Archive | September 1, 2015

Odegbami joins FIFA race….

Odegbami joins race for FIFA presidency

Former Green Eagles captain, Chief Segun Odegbami has joined the list of eminent people who have indicated interest to contest for the position of FIFA president in the February 26, 2016 elections. According to a release issued on Tuesday by the Head of his campaign team, Dr. Ade Adeagbo, the former international has thrown his hat into the ring because FIFA needs the kind of leadership that would help restore the dignity of the noble sport.  The statement quoted Odegbami as saying “The current scandal at FIFA is the organisation’s worst crisis in its 111 years of existence.” He further said: “Moving forward, FIFA thus require a new era of leadership that can restore the dignity of the noble sport and that of this esteemed international institution with global followership.
“Times like this call for all concerned members of the global football family to contribute to the actualization of renewed objectives for FIFA by electing a deserving and qualified person, with the right character that can achieve the desired goals and restore confidence and integrity to the organization and its activities. “The world is very interested in who becomes the next President of FIFA, considering the present image and state of this institution and I see myself fitting into this role.” The statement further said Odegbami has already conveyed his intention to the Nigeria Football Federation, as required by the electoral guidelines and FIFA Statutes, as well as to the federal government seeking their support. The aspirant therefore called on all and sundry to give him all the necessary support in his bid to “help in maximizing the global followership of the game to transform the lives of people and communities and advance social causes around the world”. Nigeria’s Orji Uzor Kalu had earlier declared interest in the FIFA plum job. Hmmm… Odegbami had made an unsuccessful bid to NFF presidency. Now he wants to try the ultimate position in football. Maybe he might be the Abraham Lincoln of football.

 

Djilobodji signs for Chelsea….

Chelsea Football Club has announced the signing of Papy Djilobodji from Nantes. The 26-year-old centre-back has signed a four-year contract. Djilobodji said: ‘I’m very happy to sign for a big club like Chelsea and I want to do my best to help the team win titles. I want to thank the club for giving me this opportunity.’ Djilobodji (full name Papiss Mison Djilobodji), a Senegal international, has become a key figure for Nantes since signing for the French club in 2009. Having started his career playing for Senegalese side ASC Saloum, Djilobodji opted to make the move to Europe in October 2009 and signed for Senart-Moissy, who were in the French fourth division at the time. An imposing physical presence, Djilobodji quickly caught the eye of teams higher up the leagues and moved to Ligue 2 side Nantes just two months later, at the age of 21. Quick and powerful, he was initially deployed as a defensive midfielder for Nantes, before moving back into his more favoured position of central defender. His impressive displays at the heart of the back four were a crucial factor in Nantes securing promotion to the French top flight in 2012/13. Their first campaign back in Ligue 1 was an important one both for the player and club and Djilobodji produced a string of solid displays as Nantes preserved their top-flight status. Last season he was once again a pivotal member of an ever-improving team at club level, while on the international stage he was named in the Senegal squad for the African Cup of Nations and started two of their three matches at the tournament.

Three players join Bournemouth on deadline day….

Glenn Murray

Bournemouth have signed Glenn Murray from fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace on a three-year deal for £4m as one of three deadline-day signings. The 31-year-old scored 47 goals in 125 appearances for Palace after joining from Brighton in May 2011. The Cherries have also signed Aston Villa left-back Joe Bennett, 25, on a loan deal until January. And Argentine midfielder Tomas Andrade, 19, has joined from River Plate until the end of the season.

van Dijk joins Southampton….

Virgil van Dijk

Southampton have completed a £11.5m move for Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk from Scottish champions Celtic. The 24-year-old has agreed a five-year contract with the Premier League club after passing a medical. Van Dijk joined Celtic in 2013 after three years with Groningen and has won two successive league titles and the Scottish Cup with the Bhoys. “Moving to the Premier League is the right time for my development,” he told Southampton’s official website.  “Southampton is the perfect step for me right now. I want to play as much as possible, get settled in quick and show everyone what I’m capable of and do well with the team.” Van Dijk said after Celtic’s Champions League play-off loss to Malmo that he was considering his Bhoys future. Meanwhile, Saints forward Emmanuel Mayuka, 24, has left to join French club Metz on a three-year deal.  The Zambia international, who was top scorer at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, joined Saints from Young Boys in August 2012 and scored once in 19 appearances. He spent the 2013-14 season on loan at French side Lorient.

Lescott and Ilori join Aston Villa….

Joleon Lescott

Aston Villa have signed West Brom defender Joleon Lescott for a fee of up to £2m and Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori on a season-long loan. Villa have paid £1m for the loan of Ilori, 22, with the option to sign him at the end of the season for between £6m and £9m depending on clauses. Lescott, 33, who has 26 England caps, has signed a two-year contract. Villa have also signed Anderlecht keeper Matija Sarkic, 18, on a three-year deal. Boyhood Villa fan Lescott has also played for Wolves, Everton and Manchester City. “Joleon is a player who has great Premier League experience and he’ll be a huge help to the younger members of our squad,” Villa boss Tim Sherwood said.

Four players join West Ham on deadline day….

Michail Antonio

West Ham have signed Nottingham Forest winger Michail Antonio and Hull striker Nikica Jelavic and completed loan deals for Barcelona midfielder Alex Song and Chelsea and Nigeria winger Victor Moses. Antonio, 25, has moved to the Hammers for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £7m, while 30-year-old Jelavic moves in a transfer worth about £3m. Song, 27, and Moses, 24, have joined the club on season-long loan deals. Antonio has signed a four-year deal with a further two-year option. Croatia international Jelavic has joined on an initial two-year contract with an option for a further two years. Song returns to Upton Park after making 31 appearances for the club in all competitions during a loan spell in 2014-15. Moses, who had loan spells at Liverpool in 2013-14 and Stoke last season, moves to West Ham on loan after signing a new four-year deal with his parent club. The Hammers have allowed midfielder Matt Jarvis, 29, to join Norwich City on a season-long loan. Londoner Antonio, who began his career at non-league Tooting & Mitcham United, has scored four goals in five matches for Forest this season. “I can’t wait for the challenge of playing in the Premier League,” he told West Ham TV. “It was one of the things growing up – I wanted to test myself against the best. “I’ve worked my way from non-league and finally got to the Premier League to show what I can do.” Antonio said his main attributes were “pace, power and goals”. “I came to a couple of games here when I was younger, so I’m happy to be finally here,” he added.

Lennon and Funes join Everton….

Mori won the 2015 Copa Libertadores with former club River Plate

Everton have signed Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon and defender Ramiro Funes Mori from Argentine club River Plate. Lennon, 28, who was on loan at Goodison Park last season, joins for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal. Mori, 24, who signed for £9.5m on a five-year deal, passed his medical last week at Goodison Park but had been waiting for a work permit. Lennon made 14 appearances and scored two goals for Everton after joining on loan in February. He was out of contract with Spurs at the end of the 2015-16 season after being frozen out by Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. Everton manager Roberto Martinez said: “He had a major role in the second half of our season and we’re looking forward to Aaron kicking on and continuing to enjoy his football, as well as being the productive player we know he can be. “He is well-respected in the dressing room, his experience in the Premier League is immense and he will immediately add to our squad and to the ambition we have as a club.” Mori joined River Plate in 2008 as a youth player and made 108 appearances, scoring 10 goals. He has one international cap for Argentina, making his debut in March when his side beat El Salvador 2-0 in a friendly match. “Everton did everything to bring me over and I wanted to come. They have a lot of good players so I’m very happy to be here,” said Mori, a centre-half. “When I heard about Everton’s interest, I didn’t think twice and I’m going to give it 100% every time I go out there to play.”

De Gea’s move to Real Madrid collapses….

David De Gea’s £29m move from Manchester United to Real Madrid has collapsed because the necessary paperwork was not submitted in time. No official announcement has yet been made by either club. As part of the deal to sell De Gea to Real, United were planning to bring Keylor Navas in the opposite direction. There is no precedent for Spanish clubs being given additional time to conclude transfers as there is in England. Blame for the failure to complete the deal is already being apportioned. Reports in Spain claim United were responsible for the deal collapsing. The line is that they did not get their paperwork to Spanish Football Federation headquarters until a minute after the 11pm Nigerian time deadline. In their defence, United say they have a receipt that proves they submitted the relevant documents in time. It remains to be seen whether Real will appeal to world governing body FIFA, who are responsible for sanctioning international transfers.

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Team Nigeria goes to All Africa Games….

All Africa Games: Team Nigeria to depart August 31ist

Nigeria’s 573 –man contingent to the 11th All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo departed Nigeria from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Monday. At the airport to see the contingent off were the Director General, National Sports Commission, Mallam Alhassan Saleh Yakmut, some federation presidents and NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi. The contingent consisted of sportsmen and women in 21 sports, as well as technical and administrative officials, including football players of the Senior Women National team, Super Falcons, and the U-23 National Team.

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The biggest transfer deals so far….

Today is deadline day for transfers across Europe. Let’s have a recap of the biggest deals so far:

1 Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg to Manchester City) £55m

2  Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City) £49m

3. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa to Liverpool) £32.5m

4. Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia to Manchester City) £32m

5 Memphis Depay  (PSV to Manchester United) £31m

6  Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim to Liverpool) £29m

7  Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton to Manchester United) £25m

8  Pedro (Barcelona to Chelsea) £21m