Mane scoops player of month award – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane has been named as the PFA Fans’ Player of the month for March.

The Senegal intercontinental beat off opposition from fellow English Premier League players Lucas Digne, Wilfred Ndidi, Raheem Sterling, Jamie Vardy and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to assert the prize for the 2nd time this season.

Mane received the similar award in August, obtaining scored 3 goals in his 1st two games of the league season.

The 26-year-old, who has been in superb form for the Reds this season, scored a few goals in 4 appearances previous thirty day period.

In complete, the Liverpool attacker has scored 20 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions this season, chipping in with a even more 4 assists.

Liverpool beat Porto in the 1st leg of the Champions League last night 2-0

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Comoros, Malawi holding hope – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

When Comoros and Malawi clash in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Saturday at the Stade de Moroni, the two will be holding hope that they can attain the match correct next year in Cameroon.

Kick-off is at 14h00 (CAT).

Group B of the 2019 Afcon qualifying campaign is delicately poised with the two Comoros and Malawi holding an outside likelihood of qualifying.

Cameroon leading the standings with 8 points from four games, adopted by Morocco in 2nd place on seven points. Malawi are third in group B with four points whilst Comoros are previous with two points.

Malawi’s only win in their Afcon qualifying campaign arrived around Comoros in their very first Team B match, beating them 1- back in June previous year.

Subsequent that victory Malawi endured an embarrassing 3- reduction to Morocco away from home in September of this year and then a 1- reduction to Cameroon on October 12, also away from home.

Malawi’s most modern qualifying match was a – draw at home to Cameroon on October 16.

Comoros, on the other hand, are however to win a game in Team B and have endured losses to Malawi (1- in June 2017) and Morocco (1- on October 13 of this year).

The Comoros’ only two points in Team B have arrive from attracts against Cameroon (1-1 at home in September of this year) and most recently a 2-2 draw against Cameroon on October 16.

So it is all to play for involving Malawi and Comoros with the two their Afcon lives on the line, but they could know their destiny ahead of the come across as the other Team B game involving Morocco and Cameroon takes place on Friday, November 16.

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Cedric Bakambu becomes first African to clinch La Liga accolade – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu

Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 14:00

Cedric Bakambu became the first African player to receive Spanish La Liga’s Player of the Month award, following his exploits in the month of October.

The Villarreal forward was presented with the accolade on Sunday, ahead of the club’s 3-2 defeat to Sevilla in which he found the back of the net for his ninth goal of the league season.

The Democratic Republic of Congo international scored six goals in four league games during the month of October – netting a hat-trick Eibar.


The 26-year-old edged Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Valencia’s Gonçalo Guedes to the accolade, that has been in existence since September 2013 as per BBC Sport.

“Very proud to be voted player of the month!,” Bakambu wrote on Twitter.

Bakambu has scored 45 goals in 101 appearances for Villarreal since his move to Spain in August 2015.

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South Africa captain confident of 2019 AFCON qualification – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Andile Jali, Thulani Hlatshwayoand Erick Mathoho during the South Africa Senior Men Team Morning © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 13:30

South Africa captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has expressed confidence that his side will qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Bafana Bafana endured a torrid 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and finished bottom of Group D behind Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde.

Yet the team made a strong start to their 2019 AFCON preliminary group, defeating Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo back in June to put themselves in a strong position to finish in the top two of Group E, which also features Libya and Seychelles.

Hlatshwayo says Bafana will bounce back from their 2018 failure: “We know how disappointed the country is about the results and we as players take the blame,” he is quoted by Kick-Off.

“As the captain I take the blame. Unfortunately I could not play play those two games [against Senegal]. I am not saying if I was there I would have made a difference because the guys who played did well against Burkina Faso.

“We would like to urge the country to support because we don’t go into a game to lose. We are there representing our families and our communities.”

The burly central defender added, “We did well against Nigeria away from home, so that’s where we have to make sure we bring smiles to South Africans. We have to make sure we qualify for AFCON.”

He also gave his backing to coach Stuart Baxter, who has been a part of two failed World Cup qualification campaigns after also being at the helm of the team when they were unable to reach the 2006 finals.

