South Africa captain confident of 2019 AFCON qualification – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


South Africa captain confident of 2019 AFCON qualification

Andile Jali, Thulani Hlatshwayoand Erick Mathoho during the South Africa Senior Men Team Morning © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 13:30

South Africa captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has expressed confidence that his side will qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Bafana Bafana endured a torrid 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and finished bottom of Group D behind Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde.

Yet the team made a strong start to their 2019 AFCON preliminary group, defeating Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo back in June to put themselves in a strong position to finish in the top two of Group E, which also features Libya and Seychelles.

Hlatshwayo says Bafana will bounce back from their 2018 failure: “We know how disappointed the country is about the results and we as players take the blame,” he is quoted by Kick-Off.

“As the captain I take the blame. Unfortunately I could not play play those two games [against Senegal]. I am not saying if I was there I would have made a difference because the guys who played did well against Burkina Faso.

“We would like to urge the country to support because we don’t go into a game to lose. We are there representing our families and our communities.”

The burly central defender added, “We did well against Nigeria away from home, so that’s where we have to make sure we bring smiles to South Africans. We have to make sure we qualify for AFCON.”

He also gave his backing to coach Stuart Baxter, who has been a part of two failed World Cup qualification campaigns after also being at the helm of the team when they were unable to reach the 2006 finals.

“Yes, I have confidence in Stuart Baxter. He is our coach right now and we have to give him our all,” explained the defender.


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CAF release new AFCON Qualifier dates due to FIFA World Cup


CAF release new AFCON Qualifier dates due to FIFA World Cup

Cameroon celebrates being crowned Champions during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 05 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 16:30

News coming from the Confederation of African Football is that new dates for the 2019 CAF African Cup of Nations qualifiers have been released.

The new dates are related to the second round of 2019 AFCON qualifiers after CAF opted to postpone all the round’s fixtures last Thursday.

After losing their first qualifier against Tunisia, Egypt were set to face Niger in Alexandria in March 2018 in the second round of the qualifiers, but the date has been rescheduled by CAF.

Following the committee meeting last Thursday in Rabat in Morocco, CAF took the decision of postponing the second round matches to give teams that have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup a chance to prepare for the tournament.


The new dates for the second round have been moved from March to 3-11 September 2018, with the third and fourth rounds taking place on October 8-16 2018.

Furthermore, the fifth round has been moved one month forward to take place between 12-20 November 2018 instead of October, while the final round will take place between 18-26 March 2019.

On the other hand, CAF has also decided to move the 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.

It will now be staged between June and July instead of January and February for the first time as teams have also been increased from 16 to 24.


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Bright: Botswana will be ready for AFCON qualifier


Staff Reporter

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 16:30

Botswana head coach Major David Bright believes that his side will be ready for their clash with Angola.

The two Southern Africa sides are scheduled to lock horns in the 2019 Afrca Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in March 2018.

The Zebras of Botswana held Gabon’s Panthers to a goalless draw in an international friendly match in Franceville on Monday.

Bright, who was appointed last July, has explained that he is looking to build a team that can compete against top teams in the continent.

“It is not easy to come up with a winning team,” Bright told the media.

“We have to be patient and not try and take short cuts.

The former Gaborone United coach stated that he will keep changing players because of their physical conditioning as well as game plan.

“Games are not the same, so the plans will differ according to the games we play,” the experienced tactician added.

The Zebras lost 1-0 to Mauritania at home in their first Group I match last June. Angola suffered a 3-1 defeat to Burkina Faso away in another Group I game.

The group winner and runner-up will qualify for the 2019 AFCON finals.


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Benin continue preparations for 2019 AFCON Qualifiers


Benin continue preparations for 2019 AFCON Qualifiers

Benin skipper Stephane Sessegnon

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 17:00

Benin have been busy preparing for the 2017 WAFU CUP OF NATIONS and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

The Squirrels defeated Equatorial Guinea 2-1 in an international friendly match in Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.

Michael Pote opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, while Jodel Dossou doubled Benin’s lead in the 75th minute.

A minute later, the Nzalang National pulled one back through Omar Ondo, but the Squirrels held on to win 2-1.

According to Benin Web TV, Oumar Tchomogo, the Squirrels head coach was using a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Benin XI: Saturnin Allagbe- Rodrigue Fassinou- Cedric Hountondji- Junior Salomon- David Kiki -Djiman Koukou- Olivier Verdon- Jodel Dossou -Stephane Sessegnon- David Djigla – Michael Pote.

Benin will participate in the 2017 WAFU CUP OF NATIONS finals which will be hosted by Ghana between 9-24 September.

