September's African football news in brief

Ivory Coast and Lyon's Maxwel Cornet
Maxwel Cornet came on as a substitute for all five of Ivory Coast's games at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

African football stories in short for September including some of the transfers as new seasons begin around the world.

Friday 20 September:

The Guinea Football Federation (FGF) has announced the appointment of several former Syli Nationale stars to its coaching department.

Former captain Bobo Balde will be the new under-20 coach and his former international team-mate Kaba Diawara will be assistant coach for the senior team.

Former Celtic defender Balde, 43, will try and qualify his side for the 2021 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Mauritania after Guinea failed to reach the finals in Niger earlier this year.

The 43-year-old Diawara steps up from being the team manager under Paul Put to be new coach Didier Six's first assistant.

France-born Diawara has a wealth of playing experience with stints at clubs including Bordeaux, Rennes, Arsenal, Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain, Blackburn Rover and West Ham during an 18-year career.

The FGF has also appointed a new coach for the under-23 national team - Sulaymane 'Abedy' Camara has been replaced by former international Mory Fofana. (By Momodou Bah)

Ivory Coast forward Maxwel Cornet has extended his contract with French Ligue 1 side Lyon by two more seasons until 30 June 2023.

The 22-year-old has been with the former French champions since 2014 and has already made four league appearances this season.

He netted seven goals in 27 league appearances last season.

Cornet helped Ivory Coast to reach the quarter-finals of the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt as he came on as second-half substitute in all five of the Elephants' matches and scored against Namibia in the group stage. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Tunisia will play Cameroon in an international friendly on 12 October in Tunis.

The Carthage Eagles are preparing for November's 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they will host Libya before they travel to face Equatorial Guinea.

Cameroon are due to host the 2021 finals and so qualify automatically but will also take part in a qualifying group and will play Cape Verde and Rwanda in November.

The two sides last met in March 2017 in a friendly in Monastir, with Vincent Aboubakar scoring the winner for the visiting Indomitable Lions. (By Souhail Khmira)

Thursday 19 September:

Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic
Vahid Halilhodzic replaced Herve Renard as coach of Morocco.

Morocco have lined up two friendly internationals against Gabon and Libya next month but the venues for both matches are yet to be confirmed.

The Atlas Lions will first face Libya on 11 October before locking horns with Gabon four days later according to the Morocco Football Federation.

The two matches are part of Morocco's preparations for their opening 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.

Morocco will open their campaign against Mauritania before travelling to take on Burundi during November's international break.

They were held to a 1-1 draw by Burkina Faso, and beat Niger 1-0 in Marrakech in friendlies earlier this month under new coach Vahid Halilhodzic. (By Mohamed Fajah Barrie)

Wednesday 18 September:

The Olympic rings and the Tokyo 2020 logo
Three African nations will qualify for the men's football tournament at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

The draw for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, which also doubles as qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games, will be held on 3 October.

Eight nations will be in the hat for the draw in Egypt at Alexandria's Montaza Palace, built in the 19th century as a summer palace for Egypt's king.

Hosts Egypt, who qualified automatically for the continental championship, are expected to be seeded along with Nigeria, who won the last tournament in 2015 and went onto take bronze at the Rio Olympics.

Cameroon, who won Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000, and Ghana, who took bronze in Barcelona in 1992, are the other two countries in the field who have past Olympic pedigree.

They will be joined in the draw by Ivory Coast, Mali, South Africa and Zambia.

The Under-23 Nations Cup will be played from 8-22 November with the top three teams in the competition going on to represent Africa at the men's football tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. (By Mark Gleeson)

Tuesday 17 September:

Nigeria won the 2019 West African Football Union Zone B Women's Cup
Nigeria won the 2019 West African Football Union Zone B Women's Cup in Ivory Coast

Sierra Leone will host the West African Football Union's (Wafu) Zone A Women's Cup in December.

According to a statement from the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) the tournament is scheduled to take place from December 13 to 22.

