At least eight people are reported to have been killed and dozens hurt in a crush outside an Africa Cup of Nations match in Cameroon.

Video footage showed football fans struggling to get access to the Paul Biya stadium in a neighbourhood of the capital Yaounde.

One child is among the dead, according to a health ministry report obtained by the AFP news agency.

Another report said a number of children had lost consciousness.

The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but because of Covid restrictions it was not meant to be more than 80% full.

Match officials were quoted as saying that some 50,000 people were trying to attend.

Journalist Leocadia Bongben was at the game. She told the BBC's Newsday programme that she saw commotion coming from one of the "fan zone" areas outside the stadium.

"People started shouting. A minute after that an ambulance came to the stadium, but when we got to the place the police would not allow us to get close to where the stampede was," she said.

She had received a list of eight people who lost their lives, she said.

"It's really quite a sad situation that people go to watch a game and they end up dying there."

Six people are reported to have been killed and dozens hurt in a crush outside a stadium hosting an Africa Cup of Nations match in Cameroon.

Video footage showed football fans struggling to get access to the Paul Biya stadium in a neighbourhood of the capital Yaounde. 

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Nick Cavell, a producer for BBC Africa, was at the match and said that news of the crush did not seem to filter through to the crowd until there were reports on social media.

Lots of discarded shoes and other debris was strewn around the entrance of the stadium, he said.

Nurse Olinga Prudence told AP that some of the injured were in a "desperate condition".

The Confederation of African Football, CAF said in a statement that it is "currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired".

The last 16 match between Cameroon and Comoros took place despite the incident and ended with a 2-1 win for the hosts.

 

Source: BBC

Comoros goalkeeper Ali Ahamada will not be able to play their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 tie against Cameroon on Monday despite testing negative for Covid-19 on the morning of the game.

A media officer from organiser the Confederation of African Football (Caf) told BBC Sport Africa that the 30-year-old had not fulfilled its protocols.

The Indian Ocean islanders are now set to play without a recognised keeper.

Salim Ben Boina (shoulder) and Moyadh Ousseini (Covid-19) are also out.

Ahamada and midfielder Yacine Bourhane, who also tested negative on Monday morning, had hoped to rejoin the Comoros squad for the game against the Indomitable Lions.

But Caf rules state a player who tests positive for coronavirus must isolate for five days before taking another PCR test 48 hours before his side's next match.

The Comoros football federation (FFC) said Ahamada and Ousseini were among several players and management affected by a coronavirus outbreak on Saturday.

Tournament rules state sides must play if they have 11 fit players, even if no recognised goalkeeper is available, and the Coelacanthes will be forced to name an outfield player in goal against Cameroon.

Debutants Comoros, ranked 132nd in the world, face the five-time Nations Cup winners at 19:00 GMT and the game will be shown live in the UK on the BBC Sport website, iPlayer and Red Button.

Comoros were hopeful that Ahamada and Bourhane would be available to return and face the Indomitable Lions, with team manager El Hadad Himini confirming the pair were "undergoing various tests" to return to action.

"If the tests go well, we will await the findings of the medical commission to see if they can play or not," Himini said in a statement posted on Twitter earlier on Monday.

"We hope they will grant us our rights, just as they did with the other teams. We are waiting now and we hope everything will be better for us."

Defenders Kassim Abdallah and Alexis Souahy, midfielder Nakibou Aboubakari, forward Mohamed M'Changama and coach Amir Abdou also tested positive, with Abdou set to be missing from the dugout.

Comoros are playing at the Nations Cup for the first time in their history and reached the knockout stages after beating Ghana 3-2 and finishing third in Group C.

Both Ahamada and Bourhane featured in the win over the Black Stars.

Source: BBC

The Zambia Motor Sport Association -ZMSA- is next month set to launch the Girls on Track programme that will train 20 school girls groomed into motor sport Athletes.

ZMSA President SAM CHING’AMBU says the Association will work in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to identify the recipients.

CHING’AMBU says the girls will be identified based on their performance and interest in Mathematics, Science and subjects that are inclined with Engineering so that they can be groomed into seasoned drivers from a tender age.

He told ZNBC Sports News in an interview that the aim of the project that was scheduled to start in February last year is to promote gender equality in the sport and produce seasoned women drivers who will carry on the tradition.

