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Ghanaian football boss defends decision to sack coaches2 minutes read

GFA President Kurt Okraku says move will help breathe new life into the nation’s sport

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Kurt Okraku

Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kurt Okraku has defended his decision to clear out the technical team of all its national teams as a move to breathe new life into the nation’s sport.

News broke on Friday that the GFA had elected to dissolved all coaching staff of both male and female teams.

Black Stars coach James Kwasi Appiah, home-based Black Stars trainer Maxwell Konadu, men’s U23 boss Ibrahim Tanko and senior national women’s team coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo were among those affected by the move.

Okraku explained the decision to local Ghanaian radio station Joy FM saying;

“We have not been as competitive as we want to be in all our national levels. We need to find ways to be competitive, bring the love back and bring the teams back into the finals and in the end, win trophies. This is what the Council also aims to achieve that is why this was done,” .

“I believe that Ghana is one of the biggest football nations and has qualities across the board – coaches, players – personnel across the board from which reason I believe that Ghana must appear at every cup competitions be it at the youth stage – U14, U17 levels – and also at the biggest mundial.

“When we do not appear I am overly worried and I believe we have to be at every tournament.”
Ghana’s male U17 and U20 coaches, as well as women’s U17 and 20 coaches, have also been affected by the latest development.

“The other bit is that we have to be competitive to be able to win. We used to be very dominant at U17 level, we used to appear at the U20 World Cup quite regularly, U23 we have always struggled, perhaps for reasons that I don’t know.

‘But in the next four years I want us to win trophies and that will be the challenge to all the head trainers that we will be engaging in the next few days, not weeks.”

Ghanaian football has witnessed a real struggle in recent years as the Black Stars last won a major title in 1982, the Africa Cup of Nations in Libya.

They failed to make the quarter-finals of the AFCON for the first time since 2006 and where knocked out in the second round in Egypt. Ghana also failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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Super Falcons goalkeeper moves to France

Chiamaka Nnadozie joins Feminine Division One team Paris FC

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Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie has completed her transfer to Paris FC in France from Nigeria Women Football League side, Rivers Angels.

Nnadozie is expected to sort out her visa issues in Nigeria before she joins up with her teammates in France.

The 19-year-old shot-stopper is expected to be the first-choice goalkeeper for her new side who are currently sixth on the table after 13 matches in the Feminine Division One.

Over the weekend, Paris FC defeated Montpellier 2-1 away from home and will next face Dijon on February 8.

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2022 FIFA World Cup draw throws up interesting pairings

Draw ceremony took place in Cairo, Egypt, with 40 African countries paired in 10 groups

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The Draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar took place on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt, with 40 African countries discovering their fates for the second round of the qualifying campaign.

The ceremony took place at The Nile Ritz-Carlton in Cairo, Egypt and saw the 14 first-round winners and the 26 highest-ranked African nations in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking drawn into ten groups of four ahead the penultimate stage of the continental journey to Qatar.

DRAW:

Group A: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Djibouti
Group B: Tunisia, Zambia, Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea
Group C: Nigeria, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Liberia
Group D: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Malawi
Group E: Mali, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda
Group F: Egypt, Gabon, Libya, Angola
Group G: Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia
Group H: Senegal, Congo, Namibia, Togo
Group I: Morocco, Guinea, Guinea-Biisau, Sudan
Group J: DR Congo, Benin, Madagascar, Tanzania

Marcel Desailly, former Captain of the French Men’s national football team, who hails from Ghana and Clementine Toure, Coach of Côte d’Ivoire’s Women’s national football team, were on hand to assist Samson Adamu, CAF Director of Competitions, to conduct the draw for the group phase of the qualifiers which starts on October 2020 and runs until October 2021

The winners of the ten groups will qualify for the final round of the continental qualification on the road to Qatar.

The final round will see the ten teams drawn into five home and away ties, with the five winners securing the ticket to represent Africa at the tournament scheduled for 21 November to 18 December 2022 in Qatar.

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Algeria’s Nabil Bentaleb joins Newcastle United

25-year-old completes loan move to Premier League club from Schalke 04

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Newcastle United have completed the signing of Algeria international midfielder, Nabil Bentaleb from Schalke 04 on loan for the rest of the season, with an option to make the deal permanent.

The 25-year-old, who previously played for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, represented his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Speaking shortly after he was unveiled, Bentaleb told nufc.co.uk: “I’m very happy to come back to the Premier League, especially with a club such as Newcastle.

“The project really interested me. I wanted absolutely to come back to the Premier League. The coach had some trust in me and the club also – I saw that straight away – and I think it’s the perfect move for me.”

While Manager of the Magpies, Steve Bruce gave his thoughts after the Algerian was presented to the media: “He’s somebody who I paid particular attention to when he was at Spurs, when he broke through and got a big money move to Germany.

“He’s played at the highest level now for the last four or five years but he will come in hungry and feeling he has something to prove and will give us the competition we obviously need.

“With the numbers that we’ve got at the minute, he’s got a bit of experience and I think people will enjoy watching him play. He’ll come into the squad and I’m sure he’ll be a good acquisition for us.

“The fact that he’s played in the Premier League before helps, because we know that he can play and knows what the demands of the Premier League are. He’s gone from the Premier League to Schalke and played in the Champions League as well, so we’re delighted to get him. It’s a great signing.”

Bentaleb made 66 appearances while with Tottenham and scored his only goal against Newcastle United in a League Cup tie in December 2014 – before making the move to Schalke in the German Bundesliga in August 2016.

He has made 97 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit scoring 19 goals in the process.

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