MTN Fetes Lagos Street Soccer Champions

Bildschirmfoto 2013-10-29 um 18.23.03Champions, of various categories of this year’s edition of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer tournament were recently hosted to a reception at the Prince of Anthony Hotel, Anthony Village, Lagos.

The event, which had in attendance MTN officials, staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Sports, members of the Local Organising Committee, LCDA Chairmen, Commissioners, honourable members of the house of assembly, gentlemen of the press, sports fans and families of winners, was organised to celebrate with the winners of the Male, U-15 and the Female categories of the championship, ABS Street of Mosan Okunola LCDA, Folarin Gbadebo Street of Ojokoro and Triumph Football Academy, of Lagos West Island, respectively.

Speaking at the event, MTN’s Event and Sponsorship Manager, Mr. Dola Bamgboye, explained why the company is always in the forefront, of discovering and nurturing talents, from different facets of our country’s vast repository of resourceful young men and women. In his words “MTN has, over the years, tilted its passion towards unearthing future stars, in various sectors, including music, entertainment, ICT and sports, across the nation and we are pleased to discover another set of soccer stars. These winners are now our ambassadors and we will make sure, through this platform that they get to global fame.”

Speaking about the U-15 category champions, Mr. Bamgboye said that the young stars, with their soccer artistry and prowess, will, in no distant time, be part of the nation’s U-17 National team. “I want to assure all present, at this August occasion, that we are presenting to you, future stars of Nigerian football and I am proud to say that they are our ambassadors” he declared. Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer, Local Organising Committee, Mr. Deji Aladegbemi, while congratulating the winners, commended the leading ICT Company, MTN Nigeria, for supporting the tournament that recorded a massive turn-out and with over 800 teams showing interest. “We are grateful to MTN Nigeria, for solidly supporting this platform, which has, continuously, unearthed grassroots soccer stars and taking them to global fame, for the past five years”. He said.

In a similar vein, the coaches of the winning teams, on behalf of their respective teams, while expressing their joy and aspirations on their new statuses, also appreciated the efforts of MTN, for having taken them this far. Hassan Taiwo, coach of Triumph Football Academy of Lagos West Island said “with a company like MTN, the youths, across the nation, can see a bright future”. The MTN Lagos Street Soccer is a five-a-side tournament that is in its sixth edition. It is one of the many ways in which MTN is contributing to youth development. It is also a platform that gives young soccer talents the privilege to showcase their skills and get exposed to advanced facilities, within Nigeria and overseas.

It is interesting to note that, apart from the prize money, the winners of the male, female and U-15 categories, of this season of MTN Lagos Street Soccer tournament, will have the opportunity to travel to Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha, Qatar, to improve their football potential and intelligence. The teams will also have the opportunity to be part of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, in the UAE, in October.

Real Betis Not In A Hurry To Reevaluate Contract Of Nosa Igiebor

Real Betis are not in a hurry to re-evaluate the existing contract of Nosa Igiebor which expires in the summer of 2016, with an optional inserted into the deal.

With the midfielder’s form for club and country on the rise in recent months, it is widely expectedNosa_Igiebor3 that the Betis hierarchy will increase the wages of the Nigeria international from the 250,000 euros net he currently earns.

The Spanish representative of Nosa, Kenneth Asquez says talks have not yet started regarding the review of his client’s contract.

Estadiodeportivo quoted Kenneth Asquez as saying: “We have not been called yet. Betis If they wish to discuss the terms of a renewal, we would sit with great haste.

“This is the club that has given him the opportunity to play in Europe’s elite, so it’s the least we could do.”

The Spanish intermediary downplayed the incident after the World Cup play – off match against Ethiopia, where Nosa suffered a cut on his hand after rival supporters attacked the Super Eagles bus.

Nosa will make the squad to face Elche on Sunday if manager Pepe Mel deems him appropriate.

Ethiopian FA to investigate ‘attack on Nigeria team bus’

The Ethiopian Football Association has said it will investigate Nigeria’s claim fans attacked their team bus after the countries’ World Cup play-off in Addis Ababa on Sunday.

