MOSES, EKONG, AJAYI LISTED FOR CAF AWARDS

The nominees for the African Player of the Year and African Player of the Year – Based in Africa 2017 have been revealed.

Victor Moses, Troost-Ekong and Junior Ajayi are the three Nigeria players on the shortlist. 
Victor Moses and Troost-Ekong were both nominated for African player of the year while Junior Ajayi was nominated for African player of the year-based in Africa. 

A regular part of the Super Eagles squad that  qualified for the world cup, Troost-Ekong was also part of Nigeria squad at the Rio 2016 Olympics and he was instrumental as the dream team vi won the male football bronze. 

Junior Ajayi with his exploit with AL Ahly of Egypt got nominated for Africa player of the year based in Africa with 29 other players across the continent. 

Nigerian energy giants, Aiteo, are the headline sponsors of next year’s edition that will see players, officials and administrators who distinguished themselves exemplary during the year under review being honoured for their efforts towards the development of the game on the continent.

 The list in full:

African Player of the Year

1. Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)

2. Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso & Lyon)

3. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)

4. Christian Atsu (Ghana & Newcastle)

5. Christian Bassogog (Cameroon & Henan Jianye)

6. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

7. Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)

8. Essam El Hadary (Egypt & Al Taawoun)

9. Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon & Sevilla)

10. Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)

11. Jean Michel Seri (Cote d’Ivoire & Nice)

12. Junior Kabananga (DR Congo & Astana)

13. Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco & Feyenoord)

14. Keita Balde (Senegal & Monaco)

15. Khalid Boutaib (Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor)

16. Mbwana Samata (Tanzania & Genk)

17. Michael Olunga (Kenya & Girona)

18. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)

19. Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto)

20. Naby Keita (Guinea & RB Leipzig)

21. Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

22. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund)

23. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)

24. Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atletico Madrid)

25. Victor Moses (Nigeria & Chelsea)

26. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon & Porto)

27. William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria & Bursaspor)

28. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria & Porto)

29. Youssef Msakni (Tunisia & Al Duhail)

30. Yves Bissouma (Mali & Lille)

 

 

African Player of the Year – Based in Africa

1. Achraf Bencharki (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)

2. Ahmed Fathi (Egypt & Al Ahly)

3. Alkhaly Bangoura (Guinea & Etoile du Sahel)

4. Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)

5. Aristide Bance (Burkina Faso & Al Masry)

6. Ayman Majid (Morocco & FUS Rabat)

7. Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

8. Ben Malango (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

9. Dean Furman (South Africa & Supersport United)

10. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

11. Elsamani Saadeldin (Sudan & Al Merreikh)

12. Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)

13. Fawzi Chaouchi (Algeria & MC Alger)

14. Geoffrey Serunkuma (Uganda & KCCA)

15. Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand & Supersport)

16. Junior Ajayi (Nigeria & Al Ahly)

17. Karim Aouadhi (Tunisia & CS Sfaxien)

18. Mohamed Meftah (Algeria & USM Alger)

19. Mohamed Ounnajem (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)

20. Muaid Ellafi (Libya & Ahly Tripoli)

21. Nasr Eldin Ahmed (Sudan & Hilal Obeid)

22. Oussama Darfalou (Algeria & USM Alger)

23. Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

24. Sabelo Ndzinisa (Swaziland & Mbabane Swallows)

25. Saber Khalifa (Tunisia & Club Africain)

26. Saladin Said (Ethiopia & Saint George)

27. Sylvain Gbohouo (Cote d’Ivoire & TP Mazembe)

28. Tady Etekiama (DR Congo & AS Vita)

29. Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)

30. Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek)
The winner will be decided by votes from the Head Coaches/Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF, members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee and a panel of Media Experts.

The Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, 4 January 2018 in Accra, Ghana.

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​RIVERS UNITED GOOD TO ESCAPE RELEGATION – OSHO

Technical  adviser of Remo Stars Football Club, Fatai Osho has backed Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt to avoid the drop with 4 matches left in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). 
Osho made this known to the media after his team lost 1-3 at home to the pride of Rivers in their match day 34 encounter in the Nigeria professional football League.

When asked about his  opponent’s relegation battle, Osho said; “Rivers United are good to escape relegation considering their recent form as well as their strength and depth”. 

He further went on to call on the league organisers to help teams representing Nigeria on the continent so as to have a good outing.

Rivers United after grabbing their first away win of the league season, will turn attention to the AITEO Cup which is the only way for them to get back on the continent, when they face Atete FC on Wednesday at the Yakubu Gowon stadium before welcoming 7 time league champions Enyimba on Sunday as Remo Stars travel to Bauchi to face Wikki Tourists in the week 35 round of NPFL matches.

Photo credit: @ media 

​Nigeria Professional Football League Matchday 33 Fixtures 


ABS FC (18th)  vs Remo Stars (20th) 
Venue: Kwara State Stadium, Ilorin 
FC IfeanyiUbah (7th) vs Nasarawa United (6th) 

Venue: IfeanyiUbah Stadium, Nnewi 
Kano Pillars (9th) vs Plateau United (1st)  

Venue: Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano 
Lobi Stars (8th) vs Abia Warriors (15th) 

Venue: Aper Aku Stadium 
MFM FC (2nd) vs (4th) Enyimba FC (live on SS9)

Venue: Soccer Temple, Agege 
Niger Tornadoes (10th)  vs Elkanemi Warriors (5th) 

Venue: Confluence Stadium, Lokoja 
Shooting Stars (17th) vs Gombe United (19th)  

Venue: Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamansigba 
Sunshine Stars (12th) vs Akwa United (3rd) 

Venue: Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu Ode 
Wikki Tourists (11th) vs Enugu Rangers (13th) 

Venue: Abubakar Tafawa Stadium, Bauchi 
Monday, 7th of August, 2017:

Rivers United (16th)  vs (14th)  Katsina United (Live on SuperSport) 
Venue: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port-Harcourt

CRY TO NRA: Another disgraceful officiating 

By: Oscar Durunna 

It’s no longer a secret that officiating has been the bane of Nigerian football, it appears to have been accepted as a norm that home teams must win in front of their home fans. 

While this in itself is a terrible misnomer in our football, the officials themselves aren’t helping matters. 
Referee Damian Akure and his team of officials A Mohd NG, Oluwaseun  NG and E. Iyorhei BN took this to a new level when he found himself in the center of arguably the biggest game of Matchday 29 the NPFL; FC Ifeanyi Ubah vs Enyimba International. 

That,  his very first game of the season was a game of this magnitude should have set the alarm bells ringing. 
Referee Damian set the ball of criminally terrible decisions rolling when he awarded a foul to Ifeanyi Ubah for a non existent tackle. Other decisions included incorrectly flagging Mfon Udoh offside while in a promising position down the right hand side. One very egregious decision involved booking Enyimba striker Abdullahi for simulation when he was clearly fouled in the box and could have gotten a penalty. 

The worst decision of them all involved allowing Godwin Obaje who was miles offside to score am unfair goal. 

An FC Ifeanyi Ubah licensed photographer was involved in a bust up with Fatai Dauda the Enyimba Goalkeeper and appeared to strike the stopper in the face. To Dauda’s credit, he didn’t retaliate. Yet the referee didn’t do anything about the players who surrounded the Enyimba goalie. 

For every substitution there ought to be 30 seconds added on, and Coach Gbenga Ogunbote made 3 subs in the 2nd half, not even counting the number of players involved in simulation and rolling around on the turf. Yaw Preko made same number of subs in the 2nd half as well, going by that, there should have been at least 3 minutes added on for the substitutions, at least 4 minutes for treatment of injured players, and 3 minutes for the altercation between the photographer and Fatai Dauda. 

