AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca has joined LaLiga side Villarreal on a season-long loan deal. This is Bacca's second stint in Spain after two successful season with Sevilla before signing for Milan in 2015. 

The Colombian international has been touted as a replacement for Roberto Soldado, who joined Fenerbahce last week. The 30-year-old has scored 165 goals in 336 games in his career, with 13 in 39 coming for Milan last season.

"The deal includes an option to buy the player once the campaign is finished," Villarreal said in a statement.

 

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Paris Saint-Germain forward Jesse Rodriguez has completed his move to Stoke City on a season-long loan deal.

The former Real Madrid striker will now be with the Premier League club until July 2018 after finding playing time hard to come by at PSG, having featured in just nine matches for the Ligue 1 side and scored one goal.

"Jesse was a man in demand when PSG made it clear they would allow him to leave on loan and we’re delighted he has chosen to join us. He hasn’t had the happiest of periods in his career in Paris but he’s still only a young man and is hungry to make a big impression in the Premier League. His pedigree speaks for itself and he will most certainly add to the firepower at our disposal,” Stoke's Chief Executive  Tony Scholes told the club's official website.

Jesse becomes the sixth summer signing for the Potters subsequent to Darren Fletcher, Kurt Zouma, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bruno Martins Indi and Josh Tymon joining the club.

 

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The Champions League play-off matches resume on Tuesday August 15, 2017 with five matches expected to be played.

The first match will see FK Karabakh face Copenhagen from 19:00 local time, with Apoel Nicosia and Slavia Prague clashing from 21:45. Hoffenheim will play hosts to Liverpool while Sporting Lisbon entertain Steaua Bucharest at home. Below are the full fixtures:

Tuesday August 15th 

19:00- FK Karabakh vs Copenhagen

21:45- Apoel Nicosia vs Slavia Prague

21:45- Sporting Lisbon vs  Steaua Bucharest

21:45-  Hoffenheim vs Liverpool

21:45- BSC Young Boys vs CSKA Moscow

 

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Real Madrid have become the first brand and sporting institution in the world to eclipse 100 million followers on Facebook, 50 million on Instagram and 25 million on Twitter for their main accounts. The total number of followers for the Real Madrid brand has hit 182 million across these three social media platforms, a figure unmatched by any other brand or sports club at this time. This number rises to more than 280 million fans if the total of the Football, Basketball and La Fábrica accounts are included.

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Manchester United coach has given his word on the new signings and also gave a comment on whether Zlatan  Ibrahimovic would return to United.

“I just think he was very clear by showing what he did last year was not enough for him.”

“He wants more at football's highest level, so we are having conversations and we are discussing the possibility of him staying with us for the second part of the season.”

Mourniho exuded confidence in the new signings :

“I'm happy with the effort the club did, I'm happy that the club managed to do 75 per cent of the work before the Premier League starts,” he said.

“And if, until 31 August, the remaining 25 per cent don’t arrive, I will not moan. I will just go with everything I have to try to win every match we play.”

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Arsenal midfielder Mesul Ozil has heaped praise on former Arsenal goalkeeper who joined the Club as part of the training team to assist Arsene Wenger.

“I think he’ll take us further through his (Jens Lehmann's) experience, through his personality. I think for the players, and especially for the goalkeepers, his experience and his personality [helps]. He was a player who would speak on the pitch when certain things weren’t going as he wanted. That’s why it’s good to have somebody like that around the team who gives their opinion.”

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Manchester United youngster Tim Fosu Mensah has joined Crystal Palace on loan.

Manchester United prospect Tim Fosu-Mensah will spend the 2017/18 season on loan at Crystal Palace, working under the management of fellow Dutchman Frank de Boer.

The 19-year-old is highly regarded at Old Trafford following his recent ascent into the first-team squad, having graduated from the Academy to make his senior debut under Louis van Gaal in February 2016 before establishing himself as a valuable player to Jose Mourinho in 2016/17.

The manager was happy to sanction a new long-term contract for Fosu-Mensah last October and praised his desire to improve, telling us: “Tim is a young player with great potential. I am delighted at the progress he has made so far and it is clear to see that he is learning every day.”

In total so far, Tim has tallied 21 Reds appearances across all competitions and operated most commonly at right-back, but the talented Netherlands international has displayed his versatility by also performing admirably at centre-back and in central midfield.

After completing his loan move to Selhurst Park, Fosu-Mensah will be determined to enhance his education with the Eagles and will hope to feature in their top-flight opener against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Palace manager De Boer was in charge of the AFC Ajax youth team between 2007 and 2010, when Fosu-Mensah was climbing the ranks of their Academy before his move to United in 2014.

 

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Barcelona will not sanction Neymar’s transfer to PSG until they receive the player’s €222m release clause.

Until then, the Brazilian will not be able to play for his new club.

Official sources within the Catalan club have confirmed to EFE that the bank has not yet received the €222m that PSG agreed to pay six days ago.

Until the money is in the Blaugrana’s bank account, Barça will not give the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) the green light to send Neymar’s international transfer certificate.

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Arsenal came from behind thanks to a goal from new boy Sead Kolasinac, and won the the Community Shield after a penalty shoot-out at Wembley on Sunday.

There were key men absent for Arsene Wenger as he went into the game without Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin and Laurent Koscielny, while new boy Alexandre Lacazette started up front.

Victor Moses had put Chelsea after the break but the Blues got a setback conceding from a resultant free kick  after Pedro was sent for rough play.

Arsenal won 4-1 on penalties to lift the Charity shield with Morata missing his penalty just after Thibaut had skied his.

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According to a report from Marcelo Bechler, the same Brazilian journalist who broke the news that Neymar would join Paris Saint-Germain, the Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho will arrive in Catalonia to sign his Barça contract in the next few days. Rumors suggest that improved offer is around €120m.

Philippe Coutinho appears to be closing in on a switch to Barcelona, with reports stating that the LaLiga giants have agreed a deal with Liverpool over the Brazilian. Indeed, ESPN says the 25-year-old attacker could be confirmed as a Barça player within "the coming days or hours".

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Uganda Cranes interim coaching duo of Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba have officially began work by naming the national team squad for Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Kenya 2018 third and final round qualifiers against Rwanda next week.

The two were appointed following Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic's departure due to `unpaid salaries and bonuses'.

“As Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA), we sat as a family (officials and immediate former players) and decided that Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba carry on an interim basis until after the Egypt matches home and away,” said FUFA president, Moses Magogo at a press conference in Kampala.

The Cranes are eyeing a fourth successive qualification for the tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues after Sudan (2011), South Africa (2014) and Rwanda (2016).

Uganda host Rwanda in the first leg on Saturday, 12 August 2017 at the St. Mary’s Stadium before traveling to Kigali seven days later for the return leg.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Ismail Watenga (Vipers), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA), Tom Ikara (Kirinya Jinja SS) and Saidi Keni (Proline)

 Defenders: Nicholas Wadada (Vipers), John Adriko, Bernard Muwanga (SC Villa), Isaac Muleme, Timothy Awany, Paul Musamali (KCCA), Rashid Toha (Onduparaka) and Savio Kabugo (Proline)

 Midfielders: Moses Waiswa, Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye, Tom Masiko, Deus Bukenya (Vipers), Paul Mucureezi, Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA), Simon Sserunkuma (SC Villa), Nicholas Kasozi (Synergy) and Shafik Kagimu (URA)

 Forwards: Shaban Muhammad (Onduparaka), Derrick Nsibambi (KCCA), Milton Kariisa (Vipers), Erisa Ssekisambu (Vipers)

 

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Just which side has the tallest players on average in the English Premier League?

Manchester United have the second-tallest squad in the Premier League - the average height of Jose Mourinho’s side, 1m 84.5cm, is just a couple of millimetres shorter than West Brom’s giants.

West Brom used their height advantage last season to score goals from set pieces against opponents.

Perhaps Mourinho is looking to capitalise on set pieces his side wasted last season with the addition of a new tall players in Lukaku and Matic.

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Neymar's farewell message on Instagram:

"I had the honour of playing with the best athlete I have ever seen in my life and I'm sure that I will never see another one like him while I'm alive, Leo Messi. I love Barcelona but an athlete (me) needs challenges. And for the second time in my life I'll contradict my father. Father, I understand and respect your opinion, but my decision is made and I ask you to support me as you always do. Now in my heart I feel it's time to leave. PSG will be my home for the next few years."

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“I am extremely happy to join PSG. Since I arrived in Europe, they have always been one of the most competitive and ambitious."

"The biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates is to help PSG to conquer the titles that their fans want. PSG’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings."

"I played 4 seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teammates & to open up new horizons for my club. Also to bring happiness to the millions of supporters around the world."

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The 2017 IAAF World London Championships are set to kick off on Friday August 4, 2017 and the nine-day event is set to bring a record 2038 athletes from 205 teams to the British capital.

Competition at London Stadium on the first day begins at 7pm with the preliminary round of the men's 100m and concludes with the final of the men's 10,000m at 9:20pm.

Below is the day on schedule for the IAAF World 2017 Championships:

19:00- Men's 100 Meters (Preliminary Round) 

19:20- Men's Discus Throw (Group A Qualification) 

19:30-Men's Long Jump (Qualification)

19:35 Women's 1500 Meters (Heats)

19:45-Women's Pole Vault (Qualification)

20:20- Men's 100 Meters (Heats)

20:45-Men'sDiscus Throw (Qualification Group B)

21:20-Men's 10,000 Meters (Final)

 

 

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Former Uganda Cranes tactician Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has been unveiled by Orlando Pirates as their new coach for the 2017/18 season.

