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Idah Urges NFF: ‘Sack Rohr Now!’

Former Nigeria goalkeeper, Peterside Idah,has called for the immediate sack of Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, following the team’s defeat to Algeria in a semifinal match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt on Sunday, Completesports.com reports.

Manchester City forward, Riyad Mahrez scored a last minute winner via a free-kick to send the Desert Foxes through to the final with a 2-1 win.

Speaking in an interview on Channels TV monitored by Completesports.com Monday morning, Idah expresses his dismay that Rohr seems to be learning on the national team job, insisting the German lacks the capacity to take the Eagles to greater heights.

“For the Eagles to soar to greater heights, the coach should be sacked, let him go. Rohr was not prepared for this job. You don’t learn in the national team, you must come prepared to do the job,” Idah begins his critique of Rohr’s tactics.

“At some point during the Algeria game, he did not know what to do next. He played most of the players out of position which affected the balance of the team. Iwobi was clearly tired against the Algerians and he did not change him.

“The coach kept chopping and changing the team which is a clear sign of weakness because the team lacks players that can fit into particular positions in the team.

“Feelings come to play in this. I think Rohr feels he has done well enough by taking us to the World Cup, qualifying for the Nations Cup and needs new challenge. I would be surprised if they (NFF) keeps him on the job,” concludes Idah who spoke on phone from his Johannesburg, South Africa, base.

It would be recalled that another former Nigeria international, Chief Segun Odegbami had also earlier called for the sack of coach Rohr following Nigeria’s 2-0 loss to AFCON finals debutants Madagascar in a Group B match.

But following Nigeria’s victory over South Africa in the quarter-finals, Odegbami soft-pedaled saying Rohr should be allowed to serve out his tenure. Odegbami however, maintained that Nigeria ultimately needs a new coach ahead 2022 World Cup.

By Sulaiman Alao

Source: Complete Sports

Belmadi Wants More African Coaches To Take Charge Of National Teams

Desert Foxes of Algeria head coach Djamel Belmadi has tasked football federations in Africa to put more trust in indigenous coaches, Completsports.com reports.

Belmadi’s side edged out the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday to secure a spot in the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The North Africans will face the Teranga Lions of Senegal managed by another African Aliou Cisse in the final of the competition on Sunday.

The Senegalese saw off the challenge of Tunisia 1-0 after extra time to reach the final.

Belmadi believes that the impressive performances of the two finalists is a strong message to soccer authorities on the continent who have so much belief in expatriate coaches.

“It’s a great message that we have sent to those responsible for football in all countries in Africa, it’s amazing,” Belmadi told the media after the win against Nigeria.

“I’ve known Cisse for a very long time, we used to play against each other when we were both in France. The only difference between us is that he’s been with his team for four years and I have been here for just one year.

“To play this final against Senegal, against my friend, is amazing. I hope the decision-makers can think more about this and put trust in our young coaches.”

Source: Complete Sports

Duo's 'surreal' promotion to festival headliners

A band booked to play a smaller festival stage found itself headlining and playing to a 30,000-strong crowd after the main act had to cancel.

Post-punk dance band Sink Ya Teeth, from Norwich, played the Pohoda Festival in Slovakia over the weekend.

The duo had just finished playing to 2,000 people on the Europa stage when they were asked to replace Swedish singer Lykke Li on the main stage.

Gemma Cullingford of Sink Ya Teeth said it “felt surreal”.

Other main acts on the festival bill included Liam Gallagher, The 1975, The Roots and Skepta.

Cullingford, who formed the band with Maria Uzor in 2015, said: “We met the promoter of the festival, Michael Kascak, after having played our set in a large marquee in the afternoon which had gone down well to an audience of about 2,000 people.

“Michael thanked us for playing and said he’d enjoyed the set.

“Maria and I then went to enjoy the rest of the evening… when all of a sudden Michael found us and asked if we could play in place of Lykke Li as she’d had to cancel due to travel disruptions.”

She said with about 40 minutes until the sound check it all “felt surreal”.

She added: “I couldn’t stop laughing. We were aware that we were pretty unknown there so didn’t know if people would stick around to watch, but it became apparent there were people there that had seen us earlier that afternoon that enjoyed it, and we played to a full and appreciative crowd.

Trump moves to end asylum protections for Central Americans

Immigrants from Central America and Mexican citizens queue to cross into the US to apply for asylum at the new border crossing of El Chaparral in Tijuana, Mexico [File: Jorge Duenes/Reuters]

The Trump administration has moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants in a major escalation of the president’s battle to tamp down the number of people crossing the US-Mexico border.

According to a new rule published in the Federal Register on Monday, asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the United States‘ southern border. The rule, expected to go into effect on Tuesday, also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.

There are some exceptions though – if someone has been trafficked; if the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed (though most Western countries have signed them); or if an asylum seeker sought protection in a country but was denied, then a migrant could still apply for US asylum.

But the move by President Donald Trump‘s administration was meant to essentially end asylum protections as they now are on the southern border.

Legal challenges expected

The policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge. US law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive in the US regardless of how they did so, but there is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be “safe”. But the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined “safe”; it says “pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement”.

Right now, the US has such an agreement, known as a “safe third country”, only with Canada. Under a recent agreement with Mexico, Central American countries were considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided. Guatemalan officials were expected in Washington, DC, on Monday, but apparently a meeting between Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was cancelled amid a court challenge in Guatemala over whether the country could agree to a safe third with the US. 

The new rule will also apply to the initial asylum screening, known as a “credible fear” interview, at which migrants must prove they have credible fears of returning to their home country. It applies to migrants who are arriving in the US, not those who are already in the country.

Trump administration officials say the changes are meant to close the gap between the initial asylum screening that most people pass and the final decision on asylum that most people do not win. But immigrant rights groups, religious leaders and humanitarian groups have said the Republican administration’s policies amount to a cruel and calloused effort to keep immigrants out of the country. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are poor countries suffering from violence.

Other efforts blocked in the courts

Along with the administration’s recent effort to send asylum seekers back over the border, Trump has tried to deny asylum to anyone crossing the border between official ports of entry and restrict who can claim asylum, and Attorney General William Barr recently tried to keep thousands of asylum seekers detained while their cases play out.

Nearly all of those efforts have been blocked by courts.

Meanwhile, conditions have worsened for migrants who make it over the border seeking better lives. Tens of thousands of Central American migrant families cross the border each month, many claiming asylum. The numbers have increased despite Trump’s derisive rhetoric and hardline immigration policies. Border facilities have been dangerously cramped and crowded well beyond capacity. The Department of Homeland Security’s watchdog found fetid, filthy conditions for many children. And US politicians who travelled there recently decried conditions. 

Immigration courts are backlogged by more than 800,000 cases, meaning many people won’t have their asylum claims heard for years despite move judges being hired.

People are generally eligible for asylum in the US if they feared return to their home country because they would be persecuted based on race, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group.

Many asylum seekers have told Al Jazeera they are fleeing violence, political persecution and extreme poverty.

Source: Aljazeera

Musa Wants Eagles To End AFCON 2019 Campaign On High By Winning Bronze

Super Eagles winger Ahmed Musa says the team must move on quickly from their disappointing AFCON 2019 semifinal loss to Algeria and end the competition on a high by winning their third-place (bronze medal) match against Tunisia on Wednesday, reports Completesports.com.

The three-time champions’ hopes of making it to the final was dashed by the Desert Foxes of Algeria who handed them a 2-1 defeat at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday.

A William Troost-Ekong’s own goal and Riyad Mahrez’s sublime free-kick was enough for the Algerians to seal a place in the final where they will face the Teranga Lions of Senegal, while Odion Ighalo scored Nigeria’s only goal of the game from spot-kick.

The Super Eagles have a chance to take something home from the competition when they take on the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in the third placed match on Wednesday.

“The game was difficult for us. We expected it to be a tough one for us, unfortunately we lost,” Musa told reporters after the game.”

“We don’t have to give up. We have some young players in the team. We just have to put our heads up and win the next game. ”

The Wednesday’s third-place game will hold at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo. Kick off is 8pm Nigerian time.

Source: Complete Sports