Barcelona have invited Brazilian side Chapecoense to play a friendly at the Nou Camp next August as a tribute to the victims of the air crash that all but wiped out the Brazilian team last month. “FC Barcelona want to pay homage to the 71 people that died in the accident and to their families so it is working on making the 2017 edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy a homage on behalf of the world of football to all of them,” said a club statement. The Joan Gamper Trophy is Barcelona’s traditional curtain raiser, taking place each year at the Nou Camp a week before the start of the La Liga season between Barca and an invited team. Nineteen Chapecoense players were killed in the plane crash in Colombia as the team were travelling to the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana against Atletico Nacional, along with directors and their coaching staff and journalists.
UEFA has charged Dynamo Kiev and Besiktas with disciplinary offences after fan violence during Tuesday’s Champions League game between the teams in Kiev. Clashes involving hundreds of fans in the Ukrainian capital before the game, which Kiev won 6-0, left 10 people injured and there was further trouble at the stadium. UEFA has charged both teams over crowd disturbances and the use of fireworks, while Besiktas have also been charged with fans causing damage to the stadium while Dynamo face a safety charge over stairways being blocked. Kiev is due to host the 2018 Champions League final.
Zambia thrashed Zimbabwe 5-1 in their opening Group B match of 2016 Cosafa U-20 Championships played at the Moruleng Stadium on Wednesday.
The Chipolopolo side led after just 40 minutes when Patson Daka capitalised on slack defending to roll in. Edward Chilufya smashed in the second after he leaped highest to head home from Solomon Sakala delivery to make it 2-0 by half time. Zimbabwe offered little sign of making a comeback, falling
further behind when Sakulanda drilled in a precise 15-yard strike ten minutes later. Fashion Sakala skipped around a static defence to slot with a goal that seemed to have burried the the Zims. And when it seemed it was over Zambia relaxed and allowed themselves to absorb some pressure at their back yard allowing a penalty that made Zimbabwe pull one back through Bukhosi Sibanda. In the dying minutes, Zambia added the fifth when second-half subsitute Moses Nyondo combining well with Keneth Kalunga to seal the 5-1 victory for the ten-time regional champions. Story Courtesy: Sampson Adedeji.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski used a rather public forum to announce his wife was pregnant. The 28-year-old scored a free-kick in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid, and as a celebration stuck his thumb in his mouth and put the ball under his shirt. “It was always my dream to announce out on the pitch that my wife is pregnant,” he said. “The goal was for her and the baby in her belly. We are very happy.”
Nigeria’s women’s team are continuing to refuse to leave a hotel in Abuja until they are paid allowances and bonuses for winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. The Super Falcons, who clinched their eighth African title on Saturday with a 1-0 win over hosts Cameroon, are protesting over the Nigeria Football Federation’s failure to pay them $23,650 USD per player for their success. “The plan is to stay here until we all receive the money because the moment we leave there will be no opportunity to get it again.” The protest began on Tuesday.
Borussia Monchengladbach defender Alvaro Dominguez has retired at the age of 27 through injury. The former Atletico Madrid player, who won two Spain caps, had not played for a year because of a series of injuries. He said on social media he had “tried everything to get fit again”. Coach Andre Schubert said: “His career ending early has affected us all deeply, he definitely could have still played at a very high level for a few years to come.”
After his strike against Borussia Monchengladbach last night, Lionel Messi now has 473 goals for Barcelona, drawing level in fourth place with the legendary Portuguese striker Eusebio (Benfica) for most goals scored at the same club.
The top four are:
Gerd Muller (Bayern Munich) 525
Jimmy McGrory (Celtic) 522
Uwe Seeler (Hamburg) 507
Eusebio (Benfica) and Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 473
The authorities in Bolivia have arrested the head of the airline involved in a crash last week that killed 71 people, including most of the Brazilian football team, Chapecoense. Gustavo Vargas, a retired air force general, has been detained as part of an investigation into the crash. The plane, operated by the tiny LaMia airline, was taking the team to Colombia when it ran out of fuel. A Bolivian official says she warned the pilot of the problem before departure.
Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has been banned for two games for unsportsmanlike conduct during Sunday’s 2-0 derby win over Lazio. The 26-year-old, who scored the opening goal, started a fight when he squirted water at Lazio substitute Danilo Cataldi. Cataldi was sent off for grabbing the shirt of Strootman, who collapsed on the ground. The club will appeal against the ban which would rule him out of games with AC Milan and Juventus, the other two members of the top three.
