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FIFA warns potential participators in closed Super League
FIFA warns potential participators in closed Super League

Rumours about a breakaway Super League received an official remark from FIFA today, stating that any players competing in such competition would be barred from FIFA and its affiliated competitions.

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Santos beat Boca Juniors, and will face Palmeiras in Copa Libertadores final
Santos beat Boca Juniors, and will face Palmeiras in Copa Libertadores final
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Santos will face Palmeiras, who overcame River Plate on Tuesday in the other semifinal, in the decider of Copa Libertadores on January 30 at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

After drawing the first leg 0-0 in Buenos Aires last week, Santos were vastly superior to their sluggish opponents, hitting the post inside the first minute and then taking the lead after a quarter of an hour.

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Palmeiras into Copa Libertadores final despite defeat to River Plate
Palmeiras into Copa Libertadores final despite defeat to River Plate
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

In a thrilling match in São Paulo, the game hinged on a series of contentious decisions that went against the visitors after consultations with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). River won the game 2-0 but it was not enough to revert the 3-0 Palmeiras' victory in Buenos Aires.

Palmeiras will play either Boca Juniors or Santos in the final of the Libertadores, South America's equivalent of UEFA's Champions League, later this month.

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Soccer: Kazuyoshi Miura to play on at 54 after signing an extension with Yokohama FC
Kazuyoshi Miura in 2012
Kazuyoshi Miura in 2012 Credit: norio nakayama (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Japanese soccer legend Kazuyoshi Miura is set to play another season after extending his contract with Yokohama FC. Miura will be aged 54 when the season starts.

The striker is one of the most revered sportsmen in Japan and was at the forefront of the country's football boom in the early 1990s when he was the poster boy of the newly launched league in 1993.

The Guinness World Record for the oldest professional footballer is held by Israeli Isaak Hayik, who played in goal last April for Israel's Ironi Or Yehuda, aged 73.

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Lucy Bronze and Robert Lewandowski are The Best soccer players of 2020
Lucy Bronze and Robert Lewandowski are The Best soccer players of 2020
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Poland and FC Bayern München striker Lewandowski was named The Best FIFA Men's Player for the first time in his career.

Likewise, defender Lucy Bronze is also a maiden recipient of The Best FIFA Women's Player Award after rounding off an impeccable spell with Olympique Lyonnais in style before returning to England to play for Manchester City WFC. 12).

Jurgen Klopp was declared the winner after a close race with Hans-Dieter Flick (FC Bayern München), with the outcome, decided on voting by the national team coaches.

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France Football announces the all-time Ballon d'Or Dream Team
France Football announces the all-time Ballon d'Or Dream Team
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

France Football announced Monday its all-time Ballon d'Or soccer Dream Team after voting by 140 journalists:

  • Lev Yashin
  • Cafú
  • Paolo Maldini
  • Franz Beckenbauer
  • Lothar Matthäus
  • Xavi
  • Diego Maradona
  • Pelé
  • Messi
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Ronaldo
Sports • Soccer
UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw puts Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain
UEFA Champions League 2020-21 round of 16
UEFA Champions League 2020-21 round of 16 Credit: UEFA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

After a draw made on Monday, UEFA Champions League round of 16 ties are:

  • Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER) vs Manchester City (ENG)
  • Lazio (ITA) vs Bayern (GER)
  • Atlético (ESP) vs Chelsea (ENG)
  • Leipzig (GER) vs Liverpool (ENG)
  • Porto (POR) vs Juventus (ITA)
  • Barcelona (ESP) vs Paris (FRA)
  • Sevilla (ESP) vs Borussia Dortmund (GER)
  • Atalanta (ITA) vs Real Madrid (ESP)

The first legs are scheduled for 16/17 and 23/24 February, with the second legs on 9/10 and 16/17 March.

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Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Credit: El Loko Foto / via Wikimedia Commons

Stephanie Frappart from France is the first woman to whistle the Men's Champions League. The 36-year-old whistled 3-0 in the match between Juventus and Dinamo Kiev and received much praise for her unagitated and assertive performance.

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Paid maternity leave for female soccer players
Brazil women's national football team
Brazil women's national football team Credit: Mariana Sá/CBF

According to the new FIFA regulations, professional female soccer players worldwide should be able to take paid maternity leave. For at least 14 weeks, two-thirds of the salary will be paid, and discrimination based on pregnancy will be prohibited. Also, clubs will be obliged to reintegrate the players after their return and to provide medical support. Now the FIFA Council still has to approve the new regulations.

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Argentinean police raid house and clinic of Diego Maradona's doctor
Diego Maradona Graffiti at La Boca, Buenos Aires.
Diego Maradona Graffiti at La Boca, Buenos Aires. Credit: Cadaverexquisito (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Argentine prosecutors are investigating Diego Maradona's doctor, Leopoldo Luque, for possible manslaughter following the footballing legend's death four days ago. The police have searched the doctor's house and private clinic, trying to establish if the soccer legend's treatment, after his surgery, was negligent.

There are suspicions that the star's convalescence at home might not have met the conditions of his discharge from the clinic, such as a 24-hour team of nurses "specialised in substance abuse", the on-call presence of doctors and a stand-by ambulance equipped with a defibrillator.

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Napoli to rename San Paolo stadium to Diego Armando Maradona
Napoli to rename San Paolo stadium to Diego Armando Maradona

Naples city mayor Luigi De Magistris and Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis confirmed Thursday the city stadium would be renamed San Paolo-Diego Armando Maradona.

Maradona, forged a strong bond with the Italian club and its supporters during his seven-year spell between 1984 and 1991 when he won their only two Serie A titles - in 1987 and 1990 - along with the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.

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Manchester City Pep Guardiola signs new two-year deal
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola Credit: Terry Kearney (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Pep Guardiola has signed a two-year deal that will see him remain as Manchester City manager until the summer of 2023. Guardiola told City's website:"We have achieved a great deal together, scored goals, won games and trophies, and we are all very proud of that success."

Guardiola's current five-year stay is already the longest commitment he has made to a team since becoming a manager in 2008.

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Covid-19: Egypt, Liverpool star Mohamed Salah tests positive
Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah Credit: Анна Нэсси (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

A tweet from the Egyptian FA said that testing results showed "our international player and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah to be infected with coronavirus ... despite not having any symptoms."

Photographs and videos of Salah - in some of the images, without a face mask to protect against the virus - dancing among dozens of people at his brother's wedding, held earlier this week in Cairo, have gone viral on the social media over the past days.

Salah's positive test result comes ahead of Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Saturday against Togo.

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England's FA plead with UK government to grant Iceland players travel exemption
Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium Credit: David Wilson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Talks are continuing on Thursday between the FA and senior government officials in an attempt to clarify whether existing coronavirus regulations denying Iceland's players and staff entry into the United Kingdom will remain in place. The current restrictions relate to a new coronavirus strain that has spread to humans from mink in Denmark.

"We have asked the Government to consider allowing us to play our final Nations League match at Wembley Stadium, by giving travel exemption to the Icelandic team subject to strict medical protocols," the FA said on its Twitter account.

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Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Credit: pscbarcelona (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned. The bureaucracy and the open war with Messi, the bad sports results and the economic situation of the club left Bartomeu on the wire. Still, it has finally been the motion of censure, with more than 16,000 signatures, that has precipitated the resignation of the president.

Bartolomeu resignation comes three days after Barca's 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid, and just a day after he said: "that it had not occurred to him to resign."

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Santos and Robinho part ways over repercussion of his conviction of sexual assault in Italy
Robinho
Robinho Credit: Ivan Storti/Santos FC

Santos and striker Robinho announced on Friday the suspension of the contract between the club and the player, who had agreed his return on October 10.

The decision comes after pressure from advisers, sponsors and the disclosure by the Brazilian media of excerpts from the Italian court sentence that sentenced Robinho and a friend to nine years in prison for group sexual violence against a young woman of Albanian origin.

Former Brazilian International, Robinho also played for Real Madrid, Manchester City, Milan and, most recently, İstanbul Başakşehir.

Health
Cavani revealed that he had coronavirus and asked Tabárez not to be called to the Uruguayan National Team
Cavani revealed that he had coronavirus and asked Tabárez not to be called to the Uruguayan National Team
Credit: Jimmy Baikovicius (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Soccer star Edinson Cavani revealed he contracted Covid-19 weeks ago, after spending a few days on vacation in Spain. After a dinner with former PSG colleagues, his girlfriend began to feel the symptoms.

He also said he told Óscar Tabárez, Uruguayan national team coach, that he was not fit to play in the World Cup Qualifiers.

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Robert Lewandowski named Europe's player of the year by UEFA
Robert Lewandowski named Europe's player of the year by UEFA
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was named Europe's best male footballer of 2020 on Thursday by the UEFA, European football's governing body.

The 2019/20 season was one of the greatest in Bayern's 120-year history, and no player contributed more to it than Lewandowski. The Poland striker scored in every game en route to the UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon, picking up 15 goals and six assists as well as the trophy he had coveted for so long. He also hit 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches and six in five German Cup games.

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Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on season-long loan
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Welsh forward Gareth Bale is back to Tottenham on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. Bale left Tottenham in 2013 to join Real Madrid.

On a video released by the Spurs, Bale said: "It's nice to be back. It's such a special club to me. It's where I made my name." said Bale.

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German soccer player Leistner attacks fan of opposing team
Toni Leistner 2016
Toni Leistner 2016 Credit: Textilvergehen from Berlin, Deutschland (DE) (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

After the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) between Hamburger SV and Dynamo Dresden had concluded, the HSV player Toni Leistner went to the spectator stands, grabbed a Dresden fan by the upper body, and pushed him to the ground.

He later stated on his Instagram that he had been "massively insulted after the game from the stands in my home town. I can usually handle that. But then it went extremely below the belt against my family, my wife and my daughter. At that moment, my fuses blew".

He added an apology stating that he formally apologizes for his "behavior and can only promise that no matter what insults are thrown at me, nothing like this will ever happen again".