“Yes, I have confidence in Stuart Baxter. He is our coach right now and we have to give him our all,” explained the defender.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey – Ghanaian continues to shine for Atletico – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Atletico Madrid‘s players Koke Resurreccion (R) and Thomas Partey during a training session

Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 13:00

Ghana international Thomas Partey has continued his stunning run of form for club side Atletico Madrid, with the 24-year-old proving his versatility in a 5-0 walloping of Levante this past weekend.

Atleti remain unbeaten in this season’s Spanish La Liga, with Partey one of their outstanding players thus far.

The midfielder-come-fullback, held his own at right-back in the club’s 2-0 win over Roma in the UEFA Champions League before starring in the same position in league success on Saturday.

Having added goals to his game in a more advanced role in midfield, Partey has since proven his worth at fullback and surely if needed – he will play as a striker too!


The run of form comes as just reward for Partey who struggled for game time in the Spanish capital leading up to the current campaign.

In total, the former Mallorca and Almeria man has played 18 games this season across all competitions, scoring four goals.

Atletico return to action this evening in the Copa del Rey with a clash against Elche.

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Player Spotlight: Mario Lemina – Gabon star could start against Manchester City – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellani (L) and Southampton’s Mario Lemina in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Britain, 23 September 2017.

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 16:00

The highly-rated central midfielder made his first competitive appearance for his club Southampton in just over month on Sunday.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino introduced Lemina with 12 minutes left as the Saints beat Everton 4-1 in an English Premier League game at home.

The Gabonese international has recovered well from an ankle injury which he sustained after facing West Bromwich Albion in a league game on the 21st of October 2017.

Lemina has been one of the Saints’ best players this season having joined the club from Italian Serie A giants Juventus prior to the current campaign.

The Saints provided an injury update ahead of their away league game with high-flying Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

A club statement read: “Mauricio Pellegrino has no injury concerns for his team’s Premier League trip to Manchester City, with long-term absentee Matt Targett the only player set to skip Wednesday’s encounter.

“The Argentine has practically a full squad to choose from at the Etihad Stadium, with Mario Lemina having made his first appearance in just over month from the substitute’s bench against Everton on Sunday.

“Lemina completed the final 12 minutes of Southampton’s comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Toffees, his first sight of action since the home meeting with West Bromwich Albion on 21 October.

“Saints’ midfield options are set to be boosted further by the return of Oriol Romeu after a one-match suspension.”

Lemina, 24, has made eight league appearances for Southampton this season.

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Dembele agent hits back at Jean-Michael Seri – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 15:30

The agent of Barcelona midfielder Ousmane Dembele has hit back at Nice’s Ivorian star Jean-Michael Seri.

The Elephants player criticised Dembele for going on strike at Borussia Dortmund and forcing through a move to Barcelona this past European summer.

He also claimed that the mental and physical stress of this action led to Dembele’s early-season injury problems.

But Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko has now taken a swipe at the Nice player, telling L’Equipe: “When Seri discusses the attitude to adopt, I wonder if it would be appropriate for him to focus on how he could return to his best.

“His transfer to Barça was aborted and he may have remained on that disappointment.

“Since then, he seems missing in Nice where he is still under contract. And if I refer to his words given to Mundo Deportivo at the end of August, he himself confessed to having exploded with his leaders, whose office walls he shook after he realised he would not go to Catalonia.

“Now, rather than giving lessons wrongly or rightly, or negatively addressing Ousmane’s career, it may be time for him to focus on keeping his club in Ligue 1.

“I want to remind Seri and other critics that Ousmane Dembele went from his first professional contract with Rennes, Borussia Dortmund and FC Barcelona in less than two years.

“It’s a career plan that I wish for everyone.”

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Aston Villa coach challenges Albert Adomah – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Aston Villa’s Albert Adomah

Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 17:00

Aston Villa coach Steve Bruce has challenged Ghanaian striker Albert Adomah to score 20 goals this season.

The 29-year-old netted a brace in Villa’s 2-0 win over Ipswich in the Championship this past weekend and has a tally of 10 league goals to his name.

“He’s had a wonderful return, as I’ve said now for the past few weeks,” Bruce said.

“At the start, because of the form of Andre Green, he wasn’t in the team, so it just shows you. He’s worked hard and he’s got his reward.

“Playing on the left he looks so comfortable coming in on his right foot and running across the line.

“He’s a threat and that’s 11 goals [across all competitions] he’s got which is a wonderful return.

