Top Stories in Africa
A summary of the sports news making headlines across Africa.
The biggest news in Africa is coming from West Africa with Nigeria and Ghana facing possible bans while Cameroon’s preparations for the 2019 AFCON tournament have been given the thumbs-up, putting to rest a possible stripping of hosting right. But first, we head South, where one of the best talents this continent has ever seen, Kalusha Bwalya has been given a two-year ban by FIFA.
In Zambia, The biggest news coming out of Zambia is the ban of one of the continents most respected personalities Kalusha Bwalya by the World Football governing body (FIFA).
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee banned Kalusha Bwalya, who is a member of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for two years from all football-related activities.
The investigation against the 1988 African footballer of the year was opened on 28th February 2017 and focused principally on benefits that he purportedly received from Mr. Bin Hammam.
Bwalya, however, came out with a statement barely hours after the ban was announced, claiming innocence and his intentions to clear his name as he planned to appeal.
On to Netball, The 2018 African Netball Championship kicked off last Monday, August 14th at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) with a colorful opening.
Zambia started on a good note winning their first two games, Beating Botswana first 50-43 and then beating Kenya 52-40.
Our first stop in West Africa is Nigeria. The World Football governing body (FIFA) has given the NFF until Monday (August 20), to sort out their issues failure to which a ban will follow.
The confusion dates back in 2014, with Chris Giwa, the losing NFF presidential candidate believing he was legitimately elected during the 2014 ballot and was backed by Nigerian Sports Minister Solomon Dalung earlier this month.
A Supreme Court also ruled in favor of Giwa who, they said, should be at the helm of the NFF but FIFA recognizes Amaju Melvin Pinnick as the legitimate NFF boss.
Should Nigeria fail to comply, the possible suspension that will follow them would have no effect on the Nigerian team currently playing at the Women’s Under-20 World Cup in France as the tournament has already started.
Over to Ghana, it’s more of the same as Nigeria as a ban also looms. Ghana has been given until August 27th to reverse a court order dissolving the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
The government ordered the GFA to be dissolved after allegations of widespread corruption in Ghanaian soccer were made in an undercover documentary. FIFA, however, doesn’t allow governments to interfere in the running of soccer bodies.
We take a stroll to Cameroon. The Confederation of African Football (CAF ) Cameroon AFCON 2019 inspection team led by 1st Vice President Amaju Pinnick were left pleased with the preparations and assured Cameroon of keeping their 2019 AFCON hosting rights, saying the tournament will not be taken away from the central African country.
Concerns that Cameroon would be overwhelmed by organizing an expanded 24-team tournament saw possible replacements being lined up with Morocco as the likely replacement – something the North African country came out to refute. The 2019 AFCON was initially scheduled to be a 16-team tournament.
CAF vice-president Amaju Pinnick gave assurance that Cameroon would not be stripped of the hosting rights at the end of the third inspection early this week.
“What we have seen so far is quite impressive,” Pinnick told Cameroon National Radio and Television.
“The government (of Cameroon) has made a huge effort towards hosting the best AFCON ever. We are very excited about it. We are truly, from the depth of our souls, desirous about Cameroon doing this because we know that it is going to impact hugely not just only on Cameroon but the whole continent of Africa,” he added.
Cameroon booked their ticket for the 2019 African Under-17 Championships in Tanzania after thrashing Congo Brazzaville 3-1 at the finals of Central African Football Federations Union (UNIFFAC) U-17 Championship held on Sunday in Malabo.
Last but not least in Cameroon, Legend Samuel Eto’o joined Qatar league side, Qatar Sports Club, just days after he ended his brief stay with Turkish side Konyaspor.
The former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea striker will be unveiled on Tuesday, said Qatar Sports Club, the latest big-name addition to Qatar’s domestic league as it gears up to host the 2022 World Cup.
In Egypt, it’s finally some good news for fans as Youth and Sports minister, Ashraf Sobhy, announced that the Cabinet of Ministers agreed on Tuesday to allow spectators to return to watch matches.
Sobhy revealed that the gradual return will start with allowing 5,000 spectators to watch games from the stands starting the 1st of September. University students will be the first to be allowed to enter, in addition to working on raising the awareness of those who will be attending the games.
The ministry and the Egyptian Football Association have been trying to resolve this issue since 2012 after supporters were banned from attending games due to the death of 72 Al Ahly fans during the Portsaid massacre.
Still in Cairo, Egypt national team greats will take on World legends on October 28 in Egypt. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Ahmed ‘Mido’ Hossam revealed that 70,000 fans will be allowed to watch the match on October 28.
Egyptian legends include Mido, Hazem Emam, Hossam and Ibrahim Hassan, Hany Ramzy, Essam El-Hadary, Mohamed Barakat, Wael Gomaa, and Ahmed Hassan among others while on the World legends are the likes of Totti, Figo, Drogba, Ronaldo, Carlos, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, and Ballack among others.
In Uganda, KCCA Football Club has reportedly sold 20-year-old striker Muhammad Shaban for a transfer fee rumored to be around $130,000 (One Hundred Thirty Thousand US Dollars) to Morocco’s Raja Casablanca.
Shaban has been a subject of a transfer speculation and was also linked with a move to South Africa’s Orlando Pirates where he reportedly had trials earlier this month.