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Zambia’s 2012 AFCON heroes to be given state honours

Zambia won the 2012 AFCON

Zambia won the 2012 AFCON

President Michael Sata will on Zambia’s 50th Independence Day anniversary honour various sports personalities including the national football team that won the country the first-ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy in 2012.

The Chipolopolo and other sports personalities will be honoured for their contribution to the development of sports in the country.

In a first ever Special Single Class Golden Jubilee Medal, President Sata has picked various sporting icons who include the likes of Kalusha Bwalya, the only player from Southern Africa to have won the African Footballer-of-the-Year and Satwant Singh, the record eight-time African rally champion.

According to a list of people to be honoured during the investiture ceremony, the President has selected all members of the Zambian team that won the 2014 AFCON championship.

In a list cutting across various sporting disciplines, boxing coach Anthony Mwamba has also been named alongside veteran administrators like the late David Abel Ray Phiri, who served in various sports bodies, and Dr Mutumba Bull.

But it is the footballers who have dominated the sporting list to be awarded with some household names like Ashios Melu, winner of Zambian footballer of the year on two occasions, Estone Mulenga and will both receive their medals posthumously.

Also making the cut is Beston ‘Quicksilver’ Chambeshi, who made his name playing for Nkana where is now coach, Zambia’s most memorable midfielder Charles Musonda and the 1974 national team captain Dickson Makwaza among others.

Veteran soccer commentator Dennis Liwewe, who died earlier this year in April and is widely regarded as the voice of Zambian football, is also on the list as well as veteran journalist Ridgeway Liwena who used to double as a City of Lusaka player and reporter at the Times of Zambia.

Some other names to receive awards from the class of 2012 are goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, Davies Nkausu, Joseph Musonda, Stoppila Sunzu, Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba and Hichani Himoonde.

Chisamba Lungu, Isaac Chansa, Emmanuel Mayuka, James Chamanga, Noah Chivuta and Nyambe Mulenga, Evans Kangwa, Joshua Titima, Felix Katongo and Kalililo Kakonje will also receive honours.

Some of the names appearing from the technical staff are Patrice Beaumelle, Dr Joseph Kabungo, Gibson Chaloba as well as team manager Lusekelo Kamwambi.

Other medals will be handed to icons in football like Derby Mankinka, Lucky Msiska, Manfred Chabinga and Zambia’s arguably most powerful sports administrator Patrick Chamunda, who sits on the International Olympic Committee board.

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Nigeria is ready to host AFCON 2015 – NFF veep declares

AFCON 2015

AFCON 2015

Nigeria could host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations if Morocco pull out of staging the continent’s biggest football showpiece due to fears over the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease, according to vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi.

With Morocco yet to confirm whether they will let go the opportunity to host the tournament, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has already written to a few countries including Ghana and Egypt to ask if they can host the Cup of Nations.

The North African country is asking CAF to postpone the tournament to a later date instead of its present January/February schedule but the governing body is not ready to.

And Nigeria could throw her hat in the ring to stage the tournament despite fears of the possibility of teams from Ebola-ravaged countries qualifying for the competition and bringing along their supporters.

Africa’s largest country was certified Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation on Monday, six weeks after the last case of the disease was reported and this could prompt renewed interest from international organizations.

“I think we are interested [in hosting the Afcon],” new NFF vice president Seyi Akinwunmi was quoted on Goal on Monday.

“It is not strictly the purview of the NFF alone but we have been asked [if we can host the competition] and we have said yes, why not?

“I think that the National Sports Commission or the Federal Government is looking at the possibility of hosting the tournament,” said Akinwunmi who disclosed that CAF had not yet written to Nigeria.

South Africa have already turned down the opportunity to host the tournament with Safa president Danny Joordan saying: “The Afcon 2015 tournament will not be held here. That issue doesn’t exist. Caf must discuss this matter with Morocco.”

With the Super Eagles struggling to qualify for the 2015 tournament, hosting the competition would give them automatic qualification to defend the title they won in South Africa last year.

It could also be a way for Nigeria to show its leadership role on the continent after successfully curtailing the spread of the disease, something for which it has already earned the praise of the international community.

