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FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011

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NATION SPORT T/TENNIS HUNGARY OPEN FALLOUT

I have to work harder, says Quadri

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XPRESSING dissappointment at his early ouster from the Hungary Open Table Tennis Championship, the London 2012 Olympic Games bound Nigeria's table tennis star, Aruna Quadri has said that the development calls for more hard work on his part. While blaming the situation on his state of health before the match, he however, admitted that a lot still needs to be done as he prepares for the World Championship slated for Germany in March. “It was unfortunate that I lost 0-4 in my second match to a Spaniard. I was not really feeling too fine when I woke up this morning but I just managed to play the match,” he offered. “The player who beat me had

By Innocent Amomoh earlier lost to the Hungarian I beat 4-3 on Tuesday, This goes to show that I need to continue to work hard before the World Championship in Germany in March this year.” Having had a shaky victory in the first match, Quadri on Tuesday bowed out of the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) first Pro Tour of the year, the Hungary Open, after losing 0-4 to Spain’s Duran Marc in the second group match. Quadri struggled to beat homeboy Magyar Laszlo to set up the final clash against the Spaniard. The African sole flagbearer in the $35,000 prize money championship was so overwhelmed by the enormous support Laszlo got from home fans

Hotsports dissects 2012 CAN

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ITH the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations kicking off this weekend, Nigeria’s leading sports programme on TV, Hotsports is setting the tone for a championship of surprises. Given that the continent’s football powerhouses, including Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria, are absent from the party in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Hotsports’ analysts will be examining the prospect of a rookie side lifting the trophy when it is all over on February 12. The respected analysts, including Ade Ojeikere, Group Sports Editor of The Nation newspapers, his counterpart at THISDAY, Tunde Suleiman and Biola Kazeem will take the viewers through the landmines

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Etuhu, 23, served less than four months of an eight-month sentence before he was released from prison. In June 2011, Etuhu, who can play as a striker, was linked to Barnsley and he was looking forward to reunite with Keith Hill whom he worked with at Rochdale in a bid to revive his career. But the deal fell through. Etuhu was last involved in a competitive match while on loan at Cardiff City in 2010. He also played four times for Leicester City while on loan in 2008.

QPR to offer £80,000-aweek deal for Onuoha

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PR are prepared to offer Nedum Onuoha an £80,000-a-week contract in order to lure the Manchester City defender to

•Onuoha

Loftus Road, according to The Times. Onuoha is reportedly available for transfer having appeared just once, as a substitute, in the Premier League for City this season, having initially been left out of their 25-man squad. The deal would make the 25-year-old the highest-paid player at QPR, as new manager Mark Hughes looks to strengthen his squad in order to ensure Premier League survival. Onuoha is already being paid around £60,000-a-week at City, a claim, which has proven problematic for potential suitors as the 25-year-old is also reluctant to leave his boyhood club. Everton are also pursuing the former England Under-21 international, according to the report, but are likely to be priced out of a move by QPR, who are able to spend during the January window thanks to the backing of owner Tony Fernandes, who took over the club in August. QPR has been linked with unsuccessful bids for Blackburn Rovers defender Christopher Samba and Fulham striker Andy Johnson.

NATION SPORT

How Keshi snubbed G AFCONteamsforNigeria N

IGERIA‘s head coach, Stephen Keshi has said that he has had to snub jobs from two of the 2012 AFCON finalists. Keshi, 49, however, refused to mention the nations trying to lure him away from his present post as Super Eagles' manager in an interview with SuperSport.com on Wednesday. He added that before the two nations, Equatorial Guinea and Rwanda also approached him before he took up the Super Eagles' job last year.

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•Quadri

NFF charges Flamingoes on World Cup ticket From Andrew Abah, Abuja

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FF General Secretary Musa Amadu has charged the National Women U-17 team ( The Flamingoes) to emulate their predecessors by ensuring that they not only qualify for the World Cup, but endeavor to win the trophy for the country. The scribe who was addressing the players and officials before their departure to Kenya on Thursday said “I am sure many of you know that your predecessors who went to Trinidad and Tobago did very well and were only unfortunate to lose to the eventual winners South Korea in the quarter finals, so we are not expecting anything less than final game from you. But before, you can get to that stage you must first be able to surmount the African oppositions. Remember there are no minnows in football again, just as you are developing that is how other countries are also moving forward. We have decided to give you all the support you require, because you are the first among all teams that will be flying the nation’s flag in a major competition this year, so you must be ready to do the country proud, and also do yourselves proud”. He explained that all logistics have been provided to the team to overrun the Kenyans in their country on Saturday, to make the return leg a mere formality.

Manu shortlists 100 for Golden Eaglets

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"I can tell you that two countries (featuring in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations) wanted me to become their coach. But I have a job to do with Nigeria and that's why I'm here," said Keshi to SuperSport.com. "And before these two nations came to me, I had other offers from Equatorial Guinea and Rwanda before I became the coach of Nigeria. But I've always wanted to serve my country at this level and a lot of Nigerians also wanted me as the coach, so I had

Eagleshavelost‘market value’, says Green

first timers like Niger Republic, Botswana and the joint hosts would have to navigate to edge out veterans and favourites Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Zambia and Senegal. According to the Producer, Ufuoma Osusu, this week’s edition will also offer insightful information about the 2012 African Women Championship which is to be hosted by Equatorial Guinea, update on the Australian Tennis Open and a special feature on boxing legend Mohammed Ali at 70. For over one-and-a-half decades, Hotsports has ruled the Nigerian airwaves and filled the vacuum that existed in the information needs of Nigerian sports audiences. The 30minute television programme is broadcast on major network channels and many stations across the country.

Etuhu seals switch to Portsmouth

ICKSON Etuhu's younger brother, Kelvin, has reportedly completed a move to English Championship club, Portsmouth. The winger was signed by Portsmouth as a free agent after Manchester City released him following a street brawl that led to his serving a jail term last year. Portsmouth are reported to have sold off Hermann Hreidarsson to Coventry City since they are in administration in order to bring in Etuhu.

that after winning the first match easily at 11-6, the Nigerian lost two matches in a row to the Hungarian at 18-20, 8-11. Realizing that he was in the competition to better his ranking and also prove his mettle, Quadri rediscovered his form to win two matches at a stretch 11-4, 11-6. But the young Hungarian was boosted by the fans’ support to win the sixth match at 7-11. At the end, Quadri carried the day by ending the match 11-6 to win 4-3 overall. He tried so much to measure up with his opponent, all to no avail as he surrendered 11-7, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 to exit the championship. A disappointed Quadri said yesterday that he was not feeling too well after the energy-sapping first encounter against the Hungarian.

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IGERIA Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee Chairman, Christopher Green has revealed to NationSport that the present Super Eagles squad has lost their market value, and can no longer be paid the jumbo allowance of N1.6 million ($10,000.00)per match. Explaining this in Abuja, the former Sharks FC of Port Harcourt scribe said “the allowance was fixed by the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) which was set up as an ad hoc committee for a certain intervention purpose. The Committee was disbanded immediately after serving their purpose. "Now we are out to face the reality on ground. There is economic melt

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja down, we cannot sustain the payment of that amount. We have to cut it down. Moreover, the Super Eagles as presently constituted are no longer marketable because they are not winning matches, when they start winning, and the sponsors start coming, we would think of what to pay them. But not up to that amount again”. He said that plans are on the way to ensure that the team’s return to its winning state again “based on the programs submitted by the technical crew, which they started implementing, I’m very confident that we would return to that stage again”.

to turn down the offers." The former Mali and Togo coach also disclosed that the two nations offered him huge sums in remuneration, which he turned down. "Yes they have offered me big pay but I'm not in the job for the money and that's why I'm still the coach of Nigeria," he offered. The former Nigerian captain has become popular as a coach in the past seven years following his feat with Togo, where he led them to their first appearance at the Fifa World Cup in 2006. Keshi will be working as a TV pundit for SuperSport alongside his assistant, Daniel Amokachi during the 2012 AFCON which kicks off on January 21 in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

ARBA Manu, the Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach has revealed that over 100 Nigerians of school boy ages have already been pencilled down for screening once the National Under17 camp is open ahead of the qualifiers for the 2013 African Under17 Youth Championship. He said he was not oblivious of the fact that Nigerians are truly yearning to see real school boys in the team hence he and his lieutenants are combing the length and breadth of the country for talented youngsters. “The truth is that we have been working since our appointments were made public by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) last year,” noted Manu, a member of the coaching crew that won the Korea 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup for Nigeria. “I know what it entails in raising a good team and we are already working despite the fact that the contract papers are yet to be signed. I’m in contact regularly with Barrister Chris Green, the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the NFF as well as with my other

members of the coaching crew,” he added. Manu further explained that he is in total support of the NFF in ensuring that the right players are selected for the team so as to cement the future of Nigerian football, adding that his desire is to raise a team that is dedicated in approach and disciplined in outlook. “We have over 100 players for screening and these are players basically from soccer academies scattered all over the country and we are going to carefully select players that of the required age for the new Golden Eaglets, “emphasized Manu. “The truth is that players eventually selected to represent the country at the Under-17 level would be subjected to the MRI test so as to determine their true ages. “We are conscious of the fact that we need to select talented youngsters for this assignment and we are not going to deviate from doing the right thing. We are going to give the assignment our best shot and what we demand is support and cooperation of Nigerians,” he noted.

Work permit may stall Rabiu Ibrahim's Celtic deal

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HOUGH Scottish giants Celtic have announced the signing of Nigeria Olympic team star Rabiu Ibrahim on a 3½ years contract, the move will, however, be determined by a successful completion of a work permit application to be considered early next week. The former PSV Eindhoven attacking midfielder impressed Celtic manager Neil Lennon on a recent trial. The 19-year-old Nigerian is a highly rated playmaker and made an impact in a bounce match against

St Johnstone at the start of the year when he played 60 minutes of the 32 victory. Lennon said he was delighted to have secured the deal. He told the club official website: “We have been very impressed by Rabiu. In my view he is a highly talented and exciting young player and someone who will be a tremendous addition to our squad. “He is a playmaker, well balanced and a very intelligent footballer. We are really looking forward to him joining us.” He was recently released by PSV

•Yakubu Aiyegbeni of Blackburn goes in with a dangerous tackle on Danny Murphy of Fulham to earn himself a Red Card

after he failed to break into the first team.

Taye Taiwo wanted in England, France

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UT -OF-FAVOUR AC Milan left back taye Taiwo has a number of options in England and France, his agent revealed. Taiwo only landed at the San Siro in the Summer after his contract with Ligue 1 giants Marseille came to an end. However, the Nigerian has not made a splash in Serie A and convincing Rossoneri coach Massimiliano Allegri to hand him a playing time on the pitch has been hard. Indeed, Taiwo has started just four Serie A quit the Italian giants this month, even if that is not yet set in stone. "It is not definite that will leave Milan in January," commented his agent Fabio Parisi to Calcio Mercato. "We are looking at the situation with the club. I can confirm that offers have landed from France and England," he further said.

'Golden Eaglets’ coaches’ salary not slashed' From Andrew Abah, Abuja

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HE Technical Committee Chairman of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Christopher Green has insisted that the monthly emoluments of the Golden Eaglets’ Coaches were not slashed, instead, that it was reviewed upward. Revealing this to NationSport in Abuja, Green said “it is not true that we slashed the monthly emoluments due to the National U-17 team (Golden Eaglets) Coaches. What the last Coaches were paid was N150,000.00 for the Chief Coach and N100,000.00 for his Assistants. So if we decided to pay them N500,000.00 for the Chief Coach and N350,000.00 for the Assistants, then I wonder why people would say that we reduced the salaries due to the Coaches”. He said that none of the Coaches had ever disagreed with this position, that their agreement would soon be sorted out. Green further said that the team may not resume now, since CAF has not sent any program for the team “It is not logical to get them on board now, while there are no programs for them. We would invite them when the need arises” he concluded.

I desire a move to a bigger club-Uchebo

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ICHAEL Okechukwu Uchebo is a former junior international and currently plies his trade with VVV Venlo of Holland. He is presently being courted by EPL club, Stoke City with whom he underwent successful trials with few days ago. He was in Nigeria last week for the funeral of his father, Late Christopher Uchebo and he had a brief chat with SPORTINGLIFE’S TUNDE LIADI. He spoke on his proposed move to Stoke and life in Venlo without Ahmed Musa among other issues. EXCERPTS to train with a top club in the EPL as A thought on late Christopher Uchebo Stoke. I was treated very well and it was My father was a great and influential fun training with some of their brilliant man that we could not just bury anyhow players. I was opportuned to see players like that we had to make adequate plans like Peter Crouch, Rory Delap, Jonathan to ensure that we gave him a befitting Woodgate and a host of others. I even burial. My siblings were outside the chatted with Crouch and he was lovely country and we actually waited for them to be with. I cannot emphatically say to be included in the burial programme. that I am already a player of Stoke We actually gave sufficient time to allow because I am not God but I hope that all those that ought to attend the funeral God is able to make it a reality. to be around. His only goal for Venlo this season I am very happy that we have been and the club battle with relegation able to give him a decent burial. It is Yes I have not been happy with myself normal that when one’s parent dies that not scoring for Venlo this season but one would say certain unprintable when the goal came I was a bit relieved. things but now I am relieved now that I wasn’t happy throughout though the burial had been held. We actually because we ended up losing that same expected more crowd than we had. The match 1-2 after scoring first. It was a strike action really affected many of tactical blunder from our coach he those that ought to come from Abuja, substituted me when we were still Lagos and other part of the country but leading 1-0 in the said match and our in all, I am happy that despite all the opponent piled up pressure after that difficulties, we were still able to have which yielded two late goals. I hope the this large crowd. I also had to go out of goal I scored the other day will herald a my way to be in the country despite the turnaround in my career and in Venlo strike because he meant so much to me. this season if I am unable to leave this I would not have been happy with January. myself if I was unable to witness the last National team ambition respect that I ought to have given to my It is my dream I want to play for the father. I had to make the trip to the East national team. I had a nice experience via the road because there was no when I represented Nigeria at the Under connecting flight to Enugu owing to the 20 level and it was so painful that Venlo strike. couldn’t release me for the Olympic Ahmed Musa’s move to Russia Qualifiers in Morocco it could have I knew he would move on this January afforded me the luxury of playing further because he did a lot of good things last games for my country and may be, we year. He played a lot of games for Venlo would have made it to the London 2012 and also was regular for the national Olympic Games. I don’t rush for team. I knew definitely that all his anything in life and I believe that at the exploits of 2011 would land him a new befitting stage I will play for the Super club this transfer window. I am happy Eagles. for him. He is my good friend and was His career in the next three years my roommate throughout his stay in I don’t think I have much to can say Holland. about where I hope to be in the next To say the truth, I will solely miss Musa three years. It is only God that knows but such is life he has to move on and I but I hope to be among the best by that believe I will not remain rooted at a spot time and also I desire to have moved on too and when the ideal period comes, I with my career in a more established will move to a bigger club with more club in Europe. challenges. I believe we shall still meet again and if not at the same club we shall meet in the national team in the near future. Update on his switch to Stoke City It wasn’t because Musa left Venlo that is making me to also push for a move. I just felt I have paid my dues in Venlo and I believe now is the time for me to seek another adventure in my career. It is my desire to excel more and move to a very ambitious club and that has been the key for my desire to leave Venlo now or latest at the end of the season. •Uchebo Yeah! Stoke City officials were very happy with me and they were happy with my performance too. Talks are ongoing between them and my representatives and as soon as the issue of work permit is sorted I could be a player of Stoke City this January. I don’t know how everything will turn out to be but I believe in due course, I shall be able to give correct situation of things. Experience in Stoke City and impression of the EPL I am really elated I had the opportunity

James Peters targets NFF

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F NationSport finding at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Secretariat in Abuja is anything to go by, former NFF Assistant General Secretary James Peter may be on the way to make a return to the NFF, this time as the Technical Adviser of the National Women U-20 team. He may be assisted by the former Chief Coach of the team Edat Egat. The former BCC Lions of Gboko Chief coach was at the Glasshouse secretariat of the NFF to pick up his appointment letter on Wednesday. Speaking on the appointments in Abuja, the Technical Committee Chairman Christopher Green was not forthcoming on this, but insisted that the Committee would meet next week to take final decision on

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja that. “I want to assure that recommendations have been made on that, and the NFF will announce it before next week, because the team is expected to begin preparation for a qualifying against Sierra Leone soonest. But I want to tell you that when the technical committee meets, they would take the final decision on that, performance will be the bedrock for the selection. It may the coaches, it may be other coaches, because the only thing that remains constant is change. But I want to tell you that based on performances, those coaches will be given topmost attention” he said.

The Nation January 20, 2012  

The Nation January 20, 2012

The Nation January 20, 2012  

The Nation January 20, 2012

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