Africa Sports News

Russians to take no part in World Cup drug testing:FIFA

Africa Sports - 18 hours 54 min ago
A 2016 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and compiled by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren found more than 1,000 Russian competitors were involved in a conspiracy to conc
Categories: Africa Sports News

Dodging UN and US designations: Hafez Saeed maintains utility for Pakistan and China

Africa Sport Reddit - 20 hours 18 min ago

By James M. Dorsey

A recent upsurge in insurgent activity in Kashmir likely explains Pakistani and Chinese reluctance to crackdown on internationally designated militant Hafez Saeed and the network of groups that he heads.

So does the fact that Mr. Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, an outlawed, India-focused ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim group widely seen as one of South Asia’s deadliest, have assisted Pakistani intelligence and the military in countering militants like Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban, that have turned against Pakistan itself.

Lashkar-e-Taiba has also been useful in opposing nationalist insurgents in Balochistan, a key node in China's Belt and Road initiative. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $50 billion plus China investment in Pakistani infrastructure and energy, is the initiative’s single largest cost post with the Baloch port of Gwadar as its crown jewel.

The United States has put a $10 million bounty on the head of Mr. Saeed, who is believed to lead Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as well as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an alleged LeT front, and is suspected of being the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is "not only useful, but also reliable. (Its)...objectives may not perfectly align with the security establishment’s objectives, but they certainly overlap," says international security scholar Stephen Tankel.

The links between Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Pakistani security establishment are reflected in the fact that the group has recruited in some of the same areas as the military and that some former military officers have joined the group.

The relationship is reinforced by a fear in parts of Pakistan's security establishment that the group’s popularity, rooted partly in social services provided by its charity arm, would enable it to wage a violent campaign against the state if the military and intelligence were to cut it loose.

So far, Pakistan with tacit Chinese backing appear to see mileage in the group’s existence as a pinprick in India’s side even if creating the perception of greater distance to the security establishment has become a more urgent necessity because of international pressure.

One way of doing so, is the apparent backing of Pakistani intelligence and the military of Mr. Saeed’s efforts to enter the political mainstream by securing registration of a political party in advance of elections expected in July. Pakistan’s election commission has so far held back on the application.

Speaking to the Indian Express, Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for Pakistan’s intelligence service, Inter-Services Intelligence, said that “anything (Mr. Saeed) does, other than violence, is good. There is a process in Pakistan for anyone to participate in politics. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has its rules and laws. If he (Mr. Saeed) fulfils all those requirements that is for the ECP to decide.”

Indian officials are not so sure. In a world in which demarcations between various militant groups are blurred, Indian intelligence expects a spike in attack in Kashmir this summer as a result of Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives joining groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).

Twenty-two security personnel and six civilians were either killed or injured in seven attacks in Kashmir in the first five weeks of this year. India said Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for an attack in March on soldiers and policemen in which three Army personnel, two policemen, and five militants were killed. Another 20 were killed in clashes in April between Lashkar-e-Taiba and security forces.

Lashkar-e-Taiba’s utility notwithstanding, Pakistan and China are discovering that engagement with militants is never clean cut. Decades of Pakistani support of often Saudi-backed ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim militants has woven militancy into the fabric of militancy into segments of the military, intelligence, bureaucracy and the public.

“A military–mullah–militant nexus has existed for several decades in Pakistan. During this time, the Pakistani military has used religious and political parties connected, directly or indirectly, to various militant outfits as political proxies,” Mr. Tankel said.

National security expert S. Paul Kapur and political scientist Sumit Ganguly noted that “the Pakistan-militant nexus is as old as the Pakistani state. From its founding in 1947 to the present day, Pakistan has used religiously motivated militant forces as strategic tools… Supporting jihad has been one of the principal means by which the Pakistani state has sought to produce security for itself.”

Decades later, the strategy is backfiring. Concern of increased domestic violence if Pakistan were to cut its links to militants and crackdown on them irrespective of their utility is heightened by the fact many of the groups operate either with no regard for the concerns of the security establishment or with the unsanctioned support of individual military and intelligence officials.

That is believed to have been the case in a string of sectarian attacks in Balochistan by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), ultra-conservative, anti-Shiite Sunni Muslim militants, in which hundreds of Shiites have been killed. China has also been a target of militants in Balochistan.

The spike in sectarian attacks prompted a military crackdown earlier this month. “While such intelligence-based operations are vital, they deal with the symptoms rather than the disease,” cautioned Dawn newspaper.

Speaking in September last year in New York when he was still foreign minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif acknowledged that Mr. Saeed and other Pakistani-backed militants have become liabilities. But even so, Mr. Asif appeared to be looking for wiggle room.

“I accept that they are liabilities but give us time to get rid of them because we don't have the assets to match these liabilities,” Mr. Asif said.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and co-host of the New Books in Middle Eastern Studies podcast. James is the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title as well as Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario, Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa, and the forthcoming China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom

submitted by /u/assousa to r/pakistan
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Categories: Africa Sports News

Find Your World Cup Roots!...Except for you Africans..

Africa Sport Reddit - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 20:27

I just saw depressingly suggestive World Cup commercial sponsored by Fox Sports 23andMe (I'm not sure what I expected..). The gist is that everybody is connected to a World Cup nation through their DNA.

Maybe I'm butthurt that Cameroon won the African Cup of Nations and somehow didn't make it into the World Cup, or maybe I'm just a hypersensitive, liberal, beta, cuck, but I was caught off guard that NO African nations are referenced in this commercial! Considering all the African players throughout the history of the sport and currently ballers, for this commercial to not include any seems like a conscious choice to exclude African nations, ESPECIALLY considering the market in the US for African ancestry testing. A black lady is shown but her "ancestry" nation is France, which seems like it's only included to "include the blacks" reinforcing the slavery narrative that there is are acknowledgeable connections back to Africa for present day members of the African diaspora.

I know many first generation Americans of Nigerian heritage that would've loved to see a shout out, but I can also understand the financial aims of a company like Fox to market to its target demographic of wipepo in America. Am I thinking too hard on this?

submitted by /u/bubbabrotha to r/Blackfellas
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Categories: Africa Sports News

[Photos] Africa's World Cup presidents who hosted the golden trophy

Africa Sports - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 16:39
We specifically look at African presidents of participating nations who had the privilege of hosting and hoisting the trophy during its stop – in this context we look at Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari
Categories: Africa Sports News

Ghana football association stands by president amid corruption probe

Africa Sports - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 16:13
His arrest and subsequent bail is linked to a yet to be released investigative documentary by an investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Categories: Africa Sports News

5 Months of ADOPTION! -- NANO accepted here! (9)

Africa Sport Reddit - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 13:12

Adoption is crucial! Adoption is king!

