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Ibrahim, Two Others Dropped From Eagles AFCON 2013

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Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi has dropped four players from his preliminary squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Kilmarnock’s Rabiu Ibrahim, Kano Pillars’ Papa Idris, Henry Uche of Enyimba and Turkey-based Uche Kalu, who is injured, were released from Nigeria’s training camp in Portugal this week.

Keshi had already accepted he would be without Millwall defender Danny Shittu and Shola Ameobi of Newcastle United for the tournament.

Ibrahim’s late arrival for the camp in Portugal and lack of playing time with former Scottish club Celtic ultimately cost the former youth international his place.

The decision by Keshi means that Ibrahim can now concentrate on seizing a second chance in Scotland and make up for a ‘tough’ four years at Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven and Celtic.

The 21-year-old switched from Celtic to Kilmarnock last week after failing to become a first-team regular in Glasgow.

“It’s not just been tough, it’s been heartbreaking. You join a new club and you want to impress and show what you can do,” he told Tidesports source.

“I just need someone who believes in me and will give me a chance to make a contribution.

“I’m so eager to achieve something at Kilmarnock and be a success at this club because I now understand the Scottish game.

“This new year is something I am really looking forward to. Deeply, I hope to finally settle down this year.”

A member of the Nigeria side that won the 2007 Fifa Under-17 World Cup in South Korea, Ibrahim was hailed as a successor to Jay-Jay Okocha in the Nigerian midfield that has lacked a creative verve over the years.

Keshi is expected to have announced his final 23-man squad late yesterday, a day before the final deadline for submitting players for the tournament.

Nigeria begins their Nations Cup campaign against Burkina Faso on 21 January before Group C games against champions Zambia and finally Ethiopia.

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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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