NFF president Pinnick, four others charged with $8,400, N4bn fraud.

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick, and four other officers of the federation have been charged by the Federal Government with an alleged misappropriation of $8,400 said to have been paid by FIFA to the NFF.

It was alleged that the money was paid by FIFA to the NFF as Nigeria’s appearance fees in the group state of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

The five defendants were also accused of “moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn” belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF.

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property led by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, which instituted the case, also accused the defendants of failure and neglect to declare their assets.

The case, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, contained 17 counts.

The other defendants named in the case are the Secretary of the NFF, Sunusi Mohammed; the first Vice-President of the federation, Seyi Akinwumi; the second Vice-President, Shehu Dikko, and an executive member of the federation, Yusuff Fresh.

The charge, filed by SPIRPP on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, was signed by Dr Celsius Ukpong.

The prosecution accused the defendants of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, theft, criminal misappropriation in respect of their handling of the $8,400 and N4bn belonging to the NFF.

The offences were said to be contrary to and punishable under various provisions of the Penal Code (Cap 105) LFN.

Pinnick and his co-defendants were also accused of failure and neglect to declare their assets to the SPIRPP, contrary to and punishable under section 3(3)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, 2004.

The prosecution specifically accused Pinnick of appointing a company he had interest in, Financial Derivatives Limited, as a financial consultant to the NFF, contrary to Section 5 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

The SPIRPP said he was liable to be punished under sections 1(2) and 10(1)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, 2004.

Dikko was accused of allowing Mediterranean Sports Limited to be appointed as a marketing agent to NFF in violation of the same provision of the same Act.”

‘Accept the challenge and join me in Italy’ – Cristiano Ronaldo tells his arch-rival Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are no doubt among the greatest footballers of all time who both were arch-rivals in Spain and ended up winning 10 Ballon d’Or awards between themselves.

The Portuguese striker who joined Serie A champions Juventus in a shock £100million move last summer from Real Madrid is now calling on Lionel Messi to join him in Italy instead ending his career with Barcelona.

When asked by Gazzetta in an interview if he missed Messi, Ronaldo said: ‘No, maybe he misses me. I played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, in the national team, while he is still in Spain.

‘Like me, accept the challenge. However, if he is happy there, I respect him, he is a fantastic player, a good guy but I do not miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.’

Ronaldo went on to outline the differences between his time in Spain and at his new club.

He said: ‘It’s not fair to name just a few, but I can say that this is the best group I’ve ever played.

‘Here we are a team, elsewhere someone feels bigger than others but here they are all on the same line, they are humble and want to win.

‘If Dybala or Mandzukic do not mark, you still see them happy, smile. For me it is beautiful, I perceive the difference.

‘Even in Madrid they are humble but here I feel they are more so.

‘It is very different from Madrid, this is more a family .’

Iwobi stars in Arsenal’s win over Huddersfield, Balogun loses; Man Utd thrash Fulham

Super Eagles forward, Alex Iwobi was subbed on for Arsenal in their 1-0 win over Huddersfield in a Premier League action at the Emirates on Saturday.

Iwobi was brought on from the bench at half time to replace Lichtsteiner after a goalless first half.

The Gunners were able to carry the day after a late winner by Lucas Torreira who scored a sublime bicycle kick in the 83rd minute to earn the host all three points.

It was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who found room at the back post and chipped across the six-yard box for Torreira to acrobatically volley in.

Torreira now has two goals in two games after scoring against Tottenham last week

Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun made a full appearance for Brighton who lost 1-0 at Burnley.

At Old Trafford, Manchester United recorded their biggest Premier League win of the season as they swept aside Fulham.

The hosts took the lead after 13 minutes when Ashley Young opened the scoring.

Marcus Rashford then set up Juan Mata for their second, before Romelu Lukaku finished from close range from Mata’s low cross.

Substitute Aboubakar Kamara pulled one back for Fulham with a penalty after he had been fouled by Ander Herrera.

But the Claudio Ranieri side were soon reduced to 10 men when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was dismissed, and Rashford sealed the win for the Red Devils with a powerful strike.

Elsewhere, West Ham defeated Crystal Palace 3-2 while Cardiff City saw off Southampton 1-0.

