Sports Business Updates; Week 10, 2017

World Boxing Super Series set for September launch

The World Boxing Super Series, a new annual elimination tournament featuring some of the sport's top fighters and a $50m (€47m) prize fund, will launch in September.

Nascar adds second top-tier race in Las Vegas

North American stock car-racing series Nascar has added a second Las Vegas race to its calendar, with the US city now set to host two top-tier events from the 2018 season onwards.

Germany and Turkey to battle for Euro 2024

Uefa, football's European governing body, has confirmed that Germany and Turkey will be the only bidders for the Euro 2024 national team tournament.

SportAccord goes back to the future as reforms unveiled

SportAccord, the umbrella group of more than 90 Olympic and non-Olympic sports federations, has unveiled proposals for constitutional changes that could see it return to its former designation and introduce a new means of electing its president.

Adidas raises expectations after 'exceptional' year

Adidas has raised its long-term revenue projections through to 2020 after hailing an "exceptionally successful" 2016.

Bank of America backing boosts Vegas bid for Oakland Raiders

The efforts of NFL American football franchise the Oakland Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas have been boosted with the news that Bank of America has agreed to step in to fill a financial black hole that had been created in a project to develop a new stadium in the Nevada city.

Fredericks steps down from IOC and IAAF roles amid allegations

Frankie Fredericks has stepped down from senior roles within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after a newspaper report that he received almost $300,000 (€282,500) from disgraced marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack.

British Cycling recruits FA exec as new CEO

The British Cycling governing body has appointed Julie Harrington of the English Football Association (FA) as its new chief executive.

UFC claims first with Vegas arena deal

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has claimed an industry first with a multi-year agreement that names the mixed martial arts organisation as an anchor tenant of the T-Mobile Arena in the US city of Las Vegas.

Fifa outlines requirements for 2026 World Cup bidders

World football’s governing body Fifa on Thursday stated that the United States would have to permit entry to players, officials and fans from any country that qualified if it won the right to host the 2026 World Cup, while reports have detailed a potential rival joint bid for the tournament from Morocco, Spain and Portugal.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman’s future at the club was put in major doubt as the Toffees slumped to an embarrassing 5-2 loss against Arsenal in the Premier League fixture at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Despite taking the lead via Wayne Rooney’s fine strike in the 12th minute, the hosts were unable to build on their excellent start and allowed Arsenal to come back into the match.

Gunners defender Nacho Monreal struck an deserved equaliser five minutes before half-time and the momentum was firmly with Arsene Wenger’s side at the interval.

Post the break, Arsenal always looked like the side more likely to score and took the lead via a rapid counter attack. Arsenal’s ‘big front-three’-Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez-started together for the first time and the trio combined beautifully to give the Gunners the lead early in the second-half.

Lacazette held up the ball well before releasing Sanchez on the left wing. The Chilean looked up and delivered a pin-point cross for Ozil to head home in the 54th minute. ??Everton tried to rally but their exuberance backfired as Idrissa Gueye was sent off for a late challenge on Granit Xhaka. The central midfielder had been cautioned in the first-half and was was rightly given his marching orders by referee Craig Pawson.

Gueye’s sending-off proved to be the turning point in the game as Everton wilted under sustained pressure from Arsenal.

Lacazette finished off a flowing counter in the 74th minute to notch his first away goal of the season before Aaron Ramsey added a fourth in the 90th minute.

Everton substitute Oumar Niasse would pull one back for the hosts in the 93rd minute but then Sanchez would register his first and Arsenal’s fifth two minutes later to ensure the Gunners register their first away win of the Premier League season.

Arsenal are now level with defending champions Chelsea with 16 points, but are fifth due to their inferior goal difference. They still trail leaders Manchester City by nine points but will take heart from their win at Goodison Park and hope their flagging season can be given a sorely-needed jolt by Sunday’s triumph.

For Everton, it’s quite grim as the Toffees now drop to 18th place and are in the relegation zone. For a club that spent quite heavily in the summer, it’s not the ideal return their owners would have wanted and it remains to be seen whether the management keeps their faith in Koeman in the coming days.

Muhoroni Youth's path to relegation continued widening following a 3-0 pounding by a recovering Kakamega Homeboyz side on Sunday October 22 at the Muhoroni Grounds.

A long range effort in the 25th minute from Wycliffe Opondo proved too much for keeper Gradius Ochieng after it went into the net for Homeboyz opening goal.

Seven minutes later, the visitors were at it again, this time having their lead doubled by Jeremiah Wanjala who had been in exemplary form in the first half hour of the game.

