P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Nigerian Football Teams http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:30:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 NFF lands $750k deal with NIKE http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/27/nff-lands-750k-deal-with-nike/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/27/nff-lands-750k-deal-with-nike/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:42:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=237678 Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

World’s leading brand, Nike is to supply kits to the value of $750,000 to Nigeria’s Super Eagles and other national teams (men and women) in the first year of the contract recently signed with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.

Details of the contract, signed at The Soho Hotel, Richmond Mews, London on Thursday showed that the products value would increase in the second year, with American company Nike committed to supplying kits to the value of $1million to the Nigeria national teams.

Nike will supply kits worth the sum of $1million to the national teams in the year 2017 and 2018.

The three-and-half year contract was signed by NFF President Amaju Pinnick and General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, with Tina Salminen, Nike’s African Football Sports Marketing Director, representing the American behemoth.

There are also various bonuses specified for any of the national teams that qualify for major international championships, with the Super Eagles to earn up to the sum of $500,000 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

“We are comfortable with the contract, because Nike came across during the negotiations as being fluid and ready to listen to our demands. That is always the key aspect; you always need a partner with a listening ear.

“Nigeria football is happy to associate with a global leader and I am much convinced this is just the beginning. As we go along, Nike may also be willing to partner with some of our domestic Clubs and even the League Management Company.”

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Stephen Keshi signs two-year deal http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/21/stephen-keshi-signs-two-year-deal/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/21/stephen-keshi-signs-two-year-deal/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:35:33 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236981 Stephen Keshi: reinstated as Super Eagles head coach

Stephen Keshi: reinstated as Super Eagles head coach

Stephen Keshi has signed a two-year contract extension to manage Nigeria’s national mens football team, ending months of topsy-turvy speculation over his future.

It would be recalled that on 19 April, Amaju Pinnick, President of Nigeria Football Federation, moved to clear doubts that the former Eagles captain will be offered a new deal.

Pinnick said the federation was deceiving Keshi with a new contract that would never be signed, urging Nigerians to do away with such rumour.

“I am shocked at these insinuations because the NFF Executive Committee gave the go-ahead for a new contract with Keshi at its meeting in Uyo last month, and Keshi and his lawyers have looked at the contract agreement and are satisfied with every word in the final draft.

“As a Federation, we have gone ahead to arrange some refresher programmes for Keshi, at nobody’s prodding, and which are meant to enhance Keshi’s knowledge and improve the man’s capacity as a world-class strategist. We woud not be doing that if we are not ready to work with him. No one is forcing Keshi on us.

We have sat down with him and he has agreed to all terms that we put down and he is ready to work to lift the Super Eagles back to glorious days.”

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Keshi’s Contract Signing Holds This Week – Pinnick http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/19/keshis-contract-signing-holds-this-week-pinnick/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/19/keshis-contract-signing-holds-this-week-pinnick/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:07:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236777 Taiwo Adelu

•Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi

•Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi

With Nigerians and football aficionados across the world increasingly tired of the topsy-turvy surrounding the signing of a new contract to keep Stephen Keshi as national team coach of the Super Eagles, President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick has moved to clear doubts that the former Eagles captain will be offered a new deal.

Pinnick said the federation is deceiving Keshi with a new contract that would never be signed, urging Nigerians to do away with such rumour.

“I am shocked at these insinuations because the NFF Executive Committee gave the go-ahead for a new contract with Keshi at its meeting in Uyo last month, and Keshi and his lawyers have looked at the contract agreement and are satisfied with every word in the final draft.

“As a Federation, we have gone ahead to arrange some refresher programmes for Keshi, at nobody’s prodding, and which are meant to enhance Keshi’s knowledge and improve the man’s capacity as a world-class strategist. We woud not be doing that if we are not ready to work with him. No one is forcing Keshi on us. We have sat down with him and he has agreed to all terms that we put down and he is ready to work to lift the Super Eagles back to glorious days.”

There have been dark innuendoes from some quarters following the postponement of the signing of the fresh contract, but Pinnick, who is on a private visit to London, said on Sunday that the contract would definitely be signed early this week.

“There were a few ends to tighten and Keshi himself understands perfectly and is comfortable with the arrangements to have the contract sealed early this week. We are not dribbling him. He won the Africa Cup of Nations with the team and led Nigeria to the Round of 16 at the World Cup in his first term. It is the belief of the NFF that Keshi can still perform at the highest level.”

The NFF supremo called on Nigerian ball fans and Nigerians in general to have faith in the NFF administration that he leads, saying positive results will certainly continue to flow even as the team concentrates on building capacity of various workers in the game and engineering a sustainable football culture in the land.

“We are training referees, coaches and administrators, and yet we are winning trophies in-between. In six months, we have won the African Women Championship and the African Youth Championship, and qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Our men and women teams have also qualified for the 11th All-Africa Games.

“One thing I continue to harp on is the need for match reading and analysis to help our Coaches, and the NFF has already bought into PROZONE’s all-inclusive match analysis software that will make match preparation easier for all our national teams.”

