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Caf shortlists 2017 award contenders

Posted BBC Sport

on  Monday, December 18   2017 at  18:24

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has announced its final shortlists for its 2017 awards.

Caf also decided that the categories for Player of the Year Based in Africa and for referees should be removed from list of awards.

However, it is yet to give its reasons for the decision.

Liverpool duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are joined by Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the three-man list.

Egypt's Salah has already won the 2017 BBC African Footballer of the Year award, while Gabon's Aubameyang won the Caf award in 2015.

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Senegal's Mane has been included in the Caf Team of the Year for 2015 and 2016.

The list was cut from 11 nominees that Caf announced in November.

Hugo Broos, who led Cameroon to the Africa Cup of Nations title in February, missed out on the final three-man list after being named among the original five nominees.

Last year's winner Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Leicester City missed out on the original list of nominees.

Caf also released the shortlists for several of its other award categories, which will be handed out on 4 January in Accra, Ghana.

African Player of the Year:

  • Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and B. Dortmund)
  • Sadio Mane (Senegal and Liverpool)

Women's Player of the Year:

  • Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Dalian Quanjian)
  • Chrestina Kgatlana (South Africa and UWC Ladies)
  • Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene(Cameroon and CSKA Moscow)

Women's National Team of the Year:

  • Ghana U-20
  • Nigeria U-20
  • South Africa

Coach of the Year:

  • Gernot Rohr (Nigeria)
  • Hector Cuper (Egypt)
  • L'Hussein Amoutta (Wydad Athletic Club)

National Team of the Year:

  • Cameroon
  • Egypt
  • Nigeria

Club of the Year:

  • Al Ahly
  • TP Mazembe
  • Wydad Athletic Club

Youth Player of the Year:

  • Krepin Diatta (Senegal and Sarpsborg)
  • Patson Daka (Zambia and Liefering)
  • Salam Giddou (Mali and Guidars)
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Hosts win cup and cash after hard fight against Zanzibar


on  Sunday, December 17   2017 at  19:21

Kenya's Harambee Stars finally came out of the shadows in dramatic fashion on Sunday to hand millions of success-starved home fans something to smile about.

The Stars won the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup, defeating surprise finalists Zanzibar in a penalty shoot-out in Machakos, about 35km east of Nairobi.

Deputy President William Ruto joined thousands of fans at the Kenyatta Stadium for the epic final of Africa’s oldest regional tournament that ended in a 2-2 in regular and extra time, prompting the dreaded lottery of penalties to break the stalemate.

Perhaps motivated by the recent resurgence under the tutelage of new coach Paul Put, thousands of Kenyans shed off their political and other differences for at least a couple of hours, and opted to rally behind the Stars who had cruised into the final without conceding a goal.

Level the scores

But they had to endure a roller-coaster of emotions as Zanzibar came from behind twice to level the scores 1-1 and then 2-2, forcing the game into penalties.

Kenya’s goalkeeper Patrick Matasi palmed away three spot kicks to earn stars a 3-2 victory in the shoot out.

They were presented with the trophy and medals by Deputy President Ruto who donned a red Harambee Stars track-suit top which bore his initials ‘WR.’

Harambee Stars earned $29,000 (Sh3m) for their troubles with more cash awards expected following pre-tournament pledges from, among others, the deputy president and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

The final match

Zanzibar took home $19,300 (Sh2m) and Uganda $9,700 (Sh1m) for coming third.

Uganda Cranes, 14-time winners, who until the final match were the defending champions finished third after a come from behind 2-1 win over Burundi in the early kickoff.

A second half brace from Kampala City Council Authority midfielder Saddam Juma invalidated Pierre Kwizera’s 23rd minute opener.

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Kenya lift regional title after long fight

Posted CHARLES OMONDI in Nairobi

on  Sunday, December 17   2017 at  18:01

Kenya Sunday won the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup after a long-drawn fight against Zanzibar.

The match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, about 35km east of Nairobi, ended in a 1-1 draw in the regulation time. It was then extended to extra time, with the two teams each scoring to tie 2-2 after the extra 30 minutes.

Penalty shots were then used to decide the winner.


