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ICC Confirms 10 Squads For Women’s W/ Cup Qualifier

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The squads of the 10 sides participating in the International Media Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo from February 7 to February 21 have been announced.
A statement by the Media Department of the (ICC) said in Lagos that India, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka are among the leading sides participating in the tournament.
The statement made available to newsmen said the competition would decide which four teams get a chance to play in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 from June 24 to July 23 in England and Wales.
The top four sides will also earn places in the second edition of ICC Women’s Championship, while the fifth and sixth placed sides will secure ODI status for the next four years, it said.
The statement said Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies had already qualified directly for the pinnacle tournament after finishing among the top four in the ICC Women’s Championship concluded in November 2016.
It added that India, which has been clubbed along with Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand in Group A, is the top side in the Colombo tournament at fifth rank and boasts a number of top players.
Pace bowler Jhulan Goswami is the top-ranked bowler in the ODI rankings, while Captain Mithali Raj is ranked third among batters.
It said sixth-ranked South Africa is the leading side in Group B, which also has Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea.
The statement said that leading South Africa players include medium-pace bowler Marizanne Kapp, who is ranked fourth, and batters Lizelle Lee (11th), Mignon de Preez (17th) and Captain Dane van Niekerk (18th).
For Pakistan, captain and off-spinner Sana Mir is ranked ninth among bowlers, Bismah Maroof is the team’s top ranked batter in 10th place, while Javeria Wadood is ranked 14th.
For Sri Lanka, Chamari Athapaththu is the top-ranked batter from her side at 22nd slot, while left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera is the leading bowler at 35th rank.
According to the event format, each side will play four matches in the first round, following which the top three sides from each group will progress to the Super Six stage.
They will also carry forward points they earn against sides which have progressed to the Super Six stage from their group.
The top four sides from the Super Six stage, in which each side will play three matches against teams from the other group, will complete the eight-team line-up for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
The top two sides will battle out for the title in the February 21 final.

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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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