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Amaju Pinnick re-elected NFF president

Amaju Pinnick has been re-elected for a second four-year term as president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Pinnick, 47, saw off the challenge of his predecessor, Aminu Maigari, and former NFF General Secretary and executive committee member Taiwo Ogunjobi to coast home by a landslide.

Pinnick polled 34 of the 44 votes on offer, with Maigari a distant second with eight votes, and Ogunjobi managing only two. Chinedu Okoye, the fourth man in the contest, got zero votes.

Maigari, the immediate past president of the NFF, was expected to provide the stiffest opposition to Pinnick’s ambition of becoming the first man to win and serve a second term as NFF president.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. Pinnick’s message of continuity and a self-sustaining football federation resonated with the NFF Congress.

But victory may not be the end of the troubles for Nigerian football, which has been embroiled in a leadership crisis with Chris Giwa claiming he was the rightfully elected president of the federation.

Sports Minister Solomon Dalung stayed away from the elections, claiming it was an illegal process on the basis of a Supreme Court ruling. And there were rumours that Giwa had obtained a fresh court order to stop the election.

Pinnick will — barring further disruption — lead the NFF until 2022.

Vice-President Seyi Akinwunmi also won by a landslide, polling 42 out of 44 votes to win re-election.

If Pinnick serves his term, he will be the first person ever to serve two consecutive terms. Ibrahim Galadima won re-election in 2006, but was forced to resign soon after.

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U17 EURO season guide

The UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round starts on 27 September as the road to May’s finals in the Republic of Ireland – and the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru – begins.

In all, 52 of the entrants will compete in mini-tournaments held before 2 November, with top seeds England and Germany given byes to the elite round and hosts the Republic of Ireland already in May’s finals. Among those in action on the first day of qualifying are the Netherlands, who beat Italy in last May’s finals in England.

2018 U17 finals in review

2018 U17 finals in review

Qualifying round groups
Group 1 (27 September–3 October):
Netherlands (holders), Sweden*, Montenegro, Liechtenstein

Group 2 (10–16 October): Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Ukraine, Iceland, Gibraltar

Group 3 (24–30 October): Austria, Slovenia*, Bulgaria, Malta

Group 4 (20–26 October): Spain, Israel, Faroe Islands, FYR Macedonia*

Group 5 (26 October–1 November): Scotland, Switzerland, Cyprus*, Kosovo

Froup 6 (24–30 October): Russia, Denmark*, Georgia, Estonia

Group 7 (25–31 October): France, Poland*, Finland, Luxembourg

Group 8 (23–29 October): Czech Republic, Norway, Azerbaijan, Albania*

Group 9 (30 September–6 October): Serbia, Hungary*, Romania, Lithuania

Group 10 (24–30 October): Turkey*, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, San Marino

Group 11 (10–16 October): Portugal*, Wales, Belarus, Kazakhstan

Group 12 (25–31 October): Belgium, Greece, Latvia, Moldova*

Group 13 (27 October–2 November): Italy, Croatia*, Armenia, Andorra


  • The top two in each group plus the four third-placed teams with the best records against the leading pair in their section advance to join top seeds England and Germany in the elite round next March, from which 15 teams will qualify to line up alongside hosts Ireland in the finals.
  • The finals will also act as Europe’s qualifier for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru from 5 to 27 October 2019.

Season calendar
Qualifying round: 27 September–2 November
Elite round draw: 6 December, Nyon
Elite round: tbc March
Finals draw: tbc, Republic of Ireland
Finals: 3–19 May, Republic of Ireland

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Champions League Fantasy Football Team of the Week

UEFA Champions League Team of the Week - matchday one

The team is made up of the highest-scoring players this week in the official UEFA Champions League Fantasy game, presented by PlayStation. The player with the lower value was selected when two or more were tied on matchweek points. Let us know your thoughts @ChampionsLeague using #UCL.

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Europa League Group A Preview & Predictions – AEK Larnaca / Leverkusen / Ludogorets / FC Zurich

AEK Larnaca

* Come through 3 rounds of qualifying
* 5 clean sheets in 6 games
* Finished 4th in the Cypriot League last season
* Won the Cypriot Cup 2-1 v Apollon Limassol
* Had the best home record in the division
* Only conceded 7 goals in 13 games at home
* Qualified for the group stage in 11/12
* But finished bottom of the group below Schalke, Steua Bucharest and Maccabi Hafia

Bayer Leverkusen

* 5th in Bundesliga last season
* Level on points with 4th (Dortmund) and 3rd (Hoffenheim) – 55. Only 3 goals off Dortmund on goal difference
* Kevin Volland – Top Goal Scorer – 14 Goals
* 3rd best away form in the league
* Lost their opening 2 games this season
* Sold Bernd Leno to Arsenal


* Won the Bulgarian League last season
* 7th league title in a row
* Only conceded 13 goals in. 26 games
* Lost in the 2nd round of Champions League qualification
* Played in the Champions League in 12/13, 16/17 and 17/18
* Lost to AC Milan in the Europa League last 32 last season 0-4

FC Zurich

* Won the Swiss Cup last season
* Beat Young Boys 2-1 in the final with 10 men
* Young Boys qualified for the Champions League this season as they won the Swiss League by 15 points
* Been in the Europa League 4 of last 7 years
* Never made it to the knockout phases


Bayer Leverkusen are the strongest team in the group
Ludogrets should push them closet as they are good defensively
Larnaca have done well to get to this stage
Zurich are likely to be hard to beat but are unlikely to qualify


Winner: Leverkusen
Runner Up Ludogorets
3rd: Zurich
4th: AEK Larnaca

– – – – – –

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Europa League Group D Preview – Anderlecht / Dinamo Zagreb / Fenerbache / Spartak Trnava


* Finished 3rd in the Belgian League last season – Championship playoff
* Won Belgian League in 16/17
* Club Brugge and Standard Liege qualified for the Champions League
* Won the Belgian Super Cup
* Knocked out in the Quarter Final of the Europa League by Man United 3-2

Dinamo Zagreb

* Won the Croatian League last season
* Also won the Croatian Cup – so did the double
* Have won the league 12 out of the last 13 years
* Rejeka won it in 16/17
* Had 3 managers last season
* Lost to Young Boys in the Champions League qualifying final stage – 3-2


* Finished 2nd in Turkish Super League last season
* Qualified for the Champions League qualifiers on goal difference
* Won their last 8 games in a row
* Top scorers in the division – 78 goals in 34 games
* Runner up in the Turkish Cup too
* Finished above Besiktas who lost to Bayern in the Champions League last 16

Spartak Trnava

* Won the Slovakian League last season – first time in 45 years
* Lost to Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League qualifying
* Not started well in the league this season – lost 3 games already
* Only lost 8 all season last year
* Only conceded 28 goals in 32 games last year – their defence won them the league


One of the harder groups to call in the Europa League
Anderlecht, Dinamo Zagreb and Fenerbache will also think they can qualify
Whoever wins the games between Zagreb and Anderlecht will finish 2nd
Spartak Trnava will do well to pick up any points


Winner: Fenebache
Runner Up: Dinamo Zagreb
3rd: Anderlecht
4th: Spartak Trnava

– – – – – –

We share predictions every morning on our WhatsApp Channel


1. Add ‘WantMyBet’ as a new contact – 07928908085
2. Send ‘join’ as a WhatsApp message
3. Begin receiving World Cup stats, tips and odds boosts.

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