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Revealed: English Championship duo Frimpong, Schlupp get call ups to Ghana’s World CUp squad

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah

Ghana coach, Kwesi Appiah, has named Emmanuel Frimpong and Jeff Schlupp in his provisional squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

According to a Ghana’s State news agency, Leicester City’s Schlupp will be among the ten selected defenders of the 30 players in the list expected to be pruned to 23 for the competition.

Frimpong is among 12 midfielders expected to begin preparations on May 26, ahead of the World Cup; Ghana’s third in succession.

According to the source, Aduana Star’s goalkeeper, Stephen Adams remains the only locally-based player in the team that includes four goalkeepers.

Also named in the squad is Italian Serie A side, Sassoulo’s Yussif Raman Chibsah. Making a return after months of absence are Anthony Annan and Isaac Vorsah.

Appiah is said to have presented the list to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) ahead of the official submission to the global body, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) next month.

The Ghana FA was scheduled to have been organised a media briefing on May 12 to announce its squad for the World Cup.

Ghana are in  Group G  of the World Cup alongside, USA, Germany and Portugal.

Full squad;

Goalkeepers

Adam Kwarasey, Daniel Agyei, Fatua Dauda and Stephen Adams

Defenders

Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare, Jonathan Mensah, Baba Rahman, Harrison Afful, Jeff Schulpp, John Boye, Isaac Vorsah, Jerry Akaminko and Rashid Sumaila

Midfielders

Sulley Muntari, Mubarak Wakaso, Mohammed Rabiu, Michael Essien, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Anthony Annan, Yusif Raman Chipsah, Andre Ayew, Kwadjo Asamoah, Christian Atsu, Emmanuel Frimpong and Albert Adoma

Attackers

Jordan Ayew, Abdul Majeed Warris, Asamoah Gyan, Kevin Prince Boateng.

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Iran thumps South African side Moroka Swallows 5-0 in World Cup preparatory match

Iran played Moroka Swallows in South Africa

Iran played Moroka Swallows in South Africa

The Iranian national football team crushed the South African premiership club Moroka Swallows 5-0 in a friendly match in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday.

Payam Sadeghian, Reza Norouzi, Mohammad-Reza Khalatbari and Karim Ansarifard (two goals)  were all on target for the Iranian football team in this match.

Iran will play Nigeria in Curitiba on June 16 in its first group match. “Our main goal was not to get a good result in this friendly match; we wanted to identify the weak and strong points of the team. We will continue the fitness training to get players to a good level”, Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz said after the match.

“If everyone supports us I believe Iran will have a good performance in 2014 World Cup in Brazil”, he added.

Carlos Queiroz’s men will also play Mozambique in their training camp in South Africa.

Iran has been drawn in Group F of the 2014 World Cup along with Argentina, Nigeria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Asian heavyweight will leave Iran on May 12 to hold a training camp in Austria where they will play Belarus and Montenegro.

They will also take on  Trinidad and Tobago in their final preparation for the 2014 World Cup in a match will be held in Sao Paolo, Brazil on June 8.

The World Cup will begin in Sao Paulo on June 12 and will end in Rio’s famous Maracana stadium on July 13.

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SuperSports acquire rights to show 2014 World Cup across Africa

SuperSports will show the World Cup across Africa

SuperSports will show the World Cup across Africa

SuperSport, broadcaster of premium sports programmes on DStv, has announced that it has secured the rights to screen all the 64 matches of the 2014 FIFA World in Brazil with Africa’s best analysts and presenters anchoring the world’s best football event.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles and four other countries namely Ghana, Cameroun, Algeria and Côte d’Ivoire will fly the continent’s flag with hopes of lifting the prestigious trophy.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the campaign titled “We are Brazil”, General Manager, SuperSport, Felix Awogu, said DStv and GOtv subscribers will get to watch all the matches with the best picture and sound quality available.

There is also the added perk of watching live matches on the SuperSport HD channels on DStv.

