P.M. NEWS Nigeria » CAF competitions http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Tue, 18 Nov 2014 07:27:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Concerns raised in Equatorial Guinea over Nations Cup http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/concerns-raised-in-equatorial-guinea-over-nations-cup/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/concerns-raised-in-equatorial-guinea-over-nations-cup/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 14:57:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219842 CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

The unexpected arrival of the Africa Cup of Nations in less than two months time in Equatorial Guinea has caused concern over Ebola in the oil-rich former Spanish colony.

Equatorial Guinea, who co-hosted the continental showcase with neighbours Gabon in 2012, stepped in at the eleventh hour on Friday to save the crisis-hit 2015 Nations Cup.

Organisers CAF had been left frantically searching for a new home for the competition after stripping Morocco of the right to host the biennial footballing feast.

Equatorial Guinea, the west African state with a population of 740,000, now has just 62 days to prepare for the January 17 kick-off.

For Alfredo Okenvo, a civic leader in Bata, the country’s second city, agreeing to host the Nations Cup raises serious concerns.

“I don’t think it’s responsible to stage the Nations Cup in this short space of time, we shouldn’t have agreed to hold it,” Okenvo told AFP by telephone.

“There should have been a little more caution,” he added.

“I strongly question the capacity of the country to organise it, and of course then there’s Ebola.”

Morocco fell foul of CAF after insisting on a postponement due to the current Ebola epidemic which has killed over 5,000 people.

Okenvo reflected: “The decision taken by Morocco, who have superior footballing and health infrastructure than us, was prudent and responsable.

“Whilst it’s true Equatorial Guinea has already held the competition, I’m concerned about medical expertise.”

For Brigida Bidang, a young nurse, the 16-team championships’ imminent arrival on her doorstep is bad news.

“I don’t agree with it,” said the mother of two.

“The Nations Cup attracts a huge crowd and we still have Ebola, I’ve got children and family.”

Agustin Masoko Abegue, spokesman for one of the opposition parties, attacked what he labelled “a decision taken in haste”.

“Morocco has seen the consequences, we shouldn’t have accepted to host this Nations Cup…” he said.

In contrast, Agnes Esidang, a bar owner in the capital Malabo, was rubbing his hands in anticipation at an upturn in business.

“Having the Nations Cup here is great news,” he said.

“It’ll mean there will be supporters coming, and those of us who have bars will have lots of customers,” he enthused.

The stance of a government led with an iron-fist by

president Teodoro Obiang and constantly in the line of fire from human rights organisations was however warmly applauded by Souleymane Anta Ndiaye, president of the Forum for the Rebirth of Africa.

“I salute president Teodoro Obiang’s decision to host the Nations Cup,” said Ndiaye.

“The CAF found themselves in a delicate situation after Morocco’s withdrawal.

“I’m delighted at Equatorial Guinea’s decision, and I congratulate and encourage the president for continuing the spirit of African solidarity…”

Equatorial Guinea, originally eliminated in the first qualifying round for having fielded an ineligible player, have now qualified for the tournament as hosts, taking Morocco’s place.

Four grounds have been set aside for matches, in Malabo, Bata, Mongomo and Edediyin.

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Fans praise Keshi, Super Eagles for victory against Congo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/fans-praise-keshi-super-eagles-for-victory-against-congo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/fans-praise-keshi-super-eagles-for-victory-against-congo/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 09:19:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219825 File Photo: SUper Eagles players jubilate

File Photo: SUper Eagles players jubilate

Football enthusiasts in Kwara on Saturday applauded the excellent performance of the Super Eagles of Nigeria against their Congolese counterparts in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

They called for a repeat of the good outing in their last qualifier against the Bafana Bafana of South African at home in Uyo on Wednesday.

The Eagles came back from their poor performance in the first half to defeat their hosts 2-0 in a make-or-mar match amidst tension in Brazaville, the Congolese capital.

NAN reports that the away victory reawakens the chance of the African Champions’ qualification for the most prestigious continental soccer fiesta in Equatorial Guinean.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had on Friday awarded the hosting right to Equatorial Guinean after Morocco shelved its earlier bid to host over fear of Ebola Virus Disease.

Alfa Ibrahim Yusuf, an operator of a soccer show centre in Kaiama, the headquarters of Kaiama Local Government Area of the state, said the entire Nigerian fans were delighted with the outcome of the match.

“The match is good and I am delighted with the result. I pray to God to see us through the remaining match.

“Nigeria should put up a similar excellent performance against South Africa because it is not yet over until it is finally over,” he told NAN.

He also commended Stephen Keshi, the Eagles’ Head Coach, for coming on top of the game in the second stanza after the Congolese dominance in the first 45 minutes.

Also, Mr Abdulrasak Rafiu, a soccer fan, noted that if Eagles could defeat South Africa on Wednesday, Nigeria could qualify and defend the trophy they won in South Africa in 2013.

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Jonathan lauds Super Eagles win over Congo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/jonathan-lauds-super-eagles-win-over-congo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/16/jonathan-lauds-super-eagles-win-over-congo/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 06:09:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219816 File Photo: Presidential handshake: Jonathan meets a member of the Super Eagles team

File Photo: Presidential handshake: Jonathan meets a member of the Super Eagles team

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the Super Eagles on their victory over the Red Devils of Congo in Pointe Noire on Saturday, describing it as “dogged and hard-fought”.

NAN reports that the Eagles defeated their Congolese rivals 2-0 to revive the country’s hope of qualifying for 2015 African Nations Cup Finals.

Jonathan, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, applauded the Super Eagles’ “patriotic, determined and courageous display in front of a vociferous and partisan home crowd”.

The victory, he said, had placed Nigeria in good stead for qualification to defend the African Nations Cup, which it currently holds, at next year’s finals, to be hosted by Equatorial Guinea.

“On behalf of all soccer loving Nigerians, the president heartily commends the Super Eagles for their winning performance in Pointe-Noire.

“The victory has wiped away the disappointment of their earlier outings in the qualifying series and rekindled the hope of Nigerians in the team’s ability to bring further glory to the country.

“Jonathan joins other Nigerians in looking forward to seeing the Super Eagles complete the task of qualifying to defend the title at the 2015 Nations Cup Finals with victory against South Africa in Uyo, next week.

“He assures the Super Eagles and their handlers of the fullest support of the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria for that final qualification match,” the statement said.

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Super Eagles on course for AFCON 2015, Uche, Samuel score http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/super-eagles-on-course-for-afcon-2015-uche-samuel-score/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/super-eagles-on-course-for-afcon-2015-uche-samuel-score/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 17:40:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219798 File Photo: SUper Eagles players jubilate

File Photo: SUper Eagles players jubilate

Defending champions Nigeria beat Congo Brazzaville 2-0 on Saturday to revive their bid to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as South Africa and Cameroon ensured their presence in the finals.

South Africa beat Sudan 2-1 in their first outing since the slaying of captain Senzo Meyiwa to top Group A, while Cameroon edged past DR Congo 1-0 to claim Group D.

Zambia pipped hosts Mozambique 1-0 in Maputo to qualify in Group F with table toppers Cape Verde Islands.

Burkina Faso and Gabon qualified from Group C.

Burkina Faso beat Lesotho 1-0 in Maseru and Gabon held home team Angola to a goalless draw in Luanda.

On Friday, Tunisia held Botswana to a goalless draw to also advance to the finals.

Second-half goals by Ikechukwu Uche and Aaron Samuel against Congo in Pointe-Noire boosted Nigeria’s prospects of making it to Equatorial Guinea, who stepped in as hosts on Friday in place of barred Morocco.

Nigeria now have to beat group leaders South Africa in Uyo on Wednesday to ensure automatic qualification behind Bafana Bafana regardless of Congo’s result in Sudan also on Wednesday.

Villarreal striker Uche celebrated his long-awaited return to the Super Eagles in style when in the 59th minute he tucked away a penalty after Congo goalkeeper Massa fouled goal-bound Emmanuel Emenike.

Congo failed to draw level in the 65th minute, when Vincent Enyeama saved a penalty taken by Thievy Bifouma after Godfrey Oboabona handled a goal-bound shot inside his box.

Substitute Aaron Samuel then made the game safe for Nigeria a minute to full time when he struck from inside the box.

South Africa secured their ticket against Sudan in Durban to record 11 points from five matches, meaning they will now not be under pressure when they visit Nigeria on Wednesday.

Ajax midfielder Thulani Serero scored his first international goal for South Africa in the 38th minute, when he slotted home a cut-back from inside the box to give Bafana Bafana the lead.

Tokelo Rantie then doubled Bafana Bafana’s advantage in the 53rd minute, when he dribbled his way past his markers before stabbing home past the Sudan goalkeeper.

Sudan pulled a goal back through Al Hilal forward Salah Ibrahim in the 77th minute from close range.

Cameroon won Group D courtesy of a 71st match winner by Vincent Aboubakar against DR Congo in Yaounde.

In Kampala, Uganda pipped Black Stars of Ghana 1-0 after both teams played a 1-1 draw in Kumasi three months ago.

Uganda match winner was Savio Kabugo, who fired the Cranes ahead after just 10 minutes.

But Uganda face a daunting trip to Morocco in midweek when they battle bottom team Guinea in a final game and Ghana host Togo.

Malawi revived their hopes of qualifying for the Nations Cup after they beat Mali 2-0 at the Kamuzu Banda Stadium in Blantyre.

Second-half goals by Robert Ngambi and Kanyenda earned Malawi only their second win in the qualifying series.

The Flames now have six points from five matches, the same as Mali, with Algeria already qualified.

On Wednesday, Mali host Group winners Algeria and Malawi are away in Ethiopia.

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South Africa qualify for Nations Cup http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/south-africa-qualify-for-nations-cup/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/south-africa-qualify-for-nations-cup/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 16:16:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219793 Bafana Bafana

South Africa became the fourth country to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with an emotionally charged 2-1 win over Sudan in Durban on Saturday, Bafana Bafana’s first game since the slaying of Senzo Meyiwa.

The 27-year-old South Africa goalkeeper and captain was gunned down by an intruder at the home of his pop singer girlfriend south of Johannesburg on October 26.

Saturday’s qualifier took place in Meyiwa’s hometown and the victory allowed the Group A leaders to join already-qualified Algeria, Cape Verde and Tunisia.

Equatorial Guinea, named as hosts in place of Morocco on Friday, qualify automatically for the January 17-February 8 event.

The 2015 Cup of Nations was moved to Equatorial Guinea when Morocco were stripped of the right to hold it after insisting on the continental showcase being postponed due to the Ebola crisis.

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Morocco barred from next two Nations Cups http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/morocco-barred-from-next-two-nations-cups/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/15/morocco-barred-from-next-two-nations-cups/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 13:24:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219786 CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

Morocco will be barred from the next two Africa Cup of Nations as punishment for refusing to host the 2015 edition in January-February, Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou said on Saturday.

“We are going to stick to the rules, that means elimination from the next two Nations Cups,” Hayatou told France’s L’Equipe sports daily.

“On top of that there will be the financial and moral damages to calculate.”

Morocco are facing a 20 million dollar (16 million euros) fine for refusing to host the 2015 Cup in its scheduled January 17-February 8 slot over fears of the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic to the popular tourist destination, Morocco’s Le Matin newspaper suggested this week.

The north African state had called for the Cup to be postponed, but organisers CAF rejected their request, stripping them of their position as hosts and barring them from playing in the continental showcase.

Oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, which co-hosted the 2012 edition with Gabon, were named as Morocco’s replacement as hosts for the troubled 2015 tournament on Friday.

Aside from the former Spanish colony in west Africa who now qualify automatically, three countries are assured of their place in the troubled 2015 Cup – Tunisia, Algeria and Cape Verde Islands.

There are 12 qualifiers scheduled for Saturday with defending champions Nigeria needing a victory in Congo Brazzaville to have a realistic chance of qualifying.

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2015 Nations Cup: Equatorial Guinea Now New Host http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/14/2015-nations-cup-equatorial-guinea-now-new-host-2/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/14/2015-nations-cup-equatorial-guinea-now-new-host-2/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:14:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219711 Reports this afternoon say Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s smallest countries, has been given the right to host the 2015 African Nations Cup finals by the Confederation of African Football, CAF.

The oil-rich Spanish-speaking nation hosted the 2012 finals with neighbours Gabon, but will take on the 16-team tournament on their own from 17 January – 8 February, despite the fact they have only two major stadiums in the capital Malabo and Bata.

Previous hosts Morocco wanted the tournament postponed over fears of a spread of the Ebola virus, but CAF refused and on Tuesday stripped the North African country of the right to host the event.

It is not clear whether the new hosts will be able to play in the tournament. Equatorial Guinea was originally disqualified from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football in July, for fielding an ineligible player in a qualifier against Mauritania.

The latest development may not be unconnected with the visit of CAF President Issa Hayatou who had a scheduled meeting with Head of State of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

“Issa Hayatou is arriving here on Friday to offer the organisation of AFCON 2015 to the President of the Republic,” the head of Communication for the Equatorial Guinea Football Association announced yesterday.

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Morocco disqualified, won’t host Africa Cup http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/12/morocco-disqualified-wont-host-africa-cup/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/12/morocco-disqualified-wont-host-africa-cup/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 08:02:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219404 CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

Morocco has been disqualified from the Africa Cup of Nations, which will now hold elsewhere, the African Football Confederation (CAF) said on Tuesday.

It follows CAF’s decision to refuse a request from the Moroccan government to postpone the tournament early next year because of fears over Ebola virus disease.

CAF said it had received “some applications” to replace Morocco but did not say where the Jan. 17-Feb. 8 tournament could now be held.

A CAF statement said: “Having firmly and unanimously notified on Nov. 3 its decision to keep the competition on the dates indicated, the executive committee confirmed that the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will not take place in Morocco.”

CAF’s executive committee “has decided that the national team of Morocco is automatically disqualified and will not take part in the 30th Orange Africa Cup of Nations in 2015.”

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Mikel scores in warm-up game as Nigeria gets ready for Congo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/mikel-scores-in-warm-up-game-as-nigeria-gets-ready-for-congo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/mikel-scores-in-warm-up-game-as-nigeria-gets-ready-for-congo/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 21:40:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219369 Super Eagles in training

Super Eagles in training

Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi scored in Nigeria’s warm-up game ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier clash against the Red Devils of Congo in Pointe Noire.

NAN reports that the Super Eagles have begun full training in preparation for the match against Congo. It was a full house as all 23 invited players except Captain Vincent Enyeama and Ikechukwu Uche were present for the training which took place at the FIFA Goal Project pitch, National Stadium.

NAN also reports that Mikel Obi, Emmanuel Emenike and Emem Uduok gave a good account of themselves as they all scored in a warm-up game.