Francis Ochola then put the match beyond Muhoroni's reach with a third goal for his side just three minutes later to take Homeboyz into the break leading 3-0.

The second half was a more settled affair with the visitors seeming contented with their huge lead while Muhorni were completely unable to break down their opponent's defense.

Nakumatt FC vs Bandari

At the Ruaraka Grounds in Nairobi, Bandari FC ended their five match losing streak with a slim 1-0 victory over hosts Nakumatt on the same day.

The lone goal was scored by Fell Mulumba who curled in a free kick from the edge of the box to give his side the lead in the fourth minute.

The Dockers were able to hold onto the lead till the final whistle which earned them their first three points in over a month. 

 

Sofapaka's quest of reclaiming the second position of the league table were shattered by a 3-1 loss in the hands of Western Stima, who went level on points with  15th placed Mathare United following the win on Sunday October 22 at the Narok Stadium.

Sofapaka had grabbed the lead early on through Kennedy Oduor's goal, but saw it restored just a  minute later courtesy of Brian Marita. Ugandan international Robert Achema then completed the marvelous comeback with two quick fire goals before the break to give Stima their seventh win of the season.

The Kisumu based side now move to 16th on the log with 31 points while Sofapaka remain third with 48 points to their name.

Thika United vs Mathare 

At the Thika-Sub County Stadium, relegation threatened pair of Thika United and Mathare  had to settle for a point each following a 1-1 draw.

Mathare went ahead after sixteen minutes of play through Cliff Nyakeya who made full use of Crispin Oduor's decisive pass to slot the ball past keeper Allan Owiny.

Their lead was however to last for just four minutes as Eugene Mukangula drew the hosts level with a powerful shot that left custodian Levis Opiyo stranded.

Despite a handful of chances in the second half, neither of the sides was able to notch a winner and thus had to contend with a point each. 

The result takes Mathare's point tally to 31 which puts them in 15th place while Thika are second from bottom with 29 points.

 

In what was a frustrating event for Kenyan athletes, Bahrain’s Abraham Cheroben won the men’s IAAF Gold Label road race in 59:11 on Sunday October 22, grabbing his third win in four years in Valencia.

The race kicked off at a steady 2:48-per-kilometre pace, powered by a group of three pacemakers and headed by Mathew Kisorio who went through the first five-kilometre check point in 14:00, just on schedule to break the 58:48 course record set by Cheroben in 2014.

Cheroben then surprisingly passed the pacemakers and took command of the race from the sixth kilometre. There were still 10 men in the leading group at the stage, but with 26 minutes on the clock, Cheroben put in another surge and was followed by the Ethiopian pair of Leul Gebrselassie Aleme and late addition Tsadik Fidaku Haftu, neither of whom had previously bettered 60 minutes for this distance.

The lead trio went through the 10-kilometre point in 27:54 with Cheroben still dictating the pace and the Ethiopians running in single file behind him. At the half-way stage, the biggest surprise was the fourth-placed runner, Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen. Despite moderate success at the continental level, Moen was relatively unheralded in global terms and headed into the race with a lifetime best of 1:02:19.

There were no major changes in the following kilometres as Aleme and Haftu never headed the race, leaving Cheroben with the burden of setting the pace throughout. As a result, the 15-kilometre split of 42:08 showed the speed had decreased a bit and the course record of 58:48 became an unreachable aim.

After cruising through 20 kilometres in 56:18, the decisive moment came with some 600 metres left when Cherono opened a sizeable gap on the Ethiopians to prove he was the strongest athlete today. He crossed the line in 59:11 while Aleme took the runner-up place in 59:17 to take more than a minute from his previous best. Haftu completed a classy podium in 59:21, also a massive improvement for him.

Moen obliterated his PB by more than two minutes, crossing the line in fourth place in a Norwegian record of 59:47, the second-fastest time in history by a European athlete on a record-eligible course. Multiple world and Olympic champion Mo Farah is the only European runner to have covered 13.1 miles in a faster time.

Men's results

1 Abraham Cheroben (BRN) 59:11

2 Leul Gebresilase (ETH) 59:12

3 Fikadu Haftu (ETH) 59:22

4 Sondre Nordstad Moen (NOR) 59:47

5 Mustapha El Aziz (MAR) 1:00:51

6 Amanuel Mesel (ERI) 1:00:53

7 Justus Kangogo (KEN) 1:00:53

8 Mathew Kisorio (KEN) 1:01:17

Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei kept her stellar 2017 momentum alive at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon, taking one second off her own world record to win the IAAF Gold Label road race in 1:04:51 on Sunday October 22.