ATTENTION: The new Reddit design has screwed up the correct counting in here.

If you switch to the old Reddit design, you will realize, that I am able to count from 1 to over 130.

Dear online merchants,

Please state visibly that you accept NANO and I will be glad to link you here. As a customer I would like to learn about this payment option before having worked my way through to checkout. At the same time this is a great opportunity to advertise NANO as a currency ... on more than 130 sites so far!

Examples: 01, 02, 03, 04.

INTRO 1 (May 24, 2018)

After 5 months of adoption we are counting at least 136 shops / options to spend NANO.

This means a current growth rate of 1.1 shops per day.

NANO has been accepted so far in the US, CZ, GER, UK, CAN, AUS, BRA, FRA, AT, NL, TUR, PH, NZ, JP, RU + CW (Curaçao)

UPDATED COUNTER: 136 shops / options — growth rate: 1.1 / day.

NANO Media Kit - logos for websites, apps, etc.,

NANO Wallpapers,

New shop? Please post below or PM me and link me to your NANO sign on your site.


1) This is the follow-up on

2) Please also find five other directories here:

a) USE NANO, (bye, bye Spend RaiBlocks!)


c) Nano Acceptance on Google Maps,

d) all.things.nano,

e) NANO is FAST,

The NANO Reddit Directory


-- Hopefully in correct chronological order. -- Shop at your own risk!

Dec 24, 2017

1) Made by Docs, US, natural toothpaste, (Were you #1?)

2) Josh’s Jungle!, US, salts & fresh peppers, (Were you #1?)

3) Growing Opportunities International (GO!), US, donations, (Were you #1?)

4) BlockFevr, closed,

5) RaiGames, US, Social RaiBlocks Gambling, -- (Be careful with gambling!) WARNING:

6) RaiDots, US, game,

7) smallsound/bigsound, US, guitar pedals,

8) Medbooks.CZ, CZ, used medical books classifieds,

9) Late Apex, US, T-Shirts, mugs, phone cases:

Jan 09, 2018

10) Naturkost Leiferde, GER, organic food,

Jan 10, 2018

11) RauchRoad, US, sunglasses,

12), US, headphones,

What this shop has learned from accepting NANO:

Jan 14, 2018

13) Wild und Frei –, GER, headshop,

14) Hitsteps, US, realtime website analytics,

15) PexPeppers, US, hot sauce,

16) Rah Straps, CAN, handmade camera straps,

17) The Series One Shop, AUS, parts for real Land Rovers,

Jan 15, 2018

18) SF BMW CODING; US, BMW coding,

19) Scott Mills, US, art,

20) Desert Island Survival, US, desert island survival courses,

21) Sekerka Tomáš, CZ, art,

22) Lindleys Autocentres, UK, car services,

23) Imaginaire Digital, UK, web design agency,


Jan 16, 2018

24) Grow Kit, CAN, grow shop,

Jan 21, 2018

25) Half Moon Mods, US, vape shop,

Jan 23, 2019

26) Vape Club International, Malaysian vape juices and e-liquids,

27) XRB Life, US, buy anything from eBay with Raiblocks,

28) Doppel Store, Brasil, online store,

29) DONGA, France, interior,

30) Cryptodesign, US, cryptocurrency-related artwork,

Jan 25, 2018

31) Fermentation Culture, AT, shop for Koji spores,

32) Irische Nacht, GER, Irish music night,

33) Tony's Eliquid Co., US, vape lemonade flavors,

34) Love At Every Sight, US, personalized cards and wine labels,

Jan 26, 2018

35) PPC Protect, US, protection against click fraud,

36) EDGEWORTH, US, design company,

37) D.o.A-C., Department of Art-Cryptomancy, US, Cryptomancy is, generally, a magical act intended to interface with the blockchain. This is not done simply for financial gain, but in fact more generally: to steward mystical and numinous interactions with the blockchain.

Jan 27, 2018

38) ACL CREATIVE STUDIO, US, film and book distribution, branding, editorial design,

Jan 29, 2018

The Copper Hat, CAN, quality wet shaving supplies,

Jan 30, 2018

39) Domein-Direct, NL, webhosting & more,

Jan 31, 2018

40) WK|END EYEWEAR, US, party sunglasses,

Feb 2, 2018

41) Crypto Audio Club, US, erphones & erbuds,

Feb 5, 2018

42) Brisbane Tech Repairs, AUS, Brisbane's first cryptocurrency friendly IT service!,

43) Online language teacher,

44), US, NANO merchandise,

45) Bitcoin Psychic, US, live psychic readings by phone, text and chat,

Feb 12, 2018

46) LUCKY NANO, US, online poker,

47) LEYLAND, US, women's activewear,

Feb 13, 2018

48) MEMTO, NL, personally made memorials,

49) GPS Tracking Made Easy, US, GPS tracking devices for regular people and small businesses,

50) Korbinian Vogt, GER, special photo prints,

Feb 14, 2108

51) SomaVita, US, ElevatePlus, supplement,

Feb 16, 2018

52) Textracto, US, turns articles into data,

53) CUT ALL THE SHIT, US, bullshit-free web hosting company,

54) AZEWATE, TUR, metalworks shop,

Feb 18, 2018

55) SLYDEV, AUS, 3D printed nerf accessories,

Feb 19, 2018

56) The Milk Road, US, coffee roaster,

57) Work for NANO, US, Make It, Sell It And Earn Nano,

Feb 23, 2018

58) 1up coin, Accept Cryptocurrencies on your Stream! By using Twitch/YouTube, StreamLabs/StreamElements & Coinbase APIs we make it easy for you to accept Cryptocurrency donations!,

59), is a service for Twitch streamers and their viewers.

