Algeria Beat Côte d’Ivoire On Penalties To Reach Semi-Finals

Algerian players celebrate after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) quarter final football match between Ivory Coast and Algeria at the Suez stadium in Suez on July 11, 2019.
Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

Africa Cup of Nations title favourites Algeria defeated the Côte d’Ivoire 4-3 on penalties in Suez Thursday to the relief of Baghdad Bounedjah and set up a semi-final showdown with Nigeria.  

The quarter-final finished 1-1 after extra time with Sofiane Feghouli giving Algeria a 20th-minute lead that was cancelled by Jonathan Kodjia on 62 minutes.

In the shootout, Youcef Belaili struck the woodwork when he had a chance to clinch victory for Algeria, and then Côte d’Ivoire captain Serey Die hit the same post and his team were eliminated.

Forward Bounedjah missed a penalty in the second half of regular time and was visibly upset by his failure, fearing it would cost Algeria a first last-four place since 2010.

Algeria retained the team that started a last-16 demolition of Guinea, a result which confirmed the belief of many rival coaches that the Desert Foxes are the team to beat.

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Côte d’Ivoire coach Ibrahim Kamara changed two of the side that began an unimpressive 1-0 win over Mali in the first knockout round.

Midfielder Ibrahim Sangare and forward Max-Alain Gradel were selected to start in place of Jean-Philippe Gbamin and off-form Nicolas Pepe.

This was the eighth Cup of Nations meeting between the countries with Côte d’Ivoire holding a 3-2 lead and two matches were drawn.

Côte d’Ivoire was more impressive in the early exchanges before a modest crowd in a stadium overlooking the Suez Canal, a major shipping link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi finger-tipped a Gradel shot on to a post and Kodjia wasted a chance from close range after a cutback in 38 celsius (100 Fahrenheit) heat.

Serge Kanon was the next Ivorian to squander an opportunity to put the two-time champions in front, stabbing the ball wide from inside the six-yard area.

Against the run of play, Algeria went ahead when Feghouli connected with a Ramy Bensebaini cross and his snapshot flew past Sylvain Gbohouo.

Algeria had a great chance to go further ahead early in the second half when Bounedjah was fouled by Gbohouo, but he blazed the penalty against the crossbar and over.

The Ivorian Elephants were playing much better than in previous matches and equalised just past the hour mark, ending a 422-minute run by Mbolhi without conceding a goal in Egypt.

Crystal Palace flier Wilfried Zaha created the goal with a surging run down the middle from the centre circle before passing to Kodjia, who scored with a shot from just inside the box.

AFP

Cote D’Ivoire Star Zaha Commits To Palace

Crystal Palace’s Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage in London on August 11, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Wilfried Zaha gave Crystal Palace a huge boost on Wednesday by signing a new contract which will see him tied to the Premier League club till the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

The 25-year-old Cote d’Ivoire forward — who is Palace’s joint highest Premier League scorer — has been a transfer target for several higher profile clubs.

However, Zaha, who has been with the Eagles since he was 12, has committed himself to Palace.

“Crystal Palace are delighted to announce that Wilfried Zaha has pledged his future to the club by signing a contract extension, which will see the Ivorian forward remain in south London until the end of the 2022/23 season,” read a club statement on their website.

Zaha, who played a pivotal role in Palace retaining their place in the elite last term scoring nine goals as they recovered after a woeful start to the season, said he was delighted to have the contract discussions out of the way.

“I’m very pleased,” he said.

“Obviously, I just wanted to get it over and done with, so I can just focus on the season. I’m buzzing that we managed to get it sorted.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish — who also persuaded manager Roy Hodgson to extend his contract last week — said it reflected Zaha’s loyalty to the club and the area of south London he grew up in.

“This agreement is yet another example of his lifelong commitment to the club and our commitment to him,” said Parish.

“This is an amazing day for everyone here at Palace, our supporters and of course Wilf – and is richly deserved.”

Zaha, who played a couple of times for England in friendlies which still allowed him the leeway to opt to play for the country of his birth Cote d’Ivoire, has been at Palace all his career save for an unhappy two-year spell at Manchester United but he attracted interest in the close season reportedly from the likes of Everton, Borussia Dortmund, and Chelsea.

AFP

Cote D’Ivoire’s President Grants Simone Gbagbo Amnesty

President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara

 

Cote d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara on Monday announced amnesties for around 800 people, including former first lady Simone Gbagbo who is currently behind bars, in the name of national reconciliation.

Last week, Cote d’Ivoire’s Supreme Court overturned an earlier acquittal granted to Gbagbo for crimes against humanity.

