Egypt’s Prosecutor To Investigate Missing African Cup Saga

A file photo of a court gavel.

 

The sports ministry said Wednesday it has referred a probe into a missing African Cup of Nations trophy which Egypt has possessed since 2010 to the prosecutor general after a string of explosive allegations.

“The ministry of youth and sports has referred the file of the loss of some important silverware from the warehouses of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to the prosecutor general,” it said in a brief statement on its Facebook page.

The investigation was launched last week when celebrated ex-national goalkeeper Ahmed Shobair said the EFA found that the gold trophy, along with other awards from previous tournaments, had gone missing.

Officials were preparing to inaugurate a museum showcasing Egypt’s football memorabilia in time for the EFA’s centenary when the loss was realised, Shobair said on his popular talkshow.

Another former football hero Magdy Abdelghani, along with the EFA, waded into the debate suggesting ex-national team players and coaches Ahmed Hassan and Shawky Gharib knew of the 2010 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy’s whereabouts.

But former football officials said it was looted during a fire in 2013 caused by protesters, known as the Ultras, at the EFA headquarters in Cairo.

The accusations prompted the sports ministry and EFA to kick off investigations that have been closely monitored by Egypt’s legions of fervent football fans.

Hassan and Gharib have both dismissed any link to the disappearance.

The continent’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football, said Sunday it had “learnt with shock reports of missing AFCON trophies from the Egyptian Football Association secretariat”.

“Our doors are open and the @EFA can count on our support in the search for the priceless memorabilia,” it tweeted.

Egypt was allowed to keep the trophy on a permanent basis — with a new cup made — after the dominant run of the “Pharaohs”, as the national team is known, winning three titles in a row, in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Egypt is the most successful country in Africa Cup of Nations history, having won the trophy a total of seven times since 1957.

But the Pharaohs were knocked out at the last-16 stage last year when Egypt hosted the biennial tournament.

AFP

Toriola Targets 7th Olympics Appearance In Brazil

Segun ToriolaNigeria’s most decorated Table Tennis star, Segun Toriola, has expressed optimism that he will make history by achieving a 7th appearance at next year’s Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Toriola has won 20 medals, 14 gold and On record, he remains the most successful table tennis player in Africa. Worthy of mention is ‎his remarkable achievement of winning the Men’s Singles title on four occasions.

Toriola’s record at the All Africa Games is unequalled as no table tennis player can match Toriola in the continental multi-sport competition.

In 1995 he won in Harare, four years later he retained the title in Johannesburg; in 2003 he succeeded in Abuja and in 2007 in Algeria.

He has distinguished record in the African Championships and African Cup; while possessing the distinction of being the first ever Men’s Singles winner when table tennis was held at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002.

Since 1992 when table tennis became a medal event at the Barcelona Olympics, Toriola has featured in all, with his quarterfinal exit at the 2008 Beijing Olympics being the best outing for an African player at the Olympics.

Toriola, who is taking part in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Hopes Week holding in Shanghai, China, alongside Germany-based Funke Oshonaike, is looking forward to this month’s ITTF African Cup in Cameroon.

“If I am still playing well and I am able to qualify from the All Africa Games I don’t see any reason why I won’t be playing at the Rio Olympics. For now I want to be part of the ITTF African Cup in Cameroun because this will decide our seeding at the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville,” he said.

At the 2012 London Olympics, Toriola made a sixth Olympics appearance, equalling the records of Angola’s João Baptista N’Tyamba and Mozambique’s Maria Mutola.