“Long may it continue and there’s no reason now why he can’t set his sights to go and get another 10 at this part of the season.”

Villa are well in contention to make a return to the Premier League, as they are placed fourth on the Championship table.

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Player Spotlight: Cedric Bakambu – Congolese striker named best player in Spanish La Liga – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 16:00

The lethal striker has deservedly been named the best player in the Spanish La Liga for the month of October.

Bakambu, who was born in France to DR Congolese parents, has been in top form for Villarreal this season having scored 12 goals in 17 matches in all competitions.

The former Sochaux player grabbed a brace against Kazajistan’s Astana in an UEFA Europa League game on Thursday, before scoring against Sevilla in a La Liga match on Sunday.

La Liga announced that the DR Congo international was the October Player of the Month after scoring six goals during the month.

A statement read: “Cedric Bakambu named LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“The Villarreal forward picks up this accolade for the first time in his career after netting six times last month.

“Villarreal CF striker Cedric Bakambu has been named the LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“His goalscoring exploits last month helped Villarreal soar up the table into the Europa League qualification spots.

“The France-born Congolese star’s six strikes in October have seen him receive the award for the first time in his career.

“The 26-year-old scored a hat-trick against SD Eibar in a 3-0 victory, struck twice in a 2-1 away win at Girona FC and once in Villarreal’s 4-0 thrashing of UD Las Palmas.”

The 26-year-old collected the accolade before Villarreal’s clash with Sevilla on Sunday.

Bakambu, who was born in France to DR Congolese parents, has been in top form for Villarreal this season having scored 12 goals in 17 matches in all competitions.

The former Sochaux player grabbed a brace against Kazajistan’s Astana in an UEFA Europa League game on Thursday, before scoring against Sevilla in a La Liga match on Sunday.

La Liga announced that the DR Congo international was the October Player of the Month after scoring six goals during the month.

A statement read: “Cedric Bakambu named LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“The Villarreal forward picks up this accolade for the first time in his career after netting six times last month.

“Villarreal CF striker Cedric Bakambu has been named the LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“His goalscoring exploits last month helped Villarreal soar up the table into the Europa League qualification spots.

“The France-born Congolese star’s six strikes in October have seen him receive the award for the first time in his career.

“The 26-year-old scored a hat-trick against SD Eibar in a 3-0 victory, struck twice in a 2-1 away win at Girona FC and once in Villarreal’s 4-0 thrashing of UD Las Palmas.”

The 26-year-old collected the accolade before Villarreal’s clash with Sevilla on Sunday.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Newcastle need their Ghana star to return – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 13:00

Ghanaian Christian Atsu was again absent as Newcastle United slumped to a fourth successive defeat on Saturday.

The Magpies were given a chastening 3-0 beating at home by Watford, with Atsu missing a second successive match following the thigh injury he supposedly aggravate while on international duty with the Black Stars.

The loss to the Hornets is a fourth in succession for Rafael Benitez’s side, who have also been beaten by Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United in the sequence.

The defeat to United at Old Trafford is to be expected given the difference in the respective teams’ ambitions, but the losses against the other three will be major worries for Newcastle fans.

The club has dropped to 13th place on the log and is just four points above the relegation zone.

The good news is that Atsu is nearing a return from injury, with Benitez revealing last week that the winger is making encouraging progress.

The Magpies may even be tempted to fast-track his return when they face West Bromwich Albion in a midweek Premier League clash at the Hawthorns tomorrow night.

Short of that, they’ll definitely want him for the high profile match away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 2, where Atsu’s pace and penetration on the counter attack could be a key facet of their game plan.

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DR Congo’s Youssouf Mulumbu joins Kilmarnock – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 10:30

Democratic Republic of Congo and ex-West Bromwich Albion midfielder, Youssouf Mulumbu has completed his switch to Scotland’s Kilmarnock FC on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

Media reports reveal that the 30-year-old, who worked with Killie manager Steve Clarke at the English Premier League club, left Norwich City in the summer and was given a two-week trial at Rugby Park.

Apart from playing in the English Premier League, Mulumbu has also starred for Paris St-Germain and Amiens in France.

“I didn’t come to Kilmarnock just like that,” said Mulumbu to the BBC.

“I spoke with Steve Clarke and he told me everything about the club and that was a big impact that he came here.

