Ducor Sports Headlines Across Africa
In the stories making headlines across the continent, beginning with South Africa where the country’s presidential football elections could be halted after an aspiring candidate accused the soccer governing body of being bias. An aggrieved Mwelo Nonkonyana accused the South African FA of smear campaign and intimidation, a body he was once vice president of. Chief Mwelo has resorted to legal action and hopes the courts issue an order halting the SAFA elections, scheduled for March 24th, until a verdict is reached on his case.
Making headlines also in the rainbow nation is the Soweto Derby featuring Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates –arguably one of the biggest games of the South African Premier Soccer League. Chiefs are in brilliant form going into Saturday’s would-be scintillating episode. The side is on a ten-game unbeaten streak but has won only once in its last four games, making an interesting sight on how matters will pan out when they come up against arch rivals and second-placed Pirates with a mere point separating them.
Regarded as one of the most fiercely contested games in Africa, the rivalry between the two dates back from 1970 when ex- Orlando star Kaizer Motaug grew frustrated of the infighting at his erstwhile club to form a separate side which evolved into what is today called Kaizer Chiefs. Only 20,000 tickets are left for sale, according to the league organizing committee.
There’s another South Africa football-like saga in Kenya with relegated second-tier side Muhoroni Youth chairman Moses Adagala threatening legal action against the Kenya Football Federation (KFF). Muhoroni was fined an undisclosed sum and demoted to the third division for failing to honor three consecutive league fixtures. The situation has had sponsors deserting the team causing a loss of up to KES 24 million.
However, Moses claims his team’s demotion is politically motivated, blaming the woes with his outfit to his refusal to back sitting KFF boss Nick Mwendwa during the 2016 football elections. Muhoroni is now contemplating taking to the courts in the hope of forcing the federation to reverse its decision.
In Egypt, injury-plagued Marwarn Mohsen ended his 24-month run without a goal after scoring in soon-to-be champions Al Ahly’s 3-0 drubbing of Dakhleya. Leading scorer Walid Azarou wasn’t to be left out in the goal-feast, getting his name on the score sheet to put Al Ahly a victory away from snatching the Presentation-sponsored Egyptian Premier League.
Elsewhere, the domestic league in Ghana has been postponed indefinitely after a relegated top-flight side filed a second injunction at an upper court in the country’s administrative capital, Accra. The season, launched this week on Monday, was set to tee off this weekend before Ghana FA’s move to put it off.
Great Olympics have filed a second appeal against Elmina Sharks seeking fair hearing having seen their initial case thrown out of the window. The furor between the technical arm of government, the National Sports Council (NSC), and The Gambia’s Football Federation is yet to cease after police called in both parties for questioning. The rancor between the two began last September following the appointment of Borri Darboe as the NSC’s boss. Prior to assuming office, Darboe has been a staunch critic of the current federation’s head Lamin Kabba Bajo.
Days following his appointment, the NSC made public its intentions to investigate the GFF of corruption and other malpractices. The council later suspended key figures of the FA but has since rescinded the decision after FIFA warned it could take retributive measures against the Gambia. Flames of this saga cooled months after FIFA’s threat prompted a sudden truce agreed between the warring parties.
But Gambia’s parliament-sect sports committee, unexpectedly, reignited the feud after it asked the federation to comply with the NSC to be allowed to be subjected to probing – a request the FA refused to heed. Police have taken a move to question the top dogs at the both the NSC and GFF. It, however, remains to be seen whether FIFA will be receptive to this latest development owing to its longstanding uncompromising stance towards third party interference in the running of football.
Switching to Tunisia, defending champions Esperance has urged the Tunisian football governing body to consider rescinding the ban placed on its fans. ES Tunis was ordered to play behind closed doors after incurring the FA’s wrath for crowd trouble.