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International Football

Titanic Clash as Nigeria Face Ghana in WAFU Cup Final

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

It may not be a classic in a normal continental fixture, but a clash of Nigeria’s selected side against their Ghanaian counterparts evoke passion any day.

The final match of the revived WAFU Nations Cup on Sunday will therefore not be an exception even if the two countries are not featuring their best known talents.

Sports Village Square recalls that beyond the quest to win the WAFU Cup, national honour is at stake as clashes of both sides evoke passion since the first encounter 66 years ago in the then Jalco Cup played annually till 1959.

Even though the recent encounters seem to skew in favour of Nigeria, Ghana won most matches overall. This Sunday’s clash will be the 63rd involving national selections of both sides at Grade A or B encounters.

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Sunday’s match is at Grade B level as it involved limited selections of players in the domestic league. Nine years ago when both first clashed at limited selection stage – the inaugural African Nations Championship qualification series, Ghana prevailed as Nigeria let off an initial two goal lead in Accra to lose 2-3.

In the return leg played in Calabar, Nigeria could only manage a goalless draw and crashed out on 2-3 aggregate.

Three years later at a WAFU Cup clash in Abeokuta, South West Nigeria, the Nigerian team won 2-1. When both clashed at the semi-finals of African Nations Championship in South Africa three years ago, Ghana prevailed in 4-1 in an ensuing penalty shootout after regulation and extra time score line stood at 0-0. But last week, the Nigerian team B side beat Ghana 2-0 in a Group A encounter of the current WAFU Cup.

Ghana, besides playing on home soil, will naturally be aiming for a revenge on Sunday. This, the Nigerian coach, Salisu Yusuf seems to know. According to a media statement from the NFF Media Department, Salisu Yusuf, is not perturbed: “We know what they will be up to and what they will be ready to give to take the trophy. We are more than ready to confront them and give them more than they expect.

“The Super Eagles have become used to winning, from winning the CHAN ticket to conquering Sierra Leone and even Ghana here to reach the final, and we cannot stop now. We want that winning mentality to remain all the way to the CHAN finals early next year.”

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  Even though the WAFU Cup could have served as dress rehearsal for the Nigerian side ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations holding in January, information at the disposal of Sports Village Square indicates that most of the current players may no longer be eligible as they are at the brink of signing overseas contracts.

 

 

 

                  GHANA – NIGERIA:  Head-to-Head

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P        W        D        L         F        A

Ghana         62       23        21       18       91       68

Nigeria        62       18        21        23      68        91

 

 

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20 Oct.1951 (JalcoCup) Nigeria 5-0 Ghana

11 Oct.1953 (JalcoCup) Ghana 1-0 Nigeria

30 Oct.1954 (JalcoCup) Nigeria 3-0 Ghana

30 Oct.1955 (JalcoCup) Ghana 7-0 Nigeria

27Oct.1956 (JalcoCup) Nigeria 3-0 Ghana

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27Oct.1957 (JalcoCup) Ghana 3 -3 Nigeria

25 Oct.1958 (JalcoCup) Nigeria 3-2 Ghana

10 Oct. 1959 (OQ.) Nigeria 3 -1   Ghana

26 Oct. 1959 (OQ.) Ghana 4-1     Nigeria

22 Nov.1959 (JalcoCup) Ghana 5 -2 Nigeria

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28 Aug. 1960 (WCq) Ghana 4-1    Nigeria

10 Sept. 1960 (WCq) Nigeria 2 -2 Ghana

9Oct.1960 (Nkrumah Cup) Nigeria 0-3 Ghana

29 Oct.1960 (Zik Cup) Nigeria 1-1 Ghana

8 April. 1961 (ACNq) Nigeria 0 -0 Ghana

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30 Apr. 1961 (ACNq) Ghana 2-2 Nigeria

17 Dec. 1961 (F) Ghana 5 -1    Nigeria

10 Nov.1962 (F) Nigeria 0 -0       Ghana

23Feb.1963 (Nkrumah Cup) Ghana 5-0 Nigeria

30 Oct.1965 (Zik Cup) Nigeria 0-4 Ghana

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7 Nov.1965 (Zik Cup) Ghana 3-0 Nigeria

28 Jan.1967 (Zik Cup) Nigeria 2-2 Ghana

12 Feb.1967 (Zik Cup) Ghana 2-0 Nigeria

22 Oct.1967 (Zik Cup)         Ghana 2-1 Nigeria

23 Dec1967 (Zik Cup) Nigeria 2 -2 Ghana

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10 May 1969 (WCq) Nigeria 2-1 Ghana

18 May 1969 (WCq) Ghana 1-1 Nigeria

8 Jan.1973 (2AAG.) Nigeria 4-2 Ghana

10 Feb. 1973 (WCq) Nigeria 2-3 Ghana

*Awarded 2- 0 to Ghana

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25 Feb. 1973 (WCq) Ghana 0-0 Nigeria

11 Aug. 1974 (Festival) Nigeria 1-1 Ghana

17 Aug. 1974 (Festival) Nigeria 0-1 Ghana

24 Aug1975 (Festival) Ghana 1-2 Nigeria

30 Aug.1975 (Festival) Ghana 3-0 Nigeria

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4 Sept.1977 (Ecowas) Nigeria 2-1 Ghana

8 Mar. 1978 (ACN)    Ghana 1-1 Nigeria

21 July 1978 (3AAG) Ghana 0-0 Nigeria

1 May1983 (ECA.anniv) Ghana1-0 Nigeria

15 Oct. 1983 (OQ.)   Nigeria 0 -0 Ghana

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30 Oct. 1983 (OQ.)    Ghana 1-2 Nigeria

5 March 1984(ACN) Ghana 1-2 Nigeria

27 Jul. 1986 (F)          Ghana 2 -0 Nigeria

2 Sept.1990 (ACNq)   Ghana 1-0 Nigeria

13 April 1991 (ACNq) Nigeria 0-0 Ghana

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23 Jan. 1992 (ACN)    Ghana 2-1 Nigeria

9 March 1994 (F)        Nigeria 0-0 Ghana

28 Aug. 1999 (F)        Nigeria 0-0 Ghana

11 Mar. 2001(WCq) Ghana 0-0   Nigeria

29 Jul.2001 (WCq)      Nigeria 3-0 Ghana

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3 Feb. 2002 (ACN)      Ghana 0-1 Nigeria

15 Dec. 2002 (F)          Ghana 0-1 Nigeria

30 May 2003 (LG Cup) Nigeria 3-1 Ghana

23 Jan. 2006 (ACN)    Ghana 0-1 Nigeria

6 Feb 2007 (F)            Ghana 4-1 Nigeria

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3 Feb 2008 (ACN)       Ghana 2-1 Nigeria

30 Nov. 2008 (Chan q) Ghana 3-2 Nigeria

14 Dec. 2008 (Chan q) Nigeria 0-0 Ghana

28 Jan. 2010 (ACN) Ghana 1-0 Nigeria

12 May 2011 (WAFU) Nigeria 2-1 Ghana

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11 Oct. 2011 (F)           Ghana 0-0 Nigeria

29 Jan. 2014 (Chan)  Ghana 0-0 Nigeria (aet; 4-1 pso)

18 Sept 2017 (WAFU) Ghana 0-2 Nigeria

 

 

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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

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA

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.

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  “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.

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  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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Reuters

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

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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.

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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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-CAF

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