African Sports News

African Sports News (14)

Organizers of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) hope the competition will be expanded in the future, with 12 teams once again set to take part in its second season.

However, the 2022 campaign will see the sides from around the continent split into two conferences of six teams, with a total of 38 games - an increase from 26 matches in the inaugural season played in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this year.

One conference will played in the Senegalese capital Dakar in March, with the other hosted in the Egyptian capital Cairo in April.

Each conference will be made up of 15 matches on a round-robin basis, with the top four progressing to the play-off event in Kigali in May,

"I have no doubt that the interest is there and in due course we will look at getting more teams involved," BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall told BBC Sport Africa.

"For now we are pleased with the path and are going to continue to be very strategic in terms of the changes we make at the end of every season, like we did at the conclusion of last season.

"Going from 26 games in the first season at a single site in Kigali last year to 38 games in three cities and playing over a period of three months is progress and really some big steps. We get a lot of questions about the number of teams and whether we are going to increase it, but for now we are sticking to 12 teams.

"We have a solid foundation for long-term success."

Twelve national league champions will once again qualify for the second BAL season, including through the Road to BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by Fiba Africa across the continent.

Egyptian club Zamalek won the inaugural BAL in May as they beat US Monastir from Tunisia.

The second season will begin on 5 March 2022, with further announcements about competing teams, conferences and additional details set to follow at a later date.

Source: BBC

Former Morocco captain Medhi Benatia has retired from football, two years after quitting the international game.

Now 34, the central defender has most recently been playing his club football in Turkey for Super Lig side Fatih Karagumruk.

During a 14-year career which started in France, the land of his birth, Benatia represented some of the world's biggest clubs and won four straight titles in a row during spells in Germany and Italy.

He won two Bundesliga titles and a German cup with Bayern Munich and three Serie A championships, two Italian Cups with Juventus, with whom he lost a Champions League final, in 2017.

He also played in the 2018 World Cup and four Africa Cup of Nations for Morocco, for whom he made over 60 appearances.

One of his two international goals sealed his nation's place at Russia 2018 as the Moroccan captain led the way when scoring in a decisive 2-0 qualifying win in Ivory Coast.

"This job has also allowed me to defend and represent my country, Morocco, with whom I have experienced unforgettable moments, the various Nations Cups but in particular the 2018 World Cup," he said on Thursday.

"From a young age I had only one dream, to become a professional footballer," Benatia wrote on social media as he announced his retirement.

"To get there, I had to force myself to work hard, make sacrifices, but above all set new goals at each stage of my career.

"Thank God I had the good fortune to become a professional footballer but as they say in this profession, the hardest part is not to sign your first contract but to last over time.

"After more than 15 years of "good and loyal service" to football, having played in the most prestigious competitions, I have decided to end my career!"

Despite being expelled from prestigious French football academy Clairefontaine one year ahead of schedule, Benatia bounced back in impressive style - calling his dismissal from the school 'fair' as well as being 'like an electric shock'.

Born just south of Paris to a Moroccan father and Algerian mother, Benatia was on the books of Marseille, Lorient, Tours and Clermot in France, also played for Udinese and Roma, where he was named in Serie A's team of the 2013-14 season, in Italy before winding down his career in Qatar and Turkey.

"Throughout my career I have met great people who have allowed me to build myself, which is why I want to pay tribute to all the clubs I have been to," he wrote before listing all 10.

"I would like to thank all those who have supported me for all this time; my parents, wife, children, agent, close friends and you who follow me. They say that the end of one thing is always the beginning of another."

Benatia retired from international football in 2019, shortly after captaining Morocco at the Nations Cup in Egypt where the Atlas Lions lost on penalties to Benin in the Last 16.

Source: BBC

The disgraced former head of world athletics' governing body Lamine Diack has died at home in Senegal, aged 88.

Diack, who was convicted of corruption last year, was president of World Athletics (formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF) from 1999 to 2015.

In September 2020, he was found guilty of corruption and money-laundering, linked to the Russian doping scandal.

A French court sentenced him to four years in prison, two of them suspended.

He was never jailed and allowed to return to Senegal, where he remained under house arrest and was later released on bail.

"He died at home of a natural death," his son, Papa Massata Diack, said.

His funeral is due to be held later on Friday.

Diack's lawyers had previously said he was in poor health and would die if sent to prison.