60) NANO THINGS, US, everything NANO,

Feb 24, 2018

61) Pure Nootropics, US, pure nootropics,

62) STRUCTGLASS, AUS, Australia’s safest structural glass balustrade system,

63) Daniel R. Treccia, US, Innovative Books in Sports Performance and Exercise Immunology,

Feb 25, 2018

64) Mentevagante, freelance artist and musician,

65) Hamburg Maths Tutors, GER, Hamburg Maths Tutors,

66) Digital Media Design, UK, digital media design,

67) OB Club, US, non-profit medical marijuana delivery service,

68) Blade + Brow, US, Korean 6D Nanoblading (;-)), freckling, and hairlines,

69) Voetbal Quiz, NL, online football quizzes (in Dutch),

70) Cryptogirls, US, sexy shows,

Feb 26, 2018

71) Guess Winner, sports bets,

March 01, 2018

72) Cryptimber, UK, NANO wood art,

March 02, 2018

73) Wit Working, BRA, coworking space in shared environments,

74) Moriarti Watches, US, watches,

75) VPN Into China, VPN service to access chinese websites with ip restrictions in China,

March 03, 2018

76) Laser Trees, US, jewelery,

77) Kaizen, GER, sports socks,

78) Healthy Harvest, US, hydroponics and horticultural supplies,

79) Be A Little Chaotic, US, T-shirts, hats,

80) NANO is FAST, US, "PAY WITH NANO" stickers,

March 04, 2018

81) CoinSpec, US, hardware wallets,

82) Gecko Vapes, UK, Vaping and E-Liquids,

83) Sara Carli, US, art, contemporary realism in oil,

84) Black Block Research, US, 'On-Chain Investment Intelligence', research, analysis and insights into the cryptocurrency markets,

85) Luckygames, US, gambling,

86) ThinkHODL, US, crypto merchandise,

87) Canadian Bitcoin Giftcard, CAN, electronic gift cards,

March, 10, 2018

88) PINOY GAME STORE, PH, online game store,

89) mae., US, websites: design & branding,

90), service to spin up one's own Nano representative,

March 12, 2018

91) Shillshack, crypto decals and T-Shirts, US,

92) Astral Clouds, vape juice, US,

93) APShaveCo, US, unique knots and brushes,

94) BINARY CABIN, US, custom web applications, employee management, CRM systems,

95) betNANO, US, NANO lottery,

96) NANO Poker, online poker,

March 16, 2018

97) HODLFORK, US, cryptocurrency enamel pin collection,

98) WOODLAND SHADES, US, sunglasses, watches,

Please read this:

March 21, 2018

99) Xenogifts, Free games, gift cards and more,

100), NZ, E-Liquids,

101) RISING SUN RECORDS, JP, records,

102) Crypto Apparel Company, UK, apparel,

March 29, 2018

103) NANO meetups, NANO meetups info, best "NANO accepted here" sign so far,

April 02, 2018

104) VPWR, US, apparel,

105) nanoboxes (= NANO-digital-ebay), buy and sell your digital products with Nano,


April 24, 2018

106) InkHip, US, apparel,

April, 26, 2018

107) The Crypto Factory, NANO Collectible Coin,

April 30, 2018

108) Vityaz-Hotel, RU, hotel on Crimea,

May 01, 2018

109) Dreamlandmagic, US, Magic Shop,

May 14, 2018

110) SatoshiMarket, US, embroidered polos,

May 22, 2018

111), CW (Curaçao), sports & esports betting,


Jan 4, 2018

First recorded purchase with XRB/NANO: — 1 XRB bought 1 jar of toothpaste!

Jan 10 & 11, 2018

Second & third recorded purchase with XRB/NANO:

— Audio-Technica DSR7BT headphones sent to Mikael in Finland (claimed on March 13)

— 2 shock absorbers for a Land Rover for 1.5 XRB, (from the deep archives: )

Jan 12, 2018

Fourth purchase with XRB/NANO: — First album ever sold for XRB/NANO,

Jan 20, 2018

Purchase #5 and #6: It's toothpaste and peppers!

Jan 20, 2018

Purchase #7: -- It's sunglasses!

Jan 22, 2018

Purchase #8 -16: "So far there have been 8 or 9 successful XRB payments" for hot sauces:

Jan 26, 2018

Purchase #17: vape lemonade flavors,


Documenting purchases with RaiBlocks:


Jan 21, 2018

1) RAI MARKETPLACE, RaiBlocks MarketPlace,

Jan 23, 2018

2) BlockVerse, RaiBlocks MarketPlace,

3) BITLIT, open marketplace for buying and selling items/services online,

4) NANO LISTING, US, marketplace where you can list goods and services for NANO,

5) OpenBazaar, Planning stage,


1) Ymir, US, multiplayer game,

2) KeeperRl, ambitious dungeon builder with roguelike elements,

3) CoinAudit, US, CryptoCurrency App,

4) RaiBlocks App, US, Price, Graph, News,


1) First rent paid with RaiBlocks:


Anyone out there?


1) BrainBlocks, simple checkout for RaiBlocks,

How to integrate a NANO gateway via BrainBlocks to your website (Programmers Guide)

2) RaiWire -- The aim of RAIWIRE is to provide a service that makes integration as easy as possible for webshop merchants:

Please find detais here:

3) GetXRB Start accepting RaiBlocks payments for your business -- GetXRB is an API for generating XRB invoices on the fly. --

4) RaiPay for WooCommerce, WooCommerce payment gateway plugin that allows your customers to pay with RaiBlocks via RaiPay,

5) DoRaiMe, simple RaiBlocks donations.

6) More:

7) RaiBlocks Charts:

8) BrainBlocks Shopware Integration,

9) ArrowPay. Use ArrowPay's prebuilt plugins and tools to quickly and easily start accepting RaiBlocks on your website.

10) Vaulty, one link for all accepted cryptos on your site,

11) python based program that displays the merchant's receive address as a QR code for the customer to scan, as well as displaying the transaction details in both FIAT and Crypto. More details:

Coming soon

Yuta, providing elegant cryptocurrency payments,

Not sure if this site is safe!!

Regular edits & updates.

Please let me know, in case I have forgotten anyone. Thanks.

submitted by /u/Koba7 to r/nanocurrency
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Categories: Africa Sports News

Tour d’Italie: Domenico Pozzovivo, la discrétion et l’efficacité

RFI Sports Africa - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 09:35
Le Transalpin Domenico Pozzovivo, 35 ans, actuellement 3e du Tour d’Italie, est en train de réaliser sa meilleure performance sur le Giro qu’il a découvert en 2005. Après la déconvenue de son compatriote Fabio Aru, le voilà qui porte tous les espoirs des tifosi.
Categories: Africa Sports News

Team Preview: Brazil [2018 World Cup 17/32]

Africa Sport Reddit - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 08:00

Welcome back to the r/soccer World Cup Preview series! Today, we'll be discussing Brazil with /u/DarkNightSeven!

