The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, His Excellency Nikolay Udovichenko says he is looking forward to Nigeria and Russia clashing in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday, 15th July 2018. “I want to congratulate the NFF and the Super Eagles for Nigeria’s qualification […]
Nigeria became the first African country to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals after a 74th minute goal by substitute Alex Iwobi gave the Super Eagles a 1-0 win over Zambia in Uyo on Saturday. Pre–match previews had designated the top-of-the-table showdown at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in South-South Nigeria as a big […]
For this year’s ITTF World Tour, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri has decided to partner his continental rival – Egypt’s Omar Assar in the men’s doubles event in their bid to make it to the World Tour grand finals later in the year. The Africa’s best two players to begin their quest by joining might in the […]
Happiness came to the Aruna family two weeks ago as the beautiful daughter of Quadri Aruna and his wife stepped into this beautiful world with an even beautiful name, Amira, which means “woman leader”. Expressing this life changing experience, Quadri said, “It feels so great and good having third new born baby, it was not […]
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has joined the growing list of FIFA member associations that have subscribed to the FIFA Integrity Initiative following the conclusion of a Roundtable Discussion in Lagos between the Federation and FIFA Early Warning System. President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick led the Federation Executive Committee members, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, the […]
After making his presence felt at the just concluded ITTF World Tour tagged Kuwait Open, Egypt’s Shady Magdy is hoping for a return to Lagos for the Nigerian Open scheduled for May 18 to 22 at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The 20 year-old Egypt defeated Nigeria’s Ojo Onaolapo to claim the U-21 title at the 2015 Nigerian Open and with his performance at the Kuwait Open, he is roaring to conquer in Lagos.
Despite being edged out in the semifinal of the Kuwait Open at the weekend, the impact Shady Magdy made in Kuwait caused heartaches to some top players from Japan and Denmark.
Shady Magdy caused a major surprise by beating Japan’s Toni Ryuzaki, the no.11 seed, in the first round and he maintained his good form as the player with no current world ranking in the second round accounted for another Japanese Kohei Sambe, the no.4 seed, saving three match points in the fourth game, before gaining and early lead the fifth and never looking back (3-11, 12-10, 9-11, 15-13, 11-8).
Equally, in the opening round of the Men’s Singles qualification event, he had been in good form; he had extended Denmark’s Zhai Yujia, listed at no.105 on the current Men’s World Rankings, the full seven games distance (11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-14, 11-8).
But Shady Magd’s adventures came to a conclusion on Friday March 18 at the semi-final stage of the U-21 Men’s Singles event. He found the fast attacking skills of Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit, the no.2 seed, just too hot to handle; a straight games defeat was the order of the day (11-5, 11-3, 11-9).
Disappointment for Shady Magdy but he was realistic. “Looking back I have to be pleased with my level here”, he concluded. “Now I want to play more high level matches; hopefully I will go to the Polish Open and the Nigerian Open,” he said.
In Nigeria he is the defending U-21 Men’s Singles champion; last year he beat the host nation’s Ojo Onaolapo in the final. Notably on that occasion he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to secure success (6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9).
The impressive performance of Team Nigeria at the 39th ITF/CAT African Junior Championship concluded over the weekend in Pretoria, South Africa has been rewarded with a ticket for the Junior Davis Cup scheduled for Egypt later this year.
Also, Michael Osewa emerged silver medalist in the boy’s 14&under category of the 11-day tournament following a 7-5, 6-4 loss to Damien Laporte of the Seychelles.
Osewa went into the match as the favourite having triumphed 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the most recent meetings between the two players which was at the Top 8 African Junior Masters held in Casablanca, Morocco last November but it was his opponent from the Indian Ocean Island that carried the day.
Osewa had made it a trademark of recovering after losing the opening set, a feat he achieved against top seed Younes Adnane of Morocco in the last-16, Jason Espitalier of Mauritius in the quarterfinal and Ryan Randiek of Kenya in the semifinal but it was not to be this time as Laporte broke him in the ninth game of the second set before taking his remaining two games on his own serves.
Nigeria Tennis Federation boss, Sani Ndanusa commended the feat achieved by the Nigerian team which was highlighted by Osewa’s masterful display.
