FIFA President supports African football’s restart in Cameroon
January 19, 2021 | 0 Comments
|Gianni Infantino concluded a two-day trip to Cameroon|
|YAOUNDE, Cameroon, January 18, 2021/ — FIFA President Gianni Infantino concluded a two-day trip to Cameroon, where he has met with dignitaries of the country and key officials from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Cameroonian Football Association (Fecafoot). The trip coincided with the start of the African Nations Championship (CHAN), which is being hosted in three Cameroon cities from 16 January until 7 February 2021.|
The FIFA President, who was received in a private audience by Paul Biya, the President of the Republic of Cameroon, at the Unity Palace in Yaounde on Friday, subsequently attended a ceremony which conferred the title of CAF Honorary President to Issa Hayatou, who presided over the confederation from 1988 to 2017.
“I had the pleasure of providing President Biya with an update in relation to FIFA’s role in supporting football, not only in Cameroon, but also across Africa and globally,” said the FIFA President, who was accompanied at the meeting by CAF President Constant Omari. The FIFA President would also later meet Cameroon Prime Minister Joseph Ngute during the visit to Yaounde.
“Equally, meeting with CAF and Fecafoot officials, it was important to show FIFA’s support to football in Cameroon and across the African continent, especially as the African Nations Championship just kicked off, the first international tournament being played in 2021, and spectators are attending matches according to the safety protocols which have been established,” the FIFA President added. “It sends an important message to have football restarting in Africa, particularly in an indisputable football country such as Cameroon.”
Prior to leaving the country, Gianni Infantino attended the opening ceremony and the opening match of the CHAN final tournament, where hosts Cameroon narrowly overcame Zimbabwe at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde. In total, 16 African national teams are participating in what is the sixth African Nations Championship, a biennial tournament which involves players from the respective domestic leagues.
The event has also received support from FIFA as, since October 2020, CAF has been using FIFA’s COVID Relief Fund grant (USD 2 million) to restart their competitions, with the medical protocols, flights and accommodation for match officials at CHAN being subsidised through this funding.
CHAN 2020: Banga Solomon’s Strike Gives Cameroon Victory against Zimbabwe
January 17, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
An overhead kick from Coton sport of Garoua’s Banga Solomon was enough for the Intermediate Lions to win the Warriors of Zimbabwe in the opening game of the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN.
The goal from Banga Solomon which turned out to be the winning goal came in the 72 minutes of play through a freekick on the edge of the Zimbabweans goal. A missed header from the Warriors saw the ball come to Banga who produced a spectacular overhead kick to score.
The team were made to work hard for that victory with little scoring chances created by the intermediate lions. Captain Jacques Zoua has a series of these chances but could not deliver. The player was substituted at the 80 minutes with many looking at him to be the scorer should Cameroon need goals.
The intermediate Lions had been under pressure to deliver as many had questioned the selection of the final 23 man squad released by Coach Martin Mpile. A squad of 23 players were called up with 10 on the waiting list.
There was a beautiful display from Martin Loic Ako Assomo for the intermediate Lions. His beautiful display during the game saw him picking up the man of the match award.
Goalkeeper Haschou Kerido of PWD Bamenda showed his class in the game. He was calm and collected in the face of opposition, coming out of his box to catch the ball – a display that will surely raise confidence in him and his backline. The backline of the intermediate lions was manned by players from Coton Sport.
It should be noted that Cameroon is in Group A alongside Zimbabwe, Mali and Burkina Faso. In the second game played, it was Mali that defeated Burkina Faso by 1-0. The goal for the Malians was scored by Bagayoko at the 70th minute.
The Intermediate Lions of Cameroon will next be in action on January 20 at 5 pm local time against Mali. It is a crucial game as both teams are tied on 3 points. A victory by the intermediate lions or Mali guarantees them a spot in the next round of the competition.
CHAN 2021: A Look at the Major Contenders for the Trophy
January 16, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The 6 edition of the African Nations Championship, CHAN 2021 gets underway in Cameroon from January 16 to February 7, 2021. 16 teams are participating in the competition with host Cameroon looking to go beyond the quarter-final of the competition.
The Africa Nations Championship, a competition solely for local players was scheduled for 2020 but had to be postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It promises to be a mouth-watering and a high-level competition from all the countries involved with some trying to win for the first time while others will look to extend their title cabinet. Here, Pan African Visions looks at some of the countries who are tipped to win the trophy either for the first time or added to their trophies already won.
Cameroon competes in the tournament as host. The country did not enter the qualifiers after the won the rights to host the CHAN. The intermediate Lions will participate in the competition with new coach Martin Ntoungou Mpile after the sacking of Yves Clement Arroga.
It is his second stint as head coach of the intermediate Lions of Cameroon having managed the team to quarter-final during the 2016 African Nations Championship in Rwanda. Cameroon will be making their fourth appearance in the tournament, after previously taking part in 2011, 2016 and 2018.
The Indomitable Lions have never gone past the quarterfinals. They did so in 2011 and 2016 and will hope to correct those statistics when they host Africa. Mpile and his team have been handed the mission to take Cameroon right to the final and to improve the system of play of the team in the CHAN.
Cameroon will rely on players like Banga Solomon, Bamboutos Player Christian Mayo, Yannick Ndjeng, Banga, Rene Ndi amongst others to propel them to the title.
Morocco is coming into this competition as the defending champions. They became the first country to host and win the trophy in 2018 during the 5th edition of the competition. They beat Nigeria by 4 goals to 1.
The North Africans will be appearing for the fourth time at the continental tournament, having made their debut in 2014 in South Africa.
The Atlas Lions got as far the quarterfinals six years ago, topping Group B ahead of Zimbabwe, Uganda and Burkina Faso before losing a 4-3 thriller after extra time to Nigeria.
In Rwanda in 2016, Morocco was eliminated in the first round, as they finished behind Ivory Coast and hosts Rwanda in Group A.
Morocco will open their campaign on January 18, 2021, in Douala when they face tournament debutants, Togo. Four days later they take on Rwanda, while their group stage campaign will be wrapped up on January 26 when they battle Uganda.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo headlines group B. They are the most successful team in the competition. They have won the competition twice (2009 and 2016) out of the five editions and will hope to make it three times during the Cameroon expedition.
The DR Congo Intermediate Lions is under TP Mazemba trainer Pamphile Mihayo and he has hope that before the start of the championship, his team will be ready.
The Mediterranean Knights crowned CHAN champions in 2014 will begin the quest to become champions for the second time as they face Niger on 17 January 2021. Montenegrin Zoran Filipovic will lead the Libyan national team in the Chan championship with the assistance of national coach Mohamed Al-Kikli.
The Libyan Football Federation (LFF) recently released a list of players to participate at the 6th edition of the CHAN. The team includes 28 players from seven clubs that are playing in Libya’s premier league, which was suspended for about 18 months.
Libya secured a place in the competition for footballers playing in their country of birth after Tunisia, the team that defeated them in a qualifier, withdrew.
Zoran Filipovic has previously worked in Africa 10 years ago, saving South African Premiership club Golden Arrows from relegation during 12 months with the Durban club.
The first task of Filipovic, who was capped 13 times by the then Yugoslavia as a forward, will be to prepare Libya for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon next month.
“I promise to give my all to the cause of the Libyan national team,” said the 67-year-old during a press conference in Tripoli.
Burkina Faso will be making its third appearance during the Cameroon expedition after that of 2014 and 2018.
The Head coach of the local Stallions of Burkina Faso Seydou Zerbo made known a list of 33 players instead of the normal 23 player squad to participate at the 6th edition of the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN 2021.
Burkina Faso summoned top scorer of the first leg, Mohamed Lamine Ouattara of AS Sonabel, striker of EFO, Yannick Pognogo, and experienced goalkeeper, Babayouré Sawadogo were all called up to the group.
The country will hope to improve their performance has never gone past the group stage and the Cameroon expedition may just be that year that the country finally improves on that performance as wins the competition. They will first have to battle their way out of the group stage if they are to be victorious this year.
Kenyan referees chosen for CHAN tournament
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has included two Kenyans in the list of 39 referees who will preside over the African Nation’s Championship (CHAN).
The two are Dr. Peter Waweru, a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology as a central referee, and Gilbert Cheruiyot as an assistant referee.
