NNL: Jatau Bemoans Kogi United Defeat to Shekarau Babes

Head Coach of Kogi United, Ishaya Jatau has expressed disappointment at his side’s 0-2 loss to Shekarau Babes in their Matchday Nine of Nigeria National League, NNL, encounter played on Saturday.

A goal each from Abubakar Jados and Abdulrahman Mohammed proved decisive for the Kano based club as they saw off a challenge from United.

Jados headed in a cross from Ibrahim Musa with just eight minute into the game to put the Babes in front.

Shekarau Babes vs Kogi United
Shekarau Babes vs Kogi United

United would later fail to convert their scoring chances with Musa Jatau who first had his goal bound shot blocked.

Samson Pius, also after had his shot parried for a corner kick with a one hand safe from goalkeeper Clement Anthony.

The second half was almost similar to that of first with United let slip a run from Shekarau Babes while waiting for the centre referee Sanusi Mohammed to signal for a foul after Sanusi Pedro was pushed.

Abdulrahman Mohammed would later smash in the final kick that beat United keeper, Ogundare Detan to double the lead for the home side.

Ishaya Jatau who admitted that the game was one of his side’s below par performance noted that Kogi United were unfortunate not to convert their chances.

He said the team would however concentrate on their next double home games with the a fresh positive approach and the belief of ending the season well.

“Its a bad day for us today, this isn’t what we bargained for, the boys couldn’t get their rhythm especially in the formative stages of the halves, but its one of those days where you would push hard but couldn’t reach the target,” begin Jatau.

“We were also unfortunate with our missed chances, its difficult to get a good result when you fail to make such opportunities count and those we conceded were too cheap for our standard.

Kogi United
Kogi United

“That’s has to be put aside quickly and we must focus on our next games which are very important and must be won, I’m confident and believe we will finish the season well,” the former Inwanyanwu Nationale striker said.

Kogi United are still on Nine points and would have a chance to moving up the league table with double home games, first with hosting of Mighty Jets next Saturday in Lokoja and Sokoto United a week later.

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Warriors Move To The Top Of Hero CPL 2016 As Tridents Hopes End

The Guyana Amazon Warriors claimed a tight victory in the 2016 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) against the Barbados Tridents at the Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida.

Fine half centuries from Chris Lynn and Jason Mohammed proved to be decisive as the Tridents were left to rue a disappointing batting display. The win meant the Warriors overtook the Tallawahs at the top of the table while simultaneously ending the Tridents’ hopes for qualification.

Jason Mohammed of Guyana Amazon Warriors en route to 57 not out during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile
Jason Mohammed of Guyana Amazon Warriors en route to 57 not out during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile

The Tridents elected to bat and got off to a steady start, reaching 38 at the end of the PowerPlay for the loss of Ahmed Shehzad for 6, caught by Jacobs off the bowling of Dwayne Smith. At the other end Steven Taylor showed increasing intent, striking seven boundaries before he fell for 37 to a Chris Lynn catch. Local boy Taylor had looked in good touch, scoring his runs off just 21 balls before he became Adam Zampa’s 14th wicket in what has been so far an outstanding Hero CPL 2016 for the talented Australian leggie.

The fall of Taylor stalled any momentum, however, and when the Tridents reached the ten-over drinks interval having posted only 60, the Warriors could be confident of restricting their opponents to a low total. The Tridents’ hopes, meanwhile, rested on the shoulders of Shoaib Malik and captain Kieron Pollard, who had promoted himself up the order to try to increase the scoring rate.

Guyana Amazon Warriors celebrate the wicket of Ahmed Shahzad during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile
Guyana Amazon Warriors celebrate the wicket of Ahmed Shahzad during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile

Both batsmen were finding it difficult to get the ball away in the face of tight Warriors bowling, however, and boundaries continued to be in short supply as the overall run rate hovered at around a run a ball.

Gradually, though, Pollard began to find his touch, taking two fours off Zampa’s third over before swivelling to hit a Hero Maximum as part of a Chris Barnwell over that went for 17. Malik gradually began to score with more freedom, too, as the pair put on 81 for the second wicket.

