MLS Players Association releases updated 2018 players salary guide

The MLS Players Association on Tuesday introduced the up to date 2018 edition of its yearly MLS Players Wage Guidebook.

It is the sixth straight yr that the MLS Players Association has introduced the salary checklist.

The guideline contains salary data for each individual MLS player underneath agreement as of September 15, 2018. Each and every entry attributes a player’s base salary and that player’s yearly regular guaranteed payment as calculated by the MLSPA.

In accordance to the MLSPA, the yearly regular guaranteed payment figure includes guaranteed signing and internet marketing bonuses, but does not comprise bonuses based on performance.

An up to date Wage Guidebook is now offered that represents player salaries as of September 15, 2018:
— MLSPA (@MLSPlayersUnion) October 23, 2018


2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Five Russia players to enjoy

Russia is not able to boast of any world-renowned stars at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and only two reserve players in the squad, Denis Cheryshev and Vladimir Gabulov, ply their trade abroad. Even so, this does not necessarily mean the Host Country is not able of causing a number of surprises at the event. names the players who have it in them to lead the team and inspire the fans each domestically and abroad.

Igor Akinfeev, goalkeeper, 32

Akinfeev’s unshakeable self-self-assurance and charisma are qualities that authorized him to make his intercontinental debut aged only eighteen. At any time due to the fact, he has been the Sbornaya’s, undisputed initial-alternative goalkeeper. Of program, no one is invincible or immune to the occasional mistake, but when Igor is in the zone, finding the ball past him is nigh on extremely hard. Many pundits all around the world are thinking whether the hosts will be ready to offer with the strain at the World Cup on home soil, but this worry will not have crossed Akinfeev’s brain after.

Sergei Ignashevich, centre-back again, 38

As stunning as it may seem, the oldest player in the Russian national team is also one of the most inimitable. All through Russian and Soviet football history, no one else has continued playing intercontinental football to such an age. Soon after originally retiring from the Sbornaya two a long time ago, Ignashevich answered the call to return from head coach Stanislav Cherchesov and will again be an essential determinant in defence. In his own words and phrases, “my work is basic: to win back again the ball, give it to my team-mates, present address, play the ball out of defence and assist the team.” Ignashevich does this superior to anyone else in the squad.

Aleksandr Golovin, attacking midfielder, 22

At just 22, Golovin is the youngest member of the squad but has now proved himself important to the team’s attack. The agile midfielder is a normal modern player who loves to play in a totally free part, typically dropping deep into midfield or drifting into a centre-forward. He possesses a superb shot, which includes from selection, and is able of scoring some genuinely sublime goals. In spite of his relative deficiency of experience, Russia fans are relying on him previously mentioned all to be their creative spark at the World Cup. The event will also be a prospect for Golovin to place himself in the shop window, as a number of best European clubs are rumoured to be interested in him.

Fyodor Smolov, striker, 28

Smolov was in the working to pick up his 3rd consecutive Russian best-scorer award appropriate till the conclusion of the final season, just before at some point losing out to Dutch forward Quincy Promes by a solitary strike. The Sbornaya have a short while ago found goals challenging to occur by, so Smolov is their most important hope in this respect. Throughout Cherchesov’s time at the helm, Smolov has scored 7 goals, which includes a brace against Spain. He is intent on introducing to that tally at the World Cup, wherever he is probable to be deployed as a lone striker.

Aleksandr Samedov, appropriate winger, 33

Talking to Samedov, you are remaining in no question as to how fired up he is for Russia 2018. He a short while ago declared, with no a trace of hyperbole, that “it’s the major event of my life.” While not assured a starting place at club level, his part for the national team is not able to be overestimated. In excess of the final number of a long time, his output in conditions of goals and assists put together has been greater than anyone else in the squad. The player made his Sbornaya debut in 2011, played at the World Cup throughout Brazil 2014, but has only a short while ago founded himself as an initial-team normal. He has that scarce ability to arrive in the appropriate place at the appropriate time, an excellent that could assist the team to fulfil the anticipations of tens of millions of fans this summertime.


MLS stars to watch at the World Cup

As you might have heard, the U.S. men’s national team will not be taking part in this month’s World Cup, getting by some means unsuccessful to receive the single point expected of it against final-place Trinidad & Tobago this past autumn.

And even though that will undoubtedly diminish interest from informal American sports fans, close followers of Major League Soccer should really not fret: There is a good deal of intriguing storylines to monitor in the coming weeks.

Down below are five MLS players to watch when the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia on June 14.

Carlos Vela| Mexico | LAFC

Vela has been on a tear considering the fact that arriving in MLS before this 12 months, tallying seven goals and five assists in 12 league matches and assisting lead the expansion club toward the prime of the Western Meeting.

Vela’s expertise has under no circumstances been of concern. Getting received the Golden Boot as Mexico received the title at the 2005 Under-17 World Cup, Vela signed with Arsenal when he was even now in his mid-teens. And if he hasn’t pretty lived up to the early buzz, the 29-year-old has carved out a pleasant career for himself, representing El Tri in La Liga for the better element of this 10 years.

No, the issue has usually been his emphasis and his total kind. Vela can be inconsistent, able of extensive valleys as properly as brief peaks. Based on how he’s actively playing ideal now with LAFC, though, never be stunned if he sets Group F alight.

Roman Torres | Defender | Panama | Seattle Sounders

Torres is a residing folks hero for his club and national groups. Getting netted the penalty that received Seattle’s first MLS Cup in 2016, Torres scored the goal this past Oct that clinched Panama’s first World Cup appearance.

These feats would’ve been spectacular more than enough for a ahead, enable alone a large, lumbering middle back again. To this day, he swears to his Sounders coaches and teammates that he played as a striker in his youth prior to a teenage growth spurt, but they have under no circumstances been ready to explain to regardless of whether he’s major.

Laurent Ciman | Defender | Belgium | LAFC

LAFC’s captain might not have the title recognition of teammates Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku. Scrolling down the listing of club groups represented on Belgium’s roster, his stands out like a sore thumb: Barcelona, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain … Los Angeles? In truth, Ciman is unlikely to see a lot of motion, given the stars in advance of him on the in-depth chart.

But coach Roberto Martinez trusts him, and he supplies trusted defensive depth, and injuries occur. Even if Ciman struggles to get on the field, he is by far the MLS player likeliest to actually hoist the trophy on July fifteen in Moscow.

Omar Gaber | Defender/Midfielder | Egypt | LAFC

If you happen to be seeking for a sleeper to toss your rooting interest behind, Egypt is a great wager — assuming superstar Mohamed Salah recovers from the shoulder injuries he endured in final weekend’s Champions League remaining in time to play. Its team of Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia is manageable, and Salah is a legitimate game-changer.

Gaber, who performs for former Egypt coach Bob Bradley at LAFC, has earned 22 caps, featured intensely in qualifying and was named to the preliminary squad.

Rodney Wallace | Midfielder | Costa Rica | New York Town FC

Wallace is unlikely to have the most important impact on MLS players at this World Cup, but he might be the most uplifting tale.

Four decades back, he was pressured to watch from his sofa in Portland as Costa Rica turned the underdog darling of the event via its surprising run to the quarterfinals. Wallace experienced wounded his knee actively playing for the Timbers, and even though he was content for his national teammates, he was dismayed to have missed out on his country’s deepest-at any time World Cup run.

Some players would have been damaged by the put together bodily and psychological toll of that 12 months, but Wallace stayed at it, bouncing from Portland to Portugal to Brazil to New York Town, controlling to maintain himself on Costa Rica’s roster and earning himself a place on the aircraft to Russia.

“You’ve got acquired to cherish these moments,” Wallace informed in an interview, “simply because you under no circumstances know when a thing could occur.”

He appreciates that better than anyone, and will hence embrace these impending weeks much more than just about any other player in the event.


Vipers SC coach Jorge da Costa lambastes wasteful players in Uganda

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 11:30

Vipers Sports Club coach Jorge Miguel Da Costa has lambasted his side, saying they were incompetent against Uganda Revenue Authority last week.

Despite taking the lead inside four minutes Vipers lost 2-1 to URA.

Milton Karisa put the Venoms in the lead, before goals from Henry Kisekka and Shafik Kagimu turned the game in URA’s favour.


Although Vipers were the favourites at the start of the season to lift the Ugandan Premier League crown, the Portuguese manager begs to differ.

“My team was not competent,” said Da Costa to Kawowo Sports.

“Our players can’t put the ball in the net, something that can even be done by a 12-year-old boy.

“If we continue to play the way we do, I doubt we can win the league this season.”

Vipers are now eight points off the log and lie fifth with 20 points from 12 games whilst SC Villa top the table with 28 points from 13 matches.

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Nigeria players to pocket $2.4 million for World Cup qualification

Alex Iwobi of Nigeria (l) celebrates his goal with Kelechi Iheanacho during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Staff Reporter

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 13:30

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have revealed that Super Eagles players will be paid for securing qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

The federation will pay players and officials a total of $2.4 million as a bonus for qualifying for the prestigious tournament which which will be hosted by Russia.

This was confirmed by the NFF’s spokesperson Ademola Olajire when speaking to The Guardian Nigeria.

“The NFF have agreed to give the team $2.4 million out of the $8 million we are expecting from FIFA,” Olajire said.

The federation have also agreed other payments and benefits to the team to avoid a pay row that marred Nigeria’s participation at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Nigeria went on to reach the round of 16 where they were defeated by France, who won 2-0 at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasília.

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Yaya Toure: Phil Foden can become one of the top players

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 12:00

Ivory Coast legend Yaya Toure believes Manchester City youngster Phil Foden has the potential to become a great player.

The England U-17 star, who played a leading role in their age-group World Cup triumph, made his official debut for City in a Champions League win at Feyenoord on Tuesday night.

Toure, who featured for 75 minutes in the match, believes Foden is at exactly the right club to be groomed into an exceptional player.

“If he stays in this club, he is going to be one of the top players because it’s always good to learn from and be close to the big players,” Toure said.

“When I was at Barcelona, I learned a lot. I was lucky enough to have a chance to win trophies because of the players around me.

“It’s fantastic for him and he’s going to be the future. He’s very important. The team keeps changing and the club are moving forward, so it’s very important [to bring players through]. I hope, and I think, he will stay for a long time.

“Sometimes you have great players coming because Man City is such a strong team – a powerful club who can buy players – but I think he must stay here and learn from the big players, like [David] Silva, Kevin [De Bruyne], [Ilkay] Gundogan, Fernandinho – all those players are going to give him more experience and confidence for the rest of his career.

“I hope we will see a great player in the future.”