Stephen Keshi, Super Eagles’ Head Coach, on Tuesday in Abuja said that the team was focused and ready for its crucial make-or-mar game against Congo Brazzaville in Pointe Noire.

Keshi, who spoke to journalists after the training, expressed confidence in the ability of the team, adding that he was positive about their fitness and readiness for the clash.

“What I saw this evening is encouraging and I just hope it continues that way. The boys are focused and of course they know why they are here; it’s the business and so we have to go and do what we need to do.

“We just have to be ready. This is African football. It is not European football and so I always tell my players that once they leave Europe they must switch from the European to African mentality,” he said.

On the absence of Enyeama and Uche, Coach Keshi said that they were expected to arrive in camp later in the day.

The Super Eagles are expected to leave for Pointe Noire on Thursday for Saturday’s game.

NAN recalls that Nigeria has sealed four points from four matches while Sudan is at the bottom of the Group A table with three points.

South Africa is leading the group with eight points followed by Congo with seven points.

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Glo/CAF Award: Pinnick tips Enyeama, Musa for Africa’s top prize http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/09/glocaf-award-pinnick-tips-enyeama-musa-for-africas-top-prize/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/09/glocaf-award-pinnick-tips-enyeama-musa-for-africas-top-prize/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:21:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219115 By Taiwo Adelu

Ahmed Musa celebrates scoring for Nigeria

Ahmed Musa celebrates scoring for Nigeria

President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick has declared that none of the other players on the list of 25 players released by the Confederation of African Football for the 2014 African Player of the Year has done more than Super Eagles’ stars Vincent Enyeama and Ahmed Musa to merit the award.

CAF on Thursday listed 25 players, including Ivorian Yaya Toure – who has won the award in the past three years – in the initial pool for the Player of the Year award, ahead of a shortlist of five that will be released early December.

“If we look critically at the list, it would be difficult to see any player who has done more for club and country in the outgoing year than Vincent Enyeama and Ahmed Musa.

“Both were in fabulous forms for their clubs (Enyeama with Lille OSC of France and Musa with CSKA Moscow of Russia) during the year, and also played brilliant roles as the Super Eagles reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil,” Pinnick stated.

Safe Hands: Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama

Safe Hands: Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama

The factional NFF boss made it clear that he was in no way disrespecting other players on the list of 25. “I have immense respect for most of the players listed, particularly Toure, Asamoah Gyan of Ghana, and the Algerian trio of Slimani, Feghouli and Brahimi who also steered their team to the Round of 16 at the World Cup.

“Yet, the exploits of Enyeama and Musa in the outgoing year have been exceptional. Either of them deserves the award.”

Eagles’ goalkeeper and skipper Enyeama made a number of telling saves at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and was also brilliant for French Ligue 1 club, Lille OSC all through the year, while nimble–footed Musa became the first Nigerian senior team player to score two goals against Argentina in a competitive match, when he netted a brace against the Argies in a World Cup group phase game in Porto Alegre.

Musa also scored two goals against Sudan in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win that has given Nigeria hope of reaching the finals. Both Musa and Enyeama are currently playing critical roles in their clubs’ European campaign, with Musa influential for CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and Enyeama playing his role for Lille OSC in the Europa League.

The Glo-CAF African Football Awards will take place in Lagos on 8 January, 2015. Rashidi Yekini (of blessed memory; 1993), Emmanuel Amuneke (1994), Nwankwo Kanu (1996 and 1999) and Victor Ikpeba (1997) are the only Nigerian players to have won Africa’s top prize.

Globacom, a Nigeria’s telecommunication company, has been sponsoring the awards for the past eight years.

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Musa, Enyeama Nominated For Glo/CAF Award http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/07/musa-enyeama-nominated-for-glocaf-award/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/07/musa-enyeama-nominated-for-glocaf-award/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 09:57:19 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218799

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Thursday in Cairo announced the nominees for the 2014 African Player of the Year and the 2014 African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) in the Glo-Caf Awards.

Twenty-five players were nominated for the African Player of the Year, while 20 players made the list for the Player of the Year (Based in Africa) category.

Super Eagles’ duo of Ahmed Musa who plays for CSKA Moscow and Vincent Enyeama of Lille, France are the two Nigerians who made the list of topmost twenty five players in the main Award category while Ejike Uzoenyi of Rangers International, Enugu is the only Nigerian shortlisted in the 20-man list of Africa-based Player of the Year.

Ahmed Musa celebrates scoring for Nigeria

Ahmed Musa celebrates scoring for Nigeria

Ahmed Musa, a very resourceful player and Vincent Enyeama, the outstanding goalkeeper were members of the Super Eagles team that won the 2013 African Nations Cup in South Africa and also participated actively in the Super Eagles’ campaign in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Ejide Uzoenyi on the other hand made his international debut for Nigeria in 2012. He was called up to Nigeria’s 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and was named to Nigeria’s squad for the 2014 African Nations Championshipwhere he emerged the most valuable player of the tournament.

He was also named in the Nigeria’s provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and made the final squad after Elderson Echiejile was excluded by injury.

The list was compiled through a vigorous exercise by the Confederation of African Football took into consideration the performance of the nominees for their national teams and clubs from January to November, this year.

Enyeama saves a goal bound ball

Enyeama saves a goal bound ball

Other Players shorted listed for the African Player of the Year award include the Ghanaian duo of Asamoah Gyan of  Al-Ain  and Kwadwo Asamoah   Juventus, the Senegalese:  Dame N’doye of Lokomotiv Moscow and Sadio Mané of Southampton, Emmanuel Adebayor  of Togo and Tottenham and the Cameroonian trio of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Schalke 04, Stephane Mbia of Sevilla and Vincent Aboubakar of Porto,

Others are Yao Kouassi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ of Cote d’Ivoire and AS Roma and his fellown country men: Wilfred Bony of Swansea and Yaya Toure of Man City as well as Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Ferdjani Sassi from Tunisia and CS Sfaxien.

Also listed are Algerian quartet of Islam Slimani of Sporting Lisbon, Raïs M’Bolhi of Philadelphia Union, Sofiane Feghouli of Valencia and Yacine Brahimi of Porto. Yannick Bolasie of DR Congo and Crystal Palace, Thulani Serero of South Africa and Ajax, Seydou Keita of Mali and As Roma, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Borussia Dortmund and Mohamed El Neny  of Egypt and Basel completed the list.

In the African  Player of the Year (Based in Africa) category, the twenty players short-listed are South Africa’s: Bernard Parker, Bongani Ndulula and late Senso Meyiwa of Kaizer Chiefs Amazulu and Orlando Pirates, Amr Gamal  of Egypt and Al Ahly, the duo of Akram Djahnit and El Hedi Belamieri  of Algeria and ES Setif. The list also included Tunisian and CS Sfaxien players: Fakhereddine Ben Youssef and Ferdjani Sassi.

Others are : Congolese quartet of Firmin Mubel Ndombe of As Vita, Jean Kasusula of TP Mazembe, Kader Bidimbou of AC Leopards and Lema Mabidi of As Vita.

Also nominated are Geoffrey Massa of Uganda and Pretoria University, Mudathir Al Taieb of Sudan and Al Hilal, Roger Assalé of Cote d’Ivoire and Sewe Sport, Solomon Asante of Ghana and TP Mazembe, Souleymane Moussa of Cameroon and Coton Sport and Yunus Sentamu of Uganda and AS Vita.

The winners of the two categories will be decided by votes from the Head Coaches and Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF.

The Glo- CAF Awards Gala will take place on Thursday, 8 January 2015 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ivorian Yaya Toure was crowned African Player of the Year for the past three years whilst Mohamed Aboutreika of Egypt was named African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) last year.

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CAF to keep 2015 AFCON’s original date http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/04/caf-to-keep-2015-afcons-original-date/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/04/caf-to-keep-2015-afcons-original-date/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 04:50:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218386 CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unanimously agreed to stick with the original date of the commencement of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

NAN recalls that the 2015 AFCON is expected to hold from 17 January to 8 February in Morocco.

The host country, through its Ministry of Youths and Sports, had earlier requested for the postponement of the 2015 AFCON because of the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

However, in a statement on its website, the CAF Executive Committee has considered the request at its meeting on Sunday in Algiers, Algeria.

It said the continental football governing body unanimously agreed on keeping the competition’s original dates because it had already taken measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Since the beginning of the latest outbreak of the Ebola virus, CAF has always acted in accordance with the precautionary principle of safeguarding lives by strictly adhering to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“This was enforced through a circular dated Aug. 12 which sanctioned the suspension of all CAF competitions in countries heavily affected by the disease, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

“This is to prevent holding football matches which could result in mass gatherings and could facilitate the spread of the virus,” the statement was quoted as saying.

The statement said CAF had been able to organise peacefully all competitions across the continent since April 2014 with no cases of Ebola reported in connection with a football match’s organisation.

It said WHO had reiterated CAF’s recommendations in a letter dated Oct. 14 and re-confirmed this in a press release issued on Oct. 23.

“The letter explained that WHO did not recommend the cancellation of international meetings and mass gatherings in countries other than those affected,” the statement was quoted as saying.

The statement also said the requirement was made to all National Associations of CAF to comply with health protocols prescribed by WHO.

“Thus, the Executive Committee of CAF confirms its commitment to keep the competition on the dates earlier indicated.

“It also asks the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to clarify the final position of Morocco not later than Nov. 8,” the statement was quoted as saying.

It explained that the time given also applied to all other CAF national associations wishing to organise the competition on the dates agreed as long as the hosting requirements are met.

NAN also reports that a meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on 11 November in Cairo, Egypt to take the necessary decisions.

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Setif of Algeria wins CAF Champions League http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/01/setif-of-algeria-wins-caf-champions-league/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/01/setif-of-algeria-wins-caf-champions-league/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 20:27:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218198 FBL-ALGERIA-CONGO-AFRICA-CAF-CHAMPIONS-FINAL

Algerians Entente Setif won the CAF Champions League Saturday despite being held 1-1 at home by Congolese V Club in the second leg of the final.