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African Champions League draw completed

Posted BBC Sport

on  Wednesday, December 13   2017 at  20:49

Wydad Casablanca of Morocco will begin the defence of their African Champions League title against either Mali's Stade Malien or newcomers Williamsville AC of Cote d'Ivoire.

As the reigning champions, Wydad are one of five teams to be given a bye into the second round of the tournament, which begins in March.

Beaten finalists in 2017 Al Ahly of Egypt and DR Congo's Confederation Cup winners TP Mazembe are also straight into the second round.

The other teams to skip the first round are the 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa and Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel, who lifted the trophy in 2007.

The 16 winners of the second round ties will advance to the group stage of the tournament.

The weekend

For the first time ever Zambia had two teams in the draw with Zanaco, who reached the group stage in 2017 drawn to play Gambia Armed Forces, while Zesco United will play Zanzibar's JKU SC.

The 2018 Champions League will begin on the weekend of February 9-11 with the two-leg final set for November.

A change in the calendar for the Confederation of African Football means that the next Champions Leagues will begin in December 2018 and run through to May 2019.

After the 2019 final the competition will be held from August or September through to May of the next year.

2018 African Champions League draw

First Round:

  • St George (Ethiopia) v Al Salam (South Sudan)
  • CNaPS (Madagascar) v Kampala Capital City Authority (Uganda)
  • Zanaco (Zambia) v Gambia Armed Forces (Gambia)
  • Bantu FC (Lesotho) v Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland)
  • Stade Malien (Mali) v Williamsville AC (Ivory Coast)
  • Al Tahadi (Libya) v Aduana Stars (Ghana)
  • Entente Setif (Algeria) v Olympic Real Bangui (Central African Republic)
  • Real Bamako (Mali) v MFM FC (Nigeria)
  • AS Otoho (Congo) v Mouloudia Alger (Algeria)
  • AS Fan (Niger) v Horoya (Guinea)
  • Generation Foot (Senegal) v Misr Makassa (Egypt)
  • Young Africans (Tanzania) v St Louis (Seychelles)
  • Township Rollers (Botswana) v Al Merreikh (Sudan)
  • Gor Mahia (Kenya) v Leones Vegetarianos (Equatorial Guinea)
  • ASAC Concorde (Mauritania) v Esperance (Tunisia)
  • Plateau United (Nigeria) v Eding Sport (Cameroon)
  • AC Leopards (Congo) v AS Port Lome (Togo)
  • LISCR FC (Liberia) v Al Hilal (Sudan)
  • JKU SC (Zanzibar) v Zesco United (Zambia)
  • Benin representative v Asec Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)
  • Ngaya Club (Comoros Islands) v UD Songo (Mozambique)
  • DH El Jadidi (Morocco) v Benfica (Guinea Bissau)
  • AS Vita Club (DR Congo) v Be Forward Wanderers (Malawi)
  • Primeiro Agosto (Angola) v FC Platinum (Zimbabwe)
  • Bidvest Wits (South Africa) v Pamplemousse SC (Mauritius)
  • Rayon Sports (Rwanda) v Lydia Ludic Burundi Academic (Burundi)

Second round:

  • St George or Al Salam v CNaPS or Kampala Capital City Authority
  • Zanaco or Gambia Armed Forces v Bantu FC or Mbabane Swallows
  • Wydad Casablanca (Morocco, holders)v Stade Malien or Williamsville AC
  • Al Tahadi or Aduana Stars v Entente Setif or Olympic Real Bangui
  • Al Ahly (Egypt)v CF Mounana or RC Kadiogo
  • Real Bamako or MFM FC v AS Otoho or Mouloudia Alger
  • AS Fan or Horoya v Generation Foot or Misr Makassa
  • Young Africans or St Louis v Township Rollers or Al Merreikh
  • Gor Mahia or Leones Vegetarianos v ASAC Concorde or Esperance
  • Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) v Plateau United or Eding Sport
  • AC Leopards or AS Port Lome v LISCR FC or Al Hilal
  • JKU SC or Zesco United v Benin representative or Asec Abidjan
  • TP Mazembe (DR Congo)v Ngaya Club or UD Songo
  • DH El Jadidi or Benfica v AS Vita Club or Be Forward Wanderers
  • Primeiro Agosto or FC Platinum v Bidvest Wits or Pamplemousse SC
  • Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)v Rayon Sports or Lydia Ludic Burundi Academic
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Fifa punishes Nigeria for ineligible player in World Cup qualifying

Posted BBC Sport

on  Tuesday, December 12   2017 at  19:12

Fifa has punished Nigeria for using an ineligible player in their final World Cup qualifier against Algeria in November.

