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South Africa’s BCI up in July
8 August 2018, 3:11 PM

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) says South Africa’s business confidence rose in July, with activity mainly supported by an increase in merchandise export volumes and retail sales as well as lower inflation.

SACCI’s monthly business confidence index (BCI) rose to 94 point seven in July from 93-point seven in June.

SACCI says there appears to be a return of confidence after a slump that followed the so called “Ramaphoria” period early this year.

Planning for Ronaldo might prove futile, says Morocco coach
20 June 2018, 1:51 PM

Even the best laid plans to limit the influence of Cristiano Ronaldo might not be enough for Morocco when they come up against Portugal at the World Cup in Moscow, coach Herve Renard said on the eve of the Group B game.

Morocco are looking for an upset win over the European champions at the Luzhniki Stadium to realistically keep alive their interest in the tournament but mindful that the genius of the Portugal captain could send them towards an early exit.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal’s opening 3-3 draw with Spain, while Morocco lost 1-0 to Iran who top the group.
Even if you conjure up the best plans to halt Ronaldo, he will find a way to break free. He always makes the difference, at the minimum to put his side on the right track and at best to win the game for them,” the French-born coach said on Tuesday.

“He’s absolutely outstanding, exceptional and we might not be good enough to keep him out. But we have to do our utmost to make him less exceptional tomorrow,” Renard added at a pre-match news conference on Tuesday.
The Morocco coach might consider taking a leaf out of Iceland’s play book after they had up to three players at times harrying Lionel Messi and restricting his ability to play.
It was a ploy that played a large part in the surprise 1-1 Group D draw that Iceland forced against Argentina on Saturday.
Well if you have three players watching Ronaldo, what about looking after their other players?” asked Renard.
They have so many attacking players, we are playing against European champions tomorrow. Don’t forget in the final of Euro 2016 against France, Ronaldo went off early in the game through injury and his team mates were still able to take the title.
“Obviously he’s a major player and, together with Messi, the biggest star in this tournament.
What we need to do, is get a good night’s sleep and if this is the last time in our careers that we play against Ronaldo, we need to be as good as possible,” Renard said.
Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Spain on Friday underlined his superstar status and sparked the tournament into life.
Morocco, who conceded a stoppage time own goal to lose against Iran in their opener, cannot afford a second defeat.

Portugal and Morocco prepare for their second group match:


Belgium keep injured defender Kompany in World Cup squad
4 June 2018, 5:13 PM

Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez said on Monday he put Vincent Kompany in his line-up for the World Cup, retaining the Manchester City captain in his squad despite a groin injury but putting Laurent Ciman on standby for the tournament in Russia.

Martinez said that World Cup rules allowed the final squad to be named 24 hours before they kick off their campaign. Belgium play Panama on June 18 before facing other Group G opponents Tunisia and England.

The 32-year-old Kompany came off during Belgium’s friendly against Portugal on Saturday with an injured groin.

The four players cut are goalkeeper Matz Sels, defenders Christian Kabasele and Jordan Lukaku and striker Christian Benteke, whom he called an ‘impressive figure’ although he scored just three goals for Crystal Palace in the past season.

Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi will go as Belgium’s number nines.

Prior to the World Cup, Belgium on Wednesday (June 6) will play a friendly warm-up match against Egypt, a team Martinez called ‘very competitive’ with ‘probably one of the best defensive structures’ to take part in the World Cup.


Morocco drop defender and add attacker for World Cup 23
4 June 2018, 4:27 PM

Coach Herve Renard made one switch to his provisional squad on Monday when he brought Malaga striker Youssef En-Nesyri into Morocco’s final World Cup 23.

The 21-year-old Malaga forward was a backup on the original list but he has taken the place of Badr Benoun, a 24-year-old defender with Raja de Casablanca.

Renard dropped another backup, Noussair Mazraoui of Ajax, but kept Oualid El Hajjam, a defender with Amiens in France, as a reserve, leaving him a squad of 24.

The list only contains two players from Morocco’s domestic league.

The Atlas Lions are led by Mehdi Benatia, the Juventus defender involved in a controversial penalty incident as the Turin club lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League in April.

Morocco, who have been training at Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps, have one more warmup game against Estonia in Talinn.

In their first World Cup in 20 years, Morocco are in Group B at the World and kick off against Iran in Saint Petersburg in June 15 before facing Portugal and Spain.

23-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia/ESP), Yassine Bounou (Girona/ESP), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger)

Defenders: Medhi Benatia (Juventus/ITA), Romain Saiss (Wolves/ENG), Manuel Da Costa (Istanbul Basaksehir/TUR), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce/TUR), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid/ESP), Hamza Mendyl (Lille/FRA)

Midfielders: M’barek Boussoufa (Al Jazira/UAE), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord/NED), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen/FRA), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord/NED), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray/TUR), Faycal Fajr (Getafe/ESP), Amine Harit (Schalke/GER)

Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Yeni Malatyaspor/TUR), Aziz Bouhaddouz (St Pauli/GER), Ayoub El Kaabi (RS Berkane),  Mehdi Carcela (Standard Liege/BEL), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax/NED), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes/ESP), Youssef En-Nesyri (Malaga, ESP).

Zimbabwe judge frees former finance minister Chombo on bail
7 December 2017, 9:22 PM

A Zimbabwean judge on Thursday released on bail former finance minister Ignatius Chombo who is facing charges of corruption dating back two decades, including defrauding the central bank.

Chombo, who was detained after the military seized power in “Operation Restore Legacy” two weeks ago, which it said was meant to remove “criminals” around former president Robert Mugabe, was ordered to pay $5,000 bail and surrender his passport.

High Court judge Edith Mushore accused the government of illegal and arbitrary detention. Chombo’s lawyer says he will deny the charges when his trial starts.



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