CAMEROON NAMES CLEMENTE AS NEW COACH Cameroon have confirmed the appointment of Javier Clemente as manager of the country's national football team in an announcement made on Tuesday.
The four-time African champions had been without a full-time manager since Paul Le Guen resigned in June following a dismal World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Spaniard Clemente would be in Cameroonon Aug. 28 to sign his contract, according to a statement from the sports ministry.
The former Spain manager will be assisted by two former captains of the Indomitable Lions, Francois Omam Biyick and Jacques Songo'o.
The new staff will lead the team in September against Mauritius in a qualifier for the 2012 AfricaNations Cup to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
NIANG MOVES TO FERNABAHCE Senegal striker Mamadou Niang has signed for Turkish giants Fenerbahce from Marseille. The 30-year-old captained Marseille to the French Ligue 1 title last season, and decided to end his five year association with the club by putting in a transfer request. He played his final game for the side in the 3-2 defeat at Valenciennes at the weekend and will be sorely missed by Marseille, for whom he top-scored last season with 18 goals. The saga of his pending departure had weighed heavily on the squad, coach Didier Deschamps says, and now they need to move on. "The whole Mamadou affair has had negative consequences for the entire group," Deschamps said. "Now we need positive news to reverse the trend. I really didn't believe we would have so much turbulence in the closed season but we need to face it."
Details of his move to the Turkish powerhouse is however not immediately known but is believed he would sign a four year contract at the club.
EGUAVON READY TO TAKE UP NIGERIA'S UNDER 23 POST
Acting Super Eagles coach Augustin Eguavoen has accepted the offer to take over the Nigerian under-23 team job.
The former Nigeria coach, who has also served as an assistant on two occasions to Christian Chukwu and Lars Lagerback, on Tuesday told Brila FM that he is ready to take the job, contrary to widespread speculation that he was going to reject the offer since it seems like a demotion.
He stressed that he knew before now that he was going to be the next U-23 coach, and also stated that he is prepared to meet the NFF officials on how to get started.
"It is football, it doesn't matter the category as long as it is football. Before now I knew I was going to take charge of the team and there is no problem at all.
"What is left now is that when I return to Nigeria there is need to sit with the NFF to fashion out the way to get the right players who fall within the age bracket and give them the required exposure.
"There is no problem at all, I am pleased with the job since it is the platform to groom the next set of senior players."
Eguavon oversaw the Super Eagles 1-2 defeat to South Korea last week in an international friendly in his first assignment as temporary coach of the senior side.
Nigeria’s representative at this year’s CAF Champion’s league, Heartland FC, indoubtedly did the country proud by reaching the finals of the tourney, though they narrowly lost out on the away goals rule to Congolese outfit TP Mazembe. They have every reason to be content with their final placing at the competition as that was the best the level of preparation they put into it could produce. With the level of seriousness (or lack there of) that the team, its officials, and supporters put into the crucial encounter, they could never have achieved anything better than the ‘king of the pretenders’ title they came out with.
Ghana's victory at the African Youth Championships was hardly a surprise considering the nations pedigree at youth tournaments for the last 15 years. And it was a true delight to see Ransford Osei once again star, showing his lethal combination of pace, power and effortlessly crisp finishing. The latter is of particular interest, Osei seems to be blessed with the same arctic coolness in front of goal that has made Samuel Eto'o arguably the world best player. Osei was simply superb at the last World U20 championships and looks to have pressed on with his footballing development since that tournament. Osei is by no means the only great prospect in the Ghana youth team. Fellow striker Sadick Adams is also a wonderful talent as is Real Madrid based right back Dan Opare, but Osei definitely looks to be something special. The road to stardom is long and fraught with difficulty, but hopes are high for Osei.
The Bad Dream Unfolds!............Bosso does his “thing” yet again
Like a bad dream just waiting to happen, the “technically bereft” one himself, a.k.a Ladan Bosso, has inflicted severe humiliation and shame upon the Nation called Nigeria.
Late coach Yemi Tella would still be writhing in extreme pain inside his grave as his spirit watched the mangling that the “cattle-rearer” has done to his team.
The South African U-20 team just showed how technically bankrupt this fellow called “Bosso” really is.
There had been several clamor from well-meaning Nigerians (yours truly one of them) calling on the Nigerian Football Federation (Another sore point in the Nigerian Soccer ambience) to stop Ladan Bosso from associating with the Yemi Tella (May his gentle soul rest in peace) tutored team. The team had been brought up under the best possible disciplinary environment, they were tactically grounded under the late lecturer and only needed time to emerge as a strong force in the global soccer scene, unfortunately for Nigeria however, the great man departed this world, but more unfortunately for us we let them come under Ladan Bosso.
The team could still have been on course for greatness had the NFF taken pain to ensure that they shield the team from lackluster individuals who still believe football is a game of “race”.
The South African U-20 team made that once-glorious team from Nigeria (surely I am not proud saying this now) look like a hastily assembled secondary school team from one of the interior local Villages in Kebbi state (Apologies to Kebbi State, but I have to ensure the picture is made lucid).
There was perfect incoherence amongst all the departments of the team ( A trademark of Ladan Bosso) and there were a few players that ought to have been strolling on the streets of Kigali rather than being in that team.
Ladan Bosso looked like a helpless fugitive on the sideline, I actually felt sorry for him at a point. Not the pity one shows to an individual in lack or despair, but that you show to one who brags of his illiteracy in public.
Like every other of his kind in the soccer scene (the unfortunate hockey-umpire who thinks he is a soccer coach), his substitutions were very suspicious and smelt of “National quota system”.
For example, I don’t think “Mr. I-should-have-been-fighting-sumo-wrestling” had any business on that pitch (not like any of our demoralized boys did anyway), neither did the goal-scorer himself……..or wait a minute! They all should have been on the pitch of play, but that semi-retarded herdsman just did not know that it was a game of soccer, so he arranged the players like they were set for a game of polo. That must explain why they were scattered on the pitch, unable to connect with each other, and galloping instead of running!.....That really must explain it!
I feel so distraught now, not that we lost the match to our arch-rivals, South Africa or that the NFF did not heed the well intended advise of several Nigerians to drop this man like a bad habit, or that we might not be making it to the World Youth Championship in Egypt BUT the fact that a perfectly good bunch of future glory-getters for Nigeria have been blown up into pieces.
Right now I believe that the team is in a state of shock and disbelief, a terrible thing to do to a good fit.
Tears and vituperations really would not undo the vile done now, it would not even change the scoreline (Had the NFF not been blinded with their selfish intent, none of these would have happened), but it is now time to re-align these boys along the path of Soccer (Yes soccer and not “Dembe”)
They have to be re-educated about the philosophy guiding football, they have to be washed clean of Ladan Bosso’s leisure ride into stagnation. Let us not le these boys rot away like those he took to Canada.
A new year has come and undoubtedly the big question on the mind of every soccer loving Nigerian right now is … can Amodu lead the Super Eagles comfortably to the 2010 World Cup in near-by South Africa?
The past year 2008, was undoubtedly a year to quickly erase from the mind as far as Nigerian soccer is involved. The solitary bright spark came from the Samson Siasia inspired Olympic team that "against all odds" went ahead to reach the finals of the male soccer event at the four-year event in China.
A certain Berti Vogts assisted by a perennial "show-watcher" in the name of Augustine Eguavoen, began the year in the most disastrous fashion by taking the "Almighty" Super Eagles to their worst outing at the African Nations Cup in almost 16 years.
The Nigerian team paraded at the tourney looked more like a hockey team that just found out that the game they were involved in required the use of legs.
The disgraceful outing, which was orchestrated by the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA) now Federation (whatever they hope to achieve with the name change is still left to be seen) and hatched perfectly by the boring and dour ex-German international (who eventually ended up being the fall guy anyway) ensured that the hollow centre that is the "Super Eagles" which was being covered by past glory became fully exposed for the whole continent to see.
