Equatorial Guinea To Host 2015 Nations Cup

Nations CupThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that Equatorial Guinea has agreed to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Morocco, was supposed to host the event but had requested that the tournament be postponed due to concern over an outbreak of the Ebola virus in their country.

In a statement published on its site, CAF revealed that the Head of State and President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on Friday met with the President of CAF, Issa Hayatou concerning the possibility for Equatorial Guinea to host the tournament.

“Following fraternal and fruitful discussions, the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea has agreed to host the tournament from January 17 to February 8, 2015.

“Therefore, the Executive Committee of CAF confirms that the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will be held in Equatorial Guinea on the dates agreed, and the national team of Equatorial Guinea is qualified for the final tournament as a representative of the country host.

“The four cities selected for the finals are Malabo, Bata, Mongomo and Ebebiyin.

“The draw for the finals will take place Wednesday, December 3, 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.”

CAF TO Announce New AFCON Hosts Within 2-3 Days

Issa_Hayatou_CAFNew hosts for the 2015 African Nations Cup will be named within three days after Morocco was ruled out amid fears of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Wednesday.

CAF President, Issa Hayatou, said the regional governing body would talk to countries who were interested in taking over the Jan. 17 to Feb. 8 finals and expected a quick resolution amid suggestions Qatar had been sounded out about hosting the event.

Speaking to France 24, Hayatou also reiterated CAF’s stance that by giving in to Morocco’s request to have the date of the tournament moved it would set an unwanted precedent.

“Once you postpone this event, it will open the door for everybody to ask for a delay of any competition and we will no longer be credible,” Hayatou said.

“We will hurt our sponsors and partners. Everyone will say we are not ready and finally it is CAF that will pay the price. That is what I told the Moroccans.

“We cannot sign our death warrant because if we postpone this event it will be very deadly for African football. For 57 years, we have patiently built this house, which today is the pride of all Africans.

“They have this festival every two years and we are not about to leave the opportunity to anyone to destroy the work we have patiently developed over the years.
“I cannot tell you where it will be played. All I can tell you is that it will take place.”

Angola, Egypt, Gabon and Nigeria were the countries being touted as possible replacement hosts by African media.

French sports daily L’Equipe suggested on Wednesday that 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar could also be set to help.

EBOLA RISK

Morocco believes thousands of travelling supporters from west Africa pose a risk and wanted a postponement of at least six months while the fight against Ebola intensified.

The virus has killed at least 4,950 people in the world’s worst Ebola epidemic since the disease was identified in 1976.

CAF announced it would seek legal redress from Morocco based on its contractual agreement with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation which was signed in April.

Moroccan football is also likely to be heavily sanctioned, including a likely ban from future Nations Cup competitions.

However, the Moroccan sports minister Mohamed Ouzzine told MPs on Tuesday in a parliamentary debate after the CAF decision that the country had not broken its contract.

“Morocco has not breached any contract because of the force majeure. We will not rush to answer, but everyone should know that we are prepared for all eventualities,” he said.

“The WHO (World Health Organisation) says that every country has the right to take the necessary measures to protect its citizens… The whole world is incapable to find some treatment or some solution for that disease (Ebola), so isn’t it a force majeure?”
“The CAF statement said we refuse to organise the competition, and it’s wrong. We want the tournament in our country, but we maintain our demand to postpone it.”

“We can talk about sanctions now, but we should not forget what would happen in case we have not taken our decision.”

NFF Congress: Candidates Are Offering N3 Million Bribe For Votes – Sports Journalist

Nnamdi_ObanyaA sports journalist, Mr Nnamdi Obanya on Tuesday said candidates running for positions on the board of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) are reported to be offering between N2 to N3 million bribes to candidates that will vote for them during the congress.

Mr Obanya said “we are hearing all sorts, some we want to believe and some we don’t want to believe” adding that “delegates are being offered between N2 to N3 million to vote for certain candidates”, he said on Sunrise Daily.

He further noted that those trying to use a court injunction to stop the NFF elections that “a Federal High Court, an Appeal Court, a State High Court or a Magistrate Court don’t have any jurisdiction over the NFF” insisting that “only the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has any jurisdiction over the NFF.

“The NFF is under CAF, which is under FIFA and it is a federation. And by your constitutional right, and freedom of association, you cannot stop anybody from a holding a congress within the constitution of the association and that is what NFF is doing”, maintaining that “it is as simple as that”.

He further noted that “there has been no criminal activity, which is the only reason you can call for such injunctions and the likes”.
He accused ‘some people’ of trying to test their importance at the NFF, adding that “security agents again tried to pick up (Aminu) Maigari, but this time he was able to find his way out”.

He added that despite ‘tough talks’ by (Taiwo) Ogunjobi and (Amanze) Uchegbulam, “it looks like it is a straight fight between (Shehu) Dikko and (Amaju) Pinnick; they seem to be the two front runners; they seem to be the two candidates that most people think will win the election”.

He also expressed hope that the “palpable tension in Warri now will not translate into something else when the time comes”.

Already, representatives of the world football governing body, FIFA, and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), led by Ghana’s Football Federation (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantaki, have arrived in Warri for the elective congress.

