The Iranian national football team crushed the South African premiership club Moroka Swallows 5-0 in a friendly match in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday.
Payam Sadeghian, Reza Norouzi, Mohammad-Reza Khalatbari and Karim Ansarifard (two goals) were all on target for the Iranian football team in this match.
Iran will play Nigeria in Curitiba on June 16 in its first group match. “Our main goal was not to get a good result in this friendly match; we wanted to identify the weak and strong points of the team. We will continue the fitness training to get players to a good level”, Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz said after the match.
“If everyone supports us I believe Iran will have a good performance in 2014 World Cup in Brazil”, he added.
Carlos Queiroz’s men will also play Mozambique in their training camp in South Africa.
Iran has been drawn in Group F of the 2014 World Cup along with Argentina, Nigeria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Asian heavyweight will leave Iran on May 12 to hold a training camp in Austria where they will play Belarus and Montenegro.
They will also take on Trinidad and Tobago in their final preparation for the 2014 World Cup in a match will be held in Sao Paolo, Brazil on June 8.
The World Cup will begin in Sao Paulo on June 12 and will end in Rio’s famous Maracana stadium on July 13.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) signed the Framework Agreement on the organization of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Morocco 2015 with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) on Monday, April 21, 2014 in Rabat Morocco.
CAF was represented by its 2nd Vice President, Almamy Kabele Camara and FRMF by its president Fouzi Lekjaa at the signing of the 78 page document which lays out among others things the legal framework for collaboration between the two institutions, defines the responsibilities of each stakeholder and actions to be executed in areas such as marketing, media, transportation, lodging, ticketing, accreditation, security and finances. The signing of the agreement was followed by a press conference with local media who were keen to find out CAF’s conclusions about Morocco’s preparedness following the CAF inspection visit from 14 to 21 April 2014. The CAF Inspection team travelled to the competition host cities namely Rabat, Marrakech, Agadir and Tangier.
CAF second vice president Almamy Kabele Camara, who led the inspection mission, said that CAF was satisfied with the quality of the inspected facilities (stadiums, hotels, roads, and telecommunications).
The Moroccan government, represented by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Karim Aqary reaffirmed the commitment of the authorities to ensure every effort is not spared to make AFCON 2015 a success.
Mr Agary also revealed that it was decided to work on improving the infrastructure of the stadium in Rabat in keeping with the high standards set at other venues.
At each stage of the inspection visit, the CAF delegation met the administrative and municipal authorities of each of the host cities of the competition to lay the foundations for a partnership to ensure the success of CAF’s flagship competition which will be played under the theme of the “Celebration of Africa”.
To enhance cooperation and coordination of the smooth running of the tournament, Morocco has created a platform where the Ministries of Higher Education, National Education and the Youth and Sports will work together with their representatives and those from host cities and football leagues, all pooling their resources to make it a successful AFCON finals.
CAF and the Moroccan AFCON 2015 LOC will meet again in Cairo Saturday, April 26, 2014, on the eve of the AFCON 2015 qualifying draw. The Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will among other things affirm official dates of the qualifying tournament schedule and the final tournament. The final draw will take place on November 26, 2014 in a city that will be named during next week’s CAF meetings in Cairo.
The CAF delegation to Morocco led by the 2nd Vice President Almamy Kabele Camara, included Slim Aloulou, advisor to the Executive Committee, CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani , Belkhayat Said, a member of the Organising Committee of the African Nations Championship, Junior Binyam CAF Media Director and Khaled Nassar, CAF Assistant Director of Competitions.
Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi will not be playing against Atletico Madrid on April 30 in the Uefa Champions League semi-final second leg due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Mikel played for Chelsea in last night’s 0-0 first-leg draw in Madrid which has put the Blues in a good position to reach the Final ahead of next week’s home semi-final clash.
The midfielders hopes were dashed of playing in the return leg last night in the 75th minute when referee Jonas Eriksson yellow carded Mikel, which ruled him out after picking up yellows cards against Basel and Steaua Bucharest.
Stoke City striker Osaze Odemwingie is set to be named into the Nigerian squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Ikechukwu Uche said to be ignored.
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi would tomorrow in Abuja list his 35-man provisional list for the World Cup,and would be defending it before the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF).
Going by the report,with the exception of Villareal forward Ikechukwu Uche,all other players who were part of the victorious 2013 African Nations Cup were all listed. Six local based players from the Nigerian league who participated at the 2014 African Nations Championship(CHAN) were included.
