Included is a plan in which the 30 teams could be split into three regional divisions. Teams could be restricted to playing within their region.That idea, if used, would break up the traditional alignments of the American and National Leagues. It also would cut travel.In other virus-related baseball news:— The Pittsburgh Pirates are suspending retirement benefits for members of the team’s baseball operations staff in an effort to cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. General manager Ben Cherington says the team has been searching for ways to find savings with the 2020 season on hold indefinitely with much of the country locked down in hopes of stemming the spread of the virus. The temporary suspension of retirement benefits is part of an effort to avoid any potential personnel cutbacks.— Major League Baseball has told teams they could decide their own ticket refund policies. Spring training was suspended on March 12 and the regular season was delayed from its scheduled March 26 start because of the new coronavirus pandemic. A revised schedule has not been announced, and teams had treated the missed games as postponements and not announced refund policies. NASCAR, like other sports, has been shut down for weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.In other virus-related developments:— The head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says he disagrees with suggestions by some scientists and doctors that a vaccine for COVID-19 is needed to hold the games. John Coates is an International Olympic Committee member from Australia and a lawyer. He says he has read the opinion but doesn’t agree. Coates says, “the advice we’re getting from (the World Health Organization) says we should continue to plan for this date and that is what we’re doing.” Coates offers no details on how athletes from around the world could safely enter and exit Japan without spreading the virus.— Athletes in track and field can apply for money from a $500,000 fund to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic. World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation have launched the fund to help athletes who’ve lost income because competitions are suspended.— Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt says the school will cut nearly $7 million from the athletic budget in the upcoming school year, including eliminating performance bonuses for himself and Red Raiders coaches. Hocutt told A-J Media in Lubbock, Texas that deeper cuts may be needed if college football can’t play a full season. — The Pittsburgh Steelers have picked up the fifth-year option on All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt. Watt, Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2017 draft, is coming off a stellar 2019 in which he had 14 1/2 sacks and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time.— The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Christian Covington on a one-year contract. Covington played for the Dallas Cowboys last year after spending four seasons with the Houston Texans, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL draft. Covington started a career-high six games for the Cowboys and had a personal-best 28 tackles.— The Chicago Bears signed defensive tackle John Jenkins. Jenkins appeared in 16 games and made five starts for Miami last season, getting one sack. He has also played for New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago and the New York Giants since he entered the league in 2013.— The 2021 NFL draft will be held in Cleveland from April 29 to May 1. The dates were announced following the completion of a unique, stay-at-home draft that went smoothly despite logistical obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TV ratings soared over the weekend as fans soaked in every moment. The NFL officially awarded Cleveland the 2021 NFL draft last year. The Browns will be celebrating their 75th anniversary next year. Details are still being finalized, but the draft will be held at locations around FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.NFL-OBIT-HARLAND SVARE April 29, 2020 — Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland has been arrested in South Carolina for resisting arrest and other offenses. Breeland, who is from Charlotte, was arrested in York County, just south of the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Breeland was also charged with driving with an open container of alcohol, possession of marijuana or hash and driving without a license. Breeland had seven tackles and an interception in the Chiefs’ 31-20 Super Bowl win over San Francisco two months ago. — Joe Staley says he has been taken aback by the tributes that have poured in from former 49ers teammates, coaches and competitors since he announced his retirement. The limelight in the NFL is usually reserved for players who catch, run or throw the ball, not the behind-the-scene workers who help make all that happen. But Staley is deserving of it after making six Pro Bowls, the NFL all-decade team and helping the 49ers reach the Super Bowl twice in his 13-year career.