Worlf cup 2014: Take a bow Nigerians… Pop Champagnes… Klink Glasses

0 0
Read Time:5 Minute, 20 Second

The Ethiopian Airlines flight that was to take me to Algiers via Addis Ababa took off from Lagos by 1.30pm on Saturday, few hours to the kick off our World Cup qualifying match.

What this meant was that I was going to fly for over six hours anxious to know the result of the match. Nothing to worry about, I said to myself. There was no way Ethiopia was going to come to Calabar and deny us a world Cup ticket. No way. We had done so much in Addis that even a one goal victory for the Ethiopians will not stop us from going to Brazil.

Four hours into the journey, there was an announcement. “ This is  your captain speaking. For those of you who are interested in the football match, Nigeria is leading 2-0, but the match is not yet over…….” YES…I screamed. YES….Brazil here we come.

I started imagining the carnival atmosphere that was Calabar,  the historic city that has so much to celebrate, midwife of  our U-17 foundation and World cup qualification triumph.

Congratulations Nigerians, it has been one week of joy, laughter and back slapping. Suddenly our psyche as a nation, dimmed by myriads of economic and political problems, has been given a lift. Let me start from the Presidency, the Oga himself, a man whose interest in our sports especially football has yielded so much dividends. GOOD LUCK all the way.

The Senate and House of representatives should be commended. President Mark’s interest in sports has always been manifested. I served as a Youth Corper in Niger when he was Military Governor and can attest to his interest and love for sports.

Then comes  the  Sports Minister, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi………let history record and properly too that the arrival of the youthful minister signaled the end of bitter rancor in the Nations football house and the beginning of progress untold. On assumption of office the first thing the Minister did was to ensure peace in the football family by calling all the aggrieved parties to a roundtable where their differences were resolved. This happened in December 2011 after he was appointed the Supervising Minister of Sports. Peace has brought progress.

After a hiatus of 19 years, Nigeria won the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in February 2013.

Similarly, our Under 17 side, the Golden Eaglets just won the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Minister Bolaji will tell you that under his leadership there has been a repositioning of sports in the country.

In athletics, just like in football and weightlifting, Nigeria has become the number one nation in Africa. Never in the history of African athletics has one nation been winner of the Senior, Junior and Youth Championships at the same. Nigeria has won the whole three in the last two years! First we won the Senior Athletics Championship in Port Novo (June 27–July1, 2012), followed by the inaugural Youth Championship in Warri, Delta State (March 2013) and recently, we won the Junior Championship in Mauritius (August- September 2013).

After a 14 years’ absence on the medals table of the IAAF World Championships, Blessing Okagbare won two medals for Nigeria in the last IAAF World Championship, which took place in Russia in August 2013.  She won a silver medal in long jump and a bronze medal in the 200meter race. The last time Nigeria won any medal was at the Seville’99 IAAF World Championship in Seville, Spain, where Gloria Alozie and Francis Obikwelu won a silver medal in the 100m hurdles and a bronze medal in the 200m respectively.

And to think that the NSC has been reinforced by the appointment of the experienced Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye as Director General! Even the sky cannot be our limit.

Of course Governor Liyel Imoke and the people of CrossRiverState we cannot thank enough. Take a bow Sir.

Step out Alhaji Aminu Maigari for recognition and commendation.

This board lays claim to being the most successful in the history of the sport in this country. I remember that after two failed attempts at even qualifying at U 17 level in Africa, this regime put together a team that will guarantee the future of our football if well handled.

What about the winning of the Nations Cup and the qualification for the World Cup? All those who one way or the other are related to the Maigari regime should henceforth walk with their heads held high.
Just as I wrote about the coaching crew of the U-17 last week, what else can I say about the record breaker called The Big Boss and his colleagues? What about this current crop of Super Eagles who have the opportunity of writing their names in gold if they excel in Brazil, go a step further than their country men in previous world cups?

Am I expecting another round of largesse for these players after the Nation’s Cup rewards? Why not? Winning the Nations Cup and qualifying for the World Cup are two very different achievements.

