Category Archives: Sports

Brazil first team to qualify for World Cup finals

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Brazil have scored 24 goals and conceded just two in their last eight games

Brazil have become the first side to seal their place at the World Cup finals in Russia next year.

Their 3-0 win over Paraguay, along with defeats for Argentina and Uruguay, means they cannot finish lower than fourth in South American qualifying.

Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona striker Neymar and Real Madrid’s Marcelo scored Brazil’s goals.

Neymar also missed a penalty as his side moved nine points clear of second-placed Colombia.

It is Brazil’s eighth straight win under coach Tite.

Paraguay, meanwhile, find themselves five points off the top four with only four games remaining.

Two-time World Cup winners Argentina face a battle to qualify for Russia with their 2-0 defeat to Bolivia leaving them fifth, a point behind Chile.

They will have to do so without forward Lionel Messi, who has been banned for four international matches for directing “insulting words” at an assistant referee during last Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chile.

Uruguay, who were beaten 2-1 by Peru in Lima on Tuesday, are third.

The team that finishes fifth will face the winners of the Oceania group in a two-legged play-off.

‘What a difference a coach makes’

“Less than a year ago, Brazil were struggling badly in World Cup qualification,” South American football expert Tim Vickery told BBC Radio 5 live. “With a third of the campaign gone they were down in sixth in South America’s table and in danger of missing out on Russia 2018.

“What a difference a coach makes. Out went the snarling Dunga and in came Tite – charismatic and intelligent – and he made an immediate impact.

“His side have put together eight consecutive wins, scoring 24 goals and conceding just two.

“The likes of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho are playing the kind of stylish brand of football that, historically, has made so many fall in love with that famous yellow shirt.

“They now just need to guard against an excess of euphoria – a lovely problem to have for a proud footballing nation, who just a few months ago were fretting about the prospect of missing out on a World Cup.”

Source: BBC

Money always a big issue in Africa – Former Black Stars video analyst

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A former member of Ghana’s coaching team, Gerard Nus, says despite money being a big issue in African football, he will consider working on the continent again.

The video analyst ended his sit-in as the Ghana Football Association settled his bonuses and has since returned to his native Spain.

He has told BBC Sport the matter is now over despite not being paid in full.

Gerard and fitness trainer Jamie Laurence had both refused to leave their hotels after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations ended in February.

According to a GFA statement, there were disagreements over who should settle payments to the hotel where the video analyst and his colleague had been staying but the situation was however resolved on Sunday enabling him to return home

Speaking to the BBC from his home in Spain, Gerard Nus said he wouldn’t have any problem coaching an African team in the future despite the last minute challenges he had with the GFA.

“Of course why not and I want to make it clear because I never had any issue with anyone and the only thing that I’m saying is not right and unfortunately I heard that before. It is about the money.

“Always the money is a big issue in Africa unfortunately of course. I will never go anywhere without a contract and all the teams I have been at Liverpool, Brighton, Australia and everywhere in Spain I’ve always had a contract.

“Even in that case, we asked for it [but] they never gave us a contract, the physical one, but they told us that everything will be fine and unfortunately it took long time to get everything settled”.

According to him, he doesn’t agree with the system because they hadn’t received their salaries for seven weeks and they were owed monies from the 2015 qualifiers.

By Nana Afrane Asante||Ghana

Lionel Messi suspended for four matches

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The FIFA Disciplinary Committee – in application of articles 77 a) and 108 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) – has reached a decision in relation to the case of Lionel Messi following an incident that occurred during the match between Argentina and Chile on 23 March 2017 as part of the qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FDC for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee. As a result, Messi will be suspended for four official matches and sanctioned with a fine of CHF 10,000.

The first match for which the sanction will apply is the next fixture in the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia between Bolivia and Argentina, which will be played today, 28 March.

The remainder of the sanction will be served over Argentina’s subsequent FIFA World Cup qualifying matches. This decision is in line with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s previous rulings in similar cases.

Both the player and the Argentinian Football Association have been informed of the decision today.

Source: FIFA

Senegal v Ivory Coast: Lamine Gassama tackled in Paris friendly pitch invasion

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Senegal player Lamine Gassama was grabbed by a fan during the incident

A friendly match between Ivory Coast and Senegal was abandoned when fans invaded the pitch in Paris.

