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Berraf quits as Algerian Olympic Committee President2 minutes read

Mustapha Berraf’s resignation is confirmed, bringing an end to a three-month impasse at the organization

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The President of the Algerian Olympic Committee (COA) Mustapha Berraf has resigned from his post, bringing an end to a three-month impasse at the organization. Berraf, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by virtue of his role as Head of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) had quit as COA President in February.

The 66-year-old – banned from leaving Algeria amid allegations of “squandering of public funds”, which he denies – said at the time he was “tired” of the “repeated attacks” against him and his family.

Berraf had been accused of financial mismanagement during his over 25-year reign as COA President by the Sports Ministry last year. A report from the Algerian sports ministry made damning allegations of doubtful contracts, suspicions of corruption, embezzlement and favouritism.

Berraf had continued to act as President of the COA despite resigning and represented the body on a call the IOC held with National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to discuss Tokyo 2020 in March.

Berraf said his resignation was “irreversible and irrevocable” after it was rejected by the COA Executive Committee. The COA confirmed that its Executive Committee had received and approved his formal resignation letter.

“Resigning from COA will allow me to be fully invested in my function as the President of ANOCA which, as you know, requires my total attention and efforts for the development of sport and Olympism in Africa,” Berraf said.

“This will also allow me to be at the disposal of my peers for a better future.”

COA first vice-president Mohamed Meridja has been appointed Acting President and will hold the position until an elective General Assembly takes place. The Algeria Olympic Committee was created on October 18, 1963, and recognized by the International Olympic Committee in January 27, 1964 on the occasion of the 62nd session held during the 9th Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

The beleagured Berraf still faces further allegations of mismanagement in his role as ANOCA President, while he is also the subject of an investigation by the IOC Ethics Commission. Two African NOCs have reportedly raised doubts over his continued eligibility as ANOCA President after leaving the COA.

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North Africa Sports

Egyptian league to wait on government

The President of the Egyptian Football Association reveals that the return of sports in the country is solely dependent on the government

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The President of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Amr El-Gainany has said the return of sports in the country is solely dependent on the government.

All Sporting activities in Egypt have been suspended since 14 March due to the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world. In Egypt, the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise, as they are getting close to the 20,000-case mark.

The Egyptian FA president says they are prepared for any scenario as he revealed that the future of Egyptian sports is dependent on the decisions of the government.

“We haven’t taken a final decision regarding the future of sports competitions in Egypt,” said El-Ganainy.

“This decision will be made by the government but until now it wasn’t taken.

“We’re fully prepared if the government decides to continue the league”

“Even if the league is cancelled, we’ll be ready and we prepared several scenarios. We all want to continue the league unless the situation doesn’t allow it.

“In case we continue the league, the games won’t be played on the same pitches or the cities, as we want to limit the movement of the players,” he added.

El-Ganainy also gave an update on the health of the EFA’s technical director Mahmoud Saad who contracted the coronavirus after a meeting with some expatriate Egyptian coaches.

“There are no cases within the EFA, we took all of the precautions and we hope that Mahmoud Saad recovers quickly.

“Mahmoud Saad’s situation is improving every day. I want to thank him for his efforts over the previous year’s especially regarding dealing with athletes returning from abroad. He made a lot of efforts which exhausted him,” he concluded.

The former Zamalek coach will undergo the medical protocol cited by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and will take all the official cautions and measurements to face the virus.

The precautionary measures given by the government have been taken inside the EFA’s headquarters since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the EFA’s Chief Executive Walid El-Attar.

The Egyptian Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi said recently that football clubs will resume training in June.

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North Africa Sports

Tunisian League to restart in August behind closed doors

Tunisian football federation announces the country’s football league will resume its season in August behind closed doors

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The Tunisian football federation has announced the country’s football league will resume its season in August behind closed doors. Matches were suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Closed-door training will restart at the beginning of June, the Federation announced. It was initially hoped that Ligue 1 could be restarted in June, but the government rebuffed the FTF’s plan.

No further details were available on the schedule of matches or training, and the restart only relates to the top two tiers of the professional league.

The 2020-2021 Ligue I season is scheduled to begin in October.

Earlier in the week, the FTF in collaboration with the Tunisian health ministry published a strategy document on restarting football.

It says all players will have to commit to respecting virus prevention measures and state that they understand the risks, while assessments and medical examinations will be carried out before and during the competition period.

“The resumption of professional Ligue 1 will take place in August 2020,” read a statement from the FTF website.

“A certain number of measures will apply which has previously published and which will be sent to the clubs in the form of decisions. They will be published again to remind them.

“The 2020/2021 season for Professional Ligue 1 will start on October 24. The 2020/2021 season for the other divisions will start on October 31.

“The Cup matches will be scheduled according to the requirements of the general calendar.

“All the above-mentioned deadlines are always subject to the approval of the state institutions responsible for defining the general policy for the fight against the coronavirus in accordance with the requirements of the health and epidemiological situation.

“If the official meetings have not resumed in August, the federal office will announce the necessary decisions at the appropriate time,” the statement concluded.

Defending champions Esperance lead the standings with 44 points from 16 matches and are unbeaten this season. They are 10 points clear of CS Sfaxien in second, Club Africain and Etoile du Sahel are in 4th and 6th place respectively.

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Zamalek take down controversial “Real African Club of the 20th Century” billboard

Egyptian Premier League giants take down controversial billboard after CAF threaten club with sanctions

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Egyptian Premier League giants Zamalek have taken down a controversial billboard in the premises of the club after the Confederation of African Football CAF threatened the club with sanctions if the billboard was not taken down.

Zamalek stirred fresh controversy when the billboard went up, calling themselves the “real African club of the 20th century”.

CAF did not seem too concerned about the message on the billboard, but showed more concern about infringement of its image rights.

“Please be reminded that CAF … owns, on an exclusive basis, any and all of the rights related to the usage of its logo and visual identity,” CAF said in a letter it sent to Zamalek’s eccentric chairman Mortada Mansour, according to Egyptian media.

“Your club has used and placed, without any prior authorization from CAF, the CAF official logo on a banner within the club perimeters.

“Consequently, your club is hereby summoned: – To immediately cease the facts above by removing the CAF logo from all banners … and to confirm to CAF in a written reply, within 48 hours of the receipt of this letter, its full consideration and respect of the above subparagraphs.

“Failure to strictly comply with any of the requirements above within the delays set forth, CAF will take all necessary measures and actions against your club in order to safeguard the CAF’s rights and interests.”

Zamalek said they will take down the CAF logo and put the message on the billboard back up, adding that they have no problem with the current CAF president Ahmad Ahmad but with the former president Issa Hayatou.

Zamalek believe CAF had unjustly given Al Ahly the honorary “club of the century” award 20 years ago.

The White Knights claim that CAF used a faulty system to determine the winners of the award as they had won a then record of four Africa’s premier club competition at the time while Al Ahly had just two titles then.

CAF’s coefficient system awarded same points to the winners of the African Cup of Champions Clubs (before it changed to the Champions League in 1997), and the winners of the Cup Winners Cup (now the Confederations Cup) which Al Ahly had won four times.

The new century has seen Zamalek trail behind Al Ahly who had a great run seeing them win the CAF Champions League six times, taking their tally to a record eight trophies, three more than Zamalek.

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