Defender Joseph Yobo will play in his third FIFA World Cup finals and have
opportunity to become Nigeria’s first –ever century – international after
he was named in the African champions’ final list of 23 for Brazil 2014.
African champions Nigeria have urged business magnate Aliko Dangote to redeem the $1million he promised them for winning the Africa Cup of Nations last year.
“We understand the busy schedule of Alhaji Dangote, we are just reminding him and his aides to help remind him,” skipper Vincent Enyeama said on the team’s behalf.
Also yet to redeem his pledge to the team is Tony Elumelu, who promised the team $500,000, after their AFCON 2013 conquest.
“It’s just a reminder to patriots who are very busy and may not have been prompted after they made their pledges, because the players are determined to bring more honours to fatherland at the forthcoming World Cup,” the Lille goalkeeper added.
Enyeama was full of praise for Cross River State government, particularly Governor Liyel Imoke, for redeeming his promise to give members of the victorious Super Eagles team at the last Nations Cup in South Africa, one plot of land each in the state capital, Calabar.
Last week, NFF president Aminu Maigari, delivered the land papers fresh from Government House in Calabar, to team administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor, who has since commenced their distribution to all the players and officials.
“We want to thank Governor Imoke and the good people of Cross River state for redeeming his pledge to us as a team, we promise that we will not disappoint him anytime we return to Calabar to play any game,”Enyeama said.
The plots of land are in the choice area of Calabar and State Sports Commissioner Patrick Ugbe has assured that most of the players and officials have already said they will build in the city and live in their properties
The Cross River state capital is generally regarded as one of the cleanest cities in Africa and Nigeria’s number one tourism destination.
The League Management Company's (LMC) pact with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) got off to a good start in Umuahia where Abia Warriors hosted Kaduna United in one of the opening games of the 2013/14 Glo Premier League season. The 'Red side of Abia' as Abia Warriors are now known won 2-0 with goals from Uluocha Chima and Bishop Onyeudo. And fans, club officials, players and football administrators in separate comments commended the added security measures introduced by the LMC in conjunction with the NSCDC.
Abia Warriors were having their initiation game in the Glo Premier League but left no one in doubt of their intentions to retain a place in top flight league with the recruitment of seasoned campaigners such as Ogbonna Okemiri, Wasiu Sowemimo, Emmanuel Fabiyi, Chidozie Johnson and Onyekachi Okoye amonst others.
"The presence of the Civil Defense Corps is a good development", remarked Hon. Emeka Nwosu, a former Political desk Editor at the defunct Daily Times newspaper. "We have always been worried about the security at match venues but with the presence of these chaps, I will keep coming to cheer Abia Warriors", he added
Garba Lawal, the General Manager of the visiting Kaduna United described the presence of the Civil Defense Corps members as "very reassuring because we simply had to focus on the game and not worry about our safety"
Abia Warriors center back, Wasiu Sowemimo also commended the enhanced security situation at the stadium, saying, "everyone is at risk when security us not adequate because as a home team, you may be attacked by the home fan when you disappoint them. But seeing these officers is very good even though we didn't wish to disappoint the fans and thank God we also won well in our first game".
Vice Chairman of the Imo State Football Association, Sir Emmanuel Ochiagha who was in Umuahia to see the game promised to personally liaise with the officers at the Imo State command to ensure that the partnership continued. "We are all too happy to work with the LMC to improve security at games and make it convenient for fans to turn out and in the process raise the FA share of the gate takings".
Towards ensuring safety at Glo Premier League venues, the League Management Company (LMC) had made overtures to the command headquarters of NSCDC to compliment the efforts of the Nigeria Police as Security Stewards.
This move was easily embraced by the Commandant of NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin who received a delegation of the LMC led by the Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, and promised to deploy his officers to venues of the Match Day One games as a test run operation.
Abolurin had told the delegation, "We are very happy to support the LMC and our clubs to provide security for Match officials, players and more importantly, fans, declared Abolurin and added, “I have followed the league keenly and believe that the civil defense will be part of the innovations the LMC is bringing to the game".
Fortuna Dusseldorf and new Super Eagles right back, Leon Balogun, will afterall not undergo surgery on his injured right foot, German medics ruled at the weekend.
An excited Balogun said from his German base on Sunday that when he went for a second check on his injury he was told by doctors that the injury he sustained in the friendly against Mexico last Wednesday in Atlanta, Georgia, United States is not as serious as previously envisaged hence there will be no need for surgery.
“They told me that the two bones broken are in the base of my foot, which will heal on their own and will not require me to undergo any surgical operation. I was also told that within six weeks I should be in good condition and another two or four weeks for rehabilitation. Overall I should be back kicking the ball by the time the national team returns to camp”, he declared.
Already, treatment for the 25 year defence ace has already began in German and the Nigerian medics are also keeping a close tab on his treatment. “Yes, I have been in touch with Dr Ibrahim Gyaran, team administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor and I must say I am totally overwhelmed by the show of love by Nigerians and fans across the world. I remain committed to overcome this initial setback and return quickly for the World Cup preparations”, he said.
He said he will keep fit while recuperating by visiting the gym regularly. “I just hope I don’t look to muscular when I resume training, but I will keep fit while I try to get myself ready for future challenges”, he said laughing.
Newly capped Super Eagles and Standard Liege of Belgium striker, Ezekiel Imoh, has revealed that but for his father he would have been playing for Belgium instead of Nigeria at the international level.
The Nigeria Football Federation is taken nothing to chance as it seeks a decent performance at this year’s World Cup in Brazil and better conduct by players and officials of all national team in the future.
President of the Confederation of Central American and Caribbeans Football Associations (CONCACAF), Mr Jeffrey Webb, on Wednesday expressed belief that the Super Eagles of Nigeria will dazzle theworld at the 20th FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil this summer.
From Nigeria, Europe and from all over the United States of America,
they came. Football administrators of note, members of the National
Assembly, diplomats in high offices, former Nigerian international
players, football agents and managers, coaches, authors and fans.