Austria have confirmed that Ralf Rangnick will take charge of the national team at the end of the club season.
The German is currently interim manager of Manchester United but will leave the dugout this summer and transition to a two-year consultancy role which Noble Reporters Media confirmed will not be impacted by this new position.
“I will take over as national team manager of Austria at the end of the season but will continue my consultancy with Manchester United,” Rangnick said during his presentation.
“I’m really looking forward to playing my part in helping United become a real force again.”
Rangnick’s current focus is solely on ending the season with United, with his position with Austria not beginning until the summer, when they will start preparing for Nations League games against Croatia, Denmark and France.
He has signed a two-year contract which will run alongside the two-year deal he signed to work as a consultant for United, and his national team contract can be extended by a further two years if Austria qualify for Euro 2024 in Rangnick’s homeland of Germany.
Rangnick has previously confirmed that he has not yet spoken with incoming United manager Erik ten Hag about plans for the future but stressed that he is looking forward to doing so and will not allow his commitments with United or Austria to get in the way of the other.
On Saturday the police had announced the death of a 16-year-old German boy in the Kuehtai area.
Avalanches killed four people in western Austria’s Tyrol region over the weekend, police said Monday.
Austria’s ski resorts have remained open despite the country’s third coronavirus lockdown as the government says outdoor sports pose little infection risk.
But authorities in the Tyrol region had warned on Thursday of an increased risk of avalanches due to rain and snowfall combined with strong winds and changes in temperature.
A 37-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman, both from the region, “set off an avalanche at an altitude of 2,100 metres (6,890 feet)” in the Sellrain district on Saturday, the Tyrol police department said in a statement.
“They were both totally buried by the avalanche and their bodies could only be recovered on the evening of January 31,” the statement said.
He did not have any detection equipment and was skiing off piste with two friends at an altitude of more than 2,600 metres when he was struck by loose snow.
A 48-year-old Austrian was also killed by an avalanche on Saturday while cross-country skiing in the resort of Axamer Lizum.
Four further avalanches were also reported in Tyrol on Saturday but did not cause any deaths.
In recent years an average of around 20 people have been killed annually by avalanches in Austria.
For the winter of 2019/20 the number was lower, at 13, in part due to the season being cut short by the first coronavirus lockdown.
Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr will be watching out for the players among the new recruits who can make the national team stronger when Nigeria meets Algeria in an international friendly in Austria today. The German will file out a team complete with a new trio of goalkeepers and up to five players looking to play their way into the heart of the national team selectors.
The Eagles will play without striker Victor Osimhen, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo, and regular goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and Daniel Akpeyi. Vying to impress in their positions are goalkeepers Maduka Okoye, Dele Alampasu, and Mathew Yakubu. Also on the verge of making their Super Eagles debut are Cyril Dessers, Chidera Ejuke, Zaidu Sanusi, Frank Onyeka, Samson Tijani, and former Germany U-20 captain, Kevin Akpoguma.
The Super Eagles last training session indicated that Everton midfielder, Alex Iwobi could be supported in the midfield by new kid, Frank Onyeka, and returnee, Mikel Agu.
Apart from the new boys, Kelechi Iheanacho and Tyrone Ebuehi are back in the team hoping to do enough in this game and Tuesday’s match against Tunisia to earn a permanent position in the squad.
Iheanacho was left out of the team to the 2019 African Cup of Nations because of poor form while Ebuehi is coming back from more than one-year injury-induced absence.
Algeria, who have a second game against Mexico in The Netherlands on Tuesday, come into today’s game not only as of the champions of Africa but also on the back of an 18-match unbeaten run.
They have not lost on the pitch since they were bumped by the odd goal in an AFCON 2019 qualifier away in the Benin Republic in October 2018.
Two years earlier, they were beaten 3-1 by the Super Eagles in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Uyo. Both teams ended the return leg in Constantine 1-1, though the Eagles had already picked the only World Cup ticket from the group ahead of that final encounter.
Djamel Belmadi, the former Algerian international who coached his country to a second continental title in Egypt last year, has included standout names Riyad Mahrez, Yassine Brahimi, Sofiane Feghouli, and Baghdad Bounedjah in his 24-man squad to confront the three-time African champions.
The game, like Tuesday’s, will kick off at 8.30pmAustria time (7.30pmNigeria time).
The match, earlier scheduled to hold at the Jacques Lemmans Arena in the Austrian state of Carinthia, which contains only 2,420 spectators, has now been moved to Worthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, with 30,000 seating capacity.
No reason was given for the change in the match venue.
The Super Eagles trained only ones yesterday ahead of the clash against scheduled to kick-off by 7:30 p.m. Nigerian time.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles have dismissed reports in some quarters that some of the players in the team’s Austria camp have tested positive for COVID-19 as reported by a section of the media yesterday. The report said four players tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 and had to undergo another round of testing.
Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, expressed dismay over such reports, noting that results of the tests carried out on the players were being awaited yesterday.
He wondered how the players could test positive for the virus without the result of their tests.
“Please discountenance reports that some of our players tested positive to COVID-19 ahead of tomorrow’s friendly game against Algeria. It is a blatant falsehood.”
“The writer of the story, who was not part of the press conference earlier today, totally misrepresented what Coach Rohr said.
“Rohr said that since the outbreak of the pandemic, four of our players had tested positive, but we’re all now fully recovered from the virus and back in action.
“The results of the COVID-19 tests carried out on the Super Eagles ahead of tomorrow’s game are still being awaited,” Ibitoye said.
>>> COVID-19: Austria to re-open schools come Mid May <<<
Austria said Friday it would start to re-open classes at schools from May 4 as it continues a gradual loosening of coronavirus lockdown measures.
Some 100,000 final-year students will go back to school on May 4, Education Minister Heinz Fassmann told a press conference.
Schools for six- to 14-year-olds will re-open May 15, while classes for other students aged 15 and over will follow from May 29, provided infections don’t surge again, Fassmann said.
He added classes would be split into two groups, with teachers taking only one group on a given day to ensure that numbers are kept to around 11 students per classroom so a safe distance can be kept between them.
The group not being taught at any one time will be able to work on assignments in other rooms or at home.
Students will also have to wear masks inside schools except for when they are seated at their desks inside classrooms.
Music and gym lessons will however not resume and the curriculum will focus on core subjects.
Austria this month began easing the lockdown measures imposed in March and which have so far succeeded in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.
Small shops and gardening and hardware stores started to re-open in mid-April. Larger shops will follow next week. Restaurants are expected to re-open from mid-May.
The country of almost nine million people has been spared the brunt of the crisis so far with some 15,000 reported infections and 530 deaths.
>>> COVID-19: Spain records 367 fresh deaths – lowest death rate in a Month <<<
Spain saw 367 people die of novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours for the lowest daily number of deaths in four weeks, government said on Friday.
The latest figures are the lowest daily toll since March 22 when 394 deaths were reported. That brought the total fatalities from the pandemic in the country to 22,524, the third-highest number of virus deaths in the world after the United States and Italy.
>>> We are yet to near the peak – NCDC explains COVID-19 projections in Nigeria <<<
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu believes Nigeria has not gotten to its peak yet, amid the increasing number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) stated this on Friday.
He said, “From our projection, we are not near the peak yet; we still have a number of weeks to go.”
“But we are trying to stretch out these weeks even further so we can push the peak a bit further out but make sure that the peak is not as steep as it would otherwise have been if no measures were put in place,” Ihekweazu added.
He explained the measures being put in place by the NCDC to ensure the nation’s health system does not get overwhelmed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Coping With Rising Figure
The NCDC chief stated that the agency would not relent in its effort to curb the spread of the disease in the country, despite being over-stretched.
Noting that Nigeria now has a total of 981 infections, he decried the limiting factors making the transmission of coronavirus possible, saying they were completely outside the control of the health sector.
“Of course, we are over-stretched … but we will not stop because we really don’t have an option NCDC boss admitted.
He added, “At the moment and from what we know, we will not be able to radically stop in a day or two, or even a few weeks but what we are trying to do is really to stretch out that curve so that the health system can cope with the number of cases coming in.”
Ihekweazu also explained the various roles of the NCDC in the fight against COVID-19 in various states.
According to him, the agency is primarily established to serve the states and they are trying to do that as best as they can.
The NCDC boss revealed that the agency was working with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and other government health parastatals.
He noted that through these combined resources, a team of medical experts was sent to the various states to support other health workers in the frontline.
The Extra Measures
“The challenge is that we are facing an unprecedented situation,” said Ihekweazu, adding, “At the moment, as we speak, we have teams in 26 states of the country.
“In states like Lagos, we have over 50 people supporting the response in Lagos State. Our role is to support the states; we are doing the best we can, but the leadership always has to come from the state.”
The NCDC boss stressed that officials deployed from the agencies to any state were never at the front but stay at the back to support the leadership of the state.
He explained that the states were given the responsibility they deserve while the NCDC officials were providing expertise, resources, and reagents among other means of support.
On further measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, Ihekweazu stated that the agency was consulting with the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) and other stakeholders.
He said, “Transmission is actually picking up in certain states and what we are trying to do, working with the Governors’ Forum and across the sector, is seeing what extra measures we can put in place over the next few days or which we can propose to the leadership of the country to put in place over the next few days that will mitigate the spread of this infection.”