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Kenya's Gor qualify to Confed Cup play******
NAIROBI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Gor Mahia FC have qualified for the play-off round of the CAF Confederations Cup after the second leg of their match against Ahly Merowe of Sudan was canceled on Sunday morning.
The record 20-time Kenyan league champions will advance to the group stages of the second-tier continental club football competition if they win their two-legged play-off tie against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
Gor came from behind to win 3-1 in the opening leg of their second-round preliminary round knockout tie in Egypt a week ago for a healthy advantage going into the second leg that was scheduled for Nairobi on Sunday.
However, the Sudanese side had not arrived for the return leg and on Sunday morning, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed the fixture was off via a letter emailed to both clubs by the Manager of Interclub Competitions, Emad Shenouda.
"Reference the above-mentioned match, we would like to inform you that the Sudanese federation has communicated the withdrawal of the club Ahly Merowe from the competition.
"Accordingly, we hereby inform you that the match is cancelled and that Gor Mahia have been qualified to the Additional 2nd Preliminary round of the competition," CAF said in its letter.
The continental governing body requested Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to proceed with the payment of all financial dues to the officials who were already in Kenya.
A disciplinary process against Merowe is now expected to be launched with Shenouda saying a detailed decision will be communicated to all concerned parties in due course.
The cancellation brought an anti-climactic end to the match that had been mired in confusion since Thursday when Gor announced the government had allowed them to sell tickets to up to 10,000 fans.
A day later, the government confirmed fans would be allowed back to the stadiums for the first time since the onset of the global pandemic in March 2020, with venues allowed to let in up to two-thirds of the capacity subject to meeting coronavirus containment conditions.
However, later on Friday evening, FKF announced CAF had not sanctioned the return of fans to watch the game, igniting furious debate in domestic circles.
The final nail in the confusion came with the fixture being called off altogether on Sunday. Enditem
Samuel Eto'o promises to do "everything" to ensure success of AFCON******
YAOUNDE, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Football legend and newly elected president of Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) Samuel Eto'o said on Monday that he was resolute to ensure the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) a "resounding" success.。
The Central African country will host AFCON next month.。
Eto'o made the remarks as he met, for the first time, with the staff of the federation at FECAFOOT headquarters in the capital, Yaounde.。
"We are preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations and we must do everything, I mean everything to ensure its success and so that our brothers (visitors) will face no challenges," Eto'o told the staff in front of reporters.。
"A football team should be at the service of others. Each and every one of you has his or her place which is important for the final results. We don't play but we are at the service of those who play. Every one of us must give the best," Eto'o said.。
He said he was committed to working with the country's authorities and other football stakeholders to revamp the game in the country and organize a hitch-free AFCON.。
Eto'o was elected president of FECAFOOT on Saturday to manage affairs of the football governing body for a period of four years.。
Africa's biggest biennial football tournament, AFCON will take place in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6 next year. Enditem。
Ibra takes center stage, Milan conquers nine******
ROME, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- AC Milan's talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic played hero and villain on Saturday as the Rossoneri dominated Bologna 4-2 away in Serie A.
The 40-year-old Swedish got his first start in Serie A this season, as an injury crisis forced Milan to miss Mike Maignan, Franck Kessie, Ante Rebic and Alessandro Florenzi, while Theo Hernandez and Brahim Diaz tested positive for COVID-19.
Milan broke the deadlock in the 16th minute with a spectacular style as Ibrahimovic's assist found Rafael Leao who sprinted down the left to drill home from a tight angle.
It went from bad to worse for Bologna four minutes later as Adama Soumaoro saw red for dragging down Rade Krunic on the edge of the box.
Milan made it 2-0 in the 35th minute as Samu Castillejo's attempt was blocked but Davide Calabria followed to release a missile.
However, the home side got back level terms in just three minutes as Ibrahimovic accidentally scored an own goal in the 49th minute, before Musa Barrow finished with a first-time strike.
But Bologna was dealt another blow as it was reduced to nine players when Roberto Soriano was sent off for stamping on Fode Ballo-Toure's ankle.
Milan utilized the advantage and restored the lead in the 84th minute with Ismael Bennacer's blockbuster, before Ibrahimovic sealed the win in the dying minutes.
Milan provisionally moved to the top with 25 points, one ahead of Napoli who visits Roma on Sunday.
In Saturday's other fixtures, Empoli also beat Salernitana 4-2, while Sassuolo saw off Venezia 3-1. Enditem