Connect with us

AFCON

African qualifier to go ahead in Marrakech despite deadly quake

Published

on

Congo and Gambia’s African Cup of Nations qualifier in Marrakech will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday despite the powerful earthquake that struck the city on Friday night, which has so far killed more than 1000 people and injured hundreds more.

However, Saturday’s match between Morocco and Liberia in Agadir, some 260km away from the quake epicentre, has been postponed.

The Congo and Gambia squads spent the night sleeping beside their respective hotel pools after the magnitude 7.2 quake that struck in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains and damaged buildings in nearby Marrakech. It was the country’s deadliest tremor in more than six decades.

The coaches of both teams said their players had been traumatised by the event but had been told they must go ahead with their match.

Sunday’s Group G decider between Gambia and Congo is being played in Marrakech because Gambia do not have a suitable stadium for hosting international matches.

Advertisement

“We have been told our match on Sunday must go ahead. It’s quite strange that the Morocco game is off but ours is not,” Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet told Reuters.

CAF were asked for confirmation and comment but did not respond.

“We have been outside for some 13-14 hours now,” added Saintfiet.

“The hotel is damaged but we can hopefully get new rooms on the ground. But we think it is best this game is postponed because the mood among the players is understandably sombre and everyone is a little scared.”

Congo’s coach Paul Put said his players were unharmed.

Advertisement

“We are OK but still in shock. Mentally it’s difficult to keep up the concentration. We had to sleep outside, near the swimming pool. It was very scary and even now a complicated situation for the players,” he told Reuters.

Morocco’s showdown with Liberia would have been their last Group K match, where the outcome is of academic interest only.

“Following the earthquake which affected certain regions of Morocco, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation announces the postponement of the match … (to) a later date, in agreement with the Confederation of African Football,” officials said in a statement.

“After this serious injury, the national football family presents its most sincere condolences to the families of the victims, and wishes a speedy recovery to all those injured.”

-Reuters

Advertisement

 

 

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

AFCON

BREAKING! Nigeria Football Federation is finished with Finidi

Published

on

Following the poor run of the Super Eagles in the on going qualifying series for the 2026 World Cup which has seen the Super Eagles languishing almost at the bottom of a group in which they were previously the favourites, the Nigeria football Federation (NFF) that they has relieved Finidi George as the head coach of the national team.

Rising from a crisis-managing meeting, the NFF announced that it has resolved to employ an expatriate Technical Adviser for the Super Eagles in the coming weeks, ahead of the AFCON qualifiers and the remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

 The deduction is that the tenure of Finidi George has come to an end after two competitive matches as a substantive coach and two others in friendly matches as a caretaker coach.

Also, the NFF resolved to beef up its Technical Department with more qualitative hands. Equally, the Technical and Development Sub-Committee will be re-jigged with immediate effect.

Continue Reading

AFCON

Struggling Super Eagles to know AFCON 2025 qualifying round opponents in three weeks

Published

on

It has not been a pleasant outing so far for the Super Eagles in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. They have another nine months to wait to reset their arsenal.

But while the World Cup qualifying series go on recess, attention now focuses on the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.

In exactly three weeks’ time, the Super Eagles will know their opponents in the qualification race for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Next year’s finals, which will be the 35th edition of Africa’s flagship football championship, will be staged by Morocco.

Preliminary stage survivors Chad, e-Swatini, Liberia and South Sudan will join 44 others for the draw that will hold at the SuperSport studios in Johannesburg, South Africa in the afternoon of Thursday, 4th July.

Advertisement

The 48 countries will be drawn into 12 groups of four teams each, with the top two teams in each pool qualifying directly to the finals in Morocco.

The first two games of the qualification series will take place in the FIFA window in September (2nd – 10th), with two other matches in the window in October (7th – 15th) and the final two games in the November window (11th – 19th).

Nigeria’s Super Eagles are the runners up at the last edition.

Continue Reading

AFCON

Date and venue fixed for draw for Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 Qualifiers

Published

on

The journey to the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 will resume with the draw for the Qualifiers on Thursday, 04 July 2024, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The draw will be conducted at SuperSport studios in South Africa at 14h30 local time (15h30 Cairo time, 12h30 GMT).

48 Nations, including the four winners from the preliminary round (Chad, Eswatini, Liberia and South Sudan) will be drawn into 12 Groups of four teams each to battle it out for places at the finals.

Headlining the confirmed Nations for the draw are reigning African champions Cote d’Ivoire joined by Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini and Ethiopia.

Others include Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Advertisement

The qualifiers are scheduled to kick-off in September 2024 to determine the first 24 nations that will compete for Africa’s biggest event, the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco in 2025.

Fresh from the thrills and successes of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 where the host nation defied all odds to claim their third title, a line-up of intriguing matches is expected for the journey to the 35th edition of the showpiece continental sporting event.

In attendance will be selected CAF legends, representatives of the participating teams, members of the Local Organising Committee for Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 amongst others.

-CAF

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Most Viewed