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NFF agree deal with company to pay new expatriate Super Eagles coach

NFF president Amaju Pinnick

NFF president Amaju Pinnick

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Chairman, Amuja Pinnick, has disclosed that the country’s ruling football body had signed a deal with a company that has agreed to pay the salary of a new foreign coach for one full year.

He said the NFF has concluded the deal that would take the country’s football and the Super Eagles to greater heights. He spoke at the Ikoyi Club 1938 Table Tennis Tournament, Lagos, sponsored by the Arco Petrochemical Company Limited.

“Only today, I was privileged to get to a company… it’s not that we don’t believe in Nigerian coaches, we believe so much in Nigerian coaches, but right now we need a foreign coach to actually train and rediscover our potentials.

“We concluded a deal to sign a foreign coach and the company has agreed to pay the foreign coach for one full year. We have done that. Our approach is basically scientific and you will see the result in due course,” Pinnick said.

According to the new NFF helmsman, who spoke on football without relegating the table tennis championship he came for: “There is an event going on right now in Nigeria. I was elected exactly three weeks ago. From then till now I have turned grey; that shows that football is a very tedious business. But our approach this time is basically scientific. Like I told someone, United Kingdom (UK) today is not the best footballing nation.

“But today they have the best and richest football culture. And that is exactly what we are trying to do in Nigeria. Victory to us is not defined by winning laurels everyday, but victory to us is creating a scientific approach to sustaining football development in Nigeria, where you can go to the stadium with your kids and watch matches.”

Mr. Pinnick, however, said that the reason for the choice of a foreign coach was for the country to redeem its pride of place in the footballing world. “Our approach is long, short, and medium terms. Our short approach is creating a data-base of the best Nigerians players.”

“For example, Obafemi Martins is the hottest commodity today, I wonder why you will go to China to get a player instead of Martins. NNF will not allow that. We are going to give from a pool of players to take from. Our Federation will also get all the clubs to have the Under-13 clubs where they will have their own junior league. Our approach is basically to get them young and nurture them.

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Shaibu Amodu vows to turn round Super Eagles AFCON fortunes

Stand-in Super Eagles coach Shaibu Amodu

Stand-in Super Eagles coach Shaibu Amodu

Newly appointed coach of the Super Eagles Amodu Shaibu has asked that Nigerians be moderate in their expectations of the team but has promised to give his best in salvaging Nigeria’s hopes of participating at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Shaibu, along with Salisu Yusuf, Gbenga Ogunbote and Alloysius Agu were named in the new Super Eagles technical crew on Thursday, with their immediate task being prosecuting the last round of qualifying matches to Africa’s biggest soccer showpiece next January.

“We have been given an assignment that is tough and very challenging but not one that is impossible to accomplish. We will give it our very best and see how things can be turned around.”

“I think this situation is very similar to what we had in the qualifiers to the 2002 World Cup. We worked hard, did our bit and were fortunate to have results elsewhere also going our way.”

“There are somethings that, as humans, we cannot control just as there a lot more we can influence. I can assure everybody that we will give this assignment all we have and then hope that all other things fall in place for us.”

“Let us all be modest in our expectations so that we do not put ourselves under undue pressure. Let everybody involved in the game in Nigeria pull together in the right direction and then we see what we can achieve with the next two games as mandated by the the Nigeria Football Federation.” Shaibu said.

Ahead of the final round of qualifiers in November,the Super Eagles coach said a detailed plan of action will be unveiled to the media as soon as ongoing deliberations are concluded.

“Planning has commenced. A lot of deliberations and discussions are already going on.We need to be very thorough with all aspects of our planning. Once we have concluded all these,we will unveil them to the media.” He concluded.

The Super Eagles are third in Group A of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers behind South Africa and Congo. Nigeria will need maximum points from their remaining games to be sure of their place at the biennial tournament she won in South Africa in 2013.

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Demba Ba scores twice to give Besiktas victory over Sivasspor

Demba Ba scored for Besiktas

Demba Ba scored for Besiktas

Senegal striker Demba Ba produced a man-of-the-match display for Besiktas in their victory over Sivasspor on Sunday night.

The former Chelsea man scored twice and assisted the third as the Black Eagles ran out 3-2 winners.

Sivasspor opened the scoring through Morocco defender Manuel da Costa in the 39th minute from a corner. The visitors, featuring Nigerians John Utaka and Macauley Chrisantus, held on till the 58th minute and then it became the Demba Ba show.

The 29-year-old brought the scores level, finishing off a Gokhan Tore cross, and struck again seven minutes later, sweeping home another cross, this time by full-back Ramon Motta.

However, Sivasspor were soon level, as da Costa set up Hakan Arslan to score from close range following a corner.

Parity was, however, short-lived; having notched his brace, Ba turned provider for Olcay Sahan, who made no mistake to settle a thrilling encounter.

This victory continues Besiktas’s unbeaten start to the league campaign, and they sit at the top of the Super Lig table with 14 points from six games.

 

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Ethiopia prepare to offer former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi new job

Stephen Keshi was sacked last week

Stephen Keshi was sacked last week

Former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is expected in Ethiopia this week to finalise discussions over taking charge of the country’s team, according to reports.

A close source in the Ethiopian FA, is said to have confirmed that they expect Keshi in Addis Ababa this week to continue talks on the possibility of taking over the national team.

“He is expected in Ethiopia late this week,” revealed the source.

Ironically, Keshi denied Ethiopia the chance to qualify for their first-ever World Cup last year when the Super Eagles beat them both at home and away in a final playoff.

Last week, the Nigeria Football Federation fired Keshi after the country’s laboured campaign to qualify for next year’s AFCON.

“We hope we can get him because he is a high profile coach who has won AFCON with Nigeria and also took them to the World Cup.”

Keshi, who has already coached Togo and Mali, is expected to salvage Ethiopia’s Nations Cup hopes as they are third in Group B with three points from four matches, three points behind second-placed Mali.

Algeria have already qualified for the tournament proper after compiling 12 points.

Ethiopia’s remaining matches are first away in Algeria and then at home to bottom team Malawi next month.

The source further said Ethiopia are not comfortable with Portuguese coach Mariano Barreto who only managed a 3-2 away win over Mali on Wednesday in an 2015 AFCON qualifier, but has lost 99% of their matches including build-ups.

Barreto was signed in April this year after long serving coach Sewnet Bishaw was axed in February after a dismal run at the 2014 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN).

The former Ghana coach and assistant manager of Dynamo Moscow, was given the job after the EFF failed to reach an agreement with first-choice Goran Stevanovic of Serbia.

 

 

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QPR boss Redknapp slam “overweight” Moroccan midfielder Adel Taarabt

QPR star Adel Taarabt

QPR star Adel Taarabt

 Queens Park Rangers slumped to a 3-2 reverse against Liverpool, and many fans have questioned about the absence of talented Moroccan Adel Taarabt.

The attacking midfielder spent the second half of last season rampant at AC Milan, but has not found playing time impossible  at Loftus Road.

Replying reporters after the topsy-turvy encounter, which saw his team give away two own-goals, manager Harry Redknapp was brutally honest.

“He’s not fit. He played in a reserve game the other day and I could have run more than he did.”

Redknapp’s side are in dire need of inspiration in the final third, following the departure of Loic Remy. However, in spite of chairman Tony Fernandes’ convictions that Taarabt would prove his critics wrong, Redknapp appears to have completely lost all patience with him.

“I can’t pick him,” said the former Tottenham and Portsmouth manager. “I pick people who want to try. I can’t keep protecting people who won’t train and are 3-stone overweight.”

 

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Swansea City boss Garry Monk confident Ivorian striker Bony will agree new deal

Wilfried Bony

Wilfried Bony

Swansea City boss Garry Monk is upbeat over securing Wilfried Bony to a new deal.

The Ivory Coast striker has been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham.

But Monk told the South Wales Evening Post: “In the coming weeks his representatives will probably make contact and we’ll have a chat.

“Wilfried is a great professional, one of the best we have, and it will be great for us if we can sort something out.”

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Drogba recalls first time Mourinho named John Terry as Chelsea captain

Drogba with Chelsea captain John terry

Drogba with Chelsea captain John terry

Ivorian striker Didier Drogba has recalled when Jose Mourinho first named John Terry Chelsea captain.

Terry played his 500th game for the Blues in victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

“I remember when we had our first meeting in Seattle at the start of pre-season, Jose was introducing himself and his staff and he was saying okay, John Terry was a captain last season and I think we should keep him as the captain,” Drogba told chelseafc.com.

“Everybody said okay and for me it was like he had been the captain for ages already. With Jose you had the confirmation he was going to be the one we are going to follow for the next 10 or 15 years.

“To keep the trust of the manager means a lot, it means you have been a brilliant captain and you have been giving everything to the players because to be captain is more than being a player with an armband, it means you have to help your team-mates, on the pitch and off the pitch.

“There is the player and there is the man, and the man I have a lot of respect for too because from the day I first came onto the team bus he was there to help me. I always say ‘my captain’ and he is the one.”

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Sierra Leonean footballer ostracized in Greece due to Ebola scare

Greece based John Kamara

Greece based John Kamara

Greek club PAS Lamia have asked Sierra Leone’s John Kamara not to train or play with the club for three weeks due to fears over the Ebola virus.

Kamara returned to Greece after playing for the Leone Stars in their Africa Cup of Nations ties in Cameroon.

However, Lamia told him the decision was on advice from the Greek health ministry.

“[The club told me] I shouldn’t be with the team for 15 to 21 days as I went to Africa to play and because of the Ebola virus,” Kamara told BBC Sport.

“They made it clear I should stay indoors or I should travel abroad to see my family and not go to training.”

Sierra Leone had to host their tie against Cameroon in Yaounde because they are banned from playing at home by the Confederation of African Football due the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country.

The move by second tier Lamia comes despite the fact there have been no reported cases of Ebola in Cameroon and Kamara has not been to Sierra Leone in more than a year.

“The last time I was in Sierra Leone was for the World Cup qualifiers against Tunisia and Cape Verde,” he added.

“[While we were in Cameroon] they checked our temperatures every morning and every evening.

“I have told the club I am ready to undergo any medical they want me to do – as far as I am concerned I don’t have the Ebola virus.

How the Ebola outbreak has affected African football Sierra Leone has suspended all football matches in the county

Caf has placed bans on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone hosting any international football

Seychelles forfeited their Nations Cup qualifier rather than host Sierra Leone

“I don’t understand it but I have to respect their decision.”

The 26-year-old added he would have to think about his future with the club.

“I can’t say anything about my future right now because I have so many things to think about, I have to speak to my family and my agent about it before I consider what to do,” he said.

Kamara played in both Nations Cup qualifiers for Sierra Leone in Cameroon, the Leone Stars earned a goalless draw on Saturday before losing 2-0 four days later.

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LATEST HEADLINES

Zambia’s 2012 AFCON heroes to be given state honours thumbnail

Zambia’s 2012 AFCON heroes to be given state honours

President Michael Sata will on Zambia's 50th Independence Day anniversary honour various sports personalities including the national football team that won the country the first-ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy in 2012.
Nigeria is ready to host AFCON 2015 – NFF veep declares thumbnail

Nigeria is ready to host AFCON 2015 – NFF veep declares

Nigeria could host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations if Morocco pull out of staging the continent’s biggest football showpiece due to fears over the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease, according to vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi.
NFF agree deal with company to pay new expatriate Super Eagles coach thumbnail

NFF agree deal with company to pay new expatriate Super Eagles coach

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Chairman, Amuja Pinnick, has disclosed that the country's ruling football body had signed a deal with a company that has agreed to pay the salary of a new foreign coach for one full year.
Shaibu Amodu vows to turn round Super Eagles AFCON fortunes thumbnail

Shaibu Amodu vows to turn round Super Eagles AFCON fortunes

Newly appointed coach of the Super Eagles Amodu Shaibu has asked that Nigerians be moderate in their expectations of the team but has promised to give his best in salvaging Nigeria’s hopes of participating at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Demba Ba scores twice to give Besiktas victory over Sivasspor thumbnail

Demba Ba scores twice to give Besiktas victory over Sivasspor

Senegal striker Demba Ba produced a man-of-the-match display for Besiktas in their victory over Sivasspor on Sunday night.
Ethiopia prepare to offer former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi new job thumbnail

Ethiopia prepare to offer former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi new job

Former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is expected in Ethiopia this week to finalise discussions over taking charge of the country’s team, according to reports.