Midfielder Gets Five-Match Ban For Urinating On Pitch

Midfielder Gets Five-Match Ban For Urinating On Pitch

An Italian footballer who was banned for five matches for urinating towards rival fans will appeal the decision, his club said on Thursday.

Giovanni Liberti, a 21-year-old midfielder who plays for Serie D side FC Turris, has denied the offence during last Sunday’s game against rivals Sarnese.

Liberti allegedly urinated in the direction of the away stand and made obscene and vulgar gestures during a stop in play.

But in an angry post on Twitter, club president Antonio Colantonio blasted the decision.

“Our player has absolutely not done what is alleged,” said Colantonio in the statement from the club based in Torre del Greco, south of Naples.

It said that Liberti explained he had been drinking water from a fountain before coming onto the pitch and had simply being tucking his jersey into his shorts.

“The serious thing is that in support of the disqualification there is only the testimony of the assistant referee positioned on the opposite side of the pitch,” the statement added. “The visiting club confirmed to us that our player did not do anything of the sort.”

AFP

Super Eagles Coach, Rohr Confirms Onazi’s Injury

Super Eagles Coach, Rohr Confirms Ogenyi Onaz' InjurySuper Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has confirmed that Ogenyi Onazi has suffered a serious back injury on Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Senegal.

The stand in skipper was replaced by John Ogu in the first half and Rohr said afterwards that the midfielder would require a scan to ascertain the level of damage.

Rohr also suggested that Ahmed Musa could be carrying a knock after the Leicester City forward was substituted in the 75th minute.

The Super Eagles will take on Burkina Faso on Monday as they continue preparations for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Mikel Obi Determined To Stay At Chelsea

Mikel ObiChelsea’s Nigerian midfielder, John Mikel Obi, says he has no intention of leaving the London club.

Signed to the club in 2006 and now second only to Captain John Terry as the longest serving player in the club, Obi says Chelsea has become his home.

There have been rumours linking Mikel with a move away from West London but recent pre-season happenings show that Jose Mourinho might have plans for Mikel in his squad, at least in the 2015/16 season.

The 28-year-old spoke to club website and expressed confident views about his chances in the Chelsea squad.

“I want to stay and the manager wants me to stay,” said Mikel.

“I’ve got two years [on my contract] here and I’m happy.

“I like to be somewhere where I have developed friends and family. It’s like my family here and every day I come to work it is like coming in to see my family.

“I know all the players and all the staff so it’s going to be a hard place to leave when my contract runs out but let’s see what happens. I want to see out my two years.”

Mikel Obi played the first half of Chelsea’s match with New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, leaving the pitch at the break with the Blues 1-0 ahead.

He created an excellent chance for a second with a fine long pass which was latched on to by his compatriot Victor Moses. The winger was unlucky not to score with a dink that hit the post and not the net.

Mikel believes, “Overall it was a pretty good warm-up game but not the result we hoped for.

“We knew we needed to start the game well. I was in the dressing room having a shower at the beginning of the second half so I don’t know how we started but we obviously didn’t end the game well.”

Goals from Loïc Rémy and Eden Hazard could not prevent Chelsea slipping to a 4-2 defeat.

“We are here to work hard, and we are here to train hard leading to the Community Shield and to the league. I think we’re on the right course. That game was just a one-off game and we know we need to go back to training, buckle up and know the season is starting soon”, Mikel Obi said.

Sunday Mba; Super Hot Target For Clubs In Europe

Nigeria’s Afcon 2013 sensation; 24-year-old midfielder Sunday Mba he is being wooed by many Premier League clubs as he plots a move away from his Nigerian side Warri Wolves.

Mba’s exploits and performance at the just concluded Afcon 2013 where Nigeria emerged eventual winners of the competition in South Africa attracted a number of scouts to monitor his progression.

Though, still with his local club Warri Wolves, Mba revealed that he is open to a move from the club to Europe after being inundated with offers from several top clubs in Europe.

It is understood Andre Villas-Boas had a scout keeping a close eye on him, but the north-London club are expected to face competition from Everton and Reading for the £4million man.

“I won’t lie, I have been inundated with offers from England, Spain, Italy and some other countries but I will not be hasty in reaching a decision now,” Mba ended.

Cole Joins Boyhood Club; West Ham On Free Transfer

England International midfielder Joe Cole has left the Reds; Liverpool to return his younger days club Wet Ham after he left the Anfield club on a free transfer.

Signing an 18 month contract with West Ham, Cole admitted having a miserable time in Liverpool after leaving Stamford Bridge to Anfield in 2010.

Cole won eight major trophies at Chelsea, including three Premier League titles, and played 56 times for England.

It was not so pleasant for Cole in his first match for Liverpool after he red-carded and the second match too where he missed a penalty, he was there after sent on a loan spell to French Team Lille.

Cole scored five goals in 42 matches in all competitions at Liverpool.

Cole’s first spell at West Ham from 1998 to 2003 was where he learnt the trade.

“This is where I learnt my trade (West Ham) and I’m happy to have another chance to be here.”

Chelsea’s bid for Paulinho rejected

European champions; Chelsea got a disappointing news on what would have been  another move to fortify their 2012 squad after it was announced by Brazilian club Corinthians that Brazilian midfielder Paulinho whom Chelsea has been after for a while now has signed a new contract with the club.

Although, speculations are that the move is to find ways to increase the stakes on the  24-year-old, that is larger fee for his services in the future.

Corinthians dismissed the thought of selling their star to the Premier League club, as  Corinthians’ President Mario Gobbi Filho insisted that no bid will be consider for the midfielder as they want to hold on to their man.

“We have renewed his contract and we have adjusted it, now it is at a level appropriate for Paulinho and the market’.

We have no intention to sell him; it is out of the question.

“We have a cycle that lasts until July and we renewed his contract to keep him, not to sell him”

“We do not want to transfer any player in January.”

The midfield anchor man has been in impressive form of late attracting the interest of many European clubs.

Alongside the Blues, Inter Milan are rumoured to be monitoring the situation closely with the club’s bosses keen to add depth to their squad.

Paulinho, who won his first international cap last year, has made six outings for Brazil notching two goals.

Mikel Obi ventures into music

Chelsea and Nigerian midfielder, John Obi Mikel has made foray into music with the setting up of a label named Matured Money Minds.

The label has since kicked off operations with four acts including Jason ‘Kido’ Igho, brother of the winner of the 2011 edition of the reality TV show, Big Brother Africa, Karen Igho.

Karen wrote on Twitter on Thursday, ‘Mikel Obi signed my brother @callme_KIDO to his record label’.

Other acts on the newly formed label are Charass, Edgar and Splash.

With the help of his younger brother Patrick Obi, the 25-year-old football star has set up his Matured Money Minds (MMM) entertainment label.
Mikel who has a relationship with P-Square, is hoping to take music promotions in Nigeria to another level.

“Mikel had always showed his love for music. Setting up a label is just a confirmation of his desire to contribute to the growth of the industry in Nigeria,” said a source.

The artists on the label have reportedly cut their albums and full promotions are in the pipeline to promote and make then rub shoulders with the biggest artistes in the music industry in Nigeria.

Podolski can be kept quiet – Marko Marin

One of new Chelsea signings for the 2012/2013 season Marko Marin boasted that Chelsea will have no problem keeping his German rival Lukas Podolski under control as both clubs will be meeting for a London Derby.

Podolski who has been in a tremendous form will be a huge threat to the Blues’ hopes of winning Saturday’s London ­derby against Arsenal.

After a slow start, Podolski has bagged three goals in his last four Gunners games.

Attacking midfielder Marin, 23, said: “At the beginning it was a bit new for him, but now he is doing very well.“He has scored a few goals and he is playing well.

“Will Lukas be a threat? I think we have a very good ­defence. Our right-back Branislav Ivanovic will do very well.“It will be very hard for Lukas to play against him. I am not sure that Arsenal has played against a good team like us.

“I am confident that we can keep Podolski quiet.“There are two German players that we will be playing against, with Per Mertesacker also playing for Arsenal.

“I have not spoken to Lukas. We know each other from the national team, of course, but we are not really friends. “I hope I’m in the team, but the important thing is that we win and keep our position in the Premier League.”

Marin finally made his Blues debut in the 6-0 Capital One Cup rout of Wolves after missing the start of the season with a ­hamstring injury.He said: “I did it in a training session, but I feel good now and I can forget all that and look to the future.

“I just want to play for as long as possible, for as many games as I can. I am nearly 100 per cent fit again, so I hope to play.” Meanwhile, full-back Ryan Bertrand aims to build on his success after scoring in Tuesday night’s romp.

The 23-year-old has played a part in all but two games this season and forced his way into the England reckoning.

He said: “The year just keeps getting better for me so as long as I can keep it going, I should be able to do good things.

“We want to keep it going and hopefully repeat the success we had last year.”

 

Mikel Obi apologises for Champions League blunder

Mikel Obi, Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder apologised for his blunder that caused his club Chelsea the much desired win in the first match to launch their campaign to defend their champions’ league title.

In a match that was almost won with a perfectly executed game plan, the Stamford Bridge club was on course to finish the game with a 2-1 score line when Mikel carelessly gave the ball away in the build-up to the equalizer  cancelling the two goals from Brazil midfielder Oscar.

Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi has apologised for the Champions League blunder that allowed Juventus to snatch a 2-2 draw against holders Chelsea.

With just 10 minutes remaining at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, Chelsea were on course to open their title defence with a victory after two goals from Brazil midfielder Oscar gave them a 2-1 lead over the Italian champions.

Mikel said in a brief interview with Sky Sports after the game said he thinks Chelsea switched off that it was a pass meant Eden Harzard but unfortunately it didn’t get him that was when everything went awry but he felt Chelsea would have dealt with it properly.

Mikel then apologised thereafter saying “If I want to make up an excuse, I can, but for me, I gave the ball away. I put my hands up, we move on.

“I’m sorry about the mistake, but there are no excuses” Mikel concluded.

The Nigerian had been encouraged, however, by Chelsea’s energetic beginning to the match, adding, “I think we started the game well, we scored two goals and we had more possession of the game. We had the game under control but they scored one goal.

“We came out in the second half trying to do something in the way that we started the first half but their second goal was a cheap goal to give away.”

It could have been even worse for Chelsea as Quagliarella hit the crossbar with a looping shot just after his equaliser.

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo was frustrated with the way his team lost control after taking a two-goal lead, but he could at least take heart from Oscar’s wonderful display on his debut for Chelsea.

Essien moves to Real Madrid on season-long loan

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien joined Spanish champions Real Madrid on loan on transfer deadline day.

The Ghanaian re-joins former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who brought him to England in 2005, at the Bernabeu.

The 29-year-old has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert boundless energy in supporting offensive and defensive play.

Essien can also play as a centre-back.

Essien began his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country. In 2000, he moved to France joining SC Bastia. Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003.

At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. During his five-year stint in France, he acquired French citizenship.

In 2005, Essien signed with Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history.

At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one Football League Cup. In 2008, he appeared in the UEFA Champions League Final. He has won the Chelsea Goal of the season award twice, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.

A Ghanaian international, Essien started at youth level as he represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the latter team finishing as runner-up.

Essien made his senior team debut in January 2002 and has represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where Ghana reached the Round of 16. He is often referred to as the Bison for his tough tackling style, boundless energy and physical presence on the pitch.

Alex Song completes Barcelona move

Alex Song has completed his £15million move to Barcelona from Arsenal.

The Cameroon international successfully passed his medical at Barca on Monday and put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Primera Division giants.

Doctor Ricard Pruna has confirmed that 24 year old Cameroon midfielder and Arsenal player Alex Song has passed his medical test with Spanish Giants Barcelona in a deal that is worth £15millon taking him away from his English Club Arsenal to Barcelona as he is close to finishing the deal.

Alex Song passed his medical test this morning and which propelled the deal to the stage of putting pen to paper to sign a five-year contract with Barcelona this afternoon.

Medically he has been rated excellent by Doctor Ricard Pruna who said “He has a very low body fat percentage and very good muscle quality. All the tests have come out satisfactorily and he is available to the coach.”