— The Kansas City Chiefs have released two-time Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt. Colquitt’s 15-year career with the Chiefs allowed him to set numerous franchise records, including the most games played and most postseason appearances. Colquitt posted a farewell on Instagram late Monday in which he said that “all things come to an end, sometimes sooner than you hoped, prayed and pleaded for them to.” Colquitt stopped short of saying he was retiring. He turns 38 next month.— The Houston Texans have released veteran safety Tashuan Gipson just one year after signing him to a three-year, $22.5 million contract. Gipson started 14 games for Houston last season before landing on injured reserve because of a back injury. The 29-year-old Gipson had 55 tackles and three interceptions in his one season with the Texans.— A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that free agent wide receiver Rashard Higgins has agreed to a one-year contract to stay with the Cleveland Browns. Higgins clashed with former Browns coach Freddie Kitchens last season. A fifth-round pick in 2016, Higgins had only four catches for 55 yards last season as he also dealt with a knee injury. In 2018, Higgins had 39 receptions for 572 yards and four touchdowns. — The maker of Louisville Slugger baseball bats is producing non-medical masks to help benefit food banks. Louisville-based Hillerich & Bradsby says in a release its Maskonic masks are reusable, water repellent and treated with a bactericide that lasts up to 10 washes. The mask was inspired by the company’s Bionic gloves line. Company president and CEO John Hillerich says it “was a natural progression, particularly in a time of global crisis” when personal protective equipment is needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hillerich says the company has channeled its production and supply chain toward making masks for the public.VIRUS OUTBREAK-NASCARNASCAR race may take place in Charlotte without fansCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The governor of North Carolina says NASCAR can hold the Coca-Cola 600 without fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway at the end of May if health conditions do not deteriorate in the state.Gov. Roy Cooper says he and state public health officials have had discussions with NASCAR and the speedway. Cooper says he believes the race can go forward on Memorial Day weekend for the 60th consecutive year. Former Giant Harland Svare, Rams, Chargers coach dies at 89EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Harland Svare, a starting linebacker on the Giants’ 1956 NFL championship team and later the team’s defensive coach, has died, He was 89. He died on April 4 at a nursing home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. For many years, Svare also held the distinction of being the NFL’s youngest head coach at 31 years, 11 months. He was elevated from defensive line coach to head coach by the Los Angeles Rams midway through the 1962 season.MLB-ORIOLES-MANCINI CANCEROrioles 1B Mancini expects to miss season to treat cancerBALTIMORE (AP) — Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini is undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 colon cancer and expects to miss the season if major leaguers return this summer. Associated Press Mancini had a malignant tumor removed shortly before turning 28 on March 18. Writing a first-person article for The Players Tribune, the 28-year-old says has been undergoing chemotherapy since April 13. He says the treatment will take six months and expects to make a full recovery.Mancini hit .291 with 35 homers and 97 RBIs for last-place Baltimore in 2019.VIRUS OUTBREAK-BASEBALLAP sources: MLB opening options include 3 regional divisionsNEW YORK (AP) — People familiar with the discussions tell The Associated Press that Major League Baseball is exploring various options that could allow the season to start if the medical situation permits. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-NEWSSaints agree to terms with QB Winston on one-year contractUNDATED (AP) — Jameis (JAYM’-ihs) Winston has found a landing spot. The unrestricted free agent quarterback has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.Winston was the first overall pick in the 2015 draft and the starting QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’ll serve as backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans.Winston is coming off a season in which he led the NFL with 5,109 yards passing and ranked second with 33 touchdown passes, but he also led the NFL in interceptions with 30. That made Winston the first QB in NFL history to have at least 30 TDs and 30 interceptions.In five seasons with the Buccaneers, he has passed for 19,737 yards and 121 touchdowns while throwing 88 interceptions. The Bucs went 28-42 in games Winston started.In other NFL developments: Update on the latest in sports: — The 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course is delaying the start of ticket sales until August. Tickets were originally set to go on sale to those who registered online in May. Instead, PGA Championship tournament director Scott Reid said that with the world grappling with the coronavirus pandemic it was not appropriate to ask potential spectators to make purchasing decisions at this time.