P.M. NEWS Nigeria » CAF competitions http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:57:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Hugh Masekela, Flavour, Lagbaja to entertain at 2014 Glo CAF Awards http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/13/hugh-masekela-flavour-lagbaja-to-entertain-at-2014-glo-caf-awards/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/13/hugh-masekela-flavour-lagbaja-to-entertain-at-2014-glo-caf-awards/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 11:24:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222761 Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela

Global Jazz icon, Hugh Masekela, Nigeria’s sensations Flavour and Lagbaja, have been listed among other leading artistes that will thrill guests at the 2014 Glo-CAF Awards scheduled for Lagos on January 8, 2015.

The annual award event, sponsored by national operator, Globacom, is held to celebrate the continent’s finest footballers and administrators and is attended by world sports icons, businessmen and entertainment heavyweights.

Other artistes scheduled to perform at the high profile continental event are Congo DRC’s multiple award-winning songwriter, singer and guitarist, Fally Ipupa; Egyptian folk singer and the first person from an Arab country to perform at a Nobel Prize ceremony, Hakim.

Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa, sensational singing group, Uhuru, pan African group, Cirque D’Afrique; and Tanzania’s prominent multiple award winning singer, Diamond, are some of the other acts billed to perform at the event.

From the home front, some of the biggest stars in Nigeria are also expected to light up the evening. They include the wave-making highlife artiste and Globacom Ambassador, Flavour, Hip hop sensations and Globacom Ambassadors, P-Square and Wande Coal, Afrobeat icon, who is also a Globacom Ambassador, Lagbaja, and one of Nigeria’s most prominent female singers and Globacom Ambassador, Omawumi.

“It is a careful selection of music stars and highly decorated performers, whose songs are currently ruling the airwaves across the continent” said Mr. Ashok Israni, Globacom’s Regional Marketing Director, West Africa. According to him, the stars are expected to take turns performing at different stages of the awards.

One of the highest points of the night for many fun lovers, especially Jazz lovers, would be the live performance of the legendary South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer, Hugh Masekela.

Masekela has performed on some of the best stages across the world, and has picked a number of high profile awards along the way including Ghana Music Awards’ African Music Legend award in 2007, Lifetime Achievement Award by Channel O and BBC Radio Jazz Awards’ International Award of the Year in 2002.

The combination of Masekela and Nigeria’s Jazz and Afrobeat maestro, Lagbaja, on the same night, is expected to set the night aglow and give fun lovers fond memories to last them a lifetime.

Many of the guests would also look forward to the live performance of Flavour who has just launched a new album that is already enjoying air play across the continent.

It is expected to be a night of unending thrill, fun and excitement for the dignitaries expected at the continent’s most glamorous football event.

From 2005 to date, outstanding African players have won the Glo CAF Awards. Samuel Eto’o Fils of Cameroun emerged the winner of the inaugural edition in Abuja in 2005. Former captain of Cote d’Ivoire national team, Didier Drogba, clinched the 2006 edition in Ghana.

In 2007, it was the turn of Malian International, Freddy Kanoute. In 2008, Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo emerged the winner in Lagos, while Didier Drogba got the award in Accra in 2009.

Samuel Eto’o Fils yet again picked the Award in 2010 in Egypt while Yaya Toure of Cote d’Ivoire emerged the winner (back to back) in 2011 and 2012. Before then, some top Nigerian players like Rashidi Yekini, Kanu Nwankwo and Victor Ikpeba had clinched the title.

Globacom will use the platform of this year’s awards to reward its loyal subscribers. Two hundred and fifty of the company’s subscribers who recharge with N5000 up till the end of December or buy a smart phone from any Gloworld shop within the period will stand a chance to reserve their seats at the prestigious event. In another promo on the event, Glo subscribers who successfully predict the African ‎Footballer of the Year, Woman Player of the Year and Coach of the Year stand a chance of winning eye-popping prizes including a 2014 Mercedes Benz G Wagon.

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Glo subscribers to win Benz G-Wagon in Glo-CAF Awards promo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/08/glo-subscribers-to-win-benz-g-wagon-in-glo-caf-awards-promo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/08/glo-subscribers-to-win-benz-g-wagon-in-glo-caf-awards-promo/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 08:02:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222096 FILE PHOTO: •L-R: Chairman, Lagos State Football Association, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, winner of 2013 Glo CAF Player of the Year, Yaya Toure, CAF President, Issa Hayatou and Group Executive Director, Miss Abimbola Adenuga at the gala night of 2013 Glo CAF Awards in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi.

FILE PHOTO: •L-R: Chairman, Lagos State Football Association, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, winner of 2013 Glo CAF Player of the Year, Yaya Toure, CAF President, Issa Hayatou and Group Executive Director, Miss Abimbola Adenuga at the gala night of 2013 Glo CAF Awards in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi.

Globacom, title sponsor of the annual Glo-CAF Awards, has launched two new promos ahead of the 2014 edition of the awards designed to celebrate Africa’s most successful football icons. The event will be held in Lagos, Nigeria on 8 January, 2015.‎

The promos include the Reserve your seat at the Awards Event and Predict the Winners and Win Big.

Reserve your seat at the Awards Event will offer Glo subscribers who recharge up to a total of N5, 000 or more in December 2014 an opportunity to secure a seat as one of the company’s special guests at the event. Alternatively, any customer who buys a smart phone from any Gloworld Shop will stand the chance of enjoying a similar opportunity.

According to Globacom, the Glo-CAF Awards is the biggest night in African football, a gathering where the biggest names in the world of business, politics and showbiz meet with the stars and legends of the beautiful game in this all-important event.

Globacom said it has lined up series of world-class entertainment to delight guests at the Gala night where they meet and interact with the crème de la crème of African football at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. Whoever secures an invite to the event will enjoy every moment of the night.

The company, in a press release said, “our loyal subscribers have stood solidly behind the Glo brand over the years. This, therefore, is another golden opportunity to appreciate and reward them for their patronage.”

In addition to the Reserve your seat at the Awards Event, Globacom has developed another promo on the Glo-CAF Awards to empower Nigerians with mouth-watering prizes. This is called the Predict the Winners and Win Big. It is an SMS-based promotion that will run between now and 8th January, 2015.

According to Globacom’s Head of VAS, Nagasai Viswanath, customers who wish to participate are required to correctly predict any of the winners in three Glo-CAF Awards categories: African Footballer of the year, African Female Player of the year and African Coach of the Year. Globacom urged subscribers to send the names of their choice nominees to 55055 via SMS at the cost of N100 per SMS. Multiple entries will increase participants’ chances of winning, said Viswanath.

He explained that prizes to be won include Mercedes Benz G Wagon, 10 return tickets to Old Trafford, home ground of Manchester United, and over 1,000 prizes of free airtime of N10, 000 each.

He further said that the promotions are coming after a massive nationwide network enhancement and modernization project that has seen major components of the network swapped with state-of-the-art equipment. As a result of the expansion and modernization, he remarked that the capacity of the Glo network and quality of service have significantly been boosted, thereby guaranteeing Globacom subscribers pleasurable experience on the network during and after the promotions.

CAF recently released the names of top 5 players, including two Nigerians shortlisted for the 2014 African player of the year award category.

It will be recalled that the telecoms company, within the week, launched Glo Overload and Glo Allawee promos to empower its customers to enjoy pleasurable experiences on the network.

While Glo Overload enables its subscribers across Nigeria to instantly get 200 percent bonus airtime, 200% bonus data and an opportunity to be 100 times richer every time they recharge with N200 or more, Glo Allawee gives new subscribers a whopping N18,000 naira worth of free airtime.

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Africa’ll Miss Super Eagles At 2015 AFCON- Hayatou http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/07/africall-miss-super-eagles-at-2015-afcon-hayatou/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/07/africall-miss-super-eagles-at-2015-afcon-hayatou/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 17:42:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222031 CAF President, Issa Hayatou

CAF President, Issa Hayatou

President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Alhaji (Dr) Issa Hayatou has affirmed that failure to qualify for the 30th Africa Cup of Nations has not diminished the importance of Nigeria to the entire structure of African football.

In a chat with President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick after the Draw Ceremony for the championship in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday, Hayatou admitted that the entire African football family will miss the Super Eagles at next year’s finals.

“The whole of Africa will miss Nigeria in Equatorial Guinea. But the absence will not in any way diminish your stature as a very big and influential nation in the African game.

“It would have been good to have the defending champions here. Nigeria brings so much value to the Africa Cup of Nations. However, we know that you will come back much stronger, as you did in winning the Cup in South Africa last year after missing out of the 2012 championship.”

A statement made available to P.M.NEWS Sports by Ademola Olajire, Assistant Director (Communications) of the NFF says the Africa’s football supremo also celebrated the vitality and enterprise that the youthful Amaju Pinnick will bring to Nigeria’s football administration, while formally welcoming him to the African football family.

“I am happy to see someone like you take charge of Nigeria football. I have always known you right from Nigeria ’99 World Youth Championship to the African Women Championship finals in Delta State in 2002 and 2006. I know your dynamism and capacity and I believe you will deliver for Nigeria football. There is so much promise for the future.”

Pinnick was the youngest head of National Association at the Draw Ceremony held in Malabo on Wednesday.

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All eyes on Malabo for AFCON 2015 draws http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/03/all-eyes-on-malabo-for-afcon-2015-draws/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/03/all-eyes-on-malabo-for-afcon-2015-draws/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:37:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=221529 AFCON 2015 draws: all eyes on Malabo. Photo: CAF

AFCON 2015 draws: all eyes on Malabo. Photo: CAF

MALABO (AFP) – All eyes in Africa will be focussed on Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday as the capital of Malabo plays host to the draw for the Africa Cup of Nations just weeks after Morocco were stripped of the right to host the event.

The traditional ceremony to determine the group matchups for the January 17 to February 8 continental showpiece, was initially set for Rabat before Morocco asked for the tournament to be postponed because of the devastating Ebola outbreak which has cost nearly 7,000 lives in west Africa.

Morocco were instead not only stripped of the right to host the tournament but disqualified from the event as Equatorial Guinea, the third highest producer of petrol in Sub-Saharan Africa, stepped in at the final hour to save the day.

Equatorial Guinea, who co-hosted the 2012 event with Gabon, face a race against time to be ready with less than two months until kick-off, and the draw is set to unveil further indications of progress on preparations.

One aspect that hasn’t changed is the format with four groups of four teams drawn in a round-robin first round line-up shared between the cities of Malabo, Bata, Mongomo and Ebebiyin.

– Ivory Coast, Algeria the teams to avoid –

Ironically, Equatorial Guinea will be in the top seeded hat as hosts, just six months after the former Spanish colony were disqualified from qualifying after fielding an ineligible player during a preliminary round fixture against Mauritania.

They will joined, as one of the top four seeds, by four-time champions Ghana, 2012 African winners Zambia and the Ivory Coast.

The ‘Elephants’ of the Ivory Coast, who lost finals in 2006 and 2012 and also reached the semi-finals in 2008, remain a formidable force as the seedings were determined by previous CAN results.

Their glory teams of the past have undergone several changes in recent years as they turn to life without retired legend Didier Drogba and now lean on the coaching leadership of dashing Frenchman Herve Renard who led Zambia to their first title three years ago.

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure and Roma striker Gervinho are key players for the Ivory Coast with a strong cast of talent in place to support the 1992 champions.

Holders Nigeria and seven-time champions Egypt failed to qualify leaving Algeria the danger team from hat number two alongside 2013 finalists Burkina Faso, Mali and Tunisia.

The ‘Desert Foxes’ of Algeria reached the second round of the World Cup for the first time this year, and are chasing a second African title after their only success on home soil in 1990.

The country are enjoying a purple patch with top club ES Setif recently winning the African Champions League and the CAN providing a serious opportunity to increase their flourishing international reputation.

On paper, hat number four appears stronger than the third set of teams with former giants Senegal, Cameroon and Guinea joining the Congo while Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo complete the 16-nation line-up in pot three.

Cameroon, now without former captain Samuel Eto’o, failed to qualify in 2012 and 2013 which dropped their ranking while Senegal have failed to get past the first round since 2006.

The ‘Indomitable Lions’ of Cameroon, won the last of their four African titles in 2002, when they defeated a Senegal team making their lone appearance in the championship match.

2015 CAN draw:

Pot 1: Equatorial Guinea (hosts), Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia

Pot 2: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Tunisia

Pot 3: Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon, DR Congo

Pot 4: Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, Congo

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Knee injury rules Asamoah out of AFCON http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/29/knee-injury-rules-asamoah-out-of-afcon/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/29/knee-injury-rules-asamoah-out-of-afcon/#comments Sat, 29 Nov 2014 14:25:27 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=221202 Kwadwo Asamoah

Kwadwo Asamoah

Juventus left-back Kwadwo Asamoah has been ruled out for three months with a knee injury meaning the Ghana international will also miss the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

“It will take about three months for Asamoah to recover,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri announced ahead of the Turin derby against Torino on Sunday.

“I regret that I cannot use him but there is still (Patrice) Evra, (Simone) Padoin and (Federico) Mattiello,” added the coach who has guided Juventus to a three-point lead at the top of Serie A.

The 25-year-old Asamoah has been a key player for Ghana but the four-time African champions will have do do without him for the tournament, which is set to take place in Equatorial Guinea from January 17 to February 8.

The Black Stars won the last of their continental titles in 1982 but came closest to adding a fifth in 2010 when they lost the final 1-0 against Egypt in Angola.

Asamoah will undergo surgery on a cartilage problem in his left knee in the upcoming days.

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Meet MARHABA: Official match ball for AFCON 2015 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/26/meet-marhaba-official-match-ball-for-afcon-2015/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/26/meet-marhaba-official-match-ball-for-afcon-2015/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:35:06 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220821 Marhaba

German sporting giant, Adidas and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday presented Marhaba, the Official Match Ball for the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, Equatorial Guinea 2015.

Marhaba, will be officially revealed on Wednesday, 3 December 2014 during the draw of the final tournament at the Sipopo Convention Centre in Malabo.

Taking inspiration from the intricate history of the tournament and its famously passionate fans, the ball was designed in collaboration with CAF. The distinctive gold and blue colouring on the ball represents the contrasting landscapes of the continent, from the Sahara desert to the bright azure sky of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean.

Like its counterparts in regional and international tournaments, Marhaba has gone through a thorough testing process to make sure that it is suited to the playing conditions during the tournament. The technology incorporated into the bladder and carcass of the ball is identical to the Brazuca (2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil) and the ever popular UEFA Champions League™ Official Match Ball.

The Official Match Ball for the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, Equatorial Guinea 2015, is available to buy at selected adidas retail outlets and associated stockists from Monday, 1 December 2014.

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‘Why Eagles Failed At Nations Cup Qualifiers’ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/21/why-eagles-failed-at-nations-cup-qualifiers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/21/why-eagles-failed-at-nations-cup-qualifiers/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:50:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220426 Taiwo Adelu & Friday Oriaifo

Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola has said that he saw Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations coming.

Nigeria had a woeful campaign in the just concluded 2015 AFCON qualifying series with the country taking third position in a group that saw South Africa and Congo picking tickets to play at the Nations Cup taking place in Equatorial Guinea next year.

Governor Fashola, a former football star, who still finds the time to play alongside other ex players at the All Stars International of Lagos said on Sports Tonight on Channels Television Thursday that the majority of the Eagles stars Coach Stephen Keshi used in the qualifying campaign were average players who could not boast of full 90 minutes of action in their respective clubs abroad.

•Gov. Fashola of Lagos State

•Gov. Fashola of Lagos State

The Governor noted that it  was time coach of the senior national team looked for experienced players who were match fit when making call ups for national assignments.

“Except for Ahmed Musa who we see every week making first eleven for his club in Russia and in the Champions League, hardly can we see any other player in the Super Eagles who is regular for 90 minutes for his club abroad. The majority of them only played for 15 minutes as substitutes and we expect them to come for a national duty to play a full match? I saw Musa as the only versatile player in our team, which is not supposed to be,” Fashola said.

The Governor said the solution to the problem in the Eagles is for the country to go back and develop the local league from which the pool of the Eagles will always come in the future.

He said grassroots sports development is a policy of the government in Lagos State to discover and groom talents from the grassroots.

Fashola also frowned at the involvement of governments in the administration of football clubs in the country, adding that government at all levels should be regulators not operators of clubs.

“That’s why I refused to put government money into the running of football clubs in Lagos because we cannot be the sole owner of clubs, which have be private sector driven teams,” he said.

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AFCON 2015: I’ve Failed Nigeria —Keshi http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/20/afcon-2015-ive-failed-nigeria-keshi/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/20/afcon-2015-ive-failed-nigeria-keshi/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:25:41 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220289 Chief Coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi said he would take responsibility for Nigeria’s failure to play in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea after his team were held to a 2-2 draw in a match they needed an outright victory at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo Wednesday night.

Keshi, who was reinstated to his post last month after he was first eased out by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said that a coach must take full responsibility for the result of his team, adding that he has to accept the fate that befell the Eagles under his watch.

According to him, the absence of the Eagles to defend their AFCON title in the African tournament next year means that he has failed the country.

He noted that if a team fail, sacking of the coach won’t solve the problem, rather the authority should look beyond the coach to find solutions to the problem.

•Embattled Coach Stephen Keshi

•Embattled Coach Stephen Keshi

Keshi, however, blamed his players for taking South Africa lightly in a match they needed to win to qualify for the tournament proper.

“May be we took South Africa for granted and we paid dearly for this,” said the coach.

Scorer of Nigeria’s two goals on Wednesday Sone Aluko said the whole team are devastated by the failure to defend the crown they won in South Africa last year.

“I am disappointed, everybody is disappointed,” said Hull City forward Aluko.

“We did not get the result we wanted, and we now have to pick ourselves up as a team.”

Former Nigeria skipper Segun Odegbami said he has yet to recover from the shock and that South Africa, who have had a poor head-to-head record against Nigeria, must now be taken a lot more seriously.

“I’m numbed with shock we are not going to the Nations Cup,” he said.

“We have always taken South Africa for granted, believing we can take them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but they have now shown us that this is an end of era.”

•Bafana Bafana of South Africa celebrate scoring against the Super Eagles yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

•Bafana Bafana of South Africa celebrate scoring against the Super Eagles yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, released a statement early today, saying it has accepted full responsibility for the failure of the Eagles to reach next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea.

President Amaju Pinnick stated that it was a time for sober reflection rather than trading of blames or looking for scapegoats.

“The NFF takes full responsibility for what has happened. It is a tragedy for us to come so near and yet fail to reach the finals.

“We made so much effort and sacrifice in Congo to achieve the victory we needed there on Saturday and really had no business bungling it here.

“ However, our commitment is to build a sustainable football culture in the country and nothing has changed. This is a disappointment but for us, we gave it our best shot and supported the team fully,” he said

Pinnick said Wednesday’s failure could turn out to be blessing in disguise, citing a biblical verse; Roman 8:28 to buttress his point.

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Keshi snubs media as Shakes praises Bafana Bafana http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/keshi-snubs-media-as-shakes-praises-bafana-bafana/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/keshi-snubs-media-as-shakes-praises-bafana-bafana/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:54:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220210 Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles’ Head Coach Stephen Keshi on Wednesday in Uyo shunned the mandatory post-match briefing after his team drew 2-2 with visiting South Africa at the Ibom International Stadium.

No reason was given for his attitude by Nigeria Football Association (NFA) officials, following the Final Qualifying Group A Matchday Six tie for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

However, his South African counterpart, Ephraim Mashaba, spoke to newsmen, saying his boys played very well.

“We only lost the game in the last five minutes played. We would have scored a third goal, but we were disorganised by the red card.

“We did well because we fielded young players five of whom play in the Under-17 and Under-20 national teams,’’ he said.

The coach said his team would be hoping to go beyond the first round at the finals in Equatorial Guinea next January.

“We hope to reach the finals in Equatorial Guinea. After all, we have played with strong teams — Sudan, Congo and Nigeria — in the qualifiers,’’ he said.

Mashaba however refused to talk about the Eagles, saying “I do not want to talk about Nigeria. Their coach can do that’’.

Also, Fanny Amun, a former national under-17 team coach, told NAN that what happened called for a stakeholders meeting.

He said the NFA should go back to the drawing board.

“I do not want to lay blames on anybody, but we should sit down and analyse what has gone wrong and what should be put right,’’ Amun said.

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Angry Nigerians Slam Super Eagles, Keshi http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/angry-nigerians-slam-super-eagles-keshi/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/angry-nigerians-slam-super-eagles-keshi/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:30:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220204 Taiwo Adelu

Super Eagles

Some Nigerians football who could not comprehend the fact that the Super Eagles won’t be at the Africa Cup of Nations in January to defend their title, have taken to the social media to express their anger.

Nigeria will not defend their crown in Equatorial Guinea next year after they drew 2-2 at home to South Africa on Wednesday at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo.

Stephen Keshi and his Eagles finished a disappointing third in Group A with eight points, while Congo advanced on 10 points after they won 1-0 in Sudan with a second-half goal by Francis Nganga.

The backlash on Twitter was endless. Fans blamed the players, Stephen Keshi and the Nigeria Football Federation. “Since the ’94 loss to Italy, just take everything as it comes from the Super Eagles. Team need serious revamping, new coach, hungrier players,” sports analyst @temiokomi tweeted.

@promiseetim25 wants the Eagles to be disbanded. “They really need to be thrashed and flushed out,” he tweeted. @chaplinez70 said that despite the presence of some former internationals in Uyo, the Eagles failed to live up to expectation. He tweeted “Kanu, Jay Jay, Celestine, Rufai, Ikpeba, all came to support the Eagles to no avail. SAD!!”

Nigerians did not spare Coach Keshi in their reactions to the failure of his team to qualify for the AFCON. @ELEGBETE1 said that Keshi should have stayed away from the team. “We would have qualified if only #Keshi stayed away from the team after his contract expired but he wanted to use expired Westerhof template.”

According to @arlomah, Keshi and the players’ failure to attend post match briefing in Uyo was understandable because they have nothing to tell Nigerians. “What have they got to say? Keshi, players snub media.” I was expecting Keshi to announce his retirement from football.”

“Honestly, I feel Keshi should discontinue interest in the Super Eagles job…#mythoughts,” @olywal tweeted.

A furious @guysly2much wants Keshi to thrown in the towel and leave the scene immediately.
“Why was Siasia sacked? He failed to qualify for AFCON 2012, so what will be the excuse for Keshi to stay? Or he won AFCON 2013 abi? Nonsense”.

@Jololade foresees Keshi’s resignation when he tweeted that “Keshi himself will resign before this week runs out. Let’s wait and see”

To @kayodetijani200, “Kenneth Omeruo just went from hero to zero with his appalling, terrible, mediocre performance tonight. “Feel too sorry for him, unfit, match rusty.”

@PoojaBlog wants the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to take a drastic action to save Nigerian football now as he tweeted, “Dear Amaju Pinnick, as a Nation we should FOCUS more on Development and NOT Competition. Sentiment apart – Super Eagles are so POOR.”

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African champions, Nigeria fails to reach AFCON 2015 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/african-champions-nigeria-fails-to-reach-afcon-2015/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/african-champions-nigeria-fails-to-reach-afcon-2015/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:13:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220191 Super Eagles

Defending African champions Nigeria have failed to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations following a dramatic 2-2 draw against South Africa on Wednesday in Uyo.

Having returned to contention for qualification with a hard-fought win at Congo last weekend, Nigeria came from two goals down to earn a last gasp 2-2 draw against Bafana Bafana.

But with Congo winning 1-0 in the other Group A qualifying match played on Wednesday, the Super Eagles have finished third with eight points while Congo, with 10 points, have qualified for next year’s competition in Equatotial Guinea.

Tokelo Rantie scored a goal either side of half-time to put South Africa 2-0 up but substitute Sone Aluko pulled one back for Nigeria in the 68th minute before equalising deep in stoppage time.

DR Congo meanwhile look set to pick the last qualifying spot to AFCON 2015 as best third placed nation in qualifying with nine points courtesy of a 3-1 win at home to Sierra Leone in a Group D encounter also on Wednesday.

The Congolese must however hope Egypt fail to win by more than a goal in a Group G qualifying match at Tunisia later on Wednesday, with the Egyptians currently in third place with six points, behind already qualified Senegal (11 points) and Tunisia (10 points).

Elsewhere, Mali claimed a 2-0 win at home to already qualified Algeria to finish second in Group B with nine points and reach AFCON 2015 ahead of Malawi that started the day in second place but was held to a goalless draw by Ethiopia in Addis-Ababa.

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Discovery Air, Globacom Charge Eagles To Beat Bafana Bafana http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/18/discovery-air-globacom-charge-eagles-to-beat-bafana-bafana/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/18/discovery-air-globacom-charge-eagles-to-beat-bafana-bafana/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:17:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220100 •Nigeria's Super Eagles in training

•Nigeria’s Super Eagles in training

As the Super Eagles of Nigeria play their last group match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series in Uyo Wednesday evening, management of two Nigerian owned companies, Discovery Air and Globacom, have told the team to beat their opponents, Bafana Bafana of South Africa.

Discovery Air airlifted the delegation of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to Pointe Noire when the Super Eagles played the Red Devils of Congo, a match that ended in 2-0 victory for the Nigerian team last weekend, while telecommunication outfit, Globacom has been the major partner of the NFF and official sponsor of Nigerian national teams since 2003.

Managing Director of Discovery Air, Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed, said in Lagos Tuesday that the company believes the Eagles have what it takes to pick the three points at stake at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo, adding that Discovery Air is proud to be part of Eagles’ success in Congo.

“It will be the delight of all Nigerians to see the Eagles crushing the South Africans, a victory that will pave way for Nigeria’s qualification for the Nations Cup, which holds in Equatorial Guinea in January.

“Discovery Air, like all Nigerians, pray for Eagles’ victory in the crucial match, and we are looking forward to celebrating with the team at the end of the day,” said Captain Mohammed.

“I want to say again that it is a great pleasure that we were given the opportunity to fly our ambassadors to Congo last weekend and it gladden my heart that the feedback we have been receiving testified to the excellent service we give our customers whenever they travel with us. The feedback we got was that members of the Super Eagles would like to enjoy the ‘Discovery’ experience again and our hope is that we will be given the chance to carry them to Equatorial Guinea for the Nations Cup,” he said.

Chairman of Discovery Air, Engr Babatunde Babalola said the company has been holding fruitful talks with the government of the 2015 AFCON host country for the airline to be one of the airlines that will be cleared to airlift people to Equatorial Guinea.

“We are spreading our routes gradually. Our in-flight experience is the best in the industry today in Nigeria. We have a high standard service which made the NFF to contact us after they have done their due diligent and I want to say that we won’t compromise on the good service. Discovery Air thanks the management of NFF for the rare opportunity given to us and we are looking forward to partnering with the NFF in the future especially as the Nations Cup is at hand.

“We are more than ready to be of service to the NFF in future engagement of our national teams. We are not new to Nigerian football. We had a supporting campaign for the Eagles during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil last June,”

Babalola, who is the proprietor of Deepwater Basketball Club of Lagos, a female basketball team in the league.

Meanwhile, Globacom, has advised the Super Eagles to go for outright victory in their match against Bafana Bafana
Globacom, in a press statement released in Lagos on Tuesday stated that the Eagles need maximum support from over 170 million Nigerians in their quest to win the match and pick the second Group A ticket to 2015 African Cup of Nations’ in Equatorial Guinea.

Globacom therefore tasked the Super Eagles not to spare Bafana Bafana on Wednesday, adding that only total victory will make Nigerians happy, especially after the team returned to reckoning in the group with their heart-warming victory over the Red Devils of Congo in Pointe Noire on Saturday.
Bafana Bafana lead Group D with 11 points going into this game, while Eagles are second with 7 points, although they tie with Red Devils of Congo who will play Sudan in Khartoum, same day but with superior goals advantage.

“Like we expressed belief in the Super Eagles to beat Congo last weekend, we are also backing the team to pick the three points against South Africa in this game. We equally believe that the Eagles have rediscovered their rhythm and are on course towards featuring in Equatorial Guinea where they will defend their title in January next year,” the statement added.

According to Globacom: “We cannot fail to appreciate the collective effort of the team in surmounting the challenge in Congo as we believe the players will not take their feet off the pedal at this point in time until the AFCON ticket is secured,” the statement further said.

Globacom also commended the NFF for its steadfastness in supporting the national team, as well as the supporters club and the fans for their prayers.

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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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