Africa Football Roundup: PSL Club Hire Coach They Fired Three Times, NPFL Resumes

Africa Football Roundup: PSL Club Hire Coach They Fired Three Times, NPFL Resumes

South African DStv Premiership strugglers Chippa United have hired coach Dan Malesela for a fourth stint at the Port Elizabeth club, who sacked him three times.

Former sports minister Fikile Mbalula reacted to the announcement by telling Chippa they must stop “abusing” Malesela and treating him “like a dog”.

Chippa owner and millionaire Siviwe Mpengesi has made 28 coaching appointments since the perennial relegation candidates were promoted to the top flight eight years ago.

SOUTH AFRICA

Chippa dumped former Lesotho star Lehlohonolo Seema after one win in eight league matches and hoped to replace him with Belgian Luc Eymael, who previously had successful stints with two South African clubs.

But the South African Football Association and the regional government in the eastern Cape, where Chippa are based, objected to hiring Eymael because of remarks the coach allegedly made in Tanzania this year.

Young Africans sacked the Belgian after accusing him of calling supporters of the Dar es Salaam club “monkeys and dogs who know nothing about football”, an allegation Eymael denies.

IVORY COAST

FIFA will appoint a normalisation committee to govern Ivorian football until the end of 2021 after expressing dissatisfaction with the running of the sport in the west African nation.

A statement from the world body said the decision stemmed from the failure to “carry out an electoral process for a new executive committee” in line with FIFA requirements.

Former Ivory Coast and Chelsea star Didier Drogba, 42, was among candidates bidding for the presidency of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF).

EGYPT

Talaat Youssef has walked out on Egyptian Premier League club and former African champions Ismaily after just 48 hours in charge of the underachieving side.

He reportedly quit after a row with a club official during a training session, although an Ismaily statement said he left for “family reasons”.

Youssef had replaced Brazilian Heron Ricardo Ferreira, who was sacked after Ismaily garnered only two points from three matches at the start of the new league campaign.

CAMEROON

Cameroon coach Martin Ndtoungue Mpile has included experienced forwards Yannick Ndjeng and Jacques Zoua from lower league club AS Futuro in his preliminary African Nations Championship (CHAN) squad.

Zoua, 29, played in France, Switzerland and Germany before returning to central Africa while Ndjeng, 30, spent time with Tunisian and African giants Esperance.

Cameroon are hosting the 16-team Nations Championship, which is reserved for footballers playing in their country of birth, and face Zimbabwe in the January 16 tournament opener.

ANGOLA

The South African Football Association (Safa) has intervened to help Kaizer Chiefs fulfil a CAF Champions League last 32 second leg against Primeiro Agosto in Angola on January 5.

Safa arranged for the Soweto club to travel to Luanda in a chartered aircraft after Angola barred commercial flights from South Africa this week in a coronavirus-related move.

Primeiro, who were semi-finalists in 2018, are slight favourites to win the tie and qualify for the group stage after forcing a 0-0 first leg draw in South Africa last week.

NIGERIA

NPFL players in Action

The new Nigerian Professional Football League season has kicked off after nine months of inactivity because of Covid-19.

Defending champions Plateau United, who were declared champions of the shortened previous campaign on an average-points-per-game system, crashed 2-0 at home to Kwara United.

Enyimba, runners-up behind Plateau and the only Nigerian club to win the CAF Champions League, began with a 1-0 win over visiting Abia Warriors.

ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe preparations for the Nations Championship have suffered a major setback with nine of the squad testing positive for coronavirus.

Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic has temporarily suspended training after players and support staff were tested when they returned to a camp in Harare having spent Christmas at their homes.

Zimbabwe tackle hosts Cameroon in Yaounde on January 16 in the tournament opener and will also play Burkina Faso and Mali in Group A with the teams finishing first and second advancing to the quarter-finals.

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