Ask The Expert - Questions Received
Posted 16 August 2011, Thando from Cape Town, South Africa
Question: Which club in South Africa has exported the most players?
There are two clubs that come to mind when answering this question, though their ‘exporting’ has been done in different eras.
During the late 1980s and 1990s Jomo Cosmos sent a lot of players overseas, guys such as Augustine Makalakalane, Aaron Mokoena, acbeth Sibaya, Thabang olefe, Nkosinathi Nhleko, Maimaine Phiri, and even latterly urrent Bafana Bafana star Katlego Mphela, all started at Ezenkosi before heading for pastures new.
Latterly, Cosmos owner Jomo Sono has been more interested in looking at other African countries to bring in and sell on to Europe.
These days, jax Cape Town are the most notable example. Steven Pienaar is one of their most famous exports, and from his era there was Dillon Sheppard too, but guys like Daylon Claasen, tanton Lewis, Thembinkosi Fanteni, Bryce Moon, Nathan Paulse and now young ising star Thulani Serero have all left the club for Europe in recent seasons.
Posted 10 August 2011, Judith from Abuja, Nigeria
Question: I want to know if a football player has died on the field of play before?
Judith, unfortunately this has been an all too common occurrence, especially in recent times as the pace and physicality of the game pushes the human body ever more to its limits.
There have been 78 recorded incidents of players dying either at training, during matches, or in the immediate aftermath of games. Of those, 37 (48%) have come since 2000. That stat might be slightly skewed by better reporting of these incidents, but it still points to a growing problem in the game.
The latest player to perish was just last week when Japanese international Naoki Matsuda collapsed at training and two days later died of heart failure. He was just 34. Perhaps the most famous incident involving an African player was former Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foé.
The 28-year-old collapsed while playing in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final between his country and Colombia, and died shortly afterward in hospital. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The common cause of the vast majority of these incidents is undetected heart problems, which has prompting most clubs now to undertake more extensive cardiac testing on their players.
Posted 2 August 2011, Andile Ndlovu from Durban, South Africa
Question: Who has won the MTN8 title the most times?
Kaizer Chiefs are far and away the most successful side in the history of the MTN8 competition, having won 14 of the 18 finals they have appeared in down the years.
The tournament was first played in 1972 when Chiefs were beaten 3-2 in the inaugural decider by their great Soweto rivals, Orlando Pirates.
But AmaKhosi would go on to have the last laugh, winning title after title down the years, the last of their 14 triumphs coming in 2008.
Pirates are the second most successful side with eight wins in their 12 visits to the decider, and are the defending champions going into this year’s event which starts at the weekend.
After them, Mamelodi Sundowns are next on the list with three wins, followed by Moroka Swallows and BidVest Wits, who have both won the title on two occasions.
Posted 21 July 2011, Peter Jackson from Birmingham, England
Question: Why will there be Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2012 and 2013?
Since 1968 the Africa Cup of Nations has traditionally been played every two years, with every second tournament falling in the same year as the FIFA World Cup.
This was not such a problem in the early days as Africa had just one or two teams enter per tournament.
But now that number has grown to five which, coupled with the fact that the Nations Cup has been overshadowed by the World Cup in terms of exposure when it is played in the same year, has prompted a change from CAF.
They have opted to move the tournament to ‘odd’ years after the next tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012.
But sponsor requirements mean that they could not wait three years for the next tournament in 2015, so they have instead opted to play the competition in consecutive years in 2012 and 2013, and then 2015, 2017, 2019 and so on.
The 2013 event is penciled in for Libya, but is almost certain to moved by CAF to another African country, with Algeria and South Africa seemingly leading the way.
Posted 14 July 2011, Boubacar Diarra, Bamako, Mali
Question: When was the very first African Champions League played and who won it?
The competition was known as the African Champions Cup when it was first played in 1964 and the inaugural winners were Cameroon side Oryx Douala, who were a continental powerhouse side in the 1960s.
They beat Stade Malien 2-1 in the final, which was actually played in February 1965, having seen off Ghana outfit Real Republicans in the semifinals.
In those days, the teams played-off in their own regions to decide the semifinals line, with the four clubs coming from the North, Centre and East Africa Group, West Africa A Group, West Africa B Group and Central Africa Group, which produced Oryx Douala.
Posted 7 July 2011, Karim Titouh in London, England
Question: Who is the most capped African goalkeeper ever?
That honour falls to current Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who has played 125 times for his country and counting!
El-Hadary started his international career with a friendly international against South Korea that was played in Dubai and finished 1-1 back in March 1996.
His last international was the 0-0 draw with South Africa in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in June this year. Of the 125 matches he has played in, Egypt have won 64, drawn 32 and lost just 29, and he has conceded 125 goals in that time, exactly one per match.
He has some way to go for the global record though, that is held by former Saudi Arabia stopper Mohamed Al-Deayea, who made 178 appearances between 1993 and 2006.
Posted 28 June 2011, John Yaro, Kumasi, Ghana
Question: Which African country has done the best at the FIFA Women’s World Cup?
There have been five previous FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments before the one that gets under way in Germany on Saturday, and only two African sides have represented the continent before. Nigeria have been to all five previous showpiece events, with limited success, while Ghana have been to three.
The first two tournaments, in 1991 and 1995, saw only one CAF member able to compete, before this was increased to two for 1999. Africa’s record is somewhat disappointing, with only three matches won out of the 25 played.
The most successful campaign was for Nigeria in 1999, when they reaching the knockout stages as they defeated North Korea (2-1) and Denmark (2-0) to finish second in the pool.
They were also humbled 7-1 by the USA though. In the quarterfinals they lost 4-3 to Brazil in a pulsating game in which they came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 and send the match into extra-time, before the South Americans won with a Golden Goal.
Other than that, no African side has made it out of the pool stages.
This year Nigeria will be once again trying to achieve that, along with debutants Equatorial Guinea.
Posted 15 June 2011, Karim Titouh in London, England
Question: Who has lost the most number of games in African Cup of Nations finals tournaments (not including qualifiers)?
This is a shared record with Cote d’Ivoire and DR Congo (formerly Zaire) both having lost 25 finals matches over the years.
Statistically, DR Congo have the worst record as their 25 defeats have come in 56 matches, while the Ivorians have played 71 games.
Egypt are third on the list with 24 defeats. But of course they have not tasted defeat in their last 19 finals matches, dating back to the 2004 tournament in Tunisia.
They are unlikely to be in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012 to improve on that record either.
Zambia and Algeria have each lost 20 finals matches to round out the top five.
Posted 8 June 2011, Timothy Njeza, East London, South Africa
Question: Sixteen teams will play in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament and yet there are 11 qualifying groups. Where will the other five teams come from?
A good question, Timothy. The 11 qualification group winners automatically qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup, while the second-placed side in Group K (likely to be either Tunisia or Malawi) also qualifies as that was a five-team pool given Togo’s late inclusion back into the qualifiers following the rescinding of their CAF ban.
The two best second-placed finishers from all the pools (bar Group K) will also qualify, with their points calculated minus the results against the bottom sides in each pool so that the three-team Group F has a chance in this regard too. Then, the co-hosts, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon automatically qualify.
So, that gives us the eleven group winners, second team in Group K, two best second-placed finishers and the two co-hosts, which brings us to a total of 16 teams.
Posted 25 May 2011 by Peter Arendse, Cape Town, South Africa
Question: Which African player has scored the most goals in Europe this season?
The answer to that question is that it is actually a tie … for now.
Lille’s Senegalese star Moussa Sow has netted 22 times for the French champions in Ligue 1 but they do still have one game remaining this season on Sunday against Rennes.
Sow is currently tied with his compatriot, Freiburg’s Papiss Cissé, though the latter's German Bundesliga season has come to a close.
Both are some way behind Europe’s leading League scorer, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored 40 goals in La Liga, and an incredible 53 in 54 games in all competitions.
He is the outright winner of Europe’s Golden Shoe award.
Posted 11 May 2011 by Sanusi Taobib, Ekiti state, Nigeria
Question: Who was the first person to score in the English Premier League?
The first season of the English Premier League was the 1992/93 campaign when it replaced the old First Division as the top tier in the country.
The first-ever goal scored in the new competition came from Sheffield United striker Brian Deane, who netted after just five minutes in the 2-1 victory over Manchester United on August 15, 1992.
Manchester United would have the last laugh though as they would go on to clinch the title, with Aston Villa some 10 points back despite leading for much of the campaign.
Deane would go on to score seven goals that season, but top-scorer in the Premiership was Teddy Sheringham, who netted 22 in all, one for Nottingham Forest before making a move to Tottenham Hotspur and netting 21 for them.
Posted 5 May 2011 by Owolabi Ezekiel, Bida, Niger state, Nigeria
Question: What is the function of the match officials that stand at the back of each goal-post during UEFA Champions League matches?
The two match officials at either end behind the goals are there to assist the referees in the middle with infringements in and around the penalty area, as well with assessing whether a ball may have crossed the goal-line or not, or whether a corner or goal-kick should be given.
Matches can be won and lost over decisions made in the penalty-area and so FIFA have been trialing having five match officials (referee, two assistant referees running the touchlines and two men behind each goal), first in the UEFA Europa League last season and then in the UEFA Champions League this.
The two match officials behind the goals can communicate with the referee via microphones and the idea is that they can view the action from a different angle to that of the referee, who is generally behind the play.
