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Liverpool outcast Mignolet joins Club Brugge

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been tipped to sign a new goalie in the coming times immediately after sanctioning Simon Mignolet’s move to Club Brugge in Belgium.

The goalie has agreed on a five-year contract, pending a clinical, the Belgian club have announced.

It’s widely understood the two clubs agreed on a offer worthy of an preliminary £6.4 million, perhaps soaring to £8.2 million with incorporate-ons.

Mignolet missing his place at Anfield very first to Loris Karius and, when the German was offloaded to Besiktas on financial loan just after a nightmare Champions League closing, to Alisson Becker next the Brazil international’s £65 million arrival final summer months.

Soon after that includes just twice very last season in cup matches the 31-year-old, an unused substitute for the Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, told manager Jurgen Klopp when he returned for pre-season education he needed initial-team football.

Klopp wished him to remain and in the beginning turned down the thought he could leave but the goalie’s would like has now been granted.

Mignolet flew to Belgium right after leaving Wembley on Sunday night to total the formalities of his move.

Mignolet instructed HLN: “It was a busy working day. I’m pleased to be back again in Belgium. Looking forward to be participating in all over again.”Liverpool will glance to signal an experienced substitute as include for Alisson prior to the close of the transfer window on Thursday with the Night Typical proclaiming Southampton’s Alex McCarthy is under consideration the moment yet again.

McCarthy was left out of Southampton’s squad which defeated FC Cologne more than the weekend, when the Liverpool Echo reports previous West Ham goalie Adrian is a contender.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Khalid Boutaib – Moroccan forward to lead club side out of trouble – 2018 FIFA World Cup – Russia


Khalid Boutaib of Morocco

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 10:00


Moroccan forward Khalid Boutaib will be aiming to lead his club side up the Süper Lig standings when they return to action this coming weekend.

Yeni Malatyaspor, who currently sit in 13th spot on the log standings, are away to Akhisarspor on Saturday afternoon.

Boutaib played 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw against Besiktas in the club’s latest league fixture, but remained on the bench in a midweek cup defeat to Osmanlispor.

MOROCCO’S BEST AND WORST CASE DRAW SCENARIOS

Boutaib has bagged six goals in 12 games this season for Yeni Malatyaspor, with 30-year-old the third highest scoring African in the league. Former English Premier League stars Emmanuel Adebayor and Arouna Kone have scored eight and seven goals apiece

The league’s leading scorer is Frenchman Bafetimbi Gomis who has scored 13 goals for Galatasaray this season.

The Atlas Lions will today discover their group opponents for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, having booked their return to the world showpiece for the first time in 20 years.



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SA’s Ndlovu hits out at poor officiating in UEFA club games – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta (L) and Qarabag’s Dino Ndlovu (R) in action during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Chelsea FC and Qarabag FK

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 25, 2017. 11:00


South African international Dino Ndlovu is unhappy with the state of refereeing during his club Qarabag’s UEFA Champions League match against Chelsea.

Azerbaijan champions Qarabag suffered a 4-0 defeat to the English champions at the Baku Olympic Stadium with Chelsea receiving two penalties during the Group C game on Wednesday.

Ndlovu has since taken to the club’s social media account to express his frustrations. He was also given a red card against Spanish giants Atletico Madrid for an apparent dive in a Group C match.

“It was a good game in the first 20 minutes, but the referee solved the problem for us. I cannot blame anyone though, it’s futile, anything can happen,” he said.

“What can we do? It’s a good experience for the team, make no mistake. I’m not a UEFA official, I do not want to talk about refereeing.

“It’s not my problem, but they did what they did… We get red cards in the Champions League games,” the 27-year-old continued.

“And I do not understand the reason, maybe because we’re a small club, so I’m sorry.”



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Wydad boss targets FIFA Club World Cup final – 2017 CAF Champions League


Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 15:00


Wydad Casablanca head coach Lhoussaine Ammouta has expressed his club’s desire to reach the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup final.

The CAF Champions League holders qualified for the world showpiece for the very first time following victory of Al Ahly – on aggregate – in the final of Africa’s premier cup competition.

Ammouta now hopes that his troops can set up a meeting with Real Madrid in a fight for silverware at the upcoming tournament, set to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates starting early next month.

CAF RELEASE NEW AFCON QUALIFIER DATES DUE TO FIFA WORLD CUP

“We’re targeting the final,” Ammouta told FIFA.com.

“We can’t afford to make too many mistakes because the minor details make all the difference in football. Our players acquired lots of experience in the Champions League and now hope to sign for clubs abroad.

“They [the Wydad players] can show what they’re capable of in this competition and catch the eye of the big European teams. Their desire to progress ought to help us get good results in the Emirates.”

The Moroccan club kick-off their campaign with a clash against CONCACAF champions Pachuca on the 9th of December in Abu Dhabi.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Vincent Aboubakar – Cameroonian’s club still fighting for UCL progression – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Porto’s striker Vincent Aboubakar

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 13:00


Vincent Aboubacar’s Porto are still fighting to secure progression in the UEFA Champions League after drawing 1-1 with Besiktas in midweek.