Setif lifted the premier African club football trophy on the away-goal rule after a 3-3 aggregate tie having drawn the first leg 2-2 in Kinshasa last weekend.

Sofiane Younes scored for Setif after 49 minutes and Lema Mabidi equalised five minutes later before a sell-out 35,000 crowd in Blida.

It was a remarkable victory for the Black Eagles as Algerian football officials wanted the club to withdraw from the Champions League, believing they would not be competitive.

Setif also won the title in 1988 and join JS Kabylie as Algerian clubs who have conquered Africa twice.

V Club conceded a foul and a corner and cleared a header off the line within two minutes of the kick-off as Setif sought an early goal.

The Congolese survived the early storm to create the best chance of a cagey opening half on 40 minutes, but Guy Lusadisu Basisila fired over.

Younes poked the ball into the net at the far post after two better placed team-mates failed to connect with an El-Hedi Belameiri cross.

But the joy of the Algerian supporters was short-lived as Mabidi, who scored twice in the first leg, pounced on a partly cleared cross to hammer the ball into the net.

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Keshi invites Uche, 24 others for Congo, South Africa matches http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/31/keshi-invites-uche-24-others-for-congo-south-africa-matches/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/31/keshi-invites-uche-24-others-for-congo-south-africa-matches/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:30:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218090 Taiwo Adelu

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi has called up 25 players for the must-win 2015 Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Red Devils of Congo and Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

Highly rated, Spain–based striker Ikechukwu Uche is called for the first time in nearly two years, and there is also a first senior team opportunity for Nasarawa United midfielder Tony Edjomari.

Home–based defender Solomon Kwambe also return, and Aaron Samuel (who got one of the goals against Sudan), Hope Akpan, Sunday Emmanuel and home–boy Emem Eduok have further chances after being called for the matches against the Falcons of Sudan.

Skipper and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, defenders Godfrey Oboabona and Elderson Echiejile, midfielders Ogenyi Onazi and Mikel Obi, and forwards Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel Emenike and Babatunde Michael are also invited.
All the players are expected to report at the Bolton White Apartments, Wuse, Abuja on Sunday, 9 November.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United, Nigeria)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Hope Akpan (Reading FC, England); Raheem Lawal (Eskisehirspor FC, Turkey); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England); Tony Edjomari (Nasarawa United, Nigeria)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Osaguona Ighodaro (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Ikechukwu Uche (Villareal FC, Spain); Aaron Samuel (Guangzhou R&F, China); Sunday Emmanuel (SV Scholz Grodig, Austria); Babatunde Michael (Volyn Lutsk, Ukraine): Emem Eduok (Dolphins FC, Nigeria)

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CAF inspector rates Akwa Ibom Stadium high http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/31/caf-inspector-rates-akwa-ibom-stadium-high/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/31/caf-inspector-rates-akwa-ibom-stadium-high/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:15:35 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=218022 Akwa Ibom Stadium

Akwa Ibom Stadium

It is now official. The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying cracker between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa will take place at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo.

Vice President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr. Fred Crentsil, who was mandated by the Confederation of African Football to inspect the facility, has given the infrastructure very high marks.

“You guys have a wonderful facility here. It is one of the best I have seen anywhere around Africa and elsewhere. It is of the same standard and mould as Soccercity (the main stadium in Johannesburg that hosted the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals) with a lower capacity.

“I am particularly amazed that there are provisions for the physically–challenged persons. Everything is taken care of here. I am hugely impressed,” Crentsil said in Uyo on Thursday.

Inside the stadium

Inside the stadium

The CAF official inspected the stadium as well as hotel facilities, in company of NFF’s Assistant Director of Competitions, Mr. Bola Oyeyode.

NFF President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick had, after inspecting the facility three weeks ago, announced that the venue would host the Super Eagles/Bafana Bafana clash.

Meanwhile, the NFF Electoral Appeals Committee, constituted at the Extra-Ordinary General Assembly of 20 September 2014 in Warri, Delta state, will on 11 and 12 November sit on pending appeals from the NFF Executive Committee elections of 30 September in the same city.

Akwa Ibom Stadium

Alhaji Muazu Suleyman, a former member of the NFF Executive Committee, who contested for the post of Vice President alongside Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi (eventual winner), High Chief Emeka Inyama and Hon. Shehu Adamu, have appealed against the result.

Barr. Iyke Igbokwe, Vice Chairman of the NFF Disciplinary Committee, is also contesting his defeat in the election of the South–East representative. The contest was among eventual winner Felix Anyansi–Agwu, Barr. Jude Obikwelu and Igbokwe.

The NFF Electoral Appeals Committee is headed by Barr. Okechukwu Ajunwa, with Mr. Dotun Coker and Mallam Sani Mohammed as members. Mr. Victor Nwangwu and Mr. Bala Garba are substitute members. The Secretary is Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.

