Monday, September 30, 2019

Liverpool's five point lead doesn’t mean anything - Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk insists Liverpool’s early lead at the top of the Premier League ‘doesn’t mean anything’.

The European champions have begun the season in flawless fashion, winning seven successive league games to open up a five-point over champions Manchester City in second.

Saturday’s win at Sheffield United also meant that Liverpool is now on a 16 game-winning run in the division – the second-longest winning streak in Premier League era – with hopes raised among the Anfield faithful that the club can finally end their long wait for a league title after narrowly finishing as runners-up last season.

Despite their early advantage, Van Dijk insists the lead ‘doesn’t mean anything’ and says the club are solely focussed only on their next fixture as they look to continue their early-season momentum.

Juventus and Inter set for transfer scrap over Barcelona Ivan Rakitic in January

Juventus and Inter could reportedly square off in the transfer market in January as they are both said to be keen on Barcelona stalwart Ivan Rakitic.

Since joining the Catalan giants in 2014, Rakitic has made over 50 appearances in each campaign he’s been at the Nou Camp.

That in turn says it all about how important he has been for the reigning La Liga champions, but he has struggled to hold on to that prominent role this season.

The 31-year-old has started in just one La Liga game so far this campaign, while he was left out of the squad entirely against Villarreal last week and didn’t come off the bench against Real Betis or Osasuna.

With that in mind, it appears as though he has now fallen down the pecking order under coach Ernesto Valverde, and that will undoubtedly raise question marks over his future with Barcelona.

According to Calciomercato, via the paper edition of Sport, it has been suggested that a January exit could now be possible for Rakitic, while it’s noted that both Juventus and Inter could be interested and are monitoring his future.

Given the experience, quality and leadership that the Croatian international brings to the table, he could arguably be seen as an important addition for either side as Maurizio Sarri and Antonio Conte look set to battle it out for the Serie A title this season.

Further, having played at the highest level in Europe for years, he could be a key piece to add to the squad with both Italian giants looking to make an impact in the Champions League this season and beyond.

In turn, that would make Rakitic a sensible signing for either, but time will tell if firstly his situation doesn’t change and he looks for an alternative solution in January.

With Emre Can failing to make it into Juve’s Champions League squad due to the competition and depth in the squad after the arrivals of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey this past summer, doubts could perhaps emerge over where Rakitic fits in in Turin.

Similarly after the signings of the likes of Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella, Inter seem well set in that department too.

As a result, it remains to be seen if either can be tempted into prising Rakitic away from Barcelona in the New Year if they feel he can add something different in their pursuit of major trophies.

Spurs Will Find It Tough Keeping Kane, Others For Long Time - Rummenigge

Germany legend and Bayern Munich CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has warned Tottenham Hotspur to be ready for a tough challenge of keeping for a long time, their world class striker, Harry Kane and other top quality players in their squad.

Bayern Munich are set to confront Mauricio Pochettino’s men in their UEFA Champions League Group B matchday-2 game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday. And Rummenigge is wary of the strength of the hosts inspired by England captain Kane.

The former Germany international howevee says the Premier League will face a difficult task of keeping Kane and other highly talented players for a long time with many interested clubs looking to prise them away.

“They have a good team. The question is whether they can keep this top team together for a long time, because Christian Eriksen’s contract expires next year.
There are certainly also clubs that are interested in Harry Kane,” Rummenigge told reporters in Munich ahead of his team’s trip to England on Monday.

“Kane is a top player who, like Robert Lewandowski, scores an incredible number of goals.

“They are perhaps the two best strikers in the world right now.”

Rummenigge added: “I hope Robert will do better than Kane tomorrow but it’s not easy to stop him, he’s a world-class striker.”

Bayern Munich lead Group B after a round of game following their 3-0 home win against FK Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) on September 18.

Tottenham are second in the table on one point following their 2-2 draw at Olympiacos on matchday-one.

Cardiff ordered to pay Nantes €6m for Sala

A fee of £15m was agreed upon by the clubs and football's governing body has ruled that a first installment must now be paid

Cardiff City have been told by the FIFA Players' Status Committee to pay Nantes €6 million (£5m/$6.5m) for the late Emiliano Sala.

The striker became Cardiff's record signing when a deal was struck with the Ligue 1 club in January.

But, before he made an appearance for City, the plane carrying Sala from France to Wales crashed and he was killed, along with pilot David Ibbotson.

Cardiff claimed the agreement to pay Nantes a £15m ($18m) fee was not legally binding because conditions insisted upon by Nantes were not fulfilled.

The FIFA Players' Status Committee said on Monday the €6m Nantes should receive from Cardiff is "corresponding to the first instalment due".

A statement read: "In a meeting held on 25 September 2019, the FIFA Players’ Status Committee established that Cardiff City FC must pay FC Nantes the sum of EUR 6,000,000, corresponding to the first instalment due in accordance with the transfer agreement concluded between the parties on 19 January 2019 for the transfer of the late Emiliano Sala from FC Nantes to Cardiff City FC.

"The FIFA Players’ Status Committee, which never lost sight of the specific and unique circumstances of this tragic situation during its deliberations on the dispute at stake, refrained from imposing procedural costs on the parties.

"The findings of the decision were notified to the parties concerned today. Within a deadline of ten days, Cardiff City FC and FC Nantes can request a copy of the grounds of the decision, which can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne."

The exact total amount FIFA has ruled must be paid across further instalments has not yet been revealed, while neither side have made public their intention to appeal the Players' Status Committee's decision with CAS at this juncture.

Investigations into the exact cause of the player and pilot's death have been ongoing since the tragedy took place, with a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area having been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act earlier this year.

In addition, a man and woman were jailed in September for illegally accessing and circulating the late Argentine's post-mortem photos.