The Tuesday evening clash at the Vodafone Stadium in Istanbul saw Porto claim the lead through Felipe, only to be pegged back by Talisca. Aboubacar played the full 90 minutes, as did fellow African star Yacine Brahimi.

The result saw the Turkish side secure top spot in Group G and a place in the knockout rounds, but the Portuguese giants were left level with RB Leipzig on seven points in the battle for second place.

The fate of Aboubacar’s side will rest on their final group stage clash at home to Monaco on December 6, where they will need to equal or better Leipzig’s result at home to Besiktas.

In the meantime, Aboubacar will ready himself for Porto’s next domestic league match, as they travel to Desportivo Aves on Saturday night and look to maintain their place at the top of the Primeira Liga standings.



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Robyn Johannes: CTC are not a small club anymore – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Mondli Dlamini of Maritzburg United challenged by Robyn Johannes of Cape Town City during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Maritzburg United and Cape Town City at the Harry Gwala Stadium, South Africa on 01 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Oct 13, 2017. 16:00


Cape Town City captain Robyn Johannes believes the club should now be labelled as among the bigger clubs in the Absa Premiership.

The Citizens, who are only in their second season of existence, take on SuperSport United in the MTN8 final this Saturday – with victory to secure their second domestic title.

CTC beat the same opponents in the Telkom Knockout Cup showpiece last year, and Johannes believes that the Mother City team’s showing over the past 14 months underlines their ‘big club’ credentials.

CLEANING BOOTS AT TOTTENHAM GROUNDED ME – TROOST-EKONG

“We are now labelled as a big club – we’re not a small club anymore,” the 31-year-old is quoted as saying.

“When we all joined the club, we knew could create our own history, and this is part of it – two finals in two years. But it means nothing if we don’t win it, so we have to go all the way.”

The recruitment of Ayanda Patosi, Teko Modise and Victor Obinna has further underlined their push for big club status with the appointment of Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy as head coach, a masterstroke.



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Club Africain secure vital away goal in Confed Cup


Oussama Darragi of Club Africain (c) challenged by Dean Furman (l) and Morgan Gould (r) during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup semifinal football match between Supersport United and Club African at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa on 01October 2017 @Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Sunday Oct 01, 2017. 17:29


Despite being dominated for large portions of the match, Tunsia’s Club Africain secured a vital away goal after drawing 1-1 with South Africa’s SuperSport United in the first leg of their CAF Confederations Cup semifinal match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday, October 1.

The South African side dominated the early exchanges as they controlled the possession stakes and consequently the flow of the game, but their finishing was poor.

In the 21st minute Club Africain took the lead, very much against the run of play, when Saber Khalifa converted from the penalty spot, 1-0.

Despite going behind SuperSport continued to play the better football, but went into the half time break trailing the Tunisian side by a goal.

The second half saw Eric Tinkler introduce Thabo Mnyamane and it proved to be an inspired choice as the side began to make the right choices in the final third.

In the 68th minute Thabo Mnyamane produced a pin-point cross for Jeremy Brockie, but the striker headed inches over from close range.

SuperSport threw men forward in the dying minutes of the match and were rewarded with a penalty two minutes from time which Thabo Mnyamane converted to secure a 1-1 draw on the day.

The second leg will take place in three weeks’ time with the winner on aggregate progressing to the final of the CAF Confederations Cup.

Should the match end in a draw the team with the most away goals will go on.

SuperSport United (0) 1 (Mnyamane 88’ pen)

Club Africain (1) 1 Khalifa 21’ pen)



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Club Africain invade South Africa chasing a win over SuperSport – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup


Morgan Gould of Supersport United challenged by Paseka Mako of Chippa United during 2017/18 Absa Premiership game between Supersport United and Chippa United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 19 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 08:00


Tunusia’s Club Africain will hope to continue with their fine form in the CAF confederation Cup when they visit SuperSport United in the first leg of the semi-finals on Sunday.

Coach Mineb Ellili has a tough task ahead of him as they visit the South Africans to cause an upset, but he must guard against conceding away.

Having defeated Algeria’s MC Alger 2-1 (on aggregate) in the Last Eight, his troops are motivated as they meet coach Eric Tinkler’s men.

Despite losing 1-0 in the first leg of the Last Eight, Moataz Zemizemi and Saber Khalifa both scored in the return leg at home.

Shifting focus to the hosts, United will count on Tinkler’s technical know-how on the continent as he guided Orlando Pirates to the final in 2015 against Etoile Sportive du Sahel.

The South African Premier Soccer League outfit booked a spot in the semis after a 2-2 draw against Zesco United of Zambia in Ndola last weekend following a first leg 0-0 draw at home.

Tinkkler will now pin his hopes on midfielder Thuso Phala after netting a brace in Ndola as they want to make history and reach the final of the tournament.

“His (Tinkler) experience is really helpful to us and the club. He knows this competition and knows what is required to reach the finals,” said Phala.

“There is a great amount of positive energy in the camp and it has even rubbed off onto the technical staff.

“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.”

This thrilling clash has been moved from Saturday to Sunday, October 1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium at 15h00 (CAT).



