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CAF Champions League: Enyimba progresses while Kano Pillars is eliminated1 min read

Enyimba qualified 5-1 on aggregate and face Al Hilal of Sudan next month for a place in the group phase

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Enyimba progresses while Kano Pillars is eliminated

Enyimba triumphed and Kano Pillars were eliminated Sunday as Nigerian clubs experienced mixed fortunes in CAF Champions League preliminary round second legs. Forced to play behind closed doors because the competition organisers were dissatisfied with some renovations to their stadium, Enyimba crushed Rahimo of Burkina Faso 5-0 in the city of Aba.

Enyimba qualified 5-1 on aggregate and face Al Hilal of Sudan next month for a place in the group phase, where prize money kicks in. Reuben Bala and Stanley Dimgba bagged braces for Enyimba, the only Nigerian club to win the Champions League, and one of only four teams to achieve back-to-back titles.

Early and late goals gave Asante Kotoko of Ghana a 2-0 victory over Kano Pillars and a 4-3 overall win and a last-32 showdown with fellow former African champions Etoile Sahel of Tunisia.

Pay Attention: CAF Confederation Cup: Bolton City overcomes Jwaneng galaxy of Botswana

Kelvin Andoh netted for the Kumasi outfit after just three minutes and the Porcupine Warriors struck again 10 minutes from time when Emmanuel Gyamfi completed a brilliantly executed move.

Highly ambitious Simba of Tanzania were shock preliminary round casualties, losing on away goals to UD Songo of Mozambique after a 1-1 draw in Dar es Salaam. Luis Miquissone gave Songo an early lead that they retained until three minutes from time when Tanzanian international Erasto Nyoni levelled from the penalty spot.

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Kenya set to host second Copa Coca-Cola Africa Cup

The teams will play a total of 20 matches with the best two teams in each group qualifying for the quarterfinals and knock-out stages

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Kenya set to host second Copa Coca-Cola Africa Cup

The second edition of the COPA Coca-Cola Africa Cup is set to take place in Thika, Kenya from December 2-5, 2019. The hosts and the inaugural champions, Kenya, will seek to defend their 2018 title, won at the games held in Nakuru, Kenya. The country claimed both the boys’ and girls’ titles last year.

The tournament format comprises twelve teams and four groups. The participating teams in 2019 include Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Namibia and the hosts, Kenya.

The teams will play a total of 20 matches with the best two teams in each group qualifying for the quarterfinals and knock-out matches, thereafter.

According to Coca-Cola, more than 500,000 teens across Africa aged 13-15 take part in domestic Copa Coca-Cola tournaments each year and is a showcase of skills and talent aimed at developing young footballers into the next generation of soccer stars.

“The COPA Africa Cup is a platform that will go a long way in ensuring the students are the next generation of soccer stars. The array of stars the tournament has provided to the national football teams of the participating teams is a testament of the crucial nature of the games,” said Mr. Evanson Ndungu, Coca-Cola Marketing Manager, The Coca-Cola Company, Kenya.

The COPA Coca Cola tournaments have a rich history on the continent. Since its inception in Zimbabwe in 1989, it has traversed continents and grown to become a global grassroots football initiative for young people.

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Springboks celebrate World Cup victory at legendary Mandela site

The Springboks’ final stop on their victory tour pounded home the message of unity in a country still nursing the wounds of apartheid

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South Africa’s rugby stars on Monday hoisted the World Cup before thousands of ecstatic fans at Cape Town’s City Hall, where Nelson Mandela made his first speech after his release from prison.

The Springboks’ final stop on their victory tour pounded home the message of unity in a country still nursing the wounds of apartheid a quarter-century after its end.

“Look how we are all different, different races, different backgrounds, and we came together for South and we made it happen,” Siya Kolisi, the Springboks’ first black Test captain, told thousands of fans.

“I’m saying to you today, just take a look around you, there is different races, different people with different backgrounds, but look how you are making it special for us.”

