Connect with us

Nigerian Football

Supersand Eagles Off To Bahamas

Published

on

Nigeria’s Beach Soccer national team, the Supersand Eagles are scheduled to leave the country’s shores for their ninth attempt at the FIFA

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals, taking place in Nassau, The Bahamas next week.

The team which placed second in the continental qualifiers last December is being led by Coach Audu Adamu, with a playing body that boasts highly experienced Isiaka Olawale, Ogbonnaya Okemiri, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Abu Azeez, Victor Tale and goalkeeper Godwin Anyalogu, as well as upcoming but talented and fearless Godspower Igudia, Emeka Ogbonna, Emmanuel Owhoferia and Suleiman Mohammed.

Eight of the players that made the final cut of 12 will travel on Thursday night along with the coaches and backroom staff, with the remaining four (who only got their transit entry visas into the United States of America on Thursday) scheduled to fly out on Tuesday.

Thursday’s group flew aboard Delta Airline, to connect Atlanta, USA before the short flight into Nassau. The party to leave on Tuesday will also fly Delta Airline, with only one official to travel through Amsterdam and Panama aboard KLM, Royal Dutch Airline.

Advertisement

Coach Adamu, who saw the Supersand Eagles to a 7th place finish at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Ravenna, Italy, told thenff.com on Thursday: “This is the biggest stage in world football, and we are battle ready to give our very best.

“We are not new to this level. In 2011, we came close to making the semi finals but lost to Brazil after extra time in Italy. I am happy that I still have a good number of players who featured in that competition, and we will approach the tournament in Nassau with confidence and the right mental attitude.”

Nigeria participated in four of the previous eight FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup competitions, crashing out at group stage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2006 and in Dubai, UAE in 2009, but making the quarter finals in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and in Ravenna, Italy six years ago.

The Supersand Eagles’ first match in Nassau comes up on Thursday next week, against Italy, with further matches against Asian champions Iran and Mexico (CONCACAF runners-up) to come in Group B.

 

Advertisement

SUPERSAND EAGLES FOR WORLD CUP

 

Godwin Anyalogu (GK); Emmanuel Owhoferia; Ogbonnaya Okemiri; Taiwo Adams; Godspower Igudia; Victor Tale; Isiaka Olawale; Abu Azeez; Emeka Ogbonna; Bartholomew Ibenegbu; Suleiman Mohammed; Paul Danjuma (GK)

 

FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP THE BAHAMAS 2017

Advertisement

 

GROUP A: The Bahamas, Switzerland, Ecuador, Senegal

 

GROUP B: Nigeria, Italy, Iran, Mexico

 

Advertisement

GROUP C: United Arab Emirates, Paraguay, Portugal, Panama

 

GROUP D: Brazil, Tahiti, Japan, Poland

 

PREVIOUS FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP FINALS

Advertisement

 

. Rio de Janeiro 2005

 

. Rio de Janeiro 2006

 

Advertisement

. Rio de Janeiro 2007

 

. Marseilles 2008

 

. Dubai 2009

Advertisement

 

. Italy 2011

 

Tahiti 2013

 

Advertisement

. Portugal 2015

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Nigerian Football

Manu Garba, U17 World Cup winner, returns as Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

Published

on

The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 – Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

Garba’s world-conquering squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

The former Nigeria international will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

Kano Pillars on  the verge of relegation again?

Published

on

BY NURA GARBA SABONSARA

As the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) 2023/2024 season enters the home stretch, Kano Pillars find themselves in a precarious situation, despite being in the 8th on the league table.

They have 41 points in a close-packed league in which no situation below the top eight can be regarded as safe now.

On the surface, the eighth position occupied by Kano Pillars might seem a decent position, but beneath lies a series of crises that is threatening the club’s stability.

Kano Pillars, a team deeply entrenched in the hearts of the people of Kano, holds a unique status in Nigerian football. Yet, recent events have cast doubts on their future in the league.

Advertisement

Despite a promising start to the season where they occupied the third position, the team has encountered a harsh reality check.

For the first time in its history since establishment in 1990, Kano Pillars faced back-to-back home losses in a single season, a stunning defeat against Abia Warriors followed by a recent upset against Shooting Stars of Ibadan on Monday, 8th April, 2024.

These losses, coupled with a humiliating 5-0 defeat by Enyimba, paint a troubling picture.

While some attribute these setbacks to the challenges of Ramadan fasting affecting the players, others argue that this explanation falls short because the team has been playing in this situation for many years.

Why now?. The root of Pillars’ problems lies deeper, starting from the inability to secure key signings and a lack of strong financial backing.

Advertisement

Recruitment primarily from local talent pools received mixed reactions.

While some praised the emphasis on nurturing grassroots talent, others feared the consequences of inexperience, a concern that seems to be materializing now.

Moreover, the team’s financial woes, compounded by fines imposed due to fan misconduct, further exacerbate the situation.

Similarly, some close government allies and individuals are forcing the technical crew to recruit their players irrespective of whether they are competent or not, a development that has angered many fans of the club.

Many players seem motivated solely by personal career advancement rather than team success, raising questions about commitment and morale.

Advertisement

Additionally, scheduling matches during Ramadan, though a long standing practice, has never before yielded such dismal results.

With relegation looming just eight points away, urgent action is imperative.

The government, alongside club officials, must step in decisively to address these issues. Ignoring the plight of Kano Pillars risks tarnishing the state’s football legacy irreparably.

In conclusion, Kano Pillars stand at a critical juncture. Without swift intervention and a concerted effort to rectify underlying problems, the club faces the grim prospect of relegation once again.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

Shooting Stars rally from behind to clinch a rare victory in Kano

Published

on

Shooting Stars continue to press for the top three slot in the Nigeria Premier League as they clinched a rare 2-1  victory in Kano on Monday evening.

Before now, they have always been battered with basketful of goals in their away duels with Kano Pillars.

In some instances, the score lines were as wide as 6-0. But on Monday, Shooting Stars continued their chase of the frontrunners. It initially looked a continuation of the past when in the opening two minutes, Shooting Stars were already a goal down.

Rabiu Ali shot the hosts ahead and held on till half time. Three minutes into the second half, Taiye Murtala levelled up for Shooting Stars before serial scorer, Christian Pyagbara scored the winner in the fourth minute of the added time.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed