Former Golden Eaglets star Orji Okonkwo has been banned from football for four years.
The 24-year-old was banned from the sport for an extended duration by the world football governing body FIFA.
The ban on Okonkwo is a result of a doping violation discovered by t the Italian National Anti-Doping Tribunal.
Jorge Ivan Palacio Chairperson of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee confirmed the ban on Okonkwo in a statement put out by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
A statement by FIFA on the ban on Okonkwo by FIFA said, “Consequently, the Committee decided to extend the sanction imposed on the player by the Italian NADO on 20 June 2022.
“More specifically, the player is sanctioned with a four (4) years suspension from all football-related activities in accordance with the Decision.”
The four-year ban is in effect from February 25, 2022, until February 24, 2026. Okonkwo made a name for himself while in Italy playing for Reggina, Bologna, and other lower league sides.
Okonkwo along with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, and Villareals’ Samuel Chukwueze were part of the Golden Eaglets team that won the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
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Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa has undergone surgery on his arm.
The Sivasspor forward made this known on his Instagram page on Wednesday.
He appreciated God for the successful surgery on his left arm while commending the doctors for “a job well done”.
He wrote, “I just want to express my heartfelt appreciation to Allah for a successful surgery on my left arm.
”As we all know, no surgery is too minor, so I’m grateful for the competent doctors assigned to me for a job well done.
”Also to you all, for your messages, prayers and words of encouragement. I hope to be back on the field soon stronger and absolutely better.”
Nigeria records third defeat under Peseiro in Algeria
The Super Eagles of Nigeria were defeated 2-1 by the Desert Foxes of Algeria in a friendly match on Tuesday.
Nigeria surrendered an early game lead and got punished by the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran, Algeria.
Jose Peseiro entered the game with depleted attacking options as Victor Osimhen and Sadiq Umar were out battling injuries.
With limited options, he sent Terem Moffi as the lone striker with Kelechi Iheanacho as the creative cog between the attack and midfield that had Alex Iwobi, Frank Onyenka and flanked by Moses Simon and Ademola Lookman.
The Eagles began the game the hungrier of both sides, pouring forward in numbers and purpose.
The team then took the lead in the 8th minute after the ball bounced awkwardly into the path of Terem Moffi right in front of the Algeria goal mouth. The FC Lorient striker toed the ball home to send the Eagles ahead.
The home side almost replied immediately after Zaidu Sanusi headed waywardly, setting Youcef Bilaili on goal.
Although Bilaili pushed the ball beyond a prone Uzoho, Riyad Mahrez could only hit the side of the post from the ensuing scrap-up.
It could have been two nil in the 28th minute after Mustapha Zengha spilled Iheanacho’s shot in the path of Moffi, who teed up Lookman — but the latter was ruled offside after putting the ball into the net.
Iheanacho called the goalkeeper into action, sending two successive shots into his palms.
The home team began exerting themselves in the game, with Uzoho forced to save two freekicks.
Mahrez and Islam Slimani bombarded Sanusi on the right side of the Eagles’ defence as cracks began to manifest.
The pressure paid off for Algeria in the 40th minute. Ramy Bensebaini reacted quickest to a rebound off a shot, and Onyeka dived into a tackle only to take the Algerian down.
Mahrez sent Uzoho the wrong way from the resultant penalty.
Desert Foxes completed the comeback in the 60th minute after Uzoho punched a corner kick and a couple of passes set it nicely for Youcef Attal, who sent 35-yard piledriver flying into the left bottom corner.
The result means Peseiro has lost three of his six games as Nigeria’s coach. The first two defeats were against Mexico and Ecuador.
Nigeria will play Portugal next in an international friendly billed for November 17.
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