“YOU ARE ‘MYOPIC” – NFF BLASTS AMIESIMAKA

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In a reaction to the comments ascribed to Adokiye Amiesimaka, after he declared that the Super Eagles are not well prepared for the 2014 World Cup which kicks off next month in Brazil, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has lambasted the ex Super Eagles winger. Amiesimaka told Goal in an interview last week: “I have said it over and over again that we are not ready for the 2014 World Cup. Everyone is talking about the provisional list, no one seems to be asking, ‘what of the technical crew? According to the NFF, “He is never going to be happy about other people going to play in the FIFA World Cup finals, because he never got to play at that esteemed level. He is spewing evil and ill-will for the whole nation and continent all in the pretext of a myopic campaign for an ex-team mate to be included in the technical crew.”

The NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire insinuated that the former international was being jealous and never sees anything good in what others do. “Mr. Amiesimaka has behaved true to type. At a time that good hearted ex-internationals are egging the Super Eagles on, expressing faith in them to do Nigeria and Africa proud and generally giving the players immense psychological boost, Amiesimaka has again erected his tent in the Sadists’ Corner, wishing the team failure,” Olajire wrote in a media release. Allegations and counter allegations are just all over the place, is it possible for us not to politicize everything in Nigeria?

Read More: NFF: Amiesimaka

WE WANTED THAT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOT - MARTINEZ

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After a match that left his team dry and hanging, Everton manager Roberto Martinez, could not hide his disappointment after a 3-2 home loss to Manchester City. The loss ensured they could no longer pip Arsenal to fourth place in the league. Barkley opened scoring for the Toffees with a stunning strike, before Aguero levelled for Manuelo Pellegrini’s side. Edin Dzeko helped himself to a brace, before Romelu Lukaku headed in Everton’s second. Martinez was however keen to shrug off the disappointment and continue next season in the Europa League. “There are mixed emotions. Overall it has been a tremendous season,” he told Sky Sports.

“Today’s game showed the belief that we have and there is a lot to be excited about for the future. We have taken real strides forward and the football has been outstanding.“Everyone is a little bit down because we wanted to finish the season with a real fight for the Champions League spots, but you cannot be too disappointed. “If we can get into Europe it will be a magnificent achievement.” You have to give credit to Martinez, he transformed an average team into arguably one of the top teams in the league in less than a year. Great work from him. 

Read More: Champions league; Martinez

“THE PLAYERS WERE FLAT AND I DON’T KNOW WHY” – GIGGS

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Following his team’s loss to Sunderland, Manchester United manager, Ryan Giggs, was at a loss to explain why his team produced a “flat” performance. He was on top of the world as his team walloped Norwich 4-0 in his 1st game in charge. It was the Black Cats’ first win at United’s home since 1968 in what is proving to be a record shattering season for United. It is also the first defeat of Gigg’s tenure as caretaker. The Welshman admitted after the game that he was left bemused. The defeats have sparked accusations the bad season was not Moyes’ fault but that most of the United players are not good enough.

However, Giggs believes in the quality of his players when he said “I still believe there is quality in the dressing room. We showed that last week but just didn’t this. The players were flat and I don’t know why.” “In the first half we got some decent crosses in, and just didn’t get enough people in the box. In the second half we had all the possession and just couldn’t find that key pass or bit of quality to get us back in the game. I am sure if we scored one we would have gone on to score more.” Is Giggs still the man for the United job?

Read More: Ryan Giggs; Manchester United

BOXING TOUGH DUEL: MAYWEATHER DEFEATS MAIDANA

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Floyd Mayweather faced one of the toughest fights of his career on Sunday morning, but went on to beat Marcos Maidana by majority decision, to become the WBA and WBC welterweight champion of the world. Boxing’s number one pound-for-pound fighter, who remains unbeaten, admitted afterwards: “It was a tough fight, which is what the fans wanted to see.” Dave Moretti scored the match 116-112 for Mayweather, Bert Clements had it 117-111 while Michael Pernich thought it was a draw at 114-114. The result was met by discontent and boos from some sections of the crowd and Mayweather said he was ready for a rematch.

“If the fans want to see it again, let’s do it again,” Mayweather said. The defeated Maidana said: “I have to give him a rematch, because I won.” Maidana, however felt he stood up to Mayweather. “Other fighters respected him and didn’t go toe-to toe with him like I did,” he said. Mayweather is now 46-0 with 26 KOs. Maidana drops to 35-4 with 31 KOs.

Read More: Boxing; Mayweather_Maidana

I DON’T DESERVE TO REMAIN BARCELONA COACH – MARTINO

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Heaping blame upon himself for his team’s failures this season, Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino, has admitted that he does not deserve to remain coach of the Catalan club. Commenting after another disappointing result as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Getafe on Saturday, he said “It is not the desired end, is not a good season from a personal point of view, obviously neither for Barcelona, because it isn’t what they are used to”.  Lionel Messi tucked Dani Alves’ cross away to give Barca the lead, before Angel Lafita made it 1-1 at the Nou Camp. Alexis Sanchez restored their lead, but Lafita struck again in second half stoppage time.

Many think Martino is being forced to make himself a scapegoat for the club board’s failure to strengthen the team.“It has been a difficult season, with many problems off the pitch. We have tried to get over them with football and we were alive in the title race, until today. “A poor season wasn’t what we expected. There was the chance of not reaching the goals, but not due to our own mistakes. Even less after the two previous games in which we had to make comebacks. And sometimes one feels that his job wasn’t good enough and is not necessary to ask for a new chance, because he doesn’t deserve it”. The comments are especially tough on him and we salute his courage.

Read More: Barcelona; Martino

FULHAM AND CARDIFF RELEGATED, CITY GO TOP, ARSENAL SECURE 4TH

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In what is a roundup to a dramatic season in the English Premier League, Fulham and Cardiff, have become the first two teams to suffer relegation this season, after suffering heavy defeats to Stoke City and Newcastle respectively. The 2013/2014 season will go down in history as one of the most keenly contested seasons as there is just 1 match to go. Manchester City sit on top after dispatching Everton 3-2 in a keenly contested match at Goodison Park. With Sunderland winning 1-0 against Manchester United at Old Trafford, both teams needed to get wins, to carry the fight against relegation to the last day. However, goals from Osaze Odemwingie, Marko Arnautovic, Oussama Assaidi and Jon Walters, ensured the Potters sent Felix Magath’s men down.

At different points in the season, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City were all in pole position to clinch the title. Newcastle also ended a six-game losing streak, with a 3-0 win over Cardiff City. Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy and Steven Taylor scored to give the Magpies all three points. Everton’s loss at Goodison Park ensured Arsenal will qualify for the Champions League for the 17th consecutive season. In other matches, Aston Villa beat Hull City 3-1 at Villa Park, to secure their EPL status, while Southampton clinched a late winner away to Swansea.

DORTMUND FANS GIVE STANDING OVATION TO LEWANDOWSKI AS HE LEAVES

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After playing his last home game for Borussia Dortmund, Robert Lewandowski was thankful to the Borrusia Dortmund fans, after they gave the striker a standing ovation after his last home game for the club. He was joined by the manager Jurgen Klopp who thanked the fans on his behalf. It was a very magnanimous move on the part of the home fans considering he is moving to their direct rivals, Bayern Munich. Lewandowski said: “The emotions today were very, very high. I can only thank everyone for this support. “This is a very, very emotional moment for me. What the supporters did before, during and after the game was incredible. Thank you for this wonderful treatment.”

The Polish striker is leaving on a free transfer at the end season and was presented with flowers and a giant poster of himself before the 3-2 victory over Hoffenheim on Saturday.Lewandowski, who fired Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga titles was then substituted to a warm ovation in injury time. “Thank you to everyone who participated in that ovation,” Klopp told Sky. “It was special.  “He’s been a great player for Borussia Dortmund. He deserved that. It was incredible. Thank you to the whole stadium. “I’m glad that after four years I can sit back and say, ‘Yes, he always gave it everything’. Best of luck to you at Bayern Munich lad.