Brazil About
  • Nicknames: Seleção (Selection), Canarinho (originating from yellow bird Canário)

  • Association: Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (Brazilian Football Confederation)

  • Confederation: CONMEBOL (South America)

  • Appearances: 21st — All-time record

  • Qualification method: 1st in CONMEBOL qualifying stage

  • Best Finish: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002) — All-time record

  • Most Caps: Cafu (149)

  • Top Scorer: Pelé (77)

  • FIFA Ranking: 2nd

The Country

Brazil (officially, Federative Republic of Brazil) is a country located in South America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 208 million people, it is one of the largest, and most populous countries in the world. It is also the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas.


Official history tells us that football was brought to Brazil by Charles William Miller. A Brazilian with English parents, he found out about the sport while he was studying in Southampton. And once he was back in Brazil, he brought two footballs with himself.

The first Brazilian national team was formed in 1914. Played their first game against Exeter City, at Fluminense's stadium (Laranjeiras), and the result of that match is disputed. Some say Brazil won 2-0, others (particularly the English media) claim that the match ended in a 3-3 draw.

Brazil also played against Argentina twice in that same year. The first match was a friendly, and the second one was played officially, for the Copa Roca. Brazil won 1-0 in Buenos Aires, and that ended up being the first trophy conquered by the Brazilians.

The first relevant tournament won was in 1919, the South American championship (which is now named Copa America). Brazil was playing at home and won it after beating Uruguay.

At that time, the national team was controled by CBD (Confederação Brasileira de Desportos), which was the entity responsible for the organization of sports in Brazil. The creation of the current CBF only came in 1979, when FIFA ruled that there should be an association with all its purpose directed to the developing of football.

Brazil have taken part in every World Cup thus far, being the only nation to do so.

World Cups participations*

World Cup Result Uruguay 1930 First group stage Italy 1934 First round France 1938 Third place Brazil 1950 Final round Switzerland 1954 Quarter-finals Sweden 1958 Champions Chile 1962 Champions England 1966 Group stage Mexico 1970 Champions West Germany 1974 Fourth place Argentina 1978 Second group stage Spain 1982 Second group stage Mexico 1986 Quarter-finals Italy 1990 Round of 16 United States 1994 Champions France 1998 Second place South Korea/Japan 2002 Champions Germany 2006 Quarter-finals South Africa 2010 Quarter-finals Brazil 2014 Fourth place

*The format of the World Cup has changed a lot over the years. For instance, "First group stage" is not the same thing as being eliminated at the "Group stage". The "first" part indicates that there was more than one group stage in that World Cup.

Group E Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Brazil 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Costa Rica 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Serbia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Manager

Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, or Tite, as he is commonly known, is a former football player. His career was ended prematurely at age 27 due to successive knee injuries, which caused him to lose mobility in one of the knees. He wanted to continue working with football, and so he decided to take the path of managing. To this day, he has managed several Brazilian clubs, but he is mostly known for his work at Corinthians, where he won two Brazilian league championships (2011, 2015); one Copa Libertadores (2012); one Club World Cup (2012); one São Paulo state league (2013); and one Recopa Sudamericana (2013).

Brazil had to endure multiple bad managers over the last decade. After the 2014 WC, when Felipão was clearly past it - something that was obvious for very long, CBF insisted in having old school managers. Dunga was hired back in, someone who had very little coaching experience aside from managing the National Team.

By the first matches of the CONMEBOL qualifiers for this World Cup, many people thought that it would be the first time ever that Brazil would miss out on a WC. Mid-way, there was the 2016 Copa America Centenario, where Brazil were eliminated on group stages. I remember being on r/soccer at the time, and I was skeptical, I thought CBF - being incompetent the way they are - wouldn't fire Dunga over that elimination. However, I was gladly proven wrong when that happened, and also when Tite was hired.

Since he took over, Brazil went on a magnificent run on the qualifiers, winning 9 in a row. That included: 3-0 against Argentina at home, and also 4-1 vs Uruguay away. There were two draws next, and then Brazil ended the campaign with a 3-0 victory over Chile - which culminated into the Chileans failing to qualify for the World Cup. Brazil was the first nation to guarantee the qualification for the WC, apart from hosts Russia.

Tite's teams are usually recognized for their defensive capacities. That was seen at Corinthians, for example, when built a great defensive staple, which was probably the main factor in leading them to their first Copa Libertadores trophy ever.

Squad and predicted starting XI

Tite disclosed the final 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Player Position Club Caps Alisson Goalkeeper Roma 28 Ederson Goalkeeper Manchester City 14 Cássio Goalkeeper Corinthians 14 Miranda Center back Internazionale 58 Marquinhos Center back Paris-Saint Germain 41 Geromel Center back Grêmio 5 Thiago Silva Center back Paris-Saint Germain 97 Marcelo Left back Real Madrid 78 Filipe Luís Left back Atlético Madrid 53 Danilo Right back Manchester City 29 Fagner Right back Corinthians 15 Casemiro Midfielder Real Madrid 31 Fernandinho Midfielder Manchester City 56 Fred Midfielder Shakhtar Donetsk 12 Paulinho Midfielder Barcelona 56 Philippe Coutinho Midfielder Barcelona 45 Renato Augusto Midfielder Beijing Guoan 28 Willian Midfielder Chelsea 58 Neymar Winger Paris-Saint Germain 88 Douglas Costa Winger Juventus 30 Roberto Firmino Striker Liverpool 28 Gabriel Jesus Striker Manchester City 11 Taison Striker Shakhtar Donetsk 12

There wasn't any real surprise in the squad - apart from maybe the inclusion of Taison. He has been called up by Tite a few times before, but most people weren't expecting him to make the final squad. That last spot was a doubt, since Giuliano could have been the one filling it, as well as Anderson Talisca. Some were disappointed with the non-inclusion of Arthur, but it became known that he is injured - although we can't know if that is what made him not get the call.

Once Dani Alves got injured, there was one spot for the right back available, but it was expected that Fagner would be the one to fill in that role. He's worked with Tite at Corinthians, and has been called up to the NT before.

Starting XI

At the World Cup, Brazil will probably set up differently according to the opponent. The debut against Switzerland may be:


Alisson Danilo Marquinhos Miranda Marcelo Casemiro Paulinho Coutinho Douglas Costa Jesus Neymar

Similar to Brazil's starting XI in the friendly against Russia, but with Neymar back and without Dani Alves, and Marquinhos instead of Thiago Silva.