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Club Africain weak and won’t go further – MCA’s Hachoud


Abderrahmane Hachoud of MC Alger during the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup match between Mbabane Swallows and MC Alger at the Somhlolo Stadium, Lombamba Swaziland on 02 June 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 26, 2017. 13:00


Club Africain are “one of the weakest teams” in the CAF Confederation Cup, according to MC Alger defender Abderahmane Hachoud.

CA won 2-0 in Rades on Sunday night to clinch a 2-1 aggregate victory in the tie against MCA and progress into the semifinals of the continental competition.

However, Hachoud believes CA were the beneficiaries of poor officiating, especially in regards to Moatza Zemizemi’s early penalty which leveled the tie at 1-1.

“I cannot even find the words to express my disappointment and that of my teammates, because we were simply robbed,” Hachoud is quoted by Le Buteur.

“Since the start of the competition, Club Africain has been one of the weakest teams we have ever met,” the MCA defender added.

“To answer your question, it is not only the imaginary penalty that the referee offered the Tunisians to relaunch them in the match.

“This referee has deprived us of a flagrant penalty that he did not whistle after a handball in the penalty area, without talking about the aggressiveness of the Tunisians that he did not sanction.”

Hacoud continued, “It was a war, not a football game. We are very disappointed because we had the means to win this African Cup, but the referee wanted it differently.

“What happened, I have never seen it in my career. Club Africain will not go far in this African Cup, I say it again, it is one of the weakest teams that we met during this test.”

Club African will face SuperSport United in the semifinals, with the first leg in Pretoria set to be played this coming weekend.



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Club Africain overturn deficit to advance


Club Africain player Saber Khalifa (L) fights for the ball with Kampala City Council FC players Ibrahim Kizza (C) Brian Umony (R) during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and Kampala City Council FC at Stade Olympique Rades in Tunis, Tunisia on 07 July 2017 © BackpagePix

by
Scent ition

Sunday Sep 24, 2017. 22:06


Cub Africain defeated MC Alger 2-0 on Sunday evening to advance into the semifinals of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup.

The victory for the Tunisians in the second-leg, quarterfinal clash at the Olympic Stadium in Rades saw them win the tie 2-1 on aggregate, having been beaten 1-0 by the Algerians in the first leg last weekend.

Club Africain drew first blood when Moataz Zemizemi scored from a penalty just before the midway point of the first half, putting the hosts 1-0 up on the night and leveling the tie at 1-1 on aggregate.

The score remained unchanged for more than 60 minutes of the match – and the tie looked set to go to penalties – until CA grabbed the decisive second goal in the 82nd minute, with veteran Saber Khalifa finding the back of the net.

The 30-year-old’s goal saw Africain move ahead 2-1 overall and clinch a place in the final four of the continental competition.

They will face South Africa’s SuperSport United in the semis, with the first leg set for Pretoria next weekend and the return game in Tunisia on the weekend of October 20-22.

The other semifinal tie will see reigning Confed Cup champions TP Mazembe take on Morocco’s FUS Rabat.



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Jelusic: I had opportunity to leave Botswana for SA club – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 18, 2017. 12:00


Former Angola and Botswana head coach Veselin Jelusic has disclosed what he aims to achieve with South African club Bloemfontein Celtic.

The Serbian tactician opened up when speaking to KickOff.com about his experiences in the African continent and his relationship with his countryman Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević.

KickOff: You spent a long time in Botswana and some time in Johannesburg before, so you must have good knowledge of the football scene in South Africa?

Jelusic: I was around South Africa a lot when I was working in Botswana but I left in 2010. The last two years I have been in Angola at InterClube. For the 2015 season I was the head coach and last year I served as technical director. I feel comfortable about my knowledge of South African football because of the experience I picked up when I was coach of teams in Angola and Botswana because we used to come to South Africa often. Sometimes it was for friendly games and training camps and sometimes for official games.

KO: You will be aware of the goal drought at Celtic last season. How are you going to fix it and what do you want to achieve with the club this season?

Of course, we would like to achieve better results than we did last season. I can see what the biggest problem is. More than anything, it is in the final third of the field close to the opponent’s goal and our scoring ability. So we are going to work hard on this department but it also depends on the quality and characteristics of the players we have. It also depends on our method of working, but we certainly need to work hard on this part of our game.

KO: Are you happy with the quality of the Celtic squad, or are you asking for some new players before the season kicks off?

I’m happy in general with the players I have here but of course there are positions we need to strengthen and we are looking for players.

KO: How did Celtic find you?

I was recommended to them. I was looking for some new options and had some other chances in other countries. But my good friend [Orlando Pirates coach Milutin] Sredojević encouraged me to take up the challenge at Celtic because he said this is a club of great potential. I had opportunities before to coach here but because I was contracted to Botswana I didn’t want let them down. I got a lot of support from people in Botswana and I stayed there until the end of my contract when I went back to my country because of family issues.

KO: What do you think of the Premier Soccer League?

It is a quality league and has seen a lot of improvement in recent years. So many facets of the South African game are well developed, like infrastructure, organisation, media support and so on. I’m sure it is just a matter of time before South Africa starts to achieve better results in international competition than they have done up to now.

