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Mane Ready To Swap UCL Medal For AFCON Title …As Senegal, Algeria Tango In AFCON Final, Today

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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.”

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Siasia In No Rush To Appeal Life Ban

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Former Nigeria coach, Samson Siasia is not in a rush to appeal against a decision by FIFA to ban him for life from all football-related activities.
Football’s world governing body handed Siasia, who managed the Super Eagles between 2010-2011 and for a spell in 2016, the ban on Friday for agreeing to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.”
But the 52-year-old, who has also managed his country at U-20 and U-23 level, has said that he will fight to clear his name.
“I’ve not done anything wrong and will continue to fight to clear my name,” he told Tidesports source.
“Everything is now in the hands of my legal team.”
The ban is expected to be served at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 (US$50,000) was also imposed on Mr Siasia.
An associate of Siasia, Prince Opukiri Jones-Ere says his legal representatives are studying the FIFA ruling and will issue a statement in a few days.
“The coach was unable to address the press as planned on Saturdday because he’s undergoing a lot of stress,” Jones-Ere said.
“His lawyers are studying the ruling and will make an official statement in a few days.”
A former international, Siasia won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria and played in their maiden World Cup appearance later that same year. He played over 50 times for his country while scoring 16 goals.
As a coach he led his country’s Under-20 and U23s to continental success in 2005 and 2015 respectively. He also guided the U-20s to a runner-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.

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Lawmaker Tasks Youth On Sporting Activities

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The lawmaker representing Port Harcourt Constituency III, in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Azeru Opara has called on the youth in his constituency to engage themselves in sporting activities and stop social vices.
Hon. Opara, who is also the sponsor of the tournament noted that sport is one thing that exposes people to limelight in any society.
The lawmaker who was represented by his Special Assistant, Yusuf Momoh made the called at the weekend, during the opening ceremony of Diobu Youth Football Association Tournament, at St. Andrews Primary School, Mile One Diobu, Port Harcourt.
“Stop social vices and involve yourself in sporting activities. There are a lot of benefits in sports” Hon Opara said.
He commended the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime, for putting the tournament together.
Hon Opara, further pledged to not fail the people of his constituency as they voted for him, saying that this is part of his electioneering campaign promises.
Also speaking the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime stated that the competition is about bringing the youth of the area together through football tournaments, adding that sports, mostly football is one event that brings peace among the youth.
According to him, 16 teams registered for the tournament, as winner of the tournament will go home with the sum of N200, 000, while second and third place will walk away with N100,000 and N50,000 respectively.
Obiani used the medium to thank the sponsor of the competition Hon. Opara, for keeping to his electioneering campaign promises.
The opening match was between Mile one market FC and St. Thomas FC which ended 3-1 in favour of St. Thomas in a spot kick after regulation time.

 

Kiadum Edookor

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CAF CL: Asante Kotoko Fires Warning At Kano Pillars

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Asante Kotoko of Ghana’s Captain Felix Annan said his side are confident of beating Kano Pillars in the return leg of the 2019/2020 CAF champions league first preliminary stage round.
Both side will meet for the second clash this Friday in Ghana, after the first meeting ended 2-3 in favor of the Sai Masu Gida
However, speaking ahead of the decider which will hold in Kumasi, Annan said they now understand how Kano Pillars are set up to play and believed that they are capable of completing the job in front of their home fans.
“It is always difficult playing away from home in the champions league but to score 2 goals is a plus and it gives us much confidence going into the second leg in Kumasi.”
“We are very confident because of our play and knowing how they (Kano pillars) play now. So with our fans, we believe we will surely beat them. We now know their strength and weakness so we will work on that.” Annan said.
Kano Pillars must avoid defeat in Kumasi if they are to go through to the next round of the elite competition

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