P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Nigerian Football Teams http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 13 Sep 2014 20:55:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 AFCON 2015: Nigeria plays goalless with South Africa http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/11/afcon-2015-nigeria-plays-goalless-with-south-africa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/11/afcon-2015-nigeria-plays-goalless-with-south-africa/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 03:50:19 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211110 Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Wednesday played a goalless draw with South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2015 qualifying match played in Cape Town.

The match which was electrifying saw the young Bafana Bafana hold their own against the AFCON 2013 defending champions.

Sibusiso Vilakazi showed some class with his superlative turns and touches which kept the Super Eagles defence constantly busy.

The best chance came for the Bafana Bafana in the first half when Oupa Manyisa failed to connect a superb cross from Mandla Masango, whose shot was blocked by the Eagles defence.

The Super Eagles looked dangerous on the counter-attack and threatened to open scoring in the 33rd minute when Ahmed Musa had a chance to score for Nigeria but was neatly tackled by Anele Ngcongca.

The tackle, however, denied him the opportunity to put Nigeria ahead.

South Africa's defender Anele Ngcongca (L) vies for the ball with Nigeria's defender Kenneth Omeruo

South Africa’s defender Anele Ngcongca (L) vies for the ball with Nigeria’s defender Kenneth Omeruo

The frustration of the game affected Mikel Obi when he engaged Thabo Matlaba in a heated argument just before half-time after he tried to manoeuvre few sliding tackles from South African midfielders.

Both sides gave good accounts of themselves in the second half with the Super Eagles coming close to scoring on several occasions but failed to utilise their chances.

Bafana Bafana almost caught the Eagles defence napping in the closing part of the encounter but were denied by goalkeeper Austin Ejide who managed to impress his fans after the team’s loss to Congo in Calabar.

The result in Cape Town meant that Nigeria still occupied the third place in Group A with one point having lost the first match 2-3 to Congo Brazzaville in Calabar.

Congo are now top of the group with six points after a 2-0 defeat of Sudan in Brazzaville earlier in the day.

South Africa occupy the second place with four points from two matches after a resounding 3-0 defeat of Sudan in Omdurman on Sept. 5 and a draw with Nigeria.

Sudan occupy the last place in the group without a point.

In other matches played on Wednesday, Malawi beat Ethiopia 3-2, while Angola lost at home 0-3 to Burkina Faso.

Elsewhere, Lesotho ended proceeding 1-1 with Gabon; Cameroon thrashed Cote d’Ivoire 4-1, Uganda humbled Guinea 2-0, while Cape Verde overpowered Zambia 2-0.

DR Congo recorded an away 2-0 victory over Sierra Leone, the same margin Senegal defeated Botswana in Gaborone.

Ghana picked their maximum three points with a 3-2 defeat of Togo in Accra, Mozambique and Niger ended play 1-1, while Egypt lost at home 0-1 to Tunisia.

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Nigeria avoids international suspension – FIFA http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/09/nigeria-avoids-international-suspension-fifa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/09/nigeria-avoids-international-suspension-fifa/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:57:41 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210864 FIFA President Sepp Blatter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

African champions Nigeria on Tuesday avoided a ban from international football after FIFA said the country’s football association had complied with a directive about its leadership.

The world governing body said it welcomed the fact that ousted president Aminu Maigari and his executive committee had been able to return to work and as a result lifted the threat of sanctions.

FIFA had given Chris Giwa, who replaced Maigari and his executive committee in controversial circumstances on August 26, until 0700 GMT on Monday to step down from his post or Nigeria would face suspension from all matches.

The deadline came and went with Giwa and his officials nowhere to be seen at the headquarters of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in the capital, Abuja.

Maigari returned to work on Tuesday and showed reporters a letter dated September 8 from FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, which said it was aware that he been able to resume his duties “without hindrance”.

“We also note that the persons claiming to have been elected vacated the premises of the NFF,” the letter read.

“Against this background, we would like to confirm that the conditions set in FIFA’s aforementioned correspondence of September 3 2014 have been complied with and that the NFF is accordingly not suspended.”

Chris Giwa

Chris Giwa

The NFF has been in turmoil since the end of the World Cup finals in July.

FIFA had briefly suspended the country from international competition because of “government interference” in the running of its affairs.

Maigari was ousted as head of the body, impeached on corruption charges then reinstated and was arrested by Nigeria’s secret police, allegedly to stop him attending the August 26 meeting when Giwa assumed control.

Giwa’s appointment led to a boycott of domestic league matches by referees, clubs and players and cast a shadow over preparations for the Super Eagles’ first Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Stephen Keshi’s side lost 3-2 to visitors Congo on Saturday.

FIFA said it was now waiting for Maigari’s executive committee to meet as soon as possible to set dates for an extra-ordinary general assembly to decide on future elections.

The NFF will be hoping to draw a line under the long-running dispute.

But Valcke warned that Nigeria still faced an immediate international ban if the meeting and elections were not held promptly and in accordance with FIFA rules and procedures.

At the same time, Giwa, who was endorsed by Nigeria’s sports minister, said he had lodged an appeal against his ouster to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

A spokeswoman for the Lausanne-based body confirmed to AFP that a case was pending.