If the trial goes well it could at a later date become part of the Laws of the Game and therefore introduced at all levels of professional football.
Posted 13 April 2011 by Ibe Ama, Owerri, Nigeria
Question: Who was the first person to score at the World Cup finals?
The first player to score in a World Cup match was Lucien Laurent of France in the 19th minute against Mexico on July 13, 1930. The finals were being played in Uruguay and were won by the host nation. A forward, he played 10 games for France between 1930 and 1935, scoring two goals.
His full-time job was with car manufacturer Peugeot, but he still managed a 25-year professional career between 1921 and 1946, including for Sochaux, who were the works team for Peugeot. The anniversary of Laurent’s death was just a few days ago, he passed away on April 11, 2005, aged 97.
Posted 6 April 2011 by Jude Max, Abavo Agbor, Delta State
Question: Who was the first FIFA president?
This is a topical question given the recent news that Qatar's Mohammed Bin Hammam has said he will run against incumbent Sepp Blatter for the position of FIFA president in June.
There have in fact been just eight FIFA presidents since 1904 when the very first, Frenchman Robert Guérin, was elected.
A journalist by trade, he founded FFA, but stayed in office for just two years before been succeeded by Englishman Daniel Burley Woolfall in 1906.
The longest-serving FIFA president was Jules Rimet, who was in office for 33 years between 1921 and 1954.
He championed the notion of the FIFA World Cup tournament and the first trophy made for the competition was named after him.
Blatter has been in office since 1998 and has said that should he win, this will be his last four-year-term.
Posted 30 March 2011 by Shephard Makarutse, Harare, Zimbabwe
Question: Who do you think is the best striker in the South African Premier League?
It is fair to say that the strikers have been firing in fits and starts this season and the fact that the top scorers have only netted 11 times by the 25-game mark in the campaign is a sad indictment on them.
But there are some very good strikers in the PSL, and some new ones have come to the fore this season as well.
A striker's job is, of course, to score, though there are differences between a number nine targetman and a traditional number 10 finisher.
The number nine might be more about holding up the ball and bringing others into the game, allowing his teammates to score off his good work. But for the sake of this question, let's stick to the number 10s.
In that case, there can be only one winner. Katlego Mphela from Mamelodi Sundowns scored 17 times for the club last season has 11 this, despite missing almost two months due to injury and off-field problems he had with the club.
He is a 'finisher', using his pace to get behind defenders, as he showed in Bafana Bafana's victory over Egypt at the weekend.
Kaizer Chiefs' Knowledge Musona looks a very good young player, but struggles with consistency. He might well develop into a better player than Mphela in time, but for now he must play second-fiddle.
There are other useful strikers about, Sundowns' Nyasha Mushekwi, Platinum Stars' Bradley Grobler and AmaZulu's Lehlohonolo Majoro, but none have the record of Mphela.
Posted 23 March 2011 by Bashar Kanoma, Sokoto, Nigeria
Question: Can you tell me more about my favourite South African club, Orlando Pirates?
Orlando Pirates were formed in 1937 and their greatest day on the football field came when they won the 1995 African Champions Cup (now the African Champions League), beating Cote d'Ivoire side ASEC Abidjan over two legs in the final. They were also African Super Cup winners in 1996.
Along with Kaizer Chiefs, who were born out of a breakaway of Pirates players in the late 1960s, Pirates is the most supported side in South Africa, having won seven League titles and 19 knockout trophies, the last of which was the 2010 MTN8 in October last year.
The club's record for appearances is actually held by a Nigerian, goalkeeper Williams Okpara, who started 375 games for The Buccaneers.
Pirates are based in Soweto, just outside Johannesburg, and play their home games at the Orlando Stadium, a magnificent 40 000-seater venue that was totally rebuilt and used as a training venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The club's fans are known as 'The Ghost'.
Posted 16 March 2011 by Steven, Cape Coast, Ghana
Question: How many times have Manchester United won the UEFA Champions League?
The Red Devils have been crowned European champions three times in their history, some way off the most successful club in this regard, Real Madrid, who have nine titles to their name.
United's first triumph came way back in 1968 when they beat Portuguese side Benfica 4-1 after extra-time of the final at Wembley Stadium in London. Bobby Charlton got two, with George Best and Brian Kidd the others.
The competition was known as the European Cup in those days.
The club would have to wait until 1999 for their second title, earned after a remarkable comeback in the Barcelona final against German side Bayern Munich.
Bayern led 1-0 going into injury-time and should have been out of sight after dominating the game, but Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær netted dramatic late strikes for a 2-1 win.
Their most recent triumph came in 2008 when they beat compatriots Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Moscow.
Posted 9 March 2011 by Tony Masaba, Kampala, Uganda
Question: How many goals has Barcelona striker Lionel Messi scored this season? He seems to score every week!
Messi does indeed have an incredible goalscoring record, not just in this season, but the 2009/10 campaign too.
His goal against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night was his 45th on the campaign so far, and that in just 40 appearances!
He has scored 27 in 24 games in La Liga, 10 in eight matches in Spanish cup competitions, and eight in eight games in the Champions League.
Remarkably, you can add 21 'assists' to that number where he has directly laid on goals for others and you can see what a valuable players he is to Barca.
In 2009/12 he netted 47 times in 53 appearances, taking his total for the two seasons combined to 92 goals in 93 games!
Posted 2 March 2011 by James Zingala, Lusaka, Zambia
Question: What is the most number of penalties taken in a post-match shoot-out?
The world record for the most number of penalties taken in a shoot-out is 48, which was 'achieved' in Namibia in 2005 in a match between KK Palace and Civics.
The Namibian FA Cup game ended 2-2 and went to spot-kicks, where Palace eventually triumphed 17-16.
But a total of 15 penalties were also missed by the two sides, meaning a total of 48 were taken in a marathon shoot-out. It beat the previous mark of 44 from a match between Argentinos Juniors and Racing Club that ended 20-19 to the former in 1988.
A fairly interesting side note is that of the top six marathon shoot-outs, five of the games that preceded them finished 2-2.
Posted 23 February 2011 by Abdullah, Khartoum, Sudan
Question: Who is considered the greatest ever African player ever?
That is question that is open to hot debate and if you took surveys from around the continent, you might get very different opinions.
But we can work off certain facts to give what is probably the most satisfactory answer! When CAF released its list of 30 best African players from the past 50 years in 2007, a public vote gave that honour to Roger Milla from Cameroon. A fair call perhaps.
However, Liberia's George Weah is the only African ever to win the FIFA World Player of the Year crown which he claimed in 1995. That achievement is massive.
It is also hard to look past the achievements of Samuel Eto'o, who has claimed a record four Africa Player of the Year awards and has also won the UEFA Champions League on three occasions, as well as League titles in Spain and Italy.
No other African player can come close to matching his personal achievements. And so for that reason, Eto'o provides perhaps the most compelling argument.
Posted 16 February 2011 by Evra, Abuja, Nigeria
Question: Who was the first person to score an own goal in professional football?
The first own goal ever registered in League play was scored by Aston Villa's Gershom Cox in a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1888.
Staying with the Villa (or should that be 'villain') connection, Chris Nicholl scored all four goals in a 2-2 draw between Aston Villa and Leicester City on March 20, 1976, two at the right end and two through his own net!
The record number of own goals scored in a match though is 149, as Madagascan side ADEMA famously won a game against domestic rivals SOE Antananarivo 149-0 in 2002 when the SOE players scored 149 own goals in protest at a refereeing decision, a result that is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest scoreline in professional football.
Posted 8 February 2011 by Tshepo Gumede, Midrand, South Africa
Question: How many teams will Africa be sending to the 2012 Olympic Games?
Men's Olympic Games football is for the national Under-23 team's of the competing nations, though at the finals proper they are allowed to have three players over the age of 23 in their squads (though not in qualifying).
In the Women's section, it is the full senior national sides that compete. Africa will be sending three Men's and two Women's sides to London in 2012, and the qualifying for both is already under way.
The second round of qualifying for the Men's will be on the weekends of March 25-27 and April 8-10, while the third round of the Women's will be played around the same time.
Africa have a good recent record at the finals in the Men's game, as Nigeria (1996) and Cameroon (2000) have won Gold, Nigeria (2008) a silver as well, and Ghana (1992) have a bronze medal.
Posted 2 February 2011 by Jude Max, Agbor, Nigeria
Question: Who is the 'dirtiest' footballer of all time?
That is a very difficult question to answer definitively, but there are a few contenders. Former Czech Republic international Tomáš Řepka has been sent off 17 times in his career to date.
He missed European Championships final in 1996 because of a red card and in 2001 was sent off during 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification play-off game against Belgium which cost the Czechs the match and subsequently ended in elimination.
It was also his last game for the national team. On another occasion he attacked match officials and a TV cameraman in September 2007.
He got his fastest red card in the first minute of a game, which was his last sending-off to date, in May 2008. He is still playing for Slavia Prague in his homeland.
Another who should come into the mix is former Sevilla defender Pablo Alfaro, known as the “Dirty Genius”, who, amongst other things, was once found guilty of sticking his finger up an opponents bottom!
And then there is amateur player Paul Cooper, who received a two-year ban after collecting six red cards in one match! Cooper got a second yellow card for dissent while playing for Hawick United against Pencaitland in the Border Amateur League in November. He then received another five red cards for verbal exchanges with the referee.
Posted 26 January 2011 by Holyyommex, Osun State, Nigeria
Question: Do you think the inclusion of Shola Ameobi in Super Eagles squad at his age can bring the positive changes needed when there are many talented young strikers?
Ameobi will certainly bring something different to the Super Eagles set-up.
He has vast English Premiership experience, of course, and a decent enough scoring record, if not spectacular.
But at 6ft, 2in he also bring great height, and no small amount of power. At 29 he probably does not have a long international career ahead of him, but Nigeria's needs are immediate and if he can do a job up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, then why not give him a try?
What he has over young, up-and-coming strikers is the track record of having played in one of the toughest leagues in the world.
It is also fair to say that we should trust the judgment of coach Samson Siasia, if he feels Ameobi is better than other options, then he should get the backing of Nigerian fans, who can judge the success or failure of the pick further down the line.
Posted 19 January 2011 by Jimoh Bashir, Ilorin, Nigeria
Question: Where is Rabiu Ibrahim? Since he starred for Nigeria at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup he seems to have faded from the scene.
It is an interesting question Jimoh and seems to be another case of a young African star who was touted as the next 'big thing', but then fades away into obscurity.
Ibrahim is one of these, in 2007 he was named by the prestigious World Soccer Magazine as one of the 50 Most Exciting Teenagers on the Planet, and two years later appeared in The Times Football's Top 50 Rising Stars.
He had been linked with English giants Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, but instead made the move to Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in 2008.
He has found it tough going in Portugal though and made just a handful of appearances in two years, leaving the club at the end of the 2009/10 campaign as a free agent. He has not been picked up by a club yet, though this very month he has been on trial at Dutch second division side Telstar.
It is a massive fall from grace for the player, but a reminder that not all players can make the transition from the junior game to senior level. He is not the first, and he won't be the last, but Ibrahim might also feel that getting some experience in the lower leagues could see him come back stronger and still provide him with an excellent career in one of the big leagues of Europe.
Posted 12 January 2011 by Camscott, Johannesburg, South Africa
Question: What are South Africa's chances of qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations?
After the first two rounds of matches, South Africa must feel they have a very good chance of qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Bafana Bafana head their qualification group with four points from two matches, followed by Niger (three points), Sierra Leone (two) and Egypt (one).
Their next two games are likely to be crucial in deciding the pool as they face Egypt home (March) and away (June). If they can at least match Egypt's points tally in the two games, they will believe they are almost home and dry.
A tough away trip to Niger also awaits, before they end off at home to Sierra Leone. They were comfortable winners over Niger in their opening group game and secured an excellent draw in Sierra Leone after that, but the latter are a team they would expect to beat on home soil.
So much will rest on the two games against The Pharaohs. There is no doubt South Africa have the players to beat Egypt, but can they perform on the day?
Posted 8 December 2010 by Oga-John Courage, Makurdi, Nigeria
Question: What is the criteria for selecting the African Footballer of the Year?
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) put forward a short-list of five players based on their performance during the year under review, in this case from January 2010 to November 2010.
The head coaches and captains from all 53 African country's affiliated to CAF then vote for their preferred candidates, rating them from first to fifth, with the players scoring points based on how high or low they are rated.
The player with the highest total score is then crowned African Player of the Year.
The short-list for 2010, with the winner to be announced in Cairo on December 20, contains Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Cote d'Ivoire), Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan and Cameroon), Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland and Ghana), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea and Cote d'Ivoire) and Seydou Keita (Barcelona and Mali).
Posted 1 December 2010 by Olerato, Gaborone, Botswana
Question: Do you honestly think Botswana can qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations?
Not only can Botswana qualify, but their 1-0 home win over Tunisia last month has made them overwhelming group favourites.
The top two sides in Group K will qualify for Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, with Botswana currently topping the pool with 13 points from five games, followed by Tunisia (seven from five), Malawi (six from four), Togo (three from five) and Chad (two from five).
So Botswana now really need just one more win to ensure their qualification, that is if Togo beat Malawi in their next match at the same time.
They will get a chance for that when they face Chad away in March next year, before they take on Malawi at home next June and Togo away next September.
But when you look at it realistically, it would take an extraordinary collapse for Botswana to not qualify, meaning they would probably need to lose all tree of their remaining games and Tunisia and Malawi to win all of theirs.
Posted 24 November 2010 by Humphrey Butt, Frankfurt, Germany
Question: How many players have scored more than 1000 goals in their football career?
There have been six players who have gone down in recorded history as having scored over 1000 goals in their career, those totals include friendly matches, youth matches and exhibition games.
No player has netted more than 1000 goals in competitive football matches. Topping the list in the '1000 Club' is Josef Bican, who played for Austria and the Czech Republic from the 1930s through to the 1950s, and has been credited with an astonishing 1467 goals, though the list is thought to be incomplete and the number could be even higher.
This was in just 917 matches. Second is the great German Gerd Muller, who scored 1461 goals in 1216 games, followed by the Brazilian Arthur Friedenreich (whose father was German) with 1329 goals in 1239 games, though this list is also said to be incomplete.
The legendary Pele has been credited by FIFA with having scored 1281 goals in 1363 games, while the Austrian/German Franz Binder netted 1006 goals in 756 games.
The most recent player to join the club is the Brazilian Romario, who claims to have scored 1002 goals in 1188 games, though some sources have credited him with just 968,making his entry controversial.
Posted 16 November 2010 by Ahmed Saied, Cairo, Egypt
Question: There are many African players in the German Bundesliga today, but who was the first to play in Germany?
The first African player to play in the Germany was Ghanaian midfielder Charles Kumi Gyamfi, who joined Fortuna Düsseldorf in 1960. The German Bundesliga was only formed in 1963, by which time Gyamfi had left the club, so he played all his football in the Oberliga West, the top level of football in West Germany at the time.
Gyamfi had made his name at home with Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak, and would later earn more fame as a manager when he led Ghana to the Africa Cup of Nations title on three occasions – 1963, 1965 and 1982.
It was a record he held until just recently when Egypt's Hassan Shehata also claimed his third championship as a coach, achieving success with The Pharaohs in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Gyamfi had a mild stroke in 2004 and now lives in North Kaneshie, Ghana with his wife of many years, Madam Valerie Quartey Gyamfi, a former national tennis player.
Posted 21 October 2010 by Pervez from Jos, Nigeria
Question: Who is the most capped international footballer ever?
Answer: The most capped international in the history of the game is former Saudi Arabian goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Deayea, who played 181 for his country between 1990 and 2006.
The top African player on the list is Egyptian skipper Ahmed Hassan, who has 177 caps and counting, though a serious injury has put him out of the game for some time and could put his chances of reaching top spot in jeopardy.
The only other African in the Top 20 is Hossam Hassan, who made 169 appearances for his country (and scored 69 goals) between 1985 and 2006.
Posted 13 October 2010 by Lefa Dimo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Question: Which goalkeeper has scored the most goals in the history of professional football?
Answer: That honour goes to the Brazilian goalkeeper Rogério Ceni, who has scored 90 goals … and is still going! Ceni has spent his entire 18-year career with Brazilian side Sao Paulo and since 1997 has been a regular between the sticks for them.
His goals have come from largely from free-kicks and penalties, with 2005 being his most prolific year when he netted 21 goals in 75 appearances in all competitions. All-in-all, he has made over 900 appearances for Sao Paulo … and counting.
The 37-year-old also made 16 appearances for Brazil between 1997 and 2006, but never got on the scoresheet for the national side. Second on the list is the former Paraguayan keeper José Luis Chilavert, who netted 62 times for club and country before retiring in 2004. He holds the record for the most international goals (eight), and is the only keeper to score a hat-trick!
Posted 6 October 2010 by Tigerfred, Abuja, Nigeria
Question: Which African player has scored the most goals in the English Premiership?
Answer: It will come as a surprise to few that the answer to that question is Cote d'Ivoire international Didier Drogba, who has scored 90 goals in in 173 appearances for Chelsea since joining them in the 2004/05 season. That includes six goals in the first seven games this campaign.
Drogba overtook Nigerian striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu last season. Yakubu has 78 goals, having played for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and currently Everton.
Both have some way to go to catch the record scorer in the Premiership though, that was former Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer, who netted 260 goals in 441 appearances.
Posted 15 September 2010 by Pervez, from Jos, Nigeria
Question: Who has scored the most goals in the history of the English Premiership?
Answer: Former Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer heads the list with 260 goals. He is some way ahead of the next highest, Andy Cole (187), who spent the majority of his career at Newcastle and Manchester United. Former Arsenal hitman Thierry Henry has 174. Of the players still active who form part of the top 10, Manchester United striker Michael owen will hope he can put his injury nightmare behind him to add to his tally of 147, while Frank Lampard (130) is still a regular scorer for Chelsea.
THE TOP 10: (Player & Goals)
1 Alan Shearer 260
2 Andrew Cole 187
3 Thierry Henry 174
4 Robbie Fowler 163
5 Les Ferdinand 149
6 Michael Owen 147
7 Teddy Sheringham 147
8 Frank Lampard 130
9 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 127
10 Dwight Yorke 123
Posted 8 September 2010 by Terence, from Johannesburg
Question: Which African country has scored the most goals at the World Cup finals?
Answer: Both Cameroon and Nigeria have scored 17 goals at the World Cup finals, which is the highest of any African team. Nigeria may say their record is slightly better though, having achieved that mark in just 14 matches compared to Cameroon's 20. Next on the list is Morocco (12), South Africa (11), Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire (both 9).
AFRICA'S WORLD CUP SCORERS
Cameroon 17 goals
Nigeria 17 goals
Morocco 12 goals
South Africa 11 goals
Ghana 9 goals
Côte d'Ivoire 9 goals
Tunisia 8 goals
Senegal 7 goals
Algeria 6 goals
Egypt 3 goals
Angola 1 goal
Togo 1 goal
Posted 25 August 2010 by Pervez, from Jos, Nigeria
Question: Who was the first African player to play in the English Premier League?
Answer: The English Premiership started in the 1992/93 season and there were a number of African-born players at English clubs at the time. The Nigerian John Salako (Crystal Palace), Zimbabweans Peter Ndlovu (Coventry City) and Bruce Grobbelaar (Liverpool), and South African Roy Wegerle (Blackburn Rovers). But the first ever black professional player to play in the English Football League was the Ghanaian goalkeeper Arthur Wharton, who was born in what is modern-day Accra in 1865. He signed for Rotherham Town as a professional in 1889, having previously played as an amateur for Darlington and Preston North End.
Posted 17 August 2010 by Nkosana, Springs, South Africa
Question: How are the FIFA World Rankings calculated?
Answer: A points system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of FIFA-recognised international matches. Under the existing system, rankings are based on a team's performance over the last four years, with more recent results and more significant matches being more heavily weighted to help reflect the current competitive state of a team.
The ranking system was most recently revamped after the 2006 World Cup and the most significant change is that the rankings are now based on results over the previous four years instead of the previous eight years. The change is perceived to respond to criticisms that the rankings did not effectively reflect the relative strengths of the national teams, though this is still the case.
Posted 4 August 2010 by Nester, Cape Town, South Africa
Question: How many African players are in there in the English Premiership?
Answer: At the time of writing there are currently 40 African players in the English Premiership, though with the transfer window open until August 31st, that may change! Everton, Chelsea and Fulham are the teams with the most African stars with four each. Everton have a trio of Nigerians in Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Anichebe, Joseph Yobo, as well as South African international Steven Pienaar. Chelsea have four of the best players on the continent in Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou (both Cote d’Ivoire), Michael Essien (Ghana) and John Obi Mikel (Chelsea). Fulham can count on John Paintsil (Ghana), Dickson Etuhu (Nigeria), Diomansy Kamara (Senegal) and Kagisho Dikgacoi (South Africa).
AFRICANS IN THE ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP
Arsenal: Alexandre Song (Cameroon), Emmanuel Eboue (Cote d’Ivoire), Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)
Aston Villa: Habib Beye (Senegal), Moustapha Salifou (Togo)
Birmingham City: -
Blackburn Rovers: Christophe Samba (Congo), Amine Linganzi Koumba (DR Congo), El Hadji Diouf (Senegal)
Bolton Wanderers: Danny Shittu (Nigeria)
Chelsea: Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou (Cote d’Ivoire), Michael Essien (Ghana), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea)
Everton: Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Anichebe, Joseph Yobo (Nigeria), Steven Pienaar (South Africa)
Fulham: John Paintsil (Ghana), Dickson Etuhu (Nigeria), Diomansy Kamara (Senegal), Kagisho Dikgacoi (South Africa)
Liverpool: Nabil El Zhar (Morocco)
Manchester City: Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo)
Manchester United: Mame Biram Diouf (Senegal)
Newcastle United: Kazenga LuaLua (DR Congo)
Stoke City: Mamady Sidibe (Mali), Salif Diao, Abdoulaye Faye (Senegal)
Sunderland: Ahmed El Muhammadi (Egypt)
Tottenham Hotspur: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Sebastien Bassong (Cameroon)
West Bromwich Albion: Abdoulaye Meite (Cote d’Ivoire), Youssouf Mulumbu (DR Congo)
West Ham United: Herita Ilunga (DR Congo), Benni McCarthy (South Africa)
Wigan Athletic: Steve Gohouri (Cote d’Ivoire)
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Adlene Guedioura (Algeria), George Elokobi (Cameroon)
Posted 21 April 2010, by Taofèèk in Kaduna, Nigeria
Question: Who is the African player with the most goals at the FIFA World Cup finals?
Answer: Brazilian striker Ronaldo holds the record for the most goals scored by an individual at the FIFA World Cup with 15 spanning the four tournaments he attended between 1994 and 2006.
He did not play a single match at USA in 1994, making his achievement all the more special as he stands one goal ahead of legendary German Gert Muller, two in front of French sensation Just Fontaine and three ahead of perhaps the greatest of them all, Pele.
But who is the greatest African goalscorer at the World Cup? The answer to that is not surprising at all as Cameroon star Roger Milla leads the race with five strikes, four of which came at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and one four years later at USA 1994. That last goal made him the oldest ever goalscorer at the tournament as well as he was aged 42 years and 39 days when he netted against Russia.
Second on the list is a more surprising name in the form of giant Senegal midfielder Papa Bouba Diop. Diop has scored just nine goals in an international career that spans 11 years, but three of those came at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea when he scored against France in a famous 1-0 win for the Senegalese, and twice against Uruguay in an exciting 3-3- draw.
There are a clutch of players on two goals, namely Patrick Mboma and François Omam-Biyik (both Cameroon), Aruna Dindane (Cote d'Ivoire), Abdel Fawzi (Egypt), Salaheddine Bassir, Abdeljalil Hadda and Abderrazak Khairi (all Morocco), Daniel Amokachi and Emmanuel Amuneke (both Nigeria), Henri Camara (Senegal), and Shaun Bartlett and Benni McCarthy (South Africa).
Bafana fans will be hoping desperately that McCarthy can move up the pecking order at the 2010 event on home soil. There are some famous names on just one goal too who will be looking to add to that tally, including Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire), and Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari (both Ghana).
Posted 7 April 2010, by Eby Izuzu in Lagos
Question: What are the chances of the Super Eagles of Nigeria getting to the semi-final stage?
Answer: Looking at the draw for the Super Eagles in the 2010 FIFA World Cup you would have to say they have a fair chance of making the semifinals, though there are a few factors to consider.
The group stage draw has been fairly kind. Argentina, with Lionel Messi leading the charge, are hitting great form at the moment after a dismal 18 months and they will certainly be an immense challenge.
Greece are an organised side but lack the penetration to break teams down and will look to defend first and then hit Nigeria on the counter-attack or through set-pieces.
South Korea are skilful and quick, but the physical strength of the Super Eagles will give them an advantage. So I would say the chance of Nigeria getting out of their group are good.
In the second round they will face a team from Group A which includes hosts South Africa, France, Uruguay and Mexico. None of those look particularly appetising and although the Nigerians would probably prefer Bafana Bafana, playing the hosts on home soil is never easy.
Assuming they get past that hurdle they could face the likes of Germany, England, USA, Serbia or Ghana in the quarterfinals. With a few exceptions, it is my belief that any side, on any given day, can win a knockout fixture at the World Cup finals and Nigeria certainly have the armoury to test the very best.
How the team settled in with new coach Lars Lagerback is an open question, though he at least does have World Cup experience and a fine reputation. So in World Cup tournaments, you never know, who would have pegged Turkey or even co-hosts South Korea as semifinalist in 2002?
Posted 19 March, 2010 - From Olawale, in Nigeria
Question: Which team has collected the most red cards in the English Premiership this season?
Answer: Ahead of the weekend's games, Sunderland have the dubious distinction of having received the most red cards in the English Premiership this season. The Black Cats have had six players sent-off in the current campaign, and not surprisingly they have been the 'dirtiest' team with 62 yellow cards as well, the most of any side, to be well clear at the bottom of the Fair Play table.
The next highest in terms of red cards are Liverpool and Hull City (five), while Manchester United and Chelsea have both had four men sent-off, a record they share with Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and Portsmouth. The only team not have have received a red card is Arsenal, though they have had 43 yellow cards. And the 'cleanest' team of all is Fulham, with one red and just 33 yellows to date to leave them top of the Fair Play log.
Posted 12 March 2010 - From Richard, in Lagos and Peter, in Benin City
Question: Can an African team win the World Cup?
Answer: In a competition like the World Cup, anything is possible, especially if a team can make it to the knockout stages. But the problem for the African sides is that this competition features the very best teams in world football, sides which have excellent players from numbers 1 to 11, as well as on the bench!
Can an African side win the World Cup? Of course it is possible, but each of them has weakneses in different areas of their side. Great individual talents who are match winners in their own right such as Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o, Michael Essien, Steven Pienaar, but not necessarily great performers all through the team.
Posted 4 March, 2010 - From Solomon, in Owerri
Question: Who is the 2009 African Footballer Of The Year?
Answer: The contenders for 2009 African Footballer of the Year are Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon) and Michael Essien (Ghana). To my mind, it has to be Drogba. He has been consistently excellent for club and country through 2009, helping the Ivorians claim a place at the 2010 World Cup finals and proving once again that he is among the top strikers in Europe with Chelsea.
Eto'o had a good year, during which he joined Inter Milan from Barcelona, and although there is much for him to be proud of, he was often overshadowed in the headlines by Drogba. Essien spent a large part of 2009 on the treatment table, though when he did play he was his usual reliable self. All had fantastic years, but Drogba was the best of the three.