• Ghana's footballer Essien victim of Athens burglary

    08/Feb/2016 // 738 Viewers


    ATHENS (AFP) - 

    Former Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder Michael Essien revealed on Sunday that his home in Athens was burgled while he was out having dinner.

    "I experienced my first bad week in Athens. My home burgled on Wednesday and the defeat on Saturday," wrote the 32-year-old Ghana international on his Instagram account.

    His Panathinaikos team had lost 1-0 at home to Xanthi on Saturday.

    According to police reports, money and jewelry were taken from Essien's home in the seaside town of Varkizas in the Athens area.

    "I am a survivor and looking forward to a new week. The strong will always survive," added Essien, who only joined the Greek giants in June.

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  • FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Move To 53rd Position

    01/Oct/2015 // 449 Viewers

    Nigeria has moved up one place in the latest FIFA ranking, announced on October 1, 2015.

    The August rankings placed Nigeria at 53rd in world football but after the matches against Tanzania and Niger, which the Super Eagles drew and won respectively, the country was placed at 52nd in the new FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings.

    Argentina is still the top-ranked team in the world. Belgium and Germany swapped second and third places with the 2014 World Cup winners reclaiming second place.

    Nigeria is still the 10th team in Africa with Algeria still the leaders in Africa at 19th position on the world table. The top 10 teams in Africa are: Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tunisia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Congo, Cameroon, Egypt and Nigeria.

    The top 10 in the world are: Argentina, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Columbia, Spain, Brazil, Wales, Chile and Englan.

    Source: Daily Independent

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  • JUST IN: AFCON 2017: Egypt defeats Burkina Faso, qualifies for finals - NAN

    02/Feb/2017 // 721 Viewers


    Egypt’s goalkeeper and captain Essam El Hadary on Wednesday emerged the shooting range hero to send the Pharaohs through to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final match.

    Egypt went through to the AFCON final in Gabon after beating Burkina Faso 4-3 on penalty kicks in the semi-finals.

    El Hadary, who turned 44 this month, is already the oldest footballer to play at a Nations Cup and he showed he was not just there for the record.

    The match itself was an epic, with neither team having tasted defeat in Gabon, and seven-time champions Egypt were yet to concede a goal.

    The match in Libreville ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra time, with Mohamed Salah’s 66th minute opener for Egypt cancelled out by Aristide Bance seven minutes later.

    A sumptuous strike by Salah in the 66th minute looked to have record seven-time champions Egypt heading into Sunday’s final.

    But Burkina Faso were level just seven minutes later, the first conceded by the Egyptians at this Cup of Nations, and there was no further scoring.

    With no further scoring it went to a shoot-out where Essam El Hadary’s save from Bertrand Traore’s last kick for Burkina Faso gave Egypt the victory.

    They will now play against either Ghana or Cameroon in Sunday’s final.


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  • Coca-Cola, McDonald's call on FIFA's Sepp Blatter to resign

    02/Oct/2015 // 462 Viewers

    FIFA sponsors Coca-Cola and McDonald's have called on Sepp Blatter to immediately stand down as president of world football's governing body, FIFA.

    The intervention from Coca-Cola, which was quickly followed by a similar statement from McDonald's, comes a week after the FIFA president was placed under criminal investigation by the Swiss authorities.

    Coca-Cola says it is "calling for FIFA President Joseph [Sepp] Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest".

    The company added: "Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach."

    McDonald's said in a statement that "the events of recent weeks have continued to diminish the reputation of FIFA and public confidence in its leadership".

    Blatter won't budge

    However, Blatter’s lawyer promptly issued a statement saying that the FIFA president would not resign.

    "While Coca-Cola is a valued sponsor of FIFA, Mr Blatter respectfully disagrees with its position... he will not resign," Blatter's New York attorney Richard Cullen said in a statement.

    The intervention from the two key FIFA sponsors follows Blatter being placed under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities for alleged financial wrongdoing at FIFA last week. Blatter is accused of "criminal mismanagement" or "misappropriation" over a TV rights deal he signed with former Caribbean football chief Jack Warner in 2005. He is also accused of making an improper payment of £1.3 million to Uefa chief Michel Platini.

    The 79-year-old Swiss citizen told FIFA staff earlier this week that he's determined to remain in power until February's emergency presidential election, but pressure from sponsors who fund the organization could force him out before then.

    Image in tatters

    FIFA’s image is in tatters as it has also seen 14 current or former officials as well as sports marketing executives accused by US prosecutors of taking part in a kickbacks scheme going back 20 years and involving a total of $150 million in bribes.

    Potential contenders to replace Blatter as president include UEFA President Michel Platini, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, former Brazil great Zico and Liberia football federation president Musa Bility.

    Blatter's position appears untenable, as lawyers now oversee key decisions at scandal-battered FIFA.

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  • Drama as Rangers fans display Biafra flag to celebrate NPFL title

    02/Oct/2016 // 3190 Viewers


    There was a mild drama in Enugu state on Sunday, October 2, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium as Rangers claimed a seventh Nigerian league title after beating El-Kanemi Warriors in 3 – 0 in their last game of the season.

    The drama started at half-time break after a group of young Igbo youths were moving round with Ogene music when two of them were seen displaying Biafran flag.

    ‎Their action provoked security officers within the stadium who moved towards the young men holding the flag and attempted to snatch it from them.

    However, the security operative’s action was greeted with extreme repugnance from the fans in the stadium which forced them to let the two men walk away with their flags. - NAIJ

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  • Breaking News! No longer at ease, Buhari-led FG declares state of emergency

    02/Sep/2016 // 11375 Viewers


    As things generally go wrong on every front, as major policies fail at every turn in Nigeria resulting in huge embarrassment both and home and before the international community  coupled with the embarrassing performance of the Team Nigeria athletes in the two successive Olympic Games, the Federal Government yesterday declared a state of emergency on Nigerian sports.

    The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, who made the declaration in Abuja yesterday while receiving the reports of the Sports Reform Committee, maintained that certain measures must be introduced to return Nigeria to the comity of major sporting nations, through provisions of emergency rule.

    His words: “We are indeed in a state of emergency because of lack of performance in the sports sector. We will therefore take far reaching measures to restructure the sector. Our dismal outing at the just concluded Rio Olympics is another factor why we must reform our sports.
    “Although it is not what we hoped for, yet it offered a glimmer of hope that if we put our acts together, we will achieve greater results in future Olympics. This is part of what this report is about. Having received this report from the Sports Reform Committee, we will begin the implementation by declaring a state of emergency in Nigerian sports”. Dalung declared.

    Speaking earlier while submitting the report, the chairman of the National Sports Reforms Committee, Godwin Kienka, recommended for transparency as panacea for the reform.

    “The first step to a meaningful and enduring reform is transparency. Sports in the past has been run like a cult. No one knows how much the NOC gets from the IOC by way of grants.

    No one knows what the sports federations get from the IOC and their international federations and from other bodies by way of grants and counterpart funding. The nation and the sports men and women deserve to know,” he noted.

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  • Visa To Brazil Olympics: Read how NFF Supporters Club member disgraced Nigeria at Brazilian Embassy

    03/Aug/2016 // 2169 Viewers


    The internal wrangling rocking the Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC) has reached a climax with the alleged arrest of a member of the club at the Brazilian Embassy.

    The Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the club, Mr Hafeez Balogun, told newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos that the member, a female, was arrested at the Brazilian Embassy in Lagos.

    Balogun said the member, acting on behalf of the impeached chairman of the club, was arrested for allegedly presenting fake document for visa procurement at the embassy.

    The spokesman added that the visa was for the club members to be in Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro from Aug. 5 to Sept. 5.

    “The Brazilian Embassy in Lagos today confirmed that majority of documents submitted by the impeached chairman-led group were fake, especially their bank statement.

    “Officials at the embassy had threatened to call the Police if all the fake documents were not withdrawn, but they insisted,’’ Balogun said.

    He said that subsequently, the female member (name withheld), who allegedly presented the fake documents at the embassy had been picked by Interpol.

    Balogun added that another female member with whom she was at the embassy and the impeached chairman was currently on the run to avoid police arrest. 

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  • Why should we care about Bafana's match against Gambia?

    03/Jun/2016 // 738 Viewers


    Bafana Bafana have been left clutching at straws‚ needing to beat Gambia in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on Saturday to stand even an outside chance of qualifying for Gabon 2017.
    Why we should not care:

    1. The national team‚ its coach Shakes Mashaba and its players have been telling us this is not necessarily a dead rubber. Thulani Serero said this week anything can happen in football and he’s had experience of that playing for Ajax Amsterdam in the past season‚ where they were pipped to the title on the final day of the Eredivisie by PSV Eindhoven.

