Gavin Hunt praises Pitso Mosimane ahead of Wits-Sundowns showdown – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 14:00

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has praised Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Pitso Mosimane ahead of tonight’s Absa Premiership showdown between the teams.

The Clever Boys will host the Brazilians for the pick of three league clashes tonight. Wits come into the game having eliminated Kaizer Chiefs from the Telkom Knockout this past weekend, while Sundowns have had an extended period to prepare.

Hunt admits that he would have preferred points on the board rather than a strong cup run, following his team’s poor start to the defence of their league title, but reckons winning games is a good sign regardless.

“As I’ve said, [from] all these cup games you’d want to have league points, wouldn’t you? It will help us, but football is what it is and hopefully we can just get a little bit [of points] this week and have a smile about the place,” said Hunt.

“We know the task on Tuesday, against a very good side – a good squad of players. Pitso has done well there. We know what we’re up against and we’re just going to have to battle through this period with what we’ve got.”

The Wits coach also believes it’s a tough period for his side, who played Chiefs last Saturday, face Sundowns tonight and will then travel to the KwaZulu-Natal for a third game within a week when they take on Maritzburg United.

“Obviously the problem is you’re playing against Sundowns on Tuesday and we played [on Saturday] – that makes a big difference,” he explained.

“By the time you play your third game in a week, that team has only played their second game and, with our squad the way it is – with nothing coming back [from injury], it’s a problem.”

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Watch Botswana train ahead of Gabon friendly

Kabelo Seakanyeng of Botswana challenged by Riyaad Norodien of South Africa during 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Botswana and South Africa at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 04 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Staff Reporter

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 17:00

Botswana’s senior national team are busy preparing for their upcoming match against Gabon.

The international friendly match scheduled to take place in the capital city of Gabon, Libreville next week Tuesday.

Nicknamed the Zebras, Botswana secured a 2-0 win over Ethiopia in a friendly match at home two months ago.

However, Namibia defeated the Zebras 3-1 in another friendly game which was played in Windhoek last month.

Before facing Botswana, Gabon will take on Mali in their final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier which will be played on Saturday.

The Panthers of Gabon, who have already failed to qualify for the World Cup finals, will host Mali in Franceville.

The Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s official Facebook page posted a video of the Zebras players training ahead their clash with Gabon:

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Algerian legends back Rabah Madjer as national team coach ahead of Nigeria clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Islam SLIMANI of Algeria Challenged by Leon BALOGUN (L) and William EKONG(R) of Nigeria during the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Algeria on November, 12th 2016 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium ©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 09:00

Ahead of Algeria’s clash against Nigeria in their final Group B, 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers next week, former Desert Warriors players have backed new coach Rabah Madjer.

This comes after Madjer was named national coach for the fourth time in his career on October 18 after Lucas Alcaraz was dismissed following a disappointing World Cup qualification campaign.

Ex-internationals such as Billel Dziri, who played under Madjer in the 1990s, believe the 1987 African Footballer of the Year can win over his critics.


“The players will see his training methods and the quality of his training sessions,” he told BBC Sport.

“People say that it has been a long time since he has not coached, but he has lots of experience on the football pitch. We cannot neglect that fact.”

On the other hand, Omar Belbey, who played under Madjer at the 2002 CAF African Nations Cup, adds it could be unwise to ignore the latter’s extensive experience.

“When you have an ex-international with the career he had and all that he represents, that is a monstrous asset,” adds Belbey.

“We, the players, listened to what he had to say because he knows what he’s talking about.”

Madjer has since announced his squad for the Super Eagles clash set to be staged in Constantine on November 10, which will be followed by a friendly against the Central African Republic in Algiers on November 14.

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Al Ahly suffer massive blow ahead of the second leg of the Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League

Al Ahly’s Hossam Ashour in continental action against Orlando Pirates

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 12:00

Al Ahly have received a huge blow ahead of the second leg of the CAF Champions League final away in Morocco against Wydad Casablanca.

The clash will be staged on Saturday after last weekend’s 1-1 draw, but the Red Devils will be without experienced midfielder Hossam Ashour.


The 31-year-old, who sustained a groin injury in Ahly’s 4-1 win over Ragaa in an Egyptian Premier League game early October, also missed the first-leg of the CAFChampions League final and is set to miss the second leg as well.

“Ashour is still undergoing rehabilitation due to his groin muscle strain. He is very unlikely to play on Saturday,” Ahly Doctor Khaled Mahmoud said on the club’s official website.

Ashour’s absence deepens Ahly’s troubles as left-winger Ali Maaloul and defender Rami Rabia are also doubtful for the game due to injuries.

Coach Hossam El-Badry and his troops will need to score an away goal to stand a chance of lifting their first Champions League trophy since 2013.

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Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots calls for unity ahead of Morocco clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 16:30

Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has called for unity ahead of his team’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Morocco next month.

The Elephants will host the Atlas Lions for their decisive Group C clash at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan on November 11.

Ivory Coast must win the match to top the group and secure qualification for a fourth successive World Cup.

Morocco, meanwhile, need only avoid defeat and they will qualify for their first global tournament since 1998.

Wilmots recently took to his official Twitter page to call for unity from Ivory Coast supporters ahead of the match.

The Belgian has come under harsh criticism for the Elephants’ form since he took over in March.

“Exactly 2 weeks before the confrontation with Morocco. All united for qualification,” Wilmots posted on his account this past weekend.

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Pirates coach admits respect for Sundowns ahead of heavyweight bout – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 10:30

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has admitted that he has a huge amount of respect for Mamelodi Sundowns and their coach Pitso Mosimane.

The two teams will meet for a high-profile Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium tomorrow night.

The Buccaneers have not enjoyed their recent meetings with ‘Downs, notably suffering a club-record 6-0 defeat against Mosimane’s side back in February.

However, this will be the first time Pirates face up to the Brazilians since ‘Micho’ returned for his second spell at the club.

In addition, ‘Downs come into the game on the back of three successive defeats, including a shock 1-0 loss at Chippa United in the Telkom Knockout this past weekend.

Pirates, for their part, beat Golden Arrows in Durban to advance into the quarterfinals of the competition.

“We are having in front of us match number 10 in the league and we are playing a team that have proven themselves still as reigning African champions,” said Sredojevic, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“They are a very good group of individuals that are playing top class football as a team. They have my very good friend of the last 15 years since I came to South Africa Pitso Mosimane, who for me is the Alex Ferguson of South African football as a coach.

“It might look like an extraordinary league match both for us and them, but we are totally concentrated on the game.

“It is one team that has reached the best of their abilities in the last two years against another team that is on the rise – ourselves. We are in the process of rebuilding and the process of proving ourselves.

“We are extremely motivated, respecting our opponents while also having respect for ourselves, our club of 80 years, our supporters and most importantly the funny and unpredictable nature of football.

“We are entering Wednesday’s game with intention to measure ourselves, to see how far we have come, to give our best in 90 minutes and look forward to getting the best we can from the match.”

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Wydad focusing on tactics ahead of crunch Champions League tie – 2017 CAF Champions League

Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (R) of Wydad Casablanca

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 12:00

Ahead of their crunch second leg, semifinal encounter against USM Alger in the CAF Champions League on Saturday night, Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta has encouraged his troops to remain focused.

Wydad will hope their superb home form in this year’s CAF Champions League can carry them through to their first final since 2011.

Although it will be a challenging encounter, the 1992 champions have won all five of their matches in Morocco this season without conceding a goal.

They face a tough test, though, against the Algerians after the the opening leg ended 0-0.

“My players should focus on the technical, tactical and mental aspects because this is not a match where mistakes can be made,” said Amotta to the BBC.

“So we have to pay attention to certain details. As the match will be in our stadium, we will be supported by our fans but, at the same time, we must show courage in attack while also having a strong defence.”

The match will take place at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca at 22:30 (CAT).

