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Ghana to face Mali, Madagascar, and Comoros in qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup

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Ghana to face Mali, Madagascar, and Comoros in qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup

Ghana has been given an advantageous draw to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The draw took conducted during the 45th Ordinary CAF General Assembly in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with qualifying set to begin in November 2023.

Ghana will take against Mali. The Black Stars were placed in Pot 2, which meant they might have played tougher opponents like Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, or Nigeria; however, they were pitted against Mali, a side aiming to qualify for their first-ever World Cup.

The group also includes Madagascar, the Central African Republic, the Comoros, and Chad. Ghana has previously played Madagascar and the Central African Republic in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

The Black Stars will also be looking for vengeance against Comoros, who upset them 3-2 in Cameroon last year in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ghana has an impressive World Cup resume, having qualified for four of the previous five editions. Their performance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, however, was underwhelming, as they failed to move past the group stage, losing to Portugal and Uruguay while overcoming South Korea.

The Black Stars will be motivated to qualify for the 2026 tournament and will look to amaze Ghanaians as they did in 2010 when they reached the quarter-finals in South Africa.

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Nine groupings were formed from six teams. The champions of each group will automatically qualify for the World Cup in 2026.

The four best runners-up from each group will compete in a CAF Play-Off competition, with the winner going on to compete in the FIFA Play-Off event.

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Harry Maguire accepts Isaac Adongo’s apologies

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Mr Adongo, however, apologised to Maguire in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the Manchester United defender now performed better for his club than Dr Bawumia, whom he said had repeatedly supervised the country's economic incompetence and had subsequently gone to the (IMF) for a bailout.

Harry Maguire, a Manchester United defender, has accepted Hon. Isaac Adongo’s apologies for dragging him through the dirt.

The Ghanaian politician previously rated the former Leicester City captain as the worst player recruited by the Red Devils.

Adongo was discussing the budget when he likened Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s economic management to Maguire’s on-field performances.

Mr Adongo, however, apologised to Maguire in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the Manchester United defender now performed better for his club than Dr Bawumia, whom he said had repeatedly supervised the country’s economic incompetence and had subsequently gone to the (IMF) for a bailout.

“I was very quick to compare my big brother Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to Harry Maguire. Mr. Speaker, I now apologize to Harry Maguire…Today Maguire has turned the corner; he is a transformational footballer. Maguire is now scoring goals for Manchester United.”

“Mr Speaker, Harry Maguire is now a key player for Manchester United. As for our Maguire, he is now roaming at the IMF with a cup in hand,” he stated.

Following the apology, Maguire stated on social media, “MP Issac Adongo apology accepted.” “Hope to see you at Old Trafford soon.”

Meanwhile, Everton will play Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday at Goodison Park.

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Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach, Lionel Scaloni, has hinted that he may resign

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Messi on fan-police clashes: "There could have been a tragedy." After a brief stint in command of Argentina's under-20 team, Scaloni took over as manager in August 2018. Argentina's 2021 Copa America victory was their first major championship in 28 years, and it qualified them for the Finalissima against European champions Italy in June 2022, which they won 3-0 at Wembley. Later that year, they won their third World Cup in Qatar, and first since 1986.

Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach, Lionel Scaloni, has indicated that he is considering stepping down after five years in charge.

Scaloni made the stunning statement following Argentina’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Brazil on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.

Before winning the World Cup in Qatar last year, the 45-year-old guided Argentina to the Copa America in 2021.

“Argentina needs a coach who has all the energy possible and who is well,” said Scaloni.

“I need to stop the ball and start thinking, I have a lot of things to think about during this time.

“It’s not goodbye or anything, but I need to think because the bar is very high and it’s complicated to keep going and it’s complicated to keep winning.

“These guys are making it difficult, so I need to think about it for a while. I will talk to the FA president and the players afterwards.”

Messi on fan-police clashes: “There could have been a tragedy.”

After a brief stint in command of Argentina’s under-20 team, Scaloni took over as manager in August 2018.

Argentina’s 2021 Copa America victory was their first major championship in 28 years, and it qualified them for the Finalissima against European champions Italy in June 2022, which they won 3-0 at Wembley.

Later that year, they won their third World Cup in Qatar, and first since 1986.

“We are sure and hope that Scaloni will continue,” said Argentina and Tottenham defender Cristian Romero.

“Let’s see now he will have time to think, he didn’t say anything in the dressing room about it. We will try to convince him.”

Argentina’s victory against Brazil on Tuesday was their first-ever away win over their rivals in World Cup qualification, and it took them two points clear at the top of the table.

The game at Rio’s Maracana stadium was delayed for 30 minutes due to a scuffle during the national anthems.

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2026WCQ: Chris Hughton under pressure after Black Stars defeat in Comoros

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Ghana could have grabbed an early lead in Tuesday's encounter when Inaki Williams set up Antoine Semenyo for a goal, but the Bournemouth striker hit the crossbar.

Chris Hughton’s Black Stars suffered their first competitive loss as head coach, falling 1-0 to Comoros in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers.

Myziane Maolida’s first-half goal was enough to give the hosts their second straight victory over the Black Stars.

Ghana is now in fourth position, three points behind early group leaders Comoros, who have won both of their initial qualification games.

Following a tense, late win against Madagascar at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last Friday, there was some hope that the Black Stars may capitalise on Mali’s slip-up against the Central African Republic to grab the group lead.

Ghana could have grabbed an early lead in Tuesday’s encounter when Inaki Williams set up Antoine Semenyo for a goal, but the Bournemouth striker hit the crossbar.

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