P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Nigeria Premier League http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 No suspension of Premier League matches, says NFF http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/29/no-suspension-of-premier-league-matches-says-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/29/no-suspension-of-premier-league-matches-says-nff/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:16:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209176 Taiwo Adelu

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has urged all stakeholders to discountenance a statement from the League Management Company, LMC, that matches of the Nigeria Premier League are being suspended.

“It has come to our notice that the League Management Company has been issuing notices to clubs in the Premier League that matches are being suspended from this weekend.

“This is totally untrue. If the LMC received a notice from the Nigeria Referees Association about purported withdrawal of referees, the LMC should have brought this to the notice of the NFF and not to take a decision to suspend the League on its own,” NFF President, Ambassador Chris Giwa, said in Abuja on Thursday.

Giwa expressed his unhappiness with the Nigeria Referees Association for the threat to withdraw referees from the Premier League, and said the NFF would not take the matter lightly.

File Photo: Nigerian referees set to officiate a league match

File Photo: Nigerian referees set to officiate a league match

“As the owners of the League, the Nigeria Football Federation is hereby making it clear that Premier League matches are not being suspended. Matches scheduled for this weekend will definitely take place as scheduled,” Giwa affirmed.

Ademola Olajire, Assistant Director (Communications) of the NFF, said in a statement Thursday that the football body called on all referees appointed for this weekend’s matches to officiate their matches.

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Nigeria Premier League suspended over referees strike http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/nigeria-premier-league-suspended-over-referees-strike/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/nigeria-premier-league-suspended-over-referees-strike/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:21:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209106 Nigeria’s top flight football league was suspended on Wednesday after referees were directed not to take charges of matches in protest at a governance crisis in the domestic game.

Nigeria Premier League organisers the League Management Committee said it was “impossible for us to organise games” as a result of the directive from the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA).

The NRA earlier ordered that all referees slated to officiate in the Premier League should withdraw from matches “until sanity is restored” in the national game.

The directive, contained in a circular signed by NRA secretary-general Moroof Oyekunle Oluwa, also applied to the second-tier National League, Nigeria Federation Cup and the women’s leagues.

File Photo: Nigerian referees set to officiate a league match

File Photo: Nigerian referees set to officiate a league match

The Premier League and National League are both in their 25th week of action.

Defending champions Kano Pillars currently top the table with 43 points.

League Management Committee official Salihu Abubakar said clubs and their sponsorship partners have been informed and teams directed not to proceed to venues of their scheduled games until further notice.

“We are already running a tight fixture schedule and are hoping that this crisis is resolved soon so the season can be concluded in time for our clubs to prepare for continental registration and participation”, the statement concluded.

Nigeria’s football association the NFF has been in crisis since July, when world governing body FIFA suspended the country from all international competitions over what it said was “government interference” in the running of the game.

The ban was later lifted.

NFF president, Aminu Maigari, was dismissed on charges of embezzlement, then reinstated because of procedural irregularities before being held by the country’s secret police for an unspecified reason.

This week, a new president was appointed in his place in defiance of a FIFA order only to set a date for fresh elections of the association’s high command, raising the possibility of fresh sanctions.

To top it all, the NFF headquarters in Abuja were gutted by fire and national team coach Stephen Keshi has been locked in a wrangle over a new contract, just weeks before the start of qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria are defending champions.

Already, the country’s Coaches Association has distanced itself from the NFF while football writers have called on Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene.

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Abuja to host Federation Cup semi finals http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/abuja-to-host-federation-cup-semi-finals/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/abuja-to-host-federation-cup-semi-finals/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:10:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204397 Fed Cup

The semi final matches of this year’s Men and Women Federation Cup competitions will take place at the FIFA Goal Project, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, said on Friday.

The two matches in the men’s event, featuring Cup holders Enyimba FC against Giwa FC and Dolphins FC against Prime FC, will be played on Thursday, 31 July, before Rivers Angels tackle Delta Queens and Nasarawa Amazons go up against Sunshine Queens in the women’s event, at the same venue the following day.

Enyimba FC bundled out Sharks FC of Port Harcourt 2-0 at the quarter final stage, also at the FIFA Goal Project, Abuja on Wednesday as Lobi lost 2-4 to Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt in Enugu.

Prime FC of Oshogbo, the only non-elite division club in the last four, eliminated Gateway FC of Abeokuta on penalties and will need everything they can muster against four–time champions Dolphins FC.

