Monday, May 7, 2007
Been pretty quiet around here the past few days as I get my work, living and financial situations in order. They're all a mess right now and my nerves are frayed. Frayed Ends of Sanity, like the Metallica song ...
It's not an easy task, this business of getting to Africa. But it's one that in retrospect may be seen as a beautiful endeavor. I'm working hard and I hope to see it pay off. Let's hope so, because I'm starting to lose it, as evidenced by this post ...
Anyways, I provide you small snippets today, in order to get myself back into the mojo of reporting. Sorry for the cutting and pasting. Proper credit is given where applicable. I hope to thank these people in person on the gravelly road to 2010.
As reported by the BBC, the draw for the group phase of the African Champions League will be held out outside the continent for the first time.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) will conduct the draw on May 28th on the fringes of the FIFA Congress in Zurich.
The draw for the group phase of the continent's second club competition, the Confederation Cup, will also be held at the same time.
The Tunisian duo of Esperance and Etoile Sahel, holders Al Ahly of Egypt and Ivorian side Asec Mimosas are among the eight teams who have qualified for the league phase of the Champions League.
The other teams are JS Kabylie of Algeria, Libyan side Al Ittihad, Royal Armed Forces of Morocco and Sudanese club Al Hilal.
'Eyes and ears' Mark Gleeson, how are the African leagues coming along?
Glad I asked!
African leagues round-up
By Mark Gleeson(Reuters):
A round-up of league action from around Africa at the weekend and on Monday:
ALGERIA - First half goals from Farid Touil and Adel Maiza ensured Entente Setif beat Widad Tlemcen 2-1 on Monday and kept ahead in the race for the championship, retaining a two point lead over defending champions JS Kabylie, who also won. Mali import Cheikh Oumar Dabo scored the only goal as JSK overcame CA Batna to stay on the tail of the long term leaders. Both have four matches left.
MOROCCO - Leaders Olympique Khouribga stumbled near the finish line of the league campaign, beaten 2-1 at home by Kawkab Marrakesh for only their second defeat of the season. Both goals for the visitors came in a heady three minutes spell from Loutfi Benboubker. The defeat left Khouribga still needing four points from their last three matches to win a first-ever league title. Moghreb Tetouan tumbled out of second place after a surprise 4-0 home defeat by Difaa El Jadida. They were replaced by Royal Armed Forces, who are now six points behind Khouribga after Yassin Naoum scored the only goal of their 1-0 home win over Omnisport Meknes in Rabat.
IVORY COAST - A penalty converted by Labi Kassiaty on the hour mark kept up ASEC Abidjan's unbeaten run in Ligue 1 and a three point lead over arch rivals Africa Sport, who won 1-0 at Sabe Bouna. ASEC won their sixth game in eight matches of the new campaign after being held to a goalless draw in midweek. Africa Sports' victory came courtesy of an own goal early in the second half.
ANGOLA - Goals in the last quarter from Alberto and World Cup defender Loco took defending champions Primeiro Agosto back to the top of the GiraBola with a 2-0 win over Benfica Luanda. The army club have a slender lead on goal difference from Petro Atletico, who drew 0-0 with AS Aviacao. Sagrada Esperanca, who were champions in 2005, remain one point back after a goalless draw with Atletico Namibie.
CAMEROON - Mount Cameroon went to the top of the national league after a 1-0 win home win over Esperance Guider. They moved one point above defending champions Coton Sport, whose league game was postponed to Wednesday because of their African Confederation Cup match against CS Sfaxien of Tunisia. Union Douala moved third, three points behind the leaders, with a 3-1 win over Tonnerre Yaoundé.
SOUTH AFRICA - Walter Ramulondi scored with just three minutes to go to take Black Leopards clear of the premier league relegation zone and ensure that Durban club AmaZuilu still have a fight to stave off having to play in post-season promotion-relegation play-offs. Ramulondi's winner ensured a 2-1 triumph for Leopards at home over AmaZulu in the weekend's only scheduled match.
ZAMBIA - International Rainford Kalaba scored his ninth goal of the season as ZESCO United kept up a three-point lead in the premier league with a 3-0 away win over ZAMTEL. Veteran midfielder Numba Mumumba got both goals as defending champions ZANACO moved back to second place with a 2-0 home win over Konkola Blades. Lusaka Dynamos slipped down to third after being held to a goalless draw at home by Kabwe Warriors.
ZIMBABWE - New signing Thabani Moyo scored twice as Highlanders beat Black Rhinos 4-0 to move three points clear in defence of their premier league title. Masvingo United's 2-1 win over Eastern Lions saw them climb into second place after Lancashire Steel lost 1-0 to Shooting Stars. The Harare derby between Dynamos and CAPS United ended in a drab draw despite a packed crowd at the Rufaro stadium.
LIBYA - Champions Al Ittihad drew 0-0 away at Al Ahli Benghazi to stay three points clear of their neighbours Al Ahli Tripoli. Al Ittihad, who are through to the group phase of the Africa Champions League, remain unbeaten after 20 matches. Al Akhdar conceded a last minute goal at Al Hilal to draw 1-1 and stay nine points behind the leaders in third place.
SENEGAL - Three weekend matches produced just a single goal when US Ouakam beat Xam-Xam 1-0 but a stalemate between the majority of first division clubs and the Senegal federation continued, leading to the cancellation of the rest of the programme. Eight clubs in the top flight and five in the next two divisions are refusing to honour fixtures because of dispute over the running of the championship.
Sad news from Kenya, from the BBC:
The three international football referees from Cameroon, who were aboard the Kenya Airways plane that crashed on Saturday, are feared dead.
Rescue workers in Cameroon say there are no signs of any survivors after reaching the wreckage in a mangrove swamp hours after the plane had gone missing.
Cameroon football officials said Zing Omgba, Engelbert Effa and Patrice Boungani were among 114 passengers aboard the flight.
They boarded the flight in Douala en route to the DR Congo via Kenya and were due to control a Confederation Cup fourth round fixture between home side TP Mazembe and Mwana Africa of Zimbabwe.
Replacement referees from Congo Brazzaville were rushed to Kinshasa and the match went ahead as scheduled on Sunday.
The flight, which originated in Ivory Coast, was reported missing on Saturday after it failed to arrive in Nairobi.
The BBC's Karen Allen in Nairobi said the Boeing 737-800 involved in Saturday's incident was just six months old and was part of a new fleet bought by the airline.
Kenya Airways only said the last communication with the missing plane was received by the control tower in Douala, Cameroon, shortly after take-off.
Poor weather hampered the rescue effort.
A team of Kenya Airways and government officials, led by Transport Minister Chirau Ali Makwere, have arrived in Douala. (Very sad, indeed ...)