Nations Cup

Gambia disqualified from African U-20 tournament

Gambia has been disqualfied from the Africa tournament

Gambia has been disqualfied from the Africa tournament

The Organising Committee for the Orange Africa U-20 Championship has disqualified Gambia from the competition.

The decision follows a protest by Liberia on some players of Gambia during the first leg on Sunday, 6 April 2014, which Gambia won 1-0.

Indeed, Sampierre Mendy, Buba Sanneh, Bubacarr Trawally, Saloum Fall and Ali Sowe were all born in 1994 and are not qualified to participate in the competition reserved for players born on or after 1 January 1995, as stated in a circular dated 2 September 2013 sent to all Member Associations of CAF.

In view of this, Match Number 22 (second leg) Gambia – Liberia scheduled for 25-27 April is canceled, and Liberia has qualified for the next round.


Mauritania through to next round of 2015 AFCON Qualifiers

Mauritania advance to the next round

Mauritania advance to the next round

Mauritania eased into the second round of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations with a comfortable 3-0 aggregate win over Mauritius.

Goals from Demba Sow and Moulaye Ahmed gave Mauritania a 2-0 away win over Mauritius in the second leg of their African Nations Cup preliminary round tie in Curepipe on Sunday to complete a 3-0 aggregate victory.

Mauritania, who won 1-0 at home in last week’s first leg in Nouakchott, advance into the draw for the qualifiers for the 2015 finals with newcomers South Sudan, who were handed a walkover when Eritrea withdrew from their preliminary round tie.

The draw is in Cairo next Sunday, with the top 21 ranked teams going through to the group phase without having to play knockout eliminators.

The other 28 teams will compete in two rounds of two-legged ties from May to August, with seven advancing to the group stage.

The top two from each group qualify for the finals along with the best third-placed side and hosts Morocco.

The 16-team tournament finals take place next year from January 17-February 7, with the qualifying group stage getting underway in September and finishing in mid-November.


Gabon to host friendly against Senegal in Libreville

Gabon will play Senegal in Libreville

Gabon will play Senegal in Libreville

The Gabon Football Federation has announced that it has concluded arrangements for a friendly match between the Panthers and Senegal in Libreville on May 21. 

“We have concluded talks with Senegal FA for a friendly match taking place here in Libreville on May 21,” Newly elected president of the GFF chairman Pierre Alain Monguengui said.

Both teams will use the meeting to open preparations for the qualifiers of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations set to kick off in September.

Gabon are yet to employ a head coach following the sacking of former Burkina Faso coach Paolo Duarte last September.

Gabonese-born Claude Albert Mbourounot, who manages the U23 outfit, has been appointed as caretaker coach of the senior team.

Africa’s oldest footballer Appou sets out to make World record

Appou recently became the oldest African footballer

Appou recently became the oldest African footballer

Mauritian forward Kersly Appou could become the oldest international footballer to score just a week after creating African footballer history.

The striker overtook Cameroon legend Roger Milla last weekend as the oldest African international by playing in a 1-0 loss against Mauritania aged 43 years and 354 days.

And if Appou finds the net in the second leg of a 2015 Cup of Nations qualifier, he will replace Singapore striker Aleksandar Duric as the oldest international scorer.

Serbia-born Duric was on target against Malaysia during 2012 aged 42 years and 105 days, according to soccer statistics foundation RSSSF.

Milla is second, with Englishman Stanley Matthews third, Zambian Kalusha Bwalya fourth and Fung King-Cheung from Hong Kong completes the five oldest scorers among FIFA member nations.

Appou has scored consistently in domestic football this season, prompting Mauritius coach Akbar Patel to recall the striker after seven years in the wilderness.

Patel has not revealed his starting line-up nor substitutes for the first round game at the 52,000-seat New George V Stadium in central town Curepipe.

But the coach in his third spell guiding Mauritius sees a role for Appou, who has struck 10 goals in 25 internationals spanning 16 years.

“Kersley scores regularly and I have a hunch he will be among the goals against Mauritania and help us qualify,” he said.

Patel used only one striker in the first leg, starting with 23-year-old Gurty Calembe and introducing the tall Appou 10 minutes from time.