The wife of former president Laurent Gbagbo, in power from 2000 to 2010, will “soon be freed,” Ouattara said during a televised address to the West African nation on the eve of the country’s independence day.

Simone Gbagbo has been serving a 20-year sentence handed to her in 2015 for “endangering state security”.

In this file photo taken on May 9, 2016, Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo waves at her supporters as she arrives at Abidjan’s courthouse prior to the opening hearing of her trial over charges of crimes against humanity for her alleged role in the 2010 electoral violence. 
ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

 

Laurent Gbagbo has been in detention at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for seven years.

Since 2016, he has been tried for alleged crimes against humanity during post-election unrest in 2010.

Among the others granted amnesties by Ouattara on Monday were former defence minister Lida Kouassi — a key ally of Laurent Gbagbo — who was sentenced this year to 15 years for conspiracy, and former construction minister Assoa Adou, jailed in 2017 for four years.

“On Monday I signed an amnesty order that will benefit about 800 citizens prosecuted or sentenced for offences related to the post-election crisis of 2010 or state security offences committed after May 21, 2011, (the date of Ouattara’s inauguration),” the president said in his address.

Around 500 of those named have already been released provisionally from detention, he added. They will have their criminal records erased.

The other 300 will be released “soon”, he added, without giving any dates.

The question of national reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire, or the lack of it, has been seen by observers as a black mark against Ouattara.

About 3,000 people died in the turmoil that swept Abidjan — once one of Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities — in the aftermath of the November 2010 presidential polls when Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat to bitter rival Ouattara.

AFP

Cote d’Ivoire Achieves Record Cocoa Production

The cocoa crop of Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, increased 28.5 percent to a record 2.15 million tonnes in the 2016-17 season, the national Coffee and Cocoa Council said Friday.

Exports increased by 23.3 percent to 1.9 million tonnes, helping to raise the overall gross income of the country’s producers by 28.6 percent to 2.013 trillion CFA francs (3.2 billion euros, $3.8 billion), compared to 1.565 trillion the previous season.

But the year was “marked by a deep crisis,” said Lambert Kouassi Konan, chairman of the board of directors at industry regulator Coffee and Cocoa Council, because world prices of “brown gold” fell by more than a third.

Konan took stock of the year’s crop in the capital Abidjan on Friday at the opening of the fourth national cocoa and chocolate days, which run until Sunday and also marked the opening of the 2017-18 season.

While the minimum price guaranteed to farmers was 1,100 CFA francs per kilo at the start of the 2016-17 season, the Ivorian government had to lower the price to 700 CFA francs in April due to falling prices in international markets, which was linked to overproduction in relation to demand and aggravated by the weakness of the pound against the euro, Konan said.

The pound is the main currency used for cocoa trading, which is mainly done in London.

Konan also mentioned problems with inventory management and failures of operators to explain the year’s difficulties, as well as mutinies in the Ivorian army that scared markets earlier in the year.

The price guaranteed to Ivorian cocoa producers for the 2017-18 season will be revealed on Sunday, Konan said.

The cocoa industry, which accounts for 15 percent of GDP and more than 50 percent of export receipts — as well as two-thirds of jobs — is absolutely vital to the country’s economic welfare, according to the World Bank.

AFP

2017 Women Afrobasket: Nigeria Trash Cote d’Ivoire

Nigeria’s D’tigress thrashed their West Africa neighbours, Cote d’Ivoire by 98-43 points to reach the semi-final of the 2017 FIFA women Afrobasket.

The victory means Nigeria has won all its games and is looking forward to land in the final of the competition.

D’tigress took the first and second quarters of the game with a 23-13 and 23-2 intimidating the Ivorian with their counter attacking ball play.

They wasted no time in the second half recording 25-17 in the third quarter and 27-11 in the fourth quarter.

Ezinne Kalu led the floor with 17 points, 3 rebounds and 8 assists.

Cote D’ivoire Mutiny Comes To An End

Soldiers in Cote D’ivoire have on Tuesday accepted a new government offer to end a mutiny that has gripped the world’s biggest cocoa producer for four days.

Since Friday, soldiers have been shooting inside their barracks, spilling onto the streets, setting up road blocks and terrifying residents in major cities around the country.

The former rebels, now embedded in the army and who fought for years to get President Alassane Ouattara to power, were angry at the scrapping of a deal to give them back pay and bonuses.

The government tabled a new deal last night, which they rejected. But on Tuesday the government finally gave in, giving them exactly what they wanted which is around $8,000 each and then another $3,000 by the end of June.