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Nigeria FA signs payment deal with Super Eagles players for World Cup – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

John Obi Mikel carried on shoulders of players Abdullahi Shehu, Kelechi Iheanacho and Chidozie Awaziem as Nigeria qualify for the World Cup during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 18:00

Nigerian media reports that the Nigerian Football Federation has engaged players in signing an agreement regarding payments ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

NFF boss, Amaju Pinnick says he is determined to avoid the problems that have blighted African teams’ participation at past World Cups, especially the Super Eagles.

The BBC reports that skipper John Mikel Obi has welcomed the deal and says he is excited with the initiative from the NFF.

“We are very happy and excited with this development,” he said to the BBC.

“This is the first time since I started playing for the senior team that I would see everything regarding preparation and bonuses and allowances put down in black and white and a binding agreement executed.

“It is reassuring that we now have a Federation leadership so committed to making everything work that they arranged this meeting and allowed the players to contribute and then set out to sign the agreement.”

The agreement was signed after a meeting between senior players and top NFF officials ahead of Tuesday’s 4-2 friendly win against Argentina in Russia.

According to the NFF vice-president, Shehu Dikko, he said the deal is a comprehensive document that includes the build-up to the tournament in Russia.

“We have concluded negotiations and come to an agreement with the team as regards bonuses, allowances and share of income from FIFA for the 2018 World Cup,” Diko added.

“Every detail has been agreed on match bonus for each match and each round up to the final as well as share of income from FIFA money for each round until the stage we are able to get to at the finals.

“We also agreed on preparation, such as how much players will be paid for the friendly matches, including how and when the monies would be paid.

“We even delved into how the NFF would apply the funds due to it from FIFA after paying the players their share.”

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2018 World Cup qualifiers: Group E players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Thomas Partey of Ghana (l) challenged by Sebastien Siani of Cameroon (l) during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon semifinal football match between Cameroon and Ghana at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 02 February 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 15:00

We look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers.Today’s focus is on Group E: Egypt, Uganda, Ghana and Congo.

Group E fixtures

Sunday 12 November

Congo v Uganda – Stade Alphonse Massemba-Debat, Brazzaville – 16h30 CAT

Ghana v Egypt – Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi – 17h30 CAT

Congo – Dylan Saint-Louis

Congo forward Dylan Saint-Louis looks a highly promising prospect for the Red Devils and made his debut last month in the loss away to Egypt. He’ll hope that this match, with less pressure and expectation, offers him a further chance to establish himself for the national team.

Uganda – Emmanuel Okwi

Emmanuel Okwi was the last goal scorer for Uganda in this qualifying group, netting the only goal in the famous victory over Egypt back in August. The Cranes need some attacking inspiration to get back to their best and will hope that the 24-year-old provides it in Brazzaville.

Ghana – Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey has been in magnificent form for both club and country in recent times, and the chance to impose himself upon an already-qualified Egypt is one he will not want to miss out on. Expect the Atletico Madrid man to further entrench himself under the guidance of coach James Kwesi Appiah.

Egypt – Amr Gamal

With Mohamed Salah rested, Egypt will field a changed attack in Kumasi on Sunday. The man who may benefit most is striker Amr Gamal, who has been in sharp form for South African champions Bidvest Wits and would love the chance to impress national team coach Hector Cuper.

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2018 World Cup qualifiers: Group D players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Sadio Mane of Senegal Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 12:30

We look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group D: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and South Africa.

Group D fixtures

Friday 10 November

South Africa v Senegal – Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane – 19h30 CAT

Tuesday 14 November

Burkina Faso v Cape Verde – Stade du 4 Aout, Ouagadougou – 21h30 CAT

Senegal v South Africa – Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor, Dakar – 21h30 CAT

Senegal – Sadio Mane

Back from a hamstring injury sustained in the last international break, Sadio Mane is set to be Senegal’s spearhead for their two matches against South Africa. The Liverpool striker has enjoyed a fine – if somewhat disrupted – season to date and would love to cap off 2017 by securing World Cup qualification.

Burkina Faso – Bertrand Traore

A run of four goals in five games for Olympique Lyon just prior to the international break marks Bertrand Traore out as Burkina Faso’s in-form attacker. The former Chelsea man will look to inspire the Stallions to a home win over Cape Verde to end off their campaign in style.

Cape Verde – Garry Rodrigues

A superb brace of goals for Cape Verde in their 2-1 away win over South Africa back in September saw Garry Rodrigues’ stock take a major rise. The 26-year-old will need to keep up his strong form if he is to continue being linked with a transfer to the Premier League.

South Africa – Siphiwe Tshabalala

Famous for scoring the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup, Siphiwe Tshabalala has earned a deserved call-up for the first time in three years. ‘Shabba’ has been in brilliant form at club level and Bafana coach Stuart Baxter will hope the veteran can step back up to international level.

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2018 World Cup qualifiers: Group C players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Wilfried Zaha of Ivory Coast challenged by Djene Ortega of Togo during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ivory Coast and Togo at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 16 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 08, 2017. 13:30

We look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group C: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon, Algeria.

Group C fixtures

Saturday 11 November

Gabon v Mali – Stade de Franceville, Franceville – 16h30

Ivory Coast v Morocco – Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan – 19h30

Ivory Coast – Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace have had a nightmare start to the 2017/18 season, but they still boast one of the Premier League’s most dangerous attackers in the shape of Wilfried Zaha. The 24-year-old has yet to really settle into the Elephants line-up, but if he can inspire them to the World Cup then he will have instant cult hero status amongst Ivorian supporters.

