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Match Fixing: Former FIFA Official Urges Reform In Africa

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Africa needs to do a lot more to combat match-fixing if it wants to restore the faith of fans in the sport, according to a former FIFA official.

A former Security Chief for football’s governing body, Chris Eaton,  has called for a new body made up of police across Africa sporting bodies as well as gambling organisations.

He said it would need appropriate funding both from inside and outside Africa and should go beyond “writing reports” to produce credible investigations.

Eaton, who is the Director of Sports Integrity for the Doha-based International Centre For Sport Security, told the Associated Press: “Africa needs a substantial, continental reform really.

“I think you will find most serious people in sport in Africa today recognise that. There is a need for regulation and oversight of the official and even unofficial bodies that are part of the sporting milieu.’’

Speaking at the centre’s two-day conference, Eaton praised police in Africa but said governments on the continent didn’t seem serious about combating the problem.

“It is a lack of political will,’’ Eaton said. “African police are as competent and capable as any police in the world. There is no doubt if they put their will to it and have the funding to it, they can do it.’’

While Uefa and the Asian Football Confederation have acknowledged the problem of match-fixing and taken steps to combat it, Africa has so far done little,  despite the fact there are an “enormous amount of allegations involving Africans in match-fixing,’’ Eaton said.

The Confederation of African Football did not address match-fixing at its recent conference, where President Issa Hayatou was re-elected unopposed after rule changes made his only challenger, Fifa Executive  Committee member Jacques Anouma, ineligible to stand for election.

Match-fixing has become a global problem, and a report from the European Union Police Agency, Europol, found organised crime gangs have fixed or tried to fix hundreds of football matches around the world in recent years.

Europol said an 18-month review found 380 suspicious matches in Europe and another 300 questionable games outside the continent, mainly in Africa, Asia and South and Central America.

Last month, a former assistant to South Africa’s national team was jailed for trying to fix a match.

And referee Ibrahim Chaibou, from the West African country of Niger, has had at least five of his matches flagged as suspicious by betting monitoring companies, an action that usually prompts Fifa and national football organisations to look into the possibility that it was fixed. Chaibou denies any wrongdoing.

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Finidi George Begins  Tenure On A Winning Note

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Super Eagles legend Finidi George began his tenure as the coach of Enyimba Football Club of Aba on a winning note.
The former Nigerian international was appointed as the coach of Nigeria’s most successful club, Enyimna FC last month, and he could not have hoped for a better start.
Finidi had revealed in his press conference that he was at the club to win, and that was what he did in his first match in charge.
The former Real Betis winger led his boys to a 1-0 win over ASC Diambars in the first leg of their second round qualifying match of the CAF Confederations Cup in Senegal.
It was not an easy victory, though, as Enyimba had their goalkeeper to thank for making vital saves to keep the away side in the game.
Substitute Cyril Olisema’s late penalty ensures the Peoples Elephants go into the second leg in Aba with a slight advantage.
It was Enyimba’s first game in the competition after they were drawn in the first qualifying round. Finidi will now hope his side can finish the job at home and seal a place in the playoff round.

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‘I Remain One Of Africa’s Best Strikers’

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Former Super Eagles striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni believes he ranks among the best strikers out of Africa.
Tidesports source reports that Aiyegbeni sits fifth on the list of all-time African goalscorers in the Premier League with 95 goals, just behind Togolese striker, Emmanuel Adebayor’s 97 for Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
The Nigerian featured for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn Rovers over a nine-year period, and believes his record stacks up favourably considering his club’s comparatively lower standings.
“I’ll still remain one of the top strikers from Africa, no matter if those guys score more than 100 goals,” he said. “Don’t forget they played for some of the biggest clubs in England.
“To score 15, 17 goals in Portsmouth, Middleborough, Everton and Blackburn is big as well. If you can get 15 goals in a season as a striker in England, it’s a great season for you.
“For me, it’s an honour to score that many goals. I got injured and didn’t play for one year. If I had, I would have scored more than 100. I had chances to do it, but the time was right for me to leave, so I went to China.”
As for current players, Manchester City’s Algeria international, Riyad Mahrez (67), sixth on the list, and Arsenal’s Gabonese striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (66), seventh, still have some way to go to trouble the top five.

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Whyte Ogbonda Satisfied With Team’s Performance

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Manager of Osun Babes Whyte Ogbonda has commended his players’ performance at the on going 2021 edition of the Flying Officers Cup Tour name ng and tasked them to be more determined when they face Royal Queens in their next encounter.
Ogbonda made the commendation during a telephone chat with Tidesports at the weekend.
The Ogbonda led side played a goalless draw against Bayelsa Queens on Fridau to book a place in the quarters finale of the major Women Football preseason Championship in Africa.
According to the former Ibom Angels manager, rhe game against Bayelsa Queens was a great test and it really helped them(Osun Babes FC), as they continue to build a team for the new season.
“Truly, our preparation was not ideal before now, but I told my players before the match that it is very important that we go past the first round and qualify for the next round.
‘It was very tough out there and you could see that we needed to work together more because at times we were pushed beyond limits.
‘We are happy to be in the next round of this tournament and with more hard work, I believe we will get better as a team.”
Osun Babes will play in the quarter-finals against Royal Queens Today at the Area 10 Sports Complex, Abuja.

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