2014 W/Cup: Senegal Yet To Decide Play Off Venue
Senegal are still to decide
where to play their World Cup play-off second leg against Ivory Coast, failing to meet Fifa’s 20th September deadline.
The match cannot take place in Senegal’s national stadium as they are banned from playing there after riots when the sides met in October 2012.
Senegal Football Association president Augustin Senghor told Tidesports source: “We will play in Morocco or Guinea.
“We have meetings today and tomorrow and then we will decide.”
Africa’s final round of qualification for next year’s tournament in Brazil sees 10 teams involved in five two-legged ties to be played in October and November.
And football’s world governing body Fifa had requested for the African associations involved to submit by Friday the details of dates, venues and kick-off times for the games.
Senegal were banned from playing at Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium for one year after their fans rioted during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast in Dakar, forcing the match to be abandoned with about 15 minutes to play.
Ivory Coast were 2-0 up at the time and the result eventually stood with the Elephants claiming a 6-2 aggregate victory.
Senghor believes “Fifa will understand that we need more time compared to the other associations to decide because of our stadium suspension”.
He added: “We do not have a stadium in Senegal with the facilities and capacity to play the qualifier against Ivory Coast.
“So it is sure we will play this match outside of Senegal.
“We played our last ‘home’ matches in Morocco and Guinea and it is important for us to play our final qualification match in an environment we know very well.
“We have time enough to decide – it is just for the second leg in November. We will take our time to make a good decision.”
Meanwhile, Senghor gave his backing to coach Alain Giresse over the Frenchman’s policy to select only players who are playing regular first-team football – a decision which has led to the omission of Chelsea striker Demba Ba.
“The selection of players is the domain of the coach and in our way of working we let him have the responsibility for his choices,” Senghor said.
“We have players who are more motivated and every player that wants to be selected knows that they have to work hard for their club in order to come back.
“It is up to every player to battle for his place in the national team.”
AATF President Lauds Aruna’s Performance At WTT In Singapore
President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, has commended Quadri Aruna for his exploits at the just-ended World Table Tennis (WTT) Singapore Smash.
Aruna made it to the quarterfinals of the Grand Smash series in Singapore, beating some top seeds on the way to becoming the first African to reach that stage at the WTT.
Remarkable was the Nigerian top seed’s defeat of Japanese star, Tomokazu Harimoto, who had beaten Aruna on three occasions. The Nigerian eventually fell 4-0 to the superiority power of World number four, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano.
For reaching the quarterfinals in Singapore, Aruna will earn 350 ranking points, which will also raise his rating at the next ranking by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
El-Salhy stated that the Nigerian has continued to set the pace for Africa at the Olympics, World Championships and now WTT.
“Congratulations for your fantastic show-up in Singapore, especially for the great win in the round of 16 against Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto to qualify for the quarterfinal.
“I will like just to pass to you my full appreciation on behalf of the ATTF Executive Council (EC) as the main ambassador of African table tennis in ITTF super events. We wish you to continue to make the continent proud and a great ambassador of your country and Africa,” he said.
Again, Aruna has been picked to compete in the world elite table tennis stars, WTT Champions $800,000 prize money in Xinxiang, China next month.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Para Table Tennis team arrived from Italy, yesterday, where it featured at the ITTF Lignano Masters Para Open 2023. The team won two silver and bronze medals.
As NFF Denies Allegation
The Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) may clash with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) following the ‘sack’ of Super Eagles’ assistant coaches, Finidi George and goalkeepers’ trainer, Ike Shorunmu.
The duo were barred from Super Eagles’ camp, allegedly, on the request of head coach, Jose Peseiro, as the team prepares for Friday’s 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea Bissau at the MKO Stadium, Abuja.
The NFF, has however, denied the sack saying: “As part of cost-cutting measures instituted at the beginning of the new administration, we established a rotation policy among the assistant coaches, based on the high number, which was agreed with all of them. The last time that the team had a programme, Mr. Finidi George was the person who travelled for the friendly match in Portugal. This rotation policy is only for matches. When there is a tournament, all of them will be with the team.”
The Federation claimed that Finidi knew he would not be in the team for the games against Guinea Bissau, saying that the current trip is for Usman Abdallah.
“The other person, who could have been contending, Mr. Salisu Yusuf, has been sent to the U23 team. There was no victimisation, sleight of hand or any disrespect meant to our illustrious ex-international players.
“The case of goalkeepers’ trainer, Ike Shorounmu, is somewhat peculiar, as the former Nigerian goalkeeper showed a clear lack of desire to be in camp for the matches against Guinea Bissau.
CAFCC: Rivers United Secures Quarter Final Ticket, Eyes Trophy
Nigeria representative in CAF Confederation Cup Football competition, Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, has secured one of the quarter final tickets in the competition with a game left in the group stage.
Rivers United, the Pride of Rivers, as fondly called, on Sunday at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, forced their visitors, Motema Pembe of DR Congo to a 2-2 draw to top group B, with ten points.
This is the first time in history, United has reached the quarter final stage of the competition and vowed to make the State proud by bringing the trophy home.
In his post match interview, the technical manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma, said the game was a tough one, saying that their opponents have the permutation that if they win there are chances for them to qualify.
“ The game was a very tough one because our opponents have the permutation that if they win us, they have chances to qualify, that is why I was not surprised when they scored the first goal but I thank my players for showing a good character in the second half and went ahead and unfortunately they equalised.
“ In the dressing room, I have to talk to players to boost their morales. I commend our opponents for their impressive performance , they are a good side”, Eguma said.
Also speaking, the Coach of Motema Pembe, Tumba Mukanda Djene, attributed the draw to poor officiating, saying that referee was really against his side.
As it is, Rivers United top group B with ten points, three goals advantage over ASEC Mimosas that also has ten points but one goal advantage.
Rivers United will play her last game with ASEC Mimosas April 2nd, in Ivory Coast, but draw or win will make United finish top.
By: Tonye Orabere
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