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EPL: Arsenal offer Arteta new contract as Man City plan for Guardiola’s replacement

 

Arsenal is ready to offer manager Mikel Arteta a new contract before this season ends, SportsMail reports.

 

Arteta will be entering the final 12 months of his current deal in June.

 

The Gunners’ hierarchy is satisfied with Arteta’s work since he replaced Unai Emery two years ago and want to keep him at the club, despite the team finishing eighth in both his seasons in charge.

 

Arsenal is confident they are making progress under the Spaniard as he builds his team around young players like Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe.

 

Arteta also played a key role in persuading players to take temporary pay cuts at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Arsenal is also conscious that the expiry date of Arteta’s contract in the summer of 2023 coincides with Pep Guardiola’s planned departure date at Manchester City, and continued improvement at the Emirates could see him emerge as a successor.

 

The 39-year-old is happy at Arsenal and will welcome the talks. Any extension would lead to an increase on his £5 million salary, with Arsenal seeking to commit Arteta to the club for two more years.

News Sports

AFCON 2021: Nigeria’s Simon, Ekong picked as CAF names official Best XI in Cameroon (Full list)

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released the official XI of the group stage of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The official starting lineup has the best eleven performers in each position after the group stage.

Nigeria is represented in the CAF first eleven by William Troost-Ekong and Moses Simon.

Midfielder Wilfred Ndidi made the bench alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Ivory Coast left-back Ghislain Konami, Egypt duo Mohamed El Shenawy and Ahmed Hegazy, Achraf Hakimi of Morocco and Sofiane Boufal, also made the XI.

Naby Keita of Mali, Yves Bissouma, Musa Barrow of Gambia and Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon completed the best XI.

In a 4-3-3 formation, the best XI are: El Shenawy; Hakimi, Troost-Ekong, Hegazy, Konan; Keita, Bissouma, Barrow; Boufal, Aboubakar, Simon

Substitutes : Andre Onana, Iban Salvador, Ali Maaloul, Abdou Diallo, Ndidi, Massadio Haidara, Karl Toko, Nouhou Tolo, Kanga, Amadou Diawara, Salah, Mane.

News

A Black Star that never shone in Cameroon

Just as the final whistle was being blown by Malian referee Boubou Traore at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium in Garoua, Comoros head coach Amir Abdou had his hands up in the air complaining to the fourth official his team were on the attack and could score a possible fourth to compound Ghana’s misery.

The Black Stars were on the ropes; bruised and battered. Milovan Rajevac on the other hand, looked on cluelessly as the 10-men Ghanaian players buried their faces in the turf exhausted. This sequence epitomised Ghana’s campaign at the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The unthinkable had happened.

40 Years of Hurt

The four-time AFCON champions had crushed out of the group stages for the first time in 16 years. In addition, this was the first time the Black Stars had failed to win at least a single game at the continental showpiece, having won at least one game at all 22 previous editions of the tournament that Ghana had qualified.

The elimination means that Ghana’s failure to win the continental showpiece will extend to 40 years. At least the team will get another opportunity to end the drought in just about 18 months’ time when the competition is hosted by neighbours Ivory Coast.

Pre-tournament, our prediction model gave Ghana an 86.3% chance of qualifying from Group C. The figure dropped drastically to 64.0 % after picking up one point in the first two games. Losing to tournament debutants Comoros – the FIFA ranked 132nd best team in the world – means the 2021 edition of the AFCON will be remembered as Ghana’s worst.

But what accounted for the lack of spark in the Black Stars in Cameroon?

The Attack That Never Was

Weeks before the tournament kick-off, Rajevac was informed that Roma forward, Felix Afena-Gyan, would not join the Ghanaian team despite receiving a call-up. It was said that the 19-year-old and technical team at the Italian giants believed it was more prudent for the teenager to decline the call-up and continue his development in Italy.

This left the Serbian coach with two listed strikers in Benjamin Tetteh and Richmond Boakye Yiadom – both of whom Rajevac didn’t trust so much, as he gave them a combined 36 minutes this AFCON.

A lot of responsibility was left on Jordan Ayew and his older brother Andre Ayew going forward. The pair played a combined 469 minutes in the tournament and were Rajevac’s go-to-men.