However, both batsmen fell within two balls of each other to put the Tridents back into difficulty. First Malik holed out to Chris Lynn off a Rayad Emrit slower ball for 35 before the Warriors claimed the big wicket of Pollard, caught by Jason Mohammad at deep square leg to give Sohail Tanvir his seventeenth wicket of Hero CPL 2016.

David Wiese of Barbados Tridents bowls during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile
David Wiese of Barbados Tridents bowls during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile

The Tridents skipper had scored 47 off 36 balls, the dismissal leaving his team on 131-4 before some late hitting, aided by two dropped catches in the final few deliveries, finally got the Tridents up to 158-6, a score which had perhaps looked unlikely earlier in the innings.

The Tridents needed a strong bowling performance to keep their qualification hopes alive, and they got off to the best possible start as Raymon Reifer bowled Dwayne Smith with a first-ball inswinger to shatter his off and middle stumps. It was a beautiful delivery, inducing Smith to play outside the line of the ball as it nipped back in between bat and pad, and the Tridents’ tails were up.

New batsman Chris Lynn quickly settled, however, striking four boundaries in the first two overs together with the first Hero Maximum of the innings as he overtook Hashim Amla at the top of the Hero CPL 2016 Leading Run Scorer table.

Jason Mohammed of Guyana Amazon Warriors, Hero Caribbean Premier League, HERO CPL, CRICKET
Jason Mohammed of Guyana Amazon Warriors, Hero Caribbean Premier League, HERO CPL, CRICKET

With 27 runs coming from the first two overs Pollard called on his spin bowlers in an attempt to slow the scoring. Both Akeal Hosein and Imran Khan started well, with the latter unfortunate not to pick up a wicket in his first over as Pooran missed an opportunity to stump Nick Maddinson as the New South Welshman looked to advance down the wicket. Khan was to gain revenge in his second, however, as Maddinson holed out to Ahmed Shehzad, leaving the Warriors on 44-2 at the end of the PowerPlay.

After his explosive start Lynn had settled into a steadier rhythm and was content to work the ball around the field for singles as pace off the ball proved to be the best tactic for the bowling side, Khan finishing with 1-16 off his four overs. The Tridents desperately needed wickets, however, and when Lynn began to attack again, hitting two Hero Maximums off David Weise’s first over, the game began to slip away.

The thirteenth over proved to be significant with 20 runs coming from it, Lynn swiping a boundary to reach a 37 ball fifty before Jason Mohammed struck two huge Hero Maximums to bring up the fifty partnership.

Guyana Amazon Warriors Chris Lynn during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile
Guyana Amazon Warriors Chris Lynn during the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Match 28 between Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Photo by Ashley Allen/Sportsfile

The wicket of Lynn, caught by Pollard at long-off from the bowling of Reifer for 57 (44) – quickly followed by that of Anthony Bramble, plumb to a Pollard slower ball – gave the embattled Tridents a glimmer of hope, but with wickets in hand the Warriors were always in the driving seat. Consecutive sixes from Chris Barnwell and Mohammed calmed any nerves in the Warriors dugout, the latter reaching a fine half century thanks to another Hero Maximum in the penultimate over before winning the match in some style with another as the target was reached with three balls to spare, Mohammed finishing with a fine 57 off 41 deliveries.

The Warriors take their place at the top of the Hero CPL 2016 table, at least until tomorrow, but for the Tridents the tournament is over for another year.

HERO CPL Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 3.01.21 AM

UPCOMING LAUDERHILL FIXTURES (all times local): 31 July – Trinbago Knight Riders v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (midday), Jamaica Tallawahs v St. Lucia Zouks (4pm).

TICKETS: The Ticket Office at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, located next to the Central Broward Stadium, is selling tickets to enable fans to physically buy tickets in advance of the biggest party in sport this summer. Tickets are also on sale from Tropics Restaurant (Pembroke Pines), Island Getaway Roti Shop (West Palm Beach), Lucky City (Margate), Kingston Delight (North Miami), Caribbean Choice Bakery (West Palm Beach) and Joy’s Roti Shop (Lauderhill). Tickets are on sale now for all games across the Caribbean and Florida from http://www.cplt20.com.

