Kenya: Sports – Ouma regains place in Stars’ Afcon squad

By (Gilbert Wandera)

A few months into his stay at Gor Mahia in 2016, Eric Ouma was already being equated to the Brazillian great Marcelo.

And it is not difficult to see why. Just like the Real Madrid defender, Ouma has all the qualities of a complete full back that saw him burst into the national team while still a teenager.

Former Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi describes him as the best player in the country when it comes to taking crosses and picking out his team-mates in the box.

“There is no one like him in that area and I don t fear being contradicted. There is simply no player in Kenya who can take those pin-point crosses as he does. He is my number one in that position,” said Okumbi.

Okumbi says the defender also shows great courage in moving forward and always gives a coach something extra in attack.

“He is very dangerous when moving forward and provides something extra offensively. Furthermore, he also defends perfectly and is a player who gives any coach his all.

“Perhaps should not have gone to Georgia after leaving Gor Mahia. It didn’t give him that competitive edge but playing in Sweden is helping him get back.

“He should be at his top form by the time the Africa Cup of Nations finals kick off and we will see the best of him. I am confident he can take on Kenya’s opponents well.”

Over the last few years, Kenya has struggled for consistency on the wings but with Ouma’s presence, fears of opponents getting a loop-hole here are dramatically reduced.

Despite his great form, Ouma did not win the league title with Gor Mahia in 2016 as the team finished in the runners-up position to Tusker.

Many believe he would have won more titles at home had he stayed for at least two more years in the KPL and at Gor Mahia specifically.

However, his decision to sign only a six-month contract with Gor Mahia was perhaps an indication of his desire not to stay at the club for a long period.

After leaving Gor Mahia in 2016, Ouma moved to Georgia where he joined Kolkheti Poti and made 19 appearances. But he looked unsettled in Georgia as he immediately moved to Albania in 2018 joining KS Kastrioti. He never played for the Albanian club and his lack of match fitness also kept him out of the Harambee Stars.

He only started playing after joining Vasalund in the Swedish third division. With age on his side, he is likely to attract a bigger club after the Africa Cup of Nations finals conclude in Egypt if he rises to the occasion.

Mali: Frederic Kanoute tells African youngsters ‘Talent is not enough’

By (Kennedy Gondwe)

Mali football legend Frederic Kanoute has told African football hopefuls that talent alone is not enough for a successful career and the key is hard work.

The 42-year-old was the 2007 African Footballer of the Year and is now working on developing a new generation of talent trough his 12 Management Consultancy firm.

The former Lyon, Sevilla and Tottenham striker was recently in Zambia to offer his tips for the latest hopefuls.

“Keep working, talent is not enough. You need to work hard – have an ethic of working hard and discipline,” Kanoute told BBC Sport.

“You have to be very strong mentally as well. We shouldn’t forget, football is not only about playing around with a ball.

“There is a technical aspect. There is a tactical aspect. There is a physical aspect. There is a mental aspect,” he added.

Kanoute’s work in Zambia has already proved successful with two youngsters from local side Kafue Celtics given the chance to play in Europe.

The 2017 African Young Player of the Year, Patson Daka, and his Enock Mwepu were signed by Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg of Austria.

They have gone onto win the Austrian league played in the Europa League.

It is not the big money moves that Kanoute chooses to focus on but is more about providing African talent with an opportunity.

Kanoute says he has been encouraged by the apparent wealth of talent in Zambia especially at Kafue Celtics where he works with club owner Lee Kawanu.

“In 2015 I met Kalusha [Bwalya], I have known since childhood. He introduced me to Lee (Kawanu) here in Zambia,” he explained.

“It resonated inside me quickly because I know Zambia has great talent. Since I came here the first time, I was not disappointed because there is a will, strong motivation to develop football.”

Build for the future

Kanoute says whilst there is pressure on African teams to deliver instant results, it is important to build for the future.

“Development of players has to be managed bottom up, we have to believe in the youth, and obviously it takes time,” he says.

“Ideally we need to tackle the present because we need results now and it will boost the youth and will also boost everything for the development but we need to think long term.”

The joint topscorer at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations says young people need an opportunity to develop their talent through established youth structures.

“I believe in a strong youth system, we need to give them all the opportunities so that they can have success,” he says.

“Development will not just happen but needs to be within a structured way. It won’t just come without investing in the youth.”

Kanoute says Zambia’s failure to qualify for the last two Nations Cup tournaments should be seen as an opportunity to invest in the future.

“The fact that they have not qualified does not mean they are no longer a power house. It is an opportunity to invest in youth structures,” he says.

“If one thinks that you can just get world class players hoping for a quick fix, it will not work. We need to think long term by working with the youths.’

Mali’s chances

Kanoute believes that his native Mali have a perfect blend of youth and experience to do well at the tournament.

Mali, who have never won the Nations Cup, are in a group alongside Angola, Tunisia and debutants Mauritania.

“I hope at least they are going to go through the group stage without wasting too much energy on the road,” he said.

“I think it is an exciting team that has been renewed, a little bit younger.

Kanoute was in two minds about the benefits of an expanded 24-nation tournament.

“On one hand it is good for other nations to take part and to have a chance to show their skills to other Africans and the world. So more participants is more positive,” he says.

“On the other hand, the level of the competition could drop a little bit…I do not know we have to see how it goes.”

The 2006 and 2007 Europa League winner with Sevilla is happy that the Confederation of African Football has moved the tournament from January.

“We have to think as a whole nation of football – not just as Caf, Uefa and Fifa – to make it easier for national teams. It is better to have it when there is no league,” he says.

“When they (the players) leave for Afcon they lose their spot, I have gone through that myself. When you come back you have lost your spot.”

Sports: Emeka Anyaoku calls on governments to empower Nigerian youths through sports

By Alex Monye

Bright Stars win U -16 tournament
Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Emeka Anyaoku has called on the Federal and states’ governments to fashion out clear policies for youth empowerment in Nigeria, saying it is one way of creating sustainable development in the country.

Speaking at the grand finale of the Emeka Anyaoku Inter-State U-16 Cup held at the Campos Mini Stadium Lagos at the weekend, the retired diplomat described sports as a tool that, if well nurtured, that could take youths away from vices, which are inimical to the progress of the country.

In the final match of the competition, Bright Stars of Lagos State defeated Oshogbo United of Osun State 4-2 to win the tournament.Reacting to the impressive performance of the teams at the event, Anyaoku said the national football competition has helped to improve the attitude of the children in terms of teamwork and value of work pressure. He noted that the championship also gave the boys the opportunity to hone their skills in a competitive atmosphere.

He also praised the organisers of the championship, the Nigeria Youth Soccer Association, for their determination to continue promoting the game of football from the grassroots, saying that the Emeka Anyaoku tournament has produced players that have represented the country’s national team over the years.

“I thank all the teams that participated in the football championship for their determination to win. The finalists in the competition Bright Stars and Oshogbo United, who came first and second respectively, as well as the Kano team that emerged third, are worthy champions.”

“I am happy that the championship has assisted to develop the mental and physical wellbeing of the boys. The youths are the future of this country; special programmes should be put in place from all levels of government to empower them. “My vision is to ensure that this tournament continues to grow as it will go far to develop football at the grassroots level. I also thank Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, chairman 9Mobile for gracing the occasion,” he said.

Source The Guardian Nigeria

Zimbabwe giants Dynamos call on Cameroon ex-youth in rebuilding exercise

By Michael Madyira

The Zimbabwean giants have endured a trophy-dry spell for the past four seasons

Dynamos will next week assess three players from Cameroon as they move a gear up in their rebuilding exercise.

Former Cameroon youth international midfielder Herve Vincent Mbega, Theodore Landry Tsala and Claude Ngahan Junior are expected in Zimbabwe next week for trials.

Ngahan is also an ex-Cameroon U-20 national striker while Mbega represented Cameroon at the 2011 Fifa Under-20 World Cup.