Dr. Waweru will have another opportunity to show his prowess at the continental level after doing the same at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. So far, he has officiated 12 continental matches, including Confederation Cup, CAF Champions League, and group stage afcon matches.
CHAN is a showpiece created for players plying their trade in the domestic leagues. This year’s tournament is set to kick off on January 16 and run to February 7, 2021, in Cameroon.
The host will start their campaign against Zimbabwe before taking Mali and Burkina Faso on January 20 and 24, respectively.
DR Congo, the tournament’s most successful team, were seeded in Group B together with Congo Brazaville, Libya, and Niger. DRC have won the cup two times.
The defending champions Morocco are in Group B, and they will compete against Togo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
In Group D, Zambia will face Namibia, Guinea, and Tanzania.
CHAN was scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kenya:Injured Gor Mahia to face Napsa Stars in Caf Confederation Cup
January 9, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenyan Premier League giant Gor Mahia has been drawn to face Zambian side Napsa Stars in the Caf Confederation Cup group stage play-offs.
The Kenyan champions will host their opponents on February 14, with the return league scheduled to be on February 21 in Lusaka, Zambia, according to the draw of the competition carried out by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) on Friday.
The winner between Gor and Napsa Stars will qualify for the group stage of the competition.
Gor is set to face former players Shaban Odhoji, Timothy Otieno, and another Kenyan, Andrew Tololwa, who ply their trade at the Zambian Side.
The Green Army was bundled out of the Caf Champions League by CR Belouizdad of Algeria on 8-1 aggregate. Napsa reached the play-offs stage on away goal rule following a 1-1 aggregate score against Mozambique’s UD Songo.
SW Regional League: Major Upsets Recorded On Matchday One
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The much anticipated South West regional League finally took off across stadia in the Region with major upsets recorded along the way. Victoria United, LIFCA, UBFC, Little Foot all recorded defeats.
24 goals were scored on matchday one with 7 home wins. 2 games did not take place due to licenses issues.
With the Regional League in recess to resume only after the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN which concludes on February 7, 2021, Pan Africa Visions looks at the state of affairs of the League after the first day of play and examines the chances of the big guns succeeding after faltering on the first day.
Victoria United Faltered at the Start
Victoria United aka “OPOPO” went in this year for a new coach in the person of Njoku Barnabas to help them get that much-needed ticket to Elite 2 Football. The start, however, is not what he would have hoped for as his side were beaten 1-0 by Option Sport.
The team’s ambition despite the loss on the first day is to first reach the mini interpool and then secure a space at the national interpool. “…That is what I am here”. “If I am here I think I have something to offer. I am here because I have my ambitions. With the players and administration I have at hand I believe we are up to the task. Like any ambitious club in the region, the goal is to qualify this club first to the mini interpool and from there we will take it forward,” Coach Barnabas said.
The next game for Victoria United is almost a must-win affair. They cannot afford to drop points if they are to achieve their ambitions. Victoria United will face Best Stars on Matchday 2. Best Stars was on standby during day one. They too will hope not to drop points against Victoria United and a draw will suit them well.
Prisons Show Master class against Cinyodev FA
Prisons Social Club of Buea aka “Home Boys” showed class and superiority against a lacklustre Cinyodev FA side that fielded a young squad against an experienced side. Prisons dismantled Cinyodev FA by 6 goals to 0 with a brace each from Mborong Collins, Elonge Moki Junior and substitute Ekema Samuel Etonge.
Cinyodev FA was without Ntui Brandon, a main-stay at the defence for Cinyodev FA last football season who signed with YOSA this year, as was another player of Cinyodev.
“This is a championship and every goal counts on the last day of the competition. So when you have the opportunity to make a goal you have to take it and it also builds confidence with the attackers. Last year we had the problem of our attackers not scoring so if they have the opportunity to score they have to take it to get that confidence,” Coach Enang Severine of Prisons FC told Pan African Visions.
In the other Pool A game, H.O Academy had an easy ride over Mt Cameroon FC. The former defeated the latter by 3 goals to 0, with a brace from Alexi Lalas giving his side all three points.
Ajax FC too Good for Little Foot FC
Ajax FC Likomba showed cutting edge finishing against Little Foot FC. The boys of Coach Patrice who had a series of training exercises dispatched Little Foot Fc by 4 goals to zero.
“Last football season Ajax did something that no one would have imagined. In the overall classification Ajax was second and at the beginning of the championship last year no one would have imagined that Ajax would hold Tiko United, EEMSA. This year the expectation is much higher than last year,” Coach Tueche Patrice said.
The club has succeeded in getting some new faces to flesh up the squad. Attacker Mbigla Oscar has been brought in. So too are Chenco and Benton in the defence line. “The boys are ready than last year, and I am sure that this year Ajax will be different,” Coach Patrice Tueche added.
A sneak peek at Matchday Two
Matchday two in Pool A promises to be firework with a battle for first place. Prisons FC who leads Pool A by goal difference faces H.O Academy – a side that the former defeated last football season by 1 goal to 0.
LIFCA will be hoping to be on red hot form when they next take to the pitch. The team has high hopes of reaching the Elite 2 football championship this year after bringing in Coach Augustine Choupo. LIFCA will face Pool C leaders NQSA. Everything rest on this game for LIFCA.
In Pool F, Ajax FC will hope to continue their good start of the championship. The team dispatched Little Foot on day one of the championships. Coach Patrice Tueche was very pleased after the opening day victory and will hope the good fortunes will be with them.
EEMSA on their part will also hope they can continue their winning run. The team that won Tiko United in the opening day of the championship faces Little Foot FC, a side that was hammered by Ajax FC.
Complete Matchday Two fixtures
Pol A: Cinyodev FA versus Mount Cameroon FC and Prisons against H.O Academy.
Pool B: Continetal FA versus University of Buea FC, Buea United FC versus Dynamic FC. Catholic University Soccer Academy is on standby.
In Pool C: ISOHSA to face Njalla Quan Sports Academy (NQSA), FUSSA against LIFCA
Pool D: Best Stars will face Victoria United, while Option Sports will be on standby
In Pool E: Kumba Lakers awaits NEMFA, while Bau Manibok to battle with Future Dream. Nkamanyi Football Initiative will be on standby.
Pool F: Treviso who was on standby on matchday one will face league leaders Ajax FC Likomba. Little Foot FC battles EEMSA, while Tiko United is on standby.
The goal of the teams in the South West Region is to get a ticket to play Elite Two football next football season. The Region is blessed with state-of-the-art infrastructure but yet no team in the Elite 1 or 2 Football Championships. The hope from football stakeholders in the Region is that this year will be that year as since the like of Buea United, Tiko United, no team from the South West Region has been into the Elite tier of Football in the Region.
Cameroon: 2020/2021 NW Regional League Begins February 9
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
2020/2021 North West Regional football Championship is set to begin February 9, 2021, after the conclusion of the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN. This was one of many decisions taking during the FECAFOOT North West Assembly meeting this December 23, 2020.
According to reports the 2020/21 football season will be played with 22 teams instead of 21 as was the case last season. There will be four pools with five teams and another two pools with 6 teams. The top 2 teams from both pools will qualify for the mini-interpools.
The launch of the North West Regional football championship will follow that of the South West, East, West, and Centre Regional championship which were launched earlier. For the South West Regional championship, it is on recess to resume only after the Africa Nations Championship, a decision taking by club president during the FECAFOOT General Assembly for the South West Region.
The Secretary-General of the NW Regional League of FECAFOOT Ndi Tsembom Elvis has said that FECAFOOT NW has set up a team to manage “Futsal” in the region. To him, work is in progress to ensure that there is a Futsal tournament in the region.
“1st national President for Futsal is currently in the region to work hand in hand with the NW SG for the realisation of this,” SG Ndi Tsembom said, as reported by Martial Gnoukapasir. “New Futsal fields have been constructed already in the NW to facilitate the upcoming specialised tournament.”
In his presentation of the balance sheet of last football season that was cancelled like other regional leagues across the country, Ndi Tsembom highlighted that the absence of funds was an issue for the proper management of football in the region.
He equally congratulated PWD Bamenda for being crowned champions of the Elite one football championship. PWD won the championship last year, a feat they had never reached since their creation some 58 years ago.
“The greatest problem we face away from covid-19 is the football pitch. Now that am Mayor I will do my best to see something is done about that,” Mbigha Felix, President FECAFOOT NW said.
