NFF Vice Chairman Will Visit the Eko Football Fiesta

This was revealed by Project Manager of Lagos State Football Association, Oladapo Ajayi while chatting with Journalist in Lagos on Tuesday.

Ajayi said the Eko football Holiday fiesta was put together to keep youngsters productively engaged during the long holidays while also affording them opportunity to exhibit their skills  and potentials to the teeming football  fans of Lagos.

Ajayi said the grand finale will be exciting and glamorous as organizers have invited Barrister Akinwunmi and all the Chairmen of Southwest Football Associations and other stakeholders in the industry to grace the occasion.

“We are expecting a full house and we have invited many important dignitaries to come and watch these young lads on Friday. We thank God that the programme was a huge success. During the three weeks of Ekofootball Holiday fiesta, we really engaged the kids and most of them were delighted to exhibit their skills. It has been wonderful events and we have discovered talents from various academies that may represent the state in the next National Sports Festival and future national football competitions,” he said.

The Eko football Holiday Fiesta which started three weeks ago is part of developmental program of the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) for U-13, U-15 and U-17 kids in Lagos State.

Eight teams have taken part in each of the categories.

Over 100 goals have been scored in all the matches so far. In the U- 13 final category, Daemm FC will face 36 Lion FC, while Fortune FA battle Godday FA in the U-17 final as Evergreen FA clash with Alade FA in the U-15 finals.

Nigeria – Tanzania Match Set for 16:30

The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has confirmed that the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the Taifa Stars of Tanzania and the Super Eagles of Nigeria will come up at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, on Saturday, September 5.

A mail from the TFF President Jamal Malinzi, also confirmed that the match will kick off at 16:30 Tanzania time (14:30 in Nigeria).
Nigeria’ Super Eagles share joint top-place with the Pharaohs of Egypt in Group G of the qualifying series, having beaten Chad 2-0 in Kaduna in June, on match day 1, but the North Africans have a one-goal advantage, having beaten the Taifa Stars 3-0 the same weekend.

Coach Sunday Oliseh has 19 home-based professionals in camp in Abuja and, also, called 18 overseas-based players, led by Eagles’ goal-keeper, Vincent Enyeama.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has also confirmed that it has finalised all arrangements with regards to the Super Eagles’ movement into and out of Dar es Salaam, as well as accommodation for the delegation in the Tanzanian capital.

NFF Will Host the CAF Club Licensing Workshop

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said it will this week, host a two -day CAF National Club Licensing seminar in Abuja.

The NFF’s Club Licensing Manager, Nasiru Jibril told thenff.com on Tuesday that the two -day seminar, coming up Thursday, 27 August and Friday, 28 August 2015, will be graced by more than 40 participants and will have four resource persons, among them CAF Club Licensing Manager, Ahmed Harraz.

Other resource persons are George Kasengele (Zambian), Dominique Niyonzima (Burundian) and Anthony Baffoe (Ghanaian).

He said topics to be treated at the two -day seminar include; Objectives of CAF Club Licensing System, National Club Licensing Regulations, Key Stakeholders and Process of the System, Decision-making Procedure, Responsibilities of the License Applicant, CAF Club Licensing Sporting Criteria, Infrastructure Criteria, and CAF Club Licensing Financial Criteria.

Victor Moses Might Move to Aston Villa

Following Aston Villa’s narrow defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, reports have emerged expressing Aston Villa’s interest in Chelsea winger Victor Moses. Moses, a specialist on loans after season long spells at fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Stoke, returned to parent club Chelsea this summer to try and fight for a spot in Jose Mourinho’s highly-competitive side. With the arrival of Pedro and world class attacking options like Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, and Radamel Falcao, Mourinho has made it clear that Moses is not in Chelsea’s first team plan for this season.

Many Villa fans will remember Moses for slotting a penalty past Brad Guzan in the dying moments of Tim Sherwood’s first game in charge last season, as Villa fell 2-1 to Stoke. Moses played 19 times for Mark Hughes last season, tallying three goals and four assists in his half-season worth of games, in addition to scoring in his lone F.A. Cup appearance. Moses is known to have the ability to play on either wing or as a striker, and his versatility would be openly welcomed to a Villa squad always facing injury crises.

Moses is a proven Premier League talent, and at only 24, he is still entering the prime of his career. It would take an extreme series of events for Moses to lose very much of his value, especially if Villa were to sign him to a 5 year deal like many new recruits this summer. There is no rumored set price tag, but a figure in the £5 million to £10 million range seems to make sense.

Oliseh Releases Few Players to Siasia

Super Eagles’ head coach, Sunday Oliseh has released Enyimba International play maker Kingsley Sokari and Warri Wolves striker, Ogh­enekaro Etebo from the home-based Super Eagles’ squad to Samson Siasia’s Dream Team, currently pre­paring for the forthcoming All Africa Games in Congo.

Also joining the Dream Team are Heartland’s Bright Ejike and Warri Wolves’ Lordson Ichull as well as the U-23 Team captain, Azu­buike Okechukwu who has since signed for a club in Turkey.

According to thenff.com, the official website of the Nigeria Football Federation, Oliseh released the players in line with his agreement with Siasia to cooperate with each other in the interest of Nigerian football.

In place of the players re­leased to the Dream Team, Oliseh had handed fresh in­vitation to other home-based players as preparations for the fast approaching 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quali­fier against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania and September 8 international friendly against Niger Republic shift into new gear.

The replacements are, Paul Onobi and Dayo Ojo (Sun­shine Stars), Godwin Obaje (Wikki Tourists), Bature Yaro (Nasarawa United), Abdulrazak Abdul (Enyim­ba FC), Austin Obaroakpo (Abia Warriors) and Okie­mute Odah (Warri Wolves) have been called up.

Nigeria travels to Dar es Sa­laam to face Tanzania Sep­tember 5, aiming to consol­idate on her winning start to the campaign with three points on the road. This has necessitated the early camping arrangement for the Super Eagles players based at home. Three days after the Tanzania clash, the Eagles face Niger Republic in Port Harcourt.

“The preparations have moved into a higher level now,” Team Secretary En­ebi Achor told thenff.com, quoting Coach Oliseh. This was after players were released on Friday to play for their clubs in the week­end’s Glo/NPFL fixtures.

“Coach Oliseh has had to reshuffle the team for dif­ferent reasons mainly ow­ing to injuries and the All- Africa Games assignment of the U23 team. For this reason, seven new players have been called up. The Head Coach has directed that the new players report to the Bolton White Hotels and Apartments in Abuja on Monday, August 24, 2015 with the other players re­tained,” Achor disclosed.

Oliseh’s First Eagles List

Finally, Sunday Oliseh released his first Super Eagles list of Europe-based players Monday, and there were some surprise omissions and also inclusions. Chelsea duo, Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, were conspicuously missing while Haruna Lukman and Wolvehampton Wanderers goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, were surprise inclusions as no one thought they were on the radar of national team selectors.

Having named the players, let’s examine what’s good with the list, and what doesn’t appear the best judgement of the former super Eagles captain.

The list

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England)

Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Troost Ekong (FK Haugesund, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey).

Midfielders: Joel Obi (Torina FC, Italy); Izunna Ernest Uzochukwu (FC Amkar Perm, Russia); Obiora Nwankwo (Coimbra FC, Portugal); Lukman Haruna (Anzhi Machatsjkala, Russia); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emem Eduok (Esperance ST, Tunisia); Emmanuel Emenike (Al Ain, UAE); Anthony Ujah (Werder Bremen, Germany); Sylvester Igboun (FC UFA, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium)

Carl Ikeme – A wanderer’s journey to the Eagles

Carl Ikeme’s resume reads like a wanderer’s expedition. He has kept goal for no less than eight teams since 2004 but has never played in the English top tier even though he was part of the Wolverhampton Wanderers team that were relegated in the 2009/10 season. His inclusion in Oliseh’s list would have raised some eyebrows but at over six foot, he has some presence that most Europeans want in their goalkeepers. Whether he will be able to push Vincent Enyeama for a starting place is another matter.

Izunna Uzochukwu – A battler gets his due

One thing you can be sure of from Uzochukwu is that he will give more than the expected 100%. Though not blessed with so much skill and flair, he adequately makes up with a battling quality that has seen him move from Midtjylland of Denmark, the 25-year-old finally won a move to Amkar Perm in the Russian premier league. He will surely bring much needed energy into Oliseh’s team if he is chosen to play.

Sylvester Igboun – A striker stakes a claim

Another Midtjylland product. The striker spent seven years in Denmark but has moved to Russia to play for FC Ufa. While he played with Midtjylland, he scored 41 goals in 147 league appearances. And in four matches since joining Ufa, the 24-year-old has scored one goal. He will nevertheless be a good competition for Anthony Ujah, who will also be looking to stake a claim to the No. 9 position against the bragging rights of the returning Emmanuel Emenike.

The return of the ‘Apache’

Lukman Haruna is a good midfielder, compared with the ones that have been invited over the period that he has been sidelined. His exclusion was one question that the team’s former coach Stephen Keshi was never able to give a reasonable answer to. But he now gets his chance once again after changing clubs in Ukraine. This could be his last tilt at fulfilling his unquestioned talent.

The ones who missed out

Mikel Obi and Victor Moses will not be too concerned about being left out because of their current inactive spell at Chelsea. The message from the new coach is loud and clear: you will not be called if you are not playing.

Others like Efe Ambrose might have been left out because of a technical deficiency that has become very apparent of late though it could just be a phase or the inevitable ageing process.

Conclusion

Meanwhile, why was Obiora Nwankwo recalled and Anderson Esiti was not called? Why Moses Simon instead of Kelechi Iheanacho?

Oliseh will have his reasons – valid for him and maybe invalid for his critics, but the buck stops at his table and he has the responsibility. He said in his hangout on Monday that no player will be discriminated against and that his choice of starting shirts will not be determined by the location of the league. So, though there will always be questions and the fact that not everyone will be satisfied with the list, he has the call to make.

For now, we will hold our peace as the Eagles start preparation for the clash with Senegal next month and then the prognosis will be delivered. But till then let everyone be calm – a new regime has just kicked off.

Moses: I have a small injury!

Victor Moses was a shock exclusion from Chelsea’s 18 – man squad for their big clash against Manchester City last weekend.

The Nigeria international has revealed that he failed to make Jose Mourinho’s match day squad because he is nursing an injury that should not keep him on the sidelines for too long.

“Thanks for all of your support and concern, ” Victor Moses posted on Twitter.

“I’m having treatment on a small injury but hopefully will be back very soon! ”

Despite traveling to London to run the rule over the winger earlier this month, Super Eagles manager Sunday Oliseh excluded him from an 18 – player squad announced on Monday.

Two Nigerian Referees Will Officiate in the All Africa Games

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has invited two Nigerian referees to officiate at the football tournaments of the 11th All Africa Games taking place in Congo-Brazzaville, from 3-18 September this year.

While Amao Opeyemi will officiate in the men’s event, Bosede Momoh will be involved in the women’s tournament.

CAF also picked Nigerian referees Abel Baba and Ferdinand Udoh as assistant referee 1 and reserve referee respectively for the CAF Champions League group A match between Moghreb Tetouan of Morocco and Smouha FC of Egypt, billed for Tetouan on 23 August.

The latest recognition stems from the capacity –building programme of the present NFF administration, which sent two batches of referees to the United Kingdom for educational purposes in December 2014 and February 2015.

Nigeria will present teams in both football tournaments of the 11th All Africa Games, unlike the absence of the country at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011.

The Super Falcons, winners over Mali in the qualifiers for women’s event of the All Africa Games, will contest against host Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania and Cote d’Ivoire in Group A. Group B has Cameroon, Egypt, South Africa and Ghana.

In the men’s version, the Dream Team will battle Ghana, Senegal and Egypt in Group B. Group A has host Congo-Brazzaville, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso.