The African sides were level at 1-1 on 88 minutes when a handful of fans broke onto the pitch, with one appearing to rugby tackle Senegal’s Lamine Gassama.

Players ran from the pitch and referee Tony Chapron opted to end the fixture.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane had given Senegal a second-half lead from the penalty spot but Bi Gohi Cyriac levelled three minutes later.

L’Equipe journalist Herve Penot was in the ground and told BBC World Service the incident “could have been very serious”.

He added: “I wouldn’t say the people were violent, it was much more about trying to be with the players. But you never know what can happen, the organisation was a disaster, it was incredible.

“After 20-30 minutes a couple of people were on the pitch, then they couldn’t start the second-half because they had people on the pitch and the referee said if it happens again he will stop the game. It was very messy.”

Local media reported a group of supporters jumped over perimeter fencing at Charlety Stadium moments before the pitch invasion started.

It is the second time in five years that a game between the two countries has been called off because of crowd disturbances.

Senegal were disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations when a riot led to a playoff between the sides being abandoned.

Source: BBC

Ref Samuel Sukah exonerated by review panel

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Referee Samuel Sukah, who officiated Asante Kotoko’s 1-0 loss to Hearts of Oak, has been freed of any charges by the Match Review Panel.

Referee Sukah’s decision to award an 82nd minute penalty to Hearts, following his call for a handball against a Kotoko defender, has generated controversy.

Many called for him to be sanctioned after the Match Day 8 fixture.

The Panel’s recommendation after a review of the video said the referee should not be suspended.

He was invited by the Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association on Wednesday, March 22 for another review.

“The Committee concluded that Referee Samuel Sukah was right in the decision he took, as the ball indeed hit the arm of Kotoko’s defender in jersey number 14,” a statement sighted by said.

“The Committee further noted that the defender took a risk in diving to block the ball, which hit his elbow.”

The Committee, therefore, approved a decision not to sanction the referee.

Meanwhile, referee Justice Adu Poku has been suspended for the rest of the season over a penalty decision in the match between WAFA and Tema Youth.

Referee Adu Poku awarded a 57th minute against Tema Youth, a call that was said to be a “bad penalty”.

WAFA won that Match Day 6 fixture on March 12 2-1.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Kwesi Nyantakyi joins Caf Prez on maiden assignment

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Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi was one of the two Executive Committee members to join the Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad in his first official assignment.

The Madagascar Football Association President, who was elected President of Caf on March 16, chaired a meeting with staff at the Confederation’s secretariat in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday, March 26.

He introduced to the old staff Hedi Hamel and Ludovic Christian Lomotsi as his Communications and Legal advisors respectively.

“This house belongs to you. CAF is yours. Let’s protect our institution. We politicians are just passing by but you have been called to stay. I have confidence in you and I am convinced that with you we will be able to succeed and develop African football more,” Dr Ahmad told the staff as he set out his vision.

He announced the resignation of General Secretary Hicham El Amrani, whose position will be occupied in the interim by Deputy General Secretary Essam Ahmed.

After the meeting the staff, the Caf President also held sectorial meetings with the different divisions including the Finance, Services, Human Resources and Competitions divisions of the Confederation.

Constant Omari Selemani was the other Executive Committee at Sunday’s meeting.


Gerard Nus grateful to Ghanaians after wage settlement

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Gerard Nus had been surcharged for the hotel bills for seven weeks

Former video analyst for the Black Stars Gerard Nus has departed Ghana for his home country of Spain after the Ghana Football Association (GFA) settled his wages over the weekend.

There has been a seven-week stand-off between the GFA and Spaniard Nus, who had accused the country’s football governing body of not paying him his wages.

A statement issued by the GFA over the weekend said “GFA also provided Mr Nus with the air ticket to ensure that he leaves on Saturday night”.

But Gerard Nus missed his flight as a result of unpaid hotel expenses.

He tweeted on Monday that he was on his way back to Europe since January 2.

Nus had joined Avram Grant’s backroom staff for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations but did not leave Ghana after the dissolution of the technical team, following Grant’s departure.

