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Pepe called me a monkey earlier -Seydou Keita reveals

Keita had an earlier altercation with Pepe

Keita had an earlier altercation with Pepe

Roma midfielder Seydou Keita has revealed that he didn’t shake hands with Pepe because of racist remarks made by Real Madrid defender earlier in his career.

Prior to Roma’s International Champions Cup clash with Real Madrid, Keita threw a water bottle at Pepe after refusing to shake his hand, sparking a coming-together between both sets of players on the pitch.

Following the incident, Keita took to his official Twitter account to state that Pepe had racially abused him during his playing days with Barcelona, writing: “1. He called me a monkey during Madrid-Barca, 2. I did not shake his hand, 3. He spat on me, and after I threw the bottle, sorry for my attitude”.

Speaking to RF1 later on Wednesday, the 34-year-old Mali international explained he had decided before the game not to shake the Portugal international’s hand and was provoked into throwing the bottle when Pepe spat at him.

“At the time I played with Barcelona, Pepe called me a ‘macaco’, that is to say a monkey, and he spat on me. I told myself: ‘This guy is worthless,’” he said.

“At the time, I did not speak publicly about it because it wasn’t worth it. That’s why I didn’t shake his hand before the friendly. I even told my intention to my team-mate Mehdi Benatia. So I greeted everyone except him.

“And suddenly he came up behind me and spat on me. At the time, I had a bottle of water and I threw it at him. His team-mates saw us and they had the intention to strike me.

“It’s true that I gave a bad image of myself and I apologise. But it’s lucky we were on a football field because it’s unacceptable that one man spits on another. I don’t see why I would shake his hand, because in his eyes I’m not a human being.

“I don’t want to talk to someone who does not consider me a human. His behaviour is unacceptable. Instead of asking why I didn’t shake his hand, he preferred to spit on me.

“I’m not saying I’m a saint. Like everyone I have flaws, but I respect people.”

Keita’s comments come during a week in which racism has once more grabbed the headlines in Italian football, with Fifa demanding an investigation after FIGC vice-president Carlo Tavecchio referred to young African players moving to Serie A as “banana eaters”.

Keita, however, does not believe racism is endemic in European football.

“No, we shouldn’t generalize,” he said. “I am African and I’ve played a long time in Europe. I have often met wonderful people.

“From time to time there are small-thinking ones who are not very nice, but I’ve rarely had to endure such behaviour. For me, that is too many. If some use football to say and do anything, it’s a minority. I don’t want to generalise.”

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Herve Renard takes over as coach of the Elephants of La Cote D’Ivoire

 

Former Zambia coach Herve Renard

Former Zambia coach Herve Renard

Hervé Renard has been appointed as head coach of Côte d’Ivoire,  Ivoirian Football Federation(FIF) President Augustin Sidy Diallo announced in a press conference in Abidjan on Thursday.

The French man replaces compatriot Sabri Lamouchi who left the job following Côte d’Ivoire’s first round exit at the Brazilian world cup.

The 45-year-old had made a three-candidate shortlist that also included fellow French coach Frédéric Antonetti and Portuguese tactician Manuel José.

A former professional defender for second-tier sides in France , Renard started a coaching career in 1999 with a first experience on the African continent at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana as assistant coach to Claude Leroy.

He next led Zambia to the quarter-finals of the 2010 Afcon, and then to continental glory two years later in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

After failing to qualify the Chipolopolo for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, he tried to save Ligue 1 outfit FC Sochaux from relegation last season, also without success despite a real determination from at the later part of the season.

His first assignment will be to qualify the Elephants to the Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015.

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Iraqi side opt out of deal for Benin striker Omotoyossi

Benin striker Omotoyossi

Benin striker Razak Omotoyossi

 Benin Republic international Razak Omotoyossi will not be joining Iraqi champions Al Shorta as earlier announced.

Former Al Ahly manager Mohamed Youssef called off signing the experienced striker, saying Omotoyossi is not good enough for his club.

The news comes as a surprise to the majority of Al Shorta supporters as the Nigerian-born forward was set to sign a contract with the Iraqi champions.

He has played for clubs in countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Moldova, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, France, Egypt and Turkey and would have brought a lot of experience to the side.

He also went on trial with English club Blackpool in 2010 with Blackpool manager at the time, Ian Holloway, saying, “Blimey, he looks something” after seeing him play in a friendly against Crewe Alexandra.

However, Youssef says that he is looking for another striker that would be a much better asset to the club.

