• Nigeria 2 Swaziland 0: Simon and Ambrose see Super Eagles through

    17/Nov/2015 // 858 Viewers

    Second-half goals from Moses Simon and Efe Ambrose finally broke Swaziland's resistance and sent Nigeria through to the final group stage of the CAF section of World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 win.

    Sunday Oliseh's team were held to a goalless draw in Friday's opening leg and they endured a similar story of first-half frustration in front of their own fans at Port Harcourt.

    The unexpectedly dogged defence of a team ranked 130th in the world by FIFA was eventually broken six minutes after half-time when Simon curled home a magnificent 35-yard free-kick.

    Nigeria had to wait until the 87th minute to make certain of their progress as Ambrose converted another set-play from close range, before Phumlani Dlamini's second yellow card meant the visitors concluded their unlikely World Cup bid with 10 men.

    Swaziland spent the majority of the first leg on the back foot and, despite pre-match suggestions from their coach Harris Bulunga that they would take a more attacking approach, a familiar pattern developed during the opening stages at the Adokie Amiesiemaka Stadium.

    Odion Ighalo sent a header narrowly over the crossbar and the Watford striker was at the forefront of an expansive start from Oliseh's men.

    Simon scuffed Ahmed Musa's cross into the arms of Swaziland goalkeeper Nhlanhla Gwebu, before Ighalo swivelled to shoot agonisingly wide after half an hour.

    Against the run of play, Swaziland almost took a sensational lead – Nigeria keeper Carl Ikeme misjudging his attempt to claim a cross, only for Sandile Dlamini to miss with the goal at his mercy.

    After the break, Nigeria's Sylvester Igboun was guilty of similar profligacy following excellent work down the flank from Ighalo and it was left to Simon to calm the nerves of the home supporters with his superb opener.

    Ighalo's luckless outing in front of goal continued when he collected a throughball from substitute Obafemi Martins and drew a sharp low save from Gwenbu.

    Nigeria were forced to play the final 10 minutes without goal hero Simon, who suffered an apparent hamstring injury, but Ambrose ensured they finished with a flourish as the defender volleyed home.

    Phumlani Dlamini concluded his own contribution in more inauspicious circumstances, collecting bookings for two lunging tackles in the space of six minutes either side of Ambrose's crucial goal.


    Source: EIN NewsDesk


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  • BREAKING: Germany beat Nigeria to Olympics football final

    18/Aug/2016 // 411 Viewers


    Germany on Wednesday defeated Nigeria 2-0 in the semi-finals of the Olympic football event, ending the country’s hope of a repeat of their 1996 feat at the games.

    The Germans grabbed their first goal in the 9th minute when a Serge Gnabry’s clever pass into the box fooled the Nigerian defence for Max Meyer to latch on to.

    The 20-year-old Schalke 04 attacking midfielder squared the ball for Lukas Klostermann to apply the finish with just a tap-in.

    Substitute Niels Petersen grabbed the second goal in the 88th minute to seal victory for the Germans.

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  • Shocking! Confusion hits NFF as Paul Le Guen rejects Super Eagles job

    19/Jul/2016 // 1442 Viewers


    PARIS, JULY 19, 2016: (DGW) THE  newly-appointed foreign coach for the Super Eagles of Nigeria Paul Le Guen has reportedly rejected the offer by the Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF).

    The NFF had on Monday July 18 , 2016 named the French tactician as the new coach to lead the Super Eagles in the coming years.

    Information reaching DailyglobeWatch here in the French capital of Paris have it that Paul Le Guen has declined the offer since his stated conditions of service were not met by the Nigeria's football body, (NFF).

    The rejection was has also been confirmed by top French journalist Herve Penot  on his verified Twitter handle @hpenot_lequipe in French.

    The Tweet reads: 

    “Paul le Guen will not go to Nigeria. Conditions not met to be coach . Nothing to do with the selection.''.

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  • Breaking: Usian Bolt caps Olympic career with perfect ninth gold medal

    20/Aug/2016 // 599 Viewers


    RIO DE JANEIRO — It ended like it was supposed to, with another gold medal, another breathtaking run, another reminder that Usain Bolt isn’t just the fastest man ever but one capable of summoning his otherworldly skill at the most appropriate time. There are great athletes, and there are great competitors, and there are the rarest breeds, of which Bolt is one, who manage to marry the two. They’re the ones that make history.

