Abia Warriors – Bayelsa United
El-Kanemi Warriors – Dolphin
Enugu Rangers – Kano Pillars
Heartland – FC IfeanyiUbah
Kwara United – Enyimba FC
Nasarawa United – Taraba FC
Shooting Stars – Sharks
Sunshine Stars – Akwa United
Warri Wolves – Lobi Stars
Wikki Tourists – Giwa FC

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Mercy Akide-Udoh to attend FIFA Women’s Symposium

Mercy Akide2

World football –governing body, FIFA, has invited former Nigeria legend Mercy Akide-Udoh to the 6th FIFA Women’s Football Symposium taking place in Vancouver, Canada between Friday, July 3 and Sunday, July 5, 2015.

Akide-Udoh, who played for Nigeria at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, is one of FIFA’s 15 Ambassadors for women’s football.

A graceful striker in her days, Mercy also played for Nigeria at the Women’s Football Tournament of the 2000 and 2004 Olympics in Australia and Greece respectively, and was the first African Woman Player of the Year in 2002.

She played professionally for San Diego Spirit and Hampton Roads Piranhas in the US, was voted into the USL Hall of Fame and holds a USSF National Youth Coaching Certificate.

She will attend the three –day symposium that will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Vancouver and will also be a special guest of the world body at the final match of the 7th FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place at the BC Place, Vancouver on Sunday, July 5.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick has also been specially invited by FIFA to attend the symposium, which has the objective of outlining fresh development strategies for women’s football across the globe.

Among the topics for discussion at the symposium are “Women in Football,” “Powerplay: Giving African women and girls a voice through the sport of football,” and “The business side of the game.”

Kurungu to act as Super Falcons’ Head Coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation has appointed Christopher Danjuma fondly called “Kurungu” as Head Coach of the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, in acting capacity.

Speaking in Abuja at the weekend, Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu, praised the efforts of the former technical crew headed by Mr. Edwin Okon, saying they did their best within the period they were in charge of the team.

“We commend Okon and his crew for the services rendered to the country, and they did well to reclaim the African Women Championship title for the country in Namibia in October 2014, thus qualifying the team for the Women’s World Cup in Canada.

“The contract given to the crew has elapsed with the Women’s World Cup in Canada. Mr. Christopher Danjuma will now take over the team in acting capacity, pending the appointment of a substantive coaching crew, which process is ongoing.”

Anyansi-Agwu has also assured that the NFF will give the new Head Coach and his crew all the support to qualify the Falcons for the Women’s Football Tournament of the 2016 Olympics, billed for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“The team will soon move to Port Harcourt to get used to the pitch on which it will play Equatorial Guinea in the third round of the Olympics qualifiers. The NFF will provide everything that the needs to succeed.”

The hard-working Danjuma, respected by players and officials alike, was an assistant to Okon in the previous dispensation.

Danjuma’s first assignment will be to see the Falcons past Equatorial Guinea, with the first leg in Port Harcourt on Saturday, 18th July and the return leg in Bata on 2nd August

Pinnick to be in Canada for FIFA symposium

Amaju Pinnick
Amaju Pinnick

NFF President Amaju Pinnick will be in Canada for the 6th FIFA Women’s Football Symposium taking place in Vancouver between Friday, July 3 and Sunday, July 5.

The NFF boss, who was in Canada for the Super Falcons’ opening match of the 7th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals against Sweden, which ended 3-3 in Winnipeg on June 8, will arrive in Vancouver on Thursday, July 2.

The 6th FIFA Women’s Football Symposium will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Vancouver, and delegates will also have the opportunity to watch the final match of the 7th FIFA Women’s World Cup, scheduled for the BC Place, Vancouver on Sunday, July 5.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons, champions of Africa, lost out of the tournament at group stage following a 3-3 draw with Sweden and 2-0 and 1-0 defeats against Australia and USA respectively. However, Nigeria remains the strongest women football -playing nation on the African continent, having won seven of nine African Women Championship titles till date.

Among the topics for discussion at the symposium are “Women in Football,” “Powerplay: Giving African women and girls a voice through the sport of football,” and “The business side of the game.”

LMC endorses Sharks shirt sponsorship deal with Eunisell

glo.jpgThe League Management Company (LMC) has approved a shirt sponsorship deal between Sharks FC of Port Harcourt and Eunisell Limited in line with provisions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Rules and Framework.