The former Chairman of Delta State Football Association further called on ball fans to have patience with the administration. “We are doing a lot at the same time to put so many things right for our football, but we need the understanding of our people that everything might not come together in a few weeks or months.

“Funding is one big challenge that we continually face. Presently, we are working assiduously to win more partners in order to achieve a level of financial autonomy. But at the same time, we know that we have to continue with the programme of enhancing the capacity of persons critical to the success of our teams and also ensure work continues on our vision of building sustainable football culture.”

“A third batch of 20 referees, which will bring the overall number to 50, will depart Nigeria for an educational programme in the United Kingdom this month, thanks to sponsorship by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and ARIK Airline. We are grateful to them for their support.”

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Again, NFA fails to invite Keshi for contract-signing http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/18/again-nfa-fails-to-invite-keshi-for-contract-signing/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/18/again-nfa-fails-to-invite-keshi-for-contract-signing/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 06:47:22 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236625 Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi

The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) on Friday failed to invite Stephen Keshi to sign a new contract as Super Eagles’ Head Coach after its board’s approval of a two-year extension.

NAN recalls that Mohammed Sanusi, the NFA Secretary-General, had on Tuesday told newsmen in Abuja that the contract would be signed on Friday.

A NAN correspondent who was at the NFA secretariat to cover the contract-signing ceremony reports that there were no signs that there were plans for the ceremony to even take place.

The NAN correspondent was however told by an NFA board member, who asked for anonymity, that the deal would now take place any time next week.

In another development, Keshi however commended the NFA leadership for agreeing to renew his contract by two years.

The coach said he was ready to put pen to paper to take the Super Eagles to the next level.

He dismissed reports in a section of the media that he suggested to the NFA to drop Super Eagles’ Assistant Coach Daniel Amokachi for a former team Assistant Coach, Sylvanus Okpala.

“Who credited this to me? Sylvanus and Amokachi were in the team together before.

“They have worked together before,” Keshi said.

NAN reports that Keshi’s initial contract with the NFA expired after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

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Keshi’s Super Eagles contract to be renewed Friday – NFA http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/15/keshis-super-eagles-contract-to-be-renewed-friday-nfa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/15/keshis-super-eagles-contract-to-be-renewed-friday-nfa/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:50:33 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=236238 Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi, the out of job Super Eagles Head Coach, is expected to sign a two-year contract extension with the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) on April 17.

The contract when signed, will see Keshi return as Super Eagles handler after his initial contract with the NFA expired after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Mohammed Sanusi, the Secretary-General of the NFA, told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that the contract which would be signed on Friday, would see the coach put pen to paper on his new job.

“By the grace of God on Friday the Super Eagles team will have a coach.

“Nigerians have been very patient with this issue, so, it’s just only two days remaining for the coach to sign a contract.

“We cannot announce a coach without signing a contract,” Sanusi said.

The NFA scribe also said that efforts were being intensified to sign a new kit sponsorship deal to boost the signing of a coaching deal for the Super Eagles.

“We are working assiduously to ensure we get a kit company that will sponsor our teams.

“It is not good to disclose the level of discussion with the would-be companies until the deal is finally struck,” he added.

Saunsi, however, commended the countries male and female football teams for qualifying for the 2015 All Africa Games scheduled for Congo Brazzaville from Sept. 4 to Sept. 19.

He said: “we are going to collaborate with the National Sports Commission (NSC) to ensure we give the teams quality preparations ahead of the Games.

“We were not there at the last All Africa Games; we were not there at the London 2012 Olympics too but this time that we have qualified we must go and make an impact.

“The Super Falcons who have qualified for the World Cup will also get the full support of the NFA and NSC, especially in terms of quality friendly matches.

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Lagos FA Cup Finals Hold Monday At Agege Stadium http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/06/lagos-fa-cup-finals-hold-monday-at-agege-stadium/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/04/06/lagos-fa-cup-finals-hold-monday-at-agege-stadium/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 09:29:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=235304 •L-R: Lagos State Director of Sports, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, Chairman, Lagos FA, Seyi Akinwunmi and Executive Director, Winners Golden Bet, Sulaimon Olabanji, at the unveiling of Winners Golden Bet as sponsor of Lagos FA Cup at National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi.

•L-R: Lagos State Director of Sports, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, Chairman, Lagos FA, Seyi Akinwunmi and Executive Director, Winners Golden Bet, Sulaimon Olabanji, at the unveiling of Winners Golden Bet as sponsor of Lagos FA Cup at National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: Emmanuel Osodi.

Cup competition across the world has always been full of surprises, name it from Nigeria’s Challenge Cup, now Federation Cup to English FA Cup to Copa de Ray in Spain or French Cup, clubs from the lower leagues have always come to knock out the bookmakers favourites.

How else can one describe what happened at the Winners Golden Bet/Lagos FA Cup this year, which finals hold Monday at Agege Stadium from 1:30 p.m., when youthful side, Nath Boys FC took on another youth team, Christ Ambassadors FC.

The two finalists on Friday at Agege Stadium, tore the form book, and left bookmakers and analysts wondering.

