Ordinary Fans Assembly (OFA) has joined well meaning Nigerians in congratulating the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick on winning a FIFA Executive Council Seat.

Amaju Melvin Pinnick, was on Friday in Rabat, Morocco elected into the FIFA Council, the highest decision making organ in world football.

He attained the exalted seat after defeating his only rival, incumbent Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi by 43 votes to 8 at the Congress held inside the Royal Ballroom of the Sofitel Hotel in Morocco’s administrative capital.

In a statement made available to the public by President General of OFA, Endurance Ogbemudia, he termed Amaju’s win as a big win for Nigeria and Africa at large.

He described Amaju’s case as remarkable.

“It’s a remarkable case of rapid global football boardroom upliftment for a man who, a little over six-and-half years ago, had no intention of contesting for even board membership of the Nigeria Football Federation, but has now been in the post for six-and-half years (becoming the first person to democratically secure a second term), won election as Member of the CAF Executive Committee, served as CAF’s 1st Vice President, still serving as Member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, and now a revered member of the world’s highest decision-making organ for football” Ogbemudia said.

P. G as fondly called, Ogbemudia challenged Amaju to use his position to bring about good development to Nigerian football at large.

He also prayed to God on behalf of the NFF boss for wisdom and guidance to excel in his new position.

Babajide O’seyi
Secretary General OFA


Osimhen, Etebo returns as Rohr invites 24 eagles for Sierra Leone battle

Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has called up Captain Ahmed Musa, defender William Ekong, midfield enforcer Oghenekaro Etebo and 21 others for next month’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying quick-fire double against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.

Defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielder Alex Iwobi and forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze and Chidera Ejuke are also called.

Nigeria’s leading marksman in the series, Victor Osimhen returns after missing out of this month’s friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia, just as midfielder Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and South Africa –based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

Switzerland –based goalkeeper Sebastian Osigwe will hope to earn his first cap for Nigeria, while defenders Kevin Akpoguma and Zaidu Sanusi, who impressed in the friendlies in Austria, have been handed opportunities to add to their caps.

There are seven players on standby, including defender Abdullahi Shehu, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, midfielders Ramon Azeez and Samson Tijani, and forward Paul Onuachu.

The Super Eagles take on the Leone Stars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Friday, 13th November before flying to Freetown for the return game on Tuesday, 17th November at the Siaka Stevens Stadium.

Players are expected to report at the Protea Hotel Emotan in Benin City on Monday, 9th November. Victory in both encounters will all but guarantee Nigeria a slot at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals holding in Cameroon.


Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Sebastian Osigwe (FC Lugano, Switzerland); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Germany)

Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasaray, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Unattached); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge, Belgium); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Standby: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria); Abdullahi Shehu (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium)


The Nigeria Football Federation has announced the appointment of Mr. Babafemi Raji also known as the Topmost striker as the new Media Officer of the Senior Men National Team, Super Eagles. He takes over from Mr. Toyin Ibitoye who has been in the post for five-and-half years.

Raji, according to the statement by the NFF media department, presently the Group Manager, Programmes and Contents in Brila Media Group, started sports journalism as a freelancer with NTA Ile-Ife between 2003 – 2006 while studying at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. On graduation with Bachelor of Arts in English, he joined Radio Brila, Nigeria’s first all-sport radio station in 2008. He was a member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Media Committee set up by the tournament sponsors, and is a certified management consultant and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.

Also on Tuesday, the NFF announced the appointment of Mrs Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu as the Media Officer of the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons. She takes over from Miss Jane Onyinye Nweze.

Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu, popularly known as tobexSports, is an astute women football advocate and a writer with passion for domestic women’s league. A Federal Government scholar as the second best graduating student in mass communication at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, she holds a master’s degree in the same discipline from the Lagos State University. She’s a former footballer herself, having played for clubs like Hamza Queens, Flamming Flamingos and Ibom Angels before pursuing her education further.

