Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Africa Games: Congo-Nigeria football final on the cards

06 September 2015, 07:21

Brazzaville - Former champions Congo Brazzaville, Ghana and Nigeria are among seven countries competing from Sunday for the All-Africa Games football gold medals.

Egypt also qualified for the eight-nation tournament in Brazzaville only to withdraw because coach Hossam El Badry did not want to field a weakened team.

Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this weekend and CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup group games next weekend would have deprived him of many stars.

Hosts Congo won the first of 10 previous Africa Games football competitions in a novel manner 50 years ago, defeating Mali 7-1 on corner kicks after a goalless final against Mali in Brazzaville.

Nigeria staged the second Africa Games eight years later and there was another home success in football to celebrate as the hosts were 2-0 victors over Guinea.

Ghana received gold medals much more recently, edging South Africa on penalties after the 2011 final finished 1-1 in Mozambique.

Originally open to all footballers, the Africa Games is now restricted to under-23 stars, like Olympic Games qualifiers

Group A in Brazzaville comprises Congo, Burkina Faso, Sudan and Zimbabwe while Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal make up Group B after Egypt pulled out.

It would be no surprise if Congo and Nigeria featured in the final at the new 60,000-seat Stade de l'Unite (Unity Stadium) in Brazzaville.

Such a pairing would offer the Congolese a chance to avenge a recent 2-1 aggregate loss to the Nigerians in a Rio Olympics eliminator.

Congo have home advantage, a combative squad, and France-born coach Claude Le Roy possesses a deep knowledge of African football from decades spent working successfully around the continent.

Now 67, Le Roy has finished first and second with Cameroon, third with Ghana and fourth with Senegal in Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

He can call on four of the 2015 Congo Cup of Nations squad that reached the quarter-finals before squandering a two-lead to neighbours the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Goalkeepers Christoffer Mafoumbi and Pavelh Ndzila, defender Sagesse Babele and striker Syvere Ganvoula are the quartet who were part of the senior national squad last January.

Because the Africa Games are not part of the FIFA international calendar, clubs need not release players and this rule has hit Nigeria hard.

Among those who will be missing is new Liverpool signing Taiwo Awoniyi, whose brace in a 2-1 victory over Zambia in Lusaka helped Nigeria qualify.

A Cup of Nations call-up for Chima Akas, an injury to Stanley Amuzie, and Godwin Saviour not being freed by his club added to the pre-tournament difficulties of coach Samson Siasia.

But the former Super Eagles star believes he has a squad capable of winning the September 18 final of the 13-fixture competition.

"We are going for gold -- what else do you think we are going after?," he told reporters before travelling to the oil-rich central Africa state.

"Preparations were not good because clubs refused to release players timeously, but I am very hopeful of a successful outcome in Brazzaville."



Musa scores first goal for Leicester

22 October 2016, 20:18

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...