Despite his conviction he still enjoyed support in Senegal with Cheikh Seck, the owner of Senegalese football club Jaraaf, paying a 500,000 euro ($565,000 or £425,000 bond earlier this year that allowed Diack to return home.

"He was a good man, a great leader. We wanted him to come back home. It took us one month (to gather the 500,000 euros)," Seck, a businessman and former Senegal international goalkeeper, said after Diack's death.

"It was really important, we never imagined he could finish his life somewhere else."

In the past Seck described Diack as: "A worthy son of the nation, an all-round remarkable citizen."

Source: BBC

Nick Mwendwa has stepped aside as president of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) after being charged with multiple counts of fraud.

In a letter to FKF's national executive committee members, Mwendwa stated he was handing over the reins to vice president Doris Petra because he felt "personally targeted" by his arrest and the subsequent charges, which he denies.

"In light of the frequent arrests and detentions, which have adversely affected my family and personal business, and whilst I am confident I will be cleared of any wrong doing in the end, I have asked my vice president Madam Doris Petra to assume all functions of the FKF president," Mwendwa wrote.

"My decision has been arrived at with the federation's best interest at heart."

On Monday Mwendwa pleaded not guilty to four counts of fraud at an anti-corruption court in Nairobi, having been re-arrested by police on Friday.

The total amount of money Mwendwa and others, who were not present in court, are accused of taking from FKF is about 38m Kenyan shillings ($337,700, £254,500).

Mwendwa, who had been head of the FKF since 2016, is currently out on a cash bail of 10m Kenyan shillings as he awaits trial.

Among the terms of his bail, Mwendwa has been instructed to deposit his passport with the court and is forbidden from accessing FKF offices.

This week's court appearances come a fortnight after Mwendwa was released on bail after a previous arrest.

Last Thursday the FKF announced the case against him was over and the court returned his cash bail of 4m Kenyan shillings - but the Kenyan police later clarified that it was not the fraud case which had been closed.

It meant that the country's Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) continued its investigations and eventually arrested him for a second time, with Mwendwa then being formally charged with corruption.

Source: BBC

The new scheduling of the Fifa Club World Cup is "disrespectful" to Africa, according to former Egypt international Mido.

The world governing body's tournament was due to take place in December but is now set to be held from 3-12 February in the United Arab Emirates after original hosts Japan pulled out because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The revised dates clash with the culmination of the Africa Cup of Nations, which will see the continent's national champions decided in the final on 6 February in Cameroon.

Egyptians Al Ahly will be Africa's representatives in the UAE and could be without several players depending on their respective countries' progress at the Nations Cup.

"Fifa deciding to hold the Club World Cup while Afcon is going on is a sign of disrespect to African football," former Ajax and Tottenham striker Mido said on Twitter.

"It wouldn't have been the case with the Euros or Copa America."

The Club World Cup sees the winners of the continental cups in Fifa's six confederations, along with the UAE league champions, compete to become world club champions.

Al Ahly says its participation in the tournament will be impacted as the club expects to have "more than seven players" in the Egypt squad for the Nations Cup, along with three other internationals on duty in Cameroon.

The Cairo-based outfit will write official letters to the Egyptian FA, Nations Cup organisers Confederation of African Football and Fifa on Tuesday, requesting the three bodies "collaborate to resolve the clash of dates" between the two events.

Al Ahly, holders of the African Champions League, will face CF Monterrey of Mexico when they enter the Club World Cup in the second round, which is likely to take place on the same day as the Nations Cup final.

The winners of that match will play newly-crowned Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras in the semi-finals, while European champions Chelsea take on either Al Hilal, Al Jazira or Auckland City in the other last-four tie.

The Blues may be missing goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and winger Hakim Ziyech if Senegal and Morocco respectively have good runs at the Nations Cup.

Source: BBC

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has been charged with four counts of fraud by the country's Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

The total amount of money Mwendwa and others, who were not in court, are accused of taking from FKF is just over Kshs 38 million - which is approximately $337,200.

Mwendwa, who has in the past denied any wrongdoing, was arraigned in court in Nairobi on Monday having spent the weekend in jail after his re-arrest on Friday.

He will spend another night behind bars, with a bail hearing set for Tuesday.

According to the police documents the offences took place between 4 March and 31 May this year.

Monday's court appearance comes two weeks after he was released on bail after a previous arrest.

Last Thursday the FKF announced the case against him was over as the court returned his Kshs 4 million (approximately $36,000) bail money.

However, the Kenyan police later clarified that it was not the fraud case which had been closed.

"It was only a miscellaneous application by police to have Mwendwa remanded in police custody for a longer period of 14 days to enable completion of investigation before being charged formally," Kenyan police spokesperson Bruno Shioso told BBC Sport Africa.

It meant that the DCI continued its investigations and eventually arrested him for a second time, with Mwendwa now being formally charged with corruption.

Source: BBC

A total of six candidates, including incumbent Seidou Mbombo Njoya, have been approved by Fecafoot's electoral committee to stand in the polls on 11 December.

Another former international Jules Denis Onana is also eligible for the elections, however his 1990 World Cup team-mate Emmanuel Maboang Kessack was ruled out as he owes Fecafoot $7,600.

The other three names on the list of eligible candidates for president are Crepin Soter Nyamsi, Justin Tagouh and Zacharie Wandja.

One other person, Manuel Boyomo, has also been prevented from taking part in the polls because he failed to provide the required number of endorsement letters.

When Eto'o, 40, first announced his intentions in September it was amid controversy in Cameroon after candidates with dual nationality had been told they could not stand in the elections.

Eto'o, who also had spells with Inter Milan and Chelsea, was granted dual Spanish nationality during his time at Barcelona.

Source: BBC

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government is committed to ensuring parity between male and female sport.

He was speaking at Harare Sports Club where he officially opened the International Cricket Council Women’s World Cup qualifiers which kicked off this Sunday.

Nine countries, the United States of America, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and hosts Zimbabwe are vying for the three remaining slots at the International Cricket Council (ICC) women’s World Cup slated for New Zealand next year.

While officially welcoming all the teams to Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa emphasised the Second Republic’s thrust on sports.

“There hasn’t been enough support for women’s sport, under my leadership we are committed to raising the bar and making them at par with their males. The professionalisation of women’s sports and the closure of the gender gap on money gained is what we aim for and
equal pay for work of equal value,” said President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe Cricket is satisfied that cricket is playing its part in the country’s re-engagement drive.

” It is not every day that you have more than 200 international cricketers at one point, we should take the opportunity to not only market Zimbabwe but also use it to mend diplomatic relations, we had English County sides in Zimbabwe and we also went to Ireland and Scotland recently showing the pier of sport.”

The International Cricket Council is equally confident of Zimbabwe capability of hosting such a big tournament.

“The past few weeks in Zimbabwe have shown us how good the teams hosting capacity is like, we got help when we needed it and it’s no wonder it’s been chosen to host the 2027 world cup,” said Sally Higgins, International Cricket Council Events Manager.

The qualifiers which will run until the fifth of next month, are being played at four different venues in Harare, namely Harare Sports Club, Old Harteams, Takashinga and Sunrises Cricket clubs.

This is the first time Zimbabwe is hosting the women’s global qualifiers after hosting the African qualifiers in 2019.

The country is also poised to co-host the men’s fifty over the world cup with South Africa and Namibia in 2027.

Source: ZBC News

Jacob Kiplimo won the World Half Marathon Championship title in 2020 and took Olympic bronze in the 10,000m this year

Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo has set a new world record for the half marathon, shaving one second off the previous best time.

The 21-year-old clocked 57 minutes 31 seconds as he won the Lisbon Half Marathon road race on Sunday.

Kiplimo, who won bronze in the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics this year, broke the previous record set by Kenya's Kibiwott Kandie in Valencia in 2020.

Kiplimo looked set for a sub-57 minute finish when he reached the 15km mark at 40:27.

But he still won the race by more than two minutes, with Ethiopia's Esa Huseyidin Mohamed second in 59:39.

Source: BBC SPORTS

 

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released a statement that postpones the FIFA World Cup African qualifier matches citing the coronavirus pandemic.

We present the VCAF statement below.

The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™️ that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams.

The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.

CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of COVID-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows.

Full details on the updated match schedule will be provided in due course.

Depending on the new dates, Zimbabwe might lose out on the opportunity of having European-based players who were barred by their clubs in March.

Affected players include Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba, Stade Reims’ Marshall Munetsi and Lyon’s striker Tinotenda Kadewere.

Hopes were high that since European leagues would have ended by June, the players would be available for the Warriors games.

The postponement of the games might result in the new dates clashing with those of the resumption of European leagues.

Warriors coach, Zdravko Logarusic had named the provisional squad to face South Africa and Ethiopia.

Source: Pindula News《》RT