Equatorial Guinea’s chances of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 have been put in serious jeopardy after suffering a serious blow at the hands of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, losing 4-0.
The first leg was held in Kinshasa, and the DR of Congo took full advantage of playing in front of their home crowd. It took 55 minutes for the Leopards to produce a break through moment, but then showed no mercy as they poured on the offense, led by Mbokani of Anderlecht of the Belgian league.
The 2nd leg of the final qualifying round will take place between October 12 and 14 in Malabo. Barring a miraculous performance, however, Nzalang is on the brink of elimination. The team was looking to build on their performance in CAN 2012, which saw them reach the quarterfinals.
Information from: Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea – Only months after Equatorial Guinea‘s seamless execution of the 17th African Union Summit, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Gabon’s President, Ali Bongo Ondimba, co-hosted the Africa Cup of Nations tournament draw in the nation’s capital of Malabo. At this event, the 16 countries that qualified for the Africa Cup learned who their opponents would be in the first round.Equatorial Guinea made its debut in the Africa Cup and was seeded with co-host Gabon in Pot 1 of the draw with four-time winner Ghana and Ivory Coast, the 1992 champions.
Equatorial Guinea’s hosting of the Africa Cup comes on the heels of the nation’s hosting successful African Union Summit. “The challenges associated with hosting the Africa Cup of Nations are quite different,” said Minister of Youth and Sports Francisco Eyegue Obama Asue.
Soccer matches for the Africa Cup will based in the Equatorial Guinea cities of Malabo and Bata and the Gabonese cities of Libreville and Franceville.
Equatorial Guinea has built a modern conference city, Sipopo, outside its capital Malabo for the hosting of large-scale international events. Sipopo will also host the events associated with the African-South American Summit, bringing together ministers of foreign affairs from 65 countries this November and heads of state next year. The Africa Cup of Nations is another chance for Equatorial Guinea to show the entire world what the country has accomplished and the progress it continues to make.
A huge relief for Sihlangu as Botswana will be without most of their key players for Sundays international friendly match in South Africa. Botswana opted to arrive early in Pretoria in order to being their preparations at a High Performance Centre. Botswana are set to play without most of their foreign-based stars such as Dipsey Selolwane and Mogogi Gabonamong as they were not given permission to join up with the squad for the training camp. Botswana’s national coach Stanley Tshosane however says he is happy with his squad and he feels that his side is ready to take to the pitch even with numerous star absentees. Botswana was the first country to qualify from play to the 2010 African Nations Cup which is being co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Botswana was able to outperform Tunisia and Togo to gain their qualification.
The BFA has already announced that they have set up a series of training camps and practices to allow the national team coach to test his players.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) is set to receive a major boost in funding from FIFA, the world football governing body. The BFA President David Fani revealed this at the Association’s annual general assembly in Gaborone on Saturday. Mr. Fani told the assembly members that the BFA have received a grant totaling $300,000 USD from FIFA and that they plan to use this funding to improve regional football development. Fani said regional football continues to play a key role in the country’s soccer development; therefore it cannot be neglected. He said the BFA still faces some challenges in terms of sponsorship for some affiliates like the first division and regional leagues. Regarding national team issues he said the BFA is leaving no stone unturned in making sure that the team is adequately prepared for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next year.
He said in a country like Botswana where there are still no adequate sport development structures, school sport played a critical part in development and talent identification hence the need to find an amicable solution for the impasse.
Bongani Khumalo, who gained his fame in South Africa when he scored a header for the win against France, joined Reading after speaking with Harry Redknapp about the club on a season long loan. Khumalo who is excited for his prospects with Reading will make his debut Saturday in a pre-season match against Swindon Town. Last year Khumalo only played 6 games after he suffered a foot injury while playing on loan with Preston North. Before his stint with Preston North Khumalo played in South Africa for Supersport United. His loan deal with Reading means that he can be recalled by the Spurs in January. However, it is likely Khumalo will miss a proportion of that month anyway due to the Africa Cup of Nations that runs from January 21 to February 12 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
He said: “South Africa haven’t done too well in the Africa Cup of Nations for some time, so it would be fantastic to win it.”