Ghana’s playing style varied in all three games. The Black Stars began their campaign against our pre-tournament favourites Morocco. In the opening game, Rajevac chose a more cautious approach against the Atlas Lions as Ghana had just 39% of possession and was very lethargic with the ball bereft on any ideas.

Ghana AFCON 2021

The second game brought immediate improvement as Ghana had more control; recording 52% ball possession.

The 1,108.6 km travelled from Yaoundé to Garoua brought the Black Stars their best attacking display of the tournament – albeit forced by circumstance. Against Comoros, Ghana were very direct, had 62% possession whilst managing 21 shots despite playing the majority of the match with ten men – the issue was the quality of the shots as an expected goals (xG) tally of just 1.7 was attained.

Ghana shots AFCON 2021

Throughout the tournament, Ghana managed 32 shots in three games and only accumulated an xG of 2.35 with most of their efforts coming from distance.

Overall, in the group stage, only seven sides posted a lower expected goals total than Ghana did – including the team that finished third at their expense, Comoros (1.85). In fact, Comoros only attempted four shots on target in the group stage overall – three coming against Ghana, of which all were scored.

The Jordan Ayew Enigma

In the past two years at Crystal Palace, Jordan Ayew has predominantly been deployed as a winger, so it came as no surprise when the 30-year-old was listed in the Ghana squad…as a winger. However, it did come as a shock when Ghanaian fans saw his starting position up front in the opener against Morocco.

He was left isolated against the North Africans and failed to register a single touch in their penalty box. 

Jordan Ayew vs Morocco

In the second game versus Gabon, Jordan started on the right wing and played as a second striker in the final game against Comoros.

Could it be that Rajevac doesn’t even know the best position for the Crystal Palace player?

That might have been the case judging from how the Serbian moved him around like a pawn throughout Ghana’s stint at the tournament. Despite the lack of stability, Jordan was involved in Ghana’s build-play and contributed to more open play shot-ending sequences (7) than any Ghanaian player. He also completed all his six attempted dribbles, attempted the most open play crosses, and carried the ball for the longest distance (479.3 m).

It was clear that he was active and all over the pitch but his failure to register a single shot on target will be a major concern, especially for Rajevac who admitted he missed the experienced figure of Asamoah Gyan in his pre-match conference ahead of the Comoros game.

Ghana squad AFCON 2021

Bittersweet Campaign for Andre

When Andre Ayew’s strike from outside of the box flew into the bottom corner against Gabon, he celebrated with passion. The Al Sadd forward kept on hitting his chest as if to say he is still the man.

Indeed, he has been the man for Ghana over the years. The 32-year-old’s strike made its way into the record books, making him only the fourth player to score in six different AFCON tournaments and joining an exclusive list of legends including Samuel Eto’o, Kalusha Bwalya, and Asamoah Gyan – the man he replaced as captain in 2019.

That goal against Gabon also meant Ayew had now reached double figures for AFCON goals (10), a feat no other Ghanaian has achieved, while another landmark reached by the former Swansea City forward was the most appearances by a Ghanaian at the AFCON (35).

All these records were set during the Gabon match as Andre was enroute to leaving his mark on the tournament. He pretty much has toppled all AFCON records of his father, Abedi Pele Ayew, but the most important one remains elusive.

Since being appointed as captain of the Black Stars in 2019, Andre is yet to lead the country to silverware. In Cameroon, he was deployed in more central areas this tournament and had the most shots on target (3) for any Ghanaian player. However, his tournament crumbled after receiving a controversial red card for dangerous play on Comoros keeper Salim Ben Boina. Already 1-0 behind at the time of being sent off, Ghana had to make do with 10 vs. 11 for the remaining 65 minutes.

Before the tournament started, Gideon Mensah spoke to The Analyst about the leadership qualities of Andre.

“I think on the field you’ll see Andre as a captain and a fantastic player but when we come back to the hotel or we’re eating, you see him as one of us because he’s the one who likes to joke with everyone. He speaks a lot of languages, French, English, [and local Ghanaian languages] Ga and Twi, so it’s a good thing. You can go to him anytime, speak to him and so I think he’s been a good captain.”

His journey in Cameroon ended on a disappointing note but the Al Sadd captain assured Ghanaians the team will be back. Unfortunately, Andre is likely to miss the crucial World Cup playoffs in March due to the red card.

Defence On the Decline

In the 2019 AFCON, Ghana faced 28 shots in the group stages, conceding two goals from an xG tally of 1.99. Fast forward to 2022, the Black Stars’ quality declined in the defensive department by a considerable margin. This is in sharp contrast to the major hallmarks of Milovan Rajevac, a man who had built the reputation for building a team with outstanding defensive organization.

Ghana goals conceded AFCON 2021

In Cameroon, Rajevac’s men allowed 38 shots in the group stages, conceding five goals from an xG tally of 3.3 – exactly half of these shots (19) were from inside the penalty area.

Andy Yiadom and Baba Rahman – both of Reading – were the only survivors from the backline in 2019, while Alexander Djiku and goalkeeper Joe Wollacott made their AFCON bow in Cameroon.

In fact, the back five of Wollacott, Yiadom, Amartey, Djiku, and Rahman had only played 90 minutes together prior to the AFCON. Wollacott, who was born in England, naturalised for Ghana in 2021 and made his debut against Zimbabwe in a World Cup qualifier. According to Opta’s expected goals on target data, the Swindon Town goalkeeper faced shots that on average would have produced three goals at the AFCON but ended up conceding five.

Perhaps, the defensive setup which Rajevac stuck to all tournament is in its budding stages and can only get better. Throughout the tournament, there were various cut scenes of players expecting more from others defensively and also a bit of confusion about positions to take without the ball – most glaring signs that the team is still a work in progress.

Rahman was given more freedom to bomb forward and contributed to attacks from the left side as he was involved in six shot-ending sequences – only Jordan Ayew had more.

Partey More Dangerous When Given Freedom

One of the big conversations heading into the tournament was which position brings the best out of Thomas Partey.

Since making his debut in 2016, the Arsenal midfielder has been deployed in the number 6, 8, and 10 roles. The 28-year-old has enough armoury to play across the midfield but the question still remains where he is most potent.

In the first game against Morocco, the Arsenal man was played in a double pivot and was limited throughout the game as Ghana was pinned back by the North Africans.

His pass map below demonstrates a player who barely had any influence on the game.

Partey vs Morocco

There were improvements in the next game against Gabon with Partey getting more freedom to move around playing in a double 8 system alongside Daniel-Kofi Kyereh in a 4-3-3 formation with Baba Idrissu as the pivot. He was more adventurous and assisted Ghana’s first goal of the tournament. Rajevac kept alternating in the second half as Partey played as a number 8 and number 10 in the latter stages of the game – possibly a sign of things to come.

Partey vs Gabon

The Arsenal midfielder had his best game of the tournament against Comoros when Ghana played over 75 minutes with 10 men. Partey, playing alongside Daniel Kyereh in midfield, was more involved and drove forward at every opportunity. However, a lack of a proper defensive midfielder exposed the team in transition time and again.

Partey vs Comoros

After going a man down, Rajevac played a 3-1-2-3 formation with Partey playing in the two behind the front three. The former Atletico Madrid man showed his prowess in the air assisting Djiku’s goal.

His performance against Comoros saw him complete 39 passes – nearly equal to his previous appearances against Gabon and Morocco combined (41), while he was able to complete 26 of those in the opposition half of the pitch, more than against both Gabon (11) and Morocco (6).

Maybe things could have been different if Rajevac released the version of Partey that we witnessed versus Comoros, earlier in the tournament.

A Future with Hope

After a humiliating exit from the group stages, focus shifts onto a rebuilding process. With Ghana sending 17 tournament debutants to Cameroon, it is evident the process might have already been cut out for them.

Amid adversity, a few players stood out with their efforts and make a case for Rajevac to build the team around them.

Kyereh and Djiku were standout performers especially in the last game against Comoros when Ghana’s backs were against the wall. The pair had the most tackles, interceptions and recoveries combined (24) in the Ghana team during the tournament. Djiku went into every challenge like it was his last whilst Kyereh never stopped running. The latter came close to scoring directly from two set-pieces with both of Ghana’s goals coming from his corners.

Kamaldeen Sulemana may not have had the most explosive tournament but he’s still a teenager who is expected to have an excellent career. His inexperience and lack of composure showed in Cameroon but it could be a learning experience for the Rennes winger. Currently being linked with a move to Liverpool over the summer, Sulemana has the world at his feet and will play a crucial role in this rebuild.

