Category Archives: Sports

SAFA BOSS FACES SEXUAL ASSAULT COMPLAINT FOR THE SECOND TIME

By Chinedu Victor

President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and an executive of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Danny Jordaan is reportedly facing a second sexual assault complaint.

Johannesburg based daily, Sundays Times disclosed that an unidentified 40-year-old lady filed a complaint with the police against Jordaan this week. The woman claims Jordaan, 66, sexually assaulted her on three occasions and is reported to be a prominent author and the niece of a top politician.

In November 2017, Jennifer Ferguson, a singer and former South African lawmaker stated she was sexually assaulted 25 years ago.
Ferguson flew to South Africa later to lay a charge with the police against Jordaan from her home in Sweden.
Speaking to AFP on the issue, Jordaan’s lawyer, Mamodupi Mohlala, denounced the latest complaint and was quick to label it as an effort to make his client ‘’ineligible’’ to seek a second term as SAFA chief.

This Saturday has been scheduled for the presidential elections of the association with Jordaan the only candidate running for the position. ‘’This is another attempt to discredit our client in the media. The only place for these charges is in court and we call once again on the media and the public to allow justice to do its job.’’

The police have declined to make any comments.

IAAF DIAMOND LEAGUE: SEMANYA BREAKS NATIONAL 1500M RECORD

Caster Semanya smashed the national record in her bid to winning the 1500-metre Diamond League season-opening race after posting a time of three minutes and 59.92 seconds in Doha, Qatar.

The South African is one of the athletes that could be affected by new rules from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regarding hyperandrogenism, which impacts female competitors with higher than normal levels of testosterone who partake in track events that range from 400 metres to a mile.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist can be among those able to compete as long her levels are reduced to less than five nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) for an uninterrupted time of six months.

 She said: ‘’I wanted to go faster, but had to slow down a little. It’s always been a dream to set the record and continue to push beyond my personal best.’’

‘’I think we definitely achieved what we came here for. I want to maintain this momentum throughout the season, but will also make sure I continue to keep healthy.’’
 
Chinedu Victor.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: MIXED FORTUNES AS AUBAMEYANG IS OUSTED

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hopes of playing in the Last 16 round of this season’s UEFA Champions League were dashed after his side, Borussia Dortmund was defeated 2-1 by the English side Tottenham Hotspur in their Group H encounter at the Signal Iduna Park in Germany on Tuesday night.

The Gabonese striker, who returned to the starting lineup after missing the game against Stuttgart over the weekend as a result of the suspension that was handed down put Dortmund ahead in the 31st minute but goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min in the second half ended their campaign in the tournament. Ivorien defender Serge Aurier saw out the entire game for the visitors as the win put Spurs in the next round and confirmed them winners in the group.

In the other group game, Achraf Hakimi’s Real Madrid sealed second spot as the Spanish giants went all out and took apart their host APOEL Nicosia by mauling those 6 goals to 0 in Cyprus. The 19 year old Moroccan defender however watched from the stands as goals from Luka Modric, Nacho and a brace each from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured the defending champions’ qualification to the next round for the 21st time in row.

Sadio Mane’s Liverpool will have to wait till the last round of matches to confirm their Round of 16 place after they were held to a three all draw by Sevilla away at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Spain. The Senagalese forward got the second and his first goal in the Champions League for his side; who went into the break 3-0 up but bottled their lead after a brace from Wissam Ben Yedder and Guido Pizarro ensured Sevilla rescued a point from the jaws of defeat.

Mali’s Naby Keita also recorded his first goal in the competition as he sealed RB Leipzig’s rout of AS Monaco who were thrashed 4-1 in front of their home fans in their Group G encounter. Earlier, FC Porto were denied a win as they played out a one all draw against Turkish side Besiktas in the same group with Cameroonian Striker, Vincent Aboubakar in action from start to finish for the Portuguese side who were champions in 2004.

Yaya Toure of Cote d’Ivoire was on the pitch for 75 minutes as his team, Manchester City was reliant on Raheem Sterling to get a solitary goal against Feyenoord two minutes from fulltime to maintain their unbeaten run so far in Europe under former Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola.

