sports

Is Wilfred Ndidi burnout a threat to Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations hopes

The Nigeria international was uncharacteristically poor against Newcastle United, and we might be seeing the toll of two years without proper restAt the weekend, there it was. The one thing previously impossible to envisage, rarer than a sunflower in the desert, as implausible as a vegan lion: a poor Wilfred Ndidi performance.Unsurprisingly, it coincided with a loss, Leicester City’s first in five games. It was utterly predictable: there are few players in the Premier League more integral to their club’s fortunes and style than the Nigeriainternational. When he plays well, the Foxes are an entirely different proposition.On the day, however, he found the going tough against Newcastle United, and was substituted with 20 minutes still to play. This time, there would be no litany of stellar defensive stats to reel out; in 70 minutes. Ndidi had attempted just one tackle and gone 2/11 on duels.Considering the aberrant nature of that performance, perhaps a deeper examination is necessaryBrendan Rodgers has, since his arrival at the King Power Stadium, installed the 22-year-old at the base of a 4-3-3, and has charged him to “control the space in front of the centre-halves” on his own, a role slightly…

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Crystal Palace ace Jeffrey Schlupp to miss remainder of the season

In-form Crystal Palace midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp has had his season come to an end due to a niggling ankle injury.Manager Roy Hodgson confirmed his unavailability for the remaining four matches on Friday ahead of their clash against Arsenal.Schlupp suffered the setback during last week's 3-1 defeat to champions Manchester City.''He won’t play again this season. The ankle injury is such that it will take the three or so weeks we have left (to heal),'' Hodgson said.Schlupp has been of Crystal Palace's best players for the 2018/2019 campaign.He has scored four goals in 30 league appearances.

sports

My dad is doing very well at Kotoko, says C. K. Akonnor’s son

Coach, Charles Kwablan Akonnor`s son, Kimarky Akonnor has spoken to Kotoko Express App about the father`s Kotoko career and says ‘my dad is doing very well.’It is impossible to quantify the effect C. K Akonnor`s coaching stint at Kotoko is having on the young boy, who believes that the father is on course at Kotoko.Kimarky and his younger brother accompanied the father to the Adako Jachie training grounds on Thursday and spent some few minutes letting Kotoko Express App in on how he is coping with the latter’s role at Kotoko.Kimarky has been following every game the father leads Kotoko to and says he hears most of the things the media writes and says about him afterwards.“I think My dad is doing very well,” Kimarky said with a huge smile. “I follow the games and the results are very good. I hear it when people sing his praises and/or bash him in the media.”Credit: Asantekotokosc.com

sports

C. K. Akonnor mentors UCC student and coaches

Students from the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Cape Coast completed their two-day field training at Adako Jachie today.Led by their lecturer, Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum, the students observed Kotoko`s training sessions and asked questions to clear their doubts and also enhance their knowledge of the activities.Dr. Ogum told Kotoko Express App the visit was worthwhile as he enumerated the benefits.”I brought the students here to observe how a coach trains his team and to relate it to what they have learned in class,” he disclosed. “Everything is in order here; the progression, intensity, frequency and duration were all in order.””The players look disciplined, purposeful and determined and I am seeing some of the conditioning and training activities for the first time,” Dr. Ogum disclosed.A student, Gifty Ampofo observed the unity among the players and the coaches, the quality of the training activities as she also disclosed her emotions getting close to the team for the first time.”I was happy when I heard that we were coming here”, Gifty revealed. “Kotoko are a big club and having the opportunity to meet the players and the coach is like…

sports

2019 Africa Cup of Nations: Guinea announce Benin, Egypt friendlies

Guinea have lined up friendlies against Benin and Egypt as their final games before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.As stated by the Guinea Football Federation (FEGUIFOOT), the Syli Nationale will have their preparations in two phases – the first in national capital Conakry followed by a training camp in Morocco beginning June 1.“The first phase of the regrouping will be done in Conakry from June 1st to 4th, when the captain of the national Syli will receive from the head of the State the national tricolour.“The second phase of the reunion will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco from June 5th to 15th before the departure of our national team for Egypt, where it will take part in the 32nd Edition of the Africa Cup of Nations,” read a statement on the FEGUIFOOT website Thursday.The test matchesOn June 11, Paul Put’s side will play the Beninois – who have been pitted in Group F of Afcon 2019 with Ghana, Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau – at their camping base in Marrakech.“The friendly match against Benin is upon a request by Michel Dussuyer, former coach of the Syli National, from the current coach of the national team…

sports

Kotoko CEO urges clubs to stay away from livewire Songne Yacouba

Chief Executive Officer of Asante Kotoko, George Amoako insists Songne Yacouba remains a player of the club and have cautioned foreign clubs to stay away from the forward.Reports emerged last week that the 26-year-old had agreed personal terms with Orlando Pirates.Yacouba has not featured for the Ghanaian giants after their Caf Confederation Cup clash against Al Hilal at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.Coach C.K Akonnor has instead opted for Abdul Fataw Safiu in the Normalization Committee Special Cup as the lone man in attack since the absence of their star man.But according to Amoako, the Burkinabe forward is still a Kotoko player and no club has officially contacted them for his services.“Yacouba is currently injured and I’m still waiting for his medical report after a new scan. We have a one-year deal with him now and any club who wants him must go by the Fifa rules. We have already warned some clubs who were acting against laws on player transfers that we might report them to Caf because that’s rubbish,” he told Nhyira FM.“We have been contacted on the availability of our players but we prefer keeping it private because we want to…

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Ghanaian midfielder Agyemang Badu backs Udinese to bounce back from Lazio defeat

Ghana and Udinese ace Emmanuel Agyemang Badu has backed his side to bounce back from the defeat to Lazio on Wednesday.The 28-year-old, who returned from a long-term injury wants his teammates to overcome the loss and focus on their next game against Sassuolo.The White and Blacks lads will need to win to stand a chance of escaping relegation.“I am very happy to be back on the field, I have been here for almost 9 years and the affection I feel in Udine is very important for me, with a great company and incredible fans,” he told Udinews TV“But I’m not happy with the result. We played against a very strong team, we did better in the second half but with the rigour and the episodes, it went wrong.“We must forget everything immediately because in two days there is a very important match. We immediately think of Sassuolo on Saturday afternoon, it will be a war and we must try to win. For us, they are now all final.”The Bianconeri are 16th on the league log with 32 points after 32 round of matches.Udinese host Sassoulo at the Friuli Stadium, Dacia Arena on Saturday.

sports

2019 Africa Cup of Nations: AUB wins deal for free-to-air TV rights for sub-Saharan

African Union of Broadcasting has secured the free-to-air rights in the sub-Saharan region for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.They also have the rights for the CAF competitions including the Champions League and the Confederation Cup from 2021 to 2023.The deal was agreed at a recent Executive Committee meeting of the Confederation of African Football.CAF had originally launched a tender seeking an agency to commercialise the terrestrial free-to-air rights in the region to the African Cup of Nations as well as a range of other competitions from 2019 to 2023.These included qualifying competitions for the 2021 and 2023 Cup of Nations; the 2020 and 2022 African Nations Championship; and the 2020 and 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, amongst others.In a statement, CAF said the AUB's offer was retained, subject to ''certain conditions'' to be discussed between the two parties.The 2019 Cup of Nations will be staged in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.

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Another edition of unique football tournament kicks off in Africa

The sixth edition of a football competition unique to Africa kicks off on Saturday with two matches between teams desperate for victories, and the announcement of new finals hosts.eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) host Malawi and Botswana welcome the Seychelles in first round first leg qualifiers for the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) in Cameroon.Botswana have gone 10 years without a win in a competition restricted to footballers playing in their country of birth, with Africa the only continent to cater for such players.It is nine years since Malawi or the Seychelles have celebrated a Chan victory and eSwatini have never done so in 10 attempts.Ethiopia were the original hosts of the 2020 finals, but withdrew after falling behind with preparations for the 16-team tournament next January and February.”The stadiums are not ready and there are parliamentary elections next year which make it tricky for us to host the event,” explained Ethiopian football boss Esayas Jira.Responding to the news from Addis Ababa, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad confirmed to reporters in Cairo that “Ethiopia had withdrawn.””We attributed it (Chan 2020) directly, by tacit agreement, to Cameroon,” added the Madagascar-born official.It is the second successive Chan…