Oliseh Invites 23 Home Based Players for Tanzania

Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Sunday Oliseh, has invited 23 home –based professionals who will kick –start preparations for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Tanzania.

At the head of the pack is Warri Wolves’ forward Gbolahan Salami, who scored one of the goals when the Eagles opened the race with a 2-0 win over

Chad in Kaduna in June. There are also regular faces like Solomon Kwambe and Nelson Ogbonnaya.

Oliseh has also called a handful of players of the U-23 squad that survived a stern test in Pointe Noire on Sunday to qualify for the African U-23 Championship finals, alongside former junior international goalkeepers Olufemi Thomas and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, as well as a number of new faces, led by top scorer in the Glo NPFL race, Tunde Adeniji of Sunshine Stars.

Sunday Oliseh, newly appointed Super Eagles coach

The players are expected to report to the Bolton White Apartments, Abuja on Monday, 17 August. Nigeria play Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on 5 September in one of the Matchday 2 games of the qualification series for Gabon 2017. It will be Oliseh’s first match in charge of the Super Eagles.

The Squad

GOALKEEPERS: Olufemi Thomas (Enyimba FC); David Obiazor (Heartland FC); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars)

DEFENDERS: Orji Kalu (Enugu Rangers); Solomon Kwambe (Warri Wolves); Idris Aloma (Enyimba FC); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Nelson Ogbonnaya (Heartland FC); Samson Gbadebo (Lobi Stars); Jamiu Alimi (Shooting Stars); Stephen Eze (Sunshine Stars)

MIDFIELDERS: Ifeanyi Mathew (Nasarawa United FC ); Usman Mohammed (FC Taraba); Azubuike Okechukwu (Bayelsa United); Lordson Ichull (Warri Wolves); Kingsley Sokari (Enyimba FC); Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves)

FORWARDS: Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Bright Ejike (Heartland FC); Tunde Adeniji (Sunshine Stars); Bright Onyedikachi (FC IfeanyiUbah); Prince Aggrey (Sunshine Stars)

Tijani Babangida – Oliseh’s New Special Adviser

Tijani Babangida, a former Super Eagles player, on Thursday in Abuja assumed duty as a Special Adviser on Technical Matters to Super Eagles’ Head Coach Sunday Oliseh.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had last week announced Babangida as an adviser to Oliseh, with whom he has a long-standing relationship.

Babangida who was at the NFF secretariat on Thursday to collect his appointment letter told newsmen that he would justify the confidence reposed in him by the NFF.

He said he would do this through positive pieces of advice to build a new Super Eagles.

“To work with Oliseh or to serve him is one great thing, because we understand each other a lot. We also have the trust of each other, dating back to our playing days.

“For you to understand the level of trust we have for each other, anything I discuss with Oliseh cannot be discussed with anybody.

“This is what the NFF saw and they decided to appoint me to guide him in one way or the other, so that he can work well as the Super Eagles coach,” Babangida said.

The former wing forward who was Chairman of FC Taraba, a Premier League clubside, said he was mandated by Oliseh to be in Abuja latest by Monday.

He said this was for them to meet and strategise on the team’s forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Tanzania in September.

“Oliseh told me to be in Abuja when the team’s camp opens on Monday, so that he can present all the members of his crew to the players.

“I am waiting for Oliseh to be in town to be able to sit with him, talk with him and line up my schedule.

“Lining up my schedule means what I will do and what I am not supposed to do,” the former player of Ajax Amsterdam FC of Netherlands said.

He disclosed that he would be paid allowances for the job, pointing out however that his major concern was to see the Eagles succeed as a team.

Babangida said he would consequently be operating as a consultant to FC Taraba, rather than in the role of Chairman he was in at the clubside before his latest appointment.

He said this was to enable him carry out his new assignment diligently and without interference and distractions.

“A new chairman will now be appointed for FC Taraba, even though I will be coming in at the Super Eagles only when there is a national assignment. But I will be working as a consultant for FC Taraba from a distance.”