Talking about rewards I have been quick to defend the monetary incentives given to the U.17. I do agree that international sports norms frown at such a practice, preferring instead scholarships and other incentives in kind.

Unfortunately our environment has it that the only schools some of those boys attend are soccer academies! Also, most of them are bread winners in their families and the monetary reward really comes in handy.

State Governments and corporate organizations lining up to honour and reward the boys should desist from the tendency of picking only those from their states. You cannot single out players for honour in a team sport where they competed under the unifying umbrella called NIGERIA.

Before I forget, the amounts doled out to the back room staff of the U.17 by Mr President was nothing to write home about. Five hundred thousand naira to the team doctor? Three hundred thousand to the Team Media Officer? They deserve more.

Let the celebration not stop, please until I come back from my FIFA assignment in  Algiers to join in the merriment.

CONGRATULATIONS NIGERIA.

See you next week

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

World Cup plans: Qatar begins new chapter

0 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 55 Second

When Qatar, started bidding to host the 2022 World Cup, EXPECT AMAZING was their slogan.

They knew that their population was 2 million. They knew that their land mass wasn’t the biggest. But they were sure of what their resources could do for them and the game of football. They told the world to expect amazing World Cup in Qatar. They told FIFA delegates that, if given the chance, they would host a unique World Cup where challenges would be turned into opportunities.

There were issues with the hot weather in summer. Qatar promised to provide a cooling technology that would keep the stadia under good condition for soccer. They promised a unique World Cup where, for the first time, fans could watch two matches in a day largely due not only to the proximity of the centres but also to the fast trains that they would provide. Fifa bought their presentation and awarded them the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.

Three years down the line, the slogan has changed from EXPECT AMAZING to DELIVERING AMAZING.

That has been the message in Qatar since stakeholders including the media started arriving the city for the unveiling of the design for Al Wakrah Stadium, the first among the six new stadia to be built.

“I’m proud of the work that we have done in the past three years,” said Hassan al Thawadi, the Secretary General of Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Saturday in a world press conference in Doha, the capital of Qatar. He said that it was a period delivering on the strategies and the concepts that will ensure a lasting legacy that they hope will be the World Cup in 2022 in Qatar. Apparently, the Supreme Committee feels that it’s time to deliver the amazing concept designs and projects that will lead to a fantastic World Cup in 2022 when the slogan could change to EXPERIENCE AMAZING.

Another word that is being freely used now is “legacy”.
Al Thawadi hopes that everything about the World Cup in 2022 will be about “a legacy we want to leave not only for the people of Qatar but also for entire Middle East and football world.”

The facilities, the infrastructure, the opportunities the World Cup will create will outlive generations, he said.

Al Thawadi’s answer to a question on when they will prefer to host the competition was instructive. In spite of Qatar’s promise to cool the stadia and the fan zones during the World Cup, some issues were still made about the weather during summer and fifa will later decide whether the 2022 edition will hold in winter or in summer.

Some Europeans say that summer will be too hot and that playing the World Cup during winter will disrupt their leagues. Al Thawadi made it clear that Qatar will be ready to host the World Cup at any time, be it summer or in winter. But he added that they presented a bid to host the World Cup in summer and won the bid. The cooling technology that will be developed for the World Cup, he also hopes, would be a legacy that could pave the way for other countries with similar weather to adopt and host similar events.

“Our bid was to host the World Cup in summer but we are ready for any period, in summer or in winter. The cooling legacy is for us and the whole world so that countries with same weather can aspire to host the World Cup too,” al Thawadi said.

Nasser al Khater who is in charge of communications and marketing, while meeting with media men yesterday, reiterated their determination to make the 2022 World Cup a legacy that could change things in the world of football and sports in general, saying “when we talk about the cooling technology, some people think it is a propaganda. It is not. We already have one stadium with it and we want to improve on it.” He spoke about the mechanisms that would make the World Cup a huge success in Qatar.

Al Thawadi did not fail to remind all of the benefits the World Cup can create and that they intend to exploit them to the fullest.

