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Benyu moves to Iceland topflight – NewsDay

Warriors midfielder Kundai Benyu

By Courage Nyaya
Warriors midfielder Kundai Benyu is set to join Iceland topflight side IBV knattspyrna at the end of this side after severing ties with second-tier side Vestra.

Benyu played a key role for the Warriors at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon and returned to his club after the tournament.

But lately he has not featured in match-day squads for the second-tier side and the former Celtic man is looking to move into the topflight league.

He has not been playing following the expiry of his work permit.

The United Kingdom-born midfielder was a surprise addition to the squad named by then Warriors coach Norman Mapeza, but justified his inclusion with some brilliant displays at the continental spectacle in Cameroon.

Benyu will likely be key for the Warriors should the ban by Fifa on Zimbabwe be lifted and the senior men’s national soccer team be allowed to take part in the Afcon 2023 qualifiers.

“He had an expired work permit but should have become legal with ÍBV when the window reopens. The transfer was closed but the window will reopen this time on June 29 and is open until July 26,” Forbolt.net wrote.

lBV have two points after nine rounds in the Best League, but yesterday the team lost to KR at Hásteinsvellir.

Before he moved to Iceland, the 24-year-old played for Wealdstone in the United Kingdom.

He grew up in Ipswich, England, before moving to Celtic, Scotland. There he played one game for the main team under Brendan Rodgers before moving to Helsingborg, in Sweden, in 2019.

At Celtic, Brandon Rogers used him on the left wing. At Aldershot and Helsingborg he was used as a playmaker or the traditional number 10. At Vestra and Wealdstone, he did duty as a deep lying  playmaker or the number 8 role

He is primarily an attacking midfielder who thrives on either flank thanks to his ability to use both feet with equal measure. He is blessed with close ball control and precise passes.

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Orlando Pirates v Maritzburg United: TWO key players to watch – The South African

Orlando Pirates kick off a grueling week of league football with a home DStv Premiership fixture against Maritzburg United on Tuesday, 24 May.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES’ CRAZY END TO THE SEASON STARTS TODAY!

The match at the Orlando Stadium, will be the first of three over the course of the next seven days for the Soweto giants, who return from a lengthy CAF Confederation Cup run.  

There will be little time to dwell on the disappointment of falling agonisingly short in continental football, as the Buccaneers now have the task of propping themselves up from seventh place in the league with three games remaining.

As one of a handful of teams currently in a frantic scramble to qualify for CAF competition next season, the mission will be to collect all nine available points in their remaining fixtures.

WIN | ANSWER THESE 5 EASY SOCCER QUESTIONS AND YOU COULD WIN R1 000

Form guide 

It will require a turnaround of fortunes of some sorts, following less-than-satisfactory results in the domestic league in recent weeks.

Orlando Pirates head into the clash having not scored in their last three league outings, with just two points collected courtesy of two goalless draws and a shock defeat to TS Galaxy in their most recent DStv Premiership fixture.

Orlando Pirates lost in CAF Confederation Cup final

Since then, they have registered a victory and a defeat in the two-legged CAF Confederation Cup semis, as well as the 1-1 draw which ultimately led to the penalty shootout loss in the final of the competition.

Their opponents on Tuesday will do all they can to take a step towards finishing as high up on the table as possible, having managed to escape relegation.

Maritzburg United banished Baroka FC to the GladAfrica Championship with a 1-0 victory over the weekend, making it four games since they last tasted defeat – a run of form that has seen them move up to 12th place with the possibility of finishing just outside top-eight.

Away form remains a worry, however, for the KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit, who last tasted victory on the road back in September last year.

BOMBSHELL | BAFANA’S PATH TO AFCON OPENS UP, ZIMBABWE KICKED OUT

Key players

Goodman Mosele (Orlando Pirates): The young midfielder has had an impressive start to life as a Buccaneer, culminating in another national call-up. Mosele will again be expected to make things tick in the engine room, where he has proven to be equally potent both on defence and attack, also chipping in with some vital goals throughout the campaign.

Keegan Ritchie (Maritzburg United): The Orlando Pirates defence’s aerial ability will be tested by the vastly experienced Ritchie, who heads to Orlando Stadium with his tail up after a man-of-the-match performance on Saturday. The 31-year-old has played a vital role in the Team of Choice’s late surge, posing a potent threat through his long passes in open play and in dead-ball situations.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: MANYAMA’S REPORT CARD – 98 GAMAES, 15 GOALS AND 15 ASSISTS

Head-to-head 

Orlando Pirates’ last encounter with Maritzburg United took place in October last year, and ended in a goalless draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium. This brought to an end to a three-match winning streak enjoyed by the Buccaneers against the Team of Choice.

The Soweto giants, however, still enjoy a lengthy unbeaten run over the men from KZN, with no defeats in all competitions since December 2016.

Since last falling on the losing side in this fixture, the Buccaneers have won seven and drawn three, finding the net 12 times and only conceding twice.

READ | NO HURRY TO DECIDE FUTURE OF KAIZER CHIEFS LEGEND BERNARD PARKER

How to watch Orlando Pirates v Maritzburg United 

The match will kick off at 19:30 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL.

However, for the very best – as always – coverage of the match, be sure to visit The South African website.

A limited number of tickets are available for the match, and can be purchased across Computicket outlets. 

Those who wish to attend should note that admission to the match day venue will only be granted after producing a valid South African ID or passport, as well as proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test no older than 72 hours.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: MANYAMA’S REPORT CARD – 98 GAMES, 15 GOALS AND 15 ASSISTS

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Bafana Bafana's hopes of Afcon qualification receives a major boost after Zimbabwe, Kenya ban upheld – IOL

Cape Town – Bafana Bafana’s chances of qualifying for next year’s African Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast received a significant boost after the Confederation of African Football upheld Fifa’s ban on Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Both African nations are currently suspended due to political interference in their football associations. CAF originally included them in the draw in the hope that their administration issues would be sorted out prior to the continental showpiece in Ivory Coast next year.

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However, Zimbabwe who were grouped with Bafana Bafana, Morocco and Liberia, will now drop out of the Afcon 2023 qualifying stages.

“As a consequence of having failed to have their suspensions by FIFA set aside, Caf has confirmed that both Kenya and Zimbabwe will not participate in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers,” a statement on the Caf website read.

ALSO READ: Bafana Bafana drawn alongside Morocco, Zimbabwe, Liberia for AFCON 2023 qualifiers

More on this

“The qualifiers will kick off on the first day of June 2022.

“Caf had included them in the official draw earlier in April 2022 on the condition that the suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first match day.

“Kenya and Zimbabwe, suspended for political interference, have not yet met the criteria required by the Fifa congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension.”

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Fifa’s 198 members voted to support the sanction of the decision by the sanction at the global football governing body’s 72nd congress held on March 31, 2022, in Doha, Qatar.

“Caf had included them in the official draw earlier in April 2022 on the condition that the suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first match day.

“Kenya and Zimbabwe, suspended for political interference, have not yet met the criteria required by the Fifa congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension.”

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ALSO READ: Kenya and Zimbabwe included in 2023 Afcon draw despite bans

“The Fifa council suspended Kenya on February 24th with immediate effect due to third party interference, in particular, the takeover of football by a caretaker committee appointed by the government, which is a serious violation of the Fifa statutes,” Fifa president Gianni Infantino had announced.

“It is therefore recommended that the congress confirm the suspension of the Football Kenya Federation, enabling the council to lift the suspension immediately and as soon as the pertinent requirements have been fulfilled.”

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Bafana Bafana – the 1996 Afcon champions – missed out qualification for the continental showpiece in Cameroon last year. Hugo Broos’ side last appearance was in 2019 when they reached the quarter-finals in Egypt.

The qualifiers will kick off on the first day of June 2022. Two of the three teams will now qualify for Afcon 2023.

@ZaahierAdams

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UK: Arsenal, West Ham eye Ipswich teen Tawanda Chirewa – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Agencies

ENGLISH premiership sides West Ham United and Arsenal are reportedly eyeing promising Ipswich Town youngster Tawanda Chirewa, it has emerged.

Chirewa, 18, was one of the top performers for the U23s during 2021/22, scoring 12 times as the side coached by Kieron Dyer and then John McGreal topped Professional Development League Two South.

The Shenfield-raised forward was due to be out of contract this summer but the Blues recently took an option to keep him for a further season and are keen to keep him at Portman Road longer term.

The club extended his contact until the summer of 2023.

However, his performances for the U23s have attracted the attention of the Gunners and Hammers among others keen to recruit him into their development squads.

Chirewa, who qualifies to play international football for Zimbabwe, became Town’s second-youngest first-team player when he made his debut in the EFL Trophy tie at Colchester in November 2019 aged 16 years and 31 days old.

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