The match in Constantine originally ended in a 1-1 draw but that has now been overturned and Algeria awarded a 3-0 win.

The sanction does not affect Nigeria's World Cup qualification as they had already clinched a place in Russia before the Algeria tie.

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Abdullahi Shehu played the whole match against Algeria even though he should have been suspended for picking up yellow cards in two previous qualifiers.

The defender was cautioned in the Super Eagles 1-0 win over Zambia in October that sealed Nigeria's spot in Russia, having been shown a yellow card in the first leg of their second round tie against Swaziland in November 2015.

The Nigeria Football Federation has also been fined $6,000 for the oversight.

It means that Nigeria still finish top of Group B but with 13 points instead of 14, while Algeria's total at the bottom is now four rather than 2 points.

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Broos pays the price for the tamed Lions

Posted NDI EUGENE NDI in Yaoundé

on  Tuesday, December 5   2017 at  11:52

Cameroon have sacked national soccer team coach Hugo Broos for failing to qualify the Indomitable Lions for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The decision comes 10 months after the Belgian was celebrated for leading the team to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon last February.

The Cameroon Football Federation (FACAFOOT), in a statement on Monday, said it was terminating Broos’s contract because he had not delivered on most of his obligations as stipulated in his work agreement.

Not delivered

Among other things, the five-man normalisation committee managing the FA, in a document sent to the Sports minister, said: “Hugo Broos has failed to qualify Cameroon for the 2018 World Cup in Russia."

“The refusal to join the national team by several important players is proof of the fact that the coach has not delivered on his engagement to preserve and ameliorate the reconstruction of the squad.”

FECAFOOT said the sacked manager’s benefits of his contract that expires in February next year, would be settled.

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The 65-year-old Belgian technician, who was appointed in February 2016 for a two-year period, leaves the five times African Champions after being nominated for the Caf Coach of the Year award. Also nominated alongside the Afcon winning coach are Egypt's manager Hector Cuper, Wydad Casablanca manager Hussein Amotta, Nigeria national team's Gemot Rohr and TP Mazembe’s Mihayo Kazembe.

Broos had revealed that he turned down several managerial jobs after his Africa Cup of Nations triumph, including an offer to coach the South African national team.

Played at home

Local sports analyst, Franklin Sone Bayen said Broos’s dismissal looked like a good riddance as his performance after the Afcon victory; the 2018 world cup qualifiers, proved his critics right that he was not the man for the job.

“He wasted his post-Afcon 2017 acclaim which should have set him on wings towards preparations for Afcon 2019 to be played at home, an easy way to go down in history with two back-to-back Afcon titles.”

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Senegal aiming for the World Cup semi-finals

Posted BBC

on  Monday, December 4   2017 at  20:09

Senegal's Sports minister Matar Ba says the Teranga Lions are aiming to do better than any other African nation at the World Cup and reach the semi-finals next year.

In Russia, Senegal are in Group H along with Poland, Colombia and Japan.

In 2002, at their first ever World Cup, Senegal made it to the quarter-finals.

"We have to have our objectives - those objectives are to get to the second round and do better than in 2002," Ba told BBC Sport.

Respect them

"The semi-finals are achievable because today football is not about being European or African or American - football is global,

"You look at the biggest championships in the world - in England in Italy, everywhere - there are Senegalese playing and they are in the teams. So we can rival any of the teams.

"We won't underestimate any of these teams because all 32 teams who are there have won through the qualifiers and so we have to respect them and we have to take them seriously."

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Senegal will begin their Group H campaign against Poland on June 19 in Moscow before they play Japan on June 24 and finally Colombia four days later.

Ba refused to be drawn into making comparisons between the current team and the squad that played in South Korea and Japan in 2002.

