This gallery contains 5 photos.
AITEO, Nigeria’s foremost energy solution company, on Wednesday acquired the ‘Naming Right’ of the NFF Federation Cup, as an extension/addendum to the company’s sponsorship agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation. It is also part of the rights AITEO has under the original agreement.
Those rights will enable the acquisition of additional commercial assets from the NFF that are available and not encumbered, on a mutually –negotiated basis. To this end, the NFF Federation Cup, the oldest football competition in Nigeria, is henceforth to be known and addressed as “AITEO Cup”
The duration of this aspect of the sponsorship is 5 years, similar to the main agreement (signed on 26th April 2017) on a Cost Value Arrangement and commencing from the 2017 season. This arrangement will see AITEO underwriting the costs of the organisation of the competition which encompasses the costs of organising the competition from the Round of 64 to the men and women’s finals, solidarity support to Football Associations of the 36 States and the FCT, expenses and indemnities of match officials, support to participating Clubs, Media, Branding/Activation and Prize Money to winners.
Accordingly, for the 2017 season, the prize monies for the AITEO Cup will be N25million for the winner of the men’s competition and N10million for the winner of the women’s competition. The runner –up for the men’s competition will pocket N10million, with the runner –up for the women’s event going home with N5million. The NFF and AITEO will, in due course, unveil further details of all the benefits of the extended agreement at a press conference.
The Cost Value Arrangement of the transaction is for NFF and AITEO to, annually, decide the nature and value proposition of the AITEO Cup under the framework of the relationship, and AITEO would thus underwrite the cost as the competition’s ‘Naming Right Holder.’
The NFF team at the contract signing inside AITEO Group’s Lagos office said it was “extremely delighted” by the extended agreement, while AITEO chieftains stated “we are happy to do this for Nigeria.”
Despite Abia Warriors 1-2 loss to hosts, Gombe United in a Nigeria Professional Football League encounter last Wednesday, Chief Coach of the Umuahia based side, Abdullahi Biffo has doffed his hat for the referees who handled the match for a job well done.
Speaking to sports writers shortly after the hotly – contested encounter at the Pantami Stadium, Biffo said the officials comprising Imam Malik Umar, Idris Nuhu, Abubakar Safiayanu and Shehu Saidu all from the Kano State Referees Council were fair, firm and in full control throughout the match.
“The officials were simply fantastic and had the game under control” Biffo said insisting that his team’s defeat had nothing to do with bad officiating but rather a result of loss of concentration and a bit of hard luck.
“I can’t still believe that we lost this match. We were fully in control and even held unto our lead until late in the game but things suddenly fell apart. Well, that’s football for you. We will now go back and correct the mistakes to avoid a repeat in our future games ” the former Niger Tornadoes gaffer said.
During the match, Afolabi Abdulwaheed and substitute, Sani Mohammed Abbani scored in the 79th and 85th minutes to overturn what looked like a helpless situation for the under pressure home team after Yakub Hammed had given the Warriors the lead in the 62nd minute following a good build-up that also involved Sunday Adetunji, Sherif Bashir and Shedrack Asiegbu.
Ex Shooting Star midfielder and now Sunshine Stars gaffer, Duke Udi lashes out at referees following his team’s loss to MFM on Wednesday.
The Olukoya Boys handed a narrow defeat to the Owena Whales, but the newly installed manager was not impressed by the performance of the men in black.
The Olukoya Boys completed a double over the Akure outfit after recording a 2-1 win at the Agege Stadium in the Nigeria Professional Football League Week 26 encounter.
The former Osun United coach – angered by the display of the arbiters – threatened to follow in the footstep of his predecessor Austin Eguavoen after repeatedly questioning the officiating.
“I beg to be corrected if this is the way football is been played; if this is the way referees officiate then someone like me should just resign,” Udi said.
“Officiating should be 50-50, let our football grow. I don’t care if you are beating me at home, just let the better team win. It’s not fair when you favour a team against the other team.
“When we were playing football, football was played with talent. Take for example the Premier League, teams go away to win but that won’t happen here.
“If this is the way officiating looks like here then I should just resign. Can you imagine you do so much work for a week then someone will just thwart your effort and that of the players? It’s so unfortunate. Officiating should be free and fair,” he concluded.
