By Adedapo Adesanya
Sunday, January 9, 2022, will usher in the 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon, less than a year since the coronavirus halted plans for the tournament initially scheduled for the year 2021.
Twenty four countries will be jostling for the trophy across six cities – Bafoussam, Douala, Garoua, Limbé, Olembe and Yaoundé in the East African country.
Among the six stadiums that will host the matches of the competition, the stadium of Limbé where group F will play has been considered a danger zone, witnessing a full-blown insurrection, where English-speaking separatists opposing the Francophone government have been fighting to form a breakaway state and have started to use improvised explosive devices.
Although the Cameroonian government has boosted security; human rights groups and activists have warned that the threats by the separatists should be taken seriously.
The rising cases of COVID-19 amongst players have led to led to alarm but organisers are determined to go ahead with the game.
The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Patrice Motsepe, promised an incredible competition despite the challenges being envisaged.
One of such measures to limit the risk of the speared of the virus during the tournament is to reduce the capacities of the various stadiums. Aside from this, only fully vaccinated fans with proof of negative virus tests will be allowed to attend games.
AFCON 2022 Groups
Group A: Cameroon (hosts), Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Ethiopia
Group B: Guinea, Malawi, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Group C: Comoros Islands, Gabon, Ghana, Morocco
Group D: Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Sudan
Group E: Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone
Group F: Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia
AFCON 2022 Group Stage Fixtures (Nigerian time)
January 9: Matchday 1 on Sunday
4 pm: Cameroon v Burkina Faso
7 pm: Ethiopia v Cape Verde
January 10: Matchday 2 on Monday
1 pm: Senegal v Zimbabwe
4 pm: Guinea v Malawi
4 pm: Morocco v Ghana
7 pm: Comoros v Gabon
January 11: Matchday 3 on Tuesday
1 pm: Algeria v Sierra Leone
4 pm: Nigeria v Egypt
7 pm: Sudan v Guinea Bissau
January 12: Matchday 4 on Wednesday
1 pm: Tunisia v Mali
4 pm: Mauritania v Gambia
7 pm: Equatorial Guinea v Ivory Coast
Round two fixtures;
January 13: Matchday 5
4pm: Cameroon v Ethiopia
7pm: Cape Verde v Burkina Faso
January 14: Matchday 6
1pm: Senegal v Guinea
4pm: Malawi v Zimbabwe
4pm: Morocco v Comoros
7 pm: Gabon v Ghana
January 15: Matchday 7
4pm: Nigeria v Sudan
7pm: Guinea Bissau v Egypt
January 16: Matchday 8
1pm: Gambia v Mali
4pm: Ivory Coast v Sierra Leone
4pm: Tunisia v Mauritania
7pm: Algeria v Equitoria Guinea
Round of three — last group games;
January 17: Matchday 9
4pm: Burkina Faso v Ethiopia
4pm: Cape Verde v Cameroon
January 18: Matchday 10
4pm: Malawi v Senegal
4pm: Zimbabwe v Guinea
7pm: Gabon v Morocco
7pm: Ghana v Comoros
January 19: Matchday 11
7pm: Egypt v Sudan
7pm: Guinea Bissau v Nigeria
January 20: Matchday 12
4pm: Ivory Coast v Algeria
4pm: Sierra Leone v Equatorial Guinea
7pm: Gambia v Tunisia
7pm: Mali v Mauritania
Round of 16
4pm: Runner-up Group A vs Runner-up Group C at Limbe Stadium, Limbe
7pm: Winner Group D vs 3rd Group B/E/F at Roumdé Adjia Stadium, Garoua
4pm: Runner-up Group B vs Runner-up Group F at Kouekong Stadium, Bafoussam
7pm: Winner Group A vs 3rd Group C/D/E at Olembe Stadium, Yaoundé
4pm: Winner Group B vs 3rd Group A/C/D at Kouekong Stadium, Bafoussam
7pm: Winner Group C vs 3rd Group A/B/F at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Yaoundé
4pm: Winner Group E vs Runner-up Group D at Japoma Stadium, Douala
7pm: Winner Group F vs Runner-up Group E at Limbe Stadium, Limbe
Quarter-Final B: January 29
4pm: Winner R16-M4 vs Winner R16-M3 at Japoma Stadium, Douala
Quarter-Final A: January 29
7pm: Winner R16-M1 vs Winner R16-M2 at Roumdé Adjia Stadium, Garoua
Quarter-Final C: January 30
4pm: Winner R16-M7 v Winner R16-M6 at Olembe Stadium, Yaoundé
Quarter-Final D: January 30
7pm: Winner R16-M5 vs Winner R16-M8 at Japoma Stadium, Douala
SF 1: February 2
7pm: Winner QF A vs Winner QF D at Japoma Stadium, Douala
SF 2: February 3
7pm: Winner QF B vs Winner QF C at Olembe Stadium, Yaoundé
Third-place Match: February 6
5pm: Loser SF1 vs Loser SF2 at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Yaoundé
Final: February 6
7pm: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2 at Olembe Stadium, Yaoundé
10 Things You May Not Know But Should About Online Gambling
There are billions of dollars in revenue generated by the online gambling market worldwide. Many people still have no clue how it works.
