Liberia honour VAR: Why Weah is on and offside with Wenger medal

Back home, the argument was that giving the highest national honour had to reflect the magnitude of the recipient’s contribution to the country. That Wenger had undoubtedly done so much for Weah as a

Liberia’s president George Weah recently conferred his country’s highest honour on ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The move elicited varied responses for and against the action.



One thing was clear, that the criticisms were not going to have the potency to flag the event offside. So it took place in Monrovia, August 24, as Weah decorated the Frenchman man who discovered him way back in 1988.



Back home, the argument was that giving the highest national honour had to reflect the magnitude of the recipient’s contribution to the country. That Wenger had undoubtedly done so much for Weah as a person and not Liberia as a country.



Others averred, much as the president could award honours, the category he had chosen to confer on Wenger reflected a personal will than that of the Liberian people.



Then a minister stepped in to explain / justify why Wenger and why the highest national award. In summary, he said the award was even beyond Wenger’s impact on Liberia but on Africa as a whole – given the opportunities he gave African players whiles coaching.



Information Minister Eugene Nagbe in response to criticisms of the award told the BBC the award was not only about Wenger’s impact on Weah alone but a way to recognize that the Frenchman had “contributed to sports in Africa and has given many Africans opportunities.”



For those that see the move as justified, they argue that the president is well within his powers to confer an award on any individual he deems fit. That he would hardly have unilaterally done so without the agreement of an advisory council.



Again, they advance the argument that long before Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leila Gbowee were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Liberia was best known for its protracted deadly and devastating civil war.



The days when any glimmer of hope and stability was shattered with the taking of arms, when Liberia’s internal crisis threatened an entire sub-region principally Sierra Leone, when nationals were scattered around West Africa as they fled the war back home.



In those days, there was the ‘patriotic’ young man called George Weah, a young man who gave Liberians something to rally around. He brought football to citizens home and abroad.



Weah is on record to have singlehandedly financed travels of the national team across Africa as they engaged in qualifiers for tournaments or even to play in friendly games – he was in essence the main financier of national team football in Liberia.



Winning international accolades over the time also brought Liberia to the fore and he took the opportunity at every turn to file for peace back home. Weah knew that his journey started three decades ago thanks to Wenger signing him for Toulouse.



The two went their separate ways as Wenger took on Arsenal years later whiles Weah travelled around Europe making a name for himself.



So the argument about Wenger’s impact on Liberia for some, is tied to Weah’s overall impact on the country especially through the years of turmoil. For others, Weah could probably not convince any other president to award Wenger that kind of medal.



The final whistle has since been blown and Liberia’s national honours has in it that Arsene Wenger is a Knights Grand Commander, Humane Order of African Redemption (KGC-HOAR) thanks to President George Weah.





Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa

Africanews, Digital Journalist

alfa.shaban@africanews.com

@AlfaAfrican

Egypt launches official bid to host 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Egypt first expressed its interest in hosting the tournament on Wednesday after Morocco, long thought to be interested in standing in for Cameroon pulled out of contention in a surprise announcement.

Egypt has expressed interest in hosting next year’s African Cup of Nations, a day before the deadline for candidates.

“The Egyptian football federation (EFA) declares its candidacy to host the 2019 African Nations Cup which is scheduled to take place in June and should have been organised by Cameroon which is not prepared to host it,” it said in a statement on Twitter and Facebook.

Egypt first expressed its interest in hosting the tournament on Wednesday after Morocco — long thought to be interested in standing in for Cameroon — pulled out of contention in a surprise announcement.

The Confederation of African Football stripped Cameroon of the tournament last month, citing delays in the construction of stadiums and infrastructure projects and question marks over security.

The shortlist of countries bidding to host the tournament is expected to be unveiled on December 25.

The 2019 tournament has been expanded to 24 teams for the first time, up from 16 at the 2017 edition in Gabon.

Egypt have won the competition a record seven times.

Angola win 2018 African women's handball

Angola secured the 13th African Women’s Handball Championships title with a 19-14 win over Senegal in Congo Brazzaville

Angola secured the 13th African Women’s Handball Championships title with a 19-14 win over Senegal in Congo Brazzaville.

The defending champions, whose only blip in recent years was a defeat in the 2014 final by Tunisia, nevertheless had to work hard for their win, and trailed 10-7 at half-time in the Kintele Sports Complex.

“We have just won the African Cup and we are very happy. We got to the final and met a good team from Senegal. It was not easy to beat Senegal. Angola has had lots of victories because we have always worked to win,” said Carlos Daniella, Angolan player who also emerged as the best right wing of the competition.