Leon Balogun as expected is equally part of the provisional list,having impressed the technical crew since he made his debut against Mexico in March.
Last week,Osaze Odemwingie while speaking to Skysports said he was optimistic of making the Nigerian team to the World Cup.
“There have been some issues (keeping me out of the team) but they’ve been resolved. As it is, I just have to work hard everyday and perform well for my club, and I’ll be back in the frame (for the World Cup).
“Everything looks good, but I have to play well and, hopefully, I’ll have the chance (to rejoin the team).
“I’ve made myself available and I’ve been in touch with the federation and the coach; everything looks good.”
Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony took his season goal tally from all competitions to 19 with a brace as Swansea defeated Newcastle 2-1 at the weekend.
Bony gave the Swans breathing space in the fight against relegation after Nigerian Shola Ameobi had put the Magpies ahead in the English Premier League match.
Malian big man Cheikh Diabate was the toast of Bordeaux, scoring his first hat-trick in a 5-2 drubbing of French Ligue 1 strugglers Guingamp.
Also in France, Cameroon and Lorient attacker Vincent Aboubakar scored twice in stoppage time in a 4-4 draw against Montpellier.
SAMUEL ETO’O (Chelsea)
Cameroon star Eto’o scored his 12th goal in Chelsea’s colours in the 12th minute of their home game with Sunderland, volleying home a corner from Willian. He was to finish on the losing side, however, as goals from Connor Wickham and Fabio Borini gave Sunderland a shock 2-1 win and condemned Jose Mourinho to his first home league defeat as Chelsea manager.
WILFRIED BONY (Swansea City)
Bony scored twice in a 2-1 win at Newcastle United that lifted Swansea six points clear of the relegation zone. The dreadlocked Ivorian striker cancelled out Shola Ameobi’s opener with a header in first-half injury time and then netted a stoppage-time winner from the penalty spot.
SHOLA AMEOBI (Newcastle United)
Nigeria international Ameobi had put Newcastle ahead in the 23rd minute at St James’ Park with his first goal since December 2012. The 32-year-old flicked on a high ball to strike partner Luuk de Jong and then collected the Dutchman’s pass before steering a left-foot shot past visiting goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
PETER ODEMWINGIE (Stoke City)
Odemwingie found himself at the centre of controversy after winning a penalty against former club Cardiff City in a 1-1 draw. The Nigerian forward went down after a challenge from behind by Kim Bo-kyung in first-half stoppage time, with Marko Arnautovic scoring from the spot, but Peter Whittingham equalised with a penalty of his own in the second half. Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his players had been “incensed” by the penalty won by Odemwingie.
STEPHANE MBIA (Sevilla)
Cameroonian midfielder Mbia scored his third goal for the club as the Andalusians continued their fine form with a 4-0 thrashing of Granada. Sevilla are just three points behind Athletic Bilbao in fourth place and the sides meet this weekend.
ALEX SONG (Barcelona)
Cameroon midfielder Song played the full 90 minutes as Barcelona maintained their La Liga title hopes by coming from behind to beat Bilbao 2-1 at Camp Nou.
GERVINHO (AS Roma)
Roma maintained their slim hopes of challenging leaders Juventus for the title with a 1-0 win at Fiorentina, but Ivorian Gervinho wasted a great opportunity to score before Radja Nainggolan’s 26th-minute winner when he side-footed wide of the open goal after being set up by Adem Ljajic’s counter-attack.
ADEL TAARABT (AC Milan)
Milan’s resurgence under Clarence Seedorf continued with a fourth straight win from a 3-0 home rout of Livorno and Moroccan international Taarabt fired an early warning to the Serie A strugglers with an audacious long-range strike that inched just over the crossbar. Taarabt finally grabbed his first goal at the San Siro when he combined with Mario Balotelli to dribble through the defence and beat Francesco Bardi from seven yards.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)
Juventus ground out a 1-0 win at home to Bologna to edge closer to a third consecutive scudetto. It was a cagey win and Ghanaian Asamoah was given little opportunity to express his offensive skills to the full. At the end of the first half he saw one delivery for striker Sebastian Giovinco go amiss and did little else of note in a win which kept Juve eight points ahead of second-placed Roma with four games remaining.
CHEIKH DIABATE (Bordeaux)
It was a red letter day for the Mali international as he celebrated his first hat-trick in Bordeaux’s 5-2 drubbing of Guingamp. In fine form after injury, the 25-year-old striker’s treble came in the first half to bring his tally for the season to 11. With justification he took home the match ball.
ABOUBACAR DEMBA CAMARA (Ajaccio)
The Guinea teenager scored in the fourth minute, but that was the only bright point as the striker’s side went on to lose 2-1 at Corsican rivals Bastia to condemn Ajaccio to life in the second division next season.
VINCENT ABOUBAKAR (Lorient)
The 22-year-old Cameroon attacker played the role of super sub. Introduced late on against Montpellier with his side trailing 2-1 they were set for a 4-2 defeat before his 90th and 93rd-minute goals produced an improbable draw. That took his haul for the campaign to 16, with only PSG’s mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic on 25 above him.
DIDIER YA KONAN (Hanover 96)
The Ivory Coast forward scored what proved the winner in Hanover’s 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt to help keep them out of danger in the Bundesliga relegation battle. Playing as Hanover’s lone striker, Ya Konan slammed home his second goal in as many games when he hit a 29th-minute goal from the edge of the box which gave the diving Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp no chance.
IBRAHIMA TRAORE (VfB Stuttgart)
The Guinea international weighed in with an assist in Stuttgart’s 3-1 romp against Schalke 04, which was a huge boost for the hosts’ survival chances. Traore fired in a cross from the right wing which Germany striker Cacau headed home on 54 minutes to make it 2-0.
CHRISTOPHER SAMBA (Dynamo Moscow)
The Congo Brazzaville defender had a good chance to double the lead against FC Krasnodar midway through the second half, but his header was parried and the visitors went on to win 2-1 against a tiring 10-man Dynamo side.
SEYDOU DOUMBIA (CSKA Moscow)
The Ivory Coast striker missed a clearcut early chance, converted a late first-half penalty and set up the final goal in a 4-0 triumph at Kuban Krasnodar before being substituted eight minutes from time.
Chelsea’s leading goalscorer Samuel Eto’o has been ruled out of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg clash at Atletico Madrid due to injury.
The Cameroon international has a “minor knee irritation”, according to the London club’s official website.
Making the trip to Madrid however are Senegal striker Demba Ba and Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi whiles Egypt star Mohamed Salah also remains in London as he is cup-tied.
Eto’o, 33, has been Chelsea’s main striker on big days this season and his absence would represent a significant blow to manager Jose Mourinho’s plans.
Mourinho’s record in nine games against Atletico over three seasons with Real Madrid was eight wins and one defeat.
The only loss was in last season’s Copa Del Rey final.
Juventus won’t give AS Roma a clear run at Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba.
The Chelsea legend is off contract in June and his camp has entered talks with Roma.
However, Sportmediaset says Juve are also interested in Drogba and have held a round of negotiations themselves.
Drogba is seen at Juve as a replacement for Dani Osvaldo, who will be sent back to parent club Southampton at the end of the season.
Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse’s season is over due to injury.
The Evening Chronicle says the diagnosis of the No 9’s injury picked up against Swansea City proved to be a broken kneecap which is likely to require an operation.
He will now miss games with Arsenal, Cardiff City and Liverpool and face a summer of rehab.
Cisse discovered the bad news after a scan yesterday.
The news will mean Turkish sides Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe will have to rethink their early-summer plans in the transfer market with both to make a move for Cisse during the transfer window.
Besiktas are moving for Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o.
The Cameroon icon comes off contract at the end of this season.
The Daily Mail says Besiktas have sent delegates to London to open talks over contract offers and terms have been discussed at around £6.5million-a-year.
Eto’o's current contract with Chelsea will end this summer and clubs are keen on acquiring the services of the four-time African footballer of the year.
Hull City boss Steve Bruce says Nigerian striker Sone Aluko is a big part of their future.
The Nigeria midfielder has questioned his position at the club recently.
Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail: “I have to try and tell him he’s not quite there. I try to be honest with all of them, but I think most people would say the same thing.
“Sone is a big part of what we’re doing here, but I’ve not seen the real him until he came off the bench last weekend. He looked to have all his movement back and made a great impact.
“In my eyes Sone Aluko is a £6m player. Just because we paid that for Jelavic and Long it doesn’t mean he’s out on his ear. We just need him to get fit and be Sone Aluko again.”