KO: Has the club set you a target for the season?

At this moment I don’t have any pressure from the club, from anybody. Our general target is to improve as much as possible and with his approach I believe we can go far.



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Adebayor pens three-year extension at Turkish club – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo fouled by Merveille Bope of DR Congo during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Togo and DR Congo at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Aug 26, 2017. 16:00


Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor on Friday announced that he had signed a three-year contract extension with Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir.

The former Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur forward joined the Super League outfit in January, netting seven goals in 16 appearances last season as the club ended the campaign in second spot.

RIVALDO COETZEE SET TO UNDERGO CELTIC MEDICAL IN SA

Adebayor, 33, also guided the club to the Turkish Cup final last season with Basaksehir set to participate in the UEFA Europa League during the current campaign.

“I’m very excited to announce that we’ll be extending our journey together. Special thanks to everyone that is part of the Istanbul Basaksehir,” Adebayor posted on social media.

Adebayor moved to Turkey in aftermath of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, having parted ways with Crystal Palace in July 2016.



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Nigeria’s Mikel back in action for Chinese club Tianjin Teda – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 15:00


John Obi Mikel has put his injury woes behind him by making a successful return to first team action for Chinese club Tianjin Teda.

The Super Eagles midfielder played the full 90 minutes of Tianjin’s 2-0 loss at home to Hebei CFFC on Monday afternoon.

It was the 30-year-old’s first match for his club since scoring in a 2-0 win over Chongqing Dangdai Lifan back in early April.

With Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr set to reveal his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon, Mikel’s return could see him named in the German’s selection.

Tianjin will also be relieved to have the West African back in the action, having slipped into the Chinese Super League’s relegation zone.



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Mike Mutebi on why Sserunkuma left KCCA for Zambian club


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Aug 05, 2017. 20:00


Kampala Capital City Authority coach, Mike Mutebi has revealed why striker Geoffrey Sserunkuma left the club and joined Zambian side Buildcon.

Tom Masiko also left and joined Vipers SC, but the coach has since revealed why the duo jumped the ship.

Media reports in Uganda reveal that the coach said the two players rejected offers by KCCA to sign new contracts at Lugogo.

Speaking to Kawowo Sports, Mutebi said the club never intended to let the two players leave.

AYANDA PATOSI READY FOR PSL DEBUT

“Geoffrey (Sserunkuma) and Masiko rejected our offers,” said Mutebi.

“We offered each two year deals with a settlement fee of USD 2800 (Ugx. 10 million) and an improved salary which they rejected.

“When I told Masiko about the deal, he never got back to me and all I heard later was that he had signed with Vipers. For Sserunkuma, he hesitated to sign just because he didn’t want the club to get any fee in case a club wanted to him.”

On the rest of departures, Mutebi confirmed the club had no interest in keeping either at Lugogo for the season ahead.

These include Ivan Ntege who has since moved to Botswana, Sulaimon Akinyemi (Buildcon, Zambia), Vincent Kayizzi, Lawrence Kasadha and Robert Ssentongo.

“The rest weren’t in our plans so we released them at no condition. Ntege, Vincente (Kayizzi), Akinyemi, Ssentongo and Kasadha were all released,” adds the manager.



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Riyad Mahrez wants to play for a top-six club – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez

by
Bertin Basson

Thursday Aug 03, 2017. 09:00


Leicester City head coach Craig Shakespeare has revealed that winger Riyad Mahrez wants to play for a top-six club.

Mahrez, 26, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Foxes with the Algeria international expressing his desire to leave the club amid strong reported interest from Arsenal, Roma and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Foxes, though, are resilient in their quest of keeping the wing-wizard at King Power Stadium and will only let him go if a suitable bid is made. Reports suggest the club have rejected a £32 million approach from Roma, but Mahrez is reportedly keen on remaining in England.

“He wants to play for a top-six club,’ Shakespeare is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “If we don’t get an offer from a top-six club, he stays. If that offer comes in and it’s not enough, he stays.

“It is quite clear for me at the moment, he has made that statement but he is our player.

“I picked him for 60 minutes [vs Burton Albion], he performed. Is it doing my head in? It’s part and parcel of the transfer window. If you let it, it can affect you. But my job is to make sure the players are focused on every training session and every game,” he concluded.



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South African club set to host Xenophobia tournament


Wiseman Maluleke of Jomo Cosmos, and Vusimuzi Mncube of Chippa United during the 2017 Nedbank Cup quarterfinal game between Chippa United and Jomo Cosmos at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth on 22 April 2017 © Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 02, 2017. 09:00


According to media reports in Swaziland, Mbabane Swallows are invited to participate in the 2017 Xenophobia Cup in South Africa.

It is reported that the four team tournament is set to take place on Sunday, August 6 in Vosloorus, East of Johannesburg and is to be hosted by Jomo Cosmos.

Cosmos are currently campaigning in the South African National First Division and have invited Bulawayo Highlanders of Zimbabwe and Simunye Diaspora, a non-professional team of South African-based foreign nationals.

The Times of Swaziland website has it that a report by the SABC News revealed the tournament will be staged where the four teams will face each other.

