Major League Soccer to implement video ref system

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> New York (AFP) – Major League Soccer will implement the video assistant referee (VAR) system league-wide in August, making it among the first domestic leagues to use the video review system hailed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the Confederations Cup in June. “The introduction of Video Review into MLS league matches is the culmination of more than three years of extensive research and testing of video review technology by MLS and the Professional Referees Organization (PRO),” MLS said in a statement on Thursday. “In addition to Video Assistant Referee-specific camps and education sessions, preparations have included more than 100 matches – both live in-game and offline tests – at stadiums around the country that have provided invaluable training opportunities for VARs and referees.” The statement noted that MLS and PRO partnered with the United Soccer Leagues to facilitate the first test of the system in live competition on
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Africa Cup of Nations to switch from January staging to June/July in 2019

• Tournament will be expanded from 16 to 24 teams, Caf decides
• Change of timing will be welcomed by European club sidesThe Africa Cup of Nations will move from January/February to June/July from its next staging in Cameroon in 2019 and be expanded from 16 to 24 teams, the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has decided. The change of timing will be welcomed by European club sides, many of whom have lost players at vital periods of the season in years gone by because of the time slot. Continue reading...

England’s new aura has Karen Carney thinking of gold at Euro 2017

• Winger says England now like Germany and the USA
• ‘Why shouldn’t we be confident? We’ve got some excellent players’Karen Carney believes England have developed the sort of aura that distinguishes champions from also-rans. Although the Chelsea winger does not turn 30 until next month, the European Championship is her eighth major tournament and she can remember a time when the Lionesses felt, if not out of place, a little uncomfortable in elite company. “I think there’s a bit of an aura about this team now,” said the creator of England’s fifth goal – scored by Jordan Nobbs – in Wednesday’s 6-0 humiliation of Group D rivals Scotland. “Germany have had it for years and the United States have it but it’s what England have lacked going into major tournaments for the last 10 years.” Continue reading...

Newcomers Belgium stun Norway, Dutch down Danes

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – Elke Van Gorp and Janice Cayman gave Belgium their first-ever win at the women’s Euros as the Red Flames stunned 2013 runners-up Norway 2-0 in Breda on Thursday. In the day’s other Group A game in Rotterdam, Sherida Spitse’s penalty gave the Netherlands a 1-0 win over Denmark. The Dutch top the group with six points, ahead of Belgium and Denmark on three points each. Van Gorp slammed in a rebound in the 59th minute past Norway keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth who had cleared Tessa Wullaert’s header following a cross from Belgium’s Davina Philtjens. Eight minutes later, Cayman headed in a long throw-in that had found its way through the Norwegian defence. In Rotterdam, Spitse scored from the spot on 20 minutes with a clinical shot following a foul on Danielle van de Donk — Danish keeper Stina Petersen picked the correct side but she could do Continue reading "Newcomers Belgium stun Norway, Dutch down Danes"

Aston Villa sign veteran defender Samba

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> London (AFP) – Veteran Congo international defender Christopher Samba penned a one-year deal with English second-tier side Aston Villa on Thursday after impressing coach Steve Bruce on a trial. The 33-year-old was a free agent after leaving Greek club Panathinaikos in January and will bring with him a wealth of experience of English football having spent five years at Blackburn Rovers between 2007 and 2012. France-born Samba has also played for Hertha Berlin in Germany as well as Russian sides Dynamo Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala. “I have enjoyed my time with Aston Villa and I am very pleased to continue this association after signing my contract with the club,” Samba told the club’s website. “I have played against Aston Villa many times and it’s always been a club I have had the utmost respect for because of its standing in the game. “I can’t wait to put the shirt on Continue reading "Aston Villa sign veteran defender Samba"

Aston Villa sign veteran defender Samba

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> London (AFP) – Veteran Congo international defender Christopher Samba penned a one-year deal with English second-tier side Aston Villa on Thursday after impressing coach Steve Bruce on a trial. The 33-year-old was a free agent after leaving Greek club Panathinaikos in January and will bring with him a wealth of experience of English football having spent five years at Blackburn Rovers between 2007 and 2012. France-born Samba has also played for Hertha Berlin in Germany as well as Russian sides Dynamo Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala. “I have enjoyed my time with Aston Villa and I am very pleased to continue this association after signing my contract with the club,” Samba told the club’s website. “I have played against Aston Villa many times and it’s always been a club I have had the utmost respect for because of its standing in the game. “I can’t wait to put the shirt on Continue reading "Aston Villa sign veteran defender Samba"

Morata hails Chelsea as ‘best club’, Conte ‘best coach’

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> London (AFP) – Chelsea’s 80-million-euro new boy Alvaro Morata hailed the English champions as “the best club” and manager Antonio Conte as “one of the world’s best coaches” as the striker arrived in London to complete his transfer Thursday. The 24-year-old is expected to sign a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge after a deal reported to be worth 80 million euros ($92.2 million) was agreed with Real Madrid. “This is the best club,” Morata told Sky Sports News at Heathrow airport as he arrived to undergo a medical. “Antonio Conte is one of the best coaches in the world and I’m so happy to work with Antonio. The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and I’m so happy to be here.” Real Madrid exercised a buy-back clause to bring Morata back from Juventus a year ago, having joined the Italian club in 2014
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