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 By Mark Gleeson

DR Congo on the rise, eye World Cup spot under Florent Ibenge

Ibenge is tasked with restoring Congolese football and so far, the signs are promising.

Looking back into World Cup history, Zaire's appearance at the 1974 finals in West Germany is frequently the subject of ridicule. Their 9-0 thrashing by Yugoslavia in Gelsenkirchen is widely regarded as a day of shame for the African game and the rest of the performance by the central Africans left little positive impression. The Leopards were the first black African country to compete on the game's ultimate stage but that breakthrough had a negative consequence for the perception of football on...

 By Colin Udoh

Iwobi, Simon show promise but Nigeria reeling from CAF awards snub

Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo and his Nigeria teammates have been overlooked from the Confederation for African Football's shortlist.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Nigerian players were absent from the Confederation for African Football's (CAF) shortlist of five finalists for its Player of the Year award this week.

Algeria and Leicester duo Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani, Liverpool and Senegal forward Sadio Mane, and Roma and Egypt's Mohamed Salah are the players in contention, along with current holder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, of Gabon and Borussia Dortmund

The snub marks an embarrassing trend for Nigeria, a country that...

 By Mark Gleeson

Egypt icon Essam El Hadary bids for ANC, the World Cup and world record

Essam El Hadary, 43, is bidding for African Nations Cup glory and World Cup qualification with Egypt.

If you were asked to guess the age of the goalkeeper with jet black hair and matinee idol looks standing between the sticks for Egypt, you would likely be astonished to find Essam El Hadary is now 43.

A clean sheet against Ghana earlier this month in a vital World Cup qualifier in Alexandria was the latest achievement for a player whose international career has now exceeded two decades.

The game was his 145th for Egypt since his debut against South Korea in March 1996 and if he continues as Hector...

 By Mark Gleeson

Moses, Mikel lift Nigeria to win as Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana falter

Victor Moses scored a brace in Nigeria's 3-1 win over Algeria in World Cup qualifying.

Four countries kept up their 100 percent starts to the group phase of African World Cup qualifiers at the weekend, but it's a mediocre showing from a trio of 2014 finalists that's drawing the most attention.

Algeria, Cameroon and Ghana all sit in perilous positions after two rounds of matches, with four more still to come before group winners are decided. Just five representatives from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will start making plans for Russia 2018. Algeria suffered a 3-1 away...

 By Mark Gleeson

Milovan Rajevac among exits as Africa gets twitchy in World Cup qualifying

Algeria coach Milovan Rajevac was among the list of exits following the latest round of World Cup qualifying.

There will be more than just one manager looking over his shoulder this weekend during the latest round of World Cup qualifiers in Africa, after a high profile list of departures characterised the opening round of group matches in October.

Algeria, Gabon and Libya all sacked their coaches in the wake of disappointing results at the start of the final phase of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup and the respective football associations could target a few more casualties if they are not pleased with...

 By Mark Gleeson

Gabon's sacking of Jorge Costa is history repeating itself in Africa

Gabon's coach head Jorge Costa makes a point from the sideline during their African Cup of Nations Group A soccer match against Equatorial Guinea in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.
Gabon sacked Jorge Costa just months before the African Nations Cup, a surprisingly common move from African federations.

The firing of Jorge Costa by Gabon just 70 days before they host the African Nations Cup continues a sorry tale of panicked and knee-jerk decision making by African football federations. Changing the coach so near to a major event is nothing new to the continent. But, sadly, it has rarely produced the desired results and on most occasions achieved little more than highlighting the foolhardiness of trigger-happy officials.

Gabon's new coach will be Jose Antonio Garrido, who does have some insider...