The move comes just five days after Pirates announced the exit of  Kjell Jonevret who held that position for only five months. 

Micho now to returns to coach the  Buccaneers for a second spell, having coached them from July 2006 to January 2007. The Serbian was the favorite to land the job after relinquishing his position as the Uganda Cranes coach a fortnight ago.

"Orlando Pirates Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Milutin Sredejovic as new Head Coach," read a statement on the club's official website.

"The 47-year old takes over with immediate effect. Micho, as he is affectionately known, returns to the Bucs stable after joining as a 37-year old in 2008, where he led the squad to a CAF Champions League semi-final berth.

"Since leaving the club, Micho has gone on to establish himself on the African continent for both club and country.

"Micho recently led the Ugandan national team to their first African Cup of Nations participation in 38 years.

"The newly appointed head coach is due to meet with the Chairman later today to discuss matters around the squad and his support staff."

 

 

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This year's community Shield clash will kick off an hour earlier from the traditional 5pm (EAT) following a decision by the FA in order to avert a clash in timing with the Women’s European Championship final.

The match pitting Arsenal against Chelsea will therefore kick off at 4pm (EAT) on Sunday August 6. England is set to face Netherlands in the semifinals of the Women’s European Championship on Thursday and are favorites to reach the finals which will be staged in Holland from 4pm (BST).

Chelsea and Arsenal last met in the Community Shield two years ago after then-Blues manager Jose Mourinho had guided his side to the Premier League title. Arsene Wenger earned his first ever win over Mourinho in that fixture, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring the only goal of the game.

 

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The 24-year-old made five first team appearances for the Gunners last season, keeping three clean sheets.

Emi Martinez has joined La Liga side Getafe on loan for the 2017/18 season

He featured twice in the Premier League, impressing and keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 home win over West Ham United.

The Argentine has amassed over 50 career appearances since joining us from Independiente in 2010, during which time has also enjoyed loan spells with Wolves, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Oxford United.

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The Brazilian star made a day trip to Porto on Wednesday after telling his Barcelona team-mates he wanted to leave the club. French paper L'Equipe say Neymar passed his assessment under the supervision of PSG doctor Dr. Eric Rolland and sport co-ordinator Maxwell.

The Brazilian will be in the French capital on Thursday to finalise his move from Barcelona in a deal that will cost PSG a total £576 million over five years. The forward will move to France for a £199m transfer fee – the value of his buyout clause – and pen a five-year contract worth £49m-per-year before tax. Once tax is deducted he will take home around a staggering £520,000-a-week or £27m every year.

Qatar Sports Investment, whose portfolio includes PSG, are understood to be funding the transfer by striking a sponsorship deal with Neymar worth over £300m. That will allow him to effectively pay his own release clause in full and buy himself out of his Barcelona contract, leaving the Nou Camp club powerless to stop the transfer. As part of the deal he is set to become an ambassador for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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It was a much-changed side with this game taking place 24 hours after the Reds’ strongest XI saw off Bayern Munich 3-0. Only Sadio Mane and Emre Can, who were withdrawn at half-time the night previous, remained in the starting lineup. Danny Ward came in for his first appearance of pre-season, with Jon Flanagan, Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan and James Milner making a very makeshift defence. Can played the holding role in midfield, with Gini Wijnaldum and Adam Lallanaalongside him. Dominic Solanke led the attack, with Ben Woodburn on the left and Mane on the right.

It was certainly a slower tempo, with Atletico a very different proposition to Bayern for Liverpool. The first 20 minutes saw very little action, with Liverpool playing the ball around but Atletico keeping a disciplined shape as you’d expect. Liverpool fell behind in the 35th minute when Keidi Bare headed in from close range after Ward had made a superb save to tip the ball onto the bar, only to be unlucky with the rebound. Half-time saw six changes, with Joel Matip, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic, Ryan Kent and Roberto Firmino entering the action.

Gomez moved to right-back, Kent played on the right of the front three, and Firmino on the left of the attack. Despite the influx of new faces, the legs remained heavy with this being the second game in two days and training taking place on each morning. The hot, muggy conditions at the Allianz Arena didn’t help the tempo either. Ovie Ejaria replaced Wijnaldum midway through the second half to get his first appearance of pre-season, and Divock Origi replaced Solanke up front. Opportunities were few and far between, in a very lethargic pre-season game.

Grujic fired over from the edge of the box after a nice flick from Firmino with 15 minutes remaining. Liverpool levelled things up from the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining. Firmino cooly dispatched the spot kick, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way after Origi had been fouled. The equaliser finally pushed Atletico into attack, and Ward made a smart save from a corner late on. The match ended 1-1 and went to penalties, with Atletico winning 5-4; Henderson being the only player to miss a spot-kick.

Penalties:

Firmino – Scored

Griezmann – Scored

Henderson – Saved

Torres – Scored

Origi – Scored

Gabi – Scored

Kent – Scored

Nico – Scored

Grujic – Scored

Filipe Luis – Scored

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Mourinho’s frustrations in the transfer market had him contemplating asking Pogba to play in a more defensive position this term, but the arrival of Nemanja Matic, who joined in a £40m deal from Chelsea last week, has eased the Special One’s concerns ahead of the big kick-off.

Jose Mourinho believes Paul Pogba is capable of scoring 15 goals for Manchester United next season.

Mourinho is said to feel confident that the Serbia international’s presence can fully unlock Pogba’s true attacking potential which he hopes will yield an improvement of at least six goals.

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On the eve of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships London 2017 (4-13 August), the IAAF has reached a new, multi-year agreement with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and ESPN Media Distribution for the sale and distribution of a broad collection of media rights, including the next three IAAF World Championships and IAAF World Indoor Championships, and more than a dozen other competitions in the IAAF World Athletics Series.

Together, the EBU and ESPN Media Distribution will represent the media rights to IAAF events across Europe and Africa, bringing a unique, combined ability to maximise the profile of athletics and increase access to the sport’s top global competitions to hundreds of millions of fans across the two continents via a combination of free-to-air television, pay television and digital media platforms.

The EBU will represent the free-to-air television rights to its members in numerous countries across Europe, ESPN will represent the IAAF media rights across Africa and the two will collaborate to represent the rights for pay television, digital media and additional free-to-air opportunities across Europe. The two companies also have the ability to leverage the ESPN Player OTT streaming platform to reach Athletics fans.

Athletics is the most popular and global sport of the summer Olympic Games with 200 teams participating in Rio 2016. The core disciplines of athletics are the basis of all human movement and all other sport. Athletics offers beneficial health and lifestyle choices, with millions of people of all ages around the world engaging in some form of athletics, whether just for health and fitness or as a professional competitor.

IAAF CEO Olivier Gers said: “We saw extraordinary crowds in both Kampala and Nairobi for our cross country and U18 championships this year. This new broadcasting agreement with two of the principal players in the broadcasting world will be a step forward in the IAAF’s strategy to engage young people and bring the spectacle of the sport and the amazing athlete stories to the millions of fans across Africa and Europe in the mobile and flexible formats they want. The increased use of streaming, supplementing traditional broadcasts on a variety of platforms, will allow the IAAF’s top events to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

The agreement includes the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, the 2021 IAAF World Championships in Eugene, USA and the 2023 IAAF World Championships* as well as the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, UK and the 2020* and 2022* IAAF World Indoor Championships. (*hosts yet to be decided).

This is the second collaboration between the EBU and ESPN, having reached agreement last year to work together in representing rights for FINA, the international governing body for aquatic sports.

Charly Classen, Vice President and General Manager, ESPN EMEA, said: “IAAF Athletics is a fantastic, globally relevant sports property with an incredibly exciting opportunity in front of it. Working with the IAAF and EBU we’re very excited to help grow the sport and further broaden the appeal of its competitions, make the most of both traditional and emerging media platforms and help build the next generation of athletics fans.”

The EBU has been working with the IAAF for many years since the inception of the IAAF World Championships in 1983 and has held the exclusive media rights in Europe and Africa for the past four years (2014-2017).

Director of EBU Sport Stefan Kürten said: “We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with IAAF to bring athletics to the widest possible audience, guaranteeing free-to-air coverage of these premium events in key territories such as Germany, France and Italy. Working with ESPN gives us a unique opportunity to increase the reach and engagement of this popular sport, maximising traditional distribution while embracing the digital consumer.”

It is the latest deal for EBU Sport, on the back of securing the media rights for the Tour de France across Europe until 2023. For ESPN the agreement marks the latest in a series of agreements for its Media Distribution unit, including the joint FINA deal, agreements with Tough Mudder Inc., the NFL (sub-Saharan Africa) and more.

The agreement takes effect from 1 January 2018.

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Jesus Navas has officially completed his return to former club Sevilla on a free transfer. The Spain international began his career at Sevilla before moving to Manchester City for a deal worth an estimated £14.9 million back in 2013.

Prior to his move to City, Navas had made 393 appearances for Sevilla, scoring 34 goals in the process. He won two UEFA Cups, two Copas del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup during that period.

The 31-year old leaves City after four years at the club where he managed to win the Premier League at City in 2013-14, as well as two League Cups in 2014 and 2016. Navas made 77 league starts for the club where he scored on four times.

