Category Archives: Sports

Ghana Rugby ends 2017 on high note with Bronze Cup promotion

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Ghana Rugby ended 2017 on a high note when it received notice from its governing body, Rugby Afrique, that it has been promoted from the Africa Regional Challenge Division to the 2018 Rugby Africa Bronze Cup.

In the announcement letter to Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, Mr Abdelaziz Bougja, the President of Rugby Afrique, stated the request for promotion by the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) was positively received.

Bougja said the promotion came as a result the good performance of Ghana Rugby in the Regional Challenge 2017 and the new status of Ghana Rugby Union as a full member of World Rugby.

He also said that contributing factors were the suspension of both Cameroon and Nigeria Rugby Unions and the impossibility to organise a final of the Regional Challenge between Lesotho and Ghana Rugby Africa.

In a statement from Mensah in London, he said that he was grateful to the Exco of Rugby Afrique for recognising the achievements and efforts of Ghana Rugby to help with the development of the Game in Ghana and indeed in the rest of Africa and the World.

It was a memorable year for Ghana Rugby in more than one way, he said.

In April-May 2017 Ghana successfully hosted and won the Rugby Afrique Regional Challenge West 1 between Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Togo.

Immediately after the tournament, World Rugby awarded Ghana Rugby Full Membership that meant that the Union could for the first time apply for investment development funds and, more importantly, be considered for tournaments that will lead to eventual qualifiers for World Rugby and other global competitions such as the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

In October 2017 Ghana was drawn to compete in the 2017 Africa Men’s Sevens Tournament in Kampala and managed to get ranked for the first time on Rugby Afrique’s log.

The promotion to the Rugby Afrique Bronze Cup came on the eve of the opening matches of the 2017/18 Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) that is scheduled to kick off on Saturday 25 October in Cape Coast.

Mensah also expressed his appreciation to everybody who played a vital role in the memorable achievements of 2017.

“It is always a difficult task to say, ‘Thank you’. Everybody who took part in Rugby in Ghana must be acknowledged and congratulated. Firstly my appreciation goes to the players, coaches, match officials and administrators who all sacrificed in many ways to make the last three years memorable.”

Mensah also acknowledged that the many volunteers and supporters who made contributions in kind or otherwise are vital cogs in the machinery of Ghana Rugby. He also invited them to get even more involved in the years to come.

He continued to say, “a particular word of thanks must go to our sponsors who have made contributions in the spirit of unwavering faith that Ghana Rugby will make them and the country proud.

Some newly elected Ghana Rugby Board, from left to right: Bismark Amponsah, Kobina Nyarko, Abdul-Aziz Issah, Herbert Mensah, Mr James Nunoo Mensah, Mr Michael Ako Wilson.

Some newly elected Ghana Rugby Board, from left to right: Bismark Amponsah, Kobina Nyarko, Abdul-Aziz Issah, Herbert Mensah, Mr James Nunoo Mensah, Mr Michael Ako Wilson.

There are too many to mention but I will neglect my duty if I don’t mention the following companies and individuals: World Rugby and Rugby Afrique, Olympic Solidarity and the Ghana Olympic Committee, Mr Hayssam Fakhry of Interplast and Inesfly, Mr Tim Callaghan of the Panafrican Group, Mr Paul Kavanagh of the Golden Tulip Accra Hotel, the Gino Brands, eVerpure, Accra Breweries Limited, Paloma Hotel, our many media partners and the individuals who made contributions from scarce resources in our many fundraising challenges.”

Mensah said that the memorable achievements would require even more support and more resources as Ghana Rugby intends to put in bids to host the continental 15s and 7s tournaments in 2018.

“Ghana Rugby’s achievements on international levels are Ghana’s achievements. We are representing the country, and we hope and pray that our governing bodies will also come forward and meet its commitments and promises to support us, and indeed other minority sports, in 2018.

Source: | Ghana

Oscar Pistorius jail term doubled

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Pistorius was sentenced in July for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

A South African court has increased Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’s jail sentence for killing his girlfriend to 13 years and five months.

Prosecutors had argued that the six-year term for murdering Reeva Steenkamp was “shockingly light”.

A spokesman for Ms Steenkamp’s family said the ruling “verified there was justice”.

Pistorius claimed he shot dead Ms Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 after mistaking her for a burglar.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has now given him the minimum 15 years prescribed for murder in South Africa, less time already served.

The lower court had justified the six-year sentence by citing mitigating circumstances such as rehabilitation and remorse.

It said they outweighed aggravating factors such as his failure to fire a warning shot.

The athlete was not in court to hear the decision.

He was initially given a five-year term for manslaughter in 2014, but was found guilty of murder on appeal in 2015.

Reeva Steenkamp - 7 February 2013

Ms Steenkamp was a model and celebrity photo: GETTY IMAGES

Pistorius shot Ms Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door at his home in the capital Pretoria.

Previously, the six-time Paralympic gold medallist had made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, in 2012 in London, running on prosthetic “blades”.

He had his legs amputated below the knee as a baby.

Rise and fall of Oscar Pistorius

  • August 2012: Competes in London Olympics and Paralympics, where he won a gold medal
  • February 2013: Shoots dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
  • March 2014: Trial begins
  • September 2014: Judge finds Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide
  • October 2014: Begins five-year sentence
  • October 2015: Transferred to house arrest
  • December 2015: Appeal court changes verdict to murder
  • July 2016: Sentenced to six years in jail for murder
  • November 2017: Sentence more than doubled to 15 years, less time served
 Source: BBC
Robinho scored 28 goals in 100 games for Brazil

Robinho given prison sentence for rape

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Robinho scored 28 goals in 100 games for Brazil

Robinho scored 28 goals in 100 games for Brazil

Brazilian footballer Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison for taking part in the gang rape of a woman in Milan in 2013.

An Italian court ruled the 33-year-old and five other Brazilians assaulted the Albanian woman, who was 22, after plying her with alcohol in a nightclub.

The forward, who left AC Milan in 2015 after five years, was not in court but pleaded not guilty via his lawyer.

The sentence will be put on hold until the appeals process is completed.

Robinho, capped 100 times by his country, spent two years at Manchester City and currently plays for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil.

A post on Robinho’s Instagram page said he had “already defended himself against the accusations, affirming that he did not participate in the episode” and that “all legal measures are being taken”.

After starting his career at Santos, Robinho won two La Liga titles in four seasons at Real Madrid, before joining City for a then British record fee of £32.5m in the summer of 2008.

His arrival, on the final day of the transfer window, came on Sheikh Mansour’s first day as owner of the Premier League club.

The playmaker struggled to make an impact in England and was loaned back to Santos in January 2010.

He won Serie A during his subsequent spell at Milan, but returned to Santos for another loan spell in August 2014 before joining Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in July 2015.

When his sixth-month deal expired, he moved back to Brazil, joining Atletico Mineiro on a two-year deal.

Source: BBC

Ghana inch close to Top 50 return as Senegal reach highest ever FIFA ranking

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Ghana have been out of the Top 50 for the past one year

Ghana moved up from the 52nd to the 51st position on the latest FIFA ranking released on Thursday.

Ghana’s total point accumulation increased to 657.

Ghana lie just behind Nigeria who dropped to the milestone position despite their good run in the just-ended 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Africa’s ranking has seen a tremendous achievement for Senegal, who reach their highest ever ranking of 23rd and become the continent’s top-ranked side going into the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw.

Senegal are one of the four African sides to make a return to the world cup. The Teranga Lions are returning after 16 years.

Fellow returnees Tunisia move second on the continent’s ranking with Egypt, DR Congo and Morocco – in that order – completing the Top 5.

Ghana are eighth in Africa.

Germany remain at the summit of the ranking with Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Belgium all maintaining their positions as the world’s top-ranked sides, in that order.

The next ranking to be released on December 21, 2017 will see the effect of this month’s final qualifiers especially the shock failure of Italy to make it to the global showpiece for the first time in 60 years.


Albert Adomah bang in the goals at Aston Villa

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Adomah switched from Middlesbrough to Aston Villa

When Albert Adomah completed Aston Villa’s comeback in a three-goal thriller against Queens Park Rangers in the English Championship, it seemed he had completed his comeback in a dwindling career.

A muted celebration did not do justice to what seemed a vital milestone in the Ghana winger’s career.

He had shone in the past, fallen and risen again.

Adomah has epitomized highly successful American businessman, Les Brown’s words, that ‘Just because fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up’. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.

He was handed the Number 10 shirt for Ghana in 2013, two years after he made his debut for the Black Stars against Brazil but was never the ordinary fan’s favourite player.

Having enjoyed a fairly decent outing for Bristol City in the Championship, Adomah first caught the eye of Kwesi Appiah in 2011. He was the gaffer’s favourite boy when others failed to see the gem in the man.

He later made a bold switch to a promising Middlesbrough side in 2013 but it was his international career that seemed to take a big fall.

Adomah was part of the Ghana team that was humiliated in Brazil 2014 World Cup and was sadly one of the players who never received call ups to the national team ever again.

He has yet to receive a letter with the GFA logo stamped boldly on it but his rise in club football may catch attention soon enough.

He has scored five goals prior to that game against QPR and his two goals against the traditional football side were as crucial to his head coach Steve Bruce as much as they did to Adomah.

“Fair play to Albert Adomah,” Bruce said after Adomah’s heroics against QPR. “He’s got seven goals already from wide areas and he’s done very well. The start of the season he wasn’t in the team. He didn’t moan or groan. He came into my office and said ‘I will prove you wrong’.”

His reaction has been immense and a call-up to the national team may be the icing on the cake for the flying winger.

By Thierry Nyann||Ghana

Ghana’s Columbus Crew stars eye Eastern Conference final despite 1st leg stalemate

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Ghanaian trio of Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Mohammed Abu missed an opportunity to begin the Eastern Conference finals of the Major League Soccer on a good note after Colombus Crew drew 0-0 at home to Toronto FC Tuesday night.

The Crew had many chances but failed to convert any in a pulsating game.

Columbus’ best chance came in the 85th minute when TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono made a stellar save on Harrison Afful’s stinging shot.

The Crew will have to wait for the second leg with everything to play for.

With 16 days between matches, there was plenty of time not only for players to heal but also for managers to come up with some tactical tweaks.

With the Toronto duo of Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco suspended, it was TFC head coach Greg Vanney, who came up with the biggest wrinkle, junking the 3-5-2 that his side played in for the vast majority of the season and going with a 4-1-4-1 instead.


Recruit from lower division –Konadu tells premiership clubs

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Maxwell Konadu is also the Coach of the local Black Stars

Assistant coach of the Black Stars, Maxwell Konadu, has advised premier league clubs in the country to consider recruiting players from the lower division clubs than to look elsewhere.

The man who recently led the local Black Stars to lift the West African Football Union (WAFU) cup believes there are more quality players in the lower division cubs.

“I believe that these teams, if their management and staff had watch the matches in the second and first division, they would have seen quality players,” he said on Onua FM.

He added: “For me I got the opportunity to watch most of the matches in the first division. There are players in the first division who are better than the current squad of the various clubs.

“Ghanaian clubs should not look beyond Ghana; they are better players in the lower leagues”.

Konadu also underscored the need to support African counties that have qualified for to represent the continent in the 2018 FIFA World cup tournament to be held in Russia.

“We have to support any country that will represent Africa in the World Cup tournament. Any of them who will qualify from the group stage at the world cup should be supported. Africa teams must make an impact, if we make impact, FIFA can increase the slot given to African nations at the world stage”.

By Samuel Amoesi|Onua FM||Ghana

Afful’s Columbus Crew host Toronto FC in Eastern Conference final

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The American soccer cameras and spotlights will be on one game on Tuesday as Columbus Crew and Toronto FC face off in the Eastern Conference final, and featuring could be four Ghanaians for the Crew.

Jonathan Mensah and Harrison Afful are more likely fixtures in the Crew setup with Mohamed Abu and Lalas Abubakar likely to be deployed on the bench by manager Gregg Berhalter.

Having played 29 and 27 times respectively for Crew this season in the regular MLS season, both Ghana internationals will be hoping to make a mark in the Eastern conference final. Mensah has recovered from a poor start start to continue his adjustment to the sport in America, while Afful remains one of Crew’s best options at the back and a productive attacking outlet on the right as well.

Afful reckons he is excited at helping his side make another conference final and hopes this yields a better result than what they got in 2015.

“It means a lot to me and also to the guys and we are proud of ourselves because we have worked very hard in the past few years and I think we deserve more,” Afful said.

“[In] 2015 I was able to play in the MLS final and it rather unfortunate that we could not win the ultimate. This time round, we are playing the Eastern Conference final. We will make sure we take our chances and makes we don’t concede as well because it’s a home and away game. We need to score more goals and defend well as we think about the next game.

“We just have to be determined and compete and at the end of the day we will see [how it turns out].”

Afful will hope this will be a major turnaround in fortunes for his career in the USA, as he hopes to his first major title in the MLS, as will be for Mensah who joined Crew in the summer of 2016.

By Michael Oti Adjei||Ghana

Nyantakyi heads Caf committee to help Africa’s 2018 World Cup reps

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First Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Kwesi Nyantakyi will preside over a committee to be set up by the continent’s football-governing body to fashion out some help for its 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The establishment of the committee is one of the decisions taken by Caf’s Executive Committee at its meeting held last Thursday.

The committee will hold its first meeting on Friday, December 1 on the sidelines of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw.

Cameroon with the 2017 AFCON trophy

The five nations requested a postponement of March, 2018 qualifiers for Cameroon 2019

The move is to ensure that Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia do well at the global showpiece.

As per a request from the five qualifiers, Caf has postponed indefinitely qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to have been played in March, 2018, a couple of months before the world cup.

“The CAF Secretariat will be responsible for proposing an amended schedule accordingly subject to the approval of the Executive Committee,” a statement on Monday said.

The Nyantakyi-led committee will have as members Kalusha Bwalya, a Caf Executive Committee member, and all FA presidents of the qualified nations.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Nat’l handball player gets FOCOS support after 10-month injury layoff

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FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, a specialist orthopaedic hospital located in Pantang-Accra, is supporting the surgery of National Female Handball player, Jessica Regina Diame, as part of its commitment to promote sports medicine in Ghana.

Ms Regina, who also plays as a full back for Cantonments Youth, has not featured for club and country in the past 10 months, after suffering an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear in her right knee, at a training session.

Subsequently, the injury has rendered her incapable of participating in the sport she is passionate about.

“Over the past two years I have been part of the Ladies National Handball team and ever-present for my club’s league games,” Regina said, “however, this injury has prevented me from playing handball over the past 10 months.”

The cost of Regina’s surgery is GH¢23,000, an amount she found very difficult to raise as she only managed to raise a meagre GH¢700 after several appeals to family and friends.

FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, as part of its commitment to give back to society and promote sports medicine in Ghana, has decided to sponsor the cost of Regina’s surgery.

The hospital is currently hosting renowned US Sports Medicine and Arthroplasty (joint replacement) Surgeon from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Head Athletic team Physician at Marist College, Dr. Michael Maynard.

Dr. Maynard will be supported by the FOCOS Orthopaedic team led by Dr. Joseph Ogyaadu to perform Regina’s surgery which is due in the final week of November.

“Sports related injuries, and the accumulated effects from such injuries, have been one of the major reasons why sportsmen from Africa have either not attained or maintained their competitive edge. Sports injuries do not only focus on sportsmen. An ACL tear, such as Regina has suffered could easily result from some of the daily activities including squatting or twisting,” Dr Ogyaadu said.

FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital is a 70-bed specialist orthopaedic hospital located in the Pantang area of Accra, Ghana and is noted for the treatment of complex spine and joint diseases like Scoliosis, Kyphosis as well as other degenerative and deformative Orthopaedic conditions.

The hospital has an affiliation with the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York and provides other services such as physician specialist consultations in neurology, epidural injections, minor surgical procedures, Diet Therapy, Physiotherapy and walk-in visits.