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S.Africa wants Bafana Bafana to rattle Super Eagles http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/09/s-africa-wants-bafana-bafana-to-rattle-super-eagles/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/09/s-africa-wants-bafana-bafana-to-rattle-super-eagles/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:22:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210803 Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba

Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba

South Africa are confident of ending a depressing record against Nigeria when they clash Wednesday in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The Cape Town showdown is a highlight of the 14-fixture matchday 2 schedule along with Cameroun-Ivory Coast in Yaounde and Egypt-Tunisia in Cairo.

There were doubts whether the Nigeria game would go ahead, but controversially-elected national football federation boss Chris Giwa stepped aside to prevent a worldwide FIFA ban.

African governing body CAF had warned Nigeria that failure to play in South Africa would have resulted in disqualification from the competition.

Reigning African champions Nigeria have won five and drawn one of six matches against South Africa in the World Cup and Cup of Nations.

Not only have Bafana Bafana (The Boys) failed to defeat the Super Eagles, they have not scored even one goal.

The countries made contrasting Group A debuts last weekend with South Africa winning 3-0 in Sudan while Nigeria were stunned 3-2 by visiting Congo Brazzaville.

It was a dream start for new South Africa coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba and a young, much-changed side with Sibusiso Vilakazi scoring twice in the stamina-sapping Omdurman heat.

Nigeria surrendered a 46-match unbeaten home record in Cup of Nations qualifiers and looked a shadow of the team that overcame Burkina Faso 1-0 in the 2013 final to win a third African title.

•Congo's Gandze Cesai (left) and Nigeria's Mikel Obi go for the ball during the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying match on 6 September, 2014, at the Esuene Stadium, in Calabar- AFP PHOTO

•Congo’s Gandze Cesai (left) and Nigeria’s Mikel Obi go for the ball during the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying match on 6 September, 2014, at the Esuene Stadium, in Calabar- AFP PHOTO

Mashaba says he has a “gut feel” that South Africa can end the 22-year dominance of Nigeria.

“Wednesday could be a defining moment — it is time to kick this habit of losing to Nigeria,” stressed the 64-year-old promoted last month from national youth team coach.

“Bafana have become a laughing stock and our duty is to restore pride in the national team. Winning in Sudan was the start of a rebuilding process.”

South African Footballer of the Year Vilakazi said the attitude of the players had changed dramatically since Mashaba succeeded sacked Gordon Igesund.

“They are prepared to fight and want to bring pride and happiness to the country. We are aware of our record against Nigeria and need to change it.”

Nigeria caretaker coach Stephen Keshi blamed the Congo defeat on a lack of aggression, playing to the crowd, and slowness to the ball.

“I was more upset by the way we played than the result. We scored first and thought it would be easy,” said the 52-year-old handler known as ‘Big Boss’.

“Even when we fell two goals behind, there were enough scoring chances to draw at least. Now we must go to South Africa and win.”

A change Keshi may consider is starting with burly Turkey-based striker Emmanuel Emenike, who troubled Congo when he came off the bench for the second half.

The Nigerian defeat in Calabar means Cameroon are the only team never to lose a home Cup of Nations qualifier.

A new side without retired striker Samuel Eto’o and suspended midfielder Alex Song started their Group D campaign with a 2-0 away win over a lack-lustre Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ivory Coast came from behind at home to edge Sierra Leone 2-1 through goals from recalled Seydou Doumbia and Gervinho to give French coach Herve Renard a winning start.

“We lacked speed and width at times,” admitted Renard, who steered outsiders Zambia to the 2012 African title with a penalty-shootout win over Ivory Coast.

“I believe we will do much better in Yaounde,” he said of a match between two countries eliminated after the first round of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Record seven-time African champions Egypt were lucky to lose only 2-0 in Senegal as Group G unfolded and Tunisia looked largely unimpressive when winning 2-1 at home to Botswana.

Egypt dare not lose against Tunisia in Cairo if they want to avoid the humiliation of failing to qualify for a third consecutive tournament having won the previous three.

Algeria, the most impressive African team at the World Cup, host Mali and Ghana are away to Togo in other attractive pairings.

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Eagles’ll bounce back in AFCON qualifiers – NFF http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/eaglesll-bounce-back-in-afcon-qualifiers-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/eaglesll-bounce-back-in-afcon-qualifiers-nff/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:09:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210751 •Congo's Gandze Cesai (left) and Nigeria's Mikel Obi go for the ball during the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying match on 6 September, 2014, at the Esuene Stadium, in Calabar- AFP PHOTO

•Congo’s Gandze Cesai (left) and Nigeria’s Mikel Obi go for the ball during the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying match on 6 September, 2014, at the Esuene Stadium, in Calabar- AFP PHOTO

General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Barrister Musa Amadu has expressed confidence in the Super Eagles to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat to Congo’s Red Devils and qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations holding in Morocco.

Speaking at the NFF Secretariat in Abuja on Monday, Amadu called on Nigerian football fans to retain faith in the Eagles and continue to give them adequate support in the campaign.

“We understand that Nigerians are disappointed in the result of the match against the Red Devils of Congo. But there are five more matches in the qualifying series and we see Saturday’s loss as a wake–up call for the African champions.

