Cairo International Stadium set to host U20 AFCON opener

Cairo International Stadium set to host U20 AFCON opener

The TotalEnergies U20 Africa Cup of Nations opening game will take place at the Cairo International Stadium at 16h00 local time (14h00 GMT). 

Hosts Egypt and Southern African side Mozambique will kick start the competition at Cairo International Stadium at 16h00 local time (14h00 GMT) on 19 February 2023.

CAF has said the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the Local Organising (LOC) are putting the final touches to the preparations for the TotalEnergies U20 Africa Cup of Nations ‚Äď one of the flagship youth events of CAF.¬†

Cairo Internation, Alexandria and Suez Canal are the three stadiums that will host the competition that will run until 11 March 2023. 

About the Venues: 

Cairo International Stadium ‚Äď the¬†75,000 capacity was Built-in 1960 – the home of the Egyptian national team. The venue is used by the two Egyptian giants, Al Ahly and Zamalek.¬†¬†

Suez Canal Authority Stadium ‚Äď Ismailia. (21,000 capacity). The newly-built stadium was inaugurated in September 2022.¬†¬†

Alexandria Stadium¬†‚ÄstAlexandria¬†20,000 capacity – This is one of the venues that hosted the 2019 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Egypt.¬†¬†

The full groups:  

Group A: Egypt, Mozambique, Senegal, Nigeria 

Group B: Uganda, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Congo 

Group C: The Gambia, Tunisia, Benin, Zambia 

FULL FIXTURE HERE

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Concerns over Atsu’s whereabouts after Turkey’s earthquakes

Concerns over Atsu’s whereabouts after Turkey’s earthquakes

Christian Atsu’s agent says the footballer’s whereabouts are unknown,¬†a day after it was reported¬†he was pulled from the rubble of a building “with injuries” after the Turkey earthquakes, BBC sport reports.¬†

More than 11,000 people in southern Turkey and northern Syria are now known to have been killed.

Ghana forward Atsu plays for Hatayspor and the club’s vice-president Mustafa √Ėzat had said the player was rescued.

“We are doing everything we can to locate Christian,” said Nana Sechere.

“As you can imagine, this continues to be a devastating time for his family.”

In a social media post,¬†the agent added: “Following yesterday’s update from the club that Christian had been pulled out alive, we are yet to confirm Christian’s whereabouts.”

Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel¬†told Turkish sport website Spor Arena¬†there was “no news yet” on either Atsu or sporting director Taner Savut, who was reported missing on Monday along with the player.

Savut’s location and condition is currently unknown.

“If they were in hospital, don’t you think I would share this? Please don’t be sure that he survived. This should not be written as he survived,” he said.

Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton,¬†told radio station Joy FM¬†there was “confusion” as to where Atsu had been sent.

“Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here informed me that they wanted to confirm if Christian Atsu had been found and rescued and sent to a medical centre,” she said.

“However, in all the confusion – which is understandable under the circumstances [as you are rescued you are put in an ambulance and sent to the hospital] – they are not sure yet which particular hospital or health facility he has been sent to.

“This morning again, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured me they are working feverishly to find out which facility he was sent to and will get back to me as soon as possible because I have been on them that I need to go and see him.”

Atsu, 31, played 107 games for Newcastle and had spells with Chelsea, Everton and Bournemouth.

He has won 65 caps for Ghana and joined Hatayspor in September after a season with Saudi Arabian team Al-Raed.

Connect with us @football_sierra on Facebook/ Instagram, Football Sierra Leone, and African News. 

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Rodney Michael Joins FK Mornar Bar in Montenegro

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Montenegro top tier side FK Mornar have confirmed the signing of Sierra Leone International Rodney Michael. The 23-year-old attacker joins the Montenegrin side on Tuesday, 07 February 2023, until the summer.

Michael, who last played for Indy Eleven in the USA, has been handed a new chance to revive his professional career in the Southeastern Europe country.

Michael was part coach of John Keister’s Sierra Leone squads for the last three friendlies in a 4-0 defeat to South Africa, DR Congo 3-0 and 3-0 against the Algeria B team in South Africa, Morocco and Dubai, respectively.

In March last year, Indy Eleven announced it had acquired forward Rodney Michael from USL League One club South Georgia Tormenta FC. 

