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History made as five home-grown coaches lead Africa to World Cup



For the first time in the history of Africa’s participation in the World Cup, the continent’s five representatives to the Qatar 2022 World Cup will be managed by home-grown coaches.

Before now, African teams going into any World Cup tournaments relied on foreign coaches who ended up not achieving much with the teams.

But this year’s World Cup which kicks off on Sunday, November 20, will see Ghana, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, and Cameroon all parading coaches from their countries which is a great development for the game on the continent.

Ahead of the official kick off of the tournament, africannewswatch takes a look at the five men who will be calling the shots from the dugout.

Otto Addo – Ghana

The Black Stars coach is a former Ghana international midfielder who was a member of Ghana’s team at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Ghanaian coach, Otto Addo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Ghanaian coach, Otto Addo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Born in Germany, 47-year-old Addo was a surprised pick to take over as coach of the national team following their uninspiring performances at the 2021 African Nations Cup where they were knocked out in the group stages, especially a loss to lowly rates Comoros.

The former Borussia Dortmund youth coach inherited a demoralised and a dispirited squad but got down to work immediately.

His efforts paid off as he led the Black Stars to pip the Super Eagles of Nigeria to the World Cup ticket on away goals rule.

He has quietly turned the squad around and has been pivotal in convincing some Ghanaian-born players like Tariq Lamptey and Inaki Williams to switch allegiance and play for the West African country.

Jalel Kadri – Tunisia

Tunisia’s head coach Jalel Kadri’s was given a lesson of what to expect when they faced record five-time world champions Brazil in a warm up match where they were pummeled 5-1.

But the 50-year-old Kadri seemed to take it in his stride and said it was a good preparation for the team as they set to take on France, Denmark and Australia in their group.

Kadri has been in charge of Carthage Eagles since March after being promoted from an assistant role when Mondher Kebaier was sacked following an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals loss to Burkina Faso.

He has been a coach for more than 20 years, coaching clubs in Tunisia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, and though this is his first national team job, Kadri believes he has what it takes to guide the Tunisian team to great things at the Mundial.

Aliou Cisse – Senegal

Senegal’s head coach Aliou Cisse, is an ex-international who was in the Teranga Lion’s team that reached the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals in South Korea in its very first tournament.

He was also part of the coaching crew at the Russia 2018 World Cup where Senegal was knocked out in an agonising fashion, losing out on a second-round place only because they accumulated more yellow cards than Japan.

Aliou Cisse is going to the World Cup as African champions (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Aliou Cisse is going to the World Cup as African champions (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

After losing as a player in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations final, the 46-year-old Cisse made amends by guiding his country to victory at the 2021 Afcon in Cameroon with a penalty shootout victory over Egypt.

Walid Regragui – Morocco

Moroccan manager, Walid Regragui, has had little time to prepare the Atlas Lions having replaced Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic only in August.

But the French-born former right-back who switched allegiance to Morocco after playing for France at the junior levels, was capped 45 times by the Atlas Lions.

Regragui began his coaching career in 2012 and coached clubs like Wydad Casablanca whom he led to victory over Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final early this year.

He has also coached in Qatar and has been part of the Moroccan national team as an assistant coach before taking over after Halilhodzic was fired.

Rigobert Song – Cameroon

Cameroon’s coach Rigobert Song, 46, can be described as one of Cameroon’s football legend Cameroon’s played at four World Cups and helped the Indomitable Lions win the Africa Cup of Nations twice in eight tournament appearances.

A rugged centre-back during his playing days, Song had stints with clubs in France, Italy, England, Germany and Turkey.

Though considered a rookie coach, Song was named Cameroon’s coach by his former team mate, Samuel Etoo who is the president of the Cameroonian FA following the sack of Portuguese Toni Conceicao after a third-place finish as 2021 Cup of Nations hosts.

Cameroonian coach Rigobert Song is under pressure to perform (Photo Credit: CFA)

Cameroonian coach Rigobert Song is under pressure to perform (Photo Credit: CFA)

Song masterminded a shock World Cup play-off win by triumphing over Algeria but friendly losses to Uzbekistan and fellow qualifiers South Korea have not lifted hopes of the soccer loving fans back home.


South Africa to host Ireland in Rugby Two-Test summer tour



Current Rubgy World Cup champions, South Africa, will host Ireland, in a two-Test series in July, 2024, which will be Ireland’s first trip to the nation in eight years.

Ireland was the only country to defeat South Africa as they went on to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France in October.

South African Rugby Federation which made the announcement on Friday, said the two countries will first meet on Saturday, July 6, in Pretoria, with the second Test in Durban on 13 July.

When the two sides first met on South African soil in 2016, the Springboks came out victorious, edging the Three-Test series 2-1.

In the first test in the 2016 series, Ireland won 26-20 in Cape Town, before losing the next two games, 32-26 in Johannesburg and 19-13 in Port Elizabeth.

Apart from the Ireland games, SA Rugby also confirmed that the team will face Portugal on 20 July at a venue yet to be announced.

South Africa will also host New Zealand, who they beat in the World Cup final, in Johannesburg on 31 August and Cape Town on 7 September as part of the Rugby Championship before concluding their home schedule against Argentina on 28 September, the Federation said.

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Zimbabwe seals last gasp winner over Ireland in T20 Series opener



Host, Zimbabwe, started its 2023 T20 Series on a winning note after rallying back to defeat Ireland from 88-7 to 106-7 in their pursuit of an 118 to end the tie for victory, with the home side requiring 12 runs from as many deliveries at that point.

In the thrilling game played in Harare on Thursday, Ireland’s fightback was not enough as they fell just short as Zimbabwe sealed a last-ball win in the series opener.

Ireland had earlier taken control of the game and posted 147-8 while the hosts needed nine runs from their final over, winning it with two from Blessing Muzarabani off the last delivery.

Captain Sikandar Raza who was voted man of the match, took three wickets and scored 65 to lead their run chase.

Raza was supported with the bat by Wesley Madhevere, who scored 25, with wicketkeeper Clive Madande hitting 20.

Two further T20 contests between the sides will take place at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday and Sunday before three one-day games at the same venue on 13, 15 and 17 December.

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