    And so it went Friday night at the Rio Games, where Bolt left his final imprint on the Olympics in typical fashion. The 4×100-meter relay went off at 10:43 p.m. local time, and 37.27 seconds later, he crossed the finish line to propel Jamaica to its third consecutive gold in the race. Bolt anchored all three, and with his gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes this week, he hit his beloved triple-triple: three golds in three consecutive Olympics.

    Nine gold medals. It is staggering for a sprinter, but then Bolt isn’t just a sprinter. He’s a force of nature, arguably the greatest Olympian of all time, and with Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade, he locked down his nine-for-nine run ahead of silver medalist Japan, which ran a 37.60, and the United States, which took bronze in 37.62 seconds.

    “I just really want this one to make it nine because I like them in threes,” Bolt said Thursday night after he won the 200, and as much as he’s fond of prime numbers, what he really wanted was back-to-back-to-back perfect Olympics. His one stumble at the Games came when he was 17, raw as an oyster, and didn’t get out of qualifying.

    Once he started to take his training seriously, Bolt grew into something beyond his wildest expectations: holder of multiple world records, master of his domain and winner of medal after Olympic gold medal. He said he will not run in 2020 during the Tokyo Games, that he has achieved all he can.

    “I’ve put the sport on a different level,” Bolt said. “I’ve put it on a pedestal.”

    If this really was the end, the final Olympic race for Usain Bolt, he leaves behind an unparalleled three-Games run as well as an enormous vacuum. Bolt likes to say, “The only thing that matters is the gold medal,” but he knows that isn’t true. Sometimes it matters how you win it, and on Friday night, he did it in a fashion as spectacular as ever.

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  • B'Haram Threat: Panic grips communities around porous prisons

    20/Aug/2016 // 420 Viewers


    SATURDAY PUNCH: Residents and communities around porous prisons are apprehensive following a recent threat by the Boko Haram terror group to attack detention facilities in the country.

    Saturday PUNCH learnt that the residents’ fears became heightened because of the proximity of their houses to the prisons.

    They complained that their observation of the detention facilities did not indicate that there were adequate precautions to prevent any attack from Boko Haram, should the sect carry out its threat.

    Boko Haram had threatened to attack prisons in Lagos, Maiduguri, Abuja and other cities in the country to forcefully release its members detained by the Federal Government.

    An armed Boko Haram insurgent early in the week threatened in an 11-minute footage that the terror group would attack prison facilities in the country should the Federal Government fail to release its detained members.

    The insurgent had said, “I specially inform our people in captivity in Lagos that they should be patient and continue with their prayers, God will take us to where no one expects and we will rescue them.

    “All those in Lagos, Maiduguri and other southern parts of the country; keep praying, very soon, we will rescue you.”

    Saturday PUNCH’s visit to Okaka Prison in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, revealed that the facility is surrounded by residential buildings. In spite of the noticeable security architecture around the facility, including four watchtowers and high perimeter fence, some residents around the area are still living in fear.

    Even the presence of the two armoured personnel carriers parked in front of the prison could not allay their fears.

    One of them, Doris Richie, said since it was reported that Boko Haram members threatened to attack prisons in the country, she had been living in fear.

    Richie said, “We do not know what to do. Left to me, the government should relocate the prison to another place because of its closeness to residential places.”

    In spite of the tight security at Kuje prison, Abuja, the proximity of the facility to the residential areas has always been a source of concern to the people living around the place.

    Kuje prison had hosted many prominent persons, including many Peoples Democratic Party’s bigwigs, who were remanded in the facility for their alleged role in the looting of public treasury.

    A commercial motorcyclist, Abdullah Sadiq, said he had not been comfortably sleeping since he heard that Boko Karam named Abuja prison as of the places it planned to attack.

    He said, “If not for my poor financial situation, I would have moved out of this area since I heard that Boko Haram members were being kept here. Though more soldiers had been deployed in the prisons and the surrounding area, I still nurse the fear that the insurgents may carry out their threat.”

    A shop-keeper near the prison, who simply identified herself as Madam Rose, shared a similar view.

    She urged the government to relocate the prison to “a location that is far removed from residential places.”

    It will be recalled that 47 Boko Haram convicts kept in Ekwulobia prison in Aguata Local Government Area in Anambra State were relocated from the facility to elsewhere after persistent outcry by the residents around the place.

    There are no fewer than 11 prisons in Katsina State. The prisons are located in Katsina town, Funtua, Daura, Malumfashi, Jibia, Dutsinma and Mani.

    One of them, the Katsina Central Prison, is surrounded by many residential houses and shops.

    Residents and traders living and working around the facility, who spoke with one of our correspondents, expressed their apprehension over the Boko Haram’s threat.

    A motorcycle repairer in the area, Mallam Habiibu Aminu, appealed to the government to relocate the prison to the outskirts of the town.

     “We will appreciate it if the prison is relocated to the outskirts of the town; I have not been able to sleep since I heard the news that Boko Haram could attack prisons,” Aminu said.

    There are three prisons in Benue State –Gboko, Otukpo and Makurdi. Of the three, Gboko prison is the largest and the oldest. It is also experiencing a major structural defect. The situation has made the prison’s authorities to relocate all male inmates to the Makurdi prison.

    According to a reliable source, the Makurdi prison has capacity for 214 people but it’s currently accommodating 450 people.

    It was, however, observed that the Makurdi prison, which is located at Kanshio community along Otukpo- Aliade Federal Highway, has no security light at the main entrance, but there was a watchtower at the premises with no sign of CCTV.

    The prison is also located close to schools, Kanshio main Market, the Makurdi mechanic village and welfare quarters as well as headquarters of the Lower Benue Basic Development Authority, Makurdi.

    Some residents, who spoke with our correspondent, expressed fears that if there is any attack on the Makurdi prison, many people would fall victims because of the porous facility.

    The Kwara State House of Assembly appears to be leading the campaign for the relocation of Oke-Kura and Mandala prisons in the state because of their proximity to residential buildings.

    Besides the daily social and business activities going on around the Oke-Kura and Mandala prisons, one of our correspondents observed that there was no functional CCTV to monitor the movements of people, including strangers at the facilities.

    The Kwara State House of Assembly Speaker had recently, in a resolution, called on the state government to collaborate with the Federal Government to relocate the Oke-Kura in Ilorin to a more secure and convenient location.

    The state House of Assembly Speaker, Ali Ahmad, reiterated the House’s position in an interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday.

    Ahmad said, “We have noticed the feelings of the people. When Oke-Kura was built, it was adequate for the purpose but now, it is in the middle of town.  Oke-Kura is no longer suitable for the purpose for which it was established. The House of Assembly had passed a resolution, calling on the Federal Government to expand the Mandala prison.”

    It was learnt that Olokuta prison in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, like other detention facilities in the country, has a history of jailbreaks.

    The last jailbreak at Olokuta prison occurred on June 30, 2014 when some gunmen attacked the facility and set inmates free.

    The prison is located about 500 meters from the host community and it was observed that there was one watchtower with no CCTV in or around the yard.

    A resident of Olokuta village, who identifies himself as Ali, urged the government and the prison officials to prevent any form of attack on the facility.

    He said, “I have a farm not too far from the prison like many other people in the village. So, it is necessary for the government to prove that it is ready to prevent any attack on the community. With Boko Haram’s threat, our lives and properties could be in danger.”

    Residents of Nsukka in Enugu State told one of our correspondents that they had yet to overcome the trauma they suffered during the August 9, 2016 jailbreak in Nsukka prison. No fewer than 25 inmates reportedly escaped in the incident.

    In a related development in neighbouring Ebonyi State, several inmates were on Thursday feared dead while many sustained gunshot wounds following a foiled jailbreak in Abakaliki federal prison.

    Despite the fact that the perimeter fence at Ilesa prison, Osun State, is high, residents expressed doubts that it could prevent an attack from the Boko Haram sect.

     “The threat by the Boko Haram members should be taken seriously,” one of the residents, Mr. Taiwo Adeyemi, said, while asking the prison officers to work with other security agencies to ensure that any attack is prevented.

    At the Agodi Prisons in Ibadan, Oyo State, insecurity has become a daily concern.

    Nine years after a jailbreak left at least 40 of the inmates dead, little has changed in the security arrangement of the prison. Residents described the situation as bad because of the regular human and vehicular traffics around the prison as a result of its proximity to the Agodi Auto Spare Parts Market.

    It was observed that its compound is sometimes used as park by customers who visit the market while the yard is surrounded by a dilapidated fence through which people go in and out as they please.

