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Unsafe Roads: Ahmed Musa Opts Out Of Kano Pillars Away Games

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Kano Pillars’ new high-profile signing, Ahmed Musa, is set to miss over 80 percent of the team’s away matches as the second stanza of the Nigeria Professional Football League begins April 28.

The announcement of the Super Eagles captain as Pillars’ new signing elicited excitement among fans of the domestic league, but our correspondent learnt that the former Leicester City forward told the club’s management in clear terms that he would not be available for away games.

Chairman of the club Surajo Yahaya confirmed that although the player would be available for every home fixture, he would not be part of most of their away games.

“Ahmed Musa is a big player and at the moment we know the economic situation of the country and the bad roads in some regions. He is going to honour all our home matches and if there is an available flight in the state we have an away game, then he is going to attend,” Yahaya told journalists.

“He did not say that he’s totally going to be unavailable for our games on the road, but he is going to attend those matches by flight, but for the games that are close by, like a game at Katsina or Bauchi, he is ready to go. But we need to provide good facilities for him,” Yahaya added.

With the revelation, Musa is expected to make his debut for Pillars on May 5, when the Sai Masu Gida welcomes Enyimba. He’ll miss the team’s next two games against Warri Wolves and Plateau United.

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Eagles Begin Fourth AFCON Chase Against Pharaohs

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Nigeria and Egypt will faceoff at the Stade Roumdé Adjia, Garoua as both sides aim to begin their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on a positive note.

Nigeria will be without top scorer in the qualifiers Victor Osimhen, Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis, and 2019 AFCON top scorer Odion Ighalo, while Egypt will not have Mohamed Abogabal and Ibrahim Adel available after both tested positive for COVID-19.

The rivalry between the two sides dates as far back as 1960, when Nigeria secured a 2-1 friendly victory in their first encounter at the National Stadium, Lagos.

Both sides have since gone on to clash on 18 occasions with Nigeria setting the pace with eight victories, losing five with another five draws.

The Super Eagles are one of the most successful nations on the continent following their last triumph back in 2013, when they narrowly defeated a stubborn Burkina Faso side 1-0 courtesy of Sunday Mba’s stunner, to claim the AFCON title for the third time.

While the Eagles, who finished third at the 2019 edition of the football showpiece in Africa, will be seeking their fourth title, the Pharaohs will look to conquer the continent for a record-extending eighth time.

The Eagles qualified for their 19th AFCON appearance enjoying an unbeaten qualification where they finished at the top of Group L with 14 points ahead of Lesotho to secure smooth entry into the group stages of the tournament.

Eagles defender Chidozie Awaziem said Nigeria, who heads into today’s game in fine form having won four of their last six competitive games, drew one and lost one, said the team were ready to face Mohammed Salah-led side.

“We are fully focused on the game, we are just a few hours away from our first game and we are fully ready for Egypt,” Awaziem said.

“With our efforts and the help of the coach, I believe we will come out with a positive result.“We have lots of good players in the team to count on.”

While Nigeria will be seeking an opening-day victory over Egypt, the Pharaoh’s coach Carlos Queiroz said his ambition was to go unbeaten throughout the tournament.

“It’s a great pleasure to face Nigeria in the opening game. We want to face the strongest teams in the tournament,” Queiroz said in his pre-match press conference.

“Nigeria is a very strong team, but we have no objections. It’s always good to compete against football giants.

“We have a lot of players that are competing among themselves for a starting position, and that’s great because we came here to play seven games.

“Our ambition is very simple. Win all the matches.”

Egypt’s last AFCON title win was back in 2010 when they saw off Ghana 1-0 courtesy of Mohamed Nagy’s 85th-minute strike in the final and will be eager to start the campaign on a positive note.

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BREAKING: NFF Sacks Gernot Rohr, Appoints Eguavoen Super Eagles Interim Coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation has terminated Gernot Rohr’s contract as the Super Eagles coach.

Subsequently, the football federation appointed Augustine Eguavoen, currently it’s Technical Director, as the Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles on an interim basis.

“This is with immediate effect, and follows the termination of the relationship with Franco-German Gernot Rohr, who has been in charge of the three-time African champions for the past 64 months, and is Nigeria’s longest-serving manager,” a statement from NFF stated on Sunday.

The statement added, “Following a virtual meeting of the NFF Executive Committee on Sunday, it was decided that Eguavoen will work with Salisu Yusuf (Chief Coach); Paul Aigbogun (Assistant Coach); Joseph Yobo (Assistant Coach); Dr Terry Eguaoje (Assistant Coach) and Aloysius Agu (Goalkeeper Trainer).

“Former Nigeria captains Augustine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Garba Lawal have been appointed to provide technical and ambassadorial support for the crew.”

The statement quoted the General Secretary of the NFF, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, as commending the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for collaboration and guidance all through.”

“The relationship between the Nigeria Football Federation and Mr Rohr has come to an end. We thank him for his services to the Super Eagles and Nigeria,” he added.

Eguavoen, a former Nigeria captain, was coach of the squad when it finished in third place at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2006. He was on-field captain when the Super Eagles lifted the Africa Cup for the first time on away ground, in Tunisia 27 years ago.

He will now take charge of the team as it begins preparations for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cameroon 9th January – 6th February 2022, and until the appointment of a substantive Head Coach.

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BREAKING: Lionel Messi Agrees Two-Year PSG Deal

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Former FC Barcelona skipper, Lionel Messi, has finally reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent.

Following the Argentine’s failure to reach an agreement on a new deal with the Catalan mega-club after a meeting last Thursday, there have been rumours linking the 34-year-old to PSG.

Messi, at the Sunday press conference, confirmed a move to PSG as a “possibility”.

The contract with PSG will keep Messi at the Parisian club until June 2023, with the option of extending the contract until 2024, according to SkySports.

Messi will receive €25m net per season as a guaranteed salary plus add-ons, with his potential total salary around €35m per season.

Paris Saint-Germain is set to unveil Messi as a PSG player in a few hours, per Fabrizio Romano.

Since the announcement of Messi’s departure from the Catalan club, there has been a frenzy in the French capital.

Hundreds of fans swarmed the gates of the Le Bourget airport on Sunday night after reports that Lionel Messi was due to land in the French capital.

As of now, PSG has not officially announced the signing.

Details later…

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