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SEE FULL LIST: 24 countries qualify for 2023 AFCON

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All 24 countries that will trade tackles at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote D’Ivoire have sealed qualification for the tournament.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that five-time AFCON champions Cameroon on Tuesday spanked Burundi 3-O to complete the star-studded list of qualified teams.

A breakdown of the qualified countries shows that 12 former AFCON champions, including three-time champions Nigeria will be on parade come January, 2024.

Hosts, Cote d’Ivoire will be leading a strong West African contingent of 11 countries, including holders Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Burkina Faso among others.

Tanzania representing East Africa returns for a second finals after a brave showing in the qualifiers.

The North Africans are represented by seven-time champions Egypt, World Cup semi-finalists Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

Egypt will be looking for an eighth unprecedented title, having reached two of the last three finals in 2017 and at the 2021 edition.

NAN reports there will be no debutants in this edition, as the continent’s football power houses managed to maintain and seal qualification.

The 2023 AFCON will take place from January 13 to February 11, 2024, after it was postponed from it’s original June, 2023 date.

Full list of 24 qualified countries are Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire (Hosts) and DR Congo.

Others are Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco and Mozambique,

Others are Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal (Title Holders), South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zambia.

Sports

Reps sports committee chairman, Ekene Adams, dies at 39

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A member of the House of Representatives representing Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency, Kaduna State, and Chairman House Committee on Sports, Ekene Adams, has passed on.

He reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday although the cause of his death has not been ascertained at the time of filing this report.

Different sports groups in the country have started mourning Adams.

“My good friend and one of our frontline members of the NPFL Club Owners Association, Chairman House Committee on Sports, Hon Ekene Abubakar Adams is Dead,” Former secretary of the club owners association Alloy Chukwuemeka wrote on Tuesday.

“May God console his family and friends and may his soul rest in peace.”

A former football player, Adams had served as the general manager of Nigeria Premier Football League side Remo Stars as well as Kada City before he won a seat in the House of Representatives during the 2023 general elections.

His sport background earned him the role of the reps committee chairman on sports despite being a first timer in the green chamber.

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Bayern Munich sign Portugal star Palhinha for €49M

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Bayern Munich on Thursday finally secured the signing of Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha from Fulham for a reported fee of 49 million euros ($53 million) after coming close to acquiring him last year.

The 28-year-old, who spent two years at Fulham after arriving from Sporting Lisbon in 2022 for 22 million euros, signed a four year contract.

Bayern had been poised to sign Palhinha in 2023, the defensive midfielder had even posed in the club’s strip, but the deal fell through just before the transfer window closed when Fulham failed to find a replacement.

In a statement, Palhinha said it was “one of the happiest days of my life,” adding “this is a dream come true for me… I want to enjoy success with Bayern and win titles.”

Sporting director Max Eberl said the player was “highly sought after by Bayern even last summer –- and rightly so. It was important that we never lost touch”

Palhinha, who has scored twice in 31 international appearances, took part in Portugal’s Euro 2024 campaign which ended at the hands of France in the quarter finals.

His signing is Bayern’s third major arrival of the summer, as the club continues a summer rebuild after a first season without a trophy since 2012.

Forward Michael Olise and centre-back Hiroki Ito have already joined the club, alongside manager Vincent Kompany who was appointed coach at the end of last season.

Kompany will be tasked with returning Bayern to the top of the German football tree after their streak of 11 straight Bundesliga titles was broken last season.

Bayern were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Champions League by eventual winners Real Madrid, while Bayer Leverkusen won the league and cup double under manager Xabi Alonso.

Kompany will have the added pressure the Champions League final is to be held at Bayern’s Allianz Arena next season.

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CAF fines Eto’o $200k over ambassadorship deal with betting company

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has sanctioned Samuel Eto’o, president of the Cameroon Football Association, for ethics violations.

In a statement on Thursday, CAF announced Eto’o was facing “charges of alleged manipulation of football matches and violating the principles of ethics and integrity.”

The continental football governing body added that “there is insufficient proof” to corroborate Eto’o’s involvement in match-fixing alongside Valentin Nkwain.

However, CAF ruled that the four-time African Footballer of the Year “seriously violated the principles of ethics, integrity and sportsmanship” by “signing a brand ambassador contract with the company 1XBET in exchange for remuneration”.

The statement said Eto’o breached “Article 2 paragraph 3 of the CAF Statutes,” which reads: “any person or organisation involved in football in Africa has to respect at all times and unreservedly the principles of ethics and fair play enacted by CAF, the principles of integrity and sportsmanship as well as the Statutes, regulations, decisions, and directives of CAF and FIFA.”

Eto’o was penalised with $200,000 fine for the violation.

The former Barcelona striker has been embroiled in controversy since he was elected president of Cameroon FA in 2021.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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