CAS rejected appeals of KSF and ASC against ISSF and IOC…

CAS rejected appeals of KSF and ASC against ISSF and IOC on 13th Asian Shooting Championship’s Olympic qualification status

On 27 July 2016, CAS rejected the appeals and all other claims filed by ASC, KSF and three athletes against the ISSF and the IOC regarding the Olympic qualification status of the 13th Asian Shooting Championship.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected the Appeals filed by the Kuwait Shooting Federation (KSF), the Asian Shooting Confederation (ASC) and three athletes against the IOC and the ISSF regarding the Olympic qualification status of the 13th Asian Shooting Championship.

ISSF, International Shooting Sport Federation

Two days before the beginning of the 13th Asian Shooting Championships ASC informed the ISSF that the ISSF Technical Delegate, Mr Yair Davidovich, would not get a visa to enter Kuwait to supervise the competition.

The ISSF informed the IOC about this matter which decided to withdraw the Olympic qualification status of the Asian Shooting Championships because of a discrimination in violation of the Olympic Charter.

The ISSF confirmed the IOC’s decision also because according to the ISSF Rules quota places for the Olympics can only be obtained in ISSF supervised competitions. The 13th Asian Shooting Championships however was not supervised as Mr Davidovich was not allowed to enter Kuwait. In addition, the ISSF decided that an alternative qualification championship should be held in India.

ASC, KSF and three athletes filed appeals against all these decisions in front of CAS. Furthermore, KSF claimed that CAS should order the IOC and the ISSF to compensate it for the costs for the organization of the 13th Asian Shooting Championship in the amount of ca. 1,347,000 EUR.

On 27 July 2016 the CAS rejected the appeals and all other claims filed by ASC, KSF and the athletes against the ISSF and the IOC. Hence, all qualification results obtained in India remain valid.

NewFanzone Football Transfer Round Up For July 30th 2016

Done deals:

– Sevilla have completed the signing of Luciano Vietto from Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan deal, with an option to buy.

– Inter Milan have confirmed the signing of full-back Cristian Ansaldi from Genoa, with Diego Laxalt going the other way.

– Atletico Madrid have confirmed the signing of striker Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla.

– Feyenoord have signed Edison Flores from Peruvian club Universitario.

– Sporting Lisbon have signed midfielder Marcelo Meli from Boca Juniors on loan with a view to a permanent deal.

– Valencia has signed Martin Montoya on a four-year deal.


Today’s reports and rumours
:

– AC Milan’s joint-CEO Adriano Galliani has reportedly met with Jose Sosa in Ibiza.

– Everton are holding out for £125million sale for star duo Romelu Lukaku and John Stones, according to reports.

Mauro Icardi photo credit: Tigerzen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode
Mauro Icardi
photo credit: Tigerzen
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

– Napoli will reportedly submit a final bid for Inter’s Mauro Icardi, €50m plus Manolo Gabbiadini.

– Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery says the French champions could sign Real Madrid forward Jese Rodriguez.

– Swansea are interested in signing Tottenham’s Nacer Chadli, according to reports.

– Marco Verratti says he will not be tempted by a move away from Paris St-Germain this summer.

– Dutch central defender Karim Rekik will be staying at Marseille this season, unless an offer worth €10m is made for the player, according to L’Équipe.

– According to reports, Inter could be set to hijack Gabriel Barbosa’s switch to Juventus.

– Sevilla captain Coke could be about to leave the club, with Schalke 04 keen on a €5million deal, according to MARCA sources.

– West Ham United are reportedly interested in Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez, after missing out on Carlos Bacca.

– West Brom striker Saido Berahino is willing to stay at the club until his contract runs out next summer and leave on a free transfer to join a club in Europe, according to ESPN.

– Sven Kums says Napoli is his ‘most concrete option’ as he prepares to bid Gent farewell.

– Fernando Llorente is staying at Sevilla after they rejected an offer from Swansea, according to reports in Spain.

– Marco Borriello is thought to have agreed terms for a move to newly-promoted Cagliari.

Adnan Januzaj could be on his way out at Old Trafford
Adnan Januzaj could be on his way out at Old Trafford

– According to reports, Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj have told Jose Mourinho he wants permanent transfer exit.

– Marseille have rejected a €2.5million plus €1million bonus offer for the transfer of winger Romain Alessandrini from Olympiakos, according to L’Équipe.

