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Top Headlines Across Africa

On the front, is the saga regarding Nigerian Football Federation’s snail-pace decision to pay the Nigerian women team their match bonuses after they retained the Africa Women Cup of Nations title. The Super Falcons jettisoned off Cameroon 1-0 to claim the prize. Each player is due $16,500 and the stand-off is threatening to dampen the victory celebrations with players already umbraged by the whole situation.  It seems not only players and coaches are owed by the cash-strapped NFF but hoteliers and travel agents, and federation Director of Communications Ademola Olajire revelation on today’s Nigerian Guardian that the money isn’t available right this moment is viewed, in some quarters, as dousing fuel to raging fire.

The Nigerian economy is gripped by recession and the broke NFF, a set up that has a towering notoriety of not paying players on time, has applied for a bail out from government. While tension simmers, the NFF’s job isn’t done yet with cash also to be raised to ensure two of Falcons’ injured players Onome Ebi and Ngozi Okobu –who had to be ferried on a wheel chair upon arrival at the airport – are operated on.

In North Africa, Egypt’s top tier is engulfed by a boiling saga with Ismaily threatening to follow Zamalek to boycott the league. Five times African champions Zamalek, led by controversial chairman Mortada Mansour, took a daring decision to discontinue playing in the Egyptian premier citing bias refereeing and corruption. While pondering doing a Zamalek, Ismaily has asked the Egypt FA to make a review of the referee committee’s performance in previous games including alignment of certain referees to governmental sectors. The side vowed to summon an emergency congress to decide whether or not to cease the club’s football activity. What will become of this morass will certainly make an interesting reading in days to come.

Away from football troubles, Ahmed El-Ahmar, a Zamalek handball, was feted with an honorary medal by the country’s sitting president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for his exploits with Egypt’s national handball team in the men’s military championship.

Over to Southern Africa, Angola international Ary Papel has signed the dotted lines with Portuguese heavyweights Sporting Lisbon. Acquired from domestic Angolan club C.D Primeiro de Agosto, the 22-year-old penned a two-and-half-year deal with a massive release clause.

Papel switching to Sporting pours cold water on riffed speculations of Al Ahly pursuit of the striker.

Also trending, is Guinean-born forward Hadji Barry’s emotional reunion with his mother after a decade. Driven by pursuit of dream to become a professional footballer, the 23-year-old, now playing for Major League Soccer outfit Orlando City Sporting Club, left Guinea in 2006 as a13-year-old.

The attacker, who scored four times in his ten appearances for the club’s reserves, shared an emotional picture on social media site instagram, capturing the emotional embrace with his mother.

And we are at it….. Egbuchulam Chisom, a player we profiled months back, describing him as the Shining Light of Nigeria Premier League, graced the front cover of Nigeria’s The Nation tabloid. The 23-year-old is buoyed of helping Enugu Rangers make their mark felt in the Caf Champions League. Chisom is credited for spurring a campaign that would end Rangers’ 32-year wait for the league title.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“We are not going to make up the number rather we are determined to make a mark in the CAF Champions league. I believe we can do that because we play for each other, we believe in team work and that has always worked for us,”[/perfectpullquote]

Chisom said after receiving the Player of the Year gong at an end of the season Nigeria’s Awards Night.

In Kenya, there is optimism of Olympic Marathon champion Eluid Kipchoge winning the Kenya’s male athlete of the year award. Kipchoge is one  of a raft of athletes vying for the staked prize at an Awards Night event to be held Wednesday at the Panari Hotel, reports the Kenya Daily Nation.

Regarding football in the East African country, premier league side Muhoroni Youth have been ordered to pay duo players Paul Okatwa and Mark Ongwae. The club is asked to fork out a combined 349,000 Kenyan money, for wrongful termination of their services, rules Kenya’s Premier League independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee. The verdict followed the pair stars’ lodging of a complaint to the footballers’ welfare body there whose lawyers took up the matter.

In a hearing heard on camera, the players said they were not given ample time to prove their worth to the team, a thing Muhoroni flatly denies. But a verdict reached by the case presiding committee points fault at the club,  the Kenyan media and Super Sport, report.

Featured Photo: Hadji Barry is a Guinean professional footballer (Courtesy of Andy Mead / MLS)

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