AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Meet the 7 debutants in Kwesi Appiah’s 23-man squad

first_imgBlack Stars Head Coach Kwesi Appiah has included seven debutants in his 23-man squad for Ghana’s upcoming AFCON 2021 Qualifiers against South Africa and São Tomé and Príncipe.Ashanti Gold forward Shafiu Mumuni’s brilliant form in recent months has earned him a call up along with former Hearts of Oak ace Torric Jibril, with Denmark based Mohammed Kudus also receiving his first call up after his fine form this season.The seven debutants are:Torric JibrilHe currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Congolese side, TP Mazembe, he began his career as an attacker for premier league side, Accra Hearts of Oak.  In January 2011, Jibril signed a two and half year deal with Turkish side Bucaspor. He played for the club 26 times, scoring three goals.Iddrisu BabaIddrisu Baba plays for Spanish club RCD Mallorca as a midfielder. He has made ten La Liga appearances for Real Mallorca so far this season. Baba moved to Spain at an early age and joined RCD Mallorca’s youth setup in January 2014, from CD Leganés.Christopher Antwi-AdjeiHe is a German-Ghanaian footballer who plays as a midfielder for German Bundesliga side SC Paderborn. Since joining Paderborn in 2017, he has scored 8 league goals after making 38 appearances. Mohammed SalisuThe robust central defender joined Real Valladolid’s youth setup in October 2017 from Nsawam based African Talent Football Academy. He made his first senior appearance for the side in August 2019 and scored his first ever La Liga goal two months later in a 2-0 win for Real Valladolid against Eibar.Razak AbaloraRazak Abalora is a former West African Football Academy shot stopper who plays for Tanzanian side, Azam FC. He was a member of the Black Stars B team before leaving the shores of the country three years ago.Shafiu Mumuni The AshantiGold goal machine bagged four goals in four games for his side in the CAF Confederation Cup qualifiers, and also emerged top goal scorer at the just ended 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations where he scored four  goals in four games for the Black Stars team B on their way to a second place finish at the competition.Mohammed KudusKudus Mohammed plays as a forward for Danish side FC Nordsjælland. Kudus got his official debut for FCN only 3 days after his 18th birthday, in a 0-2 defeat against Brøndby IF. With his debut, he became the 9th youngest debutant in the history of FC Nordsjælland. He also represented Ghana at Under 17 level at the World Cup back in 2017.Ghana will face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on November 14 at the Cape Coast Stadium, before travelling to São Tomé and Príncipe four days later to take on the Seleção dos Falcões e Papagaios. Source: Rita Mensah/CitiSports/Ghanalast_img read more

Neymar investigated in Brazil over fraud allegations

first_imgProsecutors in Brazil are recommending that football star Neymar be charged over four counts of fraud in relation to a tax case prior to his transfer to Barcelona in 2013.It is alleged that companies were set up as fronts in order for the striker to pay a lower rate of tax.Officials in Brazil say the allegations against the Barcelona striker cover a seven-year period from 2006.The allegations are separate from a case heard in Spain on Tuesday.Neymar appeared in court in Madrid in connection with fraud allegations surrounding his transfer. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.At the time of his transfer he was a rising star at Brazilian club Santos. Neymar’s move to Barcelona FC has been a big success on the pitch Barcelona’s ex-President Sandro Rosell (L) and President Josep Maria Bartomeu (second L) denied wrongdoing in a Madrid court, MondayBrazilian prosecutors are reported by the AFP news agency to have also framed fraud charges against Neymar’s father Neymar da Silva Santos, Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell. Barcelona said it paid €57m (£43m) for Neymar in 2013 but investigators say the fee was closer to €83m and the club concealed part of the deal.Neymar spent an hour and a half before a Spanish judge on Tuesday.Mr Santos, who arrived at court with his son on Tuesday evening, acts as his agent.The Spanish case was brought by Brazilian third-party investment fund DIS, which owned 40% of the Brazilian player’s sports rights.DIS alleges it was financially harmed by the transfer when it received €6.8m of Mr Santos’s €17m fee and argues it was deprived of its full share. Neymar, 23, has won widespread acclaim during his time at Barcelonalast_img read more

LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was partly motivated to score 62 vs Dallas because of Del Harris

first_imgHarris worked as a Mavericks assistant from 2000 to 2007. But before that, Harris coached the Lakers from 1994-1999 through Bryant’s first two NBA seasons. The Lakers then fired Harris after a 6-6 start in the 1999 lockout-shortened season. Bryant became frustrated playing for Harris, who featured him off the bench in 15.5 minutes per game his rookie season.“When I was a rookie, I hated Del,” Bryant said. “I always said if I get a chance to get revenge, I’m going to get it.”Bryant sought his revenge on Dec. 20, 2005 in the Lakers’ 112-90 victory over the Mavericks at Staples Center. He shot 18 of 31 from the field and converted on 22 of 25 foul shots in 32 minutes. He scored 30 points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining in the period to eclipse the Mavericks’ point total (61). Yet, Bryant argued that his career-high 81-point performance on Jan. 22, 2006 against Toronto became more difficult because “my knee was killing me.” When Bryant reported feeling “fantastic” against Dallas with both his health and for sticking it to Harris. “That being said, he pushed me back then to try to be as efficient as possible to get some minutes on the floor,” Bryant said. “I had to earn everything I got. I’m very appreciative now. But I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of the motivation.” Back to basicsThe question made Lakers coach Byron Scott offer a hearty laugh. What kind of students are his players?“We’ll leave that question alone,” Scott said, chuckling. “Very young students. Let’s put it that way.”That prompted Scott to conduct longer practices similar to the ones he had in training camp. That prompted Bryant to lead a timeout huddle in Saturday’s loss in Portland, criticizing the team’s defensive efforts against guards Damian Lillard (36 points) and CJ McCollum (26 points). That prompted Bryant to critique his team in the locker room, including calling rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle out by name.“We can’t move on until they learn it,” Scott said. “It’s not punishment. But until you can prove to me you’re ready to move on and you can do those things on a consistent basis, I have to go to the basics.”That likely won’t stop until the Lakers show significant improvement in total defense. They rank 26th out of 30 NBA teams in total points allowed (106) per game. “We just don’t do a good job of executing it,” Randle said. “At the same time, you have to go back to the film and see why. Part of it is maybe effort. But part of it is maybe something else. We have to figure out why.” The shots dropped into the basket with remarkable efficiency. So much so that Kobe Bryant initially outscored the entire Dallas Mavericks team. So much so that Bryant scored 62 points through three quarters, giving the Lakers enough cushion that he felt no need to play in the final period. So much so that Bryant became the sixth player in Lakers history to score at least 60 points in a regular-season game. And with the Lakers (9-37) facing the Dallas Mavericks (25-20) for the final time on Tuesday at Staples Center, Bryant narrowed in on one specific source that fueled his outburst.“Del Harris,” Bryant said, sparking laughter both from himself and reporters. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more