Top Headlines Across Africa
Top on the headlines is the shocking news in Uganda where a boat carrying a football team and some fans sank with thirty passengers feared missing. Official death toll is pegged at nine with fifteen reported to have been rescued.
Overloading is believed to be cause of the wreck. There was on-going party in the boat prior to it capsizing. Over fifteen passengers leaned to one side of the boat triggering an imbalance forcing the boat to sink, according to locals.
The Ugandan team were crossing the river to honor a friendly fixture when the unfortunate incident happened.
This comes as another devastating news to the football World after a plane carrying the Chapecoense football team crashed.
We opted to take a pip in the Netherlands where former Nigeria footballer Sunday Oliseh got endorsed as coach of Fortuna Sittard, a Dutch second tier club.
The Ex-Super Eagles gaffer accepted an 18-month deal to sit on Fortuna’s managerial helm with an option to an extended contract at season’s end.
Topping in Central Africa, is Nations Cup hosts Gabon’s announcement of its 23-player roster with Africa Player of the Year hopeful Aubamayeng central to the squad.
Gabon – joint-hosts of the Afcon 2012 – are hoping to go a step ahead of their group stage finish last year and Coach Jose Antonio Camacho have good players to his disposal to spearhead the push to pull off a wow factor.
Top of talking points in North Africa is revelation by the Egyptian FA that Viktor Kassai will be the man to take charge of the whistle in the derby between Al Ahly and Zamalek.
This is will be the second time the Hungarian referee will be officiating the Cairo derby.
English referee Mark Clattenburg was initially considered by the EFA before the English FA turned down the request.
Egyptian domestic referees’ competence has been questioned recently by both players and club administrators and the latest move by EFA to pick a foreign arbiter for the season’s clash of giant’s battle, many believe, further serves not only to alienate but undermine the growth of domestic referees. Meanwhile, Al Ahly have chosen to slap a fine on 24-year-old Ghana striker John Antwi for ‘traveling without permission’ the club website says.
John -linked with a transfer to second-placed Misr El-Maqassa – is yet to react publicly about the issue and faces repercussion of also being sidelined for the Cairo derby billed for Thursday.
In Nigeria, just when we thought the troubles the African Women’s football champions The Falconets when through to get their bonuses paid is enough of an exposure to poor supports accorded to national athletes, here comes another story of a poorly treated national hero.
Lauretta Onye, a female Paralympian, took the Nigeria flag to unbelievable heights when she won gold with a throw of 8.40m gold medalist consequently becoming a World record holder in the F40 Shout Put class.
But the 32-year-old yesterday revealed she might consider quitting sports after getting incessantly mocked by passers-by for having nothing to show in status, for representing Nigeria.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “I train without the help of the government; I attend international competitions and win medals for the country because I love Nigeria. But, I have had enough because there is nothing to show that my country loves me after what I have achieved. I am not proud of my country. When I win laurels, my name and that of Nigeria is called, the national anthem is sung and this to me is patriotism. As an Olympian and two-time world record holder, people tell me that I am supposed to be driving my own car, when they see me on the streets, they mock me to my face. Therefore, I have made up my mind to stop going for training because there is no need to continue with what is not appreciated, I cannot be wasting my time,’’ [/perfectpullquote]
Critics are of the opinion Onye is making noise over poor support rendered to her only now while other quarters believe whatever her situation she is at least deserving of a befitting reception like other able-bodied athletes.
In Uganda, national team goalkeeper Dennis Oyango is something of a national hero after getting named as the World tenth best goalkeeper for 2016.
The 29-year-old is Mamlodi Sundowns net-minder, winning the South African league and the Caf Champions League.
International Federation of Football History and Statistics ranked the Ugandan in its top ten of the best man between the sticks, placing him ahead of Arsenal’s Petr Cech, Inter Milan’s Handanovi and Barca’s Marc Andre Ter Stegen with five points.
Among the nominees for CAF best home-based player of the year, AFCON newcomers Uganda’s Cranes won’t certainly be worried when the Gabon finals start next month with Dennis in goal.
At press time, Fatau Dauda of Enyimba Nigeria was one of the stars called up to Ghana’s squad for the Nation’s Cup.
Featured Photo: Courtesy of VOA news