The Nigerian team became (and if you ask me, we still are) the laughing stock of the continent, and the world soccer governing body FIFA, who had hitherto kept the country at a suspicious ranking level quickly acted upon the unfolding revelations ad dropped the country down the pecking order like you would to a hot frying-pan.
The NFA (I still prefer referring to them by that name) decided to replace (can't exactly say for sure that this is the right word to use for what the ignominious body did to Vogt's anyway) the German they "begged" to come in the first place. Unfortunately for them, they continued with their character of listening to popular demand, rather than doing what's best for the country and decided the best thing to do was to get an indigenous coach as replacement. Really it amazes me so much that the NFA would always chose to get their next line of action from what the press desires from them. The fattening salary they get, along with all the allowances is just for them to pick up a soccer tabloid or browse the net and then make their decisions I guess.
Anyway, in their usual fashion the NFA decided to return to their recycle bin to pick up a washed-out coach in the form of Amodu Shuaibu, who would be better off sitting in his verandah with a tooth-pick in his mouth, reminiscing on his past achievements in his coaching career (if he can remember any) and quietly enjoying his retirement period. A certain Samson Siasia and his fellow ex-international Stephen Keshi, who had both proven themselves worthy candidates with exceptional feats in recent times, were quickly ushered out of the race to avoid "succeeding" with the Nigerian team.
Siasia was to put temporary smile on the faces of Nigerians as he "single-handedly" (despite several attempts by the NFA to ensure his team's failure) guided the Nigerian Olympic male soccer team to a fantastic tournament in Beijing where they came away with the Silver medal. Well, that sure put a dent on the NFA's aspirations to ensure total failure for the Nation's soccer team. The Glasshouse went wild and set up machineries to ensure it never happens again. And surely they succeeded in their sinister quest.
Who the hell is "Coach Jossy Lad"? Why would they bring an hotelier to coach the Nation's female soccer team? Beats me!
That fellow brought series of shame and disgrace to the Nations once untouchable status in female football as far as the continent is concerned. And like his "calamitous" compatriot, Ladan Bosso, his ability to always verbally attempt to provide explanations for his inexcusable lack of football tactics made me wonder if the NFA just casts die to pick their coaches.
The Nation's U-17 team also put further smiles on the faces of the NFA, and sadness for the soccer loving Nigerian as they were knocked out of the qualifying race for the African U-17 tournament by neighboring Benin republic in a shameful and disgraceful exhibition of Soccer played in the "Cricket style". Alphonsus Dike! Another senile "tactician recruited by that same group of fattened oafs called the NFA (No Future Ambition).
Well we had started counting our losses for the year and hoping for a better year when Okey Emordi (A bald headed figure, whose knowledge of soccer is purely based on "monkey-post" tactics) ensured Ghana!, yes Ghana, knocked us out of qualifiers for the newly inaugurated African Nations Championship (CHAN) right in our house.
A year without any form of silverware for the country, no thanks to the "antique" collection of indigenous coaches our dear NFA pumped into the system. To tell you how bereft of soccer knowledge these coaches were, Belgian born tactician Maurice Cooreman, was doing well with Enyimba in the CAF Champions League and lo and behold the spirit of NFA came upon the Enyimba management and they brought in old cargo Eguavoen, along with his cohort of charlatan show-spoilers, and the Enyimba team that was riding high in he tournament suddenly crumbled like a pack of cards (I think cookies would best explain what they did to that team).
Well 2009 has come, and this is a World Cup qualifying year for the Super Eagles, a tournament year for the U-17 and U-20 teams. With Amodu in charge, I get nightmares of Angola. I wake up sweating terribly in the middle of the night because I get dreams of Tunisia flogging us at the Abuja stadium. My palms suddenly get wet when I imagine "Ladan Bosso", the radical racial activist, taking the U-20 team to the African Championship. I get dizzy with headache when I cannot conjure up a team that we can call U-17 that can successfully get past the group stage o the World Cup to be hosted by Nigeria (Hopefully those Stadiums would be 40% ready before the tourney kicks-off). I still see Columbia on the horizon, with our players perpetually calling for the offside flag.
If the truth be told, all is not well with the Nigerian soccer scene, it could get worse in 2009, unless…………………….
Ghanaian international midfielder, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has been set free by English Championship side, Birmingham after the club refused to pay the US$10 million requested by his Russian employers Spartak Moscow for a permanent deal.
Manager of Birmingham, Alex McLeish confirmed that the player would not be staying
"His deal was an expensive one for just one player and we will now look to use the money to bring in new faces.
"We thank Quincy for his efforts and wish him well for the future." He added
Quincy, 22, joined the English outfit last summer on a six months loan deal, and was tipped to remain at the club side by several soccer pundits. This would however come as a blow to the player’s aspiration to return to the Premiership where he once played with London club, Arsenal.
The fleet-footed winger has however played on 13 times for the Blues, netting only three goals.
Emmanuel Eboue dominated the headlines, eclipsing Emmanuel Adebayor who scored the only goal as Arsenal struggled to their 1-0 victory over Wigan. The Ivory Coast international, booed by his own fans, got taken off having appeared as a substitute himself and left the pitch head down and dejected.
Stoke had Mamady Sidibe (Mali) and Amady Faye (Senegal) to thank for their point earned against Newcastle, Faye's last minute equaliser dramatically sealing the draw.
Finally, Zimbabwean Mwaruwari Benjani opened the scoring for Man City in their 1-1 draw away to Fulham.
The shocking boos dispensed by the arsenal faithful at the emirates toward Emmanuel Eboue have stunned football fans of all clubs across the UK. It is something which is largely unheard off in the English games. Almost all other clubs have had episodes where fans have been unhappy with players. The Toon army and Jean Alain Boumsong as well as the Man city supports and Joey Barton (the "your not fit to wear the shirt" saga. But the treatment metted out to Eboue is distinct and is undeniably something which is only really found at the Emirates.
The latter stadium has long been associated with fans booing their own players. Alex Song suffered terribly before his loan move to Charlton. He came back harder, better and is now an established player. The emirates crowd seem to have developed a culture of periodically treating some of their own players with such contempt. The reason behind this is unclear. Certainly the demographic at the emirates is not like that of many other clubs. The emirates has been very much populated by fans who have fallen in love with the Arsenal of Wenger, the free flowing football playing team that has been such a joy to watch over the last ten years. They are the fans who dont actually know what 1-0 to the Arsenal means, they just chant it because others do. This may mean that they do not have the loyalty to their players in times of strife that other more long suffering fans have.
Whatever the reason, one thing should be made exceptionally clear to the Arsenal fans who decided this was a good idea. Emmanuel Eboue is an EXCELLENT player who has NEVER been out of Wenger plans since he made that astounding impact in the run to the Champions League final. He has started when fit and has been a key component in many of Arsenals successes (which have been sparse in recent times ). Wenger rarely makes mistakes on players and his faith in Eboue has been ignored by the Gunners faithful who seem to have made him the scapegoat for the lack of trophies at the Emirates. Suffice to say that i have no doubt the Eboue will come back harder, better...just as Alex Song did.
But the emirates crowd need to examine themselves more urgently. Emmanuel Adebayor was a figure of fun and derision for much of his early career at Arsenal. He showed his quality under a distinct lack of support from the Arsenal fans who shortly after began chanting "A-DE-BA-YOR" when he began scoring at will. They wonder why he showed no loyalty in intimating interest at AC Milans advances, what fickle loyalty have the Emirates fans shown they possess?
This sorry affair will leave many questions lingering in the minds of all football fans.
Only two African scorers in this weekend’s Premiership but both clinched 1-0 wins for their teams: Mamaday Sidibe won the Stoke vs. West Brom relegation battle, the Malian netting an 84th minute winner. On Monday, Senegal’s Henri Camara scored the only goal for Wigan against Everton.
In the Championship, Congolese-Belgian Emile Mpenza scored for Plymouth Argyle in their 2-1 home win against Cardiff. Hameur Bouazza, born in France but an Algerian international, scored what proved to be a consolation goal for Charlton in their 5-2 defeat at home to Sheffield United. Another Malian, Jimmy Kebe, scored the only goal for Reading but it wasn’t enough as Southampton pulled off a shock 2-1 win. Scots-Nigerian Chris Iwelumo scored twice for Wolves and they stayed top beating Blackpool 2-0.
