Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron insists his side was “better” than TP Mazembe in their CAF Champions League clash at the weekend and they were disappointed to be held to a goalless draw.
Zamalek and Mazembe played out a 0-0 in their Group A clash at the Al Salaam Stadium in Cairo on Friday night, with the White Knights unable to avenge the 3-0 loss they suffered at the hands of the Ravens when the teams first met in Lubumbashi back in late November.
The result means the DR Congo side will advance as group winners, while Carteron was left to rue a major disruption right before the match which saw Achraf Bencharki injured during the warm-up and replaced by Ahmed Sayed ‘Zizo’.
“I’m very disappointed with the draw, we were better and reached their goal on several occasions but we were unable to score,” Carteron said during the post match press conference, as quoted by Tidesports source.
“Bencharki is a great player and is very influential as he’s the team’s top goalscorer but Zizo performed really well throughout the whole game.
“The team is in very good physical condition and we were able to achieve great results lately. If we would’ve scored in the first-half no one would’ve talked about the players’ physical condition or the absence of a fitness coach,” he added.
The Frenchman praised his side for their recent performances, especially goalkeeper Mohamed Abo Gabal.
“Abo Gabal was slightly injured lately and he appeared today after fully recovering,” explained the coach. “Our players’ ability allows to play with just one striker instead of two, I rely mostly on the crosses.”
Zamalek will wrap up their Group A campaign with a clash away to Primeiro de Agosto in Luanda next Saturday, 1 February.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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