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An­other nige­riAn suc­cess

Goal­keeper Tochukwu Oluehi was Nige­ria’s hero as they won their 11th Women’s African Na­tions Cup ti­tle.

The de­fend­ing champions lost their open­ing match 1-0 to South Africa but pro­gressed to meet Banyana Banyana once again in the Fi­nal.

Nige­ria’s Asisat Oshoala missed a penalty as the game ended goal­less, and her team-mate Onome Ebi then hit the post with the first kick of the shoot-out. How­ever, South Africa’s Le­bo­hang Ra­malepe missed to level the scores, and at 4-3, with Linda Motl­halo need­ing to score to force sud­den death, Oluehi saved to give Nige­ria vic­tory.

AfghAn Abuse in­quiries

A se­ries of in­quiries are un­der­way by FIFA, the Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion, and the Afghanistan govern­ment af­ter The Guardian news­pa­per re­vealed al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual abuse against mem­bers of the Afghan women’s na­tional team.

It is claimed that Ker­a­mud­din Keram, pres­i­dent of the Afghanistan Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (AFF) since 2004, had raped and sex­u­ally as­saulted play­ers in a bed­room in his of­fice – the door to which could only be opened by his fin­ger­print recog­ni­tion – and that other of­fi­cials had co­erced play­ers at a train­ing camp into sex.

Other al­le­ga­tions made by for­mer play­ers and coaches in­clude claims of phys­i­cal as­sault and death threats. The AFF called the al­le­ga­tions “ground­less”, but the at­tor­ney-gen­eral’s of­fice or­dered six of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Keram, to be sus­pended dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Even if mere al­le­ga­tions cause our peo­ple to stop send­ing their sons and daugh­ters to sports, we need to act im­me­di­ately and com­pre­hen­sively,” said Afghanistan’s pres­i­dent, Ashraf Ghani.

eng­lAnd to host euro 2021

Wem­b­ley Sta­dium will stage the Fi­nal of the Women’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in 2021 af­ter Eng­land won the right to host the 16-team tournament.

The other pro­posed venues are Brighton, Brent­ford’s new Li­onel Road ground, Manch­ester City’s Academy Sta­dium, Mil­ton Keynes, Not­ting­ham For­est, Rother­ham United, Sh­effield United and Southamp­ton.

Eng­land last hosted in 2005, when they were knocked out in the group stage. The tournament then was confined to the north-west of the coun­try, with the Fi­nal at Black­burn Rovers’ Ewood Park.

new ZeAlAnd dom­i­nAte

The White Ferns’ dom­i­nance of Ocea­nia since Aus­tralia left for the Asian fed­er­a­tion was un­der­lined as they romped to suc­cess in the OFC Na­tions Cup, also claim­ing spots in the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.

New Zealand scored 43 goals with­out re­ply in their five matches in New Cale­do­nia, de­feat­ing hosts Fiji 8-0 in the Fi­nal. Betsy Has­sett was named player of the tournament.


Pink arch...eng­land women’s team at wem­b­ley

top...betsy has­sett

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