The Harare giants have gone for the past four seasons without winning the league title after enjoying a dominant run from 2011 to 2014 that saw them claim the league crown in those seasons.

Much emphasis has now been placed on recruiting a striker among the players who will undergo trials. “We are expecting one other striker from Cameroon and the other from Ivory Coast and even if they arrive, it will be a bonus. Otherwise, I think we are comfortable with what we have,” Dynamos coach Lloyd Chigowe told The Herald.

“Last week we had two Ghanaians. One of them is here and the other one I think is now training at CAPS United. We will retain the midfielder, we are impressed with his qualities.

“We are going to propose to the executive that we have a training camp probably in Zambia or in Malawi but it’s all subject to the budget allowing.

“Otherwise if it can’t be done we will find somewhere to camp locally and make sure that we bond away from the glare of the public.”

Dynamos have already signed Congolese striker Ngandu Mangala while they also close to securing the signature of Ghanaian midfielder Robert Saki.


Algeria’s Yacine Benzia omitted from Fenerbache league squad.

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie

Algeria international Yacine Benzia has been left surprised by his omission from Fenerbache’s squad for the second half of the Turkish season.

Benzia is on a season-long loan in Turkey from French club Lille.

While the 24-year-old is not on Fenerbahce’s list for the league he is in their Europa League squad.

He played 13 Super Lig games in the first half the season but is now left struggling for playing opportunities ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.

His most recent appearance was in the club’s 2-0 win over visiting Goztepe on 1 February.

According to Fifa regulations he is unable to return to parent club Lille outside the transfer window.

Fifa’s regulations also prevent players for playing for more than two different clubs in the same season.

With Benzia having played for both Lille and Fenerbahce so far this season his options to play seem limited to joining a club whose season begins in the coming months such as China or MLS in the USA.

The Fifa transfer regulations state that “A player is only allowed to be registered with a maximum of three clubs in one season but the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs.”

“However, a player may be eligible to play in official matches for a third club during the relevant season if he has moved between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping seasons (ie, start of the season in summer/autumn as opposed to winter/spring).”

In order for such a move, both Lille and Fenerbahce would have to agree to a deal.

Benzia played for France at youth level, featuring at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup in Mexico, before switching allegiance to Algeria.

Source BBC

SA: Kaizer Chiefs release Godfrey Walusimbi after signing Reeve Frosler and Daniel Akpeyi

By Austin Ditlhobolo

The Soweto giants have beefed up their squad with the signing of two players with the transfer window set to close on Thursday night

Kaizer Chiefs have announced the departure of defender Godfrey Walusimbi five months after joining the club.

The left-back joined Amakhosi from Kenyan football powerhouse Gor Mahia at the end of the July-August 2018 transfer window.

A club statement read: “Kaizer Chiefs have parted ways with left-back Godfrey Walusimbi. The player has opted to go back home to Uganda. We would like to thank Godfrey for his contribution to Kaizer Chiefs and wish him all the best.”

Walusimbi. who made 14 appearances in all competitions for Amakhosi, enjoyed regular game time under Italian coach Giovanni Solinas, but he fell out of favour following the arrival of German coach Ernst Middendorp in December 2018.

The Uganda international’s departure has freed up one of Chiefs’ five foreign spots with the club having recently promoted Happy Mashiane, who is expected to compete with Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya in the left-back position.

The Soweto giants have since confirmed that they have snapped up Nigeria international Daniel Akpeyi, who has joined the club from Chippa United.

“Kaizer Chiefs would like to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi from Chippa United. He has signed a contract for 1 year and 5 months,” a club statement read.

The 32-year-old player is expected to solve Chiefs’ goalkeeping problem with the Namibia keeper Virgil Vries having struggled while deputising for injured Itumeleng Khune.

Lastly, Chiefs revealed that they had reinforced their defence with the signing of talented right-back Reeve Frosler, who has been on the books of Bidvest Wits.

