African Football Struck by COVID-19 Pandemic

 

African football is now struck with the COVID-19 pandemic as many of the players have been tested positive during recent weeks. The worst part of this pandemic situation came in front when Moroccan Club Raja Casablanca had to cancel their trip to Egypt for the semi-final of the CAF Champions League. 8 of their front line players were tested COVID-19 positive and thus they didn’t have enough of their players to form the team even.


Amid this crisis, the Moroccan government has withdrawn their special permission for the team to travel to foreign countries for football matches. Raja Casablanca lost their home match against the same team at their home ground and was all set to play the return match to get a place in the finals of the CAF Champions League. They had to win the match by 2-0 at least as they lost to the away side in their home game.
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Nigerian football president backs Victor Osimhen to become a hit at Napoli

 

The president of the Nigerian Football Federation has backed Victor Osimhen to enjoy a successful career in the Serie A with Napoli. The 21-year-old is expected to join the Naples outfit in a club-record deal in the coming days and there will be plenty of expectations on his shoulders next season as the main striker.

Speaking to reporters, Amaju Pinnick, who is the president of the NFF, said that Osimhen is an excellent signing for Napoli and the striker has made the right decision to join them, he told: “I think Victor Osimhen is an excellent signing for Napoli. I’ve followed them from when they had Diego Armando Maradona. Naples is a proud city and also in football terms.
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Chris Sutton believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will leave Arsenal

 

Former Celtic star Chris Sutton believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will head through the exit door after the recent comments made in the French media. The Gabon international has been reluctant to pen a new deal with Arsenal over the past year and that has led to suggestions that he could be heading through the exit door, particularly with his current contract due to expire at the end of next season.


In a recent interview, the 31-year-old confirmed that he has yet to negotiate a new deal with the Gunners and added that he would like to win things during the backend of his career. This has led to suggestions that he could move on from the capital outfit and Sutton believes a number of high-profile clubs could be looking to sign him in the next transfer window.
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Sky Sport Italia reporter updates on Arsenal’s interest in Thomas Partey

Sky Sport Italia reporter Gianluca di Marzio has confirmed that Arsenal are interested in landing the signature of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid during the summer transfer window. The Gunners have lacked the presence of a tough tackling midfielder for a number of years and they are keen to address the issue when the transfer window reopens.


In a Q&A session on Sky Sports News, Di Marzio acknowledged the Gunners’ interest in the Ghanaian midfielder. However, he added that the deal won’t be straightforward for the Gunners, given Atletico won’t sell him for anything less than his release clause, he told: “Arsenal want him a lot. Every Atletico Madrid player is in the market. So, it depends a lot on the offer. Atletico are open to selling every player if the offer is good. It also depends on budget – how much Arsenal can afford? And how much Atletico want? Atletico will want money, so it is difficult to see them doing a deal involving other players as part of it.”
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Ismaila Sarr reacts after starring for Watford against Liverpool

Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr has said that he did not do anything special after inflicting the first Premier League defeat of the season for Liverpool. The Hornets went into the game on the back of picking just two points from the previous five league games but they managed to surprise their own fans with a stunning 3-0 win over Jurgen Klopp’s side.


Sarr was the standout performer with two goals in the game but he could have quite easily bagged a hat-trick after the clear-cut chance presented to him at 3-0. Speaking to the club’s website, Sarr insisted that he has not done anything special and he repaid the faith of the team with the brace scored against the runaway league leaders.
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Rodgers heaps praise on Wilfred Ndidi for his Leicester City displays

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Wilfred Ndidi following his consistent displays for the Foxes this term. The Nigeria international has been a solid performer at the heart of the Foxes midfield and he is currently the best tackler in the Premier League with 65 after the opening 14 matches.


Speaking in a press conference, Rodgers hailed the midfielder as an incredible player and compared him to a soldier on the battle field, he told: “He’s an incredible player. We have lots of artists and he’s the soldier. He provides the platform for the attacking players. Every top team needs a player like that. He’s been phenomenal in the time I’ve been here.”
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Jurgen Klopp angered by Hamza Choudhury’s tackle on Mohamed Salah

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has reacted angrily towards the challenge from Hamza Choudhury on Mohamed Salah. The Reds faced one of their toughest games of the Premier League season against Leicester City but they eventually prevailed with a 2-1 triumph following a late penalty converted by James Milner.


Towards the end of that game, Salah was substituted with an ankle concern which resulted from a tackle from Choudhury and that has certainly angered the Reds boss. Speaking to BBC Sport, Klopp said that there was no need for the challenge from the Foxes midfielder, given Salah was no longer in possession of the ball.
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Pepe’s agent insists the attacker was tempted by project at Arsenal

Nicolas Pepe’s representative Samir Khiat has revealed that Arsenal managed to lure the attacker ahead of other teams after making the better proposal in terms of the project. The Ivorian had been linked with the likes of Napoli and Liverpool during the summer transfer window but the Gunners managed to edge in front by offering him with the assurance of a regular starting role.


He told L’Equipe Mercato: “For us it was the best decision for Nicolas, it was the right choice. We always made the footballing choices, rather than financial ones. Arsenal can bring him a continuity in terms of what he did before. And also in terms of playing time. What he did last year… he has no limits. He was sought after by the biggest clubs in Europe, there were offers from top five European clubs.” Continue reading “Pepe’s agent insists the attacker was tempted by project at Arsenal”

Rohr says Nigeria are working to solve goalscoring problems at AFCON

Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has said that the squad are working hard to solve the goalscoring crisis during the group stage of the African Cup of Nations. The west African nation managed only 1-0 triumphs over Burundi and Guinea in the group stage before suffering a shock 2-0 loss to competition debutants Madagascar.

As such, they ended the group phase with a goal difference of zero and that has brought about criticism over the style of play implemented. Speaking to reporters, Rohr acknowledged that the team has not played to the best of their abilities and that has largely come about from the opposition being defensively organised.
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Kevin-Prince Boateng admits surprise over Barcelona move

Former Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng has admitted that he was surprised when he received the offer from Barcelona. The forward had initially thought that he was off to Catalonia with Espanyol but to his surprise, he was approached by the Blaugrana during the winter transfer window.

Speaking to Goal.com, Boateng hailed his agent while admitting his surprise at the sequence of events leading to the Camp Nou switch, he said: “[The transfer to Barcelona] went also very fast for me. I just have the best agent in the world. He called me one day and said, ‘You have to play well against Inter, someone is watching.’ But he didn’t tell me who is watching. But under pressure I play best. I was the best man on the pitch and after the game my agent came to me and said, ‘We’re going to Barcelona!’ “I thought he meant Espanyol. But he immediately said, ‘No, the right ones.’ That was incredible. I could not believe it until the sporting director called me.”
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