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African National Teams set To Resume Playing In October

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African national teams are set to resume playing this October, according to CAF, with a nine-day window available for friendly matches ahead of 2022 Cup of Nations qualifiers one month later.

No international matches have been possible in the continent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, leading to new dates for both Cup of Nations and 2022 World Cup eliminators.

Clubs have also been badly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with the semi-finals and finals of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, originally set for May, yet to be played.

Here, AFP Sport updates the positions regarding the main national team and club competitions in Africa.

World Cup

The two-leg preliminary round was completed last year before the pandemic took hold, leaving 40 contenders for five places at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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African champions Algeria, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia are seeded to win the 10 first-round groups.

Only Mali among the 10 favourites have not qualified before and the Eagles could face strong competition from Uganda and Kenya in Group D for the single final-round place.

Dates: First round: May 31-June 15 2021, Aug 30-Sept 7, Oct 4-12 (all two matchdays); play-offs: Nov 8-16 (two legs)

Africa Cup of Nations

Qualifying for the 2022 tournament in Cameroon will resume this November with two matchdays and be completed with two further rounds next March.

The biggest surprise during the opening two matchdays was the lacklustre form of record seven-time champions Egypt, who could only draw with Kenya and the Comoros.

Those setbacks left the Pharaohs, whose star is Liverpool sharpshooter Mohamed Salah, third in the Group G table ahead of home and away clashes with unpredictable Togo this year.

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Dates: Nov 9-17, Mar 22-30 2021 (both two matchdays)

African Nations Championship

The biennial tournament for footballers playing in their country of birth was among the first victims of coronavirus and has been rescheduled for January in Cameroon.

Four venues in Douala, Limbe and Yaounde will host the 16 teams over 22 days with Morocco hoping to become the first nation to win back-to-back titles.

Togo will be the only debutants, having shocked 2019 runners-up Nigeria 4-3 on aggregate. Other casualties of regional qualifying included Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

Dates: January 2021 (dates to be announced)

CAF Champions League

The semi-finalists come from Egypt and Morocco, the first and third most successful countries in CAF club competitions with 34 and 17 titles respectively.

After considerable tinkering, CAF decided to stage two-leg semi-finals, with the venue for the single-match final dependant on who qualifies.

A Raja Casablanca-Wydad Casablanca final will be in Morocco, an Ahly-Zamalek final in Egypt and a neutral venue will be chosen should the title decider involve a club from each nation.

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Dates: Semi-finals, first legs – Sept 25/26, second legs – Oct 2/3; final – single match date, venue to be announced

CAF Confederation Cup

The format for the African equivalent of the Europa League will differ from the CAF Champions League with single matches deciding both the semi-finals and the final.

Morocco will stage the ‘final four’ tournament and two clubs from the kingdom, Renaissance Berkane and Hassania Agadir, meet at the penultimate stage.

African debutants Pyramids of Egypt are in the other semi-final against Horoya of Guinea, the only non-north African survivors in either club competition.

Dates: Semi-finals – Sept 22; final – Sept 27 (all single matches hosted by Morocco)

 

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NYCN Chairman’s Cup: Amb. Ogohi reiterate commitment to grassroots sports development

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As Newlayout whitewashed Peace Community

 

 

Chairman of the Kogi State Chapter National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN),  Ambassador Usman Ogohi has reiterate his commitment towards the growth of grassroots sports development in the state.

Amb. Ogohi in his chat with members of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Kogi State Chapter during the opening kickoff of Amb. Usman Ogohi football tournament at Aneibo field, Gadumo in Lokoja disclosed that the tournament is a beginning of several sports initiative programmes to come.

According to him, the best way of harnessing raw sports talent for the state and the country is to invest heavily into grassroots sports with the aim of catching them young and helping those making efforts on their own to find their feat.

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Ogohi further disclosed that the competition which comprises of eight teams bottling for the grand price is also targeted at engaging youth in the community to distract them and sensitize them from all forms of Anti Social vices.

Ogohi while appreciating the passion and commitment of Lokoja based street football teams and others from the 21 Local Government Areas of the State, encouraged them to keep believing in themselves as opportunities will come knocking at their doors sooner than expected.

He further reiterate his commitment towards promoting sports and other sector that would help Kogi youth grow and be comfortable with life.

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kick starting the opening match, Newlayout Football Club whitewashed, thrashed her opponent Peace Community by 5 goals to nill, with three of the goals scored in the first half of the game and two in the other half.

Speaking to members of Kogi SWAN after the opening match, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Comrade Femi Abiodun called on youths to shun Cultism and other vices which according to him has become one of the greatest negative bane in the society.

He appealed to stakeholders in the sports sector and corporate organizations in the state to support the National Youth Council in the State so as to enable them sustain the tournament annually and extended to other committees in the state capital and across the LG.

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Boom! Anthony Joshua Lost WBO, WBA, IBF Heavyweight Titles to Usyk

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Boom! Anthony Joshua Lost WBO, WBA, IBF Heavyweight Titles to Usyk

 

By: Joshua Adinoyi

It was a thrilling fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium outside of London on Saturday night as Briton’s Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine threw tactical punches on one another while contesting for the WBO, WBA and IBF titles earlier held by Joshua.

Joshua, 31, despite fighting in front of nearly 70,000 supporters at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, was unable to meet up his pre-match promise of retaining the titles as his opponent, Usyk 34, ripped him of the unified heavyweight titles.

Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) claimed Joshua’s WBA (Super), WBO and IBF titles by using a combination of footwork, head movement and a sharp left hand to keep Joshua off balance throughout the 12-round affair.

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With tears in his eyes as he raised his arms in the center of the ring after an unanimous decision, the Ukrainian Boxer said: “This means much for me, a lot, the fight went exactly the way I expected it to go. There were a couple of moments when Anthony pushed me hard but nothing special

“I have been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight, it took me some half a year and I didn’t see my family for so long

“I miss my children and I miss watching them play. I want to go home and be happy and I’m not thinking about the rematch at this second”

Usyk dominated from the first bell, as score card of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 were reward after a sensational display from the unbeaten Ukrainian, who became only the third fighter after Evander Holyfield and David Haye to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.

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Oleksandr Usyk’s extraordinary victory over Anthony Joshua earned him the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight world titles.

Joshua, who left the ring with a swollen right eye did not speak in the aftermath as he sought medical care.

His promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport ultimately believes his fighter will seek a second bout.

“The rematch is going to be tough but there is nowhere to hide because AJ is at the stage of his career where he wants his world championship and he’s already talking about it now”

Meanehile, minutes after the match, Joshua tweeted via his official account “Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you!

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“London I love you & thank you each and every time!”

Joshua, 31, was supposed to face WBC and lineal champion Tyson Fury this summer but plans were canceled after Deontay Wilder won a court injunction to invoke a trilogy bout against Fury for Oct. 9.

Instead of setting up plans for an all-England summit for the undisputed title, the next development besides Wilder-Fury III will be whether Joshua accepts his own contractually obligated rematch against Usyk.

Some fans of Anthony Joshua had already taken to the social media that the Heavyweight star will seek for a rematch where he will reclaim his honor as he earlier did with Andy Ruiz Jnr.

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PARENT TEACHERS ASSOCIATION OF ST. CLEMENT MINOR SEMINARY LOKOJA, COMMISSIONS NEWLY BUILT OUTDOOR BADMINTON COURT

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PARENT TEACHERS ASSOCIATION OF ST. CLEMENT MINOR SEMINARY LOKOJA, COMMISSIONS NEWLY BUILT OUTDOOR BADMINTON COURT

.……Charges Parents to Encourage their Wards to Take up Sporting Activities

 

By: Godwin Wambebe

The Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of the Saint Clement Minor Seminary, Adankolo Lokoja has commissioned a standard outdoor badminton court it built for the use of students of the seminary.

Kogi State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Idris Musa, who was represented at the event by a Director in the Ministry, Mr. David Ogazuma, thanked the PTA for the laudable project which is aimed at improving the game of badminton in the school and the State in general.

He said the Ministry was expecting some sporting equipment for the National Youths Games, promising that the school will be given some badminton equipment from the Ministry at delivery.

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Speaking, Chairman of the PTA of the School, Mr. Bayo Ilori, said the dwindling fortune of the sport in the State and the interest shown by student of the seminary in the sport, made the Association to embark on the construction of the court so as to encourage them and also to move the game out of doldrums of badminton obscurity back into reckoning.

Mr. Bayo, a Retired National Badminton player and an international certified badminton umpire, noted that the court was built with standard materials that will stand the test of time and also shapen the youngsters into becoming national and prominent badminton stars in the nearest future.

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The PTA Chairman narrates that “the game of badminton was introduced to me in my secondary school days and since then, I never looked back

“I grew up in the Game not only as a nationally recognized and accomplished player but also an international cerified umpire of the game

“So when I had the opportunity as the PTA Chairman of this school, I decided to replicate same by giving opportunity to these youngsters to also build themselves by constructing a standard court where they will be trained from the grassroots and they (the stakeholders) will in turn tap from the good talents

“We sent the school’s game master to attend a BWF international course shuttle time in Lagos organized by the Nigeria Badminton Federation and with that knowledge acquired and the newly built court, they will tap into the abundant talent that abounds in these kids and get future stars”

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My simple charge to parents is that they should please, allow their children/wards take part in sporting activities irrespective of the sports they wish to take part in, you never can tell, it maybe God’s plan for them” he added.

The ceremony which was declared open by the Assistant Rector of the Seminary, Rev. Father Bernard Ologunagba, featured the Commissioning of the outdoor court by the representative of the Kogi State Commissioner of Youth and Sports Development, Tour of Badminton Court, Exhibition Match where a young promising talent, Master Michael Ilori became the cynosure of all eyes, amongst others.

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