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Osimhen Missing As Nigeria’s Super Eagles Train For AFCON Qualifier

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The Super Eagles on Tuesday in Benin had their first training session in the last leg of preparations for their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying matches against Sierra Leone.

Sixteen of the 23 invited players took part in the training.

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen was however missing from the training though Amaju Pinnick, the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), had earlier on Tuesday confirmed Osimhen’s arrival.

“Osimhen called me two days ago complaining that an airline could not carry him because of XYZ.. and asked if he could get another ticket and I said ‘we are going to get a ticket for you’ and I am happy he has arrived.

“So, you can see the commitment of the young players to this country,” he said.

Chidozie Awaziem, Kelechi Iheanacho and Emmanuel Dennis were among the latest set of arrivals in the Benin City camp of the Super Eagles.

Those already on ground include team captain Ahmed Musa, the England-based trio of William Troost-Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina.

Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun who both play for the Scottish side Rangers are also in.

Also In camp are goalkeepers Maduka Okoye, Sebastian Osigwe and Ikechukwu Ezenwa who was called up as a late replacement for Daniel Akpeyi.

The other players invited by coach Gernot Rohr and already in town are Kevin Akpoguma, Zaidu Sanusi, Tyronne Ebuehi, and Oghenekaro Etebo..

Etebo is returning to the team after missing the two friendly games against Tunisia and Algeria in October.

The Super Eagles take on the Leone Stars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City on Friday before heading to Freetown for the return game on Tuesday at the Siaka Stevens Stadium.

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Female African Footballers To Be Protected By New FIFA Rule

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At a Congress on Friday, FIFA announced the approval of new rules to protect female footballers, their contracts and careers.

The new rules come with better strategies to allow female football players become mothers without their careers having to pay for it.

President of the world football governing body, Gianni Infantino announced on Friday that the new rule seeks to protect women and also respect their contracts.

The new rule, which is not limited to female African footballers will see a player receive 2/3rd of her salary wh ile she’s pregnant. She will also be accepted back to the team on her return and medical care must be provided for such player.

Read: 19 African Refs Selected For 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The rule also says a player will be on a paid 14-week maternity leave, and will also get to keep her job.

Any club that flouts the rules, and fails to pay the player accordingly will be liable to pay a compensation to the player.

The rules also apply to female coaches.

“If we are serious about boosting the women’s game, we have to look at all these aspects, ” Infantino said.

“Female players need to have stability in their careers, and if they take maternity leave, they should not have to worry about when they are ready to play again.”

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Southern Africa Sports

Mozambican Club Travels 845km To Prosecute Continental Fixture

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Mozambique league champions, Costa do Sol have defied the ills of the road to travel 845km to prosecute a continental fixture.

Costa do Sol faced travel hitches ahead of their CAF Champions League clash against Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum.

While the club had secured flight space from LAM, Mozambique’s national airline, the club were forced to dig deep when their travel plans were cancelled by LAM. This was revealed by Maher Mezahi, an Algerian journalist with keen interest in African football.

This ensured the team travelled down to Platinum, located in Zvishavane, Midlands Province of Zimbabwe, Southern Africa.

Costa do Sol is located in Maputo, the Mozambican capital, with their geography bordering mostly on Southern Africa but also may be classed in East Africa.

The team, which lost 2-1 to Platinum in the first leg in Maputo now face an even more Herculean task to overcome their hosts.

Their travel ordeal may be a source of motivation to give the game their all or affect their physical makeup, due to the long journey they had.

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Central Africa Sports News

CCC: Cameroon’s Alex Song And Djibouti Team Suffer 10-1 Defeat

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Former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder, Alex Song’s return to African football is seen by many as a fall from grace.

That he chose to team up with a team in Djibouti, one of Africa’s smallest football nations, has also seen many questioning his desire for competition.

Song has claimed he’s in Djibouti for a purpose but he’s been left clinging on to harsh realities after a heavy defeat in his first competitive appearance.

The former Cameroonian international’s team, Arta/Solar 7 were drubbed 10-1 aggregate by Arab Contractors in the first round of the CAF Confederations Cup.

To add salt on Song’s injury, he scored an unfortunate own goal in the clash.

The Cameroonian is expected to help build Djibouti football in the role and such start must be discouraging to him.

Whether the humiliating defeat will deter Song and his Djibouti side from their ambitious target will be revealed in a matter of time.

The former Rubin Kazan midfielder has previously played in Cameroon, France, England, Spain, Russia and Switzerland before his switch to Solar 7.

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