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Tunisia ends Madagascar’s dream run to set up semi-final clash with Senegal

Madagascar were trying to become the first newcomers since South Africa in 1996 to reach the semi-finals

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Tunisia ends Madagascar's dream run to set up semi-final clash with Senegal
Tunisia players celebrates scoring their side's second goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter final soccer match between Madagascar and Tunisia at the Al-Salam Stadium. Photo: Gehad Hamdy/dpa

Tunisia ended Madagascar’s dream Africa Cup of Nations run in the quarter-finals on Thursday with a 3-0 win over the tournament debutants in Cairo.

Ferjani Sassi’s heavily deflected strike gave Tunisia the lead early in the second half at Al-Salam Stadium and Youssef Msakni squeezed home a second on 60 minutes.

Naim Sliti added a third in injury time to send Tunisia through to a semi-final showdown with Sadio Mane’s Senegal, with the Carthage Eagles into the last four for the first time since clinching their only title when they hosted the 2004 edition.

Tunisia boss, Alain Giresse recalled Wahbi Khazri in attack as the lone change to the side that overcame Ghana in a last-16 penalty shootout, while Marco Ilaimaharitra returned from suspension as Madagascar fielded the same team used throughout the group phase.

Tunisia, the continent’s second-ranked side at 25th in the world, had reached the quarter-finals here without winning a single game following four successive draws.

After matches in Suez and Ismailia, this was a first Cairo outing for the Carthage Eagles, who controlled possession early but didn’t truly threaten until a sweetly struck Khazri free-kick was superbly flicked onto the bar by Madagascar goalkeeper Melvin Adrien.

Ghailene Chaalali forced Adrien to push an awkward low shot behind while Mouez Hassen, apologetic after his angry reaction to being substituted ahead of the shootout in the last round, was largely untested bar from a long-range Ibrahim Amada effort.

Madagascar were trying to become the first newcomers since South Africa in 1996 to reach the semi-finals, but their hopes were effectively extinguished by the hour.

Tunisia ends Madagascar's dream run to set up semi-final clash with Senegal
Madagascar’s players react after losing the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) quarter final football match between Madagascar and Tunisia at the Al Salam stadium in Cairo on July 11, 2019. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Khazri saw a goal disallowed for offside straight after half-time, but Sassi struck minutes later when his tame shot from the edge of the area hit Thomas Fontaine and spun past a helpless Adrien.

Msakni then promptly doubled Tunisia’s advantage, jumping on a rebound to slip the ball low beyond Adrien moments after he parried a shot from Khazri.

Charles Andriamahitsinoro, who scored twice for Madagascar in the group stage, looked to be through on goal after a long punt forward but failed to muster a shot. Amada was unable to reproduce his wonder strike from the DR Congo tie as he sliced wide from distance.

This was the first competitive meeting between the countries in almost two decades, and while Nicolas Dupuis has transformed Madagascar from a team once ranked 190th, Sliti’s injury-time goal ensured it was the end of a remarkable adventure for the ‘Barea’.

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Nigeria’s FA reacts to FIFA’s ban on coach Siasia

FIFA’s Ethics Committee found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to match-fixing

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Nigeria's FA reacts to FIFA's ban on coach Siasia
Acting NFF President, Seyi Akinwunmi.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Monday that they were “shocked” by a life ban on former national coach Samson Siasia by FIFA for bribery, vowing to overturn it.

On Friday, the governing body of world football banned Siasia, 52, from football, following a long-running investigation into convicted match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal.

After his arrest, Perumal collaborated with investigators.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee 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.”

Siasia, a striker, played 51 times for Nigeria and had two short spells as national coach. 

Acting NFF President Seyi Akinwunmi said in a statement that the FIFA report had been given to the body’s lawyers “to study and provide legal advice to the federation,” he said, adding that Siasia “gave his all for Nigeria.”

The statement read:

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and the subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr Samson Siasia.”

“Siasia is a football legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian”, he said.  

“We respect the FIFA processes”, said Akinwunmi but added, “the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name.”

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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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