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FIFA and Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) have launched an investigation into the behaviour of the Copper Bullets fans during Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Zambia on Saturday evening.

Photographs show the Zambia fans displaying a banner,’H.E. E.C. LUNGU GOD BLESS YOU’ in the stands at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, in support of ‘unpopular’ Zambian president, Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

FIFA does not allow political messages during games, which means that Zambia could be fined by football’s governing body as a result at the end of the inquiry.

“However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited.

“In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else,’’ chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Claudio Sulser was quoted as saying by Zambian Observer.

It is claimed that the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) were not aware of the behavior of the Zambian fans in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ Manager, Gernot Rohr has revealed that Alex Iwobi was the only player he introduced against Zambia ?in a bid to change tactics in the 1-0 win.

Rohr, who made two other substitutions, admitted the other changes were made due to injuries to the players who started the game, but that of Iwobi was planned before the game.

Iwobi who scored the winning goal for Nigeria replaced Moses Simon, and according to Rohr, he was lucky to have tucked home the winner 16 minutes from full time.Rohr said, “Onazi had an injury. He started the game very well. He had an injury, which looks like a hamstring. It’s not easy as we had to make two changes due to injuries and only one tactical change but they did well.

“We were very lucky that the player (Iwobi) who came in ?got the goal for us. But I believe starting with Simon Moses and bringing in Alex Iwobi when he was brought on was not so easy for us… but we knew he could make the difference.

Why We Won’t Appeal Disallowed Goal Against Nigeria – Zambia FA President

Zambia won’t be appealing the first half goal they scored which was disallowed in their 0-1 loss to Nigeria in the World Cup 2018 Qualifiers tie in Uyo according to president of Zambia FA.Senegal successfully had their appeal against poor officiating in their game against South Africa granted by FIFA, and a replay has been ordered but Zambia won’t be going down that lane.

FAZ president? Andrew Kamanga confirmed they studied all possible route to appeal the goal which was scored by Augustine Mulenga but later found no substance to appeal the goal which was ruled out for offside.According to Kamanga Article 15.6 of the FIFA rules says decision made? by the referee is final and can only be appealed if there is evidence of external influence, which wasn’t the case in the game against Nigeria.

We will do our best in Russia, Mikel promises Nigerians

Super Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel has assured Nigerians that the team will perform better at the Russia 2018 World Cup than they did in Brazil three years ago.Mikel, who reiterated his boundless joy at the Super Eagles’ qualification for next year’s FIFA World Cup finals, described the feat as a dream come true.

“This is really a dream come true. The team and myself, we worked very hard for this believing we could do it, and we are over the moon that our aspiration has been met.

“I want to commend everyone who has been involved in this: the players, the coaches, the backroom staff, the NFF. It was not easy but we knew from the beginning that we would have to fight hard for every point and we did.”

The former Chelsea FC of England midfielder could have been going to his fourth World Cup finals if Nigeria had not narrowly (head-to-head principle) missed the 2006 finals in Germany and he had not been injured just before the 2010 finals in South Africa.

“There is nothing one can do about that everything comes in God’s time. I am grateful to God for this ticket and we will go to Russia and give our very best.”

Nigeria will meet Algeria in their last qualifying game of the series, but the result of the game will amount to nothing, as the Eagles have already sealed their passage to Russia through their 1-0 defeat of Zambia in Uyo on Saturday.

Yobo: These Eagles Will Outperform My Set At World Cup

Former Nigeria international Joseph Yobo has tipped the current Super Eagles team to do better than previous Nigerian teams at the World Cup.The Eagles became the first African team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia a hard-fought 1-0 win against Group B opponents Chipolopolo of Zambia in Uyo on Saturday.

Alex Iwobi’s 73rd minute goal secured the ticket for the Eagles who will be heading to their sixth appearance at the World Cup.The win took the Eagles to 13 points, while Zambia remain second on seven points. Cameroon who defeated Algeria 2-0 are third on six points and the North Africans are bottom on just one point.

Reacting to the qualification, Yobo who was in the Eagles squad to the Korea/Japan 2002, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 World Cups, hailed Gernot Rohr’s players for achieving the feat.

