World Cup 2018: the chances of African teams according to Goldman Sachs

Senegal-Tunisia-Nigeria Copyright -starafrica.com

The investment bank, Goldman Sachs, has tried to adapt its economic business models to a football full of uncertainty to predict the outcome of the World Cup 2018. Consequence: Brazil takes its revenge against Germany in final when none of the five Africans in the running will pass the first round.

Brazil will win its 6th World Cup by beating Germany on July 15 in the final”, asserts the US financial agency Goldman Sachs based in a study published Monday, no less than “200,000 models” of ” machine learning “exploiting” data on team characteristics, players, recent performances “, etc.

No African representative in eighths!
The bank does not see any African team coming out of its pool, saying that Egypt is still the best team to pass the first round, among those on the continent, with a 34.4% chance of seeing the 8th. Tunisia 32.9%, Senegal 25.2%, Morocco 21.6% and Nigeria 17.1% are unlikely to create the feat still according to the famous bank.

 

Ethiopia's Olympic protester Feyisa Lilesa to return from exile

Lilesa crossed his hand above his head after crossing the line in his race at Rio Olympics two years ago. He went into self-imposed exile after the games.

Feyisa Lilesa, Ethiopian long distance runner who took the country’s famed anti-government protest gesture to the Olympics has confirmed that he is now ready to return home.

Lilesa crossed his hand above his head after crossing the line in his race at Rio Olympics two years ago. He went into self-imposed exile after the games.

Whiles other athletes returned to Addis Ababa, he went to the United States and has since been residing in Arizona with his family – who joined him later. He based his refusal to return on the fact that his life would be in danger.

But he says current reforms indicate that his fear does not exist any more. “I was waiting for a change to happen in the country. And there are changes after the new prime minister came to power.

“There is a chance I will be running again for my country,” he added. He hasn’t represented Ethiopia since Rio despite running a number of Marathons across the world.

Earlier this week, local media outlets reported that the country’s athletics and Olympic outfits had reached out to him to return home. The Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC) and Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) in a joint statement said Lilesa will be accorded a ‘hero’s welcome.’

Prominent Ethiopians fleeing political persecution: Lilesa, Tsegaye, Teferi

August 2016: Lilesa takes Oromo protest symbol to the Olympics

Feyisa Lilesa, left Addis Ababa with the country’s Olympic team for Rio 2016 games in Brazil but little did anyone suspect he will make name more for a protest sign than his action on the tracks.

The long distance athlete became famous after he made an anti-government gesture at the end of his track event. He crossed his arms above his head as he finished the event as a protest against the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on political dissent – particularly on persons in his home region of Oromia.

He won the silver medal in the men’s marathon after finishing the 42 kilometer race. He later claimed that his life was in danger. He has since leaving Rio been residing in the United States. He has in interviews rejected claims that he had sought asylum.

He has often traveled to participate in marathons across the world, he failed to make the podium in London but won gold in Bogota. His wife and two kids were subsequently allowed to join him in the U.S.

Nigerians shocked by Victor Moses' premature retirement

Chelsea wing-back Moses, who made 37 appearances for Nigeria, played every minute of the African nation’s World Cup campaign in Russia where they were eliminated in the group stage.

Nigerians have reacted with shock and surprise at Wednesday’s announcement of Victor Moses’ retirement from international football at the age of 27 in order to focus on his club career.

Chelsea wing-back Moses, who made 37 appearances for Nigeria, played every minute of the African nation’s World Cup campaign in Russia where they were eliminated in the group stage.

“I have experienced some of the best moments of my life wearing the Super Eagles shirt and have memories with me that will last a lifetime,” Moses said in a statement on Twitter.

ALSO READ: Nigeria coach reveals the most impressive player on the team

“However, I feel that now is the right time to step away in order to be able to focus fully on my club career and young family, as well as to allow the next generation the opportunity to step up and to flourish.”

Reactions from fans

Moses won the 2013 African Cup of Nations and helped Nigeria reach the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup.

He won the 2016-17 Premier League title with Chelsea but has not started a match under new manager Maurizio Sarri this season.

Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic announces retirement from global football

Mandzukic scored three goals in the World Cup finals in Russia, including the winner against England in the semi-finals

Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic has announced his retirement from international football almost a month after helping the Balkan nation reach the World Cup final for the first time.

The 32-year-old Juventus forward scored 33 goals for Croatia, , in 89 appearances since his 2007 debut.

Mandzukic netted three goals in the World Cup finals in Russia, including the winner against England in the semi-finals and his team’s second goal in the 4-2 defeat by France in the final.

Apart from two World Cups, Mandzukic also represented Croatia in two European Championships and was named the nation’s Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Reuters

Croatian striker Mandzukic announces international retirement

Mandzukic scored three goals in the World Cup finals in Russia, including the winner against England in the semi-finals

Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic has announced his retirement from international football almost a month after helping the Balkan nation reach the World Cup final for the first time.

The 32-year-old Juventus forward scored 33 goals for Croatia, , in 89 appearances since his 2007 debut.

Mandzukic netted three goals in the World Cup finals in Russia, including the winner against England in the semi-finals and his team’s second goal in the 4-2 defeat by France in the final.

Apart from two World Cups, Mandzukic also represented Croatia in two European Championships and was named the nation’s Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Reuters

South Africa's black champion pigeon racer

Owner of a club for racing pigeons plan is to breed the bird – nick-named the ‘Usain Bolt pigeon’, and create a legion of champion racers for South Africa.

The pigeons are coming home after a day of training. They live at Samuel Lofts, a club for racing pigeons in Walkerville, 30 kilometers south of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The owner of the club, pigeon fancier and world champion racer, Samuel Mbiza has worked with pigeons since he was a child shooting birds out of the sky with his sling-shot.

Mbiza says it became more than simple fun after his mother bought him a fantail – a fancy pigeon with more feathers than other breeds.

“There is something about these pigeons, the way they look and they look athletic and the way they behave, and also their intelligence, they are very, very intelligent,” he added.

Last year, Mbiza made history by bidding and buying Belgium’s best long-distance racing pigeon for a record 350,000 US dollars.

His plan is to breed the bird – nick-named the ‘Usain Bolt pigeon’, and create a legion of champion racers for South Africa.

There are over 4,000 pigeon fanciers in South Africa but Mbiza is one of few black breeders and racers.

Since Mbiza started the Samuel Lofts seven years ago, he has built a team of 650 birds in different stages of training and maturity.

He is also working on getting more, young, black South Africans involved.

Jerry Khumalo is Samuel Lofts manager. He is in charge of training and supervises the care of the birds.

“I teach them how to fly outside, how to train them, so in the morning we wake up, first we take them out, we chase them for one hour, thirty minutes, fifteen minutes, when they are still young. When they grow up we start to take them out of the bakkie, we basket them take them out 20 k’s, 40 kilometers, 60 kilometers up to 100, like from this week we train them 100 kilometers,” he said.

The sport is worth millions of dollars. In some races, first prize can go up to 1 million US dollars and the entry fee as high as 1,000 US dollars.

Pigeons flying long distances are exposed to various hazards like prey and other flying objects or power lines. Some die on the way home, while others get injured.

There have also been reported cases of doping, something activists say is difficult to clamp down on.

Mbiza says he loves his pigeons and treats them like royalty.

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