Nigerian forward Victor Moses is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines with a thigh injury.
“It’s bad news on Victor Moses, a problem with his thigh,” Stoke assistant manager Mark Bowen told BBC Radio Stoke.
“He will be out with anything up to six to eight weeks. It’s a big hit. He had a scan and it’s not good.
“At the moment we’re deciding with Chelsea whether to go back and have the rehab there or stay with our team.
” Moses, who is on loan Chelsea, has scored one goal in 12 appearances so far for Mark Hughes’ side. Stoke have received better news on defender Marc Wilson, who missed Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Burnley.
“Hopefully he will be available for the weekend after more intensive treatment,” Bowen said.
“Our problems at the back are well documented. We had four or five players out injured on Saturday.”
Stoke, who are 11th in the Premier League table, travel to Liverpool on Saturday.read more
Super Eagles left back, Elderson Echiejile, is expected to make his UEFA Champions League debut for Monaco today at Bayern Leverkusen.
Elderson, who has featured in the same competition with his former Portuguese club Sporting Braga, is set to continue his extended run in the Monaco first XI after he was named in the squad for the trip to Leverkusen.
In the absence of the injured Layvin Kurzawa, Elderson played the full Ligue 1 game against Caen at the weekend, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Kurzawa suffered a hamstring in an international game with France and he is not expected to return to action till year’s end.
Leverkusen tops the group on nine points, while Monaco are second with five points.
The French club beat their German counterparts 1-0 when they first clashed in September.
Subasic, Stekelenburg, Caillard Abdennour, Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Raggi, Wallace – Bakayoko, Dirar, Ferreira-Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, Bernardo Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, Germain, Martial, Traoré
President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Pinnick, has been appointed as a member of the Organising Committee for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations is the Confederation of African Football’s top organising body.
In a letter signed by CAF President, Alhaji Issa Hayatou, CAF invited the NFF supremo to the opening ceremony of the 30th Africa Cup of Nations in Malabo on January 17, 2015, and also to coordinate one of the four centres during the three –week, 16 –nation tournament.
The 30th Africa Cup of Nations will take place in four Equatorial Guinea cities 17th January – 8th February, 2015.
Meanwhile, Pinnick has disclosed that the new NFF administration is striving to enhance the capacity of Nigeria’s referees in order to be able to improve the lot of football on the domestic front.
“We fully appreciate the position of the League as the bedrock of our football. That is why we are determined to improve every facet of the game.
“We want to start with the referees because they are critical to the matches. Referees have the power to influence the course and complexion of games, for good or for bad. If the referees are firm and incorruptible, we would be on the road to sanity.”
Pinnick added: “We are not only aiming to enhance the capacity of referees; we intend to enhance their remuneration as well. In England, referees indemnities are paid by one company. We will try to do the same here. We are already talking to some corporate organisations with a view to helping with payment of referees’ indemnities.
“After the above steps are taken to improve the lot of referees, any of them caught in shady business will not only be blacklisted, he or she will also be prosecuted.”
The 11 elite Nigerian referees listed for the two-week capacity-enhancing programme in England have been granted entry visas into the United Kingdom.
According to the Head of the Communications department of the NFF, Ademola Olajire, the referees constitute the first batch of arbiters to be afforded capacity-enhancing opportunities with a view to improving officiating of the domestic League.
Those on the trip to England include; Ferdinand Udoh, Shuaibu Abdullahi, Usman Isah, Samuel Pwadutakan, Tope Orowole, Egudia Efosa, Peter Ogwu, Paul Umuago, Musa Dung Davon, Olayinka Olayide and Ukah Ndubuisi.
The delegation, to be led by President of Nigeria Referees Association, Alhaji Ahmed Maude and Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, will depart for London on Sunday, and will be at the English FA High Performance Training Facility at St. Georges Park, Burton-on-Trent on Monday and Tuesday.
Their stay in England will also see them visit Wembley Stadium and Emirates Stadium, the offices of The FA, get involved in study group mini –workshops, assess refereeing operations at a Premier League match and attend a Question-and-Answer session to analyse weekend Premier League matches.read more
Kano Pillars Football Club Technical Adviser, Okey Emordi has appealed to the League Management Company (LMC) to ensure the competition kicks off on time to enable players of clubs representing the country in continental assignments to be match fit for the various competitions.
Emordi, who is not new to the continental championship following his exploits with Enyimba International FC of Aba in 2004, said the clubs may suffer early exit if the players are not in proper shape when the competitions commence.
He said the early exit of the clubs in the continental show this year was because of the delay in the start of the apex Nigerian football league.
He said his club has learnt from the mistake of the outgoing year and have put in place a better plan for the team’s participation in the coming CAF Champions League competition.
“I am a bit worried that we may not start the league before the CAF champions League kicks off, my appeal is for the LMC to start the league on time to enable us to be fit enough for the challenge.
“We are not resting as we are planning to embark on a training tour outside the country if approved and if not, we will go to a place within the country where we should be able to have full concentration and play top clubs to keep in shape. But it will be better if the league starts on time,” Emordi said.
The former home-based Super Eagles coach said the tempo of determination and hard work that gave the club the league title this season will not be slowed down as the club is ready to do more to achieve better results at the continental level.
Emordi who described his one year stay in Kano as a tough one, appealed to the club’s teeming fans to keep up the tempo as the club aims to reward the state with continental silverware.read more
Stephen Keshi has talked down the Nigeria Football Federation’s idea of looking for a foreign manager as his replacement.
The Big Boss failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, after a 2-2 draw with South Africa at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium.
Keshi, who currently does not have a contract with the NFF, told Brila FM in an interview, that if a foreigner is brought in to coach the national team, foreign players should also be brought in to play for the country.
He said: “If we need a foreign coach, we should also bring foreign players to play for Nigeria. So if they bring a white coach, he should come along with ‘Oyinbo’ players as well to play in the team.”read more
The secretary general of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Musa Amadu has revealed that they are yet to be paid the $9million prize money they are due, after their participation at the last World Cup in Brazil.
Speaking in a radio interview in Abuja on Tuesday, the NFF scribe also admitted it was because of the leadership tussle that has engulfed the federation recently.
“The money is ready, but the katakata (crisis) we have had has meant we are yet to access it,” he said.
“We believe that once everything is sorted, we will get the cash.”
Amadu added that they still owed the federal government the sum of $3.8m, which was given to them to offset bonuses to the players at the competition and will refund it as soon as FIFA pays up.
“We have a memo from the sports ministry reminding us of our obligation to the government and once we get the money, we will pay up,” he said.read more
Nigeria Premier League’s highest goals scorer, Mfon Udoh is still relishing his first trophy won as a player after helping the People’s Elephant beat Dolphins in the 2014 Federation Cup final last Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Enyimba won 2-1 for their fourth Federation Cup title in six years.
Udoh who ended the season as Enyimba’s topscorer said it was a great feeling lifting his first diadem after many years of search.
“I am happy to end my search for title. It came in a magnificent way and I am delighted to score one of the goals that sealed victory,” Udoh told Goal.
“This is my best season as a player and I will work harder to ensure that I better the feat I achieved this year.”
Udoh scored 26 goals in the just concluded season including a record setting 23 goals in the premier league and three in the Federation Cup.read more
CAF technical instructor Adegboye Onigbinde has said the lack of a working technical department in the Nigeria Football Federation is responsible for the country’s woes.
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the continent’s biggest football competition for the second time in three years after playing a 2-2 draw against South Africa last Wednesday.
The former Fifa technical instructor said the country’s football administrators need to embark on massive football development so as to help the growth of the game in the country.
“We just have to sit down and review all that has happened to our football. Let’s be sincere with ourselves, are we developing football in the country,” Onigbinde told Goal.
“There is no developmental programme in this country, yet we want to qualify for every competition and also do well.
“All we need to do now is start developing our football and you cannot do that without a functional technical department.
“Football is a technical matter and in this country, we have relegated the technical aspect to the background.”
He also opposed those calling for the head of coach Stephen Keshi insisting his removal will not proffer solutions to the sorry state of Nigerian football.
“It is not a new thing in Nigeria, I came back from the Africa Nations Cup in 1984 and I was removed. So sacking coaches is not a new thing in the country,” he continued.
“Keshi won the Afcon title for us, qualified us for the World Cup where he took us to the round of 16 and because things are going bad, we are calling for his head.
“We are not happy with the players and other members of the technical crew and we want them fired but the real problem is the lack of a functional technical department
“Immediately after the World Cup, take a look at the state of affairs in the football house, it was nothing to write home about because we were jumping from one crisis to the other.
“We had close to three NFF elections and every Nigerian was in a state of confusion. I can assure you that if we don’t start doing the right things, we will keep getting the same results,” he concluded.
Nigeria will watch from the sidelines when the 2015 Afcon kicks off on January 17, unable to defend the title they won in Johannesburg last year.read more
Coach Stephen Keshi has been advised to do the ‘honourable’ thing and leave his post as Nigeria coach, after the team failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
The African champions needed to beat South Africa at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, but ended up fighting back to draw 2-2 against the Bafana Bafana – a result that ended their hopes of defending their crown in Equatorial Guinea.
“Walking away honourably would be the smartest thing for Stephen Keshi,” a top NFF official told BBC Sport.