The SLFA has identified three venues in the cities of Bo, Kenema and Makeni to host the competition.

Eight countries are expected to take part in the tournament - Senegal, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Guinea, The Gambia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone were due to stage the Wafu Under-17 Women's Cup last November but that had to be changed due to Sierra Leone's suspension from international football, which has now been lifted.

Sunday 15 September:

Libya defender Sanad Al-Warfali
Defender Sanad Al-Warfali has played 23 times for Libya, scoring one goal which came against Morocco

Libyan international defender Sanad Al-Warfali has rejoined Raja Casablanca on a permanent deal.

The 27-year-old spent part of last season with the Moroccans but negotiations to seal a long-term move originally appeared to have broken down.

However, with French coach Patrice Carteron keen to boost his defensive options, Raja reopened talks with Al-Ahli Club Tripoli.

Al-Warfali's contract reportedly runs for two years with the deal costing around $600,000.

Friday 13 September:

Former Senegal international Habib Beye has joined the coaching staff at French fourth-tier side AS Poissy.

The club has not elaborated on his role nor has it given details of a contract.

The 41-year-old has been working on French television since retiring from playing at the end of the 2013 season.

His club career included stints at French clubs Strasbourg and Marseille as well as English sides Newcastle, Aston Villa and Doncaster Rovers.

Ivory Coast's Serey Die
Serey Die won the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast in 2015

Veteran Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die has joined Swiss club FC Aarau on a short term deal until the end of December as he continues his career in Switzerland.

The 34-year-old, who won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, signed the deal as a free agent with the second-tier side after his contract with another Swiss club Basel ended in June.

The former VFB Stuttgart player spent the second half of last season on loan to Swiss top-flight side Xamax Nuechatel, where he made 10 league appearances scoring a goal.

Die played in all five of the Ivory Coast's game as the Elephants reached the quarter-finals of the recent 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt,

Thursday 12 September:

Sierra Leone international Alfred Sankoh has returned to Norway to join Notoden FK as a free agent.

The 30-year-old midfielder, who spent last season in Oman playing for Majees Sports club, previously played for two Norwegian sides - Ullern and Stormsgodset.

Sankoh started his career with Sierra Leonean Premier league side Old Edwardians and has also featured for Turkish clubs Sanliurfaspor, Balikesirspor and Denizlispor as well as Azerbaijan side Khazar Lankaran.

He made his international debut for Sierra Leone against South Africa in 2010 and has been a regular player for Leone Stars.

Wednesday 11 September:

Tokelo Rantie
Tokelo Rantie represented South Africa at two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments

Former Bournemouth striker Tokelo Rantie has joined South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns on a three-year deal as a free agent in a bid to revive his career, after almost two years without playing competitive football.

The 29-year old signed for the 2016 African champions after his contract with another South African club Cape Town City, where he did not make a single league appearance, ended last December.

He last played competitive football on 13 October 2017 when he came on as a substitute for Turkish club Genclerbirligi against Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig.

His other clubs included South Africa's Orlando Pirates and Swedish side Malmo.

Rantie has made 40 appearances for South Africa including at the 2013 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals, and has scored 12 goals for Bafana Bafana.

Thomas Partey in action for Ghana against Japan
Thomas Partey has scored eight times in 24 games for Ghana

Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey has bought a 25% stake in Spanish fourth tier club Alcobendas Sport.

Partey, 26, who plays for La Liga side Atletico Madrid, is part of a four-man group that has acquired the Tercera Division team which is also based in the Spanish capital city.

"I have joined three of my advisers who are also my good friends for us to takeover Alcobendas Sport to make it one of the great clubs in Spain," Partey told Ghanasoccernet.

"It is an ambitious project but we have put together our plans of making it a success through a gradual process of growing Alcobendas Sport from the ground - up."

Partey has scored eight goals in 24 appearances for four-time African champions Ghana.

Elsewhere, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says he was satisfied with his team's 2-2 friendly draw in Ukraine despite being pegged back by two quickfire goals.

The Super Eagles dominated the first half and looked comfortable leading 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from debutant Joseph Aribo and Victor Osimhen from a penalty.

But a fine individual goal from Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko and an opportunistic strike from Roman Yaremchuk denied the visitors.

"I feel satisfied with my team because it is a wonderful friendly match," said Rohr.

"Both teams demonstrated high-quality football. We won the first half, but Ukraine played at home, so the result is logical."

Ahmed Musa
Ahmed Musa is missing the Super Eagles' friendly international against Ukraine through injury

Saturday 7 September:

Captain Ahmed Musa is the latest player to withdraw from Nigeria's squad for the friendly against Ukraine on 10 September.

Musa, 26, suffered an injury while playing for Al Nassr in the Saudi Premier League, according to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

No replacement has been called up to replace the experienced winger who joins Wilfred Ndidi, Tyronne Ebuehi, Henry Onyekuru and Kenneth Omeruo on the list of players to miss the game.

Coach Gernot Rohr has already handed late call-ups to the quartet of uncapped Josh Maja and Emmanuel Dennis, Brian Idowu and Anderson Esiti for the game in Dnipro.

Friday 6 September:

Former Nigeria goalkeeper Peter Fregene, whose international career spanned 17 years, has undergone surgery on a long-term spinal cord damage.

The 72-year-old has been in dire straits since his health problems started in October 2001.

Once again Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon Femi Otedola came to his rescue by footing the entire cost of the surgery and treatment.

Otedola also stepped in to help ailing former captain and coach Christian Chukwu in April.

Frengene was Nigeria's goalkeeper for their first Olympic appearance in Mexico in 1968, he was first choice keeper between until 1971, and was in goal at the 1982 Nations Cup in Libya.

James Okwuosa in action for Nigeria
James Okwuosa in the the 2013 Nelson Mandela Challenge match as Nigeria beat South Africa 2-0

Nigerian defender James Okwuosa has joined Kuwaiti top tier club Al Qadsia SC on a two-year deal as a free agent.

The 28-year-old has been capped twice by his country and played for South African clubs Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates and Chippa United between 2012 and 2019.

He also played for Nigeria at the 2011 Beach Soccer World Cup in Italy, as helped his side to the quarter-finals of the tournament where they lost to Brazil, who were the eventual runners-up.

Thursday 5 September:

Serbian coach Srdjan Zivojnov
Serbian coach Srdjan Zivojnov has worked at several clubs in Africa

Ethiopia's oldest club Saint George have appointed Serbian coach Srdjan Zivojnov as their new coach on a two-year deal.

The 47-year-old, who has coached clubs in Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, has been set the target of winning the domestic league and with a place in next season's Champions League.

He replaces British coach Stewart Hall, who was sacked in May after a series of unimpressive results at the 29-time Ethiopian champions.

Wednesday 4 September:

Belgian coach Ivan Minnaert
Belgian coach Ivan Minnaert led Libya's Al Ittihad to the second stage of the Confederation Cup

Fans of Libyan club Al Ittihad have been left surprised by the sacking of Belgian coach Ivan Minnaert after he led them to the second stage of the Confederation Cup.

The club's technical director Nader Tarhouni says it was in an attempt "to correct the technical mistakes of the first team and improve the discipline of the team."

Minnaert was also left shocked by the move.

"There were no problems between me and the players or the management of the club," he insisted.

"All of them were happy in the training, I am completely satisfied that I managed the team well and was surprised by the decision which I learned from the media."

He will be replaced by one of the club's former players Osama Al Hamadi, who also worked as an assistant coach last season.

Tuesday 3 September:

Algeria's Hicham Boudaoui
Hicham Boudaoui has played five times for Algeria

French second-tier side AC Ajaccio have secured the services of The Gambia attacker Ablie Jallow on loan from Ligue 1 FC Metz.

The 20-year-old who is a product of Senegal's Generation Foot has gone on loan in a bid for more playing time, having made just eight appearances last season with Metz.

