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Ghana have sacked coach Milovan Rajevac eight days after the Black Stars crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the group stages.

The country's football association (GFA) first discussed the 68-year-old Serb's position just three days after the shock 3-2 loss to Comoros which sealed their fate at the tournament in Cameroon.

"This follows the receipt of the technical report from the coach, and the report from the management committee, following Ghana's early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations," a GFA statement on Wednesday said.

"The GFA will soon announce the reconstituted technical team and management committee after due engagement with all relevant stakeholders."

Ghana will need to have a coach in place ahead of their crucial two-legged 2022 World Cup play-off against West African arch-rivals Nigeria in March.

The Black Stars suffered a dismal tournament in Cameroon under Rajevac, taking only a single point from games against Morocco, Gabon and Comoros and finishing bottom of group C.

The defeat by Comoros in a game they needed to win to qualify for the last 16 marked one of the lowest points in the national team's history.

Rajevac was re-appointed for his second spell as Ghana boss in September 2021 and initially did well, successfully guiding Ghana through the second round of World Cup qualifying with a controversial win against South Africa.

Source: BBC

Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle said defender Eric Bailly was "very down" after his penalty was saved in their last 16 shoot-out defeat by Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Manchester United man saw his effort tipped on to the bar, and the Elephants were knocked out 5-4 on penalties following a 0-0 draw.

"He was crying and it was very hard," Beaumelle told BBC Sport Africa.

"I hugged him and I just said 'You are a big champion'."

Centre-back Bailly had returned to the Ivory Coast side in Douala after suffering a head injury in their second group match.

The 27-year-old sported a rugby scrum cap for protection and impressed at the back over 120 minutes, but substitute Egypt keeper Gabaski pulled off a crucial save to deny Bailly from 12 yards.

Eric Bailly penalty in the third round of kicks was saved, and the miss proved costly for Ivory Coast

Afterwards, Beaumelle was full of praise for Bailly's attitude.

"What he has done during the competition, he has shown that he is a big champion," the Frenchman added.

"All the big champions miss penalties, I have so many examples.

"I think the goalkeeper did well. He saved two or three chances in extra-time and saved the penalty from Eric.

"You know, when you lose on penalties you have nothing else to say. I am very sad for the boys because my feeling was we could go very far in this competition."

Elephants must 'accept exit'

Ivory Coast had beaten defending champions Algeria 3-1 to top their Nations Cup group in Cameroon and had looked capable of extending their bid for a third continental crown.

Their encounter with Egypt in Cameroon on Wednesday was a close game and the nature of the defeat left Beaumelle "sad and disappointed".

"I think it was a very balanced game," he said.

"Each team got opportunities and deserved to score, it was 50-50 but a very good game. When you go to a penalty shoot-out it is hard.

"We didn't want to stop like that. When you lose sometimes you prefer to lose because the opponent is better but we feel like we deserved to go through like Egypt.

"But it is football and we have to accept it."

Beaumelle took charge of Ivory Coast in March 2020, having been assistant when the side won the 2015 Nations Cup on penalties.

The Elephants had previously lost two finals on spot-kicks, against Egypt in 2006 and Zambia in 2012, and were also knocked out of the 2019 tournament on penalties by Algeria in the quarter-finals.

The West Africans have failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, having been eliminated by Cameroon in November, yet Ivory Coast but will host the next Nations Cup in 2023.

Beaumelle says it is "too early to talk about" their potential challenge on home soil next year but believes his side have "a great future".

Meanwhile, the 43-year-old remains unsure of his own future.

"I don't want to talk about myself. I don't want to talk about my contract," he said.

"In my mind I am still in the game and I need two or three days to cool down and we'll see what is going to happen."