Morocco – Medhi Benatia

Morocco will need their defence to be at its best when they face Ivory Coast in Abidjan, and to that end they will look to captain and centre-back Medhi Benatia. The Juventus player has only recently returned to international football, but the chance to lead his national team to the World Cup will be a huge motivating factor.

Gabon – Levy Madinda

With Mario Lemina set to miss the match against Mali due to injury, Gabon coach Jose Antonio Camacho will look to Levy Madinda to set the tone in central midfield. The 25-year-old Asteras Tripoli player will hope to translate his good form at club level to the engine room of the Panthers.

Mali – Adama Traore

With Moussa Marega out with injury and doubts persisting over Moussa Doumbia’s ability to lead Mali’s attack, Adama Traore will look to use the match against Gabon as a chance to claim a regular starting berth for the Eagles heading into a fresh year of football in 2018.

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2018 World Cup qualifiers: Group B players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Benjamin Moukandjo of Cameroon during the Afcon Quarter Final match between Senegal and Cameroon on the 28 January 2017 at Franceville , Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 12:30

We look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group B: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.

Group B fixtures

Friday 10 November

Algeria v Nigeria – Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui, Constantine – 21h30 CAT

Saturday 11 November

Zambia v Cameroon – Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola – 15h00 CAT

Algeria – Riyad Mahrez

A move to a more central attacking position at club level with Leicester City has seen a rejuvenation in Riyad Mahrez’s form, and new Algeria coach Rabah Madjer may well be weighing up whether to deploy the 26-year-old in a similar manner when his Fennec Foxes face up to Nigeria in Constantine on Friday night.

Nigeria – Kelechi Iheanacho

With Odion Ighalo out of contention due to injury, Kelechi Iheanacho may well have the chance to be a starting centre-forward in Nigeria’s clash in Constantine. The Leicester City man has proved his worth as an ‘impact’ player coming off the bench during the 2018 qualifying campaign, and will be eager to stake a claim as a regular starter under coach Gernot Rohr.

Zambia – Lewis Macha

A good turn of form for South African side Baroka FC and doubts over the fitness of Patson Daka and Emmanuel Banda could see Lewis Macha leading the line for Zambia. The 25-year-old will hope to impress coach Wedson Nyirenda and the Ndola public with a strong showing against heavyweights Cameroon.

Cameroon – Benjamin Moukandjo

The 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign has been a disaster for Cameroon and it may well see the end of coach Hugo Broos. The Belgian will look to his on-field lieutenant, skipper Banjamin Moukandjo, to inspire the Indomitable Lions to a victory in Ndola which would at least see them seal second place in the group.

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2018 World Cup qualifiers: Group A players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Youssef Msakni of Tunisia awarded TOTAL man of the match during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 12:30

We look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group A: Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea and Libya.

Group A fixtures

Saturday 11 November

Tunisia v Libya – Olympic Stadium, Rades – 19h30 CAT

DR Congo v Guinea – Stade des Martyrs, Kinshasa – 19h30 CAT

Tunisia – Youssef Msakni

With a hat-trick in the last round of qualifiers, who else would we pick for Tunisia? Youssef Msakni’s treble against Guinea took his team to the verge of Russia 2018, and they now need only a point at home to Libya to guarantee qualification. With Msakni as part of their attack, the Carthage Eagles will be looking to book their ticket in emphatic style.

Libya – Ahmed Azzaqah

Ahmed Azzaqah is likely to play as Libya’s first-choice goalkeeper, having manned the posts in their 2-1 loss to DRC last time out. The Mediterranean Knights have shipped seven goals in two away games in this group and it will be up to Azzaqah and the defence in front of him to put up a more resilient showing against Tunisia.

DR Congo – Ndombe Mubele

With prolific striker Cedric Bakambu out of the clash against Guinea due to suspension, the burden of leading DRC’s attack will likely fall on Ndombe Mubele. The 23-year-old has been in decent form for Rennes in France and will hope to add to his tally of nine international goals, the latest of which arrived against Libya last month.

Guinea – Francois Kamano

Guinea have nothing to play for in their clash against DR Congo, but they will still look to Francois Kamano for inspiration. The 21-year-old Bordeaux striker has made a habit of scoring against big-names in Guinea colours (he has netted against Cameroon and Ivory Coast during his international career) and will hope to continue that trend against the Leopards.

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Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah explains why he snubbed locally-based players – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 05, 2017. 14:00

Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah has explained why he opted against selecting locally-based players for next weekend’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt.

The Black Stars tactician didn’t name a single home-based outfield player in the squad for the clash with the Pharaohs.

Only Aduana Stars goalkeeper Joseph Addo represents the domestic league in Appiah’s latest selection.

“The local boys finished the league last two weeks, so how do you use players who have finished the league,” the former Ghana skipper told Graphic Sports.

Last month, Appiah handed debuts to Vincent Atingah (Hearts of Oak) and Isaac Twum (Inter Allies) in a friendly win over Saudi Arabia in Jeddah.

He has also previously called up Winful Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak), Gideon Waja (WAFA SC), Samuel Sarfo (Liberty Professionals) and Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea).

Ghana will host already-qualified Egypt at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on November 12.

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‘It is a knife in the back of the players’ – Francis Kimanzi lashes at Kenya for failing to host 2018 CHAN

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 12:30

Kenya’s failure to host the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship has received huge criticism from the country’s football fraternity.

A former Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi believes that Kenya’s failure to host the CHAN tournament is a knife in the back of the players.

He said the loss will have far reaching effects on local players who stood to benefit immensely from the experience.

“That is a serious matter and indeed a very big shame. Individuals build houses here in Kenya every day but the government cannot build stadiums?” said Kimanzi to the Nation website.


“Our players were really looking forward to that tournament and it is a huge blow and a big opportunity lost for them.

“Even those who weren’t in the national team squad would have drawn so much motivation from watching their teammates participate in such a competition. It is a knife in the back of the players.

“If we would have lost that chance because of unrest, like the kind that is currently affecting football development in Somalia, the pain would have been less.

“But we lost that chance because of lack of proper playing venues, yet even here where we are standing is a pitch.”

Kimanzi was reacting after Kenya was stripped of the 2018 Chan hosting rights due to lack of proper infrastructure and was replaced by Morocco as hosts.

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Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr to name 25 players for Algeria and Argentina clashes – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 16:30

According to Nigerian Football Federation’s spokesperson Toyin Ibitoye, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr will release a squad of 25 players for the Algeria and Argentina clashes.

The 2013 African champions will face the Desert Warriors in their final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier and face the Albiceleste in a friendly next month.

Rohr will release a list of 25 players on Monday with two on standby for the games versus Algeria on November 10 and 14 against Argentina respectively.

Ibitoye confirmed to that the list will be made up of players who have been in the team.

”Some players are going to be recalled, but that doesn’t mean new names. For now the coach is sticking with the players he has been working with the past few months”, Ibitoye said.

”Some players are presently injured so they won’t be in the list, but overall it will be made up of same players who have been working with the coach the past few months.

”The idea is to put out a formidable team for the game against Algeria and later Argentina.

“A good showing in both games will help our ranking with FIFA, which will play in our advantage during the World Cup draws in December.“

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SuperSport chairman pays tribute to Eric Tinkler and players – 2017 CAF Champions League

Head coach Eric Tinkler of Supersport United 2017 Caf Confederations Cup game between Supersport United and Zesco United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 14 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 15:00

SuperSport United chairman Khulu Sibiya has lavished praise on coach Eric Tinkler and his players after reaching the CAF Confederation Cup final.

Matsatsantsa booked a place in a continental final for the first time in their club history after overcoming Tunisia’s Club Africain 4-2 on aggregate.

The South African side will face up to DR Congo giants – and defending Confed Cup champions – TP Mazembe over two legs next month.

At a press conference held at OR Tambo International airport following the team’s arrival back in South Africa, Sibiya expressed his pride at their achievement.

“This to me is the single biggest moment, not only for the club but for the country as well, it’s just overwhelming,” said Sibiya.

“It is a milestone. It is something we will cherish for a long, long time. Stan [club CEO Matthews], you and I have been going down and up, down and up with this club… This is it!

“We have done an amazing job, and I want to congratulate Eric. Eric, you have come to this club and you have made things happen.

“It is very unusual for any new coach to come into a new club and just make things happen. You’re an amazing, amazing man.”

The United chairman also requested all of South Africa to support his team in their bid to win the continental title, much as they did for Mamelodi Sundowns in their CAF Champions League campaign last year.

“Please go spread the word that this victory and the upcoming final is not for SuperSport, but for the country,” he added.

“Tell everybody out there that we are bringing this trophy home, and we need your support. We must make that stadium blue.

“It must be a crowd that we’ve never seen supporting SuperSport before, so please spread the word and tell everyone that we mean business.”

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SuperSport players react to historic CAF Confed Cup win – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup

Supersport United FC players celebrate after scoring against Club Africain during the semi-final return 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and Supersport United FC in Tunis, Tunisia on 22 October 2017 © BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 12:00

SuperSport United reached the CAF Confederation Cup final for the first time in the club’s history on Sunday.

This was the South African side defeated Tunisian giants Club Africain 3-1 in the semi-final second-leg match at the Stade Olympique de Radès in Radès.

Bradley Grobler (brace) and Jeremy Brockie netted for Matsatsantsa, while Saber Khalifa netted Africain’s consolation goal. As a result, SuperSport won the tie 4-2 on aggregate.

SuperSport are now set to take on Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) giants TP Mazembe in the two-legged final next month.

This is how Matsatsantsa reacted on Twitter:

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Kenyan players up in arms demanding bonuses

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 13:30

Reports coming from Central Africa indicate that Kenyan players are up in arms demanding unpaid allowances after taking part in two FIFA international friendlies against Iraq and Thailand.

Soka25East reports that a few players have been ejected from the team’s WhatsApp group for being “overly activists” and uncompromising.

Although Football Kenya Federation media officer, Barry Otieno says no player was kicked out of the Whatsapp group, he said it was deleted all together after serving its purpose, which was to communicate during camp.


“We are being victimized for demanding for what is duly ours,” one ejected player told Soka25east.

Meanwhile, Barry said it was normal to delete the group after FIFA international matches because the coach will select a new team for the next assignment.

“It’s a normal practice for us to delete the team’s WhatsApp group after every assignment because no player is guaranteed a call up in the next window,” Barry said.

Harambee Stars lost 2-1 to Iraq before falling to Thailand 1-0 last week during the FIFA window.

The players expected a minimum of Kshs 60,000 each from the federation.

Meanwhile rumours have it that Iraq, apart from covering the cost of the whole trip, paid $35,000 appearance fees to FKF

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I’m proud of my players – Algeria coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 13:00

Despite a 2-0 loss to Cameroon this past weekend, Algeria coach Lucas Alcaraz insists he is proud of players.