“The boys have realized that they have to now double their effort to get to the finals in Morocco, and that is what they have promised for Wednesday’s match against South Africa in Cape Town,” Amadu stated.

The NFF General Secretary returned to office in deference to a FIFA letter last week, asking that he be allowed to do his work without hindrance.

In company with NFF’s Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi and Director of Marketing, Mr. Adama Idris, Amadu took full control of the secretariat and charged members of staff to continue their work without any fear.

Saturday’s 2-3 loss to Congo was the Eagles’ first home defeat in 33 years, since bungling a 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier 0-2 to Algeria’s Fennecs at the National Stadium, Lagos.

The Eagles’ delegation, led by NFF Director of Competitions, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, arrived in Cape Town on Monday morning, after flying to Johannesburg from Lagos overnight on Sunday and connecting a two–hour flight to Cape Town from Johannesburg.

The reigning champions have other matches against Sudan (away and home) in October before traveling to Brazzaville and hosting South Africa in November.

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FIFA deadline passes for Nigeria as ban looms http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/fifa-deadline-passes-for-nigeria-as-ban-looms/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/08/fifa-deadline-passes-for-nigeria-as-ban-looms/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:32:37 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210712 FIFA could ban Nigeria from all football related matters

FIFA could ban Nigeria from all football related matters

FIFA deadline on the Nigeria Football Federation passed on Monday with no sign at the association’s offices of the body’s president whose controversial appointment led to a threat of a ban.

The world governing body said last week it would suspend the African champions from international competition if Chris Giwa and his executive committee were still at work after 0700 GMT Monday.

But the deadline came and went with Giwa and his predecessor Aminu Maigari nowhere to be seen at the NFF headquarters in Abuja while there was no immediate word from FIFA about the next steps.

NFF general-secretary Musa Amadu, competitions director Mohammed Sanusi and marketing head Idris Adama arrived for work, however. They were part of Maigari’s team ousted by Giwa last month.

“It has been a trying period of two months for all of us but we have come to the end of the crisis,” Amadu told reporters.

Chris Giwa

Chris Giwa

“Nigerian football is far more important than any one of us. Let us put everything behind us. We have to now do the right thing in order to move our football forward.

“We will soon have an extra-ordinary assembly to set a date for elections for the new executive committee. This will be at the shortest possible time, not beyond September 25.”

A power struggle for control of the NFF has been rumbling since the end of the World Cup finals and saw Maigari ousted, impeached on corruption charges.

He was then arrested by the country’s secret police, allegedly to prevent him attending an August 26 meeting at which Giwa took charge and a new executive committee was appointed.

That prompted a boycott of domestic leagues by referees, clubs and players and FIFA to say that they did not recognise his appointment.

FIFA previously suspended Nigeria from international competition in July on the grounds of “government interference” in the running of its affairs but later lifted the ban.

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Congo defeat Nigeria in AFCON qualifier http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/06/congo-defeat-nigeria-in-afcon-qualifier/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/06/congo-defeat-nigeria-in-afcon-qualifier/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 18:39:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210482 National team supporters

National team supporters

Reigning African champions Nigeria began its 2015 Cup of African Nations qualifying campaign on a low following a shock 3-2 loss to Congo at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.

The Super Eagles were the better side in the opening exchanges and duly took the lead in the 14th minute through defender Efe Ambrose, who headed in fellow defender Elderson Echiejile’s ball.

The lead was however shortlived as the Congolese levelled three minutes later through Prince Oniangue, before going on to silence the Calabar crowd just before half-time when Thiery Bifouma put the visitors ahead.

Bifouma was on hand to extend Congo’s lead 10 minutes into the second half, converting a penalty earned after Echiejile brought him down in the area.

Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi saw an effort flash just wide of the Congo goal moments later as the Super Eagles desperately sought to find a way back.

Substitute Nosa Igiebor summed up the day for the Eagles with seven minutes to go, when he scooped an effort over the Congo goal from just three yards out after being teed up by fellow substitute Emmanuel Emenike.

Another substitute Gbolahan Salami however pulled a goal back for Nigeria in stoppage time with a close range effort, but it proved a consolation as Congo held on to claim three crucial points.

The result sees Congo occupy second spot in Group A after the opening round of matches, with South Africa on top courtesy of a better goal difference after the Bafana Bafana got a 3-0 win over Sudan on Friday.

For Nigeria, the result compounds the crisis in which the country’s football finds itself, with a FIFA suspension hanging over the Nigeria Football Federation unless the NFF meets FIFA’s ultimatum for Chris Giwa to step down as NFF President.

Meanwhile in some other qualifying matches played today, Cameroun won 2-0 at DR Congo in a Group D match, Ghana was held to a shock 1-1 by Uganda in Group E while Algeria edged Ethiopia 2-1 in a Group B match played in Addis Ababa.

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Friendly: Eaglets Pip Dabo Babes 3-0 In Calabar http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/06/friendly-eaglets-pip-dabo-babes-3-0-in-calabar/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/06/friendly-eaglets-pip-dabo-babes-3-0-in-calabar/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 14:52:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=210439 Golden Eaglets' starting line up

Golden Eaglets’ starting line up

Nigeria’s Under-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, has recorded another 3-0 win against Dabo Babes Football Club of Kano in a hard-fought game played on Saturday at the Abraham Ordia Stadium inside the University of Calabar.

Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze scored two lovely goals, while Abdulrazak Sani of Dabo Babes conceded an own goal as the Emmanuel Amuneke tutored side sealed their 23rd win in 27 matches.

Parading the duo of Mustapha Salisu and Nazifi Yahaya who were part of the national Under-15 that won the soccer gold medal at the last All African Youth Games in Botswana, Dabo Babes started the game strongly and Shurubak Dauda nearly put them in the lead as early as the sixth minute but Eaglets’ goalkeeper Ebuka Nwokoecha held firmly to his shot after he had disposed Halilu Zakari of the ball.

Osimhen, however, opened the Eaglets’ goal account in the 16th minute when he jabbed the ball behind goalkeeper Muhammad Ismail from a pullout from right winger, Promise Orji. Osimhen could have added another goal but he wasted the golden chance in front of an empty goalpost as he placed the ball wide off the mark after robbing the ball off onrushing Ismail.

Dabo Babes Starting line up

Dabo Babes Starting line up

Yet the Eaglets mounted further pressure and the measure of their spirited effort was there for all to see when Dabo Babes’ hardworking captain, Abdulrazak Sani, put the ball into his own net off a pull out meant for Osimhen from Kehinde Ayinde. Some few minutes later, Ismail was at his best again when a goal-bound shot by Orji was parried away into safety.

Both sides made few changes on resumption in the second half but there was little or no excitement until in the 80th minute when the adventurous Chukwueze broke loose in his typical fashion and nut-egged not less than three opposing defenders before slicing an angular shot beyond the reach of Ismail yet again.

“The Golden Eaglets pounced on us like lions and they showed how good they are with the way they played against us,” exclaimed Dabo Babes’ coach Umar Sale.

“But we are happy we were able to make this trip since it has exposed our players to the national team selectors and I think a player like Dauda, our number 10 player would be good for the Golden Eaglets too,” Sule said.

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No Congress On Thursday, say Giwa’s NFF http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/03/no-congress-on-thursday-say-giwas-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/03/no-congress-on-thursday-say-giwas-nff/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:59:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209959 Chris Giwa-led Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has declared that there is no congress of Nigeria football holding on Thursday, 4 September 2014.

“It has come to the notice of the Nigeria Football Federation that some persons are spreading information to the effect that there is a Congress of NFF taking place on Thursday, 4 September 2014. This is absolutely untrue.

“If there would be any NFF Congress of any nature, the notice for such would come from the NFF Secretariat. I am aware the NFF Secretariat has not issued such notice,” Giwa said in a press statement made available to P.M.NEWS Sports by Ademola Olajire, Assistant Director (Communications) of the NFF.

•Chris Giwa, leads another NFF faction

•Chris Giwa, leads another NFF faction

Giwa also dismissed part of the report which said officials from world football–governing body, FIFA and the Confederation of African Football, CAF would be in Nigeria to witness the elective Congress.

“There are no persons coming from FIFA or CAF, and there is no elective Congress because the elections have already been conducted.

“This is to advise all the Chairmen and Secretaries of the states’ football associations and those of NFF’s affiliate bodies to disregard the notice. We also urge the general public not to go anywhere near the venue of the gathering.”

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Sports Minister urges FIFA to settle NFF crisis, not ban Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/02/sports-minister-urges-fifa-to-settle-nff-crisis-not-ban-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/02/sports-minister-urges-fifa-to-settle-nff-crisis-not-ban-nigeria/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:00:13 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209812 Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

The Sports Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has expressed hope that FIFA will not ban Nigeria as he urged the world’s football governing body to wade into the internal wrangling in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Dr. Danagogo expressed this confidence on a breakfast television programme, ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ on the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA in Abuja on Tuesday.

The minister said that FIFA should know that what is happening in the NFF is an internal wrangling among football stakeholders who are battling to take over control of the football house.

“I am aware that FIFA does not ban countries over internal wrangling among stakeholders. What I expect FIFA to do is to listen to both sides in the dispute and fashion out a peaceful resolution of the crisis,” he said.

According to the sports minister, “It is also not fair for FIFA to ban a country over the actions of individuals. If they feel that an individual has gone against their statutes, such individual should be singled out and sanctioned and not the entire country.”

He added that he is also aware that FIFA or football federations ban some of their members for offences against the football statutes and expects that the same thing should apply in the present case of the NFF.

“I don’t expect FIFA to ban Nigeria because we are in contact with them and have explained the position of things as they affect the current crisis. We expect that they would carefully look into the matter after listening to both sides and seek a peaceful resolution. If they say the way out is for another election to be held, we would ensure that it is done for peace to return to our football.”

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NFF boss dismisses FIFA ban threat http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/nff-boss-dismisses-fifa-ban-threat/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/nff-boss-dismisses-fifa-ban-threat/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:19:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209539 FIFA President Sepp Blatter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

The new head of Nigerian football, whose disputed appointment has thrown the domestic game into turmoil, has dismissed the threat of sanctions from world governing body FIFA.

“We have seen the letter from FIFA and digested the full content of it,” said Chris Giwa.

“Nothing has changed as far as we’re concerned. We will present our position to FIFA… and they will be convinced beyond any reasonable doubt.”