— The Atlantic Coast Conference will bring its men’s basketball tournament back to Greensboro, North Carolina in 2023 after this year’s tournament there was canceled near the midway point due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ACC is headquartered in Greensboro, which has hosted the tournament 27 times, the most of any location.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___BATE Borisov has won the Belarusian Cup with thousands of fans watching in a rare case of a soccer trophy being decided during the coronavirus pandemic. ___Hull has announced it is the League Championship club with two personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 1,014 players and staff from all 24 clubs in England’s second tier were tested for the coronavirus over the last 72 hours and the results reflect an almost identical ratio of positive results to that found in the Premier League’s second wave of testing.It had been announced that the two individuals were from the same club, without naming Hull.“Medical confidentiality means the names will not be disclosed, and the club asks for this to be respected,” Hull said in a statement. “The duo, who are both asymptomatic and feeling no ill effects, will now self-isolate for seven days — in line with the protocols set out in EFL guidelines — before being tested again at a later date.” The Latest: BATE Borisov wins Belarusian Cup The Belarus soccer federation said that 5,761 tickets were sold for the game.That was only a fraction of the stadium’s capacity so that fans would be spaced around the arena. However, many supporters ignored the seating arrangements to sit in groups and most did not wear masks.BATE beat Dynamo Brest 1-0 with a goal from defender Zakhar Volkov from a corner right at the end of extra time.It was the fourth occasion that BATE has won the cup. Some fan groups had earlier called on their members not to attend games during the coronavirus pandemic. Belarus has not stopped holding public gatherings with spectators.___ In the first round of tests of 748 people, there were six positives from three clubs. All are in seven days of self-isolation.In the second round, the number of tests available to each club was increased from 40 to 50.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says teams in his state can return to their facilities for training after a pause of more than two months.“Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps,” the Democratic governor said during a news conference Sunday.The New York City area was one of the hardest-hit parts of the U.S. by the coronavirus pandemic, but COVID-19 deaths and new infections in the state have been trending downward.Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL are discussing the resumption of their seasons with their players’ unions.“I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena — do it! Do it!” Cuomo said. “Work out the economics, if you can. We want you up. We want people to be able to watch sports. To the extent people are still staying home, it gives people something to do. It’s a return to normalcy. So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible. And we’ll work with them to make sure that can happen.” Hull, which is immediately above the relegation zone in the second tier of English football, did not say if any of the two are current players.__A Bournemouth player is one of two positive tests for COVID-19 to emerge from the Premier League’s second round of testing, the club said on Sunday.The team said “medical confidentiality means the player’s name will not be disclosed” and added that he will self-isolate for seven days before being tested again at a later date.The league tested 996 players and club staff on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Associated Press May 24, 2020
Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEATH-SPORTS REAXGoodell: ‘Tragic events’ call for ‘urgent need for action’NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says an urgent need for action remains following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests around the country that have followed. From New York to Los Angeles and several cities in between, thousands protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men.Floyd was a handcuffed black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Officer Derek Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests have prompted many sports figures to speak out in recent days. MLB-DODGERS-PRICEPrice to give to Dodgers minor leaguers LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Price hasn’t thrown a meaningful pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he’s showing himself to be a generous teammate.A club spokesman has confirmed that Price will give $1,000 each to 220 Dodgers minor leaguers as a goodwill gesture. Those players will continue to receive $400 a week from the Dodgers at least through June.Price has yet to play a regular-season game for the Dodgers because the start of the season has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. He was acquired in a February trade with the Boston Red Sox.The 34-year-old left-hander is on a $217 million, seven-year contract that runs through 2021.NFL-NEWS Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little fighting cancerUNDATED (AP) — Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little has been diagnosed with cancer. That word from a former Syracuse Orange teammate who has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Little’s treatment costs.Pat Killorin created the Friends of Floyd page last Sunday to help raise money for costs associated with curing what he calls “a treatable but aggressive form of cancer.”Little was a three-time All-American at Syracuse from 1964-66 and was selected sixth overall in the 1967 combined AFL-NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. He spent his entire nine-year career with the franchise and rushed for 6,323 yards and 43 touchdowns. In 1971 he led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,133 and yards from scrimmage with 1,388. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.Little is 77. Nembhard has decided to transfer after averaging 11.2 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds for the Gators as a sophomore last season. Nembhard entered the NBA draft last month and hired NCAA-certified agent Jaafar Choufani so he could retain his college eligibility. He took a similar approach after his freshman year and eventually returned to Florida after not getting invited to the NBA scouting combine.Nembhard will have two years of college eligibility remaining.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSPremier League gets approval for June 17 restartUNDATED (AP) — The English Premier League has been given government approval to press ahead with its June 17 restart, although players will have to stay apart during goal celebrations and disputes to maintain social distancing. Further details of the league’s plans for dealing with coronavirus cases have been disclosed with clubs likely to have to play even if they only have 15 fit squad members. The league says there have been no positive results in its latest round of COVID-19 testing. — NASCAR holds its fifth Cup Series race in 14 days Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. The field was set by a random draw and Brad Keselowski has the pole. He will start first for the second time in five races. NASCAR is trying to make up eight points races postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.— Gilbert Burns dominated former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to win a unanimous decision on Saturday night in the mixed martial arts promotion’s return to Las Vegas. The event was held without fans at the UFC Apex, a small gym with broadcast facilities on the promotion’s corporate campus. The UFC used minimal personnel to stage the fight, and the promotion said everyone involved was subject to strict health and safety protocols.— United States Tennis Association officials continue to work on plans to hold the U.S. Open as scheduled. Among the possibilities are charter flights to ferry players and limited entourages from Europe, South America and the Middle East to New York. There could be negative COVID-19 tests before traveling, centralized housing and daily temperature checks. USTA chief executive for professional tennis Stacey Allaster tells The Associated Press that all plans remain fluid, and no decisions have been made. Allaster added that if the USTA board does decide to go forward with the Open, she expects it to be held at its usual site and in its usual spot on the calendar.— The South African government says it’s maintaining a ban on all contact sports because of the coronavirus. That means the country’s professional rugby teams and its world champion Springboks will remain out of action. The sports minister’s announcement Saturday came as South Africa prepares to further ease lockdown on Monday and open up most of its economy as part of a phased relaxation of restrictions. Professional non-contact sports competitions will be allowed in some regions. Rugby teams can resume training if protocols are in place, including mandatory screening.— The Austrian Health Ministry has approved safety conditions for Austria to host two Formula One Grand Prix races in July. The first 10 races of the season have either been postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but F1 could finally return with back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on July 5 and 12. The double-header would have no spectators and only a limited number of people involved. In other NFL news:— Former Chicago Bears star safety Roosevelt Taylor has died at 82. Taylor was an All-Pro in 1963 when the Bears won the title. He played his first nine NFL seasons with Chicago, 1961-69, appearing in every game. Taylor led the league in interceptions in 1963 with nine. He finished his NFL career with 32 interceptions, 23 with the Bears.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-FLORIDA-NEMBHARDFlorida’s Nembhard withdraws from NBA draft, transfersGAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida point guard Andrew Nembhard is removing his name from the NBA draft, but he’ll be playing elsewhere. — Four-year colleges facing budget shortfalls because of the coronavirus outbreak have eliminated nearly 100 sports programs. Critics say some of those sports might have survived if decision-makers had considered the benefits those sports brought to the schools as a whole. Former University of Idaho president Chuck Staben argues athletes in sports that award partial scholarships often pay more than the value of their scholarships for tuition. He says that’s especially important at a time when enrollment declines are accelerating because of the pandemic.