Giwa FC also prevailed over Crown FC following penalty shoot–out and must work harder against the Cup holders on Thursday.

In the women’s event, Rivers Angels, who ejected Bayelsa Queens in the last eight, will trade tackles with Delta Queens in a must –see tie at the FIFA Goal Project on Friday, after Sunshine Queens would have faced Nasarawa Amazons in the first semi final.

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Golden Eaglets Leave For WAFU Cup http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/golden-eaglets-leave-for-wafu-cup/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/golden-eaglets-leave-for-wafu-cup/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:17:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191559 Sunday Akintoye

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets have concluded preparations for the West African Football Union, WAFU B U-17 tournament, which begins in Lome, Togo this weekend with 9-0 hammering of Pepsi Academy in Lagos yesterday.

The team who have won all their friendly matches on their way to the West African championship pummeled the Kashimawo Laloko headed Pepsi Academy in the match played at the Agege Stadium.

The Emmanuel Amuneke boys, who were a delight to watch dominated the match against Pepsi Academy from the blast of the whistle and took the lead via a header in the 10th minute of play by Orji Okonknwo.

The Eaglets piled more pressure on their opponents as Kelechi Nwakili scored the second goal.

Pepsi Academy failed to convert their chances before Kehinde Ayinde made it three for the Eaglets.

The Eaglets confirmed their supremacy after Okonkwo scored two goals and Ayinde made it six to end the first half.

The second half was a one-sided affair as the Eaglets controlled the game to the admiration of the teeming fans. Sulaiman, Abdulahi, Okonkwo and Kingsley Michael each scored a goal to make it nine goals in the encounter.

Amuneke said his team are in high spirits, adding that he was happy with the performance of the lads because they gave him something to rely on.

“We played better but we need to work on some areas in the team. I am happy that the players are listening to instructions but I believe that the team will get better at the WAFU U-17 Cup,” he said.

The Eaglets are expected to leave Lagos today for Lome, Togo.

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WAFU Cup: Eaglets Hit Lagos, To Face Pepsi Academy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/wafu-cup-eaglets-hit-lagos-to-face-pepsi-academy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/wafu-cup-eaglets-hit-lagos-to-face-pepsi-academy/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:42:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191257 Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets will continue their preparation for the U-17 WAFU Cup which will hold in Lome, Togo as they arrive the city of Lagos today.

The team are scheduled to take on Pepsi Football Academy in a friendly match at the Agege Stadium tomorrow in their last build up match ahead of the WAFU B Under 17 Tournament in Lome between April 19 and 27.

The Eaglets have been outstanding in their preparation for the competition as they have been winning all friendly matches played so far. Yesterday in Ilorin, Eaglets defeated Kwara Football Academy, KFA, 2-0 at the Kwara Stadium Complex.

Coach of the team, Emmanuel Amuneke believes there are a lot of positives to take from the victory over the KFA, saying: “We are happy with the results despite the fact that this team in not yet the final article. Our boys are beginning to assume responsibility and if we can improve our marking ability, we would be better.”

KFA’s coach, Sam Elijah, has also enjoined the Eaglets to be focused on the assignment at hand, even as he rallied Nigerians behind them.

“The match was good and I’m impressed with the Eaglets because they are just being put together,” said Elijah, a silver medal winner at the 1989 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. “I want to commend the coaches and we need to support them since they are preparing for some important matches and I wish them the best.”

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Osaze: No Player Bigger Than Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/04/osaze-no-player-bigger-than-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/04/osaze-no-player-bigger-than-nigeria/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 11:25:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=190140 Born again Osaze Odemwingie has come out to tell teammates in the Super Eagles that there is no player that is bigger than Nigeria.

Osaze told BBC Sports in an interview that he has come to realise that the decision taken so far by Coach Stephen Keshi in the Eagles was good for the team, adding that the coach has been consistent in saying that his decisions are taken for the good of the team and not one individual.

“For me to hear that was very important on a human level. It’s not about people; it’s always about the country. We’re all defending the colours of our nation,” he said.

“Coach Keshi can do without me at the World Cup and my life will go on as well, but the most important thing is mutual respect.

“Now I know how he does things and how he wants things done and vice versa.”

Looking ahead to this summer’s tournament in Brazil, where Nigeria will face Argentina. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran in Group F, Osaze has declared himself available for selection and Keshi has not ruled out the possibility of picking him.

