Big Headline-Making Sports Stories Across the Continent
Every week Ducor Sports will be featuring lead stories creating talking points from a blizzard of African sports sites across the continent.
In Kenya, it doesn’t all look bright with the East African country’s Olympic Bureau –as has now become the culture with NOCs across Africa – rocked in turmoil. This follows after the government there, dissolved the NOC in reaction to the bureau executives handling of the Kenyan team in the Rio Games. According Inside the Games, it’s far from smooth sailing and election of a new board, as directed by international Olympic Committee, may not be staged too soon. The saga could potentially drag with the draft constitution yet to be endorsed by the general assembly.
Just when you think Kenya have had enough of negative coverage with its NOC, there is also new reports surfacing hinting over the arrest of top officials from the country’s sports ministry after a raid by investigators uncovered a bales of Kenya national team kits supplied by Nike.
The nomination of Hlompho Kekana of South African side Mamelodi Sundowns for the FIFa Puskas Award 2016 is the news topping back pages of almost all African major sport sites including Kwese Sport English version. The 31-yar-old entered for the prestigious gong race after his goal for South Africa against Cameroon made the cut. The midfielder dispossesses to win the ball before surging two steps forward to let fly a screamer having caught the Cameroon goalkeeper wandering little out of his goal mouth. He then sped to the direction of the exit and soon got mobbed by equally enthused Bafana Bafana teammates. The goal, scored in the 49th minute, was the Rainbow nation’s equalizer after the Indomitable Lions had gone ahead with a 2-1 lead.
Kekana clutching the silverware will only serve to sum up the terrific season The Brazilians have had after being crowned African champions but he will need to ward off rivalry from Neymar, Suarez, and eight others for the top prize.
And there is the talk of return to Kabwe Warriors for Idriss Mbombo from Zambia Super League Champions Zesco United. The 20-year-old DR Congo attacker is recalled following expiry of his contract. He’d been key to Zesco’s quest in the Caf Champions League and even top scored with five goals in the side’s run in the Caf tourney. Zesco wouldn’t offer explanation as to why they would turn their back on the man who’d rescued them on several occasions. Reports from the grapevine claim it might be that the Team Ya Ziko outfit are unwilling to budge over the player’s asking for an improved contract and pay rise.
Soccerladuma afforded space for hot-topic –the suspension of Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for three months in a rare chastising of its referees by Caf. Other reports believe, giving Caf’s softness towards its arbiters the past years, it might as well be that the continental soccer governing body is forced to take a stance after it became apparent that FIFA are mulling launching a probe into the case after Senegal lodged a complaint to the Luzern-based institution’s disciplinary committee.
The 42-year-old, whose father was one time best referee in Ghana –he certainly didn’t inherit that feature -, is banned for giving hosts South Africa a spot-kick in their shock 2-1 win over Senegal even though television replays show zero contact between Taranga Lions defender Koulibaly’s hand and the ball. The poor referee’s showing will sure provoke questions over the kind of arbiters taken to oversee caf important games.
Kaizer Chiefs’ defender Daniel Cardoso’s backing of his side’s peculiar 3-5-2 formation is given a front page treatment by Kick Off magazine which styles itself as Soccer at its Best. The 28-year-old defender leapt to gaffer Steve Komphela’s defence claiming the formation that has caused them concede heavily, is tailored to accommodate the side’s goal profligacy-gripped strike force.
Comparing his coach’s method to Chelsea’s ongoing revolution under Contre, the defender said: “I think it’s a great formation. Look at Chelsea, they’re playing it and they’re playing brilliant football, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“They’re playing three at the back, five in the middle and two up front, so I think it’s just something that we’ve got to work on”[/perfectpullquote]
We’ll probably come out tops with it. It’s just that we need more practice time, we’ve been playing games [in patches] so I think, once we get the formation right, we’ll do well,” he said.
Over to North of Africa, Egyptian football-biased KingFut have these past day lit up their ‘celebrate your own stars’ mood, running a special feature on retired Pharaohs Ahmed Hassan but not without a touch of sarcasm.
‘Ahmed Hassan: The most capped player with no World Cup minutes’ read the headline. Well, one might be forgiven to think they want the now 42-year-old current Petrojet coach to dust off his hung up boots, re-launch his career and lead Egypt to a World Cup.
On side of KingFut’s page, is an article on Ahmed Tawfik. The 25-year-old is said have been spotted at Egypt’s military service with a pyramid of file tucked under his arm. The midfielder-cum right-back is reported to be in Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour’s black book after the club chief, who clearly doesn’t seem to part with controversy, publicly launched a scathing attack on Tawfik’s performance last Sunday, saying he doesn’t consider Ahmed a Zamalek player, in a televised programme.
The player, as expected, responded saying he would leave if the trigger-happy club chairman isn’t satisfied with him.
On New Zimbabwe, the noise between Zimbabwe national team officials and South Africa’s Matrizburg United hasn’t still subsided. The Team of Choice are believed to have hoodwinked Zim national team officials into believing duo Belssing Moyo and Evans Rusike are beset by injuries, a thing which left the Zim gaffer exasperated. Matrizburg have swiftly denied giving out wrong information regarding the aforesaid player pair.
Featured Photo: Courtesy of Sport Stardom