 home win over defending champions Enyimba.
However, this was not without a big fightback by the host team as they fell behind in the first half through a headed goal by Enyimba’s Chiedozie Johnson.
Goals from headers by skipper Emma Godwin and Captain Ejindu in the second half will ensure Dolphin won all their 10 home matches in the first half of the season, while also recording four wins and a draw away from home.
Victory in this Saturday showdown meant Dolphin are sitting comfortably at the summit of the NPL with 43 points from 19 matches.
Second-placed Sunshine Stars of Akure though could cut back on the leaders’ seven-point advantage if they beat Bukola Babes at home later Sunday.
Kwara United striker Kabiru Sanusi took his tally to seven goals after his brace buried Niger Tornadoes in Sagamu, also on Saturday.
Sanusi was on target in the 22nd and 47th minutes in a game controlled by Kwara.
Kwara have temporarily shot to fourth place on the table with 32 points from 19 matches, while Tornadoes still hover around the drop zone in 16th place with 20 points from 19 games.
In Kano, hosts Zamfara United forced Kano Pillars to a 1-1 draw in a match played behind closed doors as a sanction to Pillars conduct away at Lobi Stars in Jalingo the previous weekend.
Victor Namo gave Pillars the lead after 11 minutes before Zamfara restored parity just before the hour mark through their leading scorer Obasesam Enete for his fifth goal of the campaign.
The Zamfara leveller brought out the best in the strugglers that at the end of the game, Pillars goalkeeper Joel Afelokhai pulled off several saves to emerge man of the match.
“It was always going to be a difficult game because it is a local derby. We are therefore grateful with a share of the points particularly as we relaxed in the second half,” said Pillars coach, Ladan Bosso.
However, Zamfara coach, Garba Gusau, expressed confidence that his club, who climbed a spot within the relegation, will beat the dreaded drop by the second round of the championship.
“We have lined up a few tested players who will sign to reinforce our team and I’m confident we will escape relegation at the end of the season,” said the Zamfara handler.
A total of seven matches will be played later Sunday to mark the end of first half of the NPL. Action will resume after a two-week recess.

Ehiosun risks Eagles chop

Ekigho Ehiosun – a botched transfer could now see him miss out of the Eagles Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia ...

Warri Wolves striker Ekigho Ehiosun could well be dropped from the Super Eagles squad for a Nations Cup qualifier after his agent seized his passport following a botched transfer to Norway.
Warri Wolves spokesman, Timi Ebikagboro, told that the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) side have lodged a formal protest to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over the seizure of their player’s passport.
The striker, who scored against Sierra Leone on his Eagles debut last month, will not be eligible for the Ethiopia tie on March 27 without his international passport.
However, Ehiosun’s angry agent, Olayiwola Odukoya, has stuck to his guns, insisting he will only surrender the document on the payment of over $13,000 (two million naira) he invested on the player.
“The player’s international passport is with me and I am not releasing the passport until Warri Wolves pay me two million naira,” he said.
“When I was spending money on Ehiosun, when I was taking him to Qatar, I never had this problem. But now that he was to sign for Stabeak in Norway for me to recoup my investment, the club are now a stumbling block.
“The (sports) commissioner was boasting that he will pay me back all the money I have spent on the player because the boy is not going any where.”
The London-based agent told that he has invested heavily on the striker including selling off his car to pay for some of the player’s expenses.
“I sold my car because of Ehiosun. I took him to Qatar in December and we came back to Nigeria on Christmas eve after spending almost two weeks in Qatar, where he was on trials with Ak-Wakra,” he revealed.
“You don’t mess with somebody just like that. When I was taking this boy up and down, nobody talked.”
He poured cold water on allegations by Warri Wolves that he did not carry them along in respect of the player’s trip to Norway.
“I had two copies of the invitation letters from Stabeak. I gave Ehiosun a copy to give to his club, while I submitted the Nigeria Football Federation’s copy through the Eagles secretary (Dayo Enebi) since the player was in Eagles camp then,” he explained.
“So, what are Warri Wolves saying? Ehiosun can’t deny the fact I gave him the club’s copy and he promised to give it to his club.
“I did everything I supposed to do. I am not stupid.”

