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Keshi to overlook South Africa offers as he hints at Nigeria stay

Keshi is being considered for the vacant South Africa job

Keshi is being considered for the vacant South Africa job

Stephen Keshi has hinted that he could still remain at post as Super Eagles coach despite uncertainty over his future.

Keshi is out of contract with the Nigeria Football Federation and there has not been a renewal for him to continue his position

With crisis having engulfed the football federation,it is expected that controversy surrounding Keshi’s position as the national team boss will soon be rectified.

However with the 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers set to commence in September,Keshi has called for total support for the Super Eagles team.

“Give your unflinching support to the team, stand behind them 100%. When you give them positive support they’ll definitely turn up positively,” Keshi told footballlive.ng

“That’s the biggest support I suppose I need to get and for me right now it’s about making Nigeria proud” Keshi added.

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Former Zambia coach Renard, four others linked to vacant Ivory Coast job

Former Zambia Herve Renard

Former Zambia Herve Renard

Ivory Coast  football officials have revealed a five-man shortlist as they seek to appoint Sabri Lamouchi’s successor as the country’s head coach.

Francis Gillot, Frederic Antonetti, Herve Renard, Jose Manuel De Jesus and Luis Fernandez are the men being considered by the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF).

Lamouchi stepped down from his role after Ivory Coast failed to reach the knockout rounds of World Cup for the third straight tournament.

Drawn against Colombia, Japan and Greece in Group C, Lamouchi’s side opened their campaign with a 2-1 win over the Asian nation before defeats to Colombia and Greece, the latter via an  injury-time penalty, sent them out.

Of those shortlisted to take the job, only Renard and Fernandez have previous international experience.

Fernandez managed Israel in an unsuccessful qualification campaign for UEFA Euro 2012, but Renard is well-known to African terrain, having led Zambia to a memorable 2012 Africa Cup of Nations triumph after a short stint in Ghana as a Physical trainer.

The five were whittled down from a total of 37 applicants, including former Italy and Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, France legend Didier Six and Ruud Krol – a World Cup finalist in his playing days and ex-coach of African clubs in Egypt, South Africa and Tunisia.

None of the six Ivorian applications were considered further, but FIF president Djedje Benjamin refuted any suggestion that their nationality had played a role.

He said: “I will not go into the details but I can say that candidates who have been selected are consistent with the criteria required by the application process.”

The chosen candidate’s first task will be to qualify Ivory Coast for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Cameroon and Congo DR stand in their way in Group D of qualifying as well as the winner of Benin and Malawi’s play-off clash.

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Ace Zambian journalist Musonda Muzo Chibulu slams Ghana FA for poor World Cup showing

Zambian journalist Musonda Muzo Chibulu

Zambian journalist Musonda Muzo Chibulu

Zambian journalist Musonda Muzo Chibulu has slammed the Ghana Football Association for Black Stars’ disgraceful exit from the 2014 World Cup.

Ghana picked just a point at the group stage and became a subject of ridicule when over $3.5 million was airlifted from the West African country to settle agitated players’ appearance fees.

Chibulu believes Ghana had the best of chance to make Africa proud but love for money coupled with poor man management cost the four-time African champions.

“When Ghana qualified to Brazil 2014 at the expense of my beloved Zambia in the group stages, the entire continent was pregnant with expectations. No sooner had the draws of the group stages been announced than doubt began to creep in,” Chibulu told Goal Ghana.

“Ghana was placed in the proverbial Group of Death – Germany, Portugal and the United States of America. The group was tough. But with the experience of 2010 when Ghana nearly became the first Africa nation to make the semi-finals, it was envisaged the Black Stars would find the compass to navigate their way to the second round only to be entangled by monetary issues.”

He added: “It quickly emerged that the Black Stars were owed appearance bonuses. The world heard with amusement a plane carrying over $3 million would land in Brazil to settle the arrears. As the world chuckled, the worst was to come. Muntari and Boateng were chucked out of the Ghana squad due to alleged indiscipline,” he recollected.

“Could my own Chipolopolo [Zambia] have done better had they qualified over Ghana? In terms of working out bonuses in advance, however meagre, that would have been done before the tournament. The Zambian footballers would have played on without fuss and addressed the issues of money later.”

“To be honest, some of the players Ghana possessed were as good as anybody with the likes Gyan, KP Boateng, Ayew brothers [Andre and Jordan], Kwadwo Asamoah, Atsu, Muntari, Mensah, and Essien were stellar names forming the Black Stars backbone but indiscipline halted the team’s dreams.”

Chibulu admitted that the only achievement by Ghana at the Mundial was the record captain Gyan equaled and bettered to become Africa’s all-time top scorer at the global showpiece.

 

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New Bafana Bafana coach to be named next week

Safa president Danny Jordaan

Safa president Danny JordaanNew Bafana Bafna 

The South African Football Association (Safa) will announce the new senior national team coach next week with president Danny Jordaan keen to end speculation about who will take charge of the Bafana Bafana.

