AFCON 2019: CAF deserves medal for social media coverage

But this piece is hinged on the 32nd AFCON and how the football governing body deployed social media as a means to galvanize its information flow and maintain / sustain a vibe throughout the tournamen

Social media and news coverage



Social media continues to change dynamics in the coverage of events around the world, more so in a time when speed and accuracy of information in real time is of crucial importance.



From political events through to conferences and natural disasters, the impact of Facebook and Twitter principally cannot be underestimated. Sports is another area that hugely benefits from these platforms.



Two recent events underlined how crucial Twitter especially is to covering sports. The Women’s World Cup in France and the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Egypt.



In the case of the World Cup, particular reference is on the impact that one Twitter user had on information flow from across the cities whiles dishing crucial off-field light information pieces. The person in this case is Fatma Samoura – FIFA General-Secretary.



But this piece is hinged on the 32nd AFCON and how the football governing body deployed social media as a means to galvanize its information flow and maintain / sustain a vibe throughout the tournament.



Even post the tournament, there is a quality amount of mopping up ongoing – with exclusive interviews, behind the scenes shots and crunching of tournament figures.





CAF’s tournament package on social media



CAF’s English Twitter handle (@CAF_Online) and other counterpart languages coordinated an effective use of key facts, match day statistics, pre – during – post match photos and videos.



Photos and videos of the fans in the stands, of training sessions, of reactions before and after the games, match reports, daily rundowns, expectations for particular match days and quick polls especially in the knockout rounds.



More than anything else, the timeliness and accuracy of the information flow made CAF the reference point for many media outlets including us here at Africanews.



The quality of materials – photos, videos – posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; coupled with the witty captioning and couching of information by the administrator (s) captured the attention of soccer fans around the world.



Perhaps as a direct result of the quality engagement and effective communication, CAF’s English Twitter account “run past” the million follower mark during the competition.





The communication blips – minor / major



Amid the coordinated information delivery came slippages – rough tackles if you want. Two of these caught our attention over the period.



A goal was awarded to Ghana in a group fixture and was tweeted same but almost immediately deleted after it was disallowed.





Similar situations were averted especially after the use of Video Assistant Referees, VAR, started at the last eight stage. At that stage, “goals” could be tweeted and afterwards VAR verification could be used to confirm or dismiss them.



The big blip / scandal was in the announcement of a centre referee for the final game between Senegal and Algeria. An announcement on the handle was deemed official for all intents and purposes.



Then less than 24-hours to the game, a new set of referees were announced by the CAF hierarchy. A BBC journalist in Egypt quoted the Djiboutian official who is head of the CAF Referees Commission as confirming that the social media team had put out “fake news.”



“This type of mistake should never happen. But the announcement of Gomes never came from the @CAF_Online Referees Commission.



“We must improve our communication as an organisation. What happened is not acceptable and people have the right to criticise us for this,” Souleyman Waberi is quoted to have said.



In explaining how that came about, it came to light that the social media aspect of the 2019 AFCON had been outsourced and a breach in information flow had caused that situation.





Looking ahead



A number of journalists who covered the tournament hailed the social media coverage as the best for the AFCON in recent times.



But in the spirit of growth and betterment, some key considerations were raised for CAF to consider for future tournaments.



Amongst them, dedicated social media pages for tournaments as this would boost the chances of proper archiving of coverage.



A more interactive aspect of coverage which situation in the case of AFCON 2019 was basically down to voting in polls.



Give and take, Egypt pulled off a historic tourney despite the heartbreak of a round-of-16 exit. CAF can now boast a big reform achievement but in doing so, the social media team behind the tournament are real winners – deserving of a medal.



Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa

Digital journalist

alfa.shaban@africanews.com

@alfaafrican

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o should have won Ballon d'Or: Mourinho

Mourinho who coached Eto’o at Inter Milan in Italy, and Chelsea in England, told Cameroon Radio, that the country’s all-time record goalscorer ‘was the best striker in the world for several years’.

Veteran football coach Jose Mourinho says Cameroon’s legendary footballer, Samuel Eto’o should have won the prestigious Ballon d’Or at least once in his illustrious career.

The 38-year-old former Barcelona and Inter Milan star retired from football this month, posting on his social media; “The end. Towards a new challenge. Thank you all, big love.”

Mourinho who coached Eto’o at Inter Milan in Italy, and Chelsea in England, told Cameroon Radio, that the country’s all-time record goalscorer ‘was the best striker in the world for several years’.