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FIFA’s hammer dangles on Nigeria, says its fed up http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/26/fifas-hammer-dangles-on-nigeria-says-its-fed-up/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/26/fifas-hammer-dangles-on-nigeria-says-its-fed-up/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 18:24:33 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217468 Taiwo Adelu

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

Nigeria football looks to be, unfortunately, heading into a long, dark night as world football governing body, FIFA is set to wield the big stick on Monday. FIFA said it was fed up with the football administration problems of the country.

Super Eagles hopes of qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and the Golden Eaglets chances of playing in the African Championship hang in the balance as both teams will not be able to play in their respective qualifiers if FIFA bans Nigeria.

On Saturday in Windhoek, Namibia, CAF President Issa Hayatou told Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo in clear terms that the world was fed up with Nigeria’s incorrigibility in the area of football administration. “I had to plead passionately with FIFA President, Mr. Sepp Blatter not to take action on Nigeria on Friday, because Nigeria was in the final of the African Women Championship and a ban on your country would have been bad for the competition and our sponsors. We all heard the news of the court ruling on Thursday, and the football world is angry with Nigeria. That is the truth.

“The FIFA letter that came to your federation before the elections of 30 September was very clear about an automatic suspension should there be any interference with the political process, and after the elections went ahead, we all thought you had settled your issues”.

The CAF supremo, at a meeting that had Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Namibia, Ambassador Biodun Olorunfemi, Nigeria’s Deputy President of the CAF Appeal Board, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam, CAF General Coordinator, Mr. Paul Bassey and CAF Media Committee Member, Aisha Falode in attendance, said there was no going back on suspension of Nigeria this week if football matters are not withdrawn from civil courts.

“I appealed to FIFA to give until Monday for Nigeria to put its act together. After that, there is absolutely nothing I can do. It is all very disappointing because we have over 50 national associations in Africa, but a big country like Nigeria is the one always giving us the biggest headache.

“Nigeria signed to be part of the football world by joining FIFA, and opted to abide by the FIFA –approved Statutes that you have. How many times do we have to tell your country that football matters are not taken to civil courts? If Nigeria no longer wants to be part of the football world, then so be it,” an obviously exasperated Hayatou said. His French words were translated to the rest of the Nigeria delegation by the multi-lingual Paul Bassey.

It would be recalled that FIFA President Blatter and CAF President Hayatou, as well as several National Associations and NFF’s partners and political leaders around the world, congratulated Amaju Pinnick following his victory at the September 30 elections.

NFF President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who was, inexplicably, stopped by security operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on his way to Namibia on Friday night with the Sports Minister, monitored the meeting on phone.

On Thursday, the Federal High Court, Jos gave a ruling setting aside the FIFA –ordered elections of 30th September, 2014 into the NFF Executive Committee, stoking the fire of anger at the world body’s Zurich headquarters.

The NFF Executive Committee, led by Amaju Pinnick, has filed for a Stay-of-Execution of the order at the same court, which the court said it will be hear on Wednesday.

Falode, who spoke from Windhoek on Sunday, said it was obvious the Government of Nigeria has to now intervene to avoid the hammer falling on Nigeria football.

“The future of millions of Nigerian youth is being put at risk by some persons who feel they have nothing to lose in the case of a FIFA ban. It is now for the Government to wade in. If we get suspended from international football now, FIFA will not revisit the matter until their 65th Congress on May 29, 2015. That would be too bad for our country’s football,” she said.

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2014 AWC: Super Falcons are champions of Africa, beat Cameroun 2-0 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/25/2014-awc-super-falcons-are-champions-of-africa-beat-cameroun-2-0/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/25/2014-awc-super-falcons-are-champions-of-africa-beat-cameroun-2-0/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 20:57:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217403 Super Falcons

The Super Falcons of Nigeria on Saturday defeated Cameroun 2-0 to win the ninth edition of the African Women Championship (AWC) in Windhoek, Namibia.

NAN reports that goals from Desire Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala were all Nigeria needed to reclaim the AWC title.

After a dominant opening period, Oparanozie put the Super Falcons in front in the 12th minute with a superb free-kick.

Oshoala then doubled Nigeria’s lead two minutes from the end of an enthralling first half.

NAN recalls that only twice since the inaugural AWC in 1998 had Nigeria failed to win the trophy.

Equatorial Guinea are the only other winners, in 2008 and 2012, and they failed to qualify for this year’s tournament.

Nigeria and Cameroon had already qualified for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Canada by reaching the final.

They will be joined there by Cote D’Ivoire who had earlier in the day beaten South Africa 1-0 in the third-place match.

In an even contest, also played in Windhoek, Rebecca Ida scored the winning goal six minutes from full time.

She pounced on a loose ball in the Banyana Banyana penalty area from a corner kick, and slotted the ball home.

The championship which kicked off on Oct. 11 came to an end on Saturday.

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Super Falcons beat South Africa to reach AWC final http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/22/super-falcons-beat-south-africa-to-reach-awc-final/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/22/super-falcons-beat-south-africa-to-reach-awc-final/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:50:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217096 Super Falcons celebrate after scoring Photo: footballiscominghome.info

Super Falcons celebrate after scoring
Photo: footballiscominghome.info

Nigeria’s Super Falcons beat South Africa’s Banyana Banyana 2-1 on Wednesday in Windhoek, Namibia to qualify for the final match of the 9th African Women Championship (AWC).

