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Pinnick Urges UEFA To Back Biennial World Cup

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The President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has called on the European Footbll Federal (UEFA) to support the move to stage the FIFA World Cup every two years as it will benefit the African continent.
The debate over the complete revamp of the international calendar was revived at FIFA 71st assembly in May with the world football governing body currently carrying out a feasibility study into making the men’s and women’s World Cup a biennial event rather than only taking place once every four years.
Pinnick who represented FIFA President, Gianni Infantino at Ukraine’s 30th-anniversary celebration in Kiev at the weekend, pleaded for solidarity from the heads of the European nation in attendance.
“In Africa, we are struggling to come close to Europe because the truth is Europe has gone very far,” Pinnick said.
“We recognise the fact that Europe is the strongest economic confederation, it’s the strongest political confederation, very well organised, but we always request for some kind of solidarity from Europe, it is very important that we have that bond.
“The same solidarity you gave for the 2026 World Cup where your slot was increased from 13 to 16, just three addition, that’s the same solidarity we want from UEFA at every point in time.
“We are keying into what FIFA is pitching and we believe that it is not just what we want to hear, people want to watch football every day.
“I was in Doha a few days ago for the Arab Cup and trust me, the quality of that tournament is as if you are watching the actual World Cup. Same time they played in Doha, the same time the Premier League was on. The frequency of football matches does not reduce the quality of football, I can tell you that, that’s why in Africa, we are 100 per cent behind the biennial World Cup.
“Look at the legendary Champions League, everybody eagerly wants to watch it, it’s like your phone, every minute, you want to look at your phone because in today’s world, people want to be engaged positively and football is a space they want to be engaged in.
“All that we are requesting from Europe and the rest of the world is their solidarity. We recognise the strength of Europe, we recognise the strength of Ukraine, nobody is going to undermine that, nobody is going to take the strength from you.
“On the scale of one to 10, if you are at eight, it will take you to 10, if Africa is at three, it will take us to six, that is what we are looking at. In Africa, we watch the Champions League as if it’s our traditional right, we watch the European Cup as if it’s our traditional right, we buy your TV rights close to €700 million, but we want solidarity from you, that is very important.”

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… As Coach Expresses Optimism To Qualify For 2026 W’Cup

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach Finidi George has set his sights firmly on securing qualification for the 2026 World Cup, demanding unwavering commitment from his top players as the team aims to get their faltering qualifying campaign back on track.
Unveiled to the media in Abuja on Monday, Finidi, who succeeded the outgoing Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, wasted no time in laying out his immediate priorities, two crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin early next month.
“Nigeria comes first, that’s what I expect from every player I invite. You have to be playing in your club, and you must have the commitment,” Finidi told reporters on Monday.
Recognising the importance of a strong start, the former Ajax winger emphasised the significance of the upcoming clash against South Africa.
“The first targets are to qualify for the World Cup and AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations), and a win over South Africa will set the tone.”
Nigeria currently finds itself in third place in their qualifying group, with just two points from as many games, while South Africa sits second with three points.
Finidi, who has signed a year’s contract with an option for an additional year, acknowledged the immense pressure that comes with leading the national team of a country with over 200 million people.
However, he exuded confidence in his ability to withstand the scrutiny, stating, “I have a tough skin.”
While his salary remains undisclosed, the 53-year-old coach expressed a willingness to prioritise performance over immediate financial rewards.
“The salary is good enough for me, it’s not as much as that of (Jose) Peseiro.
“Money is good, but if you add value to what you do, the money will come. Then they can come and ask ‘Coach, how much do you want?” Finidi said.

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I’m Not Under Pressure, I’ve Tough Skin – Finidi

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New Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George, has underlined that the word pressure is not in his dictionary and appealed for support from key stakeholders including the media.
Speaking after his unveiling yesterday in Abuja, the former Enyimba of Aba coach said; “In life you cannot be afraid. As you see me here, I am a quiet person but I’m not afraid of anything. The worst you can get in football is not getting the result, the best you can get is winning all the time, and I will try my best to make sure that the team functions properly and we start winning games.”
On whether is under pressure to justify his appointment, the coach stressed; “Pressure, I don’t think I have it. I have that tough skin and I want to plead you guys, the media we need your support.
“What is in the contract is boldly written, what the NFF wants and Nigeria in general, but for me personally my first target is to make sure we are in line to qualify for the World Cup. AFCON qualifiers definitely will be coming up soon, but the major step for me is these two games that we have.
“If we can win against South Africa and Benin, we will set the tone.”
During the unveiling ceremony, the NFF confirmed that ex-Super Eagles striker; Daniel Amokachi and Abiden Baruwa will be the assistant coach and goalkeeper coach respectively.
The first assignment for Finidi, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, is to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

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Amusan Becomes World’s Fastest Woman, Sets New Track Record

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Nigerian sprint icon Tobi Amusan has become the world’s fastest woman in the women’s 100m hurdles after running a world-leading 12.40 seconds.
In a thrilling race, the world record holder secured the victory, leaving behind Danielle Williams, the world champion, who clocked her best time of the season at 12.46 seconds. Following closely was American Christina Clemons, claiming the third spot with a time of 12.54 seconds.
This triumph means the Nigerian athlete has now claimed the top spot globally, surpassing American Tonea Marshall’s previous record of 12.42 seconds set in late April.
Tobi Amusan’s impressive win arrives just two months before the Paris 2024 Olympics, setting the stage for an exciting competition ahead.
John Enoh, the minister of sports development, on his X handle congratulated Amusan over the feat.
Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!
You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons.
“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time! You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s,” he wrote.
“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others, that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you.”

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