After Saturday’s technical meeting, it became clear that a serious attack on her current world record was on the cards. A cautious Jepkosgei had commented there that she had been training well since running a world 10km record of 29:43 in Prague and was confident of running fast.

Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi was enlisted to pace Jepkosgei at a steady 3:05 per kilometre pace but the early splits proved to be even quicker than scheduled as the opening five kilometres were covered in a frantic 14:52, a time fast enough to finish inside 1:03. The brisk rhythm continued as the 23-year-old was timed at 30:09 at 10 kilometres, still well ahead of her own world record pace.

However, that kind of pace seemed to be self-defeating for a while as Jepkosgei’s rhythm clearly slowed down in the third five-kilometre section. Always running at Kemboi’s shoulder, the multiple world record-holder reached 15 kilometres in 45:59 which put her target in serious jeopardy; when she set the previous world record of 1:04:52 in Prague, she had clocked 45:37 at 15 kilometres.

But, to the delight of the crowd, Jepkosgei dug deep in the closing stages and by the 20-kilometre checkpoint, reached in 1:01:30, she was only five seconds in arrears of her world record goal. With a thrilling run down the final straight, Jepkosgei beat the clock and reached the finish line in 1:04:51 to set her sixth world record this year.“It was my first race in Valencia, I enjoyed a lot, the weather is nice, the circuit is perfect to run fast,” said Jepkosgei, who will turn 24 in December. “I hope to come back in March for the World Half Marathon Championships.Fancy Chemutai and Lucy Cheruiyot joined Jepkosgei on the podium to get a clean sweep of medals for Kenya. The former, still 3 years of age, ran a massive career best of 1:05:38 to improve over one minute her previous best of 1:06:58. As for Cheruiyot, she finished seven seconds outside her PB in 1:07:30.

Today’s performance was the third women’s world half marathon record set on Spanish soil in recent years after Florence’s Kiplagat previous records of 1:05:12 and 1:05:09 in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Women results

1 Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) 1:04:51

2 Fancy Chemutai (KEN) 1:05:36

3 Lucy Cheruiyot (KEN) 1:07:30

4 Gelete Burka (ETH) 1:08:17

5 Paskalia Chepkorir (KEN) 1:09:13

6 Trihas Gebre (ESP) 1:09:55

7 Birhan Mhretu (ETH) 1:09:59

8 Azmera Gebru Hagos (ETH) 1:10:39

 

Everton and Arsenal FC have announced their starting lineups that will face off in Round 9 of the Barclay Premier League on Sunday October 22 at the Goodison Park.

Everton look like they're lining up win a 3-4-3, with Williams, Keane and Jagielka all starting at centre-backs. Schneiderlin misses out with injury, while Calvert-Lewin gets the nod over Niasse up front.

or Arsenal, Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette start together for the first time, while Ramsey is back in central midfield alongside Xhaka, who remains in the team despite his dereliction of duty against Watford last week.  

Below is how the teams will line up for Sunday's clash.

Arsenal Starting XI: Cech, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette.

Reserves: Macey, Holding, Coquelin, Wilshere, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud.

Everton Starting XI: Pickford, Kenny, Baines, Williams, Jagielka (c), Keane, Gana, Vlasic, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin.

Reserves: Joel, Mirallas, Martina, Niasse, Klassen, Davies, Lookman

 

Kakamega Homeboyz and Muhoroni Youth have each announced their respective starting lineups that will clash in a league match on Sunday October 22 at the Muhoroni Grounds from 15:00.

The match is of significant importance to both sides, Kakamega Homeboyz seeking to re-discover their form that saw them go for ten match without losing before surrendering it to Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt FC. Muhoroni on the other hand will be on the hunt for three points that would take them to equal on points with fellow strugglers Thika United and Western Stima.

Below is how the teams will lineup for Sunday's match:

Homeboyz Starting XI: David Juma (GK), Eric Ambunya, Collins Kisuya, Momanyi Charles, Odiwour George, Eston Esiye, Moses Chikati, Ahmed Ali Bhai, Opondo Wycliffe, Francis Ocholla, Wanjala Jeremiah. 

