Ronald Koeman is set to become Barcelona’s next coach and the Dutchman will construct his team around Lionel Messi, president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Tuesday.Koeman, who is revered by Barca fans for delivering their first European Cup as a player, will be expected to lead the club’s rebuilding work after they were thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last Friday.”If there is no change then we will announce Koeman as our next coach and he will lead this team and these players forward with a different type of project, led by a coach who all Barca fans know,” Bartomeu said in an interview with the club’s official television channel. “We are betting on him because we know him very well, we know how he thinks and how his teams play, but also because of his experience and as he was in Johan’s ‘Dream Team’ he knows Barca and how we understand football,” Bartomeu added.Bartomeu also said captain Messi was not about to leave the club and would be an integral part of the team under Koeman.”Messi wants to end his career at Barca, he has said that many times. I’ve spoken to Koeman about him and he has told me Messi will be the pillar of his project,” Bartomeu said.”Messi has a contract with Barca until 2021. I speak to him and his father regularly and they know that we have a solid project, that a new coach is coming and that he will count on him.”Bartomeu, who on Monday announced that the club’s presidential elections will take place in March 2021, three months earlier than planned, also defended his running of the club after facing calls to resign after the defeat by Bayern.”We have a sporting crisis but not an institutional one,” he added.”We’ve had a very negative result in the Champions League but the club is in a good place in a social and financial sense.” Topics : Koeman’s imminent arrival will be the third phase of a restructuring of the club which began with Quique Setien’s sacking on Monday and continued on Tuesday as sporting director Eric Abidal agreed to terminate his contract.Koeman, 57, arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday after spending the morning at the Netherlands’ headquarters to negotiate being released from his contract with the national team, who he has coached since 2018 and led to qualify for Euro 2020.Koeman is fondly remembered at Barca for the role he played in Johan Cruyff’s hugely successful side known as the ‘Dream Team’ and for scoring the only goal against Sampdoria in the 1992 European Cup final.The defender later became the club’s assistant coach before embarking on an eventful career as a head coach, managing Dutch sides Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord plus Premier League teams Southampton and Everton and La Liga’s Valencia.
–By: Citi Sports The Black Stars held their first training session at the Accra Sports Stadium on Tuesday ahead of their final AFCON 2019 qualifier against Kenya on March 23.The session had coach Kwesi Appiah supervising 21 of the 24 players he had called up for the match.Citi Sports’ Fentuo Tahiru, who was at the training session, reported that the players present were:Jordan and Andre Ayew, Mubarak Wakaso, Thomas Partey, Jeffrey Schlupp, Kassem Nuhu, Amis Frimpong, Felix Annan, Kwame Bonsu, Christian Atsu, Emmanuel Boateng, Alfred Duncan, Kwesi Appiah, Lawrence Ati Zigi, Richard Ofori, John Boye, Lumor Agbenyenu, Joseph Aidoo.Shooting drills:ParteyDuncanJordan pic.twitter.com/PMEfYnNkWa— Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo (@Fentuo) March 19, 2019The rest of the contingent including Inter Milan’s Kwadwo Asamoah is expected to be join the team for their next training session on Wednesday. In addition, Reading’s Andy Yiadom will not be available for the match due to injury and he will be replaced by Daniel Opare.Both Ghana and Kenya have qualified for the 2019 AFCON tournament but the match is to determine who finishes in top spot in the group which had Sierra Leone disqualified after they were suspended from international football by FIFA for government interference.Kenya leads the group on 7 points with Ghana second on 6 points.
Because Los Angeles is among the places where testing for the coronavirus has become readily available to at-risk health care workers, the Clippers and Lakers could be among the NBA teams that will be permitted to test every player and staff member entering their training facilities for individual workouts for the disease, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.A league source confirmed that teams opening facilities for voluntary workouts in areas where robust testing is available are expected to be allowed to administer tests to asymptomatic players and staff, as ESPN reported.As of Thursday, about 207,000 people in L.A. County had been tested for COVID-19, with 12% of them testing positive. On April 29, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti expanded access to free COVID-19 tests to any resident who wanted one — whether they live in the city or the county, and whether or nor they exhibited symptoms and whether or not their job is considered essential.The NBA reportedly has informed teams of the “limited exception” to guidelines that otherwise forbid the testing of asymptomatic individuals during the phase of players returning to practice facilities that’s getting under way in some locations. The league can approve a written authorization from a local health authority that confirms a “robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers” in the team’s community, per ESPN. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers coach Frank Vogel said this week that he welcomed the gradual return of basketball.“Like the whole reopening of our country, it’s going to be done in phases,” he said. “The NBA has rolled out what the first phase looked like for us. No more than four players at a time with one coach, and there’s obviously limitations to what you can really get accomplished in that setting. However, that’s a big step from where they’ve been for the last six or seven weeks or wherever that is.” Already, Orlando has been granted written authorization from the Orange County (Florida) Department of Health and approval from NBA to test its players, Wojnarowski tweeted.As teams begin to open facilities for voluntary workouts, the NBA wants to avoid creating the perception that the league is needlessly using tests that might otherwise serve those at greater risk in a community. The league reportedly plans to regularly test players when the season begins in earnest.For now, teams will follow strict protocols for voluntary workouts at their facilities, including limiting the number of players permitted to four at a time, barring head or assistant coaches from participating, prohibiting group activities such as practices and scrimmages, and informing players that they’re not to use non-team facilities such as public health clubs or fitness centers.Teams also reportedly will take the temperatures of those entering facilities, according to Wojnarowski.When the NBA season was suspended March 11, the Lakers (49-14) were leading the Western Conference and the Clippers (44-20) were in second place.