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 By Mark Gleeson

Minnows take centre stage as CAF Champions League kicks off

The race to become 2016 CAF Champions League winners begins this weekend in the preliminary round of qualifying.
The race to become 2016 CAF Champions League winners begins this weekend in the preliminary round of qualifying.

Nimba United continue not only their fairy tale ascent to the top tier of the African game when they will participate in African Champions League this weekend, but also celebrate a return to normality for football in Liberia.

The country was one of three in west Africa banned from hosting any international football after the outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014. Some 10 months later Liberia was the first to have the ban lifted once the country had been declared disease free.

Liberia's national...

 By Colin Udoh

Sunday Oliseh outburst has put him in a tough spot as Nigeria manager

Nigeria head coach Sunday Oliseh had every reason to smile following his team's 4-1 thrashing of Niger.
Sunday Oliseh is settling nicely as Nigeria manager but his recent tirade on YouTube could harm his position.

When Sunday Oliseh began his tenure as Nigeria coach, one of the things that the local media celebrated was his social media savvy. Oliseh is the only one of his contemporaries who is actively present on at Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

One of the reasons his use of social media offered cause for celebration was the way it would put the national coach front and centre for a younger, tech savvy demographic. However, the big elephant in the room was the lingering danger of potential disaster --...

 By Mark Gleeson

Cape Verde emerging as a power in African football

Cape Verde are hoping to reach their first World Cup in 2018 in Russia.
Cape Verde are hoping to reach their first World Cup in 2018 in Russia.

FIFA's latest rankings have the Cape Verde Islands up to 33rd place in world football and a remarkable second on the African continent, below the Ivory Coast but above the other heavyweights of the continent, like Algeria, Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria. It is a most extraordinary achievement for one of the continent's smallest countries.

The island archipelago has a population of just over 500,000, have only a semi-professional domestic league and had not even competed in major tournament qualifiers...

 By Colin Udoh

Emmanuel Emenike has the talent for his latest challenge at West Ham

Emmanuel Emenike has taken a circuitous route to the Premier League but he could make an impact at West Ham.

Emmanuel Emenike's winter move to West Ham is one that came out of left field, at least, for Nigerian football fans. But the 28-year-old striker's 2016 appears to be taking a cue from his 2015, which proved to be a year of surprises.

Pushed out of Fenerbahce given a loss of form and dwindling goal return, the forward surprised his countrymen by heading off to the Gulf club Al-Ain on loan for what appeared to be a big payday. It was not the move many expected, given his status as an elder statesman...

 By Mark Gleeson

Top African transfer moves: Adebayor, Gervinho, Boussoufa, Erasmus

Alan Pardew feels Emmanuel Adebayor only needs a little love in order to rediscover his old form.

With sales of players from African clubs to the lucrative leagues of Europe, and now China too, becoming ever scarcer there were still a few deals involving the continent's stars in January. Here, we look at some of the best African moves of the transfer window.

Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo) -- Crystal Palace, free transfer

As their league form hits a rough patch, it did not take Palace manager Alan Pardew long to get the Togo striker back on the field for the first time since May. Adebayor came on as...

 By Colin Udoh

Nigeria must improve development of domestic players

Two great goals with connections to Nigeria were scored in the past week. Tottenham's Dele Alli cracked in a volley packing all the trappings of a serious contender for goal of the season in the Premier League.

In another continent, Chisom Chikatara also pulled a rabbit of his goalscoring hat with a stupendous volley, one of three goals he scored in a 20-minute spell as Nigeria's Super Eagles blitzed past neighbours Niger, 4-1, at the African Nations' Championship, a tournament for players who...