Among the candidates vying to replace outgoing NFF president, Aminu Maigari, are Amaju Pinnick from Delta State, Amanze Uchegbulam from Imo State, Taiwo Ogunjobi (Osun), Shehu Dikko (Kaduna) and Dominic Iorfa from Benue State.

Others are incumbent first vice president, Mike Umeh (Anambra) and Abba Yola (Kano State).

Candidates for the first vice president position are Emeka Inyama (Imo), Seyi Akinwunmi (Lagos State), Adamu Shehu (Kaduna) and Suleyman Muazu from Sokoto State.

The delegates will also elect zonal representatives on the board.

CAF Confirms Flying Eagles Qualification for 2015 AYC

Flying EaglesThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed the qualification of Nigeria to the 2015 African Youth Championship in Senegal.

On Saturday, the Flying Eagles walked over Lesotho in a final qualifying match in Kaduna.

Lesotho refused to turn up for the match after they had expressed concerns over the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola Virus in Nigeria.

According Flying Eagles Secretary, Aliyu Auwal Ibrahim, “we have finally receive a letter from CAF informing us that we have qualified for the African Youth Championship next year in Senegal after Lesotho failed to turn up on Saturday.

“As a result of this decision, the team have been decamped on Monday and will resume in line with the coach’s build-up programme for Senegal 2015”, he said.

With this development, hosts Senegal and Nigeria have qualified for the eight-team tournament, while six other countries will book their passage in a fortnight after first leg qualifiers were played at the weekend.

The top four teams at the 2015 AYC in March will qualify for the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Yaya Beats Mikel To Win 2013 African Player Of The Year As Nigeria Sweeps CAF Awards

Ivorian Midfielder, Yaya Toure, has beaten Nigerian Super Eagles and Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi to win for the 3rd consecutive year, the coveted ‘African Footballer of the Year’ Award, at the Glo CAF Awards 2013 held in Lagos.

Mikel Obi was highly favoured by many Nigerians who saw his exploits and team successes with club and country in 2013 as the best credentials to claim the award which has eluded Nigerian footballers since Kanu Nwankwo won it in the year 1999.

While Nigeria confirmed its status as the number 1 footballing country on the African continent during the year 2013 by winning in five categories, the loss of the ultimate crown would cast a gloom on the other successes.

The Nigerian Super Eagles won the award for the ‘National Team of the Year’, while the national Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets, also won ‘Youth National Team of the Year’ at the Glo CAF Awards 2013.

Both teams had been expected by many pundits to claim the awards, having won major tournaments at continental and global levels during the year in review.

The Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 for the first time in 19 years, while the Golden Eaglets won the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament in United Arab Emirates.

Golden Eaglets’ wonder kid, Kelechi Iheanacho, unsurprisingly won the ‘Most Promising Talent’ Award. Ihenacho was the most decorated at the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, winning the tournament’s Adidas Golden Ball Award for the overall best player, alongside the Silver Boot Award for being the second highest goal scorer, as he helped Nigeria to its 4th title to become the most successful team in the history of the age grade competition.

The Nigerian Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, was also named ‘African Coach of the Year’ for his exploits with the African Champions. Keshi became the first Nigerian to win the Nations’ Cup as player and coach, and only the second African coach to do so after Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary.

Fair Play Award went to the Nigerian Supporters Club, globally popular for their constant playing of music and dancing while supporting the Nigerian national teams.

Other winners at the awards were Egyptian, Mohammed Aboutreika, who beat Nigeria’s African Nations’ Cup final hero, Sunday Mba, to win the ‘African Player of the Year based in Africa’, while the ‘Club of the Year’ went to Al Ahly FC of Egypt.

The ‘Referee of the Year’ award went to Algerian, Haimoudi Djamel, who officiated the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso, and also officiated the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup play-off for third place between Uruguay and Italy.

The African Team of the Year is made up of Vincent Enyeama (NIG), Ahmed Fathy (EGY), Mehdi (MOR), Kevin Constant (GUI), Mikel Obi (NIG), Mohammed Aboutreika (EGY), Yaya Toure (CIV), Jonathan Pitroipa (BFA), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB), Emmanuel Emenike (NIG), Asamoah Gyan (GHA) Coach Stephen Keshi (NIG)

Five Nigerian players from the successful AFCON 2013 Eagles were nominated for the now lost ‘African Player of the Year’ Award; they include Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba and Vincent Enyeama.

Only Mikel Obi made the final 3 man nominees list alongside the 3rd time winner, Ivorian, Yaya Toure and his Ivorian counterpart, Didier Drogba.

Winners were announced in Lagos on January 9, 2014.

5 Nigerians Nominated For African Player Of The Year Award

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released the nominees for the yearly awards.

25 players made the cut for the flagship African Player of the Year category, and 21 for the African Player of the Year based in Africa.

Five Nigerian players were nominated for the player of the year award; they include Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba and Vincent Enyeama.

The winners will be announced at the GLO-CAF Awards gala scheduled for Thursday, January 9, 2014 in Lagos.

Ivorian, Yaya Toure is the reigning African Player of the Year and Mohamed Aboutrika of Egypt is the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa).