Jamie Vardy will miss Leicester’s Super Sunday clash at Manchester United after picking up a further one-match ban, according to Sky sources. The Foxes striker was in London on Sunday for the PFA Awards dinner and stayed overnight in the capital. He received a personal hearing on Monday and offered mitigation for his actions following his red card against West Ham on April 17. The England international missed Sunday’s 4-0 home win over Swansea and with Tottenham drawing on Monday night, the Foxes now only need one win in their final three games to secure the title. Leicester’s remaining fixtures are away to Manchester United and home to Everton before rounding off their fairytale campaign with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on May 15. Leicester just need to win one more game and the premier league title is theirs. It could happen on Sunday at Old Trafford.
A Turkish Super Lig match had to be abandoned yesterday after one of the match officials was assaulted. Visitors Fenerbahce were beating Trabzonspor 4-0 when some of the home fans started to disrupt the game. The trouble started with objects being thrown on to the pitch and became much more serious when a fan ran out of the stands and attacked one of the assistant referees. The fan barged into the official, knocking him off his feet, and then punched and kicked him on the ground. The game was called off, with Fenerbahce likely to be awarded the victory. A statement from the Turkish Football Federation read: “In the match between Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor in week 30 of the Spor Toto Super Lig, in the 89th minute assistant referee Volkan Bayarslan was assaulted. “The on-field action was suspended by referee Bulent Yildirim. “A decision on the result will be made by the league’s board of directors.”
World number five Rafael Nadal has filed a lawsuit against former French government minister Roselyne Bachelot, who accused him of doping. “I intend to defend my integrity and my image as an athlete but also the values I have defended all my career,” the Spaniard, 29, said in a statement. Last month, former Minister for Health and Sport Bachelot said Nadal’s seven-month absence in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test”. He says he had tendinitis and a virus. “I wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence,” added 14-time Grand Slam winner Nadal. He had already announced his intention to sue Bachelot, saying: “I am tired about these things. I let it go a few times in the past. Not any more.” Bachelot, 69, served in Nicolas Sarkozy’s government from 2007 to 2010. She has since left politics.
Leicester City will win the Premier League if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Victory at the home of the 20-time English champions would secure the title after Tottenham could only draw 1-1 at home to West Brom on Monday. It leaves Spurs seven points adrift of Leicester with each team only having three games left. Claudio Ranieri’s unfancied side started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title. Usual championship contenders Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and defending champions Chelsea have struggled for consistency.
Juventus were crowned Serie A champions for a fifth season in a row after Napoli’s 1-0 defeat at Roma. Sunday’s 2-1 victory at Fiorentina put them on the brink of glory, and Napoli’s failure to win on Monday meant Juve can no longer be caught. It completes a stunning rise for the Turin side, who were in 12th place and 11 points off the top on 28 October. However, they have won 24 of their 25 league games since, drawing the other, to take them clear. Napoli’s defeat denies Juventus the chance to win the title at their own ground. They host Carpi on Sunday at 11:30am.
Juventus’ run of 24 wins from 25 Serie A games has taken them to the brink of their fifth consecutive domestic title. If second-placed Napoli fail to win away to Roma today, Juve will be crowned champions. In case you are wondering why there is a Serie A match in the middle of a weekday, today is Liberation Day – an Italian national holiday.
Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez has won the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award. Mahrez has scored 17 goals and made 11 assists in 34 league games to take Leicester to the cusp of the title. The award was voted for by the Algeria international’s fellow professionals. Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli, 20, was named PFA Young Player of the Year, while Manchester City forward Izzy Christiansen won the Women’s Player of the Year award. Sunderland striker Beth Mead, 20, was named Women’s Young Player of the Year. Mahrez, 25, held off competition from Tottenham forward Harry Kane, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, West Ham United midfielder Dimitri Payet and fellow Leicester men Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante to win the award.
Nigerian football’s crisis has taken a bizarre twist with an attempt to appoint a dead referee for Sunday’s match between Warri Wolves and Giwa FC. It comes as Chris Giwa continues to challenge Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick. A Nigerian court has ruled Giwa should replace the FIFA-recognised Pinnick and in a move to wrest control he has named the weekend’s top-flight officials. However, among those selected is Wale Akinsanya, who died in January.
Barcelona humiliated Deportivo La Coruna to end a three-match losing run. Luis Suarez scored four for the Spanish leaders, with the Uruguay striker bundling in the opener, then tucking in Lionel Messi’s pass. Barca scored six in the second half – Ivan Rakitic fired in, before Suarez slid in for his hat-trick and then tapped in Neymar’s selfless pass. Messi rolled in, then Marc Bartra’s solo goal and Neymar’s simple finish from close range sealed the rout. Barca had let a nine-point lead at the top of La Liga slip but victory on Wednesday was never in doubt from the moment Suarez scored his 46th goal of the season from a corner. Suarez took his tally to 49 before the end of the night and also contributed three assists as Barca were utterly dominant. Wins for Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid mean that the title race remains tight. Barca are joined on 79 points by Atletico, with Real a point further back. There are four games remaining.
Coach Roberto Martinez’s Everton record has capitulated since he took over in 2013. That first season his side finish fifth, with a win percentage of 55.3%. But this season his season have won just 26.5% of his games in the Premier League. Yesterday they lost the Merseyside derby 4-0 to Liverpool and the Everton fans seem to have had enough. Is the end of the road for the Spainard? We shall see.
Nigerian champions, Enyimba FC of Aba has qualified for the group stages of the CAF champions league with a 7-6 aggregate win over Etoile du Sahel FC of Tunisia. The second leg match played yesterday 20th April in Tunisia ended 3-0 in regulation time in favour of Etoile du Sahel who had lost the first leg in Nigeria by the same margin. However in the ensuing penalty kicks, Enyimba had the last laugh, wining the lottery kicks 4-3 to advance to the group stages. The draw for the group stage will be held on 24 May in Cairo, Egypt.
Rafa Benitez has only recently taken the Newcastle United hot-seat and already he faces a battle to hold on to it – from Moussa Sissoko’s young son. Newcastle have already had more managers in the dugout than they would have liked this season but ahead of Newcastle’s clash with Man City it looked as though there was going to be yet another. And it was a mini-Sissoko who took a liking for Benitez’s chair, with the midfielder’s son perching himself in the dugout shortly before the game kicked off.
France Football magazine ranked the sport’s highest earners, and the amount of money in play might make your eyes water. The football rich list is collated by adding club salaries, endorsement deals, and performance bonuses. Europe cemented its position as the home of big-money soccer — all the clubs featured are on the continent, while all but two of the players are European. Despite the Premier League being the most watched in the world, English football clubs did not take part in the survey. France Football notes that Manchester United player Wayne Rooney would have been ninth if they had.
1. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona, 28)
Annual Salary: €36m (£28.7m; $40.6m)
Performance Bonus: €3m (£2.4m; $3.4m)
Other Income: €35m (£27.9m; $39m)
The best footballer in the world (according to FIFA’s Player of the Year award) is also the best paid. This marks the first time a footballer has ever had an income of over €70 million, and with Messi’s contracts with sports-related giants like Adidas and EA Games it’s perhaps no surprise the Argentine player is rolling in money.
Here are the football’s highest-paid managers for the 2015-2016 season as announced by sports magazine Football France. The figures, cited by City AM, show that the game’s top managers can compete with their superstar players when it comes to massive salaries. Four of the top 13 managers are currently without a job, but made money from generous compensation packages or owed salaries.
1. Jose Mourinho — unattached
2015-2016 Income: €24 million (£19 million; $27 million)
The best-paid manager in football is one who was sacked earlier in the season. Chelsea dumped Mourinho after a bad start to the season, and rumours of where he’ll go next continue to be one of the biggest talking points in football. In the meantime, continued pay by Chelsea and endorsement deals with Adidas, Hublot, and Alibaba have kept his bank account full.
The biggest money-making football clubs of the 2014/15 season have been ranked by accountancy firm Deloitte in their annual Football Money League report. Europe continues to dominate, with all the teams on the list from that continent. Within Europe, the Premier League punches above its weight, with UK clubs making up 8 of the top 19. Much of this is thanks to the enduring appeal of the English Premiership, which is still the most-watched league in the world. Elsewhere on the list, Italy has four placings, while Spain and Germany have three. France has to settle for one. Deloitte says that exchange rates help explain the large English showing, and adds that with a new financing structure for the Premier League coming into effect next season — which will see clubs share around £5 billion in TV revenues — English clubs could get even richer:
1. Real Madrid (Spain)
2014/15 Revenue: €577 million
(£456 million; $657 million)
The biggest money making team of last season was voted by FIFA as the European club of the 20th century, and its fortunes are only getting better this millennium. Real Madrid has some of the world’s most expensive players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, but its revenue to wage ratio is in good health thanks to high ticket, shirt, and TV rights sales. Expect it to be number one for many years to come.
Jose Mourinho will manage England against Claudio Ranieri’s Rest of the World side for this summer’s Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford. Two teams of celebrities will meet on 5 June to raise money for UNICEF. Mourinho will be assisted by Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, with Soccer Aid co-founder Robbie Williams as coach. “I want to be the first one to win the Soccer Aid trophy for both teams,” said the Portuguese, who coached Rest of the World to a 4-2 win in 2014. “Sam and I will make a very good partnership and it will be a great feeling for Claudio to finally lose a match.” Ranieri, manager of Premier League leaders Leicester City, added: “It is a great honour that Robbie Williams has asked me to manage the Rest of the World XI and I’m looking forward to helping them defend their title.”