I can do much better at Real Madrid - Eden Hazard

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard has said he is not affected by criticism but admitted he can produce much better performances for the club.

Hazard missed the first three La Liga games through injury but since his return, he has failed to demonstrate the form that made Madrid spend an initial £88.5 million to sign him from Chelsea in the summer.

The forward said he is back to full fitness and asked for patience as he attempts to get back to his best.

"I feel good and strong," he told a news conference ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League match against Club Brugge on Tuesday. "It's true that people expect a lot from me and so do I. I can do better. I'm critical of myself and I'm working every day to achieve great things because we have a great squad.

"We're top of the league. Right now, I'm 100% fit and I hope to give my best in the upcoming matches.

"Like I said in my first press conference, I'm still not a galactico, I have to be the one to prove that I can become one.

"We all know the last No. 7 at this club and I have to be the one who proves I can be the best in the world, to enjoy myself and give my all not just in matches but training too. I don't doubt myself, I'm confident. Right now, I'm only lacking the goals and being more decisive. Football is all about confidence."

Hazard was unable to prevent Madrid losing 3-0 against Paris Saint-Germain in their opening Champions League game but he hopes his home debut in the competition can be better.

"I can see my debut consisting of lots of goals and an important victory," he added.

"It's not going to be an easy match, it'll be tough. After losing in Paris, we have no choice but to win tomorrow. "Brugge are a great team, top of their league and doing a great job.

"They have quality players. Having [Simon] Mignolet is a great reference. They are going to try to win the match. Don't think that it will be an easy match because it's a Belgian team."

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane defended Hazard and pointed out that he experienced difficulties adapting to Italian football when he signed for Juventus in 1996.

"The same thing happened to me," he told a news conference. "I'm relaxed, I knew it was going to take time for him to adapt and it was worse when I moved to Italy because it took me three months, but less in Madrid.

"Hazard is the same, I know that he's going to succeed here and the most important thing is to calmly accompany him and we'll definitely see an improvement.

"I'm not going to give him any advice on how to play or where he has to be. We know him as a player, he's important for us and we love Eden. It's good that he's not going to change. I'm not worried because I know he'll be very good and we have to be patient with new players."

Pulisic must be 'nasty' to succeed - Klinsmann

Former United States men's coach Jurgen Klinsmann has said Christian Pulisic needs to become "nasty" to succeed at Chelsea.

Klinsmann, who oversaw Pulisic's development at national level, said he admired the 21-year-old's decision to move from Borussia Dortmund to England, but acknowledged the winger must do more to fit into the Premier League.

"You never know it's the right fit unless you do it," Klinsmann said.

"Christian did well to say: 'I'm going to throw myself in another cold water, go over to London and throw myself in the Premier League, and I have to fight through the system there.' So that's what he's in.

"He's a very special player, he's tremendously talented, but this is a big step, because Borussia Dortmund was also basically the club where he got formed into a professional player.

"He came out of the youth system there, he moved himself up, he had all the support within the club and now going to London -- also to one of the biggest clubs in the world -- you got to bring your elbows out."

Pulisic spoke this week about his frustration at his lack of playing time at Chelsea, but Klinsmann said he believed he has the ability to fight for a place in Frank Lampard's team.

"He will go through a phase now where more and more he needs to bring his elbows out to fight himself through the system there," Klinsmann said. "Can he do it? Yes, absolutely he can do it, but you need to be patient too, sometimes you forget he's a very young player.

"You're basically in a daily competition. Maybe in Dortmund he knew: 'I established myself already within the club to be a very special player. I get my minutes in, I get my games in, I'm a starter most of the time.'

"You don't have that automatic assurance at Chelsea. At Chelsea it goes from game to game, week to week. You're basically in training and you have to tell the coach: 'I'm in, I'm going to start this game.' So it's a little bit more cold, it's a bit more nasty.

"What I mean with the elbows is that you have to become nasty in order to make yourself a starter."

Pulisic signed for Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in January, but was immediately loaned back to the Bundesliga side before joining the Blues this summer.

NBA player Festus Ezeli emotionally reunites with his grandma after 15years

He shared pictures with caption;
My father’s mother. She’s almost 90 years old… She is starting to lose her memory (early dementia) and also Losing her eyesight and so with that combination, i was really scared she wouldn’t recognize me.
I flew back home to Lagos, Nigeria to see mama after i learned of the severity of her sickness. I haven’t been back home in 15YEARS!!! and i hadn’t seen her in 16 Years
Last time she saw me i was much shorter and chubbier.
You can imagine her confusion when i showed up – All 6ft 11inches of me
My grandma in our native tongue (Igbo) says to my aunt about me, “i feel like i know him but i can’t tell who he is”
my aunt replies, “it’s ifeanyi Ezeli, your grandson.” Then my grandma in her confusion asks, “do you mean ifeanyi that went to America, that plays basketball??!”
As soon as my aunt said yes, my grandma screams in excitement! And stretches out her arms for me to come to her
I was so excited that i broke down on my grandma, crying on her shoulder
For a sec I almost forgot how big i was, and how sick and frail she was, as i leaned on her.
Felt like the clock turned back to me as a kid leaning over on my grandma as she held me.
Didn’t know i was really a crying man until this evening. Man! i couldn’t stop these tears from flowing as she put her arms around me😭
I can’t believe my grandma has been watching my games and keeping tabs on my basketball career.
I didn’t expect that. As i was growing up, My family never cared for basketball so i know it was all to support her son.
Makes me so proud to know that.☺️ Thank you to my aunty Uche for these very beautiful and emotional pictures.
I’m so happy looking at these. I got to see my grandma! I’m so happy 🌟😊 I’m sharing this special moment with you all
1. Because it meant so much to me and wanted to share this beautiful Part of my life.
2. So you can all please join me in prayers for grandma’s recovery from this sickness. Hurts me to see her this frail. I already lost my dads dad (her husband – in 96’). i pray that she is alive to see my kids, so she can go tell my grandad about them in heaven eventually so they can both watch over them.

Mario Balotelli scored his first Serie A goal for 1,468 days but Napoli hung on to claim a narrow victory over Brescia at Stadio San Paolo

Dries Mertens opened the scoring with his fourth league goal of the season before Kostas Manolas headed in the second on the stroke of half-time.

Brescia rallied after the break but Sandro Tonali's stunning goal was ruled out by VAR for a foul in the build-up.

Balotelli headed home to set up a tense finale, but Napoli held on.

The 29-year-old last found the net in Italy's top flight on 22 September 2015 in AC Milan's 3-2 win at Udinese, before spells at Nice and Marseille in France.

He returned to Italy to join hometown club Brescia in August on a three-year deal.

The result sees Napoli strengthen their grip on fourth place in Serie A, while Brescia remain 14th.

Carlo Ancelotti's side resume their Champions League campaign at Genk on Wednesday, 2 October (17:55 BST), before Brescia face Sassuolo in Serie A on 4 October (19:45).

USA's Sydney Leroux plays for Orlando Pride three months after giving birth

World Cup winner Sydney Leroux was back in action for Orlando Pride on Sunday - just three months and a day after giving birth.

The Orlando Pride striker was an 88th-minute substitute in her side's 1-1 draw with Sky Blue FC in New Jersey.

Leroux, who has 77 caps for the USA, gave birth to daughter Roux on 28 June and was back training with her club on 27 July.

It was her first match since September 2018, although she had been training with her team as late as March this year when she was five-and-a-half-months pregnant.

"It's been a long road but I did it," tweeted the 29-year-old, who was a member of the USA's World Cup-winning squad in 2015 and an Olympic gold medallist at London 2012.

Leroux is married to US men's international Dom Dwyer, 29, who was born in England and was on the books at Norwich as a youth player. The couple also have a three-year-old son, Cassius.

It was a busy day for the pair as Dwyer also played on Sunday, setting up the equaliser for MLS team Orlando City in their 1-1 draw away to FC Cincinnati.

While Leroux made her return to the football field, another sporting mum was proving what is possible as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce regained the world 100m title in Doha having missed the event in London in 2017 while pregnant with her son, Zyon.

The Jamaican sprinter, the Olympic champion at 100m in 2008 and 2012, carried her son round on her lap of honour in Qatar.

"To be standing here as world champion again after having my baby, I am elated," said the 32-year-old.

"Having my son and coming back, performing the way I did, I hope I can give inspiration to all the women starting a family or thinking of starting a family. You can do anything."

How Enyimba Crashed Out Of CAF Champions League

Two-time African champions, Enyimba have failed in their bid to qualify for the CAF Champions League group stage following their 1-0 loss to Al-Hilal in Omdurman on Sunday.

The People’s Elephant had shot themselves in the foot right from the first leg in Aba two weeks ago by recording a barren draw against the Sudanese side.

While coach Usman Abd’Allah’s men were optimistic, they could get the needed result in Sudan to still pull through yesterday.

A solitary strike in the second half by the hosts ended Enyimba’s aspirations of a possible third Champions League triumph this season.

Both teams were evenly matched in the first half though the hosts had the better chances.

The over reliance on solely counter attacks meant Enyimba were on the back foot for the larger part of Sunday’s tie and if it wasn’t for goalkeeper Olufemi Kayode, Al-Hilal would have registered a handful of goals.

Nonetheless, the hosts did get the crucial goal they craved for barely three minutes into the second half and they held on till the final whistle to progress with a 1-0 aggregate scoreline.

While Ah-Hilal moved to the Champions League group phase, Enyimba have stepped down to the CAF Confederation Cup where they still need to navigate past the playoffs to make it to the group stage in the second-tier club competition.

Nigeria's Ndidi is English Premiere Leagues's Best Tackler

Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, has blazed the trail yet again topping the list of the best tacklers in the English Premier League after seven games, Sports Extra reports.

Ndidi, who has featured in six EPL games so far this season, was on target for The Foxes as they beat Newcastle United 5-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Ndidi scored the fifth goal, his second of the season, in the 90th minute.

According to the Premier League’s official website, Ndidi has made 32 successful tackles this season one more than his closest rival and club teammate, Ricardo Pereira.

Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka is rated third with 30 successful tackles while Oriol Romeu is fourth with 28.

Burnley’s Erik Pieters is fifth in the standings while Richarlison sixth.

Nigeria international Ndidi has also completed 299 passes, made 420 touches and conceded nine fouls so far in the EPL this term. so far this term.

He is one of the six midfielders invited by Gernot Rohr for Nigeria’s friendly against Brazil billed for Singapore on October 10.

The former Genk midfielder also took to Twitter to express his  joy at Leicester City’s win over Newcastle United on Sunday.

Ndidi scored his side’s fifth goal after a brace from Jamie Vardy, an owngoal from Paul Dummet and a strike from Ricardo Pererira sealed an emphatic win for the Foxes.

“Buzzing into the new week with three points and a great performance from the team,” Ndidi tweeted.

Rio Ferdinand breaks down in tears as he watches Kate Wright walk down the aisle

Rio Ferdinand was left in tears when he watched Kate Wright walk down the aisle.

The happy couple exchanged vows in front of close family and friends at the five-star luxury D Maris Bay hotel, in Turkey on Friday.

In the first interview about the wedding, the dad-of-three, 40, admitted he got "so emotional" when he saw his daughter Tia, eight, walk down the aisle before seeing his stunning new bride, 27.

He told OK! magazine: “I cried as soon as the day started. Seeing Tia walk up the aisle before Kate set me off. It was just so emotional.

"There was just no going back on the emotion, that’s why I had to keep my shades on! Seeing Tate and Lorenz walk Kate down the aisle was particularly poignant and we wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way. They were so proud and they couldn’t wait to do that, they felt important."

Photo credit: OK! magazine

Undefeated boxer Deontay Wilder announces rematch with Cuba’s Luis Ortiz on November 23rd

Undefeated American boxer, Deontay Wilder is set for a rematch with Cuba’s Luis Ortiz on November 23rd, in Las Vegas United States, in what will be the third defence of his World Boxing Council heavyweight crown in a year. 

According to the organisers and promoters, the November 23rd matchup at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas gives 40-year-old southpaw Ortiz a chance to avenge his loss to Wilder in a 10th-round stoppage in March 2018 in his only prior world title bout.

    “When I fought Ortiz, not only did he have the pedigree, but also he had the classification of being the boogeyman of the division.

    I agree with those who say that Luis Ortiz was my toughest fight to date. No one wanted to fight him and they still don’t. In the rematch there’s more confidence and more motivation to do what I have to do.

    “I’ve already seen the style before. It’s going to make it more fun. I can’t wait to see how he tries to handle me when I’m at my best” Wilder said.

The card also features Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz, the reigning World Boxing Association featherweight champion, fighting compatriot Miguel Flores for the WBA super featherweight crown, trying to become a champion in his fourth different weight class.   

Wilder, 41-0 with one drawn and 40 knockouts, will turn 34 in October before facing Ortiz, 31-1 with 26 knockouts. In their first matchup at Brooklyn, Wilder knocked down Ortiz in the fifth round, was stunned by the Cuban in the seventh but battled back to drop Ortiz again with a powerful right uppercut in the 10th to end the fight. 

It will be the 10th time Wilder defends the title he won by unanimous decision over Canada’s Bermane Stiverne in January 2015. Wilder will be making his third defense in just over 11 months, having settled for a draw with Britain’s Tyson Fury last December before knocking out countryman Dominic Breazeale in May. 

Ortiz has won three fights since losing to Wilder, the most recent a 10-round decision over Romanian Christian Hammer in March. “I have to give Deontay Wilder a lot of credit for taking this fight because it shows he has the heart of a true champion,” Ortiz said.

Ex-Barcelona star Giovani dos Santos suffers gruesome injury as his leg is torn open in horrible challenge

Former Barcelona and Tottenham striker, Giovani dos Santos suffered a gruesome injury during Club America's 4-1 victory over Guadalajara on Saturday, September 28.

The 30-year-old Mexican footballer was pictured on the floor in agony after he was floored by opponent Antonio Briseno whose high boot caught him above the knee. 

The horrible challenge pierced the striker's skin, leaving a deep gash in his right leg.

The Guadalajara centre-back was sent off for the foul and he is also likely facing a lengthy ban for his tackle.

Club América’s Twitter account confirmed that there wasn’t a bone injury, but that dos Santos, who joined the club in July, suffered a quadriceps injury and will be out about 6 weeks.

#DOHA2019: Jamaica’s Fraser Pryce becomes world’s fastest woman

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a 10.71 seconds to win the world 100 metres title at the 2019 World Championships in Doha on Sunday, September 29th instantly earning herself title of the fastest woman in the world.

Fraser-Pryce, who was away in the 2017 edition of the tournament to have her son, stunned with a 10.80 to become the world’s fastest ever in the heats. She went on to race an amazing 10.87 in the semi-finals before a 10.71 in the final to seal a fourth world title (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019). 

U.K’s Dina Asher Smith came behind in 10.83 to seal a new British record and her first world senior medal.  Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou settled for bronze in 10.90 after clinching silver in the previous edition in 2017, London. 

IAAF celebrated Fraser-Pryce by likening her with a unicorn, a mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.

Mario Balotelli's Daughter Accompanies Him As Mascot Against Napoli

Mario Balotelli carried his daughter Pia out onto the pitch as he lined up for Brescia against Napoli on Sunday, even though she was wearing the kit of the opposing team.

Pia's mother Raffaella Fico is from Naples, so she sported the full Napoli outfit, even though her dad was playing against them in the Serie A clash.

Balotelli ended up scoring his first goal for his hometown club since joining this summer, but it wasn't enough as Napoli came out as 2-1 winners.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Home- Eagles Lose To Togo Again

The home-based Super Eagles failed to secure a place in the main WAFU Nations Cup following a 2-1 loss to the Hawks of Togo on Sunday night.

Imama Amapakabo’s men will now compete in the plate section of the competition in Senegal following the narrow defeat.

The Togolese who were the better side in the encounter, took the lead in the 16th minute through Moise Kossivi Adjah.

The Eagles rallied back and got a well deserved equaliser in the 33rd minute courtesy of Sikiru Alimi’s fine strike.

Kangnivi Ama Tchoutchoui netted the winning goal for the Togolese two minutes before the break.

It would be recalled that the Hawks defeated Nigeria 4-1 in the first leg of their final qualifying round fixture lash weekend in Lome.

Both teams will clash a third time on October 19 in Nigeria to decide who will feature in next year’s CHAN in Cameroon.

Ndidi Scores As Five-Star Leicester City Thrash 10-Man Newcastle

Nigeria midfielder Wilfred Ndidi capped a brilliant performance with a fine strike as Leicester City thrashed 10-man Newcastle United 5-0 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday night.

Ndidi scored Leicester City’s fifth goal of the encounter in the final minute.

