Rohr invites 23 players for Seychelles, Egypt

Rohr calls up 23 players for Seychelles, Egypt

Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr has invited stand-in team captain Ahmed Musa and 22 other players for matches slated this month, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Monday.

The Eagles will host the Pirates of Seychelles in their final match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers on March 22 and Egypt’s Pharaohs in a friendly on March 26.

Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that defender Kenneth Omeruo of CD Leganes of Spain has been invited alongside regulars Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu and William Ekong.

Midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon were also called up.

Rohr has also invited to camp Flying Eagles’ defender Valentine Ozornwafor, as well as well as former FIFA Under-17 World Cup winner Victor Osimhen and Denmark-based Paul Onuachu.

All invited players, alongside technical and backroom crew, are to report in the Delta State capital on Monday, March 18.

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); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, UK); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)

Midfielders: Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, UK); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, UK); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, UK); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

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

NAN

Taiwo Ogunjobi, Former-NFF Secretary General, is dead

Taiwo Ogunjobi, Ex-NFF Secretary General, is dead

Taiwo Ogunjobi

Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, former Secretary General of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is dead.

Ogunjobi, who before his demise was the Chairman of Osun Football Association, was confirmed dead by his Media aide, Mr Tunde Shamsudeen.

Shamsudeen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Osogbo, that Ogunjobi passed on in the early hours of Monday at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

He said the former NFF Secretary General was admitted at the hospital three days ago.

Shamudeen did not disclose the nature of the ailment that took Ogunjobi to the hospital, but said he would provide further details later. (NAN)

News Headlines Jan 29, 2019. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Jan 29, 2019. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by Demola Adefajo

The Punch
Senate asks Supreme Court to reinstate Onnoghen, says Buhari can’t remove CJN
Don’t plunge Nigeria into constitutional crisis, Atiku tells Buhari
IPOB fixes referendum for presidential poll day
Rape: Suspect retracts guilty plea after pregnant daughter, uncle, helpers die
Senate asks Supreme Court to reinstate Onnoghen, says Buhari can’t remove CJN
Family, community leader demand justice for slain Lagos residents
Police exonerate ex-Covenant varsity accountant following PUNCH’s reports
Police arraign hit-and-run driver for killing five students
Drivers arrested for attempting to kidnap employer’s wife
Gunmen kill commercial bus driver, two passengers in Rivers
Budget: Lagos Assembly moves against Ambode
Gunmen kidnap seven fans in Zamfara
Athlete banned from NICEGA for defying anthem
Age not an obstacle for Egyptian champion at 76
Bayelsa Queens emerge women’s league champions
Indian actress slammed for racist remarks about Iwobi
81-year-old woman discovers her 103-year-old mother after 61-year search
My father is a house husband, hasn’t worked in 16 years, says daughter
My mother told me to put poison in dad’s food, ten-year-old tells court
Kwara APC gov candidate promises to link Pategi to Bida
Uba says nobody can rig election in Anambra South
February election, Nigeria’s opportunity to end dictatorship — Wike
Jang promises Atiku two million votes in Plateau
Protesters storm INEC office in Owerri, demand credible elections
PDP, Fayose reject judgement upholding Fayemi’s victory
UBA partners Japan to promote MSMEs in Africa
i-Invest woos investors with T-bills, gets 70,000 downloads
Rising foreign debt profile bad for economy – Senate panel
Three foreign airlines commence flights into new PH terminal
Customs CG wants import duty on vehicles reduced to 45%
FG approves new pension company for universities
BREAKING: Why we didn’t wait for NJC on CJN Onnoghen – FG
Gunmen kidnap seven fans in Zamfara
Underwater search for Sala starts Sunday
Sanction VCs who misappropriated staff allowance, group tells FG
Strike: ASUU questions integrity of OAU exams, certificates
We’ll take on corrupt VCs soon —ASUU
JAMB registers 869,709 candidates, suspends nine centres for malpractice
AAU reopens for lectures
Wrong perception affecting technical, vocational education –FG
Michael Jackson family slams documentary renewing sex abuse claims
British model, Katie Price, expresses desire to adopt Nigerian orphan
Davido, Idris Elba, others thrill fans at sold-out concert
‘Black Panther’ scores big win at Screen Actors Guild Awards
Benefits and side effects of ketogenic diet
Excessive suppression of GSK3 enzyme can cause renal failure
Experts seek to increase data access through technology
Minister lauds NOTAP for driving patent certification
Airtel unveils ‘Touching Lives Season 5’, calls for nominations
Inlaks connects NIRSAL MFB to ICT platform
Editorial: Resolving minimum wage issue
Python Dance: Kwara gov asks residents to remain calm
They said he was a total failure
UN and International Day of Education
Will Nigeria disintegrate? Lessons from Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed

The Nation
CJN Onnoghen: Senators disagree over legal option
Lagos Assembly summons Ambode over budget
No dictatorship here, says govt
Discordant tunes over CJN as Fed Govt cautions foreign envoys
NBA orders court boycott
Lagos Assembly summons Ambode over budget
My case against Ohanaeze Ndigbo, by Obiano
Election tribunal upholds Ekiti Governor Fayemi’s victory
Experts seek truly ‘independent’ electoral umpire
Edosomwan: ‘NDCP will declare war on poverty’
‘Lagos is better under APC’
APC Presidential rally: Police pledges peaceful exercise in Kano
AD condemns destruction of posters, flags in Lagos
Buhari to traditional rulers: ensure peace during polls
Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Organisers reaffirmed readiness for 2019 edition
Customs mulls vehicle duty review to 10%
Sterling Bank, Opportunity Network partner on trade
UBA, Japan Trade Office to lift SMEs, tackle poverty
Total eyes 23% of Nigeria’s oil output
Toyota introduces Rush into market
CFAO Motors unveils King Long buses
Two siblings arraigned for alleged N5.9m fraud
Niteshift honours Sanwo-Olu with Grand House Reception
NIWA, LASWA to resolve waterways regulation rift
Ambode advises religious leaders to promote peace
LASUTH doctors begin warning strike
How rule of law can blossom, by Lagos CJ
Police arrest woman, in-law over killing of 14-year-old
My mother told me to poison my father, boy tells court
Cobhams supports Banky W’s campaign with song
Lagos Film Academy premieres ‘Choices’
I sing different genres – Harmony
Lola Maja renews love for make-up at 41
JOHESU gives FG Jan.31 deadline to meet demands or strike
88 doctors quit civil service – NMA
Kano free of polio in 53 months, says Commissioner of Health
Deadly Ebola virus found in bat
Buhari is not fit to continue say Obasanjo
Urchins disrupt NBA NEC meeting on Onnoghen
Onnoghen: The wasp on the nation’s scrotum
Editorial
As NJC meets

ThisDay
Dogara: N30,000 Minimum Wage Not Enough for Workers
Lawyers to Boycott Court in Protest against Onnoghen’s Suspension
CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Indefinitely
Nigeria Needs Action Governance Through Improved Modules, Says Sani
Fashola Harps on Infrastructure Development
LCCI Decries Nigeria’s Rising Unemployment
Nigeria to Dominate Trade in West Africa’s Power Market, Says TCN
Gencos: FG, W’Bank Not Meeting Targets in Program to Salvage Power Sector
Rosatom to Train More Nigerians on Nuclear Energy
Agbakoba Submits Petition against Acting CJN to NJC
•AGF sends allegations against Onnoghen to judicial body
Ohiare: We’ve Created Good Framework for Disbursing REF
Dangote Foundation Donates Food Items to Zamfara IDPs
Survey Reveals Barriers to Ethical Reporting
Make BDCs IMTOs’ Direct Agents, ABCON Tells CBN
Conflicting Judgments Creating Uncertainty in Electoral Process, INEC Insists
FG Planning to Eliminate Me, Ortom Cries out
IG Names Lakanu, Lamorde, Four Others DIGs
Crown Flour Mill Gets ISO Certification
Pull Nigeria Back from the Brink of Extinction, Wike Charges Voters
Ngige, VON DG Tackle Ohanaeze for Endorsing Atiku
Egbe Hails Dickson over Bayelsa Queens’ NWPL Super 4 Victory
FA Cup: Holders Chelsea Draw Man Utd in Fifth Round
Dalung Thumbs Up Peak for Sports Development Initiatives
WARIF Combats Sexual Violence Through the Education of Youth
EDITORIAL: CRITICAL ISSUES IN THE NHIS ACT

The Sun
Ekiti: Tribunal upholds Fayemi’s election
Abia: APC chieftain sues INEC over fraudulent registration in Nkporo
Elections: Era of landslide victory gone –INEC
Onnoghen: Acting CJN presides over 10 appeals
We’ll deliver Abia for APC, Isuikwuato tells Kalu
Lagos Assembly begin moves to impeach Ambode
Elections: Pressure on VCs over INEC ad-hoc staff –Wike
IPOB to hold referendum Feb 16
Fr. Mbaka visits Buhari in Aso Rock
UNHCR concerned over fresh displacement of 320,000
Onnoghen: NBA directs lawyers to boycott courts nationwide
….25 lawyers drag Buhari, NJC, Acting CJN to court
Ohanaeze never endorsed Atiku –Secretary
We’ll not use incident forms –Imo REC
Buhari storms Abia, Imo for campaign today
Guard against APC, Atiku tells Akwa Ibom people
Nigeria, others to pool $2bn to finance energy projects
Investment in refinery, petrochemicals driven by innovation, efficiency, says Dangote
Ghana to host 8th DStv Eutelsat Star Awards
ZAF empowers less privileged in Anambra
FG woos Norwegian investors
Ogun guber: Why I’m supporting APM –Amosun
Ambode seeks support for hitch-free elections
Igbo in Diaspora back Atiku
Onnoghen’s suspension devastating to PDP –APC
ATP rankings: Djokovic still No 1, Federer drops to sixth
Morata joins Atletico Madrid on loan
Go for real deal, former British boxer tells Joshua
African Nations Cup pushed back a week for Ramadan
Sports fans want FCDA to complete abandoned Kuje stadium project
Malaysia stripped of 2019 world para swimming championships
Mikel’s move to Middlesbrough, good for Super Eagles — NFF
Rohr worries over injuries, wary of Seychelles
Kanu Heart Foundation performs first open-heart surgery
Pinnick: Egypt 2019 would be a success
2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Sowore, Alli task journalists at media seminar
British-Nigerian actress Cynthia Erivo to star in HBO’s ‘The Outsider’
Thoughts on Nigeria’s democracy
Debate dodging
Are you better off than 4 years ago?
Ohanaeze, Zik and Ndigbo
Of political paranoia, pretensions
Is Nigeria the new, global headquarters for political evil?
Priest celibacy not optional, says Pope Francis
Nigeria, others to pool $2bn to finance energy projects
Investment in refinery, petrochemicals driven by innovation, efficiency, says Dangote
Nigerian music industry highly competitive – Amina
UNN: Shame of a varsity
Govt’s empty promises caused on-going poly strike, says DUTSE, ASUP president
COEASU, stakeholders task teachers to take advantage of technology
Gourmet Food Guide trains UNILAG pupils on entrepreneurship skills
WAAW foundation empowers 200 youths on computer programming

Daily Trust
Banks allocated 1% of loans to 37m MSMEs in 5yrs — BOI
‘Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline design almost completed’
How NEMSA ordered disconnection of 1,205 buildings under power lines
Inconsistent funding of power worrisome – Expert
ECN hosts 12 countries, 15 trainees for IAEA energy tools
Onnoghen’s suspension has no connection with elections — FG
US, UK, EU positions on Onnoghen signify alignment with opposition — Foreign ministry
Our rejection of Atiku’s endorsement by Ohaneze is apolitical- Anambra govt
Many soldiers, civilians missing after B/Haram attacks in Borno
We don’t have money to dash out but infrastructural facilities – Buhari
Buhari urges traditional rulers to work against election violence
Kogi youths urged to eschew violence
Atiku in A/Ibom, promises robust economy
Ag CJN warns judges against frivolous political injunctions
Presidential candidates back Buhari on CJN’s suspension
APC gov’t engineering needless crisis – Atiku
EU election observers visit APC faction in Kwara
Accord party flags off campaigns in Bayelsa
How NEMSA ordered disconnection of 1,205 buildings under power lines
Ogun: Council chairman impeached over APC crisis
Ekiti residents jubilate as tribunal upholds Fayemi’s victory
FCT minister leads APC campaign for Buhari’s re-election
Fire at the blacksmith’s…
ECOWAS member states tasked on increased investment in girls’ education
Conflict prevention: ECOWAS unveils 2018-2020 action plans
Armed bandits abduct newly-wed couple, four others in Kaduna
Fleeing driver arrested, arraigned for killing 5 school girls in Ogun
2 killed, one kidnapped in Katsina
Davido shuts down London in first sold-out show
Facebook tightens paid ads rules ahead of EU elections
Election 2019: The perspectives of a high tech enthusiast
NITDA’s five new IT regulatory guidelines now operational
Customs to pay N1.8bn deceased officers’ claims, sue insurance firms
Nigerian workers deserve living wage, not minimum wage — Dogara
FG allocates 2% of UBE funds to quality assurance
ASUU may end strike this week
FG to shut down 66 illegal universities, 68 polytechnics
Amended armed forces act to establish judge advocate system
Alleged N7.6bn fraud: I’m willing to face trial – Kalu
Acting CJN warns judges against frivolous political injunctions

Tribune
Buhari Seeks INEC-Traditional Rulers’ Collaboration On Sensitising Electorate
Onnoghen: Senate cancels emergency resumption heads to Supreme Court
Next Level will be better than where we are now ― Osinbajo
Onnoghen: NBA resolves to boycott court for 2 days
Buhari challenges African leaders on oil, gas infrastructure…
Our rejection of Atiku’s endorsement by Ohanaeze, apolitical…
Anyaoku, Kukah to speak at Tribune symposium Tuesday
Removal of Onnoghen as CJN is proper, timely ― Forum
ICAN Western Zone holds maiden leadership retreat
Isiaka supporters dump former Ogun commissioner who defected…
Uphold high professional standard in discharging your duties…
Buhari wants to take over powers of all arms of govt ―…
We Partnered With FBI To Secure Conviction Of Online Fraudster ― EFCC
Businesswoman in court over alleged N4.5m oil fraud
Obaseki, CBN Partner On Development Of 100,000-Hectare Plantation
Development Bank of Nigeria exceeds first-year projections
OGTAN decries lack of human capital devt in Nigerian oil, gas sector
OPEC focused on averting new oil glut before April meeting ― Barkindo
State Creation Led To New Identity Problems In Nigeria —Kukah
2019 Election: Bauchi governor warns against political violence
How Flu Medicine Can Affect Your Heart
ABUAD’s 2018 Milestones, A Success Story —Afe Babalola
Editing the ‘Tribune’ was exciting — Omole, Second Editor…
Why Your Wife May Be Experiencing A Decrease In Her Sexual Desire
EDITORIAL: Debt Burden:Back To Square One
CJN: Should The Senate Get Ready To Be Next?
The Falling Candidate

CAF CC: Rangers take big leap, defeat Bantu 2-1 away

CAF CC: Rangers take big leap, defeat Bantu 2-1 away

Nigeria’s representatives in this year’s Confederation Cup, Rangers International of Enugu, on Sunday brightened their chances of qualifying for the group stage of the competition by beating Bantu FC of Lesotho 2-1 in the away leg.

Two goal by Bright Silas in the 18th minute and Godwin Aguda in the 84th had given the Flying Antelopes a 2-0 lead before Joko scored the consolation goal for the Lesotho side in the 90th minute.

Coach Gbenga Ogunbote of Rangers expressed optimism that his boys would finish the job when they host Bantu in Enugu.

“It was a great performance from my players but for the last minute loss of concentration. It will always get better. I believe that Bantu FC is not a bad side but by the special Grace of God, we shall finish the job we have started in Enugu”, he said.

Captain of the day, Godwin Aguda, echoed his coach, saying “I give God all the glory for this victory. I believe that God’s favour is upon us and we shall complete the good work in Enugu next Sunday.”

The second leg comes up in Enugu on January 20, this year.

De Gea produces masterclass as Man United beat Tottenham

De Gea produces masterclass as Man United beat Tottenham

David De Gea

Manchester United proved on Sunday that their recovery under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no flash in the pan, with Marcus Rashford pouncing to seal a 1-0 win in a thrilling contest against Tottenham.

The two sides went toe-to-toe in an open game but while both teams had multiple chances, United goalkeeper David de Gea proved the difference, making a string of phenomenal saves.

Interim manager Solskjaer has installed Rashford as his number one striker and was richly rewarded when the 21-year-old scored the decisive goal in the 44th minute.

Paul Pogba sparkled for United, engaged in a personal duel with Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for periods of the second half.

United’s victory is their fifth successive Premier League win under their temporary manager in a contest seen as his first major test since he took over from the sacked Jose Mourinho last month.

Earlier, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham settled quickly into their fluid passing game at Wembley, enjoying the bulk of possession.

They went close to taking the lead when Harry Winks, seemingly unsure whether to shoot or cross, fired the ball across the face of the United goal after being played in by Son Heung-min.

Minutes later the visitors had a chance to take the lead when Ashley Young’s cross fell to Jesse Lingard, who fired over from the corner of the six-yard box.

United, with Lingard, Anthony Martial and Rashford racing forward at every opportunity, looked dangerous and Martial forced Lloris into a smart low save with his legs.

The game lost a little of its frantic intensity midway through the first half.

Insurance gain promotion to NPFL as Shooting Stars miss out

Insurance gain promotion to NPFL as Shooting Stars miss out

Remo Stars FC

Bendel Insurance Returns to NPFL after 11 Years in Wilderness

Remo Stars, Gombe Utd back as Kada Stars complete list
Ojeikere Aikhoje

After 11 years in the wilderness of Nigerian club football, Bendel Insurance yesterday announced its return to the topflight Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) following the 1-0 defeat of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) in the final Southern Conference match of the NNL Super 8 Playoff in Aba.

Captain of the Benin Arsenal, Charles Omokaro wrote his name in gold when he scored the lone winner 15 minutes into the high profile game. The victory sealed Insurance passage to the NPFL with maximum nine points from three matches.

Insurance entered the history books as the only team to win all three matches without conceding a goal.

The return of the Benin team to the topflight was also a fulfillment of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s pledge to Edo State indigenes and followers of the club when he rebranded it late last year.

Inspired by the presence of Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, who is a registered player, Insurance quickly displayed readiness for business as Omokaro got the opener in only 15 minutes into the match.

The former African Champions held on to the goal and remained resolute despite the dismissal of Michael Enaruna in the second half.

Interestingly, the Edo side maintained its unbeaten record against their opponents in three matches played in Ibadan, Benin-City and Aba, respectively.

Reacting to the team’s promotion, Chief Coach, Baldwin Bazuaye said: “I feel great. I won trophies as a player and I am happy to help Insurance return to the topflight”.

Skipper Omokaro equally expressed satisfaction with the feat.

“I feel very happy because this is what the people of Edo State have waited for.

“Insurance has been in the lower division for 11 years and now we are back.

“With the assistance of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, we have achieved this feat for Edo people,” Omokaro struggled with words to express his inner satisfaction.

Relegated at the end of the 2008 season, the famous Insurance struggled for over a decade to swim out of the lower division without success.

Succour however came with the administration of Governor Obaseki, who promised to turn around the fortunes of the team.

Remo Stars claimed a 2-1 win over Delta Force to join Insurance from the Southern Group.

Earlier, Kada City and Gombe United finished as leaders and runners up, respectively, in the Northern Group.

Today, Insurance will contest for the NNL title against Kada City.

…Fixtures Involving Newly Promoted Teams on Hold as NPFL Season Kicks off Jan 13

The 2019 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is scheduled to kick off on Sunday, January 13 in various centres with the conclusion of the Nigeria National League (NNL) Play-offs in Aba yesterday.

Bendel Insurance of Benin, Remo Stars of Sagamu, Kada City of Kaduna and Gombe United of Gombe are the four teams that gained promotion to the topflight from the NNL Super 8 playoffs.

However, some of the opening day matches would not hold as scheduled and are to be rescheduled for a later date.

The postponed fixtures are those involving the country’s representatives in CAF Club competitions and those involving the four promoted clubs from the NNL.

Credit: ThisDay

Credit: ThisDay

Insurance gain promotion to NPFL as Shooting Stars miss out

Bendel Insurance Returns to NPFL after 11 Years in Wilderness

Remo Stars, Gombe Utd back as Kada Stars complete list
Ojeikere Aikhoje

After 11 years in the wilderness of Nigerian club football, Bendel Insurance yesterday announced its return to the topflight Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) following the 1-0 defeat of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) in the final Southern Conference match of the NNL Super 8 Playoff in Aba.

Captain of the Benin Arsenal, Charles Omokaro wrote his name in gold when he scored the lone winner 15 minutes into the high profile game. The victory sealed Insurance passage to the NPFL with maximum nine points from three matches.

Insurance entered the history books as the only team to win all three matches without conceding a goal.

The return of the Benin team to the topflight was also a fulfillment of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s pledge to Edo State indigenes and followers of the club when he rebranded it late last year.

Inspired by the presence of Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, who is a registered player, Insurance quickly displayed readiness for business as Omokaro got the opener in only 15 minutes into the match.

The former African Champions held on to the goal and remained resolute despite the dismissal of Michael Enaruna in the second half.

Interestingly, the Edo side maintained its unbeaten record against their opponents in three matches played in Ibadan, Benin-City and Aba, respectively.

Reacting to the team’s promotion, Chief Coach, Baldwin Bazuaye said: “I feel great. I won trophies as a player and I am happy to help Insurance return to the topflight”.

Skipper Omokaro equally expressed satisfaction with the feat.

“I feel very happy because this is what the people of Edo State have waited for.

“Insurance has been in the lower division for 11 years and now we are back.

“With the assistance of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, we have achieved this feat for Edo people,” Omokaro struggled with words to express his inner satisfaction.

Relegated at the end of the 2008 season, the famous Insurance struggled for over a decade to swim out of the lower division without success.

Succour however came with the administration of Governor Obaseki, who promised to turn around the fortunes of the team.

Remo Stars claimed a 2-1 win over Delta Force to join Insurance from the Southern Group.

Earlier, Kada City and Gombe United finished as leaders and runners up, respectively, in the Northern Group.

Today, Insurance will contest for the NNL title against Kada City.

…Fixtures Involving Newly Promoted Teams on Hold as NPFL Season Kicks off Jan 13

The 2019 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is scheduled to kick off on Sunday, January 13 in various centres with the conclusion of the Nigeria National League (NNL) Play-offs in Aba yesterday.

Bendel Insurance of Benin, Remo Stars of Sagamu, Kada City of Kaduna and Gombe United of Gombe are the four teams that gained promotion to the topflight from the NNL Super 8 playoffs.

However, some of the opening day matches would not hold as scheduled and are to be rescheduled for a later date.

The postponed fixtures are those involving the country’s representatives in CAF Club competitions and those involving the four promoted clubs from the NNL.

The rise and fall of Jose Mourinho

The rise and fall of Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho’s acrimonious departure from Manchester United cannot mask the fact that the Portuguese is still undoubtedly one of the finest managers of his generation, writes Tunde Sulaiman

Albert Einstein, the universally acclaimed German-born theoretical physicist, who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics), once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Sadly this appears to be the path that the manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho opted to embark upon with ultimately disastrous results.

His arrival at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 was heralded as the beginning of United’s return to the summit of English football, especially with his trophy-laden record of success at all the clubs he had previously worked at.
And it appeared this would continue at the Theatre of Dreams when on August 7, 2016, he won his first trophy, the FA Community Shield, beating reigning Premier League champions Leicester City 2–1.

Although he ultimately failed to end United’s four-year wait for the Premier League title, he did, however, beat Southampton 3–2 in the EFL Cup Final to become the first United manager to win a major trophy in his debut season.
And on May 24, 2017, Manchester United won the Europa League courtesy of a 2–0 win over AFC Ajax. This was Mourinho’s second major trophy of his first season as Manchester United manager. It also maintained his 100% record of winning every major European Cup final as a manager.

But the following season he was not as successful failing to win any trophy and although he managed to get the Red Devils’ finishing second on the table (the highest they have finished since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013) the fact that they were 19 points behind Manchester City was damning.
However, the dark clouds that had been swirling around the Portuguese grew darker over the summer going into his third season when he publically complained that the Old Trafford hierarchy had failed to back him in the transfer market especially concerning getting defenders.

But he failed to explain why he was unable to get the best out of those he had despite the over £60 million he spent on just two defenders – Eric Bailly – £30million from Villarreal and Victor Lindelof – £30.7 million from Benfica.

As if this was not enough, he then started fighting with some of his high-profile stars like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku and his toxic relationship started to affect things on the field of play, which meant that a team that finished second only last season was now floundering in mid table this term.
But perhaps what was more telling was the awful display of United even in games against the so-called “minnows” in the Premier League, talk much less of last Sunday’s abject capitulation at their great North-West rivals, Liverpool

Many pundits believed that had he wards put up a decent fight like they often did under Sir Alex even when they losing, then perhaps the “Happy One” would have still been given more time.
The stats clearly showed how poor his team was playing Liverpool with only six shots on target compared to the Reds’ 36!

Before then, Mourinho had watched perplexed as City completely outplayed his team at the Etihad including a record-breaking 42 passes in the build up to the third goal without a single United player making any serious effort to win the ball back.
It appeared that once again the usual demons that seem to manifest in his third term had returned to haunt him in this campaign.

And after the Red Devils’ only managed to pick up 26 points after their first 17 Premier League games, their worst points haul in the top flight at this stage since 1990-91, United, which is loathed to sack managers, finally lost faith with the man, who had clearly lost the dressing room, after the abject capitulation at Anfield last Sunday.
Under Mourinho this season the stats have just been very damning:

*They have conceded 29 goals in the league this season – one more than they did in the whole of the 2017-18 campaign (28).
*They are 19 points off leaders Liverpool, 11 points off the top four and closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table.
*They have one win in six league games and a goal difference of zero.
Liverpool’s 19-point advantage over United is their biggest after the first 17 games of a top-flight season.

Liverpool had 36 shots on Sunday – the most United have faced in a Premier League match since Opta started recording shot data in 2003-04.
So long as results on the field had been good the Portuguese had a job but once things turned his situation became untenable.

Added to the fact that despite spending close to £400million in his time in charge, his team was neither playing attractive football nor even grinding out results it was clear that it was only a matter of time that the Old Trafford side would be in search for their fourth manager since the departure of their very successful Sir Alex Ferguson.

David Moyes took over his fellow Scotsman and left after only eight months, Luis van Gaal, who guided Holland to third place at the 2014 World Cup, came in won an FA Cup and was then shown the door two days later to be replaced by Mourinho.

However, Mourinho should not shoulder all the blame for United’s woes because Ed Woodward, who is in charge at Old Trafford as Executive Vice-Chairman, should have known what he was getting into in signing the Portuguese, who was hardly ever going to deviate from his safety first approach to the game – which is in direct contrast to the ethos of the Red Devils, which is to play attractive offensive football.

Woodward’s background as a former accountant and investment banker meant that he was out of his depth in the topsy turvy world of football, which perhaps also explains why he opted to give Mourinho a contract extension in January when the club was nowhere near playing well or challenging for the title.
This also meant that United was forced into coughing out a huge severance package for getting rid of Mourinho. Although the sum has not been disclosed, however, some reports have it that it could have been as much as £24million.
And thus exactly three years and a day after he was unceremoniously asked to leave Stamford Bridge, lightning struck again with Mourinho being ousted from his dream Old Trafford job.

But it all began so differently. He first burst on the international stage in 2003 when he guided unfancied Porto of Portugal to the now rested UEFA Cup and then followed this up with the more prestigious Champions League the following season, upsetting Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United along the way. Mourinhoarrival in England brought some fresh air to the stale nature of the Premier League, which was then dominated by just two managers – Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger.
The Portuguese was the man, who single-handedly changed the face of English football when he joined Chelsea in the summer of 2004.

Full of self-confidence and his ability to get the job done, the then youthful brash 41-year-old became an instant English media delight when during his first press conference after being announced manager at Stamford Bridge he uttered these immortal worlds: “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.”
Of course while this rubbed off many as being slightly cocky, especially in a conservative society that often frowns at such, however, the Portuguese manger was able to back up his talk with an unbeaten start to his Premier League sojourn winning all his matches in August, which included an opening match 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Under Mourinho, Chelsea did not drop their first points until the fifth game of the season in a goalless draw against Aston Villa on September 11, 2004.
In fact the Blues did not lose their first game until October away at Manchester City, with Nicolas Anelka stroking home a penalty in the 11th minute that he won himself after being felled in the box by Paulo Ferreira. The result left Chelsea further behind pace-setters Arsenal, the margin now at five points.
Ironically that was the only defeat Mourinho’s team was to suffer all season and his team was to rally to their first title in 50 years courtesy of some battling performances in which they set a number of records (which have only recently been broken by Manchester City).
Some of the vast number of records set during the title winning season included: most away wins in a season (15), most clean sheets kept in a season (25), fewest goals conceded away in a season (9), most wins in a season (29), most consecutive away wins (9), fewest goals conceded in a season (15) and most points in a season (95).
After missing out on the league title to the unbeaten Arsenal in the previous season (2003), Chelsea continued spending large sums of money in order to build a squad capable of challenging for honours.
However, despite another huge capital outlay in the second season under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, the Blues failed to improve upon their Champions League semi-final placing the previous year, but in the end only matched that achievement. They also exited the FA Cup in the fifth round to eventual semi-finalists Newcastle United.
But in spite of these setbacks, the ‘Special One’ had laid his marker, especially after also becoming the first foreign manager to land the Premier League title in his very first attempt. He also added the League Cup for good measure.
On a personal level, Mourinho was named the November Manager of the Month, January Manager of the Month and Premier League Manager of the Season – to confirm his “I’m the Special One” boast.
But by this time already a number of pundits had started to query his path to success raising eyebrows over his safety first approach to the game with his teams more often grinding out results rather than playing swashbuckling football.
The following season, Mourinho continued to dip into the pocket of his wealthy Russian billionaire owner, signing Michael Essien from Lyon and Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City for more than £20 million each.
But in spite of the this perceived “safety first” flaw, the Portuguese’s second season was momentous for Chelsea’s incredible start to the campaign where they recorded the most dominant first half of a Premier League season in history at that time.
They won a record nine games in a row at the start of the season, which culminated in another record holding 17 wins out of the first 19 games. As of 2017 Chelsea 2005-06 hold joint records for most wins at home in a season (18) and fewest home defeats in a season (0).
Although the Blues did suffer more defeats this term (five) they were still clearly the best team in the marathon called the league and ended the season ensuring that Mourinho became the first manager in history of the English game to win back-to-back titles in the first time of asking.
In spite of the ability to buy the best players in world football, the native of Setubal constantly downplayed this as an advantage insisting that Chelsea’s success was more down to his hard work than having deep pockets.
“We are on top at the moment but not because of the club’s financial power. We are in contention for a lot of trophies because of my hard work.
“If Roman Abramovich helped me out in training we would be bottom of the league and if I had to work in his world of big business, we would be bankrupt!”
He also brushed aside claims that under him the club valued winning at all cost over keeping to the ethos of the “beautiful game”.
“I am not concerned about how Chelsea are viewed morally. What does concern me is that we are treated in a different way to other clubs. Some clubs are treated as devils, some are treated as angels. I don’t think we are so ugly that we should be seen as the devil and I don’t think Arsene Wenger and David Dein are so beautiful that they should be viewed as angels,” was his curt response to that complaint.
On another occasion he was more blunt saying: “I don’t say we are a defensive team. I say we are a strong team in defensive terms, but at the same time lacking sufficient fluidity in attack because that will take time to come.”
Nevertheless, in his third season dark clouds had already started gathering over the loquacious Portuguese whose feud with Arsenal’s long serving manager, Arsene Wenger was beginning to look like the “theatre of the absurd”, with many considering him going overboard with his constant verbal broadsides at the French tactician.
At the beginning of the campaign, Wenger had raised concerns over the way and manner Chelsea was going about their business of being the dominant team in English football, saying: “I know we live in a world where we have only winners and losers, but once a sport encourages teams who refuse to take the initiative, the sport is in danger.”
Of course an unimpressed Mourinho fired back: “Wenger has a real problem with us and I think he is what you call in England a voyeur. He is someone who likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. Wenger must be one of them – it is a sickness. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”
He went on to add: “At Stamford Bridge, we have a file of quotes from Mr Wenger about Chelsea football club in the last 12 months – it is not a file of five pages. It is a file of 120 pages.”
Mourinho was, however, unable to make it a hat trick of triumphs with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United finally wrestling the league diadem back from the London club.
Chelsea finished second six points behind the Red Devils even though they only lost three times (unlike the five the previous season).
Going into the 2007–08 season, speculation continued to mount of a frosty relationship between Mourinho and owner Abramovich, which might see him leaving the club.
In the first match of the 2007–08 season, Chelsea beat Birmingham City 3–2 to set a new record of 64 consecutive home league matches without defeat.
Despite surpassing the record set by Liverpool between 1978 and 1981, the start to the 2007–08 Chelsea season was less successful as previous starts.
The team lost at Aston Villa and followed this with a goalless draw at home to Blackburn Rovers. Their opening game in the UEFA Champions League saw them only manage a 1–1 home draw against the Norwegian team Rosenborg BK in front of only 24,973 (an almost half-empty stadium) which included an unimpressed owner Roman Abramovich.
Finally matters came to a head on September 20, 2007 with Mourinho unexpectedly leaving Chelsea as the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history, having won six trophies for the club in three years. He was also undefeated in all home league games.
His next port of call was Italy where he joined Inter Milan on
June 2, 2008 as the successor of Roberto Mancini on a three-year contract, and brought along with him much of his backroom staff who had served him at both Chelsea and Porto.
At his very first press conference as Inter boss he spoke solely in Italian, claiming to have learnt it “in three weeks”.
Mourinho stated that he only intended to make a few major signings that summer. By the end of the transfer window, he had brought three new players to the side: Brazilian winger Mancini (€13 million), Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari for a reported €14 million and Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma for a cash/player exchange fee of €18.6 million plus young Portuguese midfielder Pele.
In his first season as Inter head coach, Mourinho won the Supercoppa Italiana, beating Roma on penalties, and finished top of Serie A. Inter, however, were eliminated 2–0 on aggregate by Manchester United in the first knock-out round of the Champions League, and he also failed to win the Coppa Italia, being defeated 3–1 on aggregate by Sampdoria in the semi-finals.
Despite his domestic successes in winning the Scudetto by a ten-point margin, Mourinho’s first season in Italy was viewed as disappointing by some Inter fans, as the club failed to improve on the performances of his predecessor Roberto Mancini in the Champions League.
And in keeping to type, Mourinho also caused immediate ripples in Italian football through his controversial relationships with the Italian press and media, as well as his feuds with major Serie A coaches, including Carlo Ancelotti, then of Milan, Luciano Spalletti of Roma and Claudio Ranieri of Juventus.
At a press conference in March 2009, he insulted the first two rivals by claiming they would end the season with no honours, and accused the Italian sport journalists of “intellectual prostitution” on their behalf.
In his second season Mourinho became the first manager in history on April 6, 2010 to take three different teams to the semi-finals of the Champions League (this record was equalled by Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal a day later) after Inter managed to overcome CSKA Moscow 0–1 in Russia in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, which ended 2–0 on aggregate.
He continued with his epoch-making run in Italian when on May 2, after a 2–0 away win at Rome against Lazio, Inter almost secured the Serie A title. Three days later, the team won the Coppa Italia, defeating Roma 1–0, and on May 16, 2010, Inter beat Siena 1–0 to secure the domestic double, accomplishing the feat of winning all trophies available for a manager in the Serie A.
On May 22, 2010, Inter won the 2010 Champions League after beating Bayern Munich 2–0, and in doing so became the first Italian club to complete the treble, with Mourinho personally celebrating the second Champions League title in his managerial career.
But 24 hours after celebrating their epoch-making victory, Mourinho dropped a bombshell saying: he was “sad, as almost for sure it’s my last game with Inter”. He then added that “if you don’t coach Real Madrid then you will always have a gap in your career”.
After days of discussions between Real Madrid and Inter, a world record breaking compensation package was successfully agreed on May 28, 2010, and Mourinho was consequently released by Inter.
In Spain it became another “Jose Mourinho circus” with the ‘Special One’ winning the Copa del Rey in his first season. The following year, he won La Liga, and became the fifth coach to have won league titles in four countries.
But he made his mark when only in his second season on May 2, 2012; Real Madrid won 0–3 against Athletic Bilbao to clinch the Liga title for the first time in four years. On May 13 2012, Madrid defeated Mallorca 4–1 in their last league match of the season, which set records for most games won in a La Liga season (32), most away wins (16), most points obtained in any of the top European leagues (100), improving the most goals scored record they already had set earlier (121) and finishing the season with the highest goal difference (+89). Madrid topped the league nine points clear of runners-up Barcelona.
But it would have been out of place if he did not catch the headlines for all the wrong reasons when in his third season he was mired in controversies including poking Tito Vilanova (then assistant coach at Barcelona) in the eye during a brawl, continual complaints about refereeing bias, clashes with journalists and Real officials, and frequent hints that Barça received favourable treatment from UEFA.
And then Mourinho left the club at the end of the season by “mutual agreement”, a year after signing a contract extension to 2016.
He returned to Chelsea on June 3, 2013 and told Chelsea TV, “In my career I’ve had two great passions – Inter and Chelsea – and Chelsea is more than important for me.”
He, however, failed to reproduce his first term performance in which he won the league title in his very first time of asking, finish third in the 2013–14 Premier League, four points behind champions Manchester City.
But was back on top in the second season when on May 3 2015, Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions after beating Crystal Palace with three games to spare.
Mourinho was subsequently named as Premier League Manager of the Season, with Chelsea losing just three matches all season.
However, the wheels fell off in his third season with Chelsea losing nine of their first 16 matches prompting the Blues to terminate his appointment on December 17, 2015.
Despite this blip, Mourinho’s impressive credentials meant that he was still very much in demand and on May 27, 2016, Mourinho signed a three-year contract with Manchester United, with an option to stay at the club until at least 2020.
In his first season he was able to land the League Cup courtesy of a won 3–2 over Southampton to become the first United manager to win a major trophy in his debut season
And even though his team did not really play the “United way” fans were still ready to give him time hoping that perhaps they had finally got the man to return the glory days back to the Theatre of Dreams – alas it was not to be so.
But no matter the acrimonious ending, one cannot deny the fact that Jose Mario dos Santos Mourinho Felix is one of the most decorated managers of the modern area, which was why his sacking became headline news around the world when it broke last Tuesday.

Falcons win AWCON, defeat South Africa



Super Falcons win AWCON, defeat South Africa Solomon Fowowe

Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi emerged the hero as she saved Linda Motlhalo’s penalty to ensure a ninth African Women’s Nations Cup for the Super Falcons.

Nigeria defeated South Africa 4-3 on penalties in the final after a goalless regulation time.

Onome Ebi missed Nigeria’s first spot-kick as her shot hit the upright while Ngozi Ebere, Rita Chikwelu, Veronica Ihezuo and Chinaza Uchendu scored the Falcons subsequent penalties.

Lebohang Ramalepe missed South Africa’s second penalty before Oluehi saved the last spot kick to become the hero.

Thomas Dennerby made a change to the team that defeated Cameroon in the semi-final with Rasheedat Ajibade replacing Desire Oparanozie.

Ajibade struggled to combine with Oshoala in attack as the front line looked limp with the South African defenders keeping the duo away from goal.

Francisca Ordega, who was handed the woman of the match award had a lively display on the wings trying to force the issue against the Banyana Banyana.

The Atletico Madrid winger won a penalty for Nigeria in the 73rd minute after Swart brought her down in the area.

2018 Africa Women’s player of the year nominee, Asisat Oshoala, missed the penalty as her poorly-taken kick dragged wide of goalkeeper Christen Swart’s goal.

The tournament’s highest goalscorer, Thembi Kgatlana, was a main threat for South Africa but she couldn’t breach Oluehi’s goal.

Kgatlana went close in the eighth minute of extra time when she powered past Ebere and Ebi but her weak effort was easily gathered by the goalkeeper.

The South African attacker was awarded the woman of the tournament after scoring five goals in the tournament.

The Super Falcons, South Africa and bronze medallists Cameroon will represent Africa at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

Credit: The Guardian

Super Falcons beat Cameroun 4-2 on penalties, qualify for AWCON final, World Cup

Super Falcons beat resilient Lionesses, pick World Cup ticket

By Gowon Akpodonor

True to their pre match boast, the Super Falcons yesterday proved to their Cameroonian counterparts, Indomitable Lionesses, that Nigeria remains the commander-in-chief in African women’s football. The Falcons won their semifinal tie at the Accra Sports Stadium 4-2 on penalties to reach AWCON 2018 final. The victory also guaranteed the Super Falcons a place at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Lithe and sharp forward, Onguene came close in the 4th minute with a rasping shot, apparently from nowhere, which Falcons goalie, Tochukwu Oluehi diverted, and three minutes later, the Lionesses were on the prowl again with a firm header, but Oluehi again was alert. In the 10th minute, Gaelle Enganamouit tested the Nigeria goal with a snap shot, but could not penetrate.

In the closing stages of the first period, Nigeria pushed forward a bit, but an attempt by Francisca Ordega to steal the ball from two defenders was fruitless, and Asisat Oshoala’s crisp shot was well saved.

Nigeria had finished second in group B after two wins and a defeat, while Cameroun were top of group A with two wins and a draw. Super Falcons head coach Thomas Dennerby made no changes to the starting line up for their previous two games that ended on victory against Zambia and Equatorial Guinea.

Incidentally, it was at the same Accra Sports Stadium the Super Falcons made history in 2004, beating the host, Ghana Black Queens 3-2 on penalties with former goalkeeper, Precious Dede, saving three kicks after conceding two in the qualifier to Athens Olympic Games.

Yesterday, the Super Falcons created very few chances in the first half, as the Indomitable Lionesses controlled possession and set the tone of the game. After a goalless halftime, both teams followed in the same pattern in the second stanza, as they were unable to get the breakthrough.

Thomas Dennerby introduced Falconets stars, Rasheedat Ajibade and Anam Imo, but the game ended goalless at 90 minutes. The extra time also ended goalless, taking the game into penalty shootout.

Falcons captain Onome Ebi, Ajibade, Asisat Oshoala and Ngozi Ebere all converted their spot kicks to give Nigeria a 4-2 victory. Goalkeeper Oluehi made one save in the penalty shootout.

The victory yesterday was the third time since 2014 the Super Falcons forced a bitter nut down the throat of the Lionesses in the African Women’s Nations Cup competition.

Cameroun star, Ajara Nchout, was voted Woman of the Match as she played a crucial role for the Indomitable Lioness, who pressed the Super Falcons.

The Super Falcons will face either the Banyana Banyana of South Africa or Mali in the final of the AWCON 2018. Cameroun on the other hand still have the chance of qualifying for France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, if they win the third place match on Friday.

Credit: The Guardian