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Moroccan soccer legend, Mustapha Hadji, banned from football activities for five years

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Moroccan football legend, Mustapha Hadji, has been handed a five-year ban for allegedly forging a CAF ‘A’ Coaching License, the African soccer ruling body announced on Tuesday.

The 51-year-old former captain of the Atlas Lions and former assistant coach was reportedly found to have used a forged coaching license by the CAF Disciplinary Committee which led to the five-year suspension from practising or participating in any football-related activities, CAF reports.

The African governing body added that the former Morocco international moved into coaching after his retirement in 2010, serving as assistant coach to ex-Atlas Lions tacticians Badou Zaki, Herve Renard and Vahid Halilhodzic without the required certification.

“In the present case, the CAF disciplinary panel noted that after investigation with the Central African Football Federation, it was established that the license certificate ‘A’ in the name of Mr Mustapha Hadji is falsified and that he has never registered for License “A” training and that no diploma has been issued to him by this federation,” a statement from CAF said.

“Fraud is a serious offence which undermines CAF’s values ​​and principles of ethics,” the statement added.

The ‘A’ license is the highest coaching badge offered by CAF, which is equivalent to any high-ranking coaching qualification globally and allows its holders to coach at a professional level.

In his playing days, Hadji, a former Coventry City, Aston Villa and Espanyol midfielder, was a referred playmaker who stood out for Morocco at the 1998 World Cup in France.

He was crowned the CAF Player of the Year award in 1998, after the France World Cup where he scored the opening goal for the Atlas Lions in their 2-2 draw with Norway, making him the only footballer from Morocco to win the coveted crown.

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Jose Mourinho extols Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen, after wonder goal

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Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has heaped praises on Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen, after the striker scored a wonder goal which can potentially compete for the goal of the season in the Italian Serie A.

The former Chelsea boss said Osimhen, who is a target of one of his former clubs, Manchester United, can compare favourably with former Ivorian striker, Didier Drogba who terrorised defences in the English Premier League.

However, Mourinho said the only hindrance to the Napoli striker reaching legendary status is if he desists from “diving” to gain favours from referees.

“He is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive,” Mourinho told reporters after the game when asked to access the Super Eagles forward’s performance.

“If Victor changes, then OK. I’d buy him if I was at a club with a lot of money.”

“However, if he does go to England one day, he needs to change, because in Italy they put up with this sort of behaviour, whereas in the Premier League, they’d come down hard on him.”

“I told him that he scored a wonderful goal and needs to stop diving so much. His goal was fantastic, he did the same thing when we met earlier this season, so he’s a fantastic player. But he mustn’t dive,” the Portuguese coach said.

The red hot Osimhen, has scored 14 goals in 16 league matches, propelling Napoli to a healthy 13 point lead at the top of thr Serie A.

Watch Osimhen’s wonder goal against Roma here:

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CHAN 2023: Niger, Madagascar make history, beat Ghana, Mozambique, to reach semi-finals

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It was a night of shocks and history on Saturday at the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria when one of the tournament’s favourites, Ghana, was knocked out by outsiders, Niger Republic in a 2-0 defeat which saw the Nigeriens qualify for the semi-finals.

As if the shock was not enough, first-time qualifiers, Madagascar, thumped Mozambique 3-1 to also qualify for the semi-final in some style.

While Madagascar was dealing with Mozambique in Constantine, Niger shocked two-time runners-up, Ghana, in Oran to complete the last-four line-up alongside host, Algeria and Senegal.

Niger’s reward is a date with Algeria while Madagascar will square up against Senegal, both on Tuesday.

Though Algeria and Senegal are outright favourites to win the tournament meant for African footballers playing in their country of birth, pundits believe underating the so called minnows could spell doom as Ghana, Cameroon, DR Congo and other top playing nations found out the hard way.

Madagascar had earlier shocked Ghana and hammered Sudan to win Group C, while Niger had pulled up the shock of the group stages by sending Cameroon packing with a 1-0 victory in their last group D match.

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