“There are economic and social benefits. There are human perspectives and even environmental benefits not only for the people of Qatar but also for the Middle East,” he said, adding “the investment that Qatar 2022 is making today will pay dividends for generations to come, in line with the nation’s vision of a healthy and prosperous global future.”

Jim Herevin of Zaha Architects and Zaha Halid yesterday made a presentation to stakeholders including the media, architects and engineers from all over the world on the design of the Al Wakrah Stadium which will be the first to be built among the six new stadiums so listed.

Others will be upgraded.

The 40,000 capacity stadium will be capable of hosting group stage, round of 16 and quarter final matches. It will have a natural grass pitch cooled to an optimal temperature of 26 degrees celsius and spectator stands which will be cooled to a supremely comfortable 24-28 degrees celsius.

Al Wakrah is one of the oldest areas in the country. The people are largely fishermen and the stadium design of dhow boat is to reflect the seafaring identity and general heritage of the people.

It is 15 kilometres South of Doha and will be linked by road and rail.
Al Thawadi rounded off this way: “We’ll produce an amazing experience for the players and fans. It’s all about amazing designs, amazing technology, amazing legacy and this is the beginning of something good for football and our people.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

2014 World Cup: Nigeria 2-0 Ethiopia

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 12 Second
Nigeria will be playing in next summer's World Cup in Brazil after defeating Ethiopia 2-0 on Saturday to seal a 4-1 aggregate play-off triumph.
 
After winning the first leg 2-1 in Addis Ababa last month, Victor Moses' 20th-minute penalty and substitute Victor Obinna's late free-kick secured Stephen Keshi's side their place at the finals for a fifth time in six attempts.
 
The hosts were strong favourites coming into the game, with the added benefit of two away goals from the first leg, and when Aynalem Hailu was deemed to have handled the ball inside the area, Moses dispatched the penalty leaving the visitors needing two goals just to force extra time.
 
In truth, Sewnet Bishaw's side created little, and when Obinna thumped home a 25-yard free-kick with eight minutes remaining it sealed a comfortable passage for Nigeria.
 
The hosts made two changes from the first leg with Brown Ideye and Kenneth Omeruo returning to the starting XI, while coach Bishaw made four alterations for Ethiopia, with first-leg goalscorer Behailu Assefa among those to miss out.
 
Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike, who netted a double in the first leg, was the first to threaten, the striker seeing his close-range volley acrobatically parried away by Sisay Bancha in the sixth minute.
 
But it was a controversial incident that saw the home side take the lead 14 minutes later when defender Hailu was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.
 
The defender attempted to block a cross from the left, with the ball striking his thigh and bouncing up onto his right arm.
 
The referee, Bakary Gassama from Gambia, pointed to the spot despite strong protests from the visiting players, before Moses stepped up to send Bancha the wrong way from 12 yards.
 
Ideye twice wasted opportunities to extend Nigeria's lead before the break, heading narrowly wide from Ogenyi Onazi's right-wing cross on the half-hour mark before blazing over after Bancha had parried Onazi's effort two minutes before the interval.
 
In a largely uneventful second half, Bancha rushed from his line to deny Emenike on the hour, before Obinna – on as a 79th-minute replacement for Moses – sent a vicious dipping free-kick beyond Bancha.
 
The goalkeeper really should have done better, wafting an arm at the ball as it flew past him, but it was of no concern to Nigeria, sparking scenes of celebration at the final whistle.
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

2014 World Cup qualifier: Fans predict easy victory for Eagles

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 7 Second

Lagos –  A cross-section of Nigerians on Thursday said they were confident that the Super Eagles would beat the visiting Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia on Saturday in Calabar.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian senior men football team will face their Ethiopian counterparts in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The final round play-off second leg match is billed for the U.J. Esuene Stadium, with the Eagles holding an advantage after beating the Ethiopians 2-1 in Addis Ababa on Oct. 13.

Speaking to NAN in Lagos, many Nigerian football fans tipped the Eagles to win, saying the Eagles are a team which has now come of age.

Innocent Emeh, a spare parts dealer at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, said: “The Eagles have no option than to beat the Antelopes.