"Ablie is a relatively small but he is hard hitting and knows how to dribble," said Ajaccio boss Olivier Pantaloni.

The Gambia captain Pa Modou Jagne has re-signed for Swiss side FC Zurich after his previous contract with the club ended at the end of last season.

The 29-year-old defender has 61 appearances for Zurich since joining them in 2017 from Swiss rivals FC Sion.

Jagne's immediate task is to help his country in their 2022 World Cup preliminary qualifiers against Angola.

Portuguese Primeira Liga side Sporting Braga have signed Nigeria midfielder Uche Agbo from Belgian club Standard Liege on loan for the 2019/20 season.

The 23-year-old former Granada and Watford player spent the second-half of last season on loan at Spanish club Rayo Vallecano.

Another Nigerian on the move is youth international Kingsley Michael, who has joined Italian Serie B club U.S. Cremonese on a season-long loan from top side Bologna.

The midfielder, 20, made his Serie A debut for Bologna against Hellas Verona last weekend, but makes a swift return to the Italian second tier.

Michael won the Under-17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2015 and played all four matches as the Flying Eagles reach the second round at this year's U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Nigeria under-20 winger Maxwell Effiom has signed a three-year contract with Norwegian division two club Sandnes Ulf from former African champions Enyimba.

Effiom, 19, represented his country at both this year's Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger and then the Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

Italian club Fiorentina have taken Algeria winger Rachid Ghezzal on a season-long loan from English Premier League side Leicester City.

Ghezzal, who joined Leicester from Monaco in 2017, played 23 times for Leicester last season, scoring three goals.

The 27-year-old missed out on the Algeria squad for their victorious 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Algeria midfielder Hicham Boudaoui has signed for French Ligue 1 side Nice from Algerian club Paradou FC.

The details of the deal for the 19-year-old were not given on the Nice website.

Boudaoui was part of the Algeria squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, making two appearances for the Fennecs in 3-0 wins over Tanzania and Guinea.

He is Nice's sixth new signing and the joins his international team-mates Adam Ounas and Youcef Atal at the club.

Monday 2 September:

Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou in action for Istanbul Basaksehir
Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou won the 2011 league title in France with Lille

The Senegal football fraternity are mourning the death of former international Mamadou Teuw, who died on Saturday after long illness at the age 59.

He was part of the same generation as the late Jules Bocande and helped Senegal to qualify for the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after 18 years absence.

Four years later Teuw helped Senegal to reach the semi-finals of the Nations Cup, when they were eliminated by hosts Algeria.

Among the clubs he featured for were Senegal's Casa Sports as well as Club Brugge and Charleroi in Belgium.

South African winger Gift Links has sealed a five-year deal with Danish top tier club Aarhus from Cape Town City.

The 20-year-old, who is a product of Platinum Stars youth set up, has left his native country for an undisclosed club record fee.

He has already featured four times for Cape Town FC this season and is delighted to switch to Europe.

"I had heard good things about the chairman John Comitis. I knew Cape Town City is the club that could take me to Europe. I developed so much here, I can't thank the club enough," he said on social media.

Cameroon defender Aurelien Chedjou is to make a comeback in Ligue 1 as he has joined Amiens on a two-year deal from Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir.

The 34-year-old has already made two appearances in the Turkish top-flight this season.

His first stint in France was with the former French champions Lille where he spent six seasons and won the league in 2011.

He has featured 47 times for Cameroon including at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups as well as the 2010 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Sunday 1 September:

Former French champions Monaco have sent Mali international Adama Traore on loan to rivals Metz for the rest of the season.

The 24-year-old has already featured twice in Ligue 1 for Monaco this season.

This is Traore's third loan spell since joining Monaco from Lille four years ago.

Traore, who has won 12 caps with Mali, featured in all the Eagles' four games at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, scoring a goal in their 4-1 victory over debutants Mauritania in their opening match.

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