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Pienaar Retires From Bafana Bafana

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South Africa captain Steven Pienaar has retired from
international football.

The 30-year-old’s decision was announced by coach Gordon
Igesund early in the week as he unveiled his Bafana Bafana squad to face Poland
and Kenya in friendlies next week.

Speculation had been mounting that Pienaar would retire to
concentrate on playing for Everton.

Igesund told reporters that he received a phone call from
Pienaar  informing him of his decision.

“I’m proud to have played for and captained my country. For
that I thank you,” the Everton midfielder said via a statement.

Igesund has named defender Bongani Khumalo as Bafana
Bafana’s new captain and admitted it is unlikely Pienaar will play for his
country again.

South Africa’s coach said: “I am disappointed that Steven
has retired from the national team.

“But the way he has retired is the right way. I think it was
a tough decision for him.”

Igesund paid tribute to Pienaar, adding: “His presence and
leadership is invaluable and could have helped us in our mission for 2013 AFCON
and the World Cup qualification, but we must respect his decision.”

Pienaar made his international debut in 2002, and has
featured for the national side at two World Cups.

The 30-year-old withdrew from last month’s matches against
Brazil and Mozambique with an injury, only to then appear in Everton’s starting
line-up just days later.

Pienaar is just the latest in a long line of Bafana players
to become embroiled in a ‘club versus country’ debate over the years.

Benni McCarthy retired from international football after the
2002 World Cup in order to concentrate on his career in Europe before
eventually returning to the fold.

Mark Fish ‘retired’ more than once, while Shaun Bartlett
quit international football in order to win a new contract with his club side
Charlton.

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Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions

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FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.

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Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses  – Aikhomogbe

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Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.

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Enyimba Players Vow To Support  Finidi

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Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble  gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.

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