Senegal forward Sadio Mane says he would swap his Uefa Champions League winning medal with Liverpool for winning the Africa Cup of Nations tonight.
Senegal seek to win Afcon for the first time when they face Algeria in the final in Cairo, Egypt.
Mane helped Liverpool beat Tottenham to win the Champions League final on 1 June, and has three goals in five starts at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“For sure, I would be ready even today [to swap],” Mane told Tidesports source.
The former Southampton player, 27, added: “Maybe I don’t need to swap when we win it hopefully.
“We know it won’t be easy but it’s normal, it’s part of football. Algeria is a great team and now I’m just looking forward to playing in the final and to win it.”
Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi said his side would “fight” to try and win the tournament for a second time.
“To the Algerian people, I want to say: I’m not a politician, not a miracle worker or a wizard,” he added.
“But we will fight like we have fought to this point.”
Senegal and Algeria met in the group stages, with 1990 champions Algeria winning 1-0.
The biggest team news is that Senegal’s star defender Kalidou Koulibaly will miss the game after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament in the semi-final win over Tunisia.
It is only the fifth Africa Cup of Nations final to have two African head coaches and the first since 1998.
Senegal boss Aliou Cisse and Algeria’s Belmadi both played for their countries in the early 2000s.
Remarkably, for a team who have reached the World Cup quarter-finals, Senegal is not one of the 14 countries to have previously been crowned champions of Africa.
They have reached the Afcon final once, in 2002, the year of that World Cup run, but lost the final on penalties to Cameroon. Cisse, their current head coach, missed the decisive penalty that day.
Algeria has played in two finals, both against Nigeria, losing in 1980 and winning in 1990.
The game sees two of the Premier League’s top players go head to head. Algeria captain Mahrez won the Premier League with Manchester City in 2018-19, with Mane a key part of the Liverpool team that conquered the Champions League.
As well as scoring three goals, Mane has also missed two penalties. He came off penalty duty after that, but Henri Saivet missed a spot-kick in the semi-final against Tunisia.
Mahrez has also scored three, including one of the most important goals in Algeria’s history against Nigeria in the last four.
“Senegal is more than me of course,” added Mane. “I know Algeria have a good team and really good players like Mahrez.
“I think it’s going to be a really exciting final so can’t wait to be on the pitch.”
Diobu Football Competition Is To Foster Peace – Nsiegbe
The Chairman of the organising committee of the ongoing Diobu Peace/Unity Football Competition (DPUFC), Okechukwu Nsiegbe, has said that the competition is to bring peace, love and unity among youths in the area.
He explained that the competition is intended to discover talents that will excel in the football industry.
Nsiegbe stated this in an exclusive interview with Tidesports on Wednesday at the Roumuowaji play ground after Ikwerre Street FC defeated D/Line FC 9-10 in a penalty shout out after regulation time.
“The essence of the competition this period is to bring peace, l ove and unity among youths, because Christmas season is time to make peace “Nsiegbe said.
According to him, scout will be around to discover players during the tournament.
He further revealed that 16 teams registered for the tournament.
“The competition is a knock out basis, by this weekend the competition will reach quarter final stage” he stated.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Rivers Boxing Championship Discovers New Talents
The President of Nigeria Boxing Federation (PNBF), Kenneth Minimah, says the second edition of the Rivers State Open Boxing Championship (RSOBC) has discovered new talents and exposed them to limelight.
He stated that the competition is an important avenue to discover hidden talents.
Minimah, said this on Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in day two of the Championship, at the Port Harcourt boxing gym, Basketball court complex, Old Port Harcourt township.
The boxing President noted that the state has been the home of professional boxers in the 80s.
According to him, talents discovered during the championship will be given the right direction for the sport.
“Rivers State Open Boxing Championship is trying to rejuvenate the sport in the state” Minimah said.
The retired general used the medium to call on those who have passion for boxing and cooperate bodies in the state to support sponsorship of boxing competitions in the state.
“Boxing should also be taken to the grassroots,” he stated.
In the same vein, he commended Anthony Joshua, as he reclaimed his titles after had beaten Andy Ruiz Jr.
According to him, Joshua has his career back on track, adding that he had also put his mother nation back in the boxing board.
He also urged the upcoming boxers in the state to see Joshua as a role model.
By: Kiadum Edookor
2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Eagles Know Foes, January
Nigeria’s senior national team, the Super Eagles will know their group stage foes for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying series next month.
The Super Eagles had featured in each of the last three World Cup tournaments and will be bidding to make it four in a row for the first time ever and seventh overall in Qatar in 2022.
Tidesports gathered that Nigeria will be joining thirty-nine (39) other African countries in the second round (group stage) draws, which has been scheduled for the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
The second round of the qualifiers will kick off in March 2020 and will conclude in October 2021. Group winners will advance to the third round, which is scheduled for November 2021.
The ten group winners from Round 2 will be paired up for knockout matches, with the five winners securing a berth at Qatar 2022, a format reminiscent of the 2014 World Cup qualifying race which saw Nigeria defeating Ethiopia en route to qualification.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar between 21 November and 18 December 2022.
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