Christ Ambassadors came from behind to force a draw in their first semi-final clash against Taiwo Oloyede tutored side, Eko Akete Football Club. In the ensuring penalty shoot out, Eko Akete who have won their last two matches in the championship through penalty shootout fell to Christ Ambassadors, thanks to the heroics of their goalkeeper, Esin Emmanuel, who stopped three spot kicks.

Nath Boys who are one of the youngest team in the championship with an average age of 17 years also stopped their much older and experienced National League side, First Bank. The Nath Boys came from behind to draw the encounter 1-1 draw and later picked the final ticket through penalties.

Speaking on the drama of the semi-final matches, Deji Beecroft, Assistant General Manager of Winners Golden Bet, expressed satisfaction with the organization of the Lagos FA Cup since the kick off last month.

“From what I have seen so far in this tournament, I think the Seyi Akinwunmi-led board of the Lagos FA deserves commendation for their above board performance, hence we are happy as a company for being part of this success story so far,” he said.

He also noted that the officiating has been fair and, firm, hence the reason two grassroots clubs are in the finals and would be representing
Lagos State at the Federation Cup.

Dotun Coker, Technical committee chairman of the Lagos FA, said the standard of the competition this year has been very high, praising all the clubs that participated in the competition. He said that with the standard displayed by most of the clubs, it shows that the standard of football in Lagos is on the rise, adding that if the defending champions, AS Racine FC could crashed out in round of 32 and former champions and last year’s runners up, First Bank FC
could not make the final, it means that high level of scouting and development in the area of talents discovery is noted.

However, the women’s final between defending champions, FC Robo and last year’s finalist, COD United Ladies will precede the men’s final at
1:30 p.m.

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Uganda beat Nigeria, spoil Enyeama 100-cap party http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/25/uganda-beat-nigeria-spoil-enyeama-100-cap-party/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/25/uganda-beat-nigeria-spoil-enyeama-100-cap-party/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:56:41 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=234255 •Vincent Enyeama: 100-cap party spoilt by loss to Uganda

•Vincent Enyeama: 100-cap party spoilt by loss to Uganda

Nigeria goalkeeper and captain Vincent Enyeama had his 100-cap celebrations spoilt Wednesday as visiting Uganda turned party-poopers with a 1-0 international friendly victory.

Farouk Miya, who plays for the Vipers club in Kampala, delivered the stinging blow nine minutes from time in southern city Uyo with a deflected close-range shot that looped into the net.

Enyeama is the second Nigerian after retired former Everton defender Joseph Yobo to make 100 appearances for the Super Eagles.

And he is the fourth African shot-stopper after Egyptians Essam El-Hadary, Nader El-Sayed and Ahmed Shobair to become an international centurion.

Enyeama plays for French Ligue 1 outfit Lille and the 32-year-old is widely regarded as the best current African goalkeeper.

Nigeria are rebuilding after failing to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and rarely threatened to score against the well-organised Ugandans also captained by their goalkeeper, Denis Onyango.

South Africa, who host Nigeria on Sunday in another friendly, warmed up with a predictable 3-1 away victory over neighbours Swaziland.

A Swazi club last month stunned South African opponents in an African Football Confederation (CAF) tie, but there was to be no repeat at Somhlolo Stadium in Lobamba.

Thulani Hlatshwayo, skippering Bafana Bafana (The Boys) for the first time, and debutant Thabo Mnyamane scored early second-goals.

Felix Badenhorst halved the deficit only for Mandla Masango to put the outcome beyond doubt with a third South African goal.

The match marked the return to the starting line-up of controversial South Africa midfielder Thulani Serero from Dutch club Ajax.

He was left out of the 2015 Cup of Nations by coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba after snubbing a pre-squad announcement training camp.

Gordon Igesund, who was replaced by Mashaba after disappointing results, accused Serero of feigning injury two years ago.

Gabon pipped Mali 4-3 in a thriller at Stade Pierre Basson in northern French city Beauvais with Bruno Ecuele Manga snatching the last-minute match-winner.

Borussia Dortmund goal-poacher Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, runner-up to Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure in the 2014 CAF Footballer of the Year poll, scored twice for Gabon.

French coach Alain Giresse was in charge of Mali for the first time since rejoining the Eagles after a spell with Senegal.

Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar poked a cut-back into the net on 36 minutes to earn Cameroon a 1-0 victory in Indonesia.

Cameroon 1990 World Cup legend Roger Milla labelled the fixture “humiliating”, saying the four-time African champions should be playing better quality opposition.

Burundi equalised twice to draw 2-2 in Mauritius and prevent French coach Didier Six celebrating his debut in charge of the Indian Ocean islanders with a victory.

Andy Sophie put the Mauritians ahead on 10 minutes and Burundi levelled through a penalty before Bruno Ravina restored the lead midway through the opening half.