Cote D’ivoire Mutineers Continue Standoff

Mutineers shot guns into the air as they held a major road into Cote d’Ivoire’s second city of Bouake on Monday.

More than 200 commercial trucks were stranded on the roadside after mutinous soldiers sealed off the southern entrance to Bouake.

The government spokesman Bruno Kone told Reuters it would maintain a firm line with the mutiny.

While there was no negotiations under way with the soldiers “discussions were continuing” and a military operation against them was ongoing.

The head of the army said on Sunday troops were being sent to Bouake to “re-establish order” but a Reuters team travelling from the capital Yamoussoukro towards the city, saw only a handful of loyalist military vehicles.

One of the mutineers said, “This is not a coup d’etat. He (Alassane Ouattara) is our father. We need him. All we’re asking for is for them to give us what is rightfully owed to us. That is all we want.”

Another said the mutineers were willing to work with President Quattara and urged him not to listen to his ministers.

Reuters

Army Mutiny: Heavy Gunfire Erupts In Abidjan, Bouake

President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire

Heavy gunfire erupted on Monday in Cote d’Ivoire’s two largest cities of Abidjan and Bouake as the military aimed to contain a four-day nationwide army mutiny over bonus payments, witnesses said.

Shops remained closed and more than 200 commercial trucks were stranded on the roadside after mutinous soldiers sealed off the southern entrance to Bouake, the epicentre of the revolt, on Monday, Reuters witnesses said.

The soldiers staged the revolt after bonus payments promised by the government after a mutiny in January were delayed following the collapse in the price of cocoa, Cote d’Ivoire’s main export.

Cote d’Ivoire has been touted as a post-war success story because it emerged from a 2002-2011 political crisis as one of the world’s fastest growing economies under President Alassane Ouattara.

But it remains divided and a wave of mutinies that began earlier this year has exposed the lack of unity in a military assembled from former rebel and loyalist combatants.

Nigeria Beat Morocco 6-1 To Reach AFCON Beach Soccer Final

Nigeria Beat Morocco 6-1 To Reach AFCON Beach Soccer FinalNigeria’s Super Sand Eagles have qualified for the World Beach Soccer Championship to be held in Bahamas in 2017 after beating Morocco 6-1 in the semifinal of the African Beach Soccer Cup of Nations in Lagos

Goals from Abu Azeez, Suleiman Ogodo, Emeka Ogbona, Emmanuel Owhoferia gave Nigeria victory in what was seen by many as a one-sided game.

Coach Adamu Ejo’s boys will now face Senegal in the final of the tournament later today.

Senegal defeated Egypt 5-2 in the first semifinal and have also qualified for the World Beach Soccer Championship.

AFCON Beach Soccer: CAF Officials, Teams Arrive Nigeria

AFCON Beach Soccer: CAF Officials, Teams Arrive NigeriaThe stage is set for the second edition of the Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations to be hosted by Nigeria as officials of the Confederation of African Football arrived in Lagos on Thursday.

CAF Secretariat staff will set up a desk inside the Eko Hotel and Suites on Friday, just as thenff.com learnt on Thursday that all participating teams are to take up their accommodation on Saturday.

The delegations of Ghana, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Libya, Senegal and Morocco will fly into Lagos on Saturday, as host team, the Supersand Eagles, also make the short trip from their Aivoji Beach camp in Badagry to Victoria Island the same day.

Meanwhile, the Ivorian beach soccer national team on Thursday traded tackles with their Moroccan counterparts in an international friendly by both countries ahead of the second edition of Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations.

Cote d’Ivoire will face hosts Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt in Group A of the 6–day championship scheduled for the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island, from December 13 to 18, 2016.

Morocco will confront Cup holders Madagascar, Libya and Senegal in Group B.

The Moroccans have been in camp since September, and arrived in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan on Monday.

Egypt, who have been in camp since August, participated in the Samsung Invitational Tournament in Dubai before flying to Lebanon, and will play the Lebanese team in a three–match series.

Ghana’s beach soccer team, which sent packing Kenya in the qualifying series, has also been in camp since August.

As part of its preparation for the championship, two–time African champions Nigeria will take on Switzerland in the Copa Lagos Invitational at the Eko Atlantic City on Sunday.

Officials of Kinetic Sports, organizers of the COPA Lagos Invitational that is being reduced to a one-day show this year as a result of the Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations, confirmed to thenff.com that the Swiss contingent is expected in Nigeria on Friday.

Enyimba FC of Aba will take on Pepsi Academy in a curtain raiser for the Nigeria/Switzerland match on Sunday, which kicks off at 4PM.