He collected the ball with his back to goal in the area before dispatching beyond Newcastle United goalkeeper.

It was Ndidi’s second league goal of the season for the Foxes.

His international teamamate, Kelechi Iheanacho was an unused for Leicester City in the game.

The forward is yet to make a league appearance for Brendan Rodgers’ men this season.

Jamie Vardy bagged (a brace), while Ricardo Pereira got the other goals for the home team.

Leicester City climbed to third position in the table following the win.

Oshoala On Target In Barcelona Away Win Against Sevilla

Super Falcons forward Asisat Oshoala was on target as Barcelona Ladies recorded a 2-0 away win against Sevilla in their Liga Iberdola clash on Sunday afternoon.

Oshoala scored Barcelona second goal of the game three minutes from time.

Last weekend, the former Arsenal Ladies star scored twice in Barcelona’s 6-1 thrashing of champions Athletico Madrid.

The Nigeria international has scored three goals in four league appearances for Barcelona this season.

She has now scored 22 goals in 20 matches in all competitions for Barcelona since she teamed up with the Spanish giants in January.

The win helped Barcelona maintain top spot in the table with 10 points from four matches.

Siasia’s Mother Regains Freedom From Kidnappers

Madam Ogere Beauty Siasia, mother of former Super Eagles head coach, Samson Siasia, has regained her freedom after spending over two months in kidnappers den.

The octogenarian according to reports was freed on Sunday morning by her abductors.

Madam Siasia was taken away at dusk from her house in Yenagoa, Bayelsa on July 15th, 2019.

The family recently paid N1.5 million ransom to the abductors who refused to release the octogenarian few weeks ago, rather they released on of the in-laws who was abducted along with the aged mother.

Walcott hospitalised after head injury

Everton winger Theo Walcott was taken to hospital for a precautionary assessment after suffering a head injury against Manchester City, but returned to Goodison Park shortly afterwards.

The 30-year-old was hit on the back of his head by a Raheem Sterling cross just three minutes into the game.

After a lengthy stoppage, Walcott was stretchered off and replaced by Alex Iwobi in the seventh minute.

Walcott was making his first Premier League start of the season for Everton after four previous substitute appearances.

Everton manager Marco Silva said he is already in our dressing room.

"He went to the hospital for a scan, but he did that, and now he is OK. He will go home, rest, and in the next few days we'll see, but now he is OK."

Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring for City after 24 minutes but Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised shortly after.

City eventually ran out 3-1 winners thanks to second half goals from Riyad Mahrez and Sterling.

Everton will travel to Turf Moor next for a Premier League fixture with Burnley on Saturday.

Sterling defends Silva over Mendy controversy

Raheem Sterling has defended his Manchester City team-mate Bernardo Silva following accusations of racism, claiming it was a "situation between two friends".

Portugal international Silva has faced a backlash this week after comparing a picture of City team-mate Benjamin Mendy as a child to the cartoon logo of Spanish confectionery company Conguitos.

The racism row was compounded by an Instagram story posted by Silva last year, which has resurfaced, in which the midfielder says Mendy is "completely naked" - despite being fully dressed in black.

The FA has written to Manchester City to seek their observations as part of an investigation into Silva's social media activity.

Defoe involved in Glasgow car crash

Jermain Defoe was involved in a car crash following Rangers' 5-0 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox on Saturday.

An eyewitness told Sky Sports News that Defoe did not look hurt, and walked away from the scene of the accident which occurred in the Jordanhill area of Glasgow.

Several police officers and paramedics were in attendance. Rangers sent out a tweet on Saturday evening confirming the incident.

Akpeyi Named Man Of The Match In Kaizer Chiefs’ Hard Fought Home Win Vs Baroka

Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was voted man in Kaizer Chiefs’  1-0 win against Baroka FC in their Absa Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on Saturday night. Akpeyi replaced injured Bafana Bafana of South Africa goalie, Itumeleng Khune on 26 minutes.

The 33-year-old announced his arrival in fine style two minutes later with a point-blank save from Richard  Mbulu’s diving header.
Akpeyi was forced into a couple saves from point blank range, but the former Warri Wolves  shot-stopper weren’t troubled handling situation effectively instead.
The game was his fifth league appearance for Ernst Middendorp’s men this season.
Lebogang Manyama’s first half strike was enough to hand Kaizer Chiefs all three points in the game.

World Athletics Championships 2019: No medals but Dabo wins admiration for sportsmanship
Guinea-Bissau's Braima Dabo will not win any medals at the world championships but he won the admiration of the crowd on Friday by helping exhausted Aruban Johnathan Busby across the 5,000 meters finish line in an astonishing display of sportsmanship.

It was an agonizing and heartwarming end to the opening heat of the men's 5,000m as a distressed Busby, near collapse, was rescued on the final lap by Dabo and helped home, with the two men crossing the line to a rousing ovation at Khalifa Stadium.
"The main objective was to represent my country as well as possible and I'm happy I could help the other guy," Portuguese-speaking Dabo told Reuters. "I saw he was not running in the right way, he was leaning, I realized he wasn't going to finish.

"I knew I wasn't going to beat my personal record, so when I realized that, it was better to go for the main aim, which was to finish the race. My thoughts were to help him finish, that is the point of the race."
Despite the searing temperatures in Doha, the race was run in pleasant spring-like conditions thanks to the innovative air-conditioning system at the Khalifa stadium.
The heat was won by Ethiopia's Selemon Barega in a time of 13 minutes 24.69 seconds but it was the heroic effort unfolding behind the winner that brought the crowd to its feet.
As the pair crossed the finish line nearly five minutes later, Dabo held Busby until emergency personnel appeared, with the Aruban put in a wheelchair and taken from the track.
There was no immediate word on 33-year-old Busby's condition.
"He thanked me and he was suffering, he couldn't really speak any case, we don't speak the same language so our conversation was never going to be very long," said Dabo.

