Oboabona may not be part of Bosnia match
Godfrey Oboabona missed training on Tuesday and Stephen Keshi says he is a doubt for Saturday’s meeting with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Oboabona was forced to come off with an injury in Nigeria’s opening game against Iran, and did not go to the stadium with the rest of the squad on Tuesday.
“You can see he is not here today, that means he is resting,” Keshi told KickOffNigeria.com.
“I think he’s getting much better but I’m not sure if he’s going to make it on Saturday.
“But hey, we have 23 players here so if he can’t make it somebody else should be able to pick up where he left.”
Captain Joseph Yobo replaced Oboabona, and earned his 97th international appearance in the process. (kickoffnigeria)
Nigerian supporters may protest to Fifa over restriction
Nigeria’s official supporters club are to protest to Fifa after being denied from taking their equipment into the Arena Baixada in Curitiba on Monday.
Rafiu Ladipo, president general of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, said their musical instruments, including drums, trumpets and others were confiscated at the gates.
“This is unacceptable,” a very angry Ladipo told KickOffNigeria.com.
“The Nigeria supporters club has attended every Fifa World Cup since 1994, except 2006 when we didn’t qualify, and we have always gone there with our instruments.
“We cannot understand why we were prevented from taking them in this time. And we are going to make an official complaint to Fifa.”
Ladipo also accused organizers of double standards, claiming other countries at other venues had musical instruments in the stands.
“We saw Brazilian supporters with musical instruments, and we also saw some other countries too.
“Is there double standards? We want to know.” (kickoffnigeria)
Silva alleges officials failed to award penalty to Brazil
Thiago Silva feels officials should have awarded Brazil a penalty against Mexico, but feared another furore following the Selecao’s controversial win over Croatia on the opening day of the World Cup.
Brazil were last night held to a goalless draw by Mexico, with Silva aggrieved that a challenge on his teammate Marcelo by Raul Jimenez in the box was deemed fair.
Brazil benefited from a questionable penalty decision in the 3-1 defeat of Croatia, when defender Dejan Lovren was adjudged to have felled Fred.
And Silva feels this incident influenced proceedings in their second Group A tie.
“Last match, as soon as I showed up, the first question I was asked was about the referee,” the Brazil captain told reporters.
“Today, that same question only came after 10 others. Against Croatia everybody was talking about the penalty, but today, from where I was, from the back, I saw that it was a penalty [against Marcelo].
“But I don’t like to talk about those things. However, it’s good that you guys mention it a little bit, because if you think about it, the repercussions of Fred’s penalty might have influenced today.
“I have no doubts about that. If it hadn’t been spoken about so loudly, maybe today we would’ve had a penalty.”
The Paris Saint-Germain defender added: “I think the team performed very well today, especially in moments when we were being pressured. We kept our cool.
“But the most important thing is that you understand that your team is going through a rough patch, so everybody needs to get back and help defend. That’s what happened today.” (kickoffnigeria)
Russia coach refuses to blame Akinfeev for Mexico draw
Russia coach Fabio Capello refused to blame goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev for his blunder in a 1-1 draw with South Korea at the World Cup on Tuesday night.
In a dull Group D tie, the Red Devils took the lead when Akinfeev fumbled Lee Keun-ho’s long-range effort on 68 minutes before Aleksandr Kerzhakov hit back five minutes later for a share of the spoils.
“A keeper always has the chance to make a mistake,” Capello, who turned 68 today, told Sport Ekspress. “We can accept a mistake from a great goalkeeper, which is what Akinfeev is.
“We were more restricted than we usually are. And only after a conceded goal did the team play as well as they could. But even in the first half we had four chances in front of goal.
“However, we did manage to avert the threat of our opponent. And at 1-1, we did everything to score a second goal.
“I thanked the players after the match for the reaction to the goal going in. This is the best birthday gift I could have had.
“The team has the will and is capable of high quality. During the break, I pointed out the errors, goals and objectives and the players have used my instructions during the match.” (kickoffnigeria)
Prosecutors drop tax evasion charges against Messi
Prosecutors in Spain have asked a judge to drop charges of tax evasion against the Argentine football star, Lionel Messi.
They say Messi’s father was responsible for his finances and not the Barcelona player.
Last year Messi appeared along with his father at a court in Spain to answer allegations that they defrauded the tax authorities of more than 4m euros.
The Messis have denied any wrongdoing.
In August they made a 5m euro “corrective payment”, equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest.
Messi’s father, Jorge, will remain under investigation. He has already assumed full responsibility for his son’s tax situation.
“It is clear that Lionel A Messi did not participate in the decisions on the management and destiny of his income nor was he aware of the reach, dimension, purpose or impact of the structure of the holding (to avoid taxes),” said prosecutor Raquel Amado in a statement.
The Argentine footballer, four times Fifa World Player of the Year, and his father are suspected of using companies abroad – in Belize and Uruguay – to sell the rights to use Lionel Messi’s image, thereby circumventing tax obligations in Spain.
The allegations date back to 2007-9.
The income related to Messi’s image rights included contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Proctor and Gamble, and the Kuwait Food Company. (BBC News)
World Cup: Cote D’Ivoire, An extended family of elephants
The bonds in this Côte d’Ivoire squad are strong. “We’ve known each other a long time,” Liverpool defender Kolo Toure told FIFA.com about the closeness, the laid-back atmosphere that pervades Les Elephants’ travelling camp at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. “We are family. A lot of us grew up together from boys into men.”