Ezenkosi are also set to return to the Vosloorus Stadium in Ekurhuleni (Johannesburg) as their home stadium for the new 2017/18 NFD season.

Fresh from participating at the Prince Mangosuthu Legacy Cup in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal last weekend, Swallows will play in another pre-season tourney.

“We are back where we belong and we are happy that the PSL has approved the ground. All along I’ve been playing in the stadium,” said owner and coach of Ezenkosi, Jomo Sono to the SABC.

“I got promoted and then I was told I could not play at the stadium because there are no turnstiles, and they were right.”

On the other hand, Swallows’ boss Victor Gamedze confirmed the invitation to the tournament before hinting on a two-week rest thereafter.

“The players have not had a rest for three seasons now and it will help to give the two weeks away before the start of the season,” Gamedze said.

The Xenophobia Cup is meant to promote humanity among South Africans and other nationals from across the continent.



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McDonald Mariga leaves Italy for Spanish club


The Harambee Stars of Kenya

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 01, 2017. 12:00


Spanish outfit Real Oviedo have reinforced their squad with their signing of Kenya international McDonald Mariga.

Mariga, who won the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League title with Italian Serie A giants Inter Milan, has been on books of Italian Serie B side U.S Latina Calcio.

The central defensive has now joined Oviedo, who are campaigning in the Segunda Division, which is the second tier of Spanish football.

A club statement read: “Real Oviedo has come to an agreement to contract the services of center midfielder McDonald Mariga, “Mariga”, for the coming season.”

The 30-year-old, who is a former Parma midfielder, will be keen to help Oviedo secure promotion to the Spanish La Liga.

“The player will join training sessions immediately, after having passed medical examinations in the Clínica Asturias.

“He will work under the directions of Juan Antonio Anquela beginning this afternoon in order to be completely ready for the coach when the season begins,” another club statement read.

Mariga made 28 Serie B apperances for Latina last season.



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Zamalek manager Augusto Inacio lambasts club president for player transfers – 2017 CAF Champions League


Zamalek coach, Augusto Inacio

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 28, 2017. 12:00


Zamalek manager Augusto Inacio has lashed out at the club’s president, Mortada Mansour, saying the boss is spreading lies.

The war of words between the two seems to drag on, with the Portuguese manager accusing Mansour of lying about the players who may leave the club.

Reports suggest that Inacio has distanced himself from reports that he has decided to offload some key players in the transfer window.

UEFA BANS ERIC BAILLY FOR TWO MORE MATCHES

The reports prompted a furious response from Mansour who insisted Inacio was the one who demanded the likes of Mostafa Fathi and Stanley Ohawuchi be released.

“All reports concerning my alleged demand to offload Shikabala, Bassem Morsi and Ayman Hefni are not true,” Inacio said on Tuesday.

“The club’s president said that I asked him to offload Shikabala but this is completely false. He has been a regular starter in the team since my arrival.

“It is him (Mansour) who wants to offload Shikabala not me.”

On the other hand, the manager expressed unhappiness regarding the recent changes in his backroom staff where Tarek Yehia recently replaced one of Inacio’s Portuguese assistants.

“I’ve faced many problems since my arrival. He (Mansour) always appoints an Egyptian assistant who has an ambition to replace me, not to help me,” he added.

“If he wants to sack me I’m ready to leave. The problem is that the people around Mansour are afraid of him.

“If the chairman held a PEPSI can and told them that it’s actually Coca Cola, they would agree and would tell him it tastes great.”

The spat between the two reportedly started on Sunday when Inacio criticised the club’s hierarchy, saying the recent departures left his side short of options on the flanks.



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Tunisian international Naim Sliti joins French club Gijon – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Naim Sliti of Tunisia during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Jul 26, 2017. 14:00


Tunisian international midfielder Naim Sliti has completed his season-long loan move to French club Dijon from Lille.

Sliti’s future was in doubt after learning that he was unwanted at Lille by manager Marcelo Bielsa and has now moved on to further his career.

Reports indicate that the 24-year-old initially joined Lille on loan last year before signing a permanent deal until 2020 in May.

Despite interest from several clubs, Sliti opted to join Dijon as the club has an option to sign him on a permanent deal when his loan expires next year.

“It’s true I received some offers but there are a lot of things that motivated me to come to Dijon,” Sliti told the club official website.

“The first, and most importantly, is that the coach called me. It’s a crucial year for me with the World Cup in mind, so it’s important to feel confident and see that the coach is counting on you.

“I checked on the club, and I had very good feedback. A healthy atmosphere prevails within the club. It’s like a family. I am very happy to be part of this family.”

For the Eagles of Carthage, the midfielder has represented the national side at the 2017 CAF African Cup of Nations and featured in all four matches as Tunisia exited the tournament in the quarter-finals.



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Jayiya has joined the club of his dreams – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


Can Cape Town City continue to lead the way in the Absa Premiership?

by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Jul 22, 2017. 10:00



Kaizer Chiefs winger Bhongolethu Jayiya has revealed that he is now playing for the club of his dreams.