Nevertheless, there are certain things you should know if you plan to gamble online for real money. You should learn about the risks involved if you’re thinking about starting. Read on to learn more.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about online gambling, but really should.
Gambling Is Not Legal Everywhere
In some places, wagering is legal, while in other places it’s technically illegal, but unless it is a large operation, it is not prosecuted. Gambling at an online casino for real money can be frustrating because payment systems aren’t as straightforward as they are for other things. This is usually the case with locations where gambling isn’t fully legal, as you have to work around several loopholes in order to avoid breaking the law.
It’s Impossible to Count Cards in Online Blackjack
Even the most amateur gambler knows the concept of counting cards, perhaps from a movie or book they’ve seen or read. Casinos shuffle their decks often enough to now prevent you from applying a positive edge to live blackjack, as well, as there are enough decks and shuffles. A positive edge can only be obtained in games that involve other players, such as poker and sports betting.
Online Casino Bonuses Aren’t Always a Good Deal
Many new casino players from the Internet are surprised at how easy it is to get free money to play with through a £5 deposit bonus or a holiday offer. The offer is there to encourage new players to join and play. At a first glance, it appears they’re a great offer. However, things are rarely so nice in reality as casinos are raising their wagering requirements as time goes by.
Reviews Aren’t Always That Reliable
Positive comments from satisfied customers are among the best advertising available. Positive reviews are extremely valuable to a company in an industry where tens of thousands of platforms compete for business. It’s likely that you will read online reviews when you’re searching for a casino. Many online gaming platforms hire freelance writers to review their games.
Online Poker Players May Cheat
There are numerous ways to define online poker cheating. The most common method is by mining data. The majority of Internet cardrooms initially did not prohibit the use of software that tracked players’ statistics. However, those policies have since changed. These types of programs are no longer allowed – still, some players use them.
Online Gambling Is a Growing Industry
An estimated $300 billion is generated by land-based casinos every year. A 45 billion dollar sum doesn’t seem like much in comparison, but keep in mind that most online casinos won’t accept United States players. Hence, they lose a good deal of consumers. The Internet industry has grown significantly in comparison to land-based casinos.
Casino Customer Service Is Not Always Good
Most of the time, when you hear about an Internet casino cheating their customers, it isn’t because they are providing them with an unfair game. The most common reason for this is that a customer cannot process their withdrawal. In this industry, that’s the way it is. Still, it’s in the casino’s best interests to keep their players happy. But now all of them will have decent customer support that will help you resolve issues you might be experiencing.
Online Casinos Offer Loyalty Programs
If you have read any online gambling tips for slot machine players, you’ve probably heard of loyalty clubs at casinos. You are tracked based on how much you play and how much money you wager. Then you’ll receive a rebate or compensation equal to a percentage of your expected loss. You might even be eligible for more comps if you gamble more and more often, or even receive cash rebates or free spins if you play their slots.
RNG Is a Key Component
Casino games, bingo games, and poker games online fall under this statement. Online sports betting is obviously another matter. If you are interested in learning about the online gambling niche, you should start by learning about random number generators. They generate random number sequences using a computer program. This determines the results of games. Different games have different RTP (return to player) depending on their RNGs.
Payment via Cryptocurrency Is on the Rise
Even if what online gamblers are doing is fully within the parameters of the law, cryptocurrency can be beneficial to them for a variety of practical reasons. It is popular among gamblers because crypto provides anonymity and it removes banks and their robust monitoring systems from the picture. Bitcoin, as well as most other major cryptocurrencies, is accepted as adequate payment by just about all major online gambling platforms.