According to Times Media, the appointment would have been announced already had it not been for Jordaan’s role as a special adviser to the World Cup in Brazil, which has kept him busy.

At the same time, Safa will also confirm who will be the country’s technical director, a post currently held by Fran Hilton-Smith and has been in an acting capacity for the past 18 months after Serame Letsoaka was appointed Bafana assistant coach to Gordon Igesund.

“We cannot delay this process any longer, with the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on the horizon. Dr Jordaan is adamant we have to give this urgent attention,” Safa communications head Dominic Chimhavi told Times Media.

“As soon as he arrives back in the country, we should have an announcement to make.”

That would suggest that Safa have a deal in place, but would also contradict a statement from the governing body on Monday that refuted, once again, claims from Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi that he had an offer from Safa.

“There is no iota of truth in this statement,” Jordaan was quoted as saying. “Safa has not offered any coach the Bafana Bafana job and we don’t take kindly to such rumours .”

Another leading contender for the Bafana job, Carlos Queiroz, who is in Brazil watching the remainder of the World Cup and could potentially sign a contract there.

According to reports in Iran, he has an offer of $2m a year plus bonuses on the table from that country to lead the team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

That is a salary likely out of reach of Safa, but Queiroz, in saying he had received an offer from Iran, has stated that money is not a motivating factor in deciding where his future lies. “I have not opened that letter yet,” he told Iran’s “2014″ TV show.

“Money is not an issue for me. My only concern is that would the clubs release the players for national team camps? Would we have good a training pitch to work with the players ?” Queiroz asked.

He was Bafana coach from 2000 until 2002 before he was dumped despite qualifying the country for the World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan that year. He would go on to complete two spells as assistant manager at English powerhouse Manchester United, lead Real Madrid as their head coach and take Portugal to the 2010 World Cup.

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FIFA slaps indefinite ban on Nigeria overdue government interference

Nigeria banned

Nigeria banned

 FIFA has suspended Nigeria indefinitely after government interference in the running of football in the country.

The country will not be entitled to participate in the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (5-24 August 2014) should the suspension not be lifted by 15 July 2014.

Nigeria will also forfeit an U17 African qualifier in DR Congo slated for July 20 if the ban is not lifted.

In a press statement on the FIFA website, the FIFA Emergency Committee has decided today to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect, on account of government interference. Article 13, par. 1 and article 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

The decision follows a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on 4 July 2014, in which it expressed its great concern after the NFF was served with court proceedings and consequently an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football was granted by a High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The said court order compelled the Nigerian Minister of Sports to appoint a senior member of the civil service to manage the NFF until the matter was heard in court, without giving any date for such a hearing.

The authorities then appointed a person who decided to convene an extraordinary general assembly on 5 July 2014. This extraordinary general assembly was convened in violation of the NFF statutes.

Originally, an elective congress had been planned by the NFF to take place on 26 August 2014.

The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs.

As a result of this decision, no team from Nigeria of any sort (including clubs) can have any international sporting contact (art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes).

During the period of suspension, the NFF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches.

In addition, neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any FIFA or CAF development programmes, courses or training during the suspension period.

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Burkina Faso 2013 AFCON star Pitriopa joins UAE side AL Jazira

Burkina Faso midfielder Pitriopa

Burkina Faso midfielder Pitriopa

Burkina Faso international winger Jonathan Pitroipa on the verge of sealing a move to UAE side Al Jazira.

“The paperwork has been completed and the player will be officially unveiled to the media in a few days,” Abdulrahman Al Khudairi, a club spokesman, revealed on Friday.

The 28-year old has enjoyed successful stints with Bundesliga clubs Freiburg (2004-2008) and Hamburg (2008-2011) before his switch to Rennes of the French top flight.

Pitroipa began his career  with Burkinabe side Planete Champion before  until he moved to Germany in 2004.

He crossed over to Hamburg from Freiburg on a free transfer and then joined Rennes on July 2011.

The pacy winger has 46 international caps for Burkina Faso, since his debut in 2006, and led them to the African Cup of Nations final last year wher he was named the competition’s top player despite a 1-0 loss to Nigeria in the final.

Al Jazira will regroup for the first training session under new coach Eric Gerets at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday night.

It is not clear if Pitroipa and other recent club’s new signing Mirko Vucinic will join the training but the duo, along with Morocco international Abdelaziz Barrada and Brazialian midfielder Jucilei, would seem to comprise an impressive foreign quartet.

Former Morocco coach Eric Gerets led Qatari club Lekhwiya to the Qatar All Stars League and the Crown Prince Cup in 2013/2014.

“The last two visits in the Gulf with Hilal and Lekhwiya ended in a very positive way,” Gerets said when he was hired. “I know, if you are a sportsman, life is about winning important titles.”

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CAF bans Equatorial Guinea from 2015 AFCON

 

CAF

CAF

Equatorial Guinea have been disqualified from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations for fielding an ineligible player, the Confederation of African Football has confirmed.

After a 3-1 aggregate victory over Mauritania in the first round of qualifying, the Central African  country had been under investigations since their opponents questioned the eligibility of forward Thierry Fidjeu Tazemeta.

The 31-year-old was by no means a newcomer to the side, having featured for them at the 2012 tournament on home soil, but CAF confirmed on Thursday that the country will be removed from qualifying for next year’s event.

Tweeting their judgement, CAF said: “Organising committee of AFCON disqualified Equatorial Guinea from the play-offs of AFCON Morocco 2015 in a decision reached 3rd July 2014.

“AFCON organising committee decision to disqualify Equatorial Guinea follows protest brought by Mauritania Football Federation.

“Mauritania protested fielding of Thierry Fidjeu Tazemeta in first round play-off of 17th May 2014 Mauritania and Equatorial Guinea played in Nouakchott.

“Of Cameroonian origin, Thierry Fidjeu Tazemeta, was born 13 Oct 1982 in Mbouda, according to Federation of Cameroonian Football.

“Equatorial Guinea didn’t provide evidence Tazemeta was eligible to represent them or complied with FIFA Statutes on change of association.

“Consequently, Mauritania is qualified to next play-off round of AFCON 2015 and national team of Equatorial Guinea is deemed to be ‘eliminated’.

“Mauritanian now proceed to engage Uganda in final playoff round with 1st leg on 19 July in Kampala to kick off at 16:00 local time.”

Uganda Cranes beat Mauritania’s team of home based players 3-0 in January as the two teams prepared ahead of the 2014 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in South Africa.

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Belgian coach Saintfiet takes charge of PSL side Free State Stars

Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet

Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet

South Africa’s PSL side Free State Stars have appointed Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet to take charge of the first team duties.

Stars general manager Rantsi Mokoena told the club’s website that Saintfiet’s appointment is aimed at improving on last season, after the club came close to being relegated.

“Saintfiet is now our new head coach. The coach brings vast experience and his track record as a coach speaks volumes. One hopes that he will add value to our technical team having worked with a number of African teams,” Mokoena said.

“We are happy to have Saintfiet in our arsenal. We hope he will take the team to greater heights and help us improve on last season’s disappointing performance.”
Saintfiet, who takes over from Malawian coach Kinnah Phiri, will be assisted by former club captain Duncan Lechesa and Andre Bronkhorst has been roped in as goalkeeper coach – the same role he played at neighbours Bloemfontein Celtic.

Meanwhile, former assistant coach Themba Sithole has been redeployed and will now be in charge of the development squads and he will be assisted by Edwin ‘The Great’ Mofokeng.

Saintfiet is experienced on the African terrain having coached Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Namibia amongst others.

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Trapattoni set to take over as coach of Elephants of La Cote D’Ivoire

Highly respected Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni

Highly respected Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni

Veteran Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni, has confirmed that he is in line to be the new coach of Ivory Coast after accepting the offer for the vacant position.

The Elephants have been without a coach for little over a week after Sabri Lamouchi handed in his resignation following a disappointing last-minute group stage exit from the World Cup.

And the  highly-decorated tactician has since revealed that he turned down an offer from Morocco in order to take over the Cote d’Ivoire before voicing his praises of leading scorer Didier Drogba.

“I’m going to become the new Ivory Coast coach, everything will be official in a couple of weeks,” Trapattoni revealed to Rai Radio 2.
“Morocco offered me a job too, but I took 48 hours for myself and eventually chose Ivory Coast. Drogba? He’s a great player.”

Trapattoni went on to dismiss rumours that he would be taking over the presidency of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), following Giancarlo Abete’s resignation last Tuesday.

“I don’t think [it] would be a good idea, it’s a very important job and I didn’t study enough to deserve it,” he said.

The 75-year-old has previously been on the books of Milan, Juventus, Inter and Bayern Munich and Ireland.

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Revealed: Manchester United rejected a chance to sign impressive Algeria goalkeeper Rais

Algeria goalkeeper Rais impressed at the World Cup

Algeria goalkeeper Rais impressed at the World Cup

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson passed on the chance of signing Algeria’s impressive goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi.

M’Bolhi spent several days on trial at Manchester United, only for Ferguson to pass up the opportunity to sign him in 2010, says the Daily Mail.

The CSKA Sofia stopper was invited to Manchester United’s Carrington training ground for just under a week four years ago but failed to earn himself a deal under the watchful eye of Ferguson and goalkeeping coach Eric Steele.

M’Bolhi was considered as a back-up option but United eventually plumped for Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who joined in the following January. Newcastle also monitored the 28-year-old Algerian in 2010.

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