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Liverpool target Wilfried Bony begins pre season with Swansea

Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony

Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony

Ivoirian striker Wilfried Bony made his first pre-season appearance for Swansea in their 2-0 friendly victory over Exeter on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old spent 45 minutes on the pitch, and though he didn’t find the back of the net, coach Garry Monk praised him for his focus and determination.

“I think you saw against Exeter how focused Bony is on doing well for our team. He’s trying to get minutes under his belt. If he was distracted, he would not be putting in a performance like that,” Garry Monk said as the player has appeared again on Liverpool’s radar.

“There’s no problem. He’s committed to us 100 per cent. I’ve spoken to him. He’s a great guy and a very good professional. It’s brilliant when you have all this speculation that he knows how I expect him to act,” the Swans manager added.

However, the club has admitted that a big offer from one of the big boys will always be considered.

“If a top, top Champions League club come in for him and put the right offer on the table, he knows full well we’ll be telling him about that. So there are no issues with Wilfried Bony,” Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins told TalkSPORT.

“As much as we want players to stick with us and for a number of years, we have got to be realistic about where we’re at and try to make sure we continue to bring good players into the club.”

Bony scored 16 goals for the Swans in his first Premier League season and should not leave the club for less than £ 20 million.

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COSAFA cup competition postponed over financial constraints

COSAFA Cup competition

COSAFA Cup competition

The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) to be hosted by Botswana between September 13-28, has been cancelled, the regional body has confirmed.

However, COSAFA remains hopeful of staging the tournament in a new host country in November/December of this year, and plans to make a further announcement by the end of the week.

“Due to financial and logistical constraints, the COSAFA Cup, which was due to be played in Botswana in September 2014, has had to be cancelled,” says COSAFA President Suketu Patel.

“COSAFA is very grateful to the Botswana Football Association, and in particular to President Tebogo Sebego, for the huge efforts made to actualise this tournament.

“In the meantime COSAFA is pleased to report that it has now secured the necessary resources to host a tournament in November/December of this year. One of the requirements of the commercial partners is that the tournament is played in their country, and COSAFA has written to the relevant national association to seek permission to host the 2014 COSAFA Cup in their territory.

“Currently we await response to our request which has been promised by the end of this week, after which we will make a full press briefing on this matter.”

South Africa are tipped to replace Botswana as hosts of the troubled regional soccer tournament.

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Zamalek sack Mido after Champions League stalemate

Former Egypt international Mido

Former Egypt international Mido

Zamalek has parted ways with coach Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’ in the aftermath of their goalless home draw against TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League. 

Mido confirmed on his twitter handle that:“Board member Ahmed Soliman informed me today that I’m relieved of my duties”.

The 31-year-old was appointed last January as coach of the ‘White Knights’ as a replacement for sacked Helmi Toulan. And while he failed to lead the club to Premier League glory, he managed to secure a second consecutive Egypt Cup title for Zamalek.

However, it seems that their disappointing continental campaign is likely to have had cost him his job, as Zamalek are now lying third in their Group A on four points, three short of co-leaders AS Vita Club and TP Mazembe with only two more games to go.

According to ahramonline, Egypt’s legend and all-time top scorer Hossam Hassan should take over for his second spell on the bench of the ‘White Knights’ after being at the helm of the Cairo outfit from 2009 to 2011.

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Liverpool boss Rodgers hails Kolo Toure’s immense leadership qualities

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Kolo Toure’s leadership is a huge influence on his young squad.

Rodgers paid tribute to the 33-year-old for the mentality he has brought to the squad since arriving on a free transfer 12 months ago.

The boss commented: “Kolo has been an incredible player. We brought him in because he is a winner, an authentic winner.

“He’s someone who doesn’t play every single week but when he does play, he plays very well. Every day of his life in training, he gives his all.

“Players like Kolo and Steven [Gerrard], the older statesmen of the team, have been absolutely first class. We’re hungry and ambitious; we went close last year.

“That inspires us and gives us great motivation to go on this year. That is the beauty of this group of players – it’s a very hungry group because that’s what we’re trying to bring in.”

 

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Mikel Obi pushing for Chelsea stay to get British passport

Mikel Obi wants to stay at Chelsea

Mikel Obi wants to stay at Chelsea

Nigerian midfielder Mikel Obi will stay on and fight for his Chelsea future in order to acquire a British passport in October, according to reports.

The Chelsea midfielder could have readily taken up offers from clubs like Monaco and Juventus this summer, but for the fact that this could deny him a British passport in October.

