President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Super Eagles to play every match for the honour of their motherland as they file out in their first match against Burundi in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019), holding in Egypt.
The President, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday, urged the Eagles to lift the flag of Nigeria high, and reinforce the reputation of the country as a football powerhouse on the continent.
He said: “I will be watching, just as millions of Nigerians would also do.
“You have our solid support, and we will cheer you to victory,”he said.
He added: “Nigerians are known for their unconquerable spirit. Show this in the group stages, and even beyond. Nothing but lifting of the diadem is good enough for our country,”he stated.
He also enjoined the Super Eagles to be mindful of fair play, and sportsman like conduct, as they strive to return home with the AFCON trophy.
U20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: FIFA inspection team arrives today
FIFA inspection team will arrive in Nigeria today to inspect facilities for the country’s FIFA U20
Women’s World Cup 2020 hosting rights bid, the Nigeria Football Federation [NFF] confirmed on Sunday.
Christopher Exley, Sara Jane Booth, Kliment Taseski, Rhiannon Ceirwen Martin and Heyral Kaj Jurgen are the FIFA officials expected in Abuja by Nigeria’s top football officers.
The FIFA delegation from the headquarters of world football body in Zurich will make a detailed inspection of the hosts’ venues, training grounds, hospitals and stadia earmarked for the event.
In a statement to the press, NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire said Lagos, Asaba, Benin City and Uyo have been picked as the four host cities for the women’s age-grade tournament billed for the summer of 2020.
“A five-man inspection team from world football governing body, FIFA will arrive in Lagos on Monday for a four-day inspection of facilities and equipment that Nigeria has put forward to host the 10th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup championship next year,” the statement read.
“The inspection team will begin its work in Lagos on Tuesday, with visits to the Onikan Stadium (match venue), St. Nicholas Hospital and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals), Teslim
Balogun Stadium, National Stadium Legacy Pitch, Eagle Club, Campos Square and the University of Lagos Sports Centre (training sites) before a courtesy call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Government House in Alausa.
“Joined by NFF President Pinnick, General Secretary Sanusi, Mainasara Illo (Coordinator of the Bid), Aisha Falode, Commissioner of Police Garba Baba (security) and Dr. Paul Onyeudo (medical), the team will fly to Benin City same day to inspect facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium (match venue), Western Boys College and University of Benin Sports Centre (training sites) and the Edo Specialist Hospital and University of Benin Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals).
“The contingent will check out the facilities in Asaba and Uyo on Wednesday. In Asaba, the Stephen Keshi Stadium is the proposed match venue, while training sites are Asaba Squash Courts and St. Patrick’s College. The referral hospitals are St. Luke’s Hospital and Asaba General Hospital.
“In Uyo, the focus will be on the Godswill Akpabio Stadium (match venue), Ikot Ekpene Stadium and Godswill Akpabio Training Pitch (training sites) and Ibom Specialist Hospital and University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (referral hospitals).
“The inspection party will then fly to Abuja on Thursday for a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Olusade Adesola (representing the Honourable Minister) and a courtesy call on His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) at the Presidential Villa.”
Nigeria reached the final in 2010 and 2014 but lost to Germany on both two occasions.
No African nation has hosted a FIFA organised women’s football tournament – a streak Nigeria will be aiming to break by staging the 10th edition next year.
Nigeria beat Cameroon to reach Quarter-Finals
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, after defeating the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon 3-2 in Alexandria.
Odion Ighalo scored a brace, and Alex Iwobi got one goal to book Nigeria a match next Wednesday with the winner between Egypt and South Africa.
FIFA to take over CAF over alleged corruption
A drastic and dramatic overhaul of African football is expected to be announced on Thursday, the eve of the kickoff of the African Cup of Nations, in the wake of corruption scandals consuming the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The CAF executive committee took a stunning decision on Wednesday to cede control of the running of the organisation and have FIFA general secretary, Fatma Samoura parachuted in as “FIFA High Commissioner for Africa”, according to sources.
No announcement has been made by African football’s governing body but CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad is scheduled to hold a press conference in Cairo on Thursday at 0900 GMT.
Ahmad, who is the subject of an ethics investigation by FIFA after allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct, proposed the idea in a document shared with colleagues on the executive committee, the sources said.
Samoura is to lead a FIFA team that will conduct “a root-and-branch review of governance of the confederation, oversee operational management of the organisation, and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts,” the document read.
“This will be done in order to put CAF itself on a modern and sound footing, improve its image and reputation and thus ensure that CAF is better equipped to face future challenges and to grasp future opportunities.”
FIFA are to also undertake a forensic audit of the monies they have been giving CAF.
The idea of sending Samoura to Africa is said to have been put together by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CAF vice president Amaju Pinnick in the wake of Ahmad’s brief detention by French police last week for questioning on corruption allegations.
Ahmad, who is seeking to hold onto some semblance of power or even walk away from his post without sanction, had been forced to accept the deal and then propose it to his own colleagues, CAF sources told Reuters on Thursday.
With FIFA seeking to improve football’s image, the Ahmad controversy has come as major embarrassment to Infantino, who has been claiming a new-look, clean and corruption-free FIFA.
Ahmad, by virtue of his position as leader of African football, is automatically a FIFA vice president.
African football has been rocked not only by the firing of CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy for whistle blowing, but also a walk off in the Champions League final and the alleged assault on a referee by another of CAF’s vice presidents.
The Cup of Nations kicks off in Cairo on Friday when hosts Egypt take on Zimbabwe,