— Major League Baseball wants to ban mascots if the sport resumes this season. But mascot guru Dave Raymond thinks that’s a bad idea, saying “every mascot should be essential because of its ability to connect and distract with fun.” Raymond was the first Phillie Phanatic and has since become a mascot consultant.— The coach of Italian soccer club Atalanta says he acquired COVID-19 and was concerned for his life in mid-March. Gian Piero Gasperini tells the Gazzetta dello Sport that he started feeling sick on March 9. He says, “I didn’t have a fever but I felt destroyed and as if I had a 40-degree (Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit) fever.”TRACK-OBIT-MORROWSprinting great Morrow dies Associated Press The Spanish league says full team training sessions will resume Monday, ahead of the first match to be played following the coronavirus stoppage. La Liga said the government gave authorization on Saturday for squads to practice together. Until now, players had been limited to individual training before progressing to small groups.Bayern Munich beat Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-0 for its fourth straight win since the resumption of the Bundesliga in empty stadiums. The champions moved 10 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund.Ukraine’s Premier League restarted Saturday, but one game was called off when an unspecified number of soccer players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus. The league is playing its first games since March 15, with Kolos and Desna kicking off the opening match.Also in European soccer, a former sports minister in France says the government was too hasty in calling off soccer leagues this season. Patrick Kanner thinks the leagues were pressured into canceling, saying in a French radio interview that they weren’t given any choice and could have possibly resumed play in June. France is the only one of Europe’s five major soccer leagues to cancel its season.In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic: May 31, 2020 Update on the latest sports SAN BENITO, Texas (AP) — Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Bobby Joe Morrow has died at 84 of natural causes, according to his family.Morrow won his three gold medals in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics while a student at Abilene Christian University, capturing the 100 and 200 meters and anchoring the champion 400 relay team for the United States. He matched the world record of 20.6 seconds in the 200 and helped the relay squad set a world record.Earlier in 1956 he successfully defended his AAU 100-yard title and swept the sprints for Abilene Christian at the national college championships. He was honored as “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated and won the AAU’s James E. Sullivan Award the following year.Morrow was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
EX-GUYANA fast bowler, Rayon Griffith, is expected to be a part of the new Cricket West Indies (CWI) coaching team spearheaded by former A team coach Floyd Reifer.Griffith, the region’s A-team assistant coach will fill the new fielding coach position, which will form the critical backroom staff for the prestigious World Cup scheduled for England and Wales in May and June.However, his first assignment will be the Tri-Nations One-Day Series in Ireland where West Indies will play two matches against their hosts and against Bangladesh from May 5 to 17 when the final will be held.The 40-year-old Griffith, is a part of Guyana Jaguars franchise coaching unit from the inception of the Professional Cricket League (PCL) in the region. His involvement has resulted in Jaguars winning the title for five consecutive years.Griffith’s countryman, Guyana’s most successful first-class head coach Esaun Crandon, who was appointed assistant coach of the regional cricket team, prior to the England tour to the Caribbean earlier this year, was relieved of that position.Meanwhile, Reifer, a former West Indies captain, takes over as head coach from Richard Pybus, who also served as an interim coach of the regional team since January of this year with Corey Collymore as bowling coach, while Roderick Estwick returns to the fold as one of the assistant coaches.
TORONTO, Canada (CMC) – Bermuda and the Cayman Islands both suffered immediate setbacks as they crashed to heavy defeats here on the opening day of the five-nation Americas Region qualifiers for next year’s ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.Bermuda were on the end of a nine-wicket defeat against host nation Canada in a 50-overs match at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club while Cayman Islands suffered a 10-wicket drubbing at the hands of the United States.Bermuda were dismissed for 61 in 26.4 overs after choosing to bat, with Jaiden Manders and Tai Cariah, who both made 13, the only batsmen to reach double figures with Muhammad Kamal, three for nine, leading Canada’s attack.Canada replied with 63 for one from eight overs after Randhir Sandu (26) and Eshan Sensarma (17) produced a 57-run opening partnership,Bermuda are next in action in King City against the United States, who beat Cayman Islands by 10 wickets.Cayman, meanwhile, were bowled out for 29 in 15.3 overs with Raj Chirag Vyas leading the U.S. charge with figures of seven for 20.The U.S. replied with 30 without loss from 1.4 overs with the bulk of their runs coming from extras (13).The qualifying group also includes Argentina, who face Canada in their opening match. The top team in the group will advance to the Under-19 World Cup next January and February.