Giwa took the helm of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) last Tuesday, ousting the incumbent president Aminu Maigari, who was prevented from attending an executive committee meeting after being arrested by the secret police.

Maigari’s detention — allegedly to stop him chairing the meeting — led to Nigeria’s referees’ association to direct its members not to take charge of league games and league organisers to suspend weekend fixtures.

FIFA waded in to the row on Friday, telling the NFF that it did not recognise Giwa’s appointment and ordered him and his newly “elected” officials to stand down by midnight on Monday or face sanctions, including a possible ban.

A ban would throw into doubt Nigeria’s first 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo on Saturday. Nigeria’s Super Eagles are the defending champions.

But Giwa said: “We call on Nigerians not to panic. The NFF is not intimidated and we do not expect any sanction because we have done the appropriate thing. For us, it is noise-making.”

•Chris Giwa, leads another NFF faction

•Chris Giwa, leads another NFF faction

Nigerian football has been embroiled in a bitter leadership struggle since the World Cup after Maigari and his executives were first sacked by a court and a government administrator took over.

The court order was later set aside but Maigari was then impeached on corruption charges by his own executive committee but then reinstated.

FIFA said proper procedures had not been followed and ordered fresh elections.

Nigeria’s sports minister Tammy Danagogo has endorsed Giwa but club owner Bertram Ekenwa described this as “an act of gangsterism”.

“He has failed to understand the dynamics of football in this country and has insisted on imposing an unpopular candidate on us,” said Ekenwa.

“He is behind the crisis. He should either resign or be sacked because his poor handling of the matter has embarrassed everybody including the government he represents.”

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Why Maigari was arrested by DSS – Sports Ministry http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/31/why-maigari-was-arrested-by-dss-sports-ministry/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/31/why-maigari-was-arrested-by-dss-sports-ministry/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 04:56:23 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209502 Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

National Sports Commission, NSC, says it wishes to put the record straight on the reason for the arrest of former president of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari last Tuesday in Abuja by men of the Directorate of State Security Services, DSS.

Alhaji Maigari, it could be recalled, was picked up by men of the DSS in Abuja shortly before the Congress of the NFF and some Nigerians insinuated that the Bauchi-born administrator was arrested to prevent him from presiding over the Congress.

A statement by Patrick Omorodion, personal assistant (Media) to the Sports Minister/NSC Chairman, Dr Tammy Danagogo said the former acting President of the NFF, Chief Mike Umeh had, immediately after the fire outbreak which raised part of the NFF secretariat in Abuja, made a report of sabotage by “some people who are desperate to perpetuate themselves in power and called on the police to investigate the incident.”

The arrest of Maigari and some other officials of the NFF by the DSS is part of its routine to investigate the fire incident and interrogate some suspects based on the report of officials of the NFF and therefore had nothing to do with the NSC as it was being erroneously insinuated.

It is a fact that arson is a serious offence in Nigeria’s criminal law and anybody who is suspected to be involved, no matter how highly placed, must be investigated to verify his or her culpability or otherwise and appropriate sanction meted to such individual.

Meanwhile, the NSC also wants to state that it is not unaware of the crisis bedeviling football administration in Nigeria and is assuring all football stakeholders that the Sports Minister will leave nothing to chance to ensure that peace returns to the NFF.

According to Dr. Danagogo, the NSC is still studying the situation and “at the appropriate time we will say something about it in order for our football to move forward.”

He added that “already I have started calling the parties involved in the dispute to know their grievances and find a way out of the crisis because it is not healthy for the development of our football.”

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House of Reps Sports Committee looks into NFF crisis http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/house-of-reps-sports-committee-looks-into-nff-crisis/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/house-of-reps-sports-committee-looks-into-nff-crisis/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 07:02:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209402 Geofrey Gaiya, Chairman House Committee on Sports

Geofrey Gaiya, Chairman House Committee on Sports

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Godfrey Gaiya, on Friday said the committee would utilise the appropriate machinery to ensure a rapid resolution of the Nigerian football crisis.

Gaiya said this was why the committee was meeting factions of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Congress, to be able to resolve the crisis next week.

The legislator who spoke after the committee’s emergency meeting with a faction of the NFF Congress in Abuja said the meeting was part of ongoing efforts.

“The committee will resolve the lingering crisis in the football house, and the crisis would be resolved according to NFA statutes and resolutions would be made next week,” he said.

NAN reports that the committee had on Thursday summoned both parties involved in the crisis to appear before it, alongside the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo.

“We will be guided properly, because we will be looking at the laws. I am a lawmaker and we will not tolerate a twisting of the law.

“Ours is to protect the laws that we enacted and to ensure that the statutes were not abused and to also ensure that guidelines are not turned upside down, for the benefit of all.

“So, we will review the statutes in handling the matter and come up with what the laws state as our resolution,” Gaiya said.

He added that the committee would, however, not be able to make any resolution yet, because all parties were not present for their case to be heard.

“The minister is excused from this meeting today (Friday) because the National Sports Commission (NSC) is out on tour, but the minister will be here on Monday.

“And for NFF’s General Secretary, Musa Amadu, he said he is down. So, we hope he will also be here on Monday.

“And, fortunately, those who came here for this meeting didn’t hoard any information. They spoke outrightly. That will enable us as a committee to sit back and analyse all they said and come out with a resolution.”

Gaiya said his committee would make public any decision arrived at afterwards, saying “we won’t say anything now until we have heard all parties out.”

NAN reports that those present at the meeting included former NFF Chairman Aminu Maigari and some members of his dissolved board.

Some state Football Association (FA) chairmen, as well as other members of the NFA Congress attended the meeting.

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Giwa Allays Fear Over FIFA Ban On Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/giwa-allays-fear-over-fifa-ban-on-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/giwa-allays-fear-over-fifa-ban-on-nigeria/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:09:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209370 FIFA President Sepp Blatter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter

President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Ambassador Chris Giwa has allayed fears of Nigerians over a letter from world governing body, FIFA, on Friday 29 August, saying that the NFF will relay a detailed and convincing response to the world body on Monday morning.

“We have seen the letter from FIFA and digested the full content of it. Nothing has changed, as far as we are concerned. We will present our position to FIFA by Monday morning and they will be convinced beyond any reasonable doubt,” said Giwa in a statement made available to P.M.NEWS Sports Friday evening by Ademola Olajire, Assistant Director (Communications) of the NFF.

“We call on Nigerians not to panic. The NFF is not intimidated and we do not expect any sanction because we have done the appropriate thing. For us, it is not about noise-making. FIFA has admitted in its letter that the General Assembly is the highest decision–making body of any association/federation. That is perfect,” Giwa noted.

Giwa recalled that the General Assembly of Nigeria Football Federation had at the 69th meeting on Thursday 28 November 2013 decided that Elective Congress would take place on 26 August 2014.

•Chris Giwa, leads another NFF faction

•Chris Giwa, leads another NFF faction

“If FIFA admits that the General Assembly is the highest decision–making body, and the highest decision–making resolved at their meeting in 2013 that elections would take place on 26 August, 2014, no other body can change that decision. Certainly, the NFF Executive Committee is not qualified to change that decision.

“FIFA talked about some persons walking away from the Congress as a result of the fact that some persons were arrested. We were not aware of that. The Congress went ahead and moved a motion to hold elections same day, in deference to the decision of General Assembly of November 28, 2013, and the motion was seconded and there was no counter motion.

“There is absolutely nothing to fear. Our response is ready. FIFA will receive position of the federation and will be convinced that elections have, indeed, taken place,” Giwa said.

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Referees boycott Nigeria league over governance crisis http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/referees-boycott-nigeria-league-over-governance-crisis/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/referees-boycott-nigeria-league-over-governance-crisis/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:51:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209099 Nigerian referees set to officiate a league match

Nigerian referees set to officiate a league match

Referees were on Wednesday directed not to take charge of matches in Nigeria’s top flight in protest at the crisis gripping the game’s domestic governing body.

The Nigeria Referees Association 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.

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.

Nigeria’s football association 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.

Nigeria Football Federation 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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Danagogo tasks new NFF Board to reconcile aggrieved stakeholders http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/danagogo-tasks-new-nff-board-to-reconcile-aggrieved-stakeholders/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/danagogo-tasks-new-nff-board-to-reconcile-aggrieved-stakeholders/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:55:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209066 Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

Minister of Sports/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Tammy Danagogo on Thursday expressed confidence in the ability and capacity of the new Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to take Nigeria football to new heights.

Speaking during a courtesy call to him by the new NFF Board, Danagogo urged the new helmsmen to open channels of communication with all aggrieved institutions and individuals with a view to reconciling all parties and achieving lasting peace in Nigeria football.

“I congratulate you on your election and have confidence in you to take our football to where it should be. I have known some members of this board for several decades now, and some others for quite some time now. You are all people I can easily relate with.

“But the challenges ahead are huge. I want you to start reaching out to all persons who have issues and discuss with them, and find amicable solution to all matters. You must be ready to reconcile with all institutions and individuals of interest, such as government, FIFA, members of NFF and stakeholders.”

Danagogo harped on the importance of peace and tranquility, in which atmosphere progress can be achieved. “For a long time now, the news that have been coming out of NFF have been unsavoury ones. We are not enjoying all these negative news. I want you to seek avenues to reconcile all institutions and individuals who must be reconciled. Personally, I will also meet with all persons who have issues and discuss with them and ensure that we have a united front to confront the challenges facing Nigeria football.”

Speaking earlier, NFF President, Ambassador Chris Giwa thanked the sports minister for his support to the NFF, the national teams and Nigeria football generally, and pledged that his board would work assiduously towards taking the nation’s game to a new height.

“The truth is that the NFF has been beset by crisis for a long time, for more than a decade. This new team is determined to bring these crisis to an end. We will work hard towards bringing everyone together and reconciling in the interest of the Nigeria game.”

Present at the meeting with the Sports Minister were Ambassador Giwa, NFF 1st Vice President Chief Obinna Ogba, Executive Committee members Chief Effiong Johnson (Chairman of Chairmen), Sani Fema, Chief Felix Amaechi Obuah and Mr. Adams Yahaya. There were also former NPL Chairman Chief Rumson Baribote, former NFF board member Mr. Ben Agarry, NFF Assistant Director (Communications) Mr. Ademola Olajire, Head of International Competitions Mr. Bola Oyeyode, Chief Legal Officer Barrister Okey Obi and special assistant to General Secretary, Dr. Christian Emeruwa.
Other members of the new NFF Executive Committee, who sent apologies for their absence at the meeting, are Mr. Ayodeji Tinubu, Alhaji Muazu Suleyman, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Alhaji Sharif Inuwa, Otunba Dele Ajayi and Mallam Farouk Garba.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Giwa, in company of the new executive committee members, familiarised himself with the NFF Secretariat, and then held a meeting with the staff, where he pledged to work with everyone and urged them to continue to give their best effort to the development of the Nigeria football.

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Maigari released by DSS after arrest http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/maigari-released-by-dss-after-arrest/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/maigari-released-by-dss-after-arrest/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:10:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208930 NFF President, Aminu Maigari

NFF President, Aminu Maigari

The head of Nigeria’s embattled football association was released from custody on Wednesday after being arrested before a general assembly meeting to elect new executive committee members.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Aminu Maigari, 58, was picked up by the country’s secret police, the Department of State Services, with another senior official, Chris Green, on Tuesday.

“Maigari has been released by the security operatives,” an aide to the NFF boss said.

“No charges were pressed against him, neither was he or Green questioned on anything. It was clearly to prevent them from attending the general assembly on Tuesday.”

World football’s governing body FIFA had previously insisted that Maigari chaired the meeting.

An “elective congress” was held instead and saw Chris Giwa nominated as new NFF president. He began work on Wednesday.

But the federation could yet be slapped with another ban, as FIFA had only authorised a general assembly and not the immediate appointment of a new president.

Maigari’s arrest was the latest twist in a long-running saga over the governance of Nigerian football.

The African champions were suspended from all international football in July on FIFA charges of “government interference” in its affairs following a court ruling that sacked the NFF high command.

The ban, which threatened Nigeria’s participation in the FIFA under-20 women’s World Cup this month, was later lifted. Nigeria’s “Falconets” lost to Germany in the final.

Maigari was then sacked after a vote of no confidence by the executive board and accused of embezzlement. But he was reinstated because FIFA said the correct procedure had not been followed.

He returned to work last week. Two days later, fire gutted the NFF headquarters in Abuja.

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NFF dismisses Congo Ebola fears for Nations Cup tie http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/nff-dismisses-congo-ebola-fears-for-nations-cup-tie/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/27/nff-dismisses-congo-ebola-fears-for-nations-cup-tie/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:29:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208929 NFF Spokesperson, Ademola Olajire

NFF Spokesperson, Ademola Olajire

Nigeria on Wednesday dismissed claims by Congo to relocate the two countries’ Africa Cup of Nations qualifier because of Ebola fears and vowed that the match will go ahead as planned.

The reigning African champions are set to take on Congo on September 6 in the southeast Nigerian city of Calabar.

The visitors, replacements for Rwanda who have been banned from the competition for fielding an ineligible player, reportedly want the tie moved because of the deadly virus.

But Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) spokesman Ademola Olajire said the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has not told them directly of Congo’s concerns.

“The game will be played as planned on September 6 as we have not been informed by CAF of any protest by Congo,” he said.

“Nigeria has already won the battle against Ebola and so any visiting team has any reason to stay away from the country. Therefore there are no changes in the date and venue for this match.”

There have been five deaths from Ebola in Nigeria out of 13 confirmed cases. All of the patients have been in Lagos, 560 kilometres (350 miles) from Calabar.

Nigeria’s health ministry said on Tuesday that only one patient remained in isolation at a special facility in Lagos and that seven patients had been discharged.

A number of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers have been rescheduled to neutral venues because of the Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa since the start of the year.

The worst affected countries have been Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Congo’s neighbours the Democratic Republic of Congo this week confirmed its first two cases of Ebola but claimed they were unrelated to the epidemic raging in West Africa.

Earlier this month, Lesotho refused to play final qualifier in Nigeria for the 2015 African Youth Championship after they also complained about Ebola. CAF disqualified them from the competition.

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SSS Detains Maigari http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/26/sss-detains-maigari/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/26/sss-detains-maigari/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:07:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208795 NFF President, Aminu Maigari

NFF President, Aminu Maigari

The embattled President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari has reportedly been detained by agents of the State Security Service, SSS, in Abuja Tuesday.

P.M.NEWS Sports gathered that Maigari, who was said to have resigned his position by the Sports Ministry, was invited by the SSS to their office at Maitama District in Abuja today and upon arriving at the secret police office, Maigari, chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green and Secretary General, Musa Amadu, were allegedly detained and they were yet regain their freedom as at the time of this report.

Sources told P.M.NEWS Sports that some members of the NFF Congress were in Abuja for today’s congress and who are also sympathetic to the plight of the erstwhile president, have been keeping vigil at the SSS office since morning demanding the release of Maigari and others.

“At least 30 chairmen of state’s football associations and other stakeholders of the Congress are here at the SSS office in Abuja.

“I want to believe that the authorities decided to arrest Maigari so that he would not be able to preside over today’s congress, but to many of us here, we still see him as our president duly recognized by FIFA and we believe that the congress must be presided over by him in conformity with the letter written to Nigeria by the world football governing body on the need to have a Congress to chart a roadmap for Nigerian football,” said one of the sources that comes from one of the state’s football associations in the southwest region of the country.

The Bauchi-born administrator has had a series of problems after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was removed from the office through a court injunction before the order was vacated. He was also impeached by his own board and cam back.

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Jonathan salutes Falconets’ spectacular performance http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/25/jonathan-salutes-falconets-spectacular-performance/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/25/jonathan-salutes-falconets-spectacular-performance/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:10:05 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208646 Patience Jonathan

Patience Jonathan

Dame Patience Jonathan on Monday congratulated Super Falconets top scorer, Asisat Oshoala, for winning the Golden Boot and the Golden ball awards of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women World Cup.

Nigeria’s Falconets lost 1-0 to Germany in the final of the competition. She also praised the gallant fight put up by the young ladies against their Germany counterparts in Montreal, Canada.

In a statement issued by her Media Assistant, Ayo Adewuyi in Abuja, the first lady praised Oshoala’s dexterity on the field of play describing her as an inspiration to aspiring female footballers.

She urge‎d her to continue to work harder for future glories.

While congratulating the team for its wonderful performance, the First Lady also saluted “their burning desire” to be victorious and praised the team for doing the country proud.

Dame Jonathan praised the team’s versatility, accurate passes and the team spirit.

“The girls have made Nigerian women proud by exhibiting an unprecedented patriotic zeal and a great determination resisting the German onslaught,” she said.

She also commended their handlers for their dedication to duty and determination to see the girls through. After 90 minutes and an extra time, Lena Petermann, scored for her country, defeating Peter Dedevbo‘s (Falconets coach) girls.

This will be the third time Germany will win the competition.

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Defiant Falconets lose to Germany again http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/25/defiant-falconets-lose-to-germany-again/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/25/defiant-falconets-lose-to-germany-again/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 05:07:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208552 Germany celebrates with the championship trophy

Germany celebrates with the championship trophy

Germany have won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for a record-equalling third time after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Nigeria at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

Lena Petermann scored the title-winning goal eight minutes into extra time to settle a match that, like the semi-final against France, had seen the Germans outplayed for long stretches. For the second match in succession, though, the Europeans’ will to win shone through, as did the quality of goalkeeper Meike Kamper – again named player of the match.

This clash of styles and football cultures was always expected to produce an open, engaging final, and so it proved. Nigeria quickly gained a foothold and went on to dominate the first half, creating the better and more numerous chances. An inability to convert those chances was their only failing, and the most guilty party was tournament top scorer Asisat Oshoala.

The in-form striker, who had scored four times in the semi-final win over Korea DPR, was lively throughout but missed her first golden opportunity after 22 minutes. In fairness, she created the opening out of nothing, robbing Margarita Gidion, outpacing the German defence and rounding Kamper in a stunning display of speed and strength. She could not, however, find the finishing touch, managing only to shoot into the side-netting from an acute angle.

Nigeria poses for a photo with their silver medals

Nigeria poses for a photo with their silver medals

With Nigeria’s superior physical attributes a telling factor on the big Olympic Stadium pitch, it wasn’t long before more chances arrived, with Oshoala again given a sight of goal seven minutes before the break. Again, though, her sights were out, with the ball flashing wide after Chiwendo Ihezuo had done well to snatch possession from Rebecca Knaak at the byline and cut the ball back.

These were nonetheless worrying times for Germany, whose best effort had come from a Lina Magull free-kick comfortably saved by Sandra Chiichii. But Maren Meinert’s side began the second half brightly, with Theresa Panfil and Lena Petermann combining to tee up Sara Daebritz for a powerful left-foot shot that skidded into the arms of Chiichii.

Oshoala remained a constant source of danger, though, and she again came to life three minutes later, jinking in from the left wing past two German defenders. All that was lacking was the final touch, with the No4’s first effort striking a team-mate before the rebound was sliced high and wide.

Asisat Oshoala (R) poses with the Golden Boot trophy while Pauline Bremer (C) and Sara Daebritz (L) of Germany pose with their silver and bronze boot trophies

Asisat Oshoala (R) poses with the Golden Boot trophy while Pauline Bremer (C) and Sara Daebritz (L) of Germany pose with their silver and bronze boot trophies

However, missing chances wasn’t restricted to Oshoala and Nigeria. Germany also spurned their opportunities, with Pauline Bremer stealing in unmarked on a Sara Dabritz free-kick only to head wastefully wide. The Super Falconets then had to call on the bravery of their keeper, with Chiichii racing from her line to dive at the feet of Lena Petermann, picking up a bruised jaw in the process.

Play still tended to rage towards the other end, though, and with five minutes remaining Nigeria had the ball in the net only for their celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee’s flag. That left extra time to settle this pulsating affair and, after Oshoala had again gone close for Nigeria, it was Germany who found a breakthrough.

Petermann scored it, slotting home from six yards, but the plaudits went to the energetic Bremer, who had robbed left-back Gladys Abasi before driving towards the byline and delivering the perfect cutback.

Nigeria, who had given so much to the match, proved unable to respond. Germany saw out the remaining minutes with a degree of comfort and can now savour the familiar feeling of being crowned champions of the world.

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