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 By Colin Udoh

La Liga partnership a boost to Nigerian Premier League's growth prospects

La Liga, won by Barcelona last season, has signed a partnership agreement with the Nigerian Premier League.

This week, Nigeria's league organising body signed a landmark partnership agreement with their La Liga counterparts from Spain.

Beyond the optics, this is a hugely significant step by the League Management Company and underlines the strategic thinking behind their decisions and actions since starting five years ago.

Up until then, the Nigerian league had been a complete mess. Violence, manipulated results, horrible pitches and poor games, among other things, had seen fans desert stadia across the...

 By Mark Gleeson

Wydad knock holders Mazembe out of CAF Champs Lge ahead of final eight

The race to become 2016 CAF Champions League winners begins this weekend in the preliminary round of qualifying.
Holders TP Mazembe Englebert will not be getting their hands on the African Champions League trophy this season.

The curse of the crown continued again in the African Champions League with the elimination of holders TP Mazembe Englebert.

The club from Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo tumbled out on Wednesday afternoon at home despite a valiant effort to get back into a difficult tie with Wydad Casablanca, who had a two-goal advantage from the first leg of the third round tie earlier in the month.

Mazembe looked to be on course to overcome the deficit when they scored midway through the first...

 By Colin Udoh

Nigeria keeper Vincent Enyeama deserves final chance at Olympics

The ESPN FC crew debate whether playing in the Olympics over Copa America makes sense for Neymar and Brazil.
Vincent Enyeama was exceptional for Nigeria, despite a round of 16 defeat to France.
Vincent Enyeama could return as one of Nigeria's overage players for the Olympics.

There was no shortage of shock and disbelief in October when Vincent Enyeama announced, via Instagram, his retirement from international football.

It was an unfortunate and abrupt end to a stellar career over 101 appearances for the Super Eagles, marked by selfless dedication to the cause and memories of some of the most astonishing goalkeeping displays the country (and continent) have witnessed.

Since that retirement, Enyeama has gone on to put in amazing performances for Lille in Ligue 1, and...

 By Colin Udoh

Crisis continues to envelop Nigerian Football Federation

Amaju Pinnick
Most expect Amuja Pinnick to be restored as president of the Nigerian Football Federation.

Nigerian football once again finds itself mired in crisis. This, after enjoying just under two years of relative, if fragile, peace.

Last Friday, Justice Musa Haruna of the Jos Federal High Court not only agreed to re-list an election-related case against the current board of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), but he also restored the injunctive reliefs previously granted by Justice Ambrose Allagoa of the same court in September 2014. That suit, which sought to restrain the NFF from holding...

 By Mark Gleeson

Mazembe facing African Champions League elimination vs. Wydad

TP Mazembe
TP Mazembe have struggled to continue their good run.

A handful of retirements and a change of coach is hardly indicative of the passing of an era, but African champions TP Mazembe could well be at the end of a purple patch after defeat in Morocco at the weekend.

A 2-0 away loss to Wydad Casablanca means last year's African Champions League winners face the stark reality of potential elimination from this year's competition in the last of the preliminary rounds before the start of the group phase in June.

It means the Congolese side must come from...

 By Mark Gleeson

Smaller countries catching up with Africa's traditional powers

Luis Leal Sao Tome
Sao Tome and Principe's Luis Leal, right, has helped make the island nation become much more competitive internationally .

Nigeria's exit from the African Nations' Cup has been confirmed and Morocco's participation is also now a fact.

Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana and Senegal are all on course to add their heavyweight credentials to next January's battle for the continental title in Gabon, but what marked out the latest round of qualifying more than anything else was the success of minnow countries, which served as further evidence of the closing gap in the African game.

The Comoros Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius,...