Emiliano Sala: man arrested over death of footballer


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Police investigating death of player in plane crash arrest man aged 64 from Yorkshire

Detectives investigating the death of the Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala have arrested a 64-year-old man from North Yorkshire on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act, Dorset police have said.

The Argentinian forward, who had signed for the Welsh club, died in a plane crash in January.

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Mexico’s Gold Cup dilemma


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Soldier Field

By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Jun 19, 2019) US Soccer Players – Normally, the summer after the World Cup would be a busy and important one for the Mexican national team. Played every odd-numbered year, the Gold Cup is a calendar staple. With Copa America held the year after the World Cup, that too would be plenty to keep Mexico busy. Add in the importance of the FIFA Confederations Cup. For years the winner of the Gold Cup immediately following the World Cup would gain entry. That meant the first tournament of the World Cup cycle was massive.

Times have changed. Mexico is no longer an invited guest of CONMEBOL for the Copa America. The Confederations Cup is now history, with FIFA moving on from the competition.

The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup then will be the most important tournament Mexico will play in during this World Cup cycle. Combined Continue reading “Mexico’s Gold Cup dilemma”

‘We’ve learned a lot from him’: Luis Rubiales after Luis Enrique steps down as Spain coach – video


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Spain coach Luis Enrique stood down on Wednesday for “personal reasons” after 11 months in charge. The former Barcelona coach will be replaced by his assistant Robert Moreno, who has been in temporary charge since March when Enrique was granted absent to deal with a family matter.

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Heat breaks to be used at Cup of Nations


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Cairo (AFP) – Matches at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations will feature three-minute breaks in each half due to extreme heat, the competition’s medical committee announced.

The continent’s flagship tournament is being held in June and July for the first time, with temperatures in host country Egypt expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month.

Humidity will also range from 40% to 60% resulting in a wet bulb globe temperature — which assesses the effects of heat, humidity, sunlight and wind — of above 32 degrees.

“It is certain that most teams will be aware of this and will train accordingly,” CAF said in a statement.

“At this level, FIFA recommends three-minute rest and refreshing breaks in the 30th and 75th minutes.”

Coolers with crushed ice and drinks, as well as cold, wet towels will be provided for the players and Continue reading “Heat breaks to be used at Cup of Nations”

Giampaolo appointed AC Milan coach


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Milan (AFP) – Former Sampdoria boss Marco Giampaolo has been appointed new coach of AC Milan on a two-year deal, the Serie A side announced on Wednesday.

The 51-year-old, who will take over on July 1, also has an option of a third year as part of a deal reported to be worth two million euros ($2.2 million) annually.

“Giampaolo will now coach AC Milan’s first team on the first day of the new season’s training at Milanello on July 9th,” Milan said in a statement.

Giampaolo replaces former player Gennaro Gattuso who quit last month amid reports of financial cutbacks after leading the club to a fifth-placed finish in Serie A.

Sporting director Leonardo also left the club with former players Zvonimir Boban and Paolo Maldini brought in as part of an overhaul at the seven-time European champions.

Giampaolo led Sampdoria to ninth-place last season having previously coached Continue reading “Giampaolo appointed AC Milan coach”

Man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over Emiliano Sala death: police


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London (AFP) – A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over the death of Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, British police confirmed on Wednesday.

The forward, 28, died when a plane carrying him and pilot David Ibbotson came down in the Channel on January 21, just days after he had joined Cardiff City from Nantes.

“As a result of our enquiries we have today, Wednesday 19 June 2019, arrested a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act,” Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police said in a statement.

“He is assisting with our enquiries and has been released from custody under investigation.”

After a crowd-funded specialised search, Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage in February but Ibbotson’s body has not been found.

The USMNT, Mexico, and Concacaf’s new schedule


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Concacaf Nations League logo

By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (June 19, 2019) US Soccer Players – Sixteen teams. Games in Costa Rica and Jamaica. Qualification through the new Nations League for two-thirds of the field. Each is a new element of the Gold Cup in 2019, meant to improve the tournament. For a region that is light on World Cup-caliber nations and overly dependent on the United States for hosting duties, these changes are an acknowledgment that the status quo wasn’t going to work long-term.

Concacaf is also responding to a difficult reality. With Europe turning inward via its own Nations League and the World Cup expanding to 48 teams in 2026, the global landscape was changing quickly. “Growing the game” is one of the mandates of any confederation. It’s also long been a nebulous concept largely tied to sending money to underfunded federations.

Under Concacaf president Victor Montagliani, the work toward that Continue reading “The USMNT, Mexico, and Concacaf’s new schedule”

I was punished for calling Sweden cowards, but now rawness is accepted | Hope Solo


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I did not express myself well after USA’s loss to Sweden at the Rio 2016. But US Soccer made sure it exploited my comments for its own ends

This World Cup is about championing emotion – especially in a lot of the marketing and ads surrounding the tournament. Nike’s Dream Further campaign captures the emotion and drama of playing in a World Cup very well, with Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation providing a badass soundtrack. It’s great that kind of attitude is celebrated right now in the fantasy world of advertising and TV. In real life, it’s a little different.

I have always been passionate about my sport and passionate about playing for my country. I wore my heart on my sleeve when I was benched in the 2007 World Cup for believing in my own ability and showing confidence, and again when I was heartbroken and raw about losing to Continue reading “I was punished for calling Sweden cowards, but now rawness is accepted | Hope Solo”

Ivory Coast hit back to hammer Zambia in Africa Cup warm-up


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Johannesburg (AFP) – Ivory Coast recovered from conceding an early goal to trounce Zambia 4-1 on Wednesday in the final warm-up match for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Jonathan Kodjia and Jean-Michael Seri scored in Abu Dhabi to give the Ivorians a 2-1 half-time lead after Fashion Sakala had converted a penalty for non-qualifiers Zambia. 

Maxwell Cornet increased the lead on 57 minutes and a late goal from free agent Wilfried Bony completed an emphatic victory for the two-time African champions.

Ivory Coast had defeated the Comoros and lost to Uganda in their other warm-up matches for the tournament, which kicks off on Friday when Egypt play Zimbabwe in Cairo. 

It was the third outing for Zambia against qualifiers for the African competition — they lost narrowly to defending champions Cameroon and defeated Morocco before facing the Ivorians.

Angola cancelled a warm-up fixture against fellow Continue reading “Ivory Coast hit back to hammer Zambia in Africa Cup warm-up”

Ramos offers support to departing Spain coach Luis Enrique


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Madrid (AFP) – Sergio Ramos paid tribute on Wednesday to Luis Enrique, who has stepped down as Spain coach for personal reasons and will be replaced by his assistant Robert Moreno.

Luis Enrique said in a statement he was resigning “due to the reasons which had prevented me from fulfilling my duties as normal since last March.”

His personal issue has not been made public.

Ramos, Spain’s captain, wrote on Twitter: “Every victory for the national team will be yours boss. You have all our support and our strength.”

Moreno has been in charge for Spain’s last three matches and will now lead the team through Euro 2020 qualifying and the final tournament, in what is his first job as a professional coach.

He will be Spain’s fourth boss in 12 months, after Luis Enrique was appointed following last year’s chaotic World Cup, which saw Julen Lopetegui sacked Continue reading “Ramos offers support to departing Spain coach Luis Enrique”

Ramos offers support to departing Spain coach Luis Enrique


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Madrid (AFP) – Sergio Ramos paid tribute on Wednesday to Luis Enrique, who has stepped down as Spain coach for personal reasons and will be replaced by his assistant Robert Moreno.

Luis Enrique said in a statement he was resigning “due to the reasons which had prevented me from fulfilling my duties as normal since last March.”

His personal issue has not been made public.

Ramos, Spain’s captain, wrote on Twitter: “Every victory for the national team will be yours boss. You have all our support and our strength.”

Moreno has been in charge for Spain’s last three matches and will now lead the team through Euro 2020 qualifying and the final tournament, in what is his first job as a professional coach.

He will be Spain’s fourth boss in 12 months, after Luis Enrique was appointed following last year’s chaotic World Cup, which saw Julen Lopetegui sacked Continue reading “Ramos offers support to departing Spain coach Luis Enrique”

Everton set to land £22m Gomes but Burnley hit by Heaton contract blow


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• Barcelona midfielder André Gomes close to Everton transfer
• Goalkeeper Tom Heaton rejects new contract at Turf MoorEverton are close to the permanent signing of André Gomes after agreeing a fee of £22m plus add-ons for the Barcelona midfielder.

Gomes enjoyed a successful loan last season at Goodison Park, where regular first-team football and a healthy relationship with the manager, Marco Silva, helped to rejuvenate a career that had stalled.

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The Fiver | Paul Scholes and that breach of football betting regulations


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Reading the story detailing how Paul Scholes was hauled before the Football Association beaks to answer questions about his fondness for an occasional punt on football, one sentence leapt out at The Fiver. “The FA became aware of Scholes’s behaviour after being informed of his betting history by the bookmaker Paddy Power at the turn of this year,” it read. Paddy Power, eh? How heartwarming to learn that, for all their zany, b@nterific attention-seeking and in-no-way-tasteless dedication to jolly japes, this behemoth of the bookmaking industry was quick to flag up what they recognised as a potential breach of football betting regulations to the FA, as they are duty-bound to do.

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Hummels returns for Dortmund reboot after Bayern and Germany rejection


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Berlin (AFP) – Veteran defender Mats Hummels will hope to reboot his career at former club Borussia Dortmund next season after finding himself surplus to requirements with both Bayern Munich and Germany. 

Hummels, 30, was dropped from the national team set-up earlier this year and has now become the latest senior player to fall victim to Bayern’s major rejuvenation programme ahead of next season. 

A World Cup winner in 2014, Hummels won his sixth Bundesliga title in May, but will now make what will widely be seen as a step down with his 38 million euro ($43.6m) move from back to former side Dortmund.

Despite impressive performances for both club and country, Hummels’ career has been blown off course in the last six months by the winds of change sweeping through German football. 