The Squirrels are scheduled to take on Togo in the 2019 AFCON qualifier in March 2018.


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Togo prepare for WAFU CUP OF NATIONS and AFCON qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Togo prepare for WAFU CUP OF NATIONS and AFCON qualifier

Bebou Ihlas of Togo challenged by Faycal Fajr of Morocco during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Morocco and Togo at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 20 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 16:00

Togo are camping in Morocco as part of their preparations for their next 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

Claude Le Roy, the Togo head coach, is busy preparing his side for the AFCON Group D qualifier against Benin which will be played in March, 2018.

The Sparrow Hawks recorded a 2-0 victory over the Menas of Niger at the Stade d’Agadir in the Moroccan city of Agadir on Thursday.

Dove Wome, who is plying his trade in South Africa for SuperSport United, opened the scoring for Togo 26 minutes into the encounter.

Togo’s lead was doubled by Mathieu Dossevi, who recently joined French club Metz from Belgian outfit Standard Liege, four minutes into the second-half.

Togo XI vs. Niger: Bassa Djeri Sabirou (G) – Djene Dakonam, Simon Gbegnon, Ouro-Sama Hakim, Steve Lawson-Mathieu Dossèvi, Atchou Franco, Atakora Lalawelé, Womé Dové-Fo-Laba, Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Sparrow Hawks will now face off with Malawi in another international friendly match at the Stade Al Inbiaate in Agadir on Monday.

Togo are scheduled to participate in the 2017 WAFU CUP OF NATIONS which will be hosted by Ghana between 9-24 September.


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Benin preparing for WAFU Cup and AFCON qualifiers – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Benin preparing for WAFU Cup and AFCON qualifiers

Stephane Sessegnon of Benin/Backpagepix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 16:00

The Benin Football Federation (BFF) will ensure that the Squirrels are active during the next two FIFA international breaks.

Benin will not be taking part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and they are set to play a friendly match against Equatorial Guinea on 3 September 2017.

The president of the BFF, Anjorin Musharafou, has revealed that they are working on securing a friendly match against Iraq for next month.

The Squirrels are also expected to take on Gabon’s Panthers in an international friendly match in October 2017.

“Benin will play in a friendly on 3 September against Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next October,” Musharafou said on

“Benin will hopefully play against Iraq in September 2017. We are still negotiating with Agent Jérôme Champagne.”

The friendly matches are expected to help Benin prepare for the upcoming 2017 WAFU Nations Cup which will be hosted by Ghana next month.

The Squirrels will also take on Togo in the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in March, 2018.

One of Benin’s key players is Stephane Sessegnon and the Squirrels are under the guidance of Oumar Tchomogo.


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FECAFOOT irked by Ahmad’s statements that Cameroon is not ready for Afcon 2019


FECAFOOT irked by Ahmad's statements that Cameroon is not ready for Afcon 2019

The Confederation of African Football boss Ahmad Ahmad

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Aug 10, 2017. 17:30

Cameroon have been angered by a statement made by CAF president Ahmad who said that they have to convince the football governing body regarding their readiness to host the 2019 CAF African Cup of Nations.

According to media reports, Cameroon’s Football Federation (FECAFOOT) have expressed their dismay on Monday in response to criticism from CAF boss, Ahmad over their prospects of hosting the 2019 AFCON.

Ahmad said the country’s infrastructure wasn’t ready to host the 2019 Cup of Nations and reportedly suggested he may open a bidding process to other countries to help in putting on the event.


“The Cameroonian federation has taken note with a profound consternation the recent statements from the CAF president who claims that, in their current state, no site in Cameroon is ready to host the CAN,” said FECAFOOT in a statement sent to AFP.

“FECAFOOT is vividly concerned by the fact those opinions were passed before even the first CAF inspection mission set for August 20-28 has come to Cameroon.”

Meanwhile, the host country has launched a programme of construction and refurbishment of sports infrastructure, with FECAFOOT insisting the majority of stadiums will be completed by the end of 2018.


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CAF to decide Cameroon’s AFCON fate after inspection


CAF to decide Cameroon's AFCON fate after inspection

The Confederation of African Football boss Ahmad Ahmad

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Aug 07, 2017. 12:39

Despite having been awarded the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament, CAF president Ahmad says Cameroon still needs to convince the football governing body.

Ahmad was speaking during his trip to Burkina Faso where he spoke to journalists regarding the hosts state of readiness.

He said the reigning African champions must convince his organisation of its ability to host the upcoming continental tournament.


Following changes introduced by CAF last month, the 2019 AFCON tournament will feature 24 teams instead of 16 and Ahmad confirmed an inspection team will visit Cameroon later this month.

