For a team that won the NPFL last season, winning the CAF Confederations Cup this season will be laudable. The People’s Elephant is apparently getting a mention in CAF competitions due to their consecutive impressive displays in 2003 and 2004 seasons of the CAF Champions League but has recently not been enjoying stellar times in either the CAF Champions League or the CAF Confederations Cup.
Although, Enyimba is not the only Nigeria contingent to be struggling on the continent. MFM, Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars, and some other Nigerian club sides are in the same boat on the continent. This means every Nigerian club side have been poor as far as the CAF competitions are concerned recently.
Slot allocation in CAF competitions is a function of a 5-year cumulative performance of a Nation’s representatives in the CAF club competition and after series of ignominious displays by Nigerian clubs on the continent, Nigeria’s four slots in CAF competitions was reduced to two in 2017 to make way for more serious teams from other African nations in the two competitions.
But right after Lobi Stars and Enugu Rangers made it to CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup respectively, the decision by CAF to reduce Nigeria’s slot was rescinded and Nigeria began to have her four slots back. However, things cannot be said to have changed positively for Nigerian clubs on the continent.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) February 2, 2020
This season has been a combination of hot and cold as we’ve seen Enugu Rangers getting kicked out of the CAF Confederations Cup with a game in hand having failed to get the desired result against FC Nouadibou, Pyramids and Al Masry. While Enyimba, on the other hand, made it through the next round of the competition seeing off threats from San Pedro, AC Paradou and HUSA.
As the Nigerian Champion gets set to scale the hurdles of the knock-out stages of the CAF Confederations Cup, we consider some reasons why Enyimba must clinch the much-coveted cup for the first time.
Enyimba Becomes Relevant If They Win
Why some Northern Clubs on the Continent have enjoyed some amazing moments in African Football is partly because of their dominance on the continent for years and their consistency to keep up with the terrain of African Football. Clubs like Al-Ahly of Egypt, Raja Casablanca, Wydad Casablanca have at some point ruled the African scene and still haven’t stopped getting mentions from many lovers of African football.
NPFL Will Get More Respect From International Organisations
Many Nigerians are most times not happy when some international bodies give the NPFL a hype or ranked higher than some leagues in Africa. But sincerely, Nigerian League deserves every hype it gets and it validates the fact that The NPFL has many qualities; just that the way it’s been run by its administrators is questionable and laughable. But it can only get better if handled properly.
Fatai Osho Will Forever Be Respected and Remembered by Enyimba Fans
Fatai Osho seems set to take the Enyimba job on a permanent deal should the chance present itself. The former Remo Stars manager is yet to record a win on the homefront but has guided the Nigerian champions to 2 wins in 3 outings on the continent since his announcement as the stand-in manager for the club. Winning the CAF Confederations Cup will be a huge feat for a manager who sometimes ago was managing an NNL team and will further enhance his CV going forward.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
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The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut
Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.