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FIFA rankings: Super Eagles drop 8 spots globally, now 5th in Africa

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria have dropped eight places from 30th to 38th in the world based on FIFA’s latest rankings.

According to the list released on Thursday by the world football governing body, the three-time African champions have also moved two steps behind to the fifth-best team on the continent.

Nigeria’s current rating is due to uninspiring results in the just-concluded round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

In June, the Eagles drew 1-1 against South Africa in their fourth game of the qualifiers and lost 2-1 to the Benin Republic in the following match.

The team’s latest string of performances condemned Nigeria to fifth place in the qualification group, having previously drawn against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The results also mounted pressure on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which announced it would appoint an “expatriate” technical adviser for the team.

Shortly after the NFF’s announcement, George Finidi resigned as the Super Eagles head coach after just two games in charge.

Morocco and Senegal maintained their lead as the best African teams, while Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire climbed to third and fourth on the continent.

Meanwhile, Argentina remained number one globally, with France and Belgium in second and third. Brazil leapfrogged England to fourth in the global rankings.

The next FIFA world ranking will be released on July 18, 2024.

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D’Tigress lose to Germany in pre-Olympics warm-up game

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D’Tigress of Nigeria were defeated 77-63 by Germany in a preparatory game ahead of the forthcoming Paris Olympics.

Nigeria failed to match up against the Germans, who showed their superior class in the game played on Friday in Berlin, Germany.

Rena Wakama, D’Tigress head coach, named a starting line-up that comprises skipper Amy Okonkwo, Elizabeth Balogun, Ezinne Kalu, Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, and Murjanatu Musa.

D’Tigress were impressive in the first quarter, but their brilliance waned by the second quarter, and Germany led 40-31 at halftime.

The Germans reinforced their superiority in the following quarters and finished the game with a 14-point victory.

Nigeria will play another test match against Serbia in Belgrade on July 21, then wrap up the preparatory stage against Japan on July 24 in Lille, France.

D’Tigress are drawn into tough Group B against Australia, Canada, and France.

The appearance in Paris will be the third time D’Tigress will be qualifying for the Olympic Games.

The ladies qualified for Athens 2004 and featured at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

D’Tigress are yet to register a win in the competition. In 2004, they lost all five games and conceded over 400 points.

In Tokyo, they were defeated 87-62 by France in their first game and also lost 81-72 to the US in their second game before a 102-83 loss to Japan in the last fixture.

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Reps sports committee chairman, Ekene Adams, dies at 39

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A member of the House of Representatives representing Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency, Kaduna State, and Chairman House Committee on Sports, Ekene Adams, has passed on.

He reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday although the cause of his death has not been ascertained at the time of filing this report.

Different sports groups in the country have started mourning Adams.

“My good friend and one of our frontline members of the NPFL Club Owners Association, Chairman House Committee on Sports, Hon Ekene Abubakar Adams is Dead,” Former secretary of the club owners association Alloy Chukwuemeka wrote on Tuesday.

“May God console his family and friends and may his soul rest in peace.”

A former football player, Adams had served as the general manager of Nigeria Premier Football League side Remo Stars as well as Kada City before he won a seat in the House of Representatives during the 2023 general elections.

His sport background earned him the role of the reps committee chairman on sports despite being a first timer in the green chamber.

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Bayern Munich sign Portugal star Palhinha for €49M

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Bayern Munich on Thursday finally secured the signing of Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha from Fulham for a reported fee of 49 million euros ($53 million) after coming close to acquiring him last year.

The 28-year-old, who spent two years at Fulham after arriving from Sporting Lisbon in 2022 for 22 million euros, signed a four year contract.

Bayern had been poised to sign Palhinha in 2023, the defensive midfielder had even posed in the club’s strip, but the deal fell through just before the transfer window closed when Fulham failed to find a replacement.

In a statement, Palhinha said it was “one of the happiest days of my life,” adding “this is a dream come true for me… I want to enjoy success with Bayern and win titles.”

Sporting director Max Eberl said the player was “highly sought after by Bayern even last summer –- and rightly so. It was important that we never lost touch”

Palhinha, who has scored twice in 31 international appearances, took part in Portugal’s Euro 2024 campaign which ended at the hands of France in the quarter finals.

His signing is Bayern’s third major arrival of the summer, as the club continues a summer rebuild after a first season without a trophy since 2012.

Forward Michael Olise and centre-back Hiroki Ito have already joined the club, alongside manager Vincent Kompany who was appointed coach at the end of last season.

Kompany will be tasked with returning Bayern to the top of the German football tree after their streak of 11 straight Bundesliga titles was broken last season.

Bayern were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Champions League by eventual winners Real Madrid, while Bayer Leverkusen won the league and cup double under manager Xabi Alonso.

Kompany will have the added pressure the Champions League final is to be held at Bayern’s Allianz Arena next season.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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