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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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Sex scandal rocks Cameroon Volleyball Federation as officials accused of assaulting underage players

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Sex scandal rocks Cameroon Volleyball Federation as officials accused of assaulting underage player

A raging sex scandal is currently rocking the Cameroon Volleyball Federation ((FECAVOLLEY), which has seen officials scampering to deny the allegations.

According to local media, the Federation has been enmeshed in sexual misconduct involving coaches and underage players leading to a public outcry for investigation and transparency.

A whistle blower had raised an alarm with accusations that several young players, aged between 16 and 18, were impregnated by national team coaches, prompting a severe backlash and calls for an in-depth investigation.

However, in a statement on Friday, the Federation strongly denied the allegations involving sexual misconduct within its ranks.

In the statement, FECAVOLLEY addressed the claims head-on, distancing itself from the individuals involved and asserting its commitment to the ethical management and development of volleyball in Cameroon.

“The Cameroon Volleyball Federation, under the leadership of Mr. Julien Serge Abouem, wishes to inform both national and international public opinion that FECAVOLLEY is not involved in the tumult of moral affairs prevalent in the media, especially on social networks,” the statement said.

The scandal had come to light following revelations made by a professional player in an open letter where she condemned what she called the pervasive “droit de cuissage” (right of first night) and “organized debauchery” allegedly endorsed by the federation’s president.

The player’s accusations extended to the behavior of certain coaches whom she claimed were engaged in the harassment and sexual abuse of young female athletes.

The situation got worse when a sports journalist, Richard Naha reported that five underage volleyball players were currently pregnant as a result of relations with federation officials.

However, FECAVOLLEY’s statement vehemently denied any involvement with the indicted officials, referring to them as impostors who falsely claim to be associated with a so-called Cameroonian Federation of Volleyball.

“These individuals will not find a platform for expression at FECAVOLLEY, which continues to pursue its development plan harmoniously,” the statement added.

“FECAVOLLEY invites the necessary support for the implementation of public policies in the field of sports and physical education,” it noted.

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Moroccan novelist Leila Slimani makes history as she co-writes Paris Olympics ceremony script

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Moroccan novelist, Leila Slimani, has made history after she was selected alongside world renowned
historian Patrick Boucheron, and French screenwriter, Fanny Herrero, to write the script for the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

According to the Games organizers, the opening ceremony will be a spectacle that promises to be the contrary of a heroized story, cleverly subverting clichés with humor in a production that will also feature contributions from playwright and actor Damien Gabriac.

In an interview with Le Monde on Tuesday, Slimani and Boucheron shared how they envisioned the show within artistic director Thomas Jolly’s team.

“I had the concept of an immense spectacle, but I lacked a narrative to address the world,” Jolly explained, adding that having the four scripting is the ideal team.

The opening ceremony of the games will take place on July 26, and Jolly said it will break conventions as it will take place on the Seine River and amidst Paris’s iconic landmarks instead of a stadium like in previous ones.

“Along the riverbanks and bridges, 3,000 dancers and actors will present 12 artistic scenes, while national delegations will parade aboard boats,” Boucheron said.

He stated further that he drew inspiration from “the ceremony imagined by Jean-Paul Goude for the bicentennial of the French Revolution in 1989,” a landmark event in live performance history.

“The parade subverted national stereotypes and boldly advocated for global mixing with an optimism that we seem to have lost today,” he emphasized.

According to him, Paris 2024 will be the opposite of the ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Games, which was “an ode to greatness and a display of strength.”

“The opening of the Olympics must speak to the world about France and speak to France about the world, aiming to be the opposite of a virile, heroized tale,centered around France as a promise of freedom.”

Slimani also describes it as “a very generous narrative, filled with joy, emulation, movement, excitement, and sparkle, not just the famous philosophical values that France often proudly exhibits, sometimes with too much assurance.”

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