Amaju Pinnick To Take Blame If Super Eagles Fail To Book 2015 Afcon Slot
NFF President Amaju Pinnick
New Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has declared he will take responsibility should Nigeria fail to qualify for AFCON 2015.
Nigeria’s qualifier for Morocco 2015 is under serious threat after they have just managed a point from available six points from two rounds of qualifiers.
“Any form of administration is a continuum, so certainly I will take responsibility,” declared Pinnick.
Nigeria must beat Sudan both home and away to put their qualifying campaign back on track.
Sudan welcome the African champions on October 11 and four days later the Eagles face the same team in Abuja.
Congo lead Group A with six points, while South Africa are second on four points.
Nigeria also failed to qualify the 2012 Nations Cup jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Portuguese Sides,boavista And Cd Nacional Chase Sunday Mba
Sunday Mba is on the radar of Boavista and CD Nacional, with the Portuguese clubs doing everything possible to close the deal in the January transfer window, SL10.ng can exclusively report.
Following the demotion of CA Bastia from the second – tier at the end of last season, everyone expected the former Warri Wolves sensation to dump the team.
But the window closed for business and the 25 – year – old continued to wear the black and white jerseys of the Corsicans.
The Nigeria international has a release clause inserted into his CA Bastia contract, stipulating that he can seek pastures new should the club be relegated, and a club meets his asking price.
Admittedly, Sunday Mba’s stock has fallen, having failed to make Nigeria’s World Cup roster, and his future role in the Super Eagles has been a subject of debate post – mundial.
Boavista and CD Nacional are hoping that he revives his career with a transfer to Portugal, and are set for roundtable talks with CA Bastia and the midfielder’s representative in the coming days.
Both teams must see off competition from Primeira Liga newcomers F.C. Penafiel, who are also keen on last year’s African Cup of Nations revelation.
Sunday Mba’s current deal with CA Bastia will expire at the end of the 2014 – 2015 season.
Chief Mike Umeh Endorses Pinnick Nff Presidency
NFF President Amaju Pinnick
The immediate past NFF first vice president and presidential candidate in the September 30 NFF elective congress, Mike Umeh has expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the elections.
The NFF elections in Warri which elected the Delta State FA chairman, Amaju Pinnick as president saw the Anambra State FA chairman picking no vote from the 44-member elective delegates.
Umeh said he has decided to abide by the popular decision of the delegates as he offered himself in the first instance for the presidency of the football body to further advance the course of football development and not for self gain or any other ulterior purposes.
“The election went very well and was able to produce a new NFF president in the person of Mr Amaju Pinnick.
“I’m satisfied with the outcome as well as the choice of the majority, we can’t be winners at the same time.
“I’ve decided to abide by the outcome of the election as I never entered into the race for self enrichment but for the growth and development of the game.
“I’m not a trouble maker and won’t start at this age and time to learn how to make trouble.
“I quite understand that there is no 100% perfect election anywhere in the world what we witnessed in Warri on Tuesday is not an exception as there are flaws but we won’t continue to dwell on it rather to look forward to the brighter part of life,” said Umeh to supersport.com.
Umeh however declined comment whether the last has been heard of the discordant voices that preceded the elections.
“No, no, I won’t want to comment on that issue, the key for me is for enduring peace to return to the football house,” said Umeh.
Christopher Giwa Denounces Amaju Pinnick’s Nff Presidency
NFF President Amaju Pinnick
Nigeria Football Federation faction leader Christopher Giwa said he did not recognise Amaju Pinnick as the president of the newly-elected administration.
Pinnick is expected to take over the reins from outgoing president Aminu Maigari with immediate effect but Giwa, who was elected to the same position by a NFF faction two months ago, is not budging.
“It came to our notice that some people gathered in Warri to conduct an illegal election. We are also aware that a court of competent jurisdiction outlawed the processes embarked upon in Warri,” Giwa told the Vanguard on Wednesday.
“We shall pursue the course of justice and fairplay as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution on us as Nigerians.
“FIFA as a law-abiding institution stayed away from the illegal Warri Congress. They are aware that there are court processes in place against the so-called Congress,” said Giwa, suggesting that Tuesday’s election was a farce.
The next port of call for Giwa will be to convene a congress of his own on Thursday, where the next course of action will be decided upon.
“However in line with the orders of the Federal High Court, the board shall meet on Thursday October 2, 2014 in Abuja, where decisions shall be taken and Nigerians shall be properly briefed at the end of the meeting,” read the statement released by Giwa.
New Super Eagles Invitee Hope Akpan Dazzles Reading Fans
New Super Eagles invitee Hope Akpan was in the thick of the action for 72 minutes as Reading drew 0-0 with Leeds United on Wednesday night.
The stalemate ensures that the club remains within the promotion play off with 16 points, four points adrift leaders Norwich City.
Akpan was handed a starters’ shirt before he made way for Danny Guthrie, who replaced him with nineteen minutes left to be played at Elland Road.
The player, who is set to be a full Nigerian international, contributed his quota to a resolute defensive performance in the game to ensure that at least a point was safe for Nigel Adkins’ side.
A consistent fixture in Reading’s starting line-up, Akpan is one of the 24 players invited by Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi for the all-important African Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Sudan on October 11 and 15.
Nff To Decide Stephen Keshi’s Future After Sudan Clash
Newly elected President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has spoken about the very controversial issue of renewing Stephen Keshi’s contract as the Super Eagles coach.
Speaking during his inaugural speech, Pinick said the focus now should be on the games against Sudan, before his board can then look at Keshi’s issue.
“I think the focus now should really be on the games against Sudan because we haven’t started well.
“Of course we will look at the situation afterwards but at the moment those games should come first. We have to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations next year,” he said.
The issue of retaining Keshi or not has been a very topical issue in the country’s football, with the previous board seemingly unwilling to renew Keshi’s contract, but it remains to be seen what the new board will decide when they finally stabilise.
Keshi will lead the country to the two games against Sudan this month on an interim basis and it is believed that his future with the Super Eagles is contingent upon the outcome of those games.
An improvement in fortunes could see the 52-year old offered a new deal but anything short of that could be the end of him as the Super Eagles manager.
Emmanuel Emenike Lashes Out At Stephen Keshi
Fenerbahce star Emmanuel Emenike has told AfricanFootball.com he is prepared to stay out of the Super Eagles if coach Stephen Keshi believed he is the problem of the team.
Keshi has been quoted as saying he is unhappy with the AFCON 2013 top scorer, who he sensationally benched in last month’s AFCON qualifier against Congo in Calabar.
However, Emenike has quickly reacted to the comments of the coach, saying he has utmost respect for Keshi and will always do, but he has never been a problem to the Eagles and will never be.
“I have always treated Keshi like a father, and he has always lived in my heart to be a good father. Before now, we have been enjoying a smooth relationship and I see no reason why he should be holding grudges against me,” the star striker told AfricanFootball.com in a most revealing interview.
“Keshi is a good coach, a coach with high pedigree. I give him all the respect I can give my father whenever I come for a national assignment.
“Before the 2013 Nations Cup, I could remember he called me to have a chat and I was ready to give him my best.
“My performance at the competition was inspired by Keshi. He showed me love, he put me through and I always respected his decisions. I never thought that I am bigger than any coaches.”
He told AfricanFootball.com he was therefore surprised to read a comment that Keshi and some players in the team are not happy with him.
“Everything changed after the Nations Cup, everything about him towards me changed and I decided to stay on my own,” he further revealed.
“But I am very surprised by what he said that he and some players in the Eagles are not happy with me. Over what?
“I don’t want Nigerians to see me as being proud or arrogant, but if the coach thought inviting me to his team will not bring result or peace to the team, he can let me be.