The 27-year-old joined the Amakhosi on a three-year-deal from Cape Town City earlier this month, with the attacker making his debut for the Glamour Boys in a 2-0 win over Township Rollers in a pre-season competition.

Chiefs would go on to win the Maize Cup with victory of Free State Stars in the final at the James Motlatsi Stadium.

“It was great to get game-time,” Jayiya told his club’s official website. “Especially also after the good pre-season camp we had in Potchefstroom.”

Jayiya, who grew up supporting the Amakhosi, is wary of the pressure facing the Soweto giants heading into the 2017-18 season and is eager to live up to his billing.

“I grew up in a Kaizer Chiefs supporting family. My father, my mother, my grandfather, my sister… Everybody supports the Glamour Boys. That’s why it’s so great that I have now joined the club of my dreams.

“I won’t let the supporters down. I know how they feel, because I myself have always been one. I want to help Kaizer Chiefs win trophies,” Jayiya concluded.

Jayiya scored six goals in 24 matches last season, including one of the fastest hat-tricks on South African soil.

Chiefs next face Orlando Pirates in the annual Carling Black Label Cup next weekend



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Ghanaian club Asante Kotoko hit by bus accident tragedy – Ghana Premier League 2017


by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 13, 2017. 16:00


Ghanaian club Asante Kotoko were involved in a fatal traffic accident last night when their team bus struck a stationery vehicle on the return trip from a league match against Inter Allies.

The vehicle was en route to Kumasi from Accra, where the team had suffered a 1-0 defeat, with the accident occurring in Nkawkaw.

“The accident occurred around 9:45pm at Nkawkaw, when our bus ran into a stationary vehicle. Personnel on the bus are generally fine. Some are however receiving treatment at the Holy Family Hospital, Nkawkaw,” Asante posted on their official Twitter page.

“Management requests that fans stay calm. A full statement on the incident will be issued in due course.”

It has been confirmed this morning that Kotoko’s assistant kit man, Kofi Asare, was sadly killed in the accident.

“Got three ambulances to rush the driver, [Steven] Polack and [Godwin] Ablordey [coach and assistant coach respectively] to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital,” Asante representative Thomas Boakye-Agyemang is quoted by GHANASoccernet.

“Okwahu United gave their bus to us so we sent the injured players to KATH too,” he added. “Our Assistant Equipment Officer Kofi Asare is, however, gone.”



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Club Africain, KCCA battle for top spot


Denis Okot Oola of KCCA challenges Benard Evoke of Rivers United during the 2017 CAF Confederation football match between Rivers United and Kampala City at Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. @Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 11:30


Club Africain and KCCA will battle for top spot in Group A of the CAF Confederation Cup when they meet at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Friday night, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.

Both sides took major strides toward the quarterfinals with crucial victories last weekend: the Ugandan side defeated FUS Rabat 3-1 in Kampala, while Club Africain became the first team in the group to take any points on the road as they won 2-0 in Nigeria against Rivers United.

As a result the pair sit atop the pool with nine points each, holding a three point advantage over both United and FUS.

A draw in this match will see both CA and Kampala advance into the quarters, while even a defeat may not necessarily be terminal: for example, if Africain lost and Rivers won in the group’s other match, they would both finish on nine points, but the Tunisians hold a superior head-to-head record and would qualify regardless.

A cynical observer would imagine that the teams will have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to play out a draw and both progress, but given that the group winners will have the advantage of playing the second leg of their quarterfinal at home, the chances of the teams simply going through the motions are slim.

KCCA would end in first place if the game ended in a draw, while CA must win by two clear goals to win the group. The two teams advancing will face MC Alger and CS Sfaxien, who have already secured progression from Group B.

The other Group A match between FUS Rabat and Rivers United will be played at the same time in Morocco. Zambian referee Wellington Kaoma will officiate the game in Rades.



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Camara finds new club after Derby County deal cancellation – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Abdoul Camara of Guinea celebrates a goal ©Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jun 26, 2017. 11:00


Guinea international Abdoul Camara has made his return to the French Ligue 1 after signing a two-year deal with Guingamp.

This was after 27-year-old winger’s contract with English Championship outfit Derby County was cancelled by mutual consent on Thursday.

Camara, who joined had joined Derby from French Ligue 1 Angers in January 2016, featured in 26 matches for the English side- netting once in the process.

“The En Avant de Guingamp strikes a great blow on the transfer market by attaching the services of Guinean international striker Abdoul Razzagui Camara.

“The 27-year-old winger joins the En Avant for the next 2 seasons. “Razza” will carry number 9 in the Côtes-d’Armor,” a statement read.

Camara, who is a former French youth international, has played 12 times for the Guinea senior national team – netting four times in the process.

The winger has played for French side Rennes and Sochaux, and Spanish club Mallorca. He also had a stint with Greek outfit PAOK.



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AfricanFootball reviews Wednesday’s CAF Club action


Meriah Yassine of CS Sfaxien challenges Siphiwe Mnguni of Platinum Stars during the CAF Confederation Cup match between Platinum Stars and CS Sfaxien on 21 June 2017 at Royal Bafokeng Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jun 22, 2017. 10:00


AfricanFootball reviews an action-packed day in the CAF Club competitions on Wednesday and early Thursday morning, with six matches completed across the continent.