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Hossam El-Badry says support is vital ahead of Champions League semifinal – 2017 CAF Champions League

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 15:30

Ahead of their crucial CAF Champions League semifinal encounter against Etoile Sportive du Sahel on Sunday, Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry has called on supporters to rally behind the team.

El-Badry has expressed confidence in the team reaching the African Champions League final, but wants to count on the support of fans in Sunday’s clash.


The Red Devils will welcome the Tunisian giants at Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria for the second leg of the continental competition’s semifinal.

Ahly lost the opening leg 2-1 away and have played two Egyptian Premier League games this week, defeating Ittihad 2-0 on Thursday and Ragaa 4-1 on Monday.

“I am sure fan support on Sunday will ease our mission to snatch the qualifying ticket,” the 57-year-old told his club’s official website.

“The attendance of 50,000 fans – approved by security authorities – will definitely be a positive boost for the team to overcome the loss.

“The Ittihad and Ragaa games were very good preparation for the Sunday game. I hope that the referee will be fair in his decisions.”

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Al Ahly suffer massive blow ahead of Champions League semifinal – 2017 CAF Champions League

Al Ahly’s Hossam Ashour in continental action against Orlando Pirates

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 18:00

Al Ahly are set to miss the services of midfielder Hossam Ashour after he is ruled out of the CAF Champions League semifinal match against Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel.

The midfielder is ruled out for the second time as they will host the second-leg at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium on Sunday.

Ashour was ruled out of the 2-1 first-leg loss in Sousse due to a knee injury early this month and will not be able to take part this weekend.

Media reports suggest that Ashour sustained a groin problem in Monday’s 4-1 league victory over lowly Ragaa.


“Scans showed that Ashour has sustained a groin tear,” Ahly doctor Khaled Mahmoud said.

“As a result, he will not be able to take part against Etoile on Sunday.”

The 31-year-old was a forced substitution against Ragaa in the 24th minute despite making no contact with an opponent.

With both Mohamed Fathi and Ashour now confirmed out of the game, it remains to be seen how Ahly would line up against Etoile, with the Cairo giants needing a victory to go through to the final.

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Egypt confirms a friendly against UAE ahead of Ghana clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

epa06186689 Egyptian player Mohamed Salah (L) in action against Uganda player Godfrey Walusimbi (R) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Uganda at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 05 September 2017. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 16:30

Ahead of their final Group E, 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ghana on November 12, Egypt will play a friendly international match against the United Arab Emirates.

The Egyptian Football Association announced that the Pharaohs will be facing the UAE in a friendly match three days before their last match in the World Cup qualifiers against the Black Stars in Kumasi.


Coach Hector Cuper’s men have qualified for the World Cup in Russia for the first time since 1990 after beating Congo 2-1 a week ago, thanks to a brace from Mohamed Salah.

The EFA received an official request earlier from their counterparts in the UAE which was approved by Egypt’s head coach.

It is expected that Cuper will field the players who missed out on playing in the qualifiers during the team’s match against the Black Stars.

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George Lebese says its not personal ahead of Kaizer Chiefs clash – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Mamelodi Sundowns

George Lebese of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Edgar Manaka of Polokwane City during Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City at Loftus Versveld Stadium, Pretoria South Africa on 22 August 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 14:00

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder George Lebese has said he is ready to face his former team Kaizer Chiefs in tonight’s big Absa Premiership clash.

The Brazilians will host the Soweto giants in a heavyweight clash at the Loftus Stadium, with both teams determined to lay down a marker for the rest of the season.

Lebese has strong links at Kaizer Chiefs, having spent nine years with the Amakhosi before moving to Sundowns ahead of the 2017/18 season, but he insists emotion will not affect his performance.

“Personally, for me, it’s just three points for us as a team, and it will take us where we want to be,” said Lebese, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“I’m not looking to take the game personally. It’s not for me but for the club, the players and the technical team.”

The 28-year-old also revealed that he has avoided contacting his friends at Chiefs for the past fortnight.