Coutinho on the midfield means that Brazil will have more offensive power. On the wings, he won't start over Neymar. He could also play in the right- which has happened before, and he even did well - but that would mean to leave Douglas Costa out, and that Coutinho would be on his weak foot.

An example of game where Coutinho was a right winger - against Paraguay. He scored a nice goal drifting from the right to finish with his weak foot.

However - taking into consideration the season that Douglas Costa had with Juve, it's fair to imagine that he would be the one on the right, and Coutinho as a midfielder. Although Coutinho could potentially be a defensive liability, that will not be Brazil's main concern against the likes of Switzerland (no offense), but rather breaking their defensive line.

What could we see against the big dogs?


Alisson Danilo Marquinhos Miranda Marcelo Casemiro Paulinho Fernandinho Willian Jesus Neymar

This one, on the other hand, would be similar to what Brazil lined up in the friendly against Germany, but again with Neymar back, Dani Alves out, and Marquinhos starting.

Willian is on the right instead of Douglas Costa, since he provides more defensive coverage. The left side isn't as offensive as before, since Fernandinho fills up Coutinho's role - it would be hard to have a side of the pitch consisting the likes of Marcelo, Coutinho and Neymar at the same time, that could potentially be a threat for the bigger teams to exploit. Fernandinho provides more stability to that midfield.

I know Coutinho missing out is huge, but he could possibly be used as a super sub. Bringing those fresh legs against tired opposition would be great for Brazil. I can't claim with certainty that that's what Tite will do: to bench Coutinho for a more defensive approach, and then possibly bring him on later on the game, but it's something I can imagine happening, based on the friendly against Germany and Tite's historic.

Players to Watch

Paulinho: Tite was highly contested when he kept calling Paulinho up, since at the time he was playing in China. People kept saying that he was only doing so because they had worked at Corinthians before (which there was some truth to - at Corinthians, Paulinho was a key player under Tite's management). He has been able to shine at the Seleção despite struggling in the start, even managing to score a hat-trick against Uruguay away, which was probably his best game ever in a Brazil shirt, and they won 4-1. His perfomances in China and for Brazil earned him a move to Barcelona in the Summer of 2017. Paulinho is the kind of player to surprise the opposition by sneaking into the attack, when he is capable of turning a chance into a dangerous one, since he offers shooting and passing abilities. Not to mention his defensive workrate, which has been vital for Brazil. This is going to be his second World Cup (first one being in 2014), and Brazilian fans are excited to see how he can perform in Russia.

Gabriel Jesus: He played his first match for the senior NT against Ecuador away, which also was Tite's first match in charge of the Seleção. The striker, who was still a Palmeiras player at that time, showed what he was up to when he scored two goals, helping Brazil win the game for 3-0. Since then, Jesus was crucial in the qualifiers, as well as being one of the best players of the team. He has a very good chemistry especially with Neymar; it was not uncommon to see him assisting a Neymar goal, and vice versa. For that reason, Brazil's attack is probably their most fearful weapon. He will play his first World Cup; however, he has plenty of experiences in the U-20 and U-23 teams, Gabriel took part in the U-20 World Cup in 2015 which Brazil ended as runners-up, and also won the Olympics gold medal in 2016. He doesn't seem to mind the pressure that is to wear Brazil's number 9 shirt, which has been worn by so many great players. Once he became the starter, it was clear that it would remain that way for some time. So, you could still say that he's experienced in the National Team, despite being his first World Cup (obviously, since he was way too young in 2014). We look forward to see him in Russia.

Coutinho: Despite the fact that he earned his first cap for the NT in 2010, this is going to be Coutinho's first World Cup. His versatility will really come in handy for Brazil - as mentioned before, he will not start over Neymar in the left, so it has to be either on the midfield three, with Casemiro and Paulinho, or in the right. Tite will have to work out which position benefits him the most, whilst also keeping stability on the mid, and bearing in mind the opposition - what their approach for the game is going to be, as I have explained before. That said, it is fair to assume that whatever Tite's decision is, we are still going to see the great player that Coutinho is showing up. His offensive abiities are threat for pretty much any team in the world, so opponents have to be careful when dealing with Coutinho.

Discussing points
  • Firmino's role: In spite of the fact that he had a better season, Firmino will most certainly not start over Jesus. The reasoning for that is simple: as mentioned before, Jesus was amazing in the qualifiers. He had 7 goals and 5 assist in 10 games. His partnership with Neymar works really well for the Seleção. However, it remains the question as to what role Firmino will play in this team. Is he going to be subbed on during games? Still, I could see him starting in a scenario like, third game of the group stages, and Brazil has already qualified. Maybe Tite would give him a chance to prove that he can be useful for the team, as he is with Liverpool.

  • The midfield: When Brazil's 23-man squad was named, it seemed a popular opinion that their midfield was "underwhelming". If you compare it to the the attack and defense, then perhaps the midfield is Brazil's weakest area on the field. But that's setting the bar very high: they have arguably the best attack in the world, and a very strong defense that had the record of the least goals conceded (only 11 goals) during the CONMEBOL qualifiers. That said - a midfield three consisting of Casemiro, Paulinho and Coutinho/Fernandinho is balanced, and also a very good one. On paper, it may be on a lower tier compared to the likes of Spain, Germany and France, but it's worked greatly so far. Renato Augusto used to be the starter, but Tite seems to have lost faith in him once his perfomances started to drop in quality. Fernandinho/Coutinho have been the preferred players to pair up with the two guaranteed starters on midfield - Casemiro and Paulinho.

  • Right back: It is undoubtedly Brazil's weakest position. Once Dani Alves got injured, this became even more evident. Tite called Fagner and Danilo for that position. Although I had Danilo on the starting XI, I am still not sure whether it's him who is going to start for Brazil. Even if Danilo is the better player, it seems that Tite puts his trust on Fagner, since they've worked together at Corinthians.

  • Center backs: Miranda and Marquinhos was the pair of starting CBs during most of Tite's tenure. As of the last few friendlies, however, he has tried Thiago Silva instead of Marquinhos, Miranda being the definite starter. I still had Marquinhos starting on the XI, but I cannot claim with certainty that it is going to be that way.

