Kayange ,Adema in as Simbas Squad for 2017 Assignments is announced

The Kenya Rugby Union has announced a 40 man Simbas squad for the 2017 international season

FORWARDS
Hookers
Philip Ikambili (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Peter Karia (KCB),George Asin (KCB)

Props
Mclanhan Shikuku (SportPesa Quins),James Kubasu ( Resolution Impala Saracens),Moses Amusala (KCB),Bramwell Mayaka (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Dennis Karani (Resolution Impala Saracens),Joseph Odero (Kabras Sugar),Hillary Mwanjilwa (Kabras Sugar)

Locks
Wilson Kopondo (SportPesa Quins),Emmanuel Mavala (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Eric Kerre (Resolution Impala Saracens),Simon Muniafu ( Resolution Impala Saracens),George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar)

Loose Forwards
Elkeans Musonye (Strathmore Leos),Davis Chenge (KCB),Humphrey Kayange (Mwamba),Roxy Suchi (SportPesa Quins),Steve Otieno (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Martin Owila (KCB),Edwin Machanje (Mwamba)

BACKS
Scrumhalves
Kelvin Masai (Menengai Cream Homeboyz),Samson Onsomu ( Resolution Impala Saracens),Edwin Achayo (Kabras Sugar)

Flyhalves
Isaac Adimo (SportPesa Quins),Nato Simiyu ( Resolution Impala Saracens).Biko Adema (Nondecripts)

Centers
Patrice Agunda (SportPesa Quins), Nick Barasa (Kabras Sugar), Benjamin Marshall (Nondescripts), Brad Owako ( Mwamba), David Ambunya (SportPesa Quins), Peter Kilonzo (KCB), Leo Seje (Resolution Impala Saracens)

Outside Backs
Dennis Muhanji (SportPesa Quins), Alex Olaba (Strathmore Leos), Darwin Mukidza (KCB), Kevin Keegan (SportPesa Quins), Tony Onyango (Menengai Cream Homeboyz)

“The squad has been selected based on merit, dedication, respect and hard work. The players selected are those who have stood up to be counted,” said Team Manager Wangila Simiyu.

The Simbas, now ranked 24th globally, have a busy calendar that starts with their Elgon Cup defense away to Uganda on 10 June, before playing the Rugby Cranes in the return leg a fortnight later, a result that doubles up as the opening round of the Africa Gold Cup where they also face fixtures against Tunisia, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Namibia. They will also play a two match test against Hong Kong in Nairobi in August.

The Kenya Rugby Union will conduct Match Official refresher courses during the National Sevens Series. KRU Training and Education Co-ordinator George Ndemi said, “The courses will target level 1 & 2 referees running games at every leg of the series on the eve of the series tournaments. We will then use the last of the series to assess and accredit them.”

“The key aim of these courses is to further impart knowledge and increase the pool of match officials, particularly with level 2 and 3 qualifications, “ he added.

A core group of five referees have been selected for this season’s National Sevens Series.

A 19-man squad made up of local players has been named by Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi ahead of a friendly match against Mozambique in Maputo on Friday September2, 2017.

The most notable returnee is Gor Mahia forward George 'Black Berry' Odhiambo who has been in fine form in recent times, netting two times in his last three appearances for Ko'galo. Other players making their way back into the team are Nakumatt striker Kepha Aswani and Ulinzi Stars defender Omar Mbongi. 

Gor have the highest number of players called into camp for the friendly, producing five players while Ulinzi come in second with four players. National Super League players Bernard Ochieng’ of Vihiga United and Wazito's Joe Waithera have also made the cut.

Full squad 

Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers)

Defenders: Simon Mbugua (Posta Rangers), Omar Mbongi (Ulinzi Stars), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Bernard Ochieng’ (Vihiga United)

Midfielders: Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Victor Majid (AFC Leopards), Jackson Macharia (Tusker), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker), Daniel Waweru (Ulinzi Stars)

Forwards: Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Masud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Joe Waithera (Wazito), Chris Ochieng’ (Mathare United),George Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Samuel Onyango (Ulinzi Stars)

 

After a stellar performance against Sony Sugar, Mathare United youngster John Mwangi is aiming for the best young player award once the season comes to a close.

Mwangi began from scratch, first making it into the 18-man squad before being given little playing time against Thika United, Kakamega Homeboyz, Sony Sugar and Chemelil Sugar.

When he was finally handed his first start of the season against SoNy Sugar, the 17-year old did not disappoint, creating constant danger to their wing backs Bernard Omondi and Samuel Olare and was unlucky not to get into the score sheet after coming close twice. 

“I am happy with the progress that I have made because I started by making it to the 18 man squad then being among the substitutes. I have enjoyed every moment and this has made it easier for me to settle in the team. I want to keep working hard and hopefully I will get more starts,” said Mwangi.

“The coach has shown faith in me and this has motivated me to give my best in every game that I have been fielded. I want to build on what I have achieved so far and start scoring goals. My target is to be awarded the best young player at the end of the season,” he added.

Despite this being his first season in the top tier, the academy graduate is not short of ambition. He has set his sights on bagging an award at the end of the season.

Mathare United's next assignment is against Zoo Kericho on Saturday August 19th at the Ruaraka Grounds.

 

The match pitting league leaders Gor Mahia against Muhoroni Youth is among five Kenyan Premier League matches that are set to be played this weekend in different parts of the country. The fixtures were slotted to this weekend after being deferred due to political uncertainty that was facing the country after the General Elections.

Gor Mahia will be seeking to further tighten the grip at the summit of the league table when they face bottom-placed Muhoroni Youth on Saturday August 20 at the Moi Stadium from 15:00. 

Second-placed Posta Rangers will however be on Ko'galo's tails trying to pressure them when they visit Chemelil Sugar on the same day at the Chemelil Sports Complex. Football fans in Narok will have a wonderful afternoon with all eyes at the Narok Stadium when Sofapaka take on Nakumatt FC from 15:00.

Also in action on Saturday will be Mathare United against Zoo Kericho while a struggling Thika United side host Nzoia Sugar at the Thika Sub-County Stadium. Both matches kick off at 15:00.

 

Saturday August 19th

15:00- Muhoroni Youth vs Gor Mahia (Moi Stadium)

15:00- Chemelil Sugar vs Posta Rangers (Chemelil Sports Complex)

15:00- Sofapaka vs Nakumatt (Narok Stadium)

15:00- Mathare United vs Zoo Kericho (Ruaraka Grounds)

15:00- Thika United vs Nzoia Sugar (Thika Sub-County Stadium)

 

Broadcasting firm Gotv will offer live coverage for the quarterfinals of the Gotv Shield tournament that are set to get underway this weekend. All the four matches will be staged at the Nyayo Stadium.

The first match to be televised live will be between last year's semifinalists Kariobangi Sharks and Division one side Eldoret Youth on Saturday August 19 from 13:00. The second match of the day will see SoNy Sugar lock horns with Bandari from 15:15 and the match will also be live.

On Sunday August 20th, defending Champions Tusker FC will face Nationals Super League leaders Vihiga United FC from 13:00 before AFC Leopards entertaining Wazito FC from 15:15. Both matches will also be live.

 

 Floyd Mayweather is already known as the "Money" man in boxing.

His reputation will be further enhanced after his battle with UFC star Conor McGregor.

The American expects to bank $350 million (£272 million) for the fight on August 26, taking his career earnings past $1 billion (£777 million).

Mayweather, 40, has been involved in all of the top three biggest-selling pay-per-view fights of all time.

His record-smashing victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2015 was sold to 4.6 million households in the United States, yet Mayweather believes his fight with McGregor will be an even bigger success.

The Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee has slapped Muhoroni Youth chairman Moses Adagala with a personal fine of KSh200,000 and banned him from attending any Kenyan Premier League matches for 60 days.

The disciplinary body has also fined Muhoroni Youth KSh400,000.

Adagala and Muhoroni supporters were found guilty of of invading the pitch as charged by the Kenyan Premier League during their match against Kakamega Homeboyz on 26th March. The invasion caused the match to be stopped and later abandoned contrary to Rules 3.3, 3.4(a) and 6.1 of the Rules of Kenya Football.

The abandoned match was awarded to Kakamega Homeboyz in an earlier case and the tribunal has upheld this award as proper and effective.

Said the IDCC ruling: “ The tribunal finds and holds as follows: The chairman of Muhoroni, Mr. Moses Adagala and the supporters of Muhoroni breached the rules of Kenyan Football. Rule 3.3 of the rules provides that ‘Members and spectators are only allowed to attend or participate in the matches on condition that they observe the rules. Anyone who violates the rules can be ordered to leave the venue of the match. If they refuse to leave they can be removed by force and will face additional penalties and sanctions'.

“Rule 3.4 (a) stipulates the responsibility of clubs for the conduct of their members and supporters. The facts relayed above and in the oral hearing, confirm that Mr. Moses Adagala and Muhoroni Youth Football Club are guilty of the charges laid against them.”

The Independent Disciplinary & Complaining Committee (IDCC) is the Tribunal for solving disputes in the game of football managed under the auspices of the Kenyan Premier League Limited.

 

 Floyd Mayweather is already known as the "Money" man in boxing.

His reputation will be further enhanced after his battle with UFC star Conor McGregor.

The American expects to bank $350 million (£272 million) for the fight on August 26, taking his career earnings past $1 billion (£777 million).

Mayweather, 40, has been involved in all of the top three biggest-selling pay-per-view fights of all time.

His record-smashing victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2015 was sold to 4.6 million households in the United States, yet Mayweather believes his fight with McGregor will be an even bigger success.

The second leg of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Kenya 2018 qualifiers are scheduled to take place this weekend from Friday 18th-Sunday 20th August in different parts of the continent.

All countries in the six distinct zones will be in action, with some looking to consolidate their first leg wins while others seek to overturn the losses they suffered in the first round.

Some of the teams that will be in action include Uganda who will be travelling to Kigali to face Rwanda on Saturday 19th August after a comfortable 3-0 win at home. Libya, who were 2-1 winners over Algeria, will be in the hunt for another victory when they host the North African nation on Saturday August 19th while South Africa travel to Ndola to battle it out with Zambia also on Saturday following a disappointing 2-2 draw at home a fortnight ago. 

Below are the full fixtures of this weekend's CHAN 2018 qualifiers:

Fixtures

Central Zone

19.08.2017 Kinshasa   DR Congo vs Congo (0-0)

19.08.2017 Yaounde   Cameroon vs Sao Tome (2-0)

 

Central-East Zone

19.08.2017 Kigali Rwanda vs Uganda (0-3)

19.08.2017 El Obeid      Sudan vs Ethiopia (1-1)

 

North Zone

18.08.2017 Sfax Libya vs Algeria (2-1)

18.08.2017 Rabat Morocco vs Egypt (1-1)

 

South Zone

19.08.2017 Ndola  Zambia vs South Africa (2-2)

19.08.2017 Luanda   Angola vs Madagascar (0-0)

20.08.2017 Windhoek    Namibia vs Comoros (1-2)

 

West A Zone

19.08.2017 Bamako     Mali vs Mauritania (2-2)

22.08.2017 Conakry      Guinea vs Senegal (1-3)

 

West B Zone

20.08.2017 Kumasi   Ghana vs Burkina Faso (2-2)

19.08.2017 Kano    Nigeria vs Benin (0-1)

19.08.2017 Abidjan     Cote d’Ivoire vs Niger (1-2)

 

The Champions League qualifying play-off matches continue on Wednesday August 16, with five matches expected to be played across Europe.

Some of the teams that will be in action include Celtic who host FC Astana while Napoli entertain Nice. Sevilla will be away to Istanbul Basaksehir as Olympiakos battle it out with HNK Rijeka. All matches kick off at 21:45 local time.

Wednesday August 16 Fixtures:

21:45- Celtic vs FC Astana

21:45- Hapoel Be'er Sheva vs NK Maribor

21:45- Istanbul Basaksehir vs Sevilla

21:45- Napoli vs Nice

21:45- Olympiakos vs HNK Rijeka

 

AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca has joined LaLiga side Villarreal on a season-long loan deal. This is Bacca's second stint in Spain after two successful season with Sevilla before signing for Milan in 2015. 

The Colombian international has been touted as a replacement for Roberto Soldado, who joined Fenerbahce last week. The 30-year-old has scored 165 goals in 336 games in his career, with 13 in 39 coming for Milan last season.

"The deal includes an option to buy the player once the campaign is finished," Villarreal said in a statement.

 

Paris Saint-Germain forward Jesse Rodriguez has completed his move to Stoke City on a season-long loan deal.

The former Real Madrid striker will now be with the Premier League club until July 2018 after finding playing time hard to come by at PSG, having featured in just nine matches for the Ligue 1 side and scored one goal.

"Jesse was a man in demand when PSG made it clear they would allow him to leave on loan and we’re delighted he has chosen to join us. He hasn’t had the happiest of periods in his career in Paris but he’s still only a young man and is hungry to make a big impression in the Premier League. His pedigree speaks for itself and he will most certainly add to the firepower at our disposal,” Stoke's Chief Executive  Tony Scholes told the club's official website.

Jesse becomes the sixth summer signing for the Potters subsequent to Darren Fletcher, Kurt Zouma, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bruno Martins Indi and Josh Tymon joining the club.

 

The Champions League play-off matches resume on Tuesday August 15, 2017 with five matches expected to be played.

The first match will see FK Karabakh face Copenhagen from 19:00 local time, with Apoel Nicosia and Slavia Prague clashing from 21:45. Hoffenheim will play hosts to Liverpool while Sporting Lisbon entertain Steaua Bucharest at home. Below are the full fixtures:

Tuesday August 15th 

19:00- FK Karabakh vs Copenhagen

21:45- Apoel Nicosia vs Slavia Prague

21:45- Sporting Lisbon vs  Steaua Bucharest

21:45-  Hoffenheim vs Liverpool

21:45- BSC Young Boys vs CSKA Moscow

 

Real Madrid have become the first brand and sporting institution in the world to eclipse 100 million followers on Facebook, 50 million on Instagram and 25 million on Twitter for their main accounts. The total number of followers for the Real Madrid brand has hit 182 million across these three social media platforms, a figure unmatched by any other brand or sports club at this time. This number rises to more than 280 million fans if the total of the Football, Basketball and La Fábrica accounts are included.

Manchester United coach has given his word on the new signings and also gave a comment on whether Zlatan  Ibrahimovic would return to United.

“I just think he was very clear by showing what he did last year was not enough for him.”

“He wants more at football's highest level, so we are having conversations and we are discussing the possibility of him staying with us for the second part of the season.”

Mourniho exuded confidence in the new signings :

“I'm happy with the effort the club did, I'm happy that the club managed to do 75 per cent of the work before the Premier League starts,” he said.

“And if, until 31 August, the remaining 25 per cent don’t arrive, I will not moan. I will just go with everything I have to try to win every match we play.”

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Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has landed 0.75 billion shillings from FIFA in a grant that is aimed to make the federation set up and manage their inhouse media activities.

Kenyanstar has learnt from sources privy to the deal that the world governing body has agreed to hand the Federation a grant of USD 7.5M to set up their own media production for the league matches.

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A terrific dribbler with an eye for goal. His skills and potential on the pitch have always left fans ecstatic. His dazzling runs and fantastic crosses have raised his profile in the local scene. He slowly grew through the ranks both at club and national level. He recently added to the statistics of players who have made the bold move from AFC Leopards to bitter rivals Gor Mahia where he penned a long term contract. 

Besides the magic on the pitch, critics have continually accused him of laziness and being a party animal. Is he? Kenyanstar sat with John ‘Softie’ Ndirangu and here is his story.

Kenyanstar: Thank you for your time. Tell us about your football journey so far.

John Ndirangu: I started playing competitive football at Nakuru AllStars when I was in form 2, by then the club was in playing in Nationwide League. I was with them all along, even when they got promoted in 2014 to the Kenya Premier League.  As a footballer, I have faced both difficult and easy times.

KS: Where did this nickname Softie come from?

JN: I rarely talk too much, and people say my face is soft. So, Softie.

KS: Please tell us about your time at Nakuru AllStars.

JN: It was a bit hard for me since there were the demands on the pitch and at the same time I was schooling. I had to carefully plan my time. However, sometimes it was difficult for me because I had to leave school for training and when I got back to class I was so tired and couldn't focus fully.  

KS: You made a name for yourself  while you were at Allstars. Tell us about your time playing there and your relationship with the players, coach, management etc.

JN: First, I would like to thank Robert Muthomi. He took me as his son, he took care of me,he used to advise me and  managed me well. I also thank everyone who coached me. During my time there, I learnt something from all coaches and this made me grow to who I am today. My teammates were also supportive, as football is a team sport and you support each other. 

KS: You would later join Bandari. However, you never stayed there for long...

JN: I would not wish to discuss about my time at Bandari. It was very difficult for me.

KS: What exactly affected you?

JN: Lack of play time.

KS: Well, you at one point joined Kariobangi Sharks. What necessitated the move?  

JN: After Bandari I went back to Nakuru Allstars to get my form back. However, at the end of the season the team got relegated and so we agreed with Robert Muthomi, the CEO,  that since I had already made my name and was still young, it wasn't proper to play in the lower tier. Therefore I joined Kariobangi Sharks. We agreed with President Nick Mwendwa that if the team won't get promoted to the top league he releases me and that's what happened when I joined AFC Leopards.

KS: Leopards - You joined the club, lots of expectations, but left. Kindly tell us about your time at Leopards.

JN: I enjoyed my time at Leopards and would like to thank the management and coaches. They believed in me and I wish them all the the best. In December, I was asked by Leopards to look for a suitable club where I would go on loan and I felt it was not good for me. Therefore I  asked them to just release me instead. As a team last season we were unlucky not to do well and meet the expectations but I personally think that I played my part and was very surprised when they suggested a loan move for me in the transfer window. 

KS: You have some serious football skills. Very good running, very good dribbles. What's the tactical secret for you?

JN: Apart from talent in me I do watch skillful players like Neymar, Ronaldinho and Cristiano and try apply what I see on the pitch. Besides, I also work very hard.  

KS: Harambee Stars: You have grown from U-23 to the senior team. Tell us about your time and experience so far at Stars

JN: Each and every coach has his style of coaching and the kind of players he wants. I think during Bob Williamson's time I was called several times to the national team. He liked my dribbling skills and speed and he would tell me to just do that in the pitch, since that is what made him like me and give me a call up.  

KS: We haven't seen you at the national team in recent days. Why?

JN: As I have said each and every coach has his style of coaching and kind of players he wants. However, while at AFC Leopards I earned a call up.  

KS: You made what many call a 'daring move' by switching from Leopards to Gor. Do you feel it was a daring move or just any other normal transfer?

JN: I believe if you have talent and you work hard everything is possible. Talent can never be hidden. Kama unajua unajua. For me I see it as a normal move. My time will come and I'll shine.

KS: Gor Mahia - How is life there. What are your targets/goals?

JN: I am enjoying life at Gor. They do things professionally and think that's what differentiates Gor with other clubs. My target is to play as many games and help the team lift the title and in future I go to Europe. 

KS: You have been accused of the following: Missing training at times intentionally, partying a little too much and alcoholism. Your response?

JN: In life you must have friends and enemies and for you to make in life you must have enemies. All these stories came up when I was at Leopards. When Ivan Minnaert left a Luhya coach took over and he only wanted Luhya players. Therefore, Ian otieno and  I decided to stay at home because no matter how hard we worked in training, we weren't being considered.  On the issue of alcohol, I even cannot tell how it tastes. Yes, I used to go to clubs and watch football while drinking Delmonte juice.  

KS: Any closing words? 

JN: I just want to thank God for the gift of life and talent. I also want to tell my fans that they should  not lose hope in me. I know they believe in me and I won't fail them. 

KS: Thanks for your time Softie!

 

READ: John 'Softie' Ndirangu: Major Transfer Or Forced Out? 

Following the news that Serena Williams was two months pregnant when she won the Grand Slam, Rev. Fred Nile MP, has called for the world champion to be stripped of the title, claiming “foetal personhood” means she was unfairly advantaged.

“She was playing doubles in a singles tournament!” Nile screamed at the ‘Day of the Unborn Child’ protest.

“I believe that ‘life at conception’ should be the law, and that clearly means two people won the Grand Slam,” said Nile, who is both an avid fan of professional tennis and aggressively campaigning to legislate how people use their uterus.

“That’s clearly against the rules!”

However, feminists argue Nile’s view that pregnancy is a sporting advantage shows ignorance to the realities facing those who are pregnant.

“Serena Williams was in control of her own body during the Grand Slam tournament, and as such has the right to her title, and the right, always, to bodily autonomy”, said Immy Grantson, an outspoken activist campaigning for progress on women’s issues.

“Williams, like all people, has the right to choose what she does with her body: whether that be powerful backhands, and/or be pregnant”, said Grantson.

This comes at a crucial time in New South Wales legislation. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s End12 Campaign hopes to make it legal for world class athletes to choose whether or not they are pregnant.

When asked for comment by The Garter Press, Venus Williams, who lost to Serena Williams under the now contentious circumstances, said she was “excited to be an aunt”.

Tanzanian government have informed SportPesa Limited that they also want to see a Tanzanian team play against Everton on July 12 at the National Stadium. Gor Mahia are the ones with the opportunity after winning the SportPesa Super Cup finals.

Director of Sports Development in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Yusuph Singo confirmed that they have asked the betting firm to organize a friendly match between Everton and one of Tanzania's bigwigs.

``We have asked them (SportPesa) to organse a special friendly match between Yanga and Simba later this month,'' said Singo.

``If all goes well, the winner of the match will confront Everton at the National Stadium. I am sure many local soccer fans would like to see the English Premier League team face one of the top teams in the country,'' he added.

 

Former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga has come out to praise the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for the key role he has paid in developing the career of his brother Victor Wanyama.  

The Kenyan International skipper has been a vital part of the Spurs midfield, prove of just how much Pochettino trusts Wanyama. Big Vic first played under the Argentine gaffer at Southampton and were later reunited at Tottenham last summer.

“He (Wanyama) said Pochettino is the coach who has made him. He’s the one who, when Victor came to Southampton, he taught him what to do and how to play, all the things. He’s the one who taught him everything and made even more qualities for Victor. He gave him exposure and confidence. If you don’t have confidence from the coach, you cannot perform well. He’s helped him a lot,” Mariga told ESPN.

Pochettino’s favorite 3-4-2-1 formation has suited Wanyama perfectly as he provides cover to the wing backs when they move forward to attack, something that has put Wanyama in favor with both the manager and the Spurs supporters.

The midfielder will be expected to take his spot back in the starting XI for the FA Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea at Wembley this Saturday evening after a minor injury.

As the title race stiffens and Spurs still on track for the cup glory, Wanyama may just be the rock Tottenham needs to win the first trophy in over years.

Everton are considering a pre-season friendly in Tanzania as part of their expected new sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

Drogba had been without a club since leaving MLS outfit Montreal Impact in November, after rejecting a move to Brazilian giants Corinthians in February.

However, the 39-year-old Ivorian striker has finally found a home in Phoenix, where he will also be part of their "MLS expansion franchise ownership group."

Phoenix are in their fourth season in the USL, 12th in the Western Conference with one win after three games.

"I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," said Drogba.