His academy mate and close friend, Mohammed Kudus didn’t have the chance to participate in his debut AFCON tournament due to injury. Since the start of last season, he has averaged more dribbles (5.8) per 90 minutes and completed more dribbles (4.1) per 90 minutes than any other Ajax player in all competitions. Kudus, who joined the club’s mid-season training camp in Portugal, will also have a role to play if Ghana is to climb back to the pinnacle of African football.

The Ghanaian squad was filled with several talented youngsters such as Fatawu Issahaku, Abdul Mumin, Joseph Paintsil, Gideon Mensah, who are all 23 or under, while the more experienced guard of Thomas Partey, Andre Ayew, Daniel Amartey, Jordan Ayew, and Baba Rahman can also help the younger players transition.

The toughest part of a rebuild is getting the right tools which in this case is the players. Ghana has a gifted crop of players and with the right technical direction, the Black Star will shine sooner rather than later.

There is not enough time to brood over this calamitous campaign as the Black Stars have two crucial World Cup Qualifying playoff games in March 2022. The few positives must be picked up and strive to book a place in Qatar.


The Author Owuraku Ampofo is a Sports Journalist working with The Multimedia Group. He is a member of the Joy Sports team and specialises in Sports Data Journalism.

News Sports

Champions League: Chelsea players know UEFA will ban them – Tuchel

 

Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, has admitted that players yet to receive COVID-19 vaccination are ready for the “consequences”, with UEFA set to ban them from the away leg of their Champions League tie at Lille.

 

The Blues face the Ligue 1 champions at Stamford Bridge on February 22 with the return leg on March 16.

 

But France has hardened its COVID rules, stipulating that all professional athletes competing in the country must be vaccinated.

 

“They [the players] are aware of it.

 

“And at some point, everybody who is not vaccinated will face some consequences. Does that make it wrong that they are not?

 

“I’m not so sure about it. I simply don’t know, I took my decision for myself. For us isolated as a club, isolated as a football team, there can be huge consequences.

 

“For example, if players are not allowed to travel to France, this can create problems for us in not being able to use key players.

 

“We are aware of it. It is a constant noise, a constant sound,” Tuchel said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Tottenham.

News Sports

2022 World Cup play-offs: Nigeria set to discover opponents as draw holds today

 

The draw for the final round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers Africa section will take place today (Saturday).

 

Nigeria is in the hat, after they finished top of Group C in the second round to qualify.

 

The playoffs will see the Super Eagles and nine other group winners face each other in a two-legged knockout tie.

 

The five winners will fly Africa’s flag in Qatar later this year.

 

The highest-ranked teams by FIFA will be seeded and placed in the same pot. They will also play their first legs away from home.

 

Nigeria is one of the top five ranked teams on the continent and will play their first leg away from home.

 

Seeded Teams: Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria.

 

Unseeded teams: Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt, DR Congo, Mali.

News Sports

Eguavoen named best coach of AFCON group stage

 

Austin Eguavoen, Super Eagles interim head coach, has been named as the best manager of the group stage at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

 

Eguavoen was announced as the winner of the prize in a tweet posted on the Twitter page of AFCON on Friday.

The 56-year-old has overseen the impressive resurgence of the Eagles since he replaced Gernot Rohr in December 2021.

Despite restrained preparation for AFCON due to the restriction imposed by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Eguavoen’s Eagles picked up all nine maximum points from the group stage of the competition.

 

He has been praised by many of the footballers in the squad for bestowing upon them newly-fangled freedom and credited for adding a breath of fresh air to the team.

 

Eguavoen had, however, noted that Rohr should also be credited for the team’s improved performance because the Franco-German assembled “98 percent” of the squad.

 

The Super Eagles are billed to face Tunisia in the Round of 16 on Sunday.

 

In other categories of awards, Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar was named the best player in the group stage for scoring five goals.

 

Egypt’s Mohamed El Shenawy was handed the gong for the safest pair of hands throughout the group stage for conceding just one goal in three games.

 

Guinea’s Ilaix Moriba was named the best young player of the group stage. The 19-year-old FC Barcelona youth product was instrumental for Guinea as they finished second in Group B.

News Sports

BREAKING: AFCON 2021: Ghana FA fires coach, Rajevac over abysmal performance

 

Following Ghana’s unimpressive performance in the ongoing African Cup of Nations, (AFCON), the country’s Sports Ministry in an emergency meeting yesterday instructed the Ghana Football Association to sack its Serbian tactician, Milovan Rajevac, African Sports Today reported.

