2026 World Cup - African qualifiers

Euro 2024, World Cup 2026, etc.
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Post by amenina »

Brama Traoré appointed new Burkina Faso national team head coach

https://www.cafonline.com/news/brama-tr ... ead-coach/

The Burkina Faso Football Federation officially announced former Burkinabe international, Brama Traoré as the new coach of the first national team.

Traoré will succeed Frenchman Hubert Velud, whose contract was not renewed, following their TotalEnergies CAF AFCON Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Round of 16 exit to Mali.

The 50-year-old was previously a member of the Burkina Faso national team's technical staff, where he worked as an assistant to former coach, Paul Put between 2012 and 2015.

Traore also coached the Burkinabe U-20 and U-23 national teams.

President of the Burkinabe Football Federation, Lazar Bansi, said: “After several experiences, we thought it was time to give confidence to a local coach.”

Traoré’s first assignment will be in the next few months, most notably the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where the Stallions travel to face Egypt in June.
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Post by amenina »

Otto Addo returns as coach of Ghana national team

https://www.cafonline.com/news/otto-add ... onal-team/

Otto Addo has been announced as the new head coach of the Black Stars after being identified as the outstanding candidate, says the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

The 47-year-old returns to the Ghana national team 15 months after leading the side to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He takes over from Chris Hughton who was sacked after the Black Stars exited the recent TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire at the group stage.

The GFA announced on Friday that Addo will take over the Black Stars on a 34-month contract, with the option to extend for a further two years.

Addo, who is currently part of the coaching staff at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, impressed the five-person panel during a rigorous interview process.

"Otto was exceptional and was rated highly by the search committee, hence the decision," said GFA president Simeon-Okraku.

"There were some brilliant individuals among the coaches who applied for the job, so the committee took the pain to interview a chunk of them to pick their thoughts."

Addo will be released from his duties at Dortmund to take charge of Ghana for this month's international window, before returning to Germany.

He will then leave the Bundesliga club permanently in May to begin his new role with the four-time African champions.

"The committee was overly satisfied with Otto's performance, for which reason he was recommended to the Executive Council for approval," Okraku added.

The 47-year-old knows Ghanaian football well having played for the Black Stars and led the Black Stars' coaching staff at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He now faces the challenge of reviving the nation's fortunes after they missed out on qualifying for the knock-out phase of this year's TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.
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Post by amenina »

Luis Boa Morte: Fulham coach to take charge of Guinea-Bissau


Luis Boa Morte will leave his role as Fulham first-team coach at the end of the season to take charge of Guinea-Bissau.

The 46-year-old Portuguese joined the Cottagers in 2021 when Marco Silva was appointed as the London club's head coach.

The pair had previously worked together at Sporting Lisbon and Everton, while Boa Morte also played more than 150 games for Fulham between 2001 and 2007.

"Everyone at Fulham would like to thank Boa for his efforts since his return to the club, and wishes him the best of luck in this next chapter when he departs following our season finale away to Luton Town," Fulham said in a statement,

Boa Morte's role with the West African nation will be his first coaching position in international football and sees him take charge of a side ranked 118th in the world.

Nicknamed the African Wild Dogs, Guinea-Bissau have never qualified for the World Cup or progressed beyond the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations in four previous attempts.

At this year's Nations Cup in Ivory Coast, they lost all three of their games as they finished bottom of Group A.

Boa Morte's only previous experience as a manager came at Portuguese fourth-tier side Sintrense between 2017 and 2018.

A forward with a strong left foot, he won the Premier League title with Arsenal in 1998 and also played for West Ham and Southampton, as well as having short spells in Greece and South Africa.

Boa Morte made 28 appearances for Portugal, scoring one goal.
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Post by amenina »

Nigeria appoint George to succeed Peseiro

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/arti ... 39nvl46v8o

Former international Finidi George has been announced as the new head coach of Nigeria, succeeding Jose Peseiro.

The 53-year-old was placed in interim charge of the Super Eagles after the departure of the Portuguese following Nigeria's defeat by Ivory Coast in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final in February.

George, also coach of club side Enyimba, oversaw two friendly matches last month, beating Ghana 2-1 before a 2-0 loss against Mali.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) confirmed his appointment on Monday after approving a recommendation from its technical and development committee.

Former Ajax and Real Betis winger George spent 20 months as an assistant to Peseiro and is expected to remain in charge of Enyimba, whom he led to the Nigerian title last year, until the end of the season.