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2014 Federation Cup Kicks Off April 5 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/26/2014-federation-cup-kicks-off-april-5/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/26/2014-federation-cup-kicks-off-april-5/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 15:18:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=189243 This year’s Federation Cup competition will kick off with the state preliminaries on Saturday, 5 April, according to a release from Nigeria Football Federation, NFF’s Head of Federation Cup, Miss Ruth David.

The state finals are scheduled for Sunday, 4 May across the country, while the play-off matches take place on 14 and 15 May.

The Draw for the national finals will hold in Abuja on 29 May.

Miss David also warned that deadline for submission of 2014 Federation Cup licences remains Monday, 31 March.

“Late submission of licenses is allowed from 1 April – 11 April and will attract a fine of N300,000 by the defaulting club,” she said.

According to the timetable for this year’s competition, the round of 64 matches will hold across 32 centres between 2 and 3 July, with the round of 32 matches taking place a week later and the round of 16 games to be played between 16 and 17 July.

The quarter finals are slated for 23 July, with the semi finals to follow on 30 July, while the Grand Finale of this year’s Federation Cup competition has been scheduled for Sunday, 3 August.

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Football: El-Kanemi, Abia Warriors get new date http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/18/football-el-kanemi-abia-warriors-get-new-date/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/18/football-el-kanemi-abia-warriors-get-new-date/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 23:13:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=188474 The League Management Company (LMC) on Monday in Abuja announced Wednesday, March 26 as new date for the postponed Matchday 2 fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and Abia Warriors.

Salihu Abubakar, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement that the match would also be played at the Kano Pillars Stadium in Kano.

He said Kano would now host the home fixtures of the Maiduguri-based side until further notice.

The LMC had late last week suspended all Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches in Maiduguri over security concerns.

“In the light of developments in Maiduguri and adjoining cities, we had to suspend all fixtures in the Maiduguri town and we have moved El-Kanemi Warriors FC home fixtures for now to Kano,’’ Abubakar said in the statement.

He said the match would kick off at 4.15 p.m. local time.

Meanwhile, the LMC has also announced that in Matchday 3 fixtures, Heartland FC will host Sharks FC of Port Harcourt in Owerri on March 21 in a Friday Star Match.

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Boko Haram: Football matches suspended in Maiduguri http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/14/boko-haram-football-matches-suspended-in-maiduguri/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/14/boko-haram-football-matches-suspended-in-maiduguri/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 21:41:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=188230 Nigerian football authorities on Friday suspended all Premier League matches at El Kanemi Warriors’ home ground because of attacks by Boko Haram militants.

El Kanemi play in Maiduguri, a stronghold of the Islamist group who were accused of staging new attacks in the city on Friday.

El Kanemi Warriors’ home game against Abia Warriors on Saturday was postponed. Abia had expressed fears about playing in Maiduguri and asked for the game to be moved.

Maiduguri is in Borno state which has been under a state of emergency since May because of Boko Haram attacks which have left thousands dead in recent years.

“We are constrained to put on hold all Premier League games in Maiduguri until further notice due to latest security intelligence from the area and the suspended games include this weekend’s match between El Kanemi Warriors and Abia Warriors,” said a Nigerian league statement.

El Kanemi chairman Mohammed Zana said he was disappointed by the decision but the team will now play their home games in Kano.

“We have some support in Kano and if we can no longer play in Maidiguri, we will play there,” Zana said.

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GPL: Sunshine host Enyimba in rescheduled game http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/13/gpl-sunshine-host-enyimba-in-reschedule-game/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/13/gpl-sunshine-host-enyimba-in-reschedule-game/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:07:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=188069 Two-time African champions, Enyimba, will start off their season in the Glo Premier League at Sunshine Stars after an early exit in the hands of Malian club, AS Real de Bamako in the CAF Champions League.

Sunshine Stars have witnessed a handful of departures in their playing personnel in the off-season.

The Akure Gunners did not have the best of pre-season. Just after losing to a team in Ijebu-Ode, they were involved in a road accident with a handful of their players sustaining injuries.

On the other hand, Enyimba cruised through the Glo Premier League Pre-season Tournament, winning all of their three matches against Bayelsa United, Warri Wolves and Kano Pillars in Abuja in January.

Sunshine Stars have never won Nigeria’s top flight and were just two points short of Dolphins who won the championship in the 2010/11 season. But the Akure Gunners have never lost to Enyimba at home in the Premier League era.

