Tuesday, November 30

Tag: World Cup Qualifier

Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits brutal shoulder charge on Cesar Azpilicueta in World Cup qualifying clash was a deliberate act and that he would do it again
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits brutal shoulder charge on Cesar Azpilicueta in World Cup qualifying clash was a deliberate act and that he would do it again

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted his brutal shoulder charge on Cesar Azpilicueta in a World Cup qualifier last week was a deliberate act and that he would do it all over again. The 40-year-old AC Milan striker sent the Chelsea captain flying after slamming his shoulder into the back of Azpilicueta in the closing stages of Sweden's 1-0 defeat against Spain in the World Cup qualifier on Sunday. As a corner was swung into the box, Ibrahimovic smashed Spain's right back, flooring him on the spot. Speaking to The Guardian, Ibrahimovic explained the brutal shoulder charge was entirely deliberate to put the Chelsea defender in his place for 'acting big' against a younger Sweden player earlier in the game. 'The other day in the national team, I gave a tackle to [Cesar Azpilicueta]...
Manchester United star, Scott McTominay ruled out of Scotland’s World Cup qualifier in Moldova with throat virus
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Manchester United star, Scott McTominay ruled out of Scotland’s World Cup qualifier in Moldova with throat virus

Manchester United star, Scott McTominay has been ruled out of Scotland's World Cup qualifier away to Moldova on Friday due to illness. Scotland manager Steve Clarke confirmed the Manchester United midfielder had been sent home from a training camp in Spain as he is suffering from a throat virus The 24-year-old could rejoin the squad this weekend ahead of Monday's home qualifier against Denmark, if he is deemed fit enough to return, while Kieran Tierney is available for selection. Speaking ahead of the Moldova trip, Clarke said: "Almost everyone is good. "Unfortunately, Scott McTominay has picked up a bit of a throat virus so we have sent Scott home to rest and recuperate and hopefully join us again at the weekend."
W/Cup qualifiers: You’ve missed an opportunity – Southgate reacts as Hudson-Odoi turns down England call-up
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W/Cup qualifiers: You’ve missed an opportunity – Southgate reacts as Hudson-Odoi turns down England call-up

Chelsea winger, Callum Hudson-Odoi has rejected call-up to the England Under-21 national team. The 20-year-old Chelsea star has been in excellent form for Thomas Tuchel’s side in recent weeks. But his recent performance for the west London side could not secure a place in the Gareth Southgate’s England senior squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino. Hudson-Odoi, who is still eligible to represent Ghana rejected the chance to play for the Under-21 side. This did not go down well with Southgate, who believes that the player has missed an opportunity by turning down the call-up. Southgate has revealed that the winger is keen to force his way into the senior squad by impressing at Chelsea. “…So by not being in the Under-21s he[Callum]misses a bit...
Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha rejects call-up to the Ivory Coast national team due to homesickness
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Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha rejects call-up to the Ivory Coast national team due to homesickness

Crystal Palace star, Wilfried Zaha has turned down a call-up to the Ivory Coast national team this month and is considering retiring from international football. Ivory Coast national team boss Patrice Beaumelle revealed on Thursday that he 28-year-old attacker gets homesick during each international break, and that is the reason why he did not name him in his 25-man squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon. Zaha has played just three matches for the Elephants in 2021 and did not feature for his country in the June and September international breaks. 'He asked not to come because he becomes home sick at each break,' said Beaumelle after announcing his squad without Zaha in it. 'He wants to reflect on the rest of his international career.' Zaha has m...
Nigeria drop two places in FIFA rankings after CAR matches
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Nigeria drop two places in FIFA rankings after CAR matches

Nigeria have dropped two places in the FIFA men’s rankings for the month of October. In the rankings published on Thursday, the Super Eagles moved from 34th to 36th globally. This follows their shock 1-0 defeat to the Central African Republic in the 2022 World Cup qualifier earlier in the month. Gernot Rohr’s men however avenged that loss, by beating the Wild Beasts 2-0 in Douala three days later. Nigeria remain the fifth-ranked nation in Africa. The Teranga Lions of Senegal are the number one ranked country in Africa and 20th in the world, followed by Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles, who dropped one place in the world to 27th. Morocco moved above African Champions Algeria into third place, while Nigeria are fifth. Meanwhile, Belgium remain the number one ranked nation des...
Roy Keane blasts Harry Kane as England fails to beat Hungary at Wembley
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Roy Keane blasts Harry Kane as England fails to beat Hungary at Wembley

