The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has appointed a new set of referees for Sunday’s CAF Champions League final, first leg match between Nigeria’s Heartland FC and TP Mazembe of Democratic Republic of Congo at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.
Earlier, the continental governing body had picked South African Jerome Damon to be the centre referee, with Cameroonian Evariste Mekounde as Assistant Referee 1 and Damon’s compatriots Enock Molefe and Abdul Basit Ebrahim as Assistant Referee 2 and Reserve Referee respectively.
However, CAF on Tuesday announced that Egyptian Abdel Fatah Essam will now be centre referee, while his compatriots Hassan Sherif, Mohamed Waleed and Farouk Mohamed will be Assistant Referee 1, Assistant Referee 2 and Reserve Referee respectively.
But Togolese Gnofame Zoumarou is retained as the Match Commissioner while Djibril Traore of Mali will be General Coordinator.
Sunday’s match in Owerri will be a tough test of character for both teams, who cancelled themselves out in both legs during the group phase. Heartland fell 0-2 to TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi, while the Nigerian flag –bearers won the second game between both teams on Owerri by the same margin.
Tout Puissant Englebert Lubumbashi, fore –runner of TP Mazembe, won the then African Champions Cup successively in 1967 and 1968, and the feat was not repeated until Nigeria’s Enyimba won two times in a row in 2003 and 2004.
Mazembe even came close to winning a third title on the trot in 1970, only to lose 1-2 on home soil to Ghana’s Asante Kotoko after both teams finished 1-1 in the first leg of the final in Kumasi.
CAF has also appointed Algerian referee Mohamed Benouza to be centre referee of the return leg match, which will take place at the Stade de La Kenya in Lubumbashi on Saturday, November 7.
Egyptian Abdel Naby Nasser will be Assistant Referee 1, with Mamar Chabane as Assistant Referee 2 and Mohamed Benaissa as Reserve Referee. Egyptian Mazen Marzouk will be General Coordinator, with the Match Commissioner to be appointed on match day.
Rivers United Know Confed Cup Foes, Dec 12
The Confederation of African Football has fixed December 12 for the group stage draws of the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, Tidesports can confirm.
Group stage draws for both interclub competitions were initially slated for November 16, but CAF announced a postponement via its website, a day before the event.
The draws will now be held almost a month after the initial date, as confirmed by Africa’s football governing body.
“The Group Stage draw for the 2022/23 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup will be conducted on Monday 12 December 2022 in Cairo, Egypt.
“The TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup will be live from 13h00 (11h00 GMT) followed by TotalEnergies CAF Champions League at 14h00 (12h00 GMT).
“Both draws will be live on CAF digital platforms and also CAF TV partners,” CAF wrote on its website.
With the development, it means Nigeria Professional Football League side, Rivers United, will find out its group opponents in the Confederation Cup Dec 12.
The media officer of the club, Charles Mayuku, also confirmed that the new date has been communicated.
“CAFCC: @Rivers United FC to Know Foes December 12th. The group stage draw was initially fixed for November 16th but had to be postponed due to some reasons.
“According to the update coming from CAF, December 12th has been fixed for the draw at its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt,” Mayuku tweeted on his official Twitter handle
Since scaling the hurdle of Al Nasr Benghazi in Libya, the club has been training at the Adokiye Amesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, while also looking forward to the money-spinning stage of the competition.
Rivers United are in the running for the second-tier competition with 15 other clubs.
Cricket: Nigeria Team Arrives Rwanda For W/Cup Qualifier
Nigeria’s men’s senior cricket team, the Yellow Greens, has arrived Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 Africa Sub Region B World Cup qualifier yesterday.
The team arrived Rwanda via Zimbabwe, where they embarked on a week-long training tour with four warm-up games against the Midwest Rhinos cricket club in Kwekwe. Nigeria won the series 3-1.
It began with a 122 to 126 runs loss in the first game, before the Yellows Greens followed it up with comprehensive wins in the last three games, edging Rhinos by 102-59, 82-39 and a 112-111 runs.
National coach, Clive Ogbimi, expressed optimism about the impact of the training tour on the players.
“We selected a team of international standard for the tour and the chaps have learnt a lot, especially in the areas of fielding and organising play.
“You will notice that in four games, Nigeria batted first and we didn’t get last 125 runs. It shows that a little more is to be done, regarding the batting. We start well, and we must be able to finish well.
“On the other side, the batters will have to show tremendous belief in their abilities and Coach Steve and I have always emphasised that as well. Putting all of that together, we had brilliant performances from the players to win the nervy games and we hope to go to Rwanda with that winning momentum,” Ogbimi said.
Upon the arrival of all teams today, technical meetings will follow Wednesday, while actions will begin on Thursday with four games per day till December 9.
21st NSF: RSG Tasks Team Rivers To Win As Opening Ceremony Takes Place, Today
Today, Asaba, the capital city of Delta State will be at the center stage in Nigeria as President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) open at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
Before Team Rivers left her base yesterday, the State Government has charged athletes to put up impressive performance as the State Government is expecting nothing less than top position at the festival.
The State Commissioner for Sports, Barrister Christopher Green gave the charge yesterday, while addressing athletes in Port Harcourt, saying that he had no doubt that his athletes will perform credibly.
According to him, Team Rivers athletes have the potentials to top the medals table because there was adequate preparations and motivations for the festival .
“What His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike is expecting is nothing less than first position because he has released funds for the Festival.
“ As I speak, no athlete in the State is being owed one dime, all camp allowances and other payments due athletes have been paid, consequently, what we expect in return was to the win the festival and make the state proud”, Barrister Green said.
Earlier, the Commissioner had said at different fora that he was poised to develop sports in the State in all ramifications, saying that no good athlete in the State will die in penury.
”As a Commissioner I will ensu re that I develop other Sports and not only football. Let me also say it here I am not commissioner for football, but I am commissioner for Sports.
“You all are aware that our Governor is a sports loving person, that is why he gave Sports deveploment priority and he was awarded the Power of Sports Africa (POS Africa) award”; he stated.
General Yakubu Gowon, initiated the National Sports Festival in 1973 as a platform to bring together youths from all parts of the country to compete, using sports as a tool to achieve national healing after the brutal 30-month civil war.
He saw the sports festival as a rallying point for national unity and cultural integration. It was named the Unity Games.
The maiden edition of the NSF took place in 1973 at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
By: Tonye Orabere
Environment2 days ago
NEMA ,UNDP Propose National Disaster Database For Nigeria
News2 days ago
Mass Literacy Support: Jonathan, Gbajabiamila, Wike, Others For Hall Of Fame Awards
Health9 hours ago
Getting Trimmed Naturally 1
News8 hours ago
Rivers 2023 Consolidation Budget Passes 2nd Reading …House Committee Invites Ministries To Defend Spending Bill
Nation2 days ago
Nigerian Languages Institute Decries Bottlenecks Against Degree Programmes
Business2 days ago
Expert Urges Domestic Airlines To Apply As Flag Carriers
Niger Delta9 hours ago
Engage Presidential Candidates On Health Reforms, Dep Gov Charges NMA
News8 hours ago
Theft Of Public Funds Wrecking Education, Health Sectors, Osinbajo Laments