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Arsenal’s player, Ramsey, doubtful ahead Wales Euro 2020 qualifier

By News desk

The Wales National team Manager, Ryan Giggs, has disclosed that Ethan Ampadu, Sam Vokes and Tom Lawrence will not be available for selection ahead of their first Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

Giggs also disclosed that Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, is expected to be fit, a claim that was not certain.

Ramsey did not take part in yesterday’s training session and will sit out Wednesday’s friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in Wrexham, while Ampadu (back), Vokes (groin) and Lawrence (ankle) have not joined up with the squad.

“Aaron’s just got a slight knock to his thigh, so we’re just monitoring that. He should be OK for the weekend. He won’t be involved tomorrow,” Giggs told reporters.

“They (Ampadu, Lawrence and Vokes) have got different injuries. Ethan’s got a slight back strain.

“Tom Lawrence… took a blow to his other ankle. He was struggling with one ankle, then got a knock on the other ankle. And Vokesy’s been struggling with his groin.”

Barcelona ex-midfielder, Xavi, raises concern over 48-team Qatar World Cup

By News desk

Former Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez says FIFA should abandon a proposal to increase the number of teams at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 from 32.

The World Cup will feature 48 teams for the 2026 edition, to be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada, but FIFA President Gianni Infantino said last week increasing the number of teams for the 2022 tournament was “feasible”.

Former Barcelona great Xavi, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and is seeing out his career in Qatar with top-flight club Al Sadd, said 48 teams would not be the right option for 2022, however.

“It’s too much and too long. Imagine 48 teams in Qatar, it will not be good in my opinion,” he told reporters on Monday.

“It’s still for the organisers to decide, but for now Qatar is doing everything to prepare for 32 teams and it will be difficult to change it for more teams. Also, it’s good for football to have 32. That’s more than enough.”

Should FIFA and Qatari organisers agree on a proposal to increase the number of teams, it would be put to a vote at the FIFA Congress in Paris on June 5.

Xavi, who was in Mumbai for a promotional event for Generation Amazing, a legacy programme initiated by Qatar 2022 organisers, also expected Qatar to acquit themselves well on the field at the tournament.

The tiny Gulf state stunned four-times champions Japan to win this year’s Asian Cup and Xavi was not surprised by their breakthrough success.

“I thought the football there was the worst when I first went there,” the 39-year-old said. “But they’ve improved a lot and very quickly since then, everybody saw it at the Asian Cup.”

FIFA mulls Arsene Wenger’s appointment

By News desk

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has commence negotiation with former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, to secure his services for development of the game globally.

FIFA consideration came months after the renowned football tactician quit his job as manager of the London club, Arsenal.

It was learned that Wenger has been approached by FIFA to head the technical development department.

FIFA boss, Gianni Infantino wants Wenger to oversee changes in rules of the game as well as technological innovations.

It was not clear whether Wenger has accepted Infantino’s offer to lead the charge towards football development globally.

Another source added that Wenger leads the pecking order on FIFA list for the assignment.

It would be recalled that Wenger stepped down as Arsenal head coach last year after s 22 years. He won three Premier League titles and seven FA cups.

He had said he is looking forward to return to football.

Qatar moves to 2019 AFC Asian final, defeats UAE

By News desk

Qatari National team on Tuesday defeated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 4-0 to advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup final for the first time.

Following the qualification, Qatar will face Japan in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup final on Friday in Abu Dhabi.

It would be recalled that four-time champion, Japan, yesterday, defeated three-time champion, Iran, 3-0 to reach the final.

Japan is the most successful team in the Asian Cup with four titles, followed by Iran and Saudi Arabia with three apiece.

Qatar had advanced to the semifinals for the first time by beating two-time champion South Korea.

The UAE’s biggest ever success is that it played the final of the 1996 Asian Cup.

2019 AFC Asian Cup is the men’s football championship of Asia organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

It would be recalled that the 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup had kicked off in the UAE on Jan. 5.

CAF adjust Nations Cup date to accommodate Ramadan fasting

By News Desk

The dates for this year’s African Nations Cup finals in Egypt have been moved back a week, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Monday, reportedly to allow players to rest after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is scheduled to begin on the evening of May 5 and will end around June 4. Observers fast during daylight hours over this period, which can have an effect on the performance of athletes.

The expanded 24-team tournament will now kick-off on June 21 and run through to the final on July 19.

The decision was reached at an Emergency Committee meeting even as the governing body confirming shift in a circular sent to its member associations.

According to media reports, a request was made for the move by a number of mainly Muslim North African nations, including Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, who have all already sealed qualification.

CAF also confirmed that the draw for the first round pool stage will take place in Cairo on April 12.

Fourteen countries have already booked a finals berth, including first time participants Madagascar and Mauritania, with the remaining 10 places to be decided when the qualification campaign concludes in March.

 

 

Bayern signs US defender, Richards

By News desk

The German football giant, FC Bayern, has secured the services of United State (US) youngster, Chris Richards, for four and half years.

Richards, who initially came to Bayern on loan from FC Dallas half a year ago, inked a four-and-a-half-year contract with the German record champions through 30 June 2023.

The centre-back joined the Campus last summer and played for the U-19s under the watchful eyes of Sebastian Hoeneß.

Richards, who has played 21 times for USA U-20 and scored two goal, is strong in the air, was born in Birmingham, Alabama, learned the trade mainly at the youth academy of MLS club FC Dallas.

FC Bayern Campus director, Jochen Sauer, while reacting over acquisition of the 18-year-old defender, expressed delight that his inclusion would boost the team’s chances in future.

Sauer said: “We are delighted we and FC Dallas have agreed on Chris’s transfer. Chris has given a good account of himself here over the last half year, and we’re confident he will continue to develop very well at FC Bayern. We see a lot of potential in him.”

Earlier, the defender described the contract as realization of a dream he had nursed while as a kid learning the game.

“I always dreamed of playing at a big club in Europe one day. Now I’ve actually joined one of the top clubs. I’m really very happy,” the 18-year-old said after inking the contract.

The Texans are one of the few pro clubs in the US to train their own youth players. “FC Dallas stand for the excellent promotion of talent and are ideal partners for us,” Jörg Wacker, FC Bayern München AG board member for internationalisation and strategy, said when the partnership was announced last spring.

Monaco suspends Thierry Henry over poor performance

By News desk

French football giant, AS Monaco, has suspended its coach, Thierry Henry, over alleged poor performance in the season.

The club stressed that the suspension would last until a final decision is made on his future with them.

in a short statem,ent on Thursday, the Ligue 1 club said: “AS Monaco announces that it has decided to suspend Thierry Henry from his duties as coach of the first team from this day and waiting for a final decision.

“And Franck Passi, the assistant coach will train the professional group this Friday”, the club statement added.

It would be recalled that Monaco appointed the former Arsenal and France striker last year and could only garner two points in their last five Ligue 1 encounters making the club to sit second from bottom in the table.

The principality side were also knocked out of the French Cup in the last 32 by Ligue 2 side, Metz on Tuesday, an outcome that failed to go down well with the management.

This followed a 5-1 demolition at home by Racing Strasbourg in their last league outing with the club showing no signs of improvement since signing midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, from Chelsea earlier this month.

Henry, who started out playing for Monaco and went on to enjoy a stellar club career with Arsenal and Barcelona, worked as assistant coach for Belgium for two years until 2018 but had never been in charge of a team in his own right.

Henry, 41, played for Monaco for five seasons, winning a league title with them in 1997.

Henry said earlier on Thursday that he would downsize his squad ahead of a crucial game at fellow strugglers Dijon in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

“We need guys who want to save the club, who don’t think about themselves. We’re going to war,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“But despite the results we are still alive,” added Henry, who had refused to speculate on his future at the club.

Monaco are three points from the safety zone with 15 points from 21 games.

Super Eagles striker, Musa’s mother is dead

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Super Eagles striker, Ahmed Musa’s mother, Sarah Moses, has passed on after brief illness.

The striker, who is mourning, announced the death of her mother on Thursday, barely a day after announcing his mother’s ailment.

Musa, who is back in Nigeria after sustaining injury while plying his trade in the Saudi Arabian league announced her death on his official instagram page.

The Guild gathered that the striker’s mother died at an Abuja hospital.

 

Barcelona signs €75m Dutch midfielder, De Jong,

By News desk

Spanish football giant, Barcelona Football club and Dutch club, Ajax, on Wednesday reached an agreement for the transfer of midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who will be joining the Catalan club from 1 July 2019.

The five years contract for the 21 year old midfielder amount to 75 million euros, plus a further 11 million in variables.

Confirming the agreement, Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Ajax CEO, Òscar Grau, were personally involved in closing the deal in Amsterdam.

Barcelona, in a statement describing the player, Frenkie de Jong is one of the Europe’s most promising midfield talents.

“At just 21 years of age, he is joining FC Barcelona after proving himself as a polyvalent player with an excellent reading of the game and ability to provide the killer pass.”

It would be recalled that the Dutchman started out in the Willem II academy, but after just one year in Tiburg he caught the eye of Ajax, who signed him to the club in 2015.

However, he was loaned back from Amsterdam to his former team to ensure he got enough playing time to fully develop as a player. De Jong then returned to Ajax to lead its reserve team, Jong Ajax, in the Jupiler League.

Boateng confirms Barcelona move

By News desk

The former Ghanaian striker, Kevin-Prince Boateng, has confirmed his shock transfer to Barcelona announcing that he is coming to club to contribute his quota towards making the club lift the league title this year.

Boateng hinted that his dream was to score against Real Madrid during the el Clasico.

The striker, who represented Ghana at different tournaments, lamented that he never had intentions of leaving the Italian club, Sassuolo.

He said: “Barca, I’m coming. I am sad to leave Sassuolo but is a great chance.

“Don’t ask me about Real Madrid… is just the past! I only want to focus on Barcelona and I hope to score at Bernabéu for the next Clásico,” the elder of the Boateng brothers added.

It would be recalled that the strike had several stints with different Club’s including AC Milan, where he scored several goals.