NFF’s Director of Media and Communications, Ademola Olajire, praised Mr Ibitoye and Miss Nweze for excellent services rendered while they were with the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons respectively, and wished both of them good fortune in their future endeavours. “Mr Ibitoye and Miss Nweze were superb to work with. They demonstrated excellent people skills and acuity, and were diligent, energetic and knowledgeable. We wish them the very best in their endeavours going forward.”


The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation met via video conferencing on Friday, 24th April 2020 to deliberate on important issues in Nigerian Football and resolved as follows:

1. The Executive Committee praised the Federal Government on the various policies, strategies and methods that have been put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) that has ravaged most of the nations of the world in the past weeks, noting that the FG’s measures have been professional, practical and all-encompassing, and meeting with considerable success. Members also commended the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and all the public health workers in the frontline in reducing community transmission and saving lives.

2. In deep appreciation of the realities that are bound to unfold after the COVID-19 pandemic and the resumption of football activities, and the various scenarios possible in the circumstances (for which the discerning can already glean a sneak preview), the Board set up an ad-hoc committee headed by the President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to interface with the Federation’s partners and sponsors in the next weeks with a view to appraising, balancing and optimising the relationship each way with a model that will take care of the interest of all parties within the realities on ground.

3. Board mandated the General Secretary to, within the next four (4) weeks, and armed with the realistic projections derivable from the meetings with the partners/sponsors and equipped with new figures from probable subvention from Government and expected grants from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and world –governing body FIFA, submit to the Board a revised budget for the Federation for the year. This will form the new working document/financial estimate that will be submitted to the NFF Congress for approval at a virtual meeting within the next five weeks, and will guide the operations of the NFF for the remaining part of the year. Extensive sensitisation and mobilisation of stakeholders in the football family will be done for everyone to understand, align with and ingest the new workplan.

4. In line with these new realities, the Federation will prioritize programs, activities and competitions in which to partake, with the engagement of the senior teams being the fulcrum. The President and General Secretary are mandated to cut down expenses from all areas possible and enforce belt-tightening measures in the running of the Federation, to ensure the Federation operates only within the framework of guaranteed revenue.

5. The Board received and endorsed the report of a virtual meeting of the League Management Company and NPFL clubs held on Thursday, 23rd April 2020 and at which decisions were taken including commitment to: conclude the League season after the COVID-19 and resumption of football activities; consider the most plausible format for conclusion of the remaining games; continue to communicate with the Clubs and ensure commitment by the clubs to continuous payment of the salaries of their players, coaches and backroom staff under the current circumstances; arrange testing for all players, coaches and backroom staff (about 1,200 persons in all) before the commencement of matches, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC; await realities thence to determine whether matches will be played with crowds or not immediately after the restart; give priority to privately-funded clubs for special funds if the LMC secures any exceptional support and; ensure that the LMC and NPFL continue to cogitate on the best way forward for the game this season and coming seasons.

6. In the same vein, the Chairmen of the Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and Nigeria Nationwide League also presented their projections, with all the three prepared to adjust their programs to align with the 6-8 weeks window agreed with at a virtual meeting of the NFF Board and the Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare on Thursday, 16th April 2020.

7. The Committee mandated the President to meet with the Federation’s Official Optimum Partner, AITEO specially to discuss matters involving the AITEO Cup 2020 competition and payment of coaches’ salaries. The NFF will create windows for the various stages of the AITEO Cup competition to run its full course in order for Nigeria to register her representatives for next season’s CAF Confederation Cup competition. Similarly, the NFF/Zenith Bank Future Eagles Championship, which state competitions have already been concluded (with some zones having also completed their competitions) will run its full course immediately after the COVID-19 and resumption of football activities.

8. Following a report by the General Secretary on the recent visit of the FIFA West Zone B Coordinator to Nigeria in respect of NFF’s FIFA Forward Project, the Board approved the commencement of construction of the new projects in Delta and Kebbi States, renewed attention to the abandoned project in Bauchi and the renovation of the Goal Project inside the National Stadium Complex, Abuja (complete with a new pitch and pavillion).