Asked about the crowd's reaction to his gesture of sportsmanship a humble Dabo, 26, said nothing had changed.
"I continue being the same as before -- I'm proud to be here representing my country."

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Oduduru(I never expected it) Risks Disqualification For 2019 IAAF World Champs 100m.

Sprinter Divine Oduduru may be disqualified from further participation in the ongoing IAAF World Championships in Doha,Qatar for his failure to show up for the 100m event on Friday, reports.

The Nigerian’s lane (3) was empty and a ‘did not start’ message written on his name in the result sheet after he had been confirmed for the race.

This runs foul of IAAF Rule 142.4 which specifically warns that any athlete who fails to participate in an event he has been confirmed to participate in without a valid reason will be disqualified from further participation in the championships.

“At all competitions under rules 1.1(a),(b),(c) and (f),an athlete shall be excluded from participation in all further events (including other events in which he is simultaneously participating) in the competition ,including relays,in cases where (a) a final confirmation was given that the athlete would start in an event but then failed to participate…,” reads the rule with a reminder that a fixed time for final confirmation of participation shall be published in advance.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) technical officials seem to have run foul of this rule and unless the IAAF could be convinced otherwise, Oduduru’s participation in the championships may have ended before it even begins.

Our correspondent gathered that the duo of Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare informed Sunday Adeleye, the technical director of the federation they would not be participating in the 100m event but their names still managed to get on the start list which indicates a final confirmation of their participation was done.

With Okagbare rumoured to have pulled out of Saturday’s women’s 100m heats,the athlete will be forced to run if her name remains on the start list or she risks disqualification.

Competent sources in the AFN told our correspondent the IAAF was properly notified but they could not explain why Oduduru and Okagbare’s names appeared on the start list.

A similar infraction was committed in Beijjng, China four years ago when Okagbare failed to come out for the 200m after placing last in the final of the 100m. AFN’s explanation that she had medical issues was not bought by the IAAF and the sprinter was not allowed to run in the 4x100m relay at the Championships.

Chukwueze On Target In Villareall 5-1 Thumping Of Real Betis

Super Eagles and Villareall winger, Samuel Chukwueze scored his second Laliga goal of the 2019/2020 season after coming off the bench to net a stoppage time goal in the team’s 5-1 thrashing of Real Betis Friday night, reports.

Chukwueze played for 33 minutes after coming on for Gomez on 57 minutes with scores at one goal apiece. It was the Nigerian’s sixth Laliga game of the new season having featured as an unused substitute against CD Leganes.

Karl Toko Ekambi netted the curtain-raiser for villareall’s in the 39th minute, but emerson equalized for real betis in the 48th minute.

The match day 7 tie at Stadio de La Ceramica saw the 20-year-old Nigerian international win a penalty on 68 minute which was converted by Santo Carzola to hand The Yellow Submarines a 2-1 lead.

Ekambi completed his brace on the night when he extended the home team’s lead to 3-1 before Moreno made it 4-1 on the dot of 90 minutes.

But four minutes into the added time, Chukwueze scored the fifth from a solo effort for the manager Celleja side.

Chukwueze’s 33 minutes play was highlighted with an outstanding statistics of 80 per cent pass accuracy, a goal, a penalty won and 10 passes as Villareall raced to the 5th position on the Laliga standings with 11 points with a game more than first placed Real Madrid (14 pts), Real Sociedad (13 pts), Atletico Madrid (13 pts) and Athletics Bilbao (12 pts).

We will check on Sane again in January - Bayern Boss

The Bundesliga champions shelved interest over the summer after seeing the Germany international pick up an injury, but a deal could still be done

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness claims that Leroy Sane remains of interest to the club, with the Bundesliga champions planning to check on the Manchester City winger again in January.

The Germany international emerged as a top target for those at the Allianz Arena during the summer transfer window.

It was hoped that the 23-year-old could be enticed back to his homeland amid fierce competition for places at the Etihad Stadium.

Ultimately, any recruitment plans had to be shelved as Sane suffered a serious knee injury in the Community Shield.

He is currently on a long road to recovery, but could be back to fitness in the New Year.

Bayern will continue to monitor his situation, with it possible that Hoeness’ successor as president at Bayern could decide to rekindle interest and make a formal approach.

Hoeness, who has announced that he will not be standing for re-election in November, told Sports Illustrated when quizzed on the Sane links: "We need to wait and see how his recovery is shaping up, and in January or February the new leaders will gather and think."

If a deal were to be done, then Sane would join a star-studded squad working under the guidance of Niko Kovac. The Bayern boss has faced criticism since taking on a high-profile post, but Hoeness claims to have "never understood" why questions are being asked of a man who delivered a domestic double.

He added: "He is a young coach without much international experience, but he has still won two titles and built a new team."

Bayern remain the dominant force in Germany, with the club currently looking to chase down an eighth successive Bundesliga title, and Hoeness is hoping to see them remain at the top.

He said: "The problem is that if we win, everyone says it's not good for the league. But if we lose, they all demand the dismissal of those responsible, so I'd rather win the Bundesliga."

Hoeness is also eager to point out that while Bayern may not be able to compete financially with European foes such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, they will remain true to their roots and not seek out investment from a billionaire owner.

He added: "Our fans and members would never accept that. We can only sell 30 per cent of our shares, anything beyond that needs a vote of the members and 75 per cent approval, I do not think that will ever happen.

"Our fans want a football club as a family, without debt and oligarchs, or countries as sponsors. I'm not saying it's not okay, but we're taking a different path."

