Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, have declared Fifa’s Nigeria correspondent, Samm Audu, a persona non grata.
According to All Nigerian Sports, the correspondent was also banned from attending all Super Eagles training sessions until further notice.
Audu was accused of leaking the Nigeria starting eleven, going as far as publishing it on FIFA official website, days before the Super Eagles first World Cup game against Croatia.
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr was displeased with Audu’s role in his side’s defeat to Croatia and officially made a complaint to the world football governing body who were then forced to replace him.
A foreign journalist, Annette Braun was brought in Audu place for the 2018 World Cup
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has moved to curtail the use of social media by Super Eagles players during the 2018 World Cup.
First vice-president of the federation, Seyi Akinwunmi, is concerned that it has become a source of distraction for the players.
Team officials at the Eagles’ base camp in Essentuki have been told to address the issue ahead of Friday’s crucial clash against Iceland.
Some players were trolled on social media after Nigeria lost 2-0 to Croatia last Saturday and got involved in nasty exchanges with the fans.
“Personally, I don’t think that our players should react to people on Social Media,” Akinwunmi told journalists in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.
“To the best of my knowledge, the issue has been addressed by those with the team in Essentuki (team base camp) and there’s no issue about that anymore.”
Coach of the Super Eagles B team, Salisu Yusuf, has told Nigerians to expect a better performance against England, following a 1-1 draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday.
According to Yusuf, the players played within themselves, as they didn’t want to pick up injuries.
“We had a good game and like I told you before the match, it was not do-or-die affair, we just have to take it easy and see how fit the players are before we travel for the World Cup.
“It was a good opportunity for the head coach to see some of the players that had not played with us before and with what he saw in the team, he was satisfied.
“I also want you to know that the players had to play with caution so that they wouldn’t sustain injuries.
“We have few days to the World Cup and every coach will not pray for injury in his team, so that is why I will say we are satisfied with the performance of the team as well.
“We have a match against England on June 2 and I am sure that Nigerians will see how the team would have improved before the game,” Yusuf told Completesportsnigeria.com.
Nigeria play England next on June 2.
Former Super Eagles’ star, Emmanuel Amuneke, has called on the Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, to look for a befitting strategy that will favour his players before the World Cup, saying a wrong style or approach in Russia could spell doom for the nation. With Rohr trying different kinds of formation in the Eagles’ last three games against Argentina, Poland, and Serbia, and many Nigerians not seem convinced of the pattern, Amuneke, who spoke to AOIFootball.com has now cautioned the German to perfect his tactics before the World Cup begins in June.
“I believe it’s all about the formation; during the qualifiers, we focused more on wing play, using the exploit of Victor Moses and the rest, but we can see in recent games that it has not favoured us, especially against Serbia where they stopped us every time we went through the wings.
“He has to have the tactics that the players will buy into and be able to achieve their objectives. It all depends on their own plan as a team and it’s that plan and style that will stand us out at the World Cup,” Amuneke stated. The former Al Khartoum Watani coach, however, played down suggestions that the loss against Serbia could dampen the team’s morale, saying Eagles will learn from the friendly match defeat.
“Nobody wants to lose, but losing provides you an opportunity to be realistic with yourself and your team. It will help them correct the errors and try to perfect them going forward. Look at Argentina. Can one say because they lost to Nigeria and Spain scandalously, they won’t do well at the World Cup? The answer is obviously no,” Amuneke stressed.
Super Eagles’ captain, John Mikel Obi, has sent an emotional message to the team ahead of today’s international friendly encounter against Serbia.
The former Chelsea player is also hoping for a successful campaign for the team ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Mikel won’t be available for the Tuesday’s encounter due to work permit issues.
The Super Eagles have already defeated Poland 1-0 at the Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw in Mikel’s absence.
And ahead of tonight’s encounter at the Hive, Barnet FC Stadium, the Tiajin Teda of China midfielder has backed the team to have another successful outing.
He tweeted, “I’m excited to see how far we can go as a team this year. Tonight is another step on that journey. I’m with you tonight.”
The friendly game will kick-off at 8.pm Nigerian time.
Nigeria will continue their preparation for this year’s World Cup in Russia, with a friendly match against Poland this Friday.
The game will be played at Municipal Stadium Wroclaw, which is the third largest stadium in Poland and has a capacity of approximately 42,000.
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has already released a 28-man squad that will prosecute the game against Poland and Serbia.
Fans, who want to watch the friendly match between Nigeria and Poland later this month, will have to pay 160 Polish Zloty (equivalent of N17,197.20) to buy a Category A ticket, while Category B and C tickets will cost N12,895.20 and N9,673.20 respectively.
A child under the age of 12 will pay 90zB or N8,593.20.
Kick off is 8.45pm and the game is expected to be shown on SuperSports.
Super Eagles probable XI: Uzoho; Shehu, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Idowu; ,Ndidi, Onazi, Iheanacho; Victor Moses, Iwobi, Ighalo
Super Eagles stars, Troost Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, have arrived the Wroclaw camp of the team ahead of the international friendly against Poland on Friday.
The camp came to live Monday night with the arrival of the players.
Other players who made the camp on Monday were Leon Balogun, Brian Idowu as revealed by the official Twitter account of the team.
The tweet said, “Our camp ahead of Friday’s pre World Cup friendly vs Poland at the Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw, Poland opened today.
“Troost Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi, Brian Idowu and Leon Balogun were the early ‘eagles’.
Coach Gernot Rohr had invited a total of 28 players for the two international friendly matches against Poland on 23rd and Serbia on 27th.
Vice captain Ogenyi Onazi and John Ogu are expected to be among the next batch to report to camp.
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Super Eagles for their victory over Angola in the quarter finals of CHAN in Morocco.
The home-based Super Eagles battled back from a goal down to defeat Angola 2-1 in extra-time on Sunday.
The congratulatory message was contained in a statement on Sunday made available to newsmen by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
“President Muhammadu Buhari extends his congratulations to the Super Eagles on the spectacular 2-1 win against Angola in the CHAN quarter-finals match today in Morocco.
“President Buhari, who watched the match in his hotel room in Addis Ababa after a long day of meetings which started at 8:00am and ended at 5:30 pm, wishes them the very best for the upcoming matches,” the statement read.
The result against Angola means Nigeria has qualified for semi-finals to battle Sudan in the last four.
Nigeria is through to the quarter-final of the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
The Super Eagles defeated Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in their final group game on Tuesday night, to seal qualification as Group C winners.
Salisu Yusuf’s men suffered a scare, conceding the first goal five minutes before the break.
However, Anthony Okpotu levelled the game in the 58th minute.
Ojo Solomon and Rabiu Ali added two more goals, as Nigeria put the match beyond reach.
Libya finished second in the group, after a 1-0 win over Rwanda in the other game.