Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr pledged to ring the changes for his team’s final Africa Cup of Nations group game against surprise package Madagascar to stoke competition in the squad.
The Super Eagles are guaranteed a place in the last 16 but need a point on Sunday in Alexandria to secure top spot in Group B and set up a meeting with a third-place finisher in the next round.
“It’s important to finish first of the group, it’s better to play a team in third than second so we will do all to finish top,” Rohr told reporters at a pre-match news conference in the Mediterranean city.
“We have our scout watching a lot of games in Cairo. We have to prepare to play against a good team. It could be South Africa, DR Congo or maybe Cameroon so in all cases it will be a very tough match in the round of 16, but we’re not there yet and are focused on the game tomorrow.”
“Will I make changes? Yes, because I want to put everyone under pressure and have that competition in each position. We’ll see in the last training tonight which changes we will do,” he added.
Madagascar are well positioned to reach the knockout stages in their debut in the competition after collecting four points from their opening two games.
“It will be a really interesting match against a team that has a lot of offensive qualities. I think it will also be a ‘final’ in the group, the winner will be top and that’s a big motivation for us.”
Nigeria forward Ahmed Musa said morale in the squad was good despite a training strike earlier in the week over unpaid bonuses.
“I dont think there’s anything separating the team in camp,” said Musa. “We have to fight for our country and we have to work very hard.
“Each game is more important and we are improving each game and I think the next game will be even better.”
A draw would send Madagascar through as runners-up but coach Nicolas Dupuis, who combines the role with his job a French fourth division club Fleury, insists the Indian Ocean islanders aren’t quite there yet.
“I’m very proud of my players, they’ve all been very good,” said Dupuis. “We’ve played in our first CAN, got our first point and first win.
“We’re not yet qualified for the last 16 so I’m not going to try and calculate things. It would be a shame for it to end here.”
He added: “We’re going out there to try and win knowing we’re not favourites. One point will be enough for us to finish second.”
FIFA suspends Moses Magogo for two months
The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has ratified the plea bargain entered into by Mr Moses Hassim Magogo, President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations and member of the Confederation of African Football Executive Committee, and the chairperson of the investigatory chamber.
An investigation into Mr Magogo was opened on 23 July 2018 related to the resale of 2014 FIFA World Cup tickets.
In accordance with art. 67 par.1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the parties have mutually agreed on the following sanctions:
· A fine of CHF 10,000.
· A two-month suspension from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level.
The suspension became effective upon the validation of the agreement by the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber on 10 October 2019.
Cardiff City moves to appeal FIFA ruling over Sala’s transfer payment
Cardiff disclosed on Wednesday they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against FIFA’s decision to make them pay Nantes the first instalment of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala.
The world governing body, FIFA this week ordered Cardiff to pay French club Nantes an initial six million euros ($6.5 million) in their dispute over the payment of the transfer fee for Sala, who died in a plane crash.
Cardiff in a statement, said : “There remains clear evidence that the transfer agreement was never completed in accordance with multiple contractual requirements which were requested by Nantes, thereby rendering it null and void”.
“We shall be appealing to CAS in order to seek a decision which considers all of the relevant contractual information and provides clarity on the full legal situation between our two clubs.”
Ex- Manchester United striker, Berbatov retires
Former Manchester United and Tottenham striker, Dimitar Berbatov, has announced his retirement from football.
This is coming 18 months after leaving India’s Kerala Blasters, bringing an end to a glittering 20-year career.
The 38-year-old, Bulgaria’s record goalscorer, also played for CSKA Sofia; Bayer Leverkusen; Fulham; Monaco; and Greek side PAOK.
He has been without a club since leaving India’s Kerala Blasters 18 months ago.
“Someone told me I need to say something, and seeing that people were asking me, especially back home, I need to give a farewell message,” Berbatov wrote on Instagram.
“My last game was more then one year ago, so I think it’s the right time now to stop, and it’s long overdue.”
The Hotspur striker, who won two Premier League titles with Manchester United and was named Bulgaria’s Footballer of the Year seven times between 2004 and 2010, added that he planned to remain in soccer in some capacity.
“When I think about it, it’s never the end, because I will stay in the game one way or another,” he said.
Berbatov joined Manchester United from Tottenham in 2008 for what was then a club record fee of 30.75 million pounds (38.38 million dollars) .
He made his Bulgaria debut in 1999, aged 18, but retired from international football in 2010 after scoring 48 goals in 79 matches.
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