Barcelona to appeal £265 Griezmann fine

Barcelona are set to appeal the £265 fine they received after being found guilty of tapping up Antoine Griezmann while he was an Atletico Madrid player, according to manager Ernesto Valverde.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Thursday that Barcelona had been found guilty of violating its disciplinary code during their pursuit of the forward while he was at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann joined Barcelona in July after they triggered his £108m release clause but Atletico disputed the deal, claiming it was "obvious" Griezmann had agreed to the transfer before July 1 - when his release clause was £180m.

"I don't know the exact ins and outs of this question or how it stands legally," Valverde told a news conference. "I understand the club is appealing."

Griezmann has scored three goals in his first seven games as a Barcelona player with the club fifth in La Liga after losing two of their opening six matches.

Brescia face stand closure for Pjanic racial abuse

Italian club Brescia has been given a suspended sentence of a partial stadium closure after its fans shouted racist abuse at Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic this week.

Brescia fans reportedly chanted "zingaro" which translates to "gypsy" at Pjanic, a Bosnia international who is white.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) on Friday said Brescia was given a suspended sentence of having to close part of the Stadio Mario Rigamonti for one game. The punishment is suspended for one year and will be enforced if fans are found guilty of more abuse.

Pjanic scored the winning goal Tuesday as Juventus beat Brescia 2-1.

The decision to punish Brescia comes after clubs like Cagliari, Verona and Atalanta escaped sanctions after their fans racially abused black players.

UEFA bans Red Star Belgrade fans from Tottenham trip over racist chants

UEFA has banned Red Star Belgrade fans from buying tickets for their Champions League match at Tottenham as a punishment for racism.

European football's governing body said its disciplinary panel found the charge proven against the Serbian champions in a qualifying game against HJK Helsinki in Finland in July. Red Star will now not be able to sell tickets for the Group B game at Spurs in London on October 22, while the club was also fined 50,000 euros (£44,500). The punishment follows similar fan incidents last season, when charges of racist behaviour, illicit chants and crowd disorder led to Red Star playing a home playoff game in an empty stadium and being barred from selling tickets to two group-stage games away from home.

Red Star were ordered to pay UEFA fines totalling 191,000 euros (£170,000) last season, and 122,000 euros (£108,000) so far this season.

Red Star lost their opening Group B fixture 3-0 at Bayern Munich, while Tottenham drew 2-2 at Olympiakos.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Mo Salah and Egyptian FA Involved In A Row

Liverpool star Mo Salah is unhappy with Egypt’s football association after the manager and captain of the national team failed to vote for him as FIFA Best Men’s player of the year.

In the breakdown of votes that was released by the world football governing body, Egypt manager and captain votes did not appear on the list, but the Egyptian FA insist they voted, and have asked FIFA for an explanation.

Although the former Roma star appeared to diffuse the situation by saying on twitter he will never stop playing for the country, he has removed Egypt from his bio. Egypt’s media representative Hany Danial’s also failed to vote for Salah in first place with Danial going for Sadio Mane, Ronaldo and then Salah as his third choice.

Lionel Messi won the award beating off competition from Virgil Van Dijk who came second and Cristiano Ronaldo who came third, with Salah and Mane rounding up the top five.

Sasere Joins Swiss Club Lugano On Three-Year Deal From Sunshine Stars

Franklin Sasere has linked up with Swiss club, FC Lugano from Nigeria Professional Football League outfit, Sunshine Stars, reports.

Sasere penned a three-year deal with Lugano for an undisclosed fee on Thursday.

The forward who has been handed the number 27 jersey will have the opportunity of playing in the UEFA Europa League for Lugano this season.

Morocco’s Younes Bnou Marzouk and Cote d’Ivoire’Yao Eloge Koffi are the other Africans in the squad.

Sasere is expected to make his debut when Lugano welcome relegation-threatened Xamas to the Cornaredo Stadium on Sunday.

They are placed eighth in the Super League with six points from eight outings.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery names Granit Xhaka as new captain

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has named midfielder Granit Xhaka as the club's new permanent captain, replacing Laurent Koscielny, who left for Bordeaux in the summer.

Emery told the squad of his decision on Friday, after consulting with players.

The Switzerland international, 27, has led the side in six of their eight games in all competitions this season.

Arsenal's next game is away to Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday.

Emery is still deliberating over a vice-captain, with forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang understood to be the leading contenders.

Roma ban fan for life after racist abuse of defender Juan Jesus

The Serie A side tweeted an image of the messages - including details of the account - and confirmed they had reported the incident to the police.

The public denunciation was met with widespread appreciation on Twitter.

It comes after anti-discriminatory body Fare said Italian football authorities and their disciplinary systems to combat racism were not fit for purpose.

Fare executive director Piara Powar added "the rot is deep" and "no-one is taking the issue seriously", but Serie A insisted it was "seriously and constantly engaged in activities against racism".

AC Milan launched an anti-racism task force at last weekend's derby against Inter, christened the 'Derby Against Racism', in response to recent racist incidents.

Inter striker Romelu Lukaku had been subjected to monkey chants by Cagliari fans during a Serie A game on 2 September, however Cagliari were cleared of racist chanting.

Olympic Eagles To Know Opponents On Wednesday As CAF Changes Draw Date

The U-23 Eagles will now know their group opponents for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, October 2nd after the Confederation of African Football announced a new date for the draw, reports

The draw, which was supposed to take place initially on the October 3 was brought forward a day ahead following a decision taken in consultation with the Local Organising Committee which was due to logistic reasons.

It will take place at the Haramlek Palace, inside the historical Montaza Complex, Alexandria.

The magnificent Cairo International Stadium and Al Stadium Stadium, also in Cairo will host matches in the competition.