Eagles drop Obiora Nwankwo for Olympic tie

The coaches of the Super Eagles and the Nigeria Under-23s have reached an agreement for Italy-based defensive midfielder Obiora Nwankwo to step down from the country’s full international team and feature in an Olympic qualifier later this month.
Officials told that Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, Wednesday agreed to release Nwankwo as well as AC Milan left winger Nnamdi Oduamadi to the U23s for a qualifying match against Equatorial Guinea a day before the Eagles Nations Cup tie against Ethiopia.
Siasia has called up both players for the Ethiopia clash and he has now replaced Nwankwo with Heartland midfielder Julius Ubido.
Nwankwo and Oduamadi would now train with the Eagles for at least two days before they would be release to join the U- 23 national team in Benin.
The reason for this, learnt, was for the players to familiarise themselves with the other players in the full international team before they join up with the U23s in Benin City.
Coach of the U-23s, Augustine Eguavoen, has also called up Monaco midfielder Lukman Haruna for the clash against Equatorial Guinea on March 26 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.
Other foreign-based pros called up are Kennedy Nwagaga, Daniel Uchechi (Leicester/England), Nurudeen Orelesi (Regiana/Italy), Edet Ibok (Spain) and goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye (Spain). 

Flying Eagles of Nigeria loss in a friendly

Flying Eagles Coach
 Flying Eagles of Nigeria coach, John Obuh, has admitted his team’s 2-1 loss to Egypt in a warm-up match in Dubai is a signal that he has a lot more work to do.
Stanley Okoro pulled a goal back in the second half after the Young Pharaohs of Egypt took a two-goal lead via a controversial penalty Friday afternoon.
“It was not a bad team performance, but it also showed that we have not arrived and that we need to work a lot harder,” Obuh told
“But there is no reason to panic because we know that there is a lot of room for improvement.”
The Flying Eagles, who are preparing for this year’s African Youth Championship, had to deal with the remarkable weather change between cold Turkey, where they have been training for the past three weeks, and hot Dubai.
“The players were panting as a result of the hot weather as they were already used to the cold in Turkey,” explained Obuh.
"We hope we could play our next match here (against Saudi Arabia) in the night.
“We only trained once in Dubai because of flight delays. But all the same, we are not making any excuses.”
Newcastle United reserves player, Sam Ameobi, was one of 14 players who tasted action in this match. Ameobi played 25 minutes as a substitute.
“It was a bit difficult for the new player. He played well but lost a lot of energy because of the heat,” remarked the Under-20 team handler.
Egypt will, like the Flying Eagles, feature in the AYC.
“They were more determined to win this friendly. I believe this was their best performance and they had the advantage of having being in Dubai for a longer time and so coped well with the heat,” said Obuh.
The Flying Eagles will play their Saudi Arabia counterparts on Sunday in another tune-up match before heading home the following day.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Top Five Nigerian Premier League Players

The Nigeria Premier League has been on the ascendancy over the past three years with some new innovations both on and off the field resulting in massive improvement in the overall performance of both players and teams. Some players have been very exceptional and consistent over the past seasons with some putting in more than 100% in each match they star for their club-sides.
Below is a profile of the best five Nigerian Premier League Players based on consistency, work rate, goals scored and influence in their team overall performance and standing.
Ibrahim Ajani(Sunshine Stars of Akure)
The petit Ajani took the 2010/11 Nigeria Premier League by storm by scoring crucial goals for his team against top opposition. His pace and precision in front of goal is frightening. A natural fighter on the field of play, he has remained a first-team regular and presently tops the goal-scorers chart in the league. His performance has not gone unnoticed, as Nigeria Olympic team Coach- Austin Eguaveon has extended an invitation to the Sunshine Stars of Akure gem.
Victor Ezeji (Sharks of Port Harcourt) 
Victor Ezeji remains one of the oldest Premier League players still in the fold of the Garden city outfit- Sharks of Port Harcourt. Ezeji was a former Super Eagles invitee who has distinguished himself in the colors of Sharks for more than ten seasons. He emerged joint League top scorer in the 2001/2 football season with 16 goals. An accomplished striker with loads of experience, he was recently invited to the Super Eagles squad to went for the botched 2011 Obama tourney which was billed to hold in the United States of America last month.
Owosu Addae(Dolphins of Port Harcourt)
This Ghanaian import has added color and flavor to the Nigerian Premier League with his scintillating display for the Dolphin outfit. He is an attacking midfielder with an eye for the spectacular. He has incredible vision and strength on the ball. Owosu is also good in dead ball situation in delivering of quality passes. He has scored some crucial goals for the Port Harcourt team in the current season.
Bello Musa Kofamata(Heartland of Owerri)
Bello has always been an integral part of Heartland first team after his transfer from Kano Pillars F.C two seasons ago. He was member of the U-20 National team that participated in the 2007 FIFA World Cup hosted by Canada. He is usually deployed in the left-wing position where he has scored crucial goals for the Owerri team
Chibuzor Okoronkwo(Heartland of Owerri)
This right full-back defender currently plying his trade with 2009 Champions League finalist-Heartland of Owerri is a workaholic player on the field of play. A member of the Silver winning 2005 Beijing Olympic team led by Coach Samson Siasia, he is also a member of the present Super Eagles team. Blessed with unique strength and good ball control ability, he remains one of the shinning stars of the Nigerian Premier League.