IN ATTENDANCE: Amaju Melvin Pinnick (President); Seyi Akinwunmi (1st Vice President); Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President); Ibrahim Musa Gusau (Member); Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande (Member); Felix Anyansi-Agwu (Member); Babagana Kalli (Member); Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Member); Ganiyu Majekodunmi (Member); Emmanuel Ibah (Member); Chidi Ofo Okenwa (Member); Aisha Falode (Member); Mohammed Alkali (Member); Mohammed Sanusi (Secretary)

ABSENT WITH APOLOGY: Yusuf Ahmed ‘Fresh’ (Member); Musa A. Duhu (Member)


National League: Gateway FC protest walk over


Gateway United has protested its supposed walk over by ABS to the Nigeria National League NNL. In a statement by its Media Officer Rotimi Oduniyi, the Ogun state team detailed the harassment, intimidation and insults the players, technical crew and other officials were subjected to at Ilorin Township Stadium. The team which arrived the stadium at 2:25 pm were locked out and prevented by ABS officials, supporters and their thugs from gaining entrance while ABS were allowed in with their players seen warming up. All pleadings failed as Gateway were only allowed into the stadium at exactly 3:55pm which is just five minutes to start of the match. On getting in it was discovered that only 20 security personnel were present contrary to 60 agreed at the pre match meeting(recording of pre match available). Right there, Gateway gave a letter of protest to the Match Commissioner Mr Eyah Ezra from Niger state as statutory but he vehemently refused to take it with the #200,000 protest fee as stipulated by law. Recording of this also available. While this was on with security men still not adequate at 4:30 as stipulated and solution not yet in sight to solve the security quagmire and no assurance that the security of the Gateway contingent guaranteed, the Centre Referee Mr Hamza Garba from  Kano performed a walk over on Gateway when the home team would have lost the match technically at 4:30 pm for not providing adequate security.


Gateway is now saying that supposed walk over which was done at 4:45pm,15 clear minutes after ABS has lost the match technically for not providing adequate security is null, void and run contrary to extant law guiding the league. That preventing the away team from entering the stadium since arrival at 2:25 till 3:55 by the home team is a disrepute and unheard off in football with ABS worthy of been heavily sanction and that Group B2 cannot be concluded until Gateway’s protest is dealt with. Finally, Gateway FC will seek and follow all football means to get justice  on this issue.

NFF stops cash for Eagles bonuses

Nff_logo1Players of the Super Eagles will no longer be paid their win bonuses by cash, beginning from next month’s World Cup qualifier, has specially gathered.

Players of the country’s team have been directed to open accounts with a particular local bank, where their win bonuses will now be paid.

“We have been asked to open foreign currency accounts with a bank where our bonuses will now be paid,” a player informed

This directive comes on the heels of a new financial policy pertaining to foreign currencies adopted by the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

This arrangement is one of the measures contained in a players’ code of conduct ,NFF president Amaju Pinnick announced will soon be implemented.

The Eagles as well as the various national teams have thus far been paid their bonuses in cash.

Last year, the country’s former sports minister Tammy Danagogo therefore had to fly with a presidential jet to Brazil with over three million US dollars to pay the team appearance bonuses for the World Cup.

8 Key Golden Eaglets Facts Ahead Of U-17 World Cup

amuneke.jpgThe Golden Eaglets will start the defence of their FIFA U-17 World Cup title in Chile when they take on the United States of America in the torunament’s opening game on Saturday. The Eaglets who didn’t do too well at the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Niger, will hope to emulate their predecessors by winning a fifth title for Nigeria.
As millions of Nigerians will be backing the team to do well in Chile,’s JAMES AGBEREBI lists out EIGHT interesting facts about the Eaglets since making their debut in China in 1985…
Since the Golden Eaglets started appearing at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, they are yet to lose their opening game. It is on record that they have played 10 opening games, recorded six wins and four draws. (1985: Nigeria 1-0 Italy) (1987: Nigeria 1-1 Soviet Union) (1989: Nigeria 4-0 Canada) (1993: Nigeria 8-0 Canada) (1995: Nigeria 1-1 Qatar) (2001: Nigeria 2-1 France) (2003: Nigeria 1-1 Costa Rica) (2007: Nigeria 2-1 France) (2009: Nigeria 3-3 Germany) (2013: Nigeria 6-1 Mexico).

