Vincent Enyeama has been mooted for a return to the Super Eagles for the World Cup, but Gernot Rohr has said the veteran shot-stopper would not make the squad to Russia due to his lack of game time

Enyeama retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 but discourse on him returning to the team has been on the table for months, but Rohr has adduced that the Lille goalkeeper lack of game time at his club meant he was out of the team for Russia.

The 101 capped Nigerian international last featured for the first team of Lille in the game against Rennes last April.

And speaking to reporters at Aiteo/Nigeria Football Federation Awards, Rohr as quoted by Vanguard said Enyeama would not be part of his team for the World Cup.

“He {Enyeama} is not playing anywhere, so we cannot take players who are not playing,” Rohr said.

“We are working hard to have the best of our legs taken to Russia and we don’t have the best luxury of naming a player that has not been playing in recent time.

“Each time we have a problem, there is always a good answer and I hope it will be the same for the World Cup.

“We currently have so many players in camp and we want to continue monitoring them. The most important thing is for them to be in best shape for the Mundial.”

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Two African teams will be at the semis, and Nigeria will win the World Cup – Amokachi

With Rohr ruling Enyeama out of the World Cup, The Franco-German would be left to pick three amongst Francis Uzuoho, Daniel Akpeyi, Dele Ajiboye, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye that would represent the country at the World Cup.

All the available options for Rohr are deemed inexperienced at the highest level.

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Former Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi has predicted that African countries would fare well at this year World Cup and added that the Super Eagles would emerge as the winner of the Mundial.

Getting to the quarter finals was the highest feat African countries as attained at the World Cup – feats achieved by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 but Amokachi, who represented Nigeria at the 1994 and 1998 World Cup predicted that the feat would be usurped in Russia

According to him, three African countries would reach the quarters of the World Cup, two in the semis and Nigeria would emerge winner of the Mundial.

The former Everton striker made the statement at the partnership signing between the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) and Nigerian Breweries and he was quoted by vanguard to have said: “ I was asked in the studio where I work about the chances of African representatives at the World Cup this year, I was emphatic.

“I said four teams from Africa would be in the second round, three teams from Africa would be in the quarter final, two in the semi-final and one will be in the final.

“And Nigeria will win the World Cup. That is what I believe. You may have your own belief.”

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Rohr: Enyeama, Ajiboye, Ezenwa in contention for Russia, Eagles to camp in Austria

Nigeria will kick-start their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium before facing Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

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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.

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Gernot Rohr has revealed that the quartet of Vincent Enyeama, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and Daniel Akpeyi were in contention to make the team to the World Cup.

The Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles in recent times had to shuffle his pack in the goalkeeping department after Carl Ikeme, the then first choice of the team was diagnosed with acute leukemia.

Vincent Enyeama, who retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 has been mooted for a possible return to the team while the duo of Ezenwa and Ajiboye starred for the CHAN Eagles that lost to Morocco in the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) final.

Akpeyi, on the other hand, has been asked to be dropped by some sections of Nigerian fans aftermath his appalling display in the Eagles 4-2 defeat of Argentina in a friendly match last November but Rohr disclosed that the Chippa United goalkeeper alongside Enyeama, Ezenwa and Ajiboye stood a chance of representing Nigeria at the World Cup.

The Franco-German, who according to completesports disclosed that the Eagles would camp in Austria said he wanted three players each for the outfield positions, while four or five goalkeepers would do battle for the available three slots.

“The idea is to have three players for every position in camp from where I would probably pick the best two each and three of the five goalkeepers for the World Cup in Russia,” Rohr told completesports.

“Akpeyi and Enyeama are still in contention for World Cup places if they are in good health, fitness and good form. But Ezenwa and Dele {Ajiboye} have been good, and if they continue to improve, we will love that because World Cup is a big stage.

Spotkick reported that Eagles’ forward Ahmed Musa said the Super Eagles had set the bar of reaching either the quarter final or semis of the Russia 2018 World Cup, Rohr also re-echoed similar stance – saying that the Eagles had set a target of reaching at least the quarter final.

He submitted that with the kind of programs that had been mapped for the Super Eagles, the team would fare well in Russia.

“We have set a target to reach the quarter final of the World Cup …. We have a good program going to Russia with series of friendly games that will put us in shape for the World Cup,” Rohr added.

 

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The Mathematician said the late Rashidi Yekini visited him last Wednesday

20 children will never play for 20 years but no matter what, memories will always be there to savour irrespective of the number of years.

Segun Odegbami, the mathematician has fondly called, has put up a post on how the Late Rashidi Yekini visited him in his office last Wednesday.

As quoted by nigeriafilms.com, Odegbami wrote, “I had an extraordinary encounter with Rashidi Yekini today in my office. When I arrived home a few minutes ago I saw a posting about Rashidi again on FB by someone lamenting how Nigerians have forgotten the gangly one. Then it crossed my mind that the FB posting I stumbled on was a call for me to tell Nigerians about my beautiful encounter with the great Yekini.

“I have just moved into a new office. I am trying to resurrect my studios that have been ‘dead’ for over a decade. My machines and equipment are obsolete and the parts cannot be found anywhere in the world. We have searched the internet and some 6 years ago I managed to buy some old but working machines from Pakistan that also packed up soon after. So I have been left frustrated with archival materials that cannot be transferred and seen again. Or so I thought until a few days ago.

“Kunle Oladeinde, my friend and colleague in the media business, called and told me he had found a man that can fix my old machines. To cut a long story short, the man turns out to come from my village of Wasimi. He is a retired engineer who knew me very well and we had known each other without knowing that we would need each other for something special that has now turned out to be a divine intervention. He came to my office some 6 or so days ago, took one look at all my dead machines and equipment and told me he could fix them all.

“It has been 7 (seven) days or so since we reconnected but this morning the miracle happened. 3 different dead machines were miraculously revived by this genius from Wasimi. He is working on the rest. When I went to check up on him this afternoon in the studio he was watching an interview of Rashidi Yekini that I did with him some 25 years ago on the eve of the final match against Algeria that qualified Nigeria for her first World Cup. I was mesmerized because I could not remember I did any such interview. It was just between the two of us alone in a hotel room or so. It was the longest and the most detailed interview of Rashidi l ever saw up to that point in his life.

“Rashidi hated to grant interviews so there is not much you will find anywhere. But here he tells me about his early life, his journey through the game from Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire and to Europe, his mentors, his family, and his hopes for the future, all in unbelievable beautiful fluid English! It is an incredible piece of history. Until now I did not know what to do with it, but seeing this post on FB is the response I needed.

“I shall clean it up and put it out there for all to see and hear from Rashidi Yekini himself…a full 25 minutes of him telling me his own story. Watch out for it soon through a medium I shall let everyone know.”

 

 

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The former Kano Pillars winger has revealed that the Eagles harbour no fear over their World Cup group stage meeting with Argentina.

Nigeria were drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina and ahead of the meeting with the latter billed for June 26 at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, Ahmed Musa in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com said the Eagles are not petrified by the quality of the Albiceleste of Argentina and that of other countries that will be at the World Cup.

Musa scored a brace when the two sides (Nigeria and Argentina) in Brazil but a Lionel Messi’s brace and a goal from Marcus Rojo ensured the Albiceleste maintained their winning records over Nigeria – making it four wins in four meetings at the Mundial.


Musa celebrating his second goal against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup (Getty Image)

According to him, Eagles’ failure to book a place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations motivated the Eagles during the qualifying series and the team is well prepared to face any team at the World Cup.

“When we realised we weren’t going to make it to the Africa Cup of Nations (last year), we decided that we were going to fight for the people of Nigeria.

“It doesn’t matter who we come up against; we’ll be giving it our best shot at the World Cup.

“We’ll be trying our hardest in every match, no matter the opposition.”

He added, “We need to set our sights high. Nigeria want to do more than just get pass the group phase.

“We want to make the quarter-finals and even the semis. Why not.”

The winger who has been warned by Gernot Rohr to look for a new club to be in a good position to make the World Cup squad has been reported to have agreed a temporary deal to leave Leicester City to join former club CSKA Moscow till the end of the season.

Musa spent four seasons with CSKA Moscow – scoring 53 goals in 169 appearances for the Russian based club.


(Getty image)

He expressed hopes of making his second appearance at the World Cup – describing the World as a very important event.

“I hope I get selected. The World Cup is a vey important event for any player,” he concluded.

 

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Adult fans to pay £18 while Junior fans are to pay £10

The Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF )has confirmed that fans will pay between £10 to £18 for the friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Serbian national team billed for March 27 of this year.

