It’s that time of the year again as the attention of the football world turns to internationals, I lamented in the previous post how boring the international break can be for most football fans who revel in the glow and excitement of everyday club football, thankfully the October international window offers a lot of competitive action and here are some mouth-watering games to look forward to for the rest of the week. 
Over here in Africa, the thoughts are firmly towards the Africa cup of nations (AFCON) qualifiers with the 3rdand 4th round of matches to contest over the next week.

The Ghana versus Sierra Leone game earlier scheduled for today (Thursday) was cancelled by the world football governing body, FIFA, due to governmental interference in football affairs in Sierra Leone which is against FIFA rules and always attracts a ban, The government of Sierra Leone refuses to reinstate two officials who were removed from office and Ghana will gain a walkover as a result. This is very shameful and unheard of in top class competition but such situations arise with regularity in the African game and you just wonder when such acts of unprofessionalism and lack of competitiveness could ever be eradicated, the spirit of the game-and any game for that matter- should always be respected. 
Defending champions Cameroon and new coach Clarence Seedorf welcome Malawi on Friday looking to keep their top spot in group B, Gabon and South Sudan also lock horns with both teams hoping to stay alive in their group. Ivory Coast face The Central African Republic with Guinea’s place atop the table firmly in their sights. Algeria and The Republic of Benin will battle at the top of the table in Group D. 

Saturday has my beloved Nigeria go head-to-head with coach-less Libya at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, by 4PM Nigeria time with Gernot Rohr’s men hoping to wrestle first place from the Libyans, Libya are very beatable by this youthful Nigeria side but have to be cautious of the Libyans whose place at the top of the table tells you all you need to know about them. I am personally aggrieved that Nigeria have not been able to defend the title we won back in 2013 due to failing to qualify for the two subsequent editions, Could we have two ‘defending champs’ at Cameroon 2019? Elsewhere in group E, South Africa take on Seychelles at FNB stadium with the South Africans looking to consolidate their shared first position by beating the group minnows.

In the UEFA Nations League, Poland face a Ronaldo-less Portugal on Thursday, the world’s highest ranked national team, Belgium, take on Switzerland on Friday with Croatia and England facing off on the same day and England looking to avenge their 2018 World Cup Semi final loss to the Croatians. Saturday has The Netherlands hosting former world Champions Germany. Wales will be without superstar and captain Gareth Bale for their friendly against Spain tonight but they’re hoping he makes a return in the UEFA Nations league game against the republic of Ireland next Tuesday.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
October 11, 2018
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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