Salihu Abubakar, the LMC Chief Operating Officer, conveyed the approval in a letter to Sharks in which he congratulated the club for securing the deal and also complying with regulation which provides that all external commercial relationships of clubs must be vetted and approved by the LMC before signing.

Abubakar reminded other clubs that it is a breach of the rules to wear shirts with unauthorized endorsements and advised any club that is yet to have the approval of LMC to desist from further wearing of such shirts. He also reminded clubs that pitch panel displays must be approved by the LMC and their deployment for match day branding are to be handled by the LMC approved agency or any such persons authorized by it.

“There are regulations guiding commercial relationships which prescribes the processes to ensure that existing rights are not violated. While we congratulate Sharks for their good fortune which we hope will grow, it is our expectation that other clubs will set up strong marketing units or engage marketing agencies to expand their revenue generating capacities,” remarked Abubakar.

The LMC assured the clubs that it will at all times protect their interests in evaluating sponsorship deals for approval.

LMC fines club officials, reviews performance of 4 refs, 8 assistants

OyoState-SportsNews.jpgTwo senior club officials, a coach and 12 match officials including four Referees and eight Assistant Referees have been charged under the NPFL Rulebook by the League Management Company (LMC) for various acts considered inimical to the good of the game.

General Manager of FC Taraba, Mr. Tijani Babangida and that of Heartland, Mr. Okechukwu Ibe whose is also a Director of LMC have been fined N50, 000 and N200, 000 respectively for comments and behaviours that were in breach of some sections of the Code of Conduct for Club Officials under the NPFL rules. Similarly, Abia Warriors Head Coach, Ladan Bosso was fined N50, 000 for comments the LMC ruled to be in breach of Article 14 of the Code of Conduct for Coaches and Managers and Article C1 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Babangida and Bosso were cited for public comments against referees considered capable of bringing the league to disrepute while Ibe was charged for acts capable of bringing the league to disrepute including excessive complaints against the Referee during the Match Day 11 Enyimba vs Heartland. Babangida’s charge followed his comments to the media on the Match Day 11 fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and FC Taraba even after he had followed the official channels to lay a complaint about the officiating and is aware it is being dealt with.

Bosso’s charge is in relation to comments he made to the media against the Referee after the Match Day 12 fixture between Rangers and Abia Warriors for which the LMC said he “failed to act in an ethical and professional manner, in the best interest of the game, and you made statements capable of bringing the game to disrepute”.

They were asked to within 48 hours accept the respective sanctions imposed or elect to defend themselves before a commission and they have all accepted the charges and apologized.

The LMC also forwarded the cases of the Match Officials to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Referees Appointment Committee requesting that the listed officials performances be reviewed and dropped from further officiating NPFL games pending the conclusion of the review of their performance in some matches.

In referring the case to the Committee, the LMC expressed dissatisfaction with their performances in some fixtures of Match Day 11 and 12.

Referee Jerry Akure from Benue State and his assistants, Aliyu Jingi (Bauchi) and Garba Musa from Yobe State were charged for below par handling the Match Day 11 fixture in Umuahia between Abia Warriors and Sunshine Stars while Referee Magaji Mohammed and his assistants Abbas J and Alfa Gimba, all of Niger State Referees Council were charged for poor officiating in the fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and FC Taraba also in Match day 11.

Two other cases from Match Day 12 involved Referee Sam Agba from Ogun State Council and his two assistants from the Oyo State Council on a charge of poor performance in the match between Enyimba International and Heartland. The last case of poor performance listed by the LMC involved Referee Mohammed D. Sule and his assistants, Suleiman Jimeta and Sani Mohammed all from Adamawa State Referees’ Council who officiated in the match between Kano Pillars and Giwa FC.

NFF referees committee has already commenced review of the listed match officials performances upon receipt of the necessary details and visuals from the LMC.

FIFA Appoints Malian, Angolan officials for Falcons, Equatorial Guinea

Just Starting

The fact that they have little time to rest following elimination from the 7th FIFA World Cup finals has been fully brought home to the Super Falcons after FIFA appointed officials for their 2016 Olympics qualifying fixture against Equatorial Guinea next month.

For the first leg taking place at the National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, July 18, Malian Kankou Coulibaly will be the Referee. Fellow Malians Djeneba Dembele, Mariam Coulibaly and Fatou Sacko will be Assistant Referee 1, Assistant Referee 2 and Fourth Official respectively.