West Ham kicks off their Premier League campaign with a tough trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on August 12.
Slaven Bilic’s side then face newly-promoted sides — Newcastle United and Huddersfield — in two of their next three matches.
It is December and April that could prove pivotal months for the Hammers, however. Bilic’s side take on Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in the space of 10 days before Christmas and then play them all again in the season’s penultimate month.
West Ham Premier League Fixtures
August 12 Manchester United (A)
August 19 Southampton (H)
August 26 Newcastle (A)
September 9 Huddersfield (H)
September 16 West Brom (A)
September 23 Tottenham (H)
September 30 Swansea (H)
October 14 Burnley (A)
October 21 Brighton (H)
October 28 Crystal Palace (A)
November 4 Liverpool (H)
November 18 Watford (A)
November 25 Leicester (H)
November 29 Everton (A)
December 2 Manchester City (A)
December 9 Chelsea (H)
December 12 Arsenal (H)
December 16 Stoke (A)
December 23 Newcastle (H)
December 26 Bournemouth (A)
December 30 Tottenham (A)
January 1 West Brom (H)
January 13 Huddersfield (A)
January 20 Bournemouth (H)
January 30 Crystal Palace (H)
February 3 Brighton (A)
February 10 Watford (A)
February 24 Liverpool (A)
March 3 Swansea (A)
March 10 Burnley (H)
March 17 Manchester United (H)
March 31 Southampton (A)
April 7 Chelsea (A)
April 14 Stoke (H)
April 21 Arsenal (A)
April 28 Manchester City (H)
May 5 Leicester (A)
May 13 Everton (H)
All fixtures are subject to change once live TV schedule has been finalised
Arsenal will kick off the 2017/2018 season with the FA Community Shield clash with Chelsea in what could be seen as a replay of the FA Cup final at Wembley. Before they kick start the Premier League Season with the deposed Premier League champion Leicester City at the Emirates
Complete Arsenal Premier League Fixtures
Community Shield Arsenal v Chelsea Sun 6 Aug 16:00
Premier League Arsenal v Leicester City Sat 12 Aug 15:00
Premier League Stoke City v Arsenal Sat 19 Aug 15:00
Premier League Liverpool v Arsenal Sat 26 Aug 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Bournemouth Sat 9 Sep 15:00
Premier League Chelsea v Arsenal Sat 16 Sep 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion Sat 23 Sep 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion Sat 30 Sep 15:00
Premier League Watford v Arsenal Sat 14 Oct 15:00
Premier League Everton v Arsenal Sat 21 Oct 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Swansea City Sat 28 Oct 15:00
Premier League Man City v Arsenal Sat 4 Nov 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur Sat 18 Nov 15:00
Premier League Burnley v Arsenal Sat 25 Nov 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Huddersfield Town Tue 28 Nov 19:45
Premier League Arsenal v Manchester United Sat 2 Dec 15:00
Premier League Southampton v Arsenal Sat 9 Dec 15:00
Premier League West Ham United v Arsenal Tue 12 Dec 19:45
Premier League Arsenal v Newcastle United Sat 16 Dec 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Liverpool Sat 23 Dec 15:00
Premier League Crystal Palace v Arsenal Tue 26 Dec 15:00
Premier League West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal Sat 30 Dec 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Chelsea Mon 1 Jan 15:00
Premier League Bournemouth v Arsenal Sat 13 Jan 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Crystal Palace Sat 20 Jan 15:00
Premier League Swansea City v Arsenal Tue 30 Jan 19:45
Premier League Arsenal v Everton Sat 3 Feb 15:00
Premier League Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal Sat 10 Feb 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Manchester City Sat 24 Feb 15:00
Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal Sat 3 Mar 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Watford Sat 10 Mar 15:00
Premier League Leicester City v Arsenal Sat 17 Mar 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Stoke City Sat 31 Mar 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Southampton Sat 7 Apr 15:00
Premier League Newcastle United v Arsenal Sat 14 Apr 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v West Ham United Sat 21 Apr 15:00
Premier League Manchester United v Arsenal Sat 28 Apr 15:00
Premier League Arsenal v Burnley Sat 5 May 15:00
Premier League Huddersfield Town v Arsenal Sun 13 May 15:00
N.B Matches are listed are subject to changes according to the FA’s discretion and broadcaster’s right.
