Monday, August 31, 2009

Video: weekend round up

New Euro season, new tidings for the African boys.

Adebayor fired his people to a win for the 3rd time already

The man is getting his groove on real good. In another not to good game for Ghana's Paintsil who scored an own goal.

On a better note for the Black Stars, Matt Amoah scored for his team NAC Breda.

In France, Toulouse lost 0 - 1 to Valenciennes and Mamadou Samassa came of the bench to net this dramatic 87th minute winner for the visitors.

To Belgium now and Dieudonne Mbokani put Standard ahead in the 36th minute but Guillaume Gillet levelled three minutes before the break against Anderlecht.

And that's the wrap!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Squad for Sudan out and it's just ok.

Milovan Rajevac has almost got the Ghana national team to the World cup and the cup of Nations. Indeed he has done so in a pretty neat way with a 100% record. The other day Ghana played Zambia I remarked to a taxi driver that we had gotten used to seeing the stars win. And we felt a warm glow of pride about that...

Now the team is on its final lap to 2010 and Milo has named a 20 man team for Sudan it has the usual suspects, really.

The only surprise in the squad is that Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese) has been benched because of his injury. The other news is that after almost 1 year out, Laryea is back. That hamstring really gave him the shakes.

Another man who is back is Asamoah Gyan, who's been having a good time so far in Rennes with no injuries.

Well then so Milo has a strong team and would be expected to do the double over the Crocs on the 6th of September.

Can't wait!

If Ghana wins, we might as well start taking out the champagne flutes...

Monday, August 24, 2009

What the Ghanaman could not, the Serbians have done. Twice.

When history comes to be written, the football bards would sing a song.
The first stanza of the song will say that four years ago, Ratomir Dujkovic did a great job of taking Ghana to its first World Cup.

Never mind that he was the fifth in a series to coaches to steer the Black Stars into the World Cup after Sam Arday, Mariano Barreto, held the fort in the qualifying series.

Now, in 2009, the second stanza will likely say that another Serbian is doing same.
Milovan Rajevac Some great coaches in the nation’s history have failed to do that: Robert Mensah, Ibrahim Sunday, CK Gyamfi, Malik Jabir, Ben Kusi and Osei Kofi among others.

And then there are others like Jones Attuquayefio, EK Afranie – all these mentioned coaches had great players like Anthony Yeboah, Abedi Pele, Isaac Paha, Abdul Razak, Mohammed Polo, Peter Lamptey, Dan Owusu, Awuley Quaye and Kwasi Owusu and countless others.

But hey, we shouldn’t forget that the money, too, has counted.
Dujkovic did it four years ago on a modest salary of $15000 a month and Milo is doing it with a paycheck that is five times over. How much are we willing to pay Ghanaians to take us to the world cup?

That, I believe, is another bone to pick on another day.

ps: Never mind that Ghana is not fully at the World cup....they are already there as far as I am concerned!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Appiah’s quest for a renaissance: is it the first?

When Stephen Appiah made his not-so-triumphant re-entry into the Black Stars last Wednesday, many thought it was the first time a sports star has sought to woo back fans – and the record books.

Not so.

A quick look at history shows that there have been several others before the Tornado.

His was just the latest in a series of comebacks of former champions and icons who found the temptation for further glory too good to resist. These are some of the former greats who have had another crack at more success with varied results.

Lance Armstrong

The combative seven-time Tour de France champion couldn't resist another tilt at the greatest cycling race in the world and duly announced his return to the sport last year at the age of 37. He defied the skeptics to produce a typically aggressive and competitive ride in this year's edition and finished a highly commendable third behind his Astana team-mate Alberto Contador.

The Texan and the Spaniard then exchanged less than complimentary words with Armstrong acidly remarking 'there is no I in team'. That duel reminded me of Sulley Muntari’s mum.

Next year's race promises to be an even greater spectacle as Armstrong has decamped to the Radioshack team run by his mentor and close friend Johan Bruyneel.

Alain Prost

After Prost was left without a drive following Ferrari's decision to release the Frenchman for the 1992 season, he returned to the circuit one year later at the wheel of a Williams-Renault. He then went on to lift a fourth drivers championship before leaving the track for good.

Michael Jordan

After a brief and modest spell in baseball's minor leagues, "Air Jordan" came back to the basketball court following a 17-month spell away from the game between 1993 and 1995. The man many regard as the greatest ever to play the game led his former club, the Chicago Bulls to three more NBA titles.

