The latest African football stories in short for December.
Friday 13 December:
Former Sierra Leone under-17 star Emerson Samba has passed away at the age of 32 after a long illness.
Samba played in all three of Sierra Leone’s games at the 2003 Under-17 World Cup in Finland and while many of his team-mates absconded he returned home.
The attacking midfielder passed on in Kenema, in eastern Sierra Leone, after the mystery illness which left him confined to a wheelchair right until his death.
It also ended his playing career in 2015 when he first fell ill and soon after he spent nearly a year in hospital with an undiagnosed illness that left him paralysed.
Despite several call-ups he never made a appearance for the senior national team most of his club career was spent in Sierra Leone, where he played for Mighty Blackpool, Diamond Stars of Kono and his home town club Kamboi Eagles, helping them to win the 2014 FA Cup.
Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’ Abdel-Moneim has returned home to Egypt and signed a deal with Al Ahly, where he began his youth career.
The 25-year-old joins as a free agent on a four-and-a-half-year deal after his contract with Portugal’s CD Aves was terminated by mutual consent.
He scored once in five league appearances in Portugal after joining Aves in July from Ahly’s bitter Cairo rivals Zamalek. (By Tarek Talaat)
Thursday 12 December:
Ivory Coast’s Max Gradel is set for a spell on the sidelines after his French Ligue 1 club Toulouse confirmed he was injured during training on Wednesday.
The club said he has “ruptured his left quadriceps” in his thigh and that “it be a long absence”, without giving details of how long he will be out of action.
The 32-year-old has scored four goals in his 18 appearances in all competitions so far this season for Toulouse.
Gradel played in all four of the Elephants games at that 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)
Morocco midfielder Amine Harit has signed a three-year extension to his contract with German Bundesliga side Schalke 04.
The new deal will keep the 22-year-old, France-born player, at the club until 2024.
“I feel so comfortable and at home here at Schalke,” Harit said.
“I know that I’m playing at one of the biggest clubs in Germany. As a team we’ve played really well so far this season and we’re having fun every minute we’re out there on the pitch so it was a no-brainer for me – I wanted to stay here longer.”
He has scored six goals and weighed in with five assists in his 16 appearances in all competitions for the club so far this season. (By Jalal Bounouar)
Tuesday 10 December:
Struggling South African giants Orlando Pirates have appointed German coach Josef Zinnbauer on a three-year deal.
The 49-year-old will be aiming to turn around their fortunes after embarrassing early elimination in this season’s African Champions League and a run of mediocre results in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League.
He follows Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevich, who surprisingly quit in August to join Zamalek in Egypt, and caretaker Rhulani Mokoena, who has won only four of 15 games in charge.
He is a former coach of Hamburg SV in the German Bundesliga and the Swiss club St Gallen but been without a post for the last two years.
Pirates, who were runners-up in the last two South African league season, sit in sixth place this season, 17 points already behind arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs. (By Mark Gleeson)
Monday 7 December:
The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has been told by the West African Football Union (Wafu) that the upcoming Zone A Women’s Cup has been postponed.
The tournament, featuring eight teams (Senegal, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Guinea, The Gambia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone), was due to kick off on 13 December.
Wafu explained to the SLFA that the postponement “came after thorough consultations amidst logistical concerns the Union is presently faced with.”
“We shall inform you of the new dates as soon as possible.” (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)
Friday 6 December:
Cameroon international Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo is happy that his French top-flight side Montpellier trust him enough to offer him a new contract.
Exact details of the 28-year-old’s new deal have not been disclosed.”I’m very happy to have extended my contract. It’s a show of trust from the club and I’ve got to repay them with good performances” Oyongo told the club’s official website.
The club’s president Laurent Nicollin is also happy with the new deal.
“We are trying to keep our current squad together for next season and Ambroise is amongst the most important players of the team,” he told the club’s website.
Oyongo’s career began at Coton Sport of Garoua where he won three league titles and a Cameroon cup between 2010 and 2014 and has also stints in North America’s Major League Soccer.
He was also part of the Cameroon squad that won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. (By Njie Enow)
Thursday 5 December:
Kenya international Eric Ouma has signed for top-flight Swedish side AIK from third-tier club Vasalund.
The 23-year-old defender has signed a deal until 2024.
Ouma began his career with Kenya’s Gor Mahia before moving to teams in Georgia and Albania on his way to playing in Sweden.
He has 26 caps for Kenya and played in all three of the Harambee Stars games at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. (By Simon Reeves)
Wednesday 4 December:
The Rwandan government and the French champions Paris Saint Germain have announced a deal aimed at boosting the nation’s tourism and trade.
In May last year the country secured a deal to advertise “Visit Rwanda” with English club Arsenal, including on the first-team shirt-sleeves.
The financial details of this latest three-year deal have not been disclosed but the one with Arsenal is believed to worth $30m.
Paris St-Germain tweeted a video of it players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, Marco Veratti and others praising Rwanda’s tourism sites.
In an announcement by the Rwanda development board, the deal will see the country’s tea and coffee be sold at Paris St-Germain stadium from next season.
“Visit Rwanda brand will be displayed at the Parc des Princes Stadium, on the sleeve of Paris Saint-Germain women’s team, and on the back of training kits”, it added. (By Cyuzuzo Samba)
Ibrahim Kargbo J, the son of former Sierra Leone captain Ibrahim Kargbo, has joined Ukrainian top-flight club Dynamo Kiev from Belgian side KSV Roeselare.
The 19-year-old has signed on a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Ukrainian giants.
The forward spent his youth career at English clubs Reading and Crystal Palace before returning to Begium to join Roeselare almost two years ago.
Kargbo Jr. initially moved to Belgium at the age of eight when his father was playing in Europe and has played for the Belgian under-18’s but is still eligible to switch to Sierra Leone. (by Mohamed Fajah Barrie)
Tuesday 3 December:
Swedish top-flight side Helsingborg will not be using the option to sign Burkina Faso midfielder Ibrahim Bance on a permanent deal.
The 18-year-old joined Helsingborg in the summer on a short-term loan from Ivorian side Asec Mimosas with the option to buy.
After just six appearances, with just one start, the club have announced that Bance is returning to Ivory Coast.
“We thank Ibrahim for his time in the club and wish him luck in the future,” the club said in a statement on its website. (By Simon Reeves)
Senegal’s president Macky Sall has congratulated Liverpool forward Sadio Mane for finishing fourth in the Ballon D’Or award.
Mane has had an outstanding year as he helped Liverpool win the European Champions League, was joint top scorer in last season’s Premier League and was part of the Senegal squad that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.
“My dear Sadio – through me Senegal expresses its encouragement and congratulations for this fourth place on the Ballon D’Or list,” he wrote on Facebook.
“You have shown tremendous selflessness and resolve which has become your defining trait will allow you, we are certain, to win this trophy. Bravo!”
The award was won by Argentina’s Lionel Messi ahead of Mane’s Liverpool team mate Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. (by Mohamed Fajah Barrie)
Monday 2 December:
Tunisia international Hamdi Nagguez has left Egyptian side Zamalek, saying that he is owed three months salary.
His lawyer added that they have sent a complaint to football’s world governing body, Fifa. over the issue.
“I announce that I broke my contract with Zamalek as they haven’t paid my money, I wish all the best to my team mates and thanks to the great fans,” Nagguez wrote on social media.
Nagguez joined Zamalek in January 2018 from Etoile du Sahel on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
Club president Mortada Mansour told the Zamalek website: “No player has any financial dues with the club, Zamalek will not give in to the demands of the players to change their contracts or get more payments at the moment.” (By Tarek Talaat)