El Hadary talks about Al-Ahly, José and the national team

In an exclusive interview with "Al Ain" website, Issam El Hadary talked about his ambitions with the Egyptian national team, his experience with Al Ahly and his conflicts with his former coach Manuel José.

El Hadary is the oldest goalkeeper in the world : He will be 44 years old next June but he will always be remembered as one of the best goalkeepers in Egypt.

The interview started with some questions regarding Egypt's last game against Ghana. Then, El Hadary talked about Al-Ahly, his relationship with Manuel José and his retirement :

Why did you cry after the game? 

I went through a big pressure. It was one of the hardest games in my whole career. I knew that it will be the reason behind our qualification to the World Cup. That's why I was extremely happy.

What do you think of Hector Cuper? 

He's a genius and he has a unique style. He was a defender so he has a tendency to strengthen the defensive line. He's doing a great job and we should really respect his job with the national team.

Everyone's asking you to qualify to the World Cup. What do you think of that ?

All the Egyptians want to reach that objective. It's a nation's dream. It's a big responsibility but I believe that we'll be able to make this dream come true.

When will you announce your retirement ?

After the World Cup for sure!

What's the real reason behind your departure from Al Ahly ?

Manuel José was only looking for his own good. He's the reason behind my departure after humiliating me and robbing me of the captain's armband.

What's the reason behind this big hatred between you and Manuel José?

I don't want to talk about him because this will make him important. I don't know why he keeps on attacking me. I think that he came to Egypt to make fun of us. He came for money and returned to Al Ahly's academy for the same reason.

Do you still want to play in Al Ahly?

Of course, that's a big gift. I didn't lose faith. If they'll call me, I'll immediately go there because it's my duty!

Who's the best player you've played with ? 

Aboutrika. He's a great person that will not be repeated.

Will you become a coach after your retirement ? 

No, I'd rather go to management. I'm really tired of football.

 
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AFCON moved to 2022, delayed CHAN slated for Jan. 2021

AFCON to be played in 2022, CHAN 2020 slated for January 2021.

The Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, has announced the postponement of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON to January 2022 citing the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament had been scheduled to take place between January and February next year. The football governing body, however decided that the local version of the AFCON, the Championship of African Nations, CHAN, will take place in January 2021.

It had originally been slated to be played in April this year. Both competitions will be hosted by Cameroon.

In a March 2020 announcement suspending the 2020 CHAN, CAF Organizing after a meeting in Cameroon cited amongst others, the confinement of population in many countries, restrictions imposed on grouping of teams and officials and the closure of borders as well as disruptions in air links between many countries as factors.

At the time, the decision followed the postponement of the AFCON 2021 qualifiers by CAF. The African football governing body had earlier this year decided to maintain the organization of its competitions.

Decisions of CAF Executive Meeting – 30 June 2020

The committee decided as follows;

Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021

After consultation with stakeholders and taking into consideration the current global situation, the tournament has been rescheduled for January 2022. The date for the final tournament and the remaining matches of the qualifiers will be communicated in due course.

Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020

The final tournament has been postponed till January 2021 in Cameroon.

“The CAF Executive Committee is satisfied with t the Cameroonian authorities for their commitment towards the hosting of the two competitions. Cameroon is ready to host either competition and are within schedule,” CAF President Ahmad Ahmad said.

Interclubs 2019/20 season

The Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup, will resume in September with a Final Four (4) format. Semi-Final matches will be played in a single match.

Total CAF Champions League = Venue for Final Four to be decided

Total CAF Confederation Cup = Morocco will host the Final Four

Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2020

Due to challenging conditions, the 2020 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations has been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the CAF Women’s Champions League will be launched in 2021. The format and other details will be communicated in due course.

Zonal Qualifiers for U-20 & U-17 Africa Cup of Nations

A meeting with the Organising Competitions for Youth Football and the Zonal Unions has been proposed to finalize the arrangements for the zonal qualifiers. Meanwhile, the U-17 AFCON will take place in July 2021.

Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations 2020

Following the withdrawal of Uganda, a new hosting bid will be launched for the organization of the final tournament either in 2020 or 2021.

Headquarters Agreement

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad commended the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt under the leadership of His Excellency Abdel Fattah El Sisi, who appended his signature to the 10-year agreement on 24 June 2020.

With the new agreement, CAF and its officials will benefit from immunities and privileges granted to diplomatic missions in the territory of the Arab Republic of Egypt in accordance with the 1961 Vienna Convention.

CAF Ordinary General Assembly

The 42nd CAF Ordinary General Assembly has been rescheduled for December 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As per the recommendations of the CAF Governance Committee, the Elective General Assembly will be held on 12 March 2021.

