Javier Mascherano has signed his contract extension at Barcelona, having agreed a deal in July, with Neymar set to follow suit later this week. Argentina defender Mascherano, who joined Barca from Liverpool just over six years ago, has committed until June 2019. The 32-year-old had been linked with a move away from the Nou Camp this summer, with strong rumours of a transfer to Juventus. Mascherano has won 17 trophies with the Catalans while making 290 appearances for the club. A statement on Barcelona’s official website read: “Javier Mascherano put pen to paper on his improved contract extension with FC Barcelona that will keep him at the club until 30 June 2019.” Brazil forward Neymar had similarly agreed a new contract over the summer to keep him with the Primera Division champions until 2021 and is set to put pen to paper on Friday. The club tweeted on Monday: “@neymarjr will sign new contract on Friday that will keep him at the club until June 2021.”
Shooting Stars of Ibadan, Nigeria lost one its players to stray bullet during the weekend in Bayelsa, Daily Post reports. The deceased defender, Izu Joseph, was part of the Oluyole Warriors which finished 14th at the just concluded 2015/2016 season of the Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL. Announcing the incident on in its official website, the club wrote, “A Shooting STAR is gone! Izu Joseph is gone! Flamboyant defender is gone! RIP, brother. What a life! May God strengthen his family #Tragedy.” It was alleged that the defender was hit by a bullet as officers of the Joint Task Force, JTF, engaged militants of the restive Niger Delta in a long-drawn face-off on Sunday, October 16. Joseph joined the Ibadan outfit two seasons ago from Bayelsa United when the Ibadan club were still in the second-tier Nigeria National League, NNL.
Graeme le Saux (Football). The former Southampton, Chelsea, Blackburn and England defender, is celebrating his 48th birthday today.
Ernie Els (Golf). The four-time major winner from South Africa, is 47.
Anil Kumble (Cricket). The former India spinner who took 619 wickets in Tests and 337 in one-day internationals, turns 46.
Andre Villas-Boas (Football). The former Porto, Chelsea, Tottenham and Zenit St Petersburg boss, is 39 today.
Kimi Raikkonen (Motor racing). The Finnish driver who won the Formula 1 world title with Ferrari in 2007, is celebrating his 37th birthday.
In view of the Glo-CAF Awards 2016, the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) has expanded the network for the decision making process with the constitution an Electoral College for the voting process. The Electoral Colleges are:
1 – Members of the CAF Media Committee
2 – Members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee
3 – Panel of 20 experts (Journalists, TV consultants)
4 – Member Associations (Head Coaches of National Team ‘A’ or National Technical Directors
Open the post to see the nominees for the 2016 African Player Of The Year. The winner will be announced at The Glo-CAF Awards Gala in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday, 5th January 2017.
Super Falcons coach Florence Omagbemi has named a provisional 30-member squad to commence preparations for the impending Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2016 scheduled for 19 November to 3 December 2016. Omagbemi named only eight foreign-based players including England-based Asisat Oshoala and Paris Saint-Germain defender Egozi Ebere. Nigeria, which has qualified for every edition of the biennial tournament, just as Cameroon and South Africa, are housed in Group B alongside bitterest rivals Ghana, Kenya and Mali. The Falcons open their campaign against Mali on November 20, face Ghana three days later before squaring Kenya on November 26, all at the newly built Limbe Omnisport Stadium.
Britain’s Anthony Joshua (of Nigerian descent) and Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko have agreed to fight each other, with an announcement expected in a couple of days, says promoter Eddie Hearn. According to Hearn, the heavyweight fight needs to be sanctioned, with Joshua’s IBF belt and potentially the WBA and WBO titles on the line. “Terms are virtually there,” he said. On Wednesday, Britain’s Tyson Fury relinquished his WBA and WBO belts and his boxing licence was then suspended. The British Boxing Board of Control revoked Fury’s licence “pending further investigation into anti-doping and medical issues”, after the 28-year-old admitted he had been taking cocaine to help him deal with depression.
Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week’s WTA Finals in Singapore because of a shoulder injury. The American world number two, 35, has not played since reaching the semi-finals of the US Open in September. Williams’ place could go to British number one Johanna Konta, who is ninth in the rankings, although she has an abdominal injury.
The ATP have handed Nick Kyrgios an eight week ban from tennis and an additional $25,000 fine for his behaviour – including “lack of best efforts” – during his Shanghai Masters defeat last week. He had already been fined $16,500 for patting the ball over the net several times when serving and walking back to his chair before a serve from Mischa Zverev had landed. He was also fined for abusing a spectator and unsportsmanlike conduct. Nick Kyrgios’ suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a sports psychologist
- Victor Moses started for Chelsea and scored the third goal as they beat Leicester at the Stamford Bridge. He was replaced by Ola Aina in the 82nd minute.
- Ahmed Musa started for Leicester as they lost at the Stamford Bridge. He was replaced by Slimani in the 67th minute.
- Alex Iwobi started as usual for Arsenal as they beat Swansea at the Emirates stadium. He was replaced by Coquelin in the 68th minute.
- Kelechi Iheanacho started for Manchester City who drew with Everton at the Etihad stadium. He was replaced by Aguero in the 56th minute.
- Isaac Success made his first start and impressed for Watford as they beat Middlesbrough away at the Riverside stadium. He was replaced by Watson at the 89th minute. He was the man of the match.
- Odion Ighalo was on the bench for Watford. Mikel Obi was not selected for Chelsea for the umpteenth time – a price he continues to pay for leaving Chelsea’s pre-season to represent Nigeria at the Rio Olympics where he won a Bronze medal. This is the time Nigeria has to give all the support to the able and inspiring Super Eagles captain.
Didier Drogba refused to play for Montreal Impact after being told he would not be starting against Toronto, according to coach Mauro Biello. The ex-Chelsea striker, 38, was absent from the Saputo Stadium where the Impact claimed a 2-2 draw to seal a Major League Soccer play-off spot. Montreal had earlier said he had a back injury to explain his omission. But Biello said: “He didn’t accept that he would come off the bench and, in the end, he didn’t want to be in the 18.” The coach added: “There was tightness in his back, yes, but he was capable of playing. The organisation will have to handle this.” Drogba, who left Chelsea in July 2015, has been used as a substitute in two of the Impact’s past four games. He has scored 10 goals in 21 appearances this season.
Saturday 15 October, 2016:
Chelsea 3 – 0 Leicester
Arsenal 3 – 2 Swansea
Bournemouth 6 – 1 Hull
Manchester City 1 – 1 Everton
Stoke 2 – 0 Sunderland
West Brom 1 – 1 Tottenham
Crystal Palace 0 – 1 West Ham
Former world champion sprinter Tyson Gay’s 15-year-old daughter has been killed in a shooting in the US state of Kentucky, police say. Police in Lexington said Trinity Gay was hit in the neck during an exchange of fire between two vehicles in a restaurant car park. She was taken to hospital where she later died, local media reported. Mr Gay, who is from Lexington, confirmed her death to local TV station Lex 18. “She didn’t make it. I’m so confused. She was just here last week for fall break. It’s so crazy. I have no idea what happened,” Lex18 quoted him as saying. Mr Gay is the US 100m record holder and is the joint second-fastest 100m runner of all time, behind Usain Bolt. The US track and field athletics team tweeted its condolences, sending “thoughts and prayers” to Mr Gay and his loved ones “as they mourn the tragic & senseless loss of his daughter, Trinity”. Mr Gay’s daughter was also an athlete and competed for Lafayette High School, where she was studying.