Other resolutions taking during the NW FRCAFOOT Assembly:
-On instructions from Mbombo Njoya, no club duly affiliated last season will do so this season.
– Affiliation is free as the bureau is obliged to give same licenses teams paid for last year.
– Female football league will be inter-regional with NW clubs playing alongside those of the west region. 5 teams are to represent the region with their licenses.
Cameroon:South West Regional Championship Kicks Off December 13
December 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The South West Regional Championship is set to be launch this December 13 2020. The opening game will see Tiko United alias the Samba Boys facing Elame Eteki Memorial Sports Academy, EEMSA.
The game that will be played at the Tiko Town Green Stadium will commence at 3 pm with the other day One matches coming up on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
Meanwhile, ahead of the kickoff, the Regional General Assembly Meeting has been programmed for this Saturday, December 12, 2020, at the Regional Office of FECAFOOT Buea, according to a release by the Secretary-General of the South West Regional League of FECAFOOT, Sylvester Esowe Muambo.
For the past 9 months now, football activities had been suspended in the region due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The South West Regional League like other Regional leagues across the country was abandoned since March.
Tiko United last football season had nursed the ambition to qualify for the Mini interpool and the National Interpool for a ticket to the Elite 2 football championship, a competition they had tested before their relegation to the Regional league. In the cancelled football season, Tiko United was leading their pool with a sure chance of the Mini Interpool.
In 2009, Tiko United won the Cameroon First Division for the first time in their history and a place in the CAF Champions League.
Kenya:Is Tomas Trucha plotting his way out of Leopard’s den?
December 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenyan Premier League side AFC Leopards kicked off the 2020/2021 season over the weekend on high by registering a 2-1 win against the 2016 champions Tusker FC.
Tusker opened the scoring via David Majak, but Robinson Kamura and Elvis Rupia struck a goal each to take the 13-time champions to the top of the table.
Ahead of their next Sunday match against the newly promoted Bidco United, daunting information has emerged that might destabilize the team’s spirit.
Coach Thomas Trucha has claimed that his life is in danger following threats to his agents by people claiming to be supporters of the club.
“The coach’s agent has been threatened by people claiming to be our supporters, and the coach doesn’t feel safe here,” said Dan Shikanda, the club’s chairman.
He added, “I talked to him yesterday, and he says because his representative has been threatened, he doesn’t think he is safe.”
Prior, it was speculated that the former Botswana’s Township Rollers boss is pushing his way out of the club over interference.
It was reported that Trucha is accusing some of the club officials of pushing for some players’ fielding on match days.
Speaking during the launch of the team’s shirt sponsor, Betsafe, Shikanda revealed that they would give away forward on Thursday.
“We will have a press conference tomorrow with the coach, and he will make a decision whether he will stay or leave,” said Shikanda.
Nuggets Convert Contract of Bol Bol
November 25, 2020 | 0 Comments
Bol, 7-2, 220, was selected with the 44th overall pick by the Miami Heat in the 2019 NBA draft and was acquired by the Nuggets in a draft night trade.
The Denver Nuggets have converted the two-way contract of Bol Bol to a standard multi-year NBA contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
Bol Bol, who will remain a rookie for the 2020-21 season as he did not appear in an NBA game prior to the hiatus on March 11th, appeared in seven games for the Nuggets during the seeding games in the Orlando Bubble and averaged 5.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting .500 from the field and .444 from beyond the arc.
The 21-year-old impressed in the Nuggets three scrimmage games prior to the Seeding Games in Orlando, posting averages of 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in 29.3 minutes per game. He also appeared in eight games for the Windy City Bulls of the G League in 2019-20, averaging 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 19.3 minutes.
Bol, 7-2, 220, was selected with the 44th overall pick by the Miami Heat in the 2019 NBA draft and was acquired by the Nuggets in a draft night trade. He appeared in nine games as a freshman for Oregon in 2018-19, averaging 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 29.8 minutes before a season-ending foot injury. Bol reached double figure scoring in every game and tallied four double-doubles.
The 19-year-old native of Khartoum, Sudan, is the son of former NBA great Manute Bol who played 10 seasons for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat.
*SOURCE Denver Nuggets
Mismanagement of funds, Abuse of Position: CAF President Ahmad Ahmad Banned for Five Years
November 23, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The President of the Confederation of African Football, CAF Ahmad Ahmad has been banned from all sporting related activities for the next five years by Football governing body FIFA.
The FIFA ethics committee found “Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President.”
“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Ahmad Ahmad, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a FIFA Vice-President, guilty of having breached art. 15 (Duty of loyalty), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits) and art. 25 (Abuse of position) of the 2020 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as art. 28 (Misappropriation of funds) of the 2018 edition,” the statement read.
“The investigation into Mr Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF President during the period from 2017 to 2019 concerning various CAF-related governance issues, including the organisation and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, his involvement in CAF’s dealings with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities.”
“In its decision, following an extensive hearing, the adjudicatory chamber ruled that, based on information gathered by the investigatory chamber, Mr Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President, under the FIFA Code of Ethics.
“Consequently, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Ahmad had breached arts 15, 20 and 25 of the current edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as art. 28 of the 2018 edition, and sanctioned him with a ban from all football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level for five years. Also, a fine of CHF 200,000 has been imposed on Mr Ahmad.”
Ahmad’s first four-year term was clouded with allegations of financial wrongdoing and misconduct at the Confederation of African Football headquarters in Cairo. He was detained by French authorities in Paris on the eve of the Women’s World Cup for questioning about a CAF equipment deal with a company that appeared to have little connection with soccer.
The Ban for the Malagy comes at a time when he has been seeking re-election as President of CAF. 46 African football Federations had called for Ahmad to seek a second mandate, which he fittingly obliged. The CAF election is scheduled for March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.
A Clear Road for Patrice Motsepe of South Africa?
Patrice Motsepe, chairman of 2016 African club champions Mamelodi Sundowns is seen as the front contender for the CAF Presidency. With Ahmad Ahmad’s ban, the tagline may just be true.
Ahmad’s ban leaves the number of candidates for the Presidency to three; Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast, Augustine Senghor, the head of the Senegalese Football Federation and Patrice Motsepe of South Africa.
“Motsepe can contest the position since he fulfils the requirements of having been involved in football for the past five years, with the South African having led Pretoria-based Sundowns since 2004, and has received the backing of his federation,” BBC Sports Africa reported.
“Caf must improve its global standing,” said South Africa FA president Danny Jordaan. “He is the most appropriate person we could offer for the leadership of Caf. We do not want any compromise on governance or ethics in football.”
“He has more superior qualities than me,” Pinnick told BBC Sport Africa. “It’s not about me, it’s about African football. If you have someone with superior qualities, you have to learn from him and queue behind him and wait for your time.”
“The key to successful governance starts from the point where the right person or persons are put in the right positions for the right reasons,” said Sierra Leone FA president Isha Johansen. “African football and the African continent need to be on the global platform for the right reasons.”
Eight Players of Nigerian Descent Selected in NBA Draft 2020
November 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
13 international players from 10 countries were selected: seven in the first round and six in the second round.
NBA Draft 2020 Presented by State Farm® was held virtually on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut and reached fans in 215 countries and territories in 29 languages. The Minnesota Timberwolves made the first pick for the second time in franchise history, selecting Georgia’s Anthony Edwards. The Golden State Warriors picked second (Memphis’ James Wiseman) for the first time in the common draft era. The Charlotte Hornets picked LaMelo Ball from Australia’s NBL third overall.
13 international players from 10 countries were selected: seven in the first round and six in the second round. Precious Achiuwa was selected 20th overall by the Miami Heat and Udoka Azubuike was selected 27th overall by the Utah Jazz, marking the first time that two players from Nigeria were selected in the first round of the same NBA Draft. Achiuwa and Azubuike are among the eight draftees from or with at least one parent from Nigeria, including Isaac Okoro (5th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers), Onyeka Okongwu (6th overall by the Atlanta Hawks), Zeke Nnaji (22nd overall by the Denver Nuggets), Desmond Bane (30th overall by the Boston Celtics), Daniel Oturu (33rd overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves) and Jordan Nwora (45th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks).
Isaac Okoro: “It feels great to be the first Nigerian in this draft to be drafted. It’s also just a blessing. Like you said, my mom always tells me to keep that Nigerian pride. Even though I wasn’t born in Nigeria, I still got Nigerian blood. So it’s just having that on my shoulders.”
Precious Achiuwa: “First I want to thank God. I want to thank God for putting me in this type of position where I’m playing for a great organization and able to represent not just myself but where I’m from, my whole country behind me, my whole city. And to play for an organization like the Heat is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to be able to get out there and compete with the rest of my teammates.”
Udoka Azubuike : “For me, I’ve just been working hard and keeping my head down. Not listening to the people talking about projections. A lot of people had me in the second round, but I wasn’t concerned about that. I know what I bring to the table. I know what I can bring to a team. I know whatever team drafted me, I’m going to have to go there and have to prove myself and work hard.”
Below please find storylines about the international players selected in NBA Draft 2020 and in the NBA. Transcripts of Zoom media availability sessions with players selected in tonight’s NBA Draft are available at this link: . For the attached photos, please credit NBAE/Getty Images.
International Players Selected in NBA Draft 2020 Presented by State Farm®:
- Killian Hayes (France; born in Lakeland, Fla.; ratiopharm Ulm) was selected 7th overall by Detroit Pistons , becoming the highest-drafted French player ever. Hayes was named an All-Star at two Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global camps as part of NBA All-Star 2018 and 2019 and becomes the ninth former BWB camper to be drafted in the top 10 in the last five years. There were eight French players on 2019-20 opening-night rosters.
- Deni Avdija (Israel; Maccabi Tel Aviv) was selected 9th overall by the Washington Wizards , becoming the highest-drafted Israeli player ever and just the second Israeli player to be drafted in the first round (Omri Casspi, 23rd overall in 2009). Avdija was named MVP of Basketball Without Borders Europe (BWB) 2018 and BWB Global 2019 and becomes the 10th former BWB camper to be drafted in the top 10 in the last five years. Avdija’s father, Zufer, won a bronze medal with Yugoslavia at the 1982 FIBA Basketball World Championship and played professionally in Serbia and Israel. His mother, Sharon Artzi, is a former championship runner.
- Aleksej Pokuševski (Serbia; Olympiacos) was selected 17th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, becoming the highest-drafted Serbian player since Darko Miličić, (2nd overall in 2003) and the fourth Serbian player to be drafted in the first round in the last 15 years. Pokuševski participated in Basketball Without Borders Europe 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia alongside fellow 2020 draftee Deni Avdija (9th overall by the Washington Wizards; Israel). There were six Serbian players on 2019-20 opening night rosters, the fifth most of any country outside the U.S.
- Josh Green (Australia; University of Arizona) was selected 18th overall by the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the highest-drafted Australian player since Ben Simmons (1st overall in 2016) and the seventh Australian to be drafted in the first round. Green was named an All-Star at Basketball Without Borders Global 2018 and participated in the 2018 NBA Global Camp in Treviso, Italy alongside fellow 2020 draftees Killian Hayes and Theo Maledon (France).
- Precious Achiuwa (Nigeria; University of Memphis) was selected 20th overall by the Miami Heat, becoming the third Nigerian player to be drafted in the first round since 2000. There are 10 current and former NBA players from Nigeria, tied with Senegal for the most of any African country. There are more than 90 current and former NBA players from Africa or with direct family ties to the continent, including 13 African-born players on 2019-20 opening-night rosters.
- Leandro Bolmaro (Argentina; FC Barcelona) was selected 23rd overall by the New York Knicks, becoming the highest-drafted Argentinian player ever. Bolmaro participated in Basketball Without Borders Americas 2017 and Basketball Without Borders Global 2018 , where he was named an All-Star alongside fellow 2020 draftees Killian Hayes (7th overall by Detroit Pistons; France) and Josh Green (18th overall by the Dallas Mavericks; Australia). In March 2018, Bolmaro joined top prospects from the league’s NBA Academies at Next Generation Sunday at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in San Antonio , where he participated in educational and life-skills sessions, competed against peers from around the world, and experienced aspects of the Final Four from a player’s perspective, including attending Final Four semifinal games. Prior to the event, he spent a week training at NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City alongside top prospects from across the region.
- Udoka Azubuike (Nigeria; University of Kansas) was selected 27th overall by the Utah Jazz, marking the first time that two players from Nigeria were selected in the first round of the same NBA Draft (Precious Achiuwa was selected 20th overall by the Miami Heat).
- Théo Maledon (France; ASVEL) was selected 34th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. Maledon participated in the 2018 NBA Global Camp in Treviso, Italy alongside fellow 2020 draftees Killian Hayes (France) and Josh Green (Australia).
- Vit Krejčí (Czech Republic; Casademont Zaragoza) was selected 37th overall by the Washington Wizards, becoming the first player drafted from the Czech Republic since Tomas Satoransky (32nd overall in the 2012). Krejčí participated in Basketball Without Borders Europe 2017 and Basketball Without Borders Global 2018 .
- Nick Richards (Jamaica; University of Kentucky) was selected 42nd overall by the New Orleans Pelicans, becoming the highest-drafted Jamaican player since Rumeal Robinson (10th overall in 1990) and the first Jamaican player drafted since Jerome Jordan (44th overall in 2010).
- Marko Simonović (Montenegro; Mega Soccerbet) was selected 44th overall by the Chicago Bulls.
- Yam Madar (Israel; Hapoel Tel Aviv) was selected 47th overall by the Boston Celtics, marking the first time that two Israeli players were selected in the same NBA Draft (Deni Avdija was selected 9th overall by the Washington Wizards , becoming the highest-drafted Israeli player ever).
- Nico Mannion (Italy; University of Arizona) was selected 48th overall by the Golden State Warriors, becoming the highest-drafted Italian player since Danilo Gallinari (6th overall in 2008). Mannion was born in Italy and holds dual citizenship. His father, Pace, played in the NBA and the Italian League. His mother, Gaia, was a professional volleyball player in her native Italy.
International Players in the NBA:
- There were 108 international players from 38 countries and territories on 2019-20 opening-night rosters (press release from 10/22/19 linked here.
- The 2019-20 season was the sixth consecutive season that opening-night rosters featured at least 100 international players.
- Canada had the most NBA players of any country outside the U.S. for the sixth straight year with 16 players (Australia and France had nine each).
- The Dallas Mavericks led the league with seven international players on 2019-20 opening-night NBA rosters.
- A record six international players were named to a 2019-20 All-NBA Team: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; All-NBA First Team); Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks; Slovenia; All-NBA First Team); Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets; Serbia; All-NBA Second Team); Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors; Cameroon; All-NBA Second Team); Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz; France; All-NBA Third Team) and Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers; Australia; All-NBA Third Team).
“Ghost” Mulee says he won’t resign after Kenya lost 2-1 to minnows Comoros.
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Football enthusiasts have been calling for the resignation of the national soccer team Harambee Stars coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee following a disappointing 2-1 loss at the hands of lowly-ranked Comoros.
Sunday’s loss means Kenya’s chance of making it to the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Cameroon is minimal, with two games remaining. The East African nation is in the third position with three points behind Comoros and Egypt, which have accumulated 8 and 5 points.
Egypt’s win against Togo in Lome today will dim Kenya’s dream of a back to back appearance at the biennial showpiece.
Speaking to the local media after the team jetted back to the country from Moroni, Mulee said he would not resign even if the country fails to make it to the AFCON, noting that he has long term goals with the team.
“I have resigned before so it’s not a problem at all. But I have my own responsibilities and aims and I want to say that the times of resignation ended a long time ago. I will fight for the team and would only leave if I’m sacked,” he said.
The 52-year-old technician attributed the team’s failure to the coronavirus pandemic.
“When we played our first matches against Egypt and Togo, the local league was running. There was fair competition between local players and the foreign based ones. It’s a totally different situation when you have players who have been inactive for nine months,” Mulee added.
He also rued over the absence of striker Michael Olunga who plies his trade with the Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol. Olunga missed the two matches owing to strict Covid-19 restrictions in the Asian country.
“He is a top player who we depend on. You saw we created so many chances in both matches, and we couldn’t convert them into goals. Olunga is the type of a player who will convert even half a chance for you, we missed him,” he lamented.
“In football we say it is not over until it is over. We can still win the two matches and take our tally to nine points. Depending on the Togo versus Egypt result, we still have a chance that we cannot declare it’s gone before we play the matches,” maintained Mulee saying the Afcon dream is far from over.
Stars will host Egypt in March 2021 before traveling to Lome to take on Togo.
Race to CAF Presidency: Sundowns’ Patrice Motsepe Submits his Candidacy
November 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
As the race hits up for who becomes the President of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, the body that manages football on the African continent, the chairman of South African outfit Mamelodi Sundowns Patrice Motsepe has entered the race.
He becomes the third person to show interest in that position after incumbent Ahmad Ahmad indicated he will run again, with Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast the other person in the race. CAF’s election is scheduled to take place in March 2021 in Morocco.
Motsepe according to Forbes is the fourth wealthiest South African and the sixth wealthiest in Africa. He has a net worth estimated to be $2.4 billion. Motsepe has been involved in football for the past 16 years now as he has led Pretoria-based Sundowns since 2004. In 2016 his side Sundowns succeeded in capturing the CAF Champions League trophy.
Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Sierra Leone are amongst eight countries that have refused to back Ahmad’s candidacy. Ahmad Ahmad has received the blessings of 46 African FA Presidents to stand for a second term in office.
CAF must improve its global standing,” said South Africa FA President Danny Jordaan as per BBC Sports Africa. “He is the most appropriate person we could offer for the leadership of CAF. We do not want any compromise on governance or ethics in football.”
Motsepe, who has been backed by his South Africa FA was not at the Press Conference on Monday to make his candidacy known as he is in quarantine after contracting COVID-19. Danny Jordaan, South Africa FA President and Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s Minister of Sports did so.
Jacques Anouma who is a former member of the FIFA’s Executive Committee (now FIFA Council) between 2007 and 2015 has been formally backed by his Ivorian Federation on Saturday evening, with the deadline for March’s election this Thursday.
It is still uncertain if incumbent Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar would stand for re-election in March. The Malagasy did submit his necessary files for the position back in October. His eligibility has been questioned after he was found to have breached various FIFA’s ethic codes. He is set to face a ban on that.
Ahmad Ahmad has previously denied any wrongdoing. Last year, he was questioned by French anti-corruption authorities without being charged.
“He has more superior qualities than me,” Nigeria’s Amaju Pinnick, another person who had nursed hopes of becoming the President but has now declined told BBC Sport Africa. “It is not about me, it’s about African football. If you have someone with superior qualities, you have to learn from him and queue behind him and wait for your time.”
“The key to successful governance starts from the point where the right person or persons are put in the right position for the right reason,” Isha Johansen, Sierra Leone FA President said. “African football and the African continent need to be on the global platform for the right reasons.”
FIFA Secretary General inducted into International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame
November 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
|In joining the IWF Hall of Fame the FIFA Secretary General joins women who were inducted for their work on tackling urgent issues the world is facing.|
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura has been inducted into the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Hall of Fame as recognition for her transformative contributions to society.
Fatma Samoura, who worked on United Nations projects for 21-years before becoming the first-ever African, and woman to hold the role of Secretary General at FIFA in its 116-year history, was joined by fellow Hall of Fame honourees Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors and Ginni Rometty, Executive Chairman of IBM, at the online 2020 IWF Hall of Fame Awards Gala.
The gala was held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and featured interviews with each of the three inductees about the paths they took to lead them to their current roles, the advice they have for young women and the causes that motive them in their daily work.
The FIFA Secretary General’s interview touched on her 21-year career working on United Nations projects, her work at FIFA under the leadership of President Gianni Infantino, her six-month mission as FIFA General Delegate for Africa to assist CAF on its reform journey, her zero tolerance for racism and racist behavior and her advice for women.
In a video interview with FIFA’s first-ever Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman, Fatma Samoura said: “In my 21 years as a development and humanitarian actor I met people from different backgrounds, whether religious, ethnic or also based on gender and I could see how they were reacting in the face of difficult and stressful situations… so this wealth of experience I brought in definitely to FIFA where, as I said, the human being is a key aspect of everything we do. Whether you are a coach, a football player or a fan, you deal with human beings. The core values I brought along with my 21 years at the UN are respect of diversity, fighting discrimination, fighting for equal opportunity and a world that is more just and fair to everybody.”
In joining the IWF Hall of Fame the FIFA Secretary General joins women who were inducted for their work on tackling urgent issues the world is facing including: Maya Angelou, American poet and author; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General; Rosa Parks, mother of the American civil rights movement; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia; Nawal El Moutawakel, first Moroccan and first African Muslim woman to win Olympic gold; Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz artist; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, US Supreme Court Justice; Louise Arbour, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunals in the Hague; Hillary Rodham Clinton, former US First Lady, US Senator, Secretary of State; Mary Robinson, President of Ireland; Wilma Mankiller, Chief of the Cherokee nation; Audrey Hepburn, international film star and Shirley Temple black child star and US Diplomat.
Referring to advice for women Fatma Samoura said: “Ladies you have to remember this, if you have been trusted enough to be given a position it’s because you have the skills and qualifications necessary to do the job. Look to your sisters for support and count on them.”
The IWF was founded in the US by Elinor “Elly” Guggenheimer – chair of the New York City Planning Commission, in 1974. Its aim is to bring together women of diverse accomplishments and provide them with a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences, as well as advancing women’s leadership globally and locally. It has over 7,000 members worldwide.
*SOURCE Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA)
It is easier for an elephant to climb a tree than an African team winning a World Cup
November 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Africa’s lacklustre performance in the Fifa World Cup is something new. After every four years, five African nations represent the continent to the luxurious tournament but none is yet to bring the trophy home. The farthest an African team has reached is a quarter-final and many of them do not proceed beyond the group stage. Cameroon was the first team to reach the quarter-final in 1990 in Italy before being eliminated by England.
After a 12-year of waiting, Senegal reached the same stage only to suffer a 1-0 defeat in the hands of Turkey and the latest to have done this feat is Ghana which shocked many during 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa but was bundled out on penalty shootout by Uruguay.
Many African players are dominating European leagues like French Ligue 1, English Premier League (EPL) and Spanish La Liga among many others but when it comes to international football, the results are discouraging. According to statistics, 234 African players featured in the top European Leagues in the 2012/2013 (36 in Premier League, 125 in Ligue 1, 27 in La Liga, 22 in Bundesliga, and 24 in Serie A. Another example is that three African players topped the list of top scorers in the Premier League in the 2018/2019. Sadio Mane (Senegal), Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) scored 22 goals each.
In the last few years, football talents have become a lucrative export commodity with a whopping percentage hailing from Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Ivory Coast as per the International Centre for Sports Studies.
Why is the continent under-performing despite producing a plethora of talents? Who to blame? The main problem facing African football is widespread corruption, lack of accountability and maladministration. The problem starts at the top at Confederation African Football (CAF) and trickles down to the national associations. There are many corruption allegations levelled against the current CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, In a document sent to Fifa on March 2019by Amri Fahmy, a whistleblower, Ahmad is accused of directing his secretary-general to pay $20,000 bribes into accounts of African football association presidents.
He was also accused of overspending more than $400,000 of CAF money on cars in Egypt and Madagascar. He is further alleged to have cost CAF an extra of $830,000 by ordering equipment via a French intermediary Company known as Tactical Steel.
Corruption in sport is everywhere but it poses more serious consequences in Africa more than any other part of the world. African football is lagging due to systematic and institutionalised problems which leads to the looting of funds, underpaid players, poor infrastructure, rigging of elections and presidents who serve for decades. Other administrative challenges are matching fixing, bribing officials and vote-buying.
There are a lot of funds pumped in African football by Fifa development projects, companies which deal in mining, agriculture, gas etc, sponsorships, television networks and international sports companies such as Adidas and Puma, nonetheless, they end up in individual pockets. The recent case is of Kenya’s FA boss Nick Mwendwa who was grilled by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in May 2020 over the alleged embezzlement of Ksh.244 million meant for the preparation of the national soccer team during the 2019 African Cup of Nation (AFCON). Also at the heart of the probe was the Ksh.125 million used by the Kenya Football Federation (FKF) to lease outside broadcast (OB) communication as well as an unpaid bonus to players.
Also South Africa’s Football Association (Safa) was reported to have bribed Fifa officials to win the bid to host the 2010 World Cup. The world soccer governing body had confirmed its officials accepted up to $10 million in return for votes that awarded the country the tournament.
There is also corruption in the team selection as coaches are being bribed by agents to call up the players who do not deserve to be included in the team. Best players miss the chance of representing the countries and the outcome is poor performance. For example, former Nigerian assistant coach Salisu Yusuf was in 2018 filmed accepting monetary gifts from persons who disguised themselves as football agents and wanted their players to be included in the Nigerian team at the Championships of African Nations (CHAN).
Moreover, as a result of poor payment players have resorted to match-fixing to earn extra cash to sustain their families. Seven of the national team squad in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are alleged to have involved in match-fixing with a Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal. Wilson was reported to have predicted the result with Croatia and that a player would be sent off. The Indomitable Lions were humiliated 4-0 and Alex Song was red-carded for throwing an elbow at the back of Mario Mandzuki’s head.
Unless the Fifa’s non-interference policy is revoked, we should expect nothing good from African football. The policy that fights political and government interference in football matters is covering lords of corruption tasked to manage football. The rule allows Fifa to suspend countries whose governments try to interfere with football issues. In 2010, the ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan suspended the national team from participating in international tournaments in a bid to combat rampant graft in the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). Fifa gave Nigeria an ultimatum of three days to reverse the decision or face a ban and the government heeded to the body’s demand.
African football fans should lower their expectations because with the corrupt, greedy and inefficient football administrators, the World Cup trophy will never find its way to the continent. The nature, scale and impact of corruption in Africa is at a higher level and must be dealt with first before anything else.
Mulee faces opposition from fans as the new national team coach
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
A section of Kenyan football fans has opposed the appointment of Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee as the new Harambee Stars head coach.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa confirmed Mulee’s appointment on Wednesday, October 21, and he succeeds Francis Kimanzi who quit on Tuesday. He signed a three-year deal.
The federation announced that Kimanzi and his coaching team left by mutual consent after being in charge for a year; however, there are speculations that he was sacked after opposing Mwenda’s candidature in the recently concluded FKF’s elections.
Mwendwa was on Saturday re-elected as Kenya’s FA boss and he is set to hold the seat until 2024. He beat the closest rivals with more than 70 votes at the federation’s Elective Special General Meeting (SGM) at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.
Mulee returns to Harambee Stars after previous stints at the helm. It is 10 years now since he left the team but he is remembered for guiding the team to 2004 AFCON in Tunisia.
“It is an honour to be Harambee Stars coach for a second time and the task ahead now is to qualify for the Afcon”, Mulee said.
His first assignment will be back to back AFCON qualifier against Comoros next month.
Football fans have criticized the FKF boss for showing Kimanzi the door despite his good record including a recent 2-1 win over Chipololo of Zambia.
What angered Kenyans most is that the new coach has not managed a top-flight team since 2010 but has been tasked to lead the team to next AFCON and World Cup.
“Kimanzi is better than ‘Ghost’ Mulee,” said Mathenge Charles.
“Why do we keep on recycling these couches? Don’t we have other coaches especially from Kenya Premier League?” posed Jeremy Beru.
Some fans projected poor performance from the national team which has garnered two points in their last two matches against Egypt and Togo while others reminded Mulee of a great threat Comoros will expose to him.
Kenya improve by three spots in Fifa ranking
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya has risen three places in the latest Fifa rankings released on Thursday.
The national team Harambee Stars is now in position 103, up from 106 following a 2-1 win over Zambia in an international friendly played in Nairobi early this month.
The world soccer governing body named Uganda as the top-ranked team in East African region. Uganda Cranes were ranked at 72nd followed by Kenya, then Sudan (128), Rwanda (133), Tanzania (134), Ethiopia (146) and Burundi (148) in the top 150 globally.
The top 5 teams in Africa are Senegal (22), Tunisia (26), Algeria (30), Nigeria (32) and Morocco (39).
Globally, Belgium, France and Brazil are the best top three teams in the world.
Comoros, Harambee Stars next opponent in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers next month are in position 132.
Kenya:Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama distanced himself from alleged intimacy scandal
September 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Former Tottenham FC midfielder and Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama has rubbished the claims that he had been in a sexual relationship with a Kenyan socialite.
Kenyan blogger Arthur Mandela popularly known as X-tian Dela hosted a socialist Shakilla on his show which was streamed online on Instagram and Shakilla alleged she had sexual relations with a host of celebrities including the soccer star.
Reacting to the video circulating online, the Montreal Impact player has threatened to sue X-tian Dela and Shakilla for defaming him.
Wanyama said the allegations are fabricated and meant to disparage his name.
“I wish to distance myself completely from the contents of this defamatory video. The allegations made therein are a total fabrication and a figment of the maker’s imagination at best.
“I have never met any party in the video. I strongly condemn the actions of both the woman in the video and the publisher of the video Arthur Mandela, via his Instagram account @Xtiandela, for encouraging the disparagement of the character of the individuals based on false accusatory statements,” Wanyama stated in a press release.
He said he had worked too hard to build his career and it is unacceptable for one to tarnish his reputation.
Other Kenyan celebrities in the media are Khalighraph Jones, Willy Paul, Otile Brown.
Kenya:Kimanzi names provisional squad for Zambia friendly
September 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has called up 34 players in Harambee Stars provisional squad for Zambia friendly match.
The match is a build-up to the upcoming back to back Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Comoros in November 2020.
Kimanzi handed a call-up to Barnsley defender Clarke Oduor and experienced goalkeeper Arnold Origi.
The 36-year-old custodian has not featured for the Stars for five years now. The ex-Kenya one has been overlooked after it emerged that he had secured Norwegian citizenship.
In May 2020, he told the Nations Sports that he won’t mind playing for Kenya again if given a chance by the coach.
“I have dual citizenship and I’m eligible. It’s always a dream to play for my country. If the coach thinks I’m good enough I will honour the call-up. Of course, I want to achieve more with the national team and there is still time for that because I’m still actively playing and not planning to stop any time soon. The opportunities will still arise to do something great with the national team,” he reiterated.
The last time Origi played for Kenya was in March 2016 against Guinea Bissau at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi. Kenya was humbled 1-0 by their opponents.
Reports indicate that Kashiwa Reysol striker Michael Olunga, captain Victor Wanyama, and midfield Johanna Omollo may miss the match due to the strict COVID-19 protocols imposed by the countries from which they ply their trade.
However, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is in constant communication with their clubs with a view of having the players released ahead of the friendly.
The match is slated for October 10, at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani behind closed doors.Provisional Squad
Arnold Origi (HIFK, Finland), Ian Otieno (Zesco United, Zambia), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya)
Brian Mandela (Unattached), Joash Onyango (Simba, Tanzania), Joseph Okumu (Elfsborg, Sweden), Harun Shakava (Nkana, Zambia), Clarke Oduor (Barnsley, England), Hillary Wandera (Tusker, Kenya), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), David Owino (Mathare United, Kenya), Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito, Kenya), Collins Shichenje (AFC Leopards, Kenya), Andrew Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Badi Baraka (KCB, Kenya)
Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Victor Wanyama (Impact Montreal, Canada), Francis Kahata (Simba, Tanzania), Eric Johanna (Jonkoping’s Sodra IF, Sweden), Cliff Nyakeya (Masr FC, Egypt), Antony Akumu (Kaiser Chief, South Africa), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge K.S.V, Belgium), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe, China), Brian Musa (Wazito, Kenya), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Katana Mohamed (Isloch, Belarus), Austin Otieno (AFC Leopards, Kenya)
Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Elvis Rupia (AFC Leopards, Kenya), Masud Juma (JS Kabylie, Algeria), Timothy Otieno (NAPSA Stars, Zambia), John Avire (Tanta FC, Egypt), Oscar Wamalwa (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya)
Robert Mboya (Tusker, Kenya), Stephen Otieno (Sofapaka, Kenya), Michael Mutinda (KCB), Ibrahim Shambi (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya) Chrispinus Onyango (Tusker, Kenya), Benson Omala (Gor Mahia, Kenya
Sierra Leone Sports : Ban on sporting activities partially lifted.
September 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Sierra Leone has partially lifted ban on all sporting activities in the country in order to allow athletes to train and represent the country in international competitions, a press release from the National Sports Authority (NSA) on Friday said.