Reserves: Wanyika Michael (GK), Hedmond Mauda, Matete Victor, Bernard Mutonyi, David Odhiambo, Jonathan Mwaniki

Muhoroni Starting XI: Gradus Ochieng (GK), James Ogada, Ogendo Jeconiah, Faina Jacobs, Indimuli Robert, Agade Collins, Maxwell Onyango, Rono Kennedy, Ayoyi Ambrose, Kikoyo Hassan, Venval Thomas.

Bench: Saidi Ramadhan (GK), John Mark Ochieng, Mudoola Farouk, Jacob Ombija, Yusuf Mohammed, Salim Sowedi, James Otuoma.

 

Sofapaka head coach Sam Ssimbwa has made known his starting lineup that will take on Western Stima in a league match on Sunday October 22 at the Narok Stadium.

Mohammed Kiluma has been included in the first eleven in place of  Hillary Echesa and will pair up in midfield with Francis Ocholla who was also been handed a rare start.

An unchanged quartet of Odipo Maurice, Aloro Rodgers, Mugabi Jonathan and Oduor Kennedy will continue undertaking defensive duties just infront of goalkeeper Mathias Kigonya.

Umaru Kasumba and Feni Ali will lead the team's hunt for goals as Michael Oduor and Ezekiel Okare offer assistance from either flanks in the match that kicks off a 15:00.

Starting XI:  Mathias Kigonya (GK), Odipo Maurice, Aloro Rodgers, Mugabi Jonathan, Oduor Kennedy, Mohamed Kilume, Francis Ocholla, Oduor Michael, Feni Ali, Kasumba Umaru, Okare Ezekiel

Substitutes: Opiyo George (GK),Bernard Mangoli, Mutira Samwel, Morven Otinya, Brian Magonya, Kwanya Edmond, Meshack Karani, Ricky Onimbo

 

Everton manager Ronald Koeman’s future at the club was put in major doubt as the Toffees slumped to an embarrassing 5-2 loss against Arsenal in the Premier League fixture at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Despite taking the lead via Wayne Rooney’s fine strike in the 12th minute, the hosts were unable to build on their excellent start and allowed Arsenal to come back into the match.

Gunners defender Nacho Monreal struck an deserved equaliser five minutes before half-time and the momentum was firmly with Arsene Wenger’s side at the interval.

Post the break, Arsenal always looked like the side more likely to score and took the lead via a rapid counter attack. Arsenal’s ‘big front-three’-Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez-started together for the first time and the trio combined beautifully to give the Gunners the lead early in the second-half.

Lacazette held up the ball well before releasing Sanchez on the left wing. The Chilean looked up and delivered a pin-point cross for Ozil to head home in the 54th minute. ??Everton tried to rally but their exuberance backfired as Idrissa Gueye was sent off for a late challenge on Granit Xhaka. The central midfielder had been cautioned in the first-half and was was rightly given his marching orders by referee Craig Pawson.

Gueye’s sending-off proved to be the turning point in the game as Everton wilted under sustained pressure from Arsenal.

Lacazette finished off a flowing counter in the 74th minute to notch his first away goal of the season before Aaron Ramsey added a fourth in the 90th minute.

Everton substitute Oumar Niasse would pull one back for the hosts in the 93rd minute but then Sanchez would register his first and Arsenal’s fifth two minutes later to ensure the Gunners register their first away win of the Premier League season.

Arsenal are now level with defending champions Chelsea with 16 points, but are fifth due to their inferior goal difference. They still trail leaders Manchester City by nine points but will take heart from their win at Goodison Park and hope their flagging season can be given a sorely-needed jolt by Sunday’s triumph.

For Everton, it’s quite grim as the Toffees now drop to 18th place and are in the relegation zone. For a club that spent quite heavily in the summer, it’s not the ideal return their owners would have wanted and it remains to be seen whether the management keeps their faith in Koeman in the coming days.

Everton and Arsenal FC have announced their starting lineups that will face off in Round 9 of the Barclay Premier League on Sunday October 22 at the Goodison Park.

Everton look like they're lining up win a 3-4-3, with Williams, Keane and Jagielka all starting at centre-backs. Schneiderlin misses out with injury, while Calvert-Lewin gets the nod over Niasse up front.

or Arsenal, Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette start together for the first time, while Ramsey is back in central midfield alongside Xhaka, who remains in the team despite his dereliction of duty against Watford last week.  

Below is how the teams will line up for Sunday's clash.

Arsenal Starting XI: Cech, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette.

Reserves: Macey, Holding, Coquelin, Wilshere, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud.

Everton Starting XI: Pickford, Kenny, Baines, Williams, Jagielka (c), Keane, Gana, Vlasic, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin.

