FIFA slaps five year ban on African soccer president Ahmad

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad delivers a speech during the 40th CAF ordinary general assembly on February 2, 2018 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. / AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

FIFA, the world’s highest governing body of football decided on Monday to ban African soccer confederation and FIFA vice president, Ahmad Ahmad for five years over financial misconduct and other ethics violations.

In addition to the five-year ban, Ahmad was also fined $220,000.

FIFA launched an investigation into Ahmad’s conduct while in charge of the Confederation of African Football between 2017-2019. The inquiry concluded that Ahmad breached codes relating to duty of loyalty, offering and accepting gifts abuse of position as well as misappropriation of funds.

An audit of CAF finances pointed to irregularities under Ahmad’s leadership. The report was ordered by FIFA while it effectively took over running the organization for six months.

CAF appeared to pay about $100,000 for 18 people, including Ahmad and the heads of some of the continent’s 54 national member federations, to travel on the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Ahmad can appeal his sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) once he has received the full grounds for the decision, a process that can take up to 60 days.

Story compiled with assistance from wire reports.

AFCON 2021 qualifiers: Sudan stuns Ghana, Algeria qualifies despite draw

Riyad Mahrez of Algeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final soccer match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium on 19th July 2019â¨Photo : Ulrik Pedersen / Icon Sport

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Monday and Tuesday yielded some surprising results as African countries continue their quest to qualify for the continental showpiece in 2022.

The shock result of the latest games saw Sudan defeat four-time African champions Ghana 1-0 at the Al Hilal Stadium in Omdurman.

Mohamed Abdel Rahman scored the winning goal in injury time to inflict the Black Stars’ first loss of the qualifying campaign.

It also breathed life into Sudan’s chances for qualifying for the tournament as they lie third in Group C on six points, three behind joint-leaders Ghana and South Africa, who thumped Sao Tome and Principe 4-2.

In Nairobi, a first-half penalty from Tito Okello saw South Sudan edge Uganda 1-0 in an encounter which saw both sides finish with 10 men.

The win saw South Sudan, who still remain bottom of Group B, claim their first points.

Uganda is second with seven points, one behind leaders Burkina Faso and three ahead of Malawi who both drew 0-0.

Defending champions Algeria qualified for the tournament from Group H despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Zimbabwe.

The Desert Foxes had led through Andy Delort and Riyad Mahrez but then threw away their lead as Knowledge Musona and Prince Dube struck for the home side.

Algeria leads the way with 10 points followed by Zimbabwe on five followed by Botswana, who defeated 2012 winners Zambia 1-0. Botswana and Zambia have four and three points respectively.

Group K remains slightly open after joint leaders Côte d’Ivoire and Madagascar drew 1-1 in Toamasina and moved to seven points. Third-placed Ethiopia thrashed Niger to move to within a point of the leaders while their opponents remained bottom on three points.

Seven-time champions Egypt edged closer to securing qualification after a 3-1 win away to bottom-placed Togo in Group G.

In Group L, Sierra Leone kept their slim qualification hopes alive after playing out a goalless draw with three-time winners and group leaders Nigeria just days after both sides also drew in an eight-goal thriller. The other group game saw Lesotho also hold second-placed Benin to a barren stalemate.

Tunisia went through from Group J following a 1-1 draw against Tanzania and still remain unbeaten on 10 points while Tanzania (four) trails Equatorial Guinea (six) by two points. Mali also qualified from Group A after defeating Namibia 2-1 courtesy of goals from Sekou Koita and Moussa Doumbia.

Group D remains a three-way battle after the DR Congo and Gambia defeated Angola and Gabon respectively. Gambia and Gabon top the group with seven points followed by the DR Congo on six and Angola on one.

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech scored a goal and set up another as Morocco all but secured qualification from Group E with a 2-0 win against Central Africa Republic while Burundi had earlier beat Mauritania 3-1.

Hosts Cameroon went six points clear at the top of Group F after beating Mozambique 2-0 in Maputo with the hosts guilty of missing a first-half penalty. The other group game saw 10-man Rwanda draw 0-0 with Cape Verde.

Cameroon is participating in the qualifiers despite having already qualified for the tournament in order to get some much-needed game time. Their matches and results, however, will count in determining the qualification of the other teams from their group.

Kenya’s Olympic 3,000 champion Conseslus Kipruto charged with defilement

DOHA, QATAR – OCTOBER 04: Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya celebrates winning gold in the Men’s 3000 metres Steeplechase final during day eight of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 04, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kenyan Olympic and World 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto was charged with defiling a minor, local media reported on Monday.

Kipruto is accused of defiling a 15-year-old girl last month and the girl’s parents subsequently reported the case at Mosoriot Police Post in Nandi County.

