Nana Aba Anamoah jabs Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac over excuses

Ghanaian broadcast journalist, Nana Aba Anamoah has taken a swipe at Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac for making “pathetic excuses” ahead of Ghana’s all-important game against Comoros.

The Black Stars have not won a game in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and will have to win their matchday three games to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Ghana will play Comoros at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium in Garoua on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, for the final game in Group but the coach has already started making excuses ahead of the tie.

The Serbian coach compared his current Black Stars squad to that of 2010 as he stated that the current team lacks quality.

“We don’t have the same team like 2010. Not enough time for preparations. We don’t have a player like Asamoah Gyan,” Milovan Rajevac said at his pre-match conference.

A disappointed Nana Aba Anamoah described the comments of the coach as “pathetic excuses” as she urged the leadership of the team to shut him up because his comments are not helping matters.

“Can someone tell this Milo man to keep quiet over there? His excuses are as pathetic as his tactics” Nana Aba Anamoah reacted to Milovan’s press conference on Twitter.

AFCON: How Zambian Referee Bizarrely Ended Tunisia, Mali Game At 89th Minute

Referee Janny Sikazwe of Zambia blew the final whistle twice early in the match between Tunisia and Mali in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon to spark controversy in an entertaining affair.

The game which ended after 89 minutes and 49 seconds had already been brought to a premature end by the Zambian referee when he blew for the end of proceedings in the 85th minute after which he was prompted to let play resume.

Further outrage sparked in between as Sikazwe showed a straight red card to Malian midfielder, El Bilal Toure, for a challenge that most will deem soft in the 87th minute. Despite prompts from the VAR team to review his decision, after consulting the pitchside monitor, the Zambian official stuck with his initial decision.

The game ended with the referee needing to be escorted off the field after what was a bizarre piece of officiating especially at Africa’s showpiece tournament.

GhanaFeed.com

Black Stars conceded a poor goal against Morocco – Kwesi Appiah

Ghana forward Kwesi Appiah believes the Black Stars conceded a poor goal against Morocco in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations opener.

The Black Stars lost their game on Monday after a disappointing performance resulted in a 1-0 defeat against favourites Morocco.

Sofiane Boufal scored the game’s only goal in the 83rd minute as Morocco claim another win over the Black Stars.

Morocco has now beaten Ghana on two consecutive occasions, having won by a similar scoreline in a friendly match last year.

In a post sighted by Footballghana.com, Kwesi Appiah, a member of the Black Stars squad that reached the finals of the 2015 AFCON said Morocco nicked the win from a lapse of concentration in defence.

“Poor opening game. No real danger from either side. A lot of room for improvement for Ghana”

Morocco just nicked the win from a lapse of concentration in defence,” he added.

Ghana will take on Gabon in their second Group C game on Friday.

Kwesi Nyantakyi Blames John Mensah And Others For Suarez’s Penalty At 2010 World Cup

Former President of the Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi says if there was a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, that Luiz Suarez handball would have been adjudged a goal by officials.

Indeed, he indicates that the Assistant Referee was running to the center line until the then captain of the Black Stars went to the centre referee to gesture for a handball incident against the Uruguayan striker.

But for that action by John Mensah, the longest-serving GFA President contends, Ghana would have been in the semi-final and probably won that world cup.

It was heartbreaking for most football fans on the African continent in 2010 as a last-minute Dominic Adiyiah goal-bound header was punched out by Uruguay striker Suarez.

He was red-carded by Portuguese official Olegario Benquerenca and a penalty awarded Ghana.

But striker Asamoah Gyan, who had scored two penalties in the group stage for Ghana, hit the bar despite sending Uruguay’s Fernando Muslera the wrong way.

That crucial quarter-final match ended 1-1 in regular time but the South Americans won 4-2 in the resultant penalty.

Luiz was rewarded by his nation for that singular action.

Speaking on Onua TV‘s Maakye on Friday, January 7, Kwesi Nyantakyi said Ghana would have been awarded the goal if John Mensah had not gone to the referee calling for a handball infringement.

He said most of footballing incidents are missed by referees but they use psychology and players’ reactions to call some of the incidents.

He, therefore, commended officials of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as well as FIFA for introducing VAR to the upcoming nation’s cup.

VAR will be employed for the first time at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which begins on Sunday in Cameroon.

Source: 3news.com

The Best of the Best: Is Nigeria Taking Over the UFC?

Ultimate Fighting Champion

While the UFC hasn’t been around for that long (it officially became recognized as a professional MMA institution in 1993), the proud history of mixed martial arts goes back a lot further than that. The roots of the UFC and of MMA, in general, stretch all the way back to the founding of the Pankration event in the Greek Olympic Games in 648BC. Next, jumping forward to about 80 years ago, the world would see a Brazilian form of MMA, known as Vale Tudo (which translates to “anything goes”), igniting a much larger interest in the sport than ever before. It was not long before MMA gyms were popping up all over the country, but the UFC stood out as an organization. Their aim was to find the ultimate fighting champion, as the name implies, by hosting a series of tournaments in which athletes would compete, using a variety of fighting styles. 