At the 1993 edition in Japan, the Golden Eaglets walloped Canada 8-0 in their first game of the tournament. It was their biggest opening day win ever. Goals from Nwankwo Kanu (hat-trick), Peter Anosike (brace) Ibrahim Babangida (brace) and Festus Odini, sealed the emphatic win for the Eaglets. The closest to this was in 2013 in the UAE where they beat Mexico 6-1.

The Golden Eaglets have not tasted defeat in the semi-final of the U-17 World Cup. They have a knack of always progressing into the final whenever they reach the last four: (1985: NIGERIA 1-1 GUINEA, WON 4-2 ON PEN.) (1987: Nigeria 1-0 Italy) (1993: Nigeria 2-1 Poland) (2001: Nigeria 5-1 Australia) (2007: Nigeria 3-1 Germany) (2009: Nigeria 3-1 Spain) (2013: Nigeria 3-0 Sweden).

One sour aspect of the Golden Eaglets is that they’ve never gone on to win in a final match at the U-17 World Cup after conceding first. All the three defeats they’ve suffered in the final, the opponents scored first. Against Soviet Union in 1987, Philip Osondu drew the Eaglets level after Yuri Nikiforov had put the Europeans ahead. And in the penalty shootout, the Eaglets lost 4-2.
At the 2001 edition in Trinidad and Tobago, they crumbled 3-0 in the final to France despite beating them 2-1 in their opening group game.
And in the 2009 edition which was hosted in Nigeria, a less fancied Switzerland side shocked the Eaglets inside the Abuja National Stadium with a 1-0 win. Despite dominating a large part of the game, the Swiss scored against the run of play and held on in spite of a relentless onslaught from the Eaglets.
Though the Eaglets have defeated European teams on two occassions before in the final of the U-17 World Cup (West Germany and Spain), their three defeats in finals have only been to European teams: (1987: Soviet Union, 2001: France and 2009: Switzerland).

The Golden Eaglets have crossed paths with African teams three times at the U-17 World Cup, and have emerged victors in all three meetings.
They first met Guinea at the semi-final of the maiden edition in China and won 4-2 in a penalty shootout. Regulation time ended 1-1. In Japan 1993, they squared up against Ghana in the final and triumphed 2-1. And in the 2001 edition, they managed a 1-0 win against Burkina Faso in the semi-final.

The first time the Golden Eaglets faced the host team at the U-17 World Cup was against Japan in 1993 in the quarter-final. They went on to win 2-1 with goals from Wilson Oruma and Festus Odini. This year’s edition will see them take on the host country for the second time in their history in the tournament.

The Golden Eaglets have only suffered defeats twice at the U-17 World Cup. And it is surprising that it has only come against Asian teams.
The first was in Scotland 1989 where they lost 2-0 on penalty shootout to Saudi Arabia, who went on to win the tournament. And the second time they experienced a loss in the quarter-final was in Ecuador 1995, losing 2-1 to Oman despite taking the lead from the penalty spot.

Okwaraji, a great patriot and consummate professional- Pinnick

Late Sam Okwaraji
Late Sam Okwaraji

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick has praised the patriotism and professionalism of Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji, who died on August 12, 1989 while playing for the Senior National Team in a 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Angola at the National Stadium, Lagos.

On the eve of the 26th anniversary of the unfortunate incident that saw one of the brightest midfielders in Nigeria football history die of cardiac arrest, Pinnick put a call through to Lady Jane Okwaraji, Samuel’s mother who lives in Owerri.

“Mama, there is nothing I can say other than to tell you to continue to take solace in the fact that Sochukwuma was a star for Nigeria, a name that no one has been able to forget no matter how much they tried. He was the quintessential professional and patriot per excellence.

