<![CDATA[rss-Sports]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Sports]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[I am better than Drogba and Diouf, Eto'o]]>
"There is no debate. None of them [Diouf and Drogba]?can come and say that they were at my level or better. And it's not the fact that I say it, it's a fact." The Cameronian said on Thursday.

Eto'o had one of the best careers of African players in the history as he played in a high level for more than 14 years.

Eto'o wore the jerseys of some of the top clubs in Europe, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea.

The Cameronian won three UEFA Champions League titles and many domestic titles as well as being a key player at the golden era of the national team.

Eto'o continued "I wanted to be number one and I have been throughout my career."]]>
5/15/2020 1:21:20 PM
<![CDATA[It was like a war, Ayman Ashraf on CAF Champions League final against Esperance in 2018 ]]>
The second final's loss was shocking for the team fans as Al Ahly travelled to Tunisia with a comfortable 3_1 lead. However, they were outplayed by the Tunisian giants and lost the game 3_0 and missed the chance to win the 9th title in the club history.

"It was not a normal football match, it was like a war. The Tunisian fans attacked our bus before the game and our teammate Hisham Mohamed was injured." Ashraf told ONTime Sports.

Al Ahly failed to reconcile the fans last season as they were knocked out of the competition from the quarter finals after losing 5_1 on aggregate to Mamelodi Sundowns.

This season, the team sees winning CAF Champions League title as a top priority and they have reached the semi-finals after defeating Sundowns 3_1 on aggregate.

CAF Champions League competition was suspended due to coronavirus and there is no specific date for the return of the competition.

Al Ahly has won a record 8 CAF Champions League titles but they failed to win the title since 2013.]]>
5/15/2020 1:17:28 PM
<![CDATA[Sobhy denies negotiations with Besiktas]]>
The player joined Al Ahly in January 2019 as a loan from?English club, Huddersfield?Town, for six months?and the loan was extended for the current season.

"I do not have any negotiations with any club at the time as everything was halted due to coronavirus," Sobhy told ONTime Sports on Wednesday.

Sobhy, one of the promising talents in the continent, has been linked with a move to several clubs in Europe after his amazing performance with Al Ahly this season.

Sobhy also was the best player in 2019 U-23 AFCON, during which he played a massive role in the national team's run to win the title and secure a spot at Tokyo Olympic Games.

Sobhy commented on Al Ahly's season, saying, "The new manager, Weiler, changed everything and the team's attitude is great."

Al Ahly leads the league table with 19 points ahead of the second placed, Zamalek, and they reached CAF Champions League semi-finals.]]>
5/14/2020 2:40:00 PM
<![CDATA[LaLiga backs societal development through football]]>
But LaLiga hasn’t stood still during this time. Despite the postponement of the competition, LaLiga has maintained its commitment not only to football but to societal development, leading several high-profile solidarity actions during the confinement period in Spain, in addition to coordinating and promoting those of others. Under the global ‘LaLiga se juega en casa’ strategy (‘LaLiga is played at home,’ in English), over €1.2 million has been raised for the acquisition of medical equipment, among other things.

Among the most innovative and followed actions were the macro charity music concert LaLiga Santander Fest and eSports tournament LaLiga Santander Challenge, which drew an audience of over 61 million from all over the world.

Furthermore, LaLiga’s focus during the COVID-19 crisis has not been limited to actions for huge audiences, however, focusing also on those most affected by the outbreak and those already taking part in its up and running sporting and social projects worldwide.

Some of these proyects are: social and sporting projects for youth development, permanent academies, the creation of socio-educational schools, projects for instilling values, social intervention projects, local scouting projects with high performance visits to Spain, collaborations with national teams, projects to train coaches and managers, annual Spanish Academies Meetings, and MoUs with national leagues and federations.?

With this objective in mind and thanks to this clear structure and method, LaLiga has contributed significantly to societal development through football around the world.

313 projects have been run in 35 countries since September 2015, training 200,000 children and 20,000 coaches and educators thanks to the 645 coaches sent by LaLiga. Likewise, 284 socio-educational schools have been created and 32 MoUs have been signed with leagues and federations in more than 26 countries, offering the perfect breeding ground for the proliferation of even more sporting and social projects in the future.

In fact, one of LaLiga’s most important stated objectives is to support societal development and football growth around the world, under the slogan “We have an obligation to give back to society what society has given us.”

The organization sees the values of football as the ideal means of building a better world and, as a result, has put its influence and experience at the service of society. Sport by and for society. Especially at such a difficult time as now.?]]>
5/14/2020 11:58:09 AM
<![CDATA[El Solia dreams of winning CAF Champions League title]]>
El Solia played a vital role in the club's run towards the competition's semi-finals, where they will face Morocco's Wydad Casablanca.

"My dream is to win the CAF Champions League title. I featured in two finals but we were unlucky and lost the title." El Solia told ONTime Sports on Wednesday.

In 2017, Al Ahly reached the final but lost 2_1 on aggregate to Wydad Casablanca while they lost to 4_3 to Esperance in 2018.

CAF Champions League competition was suspended due to coronavirus and there is no specific date for the return of the competition.

Al Ahly has won a record 8 CAF Champions League titles but they failed to win the title since 2013.]]>
5/14/2020 11:52:44 AM
<![CDATA[Klopp picks Messi over Ronaldo in debate over the better ]]>
"We've played against both already and both are almost impossible to defend. But?Messi?has much lower physical requirements from birth on." Klopp said.

Klopp enjoyed one of his best moments in football against Lionel Messi in 2019 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Messi produced one of his best performances and led Barcelona to win the first leg 3_0 but Klopp's boys won the tie after a memorable comeback in Liverpool.

Klopp continued "Messi makes everything look so simple and therefore I like him maybe a little bit more as a player on the pitch. But Cristiano is also an absolutely incredible player."

The two players have had one of the greatest individual rivalries football has ever seen and this rivalry has pushed both players to unprecedented levels of performance during the last 15 years.]]>
5/14/2020 11:50:02 AM
<![CDATA[Larissa cuts Amr Warda's contract for serious offenses]]>
The club president's decision was announced on Tuesday, on the basis of "having caught them in serious disciplinary offenses" without disclosing them.

Warda plays on loan from PAOK, while Masoras plays on loan from Greek Olympiakos.

The club president's statement came: "By personal decision of the president Alexis Kougia (AEL), President of Larissa, the loan players from PAOK and Olympiakos, Amr Warda & Giannis Masouras, are put out of the team for serious disciplinary offenses."

Warda, 26, played 23 games this season locally, scored 7 and scored 6 goals.

Warda left his childhood club, Al-Ahly, in 2015 to join Greek club, Panetolikos, and since then his career reached another level.

After two years in Panetolikos, he joined the Greek giants, Paok, in January 2017 but he failed to shine with the club and left in the summer to join Atromitos on a loan.

Warda returned to Paok in 2018 summer and played there for six months and then he was loaned again to Atromitos with an option to make the transfer permanent.
5/13/2020 8:42:27 AM
<![CDATA[Premier League players face strict new training protocols]]>
The BBC said Tuesday it had seen a copy of official protocols sent to all 20 Premier League clubs detailing the need for corner-flags, balls, cones, goalposts and even playing surfaces to be disinfected after each training session.

Other measures in the guidance include twice-weekly testing, and a daily pre-training questionnaire and temperature check.

Should a player test positive, with or without symptoms, they will be forced to self-isolate for seven days.

All players will have ro travel to a training ground individually and avoid public transport. Once there they will not be allowed to gather in communal areas and won't be fed on the premises.

Tackling and contact will reportedly be banned for the first phase of team training.

Meanwhile club medical staff must wear personal protection equipment when treating the players.

A meeting involving players, the Professional Footballers' Association and the British government over safety and health issues surrounding a possible restart of the game is set to take place on Wednesday.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, said his members would be open to playing again provided "everything that can be done is being done" to assure their safety.

"We've got to try it, see if we can do it and see if we can return to some form of activity," Taylor told the Mirror.

"But it's also being as careful and having as many assurances as possible that it's achievable."

However, England internationals Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose are the two latest high-profile players to raise their concerns over a return to contact sport when the rest of society is being advised to follow social-distancing guidelines.

- 'Lives at risk' -

"The moment we do go back it just needs to be a moment where it's not just for footballing reasons, it's safe for not just us footballers but the whole medical staff, referees," Sterling told his YouTube channel.

Meanwhile Rose, on loan at Newcastle from Tottenham, told an Instagram live: "People's lives are at risk.

"Football shouldn't even be spoken about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively."

A further complication for Project Restart is where any matches would be played, with the clubs opposed to a proposal for a limited number of neutral venues to be used.

The UK's national football policing lead previously stated resuming matches on a home-and-away basis would "present challenges" to the emergency services.

But Mark Roberts said on Tuesday that police, government and football authorities were working together on a plan "which minimises any risks to public safety and unnecessary pressure on public services, but facilitates a sensible restart to the season."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has come out against the idea of playing matches in the capital at this stage, with the city having been particularly badly hit by the pandemic.

Five of the 20 Premier League sides are based in London.

"With the country still in the grips of this crisis, and hundreds of people dying every day, he believes that it is too early to be discussing the resumption of the Premier League and top-flight sport in the capital," Khan's spokesperson told the Evening Standard.

Premier League clubs face having to pay a huge refund to broadcasters even if they manage to complete the virus-disrupted season behind closed doors.

Broadcasters would be reimbursed for matches not being played as scheduled and the lack of atmosphere in empty stadiums is also a factor.

The BBC reported the bill could be as high as £340 million ($420 million) and would surge to £760 million if the season cannot be completed.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has previously warned of a £1 billion loss once the absence of gate receipts is taken into account.

New government guidelines have paved the way for elite sport to return behind closed doors in England from June 1.

Britain has been one of the worst hit by the global pandemic, with the UK government officially recording more than 32,000 deaths from COVID-19.]]>
5/13/2020 8:32:11 AM
<![CDATA[The Bundesliga is back, so can Dortmund catch Bayern?]]>
AFP Sport takes a look at what is at stake on the field when the German top flight ends a two-month shutdown to play out its final nine matchdays.

- Some things stay the same... -

Teams have undergone testing and been forced into quarantine training camps because of the virus, and all matches will be played behind closed doors in the league with the highest attendances in world football.

So this will not be the Bundesliga as we know it, but something else may be just as before -- Bayern, the country's most successful club, are on track to win another title, which would be their eighth in a row.

They had put a patchy start to the season under Niko Kovac behind them before the shutdown, with Hansi Flick coming in as coach and Bayern winning 10 and drawing one of their last 11 league games.

The Bavarians are four points clear of Dortmund at the top and have been busy since their last game, with Flick signing a new contract until 2023.

Key players Thomas Mueller and Alphonso Davies followed suit by penning extensions of their own, while former striker Miroslav Klose has joined as assistant coach.

With Robert Lewandowski scoring 25 goals in 23 games, Bayern are formidable. They still have to visit Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, although it remains to be seen how much home advantage will matter without fans.

- Watch out for Haaland -

It could still just about be a four-horse title race, with Borussia Moenchengladbach six points off the pace in fourth, but Dortmund are best-placed to stop Bayern.

Lucien Favre's side were last seen going out of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain, but before that were in thrilling form led by young stars Haaland and Jadon Sancho.

They won seven out of eight league games after 19-year-old Norwegian powerhouse Haaland arrived from Red Bull Salzburg. He scored nine goals in that run.

Dortmund, though, will not be able to rely on their fans who usually pack the 81,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park and their next two home games -- against Ruhr rivals Schalke on Saturday and then Bayern -- will lose much of their edge as a result.

"Having to play behind closed doors is an enormous challenge, especially for a club like BVB, which draws a lot of strength from the passion of its supporters," admitted Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Dortmund also must still visit Leipzig, who reached the Champions League quarter-finals before the suspension but whose patchy league form after the winter break saw them fall off the pace.

In Timo Werner, they have their own fearsome striker. And in Julian Nagelsmann, 32, they have one of Europe's most exciting young coaches, so anything is possible.

Gladbach were the last team to beat Bayern in the league but would now settle for holding off fifth-placed Leverkusen to secure Champions League qualification.

There are two points between those sides, who are due to meet next weekend.

Beneath them, in the fight for one Europa League spot, Schalke, Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Hoffenheim are all within two points.

- Bremen in danger -

At the bottom Paderborn prop up the division but the plight of Werder Bremen is more striking.

The four-time champions are four points adrift of Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off place and eight points from outright safety.

They have a game in hand, but are in danger of following the path of Hamburg and Stuttgart, two giants to have been relegated in recent seasons.

"We all know how precarious our league position is. That's motivation enough," said sporting director Frank Baumann when asked about playing home games without fans.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin seem far enough clear of relegation trouble but it has been a chaotic campaign in the capital.

Bruno Labbadia has become the club's fourth coach this season since the shutdown began, with Jurgen Klinsmann's short-lived time in charge ending.]]>
5/13/2020 8:30:45 AM
<![CDATA['Hungry' Bayern delighted to be back in training, says Alaba]]>
The German top flight resumes on Saturday after the season was suspended in mid-March to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

It will be the first major European league to resume after the outbreak of the pandemic, which has so far claimed around 7,500 lives in Germany.

Bayern coach Hansi Flick has been putting his players through their paces in training sessions at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern, who were four points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund in their bid for an eighth straight Bundesliga title when football was halted, restart their season at Union Berlin on Sunday.

"It was really very, very nice to be back on the pitch, training as a whole team," said Alaba.

"You could tell how much we have all looked forward to this moment.

"You could feel that in training, everyone was hungry -- and looking forward to the first game."

- 'Extreme challenge' -

Chancellor Angela Merkel approved the league's plan to restart with regular testing of players and strict hygiene measures in place.

Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert has warned clubs they are "on probation" because of fears an outbreak of the virus in the competition could again see the season suspended.

The clubs are now holding practice sessions featuring the whole squad after weeks of training in small groups.

Dortmund host arch rivals Schalke on Saturday in the first derby without spectators in the rivalry's 95-year history.

Dortmund played the first of two training matches at Signal Iduna Park without injured midfielders Axel Witsel and Emre Can.

"We are used to playing at home in front of 82,000," Dortmund coach Lucien Favre told German daily Bild.

"To prepare mentally now to play without being cheered and without being pushed by the atmosphere is an extreme challenge."

- 'Stick to the rules' -

RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is hoping his side can treat the remainder of the campaign as a mini-tournament to help them rekindle their title challenge.

The third-placed outfit, five points behind Bayern, host mid-table Freiburg on Saturday.

"The whole situation is like before a tournament: we all had a short break, then a relaxed phase and now an intense preparation," Nagelsmann told magazine Kicker.

"When Bayern are on top form, they usually decide the league title for themselves, especially with this lead.

"We're going to try to win this nine-game tournament -- with the theoretical possibility of finishing first."

Nagelsmann said the onus is on the players to obey the hygiene regulations.

"You don't have to have studied nuclear physics to understand that it is advisable to stick to the rules," he said.

"After all, if there are no more matches, the salaries will be significantly lower than before."

Clubs must finish the season by June 30 in order to collect around 300 million euros ($324 million) in television money.]]>
5/12/2020 8:34:12 AM
<![CDATA[Serie A set for team training on May 18 with adjusted protocol - govt]]>
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) met with the government's technical scientific committee (CTS) last week to discuss details for a return to group training as the country emerges from a two-month coronavirus lockdown.

Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora and health minister Roberto Speranza said in a joint statement on Monday that the CTS had largely accepted the FIGC protocol for a resumption of group sessions.

"The opinion requested by the government from the Technical Scientific Committee confirms the line of prudence," the ministers' statement said.

"The indications of the CTS, which are to be considered stringent and binding, will be sent to the Federation for the necessary adjustments of the protocol in order to allow for the safe resumption of team training starting from May 18."

Football has been suspended in Italy since March 9 amid the pandemic which has killed nearly 31,000 people in the country.

The Italian government has allowed squads to return to individual training sessions in team facilities from May 4.

But there remain issues to be decided such as the quarantine of players in case of positive tests for coronavirus.

Italian football bosses want to follow the example of Germany, which returns to action on May 16, and where only positive cases would be put into isolation.

But the CTS insists football must comply with the general rule of two weeks in insolation for those who have been in contact with positive cases.

There are still 13 rounds of football to be played for some teams between mid-June, when the FIGC hopes to return to action, and August.

Since the return to training last week, Fiorentina and Sampdoria announced 10 positive tests. In addition, a Torino player tested positive.

Spadafora later stressed the many tests that will need to be carried out on Serie A footballers would not be done "to the detriment of citizens".

"If these changes are made, there may be collective training from May 18," the sports minister told Italian television.

"Whether the championship can resume, we will have to wait at least another week to see how the curve of contagion evolves and then be able to decide."

One by one players have returned to Italy, with Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo observing a two-week quarantine period and Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to AC Milan on Monday evening.

Italy on Monday reported fewer than 1,000 people in intensive care for COVID-19 for the first time since March 10 when the country went into confinement.]]>
5/12/2020 8:32:25 AM
<![CDATA[Ibrahimovic returns to AC Milan]]>
Ibrahimovic was photographed arriving in Milan wearing a facemask and gloves before being driven to the team's training centre at Milanello.

The Swede is expected to spend two weeks in quarantine before joining his teammates who resumed individual training last week. Group training is set to start again on May 18.

The 38-year-old returned to Sweden on March 12 days after Serie A was suspended as the coronavirus pandemic swept through Italy and Europe.

Ibrahimovic has been busy training in Sweden with players at Hammarby, a first-division club which he part owns.

Unlike much of the rest of Europe, where containment has limited or prevented athletes training, in Sweden restrictions to contain Covid-19 have been more flexible.

Serie A stars have all returned to the peninsula with Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo flying back to Italy last Monday from his native Portugal.]]>
5/12/2020 8:30:56 AM
<![CDATA[Premier League gets green light for June re-start]]>
As the 20 English top-flight clubs met for further talks on "Project Restart", ministers announced plans to ease the coronavirus lockdown.

Under step two of that process, which cannot begin any earlier than June 1, sporting events would be allowed "to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he believed the return of sport on TV would "provide a much-needed boost to national morale."

Supporters face a long wait to be allowed to attend matches, though, with the latest guidelines recognising a return to sport in front of a crowd "may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections".

Premier League clubs had been planning for a return to action no earlier than the week beginning June 8.

Before the resumption of matches can be considered, protocols need to be agreed on how to return to group training safely and on how the Premier League would deal with positive tests.

Brighton confirmed on Sunday that a third member of their squad had tested positive.

Cases have also been found in squads in Germany, where the Bundesliga is due to restart this weekend, as well as Italy, Spain and Portugal in recent days.

"We have protocols created and reviewed, we have a testing company appointed, but the important consultation with players and managers is the next step," said Premier League CEO Richard Masters.

"No decisions will be made until after we have talked to players and managers and those meetings are scheduled for later this week."

- 'We are just people too' -

Players have voiced their concerns at the prospect of being rushed back into training and, eventually, into playing a contact sport at a time when the rest of the public remain encouraged to abide by social-distancing guidelines.

The UK has been one of the worst-hit countries in the global pandemic, with the government officially recording nearly 32,000 deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19.

"We are just people too," tweeted Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell on Sunday.

There is also disagreement over where the remaining 92 matches of the season would be played.

League chiefs believed they would only get the government's green light to restart if matches were held at a limited number of neutral venues to reduce the medical, police, security and broadcast personnel required.

A number of clubs near the bottom of the table have spoken openly of their opposition to the plan as they believe it would increase the risk of being relegated.

"With all these compromises and health risks we are asked to finish a competition that bears no resemblance to the one we started," Watford's chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury told the club's website.

Those higher up the table are also concerned at the prospect of having to reimburse sponsors who have paid for naming rights on their stadiums.

"I think everybody would prefer to play home and away if at all possible. And I think it's clear to see that some clubs feel more strongly about that than others," added Masters.

"We are in contact with the authorities and listening to that advice while also representing club views in those discussions."

The prospect of appeasing the clubs struggling at the bottom by ruling out relegation this season also appears over after the English Football Association rejected that idea and told the Premier League that final standings must be based on "sporting merit" if no more games can be played.

Masters admitted the Premier League had for the first time held discussions on how the league would be decided if matches cannot restart, but said no definitive formula had been approved.

"It was the first time we discussed curtailment - it's still our aim to finish the season obviously but it's important to discuss all the options with our clubs," he said.

"No conclusions were reached on any other models. Those are future conversations we may need to have."]]>
5/12/2020 8:29:59 AM
<![CDATA[La Liga chief wants restart by June 12 despite eight new positive tests]]>
Javier Tebas was speaking just hours after five players from Spain's top two leagues had tested positive for coronavirus.

He then confirmed that three non-playing staff had also tested positive.

"I would like it (the season resuming) to be June 12, but it will depend on the numbers," Tebas told Movistar.

"In the end it will be up to the health authorities. They explain what can be done. We do not rush, we are not the ones who decide the phases."

Despite Sunday's announcement of more positive tests, Tebas insisted Spain was on the right track for a speedy resumption of the sport.

"It is less than we expected. We expected 25 or 30, according to the numbers seen in the Bundesliga and the potency of the virus in Spain.

"Out of 2,500 individuals only eight positives. And the players already are in the final phase of the disease and this week they will be tested again."

Tebas added that when the competition restarts, players will be tested 24 hours beforehand.

"In the match environment, infection is practically impossible because we have carried out a study that we will present that shows the smallest risk is in matches if everyone respects the medical protocol.

"If things are done as they should be, there shouldn't be any infections. If five infected appear in one club, it would suggest some negligence."

Players in Spain's top-flight and Segunda division were allowed to carry out individual work at training grounds last week.

The move was the beginning of a staggered training programme with the aim to restart competitive games in the middle of June.

La Liga insist identifying infected players through positive tests are part of that plan.

The five players, who have not been officially named, will now be quarantined at home and tested again "in the next few days".

They will be allowed to rejoin their club's training programme only after obtaining two consecutive negative test results.

La Liga's training plan includes players initially carrying out work individually before then expanding into small groups and finally taking part in larger team sessions.

Barcelona's players were back for their first session on Friday while Real Madrid's will return on Monday.

The medical protocol for training is strict and includes players arriving already changed and at specific times to avoid contact with others.

They wear masks and gloves, and have their temperatures taken before entering the premises. At the end of training, they take away a bag of fresh kit for the next day and shower at home.

Last week, Leganes coach Javier Aguirre said he had been told that the proposed date to resume is June 20.

That could correspond with the Spanish government's de-escalation programme, which includes outside events being allowed to go ahead in their fourth and final phase, as long as they are attended by fewer than 400 people.

Football matches are expected to be staged behind closed doors for several months.

Tebas said "it is not an option" to cancel the top flight given he estimates the economic fallout would cost clubs around a billion euros ($1.08 billion).

But the third and fourth tiers in Spain will not complete their seasons, as confirmed by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) on Wednesday. Instead, promotions will be decided through play-offs and there will be no relegations.]]>
5/11/2020 11:22:25 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. women's soccer team file to appeal equal pay ruling]]>
The team suffered an unexpected blow to their high-profile case against their federation when the court threw out the players’ claims that they were under paid in comparison with the men’s national team.

District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner said the World Cup champions were paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than their male counterparts, who failed to qualify for the last World Cup.

The women’s team on Friday vowed to continue their fight.

“Equal pay means paying women players the same rate for winning a game as men get paid,” said Molly Levinson, spokesperson for the players.

“The argument that women are paid enough if they make close to the same amount as men while winning more than twice as often is not equal pay,” she said.

The players had been seeking $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act.

Klausner’s ruling, however, allowed the players’ claims that they do not receive equal treatment when it comes to travel, training, housing and other areas to proceed.

Those claims will be adjudicated at a trial set for June 16.

The women’s national team beat the Netherlands to claim its fourth World Cup title last summer, as the stadium rang with chants of “Equal Pay, Equal Pay”, catapulting its players into the spotlight.

The U.S national team’s long-running feud with U.S. Soccer has been a very public and bitter battle with athletes and celebrities, from Billie Jean King to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rallying around the women’s cause.

Last month, U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro resigned over language used in a court filing suggesting women possess less ability than men when it comes to soccer.

The language prompted an on-field protest by players, who wore their warmup jerseys inside out to obscure the U.S. Soccer logo prior to a game, and a critical response from several of the team’s commercial sponsors.

5/11/2020 10:14:00 AM
<![CDATA[Portuguese side Guimaraes report three positive cases for coronavirus]]>
The statement added that the three players were asymptomatic and had been advised by the club to self-isolate, while the rest of the squad would continue to carry out individual training after returning to work last week.

Vitoria’s decision contrasts with German second-tier club Dynamo Dresden, who decided to place their entire squad in a two-week quarantine on Saturday following two positive coronavirus tests.]]>
5/11/2020 8:07:00 AM
<![CDATA[Barca's Umtiti suffers calf injury in training]]>
The 26-year-old French centre back has struggled with knee and foot problems in the last few seasons and Barca said there was no time frame for his return to training.

Soccer in Spain has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March. La Liga is hoping to start matches again in June, although it has yet to confirm dates for fixtures.

Players will start to train in small groups and progress to full sessions before resuming games.

Barca lead the table with 11 matches remaining and hold a two-point lead over Real Madrid, who are due to begin training on Monday. ]]>
5/11/2020 3:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Inter, AC Milan back training after two-month lockdown in coronavirus epicentre]]>
Inter said all their players and staff had tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday, clearing the way for them to return to individual training.

Captain Samir Handanovic led the way in the afternoon as players, including Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, wearing face masks and some in gloves, arrived at the team's Appiano Gentile training centre, 35km northwest of Milan.

Temperatures were taken on arrival with three groups of players alternating in the afternoon to respect social distancing rules.

Their city rival resumed earlier in the week with club technical director Paolo Maldini warning "not going back on the pitch would be a disaster."

Former captain Maldini, together with his 18-year-old son Daniel, a Milan youth team player, have both recovered from COVID-19, but the San Siro outfit revealed on Friday that some squad members are still not negative.

"You have to be careful, but not to resume would be a disaster from all points of view," 51-year-old Maldini said during an Instagram Live chat on Friday.

"France were wrong to decree the end immediately, but we will accept what will be the verdict of the government. There is so much uncertainty."

The city in the northern Lombardy region is the epicentre of Italy's outbreak, one of the worst in Europe in terms of deaths and infections.

It has suffered some 15,000 deaths, around half of Italy's 30,000 coronavirus fatalities, since the outbreak first erupted in early March.

- 'Negative signals' -

One by one stars have returned to Italy with Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo in two weeks' coronavirus quarantine as his team got back to training on Tuesday.

Milan are awaiting the return of Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic early next week.

But opinions are divided on whether to follow France and the Netherlands and end the season or the Bundesliga and return behind closed doors.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) met on Thursday with the government's technical scientific committee to discuss details of the medical protocol for a return to group training.

"Tell us what we need to do to return to play," FIGC president Gabriele Gravina was reported to have told government officials.

Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said afterwards he was "hopeful" group training could resume on May 18.

"I don't want to risk forecasts at this time, we must be careful," said Spadafora. "If it is to be resumed, it will be behind closed doors."

Almost at the same time as the meeting two clubs, Fiorentina and Sampdoria, announced ten positive tests -- seven players and three staff members.

In addition, a Torino player tested positive on Wednesday, giving "extremely negative signals for a restart of the championship," according to newspaper Il Messagero.

Italian football bosses want to follow the example of Germany, which returns to action on May 16 and where only positive cases would be put into isolation.

But the scientific committee insisted football must comply with the general rule that those who have been in contact with positive cases should be isolated.

In this scenario, any positive screening after the resumption of collective training on May 18, would sideline the entire team.

Another obstacle is the scientific committee protocol requires regular repeated screening for each player, which means clubs would need to acquire a considerable number of testing kits, which could prove difficult in regions such as Lombardy.

There is also the problem of individual regions which could refuse to host teams from highly-infected areas.

Serie A, meanwhile, has called an emergency assembly next Wednesday to take stock of the situation, and also to discuss TV rights.]]>
5/10/2020 12:05:29 PM
<![CDATA[Ligue 2 clubs want to keep promotion but suspend relegation]]>
The second-division clubs facing the drop or just missing out on promotion complain they are being treated unfairly.

Support is growing to scrap relegation and expand to 22 teams next season, while still holding the summer playoff which gives finishers between third and fifth a second chance to win promotion.

Their problem is that Noel Le Graet, the head of the French Football Federation, is opposed to the idea, insisting on the "application of the regulations."

If the clubs cannot persuade him, Orleans, in last place with 10 rounds unplayed, and Le Mans, tied on points with Niort but in 19th on goal difference, will go down.

The battle will be fought out in committee rooms and at the general assembly of the French professional league.

"I will defend the move to 22, so there will be no automatic drop," Pierre Ferracci, president of Paris FC, in 17th, the last place that guarantees safety, when the season was halted, told AFP, adding that many other clubs shared his position.

"Exceptional circumstances allow exceptions to be made," he said.

Le Mans has settled for more cautious statements saying it "believes that the decision to stop the championship is the wisest for everyone's health and hopes for a fair and united verdict".

The club's fans have launched a petition.

- 'Plenty of time' -

"In these difficult times, let's stick together and not make two clubs and their supporters pay the price for an unfinished season," wrote one of its organisers.

At the top of the table, leaders Lorient and second-placed Lens have been promoted, but only four points separated first from in fifth and the clubs in the playoff places, Ajaccio, Troyes and Clermont are frustrated.

"Why stop a team that was one point out of second place from taking part in playoffs," asked Ajaccio president Christian Leca at the end of April.

"We're not asking to play them tomorrow, we could play four playoff matches on 15 July."

"We've got plenty of time to re-evaluate the health situation."

He also proposed enlarging Ligue 1 with a formula that would solve Ajaccio's problem.

"We could also do one relegation, three promotions, and a Ligue 1 with 22 clubs," he told AFP.

Adding two teams to a division would reduce each club's cut of league broadcast and sponsorship income but would increase their revenue by adding four matches. But that would add to fixture congestion in what is likely to be a particularly crowded calendar.

The dissatisfaction is mirrored lower down the French football pyramid.

Boulogne-sur-Mer, third in 'National', the third division, are claiming the regulations mean they should face Niort for a place in Ligue 2.

"We can hold a play-off without difficulty at the same period as the French Cup, that is to say one month before the resumption of the championship, at the end of July or early August," club president Reinold Delattre told AFP. "This would be fair and exciting and could give people pleasure."]]>
5/10/2020 11:57:39 AM
<![CDATA[Bundesliga restart blow as Dresden squad placed in 14-day quarantine]]>
The decision means that Dynamo, who are bottom of the second division, will not be able to play their fixture against Hanover next weekend.

The setback comes just three days after Chancellor Angela Merkel's government gave the German Football League (DFL) the green light to return to action on May 16 after a two-month absence.

"In the past few weeks, we have made an enormous effort, both in terms of personnel and logistics, to strictly implement all prescribed medical and hygienic measures," said Dresden sporting director Ralf Minge.

"We are in contact with the responsible health authority and the DFL. The fact is that we cannot train or participate in games in the next 14 days."

As well as the players, Dresden will isolate its entire coaching and supervisory staff.

The Bundesliga will be the first top European league to restart matches since the outbreak of the coronavirus forced lockdown measures to be imposed across the continent.

However, matches will be played without fans in attendance and with a maximum number of 300 people, including both teams, allowed at each game.

In the run-up to the restart, all teams must go into a one-week quarantine training camp.

After the government gave the go-ahead for the season to restart, there were still worries that an outbreak of the coronavirus in the league could halt the resumed season, this time for good.

As of Thursday, there had been 10 positive cases from 1,724 tests of players and staff at the top 36 clubs in the first wave of testing and two more in the second.

Dresden, who are not allowed to train during their isolation, are due to face Greuther Fuerth in their next game on the weekend of May 23-24.

There is little wriggle room for more postponements as officials want the season completed by June 30.

"Dynamo Dresden has informed the German Football League. We will determine the further course of action with a view to the club's plans at the beginning of next week," a DFL spokesman told AFP subsidiary SID on Saturday.

The head of the DFL has warned clubs they are "on probation" and must implement strict hygiene measures when the Bundesliga restarts next Saturday.

"Everyone must be clear: we are playing on probation," DFL CEO Christian Seifert said.

"I expect everyone to live up to their responsibilities."

In the top flight, defending champions Bayern Munich resume with a four-point lead over Borussia Dortmund.

The Bundesliga wants to complete the last nine rounds of matches before June 30 to secure around 300 million euros ($325 million) in television money.]]>
5/10/2020 11:56:27 AM
<![CDATA[Roland Garros could be behind closed doors, says French tennis boss]]>
Guidicelli, who said that the French federation (FFT) had "no regrets" over its unilateral decision to move the clay court Grand Slam from May 24-June 7 to September 20-October 4, insisted all options remain on the table.

"We haven't ruled out any option. Roland Garros is first and foremost a story of matches and players," he told the Journal du Dimanche.

"There is the tournament taking place in the stadium, and the tournament on TV screens.

"Millions of viewers around the world are waiting. Organising it behind closed doors would allow part of the business model -- television rights (which account for more than a third of the tournament's revenues) -- to go ahead. This cannot be overlooked."

The spread of the coronavirus has halted all tennis since mid-March and will not resume until July 13 at the earliest.

Wimbledon has already been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War.

The US Open, due to take place in New York from Aug 31-Sept 13, is also in question with a decision expected in mid-June.

Close to 500,000 fans regularly attend Roland Garros every year.

However, an indication as to the thinking around the 2020 edition came on Thursday when the FFT decided to reimburse all tickets bought for the original date of the tournament rather than transfer them.

Guidicelli admitted that the start of the rescheduled French Open could even be pushed back a further week to begin on September 27.

That would allow a two-week break between the US Open and Roland Garros.

"I have regular discussions with Andrea Gaudenzi (president of the ATP), Steve Simon (president of the WTA) and David Haggerty (head of the ITF) and another call is planned next week to see how we have progressed.

"We are working well together, but it is still a bit early to precisely determine the schedule."

Guidicelli is adamant that the FFT was right to shift the tournament back by four months with the death toll from the coronavirus in France standing at 26,310 by Saturday night.

"Roland Garros is the driving force of tennis in France, it is what feeds the players in our ecosystem (260 million euros in revenue, or 80% of the turnover of the FFT)," added Guidicelli, describing himself as the "good father".

"We think of them first, protecting them. We made a courageous choice and today, no one regrets it."

"A tournament without a date is a boat without a rudder -- we don't know where we're going.

"We positioned ourselves as far in the calendar as possible, anxious not to harm major events, so that no Masters 1000 or any Grand Slam would be affected. The turn of events seems to have proved us right."]]>
5/10/2020 11:55:01 AM
<![CDATA[Gomaa is the best defender I played with, Ibrahim Said ]]>
"Wael Gomaa is the best defender I played with, we understand each other on the pitch." Said told Filgoal.

The duo formed a solid defensive line at Al Ahly between 2001 and 2004 until Said decided to leave the Red Devils to join arch-rivals Zamalek.

During his time at Al Ahly, Said led the Red devils towards achieving the CAF Champions League title in 2001.

The two defenders reunited in 2006 and 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, during which Egypt achieved back-to-back AFCON titles.

Asked about the best manager he has worked with, Said said "I was lucky to work with Manual José in Al Ahly and Theo Bücker in Zamalek."

Said is one of few players who represented the biggest three clubs in Egypt, Al Ahly, Zamalek and Ismaily.]]>
5/9/2020 2:00:18 PM
<![CDATA[We lack visibility and we have to wait, CAF President on resuming continental club competitions ]]>
"We lack visibility and we have to wait.?I invite everyone to be very careful and wait for the situation to normalize.?Health has priority over football." Ahmad Ahmad said.

At CAF Champions League competition, Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek reached the competition's semi-finals and they will meet Morocco's Wydad Casablanca and Raja Casablanca.

At CAF Confederation Cup, Egypt's Pyramids will face Horoya Conakry from Guinea, while RS Berkane and Hassania Agadir will meet at an all-Moroccan semi-final.

Ahmad added "The coronavirus is very different from the other epidemics that we have known in Africa. The whole world is facing a very serious health crisis."

Football competitions across Africa have been halted due to the spread of coronavirus.]]>
5/8/2020 1:23:43 PM
<![CDATA[Aguirre reveals Laliga return date]]>
"We already have a start date for the league. On 20 June, we will start LaLiga and in five weeks we will be officially finished, on 26 July." Aguirre told Marca.

Laliga teams returned to training sessions this week under strict health measures to be ready for the restart of the season.

Aguirre added "It will be played on Saturday-Sunday and Wednesday-Thursday, over 11 dates. LaLiga has just informed me officially and I am very happy about this because we already have training scheduled."

LaLiga as many football competitions worldwide was halted due to the spread of coronavirus.

Spain is one of Europe's worst-hit countries as the number of fatalities reached over 26,000.]]>
5/8/2020 1:12:51 PM
<![CDATA[Badji wishes to face Zamalek at CAF Champions League final]]>
"I wish to face Zamalek at CAF Champions League final. We have more talented players and we will fight to win the title." The striker said.

Badji seeks revenge against Zamalek who won the Egyptian Super Cup title in February after defeating Al Ahly 4-3 on penalties.

Badji and Mohamed Hany missed two penalties to grant Zamalek the title.

"I used to shoot to the goalkeeper's left side but I changed my mind in the game. I was disappointed as I was close to making history." Badji added.

Al Ahly reached CAF Champions League semi-finals after defeating South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns and they will meet Morocco's Wydad Casablanca.

On the other hand, Zamalek defeated the defending champions, Esperance, to reach the semi-finals and they will face Morocco's Raja Casablanca.]]>
5/8/2020 1:10:18 PM
<![CDATA[Barcelona deserve LaLiga title, Fabregas]]>
Barcelona are leading the league table with two points ahead of their arch-rivals Real Madrid.

"Everyone defends their own interests. At Monaco, we have been left without Europe next year for very little. But if [LaLiga Santander] stopped, as it has done in France, Barcelona would be worthy winners." Fabregas told TVE.

Fabregas' comments came in response to Real Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, who said that Barcelona does not deserve the title.

Courtois said "We drew with them and beat them this year, we were the better team. If the season were to be canceled and Barcelona declared champions then it would be unjust."

The Spanish team's returned to training sessions this week and LaLiga president, Javier Tebas, expected LaLiga to resume in June.]]>
5/7/2020 4:32:10 PM
<![CDATA[Bundesliga to resume on 16 May behind closed doors]]>
"The interest [globally] is big. I see reports from across the world that we are the first major league to return." Christian Seifert, chief executive of DFL, said.

The league, which has been suspended since 13 March, returns under strict health measures, including banning fans from the stadium as only 300 people are allowed to be in or around the stadium.

Seifert added "The matches will feel different. After the first matchday, we will all know why we prefer games with fans. But that is the framework we have to operate in and I expect the best possible sport within this framework."

The opening day of the Bundesliga contains 6 games, including the fierce derby between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund.

Two games will be played on Sunday, while Werder Bremen will host Bayer Leverkusen on Monday at the closing game of the round.]]>
5/7/2020 4:28:32 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo stadium declared the best stadium in the world ]]>
Cairo stadium came on top after collecting more than 166k votes, to beat Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu and Barcelona's Camp Nou, who came second and third respectively.

Opened in 1960, the Cairo International Stadium is the historic home ground for Al-Ahly, Zamalek and the national team.

It is the largest stadium in the capital with an all-seated capacity of 75,000 and hosted many major tournaments like the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 1997 FIFA U-17 World Cup, 1991 All-Africa Games and three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

Tunisia's Stade Olympique de Radès came 9th with more than 12.9k votes while Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca came 11th with 12.4k votes.]]>
5/7/2020 12:42:34 PM
<![CDATA[Laliga clubs return to training ]]>
In accordance with the Return to Training Protocol that LaLiga has drawn up with medical experts, professional players from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank – the first and second divisions of professional football in Spain – will start training alone following medical tests carried out by club staff.

This return to training has been planned by LaLiga with measures that have been agreed with the relevant sports and health authorities in order to guarantee as much safety as possible for the health of all those involved.

These measures cover a period of approximately four weeks with different phases that, in any case, will be subject to the de-escalation process established by the government.

Thus, together with the medical tests carried out by clubs, a staggered return to training has been implemented that will start with players training alone and end with group activities prior to the return to competition, scheduled for June.

Professional footballers returning to work will go hand in hand with the recovery of a very significant economic sector that accounts for 1.37% of Spain’s GDP and creates 185,000 jobs.

This is at a time when the country’s economic situation is now the main concern, precipitated by the health crisis.

"This crisis has had a profound impact on all of us. The return of football is a sign that society is progressing towards the new normal. It will also bring back an element of life that people in Spain and around the world know and love,” said Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga.

"People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart LaLiga. Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 19/20 season this summer.”]]>
5/7/2020 12:39:43 PM
<![CDATA[Barcelona players are getting ready for La Liga resumption ]]>
The Catalan newspaper "Mundo Deportivo" reported that Sergei Roberto was the first player to conduct medical tests at FC Barcelona, ??and several players followed him, "Rakitic, Linglet, and Ter Stegen."

The newspaper added that later this group was joined by Frenkie de Yong, Nelson Semedo, Arthur Melo and Martin Braithwaite, explaining that the players appeared to comply with medical procedures by wearing masks and gloves and in separate cars.

The Spanish club Barcelona announced yesterday, Tuesday, that the players will return to training in the sports city again starting today, Wednesday, in preparation for the resumption of the Spanish league.

The official statement, which was published by FC Barcelona on its official website, said that the players are scheduled to undergo medical tests inside the club on Wednesday to ensure their safety after examining the club's facilities on Tuesday.

The statement added that the players and members of the technical staff will conduct medical tests today, Wednesday, to ensure that they are free of the Coronavirus, before training begins individually in the coming days.

Barcelona tops the Spanish league table this season, with 58 points, two points ahead of the traditional rivals Real Madrid, the runner-up with 56 points.]]>
5/6/2020 1:25:09 PM
<![CDATA[Juventus players back training awaiting quarantined Ronaldo]]>
Captain Chiellini, 35, arrived early with Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci, wearing a black face mask, just after midfielder Aaron Ramsey. Playmaker Miralem Pjanic showed up in the afternoon, along with Juan Cuadrado, Mattia De Sciglio, Federico Bernardeschi and Daniele Rugani.

Serie A champions Juve said that the training sessions, which are allowed thanks to Sunday's green light from the Italian interior ministry, "will take place on an individual basis and with staggered arrivals to allow full compliance with the regulations in force".

"After a day of tests and exams carried out yesterday at J Medical, some of the Juventus players started training at the Continassa Training Centre, where they officially began their recovery to regain competitive form," Juve added.

Ronaldo's return is more uncertain after two months of confinement on his native island of Madeira, having played in Juventus' last match against Inter Milan on March 8 behind closed doors.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner returned with his family to Turin by private jet on Monday night, and is in quarantine awaiting tests.

The interior ministry's go-ahead has allowed players to return to club training facilities two weeks ahead of schedule, offering a glimmer of hope that the 2019-20 season might yet be saved.

But sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora warned that training in groups must wait until May 18, and it remains uncertain whether matches can restart as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed over 29,000 in Italy.

- 'Surreal' -

"A realistic prediction can be made in mid-May," Spadafora said in an interview with Corriere della Sera on Tuesday, denying that he wanted to call a halt to the season.

"It would be surreal for a sports minister to demonise football," he said after a newspaper created a front-page photo of him with a dagger about to burst a ball, with the headline "Attack on Football".

"I hope to start again, but the government will decide ... There is no opposition from me, just the desire to evaluate a restart only if the health of the people within the team group will be safeguarded.

"If the government is forced, and I hope not, to admit that the conditions (needed to resume) are not there, my commitment will be twofold -- limit the financial damage to clubs and support the whole world of sport.

"Between ordinary and extraordinary resources, we will invest about one billion euros ($1.08 billion) for the sector as a whole."

Meanwhile, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) called off Friday's scheduled meeting to discuss plans for a return to competition.

The video conference was "postponed due to the need for further information," the FIGC said in a statement.

"in order to allow the football system to cope with the current crisis, the federal council will soon be reconvened with its order of business being the resumption of sporting activity and the establishment of guidelines for registration for the coming seasons," the statement added.

5/6/2020 9:42:00 AM
<![CDATA[Premier League return would lift morale says government minister]]>
Premier League chiefs have targeted a June return to action as they bid to finish the season over the summer.

England's top-flight has been suspended since March 13 and there are still 92 matches remaining, with the title, relegation and Champions League qualification all to be resolved.

Some critics have questioned whether the Premier League is trying to return too soon after the top tier seasons in France and the Netherlands were abandoned.

But Raab sees merit in the Premier League's 'Project Restart'.

"I think it would lift spirits of the nation and people would like to see us get back to work and children can go to school safely but also past times like sport," he said during a government press conference.

"I know the government has had constructive meetings with sports bodies to plan for athletes return to training when its safe."

However, Raab emphasised sport in Britain could only resume once it can be done safely.

"I can tell you that the Culture Secretary has been working on a plan to get sport played behind closed doors when we move to second phase so that is something we are looking at," he said.

"Of course, the key point though, we can only do it when the medical advice and scientific advice is that it can be done safely and sustainably but certainly that is something under active consideration."]]>
5/6/2020 6:44:00 AM
<![CDATA[I apologize to Zamalek fans: Onajem]]>
Onajem said on the Zamalek channel: "I apologize to the fans for my appearance at a modest level in the beginning of my career with the team."

"But after I adapted to the team, I presented a good level, especially in the presence of the fans." Onajem added.

"I spent a short time in Zamalek, but my relationship is strong with all players. All of them are my friends, and we always communicate during these days," he said.

Onajem is currently in Morocco after the interruption of football activity in the world due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

Onajem joined Zamalek at the beginning of the season, coming from Moroccan Wydad Casablanca.

The 28-year-old participated in 22 games with Zamalek this season, and he scored 3 goals and made 4 assists.
5/6/2020 6:08:00 AM
<![CDATA[Salah and Mane are young enough to lead Liverpool for many years: Klopp]]>
Liverpool were linked to Borussia Dortmund striker Jadon Sancho and RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner in Germany.

Klopp was asked about the possibility of signing this duo, he confirmed that his team included a distinguished group of players.

In an interview with beIN Sports, Klopp said: "I am completely satisfied with the current group of players on the team."

"Salah & Sadio Mane are young enough to give, with this group of players, their best over the next few years."

"I am totally happy with these players and I have never thought about including others," he added.

The German coach continued, "When I work in a team that includes a group of players like the one I own, I should not dream of other players."

"We will see if in the future we can get one of these names," he said.

The Egyptian star Mohamed Salah is 27 years old, while the Senegalese Sadio Mane is 28.

Liverpool leads the English Premier League standings with 82 points, 25 points behind second-placed Manchester City and after 29 rounds of the competition have passed.
5/6/2020 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spanish cup rivals want fans at the final]]>
The clubs said in a joint press release that they had met with Luis Rubiales, the president of the RFEF, who had agreed to ask the general assembly on May 8, if the final could be played with open doors.

The RFEF immediately responded with a statement of its own, saying that it "fully shares the desire" of the two clubs to play the final "when health and sporting circumstances allow... open to the public and in the presence of fans and all those who wish to attend".

This would be the first all-Basque final in the history of the competition.

"The desire and will of both clubs has always been, now and before, to play and enjoy the final match along with the supporters," they said in a joint English-language press release. "This is what we would like most. A final to be lived with our supporters in the stands."

The match was originally scheduled for April 18 in Seville at the Olympic Stadium, known as La Cartuja.

Announcing the postponement in March, Rubiales said: "The aim is for La Cartuja to be full of people."

No new date has been fixed. The Spanish league remains suspended and clubs have not been able to return to training.

Even so, the two Basque clubs said they wanted guarantees that "the final will be played as an official competition and will, therefore, be considered an official title."

The RFEF also supported that request, saying it will take steps ensure the final was "an official competition at the appropriate time during 2020 or 2021 and before the Final of the 2020/2021 season."

It said it would agree with the two clubs "the most convenient date for this Final to be a great celebration of Spanish football."

The governing body of European football (UEFA) has said that places in next season's continental club competitions will be awarded "on sporting merit", if domestic competitions cannot be completed.

Real Sociedad, fourth in La Liga when play was suspended, would qualify for the Champions League. But, without a cup final, the last Spanish Europa League place would probably go to the team seventh in the table. Athletic, 10th in the standings, have said they are in "deep disagreement" with this solution.

Bilbao won the inaugural Spanish cup in 1903 and have lifted the trophy 23 times, second only to Barcelona, but their last triumph was in 1984. Real Sociedad have won the Copa del Rey twice.

Bilbao eliminated Barcelona in the quarterfinals while Real Sociedad put out Real Madrid.

The clubs said that by sharing the final "together with their fans, supporters, subscribers, members and partners" they would be celebrating "the true essence, and raison d'etre of this wonderful sport".]]>
5/5/2020 9:24:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spurs star Winks wary of football with no fans]]>
Premier League chiefs are working towards a June restart as they push to finish the 2019/20 season despite the pandemic.

It is widely accepted that the remaining 92 games would have to be held without any fans, with clubs reportedly told that all matches must be played at neutral venues.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Brighton forward Glenn Murray have expressed their concerns over returning to action while there is still a risk of contracting the virus.

Winks, who was part of the England squad that played a behind-closed-doors game in Croatia in 2018, said it would be a major blow not to have fans in stadiums, but he accepts that is likely to be the only option.

"It's a possibility of course and that could happen. It's probably something that not every Premier League player wants to do," Winks told the BBC.

"It's a strange situation not having the fans there. That's what makes football, that's what makes the atmosphere."

Winks described the atmosphere at the match in Croatia as "very strange".

"It's not something that I like and I know a lot of players feel the same way," he said. "It's not something that anybody really wants to do but if it's the necessary action that's got to be done then it has to be done."]]>
5/5/2020 7:21:00 AM
<![CDATA[German league hopes for restart go-ahead despite ten cases of coronavirus]]>
On Monday, the German Football League (DFL) reported that out of 1,724 tests, 10 had returned a positive result, three of which are already known to involve Bundesliga side Cologne.

"The tests carried out over the past few days have fulfilled their purpose of providing additional safety and thus protecting players as best as possible from infection during team training or matches," the DFL said in a statement.

The positive results, around 0.5 percent of the total, all came from the first batch of tests as the German league prepares to restart matches from the weekend of May 16 in empty stadiums and with strict hygiene measures.

The league's plans to become the first major European football competition to restart since the season was halted in mid-March hinge on the regular testing of players.

The DFL did not specify which clubs the positive tests came from, but the individuals concerned have immediately been quarantined and the local health authorities informed.

- Decision due Wednesday -

The news of the positive tests comes as the league is hoping to get the green light to resume from Chancellor Angela Merkel's federal government on Wednesday.

According to the regulations in force in Germany, anyone who has been in contact with a positive case of coronavirus must observe a 14-day isolation period.

Horst Seehofer, Germany's interior minister who has responsibility for sport, has said he supports the plans for Bundesliga teams to finish its interrupted season.

However, on Monday Seehofer's ministry football would not be allowed to deviate from the rules for the wider population.

"Horst Seehofer stands by what he said -- anyone who has been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive must be quarantined for 14 days," interior ministry spokesman Steve Alter said.

"This is a principle that applies to the whole population and there is no reason why it should be any different for professional footballers."

The league's plans to resume state that clubs are able to continue training even if a squad member or coach tests positive for the coronavirus and is quarantined.

Germany's top clubs are desperate for the season to be completed by June 30 in order to claim a 300 million euros ($325 million) instalment of money due from the league's television contract.

Thirteen of the 36 clubs in the top two leagues are reportedly under severe financial pressure due to the pandemic.

Some politicians also want league games switched from pay-per-view broadcaster Sky to state channels to encourage fans to stay at home and not gather to watch matches in public places which have a subscription.

RB Leipzig, who were third in the table behind leaders Bayern Munich when the league halted, are planning to keep their squad in semi-quarantine on their training grounds should games resume.

They will "possibly spend the night here as well. This is still being discussed," Leipzig's German international defender Marcel Halstenberg told broadcaster MDR.

- Kalou suspended -

Not all players are following the strict hygiene measures.

In a video he posted to Facebook on Monday, former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou greeted Hertha Berlin team-mates and staff with handshakes, breaking guidelines to avoid contact and earning the league's wrath.

"The pictures of Salomon Kalou from the Hertha dressing room are absolutely unacceptable," the DFL said.

Hertha said they have suspended Kalou, who apologised for the incident, from training and playing "with immediate effect".

The German league is aware that its plans are under scrutiny.

Anja Stahmann, chairwoman of German's state ministers for sport, called for "the greatest possible transparency" from the DFL.

She also added fuel to the debate about whether the league should resume.

"In public, people are rightly saying - 'why should football resume behind locked doors yet religious services are still banned?'," the Bremen-based politician told Deutschlandfunk radio.

"Why are the playgrounds closed, but millionaires are allowed to play football?"]]>
5/5/2020 6:18:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ex-Chelsea forward Kalou suspended for handshake video]]>
The Facebook video of Kalou, 34, greeting Hertha players and club employees with handshakes was condemned by the German league, which has put in place stringent hygiene measures as it bids to secure the political green light to restart its interrupted season.

"The pictures of Salomon Kalou from the Hertha dressing room are absolutely unacceptable," the German Football League (DFL) said in a statement.

Hertha said they had suspended the 34-year-old Ivory Coast international "with immediate effect".

Kalou, who won the Premier League with the Blues in 2010, apologised for his actions and said he should have known better because of his involvement in health projects in his homeland.

"I am sorry if my behaviour has given the impression that I do not take Corona seriously. I would like to apologise for this," he said.

"The opposite is true, because I am particularly concerned about the people in Africa, because the medical care there is by far not as good as in Germany.

"I did not really think about it."

The Bundesliga, which is aiming to restart its season from May 16, said on Monday mass testing of players and backroom staff had produced 10 positive results.]]>
5/5/2020 3:16:00 AM
<![CDATA[De Bruyne believes Premier League will play to conclusion]]>
"My feeling is that we may be able to train again within two weeks. The government wants to restart football as soon as possible to give people something. I think this season will be finished," De Bruyne told Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws.

"The financial aspect is far too important in the Premier League. If the season is not finished, it will cause serious problems," he added.

Clubs were presented with the league's "Project Restart" plans at a meeting on Friday and were told the remaining 92 matches of the 2019-2020 season must be played at neutral venues.

De Bruyne also said he was optimistic about City's participation in next season's Champions League. UEFA has banned the club from European competition for the next two years for "serious breaches" of financial fair-play rules.

"The club told us they're going to appeal and that they're almost certain to get their way. I'm waiting to see what happens, but I trust my club," said De Bruyne.

The 28-year-old Belgium international admitted he would be forced to consider his City future if the ban was upheld.

"Once we know more, I will make a decision. Two years without playing in Europe would be long but in the case of one year I might see," he said.

5/4/2020 9:39:00 AM
<![CDATA[Netherlands coach Koeman hospitalised with heart problem]]>
The 57-year-old underwent a "cardiac catheterisation" procedure at a hospital in Amsterdam after complaining of feeling unwell at his home.

"The speed with which he was taken to the hospital and the quick intervention of the doctors allowed his condition to be stabilised," said Bartina Koeman.

Koeman, who has coached the Dutch side since 2018, is expected to be discharged from hospital on Monday.

"It was a shock," tweeted the Dutch football federation.

"Happily, things are already a little better. Strength and a good recovery, coach."

Koeman, a standout defender at Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord and Barcelona as well as the Dutch team in his playing career, had already qualified the Netherlands for Euro 2020.

However, the tournament has been pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus.]]>
5/4/2020 8:36:00 AM
<![CDATA[Kyrgios tells bitter rival Nadal: 'Let's do Insta']]>
As the coronavirus has sent the tennis season into hibernation until July 13 at the earliest, a host of players have recently taken to social media for face-to-face exchanges.

So, on Sunday, after the BBC had asked for suggestions as to the most sought-after facetimes, Kyrgios was quick to respond.

"Rafa lets do Instagram live together. I am down with it. Rafael Nadal let's do it," wrote the Australian on Instagram.

Kyrgios and Nadal have endured a bitter relationship on court.

Last year, the 19-time Grand Slam winner accused the Australian of "lacking respect" after Kyrgios won a stormy encounter in Mexico.

Kyrgios responded by claiming the Spanish world number two was "super-salty".

They met again at Wimbledon last summer when Nadal won but fumed after the Australian appeared to spear a ball directly at him.]]>
5/4/2020 6:37:00 AM
<![CDATA[Belgium coach Martinez extends deal until 2022 World Cup - report]]>
Martinez, 46, reached an agreement in principle with the Belgian football federation three weeks ago, according to La Derniere Heure newspaper.

The Spaniard's contract was due to run out after this year's European Championship, which was pushed back until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports indicate Martinez, who took Belgium to third place at the 2018 World Cup, would double his current annual salary of 1.2 million euros ($1.33 million).

The former Everton, Wigan and Swansea manager replaced Marc Wilmots as Belgium boss in August 2016.]]>
5/4/2020 2:36:00 AM
<![CDATA[We are ready to resume football activities: Gamal Mohamed Ali]]>
Gamal Mohamed Ali said on ONTime Sports channel: "The committee met, Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, to reassure the preparations of the Football Association to return to football activity if the state decided to do so."

"If the government, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sports decide to return football activity again, the Football Association will be fully prepared for that," he added.

He continued, "We studied the situation fully, the way the teams will train, and how to play matches if the direction of the country is the return of football."

"And we also developed a study of how to resume the tournaments in a specific timetable, and all that while taking certain requirements to keep everyone safe."

"There is little risk in football because it is held in open fields with large areas, and this is what the World Health Organization approved," he said.

He concluded his statements, "But if the direction of the state is not to return to sports activity and cancel the season, the Football Association will have another perception."]]>
5/3/2020 11:47:10 AM
<![CDATA[Premier League re-states commitment to finish season]]>
The English top flight faces an eye-watering estimated loss of around £1 billion ($1.25 billion) if no more football is played due to the global pandemic.

Playing the 92 remaining games behind closed doors would mitigate that loss, avoiding the need to repay hundreds of millions to broadcasters.

But the Premier League faces huge logistical difficulties in its attempts to return to action, with Britain one of the countries worst-hit by COVID-19 as the number of deaths passed 27,500.

The league and clubs discussed possible steps towards resuming the season at a meeting on Friday.

"The league and clubs are considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with government guidance, under expert medical advice and after consultation with players and managers," the Premier League said in a statement.

"The clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 2019/20 season, maintaining integrity of the competition and welcomed the government's support."

The league reportedly informed clubs that matches will have to be played at up to 10 neutral venues for the season to be completed.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said on Thursday that the idea of not playing matches home and away was a "further imperfection" on top of games being behind closed doors.

- Legal challenges -

The British government is due to review a nationwide lockdown on May 7 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Thursday to provide a "roadmap" towards easing restrictions.

Liverpool are on the brink of their first league title for 30 years with a 25-point lead at the top of the table.

However, the Premier League is keen to avoid potential legal challenges over the awarding of much more tightly contested European places, relegation and promotion if the season cannot be completed.

Paris Saint-Germain were declared Ligue 1 champions on Thursday after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced sport could not resume before September.

The decision to end the season based on average points per game has angered some clubs, most notably Lyon, who have threatened legal action after missing out on a European place.

Key to any restarting of matches in the Premier League is government support. Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, struck a positive tone after a meeting with leaders of a number of sports on Friday.

"We just kicked off first of many detailed meetings to plan for a safe return of elite sport behind closed doors when, and only when, it is safe to do so on the basis of expert medical advice," Dowden tweeted.

However, players are questioning whether they are being rushed back into action to save the clubs money.

"Obviously, the majority of players are scared but above all because they have children, babies and family, they might live with their parents," Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero told Spanish show El Chiringuito TV.

"If we return I am sure everyone will be tense because the minute one person starts to feel ill, it will be 'what's going on there?'"

Players would potentially face weeks away from their families, quarantined in hotels.

"I am hoping that it doesn't come to that scenario," said Brighton striker Glenn Murray. "That is far-fetched, to spend eight weeks away from your family is quite a big ask."

A large supply of privately sourced tests would be needed for players, coaches and backroom staff.

Testing has been a thorny political issue during the pandemic in Britain, with many frontline workers unable to access tests until recently.

"If football was to resume then testing will be key and an extra layer of training will be required," former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro told the BBC.

"It only takes one case for all of this to blow up."]]>
5/3/2020 11:38:41 AM
<![CDATA[Serie A teams set to defy govt and return to training]]>
An emergency Lega Serie A assembly via video of the top-flight clubs took place after Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora this week said the chances of restarting were "increasingly narrow".

League president Paolo Dal Pino stated after the meeting "his openness to a dialogue with the government from a constructive and collaborative perspective, obtaining on this position the full agreement of all the clubs."

Spadafora has warned that the government will call time on the season which has been suspended since March 9 if the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) fails to convince them on its health and safety protocol.

An FIGC meeting slated for May 8 could be decisive.

Meanwhile, the Emilia-Romagna region on Friday gave permission for local clubs, including top-flight sides Bologna, Parma, SPAL and Sassuolo, to resume training in sports centres from May 4 if they wished to do so.

Emilia-Romagna regional president Stefano Bonaccini has agreed to allow "professional sportspeople to train individually, in compliance with social distancing rules and without any gatherings in closed-door structures."

Southern giants Napoli are also planning to return to training as their safety proposals have received the backing of local authorities.

Friday's league meeting also addressed the issue of TV rights, but no resolutions were adopted concerning broadcasters Sky, DAZN and IMG, with a final payment estimated at 340 million euros ($370 million) for the current season, due to be paid in May.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has said that calling time would be "the death of Italian football", predicting losses of over 800 million euros in TV rights, sponsors, ticketing and marketing.

If the government did decide to pull the plug on the season it would have the support of a country traumatised by over 28,000 coronavirus deaths.

According to a recent survey, two out of three Italians would support a stoppage, in particular in the northern epicentre, stronghold of heavyweights Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan and Atalanta.]]>
5/3/2020 11:36:44 AM
<![CDATA[Trippier charged over alleged breach of betting rules]]>
The 29-year-old was a star of England's run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and helped Spurs to the Champions League final last season before a reported £20 million ($25 million) move to Spain.

Trippier has been given until May 18 to respond.

"Kieran Trippier has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the FA's betting rules", the FA said in a statement outlining their regulations.

The statement said: "A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on – (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters."

The defender released a statement saying he would continue to fully cooperate with the investigation.

"I have fully complied with the FA's investigation over the past several months on a voluntary basis and will continue to do so," he said.

"I want to make it clear that while a professional footballer, I have at no stage placed any football-related bets or received any financial benefit from others betting."

Atletico said Trippier would be exonerated.

"The player has informed us he is calm because he has done nothing wrong," said a club source. "It seems ridiculous to him that someone would try to link him to something like this.

"He will collaborate with everything to clear it up as soon as possible. He is sure that in time things will become clear."

Trippier could face a lengthy ban if found guilty.

In March, former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was handed a worldwide four-month ban from all football-related activity for passing on inside information on potential transfer moves in January 2018]]>
5/3/2020 11:13:16 AM
<![CDATA[I don't want to leave Real Madrid, Marcelo]]>
"I have done very well at Madrid since arriving. It's been a long time and it's an incredible story. I don't want to leave and I don't think?Real Madrid?will sell me," Marcelo said.

The Brazilian joined Real Madrid in 2008 from his childhood club, Fluminense, and he is now the vice-captain of the club.

Marcelo added "I do think it's good that other teams are interested in me, but I don't know about?Juventus. People make up a lot of things."

During his time with Los Blancos, Marcelo won four Laliga titles, two Copa del Rey titles as well as four UEFA Champions League titles in five years.

Football competitions worldwide have been halted due to coronavirus and footballers like everyone in the community stayed at home and are out of the training sessions.

Marcelo revealed his daily routine in quarantine, saying "I only go out once a day with my four dogs. People here are respecting the rules, but it has been very hard."]]>
5/2/2020 1:20:29 PM
<![CDATA[Mourinho reveals the only time he cried because of football]]>
"That season, Real Madrid were the best team in Spain and also the best in Europe. That's why it was so hard for us to deal with going out to Bayern in the Champions League." Mourinho told Marca.

In 2012 UEFA Champions League semi-final, Real Madrid lost the first leg in Munich 2_1 but they bounced back in Madrid and won the game 2_1 to send the game to extra time.

Both teams failed to decide the game during the extra time to send the game to penalties which ended with a 3_1 win for the Bavarian side.

Mourinho continued "I remember it well. [Aitor] Karanka and I,?outside my house, in my car, crying. It was very hard because in that season we were the best team in Europe.”]]>
5/2/2020 1:13:56 PM
<![CDATA[Ministry of Youth and Sports denies return of sports activities after Ramadan ]]>
Fawzy's statements came after news circulated on social media about the return of sports activities in Egypt after the holy month of Ramadan.

"We are committed to the precautionary and preventive measures issued by the government to combat the spread of coronavirus," Fawzy said.

Ministry of Youth and Sports suspended all the sports-related activities due to coronavirus.

Egypt recorded, Friday 358 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths, which raises the total infected patients of COVID-19 to 5,895 and the total deaths to 406 according to Health Minster’s daily briefing.

Health Ministry Spokesman Khaled Megahed added that 79 patients, were discharged from the hospital after being confirmed that they are completely recovered from the viruses, this also raises the number of recovered cases to 1,460 out of 1,875 who had been retested for the virus and had received negative results.]]>
5/2/2020 12:41:14 PM
<![CDATA[Most players are scared to return, Aguero ]]>
Speaking to the Spanish TV program El Chiringuto, Aguero revealed that the majority of the players are scared by the possibility of resuming football in England too early.

"The majority of players are scared because they have family, they have children, they have babies, parents," Aguero said, as reported from Sky Sports.

It has been reported that the British government is set to discuss and review the lockdown measures next Thursday with the possibility that football players could return back to training in small groups soon, according to Sky Sports.

Also, Manchester City’s goalscorer [Aguero] addressed his fears from the disease saying that people who carry the disease and don’t have symptoms could infect others.

"That's why I've stayed at home. You can be infected and you don't know anything about it," Aguero added, as reported from Sky Sports.

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China during early December 2019, around 3,300,000 people were infected and about 233,000 people died because of the disease.

As a result, several countries such as Italy, Spain, and England decided to suspend their sports competitions.]]>
5/1/2020 1:08:25 PM
<![CDATA[Mourinho backs the completion of the Premier League]]>
In his interview with Sky Sports, Mourinho spoke about the possibility of continuing the Premier League despite the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus.

"If we play the remaining nine matches this season it will be good for every one of us," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

The organizing body of the Premier League is expected to discuss the possibility of resuming the competition behind closed doors in early June.

However, the decision won’t be taken without the approval of the British government that will have to evaluate the whole situation.

Additionally, Mourinho addressed his opinion on the possibility of playing the remaining matches behind closed doors.

“I'd like to think that football is never behind closed doors. With cameras, it means that millions and millions are watching. So if one day we walk into this empty stadium, it will not be empty, not at all," Mourinho added to Sky Sports.

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China during early December 2019, around 3,300,000 people were infected and about 233,000 people died because of the disease.

As a result, several countries such as Italy, Spain, and England decided to suspend their sports competitions.]]>
5/1/2020 1:00:52 PM
<![CDATA[PSG crowned Ligue 1 champions]]>
"We have brought an end to the 2019-20 season. PSG won the Ligue 1 title, while Lorient the Ligue 2," said Nathalie Boy de la Tour, president of the LFP, as reported from ESPN.

Before the suspension of the competition, Paris Saint-Germain had a 12-point gap between them and second-placed Olympique de Marseille.

Being in second place, Marseille will be able to play in the group stage of the Champions League, while Rennes, third place, will be given a spot in the qualification rounds.

Lille and Nice, fourth and fifth respectively, will be playing in the group stage of the Europa League next season, while Reims, sixth place, will be given the opportunity to play in the qualifications of the competition.

Whereas the following teams will be relegated to the second division: Toulouse and Amiens. Additionally, Lorient and Lens will be promoted to the first division where they will be playing next season.

Following the announcement, Paris Saint-Germain [league champions] dedicated the trophy to those fighting against the coronavirus.

Part of the club’s statement read: "This 9th league championship title in the club's history is dedicated by Paris Saint-Germain to all healthcare staff and to the thousands of front-line professionals working every day to keep the country running," as reported from Sky Sports.

Paris Saint-Germain have now won seven of the last eight Ligue 1 titles, with AS Monaco winning the competition in the season of 2016/2017.]]>
5/1/2020 12:58:17 PM
<![CDATA[Carteron to renew his contract with Zamalek]]>
"We have reached an agreement with Carteron to renew his contract with the club. The official announcement will be soon." Amir Mortada said on Thursday.

Since his appointment as the club manager, Carteron led the club to win the CAF Super Cup and the Egyptian Super Cup in one week as well as leading the club to CAF Champions League semi-finals.

Amir continued "We have not given up on the league title as we still have the second half of the season but it is impossible to complete the season."

Since 14 March, football competitions in Egypt, including the Egyptian top division, have been suspended due to the spread of coronavirus.

Zamalek are fourth at the league table with 31 points, 18 points behind the defending champions, and the league leaders, Al Ahly, who played a game more.]]>
5/1/2020 12:54:44 PM
<![CDATA[My dream is to be back one day?to Tottenham, Pochettino]]>
"From the day I left the club, my dream is to be back one day and to try to finish the work we didn't finish. We were so close to winning the Premier League and Champions League." Pochettino said.

The Argentinean coached the Spurs from 2013 until November 2019 when the club decided to fire him due to poor results, only six months after he led the club to the UEFA Champions League final.

The Argentinean manager added, " It was an amazing journey that finished the way no one wanted it to finish."

During the recent weeks, Pochettino has been linked with a return to the Premier League and is known to be interested in the Newcastle United job.

Pochettino continued "Of course I am looking forward to moving on and I am so motivated for the next project."]]>
4/30/2020 1:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt can reach world cup semis, Hashem ]]>
"Two years ago, the quarter finals would have been my wish but now I can say we can reach the semi finals." Hashem said.

Egypt will host the competition for the second time in the history after 1999, during which Egypt finished 7th.

Hashem added "We have a great team with many amazing players who can challenge the biggest teams in the world."

During the last championship, Egypt reached the main round and finished 8th in the tournament. Egypt also won 2020 African Handball Championship in Tunisia.

Hashem discussed his future with the Romanian club, saying " I still have one year in my contract and I want to win the Champions League for the second time."

In 2018, Hashem became the first Egyptian player to win the Champions League title when he was playing for Montpellier.]]>
4/30/2020 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Eno reveals the reason behind leaving Zamalek to join arch-rivals Al Ahly ]]>
The midfielder's transfer was a big blow for Zamalek who lost their future star as Zamalek fans described him.

"I was young and wanted to secure my future so I asked the club multiple times to increase my wages but the club rejected my demands," Eno told Filgoal.

Eno was a key player in Zamalek since he was promoted to the first team in 2002 and he earned a great reputation for his contributions to the club.

Eno added " There was no justice in Zamalek. I was a key player in the club and the national team but the club offered better contracts for the new signings who did not play frequently."

In Al Ahly, Eno never produced the same level of performance and he found himself on the bench most of the time.]]>
4/30/2020 10:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Suker praises Real Madrid striker Benzema]]>
"Today he is part of?Real Madrid's history. I like the way he plays and there is no doubt he's one of the best players in the world." Suker told Goal France.

The French striker joined Real Madrid from Olympique Lyonnais in 2009 and since then he established himself as the team's starting striker.

The Croatian added "The statistics are still the main criterion on which we judge a forward. As a No.9, I love him."

Suker, who won the 1998 World Cup golden boot, wore Real Madrid jersey between 1996 and 1999 and won the Laliga title in 1997 as well as achieving the UEFA Champions League in 1998.

During his time in Madrid, the Croatian striker scored 38 goals in 86 games.]]>
4/30/2020 8:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[La Liga set for individual training return on May 4]]>
The Spanish top-flight has been on hold since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the decision was the first move in lifting lockdown measures which will be done in four stages across two months.

"The first phase, or phase 0, is the preparation to transition phase or the de-escalation phase, which we are already in," Sanchez said.

"In the best-case scenario, this de-escalation phase will take a minimum of six weeks and the maximum duration we want to see is eight weeks for the whole of Spain," he added.

Only later in later stages of the process will full sessions be able to take place.

The announcement allows the league's clubs to restart individual sessions with their squad members, a protocol agreed upon by La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation earlier this month.

According to local reports players will have to undergo COVID-19 screening tests before returning to training.

They will have to arrive at their club's facilities already in kit, with gloves and masks, and only a maximum of six players can be on the pitch at the same time.

COVID-19 has claimed nearly 24,000 lives in the country, behind the United States and Italy in mortality rates from the virus.]]>
4/29/2020 10:38:41 AM
<![CDATA[French football, rugby off until September, says French PM]]>
The announcement was made as the government unveiled its plans to gradually end the lockdown in France from May 11.

The move makes the completion of the 2019-2020 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football seasons and Top 14 rugby union campaign appear increasingly unlikely.

However, France's sports ministry told AFP after the speech that sports fixtures could not take place even behind closed doors before the end of July, leaving open the possibility that some matches could still be played in August.

In an address to the National Assembly, Philippe said: "The 2019-2020 professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot yet restart."

"I would like to be precise here, no large sports gathering or any gathering of 5,000 people or more, needing the permission of the local police and long prior arrangements, will be allowed before September," Philippe added.

Ligue 1 had outlined its intention to resume matches in June, with players being recalled to training as of May 11.

The French football league will hold a teleconference on Thursday to decide what to do next.

- Season 'definitively over' -

Noel Le Graet, the president of the French Football Federation, said that he thinks the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons are "over".

"We informed the executive board, what it already knew, that Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 will not start, that the National (third tier) will not start or the Women's D1 either," Le Graet told Brittanny-based newspaper Le Telegramme.

"These four competitions are definitively over for the 2019-2020 season."

If the season is abandoned, it begs the question of which teams would qualify for next season's Champions League and Europa League and whether teams would be relegated.

But Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, whose side currently sit outside the Champions League places, said he "wasn't sure" the season will be ended.

"Does this mean the championship is over? I'm not sure," he told AFP.

"Since the championship is not finished, I think that it's necessary do everything to find an alternative solution, by playing a certain number of play-offs during the month of August or postponing next season until September 15."

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said the Ligue 1 leaders would be prepared to play their remaining games of this season's Champions League abroad.

The French champions reached the quarter-finals with a last-16 victory over Borussia Dortmund behind closed doors shortly before the lockdown.

"We plan on competing in the Champions League, wherever and whenever it is held," he said in a statement.

"If it is not possible to play in France we will play our matches abroad, ensuring the most stringent medical safety conditions for our players and all of our staff."

- 'At least things are clear' -

Le Graet said last week he was hoping both the French Cup and League Cup finals could be played before the league season restarts.

PSG are scheduled to face Lyon in the League Cup final and are then due to play Saint-Etienne in the French Cup final.

French rugby union federation president Bernard Laporte said the announcement gave clubs clarity.

"I thought football would be allowed to restart behind closed doors, but I'm not surprised," Laporte said.

"But its a real headache (because) testing, social distancing, is even tougher in rugby.

"It's clear now anyway, nothing until September."

The Dutch football federation last week became the first in Europe to call an end to its season, with no team declared champions and promotions and relegations scrapped.

The Belgian Pro League is expected to follow suit, although other leagues are still hoping to resume, with the German Bundesliga planning for a possible return in mid-May.

- Tour de France set to go ahead -

The Tour de France is set to go ahead, though, albeit with restrictions on the number of spectators.

Organisers have already moved cycling's showpiece event from its traditional mid-summer slot and it is now scheduled to start in Nice on August 29.

Around 23,000 people have died so far of coronavirus-linked illnesses in France.

Schools and shops will re-open in May but restaurants and bars will remain closed for now, as will large museums, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.]]>
4/29/2020 10:34:30 AM
<![CDATA[Henry playing waiting game with MLS in limbo]]>
Former France, Arsenal and Barcelona star Henry took over as manager of Montreal ahead of the 2020 season, but saw his reign effectively put on hold after just two games when COVID-19 brought sport in North America to a standstill last month.

Speaking on a video conference call on Tuesday, Henry said he is staying positive as he waits to see how the virus plays out.

Major League Soccer chiefs have said the league won't resume until June 8 at the earliest, as they work through different scenarios which could allow the 2020 season to be completed.

"Nobody knows who is going to move when, what's going to happen. We are waiting to see if we are going to play football again," Henry said Tuesday.

"All we can do on our side is to be focused and prepare to whatever is going to come our way. They are going to take the decision and we are going to have execute whatever they want us to execute.

"But on my side, all I can do is try to keep my team, the staff, prepared to whatever is going to come our way.

Henry admitted however that his work with staff had run into difficulties caused by the absence of fresh video footage.

"I mean, one thing that's weird is usually you tend to watch a game to see if you can learn something from other coaches, which is normal," Henry said.

"Right now, obviously there is no game on TV. You have no game. So usually, with the staff, we watch games and we are like, 'Oh, that's interesting, I would never have thought about whatever thing that you saw'. And you try to implement it.

"But yeah, that's a tricky one, because you're looking at old videos that we kind of went through already with the players individually or as a team."

Henry however said he had been encouraged by the progress made within the squad since his arrival. Montreal were second in the Eastern Conference after two games before the league was halted.

"You know, I always mentioned Jürgen Klopp," Henry said. "It took him three and a half years to do what he's doing with Liverpool. It doesn't happen just like that. So we were kind of getting somewhere. It was early stages.

"Guys were starting to understand what we wanted and how we wanted to play and the intensity and the togetherness and the fight that we wanted to put into games in the right way, but then you have to stop."]]>
4/29/2020 10:32:46 AM
<![CDATA[Bundesliga could resume in 'mid to late May', say sports ministers]]>
The sports ministers of Germany's 16 states met Monday and announced in a statement that it is "justifiable" for the league to resume "in empty stadiums" from "the middle or end of May".

"The German Football League must create and enforce the strictest hygienic and medical conditions, and monitor them with appropriate measures," added the statement.

German Chancellor Merkel will meet state leaders in Berlin on Thursday, when it is hoped the Bundesliga will get the green light to resume.

All football in Germany ground to a halt in mid March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the German Football League (DFL) announced it is ready to resume from May 9, albeit behind closed doors with tight hygiene measures and players tested regularly.

A return in May would make the Bundesliga the first top league in Europe to resume as Germany cautiously eases lockdown measures.

Key politicians, including health minister Jens Spahn, have backed the league's plans, which are currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Labour.

However, both newspapers Bild and Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung claim May 9 is "probably" too soon for a restart.

Last weekend, Borussia Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke warned that "the entire Bundesliga will go down" unless the league restarts.

"We must play again as soon as possible," Watzke told Der Spiegel on Tuesday.

"Every week later makes it more critical. If we start in June, we might as well forget it."

Watzke says a resumption of the Bundesliga would also send an important signal to other countries who may be hoping their football leagues can resume.

"It would be a quality certificate for what the Germans have achieved in this crisis," he added.

Germany's top clubs are desperate for the league season to be completed by June 30 in order to claim an instalment of television money worth 300 million euros ($325 million).

Magazine Kicker claims 13 of the 36 clubs in the top two leagues are on the verge of insolvency due to the crisis.

Nevertheless, there is heated debate about whether the Bundesliga should resume amid the pandemic which has so far claimed just under 6,000 lives in Germany.

Annalena Baerbock, the co-leader of the Green Party, says "it is deeply unfair" for professional football to restart when "a child is not even allowed to play on a lonely swing" with playgrounds still closed.

Christian Seifert, CEO of the German League, says such arguments are understandable.

"The fact that the Bundesliga can play again means it is compared to other areas" in German society, said Seifert, but "what we are doing is not arrogant or presumptuous".]]>
4/29/2020 10:31:08 AM
<![CDATA['I miss racing every day', says F1's Hamilton]]>
Hamilton, who began go-karting as a child and has risen through the ranks of motorsport, said he misses racing daily after the F1 season failed to get underway.

"I miss racing every day. This is the first time since I was eight that I haven't started a season," the British Mercedes driver posted on Instagram.

"When you live and breathe something you love, when it's gone there's definitely a big void. But there's always positives to take from these times."

The first practice session of the year was just hours away when the season-opening Australian Grand Prix was scrapped in March, triggering a succession of cancellations.

F1 bosses are now hoping to start the delayed season at the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, while fans will be barred from the British Grand Prix on July 19.

However, Hamilton said the virus shutdown -- which has all but closed down professional sports and dramatically slowed economic activity -- was not all bad news.

"Right now, we all have time in the world to reflect on life, our decisions, our goals, the people we have around us, our careers," said Hamilton.

"Today, we see clearer skies all over the world, less animals being slaughtered for our pleasure simply because our demands are much lower and everyone is staying in.

"Let's not come back the same as we went into this tough time, let's come out of it with better knowledge of our world, changing our personal choices and habits."]]>
4/28/2020 12:24:35 PM
<![CDATA[Should the Premier League season be cancelled?]]>
Premier League stakeholders are meeting on Friday to discuss the way forward, with widespread speculation over a potential June 8 restart.

With the Dutch Eredivisie already called off and the Belgian season in the balance, there have been calls for the English top-flight to draw a line under the season.

But the clubs remain committed to ending the 2019/20 campaign and there are compelling financial and legal ramifications to playing the remaining 92 games.

AFP Sport looks at both sides of the debate:

Find a way to finish

Since the Premier League was suspended on March 13, English clubs have endured a torrid time, with controversies over pay cuts and players breaking social-distancing rules tarnishing the brand.

Getting the focus back on football would be a welcome boost for the league, as well as fans who would embrace the diversion offered by the return of matches.

European football's governing body UEFA last week said completing seasons remained the "ideal scenario".

If that is not possible, leagues were urged to find ways of restarting "with a different format", which could mean play-offs in some cases.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly been briefed on a potential plan for fixtures to be played behind closed doors.

And in a sign that Premier League teams are gearing up for a potential return to action, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Brighton have allowed players to return to individual training.

"I believe the Premier League can finish," Wolves winger Diogo Jota told BBC Sport.

"Although some leagues can end right away, others can start sooner. I know almost every country in the world has the Premier League as one of the leagues to watch so it is major that we can finish the season."

As manager of Dutch club Den Haag, who were spared relegation, former Newcastle and Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has a unique perspective on the issue.

He believes the English top tier will be played to a finish to avoid costly court battles.

"The TV rights situation is much more problematic in the Premier League. If you bring in the same model (as the Netherlands) you will end up with huge court cases," Pardew told the Daily Mail.

"From the managers, chairmen and chief executives I've spoken to in the Premier League, it seems they are determined to finish the season, subject to that being allowed by the government."

Call it off

Given the devastating loss of life and economic damage caused by the virus, making sport a priority is a controversial move.

Clubs cannot guarantee players' safety and fears have been voiced that even if matches take place behind closed doors, fans could gather outside stadiums, breaking social-distancing rules.

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp said he did not see much sense in playing into July or August and delaying the next campaign.

"If the season's not completed by the end of June we need to look at the options and just look forward to next season," he said.

If this season cannot be finished, then the thorny subject of how to decide the issues of the title, European places and relegation will have to be resolved.

The null-and-void option would be doomsday scenario and is certain to enrage clubs and fans, with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on the brink of their first league title since 1990.

Manchester United, Wolves, Sheffield United and Tottenham, all currently outside the top four, would surely claim they had been unfairly been denied a chance of Champions League qualification.

Aston Villa would be relegated along with Norwich and Bournemouth, but Dean Smith's Villa could point to the game in hand that could have lifted them above Watford to safety.]]>
4/28/2020 12:22:57 PM
<![CDATA[Diouf expresses his opinion on some of Egypt's elite footballers]]>
Speaking to ONTime Sports, Diouf talked about his friendship with former Egyptian players from his generation.

“Most Egyptian players are my friends. I constantly talk with Ahmed Hossam Mido, Mohamed Abo Treka, and other players from my generation,” Diouf told ONTime Sports.

Additionally, Diouf talked about his admiration for Egypt's iconic striker Hossam Hassan saying that Hassan was the perfect example whom he always looked up to.

Moreover, veteran Senegelase striker [Diouf] spoke about the Egyptian player who he wished to play with during his career.

“I dreamt to play with Abo Treka. I didn’t see any other player with the same qualities like Abo Treka. If he was a Brazilian footballer, Abo Treka would’ve been one of the best players in the world,” Diouf concluded.

The 39-year-old [Diouf] is considered to be one of Senegal’s figures in the country’s modern football history having played a total of 43 games in which he scored 16 goals.

While in his club career, Diouf scored 72 goals and delivered 58 assists in a total of 508 games.]]>
4/28/2020 12:20:24 PM
<![CDATA[FIFA proposes use of 5 substitutions ]]>
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus most European leagues have been suspended for more than a month putting the completion of the European leagues at risk.

As a result, FIFA proposed a temporary rule which will allow teams to make up to 5 substitutions in order to avoid players from getting injured due to the overwhelmed period of games, according to BBC Sport.

"Safety of the players is one of Fifa's main priorities. One concern in this regard is that the higher-than-normal frequency of matches may increase the risk of potential injuries due to a resulting player overload," FIFA’s spokesperon told BBC Sport.

The proposal still has to be approved by the International Football Association Board in order for it to be processed to each country’s domestic Football Association, as reported by BBC Sport.

Then, each domestic Football Association will decide whether they would like to implement the rule in their own league competition.

Lastly, if implemented this temporary rule is expected to be valid until the end of the 2021 season on the club level. While, for national teams the rule will be valid until 31 December 2021.]]>
4/28/2020 12:11:26 PM
<![CDATA[Amr Zaki praises Mostafa Mohamed ]]>
Amr Zaki said: "I advise Mostafa Mohamed, after giving everything to Zamalek, not to leave the club on loan,"

He added during his appearance on the Zamalek channel, "Playing in Europe should be with a permanent contract with any club, "

He explained, "When the player is committed to a club with a permanent contract, he is mentally stable, unlike if he plays and in his mind that he will return to Egypt again."

He continued, "While you are on loan, many contacts will be communicating with you and are linked to the transfer of more than one team and your mind becomes distracted."

Amr Zaki praised Mostafa Mohamed, saying: "Mostafa Mohamed expressed himself with the Egyptian national team and Zamalek. He is a very good player and added value to the Egyptian football."

Mostafa Mohamed, the 22-year-old from Zamalek, has succeeded in appearing with the first team since his return from loan to Al Gaish.

Mostafa Mohamed has participated in 24 games this season and has scored 8 goals and made 3 assists.]]>
4/27/2020 11:12:56 AM
<![CDATA[EFA to start PlayStation league for Egyptian clubs]]>
The committee intends to make the tournament with the participation of two or three players from each of the Egyptian Premier League teams. The matches should take place under the online system

The Egyptian Football Association withdrew from the World Playstation Championship as Egypt came in the same group with Israel and Turkey.

Football-related activities, including fixtures of all Egyptian league divisions and age groups, are suspended since 14 March amid the spread of coronavirus.

CAF postponed 2021 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers while postponing African club competitions is a matter of time.

Football competitions worldwide have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic as countries around the world try to contain the spread of coronavirus.
4/27/2020 11:04:47 AM
<![CDATA[Spanish govt says no guarantee football resumes before summer]]>
"I can't tell you right now if professional football is going to be able to restart its activities before the summer. It would be imprudent on my part," he said during a daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister sounded a note of caution over La Liga plans to test players for the virus before returning to training and resuming a season suspended on March 12, saying giving priority to footballers might breach government policy.

"The diagnostic tests of any kind must be made available to the regional governments," Illa said.

Before players can return to the pitch they will have to undergo COVID-19 screening tests. They will then continue to be monitored on a regular basis.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Saturday that Spaniards will be allowed out for exercise and to take walks from next weekend, with the state of emergency extended this week until May 9.

Unlike most other countries, since imposing a lockdown on March 14, Spain has not allowed anyone out for walks, jogs or bike rides, allowing them to leave home only to buy food or medicine, briefly walk the dog or for a medical emergency.

With more than 23,000 coronavirus fatalities, Spain has the third highest death toll in the world after the United States and Italy.]]>
4/27/2020 10:51:50 AM
<![CDATA[No champions as Dutch league becomes first in Europe to end season]]>
No team will be declared champions after Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were left level on points at the top of the table with nine games still to play.

"Unfortunately, given the measures (banning large-scale gatherings) taken by the government, it became impossible to finish the 2019-2020 season," the KNVB said in a statement.

"Public health always comes first. It's not just a football problem here given what the coronavirus is doing to society. Nonetheless, the professional football committee is aware that today's decisions are going to cause great disappointment for some," it added.

Leaders Ajax, above AZ on goal difference, will qualify for next season's Champions League, according to the KNVB, which will await a definitive verdict from UEFA on May 25.

AZ will likely enter the competition's preliminary rounds, with Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven and Willem II set to compete in the Europa League based on the final standings.

It marks the first time since 1945 the Dutch season has finished without a league champion.

"As a player and as a club you naturally want to become champion," Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar told the club's website.

"You want to show it on the field and we have been at the top all year round.

"It is a pity that you are not declared champion, but in this situation that may be understandable. There are more important things at the moment than football."

- No relegation or promotion -

The KNVB announced its intention to scrap the season on Tuesday following the Dutch government's decision to extend a ban on mass gatherings until September 1.

Matches behind closed doors were said not to be an option as they are considered events which require a permit and police presence.

The final decision was made following a meeting with the clubs on Friday. Next season will begin with the same 18 teams that started the aborted Eredivisie campaign.

"There will be no relegation, nor promotion," said the KNVB, which is expected to face legal action from SC Cambuur and De Graafschap -- the top two clubs in the second division.

"This feels like the biggest disgrace in the history of Dutch sports," Cambuur manager Henk De Jong told Dutch broadcaster NOS. His side was 11 points clear of the play-off places when the league was halted.

The Belgian Pro League is expected to take a similar decision to that of their neighbours next week, with Club Brugge to be awarded the title.

Football in Europe ground to a standstill in mid-March following the spread of the virus across the continent. However, Germany is preparing to resume the Bundesliga on May 9 behind closed doors, if the government gives the green light.

Players in France could begin to return to training starting May 11, if lockdown restrictions are eased, while La Liga is also planning for clubs to resume training early next month.

No potential restart dates have yet been announced for leagues in Italy or England.]]>
4/27/2020 10:48:38 AM
<![CDATA[Arsenal players allowed back to training ground]]>
The Premier League side's players will have access to training pitches but on a strict rotational basis that will see them uphold social distancing measures.

"Players will be permitted access to our London Colney training grounds next week," said a club spokesperson.

"Access will be limited, carefully managed and social distancing will be maintained at all times.

"All Colney buildings remain closed. Players will travel alone, do their individual workout and return home."

This week saw Arsenal become the first Premier League club to agree a coronavirus pay cut with their players as manager Mikel Arteta and his stars slashed their wages by 12.5 percent.

There are reports Arsenal, whose yearly wage bill is around £230 million ($286 million), will give players their money back in the event that they bridge an eight-point gap and qualify for the Champions League when football restarts.

Football is currently suspended indefinitely in England, with the UK under lockdown.]]>
4/26/2020 10:33:42 AM
<![CDATA[Abu Rida greets Al Ahly in their 113th anniversary]]>
Abu Rida sent an official letter to Al-Ahly, through which he presented the club’s board of directors, executive management, members and fans “with sincere congratulations on the 113th anniversary of the founding of Al-Ahly Sports Club in 1907.”

Abu Rida said in his speech: "The generations progressed in writing the history of Al Ahly Club, but there remained a clear and bright goal for everyone who belongs to this great entity, which is to preserve the principles of respect, belonging, honest competition and sportsmanship, in order to participate in the leadership of the growth and development ship for sport in our dear country. Egypt and our great African continent. "

A member of the Executive Council of the International Federation stressed that "the history of the country will not forget the role of the influential club in partnership with the clubs of Zamalek, Al-Masry and Ittihad Alexandria Alexandrian Federation in establishing the Egyptian Football Association in 1921".

Abu Raida sent a "greeting of thanks to all the great people who wrote the history of that great sporting and national fortress, with my sincere wishes for your distinguished club with more progress and prosperity in the performance of his national, sports and humanitarian role, to remain a source of pride and inspiration for football lovers all over the world."]]>
4/26/2020 12:47:09 AM
<![CDATA[Premier League come up with concrete proposals to finish season: report]]>
The paper claims football chiefs, along with other sports governing bodies, have been holding talks with the British government about when they can resume and at only "approved grounds".

The Premier League has 92 games remaining since it suspended the season on March 13 with Liverpool agonisingly close to their first ever EPL title.

The Times says Premier League bosses shared their idea 'Project Restart' with the shareholders last week.

The matches would be played behind closed doors -- a maximum of 400 people would be pemitted to attend including media though only if they tested negative for the virus -- and at selected stadia to limit stretching the limited resources of the medical services.

Extra changing facilities would be introduced to ensure social distancing measures were in place whilst players would be required to turn up for training individually and already in their kit.

They have also suggested August 22 as the date for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

The main sticking point, though, remains the lack of tests available.

Should the season be unable to resume -- the Dutch championship was abandoned without promotion or relegation on Friday -- it would be a financial nightmare for the clubs.

Measures being taken to alleviate some of that has seen the EPL link up with DLA Piper -- a law firm that has advised on TV rights deals for the league in the past -- on an emergency loan fund, with a maximum of £10 million ($12.4 million) per club.

Some clubs have taken measures agreed with their players to ease the financial burden.

Southampton, West Ham United, Sheffield United and Watford have agreed deferrals with their first-team squads while the majority of Arsenal's players have agreed a 12.5 percent wage reduction.]]>
4/26/2020 12:31:05 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian football will overcome coronavirus crisis, Mido ]]>
Football competitions in Egypt and worldwide have been halted due to the spread of coronavirus.

"I expect the football season to be completed. Everything will be more clear after the holy month of Ramadan." Mido told Filgoal.

On 14 March, Egyptian Football Association, EFA, announced that all football-related activities are suspended as a result of the spread of coronavirus and the suspension includes fixtures of all Egyptian league divisions and age groups.

Mido added "Egyptian football has gone through difficult times and we were able to overcome these challenges."]]>
4/25/2020 4:04:25 PM
<![CDATA[There are more important things than football, Edwin van der Sar ]]>
The Dutch FA announced that the 2019/20 Dutch Eredivisie season has been declared as null and void meaning that no winner will be announced for this season. Also, no teams will be promoted or relegated to the top flight.

Ajax’s veteran goalkeeper reacted to the decision of the Dutch FA saying that naturally, anyone would like to become champion.

"You want to show it on the field and we have been at the top all year round. Then it is a pity that you are not declared champion, but in this situation that may be understandable. There are more important things at the moment than football," Edwin van der Sar said, as reported from Sky Sports.

The Dutch FA announced the season as void after finding it difficult to complete the league on time due to the country’s recent measures in fighting against the coronavirus.

As a result of the Dutch FA’s announcement, several Dutch football clubs are expected to suffer financially.

Therefore, Ajax’s CEO van der Sar announced that Ajax will attempt to help those clubs that will endure difficult times financially.

“As the largest club in the Netherlands, we think it makes sense that we offer help within the industry,” van der Sar added, as reported from Sky Sports.

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China during late November 2019, around 2,800,000 people were infected and about 197,000 people died because of the disease.

As a result, several countries such as Italy, Spain, France, and England suspended their sports competitions.]]>
4/25/2020 12:55:33 PM
<![CDATA[It would surprise you what a good lad he is, Aguirre on Salah ]]>
"In England, he can be happy: there are 17 other players. But he sets foot in Egypt and it's madness. He's a lovely lad, delightful; the difficulty is everything that goes around him, the pressure. He has to be careful about the tiniest thing." Aguirre told ESPN.

Aguirre coached the national team in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations at home and he was sacked as Egypt were knocked out of the tournament after losing 1_0 to South Africa in the second round.

Aguirre continued "It would surprise you what a good lad he is, how noble: he's the first to the team talks, the first in the gyms, the most serious."

Salah is considered by many as the best player in the history of Egyptian football as he achieved many successes with his club, Liverpool, at the highest level of football.

Aguirre continued "He's so pure, so innocent too; he doesn't have that touch of picaresque that Argentinians or Uruguayans have. He's transparent, honest, and straight."]]>
4/25/2020 12:51:16 PM
<![CDATA[Terry reveals Chelsea dressing room reaction to Mourinho sacking in 2007]]>
"He came in and said: ‘That’s it, I’ve been sacked.’ He went around and gave everyone a hug and a cuddle." Terry recalled the day the players knew Mourinho was no longer their manager.

Mourinho took the Premier League by storm when he signed for Chelsea after winning the UEFA Champions League title with Porto in 2004.

Terry added "Full-grown men crying their eyes out. We were thinking: ‘Where do we go from here?’ We had someone like a father figure, guiding us."

The Portuguese manager achieved a quick success with the blues, having led the club to win two back-to-back premier league titles.

Terry continued "We actually spoke to the board and said: ‘Listen, we want him to stay, can we not bring him back? It’s a rash decision, he’s the best we’ve worked with. Unfortunately, they’d made their decision."

Mourinho reunited with Terry in 2014 summer when he was appointed as the club manager and led them to win the league title in his first year.

Two years later, Mourinho was sacked due to poor results and he is now the manager of Chelsea arch rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.]]>
4/24/2020 2:54:58 PM
<![CDATA[Salah needs an international trophy, El Hadary]]>
"Salah is an idol for every football player. He has achieved many successes with Liverpool but he still needs to win a trophy with the national team." El Hadary said.

Salah was so close to winning the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title in Gabon but Egypt lost the final to Cameroon 2_1 after they were leading the game 1_0.

However, Salah led the national team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia for the first time since the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Salah's participation in the World Cup was affected by the shoulder injury he suffered during the 2018 UEFA Champions League final.

Salah missed Egypt's opening game at the tournament but he participated in the remaining two games and scored Egypt's two goals at the tournament.]]>
4/24/2020 1:08:46 PM
<![CDATA[Martinez believes catastrophic consequences could occur if the season isn’t completed ]]>
Speaking to BBC Sport Wales, Martinez believes that the only way for clubs to avoid harsh financial problems is to continue the 2019/20 football season.

"You need to make sure that everyone is aware there is a big risk of sending big institutions, institutions of football that have been alive for over 100 years, into a very difficult financial position,” Martinez told BBC.

Additionally, Everton’s former manager [Martinez] believes that UEFA and FIFA took the right decision by postponing international football to allow the completion of the football leagues.

"This is a situation where you have got an invisible enemy and we all have to be together," Martinez added to BBC.

Lastly, Martinez stated the importance of finishing European leagues saying the consequences would be “catastrophic” due to the huge amount of income which football clubs would lose because of the TV rights.

Martinez is considered to be one of Europe’s elite football managers who led Belgium to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup. During his managerial career, the 46-year-old managed 478 games where he won in 203, drew in 125 and lost in 150 games.]]>
4/23/2020 4:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Klopp believed Liverpool would sack him if the team didn’t improve quickly]]>
In his interview with Sky Sports, Klopp talked about the hardships he faced at Liverpool after taking over Brendan Rodgers’ team in 2015.

"It was really clear we needed time. It was clear we cannot fix it overnight. Everyone wanted that, but we couldn't so I had to ask for time. I knew then it was a different level, and if I can't deliver here quick enough, then I will get the sack.,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

Eventually, Klopp and Liverpool started having momentum and the club was able to reach both the Champions League and European League finals; however, they lost both of them.

“When we lost finals against Sevilla or City or Real Madrid, I think pundits said if he doesn't win the next one then they might change, but internally it was never somebody thinking like this," Klopp added to Sky Sports.

The 52-year-old’s efforts with the club finally turned into success after Klopp guided Liverpool to winning the 2018/2019 UEFA Champions League for the first time in more than 10 years.]]>
4/23/2020 12:46:37 PM
<![CDATA[Argentina team doctor expects Messi to continue to shine ]]>
Messi will turn 33 next June and he is expected to sign a contract extension with his childhood club, Barcelona.

"He is an excellent professional and he has never been seriously injured." Villani told Marca.

Messi is considered by many as the best player in the history for what he did for his club and the Argentinean national team.

The Argentinean doctor continued "He leads a normal life for a guy of his age and has a great human quality."

Messi led Barcelona to dominate the domestic competitions in Spain as Barcelona won 10 league titles, 6 Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champions League titles during his 16 years with Barcelona's first team.

Villani praised the Argentinean star, saying "if he's not the best player in history, he's the second."]]>
4/23/2020 12:42:45 PM
<![CDATA[Sundowns rejects Al Ahly's interest in Sirino]]>
Khaled Ali spoke to ON Time Sports" channel, saying: "Al-Ahly asked us verbally to include Sirino after the 2nd leg match between us."

"I spoke to the coach of the team, Pitsu Musimani, and informed me of his need for the player to compete for the CAF Champions League title next season."

"This is also the management's decision, and the player has a three-year contract with the club. So the final decision is to keep the player with us." Khaled concluded.

The former San Luis player in Chile and Bolivar in Bolivia, has starred with Sun Downs since January 2018, scoring 22 goals and making 26 in 90 appearances in the Brazilian jersey.]]>
4/22/2020 9:22:02 AM
<![CDATA[Ferreira is better than Manuel Jose: Eid Abdel-Malek]]>
Abdel-Malik said on the Zamalek channel: "Ferrera is better than Jose for several reasons."

"Jose succeeded with Al-Ahly and achieved many championships, but it came in the era of the golden generation of the Red castle."

"But he did not succeed in any other training experience, whether in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or even the Angola team."

"As for Ferrera, he succeeded with Zamalek in a generation that is much less than the golden generation of Al-Ahly."

"He also succeeded in the rest of his training experiences, the latest of which was with the Qatari Al Sadd."]]>
4/22/2020 8:59:09 AM
<![CDATA[Dutch top flight likely over after government extends ban]]>
"The professional football committee intends to not continue playing the 2019/20 competition. The KNVB will consult UEFA, after which a decision will be taken," the federation said in a statement.

"The KNVB has not yet definitively cancelled competitions because of financial difficulties in the football industry due to the coronavirus crisis."

Clubs and other stakeholders will meet Friday to discuss the consequences of the decision.

There are eight rounds of matches left in the Eredivisie, with defending champions Ajax ahead of AZ Alkmaar on goal difference. The Dutch Cup final had been scheduled for April 19.

According to the KNVB, matches behind closed doors will not be possible as they are considered events which require a permit and police presence.

"There will be no matches before September 1," the statement added.

The Dutch top flight and second division have been suspended since March 12.

Earlier on Tuesday, European football's governing body UEFA made "a strong recommendation" to finish domestic competitions after holding a videoconference with its 55 member associations.

However, it added that "some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions -- in case of a cancelled league -- have been developed."

UEFA said any decisions would be announced after its Executive Committee meets on Thursday. Before that it is due to meet with the powerful European Club Association (ECA) and the European Leagues grouping, which represents nearly a thousand clubs in 29 countries, on Wednesday.

Belgium and Scotland also appear to be awaiting a green light from UEFA to call an end to their seasons.

The ban on mass gatherings will also affect the Dutch Formula One Grand Prix, due to the return to the calendar for the first time since 1985, and the MotoGP race at Assen scheduled for June 28.]]>
4/22/2020 8:47:17 AM
<![CDATA[Takeover deal for Newcastle United edges closer]]>
A 31-page charge agreement filed with Companies House and signed by Staveley for PCP Capital Partners and a lawyer for St James Holdings Ltd indicated a framework for a deal was being put in place.

There was no mention in it, however, of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) which has previously been reported as the prospective majority shareholder. Media reports stated the group will take an 80 percent shareholding should the deal go through.

British billionaire Mike Ashley, who made his fortune from sportswear retailer Sports Direct (Frasers Group), has owned United since 2007.

Sky Sports television said the asking price was understood to have dropped to around 300 million pounds from a previous 340 million, with Ashley willing to structure payments.

The reduction would reflect the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic that has halted most soccer worldwide.

Newcastle are one of three Premier League clubs to have furloughed staff.

The north-east club has been on the market for several years and talks with Staveley’s PCP have been going on behind the scenes for some time.

Newcastle United had no comment on the reports, with the Newcastle Chronicle reporting that Ashley was currently in Miami. Staveley could not be immediately contacted.

Sky reported that the Saudis would hold 80% of the shares, while Staveley would take 10% and play a key role in the running of the club. The other 10% would be held by billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben.

Three years ago, PCP made an offer for a reported 250 million pounds but the talks broke down.

In 2019, Newcastle United was rumoured to be on the brink of being bought by Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, but that deal did not go ahead either.]]>
4/22/2020 8:44:58 AM
<![CDATA[Arsenal players and boss Arteta agree coronavirus pay cut]]>
After Southampton and West Ham announced wage deferral agreements with their players, Arsenal went one step further by securing the pay cut from Arteta and the first-team squad.

"We are pleased to announce that we have reached a voluntary agreement with our first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff to help support the club at this critical time," Arsenal said in a statement.

"The move follows positive and constructive discussions. In these conversations there has been a clear appreciation of the gravity of the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a strong desire for players and staff to show their backing for the Arsenal family."

The pay deals come after a series of negotiations over the last two weeks amid a backdrop of criticism for Premier League players over their failure to agree quick wage cuts while some top-flight teams furloughed non-playing staff to save money.

The Premier League asked clubs to put a 30 percent pay cut to players, but the English Professional Footballers' Association said that would affect tax contributions to the UK's state-run National Health Service.

It was reported that Arsenal initially proposed a 12-month drop in salary for their players.

- 'Financial risks' -

After a muted response to their request, Arsenal were able to secure the agreement thanks to Arteta's influence, according to reports.

Arteta, who has recovered after contracting the virus in March, spoke to his 27-man squad in a video call on Wednesday.

He is said to have made it clear that he would not engage them in discussions about money normally, but in this case he wanted them to take a strong collective stance in supporting Arsenal through the unprecedented financial mayhem caused by the pandemic.

There are reports that Arsenal, whose yearly wage bill is around £230 million ($286 million), will give players their money back in the event that they bridge an eight-point gap and qualify for the Champions League when football restarts.

"If we meet specific targets in the seasons ahead, primarily linked to success on the pitch, the club will repay agreed amounts," the statement said.

"We will be able to make those repayments as hitting these targets, which the players can directly influence, will mean our financial position will be stronger.

"The agreement is based on the assumption we will finish the season 2019/20 and receive the full broadcasting revenues.

"The resulting savings will help cover some of the financial risks we have this season in relation to our matchday and commercial income."

Last week, Arsenal announced that their executive team, including the chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and the head of football Raul Sanllehi, would waive more than a third of their earnings over the next year.

Premier League chiefs believe the virus could cost them around £1 billion if the season cannot be completed.

Football is currently suspended indefinitely in England, with the UK under lockdown.

"We are proud and grateful to our players and staff for pulling together to support our club, our people and our community in these unprecedented times which are some of the most challenging we have faced in our history," the statement said.]]>
4/21/2020 8:59:18 AM
<![CDATA[Nadal frustrated by tennis lockdown, Federer happy with surgery recovery]]>
The Spanish government has extended the country's state of alarm until May 9, with the entire population confined to their homes except a small number working in specific sectors, leaving Nadal perplexed as to why he can't train.

"It's true I don't understand very well because we cannot play tennis when many people are going to work and even more so in our sport, where we keep at a large and safe distance and we play on opposite sides of the court," world number two Nadal said during an Instagram Live.

"But I understand that we are in a very critical situation, that the government is dealing with something unprecedented and I also understand that the last thing they think of is who can train and who cannot train.

"I understand the situation and obviously there are many things that are not logical but you have to accept the rules."

Nadal treated tennis fans to an Instagram Live in which he spoke to both Roger Federer and Andy Murray about their experiences during lockdown.

The men's and women's tours have been halted due to the virus, while Wimbledon was cancelled last month for the first time since World War II and Nadal's favourite Grand Slam the French Open was pushed back to September 20.

"I am not playing tennis, I do not have a court at home and I miss it a little," Nadal said.

"I am sticking to my physical routines. From the gym of my academy they were able to bring me some machines when lockdown began so I try to work a little in the morning, a little in the afternoon.

"It is very important to have both the head and the body focused and it is what I am trying to do at all times."

Federer meanwhile gave an update on his right knee after the 20-time major winner decided to undergo surgery in February.

"I've been hitting a bit against a wall, (doing) rehab with the knee," Federer said.

"It's OK, I had a really good first six weeks, then it was a bit slower, now it's getting better again but I have plenty of time.

"There is no stress, no rush. If there is anything positive (about being in lockdown) that's the only thing really. I just want the knee to be good, it doesn't matter when I return."]]>
4/21/2020 8:58:01 AM
<![CDATA[Rashford believes Mourinho’s tough period helped him develop ]]>
Speaking to UTD Podcast, England’s international player spoke about Mourinho’s impact on him as a player while the latter managed Manchester United.

"It was tough but I think when you look back on it in five or six years, they're the moments that give you that mental toughness," Rashford said, according to Sky Sports.

Additionally, Rashford gave credit of his development to Mourinho as he believes that the Porteguese manager played an important role during his time at the club.

“We had ups and downs. When I look back at it, it was a tough period but definitely a period that made me a better player," Rashford concluded, as reported from Sky Sports.

Ever since his debut with Manchester United, the 22-year-old scored 64 goals and made 31 assists in a total of 201 games, according to transfermarkt.

Lastly, Rashford is considered to be one of Manchester United’s crucial players alongside the French forward Anthony Martial and the Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea.]]>
4/21/2020 8:56:07 AM
<![CDATA[Weiler: Al Ahly could compete between 8th to 12th place in the Bundesliga ]]>
The 46-year-old manager [Weiler] spoke to German sports newspaper Kicker about his thoughts and impressions of coaching Al Ahly as well as living in a country with a different culture than his.

“I am pleased to live here. I enjoy living in a different continent with a different football and lifestyle,” Weiler said as reported by Yallakora.

Additionally, Al Ahly’s current manager [Weiler] addressed his satisfaction towards the players work ethic and level of professionalism.

“The players here prefer playing in an attacking way rather than playing in a defensive style,” Weiler added, according to Yallakora.

The Swiss manager [Weiler] also spoke about Al Ahly’s chances if they competed in a European league like the Bundesliga [German league].

“Honestly, I didn't know which place the team would be in. We could compete between eighth to twelfth position. However, I am certain that it would be difficult to beat us,” Weiler said, according to Yallakora..

Ever since Weiler’s arrival to Al Ahly and the 46 year old managed to win the 2017/2018 Egyptian Super after achieving a 3-2 victory over Zamalek.

R.S.C. Anderlecht’s former manager [Weiler] led Al Ahly to 16 consecutive victories in the Egyptian Premier League before drawing with Smouha SC 1-1. Al Ahly is currently in first place; however, the competition is suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

While in the CAF Champions League, Weiler led Al Ahly to the semifinals where they are yet to play two decisive matches against last year’s competition runner up Wydad Athletic Club from Casablanca, Morocco.]]>
4/21/2020 8:54:45 AM
<![CDATA[Shawky was my ideal partner: Hosni Abd Rabo]]>
"I used to play next to Mohamed Shawky with closed eyes, we were totally connected on the pitch," Abd Rabbo told Time Sports channel.

"Shawky was the most secure when he played next to me in the middle of the field, he always asked me to increase the offensive roles until he waited to do defensive coverage." Abd Rabo added.

The former Ismaili and Strasbourg player stressed, "Shawky's performance greatly contributed to the name and fame of Hosni Abed Rabbo in the football world."

"I played next to Ahmed Hassan and Hossam Ghaly in the Egyptian team, and they are great players, but Shawky was my ideal partner in the midfield."

Abed Rabbo was absent from the 2006 African Nations Cup crown due to injury, but he strongly contributed to winning the titles of 2008 and 2010.

Shawky, the former Al-Ahly player and Middlesbrough was present in the 2006 and 2008 championships, while he missed the 2010 edition for technical reasons.

The duo presented unforgettable matches in the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup qualifiers.]]>
4/20/2020 11:17:18 AM
<![CDATA[Salah Mohsen reveals Liverpool's interest in him]]>
"I have never said what I'm going to say now; this is the first time" Salah Mohsen said in his interview with ON Time Sport channel.

"Mohamed Salah spoke to me once during our time in the national team and asked me about the remainder of my contract with Al-Ahly, at that time I told him that I joined the team recently," Salah revealed.

"Salah told me that Liverpool wanted to sign me and that they were talking about me very well, and they might also talk to Al-Ahly management." He added.

"Salah also revealed that Liverpool wanted to talk to Al-Ahly, but they fear that Al-Ahly administration will refuse the offer." Salah Mohsen said.

"I hope that one day I will play in the English Premier League. The dream is not far." Smouha player concluded.

Salah Mohsen, 21, joined Al-Ahly from Enppi in 2018. He participated in Al-Ahly in 32 games and succeeded in scoring 8 goals and making one assist, before he went on loan to Smouha in the last transfer market.

At the international level, Salah Mohsen participated in 3 games with the Egyptian national team, among them facing Tunisia in the qualifiers for the AFCON.]]>
4/20/2020 11:12:32 AM
<![CDATA[Spurs' Son begins three-week military training: report]]>
All able-bodied South Korean men are obliged to serve in the military for nearly two years, making up the bulk of Seoul's 600,000-strong forces -- who face off against North Korea's army of 1.3 million.

But Son was among the South Korean footballers who earned an exemption by winning gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

The 27-year-old's Premier League season ended even before the coronavirus outbreak spread to Europe when he broke his arm against Aston Villa on February 16, and Spurs said he returned to South Korea for "personal reasons".

Son reported to a marines camp on the southern island of Jeju for his three-week basic training, Yonhap news agency reported.

A Yonhap photo showed Son walking past a military truck and soldiers, wearing a green sweatshirt, a black cap and a face mask.

"South Korean football star Son Heung-min enters the training facility of the 91st Battalion of the 9th Brigade of the Marine Corps," the caption read.

Son's agency had earlier urged fans to refrain from attending the venue over virus concerns.

"Son Heung-min is up for basic military training in April," his agency said on his official Facebook account this month.

"We have decided to not open to the public in active compliance with the government's measures on the COVID-19," it added.

Under the terms of his gold-winner's exemption, Son only needs to complete his basic training and perform around 500 hours of community service to satisfy his conscription obligation.

Basic training in the army is four weeks, but three weeks in the marines and navy.

The Premier League has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus and no date has yet been set for a resumption.]]>
4/20/2020 8:58:39 AM
<![CDATA[Chinese Super League to start by July: club chairman]]>
Suspended leagues across the world, including in Europe, will be watching the CSL with interest as an indicator of the challenges they face in relaunching their own competitions.

The campaign was supposed to start on February 22 but was indefinitely postponed by the pandemic, which emerged in China in December before spreading worldwide.

"Based on the assessment of the current situation, the new season will start at the end of June or beginning of July," said Guangzhou R&F chairman Huang Shenghua, according to state media.

Huang said that the season will be able to take place in full with each team playing the alloted 30 matches.

The media reports did not indicate whether a formal announcement was expected from the Chinese Football Association.

China says that it has curbed coronavirus at home but is now concerned about a second wave of imported infections from people entering the country from overseas.

Marouane Fellaini, the former Manchester United midfielder, is the only known coronavirus case in the CSL.

He was released from hospital last week and is under further observation, although he was not seriously ill.]]>
4/20/2020 8:57:24 AM
<![CDATA[Neuer 'irritated' as Bayern contract talks stall]]>
"All talks I have had since I have been here have been confidential... nothing has ever leaked," the 34-year-old told Germany's most popular daily Bild.

"But now, details about the current talks are constantly appearing in the media, and are often untrue. That irritates me. It's not something I am used to at Bayern."

The veteran goalkeeper's unusually candid comments come amid widespread reports that his current contract negotiations have hit the rocks.

If the talks fail, club captain Neuer could be free to leave Bayern in June and attract the interest of the Premier League clubs.

According to Bild, Neuer and his agent Frank Kroth are demanding a five-year deal, with a salary of 20 million euros ($22 million) per season.

In Sunday's interview, Kroth denied such details and said he was not "confronting the club with demands which will hit it hard in the coronavirus crisis".

With Bundesliga matches currently suspended due to the coronavirus, Bayern have recently extended the contracts of forward Thomas Mueller and head coach Hansi Flick, both until 2023.

Neuer hailed Flick as a "super coach" and said that the 55-year-old's extension had convinced him too to stay on at Bayern.

"I want to have a contract which is a win-win situation for me and Bayern. I want to perform, be there for the team... and give 100 percent," he said.

"The conditions have to be right (for that)," he added.

Neuer, who helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup title, has been named world goalkeeper of the year four times.

He has kept 191 clean sheets in 373 appearances for Bayern since joining from Schalke in 2011 and made 92 appearances for Germany.

Undisputed number one for nearly a decade, Neuer's future at Bayern has been thrown into doubt by the impending arrival of young Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel.

Nuebel, 23, will join Bayern at the end of the current campaign, and has reportedly been promised at least 10 appearances per season.

Yet Neuer dismissed the idea that his number one jersey was under threat.

"As long as I am performing, I will play. That is my assumption," he told Bild.]]>
4/19/2020 11:53:45 AM
<![CDATA[CAF postpones Champions League & Confederation Cup finals]]>
CAF said in an official statement that the spread of the Coronavirus prompted them to take a delay decision.

The CAF announced earlier that the semi-finals of the two tournaments were postponed.

The CAF Champions League final was scheduled for one match on May 24th in Morocco.

As for the Confederation final, it was May 29 in Cameroon.

CAF did not disclose any possible new date for the two matches and made it clear that he would consult with the concerned authorities before announcing the decision.

CAF postponed 2021 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers while postponing African club competitions is a matter of time.

Football competitions worldwide have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic as countries around the world try to contain the spread of coronavirus.
4/19/2020 11:51:35 AM
<![CDATA[Premier League return date still not clear, says Brady]]>
The Premier League said on Friday that wrapping up the remaining 92 fixtures remains their goal, but the on-going coronavirus crisis means no fixed schedule can be drawn up yet.

Brady's West Ham were perilously placed in the English top flight when football was suspended, sitting above the relegation zone on only goal difference with nine games remaining.

"Players will have been able to retain some physical fitness at home," Brady wrote in her column in The Sun on Saturday.

"But if social-distancing rules are still in place, physical match-play training will not be allowed -- you can't tackle from two metres away.

"So, how match-fit will players be if the season commences, as we all hope it will, by mid-June?"

With most clubs having nine games left, it was reported that Friday's meeting of the 20 clubs discussed finishing the season in a 40-day window.

There have been claims that clubs were told domestic seasons must end by July 31 and the 2020-21 campaign must start by the first week of September at the latest.

But Brady is adamant difficult questions over training, testing of players, hygiene and medical protocols will need to be resolved first.

The Premier League has been suspended since March and the UK's lockdown is in place until May 7 at the earliest.

Brady questioned how Premier League clubs could regularly test players for the virus when the same situation is not yet in place for all NHS workers.

She also highlighted a potential unfairness in some squads having a number of players in self-isolation.

"Police officers will need to be at games even if they are behind closed doors as some supporters will travel to the stadium, even if they cannot come in to watch," she said.

"Everyone at the stadium -- and even behind closed doors this is about 300-500 people -- including security, staff, medical officers, players, referees and media, will have to have temperature checks, fill out health questionnaires and observe social distancing.

"Then there is the issue of injuries. All this is manageable but what if a player gets injured, where do we send him?

"It can't be to an NHS (UK National Health Service) hospital that is already under pressure and private hospitals are carrying out NHS procedures and not taking in injured footballers. So then what?"]]>
4/19/2020 8:04:00 AM
<![CDATA[Italian football federation hopes play resumes in late May]]>
The president of the FIGC, Gabriele Gravina, said it would take three weeks to prepare after the end of the coronavirus lockdown in the country, currently scheduled for May 4.

"So at the end of May, early June, we can start," he told Italian radio on Friday.

"Those who talk today about cancelling the season do not like football or Italians, because they take away hope for the future and for recovery," Gravina said.

"There will be a monitoring period to guarantee the that all those taking part are free of the virus. If they are all negative, there is no problem of distancing or contagion," said Gravina.

"I hope that everyone will be able to play in their own stadium, if that is not possible we will find other solutions," he added.

"It's a complex moment for our country, for the economy and for football, which is one of the most important industries," he said, adding that he was confident "we will find the right way".

According to the Italian press, Brescia and Torino are the last two clubs to openly oppose the resumption of the league.

The city of Brescia is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic which has killed nearly 23,000 people in Italy.]]>
4/19/2020 7:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[I want to retire at Al Ahly, Maaloul]]>
"I received a mega offer to leave Al Ahly last season but he respected the club's decision to reject the offer. I want to retire at Al Ahly." Maaloul said on Friday during an interview with the club's channel.

Maaloul left his childhood club, CS Sfaxien, to join Al Ahly in 2016 and since then he became the team's most important player and played a massive role in all the club's achievements during the last five years.

Maaloul added, "When I received Al Ahly's offer, I told my manager at CS Sfaxien that I had an offer from Egypt and he told me to go if it was from Al Ahly."

Since his arrival from Tunisia, the player scored 19 goals, provided 39 assists in 121 appearances.

Maaloul continued "Al Ahly is a great club to be at and I want to retire here at Al Ahly."]]>
4/18/2020 2:23:01 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ittihad star Ismail Ahmed takes 50 percent pay cut]]>
The basketball competitions in Egypt were suspended like all the sports competitions worldwide due to the spread of coronavirus.

Ismail is one of basketball ball legends in Alexandria and nationwide as he has a tremendous career as a basketball player.

Ismail started his career with his childhood club, Al Ittihad, in mid-90s and caught the eye in his breakthrough to become one of the most promising talents in Africa.

After four years in Alexandria, he decided to move to Lebanon where he played for different clubs but he is most remembered for his spell with Al Riyadi.

Ismail returned to Al Ittihad in January 2020, which was a huge boost for Al Ittihad and their fans as they aim to win the Egyptian league for the first time since 2010.

Al Ittihad secured their spot at the league final as they won the first three games in a five elimination at the semi-finals and they await the winner of Al Ahly clash against Al Jazira.]]>
4/18/2020 2:19:41 PM
<![CDATA[Mourinho was close to coach Liverpool in 2004 ]]>
The new book details how close the Portuguese manager was from coaching Liverpool after reaching an agreement with then Liverpool's Chief Executive, Rick Barry.

'Mourinho should have gone to Liverpool. Rick Parry was in charge of transfers and we had an agreement.' Jorge Baidek, Mourinho's former adviser, recalled.

At the time, Liverpool were preparing for Gerrard Houllier's post era and they saw Mourinho as a perfect replacement for the French manager.

Baidek added 'They asked us to wait for 15 days as Houllier was still the Reds’ manager."

Mourinho's agent, Jorge Mendez, was behind the manager's decision to reject the deal as he got him another offer from Chelsea, where Roman Abramovic was ready to rebuild the club.]]>
4/17/2020 5:20:20 PM
<![CDATA[Redknapp expects Kane to stay at Tottenham]]>
"Unless Mourinho?and chairman?Daniel Levy?decide to cash in if it's a crazy offer and rebuild the team with that money, unless Jose says, 'I've got three players here we can sign and build a better team with', then I'm sure he'll stay at?Tottenham," Redknapp said.

However, Redknapp believes that the player could move to Spain to join one of the nation's giants Barcelona or Real Madrid.

He added, "Whether?Real Madrid?or?Barcelona?came in, he might fancy a move like that one day."

Since his debut with Spurs in 2011, the striker established himself as one of the most prolific goalscorers in the world and he has been linked with a move to the biggest clubs in Europe.

Redknapp commented on Manchester United's interest in signing Kane, saying" He would be a great fit for?Manchester United, he'd be a great fit for any team but?Manchester United?at the moment are not better than?Tottenham."]]>
4/17/2020 1:22:20 PM
<![CDATA[Carteron denies Esperance’s interest]]>
Carteron told sports website Yallakora in an interview that the recent circulations that appeared lately aren’t true.

Moreover, Carteron added that he is currently focused on coaching Zamalek and that he didn’t hold any talks with the representatives of Esperance, according to Yallakora.

It is important to note that Carteron’s contract with Zamalek ends on June 30th, and it has been reported that the club still didn’t hold any renewal talks with the manager.

The 49-year-old [Carteron] managed to win with Zamalek the CAF Super Cup after defeating Esperance, reigning CAF Champions League champions, 3-1.

Additionally, Carteron led Zamalek in knocking out Esperance after defeating them on aggregate 3-2 in this year's CAF Champions League quarter-finals.

The Frenchman [Carteron] is considered to be one of Africa’s elite managers especially having won the CAF Champions League while coaching Mazembe along with winning the CAF Super Cup twice with Raja Casablanca and Zamalek.]]>
4/17/2020 1:19:20 PM
<![CDATA[Hossam Hassan is one of the best strikers I have coached, Zobel]]>
"Hossam is one of the best strikers I have coached. He reminded me of Bayern Munich players," Zobel said.

The German manager was Al Ahly's coach when football fans in Egypt were shocked when Hossam and his twin brother Ibrahim decided to join arch-rivals Zamalek.

Reports always linked Zobel with pushing the two captains out of the club, which the manager denied on Wednesday.

"I was sad when Hossam left to Turkey, I wanted him to stay but he wanted to leave for a better Financial offer." Zobel added.

Hossam and his brother spent four seasons with Zamalek and led them to win two league titles as well as winning 2002 CAF Champions League title.]]>
4/16/2020 3:50:24 PM
<![CDATA[Keno prefers to join Al Ahly over Zamalek ]]>
"I did not have offers from Al Ahly and Zamalek but if they want to sign me they have to approach Pyramids," Keno told ONTime Sports on Wednesday.

Keno became the most expensive player in the Egyptian league history when he joined Pyramids in 2018 from Palmeiras for $10 million.

Keno took the Egyptian league by storm in his debut season and led the club to finish third at the league, which is their best result ever.

Keno continued "I left Brazil because I wanted to enjoy a different experience. The Egyptian league is very competitive."

The Brazilian winger left Pyramids in 2019 summer to join Emirati club, Al Jazira, on a one-year loan.]]>
4/16/2020 12:57:43 PM
<![CDATA[It is a very difficult situation for everyone, Setién]]>
"I'd like to play and become a champion by playing but the reality is that the situation is as it is and the season has been cut off," Setién told TV3.

The Spanish League was suspended on 12 March and Barcelona were leading the league table with two points ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid and reports revealed that Barcelona will be the league champions if season canceled due to having a two-point advantage.

The Spaniard added "I don't know if that would be enough to grant a title or not. I am not going to feel like a champion, even if we have two more points than when I arrived."

Setién succeeded Ernesto Valverde as the club manager and since then he led the club to top the table of the domestic league and they are still in the race for UEFA Champions League title.]]>
4/16/2020 12:55:02 PM
<![CDATA[Hassan: Coaching Al Ahly is a dream which I won’t pursue ]]>
In his interview with ON Time Sports TV channel, Hassan talked about the possibility of coaching his boyhood club Al Ahly.

“I wish to coach Al Ahly one day; however, I won’t pursue any way to do so. Some people say that I contact people in order to increase my chances in coaching the team, but that’s not true and I won’t do so,” Hassan said.

Moreover, Smouha’s former manager [Hassan] questioned the criteria in which the managers of Al Ahly and the Egyptian national team are chosen.

“I managed to achieve great results in difficult times while managing Al Masry, Jordan, Zamalek, and other clubs who don’t have the same resources as Al Ahly and Zamalek. Does that qualify me or not,” Hassan asked.

The 53-year-old manager concluded his talk about that matter by questioning whether or not he is on the same level of the candidates who are presented to coach Al Ahly.

Throughout his managerial career with Al Masry, Zamalek, Jordan and the rest of the teams he coached, Hassan achieved 142 victories in the 325 matches he managed. While having lost 75 games with the draw taking place on 108 occasions.

Hassan is also considered to be one of the talented forwards that Egypt witnessed throughout the nation’s footballing history having won three African Cup of Nations with the national team.

Lastly, Egyptian former goalscorer [Hassan] had a club career that was full of success having won 13 league titles, 5 Egyptian cups, 2 CAF Champions League trophies, as well as other trophies while playing in both Egyptian giants [Al Ahly] and [Zamalek].]]>
4/15/2020 10:57:20 AM
<![CDATA[Carragher names his best opposition lineup ]]>
The 42-year-old [Carragher] expressed how fortunate he was to play against the world’s best players during his time at Liverpool, according to Sky Sports.

As a result, Carragher chose a 4-3-3 formation in his interview with Sky Sports to include all the following players in his best opposition lineup that he ever faced:

“Goalkeeper: Gianluggi Buffon

Defenders:Morcas Morais [Cafu], Marcel Desailly, John Terry, Paolo Maldini

Midfielders: Roy Keane, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta

Strikers: Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo

Additionally, Carragher revealed that Arsenal’s invincibles team is considered to him to be the toughest overall team that he ever faced in his career.

“The problem with that Arsenal team was that when you got in the tunnel with them, everyone was six foot two and had shoulders out here. You look at the physical battle and you couldn't knock them out of their stride,” Carragher told Sky Sports.

Carragher is considered to be one of the talented defenders of his time. In his career with Liverpool he managed to win the Champions League, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup along with several other trophies.

Lastly, England’s legendary defender managed to represent England in the 2006 World Cup having a total of 38 appearances with England’s national team.]]>
4/15/2020 10:54:43 AM
<![CDATA[AFC extends postponement of competitions due to coronavirus]]>
The Asian Champions League, Asia’s elite club competition, has been severely affected with its schedule of the group phase thrown into disarray since the tournament began in February.

The second-tier AFC Cup was also suspended last month due to the novel coronavirus that has infected over 1.88 million people globally and caused more than 119,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

"Following the continued preventive measures and travel restrictions put in place by several governments, the AFC has decided to postpone all matches and competitions scheduled to take place in May and June until further notice," the AFC said in a statement here

“The AFC has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and had earlier postponed its matches in March and April after holding a series of emergency meetings in New Delhi, Doha, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

“The AFC will also continue to engage and consult with the participating member associations in the AFC club competitions and will explore all possible options to complete the 2020 AFC Champions League and AFC Cup group stages.”

World soccer governing body FIFA and the AFC had previously agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June.]]>
4/15/2020 8:53:00 AM
<![CDATA[Neuer extension talks stall at Bayern Munich - reports]]>
The goalkeeper's current deal expires in June 2021 and Neuer, 34, is said to be angry that details of the renegotiations have been leaked to the German press, according to Kicker.

Germany's top-selling daily Bild claims that Neuer's agent Thomas Kroth has asked Bayern for a salary for his client of 20 million euros ($22 million) per season.

If the talks fail, club captain Neuer could be free to leave Bayern in June and attract the interest of the Premier League clubs.

Kicker's chief reporter Karlheinz Wild says the "willingness to resume negotiations" is weak on both sides between Bayern and Neuer.

"It could still take weeks, even months, before a final decision is taken. Positions have so far become too hardened."

According to Bild, Neuer reportedly wants a contract extension until 2025, but Bayern are only prepared to offer a deal until 2023 - when he will be 37 years old - with the option of an extra year.

The leaking of the details of Neuer's demands has "seriously shaken" the trust between the player and his club, according to Kicker.

Neuer, who helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup title, has been named world goalkeeper of the year four times.

He has kept 191 clean sheets in 373 appearances for Bayern since joining from Schalke in 2011 and made 92 appearances for Germany.

However, he is reportedly irritated by Bayern signing Germany Under-21 goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel for next season from Schalke with a promise of at least 10 appearances per season.

Nuebel, 23, has made it clear he wants to eventually become Bayern's first-choice goalkeeper, but Neuer will not give up the shirt. "I'm not an extra, I'm an actor, I still want to play," he has insisted.

With Bundesliga matches currently suspended due to the coronavirus, Bayern have recently extend the contracts of forward Thomas Mueller and head coach Hansi Flick, both until 2023.]]>
4/15/2020 7:55:00 AM
<![CDATA['They miss me', Pogba puzzled by critics like Souness]]>
The 27-year-old has been restricted to just eight appearances this season due to a persistent ankle injury.

Former Liverpool captain and manager Graeme Souness has been one of the most outspoken critics of Pogba since he returned to United from Juventus for a then world record £89 million ($112 million) fee in 2016.

However, Pogba claimed he did not even know who Souness was.

"I didn't even know who he was, really," Pogba told the official Manchester United podcast. "I heard he was a great player and stuff like that. I know the face but (not) the name.

"Like I said I'm not someone that watches a lot of (punditry), I watch a lot of football but I don't stay after the game to listen to what they say about why they did this, or why they did that. I like to focus on football."

Souness - who won three European Cups, and five league titles as a player at Liverpool - responded to Pogba on Tuesday morning.

"I'm happy with that. The oldest saying in football comes to mind: 'Put your medals on the table'. I've got a big table," the former Scottish international told Sky Sports.

Pogba's return to Old Trafford has failed to match the expectations of his price tag despite winning the Europa League and League Cup in his first season under Jose Mourinho.

A bitter fall out with Mourinho followed in the next two seasons before the Portuguese was sacked in December 2018.

And after a brief hot streak when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge, Pogba's time under the Norwegian has been beset by a lack of form and fitness.

However, the French World Cup winner still believes the criticism he has received, particularly in his absence this season, is unjustified.

"It's good to hear good stuff instead of bad stuff but when you play football, you know yourself. It's what your manager and team-mates want, the rest is just talk," added Pogba.

"I guess they (the critics) miss me, I don't know? I'm not someone that looks always at Sky Sports News.

"When you know football, you don't need someone to tell you what's happening.

"One day maybe I will meet them and ask them because I really want to know, why?"]]>
4/15/2020 6:58:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ashour has two offers from UAE: Sayed Marey]]>
Al Ahly informed their team captain Ashour earlier in March that he is not in the Rene Weiler’s, Al Ahly’s manager, plans and offered him a position at the club's official channel.

"I have already brought two Emirati offers for Hossam Ashour," Marey said on ON Time Sports 2.

He added: "If Ashour wanted to join Zamalek, and Zamalek wanted to include him in return, then why not take the step?"

However, the 34-year-old midfielder told Egyptian Giants [Al Ahly] that he wishes to continue his professional career as a footballer.

Al Ahly’s number 25 [Ashour] won the following titles: 12 Egyptian Leagues, 8 Egyptian Super Cups, 5 CAF Champion Leagues and 5 CAF Super Cups along with other trophies during his 15 years at the club.

Al Ahly announced that this season will be the last for also Ahmed Fathi and Sherif Ekrami. Fathi joined Pyramids FC and Ekrami is in the process of joining another club which will be announced later.]]>
4/14/2020 11:23:33 AM
<![CDATA[Top Italian doctor against May restart for Serie A]]>
Football across the country, which has recorded more than 20,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, has been postponed since March 9 due to the outbreak.

According to local reports the league could begin again at the end of next month, with players returning to training on May 4.

"If I had to give a technical view, sincerely it would not be a favourable one. That being said, it will be of course for the politicians to decide," said Giovanni Rezza, the head of infectious diseases at Italy's National Institute of Health.

"I've heard certain people propose more strict observations with players tested every few days. But sincerely it seems to me a slightly far-fetched theory. And we're almost in May already.

"It's obvious that politics will decide. But it's a sport that involves contact and that contact could imply a certain risk of transmission."

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the medical protocols surrounding players training again, with lockdown measures in the country extended to May 3.

"We'll start, I hope, at the start of May with tests to make sure the players are negative and that training can start," the FIGC's president Gabriele Gravina told Sky Sport on Monday.

Rezza's comments have already caused strong reaction in Italy, with Torino president Urbano Cairo saying it is "senseless" to think about restarting the league before the end of May.

However Lazio, who are a point behind Serie A leaders Juventus and have made no secret of their desire to finish the season, blasted Rezza, a fan of city rivals Roma who joked he would be happy to see the campaign cancelled.

"It would be much more useful if instead of worrying about this (Lazio winning the league) they found a way to take on this virus," said Lazio spokesman Arturo Diaconale.

"It also really would be desirable that instead of stoking needless footballing arguments, he dedicated all his energy to researching a cure or a vaccine that can stop the contagion."]]>
4/14/2020 11:09:37 AM
<![CDATA[Fellaini out of Chinese hospital after coronavirus scare]]>
The 32-year-old Shandong Luneng midfielder, the only player known to have contracted the disease in the Chinese Super League (CSL), will now spend 14 days in quarantine for further observation.

The Belgium international said on March 22 that he had tested positive for the virus, having just returned to China, but assured fans that he was feeling fine.

While in hospital in the city of Jinan, Fellaini posted videos of himself on Instagram exercising in his room.

"Fellaini was assessed and was deemed to have recovered, and was discharged today," Shandong said in a brief statement.

China, where the outbreak emerged in December, says that it has curbed the illness at home but is now worried about a second wave of infections from overseas.

Fellaini's positive test dealt a blow to the CSL's hopes of starting the season any time soon, after its February 22 start date was indefinitely postponed.

Fellaini, also formerly of Everton, joined Shandong from Manchester United in February last year for a reported 7.2 million euros.

He enjoyed a productive first season in China, scoring 12 goals in 34 matches and providing five assists.]]>
4/14/2020 11:08:18 AM
<![CDATA[I wish the Egyptian league ends at its scheduled time: El Ganayni]]>
"I hope the Egyptian League competition will be completed till its end, and my hope is that this will happen," Al-Ganayni said in an interview with On Time Sports TV channel.

"I have put all the inputs in front of the committee to fully study the situation, when will this season end, when will the next season start and how long will it take to complete the competition," he added.

"And also the preparation period for the new season, and our goal is to complete the league competition."
Egyptian Football Association (EFA) board member, Gamal Mohamed Ali, that the EFA aims to resume the domestic football competitions and they are not considering cancelling the season.

"We need three months to finish the top division and two months to finish the lower divisions." Gamal told ONTime Sports on Wednesday.

Football-related activities, including fixtures of all Egyptian league divisions and age groups, are suspended since 14 March amid the spread of coronavirus.

Gamal added "Postponing International football and African competitions will help us to finish the season. Our last option is to cancel the season."

CAF postponed 2021 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers while postponing African club competitions is a matter of time.

Football competitions worldwide have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic as countries around the world try to contain the spread of coronavirus.

"But in the end, we are working inside a country that has its own decisions, so we are waiting for the crisis that the world suffers from, because of the spread of the coronavirus, to pass through." he said.

4/13/2020 11:57:22 AM
<![CDATA[Ex-Chelsea star Drogba offers hospital in virus fight]]>
Drogba, who scored 65 goals in 105 appearances for his country and won the Champions League with the English club during his playing career, has proposed the use of the Laurent Pokou hospital in Abidjan.

"We thank Drogba for this gift considered as an act of patriotism," the head of the city's regional council Vincent Toh Bi said.

The centre located in the Attecoube district is not yet in a working state but can be used in a period of crisis.

"It's up to the state to validate it and make it functional," the director of Drogba' foundation, who run the unit, Mariam Breka said.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak four people have died and 533 cases have been registered in Ivory Coast.]]>
4/13/2020 11:39:37 AM
<![CDATA[Del Piero: Dybala must set himself no limits]]>
The Italian world cup winner [Del Piero] told Gazzetta dello Sport in his interview that he believes that someone like Dybala has the ability to achieve major things in the future.

“Someone with his capabilities, his talent and I’ll add his mentality, must do even more. Paulo must set himself no limits and conquer the future,” Del Piero said, according to Goal.

Additionally, Juve’s legend [Del Piero] addressed how difficult it is as a footballer to play in a team like Juventus.

“Nobody gives you anything for free, especially not at Juve, and I say that from experience. You have to prove everything to the very last game, let alone before the peak of your career,” Del Piero said, as reported from Goal.

Ever since joining the Italian Giants in 2015, Dybala managed to score 90 goals while making 214 appearances with the club.

Lastly, Argentina’s international striker played a major role in the club’s last four consecutive league titles.]]>
4/13/2020 11:35:29 AM
<![CDATA[Sir Dalglish released from hospital ]]>
Sir Dalglish was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday in order to receive treatment after being tested positive for the disease.

The 69-years-old legend informed Liverpool fans that he is currently recovering from the disease in an official statement that was released by the club’s website.

The statement read as follows: "Thank you for all of your well wishes over the last few days.

“?I’m delighted to be back home with the family after receiving brilliant care from the NHS, which we appreciate now more than ever. Marina and I would like to express our immense gratitude to the medical staff who cared for me and who continue to treat countless others throughout the country during an incredibly challenging period.

“?I know the sun is shining for many of you, but I urge you to stay home and follow the government guidelines to the letter. This is undoubtedly the best way that we can look after one another at this time.

“We will now be in full lockdown for the recommended amount of time in order to protect the lives of others,” said Dalglish as reported from Liverpool’s official website.

During his career at the club, the Scottish Legend [Dalglish] won six league titles and the European Cups leading him to become one of Liverpool’s iconic players ever.

Following his retirement, Dalglish became Liverpool’s manager in 1985 until 1991 where he was able to win the Football League title three times and the FA Cup twice as well as several other cups.]]>
4/13/2020 11:30:12 AM
<![CDATA[Fathy joins Pyramids]]>
"Fathy signed the contract six days ago. We did not have any doubt to sign one of the best players in Egypt but the process needs some time to finish the deal." Football Contracts Director, Amr Bassiony, told ONTime Sports on Saturday.

Fathy represented Al Ahly since 2008 but he and the club failed to reach an agreement over contract extension.

It has been reported that the 35-year-old right-back [Fathy] rejected Al Ahly's offer after receiving a stronger offer financially from Pyramids FC.

As a result, Al Ahly released an official statement wishing Fathy all the best of luck in his future career.

Fathy has a wonderful career since he was promoted to Ismaily's first team in 2001 and took part in their glorious run to win the title in 2002.

Fathy joined Al Ahly in 2008 and he played a massive role in the team's successes during his time at the club.]]>
4/12/2020 2:38:22 PM
<![CDATA[Beating virus would be 'real' victory, says PSG's Sarabia]]>
France's Ligue 1 was suspended on March 13, with PSG sitting 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of the table, while having also reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.

But Spanish international Sarabia says public health has to come first ahead of getting back onto the pitch.

"No, I'm not afraid about that (the season not restarting), it's not the thing I am worrying about," he told AFP.

"I am thinking about my family first and foremost and then about getting this sorted. This is a critical situation.

"Who knows right now whether the league will restart or not -- it is hypothetical and we all need to focus on the pandemic. Coming through this would be the real victory of the season."

Football players have come under pressure to take salary cuts, with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich stars all among those to accept a reduction in pay.

And Sarabia says that the French clubs are also planning to take similar measures.

"All that is in our hands, if we can help, donate something, do what is in our hands, (we will)," he said.

"We are talking about it and our captains are in discussions and all we can do to help PSG and the country in general, we will try to do that."

- Euro hopes on ice -

Sarabia, 27, joined the French champions from La Liga outfit Sevilla last year and has impressed in Paris, scoring 14 goals in all competitions so far this season.

He is hoping to use his unexpected free time to improve his French, having signed a five-year contract with PSG.

"I like to talk and if I don't understand the language and can't communicate that frustrates me a bit," said Sarabia.

"I'm trying to make the most of these days to study and come out with a better level of French."

PSG's main aim since the takeover by a Qatari investment group in 2011 has been to lift the Champions League trophy, but the capital club have still not reached the semi-finals since 1995.

A last-16 victory over Borussia Dortmund last month, though, having trailed after the first leg, raised hopes that PSG could finally make a serious tilt at European football's greatest prize.

"It was a difficult time when we lost in Dortmund but everything that has happened has shown how united we all are as a team," said Sarabia.

"I could see in the eyes of my teammates that we were going to get through, you could feel it.

"(But) there is still a long way to go before the final, and as I said before I don't think we should be thinking about that just now."]]>
4/12/2020 9:21:00 AM
<![CDATA[Man Utd's Maguire offers food packages to elderly]]>
Maguire and his father approached Herrings Top Shop in Mosborough, his hometown near Sheffield in the north of England, about the idea of giving the parcels to those aged 70 and over or their carers in the area.

"I am very proud of my Mosborough roots - it's where I grew up and where my family still live. I come back to visit everyone as much as I can," Maguire said on Friday.

"There's always been a real sense of community in the area which is more important than ever at the moment. In times like these you think a lot about your loved ones and those that are more elderly.

"My family and I hope that this provides a small comfort to people who might be struggling."

England defender Maguire has been at the forefront of football's bid to help with the pandemic.

He coordinated United's response to the PlayersTogether initiative, with Premier League stars joining forces to help generate funds for NHS charities during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Premier League is suspended for the foreseeable future, but the 27-year-old remains in contact with his United team-mates and is adhering to a regime his club have sent him.

"Like everyone, I'm keeping to the government advice and trying to make the best of the situation," Maguire said.

"My daughter is too young to understand what's going on right now, but she'll read about these times in the years to come.

"I'm also keeping active and following the training programme that United have given me within the confines of my back garden!

"It's not quite Old Trafford but I still take pride in keeping the grass in good nick. I also keep in touch with all my team-mates and have found that contact to be really important, as well as family of course."]]>
4/12/2020 7:23:00 AM
<![CDATA[Olympic team coaching staff to help 600 families affected by coronavirus]]>
"I hope coronavirus pandemic to end and to get back to our normal life. I wish the best for Egypt and the whole world." Gharib told ONTime Sports on Friday.

Gharib led the national team to win the U_23 Africa Cup of Nations title and secure a spot at Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games was postponed to 2021 amid the spread of coronavirus, which is good news for the team, according to Gharib.

"It is good news for us as we will be able to add the injured players to the final squad," Gharib said.

FIFA decided to extend the age limit of participation at the Olympics from 23 to 24 following the postponement of Tokyo Olympic Games.

The football men's tournament at Olympic Games is typically restricted to under-23 players with three overaged players.

FIFA's decision allows players born after January 1997 to take part in Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.]]>
4/11/2020 12:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Bradley reveals his team talk after 6_1 loss to Ghana]]>
Bradley led the national team to the final stage of 2014 World Cup Qualifiers but Egypt suffered a humiliating 6_1 loss to Ghana in Kumasi and won the first leg 2_1 and failed to reach the World Cup.

Bradley described this loss as the toughest moment of his career, saying "We had won the six games in our group. That was the only game we lost in qualifying."

Egypt reached the final stage of the qualifications after finishing on top of the group with 18 points from six straight victories over Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

Bradley added, "The amount of pressure that was on the Egyptian players, everything on them on that day, they weren’t themselves."

Egyptian fans at home were shocked after the loss as they put much hope on the players to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Bradley continued"?I told the players how proud I was of them. I told them that I knew how much they loved their country and that they weren’t themselves that day.]]>
4/11/2020 10:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Martinez's agent flirts with Barcelona]]>
"Who wouldn't like to play with Messi? Talking about games that they played in the national team, he said it was a dream, imagine it, to play so young for Argentina and with?Messi." Yaque said to Spanish Radio.

Martinez is one of the promising talents in the world and a fierce race to sign the player is expected in the summer.

Yaque added, "If we asked him where he'd want to play, he wouldn't tell us anything, he wouldn't lose his head about big clubs wanting him but there's nothing official today."

Martinez joined Inter Milan in 2018 from Racing Club and since then he proved his worth for his club and the national team.]]>
4/11/2020 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dalglish tests positive for coronavirus]]>
"Prior to his admission to hospital, Sir Kenny had chosen to voluntarily self-isolate for longer than the advised period together with his family. He would urge everyone to follow the relevant government and expert guidance in the days and weeks ahead." The club statement said.

Dalglish is one of the members of Liverpool's golden team during 80s and 90s.

The Scottish legend won six league titles with the Reds as well as three European Cup titles.

Dalglish became?player-manager?of Liverpool in 1985 and he stayed in his position until 1991.

Liverpool statement added, "He would like to take this opportunity to thank the brilliant NHS staff, whose dedication, bravery and sacrifice should be the focus of the nation’s attention at this extraordinary time."]]>
4/11/2020 7:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[José reveals his best moment as Al Ahly manager ]]>
"My best memory with Al Ahly when we defeated Zamalek 4_3 at Egyptian Cup Final." José told ONTime Sports on Thursday.

Zamalek opened the score by Amr Zaki's header but Al Ahly equalised quickly through Emad Moteb.

Zamalek regained the lead by an amazing shot from Shikabala but Mohamed Abo Trike scored the equaliser two minutes before the final whistle to send the game to extra time.

Gamal Hamza added the third goal for Zamalek at the first half while Osama Hosny scored two goals at the second half to secure Al Ahly victory.

"I congratulated my team after the game and went to Zamalek dressing room and congratulated Zamalek players for their performance." José said.

José is considered by many as the best manager in Al Ahly's history as he led the team to win four CAF Champions League titles as well as dominating the domestic competitions between 2004 and 2010.]]>
4/10/2020 1:25:51 PM
<![CDATA[Arteta discusses Arsenal’s latest preparations]]>
In his interview with Sky Sports on Thursday, the Spanish manager [Arteta] talked about how he is being in connection with the whole squad.

"We cannot touch each other at the moment, but we're having group and individual talks. It's so important that we keep connected so they can see there's a relation between what we're doing now and when we restart training,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

As for his current preparations for the upcoming transfer window, Arteta revealed that he has two or three different scenarios in mind. However, there are external factors in which he can’t control.

"We have to react daily. We don't know what the financial situation is going to be, we don't know the rules, the timing, the window. There are so many things we cannot control at the moment," Arteta added to Sky Sports.

The 38-year-old manager [Arteta] led Arsenal in 15 games ever since his appointment in December 2019 managing to win in eight games, draw in five and lose in two.]]>
4/10/2020 11:38:16 AM
<![CDATA[Badji: Sobhi is a great player ]]>
Speaking to Al Ahly’s official channel on Thursday, the 22-year-old Senegalese striker addressed the confrontation he had with Sobhi saying that it’s something natural on the pitch.

“It’s possible that sometimes players get angry over each other in training. That’s part of football. However, I talked with Sobhi and everything is over,” Badji said, as reported from Yallakora.

Additionally, Badji talked about Sobhi’s dedication and professionalism during the training sessions and how he always wanted to participate despite his injury.

“Sobhi is a friend and a brother to me. I don’t hold anything against him. He has all my respect as he is a great player and understands what happens on the field,” Badji added, according to Yallakora.

Following Al Ahly’s manager [Rene Weiler] recommendation Badji joined the club in the last transfer window arriving from Austrian club Rapid Vienna.

Throughout his whole career, the Senegalese youngster played a total of 112 games where he scored 37 goals and made 12 assists.]]>
4/10/2020 11:34:23 AM
<![CDATA[Former Fox executives plead not guilty in FIFA soccer corruption probe]]>
The former Fox executives, Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez, and Full Play Group SA entered their pleas to crimes including wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy at an arraignment before U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn.

U.S. prosecutors said the defendants and co-conspirators bribed soccer officials to secure media and marketing rights to various soccer tournaments, using shell companies and sham consulting contracts to hide the scheme.

The charges were detailed on Monday in an amended indictment in which prosecutors for the first time said representatives for Russia and Qatar separately bribed FIFA officials to secure hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Bond was set at $15 million for Lopez and Martinez, who will also face nightly curfews.

While prosecutors called Lopez a substantial flight risk, with strong ties to Argentina, they did not demand he be jailed.

“It doesn’t appear realistic that anyone’s going anywhere,” Chen said during the arraignment, which was conducted by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The charges, including over the World Cups, are part of a sprawling FIFA corruption probe unveiled in May 2015.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after the indictment became public that Russia won its 2018 hosting rights “completely legally. It is in no way linked to any bribes.”

Organizers of the 2022 World Cup denied the new allegations, saying there was no evidence Qatar won the tournament unethically or by flouting FIFA bidding rules.

Prosecutors accused Lopez and Martinez of scheming to bribe officials at South America’s soccer federation CONMEBOL to win rights for that continent’s top club tournament, Copa Libertadores.

They were also accused of using bribes to help Fox obtain inside information about bidding for U.S. broadcast rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Fox paid $400 million for the English-language rights to both tournaments in 2011.

Walt Disney Co bought most of 21st Century Fox in 2019. Disney is not a defendant.

Prosecutors said Full Play, which is based in Buenos Aires but incorporated in Uruguay, targeted officials at CONMEBOL and North American federation CONCACAF to win rights for events including Copa Libertadores and World Cup qualifying matches.

More than 40 defendants have been criminally charged in the probe, and at least 30 have pleaded guilty.

Two defendants, former Brazilian soccer chief Jose Maria Marin and former CONMEBOL head Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, were convicted at trial in 2017.]]>
4/10/2020 8:01:17 AM
<![CDATA[Neymar is Messi's natural replacement, Mazinho]]>
"Barcelona would be delighted if he can return tomorrow. He is?Messi's natural replacement and there is no other to replace?Messi." Mazinho?told Radio MARCA.

Neymar left Barcelona in 2017 to join PSG in France but the Brazilian player failed to adapt in France and he aims to return to play in Spain.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have been linked with signing the Brazilian star, who enjoys a strong friendship with Messi.

Mazinho commented on Bayern Munich's decision to resume training after taking precautionary measures to protect the players.

"If Bayern?do it, they do it because there is no risk and they are providing security to all their footballers." Mazinho said.

Mazinho's son, Thiago, is playing for the German giants since 2013 when he joined them from Barcelona.]]>
4/9/2020 1:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[The reason why Ferdinand rejected Barcelona's offer in 2008 ]]>
"It came close. There were discussions with my agent, Barca had touched base. I'd spoken to Riijkard, not about going there but he made his feelings known." Ferdinand said.

Ferdinand joined Manchester United in 2002 from Leeds United and stayed with the club till 2014 when he left to join QPR for one season before retirement.

Ferdinand added "It was actually after the game in Barcelona where we drew 0-0, in the tunnel after the game I spoke to him."

Manchester United met Barcelona in 2008 UEFA Champions League semi-finals. The first leg in Barcelona ended with a goalless draw while the second leg in Manchester ended with a 1_0 win for the hosts who won the title at the end after defeating Chelsea at the final.

Ferdinand continued "I was lucky and fortunate to find a great club in Manchester United where it was going to be almost impossible for me to leave."

Ferdinand was among Man United squad who lost UEFA Champions League final in 2009 and 2011 to Barcelona.]]>
4/9/2020 12:18:16 PM
<![CDATA[EFA not giving up on current season]]>
"We need three months to finish the top division and two months to finish the lower divisions." Gamal told ONTime Sports on Wednesday.

Football-related activities, including fixtures of all Egyptian league divisions and age groups, are suspended since 14 March amid the spread of coronavirus.

Gamal added "Postponing International football and African competitions will help us to finish the season. Our last option is to cancel the season."

CAF postponed 2021 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers while postponing African club competitions is a matter of time.

Football competitions worldwide have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic as countries around the world try to contain the spread of coronavirus.]]>
4/9/2020 12:13:45 PM
<![CDATA[Tottenham issue warning after Mourinho and players seen training]]>
Portuguese boss Mourinho was pictured training with Tanguy Ndombele on Hadley Common, while Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were seen running side by side in the same public park in north London.

Spurs full-back Serge Aurier also posted a video of himself jogging alongside another person on Instagram.

The Premier League has been suspended since mid-March due to the spread of COVID-19.

The outbreak has seen the British government introduce a strict series of measures which, while they allow individuals to go out for a walk or exercise once a day, state they must remain at least two metres apart unless they are with a member of the same household.

"All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors," said a Tottenham spokesperson on Tuesday.

"We shall continue to reinforce this message."

Tottenham had already been criticised during the outbreak for applying to the British government's furlough financial assistance programme for company wage bills last week on the same day it was revealed Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was paid £7 million ($8.7 million) last season.

Although Levy is among the Spurs staff members taking a 20 percent pay cut, the north London club have come under pressure to follow European champions and Premier League leaders Liverpool in reversing their decision to use public money to pay employees.]]>
4/8/2020 8:45:30 AM
<![CDATA[Paraguay court releases Ronaldinho into house arrest in Asuncion hotel]]>
Judge Gustavo Amarilla told reporters that he had ordered the "continuation of house arrest in a hotel for Ronaldinho and his brother."

The pair were jailed one month ago to await trial, but their lawyers have posted bail of $1.6 million.

Ronaldinho, considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, was a star of Brazil's 2002 World Cup win and played for European giants Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, among others.

The ruling means the brothers can swap their grim police cell block -- which has also housed Paraguay's former soccer federation chief and the ex-speaker of the lower house of parliament -- for a plush colonial-style hotel in downtown Asuncion.

The brochure of the refurbished 107-room Palmaroga Hotel, located in the capital's historic center, describes it as offering "a seamless blend of early 1900s Renaissance grace and modern comfort as well as luxury."

"I have the assurance of the hotel managers that they, at their own expense, can observe house arrest there," Amarilla told a news conference.

Paraguay's appeals court last month rejected a request to release the pair, meaning the two-time world player of the year spent his 40th birthday behind bars.

With Paraguay's capital on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the judge communicated his ruling in a cellphone call to the brothers, with prosecutors and defense lawyers -- and TV cameras -- present. The judge and many others wore face masks as a precaution against the virus.

A beaming Ronaldinho, in a black T-shirt and matching headband, gave a thumbs up sign to show he understood the terms of his release.

- 'Fake passports' -

He and his brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira -- who is also his business manager -- initially encountered no problems after arriving in Asuncion from neighboring Brazil on March 4.

However, shortly after their arrival, the brothers were taken into police custody when investigators raided their hotel following discovery that their passports were fake.

Ronaldinho, given a rock star's welcome to Asuncion by around 2,000 children and teenagers, said the passports had been given to him by sponsors of a charity working with disadvantaged children.

Fourteen other people have been charged in the case, which has expanded into an investigation into possible money laundering.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the Paraguayan businesswoman in charge of the charity foundation that invited Ronaldinho.

He proved a popular inmate of the police headquarters jail where he was held, donating a trophy to the winning team in a recent prisoners' futsal tournament.]]>
4/8/2020 8:43:43 AM
<![CDATA[Shaw: Ibrahimovic is a born winner ]]>
The 24-year-old left back [Shaw] spoke about his memories with the Swedish striker [Ibrahimovic] during the Combat Corona FIFA Twitch tournament.

"I think he was a born winner. Even in little training games, if he didn’t win and you were on his team he would absolutely kill you,” Shaw recalled, as reported from Goal.

Sweden's 38-year-old former International striker scored 29 goals during his time at United guiding his former team in winning the Europa League and the League Cup.

The England international [Shaw] also spoke about Ibrahimovic’s impact on the team inside the dressing room during his time at United.

“I think inside the dressing room he was great. He had a lot of jokes but I think when it got serious, and when he had to sort of put his foot down, you knew about it,” Shaw added, according to Goal.

Overall, Ibrahimovic scored 460 goals in a total of 751 games which he played with several clubs like: Malmo FF, Ajax Amsterdam, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus FC, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Los Angeles Galaxy.]]>
4/8/2020 8:41:28 AM
<![CDATA[UEFA president Ceferin: Liverpool should win the title]]>
The president of the UEFA [Union of European Football Associations] spoke to Slovenian sports newspaper Ekipa about his opinion in regards to awarding the Premier League title to Liverpool.

“I see no way for Liverpool to stay untitled. If the championship resumes, they will almost certainly win it - theoretically, it has not yet reached the guaranteed level, but it is practically close," Ceferin said, as reported from Sky Sports.

Additionally, the 52-year-old Slovenian addressed what he believes should happen if the season isn’t continued.

"However, if it could not be played, it would also be necessary to announce the results in some way and find some key on how the champions should be determined. And, of course, again I do not see a scenario in which that would not be Liverpool,” Ceferin added, according to Sky Sports.

Liverpool are currently top of the league with a 25 points gap from Manchester City who sit in second place with 8 games remaining in the competition.]]>
4/8/2020 8:39:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spurs star Son to start national service in South Korea]]>
Son returned to Asia recently after the Premier League was postponed because of the coronavirus and is in a two-week quarantine period.

With English football unlikely to return soon, the South Korea star will complete compulsory military service in his home country before returning to north London next month.

"The club can confirm that Son Heung-min will commence his mandatory military service in South Korea this month," a Tottenham statement said on Monday.

"Son will return to London following the conclusion of his military service in May."

Son hopes to start on April 20 and is reported to be serving in the Military Corps.

He is recovering after surgery in Seoul on the broken arm he suffered in Tottenham's win at Aston Villa in February.

The 27-year-old uploaded pictures and a video on Instagram last week, showing him skipping without a cast on his arm.

On his return to England after the operation, he was forced into two weeks of isolation and had only been back at the club's Hotspur Way training complex for a week or so before it was closed following the government's instructions to stay at home.

The enforced break has worked in Son's favour as he will almost certainly be fit when the action does restart, having originally expected to have missed the remainder of the season.

Son's national service should have been 21 months, but he earned an exemption in 2018 when he was part of the South Korea team that won the Asian Games, with Tottenham allowing him to leave midway through the 2018-19 campaign.]]>
4/7/2020 10:34:00 AM
<![CDATA[Bayern Munich resume training but hugs and challenges are banned]]>
Keeping at least 1.5 metres from each other, players including captain Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller trained together for the first time since the Bundesliga was halted on March 13.

"It was a very unusual feeling to hold a training session in small groups, but it was also nice to see the boys in person again," said Neuer after Bayern had previously held training sessions online.

After arriving at staggered times to limit contact -- with no greeting hugs or handshakes -- the 21-man squad was split into five groups, each containing a maximum of five players.

When they changed, the players were kept four metres apart in the changing rooms at the club's state-of-the-art training complex in southern Germany.

On the pitch, Bayern's stars were careful to keep their distance from each other and there were no challenges or tackles.

Once training was over, the players left to shower at home, where they ate food provided by the club in lunch boxes.

Bayern asked fans to stay away from the Saebener Strasse complex, where hundreds of supporters usually turn up to see their heroes.

Other clubs also cautiously resumed training Monday, after the league's ban on doing so until April 5 passed, amid hopes the league will resume in early May.

Bayern are four points clear in the Bundesliga table.

At the training ground of their closest rivals Borussia Dortmund, the players also did not shower or eat on site after a session that focused on running and shooting.

The only clubs in Germany's top flight not planning group training this week are Freiburg, whose players continue to work individually, and Werder Bremen, where the city's senate still prevents training in groups.

So far, more than 1,434 people have died in Germany from coronavirus.]]>
4/7/2020 7:24:00 AM
<![CDATA[Premier League clubs face backlash as FIFA urges action]]>
English top-flight clubs, among the wealthiest in the world, have come under intense scrutiny, with government ministers warning bosses and players they should "think carefully" over their next moves.

The highest-paid Premier League players such as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne command eye-watering salaries, reportedly nearing £20 million ($25 million, 23 million euros) a year.

Even the average salary for a Premier League footballer is more than £3 million a year, according to the 2019 Global Sports Salaries Survey.

European champions Liverpool, who recorded pre-tax profits of £42 million in February, announced their decision to furlough some non-playing staff on Saturday, becoming the fifth Premier League club to do so.

The controversial move comes with no sign of a deal between Premier League clubs and players' representatives on a pay cut.

Oliver Dowden, a culture and sports minister, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said people had a right to expect leadership from football.

"Clubs, players and owners should be thinking very carefully about their next steps," he said.

"Leaving the public purse to pick up the cost of furloughing low-paid workers, whilst players earn millions and billionaire owners go untouched is something I know the public will rightly take a very dim view of."

Former Liverpool stars Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore strongly criticised the move by the Premier League leaders.

Under the scheme, the British government pays 80 percent of wages. Liverpool said they would top up the remaining 20 percent.

Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly initially supported the move but later wrote to the club expressing concern at the negative reaction.

American-owned Liverpool's opponents in last year's Champions League final, Tottenham, owned by billionaire Joe Lewis, have also opted for the furlough option, along with Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth.

Manchester City, bankrolled by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour, said they would not be using the government's job retention scheme, with Manchester United reportedly set to follow their example.

- Pay-cut impasse -

FIFA on Monday urged clubs and players to reach agreement on taking wage reductions in order to protect clubs who are suffering financial damage, sources at world football's governing body said.

It also recommended that players' contracts be extended until the end of the interrupted football seasons and that the transfer window should not open until that time.

The call from FIFA comes as Premier League clubs are locked in talks with players and their representatives about taking pay cuts.

The English top-flight is lagging behind other European leagues. In Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players have agreed to pay cuts of 70 percent.

Many politicians have urged action from the Premier League and in a poll conducted by YouGov last week, 92 percent of respondents said they backed a pay cut.

But some leading players resent the political pressure. Former England captain Wayne Rooney has criticised the government and the Premier League for placing footballers in a "no-win" situation.

Rooney questioned the wisdom of the Premier League in preempting behind-the-scenes talks involving players with its own proposals for sweeping reductions.

"In my opinion it is now a no-win situation," he said in a newspaper column. "Whatever way you look at it, we're easy targets."

With no collective agreement in sight, the BBC said on Monday that Premier League players were set to start negotiations on a club-by-club basis over proposed wage cuts.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche said footballers deserved more credit for the work they do to help good causes -- efforts that, he said, are often little publicised.

"I have seen footballers do so many good things, so many things financially, so many things with time, care effort and attention," he told Talksport radio.

In the latest sign of the financial crisis as a result of the coronavirus, England manager Gareth Southgate and the Football Association's top earners have agreed to take wage cuts of up to 30 percent.]]>
4/7/2020 6:27:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt support third & fourth league division football players ]]>
The initiative came in these circumstances that the world is going through that requires confronting the Coronavirus with resolute measures, which caused the suspension of football activity and then stopped any financial entry for the players of the two divisions.

It is scheduled that the Egyptian Association will announce the establishment of a fund for this purpose in the coming hours, with the disclosure of the bank account number supporting it.

Hani Abu Rida, Member of the FIFA Council and CAF Executive Committee, Hany Abo Rida, called for the creation of a fund to support athletes, in times of crises and disasters, facing them from the threat of the Coronavirus.

Abu Rida requested that the Sports Disaster Control Fund be derived from the 'Long Live Egypt' Fund under the full supervision of Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, to contribute to alleviating the burdens on all workers in the sports field, and raising the burdens of negative economic impacts on the category of athletes from the state.

Abu Reeda said that what the whole world is going through is exceptional, and he called on all groups to join hands, unite, and reject differences and intolerance aside, in order to completely abstract the sincere attempt to help and support those affected in the sports field from this crisis.

On the other hand, Abo Rida strongly rejected the racist call of two French doctors who suggested to test potential coronavirus vaccines in Africa.

Abo Rida stated that he was shocked by the call, which goes against all human rights norms, and affirmed his complete rejection of all forms of racism and racial discrimination.

Abo Rida affirmed that FIFA and CAF, as well as the Charter of the United Nations, stand against all forms of discrimination and he demanded apology for Africa and its people on this unacceptable insult.

Jean Paul Mira, head of the resuscitation service at the Hospital Cochin in Paris, and Camille Locht, director of research at the Inserm, the French health and medical research institute suggested conducting clinical trials in Africa to study and combat coronavirus during their talk at The French television station LCI.
4/6/2020 10:21:43 AM
<![CDATA[Liverpool blasted over virus furlough, players in £200m wage cut warning]]>
Premier League leaders Liverpool said they would top up the public money made available from the government to ensure staff on temporary leave received their full salaries.

It follows similar moves by Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich to take advantage of the scheme, under which employers can claim for 80 percent of furloughed employees' wages.

But former Reds players Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore strongly criticised the move by the European champions, who in February announced pre-tax profits of £42 million ($51 million) for 2018/19.

"(Manager) Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in @premierleague players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect & goodwill is lost, poor this @LFC," tweeted Carragher.

Collymore was even more forthright, tweeting: "I don't know of any Liverpool fan of any standing that won't be anything other than disgusted at the club for furloughing staff."

Another former Anfield star, Germany's Dietmar Hamann tweeted: "Astonished by the news that @LFC takes advantage of the furlough scheme to claim 80% of non-playing staff wages back off the government.

"That's not what the scheme was designed for. Contrary to the morals and values of the club I got to know."

Liverpool said staff would be paid 100 percent of their salaries to ensure nobody was financially disadvantaged.

A statement from the club said: "Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior levels of the club -- on and off the pitch -- with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis."

- 'Effect on Health Service' -

Meanwhile, the Professional Footballers' Association warned of a £200 million shortfall in British government tax revenues if a 30% pay cut was introduced for players.

"All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times," said a PFA statement after a meeting with the Premier League.

"We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this and we are happy to continue talks."

However, the PFA insisted it was too simplistic to criticise multi-millionaire players for not easily agreeing to salary cuts.

"The proposed 30 percent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government," the PFA statement added.

"What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the National Health Service?"

The Premier League has been seen as lagging behind other European leagues in its response to coronavirus and was accused by one British lawmaker of operating in a "moral vacuum".

In Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players have already agreed to pay cuts of 70% while the stars of Italian champions Juventus will be paid a reduced amount for the next four months.

England defender Danny Rose, on loan at Newcastle from Tottenham, told the BBC players were "keen to make something happen".

"I can only speak for myself but I would have no problems whatsoever contributing some of my wages to people who are fighting this on the front line and to people who have been affected by what's happening at the minute," he said.

On Friday, a hospital in London identified Rose as the individual behind a £19,000 donation.

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has led talks between Premier League club captains over what action they could take, a move that began before Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Thursday joined those singling out footballers.

"It was just not needed for people who are not involved in football to tell footballers what they should do with their money," added Rose.

"I found that so bizarre."

- 'Safe and appropriate' -

Burnley issued a stark warning on Saturday about the potential financial fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, claiming they would face a shortfall of up to £50 million ($61 million) if it were not possible to complete the season.

The English top-flight said on Friday the 2019/20 season would only return when it was "safe and appropriate to do so".

The league agreed to provide a £125 million fund for the English Football League and National League and pledged £20 million in charitable support for the National Health Service and other groups.]]>
4/6/2020 9:11:00 AM
<![CDATA[Carragher: Terry was a better version of me ]]>
In an interview with Sky Sports, Carragher explained how Terry’s technical abilities made him a better player than Carragher.

“Terry was a better version of me. He was bigger, more powerful, better quality on the ball as well. He was one who when you trained with him went up a level in your eyes.,” Carragher said, as reported from Goal.

Additionally, the 42-year-old England International player [Carragher] talked about how despite Terry being right footed yet he still managed to make great use of his left foot.

“Terry could pass the ball 60 or 70 yards with his left foot – the best ball-playing centre-back in the world would struggle to do that. So he was definitely one that you’d think was a top player, and you’d see that with England,” Carragher added, according to Goal.

Ever since his professional debut in 1998, Terry managed to play over 700 games with the Blues [Chelsea] where he spent most of his club career winning five Premier League titles and a Champions League gold medal in 2011/12.]]>
4/6/2020 8:09:00 AM
<![CDATA[Man City will not seek virus furlough offer]]>
On Saturday, table-topping Liverpool became the fifth Premier League club to announce a furlough, accessing the government's job retention scheme, which means the public purse will cover 80 percent of wages.

There has been considerable criticism from former players, who believe the safety net is not being used as intended.

Liverpool announced a £42 million ($51 million) pre-tax profit in February.

Liverpool's opponents in last year's Champions League final, Tottenham, have also used the furlough option, along with Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth.

Britain's Press Association said City's stance was approved and staff informed before Liverpool's position became public.

"We can confirm, following a decision by the chairman and board last week, that Manchester City will not be utilising the UK government's coronavirus job retention scheme," the club said in a statement.

"We remain determined to protect our people, their jobs and our business whilst at the same time doing what we can to support our wider community at this most challenging time for everybody."

Liverpool, who are topping up the remaining 20 percent of salaries, were criticised by former players Jamie Carragher, Dietmar Hamann and Stan Collymore.

Gary Lineker, speaking to the BBC on Sunday, also appeared to question the clubs' actions.

"The big clubs, you'd have thought, would have been savvy enough to perhaps try to help more of their workers when players are earning so much money," he said.

But Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly supported the club's move.

"The use of the furlough scheme maintains that commitment (to treat staff fairly) and it ensures that all lower-paid staff who run a variety of contracts will continue to receive 100 per cent of their wage. That's got to be seen as a positive," the group said in a statement.]]>
4/6/2020 4:13:00 AM
<![CDATA[Griezmann aims to take Barca's number 7 jersey]]>
Griezmann used to wear the number 7 jersey during his time at Atletico Madrid and he wears the number 7 jersey with the French national team.

"I would like to recover the seven," the French striker said.

Coutinho joined Bayern Munich on a one-year loan from Barcelona and he is linked with a move away from the Catalan club.

Griezmann is out of action for more than one month as football competitions worldwide were halted amid the spread of coronavirus.

Griezmann commented "I miss football enormously. I have no idea when the competition will be back; I don't know when I will go back to training."]]>
4/5/2020 4:25:29 PM
<![CDATA[I should never have gone to 2006 World Cup, Rooney]]>
"Looking back, I should never have gone to that World Cup." Rooney told skysports.

The English striker suffered a serious injury during Manchester United's loss to Chelsea two months before the tournament. However, England manager at the time, Sven-G?ran Eriksson, included him in the squad.

Rooney added "Of course it's hindsight. Back then I was 20, it was my first World Cup and there was so much expectation on me."

The English player missed the first game against Paraguay but he took part in England's remaining games at the competition.

England team was knocked out of the competition at the quarter-finals after losing to Portugal on penalties. Rooney was red-carded during the game after a tackle against Portugal defender, Ricardo Carvalho.]]>
4/5/2020 4:02:50 PM
<![CDATA[I have a responsibility in Egypt: Weiler ]]>
Rene Weiler is in a hotel with 430 rooms in Cairo and only 10 managers meet at breakfast.

The Swiss spoke to "aargauerzeitung" about his time in Egypt, saying: "Logically, I would like to be with my family. Fortunately, things are improving well and I also have a responsibility here."

"As long as we do not know what the near future looks like, I will continue to work here, for example, team development, types of training and my personal skills. I have also read a lot and trained myself in the hotel gymnasium and have a lot of time to think."

The Swiss run a day 10 kilometers, which takes 46 minutes of his time per day.

Weiler talked about dealing with the Coronavirus crisis, "I am not an expert. But the Corona crisis shows that a certain degree of organization is necessary in every area. I hope that football will recover as well."

Rene Weiler led Al-Ahly in 31 games, winning 25, drawing 4 and losing a single match.]]>
4/5/2020 2:41:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt calls for creation of a fund to support athletes amid COVID-19 pandemic]]>
Abu Rida requested that the Sports Disaster Control Fund be derived from the 'Long Live Egypt' Fund under the full supervision of Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, to contribute to alleviating the burdens on all workers in the sports field, and raising the burdens of negative economic impacts on the category of athletes from the state.

Abu Reeda said that what the whole world is going through is exceptional, and he called on all groups to join hands, unite, and reject differences and intolerance aside, in order to completely abstract the sincere attempt to help and support those affected in the sports field from this crisis.

On the other hand, Abo Rida strongly rejected the racist call of two French doctors who suggested to test potential coronavirus vaccines in Africa.

Abo Rida stated that he was shocked by the call, which goes against all human rights norms, and affirmed his complete rejection of all forms of racism and racial discrimination.

Abo Rida affirmed that FIFA and CAF as well as the Charter of the United Nations stand against all forms of discrimination and he demanded apology for Africa and its people on this unacceptable insult.

Jean Paul Mira, head of the resuscitation service at the Hospital Cochin in Paris, and Camille Locht, director of research at the Inserm, the French health and medical research institute suggested conducting clinical trials in Africa to study and combat coronavirus during their talk at The French television station LCI.]]>
4/5/2020 2:04:09 PM
<![CDATA[Rooney says handling of Premier League pay row 'a disgrace']]>
The former England captain, now playing with Championship side Derby, penned an impassioned column in the Sunday Times saying his fellow professionals were "easy targets" in the wider response to the coronavirus crisis.

Rooney made it clear he had both the means and the will to make financial contributions, either in the form of salary reductions or direct donations to the NHS, but felt the public pressure being exerted on players was unhelpful.

The Premier League's suggested strategy involving a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of wages, was discussed in a conference call with players' and managers' representatives on Saturday.

Initial talks were already ongoing before key political figures, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, called for action.

"If the government approached me to help support nurses financially or buy ventilators I'd be proud to do so -- as long as I knew where the money was going," wrote Rooney.

He added: "I'm in a place where I could give something up. Not every footballer is in the same position. Yet suddenly the whole profession has been put on the spot with a demand for 30 percent pay cuts across the board. Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats?

"How the past few days have played out is a disgrace."

The Premier League has been seen as lagging behind other European leagues in its response to coronavirus and was accused by one British lawmaker of operating in a "moral vacuum".

But Rooney questioned the wisdom of the Premier League in preempting behind-the-scenes talks involving players with its own proposals for sweeping reductions.

"In my opinion it is now a no-win situation," he said. "Whatever way you look at it, we're easy targets."

England defender Danny Rose, on loan at Newcastle from Tottenham, told the BBC players were "keen to make something happen".

The Professional Footballers' Association said its members wanted to play their part but warned that a projected 30 percent salary reduction would cost the country 200 million pounds ($245 million) in lost tax receipts.

A PFA statement released on Saturday following the conference call said the combined tax on player salaries was a significant contribution to funding essential services.

"Taking a 30 percent salary deduction will cost the Exchequer a substantial sum," it said. "This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services."

- Furlough row -

A handful of top-flight clubs, including last year's Champions League finalists Liverpool and Tottenham, have opted to furlough non-playing staff using the safety net of the government's job retention scheme.

But former Liverpool players Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore strongly criticised the move by the European champions, who in February announced pre-tax profits of 42 million pounds ($51 million) for 2018/19.

Rooney's former England and Manchester United teammate Gary Neville, now a leading broadcaster, was highly critical of the Premier League.

"The PL are handling the CV (coronavirus) crisis terribly," he wrote on Twitter, before outlining a checklist of perceived mis-steps including their slowness in imposing a lockdown and the "PR disaster" of furloughing.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said he was concerned about the way the talks had progressed.

He tweeted: "Concerned about the turn football talks have taken tonight. People do not want to see infighting in our national sport at a time of crisis.

"Football must play its part to show that the sport understands the pressures its lower-paid staff, communities and fans face."

The Premier League said on Friday that the 2019/20 season would only return when it was "safe and appropriate to do so".]]>
4/5/2020 1:45:45 PM
<![CDATA[Farida Osman thanks government for bringing athletes back home ]]>
"Thank God, I arrived in Egypt yesterday with a group of athletes, and I am currently in quarantine for two weeks in Marsa Alam." Farida tweeted.

Osman was preparing for her participation in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, initially schedule in 2020 summer, but the event was postponed to 2021 summer following the spread of coronavirus.

Farida continued "I want to tell you that these quarantine procedures are very important, and people responsible for these procedures care alot about us. I would like to thank them for their wonderful efforts and for looking after us."]]>
4/4/2020 4:02:43 PM
<![CDATA[Abo Rida rejects French doctors' racist call against Africa]]>
Abo Rida stated that he was shocked by the call, which goes against all human rights norms, and affirmed his complete rejection of all forms of racism and racial discrimination.

Abo Rida affirmed that FIFA and CAF as well as the Charter of the United Nations stand against all forms of discrimination and he demanded apology for Africa and its people on this unacceptable insult.

Jean Paul Mira, head of the resuscitation service at the Hospital Cochin in Paris, and?Camille Locht, director of research at the Inserm, the French health and medical research institute suggested conducting clinical trials in Africa to study and combat coronavirus during their talk at The French television station LCI.]]>
4/4/2020 3:57:05 PM
<![CDATA[I hope Lazio can break down, Totti]]>
"As a Roma fan, I hope Lazio can break down as soon as possible. You have seasons when nothing goes wrong, but I hope they suffer a blackout!" Totti said.

Lazio are second at the league table with one point behind the league leaders, Juventus, and they are strong contenders for the league title.

Totti praised Lazio's manager saying" Simone Inzaghi’s one of the best coaches in Serie A, he’s doing great things and I have a great relationship with him, but I’d be happier if he was coaching another team.”

Unfortunately for Totti and Roma fans, the blue side of the capital, Lazio, are having a great season while the red side of the capital, Roma, are suffering this season and they are fifth at the table with 45 points.]]>
4/4/2020 2:00:08 PM
<![CDATA[Kaka picks Messi over Ronaldo ]]>
“I played with Cristiano and he’s really amazing, but I’ll go with Messi. Messi is a genius, a pure talent. The way he plays is incredible." Kaka said.

Kaka played alongside Ronaldo in Real Madrid between 2009 and 2013 under the command of Jose Mourinho and they had many great battles on the pitch against Barcelona and their manager, Pep Guardiola.

Kaka praised his former teammate, saying "Cristiano is a machine. It’s not just the way he’s strong, powerful and fast; he’s strong mentally. He always wants to win and play. To be the best. For me, that’s the most incredible thing he has."

Messi and Ronaldo dominated the world of football during the last 15 years but the Brazilian player was also so good at his prime and won 2007 Ballon d'OR Ahead of the two legends.]]>
4/4/2020 1:42:21 PM
<![CDATA[Players born in 1997 to take part in 2021 Olympic Games]]>
The football men's tournament at Olympic Games is typically restricted to under-23 players with three overaged players.

FIFA's decision allows players born after January 1997 to take part in Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

This is good news for many regular players at Egypt U-23 national team including Mostafa Mohamed, Akram Tawfik, Nasser Maher and Ramadan Sobhi.

Egypt secured their spot at Tokyo Olympic Games after winning U-23 AFCON title at home in November 2019.

Olympic Games in Tokyo will see the 12th appearance for the Egyptian football at the competition and the Pharaohs aim to secure a medal at the competition for the first time in the history.]]>
4/4/2020 1:38:40 PM
<![CDATA[Di Francesco learns English ahead of PL move ]]>
"I study English and speak with my grandson on Skype, I have to be open to any kind of experience. Even whilst I was at Sassuolo and in recent times," The Italian manager told Gazzetta della Modena.

Di Francesco has had a wonderful time managing Sassulo between 2012 and 2017 before his move to the capital to coach AS Roma for two years.

The Italian manager said "I had offers from the Premier League. Also, from Turkey and some national teams, even if I always made other decisions.”

The fifty-year-old manager started the season as the head coach of Sampdoria but ended his contract with the club by mutual consent as the club lost six of their first seven games. ]]>
4/3/2020 7:23:17 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool-Atletico game played a role in the rise of coronavirus cases ]]>
"It?was not the right decision to stage the match. People don't make bad decisions on purpose -- perhaps the seriousness of the situation wasn't being understood across government at that time." Ashton told the Guardian.

The game was played on 11 March at Anfield stadium in Liverpool and ended with a 3_2 win for the visitors, who knocked the defending champions, Liverpool, out of the competition.

Ashton added, "Although we will never know, the Atletico Madrid game could have been one of the cultural events and gatherings that influenced the rise in Liverpool."

UEFA Champions League games were postponed until further notice amid the spread of coronavirus.]]>
4/3/2020 4:11:01 PM
<![CDATA[I decided to leave Al Ahly to participate in 2022 World Cup, Fathy]]>
"People believe I did not renew my contract because of financial reasons which is not true. Al Ahly's offer is the best for me on financial level." Fathy said.

It has been reported that the 35-year-old right-back [Fathy] refused to extend his contract with Al Ahly after receiving a stronger offer financially from Pyramids FC.

As a result, Al Ahly released an official statement wishing Fathy all the best of luck in his future career.

Fathy added "Al Ahly manager told me that I am not able to play week in week out and It is not true. I want to leave to play in regular basis so I can be fit for 2022 World Cup."

Fathy, who participated in 2018 World Cup with Egypt, has many offers and rumours linked him with a move to Pyramids.]]>
4/3/2020 3:50:46 PM
<![CDATA[Son set to complete four weeks of national service during shutdown]]>
The player was keen to join the army in the summer but with the postponement of football in England amid coronavirus, the South Korean headed home to join the army.

Son managed to get out of the mandatory 21-month service after he led the South Korean U-23 team to win the football tournament of 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

Son was one of three overage players in South Korea squad and played a massive role in his national team's campaign towards the title.

Since his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen, Son established himself as a key player at Tottenham and formed an attacking partnership with the team goalscorer, Harry Kane.

Football in England is postponed till the end of April amid coronavirus and further postponement is expected.]]>
4/3/2020 12:48:12 PM
<![CDATA[The departure of big names will not affect the team, Orabi ]]>
"They are experienced players and played a big role with the team on and off the pitch." Orabi said.

Al Ahly announced on Wednesday the departure of Ahmed Fathi as the club and the player failed to reach an agreement over contact extension.

The same situation happened a week before as the club announced the departure of Sherif Ekramy and Hossam Ashour.

The first wanted to leave the club to earn

Orabi continued "Mohamed Hani can replace Ahmed Fathi as the club right back while Ashour and Ekramy did not participate frequently with the team at the recent seasons."

Earlier in March, Al Ahly informed the team captain Ashour that he is not in the manager's plans and offered him a position at the club's official channel.

The club also promised the team captain to support him in his future plans and organize a testimonial game for him in case he announced his retirement. However, Ashour told the club that he wants to continue his career as a professional footballer.

On the other hand, the club offered a contract extension for Ekramy but he rejected the club's offer and told the club board that he wants to leave the club seeking for a more playing time.]]>
4/2/2020 3:08:28 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly announces Fathy’s departure ]]>
It has been reported that the 35-year-old right-back [Fathy] refused to extend his contract with Al Ahly after receiving a stronger offer financially from Pyramids FC.

As a result, Al Ahly released an official statement wishing Fathy all the best of luck in his future career.

On a similar note, Fathy’s former agent Nader Shawky explained that Al Ahly did everything that the club is capable of in order for Fathy to renew his contract.

“Al Ahly agreed on all the player’s demands. However, Fathy changed his mind in the end. Of course, Pyramids FC had a better financial offer for 3 years. However, I advised Fathy to stay at Al Ahly especially that he is one of the big names at the club,” Shawky said to Yallakora.

Lastly, Fathy who is considered to be one of Al Ahly’s key players was able to lift more than 15 trophies during his time at Al Ahly.]]>
4/2/2020 2:04:50 PM
<![CDATA[Reina discusses his battle with coronavirus ]]>
In his interview with Corriere dello Sport, the Spanish showstopper [Reina] revealed his story with the virus.

"I was isolated after the first symptoms of the virus - fever, a dry cough, a headache that would never leave, a sense of fatigue," Reina said, as reported from Sky Sports.

Additionally, the 37-year-old goalkeeper [Reina] expressed the story behind the difficult 25 minutes he had during his illness.

"The only real scare was when I was missing oxygen for 25 minutes, just like my throat suddenly closed up and the air could not go through it,” Reina added, according to Sky Sports.

Lastly, AC Milan’s goalkeeper who is on loan to Aston Villa expressed his opinion suspending the Premier League for until April 30 at least due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

"Everyone's wellbeing goes above anything else. I will be a supporter of playing when everything is in the best conditions, that everyone is safe,” Reina said, as reported from Sky Sports.

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, several countries such as England, Italy, Spain, and France suspended their sports competitions due to the pandemic being widespread among around 200 countries and territories.]]>
4/2/2020 2:01:40 PM
<![CDATA[Spurs cut non-playing staff wages as Levy pockets £7 million]]>
Spurs accounts to June 30, 2019 revealed Levy was paid a £3 million bonus, which was due on completion of Tottenham's new 62,000 stadium, on top of his £4 million salary.

The new Tottenham Hotspur stadium opened in April last year, eight months later than scheduled and well over budget at a cost of £1 billion.

Levy is among the staff members taking a 20 percent wage cut, but called on Tottenham's players to also do so to ease the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Players at Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich are among those to have taken either a significant wage cut or deferred payments.

Football in England is suspended until at least April 30 and a meeting of Premier League clubs on Friday is expected to push that date further back.

"Having already taken steps to reduce costs, we ourselves made the difficult decision, in order to protect jobs, to reduce the remuneration of all 550 non-playing directors and employees for April and May by 20 percent," Levy said in a statement on the Spurs website.

"We hope the current discussions between the Premier League, PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) and LMA (League Managers Association) will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football eco system."

Tottenham earlier this month posted profits of £68.6 million for the year to June 2019 on the back of a run to the Champions League final and the stadium move.

However, Levy said those numbers bore little relevance, with the club facing a difficult period and uncertainty among sponsors and media partners.

"When I read or hear stories about player transfers this summer like nothing has happened, people need to wake up to the enormity of what is happening around us," he added.

"We maybe the eighth-largest Club in the world by revenue according to the Deloitte survey but all that historical data is totally irrelevant as this virus has no boundaries."

Tottenham sit eighth in the Premier League table and would therefore miss out on the riches of Champions League football for the first time in five years next season if the league were to be curtailed as it stands.

However, economic factors are behind the desire of Premier League clubs to finish the campaign, even if it means doing so behind closed doors.

According to reports, the clubs would have to reimburse broadcasters to the tune of £762 million if the season is not completed.]]>
4/1/2020 8:46:53 AM
<![CDATA[Ajax end contract of brain-damaged former wonderkid Nouri]]>
The club intervened ahead of the July 1 date when the contract was due to renew for the 22-year-old who collapsed while warming up for a pre-season friendly against German club Werder Bremen in July 2017.

"It is correct that Ajax has terminated Abdelhak Nouri's contract, amongst others," Ajax said in a statement to AFP.

"Ajax did that with all players whose contracts end on July 1 including Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ryan Babel," the club said.

Both Huntelaar and ex-Liverpool player Babel are former Dutch internationals.

Known to fans and teammates as Appie, Nouri joined the Amsterdam club aged seven and developed into a teenage sensation.

In 2018 Ajax agreed to pay for medical care for life for the player who has permanent, debilitating brain damage and will never be able to live independently.

His family filed suit against the club and it was determined that the player had received inadequate care after his collapse that was triggered by heart problems.]]>
4/1/2020 8:44:54 AM
<![CDATA[Solskjaer in touch with Man Utd stars during virus lockdown]]>
The Premier League has been postponed until at least April 30 because of the pandemic and it is feared the season will be delayed again when English football's stakeholders meet to discuss the crisis on Friday.

During the unsettling virus lockdown in Britain, United manager Solskjaer has been unable to train his squad in person.

But he has been in constant contact with players and staff on the phone in a bid to ensure they are ready, if and when matches can resume.

"Of course, I'm used to seeing them every day for hours and hours, so it's different," Solskjaer told United's website on Tuesday.

"I just keep in touch with them on WhatsApp groups and messages, and we plan for whenever we get back and what kind of sessions for when we do start.

"But it's such an unknown and we don't really have an idea and are not 100 per cent about when we'll start.

"That's the good thing now with technology and we're lucky in that sense.

"We can keep in touch and see each other. We can send messages and get a reply quickly, and we can do the old-fashioned phone call sometimes and speak just on the phone. So we keep in touch regularly."

For now, Solskjaer is enjoying spending time with his family until United are able to play again.

"I'm good. The family is good. One of the downsides of football is you don't get too much time with your family and the flip side now is you get loads of time with them," he said.]]>
4/1/2020 8:43:09 AM
<![CDATA[Beijing 2022 Olympics face 'special situation' after Tokyo delay]]>
The Tokyo Olympics are now scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, 2021 after they were put back a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, with the Beijing Winter Games beginning on February 4, 2022 there is the unusual challenge of almost back-to-back Olympics.

"The new dates of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games mean we are faced with a special situation where the Summer Games and Winter Games are to be held in half-a-year," a Beijing 2022 official told Xinhua news agency.

"We will have a detailed assessment of how the new dates of Tokyo 2020 will affect the Beijing 2022 Games.

"In the meantime, will keep close communication with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the Olympic family to handle the situation properly and push forward our preparation in all aspects."

China, where the coronavirus emerged in December, says that its preparations for 2022 are on schedule, despite much of the country shutting down in February in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

Beijing will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games, having held the 2008 Olympics.]]>
4/1/2020 8:41:59 AM
<![CDATA[Moteab reveals his personal advice to Fathy]]>

The 35-year-old right back [Fathy] has been in talks with Al Ahly over a possible contract extension; however, it is believed that Fathy received a stronger offer financially from one the football clubs in Egypt.

While speaking to ON Time Sports Channel, Egypt’s former national player and Al Ahly’s former striker [Moteab] revealed his personal advice to Fathy.

“I advised Fathy to stay at Al Ahly if the financial gap between both offers is small. Of course I wish that Fathy continues with Al Ahly. However, these are only my wishes and I am not criticizing the club [if he leaves],” Moteab said.

Additionally, Egypt’s national team right back informed [Fathy] informed the club on Monday that he will make his decision on whether or not he will extend his contract with the club in the next 48 hours.

Lastly, Fathy who is considered to be one of Al Ahly’s key players was able to lift more than 15 trophies during his time at Al Ahly.]]>
3/31/2020 8:26:55 AM
<![CDATA[Postponed Tokyo Olympics to open July 23 next year]]>
The announcement comes less than a week after organisers were forced to delay the Games under heavy pressure from athletes and sports federations as the global outbreak worsened.

"The Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympics will be held from August 24 to September 5," Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori told reporters at a hastily arranged news conference.

Only hours earlier, Mori had said he expected a decision from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the course of the week.

But on Monday evening, he said an emergency teleconference had been held with the IOC and the date finalised.

"We agreed that the timing of the event will be in summer as originally planned, considering the coronavirus... and a certain amount of time needed for preparations, selection and qualification of athletes," he added.

In a statement, the IOC said the new dates would give health authorities and organisers "the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."

The decision would also cause "minimum" disruption to the international sports calendar, the body said.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were due to open on July 24 this year and run for 16 days, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the first peacetime postponement of the Games.

The IOC and Japan had for weeks insisted the show could go on but the rapid spread of COVID-19 prompted growing disquiet among athletes and sporting federations.

The Olympics was the highest-profile sporting casualty of the coronavirus that has wiped out fixtures worldwide and all but halted professional sport.

In a near-simultaneous announcement on Monday, World Athletics said it would now move its world championships, which had been due to take place in Eugene, Oregon on August 6-15 next year, to 2022.

- No spring Olympics -

There was some speculation that Japanese organisers could take advantage of the blank canvas to shift the Games to spring, avoiding the heat of the Tokyo summer that had been their main concern before coronavirus struck.

Due to the heat, the marathon has been moved to Sapporo, a city some 800 kilometres (500 miles) to the north of Tokyo where the weather is cooler even in mid-summer.

The postponement has handed organisers the "unprecedented" task of rearranging an event seven years in the making, and Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto has admitted the additional costs will be "massive".

According to the latest budget, the Games were due to cost $12.6 billion, shared between the organising committee, the government of Japan and Tokyo city.

However, that number is hotly contested with a much-publicised government audit suggesting the central government was spending several times that amount -- on items organisers claim are only tangentially related to the Olympics.

- 'Mankind's victory' -

The postponement affects every aspect of the organisation -- hotels, ticketing, venues and transport being among the major headaches.

Hotels have had to cancel bookings, dealing them a bitter blow at a time when tourism is already being hammered by the coronavirus.

Some venues that had booked events years in advance will potentially have to scrap them to make way for the rescheduled Olympics and there is still uncertainty about whether ticket-holders will get refunded.

Another thorny issue is the athletes' village, which was due to be converted into luxury apartments after the Games, some of which have already found buyers.

The Japanese government had touted the Games as the "Recovery Olympics", designed to show how the country had bounced back from the 2011 triple disaster of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in the northeastern Fukushima region.

The Games are now being billed as the expression of humanity's triumph over the coronavirus.

"Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel," IOC chief Thomas Bach said in Monday's statement announcing the new date.

"These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel."

Mori earlier warned that organisers were faced with an "unprecedented challenge."

"But I believe it is the mission of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee to hold the Olympics and Paralympics next year as a proof of mankind's victory" against the virus.]]>
3/31/2020 8:07:00 AM
<![CDATA[Gundogan says Liverpool deserve to be champions]]>
Jurgen Klopp's men were a tantalising two wins away from their first league crown since 1990 when the season was suspended earlier this month.

The shutdown is currently due to last until April 30. Premier League chiefs are due to meet on Friday, with no indications of when football will resume.

Gundogan, whose side trail Liverpool by 25 points, told German broadcaster ZDF that if the season could not be finished, Klopp's side deserved the title.

"It would be OK for me," he said. "As a sportsman you have to be fair."

The 29-year-old German international, who has won the Premier League title with City for the past two seasons, said it was unlikely that he and his teammates could resume training at the end of April.

"Honestly, I can't imagine (that happening) and also, I don't know how realistic it is," he said.

Figures on Sunday revealed that 1,228 people with coronavirus have died in Britain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among more than 19,500 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Aleksander Ceferin, president of European football's governing body UEFA, said on Saturday that the 2019/20 campaign could be "lost" if it could not be restarted by the end of June.

Gundogan conceded that Premier League chiefs were faced with a difficult choice.

"There are different opinions," he said. "For clubs who have had a very good season, it obviously wouldn't be nice if it was cancelled now.

"On the other hand, for clubs who aren't doing as well and are maybe in the relegation places, an abandonment would obviously suit them."

Cancellation would have a knock-on effect on the second-tier English Championship, with both Leeds United and West Brom occupying the two automatic promotion places.

Gundogan said he would be willing to take a pay cut if English clubs followed the examples of Serie A leaders Juventus and his former club Borussia Dortmund.

"Of course I think it's OK, that goes without saying -- (but) there's been no discussion in England yet," he said.]]>
3/31/2020 7:12:00 AM
<![CDATA[Barcelona’s football first team agree to 70% pay cut]]>
The club’s official website released a statement informing their fans that a 70% pay cut will be applied on Barcelona’s football first team in order to guarantee the payment of the non-sporting staff at the club.

The statement on the club’s website read as follows: “The FC Barcelona Board of Directors, the members of all of the professional sports teams and most of the basketball team have reached an agreement for a reduction in their salaries during the period of the state of alarm due to Covid-19.

“In the case of the football first team, the reduction will be over 70% of that originally agreed with the club. This additional contribution by the team, together with the contribution that the club itself shall make, will guarantee 100% of the salaries of all non-sporting staff at the club, which will be submitted for ERTE (temporary redundancy) this week.

“The club wishes to express its gratitude to all of the professional athletes for their implication in such an exceptional situation that has been caused by this health crisis.”

On a similar note, football clubs like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in Germany and Juventus in Italy also agreed to impose similar pay cuts due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China during late November 2019, around 781,000 people were infected and about 37,000 people died because of the disease.

As a result, several countries such as Italy, Spain, France, and England suspended their sports competitions due to the coronavirus being widespread among around 200 countries and territories.]]>
3/31/2020 7:09:00 AM
<![CDATA[Benzema deepens France rift by ridiculing 'go-kart' Giroud]]>
Benzema has not played for France since 2015 and watched from afar as Giroud spearheaded the team's World Cup triumph in Russia two years ago.

With over 500 appearances for Real Madrid and in his 11th season with the Spanish giants, no questions remain over Benzema's playing skills.

Asked about the Chelsea forward during a question and answer session on Instagram on Sunday night, Benzema said: "You can't confuse a Formula One car with a go-kart, and I'm being kind. I know I'm a Formula One car...

"It works because he's there, that's it. It's not going to be spectacular. (Antoine) Griezmann and (Kylian) Mbappe get seen more while he rolls his sleeves up and does the dirty work.

"But does everyone like his game? I don't know."

During the 2016 and 2017 seasons ahead of up Russia 2018, Giroud scored 16 goals for France in 24 games.

He also played every match at the World Cup and although he failed to find the target in Russia, his team came home with the trophy.

France coach Didier Deschamps has sidelined Benzema since a legal case in 2015.

The case involving Benzema allegedly trying to facilitate a scheme to blackmail fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena over a compromising private film on a stolen mobile phone.

The investigation is ongoing and Benzema is now waiting to hear if he will face a criminal trial.

Benzema has scored 19 goals in 32 appearances for Real Madrid this season while Giroud has largely been a back-up player for Chelsea, despite a decent run of form in February.]]>
3/31/2020 3:11:00 AM
<![CDATA[After 10 years in England, Elmohamady wants to end his career in the Premier league]]>
Elmohamady spoke in a lengthy dialogue with his club Aston Villa website about his period in England, the increase of Egyptians in the English Premier League and the best players played with him in the Egyptian team.

Congratulations on completing ten years in English football. How do you reflect on your time in this country so far?

I remember my first day in England when I joined Sunderland, the first club I played for. It was a difficult beginning because I came to a different country, different culture and climate without my family and friends. But I got used to it well and enjoyed it. There were also some difficulties with language, but over time I learnt it. I’m proud of what I did, and I hope it will continue for years to come, as I think I’m the first Egyptian player to spend ten years here in England.


Tell us about how last season was for you and the journey of getting promotion to the Premier League?

The Championship is a tough league and it’s not easy to get promoted from it. The club spent two years in the Championship, and we reached the Play-Off Final in 2018 but we didn’t make it. We reached Wembley again in 2019 and we were determined to win and get promoted to the Premier League. We were inconsistent last season, but we were able to win the last 11 or 12 matches and finish in the Play-Off positions. It was one of the best days in my career. Of course, I prefer to play in the Premier League.

What makes Aston Villa special?

Aston Villa is one of the greatest clubs here in England and worldwide. The fans and atmosphere in Villa Park is awesome. I am pleased to be here and I’ve spent the best times of my ten years in England with Villa.

Away from football, how do you describe your life in England?

I am well settled here. I have my wife and my two kids, Malek and Nejma. I wanted to make a family ever since I came here to settle as early as possible.

Do you want to end your career in Egypt?

I’ve been here in England for a long time and I am looking to end my career here too, to be the first Egyptian player to finish their career in England.

How do you feel when you see more Egyptian players come to the Premier League?

It’s a good thing for Egyptian football. We have Salah and Trezeguet in the Premier League and Hegazi in the Championship. Playing in such a big league will benefit those players and in turn will benefit the Egyptian national team. I hope we see more Egyptian players play here in the future.

What is your advice to young Arab players?

You should be committed and work hard. Commitment is the key to achieve your goals, we have seen this in Salah and Trezeguet.

Who is the person that most influenced your career?

My father, because he always advises and supports me during difficult times.

Who is the best manager you’ve played for before Dean Smith?

Steve Bruce. He was the one who brought me here through Sunderland, then signed me for Hull City and Aston Villa. I respect Steve so much and he helped me a lot.


Who is the best player you’ve played with at international level?

I’ve played with many great players like Barakat, Aboutrika, Mido, Salah and Trez now. I can’t identify one player. They are all great players and I am proud of playing alongside them.

And who is the best player you’ve played alongside in England?

I’ve played with a lot of great players like John Terry and Jack Grealish. But for me Jack is the best because he is brilliant and can make the difference at any time.

Who is the best player you’ve played against in England?

Eden Hazard. He was one of the toughest and he is so talented. Also, Ashley Cole when he was in his prime at Chelsea.

Finally, what is the best moment of your ten years in England?

Promotion to the Premier League with Aston Villa. When you see the joy in the fans’ eyes, you realise how much they wanted it. It’s my best moment here for sure.
3/30/2020 9:45:00 AM
<![CDATA[I had no friends in football: Elhadary]]>
El-Hadary said in statements to OnTime Sport channel: "Sherif Ekrami, Mohamed Al-Shennawi and others say they are friends in front of the cameras? I can say that too, but it will not be true."

"If their words were correct, then perhaps I am wrong, and for this reason I have continued for more than 25 years as number one."

El-Hadary continued, "In my career, I went into trouble with Thabet Al-Batal, Shoubir and Mustafa Kamal, and then with Abdel Wahid El-Sayed, Mohamed Abdel-Monsef and Mohamed Sobhy. Then Sherif Ekramy and Ahmed El-Shennawy. In the end I was always Number 1 for 25 years."

The 47-year-old continued, "Do not think that in football there are players in the same position as friends. In my entire career, maybe I have a relationship with Mohamed Shawky, Mohamed Zidan and Ahmed Elmohamady. They are not my friends and we go out together but I have a relationship with them."

"Out of the stadium, my friends and I wish them well. On the field (I don’t have mercy on me)."

Essam El-Hadary was the goalkeeper of the Egyptian team for 22 years from 1996 to 2018.

El-Hadary has been crowned the nations of Africa four times in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. He participated in the 2018 World Cup finals as the largest player to participate in the World Cup historically.
3/30/2020 8:53:00 AM
<![CDATA[Scrap season if it can't be finished by end of June says Kane]]>
The English top-flight is currently suspended until at least April 30 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with a likely further delay to be announced soon.

There is no clear idea about when or if football will be able to resume, but Euro 2020 has been cancelled, which opens a window to bring domestic seasons to a conclusion in the summer.

But Tottenham striker Kane does not want Premier League chiefs to let the current campaign go past June or even the start of what would be the 2020-21 season in August, as has been suggested in some quarters.

"I know the Premier League will do everything they can to finish the season, and that they are looking at every option possible," Kane said in an Instagram Live conversation with former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp.

"I think, for me, we do need to try to finish the season. But there needs to be a point where enough is enough.

"Playing into July or August and pushing next season back I don't see too much benefit in that. But obviously I don't know too much about behind the scenes and financially.

"Probably the limit for me is the end of June. If the season's not completed by the end of June we need to look at the options and just look forward to next season."

Premier League matches could potentially be staged behind closed doors in a bid to complete this campaign once the current lockdown in Britain is over.

Kane does not think dragging out the season will help anyone though, especially if it delays the next term.

"The further this season is pushed on, it would have such a big knock-on effect for next season, with the Euros in 2021, and even World Cup 2022. But that's just my opinion," he said.

"Football is secondary at the moment. I know there still have to be plans in place, and I'm sure everyone is trying to do that.

"All that is out of my hands though, there's nothing I can do personally, so from my point of view we've just got to wait and see what happens. Hopefully this clears up as soon as possible, and we can try to get back to normal."]]>
3/30/2020 4:32:00 AM
<![CDATA[Xavi wants 'total harmony' to return to Barcelona as coach]]>
Hernandez is in charge of Al-Sadd in Qatar and turned down an approach in January after Barca sacked Ernesto Valverde, which led to the surprise appointment of Quique Setien.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia published on Sunday, Xavi said Neymar would be a "spectacular signing", and singled out former Spain defender Carles Puyol and the one-time Dutch winger Jordi Cruyff as people he would like to work with.

Yet the relationship between Barcelona's board, led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the players has remained tense, with Lionel Messi's public criticism of technical secretary Eric Abidal among a number of off-field controversies.

"I am clear that I want to return to Barca, I am very excited," said Xavi, who was asked if a change of board would be needed for it to happen. "Obviously I would like to be in tune with everyone," he said. "In the dressing room there can't be a negative or toxic atmosphere."

"Everything has to fit," Xavi added. "I would like to come in with people from my environment that could form a good team."

Pushed on whether working with the current board would be a deal-breaker, Xavi said: "It wouldn't be definitive but I insist I would like to have total harmony. I don't know if that can happen... I have nothing against anyone and I don't have a bad relationship with Bartomeu.

Xavi mentioned the likes of Puyol, whom he played with under Pep Guardiola, and Cruyff, son of Johan and former Barca and Manchester United winger, as the kind of people he would like to work alongside.

"I would like to work with people in whom I have confidence, with whom there is loyalty," said Xavi. "We are talking about Carles Puyol, who was captain of Barca, and Jordi Cruyff, a very good businessman with a lot of experience as a technical secretary."

He also said Neymar, whom the Catalans tried and failed to sign from Paris Saint-Germain last summer, would be a "spectacular signing".

"Most of the squad seems extraordinary," Xavi said. "The base is very good. I would sign forwards, like Neymar. I don't know if he would fit in a social sense but in football terms I have no doubt he would be a spectacular signing."]]>
3/30/2020 2:31:00 AM
<![CDATA[Al-Ittihad from Saudi Arabia denies interest in Ashour ]]>
Diab tweeted on Saturday through his official twitter account stating that there isn’t any sort of communication between Al-Ittihad and Al Ahly.

“The world is in a crisis and people continue on spreading rumors. The news circulating about the club being interested in Ashour isn’t true. He is not in our list of names that we want for next season,” Diab said.

On a similar note, Al Ahly informed their team captain Ashour earlier this month that he is not in the Rene Weiler’s, Al Ahly’s manager, plans and offered him a position at the club's official channel.

However, the 34-year-old midfielder told Egyptian Giants [Al Ahly] that he wishes to continue his professional career as a footballer.

Al Ahly’s number 25 [Ashour] won the following titles: 12 Egyptian Leagues, 8 Egyptian Super Cups, 5 CAF Champion Leagues and 5 CAF Super Cups along with other trophies during his 15 years at the club.]]>
3/29/2020 12:18:29 PM
<![CDATA[Juventus players and staff agree to wage cut ]]>
The Italian club [Juventus] published a statement stating that their manager Maurizio Sarri and Porteguese star Cristiano Ronaldo agreed among other players to reduce their wages for the next four months.

Juventus statement read as follows: "Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that, due to the current global health emergency is preventing the performance of the sporting activity, it has reached an understanding with the players and the coach of the First Team regarding their compensation for the residual portion of the current sport season.
"The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020. In the coming weeks, personal agreements with the players and the coach will be finalised, as required by the current regulations.
"The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about EUR 90 million for the 2019/2020 financial year.

"Should the current season's matches be rescheduled, the Club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensations according to the actual resumption and finalisation of official competitions.

"Juventus would like to thank the players and the coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone," as reported from Sky Sports.

The idea of the wage cut came as a result of the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte announcing on March 9th the suspension of the Serie A until April 3rd [with a potential extension] due to the spread of the coronavirus in Italy.

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China during late November 2019, around 657,000 people were infected and about 30,000 people died because of the disease.

As a result, several countries such as Italy, Spain, France, and England suspended their sports competitions due to the coronavirus being widespread among around 199 countries and territories.
3/29/2020 5:58:00 AM
<![CDATA['I struggled to breathe' Dybala reveals coronavirus nightmare]]>
The Argentine international announced last Saturday he was one of three Juventus players to catch the virus along with Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi, who both had no symptoms.

"I feel better now after some strong symptoms," the 26-year-old Dybala told JTV channel.

"A couple of days ago I was not well, I felt heavy and after five minutes of movement I had to stop because I was struggling to breathe.

"Now I can move and walk to start trying to train, because when I tried in the past few days I started to shake too much.

"I gasped for air and as a result I couldn't do anything, after five minutes I was already very tired, I felt the body heavy and my muscles hurt.

"Now I'm fine. My fiancée Oriana (Sabatini) has also overcome the symptoms."

Dybala has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, including in league leader's Juventus's last game against Inter Milan before Serie A and all sport in Italy was suspended.

"The goal against Inter was the greatest emotion, (Aaron) Ramsey provided the perfect assist - it's a pity that there was no public," added Dybala.

3/29/2020 12:06:31 AM
<![CDATA[Pedro reveals angst of separation from children due to virus]]>
Pedro's kids are back in Spain and the 32-year-old is unable to go home to see his family because of the travel restrictions imposed around the pandemic.

The Spaniard has remained in England and the separation has been an unsettling experience.

"It's hard not to be seeing your children, your parents, your siblings, not having them close by at a complicated, difficult time for us all," Pedro told Chelsea's website.

"We are in permanent contact on the phone, keeping in touch about what we are up to in isolation and trying to be as close as possible.

"Of course, we would have liked to be there but for safety reasons that isn't possible so for now we are going to stay where we are and try to get through it as best we can."

The Premier League remains suspended until April 30, but that date could be extended as the spread of the virus remains a major concern.

Pedro is helping the community effort in Spain through his own foundation, while the Blues' senior squad has made a sizeable donation to the Chelsea Foundation to help those in need in west London.

Pedro has kept in contact with several of his Spanish Chelsea team-mates.

"It's a very delicate, complex situation; a critical situation because there have been lots of cases of infection, especially in Madrid and Catalonia, which are probably the most affected regions, but now it has spread across the country," Pedro said.

"They are in total lockdown in their houses so they are living through a crisis situation. It's also an economic crisis, of course, but at the moment that is secondary. The most important thing is that people stay at home with their family.

"The police and army are on the streets and the situation is maybe more controlled than here in the UK but we are living in a situation of chaos and crisis because of this pandemic.

"I've been on the phone to Kepa (Arrizabalaga) and Marcos Alonso. I've also called Jordi Alba from Barcelona. I'm in touch with other players too, to see how they are handling the situation, with players who are alone, which can sometimes be difficult.

"These are tough times and we are in constant contact. I'm also speaking a lot to Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta)."]]>
3/29/2020 12:04:44 AM
<![CDATA[Carteron will keep his position, Mansour ]]>
"Carteron is a great manager and he decided to stay in Egypt since the crisis started. He will keep his position whatever happened." Mansour said on Saturday.

Carteron has had a massive impact on Zamalek since he was appointed as the club manager, having led the club to secure the Egyptian Super Cup title, African Super Cup title as well as securing a spot at the CAF Champions League semi-final.

Mansour reflected on the rumors regarding the cancellation of the season, saying" What concerns me more is the safety of the people in Egypt."

On 14 March, Egyptian Football Association, EFA, announced on Saturday that all football-related activities are suspended for two weeks as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

The suspension includes fixtures of all Egyptian league divisions and age groups.
3/28/2020 2:35:40 PM
<![CDATA[Ismaily player tests negative for coronavirus ]]>
"I was diagnosed with stong flu and I am now at home." Mgdy told filgoal on Saturday.

The player was admitted to the hospital after suffering from coronavirus symptoms.

Magdy is a youth product of Al Masry and he played 35 games for the club. His amazing performance caught the eye of Cairo giants, Zamalek.

Magdy spent two years inside the white castle but failed to book a starting position during his two years in Cairo and decided to return back to the Canal but this time for Ismailia to wear the famous yellow jersey of the local giants.

Magdy traveled with his team to Morocco to face their giants, Raja Casablanca, but the game was postponed amid the spread of coronavirus.

On 14 March, Egyptian Football Association, EFA, announced on Saturday that all football-related activities are suspended for two weeks as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

The suspension includes fixtures of all Egyptian league divisions and age groups.]]>
3/28/2020 2:16:51 PM
<![CDATA[We have to give people time to find solutions, Klopp ]]>
The German manager believes that football will resume one day but people have to be disciplined and follow the authorities' instructions to get back to the normal life.

"Football is not the most important thing in the world. The only way to get football back as soon as possible, if that’s what the people want, the more disciplined we are now the earlier we will get, piece by piece by piece, our life back." Klopp told Liverpool official website.

Klopp and his boys are out of action for two weeks since they lost to Athletico Madrid 3-2 at home to be knocked out of the UEFA Champions League competition.

Despite their loss, Klopp praised his players' performance during the game, saying" I loved the game, I loved what I saw from the boys, it was a really, really good performance other than the result."

Liverpool have had a fantastic campaign at the league and they were two wins away from clinching the league title for the first time since 1990. ]]>
3/28/2020 2:04:14 PM
<![CDATA[Ismaily player in quarantine after showing coronavirus symptoms]]>
"Magdy felt sick as he suffered from high fever and he was admitted to the hospital until his test results come back." El Meniawy told press on Friday.

Magdy is a youth product of Al Masry and he played 35 games for the club. His amazing performance caught the eye of Cairo giants, Zamalek.

Magdy spent two years inside the white castle but failed to book a starting position during his two years in Cairo and decided to return back to the Canal but this time for Ismailia to wear the famous yellow jersey of the local giants.

Magdy traveled with his team to Morocco to face their giants, Raja Casablanca, but the game was postponed amid the spread of coronavirus.]]>
3/27/2020 7:00:45 PM
<![CDATA[Abdelhak Nouri awakes from coma ]]>
The youngster collapsed in July 2017 during a friendly game between Ajax and German's Werder Bremen and sustained severe and permanent brain damage.

"He is aware of where he is, he is back in a familiar environment with his family. He’s no longer in a coma. He’s just awake. He sleeps, he sneezes, he eats, he burps, but it’s not like he gets out of bed. He’s very bedridden and still very dependent on us." Nouri's brother said.

Nouri was considered by many football experts as one of the promising talents in the world and he was expected to secure a spot at Ajax and the Dutch national team.

Nouri's brother continued "We talk to him like he’s not sick. We take him into our conversations and we watch football with him in the living room, for example."]]>
3/27/2020 2:23:14 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool send a heartwarming message to health care workers]]>
Liverpool men''s team, Liverpool women's team and their coaching staff appeared in a compilation video to offer their own messages of gratitude to the health care workers.

Liverpool players are training at home since the club decided to suspend the training sessions following the FA's decision to suspend the league amid the spread of coronavirus.

Liverpool were leading the league table with 25 points ahead of the second-placed Manchester City and they were two victories away from winning their first league title since 1990.

UEFA and CONCACAF decided to postpone the UEFA EURO 2020 and Copa America 2020 to 2021 summer to buy time for the domestic federations to complete the season.]]>
3/27/2020 1:15:01 PM
<![CDATA[Ter Stegen on Bayern Munich’s radar ]]>
The German goalkeeper affirmed in many occasions that he does not want to leave Barcelona. However, the club’s poor results in the recent seasons, could force the German to leave the club.

Ter Stegen, who is considered by many as Barcelona’s second best player after Lionel Messi, joined the club in 2014 summer from his childhood club, Borussia M?nchengladbach.

During his first season with the club, Ter Stegen was made the first-choice goalkeeper in both the Copa del Rey and in the UEFA Champions League but he did not participate in the league as then Barcelona manager, Luis Enrique, picked Claudio Bravo.

The same situation continued for two years until Bravo left the Catalan club to join Manchester City, paving the way for the German goalkeeper to be Barcelona’s first choice goalkeeper in all competitions.

During his time with Barcelona, Ter Stegen won Four LaLiga titles, four Copa del Rey titles as well as winning the 2015 UEFA Champions League title. ]]>
3/26/2020 3:12:33 PM
<![CDATA[I miss feeling like a footballer, Braithwaite]]>
"What do I miss the most? Being on the pitch and feeling like a footballer. Obviously I like going to train, but I'm working hard at home. I try not to lose my routine.” Braithwaite told Marca.

The Danish joined Barcelona this winter from Leganes and he did not have the time to prove his worth for the club fans as he only participated in three games with the club.

Braithwaite explained his training at home, saying “We have a spectacular coaching staff. I try to follow the team's recommendations, from Antonio Gomez, the club’s physio, and I send him photos and videos, so that he has no doubt that I train.”

Braithwaite is expecting a fierce competition with the club’s starting strikers, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez, once football competition resume.
3/26/2020 1:58:05 PM
<![CDATA[Coaching Al Ahly will make me a better manager, Weiler ]]>
“What I’m experiencing here is great and incredibly enriching. It will make me a more complete and better coach. You get a new perspective on life when you live and work in Africa.” The Swiss said during an interview with NZZ.

Al Ahly fans highly appreciate their manager’s work as he led the club to CAF Champions League semi-finals and they are leading the domestic league table with 16 points clear.

Al Ahly has a record 8 CAF Champions League titles and their fans put much hope on their manager to lead the club to win the long-awaited title.

Weiler added “I am not interested in what the manager earns or how long he is employed in the club. It's the performance principle that counts.”

Weiler is still living in Cairo and did not return back home despite the suspension of football competitions in Egypt amid the spread of coronavirus.]]>
3/26/2020 12:07:04 PM
<![CDATA[My first season at Madrid has been bad, Hazard ]]>
“My first season at Madrid has been bad, but none all of it. "It's been a season of adaptation. I will be judged on the second one. It is up to me to be in good shape next year.” Hazard said during an interview with Marca.

Hazard joined Real Madrid last summer from Chelsea and he was considered as Real Madrid’s replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo who left the club to join Juventus in 2018 summer.

Hazard added "The group is good; it's been a great experience for me. I still have four years left on my contract."

The Belgian winger revealed his disappointment following the postponement of UEFA EURO 2020 due to the spread of coronavirus.

“I was expecting to reach it, so I was disappointed by the change. I had planned to play it. But I also think there are priorities in life.” Hazard added.

Hazard is one of his national team’s key players and he hopes to be in his best form next year to be ready for the EURO finals. ]]>
3/26/2020 11:40:48 AM
<![CDATA[Tokyo postponement has 'no impact' on Paris 2024 Olympics, says organiser]]>
The 2020 Games were delayed until "no later than summer 2021" by the IOC and Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe earlier on Tuesday, but Estanguet said the first postponement of an Olympics during peacetime would not affect the Paris edition, which will now be staged three years after the Tokyo event.

"The 2024 Games will be held in the summer of 2024. There is no impact on the date," said the three-time Olympic canoeing champion.

The Olympics were due to be held from July 24-August 9 this year, but it was deemed too dangerous to hold it as planned due to the pandemic which has claimed the lives of almost 7,000 people worldwide.

"It was the best decision for the athletes, for all the players in the Games," added Estanguet.

"I believe that the Games must stay in their place.

"We are really advancing on our own preparation plan. Each situation in the Games is different. We do not have the same infrastructure to build.

"We are advancing on our schedule independently of that of Tokyo."

The Olympics became the highest-profile of a long list of sporting events hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, with football's Euro 2020 also postponed until next year, while the majority of global international sport has been put on hold.]]>
3/25/2020 9:08:13 AM
<![CDATA[Sobhi: My loan could be extended ]]>
In his interview with Egyptian channel ON Time Sports, the 23-year-old winger confirmed that his loan with the Red Devils [Al Ahly] could be extended in order to complete the current season.

“There isn’t any updates with my contract at Al Ahly. My loan with the team will end on 31 June. However, it could be extended in order to finish the Egyptian League and the CAF Champions League with the team,” Sobhi said in his interview.

Sobhi who experienced his breakthrough with Al Ahly as a youngster before joining Stoke City F.C. added that he wishes to continue with his boyhood club [Al Ahly] yet doesn’t dismiss the chance of playing abroad once again.

“I am not the type of person who likes to play on the emotions of the fans, I really want to continue with Al Ahly. However, playing abroad is my number one priority. My dream is to play in Europe and become successful,” Sobhi added in his interview.

Throughout the 162 games that he played during his club career, the Egyptian winger [Sobhi] scored 28 goals and made 24 assists.]]>
3/25/2020 8:42:54 AM
<![CDATA[Guardiola donates €1m to help fight coronavirus ]]>
The Spanish manager [Guardiola] who is from Barcelona and is currently there with his family donated to the Medical College of Barcelona and the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation.

"Pep Guardiola has made a donation of one million euros to the Fundacio Angel Soler Daniel for the acquisition and supply of health equipment to deal with the Covid-19 [coronavirus] pandemic," the Foundation announced in a statement, according to Sky Sports.

Moreover, the foundation announced in their statement that such donations will also be used to help finance protective items for health works such as respirator masks.

"The fundraising campaign led by the Official College of Doctors of Barcelona and managed through the Foundation, is aimed at obtaining cash donations from doctors who are members of the college and the general population to buy health equipment which is currently lacking in hospitals in Catalonia,” the Foundation concluded their statement, as reported by Sky Sports.

Spain is currently the fourth largest country that is negatively impacted by the spread of the pandemic having around 39,800 people infected with about a total recovery of about 3,700 and more than 2,800 dead.

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China on 1 December 2019 around 417,000 people were infected and about 18,000 people died because of the disease.

As a result, Spain, Italy, England and several other countries decided to suspend their sports competitions due to the coronavirus being widespread among 196 countries and territories.
3/25/2020 8:41:30 AM
<![CDATA[Bayern Munich, other Bundesliga clubs, take pay cut]]>
Newspaper Bild said players and club officials at champions Bayern, top of the Bundesliga when the season was halted on March 13, have accepted a 20 percent cut in their salaries.

Like all top European leagues, the German top flight is losing income from broadcasting, sponsorships and ticket sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, with matches in Germany suspended until at least April 2.

Bayern have a massive wage bill which reached 336 million euros ($364 million) last year, almost half of club turnover.

Players at Borussia Moenchengladbach were the first in the Bundesliga to propose a pay cut, followed by others at Werder Bremen, Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund. Bayer Leverkusen players are in talks over pay cut proposals with management.

Second-placed Dortmund said their squad members had taken a salary reduction to show solidarity with the club's 850 employees.

Coach Lucien Favre and club directors have also made a personal offer to take a pay cut.]]>
3/25/2020 8:38:25 AM
<![CDATA[Australia says qualified athletes assured of Tokyo spots in 2021]]>
The 2020 Olympics were pushed back by a year on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted qualifying for thousands of Tokyo hopefuls in a slew of sports.

Almost 60% of the 11,000-odd athletes set for Tokyo had already qualified but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has yet to clarify publicly whether their 2021 berths are assured.

AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said qualified athletes were guaranteed their 2021 spots, however.

“That is our understanding at this time,” Carroll told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

“Athletes may change their minds between now and 2021. But let’s cover that off.

“Today the most important thing is that athletes have certainty for those who have been selected and certainty for those who are yet to qualify.”

Carroll said he had spoken to the chief of Australia’s national institute of sport and the heads of the sports federations about ensuring qualified athletes would be in peak form to compete in 2021.

“Therein does lie a challenge for the high performance structures at the AIS (Australian Institute of Sports) and our sports to work with our athletes to meet those challenges,” he said.

“If you’re talking about the athletes who have been selected or the ones who are coming through, I am sure all selected athletes will work hard to be at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

“That’s their nature and I have no doubt about that.”

Carroll said soccer’s global governing body FIFA and the IOC would need to work together to iron out qualification issues for the Olympic tournament given that a number of qualified players could become ineligible due to age restrictions.

The tournament allows only three players per national squad to be above 23-years-old.

“This is hopefully a once-in-history event, postponement of the Games,” he said.

“So I think we’re good working together, (good) relationships together, we can get over all those technical details and are sure that people who have qualified will remain qualified.”

Working out qualifying for the remaining athletes remains a challenge for organizers, given the dates for the postponed Games remains up in the air.

The United States wasted little time in delaying qualifying, putting off athletics, swimming and gymnastics trials on Tuesday while they await clarity on the Olympic schedule.

Carroll said he was confident Japan would be able to work through the “huge logistical challenge” of rescheduling.

“At least we have a new goal and planning has started,” he said.

“For the IOC, it’s working with the international federations because it’s an entire shift in the planning for global events such as world championships, world cups, all those sorts of things will have to be worked through.”]]>
3/25/2020 8:15:02 AM
<![CDATA[Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar the world's best-paid footballers, study claims]]>
The study estimates the income of the world's highest-paid players by adding their estimated gross salaries and income from image rights to bonuses earned last season.

As a result, the publication calculates Barcelona star Messi's total annual income as 131 million euros ($141 million).

That puts the Argentine ahead of Ronaldo, with the Portuguese forward second on the list with 118 million euros of estimated income.

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazil star Neymar, who moved to France from Barcelona for a world record transfer fee in 2017, is third on the list with total pay of 95 million euros, way ahead of Real Madrid's Gareth Bale.

The Welshman is fourth on the list with 38.7 million euros.

Meanwhile, according to the magazine, Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone is the best-paid coach with total wages of 40.5 million euros, way ahead of Antonio Conte at Inter Milan on 30 million euros and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City on 27 million euros.]]>
3/24/2020 8:38:02 AM
<![CDATA[Napoli, Lazio backtrack on return to training]]>
Italian football has been on hold since March 9 because of the COVID-19 outbreak which has become the Mediterranean nation's biggest disaster since World War II.

But some clubs had been thinking of resuming training behind closed doors.

"SSC Napoli announces that sports activities are suspended until a date to be decided," the southerners said in a statement.

"The resumption of training sessions will be established in relation to the evolution of the health emergency regarding the spread of Covid 19."

Napoli are sixth in Serie A and last trained on March 12, before their Champions League last-16 second leg against Barcelona was postponed.

They had been planning to return to training on Wednesday.

The south of Italy has not been as badly hit by the virus as the epicentre in northern Lombardy.

League rivals Lazio and Cagliari also pushed back the date for a return to training.

Capital club Lazio -- just a point behind champions and Serie A leaders Juventus -- have had said they wanted to start training as early as Monday, as had Sardinian outfit Cagliari.

All sport in Italy has been suspended until April 3.]]>
3/24/2020 8:37:09 AM
<![CDATA[Arteta confirms recovery from coronavirus ]]>
Arteta is believed to have contracted the disease earlier this month after meeting with Evangleos Marinakis, Olympiacos’ president, following Arsenal’s match against Olympiacos in the Europa League.

The 37-year-old manager [Arteta] spoke to Spanish television channel La Sexta about his experience with the coronavirus disease.

“I am very well now. I feel that I have recovered," Arteta expressed, according to BBC.

Additionally, Arteta revealed the story behind him being tested positive with coronavirus and how he informed Arsenal’s board.

“I got a call from the board of directors after training while I was in my car and they told me the president of Olympiakos had tested positive, and everyone who had been in contact was at risk.
"I went on to tell them that I wasn't feeling well and that we had a situation because we had lots of players that had been in contact with them,” Arteta added, as reported from BBC.
The Premier League decided to suspend England’s top flight football until late April after the Spanish manager [Arteta] was tested positive with coronavirus along with other Premier League players.
Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China on 1 December 2019 around 374,000 people were infected and about 16,000 people died because of the disease.]]>
3/24/2020 8:35:27 AM
<![CDATA[Marwan Mohsen: I can’t find an explanation to people’s criticism ]]>
The 31-year-old striker [Mohsen] responded to people’s critics on Egyptian television channel ON Time Sports.

“Criticism on me has been increasing in the past period and I don’t really know what people want. I couldn’t find an explanation for why that’s happening to me,” Mohsen said, according to Yallakora.

Additionally, Egypt’s national team striker added that such criticism often reaches a point where it is unacceptable ;however, he has faith in God while facing these situations.

Mohsen also talked about the missed opportunities and Rene Weiler’s , Al Ahly manager, main demands for Al Ahly’s striker.

“Coach Weiler asks me to fulfill specific technical roles on the pitch. Ofcourse, I like to be present in clinical positions because scoring opportunities will be more. However, my biggest role is to open up spaces for my teammates on the pitch,” Mohsen added, as reported from Yallakora.

Al Ahly’s number nine [Mohsen] scored 17 goals and made 6 assists in his 67 appearances with the Red Devils [Al Ahly] ever since joining them in the summer of 2016.
3/24/2020 8:32:51 AM
<![CDATA[Brazil's football clubs offer stadiums to help with coronavirus sick]]>
With football in the country suspended until further notice, more than half the clubs in Brazil's Serie A have given up their stadiums as authorities in densely populated Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro seek to expand hospital capacity to deal with the crisis.

Current South American champions Flamengo are giving control of their famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro to health authorities, said club president Rodolfo Landim.

"In this grim moment, I wanted to invite our great Red and Black nation to renew hope and work for better days. Let us take care of our elders, help those who need it most," Landim wrote in a message to supporters.

Authorities in Sao Paulo -- Brazil's biggest city -- said they would install 200 beds in a field hospital at the Pacaembu municipal stadium to relieve pressure on the city's hospitals, while two of the city's big clubs were also lending a hand.

Corinthians said they have made their Itaquerao stadium and their training headquarters available "so that the authorities can evaluate how they can be used to combat the spread of the disease".

Santos announced that a temporary clinic would be set up in one of the lounges inside its Vila Belmiro stadium.

Brazil currently has 1,128 confirmed infections and 18 deaths.

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta on Friday predicted the virus would reach its peak in the country between April and June, anticipating a drop in COVID-19 infections from September.

Mandetta warned the health system in the country of 210 million people could reach saturation by the end of April.]]>
3/23/2020 2:18:45 PM
<![CDATA[Fate of Olympic torch relay in balance as virus worsens]]>
"The torch relay will start on March 26 in Fukushima, the plan has not changed," Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters, a day after the International Olympic Committee said it was considering postponing the Games due to the pandemic.

"The situation is getting worse and worse," admitted Muto, but he added: "For now, the decision made one week ago (to proceed as planned) is still appropriate."

The coronavirus has already had a major impact on the torch relay. In what they described as a "heartbreaking" decision, organisers downscaled a ceremony on Friday to welcome the flame from Greece, keeping 200 children away.

They have also urged people following the torch to avoid forming crowds, and closed daily welcoming and departure ceremonies to the public.

The nationwide torch relay begins on March 26, starting from the J-Village sports complex in Fukushima that was used as a base for workers during the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Muto said organisers would learn from the experience of this weekend when tens of thousands flocked to see the Olympic flame on display -- forming exactly the sort of crowds they had hoped to avoid.

On Saturday, more than 50,000 people queued to watch the flame displayed at Sendai station in Miyagi, with some lining up for several hours.

"This is evidence of interest from residents, so in one sense we were delighted," said Muto, adding that their priority was to prevent the virus from spreading and putting in place "advanced countermeasures".

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said: "We still have three days until the grand start on the 26th, so I told (IOC chief Thomas Bach) that we'd like to consult (with the IOC) while discussing with related parties. Mr. Bach said he will let us handle this."

He said even Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had voiced doubts over whether it was appropriate for him to attend the start of the relay.

"I said it is not our position to tell the prime minister if he should come or not, so please make a decision as the government."

Later Monday, US-based footballer Nahomi Kawasumi announced she was pulling out of the torch relay as she did risk potentially spreading the coronavirus.]]>
3/23/2020 2:16:25 PM
<![CDATA[Maldini and Dybala test positive for coronavirus ]]>
According to AC Milan’s statement, Maldini and his 18-year-old son Daniel tested positive for coronavirus [COVID-19].

Part of AC Milan’s statement read as follows: “Paolo Maldini and Daniel are both well and have already completed two weeks at home without contact with others. They will now remain in quarantine until clinically recovered, as per the medical protocols outlined by the health authorities,” as reported by Goal.

On a similar note, Dybala became the third player from Juventus first team’s squad to be found positive for coronavirus after defender Danile Rugani and midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Moreover, Dybala posted on his official instagram saying, “ Hi everyone, I just wanted to inform you that we have received the results for the Covid-19 test and both Oriana [Dybala’s girlfriend] and I have tested positive. Luckily we are in perfect conditions. Thanks for your messages.”

Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China on 1 December 2019 around 304,000 people were infected and about 12,900 people died because of the disease.
As a result, several countries such as Italy, Spain, France, and England suspended their sports competitions due to the coronavirus being widespread among around 188 countries and territories.]]>
3/23/2020 9:11:00 AM
<![CDATA[Madrid’s Former President Sanz dies of coronavirus ]]>
One of Real Madrid’s successful presidents, Sanz was diagnosed with coronavirus [COVID-19] at 76-years-old after days of having fever and suffering from the disease.

“My father just passed away,” Sanz’s son Lorenzo Sanz Duran tweeted on Saturday.

“He did not deserve this ending and this way. One of the kindest, bravest, and hardworking people I’ve ever seen is leaving. His family and Real Madrid were his passion,” continued Lorenzo on his twitter account.

Sanz’s presidency term at the Spanish Giants [Real Madrid] lasted for five years from 1995-2000 when Madrid won the UEFA Champions League twice.

During his time at Los Blancos [Real Madrid] Sanz managed to assemble a strong competitive team with Fabio Cappello as manager along with players like Roberto Carlos, Clarence Seedorf, and Davor Suker.

July 2000 marked the end of Sanz presidency with Real Madrid after losing the elections to Real Madrid’s current president Florentino Perez who secured La Decima [10th Champions League trophy] to Los Merengues [Real Madrid] .]]>
3/23/2020 8:19:00 AM
<![CDATA[We need Ahaddad against Zamalek, Raja manager]]>
Ahaddad joined the club in 2018 summer on a one year loan from Zamalek but Zamalek added a clause on the player's contact that prohibits him from playing against his parent club.


However, Raja can pay Zamalek $200k to be able to use the player when the two clubs meet at CAF Champions League semi-finals.

"The club must solve this issue as Ahaddad is one of the most important players and scored many decisive goals during the season," Sellami said on Saturday.

Ahaddad scored four goals and provided two assists during his 17 appearances with the Moroccan superpower this season.

Raja knocked out TP Mazembe at the quarter-finals to reach the competition's semi-finals for the first time since 2005.]]>
3/21/2020 1:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Herrera aims to finish his career at Zaragoza]]>
"I have ?been hugely lucky to have been able to play for?Athletic?and enjoy their philosophy, but my aim is to return to?Zaragoza, the club that I've supported since I was young." The midfielder said according to Marca.

Herrera started his career at Real Zaragoza, where his father played as a professional footballer for six years between 1982 and 1988.


Herrera is a Zaragoza academy product and got promoted through the club youth rankings till he joined the first team at 20.

The Spaniard left the club in 2011 to join Athletic Bilbao where he played for three years before going abroad to represent Manchester United in England and Paris Saint Germain in France.

Herrera added "When I have worn the shirt of?Athletic,?Manchester United?or?PSG, I've always tried to represent them and defend them as if I was their biggest fan, but my team is?Zaragoza."]]>
3/21/2020 12:30:00 PM