_70516309_nosaNigeria said midfielder Nosa Igiebor (pictured) was injured when the bus windows were shattered as the team left the stadium after their 2-1 win – and they have reported the incident to Fifa.
Newly-elected Ethiopian FA president Juniedin Basha said: “We saw the reports that Nigeria’s bus was attacked and a player was injured.
“Tuesday was a holiday in Ethiopia so we couldn’t do anything about it, but we will work with the security forces to investigate what has actually happened and hopefully respond soon.”
The two teams will meet in Calabar for the second leg of the play-off on 16 November.

Nigeria beats Ethiopia, Cameroon draws in Tunisia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Emmanuel Emenike converted a 90th-minute penalty for a second-half brace to lead Nigeria to a 2-1 win in Ethiopia in their World Cup playoff on Sunday, putting the African champion in a strong position to play at football’s main event in Brazil next year.

In Sunday’s other playoff game, Samuel Eto’o reversed his brief international retirement and captained Cameroon in a 0-0 draw in Tunisia in their first leg, leaving his country with a slight advantage ahead of its home game next month.

Nigeria, this year’s African Cup winner, needed a late comeback in Addis Ababa after a determined Ethiopia dominated with its high-paced passing game for the first hour. Nigeria’s Godfrey Oboabona had to clear off the line in the 23rd to deny Saladin Said an early goal for the Ethiopians and Behailu Assefa then put the hosts ahead in the 57th when goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama fumbled his shot into the net.

But Fenerbahce forward Emenike equalized 10 minutes later and struck from the spot at the end to give Nigeria a lead to take to its home leg in Calabar on Nov. 16. Ethiopia is trying to reach its first ever World Cup but was left to rue a string of missed early chances as Nigeria closed in on its fifth trip to the tournament out of the last six.

Ethiopia was convinced Saladin’s first-half attempt had crossed the line before Oboabona’s clearance, and the country’s football federation said it would register a complaint with the Confederation of African Football against referee Neant Alioum of Cameroon.

Eto’o started for Cameroon in Rades on the outskirts of Tunis after being convinced by state president Paul Biya to rejoin the squad for the crucial playoff. He had a subdued role as Tunisia started rapidly and Yassine Chikhaoui twice failed to capitalize when one-on-one with Cameroon goalkeeper Charles Itandje in the first five minutes.

“We are satisfied with the result,” Cameroon’s German coach Volker Finke said. “The final result is a good thing and now we have to win the next match.”

Cameroon worked its way back into the game and should have taken the lead when Pierre Webo missed an open goal in the 69th minute, but at least managed a clean sheet ahead of the second leg at home in Yaounde on Nov. 17.

“We had some problems in the first 25 minutes but we improved our game little by little,” Finke said.

New Tunisia coach Ruud Krol introduced nine new players for the playoff after the Tunisians lost their last game at home against Cape Verde. That defeat led former coach Nabil Maaloul to resign before Cape Verde was stripped of the victory for fielding an ineligible player and Tunisia was reinstated to the final round of Africa’s qualifying competition.

“We were unlucky, we missed several chances but we played well,” Krol said. “We didn’t win but we didn’t lose either. The important thing is we didn’t concede a goal. The next match will be very difficult.”

On Saturday, Didier Drogba scored as Ivory Coast beat Senegal 3-1 and Burkina Faso edged Algeria 3-2. Egypt is away in Ghana on Tuesday to complete the first-leg games. The five aggregate winners will represent Africa at the World Cup in Brazil next June and July. Fifty-two countries started the qualifying process two years ago.nationaltrainer-stephen-keshi-r-ist-mit-seinen-nigerianern-nach-dem-2-1-in-aethopien-ganz-dicht-dran-am-wm-ticket-

A Sleeping Giant in African Soccer Is Starting to Stir

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Less than a week before the most important match in its history, Ethiopia’s national soccer team trained on a wet, uneven field on the outskirts of the capital. Nearby, a woman hung her wash on a clothesline. Birds of prey circled overhead, and sometimes a plane flew past at low altitude, coming from the capital’s busy airport, which a few months ago added a connection to Rio de Janeiro.
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Boys training at the Woizero Kalamework Turineh School, one of many projects supported by the national soccer federation.
The timing could not have been better. Ethiopia will face Nigeria on Sunday in the first leg of one of five home-and-home playoffs that will determine the five African teams in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. A few years after it was barred from even attempting to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Ethiopia is two games from reaching the tournament for the first time.

“We have played against Nigeria many times,” Ethiopia’s coach, Sewnet Bishaw, said at a luxury hotel in the city center, where the team has been living as it prepares for the match. “Even though Nigeria is a big nation, a big country with huge, skillful and professional players, we’ve become very strong in the past few years.”

The African playoffs include many of the World Cup regulars — Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon — that have for years fed talent to Europe’s top clubs and leagues. The presence among them of Ethiopia, a persistent underdog that won its only African championship a half-century ago, is among the biggest surprises of the current qualifying cycle. But a string of good results, a rare bit of stability in its national federation and a focus on youth development have many in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, feeling as if a sleeping giant has been awakened.

Nigeria, the reigning continental champion, boasts stars like Liverpool’s Victor Moses and Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel. Ethiopia fields a roster made up almost entirely of players based domestically.

And as the team’s simple practice field attests, Ethiopian soccer still has far to go. In 2008, a power struggle inside the national federation led to its suspension by FIFA. As a consequence, Ethiopia was barred from qualifications for the last World Cup. This year, the fielding of an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier against Botswana almost cost Ethiopia its chance at playing in Brazil.

The incident was partly caused by a federation official, Berhanu Kebede, who acknowledged he had failed to forward a communiqué by FIFA that had confirmed the player was ineligible, one of a series of similar problems in African qualifying this year.

Meshesha Wolde Denbel, a veteran local reporter, said the federation’s instability partly explained the team’s lack of success before this year. “The current federation has done a lot of positive things,” he said, “but I don’t think the basic issues have been addressed.”

Many officials are unprofessional, he said. More coaches need to be trained. Another issue is the lack of work at the grass-roots level. With about 40 percent of Ethiopia’s 80 million people under age 15, the country has a huge, largely untapped resource for creating the next generation of players and supporters.

“This is the time when players have hope,” said Kebede, the vice president of the Ethiopian Football Federation. “It used to be everybody wanted to run away.”

Many in Ethiopia still remember the team’s only title in the Africa Cup of Nations, in 1962. A military coup in 1974 was followed by years of terror, famine and poverty. National team players tried to escape whenever they had a chance, and as recently as 1998 the country did not even try to qualify for the World Cup.

Still very poor, Ethiopia has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and soccer has been a beneficiary. Among the many construction projects across the country are six new stadiums.

Whereas national players used to earn a few hundred Ethiopian birr — 19 birr are currently worth $1 — the Ethiopian soccer federation offered each player $111,000 for winning this year’s Africa Cup of Nations and $55,000 for reaching the final. 11ethiopia-articleLarge

Okwuosa called to Nigerian Team

Chippa United defender James Okwuosa has been called up to Nigeria’s national team to play against Ethiopia this weekend.

The strong defender has been named in Stephen Keshi’s side for the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia, despite playing in the second tier of South African football.

Okwuosa is in Keshi’s te1d599068d55d2221a2abd2f224bf7c4f110am that has some of Nigeria’s best players, including Vincent Enyeama, John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, amongst other superstars.

“James Okwuosa is in the Nigeria national team. He was in the team that played in the previous game against Malawi and was in the team against Burkina Faso.

“He left yesterday (Monday) because the game against Ethiopia is this weekend. Chippa played against Thanda Royal Zulu on the weekend and James left on Monday.

“He is in camp with Nigeria as we speak,” a source close to Okwuosa revealed.

Okwuosa made his international debut for Nigeria in the 4-1 win against Burkina Faso, with former Mpumalanga Black Aces player Emmanuel Emenike scoring one of the goals for the Super Eagles.