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Monday, 26 October 2020

Africa roundup: Mali pick three Adama Traores, including Wolves ace

AFP , Wednesday 30 Sep 2020
Traore
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore, left, battles for the ball with West Ham's Arthur Masuaku during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers at London Stadium, London, England, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. AP
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Mali have included three stars named Adama Traore in a squad for friendlies against Ghana and Iran in Turkey next month.

One of them is the 24-year-old Wolves winger, whose electrifying pace has left many English Premier League defenders trailing in his wake.

He was born in Spain and represented the country at age-limit but not senior level, making him eligible to play for Mali as his parents hail from the west African nation. 

Here, AFP Sport rounds up football news from across the continent:

Mali

Adama 'Noss' Traore is a midfielder who plays for Hatayspor in Turkey while forward Adama 'Malouda' Traore lines up with Saudi Arabian outfit Al Adalah. 

But media attention will centre on whether Wolves speedster Adama Traore turns up after being included in a 31-man squad by coach Mohamed Magassouba.

The squad news release did not indicate whether Malian officials or the national coach had contacted the Wolves star before including him.

Burundi

Olivier Niyungeko will not coach Burundi in an October 11 friendly against Tanzania in Dar es Salaam because he is getting married on the eve of the match.

Jimmy Ndayizeye will be the temporary replacement for the man who last year took the Swallows to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.

Burundi made a poor start to 2021 Cup of Nations qualifying, losing away to the Central African Republic and at home to Morocco.

Sierra Leone

Former Sierra Leone captain Mohamed Kallon has been awarded the UEFA Pro Licence, the highest European football coaching qualification.

His achievement concludes eight years of study that involved the Confederation of African Football, the United States Soccer Federation and UEFA.

Kallon is also an experienced administrator having owned and been chairman of top-flight club Kallon FC in his homeland.

South Africa

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Themba Zwane has been voted Footballer of the Season by the fledgling South African Football Journalists Association.

The 31-year-old was chosen ahead of four other finalists, including two foreign forwards, Serb Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs and Namibian Peter Shalulile of Highlands Park. 

A brilliant back-heel by Zwane set up the goal that gave Sundowns a 1-0 win over Chiefs last month, a result that played a crucial role in the club winning a third straight league title. 

Egypt

Mohamed Salah-inspired Egypt are the only one of the top 10 ranked African countries who have not organised at least one friendly during the October 5-13 international window.

Instead, officials are concentrating on finishing the 34-round league, which resumed in August after a lengthy suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Record seven-time Africa Cup of Nations Egypt host and visit Togo during November in 2021 qualifiers after drawing their first two matches against Kenya and the Comoros.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea have been forced to cancel an October friendly against Ghana because of coronavirus-induced travel restrictions in the central African country.

Heightened border and flight clampdowns will prevent local-based stars in the Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder) squad leaving the country.

The cancellation means new Portuguese coach Jorge Costa will not have any international warm-up matches before back-to-back Cup of Nations qualifiers against Libya in November. 

Ghana

President Nana Akufo-Addo has lifted the ban on contact sports, including football, imposed last March because of the coronavirus.

This government directive clears the way for the commencement of the 2020/2021 season with October 30 a likely kick-off date.

The last season was abandoned due to Covid-19 as clubs were reaching the halfway stage of the 30-round championship.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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