Sunday 21 January 2018
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
The Egyptian Chess Federation invites Chinese grandmasters to join a new international competition that will be held in February 2018 at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, the federation chief told Xinhua in an interview in Cairo. "We will hold the first version of Sharm el-Sheikh international chess competition on Feb. 16-27, 2018, with total rewards up to 30,000 U.S. dollars," said Hesham al-Gendy, president of the federation. "We would like to invite Chinese chess grandmasters to join the competition and we will cover the flight tickets and accomodation for them," Gendy added. China is ranked second after Russia in the world chess ranking for countries. It has nine male and 12 female players among the world's top...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Somalia and Sudan have withdrawn from the regional 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, with hosts Kenya being drawn to face stiff competition from invited team, Libya, and neighbouring rival Tanzania. The organizers also announced in Nairobi on Thursday that the other invited side, Zimbabwe, will travel for the regional tournament whose start has been pushed back to Dec. 3 despite the political turmoil in that country. Cecafa Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye said the remaining 10 teams had been placed in two groups with the top two qualifying directly to the semi-finals. "I'm in communication with Zimbabwe despite what's happening the team will come. These are some of the reasons we had to push forward the competition also bearing in mind...
(AFP (eng) 11/15/17)
Belgian coach Marc Wilmots parted ways with Ivory Coast Wednesday after failing to help the west African country to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia. Ivory Coast lost their decisive World Cup match 2-0 to Morocco on Saturday, leading to talks between the federation and Wilmots. "At the end of talks, the two parties agreed to amicably end their collaboration, all the while praising the good atmosphere during the six months of work together," the federation said. Ex-Belgium coach Wilmots, 48, had signed a two-year deal with Ivory Coast in March, with a possibility to extend that by a further two years. jlf/lp/gj
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
The Confederation of African Football will meet soon to discuss a proposal for African World Cup qualifiers to play friendlies during the FIFA window in March, a Nigerian official said Tuesday. Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia will be Africa’s five flag bearers at Russia next year. However, all five teams will be engaged in AFCON 2019 in the next FIFA window in March and this will be the last window before the World Cup in June in Russia. Super Eagles spokesman Toyin Ibitoye said Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has proposed that the next FIFA window should now be used by the World Cup finalists to prepare for world football's showpiece tournament. "In the few days CAF...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
The violence that broke out late Saturday in central Brussels after the qualification of the Moroccan national football team for the next World Cup injured 22 police officers, police told Belga news agency. Riot police were sent out to control a crowd of about 300 people after the final whistle, at one point firing water canon at small groups of stone-throwing revellers. "Unacceptable aggression in the centre of Brussels -- living together means respect, also for the police who are committed to our safety day and night," Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said Sunday on his twitter account. An AFP reporter on the scene said calm had mostly returned by 2030 GMT, about two hours after the end of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/17)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Celebrations in Brussels to mark Morocco’s return to soccer’s World Cup finals for the first time in two decades turned violent late on Saturday, when crowds clashed with police, setting cars on fire and injuring 22 police officers. Images on social media showed overturned, burning cars and broken shop windows in Brussels city center as well as police trucks firing water cannons at crowds gathered in front of the city’s stock exchange. Brussels police said that of some 1,500 people had come to celebrate Morocco’s 2-0 win over Ivory Coast, but that around 300 started to behave violently and attacked police officers and firemen called to put out burning cars and dust bins. More than 100,000 people...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Rwanda filled the final place at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) Sunday despite only drawing 0-0 in Kigali against Ethiopia in the second leg of a play-off. The Rwandans qualified 3-2 on aggregate having won the first leg by that score in Addis Ababa last weekend. Egypt withdrew from the competition for home-based footballers, citing the refusal of clubs to release players, and this gave Rwanda and Ethiopia a second chance to qualify. Both countries had lost in the final round of regional eliminators -- Rwanda to Uganda and Ethiopia to Sudan. Kenya were ditched as hosts of the biennial tournament having fallen behind with preparations and Morocco outvoted Equatorial Guinea for the right to replace them. Rabat hosts...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Shikabala marked his recall by Egypt with a superb goal during a 1-1 draw away to Ghana Sunday in the final World Cup Africa zone Group E qualifier. The match in Cape Coast was a dead rubber as the 'Pharaohs' won the mini-league and secured a place at the 2018 finals in Russia by defeating Congo Brazzaville last month. It will be Egypt's first appearance at the World Cup since 1990, while Ghana miss out after playing in the last three editions. Argentina-born Egypt coach Hector Cuper rested a number of first choices, including Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, giving fringe players like Shikabala a chance to impress. The Saudi Arabia-based midfielder made the most of his first national team appearance...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Samuel Kalalei won the 35th Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday as Kenyan runners dominated the gruelling, largely uphill course by sweeping the top five places in the men's race. The 23-year-old crossed the line in two hours, 12 minutes and 17 seconds, ahead of Milton Kiplagat Rotich, who clocked 2:14.18, with Jonathan Kiptoo Yego in third at 2:16.08. The women's race was won by 18-year-old Ethiopian Bedaru Hirpa Badane in a time of 2:34.18. Around 18,500 runners from dozens of countries took part in the authentic marathon which began near the tumulus erected for the Greek dead from the Battle of Marathon. Another 30,000 participated in the shorter 5km and 10km races in downtown Athens. According to legend, the 42km...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Yacine Brahimi won and converted a harshly-awarded late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw for Algeria against already-qualified Nigeria Friday in a World Cup Africa zone Group B dead-rubber. The Gabonese referee ruled that Abdullahi Shehu fouled Brahimi as he moved into the box in Constantine, but big-screen replays suggested otherwise. Porto midfielder Brahimi was lucky to still be on the field after escaping with a yellow card for head-butting Shehu 12 minutes from time. Nigeria went ahead on 62 minutes when John Ogu pounced on a weak clearance by Aissa Mandi and rifled the ball past Faouzi Chaouchi into the roof of the net. A heated second half that threatened to get out of control at times gave the...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
