It’s being widely reported this morning that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has been banned from competition for a year after failing a drugs test. The Beast has also been reportedly fined $250,000 and his victory over Mark Hunt in July will be changed to a no contest. Lesnar possibly won’t be too fussed though, as he can continue to wrestle for WWE, where he’s paid a handsome sum for his services.
Orange Signs New Eight-Year Partnership with Confederation of African Football (CAF) as Official Sponsor of 5 Major CAF Competitions from 2017 – 2024. The eight-year sponsorship also covers the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, the Total Women Africa Cup of Nations, the Total CAF Champions League and the Total CAF Super Cup. The Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the biggest football tournament across Africa and the Middle East. Today, Orange has signed a new eight-year contract to be the Official Sponsor and CAF partner, extending a successful sponsorship partnership that dates back to 2008. Services to support the partnership will be provided by Lagardère Sports.
Everton are confident of completing the signing of Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic, for a fee that could rise to £11million, in the opening weeks of the January transfer window. Ronald Koeman’s side are desperate for a new winger after Yannick Bolasie’s knee ligament injury ruled him out for the rest of the season. Steve Walsh has identified 19-year-old Lookman as the best replacement and Everton have moved to the front of the queue for him. The only remaining sticking point is that Charlton want Lookman loaned back for the second half of the season, while Everton want to bring him straight into their first team group. The two sides are in negotiations and are likely to settle on a fee close to £8m with another £3m in potential add-ons.
The government in DR Congo has told the country’s football association to suspend league competition from Thursday until further notice. The move comes amidst fears that the end of President Joseph Kabila’s mandate next week will spark violence. “This general situation in the country risks spilling into the stadiums,” Barthelemy Okito, secretary-general of the sports ministry, said. One popular chant heard at games warns Kabila that his mandate is over. Kabila is required by constitutional term limits to step down on 19 December but he has said he plans to stay on until at least April 2018, the earliest the government says an election originally planned for last month can be organised. His opponents accuse him of deliberately delaying the vote to cling to power – a charge he denies – and have vowed street protests to force him from office.
Nigeria’s victorious women’s football team have protested outside parliament in Abuja over unpaid win bonuses. Their protest coincided with President Muhammadu Buhari’s arrival at the National Assembly to present next year’s budget. The African champions then marched to President Buhari’s villa, where an aide said they would be paid in two days. They have refused to leave a nearby hotel until they receive win bonuses of $17,150 each.
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a new deal with the club. The 27-year-old Spaniard will make his 200th Chelsea appearance if selected at Sunderland tomorrow night as we seek a 10th successive Premier League victory. ‘I’m really happy to have signed a new contract,” he said. “Since I arrived here my target was to progress as a player and win trophies. “This new contract gives me the chance to continue my relationship with the club, that’s what I wanted and obviously I’m really happy here.
An Afghan boy who became an online hit after wearing a homemade shirt bearing Lionel Messi’s famous number 10 has met his hero. A photograph of six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi wearing the shirt made from a striped blue plastic bag went viral in January and ended with the boy receiving a signed shirt from the Barcelona striker. But now the pair have come face to face in Doha, according to Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee.
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has pleaded guilty to drink-driving, but says he had not “intentionally consumed alcohol”. The Ivory Coast player, 33, accepts he was “above the permitted limit”, and did not challenge the charge. He was fined £54,000 – a means-tested fine – and banned from driving for 18 months by Barkingside magistrates. “It is well known that I am a Muslim and do not drink, said Toure. “I have always refused alcohol.” Toure was driving in Dagenham in east London at the time of the offence last month.
Leicester City have moved swiftly to tie up the £14 million capture of Wilfred Ndidi as Claudio Ranieri steps up his preparations for the January transfer window. Ndidi, the Genk defensive midfielder, had his medical on Monday and will become the Premier League champions’ first signing of the new year, subject to a work permit. The Nigeria international, 19, has agreed a five-year contract and the deal is expected to be announced shortly after the window officially opens.
Former Premier League footballer Sam Sodje has appeared in court alongside three brothers accused of charity fraud. The ex-Reading defender denied fraudulent trading charges relating to the Sodje Sports Foundation – a charity to raise money for Nigerian sport. Mr Sodje, 37, is jointly charged with elder brothers Efe, 44, Bright, 50 and Stephen, 42. Appearing at the Old Bailey earlier, all four denied the offence. The charge relates to offences which allegedly took place between 2008 and 2014. Sam, from Kent, Efe and Bright, of Greater Manchester, and Stephen, from Bexley, are due to stand trial in July. They were all released on bail.