Manchester United legend, Roy Keane, has slammed England captain, Harry Kane, for his poor display during his side’s 1-1 draw with Hungary in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. Keane said that Kane was unable to get up to the speed of the match. Kane barely had a clear cut chance during the encounter as England failed to beat Hungary at Wembley Stadium. “There is no middle ground with Kane,” Keane told ITV. “When he’s on fire he is fantastic and when he is off – and we have seen many times before. “It’s like he is on his heels and he can’t get up to speed with the game. “Whatever is going on at club level he does need to do a bit more when he’s not at his best in terms of general play.” England’s next World Cup qualifier is against Albania on November 12....
Cristiano Ronaldo makes fresh promise after scoring hat-trick in Portugal’s win over Luxembourg
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Cristiano Ronaldo makes fresh promise after scoring hat-trick in Portugal’s win over Luxembourg

Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo has promised to “always be looking for more and more and more” after scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s World Cup qualifier 5-0 win over Luxembourg on Tuesday. Ronaldo scored his 58th career hat-trick, his 10th for Portugal as Fernando Santos’s men thrashed Luxembourg at Estádio Algarve. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored two penalties within five minutes in the first half before completing the treble in the second half after Bruno Fernandes and Joao Palhinha had also scored for Portugal. The victory means Portugal are now one point behind Group A leaders Serbia, though they have a game in hand. “Another victory, another step towards our goal, another historic night in defence of our colours! “Everything becomes easier when we play a...
Central African Republic vs Nigeria: Referee accused of helping Super Eagles win
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Central African Republic vs Nigeria: Referee accused of helping Super Eagles win

Coach of the Central African Republic, Raoul Savoy, has blamed their 2-0 defeat to Nigeria in a 2022 World Cup qualifier on poor officiating. Having defeated the Super Eagles 1-0 in Lagos, the Wild Beasts were hoping to complete a stunning double over their highly-rated opponents. However, Leon Balogun and Victor Osimhen scored late in the first half, to seal maximum points for the three-time African champions. But Savoy claims Nigeria earned their result because they were helped by Rwandan referee Louis Hakizimana. “My players did well and I’m very proud of their performance. “Nigeria played with 12 men because the referee helped them to win. “The first goal was from an offside position and my goalkeeper was fouled for the second goal. “We did not concede against Ni...
Ballon D’Or 2021: Mason Mount reacts to making 30-man shortlist
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Ballon D’Or 2021: Mason Mount reacts to making 30-man shortlist

Chelsea midfielder, Mason Mount, has said it was special to be included in the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or. In the last six months, Mount helped the Blues win the Champions League. The 22-year-old also featured as England reached their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup. Mount has now been recognized as one of the best players in the year under review. “It was special. To see that and to be alongside those names is obviously a dream. “For all the years you work hard, dedicate and see something like that, it shows everything pays off. It is just the start, it doesn’t stop now,” Mount told reporters ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary on Tuesday. Mount is not banking on winning the award, though, with Lionel Messi the favouri...
Why CAF banned Central African Republic from playing Nigeria in their country
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Why CAF banned Central African Republic from playing Nigeria in their country

The Central African Republic will host Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier in Douala, Cameroon instead of their country. This is because of a standing order from the Confederation of African Football (CAF). In August this year, CAF barred eight countries from hosting World Cup qualifiers. They are: Mali, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Namibia and Niger. The decision was taken after the countries failed CAF’s venue inspections. They will instead play their home fixtures at a neutral ground. CAR defeated Nigeria 1-0 in the first leg and will be looking to complete a stunning double over Gernot Rohr’s men in Douala.
Central African Republic vs Nigeria: Super Eagles land in Douala
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Central African Republic vs Nigeria: Super Eagles land in Douala

Players and officials of the Super Eagles, on Saturday arrived in Douala, where they will play the Central African Republic in a World Cup qualifier. The Nigerian delegation touched down with a chartered flight which flew in from Abuja, the country’s capital. They will take on the Wild Beasts three days after they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to the same side in Lagos. Karl Namnganda’s 90th-minute effort proved to be the winner, as CAR claimed their first victory in the series. Ahead of the game, Gernot Rohr’s men remain top of Group C with six points from three matches. CAR and Cape Verde are level in second place with four points. Liberia sit bottom of the group with three points.
Page: Wales prepared to walk off if team faces racist abuse
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Page: Wales prepared to walk off if team faces racist abuse

Wales boss Robert Page says his players are prepared to walk off the pitch in their World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic if they encounter "unacceptable" racial abuse. Page's side head to Prague just a week after Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara was subjected to racial abuse during a Europa League game in the Czech capital. UEFA has opened an investigation into the events surrounding the Sparta Prague-Rangers tie, which sparked a diplomatic incident between the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Sparta fans were banned following racist abuse of Monaco's Aurelius Tchouameni in August, but around 10,000 schoolchildren were permitted to attend the game and Kamara - who was on the receiving end of a racist slur from Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela in March - was targeted w...
Ballon d’ Or 2021: Robert Lewandowski makes demands on fans
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Ballon d’ Or 2021: Robert Lewandowski makes demands on fans

