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CAF Confederation Cup

Sportsville Award Winner, Elegbeleye Celebrates Rivers United Confederation Cup Qualification –

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Sportsville Award Winner, Elegbeleye Celebrates Rivers United Confederation Cup Qualification -

Gbenga Elegbeleye, the chieftain of the Nigeria Premier League and winner of the Sports Administrator of the Year category at last Friday’s Sportsville Awards has applauded Rivers United for reaching the quarter finals of the  CAF Confederation Cup.

Rivers United achieved the feat following a 2-1 defeat of Dreams FC of Ghana in the last group fixture in Uyo on Sunday.

Rivers United finished second behind the Ghanaian side on same points but on inferior goals difference.  Club Africain of Tunisia dropped to third after a 1-1 draw with APC Lobito of Angola.

Elegbeleye who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Premier Football League in a congratulatory message, said their success has added to the recent revival of the nation’s football.

The NPFL Chairman also commended the club for the win which sustained Nigeria’s standing in country ratings in CAF club competitions.

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“The victory of Rivers United and their qualification for the knockout stage is very significant because it has guaranteed Nigeria two places each in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.

“We are very delighted that the Club has sustained the country’s recent good runs in football since the coming of the Ibrahim Gusau led NFF Board”, declared Elegbeleye.

He assured Rivers United of the continued support of the NPFL Board in whichever way its assistance is required to ensure that Nigeria wins the competition.

“Rivers United is a worthy ambassador of the NPFL and we are very proud of their performance which also has rubbed of positively on the quality standard and competitiveness of our league”, continued Elegbeleye.

Rivers United will now face any of the three of USM Alger of Algeria, Zamalek of Egypt or RS Berkane of Morocco in the last eight in a home and away legs knockout games.

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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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CAF Confederation Cup

Zamalek win African Confederation Cup on away goals

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Zamalek claimed the African Confederation Cup on away goals after a 1-0 win over Renaissance Berkane in the second leg thanks to Ahmed Hamdy’s first-half strike on Sunday.

The final ended 2-2 on aggregate following the return in Cairo with the Egyptian giants taking the trophy after scoring an away goal in last Sunday’s 2-1 first leg defeat in Morocco.

Hamdy swept the ball home after 23 minutes when Berkane failed to clear a corner but there were chances for both clubs to add more goals.

The Moroccan side finished down to 10 men when defender Hamza El Moussaoui was sent off in added time.

Sunday’s victory ensured Zamalek’s second success in the Confederation Cup. They beat Berkane on penalties after drawing the 2019 final 1-1 on aggregate.

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Egypt can complete a double in the African club competitions on Saturday when Zamalek’s arch domestic rivals Al Ahly host Esperance of Tunisia in the Champions League final second leg. The first leg in Tunis on Saturday ended goalless.

-Reuters

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CAF Confederation Cup

Shehu Dikko, Okey Obi get important roles at Confederation Cup final match

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The duo of Shehu Dikko and Okey Sylvanus Sylvanus Obi, both Nigerians have been appointed as Match Commissioner and Security Officer in Sunday’s final match of the CAF Confederation Cup in Cairo.

Dikko, the former chieftain of the governing body of the Nigeria Premier League is already in Cairo for the final match which pitches Zamalek SC against visiting Morocco’s RS Berkane.

Also already is Okey Obi is in Cairo. He is also the chief legal officer at the Nigeria Football Federation.  

The referee of the match is Issa SY. He handled the quarter-final match of Nigeria and  Angola in the Africa Cup of Nations last February. He will be assisted by compatriots, Djibril Camara and Nouha Bangoura. The fourth official is  Omar Abdulkadir Artan of Somalia.

  The Referee Assessor is Victor Miguel de Freitas Gomes of South Africa while  Joshua Robert Knipp, also of South Africa, is the General Coordinator for the match.

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The Video Assistant Referee is Pierre Ghislain Atcho of Gabon. Aliou Goloko of Senegal the initially designated Media Officer who was reportedly unavailable, has been replaced by Egypt’s Mohamed Elsesy.

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CAF Champions League

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

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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. 

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