From the saga at FIFA, to the drama within the Super Eagles squad, and also to the shock of qualifiers, we relive the six unmissable moments that rocked world’s sport in the past week.
#1. Putin celebrates birthday on ice.
President of Russia, the one and only Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin marked his 63rd birthday by playing ice hockey back home. After going ballistic over terrorist group ISIS in the previous week, the chill-less Russian numero uno thought it befitting to stretch some muscles on ice. In a game that fetured some members of his parliament, Putin scored 7 goals on the day.
#2. Issa Hayatou became ‘acting’ FIFA President
The ethics committee of the world’s football governing body, FIFA, conditionally suspended its President, Sepp Blatter, Secretary-General, Jerome Valcke, and Vice-president, Michel Platini, for 90 days; it also banned former FIFA vice-presiden, Chung Mong-joon, for six years. Up steps Issa Hayatou, 69 year old CAF Presdient, to act as FIFA president during Blatter’s ban even though he is tainted for the same vices for which Blatter has been banned for.
#3. Enyeama retires ‘on Instagram’ after row with Sunday Oliseh
Long-serving Super Eagles goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, surprisingly announced on Instagram that he was retiring from the national team because of a spat with the team’s coach, Sunday Oliseh. Enyeama alleged that Oliseh had embarrassed him at the Belgium camp of the team and he hinged his decision on not wanting to sully his 13 years of meritorious service to the nation. But the NFF have said Enyeama would return to the team, and the squad seemed to have moved on from the drama judging by the convincing 3-0 win over Cameroon.
#4. Iceland, Albania, and Wales qualify for Euro 2016
A lot of surprises have been thrown up in the build up towards next year’s European Championships in France as likes of Iceland, Albania and Wales, supposed minnows, have qualified already while stellar names like the Netherlands and Sweden could miss out. Iceland topped her group ahead of Czech Republic, Turkey and the Netherlands – a year after coming third in the World Cup. And Wales, despite losing the penultimate qualifying match, qualified for this tournament, their first, in 58 years.
#5. Brazil and Argentina humbled in World Cup qualifiers 1st Round.
World football is witnessing a lot of seismic shocks. From the unprecedented upheaval at FIFA, to the fact that minnows have seemingly vanished from competitive football. In South American qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which kicked off on Friday, former world champions, Argentina and Brazil, were beaten 2-0 in their games. Messi-less Argentina lost in an opprobrious manner at home for the first time to a dedicated Ecuadorian team, while Brazil were practicably ran over by Copa America champions, Chile.
#6. Lewis wins in Sochi and Mercedes win F1 constructor title
Lewis Hamilton’s 42nd victory in the Russian Grand Prix ensured that he closed on a consecutive Formula 1 title on Sunday. The British driver is now just two points shy of his third F1 title. Meanwhile, his team, Mercedes, clinched the constructor’s title with four races still on the calendar.
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