In the semi-final match played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, Asisat Oshoala scored twice in the first half to keep the six-times African champions in the driving seat.

The star player of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in August opened scores in the 38th minute after a great run and a shot helped in by a defender.

Six minutes later, the most impressive player at the youth championship in Canada ensured her team would be making a return to Canada in June with the second goal.

South Africa came back into the game in the 68th minute after a disputed goal halved Nigeria’s lead, even though it was not just enough as the Falcons hung on.

The Nigerian side thus kept up the record of qualifying for every FIFA Women’s World Cup since 1991, a record matched only by Brazil, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the U.S.

The Falcons had qualified for the maiden event in China in 1991, Sweden in 1995, the US in 1999 and 2003, China in 2007 and Germany in 2011.

Nigeria will meet the winners of the other semi-final fixture between Cameroun and Cote D’Ivoire on Saturday for a chance to win the AWC title a record seventh time.

They had won the competition almost every two years since its inception in 1998, except in 2008 and 2012 when Equatorial Guinea won the titles.

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AFCON 2015: CAF blasts Platini for interfering in its affairs http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/22/afcon-2015-caf-blasts-platini-for-interfering-in-its-affairs/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/22/afcon-2015-caf-blasts-platini-for-interfering-in-its-affairs/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:29:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217037 Michel Platini, UEFA President

Michel Platini, UEFA President

Confederation of African Football (CAF) has questioned the interference of Michel Platini, President of the Union of European Football Association (UEFA), in the postponement of AFCON 2015.

In a statement issued by CAF, the African football body said Platini, in a televised broadcast on the evening of Sunday, 19 October 2014, found it necessary to question the scheduled date of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015.

The issue which has been hotly debated and has been in the public domain following a request for postponement by the Kingdom of Morocco due to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in some African countries.

CAF said: “On this issue, many speakers, including Mr Platini, have been making reference to the World Health Organization (WHO) to justify their support for a deferral of the championship.

“This is without any reference to a single recommendation of that organization that the postponement of any sporting event on the African continent or outside, in other countries where cases are reported, with which the CAF has been in constant contact since the beginning of the epidemic on the continent,” the statement said.

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF noted that apart from the three countries heavily affected by the epidemic namely; Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the WHO has clearly indicated to CAF on the need to avoid huge gatherings, that measure for now only applies to no other country on the continent.

“CAF under the leadership of its President, Issa Hayatou, has always promoted free expression within it. Far from it therefore, claim to deprive anyone latitude to express themselves.

“But we must beware of what appears in every way as interference by a president of a Confederation, in cases involving first and foremost Africa and CAF”.

CAF then told Platini that it does not interfere in the matters of UEFA because of its principle. “Under the principle of non-interference required to comply, CAF has refrained so far to comment on some issues on the managing of European football or any other continent.

“Despite the risks involved in armed conflict in Ukraine, a country where a civilian plane was shot down killing nearly 300 people, UEFA did not consider it necessary to exclude Ukrainian clubs from its competitions as a security parameter by hosting games outside this nation, as treacherously raised once it is about Africa”.

“CAF hereby reaffirm the importance it attaches to respect of its sovereignty and does not intend to let anyone interfere in the management of its affairs,” the statement read.

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Glo Tasks Super Falcons To Beat South Africa http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/21/glo-tasks-super-falcons-to-beat-south-africa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/21/glo-tasks-super-falcons-to-beat-south-africa/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:10:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216919 Super Falcons celebrate after scoring Photo: footballiscominghome.info

Super Falcons celebrate after scoring
Photo: footballiscominghome.info

Nigerian female national team, Super Falcons, have been urged to work towards reclaiming the African Women Championship, AWC, trophy as the competition enters the semi-final stage in Namibia on Wednesday.

National telecoms operator, Globacom, in a press statement in Lagos on Tuesday, commended the team for their outstanding performances by defeating all their group opponents Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and hosts Namibia, thus amassing nine maximum points and qualifying for the semi-finals in the process.

Globacom therefore advised the team not to rest on their oars as they prepare to face the Banyana Banyana of South Africa on Wednesday, adding that the players should concentrate and play with determination to qualify for the finals.

The Super Falcons have won six of the eight African Women Championship tournaments since its inception in 1998. Equatorial Guinea won the 2008 edition while the Falcons surprisingly bowed out in 2012, losing to Banyana Banyana in the semi-finals of the 2012 edition. Equitorial Guinea also won the last edition.

Speaking on the encounter, the Coach of Super Falcons, Godwin Okon stated that, “The team are ready and will face the South Africans with all determination; we will play mass attack and mass defence to combat the Banyana Banyana fully; we are fully aware of what is at stake and we are doing everything possible to achieve victory on Wednesday”

The ninth edition of African Women Championship will be rounded off in Namibia on Saturday, 25 October, 2014.
Globacom is the Major Partner of Nigeria Football Federation and official sponsor of Nigerian national teams.

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