“For the Eagles to have won 2-1 against the Ethiopians on their home soil during the first leg, there is enough evidence to show that the return leg will be a formality,’’ he said.

Bonaventure Audu, a bookshop owner at Iba Market in Ojo, pointed out that the present Nigerian side have not lost in Calabar, and would not start it now.

“The African champions have not lost in Calabar, and this Saturday cannot change the record,’’ he said.

Bolaji Odu, a civil servant with the Ojo Local Government, on his part said the match is a “must win’’.

“But I don’t expect the Eagles to approach the match with levity,” he said.

Odu advised the coach Stephen Keshi-led team to execute the match with all seriousness and make Nigerians proud with a resounding victory.

Emeka Ekeh, an electronics seller at the Alaba International Market in Lagos, was of the view that the Ethiopians could not be a hard nut to crack for the Eagles.

“The Antelopes have fallen to the Eagles before, and they will fall again,’’ he said.

In his comments, Toyon Sonayon, the Chairman of Badagry Divisional Football Association, said the Nigerian side was better positioned to win the match.

“With an array of intimidating stars who won the 2013 African Nations Cup and the fact that any team in the continent is beatable, it is sure that the Eagles can beat the Ethiopians comfortably,” Sonayon said.

NAN reports that the Eagles need a draw or outright victory at home on Saturday to book their World Cup ticket

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Maigari assures Eagles ‘ll secure 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 38 Second

Abuja – Aminu Maigari, the President of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) on Sunday gave the assurance that the Super Eagles would secure the 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket.

The president was speaking against the backdrop of the next major soccer assignment to follow after the Golden Eaglets won the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

A statement released by NFA Assistant Director, Media, Ademola Olajire, in Abuja, quoted the president as saying that he was certain the Eagles would win the ticket.

He relied on a 2-1 advantage over the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia from the first leg, adding that the optimism was not being over-confident.

“It has been a great year for Nigerian football, because we started the year with a trophy – the Africa Cup of Nations – in January and ending the year with another trophy – the U-17 World Cup.

“On Nov. 16, we will pick up the ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.

“The Super Eagles have done the hard job in Ethiopia, but we cannot afford to be overconfident and drop our guards.

“So, the team will play the second leg game as if it is the World Cup final,” the statement  added.

It added that Maigari was appreciative of the support of Nigerians during the campaign for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

“We really appreciate the prayers, support and encouragement of all Nigerians, starting with President Goodluck Jonathan.’’

The statement, then, noted that with hard work, perseverance, team work, purposefulness, dedication and doggedness, success was possible.

According to the statement, while we celebrate the Eaglets’ triumph, we now have to focus on the 2014 World Cup qualifying match in Calabar.

“It is most important for our team to be at that biggest soccer showpiece in a year that our nation will be celebrating its Centenary,” it added.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Eaglets 90 Minutes Away from Glory

0 0
Read Time:3 Minute, 21 Second
Just like Sebastien Broadricks-Imasuen, Fanny Amun and the late Yemi Tella, Manu Garba is on the threshold of leading Nigeria to another cadet World Cup title. Manu and his glory-seeking Eaglets are just 90 minutes away from glory at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup final in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
 
Unlike the others, Manu’s feat, if his dream turns reality this evening, it will go down into FIFA’s books as the first time any country will be winning the trophy a record fourth time. As assistant to Tella at the 2007 edition in Korea, Manu knows the sweetness that goes with winning. The Bauchi-born coach is already salivating for the big deal!
 
However, despite having earlier humiliated the defending champions 6-1 in their group clash, Manu is not the one to delude himself that the task at hand is an easy one.
 
“There won’t be any pressure on us against Mexico, because we’ll be physically and mentally prepared for the match. But I repeat that Mexico is a dangerous and very skilful team. We’ve witnessed their resilience since losing to us 6-1, a result which did not prevent them from reaching the final,” observed the Nigerian gaffer while strategizing ahead of this evening clash at the Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium.
 
