Displaying items by tag: CAF

The wait is finally over for Cameroon, which hosts the Africa Cup of Nations three years later than initially planned as its own Indomitable Lions seems to be ready to face Burkina Faso in their first AFCON 2021 match.

"If we give it our all and do what is necessary, I think we will win the game. No game is easy against African teams. All African teams have reached a certain level. We have to give our best, be united and be really, really ambitious to be able to win the matches," said Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar.

Meanwhile, Burkina Faso captain Bertrand Traore has deplored as "a scandal" coronavirus testing procedures at the Africa Cup of Nations after up to five players and coach Kamou Malo tested positive in the run-up to Sunday's opener against hosts Cameroon.

The Aston Villa forward told a press conference in Yaounde on Saturday: "It's a scandal, we cannot be deprived of first team players 24 hours before the match."

Assistant coach Firmin Sanou, standing in for Malo, said: "We have four or five Covid cases, mainly first team players, we're not going to name names."

"It calls everything into question, but we have confidence in the players who will replace them," continued Sanou, who hit out at the organization with two different medical teams arriving to test the team.

"Yesterday morning (Friday) a medical team showed up at our hotel for tests, when we tried to understand who had sent them, the CAF (African Football Confederation) clearly told us that they hadn't sent them so we refused to do the tests," said Sanou.

"Another team arrived at 10 p.m., apparently the CAF team, we carried out the tests which informed us of 4 to 5 cases of Covid.

"I say 4 or 5 because they say that our first player tested did not carry out the test ... " he continued.

The Burkinabè delegation are disputing the fact that the tests were not PCR tests, which must be carried out 48 hours before the match, and have requested a second opinion.

Traore said: "The authorities must review the organisation. We cannot accept this decision. We can redo tests of our positive players."

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As part of CAF’s efforts to ensure the integrity of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations is upheld, Integrity officers of all the participating were instructed to educate and create awareness on all integrity related matters ahead of the tournament.

The Integrity Officer of the Ghana Football Association, Obed Tuffuor briefed Ghana's delegation to the AFCON via Zoom,on the Friday, January 7, 2022, on several integrity matters and urged members of delegation to adhere to the Integrity guideline and principles as provided by the continents football governing body CAF.

These guidelines and principles will ensure that delegates exhibit high levels of loyalty, Integrity, sportsmanship and Ethics throughout the tournament which will be held from Sunday, January 9 - Sunday, February 6, 2022 in Cameroon.

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AFCON 2021 begins on Sunday January 9 when hosts Cameron face Burkina Faso in Group A at 4pm; Abati Media will report all 52 games throughout the competition; tournament concludes with the final on Sunday February 6

Cameroon's match against Burkina Faso on Sunday, will start the tournament, which features 52 fixtures, and the rules have been clarified about how teams will cope with absentees due to Covid-19.

Countries will be forced to play a match if they have a minimum of 11 players who have tested negative, with an outfield player from the squad filling in for the goalkeeper if the goalkeeper is unavailable.

Any country that does not have a minimum of 11 players will be regarded to have lost the match by a score of 0-2.

The organizers have said that each team will be allowed to deploy a maximum of five players, with a total of three substitution opportunities during the game.
Teams will be permitted one additional substitution and will have one further substitution chance if extra time is used.

When the competition was moved to Egypt in 2019, Algeria won the title with a 1-0 final victory over Senegal.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s moment of frustration at a controversial decision in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday is turning into something positive.

 The captain’s armband the Portugal star threw to the ground when he was controversially denied a stoppage-time winner against Serbia has been sold at auction to raise money for a six-month-old baby’s medical treatment.

Duty firefighter Djordje Vukicevic picked up the armband from the pitch after Ronaldo had stormed off at the end of the 2-2 draw in Belgrade.

“Ronaldo was agitated [and] he threw the armband. It fell right next to me,” Vukicevic said.