“I worked with him for a year and I know he’s an honest manager. I know the way he trains and the way he wants to play, so it suits me and was a big affect for me coming here.

“I’m looking forward to showing the real Mulumbu. I was with Norwich for two years and it didn’t work like I wanted, so I have something to prove.”

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Riyad Mahrez: I’m not thinking about the transfer window now – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 18:00

Leicester City’s Algerian star Riyad Mahrez says he is not thinking about the January transfer window just yet, insisting he is focused on his performances.

The Fennec Foxes star was strongly linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium in the European summer transfer season, but the window snapped shut in early September with Mahrez unable to secure a new club.

The Algerian has since knuckled down and put in some strong showings for Leicester, especially since the appointment of new coach Claude Puel, and he emphasised that his focus is very much on the field right now.

“Everyone knows that I had desires to leave, except that it did not happen. I do not want to think of the transfer window at the moment. We still have 12 games to play until January, so if I thought of the transfer window now, I will not play football anymore,” Mahrez told the Daily Star.

He added, “I have been in Leicester for four years. I like this club and I am happy to defend its colours.

“I won the Premier League and took part in the Champions League. Before that, I played with the club in Championship.

“So I have to focus on my role in the field without worrying about what is being said here and there. We will see later what the future will hold for us.”

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Dortmund’s Aubameyang promises to recover his scoring form – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Borussia Dortmund attacker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 18:30

Gabonese international Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has disclosed his readiness to score goals again for Borussia Dortmund.

The 28-year-old, who has failed to score for the German outfit in their last five games in all competitions, has accepted criticism for his struggles in front of goal.

“I played a lot and felt a bit tired, which is why I asked for a break in the Cup against Magdeburg,” Aubameyang told Bild.

“But that was not enough, the international break has done me very well again.

However, Aubameyang, who has netted 10 goals in the German Bundesliga this season, is a only a goal behind league top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich.

“After all, this is my job and I face this criticism, even though I do not think it’s fair,” he continued.

“And I know I have to score goals again. But even in the past there were such phases.”

The Gabon captain will be looking to recover his scoring form when Dortmund take on Stuttgart in a league match on Friday.

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Over 200 applications received for Uganda coaching job – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 03, 2017. 14:30

The Federation of Ugandan Football Federations is currently searching for a new coach, but interim coach Moses Basena believes he has what it takes to lead the Cranes.

Media reports from the country reveal that Basena has joined Togo coach Claude LeRoy in applying for the vacant Cranes post.

Meanwhile, Free State Stars manager Luc Eymael and ex-Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund are also linked with the coaching role.

The BBC reports that there are more than 200 coaches who have showed interest in the job according to a Ugandan FA official.


“I have worked as an assistant coach for some time now and played a role in helping the team qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations,” Basena told BBC Sport.

“I have what it takes to handle the national team because I have got a lot of experience now.”

FUFA announced that the successful coach will be announced on November 15 where Portugal’s 34-year old Joao Miguel de Castro Ferreira is also running for the job.

Basena was in-charge when the Cranes defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 for the first time in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in August, before falling by the same scoreline in Cairo.

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The end of the road for Hugo Broos? – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 15:30

Cameroon coach Hugo Broos is highly unlikely to have the chance to defend the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2019.

Camfoot reports that the Belgian tactician, who guided the Indomitable Lions to glory in the AFCON earlier this year, will not receive an extension to his current contract which runs to February 2018.

Following Cameroon’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, it was suggested that Broos would have been shown the door already were it not for a committee organised by the Cameroon Football Federation.

“If he had not been sacked since the defeat against Nigeria in the qualifying phase of the 2018 World Cup, it’s because a standardisation committee was set up at the Cameroon Football Federation. Otherwise, he would have gone since,” Camfoot quotes an anonymous source.

With Broos set to be released in February next year, Cameroon’s final 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Zambia later this month will likely be the 65-year-old’s last match in charge of the Indomitable Lions.

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Andre Ayew ready to lead Hammers out of trouble – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

West Ham’s Andre Ayew celebrates his goal against Swansea City

Bertin Basson

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 18:30

Ghana international Andre Ayew is ready to lead West Ham United‘s charge following his midweek heroics in the Carabao Cup.