The African history maker has spent his football career with various Mauritian clubs apart from a brief spell playing in neighbouring Reunion.

Mauritius, whose lone Cup of Nations finals appearance was in 1974, have a horrendous recent home record in qualifiers.

Les Dodos — the national team nickname derives from an extinct flight-less bird that inhabited the island — have won only one of their last 15 matches.

That 3-1 triumph over Uganda was a rare occasion as Mauritius failed to score in seven games and netted just once in each of seven other qualifiers.

However, Patel believes the deficit can be overcame and a place secured in the April 27 Cairo draw for the second preliminary round.

“We must believe in our chances,” he said, “but dare not underestimate opponents who have many France-based footballers.”

Patel has bolstered his first-leg squad with three midfielders — Bulgaria-based Kevin Bru, 36-year-old Jimmy Cundasamy and Fabrice Pithia.

Mauritania welcome back striker Dominique da Silva from leading Egyptian club Zamalek, who missed the first leg in Nouakchott.

He is set to team up with Nouakchott match-winner Adama Ba, a 20-year-old from French Ligue 1 outfit Bastia.

“Our destiny is in our hands,” said France-born Mauritania coach Patrice Neveu after a tiring journey to Mauritius via Dakar and Dubai.

Mauritania have never reached the Cup of Nations finals nor won an away qualifier with draws in Senegal and Togo coming amid 18 losses.


Nigeria Football Federation told to pay up former assistant coach Okpala’s outstanding entitlements

Former national team assistant Okpala was sacked by the NFF

Former national team assistant Okpala was sacked by the NFF

The House of Representatives Committee on Sports has waded into the Nigeria Football Federation’s misunderstanding with former Super Eagles assistant coach, Sylvanus Okpala and has asked the football federation to pay the dismissed tactician his outstanding financial entitlements.

The Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Ayo Omidiran, while criticizing the NFF for not paying Okpala his entitlements, revealed that she had not come in contact with the ex-international’s petition to the Committee.

Omidiran stated that if she had been aware of the petition, she would have ensured the matter was amicably resolved without recourse to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), were Okpala has resorted to in his quest for justice.

”If I had seen his petition nothing would have made him to petition the Federation to CAS because we would have resolved it once and for all,” the lawmaker told Vanguard.

“The truth is that NFF should pay him all his dues, and I can assure you that once I see the petition action would be taken and Okpala will withdraw his petition to CAS.

“He should not have gone that far but that is the highest arbitration body in sports administration in the world, I know that once we step in, he would withdraw the petition.”


German legend Hitzfield interacts with top Ghana Football officials

Otmar Hetzfeld with ex Ghana international Tony Baffoe at a seminar in Accra

Otmar Hitzfield with ex Ghana international Tony Baffoe at a seminar in Accra

German coaching legend, Otmar Hizfield,brought his coaching odyssey close to some of the key stakeholders of Ghana football in a two-hour interaction aimed at defining new perspectives for the management of the game in the country.

Hizfield, who has coached the likes of Grasshoopers, Aarau, where he handled players such as former Ghanaian international, Opoku Nti, Borrusia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and now in charge of the Swiss national team, is in the country to officially launch the, a local sports news platform.

Hizfield, one of Europe’s most successful tacticians in contemporary times with 12 European titles under his belt in an entralling moment took his audience down memory lane from his modest beginning when he failed to land a job as a mathematics teacher through the travails of the career to a successful manager.

For him, perseverance and the will to succeed are the key elements that should be the driving force behind every football ambition, and that African teams needed them most if they wanted to reach the ultimate at the global football stage.

“African teams are technically and tactically efficient, but the will to succeed is always lacking at the crucial stage.

“When they beat the big teams they are carried away by such minor accomplishments. We saw it when Cameroun defeated Argentina, the defending champions at the World Cup in 1990, and Algeria also beat Germany in 1982, but they all failed to reach the finals.

“The difference is that the big teams are driven by the desire to reach the ultimate and are not moved by minor achievements,” he stated.


