Nigeria's key player doubtful for game against Catalonia XI on Wednesday

A fan of the Super Eagles of Nigeria
Real Betis midfielder Nosa Igiebor is doubtful for Wednesday’s Africa Nations Cup warm-up game against Catalonia. The Eagles managers were yet to hear from the player in Faro, Portugal today as the team prepared for Tuesday flight.

“We are still waiting words from Nosa at the moment, so we cannot say he will be in Catalonia or Faro for the game,” a team official said.

However, Celtic’s Rabiu Ibrahim is expected to link up with the rest of the squad when the team arrive in Spain early on Tuesday.

Ibrahim was expected to have arrived in Faro earlier, but delays in his flight schedule meant he was advised to join the team in Spain instead of travelling to Portugal, where the team are camping for the African competition.

Ibrahim and Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche will be the last two players to join up with the Eagles before the game.

Wednesday’s match against Catalonia selected that is managed by Dutch legend Johann Cryuff will be played at the home of La Liga side Espanyol starting at 9pm Nigerian time.

While the Eagles are training to beat the rest of Africa, the Catalonians are making strong political statement with the game.

Catalonia matches gather together every year more people than any other European team for just a friendly match. And right now Catalonia is living a very special social and political moment. The new Catalan government, with the support of the main parties has just announced that 2014 is the year when a referendum for independence will be held.

A vast majority of Catalonia’s population (over 2 million votes) supports the new Government goal and, according to last election votes and recent polls, most citizens wish to become a new European and independent state. The Spanish state strongly opposes to the referendum but Catalans seem very determined to do it.”

Barcelona stars, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Victor Valdés, Sergio Busquets, Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué are expected to feature for Catalonia.

Nigeria's Super Eagles will return to their training camp in Portugal after the game, from where they will leave for South Africa to take part in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.


Nigeria launches African version of Monopoly

The first African city edition of the famous board game Monopoly has been launched in Lagos.

The Nigerian metropolis is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

The board's layout was unveiled at an event in Lagos City Hall, with the manmade Banana Island named as the upmarket equivalent of Mayfair in the London edition.

Makoko, the slum on stilts over the city's lagoon, is the cheapest property for sale on the Lagos board.

Nimi Akinkugbe, the head of Bestman Games which is producing the Lagos edition, told Nigeria's Guardian newspaper ahead of the launch that suggestions for the Mayfair spot were "a hot topic".

Banana Island, which got the coveted position, is an artificially created island where the very wealthy reside.

Some properties on the island sell for about $8m - and it would cost about $150,000 a year to rent a flat there, he says.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Murtala Muhammed International Airport and several hotels are other properties on the board.

Many of the squares are sponsored by banks and shopping centres and even the Lagos state government appears, while some major landmarks like Tinubu Square, the New Afrika Shrine nightclub, Third Mainland Bridge and the National Theatre have been left out, our correspondent says.

Other aspects of the game have been tailored for Lagos, like the "Go To Jail" cards, which read: "Go to jail. Go directly to Kirikiri jail," referring to the city's maximum security prison.

One of the Chance cards issuing a fine quotes a phrase regularly used by police officers: "Park! Park! For reckless driving pay a fine... and register for retraining."

Another reads: "For attempting to bribe a law enforcement agent, pay a fine."

Some of the new traffic laws introduced by the Lagos state government, and the punishments for various offences, have also been included in the game.

"You've been caught driving against traffic. Report for psychiatric evaluation," one card reads.

The Monopoly game was developed in the US, originally based on streets in Atlantic City. A London version of the game was produced in 1935.

"Lagos is the first African city to have its Monopoly. Two countries in Africa have theirs, Morocco and South Africa. But there's no city that has its own customized edition," Ms Akinkugbe told the Guardian.