By Alan BaldwinLONDON (Reuters) – Formula One expects to run a shortened season of 15-18 grands prix once racing can resume after the coronavirus pandemic, hopefully during the European summer, chairman and chief executive Chase Carey said on Monday.The original 2020 calendar had a record 22 races but the season has yet to start with the first eight postponed or cancelled and more likely to be called off.Two, the opener in Australia and the showcase Monaco Grand Prix, have been cancelled while the others — Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Azerbaijan — need rescheduling. “We are all committed to bringing our fans a 2020 championship season,” Carey said in a statement.“We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events, nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races.”Formula One needs a minimum of eight races for the season to be a proper championship. The next race that is still on is the June 14 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal but that also looks uncertain, as does France on June 28, and some are already questioning whether Formula One will race at all in 2020.The coronavirus has laid waste to the sporting calendar, with the European Championship soccer tournament moved from June to next year and the Tokyo Summer Olympics in July-August set to be postponed.REVISED CALENDAR Carey recognised that nobody could be certain when the situation might improve but said the 10 teams would be ready to go racing when it did.The revised calendar would be considerably shaken up from what was previously published, he added.Formula One has already brought forward the traditional August break to three weeks in March and April so that it can create a space for rescheduling some of those races that had to be postponed. Carey said he expected the season, which was due to finish in Abu Dhabi on Nov 29, to run into December “with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar.“It is not possible to provide a more specific calendar now due to the fluidity of the current situation,” added the American. “But we expect to gain clearer insights to the situation in each of our host countries, as well as the issues related to travel to these countries, in the coming month.”He said the situation also offered an opportunity “to evolve the sport, experiment and try new things” through initiatives such as esports and developing more innovative content.“We’re confident we’ll all get through this and see better days ahead, and, when we do, we’ll ensure that everyone invested in this sport at every level feels rewarded,” said Carey.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the have concluded plans to give Nigeria U23 a suitable welcome when they return from Brazil.The Nigerian team to the games defeated Honduras 3-2 to win the 2016 Olympics men’s football bronze medal in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.According to goal.com, coach Samson Siasia’s squad was received on arrival in Lagos yesterday night and would be accorded with another in Abuja later tonight. “Based on the directives of the minister of youths and sports, the Under-23 Team will be well received on arrival tonight (Monday night) in Lagos. The team would be accorded another befitting reception on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport tonight ,” a top official in the ministry disclosed last night.Meanwhile, coach Siasia confirmed the team’s arrival while appreciating his players and technical crew for a job well-done.“We are arriving tonight in Lagos via South African Airline,” he told Goal.“We are anxious to get back home to meet our darling fans and families having stayed away for months while preparing for the Rio Olympics.“We are grateful to that we are not coming back to Nigeria empty handed. Kudos to the players, coaches and the other backroom staff of the team for a job well done.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Manchester Unitedâ€™s surprise move for Romelu plane on their tour of the USA next week.Manchester City have signed Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker on a five-year deal.Sky Sports News HQ understand City have paid Â£50m for the 27-year-old – a world record-equalling fee for a defender. Walker has signed a five-year contract and will wear City’s number two shirt and he said: “I am thrilled and can’t wait to get started“Pep Guardiola is one of the most respected managers in the world and I feel he can help me take my game to a new level.”City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “Kyle is a fine full-back; one capable of producing quality at both ends of the pitch.