Nigerian Referee, Joseph Ogabor Banned by CAF

The Referees Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed the recommendation of its Disciplinary Board to ban Nigeria referee, Joseph Ogabor, from any official mission for one year over attempted match manipulation.
A statement on CAF website on Sunday said this was with respect to the Total CAF Confederation Cup 1/16th round first leg between Plateau United (Nigeria) and USM Alger (Algeria) played on April 7, 2018, in Lagos.

The decision follows investigations conducted and evidence submitted by the South African match officials of the match who were contacted by Ogabor to provide “technical assistance” to the Nigerian team.

Plateau United was also cautioned to refrain from the practice of hospitality gifts which tend to create wrong impression.

In a related development, the South African Football Association has been ordered to tender an apology to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

This was after investigations proved that there was no evidence of any official of the NFF being linked to an allegation of US$30,000 bribe.

CAF, NFF Celebrate Ex-Eagles Defender Taribo At 44

The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have sent birthday shoutouts to former Super Eagles defender Taribo West who turns 44 on Monday.
Both CAF and NFF took to their verified Twitter handles to send their birthday wishes to the former defender.
According to Africa’s football governing body:”Happy 44th birthday to former Nigerian international and Olympic gold medalist, Taribo West.”
While the NFF wrote:”Happy birthday to former Nigeria SuperEagles hard tackling defender, Taribo West. Thank you for the memories. Any one miss this super defence Trojan?”
West featured for  AC Milan, Inter Milan, Auxerre,  Derby County, FC Kaiserslautern and FK Partizan.
At Inter, he won the 1998 UEFA Cup (now Europa League) alongside the likes of Ronaldo De Lima of Brazil, Chile legend Ivan Zamorano, Argentina duo Javier Zanetti and Diego Simeone (current Atletico Madrid manager).
He was a member of Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles that won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
He represented Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana/Nigeria 2000 and Mali 2002 and also France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002 World Cups.

CAF Postpone Nigeria vs Seychelles To September

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed the Super Eagles match day two clash against Seychelles in the qualifying series for the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

The games earlier scheduled for March will now hold on September 3 to September 11, 2018.

For match-day three, the Super Eagles will face Libya at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on October 8 with the reverse fixture in Tripoli a week later.

Nigeria will face South Africa on match-day five in Durban between the days of November 12 to November 20.

CAF Nominates 3 Nigerians For African Players Award

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), has nominated three Nigerian players for the African player of the year’s award include overseas-based Victor Moses and William Troost-Ekong.

The Egypt-based Junior Ajayi who plays for Egyptian side Al Ahly has also been nominated for the African Player of the Year Based in Africa 2017 award.

30 players each have been nominated for the two topmost categories of the awards.

The winner of each award will be decided by votes from a selected group.

These are the Head Coaches/Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF, members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee and a panel of Media Experts.

The Awards Gala will be held on Jan. 4 in Accra, Ghana.

Nigerian energy giants Aiteo are the headline sponsors of the awards’ 2017 edition, after taking over from Nigerian telecommunications company Glo.

The awards will see players, officials and administrators who distinguished themselves exemplary during the year under review being honoured for their efforts towards the development of the game on the continent.

Following are the list of nominees in the two categories:

African Player of the Year

Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso & Lyon)
Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)
Christian Atsu (Ghana & Newcastle)
Christian Bassogog (Cameroon & Henan Jianye)
Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)
Essam El Hadary (Egypt & Al Taawoun)
Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon & Sevilla)
Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)
Jean Michel Seri (Cote d’Ivoire & Nice)
Junior Kabananga (DR Congo & Astana)
Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco & Feyenoord)
Keita Balde (Senegal & Monaco)
Khalid Boutaib (Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor)
Mbwana Samata (Tanzania & Genk)
Michael Olunga (Kenya & Girona)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto)
Naby Keita (Guinea & RB Leipzig)
Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund)
Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atletico Madrid)
Victor Moses (Nigeria & Chelsea)
Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon & Porto)
William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria & Bursaspor)
Yacine Brahimi (Algeria & Porto)
Youssef Msakni (Tunisia & Al Duhail)
Yves Bissouma (Mali & Lille)
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa

Achraf Bencharki (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
Ahmed Fathi (Egypt & Al Ahly)
Alkhaly Bangoura (Guinea & Etoile du Sahel)
Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
Aristide Bance (Burkina Faso & Al Masry)
Ayman Majid (Morocco & FUS Rabat)
Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)
Ben Malango (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
Dean Furman (South Africa & Supersport United)
Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Elsamani Saadeldin (Sudan & Al Merreikh)
Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)
Fawzi Chaouchi (Algeria & MC Alger)
Geoffrey Serunkuma (Uganda & KCCA)
Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand & Supersport)
Junior Ajayi (Nigeria & Al Ahly)
Karim Aouadhi (Tunisia & CS Sfaxien)
Mohamed Meftah (Algeria & USM Alger)
Mohamed Ounnajem (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
Muaid Ellafi (Libya & Ahly Tripoli)
Nasr Eldin Ahmed (Sudan & Hilal Obeid)
Oussama Darfalou (Algeria & USM Alger)
Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Sabelo Ndzinisa (Swaziland & Mbabane Swallows)
Saber Khalifa (Tunisia & Club Africain)
Saladin Said (Ethiopia & Saint George)
Sylvain Gbohouo (Cote d’Ivoire & TP Mazembe)
Tady Etekiama (DR Congo & AS Vita)
Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek

Morocco To Replace Kenya As CHAN Hosts

Morocco will replace Kenya as hosts of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), organisers announced Sunday.

The emergency committee of the African Football Confederation (CAF) met Saturday in Lagos and unanimously decided to give Morocco the green light ahead of Equatorial Guinea. A third candidate, Ethiopia, was not considered because it did not provide a letter of guarantee from its government.

Original hosts Kenya fell behind with five-venue preparations for the biennial 16-team tournament, which runs from January 12-February 4, leading them to be stripped of the hosting rights last month.

Morocco have not hosted a senior CAF competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations.

They were scheduled to stage the same event in 2015, but withdrew fearing visiting supporters could bring the deadly Ebola virus into the north African kingdom.

Equatorial Guinea successfully replaced Morocco at short notice, having co-hosted the Cup of Nations with Gabon three years earlier.

CHAN is restricted to home-based footballers, giving them international exposure otherwise largely denied because most African national squads are packed with professionals playing in Europe.

Pitso Laments CAF Champions League Officiating

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane congratulated Wydad Casablanca on knocking his team out of the African Champions League but said the South Africans had been the more adventurous over the two legs and bemoaned the officiating in the first leg.

Sundowns, now back home after a long trip back from North Africa, lost on post-match penalties to the Moroccan club at the end of the second leg of their quarter-final tie and join the long list of Champions League winners unable to defend their title the next year.

“In the second half, we took the game to Wydad. We saw that they could not take the stress. The stress levels were too high on them and we played in their half and piled on the pressure. You could see they could not even get the ball out of their own half, they were defending wildly. It was too much for them,” said Mosimane.

“I think we played very well. We came here not to sit back but to attack. But, unfortunately, you know football, with penalties anyone can win. We showed we wanted to play; we were not afraid. I think we lost the game in Pretoria, not in Morocco. In Pretoria, we scored three goals but the linesman flagged them offside. They were not offside. I regret the game in Pretoria, it’s very sad for football when an official makes a mistake like that.

“But I must also give Wydad credit for the way they played in the first 45 minutes. They really showed they wanted to win,” Mosimane concluded.

Kenya has Lost 2018 CHAN Hosting Rights

Kenya were stripped Saturday of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship after a CAF executive committee meeting in Accra.

The decision was announced at a media conference after a one-day meeting of the African football “cabinet” headed by president Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar.

Slow preparations for the January 12/February 4 tournament led to a decision widely anticipated for several weeks.

A CAF inspection team departed Kenya in September to report that only one of the four venues was ready to stage the tournament restricted to home-based footballers.

Some CAF officials in Accra also expressed concern about the political situation in Kenya, where recently annulled presidential elections are set to be rerun late October.

It is the second time the regional economic powerhouse has lost the right to stage a CAF competition after being replaced by South Africa as 1996 Africa Cup of Nations hosts.

Kenya would have been the second successive east African country to stage the CHAN after Rwanda in 2016.

Other hosts since the 2009 inception of the Nations Championship were the Ivory Coast, Sudan and South Africa.

There has been media speculation that Morocco or South Africa may replace Kenya.

Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia have qualified for the 2018 finals.

Kenya completed the line-up as the host nation — a position they now forfeit.


AFCON 2019: CAF Postpones Cameroon Inspection Date

Following the withdrawal of audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed an earlier scheduled eight-day inspection mission to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon.

The upcoming AFCON gmes is to host 24 teams for the first time ever as against the usual 16 teams.

The Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) president, Tombi A Roko Sidiki, was notified by Caf and responded by addressing speculation surrounding security levels for visiting inspectors.

“We observed that there was a huge rumour circulating today, indicating that the security of the members of the audit firm selected for the first inspection mission from August 20-28 in relation to the organization of the 2019 AFCON, was at stake”.

He reassured both PWC and CAF members that the Cameroon 2019 organising committee have taken all necessary measures to ensure their safety during their stay.