Last season, Sunshine Stars finished a distant 12th position and 10 points behind Enyimba, who missed out on a record seventh title by raking up 62 points to finish second and a point behind defending champions, Kano Pillars.

But it was Sunshine Stars, who ended Enyimba’s ambition of a record seventh league title last season.

Goals from Philip Auta and Nigerian international defender, Kunle Odunlami ensured the Stars put a dent on Enyimba’s dream.

Sunshine Stars appear to always have the edge over Enyimba when playing hosts. A year before the Premier League era started in 2003, Sunshine Stars and Enyimba played out a goalless draw in Akure in January 2002.

But the People’s Elephant won the return fixture in June of same year by a goal. Enyimba also went ahead to win the league that year by four points ahead of second-placed Enugu Rangers while Sunshine Stars finished in seventh position.

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Abia Warriors opt out of Maiduguri, but appeal rejected http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/11/abia-warriors-opt-out-of-maiduguri-but-appeal-rejected/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/03/11/abia-warriors-opt-out-of-maiduguri-but-appeal-rejected/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 14:42:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=187897 Nigerian football club Abia Warriors have asked for their weekend match against El Kanemi Warriors be moved from the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the stronghold of Islamist group Boko Haram.

The club cited security concerns as a justification for the proposed venue change following waves of attacks by the insurgents both in Maiduguri and in surrounding areas, but league officials have rejected the appeal.

In a letter to the League Management Company (LMC), which runs Nigeria’s domestic league, Abia club secretary Oliver Ndife said “families and friends” of players have appealed for the match to be played elsewhere.

They “are refusing to let their loved ones travel for the match for fear of being attacked en route to the venue,” Ndife said.

“Even though it could be argued that security would be provided in Maiduguri town, our club’s fear is what happens in transit say between (the capital) Abuja and Maiduguri,” he said.

The total distance to Maiduguri from the club’s southeastern base is more than 1300 kilometres.

Nigerian domestic league clubs typically drive to matches due to budget constraints. All commercial flights into Maiduguri were stopped following an attack by Boko Haram on the city’s airport last year.

Northeast Nigeria, including Borno state where Maiduguri is the capital, has been under a state of emergency since May amid the Boko Haram conflict.

The violence has intensified in recent weeks, with more than 500 people killed in the northeast already this year.

LMC boss Salisu Abubakar has insisted that the match will not be moved from the Maiduguri Township Stadium.

“Maiduguri will host the match between El Kanemi and Abia Warriors on Saturday,” he said.

“We have inspected the suitability of the ground and we have been assured of adequate security for the visiting team,” he added, without addressing the Abia club’s concerns over travel safety.

El Kanemi has not yet hosted a match at home this season, so the safety of road travel in and out of the city for a football match have not yet been tested.

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Enyimba Excited Over Defeat Of Togo Club http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/10/enyimba-excited-over-defeat-of-togo-club/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/10/enyimba-excited-over-defeat-of-togo-club/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:09:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=185854 Enyimba have said they are delighted to overcome a scare from Togo’s Anges de Notse and win 3-1 in a CAF Champions League tie at the weekend.

The Nigeria flag bearers came from a goal down to beat the Togo champions in a CAF Champions League preliminary round clash on Sunday.

Anges de Notse, who paraded Nigerian-born striker Vincent Orode, stunned their hosts after 37 minutes courtesy of their skipper Camara Cheik.

Sibi Gwar drew Enyimba level on 83 minutes, before Kingsley Sokari gave ‘The People’s Elephant’ the lead two minutes later.

Gwar then completed his brace in the 90th minute.

“I am happy to have scored the two goals that gave my team victory,” Gwar told MTNFootball.com

“Before the game, I predicted 3-1, but when they took the lead, and it lasted till 80 minutes, I started doubting. I thank God we finally won. I will keep doing my best for the team.”

Rasheed Olabiyi said Enyimba will do the double over their opponents in return leg match.

“They made it difficult for us but we will also beat them in Togo. They made the most of the only chance they got in Aba,” said Olabiyi,

Enyimba goalkeeper Femi Thomas told MTNFootball.com his team threw away several chances.

“We played like a team but we missed a lot of chances which we ought to have buried,” Thomas said.

“I was just praying to God to give us victory after they took the lead, which was as a result of a misunderstanding between me and Semiu Liadi.”