“Mikel will be a British citizen by October and that was one of the main considerations why he has opted to stay put at Chelsea at least for the time being,” AfricanFootball.com has quoted a close associate of the player.

“There are offers from clubs like Juventus, Galatasaray and Monaco, but he would rather get his passport before he considers any of them.”

The Nigerian law allows for dual citizenship and so the likes of Tijjani Babangida, Odion Ighalo, Bennedict Akwuegbu and Bartholomew Ogbeche carry two passports.

Mikel could well consider a January exit from Stamford Bridge by the time he gets his passport and by then he is still playing a bit role at ‘The Blues’.

The 27-year-old Mikel joined Chelsea in 2006, winning several major honours including UEFA Champions League and Europa League as well as the English Premier League title.

However, last season he made a total of 36 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.

He has a contract with the London club till June 2017.

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Yaya Toure commits future to Manchester City says he is happy to stay

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure has once again underlined his commitment to Manchester City, insisting he wants to remain at the club for “as long as possible”.

Toure’s future at City looked uncertain after his agent Dimitry Seluk suggested the 31-year-old felt he had been treated disrespectfully by the club.

A poor World Cup with the Ivory Coast and the death of his younger brother Ibrahim to cancer saw further doubt cast on Toure’s City future, but the former Barcelona midfielder insists he is going nowhere.

“It was not a case of leaving the club. It was difficult because my situation was quite difficult,” he told the club’s official website.

“For me I was always quiet and my decision, if you want to say it like that, is that I will stay at Manchester City for as long as possible.”

Yaya Toure

“For me I was always quiet and my decision, if you want to say it like that, is that I will stay at Manchester City for as long as possible.”

Toure, who scored 24 goals and contributed 12 assists from 49 appearances for City last season, hopes the club reinforce the squad in the coming weeks in order to challenge on multiple fronts.

“I hope a couple of players sign in because we need to try to build a massive club because if we want to be the best we need to win every trophy possible,” he added.

“We are looking for the Champions League – that is an important title this year and the Premier League is going to be a battle as well between Chelsea, United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool too.

“I think it’s going to be very open. We know we are the team to beat but we have the confidence and we have the fantastic players coming and I hope this year’s going to be the same.”

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Ugandan Side Kampala City Council express interest to resign Kotoko Defender Ochaya

Joseph Ochaya set to join Ugandan side Kampala City Council

Joseph Ochaya set to join Ugandan side Kampala City Council

Ugandan club Kampala City Council want to return defender Joseph Ochaya to the club just within two seasons of selling him to Asante Kotoko.

The 20-year-old has failed to live up to expectations since joining the Ghanaians giants in 2012.

There were reports he was being chased by German club Greuther Furth but that reported link has gone dead since the past year.

The left-back’s career seems to be heading nowhere which has prompted an interest from his home club.

KCC are however yet to write officially to register their interest in resigning Ochaya.

If the deal goes through, Ochaya will be one of several other Kotoko players who will intend leaving the club this summer.

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LATEST HEADLINES

Pepe called me a monkey earlier -Seydou Keita reveals thumbnail

Pepe called me a monkey earlier -Seydou Keita reveals

Roma midfielder Seydou Keita has revealed that he didn't shake hands with Pepe because of racist remarks made by Real Madrid defender earlier in his career.
Herve Renard takes over as coach of the Elephants of La Cote D’Ivoire thumbnail

Herve Renard takes over as coach of the Elephants of La Cote D’Ivoire

Hervé Renard has been appointed as head coach of Côte d’Ivoire, Ivoirian Football Federation(FIF) President Augustin Sidy Diallo announced in a press conference in Abidjan on Thursday.
Iraqi side opt out of deal for Benin striker Omotoyossi thumbnail

Iraqi side opt out of deal for Benin striker Omotoyossi

Benin striker Razak Omotoyossi  Benin Republic international Razak Omotoyossi will not be joining
Liverpool target Wilfried Bony begins pre season with Swansea thumbnail

Liverpool target Wilfried Bony begins pre season with Swansea

Ivoirian striker Wilfried Bony made his first pre-season appearance for Swansea in their 2-0 friendly victory over Exeter on Tuesday.
COSAFA cup competition postponed over financial constraints thumbnail

COSAFA cup competition postponed over financial constraints

The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) to be hosted by Botswana between September 13-28, has been cancelled, the refional body has confirmed.
Zamalek sack Mido after Champions League stalemate thumbnail

Zamalek sack Mido after Champions League stalemate

Zamalek has parted ways with coach Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’ in the aftermath of their goalless home draw against TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League.