This will pave the way for the Leone Stars to start preparation ahead of their international friendly against Mauritania in Nouakchott on October 9, and their back to back 2022 African qualifiers with Nigeria in November.
“On the advice of the National Covid Emergency Response Centre (NaCOVERC) , the Ministry of Sports and the National Sport Authority (NSA) announce the ban on the preparations and training for all pending international competitions lifted,’ ’the release said.
Sporting activities across the country was ban in March due to corona virus pandemic which caused the country’s apex league to be banned until further notice.
According to the release, Sporting associations , coaches , athletes, referees, umpires , judges , sports administrators among others are strongly advised to follow all health directives and precautionary measures prescribed by NaCOVERC adding that based on expert advice and specific to any sporting discipline, the NSA and the Ministry of Sports Ministry may prescribe additional measures to mitigate the risk of transmission of covid-19.
“The NSA and the Ministry will conduct national monitoring of all sports and training venues across the country to ensure full compliance with all existing cobid-19 regulations. Further information on the status of the ban on other levels of competitive and recreational sports may be communicated as and when the Ministry of Sports and the NSA are so advised,’’ the release noted.
Malawi: Two national football team, officials test positive for Covid19
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
By James Mwala
Just a day into camp, two Malawi national football team players and two officials have tested positive for Covid19.
The tests were conducted as the Flames prepare for a skeptical participation in Cosafa Cup tournament in South Africa next month, and a head of an Afcon qualifier against Burkina Faso this November.
According to the Football Association of Malawi, the tests were conducted as part of the requirement for the resumption of camp for the national team.
It also follows a waiver that government has solely given to the national football team to prepare for the tournaments and qualifiers as other sporting activities are yet to resume.
The four whose identities have been concealed are currently in self isolation.
‘’We wish to report that all the four were asymptomatic. They are currently in isolation being monitored by our medical team and it is expected that they will be able to report for national duty once they test negative ten days from the day they were tested’’ reads part of the statement from the FA.
Currently, Malawi has 1,501 active cases and recoveries stand at 4,053 with 179 deaths. In total, there have been 5,733 cases and 50,620 tests.
Sporting activities were halted in March as first cases were reported and with schools now open, sporting activist are also resuming.
This week, government is slated to make a stance on the resumption of the top tier football league and other activities.
Kenyan fullback Abud Omar joins Ionikos FC
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Greek second-tier side Ionikos FC has confirmed the signing of Kenyan defender Abud Omar on a nine-month deal.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce the start of our cooperation with Abud Omar. This is a very important transfer move for our team especially after promotion to the second-tier.”
The family of Ionic welcomes Abud Omar and wishes him health, strength, and every success at the club,” read a statement on the club’s official portal.
The former Tusker FC player could not hide joy about the move.
“I am very happy to wear the Ionian jersey. From the first moment the interest arose, I searched the internet and saw how important a team Ionic is with a long history. I know the club has a top organisation and an administration that is working hard to bring success,” he told the club website.
“I’m happy to come here. I am hoping the coronavirus pandemic will end and I will be back in the pitch doing what I love most. On my part, I am ready to work hard and help my team achieve its goals,” Omar continued.
Before the move, the left-footed player was unattached after parting ways with the Romanian side Sepsi SG in 2019.
Apart from Sepsi SG, Omar also turned out for Slavia Sofia from Bulgaria, Panegialios FC (Greece), Bandari FC, and Tusker FC both from Kenya Premier League.
Cameroon: Clinton Njie, Jean Pierre Nsame amongst 32 Players Summon by Coach António Conceição
September 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The head coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon António Conceição has called up Clinton Njie for preparatory games as the country builds up to host the 2022 AFCON and qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Cameroon will face Japan on October 9 at the Stade du Utrecht in a friendly encounter.
The players are expected to have a camping session in Holland from October 5 to 13, 2020. All of the players summoned are based in Europe, with no local selection on the list. Sports pundits had been hoping that some players in the Elite 1 championship would be giving the call, looking at their performances in the last football season.
Clinton Njie, who recently tendered an apology for his sexual misconduct last year, has been giving a new leaf by the Head coach after a scintillating form for his club side Dynamo Moscow.
Njie signed for Russian outfit Dynamo Moscow for $6 million from Olympique Marseille for whom he spent two seasons. During the 2019/2020 Russian Premier League football season, he played fifteen times and scored one goal. In all competition, Njie played 25 times and scored 3 goals. This season, the player has scored 2 goals in 6 appearances for his side.
Jean Pierre Nsame, record breaker for his club Young Boys has been handed his third called up to the Lion’s den by António Conceição. He will be hoping to get his second start for the Lions since playing against Nigeria on September 4, 2017 in a qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup.
The 2019/2020 football season has been one to remember for the Cameroonian international. At the end of the football season plagued by the COVID-19, Nsame finished as the top goal scorer in the Swiss League with 32 goals, a record for any Cameroonian or African footballer since the likes of Samuel Eto’o (scored 30 goals in a season).
His top scorer award adds to the one he won in the Swiss Challenge League. He won the award in the 2016/2017 season scoring 23 goals. This year, Young Boys won back-to-back-to-back league titles. The side finished on 76 points, 8 points ahead of second-placed St Gallen.
“It has been a milestone for him as an individual,” Edward Mwambo, a writer with Kick442.com told PAV. “It is a good time for him as a player for Cameroon, and we hope that we can tap from these good times and benefit from his goal scoring touch for the Lions.”
Cameroonian sports enthusiasts and journalists have identified Nsame as one of the potent finishers that the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have been lacking, ever since legend Samuel Eto’o ended his national career.
Cameroon will certainly be counting on him to produce on home soil as the country look to win the AFCON. The country last won it in 2017 but failed to leave up to expectation in the 2019 edition. The team has already qualified for the competition as host but is participating in the qualifiers to be match fit.
The call up features the usual suspects of Andre Onana, Fabrice Ondoa, Kunde Malong, Captain Eric Choupo Moting, Aboubakar Vincent, Oyongo Bitolo.
AFCON 2022, FIFA World Cup 2022: Cameroon to Face Algeria, Japan in October
September 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The indomitable lions of Cameroon have been scheduled to play two friendly encounters next month as preparations for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON and the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, reports say.
The five-times champions will lock horns with 2019 AFCON winner Algeria and Japan in the Netherlands in October, kick444.com reported. The Netherlands is scheduled to be the team’s base for their camp between October 5 and 13.
Head coach António Conceição is looking at getting his side match fit for the upcoming qualifiers that have been programmed for November 2020. Cameroon will face Mozambique in a double-header in Douala and Maputo.
These will be the first games that the country will be playing is almost a year. Cameroon’s last game was a win against Rwanda last November in a day two game for the then AFCON 2021, now AFCON 2022.
With the coronavirus pandemic that hit the global scene, many international games had been suspended. However, as countries around the world look to get it under control, most of them have been scheduling international fixtures. Europe has already begun playing their National League matches.
Since taking over as Head coach of Cameroon in 2019 with the sacking of Clarence Seedorf, António Conceição has had two games in charge of the side. His two games came against Cape Verde and Rwanda in the qualifiers for the AFCON.
Cameroon is preparing to host the AFCON in 2022 and hopes to qualify for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Cameroon drew with Cape Verde before winning against Rwanda last November, all qualifiers for the AFCON 2022.
Cameroon has won the AFCON five times and will be hoping to go one better again when they host Africa in 2022. For the FIFA World Cup, since being the first Africa nation to reach the quarter-finals in 1990, the country has not been able to emulate that feat or even better it.
Cameroon Football Star Clinton Njie Apologizes for his Sexual Misconduct Online
September 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Cameroonian international Njie Clinton has apologized for the sexual misconduct he did online. The apology comes more than one year since Njie posted a video of himself in 2019 having sex off Snapchat, a video viewed by thousands of people before it was taken down.
“I am sorry, I had drunk too much,” Njie said as per Orange.fr in 2019. “I celebrated my new contract and wanted to read the news. I pressed the wrong button.”
Sadly, it was not the first time that Njie had a ride on milky waters. Just in 2018, he was alleged to have invited two female friends back to his hotel room while on international duty with Cameroon, the Sun reported. He turned up a day later than expected ahead of a friendly clash against Burkina Faso.
Njie signed for Russian outfit Dynamo Moscow for $6 million from Olympique Marseille for whom he spent two seasons. During the 2019/2020 Russian Premier League football season, he played fifteen times and scored one goal. In all competition, Njie played 25 times and scored 3 goals.