A 2-0 home win for Botswana over fellow southern Africa nation Lesotho completed a six-friendly schedule designed to prepare teams for the June kick-off of the 2017 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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Flying Eagles crowned ‘King of Africa’ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/22/flying-eagles-crowned-king-of-africa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/22/flying-eagles-crowned-king-of-africa/#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 22:00:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233960 FILE PHOTO: Flying Eagles celebrate winning African title

FILE PHOTO: Flying Eagles celebrate winning African title

Flying Eagles of Nigeria were crowned new under-20 champions after defeating Senegal 1-0 in the final to claim their seventh African title.

More to follow…

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I’ll change Nigerian football as Secretary General – Sanusi http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/21/ill-change-nigerian-football-as-secretary-general-sanusi/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/21/ill-change-nigerian-football-as-secretary-general-sanusi/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 08:52:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233827 Mohammed Sanusi: promises to revamp Nigeria football

Mohammed Sanusi: promises to revamp Nigeria football

Mohammed Sanusi, the newly appointed Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) said his administration would focus on four areas to ensure the country’s football is taken to the next level.

Sanusi, who until his appointment on March 19 was the NFA Director of Competitions, told newsmen in Abuja that one of the tasks would be to ensure that peace returned to the football family.

“I am here to ensure that we develop football from the grassroots; to ensure we do well in our competitions and to ensure we unite all the football stakeholders.

“I am also here to ensure that we get more sponsors for our events,” Sanusi said.

Sanusi, said achieving peace in the Football House would ensure that Nigeria achieved more at local and international competitions.

According to Sanusi, the four cardinal points of his administration would at the end of the day catapult Nigerian football to a greater height.

He said efforts were being made to ensure the Football House relocated to its new building at the package ‘B’ of the National stadium Abuja.

“I will want us to move to the new building as quickly as possible. I can tell you that before this my present appointment I was the chairman of the movement committee.

“There are some logistics involved but we will try and fast-track the movement,” he added.

The NFA scribe assured that he would operate an open-door policy to give every stakeholder equal opportunity to excel.

He also assured that he would study the various reports on the fire that gutted the football house on Aug. 20, 2014 to enable the NFA chart the way forward.

On the renewal of Stephen Keshi’s contract as Super Eagles Head Coach, Sanusi,said that the Technical Study Committee and the Technical Department were working to resolve the issues delaying the confirmation.

He urged Nigerians to support the Flying Eagles as they seek to win their seventh African Youth Championship (AYC) trophy at ongoing championship in Senegal.

Sanusi, assured that the Football secretariat would ensure the team got all its financial benefits before the team’s final match on Sunday March 22 against host Senegal.

He also solicited for the full cooperation of the media for his administration to achieve its set target for Nigerian football.

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Bolivia pull out of Nigeria friendly amid security fears http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/bolivia-pull-out-of-nigeria-friendly-amid-security-fears/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/18/bolivia-pull-out-of-nigeria-friendly-amid-security-fears/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 23:44:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=233510 Bolivian FA president Carlos Chavez

Bolivian FA president Carlos Chavez

Bolivia have pulled out of next week’s friendly in Nigeria citing security concerns, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) confirmed on Tuesday.

“Armed conflict and the tense political situation in Nigeria forced our withdrawal from the game,” Bolivian FA president Carlos Chavez said of the friendly scheduled for the southeastern city of Uyo.

A top Nigeria team official confirmed the withdrawal of the south Americans, while disclosing that the NFF were seeking a replacement for Bolivia.

“I can tell you that NFF have swung into action and are looking for a new opponent to replace Bolivia for the match on Thursday, March 26,” the official, who did not wish to be named, said.

“The reasons given by the Bolivian football authority to call off this game is strange and unacceptable to us.”

Bolivia are preparing for the Copa America in Chile from June 11 to July 4.

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Glo League: 3SC Suffer Away Defeat http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/09/glo-league-3sc-suffer-away-defeat/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/03/09/glo-league-3sc-suffer-away-defeat/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 14:17:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=232667 Wikki Tourists striker, Victor Yakubu, scored twice to help his team defeat 3SC 2-0 in a Glo Premier League match on Sunday.

Yakubu has now put himself top of the scorers’ chart just after day one of the Nigerian top flight.

The Wikki striker scored his goals in each with the first coming in the sixth minute of the game. He netted his second goal from a spot kick in the 56th minute.

Another newly-promoted side, Gabros FC, also got off to a superb start in the season with a two-nil defeat of Warri Wolves.

Michael Onuoha’s fourth minute goal was the first of the Glo Premier League season before Onyekachi Nwaiwu sealed the win for Gabros with an insurance goal.

Lobi Stars were just 20 minutes away from an away win when Eric Frimpong cancelled Obioma Arinze’s 43rd minute goal. Bayelsa United shared the points with Lobi.

Enyimba were profligate in front of goal as their former manager, Zachary Baraje led Akwa United to secure a goalless draw at the Enyimba Stadium.

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NFF offered me a ‘slave contract’, says Keshi http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/28/nff-offered-me-a-slave-contract-says-keshi/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/28/nff-offered-me-a-slave-contract-says-keshi/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:28:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231644 Coach Stephen Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi has said a new deal offered him by Nigeria amounted to a “slave contract”.

