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New Balance celebrates Mane with customized football boots3 minutes read

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Sadio Mane celebrates Africa’s Player of the Year award with new boots.

The Senegal and Liverpool star took the top prize at the annual CAF Awards ceremony which was held in Egypt on Tuesday night.

Mane Toped Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah who came second and Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez, who also made the three-man shortlist.

To Celebrate Mane’s year and the award new balance designed a football boot in Mane’s honour. 

The sportswear manufacturers confirmed that Mane inspired and guided the design of the boot as well as the special insignia on the heel of the new Furon 6 boots.

The words ‘African Player of the Year 2019 SM 10’ wrap around the image of a lion – an apt symbol considering the Senegalese national team are nicknamed Les Lions de la Téranga (The Lions of Teranga).

The laces also boast a neat design, while the red boots match Liverpool’s home strip with a brilliant gold flourish.

In addition, New Balance also celebrated Mane’s victory with a billboard campaign in Liverpool City Centre and Dakar, the capital of Senegal.


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North Africa Sports

Zamalek take down controversial “Real African Club of the 20th Century” billboard

Egyptian Premier League giants take down controversial billboard after CAF threaten club with sanctions

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Egyptian Premier League giants Zamalek have taken down a controversial billboard in the premises of the club after the Confederation of African Football CAF threatened the club with sanctions if the billboard was not taken down.

Zamalek stirred fresh controversy when the billboard went up, calling themselves the “real African club of the 20th century”.

CAF did not seem too concerned about the message on the billboard, but showed more concern about infringement of its image rights.

“Please be reminded that CAF … owns, on an exclusive basis, any and all of the rights related to the usage of its logo and visual identity,” CAF said in a letter it sent to Zamalek’s eccentric chairman Mortada Mansour, according to Egyptian media.

“Your club has used and placed, without any prior authorization from CAF, the CAF official logo on a banner within the club perimeters.

“Consequently, your club is hereby summoned: – To immediately cease the facts above by removing the CAF logo from all banners … and to confirm to CAF in a written reply, within 48 hours of the receipt of this letter, its full consideration and respect of the above subparagraphs.

“Failure to strictly comply with any of the requirements above within the delays set forth, CAF will take all necessary measures and actions against your club in order to safeguard the CAF’s rights and interests.”

Zamalek said they will take down the CAF logo and put the message on the billboard back up, adding that they have no problem with the current CAF president Ahmad Ahmad but with the former president Issa Hayatou.

Zamalek believe CAF had unjustly given Al Ahly the honorary “club of the century” award 20 years ago.

The White Knights claim that CAF used a faulty system to determine the winners of the award as they had won a then record of four Africa’s premier club competition at the time while Al Ahly had just two titles then.

CAF’s coefficient system awarded same points to the winners of the African Cup of Champions Clubs (before it changed to the Champions League in 1997), and the winners of the Cup Winners Cup (now the Confederations Cup) which Al Ahly had won four times.

The new century has seen Zamalek trail behind Al Ahly who had a great run seeing them win the CAF Champions League six times, taking their tally to a record eight trophies, three more than Zamalek.

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Sports News

Weah forecasts grim future for African sports post-COVID-19

Liberian president and former African and World Footballer of The Year warns of struggle in sports post Covid-19

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Liberian president and former African and World Footballer of The Year George Weah has warned that the future of sports on the African continent after the coronavirus will be “bleak”.

Speaking at a recent special webinar organized by the Africa Sports Ventures Group, Weah said that the organizing of sports events or competitions behind closed doors or with minimal crowds will result in a major reduction in sponsorship revenues as companies reduce spending in the wake of coronavirus-inflicted losses.

In his opinion, this poses a huge threat not just to individual sporting clubs across the continent, but also to the league structures within which they exist.

“The lifeblood of sports consists mainly of attendance fees and sponsorships – where these no longer exist, many clubs will collapse and many leagues will close permanently,” said President Weah.

“It is my considered opinion that the future of sports in Africa after Covid-19 is bleak, and is not guaranteed to recover. There will be an urgent need to resuscitate football and other games.

“Health and recovery of our economies take absolute priority, however it is important that the global funding being raised should recognise the social importance of sport.”

However, head of sport at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Gary Rathbone believes that social media can bring clubs much-needed income as they try and get back into playing again.

“There’s an opportunity for many leagues and many sports federations to start engaging with their consumers via the digital space,” said Rathbone.

“In many American sports, big international leagues, Formula One, consumers can subscribe directly to content without paying for a TV subscription, and there’s an opportunity here on the continent now if federations can start doing that.

“There are around 300 million people with smartphones across sub-Saharan Africa. If you look at big football clubs in Africa so many of them are not exploiting the digital space on social media. It’s a huge opportunity to monetise the content that they have with advertisers or subscription fees.

“If a club has a million fans and say a quarter of them subscribe for just 50 cents a month, that’s $125,000 a month – much greater than any broadcast TV revenue that they might have got,” he concluded.

The online event, in collaboration with UNESCO, featured presentations from experts, athletes, administrators, marketers and government officials aimed at dealing with the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the suggestions included a stronger digital presence, new partnerships in social development, the inclusion of some of Africa’s traditional sports in the mainstream and staging more events on the continent.

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Southern Africa Sports

Zimbabwe FA rules out pay cut for national team coach

Zimbabwe FA say Zdravko Logarusic will not be asked to take a pay cut despite the crippling effect of the coronavirus pandemic

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Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo has revealed that national team coach Zdravko Logarusic will not be asked to take a pay cut despite the crippling effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

ZIFA says they are still in a comfortable financial position to meet Logarusics’ monthly salary as per contract. Less than a month after he took over as the Warriors coach, football in the country went into lockdown.

Logarusic had earlier said he does not feel comfortable receiving his salary when he has not worked for it and wants international football to resume very soon.

Kamambo said the contract with expatriates should not be affected by footballs inactivity, but says it will be discussed when the board have their meeting.

The ZIFA president does not expect drastic decisions to be taken regarding Logarusic’s salary.

“We did our plan before hiring him so we will continue to pay our coach according to our contract. I am not expecting the board to make drastic charges on that.

“We are happy that for the first time the association is able to meet their financial obligations regarding the coach’s welfare. We don’t owe him any cent. We also don’t owe any of our staff members any money. ZIFA had gained notoriety for not paying coaches and at one time it even cost us a run in the World Cup qualifiers. But those are now things of the past. We have opened a new leaf as the association,” said Kamambo.

Kamambo also said ZIFA is trying to be transparent with its finances.

“We already have US$500 000 for the remaining six months. But we will not just spend because it was availed us a bit early. We will continue to operate the way we were doing so that by the time football returns we will be prepared to cater for all the national teams that have competitions that are currently on hold.

“We cannot have a situation where ZIFA are known as crybabies, seeking for resources at the eleventh hour every time. We have to (make a) budget and stick to that. So, the money we received will go to usual operations which include national teams travel, junior leagues as well as staff,” Kamambo said.

The ZIFA president said the COVID-19 relief package they requested from FIFA will be used to assist their affiliates.

“When the money comes, we will assist all our football affiliates. We will have a board meeting in two weeks’ time which will address all these issues related to the coronavirus and its effects on our game.”

ZIFA have provided $2 000 to each elite referee to help during these trying times, according to Kamambo, the funds were from savings in the organizations coffers in the first half of the year.

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