Reserves: Joel, Mirallas, Martina, Niasse, Klassen, Davies, Lookman

 

They gave everything to see it out. They were quick to the ball, strong in the challenge and absolutely determined not to let there to be a dramatic late twist. And, finally, Huddersfield Town could soak in the euphoria of a win against Manchester United, their first since March 1952, and one of those rare occasions when their supporters must have felt like the blood in their veins had been converted to red wine.

Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to score twice as Chelsea fought back from behind to win a six-goal thriller against Watford.

Chelsea were on the back foot for much of this contest at Stamford Bridge but two goals from Batshuayi, either side of an 87th-minute header from Cesar Azpilicueta, snatched the champions a much-needed 4-2 victory.

For a while, Chelsea looked on course for a third straight Premier League loss when Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra's goals put Watford 2-1 up before Batshuayi and then Azpilicueta instigated the turnaround. Batshuayi added his second in stoppage time.

Chelsea also had the officials to thank after Pedro's opener, a superb long-range strike, came from a corner that should not have been given.

That will be of little significance to Antonio Conte, however, whose relief was palpable when he celebrated Azpilicueta's goal by diving in amongst the Chelsea fans. This was his team's first victory in four matches in all competitions.

They were certainly flattered by the scoreline as Watford dominated for large spells and Marco Silva will rue his side's wasteful finishing. Richarlison squandered two excellent chances, the second of which would have put his team two to the good.

Chelsea's victory means they leapfrog Watford in the table, who started the game above their opponents in fourth.

Any early Chelsea nerves were settled by an opening goal that began with a large slice of fortune and ended with a brilliant long-range strike.

Assistant referee Andrew Halliday awarded a corner when the ball clearly came off Hazard's foot last and Chelsea took it quickly, Hazard playing to the edge of the box where Pedro whipped his shot first time off the far post and into the corner.

The champions were temporarily buoyant and Cesc Fabregas should have doubled their advantage when played through one-on-one soon after but his chipped finish plopped into the grateful hands of Heurelho Gomes.

For large parts of the first period, however, Watford were the ones in control and it was no more than they deserved when Doucoure equalised just before the break.

Jose Holebas trundled over from the opposite side of the pitch to launch a long throw into the box and while David Luiz met the header, the ball dropped down for Doucoure to drill in his fourth league goal of the season.

Watford came out all guns blazing and could have scored three in the first 10 minutes. Richarlison missed two sitters, one at the back post, which he side-footed wide and then another with his head, skewing past the far post from five yards.

That should have made it 3-1 because in between Pereyra made no mistake as this time Richarlison turned provider, receiving from Deeney and squaring to his unmarked teammate to steer past Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea were on the ropes but Watford failed to land a knockout blow and later paid the price.

Batshuayi, on for the booked Alvaro Morata, made the difference as he darted across Miguel Britos and headed Pedro's cross into the far corner to pull his side level with 21 minutes left. Chelsea now looked the more likely to snatch a late winner and Batshuayi almost grabbed it, only to fire over on the turn after a quick free kick from Fabregas.

But it came moments later. Willian, also off the bench, crossed and Christian Kabasele flicked to the back post where Azpilicueta was waiting to nod in. There was still time for a fourth in stoppage time as Britos conceded possession and Batshuayi pounced to round off the victory.

 

Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has predicted that he will knock out his opponent Carlos Takam in their fight in 8 days from now on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

The Everton fan who appeared to try and strike a Lyon player could land his club a Uefa sanction, while Ashley Williams may face punishment too following the ugly scenes in Thursday’s Europa League tie.

Williams instigated a fracas in front of the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End midway through the second half at Goodison Park when he barged into Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

A melee involving players from both sides ensued and moved to the advertising hoardings, where one Toffees fan, who was holding a child with one arm, pushed Lopes in the head before hitting out at him again.

While that was occurring, Williams seemed to raise his hand to Lucas Tousart’s face, yet the only initial outcome of the skirmish was a booking for Everton’s captain-for-the-night and Lyon’s match-winner Bertrand Traore.

Speaking after the Toffees’ 2-1 loss, Williams told BT Sport 2 of the scuffle: “It’s what happens, it’s football. It is what it is.

“It’s high emotions. We want to win the game, they want to win the game and stuff happens. That was just one of those times.”

Yet retrospective action could be forthcoming from Uefa, for both Williams and the club, a possibility ex-Premier League referee Graham Poll deems likely.

“Ashley Williams and Everton will surely face further sanction from Uefa once video evidence is studied,” he said in the Daily Mail.

“Williams totally lost the plot.

“There were numerous players from both teams involved in the melee behind the Lyon goal and even a fan from the Everton section at the Gwladys Street End became involved — first pushing then appearing to aim a punch at a Lyon player.

“The fact that a couple of Everton backroom staff had to enter the field to calm Williams down showed how out of control the captain was and, while their intervention helped, they should not enter the field of play.

“The Uefa delegate and referee’s observer will have met with the official after the game and discussed their findings before submitting individual reports. Unless the referee ill-advisedly says he saw everything, sanctions really must follow.”

It was the referee, Bas Nijhuis, who under-fire Toffees manager Ronald Koeman blamed for his players losing their cool during a defeat which leaves them facing Europa League elimination having taken just one point from three games.

“I think the irritation grows in the game for our players and in my opinion that was the problem by the referee,” Koeman argued.

“The referee was Dutch but he didn’t do anything against the theatre of some of the Lyon players. (Nabil) Fekir in the first half dived 10 times.

“I understand with my players, that comes out of frustration.”

It compounded another miserable night for Everton and Koeman, who is under mounting pressure with his team having won just two of their previous dozen fixtures.

“I think the performance was under the level in the first half — a lot of mistakes, a lot of doubts, players without any confidence,” he said.

 

The UEFA Champions League continues on Wednesday October 18 with a total of eight matches from four groups set to be played in venues across Europe.

Below is a list of all fixtures (All times are in EAT)

GROUP A

Benfica 21:45 Manchester United

CSKA Moscow 21:45 FC Basel

GROUP B

Bayern Munich 21:45 Celtic

RSC Anderlecht 21:45 Paris Saint Germain

GROUP C

FK Qarabag 21:00 Atlético Madrid

Chelsea 21:45 Roma

GROUP D

Barcelona 21:45 Olympiakos

Juventus 21:45 Sporting Lisbon

 

Hours after sacking manager Craig Shakespeare, Leicester City Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has sought to clarify on their decision to do so.

Shakespeare's sacking comes just four months  into a three-year contract that he had been given after following a successful spell in caretaker charge.

 “ Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City – during his spells as an Assistant Manager and since taking over as Manager in challenging circumstances in February,'' Srivaddhanaprabha was quoted by the Mirror.

“However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the Board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the Club moving forward – consistent with the long-term expectations of our supporters, Board and owners.

“Craig is and will remain a very popular, respected figure at Leicester City and will be welcome back at King Power Stadium in future, both professionally and as a friend of the Club.”

Leicester are third from bottom, with six points from eight games, and Michael Appleton, Shakespeare’s assistant, has been asked to take charge of the team for Saturday’s game at Swansea

 

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JN: It was a bit hard for me since there were the demands on the pitch and at the same time I was schooling. I had to carefully plan my time. However, sometimes it was difficult for me because I had to leave school for training and when I got back to class I was so tired and couldn't focus fully.  

KS: You made a name for yourself  while you were at Allstars. Tell us about your time playing there and your relationship with the players, coach, management etc.

JN: First, I would like to thank Robert Muthomi. He took me as his son, he took care of me,he used to advise me and  managed me well. I also thank everyone who coached me. During my time there, I learnt something from all coaches and this made me grow to who I am today. My teammates were also supportive, as football is a team sport and you support each other. 

KS: You would later join Bandari. However, you never stayed there for long...

JN: I would not wish to discuss about my time at Bandari. It was very difficult for me.

KS: What exactly affected you?

JN: Lack of play time.

KS: Well, you at one point joined Kariobangi Sharks. What necessitated the move?  

JN: After Bandari I went back to Nakuru Allstars to get my form back. However, at the end of the season the team got relegated and so we agreed with Robert Muthomi, the CEO,  that since I had already made my name and was still young, it wasn't proper to play in the lower tier. Therefore I joined Kariobangi Sharks. We agreed with President Nick Mwendwa that if the team won't get promoted to the top league he releases me and that's what happened when I joined AFC Leopards.

KS: Leopards - You joined the club, lots of expectations, but left. Kindly tell us about your time at Leopards.

JN: I enjoyed my time at Leopards and would like to thank the management and coaches. They believed in me and I wish them all the the best. In December, I was asked by Leopards to look for a suitable club where I would go on loan and I felt it was not good for me. Therefore I  asked them to just release me instead. As a team last season we were unlucky not to do well and meet the expectations but I personally think that I played my part and was very surprised when they suggested a loan move for me in the transfer window. 

KS: You have some serious football skills. Very good running, very good dribbles. What's the tactical secret for you?

JN: Apart from talent in me I do watch skillful players like Neymar, Ronaldinho and Cristiano and try apply what I see on the pitch. Besides, I also work very hard.  

KS: Harambee Stars: You have grown from U-23 to the senior team. Tell us about your time and experience so far at Stars

JN: Each and every coach has his style of coaching and the kind of players he wants. I think during Bob Williamson's time I was called several times to the national team. He liked my dribbling skills and speed and he would tell me to just do that in the pitch, since that is what made him like me and give me a call up.  

KS: We haven't seen you at the national team in recent days. Why?

JN: As I have said each and every coach has his style of coaching and kind of players he wants. However, while at AFC Leopards I earned a call up.  

KS: You made what many call a 'daring move' by switching from Leopards to Gor. Do you feel it was a daring move or just any other normal transfer?

JN: I believe if you have talent and you work hard everything is possible. Talent can never be hidden. Kama unajua unajua. For me I see it as a normal move. My time will come and I'll shine.

KS: Gor Mahia - How is life there. What are your targets/goals?

JN: I am enjoying life at Gor. They do things professionally and think that's what differentiates Gor with other clubs. My target is to play as many games and help the team lift the title and in future I go to Europe. 

KS: You have been accused of the following: Missing training at times intentionally, partying a little too much and alcoholism. Your response?

JN: In life you must have friends and enemies and for you to make in life you must have enemies. All these stories came up when I was at Leopards. When Ivan Minnaert left a Luhya coach took over and he only wanted Luhya players. Therefore, Ian otieno and  I decided to stay at home because no matter how hard we worked in training, we weren't being considered.  On the issue of alcohol, I even cannot tell how it tastes. Yes, I used to go to clubs and watch football while drinking Delmonte juice.  

KS: Any closing words? 

JN: I just want to thank God for the gift of life and talent. I also want to tell my fans that they should  not lose hope in me. I know they believe in me and I won't fail them. 

KS: Thanks for your time Softie!

 

READ: John 'Softie' Ndirangu: Major Transfer Or Forced Out? 

Rayon Sports Club have confirmed that former Sofapaka and Amavubi goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana is no more. Unconfirmed reports claim that a heart attack on Tuesday September 12 at his home was the cause of his death.

Mutuyimana started professional football with Rwandese side Kiyovu Sport before joining Police Kibungo in 2011.The 26-year old then moved to Kenyan side Sofapaka in June 2014 where he played for three seasons. He later moved to Rayon SC, where he was the reserve goalkeeper until his demise.

Mutuyimana has also featured for the Rwanda national team, his most notable appearance being in a 5-1 loss to Tunisia in an International Friendly back in May 2012.

“As Rayon Sports officials, we want convey our message of condolences to all the club fans and family following the death of goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana this Tuesday morning.” his club posted on social media.

 

Following the news that Serena Williams was two months pregnant when she won the Grand Slam, Rev. Fred Nile MP, has called for the world champion to be stripped of the title, claiming “foetal personhood” means she was unfairly advantaged.

“She was playing doubles in a singles tournament!” Nile screamed at the ‘Day of the Unborn Child’ protest.

“I believe that ‘life at conception’ should be the law, and that clearly means two people won the Grand Slam,” said Nile, who is both an avid fan of professional tennis and aggressively campaigning to legislate how people use their uterus.

“That’s clearly against the rules!”

However, feminists argue Nile’s view that pregnancy is a sporting advantage shows ignorance to the realities facing those who are pregnant.

“Serena Williams was in control of her own body during the Grand Slam tournament, and as such has the right to her title, and the right, always, to bodily autonomy”, said Immy Grantson, an outspoken activist campaigning for progress on women’s issues.

“Williams, like all people, has the right to choose what she does with her body: whether that be powerful backhands, and/or be pregnant”, said Grantson.

This comes at a crucial time in New South Wales legislation. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s End12 Campaign hopes to make it legal for world class athletes to choose whether or not they are pregnant.

When asked for comment by The Garter Press, Venus Williams, who lost to Serena Williams under the now contentious circumstances, said she was “excited to be an aunt”.

Tanzanian government have informed SportPesa Limited that they also want to see a Tanzanian team play against Everton on July 12 at the National Stadium. Gor Mahia are the ones with the opportunity after winning the SportPesa Super Cup finals.