“It is possible for me to put everything aside, and then I’ll catch up with everything after the 90 minutes,” he explained.

“I’ve been avoiding talking to them [former Chiefs teammates] for the past two weeks, that’s how crucial this game is. So I’ll definitely speak to them after the match.”

Lebese also said he will not hold back in celebrating if he scores a goal: “I respect Kaizer Chiefs, they’re a big brand, they’ve taught me everything.

“But at the end of the day it’s entertainment. It’s about me and where I am right now, I’m in a happy place. So if I score, why not [celebrate]?”

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Toure concerned about racism in Russia ahead of 2018 World Cup – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Veteran Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 13, 2017. 10:00

Former Ivory Coast Yaya Toure says he is concerned about racism ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals which will be hosted by Russia.

Toure, who is on the books of English side Manchester City, will not be part of the Ivorian squad if the Elephants qualify for the tournament as he retired from international football last year.

Ivory Coast will qualify for finals if they beat Morocco at home in their last match in the World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group C next month.

“I have been abused by racism and because those things happened to me, I try to be involved and I want to help those people who don’t have a voice to control this situation,” Toure said on

“For me to defend an African boy in this situation is a blessing. What we are looking to do is to try and stop those idiotic people doing that. We have to be focused and have fair play everywhere.

In 2013, Toure was the subject of racist abuse from CSKA Moscow supporters at the Arena Khimki in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League while playing for City. Russian club CSKA were charged by UEFA.

“If racism situations are going to be involved then it is going to be a big mess. We have to hope and be positive about that,” the 34-year-old continued.

“Everyone is talking about Russia maybe being a little bit difficult. But I hope that Russia surprises everybody by trying to make something very nice.

“I have played football in Ukraine and Russia as well before I moved across Europe – it’s like my second country because I used to speak Russian as well.”

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Pinnick cautions Nigeria ahead of Zambia clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Embattled NFF president Amaju Pinnick

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 16:00

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has asked the Super Eagles to be clinical against Zambia on Saturday.

The two African sides will clash in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B match at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria.

A victory for Nigeria will see the Super Eagles ease into next year’s World Cup finals which are scheduled to be hosted by Russia, as Group B winners.

When speaking to the NFF’s official website, Pinnick urged the Super Eagles to be calm

when they take on Zambia’s Chipolopolo.

“The tendency is for teams to get uptight and tensed for this kind of match,” Pinnick said.

“I have spoken to them and the approach should be to take full control from the beginning and take the chances that come without being too anxious.

“We defeated the African champions, Cameroon, by maintaining focus and with the team imposing its game and taking the chances that came their way,” he added.

“That should be the approach for Saturday.”

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Wenger hails Iwobi ahead of Nigeria-Zambia clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Arsenal attacker Alex Iwobi

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 14:00

Nigerian international Alex Iwobi should score at least 10 goals for English Premier League (EPL) giants Arsenal FC.

This is according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who watched on as the 21-year-old netted the Gunners‘ second goal as they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 in a EPL match at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The forward roamed across the front line to drag Brighton’s defenders out of position and had a couple of half-chances before sealing our win with a confident finish from his Arsenal team-mate Alexis Sanchez’s backheel.

“I think he’s a kind of player who has a good availability,” Wenger said on Arsenal’s official website.

“He helps you a lot to get out of pressure when you are in a build up game and creates spaces.

“What you want from him is final balls and goals as well,” the Frenchman, who has been in charge of Arsenal since 1996, added.

“A player like him must score 10 goals and he must as well give between six and 10 assists and that’s what I want from him.”

Iwobi, who is part of the Nigeria squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia, has scored once in three EPL matches this season.

Nigeria will host Zambia in a crucial Group B match in Uyo on Saturday.

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Thuso Phala banking on positive energy ahead of Confed Cup clash – 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup

Thuso Phala of Supersport United challenged by Issama Mpeko of TP Mazembe during the Caf Confederation Cup match between Supersport United and TP Mazembe at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria on 20 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 11:30

SuperSport United midfielder, Thuso Phala has emphasised the need to keep a clean sheet at home ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup semi-final clash.

Coach Eric Tinkler will lead his men against Tunisian giants Club Africain this Sunday as they want to register a win and keep a clean sheet at home.

Phala, who scored a brace against Zesco United in the previous stage encounter, says the semi-final stage will be more difficult.

“There is a great amount of positive energy in the camp and it has even rubbed off onto the technical staff,” said Phala to CAF website.

“We made a great comeback playing away and that is a major confidence booster for us as a team.

“We are coming up against the best four teams that remain in the competition so it will be even tougher.

“We need to ensure that we keep a clean sheet at home because that is very important in continental competitions.

“Not conceding is the ideal situation but going further and winning at home will be a major boost for us.”

The clash was initially set for Saturday afternoon, but has been moved to Sunday, October 1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium at 15h

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Ayew brothers dropped by Ghana ahead of 2018 qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 27, 2017. 14:00

Brothers Jordan and Andre Ayew have been dropped from Ghana’s squad by coach James Kwesi Appiah ahead of a 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Uganda next month.

The Premier League players were not listed in Appiah’s 26-man preliminary squad.

The players were both absent from the Black Stars’ previous World Cup qualifier, a 5-1 away win against Congo Brazzaville earlier this month.

Swansea striker Jordan Ayew missed the match due to a stomach bug complaint, while West Ham attacking midfielder Andre Ayew withdrew due to injury.

Yet both players were in action in their clubs’ very next matches, and it is suggested that Appiah has grown tired of a perceived lack of dedication to the national team.

Another notable absentee is defender John Boye, while Daniel Opare has been called up for the first time in three years.

There are also five debutantes in the squad: Kingsley Sarfo of Swedish side Malmo, USA-based Abass Mohammed, Kasim Nuhu of Swiss club Young Boys, Hearts of Oak defender Vincent Atinga and Inter Allies ace Isaac Twum.

The latter two, along with third-choice goalkeeper Joseph Addo, were a part of the Ghana ‘B’ squad which won the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations (a regional West African tournament) earlier this month.

The squad will be cut to 23 players before Ghana head out to Kampala for their penultimate Group E match on October 7.

Ghana’s 26-man World Cup qualifying squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Richard Ofori (Martizburg,South Africa), Lawrence Ati (Sochaux, France), Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars)

DEFENDERS: Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus,USA), Daniel Opare (Augsburg, Germany) Agbenyenu Lumor (Portimonese, Portugal), Abass Mohammed (Harrisburg City, USA), Kasim Nuhu (Young Boys, Switzerland), Daniel Amartey (Leicester,England), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew,USA), Nicholas Opoku (Club Africain, Tunisia), Vincent Atinga (Hearts of Oak)

MIDFIELDERS: Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Joseph Attamah (Bakaksehir, Turkey), Christian Atsu (Newcastle United, England), Kingsley Sarfo (Malmo, Sweden) Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo FC, Italy), Ebenezer Ofori (Stuttgart, Germany), Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda, Holland), Frank Acheampong (Tianjin TEDA, China), Isaac Twum (Inter Allies), Patrick Twumasi (Astana FC, Kazakhtan)

FORWARDS: Asamoah Gyan (Kayerispor, Turkey), Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich, Switzerland), John Antwi (Misr Lel-Makkasa, Egypt), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Crvena Zvezda, Serbia)

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Black Starlets to face Mali, UAE ahead of U-17 World Cup – Ghana Premier League 2017

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 14:00

Ahead of their participation in the U-17 World Cup next month, Ghana have lined up friendlies against Mali and the United Arab Emirates.

Ghana are currently camping in the UAE as they prepare for the tournament in India.

The Black Starlets are set to face their fellow West Africans at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Sports Stadium in Abu Dhabi today [Wednesday], with a match against the UAE set for Dubai on Sunday 24 September.

