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Nigerian Football

PINNICK EXPLAINS WHY ROHR GOT CONTRACT EXTENSION

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President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick has explained that the resolve of the Federation’s leadership to ensure there are no distractions of any size or complexion around Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup preparation and participation informed the offer of a fresh, two –year contract to Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr.

Franco-German Rohr, signed by the NFF in August 2016, has met the first milestone of his contract, which is qualifying the Super Eagles for a sixth FIFA World Cup finals. Nigeria thoroughly overhauled a so –called Group of Death, spanking 2012 AFCON winners Zambia home and away and earning four points from home-and-away clashes with fellow 2014 World Cup finalists Cameroon and Algeria. Second –placed Zambia finished six points behind the Super Eagles.

“We have decided to confront head-on any possible area of conflict or controversy, and fully resolve each and every possible friction point well ahead of the competition.

“After signing the agreement on payment to the team from expected FIFA income, the next stage was to take care of the Technical Adviser. He has done very well and does not need to go into the World Cup uncertain of his future,” stated Pinnick.

The 64 –year old Rohr, a former Germany defender, flaunts a sterling record with the Super Eagles, winning seven of 12 matches and drawing four in his 15 months in charge so far. His only loss was the 0-2 reverse to South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in a 2019 AFCON qualifier in Uyo in June 2017.

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Under him, the Eagles have beaten Tanzania, Zambia (twice), Algeria, Togo, Cameroon and two –time world champions Argentina, and drawn with Senegal, Corsica, Cameroon and Algeria.

Following the 1-0 defeat of Zambia in Uyo on 7th October that guaranteed Nigeria’s place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Rohr, whose qualifying squad has been declared the youngest of all 32 finalists, told thenff.com: “I love working with this group. I am delighted being at the head of such a wonderful, level –headed and ambitious squad.”

After signing a two –year contract with the NFF last year, Rohr told thenff.com: “I have a German heart – the heart of a winner.

“I have confidence that with the right atmosphere and the right support, the Super Eagles have the capacity not only to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but to get to the latter stages of the competition.”

 

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ROHR’S RECORD

03/09/2016: Nigeria 1 Tanzania 0 (AFCON Qualifier, Uyo)

09/10/2017: Zambia 1 Nigeria 2 (WC Qualifier, Ndola)

12/11/2016: Nigeria 3 Algeria 1 (WC Qualifier, Uyo)

23/03/2017: Nigeria 1 Senegal 1 (Friendly, London)

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27/05/2017: Corsica 1 Nigeria 1 (Friendly, Ajaccio)

01/06/2017: Nigeria 3 Togo 0 (Friendly, Paris)

10/06/2017: Nigeria 0 South Africa 2 (AFCON Qualifier, Uyo)

01/09/2017: Nigeria 4 Cameroon 0 (WC Qualifier, Uyo)

04/09/2017: Cameroon 1 Nigeria 1 (WC Qualifier, Yaounde)

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07/10/2017: Nigeria 1 Zambia 0 (WC Qualifier, Uyo)

10/11/2017: Algeria 1 Nigeria 1 (WC Qualifier, Constantine)

14/11/2017: Argentina 2 Nigeria 4 (Friendly, Krasnodar)

 

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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.

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Nigerian Football

Sikiru Alimi is Nigeria’s leading scorer as NPFL’24 strikers net 708 goals in 330 Games

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Sikiru Alimi hits Nigeria Premier League milestone of 50 goals -

Data released by the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Competitions Unit indicate an average of +2 goals per match after Matchday 33 as a total of 708 goals were recorded in the 330 games so far played by the 20 clubs.

The data has Remo Stars Sikiru Alimi as the leading scorer with 14 goals and Rangers International as the team with the best attack with 49 goals. Bendel Insurance are listed as the side with the least conceded goals having let in 25 in 33 games while Gombe United have conceded the most goals at 61.

A total of 1268 yellow cards have been issued with 43 players sent off.

A further analysis of the records show that teams have won 251 games at home with 25 winning away from home and 79 fixtures ending in a draw. In the home wins, 512 goals were scored while teams have scored 196 goals on the road. Of these, there were 13 own goals.

The season has recorded a total of 85 penalties awarded with 65 successfully converted and 20 missed.

