Author: AFP

Inter get suspended stand closure for Kessie racist abuse

Milan (AFP) – Inter have been handed a suspended stand closure on Monday for racist abuse by their fans towards AC Milan’s Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie during last weekend’s city derby. The Italian football federation’s sports judge said three officials in different parts of the stadium twice heard the “racist chants” directed at Kessie after seven and 39 minutes from Inter’s Curva Nord (north stand) at the San Siro. The FIGC said the punishment was suspended for a year “with the warning that if during this period a similar violation will be committed, the suspension will be revoked and the ... Read more

Big win for PSG as UEFA financial probe dropped

Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain won a major victory Tuesday when the world’s top sports court backed the French champions against European football’s governing body UEFA over club finances. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld PSG’s appeal against a UEFA decision to reopen a probe into the club’s compliance with Financial Fair Play regulations. UEFA had originally cleared PSG of wrongdoing in June following an investigation triggered by PSG splashing out 400 million euros ($454 million) to buy Brazilian superstar Neymar and French phenomenon Kylian Mbappe. “The appeal filed at the CAS on 3 October 2018 by Paris Saint-Germain ... Read more

Ronaldo ban would be ‘crazy’, says Juve teammate Bernardeschi

Milan (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus teammate Federico Bernardeschi said Tuesday it would be “crazy” for UEFA to suspend the Portuguese forward for his controversial goal celebration. Ronaldo faces UEFA charges for “improper conduct” after mimicking Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone’s crotch-grabbing ‘cojones’ gesture after his hat-trick in Juventus’ Champions League comeback win. “It’s something that I don’t think needs looking at, it (a suspension) would be crazy,” international winger Bernardeschi told a press conference ahead of Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifiers. “I think it’ll end there, it was a celebration, a gesture. I see him calm and relaxed, as we ... Read more

Kane insists club rivalries will not split England camp

London (AFP) – England captain Harry Kane insists the Three Lions’ squad are too united to be divided by the tension surrounding the Premier League title race and upcoming Champions League ties. Four English sides have reached the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in a decade with Tottenham striker Kane set to face a host of international teammates who play for Manchester City three times in two legs of a Champions League quarter-final and a vital Premier League match next month. City and Liverpool are vying for the title, while Spurs face competition from ... Read more

‘Like Suarez’: Serbia star Jovic set to shine against Germany

Berlin (AFP) – Rising Eintracht Frankfurt star Luka Jovic is hoping to maintain his superb form when he lines up for Serbia against Germany in a friendly this Wednesday. Jovic, 21, is set to make only his fourth international appearance in Wolfsburg against the Germans, but for Frankfurt fans, he is already a superstar. The Serbian striker scored the winner at the San Siro last week, as Eintracht knocked out Inter Milan with 1-0 win to reach the last eight of the Europa League, where Benfica – the club he is on loan from until May – awaits. Jovic has ... Read more

Everton boss Silva fined £12,000 for Newcastle outburst

London (AFP) – Everton manager Marco Silva has been fined £12,000 ($16,000, 14,000 euros) for confronting match officials on the pitch following his side’s 3-2 defeat at Newcastle earlier this month, the Football Association announced Tuesday. “The Everton manager accepted an improper conduct charge from the FA, which resulted from his behaviour on the field of play at the end of the Premier League fixture against Newcastle United on March 9,” the FA said in a statement. The Portuguese was furious at Newcastle’s winning goal being allowed to stand despite what he saw as “five Newcastle players in the same ... Read more

Giggs hits back after Zlatan criticism of Man Utd ‘Class of 92’

London (AFP) – Ryan Giggs has responded to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s criticism of the “Class of 92” by insisting players with “over 2,000 games between us” are entitled to have an opinion about Manchester United. Former United striker Ibrahimovic claimed in a newspaper interview that the ongoing loyalty of Giggs and other pundits such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes to Alex Ferguson has fuelled criticism of Paul Pogba. Ibrahimovic told the Daily Mirror that the criticism of Pogba dated back to his decision to walk away from Old Trafford and sign for Juventus in 2012 when Ferguson was still United ... Read more

Deschamps keen to lead France into 2022 World Cup

Paris (AFP) – France’s World Cup-winning coach Didier Deschamps has told AFP he would like to remain in his job until the 2022 finals in Qatar. The 50-year-old Deschamps, who took charge of France in 2012, guided Les Bleus to a second World Cup title in Russia, two decades after lifting the trophy as captain on home soil. “For me to be able to carry on until the next World Cup is obviously something I would not be unhappy about, but we’ll see,” Deschamps said Tuesday. “I have a very good relationship with (FFF) president (Noel Le Graet). I’m under contract ... Read more