France legend, Zinedine Zidane has offered his backing to his former colleagues in the national side, insisting that they will qualify for the World Cup via the play-offs.
Speaking to Tidesports source, the 1998 World Cup hero declared, “They will qualify that’s what I think anyway.”
In addition, he also backed under-fire coach Raymond Domenech, stating, “To get rid of him now is not a solution. Instead, I think we should get behind (the team), and behind him.
The most important thing is the France team. It’s not a guy, it’s not a player. The most important thing is that the France team goes to the World Cup in South Africa.
“They’ll pass through the play-offs… and then we’ll see what they can do.”
Although Zidane did state that Domenech should be supported for the time being, he hinted that such a stance could change if France were to stutter fatally in the play-off fixtures. “It’s like any job,” he mused. When someone doesn’t succeed, we change.
Whatever anyone says, when you’re criticised and referred to by everyone, your play becomes more fragile. This is not the best (thing for France) today.
I’m sure the French team will produce a great World Cup.”
Zidane is remembered for many moments of brilliance in his career, though his double in the 1998 World Cup final against Brazil was arguably the highlight of his illustrious time as a player.
S’Falcons Edge Lionesses, Await Banyana For Olympic Ticket
After a goalless first leg encounter in Cameroon in the third round qualifier for the women’s football event at the 2024 Olympic Games in France, the Super Falcons of Nigeria edged the Indomitable Lionesses by 1-0 aggregate score line to reach the final round of qualifiers.
The second leg was pivotal for the Super Falcons considering that their opponent’s stifled them in a goalless draw at Stade de la Reunification in Douala last Friday.
Competing on home ground on Monday, the Nigerian team started the match strongly and saw their efforts rewarded in the 14th minute when Esther Okoronkwo scored the opening goal, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.
During the second half, the Nigerian team implemented several tactical adjustments aimed at consolidating their lead.
In the 91st minute, Cameroon’s Annie Enganemben was shown a straight red card and was subsequently sent off, as Nigeria held onto their lead to walk away 1-0 victors and progress to the final round of the Summer Olympics qualifiers after winning the tie 1-0 on aggregate.
The Super Falcons have their sights set on qualifying for their first Olympics since their last appearance in Beijing 2008.
Their win against Cameroon could pave the way for a highly anticipated matchup against African champions South Africa in the final round of qualifiers in April 2024.
The Super Falcons hold the distinction of being the most successful international women’s football team, boasting a record eleven Women’s Africa Cup of Nations titles. Their last triumph came in 2018 when they defeated Banyana Banyana in the final.
Furthermore, the team stands alone as the only women’s national team from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to have reached the quarter-finals in both the Fifa Women’s World Cup and the Summer Olympics competitions.
The Super Falcons await the outcome of the match between South Africa and Tanzania, scheduled for yesterday, to determine their next opponent.
Banyana Banyana held a significant advantage following their 3-0 victory in the first leg.
Rivers Hoopers Sign American For Basketball Africa League
Rivers Hoopers have completed the signing of Will Perry for the 2024 Basketball Africa League.
Perry, who played for Ferroviario da Beira for two consecutive seasons, helped his team reach the quarter final of the 2023 BAL.
The American tied the BAL record for most points scored in a game and also set a record for most three-pointers made in a single game. He set the record when he scored 41 points and 8 assists including 9 three-pointers in Beira’s 109-97 win over SLAC at the 2023 BAL Nile Conference.
Perry was awarded the 2023 BAL sportsmanship award for his fairness and role played during the season.
The point guard averaged 17 points, 6.5 assists and 5.2 rebounds in the Basketball Africa League season three.
The 29 year old has previously played for CB Zamora of Spain, ADO Basquetebol SAD Ovarense (Portugal) and Akademiks Bulteks 99 Plovdiv (Bulgaria) before playing on the African continent.
He becomes the first major signing made by the reigning Nigeria Premier Basketball League champions as they prepare for their second appearance at the BAL.
Tennis: Coach Banks On Quadri For African Games
Nigeria’s table tennis coach, Segun Toriola, admits being nervous leading the Nigerian team to the forthcoming African Games in Ghana next month, but is counting on Aruna Quadri to maintain the country’s dominance in the sport when the competition begins, Tidesports source gathered.
Toriola who took over from Nosiru Bello last December, was without Quadri in his first major tournament at the World Table Tennis Championship in Busan, South Korea where Team Nigeria failed to record a win at the tournament.
Quadri had pulled out of the tournament ITTF World Table Tennis Championships due to food poisoning but has since recovered and is ready to feature at the African Games tournament according to Toriola.
“I’m in touch with him (Quadri),” Toriola said.
“I spoke with him. He is now okay and he is going to participate in the African Games. He is ready. And everybody in the team is happy about that. I’m in touch with him. I spoke to him. He is taking care of himself and so he is going to play. He is aiming for his first African Games gold medal.”
At the last edition of the African Games in Rabat, Morocco, Nigeria were ranked second after winning 10 medals (two gold, four silver and four bronze) and have finished among the top three in the last four editions of the competitions.
In men’s singles event in 2019, Olajide Omotayo won gold, Quadri Aruna silver while Toriola clinched bronze. Toriola and Omotayo won bronze in the men’s doubles event, just as Quadri Toriola and Omotayo won silver in the team event.
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