May's African football news in brief

Nigerian players at the Under-20 World Cup
Nigeria have qualified for the second round of the Under-20 World Cup in Poland

African football stories in short for May as the countdown to the Cup of Nations in Egypt continues.

Friday 31 May:

Morocco's Nabil El Zhar has joined Qatari top flight league club Al Ahli on a two-year deal as a free agent.

His move comes few days after he he amicably terminated his contract with La Liga club Leganes.

It will be the frist time that the 32-year-old former Liverpool player has played his club football outside Europe, and the first since time 2012 away from La Liga.

El Zhar played 27 of Leganes' 38 league games last season scoring four goals .

Nigeria have clinched a place in the last 16 of the Under-20 World Cup following a 1-1 draw with Ukraine in Poland.

Ukraine took the lead after half an hour through Danylo Sikan before Nigeria equalised from the penalty spot through Muhamed Tijani five minutes after half-time.

The draw saw Nigeria clinch one of the best third-placed spots to progress to the second round.

Thursday 30 May:

Guest team Morocco will make their debut at the West African Football Union (Wafu) Cup of Nations against Liberia in Senegal in September.

Morocco are the first guest side invited to a Wafu tournament and they replace Sierra Leone, who are currently serving a Fifa-imposed ban from global football.

Liberia beat Morocco 2-1 in an international friendly the last time the two sides met in July 1987.

The expanded tournament will feature 16 nations and kicks off on 28 September with the final set for 13 October at the Stade Lat Dior in Thies.

The eight winners from the first round will progress to compete in the main cup competition with the losers feature in a second-tier plate event.

Hosts Senegal face Guinea Bissau in the opening match while defending champions Ghana play The Gambia on 28 September.

The other matches are: Nigeria v Togo, Mali v Niger, Ivory Coast v Cape Verde, Burkina Faso v Mauritania and Guinea v Benin.

South Africa's Mark Fish in action at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations
Mark Fish helped South Africa win the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil

The plate-final will be held on 12 October and the cup-final on 13 October.

Senegal finished top of Group A at the Under-20 World Cup after a goalless draw with hosts Poland.

The result took Senegal to seven points and a place in the last 16 where they will face one of the third-placed teams on 3 June.

Mark Fish says he is "honoured" to be back in the national team set-up in his role as scout and player liaison ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Fish‚ who won 62 caps for Bafana Bafana and won the Nations Cup in 1996, side joined the squad at a training camp in Durban.

The 45-year-old will act as a mentor to the current players and will also scout opponents for Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter and his assistant Molefe Ntseki.

Wednesday 29 May:

The Egypt Football Association (EFA) are to appeal against a six-month ban given to referee Gehad Grisha.

He was sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) "due to poor performance" during the first of leg of the Champions League final on 24 May between Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Tunisia's Esperance.

"I took this step as I trust in Gehad, he is one of the best referees in Africa, I'm sure that Caf will revise its decision,"

"Gehad had a very good match and he did not did any mistakes," Essam Abdel Fattah, chairman of the EFA's referees committee, said.

The ban would see him miss the chance to officiate at the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

Grisha took part in a preparatory course in Morocco at the end of April ahead of the Nations Cup finals, which begin on 21 June.

Musa Juwara became just the fourth Gambian to play in Italy's Serie A describing his debut for relegated Chievo Verona as a 'dream come true.'

The 18-year-old played for the last 10 minutes of their goalless draw at Frosinone.

Juwara arrived in Italy in 2016 after undertaking the dangerous trek over the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea and has been playing with the club's reserves since his arrival.

The other Gambians to play in the Italian top flight are Ali Sowe and Lamin Jallow both for Chievo Verona as well as Omar Colley at Sampdoria.

South Africa were beaten 1-0 by South Korea while Mali edged out Saudi Arabia at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

It was a second straight defeat for South Africa in Group F and means they must win their final game against Portugal on Friday to have any chance of progressing to the second round.

Mali twice came from behind to clinch their win over Saudi Arabia, with Mohamed Camara scoring the winner in the last minute of the match.

The winners of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations now have four points from their two Group E matches.

Mali's final group game is also on Friday when they face France, who have won both their matches.

Tunisia defender Oussama Haddadi
Tunisia defender Oussama Haddadi's contract with Dijon ends on 30 June

Saudi Arabian club Al Ettifaq have confirmed that Tunisian international Oussama Haddadi will join them on a four-year deal on completion of a medical.

The 27-year old left back will move to the top flight league club as free agent after his contract with French Ligue 1 club Djion comes to an end on 30 June.

Haddadi, who joined Djion in January 2017, played 32 of the club's 38 league games in the 2018-2019 season scoring two goals.

He has also been included in Tunisia's provisional squad for the next month's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Tuesday 28 May:

Pa Modou Jagne (right) in action for The Gambia against Algeria

Gambia international Pa Modou Jagne has confirmed his departure from Swiss side FC Zurich after the end of his two year contract.

"As I move on to the next chapter in my career I will take along some good memories and I will always have the FC Zurich fans in my heart," the Scorpions captain wrote on social media.

The defender has not said where he will be playing next season yet.

The 29-year-old joined FC Zurich in 2017 from FC Sion, where he also spend two seasons and won the Swiss Cup in 2015.

Zurich was Jagne's fourth Swiss Club having had stints with FC Wil and St Gallen before Sion.

The Tunisia Football Federation (FTF) has asked for the kick off times at the Africa Cup of Nations to be reviewed for health reasons.

Tunisia are due to play their second Group E game against Mali at 4.30 local time on 28 June in Suez.

The FTF is concerned that the temperatures could reach 45 degrees Celsius which could pose a threat to the health of its players.

It has written to the Confederation of African Football to ask for a change in kick-off times.

Nigeria lost 2-0 to USA at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland, with Hannover 96 forward Sebastian Soto scoring both goals.

It leaves Nigeria on three points after two games and a win over Ukraine in two days time in the final Group D match will see them advance to the last 16.

Monday 27 May:

A USM Alger scarf
A USM Alger ensured an eighth Algerian league title with a win on the final day of the season.

USM Alger won an eighth Algerian league title on Sunday with a 3-1 win over at defending champions CS Constantine on the last day of the season.

The win saw them finish just one point ahead of JS Kabylie, who also won their final match of the season beating CA Bordj 2-0.

Constantine eventually finished seventh in the defence of their title, 13 points behind USMA.

Ahmed Yahya has been re-elected as president of the Mauritania Football Federation (FFRIM) for the next four years.

Since he was elected Mauritania have qualified for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in 2014 and 2018 as well as an upcoming debut at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

He was named administrator of the year in 2018 by the Confederation of African Football.Sunday 26 May:

Senegal under-20 player Amadou Sagna
Senegal's Amadou Sagna scord the fastest goal in Under-20 World Cup history

Senegal have made it two wins out of two at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

They beat Colombia 2-0 on Sunday to go top of Group A.

Ibrahima Niane and Dion Lopy both scored from the penalty spot to give Senegal the victory.

Ghanaian trio Issifu Mensah, Kwabena Nkrumah and Emmanuel Amoh Attipoe have joined Spanish side UD Extremadura.

The second-tier club has handed them professional contracts after impressing with the second team.

Midfielder Nkrumah and defender Mensah both join from Spartans while forward Emmanuel switch from Liberty Professionals.

Mali opened their Under-20 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Panama in Group E on Saturday in Poland.

A late penalty from Panama substitute Diego Valanta denied Mali the victory after the African champions had gone ahead through Boubacar Konte.

It was a much tougher start to the U-20 World Cup for South Africa who lost their opening match of Group F 5-2 to Argentina.

Saturday 25 May:

Mauritania will play friendly internationals against Madagascar and Benin ahead of next month's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, according to the Mauritania Football Federation.

The Nations Cup debutants will play both matches in the Moroccan city of Marrakech where they will have a training camp from 8 to 19 June.

The Mourabitounes will take on fellow Nations Cup debutants Madagascar on 14 July and will then face Benin four days later.

Mauritania's coach Corentin Martins has already named his 23-man squad with a further list of seven standby players.

Mauritania will play in group E at the Nations Cup alongside Tunisia, Mali and Angola.

Nigeria opened their Under-20 World Cup campaign in Poland with a resounding 4-0 win over Qatar on Friday in their first match of Group D.

Goals from Maxwell Effiom, Okechukwa Offia, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Aliu Salawudeen gave Nigeria the perfect start to their campaign.

Nigeria will next face USA on Monday.

Friday 24 May:

Spanish side Sevilla came from behind to beat Tanzania's Simba 5-4 in Dar es Salaam with an injury time winner.

Simba took a 2-0 lead after 16 minutes thanks to goals from John Bocco and Rwanda's Meddie Kagere

Sergio Escudero pulled a goal back eight minutes before Bocco restored the two goal advantage before half-time.

Spain's scored Sevilla's second goal shortly after half-time with Zambian Clatous Chama added Simba's fourth on 62 minutes.

Sevilla won the match with three late goals as Netherlands Quincy Promes scored twice before Nolito's injury-time winner.

Senegal's Amadou Sagna scored the fastest goal in Under-20 World Cup history as his hat-trick beat Tahiti 3-0 in Poland on Thursday.

Sagna found the net after just 9.6 seconds to surpass the previous best-mark set by Nigeria's Monday Odiaka in 1985.

The 19-year-old, who plays in Senegal for Cayor Foot, then added goals in the 29th and 50th minutes.

In the day's other Group A encounter hosts Poland lost 2-0 to Colombia.

Thursday 23 May:

Morocco have organised friendlies against The Gambia and Zambia in Marrakech ahead of next month's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.The Royal Moroccan Football Federation has announced the Atlas Lions will face The Gambia on 12 June and Zambia four days later.

