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Africa roundup: 46 nations want CAF boss Ahmad to get second term

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 133

Pin Ahmad Ahmad has been backed for a second term as CAF president. AFP
Ahmad Ahmad has been backed for a second term as CAF president. AFP

Africa roundup: 46 nations want CAF boss Ahmad to get second term

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 133

A letter has been sent to Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad from 46 of the 54 member associations requesting him to run for a second four-year term.

Philip Chiyangwa, president of southern African football body COSAFA, confirmed to AFP that a letter supporting Ahmad had been delivered to the former Malagasy politician.

The presidency election is scheduled for Rabat next March and the 60-year-old has until November 12 to decide whether he will seek re-election. A simple majority -- 28 votes if each association participates -- is required to win the election but no official has announced their candidacy. Algeria, Botswana, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe were the eight nations not included in the letter of support.

Ahmad scored a stunning victory three years ago over incumbent Issa Hayatou, a Cameroonian who had ruled African football for 29 years. The letter praised Ahmad, but made no mention of various controversies surrounding him, including being probed by the FIFA ethics committee for alleged financial irregularities, which he denies. At the request of Ahmad, FIFA sent secretary general Fatma Samoura to CAF headquarters in Cairo last year to assist for six months in the running of the organisation.

Here, AFP Sport rounds up football news in Africa.

Morocco

The number of Raja Casablanca players who have tested positive for coronavirus soared from eight early last week to 16 by the weekend. Raja were scheduled to play Zamalek of Egypt last Saturday in the second leg of a CAF Champions League semi-final, but the match in Cairo was postponed until November 1 because of the health crisis.

Zamalek are favourites to qualify for a final showdown with fellow Egyptian club Al Ahly having beaten Raja 1-0 in Casablanca thanks to a goal from Moroccan Achraf Bencharki.

Senegal

Top-ranked African football nation Senegal are discussing with Guinea-Bissau the possibility of playing the two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers between them next month in Portugal because of Covid-19.

Originally scheduled for Dakar and Bissau between November 9-17, the Group I fixtures may be switched to Lisbon to lessen the health risks to players, virtually all of whom are based in Europe. Senegal stars include Liverpool sharpshooter Sadio Mane, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

South Africa

Mamelodi Sundowns made an impressive start in pursuit of a fourth straight South African Premiership title by winning 3-0 at Kaizer Chiefs with new signings Peter Shalulile and Kermit Erasmus among the goals. Themba Zwane, voted South African Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season last week, completed the rout by converting a penalty behind closed doors in Johannesburg due to the coronavirus.

Orlando Pirates, considered one of the likeliest challengers to Sundowns, drew 1-1 away to AmaZulu, who signed 10 players during the close season in an attempt to stop being perennial strugglers. Al Merrikh completed a hat-trick of Sudan Premier League titles by defeating arch rivals Al Hilal 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Semmani Saad Eldin.

Merrikh finished five points above Omdurman neighbours Hilal under Tunisian coach Gamal Khasharem as they claimed a 22nd title -- nine fewer than Hilal have won. Among those yellow-carded in the match by referee Safwat Merghani was Hilal defender Samawal Merghani, his younger brother.

Zamalek can clinch second place in the Egyptian Premier League and qualification for the 2021 CAF Champions League by defeating mid-table visitors Ismaily this week. But if the White Knights fail to secure maximum points, they could lose out to third-place Pyramids, whose final fixture is at home this Saturday to Al Mokawloon Al Arab, the club immediately below them.

The club finishing third will go into the CAF Confederation Cup, whose $1.25 million (1.1 million euros) first prize is only half that awarded to the Champions League winners.

Tanzania

Second-place Young Africans won 2-1 at Kinondoni Municipal Council to reduce the gap behind Tanzanian Premier League frontrunners Azam to two points after seven rounds. Democratic Republic of Congo-born Tuisila Kisinda and Junior Waziri scored for Yanga after the Dar es Salaam club had fallen behind to a Hassan Kabunda goal.

Neither ice cream company club Azam nor defending champions Simba, who lie fourth, were in action at the weekend.

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