The U-17 World Cup kicks off on October 6 and runs until the 28th of the month.

Ghana will play in the opening game against Group A opponents Colombia before facing the United States and hosts India on October 9 and 12 respectively.

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Africain look to shrug off troubles ahead of MCA clash

Club Africain player Saber Khalifa (L) fights for the ball with FATH Union Sport player El Mehdi El Bassil (R) during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and FATH Union Sport at Stade Olympique Rades in Tunis, Tunisia on 20 June 2017 © BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 13, 2017. 15:30

Club Africain will be looking to shake off their recent troubles when they face hosts MC Alger in the first leg of a CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal tie.

The Algerian and Tunisian contenders will meet at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers on Saturday night, kick-off at 21h45 CAT.

Club Africain had a roller coaster ride in the previous round: they lost two of their first three Group A matches, but then claimed a hat-trick of impressive wins to surge to the top of the standings and book a quarterfinal place in emphatic style.

Yet the Tunis-based side comes into the game in something of a crisis. They have won just one of their first four domestic championship matches in the 2017/18 season and are coming under major pressure fans, especially after a 1-0 away loss at the hands of Kairouan last weekend.

In fact, CA had to train under police guard earlier in the week, with fans calling for the head of Italian Marco Simone (who was only appointed in July) and demanding the reinstatement of Chiheb Ellili.

MCA secured their place in the last eight by finishing runners-up to another Tunisian side, CS Sfaxien, in Group B. They ended with a record of three wins, two draws and just one defeat – the loss was a heavy 4-0 reverse at the hands of CSS, but arrived after they had already secured a quarterfinal berth.

The Algerians have had a mixed start to their 2017/18 season under new coach Bernard Casoni, recording one win, one draw and one defeat from their first three Ligue 1 matches. On Tuesday night they were beaten 2-0 away to CR Belouizdad, a result which will have MCA fans concerned ahead of the visit of their Tunisian opponents.

Moroccan referee Noureddine El Jaafari will take charge of the match in Algiers. The return leg is set for Sunday 24 September at the Olympic Stadium in Rades. The aggregate winners will face either SuperSport United or Zesco United in the semifinals.

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Ghana sweat on Gyan ahead of Congo return

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana celebrates

Bertin Basson

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 15:33

The Black Stars could be without influential forward Asamoah Gyan for the country’s return fixture away to Congo-Brazzaville this coming Tuesday.

Gyan was substituted just after the hour mark in Ghana’s 1-1 draw against the Red Devils in a Group E 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Kumasi on Friday.

Thievy Bifouma opened the scoring at the Baba Yara Stadium after 18 minutes, with Ghana pulling level through Thomas Partey late in the game as the West Africans salvaged a point.

Gyan didn’t look his usual self throughout and it was confirmed following the encounter that he suffered a groin injury, with the 31-year-old to have a MRI scan today [Saturday].

Kwesi Appiah’s men are in serious danger of missing next year’s world showpiece in Russia and will need nothing but a commanding win in Brazzaville on Tuesday if they are to keep their slender hopes alive.

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Cuper calls up Mohamed Awaad ahead of Uganda return – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 12:00

Hector Cuper has called up Ismaily goalkeeper Mohamed Awaad to replace Essam El-Hadary ahead of Egypt’s return match against Uganda next week.

This is after the veteran gloves-man was injured in Egypt’s 1-0 loss to Uganda in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match in Kampala on Thursday.

Awaad joins the squad ahead of the return game against the Cranes, which will be played at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old is one of three ‘keeping options available to Cuper, joining his fellow guards Sherif Ekramy of Al Ahly and Zamalek’s Ahmed El-Shennawy .

Egypt come into the game placed second on the Group E standings, one point behind leaders Uganda.

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Black Stars in Kumasi ahead of World Cup qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 29, 2017. 15:00

Ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Congo on Friday, Ghana have arrived safely in Kumasi.

The Black Stars’ camp saw 11 of the 24 players called up report for duty on the first day of training.

