Friday, July 31, 2009

Martins being thrown to the Wolves + video

English club Newcastle United have accepted a £9 million fee from German champions VfL Wolfsburg for Super Eagles striker Obafemi Martins.

It's clear that the guy wanted to leave that bad. Newcastle has not done him a world of good I imagine.

Don't forget that the deal comes less than 24 hours after Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh confirmed his interest in the 24-year-old who joined Newcastle in August 2006 for £10 million from Italian side Inter Milan.

If the switch eventually goes ahead, Martins will be the first transfer in or out of Newcastle since their relegation from the Premier League in May.

The only other first team player to have left Newcastle this term was Michael Owen who left for Manchester United after he was released at the end of his contract.

Anyway, Martins is a firm favourite among Toons and has so far repaid them for their adoration with 35 goals - and numerous back flips. But the lure of featuring once again in the UEFA Champions League is strong within him and his days on Tyneside appear almost up.

Martins featured regularly in Europe’s top club competition all through his time at Inter Milan and was an integral part of the Nerazzurri side that lost out in the Champions League semi finals to city rivals AC Milan in the 2004/2005 season; a season that saw him grabbing five goals in the money-spinning tournament.

Cheers to him!

Seen the poll?

There's a new poll on here for those into the Ghanaian Premier league...its on the right...just a few scrolls down.

Moving on: Derek and Barusso switch various sides

Some players make travelling look like the reason people play soccer. One of such is Derek Boateng. The Black Stars man would be playing in next season's La Liga.

The 26 year old has now been plying his trade in 5 countries since leaving Ghana: Greece, Sweden, Israel and Germany.

How I envy him! To play in the league that has C. Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema and Ibra should be pretty cool, I'd say. And maybe, Xavi Alonso too!

Derek moved from the German team Cologne and he is expected to be on a 4-year deal for Getafe.

Boateng thus makes a quick switch after just six months in Germany having joined Cologne from Beitar Jerusalem in January this year.

Another traveller is Ghana international midfielder Ahmed Barusso has joined Italian Serie B side Brescia on loan. The 24-year-old signed the season-long deal from Serie A club Roma with a view to a permanent transfer.

Roma signed Barusso from Rimini in June 2007 after the midfielder excelled for the Serie B side in the 2006/2007 season. Sadly, he couldn't settle well with the club, spending most of last season on a at Siena loan.

The midfielder has struggled with breaking into the first team of Roma and went out on loan to Turkish side Galatasary in his first season at the club.

Mixed mixes

I saw this informative piece on

A night of mixed results for some of Ghana's internationals as the Europa League entered the third qualifying round stage.

Four of Ghana's internationals helped their clubs make an impressive start in their Europa League third qualifying round ties on Thursday.

Matthew Amoah, John Paintsil, Joe Tex Frimpong and Samuel Yeboah all saw their sides win their first matches in the third qualifying round.

But for Issah Ahmed and David Addy, Awudu Okocha and Dominic Adiyiah it was a night to forget as their clubs lost heavily.

Striker Samuel Yeboah was on the score sheet as he helped Hapoel Tel Aviv to their 3-1 away victory over Gothenburg in Sweden.

Paintsil played out for Fulham in their 3-0 victory over Lithuanian club FK Vetra in the first leg away.

NAC Breda, featuring Matthew Amoah were 1-0 away winners over Polonia Warsaw. Amoah scored twice to get NAC Breda to the third qualifying stage.

Joe Tex Frimpong was a late substitute for Young Boys as the Swiss side beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at home.

In Denmark, the campaign of Issah Ahmed and David Addy both players of Randers FC after having been through two qualifying rounds already appears to be over after losing 0-4 to Hamburg.

Addy was handed a start at left back while Issah remained on the bench.

Samad Awudu Okocha came on in the second half but could not stop Maccabi Netanya from going down 1-4 to Galatasaray.

There was also another crushing defeat for a Ghanaian international with Dominic Adiyiah’s side, Fredrikstad going down 1-6 to Lech. Adiyiah was an unused substitute.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Toure's first shout after leaving Arsenal to City

Hi all.

Manchester City have unveiled new signing Kolo Toure at his debut press conference since the Ivorian made his move from Arsenal.

Toure, who claims he knew about the move six months ago, says he would not have joined Mark Hughes's side if he did not think they can win the league.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Eto'o unveiled

Now we're entering the football season proper in Europe so we can have more action from our African brothers.

First up is Samuel Eto'o. He's been introduced to Inter Milan fans and all that.

Next up for Ghana: Zambia

It is now confirmed: Ghana's Black Stars play Zambia on August 12.

Zambia is, of course, now managed by former Ghana physical trainer, Renard Herve.

It'll be at the Matchroom Stadium aka the Brisbane Road which is the grounds of English League One side, Leyton Orient. Ghana are pretty at the top of Group D, five points clear in the qualifiers play against Sudan at home.

Coach Milovan Rajevac will use the game as part of the team's prepsAfrican qualifying for the 2010 World Cup which restarts in September.

Zambia will also use the game to prepare for their impending World Cup qualifier - they are still challenging for a place in South Africa as they remain third in their group after having missed out of all previous attempts to the World Cup.

Building on the 2010 success

South African officials are discussing bidding to host the 2020 Olympics, capitalising on the investment in the country's sports infrastructure for next year’s World Cup.

The website reports that sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile said after a meeting about World Cup preparations that progress on that project meant the country had more confidence in resubmitting a bid to host the Olympics.

Cape Town lost out to Athens in the final round of the host bidding process for the 2004 Summer Games.

Durban has expressed interest in hosting the event, by saying that the Moses Mabhida stadium being built there for the World Cup could be expanded to 85,000 spectators for 2020, if required.

However the Recreation Minister’s spokeswoman Lerato Mogorosi said the issue had not yet been put before the cabinet.

“The bid only opens at the 2012 Olympics in London,” she said.

“It is not confirmed but it is being seriously discussed by the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee.”

Hayatou's baby

The newly constructed CAF (Confederation of African Football) football academy in Yaounde, Cameroon is set to admit its first players soon.

The infrastructure has been made accessible by a 3km tarred road from the Douala highway to the complex. The CAF academy is an ideal location for the preparation of high level sportsmen.

The CAF complex is comprised of a 20 room hotel, two training fields (one of which is artificial), an administrative block, two swimming pools, a multipurpose field and a water treatment plant, covers a surface area of 23 hectares.

Apart from using local energy, the complex has three generators that serve as back-up when local energy supply is inadequate. Construction work on the complex began in December 2006.

"We owe sincere gratitude to the Cameroonian government, which helped us to reduce the cost of the project by exonerating custom duties on materials meant for the work," said CAF president Issa Hayatou.

The creation of CAF Academies falls in line with the development programme of the Confederation, helping to provide the continent with quality infrastructure.

I really hope we could have more of these around the continent. Ghana has its own Soccer School of Excellence but it is - as usual - piteously under-equipped. The last time I visited the place it looked a bit out of sorts.

The Yaounde, Dakar and Addis Ababa academies are the three regional centres that have already been completed.

Each of Cameroun's academies shall host seminars, refresher courses for actors in the area of refereeing, training, administration and sports medicine.

The Yaounde academy shall be the base for the sport in the Central African sub region.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Orange taking over from MTN at Caf. What's the deal?

A new deal will see telecommunications company Orange sponsor all major competitions organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over the next eight years.

The deal was brokered by the Sportfive agency. Caf's website says:

"In addition, Orange becomes new media broadcaster of these competitions through mobile offers across 55 countries in Africa."

Orange will title sponsor Caf’s flagship competition the Africa Cup of Nations, will receive television and mobile rights in France for CAF competitions, and will broadcast CAF events on mobile in 55 African countries.

The new partnership begins with the 2009 CAF Champions League, which begins this month.

The competitions covered by the agreement are: the Africa Cup of Nations (held every two years), the African Nations Championship (held every two years), the African Youth Championship (held every two years), the CAF Champions League (annual), the Confederation Cup (annual), and the CAF Super Cup (every year).


A senior colleague of mine (who definitely does not want to be mentioned) tells me that this move by Caf is hardly surprising:

"MTN are not keen on caf anymore because the corruption at Caf is huge.

They [Caf] wanted to give all the rights for the various tournaments to Glo because Mike Adenuga Jr [CEO of Glo] is a personal friend of Hayatou's.

But that deal backfired because Glo couldn't pay [the amounts involved]"

After that deal reportedly backfired, Caf went back to MTN for help. Talk about asses.

And of course MTN felt slighted and said no.


As it is many analysts are suspicious of the deal, one of whom is my senior colleague (who still doesn't wanna be named):

"I'm suspicious because of Orange's presence in Africa. They are in only 5 or 6 countries here: Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea and Botswana."

The money aspect of the deal is not yet known but if you recall, last year CAF put a value of 100 million euros ($143 million) for a comprehensive and long-term package of its competitions when it opened tenders for a new sponsor.


This deal is definitely a big deal for Orange because the African Nations' Cup is now a very attractive and big commodity. With the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup is expected to have a world-wide TV audience in viewership of 26 billion, MTN would have hoped that some of that huge number would have watched them put on the dress rehearsal that Angola 2010 would have been.

According to CAN sponsor Canon, the potential accumulated global TV audience for the 2008 tournament was close to 4 billion.

Last year, 143 of the 368 players at CAN were drawn from elite European clubs, according to Time and these numbers were just low estimates.

MTN may have lost the Nations' Cup but they still have the Fifa World Cup to milk dry. They launched the festivities with MTN Nigeria last Saturday, and although they would look back at the Nations Cup with fondness, one can't help but notice what a big blow it would be for the y'ellow boys.

But maybe not, because in 2006, MTN did make clear that the World was their biggest deal in terms of significance despite the fact the the accumulated profits they may have made since sponsoring the Nations Cup may be more.

When MTN was announced as the sponsor of the Nations Cup, people felt a kinship with it because MTN can be said to be a company with deep African roots, having started in South Africa. But Orange, a French company through and through, may not have the same love that the previous sponsor encountered.

Previous title sponsors of the event have included Nokia and Coca Cola.

Whoever is in charge of Orange should know that this event is close to the heart of Africans, so we do not want any shenanigans.

Looking gloomy - OL may offload John Mensah. And why not?

Too many injuries and red cards spoil the broth.

John Mensah only joined Lyon last summer from Stade Rennes. And then injuries and red cards started chopping his French career. Things have come to a big head because the former French dons feel they do not need him.

The Lyons president is Jean-Michel Aulas:

“Today the possibility of the two players leaving is even greater because I have already made my plans for next season “If both players [Mensah and world cup winning Fabio Grosso] receive proposals where there is mutual interest, we will study and allow them to leave.”

The big defender has been said to have had interests from Galatasaray - a €5milion Lyon brushed off - and just a week ago I heard West Ham wanted him.

Yet Mensah himself feels a bit under-carded:

“I have always said footballers are like birds in flight –you never know where you end up. If Lyon agree I should talk to them and the offer is good, you never know, he told

I don't think Lyon have seen the best of me. I got injured too many times and that really affected me. So I want to stay at the club and repay them for all the patience they have had for me up to date.”

Me, I think that the guy is too old, let's face it. His real age may be somewhere in the mid- thirties and not the 27 we are being told.

And if that is the age, you just cannot cheat nature.

Yeah, I said it!

...Meanwhile, another J. Mensah but this time JoNATHAN, is looking glad, not gloomy. His tidings with Free State Stars (South Africa) are looking up.

When do your favorite leagues begin?

As Hearts of Oak were crowned league champs on Sunday - pictured above - it has marked a relatively dull tenure of football ahead in Ghana. So I wondered when the next league season would start. Now I have my well as those from others around the world.

English Prem: August 15th

La Liga: August 29th

GPL: October 4

Serie A: August 23rd

Bundesliga: August 7th

Ligue 1: August 8th

Russia Premier League: Running*

Eredivisie: July 31st

Romania: August 1st

Portugal: August 15th

Turkey: August 9th

Greece: August 22nd

Scotland: August 15th

Belgium: August 1st

Switzerland July 11th*

Denmark: July 18th

Bulgaria: August 8th

Czech Republic: July 25th

Norway: Running*

Austria: July 17th

Serbia: August 15th

Ghana: October 4th

(These dates are subject to change don't forget)

But don't despair for the lack of Ghanaian football till then, because there are other African attractions...

Terrific Tuesday's roundup of what we've missed

Hellooo everyone. Been on a self-imposed 5-day holiday, I have.

Quite simply, I was zonked out.

Anyhow over the past few days, Samuel Eto'o has arrived in Milan on Monday to complete his transfer to Inter in a swap deal which sends Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic to his former club Barcelona...

Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli has confirmed his interest in Arsenal's Ivorian midfielder Emmanuel Eboue...

Hearts of Oak lifted the first Glo Premier League trophy and a check of almost 8000 dollars...

Spanish side Getafe have slapped in a surprise offer for Ghana midfielder Derek Boateng, who is yet to complete his first full season in Germany....

Kwesi Nyantakyi is mooting for Ghana's football leagues to be popularized by using television...

Morocco's Hassan Moumen has been appointed interim coach of the Atlas Lions in place of sacked Frenchman Roger Lemerre

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ade blames Arsenal fans (expected) and Sammy's leaving for Inter (also expected)

Two things HAD TO happen sometime.

1. Emmanuel Adebayor blaming Arsenal fans

Emmanuel said it was the fans that made him leave Arsenal. According to him, the fans at Emirates Stadium had turned on him in recent times and he couldn’t work out why his situation was different to that of somebody like Cesc Fabregas.

"The way the fans behaved towards me was not nice at all. I can't understand why they were after me.

"I did my best for them and I was very happy there.

"I scored 30 goals in a season - it's not my fault that Milan, Barcelona or Real Madrid wanted to sign me.

"In any summer, Barcelona try to sign Cesc Fabregas.

"But the fans never turned on him."

Well, it wasn't as if I wasn't expecting but well, there you are.

2. Samuel Eto'o leaving Barca

He has agreed terms on his transfer from Barcelona to Inter Milan. His agent, Jose Maria Mesalles, emerged from two hours of talks with Inter representatives to tell the waiting press that a deal had been agreed.

The Cameroon international is due to arrive in Milan on either Monday or Tuesday to put pen to paper.

The agent spent three days negotiating with Inter before a deal was reached which will see Eto'o switch from Barcelona while Inter's Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins the Spanish champions.

 That's not strange, 'cos I think Sammy was worth every penny.

As well as Eto'o, the Catalans would pay the Italians 50 million euros and allow Belarusian winger Alexander Hleb to go on a season-loan to the San Siro.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Eto'o will sign a five-year deal worth between 10-10.5 million euros a year.

 The 28-year-old Eto'o, who joined the Catalan side in 2004, has a year left in his contract with Barcelona. 

He was the club's top scorer in the Spanish league last season, with 30 goals.

 Why Barca let him go is beyond me...

African August attractions

It looks like the Glo Top 4 - a competitive post season tournament that pits the top four teams against each other - would not be the hottest thing in Africa's post season.

Apart from the MTN 8 Wafa Wafa that's also getting southern Africa on hooks (starts 4 August), there'll be the CECAFA Youth Championship as well. This is the 'younger brother' of the more famous CECAFA Cup - this year's ended with a surprise.

So, the CECAFA Youth Championship. It's the second edition of the tournament which is a spin-off of its more prestigious elder brother. And although originally scheduled for Kenya, the east Africans simply dont have the cash to take it through.

Meaning that Sudan will do the hosting of the 8 countries - Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibar and Nigeria (invited)

All teams had better brace themselves for world class opposition to take place in Khartoum and Juba (and maybe Kessala).

Two-time world champions Nigeria were invited as the special guests to add a competitive edge to the event.

CECAFA Secretary, Nicholas Musonye:

“Nigeria had been invited in line with our policy to raise the standards of the game in the region.

“Nigeria has one of the best under-17 talents in the world. At this level, their football put the likes of Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Okocha and Sunday Oliseh on the world map.

When Nigeria play in our tournament next month, they will be serving warning to youth in our region that football at this level is no kids’ stuff.”

Currently, there is a Kenya under-17 team in place, having been selected for the nationwide Copa Coca Cola tournament a few months ago. Later, the all-star team played in a tournament in South Africa and only recently participated in another international tournament in Bahrain.

The same team is expected at the CECAFA tournament to kick off in Sudan on August 12.

All 11 CECAFA member countries are expected in Sudan and a tune-up to the organization of the event is going on during the ongoing regional club tournament in this country.

It will be the first time ever that a major international sports event will take place in the semi-autonomous Sudanese region ravaged by war for decades.

The Unity Government of Sudan is giving CECAFA Sh30 million towards hosting of the tournament and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is also assisting.

Now that's an encouraging piece of news from Sudan!