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FULL LIST: 2023 AFCON group draw, Super Eagles draw hosts



The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations was drawn on Thursday.


The draw ceremony took place in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, where the tournament is scheduled to be held from January 13 to February 11, 2024.


The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn into Group A alongside hosts Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.


See full list of draw:


Group A

Ivory Coast


Equatorial Guinea



Group B



Cape Verde



Group C






Group D


Burkina Faso




Group E



South Africa



Group F


DR Congo



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Just in: Former England Manager Terry Venables passes on



Former England Manager Terry Venables passes on

Terry Venables, a former England manager has died at the age of 80.

Venables died of a long illness.

Tributes have started pouring in for the former player and manager who negative his playing career in the 1960s.

The Premier League in an article announcing his death described Venables as leading a team that helped revive the popularity of football in England.

The article read in part: “After a playing career in the 1960s and 1970s at Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace, Venables was most famous as a manager.

“He took a young Palace team into the First Division in 1979 and then also achieved promotion to the top flight with QPR four years later. He also steered the Rs to the 1982 FA Cup final and to UEFA Cup qualification.

“In 1984, he left to take over at Barcelona, where he earned the nickname “El Tel”. After winning the 1985 LaLiga title, Venables led Barcelona to their first European Cup final in 25 years, but they lost to Steaua Bucharest on penalties.

“He returned to Spurs in 1987, helping them claim the 1991 FA Cup and brought Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne to the club before becoming chief executive.

“Taking charge of England in 1994, Venables inspired a team who had failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup to the semi-finals of EURO ’96, where they lost agonisingly on penalties to eventual winners Germany.

“In so doing so, his team helped to revive the popularity of the game in England at a time when the Premier League was still in its early years.

“After spells in charge of Australia and then Palace once more, Venables managed in the Premier League for the first time when Middlesbrough hired him in December 2000 to work alongside Bryan Robson to keep the team up, which they managed to do.

“In July 2002, Leeds appointed Venables, but the club were on a decline that the veteran manager was unable to stop and he left in March 2003.

“Ahead of their home match today with Aston Villa, Spurs will hold a minute’s applause, while players will wear black armbands.

“The Premier League offers our sincere condolences to Terry’s family and friends at this sad time.”

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Bill Kenwright: Everton chairman and theatre producer dies aged 78



Bill Kenwright: Everton chairman and theatre producer dies aged 78

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, an acclaimed West End theatre and film producer, has died at the age of 78.


Kenwright had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his liver eight weeks ago.


He had been on the board at Everton since 1989, taking over as chairman at Goodison Park in 2004.


The Liverpudlian was also one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers and played Gordon Clegg in Coronation Street between 1968 and 2012.


Kenwright was awarded a CBE for his services to film and theatre in the 2001 New Years Honours List.


Everton said it was “in mourning” following the death of the club’s longest-serving chairman for more than a century.


“The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration,” Everton added.


On 12 October, the Premier League club said Kenwright had a cancerous tumour removed from his liver six weeks before.


Everton said the operation was “completely successful”, but complications meant Kenwright required a “prolonged period in an intensive care unit”.


Announcing his death on Tuesday, Kenwright’s family said he “passed away peacefully” on Monday night “surrounded by his family and loved ones”.


“Bill was driven by his passions and devoted his life to them; his deep love of theatre, film, music and his beloved Everton, and the families they created,” a family statement read.


“He impacted the lives of thousands, whether that be through the launching of careers or his unending loyalty, generosity and unfaltering friendship and support.”


In a multiple award-winning career spanning six decades, Kenwright produced more than 500 West End, Broadway, UK touring and international theatre productions, films and music albums.


“We will remember him with huge love and admiration – the shows will of course go on, as he would have wished, and his towering legacy will continue,” his family added.

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Simona Halep: Former world number one appeals to Cas over doping ban



Simona Halep: Former world number one appeals to Cas over doping ban

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against her four-year doping ban.


An independent tribunal determined the Romanian, 32, had committed “intentional” anti-doping violations.


Halep said at the time she would “do everything in my power to clear my name of these false allegations”.


The former world number one has been suspended since 7 October 2022 after testing positive for Roxadustat.


“In her appeal to the CAS, the athlete requests that the challenged decision be set aside and that her sanction be reduced,” a statement from the Swiss court read.


If her ban is upheld she will be able to play again on 7 October 2026, by which time she will be 35.


Cas, sport’s highest court, said the matter will be decided by a panel of arbitrators after a hearing and it was not yet possible to indicate a time frame for the decision.


Former world number one Halep tested positive for the use of Roxadustat at last year’s US Open, and was also found guilty of using an unspecified prohibited substance or method in 2022 after irregularities were found in her biological passport.


The tribunal accepted Halep’s argument she had taken a contaminated supplement, but decided that would not have resulted in the concentration of Roxadustat found in her urine sample.


Roxadustat is an anti-anaemia drug which stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body.


“I take the rules that govern our sport very seriously and take pride in the fact I have never knowingly or intentionally used any prohibited substance,” Halep said in September.


“I refused to accept their decision of a four-year ban.”


Halep, who won the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon the following year, is the highest-profile tennis player to fail a drugs test since Maria Sharapova in 2016.


She has won 24 WTA tour singles titles and earned £32.2m in prize money and was ranked number one in the world in 2017 and 2018.

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