Connect with us

CAF Champions League

Gulf Crisis Surfaces in CAF; Al Ahly Coach fined, Suspended

Published

on

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

The crisis in the Gulf region which has seen some Arab countries breaking ties with Qatar has snowballed into the football arena in Africa. The first victim is Hossam El Badry, the coach of Egyptian giants, Al Ahly.

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has slammed one-match suspension and a fine of 10,000 US Dollars on him for what is described as “violating directives and guidelines related to media operations of the ongoing Total CAF Champions League.

The infringement was committed during the Day 5 and 6 Group D matches against Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco and Coton Sport of Cameroon on June 20 in Casablanca (Morocco) and July 9 in Alexandria (Egypt) respectively.

Sports Village Square gathered that the coach objected to the microphone of beIN Sports, a Qatari sports network which has the sole rights in the Middle East to broadcast tournaments such as the Africa Cup of Nations, the CAF Champions League and the World Cup among others.

Advertisement

The Qatari outfit which also has exclusive rights to the African Champions League and Confederation Cup has been blocked in many Gulf countries over the crisis.

Sports Village Square also gathered that the Egyptian Football Association along with the North African country’s two biggest clubs – Al Ahly and Zamalek – announced that beIN Sports journalists would be barred from covering their games and press conferences.

On the eve of the Champions League match against Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly Head Coach Hossam El Badry objected to the presence of beIN Sports reporters at the pre-match press conference in Casablanca.

Having threatened to walk out, El Badry eventually performed his media duties but clashed with beIN Sports reporters over the positioning of their microphone.

CAF in a media statement on Thursday stated that:  “for the match against Wydad, El Badry left the press conference room “because there was a BeIN Sports microphone. The coach finally participated in the press conference whilst covering the microphone of BeIN Sports to prevent the sound or pushing it away at other times”.
With respect to the game against Coton Sport, “the coach as well as players refused to make an interview with BeIN Sports after the match. The coach did assist in the press conference at the end of the match but the players were not there”.
Meanwhile, the one-match ban is suspended on condition that El Badry is not found guilty of a similar offence until the end of the competition.

Advertisement

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

CAF Champions League

BREAKING: CAF adopts Yoruba name, “Ola” for official match ball!

Published

on

Confederation of African Football, CAF, has adopted a Nigerian language name of its official match ball for the interclubs competitions. Ahead of this weekend’s blockbuster line-up that sees Africa’s top clubs battle for  CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Champions League top honours, the confederation and its matchball producers, PUMA have unveiled a new match ball called “OLA.”

 In a press statement, CAF explains that “OLA,” means “wealth,” “honour,” and “respect” in Yoruba, and “rise” and “success” in Arabic. It explained that the name was chosen to symbolize the dynamic and energetic nature of African football.

Embodying the spirit of Africa, Ola’s design is inspired by the continent’s vibrant colours, art, and traditions.

OLA will be used this weekend – starting in Tunis when Espérance Sportive de Tunis hosts Al Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the  CAF Champions League Final and on Sunday when Zamalek hosts RS Berkane in the second leg of the  CAF Confederation Cup final at the Cairo International Stadium. 

Continue Reading

CAF Champions League

Al Ahly to face Esperance in African Champions League final

Published

on

Ahly, Wydad set for Mundial de Clubes FIFA debut – Sundowns, Esperance eyeing other slots

Defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt will take on perennial rivals Esperance of Tunisia in this year’s African Champions League final after winning their semi-finals on Friday.

Al Ahly, who have won five of the last seven editions and a record 11 in total, overcame TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Cairo and Esperance pulled off a surprise 1-0 win over South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria.

Al Ahly won 3-0 after a goalless draw in the first leg in Lubumbashi for a comfortable aggregate triumph while Esperance’s 20-year-old defender Raed Bouchniba hammered home a clinical shot in the 57th minute to earn the Tunisians a 1-0 away win and 2-0 aggregate victory.

The match was delayed by 70 minutes after a lightning strike in South Africa’s capital knocked out some of the floodlights amid a heavy thunderstorm.

Sundowns won the new African Football League this season and were one of the favourites for the Champions League but fell short of the final for an eighth season in a row.

Advertisement

Esperance’s 20-year-old goalkeeper Amanallah Memmich produced fine saves as the South African forwards fluffed their lines and the win also ensured a place for Esperance in next year’s Club World Cup in the U.S.

Al Ahly took until the 68th minute to break the deadlock against Mazembe when defender Mohamed Abdel-Moneim scored.

Wessam Abou Ali added a second in the 83rd minute, stretching out his leg to apply a clever finish and Akram Tawfiq confirmed their superiority with a stoppage-time third.

Esperance host the first leg of the final on May 18 with the return in Cairo seven days later.

Esperance won the last of their four Champions League titles in 2019 and have been runners-up four times.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

CAF Champions League

CAF Champions League narrows to four teams

Published

on

CAF Champions League Quarter-Finals journey mapped out

From the original 54 teams from 42 countries that began the race last year, the CAF Champions League has now narrowed to four teams as a whopping 50 have been eliminated.

The four elite clubs in the semi-finals are Al Ahly of Egypt, Esperance Sportive de Tunis of Tunisia, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and TP Mazembe of DR Congo.

Title holders and record champions Al Ahly are still on track to defend their title as they beat Simba SC in Cairo to secure their place while four-time winners Esperance Sportive de Tunis were made to labour hard against Asec Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire.

The reigning African Football League (“AFL”) Champions and 2025/16 winners Mamelodi Sundowns were pushed to the end by Tanzania’s Young Africans in South Africa.

Five-time winners TP Mazembe of DR Congo pulled one of the best performances this weekend with a 2-1 away win over Atletico Petroleos of Luanda after the first leg ended goalless.

Advertisement

The semis will be played on home and away basis on 19-20 April 2024 (first leg) with the Second Leg scheduled for 26-27 April 2024.

In the first semi-final, Al Ahly (Egypt) will play TP Mazembe (DR Congo) in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.  Esperance Sportive de Tunis will play Mamelodi Sundowns in the second semi-final.

CAF will announce the dates and kick-off dates in due course.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed