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Rohr optimistic about future of Nigeria’s youthful Super Eagles

Nigeria will meet Tunisia on Wednesday in the third-place play-off of the AFCON 2019 tournament

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Rohr optimistic about future of Nigeria's youthful Super Eagles
Nigeria's coach Gernot Rohr (L) and his bench stand for the national anthem during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) quarter final football match between Nigeria and South Africa at Cairo international stadium on July 9, 2019. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Gernot Rohr believes Nigeria will be stronger for their experience at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations after his side suffered a painful, last-gasp defeat to Algeria in the semi-finals.

Nigeria looked to be heading into extra-time against a team that required penalties to overcome Ivory Coast just three days earlier, but Riyad Mahrez won the game for Algeria in the 95th minute with a magnificent free-kick.

Coach Rohr said the loss was “tough to digest” for his players but stressed the current crop of Super Eagles had the potential to become “very good” given time.

“Our team is progressing well after the World Cup which wasn’t bad, we’ve started work with a rejuvenated team. This team has a future. I’m still under contract for another year and we’ll see what happens after that,” said the German, whose side was the youngest in Russia last summer.

Nigeria will meet Tunisia on Wednesday in the third-place play-off at Al Salam Stadium, which could see the likes of youngsters Henry Onyekuru, Samuel Kalu and Victor Osimhen given a chance after limited minutes in Egypt.

“We will draw lessons after the third-place match. We have a very young team, we’re making progress and perhaps we lacked a bit of clear-sightedness (against Algeria) but we’re moving forward,” continued Rohr.

“We have to work much more. Our midfield is the youngest one. (Wilfred) Ndidi, (Alex) Iwobi and (Peter) Etebo have to learn tactically and they have to make better communication, but I think with time, they’ll be very good.”

Rohr praised the resilience shown by his side throughout the tournament, as they responded to a shock loss to Madagascar by toppling defending champions Cameroon and beating South Africa before coming from behind against Algeria.

“I congratulate my players for a big fight against this very good team,” said Rohr. “It was a big fight until the last minute.”

“It was a wonderful match, but we lost it so we are not happy. We scored an own goal which was unlucky but we came back like throughout the tournament when there was something difficult against us. A wonderful free-kick made the difference.”

He added: “The other day we won in the last minute against South Africa, this time we lost. That’s football.”

The former Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso boss also praised the work done by Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi, who took over last year after the Desert Foxes finished bottom of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group.

“The result reflects what we saw on the pitch. The best team won,” said Rohr.

“The match confirms what I said about them making progress. They have made strides both tactically and technically and it’s going to be very tight with Senegal but Algeria have all the weapons to win.”

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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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