He made his professional debut on June 19, 2021, appearing as a 56th-minute substitute during a 3‚Äď1 win over¬†Greenville Triumph. He netted his first professional goal on 30 June 2021, scoring Tormenta’s lone goal in a 2‚Äď1 loss to¬†Toronto FC II.

On March 22, 2022, Michael was transferred from Tormenta to USL Championship side Indy Eleven. He left Indy Eleven following their 2022 season.

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Skipper David Simbo vows Neroca must fight to avoid relegation

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The win on Sunday leaves them in 10th, two places above the drop zone. And the Sierra Leone-born has assured that they will compete to avoid demotion.

Experience defender David Simbo has said his side Neroca will continue their fight to stay in the Indian I League after their 2-1 win over former club Gokulam Kerala FC on Sunday.

The former Mighty Blackpool, Motala, and Trelleborg defender has been a revelation for Neroca FC in the India second tier.

“It was a difficult win, but we were pleased with the result. We are going to continue this fight until the end. In the end, we must stay in the Indian I League,” the Neroca skipper told FSL News.

After RoundGlass Punjab’s wobble in Delhi, it was Gokulam Kerala’s turn, the Malabarians suffering a 2-1 loss to NEROCA on Sunday.

NEROCA went into this game with back-to-back wins at home and yet were unfancied against opposition who have been on an upward curve at the business end of the season. 

Sweden Fernandes and Mirjalol Kosimov scored for the home side in the 11th and 64th minute, respectively, before Aminou Bouba reduced the deficit for the away side.

However, the home side held to win their fourth straight home game.

Read complete match reports.

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Sullay Kaikai: I’ve settled in quickly

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Milton Keynes Dons’ new signing Sullay Kaikai admitted he has settled in quicker after his first two games for the club.

Fellow English League One side MK Dons have confirmed the signing of Sierra Leone International Sullay Kaikai until the end of the season following his departure from rivals Wycombe Wanderers.

Kaikai, 27, played ten games this season for the Chairboys, who he joined in 2021.

The Sierra Leone International was handed his debut in their 2-0 defeat in front of home fans at their Stadium MK last weekend to Exeter City.

And the new boy was part of the Dons’ 2-0 away triumph as Bristol Rovers slumped to defeat at home.

Goals from Mohamed Eisa in the opening third minute and Max Dean’s 91st minutes were enough as Don’s moved out of the relegation zone.

‚ÄúIt’s been great. I‚Äôve played back to back 90mins. I have settled in very quickly with the group, which also helps. We play a good style of football – which I am enjoying,”¬†Kaiaki told FSL News after their away win.

“I am pleased and looking forward to continuing to help the team.”

Dons’ next outing is at home against Oxford United¬†as they push to avoid the drop zone.

Connect with us @football_sierra, on Facebook/ Instagram Football Sierra Leone, the writer Abess Bittar Players Abroad News.

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Senegal win first CHAN after defeating host Algeria

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Senegal becomes the first nation from West Africa to win the African Nations Championship CHAN title after defeating hosts Algeria 5-4 in a penalty shootout.

Both teams played to a goalless 90 minutes plus extra time on Saturday at the Stade de Nelson Mandela in front of 39,120 spectators on a cold winter night.

The victory marked Senegal’s first-ever CHAN trophy, just a year after winning the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2021¬†(held in 2022) after overcoming Egypt on penalties in the final. It was Senegal’s first-ever triumph at the continental showpiece.

Despite the disappointment of losing on home soil, fans of the Desert Foxes, who were present at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in the southern suburbs of Algiers, cheered on the players as they made it to the CHAN final for the first time.

Senegal’s head coach, Pape Bouna Thiaw, acknowledged the strong mentality of his young Lions.

“The young team have suffered in a match like that,” he noted. “We played against a good team in Algeria, which didn’t concede any goals and scored lots of goals in this tournament.

“We were really ready to suffer – we wanted to honour our country. I think these players showed their character that is why we won this trophy. Congratulation to these kids.”

They also won the Fair Play prize at the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

This tournament is for players playing in home domestic competitions. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Morocco are the most successful teams in this competition, with two titles each, followed by Tunisia, Libya and Senegal a title, respectively.

TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN)

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