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Drama unfolds as High Court calls for new NFF executive to be sacked

New NFF president Amaju Pinnick

New NFF president Amaju Pinnick

A State High Court has sacked the new Nigeria Football Federation board, led by Amaju Pinnick.

Justice Ambrose Allagoa in his judgement, said that the NFF election which was held in Warri, directly flouted the orders of the court granted on September 19, 2014 for it not to hold.

“I have set aside all the proceedings and decisions of the Warri Extra Ordinary meeting of the 20th September and the Elective Congress of 30th September which were direct contravention of the orders of this court as granted on the 19th September,” Justice Allagoa said.

“Nobody should foist on the court a complete case of hopelessness so that the principles of law and justice can be upheld.

“It’s not enough to say that the order of court was wrongly made, no matter how unorthodox, its subsisting orders, unless set aside, remains law and must be respected.

“Defendants in this matter have not filed any counter affidavits in this court to contest the facts. There is neither motion nor Memorandum of Appearance. This is a court of Record. On this note, the court has no option to protect the integrity and sanctity of court. Court orders are not tea party. Nobody is above the law. Impunity must be stopped.”

November 25, 2014 has been fixed for hearing of substantive matters in the case.

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Former Nigerian midfielder Oliseh urges African coaches to target World stage

Former Nigerian midfielder Sunday Oliseh

Former Nigerian midfielder Sunday Oliseh

Former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh has said coaches in Africa must prepare themselves adequately to rub shoulders with top-class coaches across the globe.

He said aiming at improving themselves will help them chalk success when given the chance to manage any big club or national team.

Several African coaches do not travel outside the continent fearing the risk involved, especially competing with experienced Europeans and other nationals, and the few who do, succumb to pressure and face a great deal of task in managing players’ egos.

In an interview with ace Ghana journalist Yaw Ampofo Ankrah on SuperSport, 40-year-old Oliseh admitted that African coaches must upgrade their credentials to suit the growing demands of modern football.

“Of course African coaches can beat the best in the world, but we [coaches] must first prepare ourselves adequately. Just because we [Africans] want to manage our own affairs does not mean we should walk into a trap of under-achievement and failure. Our time as coaches will surely come soon but preparation is key ahead of that day,” Oliseh said.

The ex-Dortmund player believes African players fighting officials over monies [appearance and winning bonuses] during tournaments must be managed well to save the continent from disgrace.

“There is a simple philosophy that players are always right as long as they win but that is not set in stone. We have had money issues in Nigeria, Cameroon, lvory Coast, Ghana, Togo and other countries. It is not a good legacy at all and must be stopped.”

West African giants Ghana and Nigeria have recently laid off their coaches after bizarre performances and more are likely to follow following the poor runs in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

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Gabonese striker Aubameyang hits brace as Dortmund win big in Turkey

Aubameyang scored twic against Galatasaray

Aubameyang scored twic against Galatasaray

Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang produced two superb finishes for Germans Borussia Dortmund as they thrashed Turkish hosts Galatasaray 0:4 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

The pacy forward got Dortmund going after just six minutes when he side-footed home from a cross by German Marco Reus.

He doubled the advantage 12 minutes later when he struck into the net after he was picked out by Polish teammate Lukasz Piszczek.

The 25-year-old star was only denied a first half hat-trick by the post. Aubameyang played all 90 minutes of the game, while Cameroon defender Aurelien Chedjou put in a full shift for the Turks.

Elsewhere Ghana midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah featured for the entire game as his team Juventus lost 1:0 at Greek side Olympiakos, while compatriot Frank Acheampong also played a full game for Belgian side Anderlecht in a 1:2 loss to English visitors Arsenal.

Anderlecht led the game until the 89th minute before the Londoners turned it around.

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UEFA cheif Platini demands apology over CAF statement

Michel Platini

Michel Platini

UEFA president Michel Platini has hit back at the Confederation of African Football after it was alleged that he called for the postponement of the 2015 African Nations Cup due to the Ebola outbreak.

Platini denies he called for the tournament, scheduled to take place in Morocco in January to be delayed due to the epidemic.

He has described the suggestion he interfered in CAF’s affairs as “unfair, unwarranted and insulting”.

In a letter to CAF counterpart Issa Hayatou, Platini called for the retraction of a CAF statement “as well as a formal apology”.

It is understood CAF is still refusing to apologise for its statement, despite Platini’s letter.

