The Big 5 Review – May 31-June 2, 20191 minute read
In case you missed it, here is a review of the top 5 Africa-related sports stories from the weekend – May 31- June 2, 2019.
Nominees released for 2019/2020 Marc Vivien Foe Award
French media outlets RFI and France 24 have released the 11 nominees for the 2019/2020 Marc-Vivien Foe Award
French media outlets RFI and France 24 have released the 11 nominees for the Marc-Vivien Foe Award. The annual event is organized in memory of the late Marc-Vivien Foe, a Cameroonian midfielder who died at the age of 28 while playing for the Indomitable Lions during a 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup match against Colombia.
He had two stints in the French Ligue 1, first turning out for Lens before playing for Olympique Lyon after a short time in England with West Ham United.
Ivorian Nicolas Pépé was the winner of the 2019 edition after a stunning, 22-goal season with Lille who finished as runners up behind Paris St. Germain. Nominees must be eligible to wear the colors of an African national team and must have played at least 15 matches in Ligue 1 in the season under consideration.
The list is dominated by players from Senegal, with no less than four from the runners up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. They include PSG’s defensive midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, Stade Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy who kept nine clean sheets and saved a penalty from 24 Ligue 1 games, teammate Mbaye Niang who scored 15 goals in 36 games in all competitions and FC Metz’ Habibou Diallo who scored 12 goals.
Nigerian duo Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Vincent Enyeama, who won the award in 2014. Osimhen had a dream debut campaign in France with Lille, scoring 18 goals in 38 games across all competitions, 13 of them in 27 league games. Simon, who was on loan from Levante had a solid campaign as well, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists from 30 games with Nantes.
African champions Algeria are also represented. Striker Islam Slimani scored nine goals in 19 games across all competitions for Monaco while compatriot Andy Delort also scored nine goals for Montpellier. Both players are hoping to become the first Algerians to win the award.
Gabon and Saint Etienne’s Bouanga Denis, Malian Hamari Toure of Rennes and Morocco’s Younis Abdelhamid of Reims complete the shortlist.
The winner will be announced on or before June 29 2020.
The full list:
Andy Delort (Algeria) Montpellier
Islam Slimani (Algeria) Monaco
Edouard Mendy (Senegal) Rennes
Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal) PSG
Habib Diallo (Senegal) FC Metz
Mbaye Niang (Senegal) Rennes
Moses Simon (Nigeria) FCNantes
Victor Osimhen (Nigeria) LOSC
Younis Abdelhamid (Morocco) Reims
Hamari Traoré (Mali) Rennes
Denis Bouanga (Gabon) ASSE
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
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.
African joy as Red Bull Salzburg claim Austrian Cup
There was a significant African representation as Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg won the Austrian Cup with a ruthless 5-0 destruction of second-tier Austria Lustenau
There was a significant African flavour in the air as Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg won the Austrian Cup with a ruthless 5-0 destruction of second-tier Austria Lustenau in the final as the Austrian football season resumed following a suspension due to the coronavirus crisis.
In a match played without spectators at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, the favorites took control of the match with two quick-fire goals midway through the first half.
Dominik Szoboszlai put Salzburg ahead from a free kick in the 19th minute and Dominik Stumberger put through his own goal two minutes later as Lustenau, making their second final appearance, fell apart.
Noah Okafor took advantage of poor marking to fire the third in the 53rd minute, Ghanaian midfielder Majeed Ashimeru fired in the fourth from the edge of the area in the 65th minute before Malian substitute Sekou Koita completed the rout when a clearance ricocheted off him and into the net.
Zambian striker Patson Daka played for 78 minutes before he was replaced by exciting youngster Karim Adeyemi while Cameroonian defender Jerome Junior Onguene also came on as a substitute in the win.
It is the seventh time that Salzburg has won the competition, all of them in the last nine seasons. They have seven African players and two of Nigerian descent, attackers Karim Adeyemi and Noah Okafor, registered on their books.
The win also made manager Jesse Marsch the first American born/raised manager to win a cup or a league in Europe. The trophy also represents the second major trophy Marsch has earned as a head coach, having guided Red Bull New York to the 2015 Supporters’ Shield.
The match marked the beginning of a return of domestic football in Austria, with the league set to resume on June 2. Salzburg were also handed a big boost in their quest for that title this week, as previous league leaders LASK Linz were docked six points for holding team training sessions in violation of pandemic rules.
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