“Congratulations again guys. Going to the World Cup is dream stuff. Y’all are going to do better than us!” the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winning captain wrote on his verified Twitter handle on Monday.The Eagles’ next game is against Algeria in Constantine in November
Tammy Abraham opens door to Nigeria switch after they qualify for next summer’s World Cup

Tammy Abraham has admitted Nigeria could end up in a tug-of-war with England over his international future.The England Under-21 ace has so far rebuffed the African nation’s advances, pledging his loyalty to the Three Lions.

But Nigeria have now qualified for next summer’s World Cup — and can offer striker Abraham a fast track to football’s greatest event.The Chelsea striker, on a season’s loan to Swansea, said: “There are a lot of things going on. For me that is a sign you are doing something right if Nigeria are fighting for you and England want you as well.

England U-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd has warned his talented team not to play “like the Harlem Globetrotters”.He wants his side to express themselves, but not go over the top when they visit minnows Andorra in a European Championship qualifier on Tuesday.

Oliseh told me I was too soft to play for Eagles’

Super Eagles central defender, William Troost-Ekong has revealed why he did not feature regularly for the team during the tenure of former coach, Sunday Oliseh.

‘’He didn’t believe in me then, but I think Nigerians can see now what I can do,’’ Troost-Ekong told aclsports.com. “I hope he’s watching his TV now and seeing us going to the World Cup. No ill feelings, I saw him at the Olympics last year and we spoke briefly.”

The former Netherlands youth international said he found game time hard to come by during Oliseh’s spell as manager of the Super Eagles.

Troost-Ekong, who play for Bursaspor, made only two appearances for the national team, against Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, under the stewardship of Oliseh before he was frozen out of the squad.Nigeria have kept seven clean sheets in 15 matches William Troost-Ekong featured for the national team, and he partnered German-born Leon Balogun in central defense in five of those games, against Chad, Mali, Tanzania, Cameroun and Zambia.

However, the Super Eagles under Oliseh’s nine months leadership did not perform badly, as the team never drew any competitive game at home. He won six matches, drew five away and recorded two defeats.

MFM Coach Ilechukwu: Home-Based Eagles Should Face Algeria

Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) coach Fidelis Ilechukwu hopes the technical crew of the Super Eagles will give players of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) the opportunity of playing against Algeria in Nigeria’s last 2018 World Cup qualifier in November.The Eagles qualified for their sixth FIFA World Cup after defeating Zambia 1-0 on Saturday with coach Gernot Rhor insisting that he wants his team to win the match against Algeria.

Ilechukwu however believes that the game should be prosecuted by largely the home-based contingent.

Pinnick heads to Cairo for first AFCON meeting

NFF President Amaju Pinnick will on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt preside over his first meeting as President of the Organizing Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations.Following the toppling of the old order at CAF seven months ago, leading to the enthronement of new blood headed by Mr. Ahmad, Nigeria’s Pinnick also won election as Member of the Executive Committee, and two months later was appointed the President of AFCON.

It is the first time that the Organizing Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations is not headed by the CAF President.The Committee on AFCON is the largest in CAF, having about 35 members, and most of them being presidents of Member Associations. The 1st Vice President is South Africa FA boss, Dr. Danny Jordaan while Zimbabwe FA boss, Dr. Philip Chiyangwa is the 2nd Vice President.

Thenff.com learnt that the principal agenda for Wednesday’s meeting at the CAF Headquarters is the AFCON 2019 and the issues around it, including the facility audit company to be appointed for auditing of the facilities that Cameroon has put forward for the hosting, and a decision to be taken on when the company will visit that country.

Home-based Eagles Defender Ariwachukwu Thrilled With Akwa United’s Aiteo Cup Final Feat

  Home-based Super Eagles dedender Emmanuel Ariwachukwu has expressed his delight that Akwa United have qualified for the 2017 Aiteo Cup.Akwa United defeated Sunshine Stars 3-1 to go through 3-2 on aggregate in Sunday’s rescheduled semi-final second leg match in Uyo.

Akwa United will now face Niger Tornadoes in the final billed for the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Sunday, October 15.Reflecting on the win, Ariwachukwu praised his teammates for their impressive performance.Akwa United won their first and only Aiteo Cup title in 2015.

NWPL Super 4: Amazons, Delta Queens Edge Bayelsa Queens, Rivers Angels

Delta Queens of Asaba defeated River Angels 2-0 in the Nigerian Women’s Premier League (NWPL) Super 4 tournament at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Monday.Adebisi Saheed handed the Asaba girls the lead in a crowded box after a freekick from Joy Jegede in the 33rd minute to the game.

In the 45th minute Okezie Rosemary doubled the lead for Delta Queens off an assist by Adebisi Saheed.In the opening match, Narasawa Amazons defeated Bayelsa Queens 1-0 in the opening match of the Nigerian Women’s Premier (NWPL) Super 4 tournament at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin on Monday.

Ugochi Emenayo scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot in the 28th minute.

The Amazons started the game on a bright note with a shot on target by Imo Anam but she was denied by Alaba Jonathan who cleared the ball in the third minute.In the 56th minute, Bayelsa Queens’ Yakubu Aminat made an attempt for an equaliser but goalkeeper Nwankwo Chioma made a fine save.Delta Queens will battle for the Super 4 trophy with Nasarawa Amazons at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

FIBA Africa Zone 3 Qualifiers: Clubs threaten to sue NBBF over planned exclusion

The winners of Nigeria’s two tickets to the forthcoming 2017 FIBA Africa Zone 3 Qualifiers, Kano Pillars and Gombe Bulls, plan to take legal action against the country’s basketball governing body.The clubs, in separate letters to the Executive Director, FIBA Africa, Alphonse Bile, said they were dismayed to learn that there was a move to rob them of the tickets.

They accused the leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, whose basis of existence is still being contested, of working towards stopping them from participating in the competition.

The clubs, in the letter copied to the Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports, said it was high time the continental basketball ruling body waded into the crisis.

The clubs in the letters signed by Ibrahim Sa’ad, Chairman of Gombe Bulls, and Bashir Bello, Secretary of Kano Pillars, respectively noted that it was an unfortunate development.

The clubs said their contention was necessitated by the fact that they have been kept in the dark on their participation in the Zone 3 qualifiers billed to hold in Lagos from Oct. 19 to Oct. 29.

Gombe Bulls, on their part, stated thus: “We find this to be a deliberate attempt by Sam Ahmedu, the President of Zone 3, to rubbish our hard-earned achievement and drag us into the protracted NBBF crisis which is under adjudication by FIBA World.The NBBF had, at its board meeting late last month, resolved not to allow the two clubs to represent Nigeria at the qualifiers.

Indoor sports hall to wear new look as accreditation opens

The Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos is expected to wear a new look ahead of the 2017 FIBA Africa Zone 3 club championship eliminations, which starts on October 19, 2017.According to the vice president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Babatunde Ogunade, the move became necessary to put the venue in proper shape in readiness for the competition, which will feature 32 clubs (men and women) from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Liberia.

With no structural changes expected to be made, the LOC chairman said the NBBF would make the necessary facelift to some of the facilities inside the Indoor Sports hall, which last hosted a continental event more than six years ago, when First DeepWater hosted the FIBA African Women Club Championship in 2011.

20 teams for Nasarawa badminton

The Nasarawa State Badminton Association chairman Jibril Abubakar says no fewer than 20 badminton teams from states will participate in a tournament to honour stakeholders of the game.Abubakar said His Royal Highness, Alhaji Abubakar Umar, would witness the three-day event, which begins on Saturday in Nasarawa town, Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.Abubakar explained that aside from a trophy at stake, winners would win various cash prizes and awards at the tournament.

According to him, the rationale behind the tournament is to foster unity among the various ethnic nationalities in the country.The chairman called on the Federal Government and states to help the sport grow in the country. Abubakar commended the stakeholders for their contribution to the development of badminton in the country.

Fed invites 15 skaters for African tourney

The Nigeria Roller Sports Federation has invited 15 male and female athletes to camp ahead of the African Skating Championship slated for, Lome, Togo,  in December.Fifty athletes from 35 states participated in the two-day trials.The athletes were selected after a two-day national trials in track events and marathon at the National Stadium, Lagos.Technical Committee of the federation, Kingsley Nkisa, stated that the athletes would go into close camping in November.Vice-president of the federation, Onyekachukwu David, expressed confidence in the selected athletes,  adding that they would be good ambassadors of the country in Togo.

Anthony Joshua claims fight with Deontay Wilder is ‘just a matter of when’ after American’s boast that he isn’t ready for the challenge

Anthony Joshua is looking ahead to a fight with Deontay Wilder or David Haye

The Brit takes on Kubrat Pulev at the Principality Stadium later in October

Wilder has claimed that Joshua isn’t ready to fight him in Twitter post

Anthony Joshua has ramped up the war of words with Deontay Wilder by insisting that a bout against the American heavyweight is inevitable.Wilder had claimed via a video on Twitter that Joshua was not physically, mentally or emotionally ready for the challenge.

But Joshua insists that he could face the 31-year-old or David Haye when quizzed on his next opponent after a bout with Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff on October 28.

Aruna Quadri is a record setter - ITTF

As the only African to make it to the quaterfinal of the World Cup and Olympic Games, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) through it Publication Editor, Ian Marshal has described Aruna Quadri has a record setter following his feat at the Polish Open at the weekend.

After winning the Polish Open men’s singles title, Aruna Quadri becomes the first African to win an ITTF title outside the continent.

In his review of the 2017 Polish Open, Ian Marshall wrote, “At the Liebherr 2014 Men’s World Cup in Düsseldorf Quadri Aruna became the first player from Africa to reach the quarter-final stage of the prestigious tournament; just over one year ago in the Men’s Singles event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he replicated the feat. Against all expectations he reached the round of the last eight.

“He now joins Omar Assar as the only African players to win such a title and the only player to win beyond the continent’s shore.  Omar Assar has three such titles to his name but all in Nigeria. He repeated his Lagos success earlier this year, having also won in 2014.

17th Governor’s Cup: Dutchman crushes top seed in first round

The main draw of the first week of the 2017 Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship served off on a rather surprising note as top seed, Karim Mohamed-Mamooun of Egypt crashed out following a 2-6, 2-6 loss to unseeded Stephan Fransen of the Netherlands.

The Egyptian, who had featured at the previous three Nigeria Futures held in Abuja early this year, was an overwhelming favourite to win the match on Court Three having rose few places in the past week to hit the top of the ranking for the tournament pushing Turkey’s Cem Ilkel to number two. He had no answer to the aggressive play of the 29-year-old right-handed double hand backhand player.

There was no joy either for the home fans as some of the country’s top players were also sent packing in the first round of the two-stage $100, 000 prize-money tournament as Clifford Enosoregbe, who was Nigeria’s best performer in the last edition, lost 3-6, 0-6 to Andrew Watson of Great Britain while reigning CBN Open champion, Abdulmumini Babalola also succumbed 0-6, 3-6 to Johan Tatlot of France.

An unmemorable day for Babalola and Enosoregbe was completed on the Lord Rumens’ Centre Court as they were edged 6-7 (2), 6-7 (4) by fourth-seeded French duo of Tom Jomby and Sebastien Tatlot.

With the early exits of some of the country’s top players, the chances of the country to make significant impact in the tournament now rest on the junior players some of whom are making their debut at the big stage.

Roma Nigerian Right Back Nura Abdullahi Back In Training After Surgery

Highly rated AS Roma Nigerian right full back Nura Abdullahi is back in training after successful surgery was carried out on his knee.Nura was among the players who trained with players who were not called up by their respective countries for the ongoing World Cup 2018 Qualifiers.

The Nigerian who only recently signed a new deal tying him to the club till the summer of 2022 has been out for six weeks, with the setback coming at a time when many thought he will make his debut for the first team.Since joining the Serie A outfit from Serie B side Spezia, Nura is yet to make his competitive bow for the first team, but his performance for the B team has been very impressive, and one year ago he was on the radar of La-Liga giants Barcelona after impressing against their B team in the UEFA Youth League

Chelsea Legend Tells Abraham What To Do To Break Into First Team

Chelsea Legend Tells Abraham What To Do To Break Into First TeamChelsea legend Claude Makelele is backing Tammy Abraham to break into the first team of the Premier League champions, but admitted that the England U21 star has to keep learning his trade at Swansea City so he can become a better striker.This season is the 20-year-old’s second spell on loan from Stamford Bridge as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte could not guarantee the striker playing opportunities at the highest level despite impressing in the Championship for Bristol City last term.

In nine outings for the Swans in all competitions this season, Abraham has found the net three times.

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Akinola Fires USA Past Ghana

United States of America forward with Nigerian blood Ayo Akinola was the hero for his team as his goal secured a 1-0 win against Ghana at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India on Monday.Akinola, 17, scored in the 75th minute to hand the United States their second win in Group A, while handing Ghana their first defeat of the tournament.

The win took the USA to the top of the group on six points following their 3-0 win against hosts India in their first game.Ghana drop to third on three points, while Colombia who edged India occupy the second spot on three points.

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