Archive | February 2017

Valcke appeals against ban….

Jerome Valcke

Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his 10-year ban from football, CAS has announced. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) says it could take several months to reach a verdict. Valcke was fired in January 2016 after being implicated in irregular World Cup ticket and broadcast rights sales, plus expenses abuses including personal use of private flights.

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Nigerian starlet Henry Onyekuru attracts interests from top clubs….

Arsenal and Chelsea are keeping track of the £6million-rated Eupen star Henry Onyekuru

Arsenal and Chelsea have joined the queue of clubs keeping a check on Nigerian prospect Henry Onyekuru. The 19-year-old winger plays for Eupen in Belgium and was a target for Celtic in January who had a bid of £1million rejected. Onyekuru went AWOL for several days in the hope of pushing through a transfer to Glasgow but has since returned to action and has been given assurances he can leave in the summer. The Belgians though are looking for £6million with the fee key to Onyekuru being able to gain a work permit in the United Kingdom. Onyekuru has scored 12 goals in 26 games this season, including the winner against Gent earlier this month, when he impressed several watching scouts. Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Monchengladbach and Lille have also sent staff to check on his progress in recent weeks.

 

Nigeria’s Wilfred Ndidi is coming into his own at Leicester City….

Wilfred Ndidi tackles Georginio Wijnaldum

In a match played yesterday at King Power stadium that saw a resurgent Leicester City beat Liverpool 3 – 1, Nigeria and Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi made five clearances, one interception and gained possession six times for Leicester. Ndidi also made 11 tackles during the game. Only former Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante – now at Chelsea – has made more in a Premier League match this season (14 against Liverpool in January). No wonder the likes of Ghana’s Amartey has been confined to the bench since the arrival of Ndidi. Weldone Ndidi as you settle into your role at Leicester.

Togolese striker saves opponent’s life….

Togolese striker Francis Kone saves the life of goalkeeper Martin Berkovec

Togolese striker Francis Kone saved the life of goalkeeper Martin Berkovec, who nearly swallowed his tongue during a Czech league match. Slovacko’s Kone acted fast after Berkovec had collided with his Bohemians 1905 team-mate Daniel Krch. He used his fingers to move Berkovec’s tongue and stop him suffocating. Berkovec later wrote on Facebook: “I would like to thank Francis Kone for rescue and emergency… I’m glad for the relief and thanks again!!!”

Ghana assistant coach Gerard Nus stages sit-in protest….

Former Ghana coach Avram Grant (left) and assistant Gerard Nus

A member of Ghana’s coaching staff at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations is staging a sit-in at a hotel in the capital Accra in a row over his salary. Nearly three weeks on from this year’s tournament in Gabon, all of the technical staff – bar Nations Cup coach Avram Grant – have still to be paid. “We don’t have the money,” a leading Ghana FA (GFA) official said. Assistant coach Gerard Nus is refusing to fly to his home nation Spain until the matter is addressed. It’s frustrating,” the Spaniard said.  “Like any human being, when you do work you want to get paid – I don’t think there’s anything strange in that. I’m just going to wait here until they come with a good solution. Local people tell me that if I leave without a payment, most likely I will never get paid. “It’s sad to hear that because basically all I’m claiming is the money I’ve been promised for the job done.”

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Leicester City sack coach Ranieri….

Ranieri sacked by Leicester

Manager Claudio Ranieri has been sacked by Leicester City, nine months after leading them to the Premier League title. The Foxes are one point above the relegation zone with 13 matches left. “The board reluctantly feels that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, is necessary in the club’s greatest interest,” read a statement. Ranieri, 65, guided the Foxes to the title despite them being rated 5,000-1 shots at the start of the campaign. His departure comes less than 24 hours after a 2-1 defeat at Spanish side Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. The Foxes took the Premier League title by 10 points but have won just five top-flight games this season, and could become the first defending champions to be relegated since 1938. They have lost their past five league matches and are the only side in the top four English divisions without a league goal in 2017.

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Clattenberg quits Premier League….

Mark Clattenburg

The Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has quit his job in England to take up a new position in Saudi Arabia, it has been announced. A statement from Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGGMOL) announced the decision of its highest-rated official, who was in charge of the finals of EURO 2016, the Champions League and FA Cup last season. “The PGMOL would like to wish Mark Clattenburg well as he prepares for his move to the Saudi Arabaian Football Federation,” the statement said. “Since joining the PGMO Select Group in 204, Mark developed into one of our top officials, refereeing at the highest level and setting standards for others to follow.

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Asamoah Gyan found guilty of unethical hair….

Asamoah Gyan

Former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is among more than 40 players to have been found guilty of having “unethical hair” under United Arab Emirates Football Association guidelines. The 31-year-old Ghanaian is on loan at Dubai-based Arabian Gulf League side Al Ahli from Shanghai SIPG. In 2012, Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah was told to cut his “un-Islamic” hair by the referee before playing for his club side Al Shabab. The Saudi rule bans mohawk-style cuts. Some Islamic teachings ban ‘Qaza’ hairstyles, which include mohawks, because only part of the head is shaved, leaving other parts unshaven.

Cameroon players received by President Biya….

Cameroon's players were welcomed by fans at the airport on their return from Gabon on Monday

Cameroon’s Africa Cup of Nations-winning squad have been given a special state reception by the country’s president Paul Biya. The Indomitable Lions, who lifted the trophy on Sunday after beating Egypt 2-1 in the final in Gabon, attended a ceremony in Yaounde on Wednesday. They presented the Nations Cup trophy to President Biya at Unity Palace. Later, they travelled in open-top vehicles through the streets of the capital to parade the trophy to fans. Cameroon’s players were given medals by the president, who said their victory should be celebrated by Cameroonians as one nation. At the end of the ceremony Cameroon First Lady Chantal Biya posed for a series of photos with the players – at one point she used Fabrice Ondoa’s phone to take a ‘selfie’ with them. Cameroon’s success in Gabon ended a 15-year wait to win the tournament again and gave them their fifth title. The country will host the next edition of the Nations Cup in 2019.

Philipp Lahm to retire at end of season….

Philipp Lahm

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm will retire at the end of the season. The 33-year-old, who captained Germany to their 2014 World Cup victory, announced his decision after Bayern’s German Cup last-16 win over Wolfsburg. It was the defender’s 501st game for the Bundesliga leaders. “I can continue with my leadership style, giving my best every day, in every training, until the end of the season. I can keep doing it this season but not beyond,” he said. It means he will leave the German champions a year before his contract expires. “I’ve been considering it for more than the past year,” he added. “You have to keep testing yourself, you have to keep asking yourself ‘how is it’, day by day, week by week on the training pitch, what’s the feeling you have.” The Bayern youth product made his senior debut in 2002 and has won seven Bundesliga titles with the club, as well as the Champions League. He retired from international football after Germany’s triumph in Brazil in 2014.