The second leg match is slated for Lome next weekend.

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Football: Uzoenyi to rejoin Rangers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/08/football-uzoenyi-to-rejoin-rangers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/08/football-uzoenyi-to-rejoin-rangers/#comments Sat, 08 Feb 2014 19:33:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=185740 Nigeria’s winger, Ejike Uzoenyi is expected to rejoin teammates at Rangers International FC of Enugu,in the next 24 hours, the club’s management said today.

The General Manager Paul Ozor, said the club was not aware of any contract talks between the winger and any South African club or clubs.

Uzoenyi, who emerged as the most valuable player at the 2014 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in South Africa, had a failed contract talks with Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.

He also had talks with Super Sports United but all appeared to be stalled as Rangers management refused to let him go as a ”free agent.’’

Ozor, however, told NAN that the former Rennes of France player was coming back latest by Sunday to sign a fresh deal with Flying Antelopes, as Rangers was popularly called.

“Ejike will join Rangers camp latest on Saturday or Sunday and on Monday we will discuss with him.

“We don’t know anything about any contract talks with any club or clubs in South Africa.

“All we know is that he is coming back to join his colleagues in training ahead of the commencement of the new league season later this month; he should be talking to us face-to-face,” Ozor said.

On the non-clearance of goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim for the new season, Ozor said Agbim was now a free agent, after the expiration of his loan deal with Rangers from Warri Wolves.

“If you recall, Warri Wolves said they are giving us Agbim on loan. We had earlier told them that we preferred an outright contract but they (Warri Wolves) refused.

“We wrote a cheque of N12 million for them (Warri Wolves) to release Agbim and Sunday Mbah but they refused, insisting that we make it N20 million for Agbim to be ours.

“We refused to take Agbim on loan because we knew his contract with Wolves will end that season.

“However, Agbim’s contract with us is over; he is now a free agent because he was never a full time goalkeeper of Rangers.

“We wanted to make him a full time player but Warri Wolves refused the offer we made to them, insisting he must come to us on loan,” Ozor added.

Agbim, now a free agent, is no longer with Warri Wolves, neither is he with Rangers, based on the rules guiding the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

Rangers will play Dolphins of Port Harcourt on Sunday at Gabros Stadium, Nnewi, Anambra, as part of preparations for the commencement of the 2013/2014 NPFL season

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Lagos Junior League: Ojo Babes Battle Apapa Stars http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/07/lagos-junior-league-ojo-babes-battle-apapa-stars/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/07/lagos-junior-league-ojo-babes-battle-apapa-stars/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 13:29:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=185691 Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos will be agog as Ojo Y.M.D. Babes take on giant killers, Apapa Golden Stars, as both teams battle for supremacy.

With the Premier League currently on break, all focus will move to League 1 albeit the rescheduled match between Ojo Babes and Apapa Stars.

Junior League logoOjo Y.M.D. Babes have a shot at getting to the top of the Premier League table if they can beat an Apapa side which will be consolidating on their 5-0 thrashing of Surulere Sports City FC last weekend. Ojo Babes have won all their matches and have the momentum and squad to threaten Apapa’s team. But they have to beware of the threat of Apapa’s in-form striker Murtala Ibrahim who has scored five goals in his last three games and Adewale Sapara who is the side’s leading goal scorer.

Ibeju Lekki Football Club won’t have mercy on Bariga Academical Bombers when they trade tackles on Sunday at the Onikan Stadium in one of League 1 ties.

Though they currently top League 1 table, Ibeju Lekki will be out to consolidate on their leadership position in the match against Bariga who are on the 8th position on the log.

In other matches in League 1 this weekend, Ayobo Ipaja will take on Ikosi Isheri, while Eti Osa host Epe Alaro. Yaba will be looking to move closer into the promotion zone when they face Agbado Oke Odo.

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Can CHAN Eagles Make World Cup? http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/05/can-chan-eagles-make-world-cup/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/02/05/can-chan-eagles-make-world-cup/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 14:55:17 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=184660 Sunday Akintoye

After their impressive performance at the just concluded African Nations Championship, CHAN, staged in South Africa, many soccer fans believed that some home-based Eagles deserve to make Stephen Keshi’s World Cup squad for Brazil 2014.

