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Sep 1, 2015

Soccer-Netherlands seek to delay Iceland fairy tale qualification

AMSTERDAM, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Iceland can complete a fairy tale qualification for the European Championship finals on Thursday but must first overcome a much-changed Netherlands team determined to catch up after a poor start to the qualifying campaign.

Thursday’s Group A game at the Amsterdam Arena presents the tiny island nation, with a population of less than half a million, a chance to be among the first to book a place at next year’s tournament in France.

Aug 30, 2015

Namibia relish All Black challenge, coach says

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Namibia do not expect to beat favourites New Zealand in their opening match at the Rugby World Cup next month but coach Phil Davies says his part-time players are eagerly anticipating their moment in the spotlight.

Namibia face the most demanding schedule of all the teams participating in the tournament in England — four group matches in 17 days — but are taking on the challenge with enthusiasm, the former Welsh international said in an interview with Reuters.

Aug 30, 2015

Rugby-Namibia relish All Black challenge, coach says

CAPE TOWN, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Namibia do not expect to beat favourites New Zealand in their opening match at the Rugby World Cup next month but coach Phil Davies says his part-time players are eagerly anticipating their moment in the spotlight.

Namibia face the most demanding schedule of all the teams participating in the tournament in England — four group matches in 17 days — but are taking on the challenge with enthusiasm, the former Welsh international said in an interview with Reuters.

Jul 30, 2015

Platini’s FIFA candidacy fails to excite Africa

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Michel Platini’s bid for the FIFA presidency has garnered no immediate enthusiasm from Africa despite France’s strong footballing ties with the continent.

A day after confirming he would stand to replace Sepp Blatter as leader of world football, the Frenchman has been criticised by one African association and given a lukewarm endorsement by one of his closest allies.

Jul 30, 2015

Soccer-Platini’s FIFA candidacy fails to excite Africa

CAPE TOWN, July 30 (Reuters) – Michel Platini’s bid for the FIFA presidency has garnered no immediate enthusiasm from Africa despite France’s strong footballing ties with the continent.

A day after confirming he would stand to replace Sepp Blatter as leader of world football, the Frenchman has been criticised by one African association and given a lukewarm endorsement by one of his closest allies.

Jul 26, 2015

Palace can challenge all except top four, says Pardew

CAPE TOWN, July 26 (Reuters) – – Crystal Palace have the potential to challenge any team outside the top four in the English Premier League next season if they can stay largely injury free, manager Alan Pardew said on Sunday.

“We can compete with any team below the tier of the top four when we have our full team available,” he said at the end of a brief trip to South Africa to compete in a four-team tournament.

Jul 26, 2015

Soccer-Palace can challenge all except top four, says Pardew

CAPE TOWN, July 26 (Reuters) – Crystal Palace have the potential to challenge any team outside the top four in the English Premier League next season if they can stay largely injury free, manager Alan Pardew said on Sunday.

“We can compete with any team below the tier of the top four when we have our full team available,” he said at the end of a brief trip to South Africa to compete in a four-team tournament.

Jun 15, 2015

CAF unaware of African requests for Blatter to stay on

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Africa’s soccer confederation (CAF) has not heard of any of its members asking Sepp Blatter to stay on as FIFA president, an executive committee member said on Monday.

“At CAF level we are not aware of any African countries who have written to ask Blatter to stay on,” Kalusha Bwalya, a CAF executive committee member and president of the Football Association of Zambia, told Reuters.

Jun 15, 2015

Soccer-CAF unaware of African requests for Blatter to stay on

CAPE TOWN, June 15 (Reuters) – Africa’s soccer confederation (CAF) has not heard of any of its members asking Sepp Blatter to stay on as FIFA president, an executive committee member said on Monday.

“At CAF level we are not aware of any African countries who have written to ask Blatter to stay on,” Kalusha Bwalya, a CAF executive committee member and president of the Football Association of Zambia, told Reuters.

Jun 13, 2015

Soccer-New-look Nigeria back to winning ways

JOHANNESBURG, June 13 (Reuters) – Nigeria returned to winning ways in African Nations Cup qualification on Saturday but former champions South Africa and Zambia suffered embarrassing home draws in their opening matches of the preliminary competition for the 2017 finals.

A new-look Nigeria, who were 2013 champions but failed to qualify for the 2015 finals, overcame a slow start to beat Chad 2-0 in Kaduna but 2012 champions Zambia squandered a late spot kick and were held to a goalless draw by Guinea Bissau in Ndola.