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, 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