 

Despite the reluctance of the FA to fire Rajevac, the Ministry seems to have won the tussle on the future of the Serbian.

 

Rajevac in his first spell with the Black Stars led Ghana to the finals of the 2010 AFCON and the Quarter finals of the 2010 World Cup.

 

His second spell did not go as expected as Ghana exited the 2021 AFCON without a win, first of its kind in the history of the Black Stars.

 

It was gathered that the Ghana Football Association is expected to release a statement on the shocking development soon.

 

Details…

News

Social media reacts to Milovan’s removal as Black Stars head coach

Information reaching JoySports indicates that Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac has been removed from post.

The decision was taken after an emergency meeting between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Friday.

Social media platform, Twitter, has been chirping intensely since the news broke.

Some users are pleased by the news and have commended the Ghana Football Association for its decision.

Others have however urged that such exercise be carried out at the grass root to nip the issue of “Black Stars’ ill-performance” in the bud.

The call for Milo’s removal emerged after the abysmal performance of the senior national team at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars failed to win a single game in the group stage and exited the tournament with a point.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Football Association is yet to release an official communique announcing the removal.

Below are some tweets:

.

News Sports

AFCON 2023 qualifiers draw confirmed (Full fixtures)

The preliminary round draw for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers was conducted in Douala on Friday.

Gambia came into the ongoing edition of the tournament in Cameroon ranked among the lowest 12 teams in the continent, hence the need to pre-qualify for the next.

There will be six two-leg ties in March and the winners will join 42 other countries in a draw.

That draw will produce 12 groups with the winners and runners-up qualifying for the next tournament in Ivory Coast.

Somalia return to the Cup of Nations after a 34-year absence and will face Eswatini, who have never reached the finals.

Eritrea is another country returning to the qualifying competition after missing a number of editions — they face Botswana in a first appearance since 2008. The qualifying Matches are to be played in March

FULL DRAW:

Eritrea v Botswana

Sao Tome e Principe v Mauritius

Djibouti v South Sudan

Seychelles v Lesotho

Somalia v Eswatini

Chad v Gambia

News Sports

Messi called me a donkey – Former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher

 

Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit, Jamie Carragher, has revealed that Lionel Messi called him a “donkey” after he suggested the Argentine was not a smart signing for Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

 

Messi apparently didn’t appreciate the opinion and wasted no time in letting Carragher know his feelings.

 

“It was on Monday Night Football and I got a private message on Instagram.

 

“From the man [Messi] himself. I will not be showing private messages but he basically called me a donkey.

 

“Greatest player of all time and compared to you I was a donkey. You know, I accept that, but you’re not getting in this team,” Carragher said on Friday Night Football after Watford’s 3-0 defeat by Norwich at Vicarage Road.

 

Messi moved to PSG as a free agent, after Barca failed to register his contract with LaLiga.

 

The 34-year-old has, however, failed to shine in Ligue 1, scoring only once for PSG since he joined.

News

GFA directed to reconstitute Black Stars Management Committee; review Milovan’s technical team’s capacity

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has directed the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to reconstitute the Management Committee of the Ghana Black Stars.

The decision was taken after an emergency meeting between the Ministry and the Association on Friday, January 21.

At the meeting, the parties reviewed the performance of the Black Stars at the 2021 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations and discussed preparations towards the 2022 World Cup playoffs.

In a press statement sighted by JoyNews, the Ministry “made it clear to the GFA that the people of Ghana have lost confidence in the capacity of the current technical team of the Black Stars to deliver success.”

The GFA was therefore also directed to “review the work and capacity of the current Black Stars’ technical team, led by the head coach, Milovan Rajevac.”

Prior to the meeting, the Sports Ministry had expressed its disappointment in the senior national soccer team for its abysmal performance at the ongoing AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

The Black Stars failed to advance from the group stage in the tournament after losing to Comoros in its final game in Group C.

The team exited the tournament with a point. They also lost to Morocco in their opening game and drew with Gabon in their subsequent game.

The Sports Ministry’s directives to the Ghana Football Association come at a time when some Ghanaians are calling for the disbandment of the current Black Stars team and the removal of Milovan Rajevac as head coach.

They argue that the current state of the team is not formidable to come up against any team in the World Cup.

Although the Ministry of Youth and Sports has not followed through with public demands, the Ministry has assured the public “it will always act in the best interest of the country with the ultimate goal of improving the performance and competitiveness of our national team”.

GFA takes blame for Black Stars’ early exit

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kurt Okraku says he accepts the blame for the Black Stars’ poor performance at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Speaking on Asempa FM, Mr Okraku said: “our plans did not happen at the tournament, it is unfortunate and this is not what Ghanaians deserve. Ghanaians deserve a very very competitive team, a team that will bring glory to the country a team that will bring happiness to our people.”

The GFA President added: “It didn’t work. I’m a leader of the family, I take full responsibility but it is also our collective responsibility to remain calm to support these gallant players who have offered themselves to serve our country.

“They need support so they can grow and win trophies for Ghana. For those who were not ready to serve Ghana we cannot force them, of course, these are the players who have dedicated themselves to the national calls and who want to sacrifice even in difficulties and I’m saying this group of players were ready to sacrifice their blood for Ghana.”

News

This week on #TwitterGhana: Black Stars exit tournament, KiDi’s NAACP awards nomination and more

For up to the minute updates on trending stories and news, Twitter remains the social media platform that keeps you informed. This Week on Twitter #TwitterGhana captures the latest in music, movies, sports, entertainment and more you might have missed.

AFCON Updates: BlackStar’s shock exit from the tournament

Ghana’s Black Stars suffered a shock Group stage exit from the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after failing to win any of their three games in Cameroon. In a further upset during their final match on Tuesday against Comoros Islands, Ayew Andre received the first-ever red card of a #TeamGhana Captain at AFCON. This left the Black Stars with ten men for the rest of the match which they eventually lost 3-2. 

As expected, this elimination received lots of reactions from football fans across the continent, including sports journalist Oti Adjei who Tweeted his disappointment.

Juliet Bawuah whose #AFCONwithJuliet Spaces have kept fans up to date on the latest AFCON commentary also Tweeted about the loss.

Sports channel3SportsGh, asked fans in a Tweet if the red card was a fair call? What’s your take? Share your opinion using the hashtag #AFCON2021

Thomas Partey back in London after BlackStars exit AFCON 

Thomas Partey picked up two yellow cards in less than ten minutes, in the latter stages of Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat against Liverpool! This follows his return to the Premier League side, after being called back by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, in the aftermath of Ghana’s exit from AFCON – marking a miserable week for the star midfielder. GhanaWeb confirmed his return to London as seen in this Tweet, but Partey will now miss Sunday’s clash with Burnley. Read all the comments about his return to Arsenal here.

KiDi’s ‘Touch it’ gets first global nominations at NAACP awards

Multiple award-winning artiste KiDi Music has earned his first international award nomination at the 2022 edition of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Awards, with his hit song ‘Touch it’. The song, which debuted on May 6, 2021, ahead of the release of his hotly anticipated second album, “The Golden Boy”, was nominated in the Outstanding International Song category. Here is a Tweet from NAAACP Image Award congratulating the outstanding nominees, and KiDi also acknowledging the nomination with a Tweet.

#TweetItIntoExistence Affirmation Tweets take Twitter by storm

On Tuesday, people across Canada and the U.S. woke up to see billboards featuring Tweets from celebrities expressing hopes and dreams prior to their goals being achieved. Starting a thread with a Tweet captioned, “If you can dream it, Tweet It”, people on Twitter were encouraged to express their own dreams and goals. Taking a cue from the campaign, Ivy Barley, Ghanaian host of the popular tech-focused Spaces with Ivy, put out a Tweet expressing a desire to host Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on one of her Spaces.

He responded with a Tweet affirming his interest, which received an overwhelmingly positive response! Follow the hashtag #TweetItIntoExistence for more wholesome and affirming Tweets.

Why Waakye Trended on Wednesday

#Waakye was trending on Wednesday after the French Ambassador to Ghana’s Twitter page Tweeted a photo of her buying a pack of the favourite dish at Makola. This was well received with some humorous reactions from popular Tweeters like Kaly Jay.

 @Twitter remains your official source for what’s happening!

News

Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac sacked

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has sacked Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac.

After supervising Ghana’s woeful performance in the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon, the Serbian has been relieved of his duties.

This comes after the Sports Ministry directed GFA to reconstitute the Management Committee of the Ghana Black Stars.

