France wins big in latest FIFA rankings: Egypt, Germany drop massively

France who beat Croatia 4-2 last month to win their second World Cup title, jumped six places to top the rankings for the first time in 16 years. Les Blues last held the top spot in May 2002.

Countries that performed well at the recently concluded football World Cup in Russia have reaped big in the latest FIFA ranking, with the reigning world champions France, claiming the No.1 slot.



France who beat Croatia 4-2 last month to win their second World Cup title, jumped six places to top the rankings for the first time in 16 years. Les Blues last held the top spot in May 2002.



Former World champions, who also held the No.1 spot before the World Cup, Germany have now dropped to 15th, following their dismal performance in Russia that saw them eliminated at the group stage.



ALSO READ: Six highlights of Africanews coverage of 2018 World Cup in Russia

The top 10 slots include World Cup finalists Croatia (4), semi-finalists Belgium (2) and England (6) and quarter-finalists Brazil (3), Uruguay (5).



FIFA used their new ranking system for the first time and explained the changes as follows:



‘‘The formula, which was approved by the FIFA Council in June…relies on adding/subtracting points won or lost for a game to/from the previous point totals rather than averaging game points over a given time period as in the previous version of the Ranking.’‘



Africa’s fortunes



Africa’s highest position in the latest FIFA rankings is 24, which is jointly held by Tunisia and Senegal, who both played at the World Cup.



Ranked 65, Egypt, which lost all its three games at the World Cup,is no longer among the top 10 football sides on the continent.



Africa’s other representatives at the World Cup, Morocco and Nigeria make the top 10 cut, ranked 46, 49 respectively.



The other top 10 sides on the African continent are DR Congo (37), Ghana (45), Cameroon (47), Burkina Faso (52), Mali (63) and Cape Verde Islands (64).



FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, 16 August 2018

Orlando Pirates vs AmaZulu: Prediction, head-to-head and kick-off time

Copyright -Photo: Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates will face AmaZulu in their Absa Premiership tie at at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Tuesday. Following two successive losses, AmaZulu are 16th on the PSL league standings without a single point, having played two matches in their 2019-20 league campaign. However, AmaZulu's midfielder Siyethembe Sithebe is confident that they can secure their first win of the season against Pirates. "We all know that Orlando Pirates are a team that likes to run, they move a lot, we will have to catch them on the counter-attack and exploit the spaces between the midfielders," Sithebe said. "I’d say that we still have time to catch up and gain points, we have to keep working hard to win the upcoming games because the league is very unpredictable." On the other hand, Orlando Pirates have registered their third loss this new season and they are in the ninth spot on the league standings with three points from two ties. Priates’ caretaker coach Rulani Mokwena believes that this game can be a chance for redemption. “At this moment we’ve had to do a lot of analysis, use video to improve the team and cover some of the cracks in the interim,” Mokwena said. “But keep on working to try and improve; work on the players’ confidence because the most important thing is to bounce back and help these players to continue to believe in themselves.” In their previous meetings, Pirates have won 9 clashes, while AmaZulu have registered only 3 wins. The two sides drew 11 times. Kick-off is at 7.30pm CAT. This tie can be tricky, so a scoring draw is strongly expected as the final result tonight.

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Cape Town City: Prediction, head-to-head and kick-off time

Copyright -Sundowns-via Twitter
After the two sides’ weekend cup matches, Mamelodi Sundowns will take on Cape Town City FC in an Absa Premiership clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday evening. The two teams are on equal level on points on the PSL current standing, separated only by a one goal difference. Cape Town City were eliminated of the Cup competition over the weekend by Polokwane City, Sundowns, on the other hand, were victorious, defeating Bloemfontein Celtic in a 3-1 score. In their previous meetings, Sundowns have won 11 times, while City have won 8 matches. The two teams drew only in 2 occasions. Kick-off is at 7.30pm CAT. As for the prediction, Mamelodi Sundowns are expected to win and score at least two goals this evening, regarding previous results and performance. Downs coach Pitso Mosimane commented on this week’s upcoming tie: “It’s good we came back. It shows experience and character. We never panicked. This time we got the subs right. Last week I got it wrong. You learn in football. We kept the balance. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong,” He added: “We’ve got a game now on Wednesday and it’s not an easy one. And then the biggest on Saturday [when Sundowns will face AS Otoho in the Caf Champions League game].”

Ivorian legend Didier Drogba aims for presidency of football federation

Incumbent president Augustin Sidy Diallo, will be another candidate to beat. He has been in the role since 2011. The final list of candidates should be known in the coming weeks according to reports.

Former Ivorian international Didier Drogba is running for president of the Ivorian Football Federation, FIF; according to local media reports.

The former Chelsea man is reported to have filed his application for elections slated to be held later this year.