He is well aware what the Central Americans did to both Brazil and Argentina en-route the final. Long before the tournament even kicked off, Mexico and Nigeria were already regarded as favourites to claim the silverware. But after the 6-1 humiliation suffered by El Tri in their opening match against the Golden Eaglets, the title holders’ dreams of defending their trophy appeared to have been prematurely crushed while for Nigeria, it was a reconfirmation of  its determination to pick a fourth title.
 
But El Tri recovered from that shock. As the Eaglets went from strength to strength, Raul Gutierrez’s men dug deep to prove they can repeat what they did at the 2011 edition.
 
Judging by the two semi-finals, where Nigeria saw off Sweden 3-0 and Mexico defeated Argentina by the same scoreline, the showpiece match today therefore appears a battle of the equal.
 
Manu Garba’s charges however have two significant statistics in their favour: they are yet to be beaten in the competition, and they boast the most prolific attack (23 goals). Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi and Musa Yahaya spearhead a side that is constantly on the move and harasses the opposition with or without the ball, posing a serious challenge for any defence. The return of injured Isaac Success may further add pep to the Nigerian attack.
 
Going into today’s final against Mexico, the Golden Eaglets have played a total of 48 matches; won 43, drew 4  and only lost once; scoring a total of 218 goals  and conceded just 53.
 
El Tri, meanwhile, have found the net with much less frequency (11 times), but can boast a compact unit that bounced back from their initial setback to eliminate Brazil and Argentina.
 
One player who may give Eaglets back four much hasles appears to be Marco Granados.
The Chivas Guadalajara forward is El Tri’s secret weapon. The supersub has taken part in all six of his team’s matches, but has only been on the pitch for a total of 106 minutes. He makes up for his lack of playing time with high-quality incursions and intensity – in the quarter-final against Brazil.
 
The Mexican No10 came off the bench to provoke a dangerous free-kick which led to the opener, and in the semi-final versus Argentina, he smashed home his side’s third goal. If Granados makes a cameo appearance in the final, the Nigerian defence would do well to keep him closely shackled.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

U-17 World Cup: Nigeria crush Mexico’s dreams

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 6 Second
Mexico's dream run at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup ended with a nightmare result against a familiar opponent.
 
El Tri's hopes of a repeat were dashed on Friday, as Nigeria picked up a convincing 3-0 victory over the Mexicans in the FIFA U-17 World Cup final at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Nigeria, who routed Mexico 6-1 in their Group F opener, now have a record four U-17 championships.
 
A ninth-minute own-goal from Erick Aguirre set the tone for Mexico's demoralizing defeat and left El Tri facing an uphill battle they never got close to overcoming. Nigeria doubled their lead in the 55th minute through a Kelechi Iheanacho tally and stuck a dagger in El Tri with an 81st-minute goal from Musa Muhammed, effectively erasing any doubt about what the game's final result would be.
 
For Mexico, the loss is a bitter end to a tournament that saw them impressively knock off Brazil, Argentina and Italy in the knockout rounds.
 
Mexico's senior national team will be hoping to avoid the same type of heartbreak next week. El Tri face New Zealand in a two-legged playoff with a 2014 World Cup berth on the line.
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Stephen Keshi is a good coach: But he must learn to be a good ‘father’

0 0
Read Time:8 Minute, 44 Second
As I set out to write this little piece many titles stormed my mind. Because, it has to do with genuinely concerned thoughts about the Super Eagles and their coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, I chose a direct caption. The subtitle is not as misty as if to say that we are unaware that Keshi is a responsible husband and father of a proud Nigerian family.
 
But he got another extended family: the Super Eagles. To these guys he must learn, not just how to teach the tricks of football and the joy of winning, but how to redirect the stray and bandage the wounded. The charismatic José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix (of Chelsea) is eulogized, even by opponents, for bearing the weaknesses of his players and protecting them before the prying eyes of the public.
 
Looking back a bit, it’s hurting that the unfortunate absence of the Super Eagles from the AFCON 1996 in South Africa was heavily retrogressive in all sectors of Nigerian Football. Yes, few went to the Olympics in Atlanta and got us the soccer gold, but the NFA collapsed. The rising profile of our players ran down while many were frustrated into early retirement.
 