“It’s time for us South Africans to stop fighting, to stop arguing… and move forward as a country,” he said, to wild applause from fans in the vast square. 

It was in that same square in front of City Hall on February 11, 1990, that Nelson Mandela spoke to euphoric crowds hours after his release from 27 years in prison.

That was Mandela’s first major speech as a free man and a key moment in South Africa’s rebirth as white-minority rule crumbled.

The Springboks beat England 32-12 victory against England in Japan on November 2, earning their third world crown in rugby’s paramount tournament.

But this team broke new ground, being the most racially-mixed in a national sport which was once the preserve of the white elite.

‘Reach for the stars’

Earlier Monday, the Springboks visited anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who sported a green Springbok jersey.

“What this group of youngsters has achieved speaks, beyond rugby, to the possibility of what we can be. No matter where we come from, if we reach for the stars, we can actually touch them,” said Tutu in a statement.

Dwarfed by most of the squad, Tutu appeared particularly impressed by Trevor Nyakane and Tendai Mtawarira’s size — while scrum-half Faf de Klerk gave the archbishop a glimpse of his “famously patriotic underwear he revealed to Prince Harry after winning the cup” eight days earlier, said the statement.

The Springbok also met lawmakers outside the parliament building.

The speaker of the legislature, Thandi Modise, told the triumphant squad: “You have enabled South Africa to recall who we are”.

“You have again made us able to forget our racial tensions, to forget the gender-based violence and to focus on that which makes us great as South Africa.”

She urged them to “continue to unite this country.”

“If politics fails, our fallback is sports, because there… we understand the rules of the game, we understand who and what makes us a people,” Modise said

In a brief response to the members of parliament building, Kolisi said “we hope that we make you proud and we hope that we have inspired you”.

Team members wore yellow T-shirts with inscription “stronger together”. 

Three decades ago, the Springboks were widely viewed as a pawn or a symbol of the white-minority apartheid regime.

Their victorious homecoming tour, aboard an open-topped bus has taken them to Soweto, a township near Johannesburg where they were once reviled, and to the seat of government in Pretoria where they met President Cyril Ramaphosa.

They also took the trophy to Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, Kolisi’s home town.

Throughout the tour, thousands of South Africans, from all backgrounds, have come out to cheer the national team.

WATCH: Springboks Victory Parade and Siya Kolisi’s ‘Unity Speech’

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Court in Nigeria drops corruption case against FA boss, 4 others

The football bosses had been facing a raft of accusations including over the alleged theft of $8.4 million paid by FIFA

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Court in Nigeria drops corruption case against FA bosses

A Nigerian court on Tuesday dropped a high-profile corruption case against football federation President Amaju Pinnick and four top officials after the authorities withdrew the charges. 

The football bosses had been facing a raft of accusations including over the alleged theft of $8.4 million paid by FIFA for Nigeria’s participation at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Judge Ijeoma Ojukwu said she had “no choice” but to order the case ditched after the prosecution asked to drop some of the charges. 

READ: Anti-graft agency seizes NFF chiefs’ properties in Nigeria

The government in September dissolved the anti-corruption agency prosecuting the case over its own graft scandal.

The case had been repeatedly adjourned since the football officials were charged in May as they failed to answer summons to appear in court. 

The ruling on Tuesday is not the end of Pinnick’s troubles as he is facing another potential trial for graft. 

Last month, the authorities seized a dozen properties from senior officials of Nigeria’s top football body, including Pinnick, in a fresh corruption probe.

READ: Nigerian court orders arrest of four embattled FA officials

Anti-graft agents took over 12 properties — half belonging to Pinnick, including a property in London — in the latest investigation to target senior football bosses.

Pinnick has remained at the helm of Nigeria’s football governing body despite the graft allegations.

He was sacked as Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in July.

READ: Nigeria FA officials charged with corruption

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