The 41-year-old will face competition from among others, a former playing colleague and turned politician Bonaventure Kalou, who was in October 2018 elected mayor of the municipality of Vavoua.

Incumbent president Augustin Sidy Diallo, will be another candidate to beat. He has been in the role since 2011. The final list of candidates should be known in the coming weeks according to reports.

Recently retired Drogba is 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.

Nigeria football body backs Samson Siasia after FIFA life ban

The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016.

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has finally reacted to last week’s life ban imposed on former player and manager, Samson Siasia by a committee of football world governing body, FIFA.

The NFF in an August 19 statement said its lawyers were reviewing the decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee. The Committee last Friday announced that it had placed a life ban from all football-related activities on Siasia.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday that the adjudicatory chamber of their independent Ethics Committee found that Siasia was “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

The NFF’s Acting President, Seyi Akinwunmi, said on Monday that the Federation had already reached out to the former U20, U23 and Super Eagles head coach and is aware that he is receiving appropriate legal advice.

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr. Samson Siasia.

“But we have however now received documents, including one known as the Motivated Decision, and we have handed them to our lawyers to study and provide legal advice to the Federation.

“It is a massive sanction on one of our legends. Siasia is a fooball legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We must therefore be interested in the matter and be properly advised.”

The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016.

Akinwunmi added: “Siasia gave his all for Nigeria, playing for the U20 team right from his secondary school days and then for the senior team for several years, and also coaching the U20 and U23 teams and the Super Eagles.

“While we respect the FIFA processes and appreciate that an investigation was conducted prior to the decision, the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time, make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name as he has promised to do.”

The case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a “known match fixer” and who has admitted such activity in several interviews.

FIFA said that he was banned for life “from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.” Siasia was also been fined CHF 50,000 ($51,051.66). ($1 = 0.9794 Swiss francs)

South Africa beat Argentina in friendly at Pretoria

South Africa have an embarrassment of riches on the right wing with Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe, who was rested for this match, bidding to start against New Zealand in Japan on September 21 in their World

Sibusiso Nkosi scored two brilliant tries as South Africa beat Argentina 24-18 on Saturday in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Pretoria.

The winger struck in each half for the Springboks, who found the going much tougher than last weekend when they hammered the Pumas by 33 points in Salta to win the Rugby Championship.

South Africa have an embarrassment of riches on the right wing with Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe, who was rested for this match, bidding to start against New Zealand in Japan on September 21 in their World Cup opener.

All the other South African points at Loftus Versfeld came from fly-half Elton Jantjies, who kicked a conversion and four penalties.

Forwards Guido Petti and skipper Pablo Matera each scored a try for Argentina. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked a conversion and a penalty and Benjamin Urdapilleta a penalty.

South Africa skipper and flanker Siya Kolisi showed no ill effects from a knee injury sustained last May before coming off after 53 minutes of his first international appearance this season.

Coach Rassie Erasmus wanted Kolisi to concentrate on his personal performance so he did not restore the captaincy. Instead veteran hooker Schalk Brits became, at 38 the second oldest Springbok to lead the team.

Although Argentina suffered a ninth consecutive loss, there was encouragement for coach Mario Ledesma from a much improved scrummaging performance, that won several penalties.

The Pumas thought they had taken the lead with three minutes left when debutant Lucas Mensa touched down, but the try was disallowed for obstruction by fellow centre Jeronimo de la Fuente.

South Africa started with an entirely different team from the one that crushed Argentina 46-13 last weekend in Salta to win the Rugby Championship for the first time. Argentina made 10 changes after being humiliated at home.

Springboks flanker Marcell Coetzee was off on 17 minutes and could not return after failing a head injury assessment test.

South Africa dominated territory and possession, but had to wait 20 minutes before being rewarded when Jantjies kicked a 22-metre penalty from in front of the posts.

Argentina had their first scoring chance seven minutes later. Diaz Bonilla succeeded with a more difficult penalty kick than that of Jantjies.

A stop-start half was crying out for a try. It finally arrived on 32 minutes when slick handling allowed Nkosi to step inside one opponent before holding off two others to score.

Jantjies struck a post with his conversion attempt leaving South Africa with an 8-3 advantage that did not adequately reflect their superiority.

That lead evaporated in additional time at the end of the half when Petti intercepted a pass from scrum-half Cobus Reinach and, showing amazing pace for a lock, scored between the posts.

Bonilla converted and the Pumas led 10-8 at the break despite being on the back foot for much of the opening 40 minutes.

The highlight of the second half was the second Nkosi try on 48 minutes, which gave the Springboks a lead they never surrendered.

Seemingly hemmed in, he beat three Pumas and then dived over Sebastian Cancelliere to raise his Test try tally to seven since debuting last season.