FIFA ticket sales

Sao Paulo – FIFA said on Monday that football fans applied for more than 1.1 million tickets for the Soccer World Cup in Brazil in the first 24 hours after the latest sales phase opened.

The new sales window, which opened Sunday, is the first to be held after the tournament draw and schedule were announced last week. It will remain open until January 30.

If demand surpasses the number of entrances available for certain matches, a random selection draw will be held for fans who have requested tickets.

About 900 000 tickets were sold in the first stage of ticket sales earlier this year. Another 230 000 tickets were sold in the second phase in just seven hours.

Football’s governing body said a total of about 3.3 million tickets will be sold for the tournament.

Arsenal Gnabry signs new contract

London – Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry has signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League leaders, the club said on Monday.
The 18-year-old Germany youth international signed his first professional contract in mid-2012, and has made four league appearances, scoring in the 2-1 victory over Swansea City in September.
“He has technical ability, he has power, he has pace, he has finishing quality and he can give a final ball,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the club’s website (
“He’s a powerful offensive player and I believe that he will be a great player for Arsenal Football Club.”
The length of the contract was not disclosed.

Posted by SirVic for wetopup(News Laboratry)

Johnathan Hails the Eaglets

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria on their 5-0 crushing defeat of the Iraqis in the ongoing FIFA Under-17 World Soccer Championship in the United Arab Emirates. A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said “As the Eaglets progress to the knock-out stages of the Championship as winners of their group, President Jonathan urges them to maintain the exemplary dedication, commitment and resilience they have exhibited thus far in the competition until ultimate victory is achieved.
The President urges the Eaglets and their handlers to prepare very well and hone their acknowledged skills and soccer artistry even further to overcome all their remaining opponents in the competition and bring the Under-17 World Cup back home to Nigeria once again. He assures them of the fullest possible support of the Federal Government and all Nigerians as they continue in the competition and trusts that they will keep on giving Nigerians great joy and pride with victorious performances in coming matches”.

…T.A. Orji too
Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has praised the Golden Eaglets for doing the country proud by spanking Iraq 5-0 in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup taking place in United Arab Emirate (UAE). Governor Orji who is currently in Israel for this year’s Holy Pilgrimage, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, implored the Golden Eaglets to approach their next match in the Round of 16 with the same zeal and determination without losing focus. “As a sports lover, since I arrived the Holy land, I have been praying for the Golden Eaglets to excel in the championship. So far, I am highly impressed with their superlative performance and they should keep it up. They should also go ahead to win the coveted cup for the sports loving Nigerians.”

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Keshi Upbeat on Omeruo’s Return for Ethiopia

Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, has said he is confident Kenneth Omeruo will be ready for the second leg of the 2014 World Cup play-off against Ethiopia next month.
Nigeria won the first leg in Addis Ababa 2-1 and the return leg is fixed for November 16 in Calabar.
Chelsea central defender Omeruo has been out of the Eagles since June after he got injured while in action for the Eagles in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
However, the 20-year-old defender is fast recuperating as he under goes rehabilitation with his English side Chelsea.
“I am happy at the recovery pace of Kenneth and I want to stay positive that he would be in good health ahead of our November game in Calabar,” Keshi told yesterday.
“He called me when we returned from Addis Ababa and he has started light training, so I am hoping that he would be fully fit before the game next month because we need all of our players to be in good health and support the team.”
Omeruo has established himself in the Eagles after he benched skipper Joseph Yobo at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa.
In his absence, Warri Wolves skipper Azubuike Egwuekwe has been deputising for him in the heart of the Eagles back four alongside Godfrey Oboabona.
Meanwhile, the Omeruo football academy screening exercise in Abuja has got off to a successful start with several hundreds of young players in attendance.
Omeruo adviser Chika Akujobi said he was delighted with the quality he has seen in Abuja.

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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Eaglets, Sweden Share Points in Six-goal Thriller

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets thrice came back from behind to level 3-3 with Sweden in a thrilling FIFA Under-17 World Cup game in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates Tuesday.
After winning their first game against defending champions, Mexico, 6-1 last Saturday, the Eaglets were expected to make mince meat of the boys from Sweden but such prediction turned out not to be real.
Nigeria however remained in the driver seat of Group F with same four points as Sweden but with a +5 goals difference. Mexico trails in the third position with three points, leaving Iraq with no point at the bottom of the group.
The game was keenly contested in the first half, with Nigeria’s Chidera Eze and  Abdulahi Alfa  combining beautifully with Akinjide Idowu.
But it was the Swedes that shot into the lead through Valmin Berisha in the 11th minute, when he jabbed in Rakip header. Eaglets’ keeper, Dele Alampasu, was off his line after fumbling an aerial ball to allow the cheeky curtain raiser.
Nigeria went close instantly with left back Samuel Okon’s long-range effort in the 12th minute deflected for a corner kick.
Berisha completed a brace in the 19th minute with a header after he was set up from the left flank.
Three minutes later, Isaac Success scored with a superb volley when he connected Kelechi Iheanacho’s long pass into the box.
Alampasu however made up for his earlier slip with good save in the 31st minute to deny Sweden another goal.
Success was forced to leave the pitch in the 32nd minute for what looks like a hamstring injury and was replaced by Taiwo Awoniyi.
Okon almost made it 2-2 for Nigeria when his 30-yard chip was tipped over the bar for a corner kick.
Yahaya Musa equalised for  Nigeria with a hopeful 25-yard shot which was fumbled by the Sweden goalkeeper to take the tally to 2-2 in the 48th minute.
First-half substitute Halvandzic then restored Sweden lead in the 65th minute when he tapped in from close range.
Sweden keeper make a double save in the 71st minute from the efforts of Yahaya Musa and Taiwo Awoniyi.
However, never-say-die Eaglets almost equalised when Awoniyi shot directly to the waiting hand of the goalkeeper in the 80th minute.
Awoniyi make amend with a glancing header a minute later off Iheanacho’s cross to make it 3-3.
Nigeria mounted pressure to get the winner towards the end of the game, but met a resolute Sweden defence.

Team P W D L GF GA Pts
2 1 1 0 9 4 4
2 1 1 0 7 4 4
2 1 0 1 4 7 3
2 0 0 2 2 7 0

Canada 1-1 Iran
Argentina 3-2 Austria
Mexico 3-1 Iraq
Sweden 3-3 Nigeria
N’ Zealand Vs Cote’Ivoire (2pm)
Italy Vs Uruguay (2pm)
Slovakia Vs UAE  (5pm)
Honduras Vs Brazil (5pm).

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Manu Warns Eaglets against Overconfidence

As Nigeria takes on Sweden today at the ongoing FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the UAE, Coach Manu Garba has warned his boys against overconfidence as the Golden Eaglets eye a place in the second round knockout stages of the cadet mundial.
The Eaglets began their campaign for Nigeria’s fourth title on Saturday, hammering defending champions, Mexico, 6-1.
Speaking at  the team’s final training session as well as the official
Press Conference yesterday, Manu said the  victory against Mexico is all but forgotten when they face  Sweden at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain  today.
Manu reminded the players about the unfortunate incident at the CAN African Championship in Morocco when they won their opening match with an identical 6-1 against Ghana only to concede a 1-0  defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in the second match .
“We want you to focus only on our match against Sweden because that is the only thing that matters to us now,” he said at the training.
“Don’t forget what happened to us in Morocco when we beat Ghana 6-1 in our first match but lost to Cote d’Ivoire in the next match.”
That defeat at Mohammed V stadium in Marrakech which was the team’s first in almost 30 matches still rankles Manu as he spoke in clear terms.
“Brazil and Italy have both qualified for the second round because they won their first two matches. We have no excuse not to follow on their footsteps by winning our second game against Sweden and I have no doubt in my mind that you can achieve it,” warned Manu Monday.
History indeed favours the Golden Eaglets’ aspiration since they have failed to qualify for the second round stage of any tournament only once 10 years ago at the 10th edition held in Finland in 2003.
” We won’t and can’t  allow history to repeat itself ,”noted hard working Chidiebere Nwakali who was bashed by the press and public for that cheeky penalty kick in the 5-4 loss to Cote d’Ivoire at CAN Cup
He stressed further; “It was very unfortunate that we lost to Cote d’Ivoire in Morocco and that was a big lesson for us.
“Our focus is on Sweden and the coaches have reminded us about the need for total concentration,” added Nwakali who was singled out for his virtuoso performance against Mexico.
The same was said by Japhaet Raymond at the press conference: “We have forgotten about Mexico; our focus is on Sweden and by the grace of God, we shall be victorious.”

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FIFA Under-17 World Cup Kicks off in UAE with Eyes on Nigeria, Brazil

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets and their Brazilian counterparts are being tipped as likely winners of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup which kicks off today in Abu Dhabi.
Three-time title holders Brazil will kick off their group A campaign against the Slovaks, while hosts UAE will be treated to a rapturous reception when they take on Honduras in the group’s other game.
In group B, 2011 runners-up Uruguay will be hoping for a flying start when they meet New Zealand, and fireworks are expected as African champions Côte d’Ivoire take on an Italian side intent on lifting the trophy for the first time.
The match between Côte d’Ivoire and Italy will be the third meeting between the two at this tournament, with the current tally standing at a win apiece. The Baby Elephants had their best ever finish at a U-17 World Cup when they made their debut appearance at Canada 1987, beating Italy 2-1 in extra time to claim third place. Italy had to wait 18 years to take their revenge at Peru 2005, defeating the West Africans 4-3 in a goal-fest of an opening match.
The African champions will be relying on a solid defence led by goalkeeper Seck Diabagate and Franck Kessie. For his part, Daniele Zoratto is keen to be the first coach to claim the trophy for Italy.
It will be experience versus ambition as Brazil take on Slovakia in group A’s opening encounter. A seleção are looking for a fourth U-17 World Cup trophy to add to their collection, while the debutant Slovaks are competing in the tournament as an independent nation for the first time.
Second up in Abu Dhabi are hosts UAE, who will be hoping to notch an important victory in front of the large crowds that are expected to gather at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Their opponents Honduras are out for a historic first win at the tournament, vital if they are to progress further.
Ras al Khaimah plays host to the day’s other Group B game, as New Zealand look for revenge against the side that beat them 5-0 at the 1999 edition of the tournament. Uruguay coach Fabian Coito will be keen to claim three points before his side come up against the stiffer competition of Côte d’Ivoire and Italy.
In  the last 28 years, teams from across the globe have jostled for supremacy at the biannual FIFA U-17 World Cup. The prestigious tournament began in 1985 in China PR, where Nigeria beat Germany FR to the title with a 2-0 victory.
The 13 competitions since have produced seven world champions. Soviet Union (1987), Saudi Arabia (1989), France (2001) and Switzerland (2009) have each triumphed once, while four nations have lifted the trophy several times. Nigeria (1985, 1993, 2007) and Brazil (1997, 1999, 2003) have been the most regular victors, followed by Ghana (1991, 1995) and current holders Mexico (2005, 2011), who won as hosts two years ago.
Who will be the team to beat this time? Can Nigeria or Brazil edge ahead in the all-time winners list? Or can one of the five newcomers (Iraq, Slovakia, Sweden, Venezuela and Morocco) follow Switzerland’s example of 2009 and go all the way in their maiden participation at the tournament? All these will be known when the final is played on November 8.

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Super Eagles Beat Walya Antelopes 2-1

The Super Eagles Sunday beat the Walya Antelopes  to a 2- 1 score to win the  2014 World Cup play-off  in Ethiopia.
The two goals in favour of   Nigeria  were scored  by Emmanuel  Emenike. The goals came after the Walya Antelopes  had scored one goal against Nigeria   during the second half of the play.
Emenike had scored the second goal through a penalty shoot-out against the Antelopes.
Details to follow . .

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Eagles Land in Addis Ababa for World Cup Play-off

Nigeria’s Super Eagles arrived Addis Ababa at 9.10 am (7.10am in Lagos) this morning ahead of Sunday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup play-off against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia.
The Nigerian 263-man contingent comprising players, technical crew, NFF and NSC officials, government delegation and sports journalists flew out of the Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 2.45am on Saturday morning  aboard Ethiopia Airline’s Boeing 787 Africa’s first  Dreamliner aircraft.
On arrival in Addis Ababa, the Super Eagles were given a rousing welcome by some of the Ethiopian ball fans present at the airport.
John Mikel Obi of Chelsea and his colleague, Victor Moses, who is on season long loan deal at Liverpool were  the clear favourites of the fans.
There was scramble among the fans on who to snap photographs  with Mikel first among the fans. Mikel waited patiently, obliging the Ethiopian fans the opportunity of a life time to have his pictures on their mobile phones and ipads.
One of the fans who identified himself simply as Haile, said that he is a Chelsea fan which informed why he wanted to snap photograph with Mikel in particular.
“I like Mikel because he plays  for my favourite English Premiership club, Chelsea.”
Asked if he was going to back Mikel and the Super Eagles against Ethiopia on Sunday, the fan frowned and insisted that the Walya Antelopes would beat Nigeria 2-0 on Sunday.
“I am an  Ethiopian. We (Walya Antelopes) have prepared very well for Nigeria. This is not going to be like the Nations Cup in South Africa when your Victor Moses scored two goals against us,” stressed Haile as he walked away from the car park of the Addis airport.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles are to have a feel of the Addis Ababa stadium this evening in their first and only training session before the World Cup play-off first leg clash.
All the players were in high spirit as they boarded their bus heading to their hotel.

Posted by SirVic for wetopup(News Laboratry)