While online gambling can be a lot of fun, knowing what you’re doing makes it that much more enjoyable. Prior to becoming involved, you want to make sure you are aware of many of the above points. Regardless of whether you’re already a casino player, it’s still helpful to keep informed about the industry’s facts. Educated gamblers make good decisions. Hopefully, the information in this post is only the beginning of your online gambling education.
Men’s Football: 18,068 Players Switched Clubs in 2021—Report
By Adedapo Adesanya
There was a 5.1 per cent increase in the number of international transfers in men’s professional football as a total of 18,068 players switched clubs in 2021, signalling a return to the levels of 2019 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This was contained in the Global Transfer Report 2021 published by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), which charts the transfers of men’s and women’s players in both professional and amateur football.
No fewer than 54,739 transfers across borders were recorded in 2021 out of which 19,372 involved professionals (men and women) while another 35,367 involved amateurs.
These 18,068 transfers involved a new record high of 4,544 clubs from 185 different associations, compared to 4,162 clubs in 2020, with 15,617 players representing 179 different nationalities.
A continuous trend was seen as transfer fees decreased for the second consecutive year in 2021 to $4.86 billion, a fall of 13.6 per cent from 2020 and 33.8 per cent from the all-time high of 2019.
Another key positive from the report showed that women’s football is still booming
According to the world’s football governing body, women’s football continued to go from strength to strength in 2021, with the number of clubs involved in international transfers rising from 347 in 2020 to 414 last year, a 19.3 per cent increase.
This reflects the impressive strides being made as more and more female players are turning professional every year.
About 1,304 international transfers were recorded in the year under review, an increase of 26.2 per cent compared to the previous year, which had also recorded an increase of 23.3 per cent.
In contrast to the men’s game, spending on transfer fees in women’s professional football increased by 72.8 per cent $1.2 million in 2020 to $2.1 million in 2021.
Amateur Football Transfer Impressive
Transfers in the vast world of amateur football have been recorded in TMS since July 2020, which means that the data covered an entire calendar year for the first time.
The results from 2021 are certainly impressive, with 17,571 clubs from 201 member associations involved in the transfers of 35,367 amateur players (men and women) of 202 different nationalities.
Germany recorded the highest numbers of both incoming (5,122) and outgoing (2,651) transfers.
For each of the above categories, the Global Transfer Report 2021 includes analyses on the players’ nationalities, ages, and movement between confederations and associations.
For professional players and in addition to the list of top transfers, the report also provides further analysis in respect of employment contracts while also presenting the top performers at confederation, association and club levels.
The report also features a complete list of the number of transfers in each member association for each of the respective categories.
Prudential Africa Becomes Official Insurance Partner of AFCON 2021
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A foremost underwriting company, Prudential Africa Plc, has become the official insurance partner of the ongoing 33rd edition of Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021 in Cameroon.
This followed the sponsorship deal signed by the organisation with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the highest football governing body on the continent.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the sponsorship, the Chief Representative Officer, Prudential Northern Africa Region, Mr Eric Mboma, noted that the partnership underscores the company’s commitment to the African continent.
“As we grow our business in Africa, we also want to support the passion and talent of its people. Africans share a common love for football and we are honoured to be part of a tournament that unites the continent and brings together the brightest talents of African football,” he said.
Mr Mboma added, “Through sports, Prudential wants to encourage people to stay active and lead more healthy lifestyles. As a life insurer, we believe that health and wellness are important for people to live fulfilling lives.”
Commenting on the deal, the General-Secretary of CAF, Mr Véron Mosengo-Omba, stated that, “We are excited and pleased to have on board Prudential Africa as a partner. We share a common purpose in our commitment to developing local talent as well as driving prosperity for the people of Africa.”
AFCON 2021 started on January 9 and will run till February 6, 2022.
Prudential Africa is a global financial services group providing life insurance, pensions and asset management products and services to approximately 20 million customers in Asia and Africa.
It has life insurance operations in eight countries across Africa: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria.
For nearly a decade, the life insurer has been providing affordable insurance and health solutions. Today, it serves more than 1.7 million customers through a distribution network of more than 13,000 agents and 600 branches.
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