Michael Essien, left, played for Ghana against Ivory Coast but has since suffered a knee injury.
Michael Essien, left, played for Ghana against Ivory Coast but has since suffered a knee injury.

Essien to miss rest of tournament

Ghana have been dealt a major blow ahead of their must-win match with Burkina Faso tonight, with the news that their influential midfielder Michael Essien will miss the rest of the African Cup of Nations. The Chelsea player was desperate to feature for the Black Stars, who need three points to avoid elimination from the tournament, after returning to action in last week's 3-1 defeat to the Ivory Coast following a month out with a hamstring problem.

However, Essien broke down in a routine training session on Sunday with a knock to his right knee, which has subsequently ruled him out of the tournament. The outcome of Group B, cut to three teams after the withdrawal of Togo, is still in the balance despite Ghana having no points going into their final group game. Their coach Milovan Rajevac will have Anthony Annan back after the midfielder recovered from a knock, but injuries have plagued the Black Stars right through the build-up to the tournament.

Key men John Pantsil, John Mensah and Stephen Appiah all withdrew from the squad prior to kick-off, while the Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari was not considered due to discipline problems. Rajevac said: "Against Ivory Coast, their quality and experience was key to victory. We must do our best to prepare for the game and win it". Burkina Faso, on the other hand, have enjoyed a quiet build-up to the crunch game away from the spotlight. After a 0-0 draw with the Ivory Coast in their opening game more than a week ago, the Stallions have qualification within their grasp. A repeat result will see them through to the knock out stages. The coach Paul Duarte, who has the luxury of having a fully fit squad, is confident his side have the quality to progress to the next round.

"That goalless draw has allowed us to start thinking of qualifying for the last eight," he said. "Now we have to take on another World Cup qualifier in Ghana, but my team has the ability to put in a good performance." @Email:sport@thenational.ae Ghana v Burkina Faso, KO 8pm, Aljazeera Sport + 9

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE


Company: Justmop.com

Date started: December 2015

Founders: Kerem Kuyucu and Cagatay Ozcan

Sector: Technology and home services

Based: Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai

Size: 55 employees and 100,000 cleaning requests a month

Funding:  The company’s investors include Collective Spark, Faith Capital Holding, Oak Capital, VentureFriends, and 500 Startups. 


Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera
Rating: 4/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024


Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).


Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).


Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Which honey takes your fancy?

Al Ghaf Honey

The Al Ghaf tree is a local desert tree which bears the harsh summers with drought and high temperatures. From the rich flowers, bees that pollinate this tree can produce delicious red colour honey in June and July each year

Sidr Honey

The Sidr tree is an evergreen tree with long and strong forked branches. The blossom from this tree is called Yabyab, which provides rich food for bees to produce honey in October and November. This honey is the most expensive, but tastiest

Samar Honey

The Samar tree trunk, leaves and blossom contains Barm which is the secret of healing. You can enjoy the best types of honey from this tree every year in May and June. It is an historical witness to the life of the Emirati nation which represents the harsh desert and mountain environments


Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

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