“Cameroon will have to work to convince CAF on its ability to host the event,” Ahmad said to the BBC.

“We will send the experts and we will decide at the end of their inspection mission.

“We have decided that it is no longer the CAF Executive Committee who will inspect the countries selected for the organization of the AFCON.

“It is now experts who will do it and CAF will decide based on their report.”

On Friday, Cameroon government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary revealed details of the eight-day inspection visit which will begin on 20 August.

Meanwhile, the CAF boss also announced that a symposium for women’s football will take place in Morocco in 2018.


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CAF team to assess Cameroon ahead of 2019 AFCON


Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Aug 06, 2017. 11:00

According to reports, the Confederation of African Football‘s inspection team will visit Cameroon for eight days from 20 August 2017.

The aim of the delegation is to assess the country’s progress ahead of the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament as the country will stage the showpiece.

Cameroon government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary announced the details, saying organisers should not worry.

“This inspection mission, like those that will follow throughout the process towards the deadline of the event, is not aimed at sanctioning,” said Tchiroma to the BBC.

“On the contrary, it is an opportunity for any changes and consultation in order to ascertain the state of preparedness and to readjust as necessary the strategy for the full success of the event.

“The mission will visit each of the sites selected for the event and inspect all infrastructure involved in the organisation of the event in terms of sport, hotel, roads, airport, hospitals, and telecommunications.

“Each time there is an assessment, it will be followed by a general report on future deadlines.”

Cameroon will host 24 teams instead of 16 for the first time in history and it will be held in June and July rather than January and February.

That follows changes introduced by CAF during last month’s symposium held in Morocco where Cameroon, as hosts, will be the defending champions having won the 2017 title earlier this year in Gabon.


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Mauritania coach sets sights on maiden AFCON qualification


Mauritania coach sets sights on maiden AFCON qualification

Sarr Sally of Mauritania is challenged by Thamsanqa Gabuza of South Africa during the AFCON Qualifier match between South Africa and Mauritania 02 September 2016 at Mbombela Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 20:00

Mauritania head coach Corentin Martins has firmly set his sights on leading the West African nation to a first ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

Les Mourabitones have never qualified for Africa’s premier cup competition, but the country have made significant strides over the past few years. Testament to their recent success, Mauritania reached their highest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking last month – climbing 23 places to 81st.

The position is Mauritania’s highest ever ranking with their previous best of 85th achieved in 1995. They subsequently find themselves higher than 2012 AFCON champions Zambia.


For Martins, hard work has paid off with victory over Liberia in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers, preceded by an impressive 1-0 away win over Botswana in a 2019 AFCON qualifier.

Mauritania also notable beat South Africa 3-1 in Nouakchott during the 2017 AFCON qualifying campaign.

“It’s the best ranking position in Mauritania’s history,” the national side’s French coach Corentin Martins told “What’s made it possible is the huge amount of work put in by the government, national association and the players, who give everything to win games. Nor can we forget the president of the national association, who has made every effort to help us.”

“We got an important win in Botswana despite difficult conditions,” said Martins. “Nevertheless, we have to build on that. We have to give everything on the pitch in order to win, and that’s what our players have been doing. They’ve been following their instructions to the letter, and it’s a pleasure to work with them,” he concluded.


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Uganda national team coach lashes at CAF for AFCON changes – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers


Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Jul 24, 2017. 17:00

Following changes in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic says Africa has caved under pressure from Europe.

‘Micho’ was speaking to the BBC website after CAF announced that the continental tournament will now be held in June and July instead of January and February.

The Cranes manager has since lashed out at the continental football governing body, saying that they succumbed to European pressure.


The Serbia-born manager was speaking after leading his men to a 5-1 win over Sudan in a 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier.

“Though not directly, Africa succumbed to the pressure of Europe to have this tournament played when it’s best for them,” Sredojevic told BBC Sport.

“I have never believed some of these theories that come from Europe on having the AFCON in January and February.

“The Congress and the people who made the changes I am sure have looked at the marketing and money side of the tournament more than the quality.

“It has been so tough to qualify for AFCON with 16 teams and indeed only deserving teams could make it.”

Furthermore, the changes are set to come into effect in the upcoming edition set to be staged in Cameroon in 2019.


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AFCON moved to June-July by CAF


Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Jul 22, 2017. 15:04

On Thursday, the CAF Executive Committee, at its meeting in Rabat, Morocco, reviewed the resolutions of the various working groups of the 1st CAF African Football Symposium held from 18 -19 July 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Skhirat, near Rabat.

The Committee advocated the establishment of a working group to work on the implementation of the resolutions and propose short, medium and long term implementation timetables. However, a consensus emerged on a number of issues raised by the working groups;

Working group 1: AFCON – Competition and specifications

Increasing the Africa Cup of Nations to 24 teams as of the 2019 edition, and the tournament will now be held in the months of June and July. The competition will however remain a biennial event (every two years), odd years and exclusively held on African soil with African national teams.

Working group 2: Inter-club competitions

It was agreed by the Committee to maintain the current format, but to proceed in the future to a change in timing for interclub competitions which are expected to start from August to May.

Working group 3: Football development (Coaching, Refereeing, Medical)

The principle of increasing the indemnities of referees was approved.

The Committee expressed its determination to explore all scientific and medical solutions that could eradicate the phenomenon of age cheating, likewise a research that can help to determine the causes of sudden death among footballers, of which majority of the victims are of African origin.

Working group 4: Youth Football

The Committee decided to organize zonal qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations for the youth categories (U-17, U-20, U-23), with the flexibility offered to each zone to propose a formula. The committee also resolved to strengthen medical checks in determining the eligibility of players.

Working group 5: International Partnerships

The Committee recognizes the urgent need for improved relations between CAF, its member associations, Governments and the African Union.

Working group 6: Communication and Media

The Executive Committee was clearly in support of suggestions made for the improvement of CAF’s communication tools on the digital platforms and social media, in particular the creation of a website in line with the standards of CAF. The Committee committed itself, with a view to strengthening the specifications of the competitions, taking into account the expectations of the media.

Working group 8: Football players, Roles and Perspectives

The Committee endorsed the principle of creating a framework for cooperation with legendary African footballers and their greater involvement in CAF activities.

II – Competitions

Total CHAN Kenya 2018

A new inspection visit will be conducted at the end of August 2017 to assess progress following the June 2017 mission.

Total AFCON Cameroon 2019

Inspection will be conducted in early September.

Total U-23 AFCON

Zambia formally withdrew from the hosting of the 2019 edition. The committee called for the opening of bids for the selection of a new host country.

Beach-Soccer AFCON

The Committee decided to grant the 2018 edition to Egypt, the only country which expressed interest in the organization at the end of the deadline for the call for applications.

Interclub Competitions

The Committee noted the lifting of the suspension of Sudan by FIFA and indicated that the Sudanese clubs engaged in the Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup are not disqualified, but in accordance with the regulations, are declared losers of the Day Six matches of the group stage.

As a result, Sudanese club, Hilal El Obeid is qualified for the quarterfinals of the Total CAF Confederation Cup.


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Letsholonyane backs CAF’s move to change AFCON dates


Letsholonyane backs CAF's move to change AFCON dates

Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Supersport United during the 2017 Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United at the Loftus Stadium, South Africa on 13 April 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 21, 2017. 12:30

With speculation rife that CAF could change the Africa Cup of Nations tournament dates which is staged between January and February, SuperSport United midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane supports the decision.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder became the first local player to throw his support behind the proposed move by CAF members to switch the AFCON showpiece to mid-year, i.e. June/July.

‘Yeye’ said the idea will benefit national teams as that would ensure players are available, ending the club versus country issues.

Over 200 CAF delegates met in Morocco on Thursday to deliberate on issues affecting continental football.

Among issues discussed was the timing of the continental showpiece which is staged between January and February every two years.

“I buy into the suggestion of the Afcon being played in June because that would give the coaches of all national teams an opportunity to get players they want – it would be during the off-season,” said Letsholonyane.

“Sometimes African players who play in Europe really want to play at the Afcon but because they do not want to risk losing their positions at their clubs‚ they end up not coming.

“If the tournament is held in May or June‚ they would definitely come.

“Having almost all the top players from the top leagues around the world in one tournament would only serve to boost the image and level of the tournament.

“You have a three-year contract with that club and the national team is something that happens once in about two to three months.

“You spend a lot of time at your club and you will choose the club because of the many months you spend there.

“If you lose your position‚ it means sitting on the bench‚ frustration and trying to win back your position which is not guaranteed.”


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Cameroon Sports Minister Ismael Bidoung calms Afcon fears – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Cameroon Sports Minister Ismael Bidoung calms Afcon fears

Benjamin Moukandjo of Cameroon during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 5 February 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Jul 20, 2017. 16:30

Despite calls to move the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament from Cameroon, the country’s Sports Minister Ismael Bidoung has calmed fears on their readiness.

According to reports doing the rounds on the continent, there are fears that the continental showpiece could be staged elsewhere as Cameroon is not ready.

