Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has been ranked as the best national team coach in Africa in the latest ranking released by a leading coaching statistics agency for national team coaches.
Keshi continues to top the poll for coaches on the continent, despite Nigeria’s unimpressive start to the 2015 AFCON qualifiers.
Coaching rating agency, Football Coach World Ranking, named the Big Boss in the 14th position with former Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah a distant second in the 32nd position.
The ranking of the top 50 coaches is dominated by managers who coached at the World Cup, with the top 15 almost exclusively for those who excelled at the World Cup with the exception of Spain’s Vicente Del Bosque who is placed second even though his side crashed in the group stage.
World Cup-winning coach, Joachim Low of Germany, tops the ranking with Oscar Tabarez of Uruguay in third position.
1. Joachim Low
2. Vincente Del Bosque
3. Cesare Prandelli
4. Paolo Jorge Gomes Bento
5. Jurgen Klinsmann
6. Louis Van Gaal
7. Fernando Santos
8. Jose Pekerman
10. Jose Manuel de la Torre
Chelsea icon Didier Drogba is set to be recognised by the Football Writers’ Association.
The Daily Mail says Drogba is being honoured by the FWA.
Drogba will be feted by the FWA at their annual tribute evening at the Savoy in January both for his achievements during his first spell at Stamford Bridge and his charity work.
Democratic Republic of Congo-born footballer Agiti Tady Etekiama has received a two-year ban on Wednesday after playing for Rwanda under a different name.
A Confederation of African Football (CAF) statement said the suspension was decided at an Africa Cup of Nations committee meeting in Addis Ababa.
The striker from Kinshasa club Vita became Dady Simeon Birori when appearing for his adopted country.
Rwanda were disqualified last month from the 2015 Cup of Nations qualifiers when a team they defeated, Congo Brazzaville, complained to CAF about the striker.
The player has never explained why he used two names.
An immediate impact of the ban will be Etekiama missing a CAF Champions League semi-final against Tunisian club CS Sfaxien in Kinshasa this weekend.
An extraordinary late strike from former City defender Jerome Boateng gave the German champions a victory over their English contemporaries and gave them important headway in Group E.
Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure, so devastating last season, has not been at his best so far this term. Possibly as a result of his summer disputes with the City hierarchy, Toure has occasionally looked listless, unmotivated and clumsy.
Following the defeat to Bayern, BBC pundit and former Champions League winner Phil Neville weighed-in on Toure’s performance.
“I thought Yaya Toure was really disappointing,” he began, speaking to BBC Sport,
“That wasn’t the Yaya Toure we’ve seen in big games over the past three or four years for Manchester City.
“He didn’t look happy. He was strolling around the pitch and his body language wasn’t right.”
City may well have their work cut out to progress from their opening pool, with closest rivals AS Roma looking terrific as they put five past CSKA Moscow.
Some Nigerian government officials are pleading with Stephen Keshi to stay put as coach of the Super Eagles.
AfricanFootball have quoted an official as saying that : “I can tell you that some very powerful government officials are now begging for Keshi to keep his job.
“These include a top security service boss and they have been bombarding the NFF secretariat with directives for Keshi to be given a new contract.”
Reports yet to be confirmed say that Keshi also enjoys the support of the country’s no.3 and senate president David Mark.
Mark was instrumental in dissuading to return to his post after he sensationally resigned moments after he led Nigeria to a third Africa Cup of Nations last year.
Unfortunately, “the very powerful shots” have met a brick wall to their pleas for Keshi because the secretariat do not have the powers to appoint a coach for the country.
The power to engage a coach rests squarely with the executive committee and a new one will only be elected later this month.
Another official said: “Were the NFF secretariat vested with the power to employ Keshi, he would have been at his post by now. But the reality is that the secretariat do not have such powers in the NFF statutes.”
Keshi returned to handle the Super Eagles for two AFCON qualifiers against Congo and South Africa at the instance of the country’s sports minister Tammy Danagogo.