“We’ve followed his progress at Tottenham and have been really impressed by how he has developed. He is now one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and justifiably an England regular.”Madrid Sign Ceballos from Real BetisReal Madrid have announced the signing of midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Betis.Ceballos, 20, has become one of the most coveted players across Europe, having helped Spain reach the European Under-21 Championship final in Poland and winning the player of the tournament award.Ceballos signs on a six-year contract after James Rodriguez joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal earlier this week.Real reportedly beat off competition from Barcelona to sign the youngster, who has also been linked with Liverpool in the past. Ceballos has already played 105 games for Betis, scoring seven goals and providing nine assists.Real say Ceballos joined the team on their pre-season tour of the United States yesterday, after being unveiled the day before.Lazio Agree Â£5m Fee for Liverpool’s Lucas LeivaThe 30-year-old must now agree personal terms and pass a medical before a deal can be completed.Lucas is Liverpool’s longest-serving player, having joined the club for Â£5m in July 2007 from Gremio.He made his international debut for Brazil later that year and has gone on to win 24 caps for the five-time World Cup winners.After Liverpool’s final match of the season, a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough, Lucas was presented with a commemorative trophy by Kenny Dalglish to mark his decade with the club.“It’s been an incredible 10 years, we all know it’s been a little bit like a rollercoaster: a lot of ups and downs,” he said, after receiving the trophy. But I’m so proud to wear this shirt every day of my life. This club made me better as a person, as a player, I have two kids born in Liverpool. I don’t have one specific moment I’d say was a highlight, I think these 10 years have been a very good 10 years.”World Football’s Most Expensive TeamGoalkeeperÂ – Ederson (Benfica to Man City, Â£34.7m)Right-backÂ – Kyle Walker (Tottenham to Man City, Â£50m)Centre-back Â – David Luiz (Chelsea to PSG, Â£50m)Centre-backÂ – John Stones (Everton to Man City, Â£50m)Left-backÂ – Luke Shaw (Southampton to Man United, Â£28m)Right wingÂ – Angel Di Maria (Madrid to Man United, Â£59.7m)Central midfieldÂ – Paul Pogba (Juventus to Man Utd, Â£93.25m)Central midfieldÂ – James Rodriguez (Monaco to Madrid, Â£63m)Left wingÂ – Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Madrid, Â£85.3m)ForwardÂ – Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli to Juventus, Â£75.3m)ForwardÂ – Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United to Madrid, Â£80m)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
English Premier League (EPL) giants Manchester City are close to selling Nigeria international Kelechi Iheanacho.This was confirmed by City Manager, Pep Guardiola, when speaking to the media about the 20-year-old marksman thursday.EPL outfit Leicester City is believed to have agreed a transfer fee with Iheanacho’s current club.â€œKelechi is close to a move, it should be done in 10 days,â€ said Guardiola on OwnGoal. Nigeria. â€œIt is an honour to work with him. Itâ€™s not easy for him as he didnâ€™t get a lot of chances (in the team), but his behaviour was good.â€œKelechiâ€™s a young player. He needs to play at that age and thatâ€™s why he, and the club decided, it was best for him (to leaveIheanacho battled for regular game time last season as Guardiola preferred Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus and Argentine front-man Sergio Aguero ahead of him.The talented forward went on to score 21 goals in 64 matches in all competitions after making his debut for the club in 2015.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Reports however have it that the 20-year-old had already verbally agreed to complete a summer switch to AC Milan before heading to LOSC Lille on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.The decision to loan him to Lille is for him to get sufficient game time to aid his growth and the deal is expected to be rubber stamped in the summer, when his loan deal with Charleroi expires in the summer.Charleroi are due for some compensation from Wolfsburg to wipe out the option they have on signing him permanently after his loan spell expires.Southampton are said to be bent on luring him to St Mary’s Stadium this summer and are confident of the player successfully obtaining a work permit.Osimhen is still held in high esteem by Wolfsburg and is likely to be a man in demand this summer and the Bundesliga club would likely ask for a fee worth £20 million for the Nigerian attacker. Southampton are really pressing to have a new striker in their fold next season considering the injury problems their attackers were confronted with last season.Not one of Southampton’s current forward options have gone without niggling injury problems this season. Danny Ings and Michael Obafemi’s respective hamstring woes are well documented, Shane Long often sustains knocks, and Charlie Austin is not a reliable option.Southampton have identified the young forward as a player for their team for next season and are confident of him securing a work permit using the other means bar the number of appearances for the senior national team of Nigeria.In 2016, Osimhen turned down a move to Arsenal after Arsene Wenger had revealed he was close to bringing him to the Emirates, but his family and representatives chose the German club ahead of the Gunners.