Former Ghana coach Barreto gets the nod as coach of Ethiopia

Former Ghana coach Mariano Barreto

Former Ghana coach Mariano Barreto

Former Ghana coach Mariano Barreto has been appointed as the new Ethiopian coach with immediate effect.

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) announced on Tuesday that the Portuguese will take over from Sewnet Bishaw who was sacked in early February.

EFF settled on Barreto from a shortlist of five coaches that had been drawn from the initial 27 who applied for the job.

Barreto coached Ghana between 2003-2004 then coached CS Maritimo between 2004-2005.

In 2005 he moved to Al Nasr, then moved on to Naval between 2006-2007.

Mariano then moved to AL Qudisiyah in 2011S.

Should the EFF fail to agree on the salary with Mariano, they would consider settling for Serbian Zoran Pilipovic.


NFF debunks sacked Nigeria assistant coach Okpala’s rants

Okpala was sacked as assistant coach of the Super Eagles

Okpala was sacked as assistant coach of the Super Eagles

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reacted strongly to Sylvanus Okpala for comments he made in a recent interview that insinuated that the Federation’s President made rude comments about the President Goodluck Jonathan in the saga that followed his sack from the national team’s technical team.

Okpala said in an interview that NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari had boasted that not even President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR can compel him (Maigari) to return him (Okpala) to the Super Eagles.

The claim has clearly not gone down well with the bigwigs at the glass house, with the General Secretary of the Federation Musa Amadu registering his disappointment at the comments which he described as a immature effort to blackmail the NFF President.

“Mr Sylvanus Okpala must come out clearly to tell the world at which forum the NFF President made such a statement. It is infuriating that a former employee of the NFF would go to that length to try and blackmail the NFF President and the Executive Committee,” Amadu said.

“Mr. Okpala’s statement was wholly in bad faith and was a poor attempt at showcasing the NFF President in bad light. Alhaji Maigari is universally known to be, as a result of his background, respectful of persons in authority and would never issue such a statement.

“The NFF is taken aback that Mr. Okpala also went ahead to say that the NFF killed his mother! How could we have done that? I remember quite well that when Mr. Okpala lost his dear mother, the NFF issued a condolence message and even sent him a letter of condolence.”

Amadu recalled the months before Okpala was employed as Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles, when he persistently asked the NFF to intervene in his contractual dispute with his then employers, Rangers International Football Club of Enugu.

“The NFF President and members of the Executive Committee and Management went all out to back Mr. Okpala in his case. It is regrettable that the same man can turn around to be painting the NFF in bad light,” Amadu continued.

“He is commenting on a case that is in court, which leaves him open to contempt. The NFF never wanted to comment on this matter but for the misconduct of Mr. Okpala in bringing the name of President Goodluck Jonathan into this matter.”


Eritrea withdraws from CAF AFCON 2015 qualifiers

Eritrea has withdrawn from AFCON 2015 qualifiers

Eritrea has withdrawn from AFCON 2015 qualifiers

CAF has announced Eritrea’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers.

They were due to play newcomers South Sudan in one of two preliminary round fixtures in April. South Sudan now proceed to the next qualifying round.

The East African country has a history of players defecting on international duties with the national teams.

Seventeen players from the Eritrean squad, plus the team doctor, absconded at the 2012 East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda.

In 2011, 13 Eritrean players sought asylum in Tanzania after the same tournament, while 12 members of the Eritrea squad disappeared and sought asylum in Kenya during the regional tournament in 2009.

Four Eritrean athletes also left their base and sought political asylum in Britain after the London Olympics in 2012.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 Eritreans flee the small east African country every month, a United Nations report said last year. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis)


Friendly between Senegal- Kosovo scheduled for Geneva

The Teranga Lions of Senegal

The Teranga Lions of Senegal

Senegal will play a friendly against Kosovo with the match scheduled May 23 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Kosovo will be playing their second ever friendly match against the Teranga Lions after playing their first against Haiti on March 5, ending in a goalless draw.

The Kosovo FA is neither a member of Fifa or Uefa. The team is managed by Kosovar football manager Albert Bunjaki since May 2009.

Senegal are preparing for the qualifiers of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations having failed to qualify for the upcoming Fifa World Cup in Brazil.



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