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Super Eagles’ skipper, Mikel Obi is on the threshold of getting into the prestigious FIFA Century Club, an exclusive assembly of players who have made at least 100 international appearances.

With strong indications that Mikel will be featured in Friday’s game with Algeria, Sports Village Square can declare that he will be making his 80th appearance in proper grade A match for Nigeria.

Twenty more matches including the scheduled one with Argentina next week, other pre World Cup friendly matches and at least the three group games at Russia 2018, Mikel Obi may just clock 100 caps.

If fielded in Friday’s match with Algeria, Mikel will be, the fourth most capped Nigerian international after those of Vincent Enyeama (101 caps), Joseph Yobo (100) and the late Muda Lawal (86).


Incidentally, all those with over 80 international appearances have been captains of the Nigerian team.

Mikel made his international debut when he came in as a substitute for Chris Obodo in an August 17, 2005 friendly match with Libya in Tripoli. It was a trial match ahead of a 2006 World Cup qualifying match with Algeria, in Oran.

He also came in as a substitute for Wilson Oruma in Nigeria’s second group game with Zimbabwe in the Africa Cup of Nation duel in Port Said, Egypt on January 27, 2006.

His introduction was impactful as he almost immediately doubled Nigeria’s lead, scoring his first international goal. Apart from featuring in the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations quarter finals duel with Tunisia in Port Said, Mikel continued to make cameo appearances in the Super Eagles until disastrous 1-4 loss to Ghana in a friendly match on February 6, 2007 in London.

That was the last match for Austin Eguavoen as the team manager. He stepped aside for Germany’s Berti Vogts who watched from the side lines and signed his contract two days later.


In his 79 matches so far, he played as substitute or was substituted 18 times.

To his credit, Mikel has played all tiers of national team football for Nigeria and participated in all FIFA final competitions. Staring with 2003 Under 17 World Cup in Finland, the U-20 in the Netherlands in 2005, the Under 23 football tournament of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016, the FIFA Confederation Cup in Brazil 2013, the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014 as well as featuring for Chelsea in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2012.

Though a midfielder, he scored six goals for Nigeria in the 79 matches he has played so far.






  1. August 17, 2005 (F-Tripoli) LIBYA 0 – 1 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. January 27, 2006 (AFCON-Port Said) ZIMBABWE 0 – 2 NIGERIA. (sub) 1 goal


  1. February 4, 2006 (AFCON-Port Said) TUNISIA 1 – 1  NIGERIA  * 5-6 pens


  1. February 7, 2006 (AFCON-Alexandria) COTE D’IVOIRE 1 – 0 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. September 2, 2006 (AFCONq-Abuja) NIGERIA 2 – 0 NIGER. (sub)


  1. February 6, 2007 (F-London) GHANA 4 – 1 NIGERIA.


  1. March 24, 2007 (AFCONq-Abeokuta) NIGERIA 1 – 0 UGANDA.


  1. September 8, 2007 (AFCONq- Warri) NIGERIA 2 – 0 LESOTHO.


  1. October 14, 2007 (F- Mexico City) MEXICO 2 – 2 NIGERIA.


  1. January 21, 2008 (AFCON- Sekondi) COTE D’IVOIRE 1 – 0 NIGERIA.


  1. January 25, 2008 (AFCON- Sekondi) MALI 0 – 0 NIGERIA.


  1. January 29, 2008 (AFCON- Sekondi) BENIN 0 – 2 NIGERIA. (1 goal)


  1. February 3, 2008 (AFCON- Accra) GHANA 2 – 1 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. May 27, 2008 (F- Graz) AUSTRIA 1 – 1 NIGERIA.


