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FULL LIST: NFF Names 26 Players For U-17 AFCON

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The Nigeria Football Federation on Sunday in Abuja released a list of 26 players picked for the country’s participation in the 2023 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the list has 16 players from various football academies across the country, while the rest 10 are from amateur clubsides.

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, who are five-time world champions, are scheduled to arrive in the Algerian city of Constantine on Sunday night for their final preparations for the competition.

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NAN reports that the team was earlier scheduled to finalise their preparations in Germany, ahead of the competition billed for Saturday to May 19.

“Following complications which arose in the process of securing entry visa into Germany for a planned final training camp in that country, the NFF opted to send the squad earlier to Algeria for the final build-up.

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”Constantine, the renowned city where the Eaglets will take on Morocco, Zambia and South Africa in Group B, is the choice,” Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said on Sunday in a statement.

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NAN reports that the Eaglets, whose coaching crew is headed by Nduka Ugbade, swept all before them to win the WAFU B Under-17 Championship in Cape Coast, Ghana in June.

They have since put on display tremendous firepower in their preparations for the continental showpiece.

After resuming camp mid-March following the break for the general elections, the Eaglets played 12 friendly matches at their FIFA Goal Project pitch base in Abuja.

They won 11 of the matches and drew the other one, scoring a total of 66 goals and conceding 14.

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READ ALSO: Peseiro Must Go, Angry Fans Tell NFF After Guinea-Bissau’s Defeat

“We are going to Algeria with confidence but with level heads. We’re the champions of WAFU B, but in essence, nothing has been won.

“What matters now are winning a ticket to the FIFA World Cup and winning the Africa Cup. I believe we have the boys to do the job,” Ugbade was quoted as saying before the team departed Nigeria on Sunday.

Nigeria will launch their campaign for honours at the 12-team continental championship on April 30, against Zambia at the 22,000-capacity Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui.

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They will then take on Morocco and South Africa in other matches in Group B.

The top four-placed teams in Algeria will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup finals scheduled for later this year.

READ ALSO: NFF Constitutes Referees, Disciplinary Committees, Two Others

THE 26 PLAYERS PICKED FOR ALGERIA 2023:

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Richard Odoh (HB Football Academy)
Yahaya Danjuma Lawali (Mahanaim FC)
Emmanuel Michael (Simon Ben Football Academy)
Haruna Abdullahi (Kurfi Tigers Academy)
Tochukwu Joseph Ogboji (Purple Crown Academy)
Jeremiah Oluwaseyi Olaleke (Ablaze Football Academy)
Umar Abubakar (Devine Football Academy)
Abubakar Idris Abdullahi (Jega United)
Precious Tonye Williams (HB Football Academy)
Ifeoluwa Adewale Olowoporoku (Triple 44 Academy)
Charles Adah Agada (Mavlon FC)
Hope Yusuf Linus (E.E. Sporting Club)
Jubril Opeyemi Azeez (Right Vision Choice Academy)
Anongu Isaac Aondoakaa (FC Bathel Sporting)
Israel Nwachukwu Usulor (Real Sapphire FC)
Temiloluwa Oluwayimika Adelakin (Box2Box Academy)
Simon Karshe Cletus (Mavlon FC)
Tochukwu Simeon Ogbadibo (Jossy United)
Light Chijioke Eke (C&C Football Academy)
Favour Oluwasegun Daniel (G12 Football Academy)
Chijioke Julius Linus (Triple 44 Academy)
Quadri Oluwatobiloba Adewale (Nathaniel Boys FC)
Gift Ukeh Adie (Paul E Football Academy)
Musa Oluwaseyi Akinfenwa (Real Sapphire FC)
Usman Ajibola Owoyemi (Triple 44 Academy)
Matthew Awodi Kingsley (Brook House Academy).
NAN

 

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Lookman, Boniface, Other Nigerian Footballers Who Won Major Trophies In Europe

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Super Eagles forward Ademola Lookman won the UEFA Europa League with Italian side Atalanta last Wednesday, capping off what many have described as a fairly successful football season for Nigerian footballers in Europe.

Lookman’s success comes on the back of victories for Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella, who were part of Bayer Leverkusen’s ‘invincibles’ squad in the Bundesliga.

Here is a list of Nigerian players who tasted glory with their clubs in Europe in the 2023–24 season.

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Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen)

Victor Boniface and Nathan were part of the Leverkusen side that won the Bundesliga title for the first time in the club’s history. Xabi Alonso’s side won the league, becoming the first team in the competition’s history to go unbeaten in a season.

READ ALSO: Royal Tussle: Prof. Akenzua Suspended From Benin Royal Family

Boniface scored 14 goals and registered 8 assists; Tella, on the other hand, scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists for Leverkusen. The club missed out on an unprecedented treble after a 3-0 loss to Ademola Lookman’s Atalanta in the Europa League final. Days later, Leverkusen lifted the DFB Pokal.

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Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)

Lookman was the hero for Atalanta, scoring a hat-trick in the final as the team defeated Bayer Leverkusen to win its first-ever European trophy.

Lookman also added 10 goals in the league as La Dea finished fourth in the Serie A.

Peter Olayinka (Red Star Belgrade)

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The 28-year-old forward played the entire duration of Red Star Belgrade’s 2-1 win over Vojvodina in the Serbian Cup Final.

He also scored a brace for his side in a 4-1 win over Cukaricki to win the Serbian Super League title. He joined Boniface and Tella as the only Nigerian footballers to win the double.

Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanachio (Leicester City)

In the English Championship, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho helped Leicester earn a return to the Premier League.

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Ndidi scored 5 goals and recorded 5 assists, while Iheanacho, who saw limited gametime, scored 5 times for the Foxes.

William Troost-Ekong (PAOK FC)

In Greece, Supeer Eagles defender William Troost Ekong returned from injury to help his side clinch the Greek Super League title.

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Ekong was crowned the best player of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as Nigeria finished as runners-up in the tournament.

Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge)

Raphael Onyedika featured 30 times and scored three goals as Club Brugge clinched the Belgian League.

Christy Ucheibe (Christy Uchebe)

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In addition to the men’s team, Christy Ucheibe, the midfield powerhouse of the Super Falcons, secured four trophies in Portugal.

Her team S. L. Benfica won the Liga BPI (Portuguese league), Taca de Portugal Feminina (Portuguese Women’s Cup), Taca de Liga Feminina (Portuguese Women’s League Cup), and the Super Taca de Portugal Feminina (Portuguese Women’s Super Cup).

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Joy As NFF Gifts Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George Car Worth N125m

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has presented the newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, an official luxurious Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon car worth N125m

The gift is part of the NFF’s commitment to prioritizing the welfare of its employees, ensuring they receive the best treatment to excel in their roles.

READ ALSO: AFCON: ‘Nigeria Thirsty For Victory’ – Sports Minister Charges NFF, Peseiro

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The NFF’s gesture is seen as a demonstration of its dedication to supporting its employees and ensuring their well-being.

Reacting, Finidi George expressed gratitude to the NFF for their generosity, and confirmed that the federation is actively searching for a good apartment for him in the country’s capital.

 

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Heavyweight Champion, Oleksandr Usyk, Suspended From Boxing

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Oleksandr Usyk has been issued a brief suspension following his intense victory over Tyson Fury.

In their undisputed bout, Usyk nearly floored Fury in the ninth round, with only the ropes keeping the Brit upright. The referee intervened to count, and despite recovering to hear the final bell, Fury suffered his first career loss by split decision in Saudi Arabia.

After the fight, Usyk was taken to hospital for a check-up and was given the all-clear, even though Fury claimed he had fractured his opponent’s jaw.

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READ ALSO: UK Threatens To Deport Physically-challenged Nigerian After 38 Years

The British Boxing Board of Control suspended Usyk until June 2 due to his injuries sustained from Fury. No such suspension is noted on Fury’s record.

The suspension will not affect Usyk’s career as the Ukrainian boxer is ready for a break after a nine-month training camp. His fight with Fury was initially postponed from December to February and then to May, reports the Mirror.

“I don’t want to think about boxing now,” said Usyk, who attended the post-fight press conference with his daughter Yelizaveta’s Eeyore cuddly toy. “My camp started in September 2023 and I worked for nine months.

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“I missed Happy New Year, I missed my son’s birthday, I missed my other son’s birthday, I missed my daughter’s birthday and then the birth of my daughter. I also missed family holidays. I was only focused on this fight. Now I’m happy and I want to go back home.”

Usyk’s reign as the undisputed champion is set to be short-lived, with the IBF preparing to strip him of their title due to his contractual obligations for a rematch with Fury in October, which prevents him from facing mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic.

 

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