Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quick Bits

Some quick tidbits from the world of African football:

-- Mark your calendars for April 24th.

African Champions League holders Al Ahly have confirmed they will play European champions Barcelona in a friendly match on April 24th.
Al Ahly are the most successful team in the history of African football winning 99 trophies since their inception.
They have won 31 domestic league titles and 12 African club trophies, including five Champions League titles.
The match is part of celebrations to mark the Egyptian club's 100-year anniversary.
Should be a fun game, considering Ronaldhino and Samuel Eto'o, along with Lionel Messi will all play.

-- The English Premier League has agreed to help Nigeria repackage its football league and make it more commercially viable.
"We have benefited and we will continue to benefit from (the) Nigeria Football League," Richards told reporters in the Nigerian capital Abuja at the end of a two-day visit.
"We see our cooperation as a way of giving something back," he added.
Some of the Premier League's leading scorers are Nigerians, including Yakubu Aiyegbeni of Middlesbrough, Nwankwo Kanu of Portsmouth and Newcastle United's Obafemi Martins.
Under the agreement, the Premier League will train Nigerian officials to improve the technical standard and organization of the domestic league.

-- FIFA continues to have problems with Kenya. They’ve ordered Kenya to adopt an 18-team Premier League starting in the 2007 season with a further reduction to 16 teams next year. The message was issued by a FIFA delegation visiting the East African nation to set up a plan for the immediate relaunch of Kenyan football following the lifting last week of a five-month suspension from international competition.
"This is not basketball. This is football and football rules have to be followed," harrumphed FIFA's head of development department Pascal Torres, who led the delegation.
"Those who don't want to follow FIFA rules should quit now because we have decided it is 18 clubs for 2007 and 16 clubs for the 2008 season," Torres harrumphed, banging on his soapbox, sweat dripping from his brow.
The decision signals a death knell for Kenya's oldest club, AFC Leopards, which has been fighting behind the scenes to survive in the Premier League despite being relegated to the lower division last season.

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