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Africa Cup of Nations

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GFA maintain Otto Addo as head coach; Boateng, Dramani and Hughton also stay at post

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) have confirmed the re-appointment of Otto Addo as the head coach of the Black Stars ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Just the like the technical team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier playoff against Nigeria, Addo will be assisted by George Boateng, Mas-Ud Didi Dramani while Chris Hughton will continue to work as the technical advisor for the team.

The four coaches, who played a key role to Ghana securing qualification to the global showpiece will stay on the technical team of the Black Stars as they prepare for the AFCON qualifiers as well as the World Cup to be staged in Qatar.

According to the Ghana FA, the decision to maintain the four comes after various engagements with all relevant stakeholders as well as the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Addo, Boateng, Dramani and Hughton will stay on as the technical team until December 2022. 

They are expected to name their squad in the coming days for the qualifiers against Madagascar and Central African Republic. 

News Sports

CAF expels Kenya, Zimbabwe from AFCON 2023 qualifiers

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that both the Harambee Star, Kenya and Warriors of Zimbabwe will not participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The race for Cote d’Ivoire 2023 will begin on June 1.

Kenya and Zimbabwe were suspended by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) for political interference.

They were included in the official draw by CAF on the condition that the suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first games in the qualifiers.

The two countries has, however, failed to meet the criteria required by the FIFA Congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension.

“The two associations: Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) will be considered losers and eliminated from the competition,”CAF said in a statement on their official website.

“Groups C and K will be composed only of three teams and the order of the matches will be maintained in accordance with the match schedule that has been communicated to the teams after the draw.

“The first and runner-up teams of those groups will qualify to the final tournament,” it said.

News Sports

GFA at final stages to maintain quartet as technical team – Prosper Harrison Addo

The General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association, Prosper Harrison Addo, says positive talks with the entourages of Otto Addo, Chris Hughton, George Boateng and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani have been held to keep them for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The quartet secured Ghana’s qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup after being in the dugouts as the interim technical team for the playoff game against Nigeria in March.

After qualification, there have been calls to main the four for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers as well as the World Cup, including a plea by Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to the GFA president to do everything possible to keep the team together.

Speaking exclusively to JoySports, Harrison Addo revealed that talks are in the final stages to confirm the quartet as the technical team for the Black Stars ahead of the qualifiers.

“The quartet that delivered us the qualification will be kept together. So we need to work on the modalities of they staying with the team to go to the World Cup and so we have been working on it, engaging them positively and they have been positive so far” he said.

“We are in the final stages of the engagements. The processes are such that you do the engagements and then liaise with the ministry [Youth and Sports] and then you get the greenlight to move on. Be rest assured that the quartet will join us. They will plan and execute the upcoming matches as well as the four-nation tournament [in Japan].

“They will also pick up in September and November we go to the World Cup.”

The Black Stars will begin their AFCON qualifiers next month against Madagascar.

News Sports

GFA at final stages to maintain quartet as technical team – Prosper Harrison Addo

The General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association, Prosper Harrison Addo, there have been positive talks with the entourages of Otto Addo, Chris Hughton, George Boateng and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani to keep them for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The quartet secured Ghana’s qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup after being in the dugouts as the interim technical team for the playoff game against Nigeria in March.

After qualification, there have been calls to main the four for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers as well as the World Cup, including a plea by Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to the GFA president to do everything possible to keep the team together.

Speaking exclusively to JoySports, Harrison Addo revealed that talks are in the final stages to confirm the quartet as the technical team for the Black Stars ahead of the qualifiers.

“The quartet that delivered us the qualification will be kept together. So we need to work on the modalities of they staying with the team to go to the World Cup and so we have been working on it, engaging them positively and they have been positive so far” he said.

“We are in the final stages of the engagements. The processes are such that you do the engagements and then liaise with the ministry [Youth and Sports] and then you get the greenlight to move on. Be rest assured that the quartet will join us. They will plan and execute the upcoming matches as well as the four-nation tournament [in Japan].

“They will also pick up in September and November we go to the World Cup.”

The Black Stars will begin their AFCON qualifiers next month against Madagascar.

News Sports

UEL: Super Eagles trio target Euro glory with Rangers

Super Eagles trio: Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey will look to help Glasgow Rangers win the UEFA Europa League when they take on Bundesliga club, Eintracht Frankfurt in the final at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, Seville on Wednesday night (today).

Rangers last won an European title 50 years ago and the trio have a chance to be part of history.

The victory over Russian outfit Dynamo Moscow in 1972 was achieved in Spain, at the magnificent Nou Camp, Barcelona. So, perhaps Rangers have fate on their side.

The Gers will also be coming up against a German opposition for the third time in the competition this season.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side defeated highly-fancied Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 32, and knocked out RB Leipzig in the semi-final.

Aribo, Bassey, and Balogun have been key performers for Rangers in the competition.

Aribo, who struggled a bit after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations in January, seems back to his best.

The midfielder played in an unfamiliar centre-forward role in both legs of the semi-final clash against Leipzig following injury to talismanic striker, Alfredo Morelos.

Calvin, who was voted Rangers’ Young Player of the Season has enjoyed a more successful campaign with the dethroned Scottish Premiership champions.

The young defender, who is originally a left-back, thrived in the centre-back position following an injury crisis earlier in the campaign.

For Balogun, this could be his penultimate appearance for Rangers, with his contract set to expire at the end of June.

Rangers will also take on Hearts in the final of the Scottish Cup at the Hampden Park on Sunday.

News Sports

2023 AFCONQ: Dauda Mohammed set for maiden Black Stars call-up

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has invited FC Cartagena attacker, Dauda Mohammed, to play in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Madagascar and the Central African Republic next month, according to his club.

Dauda has been in blistering form since moving to Spain, registering nine goals and providing one assist in the Spanish second tier.

The forward will also be part of the Black Stars side for international friendlies against Japan and Chile in Japan later next month.

The 24-year-old, on loan from Anderlecht, has started 27 out of the 35 league games that Cartagena has played in La Liga 2.

News Sports

AFCON qualifiers: Mauritius wins appeal against Sao Tomé, to play Nigeria

 

Mauritius has won the appeal against Sao Tomé and Príncipe at the CAF disciplinary committee and will join Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau in Group A of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

 

According to a statement released by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) on Monday, Samson Adamu, CAF’s director of competition, confirmed the decision of the continental football governing body on the case.

 

Sao Tome had won the preliminary tie 4-3 0n aggregate over Mauritius, but the losing side appealed the case before CAF.

 

Mauritius complained that Sao Tome’s Luis Leal had not followed the CAF’s COVID-19 protocol.

 

They added that the Bolivia-based striker, who scored the only goal in the first leg of the tie, was not eligible to play against them because his PCR test dated more than 72 hours before the match, infringing CAF protocol that tests must be from 48 hours.

 

“The Director of Competitions of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Samson Adamu, has confirmed to thenff.com that Mauritius won a case it filed against Sao Tomé and Príncipe concerning their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary qualifying fixture, and will therefore join the combatants in Group A of the qualification series starting next month,” the statement read.

 

“Victory for Mauritius at the CAF Disciplinary Committee means they now join Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau in Group A of the six-match phase that ends in March next year. Nigeria will play Sierra Leone in Abuja on Thursday 9th June and then play Mauritius on Monday 13th June.”

 

Jose Peseiro was recently appointed as the new head coach of the Super Eagles.

 

Peseiro is also to take over the team for the international friendly games against Mexico and Ecuador in preparation for the qualifiers.

 

News Sports

AFCON qualifiers: Mauritius wins appeal against Sao Tomé, to play Nigeria

 

Mauritius has won the appeal against Sao Tomé and Príncipe at the CAF disciplinary committee and will join Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau in Group A of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

 

According to a statement released by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) on Monday, Samson Adamu, CAF’s director of competition, confirmed the decision of the continental football governing body on the case.

 

Sao Tome had won the preliminary tie 4-3 0n aggregate over Mauritius, but the losing side appealed the case before CAF.

