Two times CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba FC for the first time in four years, have emerged Champions of the 2018/2019 NPFL season after beating Akwa United 3-0 in a routine victory and by so doing, will feature in the 2019/2020 CAF Champions league.
The People’s Elephants were in pole position going into the last match day of the NPFL Championship Play-offs after Kano Pillars had played out a 1-1 with Rangers on matchday and they waited for no favor from somewhere else as they beat the promise keepers to clinch their 8th title in their history, one more than any other team in the history of the Nigerian League.
Having being tied with Rangers on 7 Npfl titles each, Enyimba’s 3-0 win sends them clear of their Oriental rivals who have only won the league once in since the turn of the century while all Enyimba’s 8 titles have come after the turn of the century. Reuben Bala scored 2 minutes before halftime while Stanley Dimgba and Abdulrahman Bashir added to it in the second half.
Elsewhere, Kano pillars 1-0 victory over Lobi Stars was inconsequential having sealed the second CAF Champions league spot, Ifeanyi Nweke scored a second half penalty to handed the four time NPFL Champions a victory. Earlier on Wednesday, the LMC fined Kano pillars 8 Million Naira while Captain of the side, Rabiu Ali was banned from participating in any NPFL activity for a period of 12games after inciting fans against the referee in their 1-1 draw against Rangers, they will also play three home games behind closed doors while they have a delayed 3-point deduction.
Meanwhile, Akwa United have suspended coach of the side, Rafeal Everton on Wednesday although the reason for the suspension is not clear yet.
The team failed to secure a Continental place at the Championship play-offs despite an impressive run in the main season where they finished first on Group B standings, the promise keepers ended the Championship play-offs with 5 points from five games to finish fourth on the log.
Enugu Rangers will have a second chance to go again in the CAF Confederations Cup after finishing third in the Championship play-offs, the Enugu based team failed to get into the knockout stages after finishing third in their CAF Confederations cup Group this season behind Etoile Du Sahel and CS Xfasien.
The Gbenga Ogunbote led side started the Championship with a loss to Enyimba before beating Lobi Stars 2-1 in their second game after which they recorded a 3-3 and 1-1 draw against Akwa United and Kano Pillars respectively.
Lobi stars would feel hard done after starting the Championship Play-offs with a win against FC Ifeanyi Ubah in their opening game only to lose to Rangers and Enyimba in their next sets of games to scupper their hopes of returning to the continent for the second season running, a 0-0 draw with Akwa united and a 1-0 loss to Kano Pillars on the final day of the Championship play-offs put an end to that.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah were more or less the whipping boys of the six teams as their poor run of form late in the season spilled over to the Championship play-offs losing all six games conceding 14goals and scoring 6.
Uche Okuagbe’s led team were the youngest in the play-offs and could take positives from the experience garnered by his wards who have despite their lack of experience being impressive in their performances.
Attentions will now turn to the Aiteo Cup where there is a second chance to pick the last CAF Confederations cup ticket.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
2 Potential Manager To Replace Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick awesome reign with the Bavarian giant is gradually winding down, as it’s looking likely that he may not further manage the Die Roten next season.
Bayern Munich’s quest to win the Champions League consecutively came to end on Tuesday night, via the UEFA’s away goal rules having lost the first leg at home to Paris Saint Germain in the quarter-finals despite being the better side at home.
The Bavarian giant will now focus on league duty and they’re no doubt the team in pole position to win the Bundesliga, as the 2020-21 campaign is gradually coasting home with fewer games left to be played. In that regard, there is a great need for Die Roten to start preparing for next season administration and coaching wise.
The friction relationship between Hansi Flick and the Sports Director has broken down to such as extent that the manager has decided to terminate his current contract.
Hansi Flick sent shock waves through German football on Saturday after a 3-2 win over Wolfburg which keeps the Bavarian in pole position to retain the league title. Hansi Flick issued a statement about his decision to exit when the current campaign draws to a close.
“I told the team today that I informed the club during the week, after the game in Paris, I would like to terminate my contract at the end of the season.
“It was important to me that the team learn this from me because there was already a lot of hallway rumours going around.
“We’ve done a great job together for almost two years. I’m absolutely impressed with this team, their quality and their attitude.”
He added: “I also want to thank the club that gave me the chance to manage this incredible team.
“This decision was not easy for me. I’m a fan of this club. Gerd Müller, Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge all were childhood idols for me.
“I’m eternally grateful to the club for the chance they gave me to become head coach here.”
It’s quite evident that a new manager would be appointed to pave way for a new rebuild of the team especially with the looming departure of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez.
Two potential top managers that could succeed Hansi Flick, should he accept Die Mannschaft managerial position.
- Julien Nagelsmann – (RB Leipzig)
Nagelsmann has been rumoured as a possible replacement to succeed not one but many managers in Europe’s top-flight leagues whose future with their respective clubs are not guaranteed. This time around, the 33-year-old has been rumoured to be one of the possible potential managers to succeed Hansi Flick.
It could be argued that Nagelsmann is the tailor-made manager to take over the reins at the Allianz Arena, and there is no doubt RB Leipzig manager would certainly harbour the dream of managing one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Nagelsmann is presently focusing on the job at hand with RB Leipzig, plus the fact that he’s still under contract with his employers until the end of the 2022-23 season.
With RB Leipzig and Nagelsmann flying high in the Bundesliga in terms of team performances, with next season European football spot already secured, the club’s Executive Director Oliver Mintzlaff may consider letting him leave to join their rival.
However, it’s left to be seen how things would shape up at the end of the campaign.
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- Jurgen Klopp – (Liverpool)
The relationship the German tactician has achieved thus far with Liverpool started in 2015 when he joined the Kop from Borussia Dortmund, since then he has achieved quite an incredible success with the Reds winning their first league title after thirty years and a Champions League triumph.
Liverpool were eliminated early in both domestic cup competitions and failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and it’s quite impossible to say that the Kop will defend their title with their current epileptic form in the Premier League especially when it’s looking done and dusted that the cityzen would clinch the title.
Having used close to six years with Liverpool since he joined the Anfield side, this could be the perfect time for the former Borussia Dortmund manager to take up a new challenge. However, despite Liverpool’s unpalatable 2020-21 campaign, the German has often reiterated that he is in no way finished at Liverpool, despite been link to the Bayern Munich and Die Mannschaft managerial position.
Given his incredible success with BVB, it’s quite evident that he would one day go on to manage either Die Roten or Die Mannschaft. Should Bayern secure the service of Klopp, he would certainly be the right and wise choice for the Bavarian giant.
At the end of the campaign, there would be a breath of fresh air in the Bavarian giant camp, with the new CEO Oliver Kahn taking the mantle of leadership from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In that sense, it’s left to be seen if the incoming leader would sanction the appointment of a new manager or stick with Hansi Flick. Only time would tell.