John Terry back as England captain

Fabio Capello is considering giving the England captaincy back to John Terry for this month's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales - and beyond.

Discussions have already taken place within the FA over what is certain to be a hotly-debated issue. But the England management have been assured by chairman David Bernstein that the choice of England captain is entirely Capello's call and he will be supported in whatever he decides.

The Italian is now poised to make the most controversial decision of his England career by bringing the Chelsea captain back in from the cold.

Steven Gerrard was ruled out of the match at the Millennium Stadium on March 26 following hernia surgery this week and Rio Ferdinand has played only one game since January 16.
Yet Capello does not see Terry as merely a short-term appointment and is said to be increasingly of the view that he remains the team's natural leader. The feeling is Terry might not be a stop-gap but a permanent choice, going through to Euro 2012.
Wearing the armband: but Ferdinand has only captained England four times since replacing Terry due to injury
Wearing the armband: but Rio Ferdinand has only captained England on four occasions since replacing Terry due to his persistent injury problems

Capello stripped Terry of the captaincy last February, upset by a series of controversial incidents involving the player.
Yet he has been encouraged by the way Terry has conducted himself since and thinks losing the captaincy of his country for a year is punishment enough.
The manager is also taking into account the serious nature of the match in Cardiff, a game England cannot afford to lose after the home draw with Montenegro.
It shows the depth of Capello's concern on the issue that he would be prepared to make this U-turn, having all but ruled out Terry as a captain while he remained as manager.
Interviewed on February 27 last year, the Italian said: 'Until the World Cup, Terry will not be captain again. After the World Cup, if I remain as manager, I think not.'
Since then, Terry has been very publicly snubbed. Speaking earlier this season, he complained that he felt humiliated as the armband was passed around several team members in a friendly with Egypt last March.
'I felt, "OK, I've been stripped of the captaincy, but don't take the p*** out of me",' said Terry. 'I think they would have given it to one of the stewards ahead of me.'
Even in last month's friendly victory over Denmark, Terry continued to be overlooked when substitutions saw the armband journey from Frank Lampard to Gareth Barry.
Out of action: Steven Gerrard (left) will miss England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on March 26, and Capello is still unsure about his leadership qualities
Out of action: Steven Gerrard (left) skippered England in the World Cup last summer, but will miss the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on March 26 through injury and Capello is still unsure about his leadership skills

Yet it would appear Capello has been agonising over the captaincy issue for some time and is leaning to a return to his original choice.
Since succeeding Terry as captain, Ferdinand has been available to play for England only four times. Although Gerrard captained England in the World Cup, Capello has never been wholly convinced of his leadership qualities.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Steven Gerrard out for month after surgery