He had insisted on receiving his wages before leaving the country. The impasse had to be settled only over the weekend.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Nigeria friendly with Burkina Faso cancelled

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Burkina Faso placed 3rd at last month’s AFCON

Nigeria’s friendly with Burkina Faso on Monday in London has been called off after several Burkina Faso players failed to gain visas to enter the UK.

According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) “seven players in the Burkinabe contingent failed to secure entry visas into the United Kingdom”.

The match was scheduled as part of Nigeria’s build-up for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in June and the World Cup qualifier against Cameroon later in the year.

“The match in question is called off due to no fault of either the organisers or the Nigeria Football Federation. We will announce further plans for the Super Eagles’ preparation for these two important qualifying campaigns in due course,” top NFF official Chris Green said.

The Super Eagles drew 1-1 with Senegal on Thursday night after Kelechi Iheanacho’s late penalty cancelled out Moussa Sow’s opening goal at the Hive, home of English fourth tier side Barnet.

The NFF say they are “extremely disappointed” the match on Monday has been called off but insist that the “objectives of satisfying the technical team’s desire of squaring up against tough, physical African opposition and fostering team bonding and organisation were achieved”.

“There is no British Embassy in Ouagadougou, and officials of the Federation Burkinabe de Football had been shuttling between Accra and Ouagadougou for visa processing,” the NFF explained in a statement.

“FBF (Burkina Faso Football Federation) sources said the Embassy in Accra told them last week to proceed to Morocco (where The Stallions played the Atlas Lions on Friday) and that the visas would be issued there.

“However, the applications were still pending at the British Embassy in Morocco as at close of work on Friday, the last working day before match day in London.

“The Burkinabe Football Federation – on Friday 24 March 2017 by 7pm UK time – telephoned the match organisers [Eurodata] to say some of their players and officials were unable to secure entry visas into the United Kingdom and therefore would not be able to honour the match.”

Three-time African champions Nigeria have failed to qualify for the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.

But under new manager Gernot Rohr, who took charge in August, the Super Eagles got off to a flying start in their 2018 World Cup qualifiers, recording a 2-1 win in Zambia and a 3-1 victory at home against Algeria.

Nigeria’s six points, coupled with some surprising results in the other games, leaves them with an early four-point lead in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group ahead of Cameroon and Zambia.

Burkina Faso finished third at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and lost 2-0 to Morocco in Friday’s friendly.

Source: BBC

Legendary coach Herbert Addo passes on at 66

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Herbert Addo had coached Inter Allies before retiring in 2016

Herbert Addo is the latest Ghanaian coach to have passed away.

Coach Addo passed away on Friday, March 24 at the 37 Military Hospital after a long illness.

He had retired from coaching in 2016 after leaving Ghana Premier League side Inter Allies.

He has five league titles to his credit, having done that with four different clubs.

He has coached top Ghanaian clubs including Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak, which he was chasing for his severance package before his untimely death.

The former Black Stars and Meteors coach made history in 2009 when he led Aduana Stars from the Division One to win the Premier League in the club’s first season.

He also had coaching stints in Gabon and Togo and led Ghana’s Ashanti Goldfields to Silver in the 1996 CAF Champions League.


2nd edition of Athletes of the Year awards launched

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As part of its 5th year anniversary, Liquid Sports Ghana has announced the second edition of the annual Ghana athletics award dubbed ‘Liquid Sports Ghana Athlete of the Year’ to honour and give recognition to deserving Ghanaian athletes.

Four categories of awards including best national male and female athletes, and best locally based female and male athletes will be given during this year’s event.

The award is aimed at throwing the spot light on both male and female national athletes who excel in representing the country both locally and internationally to inspire the younger generation.

Ghana athletics has enjoyed one of its most successful season’s in recent times after 11 national athletes qualified to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games last year.

Triple jumper Nadia Eke won Ghana’s first gold medal at the African Championships since 2012 as the national athletics team won four medals at the 2016 CAA Championships in Durban-South Africa.

The sport witnessed as many as 12 competitions locally last year coupled with an impressive array of performances both locally and international.

Despite these giant strides, the sport is yet to fully receive the recognition it deserves in the sporting fraternity in Ghana.

The award aims at telling the story of Ghanaian athletes in the past year, noting their achievements, sacrifices and efforts to go beyond their limits using both the print and electronic media.