"It's not the same - we can't compare them," he said.

"Each generation does its work and this generation want to do better than the team of 2002.

Are ambitious

"We have a great team and we have Senegalese coach and we are going to prepare well for a good performance.

"We are ambitious but we are also reasonable and so we are going to set obtainable objective."

Ba admitted they may not know much about their opponents at the moment, but added that can easily be changed.

"Nothing can be hidden these days with the internet. We can see everything we can analyse Colombia's matches and all the others," he pointed out.

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Caf cuts its player awards shortlists

on  Tuesday, November 28   2017 at  14:11

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has reduced the shortlist for its Player of the Year award from 30 names down to 11 nominees.

It has also named the final 10 names for its Africa-based Player of the Year award.

Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango is still in the running for both awards.

New Zealand striker Jeremy Brockie remains in contention for the Africa-based prize.

The top-scorer

The 30-year-old is the first non-African player to be nominated for a Caf award after he finished the top-scorer in the Confederation Cup for South African runners-up SuperSport United.

Last year's winner Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Leicester City missed out on the original list of nominees.

Caf also released its shortlists for its other award categories.

The latest lists have been decided on after votes from members of the Caf Technical & Development Committee, Caf media experts panel and independent media and TV consultants.

The voting

The final phase will involve head coaches or technical directors of the national associations taking part in the voting exercise and 10 members from the independent media and TV consultants group.

For the first time, captains of the senior men's national teams of the affiliated national associations will also take part in decision making process of the African Player of the Year and Player of the Year (Based in Africa).

The Awards Gala will take place on January 4 in Accra, Ghana.

African Player of the Year:

  • Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso and Lyon)
  • Denis Onyango (Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco and Feyenoord)
  • Keita Balde (Senegal and Monaco)
  • Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
  • Naby Keita (Guinea and RB Leipzig)
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and B. Dortmund)
  • Sadio Mane (Senegal and Liverpool)
  • Victor Moses (Nigeria and Chelsea)
  • Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon and Porto)
  • Yacine Brahimi (Algeria and Porto)

Player of the Year (Based in Africa):

  • Achraf Bencharki (Morocco and Wydad Athletic Club)
  • Ahmed Fathi (Egypt and Al Ahly)
  • Ali Maaloul (Tunisia and Al Ahly)
  • Aristide Bance (Burkina Faso and El Masry)
  • Ben Malango (DR Congo and TP Mazembe)
  • Denis Onyango (Uganda and Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand and Supersport)
  • Junior Ajayi (Nigeria and Al Ahly)
  • Mohamed Ounnajem (Morooco and Wydad Athletic Club)
  • Taha Yassine Khenisssi (Tunisia and Esperance)

Women's Player of the Year:

  • Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Dalian Quanjian)
  • Chrestina Kgatlana (South Africa and UWC Ladies)
  • Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene(Cameroon and CSKA Moscow)
  • Rutendo Makore (Zimbabwe and Black Rhinos)
  • Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi and Kvarnsvedens)

Women's National Team of the Year:

  • Ghana U-20
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria U-20
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Coach of the Year:

  • Gernot Rohr (Nigeria)
  • Hector Cuper (Egypt)
  • Hugo Broos (Cameroon)
  • L'Hussein Amoutta (Wydad Athletic Club)
  • Mihayo Kazembe (TP Mazembe)

National Team of the Year:

  • Cameroon
  • Egypt
  • Mali U-17
  • Nigeria
  • Zambia U-20

Club of the Year:

  • Al Ahly
  • Mbabane Swallows
  • SuperSport United
  • TP Mazembe
  • Wydad Athletic Club

Youth Player of the Year:

  • Eric Ayiah (Ghana and Charity Stars)
  • Krepin Diatta (Senegal and Sarpsborg)
  • Luther Singh (South Africa and Braga)
  • Patson Daka (Zambia and Liefering)
  • Salam Giddou (Mali and Guidars)

Referee of the Year:

  • Bamlak Tessema (Ethiopia)
  • Ghead Grisha (Egypt)
  • Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
  • Malang Diedhiou (Senegal)
  • Mehdi Abid Charef (Algeria)
  • Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia). (BBC)