It is an opportunity for Coach Audu Adamu Ejo to see the level of fitness and tactical awareness of his players, who have been perfecting strategies at the Aivoji Beach, Badagry for several weeks.

Players in Supersand Eagles’ camp: Goalkeepers Godwin Anyalogu (Rivers United FC), Godwin Tale (FC Lokoja), Nurudeen Mudashiru (Kada Stars) and Majid Danladi Mohammed (Kwande Academy; defenders Lukman Ibrahim (Kada Stars), Ogbonnaya Okemiri (Abia Warriors), Taiwo Adams (Owibeseb FC), Godspower Igudia (Akwa United), Victor Tale (Bassa United) and Emmanuel Owheferia (Owibeseb FC) and; forwards Bartholomew Ibenegbu (Enyimba FC), Emeka Ogbonna (Leads United), Suleiman Ogodo (FC IfeanyiUbah), Abu Azeez (Enyimba FC), Kunle Olukotun (Shooting Stars), Sunday Alasco (Kada Stars), Abubakar Isah (Anambra BS), Badmus Babatunde (Owibeseb FC) and Clement Fayowole (Leads United)

NIPSS Set To Graduate 67 SEC 38 Participants 

nipss, SEC 38The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, kuru, Jos North Central Nigeria, is set to graduate 67 participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC 38).

Briefing journalists on the activities of the institute towards the graduation ceremony, Acting Director General Of The Institute, Mr Jonathan Juma, said President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion.

The course which commenced in March 2016, was themed: “Strengthening Institutional Mechanism for Poverty reduction and Inclusive Development in Nigeria”, with participants embarking on study tours of states within the country and outside the country.

Tunisia, Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Namibia and Ethiopia were some of the countries visited by participants, while the international tours included India, Poland, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Romania and Thailand.

Also, participants of the SEC 38 course, had a presidential parley with the President, where paper presentations were done as well as recommendations presented to the him, on the theme of the course.

Although a joyous occasion, a tragic event occurred in which one of the participants from Niger state unfortunately died a day to the graduation ceremony.

He will however still be awarded the member of national institute posthumously.

Oladapo Returns Into ITTF Africa Executive Board

Table TennisNigeria’s Olabanji Oladapo has returned as Vice President Administration in the eight-man Executive Board of the Khaled El-Salhy (EGY)-led team of ITTF Africa.

Also, the President of Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi, added another feather, as the lawyer has been elected as the Regional Vice President of Western Region at the Bi-Annual General Assembly (BGM) held in Agadir, Morocco.

Oshodi, who is also a Member of the Nominations Committee of ITTF, will be in charge of the Western region which include Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

He is expected to coordinate the activities in this region with the aim of developing table tennis.

Khaled El-Salhy, who became the president of the second largest continental body under the ITTF was elected unopposed while Henry Djombo (CGO), Deputy President; Olabanji Oladapo (NGR), Vice President Administration; Hajera Kajee (RSA), Vice President Marketing; Berte Abou Bakary (CIV), Vice President Finance; Monqid Hajji (MAR), Vice President Media and Public Relations and Balla Lo (SEN), Vice President Technical were all elected unopposed.

For the regional Vice Presidents, Abdennour Kaci (Algeria) takes charge of Northern Region, Wahid Oshodi (Nigeria) is in charge of Western Region, Alfred Bagueka (Cameroon) is for Central Region, Andrew Mudibo (Kenya) to administer Eastern Region and Joe Carrim (South Africa) will take control of Southern Region.

The council members are Kamel Zaitouni (Algeria), Mahmoud Oumar (Djibouti), Jalal Hariz (Libya), Philippe Hao Thyn Voon (Mauritius), Abdelrahman El-Sallawi (Sudan) and Thomas Kiggundo (Uganda).

However, two more co-opted members are expected to be added through the ITTF-Africa Executive Council maiden meeting.

In his acceptance speech, Khaled El-Salhy pledged to uplift the fortune of table tennis in the continent, while calling for more support from national associations.

“I am highly honoured to be considered for another term in office and I want to that the congress for their trust and support.

“We are so ambitious for the future hoping that we can focus on development and marketing of the sport so that we can continue to grow the sport in Africa,” he said.

Countries that staged major competitions were also honoured for their efforts.

Over 18 national associations graced the BGM while the congress also commended Morocco for their efforts to stage a befitting ITTF Africa Senior Championships.

For 2017, Tunisia will host the African Junior and Cadet Championships in April while Congo Brazzaville is considering hosting the ITTF African Cup and Club Championship in July.