The reigning African champions won the rights to host the next showpiece, but there are already concerns over the pace of preparations.

Bidoung admits there are concerns, but insists they will be ready by the time the tournament schedule is on.


“Despite security concerns, social and economic crises, the government and President Paul Biya are totally engaged to do everything for the Nations Cup to go ahead,” Bidoung said to the BBC.

The Indomitable Lions legend, Patrick Mboma also revealed fears of the country’s readiness recently on his twitter page.

“For the past two years I have been sending out a distress signal,” he said on Twitter.

“Cameroon is not advancing for the 2019 Nations Cup. Let’s avoid humiliation. This is a dream that must not be shattered.”


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Omeruo: Nigeria are as good as 2017 AFCON champs Cameroon – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Omeruo: Nigeria are as good as 2017 AFCON champs Cameroon

Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jun 29, 2017. 17:00

Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo says Nigeria are as good as Cameroon ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification Group B match in Uyo in September 2017.

The Super Eagles are sitting at the top of Group B standings with six points, while the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Cameroon are placed second with two points.

The Nigeria international caught up with Complete Sports Nigeria and he discussed his plans and ambition ahead of the 2017/18 football season in Europe.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Preparations for the new season will begin in July at various clubs, what are your plans for new campaign, and ahead of the World Cup qualifiers?

Omeruo: I will be rejoining Chelsea for pre-season and there everything will be much clearer if I will be going out on loan again or staying at the club to be actively involved. I just want to play more games as much as I can and stay fully fit to represent my club and country.

I have always had that dream to play football at the highest level, and when the opportunity came for me to join Chelsea I didn’t hesitate.

But since I joined the club, I have played on loan and each team I joined always wanted me to stay on at the club. But it has been a good experience for me and I just want to build on them this coming season. As regards my future, no decision has been made yet.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You were dropped from the Super Eagles starting lineup in the match against South Africa in Uyo which Nigeria lost 2-0. It was the Super Eagles’firstloss to Bafana in a ccompetitive match. What really went wrong?

Omeruo: It was an unexpected defeat, but it won’t derail our dreams of qualifying for the AFCON. We had a new set of players playing for the first time and that affected the team in a way, but I believe as a team, we have learnt from that defeat and will bounce back to qualify for the 2019 AFCFON in Cameroon.

We have five games left to play. Anything can still happen. All we need to do is to get wins in our remaining games which is possible though tough.

I wasn’t that disappointed that I was dropped from the starting lineup. It’s the coach’s decision. We win as a team just as we lose as a team.

Those players who started the game got total support from the ones watching on the bench, so the bond will get better and we will bounce back again. The new players have to adapt to a new style of football with the Eagles, which isn’t easy.

Sometimes you struggle a bit, but for me, I’m confident we will bounce back. My commitment and loyalty has been there on and off the pitch from day-one – that’s why I was not disappointed.

Complete Sports Nigeria: But how would you rate the new boys in the Eagles now?

Omeruo: They are great players who need time to blend well with the experienced ones. The competition will be tougher but it will be for the good of the team and Nigeria having so many options.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You face Cameroon in another crucial World Cup qualifier in August.They seem to be in a better shape than the Eagles right now. What you you think?

Omeruo: I disagree. We are equally good too. It’s going to be an important game for us. We know this and we have learnt from that defeat to South Africa. With some friendlies lined up and the other players returning, we will have a great squad to select match lineup from.

Complete Sports Nigeria: You have played in three different leagues in Europe; Belgium, England, Holland, and in Turkey. What is the difference compared to the Nigeria Professional Football League where you started your career?

Omeruo: A lot of difference, even among those leagues. But it’s a great step for me and I’m happy with the progression.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Any preference for the league you would love to play in this season if you were to be sent out on loan again by Chelsea?

Omeruo: Playing in the English Premier League will be great, but it will be down to the kind of offers I get.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Who was the toughest attacker you have faced?

Omeruo: Emmanuel Emenike was physically the hardest. I played against him last season and we both wanted to prove a point (Laughs). It was fun. He still has it within him.

Robin Van Persie and some other forwards were tough as well. But I deal with attackers differently. I play my own game against everyone.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Many believe your partnership with Godfrey Oboabona remains the best for the Eagles. What was it like when you played with him?

Oboabona is very matured. He is a very strong character. I have very happy memories of playing with him. I wish he gets his chance angain too. It’s almost unfair to be comparing teammates, but everyone have their qualities.

Complete Sports Nigeria: Your greatest influence in your career?

Omeruo: That has to be my mother. She helped me a lot.


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