CHING’AMBU said the girls to be trained will range from the ages of 8 to 18 under the programme that will be strictly run by women instructors.

He further revealed that over five Athletes will take part in the E-race competition to be held in March this year by International Automobile Federation-FIA.

CHING’AMBU said the online competition is a huge platform for the Zambian drivers to showcase their skills as well as earn slots for physical competitions and attract sponsors.

 

Source: ZNBC

Some Nigerians on Twitter are making fun of President Muhammadu Buhari by blaming his video call to the national football team for the loss to Tunisia in the Afcon games.

Nigeria had won all their previous group matches, emerging as favourites in the tournament.

Tunisia won Sunday's match 1-0, with their coach and several players out after contracting coronavirus.

Nigerians online expressed their disappointment albeit in a humorous way, and blamed their president:

Nigerians online have asked Ghanaians not to mock them as revenge for the trolling they experienced after Ghana crashed out of the tournament:

Source: BBC

The house of Sierra Leone forward Kei Kamara remains under police protection after the striker missed a penalty against Equatorial Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Kamara's home in Freetown was targeted after Sierra Leone lost the game in Limbe 1-0, putting them out of the tournament. Had Kamara scored, it would likely have secured a draw which would have seen them go through.

"I can confirm that police are still deployed in Kei Kamara's house to protect it from disgruntled youths who are not happy because he missed a penalty against Equatorial Guinea," the Sierra Leone police deputy head of media told BBC Sport Africa.

"The Sierra Leone police - as an institution that's very proactive in its approach - got intelligence indicating that angry youths wanted to attack his house and we decided to go to the house even before the match ended."

"We know what happened to Umaru Bangura a few years back, so we decided to be proactive."

This was a reference to the team's former captain, whose house was pelted with stones after he also missed a penalty in critical circumstances, this time in stoppage time during a 2022 World Cup qualifier against Liberia.

The police added that "no harm was done" to Kamara's house and the "youths in the area are cooperating with us."

The former Norwich City and Middlesbrough striker is yet to comment on the police deployment.

Source: BBC

The Government says it expects an improved performance from the senior men’s football team following the appointment of Croatian national AIJOSA ASANOVIC as Chipolopolo Coach.

Ministry of Sports Permanent Secretary KANGWA CHILESHE says the Government has endorsed the appointment of ASANOVIC on a four-year contract.

CHILESHE says the Government will provide all the necessary tools to the Football Association of Zambia -FAZ- so that it can deliver the much needed results that the Zambians have been craving for.

The Permanent Secretary said this in an interview with ZNBC Sports News in Lusaka.

He said Government will not interfere in the running of football but will however provide checks and balances in a Methodical and professional manner.

 

Source: ZNBC

Sports Minister ELVIS NKANDU has asked the Football Association of Zambia -FAZ- to provide security to all 5 stadia that are being rehabilitated to avoid vandalism.

NKANDU says safeguarding the property will make it easier to lobby for resources from FIFA for future projects.

He was speaking when he handed over the Kaole stadium in Mansa to the contractor MP consultancy limited for rehabilitation works.

Meanwhile, FAZ Vice President JUSTIN MUMBA appealed to the contractor to work within the contractual obligations.

MUMBA said the contractor is expected to complete the works within 6 months.

And Luapula Province Minister DERRICKY CHILUNDIKA challenged the contractor to consider the locals for jobs, especially small works that do not require the highly qualified.

Bahati Member of Parliament LEAVAN CHIBOMBWE urged community members to safeguard the property and avoid vandalism.

 

Source: ZNBC

 

The Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 begins on Sunday, following a group stage which provided two major shocks, history on the field and several off-pitch talking points.

The tournament has come to life following a slow start, which saw nine 1-0s and two goalless draws in the first round of group matches.

Here BBC Sport Africa assesses the opening 12 days of action in Cameroon.

Favourites emerge?

Two teams have stood out so far: the hosts and Nigeria.

The Super Eagles are the only side with a 100% record, a statistic made all the more surprising by the fact they dismissed long-serving boss Gernot Rohr just four weeks before the tournament.

Yet the side have gelled well under interim coach Augustine Eguavoen, dominating seven-time champions Egypt in their opening game and going on to beat Sudan and Guinea-Bissau comfortably.