Head coach James Kwesi Appiah oversaw a recovery training session at the Golden Tulip Hotel premises.

According to GHANASoccernet, captain Asamoah Gyan, his deputy Andre Ayew and brother Jordan are yet to report to camp.

Turkey-based Joseph Attamah is set to arrive tonight, as are US-based duo Jonathan Mensah and Harrison Afful.

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Black Stars head straight to Kumasi ahead of Congo clashes – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Dieudonne Bezua Mbokani of DR Congo challenged by Daniel Amartey of Ghana during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon Quarter Final football match between DR Congo and Ghana at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 29 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 17:00

Ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Congo, Ghana will begin their training with a session in Kumasi this evening.

The Black Stars will face Group E rivals Congo in back-to-back matches at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on September 1 and Stade Municipal de Kintele in Brazzaville on September 5.

Usually the Ghana team would gather and train in Accra ahead of travelling to Kumasi, but coach James Kwesi Appiah has decided to head straight to the venue instead, according to GHANASoccernet.

The Black Stars need a strong pair of results in the matches against the Red Devils, as they find themselves five points adrift of Group E leaders Egypt, who will battle Uganda in their two matches in Kampala and Alexandria.

Ghana have qualified for the last three World Cups in a row (2006, 2010 & 2014), with Appiah overseeing their successful campaign to book a spot at the last global tournament in Brazil.

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Aurier granted visa ahead of Spurs move – report – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Manchester City‘s Sergio Aguero (right) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Serge Aurier in action

Graeme Jackson

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 11:00

Serge Aurier has reportedly been granted a UK visa ahead of his transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Tottenham Hotspur.
has reportedly been granted a UK visa ahead of his transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Tottenham Hotspur.

PSG and Spurs have agreed to a €25million deal but the transfer has yet to be completed due to visa issues.

The Elephants man has been banned from entering the UK because of suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer in 2016.

However, Le Parisien reports that Aurier has now received a UK visa and is clear to enter the country.

It is expected that the right-back will arrive in London today to complete the transfer, having already passed a medical assessment in Paris.

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Bassogog praises Broos ahead of Cameroon-Nigeria clashes – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

epa06035910 Christian Bassogog (R) of Cameroon and Gonzalo Jara of Chile in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Cameroon and Chile at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, 18 June 2017. EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 10:00

Cameroonian international Cameroonian international Christian Bassogog has stressed the importance of defeating the Super Eagles of Nigeria next month.
has stressed the importance of defeating the Super Eagles of Nigeria next month.

The Indomitable Lions will face off with the Super Eagles in back to back highly anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Nigeria will welcome Cameroon in Uyo on the 1st of September 2017, while the return leg match is scheduled to be played in Yaounde three days later.

“Nigeria are a strong team” Bassogog told

“They have very good players and many of them are playing in Europe. But we must defeat them if we are to maintain our qualifying hopes. We should take the game to them.

Cameroon are placed second on Group B standings with two points. Nigeria are sitting at the top of the group with six points with four matches left.

“We need to fight to defeat them. Our players are young, but we are strong as a team,” the Hernan Jianye midfielder continued.

“He (Hugo Broos – Cameroon coach) is a good coach. He knows what the players are good at so he can get the best out of us. In this team, everyone has his chance.”

The 21-year-old was instrumental as Cameroon won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title and he was named the Player of the Tourname

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CAF team to assess Cameroon ahead of 2019 AFCON

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Aug 06, 2017. 11:00

According to reports, the Confederation of African Football‘s inspection team will visit Cameroon for eight days from 20 August 2017.

The aim of the delegation is to assess the country’s progress ahead of the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament as the country will stage the showpiece.

Cameroon government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary announced the details, saying organisers should not worry.

“This inspection mission, like those that will follow throughout the process towards the deadline of the event, is not aimed at sanctioning,” said Tchiroma to the BBC.

“On the contrary, it is an opportunity for any changes and consultation in order to ascertain the state of preparedness and to readjust as necessary the strategy for the full success of the event.

