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Nigerian Football

Supersand Eagles Off To Bahamas

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Nigeria’s Beach Soccer national team, the Supersand Eagles are scheduled to leave the country’s shores for their ninth attempt at the FIFA

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals, taking place in Nassau, The Bahamas next week.

The team which placed second in the continental qualifiers last December is being led by Coach Audu Adamu, with a playing body that boasts highly experienced Isiaka Olawale, Ogbonnaya Okemiri, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Abu Azeez, Victor Tale and goalkeeper Godwin Anyalogu, as well as upcoming but talented and fearless Godspower Igudia, Emeka Ogbonna, Emmanuel Owhoferia and Suleiman Mohammed.

Eight of the players that made the final cut of 12 will travel on Thursday night along with the coaches and backroom staff, with the remaining four (who only got their transit entry visas into the United States of America on Thursday) scheduled to fly out on Tuesday.

Thursday’s group flew aboard Delta Airline, to connect Atlanta, USA before the short flight into Nassau. The party to leave on Tuesday will also fly Delta Airline, with only one official to travel through Amsterdam and Panama aboard KLM, Royal Dutch Airline.

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Coach Adamu, who saw the Supersand Eagles to a 7th place finish at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Ravenna, Italy, told thenff.com on Thursday: “This is the biggest stage in world football, and we are battle ready to give our very best.

“We are not new to this level. In 2011, we came close to making the semi finals but lost to Brazil after extra time in Italy. I am happy that I still have a good number of players who featured in that competition, and we will approach the tournament in Nassau with confidence and the right mental attitude.”

Nigeria participated in four of the previous eight FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup competitions, crashing out at group stage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2006 and in Dubai, UAE in 2009, but making the quarter finals in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and in Ravenna, Italy six years ago.

The Supersand Eagles’ first match in Nassau comes up on Thursday next week, against Italy, with further matches against Asian champions Iran and Mexico (CONCACAF runners-up) to come in Group B.

 

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SUPERSAND EAGLES FOR WORLD CUP

 

Godwin Anyalogu (GK); Emmanuel Owhoferia; Ogbonnaya Okemiri; Taiwo Adams; Godspower Igudia; Victor Tale; Isiaka Olawale; Abu Azeez; Emeka Ogbonna; Bartholomew Ibenegbu; Suleiman Mohammed; Paul Danjuma (GK)

 

FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP THE BAHAMAS 2017

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GROUP A: The Bahamas, Switzerland, Ecuador, Senegal

 

GROUP B: Nigeria, Italy, Iran, Mexico

 

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GROUP C: United Arab Emirates, Paraguay, Portugal, Panama

 

GROUP D: Brazil, Tahiti, Japan, Poland

 

PREVIOUS FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP FINALS

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. Rio de Janeiro 2005

 

. Rio de Janeiro 2006

 

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. Rio de Janeiro 2007

 

. Marseilles 2008

 

. Dubai 2009

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. Italy 2011

 

Tahiti 2013

 

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. Portugal 2015

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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