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Burkina Faso appeal South Africa v Senegal replay

Posted BBC Sport

on  Tuesday, September 19   2017 at  19:22

The Burkina Faso Football Federation (FBF) is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) over the replaying of a World Cup tie.

Fifa ordered the tie between South Africa and Senegal to be replayed due to "match manipulation" by the referee.

South Africa won the match 2-1 and decided against appealing the order.

The FBF says it "continues to oppose a decision that is tainted by abuse of power and irrelevant to the texts of the international football authority".

The statement continued: "the federation, which relies on its declaration to appeal to the respect of the virtues of football, invites the Burkinabe sports public to the serenity and the mobilization around the Stallions."
REVISED GROUP D TABLE
Played Points

  • Burkina Faso 4 6
  • Cape Verde 4 6
  • Senegal 3 5
  • South Africa 3 1

Cas confirmed it received the documents from the FBF for the appeal Tuesday.

Football's world governing body, Fifa, referred to a previous article on their website when asked for their response.

"The committee confirmed the decision of the Bureau for Fifa World Cup Qualifiers, which had ordered a replay of the qualification match between South Africa and Senegal held on November 12, 2016," the article reads.

"This confirmation came after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the lifetime ban of match referee Joseph Lamptey for match manipulation, the ruling imposed by the Fifa Disciplinary and Appeal Committees.

"The match will be replayed during the November 2017 international window, with the exact date to be confirmed in due course."

Burkina Faso are currently top of Group D ahead of Cape Verde on goal difference, both teams have now played four qualifiers.

Senegal have the chance to overhaul those two if they win the replayed match, with only the group winners qualifying for the World Cup in Russia.

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Mamelodi Sundowns hit Morocco's Wydad Casablanca

Posted BBC Sport

on  Sunday, September 17   2017 at  18:54

South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns continued the defence of their African Champions League crown with a 1-0 home victory over Morocco's Wydad Casablanca in the first leg of their quarter-final Sunday.

A depleted Sundowns side, missing some key players through injury, found goals hard to come by in a barren first half.

After the break, Sundowns brought on Ivorian forward Yannick Zakri for Sibusiso Vilakazi, and the substitution paid off, with Zakri scoring in the 70th minute.

African Champions League quarter-finals first legs

  • Ferroviario da Beira 1-1 USM Alger (Saturday)
  • Al Ahly 2-2 Esperance (Saturday)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 Wydad Casablanca (Sunday)

Zakri had been a big doubt before the game as he struggled to shake off a groin problem.

Sundowns will take their slender lead to Morocco next Saturday for the second leg.

In the other match on Sunday, Al Ahly Tripoli were set to play Tunisia's Etoile do Sahel in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

Al Ahly Tripoli are unable to play at home due to the ongoing instability in Libya.

On Saturday, it finished 1-1 between Mozambique's Ferroviario da Beira and USM Alger and it was 2-2 between record 8-times winners Al Ahly of Egypt and Tunisia's Esperance.

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Cape Verde biggest global movers on Fifa rankings

Posted BBC Sport

on  Thursday, September 14   2017 at  16:26

Cape Verde are the biggest overall movers in the latest Fifa World Rankings as they climb a total of 47 places.

The Blue Sharks two victories over South Africa in 2018 World Cup qualifying has seen them move from 114 to 67 globally and 13th in Africa.

Despite falling five places overall Egypt are still the highest ranked nation on the continent.

The Pharaohs are just one place ahead of North African rivals Tunisia.

The continent

Tunisia replace DR Congo as the second-ranked side in Africa after the Carthage Eagles beat the Leopards and drew with them in 2018 qualifying.

DR Congo fall 14 places globally down to fourth on the continent behind third-placed Senegal.

Germany have returned to the number one side in the world ahead of Brazil for top spot.

Africa's top 10 on September's Fifa rankings - global ranking in brackets:

  1. Egypt (30)
  2. Tunisia (31)
  3. Senegal (33)
  4. DR Congo (42)
  5. Nigeria (44)
  6. Cameroon (45)
  7. Burkina Faso (49)
  8. Ghana (52)
  9. Cote d'Ivoire (54)
  10. Morocco (56)
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South Africa to replay Senegal

Posted BBC Sport

on  Tuesday, September 12   2017 at  15:15

South African football chiefs have agreed a 2018 World Cup qualifying tie against Senegal should be replayed "on ethical and moral grounds".

World governing body Fifa ordered the replay after the referee for the original game, Joseph Lamptey, was banned for manipulating the match.

The South African Football Association (Safa) had been considering an appeal but now says it agrees with Fifa.

However it said it would appeal should the referee's ban be overturned.

South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 in the original tie last year.

On Tuesday Safa said it "has decided on ethical and moral grounds that if this match was manipulated, we should replay it".

It later added: "We have, however, noted that the official at the centre of all this controversy has appealed his case to the courts of law.

"If the courts overturn the decision, everything becomes null and void and Safa will reserve its right to challenge the decision of Fifa to replay the match.