Source: BBC

Almost 50,000 Nigerians have signed a petition calling for an end to international English language tests that many see as unfair.
The mostly young petitioners are discussing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a test of English-language proficiency for non-native English-language speakers which is mostly managed by the British Council.
The petitioners argue that since English is Nigeria’s official language and the first language for many people here – a legacy of British colonial rule – the country should be exempt from the test.
The $200 (£151) test has a two-year validity and is mandatory for those that want to study in the UK, parts of Europe and the US.
Many people are wondering why the test expires after two years and consider it exploitative.
Others like this Twitter user want the validity period of the test extended:
The campaign seems to be spearheaded by Ebenezar Wikina, an open-source advocate, who tweeted on Wednesday that he has received a response from the UK home office, three months after writing to them:
Source: BBC

Zambia’s Annual inflation rate for January has decreased to 15.1 percent from last month’s 16.4 percent.

Zambia Statistics Agency -ZAMSTATS- Interim Statistician General MULENGA MUSEPA says the decrease means that prices of goods and services decreased by 15.1 percent between January 2022 and January 2021.

Mr. MUSEPA also attributes the slowdown in annual inflation to favourable price movements in food items.

He was speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka today.

Mr. MUSEPA has pointed at food items such as meat, fish, dry foods and fruits as being those whose prices dropped.

And, Mr. MUSEPA has revealed that Zambia’s cumulative trade from January
to December last year was 359.4 billion kwacha compared to 242.3 billion kwacha recorded the same period in 2020.

He said this shows that country’s trade levels rose by 48.3 percent increase.

 

Source: ZNBC

The Catalan regional parliament has formally pardoned hundreds of women executed for witchcraft between the 15th and 18th centuries.

MPs passed a resolution by a large majority to rehabilitate the memory of more than 700 women who were tortured and put to death.

Spanish historians have discovered that Catalonia was one of the first regions in Europe to carry out witch hunts.

It was also considered one of the worst areas for executions.

“We have recently discovered the names of more than 700 women who were persecuted, tortured and executed between the 15th and 18th centuries,” said the groups behind the resolution.

Witches were often blamed for the sudden death of children or for poor harvests, according to Pau Castell, a professor of modern history at the University of Barcelona.

Pro-independence and left-wing groups say the women were “victims of misogynistic persecution” and want their memory honoured by naming streets after them.

Tens of thousands of mostly women are believed to have been condemned to death for witchcraft across Europe.

The move follows similar initiatives in Scotland, Switzerland and Norway.

“Before they called us witches, now they call us ‘feminazis’ or hysterical or sexually frustrated. Before they carried out witch hunts, now we call them femicides,” said regional deputy Jenn Diaz of the ruling ERC, according to the AFP news agency.

 

Source: (BBC)

Small and Medium Enterprise Minister, Elias Mubanga has encouraged the youth to team up and form companies.

Mr Mubanga says his ministry is ready to fully encourage and support young people with entrepreneural minds.

Speaking when he toured Vox water processing company in Chongwe area, Mr Mubanga praised management at the plant, which is Zambian owned.

He said his ministry is ready to support the water plant which will soon start manufacturing medical syringes to be supplied in Zambian hospitals and for export.

Mr. Mubanga said government will help the company to secure the markets for its products.

And Vox plant processing plant Director, Nathan Chulu expressed happiness with the Minister’s visit to the plant.

 

Source: ZNBC

Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority -ZAMRA Director General Bernice Mwale and Principal Regulatory Officer Brian Kabika have been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission -ACC on charges of corrupt practices linked to Honey Bee Pharmacy License.

Mr. Mwale and Mr. Kabika, whilst acting together allegedly failed to comply with applicable procedures and regulations in the processing of the Honey Bee Pharmacy License.

The two have been incidentally charged with wilful failure to comply with Applicable Law and Procedure.

They have, however, been released on Police bond. .

This is contained in a statement released to ZNBC News in Lusaka today by ACC Public Relations Manager Queen Chibwe.

Meanwhile, the Kasama Magistrate Court has sent a Ndola business man to jail for four years after convicting him of corruption.

Albert Nkonde, 39, was charged of Corrupt Practice in defiance of Section 19 sub-section two of the ACC Act, having tendered five thousand Kwacha before a female police officer in Kasama as gratification to release his three impounded mother vehicles.

The gratification was executed on unkown dates but between February 01 and 28, 2021.

 

Source: ZNBC

Kenyans are mourning a popular football fan who painted his body during matches.

Isaac Juma was hacked to death at his hometown in western Kenya on Wednesday night, local media report.

