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Super Eagles move up 14 spots on latest FIFA ranking

Africa Cup of Nations Runners-up, Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved up by 14 spots to be placed 28th in the world in the February FIFA ranking.

In the ranking table published on the website of the world football governing body on Thursday, the team garnered 1,522 points as against the 1,474 points garnered in December 2023.

The upward movement further shoot up the Super Eagles as the third-placed team on the continent,  behind Morocco and Senegal who have 1663 (12th) and 1620 (17th) points.

However, the newly-crowned African champions Cote d’Ivoire, reaped the rewards of their continental triumph on home soil by being in 39th place having moved up by 10 spots.

AFCON second runners-up, South Africa climbed 8 spots to 58th, with Egypt (36th), Cameroon (51st) & Ghana (67th) dropping down after their early AFCON 2023 exits.

The Angolan side who were ousted in the last eight (93rd, up 24), are the biggest climbers in the latest installment of the global ranking.

In the points stakes, two-time Asian Cup winners Qatar (37th, up 21) chalk up the biggest tally (92.04 points) after capitalising on home comforts to successfully defend their continental crown.

Elsewhere, Jordan (70th, up 17), who were edged out in the final, make good ground, as do Thailand (101st, up 12), whose journey came to an end at the last-16 stage.

Qatar’s rise sees them enter uncharted territory, with two other teams also recording best-ever rankings.

Senegal (17th, up 3), which suffered shoot-out heartbreak at the hands of the eventual winners Cote d’Ivoire in the AFCON Round of 16, break new ground.

Tajikistan (99th, up 7) mark their maiden Asian Cup campaign by making a first-ever appearance in the top 100.

Other impressive performers are Equatorial Guinea (79th, up 9), South Africa (58th, up 8), Cabo Verde (65th, up 8), Namibia (107th, up 8) and Mali (47th, up 4).

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Alleged assault against match officials: Ogun football association ban two persons

Ogun Football Association (FA) has imposed a two-year ban on the two persons involved in an assault against match officials at MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta on Saturday.

This is contained in a statement issued by the FA Chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Majekodunmi, on Sunday in Abeokuta.

The culprits, who were said to have masked as fans of the club, are: Jamiu Makinde, popularly known as JAMAK, and Ajani Opadiran, popularly known as “Gbeke”.

The football association condemned, in strong terms, the show of shame witnessed at the venue at the end of the game, describing it as barbaric, irresponsible and uncalled for.

The Nigeria National League (NNL) match between Gateway United Football Club and Ikorodu City from Lagos ended 0-0.

“Opadiran threw caution to the wind and assaulted the centre referee, while Makinde also joined the dastardly act, bringing the game into disrepute.

“It took the intervention of the security operatives provided by the Ogun State Football Association to tame the miscreants and avoid casualties,” Majekodunmi said.

He further stated that investigations had been conducted, while findings revealed that “Gbeke” led the attack in company with his partner.

The FA chairman added that he (Gbeke) has been arrested while Makinde was currently at large.

He, therefore, said that the duo had been banned from entering match venues across the state for the next two years.

 

“A comprehensive report will also be submitted to the police headquarters, explaining why they are threats at sport venues,” he said.

Majekodunmi warned football teams in the state not to associate themselves with either of them for the duration of the ban.

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NFF appoints Many Garba as Golden Eaglets’ Head coach

The Board of the Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013, Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

Garba’s squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0.

In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

Garba will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana, according to the NFF.

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NFF to decide on new Super Eagles head coach nextweek

The Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, will meet next week Tuesday in Abuja to decide on a new head coach for super eagles.

According to a report in SCORENigeria, the committee has already shortlisted seven coaches for the vacant position.

Former internationals Finidi George and Emmanuel Amuneke are the two leading candidates for the position.

Finidi led the team in interim capacity for the friendlies against Ghana and Mali last month.

The immediate task of the new coach will be the crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Bafana Bafana of South Africa and Squirrels of Benin Republic in June.

The games will take place on June 3 and 11, respectively.

The Super Eagles are yet to record a win in their group after they drawing their opening two games against Lesotho and Zimbabwe

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