After an underwhelming World Cup qualifying campaign so far, the West Africans are a side to watch.

Cameroon, meanwhile, enjoyed fine wins over Burkina Faso and Ethiopia to top Group A, with skipper Vincent Aboubakar netting five goals to equal a tournament scoring record for the Indomitable Lions.

Heavyweights have contrasting fortunes

The biggest storyline on the pitch has been the unceremonious exit of defending champions Algeria.

The North Africans drew 0-0 with Sierra Leone in their opener, then lost against Equatorial Guinea before being soundly beaten by Ivory Coast.

Four-time champions Ghana were also dumped out, finishing bottom of Group B after a stunning 3-2 defeat by debutants Comoros.

Senegal, among the pre-tournament favourites, finished top of Group B despite only managing to score one goal.

The Teranga Lions were without goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and captain Kalidou Koulibaly for their first two games because of Covid-19, and their performances will surely improve.

Another side struggling to find the back of the net have been Egypt.

Mohamed Salah's Pharaohs drew a blank as they lost to Nigeria and then could only beat Guinea-Bissau and Sudan 1-0 - although they hit the woodwork three times against the Djurtus.

Do not underestimate anyone

The tournament has provided two seismic shocks.

Debutants Comoros reached the last 16 following a famous win over Ghana

Equatorial Guinea belied being 85 places below Algeria in the world rankings to end their 35-match unbeaten run which stretched back to October 2018.

Then came Comoros's first Afcon goals and maiden win over 10-man Ghana, giving the side ranked 132nd in the world a famous scalp which ultimately saw them qualify for the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams.

The Gambia, the other first-timers in Cameroon, qualified for the last 16 after winning their opening game against Mauritania, grabbing a late draw against Mali and also beating Tunisia.

Malawi also made the knockout stages with some enterprising football, being narrowly beaten by Guinea before beating Zimbabwe and securing a draw with Senegal.

Some organisational hitches

Cameroon should have held the 2019 Nations Cup, but slow preparations delayed the arrival of the continental showpiece.

Despite the time and vast expense spent on hosting, the major disappointment has been the state of the pitch at Douala's Japoma Stadium.

Only opened in 2020, the surface has proved virtually unplayable at times - prompting scrappy games, player errors and the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to consider moving matches away from the 50,000-seater stadium.

Another moment of controversy came when Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe blew for full-time 13 seconds early in the Mali-Tunisia game - but Caf rejected Tunisian protests.

A more positive officiating story came when when Rwanda's Salima Mukansanga became the first woman to take charge of a men's Nations Cup game, refereeing Zimbabwe's win over Guinea.

Attendances building despite restrictions

Nations Cup matches which do not involve the host team are often poorly attended, but crowds in Cameroon have been better than in previous tournaments, where "neutral" ties have historically struggled to attract interest.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic crowds have been capped at 80% of capacity for Cameroon games and 60% for all others.

But after low attendances for early games in Bafoussam, Douala and Limbe, Cameroon's prime minister ordered schools and civil servants to finish early so that they could attend games.

Local people have complained about the cost of tickets, and the long queues for the compulsory Covid tests - although the stipulation regarding proof of negative tests is not always enforced. Yet fan parks, which do not require the rigmarole of lateral flow tests, have been well attended.

For the delegations themselves, it has been nigh-on impossible to avoid Covid cases. Cape Verde, Malawi and Tunisia have been among the hardest hit - but all three managed to reach the last 16, and all games have gone ahead as scheduled.

Security concerns remain

Security was a major concern on the eve of the tournament because of the separatist demands of the south-west region of Cameroon, where the city of Limbe is hosting eight matches, but the tournament has been largely unaffected so far.

A small improvised explosive device went off before the tournament, while on the first day of games in Limbe two individuals were shot dead in nearby Beau in incidents believed to be unrelated to the Nations Cup.

There was a visible security presence inside Olembe Stadium for the opening match

At the same time, the leader of local militants who have clashed with the Cameroonian army since 2017 issued another warning, declaring: "You people think that you have taken all the security measures but wait and see what will happen."

Armed groups - who argue that the Anglophone regions of Cameroon have been marginalised by the primarily French-speaking government - hope to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia.

Two Algerian journalists were subject to a knife attack in a mugging outside their hotel in Douala in the opening week, while teams have been more affected by breaches of security within their own camps.

