P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Nigerian Football Teams http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 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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Friendly: Eaglets Beat Kaduna-Based Club 1-0 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/friendly-eaglets-beat-kaduna-based-club-1-0/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/friendly-eaglets-beat-kaduna-based-club-1-0/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 04:58:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208426 Golden Eaglets

Golden Eaglets

Nigeria’s Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets, on Saturday wrought another win courtesy of a first half strike by winger Promise Orji against Kaduna-based Ace Football Club at the Abraham Ordia Stadium inside the University of Calabar.

“Maybe we would have even played better than we did against the Golden Eaglets today,” said Ace FC’s Coach Al-Amin Ibn-Musa.

“We didn’t arrive Calabar until the early hours of the day but that should not take anything away from the victory of the Golden Eaglets because they played a good match against us.”

The early exchange between both team was cautious as they sized each other up but it was Ace FC that nearly took the lead after Uzama Douglas conceded a free kick in front of the Golden Eaglets’ goal area in the 10th minute.

But goalkeeper Ebuka Nwokeocha making only his second starting appearance held firmly to Shefiu Dauda’s free kick.

Then in the 39th minute, Eaglets’ midfielder, Jack Ipalibo finally came out of his shell by snaking his way through the left flank before slicing a cross to Orji, who cleverly evaded on rushing Ace’s defender, Christopher Nwaeze, before hitting the ball behind goalkeeper Nurudeen Mudashir.

Thereafter, both teams created very little chances but when the chance came for the Kaduna-based team, Nwokeocha’s agility denied them an opportunity to equalise. Nwokoecha deflected a goal-bound shot from Nwaze and equally did a yeoman’s job in the 85th minute when he punched away a blind header by Peter Obochi.

Yet unimpressed with the team’s overall performance, Coach Emmanuel Amuneke gave his wards the ‘hairdryer’ treatment by asking them to gird their loins in the days ahead.

“We don’t need to remind you every time that this is a national team and there is a certain standard expected from us but I’m not impressed with your performance today.

“Of course, we are constantly evaluating ourselves with this sort of matches and we must continue to show why we are in the national team with better performance always,” said the former African Footballer of the Year.

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Jonathan charges Falconets to win trophy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/jonathan-charges-falconets-to-win-trophy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/jonathan-charges-falconets-to-win-trophy/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 04:46:52 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208427 Some members of the team listen to President Jonathan during a telephone conversation Saturday

Some members of the team listen to President Jonathan during a telephone conversation Saturday

President Goodluck Jonathan has assured the country’s representatives at the ongoing FIFA U- 20 Women’s World Cup, the Falconets, of the Federal Government’s support ahead of the final match against the German side on Sunday 7 pm local time (12 midnight Nigerian time).

The president applauded the Falconets for making the country proud at the World Cup in Canada.

Jonathan, who spoke to the players and officials via telephone on Saturday, said Nigerians await Sunday’s victory over the German team.

“I have been following your matches since the start of the World Cup, and I am very impressed with your performances. I urge you to put in your best to win the cup for Nigeria for the first time in the history of the U-20 Women’s World Cup,” said Jonathan, who told the team that the Presidency will treat them to an arousing welcome.

Leader of delegation and board member of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Chief Felix Ayansi Agwu told Mr President that speaking to the team would further motivate them to put in their best in the final on Sunday.
He assured that the team will bring home the trophy.

Team captain, Patience Okaeme, thanked the president and said they will make the country proud.

The Falconets has scored 15 goals in their last five matches and have conceded five. They finished top of Group C with seven points.

Three of the team’s players, Asisat Oshoala, Halima Ayinde and Loveth Ayinla have received FIFA’s most valuable player awards with Asisat winning it three times.

Tomorrow’s final, according to coach Peter Dedevbo, will show the world that the Falconets are a better side.

“We shall redeem our 2010 image. Germany are a strong team, but we are prepared for them. We will do our very best to seal our hardwork with a win,” said Dedevdo.

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Danagogo wishes NFF successful election on 26 August http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/22/danagogo-wishes-nff-successful-election-26-august/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/22/danagogo-wishes-nff-successful-election-26-august/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:58:20 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208255 Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo

Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC) Dr. Tammy Danagogo, has wished all delegates, candidates and stakeholders to the elective Congress of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, holding in Abuja on 26 August 2014 a very successful congress.

In a statement released to the press in Abuja, he said the government is solidly behind the election into the board of the NFF which holds on Tuesday, 26 August, adding that the resolutions reached in his meetings with the Alhaji Aminu Maigari-led faction and the Mike Umeh-led faction of the NFF should be adhered to.

