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Caf Hails ‘Miraculous’ Tournament

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The Africa Cup of Nations
in Equatorial Guinea has been described as “miraculous” by the Confederation of African Football general secretary.
Only in November original hosts Morocco’s plea to delay the event was rejected , leading to its relocation.
And despite a riot and poor facilities, Hicham el Amrani rated it a success.
“Based on the time we had, and the circumstances, making it happen the way it happened was miraculous – nothing short of that,” he told BBC Sport.
“We’re happy about the whole organisation, in general, with the time we had and the resources we had, and I think it was quite something to have been able to have a tournament that ended up well.”
However, the tournament, which ended on Sunday with Ivory Coast beating Ghana on penalties to lift the trophy , will be remembered as a controversial and troubled one.
Crowd violence marred the semi-final between the hosts and Ghana, when play was interrupted for 30 minutes as missiles were thrown from the stands, forcing Black Stars fans to gather on the field behind a goal for their own safety.
And there was a hotly-disputed penalty decision in Equatorial Guinea’s quarter-final win over Tunisia, whose players needed to be restrained as they chased referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn off the pitch at the end of the match.
Tunisian Football Association president Wadie Jary was suspended from all activities relating to Caf and Tunisia must apologise to Caf by 31 March for accusing the body of cheating or be banned from the 2017 tournament.
Caf also banned Seechurn for six months for his “poor performance” in the match.
“We are not pleased with some incidents that happened in a couple of games, but this is part of football,” said El Amrani in an exclusive interview with our source.
“Thank God no casualties happened (at Equatorial Guinea’s semi-final in Malabo), or no major injuries happened on the pitch. We had a few people injured but those were very light injuries.
“We are very sad and sorry about that [crowd trouble] happening – but the best way of dealing with it is to work on its prevention in the future, rather than just try to find the wrong causes that created that.”
El Amrani also defended Caf’s decision not to punish Equatorial Guinea fans for their violent behaviour, instead fining the football federation and warning the team would have to play behind closed doors if there was a repeat offence.
“After everything Equatorial Guinea did, and the fans as well, in general they were very peaceful, supportive, we realised that the guarantees received by the security authorities for the third-place play-off were sufficient to allow the fans to watch their team for the last time in the competition,” he said.
“We felt it would have been really unjust and unfair to spoil the whole party of a month that was organised, a party also for the youth. We told them we were extremely disappointed.”
Overall, El Amrani believes the tournament was “better than expected”.
“We were delighted by the crowds that came, delighted by the beauty of the smaller sites that were unknown to the public in general before, Mongomo and Ebebiyin, Equatorial Guinea did a fantastic job.

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Iyalo D King Cup: Obidianso FC Emerges Champions

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Obidianso Street FC of Port Harcourt has emerged winners of this year’s edition of Iyalo D King, 4 Aside football tournaments at the Amanakana football Stadium, Diobu, on Sunday, in Port Harcourt.
Speaking with journalists, after the finals match, the Chief sponsor of the competition, Victor Fubara, said the tournament was to sustain the existing peace and unity among the youths in Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
He noted that there were a lot of talents  in the area which needed help, saying that, with the competition a lot of hidden talents has been discovered and they will be  exposed to the world of football. 
“I want to use this competition to change the narrative about the youths of Diobu in Port Harcourt.
I want to tell you that there is peace and unity among the youths in the area.
You can see joy and happiness on the faces of the people watching the game.
My   main purpose of organizing this tournament is to foster the existing peace and unity, also to pass a massage to the outside world that what they think about Diobu is different, “ Fubara stated.
Fubara who is popularly known as Diayo, revealed that he brought  some scouts to select some good players. 
“I personally just want to do it for them,” he said.
He used the medium to call on the Government to support his agenda and programme in terms of youth empowerment in different areas.  
“My message to the youths is to stop violence and embrace peace,” he stated. 
 At the end of the finals, Obidianso Street FC defeated Awgu Street FC 2-1 on penalty shootout after playing goalless draw in regulation time.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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Kano Pillars To Pay N5m Fine Over Covid-19 Protocol

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Kano Pillars have been charged for breaching the NPFL Framework and Rules, following the infraction in their Matchday 27 fixture vs Akwa Utd at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna last Sunday.
The Kano club has been charged for breaching the Covid-19 Protocol by admitting and/or permitting spectators and supporters into the venue.
Pillars are also charged for encroachment after their supporters encroached onto the field of play, thereby disrupting the match.
The club is further charged for failing to provide adequate security leading to failure in crowd control and restriction of access by unauthorised persons to restricted areas.
In line with The Nigeria Football Federation directives, Kano Pillars are hereby sanctioned with a fine of N5 million for breaching the Covid-19 Protocol. 
A fine of N2.5 million is also imposed on Kano Pillars for encroachment by their supporters, which led to a discontinuation of the match.
There is also an imposed sanction of a deduction of 3 points, which shall be suspended for the duration of the remainder of the season, subject to good conduct.
The club also faces a venue sanction of being banned from their Kaduna home ground and subsequently moved to another venue if there is a recurring event.
Kano Pillars have been directed to submit a revised security plan within 7 days and ensure they comply strictly with Covid-19 Protocol. All subject to approval by the LMC.
The club, however, has 48 hours from the date of notice to appeal these sanctions.

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Super Falcons Have So Much To Offer – Oshoala

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Asisat Oshoala is proud of Super Falcons’ spirited second-half performance against the Portuguese last Monday.
The African women’s champions came back twice to force the Europeans to a 3-3 draw at their second Group game in the ongoing National 2021 WNT Summer Series at the BBVA Stadium.
Reacting to the result, the Barcelona Femino striker, hailed the fighting spirit and said the team had so much potential.
  I am proud of everyone. We were two goals down and then 3-2 in the 88th minute and we did it. I want to say this is just the beginning.
“We have so much in this team. We don’t even know what we have, people out there kept cheering us when we had the ball because we kept on pushing. That’s the spirit!” she said.
Following the thrilling six-goal match, the Super Falcons will head to Austin yesterday for today’s final match against the United States at the Q2 Stadium as Jamaica and Portugal bid the Summer Series farewell after two games.

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