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Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo retires from international football

The 30-year-old Shanghai Shenhua striker struck five times as the Super Eagles finished third in Egypt, bagging him the top scorer honours

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Nigeria's Odion Ighalo retires from international football | News Central TV
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Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo announced on Saturday his retirement from international football after winning the Golden Boot at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 30-year-old Shanghai Shenhua striker struck five times as the Super Eagles finished third in Egypt, bagging him the top scorer honours with two goals more than Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez and Cedric Bakambu.

“It’s been an amazing 5 years journey, but after the due consultation and extensive discussion with my family, I have decided it’s time for me to retire from the national team,” Ighalo said in a statement.

“It’s been an eventful and most memorable opportunity to serve my country with pride, passion and contribute my quota to the development of our football.

“It’s now time to concentrate on club football and give the younger players a chance to learn and grow.”

Ighalo almost quit Nigeria duty after last year’s World Cup following sharp criticism and even death threats, but was encouraged to stay on by Gernot Rohr, who Ighalo says stood by him “against all odds”.

He repaid in full Rohr’s faith in him, finishing top scorer in qualifying for the tournament before his impressive showing in Egypt, which featured a standout display as Nigeria knocked out defending champions Cameroon in the last 16.

Ighalo scored twice and set up Alex Iwobi’s winner in a thrilling 3-2 win.

In total, Ighalo scored 16 goals for Nigeria in 35 appearances, and he also captained the country’s Under-20 team to the 2009 World Cup, also held in Egypt.

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FIFA bans ex-Nigeria football coach for match fixing

Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 US dollars

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FIFA on Friday banned former Nigeria Football Federation official Samson Siasia for life after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing. 

In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.

The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).

Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team. 

FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there. 

Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.

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Sebastien Migne resigns as coach of Kenya’s national football team

Frenchman Migne took charge of the team in May 2018 and took Kenya to their first AFCON finals appearance in 15 years

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Sebastien Migne resigns as head coach of Kenya's national football team
Kenya's coach (now-former) Sebastian Migne. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Kenya’s football federation said on Monday coach Sebastien Migne was leaving by “mutual consent” eight days after his team were eliminated from qualifying for the 2020 African Nations Championship.

Kenya were knocked out of the tournament, for teams made up only of African-based players, on penalties on August 4 after both legs of their first-round tie with neighbours and arch-rivals Tanzania ended goalless. 

Frenchman Migne took charge of the Harambee Stars in May 2018 and steered the side to a first African Cup of Nations finals appearance in 15 years.

Hampered by injuries to key players, Kenya were eliminated at the group stage despite beating Tanzania, 3-2.

“Football Kenya Federation and Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne have agreed to terminate the coach’s contract on mutual consent” said  Barry Otieno, the federation’s acting general secretary.

“Consequently, FKF and Migne have agreed on a settlement for the coach, over a period of time.”

Otieno said the re-organisation and appointment for a new coaching team was already underway.

Kenya play Egypt in the preliminary round of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo in November.

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South Africa appoints Enoch Nkwe as Proteas’ interim coach

Enoch Nkwe had a moderate first-class playing record, scoring three centuries and averaging 28.06 with the bat in 42 matches

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S.A appoints Enoch Nkwe as Proteas' interim coach | News Central TV
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Enoch Nkwe was named Friday as the Proteas’ interim team director for a tour of India next month.

“It is a tremendous honour and privilege to lead the Proteas as the interim team director,” the 36-year-old former all-rounder told the Cricket South Africa (CSA). 

“It is a special moment for me and my family and I will do my best to make a difference in this interim period.”

Nkwe collected two trophies in his first season in charge of the Gauteng Lions franchise, as well as coaching the Jozi Stars T20 team which won the inaugural Mzansi Super League. 

He was named coach of the year at last weekend’s annual awards function.

He takes over from Ottis Gibson, whose contract as head coach was not renewed after South Africa’s poor World Cup campaign earlier this year.

CSA announced last Sunday that the position of team director, with responsibilities for all aspects of the national team, would replace that of a head coach. The team director will report to a director of cricket. 

It is hoped that permanent appointments in both positions will be made before England tour South Africa at the end of the year.

Acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl said Nkwe’s appointment was “a result of his merits and balanced approach”.

“He is someone who complements the direction that will be taken by the team going forward,” said Van Zyl.

Nkwe had a moderate first-class playing record, scoring three centuries and averaging 28.06 with the bat in 42 matches. 

He also took 29 wickets before a wrist injury ended his playing career. 

He has coached the Gauteng provincial team and been an assistant coach to the Dutch national team and the South African women’s team.

The tour includes South Africa’s first three Test matches in the newly-created Test championship when the team will be captained by Faf du Plessis who was named SA Cricketer of the Year last weekend. 

The Tests will be preceded by three Twenty20 internationals for which no captain has yet been named.

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