CAF bars Sierra Leone from AFCON, Ghana, Kenya secure slots

FIFA’s decision to ban Sierra Leone came after it wrote to the African country’s sports minister expressing “grave concern” about the removal of SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secret

Sierra Leone have been disqualified from the preliminaries for the 2019 African Nations Cup finals, confirming places for Kenya and Ghana at the continental championship next June-July.



Sierra Leone’s fate was decided by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Monday after the nation was suspended by FIFA over government interference in football in October.



That meant that the Leone Stars were unable to fulfil their last three qualification matches, and have now officially been withdrawn from the preliminaries by CAF and their previous two results annulled.



Kenya, who will make a first Nations Cup finals appearance since 2004, head the revised three-team qualification pool with seven points, followed by Ghana who are a single point behind.



With the top two sides advancing to the expanded 24-team finals, Ethiopia are a distant third with a one point from four games and no more fixtures to play.



FIFA’s decision to ban Sierra Leone came after it wrote to the African country’s sports minister expressing “grave concern” about the removal of SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara.



The Anti-Corruption Commission in the country had followed through on a threat to raid the SLFA amid allegations of match-fixing involving the national team, and barred Johansen and Kamara from the offices.



FIFA are also looking at matches as far back as a World Cup qualifier against South Africa in 2008 as part of their own investigation into the match-fixing allegations.



Both Johansen and Kamara deny any wrongdoing.



The host nation for the Nations Cup next year will be decided by Dec. 31 after CAF stripped Cameroon of the tournament after concerns over the slow pace of preparations.



Morocco and South Africa are the likely replacements for what will be the fourth successive Nations Cup to have a change of host.



REUTERS

A second African Golden Ball for Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah was named African Player of the Year for the second year in a row. A more than logical choice according to former Senegalese international and double African Golden Ball El Hadji Ousseyn
Mohamed Salah was named African Player of the Year for the second year in a row. A more than logical choice according to former Senegalese international and double African Golden Ball El Hadji Ousseynou Diouf. In this weeks’s program, the Egyptian striker was named African Player of the Year for the second time in a row. The reward for a breathtaking season. We spoke about this with a former winner, the Senegalese El Hadji Diouf. It was a smashing start at the Champions League group stage for Wydad, winning 5-2 against Asec Mimosas. Defending champions Tunis Esperance were held in check in Guinea. Find all the results in this program. And then hero of South Africa’s qualification for the 1998 World Cup. Phil Masinga, African champion in 1996, died on Sunday. Sad news for African football.

Egypt launches preps for AFCON 2019

Eight stadium including that of Cairo, Alexandria, Ismaila and Suez have already been named to host the tournament.
The Egyptian sports ministry and Football Federation on Sunday launched preparations for the 2019 edition of the African Cup of Nations. The continent’s largest sporting event will take place from June 15 to July 13. “Organizing the CAN in three to four months is a great sign of confidence from FIFA President Gianni Infantino and my colleagues at CAF. Egypt has got sixteen votes against one, which shows great confidence in the country, Egypt and our economy, “ said President of the Egyptian Football Federation, Hani Abu Rida. Egyptian Prime Minister, Mustafa Madbouli will chair a committee made up of ministers to facilitate work of the federation. Officials say the opening ceremony and first match will take place in the 74,000 capacity Cairo International stadium. The stadium was renovated before the North African nation hosted the 2006 edition of the tournament. Eight stadium including that of Cairo, Alexandria, Ismaila and Suez have already been named to host the tournament. Egypt can boast of a multitude of hotels, two international airports, in Cairo and near Alexandria as well as a road network linking the main cities. AFP

Uganda's lacrosse players target youth to grow the sport

Ugandan youth are being taught to play Lacrosse as part of the country’s efforts to popularize the sport .

Ugandan youth are being taught to play Lacrosse as part of the country’s efforts to popularize the sport and improve upon their performances at the World Championships in 2014 and 2018.

In a sunny afternoon in Jinja, Uganda, Andrew Mamawi is getting his players in gear.

Mamawi played for the Ugandan lacrosse team at the World Championships in 2014 and 2018. Uganda is the first African country to field a team at the sport’s penultimate event.

“It showed me a lot of things that sports can do. After playing for a while in Kampala, I came back to the community that raised me, so what I didn’t have, what I didn’t get as a child is what I wanted to give back to the community,” said Lacrosse Coach and player, Andrew Mamawi.

The sport was first introduced in the East African nation in 2012 by an American representative of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL).

Secretary of Uganda Lacrosse Association, Donald Atuhire said Uganda is at the forefront, while the rest of Africa is just waiting them to expand

“It’s a very challenging sport, it’s fast and requires a lot of skill holding all that equipment, there is a helmet, gloves, a stick, a ball that is very heavy, it needs so much skill in handling it, so we expect if the kids take it up professionally, they could easily get a payment for it,” he added.

Funds to pay players, buy equipment, manage leagues, organize competitions, facilitate travel, and eventually offer college scholarships are raised through the California-based Uganda Lacrosse Foundation or the Uganda Lacrosse Association both formed to help support the country’s niche community of players and fans.

The Cranes Uganda’s national team – hope to play in the Olympics one day. They may just have enough time to launch that offensive, given that the FIL sees 2028 as the year lacrosse will return to the Summer Games.

Tunisia's Espérance celebrates centenary

The Esperance of Tunis can boast of 45 titles including 28 championships and 3 Champions League titles.
Tunisia’s oldest football club is 100 years old. The Esperance of Tunis is celebrating its centenary with pride following its third continental crown in the champions league last November. “Esperance is a very large family. When Esperance wins, everyone is happy in Bab Souika. If someone in our neighborhood asks for help, they are given money without being held accountable. Esperance makes us happy and gives us joy and pleasure and brings us closer to people”, said Espérance supporter, Mohamed Hosni. For another supporter, Bahri Moron “Esperance is not just football, it’s a social phenomenon. Everyone tries to imitate him and everyone envies him. That’s why its popularity is growing”. The Esperance of Tunis can boast of 45 titles including 28 championships and 3 Champions League titles. In Tunisia, the club is known to be close to the government and its management was effectively linked to the regime of former president, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. AFP

Liberian National County Meet 3rd Place Fixture

Nimba vs Lofa Copyright -OFC
These are 3rd Place Fixture's National County Meet will be played a day before finals. Nimba will play Bong County in Kickball and Gbarpolu - Grand Gedeh in football. National County Meet 3rd Place Fixture - Jan 12 : Kickball : Nimba vs Bong county - 3:00 PM Football : Gbarpolu vs Grand Gedeh - 4:00 PM