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South Africa succumbs to India in T20 World Cup finals

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South Africa’s unbeaten run to the final of the T20 World Cup was ended on Saturday by India which also ended their 13-year wait for a world title.

In the thrilling final match in Barbados, India fought back gallantly to beat the Proteas who needed 26 from 24 balls in pursuit of 177, but the wicket of Heinrich Klaasen for 52 from 27 swung a dramatic game in India’s favour.

The game looked done during Klaasen’s onslaught but Hardik removed him by finding a thin edge through to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Even as Klaasen slumped off, South Africa remained favourites.

The win was India’s second T20 title, having won the inaugural tournament in 2007, and first World Cup win in either format since the 2011 50-over competition.

And for South Africa, it was a horrible defeat that brought back all the pain of World Cups past after breezing through to the final without losing a single match.

India had so much in their favour, a team of superstars chosen from population of 1.4 billion and the largest proportion of the revenue generated in the game.

The Proteas, like India, had progressed to this point unbeaten and had come through a series of tight games and their semi-final win against Afghanistan was their first victory in the last four of a World Cup in eight attempts.

Arshdeep Singh conceded only four from the penultimate over, leaving Hardik Pandya to defend 16 from the last, while David Miller was sensationally caught by Suryakumar Yadav at long-off for 21 from the first ball before India closed out a seven-run win.

It sparked jubilant scenes among the India players and fans in Barbados, including superstar Virat Kohli, who dragged his side to 176-7 with 76 off 59.

The final result left Hardik was in tears as he was part of the Indian side that lost the 50-over World Cup final to Australia on home soil eight months ago.

In the end, up against some superb bowling from Jasprit Bumrah, who took 2-18 in a high-scoring game, they faltered again at the last.

In the final moments, Kagiso Rabada edged a four and Hardik bowled a wide, leaving eight needed from the last two balls before Radaba was caught at long-off.

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Nine killed, 20 injured in Somalia cafe bombing during Euro football final

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At least nine people have been confirmed killed and 20 others injured following a powerful car bomb blast at a cafe in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu that was packed with football fans watching the Euro 2024 final on Sunday night.

An official from the national security agency, Mohamed Yusuf. who confirmed the incident to journalists on Monday, said the death toll could well rise as some of the injured were in critical condition.

“Nine civilians were killed and 20 others wounded in the explosion,” Yusuf said.

“There were many people inside the restaurant, most of them youth who were watching the football match… but thanks to God, most of them made their way out safely after using ladders to climb up and jump over the backside perimeter wall,” he said.

A staff member at the cafe, Mohamud Salad, who also spoke to journalists, said five people were killed outside the shop instantly.

“People were watching the European football final between Spain and England on a screen inside the café in the Somali capital when a car loaded with explosives blew up outside,” Salad said.

“We have confirmed five deaths so far and twenty others wounded. Most of the casualties were among those who were outside. Fortunately, everyone inside survived, but there was extensive damage to vehicles and properties,” Salad added.

Images posted online showed a huge fireball and plumes of smoke billowing into the night sky as the explosion ripped through the popular restaurant in the center of the city.

Though no group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, state-run Somali National News Agency said the attack was carried out by Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab jihadists.

The news agency, in a report, said that “Al-Shabaab group has been waging a bloody insurgency against Somalia’s fragile federal government for more than 17 years and has carried out numerous bombings in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country.”

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Cameroonian football union wants Eto’o banned for life over alleged nationality fraud

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A Cameroonian football union, the Association of Amateur Football Clubs of Cameroon (ACFAC), has added to the plight of embattled president of the country’s football Federation, Fecafoot, Samuel Eto’o, by calling for his lifetime ban over alleged nationality fraud.

In a petition to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), ACFAC called for Eto’o to be banned for life from all football-related activities alleging that he is ineligible to hold the presidency of Cameroonian football as he longer possesses Cameroonian nationality since 2007, which, according to the country’s Nationality Code, would render him ineligible for the Fecafoot presidency.

Citing Article 31, paragraph (a) of law N•68-LF-3 of June 11, which states that an adult Cameroonian who voluntarily acquires or retains a foreign nationality loses their Cameroonian nationality, ACFAC asserts that Eto’o acquired Spanish nationality on July 1, 2007, and formally renounced his Cameroonian nationality, yet continued to represent Cameroon in international football until 2014.

Based on the allegations, ACFAC demands Eto’o’s suspension from his duties as Fecafoot president while an investigation is conducted.

The union further argue that if their claims are confirmed, Eto’o should face:

1. A lifetime ban from any football-related activities.

2. Repayment of all benefits received from Fecafoot since his election in December 2021.

3. A payment of 20 billion CFA francs in damages and interests.

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