Riyad Mahrez has been crowned the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016. Fans from across the world voted for the Algeria and Leicester midfielder ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure. Winger Mahrez, 25, told BBC Sport: “It means a lot, it’s something big for African players so I am very happy, I am very proud. “It’s always good to receive awards and for African players it’s a huge honour. To all the fans, thank you very much.” He added: “Also I want to thank the Algeria fans and dedicate this to them as well and for my family. “I just have to carry on and keep going with my football and see what I can do.”
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat rival Lionel Messi to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for a fourth time. The 31-year-old is now one behind Barcelona’s Messi, who took the honour for a fifth time last year. Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann finished third in the vote. Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win last season’s Champions League and scored three goals as Portugal won Euro 2016. He has now won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, with Messi the only other recipient of the award since winning it for the first time in 2009. “I never thought in my mind that I would win the Golden Ball four times. I am pleased. I feel so proud and happy,” said Ronaldo.
Rivers United have emerged winners of the 2016 Super Four Tournament, organized by the League Management Company (LMC) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium (aka The Cathedral) in Enugu. The competition which began last Wednesday, featured all the teams that finished top four in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) last season. The Port Harcourt club finished above champions Enugu Rangers with six points from three matches. Rangers came second with five points, while Wikki Tourists finished third with four points. IfeanyiUbah FC ended up in bottom place with just one point. Rivers lost 2-0 to Rangers in their first fixture. They bounced back with a 1-0 victory over IfeanyiUbah and also defeated Wikki 1-0. Enugu Rangers and Rivers United will play in the CAF Champions League, while IfeanyiUbah FC and Wikki Tourists will compete in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Nigeria on Sunday made up for what it could not secure in the final cut for the Africa Player of the Year and Africa-based Player of the Year nominations. Nigeria got seven nominations in the 13 other categories released by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the Glo-CAF African Football Awards 2016. The awards ceremony will take place in Abuja on Jan. 5. Super Falcons’ forward Asisat Oshoala and Super Eagles’ strikers Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi were among those nominated for honours at the awards. Oshoala was listed alongside South African Janine Van Wyk, Ghanaian Elizabeth Addo and Cameroonians Gabrielle Onguene and Raissa Tchuanyo for the Women’s Player of the Year award. Oshoala won the award in 2014, alongside being named Youth Player of the Year then. Cameroonian Gaelle Enganamouit was named Women’s Player of the Year 2015.
Alex Iwobi came on for Arsenal in the 69th minute when he replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He went on to score Arsenal’s 3rd goal in the 75th minute as the beat Stoke City 3 – 1 at home at the Emirates Stadium.
Victor Moses started for Chelsea as they beat West Brom 1 – 0 at home at the Stanford Bridge. He was replaced by Cesc Fabregas in the 74th minute.
Kelechi Iheanacho started for Manchester City as they lost 2 – 4 to Leicester City away at the King Power Stadium. He was replaced by Yaya Toure in the 58th minute.
Victor Anichebe started for Sunderland and played full time as they lost 0 – 3 to Swansea away at the Liberty Stadium.
Ahmed Musa was an unused substitute for Leicester as they defeated Manchester City 4 – 2 at home at the King Power Stadium.
Odion Ighalo was an used substitute for Watford as they beat Everton 3 – 2 at home at the Vicarage Road.
Isaac Success was also an unused substitute for Watford as they beat Everton 3 – 2 at home at the Vicarage Road.
Mikel Obi was not selected for Chelsea’s game against West Brom. Chelsea won 1 -0 at home at the Stanford Bridge.
Nigerian coach Felix Nwosu is a free agent after parting ways with Somalia Premier League side Heegan FC and is available for new offers, preferable from the East African region. The 27-year-old former Gor Mahia FC defender has already attracted interests from Dubai, Qatar and Nigeria, onetheless, he is still leaving his options open for a deal closer home to his young family in Kenya. “All I need from them is to put my young family in the package.
The offers from Qatar and Dubai are juicy but I’m taking my time because I would prefer something within East Africa now so I can see my family often, or any deal that will include them,” Nwosu spoke from Tanzania where he met Yanga SC CEO Jerome Duforg.
Congratulations go to Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and his girlfriend Michele Lacroix. Lacroix posted on her Instagram page earlier: “Today is my birthday and 4 days ago I got the best pre birthday surprise. I’m going to marry my best friend, partner in crime, love of my life. #MrsDeBruyne.”