The 27-year-old was at the double as Slaven Bilic’s men secured a memorable 3-2 come-from-behind win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

Having contributed in wins over Cheltenham Town and Bolton, Ayew was at it again as he staked his claim for a starting birth in the Hammers English Premier League showdown against Crystal Palace this weekend.

With pressure mounting on West Ham United head coach, Bilic, following the club’s stuttering start to the league season – Ayew is ready to help save the Croatian’s job.

“When you are at a club like West Ham and the results are difficult, the manager is under pressure for sure,” Ayew is quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

“But so are the players. We have to keep working hard and the manager knows the players are behind him. We will give everything we can.

“Not only for the manager but for ourselves too. We have to wear the shirt with a lot of pride. There is a fighting spirit,” he concluded.

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Kalou compares Morocco coach Renard to Mourinho – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Salomon Kalou, Hertha Berlin

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 15:00

Ivorian international Salomon Kalou has compared Morocco head coach coach Herve Renard to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Kalou spoke to ESPN ahead of Ivory Coast’s last 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match which will be against Morocco in Abidjan on 11 November 2017.

Group C leaders Morocco are a point above Ivory Coast, who need to win in order to qualify for next year’s finals which will be hosted by Russia.

Hertha Berlin forward Kalou has spoken of the similarities between former Ivory Coast coach Renard and Portuguese tactician Mourinho.

“It will be interesting [meeting Renard],” the 32-year-old foward said.

“He has a mental game going on. A bit like Mourinho.

“He will try to play this kind of game with us because he knows us very well,” he added.

“But I don’t think that will play a part. We have a good relationship with him, but we have to win.”

Kalou was part of the Ivorian squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Gabon under French tactician Renard’s guidance.

The veteran attacker also worked with Mourinho during his stint with English giants Chelsea between 2006 and 2007.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Riyad Mahrez – How will Claude Poel’s arrival impact on his future? – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 19:00

With Leicester City having registered two straight wins in all competitions, Algerian star Riyad Mahrez has played a crucial role.

He scored as they beat Leeds United 3-1 in the League Cup and also provided an assist as they downed Swansea City 2-1 in the English premier League last weekend.

The left-footed winger is continuing to raise his hand and help the Foxes when the chips are down at King Power Stadium.

However, a big question creeps in just after the club announced changes in the technical team where a new coach has come in.

Frenchman, Claude Puel has been confirmed as Craig Shakespeare’s successor after penning a deal at the King Power stadium until June 2020.


Is this good news for Mahrez? The Desert Foxes international has established himself under managers Claudio Ranieri and Shakespeare.

Despite reports that he wants to move away from the 2015/16 EPL champions, the 26-year-old has always given 100% whenever he donned the Blue shirt.

Puel is a man who will definitely come with new strategies and will have his favourite players, but will that put Mahrez into an awkward spot?

Some managers could be tempted to do away with a player who has his sights set somewhere else as that could jeopardise the club and the manager’s job.

Mahrez is undoubtedly one of the best foreign players in the EPL and his stance on making a move to greener pastures could hurt him.

However, it all depends on how Puel will deal with the player and matters in the dressing room as he may follow the notion that a new broom sweeps clean.

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Butler could be appointed BFA technical director – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 12:00

British tactician Peter Butler could be appointed Botswana Football Association (BFA) technical director.

Peter, who served as Botswana senior national team head coach between February 2014 and June, 2017, is currently jobless.

After leaving his job as Zebras mentor, he joined South African club Platinum Stars as head coach, but he was fired by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) side last month.

He has since been linked with a possible return to the BFA and the president of the organisation, Maclean Letshwiti did not rule out Butler’s return when speaking to the local media.

“Peter Butler was sick of BFA politics which was stifling his progress. He wanted my help, but I could not give a guarantee that I will fire everyone at BFA,” he said.

“He didn’t leave because I wanted him to leave, he left because he couldn’t stomach the BFA politics anymore.

“I am busy doing a situational analysis. I have to identify a technical director, and Peter Butler might come back if he meets the scope,” he explained.

“I am not going to elect a TD, but make a selection of three people then get the FIFA technical department to come and evaluate a suitable TD.”

Butler also confirmed that he was interested in the position when speaking to Mmegi Sports.

“I would be interested as I know the country’s talent well. My record is there, I rebuilt the Zebras with young talent and took them to number 87 in the world rankings until we stopped playing games. I develop and produce players. You don’t go anywhere until you create your own DNA (identity),” he said.

“You need to continue on the path of integrating youngsters with a sprinkling of experience. I have shown that we can beat teams like Mali and Burkina Faso with young and upcoming players.”

Butler guided Botswana to the 2016 COSAFA Cup final where they narrowly lost to South Africa in Windhoek, Namibia.

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Senegal star Diafra Sakho: We’ll see what January brings – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

West Ham’s Diafra Sakho celebrates after scoring.

Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 19:00

Senegal striker Diafra Sakho has hinted that he may be on his way out of West Ham United when the transfer window reopens in January.

The Teranga Lions attacker wanted to the leave the Hammers before the start of the 2017/18 season, but was unable to secure a transfer.

The 27-year-old old has yet to start a Premier League match this term, but this past weekend he came off the bench to score the only goal in a crunch win over Swansea City.

After his last-gasp strike against the Swans, Sakho hinted that January could bring a change in his career path.

“It’s not easy to prove to the people what I can do on the pitch when I only play for 10 minutes,” said the Senegal striker.

“But I don’t need to knock on the manager’s door – he knows what I can do, now I have to force my way into the team. I just want to enjoy being part of this team and we will see what happens in January.”

Sakho will now turn his attention to Senegal’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde on Saturday.

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Brian Mandela left out of Kenya squad – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 26, 2017. 10:00

Kenya head coach Stanley Okumbi has excluded several foreign-based players from the squad that will travel to Asia for friendly matches next month.

The Harambee Stars are scheduled to lock horns with Iraq and Thailand on October 5 and October 8, 2017 respectively in Asia during the the FIFA international break.

Victor Wanyama, Ayub Timbe and Brian Mandela have all been left out of the squad as they are currently out injured, while Belgium-based Johanna Omollo misses out due to club commitments.

According to the Football Kenya Federation, (FKF) due to the KPL fixture congestion, local-based players are set to report to camp on the evening of October 1, 2017, at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies before departure on October 2, 2017. Foreign-based players will link up with the team in Iraq

Travelling Party


Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia)


Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia), Robinson Kamura (AFC Leopards), Simon Mbugua (Posta Rangers), David Owino (Zesco FC), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Dennis Sikhayi (AFC Leopards), Abud Omar (Slava Sofia), Erick Ouma (Kolkheti Poti)


Anthony Akumu (Zesco FC), Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Patilah Omoto (Kariobangi Sharks), Kenneth Muguna, (Gor Mahia), Samuel Onyango (Ulinzi FC), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Eric Johana Omondi (Vasalund’s FC), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker FC), Cliffton Miheso (Buildcon FC)


John Mark Makwata (Buildcon FC), Masud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Jesse Jackson Were (Zesco FC), Michael Olunga (Girona FC)

Technical Bench

Stanley Okumbi (First Coach), Musa Otieno (Assistant Coach), Frank Ouna (Assistant Coach), Haggai Azende (GoalKeepers Coach), Mikael Igendia (Strength and Conditioning), Wycliff Omom (Team Doctor), Benson Otieno (Kit Manager)

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Kenya to play friendly games in Asia – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 15, 2017. 15:00

Kenya’s Harambee Stars will play two international friendly matches in October, 2017.

The Harambee Stars will travel to Asia where they take on Iraq and Thailand during the FIFA international break.

Kenya, who are under the guidance of Stanley Okumbi, will be using the matches as preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers and the 2018 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) finals.

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) made the announcement on their official website:

“The National Football team, Harambee Stars, is set to play two friendly matches away, against Iraq and Thailand on October 5 and October 8, 2017, respectively.

“The first match against Iraq is set to be played at the Basra Stadium in Iraq while the venue for the second match will be confirmed in due course.

“The friendly matches will be in preparation for the ongoing 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers and the 2018 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) set to be hosted in Kenya.

“Stars coach Stanley Okumbi is set to name his squad for the two friendly matches when he jets into the country on September 24, 2017. The coach has been in Germany for a month long coaching course,” a statement read.

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Cote d’Ivoire’s Herve Guy diagnosed with heart problems – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

The Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Sep 12, 2017. 09:30

News landing through to is that Cote d’Ivoire and Al-Qadisiyah FC’s Herve Guy has left the Saudi side due to heart problems.