Director of Sports Development in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Yusuph Singo confirmed that they have asked the betting firm to organize a friendly match between Everton and one of Tanzania's bigwigs.

``We have asked them (SportPesa) to organse a special friendly match between Yanga and Simba later this month,'' said Singo.

``If all goes well, the winner of the match will confront Everton at the National Stadium. I am sure many local soccer fans would like to see the English Premier League team face one of the top teams in the country,'' he added.

 

Former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga has come out to praise the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for the key role he has paid in developing the career of his brother Victor Wanyama.  

The Kenyan International skipper has been a vital part of the Spurs midfield, prove of just how much Pochettino trusts Wanyama. Big Vic first played under the Argentine gaffer at Southampton and were later reunited at Tottenham last summer.

“He (Wanyama) said Pochettino is the coach who has made him. He’s the one who, when Victor came to Southampton, he taught him what to do and how to play, all the things. He’s the one who taught him everything and made even more qualities for Victor. He gave him exposure and confidence. If you don’t have confidence from the coach, you cannot perform well. He’s helped him a lot,” Mariga told ESPN.

Pochettino’s favorite 3-4-2-1 formation has suited Wanyama perfectly as he provides cover to the wing backs when they move forward to attack, something that has put Wanyama in favor with both the manager and the Spurs supporters.

The midfielder will be expected to take his spot back in the starting XI for the FA Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea at Wembley this Saturday evening after a minor injury.

As the title race stiffens and Spurs still on track for the cup glory, Wanyama may just be the rock Tottenham needs to win the first trophy in over years.

Everton are considering a pre-season friendly in Tanzania as part of their expected new sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

Former Arsenal and Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has described joining Crystal Palace as the “worst decision” of his career.

The 33-year-old Togolese striker is currently playing for Turkish side ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir after being released by the Eagles in the summer of 2016.

Adebayor signed a six-month deal with Palace at the beginning of 2016 – a decision he says he would reverse if given the opportunity.

“I had some great experiences in England in clubs who are among the best in the country,” he told L’Équipe, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

“I was happy there, my family too. The only error that I made was to sign for Crystal Palace in January 2016.

“I did it just to please my entourage, who were saying to me: ‘Manu, you have to start playing again!’ It was the worst decision of my career.”

He would played 15 senior matches for Palace under then boss Alan Pardew scoring once in a losing effort to Watford.

It turned out to be his worst return for a single club since turning professional nearly 20 years ago with hometown side AC Merlan Lome.

Prior to relocating to Selhurst Park, the enigmatic centre-forward had already plied his trade with three different English clubs, most notably Arsenal from whom he joined Manchester City before returning to North London with Tottenham Hotspur.

In his first season with Ba?ak?ehir, the former Monaco man, has managed to register six goals across 11 league appearances including a hat-trick against Galatasaray.

 

Work has been completed on the first proposed venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - the Khalifa International Stadium. More than five years before the tournament kicks off, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has confirmed extensive renovations on the 40,000-seater venue are now finished.

The renovations include the installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar's successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26 degrees and the stands somewhere between 24 and 28 degrees.

SC secretary general H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi said: "The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.

"As we promised in our bid, our innovative stadiums offer an unrivalled experience to fans and players alike. I'm proud we can show these off to the world and welcome fans with the hospitality this World Cup will be remembered for."

The stadium, originally constructed in 1976, will first host the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday and will also be the venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Qatar Football Association (QFA) president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani added: "Khalifa International Stadium is close to Qatari hearts and has seen some of Qatar's biggest sporting occasions over the years since it was first launched in 1976.

"It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar's football calendar, the 2017 Emir Cup final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodelled stadium on Friday evening."

Drogba had been without a club since leaving MLS outfit Montreal Impact in November, after rejecting a move to Brazilian giants Corinthians in February.

However, the 39-year-old Ivorian striker has finally found a home in Phoenix, where he will also be part of their "MLS expansion franchise ownership group."

Phoenix are in their fourth season in the USL, 12th in the Western Conference with one win after three games.

"I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," said Drogba.

"After seeing firsthand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch.

"I look forward to their continued success in the USL, and no city is better positioned than Phoenix for expansion into the MLS."

Drogba - a two-time African Footballer of the Year – scored 23 goals in 41 competitive appearances for the Impact, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League among other trophies with Chelsea.

"We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising FC's commitment to that mission,” said Phoenix Rising club governor Berke Bakay.

"Soccer is an international language understood by sports fans all over the world, and we want to help inspire fluency among new fans everywhere we play throughout North America."

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