‘We are not favourites yet’ – Mali Coach


Mali Coach, Eric Chelle insists his side cannot be counted as one of the favourites in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), despite their 2-0 win over South Africa in their opening Group E match on Tuesday evening.

The Eagles, who had a slow start in the opening half came back a better structured side to soar to a 2-0 win.

Speaking after the match in Korhogo, Coach Chelle said he was happy with the victory but cautioned against complacency adding that, there were still two matches to be played.

‘I want to congratulate the players for this victory. During the first half, it wasn’t good. We were under pressure in the first half. During the second half, we showed intensity. We conceded a penalty, and had it been scored, it may have been a different outcome,’ said Chelle.

‘Each nation has its chance, and this tournament would be very interesting because each team has qualities. I would not say we are favourites to win the group just yet.

‘Yes, we got the victory, but a lot can still happen. We still have
matches to play and so we have to keep working hard’ concluded Chelle.

Mali go top of Group E with a better goal advantage than Namibia who edged Tunisia 1-0 in the earlier kick off.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AFCON2023: Entertainer cum entrepreneur drags Eto’o in mud

The french speaking Cameroonian entertainer and entrepreneur, also considered as a social media influencer, said Fecafoot President, Samuel Eto’o Fils has hijacked the senior men’s national team, silencing his critics and relegating bigger players who dare to speak out.

In a video Mr Fah said he believed in Eto’o Fils, that is why he supported his candidacy but cannot comprehend the poor management of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

His worries came after Cameroon drew 1-1 with Guinea in their opening Group C game in the 2023 AFCON.

‘As long as the Indomitable Lions have been called Indomitable Lions, we’ve never seen a team so puny. President Samuel Eto’o, as far as I’m concerned, the only one to blame is you. I supported you, you remember, because you reassured me that you had to give our football its greatness. President, the only greatness you have given us since you took over is shame. Our shame is great,’ Steve lamented.

Steve revealed that he had been threatened before by Eto’o Fils but said he
would not back down in pointing out the negative impact of Eto’o’s actions.

‘If you want, get angry, threaten me again. I don’t give a damn,’ he confided.

‘I know you don’t like the truth, but you’re going to lose whatever little respect the Cameroonian people still have for you if you try to return here without qualifying for the second round.’

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Accra 2023: Ghana Wrestling names 17 Athletes for camping


The Ghana Wrestling Association (GWA) has named 17 wrestlers for camping ahead of the 13th African Games (Accra 2023) to be held in Ghana.

This decision was made on Tuesday, January 10th. 2024, after the wrestlers underwent a justify your inclusion exercise, which was supervised by the federation President Norbert Amefu and his technical team.

The wrestlers began residential camping on Friday, January 12th, 2024, and they would be remain in camp until the Ministry of Youth and Sports relocates them to Cape Coast for general camping with other disciplines.

The male athletes selected were Jerry Quansah with 57kg, Fuseini Issah between 97-117kg, Emmanuel Lamptey between 79-90kg, Emmanuel Osei Sarfo with 120kg, Frimpong Miles with 57kg, Richmond Mishimawu with 65kg, Joshua Ashiyey with 65kg, Richard Nyamador with 74kg, Philip Twumasi with 78kg, Richard Mensah with 75kg, Bright Gakpetor with 77kg, Seyram Tsidi with 83kg and Wawuni (Greco Roman).

In the females category were Emmanuella Serwaa Karikari with 68k
g, Latifatu Mohammed with 57kg, Alberta Tetteh with 50kg, Mercy Delali Akorli with 65kg and Jemma Ofori Nyarko 76kg.

The 13th African Games would be held in Accra, Ghana in March.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Aboubakar and Wooh out of team as Lions prepare for Senegal clash

The duo of Vincent Aboubakar and Christopher Wooh didn’t take part in Cameroon men’s national team’s recent training after their 1-1 draw with Guinea.

The session was behind closed doors and the two players stayed at the President Hotel.

Wooh suffered a knee injury against Guinea.

The latest training session lasted for about 70 minutes with 25 players in attendance.

It was focused on recovery and cleaning up for starters.

Rigobert Song’s side is preparing to face holders, Senegal on Friday at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamussoukro.

Before the game, the Indomitable Lions will have another training session at the INPHB South Yamussoukro from 5 pm local time.

Frank Mario Magri equalised Mohamed Bayo’s opener when the Central African side faced their Guinea counterparts which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

South Africa Coach rues penalty miss


Hugo Broos the Head Coach of South Africa national team believes the penalty miss by Percy Tau in their loss against Mali in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations contributed to their defeat.

South Africa were humbled to a 2-0 defeat after a positive start in the first half, that lacked the all-important finishing touch.

Broos, speaking after the game said the missed penalty by Tau and the physicality that the Malians came with in the second half contributed to the loss.