Meanwhile, Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who has not played in Cameroon after testing positive for coronavirus - took to social media to deny widespread reports he had returned late to camp after a night out drinking.

The Arsenal striker returned to his club for further tests on what the Gabon FA described as "heart lesions" but he declared he was "completely healthy" on Thursday.

Source: BBC

Nigeria beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in Garoua to become the only side at the Africa Cup of Nations to win all three group games.

After making eight changes to the side that beat Sudan to seal their last-16 place, Nigeria took time to warm up.

Umar Sadiq opened the scoring shortly after the break following a cross from striker partner Kelechi Iheanacho.

Captain William Troost-Ekong sealed the win after tapping into an empty net after fine work by Moses Simon.

Three-time champions Nigeria had already topped Group D and knew their round of 16 clash on Sunday would be in Garoua, where they have played all their games so far.

They will have to wait until Thursday night to find out which of the best third-placed sides they face from either Group B, E or F.

Guinea-Bissau, meanwhile, have now gone over seven Nations Cup games without a goal, last scoring in their second match of the 2017 finals when they made their tournament bow.

Super Eagles soar in Garoua

Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen - who has made light of replacing Germany's Gernot Rohr a month before the tournament - had the luxury of being able to rest players after his side's fine start to the tournament, retaining only Iheanacho, Troost-Ekong and Wilfred Ndidi.

Defender Semi Ajayi was among those coming into the side and he almost opened the scoring when heading a free-kick over from close range, with Eguavoen holding his head in his hands at the wasted chance.

After Guinea-Bissau's Maurice Gomis almost spilled an off-target Iheanacho shot into his own net, the Super Eagles finally took the lead when the Leicester City forward laid it on a plate for Almeria forward Sadiq to tap in at the far post.

Guinea-Bissau rallied shortly after when an on-target free-kick from Fali Cande was deflected behind by Troost-Ekong's arm, with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) overlooking the incident.

Nigeria are the only side to have won their three opening group games at the Africa Cup of Nations

But the VAR referee was heavily involved just moments later when Troost-Ekong side-footed into an empty net after Simon's blistering strike, after a jinking run past three players, crashed back off the underside of the bar to the Watford man.

Kenyan referee Peter Waweru pointed for offside only for VAR to overturn the goal as Troost-Ekong celebrated only his third goal for his country, two of which have come in the Nations Cup itself.

To their credit, Guinea-Bissau set out to attack but failed to get on the scoresheet once again as Jorginho shinned a decent chance wide just before the break, while Leonel Ucha Alves' fine strike was smartly tipped round the post by sprawling Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

The West African side leave the competition with one draw and two defeats, just as they did at their two previous visits to the finals in both 2017 and 2019.

The Super Eagles, meanwhile, showed their strength in depth and that they will take some stopping but there will be far sterner tests ahead for a side buoyed by good support in Cameroon, which Nigeria borders.

Home TeamGuinea-BissauAway TeamNigeria

Possession

Home47%

Away53%

Shots

Home10

Away16

Shots on Target

Home2

Away4

Corners

Home5

Away6

Fouls

Home11

Away22

Source: BBC

Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mali and debutants The Gambia all reached the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday without kicking a ball.

Both Guinea-Bissau and Sudan could have secured one of the four best third-placed sides available but lost to Nigeria and Egypt respectively.

These defeats on Wednesday opened the doors for the five sides.

Celebrations will be particularly acute in Malawi and The Gambia as both sides reach the knock-out phase for the first time.

Tunisia will also join the teams in the second round as long as they avoid a defeat by six clear goals to The Gambia on Thursday.

Should the 2004 champions lose by such a scoreline, Comoros - who are currently among the best third-placed sides - could achieve a fairytale qualification.

Two-time champions Ivory Coast are the sole side through from Group E so far and face Algeria in Douala on Thursday in a game the 2019 winners must take three points from to progress.

Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, who meet in Limbe, can also progress from the group.

Three teams can still top Group F, with The Gambia, who have four points, playing Tunisia, who have a point less, while Mali, joint top with the Gambian Scorpions, take on already-eliminated Mauritania.

After the Nations Cup's group phase comes to a close on Thursday, there are two rest days before the Round of 16 gets underway when Burkina Faso play Gabon on Sunday.

Source: BBC