Had the Nigerian league been up to standards, I don’t see while Daniel Amokachie, Sunday Oliseh, Okocha etc should release the throttle when they did. It tickles my fancy to watch Zé Roberto, Nelson de Jesus Silva (Dida), Gilberto Silva, Clarence Clyde Seedorf and the multi talented Ronaldinho (Gaúcho) among so many others still very active in highly technical Campeonato Brasileiro. These guys are still competing and boosting the image and popularity of the entire country.
 
However, it was a Brasilian born Italian journalist who drew my attention to the soccer prodigy personified in the one and only Mario Barwuah Balotelli when, in questioning the glaring absence of Joseph Yobo at the Fifa Confederations Cup held here in Brasil, I told him that the Eagles Captain has some ‘grouse’ to settle with his coach. Whatever is the content of the grouse, I couldn’t offer him.
 
He gasped in utter consternation. What unsettled grouse could keep an in-form captain from his army, away from an International duty? He simply told me that the Italian coaches and the entire Federation know what they want from Balotelli: “a bola na rede” – put the ball inside the net. Kabisa! And he has not let them down. Any other Balotelli ‘insanity’ outside the 18-yard box is in powder content, and thus, can be dissolved. Ok?
 
Mesut Özil, no matter the reason behind his sale by the President of Real Madrid, remains, in a recent opinion sampling in Spain, the only Madrid player Barcelona fans would love to have in their ‘pukuse’ dancing Catalan Club. Yet, this is the man accused of incurable night-crawling. But the German Football Federation would have none of those gabs, neither the professor at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger.
 
It is on record that Mesut made more passes than any player in Europe in the last season. His left foot has a magnetic apparatus to which balls surrender with total obeisance. His passes have dept and reach targeted death-ends. What about soccer vision? His eyeballs define it. That’s where nature lavishes gifts to a seeming little body frame which distinguishes the mid-field maestro’s unequalled sublime soccer savoir-faire. Ronaldo may be the king in Real Madrid. Certainly, Özil was the kingmaker. And, for African traditional culturists, the kingmaker is the one that matters. Remove him; the king is ‘mumu-fied’.
 
Sometimes I query myself: what crimes do the Super Eagles players commit? The only thing I can point at is this ransom for money which was even engrafted during Keshi’s era. Mario Balotelli, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, and our beloved Luís Soares are stars in the game of soccer and represent the youthful energy and craze of their prime.
 
Sometimes, we’re overawed at what they do on and off the pitch, nevertheless, we enjoy their classy entertainment and pay to watch their ‘atilogwu’. Don’t be surprised I added beloved for Soares. Am living in South America where football is a carnival and its artists called ‘carnavalescos’. In fact, football is a show of a sort where every art has colour, and every colour has value.
 
Consequently, looking at the Nigerian puritan posture, I am forced to ask: when has football training camps turned into seminaries, nunneries or monasteries where you hone out monks and other celibate men and women? No one should make the mistake of trying to sanctify indiscipline, worse, in the public purview. This article does not. The point is that professionals should be employed to manage a highly professional vocation like footballers, and by extension, all sports.
 
Time has gone when sports are called mere ‘passatempos’ (hobbies). Today, every form of sports means wealth, national pride, good public image and surely, enviable career. Keshi is professional enough to imbibe and inculcate in the Super Eagles the spirit of solidarity and the time-tested African ‘Ujamaa’ spirit marketed to the world by Julius ‘Mwalimu’ Nyerere. This is what we expect ‘Father’ Stephen Keshi to do with his family in the National Outfit. After all, who is so sinless as to cast the first stone?
 
That’s brings me to the issue of creating and breaking records. Keshi is a fellow Nigerian. We don’t like to create good records but to set ablaze the entire building where good records are saved. Now, we are happy that the national team gaffer is setting good ones for himself. He is the second African to win the Nations Cup as player and coach, and has age and ability on his side. He has attended to most AFCON both as Assistant and Manager.
 
