The Erstwhile goalkeeper of the Super Eagles as compared playing at the World Cup with going to the Holy Pilgrimage of Mecca.

Ike Shorunmu, who was behind the sticks for Nigeria at the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup said players got an unprecedented treatment playing at the World Cup

Describing the feeling of playing at the World Cup in an interview with Punch, Shorunmu said: It’s the Mecca of football. When you appear at the World Cup, it’s like a president visiting another man’s country with the kind of treatment you are given by the hosts.

“It’s very interesting. Believe me, you can’t compare it to any other competition; it’s a special tournament. From the airport, you get a welcome party to your hotel, the security and atmosphere are amazing.”

The 35 capped international, who missed out on making the Eagles’ squad to the 1994 and 1998 World Cup described missing out at the latter as the worst memories of the World Cup.

He added that keeping Super Eagles’ first game at the 2002 World Cup, a game Nigeria lost 1-0 to Argentina was his best World Cup moment.

”I missed the 1998 World Cup and it remains my worst because there was a lot of noise that I would be there,” Shorunmu said.

“There was advertisement and even a shooting session ahead of the competition but it was like I was destined not to appear at that World Cup.”

He added, “My best moment was playing our first game against Argentina at Korea/Japan 2002. The pressure on the team was on me, that “Ike, you are the one we are hoping on.

“But I couldn’t do it alone, it’s a team work. But I achieved something at the World Cup with my performances against the Argentines.”

Published in Awa Football

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed staging a new tournament, featuring eight international teams, every two years.

The tournament, known as the 'Final 8', would be the climax of a global Nations League competition, which is part of an ambitious plan to reform international football which FIFA believes could be worth $25billion in a 12-year cycle.

Infantino, according to Reuters, said an unidentified group of investors had proposed spending $25billion to secure the rights to the tournament, which would take place every October and/or November of every odd year starting from 2021.

The Confederations Cup, currently staged every four years in a year before the World Cup, would be abolished.

The letter did not clearly indicate how many slots would be allocated to each region.

The plans were sent by Infantino to the members of FIFA's decision-making Council which still has to approve them.

UEFA and its counterpart for North and Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF, have already set up Nations League contests in their own continents.

In both cases, the competitions involve all the national teams in their respective regions who are divided into divisions based on their rankings.

There is promotion and relegation between the divisions, as in conventional domestic club leagues. UEFA's inaugural competition will begin in September this year.

Other continents would have to set up similar competitions for the tournament to be viable.

 

(Skysports)

Published in International Watch

The 1994 African Footballer of the Year claims he missed winning the FIFA World Player of the Year because he is an African.

Emmanuel Amuneke has revealed that he was denied of winning football most covetous award because he started his football career in Africa.

The 47-year-old who played for Barcelona from 1996-2000 made the statement during the unveiling of LaLiga Nigerian office in Lagos last weekend.

Amuneke, as quoted by Guardian.ng, “I usually tell some of my friends that if I had started my football career as a European player, maybe, I would have won the World Footballer of the year award.

“Unfortunately, I started from Nigeria and only God knows why.”

Spotkick reported last year that former South Africa and Blackburn Rovers forward claimed several African legends were snubbed for the FIFA World Player of the Year award because African players are not good for marketing.

McCarthy claimed that FIFA view African players as unmarketable – making the World Football Governing Body preferring European players for the award.

“We are not (African players) eye catching in Europe” Mcarthy, said. “We are players that they look past because they look for the more lucrative, worthy players that will sell more newspapers sell more magazines and be more of an attraction.

“If an African player wins it there is not a lot of attraction but, if Gareth Bale wins it, if Rooney wins it – it is World news, breaking news.

“Yaya Toure has been there but never been recognized, Didier Drogba has been there; never recognized, Samuel Eto’o has been there; never recognized, Jay Jay Okocha has been there; never recognized, Nwankwo Kanu … I could go on, the list can go on but we’ve not been recognized,” McCarthy concluded.

George Weah is the only African player to have won the FIFA Player of the Year Award.

The Liberian President achieved the feat in 1995 for his goal scoring and individual brilliance for both Paris Saint-German and AC Milan.

 

Published in Awa Football

The Super Eagles of Nigeria has given “football fans unforgettable memories” at the World Cup, says Federation of International Football Association ( FIFA ).

The three-time African Champions will be making their sixth appearance at the World Cup later this year in Russia and FIFA has paid tribute to Nigeria and some of her ex players who had lit up the World Cup in the past.

In a text to back some of the video clips of the Super Eagles at the World Cup shared on the FIFA website, the World governing body of football wrote: “The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will mark Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the global finals. The African side made their debut at USA 1994, winning over supporters across the world with their exciting brand of football as they bowed out at the Round of 16 against eventual finalists Italy.

“…From Daniel Amokachi to Emmanuel Amunike, Sunday Oliseh to Jay-Jay Okocha, the high-flying Super Eagles have given football fans some unforgettable memories. We pay tribute to some of the Nigeria icons who have made their mark on the World Cup.”

The Super Eagles were the first side to qualify from the African continent and have been drawn in Group D against Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa has revealed that the team was prepared to make it pass the group stage as they’ve set a quarter final or semi-final agenda.

The Technical Adviser of the side, Gernot Rohr has also backed Musa stance – saying quarter final was the minimum the Super Eagles wanted to reach at the World Cup.

Published in Awa Football

The Federation of International football Association (FIFA) has sanctioned the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for fielding ineligible player in the World Cup qualifier against Algeria last month.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player in the match between Algeria and Nigeria on 10 November 2017.

In one of the recent latest decisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, FIFA has awarded the November 10 World Cup qualifier which ended 1-1 between Nigeria and Algeria in favour of Algeria.

The match is declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Algeria, with the NFF also receiving a fine of CHF 6,000 about N2,177,280.

The sanction relates to the player Abdullahi Shehu failing to serve the automatic one-match suspension imposed on him as a result of receiving a caution in two separate matches of the same competition.A

Abdullahiwas booked in the previous game against Zambia on November 2017 - adding to his earlier booking against Swaziland in the preliminary qualifier in November 2015 -- and should have been suspended against Algeria, but the NFF failed to pick up on it and coach Gernot Rohr field the player for 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, the sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria had already qualified (and Algeria eliminated) before the match took place.

Published in Awa Football