The decision follows an emergency meeting between the Ministry and the Association on Friday.

At the meeting, they reviewed the Stars’ performance at the AFCON 2021 and discussed preparations for the 2022 World Cup playoffs.

In a press statement sighted by JoyNews, the Ministry “made it clear to the GFA that the people of Ghana have lost confidence in the capacity of the current technical team of the Black Stars to deliver success.”

Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac sacked

The GFA was therefore also directed to “review the work and capacity of the current Black Stars’ technical team, led by the head coach, Milovan Rajevac.”

According to Joy Sports, the GFA at the meeting was hesitant about axing the Serbian particularly because of the severance fee the country is liable to pay – an estimated minimum of $270,000 which could rise to $370,000 if a sign-on fee is included.

Before the meeting, the Sports Ministry expressed its disappointment in the senior national soccer team for its abysmal performance at the ongoing AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

The Black Stars failed to advance from the group stage in the tournament after losing to Comoros in its final game in Group C.

The team exited the tournament with a point. They also lost to Morocco in their opening game and drew with Gabon in their subsequent game.

A statement from the Ghana Football Association announcing Milovan’s removal is expected soon.

News Sports

AFCON 2021: Alex Iwobi reveals what Nigeria must do to win trophy in Cameroon

Super Eagles midfielder, Alex Iwobi, has said that the team is focused on winning the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in Cameroon.

According to Iwobi, the team is focused firmly on winning a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title.

Super Eagles have been one of the most impressive teams of the tournament, winning all of their three group games.

Nigeria face Tunisia in a round of 16 clash on Sunday, at the Roumde Adija Stadium, Garoua on Sunday.

Iwobi, said that Nigeria are good enough to win the trophy, but must keep performing at the best level.

“Our objective is to win the title. I believe we have the quality to do that and most people now believe in us because of our performance in the group stage,” the Everton star told the Super Eagles media team.

“We are now getting to the most difficult part of the competition and we must not allow our performance to drop.

“Our fans are expecting so much from us now and we cannot afford to disappoint them. For us, it’s the trophy or nothing.”

News Sports

AFCON 2021: You will continue to be rewarded – CBN Gov, Emefiele to Super Eagles

 

The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has assured the Super Eagles of the Federal Government’s support in the team’s quest for a fourth Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Cameroon.

 

Emefiele gave the assurance when he visited the team alongside top Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials in Garoua, Cameroon, NAN reports.

 

The CBN governor commended the efforts of the Super Eagles players and officials with a call on them to continue to be patriotic.

 

“You will continue to be rewarded, but most importantly, you should see this outing as service to the nation.

 

“I can assure you that everything is being done by the government to make Nigerian youths happy.

 

“Continue to make Nigerians happy just as you have done, members of government delegation are always present and ready to give you all the support.”

News Sports

EPL: Why I may drop Ronaldo against West Ham – Rangnick

 

Manchester United interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo is an injury doubt for this weekend’s Premier League clash against West Ham.

 

According to the German, Ronaldo has a neck problem and received treatment yesterday for a couple of hours.

 

“Cristiano is a question mark because he has a problem with his neck.

 

“He received treatment yesterday for two to three hours and we will have to wait to see how he feels today,” Rangnick told a press conference on Friday.

 

This comes in a week where Ronaldo reacted angrily to being substituted by Rangnick.

 

The 36-year-old was taken off against Brentford with United leading 2-0 and replaced by Harry Maguire.

 

Ronaldo flung his bib away and could be seen arguing with Rangick minutes later.

News Sports

Nigeria vs Tunisia: Super Eagles coach, Eguavoen gives verdict on AFCON round of 16 tie

 

Super Eagles interim coach, Austine Eguavoen has given his verdict on Nigeria’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) round of 16 tie against Tunisia.

 

The Super Eagles will clash with Tunisia in a 2021 AFCON tie at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium, Garoua, on Sunday night.

 

But Eguavoen has now warned that the Super Eagles round of 16 fixture against Tunisia will be a different ball game.

 

He said that the North African side is technically very good, adding that they are fast as well.

 

“Congratulations to our team now it is clear we are playing against Tunisia, which is another North African strong team,” Eguavoen said on NFF TV.

 

“They had ups and downs in their first game which ended in dramatic fashion, they have lost two penalties, lost two games as well in open play, yesterday they lost narrowly towards the end of the game.