The 2017 quarter-finalists will begin their preparations on 2 June in the city of Sale and will be travelling to Marrakech on match days for the friendlies.

They are set to arrive in Cairo on 18 June five days before their opening Group D fixture against Namibia, they will also face Ivory Coast and South Africa.

Fourteen-time DR Congo champions AS Vita Club have signed of Burkina Faso striker Ahmed Toure from Ivory Coast's Asec Mimosa.

The details of the deal for the 31-year old have not been revealed.

His acquisition comes a day after Vita Club sold DR Congo international Fabrice Ngoma to Moroccan side Raja Casablanca.

Toure spent two seasons with Asec and netted 12 goals in the just concluded Ivorian league and also scored in this season's Caf Champions league.

Kenya's Gor Mahia
Gor Mahia have won the last three league titles in Kenya

The Ivory Coast Football Federation has said the Elephants' preparations for next month's African cup of Nations in Egypt will take place in two phases.

The first phase will take place in France with the provisional squad where they hope to play a friendly.

Their original plan to play The Gambia in Amiens on 7 June fell through with the Scorpions agreeing to play Morocco instead.

Coach Ibrahim Kamara will then name his 23-man squad for the finals and travel to Abu Dhabi for their second part of their preparations from 10 to 20 June.

In Abu Dhabi, Ivory Coast will play warm-up games against Uganda on 14 June and probably against Libya four days later before they fly out to Egypt.

The Algeria Football Federation has confirmed two friendlies for the Desert Foxes ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

Algeria will face Burundi on 11 June and Mali five days later, both matches set to be played in Qatar.

The 1990 African champions will open their preparation camp on 8 June and spend 10 days in Qatar before flying out to Egypt on 18 June for the tournament.

Gor Mahia retained their Kenyan football league title with two matches remaining after drawing 1-1 with Vihiga United on Wednesday.

It was an 18th league title for Gor Mahia and a third in a row for the first Kenyan club to reach the Confederation Cup quarter-finals this year.

The club will now play in the African Champions League, when it begins again later this year.

Gor hold an unassailable 12 points lead over their closest rivals Bandari.

Wednesday 22 May:

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has engaged former Fifa development officer, Ashford Mamelodi to head its newly introduced "Operation Time For Change" project.

Bfa president, Maclean Letshwiti, says the initiative is designed to change the way in which local football is administered.

Botswana have largely struggled on the international scene, with the national team, the Zebras, failing to kick-on since their first-and-only qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012.

Mamelodi is an accredited Fifa instructor and consultant and served as the world governing body's development officer in charge of southern Africa for nearly two decades.

Moroccan club Raja Casablanca have signed DR Congo midfielder Fabrice Ngoma from AS Vita Club.

The 25-year-old, who has been named in DR Congo's provisional squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, joins on a three-year contract from 1 July.

Raja are looking to strengthen their squad as they return to African Champions League action after a five-year absence.

Tuesday 21 May:

Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour says the club has persuaded Egypt's Ministry of Interior will allow 60,000 fans to attend the second leg of the final of the Confederation Cup.

Originally just 30,000 supporters were going to be allowed in to see Sunday's game at the Borg Al Arab stadium near Alexandria with Morocco's Renaissance Berkane leading 1-0 from the first leg.

"We will start sell the tickets as soon as possible, I want to thank them (the Ministry of Interior) and the football federation too," Masour said.

It matches the number of fans that saw Al Ahly face Tunisia's Esperance at the same venue in the first leg of the Champions League.

Tunisia defender Syam Ben Youssef has retired from international football just a month before the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The 30-year-old, who played at the 2018 World Cup, said on social media "in my opinion my family and my club future are my priorities."

Ben Youssef is currently playing in Turkey for Kasimpasa and he added that he would explain "the reasons that led me to make this decision" at a later date.

He earned a total of 47 caps for the Carthage Eagles since his debut in 2013.

Nigerian football is mourning the death of veteran Lobi Stars coach Solomon Ogbeide.

Ogbeide, who led the club to the 2018 Nigerian title and Champions League group stage, was taken to hospital on Monday, but was confirmed dead on arrival.

"The leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation, its management and staff is still in shock following the sudden demise of one the brains of the game in the country, Coach Solomon Ogbeide," The country's football authority (NFF) wrote on social media.

"Our thoughts are with his family, @LobiStarsFC and the entire football family."

He had previously managed local clubs Julius Berger, Sunshine Stars and Warri Wolves before taking charge of Lobi Stars in 2017.

Burundi's Gael Bigirimana
Burundi forward Gael Bigirimana's deal with Scottish side Hibernian has ended

Scottish Premiership side Hibernian have released Burundi's Gael Bigirimana after his short-term contract expired.The 25-year-old made just one appearance as a substitute for the club after signing from Scottish rivals Motherwell.

Ghana's Thomas Agyepong loan from Manchester City to Hibernian has also come to an end.

His spell was interrupted by injury which saw him play just 10 games in all competitions for the club as he scored one goal.

Monday 20 May:

DR Congo have lined-up friendlies against Algeria and Burkina Faso as part of their build-up for next month's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt

They will face Algeria, who have also qualified for the Nations Cup on 16 June, and Burkina Faso three days later.

The Leopards' provisional squad, which is yet to be revealed by coach Florent Ibenge, will begin its preparations in Kinshasa on 25 May.

They will then move to Marbella in Spain for another training camp eight days later.

DR Congo are in group A with hosts Egypt, Uganda and Zimbabwe and will be based in Cairo.

Ivory Coast midfielder Edmond Akichi and Senegalese forward Ousmane Cissokho have both signed for Nancy for next season.

The duo join the Ligue 2 outfit as free agents as their contracts with their current clubs are about to come an end.

Akichi, 29, who has signed a three-year contract with Nancy is joining from Paris FC while Cissokho, 32, has penned down a two-year deal signs from Orleans.

The Ivorian played 29 of Paris FC's regular season 38 matches and has helped the team to finish fourth in Ligue 2, earning them a place in the promotion play-offs.

Cissokho netted four goals in 27 league games to help Orleans finished in 8th position in Ligue 2.

Mali international Sigamary Diarra, who has been without a club since he left French club Valenciennes a year ago, has decided to retire.

"It is with a lot of emotions that I officially announce my end of career," the 35-year-old published on social media.

"Thanks to my family, my friends, the fans, my clubs (amateurs and pro) and all those who have always supported me."

Diarra, who won 22 caps, spent his entire career playing in France, where he was born, playing in Ligue 1 for Lorient and Ajaccio and in the second-tier for Laval, Tours and Valenciennes.

He also played for Sochaux and Caen, where he trained as a youth player and went onto begin his professional career.

Saturday 18 May:

Daniel Cousin
Daniel Cousin failed to lead Gabon to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt

Former Gabon coach Daniel Cousin has secured a managerial job in France with lower division club ES Fos.

His appointment comes seven weeks after he lost his job as coach of Gabon following the Panthers' failure to qualify for next month's Africa cup of Nations.

The 42-year-old former Hull City and Glasgow Rangers striker will take over a team that has just been promoted to the sixth tier of French football.

"We received a lot of people, we focused on three great national level coaches who trained in pro which included Daniel, and we chose him," ES Fos sporting Director James Strauss told French website Actufoot.

"The goal for Cousin is that Fos must be in National 3 (fifth tier) as soon as possible," Strauss said.

This is Cousin's first managerial job at club level.

Friday 17 May:

Columbus Crew have announced that Ghana international David Accam will join Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion side Nashville SC on 1 January 2020.

The transfer of Accam, who only joined Crew from rivals Philadelphia Union early this month, will earn the club US$450,000.

"This transaction not only benefits us for the 2019 season in having David a part of our attack on our roster, but it also allows us the long-term roster flexibility by restoring significant allocation money for future use," said Crew SC President Tim Bezbatchenko.

The forward, who has 38 goals and 17 assists in the MLS, will be joining his fourth MLS outfit since arriving Chicago Fires from Swedish side Helsingborgs in January 2015.

Accam has made nine appearances for Ghana and played for the Black Stars at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Junior Tallo
Junior Tallo was a member of the Ivorian squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ivory Coast striker Junior Tallo has joined French club Chambly on a one-year deal following successful trials with the newly promoted Ligue 2 team.

The 26-year-old, who has been without a club since leaving Portuguese outfit Victoria Guimaraes last January, has an option to extend his contract with Chambly for another year if the club avoids relegation.

"Despite his lack of competition, he made a very good impression on us, the staff and also his future teammates," Chambly coach Bruno Luzi told the club website.

Tallo is no stranger to Ligue 2 having played for Amiens in the division in 2017. He has also featured in Ligue 1 for Lille, Bastia and Ajaccio.

He began his professional career in Italy where he featured for Roma in Serie A and for Bari in the second tier.

Tallo has been capped eight times by Ivory Coast, and was a member of the Ivorian squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Defending champions Ghana have been knocked out of the West Africa Football Union (Wafu) zone B Women's tournament after a 4-2 penalties loss to Nigeria on Thursday. The match had ended 0-0.

Some of Nigeria's Wafu team have been named in a provisional Super Falcons squad for next month's women's World Cup in France.

They will now face hosts Ivory Coast in the final on Saturday after the Ivorians defeated Mali 2-1.

Mali will meet Ghana in the third place play-off match.

Wednesday 15 May:

Mali defender Salif Coulibaly has been reunited with French coach Patrice Carteron for a third time after signing for Morocco's Raja Casablanca.

Coulibaly signs as a free agent after leaving Carteron's previous club Al Ahly in Egypt in January by mutual consent.

The 31-year-old also played for Carteron when he coached DR Congo's TP Mazembe.

The defender was part of the Mali squad at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and played in five of their qualifiers as they earned a place at June's finals in Egypt.

Tuesday 14 May:

Zimbabwe coach Sunday Chidzambwa has named a 34-man provisional squad for next month's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

China-based striker Nyasha Mushekwi returns to the squad, along with midfielder Thabani Kamusoko of Tanzanian club Young Africans.

Knowledge Musona, who plays for Anderlecht in Belgium, captains the team that includes key players like Tendayi Darikwa of English club Nottingham Forest and Khama Billiat, the 2016 South African player of the season.

The final round of qualifying for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, which is also the Olympic qualifying tournament, has been delayed until September.

Originally both legs of the seven ties had been scheduled to be played between 3 and 11 June.

The Confederation of African Football has moved the matches "due to the proximity of the initial dates to the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt 2019 which will take place from 21 June to 19 July."

Tottenham Hotspur and Kenya's Victor Wanyama
Tottenham Hotspur's Victor Wanyama is set to captain Kenya

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) says it has received 40 applications for the vacant national team coaching job.

Candidates from both Africa and Europe have applied including former Botswana coach Englishman Peter Butler and Serbian Jelusic Veselin.

The BFA will trim the list to six this week, before a final decision is made before the end of May.

Local coach Mogomotsi Mpote has been in charge on an interim basis, where he has impressed with back-to-back wins over Seychelles in African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying.

The 5-1 aggregate win over Seychelles saw the Zebras progress to the second round of CHAN qualification for the first time where they will now play Zambia.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama leads the names on Kenya's provisional 30-man squad for June's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The squad are due to fly to France on 31 May to begin preparations with Wanyama set to join them after his Spurs side have played Liverpool in the European Champions League final a day later.

French coach Sebastien Migne's squad largely features players who took part in the qualifiers with Ayub Timbe returning after sitting out the final qualifying match against Ghana through injury.

However there is no place for all-time leading scorer Dennis Oliech, who had been hoping to force his way into the Nations Cup squad after joining local side Gor Mahia.

He initially retired in 2016 but had made himself available for Kenya earlier this year.

Kenya are in Group C in Egypt where they will face Algeria, neighbours Tanzania and Senegal.

Monday 13 May:

Uganda will play at successive Nations Cups for the first time in over 40 years
Uganda will play at successive Nations Cups for the first time in over 40 years

Uganda will face Ivory Coast in an international friendly in the United Arab Emirates on 15 June, as part of their build-up to this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

"We have already secured that game and we are working on having another friendly match on June 9th that we shall announce later," Sebastien Desabre, Uganda's head coach said on Monday.

Desabre said the Cranes will camp in the UAE for three weeks before flying to Egypt on 17 June, with their objective to qualify for the knock-out stage.

"We shall take every game as it comes and we are already scouting around the other teams we shall face in the group - Zimbabwe, DR Congo and hosts Egypt," he added.

Genesh
Zamalek's first choice goalkeeper, Mahmoud Abdel Rahim (Genesh)

Egyptian giants Zamalek are facing a goalkeeping crisis ahead of the first leg of the African Confederation Cup final against Renaissance Berkane in Morocco on 19 May.

Zamalek's first choice keeper, Mahmoud Abdel Rahim (Genesh), cannot play after he was sent off in the second leg of their semi-final against Etoile du Sahel last week.

The White Knights have also lost the services of their second choice goalkeeper Emad El Sayed, who picked up a hand injury in their 2-1 victory against El Dakhlia at the weekend.

The Egyptian side will now look to their third choice keeper Omar Salah, 21, who has not played any matches for the first-team this season.

Zamalek's head coach Christian Gross must now find a suitable reserve shot-stopper that he can keep on the bench.

The semi-final line-up at the West Africa Football Union (Wafu) Zone B women's tournament in Abidjan is complete, with one more round of group matches still to go.

Hosts Ivory Coast and defending champions Ghana have progressed from group A in the tournament for locally-based players, and Nigeria and Mali from Group B.

All four teams won their opening two games with Nigeria's Super Falcons registering the highest score-line with a 15-0 victory over Niger who were also thrashed 12-0 by Mali.

In the final Group A matches, Ivory Coast face Ghana in a battle for top spot while Togo take on Senegal in a dead-rubber game.

Nigeria will lock horns with Mali for a top place finish in Group B on Tuesday with Niger meeting Burkina Faso.

Sunday 12 May:

A street in Togo's Capital Lome has been renamed after the former Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Real Madrid striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

The 35-year-old, currently with Turkish club Basaksehir, expressed his appreciation on his Facebook page.

"A street in Togo was named after me, 'Adebayor Street'. It's not something small, history was made," Adebayor posted.

"I know that the Togolese people have supported me and are grateful for my services to the nation. But this one is too much, I could not believe it when I saw it. I promise to keep you in my heart, forever. I'm really honoured, thank you."

Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor was unable to help his country qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Adebayor is Togo's most capped player with 87 appearances for his country and is Togo's all-time top goal-scorer with 32 goals.

He helped Togo qualify for their first and only World cup finals in Germany in 2006, and played in three Africa Cup of Nations.

Saturday 11 May:

The three-man shortlist for this season's Marc Vivien Foe award for the best player who represents an African national team in French Ligue 1 has been released.

Striker Nicolas Pepe (Lille and Ivory Coast), attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri (Saint Etienne and Tunisia) and winger Ismaila Sarr (Rennes and Senegal) are all included.

Pepe, 23, is currently the second top goal-scorer in Ligue 1 with 20 goals in 35 appearances and has provided 11 assists.

28-year-old Khazri has netted 13 goals in 31 appearances and has seven assists while Sarr, 21, has produced six goals in 32 games with six assists.

The trio were among eleven players initially nominated for the award which is run by Radio France International and the television station France 24 - and is named after the Cameroonian midfielder Mark Vivien Foe who died in 2003.

The winner will be unveiled on 20 May and will succeed the 2018 recipient Karl Toko-Ekambi of Cameroon.

Former Ethiopian champions Dedebit have confirmed they will compete in the top flight again - just a day after declaring bankruptcy and withdrawing from the league.

Dedebit say they will be back in action in the round of 25 when they host Bahir Dar City at home.

"Our financial woes are being sorted out with the assistance of our sponsors," the club said in a statement.

"We would like to announce that our team will get back to league action next week," the two-time Ethiopian Cup winners added.

Friday 10 May:

Former Ethiopian champions Dedebit have declared bankruptcy and withdrawn from the league with immediate effect.

However the Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) has told BBC Sport they are yet to get any official communication from the club.

"We can't comment further on this development. We will have a meeting (to discuss what happens with the league) once we get the letter" EFF vice-president Awol Abdurahim said.

The club, who are also two-time Ethiopian Cup winners, are currently bottom of the 16-team league with seven games left this season.

The news comes as the company that backs them got into financial trouble and have left Dedebit with a debt of US$703,000.

Madagascar international Nomenjanahary Lalaina has extended his contract with French Ligue 2 club Paris FC until 2021.

"Lalaina is faithful and we wish him a great success within the club of the capital," the club said of the 33-year-old.

He has featured in 31 of Paris FC's 36 league games so far this season netting two goals.

Lalaina helped Madagascar to qualify for their first ever Africa Cup of Nations finals and is set to be part of their squad in Egypt starting in June.

Senegal's preparations for the Under-20 World Cup in Poland have been boosted following the early release of two players by French club Metz.

Metz have already won Ligue 2 and with it promotion to Ligue 1 for next season and have let Ibrahima Niane and Amadou Dia N'Diaye leave despite there being two more matches left this season.

"We wish the two Senegalese internationals the best in the tournament," Metz said in a statement.

N'Diaye, 19, finished as joint top goal scorer in the Under-20 Africa cup of Nations in Niger in February with three goals to help Senegal finished as runners-up and qualify for the World cup scheduled from 23 May to 15 June.

The 20-year old Niane, who didn't play at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, has had an impressive season with Metz scoring 10 goals in 31 league appearances.

Former South Africa international Teko Modise is to retire from all football at the age of 36 according to his club Cape Town City.

It brings an end to a career of almost two decades that saw him won two South African league titles, the African Champions League and Caf Super Cup titles with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Modise scored ten goals in 66 appearances for Bafana Bafana and represented his country at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, 2009 Confederations Cup, and the 2010 World Cup.

Mozambique international Mexer has signed a four-year deal with Bordeaux from next season as a free agent.

The 30-year-old moves as his contract at French rivals Rennes expires at the end of the season.

Mexer was part of the Rennes team that beat Paris Saint-Germain on penalties to win the French Cup in April.

French coach Patrice Carteron
French coach Patrice Carteron has had stints in charge of Al Ahly and TP Mazembe before moving to Morocco's Raja Casablanca

Moroccan club Raja Casablanca has renewed its contract with French coach Patrice Carteron for one more season.

"We reached an agreement with the coach who renewed the contract for another season, we wish him good luck" Raja said in a statement.

The Confederation Cup holders had named initially appointed the 48-year-old on a six-month contract in January.

Carteron helped Raja win African Super Cup when they beat Africa Champions League holders Esperance of Tunisia last March in Qatar.

Thursday 9 May:

Morocco under-17 international Faissal Boujemaoui has signed his first professional contract with Belgium league leaders Genk.

The 16-year-old forward, who helped Genk with the under-18 championship this season, has been with the club for two years.

Boujemaoui was part of the Morocco squad at the recent Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Tanzania, where his team failed to progress from the group stage.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has announced its preparations for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The Harambee Stars, who are at the tournament for the first time in 15 years, will fly to France on 31 May for a 19-day training camp.

FKF says Kenya "will tentatively play two friendly matches in France against The Gambia and Mauritania on June 7 and June 15, 2019 respectively."

Kenya's Group C games begin on 23 June against Algeria followed by a local derby against Tanzania before taking on Senegal

French coach Sebastien Migne is set to name the travelling squad in due course.

Ghana international David Accam has joined Columbus Crew from Major League Soccer (MLS) rivals Philadelphia Union.

Ghana's David Accam in action for Philadelphia Union
Columbus Crew will be David Accam's third team in MLS

The 28-year-old has scored four goals and provided two assists in eight games for the Union in the 2019 season to take his MLS totals to 38 goals and 17 assists

Columbus are his third MLS outfit since joining Chicago Fire from Swedish side Helsingborgs in January 2015.

Accam has made nine appearances for Ghana and played for the Black Stars at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Meanwhile his compatriot Lalas Abubakar, 24, has left Columbus Crew and joined Colorado Rapids for the remainder of the MLS season.

Uganda's preparations for next month's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt will begin on Monday.

A total of 19 mainly locally-based players will enter a residential training camp with a chance of claiming a place on a trip for further preparations in the United Arab Emirates.

In UAE those players will be joined by the rest of Uganda's overseas-based players to form a 26-man preliminary squad of the Nations Cup.

A separate squad of 20 locally-based players has also been chosen to prepare for the Southern African regional championship, the Cosafa Cup, at which Uganda are a guest team.

The Cosafa tournament begins in South Africa on 25 May, with Uganda having been given a bye into the quarter-finals where they will play Lesotho.

Locally-based players who miss out on the trip to the UAE could be included in the Cosafa Cup squad, who will also have an eye on the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against South Sudan in July

Wednesday 8 May:

The late Henri Michel
The late Henri Michel spent much of his coaching career in Africa

The Mauritania Football Federation has said that coach Corentin Martins will announce his final 23-man squad for their first ever Africa Cup of Nations finals on 20 May.

Mauritania look set to be the first nation to name its squad for the finals a month before the tournament kicks off.

Despite Benin saying they will take on Mauritania in a friendly the debutants are yet to confirm their preparations for the finals.

In Egypt the Mauritanians are in Group E where they will play Mali, Angola and Tunisia.

Several former Ivorian and Moroccan internationals coached by the late Henri Michel are to feature in a 'tournament of legends' in honour of the Frenchman, who died just over a year ago aged 70.

The players include Noureddine Naybet, Abdelslam Ouaddou, Youssouf Hadji, Tarik Sektioui, Kader Keita, Bakary Kone, Aruna Dindane, Bonaventure Kalou and Emerse Fae.

The one day tournament is scheduled to take place on 29 June in the French city Nantes, where Michel spent sixteen years of his career as a footballer.

The tournament will also serve as a fund raising event to help erect a statute of Michel who was the coach of France at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

A host of former French stars such as Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps, Lilian Thuram, Fabien Barthez, Robert Pires, Claude Makele and Youri Djorkaeff are also expected to take part.

As well as France Michel coached the national teams of Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Kenya.

His time in Africa also saw him coach several club teams - Morocco's Raja Casablanca, Zamalek of Egypt and South African club Mamelodi Sundowns.

Tuesday 7 May:

Comoros international Akim Abdallah will join French Ligue 2 side Grenoble on a two-year deal from next season.

The 21-year-old defender is currently on loan to French third tier league club Tours from Troyes.

"Grenoble was an easy choice for me because the club quickly and repeatedly showed interest in me," Abdallah told Grenoble website.

"Now that I have played a full season in National 1 (France's third tier), I hope to bring my qualities in the team."

The France-born player has played just one game in Ligue 2 so far and that was two seasons ago with Troyes.

The Africa Cup of Nations trophy
The Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt will feature 24 teams

Benin, who are returning to the Africa Cup of Nations finals after a nine-year absence, have lined-up three friendlies in Morocco ahead of this year's tournament.

The Squirrels, coached by Frenchman Michael Dussuyer, will play Mauritania on 11 June, Tunisia six days later before facing Guinea on the 19th.

All four teams are all preparing for the Nations Cup that will kick-off in Egypt on 21 June.

Benin, who have failed to reach the second round in their three previous appearances at the Nations Cup, are in Group F with defending champions Cameroon, Ghana and Guinea Bissau.

Mali will face Algeria in a friendly in Abu Dhabi as both sides prepare for June's Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The Eagles of Mali will be in the United Arab Emirates for a training camp ahead of the continental finals.

Mali begin their Group E campaign against debutants Mauritania in Suez on 24 June before facing Tunisia four days later and finally Angola on 2 July in Ismailia.

Algeria, who won the Nations Cup in 1990, kick-off Group C against Kenya and then Senegal as well as Tanzania in Cairo.

Monday 6 May:

Ivory Coast's league, considered to be one of the top leagues in African football, has a new winner in military team Société Omnisports de l'Armée (SOA).

The Yamoussoukro based club were officially crowned champions on Sunday for the first time in their history despite losing 3-2 at home to Racing club in their last league game.

They had emerged as champions two weeks ago when it mathematically became impossible for other teams to catch them.

SOA and San Pedro - who finished second in the league - will represent Ivory Coast in next season's African Champions league.

It will be SOA's second outing in continental club football after they participated in the 2009 African Confederation Cup, going out in the first round.

Defending champions ASEC Mimosas, who have won more Ivorian league titles than any other club, came third which guarantee them a place in the African Confederation Cup next season.

Sunday 5 May:

Madagascar celebrate qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
Debutants Madagascar are aiming to carry on causing upsets at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt

Madagascar have lined up a friendly international against Luxembourg on 2 June in Paris as they build-up to their first Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The Nations Cup debutants are also expected to face Kenya on 5 June as they warm-up for Egypt 2019.

"We are happy that we have managed to secure two quality friendly games and these will help the technical team gauge the players well," Sarindra Randrianasolo, the deputy general secretary of Madagascar's Football Federation, told BBC Sport.

Madagascar - who will play in Group B at the finals alongside Nigeria, Guinea and Burundi - will camp in Morocco before flying out to Egypt, according to Randrianasolo.

"We are not going to be mere participants in the tournament because it is the first time that we qualify, but we want to send a strong message by playing till the late stages," he added.

Madagascar's first game will be against Guinea in Alexandria on 22 June.

Nigeria under-20 captain Ikouwem Utin has joined Israeli giants Maccabi Haifa on a four-year deal from two-time African champions Enyimba.

The 19-year-old left-back will link up with the 12-time Israeli Premier League winners after the 2019 Fifa U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Utin starred as the Flying Eagles finished fourth at February's Under 20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger.

He made his debut for the Super Eagles as a late substitute in Nigeria's 1-0 friendly win over Egypt in March.

Saturday 4 May:

Former South Africa striker Siyabonga Nomvethe will retire from football at the age of 41 next Saturday.

The South Africa Premier League (PSL) all-time top scorer, with 123 goals, made his final home appearance as a substitute for AmaZulu in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Black Leopards.

Nomvethe was initially set to retire in December, but his contract was extended by six months.

AmaZulu have confirmed that he will make his final appearance at Bloemfontein Celtic on 11 May before hanging up his boots.

In a career which spanned over two decades, Nomvethe scored 16 goals in 82 appearances for Bafana Bafana and played for his country at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups as well as the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.

Friday 3 May:

Egypt's Mahmoud Hassan 'Trezeguet' has been included in the Turkish Super Lig's Team of the Year which was chosen by the club captains in the Turkish top-flight.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has scored nine goals in 29 league games for Kasimpasa so far this season.

Istanbul Basaksehir and Bosnia's Edin Visca won the award for Player of the Year.

Thursday 2 May:

English Premier League club Everton will travel to Kenya to take on local side Kariobangi Sharks on 7 July in a 2019 pre-season friendly.

The game will be played at Nairobi's Kasarani Stadium.

Kariobangi Sharks FC earned the right to face Everton by winning January's SportPesa Cup in Tanzania, in January.

The game against the Kariobangi Sharks FC marks Everton's second visit to east Africa after they played Kenya's Gor Mahia in Tanzania in July 2017.

Wednesday 1 May:

Tanzania's Nigerian coach Emmanuel Amuneke has called up 15-year-old Kelvin Pius John to his preliminary squad of 39 for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Pius impressed at the recent Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Tanzania and scored in the hosts' opening game as they lost 5-4 to Nigeria.

He went onto play in the losses to Uganda and Angola as Tanzania failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament.

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has announced the Super Eagles will host Zimbabwe on 8 June in a warm-up game ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The game at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba comes ahead of a final friendly against Africa's top-ranked side Senegal on 16 June in Ismaila, according to the NFF.

"We have sealed the matches with Zimbabwe and Senegal. These are two matches we are really looking forward to," NFF president Amaju Pinnick said.

"There cannot possibly be a better way to get into the AFCON spirit than playing the number one -ranked team in Africa just before the finals begin."

The three-time champions Nigeria will play in Group B at the Nations Cup, alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi.

Prolific Algeria striker Baghdad Bounedjah missed out on being named Player of the Season in Qatar despite scoring 39 goals as his Al Sadd side won the league title.

He finished runner-up to his Al Sadd teammate and 22-year-old Qatar international Akram Afif, who scored 26 goals and won the Asian Cup with his country.

Bounedjah, 27, was given his prize for finishing as the top-scorer in the league at the awards ceremony in Doha.

Local coaches, Qatar's Spanish coach Felix Sanchez Bas and media representatives are among those who voted for the awards.

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