Poland captain, Robert Lewandowski, has urged voters for this year’s 2021 Ballon d’Or to only choose the best football player in the world and not vote with any form of politics. The Bayern Munich striker made the plea at a press conference on Tuesday ahead of Poland’s World Cup Qualifier against San Marino on October 9. The 33-year-old was favourite to win the Ballon d’ Or in 2020, having scored 55 goals in all competitions for Bayern, but the prize was not handed out because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lewandowski, who remains one of the leading candidates to win the Ballon d’ Or this year, said it would be a great pride and a real honour for him to pick the prestigious award. “It’s difficult for me to say how important performances with the national team will be in the context...
Iwobi out of Super Eagles squad to Face Central African Republic
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Iwobi out of Super Eagles squad to Face Central African Republic

Everton forward, Alex Iwobi, has been replaced in Nigeria’s squad for next week’s World Cup qualifier against the Central African Republic, by Lorient striker Terem Moffi, Goal reports. On Friday, Rafael Benitez confirmed that Iwobi is battling an injury and might not play against Manchester United in their Premier League game on Saturday. Benitez’s update came only after the 25-year-old was included in Gernot Rohr’s team for the double-header fixtures against CAR on October 7 and 10. “Alex has a little problem and I’m not sure if he’ll be available for tomorrow,” Benitez said. “But I’m really pleased with the way he’s working and training. I think he’s improving and he’s enjoying that. We can improve him more because he’s working so hard – he can be a much bett...
South American players cleared to play for English clubs
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South American players cleared to play for English clubs

England-based South American players will be able to line up for their clubs this weekend after their countries dropped complaints about their failure to report for international duty, FIFA said on Saturday. Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City as well as Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leeds refused to release players for World Cup qualifiers over the past week due to the coronavirus isolation period required on their return to Britain. All of the South American qualifiers were played in countries on the British government’s red Covid-19 travel list, meaning travellers returning from those countries have to quarantine for 10 days. Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay had invoked a FIFA rule which would have barred the players for five days, but football’s...
Chelsea vs Aston Villa: Pulisic Returns to UK on Crutches
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Chelsea vs Aston Villa: Pulisic Returns to UK on Crutches

Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, has revealed Christian Pulisic returned this week on crutches. However, Tuchel expects the American winger to be sidelined for only around 10 days. Pulisic limped out of his country’s 4-1 win over Honduras in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday after 62 minutes. The 22-year-old arrived back in London on Thursday and will miss Saturday’s Premier League home game against Aston Villa. He is also likely to sit out Chelsea’s Champions League group fixture against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday. “For Christian, unfortunately, he came yesterday on crutches and he has an ankle injury with about 10 days [out],” Tuchel confirmed. Chelsea is also without N’Golo Kante this weekend because of an ankle problem that ruled him out of France’...
Southgate becomes first England manager not to make substitution in 25 years
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Southgate becomes first England manager not to make substitution in 25 years

Gareth Southgate has become the first England manager since 1996, that failed to make a single substitution within 90 minutes. This happened on Wednesday night, as the Three Lions were held to a 1-1 draw by Poland in Warsaw. Harry Kane broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute of the World Cup qualifier, before Damian Szymanski powered in a header in stoppage time. It seemed strange that Southgate had not made some changes in the second half and it was a decision left open for criticism thanks to the late equaliser. But Southgate insisted there was no need to make any substitutions, although Poland made five. Asked why he didn’t make any changes in Warsaw, he told ITV: “Because we were in total control of the game and we’d have been making changes for the sake of it, really....
Gomes announces shock retirement ahead of World Cup qualifier
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Gomes announces shock retirement ahead of World Cup qualifier

Ricardo Gomes has quit the Cape Verde national team, hours before their World Cup qualifier against Nigeria on Tuesday. The Cape Verdean Football Federation had claimed the Partizan Belgrade star left the squad due to injury worries. However, Gomes has confirmed his international retirement. In a statement today, the 29-year-old who missed the 1-1 draw against the Central African Republic, said: “It is public knowledge at the moment that I am playing for Partizan FK club that participates in the Serbian championship. “However, during these years I have always honoured the calls, even in situations where professionally it would be advisable to refuse or temporarily abdicate our selection, placing our selection above my personal and professional ambitions and the ambiti...
Chelsea vs Aston Villa: Lukaku, Kante emerge injury doubts
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Chelsea vs Aston Villa: Lukaku, Kante emerge injury doubts

Chelsea striker, Romelu Lukaku, has confirmed he will undergo a scan on a thigh injury this week. The 28-year-old has scored once in two appearances for the Blues, since returning to Stamford Bridge in a £97.5 million deal from Inter Milan last month. During the international break, Lukaku scored twice in Belgium’s 5-2 win over Estonia last Thursday and once in a 3-0 victory over Czech Republic on Sunday evening. He is suspended for their World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Wednesday and will now fly to London ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against Aston Villa on Saturday. “I’ll have a scan of my thigh first,” Lukaku told HLN after Belgium’s win against Czech Republic. “I have been struggling with a minor issue for a while. And then I will return to Chelsea.”...
Cape Verde vs Nigeria: Full list of Super Eagles players who have left camp
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Cape Verde vs Nigeria: Full list of Super Eagles players who have left camp

Players and officials of the Super Eagles on Monday arrived on the island of Mindelo ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde. The delegation touched down following a four-hour flight from Lagos. There were 21 players on board, after the UK-based members of the squad returned to their respective bases. This is because of the British government’s strict regulations on red list countries, which includes Cape Verde. The affected players include defenders Olaoluwa Aina, William Ekong and Leon Balogun. Forwards, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi are also unavailable. Midfielders, Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo have all left camp too.
Brazil vs Argentina: What Lionel Messi told officials who Stormed Pitch to arrest EPL stars
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Brazil vs Argentina: What Lionel Messi told officials who Stormed Pitch to arrest EPL stars

Argentina captain, Lionel Messi was angered on Sunday over the action of Brazil health officials who waited for their World Cup qualifier to start before storming the pitch with policemen to arrest four Premier League players. The PSG player wondered why the officials should wait until the match had started to create such a scene while the Argentine players have been in the country for three days. DAILY POST reported last night that the game between the two South American heavy weights was suspended and Messi told the officials that the world was watching the scenes. The Brazil authorities had interrupted the match in the 4th minute as they sought to arrest Premier League players Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero from Tottenham and Gio Lo Celso and Emiliano Buendi...
Brazil vs Argentina: Lionel Messi doubtful, Neymar eyes victory
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Brazil vs Argentina: Lionel Messi doubtful, Neymar eyes victory

Brazil host Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier less than two months after their Copa America final from less than two months ago. Depleted Brazil were second best for much of their trip to Santiago having seen 11 players prevented from joining the squad by their clubs due to coronavirus quarantine restrictions. Key English based players Alisson of Liverpool, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus were missing but crucially Neymar, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in France, was available. But they continued their perfect start to qualifying with a seventh win out of seven as Everton Ribeiro scored the only goal in a 1-0 away victory over Chile. Also, Argentina star Lionel Messi is a slight doubt after being subjected to a harsh tackle by Ve...
Don’t ever compare me with Ronaldo – Lukaku
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Don’t ever compare me with Ronaldo – Lukaku

Chelsea striker, Romelu Lukaku has said he should never be compared with Cristiano Ronaldo. According to him, he has a long way to go before reaching the standards set by Ronaldo, who just re-signed for Manchester United. Ronaldo scored his 111th goal for Portugal this week to become the all-time men’s scoring charts. At age 28, Lukaku has netted 66 times for Belgium, giving him an outside chance of eventually catching Ronaldo. But, speaking at a press conference ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic, Lukaku said: “Don’t ever compare me to Cristiano Ronaldo, never.” “Cristiano Ronaldo is, for me, in the top three best players in the history of football,” he continued. “I’m not going to rank him from first to third but he’s in there. “What he has ac...
Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye shows off girlfriend
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Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye shows off girlfriend

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye has shown off his girlfriend via an Instastory post he shared. The Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper who featured in Super Eagles' world cup qualifier match against Liberia, shared a photo of his girlfriend who wore a black gown, trying to kiss him as they posed for a photo. Okoye also captioned the photo "My Queen". See the photo below...............
Hungary v England: Fifa investigating racial abuse aimed at English players
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Hungary v England: Fifa investigating racial abuse aimed at English players

Football's governing body, FIFA says it is investigating racial abuse aimed at England players, Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham during Thursday's 4-0 win over Hungary in a World Cup qualifier in Budapest. England's players were booed as they took a knee before the match at the 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena to protest against racism, while racist chants could be heard during the match as Sterling and Bellingham were the targets of abuse. In the second half, Sterling was pelted with paper cups and bottles when he opened the scoring for England while a flare was later thrown on to the pitch after Harry Maguire put the visitors 3-0 ahead. UEFA ordered Hungary to play three home games behind closed doors after fans' discriminatory behaviour which took place during Euro 2020 in J...
W’Cup qualifiers: Ronaldo eyes Ali Daei’s goal record as Portugal, Ireland clash
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W’Cup qualifiers: Ronaldo eyes Ali Daei’s goal record as Portugal, Ireland clash

