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Mubarak Joins Football Row



Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak has stepped into a row with Algeria, vowing he will not tolerate the “humiliation” of Egyptian nationals abroad.

The dispute was triggered by violence following football World Cup qualifying matches between the two north African Arab nations.

Algeria won the crucial play-off, but each side has accused the other’s fans of attacking their supporters.

The governing body of world football, FIFA, is investigating the violence.

The BBC’s Yolande Knell in Cairo says in a country where political demonstrations are usually heavily suppressed this is an unusual sight and a further sign of how strained Egypt’s relationship with Algeria has now become.

In the televised statement to a joint session of parliament, President Mubarak said his country will not be lax in defending the rights and integrity of its citizens.

“Egypt does not tolerate those who hurt the dignity of its sons,” he said.

Although he did not mention Algeria by name, our correspondent says it was clear he was referring to the row that has occurred following violence that spilled over following the matches on 14 and 18 November.

Mr Mubarak said: “We don’t want to be drawn into impulsive reactions. I am agitated too, but I restrain myself.”

Algeria has demanded that Egypt stop what it describes as “a media campaign” against it following the violence.

On Friday, riot police had to quell a violent demonstration near the Algerian embassy in Cairo. Egypt’s interior ministry said 35 people were injured.

A day earlier, around 1,000 Egyptians burned Algerian flags in a street near the Algerian embassy.

Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 in a play-off in Sudan on Wednesday.

Protesters were incensed by reports that Egyptian fans at the match had been attacked as they left the stadium.

Egypt has threatened to quit international football for two years after complaining to FIFA about Algerian fans’ behaviour in Khartoum.

If Egypt does not go through with its threat, there is a chance the teams could meet again in less than three months, in the Cup of African Nations, hosted by Angola.

The two teams were drawn in different groups at Friday’s ceremony but could meet each other in the later stages.

Egypt’s foreign ministry had summoned the Algerian ambassador to hear complaints about reports of attacks on Egyptian fans in Khartoum and on Egyptian businesses in Algeria.

The Egyptian ambassador in Algiers was than recalled “for consultations”.

Sudan has also summoned the Egyptian envoy in Khartoum, angry at Egyptian media coverage of the game’s aftermath.

The Egyptian government alleges 21 of its citizens were attacked after the match, but Sudan says far fewer were injured.

The teams needed the play-off in a neutral country to decide on qualification after the final group match between them on Saturday saw Egypt win 2-0, meaning the two teams finished tied at the top of the group with equal points and identical goal difference.

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Egypt after the Algerian team bus was pelted with stones before the 14 November match in Cairo.

Three Algerian players were injured by rocks thrown as they arrived.

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CAF Mulls Super League Idea



The Confederation of African Football [CAF] is discussing the idea of introducing an African Super League, a continental competition which would likely replace the current CAF Champions League and hopefully boost revenue for the organising body.
The revelation was made as CAF President Patrice Motsepe issued a statement outlining the changes and reforms the new leadership is making to ensure African football is globally competitive and self-sustaining.
The idea has taken shape even despite the disastrous European Super League [ESL] proposal earlier this year, which caused major controversy before being banned after most founding member clubs bowed to fan pressure and pulled out.
“ExCo [the CAF executive committee] may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its member associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining,” Motsepe was quoted as saying by Tidesports source.
“In this regard, we are assessing and [are] in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
CAF is looking to boost income after recent forensic auditing revealed that the organisation has been beset by financial irregularities.

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NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players



The Chief Coach of Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, Ndubuisi Nduka, has praised his players after a 1-0 win over Katsina United FC in the match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) in Port Harcourt.
He stated that his boys (players) gave all their best  to ensure they secured the maximum three points for the team, and described the encounter as very tough. 
Nduka, said this on Sunday, during a post match interview with sports journalists, after the Pride of Rivers, defeated their opponents  1-0, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
According to him, what made the match more difficult for his players was that they failed to utilise goal opportunities they created in the first half of the game.
The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute by home boy, Malachi Ohawume, who made his goals four for this league season.
“It was a tough game; I think our boys gave it all.
What made it more difficult for us was the chances we lost especially in the first half, “ Nduka said.
He explained that the second round of the league is always difficult because every team is fighting to be at top and some are fighting not to be relegated.
“At this point and time of the league, the second round, we are stretching to the finishing point.
“It is always difficult and if you remember the position of Katsina United, they are not safe so they are looking for where to pick points, so I gave kudos to my boys as they secured three points for us, “ he stated. 
Rivers United is now 4th on the log after 28 matches with 48 points.

By:  Kiadum Edookor

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Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach



The Head coach of Team Rivers State, (female) hockey, Comfort Nya, has commended her players after they defeated team Edo, 3-1 in the ongoing, 2021 Mabisel National Hockey Championship (MNHC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. 
She, described the match as one of the toughest games they have played, saying that the calibre of players she saw in the team Edo lineup was intimidating.
Nya said this on Monday in her post match interview with sports journalists, after their first victory in the championship, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports in Port Harcourt. 
According to her, their first game in the championship was difficult because of the heavy downpour, adding that they could not play well but today they are awesome.
“It was a tough one, honestly speaking I would not tell lies, and the players I saw in team Edo lineup are old and good players and my girls are just upcoming.
“I was thinking of draw or let them just play but with this result I am so happy with their performance, “Nya said. 
The coach further explained that their next outing will be against team Kaduna, they are going to do more better.
“Our first game was disturbed by heavy rainfall, they could not play well but today they have performed well.
“In our next game against team Kaduna, we are going to do better,” She stated..

By: Kiadum Edookor

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