Connect with us

Sport

Middlesbrough sacks Woodgate, appoints Warnock as manager

Published

on

Relegation-threatened Championship side Middlesbrough on Tuesday sacked former England international Jonathan Woodgate as manager and appointed veteran Neil Warnock as his replacement.

The announcement came after a 3-0 defeat to Swansea City at the Riverside on Saturday left the second tier side above the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Middlesbrough won nine of their 38 league matches under Woodgate, a former club captain and Real Madrid defender, who was appointed on a three-year deal in June last year.

Middlesbrough said that Woodgate had been relieved of his role on Tuesday morning, with 71-year-old Warnock taking over at his 16th club with immediate effect.

Woodgate had served on Boro’s coaching staff under former manager Tony Pulis, his predecessor, who left after failing to secure promotion to the Premier League.

Warnock holds the record for most promotions in English soccer with a career tally of eight after guiding Cardiff City to the Premier League in 2018.

He left them last November after relegation and a poor start to the season. (Reuters/BOG)

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Georgina Bode: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

Woodgate named Middlesbrough head coach on three-year deal

Published

on

Middleborough have appointed their former captain Jonathan Woodgate as head coach on a three-year deal, the Championship club said on Friday.

Woodgate previously served on Boro’s coaching staff under former manager Tony Pulis, who left last month after failing to secure promotion to the Premier League.

“Middlesbrough Football Club are delighted to confirm that Jonathan Woodgate will head up a new-look senior coaching team,”Boro said in a statement.

Continue Reading

General news

Ajayi scores again for Rotherham, as Mikel and Etebo feature for Middlesbrough, Stoke

Published

on

Championship

Abuja, March 17, 2019 Nigeria defender Semi Ajayi continued his impressive goalscoring form for Rotherham United who fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Norwich City in their English Championship clash on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ajayi has now scored in three consecutive games for Rotherham United.

The Super Eagles defender has found the back of the net on six different occasions in 38 English Championship appearances for the Millers this season.

Young Nigerian forward Joshua Kayode was an unused substitute for Rotherham United in the game.

In another Championship match on Saturday, John Mikel Obi also ended on the losing side with Middlesbrough at the Villa Park in Birmingham, losing 0-3 to Aston Villa.

Mikel who was on for 90 minutes in the game was cautioned in the 52nd minute.

He has made nine appearances for Tony Pulis’ men since his arrival at the club in winter.

Oghenekaro Etebo made a return to Stoke City’s starting line-up in their 0-0 home draw against Reading after missing the Potters’ previous two Championship games due to groin injury.

Etebo played the entire duration of the game at the Bet365 Stadium, even though he also received a yellow card in the 73rd minute.

The Super Eagles’ midfielder has made 26 appearances in the Championship and has scored a goal for Stoke City thus far this season.

Continue Reading

Sport

Wasteful West Brom move to Championship summit in spite of Birmingham draw

Published

on

West Bromwich Albion moved to the top of England’s second-tier Championship in spite of being held to a goalless draw by Birmingham City at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

West Brom looked rusty on their return to action after a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with their profligacy in front of goal proving costly.

In spite of the two dropped points, Slaven Bilic’s side moved top on goal difference, ahead of second-placed Leeds United, who travel to Cardiff City on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Swansea striker Rhian Brewster scored the first goal of the Championship’s return in a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.

The Liverpool loanee pounced on a loose ball inside the Middlesbrough penalty area and slotted past goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic before unveiling a t-shirt with the message “our colour is not a crime”.

Brewster added a second three minutes later before Andre Ayew’s penalty kick sealed a 3-0 victory for the visitors, who climbed to eighth place.

The defeat left Middlesbrough in 21st and outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

At Craven Cottage, Fulham’s bid for automatic promotion was dealt a massive blow as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat by Brentford.

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, the league’s top scorer with 23 goals, missed a series of gilt-edged opportunities before Brentford winger Said Benrahma put his side in front in the 89th minute.

Substitute Emiliano Marcondes added Brentford’s second in stoppage time to seal the victory and move them to within one point of third-placed Fulham.