Talks for a new deal for the coach broke down as a result of the leadership tussle that has engulfed the country’s football.
“It is up to the NFF to decide who handles the Eagles. The minister only requested that Keshi should handle the two games, since there was a vacuum,” said media assistant to the sports minister, Patrick Omorodion.
“He offered to pay for the services rendered by coach Keshi. But now that the two games are done with, it is squarely at the feet of the NFF to decide.”
A new NFF executive committee is expected to be elected later this month and it will decide whether or not Keshi will be the man on the bench when the African champions travel to face Sudan on October 10 in continuation of Nations Cup qualifiers.
Algeria star Yacine Brahimi sparkled for FC Porto as they hammered visitors Belarusian visitors BATE 6:0 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
The attacking midfielder, who joined the Portuguese giants this summer from Spanish side Granada, netted a hat-trick, while Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar, another new FC Porto signing, also scored.
24-year-old World Cup star Brahimi struck the game’s opening goal from a tight angle in the 5th minute and doubled the advantage with a stunning goal on 32 minutes – after collecting the ball around the centreline and running the length of the BATE half before curling into the bottom corner.
Aboubakar joined the fray in the 64th minute, but there was still time enough for the in-form former Lorient striker to cap win in the 76th minute.
Elsewhere Cote d’Ivoire forward Gervinho scored a brace and set up another goal for Roma who crushed Russian visitors CSKA Moscow 5:1 in Rome.
The Italian hosts got the lead in the sixth minute when Gervinho found young Argentine star Juan Iturbe with a through pass and the 21-year-old made hay.
Iturbe then turned provider four minutes later as his cross in was turned home by Gervinho. The Ivoirian was again on target in the 31st minute to make it 4:0 after Brazilian defender Douglas Maicon had scored a third for the hosts.
An own goal in the second half widened the lead, but Nigeria international Ahmed Musa, who put in a full shift for CSKA, grabbed a consolation goal eight minutes from time.
Meanwhile, Britt Assombalonga bagged a stunning hat-trick as Nottingham Forest claimed an entertaining 5-3 win over Fulham in a English Championship match on Wednesday.
Assombalonga’s dad Fedor Assombalonga formerly represented Zaire [now Democratic Republic of Congo], but the former Peterborough forward, who is also eligible to play for England, has yet to represent the Leopards.
The 22-year-old joined Forest in August for what was a club-record fee of £5.5 million.
The Sports Minister Hon Mahama Ayariga, on the authority of the president John Mahama, has appointed an 11 member committee with 6 ambassadors to serve as Ghana’s bid committee to ensure the nation wins the right to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Committee and ambassadors’ work will end after CAF announces the host of the AFCON 2017 in January 2015.
The Committee members are; Ernest Thompson, the Chairman, who also doubles as the Director of SNNIT, Abedi Pele, the vice Chairman, Fred Crentsil – GFA Vice President, Randy Abbey, Herbert Mensah (Football Administrator and businessman), Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, Lepowura MND Jawula, Nana Sam Brew Butler (All former GFA Chairmen), Alex Mould (CEO of GNPC), Rex Danquah, the secretary, who also doubles as a Consultant and Sports Expert and Alhaji Abdulai Yakubu, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports).
The Ambassadors are ex-Black Stars players Stephen Appiah, Tony Yeboah Tony Baffoe, Ibrahim Sunday, Abdul Razak and former WBC Featherweight champion, Azumah Nelson.
Teams that performed well in the recent 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers were rewarded in the FIFA rankings of national teams released today, with Cape Verde, Congo and Senegal climbing highest.
The Blue Sharks of Cape Verde, who beat Niger away and Zambia at home, jumped the highest of the continent’s teams after climbing 33 places to seventh in Africa and 41st in the world.
Congo-Brazzaville were the second highest climbers in Africa, leaping 30 places after a huge away victory over African champions Nigeria and a home win over Sudan. The Red Devils are now 11th on the continent and 48th on the globe.