– Arkadiusz Milik is expected to officially sign for Napoli on Monday, having joined the team at Dimaro.

– Club Brugge have rejected a €9.5million bid from Sevilla for José Izquierdo.

– The agent of Santos forward Gabigol admits talking to Inter but “we have yet to receive an offer”

– Sevilla are interested in River Plate right- back Gabriel Mercado, according to reports in Argentina.

– Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel claims that Jose Mourinho was desperate to sign Breel Embolo for Manchester United.

– Burnley are set to sign Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan on season-long loan deal, according to reports.

– Roma are to hold talks with Tottenham over a move for Federico Fazio, according to Sky Sports Italia.

– Chelsea defender Baba Rahman is set for season-long loan spell at Bundesliga side Schalke, according to reports.

Riyad Mahrez photo credit lccc.com
Riyad Mahrez photo credit lccc.com

– Claudio Ranieri believes it will be in the best interests of Riyad Mahrez to stay with Leicester City.

– Everton have agreed a £10million deal for Swansea defender Ashley Williams, according to reports.

– Zinedine Zidane’s son Enzo is on Middlesbrough radar as Premier League new boys line up loan move, according to reports.

– According to reports, Arsene Wenger is planning a shock £15million move for West Brom’s Jonny Evans .

– West Ham are reportedly closing in on £5million Sweden left-back Ludwig Augustinsson.

– According to reports, Samir Nasri is fighting for his Manchester City future as new boss Pep Guardiola shapes his squad.

– Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes “something big” is happening at Manchester United and feels it will become even more interesting if they sign Paul Pogba.

Antonio Conte photo credit: Nazionale Calcio https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Antonio Conte
photo credit: Nazionale Calcio
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

– Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has admitted he is unsure if striker Diego Costa will still be at the Premier League club when the transfer window closes.

Football tit bits:

– Roma have confirmed that new signing Mario Rui has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

– Jurgen Klopp insists the Liverpool squad is now his and not the team he inherited from Brendan Rodgers, admitting he can have no excuses for failure this season.

– Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Franck Ribery off after his recent criticism of ex-coach Pep Guardiola.

Paul Ayorinde

LMC Postpones Rivers United, Ikorodu Utd Clash

The League Management Company (LMC) has postponed the match day 29 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game between Rivers United and Ikorodu United.

NPFL match day 29, Nigeria Professional Football League, Rivers United,.

The postponement was at the behest of Rivers United following an auto crash involving the club’s official vehicle on Thursday in Ndele, Rivers State which left several players and official injured.

In a release signed by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar on Friday, the request of Rivers United FC to postpone the game which was based on medical advice was granted.

A new date for the fixture is yet to be announced.

NPFL match day 29, Nigeria Professional Football League, Rivers United,

Rivers United is currently in third place of the NPFL standings with 44 points from 26 matches while Ikorodu United is in 19th place with 16 points from 25 matches.

NewFanzone Football Transfer Round Up For July 29th 2016

Done deals:

– Besiktas have completed the signing of Adriano from Barcelona.

– Marseille have completed the signing of striker Bafetimbi Gomis from Swansea on a season-long loan deal.

– Middlesbrough have signed goalkeeper Brad Guzan from Aston Villa on a two-year deal.

– Crotone have signed Eddy Gnahore from Napoli on a one-year loan deal.

– Girondins Bordeaux has signed François Kamano from SC Bastia on a four-year deal.

– Kevin Mayi has signed for NEC Nijmegen from GFC Ajaccio.

– Rubin Kazan have signed Jonathas from Real Sociedad.

– Bastia have announced the signing of Allan Saint-Maximin from Monaco.

– Sampdoria have signed midfielder Karol Linetty from Lech Poznań on a five-year deal.

– Southampton has loaned goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga to Rayo Vallecano.

– Reading have signed French forward Yakou Meite from Paris St Germain on a three-year contract.

Today’s reports and rumours:

– Inter President Erick Thohir has hinted that €60m may not be enough to price Mauro Icardi away.

– West Ham are edging closer to the loan signing of Argentine striker Jonathan Calleri, according to Sky Sports.

– Mino Raiola has announced that Juventus and Manchester United have still not agreed a deal for Paul Pogba.

Aaron Ramsey (left) with Kieran Gibbs photo credit: Joshjdss https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Aaron Ramsey (left) with Kieran Gibbs
photo credit: Joshjdss
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

– According to the Manchester Evening News, Manchester City have set their sights on Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

– Napoli’s Christian Maggio is 70 per cent certain to remain at the club, according to his agent.

– Sunderland have been linked with a move for Benfica’s Argentina striker Eduardo Salvio, according to reports.

– Lazio’s Antonio Candreva admits he has almost completed his transfer to Inter.

– West Ham have had a £7m bid turned down by Hull City for Andrew Robertson, according to Sky Sports sources.

– Monaco has made a bid for of €7.5million for Bruma of Galatasaray, according to reports.

Gonzalo Higuain  photo credit : Nazionale Calcio https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Gonzalo Higuain
photo credit : Nazionale Calcio
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

– Gonzalo Higuain’s father has defended his son, insisting he did nothing wrong by joining Juventus from Napoli.

– Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out the club signing a new centre-back this summer.

– Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic is still a target for Juventus, according to reports.

– According to reports, Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon is set to join Aston Villa in a £2million deal.

– Roma are tracking West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna, according to reports.

– Liverpool are interested in Real Madrid forward Jese, according to reports.

– Former Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia has backed the potential sale of Rossoneri forward Carlos Bacca.

– Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo expects Idrissa Gueye’s move to Everton to be completed imminently, despite other interest.

– Talks are planned between Lazio and Lucas Biglia’s agent over the possibility of the player signing a new contract.

Romelu Lukaku photo credit: Aleksandr Osipov https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode
Romelu Lukaku
photo credit: Aleksandr Osipov
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

– Chelsea have had a £57million bid for Romelu Lukaku rejected by Everton, according to reports.

– Barcelona have ended defender Martin Montoya’s contract with the club.

– Monaco have submitted a €25m offer to Lazio for Keita Balde Diao, according to reports.

– Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper is keen to stay at the Camp Nou this season.

– According to reports in Portugal, Napoli want to sign Porto’s Hector Herrera in a deal worth €25million.

– Sunderland have not received any bid from Everton for Lamine Kone, according to reports.

– Federico Macheda is set for a move to Serie A newcomers Pescara, according to reports.

– Paris Saint-Germain are interested in recruiting Real Madrid forward Jese Rodriguez, according to reports in France and Spain.

– Manchester City have reportedly made a final ‘take it or leave it’ offer for John Stones

– Napoli has reportedly turned down a chance to sign Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli.

– Fosu-Mensah is staying at Manchester United, insists agent

– Celta Vigo are reportedly close to finalising a deal for FC Midtjylland midfielder Pione Sisto.

– Sampdoria are reportedly looking to sign Anderlecht’s Dennis Praet as a replacement for Roberto Soriano.

– According to reports, Mario Gomez could be set for a move to Eredivisie side Ajax.

– Galatasaray have confirmed they want to sign Manchester City defender Jason Denayer and Liverpool midfielder Lucas.

– Southampton are readying a bid for Sporting Lisbon centre-back Ruben Semedo, according to reports.

Christian Erikson photo credit: Wonker https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
Christian Erikson
photo credit: Wonker
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

– Christian Erikson has turned down a contract renewal offer from Tottenham, according to reports.

– Mateo Kovacic’s representative insists the midfielder will stay put at Real Madrid.

– According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Sampdoria midfielder Roberto Soriano is heading to Villarreal.

– Sir Alex Ferguson has given the green light for Manchester United to re-sign Paul Pogba after dinner with Jose Mourinho, according to reports.

-Poland winger Bartosz Kapustka has confirmed he has chosen to join Leicester City.

– According to reports, Real Betis have been given encouragement in their chase of Aston Villa midfielder Jordan Veretout.

– Swansea are to bid £6m for Sevilla striker Fernando Llorente, according to reports.

– According to reports in Brazil, Monaco right back Fabinho is close to joining Manchester United.

– Everton have reignited their interest in Swansea centre-half Ashley Williams, according to reports.

– Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has told L’Equipe that he doesn’t expect Arsenal to come back with another offer for their striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Football tit bits:

– Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has been ruled out for 8-10 weeks with a broken hand.

– Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli has turned down the opportunity to become the new Argentina coach.

– The Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty has been charged by the Football Association with misconduct in relation to betting.

Wayne Rooney  photo credit: Дмитрий Голубович - http://www.soccer.ru/galery/667228/photo/480232 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode
Wayne Rooney
photo credit: Дмитрий Голубович – http://www.soccer.ru/galery/667228/photo/480232
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

– Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes new manager Jose Mourinho has brought a winning
mentality back to the club.

– Bastian Schweinsteiger has announced his retirement from international football.

– The Football Association will discuss whether it is appropriate for Sam Allardyce to continue in his role as a brand ambassador for a sports betting company.

Paul Ayorinde

WELCOME INFANTINO…GOOD BYE INFANTINO

It is no longer news that Gianni Infantino, the President of Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and the federation secretary Fatma Sanoura, were in Nigeria this week on a two-day working visit at the invitation of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) led by Amaju Pinnick, but what are the gains of his visit? Will it benefit Nigerian football in anyway? Or was it another jamboree?

It is the purview of the football federation to invite anybody or organisations to its functions or otherwise more or less the world football governing body, but the timing must be right and proper with no doubt of the motive from any quarter.

Infantino said in his address, “I am happy to be in Nigeria the giant of football” and everybody at the gala clapped but I asked, who is deceiving who? Is he talking of my dear country who cannot boast of a functional and well equipped federation office? A country whose football is going doing the drain? A country where the welfare of coaches and footballers is not a priority? A country where hiring of a national team coach is harder than its presidential election? It’s a shame that we all know this and some people were deceived by Infantino statement.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino Speaking during the Cocktail At Abuja, Flanked by Barrister Solomon Dalung, MS Samoura and Shehu Dikko
FIFA President Gianni Infantino Speaking during the Cocktail At Abuja, Flanked by Barrister Solomon Dalung, MS Samoura and Shehu Dikko

It is a shame that we failed to qualify for the African U20 nations cup in Zambia next year after beating the Sudanese in there backyard primarily because the players were not motivated, they even went on strike days before the match, Samson Siasia cried out this week that the federation is owing him five months salary while the Olympic football team lacks good welfare and preparation towards the games, the senior national team is now ranked 70 in FIFA/Coca Cola rankings with no substantive coach, the last head coach of the Super Eagles, Sunday Oliseh is still neck deep in dispute with the federation over unpaid salaries and all they could think of is hosting the FIFA president with over 17 other football association presidents mainly from Anglophone African countries, who picked the bill for this so called “hosting”?

Is it the NFF that cannot pay coaches salaries or see to the welfare of the players? This lack of direction and focus can only happen in our dear directionless NFF.

One of the so called analyst on a popular one hour daily sport show on radio said one of the gains of the visit is that Infantino announced that Africa will be granted additional slots when the world cup is increased to 40 teams and I smiled at how shallow that statement was, what manner of gain is that? There is no way the number of participating teams in the world cup will be increased and Africa and Asia will not get increased slots, no possible way, please say something else, he needs not come here before that is a certainty.

Its was also mentioned in some quarters that the FIFA president visit with the 17 Anglophone FA presidents is to put Pinnick in good position for African football politics, again I laughed out loud (LOL), are we talking about same Confederation of African Football that Issa Hayatou is heading? Please dear sir/madam come with a different line because the absennce of Issa Hayatou on the FIFA president’s entourage is already a defeat for Pinnick, we all know that the Francophone countries control the beautiful game in Africa and anything you want to do you must put them in the picture, else its dead on arrival.

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki with FIFA President Gianni Infantino
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki with FIFA President Gianni Infantino

The only gain I can see in this ill advised visit is that it exposes the fact that the federation is not cash strapped, so it must as a matter of urgency clear all back log of salaries owed various coaches and allowances of all teams so that they can be motivated and ready to play for the nation with all there heart.

In all fairness there is no gain of any colouration in the visit, it is more of a jamboree and a waste of public funds which should have been channeled to a good course especially players and coaches welfare, the NFF should start getting its priority right now and make our football great again.

“A man whose roof is on fire doesn’t run to extinguish another man’s burning house”

Tinuola Akinola
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