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Who Will Win The PSL Title?4 minutes read

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The South African PSL comes to an end this weekend with defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns and former Champions Kaizer Chiefs tied on points going into the final round of matches.

As It Stands

Chiefs had an eleven-point gap over defending champions Sundowns at some stage this season but are now tied on points heading into the final day.

They missed out on the chance to go six points clear when they lost against their title rivals at Orlando Stadium in what was deemed a big blow for Chiefs and a big boost for Sundowns.

Amakhosi however have a better goal difference and head in to the final day with a slight advantage.

Sundowns host Black Leopards while Chiefs travel to Baroka FC.

Chiefs have struggled for goals lately and have failed to score more than one goal in nine of their last 10 matches which points to another low scoring affair when they face Baroka.

On the other hand, Sundowns have shown they can be a threat going forward as evident in their 3-0 win at Polokwane last time out and with their final game at home, they will be confident of going all guns blazing.

If Chiefs win their game, then Sundowns will have to score at least five goals to stand a chance of usurping the leaders and denying them of their first PSL title since 2015.

Scenarios

  • Kaizer Chiefs win and Mamelodi Sundowns win – Title will be decided on goal difference
  • Kaizer Chiefs win and Mamelodi Sundowns lose or draw – Kaizer Chiefs crowned champions
  • Mamelodi Sundowns win and Kaizer Chiefs lose or draw – Mamelodi Sundowns crowned champions
  • Kaizer Chiefs draw and Mamelodi Sundowns draw – Kaizer Chiefs crowned champions
  • Kaizer Chiefs lose and Mamelodi Sundowns lose – Title will be decided on goal difference

What happens if both teams are tied on goal difference?

If Chiefs and Sundowns end the weekend tied on points and goal difference, Rule 8.2.3 of the NSL handbook will come into effect.

“Where Member Clubs have equal points and equal goal difference, the number of goals scored by the Member Clubs in all league matches will be used to determine the log position, with the Member Club scoring the higher number of goals occupying the higher log position.”

Chiefs have a huge seven-goal advantage having scored 47 goals compared to Sundowns’ 40 giving them another huge advantage.

What do the experts think?

“Chiefs can smell it. They can taste it. They know what must be done to get what they want. They have scored more goals than anyone else this season and with Lebogang Manyama who has 9 assists and Samir Nurkovic who has scored 13 goals, its hard to see them not winning.

Granted their form after the restart hasn’t been great and also they don’t have the best of records against Baroka, but this team know that they have worked too hard to throw it all away now. Even the taunts of “bottlers” from rivals Orlando Pirates is more than enough to spur them on. Come matchday, they will leave it all there on the pitch and it will be enough.”

Tunde Koiki
Sports Journalist / News Central Anchor

“Experience and sometimes luck play a major part in games like this. I feel the pressure will be more on Kaizer Chiefs because they haven’t won the league since 2015, they have so far blown a eleven-point lead and have been top of the PSL table since August 2019.

The feeling in the Amakhosi camp will be the “we just have to win it” feeling, and that’s pressure, a whole lot of pressure.

For Sundowns, they have done well so far this season and I expect experience and calm from the manager and players. I am very confident the Brazilians will beat the Black Leopards convincingly, but not so confident Chiefs will beat Baroka or even beat Baroka convincingly.

MAMELODI SUNDOWNS WILL WIN THEIR 10TH PSL TITLE THIS WEEKEND. They have what it takes.”

Nnamdi Ekugbah
Sports Journalist / News Central Anchor

“Sundowns carry a bigger goal threat heading into the final day and have the easier tie, they have goals in them and can take advantage of the huge pressure on Chiefs to win thier first title since 2015.

All said, goals will be the deciding factor here and Sundowns look the more likely to get a hatful of it.”

Tolu Shotade
Sports Journalist / News Central Anchor

One thing is for certain this weekend as has been the case for most of the season, there will definelty be twists and turns on an intriguing day in the PSL.

Business News

COVID-19: Nigeria’s ICPC Discovers School Feeding Funds In Private Accounts

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An anticorruption agency in Nigeria has discovered over N5 billion in private hands. The head of Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, disclosed that the agency found N2.67bn meant for the school feeding programme in private accounts. An additional N2.5billion was found in the accounts of a deceased staff of the ministry of Agriculture.

Other things were discovered from the ministry such as 25 plots of land, 18 buildings and 12 business premises. All illegally diverted to private hands.

The professor of law made the announcement in Abuja. He was speaking second National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector, which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation.

The summit had the theme, ‘Together against corruption’, also included the launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy.

He explained further that between January and August 2020, investigations revealed that Open Treasury Portal showed that of 268 ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) 72 had infraction totaling N90milillion.

Also, 33 MDAs gave full explanation for N4.1billion transferred to sub-Treasury Single Account while N4.2 billion that had been paid to individuals could not be satisfactorily explained.

The professor added, “We observed that transfers to sub-TSA were to prevent disbursement from being monitored. Nevertheless, we discovered payments to some federal colleges for school feeding in the sum of N2.67bn during lockdown when the children are not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts.”

In continuation of the agencies investigation called Constituency Tracking Initiative from last year, the ICPC also reviewed constituency and executive project. In all, 722 projects with a threshold of N100m (490 ZIP and 232 executive) were tracked across 16 states. He said the commission had special attention to track projects in agriculture, water resources, power, education and health.

The Constituency Tracking Initiative is meant to investigate fraudulent procedure and practices in the award of contracts for constituency and executive projects. And to make recoveries on projects or contracts confirmed to have been inflated or in which contractors under-performed or did not perform at all. The professor explained that projects tracked at phase one were selected by the steering committee comprising Budget Office, Office of Accountant-General of the Federation, Bureau of Public Procurement, Media, CSOs and the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

The ICPC helmsman said the 2020 exercise showed some improvement in project delivery, but the commission was faced with many challenges.

In details, Owasanoye said, “We discovered that a number of projects described in the budget as ongoing were new projects.”

“We discovered that projects are recommended for communities that do not need them. Such projects are abandoned, in spite of the huge sums appropriated for them.”

“We discovered that projects were sited in private houses on private land thus appropriating common assets to personal use and totally denying communities expected to benefit,” he adds.

The chairman said that the commission’s effort had forced 59 contractors handling projects worth N2.25 billion, back to sites, while it recovered and returned to beneficiaries assets worth about N700 million and cash of almost N200 million.

Owasanoye, said that the commission would, in future, prosecute false description of projects as ongoing, in accordance with extant rules. All affected projects have been listed in the ICPC’s Interim Report for 2020.

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North Africa

US Defense Secretary to Visit Morocco, Discuss Counter-terrorism

It has become a regular practice for American and Moroccan security officials to exchange visits to discuss cooperation and means to boost collaboration.

Bernard Akede

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US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is expected to arrive Morocco

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is expected in Morocco on Friday to discuss cooperations between both countries in counter-terrorism.

Esper’s visit to Morocco comes after trips to Tunisia and Algeria, a tour marking his first visit to Africa since he assumed office.

The defense secretary will open his tour on Wednesday with a visit to Tunisia to hold “bilateral talks with President Kais Ssaied and Tunisia’s Minister of Defense Ibrahim Bartagi.”

Esper is then expected to deliver a speech at the American military cemetery in Carthage, where American soldiers who died in North Africa during World War II are buried.

There are reports that the primary purpose of the visit is to further strengthen ties with Tunisia, a major ally in the region, and to discuss the threats posed by extremist organizations such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, in the North African country. This was according to a senior US military official.

On Thursday, the Pentagon chief will then leave for Algeria to hold talks with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

According to US military sources, the visit to Algiers seeks to “deepen cooperation with Algeria on key regional security issues, such as the threat posed by extremist groups.”

Esper’s Maghreb tour will end in Rabat to “strengthen the already close relations” in the aspect of security with Morocco, recalling that the African Lion military exercise which seeks to further strengthen cooperation between international partners to combat terrorism and insurgency, is hosted by Morocco.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event had to be canceled.

While speaking to AFP, the senior official who chose to remain anonymous did not reveal whether the US defense secretary would be personally received by King Mohammed VI.

Esper’s visit to Morocco comes a week after the US ambassador to Morocco David Fischer, was received by the country’s General Director of National Security and Territorial Surveillance – DGST-DGSN – Abdellatif Hammouchi. While on that visit, bilateral cooperation between the two countries in several fields, including security was discussed.

It has become a regular practice for American and Moroccan security officials to exchange visits to discuss cooperation and means to boost collaboration.

The U.S long ago described the Moroccan anti-terror approach as “comprehensive.”

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Central Africa News

Congo Lifts COVID-19 Curfew

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The Republic of Congo has lifted an imposed nationwide curfew in 10 regions and relaxed it in two main cities.

The curfew will now be enforced from 11pm to 5am local time in Pointe Noire and the capital, Brazzaville.

Since 14 March, the country has reported nearly 5,000 cases of Covid-19.

Several rights groups recently called for the full lifting of the curfew, saying relaxation of the measure has been counterproductive and has led to unemployment.

Meanwhile, 363 Angolans recently returned back to their country months after been stranded in the Republic of Congo and DR Congo since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March.

The returnees were welcomed back to the northern Cabinda Province of the country by the Angolan deputy consul in Muanda, Congo Central Province (DRC), Felisberto Zua, and the municipal administrator of Cabinda, Berta Marciano.

Speaking at the event, Zua said the repatriation process happened in a normal manner, further stressing that there are still many compatriots who are willing to return to Angola.

In DR Congo’s capital Kinshasa, taking temperatures and washing hands are still the norm in the residential district of Gombe, which is also the city’s diplomatic and economic centre.

But in working-class communities, masks are being pushed down to the chin and people are shaking hands again just like it is in Nigeria and major countries across the continent..

For many the latest buzz phrase is “corona eza te”, which translates to “there is no corona” in the local Lingala.

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