“It’s difficult to understand how Samuel Eto’o never won the Ballon d’Or with the impressive career he had,’‘ Mourinho said.

“He played three champions league finals, winning two with Barcelona and scoring in both finals. He also won one champions league at Inter and won many league titles.

Eto’o‘s accolades

Gold at the 2000 Olympics
Africa Cup of Nations winner in 2000, 2002
African Player of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010
UEFA Champions League winner in 2005, 2009, 2010

The closest Eto’o came to being crowned the world’s best player was in 2005, when he finished third in the running for the FIFA World Player of the Year.

Liberian football star and current head of state, George Weah, is the only African player to have been named FIFA World Player of the Year and win the Ballon d’Or.

READ MORE: Ballon d’Or keeps eluding African stars

Ronaldo says he deserves more Ballon d'Or awards than Messi

Ronaldo, 34, has won the renowned France Football magazine trophy for the world’s best player five times, as many as Messi, but is eager for more as he moves into the twilight of his career.

Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has reignited the debate on the greatest footballer of all time, arguing that he deserves to end his soccer career with more Ballon d’Or awards than Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo, 34, has won the renowned France Football magazine trophy for the world’s best player five times, as many as Messi, but is eager for more as he moves into the twilight of his career.

“Messi’s in the history of football,” Ronaldo told broadcaster Piers Morgan in an interview with Britain’s ITV on Tuesday.

“But I think I have to have six or seven or eight to be above him,” he said, referring to the Ballon d’Or awards.

“I’d love it, I think I deserve it.”

We are not friends

The Portugal captain said he was no friend of the Argentine but credited his rival for helping push him further in his own career.

“My relationship with him is, we are not friends, but we have shared this stage for 15 years,” Ronaldo said. “I know that he has pushed me to be a better player and I have pushed him to be a better player as well.”

Ronaldo, who also played for Manchester United and Real Madrid, has five UEFA Champions League winners’ medals and led Portugal to victory at the 2016 UEFA European Championship and 2019 UEFA Nations League tournaments.

“I don’t follow the records, the records follow me. I’m addicted to the success, and I don’t think it’s something bad, I think it’s good,” Ronaldo said.

“It motivates me. If you’re not motivated, it’s better to stop.”

ALSO READ: Ballon d’Or keeps eluding African stars

REUTERS

Rugby World Cup: New Zealand anticipate super clash against South Africa

Both teams are in Pool B, along with defending champions New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Hosts Japan will open the World Cup against Russia on Sept. 20 in Tokyo before South Africa face old rivals New

New Zealand focused on South Africa clash

Defending champions New Zealand say they are focusing all their energy on the World Cup opener against South Africa on Saturday, which they consider to be their most challenging match.

The two old rivals, who have won the World Cup five times between them, meet in Yokohama to kick-start the tournament and lay down a marker for the weeks to come.

With Italy, Namibia and Canada the other teams in Pool B, regardless of Saturday’s result New Zealand and South Africa would expect to qualify for the quarter-finals.

It means the All Blacks, who are chasing a third consecutive World Cup, will be holding nothing back on Saturday.

“We’re actually not thinking too far ahead in this tournament right now because this weekend is a pretty big weekend, isn’t it?” assistant coach Ian Foster said on Tuesday.

“And it’s kind of made it really good for us as coaches because we can just put all our energy into that first game.

“Whichever way it goes then I guess we can sort out the plan that we follow after that.”

South Africa come into the tournament having only lost once in their last seven matches, including a draw with New Zealand in July. The Springboks were victorious when the two sides met in Wellington this time last year.

That means New Zealand are way of the threat posed by coach Rassie Erasmus’ team and are looking at the match more as a standalone contest than a World Cup tone setter.

“We’re at a heightened state always when we play South Africa,” said Foster. “I know the World Cup is big but I guess our focus has been on this game for a while.”

REUTERS

South Africa calls for fairness

South Africa’s Springboks on Monday called on the French referee Jerome Garces to treat them as equals during this weekend’s opening Pool B blockbuster clash with defending champions New Zealand.

Assistant South Africa coach Mzwandile Stick said that with the gap between the All Blacks and their potential rivals for the Webb Ellis Cup closing, match officials need to be consistent in how they applied the laws to all teams.

In the past, World Cup-winning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, a wizard in the loose, was often accused of influencing referees to rule in his favour at the breakdown.