2021’s UFC roster is packed to the gills with brutal fighters who are chomping at the bit to show the world what they’re made of, but two stand out head and shoulders above the rest: Israel Adesanya and Kararu Usman. Let’s take a closer look at these Nigerian fighters and what makes them so unique.

Image by Marko Garic via Pexels

Israel Adesanya

Technically, Israel Mobolaji Temitayo Odunayo Oluwafemi Owlolabi Adesanya is a New Zealander, though he was born in Nigeria in 1989. Not only is this fighter the current UFC Middleweight Champion, but he is also a kickboxer and the former Glory Middleweight Championship challenger. His life began in Lagos as the oldest of five children. His interest in fighting started at a young age: he enrolled in Taekwondo as a youngster but was soon removed by his concerned mother after an injury. At the age of eighteen, his interest in martial arts piqued once again, and he began kickboxing in earnest. He saw so much potential in the career that he could have as a fighter that he decided to leave college and pursue fighting full time. At twenty-one years old, Israel made the big move to New Zealand to begin training with Eugene Bareman. It wasn’t long until the youngster paid his dues and began appearing in high-profile fights.

In December 2017, the UFC announced that Israel had signed a contract with them. He won his very first fight and set the stage for what is still unfolding as a glorious career. His latest UFC achievement is his win against Marvin Vettori, which earned him the Middleweight Championship title.

Image by Starkvisuals via Pixabay

Kamaru Usman

Another strong argument for Nigeria taking over the UFC is welterweight fighter Kamaru Usman. The thirty-four-year-old Nigerian American was born in Auchi, Nigeria, to a major (his father) and a teacher. He and his two brothers grew up in Benin City before the family emigrated to the USA when Usman was only eight years old. As a high school student in Dallas, Texas, Usman began wrestling. He excelled at the sport and continued into his college career at William Penn University. When he transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, his talent really took hold, and the young Usman placed top three nationally all three years he attended the university. While his Olympic dreams were dashed, they were replaced with a desire to become The Ultimate Fighter. He joined the tournament in February 2015 and went on to the quarterfinal of his bracket, undefeated. He would go on to win the tournament in July of that year, win the Performance of the Night award and a six-figure contract with UFC.

Usman debuted as a UFC fighter in December of 2015 against Leon Edward: a fight that he won by unanimous decision. His star would continue to rise over the next seven years, bringing us to 2021, which would see him defend his hard-won Welterweight title against Gilbert Burns. However, this fight was not to be; Usman pulled out. The match was postponed until February, when he successfully defended his title and earned yet another Performance of the Night award. April of 2021 saw yet another successful title defense against Jorge Masvidal and another in November against Colby Covington.

Image by Bruno Bueno via Pexels

Wrap Up

With these fighters’ careers far from over, one wonders at the wealth of talent that is yet to come out of Nigeria. If these two fighters are anything to go by, the odds are huge that Nigeria will yet have more fighters to add to the UFC roster.

Burndown my house if Blackstars fail to win AFCON 2022 – Ibrah One

Big boy Ibrah One has asked Ghanaians and football lovers to set his house ablaze if the National Football team the Blackstars fail to win the Upcoming 2022 African Cup of Nations tournament.

The team yesterday played Algeria in their build-up for the tournament which starts in a few days but suffered a 3-0 defeat. 

Following this loss, football lovers questioned if that was the same performance the team was going to put up in Cameroon in a few days time when the tournament officially starts.

But Ibrah who is a self-styled seer is of the view that Ghanaians shouldn’t be worried because the Blackstars would be crowned champions at the end of the tournament.

He went ahead to say Ghanaians should burn down his house if the Blackstars are not able to win the trophy. 

His post reads: “Ghanaians should burn my house if Black stars fails to wing the AFCON. What I saw can not be changed.#God”

See screenshot below:

Wicked family members allegedly poison popular Ivorian football player to death

Devastating news coming in from Cote d’Ivoire confirms the death of Oussou Konan who was allegedly poisoned to death by some wicked family members.

According to reports surrounding the untimely death of Oussou Konan, he died from food poisoning upon a visit to his hometown to enjoy the new year with his extended family.

Oussuou was just 32 years and once played for Egyptian soccer giants Al-Alhy.

The sad news which was first broken by a local media outlet in Cote d’Ivoire reads;

Former Africa Sports, Espérance and Al Ahly striker Oussou Konan has passed away at age 32 in his hometown in Ivory Coast. According to some reports, the player was poisoned in his hometown while on a visit

Below is a photo of the late soccer star.

Milovan Rajevac names final Black Stars squad for AFCON

Black Star’s head coach Milovan Rajevac has named his final 28- man squad for the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

He has taken out two players from the initial 30-man squad he named and took to Doha Qatar.

AS Roma’s Felix Afena Gyan and Salis Abdul Samed have been omitted from the final squad.

Ghana’s 28-man squad for AFCON 2021…

GOALKEEPERS: Joseph Wolacott (Swindon Town, England), Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen, Belgium), Richard Attah (Hearts of Oak), Lawrence Ati Zigi (St. Gallen, Switzerland)

DEFENDERS: Andy Yiadom (Reading FC, England), Philemon Baffuor (Dreams FC), Baba Abdul Rahman (Reading FC, england), Gideon Mensah (Girondins de Bordeaux, France), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg FC, France), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew, USA), Khalid Abdul Mumin (Vitoria de Guimaraes, Portugal)

MIDFIELDERS: Baba Iddrissu (Real Mallorca, Spain), Edmund Addo (Sherif Tiraspol, Moldova), Thomas Teye Partey (Arsenal, England), Mubarak Wakaso (Shenzhen, China), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Daniel Kofi Kyere (St. Pauli, Germany), David Abagna (Real Tamale United),

FORWARDS: Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Dreams FC), Samuel Owusu (Al-Fayha, Saudi Arabia), Kamal Deen Suleymana (Rennes, France), Dede Ayew (Al Sadd, Qatar), Joseph Paintsil (Genk, Belgium), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace, England), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Beitar Jerusalem, Israel), Maxwell Abbey Quaye (Great Olympics),  Benjamin Tetteh (Malatyaspor, Turkey)

On Wednesday, 5 January, Ghana will play defending champions Algeria in a pre-tournament friendly before flying to Cameroon.

The Black Stars have been assigned to Group C, which includes Morocco, Gabon, and the Comoros Islands.

Transfer Market

Rudiger is at the centre of Real Madrid and PSG’s latest transfer tussle

Antonio Rudiger is set to be one of the most in-demand transfer targets in 2022, with the 28-year-old centre-back only having just over six months left on his contract at Chelsea. It’ll expire in the summer of 2022 to make the defender a free agent and several clubs would love to sign him on a free.

That includes Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, who will be rivals in the Champions League knockouts and who have clashed in the transfer market before, doing so last summer when PSG refused to sell Kylian Mbappe to Los Blancos despite an offer of 180m euros.

Central defence is a position where both clubs would like to strengthen ahead of 2022/23, making Rudiger a prime target.

From the player’s point of view, if he leaves Chelsea then he would like to try a new league. Having already played the Bundesliga, Serie A and the Premier League, this makes LaLiga Santander and Ligue 1 options, especially if he can go to a capital city giant in either Spain or France.

There is a long way to go in the Rudiger saga and Chelsea will try to convince him to pen a new deal with them. But, if he still hasn’t done so by January 1, 2022, then other clubs can reach out to him and Real Madrid and PSG will be at the front of the queue.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s transfer targets for 2022

More free transfers incoming

Real Madrid haven’t splashed the cash much over the last two years, mainly due to COVID-19 and the prudent financial management of Florentino Perez, but also due to the need to get a number of players off the wage bill, but 2022 could see Los Blancos make their mark in the transfer window, both summer and maybe even winter.

Carlo Ancelotti has come into Valdebebas and left a profound mark on the team with the emergence of Vinicius Junior, and the continued brilliance of Karim Benzema, particular highlights. Plus being eight points cleat atop the LaLiga Santander table helps too.

January though will be about exits for Real Madrid, with Gareth Bale and Isco the main candidates to leave, especially given the pair are out of

contract in the summer. Perez will be hoping to recoup some cash during the winder transfer window if possible. Mariano Diaz, Luka Jovic and Eden Hazard, while not on the market, offers will be listen to for the trio.

Mbappe arrival

Real Madrid‘s main transfer target in the summer of 2021 was Kylian Mbappe, and even after offering the princely sum of 200 million euros, Paris Saint-Germain refused to negotiate and the player, whose contract ends in June 2022, has stayed in the French capital.

That though, could all change come January 1 when Mbappe is free to discuss terms with other clubs over a potential transfer. He has made no secret of his desire to play for Real Madrid, and it’s expected that a deal for the superstar will be complete sooner rather than later.

Another forward who had been paired with Real Madrid is Erling Haaland, given he has a release clause at Borussia Dortmund that would allow him to leave in the summer of 2022 for a fee of 75 million euros. A fee that is well within reach of Los Blancos.

His agent Mino Raiola also stated that Real Madrid are one of four clubs that could be Haaland’s next. Will we see a Mbappe-Haaland pairing next season at the Estadio Bernabeu?

Strengthening the defence

In January 2021, MARCA exclusively broke the news that David Alaba would leave Bayern Munich and join Real Madrid on a free transfer. Now it seems that Perez is hoping to take advantage of Antonio Rudiger’s situation at Chelsea.

Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea
Antonio Rudiger of ChelseaMarc AtkinsMARCA

The German central defender is out of contract in June 2022 and Real Madrid are favourites to land his signature on a free transfer, just as they did with Alaba, one of Rudiger’s great friends.

Rudger also rejected Chelsea‘s last contract offer, and has reportedly been getting rave reviews about life in the Spanish capital from former Stamford Bridge teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard.

Marcelo is also expected to leave, and that would mean Alaba could move from his central defensive role to left-back more often, with Rudiger then able to cover in the middle.

Other targets

As you would expect, Real Madrid have been linked to a host of players, but not just in the January transfer for the summer as well.