Thursday 26 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/30/18)
Nigeria's 2-0 loss to fellow World Cup qualifiers Serbia in London this week served as a 'reality check' to inflated World Cup hopes, according to team spokesman Toyin Ibitoye. Wins in recent friendlies over top-10 teams Argentina and Poland had boosted hopes of Nigeria's 180 million people that this young side are capable of going beyond the country's best performance of a last-16 finish in 1994, 1998 and 2014. "We hope to learn from this and correct our mistakes because this team have the ingredients of a great team and what is crucial now is how they react after this setback," Ibitoye said. "The loss to Serbia was a reality check." Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
Kenyan Sevens coach Innocent Simiyu has named one debutant in his 13-man squad for next month's Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast. Impala winger Ian Minjire, 25, is one of the two changes to the side that reached the final of the World Rugby Sevens series in Vancouver, Canada earlier this month. Fullback Augustine Lugonzo returns to the team after missing both the Las Vegas and Vancouver sevens series due to personal commitments. Kenya have been drawn against former champions New Zealand, Canada and Zambia in Pool C at the Commonwealth Games, which will be held on April 13-15. Simiyu believes a good performance at the Hong Kong Sevens, which acts as the seventh round of the World Series on...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
Liverpool goal machine Mohamed Salah sat on the bench as Egypt barely created a chance when losing 1-0 to Greece Tuesday on a mixed night for African World Cup hopefuls. Tunisia and Morocco won for the second time during the FIFA international window, but Senegal drew again and Nigeria lost after winning last weekend. Reigning African Footballer of the Year Salah has scored 36 goals in 41 appearance for Liverpool this season -- 11 less than the record held by...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Cameroon scored a 3-1 friendly international victory in Kuwait on Sunday as they began life after the dumping of Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Hugo Broos. A brace from Christian Bassogog after Vincent Aboubakar had opened the scoring in Kuwait City put the 'Indomitable Lions' in control before Yaqoub al Tararwa got a consolation goal. Belgian Broos had a dramatic impact on Cameroon, guiding them to an unlikely 2017 Cup of Nations title in Gabon not long after taking over...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
As Tunisia prepared this week for a pair of World Cup warm-up games, coach Nabil Maaloul had to juggle languages as he issued instructions on the training field, reflecting how wide the north Africa nation have cast their net. After qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 2006 and drawing two behemoths, England and Belgium, as well as Panama in their group, Tunisian management made a push to strengthen their squad. The result is that, in Russia,...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer rued his team’s missed opportunities for World Cup qualification after their three-run defeat to United Arab Emirates saw them all but drop out of the running for next year’s event. “It’s very painful,” Cremer said of Zimbabwe’s defeat. “We had two bites at getting to the final, and we’ve stumbled at the last hurdle.” With five points, Zimbabwe needed a victory over either West Indies or UAE to reach the World Cup in England and Wales...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Grieving Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was missing as Gabon lost 4-2 on penalties to hosts Thailand on Thursday after a 0-0 draw in a Bangkok tournament semi-final. The 28-year-old recent signing from Borussia Dortmund withdrew from the "Panthers" squad at the last minute after his grandmother died in Spain. In a moving social media tribute, 2015 African Footballer of the Year Aubameyang said: "You gave me so much love, you learned me so many things. "I speak Spanish because of...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Shortly after sunrise, a group of young women arrives at a football pitch in Mogadishu, where they shrug off their hijabs -- some changing underneath the billowing veil -- to reveal their team kit. Young Somali men stand nearby, some disapproving but all watching closely, as the women jog up and down, dribble a worn-out ball between colourful cones and do sit-ups, less than 200 metres (656 feet) from a heavily guarded security checkpoint. The sight of young women playing...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Ivory Coast's Football Federation (FIF) on Tuesday said it had "no news" of the whereabouts of star midfielder Yaya Toure, who did not turn up for training in France ahead of upcoming friendlies. The 34-year-old Manchester City player came out of international retirement last December and was named in the Ivory Coast squad by interim coach Ibrahima Kamara. The four-time African Player of the Year originally retired from international duty on 100 caps after winning the 2015 Africa Cup of...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Egypt striker Amr Gamal has quit reigning South African champions Wits after failing to make an impact, lessening his chances of featuring at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Wits coach Gavin Hunt on Tuesday confirmed the early end to a one-year loan deal, saying: "Amr is a good footballer, but I thought he would settle in much quicker. "I understand he is joining a Finnish club (HJK Helsinki) on loan and we wish him the best of luck there."...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
West Indies coach Stuart Law praised captain Jason Holder's bowling display, after his team chased down 290 to beat Zimbabwe by four wickets on Monday and move to within one win of sealing a place at next year's World Cup. The home side were indebted to Brendan Taylor's 10th one-day international hundred as they managed 289 all out from their 50 overs in Harare, but fifties from Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Marlon Samuels helped the Windies over the line...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
South Africa are trying to tune out the noise behind the scenes of a bad-tempered series against Australia and focus on the third Test, opening batsman Dean Elgar said on Monday. "It's been a hectic last two weeks with everything that’s been happening behind the scenes," Elgar told journalists. The chief drama involves fast bowler Kagiso Rabada who on Monday gave his version of events in his appeal against a ban that could sideline him for the two remaining Tests...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Morocco on Saturday pushed its bid to host the 2026 World Cup in the name of Africa despite tough competition from a joint effort by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Two days after officially submitting Morocco's bid book to FIFA, the head of the bid committee Moulay Hafid Elalamy outlined to the press the country's readiness and determination to host the game. "The dice has not been cast...Morocco has all the chances," he said. The North African kingdom has...
(AFP (eng) 03/17/18)
Veteran South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn Friday ruled himself out of the third Test against Australia, paving the way for Morne Morkel to replace suspended Kagiso Rabada. Steyn is recovering from a heel injury and told the South African media that he would not be fit to face the tourists in Cape Town from next Thursday in a fiery series deadlocked at 1-1. "I cannot imagine another Test where I need to retire halfway through it because my foot...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar celebrates one year as CAF president Friday having caused a shock last March by ending the 29-year reign of Cameroonian Issa Hayatou. It has been a hectic time for the previously largely unknown Malagasy with plenty of changes to the African football landscape and numerous meetings with heads of state. After the increasingly autocratic rule of Hayatou, Ahmad has been more democratic, allowing all stakeholders a chance to air views and contribute toward decision making. AFP...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
Former African champions Mamelodi Sundowns got a fright before shading third-tier Eastern Cape Bees 2-1 on Tuesday in a South African FA Cup last-16 tie. Joseph Chikila put Bees ahead on 16 minutes after a comedy of errors by the hosts at Loftus Versfeld, a Pretoria stadium Sundowns share with Super Rugby club Northern Bulls. It took the 2016 CAF Champions League winners until the first minute of the second half to draw level when Hlompho Kekana fired past outstanding...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
Tunisia's public TV channel Wataniya threatened on Monday to stop broadcasting football matches after two of its journalists were wounded during weekend unrest. Fans of top club Etoile Sahel on Sunday attacked the press booth of Wataniya -- which holds exclusive rights to broadcast Tunisian championship matches -- Angry fans threw stones and other projectiles, lightly injuring two journalists and damaging the booth, after their team's 1-0 defeat by Club Africain. The violence was sparked by a contested penalty in...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
Terrified Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids successfully begged the referee to halt play because of lightning before his team won a South African FA Cup last-16 tie Sunday. Top-flight club United were drawing 1-1 with second-tier Royal Eagles after 82 minutes in Indian Ocean port city Durban when lightning lit the dark grey sky. The storm spread terror among Maritzburg players and coaches as one of their squad is recovering in hospital after being struck by lightning during a practice...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
World 100m champion Justin Gatlin tasted defeat on his first visit to South Africa with home sprinter Anaso Jobodwana beating him in the rarely run 150m at the Athletix Grand Prix meeting in Pretoria on Thursday. “My coach said to focus on the first 100 metres and that is what I wanted to do to just get out there and put together a good race over the first 100m and try to work on my form over the last 50...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
Shana Power, South Africa's first female amateur mixed martial arts champion, has been defying gender stereotypes in the world of combat sport for five years. Power said that prominent female competitors like US star Holly Holm had inspired her passion for the sport and that she now hopes to motivate others to take it up. "I've inspired people around me, I've been supported by people I trained with so I've had a good experience. I've only had positive feedback from...

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