Reports indicate that Al-Qadisiyah have allowed Guy to leave the club for treatment after doctors advised them against using the midfielder due to a medical issue with his heart.


The 33-year-old joined Al-Qadisiyah earlier this year after four years with Moroccan side Ittihad Tanger and was a member of Ivory Coast’s Under 20 World Cup squad in 2003.

“Doctors warned us not to use Herve in matches after medical examinations showed he has a myocardium problem,” Al-Qadisiyah director Ghazi Aseri told local media.

“We allowed him to travel out of the country for more examinations.”

Although Al-Qadisiyah said they will reinforce their squad, but they insist they will continue to support the Ivorian in the meantime.

“We will add another player to our squad as Herve will need time to recover,” Aseri adds.

“We will not fire him from the squad, and we will support him and wish him a quick recovery.”

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‘PSG didn’t respect my true worth’ – Serge Aurier – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 06, 2017. 16:00

Ivory Coast star Serge Aurier says Paris Saint-Germain ‘didn’t respect his true worth’ and he is looking forward to a ‘new adventure’ with Tottenham Hotspur.

The Elephants right-back last week joined Spurs from French giants PSG, before jetting off to represent his country in 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

His move was initially held up while he waited for a visa from the UK Home Office. Aurier was famously denied entry into the UK in November last year because of suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer in Paris.

The defender believes too much fuss was made of the issue and he is simply looking forward to an exciting new chapter in his career.

“I wanted a new life because PSG didn’t respect my true worth. They dwelt on other matters besides football,” the 24-year-old is quoted by The Sun.

“Statistically speaking, I am the most influential defender in Ligue 1 between 2013 and now. I have also won nine trophies with PSG.

“There are more striking things about my career than what happened off the field, but this is what they preferred to linger over.

“I feel free now. PSG offered me a new three-year deal, but I have left them for a new adventure. I turned them down for a number of reasons. I want to discover a new way of life.

“I got on well with everyone at the club — bosses, players, coaches and fans — and the proof comes from the fact they wanted to keep me. But I had to think of myself. It is a personal decision.

“I had some business with the police that was blown up by the media in Europe. Normally when a matter goes on for a year or more they move on to something else.

“But in my case, there was far too much of a fuss. If I hadn’t been mentally strong I would have cracked up.

“I could have stayed another year or two. PSG’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is like a second father to me and the team is like a family.

“I hurt some people with my decision to leave but that is life. I wanted to see a new world.”

Aurier could make his Spurs debut when they line-up against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.

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Benin continue preparations for 2019 AFCON Qualifiers

Benin skipper Stephane Sessegnon

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 17:00

Benin have been busy preparing for the 2017 WAFU CUP OF NATIONS and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

The Squirrels defeated Equatorial Guinea 2-1 in an international friendly match in Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.

Michael Pote opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, while Jodel Dossou doubled Benin’s lead in the 75th minute.

A minute later, the Nzalang National pulled one back through Omar Ondo, but the Squirrels held on to win 2-1.

According to Benin Web TV, Oumar Tchomogo, the Squirrels head coach was using a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Benin XI: Saturnin Allagbe- Rodrigue Fassinou- Cedric Hountondji- Junior Salomon- David Kiki -Djiman Koukou- Olivier Verdon- Jodel Dossou -Stephane Sessegnon- David Djigla – Michael Pote.

Benin will participate in the 2017 WAFU CUP OF NATIONS finals which will be hosted by Ghana between 9-24 September.

The Squirrels are scheduled to take on Togo in the 2019 AFCON qualifier in March 2018.

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Benin preparing for WAFU Cup and AFCON qualifiers – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Stephane Sessegnon of Benin/Backpagepix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 16:00

The Benin Football Federation (BFF) will ensure that the Squirrels are active during the next two FIFA international breaks.

Benin will not be taking part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and they are set to play a friendly match against Equatorial Guinea on 3 September 2017.

The president of the BFF, Anjorin Musharafou, has revealed that they are working on securing a friendly match against Iraq for next month.

The Squirrels are also expected to take on Gabon’s Panthers in an international friendly match in October 2017.

“Benin will play in a friendly on 3 September against Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next October,” Musharafou said on

“Benin will hopefully play against Iraq in September 2017. We are still negotiating with Agent Jérôme Champagne.”