“Kaizer Chiefs would like to confirm the right-back Reeve Frosler from Bidvest Wits. He has signed a contract for 3 years and 5 months,” another statement read.

The former South Africa youth international fell out of favour at the Clever Boys after refusing to extend his contract with the former PSL champions.

Frosler is expected to compete with Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Kgotso Moleko in the right-back position.


Zimbabwean Goal Keeper Joins Spanish Side

By Staff reporter

RISING Zimbabwean goalkeeper Martin Mapisa took a huge leap towards his dream of becoming a fully-fledged professional footballer in Europe when he joined Spanish lower division outfit Velez CF. He signed a two-year contract after arriving from Malaga-based side CD Almunecar this week.

The tall 20-year-old goalminder was officially unveiled by the club on Tuesday together with German striker Mathias Comes. Mapisa has been a sensation since joining CD Almunecar from Aces Youth Soccer Academy of Zimbabwe together with compatriot midfielder Abubakar Moffat.

The Tercera División is the fourth level of the Spanish football league system. “Vélez Club de Fútbol is a Spanish football team based in Vélez-Málaga, in the autonomous community of Andalusia.

”Founded in 1922, it plays in Tercera División – Group 9, holding home matches at Estadio Vivar Téllez, with a capacity of 3 000,” according to the club’s official website. However, central midfielder Moffat is likely to remain with his current employers for a further six months with the current transfer window closing today.

AYSA founder and director, Nigel Munyati, confirmed the latest developments. “Yes that is very true, Mapisa is now with Velez and that is quite a big move for his career, the league is very competitive.

“I wish him the very best and like I have already said this group is destined for greatness in the game. “Abubakar is still with his club but it is a good club for his development,” said Munyati.

Another promising young Zimbabwean player Panashe Kuzamba has been invited back for further assessment with Spain’s Segunda Division (Second Division) side Malaga. Kuzamba, who turns 18 in July, is based in Australia and was recommended to Malaga by UK-based Zimbabwean coach Phillip Zulu.

He had trials with Malaga last month and has been invited for further assessment at the former La Liga club after impressing them during his initial attachment there.

“Panashe was at one stage at my academy here in the UK before he was snatched by Marbella City FC academy in Australia who gave him a full-time residence there. And, after impressing at Marbella City, he was invited for trials by Malaga last month.

“They assessed him and they have now lined-up some clubs in the La Liga Under-19 League and Second Division where they want him to play as they prepare to sign him in the next transfer window,” Zulu told our Harare Bureau from his base in Leeds, England, yesterday. He also said another Zimbabwean player Washington Bgoni, a 19-year-old goalkeeper, will soon be heading for trials in Germany.

“Bgoni is currently playing for Francis Marion University (FMU) Patriots in the United States but I’ve organised for him to go for trials in Germany and he will be going there soon,” Zulu said.

Mapisa, Moffat and Bgoni are among a number of talented overseas-based players who are eligible to play for the national Under-23 side in the upcoming African Cup of Nations Under-23 and 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

The others are Seth Patrick, Sharma Bako, Admiral Muskwe, Joshua Jeche, Martin Zulu, Kundayi Benyu, Nydam Tristan, Arnold Ndiweni, Jonah Reinhard Fabisch (Jnr), Tawanda Mutoti and Andy Rinomhota.

Source Bulawayo24

Sports: Ghanaian youngster Emmanuel Besea joins Venezia FC on loan

By Emmanuel Besea

Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Besea has completed a loan move from Frosinone Calcio to Venezia FC in the ongoing transfer window.

The 21-year-old endured a difficult season with the Canaries after failing to register a single appearance in the first half of the campaign.

The former Modena youth product will hope to make a great impact for Walter Zenga’s side after reposing their trust in securing his services in their quest to avoid relegation at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Besea’s compatriot Raman Chibsah has so far been an integral member of the Lazio-based side’s set-up in the ongoing campaign.

Venezia is currently languishing in the drop zone with 22 points after 19 game matches.

Source Ghanaian Soccernet