Sawane Scores Winner as Senegal Clinch U-17 AFCON Title
Mamadou Sawane on Friday scored the winning goal as Senegal came from a goal down to clinch their first ever U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Algiers.
Sawane headed home the winning goal seven minutes from time as Senegal scored twice in four minutes to beat Morocco 2-1 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
Skipper Abdelhamid Ait Boudlal had given Morocco a 14th minute lead, one they kept until the 79th minute when Serigne Diouf scored a VAR awarded penalty.
Sawane towered the entire defense to head home four minutes later, completing the hard-earned turnaround for the Teranga Cubs.
Senegal have now won a third consecutive continental title within four months.
Their team of local based players won the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) title in February at the same venue of their conquest on Friday.
Senegal also won the U-20 AFCON title in Egypt in March.
Their senior national team began the continental dominance last February when they clinched the AFCON 2021 crown.
They Also won an AFCON Beach Soccer title later in the year.
Heading into the Friday night’s duel, both teams were in unfamiliar territory, playing their first ever final, but it was Morocco who would go ahead first.
Skipper Ait Boudlal peeled away from his markers before beating the keeper to the ball to head home from an Abdel Hamid Maali corner.
It was a nerve calming goal for Said Chiba’s boys, as just 10 minutes before, the Senegalese had come close with skipper Amara Diouf having a freekick fly inches wide off target.
The game went into a full contest, with both sides battling for possession, but clear-cut chances at goal diminishing.
In the second half, Senegal started faster off the blocks, Mamadou Sadio shooting just over with only 45 seconds gone on the clock.
On the other end, Morocco had a chance when Maali struck a shot from the edge of the box, but it flew wide.
Senegal’s turnaround came in the 76th minute when Moroccan skipper Ait Boudlal was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box.
After visiting the pitch-side monitor, the referee awarded the penalty and Serigne tucked it home.
The goal inspired the Senegalese and they piled pressure on Morocco in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Just four minutes later they had their reward when substitute Sawane stormed into the edge of the six yard box to head home the winner.
The goal punctured the entire Moroccan side, and even senior national team coach Walid Regragui who had flown in for the final, was dismayed, standing in anguish at his sitting spot in the VIP box.
Senegal managed to see off the remaining minutes, including six minutes of added time, to win the title for the first time. (NAN)
Nigeria Badminton Federation President, Orbih Elected Member, African Badminton Confederation
By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja
The president of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Francis Orbih has been elected as a council member of the Badminton Confederation Africa (BCA).
His election climaxed activities of the world Badminton Federation (BWF)congress, which held Thursday, in Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia.
Orbih, a Lawyer, had earlier lost in 2021, when he sought for a two-year tenure.
On Thursday, however, he won election for a a four-year tenure, longer than the two-year tenure he unsuccessfully sought in 2021.
In a statement in Abuja, Orbih said with his victory, Nigeria was back in the boardroom where decisions about the administration of the game of badminton in Africa are taken.
“Nigeria will definitely have a better voice and wwould be able to influencing decisions,” an obviously joyful Orbih stated.
In the election also, Tukebana Michel Bau of Seychelles retained his post as the BCA President as he was returned unopposed, while Kingsley Mulenga of Zambia, who defeated the incumbent Amine Zobiri of Algeria emerged as the Deputy President.
Botswana’s Mpiwa Bosenogile defeated the incumbent, Mrs. Chipo Zumbrani of Zimbabwe to become the Treasurer.
A total of 11 members out of 21 contestants were elected into council. They are include: Odette Assembe Engoulou (Cameron);Rajen Pultoo (MRI); Dr Hesham Fouad Mohamed El Tohamy (EGY); Jeanette Moneoang LESHOTA. (LES); Simon Mugabi (Uganda); Aubin Houndagnon ASSOGBA (BEN); Dro Honore Zolobe (CIV);Francis ORBIH (Nigeria); Mohamed Moncef Zemmouchi (Algeria); Micheal John Noone (South Africa) and Michael Shamsu Mustapha (SLE)
Sports Sector to get N80bn Under National Development Plan – Minister
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, says the sports sector will receive N80 billion in the next four years, under the Federal Government’s National Development Plan (NDP).
Dare said this in Abuja while receiving the “Outstanding Youth and Sports Minister” award, presented to him by the Executive Board of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), led by its President, Habu Gumel.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award was presented to the minister for his contributions to sports development in Nigeria and the Olympic movement.
Dare said that a percentage of the NDP fund for sports sector would go directly to sports federations since they were the main propellers of athletes’ success, which had now been attributed to him.
“I salute the resilience of the sports federations. Their sacrifices and work in developing sports in Nigeria deserve commendation.
“In spite of the challenges of funding, they still turn up for international competitions, thereby giving the athletes the needed exposure and training required to compete at the elite level.
“We all know that without these athletes, nothing is possible in sports, while there will be no achievements,” he said.
The minister also identified funding as one of the biggest challenges of sports development in Nigeria, a problem, he said that the newly-approved National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) would alleviate.
“The incentives outlined in the Sports as Business Policy have been approved and will be announced soon.
“The technical committee has put finishing touches to the document and it will become fully operational soon.
“This will drive private sector support for sports and there will be a massive turnaround, as the funding issue will be confronted headlong.
“In the last four years, the sports ministry had moved from being a third tier ministry to being a first tier one.
“Just a few weeks back, the Federal Government approved N2.4 billon for a High Performance Centre to be established inside the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
“Before then, there was the Anti Doping Centre to be established in Nsukka, Enugu State,” he said.
Dare commended NOC for offering scholarships to many Nigerian athletes and combining its participation in sports with education.
Earlier, Gumel commended the minister for his numerous achievements, some of which, he said, included: the emergence of the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) and the ‘Adopt Initiative’.
Other achievements, he said, were the revamping of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), payment of monthly stipends to the families of departed sports icons as well as provision of financial support to ailing former and active athletes.
According to the NOC president, another remarkable legacy is the delivery of the headquarters and secretariat of Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) by the federal government.
He recalled that the ANOCA secretariat was inaugurated by the President of International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr Thomas Bach.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, thanked the minister for his ‘wonderful’ performance in office.
Abubakar, while wishing Dare well in his future endeavours, called for stronger cooperation between the ministry and the Olympic family. (NAN)
Head of French Olympic Committee Quits
French Olympic Committee chief, Brigitte Henriques, has stepped down, just over a year before the Paris Summer Games begin in late July 2024.
She announced her decision at a board meeting on Thursday, the committee announced.
French media reports said there had been a power struggle within the organisation.
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