He said stakeholders should also adhere strictly to the advisory letter from FIFA dated 14 August 2014, which stated inter alia, “…it is advisable that major decisions are frozen until after the elections of 26 August…” and that nothing should happen to alter that position.

The minister wants all parties who are genuinely interested in participating in the NFF elections and felt disenfranchised ought to file their complaints and seek redress through available channels including the Elections Appeals Committee, adding that it is time for all parties to put aside their personal ambitions and promote the corporate good of Nigerian Football.

Danagogo who is looking forward to a cordial and prosperous working relationship with the board that will be inaugurated after the elections of 26 August 2014, in Abuja to take Football in Nigeria to greater heights.

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Fans laud Falconets, optimistic of victory against Germany http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/22/fans-laud-falconets-optimistic-of-victory-against-germany/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/22/fans-laud-falconets-optimistic-of-victory-against-germany/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:33:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208087 SHOULDER HIGH...Head Coach Peter Dedevbo of Nigeria is carried shoulder high by his players as they celebrate their victory following the final whistle of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 Semi-final match against Korea DPR at the Moncton Stadium on 20 August, 2014 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. PHOTO:AFP

SHOULDER HIGH…Head Coach Peter Dedevbo of Nigeria is carried shoulder high by his players as they celebrate their victory following the final whistle of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 Semi-final match against Korea DPR at the Moncton Stadium on 20 August, 2014 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. PHOTO:AFP

A cross-section of football fans in Abuja on Thursday praised the Falconets for whipping North Korea 6-2 in a semi-final game at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Fans told NAN that the team had made remarkable strides in the history of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

They were also optimistic that the team would win the competition for Nigeria’s first-ever title win at any international event in women football.

Coach Mary Benny of State House Football Club said she was delighted with the team’s performance, adding that girls had made the country proud.

“I am so happy with the girls’ performance. They were focused and they knew what they wanted.

“They have made the country proud and I suppose that this is the highest-scoring semi-final ever seen at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup,” Benny said.

A sports journalist Austin Okeke commended the team for its victory, adding that he was hopeful the team would win the competition.

“I am not surprised that they (the players) won, because they have shown great sign of teamwork, discipline and commitment.

“I must commend them for going this far. I just pray that God will crown their efforts by granting them victory in the final match,’’ Okeke said.

Mike Ajayi, a civil servant, said he was amazed by the girls’ style of play. “I really enjoyed the match yesterday (Wednesday). In fact, I have not seen Nigerian female footballers in such high spirits before. I was amazed.

“I give kudos to them and I pray that they would bring the trophy home,” he said.

Johnson Musa, another civil servant, said the team played well, and added that he was optimistic the girls would win the competition.

NAN reports that the Falconets will now take on Germany, 2-1 winners over France in the other semi-final match, in the final match in Montreal on Sunday.

North Korea and France will take each other on in the third-place match, also on 24 August.

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NFF Stops 26 August Election http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/21/nff-stops-26-august-election/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/21/nff-stops-26-august-election/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:57:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208053 Taiwo Adelu

NFF President, Aminu Maigari

NFF President, Aminu Maigari

Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has called on all Nigerians to discountenance a statement by the Chairman of NFF Electoral Committee, Mr. Amoni Biambo, to the effect that elections into the NFF Executive Committee will hold at the General Assembly of Tuesday 26 August 2014.

“The statement must have been made in error. As far as the NFF is concerned, there will be no elections at the General Assembly of Tuesday, 26 August. There is a proposal that we are taking to the General Assembly (the supreme body of Nigeria football) for consideration and approval, with regards to the elections.

“It is for the NFF and the General Assembly to propose the date for elections, not that of the Electoral Committee, which was put in place by the General Assembly,” NFF General Secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu, said on Thursday.

Amadu expatiated that the proposal to be taken before the General Assembly on Tuesday will see to the elections being conducted not later than two weeks after the assembly, on the advice of world governing body, FIFA.

“The elections will definitely take place in early September 2014. All hands are on deck to ensure that we hold the elections not later than two weeks after the Congress on Tuesday, to usher in a new Executive Committee of NFF.

“What the NFF is concerned with, even before a similar advice by FIFA, is to ensure an open and transparent process that will guarantee a level–playing field for everyone. Every person eligible to purchase form and contest the elections should be able to do so, and the process must be one that dovetails into credible, free and fair elections, that will stand the test of time, devoid of challenges by aggrieved persons that will affect the smooth running of the NFF by the incoming Executive Committee.”