A debate has raged whether 52-year-old Keshi should be given a new contract after he failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

His initial contract of three years ran out after last year’s World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the last 16 knockout stages.

After a long wait, Keshi, who triumphed with Nigeria at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, said he had received his new contract from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), but had been far from impressed with what was on offer.

“From the clauses I have seen so far, I don’t know what words to use but the contract can be described as a ‘slave contract’”, he said, probably in reference to clauses which make him answerable to several persons and committees.

It was learnt that Keshi has now been offered a two-year contract effective from March 1, 2015 with him to meet several targets or else the deal was off.

He is also required to sign a code of conduct.

Keshi himself revealed that he will be paid five million Naira (less than $25,000), which was what he also received during his initial contract.

This week, the former Togo and Mali coach lost out to Franco-German Gernot Rohr in the race to handle Burkina Faso.

In March, Nigeria are billed to play two friendly matches against Bolivia and Ghana.

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Keshi: Pinnick warns media not to heat polity http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/keshi-pinnick-warns-media-not-to-heat-polity/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/keshi-pinnick-warns-media-not-to-heat-polity/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:40:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231418 •Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi

•Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has made a passionate appeal to sections of the Nigeria media to stop heating up the football polity in the name of sensationalism.

Speaking in Abuja on Thursday, Pinnick charged media persons to make peace and tranquility in the football family their winning words, and to be careful with the words they use in conveying messages to the public because of the important role they play.

“I have immense respect for the media, because of the very critical role they play in the promotion of football, nay sports, as an instrument for peace and fostering of tranquility worldwide. However, there is need for caution in the way and manner a section amplifies and celebrates what is negative.

“A minute section of the media feels that only the negative sells, which is an archaic belief. On Wednesday, someone wrote on a website that Stephen Keshi called the NFF and particularly my person all sorts of names. This is not true.”

Pinnick said he spoke to Coach Keshi on Wednesday and that the coach was exasperated that his words had been exaggerated.

“Keshi told me that his words were blown out of proportion. This is not good for Nigeria football and the imperative for harmony within the football structure. Keshi himself knows that using such words would not in any away endear him to the NFF.

“It is important that we all join hands to build a sustainable football culture for the country, and it is the job of everyone, not only the NFF,” he said.

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NFF praises Eaglets, despite loss to South Africa http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/nff-praises-eaglets-despite-loss-to-south-africa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/26/nff-praises-eaglets-despite-loss-to-south-africa/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:28:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=231296 Amaju Pinnick: praised the Eaglets

Amaju Pinnick: praised the Eaglets

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has commended the U-17 national team, Golden Eaglets, for earning a place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals taking place in Chile later in the year.

The South African Under-17, the Amajimbos, sailed into the final of the 2015 CAF U/17 African Youth Championships with a 1-0 win over Nigeria in the Niger capital of Niamey on Wednesday.

NFF President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick declared that semi final defeat to South Africa has not diminished the value of the Eaglets’ accomplishment. “Certainly, every Nigerian yearned for the Eaglets to win the African championship trophy in Niger after the boys reached the semi finals. They lost by a lone goal but we cannot accuse the players of lack of effort.

“The present NFF administration has continued to harp on the fact that it is not only concerned with winning trophies. We want to win trophies but more than that, we want to build a sustainable football culture.”

Pinnick assured that the boys will not be treated like outcasts following the failure to reach the Championship final. “The NFF will send a jet to pick the players after the third place match on Sunday. The technical crew remains intact and the NFF will give support to them to plug the necessary holes in the team so that we will have a squad capable of doing the nation proud in Chile.”

The NFF President also noted that cup holders Cote d’Ivoire were eliminated in the group phase of the championship in Niger.

Meanwhile, the Amajimbos, who are now 90 minutes away from being crowned African junior champions have a solid performance against the Eaglets.

A goal from mercurial goal-poacher Khanyisa Mayo was all Amajimbos needed to overcome probably their biggest obstacle.

Both teams had already sealed their place at the World Cup in Chile and started the match at a high tempo.

The Amajimbos continued to search for the opening goal, they went into the attack on the 26th minute resulting in Mayo sweeping home the crucial goal.
Nigeria came back a rejuvenated side in the second half pushing for the elusive equaliser but a combination of good goalkeeping from Mondli Mpoto and tight defence put paid to any of their chances pulling things back.

Amajimbos coach Molefi Ntseki was over the moon about the victory but added he was not surprised by the outcome. “We watched Nigeria throughout the tournament, because there was a chance of us playing them.

“We identified a lot of mistakes in their game and this victory was down to our homework and our players playing to instructions. Nigeria are a good team, make no mistake about that but this is a culmination of our plans coming together,” said Ntseki.

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Glo League First Round Fixtures Released http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/glo-league-first-round-fixtures-released/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/19/glo-league-first-round-fixtures-released/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 13:32:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230559 First round fixtures of Globacom sponsored 2014/2015 Nigeria Professional Football League season shows that People’s Elephant, Enyimba FC will trade tackles with Akwa United of Uyo at the Enyimba International Stadium on 7 March.

Champions Kano Pillars are away to Heartland FC in Owerri, while El-Kanemi Warriors, who will still play their home matches in Kano as they did last season, host Nasarawa United FC.

Top cadre returnees 3SC of Ibadan are away to fellow returnees Wikki Tourists in Bauchi while Sunshine Stars visit Sharks FC in Port Harcourt and Giwa FC are at home to Abia Warriors in Jos.

Meanwhile, as part of preparations for kick-off of the Professional Football League season, the Nigeria Football Federation will hold a seminar for Premier League referees on Thursday, 5 March.

A seminar for match commissioners has already been slated for 2-3 March in Abuja, with another seminar for Match Assessors to hold in Abuja at a date to be determined.

Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh confirmed the dates, adding that a seminar for referees in the National League and Nationwide League will hold in the different zones 7-8 March.

Week One Matches

Enyimba vs Akwa United

Wikki Tourists vs 3SC

El-kanemi Warriors vs Nasarawa United

Sharks FC vs Sunshine Stars

Dolphins FC vs Kwara United

Giwa FC vs Abia Warriors

Heartland FC vs Kano Pillars

Bayelsa United vs Lobi Stars

Gabros FC vs Warri Wolves

FC Taraba vs Enugu Rangers

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Wenger pledges co-operation with NFF http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/18/wenger-pledges-co-operation-with-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/18/wenger-pledges-co-operation-with-nff/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:58:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=230445 Done Deal: L-R: Amaju Pinnick and Arsene Wenger shake hands over partnership

Done Deal: L-R: Amaju Pinnick and Arsene Wenger shake hands over partnership

Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick held what was generally described as an “extremely positive and encouraging” meeting with the manager of English Premiership side, Arsenal FC, Mr. Arsene Wenger on Tuesday.

The legendary manager met with the NFF supremo at his office at Arsenal FC’s training ground where a wide range of issues were discussed, including the rising stock of Nigerian-born players like Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi at the club.

After the meeting, Pinnick, who was accompanied by the new Special Envoy for the Federation on International Affairs, Tunde Adelakun, said: “As we had always known, Arsene is vast in his knowledge and appreciates Nigeria as a footballing country and his widely philosophical in his general approach,” he said, assuring that, contrary to what is reported about some clubs in Europe trying to steer their players to play for the countries where they live, Wenger was emphatic on what should be.

“He told me that he has never stopped any player from opting for whichever national team he wants. He said to me that he always tells his players to follow their hearts and not allow people to push them. He further assured that if Nigeria extended a call-up to either or both of his players, he will have no objection if the players say they want to go.”

Pinnick’s visit to Arsenal was to enlist Wenger’s support in “the process of rebuilding the country’s football” and he was not disappointed. “Arsene told us that he will gladly do what he can to assist where we want, and has already started giving encouraging signs towards the capacity building exercises for our coaches at all levels”.

Meanwhile, Pinnick has held a meeting with parents of Nigerian footballers based in the United Kingdom, assuring them of their sons’ safety and progress should they choose to wear the colours of Nigeria.

There is a huge number of Nigerian footballers, many born and raised in the United Kingdom, but who have expressed a desire to open their hearts to the possibility of playing for the Super Eagles; and Pinnick was quick to appreciate that.

“Most of your sons have the option to wait for their chance and play for England, Wales or Scotland”, he said, “and the fact that you are steering them in the direction of playing for their country of origin is laudable and I really appreciate it,” Pinnick said.

The NFF President stated that he would like to see youngsters who, in his words, “have been exposed to the scientific methods of football in terms of coaching, amenities and equipment as well as discipline in areas of fitness and nutrition” to build a new-look Super Eagles team that would conquer the world.

He promised that players will be selected on merit, and that the days of favouritism are forgotten in the new administration led by him.

Pinnick called the attention of the parents to the choice made by Victor Moses who, despite having featured for England Under-21s, opted to play for Nigeria and was rewarded with being a part of the Super Eagles team that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

“That will remain in his books for the rest of his life – a winner’s medal at the AFCON, and I am sure he will not regret playing for Nigeria” he said.

He drew comparison against some of the players eligible to play for Nigeria but who opted for England, were capped only a couple of times and were dropped, and asked the parents to use this as example to their wards.

He was quick to extol, though, the goodness in the Nigerian league system, saying his move was not an act of disrespect to the home-grown talent that abound in the country.

“We all know that the Nigerian leagues produce many players and I know that. However, I also know that we have many talented players in Diaspora and we want to tap into them all, so we can identify and select the very best across the board,” he explained.

The Delta-born administrator gave assurances that the parley will be a continuous process, and that the new Technical Study Group of the NFF led by former international Jay Jay Okocha will visit the players in the coming weeks and establish close links with them with a view to being selected for the national teams.