Platini wrote: “It was with great surprise, a deep sense of injustice and considerable disappointment that I learned of the official CAF statement entitled ‘CAF against interference of UEFA president in its affairs’.”

The UEFA president then provided a full transcript of parts of a television interview which CAF apparently took exception to.

Platini added: “You know my love of Africa, the African people and African football, and that is why this CAF statement has upset and hurt me so much.”

Hosts Morocco had already called for the postponement of the tournament before CAF reacted to a Platini television interview with a statement which provoked his ire.

The statement, published on cafonline.com, read: “CAF under the leadership of its president, Issa Hayatou, has always promoted free expression within it. Far from it therefore, claim to deprive anyone latitude to express themselves.

“But we must beware of what appears in every way as interference by a president of a confederation, in cases involving first and foremost Africa and CAF.

“Under the principle of non-interference required to comply, CAF has refrained so far to comment on some issues on the managing of European football or any other continent.

“Despite the risks involved in armed conflict in Ukraine, a country where a civilian plane was shot down killing nearly 300 people, UEFA did not consider it necessary to exclude Ukrainian clubs from its competitions as a security parameter by hosting games outside this nation, as treacherously raised once it is about Africa.

“CAF hereby reaffirm the importance it attaches to respect of its sovereignty and does not intend to let anyone interfere in the management of its affairs.”

 

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Five African stars on target on Champions League night

Schalke forward Chinedu Obasi

Schalke forward Chinedu Obasi

Five African stars were on target for their clubs in the UEFA Champions League games played on Tuesday night.

Nigeria forward Chinedu Obasi scored the first goal and set up the second for his German club Schalke as they beat Portuguese visitors Sporting CP 4:3.

Obasi’s goal in the 34th minute made it 1:1 after former Manchester United ace Nani had given the visitors the lead in the 16th minute. The Nigerian then set up Dutch teammate Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with a pass to give Schalke a 2:1 lead five minutes after the break.

With the game eventually poised at 3:3 going into stoppage time, Cameroon striker Eric Choupo-Moting, who replaced Ghana star Kevin-Prince Boateng at the start of the second half, then scored the winner from the spot after the referee spotted a hand ball.
In London, club legend Didier Drogba scored Chelsea’s second goal from the spot in a 6:0 thrashing of Slovenian visitors Maribor. The Ivoirian star joined the fray in the 16th minute for injured French star Loic Remy.

Fellow Ivoirians Gervinho and Seydou Doumbia were also on target for their clubs.

In Italy Gervinho provided some light on a dark day for his club Roma. A point-blank header from the impressive forward in the 66th minute was only a consolation for the Romans as they were thumped 1:7 at home by a ruthless Bayern Munich.

Doumbia netted from close range in the 64th minute for CSKA Moscow after a fine low cross from Nigeria star Ahmed Musa, as they fought back from two goals down to draw 2:2 with English champions Manchester City.

Doumbia was to win a penalty that Israeli teammate Bibras Natcho converted to ensure a point for the Muscovites five minutes from time.

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Manchester United vs Chelsea: Didier Drogba could start for the Blues on Sunday… but he has a terrible record against the Red Devils

By TOM SHEEN

Everybody knows about Didier Drogba’s phenomenal scoring record against London rivals Arsenal.

The Ivorian striker scored 13 times against the Gunners in his first spell at Chelsea – and two more for Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup – a phenomenal record against one club.

But what is often glossed over is Drogba’s struggles against their over title rivals over that period, Manchester United.

With Diego Costa still struggling with hamstring injury and Loic Remy facing a race to be fit for Sunday’s game after hurting his groin in the 6-0 win against Maribor, Jose Mourinho may have to turn to the 36-year-old veteran at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Drogba may have scored 158 goals for the Blues in his two spells, scoring his first goal for the club last night since the Champions League final, but less than a handful of those came against Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.

In 19 matches against United in all competitions, Drogba scored a measly three goals

If we look a bit closer at the numbers, Drogba may not have got on the scoresheet too many times but he has played a pivotal role – for good and bad – in matches between the two sides.

His first goal against United was the only goal of a truly terrible FA Cup final in 2007, one of the worst in recent memory; but it was a goal that handed Chelsea a trophy.

Drogba had to wait almost three years for his next goal against United, but again it was a massively important one, if highly contentious. In the title decider at Old Trafford in April 2010, Drogba scored a goal with 10 minutes remaining that effectively handed Chelsea the Premier League title – but the striker was offside.

His third and final goal came in the 2011 Champions League last-16 tie, again at Old Trafford. Chelsea lost 3-1 over two legs, a result that would lead to Carlo Ancelotti leaving the club in the summer.

Drogba also played a pivotal role in the 2008 Champions League final, but for the wrong reasons if you are a Chelsea fan. In extra-time, with Chelsea on top, the striker was sent off in Russia for pointlessly slapping Nemanja Vidic. The Blues would go on to lose the final in a penalty shoot-out.

Despite his lack of goals Chelsea’s record when Drogba is in the team against Manchester United is good.

Of the 19 games he’s been involved in Chelsea have won a slight majority, eight, drawing four and losing seven. But one of those draws and one of those defeats came in the largely pointless Community Shield, giving Drogba a more respectable eight wins from 17 matches.

Whether the striker ends up starting at Old Trafford on Sunday is a big if, but, as ever, he will certainly attract a lot of attention one way or the other.

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QPR chief Tony Fernandes apologises for war of words between Redknapp, Taarabt

Redknapp slammed Taarabt for being over weight

Redknapp slammed Taarabt for being over weight

Chairman of Queens Park Rangers Tony Fernandes, has apologised for the public spat between manager Harry Redknapp and midfielder Adel Taarabt and labelled it “an embarrassment”.

Redknapp accused the player of being overweight and claimed he could not even run about in a reserve game. But the Moroccan hit back and insisted his physical condition was fine.

Fernandes has now waded into the row and promised that matter will be dealt with internally.

“As a club, we are fully aware of stories in the press over the last few days regarding Harry Redknapp and Adel Taarabt,” Fernandes said.

“We regret these issues being played out in public and Harry Redknapp and Adel Taarabt have been notified of our disappointment regarding their handling of the situation. I have spoken to them both personally.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to apologise to the QPR supporters for the embarrassment this has caused and confirm that the issue has been dealt with internally.

“The club’s focus is now on the Aston Villa fixture next Monday and hopefully after a tough few days we can turn a negative into a positive and build on Sunday’s improved display.”

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CAF tells UEFA boss Michel Platini to mind his own business

Confederation of African Football

Confederation of African Football

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has slammed Uefa president Michel Platini for giving his opinion on whether the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) should be called off over Ebola fears.

During a televised debate on Sunday, the UEFA boss questioned whether the tournament – scheduled to be held between January 17 and February 8 next year – should be postponed due to the outbreak of the virus in west Africa.

“In Morocco they are right to ask themselves about the organisation – or not – of the Afcon,” Platini told beIN Sport.

“They should contact the World Health Organisation to know if there is risk or not to play it. I think the health of the people is an absolute priority. It would not be easy to postpone it, the football calendar is extremely packed already.”

However, Caf, yet to confirm where the tournament will be held after planned hosts Morocco requested a postponement, has urged Platini to concentrate on his own affairs.

“The president of Uefa, Michel Platini, found it necessary to question maintaining the scheduled date of the Afcon,” a statement from Caf read.

“The issue has been debated and has been in the public domain the last few days following a request for postponement by Morocco due to the Ebola outbreak.

“Caf, under the leadership of its president, Issa Hayatou, has always promoted free expression within it. Far from it, therefore, can it claim to deprive anyone latitude to express themselves. But we must beware of what appears in every way as interference by a president of a confederation, in cases involving first and foremost Africa and Caf.”

Caf then took an opportunity to bite back at Uefa, firing veiled criticism at Europe’s football governing body for not banning Ukrainian teams from its tournaments following military action in the eastern European nation.

“Under the principle of non-interference required to comply, Caf has refrained so far to comment on some issues on the managing of European football or any other continent,” the statement continued.

“Despite the risks involved in armed conflict in Ukraine, a country where a civilian plane was shot down killing nearly 300 people, Uefa did not consider it necessary to exclude Ukrainian clubs from its competitions as a security parameter by hosting games outside this nation, as treacherously raised once it is about Africa.

“Caf hereby reaffirms the importance it attaches to respect of its sovereignty and does not intend to let anyone interfere in the management of its affairs.”

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Moroccan midfielder Adel Taarabt hits back at Redknapp

QPR star Adel Taarabt

QPR star Adel Taarabt

Moroccan midfielder Adel Taarabt is confident his relationship with QPR fans remains rock solid.

The midfielder has accused Harry Redknapp of trying to create a rift after the QPR manager’s rant on Sunday.

“When I was playing at Milan, sometimes Kaka or Robinho weren’t getting in the team. Then I come to QPR, and that’s not to disrespect my team-mates because I have a good relationship with them, but I was surprised I was not in the squad,” he told the Daily Mail.

“When I came back from Milan, the QPR kitman said ‘you are no more No 10′. I never wanted to be No 10 but the fans asked the chairman for Adel to be 10 not 7 because of the legend Stan Bowles – they wanted me to have the 10 shirt.

“They said they had never seen an exciting player like this for 20 or 25 years, so I said to Tony Fernandes I will take it. Then this summer I was told I would be 27 so I said ‘OK, no problem’. I said nothing.

“I just think that obviously at QPR the fans love me, I love QPR and I love the fans. They are my club. You can’t break the relationship with me and the fans. He wants to get the fans against me.”

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Senegalese striker Sakho maintains goalscoring run as African stars dazzle in Top European leagues

West Ham forward Diafra Sakho

West Ham forward Diafra Sakho

West Ham striker Diafra Sakho scored his sixth goal in six matches as West Ham rose to fourth in the English Premier League with a 3-1 win at Burnley.

Fellow Senegalese Mohamed Diame of Hull and Sadio Mane of Southampton were also on target in a profitable weekend for Africans.

Kenyan Victor Wanyama was another scorer as Southampton crushed Sunderland 8-0 and Ivorian Wilfried Bony converted a penalty for Swansea in a 2-1 loss to Stoke.

In Italy, Ghana striker Richmond Boakye was the hero for Atalanta with a 90th minute winner, whle Angolan Manucho scored in first goal for Rayo Vallecano in Spain.
ENGLAND

DIAFRA SAKHO (West Ham)

Sakho nodded the Hammers in front four minutes after half-time at Turf Moor to stretch his goal-a-game scoring streak to six matches in all competitions. The 24-year-old Senegalese joined the Londoners in mid-year from French club Metz.

WILFRIED BONY (Swansea)

The Ivory Coast striker was wrestled to the ground and then got up to score the ensuing penalty as Swansea went 1-0 up at Stoke in the 34th minute. However, another Bony penalty appeal was rejected and Stoke came back to win 2-1.

MOHAMED DIAME (Hull)

He equalised just four minutes after the Tigers had fallen 1-0 behind in the 13th minute at Arsenal. The midfielder burst through the home back-line before placing a delicate chip over advancing goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal claimed Diame had pulled back Mathieu Flamini, who appeared to win the ball off him, but the referee ignored their protests and awarded the goal. The match was drawn 2-2.

VICTOR WANYAMA (Southampton)

On as a substitute, the Kenyan favourite was played in by Dusan Tadic to score Southampton’s seventh goal in the 79th minute of their extraordinary 8-0 home demolition of Sunderland.

SADIO MANE (Southampton)

Another substitute, the Senegal midfielder was also teed up by Tadic four minutes from time to complete the scoring in what was the Saints’ record English top-flight victory.
SPAIN

IKECHUKWU UCHE (Villarreal)

Nigerian striker Uche struck twice as Villarreal moved up to sixth with a comfortable 2-0 win over Almeria. The 30-year-old was in the right place at the right time to tap home the opener after Ruben Martinez had saved from Mario Gaspar. And Uche was very fortunate not to be flagged offside for his second goal as he turned home Moi Gomez’s cross at the second attempt.

MANUCHO (Rayo Vallecano)

Former Manchester United frontman Manucho handed Rayo Vallecano three vital points with the winner three minutes into stoppage time in a 1-0 victory at Granada. The Angolan collected Chelsea loanee Gael Kakuta’s pass inside the area before coolly slotting into the far corner to register his first goal since joining the Madrid club on a free transfer.

NORDIN AMRABAT (Malaga)

Moroccan Amrabat scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot as Malaga moved into the top half of the table with a 2-1 win at bottom club Cordoba.
ITALY

RICHMOND BOAKYE (Atalanta)

Boakye emerged as the hero for Atalanta in a dogfight between two sides languishing in the Serie A doldrums. As the match headed for a scoreless draw, Boakye got his toe to a loose ball in a crowded area to poke home a 90th-minute winner for the Bergamo side, who pulled three points clear of the relegation zone.

MICHAEL ESSIEN (AC Milan)

Ghanaian Essien’s first start for Milan this season ended on a happy note, the Rossoneri claiming a precious 3-1 win at Verona thanks largely to a Keisuke Honda brace for the visitors that helped move Milan up to fourth. Essien had a relatively uneventful 90 minutes.

KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)

Asamoah was an unused substitute in Juventus’s 1-1 draw at Sassuolo that saw the champions’ league lead over Roma reduced to a point. Patrice Evra was preferred to the Ghanaian, suggesting Asamoah could start Wednesday when Juve meet Champions League opponents Olympiakos.

GERVINHO (AS Roma)

Gervinho was an unused substitute in Roma’s 3-0 home win over Chievo that, along with Juve’s 1-1 draw at Sassuolo, allowed the capital side to close the gap on the Serie A leaders to a point. Gervinho is almost certain to start for Roma in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at home to Bayern Munich, when the Ivorian’s pace could prove the difference for Rudi Garcia’s men.
FRANCE

NICOLAS NKOULOU (Marseille)

The 24-year-old Cameroon defender opened the scoring in Marseille’s 2-0 win over Toulouse in front of a 61,846 crowd at the newly-refurbished Stade Velodrome. Nkoulou found the target in the 21st minute when he rose to convert a Dimitri Payet free-kick, the ball appearing to go into the net off his shoulder.

CHEICK DIABATE (Bordeaux)

Mali striker Diabate put Bordeaux ahead from the penalty spot after 22 minutes against Caen, but the visitors levelled for a 1-1 draw as Bordeaux missed the chance to go back above PSG into second place.

FLOYD AYITE (Togo)

The 25-year-old France-born Togo international scored six minutes after half-time to give Bastia a 1-0 win at Nice. Despite a furious fightback from mid-table Nice, the Corsicans held on for only their second win of the season. The match was marred by a mini pitch invasion from disgruntled Nice fans at full-time.
GERMANY

KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG, ERIC-MAXIM CHOUPO MOTING (Schalke 04)

Ghana midfielder Boateng returned from an ankle injury by playing 78 minutes of Schalke’s 2-0 victory at home to his former club Hertha Berlin. Boateng put in a strong display as an attacking midfielder and Cameroon striker Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting was involved in the build-ups to both goals.

ASSANI LUKIMYA (Werder Bremen)

The Democratic Republic of Congo defender was powerless to prevent Germany star Mario Goetze turning him and burying his shot into the far corner for Bayern Munich’s last goal in their 6-0 rout of Werder Bremen. Lukimya’s Congolese team-mate Cedrick Makiadi also started for Bremen, but the league’s bottom side were outclassed.

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LATEST HEADLINES

Drama unfolds as High Court calls for new NFF executive to be sacked thumbnail

Drama unfolds as High Court calls for new NFF executive to be sacked

A State High Court has sacked the new Nigeria Football Federation board, led by Amaju Pinnick.
Former Nigerian midfielder Oliseh urges African coaches to target World stage thumbnail

Former Nigerian midfielder Oliseh urges African coaches to target World stage

Former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh has said coaches in Africa must prepare themselves adequately to rub shoulders with top-class coaches across the globe.
Gabonese striker Aubameyang hits brace as Dortmund win big in Turkey thumbnail

Gabonese striker Aubameyang hits brace as Dortmund win big in Turkey

Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang produced two superb finishes for Germans Borussia Dortmund as they thrashed Turkish hosts Galatasaray 0:4 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
UEFA cheif Platini demands apology over CAF statement thumbnail

UEFA cheif Platini demands apology over CAF statement

UEFA president Michel Platini has hit back at the Confederation of African Football after it was alleged that he called for the postponement of the 2015 African Nations Cup due to the Ebola outbreak.
Five African stars on target on Champions League night thumbnail

Five African stars on target on Champions League night

Five African stars were on target for their clubs in the UEFA Champions League games played on Tuesday night.
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Didier Drogba could start for the Blues on Sunday… but he has a terrible record against the Red Devils thumbnail

Manchester United vs Chelsea: Didier Drogba could start for the Blues on Sunday… but he has a terrible record against the Red Devils

By TOM SHEEN Everybody knows about Didier Drogba’s phenomenal scoring