There was another full round of Championship games on Tuesday but Iwelumo was the only player to score, netting another brace as Wolves won 3-1 against Sheffield United.
Ghanaian forward Dominic Adiyiah and his Ivorian teammates midfielder Konan Kouadio and striker Ismael Beko Fofana are runners-up this season in Norway's premier football championship. With just one match remaining it is impossible for Fredrikstad to relinquish the second spot after losing out to eventual champions Staebeck.
Meanwhile, Nigerian striker Abiola Douda could become a champion in Sweden in his first season. The Swedish top league has two more matches to go but his club Kalmar still leads rivals Elfsborg with three points.
On this week's round up we look at some of the action from the final round of games in the second phase of qualifying for the Nations Cup and World Cup, Wigan's Amr Zaki scores an anbsolute cracker against high-flying Liverpool, and Seb Blatter discusses South Africa's preperations for the World Cup
BLATTER ON SOUTH AFRICA 2010
President of FIFA, Seb Blatter, talks to CNN about South Africa's prepartions for the 2010 World Cup.
Arsenal of England striker, Sheyi Adebayor has rescinded his decision not to feature for the Hawks of Togo in this weekend’s crucial 2010 World Cup/Nations Cup qualifying encounter against Swaziland in Accra Ghana.
John Mikel Obi, Nigerian international and player of Chelsea FC, has been voted the winner of the English Premier League’s African Player of the month for September 2008.
The vote was conducted amongst journalists around the world, particularly in Africa and England. Obi won the award for his solid defensive performances at the heart of the Chelsea midfield that have helped them rise to the top of the Barclay's English Premier League.
John Mikel Obi will be presented with his award at the Chelsea FC training ground.
The Premier League African Player of the Month award is a creation of the New African Soccer Group in celebration of the impact of African Players in the English Premier League. A winner will be awarded each month and it will be climaxed at the end of the season with a Player of the Year Awards event in London.
We look forward to your continued co-operation in the course of the season.
‘Tunde Adelakun Executive Vice President New African Soccer
Club Brugge of Belgian midfielder, Nabil Dirar has opted to play for his North African country of birth rather than the much fancied Belgian National team. The player has accepted an invitation to play for the Atlas Lions in their crucial 2010 World Cup/Nations Cup qualifying encounter against the Wasps of Rwanda.
South African international Quinton Fortune is close to signing a deal with Italian Serie B club side Brescia pending the result of a medical fitness test. Fortune was released by Premiership club side Bolton Wanderers last year after an unimpressive period with them. He also had a seven year stint with current League Champions Manchester United, leaving Old Trafford for the Reebok stadium in 2006.
Fortune has been a free agent since leaving the Reebok, and has had failed trials with some English club sides including Blackburn, Sunderland FC and also with Sheffield United .
According to reports monitored on the Italian club's official website, the 31 year old midfielder is expected to train with the club and seal a deal in a couple of days.
Assistant coach of Egyptian league Champions, Al Ahly Hossam Al-Badri has warned his players to avoid complacency in the second leg encounter of the 2008 CAF Champions League semifinal clash against Enyimba FC of Nigeria in Cairo in a fortnight.
Al Ahly held the "People's Elephant" to a goalless draw at the Aba International Stadium, in the first leg of the encounter in Nigeria.
"We are yet to secure qualification, the game is still on, I think both teams have equal chances in the return leg in Cairo," Badri was quoted as saying on Al Ahly's official website.
"We were looking for a win on Sunday, but I think that the difficult conditions in Aba impeded us." he added.
The Al Ahly assistant coach also stated that the players would given extra bonuses if they overcome their Nigerian counterparts and scale through to the finals of the tournament.
It would be recalled that last year, Al Ahly travelled to the Tunisian city of Sousse and held Etoile du Sahel to a draw in the final of the competition, only to come back to the Cairo international stadium and lose 3-1.