“In addition to the world-class broadcast quality that is our trademark and which our subscribers will enjoy, they will also have access to insightful football analysis and thrilling magazine programmes which will showcase the stories outside the field of play” stressed Awogu.

Continuing on what DStv is also offering its subscribers, he said; “We have four special shows specifically produced to further showcase the World Cup, Brazil and the fans.

“Most importantly, we will also give expert insight and analysis from our unmatched line up of presenters and studio guests.”

Ghana’s Sammy Kuffuor, Sunday Oliseh and some other top studio guests will be in Brazil with the SuperSport team will give a distinct and an excellent coverage of the competition.

For Nigerian’s who are yet to get connected to the pay tv channels, MultiChoice Nigeria yesterday announced that it will, with effect from yesterday, slash price of their decoder from to enable Super Eagles fans and football lovers in general to watch the World Cup.

The offer comes with two months subscription on the Access bouquet and excludes dish installation.

Similarly, General Manager, Marketing, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Martin Mabutho, pointed out that due to the late broadcast of some of the games, the DStv mobile devices and the Explora decoder will come in handy, in ensuring viewers see all the action and do not miss out during the World Cup.

“Walka 7 allows you to watch in traffic, and in the office, while the Explora with its two terabytes memory, gives viewers the opportunity to record all the games, right onto the decoder, and keep them for good,” observed Mabutho.

He adds that “DStv subscribers can maximise their experience of football during the World Cup with the Catch Up feature on the Explora decoder, by accessing the stacked content and watching previously aired soccer matches”.

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NFF boss Maigari blasts Nigerian media for fabricating stories

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari has sounded a word of caution to the media who he claims ‘fabricate stories on the supposed rift in the football family’. 
He said most of them write without facts and have been damaging the reputation of Nigerian football and that of the coaching crew of the national team rather than building it.
“If anyone is in doubt they should ask questions but they will never do that, they go on facebook, twitter and use all other manner of media to damage the reputation of the leadership of Nigerian football without asking questions”.
“Henceforth, such flagrant abuse of the media will no longer be acceptable to us”, the NFF boss said.  .
“I don’t want to mention names but those concerned know themselves and for the last time I want to appeal to them to allow us concentrate on preparations for the World Cup rather than causing all manner of distractions”, he said.
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Former Eagles Coach Westerhof roots for Keshi to surpass his target with Nigeria’s Super Eagles

Stephen Keshi,Supper Eagles Coach

Stephen Keshi,Supper Eagles Coach

Former Eagles Coach, Clemens Westehof has tipped his protege and former captain, Stephen Keshi to surpass his achievement with the Super Eagles.

Westerhof is reputed to be the best Eagles coach till date, having guided the team to a Nations Cup win in 1994 and their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in the same year.

He introduced a brand of attacking football, tailored after the Brazilian and Dutch teams, which won wide acclaim and catapulted the Eagles to the fifth position in the monthly FIFA rankings in 1994. It remains the best position ever attained by Nigerian.

Keshi was the captain of the team that Westerhof tinkered to great heights and has since gone on to become coach of the Eagle, on the march to their fifth World Cup outing this summer in Brazil.

The country’s best finish at the Mundial remains the second round, which ironically Westerhof first reached at the 1994 finals in the United States of America and looking at the antecedents and progress of his former central defender, the Dutchman believes that Keshi is on his way to stardom if he harps on tactical and team discipline.

Speaking in a telephone interview with Sports Vanguard, Westerhof said that it would be a catastrophe if Keshi, with all his rich playing and coaching experience is unable to lead the Eagles beyond the quarterfinal of Brazil 2014.

“It is an honour to me that my former captain is now the coach of the national team. In fact, it is double joy for me because the head coach and the assistant coach, Daniel Amokachi,were both my former players.

“These two coaches were exceptional players. Keshi played for Lokeren and Anderlecht in Belgium and Strasbourg in France and during this time, he had the privilege of playing against great players while Amikachi also played for Club Brugge in Belgium, Besiktas in Turkey, Everton in England and Colorado Rapids of U.S.A.

“Both have played at the highest level against top players and know what it takes to play against teams like Spain, Germany, Argentina, Italy and England at the World Cup. They must not be afraid because they know what it is like to play against big teams with top players. They understand the atmosphere and pressure that come with playing at the biggest stage.

“With such a rich playing experience, it is possible for Nigeria to get to the last four of the World Cup. But we must also be lucky to go far in Brazil because at times, you play well but the ball may hit the bar three times in a roll and your opponent would be in an offside position, which the linesman mightl not see it and will score and send you out of the tournament”,added Westerhof.

Continuing, the former Zimbabwe and Mamelodi Sundowns coach said there would not be any hiding place for the Eagles in Brazil. Eaghes are in Group F, comprising Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran, who they open their campaign against on June 16 in Curitiba.

“The eyes of the world will be on Nigeria because your team are known and other teams will be prepared for you. Nigeria have lost the element of surprise as your players are known globally. No team will underrate Nigeria. In fact, there would not be any hiding place for the great Super Eagles. So we must be serious with the preparations and be more serious during the tournament

“The NFF must also be serious in ensuring that the team get all they need to do well in Brazil. They know exactly what they must do and Keshi also knows what he must do to ensure a fantastic tournament for Nigeria”, said Westehof, who once coached top Dutch teams like Vitesse, Feyenoord and MVV.

He promised to consult with Keshi over the team list for the World Cup and offer tips on how Eagles can reach the World Cup last four stage, when he meets his former captain next month.

“I want the team to succeed. I want Nigerian football to grow and do well in Brazil. So I will discuss with Keshi and tell him how to make the last four”, Westerhof quipped over the telephone line.

Recalling his time time in Nigeria, Westerhof said the first words he learnt here was “no problem’, even when it was clear that there was a problem.

“For me, the greatest challenge I faced in Nigeria happened to be the first words that I learnt here, which was no problem. When I asked if there was a problem with this thing, the answer I got was ‘no problem’. People were living in self denial, which was a setback to the country.

“It so happened that people did not do what I wanted them to do and they were still telling me no problem sir. But I had other plans and got them to key into my project. The first thing I did was to make the team a family. I respected my players and they had to show me the respect too and that made the NFA to give us our due respect.

“As the team prepare to go the World Cup, Keshi must ensure that tactical and team discipline are high on his priority list. The players must eat the right meal and sleep at the right time. Nigeria have a lot of good players but they must have the right discipline to stand a chance of excelling in Brazil”, Westerhof added.

Set to celebrate his 73rd birthday on May 3 at a lavish bash in Lagos, Westehof, looking back at his years on earth, said that he was contented with what life has thrown at him.

“My brother, I am a very happy and contended man. These last 72 years on earth have been remarkable and rewarding. I am blessed and happy. I am getting old and to keep myself alive and fit, I run in the woods everyday, at least for an hour.

“I do it my own day, not at full speed. After that, I take a shower, make myself a cup of coffee, which I enjoy a lot. I am still strong at this age and you never can tell if I can land a big coaching contract”, Westerhof remarked.

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Ghana to confirm friendly against South Korea as part of World Cup preparatory matches

The Black Stars will camp in the USA before the World Cup

The Black Stars will camp in the USA before the World Cup

Ghana is considering an international friendly against  South Korea before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The match is likely to be played at FIU Stadium in Miami on June 9 or 10 as part of the Black Stars preparation for Brazil 2014.

The 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists will be camping in the United States before moving to Rotterdam to play The Netherlands on May 31.

The Ghana FA spokesperson Ibrahim Saanie Daara announced that though no firm contract has been signed, both sides will be looking to confirm the friendly by next week.

“The Holland match is the only confirmed”, Mr. Sannie Darra said whiles also denying reports making rounds that Guatemala have been roped in the list of friendlies for the Black Stars.

“We have no signed contract with South Korea. By next week we should firm up all details,” Daara added.

Ghana will face  US, Germany and Portugal in Group G of the World Cup to be staged in Brazil.

 

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Former Chelsea boss Grant believes “strong mental strength” will key for an African country to win Brazil 2014

Avram Grant believes an African country can win the World Cup

Avram Grant believes an African country can win the World Cup

Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has expressed believe that  ”strong mental strength” will be key for the countries representing Africa at the FIFA World Cup if they stand a chance of annexing the trophy for the first time in the history of the competition.

Stressing that Africa’s five at Brazil 2014 are set to excel, Grant said “I certainly believe Africans teams will excel at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. I strongly believe that Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria might even go further than the quarter final stage if their mental strength is excellent. It will be a good testimony for African football.”

“One advantage that the African teams have in Brazil is that it is going to be warm. European teams have never won the World Cup in South America, so it will be a great opportunity for the African teams to do well because of the circumstances they have to play in,” Grant said but cautioned that to excel, Africa’s representatives will need to have “technical expertise to inculcate the strong mental strength in the players” for them to prevail against other competing nations.

Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria carry the hopes of a continent pregnant with huge expectations that at the barest minimum, one team would go all the way to the final and attempt to win Africa’s first World Cup.

“An African team will be champions of the world one day. I even don’t understand why Africa can’t win the World Cup because when compared to other countries, Africa has got excellent talents,” Grant said adding that “the only problem I have seen with African teams is the fact that they lose games they can win in crucial moments. However, this can be improved because the problem is lack of a strong mental strength but it can be fixed.”

“When Italy won the World Cup in 2006, they had no good talented players more than Africa with all due respect. At that time, Italy was not better than the leading countries in Africa but they have something that is lacking here in Africa and its more to do with the mental strength and this can be taught by employing the best people to teach it.”

Grant, who said he was particularly following the Nigerian Super Eagles since their Nations Cup triumph in South Africa and reckons they will be Africa’s top side because of their “brilliance”, advised the coaches of African teams to emphasize on the mental strength of the players and to get results in crucial moments and matches.

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NFF Spokesman Olajire insists Super Eagles World Cup program remains unchanged

Nigeria's world Cup plans will go ahead

Nigeria’s world Cup program will go ahead as planned

Spokesman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ademola Olajire, has  stressed that there has been no change to the  Super Eagles’ schedule leading to the 20th Fifa World Cup finals in Brazil, ruling out claims of a cancellation of the program.

“We have heard people talking about cancellation of the friendly with the Senior Team of USA. Sincerely, we don’t know where that is coming from.

“For avoidance of doubt, the NFF and its Official Fifa Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport hereby re-confirm that the Super Eagles will regroup in London on May 25, play Scotland at the Craven Cottage ground of English Premiership side Fulham FC on May 28 and fly to the USA on May 29.

“The African champions will play the Senior Team of Greece at the Philadelphia Union Stadium on June 3 and then take on Team USA at the EverBank Field Stadium in Jacksonville on June 7, before flying to Sao Paulo on June 11″, Olajire stated.

 

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Former Ghana FA capo Jawula backs Stromgodest goalie to stop Ronaldo’s powerful shots at Brazil World Cup

Norway based Ghana goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey

Norway based Ghana goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey

Former Ghana FA Chaiman MND Jawula says Stromgodest goalkeeper  Adam Kwarasey  can be the country’s only solution to the powerful strikes of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo at the 2014 World Cup.

With barely two months left for the tournament to begin the race for a place in coach Kwesi Appiah’s final 23-man squad has intensified with massive campaigns to have certain players included in the team.

The goalkeeping department will be fiercely contested with Adam Kwarasey and Fatau Dauda the key players fighting for the number one position.

Veteran goalie Richard Kingson, Daniel Agyei and CHAN hero Stephen Adams as well as Spain-based Razak Brimah are all lurking around for a potential inclusion into the team.