“I deeply regret this sad episode in my life that I neither wished for nor enjoyed and which greatly affected me, my loved ones and my family,” Njie said in a recently released statement September 12, 2020.
“Since the onset of this unfortunate moment, I have been looking for the best way to express my apologies to anyone who has been hurt or outraged.”
According to the player, the containment that COVID-19 imposed gave him time to reflect and Njie concluded that he had to personally travel to his country to present his sincere regrets.
“Having been personally affected by the disease only increased my desire to work positively. The health crisis and international travel restrictions did not make this project possible until the start of the new sports season with my club Dynamo Moscow in Russia,” Njie said.
He added: “I would therefore like, by speaking today, to express to all the Cameroonian people, to the Government, in particular the Ministry of Sports, to the officials of the Cameroonian Football Federation, to the technical staff of the Indomitable Lions and all my teammates. My apologies and my desolation for any inconvenience or indignation this may have aroused.”
“During my next stay in Cameroon, I will force myself to go to each other to show the sincerity of my approach. I have a special thought for my teammates who have always accompanied me in these difficult times and have never ceased to show me their precious support.”
Njie made his professional debut for the national team in 2014. He has gone on to represent his nation at 2015, 2017 and 2019 edition of the AFCON, with him winning the 2017 edition of the competition in Gabon. He has played 32 times for the indomitable lions, scoring 9 goals. Clinton’s last goal for Cameroon came in a 2-3 defeat in the hands of the Super Eagles of Nigeria during the 2019 AFCON.
The player will be hoping to get back into the squad of Head coach António Conceição. Cameroon is preparing to host the AFCON in 2020 and hopes to qualify for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Cameroon drew with Cape Verde before winning against Rwanda last November, all qualifiers for the AFCON 2022.
Kenya:Gor Mahia shop from abroad to dominate CAF Champions League
September 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Gor Mahia is in the process of bolstering its squad in a bid to defend its Kenya Premier League (KPL) title and do well in the Caf Champions League.
The KPL champions have acquired the services of two foreign players and several local ones.
The club on Monday announced the arrival of Cameroonian midfielder Bertrand Konfor.
Konfor joined K’Ogalo from Oman First Division League side Almudhaibi FC on a two-year deal.
“Bertrand is a midfielder with a lot of experience in the role having played in many clubs in Cameroon as well as doing his trade in Western Asia and specifically in Oman,” read the part of the statement from the club.
The 24-year-old is optimistic his new side will show a scintillating performance in all competitions next season.
“It feels good to join Gor Mahia knowing it’s one of the best clubs in Africa. I am here to help the club win titles both locally and internationally and I believe with the help of my team-mates and technical staff, we will do it,” said Konfor.
Gor had also signed striker Tito Okello from Ugandan champions Vipers SC FC on a three-year deal.
Locally, the team has acquired the services of goalkeepers Samuel Njau and Levy Opiyo from Western Stima and Nairobi City Stars respectively.
Other signings are defender Andrew Juma (Mathare United), midfielder Sydney Ochieng (Western Stima), and winner John Macharia who was plying his trade in Georgia.
The Kenyan side had witnessed an exodus of key players as its financial woos persist. Some of them are Joash Onyango, Boniface Omondi, David Mapigano, and Peter Odhiambo.
Rules allow every club to purchase up to 5 foreign players and now Gor have 3 foreigners, the two new signings, and Ghanaian midfielder Jackson Owusu.
Kenya:2020 Stanchart marathon cancelled
August 31, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
This year’s Standard Charted Nairobi Marathon has been called off.
The annual competition will not be held as planned due to Covid-19 containment measures instituted by the government to stem the spread of the deadly virus which has infected over 25 million people in the world.
“Our consultations with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports indicated that we would not be able to plan for a physical event with any certainty,” said Paul Gitau, the chairman of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Local Organising Committee.
“We then considered a virtual marathon event and consulted other stakeholders, amongst them, running clubs, coaches, and past corporate running teams. After benchmarking with local and international virtual races we concluded that this format promoted improved safety but for it to be successful it still required the majority of participants to leave their homes to cover the race distances; a move that could compromise COVID-19 preventive measure protocols.”
The event was slated for October 25, 2020.
“This was not an easy decision to make. We have held the marathon annually for 17 years, and 2020 was to be no different. However, the depth and scale of COVID – 19 is unprecedented and remains hard to predict.” Gitau said.
More than 17,000 participants took part in 2019 in the marathon which raised over Ksh.30 million towards community investment program and Future Makers which assists youths in need of education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The bank invested Ksh.15 million to support women start-ups, more than 650 were trained on financial literacy and above 4, 400 girls received life skills and economic opportunity training.
Kenya:Wazito FC confirms seventh signing
August 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Jackson Juma alias Pogba has joined Kenya Premier League side Wazito FC.
The midfielder joined the moneybags from AFC Leopard, the source from the club confirmed.
Juma could not hide his joy about the move.
“I am happy to be here. Wazito is a good team and every player wants to come here. The team is well organized. To the fans I want to promise them that we will do a good job,” he stated.
Wazito FC head coach Fred Ambani believes their seventh signing will help them challenge for the title next season.
“Juma is a young player with potential. He is a good tackler and I hope that he continues to work hard in order to realize his full potential,” he stated.
The Nairobi-based team has already signed seven new players ahead of the new. Other six include Boniface Omondi, Kevin Okumu, Vincent Oburu, Kevin Kimani, Mark Otieno, and Edwin Omondi.
Before the 2019/2020 season was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wazito was 13th in the log with 20 points after playing 23 games.
On Thursday, August 20, KPL giants AFC Leopards claimed they have signed winger Pater Thiong’o from Kakamega Homeboyz. However, Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula rubbished the claims insisting that Thiong’o is still their player.
Cameroon: FECAFOOT Adopts New Measures for Upcoming Season
August 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
Matches will be played without fans; in special cases, few fans can be given access to the playing ground.
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Cameroon’s Football Federation, FECAFOOT has adopted a host of measures as the country prepares for the start of the 2020/2021 football season. The new season is scheduled to commence September 26, 2020, though the date is subject to changes.
The date for the Elite two Football Championship and the Regional leagues across the country is yet to be communicated. However, the Elite Two, Cameroon’s second-tier football championship before starts just a few weeks after the commencement of the Elite One.
Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT on March 17, 2020, joined other federations worldwide in halting football competitions as a result of the growing concerns of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In one of his recent outings, the President of FECAFOOT, Seidou Mbombo Njoya revealed the federation’s decision to possibly re-launch the Elite One activities in September and Elite Two shortly.
In the context of the ravaging COVID-19 scare, the matches to be fielded in by the twenty division one clubs will be carried in respect to the following conditions;
# First and foremost, the FECAFOOT boss noted that in collaboration with the competent authorities, the stadiums will be disinfected while health security measures will be deployed.
The matches have been programmed to be fielded without fans; in special cases, few fans can be given access to the playing ground.
Players will be subjected to compulsory COVID-19 before the matches. As at now, this measure is seemingly obligatory in European football and renowned league competitions worldwide.
The football powerhouse in collaboration with local organizations has promised to distribute face masks and hand sanitizers to the players.
According to FECAFOOT, the recent financial aid from FIFA will possibly be used to reinforce health security and facilitate the resumption of football activities, disinfection of Stadia, remuneration of technical staff, maintenance of soccer grounds and financing of the administrative sectors of football.
Worthy to note is the fact that, the FIFA COVID-19 Special Support Fund as a means to strengthen their member associations and indirectly promote local football in Professional football clubs, amateur clubs, divisional and regional leagues, Youth football clubs and Women’s football.
In another dimension, the African Football Confederation, CAF has a plan to offer a special COVID-19 package to member associations. The package will be equitably and rationally distributed to the beneficiaries.
In the build-up to the possible resumption of the Elite One football championship, FECAFOOT has continuously encouraged footballers and Cameroonians to strictly adhere to the measures introduced by the government of Cameroon and the World Health Organization, WHO in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Elite One football championship that is scheduled for September 26 will see a total of 19 teams participating this year, down from 20. This comes after UMS Loum was demoted to the Elite 2 after failing to pay former coach Bonaventure Djonkep, more than 7 million FCFA in owed salary.