“The mission will visit each of the sites selected for the event and inspect all infrastructure involved in the organisation of the event in terms of sport, hotel, roads, airport, hospitals, and telecommunications.

“Each time there is an assessment, it will be followed by a general report on future deadlines.”

Cameroon will host 24 teams instead of 16 for the first time in history and it will be held in June and July rather than January and February.

That follows changes introduced by CAF during last month’s symposium held in Morocco where Cameroon, as hosts, will be the defending champions having won the 2017 title earlier this year in Gabon.

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Rwanda in pole position ahead of Tanzania CHAN showdown

Baba Rahman(L) of Ghana Hakizinnya Muhadjiri (R)of Rwanda during the 2017 African Cup of National Qualifiers playing on 3rd September 2016 in Accra Ghana between Ghana and Rwanda ©Christian Thompson/BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Saturday Jul 22, 2017. 14:00

Tanzania will have to up their game if they are to seal their place in the third round, Central-East Zone qualifiers for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) following a 1-1 draw in Mwanza a week ago.

The Taifa Stars were held at home by a determined Rwanda outfit in the reverse fixture and the Wasps will fancy their chances at home.

Kick-off in the fixture scheduled to take place at the Stade Régional Nyamirambo in Kigali, is set for 15h30 CAT on Saturday.

Uganda referee Brian Miiro will take charge of the clash.

Dominique Nshuti scored the vital away goal for Rwanda before Himid Mao pulled the two teams level.

The aggregate winner of the tie will face either South Sudan or Uganda in the final phase of qualifiers. The tournament will be staged in Kenya next year.

Rwanda hosted the 2016 showpiece, losing to eventual champions Democratic Republic of Congo in the quarterfinals after topping their group.

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Kaizer Chiefs unveil new kits ahead of Maize Cup – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Gustavo Paez of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates 2nd goal during the 2017 Nedbank Cup Last 16 match between Acornbush United and Kazier Chiefs at Kabokweni Stadium, Kabokweni South Africa on 09 April 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jul 13, 2017. 19:00

South African giants Kaizer Chiefs unveiled their 2017/18 season kits on Thursday midday.

Amakhosi are scheduled to face Botswana giants Township Rollers in the 2017 Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup semi-final encounter at the James Motlatsi Stadium on Saturday.

The winner between Chiefs and Rollers will face either Free State Stars or Platinum Stars in the final. All matches will be played at the same venue on Saturday.

The new Chiefs kits combine Nike’s leading apparel innovations with Chiefs’ strength as the most successful club in South Africa football history.

They feature high-performance materials and lightweight construction in traditional club colours.

The kits are crafted to enhance ventilation and moisture management, and increase the athletes’ ease of motion and precision.

The Soweto giants posted the new home and away kits on their official social media platforms:

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Zesco held 1-1 in derby ahead of key CAF clash – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup

Zesco United coach Serbian Krmpotic

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 18:00

Zesco United were held to a draw in a domestic league derby clash against Buildcon in midweek as they prepare for a crucial CAF Confederation Cup match.

Zesco host Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid in a crucial Group C clash this weekend which will determine whether they join their Sudanese opponents in the quarterfinals.

The Ndola based club were held 1-1 in a domestic league clash by Buildcon on Wednesday. The teams share the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium as their home base.

Jesse Were opened the scoring for Zesco later in the first half, but Buildcon equalised after the break through Chavda Maisha.

Zesco fielded a weakened line-up, with coach Zlatko Krmpotic keeping one eye on their African commitments on the weekend.

“It was a good game for our opponents but not for us. But with all the travelling we have done in the last few days, a point is good enough,” Krmpotic is quoted by SuperSport.

“I noticed in the second half that we were not very aggressive; I don’t know what happened but I think it was all down to fatigue. My players are tired.

“If you noticed, the team we put out today is not our first XI because we wanted some of our players to rest.

“And since we have a crucial game with Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid on Sunday, it is difficult to motivate players in a league game,” said Krmpotic.

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