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Ghanaian football boss defends decision to sack coaches

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.

Central Africa Sports News

Moukoko: 16-year Old Cameroonian Making History In German Football

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Youssoufa Moukoko

Africans have continued to make big waves in German football in the 2020/21 season. Earlier in the season, Jamal Musiala, a 17-year old Anglo-Nigerian striker became Bayern Munich’s youngest goalscorer in history.

On Saturday, another stellar teenage African was introduced to senior football in the German Bundesliga.

Youssoufa Moukoko, 16, became the youngest player in the history of the German top flight when he was given a 5-minute run in Borussia Dortmund’s 5-2 thrashing of Hertha Berlin.

Moukoko, who was born in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé moved to Germany in 2014 to join his father who moved to Europe in the 1990s. In all the age-grade teams he has played for in Germany, the well rated attacker has broken and created scoring records.

Borussia Dortmund snapped him up from St. Pauli in 2016 and he has impressed the Blacks and Yellow fans greatly, with many tipping him for greatness.

Compatriot and Cameroon legend, Samuel Etoo has recommended Moukoko to Barcelona, with Dortmund jealously protecting their prized asset from preying eyes.

Moukoko has been subject of great hype in the German football circle with Borussia Dortmund and German football handlers moving to reduce his exposure to the press.

“After Youssoufa’s first international games at the under-16 level [in 2017], the hype was at times so huge, that, together with Dortmund, we decided to let him make his next steps solely with his club,” Meikel Schonweitz, the head coach of Germany’s youth teams, said. 

The German FA avoided selecting Moukoko for matches again as a result of the huge praise coming his way, before he made his U-20 debut this year, aged just 16.

“The hype doesn’t do anyone any favours,” said Stefan Kuntz, coach of Germany’s Under-21s. “The first low is always the toughest.”

His coaches have hailed him as a wonderfully-gifted player with a natural affinity for goalscoring. Borussia Dortmund’s coach, Lucien Favre has also hailed his skill and technique to high heavens.

“As of yet, the sun always shines for Youssoufa. He hasn’t had any rainy days, but these rainy days will come,” Nuri Sahin who used to hold the record as youngest debutant for Dortmund said about the striker.

Despite his very young years, Moukoko has a running €10m advertising contract with Nike.

The world of football will see more of Moukoko now he has finally made his debut, and it can be both ways from here.

While he has represented German age-grade teams, making his U-16 debut at 12, his international future is yet to be a subject of debate, with Cameroon making a strong claim to honing and owning the youngster.

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East Africa Sports News

Tributes Pour In for Departed Ivorian Football President Sidy Diallo

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Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President, Nick Mwendwa; former Chelsea forward, Didier Drogba; and Ivorian defender, Serge Aurier, have paid tribute to the departed Ivorian counterpart, Augustin Sidy Diallo, who died on Saturday.

The 61-year-old football administrator succumbed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

The federation are due to hold a meeting to name an interim president as it prepares to hold elections when it receives the go ahead from Fifa.

“We grieve for the loss of Augustin Sidy Diallo, a great man, his contributions to Ivorian and African football is undeniable. Sidy has been a great servant for football at all levels,” Mwendwa said in his statement.

Mwendwa hailed Diallo, describing him as a great football man, a mentor and a father figure to the young and upcoming soccer administrators in Africa.

“In this painful moment, on behalf of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Executive Committee, Kenya’s football family, and on my own behalf, I wish to express our sincere condolences and deep sympathy to FIF, the whole Ivorian football community and to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased,” condoled Mwendwa.

He added:”It’s a big loss for Ivorian football and we extend our deepest sympathies. Rest in Peace (RIP) my friend, Honourable Sidy Diallo.”

On his part, Drogba said, “The Ivorian and world football family has just lost one of his son.

“Thank you for all President, a few only will understand but rest in peace. My sincere condolences to the family”

Tottenham Hotspur and Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier also took to social media to express his sadness.

“Even ill, you always wanted to be with us, I have no words and nothing to say except thanks for everything,” Aurier wrote.

“Rest in peace president. May Allah accept our prayers and welcome you in his kingdom.”

Diallo was the federation’s vice-president of between 1991 and 1994, during which time the Elephants won their first African Cup of Nations title in 1992.

In 2006, he was part of the FIF as Ivory Coast qualified for their first World Cup finals in Germany.

He was elected FIF president in 2011 and was in charge as Ivory Coast won a second Nations Cup title in 2015.

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Top 5 Review

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In case you missed it, here is a review of the top 5 Africa-related stories from the weekend – November 20 – 22, 2020 Do not forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel link in our bio. #AfricaFirst #AfricanSports #soccer #tennis

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