Victor Ikpeba: Super Eagles can cope without Mikel Obi, Victor Moses

Former Super Eagles striker Victor Nosa Ikpeba has come out with the declaration that the Nigerian national team can cope without their captain, John Mikel Obi and retired winger, Victor Moses.

Speaking against the backdrop of Moses’ decision to quit the Eagles right after the World Cup and Mikel’s continued non-invitation for recent matches, ‘The Prince of Monaco’ insists the squad must move on without both stars.

Ikpeba, who made top marks at club level with RC Liege of Belgium and AS Monaco in France said Mikel and Moses had paid their dues over the years, but stressed that no player should be indispensable to the national team.

The African Footballer of The Year 1997 stated further that there should not be any cause for alarm that Mikel is yet to play for the Eagles since captaining the country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Ikpeba, who is now a television pundit and soccer ambassador, said: “Mikel is not a must in Eagles.

“I understand that the skipper and the coach have a great relationship but we don’t know why he was not invited.

“Mikel has been a fantastic player for the national team for more than a decade.

“But this is great for the team and great for the young set of players that they can do without Mikel and without Victor Moses.

“The team has been brilliant without them and the coach has been apt with the decision.”

We Will not underrate Libyan team, says Coach Rohr

Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, says his team will play to win and will not underrate the Mediterranean Knights in Saturday’s AFCON qualifier.

Rohr told newsmen in Uyo on Thursday, that the Libyans have a very strong team in spite of their position on FIFA ranking.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Eagles will tackle the Libyan side at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium for the 2019 AFCON qualifier.

“The players and the coach are working together to ensure victory. The players will not underrate the Libyan team, they have very strong defence and good goalkeeper.

” We have prepared very well to win, we will not look at FIFA ranking,” said Rohr who has 24 players in camp to choose from for the Saturday game.

“I want to thank the governor of Akwa Ibom State for receiving us again, we have a wonderful place here to stay, play and win,” he said.

Acting team captain Ahmed Musa said the players were in top form and would not take the game for granted.

NAN reports that the Mediterranean Knights are expected in Uyo on Friday.

The Libyans are top of the group with four points, same as South Africa but with superior goal difference, while Super Eagles are third on the log with three points from two games.

The Super Eagles will need to win on Saturday to have any real chance of qualifying for AFCON 2019 in Cameroon.

Late Sanchez goal seals Man Utd’s incredible comeback win over Newcastle

Alexis Sanchez scored a late winner for Manchester United as the Red Devils completed an incredible comeback win against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The hosts were two goals down by the end of the first half, but rallied back with three goals in the second half to seal the thrilling encounter with a 3-2 victory.

Messi warns Barcelona ahead of Champions League clash with Spurs

Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi has warned the La Liga side of how important it is to ‘improve in many areas’ after their 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

The Argentine superstar, who started from the bench in the game, is looking forward to a tough match against Tottenham Hotspur when both sides meet at Wembley in the Champions League this week.

Despite the Catalans slumping to their third game without a win, Messi insists the season is still very long, and is certain that his side will improve with time.

“We have the squad and players to not depend on anyone and to win any game,” the No 10 told GolTV.

“Our recent results have been disappointing, but we have to be calm and remember that the season is very long.

“We kept trying and I think we had plenty of chances. I think we could’ve won, but we must keep going and look forward to Wednesday, when we have a very tough game. It’s a big game for how the group will pan out.

“We must improve in many areas. We have to become stronger defensively. We can’t concede so many goals every match, given we come from a season when it was very difficult to score against us.”

Barcelona thrashed PSV 4-0 in their opening match in the Champions League, and will take on Spurs, who lost 2-1 to Inter Milan at San Siro.

FIFA Awards: Modric, Marta win best player titles, Salah bags goal award

Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric has been awarded the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year at the Fifa Awards Gala held in London on Monday night.

After leading his national team to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where he was named as the Best Player of the tournament, the 33-year old becomes only the second player to win the title.

Modric also helped Real Madrid win a third consecutive UEFA Champions League title before going to Russia and almost conquered the world.

The reigning UEFA Player of the Year beat his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah to the prestigious award on Monday night.

For the Women’s category, Brazilian Marta, who plays for the Orlando Pride, won the title ahead of Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan.