“It’s true that a big team like Arsenal wanted me and I feel honoured to be invited over. But personally I feel Wolfsburg is a ladder for me to reach my professional goals,” Osimhen had told BBC Sport.“Yes Arsenal is a good team for young players but Wolfsburg is the best club for me. This is the best place for me to learn and develop because my heart is here with Wolfsburg. The club’s plan for my career is very encouraging and I believe with God on my side I can grow to become one of the best players in the world,” he had revealed.His impressive form at Charleroi earned him a recall to the Super Eagles squad for the 2019 Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa and he also started in 0-0 friendly draw against Uganda in Asaba.“My confidence level was very low at some point and what going out on loan to Charleroi has done for me is unexplainable,” Osimhen he said.“It was tough in Germany because of the high expectations – some people started doubting me and also pushed me to start doubting myself as well.“The football in Belgium has helped, I also have a wonderful group of players around me and the coaching crew has been great with me.“As a young player, you hear people comparing you to other stars that emerged from the under-17 World Cup and never fulfilled their potential.“But now at Charleroi I have comfortably found my happiness again, and I thank everyone in Belgium and at Wolfsburg for the opportunity and support.”Osimhen was the top scorer as Nigeria clinched a fifth Under-17 World Cup title in 2015 with 10 goals in Chile, which saw him win the Golden Boot and Silver Ball.After the tournament he decided against joining English side Arsenal, to sign with the 2009 German champions Wolfsburg in January 2016, but injuries restricted him to 16 appearances for the club in all competitions.Despite being a part of the squad for two years, his lack of games meant he missed out of the 2018 World Cup with Nigeria.“I am still young and I think it wasn’t meant to be, but I can still look forward to the future,” he added.“I thank Coach Gernot Rohr for the opportunity to return to the squad and I hope to keep working hard to stay in his plans.”On the back of his impressive performance at 2015 U-17 World Cup with the Nigerian emerging the top scorer to claim both the Golden Boot and Silver Ball, the attacker joined the former German Bundesliga champions.However, the 19-year-old failed to settle into the Wolves’ senior set-up amid injury struggles and was shipped on loan to Charleroi this summer.Since moving to Belgium, the youngster has rediscovered his form, scoring seven goals in 12 outings across all competitions.The rise to prominence of Osimhen looked set to address a long-standing problem of Nigerian football: the lack of a dead-eye centre-forward. Not since the passing of Rashidi Yekini, the famed Super Eagles goleador has there been anything close to a sure thing, a player with the ability to ruthlessly home in on goal.A move to Germany always seemed a problematic fit, as Wolfsburg, whom he joined, are lacking in stability, and have been for quite a while. The constant upheaval, both managerially and administratively, would provide no kind of proper environment for fostering a promising young player.It seems now as though the intervening period has been rather wasted, as has some of his lustre. The German side was eager to farm him out in the summer, and he suffered the indignity of a number of trials in Belgium and the Netherlands, before finally earning a loan move to Charleroi. Not the most auspicious of clubs then or even manner of arrival, given his promise and the fact that he was still only 19.That is not to say that Osimhen is that ood; merely that he may be ready now to lead and if flights of fancy are acceptable, then how far off an invitation to the senior national team is he?Rohr extended invitations to him in his early days as Super Eagles boss, all the while the 19-year-old was barely getting minutes at Wolfsburg.There really is something there and while there are still a few rough edges, the diamond is just starting to peak out. What however is not clear is which club Osimhen will star for next season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Victor Osimhen He has no doubt had a good season with Charleroi culminating into his being linked with several clubs, including AC Milan and city rivals-Inter Milan. With Southampton now joining the fray, the big question is-where will Victor Osimhen ply his trade next seasons? Victor Osimhen was heavily linked to join AC Milan in the last winter transfer window but it was not to be, while city rival-Inter Milan was touting him to replace their wantaway striker and captain, Mauro Icadi at the end of the season. However, English Premier League side Southampton are said to have joined the race to sign the VfL Wolfsburg striker, Victor Osimhen this summer.Osimhen has spent the season on loan in Belgium playing for Charleroi, where he has flourished, finding the back of the net on 16 occasions in all competitions this season.