“The fans are excited by this one and looking forward to it,” former South Africa sevens specialist Stick said of the Saturday’s showdown in Yokohama.

“Hopefully the officials maybe will treat everything equally and respect the game and also respect the fans.”

South Africa topped New Zealand in this year’s Rugby Championship and Ireland are currently ranked world number one but Stick said the All Blacks remain the team to beat.

“If you look at previous history when it comes to the All Blacks, they’ve been dominating at Test level and it’s always the case that whenever they go to the World Cup they are favourites,” he said.

Recent history between the Boks, who are blooming under coach Rassie Erasmus, and Steve Hansen’s All Blacks promises to make for a tight encounter on Saturday.

“Things are a lot more balanced between us an New Zealand right now,” Stick said.

“We can’t ask for any better build-up towards the World Cup: if you look at the last three games we played against the All Blacks, in Wellington last year we won by two points, they came to Pretoria and won by two points, and then we drew against them again this year in Wellington.

“We’re looking forward to this challenge, it’s going to be a tough one… against one of the best teams in the world and given the history between the two teams.”

AFP

South Africa defeats Japan

South Africa cruised to a comfortable 41-7 victory over Japan on Friday in their final World Cup warm-up match, thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Makazole Mapimpi.

Winger Cheslin Kolbe opened the scoring with a neat finish on seven minutes, before Mapimpi ran in two easy tries from the other flank as the Springboks built a 22-0 lead at halftime in Kumagaya.

Further tries from Mapimpi and Kolbe either side of Kotaro Matsushima’s consolation and a final flourish from Herschel Jantjies secured victory for South Africa and helped soothe the memory of Japan’s famous win at the 2015 World Cup.

With this victory, South Africa laid down a tournament marker and gained revenge for defeat four years ago, while Japan must look for improvement in their World Cup opener against Russia on Sept. 20.

Africa’s representatives

South Africa and Namibia, who will be representing the African continent at this month’s Rugby World Cup, are finalising preparations that they hope will be sufficient to secure glory.

Both teams are in Pool B, along with defending champions New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Hosts Japan will open the World Cup against Russia on Sept. 20 in Tokyo before South Africa face old rivals New Zealand in Yokohama. Namibia play their first match against Italy on Sunday 22.

South Africa raring to go

South Africa, who have won the World Cup twice, are set to play their final warm-up match against hosts, Japan.

The Springboks will be wary of Japan who caused one of the biggest upsets in tournament history with their 34-32 victory over them at the 2015 World Cup in England.

“You can definitely see this is a much different team, much more fitter, much more stronger. Their systems are working and they know exactly what they are about, they know their strengths and weaknesses,’‘ said Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s captain ahead of the match.

Namibia seeks maiden victory

Namibia will be seeking their first ever World Cup victory, 20 years after they debuted at the prestigious tournament.

They are banking on the experience of their Welsh coaches to end a 19-match losing streak.

Former Wales forward Phil Davies has been in charge of a team known as the Welwitschias, a sturdy desert plant, since just before the last World Cup in 2015.

Davies works with compatriots Mark Jones (backs) and Dale McIntosh (forwards) as assistant coaches, while another Welshman, Wayne Proctor, is responsible for strength and conditioning.

“This is not a case of jobs for the ‘boyos’,” Davies stressed. “They are used to working with full-time and part-time professionals and that is what we have in the Namibian squad.”

Scrum-half Eugene Jantjies is set to play at a fourth consecutive World Cup and says the Welwitschias’ aim continues to be finding a winning formula.

“This is the best squad we have had for many years and after coming so close to winning four years ago, I believe we can create history in Japan,” he said.

READ MORE: South Africa names squad for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

CAF CL round of 16 final [Football Planet]

Distressed giants and unashamed thumbs up. The Round of 16 matches in the Champions League and CAF Cup were particularly exciting this weekend.

A weekend full of surprises in the African Champions League. The first leg of the round of 16 final was breathtaking. The poor performance of two-time defending champions, Esperance of Tunis is testament to this. The modest Chadian club Elect Sport held the Esperance of Tunis in check by 1-1.

TP Mazembe also retreated to Madagascar by 0- 0 ahead of Fosa Junior, while Horoya AC and Etoile Sportive du Sahel were left with a slap in the face.

Also, we bring you all the results of this Champions League and the CAF Cup.

And we discuss the surprise appointment of Didier Six as head of the Guinean national football team. We speak to Guinean journalist Séga Diallo.

Our Wahany Johnson Sambou has the details of these and more on this week’s edition of Football Planet.