This writer was aghast when only 2 minutes of added time was indicated, and to add insult to injury, the 2 minutes of added were not exhausted. A total of 59 seconds was played instead of the alloted 2 minutes. 

This writer has it on good authority that the referee was actually threatening the Enyimba players on the field, telling them “I go give una red card, una no wan find me something Abi?” he even said to a certain FCIU player “go forward, enter their eighteen if them touch you I go give you penalty”. It is a known fact that referee Damian Akure was lodged at the plush Beverley Hills hotel which is next door to the stadium, curious how he could afford that on a referee’s subvention. 

It is strongly recommended that referee Damian Akure be investigated and suspended for bringing the NRA into disrepute. Also tight security should be implemented outside the referees changing rooms and nobody should be allowed in our out before a game. FCIU officials were in a closed door meeting with the referee just before the game, perhaps that was the reason why the kickoff was delayed. 

In conclusion, this is a quintessential example as to why our League officials are rarely accepted on the continent, and why our teams don’t often do well against the backdrop of other African teams. 

UNDER 17 FOOTBALLERS TO BENEFIT FROM MULTICHOICE NIGERIA LIMITED

In Its bid to develop soccer at the grassroot level, The Lagos state grassroot soccer association is staging an under-17 youth football competition in Lagos State. 

The tournament, tagged Adewunmi Ogunsanya Cup 2017,  the maiden edition of the Multichoice Nigeria Limited sponsored soccer competition, is billed to kick off on the 15 of July and run through 27th of August 2017. 

The chairman, Multichoice Nigeria Limited, Mr Adewunmi Ogunsanya S.A.N  who was represented by the head of operations, Ikorodu United Football club, Mrs Adeola Olatunji at a press conference in Lagos where the tournament was unveiled  said that the essence of the tournament is not only to discover, but to nurture the lads to stardom. 

He added that aside the medals and the prize money, the selected best players will be awarded scholarships that will see them through their tertiary education. 

The chairman however urged the players to give their best, while stressing that the tournament might be extended to other states in future.

YUSUF LISTS EZENWA, ODEY, 28 OTHERS FOR CHAN FIXTURE

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Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has invited goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and 29 other players to camp for next month’s 2018 African Nations Championship qualifying fixture against the winner between Togo and Benin Republic. Togo and Benin Republic will conclude their qualifying fixture this month.

Nigeria Professional Football League leading scorer Stephen Odey, Akwa United’s nimble –footed midfielder Alhassan Ibrahim, Elisha Golbe of League leaders Plateau United and Chiamaka Madu of champions Enugu Rangers are also included.

Kano Pillars’ experienced midfielder Rabiu Ali, Mathias Samuel of El-Kanemi Warriors, Nasarawa United’s Thomas Zenke and Sunday Adetunji of Abia Warriors will also report in camp.

Nigeria, 2014 bronze medallists, will lock horns with the winner of a preliminary fixture between the West African neighbours, with the first leg taking place on the weekend of 11th – 13th August in either Cotonou or Lome, and the return leg in Nigeria on Saturday, 19th August.

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC), Okiemute Odah (Lobi Stars), Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

Defenders: Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Orji Kalu (Rangers International); Stephen Eze (FC IfeanyiUbah); Ariwachukwu Emmanuel (Akwa United); Elisha Golbe (Plateau United); Chima Akas (Enyimba FC); Nasiru Sani (Katsina United), Osas Okoro (Rangers International), Chinedu Ajanah (ABS FC)

Midfielders: Hafiz Aremu (Akwa United); Emeka Atuloma (Rivers United); Raphael Ayagwa (Lobi Stars); Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars), Samuel Mathias (El-Kanemi Warriors), Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United), Chiamaka Madu (Rangers International) 

