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Infantino expands on proposals for African game2 minutes read

FIFA President explains proposed plan for lucrative African Super League

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President of World football governing body [ FIFA], Gianni Infantino, has elaborated on his proposed drastic overhaul of the African game.

The FIFA boss by stated that the creation of an African Super League could generate an estimated $200m in revenue and change the financial status of football on the continent on Monday.

Infantino who met with the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in Budapest, was elaborating on his weekend proposals to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for a drastic overhaul of the African game.

“We have had some serious problems in Africa and it has to change. It has to change the way of how to do business, it has to take on board the basic elements of good governance”.

“There needs to be proper competition infrastructure. I think it is fair to say that the competitions in Africa are 30-to-40 times less successful than in Europe,” Infantino said.

The former General Secretary of UEFA, who did not explain how he arrived at the $200m figure or how such a club competition would work, however, expanded on his thoughts about future Africa Cup of Nations.

“I was always told the Africa Cup of Nations is played every two years because it ensured the building of new infrastructure plus it generated revenues”.

“But when you look at the last decades, I don’t see a proliferation of top-class African stadiums and in terms of revenue we are miles away.

“If it is played every four years it makes it more exclusive, it presents a better profile.

“It’s the same for clubs. There are some clubs with literally tens of millions of supporters and they play competitions where actually the owners have to pay in money to be able to compete.” Infantino told the gathering of sports journalists.

Infantino said the world soccer ruling body is in position now to help guarantee infrastructure projects in Africa and the need to fix refereeing issues on the continent

“This is our proposal but we have to see whether African football accepts it.”

“You cannot have situations where football association presidents are the ones deciding who is to referee major matches in a national league,” Infantino said.

“This cannot be. This must be the work of technocrats and experts.

“The elite panel will be performance driven. You work well, you stay on the panel, you perform poorly and you are out,” he added.

Infantino met with African football chiefs In Rabat over the weekend, and outlined a plan concentrated around infrastructure investment and professionalization of refereeing and improved competitions for Africa that will make it one of the top 10 football competitions in the world.

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Zambia Invites 40 Players To CHAN 2021 Camp

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The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has invited 40 players for the 2021 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) camp.

This was revealed by the Milutin Micho Sredojevic, Head Coach of the Zambian men’s football national team, on Friday.

The Serbian manager said that the list would be eventually pruned to 23 for the competition to be hosted by Cameroon in January 2021.

The all locally based squad will enter residential camp on Sunday, September 28th.

The 11-year-old championship is meant for players in the domestic leagues of African countries.

“The players will commence camping on Sept. 28 and after one week, they will be reduced to 23 players. Thereafter, the team will play international friendlies against Malawi, Kenya and South Africa in October.

“We are also planning two other international friendlies against Rwanda and Libya,’’ he said.

The Serbia-born tactician said the friendly matches would assist the team to ascertain their level of preparedness for the competition.

He said the Zambian Premier League scheduled to start in October would assist the players to sharpen their skills and be in good form.

Sredojevic said the national team would play Botswana in AFCON qualifier at home and away in November.

“After Christmas, we shall come out with a comprehensive programme to prepare for the CHAN tournament. From there, we will know the players that will represent Zambia in Cameroon 2021,’’ he said.

Morocco is the defending champion of the CAF African Nations Championship.

FAZ also announced that the Copper Bullets will play a friendly against the Flames of Malawi on October 7th at Nkoloma Stadium. Zambia will then travel to South Africa for another friendly match against Bafana Bafana on October 10th before facing Kenya.

Among the invitees are NAPSA Stars star midfielder, Collins Sikombe, who scored the only goal of the game when Zambia played their last match at Nkoloma Stadium on March 12 beating the Flames 1-0; Zesco United new duo of Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba and Bruce Musakanya; and youngsters including Patrick Gondwe, Ricky Banda, Thomas Zulu, and Jackson Kakunta.

FULL SQUAD

(GOALKEEPERS)
Jackson Kakunta (Power Dynamos), Lameck Siame (Kabwe Warriors), Sebastian Mwange (Green Eagles), Richard Nyirenda (Nchanga Rangers)

(DEFENDERS)
Gift Zulu (Nkana), Kondwani Chiboni, Benson Sakala, Zachariah Chilongoshi (all Power Dynamos), Benedict Chepeshi (Red Arrows), Pride Mwansa (Nkwazi), Kebson Kamanga (Zanaco), Luka Banda, Luka Ng’uni (both Napsa Stars), Isaac Shamujompa, Solomon Sakala (Zesco United), Dominic Chanda (Kabwe Warriors)

(MIDFIELDERS)
Leonard Mulenga, Robin Siame (both Green Buffaloes), Kelvin Kapumbu, Boyd Musonda (both Zanaco), Gozon Mutale (Green Eagles), Thomas Zulu (Nkwazi), Laurent Muma (Forest Rangers), Paul Katema (Red Arrows), Godfrey Ngwenya, George Chisala (both Power Dynamos), Collins Sikombe (Napsa Stars), Chaniza Zulu (Lumwana Radiants), Clement Mundia (Kabwe Warriors), Amity Shamende (Green Eagles), Patrick Gondwe (Nkana), Bruce Musakanya, Kelvin Mubanga (Zesco United), Webster Muzaza (Forest Rangers)

(STRIKERS)
Emmanuel Chabula (Nkwazi), Akakulubelwa Mwachiaba, Jimmy Ndhlovu (Kabwe Warriors), Joseph Phiri (Red Arrows), Ricky Banda (Indeni), Friday Samu (Green Buffaloes)

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Covid-19: NPFL clubs record cases among players and staff

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The global coronavirus pandemic has reached into the heart of the Nigeria Professional Football League with no fewer than two clubs recording positive cases among their personnel.