Chinedu Victor.

vickychi24@gmail.com

vickychi24@yahoo.com

RUSSIA 2018: NIGERIA, FOUR OTHERS’ AFCON FIXTURES TO BE MOVED

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers of the continent’s representatives to the World Cup taking place in Russia come June 2018 which was initially billed to hold in March the same year will be moved; the Confederation of African Football has announced.

The AFCON Qualifiers games of Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco, and Tunisia will be moved to October 2018 to free up space for the teams to schedule friendlies for the international break coming up in March, in their build-up for the FIFA tournament kicking off in June of the same year.

Toyin Ibitoye, spokesman for the Super Eagles confirmed the news of the matches being shifted. ‘’African teams to the World Cup will now have the March 2018 FIFA international days for the friendly games after the CAF executive committee approved a proposal by Nigeria for the 2019 AFCON qualifiers fixed for that period moved to October 2018,’’ Ibitoye is quoted as saying.

He also added that the 2019 edition of Africa’s biggest football competition will now be played in June as against January, which was the month the Cup of Nations always took place, giving more time for the 2019 AFCON qualifiers to be rounded up.

Senegal makes a return to the World Cup for the first time in 16 years while the Pharaohs of Egypt which will also be representing Africa will feature in Russia after a 28-year-absence as a result of their failure to qualify for the tournament since their last appearance in 1990 when the tournament was hosted by Italy.

Chinedu Victor.

vickychi24@gmail.com

vickychi24@yahoo.com

 

CHAN 2018 GROUPS

The African Nations Championship popularly called CHAN will be taking place in Morocco next year. The competition is in its fifth edition and will run from the 13th of January to the 4th of February, 2018. The draws which took place in Rabat, Morocco’s capital on Friday evening saw the host paired with Guinea, Sudan, and Mauritania in Group A where they will kick off the competition at the Stade Mohamed V against Mauritania in Casablanca on the 13th of January, 2018.

Cote d’Ivoire, the hosts of the first edition in 2009 who are top seed in Group B will be based in Marrakech and will slug it out with Zambia, Uganda and Namibia to be able to claim the bragging rights in the group. Group D will see Angola square off against Cameroon, Republic of Congo, and Burkina Faso which will see their games  go down in Agadir. The CHAN Eagles which will be hoping to win the competition for the first time defeated West African neighbour Benin Republic 2-1 on aggregate to book a place in Morocco.

GROUP A (CASABLANCA)

MOROCCO

GUINEA

SUDAN

MAURITANIA

 

GROUP B (MARRAKECH)

COTE D’IVOIRE

ZAMBIA

UGANDA

NAMIBIA

 

GROUP C (TANGIER)

LIBYA

NIGERIA

RWANDA

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

 

GROUP D (AGADIR)

ANGOLA

CAMEROON

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

BURKINA FASO

 

Chinedu Victor.

vickychi24@gmail.com

vickychi24@yahoo.com

AUBAMEYANG TO MISS STUTTGART GAME FOR DISCIPLINARY REASONS

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not feature for Borussia Dortmund when they face VfB Stuttgart Friday evening in their Bundesliga game after being dropped by the club for disciplinary reasons. The club confirmed this on Thursday evening on their Twitter official handle, although it has not been confirmed why Dortmund has decided to take this action against the Gabon International. The club’s account stated, ‘’Aubameyang has been removed from the squad for tomorrow’s (today) match for disciplinary reason.’’

The 2015 CAF African Player of the Year winner who has failed to find the back of the net for the German side since netting a brace in their 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig on the 14th of October has been heavily blamed for the team’s drop in form in recent weeks, winning just a game in their last seven in all competitions. The player bagged a suspension previously in November last year for a trip to Italy which Dortmund said was not sanctioned, making him to miss their Champions League trip to Lisbon where they played Sporting CP. He has come out to say the recent action taken by the club is beyond his understanding since there is no clear reason to warrant the disciplinary move.

‘’I did not turn up late for training. This time I really  can’t understand it’’, citing no similarities between the last disciplinary action and the current one saying he ignored an announcement by the club’s management on his trip to Milan which made him sit out the Lisbon encounter against Sporting.Pierreemerick AubameyangDortmund head into tonight’s game against Stuttgart sitting in third place, trailing Bayern Munich that is placed first by six points and are two points behind Leipzig that is second on the Bundesliga table.

Chinedu Victor.

vickychi24@gmail.com

vickychi24@yahoo.com

Photos by Getty

 

NIGERIA 4-2 ARGENTINA: A REASON TO EXPECT THE UNEXCPECTED?

The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Tuesday night produced a stunning comeback to defeat Argentina by four goals to two in an International Friendly in Krasnodar, Russia as both teams prepare for the World Cup next year.

La Albiceleste which was without captain Lionel Messi but still had enough fire power took the lead 27 minutes into the game after Ever Banega curled in a free-kick into the bottom-right corner after a costly error from Daniel Akpeyi  as he misjudged the positioning of both Argentine striker, Sergio Aguero and the ball. The ball was laid at Akpeyi’s feet and he had to stretch outside his box to pick the ball as the Argentine forward was advancing.

The Manchester City’s highest goal scorer nine minutes later made it 2-0 in favor of the South Americans after he finished easily in front of the goal with an assist from Cristian Pavon.

Kelechi Iheanacho reduced the score line to a one goal cushion before the break after the Under 17 World Cup winner delivered a beautiful free-kick over the wall of the opponents leaving goal keeper Agustin Marchesin to do nothing but help the ball into the top corner, which was after  Alex Iwobi was fouled by Javier Mascherano.

Iheanacho then turned the provider for the leveler in the 52nd minute as he fed Iwobi who converted a beautifully placed effort into the bottom-left corner which left the goalkeeper with no chance to deny the Arsenal forward. Once again the Leicester City player was the brainchild for Nigeria’s third goal of the night as his lay-off pass found debutant Brian Idowu who calmly curled the ball into the corner of the post two minutes later.

The Super Eagles struck one more time 17 minutes to full time when substitute Ahmed Musa laid a pass to Iwobi who took Mascherano to school with a nutmeg to finish into the corner to grab his brace.

Growing up, one of my favorite animated series which will forever be in my heart was Terrahawks, and one of the episode titles that made me get used to this statement was ‘’Expect the Unexpected’’.

Gernot Rohr’s men have been placed in Pot four for the Russia 2018 World Cup draws coming up on the first of December later this year and there is a very high possibility we could be grouped with countries like Germany, Portugal, Spain, Colombia, Sweden, Iceland or even square off against Argentina once again when the tournament kicks off next year June.

Nigeria has never progressed to the quarter-final stage of the World Cup in its five- time appearance dating back to 1994 in the United States of America and failed to progress from the group stage in 2002 and 2010. Nigeria did not qualify for the tournament in 2006.

Tuesday’s victory against Argentina casts a ray of hope and if the team is equipped with the right balance of players; especially in the goalkeeping area which has been a major area of concern since Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with leukemia earlier in the year, the nation’s anthem can be played more than four times when the football hostilities begin in Russia.

It may be sound funny to say that the team may go all the way to the semi-finals and who knows even the finals just because they dispatched Argentina in a friendly game but history surely repeats itself and it can do so in strange ways.

Greece went on to win the European Championship in 2004 when no one expected them to progress from their group. Portugal was the 2016 champion after qualifying for the championship in France via play-offs and progressing from their group as the best losers.

And then there’s Brazil, which went on to win the 2002 World Cup after struggling to qualify for the competition with five; yes, five different coaches.

You might say it is Brazil. Yes, but what if they hadn’t qualified, won’t people have said mighty Brazil could not make it to the World Cup? Football as exciting as it is a sport can also be very unpredictable. Nigeria can dare to dream after last night’s victory and if they play their cards right, assemble the perfect squad and get the job done against teams they come up against in Russia, who says the world won’t actually expect the unexpected?

 

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Chinedu Victor.

vickychi24@gmail.com.

vickychi24@yahoo.com

Photos By AFP Photo