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International Football

Rooney Quits England



England’s all-time leading goal scorer and most-capped outfield player, Wayne Rooney aged 31, has retired from international career.

The Everton forward, who scored 53 goals in 119 appearances for the Three Lions, announced the news in a statement on his website.

“It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me,” he wrote on

“Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me. But I believe now is the time to bow out.

“I will always remain a passionate England fan. One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side. Hopefully the exciting players Gareth [Southgate] is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.”


In the statement, Rooney revealed that Southgate had called him to offer a place in his Three Lions squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, having been absent from all World Cup qualifying squads this year (in March and June), but the Everton man decided to focus on his club commitments.

Rooney broke on to the scene as a teenager, becoming the youngest player to represent the country in 2003, aged 17 years and 111 days, when he came on as a substitute against Australia in a friendly game (that record has since been claimed by Theo Walcott).

Playing without fear, the bullish youngster excited England fans, with comparisons drawn to the free-flowing and carefree nature of Paul Gascoigne’s style of play 15 years earlier.

t his first major tournament, UEFA EURO 2004, Rooney seemed destined to live up to that promise, scoring a pair of braces against Switzerland and Croatia in the group stage.

However, he was withdrawn through injury early in the quarter-final against Portugal, a game which saw England exit the competition.
At subsequent tournaments, Rooney perhaps failed to find the spark he had done at his first, seeing red against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals, and scoring his only World Cup goal at the tenth time of asking, in his third finals, at Brazil 2014 – a tournament in which England exited at the group stage.


Despite England’s collective failings on the biggest stage, Rooney has forged a memorable Three Lions career, passing Sir Bobby Charlton’s record as his country’s all-time top goal scorer by scoring against Switzerland at Wembley in 2015.

In 2016, he surpassed David Beckham as England’s most-capped outfield player with his 116th appearance for his country, against Slovakia in World Cup qualifying.

  Rooney’s Milestones

  • 1st game: v Australia (Friendly, 12/2/2003), aged 17 years, 111 days
  • 1st goal: v FYR Macedonia (UEFA EURO 2004 qualifier, 6/9/2003)
  • 1st goal at major finals: v Switzerland (UEFA EURO 2004, 17/6/2004)
  • 50th game: v Ukraine (2010 World Cup qualifier, 1/4/2009)
  • 1st game as captain: v Brazil (Friendly, 14/11/2009), aged 24 years, 21 day
  • 100th game: v Slovenia (UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier, 15/11/2014)
  • 50th goal: v Switzerland (UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier, 8/9/2015)
  • Final (53rd) goal:v Iceland (UEFA EURO 2016, 27/6/2016)
  • Final (119th) game: v Scotland (2018 World Cup qualifier, 11/11/2016), aged 31 years, 18 days


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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International Football

New twist in Cameroon football coach crisis




The coaching crisis in Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions has taken a new dimension as the football federation, FECAFOOT, led by former international, Samuel Eto’o goes in direct confrontation with the coaching crew appointed by the sports ministry which also picks the bills.

  According to a Cameroon official who will not like to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the matter, the claims and counter claims of both the sports ministry and the FECAFOOT led by Eto’o had been heard and decided by the conciliation and arbitration chamber of the Cameroonian national Olympic committee, which is a court in charge of sports cases in Cameroon.

  “What is in contention is not the position of the Belgian coach, Marcc Brys, but that of the Cameroonian assistants attached to him.”

  The source explained to Sports Village Square that although the employment of Brys by the sports ministry was initially contested by Eto’o, the former player has come to accept the situation.


  “In Cameroon, there is always a techenical crew of nine to 11. The foreign coach is allowed to bring in two foreign assistants, while the others are always Cameroonians.

  In this case, the sports ministry approved the list of two foreign assistants by Brys while also announcing another set of local assistants that included former international, François Omam-Biyik, one of the stars of Italia ‘90  and the scorer of the goal that gave Cameroon a 1-0 win over a Diego Maradona-inspired  Argentina.

  “That is where the problem is. FECAFOOT also submitted a list of technical crew that included Brys and his two foreign assistants but dropped the names of the local assistants with new ones.”

  In essence, there are two lists with both having three names as same, but differ on the rest.

 According to the source, the list submitted by the sports ministry was upheld by the tribunal which threw aside that of FECAFOOT.


  In another twist, FIFA has already removed the name of Marc Brys from the profile of Cameroon on its website. Only the name of national women’s coach, Jean-Baptiste Bisseck is listed.

The removal of Brys’ name is happening a second time as it was first removed at the end of last month before being reinstated.

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International Football

Cameroon’s appointment of Brys as manager suspended by sports tribunal



Marc Brys

Cameroon’s appointment of Belgian Marc Brys as head coach was suspended by the country’s top sports tribunal on Tuesday following the petition of an amateur football club.

The country’s sports ministry stirred controversy last month when it named 61-year-old Brys as manager of the Indomitable Lions without consulting the football federation (FECAFOOT).

The move sparked a dispute between the sports ministry and FECAFOOT, which said the government had made a unilateral decision.

In response, it asked its president Samuel Eto’o to propose a national coach and other management staff for the national side within 72 hours, deepening its standoff with the sports ministry.

Eto’o kept Brys as head coach but named different assistants, technical, medical and administrative staff.


An amateur club, meanwhile, took the matter to the Arbitration and Conciliation Chamber of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee.

In a provisional ruling on Tuesday, the court suspended the FECAFOOT appointments while it fully examined the matter. Concerned parties have 24 hours to appeal.

FECAFOOT in response said it “reserves the right to refer these decisions to FIFA, as they hinder the preparation process for the forthcoming sport events.

“The Emergency Committee of FECAFOOT will meet immediately to take appropriate measures,” it said in a statement.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has strict rules against government interference in national federations and has frequently banned countries when governments get involved in federation affairs.


The president of the Cameroon Association of Amateur Football Clubs, Balla Ongolo Henri, had previously said Eto’o’s appointments would damage Cameroon’s image and disrupt preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers next June.

Brys, 61, penned a contract on May 8 as head coach of the Indomitable Lions following the dismissal of Rigobert Song in February. FECAFOOT did not attend the signing ceremony.

The sports ministry says it has acted in accordance with national and international regulations.


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International Football

Amokachi, Adebayor and Amanda Dlamini confirmed for CAF African Schools Championship Finals



African football legends, Emmanuel Adebayor, Daniel Amokachi and Amanda Dlamini are some of the top names that have been confirmed for the Continental Finals of the CAF African Schools Football Championship 2024 scheduled in Zanzibar between 21 – 24 May 2024.

The CAF African Schools Football Championship is the school’s competition that includes over 44 African countries with over 800 000 participants of Boys and Girls under the age of 15.

This is the second edition of the competition that is not only focused on Football but also on a number of programmes including Young Referee’s Programme, Young Reporter Programme and Safeguarding. 

Adebayor, CAF Player of the Year in 2008, represented Togo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for their only appearance at the tournament. Ex-striker for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and others, the Togolese star has had a successful career, earning over 85 caps with Les Eperviers.

Nigerian football star Amokachi played 42 international matches for the Super Eagles. He participated in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and was part of the team that won the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and the Olympic Games in 1996.


Former Banyana Banyana (South Africa) captain Dlamini played in two TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations competitions where they finished third and second in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She is one of the few footballers, both in the men’s and women’s national teams to reach 100 caps.

Dlamini recently made history when she became the first female to be part of the world commentary feed at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

Also on the list are local stars Abdi Kassim Sadalla, former Tanzanian National Team Captain, and Hilda Masanche, Head coach of the Tanzania U17 Women’s National Team.

The Legends will feature in various activities to promote and support football development among African youth.

The finals will bring together talented young players from across the continent, providing them a platform to showcase their skills and passion for the game.



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