Champions Plateau United and Kwara United are the two teams currently known but sources say there could be more.

According to reports, Ilorin-based Kwara United currently have nine players and four officials with the virus. This was discovered during the mandatory Covid-19 testing ordered by the League Management Company (LMC) for teams in the topflight before resumption of the new 2020/21 NPFL season.

Sources close to Plateau United also revealed that the club has recorded some positive cases but the exact number and the individuals affected could not be confirmed as the club was keeping the matter under wraps.

The news casts a major doubt on the possibility of the NPFL season commencing on the targetted October 20 date or anytime soon. In August, Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had lifted the ban on non-contact sports. These sports include athletics, lawn tennis, table tennis, golf, cricket, cycling, among others. Contact sports like football, boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, rugby, swimming and basketball remained banned until further notice.

However, in early September, the PTF announced that football activities could resume in the country albeit without fans in stadiums and according to strict COVID-19 guidelines which would be supervised by the ministry of youth and sports development and the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.

The position was corroborated by the minister of youth and sports development Sunday Dare. According to a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Gabriel Aduda, Dare said: “We are happy that the ban on sports has been lifted after so many months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 scourge. The ministry is not oblivious of the challenges that would be encountered in organising football matches.

“We cannot take anything for granted. As a way of safeguarding the lives of our players, coaches, officials and fans, approval must be sought and given before any game is played. The ministry would ensure that all protocols and guidelines are obeyed as directed by PTF and NCDC.”

Dare further warned in the statement that the NPFL would not resume until club licensing regulations were met by all clubs.”

“Thedomestic league will not commence until the regulations and controls bothering on financial and licensing control are enforced,” he said.

“The NFF must enforce these regulations and controls as stipulated, otherwise the Nigerian professional and amateur leagues will not be approved to resume.

“These include proper licensing of players, insurance for players and coaches, compliance with FIFA rules on players’ contract and transfer, running the clubs as professional endeavours, among others.”

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Southern Africa Sports

PSL unveil DStv as new title sponsor

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Africa’s foremost broadcast organization DStv has been unveiled as the new headline sponsor of South Africa’s Premier Soccer League. MultiChoice and the Premier Soccer League announced on Thursday 24 September that DStv has signed a five-year deal to become the new title sponsor of the league. They replace South African banking giants ABSA who ended their 13-year sponsorship at the end of the 2019/20 season.

According to PSL chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza, the establishment of the DStv Premiership is a natural evolution to the relationship and will be a powerful synergy, in what it brings for the football supporters.

“As the PSL continues to innovate with a quest to improve its product, it will have a full backing of DStv, whose offering require an abundance of local content,” he said.

“There is no ‘them and us’. We are joined at the hip to produce enhanced consumption of the best product for our deserving supporters.”

“This affiliation is special because it is the only affiliation that is as appealing to the young as it is to the old. It is the only affiliation that cuts across race, gender, creed, culture and political affiliations in the manner that it does. It creates equal conversations between people irrespective of their educational backgrounds and social strata.

“Through the DStv Premiership, we are expanding football’s reach deeper and wider in partnership with the PSL. This league is for every South African and every community represented in our uniquely diverse nation.” Mawela emphasizes. “With more games televised than ever before, we are deliberately creating space for all South Africans to call this competition their own,” he concluded.

MultiChoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela believes the deal between DStv and the Premier Soccer League speaks to the essence of who and what the two organizations represent.“The DStv Premiership is the coming together of two brands that connect South Africans emotionally”, says Mawela. “Whether you are watching the best of local football or the best local entertainment, the passion for both is unmatched.

“Over the years the PSL has created stars on the field of play that have brought joy to millions. So too has DStv, creating platforms for stars to flourish and entertain. Football and entertainment are entrenched in the South African experience.

“As part of this new chapter in South African football, the DStv Premiership strives to reach every community in South Africa, both existing PSL loyalists and emerging new groups. Babize Bonke is our call to all South Africans to come together in the experience of a common passion.”

With the new PSL season scheduled to begin in October, speculations continue to swirl around the future of SuperSport United. Matsatsantsa are owned by SuperSport which is a South African Pan-Africa group of television channels carried on the DStv satellite platform.

SuperSport United are one of the top teams in South African football having been originally known as Pretoria City. The club was purchased by SuperSport in 1994 and the club got approval from the National Soccer League (NSL) and the club was renamed.

The Tshwane giants became the second team after their city rivals Mamelodi Sundowns to win three successive PSL titles, between 2008 and 2010. They have also won Nedbank Cups, three MTN8 titles and one Telkom Knockout Cup. They are also the reigning MTN8 champions having defeated Highlands Park in last year’s final.

Reports say the club is considering selling their PSL status like Bidvest Wits and Highlands Park recently did, as the newly announced sponsorship between their parent company and the PSL will raise questions about the integrity of the competition.

However, SuperSport Utd management released a statement earlier in the week refuting any plans to sell the franchise.

“We have been made aware of the rumours and speculation regarding the potential sale of the club,” a club statement read.

“These are untrue. We can categorically state that there have been no such approaches and, more importantly, the club is not up for sale.”

Wits have been purchased by National First Division (NFD) side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and the club is set to relocate to Limpopo. Wits were due to celebrate their 100th anniversary next season having been founded in 1921, but instead, will now cease to exist.

On their part, Highlands Park sold their top-flight status to NFD outfit TS Galaxy and are expected to relocate to Mpumalanga.

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