Stranded Nigerian Fans: FG To Prosecute Travel Agents For Russia Violations

The Federal Government has vowed to arrest and prosecute the airline travel agents who cancelled the return tickets of 230 Nigerian football fans stranded after the 2018 World Cup Tournament in Russia.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Prof. Steve Ugba said this in an online video statement made available by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Tope Elias-Fatile in Abuja on Sunday.

Ugba made government’s position known while addressing the stranded Nigerians in Moscow, Russia before their departure to Nigeria.

Over 150 stranded Nigerian football fans besieged the Nigerian Embassy in Moscow on July 12, for assistance at the end of the 2018 World Cup tournament.

The fans had alleged that their return tickets were cancelled abruptly by airline agents, resulting to their being stranded in Russia without any hope of returning to Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 16, directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and his Aviation counterpart, Hadi Sirika, to evacuate the Nigerians to Abuja immediately.

Sequel to the directive, a chartered Ethiopian Airline had on July 20 conveyed the 155 stranded Nigerians back to Abuja.

The envoy in the 21 minutes video, expressed gratitude to the president for ensuring that the stranded fans returned safely to the country.

Ugba, who said that the Federal Government did not want the culprits to go free, urged the victims to produce any document they had to enable the government crackdown the agents.

“Give us any document that you have about the people who deceived you, or the people who scammed you, who did you 419 so that we can have them picked up and prosecuted in Nigeria.

“We do not want them to go free. So, give us any document you have that will tell us who these people are.

“We are waiting for them in Nigeria because the kind of behaviour that you exhibited here shows that you have character, shows that you have respect for yourselves, and shows that you have respect for Nigeria,” he said.

“It is not a crime for you to come and at the end of the show, you want to go back. It is not a crime.

“But it is a crime for the person who sold you tickets and then, the second leg of going back you do not have tickets anymore. So, it is not your fault.

“We want to hold those responsible for this terrible behaviour to account for their action so that next time, they will not do the same,” he said.

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Russia 2018: Kenyan Referee Gets Life Ban For Bribery

A Kenyan referee who had been due to officiate at the ongoing World Cup in Russia has been handed a life ban after being caught in a bribery sting.

Aden Marwa was filmed receiving a 600-dollar bribe during Confederation of African Football (CAF) assignment in Ghana.

He is one of 22 referees sanctioned by the CAF in an unprecedented clean up, announced at the weekend.

Marwa, who was a reserve at the 2014 finals in Brazil, had earlier been removed from the list of match officials due to officiate in Russia.

The life ban was handed out by CAF’s disciplinary board, which also banned 10 other referees for between two years and 10 years for similar offences.

A further 11 persons have been suspended pending an appearance at the board in August.

African football has long been plagued by allegations of bribery but never before has CAF banned such a large number of officials.


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Russia 2018: Super Eagles Will Make Us Proud, Says Osinbajo

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has expressed confidence that the Super Eagles would defeat their Argentine counterpart to move into the second round of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday at the Alakia Airport in Ibadan on his arrival for the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, Clinic.

He said “By the grace of God, victory will be ours. I hope the boys will give their very best. I am sure and confident that they are well prepared for the important encounter. “This is an important encounter to us and I trust it is going to be a great victory for us’’

The Eagles would take on Argentina in their last group D match and they need at least a draw to qualify for the second round of the tournament.

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Russia 2018: Senegal Defeat Poland 2-1

Senegal took full advantage of their opponents’ errors to beat Poland 2-1 in their opening Group H match, finally giving Africa something to cheer about at the World Cup.

The African side took a 37th-minute lead when Idrissa Gueye’s shot took a massive deflection off defender Thiago Cionek to wrong-foot the keeper. Then on the hour, woeful defending allowed Mbaye Niang to tap home into an empty net before Poland pulled one back via Grzegorz Krychowiak’s late header.

Senegal have won 50% of their world cup matches, the best win rate of any African nation in the competition.

All three of Senegal’s world cup wins have been against European nations(fRANCE, Sweden, and Poland).

Poland have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine world cup matches since beating portugal 1-0 in 1986.

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#Russia2018: Speaker @YakubDogara Charges Super Eagles To Make Nigerians Proud

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has urged Super Eagles players to make Nigerians proud as they prepare for the first match with Croatia in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

In a statement issued on Friday, Speaker Dogara called on all Nigerians to pray fervently for the success of the Super Eagles, while charging the players to put all they have got into ensuring that they win the group matches and advance to next stage of the competition.

He added that, Over the years, football has been a major source of unity in Nigeria, we should, therefore, collectively pray for the Super Eagles as they brace up for their match against Croatia .

“Super Eagles proved to be a strong team during the qualifiers with their record and we expect them to replicate same zeal, spirit and patriotism in the World Cup.”

He said with team work and commitment the Super Eagles will surely triumph over their opponents in group and knockout stages of the World Cup.

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#Russia2018: Uruguay Defeats Egypt 1-0

It took nearly 90 minutes, but Uruguay finally got a goal and defeated a stubborn Egypt team, 1-0, in Ekaterinburg on Friday.

A header off a free kick by defender Jose Maria Giminez was the difference after Uruguay’s bigger stars, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, squandered several chances.

Egypt played without its own star, Mohamed Salah, who was nursing a shoulder injury yet had been expected to play.

