Cameroon’s Minister Knocks CAF over AFCON Snub

first_imgThe government of Cameroon yesterday has officially reacted to the withdrawal of the country’s hosting rights for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.According to a publication in the country, Cameroun24.net, the CAF’s decision was in bad taste.The government reaction came from the Minister of Communication, Issac Tchiroma Bakary who reportedly declared that the government received CAF’s decision with disappointment. The spokesperson of the government made the statement during a press briefing some 24hours after the decision was taken by the Confederation of African Football, CAF.The full statement read thus: “The Government of the Republic of Cameroon has taken note with dismay of the decision taken by the CAF Executive Committee, which met in Accra last November 30, 2018, to withdraw the hosting of the 2019 AFCON from Cameroon.“This surprising decision for more than one reason, is certainly unfair with regard to the huge investments made by our country, which has led to outstanding modern infrastructures as witnessed by all.”According to the Minister the decision is not a reflection of Cameroon’s determination to organise a magnificent football jamboree.The Minister explained that, “this decision is unmerited considering the resolve of the Head of State and the people of Cameroon to make all-out effort to host a remarkable celebration of African football in 2019.”He holds that the CAF decision is unfair and undeserving, “It is clear from the outset of this matter, that, our country has been subjected to a treatment which can therefore give rise to questioning.”He used the occasion to call on Cameroonians to be upbeat. “In the face of this blatant injustice, the Government of the Republic urges the People of Cameroon to remain calm and not to indulge into futile arguments.”The Minister of Communication noted that despite the recent developments, Cameroon will continue construction of its sports infrastructure.“Cameroon has put in a creditable performance. It shall prove it to the entire world by completing with the same determination and on time the construction of these modern infrastructures belonging to the Cameroonian people, as pledged by the Head of State.”The Minister added that, “nevertheless, it is worth underscoring that African football would not match the exploits of other better performing continents in the absence of an ethical conduct.Our country, which has written the pages of African football in bold letters, will not relent her efforts in working with other African countries and international football bodies to develop football in our beloved Africa.”Cameroon is one of the leading football nations on the continent. The country has won five African Cup of Nations Championship five times and was the first African nation to reach the quarter finals of the World Cup.Meanwhile, Sierra Leone have been disqualified from the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying competition, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said yesterday.Football’s world governing body FIFA had suspended the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) in October due to “government interference”.CAF’s decision means Kenya and Ghana are assured of first and second place in Sierra Leone’s group F and have therefore booked their place in next year’s finals.“Sierra Leone is disqualified from the qualifiers and all its matches are annulled,” Caf said in a statement.The row stems from the decision of Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption commission to sack SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during an ongoing probe into corruption and mismanagement.In October, CAF cancelled two matches pitting Sierra Leone against Ghana due to the dispute between Freetown and FIFA.The 2019 finals have been plunged into uncertainty and chaos after CAF last week stripped Cameroon of the right to host the tournament, citing delays caused by infrastructure work.The organisation has yet to determine the new host country but said it would reach a decision by the end of the year.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Kyle Kuzma, Lakers stomp Oklahoma City without LeBron James and Anthony Davis

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and center Steven Adams (12) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) and Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7) reach for a rebound in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, right, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Cook (2) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket between Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7) forward Kyle Kuzma, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson, center, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari, left, is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7) as he shoots in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) goes to the basket past Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and center Steven Adams (12) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)NextShow Caption1 of 10Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and center Steven Adams (12) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)ExpandOKLAHOMA CITY — It was easy to see Frank Vogel marching into Chesapeake Energy Arena on Saturday night as a general without an army — or at least without his best officers. But the Lakers coach did not see things that way with just over an hour to go until tip-off..Even without Anthony Davis lobs, without LeBron James passes and drives, without Danny ‘Deadshot’ Green patrolling the perimeter, the Lakers wouldn’t change their standard. They expected to see their winning streak continue.“One of the strengths of our team is our depth, and we expect to go out, take the floor, compete at a really high level,” he said. “And we expect to win.”And they did. Not meekly, not just barely, but with conviction — dominating Oklahoma City (22-17) early in a lopsided 41-19 opening quarter, then stamping out every single surge for a 125-110 with the parts of the roster that are supposed to compliment — not survive without — Davis and James. In expanded roles, the remaining Lakers thrived. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Starting for James was Rajon Rondo, who has been alternately praised and maligned as one of the most up-and-down players of the season. But he was vintage against Oklahoma City and a bitter rival in Chris Paul, finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Against the Thunder’s drop coverage with Steven Adams, Rondo showed flashes of his old quick steps to attack the rim early and hit his first six attempts.“I was just trying to attack the basket,” he said. “Once again, our bigs did a hell of a job getting the ball out quick if they did score or if they did hit me with the outlet, I just tried to push the pace.”There was some concerning news by night’s end: Rondo strained his right ring finger in the first half, which was splinted to his middle finger afterward. X-rays revealed no fractures, but Rondo missed significant time last season with hand injuries.But he didn’t let that hamper his mood Saturday night. Neither did anyone else as seven Lakers scored in double figures, particularly players who haven’t seen as much time as they’d want.Troy Daniels, who hadn’t scored since Jan. 3, poured in 12 points in his first meaningful minutes in weeks. Quinn Cook (11 points) hadn’t played in 10 of the previous 14 games for the Lakers, but he played capable backup — at least for one night.It turned out, oddly enough, to be the Lakers’ largest margin of victory over the Thunder, who they now have a 3-0 record against after two previous squeakers in November — back when their biggest guns were all available to play. The Lakers also improved to 5-0 in the second game of back-to-backs, where they’ve often shined.“I don’t think nobody in this locker room thought we were the underdog tonight, honestly,” Cook said. “You look down, we got guys who won in this league. We weren’t going out there playing with free money. We want to go out there, compete as hard as possible.”Vogel said he never doubted that his squad would back up his pregame words. He wrote that he believed the Lakers would win on the whiteboard beforehand, sending a message to his team that he had faith they’d deliver.Maybe he didn’t expect them to be up by as much as 32 points without their studs. But it’s always good to have a little more room to improve.“You’d see it with San Antonio all the time in those years when they would sit three or four guys: Their reserves would usually come in and win that game,” he said. “And I feel like we have the team to do that. We have great depth. We have a group that go out and defend for 48 minutes. You always have a chance.”center_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Off the court, his week has been clouded by trade speculation. On it, he reminded everyone why the Lakers fought to keep him this summer, shooting 15 for 24 from the field, including four 3-pointers to vault him to an impressive 62 points in the last two games combined.  His scoring helped deliver the eighth straight victory for the Lakers (32-7), but their first without either of their stars.It might’ve seemed from the outside that the shorthanded Lakers were underdogs. They never bought in.“We want to go out and dominate every game,” Kuzma said. “We don’t see why we can’t win every game.”With 23 points in the first half, Kuzma set off a sizzling night for the Lakers’ offense which shot over 51 percent and made 12 of their first 15 threes on the night. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersNo one underlined that like Kyle Kuzma — a regular starter turned sixth man this year — who rang the bell for a season-high 36 points. He snuffed the last threat of Thunder recovery, with a baseline floater and a dagger 3-pointer with under two minutes to go.Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years last_img read more