Manchester United’s Juan Mata joins Cranes national team start to identify talent in Uganda

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 18:00

Ugandan Women’s national team star Jean Ssenide has teamed up with Manchester United‘s Juan Mata to stage a tournament and unearth more talent.

Following the 2016 edition of the Sseninde Women Development Cup, efforts are being undertaken to ensure a much better tourney this year.

The Crystal Palace player is the key brain through the Sseninde Foundation and has engaged Mata to help develop more players in her country.

“The preparations for a successful Sseninde Women Development Football Cup are underway,” Ssenide tells KawowoSports.

“This tournament is for young girls and women who seek a chance to play without opportunities.

“Juan Mata is supporting the 2nd edition with a common goal to help create more opportunities for those less fortunate than us.

“There is excitement as we continue to prepare ahead of the 2nd Edition of the tournament. There is a chance to show support to a unique group of women and girls who have passion and desire to play soccer but with less opportunities, this time with a campaign.”

Sseninde was recently among the panel for the BBC African Player of the Year and is currently a key figure for the national women’s football team, the Crested Cranes.

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New Kenya national team coach Paul Put calls for support from fickle fans

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 13:30

New Kenya national team coach Paul Put has appealed to the Harambee Stars supporters to rally behind the national side.

Put was appointed as the new manager on Sunday, replacing Stanley Okumbi who was demoted to the assistant’s role.

The 61-year-old manager has urged everyone associated with the national team to have confidence in him as he seeks to revive the national team.

“I have written history with small nations like Gambia and Jordan for the years I was with them. I believe that I am capable of steering Kenya achieve big things,” said Put.


“All I need is support from all quarters. I want to lead a team of 12 and not just 11. And that means that the 12th person must come from all corners of the Kenyan football scene.

“I want to see the stadium fully packed because that is the only way the players and I will know that we are working together.

Football is not just about technical knowledge, it is also about effort and sacrifice. We have quality players so with your support I know that I can deliver.”

Put’s immediate task will be to guide the team during the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge which will be hosted in Kenya next month.

Furthermore, his long term goals include leading Kenya to the 2019 CAF African Cup of Nations in Cameroon and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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Senior national team coach Wedson Nyirenda happy with Zambian youngsters – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 18:00

Zambian national team coach Wedson Nyirenda has credited his squad of young players following the 2-2 draw against Cameroon at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Saturday.

The reigning African Champions came from behind twice to cancel out Patson Daka and Brian Mwila’s goals in their final Group B, 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier clash.

In the wake of the stalemate, Nyirenda says the future of the Chipolopolo side looks bright, but he wants to see an improvement.

“I am happy with the boys; I think there is a lot of hope in this team. I think the future looks good,” said Nyirenda.


“The young players accounted for themselves well, and Cameroon were equally good. This game gives us an impression of how the boys can stand the pressure of playing at home.”

Although some have been calling for the inclusion of stalwarts such as Rainford Kalaba and Nathan Sinkala, the attacking threat posed by the likes of Enock Mwepu, Daka, Fashion Sakala, Mwila and Augustine Mulenga has given hope to the Chipolopolo faithful.

The 2012 African champions will now prepare for the 2018 CAF African Nations Championships tournament in Morocco.

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Uganda FA appoint Bernard Ogwel to help search for new national coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Godfrey Walusimbi of Uganda evades challenge from Mahmoud Hassan of Egypt during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 21 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 16:30

The Federation of Ugandan Football Associations have roped in Dr. Bernard Ogwel to represent the National Council of Sport on the five-man panel set to vet the next Uganda coach.

Although the move will not come as a surprise to many in the sports fraternity, Ogwel believes his experience in Ugandan football justifies the appointment.

The Kampala International University lecturer has featured prominently in FUFA administration for years before recently crossing over to NCS as the assistant general secretary in charge of administration.

“I was not surprised at all by my appointment. My seniority and experience in Ugandan football must have played a big part in my nomination,” Ogwel told Daily Monitor.

“Apart from my high level educational background (has a doctorate), I’m a qualified coach, I played in the top league with Kamba FC (Lira) and I handled super league matches as a professional referee.”

Ogwel joins Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya (CAF and FIFA member), Edgar Watson (FUFA CEO), Asuman Lubowa (FUFA Technical Committee) and Livingstone Kyambadde (Uganda Coaches Association) in the panel to search for the new coach.

Although FUFA indicated that they will announce the new coach on November 15, FUFA publicist Ahmed Hussein said Watson and Bwalya have been engaged in a CAF technical and development conference in Cairo this week.

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Injured Khune reports for national duty – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Itumeleng Khune during South Africa Training session

Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 08, 2017. 18:00

Itumeleng Khune has reported for national duty ahead of South Africa’s crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal in Polokwane this Friday.

The 30-year-old is desperate to feature for Stuart Baxter’s troops and has requested to play in a protective mask – if that’s what it takes for him to be named in the starting eleven.

The Kaizer Chiefs goal-minder suffered a optical fracture in the club’s 1-0 win over Chippa United this past weekend, and initial reports suggested that Bafana Bafana’s number one will be ruled out of the home and away fixtures against Senegal.


But, following assessment from a specialist – who classified the goalkeeper’s injury as not too serious – Khune looks set to start on Friday.

“He is currently in camp, the specialist he saw says the injury is not that serious, and he will be okay in the next couple of days,” Bafana Bafana team manager Barney Kujane told Lesedi FM.

“But as you know Khune, he insists that he is okay, and he wants to play.”

Bafana Bafana take on the Teranga Lions at the Peter Mokaba Stadium this weekend, before travelling to Dakar for the reverse fixture.

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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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Luc Eymael and Gordon Igesund gunning for the Uganda national team coaching job – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Gordon Igesund, greets the late Stephen Keshi, during the 2014 CAF African Nations Championships Group A football match between Nigeria and South Africa at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 19 January 2014 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 10:30

Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael and former South African national team coach Gordon Igesund have been linked with the Ugandan national team coaching role.

Media reports in Uganda reveal that the Federation of Ugandan Football Association has received applications for the coaching job, but is yet to make a decision.

However, Belgian mentor Eymael and South African-born Igesund are the latest said to be in the running for Cranes coaching job according to the Daily Monitor.


The FUFA committee officially stopped receiving applications for the coaching job in the country on Sunday which is headed by Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya.

It is mentioned that a five-man committee, which includes three FUFA members led by CEO Edgar Watson and a representative from the National Council of Sports, will now vet the applicants.

“We shall have everything in place by end of Tuesday and possibly on Wednesday we shall have an update,” Fufa spokesperson Ahmed Hussein told Daily Monitor.

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Robert Matano says Kenyan national team will continue to struggle – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 15:30

According to an experienced Kenyan coach, Robert Matano the Harambee Stars will continue to struggle because of inexperienced coaches.

The Kenya Elite Coaches Association chairman has lashed out that the Kenyan Football Association which continues to employ poorly-equipped mentors.

In an exclusive interview with Nation Sport, the AFC Leopards coach said inexperience on the Harambee Stars technical bench is the team’s greatest limitation.

Matano believes the federation’s decision to isolate the experienced local coaches, coupled with their intolerance to alternative opinions, must change for the country to achieve any objectives in football.

“The problem with the leaders we’ve had is that coaching positions are normally dished out to those who do not deserve,” laments Matano.

“And as long as we continue that way nobody should expect any miracles. There are no short cuts in football.

“Experience is one commodity that human beings cannot buy. It is something that you acquire with time and within the current national team setup, from the top management down to the team managers, nobody has any experience in managing the team at that level.

“It is true that sometimes you learn while on the job but in our situation, we have a technical bench composed purely of inexperienced individuals.”

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Moses Basena demands coaching reins for Uganda national team – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Oct 22, 2017. 09:00

Uganda’s interim coach Moses Basena says coaching the Cranes has been an honour and hopes he will be handed the reins on a full time basis.

Basena’s mandate as interim coach is set to end after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers final match against Congo early next month.

Meanwhile the Federation of Ugandan Football Associations has opened a global search for a permanent coach that will take the Cranes to another level.


The FA has roped in Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya to help in the recruitment of Cranes coach as the FA could be trying to show how that national team stakes have risen.

“To coach Uganda Cranes is an honour that brings the best out of you. I have enjoyed my time hope it continues,” said Basena.

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The National Elephants come from behind to trounce Guinea-Bissau – WAFU Cup of Nations 2017

Camara Seydouba of Guinea challenged by Tigana Quebe of Guinea-Bissau during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Guinea and Guinea-Bissau at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 10 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Staff Reporter

Sunday Sep 10, 2017. 21:55

Goals from Sekou Ketia and Abdoulaye Camara saw Guinea come from behind to beat Guinea-Bissau 2-1 in a Last 16, 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday, September 10.

