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Medeama appeal to Akufo-Addo to fulfil GHS1m promise



Medeama are appealing to President Nana Akufo-Addo to fulfil his promise of providing financial support to the club ahead of their CAF Champions League group stage campaign.

President Akufo-Addo had pledged GHS 1 million to the team during their courtesy visit to the Jubilee House in August after winning the Ghana Premier League.

The Ghanaian champions have made significant progress in the CAF Champions League, securing a spot in the group stage for the first time after defeating Remo Stars and Horoya AC in the preliminary rounds. They now face a challenging group that includes record holders Al Ahly, Yanga FC, and CR Belouizdad.

The group stage matches are set to begin later this month, and Medeama SC’s Brand and Marketing Manager, Ebenezer Aidoo, is urging President Akufo-Addo to fulfil his financial commitment. Aidoo commended the Ghana Football Association for their support but stressed the importance of the promised financial aid to prepare adequately for the upcoming matches.

“We want to thank the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for their support since our campaign in Africa because it has been good,” said Aidoo on Asempa FM. “But again, we want to appeal to President Akufo Addo that he promised to offer us Ghc1m when we visited him, and we are pleading that he walk the talk.

“We are appealing to the Sports Ministry to ensure we get the money because we need it to prepare for our upcoming games. Our travelling expenses and all the arrangements we are putting in place are costing us a lot, and so we are appealing to President Akufo Addo to fulfil his promise to us because we need money to compete and compete well in the CAF Champions League,” he added.

Medeama SC’s first match in the CAF Champions League group stage will be against Al Ahly in Cairo, and they are determined to excel.

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Kotoko coach tags some of his players as ‘politicians’ after recent run of poor form



Head coach of Asante Kotoko, Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum, has expressed strong sentiments towards a faction of the Porcupine Warriors’ players.

This follows his call for the more experienced players to elevate their performance to merit their place in the starting line-up.

The highly rated gaffer openly labelled certain players as “politicians” within the team.

During a press conference arranged due to Kotoko’s ongoing four-game winless streak, he vehemently stated, “You may think you can play politics within the team, but I recognize most of you for what you are. Despite that, I choose not to engage.”

Dr. Ogum emphasized that some players, after spending time at Kotoko, resort to using the media to vie for playing positions, but he remains resolute in not succumbing to such tactics as a coach.

With important league matches against Samartex and Medeama SC on the horizon, Kotoko faces a challenging period amidst this internal scrutiny and external competition.

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Remarkable Messi records that may never be broken



A phenomenon. A magician. The greatest.

The last one remains a matter of opinion, but there can be no arguing that Lionel Messi is not one of the greatest footballers to play the game.

The forward, 36, won his eighth Ballon d’Or – three more than any other player – on Monday and continues to set records that may never be broken.

Messi guided Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December before ending his 20-year career in European football with Barcelona to join Major League Soccer franchise Inter Miami in America in July.

As he continues to shine – for club and country – we look at some of the milestones and records Messi has set over the years.

Most Ballon d’Or awards – eight

It was no surprise when Messi was announced as the men’s Ballon d’Or winner, the award for the best footballer in the world for the 2022-23 season.

His inspirational role in helping Argentina win the World Cup for the first time since 1986 almost guaranteed he would extend his record of award wins to eight – despite the best efforts of prolific Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

Cristiano Ronaldo, now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia, is Messi’s closest rival with five, but, aged 38 and not even nominated in the 30-man shortlist, it is hard to see the Portugal forward challenging Messi’s haul.

Such is Messi and Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or domination, the only other two previous winners still playing are Croatia’s Luka Modric and France’s Karim Benzema. With both well into their 30s, they do not stand a chance of getting near the record.

Haaland, Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham, Real and Brazil forward Vinicius Jr and even Bayern Munich and England striker Harry Kane will fancy their chances of being in the mix in future, but it will be a long time before anyone gets near Messi.

Most goals in a La Liga season – 50

It is impossible to say when this impressive scoring feat will be broken, but history suggests it might be some time.

Messi’s 50 goals in 37 appearances for Barcelona in 2011-12 is not only a La Liga record, but it is also the most in a season by any player in one of Europe’s top five leagues since the formation of the Premier League in 1992-93.

Since La Liga’s formation in 1929, only three players have even hit 40 goals. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo managed it twice and Luis Suarez did so seven years ago – the last time the mark was reached.

Most goals in all competitions in a season – 73

This tally seems insurmountable.

In that record-breaking 2011-12 season Messi scored 73 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and no-one has got close since.

Haaland broke all sorts of records in his debut Premier League campaign last season, but, despite seemingly scoring every week, he finished the season with 52 goals – 21 short of Messi’s phenomenal effort.

Even Everton great Dixie Dean is 10 short, hitting an amazing 63 goals in 1927-28 – an English top-flight record that has stood for 95 years.

Most Champions League goals for one club – 120

Messi looks like falling short of the record as Champions League top scorer. He is in second – 11 goals short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 140 – with both probably having played their last game in the competition.

But Messi’s 120 goals for Barcelona is the most a player has scored for one club in the competition.

Ronaldo’s 105 for Real Madrid is the next highest, with Karim Benzema’s 78 for Real a distant third.

With players remaining loyal to one club fairly rare in the modern game, it is difficult to see who could match Messi’s feat any time soon.

Most goals for Argentina – 106

Messi is Argentina’s record scorer by a country mile – and he is still going.

In an international career that started in 2005, he has scored 48 more goals than previous record holder Gabriel Batistuta and 63 more than third-placed Sergio Aguero.

With Messi still adding to his tally and his two closest rivals retired, it is going to be a long time – if ever – before anyone gets close to his Argentina record.

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Saudi Arabia to host 2034 World Cup as Australia withdraws bid



Saudi Arabia is set to host the men’s 2034 World Cup following Australia’s decision to withdraw its bid to host the tournament, as confirmed by Football Australia just hours before Fifa’s deadline for declarations of interest on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is now the sole nation to place a bid for the event.

In a statement, Football Australia announced, “We have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition.” With this announcement, the path has been cleared for Saudi Arabia to take on the role of host.

The 2026 World Cup will be held in a joint effort by the United States, Mexico, and Canada, while the 2030 tournament will be hosted by Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, with matches also taking place in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Fifa had previously specified that the 2034 World Cup would be held in Asia or Oceania, making an Australian bid the primary potential challenger to Saudi Arabia. Shortly after Fifa’s decision, Saudi Arabia expressed its intention to bid for the prestigious sporting event.

Saudi Arabia has emerged as a host for several major sporting events since 2018, encompassing football, Formula 1, golf, and boxing. Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, emphasised the significance of this decision, stating, “The World Cup bid constitutes an important and natural step in our journey as a country passionate about football.”

However, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman acknowledged the controversial practice of “sportswashing” in a recent statement, saying, “If sportswashing is going to increase my GDP by 1%, then we’ll continue doing sportswashing.”

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