Leon Balogun to Return to Full Fitness In May | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Leon Balogun to Return to Full Fitness In May

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 18, 2014

Fortuna Dusseldorf defender Leon Balogun reiterates his recovery process has been swift and has hinted he will return to full fitness in two weeks time.

The Super Eagles defender, 25, has told the national teams media officer, Ben Alaiya, his recovery from a fractured metatarsal has been phenomenal because of the support of his Bundensliga B side and those of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

As I speak to you, I just came back from the gym, Balogun is quoted as saying in a statement by Alaiya.

Leon Balogun is a Regular Player at His German Division B Side Fortuna Dusseldorf.

It didnt just start. I have been going through the routine and should be doing bike next week, but medics have said I should take it a step at a time.

Hopefully, I should be doing Cross Trainer next week, which should prepare me for physical running in two weeks time.

I have removed all encumbrances on my toe and I now walk freely.

The statement also quoted the ex-Hannover 96 and Werder Bremen defender is also quoted as saying head coach Stephen Keshi has kept contact with him.

Balogun played 20-minutes of his Eagles debut in a World Cup warm-up against Mexico before sustaining the foot injury, after colliding with a signage on the touchline.

With his recuperation going as planned, he could as well be considered for coach Keshis provisional 30-man World Cup squad for the friendly match against Scotland on May 28, which is expected to be made public next week.

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Bayelsa United Aims to Do Nigeria Proud in Cote d’Ivoire | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Bayelsa United Aims to Do Nigeria Proud in Cote dIvoire

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 18, 2014

Nigerias only remaining representative in continental football championships, Bayelsa United, are ready to pit their wit against Sewe Sport de San-Pedro.

The Restoration Boys visits the Stade Auguste Denise this weekend for the first leg of their Caf Confederations Cup Playoff round (1/8th round) tie with the Ivory Coast champions.

Speaking with Daily Trust in Abuja, the Nigerian club chairman, Mr. Odogu Akpofini, said they are focused and adequately committed to overrun their foes, despite knowing little about the coach Rigo Gervais-led team.

Odogu Akpofini Says Bayelsa United Aims To Clinch the Orange Caf Confederations Cup in 2014.

Akpofini said: In terms of commitment the team is ready to do Nigeria proud. We are taking every game as it comes. We have little clue about our Ivorian opponent, Sewe Sporting FC of Cote dIvoire but I am confident that we will carry the day.

While describing the exit of the clubs former manager Ladan Bosso as shocking and ill-timed, Akpofini commended the current technical crew for their performance both in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and on the continent.

He stressed the Yenagoa-based outfits target is to clinch the Confederations Cup and not only to make impact.

Ministry Backs Supporters Club to Cheer Eagles to Greater Heights in Brazil | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Ministry Backs Supporters Club to Cheer Eagles to Greater Heights in Brazil

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 18, 2014

Sports Minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, has reiterated the Federal Governments support for the Super Eagles, who are bidding to surmount their previous achievements at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Danagogo, again reposed the Nigeria Supporters Clubs confidence in the sport ministry and the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan when he received members of the worldwide fans group led by its President General, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo, in his office.

The Minister noted that without the presence of the indefatigable supporters club to spur and motivate the players, they would be like orphans on the field.

Super Eagles Supporters During A World Cup Qualifier in Calabar.

I am happy with the energy and the zeal that the supporters club is bringing into our participation in the World Cup, the Sports Minister said.

Your presence always gives the players a sense of belonging and it motivates them to do better.

We will now consolidate on the good relationship the club has with the ministry because we want the Super Eagles to surpass their previous records.

With the semi-finals target that we have for the team, the role of the supporters club cannot be over emphasised.

He described sport as a potent tool for rebranding Nigerias image, build national unity as well as foster peaceful co-existence among citizens.

Whenever there is a national or international sporting event, Nigerians forget their religious, ethnicity, gender, age, cultural divide and unite as one to support a common goal because sports redefines what we really are or stand for; a peace loving nation.

He also urged the club to mobilise many of its members to support the team in Brazil.

All our group matches in the World Cup are important to us, but our match against Argentina is one that many people are looking forward to, he continued.

I learnt that Argentina had already bought more than 29,000 tickets out of the available tickets for the World Cup, but we should not allow this to deter us.

Our match against Argentina is a must win for us to stamp our authority at the World Cup, so we need all the support we can get.

Earlier, President of the club said the club was at the National Sport Commission (NSC) to congratulate the Minister on his appointment and welcome him to the seat that houses the cradle of unity in Nigeria.

Oladipo opined that the Supporters Club view their visit to the South American nation as a national service and, as such needs the Ministrys support.

The World Cup is a big event and we will be mobilising our members to give the Super Eagles support, Oladipo said.

We intend to go to the World Cup with 300 members from Nigeria and 500 from our members across the world and we will need money for accommodation, air fare and match tickets.

And since we are going on a national service on a project that is for all Nigerians, we are appealing for financial support from the minister.

Nigeria have been drawn in Group F of the Brazil World Cup and will play Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Argentina in the preliminary round.

Sani Kaita Joins Enyimba- Report | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Sani Kaita Joins Enyimba- Report

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 18, 2014

Former Super Eagles midfielder Sani Kaita has joined Enyimba on a three-month loan deal.