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THE STATS

Total No. of Matches Played: 330

Total No. of Wins: 251

Total No. of Home wins: 226

Total No. of Away Wins: 25

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Total No. of Draws: 79

Total No. of Goals Scored: 708

Average Goals/Match: 2

Total No. of Home Goals: 512

Total No. of Away Goals:196

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Total No.of Penalty Awarded: 85 

Total No. of Penalties Scored: 65

Total No. of Penalties Missed: 20

Total No. of Own Goals: 13

Highest Goal Scorer: Sikiru Alimi of Remo Stars;14 goals.

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Total No. of Yellow Cards:1268

Total No. of  Red Cards: 43 

Top of the Log: Enugu Rangers: 60pts, 49 goals for, 31 against 

Best Attacking Team: Enugu Rangers: 49 goals.

Best Defensive Team: Bendel Insurance 25 goals conceded.

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Worst Defense:Gombe United with 61 goals against.

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Nigerian Football

We are not owing bonuses and allowances, says NFF

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The Nigeria Football Federation has released a refutal that players and officials of the national team are being owed of the money released to the team before the last Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

 The NFF issued a press release that the Presidency had, late last year, and following a process supported and personally followed-through by the Minister of Sports John Owan Enoh, released monies to the NFF for payment of outstanding bonuses and allowances of players and officials of the various national teams.

The NFF in its released reported that there was a publication on Monday which a senior administrative official of the Super Eagles described as “tissues of lies” and challenged the writer to come forward with evidence of his claims.

“The report is absolutely false, in every ramification, and we challenge the owner of the website and writer to come forward with proof of the claims. We want him to name the players who spoke to him, because these are all tissues of lies.

“Players and officials of the Super Eagles have been paid for all matches played at the AFCON, yet he claimed the team was paid for only three matches. His outlandish claim of the team being owed for 25 matches is the biggest lie ever concocted by any writer.”

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The writer also falsely claimed that only members of the NFF Board and staff of the Secretariat have been paid their outstanding allowances from the government money.

“This story is a shame. No player of the Super Eagles spoke to the writer. It is all pure fabrication,” a senior player told thenff.com.

Another senior official of the Super Eagles added: “The story is absolute bunkum. People should make an effort to verify whatever they hear from anywhere before going to the press. It is clear that this writer did not even hear anything; he simply brought forth something from his own imagination.”   

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Nigerian Football

Enugu Rangers hold on grimly at the top as Nigerian league gets to home stretch

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Enugu Rangers may have broken loose from the pack following their comprehensive  3-0 victory over Bayelsa United on Sunday.

As if to aid Rangers’ hold of the top position, their closest rivals, Remo Stars who were initially just a point behind fell like  papers blown by the huricane, losing 3-2 to Kwara United. Their loss dealt a big blow on their title aspirations as they are now four points behind Enugu Rangers and had also narrowed their goal difference.

They are now third having been overtaken by Enyimba who have better goal difference even though both are with 56 points.

Shooting Stars who suddenly peaked in the second half of the season are fast pacing up, getting to the fourth position and three points behind Remo Stars.

They were dealt a blow in the added time as Katsina United’s Michael Okoro got an added time goal against to stalemate scores at 2-2.

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Just as Enugu Rangers are at the cusp of the championship, the fates of Gombe United and Heartland appear already decided as the second tier Nigeria National League are already waiting to welcome them next season.

Akwa United may have navigated their ways out of relegation waters following their 2-1 away win over Lobi Stars. Akwa United are now 15th on the log. In Jos, former champions, Plateau and Niger Tornadoes played uninspiring goalless while relegation-troubled Heartland of Owerri spanked Gombe United 3-0 just as Kano Pillars dimmed Doma United 3-1.

All the results:

Sunshine Stars 0-0 Bendel Insurance

Rivers United 4-1 Sporting Lagos

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Lobi Stars 1-2 Akwa United

Kwara United 3-2 Remo Stars

Katsina United 2-2 Shooting Stars

Kano Pillars 3-1 Doma United

Heartland 3-0 Gombe United

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Enugu Rangers 3-0 Bayelsa United

Abia Warriors 0-1 Enyimba

Plateau United 0-0 Niger Tornadoes

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