Sam Ibiam, the first Nigerian national team goalkeeper has died at the age of 90. Ibiam, a native of Ebonyi state who was a born in 1925. In 1949, he was the goalkeeper of the first national football team that toured the United Kingdom playing notable English teams like Liverpool FC. He played alongside the likes of Dan Anyiam, Ewa Henshaw and Teslim Balogun.
Pa Ibiam was known in his playing days as The Cat or The Black Magnet.
Real Madrid could face disqualification from the Copa del Rey after fielding an ineligible player in their fourth-round win over Cadiz, report Spanish media. Denis Cheryshev, 24, gave Real the lead but the Russian should have been serving a one-game ban, say reports. Newspaper AS has published a document showing he received three bookings in the domestic cup competition while on loan at Villarreal last season. This first-leg tie was the first opportunity he had to serve the ban. Real boss Rafael Benitez was manager of Valencia when they were disqualified from the Copa del Rey – the Spanish Cup – having played too many non-European Union players in a tie against Novelda in 2001. Last season Osasuna were kicked out of the tournament for playing an ineligible player after Unai Garcia was selected in the win over Mirandes despite having been sent off the previous season. Cadiz will have to report the situation to the Spanish Football Federation on Thursday. The club’s Twitter feed, said during the game: “The Board of Directors of @Cadiz-CF will meet at the end of the match.” Cheryshev was taken off moments after half-time as a double from Isco secured victory for the 19-time Copa del Rey winners, with Kike Marquez scoring a late goal for the hosts.
Emmanuel Adebayor is still earning a remarkable £175,000 a week despite not playing football. The striker was released by Tottenham in September after not being included in their Premier League and Europa League squads but the club are still paying his £100,000 a week wages with his contract not ending until June. Manchester City are also still contributing the £75,000 on top due to the 2012 deal that took him to Spurs.
FIFA will debate a proposal to expand the World Cup from 32 teams to 40. The change can be approved by FIFA’s executive committee without consent from the 209 member associations, and could come into effect from 2026. The proposal will be discussed later on Thursday in Zurich, where a meeting is taking place focused on reforms of world football’s governing body. Earlier, two “high-ranking” FIFA officials were arrested in the Swiss city on suspicion of taking bribes. The pair, yet to be named, are alleged to have taken money for selling marketing rights in connection with football tournaments in Latin America, as well as World Cup qualifying matches. They were arrested on the opening day of FIFA’s Exco meeting, at which the potential expansion of the World Cup for the first time since 1998 will be discussed. France ’98 featured 32 teams, up from the 24 that had qualified for every World Cup since 1982. An additional eight entrants would create an extra 32 matches, which could require the month-long tournament to be extended by a week. The first round of the tournament, which sees teams split into eight groups of four, would also need to be adjusted. The European Championship – to be held in France in June – will include 24 teams, a rise from the 16 to have taken part in every tournament since 1996.
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder after a South African appeals court overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict. He killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after shooting her four times through a locked toilet door. He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail. Pistorius will have to return to court to be re-sentenced, for murder. It was earlier incorrectly reported that the court had ruled the manslaughter verdict would remain. South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions. The minimum sentence for murder is 15 years but judges can apply some discretion. South African law does not make provision for someone to be placed under house arrest for more than five years, so Pistorius will be going back to prison.