    A trader in the spare parts market, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said he remembered the last jailbreak in which many inmates were shot dead.

    “I pray nothing like that happens again here but the insecurity in this country is enough to frighten us. A prison is not a joke. We don’t even know the kind of people who are locked up here. And with the situation here, we are really afraid that something bad could happen,” he said.

    Goron Dutse Prison, Kano, located within the heart of the metropolis is surrendered by a cluster of congested residential buildings.

    Observation by one of our correspondents revealed that the facility could be accessed through many unofficial ways.

    Saturday PUNCH investigation revealed that during a routine search by warders this week in some prisons facilities across the country, some inmates rejected the move, which led to a fracas.

    Speaking on the threat by the Boko Haram insurgents to attack some prisons in the country, a seasoned security expert, Mr. Chigozie Ubani, described the fears of residents as genuine.

    He said, “Their fears are genuine and security is everybody’s business. Boko Haram insurgents will not likely come in armoured vehicles to storm the place. They might take some time to penetrate that environment, so it means certain elements have to come into those communities, remain there for some time and do the planning, if they plan to attack the prisons.

    However, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Prison Service, Mr. Francis Enabore, dismissed the residents’ fear.

    He said the service had an established arrangement with sister agencies like the police, Department of State Services and the Army on the issue of security.

    Enabore said, “We appeal to people living around the prisons to avail us with intelligence to help nib such security issues in the bud because sometimes, jailbreaks are planned outside the prison by friends of some inmates.”

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  • WATCH VIDEO: Finally, African 'Maradona', Jay Jay Okocha, opens up on how his soccer career started

    20/Dec/2016 // 1249 Viewers


    OKOCHA: “It was a coincidence because I wasn’t scouted by anyone, I was on a visit and I’m so glad that Jonathan is here because then I went to his house as well because it was about less than 10 kilometres away from Borussia Neunkirchen and he was then playing for FC Saarbrücken, I think after late Okwaraji, he was the first Nigerian to play professional in Germany and I must say that they started paving the way for us and of course we continued on that trend. Like I mentioned earlier, it was a coincidence because my senior brother was actually the one invited for trials and because he was then playing for the National team, the National team coach had promised to take him to holland and I took that opportunity you know, to go to Germany, not for trials but for holidays because Germany had just won the World Cup 1990 and since there was an invite, I said if they could just change the name and put my name, I might as well just take that opportunity and visit Germany. But it happened so that the address I had was that of his friend Binebi Numa, who was playing for Borussia Neunkirchen at that time and ofcourse he was going to training and I followed him. As a football freak, I had my football boots with me everywhere I go. So I went to ask the coach if I could train with them and he said Yes and for me, the rest is history because from holiday, I ended up starting my career with Borussia Neunkirchen.


    J.J: I think the secret is basically the streets. I didn’t go to any academy , then we were on the streets playing football because of the love of the game and because there was nothing like playstation, all we had was football and the streets, no trainers, no managers, no boots, no jerseys, no nothing, basically we were just out there expressing ourselves and trying out new things because there is nobody to shout on you even if you make mistakes or whatever so we had the possibility of trying to improve ourselves and what we can do we do with football and for me I think that is where the dribbling skills came from.


    It was a surprise for me because when I was signed by Frankfurt, I signed a three-year deal, one year Amateur contract and two years professional. The whole idea was for me to train 1 year with the B team and I will graduate from there. It happened that some of the first team players were injured and I was invited to make up the numbers for a game, I aslo started from the bench in that friendly and managed to get like half an hour in the second half and I impressed the manager and he had to arrange another friendly the next day and said that I should come be a part of it and he threw me in from the start. That happened on a Wednesday, after the friendly, the manager said that I shouldn’t go back to train with the second team and that I should come train with the first team on Thursday.

    After the training on Thursday, the coach made his selection for the team that will be travelling to Bremen on Friday for a game that will hold on Saturday and my name was included.

    I was given the first team kits and when I got home, I showed it to my brother who was staying with me then, he was surprised and asked if I had stolen the kits (laughs)… I responded by saying No, I did not steal it, it was given to me by the manager who said, I will be travelling with them and my brother said ‘Goodluck’.