 

Mauritius complained that Sao Tome’s Luis Leal had not followed the CAF’s COVID-19 protocol.

 

They added that the Bolivia-based striker, who scored the only goal in the first leg of the tie, was not eligible to play against them because his PCR test dated more than 72 hours before the match, infringing CAF protocol that tests must be from 48 hours.

 

“The Director of Competitions of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Samson Adamu, has confirmed to thenff.com that Mauritius won a case it filed against Sao Tomé and Príncipe concerning their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary qualifying fixture, and will therefore join the combatants in Group A of the qualification series starting next month,” the statement read.

 

“Victory for Mauritius at the CAF Disciplinary Committee means they now join Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau in Group A of the six-match phase that ends in March next year. Nigeria will play Sierra Leone in Abuja on Thursday 9th June and then play Mauritius on Monday 13th June.”

 

Jose Peseiro was recently appointed as the new head coach of the Super Eagles.

 

Peseiro is also to take over the team for the international friendly games against Mexico and Ecuador in preparation for the qualifiers.

 

News Sports

Details of Jose Peseiro’s contract as new Super Eagles head coach revealed

 

The Nigeria Football Federation, on Sunday, confirmed Jose Peseiro as the new head coach of the national team.

 

However, according to OwnGoalNigeria, Peseiro has been handed only a one-year contract to take charge of the Super Eagles.

 

The 12-month deal is subject to renewal based on performance-related clauses.

 

It is understood the NFF has given Peseiro a short-term contract, because of their legal battle on payments with former Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr.

 

FIFA has already ordered the federation to pay Rohr the sum of $380,000 as compensation for breach of contract.

 

Peseiro’s first matches in charge will be the friendlies against Ecuador and Mexico in the US.

 

The games will be followed by the qualifiers for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

News Sports

Super Eagles: Ministry finally picks next coach from four top European managers

Nigeria has settled for Portuguese coach, Jose Peseiro as their next substantive technical adviser following the sack of Gernot Rohr.

According to Complete Sports, the sports ministry has approved the appointment of Peseiro after earlier questioning the move by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.

The Sunday Dare-led Sports Ministry had questioned the NFF’s decision to pick the Portuguese from the list containing names such as Frenchman Laurent Blanc, former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and erstwhile Netherlands defender, Philip Cocu.

Complete Sports reports that the sports ministry has now bowed to the NFF decision and has approved Peseiro’s appointment after talks with the Football body.

Details of Peseiro’s contract, including paperworks, are almost done and an announcement is expected to be made soon.

The 62-year-old was first announced by the NFF to take over the Super Eagles after the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Peseiro eventually did not take up the job after Augustine Eguavoen’s temporary appointment was extended to cover the ill-fated 2022 World Cup playoffs against the Black Stars of Ghana

His last managerial job was with the Venezuelan national team. He also managed Egyptian club Al Ahly, being his only managerial experience in Africa.

News Sports

WAFU Zone B Championship: Black Satellites need nothing but a win against Burkina Faso

The Black Satellites of Ghana will return to action in the WAFU Zone B U-20 Championship on Saturday against Burkina Faso in what could be a make-or-break game for them in the tournament.

Karim Zito’s side lost their first game of the competition to Nigeria last weekend, suffering a 2-0 defeat in Niamey.

Ghana came into the competition looking to defend the title they beat Burkina Faso two years ago to win but defeat to Nigeria and Nigeria’s 2-2 stalemate with Burkina Faso earlier this week means the Satellites have no option but to beat the  Burkinababes to advance to the semi-final stage of the competition.

Zito made a case of poor preparation as well as poor weather conditions in Niger accounting for their defeat to Nigeria but after getting used to the environment, Ghanaians will hope the U-20 side can book a place in the final four.

Ghana’s game against Burkina Faso is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at 17:00 GMT.

Finalists for the WAFU Zone B U-20 Championship will represent the zone at the 2023 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament to take place in Egypt from February 18 to March 12, 2023.

News Sports

GFA are in talks to keep current technical team – Kurt Okraku

President of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt Okraku, has confirmed the association is in talks with stakeholders to maintain the current technical team of the Black Stars, dismissing talks of a meeting with Chris Hughton for a possible head coach role.

Hughton was named as the technical advisor to the Black Stars team prior to the FIFA World Cup playoffs against Nigeria with Otto Addo being named the head coach with assistance from Mas-Ud Didi Dramani and George Boateng, also for the interim.

Following the completion of their task by the four, there are discussions about the Ghana FA maintaining them for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers as well as the World Cup, and Okraku has confirmed talks are being held to keep the current technical team.

“Rumour mongering is becoming the order of the day in football. Just to be clear, I do not have a scheduled meeting with Chris Hughton”, Kurt wrote on his official social media timeline on Thursday, May 12.

Kurt stated that the FA is in negotiations with stakeholders to keep Otto Addo together with the current team.

“The FA, having assessed the work of the technical team of the Black Stars, and having engaged all relevant stakeholders, is working to keep Otto [Addo], [Mas-Ud] Didi, George [Boateng] and Chris [Hughton] in their respective roles for all immediate assignments. Official announcement expected shortly, other need areas of the technical team that the coach has identified are being addressed,” he added.

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News Sports

South Africa angry after Morocco offer to host Liberia AFCON qualifiers

Another venue row involving Morocco is brewing, this time over qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in the Ivory Coast.    

Liberia have no international-standard stadium and Group K rivals Morocco say the west Africans can stage their three home fixtures in the kingdom.

But group rivals South Africa have cried foul, sending a letter on Thursday to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) urging them not to allow Morocco play Liberia twice at home. 

“We have been informed that Liberia intends to play their qualifying matches in Morocco, while they are with Morocco in the same group,” the South African Football Association letter said.

“South Africa opposes this arrangement, which goes against the principles of fair play as Morocco will travel less and enjoy home advantage more than anyone else in the group.

“We understand the challenges (finding international standard) stadiums present on the continent, but we advocate that this is not used to disadvantage countries or give others an unfair advantage.”

In 2022 World Cup qualifying, Morocco played their three away matches at home because Guinea-Bissau and Sudan did not have international-class venues and a coup in Guinea prevented the qualifier going ahead.

Morocco won all six matches, then defeated the Democratic Republic of Congo in a home and away play-off to clinch a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations is due to begin on May 30 with two matchdays between then and June 14. Morocco are scheduled to host South Africa and visit Liberia during that period. 

This week, Egyptian club Al Ahly asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland to overturn a CAF decision giving the 2022 CAF Champions League final hosting rights to Morocco.

CAF did not specify where in Morocco the match would be played, but the Stade Mohammed V home of Wydad Casablanca would be the obvious choice as its 65,000 capacity is the biggest in the kingdom.

The semi-final second legs are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday and Ahly and Wydad are hot favourites to reach the final.

Ahly want the May 30 title decider staged in a neutral country, while CAF said they chose Morocco because the only other bidders, Senegal, withdrew.   

The Cairo club are chasing an unprecedented third straight Champions League title and their South African coach Pitso Mosimane hopes to become the first coach to win three consecutive finals. 

News Sports

Other sporting disciplines put Ghana on the map long before football – Nii Lante Vanderpuye

Former Sports Minister, Nii Lante Vanderpuye says successive governments’ concerted investment into the game of football against other sporting disciplines is largely responsible for the framing of football as the passion of the nation.

According to him, prior to football gaining the prominence it now has in the country; it was sporting disciplines such as athletics and boxing that were earning Ghana international recognition on world sporting stages.

He stated that after Ghana won her first AFCON cup, the attention of successive governments shifted from these other disciplines to football contributing to their decline.

““I don’t agree with you saying football is the passion of the nation. We have made football the passion of the nation. If you look at our history, our sports history, other disciplines apart from football were the ones who really put Ghana on the map before football. Athletics, boxing, these other disciplines won medals for this country before we won our first Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.

Speaking on special edition of JoyNews’ PM Express hosted by George Addo Juniour, he added that the over-concentration of successive governments on the development of football has negatively impacted the development of the other sporting disciplines.

