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Salah may feature for Egypt at Paris 2024 Olympics

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Egypt who lost to Morocco in Saturday’s final match of the U23 Africa Cup of Nations are set to include Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in their Paris 2024 Olympic squad.

According to Egyptian newspaper, Ahram, Rogerio Micale, the coach of Egypt’s U-23 team, has expressed his willingness to consider any player over the age of 23, including Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, for the 2024 Paris Olympics squad.

During a television program, Micale revealed that he closely monitors the Egyptian Premier League to determine which players will be selected for the U-23 national team ahead of the Paris Olympics.

He emphasized that the door is open for all players and encouraged them to perform well to catch the attention of professional clubs.

The 54-year-old tactician led Egypt to secure a place in the 2024 Paris Olympics and reach the final game of the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, where they lost to Morocco.

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“I am doing my best to choose the young players who will participate in the upcoming Olympics,” Micale said. According to Olympic rules, each squad can include a maximum of three players over the age of 23. While there is still one year to assess the situation and make decisions, Micale shared his hopes that Mohamed Salah will be one of the three, acknowledging his stature as a prominent player.

“We still have one year to think of the matter and evaluate the situation, but for sure we welcome Salah (..) Salah is a significant as Neymar in Brazil,” the U-23 national team coach added.

Despite their loss to Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations final, Micale assured fans that the team would strive to achieve a medal in the Olympic Games.

Egypt, Morocco and Mali will represent Africa as the top three teams from the Africa Cup of Nations in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

 

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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.

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Olympics

Guinea Olympic team beat Argentina in friendly duel

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Africa’s fourth team at the men’s football event of the Paris 2024, Guinea has beaten former Olympic gold and silver medallists, Argentina 1-0 in a friendly match at the weekend. Argentina, winners over Nigeria in 2008 and silver medallists in 1996 will feature in Group B alongside Morocco, Iraq and Ukraine.

Mohamed Soumah scored the winning goal for Guinea in the 72nd minute. Nicolás Otamendi’s teammates in Argentina tried to come back to the score but the Guineans held on until the end of the match.

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France rejected many Paris Games accreditation requests over security fears

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Paris 2024 Olympics - Paris 2024 Olympics Preview - Paris, France - July 21, 2024 Soldiers board a barge ahead of the Olympics REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

French security services rejected more than 4,000 applications for Paris 2024 Olympics accreditations, including over espionage and cyberattack concerns, the country’s caretaker interior minister said on Sunday.

Gerald Darmanin said French authorities have so far checked close to one million accreditation requests for the Games that kick off on July 26 and had rejected 4,340 people, some over radical Islamist connections or suspicion of being foreign spies.

Close to one hundred were rejected over espionage fears or concerns they were agents trying to get an accreditation using a different profession.

“They are probably not there to carry out attacks. But in addition to intelligence and traditional espionage, there is the possibility of accessing entry points into computer networks to carry out a cyberattack,” Darmanin told the weekly Journal du Dimanche.

He said they had applied as journalists or technical staff and their countries of origin were Russia and Belarus, among others, which he did not name.

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“For example, we refused a large number of ‘journalists’ who claimed to cover the Games. On the other hand, we accepted the presence of Russians who work for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). We apply the precautionary principle,” he said.

Russian journalists have been allowed to get accredited for the Games and have already arrived in the French capital.

Paris will be deploying 45,000 security personnel to guarantee the safety of the Games and its unique opening ceremony along the river Seine where athletes will float on barges past hundreds of thousands of spectators.

Organisers have reduced the initial number of spectators from 600,000 to around 300,000.

“To our knowledge, we have no known threat to the security of the Olympic Games,” Darmanin said.

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“In the past days I did a new reconnaissance by boat on the Seine with the police. I confirm that the ceremony will take place in the format announced by the President of the Republic.”

“Apart from the flow of the river and the low risk of bad weather, there is – to date – no identified threat to the Games. Neither our intelligence services nor the foreign services with which we coordinate have detected any foreign threat. But you have to stay very humble and focused.”

-Reuters

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Tech outage was good test for Paris Games systems, says IOC

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Paris 2024 Olympics - International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Press Conference - Main Press Centre, Paris, France - July 20, 2024 Spokesperson's Services Director, Mark Adams during a press conference REUTERS/Marko Djurica 

A global tech outage that affected operations in many sectors and also hit parts of the Paris Olympics operations proved to be a good test ahead of the Games, the International Olympic Committee said on Saturday.

A software update by global cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, one of the largest operators in the industry, triggered systems problems that grounded flights, forced broadcasters off air and left customers without access to services such as healthcare or banking.

It also affected some operations of the organisers of the Paris Games.

“Yes there were some significant problems on the morning but it was pretty well dealt with,” said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams. “It was quite a good rehearsal.”

The Paris Games open on July 26. This was not the first time the Olympics were affected by tech failure or attack, with the Pyeongchang 2018 winter Olympics having been a target of cyberattacks.

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“Cyberattacks are part of everyone’s daily lives. The Olympic Games are a huge target obviously,” Adams said.

“We have a huge amount of safeguards in place. I would not go into detail even if I could explain it. We have been assured by our people and partners that we are very, very prepared.”

“You can never be too prepared. We had a close call in Pyeonghchang. We have every confidence we know how to deal with it.”

While praising preparation for the Games, Adams said France’s bid for the 2030 winter Games to be voted on in the IOC session next week had been discussed at the IOC executive board on Saturday.

The bid which was picked in June by the IOC executive board as its recommendation to the session next week, has still not provided two key guarantees that are needed for its approval.

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One of the guarantees still to be delivered is the public partnership contribution from the two regions. The French bid involves the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur regions.

“Yes this topic was touched on (at the executive board on Saturday,” Adams said.

France 2030 will be part of a two-Games vote by the session that also involves Salt Lake City as hosts of the 2034 winter Games.

“(France 2030) A great proposal. It will be on the agenda on Wednesday (at the session),” he said, but added that political turmoil in France in recent weeks had played a role.

“The difficult political situation makes it a bit more difficult. We still have some working days left to go and I urge you to wait until then.”

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-Reuters

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