Muhammad Ali

The man simply known as "The Greatest" retired from the ring after regaining his world title from Leon Spinks on September 15, 1978. After two years on the sidelines, he re-laced his gloves at the age of 39 but was badly beaten by world champion Larry Holmes who stopped Ali in the 11th round in October 1981.

George Foreman

Olympic champion in 1968 at the age of 19 in Mexico City, Foreman went on to become world champion five years later when he defeated Joe Frazier. The future preacher went on to lose his belt to arch rival Mohammed Ali one year later in the legendary 'Rumble in the Jungle' in what was then Zaire - now the Democratic Republic of Congo - but after some 12 years out of the fight game, he stunned the world of boxing when he floored Michael Moore in 1994 at the age of 45. One of the hardest punchers in the game, he remains the oldest ever boxing world champion.


The brilliant Brazilian quit the game of football in 1974 after a glorious career at Santos and the rare achievement of lifting three World Cups with the South American giants. Six months later, he was coaxed out of retirement by the New York Cosmos and won the now defunct North American title alongside such fellow greats as Franz Beckenbauer.

Dara Torres

The champion of coming out of retirement, Torres quit twice only to return to the pool for the Beijing Games in 2008 at the age of 41. The American proved to the world, she was still a force to be reckoned with by winning three silvers in the 50m free, 4x100m free and 4x100m medley to take her career tally to 12 Olympic medals.

Torres also took part at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Games before returning to the starting blocks at Sydney 2000 and winning five medals. Following the Australian Olympiad she continued her education, gave birth to a baby girl Tessa, in 2006, before announcing her second return to competition a few months later.

Lester Piggott

The greatest jockey of his generation, who won nine Epsom Derbys among many other major races, and was champion jockey 11 times. Retired in 1985 to take up training but was jailed in 1987 for three years for tax evasion only to return to the saddle on his release aged 55 and showed the 'long fellow's' talents remained as he guided Royal Academy to the Breeders Cup Mile for his old retainer Dr Vincent O'Brien and added another classic through Rodrigo de Triano in the 1992 English 2000 Guineas before retiring for a final time in 1994.

Katarina Witt

The East German pin-up girl won it all in a glittering career that featured two Olympic golds, four world titles and six European crowns. She quit the ice as a competitive skater in 1988 at just 23 but returned six years later for the 1994 Games at Lillehammer.

Despite high expectations, she could only manage seventh place. Turned her hand at an eyecatching nude photo display in Playboy in December 1998 - the then second most sold out issue since Marilyn Monroe appeared in their first ever edition. However it was also revealed that she had co-operated fully with the notorious East German secret police the Stasi.

Jayne Torvill - Christopher Dean.

The mythical British ice dancing pair captured the world's attention with their sublime interpretation to Ravel's Bolero in 1984 which gave them gold and world glory. Ten years later, they teamed up again to compete at the Lillehammer Games at the age of 35 and 36 respectively. Despite only winning bronze, they remain etched in figure skating folklore while Dean went on to become a brilliant choreographer.

Bjorn Borg

Stunned the sporting world when he retired at just 25 after hitting the peaks of tennis. Borg won six French Open titles and five Wimbledon crowns before hanging up his Donnay racquet for the first time. Made a doomed comeback in the early 90's when he tried the absurd idea of continuing with a wooden racquet. He never won another match in 10 miserable tournaments.

Martina Navratilova

The Czech-born American quit the courts in 1994 at the age of 38 after winning 18 individual Grand Slam titles. She remained out of the game for six years before making a successful return in the doubles game. Navratilova won three more Grand Slam titles, including the mixed doubles at Australia and Wimbledon in 2003 with India's Leander Paes and the US Open in 2006 with Bob Bryan, just weeks ahead of her 50th birthday.

Martina Hingis

Cursed by injuries, the temperamental 'Swiss Miss' was forced into early retirement at just 23 in 2003. Three years later the former world number one was back and played two seasons winning three individual tournaments and the Australian Open mixed crown, alongside India's Mahesh Bhupathi. Her comeback was brought to a premature end when she tested positive for cocaine in 2007 during Wimbledon.

So you see, the Tornado is very much a part of this list. What remains to be seen is if he can make what would be one of the best returns to form we’ve seen in years.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Atouba in bubba!

Here's Cameroun's Tim Atouba being embarassing...

Eto'o makes Afrique prouder all the time baby!

UEFA has announced the nominees for the UEFA Club Football Awards to be presented during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Thursday 27 August from 17.45CET.

Votes cast
The voting procedure gives the coaches of the 16 teams that reached the knockout phase of the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League the possibility to cast their votes for each position as well as to nominate the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year 2009 of their choice.

Based on the voting results, the list of nominees is as follows:

  • UEFA Club Forward of the Year
  • Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona)
    Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC)

    I positively feel it's all for Lio Messi...debate over. But still, Eto'o is pure class! Here are the rest:

  • UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year
  • Petr Čech (Chelsea FC)
    Víctor Valdés (FC Barcelona)
    Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United FC)

  • UEFA Club Defender of the Year
  • Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona)
    John Terry (Chelsea FC)
    Nemanja Vidić (Manchester United FC)

  • UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year
  • Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)
    Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona)
    Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona)

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Caf Champions league weekend previews

    The two frontrunners in African Champions League Group A meet tonight as Sudan’s Al Hilal host Kano Pillars from Nigeria in Omdurman.

    Both teams have four points from two matches, three ahead of Zambian side Zesco United and Sudan’s Al Merreikh.

    Given the ongoing war of words between the Sudanese FA and their Nigerian counterparts over alleged transfer irregularities when Al Hilal sent two players on loan to Nigerian clubs, there is sure to be added spice to this fixture.

    The Sudanese side will be brimming with confidence having not been beaten at home in CAF competitions in April 2001 when they lost 1-0 to Egyptian giants Zamalek.

    Their form in this season’s Champions League competition has been scratchy though. After an opening round bye they lost 2-1 away from home to Reunion minnows US Stade Tamponnaise, but managed to claw the tie back with a 3-1 victory at home.

    They also lost 3-1 on the road to Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto, but were once again saved by their home form as a 2-0 win ensured victory on the away goals rule.

    They have started their Group A campaign well enough with a 0-0 draw away from home against compatriots Al Merreikh and a deserved, if unspectacular 1-0 home win over Zesco United in the last round of matches.

    Pillars, conquerors of the African champions Al Ahly earlier in the competition, are still without an away win in this year’s tournament, and have in fact drawn six of their eight matches to date, relying on the away goals rule in the knockout stages.

    Their Group A form so far includes an away draw with Zesco and a comprehensive 3-1 home victory over Al Merreikh.

    No Ghanaian clubs are included.

    Here are the rest of the games till later in the year.


    A round up of what we've missed

    Hello there.

    I have been a very naughty man with my absence. Due to some massive internet trouble down here.

    In the past few days Ghana's Black Stars have won 4-1 against Zambia..with an almost 2nd grade team, I may add.

    And then there's been Prince Tagoe's bizarre issue with Hoffenheim, not to mention Opeele's move to Faisal and its (un)intended effects...

    In the interim, we are looking forward to the cranking of Europe's top leagues with the horde of Africans therein...

    Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg say Nigerian attacker Obafemi Martins is likely to make his debut this week. The 24-year-old, who recently arrived from Newcastle United, has yet to make his official debut for the club after missing out on their League opener against Stuttgart.

    “He isn’t 100% match-fit yet, but he’s ready to enter the pitch whenever needed. He’ll possibly make his debut in Saturday’s match against Koeln,” said Veh.

    Martins himself told the press that he’s keen to make his official debut and that he will do his utmost to find the net regularly.

    “I know that Edin Dzeko and Grafite are excellent strikers. However, we will all get the chance to prove our worth. I will do my utmost to score as many goals as possible this season.”

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Video: Africans were involved in the best goals of the last EPL season too!

    With the imminent start of the next one, here's a sampling of someone's best goals in the last EPL season:


    Sunday, August 09, 2009

    Tema Youth’s plan to court CAS

    We have known the ‘what’ of the Tema Youth case but, crucially, not the ‘how’ they plan to do that.

    Now we know.

    Still reeling from the fact that they have been relegated from the Glo Premier league, Tema Youth have already said they would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland if what they see as a GFA error is not corrected.

    They have filed for another review today and to give this a broader perspective, here is how the issue really happened, according to Tema Touth. The GFA’s Appeals Committee declared Tema Youth losers of their games against Berekum Arsenal and Sekondi Eleven Wise for fielding an unqualified player, Emmanuel Clottey.

    Now, Tema Youth were first shorn of six points (and another six after the Committee chairman said the first six was not enough an d was an error), causing their relegation. As for the club, they claim Clottey was a Great Olympics player and then had a six-month spell in Denmark.

    On his return, Tema Youth claim Clottey was registered by them on April 8 this year during the second transfer window. This, they say was after the receipt of the player’s International Transfer Cert (ITC)

    And so Tema Youth insist they met all that was required by the FA and FIFA law.

    Well, from the GFA point of view, these are prickly times considering that Nyantakyi is also in hot water over his alleged unhealthy bribery comments.

    But let me say this: I would be massively surprised if Tema Youth win this case in Ghana, let alone at the CAS.

    Saturday, August 08, 2009

    Nyantakyi says you can bring it on!

    Hello there. What's good wherever you are?

    A couple of days ago, some of my media pals were in a frenzied state of accusatory agitation. The reason? The Ghana Football Association president (Kwasi Nyantakyi) had scored an own goal – as some put it – when he had urged referees to take bribes…

    …he did ask them to take bribes and even recommended that referees who take bribes and report such cases be handsomely rewarded with amounts perhaps double the bribery sum.

    If you ask me, this is a very touchy situation but I tend to agree with what he is saying because we live in a world where no matter what you would do, referees would always be approached to fix games. To defend himself from the outcry that has arisen, he’s said he was taken out of context.

    The GFA president is quoted by the Graphic Sports paper as saying that he couldn’t possibly have condoned corruption at last Saturday’s event which was where he made those utterances. In his own defence he says:

    “Unless my comments were taken out of context I don’t think my comments in any way sought to encourage corruption among football referees in Ghana.

    I told them to collect the bribes and do the right thing. I had first made the point that corruption in any form cannot be tolerated and in football we need to weed out such practice.

    If there are no bribe givers there would not be bribe takers. Accepting and delivering fairness would discourage the givers...”

    He didn’t stop there in his address as the young lawyer also went on to say that a particular crop of referees who are noted to take bribes are known to the authorities.

    “But because in any case of bribery both the giver and receiver are guilty, those who make such allegations in informal settings are reluctant to provide evidence to support such cases.”

    Well, so that’s the whole wahala of the issue which I feel is a non-issue. I fully support his pronouncements. Meanwhile people have said that the Parliament must call him to order and question him publicly though Nyantakyi says he doesn’t know anything about that.

    Me, I think his explanations in the papers are enough.

    Enjoy the weekend, all!

    Thursday, August 06, 2009

    News in a minute + learning from Argentine video

    It is a calm Thors-day and I start with some trouble in Ghana's Premier League.

    The GFA confirmed today that Tema Youth have really been relegated, despite the team's protests. Now the financier Emmanuel Kyeremeh says they will seek redress at the - wait for it - Court of arbitration for Sport.

    The man is pissed and no mistake. However, I fail to see why he wants to drag the inevitable when it is clear that he may likely lose. The team lost the appeal at the FA because they fielded an unqualified player - Emmanuel Clottey - last season. Because of that they were nicked six points, pushing them straight into relegation.

    Yet, they contend that they have done no wrong. Oh well.

    Laryea Kingston’s return to the Black Stars set-up could be delayed after his club Hearts asked the national team to excuse him from the international friendly against Zambia in London, claims kickoffghana.

    And meanwhile in Division One, 12 clubs would start their quest to play in the next GPL on August 16, so says Ghanasoccernet.

    And finally, where lies Junior Agogo's fate?

    Finally, finally (for the last time) here's a glimpse of what Argentine football has become following the suspension of their league. They say Argentina is all about beef, tango and football. Well, the last is now in doubt, innit?

    Seriously, though...could Africa's soccer leagues be that bankrupt? Oh yes, they can. We hope to learn from our Latin pals in the video.

    Adios, jefes¡

    Wednesday, August 05, 2009

    Stuck in the mud: Ghana stays in 35th

    Ghana stayed in 35th place of the latest Fifa world ranking release on Wednesday for the month of August.

    The Black Stars are still the continent's sixth best behind Ivory Coast, Cameroun, Gabon, Egypt and Nigeria.

    Ghana will play Zambia in an international friendly on 12 August and Sudan on 6 September in a joint Nations Cup/World Cup qualifier in Accra.

    Almost the entire top 20 of the latest edition of the Fifa world ranking remains unchanged.

    Brazil, who returned to the top in July, are still the leaders ahead of Spain and the Netherlands.

    Behind them are Italy who have lost more points than Germany following the devaluation of previous matches and have therefore been overtaken by them.