Rangers Football Club Eliminated From The 2017 CAF Confederation Cup

Rangers International Football Club of Enugu on Sunday faced elimination from the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup after playing a 2-2 draw with visiting Zesco United of Zambia.

Reports says that the draw at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu was in the first leg tie of their second Round of 16 fixture.

Rangers had given hopes of going to Zambia for Friday’s second leg match with a 2-0 advantage, but this was all dashed within four minutes in the second half.

Chibuzo Madu scored with a penalty kick in the 24th minute, after a foul on Osas Okoro in the penalty area, while Okoro made it 2-0 in the 47th minute.

But the visitors reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute through Omiwo Odhiambo, while Patrick Kongolo ensured they left Enugu with a 2-2 draw in the 77th minute.

The Zambians could have even made it 3-2 as Lazarous Kambole beat an offside trap to face goalkeeper Nana Bonsu, but the Ghanaian pulled off a save.

In his reaction to the match, Zesco United’s Technical Adviser, Zlatco Kirmpote, said his team came to Nigeria with the intention of beating Rangers.

“Well, that 2-2 draw is not a bad result. But it is not yet over, because we are not going to take Rangers for granted in the second leg.

“We want to qualify and, with the 2-2 draw, our job at home will be easier,’’ he said.

At the National League level, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan defeated visiting Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna 2-1 in a Match Day 18 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

It shows  that 3SC got their opening goal through Sunday Faleye in the 38th minute.

Substitute Wilfred Angel equalized for the visitors in the 75th minute.

3SC got their second goal through Ivorian substitute Assiri Emmanuel who utilized Lekan Bola’s pass in the 81st minute.

After the match, coach Abubakar Bala of Niger Tornadoes said they lost the game because they lost concentration towards the end of the game.

“This is the third time we have lost in a similar way. I mean, loss of concentration cost us at least a draw here. We lost to Lobi Stars and Sunshine Stars this same way.

“But we will work on our shortcomings,” Bala said.

Speaking also, coach Fatai Amoo of 3SC lauded his players for winning the game, saying it was a great display from both teams.

“It is a fantastic display from two great teams and I must commend the effort of my players for the outcome of today’s match,” he said.

Ahmad Ends Hayatou’s 29-Year Grip on CAF

Cameroonian Issa Hayatou’s 29-year reign as president of the Confederation of African Football has come to an end.

He was ousted today in the much anticipated election for the African footballing top post by Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad.

Ahmad, 57, won the poll 34-20 at the CAF Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The 70-year-old Cameroonian Hayatou, had been in power since 1988 and was seeking an eighth four-year term.

Prior to joining the race, Ahmad was the President of Malagasy Football Federation, and not much had been heard from him over the years because he was a silent member of Caf’s Executive Committee.

He is from a northwestern Malagasy village and is the first Madagascan to run for the presidency of a continental confederation.

Ahmad changed his stance when he revealed that he would be the one to take on Hayatou.

Hayatou had been concerned that Ahmad was pulling the strings from Southern Africa, especially when 24 African football association (FA) presidents met with FFfA president Gianni Infantino in Harare recently.

In Southern Africa, Ahmad gained the confidence of Cosafa last month, not surprisingly since its headed by Chiyangwa.

Ahmad’s progress would come as a relief to South Africa, as their association had long bemoaned the political power struggle Safa faced against the French language nations in the North of Africa.

Hayaatou’s exit seems to be welcome news to many football fans in Africa who feel it was high time left the scene.


NFA to Vote For Hayatou

Nigeria will back the candidature of incumbent, Issa Hayatou in Thursday’s Confederation of African Football (Caf) elections in Ethiopia.

This follows a directive from the Nigerian government instructing Nigeria’s delegate at the elections, Amaju Pinnick to cast his vote for the 70-year-old Camerounian who has been in charge of the Africa football-governing body for the last three decades.

Pinnick, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is a major ally of Hayatou’s main challenger, Ahmad Ahmad and has severally declared publicly that he would vote for the Malagasy.

Nigeria’s minister for Sport, Solomon Dalung has now made the disclosure that Pinnick must vote for Hayatou during a parley with the media in the country’s capital, Abuja.

“Not too long ago, the Federal Government made categorically clear, her position.

“And the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria is that in view of the fact that Cameroun has been a major key player in the war against insurgency and the involvement of Cameroun in fighting for the stability of Nigeria, it would be out of the foreign policy context of Nigeria to abandon Cameroun.

“The acting President (of Nigeria, Yemi Osibajo) has directed, and which I have communicated appropriately, that if the only vote that will come to Hayatou will be from Nigeria, Nigeria should stand with Hayatou.

“I have communicated that (to the leadership of the NFF and) that is the directive from the Federal Government,” Dalung said.

The 2017 Caf elections will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this Thursday.