Read More: Dortmund standing ovation

UEFA CONFIRMS NINE CLUBS TO BE INVESTIGATED OVER FFP COMPLIANCE

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A total of nine clubs face further investigations, for possibly breaching Financial Fair Play rules, UEFA has confirmed. European football’s governing body initially beamed their searchlights on the case of 76 clubs, who were asked to provide extra information to prove that they adhered to FFP rules for the 2013/2014 season. UEFA has now revealed that after further assessment, investigations will continue into nine of the 76 clubs, although no names were disclosed. FFP seeks to create a level playing ground for teams, by ensuring that clubs do not spend more than they earn over a period of time – no club is permitted a loss of more than €45 million over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

The statement released on UEFA’s official website read: “Following the period in which the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Investigatory Chamber monitored the compliance of clubs with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, UEFA can confirm that of the 237 clubs which entered the 2013/14 UEFA club competitions (and were thus subject to this season’s break-even requirements), 76 were requested to submit additional information.” Some of the clubs suspected to be under investigation include Manchester City, Paris Saint Germaine and Monaco who have all spent hefty sums on transfers in recent seasons. 

Read More: UEFA Free Fair Play Investigation

MOURINHO TO HAZARD: YOU ARE TO BLAME FOR ATLETICO MADRID LOSS

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In a move that is believed to make a scapegoat and excuse for Chelsea’s failed season, Jose Mourinho, has lashed out at Eden Hazard, claiming that he does not sacrifice himself for the team, after he struggled defensively against Atletico Madrid. The two have had a battle of words since Wednesday night with their post match comments sparking a row. Speculations are now rife that Hazard might leave Chelsea in the summer. Mourinho also responded directly to quotes from Hazard, where the 23-year-old said he does not set up the team to play football. The Blues manager insisted that his player’s statements were twisted by the media.

The Belgian winger failed to track Juanfran’s run in the build-up to Adrian Lopez’s equalizer on Wednesday and went ahead to criticize Mourinho’s tactics after the match. “Against Atletico in Madrid, Willian played on the left side and Ashley Cole was protected all game. Against Liverpool, Schurrle played on the left side and a dangerous player like Glen Johnson was completely under control,” Mourinho told reporters. “Eden is the kind of player that is not so mentally ready to look back to his left-back and live his life for him. “If you see the first goal of Atletico you completely understand where the mistake was and why we conceded that goal. The perfect team at the top level can’t make these mistakes. Criticizing his players publicly seems to be Mourinho’s new hobby, let’s see how the Hazard case will pan out. 

Read More: Mourinho: Hazard squable

BRAZIL 2014: EAGLES WON’T MAKE IT OUT OF GROUP STAGE

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Former Nigeria international Adokiye Amiesimaka believes the  Nigeria Football Federation’s top officials have abandoned relevant issues and are dealing with unimportant matters, which will only make the country another statistic in Brazil this summer. For him, he thinks the Super Eagles are not ready for the 2014 World Cup. “I have said it over and over again that we are not ready for the 2014 World Cup. Everyone is talking about the provisional list, no one seems to be asking, ‘what of the technical crew?’  Amiesimaka said. This is coming despite the top brass at the NFF claiming all is being prepared to ensure the country has a hitch free preparation.

He claims the chief coach, Stephen Keshi asked for an assistant which the NFF has refused him. “It is like wanting to buy the best car but no one to drive the car, then of what use is it?. “Why are Nigerians not talking about that? As far as I am concerned our technical crew is not complete,” he added. “That is the area we should focus on and not just debating on players that should make the World Cup list which the coach does not want.nhe then went on to lambast the inability of the country to get to the semi finals despite winning all the age grade competitions several times. “We have won the age grade competitions so many times yet we find it very hard to get to the semi final of the Fifa World Cup or is there any country that has won any age grade competition without winning the World Cup or at least getting to the last four? Are there serious allegations here; is he speaking the truth or just crying foul?