CAF Awards 2020

Cancellation of the 2020 edition. Major partners for the event, Pickalbatros Group, has re-affirmed their contractual commitment towards the next two (2) editions.

Financial Support to Member Associations

CAF has allocated an additional USD 16.2 Million to assist Member Associations to mitigate challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Member Associations will be entitled to USD 300,000.

Appointment of Commercial Director

Confirmation of the appointment of Ali Aissaoui as Commercial Director. Prior to joining CAF, the Moroccan served as Business Development Manager of FC Barcelona.

Update on Transform CAF 2021

There has been giant stride in the execution of Transform CAF 2021 which was launched during the CAF Executive Committee in Doha, Qatar, last February. The CAF Administration will continue with the implementation of the major points towards achieving the targets of the project.

Kickoff! Somalia reopens renovated national stadium in Mogadishu

Somalia for years now honoured international games in Djibouti because of insecurity in the capital.

Somalia’s national stadium in the capital Mogadishu officially reopened today years after it was abandoned due to insecurity. A game was also honoured today after extensive renovations since 2018 when government took control of the facility.

It was adversely affected by the country’s civil war, at a point it was occupied by Al-Shabaab insurgents and later by the African Union’s AMISOM forces deployed to combat the group.

The European Union, Norway and other development partners supported the reconstruction efforts which began after the facility was officially handed over to the government by AMISOM in 2018.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo was accompanied by top government officials for the reopening ceremony as they watched the game, the first in three decades at the venue according to some reports.

Somalia for years now honoured international games in Djibouti because of insecurity in the capital. The stadium was captured from Al Shabaab during an operation to liberate the city in September 2011. AMISOM subsequently used it as a base till the handover.

According to a company contracted to work on grassing the pitch, its constructions works started on the in late January 2020 and were completed on the 10th of April 2020. Domo Sports Grass added that reopening had been hampered by COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the latest national facility to be reopened in Mogadishu. over the weekend, the president also oversaw the reopening of the National Theater, which had also faced a similar fate due to insecurity.

Egyptian giant Zamalek to boycott league [Football Planet]

Uncertainty still lingers in the forthcoming 2021 CAF. The cancellation of FIFA dates in September further complicates the CAF’s 2020 games

Uncertainty still lingers in the forthcoming 2021 CAF. The cancellation of FIFA dates in September further complicates the CAF’s 2020 games.

In Egypt, after issuing several threats, the Zamalek have finally taken action. The frustration of some clubs with the decision to resume the championship takes a dramatic turn. The Cairo-based club has announced that it will not be resuming the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Nigerian international Victor Osimhen who plays for Lille has this Monday been awarded the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize for the Best African player in French Ligue 1. The 21-year-old Super Eagle striker scored a total of 13 goals in French League 1. He succeeds the Ivorian Nicolas Pépé.

African quartet help Liverpool to Premier League history

CAF described the four players as Kings: ‘Making Africa Proud.’

Liverpool won the Premier League after three decades of waiting. The Reds long-awaited victory was sealed when Chelsea beat Manchester City on Thursday evening. The 2019 / 2020 season is yet to end but the points gap between them and City is unassailable.

Jurgen Klopp’s side thus had cause to celebrate through Thursday night, a famous victory without even kicking a ball. They had won their mid-week game against Crystal Palace by 4 unanswered goals.

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, highlighted the impact of Anfield’s African quartet in the feat. CAF described the four players as Kings: ‘Making Africa Proud.’ The four are:

  • Sadio Mane of Senegal
  • Mohammed Salah of Egypt
  • Joel Matip of Cameroon
  • Naby Keita of Guinea

Mane and Salah were joint top scorers last season along with Arsenal and Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Liverpool are the newest club to have the honour of winning the league – after Manchester United and City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers.

The team’s next game is against Manchester City on July 2. The Citizens will be expected to give the new champions a guard of honour at the game which will be played behind closed doors due to COVID-19 regulations since football resumed.

CAF Confed Cup, Champions League [Football Planet]

A glimmer of hope for CAF inter-club competitions.

A glimmer of hope for CAF inter-club competitions. The Champions League and the CAF Confederations could resume in September. But CAF has yet to fix the exact date for the resumption of the two club competitions.

The coronavirus and its consequences on private initiatives. How do training centres experience the crisis? What are their expectations? We speak with a former Nigerian international, Stephen Abarowei, manager and owner of a football academy in Lagos about this.

And then a short tour of Europe with the return of the English Premier League and  the Italian Serie A. Sadio Mane was in action for his club Liverpool in their Mersey side derby drawn game with Everton. Egypt’s Mohamed Salah was an unused substitute. Liverpool now need to win two of their remaining league games.

Our Wahany Johnson Sambou has these and more on Football Planet, your weekly all-football news show.