The first Champions League clash saw Zambia’s Zanaco put themselves within touching distance of a place in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win away to Cameroonian giants Coton Sport, courtesy of a last-gasp goal from Saith Sakala.

In Sudan, Al Hilal played to a fourth successive draw in Group A as they held Tunisian giants Etoile Sahel 1-1 thanks to an injury-time equaliser from Mohamed Bashir. The result means Etoile lead the group with eight points, while Ferroviario Beira, Al Merrikh and Al Hilal all have four points.

In Group B, USM Alger and Al Ahli Tripoli claimed notable home wins over Zamalek (2-0) and CAPS United (4-2) respectively to move level at the top of the pool on seven points apiece.

Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns held Tunisia’s Esperance de Tunis goalless in their Group C clash in Rades. The result means the Blood and Gold lead the way with eight points, while ‘Downs are level in second place with Ethiopia’s Saint George on five points apiece.

The only Confederation Cup match of the day saw three-time champions CS Sfaxien of Tunisia claim a valuable 1-1 away draw at South Africa’s Platinum Stars, putting them just one point behind MC Alger at the top of Group B.

Both CAF Club competitions will have their penultimate round of group stage matches played next weekend, 30 June to 2 July.

CAF Club competitions results, Wednesday 21 June

CAF Champions League

Group D – Coton Sport 0-1 Zanaco

Group A – Al Hilal 1-1 Etoile Sahel

Group B – Al Ahli Tripoli 4-2 CAPS United

Group C – Esperance 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns

Group B – USM Alger 2-0 Zamalek

CAF Confederation Cup

Group B – Platinum Stars 1-1 CS Sfaxien



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Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary in talks with Saudi Arabia club


Essam El Hadary of Egypt celebrates after saving Bertrand Traore of Burkina Faso penalty in shootout during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon semifinal football match between Burkina Faso and Egypt at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 01 February 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Jun 17, 2017. 11:00


News reports in Egypt have revealed that Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is currently in talks with Saudi Arabian side Al-Taawoun.

The experienced net minder could be on his way to the Saudi league as he recently expressed interest in plying his trade in the Arabian country.

Latest reports indicate that the Saudi Football Federation has since decided to allow clubs to buy foreign goalkeepers as part of their non-domestic four players list.

This move by the SFF has sparked interest in the 44-year-old as he expressed his approval of this decision, saying he is open to considering any offer from the Saudi league.

According to the report, the club aims to sign the Pharaohs legend to join the team in an expensive deal that will be backed by Al-Taawoun’s supporter Turki Al-Alshikh.

The former Al Ahly, Zamalek and Ismaily goalkeeper, who had an important role in helping Egypt reach the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon, has not made his decision yet.

However, rumours also suggest he could be moving to Egyptian Premier League second-placed Misr El-Maqassa, which was denied by El-Maqassa’s president.



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Swaziland stars attract interest from SA club – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


Njabulo Ndlovu of Swaziland challenged by Paul Katema of Zambia during the 2016 Cosafa Cup Quarterfinals match between Zambia and Swaziland at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek Namibia on 19 June, 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jun 15, 2017. 11:30


AmaZulu have reportedly opened talks with Mbabane Swallows over the possibility of signing striker Sebelo Ndzinisa and midfielder Njabulo Ndlovu.

The two players helped Swaziland giants Swallows reach the CAF Confederation Cup group stage for the first time in history earlier this year.

Ndzinisa and Ndlovu, who are also Swaziland internationals, are said to have caught the eye of Usuthu ahead of 2017/18 campaign.

According to a Kickoff.com source close to the KwaZulu-Natal giants, have already started negotiations with Swallows.

“AmaZulu has already identified both Ndzinisa and Ndlovu as amongst their new signings for next season,” the source tells KickOff.com.

“The club has already begun negotiations with their club in Swaziland.”

AmaZulu are in process of buying the Absa Premiership status of newly-promoted Thanda Royal Zulum

They are believed to be already started preparing for life in the top-flight next season.



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AfricanFootball wraps up Friday’s CAF Club matches


Oussama Darragi (R) of FUS Rabat vies for the ball with NayefAguero(L) Club Africain during the CAF Champions League match between FUS Rabat from Morocco and Club Africain from Tunisia, in Rabat ,Morocco on 02 June 2017.EPA/Abdelhak Senna

by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 03, 2017. 15:10


AfricanFootball reviews Friday’s action in the CAF Club competitions, which saw the likes of Al Ahli Tripoli, Esperance de Tunis and FUS Rabat claiming important victories.

The match of the day took place in Harare and saw Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli claim a stunning 4-2 away win over CAPS United in Group B of the Champions League.

The North Africans dominated the game and had it wrapped up when they went 4-0 up through a brace from Sameh Derbali and strikes by Salem Ablo and Muadi Ellafi. CAPS scored two late goals, but they were little more than consolations for the hosts.

The Tripoli club’s victory brought them right back into quarterfinal contention in Group B, especially after Zamalek and USM Alger played to a 1-1 draw in Alexandria.