He said there is the need for a new development roadmap to bring back those other sporting disciplines into prominence.

“You and I were in this country when at a particular time we decided that in the interest of football, let’s kill athletics by moving all the tartan tracks from Accra Sports stadium for example, because we gave so much emphasis, so much interest, so much passion to football that we thought at that moment in time wwe thought athletics was not even necessary.

“That’s one of the factors that has contributed to the strengthening and sustainability of the interest that was generated with the Milo Schools and Colleges Sports, the …athletics and all the others we initiated. So systematically our own actions have affected the rest of the disciplines,” he said.

He added that “Today you and I will agree that since the construction of the Bukom boxing arena for example, boxing has seen some interest. People coming from outside the country, coming into Ghana to engage in fights. Hitherto, our boxers were always going out to Togo, to Nigeria, and other places to fight.”

The special edition of PM Express headlined by the Joy Sports team is an initiative to kickstart a campaign to get government and corporate Ghana to invest heavily in the development of sporting disciplines other than football in the country.

News Sports

Nigeria vs Mexico: Super Eagles coach announces squad for friendly match (full list)

 

Super Eagles’ First Assistant Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has listed 30 players, including eight home-based professionals, excluding the foreign-based duo of Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho, for upcoming international friendlies.

The list, released on Tuesday by the Communications Department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), however, has as usual team captain Ahmed Musa, as well as forward Moses Simon.

The list was released ahead of the international friendlies against the “A” Men National Teams of Mexico and Ecuador, scheduled for the U.S.

The Super Eagles will clash with CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico at the AT & T Stadium in Dallas, the State of Texas on May 28.

They will then head to New Jersey to tackle Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison on June 2.

Yusuf, who is also Head Coach of the CHAN and national under-23 teams, has included home-based goalkeepers Adewale Adeyinka and Ojo Olorunleke who are to support the returning Maduka Okoye.

He also called up defender Ibrahim Buhari, and forwards Victor Mbaoma and Ishaq Rafiu, with the home-based players being two goalkeepers, two defenders, two midfielders and two forwards.

NAN reports that only 25 of the 30 players will make the final list for the tour, which is preparatory for June’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying matches.

The qualifiers are against Sierra Leone in Abuja (June 9) and São Tomé & Príncipe in Marrakech, Morocco (June 13).

Full list of invited players:

Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands); Adewale Adeyinka (Akwa United); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba International FC).

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England)

Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Isa Ali (Remo Stars); Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey)

Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ibrahim Buhari (Plateau United)

Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England)

Chiamaka Madu (Rivers United); Babatunde Afeez Nosiru (Kwara United); Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey)

Samson Tijani (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria); Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England)

Cyriel Dessers (Feyenoord FC, The Netherlands); Victor Mbaoma (Enyimba FC); Ishaq Rafiu (Rivers United)

 

News Sports

Other sporting disciplines put Ghana on the map long before football – Nii Lante Vanderpuye

Former Sports Minister, Nii Lante Vanderpuye says successive governments’ concerted investment into the game of football against other sporting disciplines is largely responsible for the framing of football as the passion of the nation.

According to him, prior to football gaining the prominence it now has in the country; it was sporting disciplines such as athletics and boxing that were earning Ghana international recognition on world sporting stages.

He stated that after Ghana won her first AFCON cup, the attention of successive governments shifted from these other disciplines to football contributing to their decline.

““I don’t agree with you saying football is the passion of the nation. We have made football the passion of the nation. If you look at our history, our sports history, other disciplines apart from football were the ones who really put Ghana on the map before football. Athletics, boxing, these other disciplines won medals for this country before we won our first Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.

Speaking on special edition of JoyNews’ PM Express hosted by George Addo Juniour, he added that the over-concentration of successive governments on the development of football has negatively impacted the development of the other sporting disciplines.

He said there is the need for a new development roadmap to bring back those other sporting disciplines into prominence.

“You and I were in this country when at a particular time we decided that in the interest of football, let’s kill athletics by moving all the tartan tracks from Accra Sports stadium for example, because we gave so much emphasis, so much interest, so much passion to football that we thought at that moment in time wwe thought athletics was not even necessary.

