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Meet the African coaches heading to Qatar World Cup

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The World Cup holding in Qatar in November will throw up an interesting history as there will be four African coaches leading their nations to the Mundial.

This will be a departure from past World Cups where African teams are often tutored by foreign coaches who are seen as superior to local coaches.

But in Qatar 2022, out of the five African countries that will fly the continent’s flag at the world soccer fiesta, four of them will be coached by homegrown gaffes.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia will represent the continent but apart from Morocco, the other four will have local coaches in their dugouts.

Cameroon

Not many gave former defender, Rigobert Song, a chance to lead Cameroon to the World Cup, especially after the Indomitable Lions lost 0-1 at home to Algeria in the first leg of the final qualifiers.

But the four times African champions pulled the chestnut out of the fire in the second leg in Blida by defeating their host 2-1.

Song who was only appointed after the AFCON im February, is one of only the third African players to have played in four FIFA World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010), along with teammates Samuel Eto’o and Jacques Songo’o.

The 45 year-old led Cameroon to two Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 2000 and 2002 as captain of the squad.

Ghana

Though he was born in Germany to Ghanaian parents, Otto Addo is another local coach who will lead an African team to the Mundial.

The former Bramfelder SV, Hannover 96, Dortmund and Mainz 05 defender was appointed to take over the Black Stars after their disappointing outing at the 2022 AFCON where they were bundled out by debutant Comoros.

Addo set to work, assembling a bunch of hungry players led by Arsenal midfielder, Thomas Partey, and the team displayed such resilience by pipping the Super Eagles of Nigeria over to legs to pick the World Cup ticket.

The 46-year-old has thus become the first Ghanaian footballer to qualify for the World Cup both as a player and as a coach.

Senegal

Senegal coach and former midfield maestro, Aliou Cissé, no longer needs long introductions when it comes to African football.

After being in charge of the talented Senegalese team for over seven years, Cissé led the team to conquer Africa at the last AFCON in Cameroon in February, beating Egypt via penalties in the final.

The continental title was the first for the West African nation after many years of asking, including the pain of losing the 2019 final to a Ryad Mahrez inspired Algeria.

During his player days, Cissé was a midfield lynchpin for French clubs like PSG and Lille. He also played for English clubs Portsmouth and Birmingham in the premiership.

He captained Senegal to a famous 1-0 victory over France at the 1998 World Cup hosted by the European nation.

Tunisia

Tunisian coach, Jalel Kadri, has become the most popular man in his country after successfully leading the North African country to Qatar 2022.

The 50-year-old has a proven track record as his international managerial career has taken him to Saudi Arabia where he coached Ansar Al Madina club.

He also had a stint in Lebanon and was the head coach of Libya’s Al-Ahly Tripoli, before returning home to coach JS Kairouan in the Tunisian league, before he was appointed head coach of the Carthage Eagles.

Kadri is now tasked with leading the Eagles as far as possible at the World Cup in Qatar.

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CAF launches African Super League to boost clubs

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF), has launched a new competition to be known as the African Super League aimed at injecting about $100 million into the continent’s football.

CAF President Patrice Mostepe who announced the new multi-million dollar deal in Tanzania during the launch of the new tournament on Wednesday, said the new league is aimed at injecting financial muscle to cash-strapped clubs on the continent.

For a start, 24 African clubswill take part in the first edition of the competition which is scheduled to kick off between August 2023 and May 2024.

Motsepe, who addressed a gathering of African football chairmen in Tanzania on Wednesday, said:

“The African Super League is a very important initiative. One of the major problems in Africa is finance.

“The Africa Super League is one of the most exciting developments in the history of African football and the objective in terms of what we are trying to achieve is very clear, to make sure African club football is world class and competes with the best in the world.

“Our intention is to use the $100 million as prize money and to do that every year in the African Super League, so that the club which wins gets $11.5 million,” he said.

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Tennis great, Serena Williams, announces retirement in emotional statement

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Tennis star, Serena Williams, has announced that she will retire from the sport after the US Open at Flushing Meadows which begins later this month

The 40-year-old 23-time Grand Slam champion has been the face of tennis since winning her first U.S. Open in 1999, but in a statement published by Vogue Magazine on Tuesday, said she plans to hang up her racket and bring an end to her active romance with the sport after playing again in the tournament.

Williams who last won a Grand Slam tournament while she was pregnant during the Australian Open in 2017, has been struggling to cope with the pace of the game after the birth of her daughter, Olympia, with hopes of equaling or surpassing Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam titles going up in flames.

In an emotional statement in Vogue Magazine in which she will appear on the front cover for September’s edition, Williams said:

“I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give. I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me.

Serena Williams has plans to call it quits with tennis (Photo Credit:WTA)

Serena Williams has plans to call it quits with tennis (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution.

“But I’ve been reluctant to admit to myself or anyone else that I have to move on from playing tennis. Alexis, my husband, and I have hardly talked about it; it’s like a taboo topic.

“I can’t even have this conversation with my mom and dad. It’s like it’s not real until you say it out loud. It comes up, I get an uncomfortable lump in my throat, and I start to cry. The only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist!”

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