"After seeing firsthand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch.

"I look forward to their continued success in the USL, and no city is better positioned than Phoenix for expansion into the MLS."

Drogba - a two-time African Footballer of the Year – scored 23 goals in 41 competitive appearances for the Impact, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League among other trophies with Chelsea.

"We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising FC's commitment to that mission,” said Phoenix Rising club governor Berke Bakay.

"Soccer is an international language understood by sports fans all over the world, and we want to help inspire fluency among new fans everywhere we play throughout North America."

Work has been completed on the first proposed venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - the Khalifa International Stadium. More than five years before the tournament kicks off, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has confirmed extensive renovations on the 40,000-seater venue are now finished.

The renovations include the installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar's successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26 degrees and the stands somewhere between 24 and 28 degrees.

SC secretary general H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi said: "The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.

"As we promised in our bid, our innovative stadiums offer an unrivalled experience to fans and players alike. I'm proud we can show these off to the world and welcome fans with the hospitality this World Cup will be remembered for."

The stadium, originally constructed in 1976, will first host the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday and will also be the venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Qatar Football Association (QFA) president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani added: "Khalifa International Stadium is close to Qatari hearts and has seen some of Qatar's biggest sporting occasions over the years since it was first launched in 1976.

"It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar's football calendar, the 2017 Emir Cup final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodelled stadium on Friday evening."

Former Tottenham striker Souleymane Coulibaly has accused the Egyptian club of treating him “like a slave” and “traumatising” his family.

Coulibaly joined Spurs in 2011 from Siena for £1.5m but failed to make any senior appearances.

He has played for Grossto, Bari Fc, Pistoiese, Peterborough United, Newport County and later Kilmarnock where he left in January to agree a three-and-a-half year deal with Al Alhy. He later returned to England without the club’s permission, prompting the Egyptian Premier League champions to lodge a complaint with FIFA.

The 22-year-old Ivorian has now claimed his actions were because of mistreatment while in Egypt, saying his family has been left “traumatised” by the experience.
Coulibaly added that Al Ahly had confiscated his passport which prompted him and his family to “flee” back to England at the first possible opportunity, and that he is willing to accept a ban from FIFA for his actions.

He said in a statement: “I’m not crazy, I left for a reason. I’m very sorry but I could not stay in that team anymore. My passport was held hostage. I was forced to do what I was told, for example bow down and pray every time I scored. I did not feel comfortable in the team and environment. I have tried my hardest for five months but I have reached my limit.

The team wasn’t welcoming. They never passed the ball so I had to fight and struggle in order to score. The coach forced me to play how he wanted me to play. I can’t play being forced to follow orders. If I didn’t obey the orders I was taken to the office and yelled at. My wife and kids are traumatised. My family is Christian and didn’t feel comfortable practicing their religion in the country.

I’ve been playing and working hard since I started without the right to a break. I left without saying because I had to flee the first chance I had a hold of my passport. They treated me like a slave all because of money. If FIFA are going to ban me I am willing and ready to accept the ban. My peace of mind and safety are what are most important to me.”

Al Ahly president Mahmoud Taher has since denied Coulibaly’s statement. Taher believes that Coulibaly’s accusation comes in response to Al Ahly’s complaint to FIFA and insists the club will not back down.

The club president’s statement read: “We deny all of Coulibaly’s allegations. What he claims never happened and he was never mistreated or abused by the club’s coach or players. Logically, if he was being abused he should have immediately spoken about this as soon as he left us, not after we filed a complaint to FIFA.

Al Ahly will not be blackmailed and will not back down until Coulibaly pays for what he did. This is a false accusation and a lie. He thinks that by saying this we will withdraw our complaint and back down but Al Ahly will not be blackmailed.”

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have released fixtures for the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN) that is set to be held in Kenya in January.

CHAN is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.

The first tournament was held in 2009. It was hosted by Ivory Coast and won by The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The competition was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament, held in Sudan in 2011. The tournament was won by Tunisia, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution. The tournament is held every two years, alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures have been divided into four groups; West zone A, West Zone B, Central East Zone and Southern Zone. Teams in both West Zones will be playing in their second round of the qualifiers while those in Central East and Southern Zones will be competing in the first round.

In West Zone A, Sierra Leone face Senegal while Guinea clash with neighbours Guinea-Bissau on Saturday July 15, 2017 with the return matches expected to be played a fortnight later. 

In West Zone B, Togo will battle it out with Benin on Sunday July 16, 2017 with the return match a week later in Cotonou, Benin.

Four fixtures will be staged in Central East Zone with South Sudan lined up against Uganda, Tanzania with Rwanda and Djibouti with Ethiopia.

In Southern East Zone, Botswana host South Africa on Saturday 15 July while Zimbabwe visit Namibia a day later.

West Zone A

1.Sierra Leone vs Senegal -15.7.2017 (16:30,Freetown/Siaka Stevens Stadium)

  Senegal vs Sierra Leone-22.7.2017 (17:00,Dakar/Stade Demba Diop)

2.Guinea-Bissau vs Guinea-15.7.2017 (16:00,Bissau/Estadio 24 de Setembro)

  Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau-22.7.2017  (16:30,Conakry/Stade 28 Septembre)

3. Liberia vs Mauritania-16.7.2017 (16:00,Paynesville/Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex)

  Mauritania vs Liberia-23.7.2017 (17:00)

4.Gambia vs Mali-15.7.2017 (16:30,Bakau/Independence Stadium)

  Mali vs Gambia-22.7.2017 (17:00,Bamako/Stade Modibo Keita)

West Zone B

1.Togo vs Benin-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lomé/Stade de Kégué de Lomé)

  Benin vs Togo-23.7.2017 (16:00,Cotonou/Stade de l'Amitié de Kouhounou)

*Exempted  Burkina Faso, Côte D'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria

Central East Zone

1.South Sudan vs Uganda-14.7.2017 (16:30,/Juba stadum)

  Uganda vs South Sudan-22.7.2017 (16:00,Kampala/Phillip Omondi Stadium)

2.Tanzania vs Rwanda-15.7.2017 (16:00,Mwanza/CCM KIRUMBA Stadium)

  Rwanda vs Tanzania-22.7.2017 (15:30,Kigali/STADE REGIONAL DE NYAMIRAMBO)

3.Djibouti vs Ethiopia-15.7.2017 (15:00,Djibouti Ville/Stade Gouled)

   Ethiopia vs Djibouti-23.7.2017 (19:00,hawass/Hawass International Stadium)

4.Burundi vs Sudan-15.7.2017 (15:00,Bujumbura/Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore)

  Sudan vs Burundi-21.7.2017 (20:00,Khartoum/Khartoum Stadium)

Southern Zone

1.Madagascar vs Mozambique-16.7.2017 (14:30,Antananarivo/Stade Municipal de Mahamasina)

  Mozambique vs Madagascar-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maputo/Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto)

2.Maurice vs Angola-16.7.2017 (15:30,Belle Vue/Anjalay Stadium)

  Angola vs Maurice-23.7.2017 (16:30,Luanda/Estadio 11 de Novembro)

3.Comoros vs Lesotho-15.7.2017 (15:00,Moroni/Stade de Moroni)

  Lesotho vs Comoros-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maseru/Setsoto Stadium)

4.Namibia vs Zimbabwe-16.7.2017 (15:00,Windhoek/Sam Nujoma Stadium)

  Zimbabwe vs Namibia-23.7.2017 (15:00,Harare/National Sports Stadium)

5.Botswana vs South Africa-15.7.2017 (15:30,City of Francistown/Francistown Sports Complex Stadium)

  South Africa vs Botswana-22.7.2017 (15:00,Moruleng/Moruleng Stadium)

6.Swaziland vs Zambia-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lobamba/Somhlolo National Stadium)

  Zambia vs Swaziland-22.7.2017 (15:00,Lusaka/Heroes National Stadium)

 

 

 

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