Please, Messrs Paul Bassey and Onochie Anibeze, tell him not to set Yobo’s (nay, Nigeria’s) record ablaze. The world is watching this ugly drama, this vain administrative I-go-show-you-pepper. It’s a little above witch-hunting. We are interested that one Nigerian player is honoured in the Fifa records as embracing the tape of 100th mark of international appearances. Please give it to Yobo. “We are the him o.”
 
No one should forget in a hurry the 100th appearances of the Uruguayan predator Diego Forlan and the Italian mid-field conductor Andrea Pirlo at the last Fifa Confederations Cup in Brasil. They were celebrated in the world media with well publicized interviews by Fifa itself. In fact, the timings were remarkable because both did so with goals to consummate their international team spotlight.
 
However, no Nigerian should forget, at least so soon, that Forlan celebrated national team centenary show with a piercing one-time shot that shook the inside of Enyeama’s net. That rocket from the Uruguayan boot could have as well been launched from NASA. So in every setting, records are created, broken and celebrated. Unfortunately, we shun these types of records in Nigeria. They call it the Nigerian factor, the ‘Naija haram’.
 
Thus, I refuse to believe that Joseph Yobo is still the Captain of the Super Eagles as he was not invited for the Fifa Confederations Cup even when the coaches knew well ahead about the genuine absenteeism of some regulars. I refuse to believe that Yobo is not in any socio-political quagmire as he is not even considered for friendly games. Be it said that Keshi has revealed Oboabona/Omeruo combination at the central defense. But I refuse to believe that Yobo can’t even break-in if any of the Os is unavailable.
 
I thank Keshi for the revelation called Egwuekwe, but I sincerely refuse to believe that he’s better than Yobo, and with due respect, in all aspects of soccer. I weep and refuse to agree to the plot that Yobo may be schemed out from filling an important lacuna in the national soccer history – after Okocha and Kanu unbuckled their boots – as the first and only Nigerian to have successfully completed his century appearance in the national colors.
 
I refuse to believe that it’s only Keshi’s Ouija that is blowing off Yobo. But whoever is rocking the boat, a true Nigerian history is on the abyss. I refuse to agree that Yobo can’t even break into the bench of the present crop of Eagles. When the coaches talk about inviting a Captain and benching him, it flies in the face of TRUTH. Surely, it happens all over the world. After all, we know who captained the final match against the Kalusha-led Zambian Chikpolokpolo in Tunisia ’94. We know how the Trophy was lifted. Please let’s stop all this “politicagem”, as Brasilians would say.
 
I make this little contribution in honour of Nigerian soccer fans whose spirit selected Keshi. I make this case in respect to the Vanguard and some sports journalists who stood solidly behind the coach against NFA’s endemic ruckus.
 
I move this motion in honour of the Late Pini Jason (God rest his soul) whose revealing articles (February 19, 26/2013) on the straying NFA drew the world’s attention while Nigerians were still on honeymoon with the AFCON Trophy.
 
Doubtless, the Eagles must give Keshi and his crew unalloyed respect as the father of the house. Keshi himself as a good father should not treat his players as common roadside panhandlers in front of a giant Shylock. These Eagles need neither mafia players nor coaching cabals. All we are saying is that we are Nigerians. Let there be one family. I take refuge in the old Warri cliché: monkey no fine but him mama like am. Like Keshi, so also like Osaze, Yobo and others. We like them all. Let Yobo break this seeming jinx. Let Keshi create records. At the end, Nigeria wins. Brasil, here we come!
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Emenike, the new goal-machine of Eagles

0 0
Read Time:3 Minute, 1 Second

Emmanuel Emenike could well be the goals machine Nigeria have long waited for as he now averages a goal every other game for them.

Nigeria have long waited for a striker who will take the responsibility of scoring goals for the Eagles since the days of the late Rashidi Yekini.
The likes of Julius Aghahowa, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Obafemi Martins at some point were regarded as the men to take on the Eagles goal-scoring responsibilities, but none of them could match the exploits of the legendary Yekini.
 