But former Ghana FA Chairman MND Jawula believes Stromgodest captain Adam Kwarasey stands tall among his compatriots and should be given the nod, claiming Turkish-based veteran goalie Richard Kingson and Dauda are simply not good enough to man the post.

“I’m not quite sure Richard Kingson can handle shots from [Cristiano] Ronaldo, he may be playing actively for a second-tier side but I don’t think he needs a call-up,” Jawula said on a Ghanaian TV show.

“We have good goalkeepers but I will choose Adam Kwarasey over Fatau Dauda and the rest.

“He was the best goalkeeper for his team last season and he is also playing actively week in and out.

“I’m sure nobody will hand over his life into the hands of an inactive pilot.

“I went to commission a match in South Africa involving Orlando Pirates but he [Dauda] was not part of the team so I looked for him only to find him in the stands watching the game. I felt very sorry for him.

“The goalkeepers to be selected will be Adam Kwarasey as the first-choice followed by Fatau Dauda and Stephen Adams. Stephen was very good at the just ended CHAN tournament in South Africa.”

Dauda, who plays for South African side Orlando Pirates, must start getting regular playing time if he wants to remain Ghana’s number one at the global piece in Brazil.

He has been restricted to the substitute bench as pressure heaps on him to break into the starting line-up while his competitor Kwarasey has been in consistent form for the Norwegian champions.

The Africans are drawn in group G alongside ‘old friends’ USA and Germany as well as Portugal which has reigning World Player Cristiano Ronaldo in their fold.

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Carlos Queiroz names 28-man squad for World Cup training camp in South Africa

Iran will play against Nigeria at the World Cup

Iran will play against Nigeria at the World Cup

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has invited 28 players for his team’s World Cup preparatory training camp in South Africa.

The camp will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from April 14 to May 7.
Arsenal transfer target Sardar Azmoun and European-based players have not been invited because their participation in their leagues.
Iran has been drawn along with giant Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Group F of the 2014 World Cup.
Iran will play Mozambique in its training camp in S. Africa and will also face Trinidad and Tobago in its final preparation for the 2014 World Cup in a match to be held in Sao Paolo, Brazil on June 8.
The World Cup will begin in Sao Paulo on June 12 and will end in Rio’s famous Maracana stadium on July 13.
Iran will play Nigeria in Curitiba on June 16 in its first group match.
Players invited for Iran’s training camp:
Goalkeepers:
Rahman Ahmadi – Sepahan Esfahan
Sousha Makani – Foolad Khuzestan
Hamed Lak – Tractor Sazi Tabriz
Defenders:
Khosro Heydari – Esteghlal Tehran
Hossein Mahini – Persepolis Tehran
Pejman Montazeri – Umm Salal, QAT
Jalal Hosseini – Persepolis Tehran
Amir-Hossein Sadeghi – Esteghlal Tehran
Shoja Khalilzadeh – Sepahan Esfahan
Mohammad-Reza Khanzadeh – Zob Ahan Esfahan
Ahmad Alenemeh – Naft Tehran
Hashem Beikzadeh – Esteghlal Tehran
Ehsan Hajsafi – Sepahan Esfahan
Mehrdad Pouladi – Persepolis Tehran
Mehrdad Jamaati – Foolad Khhuzestan
Midfielders:
Javad Nekounam – Kuwait SC, KUW
Andranik Teymourian – Esteghlal Tehran
Reza Haghighi – Persepolis Tehran
Omid Ebrahimi – Sepahan Esfahan
Ghasem Hadadifar – Zob Ahan Esfahan
Bakhtiar Rahmani – Foolad Khuzestan
Payam Sadeghian – Persepolis Tehran
Mohsen Mosalman – Persepolis Tehran
Strikers:
Mohammad-Reza Khalatbari – Persepolis Tehran
Mehdi Sharifi – Sepahan Esfahan
Karim Ansarifard – Tractor Sazi Tabriz
Reza Norouzi – Naft Tehran
Yaghoub Karimi – Sepahan Esfahan
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