 

Salah bagged the Puskas Award for best goal of the season. His goal for Liverpool against Everton won in the category that had the likes of Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Benjamin Pavard with 6 others in the shortlist.

For the Men’s Coach award, France coach Didier Deschamps, who led France to their second World Cup title in Russia, defeated former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic to the title.

Belgium and former Chelsea goalkeeper, who now plays for Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois bagged the goalkeeper award, just like he did at the World Cup in Russia.

He saw off competitions from Kasper Schmeichel and Hugo Lloris to land the title.

THE FULL AWARD

FIFA Puskas Award – Mohamed Salah

FIFA Best Men’s Player – Luka Modric

FIFA Best Men’s Coach – Didier Deschamps

FIFA Best Goalkeeper – Thibaut Courtois

FIFA Best Women’s Player – Marta

FIFA Best Women’s Coach – Reynald Pedros

FIFA Fan Award – Peru fans

FIFA Fair Play Award – Lennart Thy

FIFA Pro World XI:

David de Gea (Manchester United)

Dani Alves (Paris Saint-Germain)

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

The fight gets messier as Jose Mourinho removes Paul Pogba as vice-captain of Manchester United

 

All has not been well between Manchester United coach, Jose Mourinho and French midfielder, Paul Pogba since the beginning of this season.

 

Now, Paul Pogba will no longer be Manchester United’s vice-captain, but Jose Mourinho says he has not fallen out with the midfielder.

 

Mourinho confirmed Paul Pogba has been stripped of the vice-captaincy at United, but insists they have not fallen out as reports began to circulate prior to United’s disappointing 8-7 penalty shoot-out defeat to Derby County in the EFL Cup on Tuesday that Pogba who was rested had been relieved of the role.

 

The French World Cup-winner had captained United three times this season in the absence of Antonio Valencia, including the Premier League opener against Leicester City.  Mourinho’s decision to give Pogba the armband on that occasion came hard on the heels of suggestions Barcelona were pressing to sign the 25-year-old.  But the midfielder has made several comments which some have considered to be veiled digs at Mourinho this season, the latest coming following the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday, and the Portuguese confirmed reports of the change after the Derby clash.

 

He told Sky Sports: “the only truth is that I made the decision of Pogba not to be the second captain anymore. There was no fall out. The person who made the decision to be second captain was also me. It’s just one decision which I don’t have to explain.”  

 

After United’s win over Leicester, Pogba claimed he would be fined if he commented on his situation at the club, while he also conceded his attitude was not right in the 3-2 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion. Pogba’s latest comments on Monday saw him question Mourinho’s tactics, as he implored United to “attack, attack, attack” when playing at home, though he is adamant his remarks were misrepresented.

D’Tigress ready for FIBA World Cup as FG sends team forth

Nigeria women’s basketball team, D’Tigress are ready for the 2018 FIBA World Cup, as the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung hosted the team on Thursday.

The 18th edition of FIBA’s premier international tournament for women will take place between September 22 to 30 in Tenerife, Spain.

The Minister, in his office in Abuja during a brief sent forth party organised for the team, spoke on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is the belief of this government that for every competition, you should compete clean and fair. The country is standing solidly behind you. We are looking out for you with hope that with hard work, you can bring the trophy home,” the Minister said.

“We are deliberately looking toward the development of female sports and we believe that once we are able to equitably tackle the imbalance between the men’s football, women’s football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, our women will do us proud because they have less of the controversies compared to the men.”

The Minister thanked the players for their dedication and willingness to heed the clarion call to represent Nigeria in Spain.

“I want to thank you sincerely for honouring the invitation to come to camp, for considering service to your country as a priority. You are a team that is very compact, driven by common interest and also determined.

“I believe that the sky will be the limit of this team”, he continued.

In her response, the team’s captain, Adaora Elonu promised that D’Tigress will do their best to give a good representation of the country who will be playing at the competition as African Champions.

Elonu thanked the NBBF President, Engineer Musa Kida for ensuring the team’s early call to camp and early preparations to stand a chance of competing seriously at the world cup.

Kida, who was represented by the Vice President, Babatunde Ogunade went on to thank the Minister for his support since their assumption of office last year.

“We cannot thank you enough for your level of support to the board. You have shown yourself to be a good and dependable father. Like Oliver Twist, we still ask for more.” he said.

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