“I have maintained a solid relationship to avoid quarreling with him, but if my invitation to play for Nigeria does not stand for peace, I will like to stay focused with my club.”
He added: “I have always loved to give my best for Nigeria and I always make it known that I can always fight to score goals for my country and I will not like coach Keshi to let Nigerians see me as an undisciplined player who is not ready to give them my best again.
“My Super Eagles career is as important as my club career. Coming to play for Nigeria was the biggest decision I have ever made in my life. And I appreciate the way the fans have been striving hard to cheer me up whenever I push for goal.”
Emenike further said he would appreciate if his unhappy team mates could go public with his “sins”.
“I have never seen the Super Eagles camp as my father’s house, it’s a temporary place for everybody, and why should we be making problems for ourselves? he asked.
“As a matter of fact, I have no grudges with anybody in the team. I see everybody as my friend, I tried not to distinguish myself from any other player, as far as we have come to serve our country, we are equal.
“If Keshi thought inviting me is a problem to his selection or the team, I will prefer to stay back and maintain my big respect for him.
“The bottom line is that I don’t have problems with Keshi and I don’t have problems with him putting me on the bench. I am not bothered if he chose not to play me in a match and the fact remains that he made me in the Eagles and I will always give him his deserved respect anytime.”
Emenike has not scored for Nigeria since October last year, and that has raised questions over his commitment to the national team, but he has insisted he has been firing blanks because the chances are not being created for him again.
“At the World Cup, I played every role, of course my role is to stay in front and score goals, but in a situation where chances were not coming, it will be difficult for any striker to score,” he explained to AfricanFootball.com
“I am not a magician, I just laugh at some people who talk about my commitment in terms of goals. The right issue has not been addressed. At the Nations Cup, I scored goals because the chances were created and I also fought to score goals. I will score goals when the ball comes out from the right channels.
“I am never bothered by the critics, they have forgotten that form is a temporary situation, but class is always there for life, so I am not bothered.
“My commitment is always like previously, but things need to get better.”
By Olusola Alao
Super Falcons Aim To Soar Higher In Namibia
Oparanozie and Ordega
Super Falcons forwards Desire Oparanozie and Francisca Ordega have said that the team will use the coming African Women Championship (AWC) to redeem their image.
The former Delta Queens and Rivers Angels strikers who ply their trade in France with En Avent De Guingamp, France and Pitea IFF, Sweden expressed joy at re-uniting with their national team mates for the AWC.
Oparanozie said she almost lost hope because her club did not want to release her but expressed happiness that she has finally joined the team and she is rearing to go.
- My club almost did not release me because of the matches we have to play in the league.
- I am happy that they released me and I am finally here to join my team mates to help Super Falcons do well at the AWC and reclaim the trophy
Fifa Endorses Nigeria Football Federation Elections
FIFA President Joseph Blatter
World football governing body, FIFA, have shown their approval of the September 30 elections by sending a congratulatory letter to Amaju Pinnick, the new NFF president.
FIFA had remained aloof, communicating only terse instructions to the NFF following the orchestrated gathering that led to the last elections held in Abuja.
But on October 1st, a letter from the office of Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA, was forwarded to Nigeria and circulated in the media.
A part of the short letter said:
- I would like to extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes of success on the occasion of your election as the new president of the Nigeria Football Federation.
- I wish you good luck, strength and every success for your new role and look forward to meeting you soon.
Pinnick was elected along with Seyi Akinwunmi, Felix Anyansi, Suleiman Kwande and Alhaji Fresh, the last two were re-elected.
Newly- Elected Nff President,pinnick Promises To Run Inclusive Administration
Newly- elected President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick has reiterated his election – day pledge to reconcile with all aggrieved individuals and parties in the coming days with a focus on running an inclusive administration in the best interest of the Nigeria game.
Speaking in Warri on Wednesday, Pinnick admitted that he was just coming to terms with the onerous responsibility of being Nigeria’s football supremo.
However, he insists that extensive experience garnered over the years as Executive Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Chairman of Delta State Football Association and top gun in the hosting of several major competitions in Delta State and nationally will stand him in good stead.
- I am finally coming to terms with being the President of Nigeria Football Federation, which entails so much responsibility. But apart from invaluable experience down the years, more than one-decade-and-half, and with the quality of persons who are on board with me, we will succeed.
- As I said on Tuesday night, we have people with tremendous capacity on the new Executive Committee. I am happy about that. I am also happy about the fact that we are all agreed that we must have a cordial relationship with the supervising National Sports Commission, which represents the Government.
Pinnick won Tuesday’s contest for the presidential position with a landslide in the second round, garnering 32 votes against ex-international and former Board Member Dominic Iorfa’s eight, and former General Secretary and former Board Member Taiwo Ogunjobi’s four.
He also reiterated on Wednesday that he is ready to meet with all persons who have issues to discuss, and would also meet with relevant organisations and institutions that are in position to offer assistance to help the new team realize its goal of taking Nigeria football to new heights.
- I stated clearly on Tuesday night that we will not exclude anyone who has something to contribute. We intend to bring the entire family together again because we know that it is only with peace and tranquility that we can achieve our objectives.
President of world football –governing body, FIFA, Mr. Sepp Blatter on Wednesday sent a letter of congratulations to the new NFF President, saying that he (Blatter) is looking forward to meeting with him and supporting him and his new board towards ensuring stable development of the beautiful game in Nigeria.
Nigeria Football Federation Constitute New Board
NFF President Amaju Pinnick
The new board of the Nigeria Football Federation led by Amaju Pinnick has been constituted and inaugurated, SL10.ng can report.
The elections saw Pinnick defeat Abba Yola, Amanze Uchegbulam, Taiwo Ogunjobi, Dominic Iorfa, Mike Umeh and Shehu Dikko, who was absent.
Speaking after their inauguration, Pinnick said “If I have offended anybody in my 15 years of football administration, I ask for forgiveness here.
“We have to come together and work as a team to ensure greater success for Nigerian football.
“We have very credible people on the board and we hope to continue from where the Aminu Maigari board left off,” he said during his opening remark.
The new board now consists of:
Amaju Pinnick (President)
Seyi Akinwunmi (Vice President)
Ibrahim Gusau (Chairman of Chairmen)
Ahmed Yusuf Fresh
Kachalla Baba Gana
Sharif Rabiu Inuwa
Felix Anyansi Agwu
Sunday Dele Ajayi
The other members will be Dilichukwu Onyedinma, Emeka Inyama and Ahmed Kawu, who are the chairperson/chairmen of the National Women, National, and Nationwide Leagues respectively.
German Christoph Daum Confirms Nff Approach
The Nigeria Football Federation
German Christoph Daum claims he has been approached by the Nigeria Football Federation to replace Stephen Keshi as the Super Eagles coach, supersport.com reports.
The former Bayer Leverkusen manager was reported to have told German website mobo.de that he rejected the offer last week.
The NFF has yet to renew Keshi’s contract when it expired after the Brazil 2014 World Cup in June and he is currently on a ‘game per game’ contract.
Daum, 60, who has previously managed German sides FC Cologne, VfL Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as Turkish outfit, Bursaspor, and is currently out of work.
Keshi guided the Eagles in their two 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo and South Africa. Nigeria lost 3-2 to Congo in Calabar on September 6 and battled to a goalless draw against South Africa in Cape Town four days later.
“I had offers last week to become coach of Nigeria,” mobo.de quoted Daum as saying.
The former Fenerbahce coach said he is not open to any coaching job until next season.
“By next year, I’ll take over a team,” Daum said.
Meanwhile, Stoke City winger Victor Moses has said he was surprised he was not awarded a penalty after he was brought down inside the box on his way to goal in a 1-0 win over Newcastle United in their Premier League match on Monday.
Nigeria international Moses, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea, has impressed in his four Premier League appearances for Stoke City this season.