Arda Turan scored a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-0 victory against Borussia Monchengladbach, with Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool squad watching. Turkey forward Turan also set up Lionel Messi for the first goal of the dead rubber Champions League match. He then scored a 17-minute second-half hat-trick, as Barcelona underscored their position as Group C winners.
Alan Shearer has received a CBE from Prince William at Buckingham Palace. The former Newcastle and England captain was given the award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his charity work. Shearer has set up his own Foundation to fund the a Disability centre in the North East and has continued to work alongside charities such as NSPCC and Sport Relief. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for his services to football and was at Buckingham Palace to receive the honour from the Duke of Cambridge on Tuesday. “Very honoured and proud to receive my CBE today in recognition of my charity work. Thank you to everyone who supports me,” he posted on Twitter.
Paul Scholes has started a fast-track coaching course to pave the way for a move into management. The former Manchester United and England legend began his A licence at Blackburn Rovers academy on Monday. Scholes could be qualified through this scheme by the end of the season as he and some elite former players are given a special course shorter than the usual. And Scholes can now take a job in football as he is in the process of getting his badges.
Everton winger Yannick Bolasie will have knee surgery after scans confirmed he suffered serious ligament damage against Manchester United on Sunday. The DR Congo international signed for Everton from Crystal Palace in a £25m deal in August, and has played in every game this season. Bolasie, 27, injured the right anterior cruciate ligament in the 68th minute of Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park. He now faces a fight to return before the end of the Premier League season. Bolasie, who spent four seasons with Palace after joining from Bristol City in 2012, will miss his country’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign, which starts in Gabon next month.
Brazilian club Chapecoense have been awarded the Copa Sudamericana by South American football confederation Conmebol after most of their team died in a plane crash en route to the final. Seventy-one people, including 19 players and staff, were killed in last Monday’s crash on the way to Colombia for the first leg. Colombian opponents Atletico Nacional, who asked for Chapecoense to be awarded the trophy, have been given a Fair Play award to acknowledge their “spirit of peace, understanding and fair play”.
Manchester City and Chelsea have both been charged with failing to control their players in Saturday’s Premier League game by the Football Association. A mass brawl broke out towards the end of the game – won 3-1 by Chelsea – as City’s Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho were sent off. Aguero was dismissed for a wild lunge on Chelsea defender David Luiz, with team-mate Fernandinho also shown a red card for clashing with Cesc Fabregas in the melee that followed. Both clubs have until 7 pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.
It’s been rumoured for a while and now it’s official – the French Grand Prix will return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2018 for the first time since 2008. It will be staged at the Paul Ricard circuit, which last hosted the race in 1990. Paul Ricard is between Marseille and Toulon in the south of France. Magny-Cours was home to the race from 1991-2008. The deal was announced by Christian Estrosi, the president of the regional authority of Provence and the Cote d’Azur, in Paris on Monday.
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has lost his appeal against a six-year ban. The 80-year-old Swiss had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Blatter was banned over ethics breaches as his 17 years as head of football’s governing body ended in a corruption scandal in 2015. He was found to have made a £1.3m “disloyal payment” to ex-UEFA boss Michel Platini. Both deny wrongdoing. Blatter said in a statement: “I take note of the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The way the case progressed, no other verdict could be expected.”
The Football Association has confirmed that Sergio Aguero has been banned for four matches following his weekend dismissal which prompted a fractious finale to Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea. City striker Aguero was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Chelsea defender David Luiz, which led to a bench-clearing melee at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Fernandinho was also sent off for shoving Cesc Fabregas during the incident, with City’s Brazilian midfielder banned for three matches, as indicated on the disciplinary pages of the FA website.
Kashima Antlers have completed the line-up for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016, having been crowned Japanese J1 League champions on away goals following a 2-2 aggregate draw with Urawa Red Diamonds. The hosts looked to be cruising after Shinzo Koroki added to Urawa’s 1-0 first-leg lead, but a double by Mu Kanazaki was enough for Kashima to clinch an overall victory and take on the world’s continental champions next week. Kashima will now kick off the Club World Cup against Auckland City on 8 December. Story Courtesy: Sampson Adedeji.