By Katondwaci Marvin
Hosts Rwanda are through to the final of the African under-17 championship after beating Ivory Coast 1-0 on Wednesday. The Baby Wasps will face Burkina Faso on Saturday after Justin Mico’s 72nd-minute goal delighted a packed Amahoro Stadium in the capital Kigali. The Burkinabe booked their place when beating Congo in Tuesday’s semi-final. Rwanda and the other semi-finalists have all earned a place at Fifa’s Under-17 World Cup in Mexico in June.

Despite missing injured captain Emery Bayisenge, Rwanda weathered a first-half storm even if the Ivorians were guilty of missing three presentable chances. Rwanda’s decisive clash with the Burkinabe will be a repeat of the opening game in the tournament, which the hosts won 2-1. Rwanda has never previously participated in a World Cup of any sort and has only ever competed at one senior African Cup of Nations – in Tunisia in 2004.
Saturday’s match will be the first final Rwanda has contested at continental level – and neither the tournament hosts nor the Burkinabe have ever won the U17 title before.

El Hadary ordered to pay Fifa

Switzerland’s supreme court has ordered Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary to pay Fifa $12,500 in legal costs over his failed appeal against a ban for breaking his contract.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal also ruled that El Hadary must pay court costs of 10,000 Swiss francs, in addition to $796,500 compensation previously awarded to former club Al Ahly by the Court of Arbitration for Sport CAS).

El Hadary has lost several rulings at Fifa, CAS and the supreme court since walking out on Al Ahly to join Swiss club Sion in 2008.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper will complete serving a four-month Fifa suspension next month.

El Hadary can then play for his latest club, Al-Merreikh of Sudan.

He left Al Ahly suddenly in the middle of 2008 to join Sion, with the Cairo club claiming he had breached his contract.

The goalkeeper claimed Fifa regulations allowed him to make the switch.

Al Ahly were subsequently offered around $400,000 in compensation for the remainder of the player’s contract.

But the Cairo Red Devils stuck to their guns and refused to sanction the transfer.

Amir Akrout Recovering From Gunshot Wound

Club Africain center forward Amir Akrout is currently in hospital recovering from having been shot in the chest by a stray bullet on Saturday. The former Stade Tunisien player was at his house in Bardo with a friend, Olympique Beja’s Mohamed Bouddabous, when he heard screaming and commotion outside. His curiosity led him out onto his balcony from where he saw members of the armed forces having a firefight with one of ousted Tunisian President Zine Abidine Ben Ali’s militias.

Akrout caught a bullet right above his heart but is in stable condition following a surgical operation which was performed on Saturday. His friend, Bouddabous, about the incident and assured Club Africain fans and Tunisians in general that the striker would be out of the hospital soon.

Mohamed Raouraoua hopes to be be re-elected

Algerian Football Federation President Mohamed Raouraoua has told Al Heddaf of his aspirations of becoming a member of FIFA’s executive committee on February 23rd in Sudan, when voting at CAF’s general assembly will take place.

“When a candidate presents himself in these elections, it’s with conviction of being able to succeed. I don’t know anyone who presents himself in order to lose. I hope to be voted in and, god willing, to represent Algeria in the highest levels of FIFA’s governing body,” he said.

On a separate note, Raouraoua also took the opportunity to warn Algerian clubs that their request to raise the number of foreign players allowed on the pitch from one per team to two per team would not change and that they should get used to the idea which he believes will produce better home grown talent.

“Nothing is going to change. The clubs are free to recruit plenty of foreign players but only one of them will be allowed on the field at a time. The rules are clear on this subject,” he insisted.