Mr Juma was known for using his body as a canvas during national and local teams' matches.

He had in the past travelled out of the country with the national team.

During a 2018 interview with local Citizen TV, he said he hoped the Kenyan team would qualify for the Afcon games that are currently going on in Cameroon.

Kenyans online have eulogised Kenya One, as he was popularly referred to by his fans.

"You were a gem, jovial and entertaining," Abu Rumi tweeted.

"We will truly miss your unwavering support for Kenyan football, Omwami. You were a devoted follower! Fare thee well!," @SallyBolo wrote.

Source: BBC

Egypt beat Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties to reach the quarter-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon following a 0-0 draw.

The North Africans got the upper hand in the shoot-out when substitute keeper Gabaski saved Eric Bailly's effort in the third round of spot-kicks.

And Pharaohs captain Mohamed Salah netted the decisive penalty to send the record seven-time champions through.

Egypt will face Morocco in the last eight in Yaounde on Sunday (16:00 GMT).

The finale was somewhat harsh on Manchester United defender Bailly, who had performed superbly at the back while sporting a rugby scrum cap on his return from a head injury.

Yet he took a short run-up for his penalty and placed his effort too close to Gabaski, who dived to his right and stuck out his left hand to push the ball onto the bar.

The Zamalek keeper had come on right at the end of the second half after Mohamed El Shenawy picked up a leg injury, and may well start against Morocco depending on the extent of the injury suffered by Egypt's number one.

Source: BBC

Goalkeeper Jesus Owono was Equatorial Guinea's hero as they shocked Mali in a penalty shootout to reach the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Owono, 20, saved twice in the shootout to help them go through 6-5 on spot-kicks after a 0-0 draw.

Initially, the referee indicated the decisive save from Falaye Sacko's effort needed to be retaken, but a VAR check showed Owono's foot was still on the line.

Equatorial Guinea play Senegal next.

Mali, 61 places higher in the world rankings than their opponents, had the better chances but were frustrated by another resilient Equatorial Guinea performance.

A high-tempo but untidy first half saw Mali's Amadou Haidara have the best chance when the RB Leipzig star - who has been linked with a move to the Premier League - was only able to scuff a weak shot from close range.

Five minutes before the break, the Eagles were awarded a penalty when Moussa Doumbia clashed with Equatorial Guinea's Josete Miranda.

But referee Bakary Gassama reversed his decision when he viewed the incident on the touchline monitor.

Mali improved further in the second period and Red Bull Salzburg's Mohamed Camara spurned another opportunity in the 56th minute.

After great work from Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma on the right, Camara got the ball, but fired over from close to the penalty spot.

Substitute Moussa Djenepo also came close to putting the Mali in front but his powerful effort was deflected just wide.

Equatorial Guinea, who inflicted a first defeat in 36 games on defending champions Algeria in the group stage, rarely threatened at the other end.

But former Middlesbrough and Birmingham defender Emilio Nsue came on as a sub for them with an hour to go and played an increasingly influential role.

He curled a shot over in the last moments of normal time and was a constant menace to the Mali defence in the extra period.

Mali keeper Ibrahim Mounkouro was forced into a rare save when Basilio Ndong struck from distance.

But one shot on target from each team in 120 minutes of football told the story, and it came to penalties to decide who would go through to face Sadio Mane and Co in Douala on Sunday in the last eight.

Nsue blazed the first kick over the bar, but Mali also missed through Massadio Haidara, and both keepers then made saves in the sequence to take it to sudden death.

Mali's Sacko needed to score to keep his team in it, but Owono dived low to make a fine stop.

Celebrations were held up for a few moments as the VAR check took place, but then Equatorial Guinea - who reached the semi-finals back in 2015 when they hosted the tournament - had their victory confirmed.

It was a bitter disappointment for favourites Mali, who had been the better team throughout, but failed to make their quality and opportunities count.

Home TeamMaliAway TeamEquatorial Guinea

Possession

Home58%

Away42%

Shots

Home14

Away9

Shots on Target

Home1

Away1

Corners

Home6

Away2

Fouls

Home11

Away31

Source: BBC

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