English Championship side Watford have moved to secure the future of highly rated English-Nigerian forward Ogo Obi .
The 16 – year – old has signed a preliminary contract with the Hornets, which will become activated when he turns 18 two years from now.
Also, the former Manchester United target’s scholarship terms with the Hornets which will run until the 2016 – 2017 season.
“This is great news for the football club. It again highlights the opportunities we hand to young players who we feel can progress from the club’s Academy to the first-team.
“There’s plenty of competition with securing young players so we’re happy to have a talented player like Ogo who can continue improving with our Academy,” Watford’s Sporting Director Luke Dowling told the official website.
Ogo Obi displayed his wares at the Milk Cup tournament, netting 3 goals in 4 matches for Manchester United, whom he trialed with.
Nigeria international Nosa Igiebor has been reinstated into the Maccabi Tel Aviv starting lineup for their clash against Hapoel Petah Tikva in the quarterfinal of the Toto Cup on Wednesday evening.
The central midfielder surprisingly did not get any minute in the Israeli champions last league game with Maccabi Petah Tikva, and watched the game from the podium, few days after returning to the team from international duty with the Super Eagles.
The 23 – year – old’s previous appearance in the Toto Cup came a month ago in the 2 – 0 victory over Hapoel Ra’anana.
He lasted 59 minutes on the pitch before he was replaced to avoid a sending off after picking up a yellow card in the first half.
Maccabi Tel Aviv are nailed on favourites to qualify for the semi – finals after thrashing Hapoel Petah Tikva 6 – 0 in the first leg.
Ahmed Musa hopes his Russian club CSKA Moscow start the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday at AS Roma on a bright note.
Musa admitted it will be a very tough game for the Russian army club, but still believes they could get a favourable result against Roma.
“I always want to win. I am looking forward to a good game as a player and collectively for my team CSKA against Roma in Italy,” he told African football website.
“It is not going to be an easy match we all know and we have prepared for a very tough match.
“Getting a win or draw will be a good way to start for us in the competition.”
Italian club Roma are making a return to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in three years.
Russian champions CSKA Moscow beat Arsenal Tule 2-1 at the weekend in the league and are now placed fourth on the league table, while Roma won this weekend 1-0 over Empoli to be in second spot on the table.
Roma will miss the service of Daniele De Rossi, who is serving a one-match ban, while CSKA Moscow will be without the duo of Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernbloom due to bansread more
The Nigeria women’s national team, Super Falcons had their first training session on Monday evening at the FIFA Goal project pitch at the Abuja national stadium.
NFF Director of competitions, Mohammed Sanusi welcomed the players into camp and told them to be focused in training, insisting that the time available for preparing for the tournament is short.
Sanusi who was represented by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical officer, Yusuf Rafiu, further told the girls to buckle up to the task ahead as the target is qualifying for the World Cup and ultimately reclaiming the trophy which was lost in 2012.
The coach of the side, Edwin Okon had earlier thrown down the gauntlet, challenging any ‘weakling’ that doesn’t believe they can win, to vacate the camp.read more
Following their 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in their opening fixture of the UEFA Champions League, AS Monaco and Nigeria left back Elderson Echiejile has expressed excitement at the outcome of the game.
Out of favour Super Eagles striker Ikechukwu Uche is the big inclusion in Villarreal’s squad to take on Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Nigeria Football Federation will convene an extra-ordinary General Assembly on Saturday, September 20.
The federation, which has been plagued by a crisis of leadership during the past two months, hopes to establish some much needed stability before the end of the month, especially as the boardroom shenanigans have affected the national team adversely on the field of play too.
Nigeria have failed to record a win during their first Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches and find themselves facing the very real prospect of failing to qualify for the continental showpiece next year.
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has allayed the concern of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by assuring that the team will qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations which holds next January in Morocco despite the team’s far from convincing form.
Talks have progressed between Keshi and officials of the football federation on the possibility of the 52- year old returning as the coach of the national team after leading Nigeria to the round of 16 at the last World Cup campaign in Brazil.
The only setback to a new deal of N6million salary per month is the worries of football officials about the patchy form of the Eagles and the likely scenario of Nigeria not qualifying for Morocco 2015. The African champions stumbled to a 3-2 defeat in the hands of Congo in Calabar on September 6.
They failed to hit the top gear four days later following a goalless draw with South Africa in a drab outing in Cape Town.
Nigeria is presently languishing in the third place in Group A with just one point behind Congo and South Africa after two round of qualifying matches. The Red Devils have six points while South Africa has four points.
A source privy to the ongoing discussions between Keshi and officials of the federation, informed THISDAY last night that the coach, who surpassed set targets following Nigeria’s triumph at the last AFCON campaign in 2013, in addition to leading the team to the FIFA Confederations Cup and World Cup, has struck out his neck on Nigeria’s ability to qualify for Morocco 2015 by winning their remaining four matches.
