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Table Tennis: Egypt Shocks Nigeria To Pick Paris 2024 Olympic Games Tickets in Tunis



Egypt swept up the tickets at stake for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after beating Nigeria in the final of the team event at the 2023 ITTF African Championships taking place in Tunis, Tunisia.

The Egyptian ladies were the first to pick their ticket as they handed out a 3-0 defeat to Nigeria in the final.

From the start of the tournament Nigeria and Egypt remained unbeaten as they maintained their 100 per cent record without dropping any set.

But in the final, it was the Egyptians who dominated with Dina Meshref, Hana Goda and Marwa Alhodaby beating the trio of Fatimo Bello, Offiong Edem and Olufunke Oshonaike.

The one-sided encounter once again witnessed the dominance of Egypt in the continent as the North Africans qualified for their third consecutive Olympic Games at the expense of Nigeria.

An elated Goda said she was happy that they claimed the sole ticket while hoping that the Egyptian team would claim more medals at the continental showpiece.

The men’s final was well contested by Egypt and Nigeria but the Egyptians came out victorious with a 3-1 win.

With the conclusion of the team competition, all eyes are now fixed on the mixed doubles event where another Olympics ticket is at stake.

Meanwhile, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) have commended the Tunisia Table Tennis Federation (TTTF) for the excellent job they have done hosting the ongoing 26th ITTF African Championships.

The global and continental bodies showered the accolades on the TTTF at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the ATTF held on Thursday, September 14, 2023 in Tunis, Tunisia.

The TTTF was adjudged the most active member association in 2022 for its superb staging of several ITTF and WTT tournaments coupled with the performance of Tunisian players in global competitions.

Speaking on behalf of the ITTF, Executive Vice President of the world table tennis ruling body, Prof. Alaa Meshref, declared: “We are impressed with what Tunisia has put up in staging the African Championships. Their professionalism coupled with organisation has made the tournament one of the best to be staged this year.

“There is no doubt that Tunisia has gained from their experience of hosting several WTT events in the last two years and this is manifesting in their performance in hosting this tournament. The quality of organisation has raised hope for Africa to host top-level tournaments. Coming from the success of the World Championships in Durban, South Africa, Tunisia has shown that this kind of organisation would serve as a catalyst for Africa to be considered as a good host in future events.”

Similarly, ATTF President, Khaled El-Salhy was full of appreciation to the Tunisians for their warm reception and a hitch-free tournament.

El-Salhy urged other African nations to take a cue from the Lotfi Guerfel-led TTTF in terms of staging world-class competitions.

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Int’l Friendlies: FIFA appoints referees, VAR officials for Eagles, Saudi Arabia game




World football-governing body, FIFA has appointed Portuguese official Luis Godinho as referee for the international friendly match between three-time African champions Nigeria and Asian giants Saudi Arabia, coming up at the Estadio Municipal de Portimão next week Friday.

Godinho will be assisted by compatriots Bruno Jesus (assistant referee 1), Tiago Costa (assistant referee 2) and Miguel Noguera (fourth official) at the match kicking off by 5pm Portugal time (same time as in Nigeria).

Also appointed are Helder Carvalho to head the situation in the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) room, to be assisted by Bruno Vieira.

It is the second-ever clash between both countries. The Super Eagles and the Green Falcons battled to a scoreless draw in a pre-2010 FIFA World Cup friendly game at the Alpenstadion in Wattens, Austria on 25th May 2010.

The Eagles have another friendly encounter against the Mambas of Mozambique at the same venue on Monday, 16th October 2023, starting at 4pm.

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Argentina, Spain among six countries to host 2030 World Cup




A unique 2030 World Cup is set to be played in Europe and Africa with the surprising addition of South America in a deal to allow the men’s soccer tournament to start with a 100th birthday celebration in Uruguay.

FIFA reached an agreement Wednesday between soccer’s continental leaders to accept only one candidate for hosting the 2030 tournament, the sport’s governing body said.

The Spain-Portugal bid grew to add Morocco this year and now also includes long-time bid rivals Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

A key lure of the unprecedented three-continent project will open in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, where the Centenario Stadium hosted the inaugural 1930 World Cup final.

“The centennial World Cup could not be far from South America, where everything began,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American soccer body CONMEBOL. “The 2030 World Cup will be played in three continents.”

The consensus reached by once-rival soccer continents also let FIFA fast-track opening the 2034 World Cup bidding contest Wednesday which is limited to member federations from Asia and Oceania.

Argentina became three-time world champions when they won the tournament in Qatar last year. Juan Ignacio Roncoroni/EFE via ZUMA Press
“In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“The FIFA Council, representing the entire world of football, unanimously agreed to celebrate the centenary of the FIFA World Cup, whose first edition was played in Uruguay in 1930, in the most appropriate way.

“As a result, a celebration will take place in South America and three South American countries — Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay — will organise one match each of the FIFA World Cup 2030. The first of these three matches will of course be played at the stadium where it all began, in Montevideo’s mythical Estádio Centenário, precisely to celebrate the centenary edition of the FIFA World Cup.”

“The FIFA Council also agreed unanimously that the only bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2030 will be the joint bid of Morocco, Portugal and Spain,” the FIFA president added. “Two continents — Africa and Europe — united not only in a celebration of football but also in providing unique social and cultural cohesion. What a great message of peace, tolerance and inclusion.

“In 2030, we will have a unique global footprint, three continents — Africa, Europe and South America — six countries — Argentina, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay — welcoming and uniting the world while celebrating together the beautiful game, the centenary and the FIFA World Cup.”

Saudi Arabia has targeted the 2034 edition and Australia also is interested after successfully co-hosting the Women’s World Cup this year with New Zealand.

The FIFA Council’s acceptance of a unified 2030 candidacy still needs formal approval next year at a meeting of the 211 member federations. That should be just a formality.

The 48-team, 104-game tournament scheduled for June-July 2030 is expected to start with games in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay before the action moves to the core host nations Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

The South American co-host bid has been promoted since the 2018 World Cup in Russia and had included Chile, which was not mentioned Wednesday.

Ukraine also was added to the European bid a year ago at a news conference at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland. However, Ukraine has not been mentioned in official comments about the UEFA-backed bid this year.

The first 48-team men’s World Cup will be hosted in 2026 by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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UK, Ireland sole bidder for Euro 2028 after Turkey withdraws




The UK and Ireland will host Euro 2028 – subject to final approval from UEFA’s executive committee next week – after Turkey withdrew its interest.

The five-nation bid is now the only option on the table for the finals in five years’ time after Turkey pulled out of contention for the 2028 finals to focus on a joint bid with Italy for Euro 2032.

UEFA will formally announce the hosts for the two tournaments following a meeting of its executive committee in Switzerland next week.

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