 

“For them, having qualified for the knockout stage, it is going to be a different ball game because at the round of 16 if you don’t get it you’re off and if you get it you’re through to the quarter-finals.

 

“It is going to be a very different game because they are technically very good and they are fast as well a typical North African team. So we will find a way to see how to counter them and come out on top at the end of the day.”

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Arsenal and Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey responds to challenging few days

Arsenal’s Thomas Partey says he will work to change his fortunes after a testing few days for club and country.

The 28-year-old came on in the 74th minute of Arsenal’s EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool and was then booked and sent off between minutes 87 and 90.

His red card came two days after he played for Ghana in a shock group-stage defeat to Comoros that eliminated them from the Africa Cup of Nations.

“I am not happy with all that happened yesterday and at Afcon,” he said.

“But I understand only with hard work things will change so I will continue to work hard to change this”.

‘I will take the critics’

Ghana had not exited at the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations since 2006. But the Black Stars failed to win any of their three games in this year’s tournament. Their poor showing culminated in defeat to Comoros, the world’s 132-ranked team and an island nation with less than a million inhabitants.

Midfielder Partey posted his message on Instagram after his two quick-fire bookings added to Arsenal’s misery as they lost 2-0 on the night and on aggregate against Liverpool.

“I am responsible for anything that happened and will take all the critics,” added Partey, who joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid for £45.3m in 2020.

“I should be more intelligent not to get into a challenge when already booked. But this is my personality, I like to fight for every ball.

“I love this club and I love my country even though sometimes things don’t happen how I wanted. I will continue to work harder and make things right.

“I will continue to give my all for the team when I am on the field of play because this is my life and this is what I choose to do.”

News Sports

AFCON 2021: Highest goal scorers ahead of Round of 16 matches (Top 15)

 

Cameroon captain, Vincent Aboubakar, is currently leading the race for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Golden Boot.

 

Aboubakar currently has five goals from three fixtures played following the conclusion of the group stage matches on Thursday ahead of the AFCON Round of 16 fixtures, which will commence on Sunday.

 

He has two goals ahead of the second position, Mali’s Ibrahima Kone.

 

AFCON 2021 top scorers ahead of Round of 16 games:

 

5 goals: Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon).

 

3 goals: Ibrahima Kone (Mali).

 

2 goals: Ahmed Mongi (Comoros), Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Ablie Jallow (Gambia), Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast), Gabadinho Mhango (Malawi), Jim Allevinah (Gabon), Sofiane Boufal (Morocco), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon).

 

1 goal: Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Taiwo Awoniyi (Nigeria), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Moses Simon (Nigeria), Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria).

News Sports

AFCON 2022 Hockey: Toothless Ghana crash out of tournament

Ghana have been kicked out of the Africa Cup of Nations after failing to beat Nigeria in a must-win game in Accra.

The Golden Sticks entered the encounter with one point from two games and needed to beat a Nigerian side that needed just a draw to make it to the next round of the competition.

Ghana, who are yet to win the competition in over four decades, yet again failed to produce a result against their West Africa neighbours and were knocked out of the AFCON in disappointing fashion.

The result means Nigeria will face defending champions South Africa in the semi-final while Egypt take on Kenya in the other semi-final game.

Despite the disappointment of the male team, the females put smiles on the faces of supporters as they made it to the women’s semi-final of the tournament following a comfortable 4-0 victory over Zambia.

The four-quarter game proved to be a very entertaining one but was largely one-sided as Zambia posed no threat to Ghana over the four quarters.

The fifth match of the day was between defending champions, South Africa and Uganda.

South Africa joined Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya in the semi-finals as they showed why they are the champions, demolishing Uganda 10-0 to become the only side with a hundred per cent record in the tournament.

This is the eleventh edition and eighth edition for the men and women respectively.

Winners from the Men’s category will qualify for the World Cup in Rourkela, India on January 2023, while the winner from the Women’s division will also make it to Terrassa, Spain and Amstelveen, the Netherlands from July 1 to July 17, 2022.

Below are the fixtures for the semi-finals

Men (January 22, 2022)
• South Africa vs Nigeria
• Egypt vs Kenya

Women
• South vs Kenya (Jan. 21, 2022)
• Ghana vs Zimbabwe (Jan. 22, 2022)