Forwards: Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC); Prince Aggreh (FC IfeanyiUbah); Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM FC), Thomas Zenke (Nasarawa United); Austin Oladapo (Gombe United), Stephen Odey (MFM FC); Kingsley Eduwo (Lobi Stars), Sunday Adetunji (Abia Warriors), Ifeanyi George (Rangers International)

NPFL MATCHDAY 28 REVIEW

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Plateau United 3-0 Akwa United

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Leaders Plateau United extended their lead to five points after a 3-0 win against Akwa United in the top of the table clash. Emmanuel James opened scores for the Jos based club in the 20th minute from the spot. The situation got worse for the visitors as Ubong Friday was sent off for dissent. Two second-half goals from Emeka Umeh and Kabiru Umar secured the maximum points for the hosts. Plateau United now have 51 points from 28 matches, five more points above second placed MFM FC.

Rangers Int’l FC 1-1 3SC

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Shooting Stars kept their 4-match unbeaten run against Rangers in the NPFL intact with a 1-1 draw at Rangers. Godwin Aguda put Rangers ahead in the 29th minute as the hosts couldn’t add more goals, they were denied on several occasions by visiting goalkeeper Charles Tambe. The Cameroonian was impressive with his saves. Nigeria beach soccer star, Abu Azeez capped the day off for the visitors with a beautiful equalizer in the 77th minute.

ABS FC 2-4 Sunshine Stars

Sunshine Stars boosted their survival hopes with an emphatic 2-4 win at ABS FC. The game ended goalless at half time but the goals began to rain few seconds into the second half. Sikiru Alimi opened scores less than a minute into the second half. Former ABS FC forward Ajibola Otegbeye increased the lead eight minutes for the visitors.
Samuel Oyedeji pulled one back for the hosts from the spot in the 62nd minute. Abiodun Joseph restored the visitors’ two-goal lead in the 76th minute, nine minutes later Ebuka Anaekwe reduced the deficit for the Saraki Boys. As the hosts continued to chase for an equalizer, Thompson Ezekiel came on from the bench and secured the emphatic win for the visitors with the sixth goal of the game in the 87th minute.
The result moved Sunshine Stars away from the bottom four to 15th position with 36 points, two points above the relegation zone.

Katsina United 2-1 Lobi stars

Katsina United edged Lobi Stars 2-1 and distance themselves from the relegation zone. Chinedu Udechukwu scored in the opening five minutes as the hosts took the lead, Suleiman Ibrahim doubled the score in the 32nd minute. Tony Okpotu reduced the deficit late in the first half, but the goal could only stand as consolation for the visiting team. Okpotu’s strike was his 12th league goal of the season.

Enyimba Int’l FC 3-0 Niger Tornadoes

Enyimba moved into third position after their 3-0 victory against Niger Tornadoes in Calabar. Former Warri wolves midfielder Ibenegbu Ikechukwu broke the deadlock late in the first half with a beautiful free-kick. Chinoso Okonwo and Stanley Dimgba completed the victory with two second half goals.

Abia Warriors 2-0 Nasarawa United

Warriors cruised past Nasarawa United with a 2-0 win at the Umuahia Township Stadium. Emmanuel Makama scored an own goal in the first half to gift the home side the lead. Sunday Adetunji then wrapped up the win with his 12th league goal of the season late in the second-half.

Gombe United 2-0 El-Kanemi warriors

El-Kanemi Warriors suffered a 2-0 defeat in the hand of savanna scorpions. Two second half goals from Sani Abbani and Sani Sulaiman helped the hosts secure maximum points.

Wikki Tourists 2-0 Kano Pillars

Wikki Tourists made light work of Kano Pillars in the Northern Derby by running out 2-0 winners. Ahmad Usman put Wikki ahead in the 6th minute, while Chinedu Onyelonu scored the second goal 10 minutes into the second half.

Remo Stars vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah

The League management company LMC has rescheduled the game for Tuesday 11th, July after players and officials of Remo Stars suffered food poisoning​ on Saturday.