The friendly matches are expected to help Benin prepare for the upcoming 2017 WAFU Nations Cup which will be hosted by Ghana next month.

The Squirrels will also take on Togo in the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in March, 2018.

One of Benin’s key players is Stephane Sessegnon and the Squirrels are under the guidance of Oumar Tchomogo.

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Serge Aurier’s Spurs switch draws closer – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Serge Aurier

Graeme Jackson

Sunday Aug 27, 2017. 14:30

Paris Saint-Germain’s Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier is reportedly set for a switch to Tottenham Hotspur.

The Elephants right-back underwent a medical assessment in Paris on Friday and is set to complete a move to London for a fee of £23-million – subject to the acquisition of a work permit.

Aurier, 24, was handed a two-month suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer in Paris in 2016 and is currently banned from entering the UK.

However, it is believed his appeal against the sentence will be successful and allow the player to obtain the necessary paperwork.

Sky Sports reports that Spurs have pipped Manchester United in the race for the West African star, who is surplus to requirements at PSG following their capture of Dani Alves.

Aurier is set to serve as a replacement for Kyle Walker, who was sold by Spurs to Premier League rivals Manchester City.

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Unforgettable UCL action awaits Coetzee, Ndlovu – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Bongani Zungu and Rivaldo Coetzee of South Africa during the Bafana Bafana training on the Peoples Park training fields at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa on June 08, 2015 ©Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Saturday Aug 26, 2017. 17:00

South African duo, Rivaldo Coetzee and Dino Ndlovu, are set for an unforgettable UEFA Champions League campaign with Celtic and Qarabag respectively.

No matter how far their club side’s progress in this season’s premier European competition, it is destined to be a memorable campaign for both players with trips to some of the world’s best club teams.

It was this week confirmed that Coetzee, 20, would be joining Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic with the ‘Hoops’ to come up against Bayern Munich, Paris-Saint Germain and Anderlecht in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stages.

Ndlovu, who played in integral part in leading his Azerbaijani side to a first UCL campaign, will come go head-to-head with Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Roma in Group C.

In contrast, things are a bit easier for the likes of Bongani Zungu, Thulani Serero and Amajita ace Luther Singh, who will play in the Europa League this season.

This is who the South African stars’ will come up against in Europe’s second tier competition:

Zungu’s Vitória Guimarães: Red Bull Salzburg, Marseille and Konyaspor.

Thulani Serero’s Vitesse: Lazio, Nice and Zulte-Waragem.

Lither Singh’s Braga: Hoffenheim, Ludogorets and İstanbul Başakşehir.

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Bony closing in on Swans return – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Bertin Basson

Saturday Aug 26, 2017. 14:00

Swansea City are said to be close to re-signing Wilfried Bony from Manchester City, according to BBC Sport.

Bony, 28, joined the Citizens for are reported £25 million in January 2015, but the burly forward found the going tough at the Etihad – eventually joining Stoke City on-loan ahead of the 2016-17 Premier League season.


The Ivory Coast international, though, also struggled at the Potters last season, and will be hoping a return to South Wales will re-ignite his career.

According to the BBC, talks between the Citizens and the Swans are on-going with a fee to be agreed next week ahead of the forwards return to the Liberty Stadium.

Bony, who joined Swansea City from Dutch club Vitesse in 2013, scored 25 goals in 54 games before his move to City.

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Austria Wien pleased to have signed Nigeria’s Abdullahi – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Aug 26, 2017. 11:00

Nigerian international Ibrahim Alhassan Abdullahi has secured a move to Austrian club FK Austria Wien.

The 20-year-old striker has joined Wien on a season-long loan deal from Nigerian outfit Akwa United and the European club also has an option to purchase him.

Abdullahi, who was part of the Nigeria squad that qualified for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals, is hoping to impress at the Wien.

“I am delighted to be part of Austria from now on,” Abdullahi said on Wien’s official website.

“I can not wait to get to know the team and work hard together to make even more success with it.”

The club’s Sporting Director Franz Wohlfahrt says they are pleased to have signed the promising forward.

“Ibrahim Alhassan Abdullahi is a player with great potential. He is a team player who has speed and good ball heading,” he said.

“We are convinced that this transfer is one with a great perspective.”

Abdullahi was likely to be included in the Nigeria squad for the upcoming 2017 WAFU Nations Cup which is scheduled to be hosted by Ghana next month.

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