 
With nine goals from 18 matches for Nigeria, Emenike has emerged as the country’s new king of goals, who if he maintains his scoring rate could outdo the 37-goal milestone set by the great Yekini.
He is strong, a cool head in front of goal and has already proved he is a prolific scorer at his various clubs.
He is only 26 and if he only he could stay free of injuries and on form, he will plunder many more goals for the African champions.
His confidence has been boosted by his exploits at his Africa Cup of Nations debut earlier this year in South Africa, where he emerged as top scorer with four goals to help Nigeria win a third continental diadem.
Incidentally, his Eagles debut against Sierra Leone in February 2011 had gone horribly wrong when he was forced out of the game by injury midway through the first half.
But like he has shown at his various clubs, his resolve to defy the critics has since seen him become the toast of a country of 160 million football fans.
His first Eagles goal was pure class as he lobbed the ball past a stranded Argentina goalkeeper as Nigeria thumped the two-time world champions 4-1 in a friendly in Abuja two years ago.
Emenike began his career with Delta Force in Nigeria before he moved to South Africa, where he featured for Mpumalanga Black Aces and FC Cape Town.
His stocks rose considerably when he joined a modest Turkish club Karabukspor where his goals catapulted them to the top flight.
He then netted 14 goals for Karabukspor in the top flight to catch the attention of giants Fenerbahce.
In the summer of 2011, Fenerbahce signed him for £7 million, but didn’t play a single game for the Istanbul giants before he was on the move again amid a match-fixing scandal that rocked the club.
He moved to Russia,  where he teamed up with Spartak Moscow for a fee of  £9 million and was an instant hit, he scored his first goal in Russia in a 1-1 draw against city rivals CSKA Moscow and went ahead to score a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow in another derby.
He scored 21 goals in 42 games, again an average of a-goal-a-game.
He has yet to score for Fenerbache since his switch in the summer, but you cannot bet against him to come good yet again.
 
Emenike’s Goals for Nigeria
International Friendly
Nigeria vs Argentina in 2011 4-1(1 goal)
2014 World Cup qualifier
Nigeria vs Malawi 2 – 0(1 goal)
2013 AFCON
Nigeria vs Burkina Faso 1 – 1(1 goal)
Zambia vs Nigeria 1 – 1(1 goal)
Cote d’Ivoire vsNigeria 1 – 2(1 goal)
Mali vs Nigeria 1 – 4(1 goal)
International Friendly
Nigeria vs Burkina Faso 4-1 (1 goal)
2014 World Cup Playoff
Ethiopia vs Nigeria 1 – 2(2 goals)

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Two suicide bombers die in failed plot to disrupt Ethiopia/Nigeria qualifier

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 28 Second

The government said that the duo must have panicked and detonated their explosives due to the heavy presence of police during Sunday’s game in Addis Ababa.

The explosion on Sunday happened in the upscale Bole district of the capital, about 5 km (3 miles) from Addis Ababa Stadium where thousands of fans were gathering for the match.

The Ethiopian government has announced that two suicide bombers who had planned to disrupt Sunday’s World Cup qualifier between Ethiopia and Nigeria in Addis Ababa accidentally blew themselves up before carrying out the attack.

Nigeria defeated their hosts 2-1 at the packed National Stadium in a first leg play-off game for Brazil 2014.

On Monday, the government opened up on the failed plot and stated that the explosion happened in the upscale Bole district of the capital, about 5 km (3 miles) from Addis Ababa Stadium where thousands of fans were gathering for the match.

The Nigerian team stayed at Saro-Maria Hotel in the Bole district not far from the airport.

"They were Somali nationals and plotted to carry out a suicide attack disguised as fans on either the stadium or areas where large crowds gathered to watch the game," government spokesman Shimeles Kemal was quoted by Reuters.

"Heavy police presence must have caused their nervousness and state of agitation which led to the detonation that caused their own death," Shimeles said.

Explosives, arms, hand grenades and football shirts were found at the scene of the blast, at a residential address an hour before kick-off, Shimeles said. Three suspects were detained. The Bole district has a small Somali refugee community.

Nigeria will host the return leg in Calabar on November 16. via Goal @ Reuters.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %