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SOPAN hails Falcons for South Korea Victory

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..Charges team to beat France

Sports Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (SOPAN) has congratulated Nigeria’s Super Falcons for spanking the former World Champions, South Korea 2-0 in their second group game at the ongoing 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

According to the Chairman of the Noble association, Mr Martin Odiete, who on Thursday after the Executives meeting of the Association held at their headquarters in Abuja, commended the efforts of the senior national female team for bouncing back from a 3-0 defeat in the hands of Norway in their first Group A match to beat the South Koreans.

By this victory, Falcons now has a good chance of making it to the round of 16 if they can get at least a draw in the last group match against the host team France, but warned that the match would play a big role in booking their second round ticket.

“We are extremely happy with the resilient spirit of Nigeria’s apex female football team (Super Falcons), especially proving the doubting Thomases wrong against Korea Republic few days ago.

“SOPAN is a body that is duly registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria, and part of our objectives include putting Nigerian sports in good spotlight before the world. We believe you can consolidate on the recent triumph over the bottom placed Korea republic,” Odiete maintained.

Martin Odiete on behalf of SOPAN, implore the Super Falcons to fight for the next phase of the ongoing FIFA World Cup as the play host nation, France.

“As African Champions, with intimidating track records, we are sure Falcons can conquer one of the biggest women football nations, France, when they meet in their last group match.

“We Salute the Technical Savvy of Falcons’ crew Led by Thomas Dennerby and ex International, Maureen Madu, as we urge the Super Falcons to be ruthless against the French National team to extend their stay in the world football showpiece ”

“SOPAN shall continue to give its ‘unflinching ‘ support to Super Falcons as the pride of Africa and believes that the Nigerian team can make progress in this Women’s FIFA World Cup holding in France,” he assured

Super Falcons rose from a 3-0 defeat to Norway in their first group match to beat Korea 2-0 and stand a good chance of progressing to the second round but must maintain a decent scoreline in the last group match against the host, France in Rennes on Monday to clear the debris of not reaching the knockout phase since 1999.

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SPORTS

Ban: I have done no wrong, Siasia appeals to FIFA, CAS

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Former Super Eagles’ Chief Coach Samson Siasia on Wednesday in Abuja said he has appealed against the life ban slammed on him by world football governing body FIFA.

Siasia told newsmen that his lawyers filed the appeal to FIFA on Aug. 27, while another appeal was filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Aug. 29.

He denied any involvement in any illegal act, such as match-fixing, saying he was well aware they are contrary to the ethics of the football sport.

“I wish to state that I have never been and would never be a party to any form of unethical conduct or perversion in the discharge of my duties in any capacity.

“I built my career in the football industry on the foundation of hard work, integrity, consistency and God.

“In all my career, I have done nothing but serve my country and clubs to the best of my personal and professional ability, with all my strength and might, with discipline, pride and passion and an awareness that it is a privilege to be an ambassador of our great nation.

“It is my greatest hope and belief that my country also stands by and with me at a time like this,” the former Super Eagles forward said.

The former player of French side Nantes and KSC Lokeren in Belgium said the entire proceedings and decision were only brought to his notice on Aug. 16.

“That was when the news broke in the public domain and friends and family started to call. I was totally unaware of the proceedings until I heard about FIFA’s decision.

“While I may not be able to publicly divulge the details and specifics, of the appeal, I think it fit to inform you that I have appealed against FIFA’s Decision and you all will probably hear the results as you heard about the ban.

“I am currently taking legal advice. My lawyer, Austin Otah, has been liaising with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and its counsel,” he said.

Siasia who also played for Nigeria at the youth level then expressed his gratitude to all Nigerians.

“I thank everyone who has supported me in one way or the other. I must state that this is the most trying period of my life.

“I am still dealing with the pains and challenges of my mother being kidnapped again and fighting to secure her release.

“I urge the nation to support me with prayers, goodwill and support of all kind. The demands are very heavy,” he said, struggling to control a surge of emotions.

Otah also reacted on the appeal.

“We have actually assisted Siasia to file his appeal and we are awaiting FIFA to acknowledge the receipt of the appeal. We are awaiting feedback from FIFA and CAS.

“The FIFA decision requires Siasia to appeal to CAS. We are exploring an internal appeal mechanism, and this will exceptionally be with the Appeal Committee of FIFA.

“But, that notwithstanding, we are still to ensure that his appeal rights are not impeded in anyway”, Otah disclosed.

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UEFA Champions League draw holds today

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Europe is set for a major soccer showpiece on Thursday: the live draw for the Champions League starting in September and the unveiling of player of the year, in men’s and women’s football.

The four pots for the draw for the group stage were confirmed Wednesday night as the curtain was drawn on the late qualifiers such as Ajax.

The ceremony begins at 18:00 CET on Thursday 29 August. It takes place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and will be streamed live on UEFA.com.

Which teams are in which pots?

The Champions of Europe’s top 6 leagues, the Champions League and Europa League winners are in Pot 1. So Liverpool are here along with Chelsea and Manchester City.



The following award winners will also be announced during the draw ceremony:

UEFA Men’s Player of the Year
UEFA Women’s Player of the Year
Goalkeeper of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season
Defender of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season
Midfielder of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season
Forward of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season

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FIFA Ban: I’ve done nothing wrong – Siasia

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Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia has expressed shock over his ban by FIFA and accused the world soccer ruling body of dishing out punishment without contacting him.

The former U-23 coach, in a swift reaction on social media following news of his ban, vowed to fight to clear his name.

He wondered how a person can be charged and found guilty of an allegation without being heard from.

He also dismissed claims by FIFA that a letter to that effect has been dispatched to him while re-echoing that he has not done anything wrong.

“I am shocked with FIFA ban, I was never questioned by FIFA.

“I don’t know anything about this. I did nothing wrong and I have not received any letter from FIFA,” he said.

Siasia, who led Nigeria’s Olympic team to Silver Medal finish in 2016, insisted he was hearing about the allegation and the said decision for the first time.

There are strong indications that the former Super Eagles star who scored 16 goals in 51 appearances for the national team will appeal the decision.

Some say the 52 -year- old former Lokeren of Belgium striker may drag FIFA to Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

The court has recently been inundated by cases involving fIFA and other stakeholders including Presidents of Football federations.

 

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