He now joins fellow City outcast Nolito who joined the Spanish side recently after finding playing time hard to come by.

 

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Bayern Munich continued their disastrous pre-season with another loss, losing out 2-0 to Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup at the National Stadium in Singapore.

The loss comes just a few days after they were handed a 4-0 humiliating defeat by AC Milan. They have also lost to Arsenal in the pre-season friendlies.

The Bundesliga champions fielded a strong starting lineup but went down just nine minutes into the match after Antonio Candreva picked up Eder with a perfectly cut cross from the right flank. The latter did not make mistakes, connecting to the cross to head home the ball.

It is Eder who again doubled the lead for Nerazzurri, his second goal of the match also coming in form a header from close range. Eder had been supplied with the ball by Ivan Perisic, who has been largely linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.

Carlo Ancelotti ringed several changes at half time bringing in the likes of Muller, James Rodriguez, Hummels and Rafinha but the substitute could not do anything to evade the loss. The match ended 2-0 in favour of Inter Milan.

Inter XI (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Joao Miranda, Nagatomo; Kondogbia, Valero; Candreva, Joao Mario, Perisic; Eder.

Inter substitutes: Gagliardini, Jovetic, Biabiany, Ranocchia, Ansaldi, Murillo, Padelli, Valietti, Berni, Emmers, Vanheusden, Rivas, Brozovic, Pissardo, Gabriel, Pinamonti.

Bayern Munich XI (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Rafinha, Hummels, Alaba, Gotze; Dorsch, Tolisso; Coman, James, Ribery; Lewandowski.

Bayern Munich substitutes: Wintzheimer, Martinez, Muller, Friedl, Sanches, Fruchtl, Pantovic, Hofmann.

 

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A goal each by Alonso and Batshuayi were not sufficient to inspire an incredible comeback as Chelsea fell 3-2 to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in an ICC Cup match played in Singapore on Tusday July 25.

Brazilian defender Rafinha received a pass from Frank Ribery in midfield and after sprinting with the ball, he buried it in the bottom left corner from 30 yards out to take Ancelotti's side ahead after only five minutes into the match.

Ribery was the provider once again five minutes later, using his pace to get past Chelsea defenders before teeing up an oncoming Muller who half-volleyed the ball into the net to double Bayern's lead.

Muller then fully utilized a counter attack to drag behind the two remaining Chelsea players and fired a long range effort past a helpless Courtois to complete his brace in the 26th minute.

Chelsea managed to pull a goal back just before halftime through free-scoring defender Marcos Alonso who directed the ball into the net with his first-time effort after connecting to a low cross from Victor Moses. The goal took the scores to 3-1 as the two sides headed into the break.

Antonio Conte finally introduced Chelsea's new signing Alvaro Morata to the pitch alongside David Luiz in the 63rd minute as he sought to solidify his team and perhaps rake in more goals.

Cesc Fabregas' corner late in the match was deflected by Morata and found Michy Batshuayi who finished the simple task of tapping the ball into the net, but the Blues could not stage a full comeback to force a draw. 

The win comes as a relief to Bayern Munich who had lost two of their previous pre-season matches. They lost to Arsenal in post-match penalties before enduring a 4-0 humiliation in the hands of AC Milan.

 

 

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Virgil van Dijk has been left out of Southampton's squad for a pre-season training camp in France after manager Mauricio Pellegrino revealed the unsettled centre-back is training alone.

The Saints are heading to Evian-les-Bains to continue their preparations for the 2017-18 campaign, and are due to play a friendly against Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

Van Dijk, though, will not travel with the team, having been excluded from selection contention and first-team training by new manager Pellegrino.

The 25-year-old Netherlands international has been linked with Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, who apologised in June "for any misunderstanding" after being accused of making an illegal approach for the player.

"The club told me they will not sell Virgil," Pellegrino said last week.

"Now he is not involved with the team because psychologically he is not 100 per cent.

"The boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave.

"I had to say, 'If you don't want to be involved because you don't feel okay then you have to train alone until this period of time is over'."

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Manchester City have completed their latest big-money deal of the close-season by prising left-back Benjamin Mendy away from Ligue 1 champions Monaco.

The deal is reported to be worth in the region of £50million, a similar fee to the one City agreed to bring in England right-back Kyle Walker from Tottenham.

Mendy has signed a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

The 22-year-old helped a youthful Monaco side to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, where they saw off City in a thrilling last-16 tie, and he was rewarded with a France debut in March.

Pep Guardiola has been keen to bolster his full-back areas after Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna were released when their contracts expired at the end of last season.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester City,” said Mendy. “They are one of Europe’s leading clubs and in Pep Guardiola they have a manager committed to playing attacking football.

“I am sure that over the next few years we will be successful.”

City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, added: “Benjamin has all the qualities we are looking for in a full-back. For such a young player, he has a wealth of top-level experience.

“He is undoubtedly one of the world’s best full-backs, our number one target in this position. We are all delighted to have him here at Manchester City.

“I’m sure he will prove a fantastic addition to the squad.”

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Manchester City have finally completed the long awaited signing of defender Benjamin Mendy from French side Monaco.

Mendy has joined city for £52 million and now becomes the most expensive defender in the world after beating Kyle Walker's £45 million. The 23-year old signed a five-year deal with the club which will see him at the Etihad Stadium until July 2022.

Mendy becomes the fifth signing for Manchester City after the acquisition of Danilo, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva and Ederson. The left back only joined Monaco last summer from Marseille in a €12m deal and was part of the squad that won the Ligue 1 title last season.

 

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It is now official that Manchester City have acquired the services of Real Madrid right-back Danilo. The 26-yeart old penned a five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium which will see him there until July 2022.

The versatile defender was also a transfer target for Chelsea but it is Man City who swooped in fast and landed him. The deal is understood to be worth 27 million Euros. Danilo becomes the fourth signing for City this summer after Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva and Ederson.

``I am very, very happy to be joining Manchester City. There has been strong interest from other clubs, but it has always been my ambition to play for Pep Guardiola,’’ Danilo told City TV.

``I can’t wait to get started and I’m looking forward to getting to know my new teammates over the coming week,’’ added the Spain international.

 

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Barcelona and Juventus kicked off their preseason in New York on Saturday. In a game that was meant to be filled with tension over Neymar's future, he lit the MetLife up in the first half with two goals and a wonderful performance that had Juventus frustrated and Barcelona delighted in equal measure.

The game was only 15 minutes old when Neymar had his first after good work involving Messi and Digne but it was all Neymar, really, as he drove past Buffon to give Valverde his first lead as a Barcelona coach. Just 11 minutes later, he topped his first goal when he skipped past no less than four Juventus defenders and drove another shot, to the other corner this time, beyond Buffon as he doubled Barcelona's lead and showed Barca's directors what they could be missing should he leave the club this summer.

He was turning on the style and Juve were not keen on being on the recieving end of a Neymar masterclass as they continued to pull him down any time he touched the ball, and even sometimes when he didn't. As half-time arrived, Barcelona were well in control of an opening 45 that saw them work extremely hard as they pressed Juventus relentlessly.

Both managers made numerous changes to their teams to start the second half but it wasn't until the 60th minutes when Cuadrado, Higuain, Sandro, Costa and Dybala were sprung from the bench that they had a fighting chance. Just three minutes after the change, Juventus had a breakthough. It came after Dybala won a corner after he forced Ortola into a wonderful save. Chiellini drove a header home from the corner and Juve had life in them yet.

It was as close as they would come to troubling Barcelona's lead, however, as Luis Suarez and Arda Turan teamed up on numerous occasions but failed to beat Szczesny in his debut for the Serie A champions. The game served as a good run-out for both teams as we will see massive improvement over the next couple of games as their preseasons kick into gear starting Saturday night in New Yor

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Michy Batshuayi summed up Chelsea’s season intentions with a brace that inspired his team to a 3-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday in a pre-season clash in Beijing, China.

Before the match, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger had said that a game against Chelsea is never a friendly and the Blues took the pitch to prove him right, dominating everything over their London rivals.

Willian took Chelsea ahead in the 40th minute, driving towards the centre of the box and cutting back to his right foot before bending a fine low shot in off the right-hand post.

Batshuayi then opened his account two minutes later, curling a well-taken left-footed shot amid confused Arsenal defenders to double his team’s lead.

The Belgian international then completed his brace and sealed the win for Chelsea in the 48th minute after Marcos Alonso had left Chamberlain lying and cut the ball back to the striker who connected the ball with his first effort to put the ball past David Ospina.

Chelsea Starting XI:  Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.

Arsenal Starting XI:  Ospina, Maitland-Niles, Mertesacker, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bramall, Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette

Comment

Several dignitaries of the CEF held a special meeting on Thursday July 20, 2017 to discuss and agree on several issues involving African football. This was in the just concluded African football symposium held in Rabat, Morocco.

Some of the attendees were CAF President Ahmad and the President of the Federation Royale Marocaine de Football, Fouzi Lekjaa. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was the chief guest at the two-day event.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick (like Lekjaa a Member of the CAF Executive Committee), Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, former NFF General Secretary Musa Amadu and Director of Communications Ademola Olajire were also in attendance.

Below are some of the key issues that were discussed and agreed upon by the CAF committee:

CAF African Football Symposium

The CAF Executive Committee, at its meeting on Thursday, 20 July 2017, in Rabat, Morocco, reviewed the resolutions of the various working groups of the 1st CAF African Football Symposium held from 18 -19 July 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Skhirat, near Rabat.

The Committee advocated the establishment of a working group to work on the implementation of the resolutions and propose short, medium and long term implementation timetables. However, a consensus emerged on a number of issues raised by the working groups;

Working group 1: AFCON - Competition and specifications

Increasing the Africa Cup of Nations to 24 teams as of the 2019 edition, and the tournament will now be held in the months of June and July. The competition will however remain a biennial event (every two years), odd years and exclusively held on African soil with African national teams.

Working group 2: Inter-club competitions

It was agreed by the Committee to maintain the current format, but to proceed in the future to a change in timing for interclub competitions which are expected to start from August to May.

Working group 3: Football development (Coaching, Refereeing, Medical)

The principle of increasing the indemnities of referees was approved. 

The Committee expressed its determination to explore all scientific and medical solutions that could eradicate the phenomenon of age cheating, likewise a research that can help to determine the causes of sudden death among footballers, of which majority of the victims are of African origin.

Working group 4: Youth Football

The Committee decided to organize zonal qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations for the youth categories (U-17, U-20, U-23), with the flexibility offered to each zone to propose a formula. The committee also resolved to strengthen medical checks in determining the eligibility of players.

Working group 5: International Partnerships

The Committee recognizes the urgent need for improved relations between CAF, its member associations, Governments and the African Union.

Working group 6: Communication and Media

The Executive Committee was clearly in support of suggestions made for the improvement of CAF's communication tools on the digital platforms and social media, in particular the creation of a website in line with the standards of CAF. The Committee committed itself, with a view to strengthening the specifications of the competitions, taking into account the expectations of the media.

Working group 8: Football players, Roles and Perspectives

The Committee endorsed the principle of creating a framework for cooperation with legendary African footballers and their greater involvement in CAF activities.

II - COMPETITIONS.

Total CHAN Kenya 2018

A new inspection visit will be conducted at the end of August 2017 to assess progress following the June 2017 mission.

Total AFCON Cameroon 2019

Inspection will be conducted in early September.

Total U-23 AFCON

Zambia formally withdrew from the hosting of the 2019 edition. The committee called for the opening of bids for the selection of a new host country.

Beach-Soccer AFCON

The Committee decided to grant the 2018 edition to Egypt, the only country which expressed interest in the organization at the end of the deadline for the call for applications.

Interclub Competitions

The Committee noted the lifting of the suspension of Sudan by FIFA and indicated that the Sudanese clubs engaged in the Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup are not disqualified, but in accordance with the regulations, are declared losers of the Day Six matches of the group stage.

As a result, Sudanese club, Hilal El Obeid is qualified for the quarterfinals of the Total CAF Confederation Cup.

 

Comment

Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced changes in the African Cup of Nations that will improve the nature of the competition. The changes were agreed upon during the just concluded African Football Symposium that was held in Rabat, Morocco.

One of the changes in AFCON is that the number of countries to participate from 2019 be increased to 24. This is up from the 16 that have been taking part in the competition since its inception.

CAF also changed the dates of the tournament and it will now be held in June and July instead of January. The change of dates will come as a huge relief especially to European teams who have from time immemorial complained of losing African players to the tournament in January when the leagues have gained full momentum. 

 

Comment

New acquisition Romelu Lukaku was the star of the night as Manchester United overpowered their noisy neighbours Manchester City 2-0 early Friday July 21, 2017. This was in the ongoing International Champions Cup (ICC) in Shanghai, China.

The powerful striker was involved in almost every moment of the match, running through City defenders and connecting beautifully with Marcus Rashford and Henrick Mkhitaryan.

The first chance of the match went to United as City’s new goalkeeper Ederson was forced to push Herrera’s powerful shot over the bar in the 3rd minute. Blind and Mkhitaryan then also had their shots blocked by the city goalkeeper who reacted superbly to United attacks.

Ederson would however go on to concede the first goal of the night in the 37th minute, Lukaku beating him to a through ball before finishing it from a tight angle to take the Reds ahead. Two minutes later, Mkhitaryan produced a wonderful run in midfield before playing in Rashford who fired into the left corner to double United’s lead.

Romel Lukaku almost notched a brace in the 78th minute after he had scored but the goal was disallowed for offside. The two goals in a span of two minutes in the first half had however sealed the win for Manchester United against their fierce rivals on foreign soil.

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelöf, Smalling, Blind, Herrera, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku

Manchester City XI: Ederson, Adarabioyo, Kompany, Fernandinho, Yaya Touré, Walker, Foden, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero, Roberts

Comment

Juventus have officially signed Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for an initial fee in the region of  €12.2million. If certain clauses are met in his time with Juventus, the transfer fee could however rise to €15.3 Million.

Szczesny has agreed a four-year deal which will see him with the Sere A Champions until 2021 and the former Arsenal man is well pleased with joining the team.

"I'm delighted to be at Juventus. I've spoken to Gigi Buffon – a true legend of the game. When you join Juve, it's because you've been chosen. I didn't hesitate one moment before coming here and I'm ready to take on this challenge. Juventus is the best possible choice for my career. I'm 27 years old and I want to win. At this club there's the right mentality to do so," he told a news conference.

The Poland international joined Arsenal from Legia Warsaw and made 181 appearances for the Gunners before joining AS Roma on loan for two seasons.

 

Comment

Arsenal took three points after beating Bayern Munich on post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw on Wednesday July 19, 2017. This was in the ongoing ICC Cup in Shanghai, China.

Bayern Munich however dominated most of the match and played more experienced players compared to the Gunners who gave match time to almost all their young players.

Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for Bayern in the 9th minute from the penalty spot after Maitland-Niles was adjudged to have bundled over Bernat in the box. Despite complaints from Arsenal players, the referee stuck to his decision and Lewandowski stepped up to send Petr Cech the wrong way to give Bayern the lead.

Arsenal would however equalize late in the game from a terrific counter attack, Ramsey clipping a perfect cross in for Iwobi to head into the far corner and make it 1-1 in the 93rd minute.

Arsenal then went on to win the penalties 3-2, Iwobi the man again to score the winning kick with Emiliano Martinez saving two spot kicks to hand Arsenal the win.

 

Comment

Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice to inspire Borussia Dortmund to a 3-1 win over AC Milan on Tuesday July 18 in the International Champions Cup.

Nuri Sahin opened account for Dortmund in the 15th minute, driving a low shot into the left corner past Storari before Aubameyang made it 2-0 from the spot four minutes later. 

In the 23rd minute, Milan striker Carlos Bacca displayed an incredible solo moment, getting past a handful of Dortmund players from midfielders before beating Weidenfeller. In the 61st minute, Dortmund broke into a quick counter attack, with Pulisic being fed with the ball in the left flank before teeing up Aubameyang to tap the ball home and seal the win for the Bundesliga team.

BVB Statring XI: Weidenfeller, Zagadou, Bartra, Sokratis, Piszczek, Sahin, Castro, Rode, Aubameyang, Dembele, Pulisic.

AC Milan Starting XI: Storari; Abate, Paletta, Zapata, Rodriguez; Kessié, Mauri, Bonaventura; Borini, Bacca, Niang.

 

Comment

FIFA Vice President and head of the Spanish Football Association Angel Maria Villar has been arrested in Spain in an anti-corruption operation. 

Other people reportedly arrested include his son Gorka, secretary of the Tenerife Federation Ramón Hernández Baussou and Finance Vice President at the RFEF and member of Uefa's Finance Commission Juan Padrón.

Maria Villar was arrested for alleged misuse of the federation's finances including to support his re-election to the role for an eighth consecutive term. He has been the President of the Spanish Football Federation for 29 years and was re-elected less than two months ago for another term in the office.

In 2015, Villar was fined more than 20,000 Euros by Fifa for failing to co-operate with an investigation into the awarding of the controversial 2018 World Cup.

 

Comment

Francesco Totti has confirmed that he will be staying put with AS Roma, but this time as the Director.

Totti retired from football at the end of the 2016-17 season after 24 years with AS Roma and there were rumours that he has received offers to play in Japan from next season. The Italian international has however quelled those stories after confirming that he is indeed Roma’s next Director.

“The first part of my life as football player is finished, now a second part begins as director, and I am hoping to do well as on the pitch. Now begins a new phase and a new adventure.” Totti told Roma TV

“It will take time, step by step, to understand the role most suitable for me, and I will try to help all, from the youth team to the chairman. I don’t know how long it will take. There are people who think about their new role outside the field while they play; until 28 May I thought only about the field, he added.

The Italian international further revealed his eagerness to work with the entire Roma fraternity, stressing that he is confident that he will thrive in that position.

“Now I have the opportunity to work with AS Roma, with the sports director Monchi, the president [James] Pallotta and the coach [Eusebio] Di Francesco. I am lucky to know this club so well, I just have to understand what I want to do, and find the right role. At the moment I want to be everything and anything, an important character for Roma. I think that my future will be beautiful; I will choose a perfect role for me. Di Francesco? I have a great relationship with him.’’

During his 24-year spell with Roma, Totti made over 786 appearances for the clubs where he scored a club-record 307 goals and lifted the Serie A title twice. The 40-year old also also made 58 appearances for Italy with his most successful moment with his country being 2006 where they won the World Cup

Comment

Arsenal continued with their impressive pre-season with a 3-1 win in a friendly agaisbt Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday July 15, 2017.

Unsettled striker Olivier Giroud opened the scoring for the Gunners in the 32nd minute from close range before Ramsey making the scores 2-0 from a well-timed run to connect with Nacho Monreal’s cross from the back.

Egypt international Mohammed Elneny made it three for Arsenal three minutes before the break after his deflected shot went into the net. Lustica pulled one back for the Ausrtralian team in the second half from an indirect free kick after Ramsey had been adjudged to have passed the ball back to keeper Emiliano Martinez.

The match ended 3-1 in favour of Arsenal. The Gunners are engaging in pre- season to gain fitness after the summer holidays. It is also an opportunity for new players like Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac to gel in with the team before the 2017-18 season starts.

Comment

Former Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu is now a Barcelona after completing his move back to the LaLiga giants.

Comment

Everton FC striker Wayne Rooney is a happy man after scoring for the toffees in his first match since his return t the club.

Rooney made a return to his boyhood club from Manchester United and needed only 34 minutes to announce his arrival with a goal. Picking the ball from 30 yards, the England international unleashed a superb strike that went into the top-left corner past Gor Mahia keeper Boniface Oluoch. 

Rooney's goal was instrumental in Thursday's match, with Everton registering a narrow 2-1 win over KPL league leaders Gor Mahia. Two minutes after the former Manchester United man's goal, Jacques Tuyisenge equalized for Gor Before Kieran Dowle's late strike sealed the win for Everton.

“To score for Everton again is a great feeling. It’s something I’ve been thinking of for the last couple of weeks, once I knew [the move] was happening. Thankfully, I’ve done it in today’s game and that 45 minutes will only help,'' Rooney told Evertontv.

“I just received the ball from out wide and I was in a bit of space so I took my chance and thankfully it went in. I was pleased with it. It’s a good start but I think we have to improve still. It’s early days and we knew it would be a tough game in tough conditions but I thought we did well,” added the 30-year old.

Rooney will be instrumental for Ronald Koeman's side this season as they try to challenge for the EPL title and the Europa League.

 

Comment

On Tuesday, Juventus announced the arrival of Douglas Costa on an initial loan from Bayern Munich. The Brazil international arrived in Turin on Tuesday and is set to undergo a medical at the club on Wednesday.

Comment

Record Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have signed James Rodriguez from Real Madrid on a two-year loan deal. 

Comment

Arsenal club-record signing striker Alexandre Lacazette has been given the No.9 shirt. This was revealed as Arsenal disclosed squad numbers for the 2017-18 season.

The 27-year old France international was signed by the Gunners from Lyon for a club record fee region of £46 million and inherits the No.9 shirt from Lucas Perez, who has been handed No.28. Perez' future at Arsenal is however in doubt after seeing limited game time in his first season at the Emirates.

Sead Kolasinac, who joined Arsenal o a free transfer from Shalke 04, will wear jersey No.31. Kolasinac wore the No.6 shirt for the Bundesliga club last season but inherits the number previously worn at Arsenal by the likes of Ashley Cole when he first broke into the side and Sol Campbell during his second spell at the club.

 

 

Comment

Manchester United record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has rejoined Everton on a free transfer, 13 years after leaving the Merseyside club.

Rooney, 31, played 559 times for the Red Devils, scoring 253 goals.

He won five Premier League titles and each of the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup once after joining from the Toffees for £27m in 2004.

Rooney, who has signed a two-year deal, said he was "ecstatic" and his "first game back will be an emotional day".

"It's a great feeling to be back. I cannot wait to meet the lads, get on the training pitch and then get on the pitch to play," he added.

Rooney's return comes as United look set to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, with a £75m deal for the Belgium international agreed between the two clubs.

Comment

The official draw for 17th edition of the 2017 U-17 World Cup to be held in India was conducted on Friday July 7, 2017 in Mumbai. 24 teams will contention for the title that is held after every two years and has seen eight different winners, with Nigeria being the most successful country after winning it five times.

India, who will be hosting such an event for the first time in history have been paired in Group A alongside USA, Ghana, Canada and Colombia. This will also be the first time the hosts will be competing in the finals of a global soccer tournament.

Group B consists of Paraguay, Mali New Zealand and Turkey. In Group C, Germany have been paired alongside Iran, Guinea and Costa Rica while Group D has North Korea, Niger, Spain and 2003 winners Brazil.

France have been placed in Group E alongside Honduras, Japan and New Caledonia. Group F has Chile, England, Iraq and 2011 winners Mexico. 

The last two U-17 World Cups have been won by Nigeria, who are not participating in this year's edition. India will kick off their campaign in the opening match of the competition against USA on October 6th 2017.

 

Group A: India, USA, Colombia, Ghana

Group B: Paraguay, Mali, New Zealand, Turkey

Group C: Iran, Guinea, Germany, Costa Rica

Group D: North Korea, Niger, Brazil, Spain 

Group E: Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia, France

Group F: Iraq, Mexico, Chile, England

 

Comment

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has reached a decision in the case related to Mexico’s national team coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, following the FIFA Confederations Cup match for third place between Portugal and Mexico on 2 July 2017, during which Mr Osorio used insulting words towards the match officials while displaying an aggressive attitude towards them.

After taking into account all circumstances of the case, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided that Mr Osorio is regarded as having breached article 49.1 a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. As a result, and given the gravity of the incident, Mr Osorio is to be suspended for six official matches and has also been sanctioned with a warning and a fine of CHF 5,000.

The decision, which has been duly notified today, comes into force immediately. Therefore, in line with art. 38 par. 2 c) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the sanction shall be served during the Mexican national team’s next official matches, which will take place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017.

Depending on the stage at which the final match of the Mexican national team takes place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017, any remaining matches of this six-match suspension shall be served during the national team’s subsequent official matches.

Comment

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have released fixtures for the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN) that is set to be held in Kenya in January.

CHAN is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.

The first tournament was held in 2009. It was hosted by Ivory Coast and won by The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The competition was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament, held in Sudan in 2011. The tournament was won by Tunisia, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution. The tournament is held every two years, alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures have been divided into four groups; West zone A, West Zone B, Central East Zone and Southern Zone. Teams in both West Zones will be playing in their second round of the qualifiers while those in Central East and Southern Zones will be competing in the first round.

In West Zone A, Sierra Leone face Senegal while Guinea clash with neighbours Guinea-Bissau on Saturday July 15, 2017 with the return matches expected to be played a fortnight later. 

In West Zone B, Togo will battle it out with Benin on Sunday July 16, 2017 with the return match a week later in Cotonou, Benin.

Four fixtures will be staged in Central East Zone with South Sudan lined up against Uganda, Tanzania with Rwanda and Djibouti with Ethiopia.

In Southern East Zone, Botswana host South Africa on Saturday 15 July while Zimbabwe visit Namibia a day later.

West Zone A

1.Sierra Leone vs Senegal -15.7.2017 (16:30,Freetown/Siaka Stevens Stadium)

  Senegal vs Sierra Leone-22.7.2017 (17:00,Dakar/Stade Demba Diop)

2.Guinea-Bissau vs Guinea-15.7.2017 (16:00,Bissau/Estadio 24 de Setembro)

  Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau-22.7.2017  (16:30,Conakry/Stade 28 Septembre)

3. Liberia vs Mauritania-16.7.2017 (16:00,Paynesville/Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex)

  Mauritania vs Liberia-23.7.2017 (17:00)

4.Gambia vs Mali-15.7.2017 (16:30,Bakau/Independence Stadium)

  Mali vs Gambia-22.7.2017 (17:00,Bamako/Stade Modibo Keita)

West Zone B

1.Togo vs Benin-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lomé/Stade de Kégué de Lomé)

  Benin vs Togo-23.7.2017 (16:00,Cotonou/Stade de l'Amitié de Kouhounou)

*Exempted  Burkina Faso, Côte D'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria

Central East Zone

1.South Sudan vs Uganda-14.7.2017 (16:30,/Juba stadum)

  Uganda vs South Sudan-22.7.2017 (16:00,Kampala/Phillip Omondi Stadium)

2.Tanzania vs Rwanda-15.7.2017 (16:00,Mwanza/CCM KIRUMBA Stadium)

  Rwanda vs Tanzania-22.7.2017 (15:30,Kigali/STADE REGIONAL DE NYAMIRAMBO)

3.Djibouti vs Ethiopia-15.7.2017 (15:00,Djibouti Ville/Stade Gouled)

   Ethiopia vs Djibouti-23.7.2017 (19:00,hawass/Hawass International Stadium)

4.Burundi vs Sudan-15.7.2017 (15:00,Bujumbura/Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore)

  Sudan vs Burundi-21.7.2017 (20:00,Khartoum/Khartoum Stadium)

Southern Zone

1.Madagascar vs Mozambique-16.7.2017 (14:30,Antananarivo/Stade Municipal de Mahamasina)

  Mozambique vs Madagascar-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maputo/Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto)

2.Maurice vs Angola-16.7.2017 (15:30,Belle Vue/Anjalay Stadium)

  Angola vs Maurice-23.7.2017 (16:30,Luanda/Estadio 11 de Novembro)

3.Comoros vs Lesotho-15.7.2017 (15:00,Moroni/Stade de Moroni)

  Lesotho vs Comoros-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maseru/Setsoto Stadium)

4.Namibia vs Zimbabwe-16.7.2017 (15:00,Windhoek/Sam Nujoma Stadium)

  Zimbabwe vs Namibia-23.7.2017 (15:00,Harare/National Sports Stadium)

5.Botswana vs South Africa-15.7.2017 (15:30,City of Francistown/Francistown Sports Complex Stadium)

  South Africa vs Botswana-22.7.2017 (15:00,Moruleng/Moruleng Stadium)

6.Swaziland vs Zambia-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lobamba/Somhlolo National Stadium)

  Zambia vs Swaziland-22.7.2017 (15:00,Lusaka/Heroes National Stadium)

 

 

 

Comment

On Thursday 6 July 2017, The IAAF released a statement following the cyber attack on their systems that was announced in April but dates back to February 2017.

There were fears and doubts among athletes globally that some of their personal information such as private details and medical data might have been tempered with. Others also believed that there might have been some releasing of information on informants. 

IAAF President Sebastian Coe has insisted that there can be no excuse for the leaking of personal data and acknowledged that they need to carefully look at their processes. He however said that they will continue investigating any suspicion of doping in accordance with the laid protocols.

"There can be no excuse for the leaking of personal and medical data or the releasing of information on informants and ongoing investigations as this puts those individuals involved at risk and harms the fight against doping" said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. "However we must acknowledge that we need to look at our processes."

It is alleged that The Fancy Bear hackers, believed to be sponsored by Russia's main intelligence arm, the GRU are the ones behind the attack on IAAF's records. The same group attacked World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2016, where data on Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) applications were targeted.

Full IAAF Statement

The IAAF offers its sincerest apologies to the athletes who believed their personal and medical information was secure with us. We will continue to work with cyber incident response (CIR) firm Context Information Security, who identified the Fancy Bear cyber-attack which we announced in April - link [13] - to create a safe environment. Context believes that the information published yesterday emanates from that attack.

"There can be no excuse for the leaking of personal and medical data or the releasing of information on informants and ongoing investigations as this puts those individuals involved at risk and harms the fight against doping" said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. "However we must acknowledge that we need to look at our processes."

We continue to investigate any suspicion of doping in a robust way in accordance with applicable protocols and under WADA's supervision. It would be wrong to make assumptions based upon leaked documents without the full evidence and that evidence being put in context. Single data readings of an Athlete's Biological Passport (ABP) cannot alone constitute evidence of doping. All atypical ABP Profiles are automatically reviewed in the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) following the processes and protocols of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

INFORMATION ON ATHLETE BIOLOGICAL PASSPORT PROCESS:

The monitoring and review of ABP profiles recorded under the IAAF's Anti-Doping Programme are conducted in strict accordance with the applicable WADA Regulations, by external independent experts and through ADAMS. It consists of a multi-stage review process with a specific official terminology set out in accordance with WADA's Result Management Regulations to assist Anti-Doping Organisation in the implementation and prioritization of their ABP Programme.

 

The official terminology which includes "Likely doping", "Passport suspicious; Further data is required", "Likely medical condition", "Normal", "Cancelled by APMU" (Athletes Passport Management Unit) are used to classify profiles flagged as "atypical" by the ADAMS mathematical model, indicating whether or not an athlete's biological passport profile should be further investigated. It does not provide a final determination on whether or not an athlete has committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. It is a dynamic process in which the status of an athlete's profile can change at any time.

 

Comment

British No 3 Dan Evans has announced that he tested positive for cocaine in April and he will be provisionally suspended from 26 June.

Evans, who is ranked 50th in the world, claims he took the illegal substance out of competition and for reasons "completely unrelated to tennis".

The 27-year-old called an impromptu press conference at the Novotel hotel in London on Friday afternoon, where he took no questions but made a statement

Evans said: "This is a very difficult day for me and I wanted to come here in person to tell you guys face to face.

"I was notified a few days ago that I failed a drugs test in April where I tested positive for cocaine. It's really important you know this was taken out of competition and the context was completely unrelated to tennis.

"I made a mistake and I must face up to it. I do not condone for one second to anyone that this was acceptable behaviour.

"I've let a lot of people down - my family, my coach, my team, sponsors, British tennis and my fans.

"I can only deeply apologise from the bottom of my heart. This has been an extremely sad and humbling experience."

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have released a statement stating they were "very disappointed" at the news.

"We are very disappointed at the news that Dan Evans has tested positive for a recreational substance. We absolutely condemn any form of drug-taking and will support the process which needs to take place.

"We are in touch with Dan and we will offer appropriate guidance, support and education to him on how best to address the issues he now faces."

The Birmingham-born player climbed into the world's top 50 earlier this year after an excellent upturn in results, which included reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open in January. In May 2015, he had dropped as low as 772nd.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said Evans provided the positive sample at the Barcelona Open on 24 April and he will be provisionally suspended from 26 June.

A player can be banned for up to four years for an anti-doping violation, according to ITF rules.

Report by Skyports

 

Comment

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is reportedly demanding a new contract with wages of £200,000 per week – the same as Blues team-mate Eden Hazard and as Manchester United ‘keeper David de Gea.

The Belgium international has established himself as one of Europe’s top shot-stoppers in his time at Stamford Bridge, and is now looking to more than double his current earnings.Courtois, 25, is currently on £90,000 a week, and his current deal runs until 2019, meaning the Blues may want to get the dispute resolved soon.

Real Madrid have been linked with Courtois in recent times, with the Spanish giants also looking at the likes of De Gea as they plan a big-name signing in goal this summer.Courtois’ demands have reportedly seen Chelsea put off contract talks for the time being, though they hope to reach an agreement with the former Atletico Madrid man before the start of the new season, according to the Daily Mail.

Comment

Manchester United are in talks to complete the transfer of Alvaro Morata, who has reportedly ignored Zinedine Zidane’s pleas to stay with Real Madrid.

The Spain international has been strongly linked with a move away from the Bernabeu for much of the summer, and is now being tipped to finalise his switch to Old Trafford.United are in need of strengthening up front after the departure of veteran front-man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Morata has done all he can to help force a move through.

Marca claim that Los Blancos boss Zidane had been keen to keep hold of the 24-year-old after some fine performances as a squad player last season, but his attempts have proven unsuccessful.

Jose Mourinho is said to have swayed Morata by guaranteeing him a key role in his United side for next season, something he has been unable to achieve at Real.Morata started his career with the Spanish giants before spending two seasons at Juventus, where he impressed with more regular football, convincing Real to buy him back last summer.

Comment

Galatasaray coach Igor Tudor has blasted outgoing winger Bruma‘s attitude and behaviour, saying the new RB Leipzig signing is harder to deal with than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bruma’s excellent form for Galatasaray in the second half of the season – in particular since Tudor took over at the Turkish club in February – has earned the Portuguese winger a move to German side Leipzig.

The 22-year-old scored 11 league goals this campaign for Galatasaray, finishing the campaign as their top goalscorer, although the club was only able to finish fourth in the Super Lig.

However, despite his impressive form, Tudor has claimed Bruma is suffering from an attitude problem and was not thrilled with how the wide-man behaved both on and off the field this season.

And the 39-year-old coach – who played at Juventus with Zlatan Ibrahimovic – believes that Bruma’s temperment is worse than what the Swedish icon displayed during their time together in Italy.

The Galatasaray coach told Bild: “I like Bruma a lot, he is still young, but already a top player.

“But the fact is that there are 20 more players in a squad. They all listen to you, except Bruma. I played with Ibrahimovic at some point and have experienced a lot throughout my career.

“But I have never seen someone behave like Bruma. It might be the way he was raised. He crossed a line.”

 

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Bastia have confirmed that they have been further demoted to the third tier of French football after the DNCG found financial irregularities.

Bastia were relegated from Ligue 1 this season, finishing bottom of the division, and had been preparing to start the new campaign in Ligue 2.

However the DNCG, the organisation responsible for monitoring the financial accounts of professional football clubs in France, have recommended a further demotion for the club.

Bastia were the subject of an audit on their books on Thursday and the club have shared a statement from the regulation officers, which shows that the club have been sent down another division after failing to guarentee they had the finances to compete in Ligue 2.

The statement read: “Following it’s audit today before the DNCG, Sporting Club Bastia has been given notice of a provisional relegation.

“The delays obtained via appeal will allow the club to sell it’s players as best as it can and balance the books before the next audit.”

Bastia – who will now play in National 1 – have endured a torrid campaign with the side only relegated by three points.

The club recently lost an appeal over a forfeited match against Lyon in April, during which the match was suspended due to crowd trouble. The French Footbal Federation determined that Bastia fans were responsible and awarded the result to Lyon.

Had Bastia won that game they would have remained in Ligue 1 on goal difference.

 

 

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Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has made history for the Chile national team tonight by moving ahead of Marcelo Salas to become their all-time leading scorer on 38 goals.

The 28-year-old scuffed home a left-footed effort from close range after a woeful error by Gunners team-mate Shkodran Mustafi in the Germany defence to confirm his status as an all-time great for his country.

Sanchez has been a Chile international since all the way back in 2006, and managed his feat in his 111th appearance for the South American giants.

It is worth noting that Eduardo Vargas is also still active for the Chile squad and is just four goals behind Sanchez in the all-time leading scorer ranks.

 

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly growing in confidence that he can sign Kylian Mbappe in a world-record transfer deal this summer.

The France international is one of the most in-demand players in world football at the moment after a stunning breakthrough season for Monaco in 2016/17.

Real Madrid are also among the contenders for the 18-year-old’s signature, while reports today claimed Paris Saint-Germain had made a world-record £123million bid for him.

However, Arsenal believe they can pip Europe’s top clubs to Mbappe, with Wenger apparently gaining confidence over a deal in the last 48 hours.

The Gunners boss is now said to be preparing a rival bid to Monaco for the teenage forward, which would exceed the amount PSG have put on the table, according to football.london.

Arsenal need signings up front this summer due to fears over Alexis Sanchez’s contract situation and apparent desire to leave for rivals Manchester City.

 

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Manchester United have been given the green light to make a move for Gareth Bale after Real Madrid admitted that they would be willing to sell the 27-year-old, according to reports in France.

L’Equipe claims that Zinedine Zidane and Madrid president Florentino Perez met with Kylian Mbappe last week in order to persuade the Monaco forward to move to the Spanish capital this summer.

During their conversation, Zidane and Perez reportedly told Mbappe that they would be willing to offload one of Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo or Karim Benzema in order to guarantee him more playing time next season.

L’Equipe claim that out of those three players, Bale’s transfer would be the most likely and United could now follow up with a bid, given their long-standing interest in the Wales international.

Earlier this month, reports claimed that Bale was open to the idea of joining United but Madrid would command a £100 million transfer fee.

United have held talks with over a deal for Bale, although Madrid’s hierarchy are reportedly split over their decision to sell the forward they signed from Tottenham for £86m four years ago.

 

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New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson confirmed Wednesday night that he has received calls in recent days from teams interested in trading for future star Kristaps Porzingis.

"We're getting calls. As much as we value Kristaps and what he's done for us, when a guy doesn't show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club," Jackson said in an interview on MSG Network.

"So we've been getting calls and we're listening, but we're not intrigued yet at this level. But as much as we love this guy, we have to do what's good for our club."

Teams in touch with the Knicks indicated New York has not ruled out the possibility of trading Porzingis, though one opposing club said it came away with the impression that the price tag for the star forward was extremely high.

Jackson was asked why he would consider trading Porzingis, the Knicks' young star and a player regarded around the NBA as someone whom a franchise can be built around.

"The future, you know, what it brings," Jackson said. "Does it bring us two starters and a draft pick or something that's even beyond that? [That's] something we have to look at as far as going down the road. We know what he is. He's a unicorn and he's special.''

Porzingis skipped exit meetings with Jackson and general manager Steve Mills in April because of frustration over the dysfunction and drama surrounding the Knicks, who finished with a 31-51 record.

On Wednesday night, Jackson addressed Porzingis skipping the meeting.

"I don't think I've ever had a player over 25 years of coaching, maybe 30, not coming to an exit meeting, so it's not happened to me," Jackson said. "I know it happens to other people and other players. His brother and his agent have downplayed it, but still, it's a chance for a person to express themselves, and I had a real good relationship with Kristaps over the last two years. So it was kind of surprising.''

 

 

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Lakers guard Nick Young will decline his $5.6 million player option for next season with Los Angeles to become an unrestricted free agent.

The Lakers announced Young's decision on Wednesday.

Young, 32, faced a deadline of June 21 to make a decision on his option. The 10-year veteran guard, who averaged 13.2 points in 60 games last season, will hit the open market July 1.

In four seasons with the Lakers, Young started 71 of the 220 games he appeared in, averaging 24.5 minutes and 13.1 points per game.

The Los Angeles native realized a childhood dream by joining the Lakers, but Young's tenure has coincided with the worst four-year stretch in the history of the 16-time NBA champions.

After struggling on the court during the 2015-16 season and enduring upheaval in his personal life due to an infamous video scandal with then-rookie D'Angelo Russell, Young enjoyed a career revival last season under new coach Luke Walton.

Young also has had stints with the Washington Wizards, LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers throughout his career.

 

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Juventus could lose youngstar Moise Kean this summer but not because he’s seeking higher wages elsewhere but because his father hasn’t received the tractors the club promised him.

The 17-year-old, who broke into Juve’s first-team back in November, is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in Turin and has been closely monitored by Arsenal for some time.

Kean was born in Vercelli, Italy to Ivorian parents and his dad claims the club owe him farming equipment to use back home as it was included in a deal which saw the youngster sign on the dotted line at the J Stadium.

Biorou Kean said: “They promised me agricultural equipment for my company in the Ivory Coast.”

“There, I own several hectares of land, which I’d like to start growing rice and corn on. I’m an agronomist, I’ve worked in rice paddies and I asked for agricultural equipment.”

“They told me that there was no problem but then Juve’s lawyer contacted me to tell me their contract offer had been revoked because my requests were out of their means.”

 

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Luis Suarez has revealed how former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique helped him become more calm on the pitch.

The Uruguayan international was known for being a fiery character during his time in the Premier League with Liverpool, often running the risk of picking up needless yellow cards for arguing with officials over decisions that did not go his way.

However, the 30-year-old insists he’s improved his temperament since being under the guidance of Luis Enrique over the past three seasons. 

He said:

“He told me not to waste energy arguing with the officials because it damaged the team and it was beneficial for me to be aware to press and help my team-mates,” Suarez told Sport.

“[Luis Enrique] taught me a lot, even if that doesn’t seem to be the case. Obviously a lot in football terms, he was also a forward so he knew the movements to make to benefit the team.”

 “I was a player that lost the ball and gave up, waiting for the next play, but he taught me how to press after losing the ball.”

Suarez did pick up eight yellow cards in 35 La Liga appearances for the Catalan giants during the season just gone, although none were as a result of dissent – which maintains that particular record since he arrived at the club in the summer of 2014.

 

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Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) were one of the more amusing real-life buddy cop comedies we’ve ever seen from NBA teammates.

On one hand you have Bryant, a cutthroat competitor on the court who couldn’t really turn it off when off the court until his final season. On the other was World Peace, who was like being defended by a grizzly bear with quicker hands on the court but more similar to a teddy bear off of it.

World Peace’s tendency to deliver quotes, anecdotes, stories and predictions with a smile was one of the things that quickly made him a fan favorite during his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers, especially because he helped them knock off their hated rival, the Boston Celtics, in the NBA Finals.

In a recent feature on championship trophy presentations in Sports Illustrated, however, TNT broadcaster Ernie Johnson shared a story of Bryant not wanting to let World Peace’s tendency for brash statements give the Celtics any further fuel going into that series:

In an interview last week he said that his favorite presentation was for the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers in 2010 following a Game 6 road win at Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals. After the game, in which Ron Artest scored 25 points, Johnson wanted to ask the veteran small forward on the podium how he felt about playing in his first NBA Finals.

“I knew I would get Phil [Jackson] and Kobe and maybe another player, but I thought it would be cool to hear what Ron Artest had to say,” Johnson said. “So I’m standing with the Lakers outside their locker room during a commercial break, and I asked Ron if he wanted to answer some questions. But before Ron could answer, Kobe steps in and said, ‘No, you are not talking to Ron Artest.’ I said, ‘Why, Kobe?’ He said, ‘I am the leader of this team. You are talking to me.’ I looked at Phil, and he shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘Hey, he’s the captain.’ Kobe was not going to have Ron Artest as part of trophy presentation equation because, I guess, he didn’t want to give the Celtics any extra motivation.”

 

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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has responded to the transfer speculation and tax fraud allegations surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The Portugal international capped off a stellar 12 months by winning the fourth Champions League title of his career this month, scoring twice in the final against Juventus.

Late last week, reports emerged claiming the superstar wants to leave the world’s biggest club, as he was frustrated by the Spanish authorities’ investigation on his tax records.

The days since have been dominated by transfer rumours featuring Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, LA Galaxy and more, while Perez has remained silent.

On Monday evening,Perez told Spanish radio station El Transistor:

 “All this is very strange. Cristiano is a good guy – I have to talk to him and see what happens.

“It has affected me how the media treated Cristiano; the presumption of innocence was not respected. Everyone must comply with their tax obligations and I know that Cristiano always wants to meet his.

“I am sure that Cristiano complies with his tax duties, it must be a confusion that will be cleared. Cristiano has the same corporate structure which he had in England, where spent many years without a problem.

“I will always defend Cristiano as a footballer and as a person. He is a good person, very supportive.

“The sheikh of PSG is friend of mine and has not called me, I have not spoken with him or with anyone. We’ve not received any offer for Cristiano.

“I have a good relationship and a good friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo and I want to talk to him.”

 

 

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Tiger Woods said Monday he is getting "professional help" to deal with medications used for back pain and sleep issues.

The 14-time major champion, who is recovering from April 19 back surgery and on May 29 was arrested on DUI charges, took to Twitter on Monday to make the announcement.

Woods, 41, was asleep at the wheel of his car in the early-morning hours on Memorial Day. Later, in a statement, he said alcohol was not involved but that he had an "unexpected reaction" to prescription medication.

"I'm not at liberty to say where he is, but he is receiving in-patient treatment," said Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, in a phone interview. "Tiger has been dealing with so much pain physically. And that leads to insomnia and sleep issues. This has been going on for a long time."

On May 24, in Woods' first extensive comments since the fusion surgery, his fourth back surgery in just over three years, he explained in a website post that he had been dealing with nerve pain that caused quality of life issues.

"It is hard to express how much better I feel," Woods wrote. "It was instant nerve relief. I haven't felt this good in years."

Five days later, Woods was observed by police pulled over near the side of a road some 9 miles from his home in Jupiter, Florida. He failed multiple field-sobriety tests but blew a 0.00 on a breathalyzer after being taken into custody.

"Was the night in question a tipping point?" Steinberg said. "He's now gone and checked himself into a facility.

"He's been in pain for so long. He's had to handle the pain, which then potentially leads to the lack of sleep because you're in so much pain."

Asked about Woods' comments on his website that he felt relief after the latest surgery, Steinberg said: "I don't think you can put two and two together. It's such a complicated state, such a complicated situation. If you're in that much pain for so many years. ... Tiger has been trying to figure out how to live a life and actually have a life. He is where he is right now. I'm glad he is taking responsibility."

Woods had his first back surgery on March 31, 2014, and he has not been anywhere near the same golfer who just a year earlier won five times on the PGA Tour to run his career victory total to 79.

He had another surgery in September 2015, then a third six weeks later. From that point, Woods went more than a year without competing, returning for what seemed a promising restart at the Hero World Challenge in December.

But after plotting an ambitious early-season schedule, Woods made it through just three rounds before eventually shutting it down again. He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, then the following week played just one round at the European Tour event in Dubai, withdrawing the next day with back spasms.

Woods told police on May 29 that he had taken four prescription pain medications, including Vicodin. The Golf Channel, which obtained an unredacted version of the Jupiter Police Department report, reported that Woods said he was also taking Xanax. The arraignment for his arrest is scheduled for Aug. 9.

Report by Bob Harig

 

 

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In a significant statement from the International Olympic Committee, their executive board have announced that they will retain all 28 sports that featured at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for the 2024 Olympic Games programme. The move means that Olympic sevens will go on beyond the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

As they said in their statement today: “In another decision regarding the Olympic programme, the Executive Board approved the overall composition of the sports programme for the Olympic Games 2024 to include all 28 sports on the programme of the Olympic Games Rio 2016.”

Talking of the announcement, World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “While the IOC Session will ultimately consider this recommendation, World Rugby, like the entire global rugby family, is very excited by today’s Executive Board’s recommendation.

“I would like to thank the IOC President Thomas Bach and the IOC Executive Board for placing their continued trust in rugby, and our national member unions, players and passionate fans for making sevens the best it can possibly be.

“We now await the decision of the IOC Session and continue to be fully committed to the Olympic Charter and the highest standards of anti-doping as we look to what promises to be a spectacular Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and, hopefully, beyond.”

The IOC are expected to announce where the 2024 Olympic Games will be held in an extraordinary IOC session in Lausanne over 11 and 12 July. They will decide which city out of Paris and Los Angeles will hold the games in 2024 – with the city losing out to be slated as the hosts for 2028.

-Report by Rugby World

 

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Bayern Munich are concerned that Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez is attempting to price himself out of a move to the Allianz Arena so that he can instead join Manchester City.

Sanchez, who is valued at £50 million, has just over a year remaining on his current deal at Arsenal and has been heavily linked with a switch away from the club.

Bayern had appeared favourites to sign him, but the Chilean is demanding a package of £21.85 million-a-year from the Bundesliga champions, which would see him earn £420,000-a-week, as reported by the Mirror.

The German club are hesitant to alter their wage structure and it now appears that Sanchez’s most likely destination is Manchester City, despite Arsenal’s reluctance to sell one of their major assets to a Premier League rival.

Sanchez was Arsenal’s outstanding performer last season as he scored 24 goals in the Premier League and created 78 chances, and, should an outcome occur, his departure would be a major setback.

 

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Chelsea defender Gary Cahill should hand manager Antonio Conte his Premier League winner’s medal, according to Stoke City legend Mike Pejic.

The England international, 31, was a regular for the Blues in the season just gone as he featured in all but one game and often wore the captain’s armband in the absence of club legend John Terry. However, his defensive qualities have been called into question by Pejic.

“I felt sorry for him [Butland] having to play behind a player like Gary Cahill, one of the worst defenders I’ve seen in one-v-one situations,” the Potters legend said, as reported by Goal.com

“He gets so easily exposed and it was him, as much as David Luiz, who needed the protection of a three-man defence in that Chelsea rearguard last season.

“Chelsea boss Antonio Conte deserves a medal – possibly Cahill’s title-winning medal – for spotting so quickly that Luiz and Cahill needed such protection.”

Despite his six goals, Cahill managed two defensive errors throughout the campaign – no player across the entire squad had more – although he did average six defensive actions per game, including 170 clearances and 51 interceptions.

 

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European champions, Portugal had to settle for a point against Mexico, as the two nations played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in their FIFA Confederations Cup tie.

The Mexicans dominated the possession in the opening 15 minutes, but they were unable to carve out a chance in the 18-yard area.

Selecao had the ball in the back of the net after 20 minutes through Pepe, but the Video Assistant Referee deemed the goal offside just moments before Cristiano Ronaldo had struck the crossbar.

Portugal eventually broke the deadlock in the 34th minute when Ronaldo did well to pick out an un-marked Ricardo Quaresma, who skipped past Ochoa and slotted into an empty net.

Mexico could have hit back four minutes later when Carlos Vela picked out Javier Hernandez in the box, but the striker's header sailed straight at Rui Patricio.

The equaliser arrived just before the halftime break for Mexico, as Vela crossed for Hernandez, who sent a powerful header into the bottom corner.

The second started off much like the first, with the Mexicans seeing a lot of the possession.

Both sides opted for a change after 57 minutes, as Giovani Dos Santos replaced Vela, while Gelson Martins came on for Nani.

Mexico continued to dominate as the second half went on, but they were finding it tough to break down the Portugal defence.

Portugal upped the tempo and went close in the 79th minute when Quaresma forced Ochoa into a low save from distance, while Dos Santos fired wide at the other end.

Fernando Santos threw on the highly-rated Andre Silva a minute later, and he nearly restored Portugal's lead in the 84th minute but Ochoa produced a super save to keep out the striker's header.

Selecao were not to be denied two minutes later when Cedric broke into the box fired a deflected effort past Ochoa from close range.

However, Mexico secured a point in stoppage time when defender Hector Moreno rose well to head home from close range, 2-2.

 

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Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas struck late in the second half to earn Chile a 2-0 win over African champions, Cameroon in their FIFA Confederations Cup opening clash.

Chile were without first choice goalkeeper, Claudio Bravio, while Alexis Sanchez started on the bench.

La Roja started like a house on fire as Vargas rattled the upright before Fabrice Ondoa denied Fuenzalida inside the opening five minutes.

Cameroon carved out their first chance after 11 minutes as Vincent Aboubakar forced Herrera into a good save from close range, following a swift counter attack.

Chile continued to dominate possession as they looked for an opener, but Ondoa was at his best in the 25th minute to keep out Puch's low effort from distance.

La Roja squandered another golden chance in the 40th minute when Vargas was played through on goal, however the striker blazed horribly over the crossbar.

Chile had the ball in the back of the net on the stroke of halftime, however the Video Assistant Referee ruled that Vargas was offside.

After a quiet opening to the half, Juan Antonio Pizzi introduced Arsenal star Sanchez in the 57th minute as they pushed for an opening goal.

Benjamin Moukandjo went close to breaking the deadlock for Cameroon in the 66th minute but his curling free-kick sailed inches wide of the upright.

La Roja eventually broke the deadlock in the 80th minute when Vidal rose above his marker to head home Sanchez's cross from the left, 0-1.

Chile sealed the win in stoppage time, as Vargas got on the score-sheet with a finish from close range after Sanchez had been denied, 0-2.

 

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Former Chelsea player Jason Cundy has claimed that Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is a better attacking option at present that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and also went on to claim that the England international is “twice the player” that Everton striker Romelu Lukaku is.

Cundy told talkSPORT : “If you are giving me the option to buy either one of those players, I’d take Kane every single day of the week over Lukaku.

“I would rather Harry Kane over Cristiano Ronaldo, too.

“All-round, the value he’s going to bring, because of what he can do, the player he’s going to turn into. I have faith in my judgement.

“Harry Kane is twice the player Lukaku is – based on my eyes, based on my knowledge, based on what I see.

“He’s twice the player, Kane is twice the player.

“Harry Kane is a better player, he can hold the ball up with his back to goal and Lukaku can’t.

“However you dress it up, the better player is Harry Kane.”

Despite Ronaldo being the current Ballon d’Or holder, Kane enjoyed a better season statistically, as the Tottenham player scored more goals, provided more assists and created a higher amount of chances per game in the league, while he also boasted a superior average shot accuracy.

 

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In an exclusive interview with SunSport former Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon revealed that Ronaldo’s heart may be at Manchester United.

“I remember when I signed Cristiano, he phoned me and said everyone at Manchester United was really happy and kind to him.

“Sir Alex Ferguson was like a father and he loved the fans.

“The club has been very important in his career. Manchester United is a club he has in his heart.” He said.

Ronaldo and Ferguson remain very close and embraced at last month’s Champions League final in Cardiff, after which Fergie presented his former star with the man-of-the- match award.

Ronaldo wants out of Madrid believing they have failed to back him over a charge of defrauding the Spanish taxman to the tune of £13million.

It is said his decision to quit the Bernabeu after eight years is irreversible.

Calderon added: “I had the same situation with Manchester United when he decided to leave and I signed him.

“He says I want to leave and that’s it, as a president you can’t do anything other than let him go and get the best possible deal.”

Jose Mourinho will have the final say, of course, and he and Ronaldo fell out towards the end of the Special One’s final season in charge at Real.

 

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