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Friendlies: Mikel, Etebo Out As 22 Players Arrive S’Eagles’ Camp

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The Super Eagles’ camp at Wroclaw in Poland yesterday was a beehive of activities following the arrival of 22 players and the beginning of training sessions.
The team’s technical and backroom staff, alongside six players had opened the camp on Monday, but the facility exploded into life with the arrival of 16 other players yesterday. These include goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, as well as defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Elderson Echiejile, Stephen Eze, Abdullahi Shehu and Chidozie Awaziem.
The rest are midfielders Joel Obi, John Ogu, Ogenyi Onazi, Uche Agbo and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as forwards Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Moses.
According to a statement yesterday in Abuja by the Communications Department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Nigeria-based goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi are expected today. It went on to disclose that team skipper Mikel Obi was unlikely to make it to Wroclaw.
The NFF said the former Chelsea FC player had been working hard at renewing his work permit in China, where he plays for Tianjin Teda. Team Administrator Dayo Enebi Achor said: “We all had been hoping that the renewal would come in good time for him to fly to Poland.
As it is now, it is not likely that he would make the trip.” Midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo is also injured, while Egypt-based Junior Ajayi, was unable to secure visa into Poland.
Ajayi will now fly directly to London for next Tuesday’s clash with Serbia in London, England. Our correspondent reports that the Super Eagles team trained twice yesterday.
The same schedule is planned for Wednesday, before Thursday’s training at match time inside the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw. Friday’s match is expected to kick off at 8.45 p.m., with Nigeria and Poland on same time zone.
Tidesports source reports further that Friday’s game inside the 43,000-capacity stadium formally opens the first phase of Eagles’ preparation for the 21st FIFA World Cup finals holding in the Russian Federation.
After Tuesday’s game with Serbia in London, the Super Eagles will play a send-forth match against DR Congo in Nigeria, before returning to face England at Wembley June 2. Four days later, they will come up against the Czech Republic at their final training camp in Austria.

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Amstel Malta Ultra Unveils Brume As Ambassador

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One of Nigeria’s biggest supporters of sports, Amstel Malta Ultra, at the weekend in Lagos, unveiled Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Ese Brume, as its brand ambassador.
The brand has also launched a new campaign tagged, ‘Choose your Way to Live.’
Structured as a fitness event, the campaign launch doubled as the unveiling of Brume, who is also a three-time African senior champion in the long jump, as well as the unveiling of the ‘Choose your way to live’ campaign commercial.
Introducing the campaign TV commercial, which played for the first time at the event, Portfolio Manager, Non-Alcoholic Brands, NB Plc, Elohor Olumide-Awe, said, “the campaign is about celebrating choice and finding a drink that works for you and your healthy lifestyle.
“For us at Amstel Malta Ultra, we aim to empower our consumers to be able to live a balanced and active lifestyle, without the need to compromise on the taste or quality of their favourite malt drink and we couldn’t have found a better ambassador that embodies these qualities and we are truly excited to go this journey with Ese Brume.”
The campaign TV commercial features the newly signed brand ambassador, Ese Brume and Amstel Malta Ultra’s long-time ambassador, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, highlighting the luxury of making choices and what it means to choose one’s way to live focusing on the brand as the perfect beverage for a wellness journey.
Speaking on being the new face of Amstel, Brume said, “I am super excited to join the family and kicking off with Choose Your Way To Live campaign, which truly resonates with me, as an athlete it is important that I find a healthy balance between staying fit and making choices that complement my lifestyle.”

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Super Eagles’ Goalkeeping Department To Improve – Shorummu 

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Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu, has promised that the blunders noticed in the current goalkeeping department will soon end, saying the coaches are working hard to steady the department.
Speaking on the error made by Francis Uzoho in the recent international friendly against Algeria, Shorunmu told newsmen that although the mistake is painful, it is not enough to write off the entire department.
He revealed that more strict measures would be employed to recreate that area of the national team.
“Nobody wants to be part of failure, so, I believe Uzoho was not happy it happened. On our part as the coaching crew, we are engaged in underground work at the moment. When it manifests, Nigerians will be proud of us. Things will happen gradually.”
He said the coaches have beamed their searchlight on the domestic league for quality goalkeepers, who will be invited for screening, adding, “the new NFF board will also help the coaching crew with positive guidelines to follow in revamping the team.”
Shorunmu also disclosed that the Super Eagles are ready for this month’s international friendly match against Portugal, assuring Nigerians that they will see a more improved performance from the team.

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Ikpeme May Become NFF Secretary-General

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There are strong indications that the Deputy Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, may be appointed as the new scribe of the football federation today.
The chairman of Zamfara Football Association, Ibrahim Gusau, emerged as the new NFF president last Friday in Benin City during the elective congress of the football body.
The Tidesports source learnt yesterday that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has already commenced the process of replacing the incumbent NFF Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi, who is from the same geo-political zone with the new president (Gusau).
Apart from the issue of his geographical zone, Sanusi was said to have fallen foul of civil service etiquette through an alleged wrong move he made during the NFF election.
Sanusi was said to have displayed absolute disrespect for the Sports Ministry and the office of the Minister, Sunday Dare, in the build-up to the NFF election in Benin City.
According to a source, Sanusi allegedly wrote a letter in mid-September, this year, to report the Federal Government to FIFA for interfering in the NFF election.
“Sanusi sent a copy of his letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Sports Ministry. The NFF is still a parastatal under the Ministry and answerable to the Minister. The Ministry is the supreme body responsible for the administration of sports in Nigeria and it is fully empowered by the constitution.
“Sanusi and the NFF thought they could use FIFA to blackmail Nigeria.Disrespecting constituted authority is taking it too far by the Secretary-General. He (Sanusi) has created problems for the new NFF president by his behaviour and is likely to be ejected from the NFF secretariat because he is a civil servant, just like other secretaries in the various sporting federations,” the source stated.
Another source hinted yesterday that Ikpeme, who is from the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, might be announced as the new NFF Secretary-General today.
According to the source, the decision to arrive at the choice of Ikpeme as the new NFF scribe is hinged on his experience as the next in command to Sanusi in the Federation.
“Apart from being the most senior officer next to Sanusi in the NFF, the sports ministry recently appointed Olumide Bamiduro as secretary of the Interim Management Committee of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL). Both Bamiduro and the IMC Chairman,Gbenga Elegbeleye, are from the Southwest geopolitical zone,” the source added.

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