Halimatou Hamidou from Niger Republic will be the Referee Assessor while Arret Nje Jah from The Gambia will be the Match Commissioner.

For the return leg slated for Bata on August 2, Angolan Marximina Luzia Bernardo will be the Referee. Fellow Angolans Luisa Massanga Luhaco, Andalia Bimbi Francisco Jeremias and Tania Marisa Duarte will be Assistant Referee 1, Assistant Referee 2 and Fourth Official respectively.

Agathe Athacou from Cote d’Ivoire will be the Referee Assessor and Nomsa Mahlangu from South Africa will be the Match Commissioner.

The winner of the fixture between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea will clash with the winner of the fixture between South Africa and Kenya, for a spot at the Women’s Football Tournament of next year’s Olympics, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

LMC Gives Dolphins 60-Day Ultimatum

dolphins-fcThe League Management Company has mandated Dolphins Football Club of Port Harcourt to pay their players salaries within 60 days or risk  losing six points.

The League body  issued the directive following a conclusive investigation of the very first formal complaint by a player on breach of contractual agreement by his club.

The player Emeka Atuloma filed the complaint against his employers, citing non-payment of his salary since the commencement of the 2014/2015 season which kicked off on March 8.

The LMC  has therefore charged Dolphins with breach of contract with not only the complainant player, but with all the club’s players following the club’s admission that none of their players has received their salaries during the period which has exceeded the 60 days cap.

Dolphins, according to the LMC, must remedy the situastion within 60 days or be liable to the deduction of six points in line with NPFL Rules and Framework  for 2014/2015 season.

It further warned the club that they will lose three points for every 30 days the breach was not remedied after the expiration of the 60 days notice of default period.

The LMC said the strict enforcement of the regulation will spread to other NPFL participating clubs that are not meeting obligations to the players and other employees whenever a formal complaint has been filed, investigated and proven.



Striker Odion Ighalo has not completely ruled out a departure from Watford who will play in the English Premier League next season depending on the way contract negotiations go, he has told Goal.

The 25-year-old Nigerian scored 20 goals in the Championship to help the team secure promotion to the lucrative Premiership last term.

Two weeks ago he scored his first senior goal for the Super Eagles as they defeated Chad 2-0 in their opening 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in Kaduna and is high on confidence.

Swansea have been reported to be keen on securing the striker’s signature.

“I have two years contract with Watford. But in football you can never say never. Things happen just in a minute,” Ighalo told Goal.

“I love the club and I love the fans too. They love me too and I am happy and the fans really helped me to settle down fast in Watford.

“Although, we are still negotiating for a new contract for the Premier League because the club is still talking to my agent.

“If they come to a conclusion fine, if not then we will see what happens. I know some teams are interested in me but we will see what happens at the end of the day,” he said.

If he stays with the newly promoted side, Ighalo’s mission would be to help them consolidate their place at the top.

“I would say my target for the season is Watford to remain in the Premiership because I know it won’t be easy. But I am determined to help the club with the rest of my teammates to remain in the Premiership, that would be great for us,” he concluded.

John Obi Mikel set to end nine year Chelsea spell as he is welcomed to Al Ain by Asamoah Gyan

Obi Mikel
Obi Mikel

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has welcomed the prospect of playing together with Mikel Obi at club side Al Ain.

Widespread rumours over the past week have claimed that the Nigerian international has agreed personal terms to join the UAE league champions and Gyan who has been a hit at the club since his move from Sunderland in 2011 feels thrilled by the opportunity.

The Nigerian star has been at Stamford Bridge since 2006 and has won 10 major trophies in his time with the Blues.

But the 28-year-old has never managed to command a regular first team place and started just six Premier League games as Chelsea won the title last season.

And former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan, who currently plays for Al Ain, revealed a deal for Mikel is imminent.

“I heard it this week that he (Mikel Obi) has agreed terms with Al Ain and will most definitely be playing for us next season,” Gyan reacted to a question on Metro TV in Accra.

“It’s great news for us because Mikel Obi is a very good player and very experienced.”

“It will be exciting playing with him in the same team, because I believe both of us, with the help of our other colleagues can do more for the club,” the 29-year-old added.

Obi has been widely tipped for an exit from English champions Chelsea this summer – a move which will bring to an end a hugely successful nine-year stint with the London-based club.