The Fennec Foxes were beaten by the Indomitable Lions in Yaounde to suffer their fourth successive defeat in Group B of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The match may have been a dead rubber – with both Algeria and Cameroon out of the running for Russia 2018 – but it still piled further pressure on Alcaraz.

Nonetheless, the Spanish coach insisted that his team put up a good performance, with only individual mistakes costing them the match.

“I think we have provided a great performance today against Cameroon,” Alcaraz said after the match, as quoted by Le Buteur.

“Unfortunately, we made many mistakes that the opponent took advantage of to win this game.

“For example, Cameroon’s first goal came on one of our mistakes. We also failed to realise our goal opportunities.

“Of course I cannot be satisfied after a defeat, but I feel that we have not been second best in the game.

“It is the mistakes made that did not allow us to achieve the goal for which we came here in Cameroon.”

The Algeria coach added, “It is clear that one cannot be satisfied after a defeat. But I’m proud of the performance of my players.

“They showed a lot of will and seriousness in the game. They tried everything on the pitch. Unfortunately, the final outcome of the game was not favorable.”

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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group A players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Mathieu Dossevi of Togo battles for the ball with Chancel Mbemba 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

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 11:00

AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group A: Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea and Libya.

Group A fixtures

Saturday 7 October

Guinea v Tunisia – Stade du 28 Septembre, Conakry – 19h00 CAT

Libya v DR Congo – Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir – 19h00 CAT

Tunisia – Wahbi Khazri

With Tunisia looking to claim a potentially decisive away win over Guinea on Saturday evening, they will need their attacking players to take advantage of every opportunity which comes their way. Playmaker Wahbi Khazri will be tasked with slicing open the hosts’ defence and hopefully adding to the one goal he has scored (a penalty against Libya just under a year ago) in this group thus far.

DR Congo – Chancel Mbemba

Chancel Mbemba scored for DR Congo in their 2-2 draw at home to Tunisia last month but also suffered an injury which put him out of contention for a couple of weeks at Premier League club Newcastle United. The Leopards will hope their versatile 23-year-old is fit and firing for their trip to Monastir in Tunisia, where they will come up against an already-eliminated Libya in a must-win fixture.

Guinea – Alkhaly Bangoura

The scorer of Guinea’s winning goal in the 3-2 triumph over Libya in the last international window, Alkhaly Bangoura is making a name for himself with the Syli Nationale. The 21-year-old forward plays his club football with Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel and will feel quite comfortable taking on the Carthage Eagles. Guinea will hope Bangoura can reproduce the form which made him a hero in their last match in Conakry.

Libya – Hamdou Elhouni

The scorer of Libya’s goal in the 1-0 win over Guinea last month, Hamdou Elhouni will be hoping to continue his strong form for the Mediterranean Knights. Libya are out of the running to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but they can certainly affect DR Congo’s chances by winning in Monastir and doing their fellow North Africans Tunisia a major favour.

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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group D players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

West Ham striker Diafra Sakho

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 04, 2017. 11:00

AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group D: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Senegal and South Africa.

Group D fixtures

Saturday 7 October

South Africa v Burkina Faso – FNB Stadium, Johannesburg – 15h00 CAT

Cape Verde v Senegal – Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde, Praia – 19h30 CAT

Burkina Faso – Bertrand Traore

Olympique Lyon striker Bertrand Traore looks set to be Burkina Faso’s spearhead for their clash away to South Africa on Saturday. The 22-year-old has taken his game to a new level since joining his current French side and notably scored for the Stallions in their 2-2 draw at home to Senegal last month. If Traore can find the net again this weekend, it may well put the Burkinabe on the path to their first World Cup appearance.

Cape Verde – Garry Rodrigues

Garry Rodrigues’ two goals for Cape Verde in their stunning win over South Africa in Durban last month, as well as his form for Turkish giants Galatasaray, has seen the forward linked with a move to Premier League side Newcastle United. If he is to keep such speculation alive and well, he will need to once again strut his stuff for the Blue Sharks when they face up to Senegal in Praia.

Senegal – Diafra Sakho

Diafra Sakho has seen his career almost go off the rails in recent times, but this past weekend he stole the headlines in the Premier League by scoring a crucial winner for West Ham United in their clash with Swansea City – effectively saving manager Slaven Bilic’s job. He’ll have another chance to bask in the limelight when Senegal face Cape Verde in a crunch clash in Praia on Saturday, having been recalled to the Teranga Lions squad for the first time in two years.

South Africa – Phakamani Mahlambi

After their back-to-back losses to Cape Verde last month, South Africa are in desperate need of inspiration to keep their slim qualifying hopes alive. In young forward Phakamani Mahlambi they may have the ingenuity and pace their attack has been crying out for. The 20-year-old has recently joined Egyptian giants Al Ahly and will be keen to prove himself for the national team.

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Baxter: South Africa players are lacking confidence – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017. 14:00

South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter says they need to motivate the team before they take on Burkina Faso on Saturday.

Bafana Bafana suffered two back-to-back defeats to Cape Verde in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D matches last month.

As a result, South Africa are placed fourth on the group standings – with FIFA having also ordered a replay of their match with Senegal.

Bafana will take on Burkina Faso at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg this weekend, before facing Senegal home and away in the last two Group D matches next month.

