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Coming Up: FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Championship

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A total of twenty national basketball teams are tussling it out for the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 championship qualifiers.

All remaining games of the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers will take place during this final window from February 17 to 21, 2021. The bubbles will be hosted in the cities of Monastir (Tunisia) and Yaounde (Cameroon).

In January, FIBA Regional Office Africa confirmed the venues for the upcoming February window of the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers.

After successfully holding the games of the Qualifiers in bubbles in November last year, the third and last window will also be organized as protected environment tournaments in order to ensure health and safety of all participants.

The Second Round of Groups A,D and E will take place in Monastir while Groups B and C will be played in Yaounde from February 19 to 21.

This year’s AfroBasket Qualifiers return to Yaounde for a second time after the central African country hosted the First Round of Group C in February 2020.

Yaounde was also home to the three-nation Pre-Qualifiers Tournament last October, where Cape Verde defeated South Sudan and Chad to complete Group E’s lineup of the Qualifiers alongside Egypt, Uganda and Morocco.

Meanwhile, African national teams’ competitions return to Tunisia for the first time since September 2018 when the reigning African champions hosted the third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers 2019. Prior to that, Tunisia co-hosted the 2017 edition of the African Championship with Senegal, and two years earlier they finished third as hosts of the AfroBasket 2015.

The national teams that finish in the first three places of each group qualify for the 30th edition of Africa’s premier basketball competition, which will take place in the Rwandan capital of Kigali from August 24 to September 5.

In case hosts Rwanda is ranked first, second or third in their group, then the three highest-placed teams will make it to the final tournament from Group D. This also means that the best fourth-placed team in all the five groups, based on the classification rules of the Official Basketball Rules, shall obtain the last spot for the FIBA AfroBasket 2021, making a total of 16 teams.

FIBA, the world governing body for basketball – is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Summary

  • Twenty teams will participate in the second round of qualification for the FIBA AfroBasket 2021.
  • The five winners of each pre-qualifiers group join the 15 teams that took part in the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 in Tunisia.
  • These 15 teams that have automatically made it to this stage include Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda.
  • This total of 20 teams are divided into five groups of four. The teams will play two tournaments in the international windows.
  • The top three teams from each group will automatically qualify to the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 to be held in Rwanda.
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Uganda Faces Ghana in Africa U20 Cup of Nations Finals

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Uganda’s Hippos have qualified for the final of the AFCONU20 tournament after beating Tunisia making it the first time a Ugandan national team is going to play in the final of a CAF tournament since 1978.

The Ugandans thumped Tunisia 4-1 in the AFCON semi-final on Monday night. Uganda will play Ghana in the final on 06/03/2021.

Ghana became the first team to qualify for the AFCONU20 finals after thrashing the Gambia 1-0. Ghana’s Black Satellites have qualified for the AFCONU20 (AYC) finals six times: 1993, 1999, 2001, 2009, 2013 and 2021.

The 1978 African Cup of Nations Final football match took place on 16 March 1978, at the Accra Sports Stadium in Accra, Ghana, to determine the winner of the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ghana defeated Uganda 2–0 with two goals from Opoku Afriyie to win their third African Cup.

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Manchester City Boss Tactical innovations Defy Convention

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David Moyes has likened Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal for his tactical innovations that defy convention.

Blumenthal is famous for coming up with unusual recipes such as bacon and egg flavoured ice-cream and snail porridge, which work despite the ingredients.

West Ham boss Moyes, aiming to end City’s 19-game winning run on Saturday, feels the same about Guardiola. “Pep is the Heston Blumenthal of football,” said Moyes.

Former Barcelona coach Guardiola’s latest move has been to use Joao Cancelo as a full-back and a midfield pivot at the same time, a tactic that has flummoxed a series of opposing managers.

“Blumenthal will do something stupid or outrageous that you would never dream of, like mixing chocolate with eggs and you think ‘that is never going to work, it is not going to taste right or look good’. But it does,” Moyes added.

“Pep does things in football terms which are remarkable, that lots of other people would not have thought of. I hold him in such high esteem. He is innovative and always looking for new ideas. “I get this feeling he is in a think-tank room, thinking about how he can make his players perform better, or where they can receive the ball in space and make it difficult for the opposition.”