The Eagles will aim to revive their flapping campaign when they meet Sudan twice in the spate of five days in their next two qualifying matches next month. Nigeria will travel to Omdurman on October 10 for the showdown with the north-African side before returning to Calabar where they host the reverse fixture on October 15.
NFF Secretary General Musa Amadu had last week told reporters that the federation hopes to finalize Keshi’s contract before the make or break outings against the Sudanese who are without a point in the campaign having lost their two opining matches to South Africa and Congo.
Until now NFF which has been embroiled in internal crisis which is unprecedented in the history of football administration in Nigeria has failed to tidy up talks about a new national coach since the end of the World Cup in Brazil.
Keshi, who only prosecuted the two fixtures against Congo and South Africa only did so on part time basis on the prompting of Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo.
Schalke 04 forward Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi has specially told AfricanFootball.com his German club could upset Chelsea in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash in London.
Chelsea are going great guns in the English Premier League having won their opening four matches, while Schalke are depleted by injuries to several key stars.
However, Nigeria international Obasi told only AfricanFootball.com from London: “I think it is going to be a tough game for us because Chelsea are in good form and my team are battling injuries.
“I respect Chelsea as a team, they have good players and a good manager like Schalke 04, and I think we can manage ourselves for victory.”
Obasi said he is banking on the experience of his teammates in this competition.
“We have players who have played in this competition before and we are as ready as Chelsea are,” he said.
“No big deal if we upset Chelsea, every game can’t go their way all the time and they must be humble enough on the pitch.
“In the Champions League, upsets happen, there is no underdog and that’s why a team like Schalke 04 will always be there. We are top team.”
Obasi was not available for Nigeria two AFCON qualifiers this month against Congo and South Africa even though he was called up.read more
Striker Patrick Eze has dedicated his brace over the weekend for his Serbian top-flight side Mladost to his mentor Asamoah Gyan.
Eze struck twice after 38 minutes as Mladost won 2-1 at Novi Pazar on Saturday.
He decided to dedicate the pair of goals to Gyan who has been under pressure in recent times following the disappearance of his friend Castro.
Gyan’s brother Baffour is facing an assault charge in court for beating up a journalist.
“I dedicate the two goals I scored away against Novi Pazar to my mentor Asamoah Gyan, I know he has been in emotional turmoil over the past weeks. I want him to cheer up,” the 21-year-old told Goal Ghana.
“He is my role model, the best striker on the African continent and I look forward to emulate him and also play in the same club with him.”read more
An ex-International goalkeeper, Emmanuel Babayaro, on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the Super Eagles lacked both technical and tactical abilities.
Babayaro said this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria while reacting to the Super Eagles’ opening matches of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
NAN recalls that the Super Eagles lost 2-3 to Congo Brazzaville and were held to a goalless draw by South Africa in their first and second 2015 AFCON qualifiers, respectively.
The former national team goalkeeper said he was not surprised that the team was struggling at the moment despite their title as ‘African Champions,’ adding that the team lacked both technical and tactical discipline.
He said that it was the Eagles’ goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, who had been saving the day for the national team over the years.
“Some of us had seen the handwriting on the wall long ago and had also insisted that we go back and play the tapes of the Super Eagles so as to review their past performances.
“Apart from the match against Cote d’ Ivoire during the 2013 AFCON in South Africa, tell me when and if the Super Eagles have ever played better technically and tactically against any other team.
“It has never happened,” Babayaro said.
He also said that most teams, even the so-called ‘minnows,’ had always been technically and tactically better than the Eagles.
Babayaro said “our national team just have a way of always winning somehow.
“Go and watch the just concluded World Cup tapes and find out how many saves Enyeama made averagely in every game.
“Also, compare that to how many chances the Eagles got and probably convert one or two to win a match and do the arithmetic yourself.
“It basically tells you that if Enyeama has not been saving, the Eagles would have been losing and would have probably not won the Nations Cup,” he said.
Babayaro further said that God had his way of doing things, adding “even though God loves our country, He makes us understand every once in a while that we also have work to do.
“For instance, if Enyeama had played in our match against Congo Brazzaville where we lost 2-3, I know at least one of the goals, I am 100 per cent certain that he would have saved.
“What that probably means is that, the match would have ended in a draw and Nigerians wouldn’t have been bothered by now.”
Congo is on top of Group A with six points, followed by Bafana Bafana with four points while Nigeria sit precariously in the third position after picking a point from available six.
Nigerian international, Obafemi Martins scored a goal and assisted on another, as the Seattle Sounders won the fourth US Open Cup title in their history with a 3-1 thrashing of Philadelphia Union on Tuesday.