“Please be rest assured that Sochukwuma will continue to be in our hearts and consciousness. He was a rare gem. I assure you that the NFF will continue to keep in touch with you.”

Pinnick recalled that as a young boy, he was at the National Stadium to watch the big match only to go home with a heavy heart after news broke of Okwaraji’s tragic departure.

“It was a horrible day, for someone like me and several other Nigerians who were right inside the National Stadium, Lagos that day. By all accounts, Sam Okwaraji was a consummate professional and was a shining example of patriotic fervor.”

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi was also one of the scores of thousands of fans at the National Stadium, Lagos that fateful day.

Sanusi said: “That was a day better –forgotten. We lost one of the most dedicated and committed players to have featured for any of the National Teams.”

A doctorate degree student of law, Okwaraji slumped under his own weight 13 minutes to the end of the match and was confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital.

Patrick Okwaraji, Samuel’s brother, said after the phone call by the NFF President. “We are grateful to the NFF President for his phone call. At least, Mama is feeling better now.”

On Wednesday, the portrait of the late midfielder would be displayed round the eight venues of the Federation Cup quarter –finals in remembrance of him: Enugu, Benin City, Neros Stadium, Oleh, Lokoja, Abuja, Ilorin and Makurdi.

NFF/Keshi Saga: NSC seeks out-of-court settlement

Keshi.jpgThe legal battle between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and sacked Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi may be settled out of court following the intervention of the National Sports Commission (NSC) on the matter.

Keshi dragged the NFF to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) demanding to be paid N1 billion as compensation for his sack last month as the chief coach of the team by the federation

NSC Director General, Alhasan Yakmut, who revealed the intention of the Commission to intervene in the matter, urged both parties to embrace a more effective Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) strategy.

He said: “Let me admit that I have personally gotten the letter of the suit but instead of replying, I rather opted to inform the NFF, asking them if they were aware that Keshi has gone to court, which they admitted knowledge of .

“It is left for them, the architects of the contract that engaged and disengaged Keshi to ensure that there is no provision of the engagement that is violated. As for us, we will advise that both parties should use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to settle their disagreement because it is now the most reliable and dependable way of resolving family crisis.

“I want to assure you that is what we are going to apply to manage this crisis between NFF and the very respectable Keshi. We are going to certainly mediate in the crisis because it is my primary assignment.

NFF seeks partnership with Germany

Nff_logo1The Nigeria Football Federation has moved to formalise closer relationship with Germany in all football matters.

The Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria, Mr. Dietmar Kreusel, met with top NFF officials on Tuesday in Abuja as they highlighted the achievements Germany has recorded in world football.

“Germany are not only the reigning champions of the world in football, the country is also a strong economic power. We have come here to express our intention to make Germany our model for development of the game of football,” NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, said.

“We desire to partner with the DFB (Germany Football Federation) and the German league. The NFF is presently doing a lot in the area of development of the game in Nigeria. We are requesting support for our developmental programme for women’s football, as well as capacity building for our referees and coaches.

“In view of our various programmes, we are requesting that Your Excellency initiate an easier procedure for our officials – NFF Executive Committee members, management and staff – to secure entry visas into Germany for football programmes.”

NFF 2nd Vice President/Chairman, League Management Company, Mr. Shehu Dikko, added: “Our checks have shown that the Bundesliga is the top model league in the world. The Nigeria Professional Football League is ready to adopt this model.

“We have had discussions with the CEO of the Bundesliga, and our plan involves sending some of our club managers to Germany to go and see how it is done in that country. “

Ambassador Kreusel, who confirmed that he is a big supporter of German Bundesliga club, Mainz 05 (the club of Super Eagles’ defender Leon Balogun), assured that the requests by the NFF would be looked into.

“Nigeria and Germany have always maintained very close relations. I recall that one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first visits outside Nigeria after inauguration was to Germany. That shows how close our ties are,” he said.