Archive | December 2016

Boat carrying football team capsizes in Uganda….

The ill-fated yellow boat is brought back ashore from Lake Albert

At least 30 people have drowned after a boat carrying a football team and their fans capsized on Lake Albert in Uganda, police say. The overcrowded vessel was carrying some 45 people. Police say the boat became unbalanced when too many passengers moved to one side. Nine bodies have been recovered, and 15 people have been rescued, reports say. Boat accidents are fairly common on Lake Albert and in other parts of Africa. Vessels are often packed with too many people and goods, and in a poor state. Police commander John Rutagira told AFP news agency that most passengers were drunk by the time they embarked on the boat. The group, from Buliisa District, was on its way to a Christmas day football match in Hoima District, singing songs and blowing trumpets and whistles. Fishermen have helped authorities on the rescue operation. In November, 10 people drowned in Lake Albert on the country’s western shore.

Swansea City sack American manager Bob Bradley….

Bob Bradley

Swansea City have sacked Bob Bradley after only 85 days in charge of the Premier League club. Monday’s 4-1 home defeat by West Ham was Swans’ seventh in 11 games since Bradley took over on 3 October and leaves them on 12 points, above bottom club Hull on goal difference. Bradley was the first American to manage a Premier League club. Chairman Huw Jenkins said: “We felt we had to make the change with half the Premier League season remaining.” He added: “With the club going through such a tough time, we have to try and find the answers to get ourselves out of trouble. “I have nothing but praise for Bob. He is a good man; a good person who gave everything to the job. His work-rate is phenomenal and we wish him well for the future.” Bradley managed USA, Egypt and Stabaek in Norway before leaving French second division club Le Havre to succeed Francesco Guidolin, who had himself only been appointed in January.

Merry Christmas….

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To all our numerous readers, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy yourselves and be safe. Thanks for being there for us.

Aubameyang, Mahrez and Mane make CAF’s final award shortlist….

Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Borussia Dortmund and Gabon star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still in line to retain his African Player of the Year crown after making the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) final three-man shortlist. The 27-year-old will go up against Leicester City’s Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez – the BBC’s 2016 African Footballer of the Year – and Liverpool and Senegal winger Sadio Mane. Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Islam Slimani of Algeria both missed out having made the final five. CAF confirmed that the winners will be unveiled at a ceremony on Thursday 5 January in Abuja, Nigeria.  Aubameyang’s victory last year ended Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure’s run of winning the trophy in four successive years. Mahrez stands a great chance of dethroning him after a stunning 2016 in which he helped Leicester win the Premier League title and won the English Players’ Player of the Year award. Zambian midfielder Rainford Kalaba, Zimbabwean forward Khama Billiat and Ugandan goalkeeper Denis Onyango are the three contenders for the prize for CAF’s best African player based on the continent.

Chelsea’s Oscar to join Shanghai SIPG in China….


Chelsea and Shanghai SIPG have agreed terms for midfielder Oscar to move to the Chinese Super League club in the January transfer window. The 25-year-old Brazil international said earlier this month the move, worth about £60m, was “90% certain”. Oscar joined Chelsea from Internacional for £25m in 2012 and has scored 38 times in 203 appearances for the club. He will complete his move “at the beginning of the January transfer window”, the club said in a statement. Oscar, who has struggled to get into Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side since October, will join former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas in Shanghai. The Chinese side confirmed Oscar “will arrive in Shanghai in the coming days to officially join SIPG”. The player, who has won the Premier League, Europa League and League Cup during his four-and-a-half-year spell at Stamford Bridge, will earn a reported £400,000 a week.

Mashaba sacked as South Africa coach….

Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba

South Africa’s FA (SAFA) has sacked coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba for “gross misconduct”. He was also found guilty of insubordination and violating communication policies. Mashaba was suspended last month after making strong comments about SAFA president Danny Jordaan. “Due to the seriousness of [his] actions, we had to release our head coach with immediate effect,” a SAFA statement said. The incidents all followed South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on 12 November. That result left Bafana Bafana second in Group D on four points, behind Burkina Faso on goal difference. Only the group winners qualify for the finals in Russia in 2018. “It is regrettable that we had to face the events of the past month at a time when the National Team is experiencing a resurgence in its quest to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup”, SAFA chief executive Dennis Mumble said in a statement.

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Kvitova injured in knife attack….

Petra Kvitova

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has suffered a hand injury after being attacked by an intruder armed with a knife. The 26-year-old is reportedly undergoing surgery for injuries to the tendons in her hand. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Real Madrid transfer ban reduced to just January….

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Real Madrid will be able to sign players next summer, but not next month, after a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling. They, and Atletico Madrid, had been banned from signing players for two transfer windows for breaching rules over the transfer of foreign players under 18. A Real statement read: “This award highlights the unfairness of the penalty imposed by Fifa in its day, although the club regrets that the Cas has not had enough courage to repeal it entirely.” There is no word on Atletico’s fate yet.

Five-match racial abuse ban for Shelvey….

Jonjo Shelvey and Romain Saiss.

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been banned for five games and fined £100,000 after being found guilty of using insulting words and language towards an opponent, the Football Association has announced. A Football Association statement read: “Jonjo was charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent in the 87th minute of the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, 17th September 2016. “It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality. “The player, who denied the charge at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, was also ordered to attend an FA education course. “The sanction has been set aside pending consideration for an appeal.  The player has seven days from receipt of written reasons in which to lodge any appeal. “The club and the player will await the FA’s written reasons before making any further comment on this matter.”

Idris Kanu in Man City and Leicester’s radar….

Manchester City and Leicester have checked up on Aldershot Town striker Idris Kanu (left)

Manchester City and Leicester City have checked up on Aldershot Town striker Idris Kanu. The 17-year-old former West Ham academy player joined National League Aldershot in October after a trial spell at Manchester United and has impressed in their first team. The pacey youngster scored his third for the club with a sublime solo effort against Boreham Wood earlier this month and is catching the eye of teams further up the pyramid, with Reading also reported to be monitoring the situation.

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Enugu Rangers players rewarded by Enugu governor….

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Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has rewarded Nigeria League champions, Rangers with a plot of land each as well as a total sum of 41.5 million Naira. The plots of land are located at the Rangers Estate in Enugu. The Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Mohammed, a big fan of Rangers who started his military career in Nsukka, was also present at the victory reception at the Michael Okpara Square in Enugu. “We commend Rangers for reviving the famous Rangers spirit and making the club great again,” saluted Governor Ugwuanyi. “We dedicate this trophy to the almighty God.” Among the Rangers stars in attendance were striker Ifeanyi Egwim, who suffered a horror fracture on the final day of the past season, but he has since recovered and will soon be training again.

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Two former FIFA chiefs get life bans….

Rafael Callejas and Alfredo Hawit

Two former senior officials who have pleaded guilty to criminal corruption charges have been banned from football-related activity for life by FIFA. The sport’s governing body began its own investigation into Rafael Callejas and Alfredo Hawit after they were among 16 football officials arrested by US authorities in Zurich in December 2015. Hawit and Callejas pleaded guilty to racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy charges in the US earlier this year. They are due to be sentenced in 2017.

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Barkley apologised to Henderson for tackle….

Ross Barkley and Jordan Henderson

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley apologised to Jordan Henderson for his late tackle during Liverpool’s win at Goodison Park, says the Reds captain. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Toffees manager Ronald Koeman said Barkley, who was booked, might have been “lucky” not to be sent off. “It was pretty late, but I know Ross well. He’s a good lad,” his England team-mate Henderson told Sky Sports. “Thankfully I’m OK. It was mistimed and he apologised after. It’s a derby – it doesn’t matter if you’re friends off the field.” Former Everton midfielder Kevin Kilbane told Match of the Day 2: “Barkley is lucky from two sides. He’s lucky he didn’t get a red card and lucky Henderson didn’t get a serious injury.”

Fellaini eyes Milan move….

Marouane Fellaini

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini could move to AC Milan in the January transfer window after growing disaffected with his lack of first-team action at Old Trafford according to the Times. The 29-year-old, who has 18 months remaining on his current contract, has started just one game in the last two months and was spotted in Milan on Monday.

Zabaleta injury not serious….

Pablo Zabaleta

A bit of good news for Manchester City with regard to defender Pablo Zabaleta. The Argentine was pictured leaving the Etihad Stadium wearing a cast on his leg after Sunday’s win over Arsenal, sparking fears he was set for a spell on the sidelines. However, it is understood the cast was purely precautionary and whilst it is too early to know just yet, Zabaleta could in theory be involved for the Boxing Day trip to Hull. City follow that with a key encounter with Liverpool at Anfield on New Year’s Eve. “Hopefully it is not too bad,” the 31-year-old said. “Maybe I can have an injection in there and be ready in, I don’t know, maybe 10 days. We’ll see.”

Wolfsburg not going to change coach….

David Wagner

Wolfsburg director Hans-Gerd Bode has denied widespread reports that they will sack coach Valerien Ismael and hire Huddersfield boss David Wagner this winter. German-born former USA international Wagner, 45, has been in charge of the Championship side, who are in the play-off places, for 13 months. Bode told Germany’s DPA agency. “We have a coach who is currently showing that he can give this team new direction. “Last weekend’s result shows that the team has taken up the fight. We are playing Gladbach on Tuesday and nothing is going to happen to the coach either before or after that game.”

Payet would have fun at Arsenal….

Dimitri Payet

West Ham attacker Dimitri Payet has said that “you could only have fun” playing for Arsenal after the 29-year-old was linked to the Gunners as a possible replacement if Mesut Ozil fails to sign a new contract at the Emirates. “I read that Wenger considers me the missing piece of the Arsenal’s game, but he’s never told me that,” he told RMC Sport. “We conceded five or six at home against them. When you see them playing, as a technical player, you could only have fun in that team. “I’m not closing the door to anything. I miss the Champions League. I’ve got some great years ahead of me and I want to enjoy them by playing in important competitions.”

Barca confident of Messi stay….

Lionel Messi

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is giving a news conference on his assessment of 2016. Lionel Messi only has 18 months left on his contract, with talks over a new deal yet to officially start, but Bartomeu is confident he will stay. “Leo Messi wants to stay as he is happy here. He is another Catalan and he is very committed to Barca,” said the president. “He is the best in the history of football and obviously we would love him to finish his career at Barca.”  On captain Andres Iniesta, Bartomeu added: “Iniesta is also a key player for us. We would love him to finish his career at Barca.”