Senegal moved up 23 points to 5th in Africa and 36th in the world after they spanked Egypt in Dakar and Botswana away. The Teranga Lions scored four goals without conceding any.
Also enjoying a good jump are Cameroon, Tunisia and Algeria who also gathered the maximum six points on offer in the qualifiers.
The Algerians stay top of Africa for a third straight month after victories in Ethiopia and at home to Mali. They are 20th in world and the only African team in the global top 20.
Togo paid a heavy price for losing both their games to Guinea and Ghana as they dropped 38 points to 35th in Africa and 125th in the world.
Angola were also big droppers after losing 26 places following losses to Gabon and Burkina Faso.
Egypt did not fair any better, dropping 25 places after losses to Senegal away and Tunisia at home.
The Sierra Leonean football Association has appointed Atto Mensah as national team coach to replace Johnny McKinstry who was sacked on Wednesday.
The former Sierra Leone international will oversee the Leone Stars’ four remaining group qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
“I’m delighted to be offered the job. It’s an honour to serve my country. It’s a difficult task but I’ll do my best,” the 52-year-old told BBC Sport.
McKinstry lost his job after recent defeats by Ivory Coast and DR Congo.
Those losses have left Sierra Leone bottom of Group D and already facing a tough task to make it to next year’s tournament in Morocco.
Ghana-born Mensah’s first challenge will be to lift the team for their next match, against group leaders Cameroon.
There is currently no venue for that match as Sierra Leone are unable to host matches because of the outbreak of Ebola in the country.
The Confederation of African football will review the situation on Friday.
Mensah’s appointment comes four months after sports minister Paul Kamara attempted to install him as coach of the national U-20 side, a move that was rejected by the Sierra Leone Football Association who favoured another coach.
He acquired a Uefa B trainer-coach certificate only last year and has never before managed a national team or a club side.
Mensah will be assisted by former Leone Stars skipper John Sama, who played in both the 1994 and 1996 Africa Cup of Nations.
As player, Mensah was among the first batch of Ghanaians who went to Sierra Leone in 1980 to play for different top-tier league clubs.
He played for East End Lions where he excelled and became a household name in Sierra Leone after winning two league titles in 1980 and 1985.
Mensah was naturalised as a Sierra Leonean in 1987 and made his international debut in a 2-0 win against Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Freetown in the 1988 Nations Cup qualifiers, providing the assist for the second goal.
He went on to play five more matches for Leone Stars in the 1988 West African regional Zone II football tournament in Guinea Bissau before he departed for Europe the following year.
President of the Ugandan FA says they will have to forget about qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) if the government does not ready to invest in the team.
The FA President, Moses Magogo, told AfricanFootball.com in an interview that he is happy that the team has started well in the campaign, but also made it clear that there will be no miracle for qualification if the government does not realize how important it is to financially support the team.
“I don’t want Ugandans to expect a lot, but there is no way we can qualify when the scenario is still the way it is with almost no government support.
“We have to look for money from other sources as an FA to provide for the Cranes to play. We are still waiting for money from government that they promised they would provide for the team to travel to Ghana early this month for our first Group E match,” he told AfricanFootball.com.
Magogo said he thanks President Yoweri Museveni and his government for the little support they have been able to provide towards football, but added that it’s high time they increased their support.
Despite the financial difficulties, Uganda Cranes top Group E of the qualifiers after a 1-1 draw away to the Black Stars of Ghana in Kumasi and a 2-0 win over Guinea last week at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
The FA President said he does not blame Ugandans for being too excited after the team making a fairly good start in the campaign, but added that the reality remains that minus full government support, a miracle will not happen for the team to qualify. Uganda last qualified for Afcon in 1978 in Ghana.
Although one of the telecommunications companies are the title sponsors of the Cranes with about US$350,000 per year, Magogo said the money is little because there are several aspects needed throughout the year for the national team including paying their Serbian born tactician Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.