‘The performance of South Africa was good, and I think if we scored the penalty, we would have been good. They were more physical than the first half. This was the major difference.

‘We lost a lot of balls and mostly because of the physical conditioning of Mali was better than us. So, this is the difference, and this is where Mali was able to change the game, not at the football playing level,’ said Broos.

‘The coach of Mali saw what he had to do, and they were stronger on duels in the second half and we couldn’t play our game anymore.

‘We lo
st the ball where we shouldn’t have lost it but then again, I think the performance was good but just not good enough’ concluded a dejected Broos.

South Africa would next play neighbours Namibia who secured a historic 1-0 victory over Tunisia on Sunday at the Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly in Korhogo.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dissecting Black Stars fall: Technical, Lack of talent, or Hard Luck?


The Black Stars of Ghana are staring at a back-to-back group stage exit for the first time at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), an unwanted record in the annals of Ghanaian football.

The recent woes of the Black Stars have reached depressive levels, with countries like Comoros, Cape Verde, and Namibia rubbing shoulders with one of Africa’s football powerhouses.

The downward performance of the Black Stars continues to pierce a sharp dagger in the hearts of Ghanaian football fans, leaving many uninterested in football, described as the passion of the nation.

This was evident in the recent defeat to Cape Verde, where Ghanaian football fans were left restless with sports journalists’ livid about the performance of the Black Stars.

The fear factor of the Black Stars being a powerhouse in recent times is certainly non-existent, and the following factors further dissect why this has become so.

Technical

Most often, coaches have been blamed for the recent lack of performance, with Black Stars changing over s
ix coaches in the past decade.

The likes of Milovan Rajevac, Otto Addo, C.K. Akunnor, Goran Stevanovic, and Kwasi Appiah have all come up with different strategies in their quest to change the misfortunes of the Black Stars.

Some strategies yielded some positive results, with Ghana coming close to winning the AFCON and qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, while others turned out to be disastrous.

But Chris Hughton’s Black Stars have become a painful side to watch, with players struggling to string a few passes together while the pressing and zeal to fight for the nation have been questionable.

The recent Cape Verde clash was a clear indication of how Ghana had no visible style of play, and the Black Stars have relied on individual brilliance to win or draw recent past matches.

Ghanaian sports journalist Saddick Adams, popularly known as ‘Sports Obama’, said in an interview with GNA Sports that the non-performance of the Black Stars is not solely a coaching problem.

‘Nothing has worked after we have change
d more than six coaches in the past decade, both foreign and indigenous. We just need to have a football structure where the coaches can come and complement our football plan.

‘The coach should not come in and overhaul the national team, and we have to have a system in place, and this is evident with what the likes of Senegal and Algeria are doing,’ Saddick Adams said.

He noted that Ghanaian football needed a long-term plan to be able to end the 42-year trophy drought, unless we are just participants if there is no plan.

‘You cannot win a football tournament when you don’t have a plan. You can win games, but winning a tournament requires a plan, something that we have lacked.

‘A typical example is the line-up against Cape Verde; almost 90 per cent have not played together at a tournament, and you can’t win a tournament by putting together a crop of players you think are just good. We can’t win the tournament if we don’t have a plan.’

Lack of talent

Ghana can boast of the best football talents on the Afr
ican continent, but these talented football talents have failed to shine at the national level.

Solomon Kalou, an Ivorian football legend, in an interview with GNA Sports at the Mixed Zone session at the Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, said that Ghana had some of the best football talent and that with time they could deliver the AFCON title.

‘Ghana is a great football nation, and I think they should be at the top of African football with the crop of talents they have. I think they are getting close to winning the AFCON,’ he said.

Hard Luck

The unity in the team a decade ago brought us so close to winning the trophy under the leadership of Stephen Appiah, Asamoah Gyan, and John Mensah.

From 2008-2017, the Black Stars have reached at least the semi-finals but have lost twice in the finals during this time to Ivory Coast and Egypt.

‘They have been to the finals a number of times and have narrowly lost it, and these are things you can’t control, so I wish them well in these tournaments and future t
ournaments,’ Solomon Kalou asserted.

The issue of unity in camp was also reiterated by Ghana’s goalkeeper, Richard Ofori, after the Black Stars defeat to Cape Verde.

‘Sometimes you don’t get what you want in the game, and there are two sides to the game. You miss your chances, and the opponents take theirs.

‘We just need to focus on the second game, and now there is nothing we can do about the first game. We must stay united, and this is the critical time we need Ghanaians,’ he said.

In conclusion, finding solutions to our current woes would become key to ending the 42-year AFCON trophy drought, or perhaps we could extend this undesirable record to a century where that generation would still be facing similar problems.

Source: Ghana News Agency