The White Knights needed a last-gasp goal from Emmanuel Mayuka to salvage the draw and stay on top of the pool on five points, with USM and Al Ahli Tripoli on four points apiece and CAPS on three.

The other Champions League clash took place in Pretoria and saw title holders Mamelodi Sundowns usurped at the top of Group C by Esperance de Tunis. The Tunisians won 2-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium thanks to a brace from Taha Yassine Khenissi, whose second goal arrived in the dying minutes.

In the Confederation Cup, Mbabane Swallows held Group B leaders MC Alger to a goalless draw in Swaziland, while the late game saw Morocco’s FUS Rabat defeat Tunisia’s Club Africain 2-1 to move three points clear at the top of Group A.

Friday’s CAF Club results

Champions League

CAPS United 2-4 Al Ahli Tripoli

Mamelodi Sundowns 1-2 Esperance Tunis

Zamalek 1-1 USM Alger

Confederation Cup

Mbabane Swallows 0-0 MC Alger

FUS Rabat 2-1 Club Africain



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FUS Rabat send Club Africain packing


El Mahdi El Bassil (L) of FUS Rabat vies for the ball with Saber Khalifa (R) Club Africain during the CAF Champions League match between FUS Rabat from Morocco and Club Africain from Tunisia, in Rabat ,Morocco on 02 June 2017.EPA/Abdelhak Senna

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Jun 03, 2017. 09:24


Two goals from Mohamed Fouzair and Ayoub Skouma ensured FUS Rabat edged Club Africain 2-1 in their CAF Confederation Cup, Group A match at Stade du FUS in Rabat on Friday.

The Moroccan side now have six points at number one in the group from two wins and one loss, and they will now hope to win their match against the Tunisian (Africain) side away on June 20.

On the other hand, Africain found the back of the net through Ibrahim Chenihi who proved to be a headache for the hosts’ defence.

Although the visitors had a bright start, Chenihi failed to take advantage of their dominance after 10 minutes when he missed the target.

However, nine minutes later, he made amends as he netted after a beautiful assist through Saber Khalifa when he made it 1-0 in the 19th minute.

Despite their continued dominanc Africain failed to convert their chances and the Tunisian side went to the interval leading 1-0.

However, in the 52nd minute the hosts were handed a penalty and Fouzair made no mistake to convert, ensuring the scores were level, 1-1.

Although the match looked to be heaheading for a draw, Skouma bagged a winner in injury time for the hosts as he finished a chance to make it 2-1.

Despite the loss, Africain occupy the second spot with three points from two losses against Rabat and Uganda’s KCCA as well as one win over Rivers United.

However, they will hope to retain the full three points at home in two weeks time when they host Rabat in Rades.



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FUS, Club African set for North African derby – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup


FUS Rabat team. Photo: EPA/STR

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday May 31, 2017. 11:30


North African rivals FUS Rabat and Club Africain will meet for a regional derby in Group A of the CAF Confederation Cup on Friday night. The match is slated for the Stade de FUS in Rabat.

The Moroccan hosts come into the game on top of the group, but it’s only by the skin of their teeth as all four teams have three points after the first two Matchdays.

While FUS started strongly by beating KCCA 3-0 in Rabat back on May 13, they followed that up with a 1-0 loss away to Nigeria’s Rivers United on May 24.

Club Africain followed the same pattern, defeating Rivers United 3-1 at home in their first match before falling 2-1 at the hands of KCCA in Uganda last time out.

Given that this group has seen nothing but home victories so far, one would have to back FUS to claim all three points and take control of the pool. Yet North African derbies can produce unpredictable results and the Tunisians will fancy their chances of a positive result on the road.

This clash will be the first of a double-header between FUS and Club Africain, with the return game in Rades set for June 20.

Egyptian referee Mahmoud Ahmed Mohamed Bassiouny will take charge of the game in Rabat. The other Group A match will see KCCA host Rivers United in Kampala on Saturday afternoon.



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Mosimane: How Sundowns defeated AS Vita Club – 2017 CAF Champions League


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday May 25, 2017. 19:00


Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane has revealed how they planned for their clash with AS Vita Club on Wednesday.

The South African tactician masterminded Sundowns’ 3-1 win over DR Congolese giants in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group C match.

The encounter was played at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa. The Brazilians stunned the Vita fans, who had packed the 80,000-capacity stadium.

“In football it is always important to have humility after victory,” Mosimane said on KickOff.com.

“To say that the match was easy would be arrogant. It was not easy, and remember that the score was 1-1 at half time. It was not easy.

“We just had more opportunities to score than them, but it definitely was not easy. We did our homework, as all coaches would do, even if we did our homework it still proved difficult,” he added.

“The two goals we scored in the second half were the results of mistakes by their defence,” he added. “We pressed them and stole the ball, saw opportunities and scored.

“I have great respect for my brother here, the Vita coach [Ibenge]. We played five in the midfield. Normally we play four, but we were more organised in defence and tried to put pressure to force them back.”

The victory took Sundowns to the top of Group C standings, while Vita remain at the bottom of the table.



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