2023 CHAN: Ghana’s group opponent Morocco threaten to boycott tournament

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FMRF) have said they will withdraw from their defence of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria unless they are allowed to fly directly from the country’s capital Rabat.

Amidst tensions between the two north African neighbours, direct flights were cancelled in 2021 and the FMRF insist the Atlas Lions, who made history at Qatar 2022 by becoming the first African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final, will only partake if they are allowed to fly from Rabat to Constantine where their group stage games will be played.

The draw for the tournament, which permits only players from the domestic leagues in Africa, took place on Tuesday with Morocco pitted in Group C against Madagascar, Sudan and Ghana, who eliminated Nigeria in the qualifiers.

Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the FMRF, headed an executive board meeting on Tuesday evening when the ultimatum was made with the added criteria that the team must travel with Royal Air Maroc.

Morocco defeated Mali in the delayed tournament in Cameroon in 2021 to becoming the first nation to win consecutive CHAN titles.

The first match of the seventh edition of CHAN sees Algeria face Libya in Group A on January 13, with Morocco set to play Sudan two days later.

AFRICAN NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW:

• Group A: Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia, Mozambique.

• Group B: DR Congo, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Senegal.

• Group C: Morocco, Sudan, Madagascar, Ghana.

• Group D: Mali, Angola, Mauritania.

• Group E: Cameroon, Congo, Niger.

Source: Modern Ghana

NBA: Zion Williamson scores 43 points as Pelicans beat Timberwolves

Zion Williamson scored a career-high 43 points as the New Orleans Pelicans mounted a dramatic late rally to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-118.

Williamson, 22, scored the Pelicans’ final 14 points to help them overcome a five-point deficit at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

But his physicality drew criticism from Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell.

“He’s playing (American) football; we’re playing basketball. We can’t touch him or guard him,” said Russell.

Russell and Anthony Edwards each scored 27 points for the Timberwolves.

Williamson was the number one draft pick in 2019, but missed more than a year through injury and was criticised over his weight.

However, he has helped the Pelicans climb to the top of the Western Conference.

“I watched a lot of old-school players and I tried to figure out their mindsets, and all their mindsets were the same. People remember winners,” said Williamson.

“So whenever that time comes for me to be done with the game of basketball, I want people to say that he was a winner. And (team-mate) CJ (McCollum) looked at me and said, ‘If you wanna be great, this is the time to step up.’ And that was all the motivation I needed.”

The Brooklyn Nets moved up to second in the Eastern Conference with a 10th successive win.

Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and Kevin Durant 26 in a 108-107 victory at the Atlanta Hawks.

“It’s good to get some stability and win a few games along the way and have some fun,” said Durant after a season hampered by initial poor form, the sacking of coach Steve Nash and Irving’s suspension over claims of anti-Semitism.

DeMar DeRozan scored 42 points as the Chicago Bulls claimed a 119-113 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks, for whom Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 45 points and 22 rebounds.

Reigning champions Golden State Warriors fought back to beat the Utah Jazz 112-107, their third win in a row.

Source: Modern Ghana

NBA preview: Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers as Miami Heat travel to Utah Jazz

Viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to thrills and spills from the world’s best basketball league, with ESPN and ESPN 2 the premier venues for coverage of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The 2022-23 season will continue through the week of Friday 30 December 2022 to Thursday 5 January 2023.

DStv and GOtv is your home of the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network.

The first NBA regular season game this weekend arrives on the morning of Friday 30 December, with the New York Knicks heading to Texas to face the San Antonio Spurs (03:00 LIVE on ESPN).

The Knicks have put together some brilliant form of late and will be looking to carry that momentum into their clash with the Spurs. “We’re confident, but we know we’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’ve just got to stay focused. We can’t relax. We can’t have bad days. We’ve got to stay focused,” said New York star Jalen Brunson.

Saturday 31 December features two clashes, starting out in the morning with the Golden State Warriors welcoming the Portland Trail Blazers to San Francisco (05:00 LIVE on ESPN).

The Warriors recently struggled in the absence of Stephen Curry, but bounced back with a victory away to the Toronto Raptors. “It shows how good we can be,” Kevon Looney said of winning without Curry. “It’s always going to be hard to win when you’re missing one of the best players in the league. He’s going to be gone for a while so we’ve got to get used to trying to win without him. Hopefully, we’re in a good spot when he comes back.”

This will be followed in the evening by the Indiana Pacers hosting the Los Angeles Clippers for a clash that will bring in the New Year (22:00 LIVE on ESPN 2).

