Russia 2018: Nigeria and Tunisia record draws in respective warm-ups

Two African sides heading to the World Cup starting mid-June played warm up fixtures yesterday. Both the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Desert Foxes of Tunisia settled for draws in their respective g

Two African sides heading to the World Cup starting mid-June played warm up fixtures yesterday. Both the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Desert Foxes of Tunisia settled for draws in their respective games.



Nigeria held at home by DRC



Nigeria conceded a late penalty and were held to a 1-1 draw by the Democratic Republic of Congo in a friendly in Port Harcourt planned to give them a fitting send-off to next month’s tournament in Russia.



Nigeria, who head to Europe to continue their preparations with a game against England on Saturday, took a 15th-minute lead through Dutch-born defender William Troost Ekong.



But they gave away a spot-kick in the 78th minute which striker Ben Malomgo converted for the equaliser. Nigeria will also play a friendly against the Czech Republic before they head to Russia, where they face Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D.



How Tunisia rallied to score twice against Portugal



Portugal’s defensive frailties were again exposed as Tunisia hit back from two goals behind to hold the European champions to a 2-2 draw in a World Cup warm-up on Monday.



Portugal, who rested captain and leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo after he played in Saturday’s Champions League final for Real Madrid, went ahead through an Andre Silva header from Ricardo Quaresma’s pinpoint cross in the 22nd minute.



Midfielder Joao Mario doubled the lead when he rifled in a shot from outside the penalty area and Portugal, who face Spain, Morocco and Iran in their World Cup group, seemed to be in control.



The cracks began to appear five minutes later, however, when Anice Badri was left alone inside the penalty area to fire past Anthony Lopes and pull one back for Tunisia who face England, Panama and Belgium in their World Cup group.



Portugal’s defence imploded in their previous game, a 3-0 friendly defeat by the Netherlands in March, and gave coach Fernando Santos more cause for concern in the 64th minute.



They failed to properly clear a free kick and when the ball was played back in, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef got between four defenders to slide the ball home with the hosts appealing in vain for offside.



REUTERS

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CAF releases nearly CFA120 million for member states

CAF has issued out cheque of more than 6,393 million CFA francs for its association members.

After FIFA, CAF has issued out cheques for its association members. The continental football body will urgently release more than 6,393 million CFA francs. Each federation will receive nearly 120 million. A subsidy to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The health situation is still worrisome and is disrupting the whole of African football. Some championships have come to a standstill, others are waiting without being really sure when to resume.

And in the face of this crisis, FIFA is stepping up its initiatives to support the recovery of the world’s leagues. A risk assessment tool has been made available to the Confederations and Federations to ensure the safety of the players. More details to follow in this programme, coming up just after this short break

Nigeria's Ighalo on 'lockdown' at Man United till January 2021

Man United made an official announcement via a statement posted on its website.

Nigerian international Odion Ighalo’s loan to Manchester United has been extended until January 2021. The club made an official announcement via a statement posted on its website.

The news ends widespread speculations that he was due to return to his parent club Shanghai Shenhua with the expiry of his contract.

His contract was initially due to end on 31 May but he will now remain with the Reds until 31 January 2021, enabling him to build an impressive start to life with the club he supported as a boy.

Ighalo had pushed to stay but the Chinese club appeared adamant till now. The club have now accepted United’s conditions to extend the loan.

Earlier today, he posted a photo with the caption: “Happy new month Fams.” He has in his time at Old Trafford, played eight games, scored four times and provided an assist.

Fans on social media are celebrating the extension for the first Nigerian to feature for the club which is widely supported across Africa’s most populous nation.

Kenya's David Rudisha undergoes ankle surgery

Since 2016, Rudisha has competed sporadically. He only raced four times in 2017, and did not compete in 2018, 2019 or 2020. He hopes to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Two-time Olympic 800-meter champion David Rudisha underwent surgery on his left ankle on Thursday after fracturing it while walking on uneven ground at his home in Kilgoris in rural Narok County, Kenya, last week.

“The surgery was carried out by Kenyan team doctor and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Victor Bargoria,” reported Rudisha’s manager, Michel Boeting of one4one Sports in the Netherlands.

He continued: “During a walk on the compound the 31-year-old stepped on uneven ground, and initially believed it was not a serious injury. He continued with exercises that wouldn’t cause further harm to his ankle but after a lack of improvement over the weekend, he underwent an examination and was diagnosed with an ankle fracture at St. Luke’s hospital in Eldoret.”

Boeting says that Rudisha will be out of training for 12 to 16 weeks.

Rudisha won his first Olympic title in London in 2012 in what many consider to be the greatest 800-meter race ever held. Running from the front, he set a new world record of 1:40.91, a mark which still stands nearly eight years later.

Rudisha was able to defend his title in Rio in 2016, running his fastest time of the year of 1:42.15, beating Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi by nearly half a second.

Since 2016, Rudisha has competed sporadically. He only raced four times in 2017, and did not compete in 2018, 2019 or 2020. He hopes to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Agencies

Rwanda, Gambia quit as Burundi resumes [Football Planet]

End of the season on mainland with the list getting longer.

End of the season on mainland with the list getting longer. The Gambia and Rwanda quit after more than two months. Meanwhile, Burundi has resumed and Tanzania is expected to follow soon.

The African transfer market is under threat over COVID-19 and fears of a financial crisis. The stoppage of competitions is a hard blow for clubs, footballers and player representatives. We speak to a players’ agent, Adama Ndiaye.

And will the 2022 Worlc Cup in Qatar be as attractive as hoped? Qatari authorities are trying to reassure the world. They’ve promised an affordable World Cup, despite the high cost of living in the emirate.

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

CAF begins early payments to 32 clubs featuring on continental fixtures

Good news to the clubs featuring this season in African interclub. CAF decided to pay the quotas earlier than expected

Caf release funds to respective clubs

Good news to the clubs featuring this season in African interclub. CAF decided to pay the quotas earlier than expected. A great relief to the teams facing uncertainty linked to the Covid-19.

CAF will soon meet to discuss precisely on the possibility of a continuation of the season.

Senegalese league to resume in November

Senegal is determined to continue the already suspend league to the end of the season. The Federation has scheduled a return to competition in November after a unanimous decision.

Ajax crowned player of the year

The Moroccan striker has been named the Ajax player of the season for the third consecutive year. A nice farewell gift before joining Chelsea this summer.