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Supersand Eagles off to Bahamas for FIFA World Cup

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Nigeria’s Supersand Eagles will fly out of the country on Thursday night to participate in the 9th FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals, taking place in Nassau, capital of The Bahamas, April 27 – May 7.

The African vice champions will be led by Coach Audu Adamu, with a playing body that boasts highly experienced Isiaka Olawale, Ogbonnaya Okemiri, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Abu Azeez, Victor Tale and goalkeeper Godwin Anyalogu, as well as upcoming but talented and fearless Godspower Igudia, Emeka Ogbonna, Emmanuel Owhoferia and Suleiman Mohammed.
Eight of the players that made the final cut of 12 will travel on Thursday night along with the coaches and backroom staff, with the remaining four (who only got their transit entry visas into the United States of America on Thursday) scheduled to fly out on Tuesday.
Thursday’s group flew aboard Delta Airline, to connect Atlanta, USA before the short flight into Nassau. The party to leave on Tuesday will also fly Delta Airline, with only one official to travel through Amsterdam and Panama aboard KLM, Royal Dutch Airline.
Coach Adamu, who saw the Supersand Eagles to a 7th place finish at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Ravenna, Italy, told thenff.com on Thursday: “This is the biggest stage in world football, and we are battle ready to give our very best.
“We are not new to this level. In 2011, we came close to making the semi finals but lost to Brazil after extra time in Italy. I am happy that I still have a good number of players who featured in that competition, and we will approach the tournament in Nassau with confidence and the right mental attitude.”
Nigeria participated in four of the previous eight FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup competitions, crashing out at group stage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2006 and in Dubai, UAE in 2009, but making the quarter finals in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and in Ravenna, Italy six years ago.
The Supersand Eagles’ first match in Nassau comes up on Thursday next week, against Italy, with further matches against Asian champions Iran and Mexico (CONCACAF runners-up) to come in Group B.
SUPERSAND EAGLES FOR WORLD CUP
Godwin Anyalogu (GK); Emmanuel Owhoferia; Ogbonnaya Okemiri; Taiwo Adams; Godspower Igudia; Victor Tale; Isiaka Olawale; Abu Azeez; Emeka Ogbonna; Bartholomew Ibenegbu; Suleiman Mohammed; Paul Danjuma (GK)

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Eagles’ll prove FIFA wrong – Rohr

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Super Eagles Manager Gernot Rohr has said Nigeria will prove FIFA by emerging from Grop D of the World Cup despite being rated lowest in that section. Nigeria slipped in the current FIFA rankings; the Eagles are rated 56th in the world far behind Argentina, Croatia and even Iceland. Rohr is unfazed by the continuous tumbling of his team on FIFA rankings, saying the lads will prove their mettle when the tournament takes the centre stage in June.

“Everybody knows that FIFA is a respectable organization; they also know that we are ranked the lowest in our group but we want to prove to everyone what we can do by getting out of the group. We want go all the way in the competition and I trust my players they will do that,” the coach said at the venue of the NFF awards on Monday.

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Echiejile seeks to cement Eagles’ position

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Super Eagles’ left-back Elderson Echiejile is happy to return to the pitch after an injury spell in the past few months made him miss games for the country, AOIFootball.com reports.

The former AS Monaco player, who joined Belgium’s second division side Cercle Brugge on loan from Turkey’s Sivaspor on the final day of the winter transfer window, told AOIFootball.com exclusively that he was happy to be back and relished the opportunity to wear the Eagles’ jersey against Poland and Serbia next month. “It feels nice to be back after injury setbacks. I missed the games against Algeria and Argentina, but I’m back now and I want to always give my best for the country.

“The games against Poland and Serbia will be key to our World Cup preparations and I believe this kind of games can help us prepare well ahead of the tournament proper in June,” Echiejile said.

Echiejile further expressed confidence in cementing his left-back role, saying the competition is good for the team and will make the coaches select the best for the World Cup.

“Currently there are three or maybe four left-backs in the team; should I be scared? I don’t think so because this competition for places is a statement that the national team is returning to his glory days,” Echiejile concluded.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles’ defender made his debut for second division side Cercle Brugge in a league game at the weekend. He featured for the entire duration of the encounter against St. Gilloise. He was booked for a foul in the 89th minute of the game.

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Supporters’ Club plans to take 20 lucky fans to Russia 2018

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National chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Reverend Samuel Ikpea, has confirmed plans to take 20 lucky Nigerian fans to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia through a planned raffle draw in Lagos on April 29.

Ikpea explained that following a partnership with Telecom Youth Games, 20 fans who would be picked at the April 29 draw would be sponsored to and fro Russia- including feeding, accommodation and transport “All Nigerians wishing to go to Russia to support the Super Eagles should do is to buy World Cup raffle draw tickets at the National Stadium, Lagos, State Football Association Secretariats nation wide for N200 only.

Once you are lucky to have your ticket picked at the draw, you are qualified for full sponsorship to and fro Russia,” concluded Ikpea. Meanwhile, the chairman has expressed shock over the death of Kano Pillars star, Chinedu Udoji in an auto crash. Udoji, a veteran of the league died on Sunday and Ikpea has described the sudden demise as a huge loss to Nigerian football. “On behalf of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, I sympathise with family of Udoji and Kano Pillars.

It’s indeed a painful death of a promising player. He was such a dedicated player from when he was captain of Enyimba of Aba before moving to Kano Pillars. “We at the Supporters Club pray God to give the Udoji Family, Kano Pillars F.C and the football fraternity the fortitude to bear the huge loss,” Ikpea said.

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