Cristiano Ronaldo will play in all three of Portugal’s fixtures during the international break following his return to Manchester United, head coach Fernando Santos said. Ronaldo completed his United comeback on Tuesday, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner re-joining the Red Devils from Juventus. This is his second spell following his successful first stint at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009. Amid the hype in Manchester, Ronaldo’s attention has swiftly turned to matters with Portugal as Santos’ men prepare to face Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier later on Wednesday. Portugal will also meet Qatar in a friendly on Saturday before resuming their road to Qatar 2022 against Azerbaijan on Tuesday. As Ronaldo stands on the cusp of breaking his tie with Ali Daei for th...
Argentina’s new No.1 Martinez set for Copa America showdown against Suarez and Cavani
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Argentina’s new No.1 Martinez set for Copa America showdown against Suarez and Cavani

The new Albiceleste No.1 faces his biggest challenge yet in international colours in the shape of the lethal Uruguay duo at the Copa America It took barely a week for Emiliano Martinez to receive his formal introduction to the rough-and-tumble world of South American football. Prior to his Argentina debut against Chile on June 3, the Aston Villa goalkeeper had held the curious distinction of never having played a competitive professional game in his home nation. He was just 18 when he left boyhood club Independiente for Arsenal, meaning that clash in Santiago del Estero was his first taste of action in Argentina. And in the second World Cup qualifier, Colombia defender Yerry Mina made sure that he left his mark on the shot-stopper.
Messi, others pay tribute to Diego Maradona at unveiling of his statue
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Messi, others pay tribute to Diego Maradona at unveiling of his statue

Lionel Messi was among the Argentina players and coaches who paid tribute to Diego Maradona in a statue unveiling ceremony before their World Cup qualifier on Thursday against Chile. Maradona died on 25th November in Buenos Aires after cardiac arrest. He was 60. Days later, Messi paid his respects by celebrating a goal for Barcelona with the shirt of Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys, where the 1986 World Cup winner had also played.
Southgate Warns England Not To Take Lewandowski-less Poland Lightly
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Southgate Warns England Not To Take Lewandowski-less Poland Lightly

England boss Gareth Southgate expects Poland to be highly motivated for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier at Wembley in the absence of captain and leading goalscorer Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich striker sustained a knee injury in Sunday's 3-0 win over Andorra - a game in which he scored twice - and it was confirmed by his club on Tuesday that he will miss the next month. Lewandowski has scored 66 goals in 118 appearances for Poland, including nine goals in his last nine starts in all competitions. But Southgate rejected the notion that England will be boosted by the prolific striker's absence for the clash between Group I's top two seeds. "From our perspective, you're going to have players who are hungry to fill that opportunity," Southgate said at a pre-match news con...
Serbia vs Portugal: Our Nation is Being Harmed – Ronaldo Reacts after Dumping Captain Armband
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Serbia vs Portugal: Our Nation is Being Harmed – Ronaldo Reacts after Dumping Captain Armband

  Cristiano Ronaldo has reacted after his angry display during Portugal’s 2-2 draw against Serbia in a World Cup qualification game on Saturday. Ronaldo could not believe his bad luck after the referee got his goal disallowed because VAR was not there to help him. Replay showed that the ball definitely rolled over the goal line after Ronaldo’s shot with even the Serbia players confirming it as goal after watching the replay. Ronaldo was left fuming knowing that Serbia defender, Stefan Mitrovic cleared his stoppage time effort when the ball had crossed the line, and Dutch referee, Danny Makkelie, waved play on and showed the Juventus superstar a yellow card for protesting. The former Real Madrid star took off the captain’s armband and slammed it on the ground in ange...
Gareth Southgate Hails Ollie Watkins “Fairytale”
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Gareth Southgate Hails Ollie Watkins “Fairytale”

Gareth Southgate hailed Ollie Watkins’ “fantasy” England debut after the Aston Villa striker scored in a 5-0 win against San Marino in Thursday’s opening World Cup qualifier. Only four years prior, Watkins was playing in English football’s fourth level with Exeter. The 25-year-old has appreciated a fleeting ascent from that point forward, joining Brentford in 2017 preceding moving to Villa a year ago in the wake of completing as top scorer in the Championship. He has scored multiple times in his first mission with the Premier League club, procuring a lady England call-up and an introduction against minnows San Marino at Wembley. With England four objectives up because of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s support, a first worldwide objective for James Ward-Prowse and Raheem Sterling’s strike, ...
No FIFA sanctions for Germany team despite ‘Human Rights’ protest
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No FIFA sanctions for Germany team despite ‘Human Rights’ protest

World football’s governing body FIFA on Friday said it will not sanction the German national team for its T-shirt protest in support of human rights before a World Cup qualifier. Germany head coach Joachim Loew said he supported the players after they wore black T-shirts with white lettering to spell out “Human Rights”, aimed at 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar, before Thursday’s 3-0 win over Iceland. “It was a sign that we stand up for all human rights in the world, no matter where,” said Loew after the qualifier in Duisburg. FIFA prohibits political statements during its matches, but the governing body told AFP subsidiary SID they will not sanction the Germans. “FIFA believes in freedom of expression and in the power of football to drive positive change,” it said in a sta...
Leeds United star, Mateusz Klich Tests Positive for Coronavirus,
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Leeds United star, Mateusz Klich Tests Positive for Coronavirus,

Leeds United midfielder, Mateusz Klich has tested positive for coronavirus on Poland duty, the Polish Football Association has announced. The 30-year-old Polish international will now miss Poland's World Cup qualifier in Hungary on Thursday, March 25, as he awaits the results of a second test. If it returns positive, he will also be ruled out of a game against Andorra on Sunday and the qualifier against England at Wembley next Wednesday. Klich has not shown any symptoms or felt unwell. Jakub Kwiatkowski, media officer of the Polish FA, tweeted: 'The Polish national team received the results of the SARS-Cov-2 test this morning. 'Unfortunately, in the case of Mateusz Klich, the result is positive. The competitor is well and shows no symptoms of illness, but his trip to Bud...
Arsenal star, Bukayo Saka Ruled out of England Clash with Hamstring Injury
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Arsenal star, Bukayo Saka Ruled out of England Clash with Hamstring Injury

Bukayo Saka has been ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Thursday, March 25. The Three Lions have three qualifiers coming up in the next 10 days, starting with San Marino, and will be without the 19-year-old winger/left-back who has to remain at Arsenal to continue his recovery from a hamstring injury. Saka played 74 minutes of Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with West Ham last Sunday before he picked up the hamstring injury. England will also face Albania and Poland during the international break and coach Gareth Southgate will be hoping that Saka will be available for those two fixtures. England could also be without Marcus Rashford against San Marino as the Manchester United forward is struggling with a foot injury. The 23-year-old did not take part in We...
Have You Seen Lionel Messi’s Outrageous ‘Karate’ Touch For Argentina?
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Have You Seen Lionel Messi’s Outrageous ‘Karate’ Touch For Argentina?

Lionel Messi produced an outrageous touch during Argentina's lively World Cup qualifier against Paraguay last night. Argentina drew 1-1 with Paraguay as Nicolas Gonzalez and Angel Romero scored for their respective teams on Thursday. Messi was denied a winner by VAR, but he still grabbed the headlines with a moment of magic in the first-half. Just before the break, the 33-year-old acrobatically controlled the ball with a spectacular karate-like touch. Needless to say, the Barcelona superstar's touch got fans talking on social media. One sarcastically tweeted: "But but Messi can't jump Messi can't play good for Argentina." A second wrote: "Man said 'F**k it I'll turn into Iniesta.'" A third added: "Messi practicing his karate on the pitch, he's too good." Unfortu...
U-17 W/Cup Qualifier: Flamingoes Thrash Guinea In Conakry
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U-17 W/Cup Qualifier: Flamingoes Thrash Guinea In Conakry

Nigeria’s U-17 Flamingoe defeat Guinea 6-1 in the first-leg first round of the 2020 FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifier in Conakry on Saturday. Yemisi Samuel scored 3 goals in the 11th, 85th and 91st minutes of the encounter. Also, Rofiat Imuran scored two goals in the 38th and 65th minutes while Chinyere Kalu opened scoring on three minutes.
FIFA Suspends Sierra Leone From Football Activities
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FIFA Suspends Sierra Leone From Football Activities

FIFA has suspended the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with immediate effect, due to government interference in soccer affairs, the sport’s world governing body said on Friday. FIFA’s decision came after it wrote to the African country’s sports minister expressing “grave concern” about the removal of SLFA President Isha Johansen and General Secretary Christopher Kamara. The football governing body had asked for both individuals to be allowed to access SLFA premises without delay to ensure that the operations of the association, including FIFA-funded projects, were not jeopardised. “The suspension will be lifted once SLFA and its recognised leadership have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control on...
FIFA Fines Nigeria For Fielding Ineligible Player In World Cup Qualifier
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FIFA Fines Nigeria For Fielding Ineligible Player In World Cup Qualifier

Fifa has sanctioned the Nigeria Football Federation for fielding an ineligible player in their World Cup qualifying encounter against Algeria. The Super Eagles fielded right-back Abdullahi Shehu - who was on one-match suspension - in their final qualifying clash against the Desert Foxes on November 10 which ended in a 1-1 draw. But the tie have been forfeited and a 3-0 victory have been awarded in favour of the north Africans, with the NFF slammed with a fine of 6,000 Swiss Francs (about N2,177,280). Meanwhile, NFF president Amaju Pinnick has directed that an internal probe be set up and persons found guilty be dealt with.
Zambian Player Augustine Diego Mulenga Loses Twin Daughter While Playing Against Nigeria
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Zambian Player Augustine Diego Mulenga Loses Twin Daughter While Playing Against Nigeria

It was double dose of sadness for Zambian footballer Augustine Diego Mulenga, as he reportedly lost his beautiful twin daughter on Saturday, October 8, same day he featured in World Cup Qualifiers match against Nigeria’s Super Eagles, a match Zambia’s Chipolopolo lost. Mulenga was however not told of the sad news till after the match.  The little girl will be laid to rest today, at New Leopards Hill Cemetery.
UK’s BTSports Slammed By Frank Edoho And Nigerians Over Viewing Restriction On Alex Iwobi’s Goal
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UK’s BTSports Slammed By Frank Edoho And Nigerians Over Viewing Restriction On Alex Iwobi’s Goal

Ex-WWTBM host, Frank Edoho trooped to UK’s BTSports Twitter handle alongside other Nigerians, to put the sports channel on blast over viewing restriction on Alex Iwobi’s world cup qualifiers goal against Zambia, which gave Nigeria a place in 2018 World Cup Games in Russia. Frank Edoho and other Nigerians argued that the Sports Channel can’t use Nigeria’s football footage, and still restrict Nigerians who don’t live in the U.K from watching it. Here are some tweets;
President Buhari Pictured Watching Super Eagles Match Against Cameroon
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President Buhari Pictured Watching Super Eagles Match Against Cameroon

Nigeria’s President Buhari, who was pictured watching Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ match against Cameroon in Yaounde, a match which ended in 1-1 draw, has praised the Nigerian National team for holding Cameroon to a draw. A tweet shared on the President’s official Twitter handle reads; “Let’s celebrate our Super Eagles, holding Cameroon to a draw in Yaoundé. The march to #Russia2018 continues, and they have all our support!”
Barcelona Midfielder Rakitic Ruled Out Of Croatia’s Key World Cup Qualifier
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Barcelona Midfielder Rakitic Ruled Out Of Croatia’s Key World Cup Qualifier

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has suffered an injury that has ruled him out of Croatia's World Cup qualifier in Turkey on Tuesday.Rakitic appeared in the 1-0 home win over Kosovo that was played over two days due to a waterlogged pitch, but was substituted in the second half.Head coach Ante Cacic revealed after the match the 29-year-old had thigh pain in both legs.Rakitic will consequently miss the key tie in Eskisehir due to an injury described as "slight", with Cacic keen not to risk worsening the problem.Croatia are top of a closely contested Group I, two points clear of Ukraine and a further one ahead of Iceland. Turkey are five adrift in fourth.Barcelona are back in action with a Liga derby against Espanyol on Saturday.
Rohr Names Mikel, Ighalo, Moses, 20 Others For World Cup Qualifier Against Cameroon
Sport

Rohr Names Mikel, Ighalo, Moses, 20 Others For World Cup Qualifier Against Cameroon

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr on Tuesday, named team captain John Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo, Israel –based marksman Anthony Nwakaeme, for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying duels with Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions. Germany–based defender Leon Balogun also returns after missing the World Cup qualifier against Algeria and the Africa Cup qualifier against South Africa, while Chelsea of England’s wing back Victor Moses is also back after sitting out the duel with the Bafana Bafana in June due to injury. Rohr has largely kept faith with his regular army, including goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Alampasu, defenders William Ekong, Elderson Echiejile and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo, and forwards Ahme...
Why We Dropped Mbappe – Monaco
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Why We Dropped Mbappe – Monaco

