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Top Stories Across Africa

Ducor Sports brings forth to our readers major headline-making news items from across the continent.

Top on the lips of everyone is the soon-to-start Africa Cup of Nations which Libreville city will host.

Qualified nations for the 16-team tournament are putting the finer details to their preparations. In what would be the occasion’s 60th anniversary, champions Ivory Coast will have their sights on retaining the trophy beginning their campaign with an opening fixture against Togo.

How The Elephants, without retired Yaya Toure, will wriggle out of Group C comprising DR Congo, Morocco and Togo, will make for an interesting reading.

Day-Four of the competition features Egypt up against Mali. Should gaffer Hector Raul Cuper opt to start Essam El Hadary, it will see the Wadi Degla net-minder become the oldest player in the Afcon history at 43, surpassing countryman Hossam Hassan who previously held the record in 2006 aged 39.

As teams re-polish their armoury, others have had their fine-turning moments distracted by unwelcome news. One such is Cameroon who’ve had six players refusing to make themselves available for the Indomitable Lions.  Defender Joel Matip was among the rebelling players boycotting from coming citing ‘previous bad experiences’ with the national team staffs as excuse.

An umbraged Cameroon’s FA vowed to institute legal action against the said stars which could have meant a possible ban for the players and their domestic clubs. But the matter, it appears, has been put to bed with the Lions coach going ahead to name his 23-man roster without inclusion of the rebelling players one of whom is West Brom’s Nyom.

Egypt, Ghana, Mali and others have all trimmed down their provisional rosters to a final 23-man squad.

Over to Egypt, Zamalek chairman Mortada today suffered a snub from Saudi Arabia club Ittihad’s boss who chose not to reply when asked about Mortada’s asking price of 40m euros for on-loan player Mahmoud Kahraba.

Still in Cairo, Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) have sued Caf’s boss Issa Hayatou over alleged abuse of power and competition laws.

Issa reserves rights to accord broadcasting rights fairly to bidding companies but ECA believes Hayatou is into preferential treatment, accusing the Caf supremo of giving broadcasting rights to Legardere Sports agency from 2006 -2016 without fair bidding– a thing ECA believes, runs contrary to Egypt competition laws.

Owing to the attention the case is garnering, continental football governing body Caf has reacted dismissing reports  of its president being sued as too good to be true, insisting, Largardere’s latest  renewed contract from 2017-2028 is done in compliance with existing laws.

‘Caf wishes to point out that the contract with Legardere Sport does not contravene national or supranational legislations,’ Caf says in a latest dispatch regarding the case.

The same ECA have also sued beIN Sports to the general prosecution over allegedly misusing its dominant position in the Egyptian market.

In Zambia, the mood is one of mourning with the Southern African country paying its respects to four of its fallen heroes in 2016.

The deceased quartet are Fighton Simukonda, Zambia U-23 coach, Norman Muntali former Zambia U-23 star, Justine Kunda ex-player and the Hillcrest Technical School Football Team who lost five of their players in a bus accident.

Elsewhere in Lome, Adebayor is the man to headline Togo’s Afcon campaign after tactician Leroy accorded the 32-year-old place in his finalised squad. Ade is without a club this material moment after seeing out a six-month deal with EPL’s Crystal Palace.

The erstwhile Real Madrid star will be hoping to give a good account of himself as he plans to get attached to a club before start of the season, using the Afcon.

He’s expected to partner Genoa’s Gakpe in Togo’s attack.

Kegaan Dolly is the man hugging the headlines in South Africa with his move to Europe in jeopardy.

The 23-year-old is embroiled in a dispute with his club over his release clause.

French club Monpillier and Greece’s Olympiakos are reported front-runners in the pursuit of star’s signature with a deal almost said to have been brokered until dispute over the playmaker’s release clause halted matters.

Kegaan, a South Africa international, signed a four-year deal in 2014 with a buy-out clause pegged at 1.5m euros, a thing Mamelodi later inexplicably changed to 750,000 euros. The African champions have since admitted it that to be a ‘mistake’ on their part.

The case was forwarded to the Dispute Resolution Committee who passed a verdict accepting Sundowns version of events.

Dolly has the backing of the South Africa Footballers’ Union who are looking to pass the case to FIFA.

Still in SA, sacked Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba is seeking to be reinstated to his previous job after taking his case to a Johannesburg tribunal.

Reports monitored in Pretoria say, Shakes decision to take his matter to the courts wouldn’t stop the South Africa Football body from looking for a new national team coach.

The 66-year-old got suspended before being axed for gross misconduct.

It’s believed, should Shakes fail in his bid to get his job back, he will push to settle for an amount as compensation from the SAFA.

While we are at it….…it is yet another round of legal battle for Mamelodi Sundowns with another of their player dragging the South African giants to FIFA. Nigerian player Ejike Ozoenyi has urged world Football governing entity FIFA to take the step of canceling his contract with The Brazilians because he’s unable to play half of Sundowns games the last 24 months he’d been with them.

Ejike, currently training with Nigeria’s Rangers, will walk out on Mamelodi a free agent should FIFA grant his wish.

Wrapping up, It’s been an embarrassing episode for 2015 African Player of the Year Aubamayeng who lost his luggage. So, In case you see the Gabon and Dortmund goal-poacher in red a cap and T-shirt at the awards night, you need not wonder why.


Featured Photo: Côte d’Ivoire players( Courtesy of AFP)

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