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#Russia2018: Why Nigeria Could Win The World Cup, By Akinremi Ayo

Our darling super eagles will start their world cup campaign against their Croatia counterpart on Saturday 16th of June.
Looking at the crop of players the Super Eagles will be parading, it is easier to say that we really have a wonderful team of individual players. But the major constraint is them playing as a team.
Nigeria played 5 Friendlies. We won 1 , drew 1 and lost 3. This stat is not too good for a team that is playing at the world cup but at the same time, friendlies doesn’t really determine your world cup fate. But the bottom line is that our super eagles team doesn’t have a playing pattern.
Let’s take for instance, our last game against Czech Republic. The Czech Republicans came with a game plan. The were playing long balls and making some sharp crosses. They knew the Super Eagles are weak in defending crosses. Their game plan really worked for them at least they won the match.
Talking about game plans, super eagles team is disorganized. You see players of the same team colliding against each other while trying to clear an area ball. Could it be that Genort Rohr is trying to play safe by not not really exposing is tactics to his opponents?
According to Javier Mascherano, He said, “And Nigeria are quite well known to us, we’ve always met in the last World Cups. They’re tough, not just because of their physical power, but because their disorganisation has the effect of disorganising you as a rival. And that’s when teams like ours suffer the most – in disorder.” I find this really interesting as it could be an advantage to us. That means other teams would be wary of our disorganization and it might be difficult for them to really study us.
Don’t forget that Super Eagles always perform anytime we Nigerians right them off. Do you still remember what happened at 2013 AFCON? who knew super eagles will win it? Who knew Nigeria will even qualify for World cup?
Winning the world cup is realistic but Las Las we sha go fit enter semi-final if we no win world cup
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World Cup: Super Eagles Are Biggest Threat To Any Opponent, Says Messi

As the 2018 FIFA World Cup begins Thursday in Russia, Argentina captain Lionel Messi has said the Super Eagles of Nigeria are a strong side that can cause problems for any opponent.

Both teams Both will play each other on June 26 in the last game of group D at the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Saint Petersburg.

“It will be important to start strongly. Iceland did well in their last tournament so the first match
will not be comfortable. But these are the ones to win if you don’t want the next matches to be even
more complicated.

“We don’t know so much about Nigeria but the African teams are normally compact, tough and strong. So it will be no walkover,” Messi told UK tabliod,

“We know it won’t be easy but I’m certain that Argentina has a squad capable of being a champion in
Russia. If the players all believe the same then we can be contenders,” he added.

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Super Eagles To Miss World Cup Opening Ceremony

The Super Eagles won’t be at the opening ceremony in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium which will also host the final.

This is due to their arrival in in Essentuki on Monday night from their training camp in Austria.

FIFA and Local Organising Committee (LOC) officials conducted arrival meetings with the administrative officials of Super Eagles at their Sanatorium Istochnik Hotel team base camp in Essentuki.

According to Media Officer of the team, Toyin Ibitoye, the public and media, Super Eagles players will have two trainings today at Essentuki. He noted the second training in the evening will be behind closed doors. The team will fly out to Kaliningrad, which is 3 hours away by flight from Essentuki, tomorrow afternoon, almost when the opening ceremony will start.

The training ground in Essentuki is around 1,581 kilometers away from the venue of the opening ceremony in Moscow. They will need to travel almost two hours 30 minutes by air or almost a day if by train.

If they would be at the opening ceremony, the Super Eagles will be 1,254 kilometers from Kaliningrad stadium where they would have their first game.

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Russia 2018: President Buhari Charges Super Eagles To Play Fair

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, charged the national football team, the Super Eagles, to play fair  at the 2018 World Cup scheduled to start in Russia on the 14th of June.

The President gave the challenge at a session to formally bid the Russia 2018 World Cup bound Super Eagles farewell at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

According to President Buhari, “You are going to represent us in Russia, you must bear in mind that you are not just going for a tournament, with each game you must remember that you are carrying the passions, emotions and feelings of over 180 million people. Play fair and clean but demonstrate the gallant spirit which Nigerians are known for.

“Nothing unites Nigerians more than football and nothing will gladden the people of Nigeria more than for you to acquit yourself honourably by winning in Russia.

“You are the youngest team in the tournament which means you are likely the most inexperienced team, a fact that will not be lost on your opponents. But it is also something that you can use to your advantage.

“You have the full support and the blessings of all Nigerians who will look up to you for as long as the tournament  last.

“I commend the Nigerian Football Federation for drawing up the right programme that is helping to refine the team to the powerful force which it’s meant to be.

“This is our time, we look up to you to make us proud. All Nigerians join me in saying to you, best of luck. Thank you and God be with you all.”

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Russia 2018: Mikel, Moses, Ndidi, Lokosa Make Super Eagles 30-Man Squad

Captain Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Ahmed Musa are among the Super Eagles 30-man provisional squad released by Gernot Rohr ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Home-based goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye, Francis Uzoho and Daniel Akpeyi made the cut.

There is also the surprise inclusion of Crotone striker Simeone Nwankwo and Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) top scorer with 18 goals Junior Lokosa.

Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who is recuperating from a hamstring injury, is also included.

Others who made the list are Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Elderson Echiejile, Bryan Idowu, Shehu Abdullahi, Ola Aina, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Uche Agbo, Stephen Eze, Tyronne Ebuehi, Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem, Oghenekaro Etebo and Joel Obi.

Meanwhile Henry Onyekuru who just returned from injury and Victor Osimhen were not listed. Olanrewaju Kayode, who has been in fine form with Shakhtar Donetsk is also not included.

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Russia 2018: FIFA Insists No Security Threat

World football body, FIFA, has insisted there is no security threat to the forthcoming World football competition scheduled to hold in June this year in Russia.

This assurance follows the wake of violent incidents involving Spartak Moscow supporters on Thursday in which a policeman died of a heart attack.

The street battles had occured before their UEFA Europa League last 32 second leg tie at the San Mames stadium.

Nine people were arrested following the clashes.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo said two Russian ultras were taken to hospital with injuries, one with stab wounds.

The 2018 World Cup begins on June 14 in Russia and local authorities are putting strict security procedures in place to control hooligans, including Russian fans.

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