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has claimed that star striker Kylian Mbappe was left on the bench last weekend “to protect him” rather than as a punishment. The 18-year-old sensation reportedly wants away from the French champions, with Paris Saint-Germain his favoured destination but Real Madrid also reportedly ready to pay 180 million euros ($211 million) for his services. Mbappe started Monaco’s first two competitive matches of the season but sat on the bench for the duration of the principality club’s 4-1 Ligue 1 victory at Dijon on Sunday. Jardim said after that match that dropping Mbappe was a “decision by the club” but the Portuguese coach told media on Wednesday that it was not taken to punish the French international. “We never punish our players. That is not the right wo...
Kagawa To Miss Japan’s World Cup Qualifier With Shoulder Injury
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Kagawa To Miss Japan’s World Cup Qualifier With Shoulder Injury

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa will miss Japan’s World Cup qualifier against Iraq because of a dislocated left shoulder, the Japan Football Association announced on Thursday. Kagawa injured his left shoulder 10 minutes into Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Syria at Tokyo Stadium. He was carried off the field and replaced by Shu Kurata. “Right now I want the injury to heal as quickly as possible,” Kagawa said in a statement released by the JFA. “I hope the players will fight for victory.” Japan travel to Tehran to take on Iraq in a Group B qualifier on Tuesday. All of Iraq’s home qualifiers are being played in neutral countries. With three games left in the final round of Asian qualifying, Japan are on top of their group on goal difference over Saudi Arabia but have a game ...
Man Utd Striker, Rashford To Join England Senior Squad
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Man Utd Striker, Rashford To Join England Senior Squad

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford will be named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday. The 19-year-old was initially expected to feature for the England Under-21 side in friendlies against Germany and Denmark next weekend. But with England forwards Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney both ruled out through injury, Rashford will be called up. England face Germany away in a friendly before a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley on 26 March. Rashford made a goal-scoring debut for England in a 2-1 win over Australia in May last year and has collected six senior caps. He was a late inclusion for Manchester United in their 1-0 FA Cup defeat by Chelsea on Monday, having been omitted from the initial squad due to illness. England captain Rooney was ruled out...
AFCON 2019: Nigeria To Battle South Africa For A Place (Full Draws)
Sport

AFCON 2019: Nigeria To Battle South Africa For A Place (Full Draws)

The rivalry between the super eagles of Nigeria and the bafana bafana of South Africa will be re-kindled when the qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be hosted by Cameroon begins. Nigeria is drawn in Group E alongside South Africa, Libya and Seychelles. 2015 winners Cote d’Ivoire will face a relatively stern test in Group H which has Guinea, Central African Republic and Rwanda. Recall that the South Africans denied the super eagles from having a chance of defending the AFCON title which they won in 2013. Tokelo Rantie’s brace condemned the 2013 champions out of the 2015 tournament when he netted a brace at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo to shock Nigeria who eventually forced the game to end 2 – 2. Congo and South Africa claimed the two...
Messi Bans Himself & Teammates From Talking to Media After Allegations That His Teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi Smoked Marijuana
Sport

Messi Bans Himself & Teammates From Talking to Media After Allegations That His Teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi Smoked Marijuana

Argentina Lionel Messi helped Argentina in their world cup qualifier match against Colombia with a 3-0 win on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning but that's not what caught the headlines-the Barcelona star organized a march with his Argentine teammates to the post match press conference and informed the journalists present that he and his teammates will not give any briefings, interviews or communication to the media till further notice. Messi's shocking revelation comes after Argentine press accused Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi of smoking marijuana at the Argentina training ground the day before the Colombia match coupled with numerous reports blasting Messi for not performing for his country the way he performs for his club side. Messi said in a statement: “Hello, good evening, ...
Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per Goal Scored Against Algeria
Sport

Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per Goal Scored Against Algeria

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in today’s 2018 World Cup qualifier. He made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp Friday night, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio. “The Governor has made us a promise of $10,000 for every unreplied goal against Algeria,” a top official disclosed to AfricanFootball. Governor Emmanuel had donated N10million to the Eagles, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September. The cash reward was later converted to camp allowances by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
Flares Couldnt Stop Lewandowski From Scoring 2 Goals for Poland Against Romania
Sport

Flares Couldnt Stop Lewandowski From Scoring 2 Goals for Poland Against Romania

Poland took control of Group E with a 3-0 victory over Romania on Friday in a World Cup qualifier which was marred by crowd trouble at the National Arena Bucharest. Poland's star striker, Robert Lewandowski, needed medical attention in the second half as he collapsed after a flare thrown in the 55th minute. The referee temporarily stopped the match and Lewandowski returned to the game several minutes later. The first flares were thrown by the crowd immediately after kickoff. Lewandowski had his own answer to the incident. He netted in the 82nd minute to double the Polish lead from inside the box and added his second in stoppage time from the spot. It was the ninth consecutive qualifier in which he had scored. Kamil Grosicki scored 11 minutes into the game on a solo effort with ...

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