Moroccan footballer Hamza Mendyl has said difficulty getting a work permit as a Moroccan prevented him from playing for Arsenal or Newcastle.
The Moroccan-Ivorian footballer, who signed for Schalke 04 last week, said that he was in negotiations with Arsenal this summer before signing with the German football team.
Quoted by major sports outlets, the 20-year-old said that difficulty getting a work permit prevented him from joining England’s Arsenal.
ESPN also said that the footballer was denied a work permit from Arsenal.
“It is true: I was in talks Arsenal and Newcastle. But as a Moroccan citizen it’s not that easy to obtain a work permit. I would have trusted myself to play Premier League,” Mendyl said.
Mendyl has joined his fellow Moroccan Amine Harit, who also plays for both Morocco’s national team and Schalke 04.
Both Moroccans made the list of the team who participated in the 2018 World Cup.
Mendyl expressed his joy over joining the German team.
“I’m delighted to have signed for such a big club. With Domenico Tedesco, I’ve got a coach who is renowned for improving players,” the player was quoted by his club.
Mendyl also expressed his ambition to grow as a footballer, saying: “I want to keep developing and play an important role in all three campaigns for Schalke 04 this season.”
CAF postpones 2023 Afcon to January 2024 due to weather concerns
The Confederation of African Football (CAF), has postponed the 34th edition of the African Nations Cup (AFCON), which was scheduled to hold between June to July of 2023 in Ivory Coast, to January and February, 2024.
The reason for the postponement, according to CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, is due to concerns over weather conditions in the West African country which experiences heavy rainfall during the period.
While addressing the CAF Executive Committee meeting in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday, Motsepe said the decision was also to align the continent with the European football calendars.
Motsepe also said the decision was further motivated by weather concerns following a report by the Ivorian Meteorological Agency which predicted heavy rainfall in many parts of the country designated for the tournament.
The agency, in a report presented to CAF, had noted that Ivory Coast which has a tropical climate, has the peak of its rain season between June and July and most parts of the country is always at the height of the rainy season.
This is the second time the AFCON will be rescheduled at the beginning of the year since it was moved from January/February to June/July by former CAF President Ahmad Ahmad.
Nigerian ‘Last Stylebender’, Israel Adesanya, beats Jarred Cannonier to retain UFC middleweight title
Nigerian fighter, Israel Adesanya, “the Last Stylebender” , has retained his UFC middleweight title with a win via unanimous decision.
Judges scored the bout 49-46, 49-46, 50-45, all in favour of the Nigeria’s over his challenger, Jarred Cannonier in the UFC 276 bout which took place at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada this morning.
The 32-year-old Nigerian has now defended his middleweight championship for the fourth time after he defeated Kelvin for his middleweight interim title in 2019.
The ‘Last Stylebender’ he has defeated the likes of Robert Whitaker, Martin Vettori, Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero including his win against Jarod Cannonier.
Adesanya is one of top fighters of African descent in the UCF, the list includes Abu Azaitar was given the nickname Gladiator who holds a 14-1 MMA record, Sodiq Yusuff and Kamaru Usman who are both Nigeria and Cameroonian, Francis Ngannou, nickname: Predator.
Adesanya is reportedly set to a guaranteed purse of $1.8million from the fight after he earned around $1.1million in his last bout against Martin Vettori. UFC will earn approximately $82.5million from PPV sales and Israel will receive 30% of the PPV shares which could make this the highest earnings of his career.
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