RelatedPostsNo Content Available The suspension of all football in Scotland has been extended until at least June 10 following a meeting of the Scottish Football Association board. A meeting was convened remotely on Thursday, during which there was unanimous agreement to extend the initial hiatus, which had been set at April 30. A statement read: “The Scottish FA board met via videoconference this morning to discuss the implications of the most up-to-date government and medical advice on the governing body’s suspension on football. “Based on this advice, it has unanimously agreed to extend the suspension at all levels of the game from professional to recreational until at least 10 June. “The board had initially suspended football until further notice and with a stipulation of 30 April at the earliest, in order to give member clubs greater certainty on player welfare and wellbeing, as well as financial clarity.”Tags: Scottish Football FederationVideoconference
RelatedPosts Military arrests leader, 10 suspected members of a notorious cult group in Jos Unknown persons rip open tummy of 18-month-old in Plateau COVID-19: Plateau research team develops herbal cure The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has directed coaches of long distance races to come up with proposals for renovating the training camps in Pankshin, Plateau State and Mambila, Taraba State to acceptable standards.The Minister, who gave the directive at a virtual meeting with the coaches, the private sector and other stakeholders, also tasked them to initiate the revival of long-distance races. The coaches were also mandated to scout for talents, camp current runners and develop training programmes.They are also to audit the training camps in Mambila and Pankshin to ascertain the extent of renovation needed to bring it up to the desired standard.Dare said: “Following from this meeting, you will put forward a proposal as a team.“That proposal should contain what is needed to bring back the two camps.“I am sure we can conduct an audit. “I am sure some of you know what is needed to bring back Pankshin and Mambila.“Once we see that plan, we can now slice that plan up into two or three stages: what is needed in the short run to activate it quickly to start developing these talents, with the Olympics in view.“In that proposal, we need to also have your idea about the coaches, we need to have your idea about the training templates, as much as possible, so that proposal should determine and put forward what is needed.“You are the expert in this area, and I am sure that you can give us a proposal that is tight but also allows us to do something in the short term and then go ahead to do the medium term and then the long term.“The resources we have are not unlimited, they are limited. “But the ministry will leverage on what it can get and as we prepare the 2021 budget, I will make sure that long distance gets a very close attention.”In what is the first consultations in this direction, Prof. Ezra Gunen, Tony Osheku, Stephen Nuhu and Timon Gunen, Nigeria’s 5,000m record holder as well as Directors of the Sports Ministry joined the meeting to provide insights into long distance races and how best to improve Nigeria’s ranking.Tags: Long Distance RacingMambila Training CampMinister Sunday DarePankshin Training CampPlateau StateTaraba State
RelatedPosts Fortuna Duesseldorf relegated after final day defeat, Werder Bremen into playoff EPL: Wolves sink Aston Villa Final day Bundesliga drama awaits Werder, Leverkusen Werder Bremen have spent only one season outside the Bundesliga since it was launched in 1963 and while their run of 13 home matches without a win had left them deep in relegation, troubled club officials are not throwing in the towel.Werder, who played more Bundesliga games (1,896) than any other team, were second from bottom with 25 points from 30 games, three points behind Fortuna Duesseldorf in the promotion-relegation playoff berth. They were also six points away from safety – Mainz in 15th place.Werder went down 1-0 at home to VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday and their next home game does not offer much hope – against Bayern Munich on June 16 where the leaders could secure the title.But before that, Bremen traveled to bottom side Paderborn on Saturday and coach Florian Kohfeldt knew the turnaround must start there.“We have four games to achieve the realistic goal of avoiding relegation. What gives us courage – as strange as it may sound – is the … table. We are not seven or eight points behind, but only three. And we still have four games, so you can catch up three points,” the 37-year-old said.Frank Baumann, the clubs’ sporting director, had not lost faith in his young coach. “I think our chances are still alive, but the bottom line is that only the results count. We’ll give everything and fight until the last game,” he added.Bremen won the last of their four championships in 2004 and narrowly missed out on a Europa League place last season.Kohfeldt said he expected Milot Rashica to return from an ankle injury and Niclas Feullkrug was also set to return next week for the first time since September.The 27-year-old made a good start to the season with two goals and one assist in the first four games before suffering a cruciate ligament injury.“It’s the strikers who we are looking to, to make the difference,” the coach added. Reuters/NAN.Tags: BundeligaRelegationWerder Bremen
RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace On-loan striker, Odion Ighalo, sent Manchester United into the FA Cup semifinals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men made hard work of their extra-time victory at 10-man Norwich.The Red Devils became the first side to secure their place in Sunday’s draw as they edged past the Canaries, who were dreaming of Wembley on their first quarterfinal appearance since 1991-92. Much-changed United were made to dig deeper than they could have imagined by the Premier League’s bottom side, who rallied impressively after falling behind to Ighalo’s smart swivelled finish early in the second half.Todd Cantwell levelled in the 75th minute when beating Sergio Romero from distance and Daniel Farke’s side looked capable of snatching it before Klose was sent off for wrestling Ighalo to the ground.Norwich took the game to extra-time and Tim Krul put in an inspired performance between the sticks, but the penalty specialist was denied a chance to win another shootout when Skipper Harry Maguire directed home in the 118th minute.Tags: FA CupManchester UnitedOdion IghaloOle Gunnar SolskjaerRed Devils
Manchester City playmaker David Silva has backed team-mate Jack Rodwell to bounce back from his latest injury setback. Rodwell faces another month on the sidelines after limping out of Monday’s Barclays Premier League win at Aston Villa with yet another hamstring problem. The 21-year-old, whose City career since a £12million summer move from Everton is yet to take off, has a history of such injuries and only returned to action in January after a three-month lay-off. Spain World Cup winner Silva said: “It’s a great shame he is injured again after getting back into the team and playing in the last two games.” He added: “I have never been injured in the same way, but I know what it’s like to have an injury where you can’t see the end of the tunnel. “Jack needs to know that in the end you get there, you just have to keep walking until you start to see the light again. “He has worked really really hard already, but he needs to keep concentrating, and he will be back with us.” Manager Roberto Mancini was expected to give fitness updates on two other injured players on Friday morning as he met media to preview this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final against Barnsley. Despite being close to a return on a couple of occasions, captain Vincent Kompany has now missed six games with a calf injury and it remains uncertain whether he will feature against the Tykes at the Etihad Stadium. Striker Sergio Aguero pulled out of the Villa Park game with a knee problem and has tweeted pictures of himself undergoing treatment. He has not indicated how long he might be out but said he is “leaving this injury behind slowly but steadily”. Victory on Saturday would take City back to Wembley and a step closer to repeating their 2011 FA Cup success. Press Association
The 26-year-old has not featured for the Canaries since the draw at Everton on November 24 after needing surgery on a torn muscle. Ruddy played all of the 2-0 Barclays U21 Development League defeat at Newcastle on Monday night, and will now be expected to come into contention for a first-team return over the run-in as Chris Hughton’s men target top-flight survival. Goalkeeper John Ruddy is likely to step up his rehabilitation from a thigh injury after completing 90 minutes of Norwich’s Under-21s match at Newcastle. Writing on his official Twitter account, Ruddy said: “Good to get the 90 minutes, leg held up ok.” While Ruddy is not expected to be rushed back, the imminent return of the England international will be welcome news for Hughton. Understudy Mark Bunn limped off early in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Swansea after he picked up a groin problem on his first match back after suspension, meaning third-choice Lee Camp could again be between the posts for Saturday’s trip to Arsenal. Norwich are 14th, but just four points above Wigan, who have a match in hand. Despite this weekend’s trip to Emirates Stadium expected to offer little other than a sound beating, Hughton’s men still have enough time to put a safe distance between themselves and the battle for survival – with key games against Reading, Stoke and Aston Villa next on their fixture list. Winger Elliott Bennett is confident the results will come, telling the Eastern Daily Press: “We have just got to keep plugging away and picking up points where we can. “If we draw six of the next six then that would put us on 41 points – that would probably be enough. It is all about Premier League survival, not about how many wins you get in a season. For this football club it is about staying in the Premier League and then building on that for next season.” Press Association
Press Association “He got his first competitive 65 minutes but he hasn’t had any other serious action,” said Moyes. “I will assess it but right now, I couldn’t tell you (whether he will be involved).” If the long-running Rooney saga seems to have staggered on with nothing changing, the same could be said of United’s search for new players. The attempt to sign Cesc Fabregas has apparently not been abandoned as appeared to be the case after the player himself claimed he had no wish to leave Barcelona, whilst Real Madrid duo Luka Modric and Mesut Ozil have also been linked with United, as has Tottenham’s wantaway winger Gareth Bale. Not have being lured to Old Trafford so far, although Moyes is still confident of making reinforcements to his squad. “I am confident,” he said. “It’s moving along in the right direction. “Everybody wants things done quickly but you have to remember, I got the job on July 1. I have had five or six weeks now and three of them are on tour. “I always thought this could be a difficult window for me because the level I have been shopping at in the past is not the level Manchester United have been shopping at. “That has to come into consideration.” There is a body of opinion which believes the transfer window should be shutting on Friday because it is unfair to have such a major issue hanging over clubs a fortnight into a new campaign. As the window is not a stand-alone concept and Europe’s leagues all start at slightly different times, it is hard to see how an alternative could be implemented. “It’s a big debate,” said Moyes. “Should we have a full window or a shorter one? “But all the countries start their seasons at different times so I think the fairer system we have is the one we are using just now.” For Moyes, the end is not in sight. That will not come until 11pm on September 2 when the transfer window closes. But once his team get their title defence under way at Swansea on Saturday evening, at least there will be a change of focus. “It’s part of the job and I understand he is someone everybody wants to discuss,” said Moyes. “I have to answer it the best I can but we will all be glad once the season is started. “We want to get the season under way. When we get the games going the focus will hopefully shift from the off-field stuff we have at the moment.” But for now it is about the fall-out from Rooney’s 65-minute appearance in England’s victory over Scotland on Wednesday night. Rooney might have shown obvious signs of rustiness on his first appearance of the summer. But there appeared to be no ill effects from the hamstring and shoulder complaints that had prevented him playing up to that point, so he must presumably come into contention for the weekend trip to south Wales. From his unveiling press conference at Old Trafford on July 5, throughout a pre-season tour taking in Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, back to Sweden and at various points throughout the past week, the new Manchester United manager has been peppered with questions about his high-profile forward. The subject matter is always the same; Rooney’s hoped-for move to Chelsea, the answer similar; the 27-year-old is not for sale. David Moyes will be glad when the Premier League season starts so he can stop talking about Wayne Rooney.
Press Association His country were proud too, with president Michael D Higgins saying the people of Ireland would celebrate his success. “All of us will share in this wonderful moment for Rob and his family,” said President Higgins. “Rob came so close to success in the London Olympics and now, through hard work and dedication, he has achieved all that he deserves.” Heffernan’s triumph saw him follow in the footsteps of Eamonn Coghlan, the last Irish man to take global gold when he won the 5,000m in Helsinki in 1983. Heffernan was Ireland’s first world champion of either sex since Sonia O’Sullivan triumphed over 5,000m in Gothenburg 18 years ago. He went to Moscow in fine form and was considered a genuine medal hope for an Irish team, although few could have predicted gold. In a composed morning run, he was with the leading pack at the halfway mark and, when one by one it was whittled down, he went toe-to-toe with Ryzhov. Heffernan looked far fresher going into the final 5km, though, and was away and gone by the time he came into the Luzhniki Stadium, winning by 62secs. The 35-year-old, who finished an agonising fourth at London 2012 last summer, strode away from home favourite Mikhail Ryzhov in the closing kilometres to win in a world-leading three hours 37 minutes 56 seconds. He said: “I wanted to go to Moscow and take on the Russians in Moscow and that’s what I did. I’m very proud that an Irish man can come to Russia and beat them in walking.” “It’s surreal, it’s just a great feeling,” he said. “When I came into the stadium it just felt like an out of body experience. It’s hard to take it all in at the moment. I’m delighted. “Coming into the stadium I felt as if I was watching myself on the outside, looking at myself on the big screen and thinking, ‘This fella looks good’.” Victory earned Heffernan his first major medal after years of near misses, including fourth-placed finishes over 20km and 50km at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona. He added: “I knew I was motivated. People go on about medals, for the last 11 years I’ve been motivated and challenging for a medal. For some reason or other I hadn’t won one. “I was prepared for everything coming into it. I stayed thoroughly motivated this year after London when a lot of people take their foot off the gas. “I was very conscious of training hard and I had to be more motivated, because there was less hype for the World Champs. I was prepared for that mentally.” Australia’s Jared Tallent took the bronze, with Heffernan’s compatriot Brendan Boyce finishing 25th in a new personal best of 3:54.24. Robert Heffernan became Ireland’s first male world champion in 30 years by defeating the Russian challenge in their own back yard to win the 50 kilometres race walk gold in Moscow.
The in-form Will Porterfield, who followed up his century against England with an innings of 62 on Friday, fell for just five after being cleaned up by Ian Wardlaw. The Scotland paceman then accounted for another opener in Paul Stirling, who feathered a catch down the leg-side. Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien put on 69 for the third wicket before the former was bowled by off-spinner Majid Haq for 39 although that failed to disrupt Ireland’s momentum. O’Brien continued to kick on and brought up his 50 off 54 balls with a clip to square-leg off Haq and it was fitting that he struck the winning run with a single down to long leg to finish on 65 not out, with Gary Wilson (35no) providing valuable support in an unbroken 75-run partnership for the fourth wicket. It was O’Brien’s younger brother Kevin who played a large part in giving Ireland a low victory target with figures of three for 31 as Scotland’s hopes of setting a large score were undermined by the steady fall of wickets. South African-born Sorensen (three for 36) started the rot when he had Freddie Coleman lbw, while Hamish Gardiner nicked Richardson behind. Matt Machan had reached a rather sedate 23 before hammering Kevin O’Brien straight to the seamer’s sibling Niall at mid-on. Scotland captain Preston Mommsen fell in Kevin O’Brien’s next over after an attempted pull was feathered behind to leave Scotland on 61 for four. Having ended Scotland’s hopes of automatic World Cup qualification on Friday, Ireland’s seamers twisted the knife further by taking all 10 wickets to restrict their opponents to a paltry 165 all out after they had won the toss. Sorensen and O’Brien took three wickets apiece, while Stuart Thompson and Eddie Richardson shared the remaining four scalps in the International Cricket Council World Cricket League Championship encounter before Ireland’s batsman chased down the target in 33 overs, with Niall O’Brien ensuring there were few alarms. Press Association Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington led a fightback of sorts with a partnership of 66 for the fifth wicket before the latter fell for 35 after chipping O’Brien to wide mid-on. That was the start of Scotland’s collapse as they lost their last six wickets for the addition of 38 runs, MacLeod the next to fall having top-scored with 39 when he was cleaned up by a Richardson slower ball. David Murphy was unbeaten on 20, but he was let down at the other end as Sorensen and Thompson (two for 20) cleaned up the lower order as Scotland were all out in 49.3 overs. Max Sorensen and Kevin O’Brien each took three wickets as Ireland claimed their second win over Scotland in three days after easing to a seven-wicket victory in Belfast.
Discarded boss Martin Jol failed to get the best out of his midfield options. But new manager Meulensteen is confident he can push his influential trio to new heights for the Cottagers, by keeping them fresh as well as fired up. “What you get in exchange for age is experience,” said the former Manchester United first-team coach. “These players are well-trained: it’s our job in the staff to make sure they have the energy to play at this level. “And it’s important that you use them in the right jobs that are right for the team, and that’s what I’ve done.” Karagounis’ industrious display delighted his new manager, with Meulensteen indicating the 36-year-old can play a pivotal role in boosting squad morale. Meulensteen said: “Well on top of that performance he’s a fantastic character, he’s an inspiring person, and that transfers onto other players and transfers to the fans. “The win is a massive boost: it was a massive feel-good factor, although we lost against Tottenham last Wednesday. Scott Parker, Giorgios Karagounis and Steve Sidwell bossed the midfield in Fulham’s 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Aston Villa on Sunday. The experienced trio’s combined age of 99 helped Fulham’s starting line-up claim the record for the oldest fielded in the Premier League so far this season. Age is no barrier to a balanced midfield at Fulham, according to boss Rene Meulensteen. “And it was vital to maintain that feelgood factor then back it up with three points too. “It was important for the fans to see that we really are back on track now too, and that is equally important for the players to realise too.” Meulensteen insisted loan striker Darren Bent is only battling a hamstring complaint, and there are no issues with his general fitness levels. Fulham travel to Merseyside to take on Everton in league action on Saturday, with Meulensteen not yet ruling Villa loan man Bent out of the equation. He said: “The hamstring is the only reason, obviously he couldn’t play against Villa because of the loan.” Press Association