By Jawolusi ‘Segun @olujawolusi
AFCON 2019 Qualifiers
Nigeria Vs South Africa
Saturday 10th June 2017
Venue-Nest of Champions Stadium, Uyo
Live-on Super Sports 9
With the qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations scheduled to take place in Cameroon kicking off this weekend, Nigeria faces a rejuvenated Bafana Bafana of South Africa after missing out on the last two editions.
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 editions which took place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon respectively.
The Nigerians will be looking forward to start on a strong footing to restore confidence in their teeming supporters who they had let down on the last two occasions.
The South Africans on their part will be looking for a first win in a competitive match over their perennial nemesis, Nigeria. Since 1992, the two countries had met nine times with the Super Eagles coming out victorious on six occasions while the remaining three ended in draws.
With the Super Eagles looking forward to qualify for the nations Cup finals for the first time since winning it in 2013 in South Africa, the match promised to be an explosive one as the Nigerian players are determined to right the wrongs of the past two qualifiers.
Nigeria will be missing captain Mikel Obi who is recuperating presently, but stand in captainOgeyi Onazi knew the enormous task ahead of the team as he declared:
“This time, we must restore our pride and make sure we get the three points off them on Saturday.
“Nigerians do not forgive losers easily and it is our responsibility to make the country proud whenever we are in action.”
This combined with the fact that the Bafana Bafana contributed to the outsted of the then defending champions in 2015 edition qualifiers will see the Nigerians going on full throttle in Uyo.
That fact is not lost to the Trabzonspor midfielder who saw the match as an avenue to avenge the event of 2014.
“We do not want to forget that South Africa partly contributed to us not going to the 2015 Cup of Nations.”.
The South Africans were forced by the Super Eagles to a 2-2 draw on a Wednesday afternoon in November 2014 at the same venue where the two teams will be meeting later today thus finishing out of their group’s top two automatic qualification spots with eight points – a total that also put them out of the running to be the best third-placed team.
Enroute to losing out of the race for the 2017 competition, the fate of the Nigerian side was decided with a match at hand as they lost to the Pharaohs of Egypt by a lone goal. The result saw the Egyptians opening up an unassailable five point gap between them and the Nigerian side.
NIGERIA RECENT GAMES
Sun 09/10/16 World Cup Qualifier Zambia 1 – 2 Nigeria
Sat 12/11/16 World Cup Qualifier Nigeria 3 – 1 Algeria
Thu 23/03/17 Friendly Nigeria 1 – 1 Senegal
Thu 01/06/17 Friendly Nigeria 3 – 0 Togo
SOUTH AFRICA RECENT GAMES
Tue 11/10/16 Friendly South Africa 1 – 1 Ghana
Sat 12/11/16 World Cup Qualifier South Africa 2 – 1 Senegal
Tue 15/11/16 Friendly Mozambique 1 – 1 South Africa
Sat 25/03/17 Friendly South Africa 3 – 1 Guinea-Bissau
Tue 28/03/17 Friendly South Africa 0 – 0 Angola
10 Oct 1992: Nigeria 4 – 0 South Africa (World Cup Qualifier)
16 Jan 1993: South Africa 0 – 0 Nigeria (World Cup Qualifier)
10 Feb 2000: Nigeria 2 – 0 South Africa (AFCON semi final)
31 Jan 2004: South Africa 0 – 4 Nigeria (AFCON group stage)
17 Nov 2004: South Africa 2 – 1 Nigeria (Mandela Challenge)
1 June 2008: Nigeria 2 – 0 South Africa (World Cup Qualifier)
6 Sep 2008: South Africa 0 – 1 Nigeria (World Cup Qual.)
11 Aug 2013: South Africa 0 – 2 Nigeria (Mandela Challenge)
19 Jan 2014: South Africa 1 – 3 Nigeria (CHAN group stage)
10 Sept 2014: South Africa 0 – 0 Nigeria (AFCON Qualifier)
19 Nov 2014: Nigeria 2 – 2 South Africa (AFCON Qualifier)
29 Mar 2015: South Africa 1 – 1 Nigeria (Friendly)
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, CAR, Comoros, Congo, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Nigeria hosting South Africa in Group E is the standout fixture as 47 countries begin the group stage of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Another big clash this weekend is the North African clash between Tunisia and Egypt in Group J.
The 12 group winners will qualify along with the best three runners-up will join hosts Cameroon in the finals.
Tunisia host seven-time African champions and 2017 runners-up Egypt in the final tie of the weekend on Sunday evening.
Al Ahly and Zamalek dominate the Egypt squad with 14 of the 25 players, but Argentine coach Hector Cuper can also rely on several Europe-based ‘Pharaohs’.
Mohamed Salah was a consistent scorer in Italy for Roma last season.
Ivory Coast will dedicate a Group H clash with Guinea in Bouake to the memory of 2015 Nations Cup winner Cheick Tiote, who died in China this week.
New Elephants’ coach Marc Wilmots had a nightmare debut last Sunday with a 5-0 friendly drubbing by the Netherlands – a record Ivorian loss in their 57-year history.
Although guaranteed a place at the 2019 finals as hosts, title-holders Cameroon play in Group B and host Morocco in Yaounde.
Points won by Cameroon’s opponents in the qualifying will count towards their final totals in the group.
Another nation with a new captain is Zimbabwe as Knowledge Musona leads a new-look Warriors side against visiting Liberia in Sunday’s Group B match.
The Belgium-based striker takes over from Willard Katsande, who was skipper at the Nations Cup finals in Gabon earlier this year.
Former captain Norman Mapeza is Zimbabwe’s interim coach and he has not selected many of the players who featured in Gabon.
“It’s not a bad team, I’ve played with most of the guys,” Musona insisted.
“It would be something else to lead the team to qualify.
“It’s a tough group but you never know in African football, and we need to make a good start and apply our tactics and play our game and work hard as a team.
Zimbabwe are in Group B with Liberia, DR Congo and Congo-Brazzaville, and are targeting a fourth appearance at the Nations Cup finals.
2019 Nations Cup qualifiers Full Fixture (all times GMT)
Grp A: Sudan v Madagascar (1900)
Grp E: Libya v Seychelles (2000)
Grp B: Malawi v Comoros (1230)
Grp C: Burundi v South Sudan (1300)
Grp K: Zambia v Mozambique (1300)
Grp I: Botswana v Mauritania (1330)
Grp B: Cameroon v Morocco (1400)
Grp J: Niger v Swaziland (1500)
Grp K: Guinea-Bissau v Namibia (1600)
Grp E: Nigeria v South Africa (1600)
Grp F: Sierra Leone v Kenya (1630)
Grp L: Tanzania v Lesotho (1700)
Grp L: Cape Verde v Uganda (1730)
Grp G: DR Congo v Congo (1730)
Grp I: Burkina Faso v Angola (1800)
Grp C: Mali v Gabon (1900)
Grp A: Senegal v Equatorial Guinea (2000)
Grp H: Ivory Coast v Guinea (2000)
Grp G: Zimbabwe v Liberia (1300)
Grp H: CAR v Rwanda (1400)
Grp D: Benin v The Gambia (1500)
Grp F: Ghana v Ethiopia (1530)
Grp D: Algeria v Togo (2100)
Grp J: Tunisia v Egypt (2200)
AFCON 2019 Qualifiers
Nigeria Vs South Africa
Saturday 10th June 2017
Venue-Nest of Champions Stadium, Uyo
Live-on Super Sports 9
Newly appointed captain of Bafana Bafana, Thulani Hlatshwayo says they have trained on exploiting the lack of pace in the defence of Nigeria when both teams clash in the AFCON 2019 this weekend in Uyo.
Nigeria will host South Africa in Uyo on Saturday, and despite admitting that the Super Eagles are favourites to win the game, Hlatshwayo popularly called Tyson believes they can get a result against their hosts.
He said they won’t be intimidated by the star-studded Nigeria squad, and the record of never having won against Nigeria won’t play on their minds when both teams clash at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
“We will not be intimidated. We have played Nigeria in Nigeria before and we did well. We know we are smaller than them as players‚ so we don’t want to play the long ball but catch them on the counter. They are big‚ but a bit slow.
“It is going to be a grudge game for them. Knowing Nigerians‚ that’s how they are. They do have that arrogance they carry around. We have to be humble and make sure we don’t give Nigeria too much respect‚ and not be scared of them.”