  • Expectations: Ever since Brazil won the Hepta in 2002, there's bigger and bigger expectations each World Cup to see how the team will fare in pursuit of the Hexa. In 2006, for example, Brazil had a extremely stacked squad, with the likes of Ronaldinho, Kaká, Cafu, Lúcio, Roberto Carlos, Adriano, Ronaldo and etc in it. The climate was too relaxed, that feeling of "we're going to win it", but as we well know, football doesn't work that way. Fortunately for Brazil, in 2018 they will have a manager who is extremely focused on his work, and certainly won't let in any feeling of euphoria.

A MASSIVE thank you to /u/DarkNightSeven who quite literally typed all of this up for me! Tomorrow, we'll be discussing Switzerland!

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Categories: Africa Sports News

Japon: Vahid Halilhodzic assigne la Fédération en justice, pour un yen symbolique

RFI Sports Africa - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 04:53
Les avocats de Vahid Halilhodzic ont assigné en justice la Fédération japonaise de football (JFA) et son président Kozo Tashima, réclamant un yen symbolique pour « rétablir l'honneur » de l'ancien sélectionneur de l'équipe nationale, limogé début avril. « La JFA ne veut pas s'expliquer, donc on l'appelle à s'expliquer à la barre », a déclaré Me Lionel Vincent, qui a déposé le dossier à la mi-journée au tribunal de Tokyo. « Nous demandons une lettre d'excuses et un yen symbolique en guise de réparation », a-t-il précisé, un montant dérisoire équivalent à même pas un centime d'euro. Loin d'être une « question d'argent », « objet de cette assignation, c'est de rétablir l'honneur de Vahid », a expliqué l'avocat, jugeant que les motifs invoqués par la JFA pour renvoyer le sélectionneur « étaient diffamatoires et portaient atteinte à son honneur ». Le président de la JFA, Kozo Tashima, a mis en avant des problèmes de communication entre l'entraîneur et des joueurs pour justifier sa décision de congédier le sélectionneur, à seulement deux mois du Mondial en Russie. « Face aux propos tenus par le président Tashima, qui sont inacceptables, je n'ai eu d'autre choix que de donner instruction à mes avocats d'assigner », a souligné Vahid Halilhodzic dans un message transmis jeudi à la presse. Nommé au poste de sélectionneur en mars 2015, le Franco-Bosnien estime avoir rempli sa mission en qualifiant les « Samourai Blues » pour leur sixième Mondial de rang.
Categories: Africa Sports News

Senegal's World Cup squad hopes for Liverpool win in Champions League final

Africa Sports - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 01:17
The captain of the Senegalese provisional World Cup team, Cheikhou Kouyate told reporters as the squad began training in the beach resort of Saly-Portudal that all the players are rooting for their st
Categories: Africa Sports News

What to do with Pakistani militant Hafez Saeed? Pakistan and China grope for ambiguity

Africa Sport Reddit - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 22:59

By James M. Dorsey

Recent remarks by several senior Pakistani officials suggest that Pakistan and China are groping with how to deal with globally designated Pakistani militant Hafez Saeed as the South Asian nation gears up for elections expected in July and risks being next month put on an international terrorism finance and money laundering watchlist.

The Pakistani-Chinese dilemma stems from a China-backed Pakistani refusal to fully implement designations of Hafez Saeed by the United Nations Security Council and the US Treasury.

The United States has put a $10 million bounty on the head of Mr. Saeed, who is believed to lead the outlawed militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as well as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an alleged LeT front, and is suspected of being the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.

Pakistan has repeatedly put Mr. Saaed under house arrest, only to release him on court orders that asserted that there was insufficient evidence against him. The government has half-heartedly sought to seize Jamaat-ud-Dawa assets and prevent it from collecting donations through its charity arm, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation.

Pakistan’s election commission has so far refused to register a political party established by Jamaat-ud-Dawa in advance of the elections. The refusal would not prevent party members from running as independents.

To reduce focus on Mr. Saaed, a senior aide to Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had asked Mr. Abbasi during a meeting on the side lines of last month’s Boao Forum to explore relocating Mr. Saaed to a Middle Eastern country.

“At a 35-minute meeting, at least 10 minutes of the discussion dealt with Saeed. The Chinese President was keen on pressing the Prime Minister to find an early solution to keep Saeed away from the limelight,” The Hindu quoted the aide as saying.

In separate remarks, Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for Pakistan’s intelligence service, Inter Services Intelligence, told Indian Express that “anything (Mr. Saeed) does, other than violence, is good. There is a process in Pakistan for anyone to participate in politics. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has its rules and laws. If he (Mr. Saeed) fulfils all those requirements that is for the ECP to decide.”

The divergent proposals to either remove Mr. Saeed from the limelight or mainstream him by integrating him into the political process are unlikely to satisfy either the United Nations or the United States.

They are also unlikely to prevent the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global financial watchdog that monitors the funding of political violence and money laundering, from next month putting Pakistan on its watchlist.

The FATF action could negatively affect the Pakistan economy. Pakistan risks downgrading by multilateral lenders such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as well as by international credit rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

Mr. Xi’s suggestion to Mr. Abbasi reflects Chinese ambivalence towards those Pakistani militants that both Islamabad and Beijing see as useful tools to keep India off balance. China protected Mr. Saeed from UN designation prior to the Mumbai attacks and has since prevented another Pakistani militant, Masood Azhar, from being designated by the Security Council.

At the same time, China refrained in February from shielding Pakistan from censorship by FATF.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson nonetheless argued at the time that "in recent years, Pakistan has made important progress in actively strengthening financial regulations to combat terror financing… China highly recognises that and hopes all relevant parties of the international community could arrive at an objective and fair conclusion on that."

Implementing Mr. Xi’s proposal to remove Mr. Saeed from the limelight is easier said than done. Its hard to see what Middle Eastern nation would risk international criticism by granting Mr. Saeed asylum without tacit approval by the United States and/or the United Nations. By the same token, its unlikely that either would agree to the scheme.

Similarly, neither the UN nor the United States are likely to be persuaded by a belief within the Pakistani military that the best way of blunting militancy that has over the decades been woven into the fabric of significant segments of the armed forces, intelligence and society is by mainstreaming militants and integrating them into the political process.

Ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif kicked up a storm when he earlier this month appeared to confirm the pervasiveness of militancy by suggesting that the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks had been supported by Pakistan.

“Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial? It’s unacceptable. This is exactly what we are struggling for. President Putin has said it. President Xi has said it. We could have already been at seven per cent growth (in GDP), but we are not,” Mr. Sharif said.

The remarks by the Pakistani officials suggest that both Pakistan and China are attempting to square circles.

Pakistan needs to be seen as cracking down on militancy while considering the domestic influence of ultra-conservative religious groups as well as seemingly misguided beliefs that support for anti-Indian militants serves its purpose.

For its part, China’s justification of its hardhanded crackdown in the north-western province of Xinjiang as a bid to counter jihadism and nationalism among, Uighurs, a Turkic people, is weakened by its reluctance to be equally firm in countering militants in Pakistan.

The problem for both countries is that 1 + 1 = 2, whichever way one looks at it.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and co-host of the New Books in Middle Eastern Studies podcast. James is the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title as well as Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario, Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa, and the forthcoming China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom

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Categories: Africa Sports News

The Unique Beginnings Of Some Of The Worlds Professional Football Clubs - Europe (West)

Africa Sport Reddit - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 16:55

A few weeks ago I was bored and started reading an article on the Swiss team Grasshopper Zurich and how the club was started by an English student in 1886, using the same football shirts Blackburn Rovers wore at the time This got me thinking about the great stories other football clubs must have with regards to their foundations. And so I decided I was going to research thousands of teams...and see how many had unique, strange or funny starts in life.

Obviously many clubs changed their names over the years and some even moved location, I haven't researched later years, this isn't a brief history, I simply wanted to find the fun stories or pub facts in the different football clubs humble beginnings. It's taken me many hours....but this is what I've got.

I'm splitting this into numerous posts (if it goes down well) as it will simply be too long, I'll call this Europe-West...with Europe Central and East coming tomorrow. Followed by North America, South America, Africa and Asia.

Spoiler: If your team isn't's got a boring start to life (I'm sure you'll argue they haven't) my team, Newcastle United.

English Premier League

Bournemouth AFC - Originally known as Boscombe FC, nobody actually knows the exact date when Bournemouth were founded. We know it was some time in 1899, however the exact date is a mystery.

Arsenal - Originally founded in 1886 by munitions workers in Woolwich, South East London, as 'Dial Square'. Within a month they changed the name to 'Royal Arsenal FC', after the munitions complex they worked in.

Burnley - Founded in 1882, Burnley Rovers decided to shift their allegiance from Rugby Union to Football. They played their first competitive game just five months after switching sports, losing 8-0 in the Lancashire Challenge Cup.

Everton - Founded in 1878 as St Domingo FC (sounds more Spanish than English), Everton were created so that members of the St Domingo Methodist New Connexion Chapel could play sport all year round. In the summer cricket was played, through the winter football took over.

Leicester City - Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys from Wyggeston School as 'Leicester Fosse'.

Liverpool - Everton played at Anfield! That's right, after 8 years of playing at Anfield, Everton and the Anfield land owner, John Houlding, fell out and so Everton relocated to Goodison Park. At this time (1892) Houlding founded Everton FC and Athletics Ground Ltd...'Everton Athletic' for short..who later became Liverpool FC. Liverpool are the bastard child of Everton.

Southampton - Originally formed as St Mary's Church in 1885, the team played their early games on 'the common', where the games were routinely interrupted by pedestrians insisting on exercising their right to roam there.

Tottenham Hotpsur - Originally called Hotspur Football Club, the team was formed in 1882 by a group of schoolboys from the Hotspur Cricket Club who wanted a sport to play during the winter months.

West Ham - Founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC, West Ham were the work team of Thames ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, led by foreman Dave Taylor. The team started out as an amateur club filled with company employees, they turned professional three years later.

English Championship

Barnsley - Established in 1887 by a clergyman named Tiverton Preedy...that's it.

Bolton - Established in 1877 by reverend Joseph Wright...that's it, seems like church folk in the 19th century preferred football to work.

Cardiff City - Established in 1899 as Riverside AFC, they were founded to keep the Riverside Cricket Club players fit during the winter months.

Derby County ...more cricket foundations, founded in 1884 to keep the Derbyshire Cricket Club fit.

Fulham - Founded in 1879 by worshippers at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington. Members of the congregation played in the team for the first few years of the clubs existence.

Millwall - Founded by the workers of J.T. Morton's canning and preserve factory in 1885.

Preston North End - The club that doesn't know what sport it wants to play. Originally founded in 1863 as a cricket club, they later turned into a rugby club, before finally turning to football in 1880.

Sheffield Wednesday - Originally a cricket club founded in 1816 at the latest, the team got their name 'Wednesday Cricket Club' because that was the day the founding members had off. In 1867 the players of the cricket club decided to play football during winter to keep fit, however the popularity of football eclipsed cricket and after an argument over finances, the cricket and football team split from each other.

Wolves - Founded by two school pupils, John Baynton and John Brodie, after being presented with a football by their head teacher.

English League One

AFC Wimbeldon - Well, well we are. AFC Wimbeldon were founded in 2002 after being robbed of their team, club and history by the scum in Milton Keynes, who now go by the name Milton Keynes Dons. This great club with some historical moments in the 80's and 90's were ripped apart by a three man independent, arbitration commission who allowed the team to be moved 50 miles north from Wimbledon to the nothing town of Milton Keynes, who's only notable contribution as a town is the backdrop of Superman IV, masquerading as New York.

Thankfully, the phoenix club rose from the ashes, and this season finished above the plastic club of MK Dons for the first time in their history after being promoted 6 or more times in their short history.

Bristol Rovers - Originally founded in 1883 as Black Arabs of the stranger names I have come across.

Charlton Athletic - Formed in 1905 by a group of 15 to 17 year olds in East Street, London.

Doncaster Rovers - Formed in 1879 by Albert Jenkins who gathered some friends to play a match against the Yorkshire Institute for the Deaf and Dumb. Albert's team were 4-0 up at half-time but the game finished 4-4.

Fleetwood Town - This club has more lives than a cat, officially established in 1997, however they had two previous incarnations dating back to 1977 and before that 1908, both of which folded because of poor performance and money issues.

Milton Keynes Dons - The club was formed in 2004 after stealing a team from Wimbledon, hence the name 'Dons'...which has fuck all to do with Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is a new town, designed in an American grid system back in the 60's, it's now only known for lots of pointless roundabouts and stealing football clubs from elsewhere. This may be seen as normal in the USA where 'franchises' move like company factories, but in England, that bullshit doesn't fly.

Plymouth Argyle - Founded in 1886, nobody actually knows where the name 'Argyle' comes from, some believe it may have something to do with a nearby pub, the Argyle Tavern, and that founding members possibly drank there, however this is all speculation.

English League Two

Crewe Alexandra - Formed in 1877, you might be forgiven for wondering why they have such an exotic name, well...they were named after Princess Alexandra who later became Queen.

Notts County - Founded in 1862, they are the oldest professional football club in the world and the reason Juventus wear black and white stripes, mimicking the Notts County colours. While Sheffield FC is the oldest club in the world, founded in 1857, they remained an amateur club and so Notts County hold on to this illustrious title of world oldest professional club.

Wycombe Wanderers - Nobody knows the exact details of how this club started, however they were founded in 1887 and it is believed that some furniture trade workers may have started the team.

Scottish Premier League

Celtic - Created by Irish Marist Brother Walfrid in 1887 with the purpose of alleviating poverty in the East End of Glasgow by raising money for charity.

Rangers - Formed in 2012, this new club quickly climbed the Scottish leagues thanks to its large fan base. The original club which folded before that was created by four friends (including two brothers) in 1872. Some would say they are separate entities, others might not.

Portugese Primiera Liga

Boavista - Boavista were founded in 1903 by English brothers Harry and Dick Lowe who were living in the city and began playing matches between fellow English and Portuguese workers from the William Graham factory.

Porto - The club was founded in 1893 by a local wine merchant named Antonio Nicolau de Almieda who became fascinated with football during his trips too England.

Spanish La Liga

Barcelona - Founded in 1899 by a group of English, Catalan and Swiss players who responded to an advert about the creation of a new football team.

Real Madrid - Founded in 1902 when several Cambridge and Oxford university students from England introduced football to the area.

Valencia - Established in 1919, the first president of the club was decided on a coin toss.

Seville - Formed in 1890 by a group of Brits, mainly Scottish, who were celebrating Burns Night in the city. The clubs founding document describes in full detail the formation of the club, with Scot Edward Johnston as president.

Athletic Bilbao - Formed in 1898 using the English spelling after football was brought to the region by English migrant workers. At the time Bilbao attracted many English shipyard workers from Sunderland & Southampton, they began to arrange games between English and Basque workers. Eventually a group of students founded the club.

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Categories: Africa Sports News

Ghana police grants embattled football chief bail amid corruption probe

Africa Sports - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 15:47
The documentary titled 'Number 12,' is said to detail rot and corruption at the GFA and across the football sphere in the country. Anas is known fro his hard-hitting pieces that dwell mostly on corrup
Categories: Africa Sports News

The 18 most famous athletes in the world in 2018

Africa Sport Reddit - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 09:50
  1. Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid and Portugal national team striker Ronaldo is the most famous athlete in the world, according to ESPN. He is the Champions League all-time leading goalscorer (120), has equaled Lionel Messi's record of five Ballon d'Or trophies, and his biggest social media platform has 121.7 million followers.
  2. LeBron James. Cleveland Cavaliers small forward James is the NBA's best player, according to ESPN, but "it's his social commentary that has set him apart" in this year's list. This is because he called President Trump "a bum" in a tweet that was retweeted 650,000 times.
  3. Lionel Messi. The FC Barcelona forward has a social media channel followed by 88.1 million fans on his biggest platform — but that's over 30 million less than Ronaldo. Messi's name, though, is more widely searched on the likes of Google.
  4. Neymar. Brazil forward Neymar swapped FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a $263 million deal last summer and will be a key player for his country in the upcoming FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia.
  5. Roger Federer. The 20-time Grand Slam tennis champion has undergone a "career reboot," according to ESPN. After a six month layoff from injury, Federer won two majors and finished 2017 with a world number two ranking. He has also given considerable time to his Africa foundation.
  6. Tiger Woods. The American golfer's DUI arrest "might have been his lowest point" and his back injury even jeopardised his playing career, but Woods is "fit… healthy, smiling, and thankful for an opportunity to extend his career," according to ESPN.
  7. Kevin Durant. The basketball player has had a busy year. Kevin Durant swapped Oklahoma City Thunder for Golden State Warriors and founded The Durant Company, which invests in tech startups.
  8. Rafael Nadal. Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal is enjoying a career renaissance. He finished 2017 as the ATP world ranked number one, and continues to compete with arch rival Roger Federer.
  9. Steph Curry. According to ESPN, Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry is "the most popular player in the NBA." His biggest social media channel has a following of 19.4 million and he found even bigger fame when he said he didn't want to go to the White House to celebrate last season's championship. President Donald Trump later rescinded the invitation.
  10. Phil Mickelson. The American golfer may be 48 in June, but that has not deterred his success, or commercial viability. He won the Mexico Championship in March and has made $50 million in endorsements.
  11. Virat Kohli. Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was named in Time's 100 most influential people in the world with good reason — he is the 2017 ICC World Cricketer of the Year and is married to Bollywood star Anushka Sharma.
  12. Serena Williams. The American tennis player took a hiatus from sport to focus on her pregnancy last year. But despite being away from the game, she remained the most visible women's player in tennis. She graced many magazine covers, wrote an article on the gender pay gap for Fortune, and married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
  13. Novak Djokovic. Tennis star Djokovic may have fallen from the summit of his sport, but he retains a good social media following, is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, and has a foundation that supports childhood education projects.
  14. Floyd Mayweather. The retired boxer was the most searched for athlete on ESPN's list. He last fought in August 2017 and defeated UFC fighter Conor McGregor in the 10th round of their boxing rules contest, a fight ESPN called a "farce."
  15. Rory McIlroy. The US Masters continues to elude McIlroy's grasp as it is the only golf major he has not yet won. The Northern Irish athlete has made $35 million in endorsements so far and turns 30 next year.
  16. Jordan Spieth. The American golfer is "the real deal," according to ESPN. Last year was a standout period for Spieth as he won The Open, a victory that ensured he had won three of golf's four majors at 23 years old.
  17. Sun Yang. Chinese swimmer Yang is a gold medal magnet and his performances in 2017 continued to attract titles. His highest social media profile has 32 million followers and he was the only athlete to grace the 2017 Forbes China Celebrity List.
  18. Conor McGregor. The UFC fighter is renowned for his work in mixed martial arts, but the Irishman only fought once last year — and it was in a boxing ring rather than a UFC octagon. McGregor's loss to Floyd Mayweather made him $100 million richer, and his alleged attack on a UFC team bus last month made him even more infamous.

Link to article

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Categories: Africa Sports News