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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya champions Gor release 2018 CAF Champions League squad

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Premier League champions Gor Mahia FC unveiled their final squad for the 2018 CAF Champions League on Wednesday.

The 1987 CAF Cup Winners Cup (Mandela Cup) champions, who are aiming at restoring their continental might this season under British head coach Dylan Kerr, will open their preliminary round charge against Equatorial Guinea titleholders, Leones Vegetarianos, early next month.

Gor, who stretched their domestic title-winning record to 16 last season, will miss the services of their longest serving player and captain, Musa Mohammed and midfielder, Kenneth Muguna, who are linked with a move to FK Tirana of Albania.

Also missing in the final Champions League list is Burundian international, Karim Nizigiyimana, who is nursing an injury suffered in a domestic match in the second leg of last season.

Head coach Dylan Kerr has included new signings Charles Momanyi, Wesley Onguso, Kevin Omondi, Humphrey Mieno, Bernard Ondiek, Lawrence Juma, Cercidy Okeyo, Samuel Onyango and Ivorian Ephrem Guikan in his squad as he seeks to restore continental glory at the 1987 Mandela Cup winners.

The first leg of the preliminary matches will be played on the weekend of Feb. 8 and 9 while the return fixture has been scheduled for a week later.

Kerr will be banking on Mieno, Kagere, Walusimbi, Oluoch, Shakava and Odhiambo who have experience on the continental stage to propel the record 16-time KPL champions to the next stage.

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UPDATE:

Uganda top Cecafa region in first 2018 FIFA rankings

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda have improved in the world FIFA rankings and also maintained their top position in the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa).

In the latest rankings released by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) on Thursday, Uganda moved two places better to 73rd out of the 211 members with 446 points.

Uganda’s improvement comes after they finished third in the 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup and also managed a 1-1 draw against Guinea in an international friendly early this month.

“We are happy to keep improving in the rankings because it shows that we are getting better and better,” Humphrey Mandu, the deputy Chief Executive Officer of the FA told Xinhua.

Uganda, who have won the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup a record 14 times, are also ranked 16th in the African continent. Kenya, who won the 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, are second in the Cecafa region and 105th in the world.

Rwanda, who are also playing at the on-going 2018 Africa Nations Championship, are third in the Cecafa region, while Sudan forth and Ethiopia fifth.

Rwanda, however, dropped by three places to 116th in the world with 282 points, and Sudan jumped a massive 12 places to 124th (260 points) as Ethiopia also improved by six places up to 137th with 213 points.

Tunisia, who improved by four places, are the best ranked African country and 23rd in the world with 915 points. They are among the five African nations that qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Senegal and Egypt are the other African countries that are ranked highly in the world at 24th and 30th.

Germany maintain the number one status quo with 1602 points, ahead of Brazil (1483), Portugal (1358), Argentina (1348) and Belgium (1325) as the top five countries in the world.

             

 

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