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Black Stars To Begin 2023 AFCON Qualifier Campaign Against Madagascar | Football/Soccer

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Four-time African champions, the Black Stars of Ghana will begin their 2023 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers campaign in an opening game against the Barea of Madagascar on Monday May, 30, in Group E.

The team after hosting Madagascar would travel to the Central African Republic to play their second game as they battle the side on June 14, in the quest to make their 24th AFCON appearance.

Ghana would then take on the Palancas Negras of Angola, in their third game on September 19, and 22, before playing Madagascar and Central African Republic in the return leg encounters on 20th and 28th March 2023.

The Black Stars of Ghana would need to secure positive results against Madagascar, Angola and Central African Republic to make it to the 34th edition of the African Cup of Nations tournament to be staged in Ivory Coast.

The two top teams from each group would make it to the AFCON tournament including host nation Ivory Coast who have already booked an automatic qualification.

Ghana after performing poorly in the just ended AFCON tournament in Cameroon would hope to qualify for next year’s edition as they seek to redeem themselves to end their over forty years trophy drought.

Source: GNA

 

 

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Nike Not Renewing Franchise Agreements In Russia | General Sports

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U.S. sportswear maker Nike (NKE.N) has not renewed agreements with its largest franchisee in Russia, the Vedomosti daily reported on Wednesday, marking the latest exit by a major U.S. brand since Russian forces entered Ukraine.

Nike said on March 3 it would temporarily suspend operations at all its Nike-owned and -operated stores in Russia in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and has said that those still open are operated by independent partners.

The head of Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which operates Nike-branded stores in Russia through its subsidiary Up And Run, said Nike was no longer supplying goods to Russia, Vedomosti reported.

“As supplies of goods run out IRG will be forced to close all of its shops under this brand,” Vedomosti quoted IRG President Tikhon Smykov as saying in a letter to employees.

“We started a joint business in 2012, we lovingly built up the best chain of stores in the country and ended up 10 years later in a situation where that business cannot exist,” Smykov wrote.

Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

IRG said it could not comment on its relationship with Nike due to contractual issues.

“As you can see from our shops, deliveries have stopped and goods are in short supply,” an IRG spokesperson said. “In the current realities we can not continue to support the operation of mono-branded Nike stores and will be forced to close them.”

Up And Run operates 37 stores across Russia, from St Petersburg to Novosibirsk, and its website listed 28 of them as still open.

Reuters has visited three Nike stores this month, including its flagship central Moscow store, which has been operating as usual.

Vedomosti cited data from Rospatent, Russia’s patent office, as saying that franchise agreements with Up And Run, as well as other franchisees A3 Sport and Yar, expire on May 26.

Reuters could not immediately verify that data.

Nike has made other efforts to distance itself from Russia, pulling its kit sponsorship for Spartak Moscow, one of Russia’s most popular football clubs, which subsequently axed its second-tier team, citing financial difficulties.

On Monday, Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) announced it was pulling out of Russia. Also on Monday, McDonald’s (MCD.N) trademark “Golden Arches” were lowered near Moscow, following the sale of its burger chain to a licensee.

Source: REUTERS

 

 

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Ghana FA Retains Otto Addo To Take Charge of Black Stars Until December | Football/Soccer

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The former Borrusia Dortmund defender will keep his role with his national team for the World Cup in Qatar and 2023 Afcon qualifiers.

Ghana Football Association (GFA) has retained Otto Addo as the coach of the national team, Black Stars until December 2022.

In a statement on Ghana FA’s official website, the German-trained tactician, who helped the Black Stars reach the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar, will be assisted by George Boateng, and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani while former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton retained his role of Technical Adviser.

“The Ghana Football Association has appointed Otto Addo, Chris Hughton, George Boateng, and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani as coaches of the senior national team, the Black Stars until the end of December 2022,” read part of the statement.

“The quartet who masterminded Ghana’s qualification to the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament will stay on to see to Ghana’s preparation for the World Cup, the 2023 Afcon qualifiers, and the World Cup itself.

The statement added: “This follows an exhaustive negotiation and engagement with all relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The coaches will soon name their squad for Matchday 1 and 2 of the Africa Cup of Nation Cote D’lvoire 2023 qualifiers and the four-nation tournament in Japan.”

The 46-year-old Addo, who turned out for German side Borussia Dortmund as a defender, was appointed the Black Stars coach in early February to replace Milovan Rajevac, who was sacked after Ghana’s poor show at the 33rd edition of the Afcon in Cameroon.

During the competition, Ghana who were pooled in Group C alongside Morocco, Gabon, and Comoros, failed to go past the group stage after finishing fourth with one point.

The Black Stars lost their opener against the Atlas Lions 1-0, drew 1-1 against the Panthers, and suffered a shock 3-2 defeat against Les Coelacantes in their final group fixture to exit the competition.

Addo, who also had coaching stints with Hamburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach, helped the Black Stars to book their place in the World Cup finals set for Qatar after defeating rivals Nigeria on the away goals rule.

Source: Goal

 

 

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Ronaldinho Advises Salah On Liverpool Future | Football/Soccer

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The former Brazil midfielder labels the 29-year-old Pharaoh as one of the best players in the world.

Barcelona legend Ronaldinho Gaucho has answered a question on Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah’s future.

The 29-year-old Egypt international has been among the key players for the Anfield outfit in the current campaign, helping the team to clinch the League Cup and FA Cup trophies and also reach the final of the Champions League.

He was instrumental in the Premier League where Liverpool stretched Manchester City until the final day of the season when the latter were crowned champions after managing 93 points, one ahead of the Reds.

Despite his good show in the top-flight which saw him bag the Golden Boot with 23 goals from 35 appearances, Salah is yet to commit his future with Liverpool. The Egyptian’s current contract expires in the summer of 2023 and the Reds will be wary of losing Salah on a free transfer unless fresh terms can be agreed.

According to 42-year-old Ronaldinho, who played for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan among other clubs, Salah must remain happy.

“An advice to Salah regarding his future? The most important thing is for him to be happy, football is a source of happiness and it must be no matter what club he plays for in the future,” Ronaldinho, who is in Egypt following an invitation by Egyptian Premier League outfit Eastern Company to attend their clash with Al Ahly, told reporters.

“He has to keep playing football in a way that makes him happy because there’s nothing better than playing football.”

Ronaldinho, who managed 145 appearances for Barcelona and scored 70 goals, also labelled Salah as one of the best players in the world.

“I wished I could play alongside Mohamed [Salah],” Ronaldinho continued. “He is one of the best players in the world, who I always like to watch.”

In the just-concluded season, the Egypt captain appeared in the vast majority of Liverpool matches, playing 2,762 minutes. He started in 30 of these appearances across their 38 fixtures and was used as a substitute on five occasions.

Salah was ranked first for Premier League assists this season having assisted 13 goals for his teammates.

Source: Goal

 

 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.

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