Zambia steps up Africa Cup of Nations Preparations

Football Association of Zambia (Faz) is delighted with their preparation for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations with six weeks before the start of the tournament.

Coach Hervé Renard has called up 25 home-based players for this month’s friendly against Angola before he names his final squad for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Zambia are serious with their preparation for the competition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea having played three friendlies since qualifying.

Just last week, the Chipolopolo played two friendlies in India and won both matches.

Team Sony of Ela Nguema will represent Equatorial Guinea in the African Champions League

 

This February 2012, the African Football Hall of Fame will witness the investiture of the pioneer team for the African Champions League.

The ceremony will be held during the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

While still awaiting the arrival of the new players recruited for this great event, team Sony has already begun training with all eyes on their participation for the second consecutive year in the African Champions League.

A statement signed by Ayotunde Adelakun, President of the Hall of Fame International said the initiative is geared towards honoring and celebrating the continent’s past and present footballing heroes in Africa.

Africa Nation’s Cup Draw

African Nations Cup trophy

The African Nations Cup begins in January and Ghana has been handed a fairly difficult draw for the 2012 Africa Cup of NationsWest African rivals Mali and Guinea will be in Group D alongside Botswana. With champions Egypt and some of Africa’s other major powers not qualifying, the tournament also sees former World Cup qualifiers Angola paired with Ivory CoastSudan and Burkina Faso in Group B. Morocco and Tunisia will clash in Group C, with debutants Niger and Gabon; while hosts Equatorial Guinea will play the newly liberated Libya, along with Senegal and Zambia.

Plenty of problems for Pitso

Pitso Mosimane, coach of the South Africa national football team, will face challenges narrowing down players to include in Bafana Bafana’s first match of the season next Wednesday against Burkina Faso. Mosimane will name his team on Tuesday. Players will be selected on the basis of reputation and experience. The timing of hosting the first international friendly in early August presents complications for players who must return early to their home countries from vacationing abroad. Further complications include player movements and transfers. Mosimane hinted last week that he will select players Steven Pienaar and Kagisho Dikgacoi for the match against Burkina Faso. Mosimane will need to assemble the strongest team possible, because next week’s friendly is Bafana’s only confirmed fixture before a match against Niger which could qualify South Africa for next year’s finals in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon. Bongani Khumalo can also be expected to play in the upcoming match. A further concern for Mosimane is the mental state of players Tsepo Masilela and Kat-lego Mphela. Masilela’s deal with English Championship side Leicester City fell through, while Mphela failed trials at Glasgow Celtic over the weekend.

Next week’s match comes two days before the official start of Absa Premiership. Mosimane must decide whether to include players Andile Jali, Tlou Segolela and Moeneeb Josephs since they will be preparing for their club’s upcoming fixture.

Kwadwo Asamoah Admits He Must Improve His Ghana Performance

Kwadwo Asamoah, a midfielder for Ghana’s Black Stars, admits he must improve his performance for the tough matches coming up over the next two years. The team has set a goal of winning the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. First, however, they must qualify for the tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The 2014 World Cup draw pits Ghana with Zambia, and Sudan. If the team is to excel, Asamoah is expected to play a key role. Recently, however, he has recieved some criticism over his performances as the playmaker for the Black Stars. Asamoah, who is currently based in Italy, says he must improve his performance when playing for Ghana, blaming his ineffectiveness on the difficult terrain in Africa.According to Asamoah, the way football is played in Europe and Africa is quite different. African football is also different with the pitches. “With my style of play I want to take off with the ball. In Africa it is always difficult to play that way. When I am with Ghana I want always to do my best and help Ghana,” Asamoah said.

Last season, Asamoah was one of the key players for Udinese who qualified for the Champions League.