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South Africa and Tunisia to bid for 2022 Rugby Sevens World Cup1 min read

Nine other countries have confirmed their expression of interest

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South Africa and Tunisia to bid for 2022 Rugby Sevens World Cup

South Africa and Tunisia have joined nine other countries to formally express interest in hosting the 2022 Rugby Sevens World Cup.

A record eleven unions –Argentina, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Qatar, Scotland, South Africa, and Tunisia -confirmed their expression of interest to the international federation by the March 31 deadline, having reviewed the detailed bid guide.

The record level of interest is a strong endorsement of the sevens format, which is the driving force behind record rugby fan growth – particularly among young people in emerging rugby markets. It was a major factor behind sevens’ inclusion in the Olympic Games programme, debuting in style at Rio 2016.

“We are delighted with the record level of interest. With a core objective of growing the global rugby fan and participation footprint, it is superb to see new interest from emerging rugby nations, which is great for the sport,” said World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

“We now move forward to a detailed phase of consultation and evaluation against set operational, team, fan and legacy criteria before the World Rugby Council selects the 2022 host at the interim meeting in Tokyo in October.”

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 will be played during the September and October window, considering the international calendar, including the World Rugby Sevens Series and the Commonwealth Games that will take place in July 2022. The event will again comprise 24 men’s and 16 women’s teams and will be played over three days in one venue.

The unions have been issued the formal bid application documents and now have until July 16, 2019 to submit their responses.

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North Africa Sports

Egypt’s star Mohammed Salah set to miss friendly against Botswana

Salah finished fourth in the balloting for the FIFA best player award last week

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Salah set to miss Egypt friendly against Botswana
African Footballer of the Year, Egypt and Liverpool striker Mohammed Salah. (Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP)

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah “must rest” and will miss Egypt’s friendly against Botswana on October 14, national team coach Hossam El Badry said Thursday. The announcement came days after Salah raised eyebrows by changing his Twitter bio to say he only played for Liverpool, removing any mention of his affiliation to Egypt.

Salah finished fourth in the balloting for the FIFA best player award last week, with two of Egypt’s votes rejected by football’s governing body after they were signed in capital letters. El Badry said he spoke to Salah following a report from the national team doctor on the fitness of the squad’s overseas-based players.

“I agreed with him that it is in his best interests and those of the national team that he rests,” El Badry told local channel MBC Masr. “He won’t be with us at the training camp for Botswana, but God willing, he will be with us for the official matches.”

Salah scored twice on Wednesday as holders Liverpool defeated Salzburg 4-3 at home in the Champions League group stage. 

Salah and the Egyptian FA have butted heads before several times, most prominently when a photo of him was plastered on the squad’s plane ahead of the 2018 World Cup, causing sponsorship problems for the star.

El Badry will take charge of his first match as Egypt coach against Botswana following his appointment last month. Egypt begin their qualifying campaign for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations at home to Kenya in November.

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North Africa Sports

Football fans clash leaves one dead and 4 injured in Morocco

one person died of his injuries after “falling from on top of the vehicle”

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Football fans cla

One person was killed and five injured in clashes between rival football fans after a cup tie near the Moroccan city of Casablanca, local authorities said Wednesday.

“A group of supporters of Wydad Casablanca (club) stopped a vehicle carrying fans of AS FAR Rabat, throwing stones and the situation degenerated,” they said in a statement.

They said one person died of his injuries after “falling from on top of the vehicle” and five others were hospitalised.

Police made six arrests over the violence which followed a 3-1 defeat for the home club. Football violence is common in Morocco costing the lives of supporters in March 2016, after which authorities temporarily cracked down on radical supporters clubs.

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North Africa Sports

Mo Salah and Egyptian FA fall out after vote in FIFA awards goes astray

Salah hinted his disappointment in the Egyptian Football Association earlier today

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Mo Salah and Egyptian FA fall out after vote in FIFA awards goes astray

Egypt’s football association has asked FIFA for clarification after its vote for national icon Mohamed Salah was dropped from the final tally for the world’s best player award.

The results are based on the votes of national coaches, team captains and members of the press in selecting their top three players of the year.

When FIFA released its results, Egypt was curiously absent from the final vote count.

In comments online blame was aimed at Egypt’s football federation for failing to ensure Salah would be given the maximum chance in all votes, although he eventually finished fourth, 20 votes behind winner Lionel Messi. Messi won with 46 votes while Salah scored only 26 in fourth.

Mo Salah hinted at his disappointment through his social media activity, changing his Twitter bio to say he only plays for Liverpool and removing any mention of his affiliation to Egypt.

To add insult to injury, Hany Daniel, the Egyptian journalist in the voting, picked Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, Salah’s Liverpool team-mate, ahead of the Egyptian striker who he relegated to third place behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Salah posted a conciliatory tweet after saying “no matter how much they try to change my love for you and your people,” referring to Egypt, “they won’t be able to”.

Read Also: Egyptian fans jubilant over Salah’s goal as Liverpool’s African Stars celebrate UCL win

Hours after the controversy, the Egyptian Football Association said it had asked FIFA for an explanation as to why its vote “was not approved”.

The statement released late Tuesday said the association had sent its votes officially to FIFA on August 15 and they were registered on August 19.

Mo Salah and the EFA have butted heads before several times, most prominently when a photo of him was plastered on the squad’s plane ahead of the 2018 World Cup, causing sponsorship problems for the star.

The EFA has been beset with governance issues and was vehemently pilloried by fans for Egypt’s early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

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