“That’s one of the factors that has contributed to the strengthening and sustainability of the interest that was generated with the Milo Schools and Colleges Sports, the …athletics and all the others we initiated. So systematically our own actions have affected the rest of the disciplines,” he said.

He added that “Today you and I will agree that since the construction of the Bukom boxing arena for example, boxing has seen some interest. People coming from outside the country, coming into Ghana to engage in fights. Hitherto, our boxers were always going out to Togo, to Nigeria, and other places to fight.”

The special edition of PM Express headlined by the Joy Sports team is an initiative to kickstart a campaign to get government and corporate Ghana to invest heavily in the development of sporting disciplines other than football in the country.

News Sports

Nigeria vs Mexico: Super Eagles coach announces squad for friendly match (full list)

 

Super Eagles’ First Assistant Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has listed 30 players, including eight home-based professionals, excluding the foreign-based duo of Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho, for upcoming international friendlies.

The list, released on Tuesday by the Communications Department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), however, has as usual team captain Ahmed Musa, as well as forward Moses Simon.

The list was released ahead of the international friendlies against the “A” Men National Teams of Mexico and Ecuador, scheduled for the U.S.

The Super Eagles will clash with CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico at the AT & T Stadium in Dallas, the State of Texas on May 28.

They will then head to New Jersey to tackle Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison on June 2.

Yusuf, who is also Head Coach of the CHAN and national under-23 teams, has included home-based goalkeepers Adewale Adeyinka and Ojo Olorunleke who are to support the returning Maduka Okoye.

He also called up defender Ibrahim Buhari, and forwards Victor Mbaoma and Ishaq Rafiu, with the home-based players being two goalkeepers, two defenders, two midfielders and two forwards.

NAN reports that only 25 of the 30 players will make the final list for the tour, which is preparatory for June’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying matches.

The qualifiers are against Sierra Leone in Abuja (June 9) and São Tomé & Príncipe in Marrakech, Morocco (June 13).

Full list of invited players:

Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands); Adewale Adeyinka (Akwa United); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba International FC).

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England)

Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Isa Ali (Remo Stars); Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey)

Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ibrahim Buhari (Plateau United)

Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England)

Chiamaka Madu (Rivers United); Babatunde Afeez Nosiru (Kwara United); Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey)

Samson Tijani (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria); Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England)

Cyriel Dessers (Feyenoord FC, The Netherlands); Victor Mbaoma (Enyimba FC); Ishaq Rafiu (Rivers United)

 

News Sports

LeGyanDary: Asamoah Gyan writes about his famous ‘malaria goal’ against Algeria

One of the most anticipated sports autobiographies in Ghana’s recent history was launched on April 30.

‘LeGyanDary’, by former Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan, will hit the bookshelves this month after a star-studded launch led by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Joy Sports, in collaboration with King-Dawie Publishers, will give readers excerpts of the book.

Here, Gyan takes us to what he considers one of his most memorable performances as a Black Star: when, despite being very ill with malaria, his late, late goal qualified Ghana past the group stage at AFCON 2015.

*

We faced the might of Algeria on a cold evening on Friday, 23rd January, 2015. I walked onto the pitch breathless, looking pale and sickly but yet with the heart of a warrior ready to cause damage to the opponent. My body wanted to sit down but my love for the team and my country wouldn’t let me.

The game started and I had a chance but couldn’t do much with the ball. The Algerians, realising how unwell I was, kept pushing me off the ball at the least opportunity. I kept pushing on but lacked the characteristic sharpness of my play. The team tried to keep the game going by helping me in attack. Everyone realised how ineffective and out of place I was on the field.

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan strikes late to give his side victory over Algeria | Africa Cup of Nations 2015 | The Guardian

It was so bad that the coach called me and asked if I was ready to be subbed. I know how much respect Avram had for me and coupled with the fact that I was a captain, he understood the need for me to be supportive of his actions. I explained to him that I had the inkling that I would score and he should give me some more time. I felt there was something ahead that would open up a chance for me to get that all-important goal.