Meanwhile, Derby County kept themselves in contention for a top-six finish after edging out Millwall 3-2, with 18-year-old midfielder Louie Sibley netting a hat-trick.

Barnsley, second from bottom, breathed new life into their bid for survival as they eked out a 1-0 victory against 13th-placed Queens Park Rangers.

They moved to within four points of the safety zone.

Elsewhere, sixth-placed Preston North End were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom-side Luton Town.

Also, Charlton Athletic, who were without their top scorer Lyle Taylor, moved out of the relegation zone and into 19th.

They secured a 1-0 win against Hull City, who dropped into the bottom three.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

Continue Reading

General news

AFCON 2019: We expect the best from Rohr’s 23-man squad — Baribote

Published

on

By

Squad

Abuja, June 11, 2019 Victor Baribote, former Vice-President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), says the country is in high expectations from the Gernort Rohr’s  23-man Super Eagles squad, ahead of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled for June 21 to July 19 in Egypt.

Baribote said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, while reacting to the selection of the squad.

He noted that he and other Nigerian football enthusiasts would want the country to lift the trophy for the fourth time in Egypt.

“As a Nigerian, I wish the players in the squad the best of luck to lift the Cup.

“The list is okay based on the coach’s assessment; so, what we are expecting now is good result, not excuses,” Baribote said.

He, however, congratulated the players who made the squad, urging them not to disappoint Nigerians.

According to the former NFF vice-president, the secret of success of every team is cohesion and team work.

He advised the players to play as a team in Egypt to enable them to go far in the competition.

NAN reports that Gernot Rohr and the players are already in Ismailia, Egypt, for one-week intensive pre-AFCON camping.

The Eagles will face the Teranga Lions of Senegal in their last warm-up fixture on this weekend.

The final 23-man squad are:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa).

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Troost-Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany).

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain).

Continue Reading

General news

Super Eagles begin camping for AFCON Egypt 2019 on Sunday

Published

on

Nigeria’s final preparations for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which will hold in Egypt is set to begin on Sunday, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Friday.

Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that the preparations would begin when invited players, alongside the technical crew and administrative staff, start arriving in Asaba.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Asaba hosted the 2018 Aiteo Cup finals and the international friendly between the Super Eagles and Uganda’s Cranes in November 2018.

Since then, the Super Eagles have hosted Seychelles in the Delta state capital city in an AFCON qualifier and hosted Egypt in a friendly.

The city was also the setting for the under-23 national team’s thrashing of Libya in an Under-23 AFCON qualifier in March 2019.

Olajire said the Eagles’ backroom staff are expected to arrive in full on Sunday, with some players also expected, while the larger population of the players expected on Monday.

“This first phase of camping will also take in a friendly match, against equally Egypt-bound Warriors of Zimbabwe, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on June 8,’’ he said.

The NFF spokesman said the players and officials would travel to the Egyptian city of Ismailia the following day aboard a chartered flight.

“They will stay at the Hotel Mercure and spend a full week perfecting tactics and strategies, before taking on Africa’s number one-ranked team Senegal in another friendly in Ismailia.

“On June 17, the three-times champions will travel to Alexandria, the venue of their Group B matches against Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar,’’ he added.

NAN reports that the team’s Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, had invited 25 players to the camp, with six other players — among them three home-based professionals — on standby.

25 EAGLES FOR AFCON 2019 CAMP

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy)

Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China)

Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Six On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)

OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

Continue Reading

General news

AFCON 2019: Row among fans over Rohr’s Super Eagles team list

Published

on

Some soccer fans and journalists have expressed divergent opinions on Super Eagles’ 25-man provisional list for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) just released by Coach Gernot Rohr.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that preparation of the senior national team toward AFCON was hot-up when Rohr released the 25-man provisional list on Tuesday for camping in Asaba.

The composition of players that made the list came as no surprise as it includes the team’s regulars, save some players which many think should not make the list.

Some are, however, quick to query the inclusion of Eagles captain Mikel Obi who had yet to play for the team after their exit at the group stage of the  2018 World Cup.

Others also wondered why the inclusion of “out-of-form” Leicester City Striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, in the team.

The Super Eagles will begin their quest for the fourth glory when the biennial football hostilities takes centre stage in Egypt starting from June 21 to July 19.

The former Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Lagos State, Fred Edoreh, in his opinion, justified the inclusion of both players, saying that the coach should know better.

“I do not think it is out of order to recall Obi to the team, any team with a blend of youthfulness and experience will surely do well at any competition.

“Inviting Mikel is good because I think his experience is also needed in the team, going by his contributions during the World Cup.

“For Kelechi Iheanacho, his invitation is a 50-50 chance because people see him as a good player who contributes to the team. For the coach, he may probably believe that he will pick up again.

“Sometimes the decision to field a player rest on the perception of the coach and more than that, it is good to give people chance. I also believe the coach wants to be successful as well,’’ he said.

A veteran sports journalist with TVC, Solo Ajuziogu, said that both players might have outlived their relevance in the team, wandering what positives the coach wants to derive from their inclusion.

“It seems that the coach does not have an idea of what he wants to do or he feels that the team can be a rehabilitation centre for non-performing players.

“Of what importance is the invitation of Mikel into the team? Throughout the entire qualification stage of AFCON, Mikel did not kick a ball or contribute anything toward the qualification.

“Maybe Rohr have a humorous sense of justice to have invited Mikel, although he claimed to have discussed his return to the team.

“The fact remains that we have several players who can play Mikel’s role now. We have Oghenekaro Etebo, Moses Simon, Wilfred Ndidi and others, besides why not give others chance to prove themselves,’’ he said.

The Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Olympic Committee, Phemmy Adetula, pointed out that the inclusion might be justifiable, owing to his experience and role in the team.

“When talking about competition like AFCON, we need experience because since the exit of Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo, it is Mikel that has been shouldering the responsibility of leadership in the team.

“We cannot forget in a hurry his contributions during the Olympics, although many did not like his relocation to China, but he is now back in England; I think we still need him.

“For Iheanacho, it is neither here nor there because since he got to Manchester City team, he thought he has arrived which is not the case, to me, he is a lazy player.

“If the coach and technical crew can work on his psyche, maybe he can improve because many Nigerians think he has nothing to contribute to the team,’’ he said.

A soccer fan, Opeyemi Adedeji, said that though the coach knew what to do, the inclusion of Mikel and Iheanacho was a bad precedence to the team.

“The coach might have his reasons, but inviting Mikel is something we cannot fully accept because he truly deserted the team during the qualification stage preferring to face his club.

“Mikel’s allegiance to the team is questionable because as a team captain, he should have known better by supporting the team with his presence but he likes to choose when to play.

“For Iheanacho, for the coach to know that it is controversial, he should try and feel the impulse of Nigerians and he will know that his inclusion was done in bad faith.

“Why should a coach invite a bench warmer to a national team? Iheanacho’s last game at Manchester City speaks a lot of his loss of form, we don’t need him instead we should invite others,’’ he said.

A grassroots football player, Akeem Oladejo, said that Iheanacho’s form had dropped, hence he does not have any relevance in the team.

“Iheanacho in Super Eagles is not what we need now. He has lost his form, so he does not have anything to contribute again. The young man is sluggish and sometimes misses glaring chances.

“I think the coach needs to drop him because I don’t see him making the final list with his present form,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the team list includes: Goalkeepers, Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina Unietd), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa).

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey), Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey), William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton and Hove Albion, England).

Others are Keneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherdam United, England).

Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheva, Israel).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Odion Ighalo (Shangai Shenshua, China); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey).

Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain).

Nigeria is in Group B alongside, Guinea, Burundi and Madagascar.

Continue Reading

General news

Rohr lists Mikel, 24 others for 2019 AFCON camp, places 6 on standby

Published

on

Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr on Tuesday listed midfielder Mikel John Obi in a 25-man squad to prepare for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Egypt.

Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a statement said Rohr also placed six other players on standby.

