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It is a big challenge to beat South Africa – Rohr
AFCON 2019 Qualifiers
Nigeria Vs South Africa
Saturday 10th June 2017
Venue-Nest of Champions Stadium, Uyo
Live-on Super Sports 9
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says it’s vital that they try and keep it tight and silence the crowd in Uyo on Saturday.
The South African national team will lock horns with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifer later today.
“I think we’ve got to shut the crowd up. That’s one of our big jobs. If we let the crowd get excited and Nigeria enjoy the game, then I think that’s going to be a big plus for them,” Baxter declared.
Bafana’s main intention is to frustrate their hosts, bearing in mind that history will be against them in Nigeria.
“I think we can turn that around (the string of losses to Nigeria) and frustrate them a bit, and be better than they think and have more to say than they think, then maybe the crowd could be a bit negative for them,” Baxter said.
“With the mental part of the game, the boys have to feel that this is one where we can spoil the party a bit. We can make it difficult for Nigeria,” Baxter added.
Meanwhile, Baxter’s counterpart Gernot Rohr believes Bafana are the strongest opponents he will get to face since taking over as head coach of the Super Eagles.
“They are the strongest opponent I will face so far as (Super) Eagles coach because they have not lost a match over a long time. I’m also aware that they stopped Nigeria from getting to the AFCON in 2015, and that this match is very important for Nigeria. The game will be difficult, it will be a big challenge to beat the South Africans,” Rohr said.
Ade Ojeikere, Adebimpe Quadri, Akinwumi Ambode, Arafat Aliu, Asisat Oshoala, Austin Okon-Akpan, Bimbo Adeola, Carl Ikeme, Chioma Wogu, Chisom Egbuchulam, Desire Oparanozie, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, Ferdinand Udoh, Florence Omagbemi, Gernot Rohr, Godwin Obaje, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Imama Amapakabo, Jelili Ogunmuyiwa, John Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun, Mozez Praiz, Nyesom Wike, Olawale Adigun, Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale, Rafiat Sule, Samson Siasia, Stephen Odey, Tana Aiyejina, Tobi Emmanuel, Toyin Ibitoye, Udom Emmanuel, Victor Moses, Vincent Enyeama, William Ekong
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick has charged organizers of the Nigeria Pitch Awards to ensure a seamless fourth edition of the Awards, which ceremony comes up in Uyo on Saturday.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, the CAF Executive Committee member and President of the Organizing Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations insisted the NFF has continued to back the Pitch Awards because the leadership is enamoured by its transparency, credibility and integrity in the four years of the event.
“The Nigeria Football Federation is satisfied with the processes that the organizers bring into play for selection of voters, nomination, collation and eventual declaration of the winners. We urge the organizers to retain those processes for the good of the Awards.
“Awards serve a special purpose for professionals; they motivate in a way that we can hardly imagine.”
Organizers of the Awards, Matchmakers Consult International Limited, confirmed to thenff.com on Tuesday that Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, who is nominated for Football Friendly Governor of the Year alongside Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos and Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers, will attend Saturday night’s programme, scheduled to begin at 8pm at the Nwaniba Hall of the Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort.
The nominees for the 4th Nigeria Pitch Awards were made known last month, after SIAO Partners Limited, the collating and verification firm, released the results to the Nigeria Football Federation.
In a letter to the NFF President, signed by SIAO’s Managing Partner, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, the auditing firm explained that the voting was done by Nigeria sports editors/managers across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Vincent Enyeama; Carl Ikeme; Ikechukwu Ezenwa
Defender of the Year: Leon Balogun; Kenneth Omeruo; William Ekong
Midfielder of the Year: John Mikel Obi; Etebo Oghenekaro; Wilfred Ndidi
Striker of the Year: Chisom Egbuchulam; Godwin Obaje; Kelechi Iheanacho
MVP (Men) In The NPFL: Godwin Obaje; Stephen Odey; Chisom Egbuchulam
MVP (Women) In The NWPL: Osinachi Ohale; Rafiat Sule; Chioma Wogu
Queen of the Pitch: Desire Oparanozie; Onome Ebi; Asisat Oshoala
King of the Pitch: Victor Moses; John Mikel Obi; Kelechi Iheanacho
Sam Okwaraji Award: Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah; Samson Siasia; John Mikel Obi
Club/Team of the Year: Super Falcons; Dream Team; Enugu Rangers
Coach of the Year: Florence Omagbemi; Gernot Rohr; Imama Amapakabo
Referee of the Year: Adebimpe Quadri; Jelili Ogunmuyiwa; Ferdinand Udoh
Corporate Sponsor of the Year: Globacom Limited; SuperSport; Nigeria Breweries PLC
State with Best Grassroots Football Development Program: Delta State; Lagos State; Akwa Ibom State
Football Friendly Governor of the Year: Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos)
Football Journalist of the Year (Radio): Bimbo Adeola; Olawale Adigun; Arafat Aliu
Football Journalist of the Year (Print): Tobi Emmanuel; Tana Aiyejina; Ade Ojeikere
Football Journalist of the Year (TV): Mozez Praiz (SuperSport); Austin Okon-Akpan (Channels TV); Toyin Ibitoye (Channels TV)
. Says Lagos State deserves pat on the back
The Nigeria Football Federation will soon embark on a nationwide developmental project for the Football Associations of the various States, in the form of mini Secretariats, so says NFF President Amaju Pinnick.
Pinnick, while speaking at the Lagos State Football Association’s Ekofootball Review Public Presentation on Wednesday, said the project, to be financed by a major partner of the NFF, will see six such projects completed in Jigawa, Osun, Bayelsa, Borno, Kwara and Abia States before the end of this year.
“We are working real hard to see that the focus returns to the grassroots. The States are closer to the grassroots and we have a responsibility to encourage them in that area, while we also work very hard to see that we qualify for the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations championships.
“Football administration is never a journey, but a destination. Each administration will do its best and the next one takes it from there. But one thing our administration is determined to achieve is to ensure the NFF attains financial independence before our tenure is over. In this regard, the recent passage of the NFF Bill is a welcome development.
“Lagos State is really setting the pace. We commend their initiatives and encourage other States to emulate their style and engagement.”
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association/NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, declared that grassroots football is the lifeblood of the game.
“Our administration realized this immediately we came into office. And our achievements in this area testify to the work we have put into it. Today, we have 64,000 kids in our U15 Future Stars’ data –base and over 36,000 in the U13 team. Position is temporary; posterity will judge you based on what you are able to achieve.
“Our vision is to be the best football association in Africa. Ekofootball is our philosophy for re-defining the style and standard of football and of football administration in Lagos State.”
Players like Super Eagles’ Dele Alampasu and Wilfred Ndidi, and Super Falcons ace Asisat Oshoala passed through Ekofootball’s developmental furnace.
The presentation revolved around Lagos FA’s well –structured developmental programme, the new Ekofootball academy, its corporate social responsibility and great rapport with Corporate Nigeria.
At the occasion, leading football diarist Kunle Solaja spoke about the history of football in Lagos and Nigeria at large while foremost journalist and sports marketer Ejiro Omonode made a presentation on using football as a marketing tool.
Akinwunmi disclosed at the end that the much –talked about ‘game changer’ is a plan the LSFA has put in place to start a profit –based Super League in the state in a few months, with the focus on having community –based clubs, which is already drawing enthusiasm from various individuals and and groups.
Also at the occasion were a representative of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission Deji Tinubu, Hon. Adedamola Kasumu, NFF Executive Committee members Otunba Sunday Dele-Ajayi and Ibrahim Gusau, NNL chairman Chidi Okenwa, NWFL chairman Aisha Falode, FA chairmen Ganiyu Majekodunmi, James Odeniran and Ayo Alabi, Lagos FA vice chairman and NRA president Tade Azeez, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo, Mutiu Adepoju, representatives of Spanish La Liga, Peter Rufai, Tilewa Adebajo, Obi Asika, Opeyemi Okunoren, Deji Okoya-Thomas, Mitchel Obi, Harry Iwuala, Dr. Isaac Ayodele, SWAN President Honour Sirawoo, Yomi Kuku, Bolaji Yusuf, Mrs Koiki of Greensprings International School, Barr. Dudu-Orumen, leading sports editors/managers and other football stakeholders.
Arsenal and France forward, Olivier Giroud, once again demonstrated why he still deserve to be in the Arsenal squad for the upcoming 2017/2018 season when he scored France and only goal against Sweden in their Group A World Cup qualifying encounter.
Though Sweden won after Durmaz (43′minutes) and Toivonen (90’+3minutes) canceled out Giroud’s 37 minute opener.
But the quality of the strike and its execution was stunning, thus underlining his pedigree as a world class striker no matter what some critic would say about him. With such quality strike, he has shown that he deserve to be trusted by his fellow country man, Arsene Wenger.
Watch the goal and have your say:
The Nigeria Football Federation alongside the League Management Company have consummated a multi-faceted strategic agreement in general football development with the Football Federation and Premier League body of the Kingdom of Morocco.