Demonstrators had gathered outside Kapsabet Law Courts in Kapsabet, the county’s largest town, demanding for justice and waving placards as Kipruto made his way to court, the Daily Nation reported.

The 25-year-old was released on a Sh200,000 (about $1,830) bond and a surety of a similar amount after denying the charge.

The case was adjourned to May next year.

Kenya departs for Comoros seeking to tighten AFCON 2021 qualifying grip

CAIRO, EGYPT – JULY 01: Sadio Mane of Senegal takes on Bernard Ochieng (6) and Musa Mohamed of Kenya during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group C match between Kenya and Senegal at 30th June Stadium on July 1, 2019 in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Visionhaus)

The Kenyan national football team the Harambee Stars departed Nairobi on Saturday morning for Comoros with sights on establishing a firm grip of the top two in their Group G of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying.

The second-placed Stars, who were forced to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Comoros in Nairobi on Wednesday, face surprise group leaders in Moroni on Sunday, where victory against the islanders could see them top the pool.

Egypt (two) and Togo (one) were scheduled to play later Saturday and Tuesday in their double header prop Group G behind Comoros (five) and Kenya (three).

“We believe we can go there and turn the result. Comoros are a good side and played well and our first game went according to plan but we missed many chances,” Kenya head coach Jacob Mulee said before the team departure.

“We cannot underestimate them and we have a better idea of what we need to do to get a result in Moroni but it will be a difficult game,” he added.

The Football Kenya Federation chartered a private flight for the team that is aiming to qualify for a second successive AFCON final, after making Egypt 2019, the first appearance at the continental showpiece in 15 years.

Mulee has included midfielder Lawrence Juma who plays for local side Sofapaka FC in his 25-man squad that traveled to play Comoros having missed the 1-1 draw in the first game.

Arnold Origi, Ian Otieno and Brian Bwire are the goalkeepers who traveled with the team with Johnstone Omurwa making it to the squad in defense alongside David Owino Ambulu.

Musa Masika, who was also left out for Wednesday, has also been included in the team alongside Kenneth Muguna who came on as a substitute.

The top two in the group will punch their tickets to the Cameroon 2021 AFCON finals that have been pushed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAF President Ahmad discharged from hospital after recovering from COVID-19

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad delivers a speech during the 40th CAF ordinary general assembly on February 2, 2018 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. / AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad was discharged from hospital on Wednesday after recovering from the coronavirus, the organization said in a statement.

Late last month, CAF announced that Ahmad had tested positive for Covid-19 after he presented mild flu symptoms and said he would immediately self-isolate for at least the next 14 days at his hotel.

“After a period of isolation and observation at the AS Salam International Hospital in Cairo (Egypt), doctors authorized him to leave this morning, November 11th,” CAF’s statement read in part.

The statement added Ahmad returned to his home in Cairo as he was no longer contagious and had “minimal risk of complications”.

Ahmad will take some time off to ensure his full recovery, according to doctors’ orders, CAF said.

“Doctors have prescribed at least 20 days of convalescence, during which he will have to limit his efforts in order to fully recover his energy,” it added.

Ahmad extended his gratitude to all the medical staff of AS Salam International Hospital in Cairo for their support throughout the period he had been hospitalized.

He also thanked CAF’s vice presidents and general secretary for stepping to handle certain duties which he was unable to discharge while he was away.

Nigeria’s Ola Aina scores as Fulham register first Premier League win

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 02: Ola Aina of Fulham celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Fulham and West Bromwich Albion at Craven Cottage on November 02, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Nigerian Ola Aina scored his first goal for Fulham as the London side defeated fellow promoted side West Brom 2-0 at Craven Cottage late on Monday.

Aina’s goal was a spectacular left-foot 20-yard strike that doubled the hosts’ lead on the half-hour mark after Bobby Decordova-Reid had headed in the opening goal four minutes earlier.

The margin of victory could have been bigger but subsequent efforts by Tom Cairney and Decordova-Reid were cleared off the goal line, one of them by Aina’s compatriot Semi Ajayi.

The win saw Fulham claim its first win of the season and move on to four points and out of the relegation zone pushing West Brom into it.

After the match, Aina said he was “happy” to score his first Premier League goal and help the club secure a “very important win” after a “difficult start to the season”.

Aina’s goal was also his first ever goal in English League football, in what was his 51st appearance, having had previous stints at Chelsea and Hull.

The 24-year-old joined the club in September on a season-long loan from Torino, with an option to make the deal permanent.