“The biggest problem for the players will have in this camp is that they have under-achieved in these two past games against Cape Verde. We have been massively criticized but now we have to move on and believe,” Baxter said.

“We have to address the issue of self-confidence, self-image, self-esteem – all those selves, and if we can’t do that we won’t give a performance against Burkina Faso, and if that happens then we won’t win. That’s where my focus is at the moment because this is a massive game.

“We have to go out there and rectify things, but without confidence I don’t think we can to that. They are the best team in the group, they were very competitive against Senegal – in fact they were closer to winning than Senegal was,” the British tactician added.

“They are a powerful team, they are physical, they have certain players with very good qualities and we have to shut that down. So when you don’t perform the way you want to perform, the first thing that goes is confidence.

“So we will need people who will work hard, that are brave and believe that we have a chance. The performance has to give us hope that things are getting better, that’s the challenge the players have despite all the injuries – they have to stand up now.”

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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group C players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017. 13:00

AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group C: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Gabon and Mali.

Group C fixtures

Friday 6 October

Mali v Ivory Coast – Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako – 21h00 CAT

Saturday 7 October

Morocco v Gabon – Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca – 21h00 CAT

Ivory Coast – Serge Aurier

Serge Aurier has had mixed reviews for Tottenham Hotspur since his big-money move from Paris Saint-Germain. The powerful wingback usually reserves his best showings for the big occasions and Ivory Coast will certainly hope that he is in inspired form for their tricky trip to Mali on Friday night. His overlapping runs and crossing ability from out wide give the Elephants a fine attacking option.

Morocco – Hakim Ziyech

A scorer of two goals in Morocco’s massive 6-0 win over Mali last month, Hakim Ziyech will look to continue his fine form for the Atlas Lions. The 24-year-old Ajax star will be a threat not only from open play, but also his notable dead-ball ability. Morocco will need a strong performance against Gabon to keep up their good hopes of qualifying and coach Herve Renard will look to Ziyech to direct the traffic for his team’s attack.

Gabon – Mario Lemina

Mario Lemina has made a strong start to life in the Premier League with new club Southampton, putting in several impressive performances since joining from Juventus. The energetic midfielder will hope to bring his form to Gabon’s national team, who still have an outside chance of qualifying for Russia 2018 – especially if they can beat Morocco in Casablanca on Saturday.

Mali – Moussa Marega

Mali have managed just one goal from four group matches and the pressure is firmly on striker Moussa Marega and his fellow attackers to find the back of the net for the Eagles. The team is entering a new era under caretaker Mohamed Magassouba (who moved into the hot seat following Alain Giresse’s resignation last month) and the likes of Marega will hope they embrace a more attack-minded tactical approach.

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2018 WCQ – AfricanFootball looks at the Group B players to watch – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 15:00

AfricanFootball takes a closer look at the players to watch ahead of this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group B: Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.

Group B fixtures

Saturday 7 October

Nigeria v Zambia – Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo – 18h00 CAT

Cameroon v Algeria – Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde – 18h00 CAT

Nigeria – Victor Moses

Victor Moses seems to have lost his first-team place at Chelsea, having been dropped to the bench for their loss at home to Manchester City this past weekend. However, he is a definite starter for Nigeria, especially after the superb performances he gave in the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon last month. Used as a wide attacker for the national team, expect Moses to be a thorn in the side of Zambia’s defence.

Zambia – Patson Daka

In the absence of the injured Brian Mwila (who scored two goals for Zambia in their home win over Algeria last month), much of the attacking burden will fall on 18-year-old Patson Daka. The Austrian-based forward proved his class with the only goal against the Fennec Foxes in the teams’ second clash in Constantine, earning Chipolopolo a famous win. Quite whether the teenager can repeat the feat in Uyo this weekend remains to be seen, but coach Wedson Nyirenda may gamble that he can.

Cameroon – Vincent Aboubakar

Vincent Aboubakar has been in fine form for Porto, notably scoring two goals for the Portuguese giants in a 3-0 away win over Monaco in the UEFA Champions League last week. The 25-year-old has also netted twice thus far in Group B and will look to add to his tally – even if Cameroon are no longer in the running to reach Russia 2018.

Algeria – Zinedine Ferhat

With Algeria out of the running to qualify, under-fire coach Lucas Alcaraz has named a much-changed squad, opting to bring in fresh blood and recall players who deserve a second crack at international football. One such example who falls into the latter category is Zinedine Ferhat, whose superb form for Le Havre merits a recall to the Fennec Foxes. The 24-year-old midfielder will hope he can establish himself in the national team with a strong showing against Cameroon.

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Togo to face Iran in Tehran without star players – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Togo’s Floyd Ayite celebrates his winner against St Etienne

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 18:00

Togo will be without two key players, Emmanuel Adebayor and Floyd Ayité when they face Iran next month.

The two sides will lock horns in an international friendly match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehrān, Iran on 5 October 2017.

The Togolese Football Federation (FTF) has since announced that Adebayor and Ayite have both been withdrawn from the squad due to injuries.

“Injured in their respective clubs, Emmanuel Adebayor (Basaksehir) and Floyd Ayité (Fulham) have declared forfeit,” a statement read.

Adebayor, the Togo captain and striker, who is playing for İstanbul Başakşehir in the Turkish Super Lig, has been out nursing an injury.

Togo midfielder Ayite plies his trade in the English Championship for Fulham and he was substituted in the 42nd minute against Middlesbrough last weekend due to injury.