The Djurtus took the ascendancy early on and opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Gilson Correia headed a pin-point free-kick from the left by Tigana Quebe into the back of the net, 1-0.

Guinea almost levelled matters in the 27th minute when a shot-cum-cross from the right by Seydouba Camara came back off the crossbar.

Three minutes later the National Elephants were afforded the perfect opportunity to equalise when Hemiliano Gomes Lopes pulled Ismael Sylla down inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

Sekou Ketia stepped up for Guinea and made no mistake from the penalty-spot to draw the game level, 1-1.

In the 40th minute the National Elephants took the lead after a great passing move inside the Guinea-Bissau box concluded with Abdoulaye Camara slotting home from close range, 2-1.

The second half started slowly and chances on goal were at a bare minimum.

The first real opportunity of the stanza only came on the hour mark courtesy of a stinging 25-yard free-kick from Guinea’s Seydouba Camara, but the Djurtus keeper made a find save to deny him.

In the 78th minute Guinea-Bissau almost equalised when Mutaro Embalo broke into the box from the left flank, but his shot from an acute angle was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Abdoulaye Sylla.

The Djurtus threw numbers forward in search of a second goal, but Guinea defended stoutly to hold on for a hard fought 2-1 win.

Guinea (1) 2 (Keita 32’ pen, Abdoulaye Camara 40’)

Guinea-Bissau (1) 1 (Correia 15’)


Guinea coach: Hamidou Camara

Guinea: 1. A Sylla, 2. Alseny Camara, 4. N Camara, 5. A Conde, 3. I Sylla, 17. D Bangoura, 8. Abdoulaye Camara, 13. M Jean (7. Sory Camara 86’), 10. S Camara, 11. K Keita (Cisse 71’), 15. S Keita (K Camara 62’).

Guinea-Bissau coach: Domingo Nafatcha

Guinea-Bissau: 12. Rui Dabo, 13. Mane, 14. Correia, 5. Lamine Ba, 17. Lopes, 6. Djalo, 10 Embalo, 8. Pires, 7. Quebe, 11. Embalo, 9. Da costa (18. Junior 60’).

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Okumbi: Unfit Wanyama not ready for national duty – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Aug 26, 2017. 12:00

Kenya head coach Stanley Okumbi has revealed why Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama was omitted from the Harambee Stars squad.

The central midfielder has been left out of the Harambee Stars squad that will face Mozambique in an international friendly on 2 September 2017.

Okumbi spoke to the Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino about the player, who is still trying to regain his full fitness.

“Wanyama was injured during pre-season and we watched him struggle against Newcastle United and Chelsea,” Okumbi told the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) website.

“I talked to him and we agreed that he be left out of the team so that he can work on his fitness.

The 26-year-old player, who is the Kenya captain, is set to miss the Harambee Stars’ clash with the Black Mambas which will be played in Maputo, Mozambique.

“I also talked to the Spurs manager and he stated that Wanyama was struggling in terms of fitness,” he added.

“The coach suggested that we give him more time to work on his fitness because he’s a little behind schedule following the injury he picked during pre-season.”

Wanyama and his Tottenham team-mates will face Burnley in an English Premier League (EPL) match at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

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Huddersfield sign Moroccan national – African Football

Bertin Basson

Wednesday Aug 23, 2017. 18:00

Huddersfield Town have announced the signing of Moroccan national Abdelhamid Sabiri.

The 20-year-old joins the newly promoted English Premier League club from German outfit FC Nürnberg for an undisclosed fee; putting pen-to-paper on a three-year contract.

Sabiri, who was born in Morocco but has dual German nationality, burst onto the scene in the second-half of last season, scoring five goals in seven starts.

Terriers Head Coach David Wagner had the following to say in aftermath of Sabiri’s capture:

“I’m very happy that we have been able to add Abdelhamid to our squad in this summer window; he is one of the most exciting talents from the German leagues,” he told the club’s official website. “We needed another natural ‘number 10’ in our squad and he gives us a good option in all the attacking midfield areas.

“Abdelhamid made a big impression in Germany with his performances for Nürnberg in the second-half of last season. The number of goals he has scored from his position is very impressive, which comes from good football intelligence.”

