Posts Tagged ‘ Africa ’

World Cup 2014: Predictions For Every Team

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With the kick-off of World Cup 2014 now less than a week away, the excitement is starting to build. Coverage of the event is starting to really pick up, as the footballing world gets ready for the beginning of it’s biggest event of any calendar year. With that in mind, I would like to put forward my predictions for every team and how they will fare, including all the teams who will fall at the group stage hurdle, all the way on to who I predict will be the eventual winners.

Group stage eliminations

Cameroon

The most likely victim of what is a very tough draw, Cameroon seem like long shots to emerge from Group A. Hosts Brazil, potential dark horses Croatia and Mexico make up the rest of the group, and it may well prove too much for Cameroon to claim enough points to sneak in to the knockout stages. An experienced squad led by captain Samuel Eto’o as well as veterans Alex Song and Jean Makoun, Cameroon also boast young defensive talent in Nicolas N’Koulou and Joel Matip. Unfortunately for them, it seems unlikely that they will prove good enough to edge out two of the other teams, and so it looks like three games and out for Cameroon.

Mexico

It looks quite likely that Brazil and Croatia will emerge from this group, especially if the Croatians can get a point in the tournament’s inaugural match. Mexico had a very ugly qualifying campaign to even reach Brazil, finishing fourth in their group, behind the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras. They eventually beat New Zealand comfortably in a play-off, but it does not augur well for them in such a tough group. Still, Mexico boast a very experienced squad, with the likes of Rafael Marquez still around to organise them. If the likes of Javier Hernandez (who has a scoring rate of better than one every two games for his country) catches fire, then maybe they have a shot. But all signs point to an early exit for Mexico.

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World Cup 2014: The Dark Horses

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Yesterday, we had a good look at the four teams most likely to win the upcoming World Cup. What we have yet to touch on is one of the most lively debates before any international tournament. Who will be the team who emerges from nowhere to thrill the crowds and cause a few upsets along the way? Is there a team from lower down the international pecking order who can surprise us all and go all the way? Usually there is at least one team who overachieves in these competitions, and calling them right is often the difference between winning and losing the fantasy football wars, so here we will look at four teams who could potentially go from dark horses to World Cup champions in the space of a few weeks in June. Continue reading

World Cup 2014: The Favourites

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2014 is shaping up to be a great year for football. With exciting finishes ahead in the Premier League and La Liga, both of whom are currently topped by pre-season outsiders with only a few games to go, and a couple of exciting ties remaining in the Champions League, it will be a year to remember. There is, of course, a World Cup coming straight after the end of the club season, so quality football will continue well into the middle of the summer. Here, in the first of a two part special, we will examine the favourites for the competition, who look set to take Brazil 2014 by storm. Continue reading

The Life And Times Of Nelson Mandela

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Former South African President and anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela passed away late last night at the age of 95.

He leaves behind an unforgettable legacy and one that firmly cements him among the most influential men in history.

Here, we take a look at the life of Madiba from his early days right up until yesterday evening. 

July 18, 1918 Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela near Qunu, in Transkei (now Eastern Cape), the youngest son of a counsellor to the chief of his Thembu clan.

1944 – Founds African National Congress (ANC) Youth League with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.

Marries his first wife Evelyn. They had a daughter and two sons and were divorced in 1957.

1952 – Mandela and others arrested and charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. Given suspended prison sentence.

Elected deputy national president of ANC.

1958 – Marries Winnie Madikizela. They separated in April 1992 and were divorced about four years later.

1960 – Sharpeville Massacre of black protesters by police. Continue reading

Basketball : Neptune And Killester Battle Tops Busy Weekend

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The Irish Basketball season is now well and truly up and running with the first round of the U20 National Cup taking place last weekend. This weekend on the underage basketball scene, Galway is set to be the host venue for the 2013 Inter regional competition.  This is a yearly tournament where the very best players from each of the nine regions around Ireland compete in front of Irish coaches. With Irish international places up for grabs it always proves to be an exciting weekend of basketball for all involved.

In other news that has been announced over the past few days, Killester revealed an exciting new initiative for the remainder of their season. The club unveiled on their website that they are set to broadcast all Killester basketball Premier League games on the club’s website. The commentators were also revealed with broadcaster and journalist Declan King taking the reigns. King is set to be assisted in the commentary box by American Todd James who is also a former Killester Head Coach. Continue reading

Ten Crucial Moments In European World Cup Qualifiers

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With the nine automatic 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualification spots sealed in Europe, plus the eight contenders in the upcoming play-offs known, for many it is hard not to think how different it all could have been.

The final matchday of the European qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup saw group winners Bosnia-Herzegovina,England,Russia and Spain join already qualified Belgium,Italy,Germany,Netherlands and Switzerland on the plane to Brazil. Continue reading

Irish Born Terrorist May Be Dead Following Kenya Attack

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An Irish born woman and “two or three Americans” are among the militants who took part in an attack on a shopping centre in Nairobi which has killed 62 people.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed confirmed al Shabaab fighters were responsible for the attack and fuelled speculation that Samantha Lewthwaite , who was born in Banbridge, County Down , was involved in the attack. Continue reading

The Goggle Box : The End Is Nigh Mr. White

Episode 14 - "Ozymandias"

Episode 14 – “Ozymandias”

What is left to say? Fans of “Breaking Bad” can rest assured that they have just witnessed the greatest hour of television history this week, make no mistake about that. That there’s two hours to go is nearly torturous, such is the fear that even this gang of bandits could sully the memory of this TV event. It should be done deal by now guys, but seriously, SPOILERS BELOW. Continue reading

North Africa “A Magnet for Jihadists” Claims Cameron

 

dcDavid Cameron’s recent parliamentary address following the end of the hostage situation in Algeria discussed the ever increasing volatility of the north-western region of Africa. The recent stirrings in the region suggested a migrated threat; much of the Jihadist threat used to stem from places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, and still do to some extent, but Cameron now feels that the region in Africa is “a magnet for Jihadists”. Continue reading

A Look at the Degeneration of Mali: the Military Coup and Barbarism

Islamic Jihadist groups have capitalized on Mali’s weak political situation to place themselves, by force, in power in northern Mali. In an area as vast as France the Islamic rebels have imposed strict Shariah, and as a result, it is reported that almost half a million people have been forced to flee their homes. Those who have stayed are subject to the imposed Islamic law; women are advised to stay indoors, smoking is punishable by whipping, alcohol is forbidden, theft (supposed) is punishable by amputation of the hand, which happened to a man some 2 weeks ago in Ansongo, and adultery is punishable by stoning to death, a fate which befell a couple some weeks ago in Bamako. The parents had a number of children, the youngest just 6 months…

As if forcing your barbaric religious law upon a peaceful region wasn’t awful enough, the group Ansar Dine recently demolished an ancient mosque in the historic city of Timbuktu. In what was reminiscent of the destruction of the OldBridge in Mostar, Bosnia, by Catholic Croats, members of the Islamic group, armed with axes, destroyed the building that was of great cultural importance to the region. “It’s very simple: it doesn’t correspond to the rules of Islam…What doesn’t correspond to Islam, we will correct”, said Sanda Ould Boumana, a spokesperson for Ansar Dine.

 

The Military and the Coup

A military coup in the south of the country in March has meant that the Islamic groups, Ansar Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), have been able to descend upon the region and impose Shariah. The military staged a coup to overthrow the democratically elected government of Mali and to drive President Amadou Toumani Toure into exile. The coup left the northern territories vulnerable and the Islamic groups seized upon this niche. Some have said that Mali was a beacon of hope in Africa, the government being democratic and secular, but the truth is that the country was wrought with corruption. The question is posed whether it is justifiable to overthrow a democratically elected government by force? This raises some rather thorny questions; is it justifiable to leave such a corrupt government in place?  The trend of military coups has been an exponential prevalence in the past century. More often than not corrupt governments are replaced by a newly appointed government, but a new government with pro-military individuals taking seats in cabinet. And some may suggest this is what is happening in Mali. On Monday (20/08) a new government was appointed. Of the 31 ministers, 5 of them are perceived to be close associates of coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo.

In an article in March for Al Jazeera William Moseley wrote of the transition of the government following the coup, “If we are charitable and assume the best, then Sanogo may be a well-intentioned subaltern who unwillingly led a coup because he was fed up with rampant corruption, improper support of the military, and the declining welfare of the Malian people… Sadly, however, the ends do not justify the means. Coups are steely, double-edged swords, as one violent transition of power opens the door for yet another transition of power”.

The timing is somewhat suspicious. An upcoming election was due to be held some months after the coup. Instead of a coup, the military could have focused their efforts on eliminating the threat of militant Islamic groups in the north and let the civilian masses vote in the upcoming free elections. Their decision to undercut the government early may well suggest their intention to increase their influence in the cabinet.

The Northern Situation

Whatever the intentions of the military the threat of religious fundamentalism in the north is critical. The newly appointed government has stated the main concern is the situation in the north. The situation is indeed urgent; the groups, mainly Ansar Dine which is aligned with the Taliban, controls almost two-thirds of the country. The military commander of Ansar Dine, Omar Ould Hamaha, has said, “When we have finished conquering France, we will come to the USA, we will come to London and conquer the whole world…The banner of Muhammed will be raised from where the sun rises in the east to where it sets in the west”. The democratic and secular country of Mali has some work to do to rid its northern territory of these barbaric terrorist who hold imposed governance over the people and who seek to spread their horrific law. The newly appointed government of Mali also needs to counteract deep seeded corruption within the cabinet and may need to seek external assistance to aid them in the re-generation of their country, and the fight against barbarism in the north.

Shuki Sadan Byrne (22/08/2012).

Find Willaim Moseley’s Article Here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/2012331124714249529.html