The friendly match has been scheduled to take place in London, but a specific venue has not been announced yet

According to a tweet on the NFF verified Twitter account, tickets for adults will go for £18 (around 9,200) while that of the juniors will go for £10 (around 5,200).

The tweet read, “The road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup continues: join the @NG Super Eagles in London on March 27th for the game against Serbian National team. Tickets start from £18 for adults and £10 for juniors.#SoarSuperEagles #NGASRB.”

Spotkick reported that the 2013 African champion will also lock horns with the three Lions of England in a friendly match scheduled for June 2. 

The friendly game against the Gareth Southgate led boys was reported to be the last of the friendly games the NFF has set aside to prepare the Super Eagles for the World Cup, where they will meet the trio of Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in the group stage.

Other friendly games lined up for the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup are against Poland, DR Congo and Czech Republic.

 

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Former Super Eagles’ captain Nwankwo Kanu, through his manager, Onyebuchi Abia has confirmed the sale of Papilo FC.

Scorenigeria reported that Kanu sold Papilo's slot in the Nigeria National League (NNL) to Calabar Rovers.

Reports have it that the former Arsenal striker was frustrated over bias by match officials, who he claims do favour government-owned clubs.

On why Kanu sold the club, his manager, Abia quashed talks of frustration and cited Kanu’s passion to channel his funds towards his youth football academy as the reason for selling the club

According to Abia, the former Eagles’ captain believes his academy (Kanu Academy) has more prospect.

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“Yes I can confirm to you that he has sold Papilo FC,” Abia, as quoted by TheCableng.

“His plans now is to channel his finances on his pet project, the Kanu Academy, which he adores as a future prospect.

“He does not want to be drawn into the stories that teams that win in the league are teams that spend money and not the best teams.

“Kanu is a major stakeholder in Nigerian football and desires all that is positive for Nigerian football.”

 

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NFF confirms Super Eagles, England friendly

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 18:54

Eagles to face England at Wembley on June 2

The Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) has confirmed that the Super Eagles will lock horns with the Three Lions of England at the Wembley Stadium on June 2 of this year.

The match will be the last of the four friendly matches the NFF had set aside to prepare the team for the World Cup.

The two sides have met three times in the past - with a win a piece and a draw for the two sides.

NFF 1st Vice President on the NFF official website confirmed the meeting between the two sides (Nigeria and England).

Akinwunmi told thenff.com: “Now, we are happy to say that it is all sealed. Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities.

“We have other matches and programs for the team, and we will soon roll out the entire plan for matches, camping sites and training camps.”

Akinwunmi added that the choice of England was as a result of the NFF trying to be strategic to get the best preparation for the three-time African Champions.

“We decided to be strategic in our choice of opponents for the Super Eagles leading to the World Cup, and in total agreement with the preferences of the Technical Adviser.That is why we opted for England. We played Argentina (in November 2017) without even knowing we were going to be in the same group at the Finals,” He added.

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Meanwhile, The Technical Adviser of the team, Gernot Rohr has revealed that England would give the Eagles a good test.

The Franco-German said the game would be a good conduit to test the Eagles for the World Cup.

“This is good news for myself and the entire team,” Rohr said.

“England is a very strong team presently and I believe they will give us a very good match. We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley.”

The Super Eagles will also face Poland on the 23rd of March

Also 27th of March and 27th of May had been slated for friendly matches with countries, whose identities had not been disclosed by the NFF.

 

 

 

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Oshola is an honour to Nigeria - Rohr

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 17:41

Super Eagles Technical Adviser has described the 2017 African Women Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala as an honour to Nigeria.

Oshoala, last week, ousted the duo of Cameroon ’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and South Africa ’s Chrestina Kgatlana to emerge as the best female footballer on the Africa continent.

Though still saddened by Moses’s failure to make the CAF top three best, Rohr said Oshoala had made Nigeria proud.

The Franco-German noted that the three-time African best was an example for female footballers.

On the CAF award, Rohr told Supersports, “I was a little bit disappointed for Victor Moses because he ideally ought to be a nominee but he was not nominated when people were voting in November, he was injured.

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“But Asisat (Oshoala) was the honour of the country for winning the Africa women award.

“I was very happy for her. She’s an example of female football and beautiful girl like her can play good football.”

Rohr, himself missed out of winning the CAF Coach of the Year – as Hector Cooper, edged the 64-year-old and Hugo Broos to lift the gong.

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