Hudson Quits As New Zealand Coach

New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson announced his resignation Thursday in the wake of the All Whites’ failure to reach next year’s World Cup. Hudson’s men fell at the last qualification hurdle when Peru beat them 2-0 in Lima last week to seal victory in a two-legged intercontinental play-off for a spot at next year’s tournament in Russia. Hudson said in a statement released by New Zealand Football that he had decided not to continue with the national team after three years at the helm. The 36-year-old Englishman said he was…

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Nigeria Drops Nine Places In Latest FIFA Ranking

The Super Eagles of Nigeria dropped nine places to 50th position on the latest FIFA ranking despite defeating Argentina 4-2 in a recent friendly. Nigeria, which were ranked 41st in the world and 5th in Africa last month, are now 8th on the continent. The Eagles’ drop comes after they drew 1-1 with Algeria in their final group game of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and defeated Argentina 4-2 in an international friendly in Krasnodar, Russia. Senegal rose to their highest ever position on the ranking to berth at 23rd globally…

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2018 World Cup: NFF To Pay $2.4 Million As Players’ Bonus

The Nigeria Football Federation will pay players and officials a total of $2.4m as a bonus for securing qualification for the World Cup in Russia, a spokesman said Wednesday. “The NFF have agreed to give the team $2.4m out of the $8 million we are expecting from FIFA,” said Ademola Olajire. The NFF have also agreed other payments and benefits to the team to avoid a pay row that marred Nigeria’s participation at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Next year’s World Cup will be Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the…

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World Cup Draw Halts Super Eagles Friendly

The Nigeria Football Federation has halted talks with the European and South American football associations seeking to play warm-up matches with the Super Eagles to prepare their teams ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia. World Cup-bound England, Serbia and Peru are among the Russia 2018 teams reportedly interested in playing Nigeria. The magazine learnt that the NFF had been locked in talks with some  of the countries as  they seek more quality friendly games for the Eagles after the Argentina fixture, which Nigeria won  4-2 in Krasnodar, Russia,…

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Emotional Peru Team Books World Cup Ticket

Emotional Peru advanced to the World Cup for the first time since 1982 by defeating New Zealand 2-0 on Wednesday, goals by Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos sealing the last ticket to Russia. Farfan struck in the 27th minute and Ramos scored in the 65th to give “Los Incas” their fifth overall World Cup finals appearance and the first in 35 years. “It’s a big emotion, beyond making history,” tearful Peru midfielder Christian Cueva said. “It’s a child’s dream. We have not broken this bad streak for so long. Now…

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Russia 2018: The 32 Teams Unveiled

The journey for the prestigious and glamourous event in world football has commenced, with the 32 teams for the world showpiece have emerged following Peru’s 2-0 victory over New Zealand in Lima in the final play-off for the FIFA 2018 World Cup scheduled for Russia next year. The magazine unveils the 32 teams and their respective coaches which could changed before the mundial depending on the performance of the coaches in friendlies ahead of the tournament proper, or depending on their relationship or issues with their various employers. Russia (Coach:…

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Switzerland Qualifies For 2018 World Cup

Switzerland held off Northern Ireland to seal a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 0-0 second-leg draw on Sunday that secured a 1-0 aggregate play-off victory, AFP reports. Vladimir Petkovic’s side wasted numerous first-half chances as the Northern Irish stayed in the tie, but Ricardo Rodriguez’s controversial first-leg penalty in Belfast proved enough for the Swiss to reach their fourth consecutive World Cup. Northern Ireland fell short in their bid to reach a first finals since 1986. Away manager Michael O’Neill replaced Kyle Lafferty up front…

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Italy Face 2018 World Cup Elimination

Four-time champions Italy face missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 1958, a potential national humiliation likened to the “apocalypse” by the team’s fanatical supporters. Italy need to overturn a 1-0 play-off first-leg defeat against Sweden at the San Siro on Monday. National coach Gian Piero Ventura insists his team will not falter but the 69-year-old gave his critics more ammunition in the build-up to the game by claiming he was “amazed people are surprised we’re in the play-offs”. “We knew from the moment we picked…

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Real Madrid Gears Up For FIFA World Club Championship

Defending champions Real Madrid will play the winner of a play-off between the Asian champions and Auckland City/Al Jazira in the semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, it was announced Monday. Emirati champions Al Jazira and OFC Champions League winners Auckland City face each other in the opening game, the winners then play in the second round with Mexico’s Pachuca and the CAF and AFC champions. Real Madrid, seeking a record-equaling third title, and the Copa Libertadores champions will join the competition from the semi-final stage…

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Japan Qualifies For Russia 2018 World Cup

Takuma Asano and Yosuke Ideguchi were on target as Japan beat Australia 2-0 at home Thursday to qualify for their sixth successive World Cup. Asano steered home a left-foot volley four minutes before half-time and Ideguchi sealed the victory with a stunning long-range strike after 82 minutes as Japan became the fourth team to reach next year’s finals in Russia. Details later…..

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Mikel Optimistic Of Super Eagles Qualification For 2018 World Cup

John Obi Mikel is nothing if not optimistic when it comes to Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Although Africa’s third round of qualifying only reaches its halfway point at the end of this month and beginning of September, the Super Eagles captain believes a place at the global finals is within their grasp. The Super Eagles captain has declared himself fit. The midfielder is ready to help his Chinese Super League team – His club have not won in their last 7 League games…

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Mexico 83: Reps Call on FG to Reward Flying Eagles Team

Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to redeem its promise of rewarding members of Flying Eagles team of 1983 who qualified Nigeria for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Mexico. The call followed a motion by Hon. Abbas Tajudeen (APC, Kaduna) at plenary. Canvassing for support to the motion, Tajudeen recalled that “1983 Flying Eagles team was the first Nigerian Nation football team to qualify for any Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) organized football tournament”. He also recalled that the team “emerged…

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FIFA Lifts Messi’s Ban

By Akinwale Kasali Argentina and Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi has seen his four match ban lifted by world soccer governing body, FIFA. Messi, 29, was banned for insulting an assistant referee during a World Cup qualifier against Chile in March. FIFA’s appeal committee described Messi’s behaviour as “reproachable” but decided the evidence against him was insufficient. Here is FIFA’s verdict: The FIFA Appeal Committee has upheld the appeal lodged by the Argentinian Football Association, on behalf of the player Lionel Messi, against the decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee,…

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Super Eagles Moves Up to 40th Position In Latest FIFA Ranking

Super Eagles of Nigeria improved on their performance in the FIFA rankings from last month by moving up two places in Africa to become 5th and one place to become 40th in the world as against the 7th and 41st positions occupied respectively in the last rankings. The only game the Super Eagles played after last month’s rankings was against Senegal which ended in a 1-1 draw. The game against Burkina-Faso was called off. Meanwhile, Brazil surged to the top of the FIFA world rankings for the first time in…

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FIFA Suspends Messi

By Akinwale Kasali The hope of Argentina qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been dealt a big blow few hours before the Argentine football team suffered a 2-0 loss to Bolivia in La Paz. The loss puts Argentina in the fifth position, falling off the pecking order for an automatic qualification slot, with a play-off imminent. Their next five matches will see Lionel Messi following his suspension by FIFA, the world soccer governing board for misconduct on the part of the highly rated maestro. Lionel Messi’s…

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