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Zambian national team coach forgives Chama, but will discipline Kalaba – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Rainford KALABA of Zambia

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 10:00

Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda says skipper Rainford Kalaba will be called to the disciplinary committee ahead of next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Algeria.

This comes after the TP Mazembe skipper went straight to the dressing room after being substituted in the second half of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique which they lost 1-0.

Kalaba was withdrawn for midfielder Given Singuluma and the coach said Kalaba will be sanctioned during a briefing in Lusaka on Wednesday.

Chipolopolo will host the Desert Foxes on September 2 before facing the North Africans three days later in Constantine.


“We are going to discipline Rainford Kalaba. We are running an institution and discipline is non-negotiable,” Nyirenda said.

“You will see the team list. Destitution in Zambian football is because of the way we were handled by some coaches.

“We were not given good direction by some coaches. I am not going to have a soft hand on matters that will ruin them down, that will break their future, then I am a bad parent.”

On the other hand, the coach said he has buried the hatchet with midfielder Cletus Chama who also did not show sportsmanship against Swaziland last month as he went to the dressing room.

“For Cletus, he apologised after the game. He did not know what he did was wrong. He is a child. I told him that I forgave him before he even did that,” adds Nyirenda.

“I asked him a question, who I am not to forgive? I have wronged people, I have made mistakes, and people have forgiven me.

“I don’t want to be the coach who will contribute to his downfall. We will sit him down about direction in football.

“We have seen world-class stars who have fallen out of favour despite what they have done.”

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Uganda national team coach lashes at CAF for AFCON changes – 2018 CHAN Qualifiers

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Jul 24, 2017. 17:00

Following changes in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic says Africa has caved under pressure from Europe.

‘Micho’ was speaking to the BBC website after CAF announced that the continental tournament will now be held in June and July instead of January and February.

The Cranes manager has since lashed out at the continental football governing body, saying that they succumbed to European pressure.


The Serbia-born manager was speaking after leading his men to a 5-1 win over Sudan in a 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier.

“Though not directly, Africa succumbed to the pressure of Europe to have this tournament played when it’s best for them,” Sredojevic told BBC Sport.

“I have never believed some of these theories that come from Europe on having the AFCON in January and February.

“The Congress and the people who made the changes I am sure have looked at the marketing and money side of the tournament more than the quality.

“It has been so tough to qualify for AFCON with 16 teams and indeed only deserving teams could make it.”

Furthermore, the changes are set to come into effect in the upcoming edition set to be staged in Cameroon in 2019.

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Djibouti FA dissolves national team

Graeme Jackson

Friday Jul 21, 2017. 14:30

Latest reports landing at’s desk is that the Djibouti Football Federation have decided to dissolve the national team.

Reports indicate that the move is seen as a step towards stopping a string poor results in recent times.

In a statement, the FDF announced that the squad and coaching staff have been disbanded as the focus shifts to promising youngsters.


The Shoremen of the Red Sea are fresh from a 5-1 loss at home to Ethiopia in the first leg of their 2018 African Nations Championship qualifier last Saturday.

“As Team A has no result, we will focus on youth football,” said technical director Omar Ali Mohamed to the BBC.

“This is not about money problems. It is the new policy of the federation.

“Maybe we will participate in the next Under-15, Under-17 or Under-20 competitions.”

The statement revealed that the decision was necessary due to the never-ending series of bad results of the national team.

Djibouti are ranked 185th in the latest FIFA world rankings and are yet to qualify for any major international tournament.

It is not yet clear whether the move will be effective as of this weekend as they will travel to face the Walia Ibex in the second leg of their CHAN qualifier.

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Ghana national pens three-year deal with Maritzburg United – ABSA Premiership 2016/17

Richard Ofori of Ghana. at the U-23 African Championship 2015 Qualifiers ©Christian Thompson/BackpagePix

Bertin Basson

Thursday Jul 20, 2017. 09:00

Maritzburg United have confirmed the signing of Ghanaian shot-stopper Richard Ofori on a three-year-deal, with the option of another, as they aim to fill the gap left by Virgil Vries.

The club had opted against retaining Vries, leaving a huge hole in the last line of defence – a gap that will now be filled by Ofori.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper joins the club from Wa All Stars in the Ghanaian Premier League, having previously attracted reported interest from Mamelodi Sundowns.

Ofori will add international experience to the Team of Choice having represented his country at junior and senior level. He was part of Ghana’s 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup squad and notably formed part of the Black Stars team that participated at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

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