During halftime, things seemed gloomy but my presence in the dressing room uplifted the team. I encouraged them not to give up and push harder. I told them we had victory assured and after the 90 minutes, we would be victorious. Avram stood smiling at the passion with which I spoke. I am sure he enjoyed watching the captain exert himself this well on the other teammates. We returned to the pitch with a lot of confidence.

In the second half, things got tougher for me. I felt awful. My whole body ached, excruciatingly. I took each step with great difficulty. Running left me breathless. Each attack saw me gasping for air. The earth would be spinning at times and I had to steady myself.

Afcon-2015: Gyan produced magical performance Against Algeria | News Ghana

The Algerians had a clear chance to score but they missed after the shot went wide of the goal. It was still a goalless draw in the 90th minute. As I trudged along the pitch, I wondered if my presence had counted for nothing. Was all the pain in vain? Had I risked my life for nothing at all?

I reminded myself that I had done my bit and pushed as hard as I could and even if we drew the game, I had done my bit to ensure the team qualified. In the 92nd minute, the worth of that sacrifice was seen. Wakaso had the ball in our half. He saw me making the run. Till date, I still wonder why he took that chance to try and reach me.

I mean I had been woeful through the game and lacked any possibility of getting a goal. But he still believed in me. He hit the ball towards me. It was a long pass from our half to attack. When the ball was in mid-flight, a lot of things went through my mind. Should I chase and see what comes out of it? Or I should just let it go.

Last-gasp Asamoah Gyan seals dramatic win for Ghana - Eurosport

I was exhausted after running around for 90 minutes. But when the ball hit the ground I knew I could do it. It was a do or die affair for me. I knew this was less than a half-chance but everything was possible.

*

How did this chapter end? Click here to get the book now from the official LeGyanDary store or click here to order from BookNook.

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Aston Villa asked for compensation before releasing George Boateng – Henry Asante Twum

The communications director of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Henry Asante Twum has revealed Premier League outfit, Aston Villa, demanded compensation in order to let go of George Boateng to take up the Black Stars assistant coaching job.

The Villa U-23 coach was named as part of the technical team for the FIFA World Cup playoff games against Nigeria in March, working together with Otto Addo and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani while former Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion boss, Chris Hughton was given the nod as the Black Stars’ technical advisory role.

In an interview with Accra-based Asempa FM, Asante Twum said Villa asked the Ghana FA to pay compensation for the service of Boateng.

“Could you believe that when we contacted Aston Villa for the services of George Boateng for the Nigeria game, the club [Aston Villa] demanded compensation,” he said.

“They argued that they have developed him and if we need the service of Boateng, the FA must be ready to pay the compensation. We kept on engaging them until Boateng was released for the games.”

Ghana after securing qualification to the tournament to be staged in Qatar, are without a head coach but recent reports from the Ghana FA indicate Otto Addo is likely to be maintained as the gaffer for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers as well as the 2022 World Cup.

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Rohr confirms he could become Eagles’ next head coach

 

Gernot Rohr has revealed he is in contact with the Mali football federation (Fémafoot) to take charge of their national team, the Eagles.

 

The role has been vacant since last month, after Mohamed Magassouba was fired following Mali’s failure to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

 

The Eagles lost out to Tunisia for a place in Qatar.

 

With the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches to begin in just over a month, Mali are in the hunt for a new head coach.

 

They are drawn into Group G to play Congo, Gambia, and South Sudan.

 

Rohr is the favourite to get the job ahead of 44-year-old former Mali international Eric Chelle, and ex-Benin Republic handler Michel Dussuyer, 62.

 

“Yes, they (Mali) contacted me indeed.

 

“It’s a good team, which made an unfortunate CAN and which is also eliminated from the World Cup. I saw the two play-offs against Tunisia; they could have qualified.

 

“They have very good players; it’s an interesting team. The verdict of Fémafoot is expected in the coming days,” Rohr said, speaking on Europe 1 TV.

 

Rohr’s last job was as head coach of Nigeria. The German was sacked last December ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.