  1. June 1, 2008 (WCq- Abuja) NIGERIA 2 – 0 SOUTH AFRICA.


  1. June 7, 2008 (WCq-Freetown) SIERRA LEONE 0 – 1 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. June 21, 2008 (WCq- Abuja) NIGERIA 2 – 0 EQUATORIAL GUINEA. (sub)


  1. February 11, 2009 (F-London) JAMAICA 0 – 0 NIGERIA.


  1. March 29, 2009 (WCq-Maputo) MOZAMBIQUE 0 -0 NIGERIA.


  1. June 20, 2009 (WCq-Rades) TUNISIA 0 -0 NIGERIA


  1. September 6, 2009 (WCq-Abuja) NIGERIA 2 – 2  TUNISIA


  1. November 14, 2009 (WCq-Nairobi) KENYA 2 – 3 NIGERIA.


  1. January 6, 2010 (F- Durban) ZAMBIA 0 – 0 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. January 12, 2010 (AFCON- Benguela) EGYPT 3 – 1 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. January 16, 2010 (AFCON- Benguela) BENIN 0 – 1 NIGERIA.


  1. January 20, 2010 (AFCON- Lubango) MOZAMBIQUE 0 – 3 NIGERIA.


  1. January 25, 2010 (AFCON- Lubango) ZAMBIA 0 – 0 NIGERIA (aet) 4-5 pens


  1. January 28. 2010 (AFCON- Luanda) GHANA 1 – 0 NIGERIA.


  1. January 30, 2010 (AFCON- Benguela) ALGERIA 0 – 1 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. September 5, 2010 (AFCONq – Calabar) NIGERIA 2- 0 MADAGASCAR (sub)


