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Africa’s Opening Group World Cup Qualifiers Delayed

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The opening group matches of Africa’s qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup have been postponed.
The group stage of the qualifiers were due to be played in June but Fifa has confirmed the campaign will now start in September.
“Taking into consideration the current disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to ensure optimal playing conditions for all teams, it has been decided to postpone the African qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021,” football’s world governing body posted on its website.
“The qualifiers are now scheduled to take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.”
For its part, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) said it will be “reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of Covid-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows.”
A total of 40 African nations are bidding for one of five places for the continent at the finals in Qatar.
The teams have been drawn into 10 groups of four nations with only the pool winners progressing to a final play-off phase to decide the teams going to Qatar.
The delay will allow several countries more time to upgrade their stadia to a standard that will allow them to host matches rather than having to play outside their borders.

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CAF CL: Why Akwa United Struggled Against CR Belouizdad

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  • Boboye

Coach Kennedy Boboye admitted that Akwa United failed in their bid to replace the players that left the club.
Boboye revealed this in his post match confe-rence after Akwa United kick-started their 2021-2022 CAF Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over CR Belouizdad of Algeria on Sunday.
The Promise Keepers lost influential stars like Charles Atshimene and Olisa Ndah to CD Feirense of Portugal and Orlando Pirates of South Africa respectively earlier this month.
Recall that Ndah and Atshimene played key role in Akwa United’s NPFL title victory and Boboye admitted that the club was unable to bring in replacement.
He said: “This is what we have gotten. Most of the players we tried to get did not come.”
“We can’t stop players from travelling. It is unfortunate that we started the tournament very early.”
“We have not been able to play together for a long time. By the time we surpass this stage, we would be better than before,” he said.

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Remo Stars To Appoint Ogunbote Head Coach

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Nigeria Professional Football League New Boys, Remo Stars are on the verge of appointing Gbenga Ogunbote as their new coach.
Reports revealed that Remo Stars manage-ment will appoint the former Enyimba and Sunshine Stars boss to take over the reign from Daniel Ogunbodede who tutored the team last season.
Ogunbote was spot-ted with the Ikenne-based club during the just concluded NNL Super 8 in Enugu.
The club is set to announce the mana-gerial change in the coming days, but nothing has been heard, concerning the future of Daniel Ogunbodede.
Ogunbodede helped Remo Stars seal their return to the elite division after finishing second in NNL playoff in Group A.

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CAFCL: Eguma Warns Players Against Complacency

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Rivers United Coach, Stanley Eguma, has warned his players against comp-lacency ahead of their CAF Champions Lea-gue second leg prelimi-nary game against Young Africans.
The Pride of Rivers defeated the Tanzanian side 1-0 at the Benjamin Mkapa Nat-ional Stadium on Sunday.
Samuel Omodumuke scored the winning goal for the visitors in the 52nd minute to give the Eguma’s side advant-age of going to the next game.
The return leg will take place next week Sunday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.
Speaking ahead of the second meeting, Eguma hinted that his players need to forget about the first leg result and approach the second leg with all seriousness.
“They are a good side and have mobile players.
 “We need to have the right mentality when we play them at home, we must not relent and fight as if we have not played the first leg.
“We must put in everything in the second leg, that is going to be our approach.”
“The players need to rise to the occasion to ensure that we seal the qualification,” he said.

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