Sani Kaita Got His Marching Order for a Shameful Retaliatory Lunge at Vasilis Torosidis as Nigeria Lost In World Cup 2010 Group Stages to Greece.

The midfielder has already been training with the team, a source close to the two-time African champions told KickOffNigeria.com.

It is a good thing for our league that a player like Kaita, who has played at every international level for Nigeria, is joining Enyimba.

He brings a wealth of experience from Europe and from his time playing for the Super Eagles that will benefit the club and the younger players in our club, the source said.

For Detailed Report on the Story Sani Keita joins Enyimba, Visit KickOffNigeria.com

Toure, Suarez, Gerrard, Sturridge Up for PFA Player of the Year Prize | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Toure, Suarez, Gerrard, Sturridge Up for PFA Player of the Year Prize

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 18, 2014

Ivory Coast international, Yaya Toure, joins a trio of Liverpool players among six players nominated for the Professional Footballers Associations player of the year award.

Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge are three of the Premier League leaders players in line for an individual gong, with the Anfield club hoping to end a 24-year wait for a league title.

Chelseas Eden Hazard and Southamptons Adam Lallana completes the list.

Hazard and Sturridge are also in line for the young player award, along with Liverpools Raheem Sterling, Arsenals Aaron Ramsey, Evertons Ross barkley and Southamptons Luke Shaw.

Yaya Toure Celebrates His Goal Against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Suarez, 27, sits at the summit of the league scorers chart with 29 goals.

His partner on Liverpools frontline, Sturridge, 24, has scored nine less than the Uruguayan, while skipper, Gerrard, 33, has added 13 goals for the Reds.

Reigning Caf Player of the Year, Toure, 30, is Manchester Citys top league goal scorer with 18 strikes from 31 appearances.

Hazard, 23, have contributed 14 goals for Jose Mourinhos Blues family.

Lallana has had an impressive season with the Saints, which culminated in a debut appearance for coach Roy Hodgsons Three Lions against Chile in November. The 25-year-old attacking midfielder has scored nine league goals for Southampton this season.

Blatter Wants Severe But Effective Penalties for Crowd Disturbances and Racism | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Blatter Wants Severe But Effective Penalties for Crowd Disturbances and Racism

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 18, 2014

President of the world football governing body, Joseph Sepp Blatter, has advocated for newer, but effective sporting sanctions in the fight against racism.

The 78-year-old opines that point deduction will go a long way in involving various teams in the campaign against football hooliganism, which has been exhibited at all levels in world football.

Sporting sanctions are the only effective punishment, said Blatter. It has to cause the clubs real hurt, otherwise nothing will change.

The NPFLs Fight Against Hooliganism: The LMC Have Engaged the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence to Enhance Security at Match Venues. Image Credit: LMC.

It is the troublemakers who must be punished. And it is clear to me that the clubs are responsible for the hooligans.

Stadium ban, as nonetheless one of the punishments approved for the anti-racism and discrimination resolution penal code at last years Fifa Congress in Mauritius, has been widely employed in contemporary cases of match disturbance.

Swiss club FC Basel were ordered to play two of their Europa Cup matches following incidents of crowd disturbance and teams improper conduct during their round of 16 second leg in Austria against Salzburg.

And most recently, the Ukrainian football association was hit with a stadium ban after its fans chanted xenophobic words and displayed Nazi symbols at a World Cup qualifier against SanMarino in Lviv.

Following unsuccessful appeal, the Ukrainians now play theirfirst home qualifier for the 2018 World Cup behind closed door.

In his column for Fifa Weekly, Blatter likened football behind closed door to a carnival celebrations without costumes, while stressing it is an extremely dubious instrument which represent a disproportionately collective punishment.

He wants drastic and severe sanctions, which does not penalise football.

According to the Fifas disciplinary code, cases of racial abuse attracts a warning for first offence and then stricter sanctions such as stadium closure, points deduction or even expulsion from competitions for subsequent offences.

Maigari Tasks Sporting Media to Be Objective | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Maigari Tasks Sporting Media to Be Objective

Posted by: Omaku Cephas on April 18, 2014

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has rebuffed claims he was working against the success of the national team at the forthcoming 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Maigari describes as puerile and a back stab, reports by a section of the sporting media he wants the failure of the Super Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi, so as to allow for his sack in favour of a foreigner.

When the former coach, Samson Siasia, left the stage for obvious reasons, how many of those who are fronting for Keshi today wanted him as the Nigerian coach? Maigari asked, while speaking in Abuja on Thursday.

Nigeria Football Federation President, Aminu Maigari.

But in my wisdom and after talking to our executive committee members, he was appointed the head coach.

The NFF chief declared he would never destroy a team he helped build.

Some people just want to create sensation of publicity for themselves and use perceived disagreement with Keshi to insult us and win public acclaim. For the records, I can never work against a man that we collectively made the highest paid Nigerian alive today.

He urged those involved with the news media to be constructive in their criticism and, henceforth; desist from damaging the reputation of Nigeria football and that of the coaching crew of the national team.

If anyone is in doubt they should ask questions but they will never do that, they go on Facebook, Twitter and use all other manner of media to damage the reputation of the leadership of Nigerian football without asking questions.

Henceforth, such flagrant abuse of the media will no longer be acceptable to us. I dont want to mention names but those concerned know themselves and for the last time I want to appeal to them to allow us concentrate on preparations for the World Cup rather than causing all manner of distractions, Maigari added.