  1. March 29, 2011 (F- Abuja) NIGERIA 3- 0 KENYA


  1. June 1, 2011 ( F- Abuja) NIGERIA 4- 1 ARGENTINA


  1. June 5, 2011 ( AFCONq- Addis Ababa)  ETHIOPIA 2-2 NIGERIA


  1. September 3, 2011 (AFCONq- Antananarivo) MADAGASCAR 0-2 NIGERIA


  1. September 6, 2011 ( F- Dhaka) ARGENTINA 3-1 NIGERIA (sub)


  1. October 8, 2011 ( AFCONq-Abuja) NIGERIA 2-2 GUINEA


  1. October 11, 2011 (F-London) NIGERIA 0-0 GHANA (sub)


  1. October 13, 2012 (AFCONq – Calabar) NIGERIA 6-1 LIBERIA (1 goal pen)


  1. January 9, 2013 (F – Faro) CAPE VERDE 0-0 NIGERIA


  1. January 21, 2013 (AFCON – Nelspruit) BURKINA FASO 1-1 NIGERIA


  1. January 25, 2013 (AFCON – Nelspruit) ZAMBIA 1-1 NIGERIA


  1. January 29, 2013 (AFCON – Rustenburg) ETHIOPIA 0-2 NIGERIA(sub)


  1. February 3, 2013 (AFCON – Rustenburg) COTE D’IVOIRE 1-2 NIGERIA


  1. February 6, 2013 (AFCON – Durban) MALI 1-4 NIGERIA



  1. February 10, 2013 (AFCON –  J’burg) BURKINA FASO 0-1 NIGERIA


  1. March 23, 2013 (WCq- Calabar) NIGERIA 1-1 KENYA


  1. June 5, 2013 (WCq – Nairobi) KENYA 0-1 NIGERIA


  1. June 12, 2013 (WCq- Windhoek) NAMIBIA 1-1 NIGERIA


  1. June 17, 2013 (Confed – Belo Horizonte) TAHITI 1-6 NIGERIA


  1. June 20, 2013 (Confed – Salvador) URUGUAY 2-1 NIGERIA (1 goal)


  1. June 23, 2013 (Confed – Fortaleza) SPAIN 3-0 NIGERIA


  1. September 7, 2013 (WCq – Calabar) NIGERIA 2-0 MALAWI


  1. October 13, 2013 (WCq- Addis Ababa) ETHIOPIA 1-2 NIGERIA


  1. November 16, 2013 (WCq- Calabar) NIGERIA 2-0 ETHIOPIA


  1. November 18, 2013 (F- London) ITALY 2-2 NIGERIA


  1. March 6, 2014(F- Georgia) MEXICO 0-0 NIGERIA


  1. June 4, 2014 (F- Pennsylvania) GREECE 0-0 NIGERIA


  1. June 7, 2014 (F- Florida) USA 2-1 NIGERIA (sub)


  1. n June 16, 2014 (WC- Curitiba) IRAN 0-0 NIGERIA


  1. June 21. 2014 (WC- Cuiaba) BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA 0-1 NIGERIA


  1. June 25, 2014 (WC-Porto Alegre) ARGENTINA 3-2 NIGERIA


  1. June 30, 2014 (WC- Brasilia) FRANCE 2-0 NIGERIA


  1. September 6, 2014 (AFCONq- Calabar) NIGERIA 2-3 CONGO


  1. September 10, 2014 (AFCONq- Cape Town) SOUTH AFRICA 0-0 NIGERIA


  1. October 11, 2014 (AFCONq – Khartoum) SUDAN 1-0 NIGERIA


  1. October 15. 2014 (AFCONq – Abuja) NIGERIA 3-1 SUDAN


  1. November 15, 2014 (AFCONq- Pointe Noire) CONGO 0-2 NIGERIA


  1. November 19, 2014 (AFCONq- Uyo) NIGERIA 2-2 SOUTH AFRICA


  1. October 8, 2015 (F- Vise, Belgium) DR CONGO 2-0 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. October 11, 2015 (F-Vise, Belgium) CAMEROON 0-3 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. November 13, 2015 (WCq- Lobamba) SWAZILAND 0-0 NIGERIA. (sub)


  1. March 25, 2016 (AFCONq- Kaduna) NIGERIA 1-1 EGYPT.


  1. March 29, 2016 (AFCONq- Alexandria) EGYPT 1-0 NIGERIA.


  1. September 3, 2016 (AFCONq -Uyo) NIGERIA 1-0 TANZANIA. (sub)


  1. October 9, 2016 (WCq -Ndola) ZAMBIA 1-2 NIGERIA.


  1. November 12, 2016 (WCq -Uyo) NIGERIA 3-1 ALGERIA. (sub, 1 goal)


  1. September 1, 2017 (WCq -Uyo) NIGERIA 4-0 CAMEROON (sub, 1 goal)


  1. September 4, 2017 (WCq -Yaoundé) CAMEROON 1-1 NIGERIA


  1. October 7, 2017 (WCq -Uyo) NIGERIA 1-0 ZAMBIA




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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International Football

New twist in Cameroon football coach crisis




The coaching crisis in Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions has taken a new dimension as the football federation, FECAFOOT, led by former international, Samuel Eto’o goes in direct confrontation with the coaching crew appointed by the sports ministry which also picks the bills.

  According to a Cameroon official who will not like to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the matter, the claims and counter claims of both the sports ministry and the FECAFOOT led by Eto’o had been heard and decided by the conciliation and arbitration chamber of the Cameroonian national Olympic committee, which is a court in charge of sports cases in Cameroon.

  “What is in contention is not the position of the Belgian coach, Marcc Brys, but that of the Cameroonian assistants attached to him.”

  The source explained to Sports Village Square that although the employment of Brys by the sports ministry was initially contested by Eto’o, the former player has come to accept the situation.


  “In Cameroon, there is always a techenical crew of nine to 11. The foreign coach is allowed to bring in two foreign assistants, while the others are always Cameroonians.

  In this case, the sports ministry approved the list of two foreign assistants by Brys while also announcing another set of local assistants that included former international, François Omam-Biyik, one of the stars of Italia ‘90  and the scorer of the goal that gave Cameroon a 1-0 win over a Diego Maradona-inspired  Argentina.

