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FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy  coming to Nigeria next month

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The FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour begins this month and Nigeria as one of the 32 countries featuring in the tournament will play host to the trophy in March.

The tour goes by the theme:  ‘Going Beyond’  and it is to inspire people of all ages to get excited about the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.

Arriving from Zambia, the trophy is expected on Nigerian shores on 26 March. The tour’s Skills Drills will encourage women and girls worldwide to join the celebration by showcasing their footballing ability and creativity.

It is envisaged as the biggest-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour. The tour will take the iconic Trophy to all 32 of the tournament’s participating nations – more countries than ever before – and will inspire people of all ages by ‘Going Beyond’ to celebrate the rocketing popularity of the women’s game. At the heart of this mission will be a unique opportunity for members of the public to get creative and showcase their footballing ability to a global audience.

Skills Drills will give willing participants worldwide the chance to try out fun football challenges that become tougher over time and then share their imaginative efforts on TikTok.

As the Trophy travels from stop to stop, selected women and girls who have participated in Skills Drills will join FIFA Legends, local national team stars and other famous faces to highlight the game’s emerging talent and increase the buzz around the Women’s World Cup.

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As the campaign’s dedicated skills coach, Female Football Freestyle world champion Lia Lewis will set the challenges to her more than 3.9 million followers on TikTok, as well as across FIFA’s social media and FIFA+. She will also pass on her tips to youngsters at a send-off event on 18 February in Melbourne / Naarm, Australia before the tour’s first official stop in Japan on 25-26 February.

The Trophy will crisscross the globe by visiting Asia, Africa, South America, North America and Europe before landing in all nine Women’s World Cup host cities in the final weeks before the start of a tournament on 20 July that promises to go Beyond Greatness™.

Key dates on the tour schedule include stops in China PR on 9-11 March, South Africa on 22-23 March, Brazil on 29-30 March, USA on 10-14 April, Canada on 19-20 April, Germany on 2-3 May, England on 13-14 May and France on 20-21 May.

Several countries will also be part of the tour for the first time ever, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Morocco, the Philippines, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Vietnam and Zambia.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour is a spectacular global celebration of the women’s game, giving fans, families and future football enthusiasts an opportunity to be inspired and become part of a truly special journey,” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura says.

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“It is a fantastic opportunity to experience the most coveted prize in women’s football in person and hear from the game’s legends. The tour will inspire people worldwide by shining a spotlight on the skills and creativity that demonstrate why women’s football has such a bright future.”

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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Governing Bodies

Tinubu backs Amaju’s FIFA Council re-election bid

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Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Amaju Pinnick has secured the backing of Nigeria’s President,  Bola Tinubu in his bid to get another term in office as one of Africa’s representatives in FIFA Council.

The 37-member FIFA  Council is the main decision making body of the organisation in the intervals of FIFA Congress. 

Pinnick is the third Nigerian to ever sit in the FIFA Council after Oyo Orok Oyo (1980-1988) and Dr. Amos Adamu (2006-2010).

Pinnick was elected into the council on 12 March 2021. He is bidding for re-election in 2025 when the current term lapses.

According to a media release from the State House and signed by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity,

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President Bola Tinubu expresses strong support for Nigeria’s bid for re-election into the FIFA Council

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Governing Bodies

Save Our Soccer, African Sports Journalists plead with Motsepe

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

An SOS has been sent by the International Sports Press – Africa (AIPS -Africa) to the President of Confederation of African Football (CAF), Dr. Patrice Motsepe to save the soul of African soccer.

 The sports writers’ body has written an open letter to Motsepe on the need to do more to save African football.

The letter, written Monday in Dakar, is premised on the recurring scheduling problems that “have made CAF a victim of collateral damage from the “war” between UEFA and FIFA.”

Continuing in the letter signed by AIPS-Africa President, Abdoulaye Thiam, the sports writers’ body noted that UEFA contributed to overloading of the international calendar with the creation of the Nations League, which is played on FIFA dates

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Owing to the congested international calendar, football competitions in Africa have been major victims.

AIPS wrote: …”the stuttering and uncertainties surrounding the programming of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) leave many wondering about the future of our continent’s most prestigious competition, which is struggling to find a place in the international calendar.

“Added to this, the external influences and the overload of the international calendar, modelled on the European interests, increases the scepticism surrounding the survival of CAF’s most lucrative and economically viable tournament.

“As a result, therefore, it is rare, if not impossible, for an African team to find a European team to spar with, except when they share the same group in a World Cup draw every four years.     

“As for FIFA, in addition to the Arab World Cup, it has also created the Club World Cup. Worse still, it decided to stage the latter competition from June 15 to July 13, 2025, a period initially chosen by Morocco to host the AFCON 2025. In fact, Cairo’s dependence on Zurich enabled FIFA’s latest competition to happily shake up the 67-year-old African Cup of Nations.”

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Also affected by the global football calendar are the scheduling of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and African Women’s Champions League.

The journalists recalled that the changing of AFCON tournaments from the even-ending years to the odd  was to avert situations of clashing with World Cup years and to avert exhaustion on players.

The situation is such that scheduling of tournaments in Africa is now determined by compromise reached with UEFA and FIFA.

AIPS averred that “it is important to deconstruct the image of Africa as a prominent stakeholder in the global game with huge voice of 54 member associations and votes being presented as an electoral cattle-tank, to be adequately given their fair share during debates and dialogues with FIFA, by offering constructive solutions with a view to accelerating a reform of the international calendar.

“It is therefore expected from CAF leaders to ensure respect for African Football which is full of great administrators and players alike…Mr. President (Motsepe), you claim to be a disciple of Nelson Mandela and a well respectable man. A man of principles. So do kindly refuse and remain our inspiration than anything else.”  

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Governing Bodies

Breaking! CAF’s axe falls on Eto’o

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Confederation of African Football (CAF) has imposed a fine of $200 thousand on Samuel Eto’o Fils, a former international footballer and President of Fédération Camerounaise de Football (‘’FECAFOOT’’).

  The fine is imposed on the FECAFOOT president for violating the principles of ethics, integrity and sportsmanship as provided in Article 2  paragraph 3 of the CAF Statutes.

He is found to have violated the said article by signing a Brand Ambassador contract with the company 1XBET in exchange for remuneration.

 He however escape sanction in a bigger allegation of match fixing and manipulation.

Eto’o faced charges of alleged manipulation of football matches and violating the principles of ethics and integrity.

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The Disciplinary Board ruled that there was insufficient proof to find him and Valentin Nkwain guilty of match manipulation.

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