The NFF scribe also made it clear that the persons who will be in Warri for Tuesday’s General Assembly will be the same delegates who were at the November 2013 General Assembly in the same city, except where there have been changes that comply with the Statutes.

“For example, the unbanning of Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi and Mr. Chidi Ofor Okenwa means these persons will represent Osun and Enugu States respectively, as chairmen of their State FA. Other than these two, the roll–call remains the same.”

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Maigari, Umeh disagree on cause of fire at NFF http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/21/maigari-umeh-disagree-on-cause-of-fire-at-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/21/maigari-umeh-disagree-on-cause-of-fire-at-nff/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:23:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207950 NFF Glass house on fire Photo: Ayorinde Oluokun

NFF Glass house on fire
Photo: Ayorinde Oluokun

The Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, on Wednesday described the fire that gutted a section of the football secretariat in Abuja as unfortunate.

Maigari who returned to office on Monday after he was reinstated following an impeachment three weeks ago by NFF Board members he was shocked. Maigari told journalists after inspecting the level of damage by the fire that he was astonished by the incident.

“I am short of words. It is a very unfortunate and sad development. We leave everything in the hands of God.

“We thank God that no life was lost but I know things will come back to normal. I believe the security agents will set up an investigative panel of inquiry to ascertain what actually happened.

“We will sit as a board to know what steps to be taken. This is an act of God. I don’t want to apportion blame to anybody,” Maigari said.

He also said the development would not affect the country’s preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Congo in Calabar on 6 September.

“I believe it is not going to affect our course in any way. The Falconets are willing and determined to make Nigeria proud and we are doing everything possible to ensure they succeed.

“A board member will fly to Canada tonight to inspire them and take a message of support from Nigerians to them,” he said.

The chairman called for the collaboration of the board members so as to achieve more positive result for the country’s football.

However, Mike Umeh, acting Chairman of NFF, told journalists that it was difficult to believe that an electric spark was responsible for the fire outbreak.

He said the fire was an act of sabotage, adding that the development was strange to Nigeria football.

“Nobody will believe what happened this morning. We are having this kind of fire from the Secretary-General’s office to the Accounts Department.

“This happened during the working hours. It is not as if it started at midnight and it was not controlled.

“Every file there has been destroyed and that will explain to you what we are saying that there is a lot of corruption going on in the NFF.

“That is why we distanced ourselves from the meeting that was held yesterday. We did not agree with that meeting because nobody can perpetuate himself into power.

“They seem to be buying themselves more time with what they did yesterday. We must hold our election on 26 August.

“If they like let them burn the entire Abuja city,” Umeh said in apparent reference to the face-off between him and Maigari.

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Falconets defeat North Korea to reach final http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/falconets-defeat-north-korea-to-reach-final/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/falconets-defeat-north-korea-to-reach-final/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:57:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207903 Falconets Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The Falconets of Nigeria have defeated North Korea to reach the final of the U-20 World Cup in Canada. They qualified for the final by demolishing North Korea 6-2.

Asisat Oshoala scored four times as Nigeria reached the final with a thumping 6-2 victory over Korea DPR in the highest-scoring semi-final ever seen at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Oshoala also laid on two more goals in a win that leaves the Super Falconets to face Germany on Sunday at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium after the Germans defeated France 2-1.

Nigeria have had a tendency to score quick goals during their time at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, and Courtney Dike continued that trend with a goal barely more than a minute after kick-off. Oshoala set the tone by setting it up, releasing Dike in behind Korea DPR’s captain Choe Sol-Gyong before the No8 expertly picked her spot just inside the far post. At the half-way point of the first period, Oshoala doubled Nigeria’s lead, capitalising on a poor touch from centre-half Song Kyong-Hui before rounding the keeper and passing into an open goal.

Less than ten minutes later, Ri Un-Sim – arguably the North Koreans’ most dangerous attacker throughout the tournament – pulled one back with a great bit of individual skill after receiving a long ball from midfield. Ri beat two defenders on the cutback and finished past Sandra Chiichii with a powerful shot into the top corner. From there, Korea DPR looked inspired in search of an equaliser but the score remained 2-1 at half-time before Nigeria swiftly put the game out of reach within minutes of the restart.

