Exclusive: Senegal's Aliou Cisse talks about life after World Cup ahead of AFCON qualifiers [Football Planet]

After a dramatic exit from the World Cup in June, Karim Balde caught up with Senegal’s Aliou Cisse in Reims, France for a quick question and answer session concerning his post-world cup plans, ahead o

In this week’s episode of football planet:-



The 2018 summer football transfer market ended on August 31 in most European leagues and without a doubt, there were memorable transfers for African players. We have a report that explores Africa’s top movers who are going to play key roles in their new clubs.



After a dramatic exit from the World Cup in June, the Teranga Lions of Senegal are preparing for an AFCON 2019 qualifying clash when they travel to Madagascar this Sunday. Our Correspondent Karim Balde caught up with Aliou Cisse in Reims, France and he managed to have a quick question and answer session with him concerning his post-world cup plans.



Cisse drops Khadim Ndiaye dropped, Edouard Mendy called up



Still on Senegal, Horoya AC goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye who was between the sticks for Senegal during the World Cup has been dropped from Cisse’s 23-man squad for the qualifiers. Cisse has handed a maiden call-up for Reims goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Born of a Bissau-Guinean father and a Senegalese mother, Mendy told our correspondent Karim Balde why he first chose the Djurtus of Bissau, before opting to play for the Teranga Lions.



Relegated Stade d’Abidjan win Ivorian Supercup



Stade d’Abidjan won the Ivorian Supercup after trouncing Sporting Club Gagnoa 2-1 on Saturday at the Robert Champroux stadium in Abidjan. Stade d’Abidjan were initially supposed to play ASEC Mimosas who has formally written to the Ivorian football federation saying that they would not be taking part in the final. This forced the federation to replace them with second finishers of the Ivorian League Sporting Club Gagnoa.



Stade d’Abidjan finished the league in position 13 out of 14 and are therefore headed for relegation altogether.



Benin disqualified from U17 qualifiers over age fraud



The WAFU-B zonal qualifiers kicked for the AFCON 2019 kicked off on Sunday with a goalless draw between hosts Niger and Togo. But before the kick-off, Benin were disqualified from the competition over age fraud. After MRI tests were carried out more than half of their players failed the test. Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire had one player each sent home. While all Ghanaian players passed the test. Beninese Football Federation termed the disqualification as a national shame and promised to take action against those responsible. Listen.



Yaya Toure returns to Olympiakos



Yaya Toure is not done yet. The 35-year-old midfielder received a warm reception from Olympiakos fans at their Karaskaikis Stadium on Sunday. Toure last played for Olympiakos in the 2005-06 season. He has been a free agent since leaving Premier League champions Manchester City at the end of last season.



Till next Monday. Excellent week.



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AFCON U23: Egypt vs. Ivory Coast final, Ghana vs. SA for last Olympic 2020 slot

The winners, second and third-place teams automatically qualify to represent Africa in the Olympic Games slated for 2020.

Egypt is hosting the Under-23 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, months after it hosted the AFCON proper. The event is running between November 8 – 22, 2019.

At the semi-final stage, there is sure to be a new champions after the defending champions, Nigeria, failed to make it past the group stages.

The winners, second and third-place teams automatically qualify to represent Africa in the Olympic Games slated for 2020.

Ghana lost their semi final fixture with Ivory Coast and is set to face South Africa in the third-place match. The Winner becomes the third African representative at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Ivorian side will now face the hosts Egypt in the final on November 22. Egypt thumped South Africa by three unanswered goals. The Ivorians needed penalties to eliminate Ghana after a two-all drawn game at the end of extra time

With two groups of four teams each, the Egyptian capital Cairo hosted the entire tournament with the Cairo and Al Salam stadiums being the venues.

GROUP A finished with Egypt topping with 9 points. Ghana edged out Cameroon with superior goal difference after both teams finished with four points apiece. Mali came last with zero points.

In GROUP B, Ivory Coast topped with six points whiles South Africa bagged five points. Defending champions Nigeria managed four points whiles Zambia finished bottom with a point.

In the knockout stage, extra time and penalty shoot-out are used to decide the winner if necessary. An exception is with the third place match where extra-time will be skipped for shootouts to decide.

Tennis star Sharapova's Africa trip: beautiful Botswana, riveting Rwanda

The trip which started on November 8 and spanned till the 14th was largely one that had a strong and rich connection to nature and wildlife.

Russian tennis star, Maria Sharapova, recently embarked on an African tour which took her to Botswana in southern Africa and Rwanda in East Africa.

The trip which started on November 8 and spanned till the 14th was largely one that had a strong and rich connection to nature and wildlife.

The Botswana mission was largely in one of the country’s famed natural parks which attracts thousands of tourists year in an out, it also had a fair share of savoring wildlife at close range – from the lions, rhinos, squirrels etc.

She wrote about Botswana: “Love at first sight! The closest I’ve ever come to a safari was locking eyes with a squirrel. But not anymoooore! The Lion’s roaring in the video? That was within 30mins of our first game drive overlooking the sunset at Weare wilderness Vumbura Plains.

She also spent time at the Okavango Delta also in the plains before sharing her time at the Little Mombo Safari where she encountered leopards, buffaloes, elephants and zebras.

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Botswana, Africa ??? !! Love at first sight! The closest I’ve ever come to a safari was locking eyes with a squirrel ?. But not anymoooore! The ?’s roaring in the video? That was within 30mins of our first game drive overlooking the sunset at wearewilderness Vumbura Plains. Which animal should we look for next?? ??????</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/mariasharapova/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Maria Sharapova</a> (mariasharapova) on

Over in Rwanda, it was more of a gorilla mission but dotted at a point with a meeting with the First Family and taking time off to meet with children and enjoy sporty action – not tennis.

Her first instagram post on arrival in Rwanda had photos of her visit to the Volcanoes National Park on a gorilla hunt.

“Silverback gorillas!! We have fallen in love with your country. Truly! Early morning treks to locate the gorillas, getting caught in a rainforest downpour, witnessing a silverback big daddy of all big daddies walk right past us without a care in the world ( thankfully!!) ..so special!!” her post read.

She visited the Bisate hills from where she posted about her morning view from the volcanic mountain. “Nestled inside the #Rwanda , the view from our little teletubbie- like cabins made the long journey worth every minute,” she added.

Meeting with President Kagame was in mid-week (November 13) before she rounded up the trip with a visit to a local community school for a sporty interaction with the children.

'I picked Ivory Coast over Chelsea' - Drogba's shot at FA presidency goal

According to the 41-year-old, he had picked Ivorian football ahead of an offer to have taken a role at his former club, English Premier League side, Chelsea.

Ivorian and Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, on Thursday confirmed his intention to contest the presidency of the country’s football federation.

According to the 41-year-old, he had picked Ivorian football ahead of an offer to have taken a role at his former club, English Premier League side, Chelsea.

“ I could’ve decided to stay at Chelsea where all conditions are perfect, but I’ve decided to invest in local (national) football because I love Ivory Coast,” he is quoted to have said.

In August 2019, local media outlets reported that Drogba was due to contest for the top leadership post of the Ivorian Football Federation, FIF.

The former Chelsea man was reported to have filed his application at the time. All things being equal, he will face competition from among others, a former playing colleague turned politician Bonaventure Kalou, who was in October 2018 elected mayor of the municipality of Vavoua.

Incumbent FIF president Augustin Sidy Diallo, will be another candidate to beat. He has been in the role since 2011.

Drogba retired from football in 2018 and was on record to have voiced ambitions of heading the football federation in the West African country.

“It’s something that interests me: I want to get more involved. I think more and more about it. I know Ivorian football, I have played in selection for years and I invested in Ivorian football lately …

“I have not made my decision yet, but, if all conditions are met, why not?” he said in an interview on French broadcaster, RFI.

AFCON 2021 qualifiers: Gambia, CAR, Namibia off to winning starts

Qualifiers which started on Wednesday (November 13) continue with matches every day until next Tuesday (November 19), by which time each of the 48 participating countries will have played two games ea

Senegal showed their teeth on the opening day of qualifiers for the 2021 African Cup of Nations but other continental heavyweights struggled to find form on Wednesday.

Nigeria could only scrape a 2-1 home win over neighbours Benin while Cameroon were held to an embarrassing home draw by the Cape Verde Islands.

Cameroon are hosts of the next finals but are also participating in the qualifying competition.

Assan Cessay scored two goals in two minutes for the Gambia, who went on to cause an upset by winning 3-1 in Angola to secure their first away victory in a Cup of Nations or World Cup qualifier.

There were also wins for the Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Namibia and Sudan and a potential valuable away point for the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, who drew 1-1 in Sierra Leone.

Senegal, runners-up in this year’s Nations Cup in Egypt, beat Congo 2-0 at home with first-half goals from Sidy Sarr and Habib Diallo as Sadio Mane provided an assist.

Nigeria went behind after nine minutes in Uyo where Stephane Sessegnon scored for Benin but a penalty from Victor Osimhen and the winner from Samuel Kalu ensured a narrow win.

It is the fourth time in five games that goal-shy Cameroon have played out a goalless draw in a stuttering start for new coach Toni Conceição.

Angola were ahead after two minutes through Wilson Eduardo but were hit by a double from FC Zurich striker Cessay before Sulayman Marreh added a third for Gambia on the stroke of fulltime.

Gambia had not won in 39 previous away qualifiers, including losing in Luanda two months ago in the 2022 World Cup preliminaries.

Qualifiers continue with matches every day until next Tuesday, by which time each of the 48 participating countries will have played two games each.

REUTERS

Salah ruled out of Egypt's AFCON qualifiers against Kenya, Comoros

Salah has an ankle injury and was ruled out of the Egyptian squad for games against Kenya on Thursday and Comoros on Monday.

Egypt’s soccer federation says Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will miss two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Salah has an ankle injury and was ruled out of the Egyptian squad for games against Kenya on Thursday and Comoros on Monday.

The federation’s statement says Egypt coach Hossam el-Badry met with Salah, who stressed his commitment to play for the Pharaohs. That’s despite occasionally strained relations with the federation that go back to the World Cup in Russia last year.

Salah watched his teammates train near Alexandria on Tuesday with the federation tweeting a photo of Salah wearing a protective boot on his left foot.

The 27-year-old Salah has struggled with a nagging ankle injury the last month. He started and scored in Premier League leader Liverpool’s 3-1 win over defending champion Manchester City on Sunday, coming off in the 87th minute.

Egypt is in Group G, which also includes Togo.

AP