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Stakeholders disagree with Rugby Africa over World Cup Qualifiers’ locations

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Some African countries and stakeholders in the continent have accused African rugby’s governing body, Rugby Africa, of ignoring the interests of the game in the continent for commercial reasons.

The accusations came on the heels of a decision to host forthcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifiers in France.

In July eight African teams will compete in a tournament in two French cities, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, for one automatic ticket to the finals set to be hosted by France in September next year.

This will be the first time in the history of African rugby that its World Cup qualifiers have been held outside continental borders and the decision has been met with discontent in Africa.

Namibia, one the contenders, has raised objection about the decision, saying they are “dissatisfied” with the decision.

“We did request Rugby Africa to revisit their decision,” Namibia’s rugby president Corrie Mensah said, but “the outcome was to remain with France as host.”

Kenya and Zimbabwe had made bids which Rugby Africa described as “strong”, but it resolved to hand France the hosting rights.

Responding to the allegation, Rugby Africa in a statement claimed that its “main goal is to keep growing and progressing and taking our rightful place on the international stage,”

“In collaboration with our members and partners, Rugby Africa needs to invent new ways and create new opportunities to grow its revenue and redistribute it in African rugby.”

Helen Buteme, former Uganda women’s international, told newsmen that Rugby Africa “doesn’t have the interests of African rugby at heart”.

“There is no justification whatsoever for taking what is our biggest tournament to a European country,” she added. “Africa needs this tournament while France does not.”

Namibia will be gunning to make a seventh consecutive appearance at the world tournament, after making their debut in 1999.

The other teams set for the qualifiers, slated for 1st July to 10th July, are Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

The runners-up will have another chance to the World Cup after a final four-team round-robin global qualifier to be held in November.

 

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Ghana coach, Otto Addo, resigns after World Cup ouster

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Black Stars of Ghana coach, Otto Addo, has resigned following the team’s World Cup group stage elimination after suffering a 2-0 loss to Uruguay on Friday.

The 47-year-old former international who was named as an interim replacement for sacked Milovan Rajevac in February, before he was given a permanently deal till the end of December, threw in the towel shortly after the team’s failure to progress to the round of 16 at tournament.

Addo who is the talent coach at German Bundesliga side, Borussia Dortmund, in a press conference where he announced his resignation, said:

“I always said if we qualified for the World Cup, I’d resign afterwards, even if we were world champions. My family see our future in Germany.”

Addo who was born in Hamburg, Germany, to Ghanaian parents, was a junior German international before he switched allegiance to the country of his parents.

A no-nonsense defensive midfielder during his playing days, Addo played for the Ghana national team for seven years commencing starting from 1999 his when he made his debut in a 5–0 routing of Eritrea on 28 February 1999.

He went on to play in the 2000 African Cup of Nations and in the 2006 FIFA World Cup where he started the game against the Czech Republic on 17 June 2006 at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, which Ghana won 2–0.

Ghana was Addo’s first managerial job after several roles at clubs in Germany and Denmark.

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Qatar 2022: Gallant Cameroon crash out of World Cup despite beating Brazil 1-0

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The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon created another football upset when they became the first African team to defeat Brazil at a World Cup tournament after beating the five-times world champions 1-0 in last Group G match at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on Friday.

However, the gallant Lions crashed out of the World Cup as the win was not enough to earn them a last 16 place after Switzerland defeated Serbia to finish second.

Rigobert Song’s men got a late winner through captain Vincent Aboubakar’s stoppage-time header to earn Cameroon a memorable late win over the Selecao, but the forward was then sent off for taking off his jersey while celebrating the goal.

Cameroon went into the game knowing they needed to beat Brazil to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockouts and they upheld their end of the bargain, but their efforts were thwarted with Switzerland’s win over Serbia which meant Cameroon finished third in the group as Brazil had already qualified as group winners before the crunch tie.

The South Americans held onto top spot in the group due to their superior goal difference over Switzerland, meaning they will face South Korea for a place in the quarter-finals on Monday evening.

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