He said: “The fear of the North Africans is now a thing of the past for us. Our immediate task is to complement our performance here which is the best in Nigeria’s history with a bigger support for our junior players especially now that we are back in the Davis Cup after missing for about three years.”
Yousef Khamis claimed the Boys’ 16 & under singles title beating Philip Henning of South Africa 7-6, 6-2 butMakayla Loubser restored the pride of the host nation by winning the Girls’ 14& under title with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Aisha Niyonkuru of Burundi.
ITF Moroccan Centre player Sada Nahimana of Burundi, made history as she claimed her third ITF title in succession at the expense of Morocco’s Diae El Jardi 7-5, 6-2.
Friday Gabriel, Christopher Itodo, Christopher Bulus, Barakat Quadri, Marylove Edward, Angel McLeod and Adetayo Adetunji are the other players that featured for Nigeria at the 11-day championship which attracted about 120 players from 25 countries.
The closing ceremony followed on centre court, with ITF Board Member Ismail El Shafei, Tennis South Africa Vice-President Riaad Davids, Confederation of African Tennis President Tarak Cherif, ITF Executive Director Luca Santilli and other distinguished guests all present.
The Official Draw for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup has taken place at the Home of FIFA, with the pick of the sections pairing Japan with Nigeria and France with USA.
Hosts Papua New Guinea, meanwhile, face a series of intriguing challenges against Brazil, Sweden and Korea DPR in Group A. They will contest the tournament’s opening match against Brazil on 13 November.
“The U-20 Women’s World Cup is a great event,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said. “I’ve been to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and it was a great experience. I can tell you the weather will be beautiful. What will be even more beautiful is that Papua New Guinea will greet the world and the world will discover Papua New Guinea. I’m sure Papua New Guinea will excel and I’m sure the 16 teams will as well on the pitch.”
Papua New Guinea
Tickets for the Nigeria, Egypt 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Friday, March 25 will go for N1000 and N300 for covered seats and popular stand respectively.
NFF marketing officials told thenff.com on Thursday that the prices remain the same from the Day 1 match between the Super Eagles and Le Sao of Chad played at the same venue on June 13, 2015.
The 25,000–capacity arena has hosted several matches of the various National Teams over the past decades, and on-going renovation work geared towards improving its look and standard of facilities would be completed a week before the game.
Thenff.com recalls that Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Samson Siasia and Assistant Director (Technical), Abdulrafiu Yusuf checked out the Ahmadu Bello Stadium and ongoing renovation works last weekend, during which Siasia expressed satisfaction with the playing turf and other areas.
Top officials disclosed on Thursday that another team of technical and competition staff would check out the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna by next week.
Nigeria welcome Egypt on Day 3 of the series, starting from 4pm on Friday, March 25, with the return leg taking place in Alexandria four days later.
NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, on Tuesday challenged the U-17 National Women Team, Flamingos, to go all out against their counterparts from South Africa in Saturday’s 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup final round, first leg qualifier. The NFF scribe gave the charge while attending the team’s evening training session in Abuja.
While commending the girls for their outstanding performance in the 9-0 thrashing of Namibia in the last round of the qualification series, Sanusi told the girls to brace up for a stiffer test as South Africa’s Bantwana will pose a bigger challenge than the Namibians did.
“I urge you to go all out against the South Africans on Saturday. The South Africans will be much stronger than the Namibians that you beat home and away in January. You are carrying the weight of this entire nation. Take your chances as they come, and don’t stop scoring.
“On behalf of the NFF President and the entire Executive Board, I want to assure you that the NFF will motivate you in a big way to go to Jordan and surpass the performances of your predecessors.”
Nigeria has participated at all previous FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup final competitions, from New Zealand 2008 to Trinidad and Tobago 2010, Azerbaijan 2012 and Costa Rica 2014. The team reached the quarter finals in the last three editions.
“We are solidly behind you. Every opportunity I have, I always tell football players to imbibe discipline and strong mentality, and to avoid social vices that could affect their careers negatively. I want you to know that you are ambassadors of our dear country, and must reflect that in everything you do on or off the field of play.”
Captain Rasheedat Ajibade thanked the General Secretary for his words of advice and encouragement, and promised that the team will not let the nation down come Saturday. “We will give it our very best. But we also want Nigerians to troop to the Stadium and cheer us to victory on Saturday.”
There are strong indications that the performance of Team Nigeria at the just concluded ITTF World Team Championship has placed the West African giant ahead of Egypt in the eventual qualification for the men’s team event of Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
At the last Olympic Games in London, Egypt represented Africa in the team events (men and women) ahead of Nigeria who has always been hoisting the continent’s flag.
With Nigeria’S outing in Malaysia coupled with the ranking of her players – Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola, the coast is now clear for Nigeria to compete in the team event of the Olympics.
The two qualified Egyptian players for the Olympic Games – Omar and Khaled Assar are ranked below Quadri and Toriola in the March ranking released by ITTF this week.
Quadri is rated 30 while Omar Assar placed 36 in the ranking. Toriola, who has been out of the ranking list for his inactivity in recent times made an emphatic return to the rating list to occupy 116 in the ranking while Khaled Assar is rated 256 in the world.
According to the Olympic Team Ranking rules, the team ranking is based on the rating points of the three highest Olympic eligible rated players of each association, rated on the current individual World Ranking lists.
The rules states further, “Even if an Association has only one or two players rated on the individual World Ranking list, the team of that Association is still ranked. Players not eligible to represent their National Olympic Committee at the Olympic Games are not taken into consideration. The final ranking order is determined by the total number of points earned by each of the teams. Where there are tied teams, in the first instance those virtual team matches between the tied teams are considered to resolve the tie. If there is still a tie, then the total individual matches won against all opposing teams is then considered.”
To decide the eventual qualifiers for the team event of the Olympic Games, the May 2016 Olympic Team Ranking list is taken into consideration for the team selections at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
However, the President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, also corroborated the Olympic Team ranking rules. “Thus as per the published ITTF ranking list as of March 2016, the current situation now is that for men, Nigeria is in front to take the qualification card for the team event in Rio with position no. 25 while Egypt is coming next with position no. 32. For the women, Egypt is in front to take the qualification card for team event in Rio with position no. 31 while Nigeria is coming next with position no. 41. This is for sure in case the application to count on ranking of March 2016, while we have to wait for two months as the ranking list of May is the one to be taken into consideration after adding some more points through Kuwait, Qatar and Polish Opens within the next two months.”
Samson Siasia says he believes the Super Eagles can give Nigerians joy on Friday, March 25 by winning and picking all three points in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt in Kaduna.
All the 19 expected home boys were in camp as at Tuesday afternoon, as no other person wanted to suffer the fate of Segun Oduduwa, Usman Mohammed and Stanley Dimgba, who were on Monday barred from showing up at the Bolton White Apartments after reporting late to the camp of the intermediate squad.
Siasia told thenff.com Tuesday afternoon that discipline, strong mentality, self-belief and support of Nigerians can steer the Eagles to heights attained by their predecessors, who pounded the Pharaohs 4-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Lagos in October 1977.
“We can recreate October 1977; why not? The home –boys have come in and full training has commenced. Everyone is rearing to go. By the time the foreign –based players arrive, the competition will be what we want.
“I insist that we have invited the players who are capable of giving us the three points in Kaduna and another three points in Alexandria.”
Apart from being two points behind the Egyptians on the Group G table, the Eagles also lag behind the Pharaohs on goals scored. The Pharaohs have scored eight while Nigeria have scored two in the two matches played by each team, meaning the Nigerians have to start racking up the goals.
On October 8, 1977 the Eagles thrashed the Pharaohs 4-0 in a 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium, Lagos, with the inimitable Segun Odegbami bagging a brace. Skipper Christian Chukwu and John Nwadioha got the other goals.
The Nigeria squad of October 8 1977:
Emmanuel Okala, Annas Ahmed, Samuel Ojebode, Mudashiru Lawal, Christian Chukwu (c), Godwin Odiye, Olusegun Odegbami, Aloysius Atuegbu, John Nwadioha, Godwin Iwelimo, Adokiye Amiesieamaka
Players in camp: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Olufemi Thomas, Emmanuel Daniel, Kalu Orji Okogbue, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Mathew Etim, Austin Oboroakpo, Sincere Seth, Chima Akas, Chris Madaki, Oke Ogogatewho, Ifeanyi Mathew, Etebo Oghenekaro, Yau Hassan, Ezekiel Bassey, Prince Aggrey, Bright Onyedikachi, Chisom Chikatara, Godwin Obaje