Mikel, who captained the team at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia last year summer, had not been with the squad for some time now.

That was since Nigeria’s elimination from the Russia 2018 finals, after a 1-2 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg.

However, a recent meeting with Rohr in the UK sealed the former Chelsea FC player’s return to the three–times African champions, with the possibility of adding to his 85 international caps.

Rohr has largely kept faith with the players who earned a ticket to the AFCON finals with a match to spare.

Specifically, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon are also on the roll-call.

He has put on standby six players.

Among them are defenders Ikouwem Utin and Valentine Ozornwafor who have also been named in Nigeria’s final 21 for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup starting in Poland next week.

Rohr explained that he included the two players knowing the FIFA U-20 World Cup would end on June 15, six days before the first match will be played at the AFCON.

2018 FIFA World Cup defender Bryan Idowu is also placed on standby, alongside Portugal-based Mikel Agu and Egypt-based Junior Ajayi, as well as home-based goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.

All invited players and officials are to report in Asaba on June 2, ahead of the team’s friendly with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on June 8.

The team will depart for Egypt on June 9 aboard a chartered aircraft, to set up a final training camp in the city of Ismailia.

They are to tackle Senegal in their final pre-AFCON friendly on June 16.

Nigeria confront Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in that order in Group B of the 32nd AFCON holding in four Egyptian cities from June 21 to July 19.

THE 25 EAGLES LISTED FOR PRE-AFCON 2019 CAMP

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy)

Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China)

Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Six On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)

OLAL

Continue Reading

General news

Rohr lists Mikel, 24 others for 2019 AFCON camp, places 6 others on standby

Published

on

Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr on Tuesday listed midfielder Mikel John Obi in a 25-man squad to prepare for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Egypt.

Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a statement said Rohr also placed six other players on standby.

Mikel, who captained the team at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia last year summer, had not been with the squad for some time now.

That was since Nigeria’s elimination from the Russia 2018 finals, after a 1-2 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg.

However, a recent meeting with Rohr in the UK sealed the former Chelsea FC player’s return to the three–times African champions, with the possibility of adding to his 85 international caps.

Rohr has largely kept faith with the players who earned a ticket to the AFCON finals with a match to spare.

Specifically, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon are also on the roll-call.

He has put on standby six players.

Among them are defenders Ikouwem Utin and Valentine Ozornwafor who have also been named in Nigeria’s final 21 for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup starting in Poland next week.

Rohr explained that he included the two players knowing the FIFA U-20 World Cup would end on June 15, six days before the first match will be played at the AFCON.

2018 FIFA World Cup defender Bryan Idowu is also placed on standby, alongside Portugal-based Mikel Agu and Egypt-based Junior Ajayi, as well as home-based goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.

All invited players and officials are to report in Asaba on June 2, ahead of the team’s friendly with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on June 8.

The team will depart for Egypt on June 9 aboard a chartered aircraft, to set up a final training camp in the city of Ismailia.

They are to tackle Senegal in their final pre-AFCON friendly on June 16.

Nigeria confront Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in that order in Group B of the 32nd AFCON holding in four Egyptian cities from June 21 to July 19.

THE 25 EAGLES LISTED FOR PRE-AFCON 2019 CAMP

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy)

Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China)

Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Six On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)

OLAL

Continue Reading

General news

2019 AFCON: Rohr lists Mikel, Musa, 23 others, puts 6 others on standby

Published

on

Super Eagles’ coach Gernot Rohr  on Tuesday listed midfielder Mikel John Obi, Ahmed Musa and 23 others in a 25-man squad to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Egypt.

A statement issued by the Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, said that six other players were  put on standby.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Obi, who captained the team at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia last summer, had not been with the group since Nigeria’s elimination from the finals after a 1-2 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg.

However, a recent meeting with Coach Rohr in the United Kingdom sealed his return to the three –time African champions, with the possibility of adding to his 85 international caps.

Rohr has largely kept faith with the Trojans who earned a ticket to the AFCON finals with a match to spare.

”Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon are also on the roll-call.

”He has put on standby six players, among them defenders Ikouwem Utin and Valentine Ozornwafor who have also been named in Nigeria’s final 21 for the FIFA U20 World Cup starting in Poland next week.

”The Franco-German tactician explained that he has included the two players knowing the FIFA U20 World Cup will end on June 15, six days before the first match will be played at the AFCON.

”2018 FIFA World Cup defender Bryan Idowu is also on standby, alongside Portugal –based Mikel Agu and Egypt –based Junior Ajayi, and home –based goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai

All invited players and officials are to report at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Asaba, on Sunday, 2ndJune, ahead of the friendly with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday, 8th June,” the NFF official said.

He added that the team will depart for Egypt on Sunday, June 9, aboard a chartered aircraft, for the final training camp in the city of Ismailia and tackle Africa’s number one –ranked team, Senegal in their final pre-AFCON friendly on Sunday, June 16.

NAN reports that Nigeria has been drawn in Group B with Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in the tournament holding from June 21 to July 19

Full list of players

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Six On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC)

Continue Reading

Manchester City aren’t the only big spenders  —- Guardiola Wigan thrash struggling Hull 8-0, West Brom draw with Fulham Atalanta whip Brescia 6-2 to go second in Serie A No roars as Tiger makes return to sounds of silence Chelsea win to boost UEFA Champions League chances 7 persons suspected to operate illegal employment agencies arrested Former nurse admits killing 7 United States military retirees Abia doctors lament poor infrastructure, exposure to diseases WASCE: Nigeria’s non-participation will cause irreparable damage – Afe Babalola Illegal refining: NSCDC arrests 6 suspects as facility catches fire in Oregun, Lagos Delta Govt to begin property enumeration to raise IGR — Commissioner Lawyers back Supreme Court judgment on virtual court proceedings Sports Minister congratulates UFC Champion, Usman OPEC launches Annual Statistics Bulletin CBN unveils non-interest guidelines for AGSMEIS, MSMEDF, others  Retirees’ benefits: NLC commends FG’s decision to release N7.45 billion Oyo SWAN mourns ex-3SC boss Buhari won’t fail Nigerians on anti-graft war, says Presidency United States bows to pressure, rescinds policy targeting foreign students Police recover 2 anti-aircraft guns, others in Borno Election: APC ‘ll reclaim Edo, says Sylva Lagos SWAN mourns former Vice Chairman, Ukaigwe Rape: Don urges states to domesticate sexual, gender-based violence laws Tambuwal urges Northern stakeholders to inject more resources, capacity to rescue education Illicit oil storage causes fire outbreak at Oregun – LASEMA boss Enugu airport runway for completion Aug. 30 – aviation minister 2020 MSMEs awards hold virtually on July 16 – Presidency Coronavirus: FRSC cautions commercial drivers in Nasarawa against non-use of passengers’ manifest Trump to hold news conference on Tuesday: White House Supreme Court judgment: Gov. Diri dedicates victory to God FG evacuates 590 Nigerians from UK, 305 from Dubai Coronavirus: NCD Alliance gets grants to help non-communicable disease patients Google hit with 600,000 Euro Belgian privacy fine Okowa congratulates Diri on Supreme Court victory Enugu airport reopens Aug. 30 – Sirika FirstBank rewards its Verve Card holders with free fuel Pompeo hails UK ban of Huawei from 5G networks APC youths leaders laud Gov Akeredolu’s feat in Ondo Strike: NMA warns LASG against escalating impasse with medical doctors Lagos gov’t pays N8.7bn to retirees in 6 months China’s Wanda Film warn a loss 2 executed in Iran after bomb attack Masks, cameras, action! Film production restarts in Californiaho Imbibe spirit of engagement, negotiation for uninterrupted healthcare delivery- Doctors DR Congo police fire tear gas to disperse protests over election chief Kogi Govt. approves construction, reticulation of Osara Water Scheme Ogun assesses business outfits ahead of post Coronavirus operations NiMet predicts cloudiness, rains Wednesday to Friday Death toll rises in Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes Pastor, 59, allegedly defiles girl, 10 in Ogun