Read More: Eagles will crash out of world cup

ATLETICO WILL BE A TOUGH FINAL FOR US – ANCELOTTI

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Carlo Ancelotti has said that Atletico Madrid deserved to defeat Chelsea in their Champions League semi-finals and qualify for the final of the UEFA Champions League. The two teams will face each other in what is the first ever derby final in the competition. Real secured their place with a 5-0 aggregate win over holders Bayern Munich, while their city rivals Atletico beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, after a goalless draw in Spain.

 

The Real Madrid manager says “Everyone in Madrid is happy and there are no favorites for the final,” he told Sky Italia. “Anyone who has been to a final knows there are no favorites. It will be a close game.” Expectations are high at Real as they aim to land a record breaking 10th Champions League trophy. It is the club hierarchy’s biggest dream for about 12 years and Ancellotti’s men could make the dream come true. Who is going to come out tops? 

Read More: Carlo Ancelotti

2014 WORLD CUP: NFF WARNS AGAINST HIGH EXPECTATIONS

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General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Musa Amadu, has warned fans to lower their expectations from the Super Eagles, ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This he believes will not put undue pressure on the team in Brazil. Expectations are soaring as the Nigerian team under Stephen Keshi looks likely to be a surprise revelation at the tournament.

He however added that the federation was eager to see the Eagles exceed the second round stage and advance to the quarter-finals for the first time ever. Amadu also stated that everything was being made possible, to ensure the team is well prepared for the tournament. “We are hopeful that they will give the best of representation to Nigeria because we are providing them the enabling environment to excel,” Amadu said. Go Eagles Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read More: 2014 World cup, super eagles

“CHELSEA’S SEASON WILL BE A FAILURE IF WE DON’T WIN ANY TROPHY” – LUIZ

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After Chelsea were dumped out of the Champions League this week, David Luiz has said that it will be failure, if Chelsea fails to win any trophy this season. This is looking more likely as they are 2nd in the league with 2 matches to go. They went out of the other two cup competitions earlier in the season. The Blues defender could do nothing to help as Atletico walloped Chelsea 1-3 at Stamford Bridge. He had a below average game on the night.

 “You can say it is a bad season if you don’t have trophies in a season at a big club, that is true,” Luiz told reporters. “The season we won the Champions League [2011-12] was a bad season until the end and then we won two titles. “We are a big club and we want to win trophies, but the most important thing is to have a personality. You need to fight in many situations. This is sport, this is football. Everyone speaks about results which are true. Keep fighting guys, it is doable.

Read More: Chelsea title failure

MAIGARI’S NFF LEADERSHIP IS AWESOME - GOVERNOR ORJI

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Plaudits have come the way of the Nigeria Football Federation President, Aminu Maigari, for his leadership style and achievements. The remarks were made by the Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji who said Maigari’s tenure has been filled with so many achievements. Orji lauded the many successes Nigeria’s football has recorded under Maigari’s administration and said it has never been this good.

 

“I must praise your excellent leadership style, which has been commended by several leading stakeholders of the game in Nigeria, Africa and the world, and it is obvious that your style is working,” the Governor said. “Our country has never had it so good on and off the field of play, with triumphs at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations followed by qualification for the FIFA World Cup.” Maigari also hailed Orji’s drive to transform Abia. Errr...

Read More: Orji-Maigari romance of words

CHELSEA COACH RUI FARIA HANDED SIX-MATCH STADIUM BAN

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A six-match stadium ban and £30,000 fine has been slapped on Chelsea’s assistant coach Rui Faria. Jose Mourinho’s assistant had an altercation with match officials during Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Sunderland. Faria was furious after referee Mike Dean awarded a late penalty to the Black Cats at Stamford Bridge and confronted him and fourth official Phil Dowd.

He later admitted to two charges of misconduct at a non-personal hearing. “Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Chelsea’s Rui Faria has been given a six-match stadium ban with immediate effect, subject to any appeal, after he admitted two breaches of FA Rules,” an FA statement read. Things are going south at an alarming rate for Chelsea at the moment, this is another wound they have to lick.

