Africa Cup of Nations Special

SENEGAL coach Henri Kasperczak has resigned with immediate effect following his team's poor performances at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.

The Teranga Lions lost 3-1 to Angola on Sunday and now have only a slim chance of qualifying for the last eight.

Senegal assistant coach Lamine Ndiaye will take charge of their final game, against South Africa on Thursday.

Kasperczak, in charge since May 2006, said: “I assume all responsibility for the poor showing.” Speaking on Monday, Kasperczak added: “I tendered my resignation immediately after the match against Angola to the president of the Senegalese federation and it has been accepted. I have informed the players.

“I’m not looking to blame anyone or look for an excuse, but maybe with me out of sight things might turn out well because we still have a chance.”

Senegal have one point from their two matches and must defeat South Africa and rely on Tunisia defeating Angola to have any chance of progressing.

Technical director of the Senegalese football federation, Amata Fall, told BBC Sport that Kasperczak’s resignation came out of the blue.

“We are surprised he has taken this decision because there was a good bond between him and the players,” said Fall.  

EGYPT midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika has been warned for making a political statement during his team’s Africa Cup of Nations match on Saturday.

Aboutrika lifted his Egypt shirt after scoring against Sudan to reveal a T-shirt bearing the message “Sympathy with Gaza”.

“A letter has been written to him,” a top Confederation of African Football (Caf) official told BBC Sport.

“It gives him a strong warning over the message on his undershirt on Saturday.”

Aboutrika, who plays for Egyptian side Al Ahly, was protesting against Israel’s 10-day blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory and was subsequently booked by the referee.

The gesture was in contravention of the laws of world football’s governing body Fifa, which insists that undershirts must contain no messages of any kind, whether they be of a political, commercial or religious nature.

Egypt assistant coach Shawky Gharib insisted that Aboutrika’s actions had no political significance.

“He told me that the way he celebrated scoring was completely personal with no political significance and will not repeat that in the coming matches,” said Gharib.

The Pharaohs defeated Sudan and are top of Group C with six points from two games.  

VETERAN Morocco goalkeeper Khalid Fouhami wants to play for his country at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The 35-year-old was surprisingly recalled by coach Henri Michel for the current Africa Cup of Nations after two years out of the squad.

“I think I am ready to go on playing for my country for a long time,” Fouhami told BBC Sport in Accra. “My main target is the 2010 World Cup.

“I am not worried about my age because keepers can play into their forties.”

Fouhami, who plays for Raja Casablanca, has started both of Morocco’s game at the Nations Cup.

His recall to the national team was criticised by a section of the Moroccan media who said he was too old for the team.

But the veteran insists: “I am in a very good shape to help my country qualify for the World Cup and do well at the tournament.”

It was Fouhami’s goalkeeping error which saw Morocco beaten 2-1 by hosts Tunisia in the 2004 Nations Cup final.  

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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