In addition to Angola and Senegal, DRC also will travel to Japan at the 2019 Handball World Championship. The leopards who took part in the 2015 World Cup, qualified after beating the Cameroonian 33-32 in the semi final.

Angola’s Albertina Kasoma was named the tournament’s top female player, while DRC’s Christiane Mwasesa finished top scorer with 63 goals.

Cameroon football federation elects new president

Cameroon are the current holders of the African Cup of Nations, AFCON, having won it in neighbouring Gabon in 2017. The Indomitable Lions beat Egypt’s Pharaohs to the title under coach Hugo Broos.

Two weeks after losing hosting rights for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019…Cameroon’s football governing body has some good news. After more than a year of interim management decided by FIFA, Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) on Wednesday elected a new president.

Seidou Mbombo Njoya, a former director of FIFA’s Central African sub-regional office was elected president of FECAFOOT by 46 votes ahead of his close rival, former Cameroon national football team goalkeeper, Joseph Antoine Bell.

Cameroon are the current holders of the African Cup of Nations, AFCON, having won it in neighbouring Gabon in 2017. The Indomitable Lions beat Egypt’s Pharaohs to the title under coach Hugo Broos.

The female team, the Indomitable Lionesses also placed third in the just ended African Women’s Cup of Nations, AWCON, slated in Ghana. They are due to participate in the FIFA version of the competition in France next year. They will be joined by Nigeria, AWCON winners and runners-up South Africa.

The country was only recently stripped of the hosting rights. The Confederation of African Football, CAF, cited lack of preparation and insecurity in parts of the country for the move.

CAF is currently receiving bids from countries interested in hosting the competition slated for mid-2019. So far Egypt and South Africa are two countries that have confirmed interest.

Morocco will not bid to host AFCON 2019: sports minister

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is receiving bids to host the tournament, until Friday this week. The winning bid is expected to be announced on January 9, after a meeting of the Executive

The organisation of the African Cup of Nations 2019 (AFCON 2019) has received a fresh setback, after Morocco on Wednesday said it would not bid to host the tournament.

Morocco, which this year lost a bid to host the 2026 World Cup, had been seen as one of the leading contenders to host Africa’s biggest football tournament.

But Moroccan Minister of Youth and Sports, Rachid Talbi El Alami told AFP that the North African nation would not attempt to host the tournament, that had originally been awarded to Cameroon.

READ MORE: CAF withdraws hosting rights for AFCON 2019 from Cameroon

“Morocco did not intend to apply to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations and will not do so,” the minister said.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is receiving bids to host the tournament, until Friday this week. The winning bid is expected to be announced on January 9, after a meeting of the Executive Committee in Dakar, Senegal.

Possible hosts

Now that Morocco has taken itself out of contention, fans will hope that other African nations that have the infrastructure to host the expanded tournament featuring 24 teams for the first time, will step up and bid to host.

Egypt last week said they would not launch a bid to host AFCON 2019 if Morocco expresses interest.

South Africa’s football federation has also confirmed that it is considering a bid to host the tournament. The Southern African nation is the only country to have hosted a World Cup, which features 32 teams.

ALSO READ: Congo sports ministry denies reports of bid to host AFCON 2019

With less than six months to the tournament, that will be held in June for the first time, time is surely running out for CAF to find a host.

SUGGESTED READING: Is it time for CAF to revise process of awarding AFCON hosting rights?

Esperance vs. Raja: 2018 CAF Super Cup will be played in Qatar

The Super Cup is is the final between club cup champions – winner of the elite CAF Champions League and the second-tier Confederation Cup.

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has announced that the final of the 2018 Total Super Cup will be staged outside of the continent.

The decision was taken by the Executive Committee of the continent’s football governing body. CAF said the final between Esperance of Tunisia and Moroccan side Raja Casablanca will be played in Qatar. Details it said were going to be announced in due course.

The Super Cup is is the final between club cup champions – winner of the elite CAF Champions League and the second-tier Confederation Cup.

Esperance won their third Champions League title beating eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt. Whiles Raja dispatched Congolese side AS Vita to their second Confederation Cup triumph – both matches were played over two legs.

The match will be played between the 16, 17 or 18 August 2019. This season will be the first to be played in August, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

It is the first time that African teams are going to play a competitive fixture outside the continent. CAF had mooted the idea of staging the Cup of Nations outside Africa but the idea was shot down earlier this year.

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