    I travelled with the team on Friday and on Saturday morning, the coach made his selection and I was in the starting XI.
    So that was when it dawned on me that this is the opportunity that I have been waiting for, it’s either I take it or I head back home. I had a conviction in me that I was good enough and also mentally strong enough to accept the challenge. That was how my professional career started because after that game, I never went back to the second team.

    Well, I will put it this way, they are both very competitive but for me Bundesliga is more complete. I think it is quite unfortunate that the Nigerians didn’t get to see the Bundesliga early enough, especially a lot back then as opposed to the EPL and it now appears as if we are all addicted to the EPL. I can tell you that it is not a fluke that Germany are the current world champions and besides, 14 players from the World Cup winning team are still plying their trade now in the Bundesliga. It shows how strong the league and for me, their youth developmental programme is second to none. The amount of investment they have put into the programme is unbelievable and whether you like it or not, a lot of countries have adopted that kind of youth programme.
    Yes I said, the German league is more competitive because it’s highly entertaining, you get more goals, hardly will you see a game finish goalless. And in terms of technique and tactics, they are well sound. The EPL on its own part has changed a bit recently and that can be attributed to the presence of foreign managers, the EPL has always been straightforward – Quickest way to the goal and I can testify to that fact because I played for Bolton and we had an english manager.
    It is not that it is mind but it’s really about the knowledge of the game. So for me, starting my career in Germany and having played in the Bundesliga and also the opportunity to play in other leagues, I can conveniently say that it was what the Bundesliga gave me that made me to succeed in other leagues. So, it was a lot easier for me to play in France, Turkey, England later on because of that foundation I got in Germany.
    As I said before, I didn’t go to any academy in Nigeria, my academy was in Germany. As I have always said, I went to Germany as a boy and left the place as a man because I never knew that training will always go on whether it is raining or snowing unlike what we do in Nigeria. (laughs).
    That foundation I got in terms of discipline, dedication, even your lifestyle changes. Bundesliga made me realise that if you want to be a good footballer, you must dedicate your entire life to it because that’s your profession.


    Well, thanks to you guys, he doesn’t like me. The media has made it so big that he takes it personal. It wasn’t personal for me though because I was just doing my job. I never meant to hold on to the ball that long, it just happened that he was at the receiving end but I am grateful for that goal because people can still identify me with something in Germany and that’s my greatest joy because I know that I haven’t been forgotten. Now, I can remember. His name is Horst Brand.

    He’s not that popular but the fact that he allowed me train with his team, that was a big step for me because if he hadn’t given me such an opportunity, that could have been the end of my football career in Germany or wherever.
    His name is Horst Brand, I can never forget the name, he accepted me like his own son because it’s rare to find a good coach that will take a young player to his house for the weekend and he makes you to feel at home and that was what he gave me and made me realise that I am wanted again.


    A lot of Africans have benefited from the league for well over 25 years at least to the extent that a Ghanaian even featured for the national team at some point. It shows that we are well accepted now in Germany even though at the beginning it was tough because the number of foreign players in a team used to be very limited. But now the new generation of African players have done really well after us.


    Well, I want to say a big thank you Startimes because you are the reason why our people can now access the Bundesliga. We wish you had come earlier, Jonathan and I are jealous of this new generation, things have changed since our time. Thank you for taking the steps of showing our people how good the Bundesliga is.

    I can only say that I am honoured to be a part of this and a big thank you to Bundesliga and Startimes for having me on this.

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  • Breaking: 30 electrocuted as TRAGEDY hits CALABAR

    21/Apr/2017 // 670 Viewers


    PARIS, APRIL 20, 2017: (DGW) Tragedy has reportedly hit Calabar as a high tension electric cable broke from its mooring and  fell on a football viewing centre in the Cross Rivers State capital.

    No fewer than thirty people have been reportedly killed by the resultant electrocution.

    The football fans comprising fans, reports say, were watching a UEFA Europa League quarter-final match between Manchester United and Anderlecht on satellite television when the unfortunate incident occurred.

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  • World Cup draw Friday 4pm Nigerian time

    21/Jun/2016 // 513 Viewers


    The draw for the qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be staged on Friday by 4pm Nigerian time at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

    Twenty teams will be drawn into five groups of four teams each to play on home and away basis from October 2016 to November 2017 with the overall winners advancing to the World Cup.
    The qualifiers include Algeria,Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Mali, Guinea, Cape Verde and Cameroon.
    Nigeria has qualified for five World Cups previously – 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014.

