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CAF Confederation Cup

USM Alger’s coach  resigns over jersey controversy

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Spanish coach Juan Carlos Garrido has announced his resignation from coaching Algerian club USM Alger, Moroccan channel Medi1 TV reported. Garrido made the announcement in an exclusive statement to the channel.

Garrido’s decision comes after the African Football Confederation’s club committee announced the elimination of USM Alger from the CAF Confederation Cup. 

The Algerian team decided to withdraw from the second leg game of the CAF Confederation Cup semi-final against Morocco’s RS Berkane last week.

As a result, CAF penalized USM Alger with a forfeit, awarding RS Berkane a 3-0 victory by default and securing their place in the tournament’s final against Egyptian club Zamalek.

This comes in the wake of a controversy that began when Algerian authorities confiscated RS Berkane’s equipment after they landed in Algiers for the first leg of their semi-final match against USM Alger. 

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The Algerian authorities notably confiscated the Moroccan club’s jerseys for featuring the full Moroccan map with the Western Sahara region. 

Despite efforts by CAF to mediate the issue and assert the legitimacy of RS Berkane’s jerseys, the Algerian authorities refused to return the confiscated items.

This resulted in the match’s abandonment and CAF declaring RS Berkane winners of the first leg with a 3-0 scoreline.

In the subsequent second leg, scheduled to take place in Morocco, USM Alger opted to withdraw from the match, further fueling the controversy. 

CAF subsequently penalized USM Alger with a forfeit, awarding RS Berkane a 3-0 victory and eliminating the Algerian team from the tournament.

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Medi1 TV reported Garrido as indicating that he had no direct involvement in the jersey controversy and that his primary concern was solely focused on football matters. 

The report added that the coach had expressed disapproval of the events surrounding the jersey dispute and emphasized his dedication to the game and his discomfort with being embroiled in off-field controversies.

-Morocco World News

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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