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Mali agrees to shift 2016 Olympics qualifiers against Nigeria http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/14/mali-agrees-to-shift-2016-olympics-qualifiers-against-nigeria/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/14/mali-agrees-to-shift-2016-olympics-qualifiers-against-nigeria/#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 07:16:20 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=229956 Ademola Olajire, NFA’s Assistant Director (Communications)

Ademola Olajire, NFA’s Assistant Director (Communications)

Mali Football Federation has accepted a proposal by the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) for a qualifying fixture of the Women’s Football Tournament of 2016 Olympic Games to be moved forward.

A statement by Ademola Olajire, NFA’s Assistant Director (Communications), said the Super Falcons were scheduled to host the Malians on May 23 with the return leg in Nigeria on May 30.

NAN reports that the fixture between both countries’ senior women teams is in the second round of qualifiers for the Women’s Football Tournament at Rio, Brazil.

“We had to write to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Malian Federation to consider bringing the matches forward by two weeks in order for our team to be able to head to Canada by May 19.

“Our team will be going for the final training camp for the 7th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals,” the statement quoted NFA’s General Secretary Musa Amadu as saying on Friday.

CAF had given NFA the go-ahead to contact the Malian Federation for both National Associations to agree between themselves.

In its reply, dated Feb. 13, General Secretary Yacouba Traore said the Mali Football Federation had agreed in principle.

This means that the first leg match will now take place in Nigeria on May 9, with the return leg in Bamako on May 16.

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Falcons coach invites Liverpool’s Oshoala, 35 others http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/14/falcons-coach-invites-liverpools-oshoala-35-others/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/02/14/falcons-coach-invites-liverpools-oshoala-35-others/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 23:52:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=229936 Edwin Okon, Super Falcons coach

Edwin Okon, Super Falcons coach

Edwin Okon, the Head Coach of the Super Falcons, has called to camp 36 players in preparation for a number of qualifying matches, and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

NAN reports that the Falcons have to play in the qualifiers for the 11th All-Africa Games and the 2016 Olympic Games.

The invited players, made up of 10 foreign-based and 26 home-based girls, are to report at the Serob Legacy Hotel, Abuja on Sunday, Feb. 22.

“They are to report with their training kits, international passports and birth certificates,” a statement by Ademola Olajire, the Assistant Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Association (NFA), said on Friday.

Among those listed are goalkeepers Ibubeleye Whyte and Precious Dede, and defenders Onome Ebi, Faith Ikidi and Ngozi Ebere.

Others are midfielders Halimat Ayinde, Cecilia Nku and Osarenoma Igbinovia, and strikers Asisat Oshoala, Uchechi Sunday and Desire Oparanozie.

The Falcons, who are billed for the 7th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals which begins in Canada on June 6, have an All-Africa Games qualifier away to Mali on March 22.

The return leg match is in Nigeria three weeks later, before they clash with the same Malian side in May in a 2016 Olympic Games qualifying fixture.

The invited players:

Faith Ikidi (Pitea IF, Sweden); Onome Ebi (FK Minsk, Belarus); Osinachi Ohale (Houston Dash, USA); Francisca Ordega (Pitea IF, Sweden); Onyinyechi Okere (Edo Queens); Alaba Jonathan (Pelican Stars); Christy Ohieriaku (Osun Babes)

Ibubeleye Whyte (Rivers Angels); Precious Dede (Ibom Queens); Ugochi Njoku (Rivers Angels); Mariam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Halimat Ayinde (Delta Queens)

Ngozi Ebere (Rivers Angels); Onyinyechi Ohadugha (Rivers Angels); Esther Sunday (Pelican Stars); Chisom Henry (Sunshine Queens); Cecilia Nku (Rivers Angels)

Desire Oparanozie (EN Avent De Guingamp); Josephine Chukwunonye (Rivers Angels); Asisat Oshoala (Liverpool Ladies); Ngozi Okobi (Delta Queens); Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels)

Chikodi Amaefuna (Edo Queens); Courtney Dike (Oklahoma State University, USA); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Pelican Stars); Patience Agbokadi (Sunshine Queens); Osarenoma Igbinovia (Ibom Queens)

Blessing Edoho (Pelican Stars); Yetunde Adeboyejo (Bayelsa Queens); Uchechi Sunday (Belarus); Sarah Nnodim (Delta Queens); Ebere Okoye (Nasarawa Amazons); Sarah Michael (Kif Orebro, Sweden)

Loveth Ayila (Rivers Angels); Ini Umotong (Portsmouth Ladies, UK); Okewole Funke (Sunshine Queens)

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Lagos FA Election: Players’ Union Kicks Against List http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/26/lagos-fa-election-players-union-kicks-against-list/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/26/lagos-fa-election-players-union-kicks-against-list/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:05:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=227878 Ahead of the 10 February, 2015 election into the board of Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, the Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria, APFON, is raising eyebrows over the list of delegates that will vote during the election.

The players’ union, one of the major stakeholders in football all over the world, are contesting the fact that while the statutes of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Article 28 Section 1 (d) specifies that the players’ association which is subordinate to the NFF shall present three delegates for the Elective Congress, the 2010 Statutes of LSFA, which will be applied for the 10 February election in its Article 26 on Delegates and Votes, there is no provision for the players’ association as it is seen on the NFF’s statutes.

“When we saw this anomaly, we immediately wrote to Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, who is the Vice President of the NFF, and the chairman of Lagos FA who said that he was not aware of this and promised that he would look into it,” said Austin Popo, Executive Secretary of APFON.

“I mandated our Lagos chapter to make a written complaint to the Electoral Committee of the LSFA, which informed that they had replied, though I’ve not seen the reply. I want to make it clear that while other states are giving the players’ union right to present delegates for their FA elections, I don’t see any reason why Lagos’s own will be different.

“APFON is also a custodian of the rules as an affiliate and member of the congress and this is supposed to reflect in the statute of the Lagos FA. We should not be the only body that would be exempted by Lagos. We’ll ensure that the right thing is done especially when the chairman is the vice president of the NFF and a legal practitioner,” he said.

In his reaction, Mr. Wale Joseph, a member of the Lagos FA told P.M.NEWS that the APFON, Lagos chapter is economical with the truth as they have since been given one slot in the delegates’ list for the election.

He added that their demand to be given a slot in the Divisional Football Association (DFA) level would be hard to achieve as they are not affiliated to any of the DFAs.

“What they are demanding as far as I know is at the DFA levels. They have a vote during the election. I think they have not read the statute very well. If there is any problem, they should write to us so that we can amicably sort things out,” said Joseph.

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Agbonavbare Dying Of Cancer http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/21/agbonavbare-dying-of-cancer/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/21/agbonavbare-dying-of-cancer/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:57:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=227241 Taiwo Adelu

Former Nigerian international goalkeeper, Wilfred Agbonavbare is clinging to his life as he battles to survive cancer at a Spanish hospital.

The ex-Rayo Vallecano goalie, who been relocated back to Spain after spending five months in a Tampa, Florida, hospital, to continue with his treatment told a friend recently that: “I was relieved of my job after I was diagnosed with cancer. My wife died of breast cancer three years ago and when she was diagnosed with breast cancer I spent all the money

“I made playing professional football on her medical bills to keep her treatment uninterrupted. Consequently, I had to send my three children to Nigeria because my lethal health condition.”

Agbonavbare, who was a member of Nigeria’s U-21 Mexico 1983 Flying Eagles, 1984 AFCON silver medalist and 1994 AFCON gold medalist, is calling on Nigerians to come to his aid and so did some of his teammates in the Eagles calling on the Federal Government to convert the scholarship awards promised the 1983 Flying Eagles team into financial rewards so that Wilfred’s cancer treatment continues uninterrupted. This according to them will also enable some of their colleagues in despair as a result of financial constraint to have hope.

•Agbonavbare (left)on sick bed at a Tampa hospital in Florida, USA.

•Agbonavbare (left)on sick bed at a Tampa hospital in Florida, USA.

Ex-Flying Eagles and Green Eagles star Dehinde Akinlotan said Agbonavbare needs urgent help now, adding that “Mr. Agbonavbare is plagued with serious sickness at a hospital bed as we speak seeking financial support and also fighting for his life, we are hoping that our plea to Mr. President in redeeming the pledge bestowed on the team. We had already lost three of our teammates (Ali Jeje, Chris Anigala and Tarfa Kpako) to illness during our plea and we pray that almighty God will be with and give Agbonavbare good and sound health.”

“It’s unfortunate that one of us is at the point of death struggling to pay hospital his medical bills and if our government redeems this scholarship it will help to save his life. I am talking about Wilfred Agbonavbare. We are also asking FG or FA to find a way to put together a retirement plan so players have something to fall back on upon retirement from active football,” said Tajudeen Disu, a former defender in the Eagles.

Femi Olukanni, who played at the 1983 FIFA U-20 World Cup Final said: “The current health condition of Agbonavbare on sick bed deeply concerns us greatly because of the request from good-hearted friends to ask for prayers and financial support on his behalf. We do believe that if this scholarship is converted to financial rewards, Wilfred’s treatment will not be interrupted, and this is the collective hope we come to you with.”

Vice captain of the 1983 Flying Eagles set, US based Chief Paul Okoku said he was sad about the news of Agbonavbare’s woes.

“When I read that our former teammate, Agbonavbare, is terminally ill, it saddened my heart because the last time I saw him, he was a vibrant young man, full of life ahead of him. And his look on the sick bed sent a chill through my spine which resonated deep on my emotion.

“We, the 1983 set of Flying Eagles players, are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan, as the promise keeper, to honour the promised scholarship the then President Shehu Shagari, made to us in 1983 after qualifying Nigeria for her first ever FIFA-organized tournament. In doing so, Wilfred, who is terminally ill, will not be in want financially and he can focus on his treatment with peace of mind. And equally, many of our teammates in despair, struggling to make ends meet financially and suffering from deplorable health conditions with no medical assistance will have hope,” said Okoku, former Eagles’ midfielder who established Greater Tomorrow Children Foundation (GTCF) to help the less-privileged children in the Nigerian society.

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