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 By Mark Gleeson

Renard's Morocco to face familiar foe in Ivory Coast in Africa Cup of Nations

Herve Renard and Morocco will meet the Ivory Coast, Togo and DR Congo in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Morocco manager Herve Renard was always going to be a central figure at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He's chasing an unprecedented third title with three different countries after winning the tournament twice before with Zambia (2012) and the Ivory Coast (2015). 

But after Wednesday's draw for the 2017 finals, conducted during an elaborate ceremony in Libreville, Gabon, there will be even more focus on the manager with the Midas touch.

Morocco, who qualified without much problem but in rather...

 By Mark Gleeson

Mamelodi Sundowns on the brink of being deserved African champions

Players of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate after winning the first leg of the African Champions League final vs. Zamalek 3-0.

Mamelodi Sundowns might have crept in the back door, but they are now close to blowing down the house after a performance on Saturday that puts them within touching distance of winning the African Champions League.

Much has been made of how the South African club were eliminated from the competition before the group phase and then granted a reprieve when their Congolese opponents were found to have used a defaulter.

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane was only half joking when he compared his side to...

 By Mark Gleeson

Iheanacho, Iwobi give Nigeria hope as Super Eagles bid for World Cup place

The ESPN FC crew discuss whether Alex Iwobi can win the Golden Boy award.

It was only a few months ago Nigerian football was enveloped in crisis with the elimination from the running for the African Nations Cup. 

But fortune turns quickly in football and after Africa's opening weekend of the group phase of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup finals, it is the Super Eagles who look the most promising candidates for Russia.

The exciting pairing of Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi holds much promise at a difficult time for Nigerian football administration.

Sunday's 2-1...

 By Mark Gleeson

World Cup qualifying: Africa's entrants on the road to Russia 2018

Yaya Toure and many of Ivory Coast's Golden Generation will be missing from World Cup qualifying.

There are no obvious omissions from the list of 20 countries who begin the final phase of World Cup qualification in Africa in a straightforward process that will take the next 13 months to complete.

Divided into five groups of four, only the winners will go on to fill the continent's places at the World Cup finals in Russia.

It is a strong lineup that represents a good chance for Africa to improve its performances at the finals and strengthen a case for more places at future tournaments.

To date,...

 By Mark Gleeson

Egypt's Zamalek look to lift attendance restrictions ahead of CAF final

Zamalek celebrates
Zamalek will face Mamelodi Sundowns in the African Champions League final this month.

When it comes to African club competition regulations, the host team always have the option to decide the date, venue and kickoff time of fixtures. A match can take place anytime between Friday and Sunday on the designated weekend, but the club must inform both the organisers and their visitors of the details at least two weeks beforehand.

However, that is not why the second leg of this year's African Champions League final -- set to take place the weekend of October 21-23 -- has yet to be confirmed.


 By Mark Gleeson

Leicester's Mahrez should be shoo-in for 2016 African Footballer of the Year

Riyad Mahrez
After winning the 2015-16 Premier League title, Riyad Mahrez looks a safe bet for African Footballer of the Year.

Soon, the Confederation of African Football will begin to ballot its member associations for the African Footballer of the Year award. Both national team coaches (or in many cases technical directors) and team captains will have their say in a process that largely mirrors that of the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Like the FIFA accolade, Africa's award was also started by France Football magazine in 1970. However, it was taken over by the CAF when the French lost interest in 1994 and has not been run well since.