He decided to put it up for auction to raise money for treatment for Gavrilo Djurdjevic from Serbia, who is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy.

“The entire crew agreed this [armband] will go for little Gavrilo,” he said. Vukicevic said he was ready to sell any memorabilia he could collect from players to help Gavrilo’s parents collect the £2.1m needed for the treatment.

The winning bid for the armband was 64,000 euros (about £54,000). Gavrilo’s mother Nevena said proceeds from the sale would be would be a significant contribution to their treatment fund.

“We could not believe that some people who do not even know us… would take the armband, auction it and help our child,” she said.

 

SOURCE: BBC Sports

Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Serie A on Saturday with Juventus looking to reboot their title defence against struggling city rivals Torino.

Hopes of a 10th consecutive league title were rocked when Juventus fell 1-0 at home to lowly Benevento before the international break.

Juventus are third, 10 points adrift of leaders Inter Milan, with both teams having 11 games left to play this season.

Ronaldo returns from international duty where his fury at a winner ruled out against Serbia was followed by joy at scoring against Luxembourg.

The Portuguese striker will play his sixth Turin derby, which could be his last, amid speculation of an exit from Turin at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old, Serie A’s top scorer this season, has scored three goals in his previous five derbies, but just once at Torino in his first season back in 2018.

Just six points separate Juventus in third from seventh-placed Lazio in the race for elite European football.

The pressure is on coach Andrea Pirlo with defensive duo Leonardo Bonucci and Merih Demiral both testing positive for Covid-19 after international duty.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will not be available due to his one-match blasphemy ban.

Forward Paulo Dybala has recovered after nearly three months out with a knee injury, but there are suggestions he could be suspended as punishment for attending a lockdown gathering with Arthur Melo at the home of American teammate Weston McKennie.

Torino, one point above the relegation zone, have won just one of their last 29 Serie A matches against Juventus, and that was six years ago.

“Against Torino it will certainly be a battle, because both of us need points,” warned Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado.

“The defeat to Benevento was very difficult to digest,” the Colombian told Sky Sport. 

“During the break we worked hard and put fuel in our legs to finish the season in the best possible way.”

Inter Milan are back in action at midtable Bologna after their match before the international break against Sassuolo was postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Antonio Conte’s side are six points ahead of second-placed AC Milan, who take on 12th-placed Sampdoria.

Inter can count on the return of captain and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic from Covid while Bologna’s Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski has tested positive. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s AC Milan need to improve their home form to keep in the running for a first ‘Scudetto’ since 2011, having not won any of their last five games in all competitions at the San Siro.

Atalanta, in fourth, equal on points with Juventus, host 11th-placed Udinese looking to hold off Napoli, who are at home against basement club Crotone.

Roma, three points behind Napoli travel to eighth-placed Sassuolo, after losing two league games in a row for the first time this season.

Sassuolo will be without their Italian internationals, Gian Marco Ferrari, Manuel Locatelli, Domenico Berardi and Francesco Caputo, “as a precaution” despite their negative tests, after an outbreak on the Italy team.

One to watch: Giuseppe Iachini

Giuseppe Iachini returns to the Fiorentina bench just over four months after being replaced by former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, who resigned a week ago citing the strain of current football.

‘La Viola’ are 14th, seven points above the relegation zone, before travelling to Genoa, who have not lost at home in eight games.

Key stats:
149 – Lazio striker Ciro Immobile’s Serie A goals

23 – Ronaldo leads the Serie A scorers’ chart

8 – Inter’s league winning run

4 – Juventus’s defeats this season

Fixtures (all times GMT):Saturday

AC Milan v Sampdoria (1030),

Atalanta v Udinese

Benevento v Parma

Cagliari v Hellas Verona
Genoa v Fiorentina
Lazio v Spezia
Napoli v Crotone
Sassuolo v Roma (all 1300)
Torino v Juventus (1600)
Bologna v Inter Milan (1845)

AFP

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