Alongside fellow Bayern team mates Thomas Mueller and Jerome Boateng, Hummels was one

Continue reading “Hummels returns for Dortmund reboot after Bayern and Germany rejection”

After losing arm, Zimbabwean footballer returns to pitch


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Harare (AFP) – At first glance, Zimbabwean footballer Hardlife Zvirekwi looks like any other member of his football team as he dribbles fast down the wing, but just last year he lost an arm in a car crash.

Once a regular in the national side, Zvirekwi’s playing days looked over when his left arm was badly crushed as his car smashed into trees while he tried to avoid a speeding vehicle that cut across him.

But he has fought his way back to full health — and back into Zimbabwe’s domestic top-flight CAPS United team.

“It put me on the sidelines when I least expected it. It really had an impact on my career at a time I was looking forward to another great season,” he told AFP on the sidelines of a strenuous training session.

“Many people thought that was the end of my career.”

Zvirekwi, who will Continue reading “After losing arm, Zimbabwean footballer returns to pitch”

Enrique steps down as Spain coach, replaced by assistant Moreno


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Madrid (AFP) – Luis Enrique has stepped down as Spain coach for personal reasons and will be replaced by his assistant Roberto Moreno, the Spanish Football Federation announced on Wednesday. 

Moreno has been in charge for Spain’s last three matches and will now lead the team through Euro 2020 qualifying and the final tournament.

He will be Spain’s fourth head coach in 12 months, after Luis Enrique was appointed following last year’s chaotic World Cup, which saw Julen Lopetegui sacked and Fernando Hierro installed in his place.

“Luis Enrique has informed us he will not continue as coach,” said RFEF president Luis Rubiales in a press conference. 

“We completely respect his situation and continue to do so in the same way. I have to thank Luis Enrique for his time with the federation and the doors of the national team will always be open to him.” 

Rubiales Continue reading “Enrique steps down as Spain coach, replaced by assistant Moreno”

The USMNT’s win over Guyana


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usmnt player tyler boyd

The soccer news starts with the USMNT’s 4-0 shutout of Guyana in the Gold Cup. There’s no use flattering the opponent. This was a game that would always be about how the US won. That’s Guyana’s situation throughout the group D schedule, an over-matched team trying to take something away from the tournament. Against the USMNT, that takeaway was only being down a goal at halftime.

For the USMNT, what they carry with them to Cleveland is the ability to get a job done. USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter’s tactical choices need stronger competition. Without that, we don’t know what he really has in mind or what the USMNT can do under pressure in a game that counts. Against Guyana, they showed an ability to create chances. Taking full advantage of those chances is still an issue, but so is what a first-choice Berhalter team really looks like.

Group stages are Continue reading “The USMNT’s win over Guyana”

Luis Enrique steps down as Spain coach due to personal reasons


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  • Forty-nine-year-old leaves post after 11 months in job
  • Assistant Roberto Moreno takes over national team

Luis Enrique has stepped down as coach of the Spanish national team for personal reasons, leaving his assistant Robert Moreno in charge until Euro 2020.

Luis Enrique abandoned the Spain get-together prior to their game against Malta on 26 March, having been on the bench for the meeting with Norway, hurriedly leaving the squad and returning home to Barcelona.

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Just a minute: SIPG peg back Jeonbuk’s flying start to AFC knockouts


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Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Jeonbuk Motors got off to a flying start in the AFC Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, scoring in the first minute in Shanghai before being pegged back by SIPG in a 1-1 draw.

On a good night for South Korean sides, Ulsan came from a goal down to stun Urawa Red Diamonds 2-1 in Saitama in the earlier first-leg encounter.

Jeonbuk silenced the sea of red-clad supporters in the Shanghai Stadium in the opening seconds when Moon Seon-min stole in to lift Lim Seon-yeong’s through ball over onrushing goalkeeper Yan Junling.

In a bruising encounter between the champions of China and South Korea, Shanghai SIPG’s Brazilian imports Oscar, Hulk and Elkeson created a string of chances, though Jeonbuk carried a potent threat on the break.

Hulk went close twice before the home side deservedly levelled in the 39th minute.

Right wing-back Wang Shenchao found himself in Continue reading “Just a minute: SIPG peg back Jeonbuk’s flying start to AFC knockouts”

At 30, Johnson at last brings US experience to Cameroon


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Montpellier (France) (AFP) – Born in Cameroon, raised in Colorado, forged in the North American women’s league, Estelle Johnson adds reassuring defensive experience as the Indomitable Lionesses try to grab their last World Cup chance against New Zealand on Thursday.

Johnson smiles all the time, happy to be playing in her first World Cup at the age of 30 for her country of birth.

“I’m a happy person, I just enjoy football and I enjoy everything that goes along with it,” she told AFP. “But I think I’m extra happy because it’s a great competition.”

Even though Cameroon have lost their first two games in Group E, Johnson says her first World Cup has “been even better that I could have imagined.”

A victory over New Zealand in Montpellier would give Cameroon three points and could be enough to earn a place in the last 16 as one of Continue reading “At 30, Johnson at last brings US experience to Cameroon”