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Nigeria have been docked two points for fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier against Algeria but their place at next year's finals in Russia has not been affected, FIFA said on Tuesday.

Nigeria, who had already qualified for the finals, drew 1-1 but FIFA awarded the match to Algeria by a 3-0 scoreline after the Super Eagles fielded the ineligible Abdullahi Shehu who had failed to serve a one-match ban for accumulated yellow cards.

"This sanction bears no impact on the final result of the preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup since Nigeria had already qualified (and Algeria were eliminated) before the match took place," soccer's world governing body said in a statement.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Twitter that it accepted the decision. "The NFF president (Amaju Pinnick) has directed that an internal inquiry be instituted immediately and persons found culpable be dealt with," it added.

Pinnick said: "I want to assure that persons responsible for this slip would not be given just a slap on the wrist. We are actually looking at a re-organization of the Technical Department."


Nigeria, who topped African Group B, finished on 12 points instead of 14, four clear of second-placed Zambia. Algeria still came bottom of the standings. Nigeria will face Iceland, Croatia and Argentina in their World Cup group in Russia.

East Timor had forfeited seven of the 10 games they played in the World Cup qualifiers for fielding nine players who were ineligible because of nationality. This was based on a decision previously taken by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) which has annulled 29 matches involving East Timor and barred the team from the 2023 Asian Cup. The nine players were all born in Brazil.

 

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The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) sides, Sunshine Stars of Akure have prolonged the contract of their head coach Duke Udi for one year.

The former Nigeria international joined the Owena Waves from Nigeria national league club Osun United last season.

Sunshine Stars finished in 10th position in the NPFL last season.

 

The club said new improved deal with Udi contained a renewal clause for another year at the end of the deal in 2018.

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Famous Barcelona striker, Luis Suarez, insisted he cannot imagine former teammate Neymar moving to rivals Real Madrid due to his “admiration” for Barca.

Neymar spent four years at the Camp Nou before sensationally moving to Paris Saint-German in August for a world record 222 million euro ($264 million) fee.

However, rumours of a move back to Spain with the European champions surfaced after Neymar clashed with new strike partner and Suarez’s international teammate Edison Cavani back in September.

“No, not at all,” Suarez told Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday when asked about the prospect of Neymar moving to Madrid.

“Sincerely, I don’t see it. I know how Neymar is and the admiration that he had for Barcelona and his teammates. I don’t see him now going to play for Real Madrid.”

Along with five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar formed one of the deadliest strike forces of all-time as they won two La Liga titles and a Champions League in three seasons together.

However, despite a bitter fallout between the club and Neymar after PSG paid the Brazilian’s buyout clause, Suarez insists he has only admiration and love for his former colleague.

He said,

“Ney is now mature enough and was completely aware of the decision he took,” added Suarez.”

“I am sure it was painful because he was happy here, but we all have to accept that he had other challenges he wanted to take on.”

“It was an understandable decision that he took with his family. There is no reproach, only admiration and pure love for what he gave this club and the relationship we had during those years. No, I was an outsider. They weren’t situations that I could control.”

He said he had no role in calming tensions between Cavani and Neymar.

 

 

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By 1PM on Thursday, November 24, 2017, Pinki Debbie had not only broken a Guinness World Record but set a new record for the longest dancing marathon by an individual.

 

Pinki Debbie set herself to a challenge of breaking the Guinness World Record previously set by an Indian woman, Kalamandalam Hemaletha.

Guinness World Records is the ultimate global authority on record-breaking activities undertaken by individuals. Over the years, this incredible fate achieved by world record holders has inspires people, individuals, families and country.

The former holder of this record, Kalamandalam Hemaletha of the Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy in India, danced for 123 hours and 15 minutes, approximately five days, from September 20 to 26 in 2010.


Who is Pinki Debbie?

Odumewu Debbie Sunmisola who is more commonly known by her nickname is a dancer, choreographer, aspiring actress and presenter.

 

Pinki Debbie graduated from Covenant University, Nigeria with a Bachelor Degree in Strategic Studies and took after her mother who was a street dancer from Surulere, a suburb in Lagos, Nigeria.

Over the years, she has participated in many dance challenges and competitions in the country and across Africa. She was the last woman standing and 2nd runner-up at the Etisalat 24 hours dance challenge 2017. She also won the Yudala dance competition, ‘Yudance Yusing’, in 2015. This earned her an iPhone 6 along with a date with singer Iyanya.

 

How did she break the record?

Pinki Debbie started her attempt at The Palms Shopping Mall in Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, November 17 and planned to finish by Friday, November 24, 2017.

She succeeded in beating the record but didn't meet her intended target of 150 hours which is 7 days. She instead attained 137 hours which is almost 6 days of consistent dancing.

 

 

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Super Eagles and Changchun Yatai forward, Odion Ighalo, is set to launch an orphanage home.

He broke the news on his Twitter, sharing photos of the completed home and announcing it will be launched on the 16th of December.

The orphanage, called the Ighalo Orphanage Home, is located at Ijegun, Ikotun, Lagos.

He also held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the launch, with former Super Eagles star and coach Samson SiasiaPeter Rufai, and Austin Eguavoen in attendance, along with ex-Super Falcons goalkeeper Ann Chiejine.


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Ex Everton striker, Yakubu ‘The Yak’ Aiyegbeni has declared his retirement from football on his 35th birthday today.

The big striker introduced for Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where millions of fans still remember him missing a big sitter against Korea Republic which would qualified Nigeria to the knockout stage of the tournament.

He has played for several clubs including Maccabi Haifa of Israel, Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough as well as in China and Turkey.

Earlier this year, He cancelled his contract at English club Coventry. He is planning on switching into Coaching.

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The Manager of Sevilla Eduardo Berizzo reportedly informed his players he had prostate cancer before his side's remarkable comeback against Liverpool  before his team came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3.

When Guido Pizarro scored an injury-time goal to equalise for the home side, the club's players ran to celebrate with their coach, and the club later confirmed a prostate cancer diagnosis after the match.

A club statement read:

"The medical services of Sevilla FC report that the coach of the first team, Eduardo Berizzo, has been diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma (malignant tumour) of the prostate. The future examinations will allow us to decide which steps to follow regarding what the treatments are."

Liverpool took a 3-0 lead at half-time, but the Sevilla players were told of Berizzo's diagnosis which appears to have spurred them on to claim a point with a dramatic comeback.

After the match, midfielder Ever Banega told reporters:

"We had to come out (after being 3-0 down at the break) with a different attitude, for the fans, who have always supported us, and also the coach, who has reversed our situation. He's the biggest fan we have. "

"He has taken us on the right path and we're with him all the way," he added in comments made before Berizzo's diagnosis had been made public.”

Berizzo took over at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan in the summer after spending three seasons at Celta Vigo, who he also played for 2001-05.

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England desires to evade playing with Nigeria in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. According to English tabloid, The Sun, the Super Eagles are not the chosen rival  that the Three Lions will want to face amongst the teams in Pot 4, which also contains Serbia, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea and Saudi Arabia.

The best case scenario that will see the Three Lions tackle Russia, Iran and Panama has been termed Group of Life, while the worst case scenario which sees England face Brazil, Iceland and Brazil has been called the Group of Death.

Group F containing England, Argentina, Nigeria and Sweden, was nicknamed the Group of Death at the 2002 World Cup; the Three Lions and Super Eagles played out a goalless draw in Osaka in the final match of the group. Arsenal striker Alex Iwobi, Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Ola Aina,   Leicester City trio Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa and Wilfred Ndidi will be on the plane to Russia barring an injury, while Everton’s Henry Onyekuru is in contention.

England have become more cautious of the Nigerians after the latter made a strong statement of intent, coming from two goals down to defeat Argentina 4-2 in their last match of 2017 on November 14, so they don’t want to draw the three-time African champs.

 

 

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The lawyer who worked in the administration of former Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, Jorge Delhon, killed himself on Tuesday by jumping in front of a train in Buenos Aires.

He was the attorney for the Futbol Para Todos (Soccer for All) program. He received bribes from the end of 2011 to 2014; this was according to the testimony by the former head of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias, Alejandro Burzaco, as recorded in a court transcript seen by Reuters.

The driver of the train told police a man later identified as Delhon, 50, ran along the tracks in Lanus, Buenos Aires, and the local police department said in a statement that called the death a suicide.

According to the statement, the driver honked and tried to brake, but the man was run over. Reuters was unable to reach Delhon’s family for comment or to independently confirm the death was a suicide.

Javier Saldias, a fellow former lawyer for Futbol para Todos who told Reuters he was a friend of Delhon, said Delhon was “a model father. He loved his family.”

Burzaco testified during a U.S. corruption trial of three former soccer officials that major media companies had paid bribes to secure television rights for soccer matches. The testimony came during the first trial to emerge from the U.S. investigation of bribery surrounding FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.

U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen cast doubt on the cause of death during the trial in a Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday.

“You can call it a suicide. The truth is none of us know that for sure,” she said.

In his testimony, Burzaco described bribes paid to several international soccer officials, including former Argentine Football Association president and FIFA executive Julio Humberto Grondona, who died in 2014.

The ministry official contacted by The Associated Press said Delhon left a suicide note that read in Spanish: "I love you all," and added "I can't believe [what's happening]."

Delhon worked under Fernandez's chief of staff, and dealt with Futbol para Todos. The Fernandez government, which ended in 2015, created the free-to-air soccer program on Argentine public television and used it largely as a way to promote her government.

Earlier this year an Argentine court opened criminal proceedings against two of Fernandez's former chiefs of staff Anibal Fernandez (no relation) and Jorge Capitanich for allegedly taking public funds earmarked for Football para Todos.

 

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The friendly match between Nigeria & Argentina ended with Nigeria scoring 4 goals against the 2 goals scored by the Argentina team. The victory was a doubtful one, but yesterday proved hardwork & faith still pays.


Everything that happens in Life is connected and translates into other sectors too. 

Here is the list of some of the keys lessons for small business managers and executives.

 

Don’t change a winning Strategy:

First main lesson form Nigeria’s game against Argentina is never to change your winning strategy when it is active. Gernot Rohr changed his formation from 4-2-3-1 he has been using since taking over the Super Eagles to 3-5-2 which nearly crippled the team, thus hampering the team earlier in the game against Argentina. The team's captain also confirmed this fact.

 

“We played a new system today we never played before so we struggled to find our feet in the first half….,” Mikel said after the match.

 

First half of your Business will be rough but remain enthusiastic:

The first part of the game shows a rough situation, every business should expect to encounter. However, you should remain optimistic about having better results very soon.

Just as Argentina maintained a gear that Nigeria could not match in the first half of the game, your major competitors would also give such intense rivalry and you should struggle to hold your position and poise. It is with this your business is sure of survival and making any gains in the nearest long-term.

 

Quickly address your identified Weakness and Defects:

One important business lesson Rohr gave through his management of the Super Eagles’ game with the La Albiceleste is addressing your notable business weakness (es) as soon as possible.

Rohr noticed a major weak point which is the Eagles goalkeeper (Daniel Apeiye), hence he substituted him for a more active and composed net-guide, Francis Odinaka Uzoho.

As a business, don’t always leave an identified defect unaddressed as it may be the only thing you need to do to get your business back.

 

Always make good use of your best Products/Skills (they always give better results):

The effective use of competitive advantages and strategic competencies is one major lesson Rohr used in Nigeria’s encounter with the Argentina. The coach effectively used his playmakers - Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and John Obi Mikel, to get needed result.

This move proved a double-edged sword and plan was well executed. However, if this Argentina team has a weakness (besides Messi-dependence), it is a lack of pace on the defensive line. And the trio of Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and John Obi Mikel took advantage of this deficiency.

 

You don’t have all the time, make changes quickly:

One thing that all viewers of the friendly game noticed is the swiftness with which Nigerian coach made the needed change in the team. He used the opportunity provided by the half-time break to review his team’s performance. And the result was good for all.

 

“We played a new system today we never played before so we struggled to find our feet in the first half but at the break, the coach spoke to us and we corrected our mistakes which helped us to fight back.“Our team is still work in progress,” Eagles captain, Mikel said.


Excerpt: Business Insider 

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