"Safa's zero tolerance on corrupt activities within football are well documented and it is in this light that we decided to comply with the Fifa directive."

REVISED GROUP D TABLE
Played Points

  1. Burkina Faso 4 6
  2. Cape Verde 4 6
  3. Senegal 3 5
  4. South Africa 3 1

Safa had been considering an appeal as it had not been consulted by investigators.

It means that South Africa are now bottom of Group D with a single point from three matches and now trail the third-placed Senegalese by four points.

Burkina Faso top the group with six points, just ahead of island nation Cape Verde on goal difference, with only the group winners qualifying for the World Cup in Russia.

Fifa will decide on 14 September on the exact date for the replay, which will take place in the international window in November - one month before the 2018 World Cup draw.

Neither South Africa nor Senegal have been accused of any wrongdoing.

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Cape Verde twin wins a major blow to South Africa

Posted MARK GLEESON in Durban

on  Wednesday, September 6   2017 at  17:22

Garry Rodrigues scored two long-range strikes for Cape Verde as they stunned South Africa in Durban

Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes believes Group D of African qualifying will go down to the wire as his island nation battles to reach its first World Cup.

Cape Verde catapulted into contention, having been bottom of the group, after back-to-back wins against South Africa.

"Qualification will only be decided in November, in the last minute of the last games," predicted Antunes, after Tuesday's win in Durban.

Goal difference

Following their victories, Cape Verde - a nation with a population of just over 500,000 - lie second on six points, trailing Group D leaders Burkina Faso on goal difference, with Senegal on five points while South Africa have just four.

Cape Verde, who appeared at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 2013 and then again in 2015, host Senegal in Praia on October 7 as Burkina Faso face Bafana Bafana in Johannesburg.

The group concludes in early November with Cape Verde in Burkina Faso, while Senegal entertain South Africa.

Opening games

"We will not be feeling any pressure - there is nothing like that on our players," added Antunes.

The coach said he never doubted that Cape Verde, nicknamed the 'Blue Sharks', would prove competitive in the group, even if they lost their opening games against Senegal (in Dakar) and Burkina Faso (in Praia).

"We felt before qualification started we could win all our games," added Antunes, a former air traffic controller.

"We felt it was possible to win all six and take 18 points."

Biggest tournament

For Garry Rodrigues, the Galatasaray winger who scored both goals in Durban with two stunning long-range efforts, the tantalising prospect of the World Cup is now in focus.

"It is the dream of every footballer to go to the World Cup. It's the biggest tournament in the world - I dream about that," he said.

"Nothing is impossible if you believe and you work hard, like we did in these two games, because it is not only about quality or how big a country is. Our dream continues and in two months, we will see." (BBC Sport)

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Crucial games for Africa's hopefuls

Posted BBC Sport

on  Wednesday, August 30   2017 at  14:40

Algeria, Ghana and African champions Cameroon face a crucial week of 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Cameroon coach Hugo Broos admits their campaign is doomed if they do not take at least four points off Nigeria in back-to-back clashes.

The Group B rivals meet in Uyo on Friday and then in Cameroon's capital Yaounde three days later.

"Should we fail to achieve that target, I do not think it will be possible to qualify for Russia," Broos said.

2018 World Cup qualifiers for Africa (rounds 3 and 4)
Thursday: Monday:

  • Uganda v Egypt (Grp E) Cameroon v Nigeria (Grp B)
  • Guinea v Libya (Grp A) Libya v Guinea (Grp A in Tunisia)

Friday: Tuesday:

  • Ghana v Congo (Grp E) Congo v Ghana (Grp E)
  • Nigeria v Cameroon (Grp B) South Africa v Cape Verde (Grp D)
  • Cape Verde v South Africa (Grp D) Cote d'Ivoire v Gabon (Grp C)
  • Morocco v Mali (Grp C) DR Congo v Tunisia (Grp A)
  • Tunisia v DR Congo (Grp A) Burkina Faso v Senegal (Grp D)

Saturday:

  • Egypt v Uganda (Grp E)
  • Zambia v Algeria (Grp B) Mali v Morocco (Grp C)
  • Gabon v Cote d'Ivoire (Grp C) Algeria v Zambia (Grp B)
  • Senegal v Burkina Faso (Grp D)

Nigeria top the group with six points after two rounds, Cameroon have two and Zambia and Algeria one.

Broos is hoping for an away draw and a home victory that would reduce the gap between the countries to one point.

The final two qualifiers will be played in October and November with only the five group winners progressing to play in Russia.

"My players need little or no reminding of how important the matches against Cameroon are," said Germany-born Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr.

Algeria, who have qualified for the last two World Cups, are in Lusaka to face Zambia on Saturday.

Ghana, seeking a fourth consecutive World Cup appearance, host Congo Brazzaville in Kumasi Friday, needing maximum points to have any realistic hope of overtaking Group E leaders Egypt.

The Pharaohs have six points and the Black Stars only one with Uganda between them on four.