In cooking terms, Moyes likens himself to fellow Scot Gordon Ramsay, famous for his fiery temper and choice language: “You know what you are getting there don’t you?”

However, stopping Cancelo is not proving to be a particularly amusing pastime and is causing Moyes to think hard about how to go about getting the kind of positive result that will keep his side in the top four.

“How you deal with it takes up a lot of your thought time,” he said.

“If it is a level playing field, you might say we will take you on and do our own thing. When your players are maybe not at the level of the ones Manchester City have it is a struggle.”

While West Ham travel to Etihad Stadium (kick-off 12.30 GMT) after beating Tottenham on Sunday, Premier League leaders City’s impressive winning run continued with a one-sided Champions League triumph over Borussia Monchengladbach in their last-16 first leg on Wednesday, Following that 2-0 victory, Guardiola said City’s current form and the club’s success since his appointment in 2016 was simply down to the money they had spent.

“We have a lot of money to buy a lot of incredible players,” he said on Wednesday. “Without good quality players we cannot do it.” Returning to the topic in Friday’s press conference, Guardiola reiterated that “the difference is the players” and played down his own influence.

“I would tell you if I believed the reason [for our success] was me,” Guardiola said. “I would be grateful to say that the reason behind this success is because I’m so handsome and that’s the reason why. It’s not like that. It’s the players. The big clubs have incredible success and it’s due to the quality of the players, the mentality.”

City, who have won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups under Guardiola, have made several big-money signings during the Spaniard’s tenure – with £65m defender Ruben Dias the most recent arrival in September.

Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Benjamin Mendy and John Stones have all also arrived for fees in excess of £50m. “I came here to win in England and we have done it already – but I did it,” Guardiola added. “I came to play in a special way and I did it.

The job is done, but still I have the feeling we can do better. “For a short time, you can do it without top players but sustaining for a long time – in an incredible organisation that supports their manager so the journalists and the players know he will not be sacked – this is so important.

“After that, [you need] top quality players. I never in my 12 years as manager scored a goal. I never saved a penalty. The artists are the players. All we can do is help them, knowing that doing the same, you can lose.”

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Sports Activities Resume In Rwanda After Lockdown

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Outdoor sports activities are now allowed to resume following resolutions from Cabinet Meeting held on February 19, 2021 on measures related to the prevention of COVID-19 in Rwanda, the Ministry of Sports said on Sunday Morning.

The decision is part of the government’s decision to allow a progressive resumption of social and economic activities effective from February 23, after a three week-long lockdown.

The Ministry said that the following individual and non-contact activities include jogging, athletics, individual physical fitness outdoor exercises, hiking, cycling, golf, tennis, table-tennis, golf, badminton, skate, archery and squash; Martial arts (Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Kung Fu, and Fencing).

Only individual fitness exercises and practice are allowed. Group practice and competitions are prohibited, the Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, gyms, recreational centers, and swimming pools remain closed, however, gyms and swimming pools in hotels are allowed to operate for accommodated guests with COVID-19 negative test results.

“The mentioned individual and outdoor sports are allowed at the Amahoro Stadium’s surrounding from 6AM to 6PM in respect to the related preventive measures,” the communique signed by the Sports Minister, Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, said.

Districts with stadium facilities are allowed to use them for the above-mentioned individual sports granting access to their citizens.

They are however requested to issue stadium access guidelines and enforce compliance to preventive measures during practice hours.

National Teams, Clubs preparing and participating in international competitions are allowed to train and prepare under special authorization requested to the Ministry of Sports after submission and approval of proposed COVID-19 preventive guidelines to comply to during training.

“Wearing a face mask before and after the exercise session is a must. Hand sanitizers must be carried all the time during outdoor sports and physical exercises and be used whenever necessary;” the Ministry warned.

It also insisted that there must be strict respect of social distancing of at least two meters between individuals in outdoor physical exercises and each individual is strictly requested to have their own sports equipment and avoid sharing or side placing with others.

Individuals with symptoms such as flu, cold, fever, cough, sneezing, headache are not allowed to practice sports or physical exercises in public but rather consult health services.

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