English Premier League pair Diafra Sakho and Sadio Mane played key roles as Senegal defeated South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane Friday to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. West Ham striker Sakho opened the scoring off a pass from Liverpool attacker Mane and both were involved in the move that led to a Thamsanqa Mkhize own-goal before half-time. Victory gave Senegal an uncatchable five-point lead over Burkina Faso and Cape Verde in Group D with one round left. The only previous World Cup appearance by Senegal was in 2002 when current coach Aliou Cisse captained a team that reached the quarter-finals in South Korea and Japan. Bottom-of-the-table South Africa lie seven ponts behind Senegal ahead of a return match in...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says his team have "knives to their throats" as they attempt an extraordinary qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Bottom-of-the-table Bafana Bafana (The Boys) face Senegal in Polokwane and Dakar between Friday and Tuesday and must win both matches to snatch first place in Group D. Senegal top the table with eight points from four matches, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde have six from five, and South Africa four from four. South Africa and Senegal have an extra match because the 2-1 win by Bafana last November was annulled due to FIFA finding the Ghanaian referee guilty of "match manipulation". Africa will send five teams to Russia next year and three places are still up...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Liverpool-bound Naby Keita has hit the headlines for allegedly using a forged driving licence in Germany, but he is RB Leipzig's midfield engine who one day hopes to play for Barcelona. The 22-year-old box-to-box midfielder was a key component in Leipzig's stunning first season in the Bundesliga when they briefly kept Bayern Munich off top spot before finishing second in the 2016/17 campaign. He has had a tough start to this season following the August announcement that he will join Liverpool for 2018/19. Keita was sent off three times in seven games for club and country including a yellow-red in the German Cup, second round, defeat at home to Bayern Munich last month. He also fell offside with German police...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong has been suspended for four years for doping, Athletics Kenya said Tuesday. "Sumgong will serve the four-year ban as from (April 3) when she was provisionally suspended," Athletics Kenya said in a statement. The 32-year-old tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO in an out-of-competition test by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in her native Kenya. Erythropoietin is a natural hormone that stimulates red cell production. For a runner, injecting an artificially produced version increases oxygen absorption which allows them to run harder and faster without tiring. Sumgong, who also tested positive for a banned substance in 2012, starred at the London Marathon in 2016, defying the odds to win despite...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong has been handed a four-year ban by Kenya’s anti-doping agency (ADAK) after testing positive for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), officials said on Tuesday. Officials said Sumgong, who became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic marathon title when she struck gold in Rio last year, had failed an out of competition test in April, days before she was due to defend her London Marathon title. Her four-year ban has been backdated to April 3. The matter was taken to the Sports Disputes Tribunal by ADAK, as recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. The ruling said that the athlete owned up to her “unfortunate offense and unintended mistake.” She...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Rwanda scored twice within three minutes to win 3-2 in Ethiopia at the weekend and move closer to qualifying for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco. Aschalew Girma and Abubakar Sani scored for the hosts in Addis Ababa either side of a Eric Rutanga goal for the visiting "Wasps". Rwanda levelled again on 78 minutes through Muhadjiri Hakizimani and Abeddy Biramahire struck the winner soon after. The result leaves Ethiopia needing to score at least twice in the second leg of the play-off in Kigali this Sunday to overcome the aggregate deficit. "I have very young players who are improving rapidly," said Germany-born Rwanda coach Antoine Hey. "We achieved a good result but cannot take anything for granted."...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South African prosecutors argued Friday that Oscar Pistorius' six-year jail sentence for murder must be increased, saying he failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend. The Paralympic athlete shot dead Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet. He pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014 and has always denied that he killed Steenkamp in a rage, saying he mistook her for a burglar. At a one-day hearing at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, state prosecutors fought for the right to appeal against what they described as a "shockingly lenient" sentence. Pistorius, 30, was not present for the latest stage...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Tanzanian marathon runner Ismael Juma died on Thursday when his motorbike collided with a lorry, Athletics Tanzania (AT) announced on Friday. The 26-year-old was one of Tanzania's hopes for a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April. "Tanzania athletics has lost one of its top long distance runners," AT secretary general Wilhelm Gidabuday told AFP. "Ismail Juma was one of 19 athletes selected to start training later this month for the Commonwealth Games in Australia." Gidabuday said Juma was heading to the northern town of Arusha when his bike was involved in a head-on collision with a truck. He died at the scene. The runner was expected to compete in the New Delhi half marathon on...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha will make his long-awaited debut for Ivory Coast in a do-or-die World Cup qualifier against Morocco on November 11. The 24-year-old has never played for the African nation which he left with his family when he was just four. However, Zaha will need to hit the ground running as Ivory Coast have to defeat Morocco in the final qualifying game to ensure a fourth successive World Cup appearance after making the finals in 2006, 2010 and 2014. "The Elephants" trail Morocco by two points in Group C with just the group winners assured of making the finals in Russia. Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has also recalled Gervinho, Max-Alain Gradel and Seydou Doumbia after being...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday heard the state's case to lengthen the jail term of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius for murdering his girlfriend. Here is a timeline of events following the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013. - 2013 - February 14: Police arrest the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, who was shot four times at his Pretoria home. February 15: Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged, denying murder "in the strongest terms". February 19: Pistorius claims in an affidavit he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. He said he fired through a locked bathroom door, in what prosecutors term "premeditated" murder. February 21: Global sportswear manufacturer Nike...

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