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah called up long-time campaigners like the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, and Asamoah Gyan, and also named five uncapped players.

Egypt are away to Uganda on Thursday in a repeat of a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group match in Gabon won 1-0 by the north Africans, thanks to a last-gasp Abdallah Said goal.

Said is in the squad, and so is 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, as Egypt seek a win after losing the 2017 Nations Cup final to Cameroon and a 2019 qualifier in Tunisia.

South Africa accept that hopes of a fourth World Cup appearance could hinge on defeating Cape Verde twice in Group D, starting in Praia Friday.

Bafana Bafana will take encouragement from the fact that Cape Verde have lost competitive matches there against Morocco, Libya and Uganda since last year.

Cape Verde on the other hand will be aware of the goalkeeping problems that South Africa are facing.

Ronwen Williams, who has won just four caps so far, looks set to go from third to first choice for South Africa because of illness and injury to first choice Itumeleng Khune, and back-up Darren Keet.

Hamstring injury

South Africa will also assess a hamstring injury suffered by midfielder Thulani Serero, who did not play at the weekend for his Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem.

"Where is the medical report? We still don't have one," coach Stuart Baxter asked.

"Vitesse sent us an email telling us he is injured, but when we asked if they had done an MRI they said, 'No, we just stretched him and he was uncomfortable'.

"I am not withdrawing a player without having seen a medical report, so we have asked Serero to meet us in Cape Verde and our medical team will assess him.

"If we need to replace him then we will call someone up for the Durban leg because we feel we have enough players to travel with for the first match."

A straight fight

Burkina Faso, who lead South Africa on goal difference, are away Saturday in Dakar to Senegal, whose attack boasts in-form Liverpool winger Sadio Mane.

Gabon will be without key striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when they host Group C pacesetters the Cote d'Ivoire in Libreville Saturday.

Asked why the Borussia Dortmund striker was missing, a Gabonese football official said: "The coach (Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho) has chosen players who were available."

Cote d'Ivoire have four points, Gabon and Morocco two and Mali one with the Herve Renard-coached Moroccans hosting the Malians in Rabat Friday.

Group A appears to be a straight fight between Tunisia and the DR Congo after they defeated Guinea and Libya in previous rounds.

The first top-of-the-table meeting is set for Friday in Rades and the Congolese will be handicapped by the absence of injured Everton's Yannick Bolasie.

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Fifa committee to run Cameroon football

Posted NDI EUGENE NDI in Yaoundé

on  Thursday, August 24   2017 at  15:36

World football governing body Fifa has appointed a committee to run the troubled Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT).

The Fifa 'normalisation committee' is aimed at ending the wrangles that have plagued FECAFOOT since 2015.

A Fifa statement on Wednesday said the decision came after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the current FECAFOOT executive committee be dissolved.

The committee came into office in 2015 following a disputed election.

Claimed victory

The arbitration chamber of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee had earlier invalidated the controversial election in which Tombi Roko Sidiki claimed victory.

Fifa also said the decision followed its “recent failed attempts to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse”.

The committee, to be jointly identified by Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (Caf), will revise the FECAFOOT statutes and ensure new elections ‘not later than February 28, 2018’.

“The committee will act as an electoral agency and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions,” the Fifa statement stated.

Four years

FECAFOOT director of marketing and communication Laurence Fotso said the Cameroon FA had been notified of the Fifa decision.

“Internal consultations as well as the necessary discussions with the Cameroonian government are underway. An official statement from FECAFOOT will be communicated in due time,” she said.

It is the second time in four years that a Fifa committee will be managing the Cameroon FA.

The world soccer governing body temporarily suspended Cameroon in 2013, citing government interference in the football federation. It also appointed [then] a normalisation committee to run the FA.

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Africa Cup of Nations expands to 24 teams

Posted NDI EUGENE NDI in Yaounde and BBC Sport

on  Thursday, July 20   2017 at  19:16

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be contested by 24 teams, says the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Caf's executive committee approved the proposal on Thursday at a meeting in the Moroccan capital Rabat.

Africa's flagship sporting event has featured 16 teams since 1996.

A decision on whether the finals will be moved from January and February to June and July is still awaited.

Denied reports

The expansion of the tournament could create problems for hosts Cameroon.

However, Sports minister Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt denied reports that preparations were behind schedule.

“Out of the 32 stadia expected from Cameroon, the 11 used during the 2016 women’s Afcon are ready, available and operational.

"For the other 21 left, 14 are under rehabilitation and 7 are to be constructed,” the minister said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The winners

Mkpatt announced that the first Caf inspection mission will arrive in Yaounde “in the weeks ahead”.

The expansion of the continental tournament follows a two-day symposium organised by Caf president Ahmad Ahmad to discuss the state of African football.

Further changes are expected but have yet to be announced.

Speculations were rife that Cameroon, the winners of the Gabon tournament this year, could lose the hosting rights to either Algeria or Morocco.

The two Arab states have reportedly expressed their readiness to host the tournament should Caf disqualify Cameroon.