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has undergone surgery on his groin and will be out for up to four weeks.
"The decision was made following consultation with a specialist," a club statement read on Friday.
The England midfielder was not part of the Reds squad which travelled to Braga for Thursday's Europa League defeat.
If he is out for a month, Gerrard will not feature for England in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on 26 March or the friendly against Ghana.
Gerrard suffered the injury in the 1-0 win against Chelsea on 6 February at Stamford Bridge.
The news will be frustrating for manager Kenny Dalglish who will be without his 30-year-old skipper for at least three Premier League matches.
This includes away fixtures against Sunderland and West Brom, followed by a home match with Manchester City on 11 April.
Dalglish's best-case scenario will have Gerrard available for the season's remaining six league games.
Liverpool, currently in sixth spot in the table with nine matches left, also face a tough task to make the quarter-finals in the Europa League.
The Reds have to overturn a 1-0 deficit when they play Braga in the second leg at Anfield next Thursday.
Gerrard was forced to sit out five games for his club at the end of last year after tearing a hamstring during England's 2-1 defeat at home to France in November.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Siasia names 24 for Ethiopian tie

Nigeria head coach, Samson Siasia, has announced a 24-man team ahead of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia scheduled to hold at the National Stadium in Abuja on March 26.
- Vote for Nigeria's 50 greatest players

Siasia, 43, unveiled the names of the players that will battle for the starting 11 when Nigeria play host to the East Africans in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Abuja during a press conference on Thursday. Real Zaragoza striker, Ikechukwu Uche, makes a return to the Nigerian men’s national team after a nine-month layoff due to injury.
AC Milan youngster, Nnamdi Oduamadi, was also handed his first call to the Super Eagles by Siasia.
Others called up by the Nigerian coach are goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama and Dele Aiyenugba as well as Taye Taiwo, Joseph Yobo, Olubayo Adefemi, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echiejile, Dele Adeleye and Nwankwo Obiorah.
Others are former Warri Wolves’ striker Fengor Ogude, Joel Obi, Kalu Uche, Ahmed Musa, Victor Anichebe, Peter Utaka, Obinna Nsofor, Osaze Odemwingie, Solomon Okoronkwo, Obafemi Martins and John Mikel Obi.
However, two players from the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Chibuzor Okonkwo of Heartland and Ehiosun Ekigho of Warri Wolves complete the 24-man team.
Siasia said Fenerbahce defender, Yobo, still remains the captain of the team.
“Joseph Yobo is still captain of the team,” Siasia told “Nothing has changed about that. He will be captain for the game against Ethiopia.”
The Super Eagles’ camp will open on March 14 in Abuja ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier but the foreign-based players are not expected until March 20.


Fifa investigates six officials over 'match-fixing'

Fifa has begun disciplinary proceedings against six match officials in relation to possible match-fixing in two international friendly fixtures.
The games under suspicion are Bulgaria against Estonia and Latvia against Bolivia, which were both played at the at the Turkish resort of Antalya.
Latvia beat Bolivia 2-1 and Bulgaria drew 2-2 against Estonia, with all seven goals coming from penalties.
Authorities were alerted due to unusual betting patterns on the two games.
A Fifa statement read: "Proceedings were opened following an evaluation of all documentation and information received by Fifa, in relation to a possible match-fixing situation in these matches.
"The Fifa Disciplinary Committee will be in charge to deal with the matter."
At the time, Estonian Football Association spokesman Mihkel Uiboleht admitted there had been concern about the matches.
He said: "The friendly was organised by an agency with whom we will not work any more," said Uiboleht.
"We received information of possible manipulation even before the game as the same agency also organised the match between Latvia and Bolivia and there was the same scenario there."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Israel-based goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was on Tuesday named Nigerian footballer of the year.

The 28-year-old - one of the few Nigerians to emerge with credit from their first round exit at the World Cup finals last year - edged out West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie and Spain-based Kalu Uche in a poll organised by television station African Independent Television.

Enyeama, who has been Nigeria's first choice since 2002, plays his club football for Hapoel Tel Aviv - prevented Uzbekistan-born Odemwingie from winning the prestigious award for a second successive year.
Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan was rewarded for his outstanding displays at the World Cup, where his country were Africa's only representatives in the knockout stages and lost on penalties to Uruguay in the quarter-finals, with a special award at the ceremony staged in Port Harcourt.

Below is the list of winners in the various categories at the event.
Female footballer of the year - Perpetua Nkwocha
Most outstanding player at the World Cup - Asamoah Gyan of Ghana.
National coach of the year - Eucharia Uche
National team of the year - The Super Falcons
Post humous award - Nathaniel Idowu
Presenter of the year, Electronic - Godwin Enakhena
National team sponsor of the year - Tom Tom
Football writer of the year - Tana Aiyejina (Punch)
Club coach of the year - Okey Emordi
Club of the year - Enyimba FC
Football brand of the year - Guiness
Football administrator of the year - Felix Anyasi-Agwu. 
Grassroot promoter of the year - SHELL/NNPC
Young Player of the year: male - Kenneth Kumbur, female - Loveth Ayila

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Footballer tackle streaker

"A player who commits a cautionable or sending-off offence, either on or off
the fi eld of play, whether directed towards an opponent, a team-mate, the
referee, an assistant referee or **any other person**, is disciplined according to the nature of the offence committed."
"A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
• ...
• violent conduct
Not common sense, but according to the rules

Nations Cup stadiums standing idle in Angola

The stadium outside Luanda has rarely been used since the Nations Cup final last January and other venues across the country are in a similar state   

It has been thirteen months and counting since Angola hosted the Africa Cup of Nations.
But the four stadiums built from scratch for the tournament are standing idle, with uncertain futures.
The venues in Luanda, Lubango, Benguela and Cabinda are disused, locked up and some are reportedly disconnected from power supplies.
Last week I went to see the massive 50,000-seater stadium in Luanda and found the site totally deserted.
A tall wire security fence blocked off the main entrance and grass was growing over the empty and rain-sodden car park.
Since the end of the tournament in January 2010, the Chinese-built stadium, with its distinctive curved red roof, has been used on just a handful of occasions, the last time back in November to celebrate Angola's Independence Day.
The four international games hosted there since the Nations Cup ended have attracted only tiny crowds, largely because the stadium's location 20 kilometres from the city means it can take up to two hours to get there in traffic.
Luanda Stadium after the Nations Cup final
Luanda stadium was the showpiece venue of the 2010 Nations Cup
Local clubs refuse to hire the facility because the costs are just too high.
Reports say it is as much as 25 thousands dollars to hire out the ground for a game, a fee that an Angolan club cannot afford and could never claim back in ticket sales.
The problem appears to be that no management committees have been set up and the Chinese construction companies remain in charge of the venues - with local governments left to pick up the running costs.
The Ministry of Sport said it was preparing for a tender round to select possible public/private partnerships which might manage the stadium, but the process seems to be taking a long time.
I was first told about this study back in December 2009 and nothing seems to have happened since.
Insiders say there is a high level political stalemate over who should be awarded the contract and this was slowing things down.
Many from within the footballing community in Angola are concerned that if the stadiums are not used regularly and maintained, they could fall into disrepair.

On the back of the Nations Cup, Angola promised a mass investment into football, which remains the country's second sport behind basketball.
Some new community projects have found investment, like Luanda's Progresso da Sambizanga, whose plush and modern training facilities were officially opened by President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos last month.
But most of this is private money coming from individual donors and companies.
Angola finished as runners-up in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) last month in Sudan but fans have put this down to luck and the overall low level of competition, rather than it being a product of post-Nations Cup investment.
Nevertheless, one Angolan who worked with the organising committee in the build up to the Cup of Nations told me one year was not an unreasonable time to wait for the stadiums to find a management plan.
"This is Angola," he said, adding: "Things take time, but we will do it right in the end."

BBC Sport

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho 'escapes knife attack'

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho was signing autographs when a security guard stopped a man approaching him
A man armed with a dagger is reported to have tried to stab Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho as he signed autographs in a Spanish airport.

A member of the club's security staff was said to have received a 4cm (1.5in) stab wound in the incident at La Coruna in Galicia, northern Spain.
The incident happened last Friday but has only just been reported by the Cadena Ser news channel.
It is not clear if Mr Mourinho was aware of the attack at the time.
Cadena Ser says the security staff member did not realise he had been stabbed until he was on the team bus.
However, security cameras at the airport may have captured the incident, it says.
Quoting a source at Real Madrid, Cadena Ser says the club has increased security for its game against Racing Santander this weekend.