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African Women’s Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers get underway!

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The road to the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics African qualifiers in the women’s division officially gets underway this week with some exciting clashes to look forward to.

The first three African spots in the men’s qualifiers were officially concluded in Morocco at the CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations when Morocco, Egypt and Mali booked their respective places to the global showpiece next year.

The Women’s division officially gets underway with some exciting clashes to look forward to this week as the first legs take place between 12 July and 18 July.

Two spots are reserved for Africa in the women’s division which will be contested for by 25 nations.

The action gets underway on Wednesday, 12 July as Burkina Faso welcomes Mali to the Stade de l’amitie General Mathieu Kerekou for the first leg scheduled for 15h30 GMT.

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Two days later, Guinea Bissau welcomes Benin for a 16H00 GMT Kick off at the Estadio 24 Setembro, while Ghana faces off against Guinea in a match that will take place at the same time at the Accra Stadium.

The action continues on Monday, 17 July when Ethiopia plays host to Chad in a fixture that will take place at 12h30 GMT at the Abebe Bekila Stadium in Addis Ababa.

The first round of qualifiers draws to a close on Tuesday, 18 July when Rwanda welcomes Uganda to the Kigali Pele Stadium for a 15H00 GMT kick off while Equatorial Guinea faces Namibia at the Malabo Stadium at the same time.

Meanwhile, Cote D’Ivoire, Tanzania as well as Congo DR gain automatic qualification to the next round following the cancellation of their opponents – which were Sierra Leone for Cote D’Ivoire, Congo for Tanzania as well as Mozambique for Congo DR.

For a full list of home and away fixtures of the first round of Paris 2024 Summer Olympics Africa Women’s Qualifiers,

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2024 Paris Summer Olympics African Women’s Qualifying Fixtures:

12 July 2023

  • Burkina Faso vs Mali 15h30 GMT
  • Uganda vs Rwanda 13h00 GMT

13 July 2023

  • Ethiopia vs Chad 12h30 GMT
  • Namibia vs Equatorial Guinea 13h00 GMT

14 July 2023

  • Guinea Bissau vs Benin 16h00 GMT
  • Guinea vs Ghana 16h00 GMT

17 July 2023

  • Chad vs Ethiopia 13h00 GMT

18 July 2023

  • Rwanda vs Uganda 13h00 GMT
  • Equatorial Guinea vs Namibia 15h00 GMT
  • Ghana vs Guinea 16h00 GMT
  • Benin vs Guinea Bissau 16h00 GMT
  • Mali vs Burkina Faso 16h30 GMT

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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Djokovic confirmed for Paris Olympics

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French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2024 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his fourth round match against Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

Novak Djokovic will compete at this year’s Olympic Games in Paris, the Olympic Committee of Serbia has announced.

The 24-times Grand Slam winner will be attending his fifth Olympics since his first in 2008 when he won a bronze medal.

The 37-year-old had knee surgery last month after he was forced to pull out of the French Open with an injury sustained in a fourth-round win that cast doubt over his chances of playing at Wimbledon and at the Paris Games.

World number three Djokovic will look to end his title drought in 2024 after winning three out of the four Grand Slams last year as he chases an elusive Olympic gold medal at the Paris Games in which Spain’s Rafa Nadal will also compete.

Dusan Lajovic, ranked 56th, will also play for Serbia in the July 27-Aug. 4 Olympic tournament at Roland Garros.

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-Reuters

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Mbappe rules out playing at Paris Games after Real Madrid move

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Kylian Mbappe confirmed on Sunday he will not play for France’s Olympic team at the Paris Games as his new club Real Madrid are against the idea.

The 25-year-old said in March that he was keen on playing at his home Games but since the Olympic soccer tournament is not on FIFA’s calendar clubs are not obliged to release their players.

Mbappe was not included in a 25-man preliminary squad for the Olympics earlier this month, though head coach Thierry Henry left the door open.

“My club’s position was very clear, so from that moment on, I think I (knew) I won’t be taking part in the Games,” Mbappe told reporters ahead of Monday’s Group D match against Austria at Euro 2024.

“That’s just the way it is, and I understand that too. I’m joining a new team in September, so it’s not the best way to start an adventure.

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“I’m going to wish this French team all the best. I’m going to watch every game. I hope they’ll win the gold medal.”

The men’s Olympic football competition begins on July 24, 10 days after the European Championships final, and ends on Aug. 9.

-Reuters

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Messi says he won’t play for Argentina at Paris Games

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Lionel Messi said he will not be part of Argentina’s squad for the Paris Olympics as he is no longer at an age where he can play in every tournament.

The 36-year-old Inter Miami forward is currently preparing for Argentina’s Copa America title defence, which runs from June 20 to July 14 in the United States.

In February, under-23 manager Javier Mascherano said Messi, who won gold with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had an invitation to join the squad for Paris.

“I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation,” Messi told ESPN.

“It’s hard (to think about the Olympics right now) because we’re in Copa America. It would be two, three straight months of not being with the club, and more than anything I’m not at an age to be in everything.

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“I have to choose carefully, and it would be too much to play two straight tournaments. I’ve been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with (Mascherano).

“It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, U20, memories I’ll never forget.”

The men’s football tournament at the Olympics takes place in July and August. Teams are allowed three overage players in their squads.

-Reuters

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