AFCON: CAF Confirms New Match Venue

wizzyThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has shifted the matches scheduled to hold in Ebebiyin and Mongomo in Equatorial Guinea to Bata and Malabo, after the group-stage matches left the pitches damaged beyond use.

The tournament officials confirmed the two venue switches on Tuesday and said that all Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final ties will take place in Bata and Malabo.

Originally, the last-eight showdown between Tunisia and hosts Equatorial Guinea was scheduled to take place in Ebebiyin on Saturday.

Similar problems occurred in Mongomo where a quarter-final match was originally slated to take place on Sunday, but that will now be held in the capital Malabo.

That match will kick off at 16:00, which means the remaining quarter-final, also taking place in Malabo, has been pushed back to start at 19:30.

Consequently, the CAF Executive Committee feels that the eight teams qualified for the quarter-final stages onwards should be given the opportunity to play on grounds that provide the highest standards, specifically those of Bata and Malabo, to ensure the quality of play remained at the highest possible level.

There have already been instances of overcrowding at matches earlier in the tournament and police being overrun by supporters.

Moving the match to Bata Stadium, which will also host the final on 8 February, means an extra 30,000 fans will be able to attend.

Report also has it that it is the first time in the history of the Nations Cup that quarter-finals matches have been relocated, but the logistics of holding the tournament in Equatorial Guinea at short notice have presented unique problems.

FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Moves To 3rd In Africa, 33rd Globally

FIFA RankingNigeria have moved up to become the third highest African team and moved up just one place to the 33rd position in the world in the FIFA World Rankings for August 2014.

The Super Eagles climbed three places in the Confederation of African Football region and 10 spots on the global list.

The Super Eagles have been able to poll a total of 673 points which moved them above Egypt.

Nigeria’s higher placing is because of their performance in the World Cup, where they reached the last 16.

Sierra Leone climbs 14 places in the FIFA ranking, lifting them into the top 50 for the fist time in their history. FIFA ranked the Leone Stars 50th in the world, as the team breaks into the top 10 teams on the continent.

Suffering a drop of 273 points, the biggest by any team in the world, Cape Verde, fell from fifth in the African list to 15th, and 75th place in the world. But the biggest mover in the world is Lesotho, who have risen 26 places to 105th, making them 29th in Africa.

Algeria retain their position at the top of the African list.

The first five positions in the world remains unchanged with Germany occupying the top spot having polled a total of 1705 points to cement first spot.

Argentina, Netherlands are in second and third positions respectively, while Colombia and Belgium trail in fourth and fifth positions in that order.

 

 

Ashley Cole Will Get New Chelsea Contract – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has declared that defender, Ashley Cole, will be offered a new Chelsea contract despite the England international having been out of the first team for over a month.

There has been speculation that the 33-year-old will leave the club in the summer owing to the status of his current deal which expires at the end of the season and, the preference for right-sided Cesar Azpilicueta at Cole’s left back position.

However, Mourinho sees things differently, as he confirmed that Cole would return to the Blues starting 11 for Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions’ League Group E clash with Romanian club, Steaua Bucharest.

“Naturally he will get his contract because he’s a valuable player for us,’ the Chelsea boss said.

“Even if you are not playing every game and you are not a first-choice player, like he was always, I don’t think sometimes it means that you are not well, you are not in well conditions, you are not deserving a new contract.

“I feel he’s fine. And I think tomorrow he’s going to show that he’s fine. He starts tomorrow.

“It’s easy to feel that he’s not happy, that he’s not comfortable with a situation, but the way he behaves, the way he trains (is) super professional, as always.

“As always, he’s a fantastic trainer, fantastic professional. When he’s on the bench behind me, I can feel that he’s there to win, even if he’s not on the pitch.”

Also expected back in the first team for the UCL final group game is central defender, David Luiz, who like Cole, has not featured for Chelsea since their Premier League defeat at Newcastle United on November 2.

The Brazilian has been side-lined since suffering a bruised patella during the international break while away with his national team in November.

Although, Chelsea have qualified for the knockout phase despite losing to Basel last month, they need a point against Steaua to finish top of the group, a position many teams would fancy in order to avoid playing a tough team in the Round of 16.

Racism: Yaya Toure Demands UEFA Sanction Against CSKA Moscow

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has admitted that he was “furious” over racist chants from CSKA Moscow fans on Wednesday 23 October 2013.

With reports of his racist abuse from the home fans rocking the European football world, Toure has called on UEFA to take serious actions against the CSKA Moscow fans. He said:

“I’m not just disappointed, I’m furious. I’m very, very disappointed about what those fans have done today and I think UEFA has to take action because players with the same colour of skin will always be in the same position”.

“For me, as captain, I was wearing an armband which said ‘no to racism’ and I was totally disappointed.

“I want to see UEFA do something and take some action.

“We have to be as strong as possible otherwise they will continue like that.

“Maybe they could ban the stadium, I don’t know, for a couple of years or a couple of months.

“The club may say they have to educate the fans, but I think it’s enough. Too much is too much. We have to stop it now.

“I played in Ukraine. It’s not only in Eastern Europe and I have some friends who have had problems too.

“It’s stupid these people. I don’t know, it just happens in football. It’s unbelievable.

“They’re stupid, they’re just stupid. UEFA has to take action to right it otherwise I think they will just continue.”

The midfielder, complained to the referee during the second half of Manchester City’s 2-1 win in their UEFA Champions’ League Group D at the Khimki Arena where the incident reportedly happened.