On Thursday, NFF President Amaju Pinnick and NFF 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko put pen to paper on a memorandum of understanding with their Moroccan counterparts, the result of detailed discussions, deliberations and considerations over time. The FA Presidents signed their own side in the offices of the Federation Royale Marocaine de Football in Rabat, while Dikko and and Chairman of the Ligue Nationale de Football Professionnel, Said Naciri signed at the LNFP office, watched by the two FA bosses.
Both Pinnick and FRMF President Fouzi Lekjaa (who is also Director of Budget in the Kingdom of Morocco) are Members of the CAF Executive Committee.
“The strategic partnership is for technical development, exchange of ideas and contacts, training support, friendly matches, use of facilities and joint marketing where necessary,” Dikko, who is also Chairman of NFF Marketing, Sponsorship and Television Advisory Committee and NFF Strategic Committee, explained to thenff.com. “Morocco has one of the best technical centres globally and they are still developing it, and they are delighted to make the facilities available for use by the National Teams of Nigeria and Nigerian Clubs. The Kingdom also has one of the most innovative structure in managing the domestic media rights of both their National Teams and the elite League, which we intend to replicate.
“The agreement between the two League bodies is to collaborate in areas of mutual interests between the Leagues and participating Clubs. The Moroccan FA only recently set up an independent elite League body in line with global practice, and wants to learn from LMC Governance Structure of the NPFL. On their side, they would help our Clubs understand the structure and principles of community club ownership, elite players development, youth development et cetera. It is all about fostering mutually beneficial relationships.”
On Friday, Pinnick and Dikko were at the offices of a Moroccan multinational company with extensive business interests in Nigeria, where an MOU was executed to explore the sponsorship of some activities in Nigerian Football including the NPFL. A steering group has been set up to ensure the conclusion and activation of the milestone MOU.
The agreements represent another landmark feat by the Amaju Pinnick –led Nigeria Football Federation, coming exactly one month after the N2.5 Billion, 5-Year partnership with Nigeria’s foremost energy solutions company, Aiteo Group for payment of salaries of Coaches of the National Teams.
The latest pact also sits comfortably with the ever –improving strong working relationship between the Governments of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco.
Only last week, both Governments signed pacts to drive the implementation of gas regional pipeline and fertilizer initiative. The proposed Morocco-Nigeria Gas Regional Pipeline will have a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa.
As part of the programme of events for the grand reception by the South South Congress of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), tomorrow, in Benin City, it has been revealed that there will be a novelty match that will precede the game at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
Edo FA Chairman and Media Committee Chairman of the South South Congress, Frank Ilaboya said in a statement that the match which will start at 3pm, will be between Edo Queens, the top women side in Edo state and the state’s U13 male side that was being groomed by Late national team Coach Shuaibu Amodu. The reception proper will take place at the Government House in Benin City by 6:30pm, same day
“It will be an interesting encounter and a forerunner to an evening of fun, where all the big shots in football and sports from the South South and indeed Nigeria, will be represented. All logistics have been put in place and I can assure you that the event will go on flawless on Friday”, Ilaboya assured.
There are already indications that other zones are planning receptions for the NFF President, CAF Executive Committee member and FIFA Organising Committee member. Ilaboya simply said, “we have taken the bulls by the horns and we await others if they have such plans to follow in our noble footsteps”.
The Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed that the Super Eagles will play two international friendly matches, against the Senior National Teams of Corsica and Togo respectively, before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in Uyo next month.
Chief Coach Salisu Yusuf will lead a contingent of goalkeepers trainer Alloy Agu, home –based professionals Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Alhassan Ibrahim, Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatubosun and backroom staff to Paris on 22nd May, from where they will travel to Corsica.
The three –time African champions will take on the Corsica Senior Team at the Stade Francois Coty in Ajaccio starting from 8pm on Friday, 26th May, and then travel to Paris for the game against the Hawks of Togo.
The match against the Hawks has been scheduled for the Stade Municipal de Saint Leu La Foret, Paris on Thursday, 1st June 2017, starting from 7.30pm.
The Super Eagles will tackle South Africa in the opening match of Group E of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying race at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
Meanwhile, Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has called up Belgium –based forward Henry Onyekuru in place of Austria Wien FC poacher Olanrewaju Kayode, who is being held back by club engagement.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Dele Alampasu (Cesarense FC, Portugal)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Ekong (KAA Gent, Belgium); Uche Agbo (CF Granada, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Gijon, Spain); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United FC)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Stephen Odey (MFM FC); Henry Onyekuru (KAS Eupen, Belgium); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Noah Serenren-Bazee (Hannover 96, Germany); Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg FC, Germany); Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM FC)
TO JOIN TEAM IN PARIS AFTER ENGLISH FA CUP FINAL
Ola Aina (Chelsea FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England)