Super Eagles’ new first assistant coach, Finidi George, has revealed that the new technical crew, led by Jose Peseiro, will give more home-based players the opportunity to challenge for shirts in the senior national team.
Finidi, who described Nigeria’s forthcoming international friendlies against Mexico and Ecuador as good introductory games for Peseiro, assured all Nigerian footballers that everybody qualified to play for the country will get the chance to stake his claim to the team, advised the home-based stars to focus on improving their game.
Nigeria will meet Mexico and Ecuador in two U.S. cities on May 28 and June 2 respectively.
Speaking on plans for the games, which come after Nigeria’s failure to qualify for Qatar 2023 World Cup, Finidi said the process of building a new team would not have been made easier than with two games against two already established sides preparing for the Copa Mundial.
He added that the games would present Peseiro an opportunity to assess the players available for selection ahead of the Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Africa Cup Of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone next month.
Expressing delight at being given the opportunity to contribute to Super Eagles’ resuscitation after the failure to qualify for the World Cup, Finidi acknowledged that the task ahead for the Peseiro-led technical crew is enormous, adding, however, that with adequate support from all stakeholders, Nigerians will see an indomitable team.
He assured all the players invited to the national team camp of equal opportunity to fight for shirts in the emerging team, adding that the Super Eagles would soon return to their old glory.
“The friendlies would be used to assess players and work out modalities to transform the Super Eagles to the level it belongs. Because Peseiro is new with the Eagles, we, the assistants, have resolved to guide him where necessary and make him comfortable in the terrain when he arrives in Nigeria.”
Finidi also said he still maintains his job at Enyimba, adding that the two roles would not clash because they are well defined.
portunities for NPFL players and ensure that only the best available Nigerians, no matter where they are based, get the chance to play for Nigeria.”
On alleged interference in team selection by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials, Finidi said: “I have not worked with the Super Eagles before, so, I don’t know if such exists. My mission now is to give my best to the national assignment given to me by the NFF. This is another opportunity for me to work for my country after retirement from playing for the Super Eagles years ago,” he said.
Nigeria, Zambia Join WAFCON Train
Nine-time Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winners, Nigeria became the final side to book their place at the 2024 tournament as qualifiers culminated this week.
The Super Falcons came from behind to beat Cape Verde 2-1 away from home, with Rasheedat Ajibade’s injury-time winner clinching a 7-1 aggregate victory on Tuesday.
Barbra Banda was among Zambia’s scorers as the Copper Queens, who finished third at last year’s Nations Cup, thrashed Angola 6-0 at home to complete a 12-0 aggregate win.
However, two-time champions Equatorial Guinea will miss out on the 12-team finals following a 2-1 defeat away against DR Congo which saw the hosts progress 3-2 overall.
Botswana beat Kenya 1-0 to secure qualification for their second consecutive finals. while Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia all sealed their places in Morocco, who will host for the second time in a row.
The dates for the tournament, scheduled for next year, are yet to be announced.
Holders South Africa and Algeria secured their spots on Monday, with Banyana Banyana beating Burkina Faso 3-1 on aggregate and the North Africans sealing a 1-0 win in Burundi to progress 6-1 over the two legs.
Ghana will return to the finals for the first time since 2018 despite losing 1-0 away against Namibia, with the Black Queens going through 3-2 on aggregate.
Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia also failed to win their away ties, but progressed against Egypt, Togo and Congo respectively.
Mali won 3-0 away against Guinea to round off a 10-2 victory overall.
Olowu Targets WABU Crown At GOtv Boxing Night 30
Super welterweight boxer, Taiwo ‘Gentle Boy’ Olowu, on Wednesday , said his target is to claim the West African Boxing Union (WABU) super welterweight title at GOtv Boxing Night 30 on December 26.
The enterprising boxer, who is the national welterweight title holder, will square up to top Ghanaian boxer, Michael Ansah, at the event slated for the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Speaking ahead of the fight, ‘Gentle Boy’ boasted that he would ensure the Ghanaian returned to his country empty-handed.
“I aim to add this West African Boxing Union title to my national title. As a national champion, I cannot allow a foreigner to come and take this belt away in front of my fans. This is a big opportunity for me to be a WABU champion. Ansah will leave Nigeria empty-handed,” he said.
The more experienced Ghanaian boxer has a record of 23 wins, 12 defeats, and three draws from 38 professional fights, while ‘Gentle Boy’ boasts 15 wins and one defeat from his 16 professional fights.
In another title fight, Sifon ‘Best’ Iwatt will battle Saheed Azeez for the national super flyweight title.
Also on the card for the night are five other national fights, including a female national cruiserweight challenge fight between national champion, Bolatito ‘Black Tito’ Oluwole and Blessing Abisoye.
Arabambi Ojo and Ibrahim ‘Golden Boy’ Opeyemi will slug it out in a national bantamweight challenge bout; Abdulafeez ‘Big Name’ Osoba will face Christopher Ucheji in a national super welterweight challenge fight, while Ayanfe Adeoye and Ahmed Ganiyu will duel in a national light welterweight category.
Nigeria Makes Final Team Of The Year Award
Nigeria made the final three shortlists for the 2023 Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s National Team of the Year award.
CAF announced the final three shortlist on their X handle yesterday.
The other two countries are reigning Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions South Africa and Morocco.
Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa featured at this year’s FIFA women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The trio all reached the round of 16 at the tournament, which was won by Spain.
The winner will be announced on Monday, December 11, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Falcons recently qualified for the 2024 WAFCON, hosted by Morocco.
A 7-1 aggregate win against Cape Verde ensured the Falcons will be making their 13th appearance at the tournament, which began in 1998 in Nigeria.
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