In similar fashion to her appearance and goal in the quarter-finals against New Zealand, Uchechi Sunday came on as a substitute and within a minute scored to restore her team’s two-goal lead. Oshoala then put the game out of reach on the hour mark when she hit a stunning shot from 20 yards out that left Kim with no chance as it flew into the top corner.

Korea DPR had one last glimmer of hope two minutes later when Ugo Njoku handled the ball in her own area, allowing Jon So-Yon to score from the penalty spot. However, Oshoala’s quality shone through yet again in the 68th minute when she completed her hat-trick, beating Song and winning a foot race with Kim to once more fire into an empty net.

Nigeria were not finished there, though, and with five minutes from time the No4 matched the number on her jersey. The goal came as a result of another North Korean defensive miscue less than six yards from goal, resulting in a simple tap-in.

Oshoala had taken the wind out of the Korean sails far earlier in the match and when the final whistle sounded, her Nigerian team-mates surrounded her in celebration, while Hwang Yong-Bong’s side trudged off disconsolately.

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Fire Outbreak: Elegbeleye, Gumba Commiserate With NFF http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/fire-outbreak-elegbeleye-gumba-commiserate-with-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/fire-outbreak-elegbeleye-gumba-commiserate-with-nff/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:33:09 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207891 NFF Glass house on fire

NFF Glass house on fire

Director General of the National Sports Commission, NSC, Gbenga Elegbeleye, and the Chairman of Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Adamu Gumba, were among the prominent Nigerians to commiserate with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, over a fire outbreak in the Glass House on Wednesday morning.

Both leading figures spoke when a team led by NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari called at their offices to inform them of the fire disaster. The NFF team also included members of the Executive Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed Fresh and Mr. Ayodeji Tinubu, and the General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu.

Elegbeleye thanked God that no life was lost in the incident, which started with smoke spiralling out of one of the offices on the second floor before it became uncontrollable.

“We commiserate with you over this disaster but we are grateful to God that no life was lost. Our hope and prayer is that this should not have any serious effect on the programmes of the NFF,” Elegbeleye said.

Senator Gumba spoke in similar vein, even as he congratulated Maigari and his team for overcoming the recent crisis that threatened to tear Nigerian football apart.

Responding, Maigari assured that he had personally assessed the impact of the fire outbreak and that the programmes of the NFF and Nigerian football will not be affected.

“It is sad but we still have to be grateful to Almighty Allah. For one, no life was lost, and also, the impact is such that though a few offices including the General Secretary’s office were affected, this is not enough to affect any of our programmes.

“All that we need to get the Falconets going in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and to prepare the Super Eagles for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and the U-17 boys for their African U-17 Championship qualifiers are intact,” Maigari said.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the NFF, Amadu, has corroborated the assertion of the NFF President that fire outbreak will not in any way affect the programmes of the federation.

“This incident is unfortunate, but we remain steadfast and focused on our programmes. As the NFF President stated earlier, our national teams’ programmes will not suffer in any way as a result of this fire incident.

“We suspect no foul play, and I can tell you that the Accounts department was not affected at all. All our financial documents are intact, and the trophies that we have won are also intact.”

Amadu thanked the Federal Fire Service, Julius Berger Construction Company, National Emergency Management Agency (whose Director General personally visited), officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, State Security Service, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies for their quick response.

“We are quite appreciative of all these persons and other Nigerians who came around and expressed their sadness. We want to assure everyone that this will not affect any of our programmes or our work. The fire has been put out and we are now getting a cleaning outfit to clean up the whole place and make it habitable as early as possible. Our work must not suffer,” Amadu said.

NFF spokesman, Ademola Olajire disclosed that the incident started with an electrical fault in one of the offices on the second floor.

“Some of us just arrived and were still outside the building when smoke started coming out of one of the offices on the second floor. The maintenance officers did their best to put it out but could not. We then started calling the Fire Service department and they came in good time.

““But then, the fire had broken out and affected some offices on the left wing, including the General Secretary’s office and the IT unit. However, the Accounts department, which is on the right wing, as well as the President’s office, was not affected in any way.”

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Glass House, Nigeria Football Federation Secretariat on Fire http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/glass-house-nigeria-football-federation-secretariat-on-fire/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/glass-house-nigeria-football-federation-secretariat-on-fire/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:38:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207809 Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

NFF Glass house on fire

NFF Glass house on fire

Glass House, the Secretariat of the crisis ridden Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) went up in flames this morning.

It was gathered that the fire started from the top floor of the building which housed the office of the General Secretary as well as the President of the football federation.

Our correspondent learnt that the accounts department of the federation was also affected by the fire which cause was not known as at the time of filing in this story.

Officials of Federal Fire Service are still battling to put out the fire at the Secretariat located in Wuse Zone 7 Area of Abuja as at the time of filing in this story.

The NFF has for many weeks now being enmeshed in a leadership crisis with Aminu Maigari and Mike Umeh laying claim to the leadership federation.

However, Maigari, returned to office on Monday following the directive of the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo.

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Maigari Tips Falconets For U-20 Women’s World Cup Final http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/maigari-tips-falconets-for-u-20-womens-world-cup-final/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/maigari-tips-falconets-for-u-20-womens-world-cup-final/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:37:33 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207698 Falconets Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Aminu Maigari on Tuesday inspired players of the U-20 women national team, Falconets, with words of courage, saying he has confidence in them to reach Sunday’s final of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Following their easy 4-1 dismissal of New Zealand in the quarter final on Sunday, the Falconets clash with pacy North Korea at the Moncton Stadium, Moncton on Wednesday evening, in the first semi final.

“I have watched all the matches played by the girls since the championship started, and I am greatly delighted at the manner with which they approach each of the games.

NFF President, Aminu Maigari

NFF President, Aminu Maigari

“The North Koreans are a leading powerhouse in women’s football but so are our girls. This tournament has shown the prowess and skills of our girls. I am truly impressed and I know they have what it takes to reach the final.”

Four years ago, Maigari was with the Falconets in Germany as they reached the final, before losing 0-2 to the host nation to finish with silver medals.

“I believe that this time, our girls will not be content with reaching the final. Yes, they still have the semi final to play, but I know that once they conquer the Koreans, their eyes will be on the trophy.”

Victory over the North Koreans on Wednesday will reward the Falconets with a final against either Germany or France, at Montreal’s all-cover Olympic Stadium, on Sunday.

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Nigeria invites Enyeama, 22 others for Congo, South Africa http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/nigeria-invites-enyeama-22-others-for-congo-south-africa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/nigeria-invites-enyeama-22-others-for-congo-south-africa/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:29:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207692 Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama

Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama

Cup holders Nigeria have called up 23 players, including ace goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, for next month’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Red Devils of Congo and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

The list released by the Nigeria Football Federation. NFF, on Tuesday also included defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose, midfielders Ogenyi Onazi and John Mike Obi, and forwards Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike.

France–based Elderson Echiejile, who missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup as a result of injury, Nosa Igiebor who missed the final cut for Brazil and Chinedu Obasi who was not considered for the tournament, are all back for September’s double header.

Onazi, the midfield powerhouse who suffered a terrible injury in the Round of 16 defeat by France, is now fully recovered, but Michael Babatunde, who was stretchered out against Argentina after a hand injury, is left out.

Home–based quartet Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kunle Odunlami and Gbolahan Salami who were part of Nigeria’s third place finish at the African Nations Championship in Cape Town earlier in the year, also returned to the team. They are joined by Enugu Rangers’ marksman Christian Osaguona as the lot from the domestic league.

Nigeria play Congo’s Red Devils – restored to the race after conquerors Rwanda were found guilty of using an ineligible player – in Calabar on 6 September, before flying to Cape Town to take on the Bafana Bafana on 10 September.

The Super Eagles are however without a manager as the country’s football body and national team coach, Stephen Keshi are yet to sign a new deal, although it is believed that a deal will be completed soon.


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

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

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC, Spain); Joel Obi (Inter Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Chinedu Obasi (Schalke 04, Germany); Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen FC, Netherlands); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AS Varese 1910, Italy); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Christian Osaguona (Enugu Rangers)

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Maigari, Umeh, who really is NFF Chairman? http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/so-who-really-is-the-chairman-of-nff/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/so-who-really-is-the-chairman-of-nff/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:49:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207641 NFF Chairman? Aminu Maigari

NFF Chairman? Aminu Maigari

There was drama at the secretariat of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) on Monday in Abuja as two men struggled for the leadership position of the body.

Maigari, who was impeached by a two-thirds majority of the NFA board, had returned to office on Monday following a directive by the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo.

Danagogo was acting on a letter from FIFA instructing that the Football House maintained the status quo which prevailed before Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Maigari had, on that basis, decided to return to office on Monday and was escorted by a combined team of policemen and officers of the Directorate of State Services (DSS).

But Mike Umeh, the association’s First Vice-Chairman who emerged as acting chairman after Maigari’s purported impeachment, insisted that Maigari could not return as he had resigned after his impeachment.

Umeh had therefore arrived the NFA office earlier to take position, while Maigari emerged later to take over the seat in the Chairman’s office.

When newsmen were allowed in, Umeh was seen treating files in the same office but using the chairman’s conference table.

Tussle: Mike Umeh claims is he the chairman

Tussle: Mike Umeh claims is he the chairman

Speaking later to newsmen, Maigari said he was returning to office to complete his task of developing the country’s football.

“If I resigned, I won’t be here. Somebody should resign when he is facing an opposition. So, if I am out of office, that does not mean I have resigned.

“What is in my mind now is football development in Nigeria. This is what has brought all of us together, including you the media.

“In life, you don’t expect everything to be smooth and there can be mistakes and turbulence. But it is part of life, in as much as one is alive. But it depends on how one manages it.

“As for why I am here with securitymen, I have come with this number of securitymen because we need to be secured in this country.

“So, you need security. I need security too. They are protecting you and I here,” Maigari told newsmen.

He however said all the decisions taken by the NFA Board in his absence would stand, as football development was a collective responsibility.

“Umeh is my First Vice-Chairman. He is my friend and colleague, just like every other Board member. Whether we are in office or not, we still remain one family.

“Football is a team work. It is beyond one person or group of persons. You have to team up and work together to achieve results,” Maigari said.

Umeh also told newsmen that Maigari was acting on his own, as he, Umeh, remained the Acting Chairman of NFA.

“By the decision we, the NFA Board members, have taken, majority of the board members have said that Maigari has been provisionally impeached pending confirmation of the Congress.

“So, I am expecting our members to come so that we can articulate the way forward. We know there is a letter from FIFA which we are going to look at and give a reply to.

“Maigari can come. It is up to him. A tree cannot make a forest, because I don’t know how he can take decisions without his Board members. There must be a quorum for any decision to be taken,” Umeh said.

Speaking further, Umeh said there was no interference by government in the country’s football management, adding that Maigari was removed without any advice from anybody.

“When he was taken to court, he said he was wrongly charged, and that FIFA family members don’t go to ordinary courts. So, we stepped in and did the needful.

“This is what we did to Sani Lulu and Ibrahim Galadima (both former NFA board chairmen). So, his own cannot be an exception. We are not enemies. We are only trying to defend an institution.

“If he is here because the minister told him, that means it is indirect interference. The minister is not the one who told us to impeach him.

“We did that based on our statutes,” Umeh explained.

He however said Maigari had earlier asked to be given a soft-landing, which necessitated the submission of his resignation letter dated 12 August 2014.

Umeh also said the NFA Board under his leadership would meet on Tuesday to respond to FIFA’s letter which directed it to maintain the pre-Brazil 2014 World Cup status quo.

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AFCON U-20: Nigeria through, as Lesotho failed to show up http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/18/afcon-u-20-nigeria-through-as-lesotho-failed-to-show-up/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/18/afcon-u-20-nigeria-through-as-lesotho-failed-to-show-up/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:06:17 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207576 Caf logo

Nigeria has qualified for the final of the Orange African Youth Championship to be hosted by Senegal next year, after Lesotho was declared losers for failure to show up for the third round first leg clash scheduled for Saturday 16 August 2014 in Kaduna.

CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani said this in a letter addressed to the Lesotho Football Federation on Sunday 17 August 2014, adding that, the decision was reached in line with Articles 54 and 55 of the regulations for the competitions, after the officials of match indicated in their reports that the team of Lesotho did not show up at the time fixed for the match.

“The referee followed the provisions of article 55 of the regulations of the competition which states “a team which shall not be present on the ground, dressed to play at the time fixed for kick-off or at most 15 minutes later, shall forfeit the match. The referee shall register the absence of the team and shall write it in his report. The final decision in this respect shall be taken by the Organising Committee.”

Article 54 also states that “if for any reason whatsoever, a team withdraws from the competition or does not report for a match except for cases of force majeure accepted by the Organizing Committee, or if it refuses to play or leaves the ground before the regular end of the match without the authorization of the referee, it shall be considered to be the loser and shall be eliminated immediately from the competition. The same shall apply for the teams which were declared to be disqualified by decision of CAF.”

“Consequently, Lesotho is considered loser in the said match and eliminated from the competition and Nigeria is qualified to the next round. The second leg match is automatically cancelled,” the letter read.

In relation to other potential sanctions as stipulated in the regulations, the U-20 Organising Committee will consider the specific case and will decide if any other sanctions are applicable.

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