Nigeria will travel to play their last 16 match against France as scheduled, however they will do so under a dark cloud as a third African nation has money problems.
Hot on the heels of Ghana and Cameroon’s players complaining about payments not being made to them by their respective football associations, it has emerged that Nigeria’s players did not train on Thursday as they seek bonuses promised to them.
Media officer Ben Alaiya has declined to comment as to exactly why the Super Eagles didn’t train on Thursday, only saying that a team meeting ran on too long.
Nigeria plays France on Monday in Brasilia after making it out of Group F alongside Argentina, however they are facing a similar meltdown to other West African nations, Cameroon and Ghana, who were both knocked out at the group stage. This issue has been rumbling along for a while, as Nigeria arrived late for the Confederations Cup in Brazil last summer after a similar row over player payments as the squad refused to leave the team hotel. Those issues have resurfaced but a statement from the Nigerian Football Federation is stating that there are no problems with the bonuses.
“We understand that some people are playing politics but they must leave us out of it so that we can do well here and go far in the tournament,” coach Stephen Keshi was quoted as saying in the statement.
According to details released, each Nigerian player earned $10,000 for a win in the group stages and will get $12,500 for a win in the knockout rounds.
Look, I understand the players are looking after their own interests and they have to fight for their rights… But what happened to the honor of representing your country at the World Cup?
Do you really need to be paid for playing at the World Cup?
Christian Pulisic sat out Friday’s 2-1 Dortmund defeat against Stuttgart. Coincidence? Perhaps.
However, the club’s struggles are apparent as Dortmund’s winless run extended to four matches and their gap from Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich could be up to nine points by the end of the weekend.
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BVB was without several of its top talents for the match, including U.S. Men’s National Team star Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but it’s Dortmund’s defending that continues to be the side’s biggest issue.
Stuttgart struck after five minutes when Chadrac Akolo broke the deadlock off of an embarrassing blunder by Marc Bartra and the Dortmund defense.
Bartra attempted a routine back pass to goalkeeper Roman Burki during the early moments of the match, but his ball back proved to be way too strong and deflected off of Burki and into the path of Stuttgart forward Akolo (video below).
Dortmund atoned for the former Barcelona man’s mistake just prior to halftime when Maximilian Philipp equalized, but it took just six minutes into the second stanza for Josip Brekalo to restore the Stuttgart advantage.
David Moyes has given Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez assurances that he’ll have the opportunity to compete for a starting role with the Hammers, but the Mexican international will have to wait a bit for a chance.
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Hernandez, 29, is currently nursing a hamstring strain, leaving his status for this weekend against Watford in doubt.
“I think everyone knows he [Chicharito] has got a hamstring injury,” Moyes said during Friday’s press conference. “It could take a week, it could take two weeks.”
Moyes didn’t mince words recently when speaking about Chicharito and other players within the squad, essentially pointing out that no player will be awarded a starting role simply because of their stardom.
Hernandez has scored four goals in 13 matches this season for West Ham, who currently sits 18th in the Premier League. The Hammers have won just two matches to start the 2017/18 campaign and sit on nine points.
Miami FC quickly put itself on the U.S. soccer map in two short seasons, and much of the club’s success can be attributed to manager Alessandro Nesta.
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The former Serie A defender has managed the club in its first two years of existence, but Nesta’s time in South Beach is coming to an end.
Nesta revealed on Friday that he won’t be returning to the NASL club in 2018, as he prepares to fnd a “new challenge” in his managerial career.
With NASL’s future as a league very much up in the air, Nesta could be seeking a more stable position entering 2018, especially given that his name has been thrown around with several MLS jobs over the last few months.
It isn’t always the score at the end of the match that matters, and Orlando City proved that with its recent friendly to benefit those affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico.
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Orlando City faced off with the Puerto Rico national team on Nov. 4, which the Lions won 6-1, but it was the club’s humanitarian efforts that proved to be the real story from the event.
The club announced that it raised $327,530 from the match, with all proceeds from the event going directly to the Puerto Rican people.
“I’m very proud of what our Club and our partners were able to accomplish,” Orlando City SC owner Flavio Augusto da Silva said in a team statement. “What we did meant more than just raising funds for Puerto Rico. Once again, we came together as a community to rally behind something bigger than us all.”