It remains to be seen whether the FTF will call up replacements before the match.

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Gavin Hunt: Time for our big players to step up – MTN8 2017

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Sep 09, 2017. 14:00

Bidvest Wits’ ‘big players’ must step up for today’s MTN8 semifinal, second leg clash against Cape Town City, according to coach Gavin Hunt.

Wits, the reigning MTN8 champs, are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit after losing the first leg in Cape Town last month.

The Clever Boys, who also won the Absa Premiership title last season, have had a tough start to the 2017/18 campaign, with teams looking to claim their scalp.

“Any game we play teams will want to [try and outplay us]… I mean, we played Golden Arrows and they were unbelievable, Free State Stars were like men possessed,” Hunt said at the club’s media day earlier in the week.

“That’s what we’re going to get. When you play against a team that has won the league, people will have extra motivation.

“But once we start settling in, and we start playing two to three games a week, I think we’ll see a lot of things happening. Then teams can’t keep that intensity up every game.”

Hunt added that he welcomes the new demands on his team and hopes to see a response from them, starting with today’s match.

“There’s definitely [added pressure on us], it’s always like that and so it should be. You want that pressure, don’t you? We want that,” he added.

“We’ve got big players who can handle the situation, it’s a matter of the big players stepping up a little more and that’s pretty much what it’s about.”

The Wits v City match at Bidvest Stadium will kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

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Cuper refuses to criticize Egypt players after Uganda defeat – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 13:30

Egypt head coach Hector Cuper remains hopeful following his side’s narrow defeat to Uganda.

The Pharaohs were beaten 1-0 by the Cranes in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group E qualifier in Kampala, Uganda on Thursday.

“It is easy to criticize players after defeat,” Cuper said on KingFut.

“The (Uganda) match was very difficult and complicated.

The return leg match will be played in Alexandria, Egypt on Tuesday.

“We tried more than one way but we did not manage to score,” the Argentine continued.

“The qualifiers are not over and we still have 9 points (to play for).

“We will try to compensate in the next games and qualify for the World Cup.”

Uganda are now sitting at the top of Group E with seven points – one ahead of second-placed Egypt with three games left.

Ghana and Congo-Brazzaville, who are placed third and fourth respectively on the Group E standings, will clash in Kumasi on Friday.

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Zambia’s foreign-based players expected on Monday – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Aug 28, 2017. 15:30

Zambian foreign-based international midfielders, Chisamba Lungu and Roderick Kabwe have joined their Chipolopolo teammates in camp.

Zambia are preparing to face Algeria in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday and the duo became the first foreign-based players to join the camp.

According to reports in the country, team manager Chris Chibuye has confirmed the arrival of the duo in Lusaka.

Lungu plies his trade in Turkey while Kabwe campaigns for South African Premier Soccer League side, Ajax Cape Town.

Defender Stopilla Sunzu, who features for Russian side Arsenal Tula and goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene from Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, were expected on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Platinum Stars’ striker Brian Mwila has since arrived as Chibuye said all the foreign-based players are expected in camp on Monday.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria lead Group B with six points, four better than the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon while Zambia and Algeria have a point apiece.

Nyirenda’s men will host The Fennecs on Saturday at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka and will bring you all the LIVE Play-By -Play of the match.

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Leicester players won’t get involved in Mahrez transfer – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Leicester City‘s Riyad Mahrez

Graeme Jackson

Sunday Aug 27, 2017. 11:30

Danny Simpson has explained that Leicester City’s players will not get involved in any potential transfers for Algerian Riyad Mahrez and striker Jamie Vardy.

The duo have been strongly linked with transfers away from the King Power Stadium, with Mahrez drawing particular interest from Serie A giants Roma.

Simpson says the other players don’t get involved in transfer business, leaving it up to the individuals and clubs in question to work out the issues themselves.

“When you’ve got good players in your team they’re going to get linked to teams in every window,” Simpson told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show.

“It’s probably more frustrating for the fans and the manager. For the lads it is what it is and we want people to stay at Leicester.

“But at the same time you can’t really get involved if a so called big team wants to take them [Mahrez and Vardy].

“I want them to stay because they’re great players. But at the same time you don’t really get involved because it’s their decision and the club’s decision.”

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Atsu: Newcastle United can do well without key players – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 18:00

Newcastle United midfielder Christian Atsu has urged his club team-mates to stick together following their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

The Magpies were brushed 2-0 by Spurs in their first 2017/18 English Premier League (EPL) match at the St James’ Park in Newcastle on Sunday.

“We went into the game with a very strong mentality – trying to win. We did really well in the first half and made things difficult for them,” Atsu told the club’s official website.

“We created a couple of chances but after the red card, when we had ten men, it became really hard,”

“We had to stick together. Individually, we knew they were better than us, so we needed to play as a team. We did that,” the 25-year-old winger added.

“We need to believe in ourselves, and continue to stick with our game-plans. We just need to keep our focus, keep working hard and try to win our next game.”

Newcastle, who were promoted from the English Championship in April, 2017, had to substitute Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune after they sustained injuries.

Atsu’s side are now scheduled to take on Huddersfield Town in their next league match which will be played at The John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday.

“The team is ready. Although we lost two players, you did not see any difference – you could see all the players are well-prepared for anything that happens,” the Ghanaian international said.

“We will need to win games before we become more confident, but I think the team is really solid and playing really well.

“We thank the fans for their support. They have been amazing. We will come back stronger to give them what they deserve.”

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