“It’s pointless to hang around when you’ve failed, have been completely rejected by the NFF and are unwanted by disappointed football fans.”
Keshi was initially sacked by the NFF, but President Goodluck Jonathan’s intervention saw him reinstated for the last two qualifying games against Congo and South Africa. He is currently without a contract with the federation and has refused to comment on if he will stay on or quit.
“He does not have any contractual obligations with the federation; remember the board also offered to sponsor him and his assistants to managerial courses with good intention,” the NFF official added.
“He will probably get a job elsewhere before January but the country will not get the opportunity to play at the next Nations Cup.”read more
Former captain of the Super Eagles, Jay Jay Okocha, has stated that none of the current crop of midfielders, can effectively replace him in the national team.
The former PSG and Bolton star, explained that those seeking to take his No. 10 position in the team, are not just special.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant but the truth it that there is something special about me. Sometimes, you have special players in a squad, when you lose them, it will take like five to ten years to get another set of such players,” he told Encomium.
“Not that the people trying to fill the vacuum are not good, they are great in their own way, but they are not just special. With time, Nigeria will get the special one that will fill the vacuum I left.”
When asked about any regret as a player, the legendary footballer, admitted that it was not being crowned the best player on the continent.
“If I have any regret that would be not winning The African Footballer of the Year. But then, I don’t think I was meant to because I gave my best, but at the end, it wasn’t good enough. However, I had a fantastic playing career,” he said.read more
President of the Nigeria football and other sports supporters club, Rafiu Ladipo, has called for drastic actions to be taken, after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
The team needed a win against South Africa to qualify, but the African champions could only manage a 2-2 draw with the visitors at the new Akwa Ibom International Stadium.
“Wednesday was a sad day in the history of Nigeria football especially the followers of the game in the country. It was a day we had every opportunity to pick the ticket to the Cup of Nations. Unfortunately, our players messed up and threw everybody into mourning,” Ladipo told Goal.
“This is not a good development for Nigeria football and I want to say that something drastic has to be done.
“Drastic in the sense that having failed to qualify, there will be another competition in the next two years and we have to start preparing.
“Are we going to wait for the eleventh hour to start preparing? Or are we going to wait till when the competition is near to start assembling the best legs?, I think we should start now.”
Ladipo also criticized the players and the technical crew, for their lack of commitment to the cause and called for early preparation ahead of the next AFCON and the 2018 World Cup.
“Those players did not play with commitment. How on earth will a striker be free with the goalkeeper on three occasions without scoring?” he asked.
“If you create chances without converting them, then how do you win a match? The South Africans had two good chances and they convert them and that was all. For me, the players failed us.
“Also, the technical crew are also culpable because they cannot be exonerated. The way forward is that the Nigeria Football Federation should sit up and start preparing for the next African Cup of Nations, the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
“We need players who can do us proud. It is clear we have good materials across the world and even if they are average players, they can be turned to world beaters. We equally have players in the Nigeria Premier League that can be assisted to be world’s best.
“Something has to be done now because you cannot toy with the fate of every Nigerians. Nobody is happy. Anyway, we have the opportunity to rebuild because if you go with this kind of players to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, we will be out rightly disgraced.”read more
Ex Super Eagles stars have urged the Nigeria Football Federation and policy makers in sports to go back to the drawing board and develop a new structure that would train young football players at the grassroots.
The ex-international were reacting to the Super Eagles inability to qualify for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
While decrying the poor performance of the team, the ex-internationals said that the Eagles played below the expectation of Nigerians.
The Eagles, who needed a victory to scale through to the continental showpiece, played a 2-2 draw with the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
Eagles ended their group A matches with eight points from six games, and placed third behind the qualifying teams— South Africa with 12 points, and Congo with 10 points.
Adokie Amesimaka said that the team did not exhibit sufficient skills in the match and that the defence played as if they were playing with so much pressure hanging on their necks.
‘’They did not approach the game with flair, confidence and good football skills that had been the hallmark of a Super Eagles team.
‘’We need to learn from this and resurrect our football through the youth ranks— where young players can be well managed and groomed to quality players,’’ Amesika said.
Former captain of the Green Eagles, Henry Nwosu, said that the team had not played well enough to qualify.
‘’It is sad the way we ended the qualifying series after doing so well on Nov. 15 against Congo in their country.
‘’The team should be disappointed in themselves for not getting the necessary result at home soil when it mattered most,’’ Nwosu said.
Another ex-international, Edema Fuludu, said that the team had no business playing a draw and failing the nation.
‘’Eagles could not rise to the occasion; they played as if they could get an easy result, hence, they were shocked by a more determined South Africa team.
‘’The team lacked team work, they were not professional about their approach,’’ Fuludu said.read more