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Tragedy as coach killed, players injured in Sierra Leone club bus crash

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One of the coaches of Sierra Leonean club, Port Authority FC, Lamine Bangoura, a former international, has been confirmed killed while several players sustained different degrees of injuries after the team bus was involved in an accident on Tuesday night when going for a football game.

According to a statement from the club management, the players and officials of the top flight clubside are still reeling from the effect of the accident.

A local media which reported on the devastating accident on Wednesday said:

“The Sierra Leonean football is in mourning. On Tuesday evening, the Port Authority FC bus was involved in an accident. Several first team players are injured and in critical condition after this tragedy.

“The worst was the death of the Port Authority FC coach, Lamine Bangoura, who did not survive after receiving a serious blow during the accident.

“The team was en route to Kenema for a crucial match against Kahunla Rangers when tragedy struck, leaving several members in critical condition.

“The accident, which occurred at Konta Line, has claimed the life of the former Sierra Leone international and team coach, Lamine Bangura.

“Lamine Bangura was a highly revered figure in Sierra Leonean football and leaves behind a legacy that transcends the sport.

“Despite the best efforts of medical personnel at Masiaka Hospital, Bangura succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind a void in Sierra Leonean football.”

The Sierra Leone Premier League Board, in a statement on Wednesday, expressed deep regret and sent condolences to the team.

“While details of the incident are still emerging, it has been confirmed that there were injuries sustained by individuals involved in the accident.

“Our immediate priority is the well-being and recovery of those affected by this unfortunate event,” the statement said.

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Nigeria, Zambia clinch women Olympic football slots for Paris 2024

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria and the Copper Queens of Zambia on Tuesday picked the last two spots in the women’s football tournament at the Paris Olympics after winning two-legged playoffs in the fourth round of African qualifiers.

While Nigeria played out a goalless draw against the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in Pretoria to qualify after a 1-0 win in Abuja last week, Zambia needed an extra time win to get past Morocco in Rabat in their second leg encounter.

The Copper Queens successfully turned a 2-1 first-leg home defeat into a 3-2 aggregate triumph with a 2-0 win over the Atlas Lionesses at Moulay Hassan Stadium.

Orlando Pride of USA striker, Barbra Banda, opened the scoring for Zambia in the 38th minute and got her brace when she converted a penalty in the 105th minute to send her country to the Olympic starting in July.

However, the two African countries have been drawn into tough groups for the football event at the Games.

The Super Falcons will take on world champions Spain and former world champions Japan and Brazil in Group C at the Olympics while Zambia is in Group B alongside France, former champions the United States and Germany as well as last year’s women World Cup semi-finalists, Australia.

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Spain denies Nigeria’s ‘Future Eagles’ visa for international tournament

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Spanish authorities have denied Nigeria’s Under-15 football team, popularly known as Future Eagles, the opportunity of participating in an international invitational tournament which would also feature Belgium, Italy and England.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in a post on its X handle on Tuesday, said members of junior football team including the players and their officials were denied visas to attend the tournament in Spain.

The Nigerian football body said though the Spanish embassy did not give reasons for the visa denial, the team would “therefore not be travelling to take part in the Uefa U16 Development Tournament.”

The Future Eagles made up of 20 players and seven officials, were set to depart Nigeria on Tuesday, ahead of their first match against Belgium scheduled for Friday, before squaring up against Italy and England.

The Uefa Under-16 Youth Development Tournament, which is organised by Europe’s football governing body, has been held since 2012 and is intended to expose elite junior players to international football and ease their transition into senior levels of the sport.

The Future Eagles, coached by Patrick Bassey, recently returned from a tournament in Morocco where they won one match and lost one against their Moroccan counterparts on a two-match tour of that North African country.

Their first game had ended in a 2-3 defeat, but they bounced back to win the second game 5-3 in the city of Kenitra.

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