Embattled South Africa Cricket chief resigns along with four board members

File Photo.Beresford Williams (President of WP Cricket) with the man of the match, Vernon Philander of South Africa during day 3 of the 1st Sunfoil Series Test match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Park Newlands on November 11, 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren / Gallo Images/Getty)

Beleaguered Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting president Beresford Williams has resigned along with four other board members, the organization said on Sunday.

The cricket board has been plagued by claims of mismanagement with a damning internal report providing a long list of concerns about the actions of various staff members.

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa had told the International Cricket Council (ICC) that he intended to intervene in the running of the board unless it committed to governance reforms by October 27.

“Acting President of CSA Beresford Williams has handed in his resignation with immediate effect,” the CSA said on its Twitter feed.

The CSA members’ council met on Thursday to discuss strategies to solve the crisis following the sports minister’s ultimatum.

“One of these approaches was that if the Board would need to step down for the best interest of CSA and cricket as a whole, the Board would then do so,” CSA said.

Board members Angelo Carolissen, Tebogo Siko, John Mogodi and Donavan May also resigned on Sunday.

Rihan Richards had been appointed acting president of the Members’ Council, the CSA subsequently said in a statement.

“CSA thanks them for their dedication, commitment and service to CSA and wishes them well in their future endeavors,” Richards said of the departing members.

Former London marathon winner Wanjiru gets four-year ban

Men’s elite winner Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru during a press conference after winning the men’s elite race at the London marathon on April 23, 2017 in London. (Photo by Karyn Louise/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon winner, has been banned for four years due to an Athlete Biological Passport violation, the sport’s independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said.

Wanjiru, who has denied any wrongdoing, was provisionally suspended in April. His ban was backdated to Dec. 9, 2019, and all of the 28-year-old’s results since March 9 last year have been disqualified, the AIU said in a statement here.

He has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

ABPs are used to monitor selected biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping rather than attempting to detect the substance or method itself.

The AIU said the anomalies in Wanjiru’s ABP went “far beyond any physiological possible adjustment”.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei wins London Marathon and retains title

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 04: Brigid Kosgei of Kenya competes in the Elite Women’s Field during the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon around St. James’s Park on October 04, 2020 in London, England. The 40th Race will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St. James’s Park in central London. (Photo by John Sibley – Pool/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 04: Brigid Kosgei of Kenya competes in the Elite Women’s Field during the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon around St. James’s Park on October 04, 2020 in London, England. The 40th Race will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St. James’s Park in central London. (Photo by John Sibley – Pool/Getty Images)

World record holder Brigid Kosgei retained her London Marathon title with a commanding performance on a wet and closed course in the city.

The 26-year-old Kenyan, who broke Paula Radcliffe’s world record in Chicago last year, went clear of world champion Ruth Chepngetich after mile 18.

She finished alone on The Mall in two hours 18 minutes and 58 seconds to claim the $30,000 (£23,200) prize.

She was almost five minutes outside her world record set in Chicago last year.

“The weather was not good so we struggled,” Kosgei told BBC Sport. “I struggled up to the moment I finished.

“We have not prepared well due to the pandemic. I will be prepared for good results next year.”

The London Marathon, rescheduled from its traditional April date because of the coronavirus pandemic, is taking place for elite runners only over 19 laps around St James’s Park.

Ethiopian Shura Kitata wins London Marathon as Eliud Kipchoge finishes eighth

Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (centre) celebrates winning The Men’s Elite Race alongside second placed Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba (right) and Third placed Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma during the Virgin Money London Marathon around St James’ Park. /VCG Image

Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata won the 2020 men’s London Marathon on Sunday in a sprint finish pipping Kenyan Vincent Kipchumba in a race that delivered a shocking result.

Kitata crossed the line in a time of two hours five minutes 41 seconds just ahead of Kipchumba who came in at two hours five minutes 42 seconds. Another Ethiopian, Sisay Lemma, came in third in a time of two hours five minutes 45 seconds.

Marathon world record holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge finished a distant eighth, more than a minute down. It was the first time he had failed to win a marathon since 2013.

While Kipchoge’s fans were disappointed with the result, the Olympic champion was gracious in defeat as he also explained what went wrong during the race.

“After 25 kilometers my ear blocked and it couldn’t open anymore. But this is how sport is, we should accept defeat and focus for the winning next time,” he tweeted.

The marathon had been anticipated to be a battle between Kipchoge, who was aiming for a fifth title, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest man in marathon. However, Bekele withdrew from the race on Friday with a calf injury.

This year’s event featured a unique route – a looped 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometres) course around St James’s Park within a biosecure bubble without any spectators – and only elite runners due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic also saw the event postponed from its original date in April.

Earlier on Sunday, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya retained her title in the women’s event winning in a time of two hours 18 minutes and 58 seconds.