Aside from Nigeria and hosts Egypt, six other countries; Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, South Africa and Zambia will will be in attendance.

The U-23 Eagles won the last edition of the competition four years ago in Senegal.

The final tournament is scheduled for November 8 to 22.

The top three finishers will qualify to represent Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Danilo Ruled Out Of Brazil, Super Eagles Friendly Due To Injury

Juventus defender Danilo Luiz Da Silva will miss Brazil’s friendly against Nigeria due to muscle injury, reports.

The Serie A champions confirmed the former Real Madrid player will not return to action until mid-October as a result of the setback.

The 28-year-old linked up with Juventus from Premier League champions, Manchester City this summer.

Brazil head coach Tite is now expected to name a replacement for the right back.

The Selecao will face the Super Eagles on October 13 at the National Stadium, Singapore.

The five-time world champions will come up against the Teranga Lions of Senegal at the same venue three days earlier.

Azeez Excited With Super Eagles Recall After Five Years Abscence

Granada midfielder Ramon Azeez is delighted to be back in the Super Eagles after five years.

Azeez, 26, was included in Nigeria’s 23-man squad for next month’s friendly against the Selacao of Brazil on Thursday.

“The manager [Diego Martínez] has shown great faith and belief in me,” Azeez told BBC Sport.

“I also understand La Liga better now than before so everything leads to this.

“I think the support of my teammates, everyone at the club and a new mentality has helped. It is always an honour to play for my country and to be recognised by coach [Gernot] Rohr.”

Azeez has scored two goals in four league appearances for Granada this season.

A former youth international, Azeez has been in Spanish football since 2011, rising through the ranks at Almeria before short spell at CD Lugo led to a switch to Granada in January.

Nigeria will be meeting Brazil on 13 October in Singapore, for the second time at senior level following a 3-0 defeat in a friendly in June 2003 in Abuja.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Barcelona ordered to pay just €300 as punishment for Griezmann transfer.

The Blaugrana have avoided serious consequences for an alleged breach of rules during their negotiations to lure the World Cup winner to Camp Nou. Barcelona have been fined just €300 by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for their actions in the signing of Atletico Madrid forward Antione Griezmann. Atletico claim that Barcelona reached an agreement to sign the France international when his release clause stood at €200 million (£178m/$221m). Griezmann ended up completing a €120m (£107m/$134m) move to Camp Nou on July 12, with his buy-out clause reduced at the start of the same month.

And Barca have now been sanctioned by the RFEF on Thursday, with the club now due to pay a v300 fine for a breach of rules.

It had been suggested that the Spanish champions may be forced to play a fixture behind closed doors, but no ban on supporters has been issued.

The RFEF have released an official statement, which reads: "It is evident that the amount of economic sanction does not bear any proportion to the importance of the facts that have given rise to this file.

"Taking into account the economic capacity of the club and the amount of the economic operation, this committee is aware that the payment of €300, beyond its merely symbolic nature (the fine is imposed because the issued club has been considered the author of a disciplinary infraction), will not contribute to the sanctioned club in particular and, probably, other clubs that may be in the same situation in the future, adapt their behaviour to what is required by regulation.

"However, this is not a sufficient reason for this committee to opt for the imposition of a sanction - the closing of the stadium by a party - which, as stated, seems to be intended for infractions of another nature."

Atletico have ultimately missed out on the €80m ($87m/£71m) they feel they are owed, but club boss Diego Simeone will likely be unaffected by the news.

The Argentine stated that he "was not interested" in any new findings regarding Griezmann's transfer ahead of a clash with Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Spanish publication El Mundo lifted the lid on Barca's alleged wrong-doings, claiming they had access to emails which proved that the club finalised an agreement with Griezmann back in March.

The 28-year-old has settled in quickly at Camp Nou, netting three goals in his first six La Liga appearances.

Greizmann will likely retain his place in Ernesto Valverde's line up for a trip to Getafe on Saturday, before Barca prepare for a Champions League clash against Inter four days later.

Olayinka, Azeez In Eagles 23-Man Squad For Brazil Friendly.

Image result for nigeria vs brazil

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has unveiled his 23-man list for October 13 friendly encounter against the Selecao of Brazil with Slavia Prague’s forward Peter Olayinka the only new name on the roster, reports

Olayinka hit the headlines after scoring Slavia Prague’s only goal in last week’s 1-1 Champions League clash against Inter Milan.

The 23-year-old has also scored two goals in seven league appearances for Slavia Prague this season.

Rohr also invited Granada of Spain midfielder, Ramon Azeez for the game. Azeez last featured for the Super Eagles in their second round clash against France at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The 26-year-old has netted twice in four league games for Granada this season.

Glasgow Rangers of Scotland star, Joe Aribo, Anderson Esiti who plays for PARK of Greece , Club Brugge’s Emmanuel Dennis and Fortuna Dusseldorf young goalkeeper Maduka Okoye all got another call-up following last month’s friendly against Ukraine at the Dnipro Arena.

Kelechi Iheanacho, Leon Balogun, Bryan Idowu and Josh Maja were all dropped from the last roster against Ukraine.

Skipper of the team, Ahmed Musa who is still recuperating from injury also failed to make the squad.

Otherwise, Rohr kept faith with reliables like Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo in the list.

Lille forward, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Moses Simon were also included in the squad.

The game against Brazil will hold on October 13 at the National Stadium, Singapore.


Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho, Maduka Okoye

William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, Ola Aina, Shehu Abdullahi, Jamilu Collins

Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Anderson Esiti, Ramon Azeez

Victor Osimhen, Paul Onuachu, Peter Olayinka, Samuel Chukwueze, Samuel Kalu, Moses Simon, Emmanuel Dennis