The final NBA game of the weekend arrives on the morning of Sunday 1 January, as the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat meet at the Vivint Smart Home Arena (04:00 LIVE on ESPN).

The Heat will be hoping to capitalise on the three-point shooting ability of Tyler Herro, who recently put up a career-high 41 points in a win over the Houston Rockets.

“He’s too good of a shooter for us to not take threes off the catch. He has to continue to be assertive in those opportunities. He’s just a brilliant shooter. He can do it off the dribble and off the catch,” said heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

Visit www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream the action on the DStv App.

NBA Regular Season broadcast details

• All times CAT

Friday 30 December

• 03:00: San Antonio Spurs v New York Knicks – LIVE on ESPN

• Saturday 31 December

05:00: Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers – LIVE on ESPN

22:00: Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Clippers – LIVE on ESPN 2

• Sunday 1 January

04:00: Utah Jazz v Miami Heat – LIVE on ESPN

Source: Modern Ghana

NPP prays for stable Cedi in 2023

Scores of the supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Thursday, December 29, 2022, gathered at the party’s headquarters, Asylum Down in the Greater Accra Region to pray for a stable cedi going into the year 2023.

“We desire a stable cedi against the dollar in 2023,” the party said.

The National Women’s Organiser of the party, Kate Gyanfuah, in delivering the purpose of gathering at the ceremony dubbed ‘Thanksgiving’, under the auspices of Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, said the ceremony was to seek God’s intervention for the falling cedi and pray for the president.

According to her, “This a gathering to take stock and pray for appointees of the government [and] Members of Parliament (MP) to keep the ideals of the party going into the 2024 general elections.”

Delivering the welcome address, the General Secretary of NPP, Justin Frimpong Kodua, explained that the National Executive Committee of the party has decided beginning next year to observe every last Wednesday of the month as a ‘National Prayer Day’ to seek the face of the Lord for the party.

According to him, the day will be observed at all the regional and constituency offices as well as the national headquarters of the party.

This, he explained, was to show appreciation to God for how far he has brought the party.

“We did it with the face of God in 2016 and we backslid because complacency set in as we got into government in 2020,” he confessed.

The ceremony was attended by the Vice President and his wife; the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare; the Director-General of National Lottery Authority (NLA), Sammy Awuku; and MP for Abuakwa South Constituency in the Eastern Region, Atta Kyea.

Source: Ghana Web

Year 2023: Pursue forgiveness – COKA urges Ghanaians

A Former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) in the Ashanti Region, Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, has called on Ghanaians to live in peace, unity while they learn to inhibit the spirit of forgiveness.

He said it is a sure way to ensure that stability and friendship are restored permanently among neighbours and in the country at large.

He noted that the need for peace as demonstrated throughout the year should be the point of reference for all including political leaders in the coming year.

In a Facebook post he writes;

“We have two days to crossover to another year Let us show love. One thing I’ll ask you to do before we end the year is to make sure you call or send a message to all those who have offended you. Let us show maturity and forgive them.”

COKA advocated what he called Love, which he says ‘overcomes everything in this world’.

“As we’ve few days to enter 2023, let us be at peace with everybody today and not tomorrow. Love overcomes everything in this world. Send a message or call now,” he added.

In another conversation he called on religious, traditional leaders and politicians to continue to preach and demonstrate the virtues of peace, love, piety and peaceful co-existence wherever they find themselves, adding that only through lasting peace can Ghana attain the much-needed development.

Source: Ghana Web

Afrochella 2022: Fireboy DML, Shatta Wale amp up opening day with a bang

Accra, Dec. 29, GNA – It was a night of epic performances from numerous artistes at the 2022 edition of the Afrochella Festival at the El-Wak Sports Stadium in Accra.

Shatta Wale, who is arguably one of Ghana’s best performers, delivered another masterclass on the opening day of the two-day festival as he lit up the venue with some startling performances.

The self-acclaimed “Landlord” of Ghana music, after a successful show at the Accra Sports Stadium last Sunday, once again delivered a show-stopping performance to thousands gathered at the El-Wak Sports Stadium.

Shatta Wale undoubtedly brought energy to the stage as he performed some of his hit songs, including “1 Don,” ” On God,” “Ayoo,” “Gringo,” and “Taking Over,” among others, to the thousands of music fans from across the globe.

Nigerian Afrobeat star Fireboy DML, on the other hand, brought some fire to the stage as he set the music festival ablaze with back-to-back hit jams.

Dressed in his gentle costume, Fireboy DML was ruthless with his stagecraft, having performed some songs including “Badana,” “Peru,” “Vibration,” “Like I Do,” and many more.

The night was full of musical thrills from the likes of Stonebwoy, Ayra Starr, Gyakie, King Promise, Kwesi Arthur, Kofi Kinaata, Kuami Eugene, and Medikal.

The second day of Afrochella 2022 promises lots of excitement with a star-studded artiste line-up including Burna Boy, Asake, Fally Ipupa, Kidi, Pheelz, Young Stunna, and Albi-X.

There would also be performances by some of Ghana’s finest musicians, including Mzbel, Kwaw Kese, Tinny, Kwaw Kese, and Praye, who would relive the glory days of Ghanaian music with timeless hit songs.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Liverpool ready to trigger Inaki Williams release clause?

Premier League side, Liverpool are ready to pay Inaki Williams’ €55 million release clause according to reports.

The Black Stars striker has been on the radar of several clubs following his exploits with La Liga side, Athletic Bilbao.

Williams, having completed his nationality switch was named in Ghana’s squad for the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar.

He featured in all three games but failed to find the back of the net.

However, the Reds are prepared to pay the release clause of the striker.

Williams has so far scored 6 goals in all competitions in 16 appearances for the side in the ongoing season.

Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde’s side are also interested in signing César Azpilicueta, Álvaro Odriozola, Mikel Oyarzabal, Aymeric Laporte, and Jon Karrikaburu in the January transfer window.

Source: Ghana Web

Power ranking of African players in Premier League: Jordan, Salisu Partey make top ten

Mohamed Salah’s decisive performance in Liverpool’s win at Aston Villa could topple Thomas Partey who has been at the summit of our rankings for weeks.

How did Chelsea’s African contingent fare after a much-needed breather from club football when they hosted Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge?

In GOAL’s latest power rankings for 2022-23, we assess the continent’s stars that have played in England’s top-flight this term.

34Mohamed Elneny

The Egyptian replaced Thomas Partey in the dying embers of Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Ham United.

Elneny falls a spot as a consequence.

33Edouard Mendy

The Chelsea goalkeeper was not in the squad that returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth on Tuesday, thus slipping from 31st.

32Tariq Lamptey

Another game where Lamptey was introduced off the bench. Seven minutes in Brighton & Hove Albion’s 3-1 win over Southampton do not suffice for the wide defender who is rooted to 32nd this week.

31Hakim Ziyech

Ziyech was not involved in Chelsea’s win over Bournemouth. The Morocco playmaker has not returned to training after a history-making World Cup with the Atlas Lions.

Ziyech slips from 30th.

30Abdoulaye Doucoure

The Malian slips from 29th following a below-par cameo in Everton’s 2-1 defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

29Maxwel Cornet

The Ivorian slides from 27th having not featured for West Ham United since October.

28Moussa Djenepo

An underwhelming showing from the Malian in Southampton’s 3-1 loss to Brighton. The Malian failed to complete any of three dribble attempts and lost three of five duels.

Djenepo slips from 25th.

27Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The striker slips from 23rd following a cameo in Chelsea’s win over Bournemouth where he made minimal impact.

27Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The striker slips from 23rd following a cameo in Chelsea’s win over Bournemouth where he made minimal impact.

26Neeskens Kebano

An Achilles rupture will keep the DR Congo forward sidelined for several months. Kebano missed Fulham’s 3-0 success at Crystal Palace, promoting a drop from 21st.

25Wilfred Ndidi

The Leicester City midfielder moves a spot after an encouraging cameo in the Foxes’ 3-0 defeat against Newcastle United.

24Riyad Mahrez

The Manchester City wide attacker could still move or rise depending on Wednesday’s encounter with Leeds United. He retains the 24th spot in the interim.

23Willy Boly

The Nottingham Forest centre-back rises from 34th this week despite the Tricky Trees’ 3-0 defeat by Manchester United on Tuesday night.

The Ivorian won all but one of his five duels at Old Trafford and was unlucky to have what would have been his first Forest goal disallowed for offside.

22Jordan Zemura

The Zimbabwean endured a tough start to the Cherries’ 2-0 loss at Chelsea but grew into the game, offering a threat on the overlap as the game progressed.

Zemura keeps his spot.

21Boubacar Traore

Traore was a doubt for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ trip to Everton and the Malian could not recover in time to partake in the 2-1 success.

Thus, he slides from 19th.

20Patson Daka

A tough afternoon for Daka in Leicester’s 3-0 loss to Newcastle sees the Zambian slip from 18th. He was withdrawn at half-time.

19Cheikhou Kouyate

Kouyate has not played in any capacity since going off injured in Senegal’s World Cup clash with the Netherlands. The midfielder falls from 17th.

18Joe Aribo

Aribo slips from 15th after losing his spot in the Southampton side in recent gameweeks and struggling for game time.

The Nigeria international did not pull up trees against Brighton despite having 45 minutes to impress.

17Jeffrey Schlupp

The Ghanaian struggled amid Crystal Palace’s indiscipline against Fulham, having to play the final 33 minutes with nine men following Tyrick Mitchel’s dismissal just after the hour.

Schlupp slips from 14th place.

16Kalidou Koulibaly

Koulibaly produced a decent-to-good showing against Bournemouth despite some iffy moments in possession. This sees the Senegal captain rise from 20th.

15Joel Matip

Despite Liverpool’s intermittent openness throughout the game against Aston Villa, Matip produced a commendable showing on his first Premier League appearance since October 9.

The Cameroonian rises from 28th after giving a good account of himself at Villa Park.

14Yves Bissouma

Even though Tottenham Hotspur had to fight from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Brentford, Bissouma produced a decent-to-good outing at the Gtech Community Stadium.

The Malian rises from 16th as a consequence.

13Alex Iwobi

Iwobi was just average in Everton’s 2-1 defeat by Wolverhampton, failing to reproduce the high-quality performances shown earlier in the campaign.

The Nigerian slides from 11th place.

12Daniel Amartey

After a few commendable performances before the World Cup, Amartey slides from sixth following an error-strewn showing against Newcastle.

The Ghanaian gave away an early penalty in the eventual 3-0 loss.

11Serge Aurier

The Ivory Coast right-back may have cut a frustrated figure in Forest’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United but the defender was one of the team’s better players at Old Trafford.

Aurier rises from 13th this week.

10Jordan Ayew

Ayew remained on the pitch for 90 minutes despite Palace being reduced to 10 men against Fulham, even hitting the woodwork for Patrick Vieira’s men.

Be that as it may, it is not enough to hold on to a place in the top 10.

9Yoane Wissa

The DR Congo international unsurprisingly falls from fifth after only coming on for the final eight minutes in Brentford’s 2-2 draw with Spurs.

8Wilfried Zaha

Not helped by his team’s two red cards against Fulham, Zaha was barely involved in Palace’s 3-0 loss against Fulham.

Thus, the wide attacker slides from fourth.

7Mohamed Salisu

The Ghana centre-back just about holds on to a top 10 spot after an average showing in Southampton’s 3-1 loss at the hands of Brighton.

6Bryan Mbeumo

Mbeumo loses third spot this week, not due to underperforming against Tottenham, but as a consequence of the performance of those previously behind him.

The Cameroonian created more chances (three) than any teammate on the pitch but slides, nonetheless.

5Said Benrahma

The Algerian scored a first-half penalty for West Ham who went on to lose 3-1 at Arsenal.

It was Benrahma’s first goal against a top-six side since March, thus seeing the attacker rise from ninth.’

4Cheick Doucoure’

Doucoure was one of Palace’s better players despite the 3-0 loss against Fulham. The Malian seldom came out second-best in his duels, winning seven of 10 tussles before his 84th-minute withdrawal.

The midfielder rises from 12th.

3Idrissa Gueye

The Senegal international was arguably Everton’s best player before going off with seven minutes of normal time to play. Gueye won nine of 10 ground duels and could have registered an assist had Anthony Gordon converted after the midfielder found him eyeball to eyeball with Jose Sa.

The Everton man moves from eighth.

2Thomas Partey

We have a change at the top, with Partey relinquishing top spot this week.

The Arsenal man seldom lost any of his tussles versus West Ham before a late withdrawal, coming out on top six times in eight duels altogether.

Still, it was just not enough to retain first place.

1Mohamed Salah

A goal and assist in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa see Salah supplant Partey atop our rankings after the Ghanaian was at the summit for several weeks.

The Egyptian is now up to seven league goals for Liverpool, having netted four times in as many games either side of the World Cup.

With the Reds talisman finding some consistency in the last month or so, how easily would he be knocked off the top?

Source: Ghana Web