George scored six goals in 62 international appearances for Nigeria and was part of the 'Golden Generation' which won the Nations Cup in 1994, the same year in which the Super Eagles appeared at the Fifa World Cup for the first time in the USA.

He will be expected to produce immediate results as Nigeria's next fixtures in June are two potentially crucial qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, which will also be held in North America.

The Super Eagles' campaign needs reviving after the three-time continental champions drew their first two games in Group C.

The NFF has labelled the home match against South Africa and the game against Benin on neutral ground as "must-win encounters".

George is thought to have beaten off competition from a host of contenders for one of the most high-profile roles in African football, including former Super Eagles team-mate Emmanuel Amuneke and Spaniard Domenec Torrent, a former analyst and coach for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola

The NFF has not announced the length of his contract.
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Post by amenina »

https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/tourna ... ppointment

Marc Brys has been named as the new coach of the Cameroon national team.

The Belgian replaces national icon Rigobert Song in the hot seat. Song, who had spent two years in charge of the Indomitable Lions, was relieved of his duties following the nation's last-16 exit at the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Brys' first task with his new charges is to navigate FIFA World Cup 26™ qualifiers against Cabo Verde and Angola respectively next month. Cameroon – who have appeared at the finals more than any other African nation – currently sit top of Group D in qualifying, level on four points with both Cabo Verde and Libya.
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Post by TommyChat »

Seeing this topic up, still nothing official about what will happen to the 2nd placed teams ranking after Eritrea withdrew...
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Post by amenina »

CAF Reschedules South Sudan, Sudan FIFA Qualifiers Fixture

https://ssfaonline.com/caf-reschedules- ... -fixtures/

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced a rescheduling of the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier match between South Sudan and Sudan. Originally slated for June 9th, the match will now take place on June 11th, 2024, at the iconic Juba National Stadium.

This change in schedule adds a new dimension of anticipation to the clash between these two neighboring nations, as fans eagerly await the opportunity to witness their teams compete on the international stage. The rescheduled date offers both teams additional time to prepare and strategize, ensuring that the match will be a thrilling and competitive encounter.

Football enthusiasts across South Sudan are expected to flock to the Juba National Stadium to support their national team, the Bright Stars, as they aim to secure a crucial victory against their Sudanese counterparts. The match promises to be a momentous occasion for South Sudanese football, highlighting the growth and development of the sport within the country.

The South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) is working diligently to ensure that all arrangements are in place for the rescheduled match, guaranteeing a smooth and successful event. With the new date set and excitement building, the stage is set for an unforgettable showdown between South Sudan and Sudan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.
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Post by amenina »

The Gambia appoint McKinstry as head coach

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/arti ... pp4nm54vvo

The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has appointed Johnny McKinstry as the head coach of its men's senior side.

The Northern Irishman, who has led Gor Mahia to successive Kenyan league titles, has been handed a two-year contract and will begin the role on 1 June.

The GFF has tasked McKinstry, 38, with securing qualification for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

His first matches in charge of the Scorpions will be the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Seychelles and Gabon on 8 and 11 June respectively.

The Gambia sit fifth in Group I after losing their first two games against Burundi and Ivory Coast.

BBC Sport Africa understands former England centre-back Sol Campbell and ex-Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure were also shortlisted by the GFF.

McKinstry has previous experience at international level following spells in charge of Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Uganda.

His predecessor with The Gambia, Tom Saintfiet, led the West Africans to the Nations Cup for the first time and then secured back-to-back qualifications for the finals.

The Scorpions reached the quarter-finals on their tournament debut at the delayed 2021 edition, where they were beaten by hosts Cameroon, and suffered a group-stage exit at the 2023 Nations Cup earlier this year.

Saintfiet resigned after their final group match, having spent six years in charge and improved their world ranking by 42 places.

The draw for the qualifying groups for the 2025 Nations Cup is yet to be made by the Confederation of African Football.

Qualifiers are expected to be held in September, October and November this year, while the dates of the finals in Morocco next year have not been confirmed.

After sealing a second Kenyan title, McKinstry described Gor Mahia as one of "the biggest and most storied clubs in Africa" despite being warned off joining K'Ogalo in 2022.

"People inside and outside of Kenya said 'You do not want to take the Gor Mahia job now'," he said in an interview on the club's YouTube channel.

"They said it is so big a risk to your profile and your career.

"We came in at what the chairman said was the most difficult period in the last two decades; [with] a lack of players, having to rely on youth academy significantly, transfer bans.

"Through that storm we have managed to prevail.

"There are so many lessons I have taken from the last two years, but also a lot of joy and happiness.

"I am going to miss it but it has been one great experience."
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Post by amenina »

https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/tourna ... nsue-lopez

FIFA Disciplinary Committee sanctions the Equatorial Guinean Football Association and Emilio Nsue López

24 May 2024

Decisions were made in relation to Emilio Nsue López's participation in several matches, including two in the FIFA World Cup 2026™ preliminary competition.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has rendered its decisions in relation to proceedings opened against both the Equatorial Guinean Football Association (FEGUIFUT) and the player Emilio Nsue López with regards to the latter’s participation in several matches of the national team of Equatorial Guinea, including two matches in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2026™ preliminary competition, despite being ineligible.

After considering all elements brought before it, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee was comfortably satisfied that the player was ineligible and consequently decided to declare the matches of the FIFA World Cup 2026™ preliminary competition in which the player was fielded (namely Equatorial Guinea v. Namibia and Liberia v. Equatorial Guinea played on 15 November 2023 and 20 November 2023, respectively) lost by forfeit by Equatorial Guinea (by a score of 3-0).

In addition, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee imposed the following sanctions:

a fine amounting to CHF 150,000 upon FEGUIFUT; and

a six-month ban from playing for any representative team of any association upon the player Emilio Nsue López.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s findings were notified today to the parties concerned. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the parties have ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com. The present decisions remain subject to an appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
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Post by amenina »

Group H

Matchday 1: Equatorial Guinea 0-3 Namibia (awarded, original score: 1-0)
Matchday 2: Liberia 3-0 Equatorial Guinea (awarded, original score: 0-1)

Change in points
Equatorial Guinea: 6 pts -> 0 pts
Namibia: 3 pts -> 6 pts
Liberia: 0 pts -> 3 pts

Updated standings
Namibia: 6 pts, 5-0
Tunisia: 6 pts, 5-0
Liberia: 3 pts, 3-1
Malawi: 3 pts, 1-1
Equatorial Guinea: 0 pts, 0-6
Sao Tome and Principe: 0 pts, 0-6
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Post by MercedesBenz240 »

That's brutal for them, I quite fancied their chances.
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Post by amenina »

MercedesBenz240 wrote: Sat May 25, 2024 00:28 That's brutal for them, I quite fancied their chances.
Here is the BBC Sport's article on EQG and Nsue: https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/arti ... 99858wv5lo

Second time in a decade that the EQG football teams were caught in this type of "shady" business. Last time it was the women's team who were banned from the 2019 WWC due to eligibility issues involving multiple players: https://inside.fifa.com/tournaments/wom ... 19-2910394
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Post by Firnen »

Why was he ineligible?
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Post by Ed »

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Post by amenina »

Firnen wrote: Sat May 25, 2024 15:38 Why was he ineligible?
He was born in Mallorca, and played for Spain at youth levels (won 2007 Euro U17 and 2011 Euro U21).

In 2013, he switched to play for EQG where his father came from. He played two matches in 2014 WCQ, scoring a hat-trick in one match, but FIFA later declared him ineligible for those two matches, and the results were forfeited: https://web.archive.org/web/20130917012 ... d=2138188/

It was not clear if the first eligibility issue was "temporary" (perhaps the EQG FA had not filed the necessary documents for the nationality switch) or "permanent". But for some reason, he still continued to play for EQG, including 2015, 2021 and 2023 AFCON (where he was top scorer), and also during 2018 WCQ (1 match) and 2022 WCQ (6 matches, 2 goals).

And before the AFCON earlier this year, he played 2 matches of 2026 WCQ in November 2023, and scored both goals in two 1-0 wins. But of course those wins have been forfeited.

FIFA did not specify a reason and just said they were "comfortably satisfied that the player was ineligible". No idea why he could still play such a long international career, including multiple WCQ matches, for EQG between the two FIFA disciplinary actions in 2013 and 2024, and what prompted FIFA to once again ban him.

The FIFA article also says "a six-month ban from playing for any representative team of any association upon the player Emilio Nsue López". So does that mean he can once again play for EQG (or some other national team) six months later?

Anyway, a truly bizarre case.
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