•Ejike Uzoenyi

•Ejike Uzoenyi

Nigeria, who came to CHAN for the first time gave good accounts of themselves after defeating Mozambique, hosts, South Africa, Morocco and Zimbabwe to win bronze medal.

Nigerians fans were not surprised when CAF named three players of the team among CHAN 2014 Best XI of the tournament. The players are midfielder Ejike Uzoenyi of Rangers FC, attacker Rabiu Ali of Kano Pillars and defender Kunle Odunlami of Sunshine FC.

Nigeria winger, Uzoenyi, was also named the most valuable player of the tournament by CAF.

The Enugu Rangers star won three consecutive man-of-the match awards and also supplied four assists in the Super Eagles’ 13 goals at the championship.

Ali, who helped Kano Pillars won the Nigeria Premier League last season gave his best for the team. His versatility was well noticed in South Africa and he may be the one of the players Keshi will invite to the national team ahead of World Cup.

Former Nigerian international, Dahiru Sadi, has expressed satisfaction with the performance of Sunshine Stars defender, Kunle Odunlami.

Odunlami played all the matches and crowned his performance as one of the three Nigerians named in the CAF XI of the tournament.

“Odunlami proved that his selection by Coach Stephen Keshi was no mistake. I’m proud of his performance because he’s a national team material,” Sadi told supersport.com.

•Kunle Odunlami

•Kunle Odunlami

Sadi, who played professional football for Kon Eeklo in Belgium, stated that Odunlami’s style reminds him of his former teammate in the Super Eagles, Chidi Nwanu.

“Odunlami has the qualities of Nwanu. He’s calculative and even won 90% of aerial balls.

“It’s difficult to see defenders with speed like him. With proper guidance, he will develop into a better defender,” Sadi said to supersport.com.

Odunlami, who joined Sunshine from lower division side, First Bank, last season was a Trojan in the heart of Nigeria’s defence.

A close source to NFF said he will not be surprised if Keshi invite one or two players to camp for World Cup preparation in March. He said some home based players really gave their best and deserve a place in the national team.

“I believe that one or two players can be invited to camp and possibly make it to World Cup. What we saw in South Africa show that there is future for home based players if we properly give them chance. The era of inviting foreign based players to national team is over. I know that Keshi will invite players to camp based on their performance in various clubs,” the source said.

Uzoenyi after receiving most valuable player award stated that the home-based Eagles are equal, if not superior to the foreign-based team, and deserve the shirts to the World Cup.

To Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, FIFA/CAF Instructor, the final decision for any of the players of the CHAN Eagles to make the World Cup squad should be left with keshi who is in charge of the national team without any external influence.

“It is left for the coach whop is in charge to decide who will be invited to the national team for World Cup preparation and those who will make Brazil at the end of the day.

“Keshi is the only person that can decide the fate of the players that will go to the World Cup. I understand that Nigerians are passionate about their Eagles but they cannot decide for Keshi,” said Onigbinde who took Nigeria to the Japan/Korea World Cup in 2002.

Some football fans who spoke to P.M.NEWS Sports believed that two or three home based players can make the World Cup team.

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Mutiu Adepoju New Boss Of Kwara Football Academy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/15/mutiu-adepoju-new-boss-of-kwara-football-academy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/15/mutiu-adepoju-new-boss-of-kwara-football-academy/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:44:22 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=182418 Mutiu Adepoju

Mutiu Adepoju

The Board of the Kwara Football Academy, Ilorin, has approved the appointment of ex-international, Mutiu Adepoju, as the new Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the academy.

A statement signed on behalf of the academy by the Head of Corporate Affairs, Harmony Holdings Ltd., Mr Tunde Abodunde, said the appointment takes effect from Jan. 2.

The statement said that Adepoju was expected to use his multiple competencies as a football administrator to enhance the profile of the Academy.

It added that Adepoju was considered for the position based on his skills garnered in football management.

“We believe he will use his experience and proven ability to strengthen the development and marketing of youthful football talents at the academy,’’ the statement said.

Adepoju, before his retirement from active football, had most of his career in the Spanish Laliga and represented Nigeria in three World Cup tournaments.

The ex-Super Eagles player, a holder of the UEFA Professional Coaching License, was once the manager of the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan.

He had after retirement, involved himself in football administration

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Nigeria’s premier league to begin February http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/14/nigerias-premier-league-to-begin-february/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/14/nigerias-premier-league-to-begin-february/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 15:53:15 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=182368 The new Nigerian football season will finally kick off next month, the country’s league body said late Monday, bringing to an end months of delay and wrangling over the start date.

“We will commence the new season by the weekend of February 23-25,” announced league chairman Nduka Irabor after a meeting with the 20 clubs in Abuja.

Last year’s runners-up Enyimba will host third-placed Bayelsa United in the opening match.

File photo: Football action in Nigerian league

File photo: Football action in Nigerian league

The new season has been delayed by a number of issues, including a stand-off between Irabor’s League Management Company (LMC) and club managers over the company’s running of the competition.

Irabor also disclosed that the traditional pre-season tournament, the Super Four, will be played between January 24 and January 28.

“We hope this tournament will help prepare our teams who will feature in international competitions this year,” he said.

Champions Kano Pillars and Enyimba will represent Nigeria in Africa’s top tier club competition, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.

Bayelsa United will feature in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup.

Fourth-placed El Kanemi will complete the line-up for the Super Four

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Emenike, Eagles’ New Yekini —Ladipo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/08/emenike-eagles-new-yekini-ladipo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/08/emenike-eagles-new-yekini-ladipo/#comments Wed, 08 Jan 2014 13:44:11 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=181813 Emmanuel Emenike, Nigerian international footballer who plays as a striker for Fenerbahçe in the Turkish Super Lig, has been described as a prolific striker who will take the place of the next Rashidi Yekini who was the national record goalscorer and third all-time highest goal scorer in the history of African Cup of Nations.

Emmanuel Emenike

Emmanuel Emenike

The late Yekini, who died on 4 May, 2012 at the age of only 48, scored 37 goals for Nigeria in 58 appearances. According to Wikipedia, Rashidi was part of the Nigeria’s Super Eagles that participated in the 1994 (where he netted the country’s first-ever goal in a World Cup, in a 3–0 win against Bulgaria, his celebration after netting the goal became one of the iconic images of the tournament and the 1998 FIFA World Cups.

This goalscoring prowess is what the President General Worldwide of Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo saw in Emenike, which made him to make a conlusion that the former player of  Karabükspor of Turkey is Yekini in the making for Nigeria.

Dr. Ladipo said that his position as the boss of the supporters’ club has given him the opportunity to travel with the senior national teams around the world and lately what he saw in Emenike has shown the hidden talent that he can be a striker who will always be the thorn in the flesh of any goalkeeper on the field of play.

“With the way Emenike is going, he will surely be the Rashidi Yekini in the Super Eagles. Yekini was a player whose ability to score goal in a thundrous manner knew no bound and I could remember the way Emenike scored a 30-yard free kick to give Nigeria a 2–1 win over Côte d’Ivoire in the African Cup of Nations,” said Dr. Ladipo at the unveiling ceremony of Emenike as a Brand Ambassador of Globacom in Lagos last Friday.

“Just like Yekini, whose goalscoring exploits had always been the saving grace for the Eagles during his playing days, so also is what Emenike is doing for us in the present Eagles. I can still recalled what happened when we played Ethiopia in the first leg of the 2014 World Cup playoffs in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian fans had boasted that they would beat us silly at their backyard. I was so glad that Emenike did us proud by scoring twice to give us a 2–1 lead going into the second-leg which we won in Calabar, Cross River State.

“As someone who had travelled far with the Eagles, I want to say with boldness that Emenike is our new Rashidi Yekini,” he said.

Rashidi Yekini

Rashidi Yekini

Dr. Ladipo said that his position as the boss of the supporters’ club has given him the opportunity to travel with the senior national teams around the world and lately what he saw in Emenike has shown the hidden talent that he can be a striker who will always be the thorn in the flesh of any goalkeeper on the field of play.

“With the way Emenike is going, he will surely be the Rashidi Yekini in the Super Eagles. Yekini was a player whose ability to score goal in a thundrous manner knew no bound and I could remember the way Emenike scored a 30-yard free kick to give Nigeria a 2–1 win over Côte d’Ivoire in the African Cup of Nations,” said Dr. Ladipo at the unveiling ceremony of Emenike as a Brand Ambassador of Globacom in Lagos last Friday.

“Just like Yekini, whose goalscoring exploits had always been the saving grace for the Eagles during his playing days, so also is what Emenike is doing for us in the present Eagles. I can still recalled what happened when we played Ethiopia in the first leg of the 2014 World Cup playoffs in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian fans had boasted that they would beat us silly at their backyard. I was so glad that Emenike did us proud by scoring twice to give us a 2–1 lead going into the second-leg which we won in Calabar, Cross River State.

“As someone who had travelled far with the Eagles, I want to say with boldness that Emenike is our new Rashidi Yekini,” he said.

Dr. Ladipo predicted that Emenike, who was sold to Spartak Moscow on 28 July, 2011 for €10 million due to the match fixing scandal involving Fenerbahce, will carry his goalscoring prowess to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this June, adding that Nigerians should be expecting surprise goals from the 27-year old player.

“This player will socre more goals for us in the World Cup even more than Yekini because I see the Eagles playing as far as the semi final of the World Cup by the grace of God,” he said.

He, however, thanked Globacom for making Emenike one of its Brand Ambassador. “I thank the management of Glo for the honour bestow on Emenike as one of its Ambassador. This young man deserves this honour and for us in the supporters club, we say thank you Globacom,” he said.

—Taiwo Adelu

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Beach Eagles For Four Nations Tourney http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/12/20/beach-eagles-for-four-nations-tourney/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/12/20/beach-eagles-for-four-nations-tourney/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 13:14:34 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=180387 Audu Ejo, coach of Nigeria’s Supersand Eagles – the national beach soccer team – has revealed that Nigeria will participate in international four-nation beach soccer tournament next year.

According to Ejo, the competition will involve national teams of Iran, Germany and Lebanon in Lebanon, April, 2014. The coach said that the Nigerian team would open camp for the invitational tournament as early as January, 2014, in Abuja.

• Action from the Copa Lagos Beach soccer tourney.  Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

• Action from the Copa Lagos Beach soccer tourney. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi

Despite not been paid their bonuses at the last Copa Lagos Beach Soccer Championship by Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Coach Ejo still has faith in the ability of the football body to offset the money owed his team.

He said the NFF officials had told him that the team’s allowances would be paid this week despite the fact that the body is cash trapped.

The coach commended the NFF for establishing a beach soccer league in Abuja, and praised the Lagos FA for coming up with a beach league in the state, adding that the leagues would give room to build a solid team through the invitation of players to national team.  He noted that Nigeria should put in motion the process to replace ageing beach soccer players who have been with him since inception of the Supersand Eagles.

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CHAN 2014: Home Eagles Begin Training Today http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/12/10/chan-2014-home-eagles-begin-training-today/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/12/10/chan-2014-home-eagles-begin-training-today/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:44:50 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=179601 Nigeria’s home-based players are expected to commence training today in Abuja ahead of the 2014 Africa Nations Championship CHAN competition billed for South Africa.

Media Officer of the team, Benjamin Alaiya, said that the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, is leaving nothing to chance to ensure that the team are adequately prepared for the championship.

Alaiya further hinted that the technical crew of the Eagles has been mandated to do all within their means to ensure that they have a formidable team for the competition which Nigeria are playing for the first time. Already the invited players are in their Abuja camp getting set for the training sessions with Coach Stephen Keshi.

The Super Eagles are housed in Group A alongside hosts South Africa, Mali and Mozambique.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland); Isah Danladi (Sharks); Dele Alampasu (Abuja Football College)

Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Ebenezer Odunlami (Sunshine Stars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Bright Esieme (Enyimba FC); Yinka Adedeji (Sharks); Reuben Ogbonnaya (El-Kanemi Warriors); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Chibuzor Madu (Enugu Rangers)

Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars); Ogonna Uzochukwu (Enugu Rangers); Achiv Douglas (Lobi Stars); Kelechi Iheanacho (Taiye Academy, Owerri); Mohammed Ajia (Bayelsa United); Christian Pyagbara (Sharks FC)

Forwards: Gambo Muhammad (Kano Pillars); Ifeanyi Ede (Enyimba FC); Nanen Imenger (Lobi Stars); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers); Ezekiel Mbah (Akwa United); Christian Obiozor (Enugu Rangers); Abubakar Aliyu (Nasarawa United); Gbolahan Salami (3SC); Taiwo Awoniyi (Imperial Academy, Ilorin)

Stand-by: Happy Okuoka (Heartland); Bello Ikeleji (Bendel Insurance); Obinna Nwachukwu (Heartland); Izuegbu Abonima (Enugu Rangers); Paul Ikenna (Sunshine Stars); John Austin Igenepo

—Adebobola Alawode

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