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AFCON 2025: Preliminary round draw out [Full Fixtures]

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The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has announced the preliminary round draw for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

The draw was conducted at CAF’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday.

The eight lowest-ranked teams in the last FIFA ranking were involved in the preliminary round.

Here is the preliminary draw:

First leg:
Somalia vs Eswatini
Sao Tome vs South Sudan
Chad vs Mauritius
Djibouti vs Liberia

Second leg:
Eswatini vs Somalia
South Sudan vs Sao Tome
Mauritius vs Chad
Liberia vs Djibouti

The games will be played on a home and away basis between 20-26 March 2024.

The four preliminary round winners will join the 44 exempted teams for the group stage.

However, 24 teams will take part in the AFCON 2025 finals to be hosted by Morocco.

 

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NFF appoints Garba Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

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The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner,  Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at NFF announced this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013.

Garba’s squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game.

It drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they defeated Iran 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals.

They went ahead to dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

Olajire said Garba will resume immediately and take charge of the team’s preparations for the WAFU B U17 Championship, scheduled for Ghana in May.

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I’m not desperate for Super Eagles coaching job — Emmanuel Amuneke

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1996 Olympic gold medalist, Emmanuel Amuneke, has said that although he would love to coach the Super Eagles if given the opportunity, he was not desperate for the job.

Amuneke, a former Super Eagles player, said this while addressing journalists in Owerri on Tuesday.

The former Nigeria U-17 national team coach and former coach of the Tanzania national team, said the job of coaching Nigeria’s national team should be given on merit and to those with the interest of football and Nigeria at heart.

The Spain based former striker, who played for Sporting Lisbon football club in Portugal and Barcelona football club, expressed confidence that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would eventually appoint the ideal coach for the Super Eagles top job.

He said that with a plethora of Nigerian talents scattered across the globe, a lot of professional capacity, technical expertise and consultation would be required to harness the talents, combine them and achieve the needed balance.

“The Super Eagles’ upcoming World Cup qualification matches against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa and their counterparts from Benin Republic would necessitate the appointment of a substantive coach who would also need some time to put the house in order for best results.

”I am not desperate to be Super Eagles coach, though I nurse the ambition to coach.

”If I have the opportunity to serve my fatherland, I will accept it and deliver my all,” he said.

He however, called for the development of football at the grassroots for further development of the Nigerian league for harnessing more talents.

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Super Falcons qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics

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Nigeria’s Super Falcons has qualify  for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Falcons beat Bayana Bayana of South Africa 1-0 on aggregate in the two-legged encounter to seal qualification  for the first time in 16 years.
The nine-time African champions defeated their South African rivals 1-0 in the first leg at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on Friday before settling for a goalless draw in the return leg on Tuesday.
The game  played at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria saw both sides attempt very few scoring chances, but it was Nigeria’s defence and goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie who kept the hosts at bay.
Efforts by captain Thembi Kgatlana to open scoring for the hosts in the second half proved abortive as Nigeria’s wall stood tall to defend their lead on the day.
The result means Nigeria secure  the continent’s spot for the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is in Group C alongside World Cup champions Spain, Japan and Brazil in the Games billed for July 26 to Aug.11 in France.
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