Read More: Chelsea’s assistant coach Rui Faria

COURTOIS STOPPED US FROM REACHING UCL FINAL – MOURINHO

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Jose Mourinho was forced to eat the humble pie as his claim to being the special one went up in flames. His famous ‘Park the Bus’ tactics that saw Chelsea get to the semi finals of the Champions League backfired as they were walloped 1-3 by visiting Atletico Madrid. He however pointed out the moment when Thibaut Courtois produced an outstanding save from John Terry, as the turning point of the match.

Chelsea were outplayed and outsmarted by Diego Simeone’s men who had to come from a goal behind. Fernando Torres had opened scoring, before Adrian levelled in first half stoppage time. Diego Costa converted his spot-kick after Samuel Eto’o fouled him in the box and Arda Turan put the game to bed with the third. That Courtois is on loan from Chelsea makes it worse as his saves helped Atletico stay in charge. Second trophyless season beckons for the Special One eh? 

Read More: Champions league final

MADRID CRUSH BAYERN TO SECURE UCL FINAL BERTH


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Real Madrid hammered Bayern Munich 4-0 at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, to qualify for the final of the Champions League. Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored braces to hand Carlo Ancellotti’s men a final berth at Lisbon next month. The La Liga side travelled to Germany with a 1-0 lead from the first leg at the Bernabeu and were two goals up in the first 20 minutes. They will play either Chelsea or Atletico Madrid in the finals. 

Bayern’s defence circled around Ronaldo on set pieces and twice Ramos ghosted through to head past Manuel Neuer. The Bavarians were powerless to stop the Portugese forward from scoring his record-breaking 15th goal of this season’s competition after a quick counter attack. Karim Benzema fed Gareth Bale, who burst into the area and unselfishly set up Ronaldo to score. Ronaldo got his second in the 90th minute, squeezing his free-kick under the Bayern wall.

Read More: Madrid crush Bayern Munich

GIGGS - I DIDN’T SLEEP BEFORE NORWICH GAME

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Following Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata’s braces on Saturday, Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs, has said that his managerial debut was a “dream day” for him. The Red Devils defeated Norwich City 4-0 at Old Trafford, to give Giggs a winning start. “I did enjoy it. 4-0 it’s a dream day for us and I was really pleased with the performance” Giggs said. 

He mentioned that he did not sleep a night to the game because he had to make big decisions. The 40-year-old left out £27.5m summer signing Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj from the match day squad and revealed it was not an easy decision. “I told them all individually before the game and rightly so. Some were upset but they didn’t sulk and you’ve seen the response of Juan. That’s a true professional”. Is Giggs the man for the job? 

Read More: Giggs Ryan

NFF – WE DO NOT TAKE OUT OF COACHES SALARIES

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Musa Amadu has said the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) top officials do not take a share out of the salaries and allowances paid to coaches of the national teams. He disowned the viral reports making the rounds in the media that the federation’s top officials do that. “I really want the persons vending these scandalous and scurrilous stories go to town with the facts available to them. We would like to see those facts. 

The NFF General-Secretary described the stories as totally senseless and baseless and called on people peddling it to provide evidence. “We pay all our Coaches what is due to them in salaries, allowances and bonuses. For salaries, they are paid less the appropriate Personal Income Tax and directly into their bank accounts. The said tax is then paid directly to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, and the records are there for anyone to verify.” Can we have proof anyone?

Read More: NFF

MARTINEZ – TOP 4 STILL POSSIBLE FOR EVERTON

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Despite their 2-0 defeat at Southampton, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has insisted that his side can still finish in the top four this season. Antolin Alcaraz and Seamus Coleman both scored own goals in the first half of the game to seal the Toffees fate. The loss dents Everton’s charge at securing Champions League football as a win for Arsenal on Monday will take them 4 points clear.

Martinez remains optimistic however saying “From our point of view, it doesn’t change at all,” he told BT Sport. “We have had eight wins in 10 games – it’s a phenomenal return. We go into the next two games and hope to get maximum points, all we’re looking for is to get the maximum points and we’ll see where that leaves us”. Someone tell Martinez no one drags the 4th spot with Wenger, he’s a veteran. 

Read More: Martinez: Everton still has a chance