    Yes‚ if Bafana were to awake from their sleepwalk through Group M and give Gambia a thrashing – which would be SA’s third away victory in West Africa – and Cameroon‚ as Mashaba’s men did‚ took the plunge on that infamous plastic pitch in Nouakchott against Mauritania‚ the group would go down to the final day.

    But even then South Africa still need to come home in September‚ give Mauritania a nice thrashing and hope Cameroon‚ who have not lost at home since 1975‚ do exactly that against the world’s 165th-ranked team Gambia.

    There is a greater chance of a blizzard blowing into hell. Or Minnie Dlamini having something bright to say at the next PSL Awards.

    For the record‚ Cameroon are on eight points‚ Mauritania seven‚ Bafana 3 and Gambia two. Cameroon and Mauritania both have a +2 goal difference‚ South Africa and Gambia -2.

    2. Even if it does come to the final day‚ South Africans are tired of having their hopes raised and then dashed again by this most fickle‚ most uninspiring‚ most devastatingly inconsistent of national teams.

    Remember the 2010 World Cup? Bafana were still in with a ridiculously slim outside chance against France in their final group game‚ and went 2-0 up by the break needing a 4-0 win‚ but the 2010 hosts could not score again.

    In the last World Cup qualifiers Gordon Igesund’s men were even given a lifeline by Ethiopia fielding an ineligible player. Bafana duly thrashed Botswana but results elsewhere did not go their way.

    Leaving their fate in other teams’ hands just is not the way to qualify for major tournaments.

    This team needs to start winning consistently because it is losing the support of the nation.

    Why we should care:

    1. There are important group stage qualifying matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia starting in October. Bafana under Mashaba showed they are actually still capable of qualifying for a major tournament reaching the 2015 Afcon finals unbeaten‚ at the expense of Nigeria. They could do with a timely lift again now.

    Hopefully Mashaba and his technical team have learnt from their mistakes not researching the opposition‚ which appear to have cost South Africa so dearly in this campaign.

    It’s an old school‚ and frankly quite insulting‚ concept that you will travel to African countries to meet their national tams and win by imposing your own style and gameplan‚ without having researched their strengths and weaknesses. And frankly Bafana just are nowhere near the strength level to have that sort of arrogance in their approach.

    But if mistakes are learnt from‚ and an analysis is performed of what went right reaching 2015‚ and what wrong not reaching 2017‚ then there is perhaps hope for the World Cup qualifiers.

    Just look at the goal Hlompo Kekana scored against Cameroon in the 2-2 draw in March. One cannot claim this team does not have talent.

    2. It’s the national team of the biggest and most important sporting code in the country by far‚ that impacts particularly on the lives of the working class‚ the poor and the unemployed.

    Unlike rugby and cricket’s tiddlywinks World Cups‚ Bafana Bafana compete in the biggest sport in the world by far‚ played at a serious level by just about every one of the world’s 200-or-so countries. Even the Americans are getting in on the act.

    We can be hard on Bafana. We should be hard on Bafana. They should perform so much better with the treatment they get – the best training facilities‚ coaching and backroom‚ dietary‚ medical and fitness staff‚ the best hotels‚ travel and transport and VIP escorts everywhere they go.

    This must be the most pampered team in Africa. Perhaps that’s the problem. So yes‚ we should be hard on them‚ because they should reward the country better.

    But we also cannot forget the scale of the sport they compete in. More countries in Africa alone take football seriously – no‚ rather are bat-shit‚ get-naked (and supporters in Africa sometimes do)‚ with the endorphin levels of a hippy at Woodstock‚ crazy about it – than all the countries in the world do for cricket and rugby.

    We love Bafana Bafana. We have to. These are our country’s footballing heroes‚ and if they are going through a slump that makes Rip van Winkel’s 20-year sleep seem like a power nap‚ we’ll suffer along with them.

    That’s what football fans do. Live and dream in hope of the better days to come.

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  • Real Madrid beat PSG 1-0 in Champions League

    03/Nov/2015 // 1197 Viewers

    Nacho Fernandez scored from a tight angle two minutes after entering the match to help Real Madrid beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 and advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League on Tuesday.

    PSG had the most chances at the Santiago Bernabeu but Madrid escaped with the victory when Fernandez surprised goalkeeper Kevin Trapp with a soft shot that crossed the goalmouth and spun into the far corner after bouncing near the goal line in the 35th minute.

