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I’m Still A Part Of The Super Eagles – Mikel

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Super Eagles captain and midfielder, Obi Mikel has debunked reports that he’s not committed to the team’s qualifying campaign for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nation.

Mikel, who has yet played for the team after Nigeria crashed out in the group stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The Tianjin Teda of China midfielder stated that he’s still committed to the national team and would help the team qualify for the bi-annual tournament in Cameroon.

“My commitment to the national team remains 100%; I still remain a part of the team and will always support the lads.

“The Nations Cup remains our ultimate goal for now and we are just one point away from reaching that target.

“I’m still not ready to come back yet. Still have some physical and fitness issues. I wish the team well and will always do.”

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Super Falcons Qualify For AWCON Final, Beat Cameroon 4-2 On Penalties

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Nigeria’s Super Falcons have qualified for the final of the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nation after overcoming the Indomitable Lioness of Cameroon on Tuesday at the Accra Stadium.

The tie which ended goalless at full time, still could not produce a goal after extra time, leading to both teams playing penalty kicks.

The Falcons won the penalty shootouts 4-2 to seal their place in the final of the Ghana tournament, and also secured their spot in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

 

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Dalung Calls For Early Preparation For Super Eagles

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Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has called for early preparation for the Super Eagles if the team must perform well at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Dalung stated this after Nigeria qualified for the tournament after holding South Africa to a 1-1 draw at the FBN Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday, with a game to spare.

Having lauded the feat being achieved by the team and the technical crew, Dalung however, called for early preparation for Nigeria to be successful at the bi-annual tournament.

“I congratulate the Super Eagles for their commitment, hard work and discipline which brought about their emphatic win.

“Having clinched the AFCON ticket with a game to go, I urge you not to relent in your efforts and to begin preparations in earnest for the Cup of Nations in Cameroon”.

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Nike Extends Contract With NFF

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The Nigeria Football Federation and sportswear company, Nike, on Tuesday in Asaba, Delta State, signed a new partnership agreement that officials from both organisations termed “dawn of a new era.”

American kit company Nike had teamed up with the NFF in April 2015 following the departure of another global brand, but Tuesday’s contract is seen by both parties as the real deal. The agreement is for four years at the first instance, with an automatic renewal clause that will take the marriage to the end of the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals.

“We need to know where we are coming from to be able to appreciate where we are now. A few months after we came on board for our first term in office, I was told that we needed to buy jerseys for the national team to play a football match. That was how bad it was because the kit sponsor at that time terminated the contract.

“So, I made contacts with some highly connected persons and worked hard to convince Nike to come on board. We were coming from a weak position but they made the agreement flexible for us. Today, we are happy we teamed up with Nike because after we qualified and participated at the World Cup in Russia, the company was the one chasing us for a new improved contract,” President of NFF, Amaju Pinnick, said at the contract-signing ceremony inside the Stephen Keshi Stadium.

Chairman of the NFF Marketing, Sponsorship and TV Rights Committee, Shehu Dikko, who is also the NFF 2nd vice president, said Nike’s faith in Nigerian football and its encouragement all the way has been heartwarming.

“They never stopped believing in us and in our teams, and after they conducted their due diligence on everyone involved in the running of the NFF, they were very eager to sign this new deal as far back as when we returned from the World Cup in Russia. But we kept telling them to give us some time.

“We are very happy because this new agreement comes with good money on annual basis, more supplies, improved qualification bonus for our teams, door-to-door delivery of kits, royalty for the NFF on jerseys sold and it has now been expanded to include our women national teams.”

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Victor Moses Not In My Plans – Sarri

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Maurizio Sarri has said that Victor Moses is not in his tactical plans for this season, but added that he will rotate his team more during the frantic festive fixture schedule.

Moses established himself as a key figure at right wing-back under Antonio Conte, but Sarri’s arrival has seen Chelsea switch to a 4-3-3 formation and the Nigerian is once again battling for minutes on the wing with Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian.

“Moses is more suitable for playing wing-back than like a winger or a full-back, I think. I don’t know (if they have a future at Chelsea). They have to improve but their characteristics are a little bit different.”

“We have used 26 players in official matches [in all competitions] this season so the rotation at the moment is this, but I don’t know in the future,” he said.

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