    They reached the Round of 16 in 1994, 1998 and 2014.

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  • Ex-internationals commend Golden Eaglets on 5-1 win against Chile

    21/Oct/2015 // 377 Viewers

    Ex-internationals on Wednesday commended the Golden Eaglets on their 5-1 win over Chile in a Group A match at the ongoing 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the win was the second for the team in their group, having earlier defeated USA 2-0 in their first match of the tournament.

    Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze both scored two goals each while Captain Kelechi Nwakali added one from the penalty spot to give Nigeria an emphatic win over the hosts.

    Former Super Eagles player, Mutiu Adepoju, described the 5-1 victory as a good performance by the team.

    “It is a very good win for our Golden Eaglets team. Out of three matches in the group, we have won two so far.

    “This means we will definitely qualify for the next round, which is the knock-out stage.

    “I have confidence in the team’s ability to progress in the knock-out stage, but what matters now is that they should not relent or be overconfident.

    “They should keep on the momentum; the ultimate desire is to bring back the trophy,’’ Adepoju said.

    Another ex-international, Tunde Disu, said that the Golden Eaglets were formidable enough to retain the trophy.

    He, however, cautioned the team against complacency in the remaining matches of the tournament.

    “Since we can beat the host country, the team stands a good chance of getting to the finals.

    “I believe we will also win the next match against Croatia, but the boys must not be overconfident,’’ Disu said.

    Bright Omokaro, a former Super Eagles defender, said that result of the match was wonderful.

    He said that all the players gave a good account of themselves.

    “They must, however, put the previous results behind them and focus on the remaining matches.

    “They must continue to improve in every game and keep the good understanding among themselves to win the coming matches.

    “If they keep the high spirit in the team on, they stand a good chance of winning the tournament again,’’ Omokaro said.

    Paul Hamilton, a former national coach and ex-international, also commended the team on its organisation and understanding between the players and the technical crew.

    “I am so happy for the victory and I pray they continue till the competition is over; the team is organised and I believe they know what it takes to win matches.

    “If they can score that amount of goals, then I believe they know what it takes to win the trophy,’’ Hamilton said.

    The Golden Eaglets will play the last group match against Croatia on Oct. 24.


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  • FIFA President Congratulates Yobo

    23/May/2016 // 585 Viewers


    With barely four days to the grand ceremony to formally pull out former Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo from football in Port Harcourt, President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, has sent in a congratulatory message to the Ogoni-born ex international.

    The much-talked about testimonial tagged the Joseph Yobo Centenary Game slated for Friday in the Garden City and bankrolled by the Rivers State Government, is to attract several top current and former players from the English Premiership.

    In a letter personally signed by Infantino and addressed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the FIFA chief wrote: “Many thanks for your letter dated 17 May 2016 and informing us of the testimonial match in honour of former international player and Nigeria Captain Joseph Yobo.

    “On this occasion, allow me to congratulate and send my best wishes to Joseph Yobo for his future activities.”
    The Joseph Yobo’s testimonial game, slated for the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, will feature a Team Joseph Yobo (comprising of Super Eagles’ players of Yobo’s generation) and a Rest of The World squad.

    Already, the NFF has released Super Eagles skipper John Mikel Obi and his assistant, Ahmed Musa, to honour Yobo in Friday’s testimonial game, leaving them out of the international friendly with Mali in France on the same day.

    Meanwhile, FIFA will next month announce the top five seeds for the African zone of the 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament with Nigeria most likely to miss out.

    FIFA will announce the top seeds between June 8 and 10 ahead of the main draw on June 24 in Cairo, Egypt.

    The qualifiers to be played on a league basis of 20 teams divided into five groups will begin in October with the winners of the five groups qualifying for Russia 2018.

    Experts are currently speculating that the current FIFA rankings will be one of the yardsticks to be used and this will most certainly work against Nigeria, who is now a disappointing 14th ranked team in Africa and is not likely to achieve any remarkable jump by the June rankings.
    Africa’s top five ranked teams by this month are Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Egypt in that order.

    Previous World Cup records will also be taken into consideration and this could well help Nigeria’s cause after Super Eagles reached the Round of 16 in Brazil two years ago.

    With the seedings, Africa’s top teams will avoid themselves on the road to the next World Cup in Russia.


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