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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Australian striker Andrew Nabbout looks
for quick comeback after shoulder injury

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Australia striker Andrew Nabbout hasn’t given up the hope of being able to help his side qualify for the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup in their make-or-break match against Peru on Tuesday, despite dislocating his shoulder on Thursday.

The 25-year-old fell badly in the closing minutes of Australia’s impressive 1-1 draw against Denmark in Samara and was forced off the pitch.

It is the second shoulder injury he has suffered in a month, after also dislocating his shoulder while playing in the J-League in May, but rather than seeing that as a sign that his World Cup is over, Nabbout believes it could actually help him make a rapid recovery.

"They say the second time the recovery is a bit quicker," he said on the website Socceroos.com.

"When I landed on my shoulder, it just popped out, but it’s nothing I haven’t felt before.

"I will be all right, its fine now and there is no pain, so I will start rehab and see how we go from here," added the striker.

"Hopefully this time being the second time, it recovers a little bit quicker and we can go again."

"I have always got positive thoughts in my mind.

"Hopefully if I rehab it quick enough, anything can happen, I rehabbed pretty quick from the last one," he said.

Although they have just one point from their opening two games in the tournament, the Australians would still make the last 16 if they can beat Peru and Denmark lose to France and the Australians are able to overtake Peru on goal differences.

Denmark currently have a plus one goal average, while Australia’s is minus one, meaning a 2-0 win for the Aussies and a 1-0 defeat for Denmark would see Australia into the last 16.

However, if the Aussies win 1-0 and Denmark lose 1-0, then goals scored would come into consideration and if that too comes even, fair play would be the deciding factor with the side having the fewest yellow cards progressing to the next round.
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Ex-Arsenal, Cote d’Ivoire star Eboue downplays VAR at World Cup

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Former Cote d’Ivoire and Arsenal FC defender Emmanuel Eboue has said the use of the VAR system at the on-going 2018 FIFA World Cup is eroding the fun and of football.

"This VAR system is not nice at all.

"Can you imagine where a referee has to run and consult the camera to be able to award a penalty or not.

"This is not nice at all," Eboue told Xinhua during an interview on Saturday at the Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala.

Eboue and former Senegal international Ibrahima Sonko are in Uganda to share their experiences and encourage youngsters in football academies.

The newly introduced video assistant referee (VAR) is a team centralized in the video operation room that supports the match officials.

The VAR does not take any decisions but supports the referee in the decision-making process and the final decision can only be taken by the referee.

Eboue said although some people around football have supported VAR that it brings about justice and quality of the game, the Cote d’Ivoire former player said instead it creates boredom in the beautiful game of football.

"Football should be left with that element of a human being judging and not running to cameras to judge.

"Football must be enjoyed freely because at the end of the day not all mistakes will be picked out," he added.

Speaking about the performance of African teams at the on-going World Cup in Russia, Eboue said with Egypt and Morocco already out, the likes of Senegal and Nigeria who have each won one game should up their game.

"Our teams should step up especially in defense because we do so many bad mistakes.

"World Cup is not about chance," added Eboue.

Africa is represented by Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal and the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"Already Egypt lost two matches to Uruguay 1-0 and Russia 3-1, while Morocco fell 1-0 to lowly ranked Iran before suffering another similar defeat to Portugal on Wednesday.

The other two teams Tunisia fell 2-1 to England, while the Super Eagles of Nigeria lost 2-0 to Croatia before beating Iceland 2-0. Senegal defeated Poland 2-1 in their opening game.

           

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