  “That is where the problem is. FECAFOOT also submitted a list of technical crew that included Brys and his two foreign assistants but dropped the names of the local assistants with new ones.”

  In essence, there are two lists with both having three names as same, but differ on the rest.

 According to the source, the list submitted by the sports ministry was upheld by the tribunal which threw aside that of FECAFOOT.


  In another twist, FIFA has already removed the name of Marc Brys from the profile of Cameroon on its website. Only the name of national women’s coach, Jean-Baptiste Bisseck is listed.

The removal of Brys’ name is happening a second time as it was first removed at the end of last month before being reinstated.

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International Football

Cameroon’s appointment of Brys as manager suspended by sports tribunal



Marc Brys

Cameroon’s appointment of Belgian Marc Brys as head coach was suspended by the country’s top sports tribunal on Tuesday following the petition of an amateur football club.

The country’s sports ministry stirred controversy last month when it named 61-year-old Brys as manager of the Indomitable Lions without consulting the football federation (FECAFOOT).

The move sparked a dispute between the sports ministry and FECAFOOT, which said the government had made a unilateral decision.

In response, it asked its president Samuel Eto’o to propose a national coach and other management staff for the national side within 72 hours, deepening its standoff with the sports ministry.

Eto’o kept Brys as head coach but named different assistants, technical, medical and administrative staff.


An amateur club, meanwhile, took the matter to the Arbitration and Conciliation Chamber of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee.

In a provisional ruling on Tuesday, the court suspended the FECAFOOT appointments while it fully examined the matter. Concerned parties have 24 hours to appeal.

FECAFOOT in response said it “reserves the right to refer these decisions to FIFA, as they hinder the preparation process for the forthcoming sport events.

“The Emergency Committee of FECAFOOT will meet immediately to take appropriate measures,” it said in a statement.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has strict rules against government interference in national federations and has frequently banned countries when governments get involved in federation affairs.


The president of the Cameroon Association of Amateur Football Clubs, Balla Ongolo Henri, had previously said Eto’o’s appointments would damage Cameroon’s image and disrupt preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers next June.

Brys, 61, penned a contract on May 8 as head coach of the Indomitable Lions following the dismissal of Rigobert Song in February. FECAFOOT did not attend the signing ceremony.

The sports ministry says it has acted in accordance with national and international regulations.


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International Football

Amokachi, Adebayor and Amanda Dlamini confirmed for CAF African Schools Championship Finals



African football legends, Emmanuel Adebayor, Daniel Amokachi and Amanda Dlamini are some of the top names that have been confirmed for the Continental Finals of the CAF African Schools Football Championship 2024 scheduled in Zanzibar between 21 – 24 May 2024.

The CAF African Schools Football Championship is the school’s competition that includes over 44 African countries with over 800 000 participants of Boys and Girls under the age of 15.

This is the second edition of the competition that is not only focused on Football but also on a number of programmes including Young Referee’s Programme, Young Reporter Programme and Safeguarding. 

Adebayor, CAF Player of the Year in 2008, represented Togo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for their only appearance at the tournament. Ex-striker for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and others, the Togolese star has had a successful career, earning over 85 caps with Les Eperviers.

Nigerian football star Amokachi played 42 international matches for the Super Eagles. He participated in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and was part of the team that won the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and the Olympic Games in 1996.


Former Banyana Banyana (South Africa) captain Dlamini played in two TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations competitions where they finished third and second in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She is one of the few footballers, both in the men’s and women’s national teams to reach 100 caps.

Dlamini recently made history when she became the first female to be part of the world commentary feed at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

Also on the list are local stars Abdi Kassim Sadalla, former Tanzanian National Team Captain, and Hilda Masanche, Head coach of the Tanzania U17 Women’s National Team.

The Legends will feature in various activities to promote and support football development among African youth.

The finals will bring together talented young players from across the continent, providing them a platform to showcase their skills and passion for the game.



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