Rugby World Cup: South Africa hopes for fairness in clash with New Zealand

Both teams are in Pool B, along with defending champions New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Hosts Japan will open the World Cup against Russia on Sept. 20 in Tokyo before South Africa face old rivals New

South Africa calls for fairness

South Africa’s Springboks on Monday called on the French referee Jerome Garces to treat them as equals during this weekend’s opening Pool B blockbuster clash with defending champions New Zealand.

Assistant South Africa coach Mzwandile Stick said that with the gap between the All Blacks and their potential rivals for the Webb Ellis Cup closing, match officials need to be consistent in how they applied the laws to all teams.

In the past, World Cup-winning All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, a wizard in the loose, was often accused of influencing referees to rule in his favour at the breakdown.

“The fans are excited by this one and looking forward to it,” former South Africa sevens specialist Stick said of the Saturday’s showdown in Yokohama.

“Hopefully the officials maybe will treat everything equally and respect the game and also respect the fans.”

South Africa topped New Zealand in this year’s Rugby Championship and Ireland are currently ranked world number one but Stick said the All Blacks remain the team to beat.

“If you look at previous history when it comes to the All Blacks, they’ve been dominating at Test level and it’s always the case that whenever they go to the World Cup they are favourites,” he said.

Recent history between the Boks, who are blooming under coach Rassie Erasmus, and Steve Hansen’s All Blacks promises to make for a tight encounter on Saturday.

“Things are a lot more balanced between us an New Zealand right now,” Stick said.

“We can’t ask for any better build-up towards the World Cup: if you look at the last three games we played against the All Blacks, in Wellington last year we won by two points, they came to Pretoria and won by two points, and then we drew against them again this year in Wellington.

“We’re looking forward to this challenge, it’s going to be a tough one… against one of the best teams in the world and given the history between the two teams.”

AFP

South Africa defeats Japan

South Africa cruised to a comfortable 41-7 victory over Japan on Friday in their final World Cup warm-up match, thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Makazole Mapimpi.

Winger Cheslin Kolbe opened the scoring with a neat finish on seven minutes, before Mapimpi ran in two easy tries from the other flank as the Springboks built a 22-0 lead at halftime in Kumagaya.

Further tries from Mapimpi and Kolbe either side of Kotaro Matsushima’s consolation and a final flourish from Herschel Jantjies secured victory for South Africa and helped soothe the memory of Japan’s famous win at the 2015 World Cup.

With this victory, South Africa laid down a tournament marker and gained revenge for defeat four years ago, while Japan must look for improvement in their World Cup opener against Russia on Sept. 20.

Africa’s representatives

South Africa and Namibia, who will be representing the African continent at this month’s Rugby World Cup, are finalising preparations that they hope will be sufficient to secure glory.

Both teams are in Pool B, along with defending champions New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Hosts Japan will open the World Cup against Russia on Sept. 20 in Tokyo before South Africa face old rivals New Zealand in Yokohama. Namibia play their first match against Italy on Sunday 22.

South Africa raring to go

South Africa, who have won the World Cup twice, are set to play their final warm-up match against hosts, Japan.

The Springboks will be wary of Japan who caused one of the biggest upsets in tournament history with their 34-32 victory over them at the 2015 World Cup in England.

“You can definitely see this is a much different team, much more fitter, much more stronger. Their systems are working and they know exactly what they are about, they know their strengths and weaknesses,’‘ said Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s captain ahead of the match.

Namibia seeks maiden victory

Namibia will be seeking their first ever World Cup victory, 20 years after they debuted at the prestigious tournament.

They are banking on the experience of their Welsh coaches to end a 19-match losing streak.

Former Wales forward Phil Davies has been in charge of a team known as the Welwitschias, a sturdy desert plant, since just before the last World Cup in 2015.

Davies works with compatriots Mark Jones (backs) and Dale McIntosh (forwards) as assistant coaches, while another Welshman, Wayne Proctor, is responsible for strength and conditioning.

“This is not a case of jobs for the ‘boyos’,” Davies stressed. “They are used to working with full-time and part-time professionals and that is what we have in the Namibian squad.”

Scrum-half Eugene Jantjies is set to play at a fourth consecutive World Cup and says the Welwitschias’ aim continues to be finding a winning formula.

“This is the best squad we have had for many years and after coming so close to winning four years ago, I believe we can create history in Japan,” he said.

READ MORE: South Africa names squad for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan