Jul 17, 2018 Last Updated 2:58 PM, Jul 12, 2018
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The Confederation of African Football (Caf) will give US$500,000 to each the of the continent's World Cup teams.

Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia will receive the money ahead of next year's finals in Russia.

"The financial package will be used in order mainly to strengthen and improve the technical supervision of each team," a Caf statement read.

The move is the first decision taken by a special committee set up to work with the five qualifiers.

The ad hoc committee chaired by the Caf vice-president, Kwesi Nyantakyi from Ghana, met for the first time ahead of the World Cup draw in Russia on 1 December.

The other committee also has Caf executive committee member Kalusha Bwalya and presidents of the five presidents of the football associations of the World Cup-bound teams.

In addition, Caf will provide each nation with specialised technology to help measure the physical performances of sportsmen and women.

 

Italy have sacked coach Giampiero Ventura after the four-time champions failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

The Azzurri lost a play-off with Sweden 1-0 on aggregate to spell the end of 69-year-old Ventura's 17-month tenure.

Ventura said his record was "one of the best of the last 40 years".

"I lost only two games in two years," he told Italian television show Le Iene before the Italian Football Federation fired him on Wednesday.

Ventura replaced Antonio Conte in June 2016, and was described as a "master of football" by Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio.

However, Italy took one point out of a possible six against Spain in qualifying and also drew at home to Macedonia.

"I can only apologise to the Italians, not for the will or effort but for the result, which as I know is the main thing," said former Napoli and Sampdoria boss Ventura after Italy's World Cup hopes were ended.

When he was appointed he was given a two-year deal which would have taken him to the end of the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

At the time, Tavecchio called Ventura an "innovative" coach with "limitless experience" who had helped many players reach the national side.

More than 20 police officers were injured in Brussels when celebrations over Morocco's qualification for football's World Cup turned violent.

The Moroccan national side qualified for the 2018 tournament in Russia with a 2-0 victory away to Ivory Coast on Saturday, topping their group.

Belgium has a large Moroccan community and fans hit the capital's streets after the game.

Damage included a burnt car, smashed glass and looted shops, police said.

One witness posted video to Twitter of a water cannon being used on a crowd. Police said it was used on a group of about 300 people, some of whom were throwing stones.

Calm had returned by 21:30 local time (20:30 GMT), a reporter for the AFP news agency said.

Belgium’s Interior Minister Jan Jambon condemned the riots, tweeting (in French) that they constituted "unacceptable aggression in the centre of Brussels".

He added: "Living together means respect, also for the police who are committed to our safety day and night."

In the Netherlands too, large groups of fans from Morocco or of Moroccan background celebrated in the streets. Some celebrations there turned violent, with the police in The Hague tweeting (in Dutch) that some people threw things at officers.

In Rotterdam, dancing fans set off flares in red and green, Morocco's colours.

Meanwhile in Morocco itself thousands of fans celebrated in the streets of Marrakesh, Casablanca and other cities.

South Africa may appeal against Fifa's decision to order a replay of the World Cup qualifier against Senegal because of "match manipulation" by the referee.

South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 at home last November but match referee Joseph Lamptey has since been banned for life.

Neither South Africa nor Senegal are accused of any wrongdoing.

"We're grappling for answers and asking Fifa for them before we decide whether to take the matter forward," said South African FA lawyer Norman Arendse.

Arendse, who chairs the legal committee of the South African Football Association (Safa), says his organisation has never been advised by football's world governing body how the match was fixed.

"Safa cannot accept (the game was manipulated) because we have got absolutely no details of the alleged manipulation, what the nature of it was and what it all involved," he told BBC World Service's Newsday programme.

"Is (the referee) just a corrupt individual? Was he bribed by a third party outside of the match to influence the outcome? We just don't know.

"That is the most unpalatable thing for us - to accept an outcome to which we should have been party. We've never ever been called upon to put our side of the story in relation to the game."

 

Egypt gained revenge for Friday's defeat in Kampala by beating Uganda 1-0 in Alexandria to leapfrog their opponents at the top of Group E.

Mohamed Salah scored the winner after six minutes, netting at the second attempt after Uganda goalkeeper Dennis Onyango blocked his first effort.

Onyango's saves kept Uganda in the tie.

There were huge celebrations at the end among Egyptians, who have not been to the World Cup since 1990 despite winning four African titles since.

The North Africans now have nine points, Uganda seven, while Ghana - who have appeared at the last three World Cups - lie in third with five points after thumping Congo 5-1 in Brazzaville.

Congo, with just one point, can no longer qualify for next year's tournament in Russia.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey hit a hat-trick to inspire Ghana to their first win in the group - at the fourth time of asking - which came four days after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by the same opponents.

Partey, 24, scored his first international goal in that game.

Richmond Boakye grabbed a brace while Ukraine-born Vladis Illoy Ayyet scored a consolation for Congo.

Congo had started the game in Brazzaville strongly but were overpowered after Ghana opened the scoring against the run of play after 23 minutes through Boakye, with Partey doubling that lead just three minutes later.

In a topsy-turvy spell just before half-time, Illoy Ayyet scored his first goal for Congo after 43 minutes only for Partey to spin cleverly and fire home Christian Atsu's pass from a tight angle in first-half stoppage time.

With 21 minutes left on the clock, Partey resembled a seasoned striker as he lashed into the top corner after 69 minutes to seal his hat-trick.

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