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



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.


Exclusive: How Super Eagles captain Musa parted ways with Turkish club Sivasspor



Contrary to various reports in some Nigerian media that Turkish Super Lig club, Sivasspor, sacked Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, due to low productivity, can authoritatively report that the veteran winger was the one who terminated his contract with the club.

A close associate of the Jos, Plateau State-born Musa, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the player decided to quit the club as they had failed to pay his salaries for the past six months.

“Please disregard the rumours that Ahmed Musa was sacked by Sivasspor of Turkey. The rumour has no iota of truth in it.

“On the contrary, it was Musa who terminated the contract and it was mutually agreed that it was the best step going forward.

“I can tell you that Ahmed had informed the club since December that he wanted to cut short his contract after they failed in their obligations.

“So it is appalling that some media houses will publish unverified reports that Musa was sacked by Sivasspor without even making any effort to confirm the true position of things. It is sad, to say the least,” the associate who is a member of Musa’s management team, said.

According to him, the veteran player is already working on a move to another club in the summer after leaving Sivasspor which he joined in 2022 from another Turkish outfit, Fatih Karagumruk.

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Napoli fans vote Osimhen best striker ahead of Higuain, Cavani



Fans of Italian Serie A side,
Napoli, have voted Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen, as the best forward the club has had, ahead of clubs legends like Edinson Cavani and Gonzalo Higuain.

Shortly before the Champions League match between Napoli and Barcelona last week, the fans were tasked with picking the best of the three strikers who had y made great impacts in the team in their recent history.

After a poll, Cavani, Higuain, and Osimhen’s names popped up and although the poll had split opinions, the African Footballer of the Year came out on top.

The poll was conducted randomly as the fans were handed the quiz as they were making their way into the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium for the match.

When the results of the poll were collated at the end of the match where the Super Eagles forward scored the equaliser to tie the match at 1-1, the total number of votes was 38, split as follows:

MVictor Osimhen (18), Edinson Cavani (14) and Gonzalo Higuain (6), with the Nigeria international being the clear winner.

Cavani, who joined Napoli in 2010, quickly established himself as a dominant force in Serie A and during his time with the club, he helped Napoli clinch the Coppa Italia in 2012 and was the Serie A top scorer in the 2012-13 season with 29 league goals.

He scored 104 goals in 138 appearances and demonstrated his vital role in the team’s success, earning him the nickname “El Matador” for his clinical finishing and composure in front of goal.

Higuaín who starred for between 2013 to 2016, broke the Serie A goal scoring record in the 2015-16 season by scoring 36 league goals, setting a new Serie A record for most goals in a season.

On his part, Osimhen was sensational last season as he led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, scoring 26 goals to emerge the highest goal scorer, the first African player to achieve such feat in the Italian league.

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