    Fernandez, who had substituted left back Marcelo because of an injury, chased down a loose ball inside the area after a shot blocked by PSG defender Thiago Silva and sent his left-footed shot into the corner without letting the ball hit the ground.

    The win gave Madrid 10 points from four matches in Group A, enough for the Spanish side to clinch a spot in the next round with two games left.

    PSG remained with seven points. Shakhtar Donetsk, which defeated Malmo 4-0 in Ukraine, reached three points, the same as the Swedish club.

    “They had a lot of possession and they also caused us problems on the counter,” Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said. “Today we got three very important points, but we have to keep on improving.”

    The teams were coming off a scoreless draw in France last month, when it was Madrid which played better and was closer to victory.

    This time PSG created most of the dangerous scoring opportunities. Adrien Rabiot hit the post in the 37th, Edinson Cavani had a shot cleared at the goal line in first-half injury time and Angel Di Maria, returning to the Bernabeu to face his former club, had a clear chance in the 48th and also struck the crossbar with a free kick in the 89th.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic nearly scored in the 22nd with low shot that missed wide with Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas already beaten, and the Swedish striker also came close with a 29th-minute free kick shot that almost hit the post.

    Cristiano Ronaldo had another quiet night. His lone chance was a 26th-minute free kick that was easily saved by Trapp.

    The high-profile match at the Bernabeu pitted two of the best teams in Europe this season against each other. Both clubs were undefeated this season going into the game and had yet to concede a goal in the Champions League.

    PSG, eliminated in the tournament’s quarterfinals the last three seasons, hasn’t won in Spain since the 2012-13 season, when it defeated Valencia 2-1.

    Real Madrid had a few important players returning from injury, including defender Ramos. Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez was on the bench, but coach Rafa Benitez still couldn’t count on strikers Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

    Paris Saint-Germain was boosted by the return of defender David Luiz, who had been nursing a knee injury, but Laurent Blanc remained without defender Marquinhos and midfielder Javier Pastore, and he also lost midfielder Marco Verratti because of an injury just 15 minutes into Tuesday’s match.


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  • Gambia goalkeeper dies trying to cross Mediterranean to Europe - BBC reports

    03/Nov/2016 // 3222 Viewers


    The 19-year-old goalkeeper of Gambia's national women's football team has drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe.

    Fatim Jawara was on board a boat that ran into trouble last month while crossing from Libya to Europe, the country's football federation says.
    Her family confirmed news of her death, according to association president Lamin Kaba Bajo.

    Many of the undocumented migrants who arrive in Italy are Gambians.
    The Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh has been accused of intimidating the opposition - charges he denies.

    Jawara made her debut with the national women's side a year ago, after playing in the junior team.
    "She will be remembered for saving a penalty kick in a friendly encounter involving the national soccer team and the Glasgow Girls from Scotland," Mr Bajo told the AFP news agency.

    n a Facebook post, the federation said the manner in which she had died was "shocking".
    The coach of the Red Scorpions, a local team she played in, described Fatim as a very lovely person who always smiled.

    Chorro Mbega told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that Jawara was a member of the squad that represented the Gambia in the 2012 under-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan, having first joined the team in 2009.

    "Fati was a player who can play anywhere on the field. I'm really sad about this because she fought so much to be number one," Ms Mbega said.
    She said she was not aware of Jawara being frustrated but added that Red Scorpion players were not paid salaries.

    More than 4,200 migrants fleeing conflict and poverty have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean this year, figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) show.

    Fatim Jawara's absence was nationally noticed when The Gambia national female team was schedule to play Senegalese club Casa Sports during celebrations to mark a girls football festival recently.

    She played for local club Red Scorpions FC in Serekunda town, just outside Banjul, where she made her way to being first-choice goalkeeper, leading to her selection for the national team.

    Her death in the Mediterranean has shocked Gambians and brings back the issue of illegal migration facing the country into a shaper focus.

    Rumours started flying that Fatim had gone on the "Back Way", the now famous name for the boat journey across the Mediterranean to Italy, according to Red Scorpions captain Fatu Fatty.

    "A few days later we confirmed from her family that an agent had contacted them to say Fatim was among those on the boat that capsized," Ms Fatty explained in tears.'Hundreds dead' in migrant shipwrecks
    "She was everyone's friend in the team. Jovial and funny to an extreme," Ms Fatty said.

    A Gambia Football Federation official noted she was not the first footballer to have suffered such a fate but she was one of the most high-profile to have died this way. - BBC

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