Man City Eye Title Glory As United Face Aston Villa

Manchester City’s English midfielder Raheem Sterling (3rd L) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 8, 2021.
Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester City will be crowned Premier League champions if their arch rivals Manchester United lose at Aston Villa on Sunday, while Brighton blew a chance to secure their survival in a dramatic 2-1 defeat at Wolves.

Pep Guardiola’s side missed a chance to seal the title when they lost 2-1 against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but Marcos Alonso’s late winner will only temporarily delay their celebrations.

City are 13 points clear of second placed United, who have five games left including their trip to Villa Park.

United play three times over the coming week — against Villa, Leicester and Liverpool — and a defeat in any of those matches would seal the title for City before the leaders next play at Newcastle on Friday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would love to keep City waiting for the title as long as possible.

The Europa League finalists also want to wrap up a second place finish, which would be their highest end of season position in the Premier League since Solskjaer took charge in December 2018.

But City have turned the title race into a procession since the new year and it is only a matter of time before they are crowned English champions for a third time in four seasons.

Pep Guardiola’s team have enjoyed a remarkable revival after a spluttering start to the season.

After a 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion in mid-December, City had won just five of their opening 12 Premier League games and started their next match at Southampton 11 points adrift of defending champions Liverpool.

It was the worst start of Guardiola’s managerial career, but since a transformative 3-1 victory at Chelsea on January 3, City have left their rivals trailing in their wake.

That was the start of a run of 18 successive wins in all competitions, a record sequence for an English top-flight club.

They have also won their last 18 away games in all competitions, also a record a team from England’s top tier.

City’s achievements have been even more impressive given the issues posed by a frantic fixture list amid the coronavirus pandemic.

– Brighton rocked –

In Sunday’s early game at Molineux, Brighton took the lead after 13 minutes when Lewis Dunk headed in Pascal Gross’ corner.

Graham Potter’s side needed a victory to be sure of avoiding relegation.

But Brighton captain Dunk was sent off in the 53rd minute after he pulled back Fabio Silva as the Wolves forward raced through on goal.

Wolves made the most of their numerical advantage in the 76th minute as Adama Traore fired home after exchanging passes with Silva.

Brighton were unable to hold on and Morgan Gibbs-White won it for Wolves in the 90th minute with a fine finish for his first Premier League goal.

Adding to Brighton’s woes, French striker Neal Maupay was sent off for foul and abusive language after the final whistle.

The Seagulls are 10 points above the relegation zone, with third bottom Fulham, who have four games left, playing Burnley on Monday.

Later, fifth-placed West Ham host Everton as they bid to close the gap on fourth-placed Leicester.

The Hammers, making an unexpected charge for Champions League qualification, are five points behind Leicester, who lost to Newcastle on Friday.

Troubled Arsenal, who crashed out of the Europa League against Villarreal on Thursday, face second-bottom West Bromwich Albion in Sunday’s final game.

West Brom, 10 points from safety with four games left, will be relegated if they lose at the Emirates Stadium.

Chelsea Beat Man City To Delay Premier League Title Party

Chelsea's Spanish defender Marcos Alonso (2nd R) shoots to score their late winner during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 8, 2021. Chelsea won the game 2-1. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso (2nd R) shoots to score their late winner during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 8, 2021. Chelsea won the game 2-1.
Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea forced Manchester City to put their Premier League title party on hold on Saturday, winning 2-1 to boost their own chances of a top-four finish in a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final.

Raheem Sterling gave the home side the lead just before half-time at an empty Etihad Stadium but Hakim Ziyech levelled and Marcos Alonso bundled in the winner in the dying seconds.

City could be crowned champions before they play again. Second-placed Manchester United face three matches before Guardiola’s men are next in action, against Newcastle on Friday.

The point lifts Chelsea into third spot, six clear of fifth-placed West Ham with just three games to go.

Thomas Tuchel’s in-form team ended City’s dreams of a historic quadruple by beating them in the FA Cup semi-final last month and they once more proved tricky opponents.

City, who have a huge 13-point advantage over second-placed Manchester United, are certain to win their third Premier League title in four years but must now wait for it to be confirmed.

Pep Guardiola made nine changes from the side that saw off Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final in midweek, with Ederson and Ruben Dias the only players to keep their places.

Chelsea made five changes following their triumph over Real Madrid.

The home side dominated possession in the early stages, with Ferran Torres firing over after a thrust down the right and Benjamin Mendy shooting wide.

Raheem Sterling was booked in the 12th minute after catching Timo Werner with his studs but the punishment could have been worse.

Werner had the ball in the net just after the half-hour but he was well offside and Sterling had a shot at the other end but clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Ziyech tested Ederson in the City goal as the half-time break neared but moments later the home side were ahead.

Gabriel Jesus shrugged off Andreas Christensen to break into the area. He squared, looking for Sergio Aguero. The Argentine’s touch was poor but Sterling was on hand to tuck home.

City should have been 2-0 in first-half stoppage time but Aguero paid the price for attempting a Panenka penalty that was easily saved by Edouard Mendy, drawing the ire of Guardiola.

Jesus won the spot-kick when he was bundled over by Billy Gilmour.

Chelsea fightback

As the second half wore on the visitors started to establish a foothold and they equalised just after the hour when Rodri lost possession on the halfway line.

Chelsea broke down the right and Cesar Azpilicueta picked out Ziyech just outside the area. The Moroccan drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.

Guardiola threw on Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden for Torres and Aguero as his side went in search of the win.

Chelsea substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi had the ball in the net with about 10 minutes to go but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside.

The finish was frantic. Sterling had a penalty appeal turned down and Alonso then grabbed a last-gasp winner after an assist from Werner.

Tuchel has transformed Chelsea’s fortunes since replacing Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge in January, losing just two matches on his way to the FA Cup final and Champions League final.

Their remaining three league matches are against Arsenal, Leicester — their FA Cup final opponents — and Aston Villa but they will now be strongly fancied to qualify for the Champions League for the third season in a row.

 

AFP

 

Man United Fans’ Protest Went ‘Too Far’, Says Solskjaer

Supporters protest against Manchester United’s owners, inside English Premier League club Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north west England on May 2, 2021, ahead of their English Premier League fixture against Liverpool.  AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said the anti-Glazer protest that forced the postponement of Manchester United’s clash against Liverpool went “too far” but reiterated his call for supporters’ voices to be heard.

Anger at American owners the Glazers, who took charge of the club in 2005, spiked after their recent attempt to join the breakaway European Super League.

Thousands of protestors descended on Old Trafford demanding change before Sunday’s scheduled Premier League match against arch-rivals Liverpool.

Around 200 fans got into the stadium and invaded the pitch, while another group made their frustrations clear at the team hotel in Manchester.

Solskjaer, speaking on Wednesday for the first time since the chaotic scenes, said it had been a difficult day for United, who had wanted to beat Liverpool “for the fans”.

“That’s the players’ focus, that’s my focus but, as I said before the game, we have to listen,” he said ahead of Thursday’s second leg of his side’s Europa League semi-final with Roma in Italy.

“We have to hear the fans’ voice. It’s everyone’s right to protest, it has to be in a civilised manner, though. It has to be in a peaceful manner.

“Unfortunately, when you break in, when police officers get injured, scarred for life, that’s too far.

“That’s one step too far. When it gets out of hand like this, it’s a police matter. It’s not about showing your opinions anymore.”

Police patrol outside the stadium after a supporter’s protest against Manchester United’s owners, outside English Premier League club Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north west England on May 2, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

A police spokesman said on Tuesday that six officers were injured as flares were let off and bottles thrown, with one sustaining a fractured eye socket and another a facial wound.

A 28-year-old man was charged with a number of offences including throwing fireworks and use of threatening behaviour outside the Lowry Hotel.

Roma clash

United, seeking their first silverware since 2017, beat Roma 6-2 in the first leg at home and are almost certain to reach the final, where they will play Arsenal or Villarreal.

Solskjaer, whose team have stumbled four times at the semi-final stage over the past two seasons, said he would maintain a “laser focus on the football”, with talk of more protests from angry fans.

“My job, my focus has to be on the results, but you don’t really need to be a rocket scientist to see that we have challenges and frictions and things that have to be dealt with within communication,” the Norwegian said.

“Other individuals than me of course have started already, discussing with the fans, communicating with fan groups, which is going to be massive for us going forward.

“I think the players have done terrific to be where they are. I would be sad if all the good work the players have done is disrupted, so our focus is on playing well and getting through to a final now.”

United co-chairman Joel Glazer has apologised for the Super League debacle saying “we got it wrong”.

Asked whether the owners should speak directly to supporters, Solskjaer said: “I’ve been communicating with the owners. I’ve got an apology, personally.

“They’ve apologised to the fans that this came out. I know that there is communication between other individuals than me and the fans.”

AFP

Premier League Fans To Return For Final Two Matchdays


ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

 

Fans will return to Premier League stadiums for the season’s final two rounds of fixtures later this month, subject to the UK government’s expected easing of lockdown restrictions.

Under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, crowds of up 10,000 or 25 percent of capacity will be permitted from May 17.

As a result, the Premier League has altered its fixture schedule to ensure that each of the 20 teams gets the opportunity to host at least one home match with a crowd.

The UK has given more than 34 million people a first vaccine dose with case numbers and hospitalisations from coronavirus falling.

Bar a short-lived experiment with maximum crowds of 4,000 in areas with low Covid-19 rates in December, the entire 2020/21 English season has been played behind closed doors.

“The Premier League has today confirmed that the final two Matchweeks of the 2020/21 season will be limited to home fans, subject to the Government easing lockdown restrictions in the United Kingdom,” the Premier League said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Matchweek 37 will now be played on 18-19 May, with the final matches of the season kicking off at 16:00 BST (1500GMT) on Sunday 23 May as planned.”

No away fans will be allowed to ease operational challenges, but the English top-flight clubs are hopeful of a return to full stadiums for the start of next season.

“Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and this marks a key step towards full stadiums, including away fans, from the start of the 2021/22 season,” added the statement.

A series of test events have already been held as supporters slowly return to watching live sport in Britain.

Leicester’s FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton hosted 4,000 fans at Wembley last month, while double that number saw Manchester City lift the League Cup on April 24.

A crowd of 21,000 will see the FA Cup final between Leicester and Chelsea on May 15.

Wembley is also set to host eight matches at Euro 2020 with at least 25 percent capacity.

There is hope the crowd for the Euro semi-finals and final could rise to 50 percent capacity at the 90,000 seater home of English football with a further easing of restrictions expected across England on June 21.

-AFP

Handball Premier League To Begin In October

A file photo of players during a match. Photo: HFN

 

The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) has announced that the kick-off date and venue of the fourth edition of the Premier League.

A statement by the Federation noted that the event would commence on October 8 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It added that the National Under 12/15 Handball Championship would take place from August 20 to 29 in Sokoto State.

The Federation also announced that the National Division One League would take place from July 9 to 17 2021 in Benin City, Edo State.

The National Division One League is the platform where teams compete to gain promotion to the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League.

According to the statement, the teams who were relegated in the 2020 Handball Premier League are not eligible to participate in the Division One League.

Players who participated in the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League 2020 would also not be allowed to feature in the National Division One League.

The league, since its inception in 2018, has been a useful tool for talent discovery and development of the sport in the country.

Last year, Safety Shooters won the men’s title while Adorable Angels produced a stunning performance to win the women’s crown.

EPL: Leno Howler Helps Everton Defeat Arsenal

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (2nd R) watches after deflecting the ball into his own het for an own-goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP
Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (2nd R) watches after deflecting the ball into his own het for an own-goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2021.
Michael Regan / POOL / AFP

 

An own-goal from Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno handed Everton a 1-0 Premier League win on Friday as around 2,000 fans protested against Gunners owner Stan Kroenke outside the Emirates Stadium.

With both sides chasing places in Europe next season, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s side who came out on top with a first win in seven games.

German keeper Leno turned a Richarlison cross into his own goal in the 76th minute to give the Toffees victory.

Arsenal supporters had gathered outside the ground demanding Kroenke stand down after the club’s attempt to join the doomed Super League project.

The result left Everton in eighth place, three points off the Champions League places.

Arsenal are ninth, nine points off the top four.

 

AFP

10-Man Leeds Beat Manchester City 2-1

Leeds players celebrate at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Manchester City suffered just a fourth Premier League defeat of the season as 10-man Leeds United shocked the runaway leaders thanks to Stuart Dallas’s double in a 2-1 win at the Etihad on Saturday.

Dallas opened the scoring three minutes before half-time, but hope of a famous win for Marcelo Bielsa’s men seemed to have disappeared when captain Liam Cooper was shown a straight red card in first-half stoppage time.

The visitors withstood a City bombardment until Ferran Torres equalised 14 minutes from time.

But Leeds still summoned the energy to pose a threat on the counter-attack and gained their reward when Dallas slotted below Ederson.

Bielsa’s first win in five meetings against Pep Guardiola propels Leeds to ninth in their first season back in the English top flight for 16 years.

Guardiola paid for heavily rotating his side with Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final, second leg, against Borussia Dortmund clearly his priority.

City still enjoy a 14-point lead at the top of the Premier League and need just 11 points from their remaining six matches to guarantee a third title in four years.

But Manchester United could close the gap to eight points should the Red Devils win their two games in hand, the first of which is away to Tottenham on Sunday.

A two-minute silence was held before kick-off in honour of Prince Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday.

Once the action got underway, City noticeably missed Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Ruben Dias, who were among the stars left on the bench by Guardiola.

Raheem Sterling’s presence in what was largely a second string side is a reflection of how the England international has fallen down the pecking order in the past few weeks.

Sterling did not even get on as a substitute in the first leg against Dortmund and did little to further his case for selection in midweek by slicing a great chance wide from Fernandinho’s cut-back.

Leeds had wasted a number of promising attacks with their final ball, but found the finishing touch on 43 minutes.

Patrick Bamford teed up Dallas to strike low in off the inside the post.

The visitors’ joy was short-lived. Just four minutes later they were a man down.

Cooper played the ball first before crashing into Gabriel Jesus, but referee Andre Marriner upgraded a yellow card shown to the Leeds’ captain to a red after reviewing the incident on the pitch-side screen.

Bamford was immediately sacrificed for more defensive cover in Pascal Struijk as Leeds battened down the hatches.

City were camped inside the Leeds half for almost the entire second-half, but were largely reduced to long-range efforts as Illan Meslier saved from Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fernandinho and Joao Cancelo.

Gundogan and Foden were introduced to bring more spark to City’s attack, but De Bruyne was surprisingly left in reserve for the full 90 minutes.

Torres finally made City’s dominance pay with a first-time finish after Fernandinho picked out Silva inside the area.

Yet, Leeds still went in search of a winner.

Raphinha outpaced Fernandinho, but was denied by a brilliant tackle by Brazilian compatriot Ederson.

Leeds’ approach was rewarded in stoppage time when Dallas galloped clear down the middle of a vacant City defence to slot home.

 

 

Leeds United’s French goalkeeper Illan Meslier (R) shakes hand with Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho (L) after the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP)

 

 

 

Leeds players celebrate at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Tim Keeton / various sources / AFP)

 

 

Leeds players celebrate at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Michael Regan / various sources / AFP)

 

 

Leeds players celebrate at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Leeds United’s Northern Irish midfielder Stuart Dallas (C) celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Leeds United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP)

Leeds United Legend Peter Lorimer Dies At 74

 

Peter Lorimer, Leeds United’s record goalscorer and a key player in the great side managed by Don Revie, has died aged 74, the club announced on Saturday.

The Scotland international midfielder known as ‘Hotshot Lorimer’ scored 238 goals in 705 appearances for Leeds over two spells spanning 23 years.

Along with the likes of compatriot Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter they won two league titles (1968-69, 1973-74) and the 1972 FA Cup.

“It is with great sadness, Leeds United has learned of the passing of club legend Peter Lorimer this morning at the age of 74 following a long-term illness,” read a club statement.

“With the ability to put fear into the opposing goalkeeper with his fierce striking of the ball, Peter famously earned the nicknames ‘Hot Shot’ and ‘Lasher’ from supporters.”

AFP

Manchester United Appoint Darren Fletcher As Technical Director

We are pleased to announce the appointment of John Murtough as the club’s new Football Director, and Darren Fletcher as Technical Director, Manchester United posted on Twitter. PHOTO CREDIT: @ManUtd/Twitter

 

Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has been named as the club’s first technical director, with John Murtough promoted to the role of football director, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

United said the two new roles would “further strengthen the club’s football operations” after years of speculation over the absence of a director of football at Old Trafford.

Fletcher returned to United in January as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching set-up.

The 37-year-old will focus on “a coordinated and long-term approach to player and squad development”, the club said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Haaland Double Fires Dortmund Into Champions League Quarter-Finals

Murtough, promoted from a role as head of football development, will “have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions”.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “These are hugely important appointments that reinforce the progress we have been making as a club in recent years in our relentless pursuit of success.

“We have already made great strides forward in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the resurgent pipeline of academy talent reaching the first team and through our improved recruitment record.”

Speaking about Fletcher he said: “Darren’s stellar achievements as a player and his own journey from academy to Premier League and Champions League winner means he naturally commands respect and understands this vital part of the club’s DNA.”

Former Scotland international Fletcher, who won five Premier League titles at Old Trafford, said: “It is great to be back with the club and I am delighted to be taking on this new role.

“We are moving in the right direction and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Ole and his coaching team, and now with John as the football director.”

United are currently second in the Premier League, 11 points behind Manchester City.

AFP

COVID-19: Fans May Return To Premier League Games From May 17

Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (2L) misses a chance at goal during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Chelsea at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on February 1, 2020. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Fans could be in English stadiums for the final weekend of the Premier League season and there are hopes Wembley may be packed for the Euro 2020 final under plans to ease coronavirus restrictions unveiled on Monday.

The British government’s roadmap to easing a nationwide lockdown means elite sport will continue behind closed doors until at least May 17.

If there are no setbacks during the implementation of the four-stage plan, crowds of up to 10,000 or 25 percent of seated capacity, whichever is lower, will be allowed to return.

READ ALSOCOVID-19: Nigeria To Receive Four Million Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccine Very Soon – FG

The Premier League season is due to finish on May 23. Other than a small number of matches played in front of 2,000 spectators late last year, the entire 2020/21 season has been played behind closed doors.

All further restrictions would then be lifted on June 21 in time for a series of major sports events in England.

The semi-finals and final of Euro 2020, which has been delayed by a year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to take place at Wembley from July 6 to 11.

Wimbledon, which was abandoned in 2020 for the first time since World War II, is due to start on June 28.

Golf’s British Open runs from July 15 to 18 at Royal St George’s in Kent.

Monday’s announcement is the first big step towards restoring normal life, nearly a year after Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed the first of three stay-at-home orders that have devastated the country and its economy.

Johnson told MPs that with a mass vaccination programme easing pressure on overstretched hospitals, “the end really is in sight”.

A Sunday Times report at the weekend said Britain could offer to host more Euro 2020 matches or the whole tournament due to the potential for crowds to return earlier than in other countries across Europe.

On top of the semi-finals and final, Wembley and Hampden Park in Glasgow are due to host four matches each in the group stages and last 16.

UEFA has so far publicly insisted it is sticking to the original plan of using 12 host cities across the continent despite the logistical challenges.

Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg, Bilbao, Munich, Budapest, Baku, Rome and Bucharest are all due to host matches.

However, British health secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday he was unaware of any offer to host the tournament.

Hancock told Sky News: “I haven’t seen anything on that, I understand that that’s not right.”

AFP

Arsenal Boss Arteta Hails Man City As ‘Best In Europe’

Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta applauds during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 14, 2021.
PHOTO: Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP

 

Mikel Arteta believes his Arsenal team will be facing the best side in Europe when they take on Premier League leaders Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

City have won a club-record 17 successive games across all competitions and are 10 points ahead of local rivals Manchester United at the summit of the English top-flight heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Arteta knows City well after working under manager Pep Guardiola in Manchester for three years before returning to manage Arsenal, having previously played for the Gunners.

“I think they are the best team in Europe at the moment,” Arteta said of City. “The way they are performing, the football they are playing and the consistency of the results, take all that it and it makes them the best team.

“So we have a big but, as well, a very exciting challenge ahead of us on Sunday.”

City made an uncertain start to the season but are now hot favourites to win a third Premier League title in four years

Arteta said he was impressed by how they had regained their form.

READ ALSO; Turkish Cup: Super Falcons Defeat CSKA Moscow In Opening Game

“What they have done is react to a difficult moment,” the Spanish boss explained. “They reacted in a really convincing way, all united and doing what they do best — being very consistent and winning games very comfortably.”

The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder added: “They have weaknesses like every team but at the moment teams have struggled a lot to find any of that because I think first of all defensively they have been really, really strong.”

Arsenal head into the match after a 1-1 draw against Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 clash in Rome on Thursday.

Next week’s second leg, being played in Athens because of coronavirus restrictions, is followed by a daunting run of fixtures that includes matches against Leicester, Tottenham, West Ham and Liverpool, all above Arsenal in the Premier League.

“We know the margin for error is minimal with the season that we have had in previous months, so we need to kick on,” he said.

AFP

Premier League Launches Racism Action Plan

Photo Credit: Evening Express

 

The Premier League on Tuesday launched a racism action plan to build on existing moves taken to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

The plan outlines a series of commitments aimed at creating greater access to opportunities and career progression for black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups in football, and actions to eradicate racial prejudice.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “Football is a diverse sport, which brings together communities and cultures from all backgrounds.

“This diversity has made the game stronger on the pitch and it is vital we ensure this is reflected across all areas of the game.”

Masters added: “The No Room For Racism Action Plan underpins the Premier League’s continued commitment to promoting equality and tackling discrimination.”

The Football Association this week called on the government to act quickly in the fight against racism after Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe and Lauren James, a forward for the club’s women’s team, were targeted on social media.

It follows a number of other incidents in which footballers, including United forward Marcus Rashford and Chelsea full-back Reece James — brother of Lauren — were targeted.

Last month Britain’s Prince William, president of the Football Association, described the racist abuse aimed at footballers as “despicable”.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden described the abuse as “absolutely shocking” and warned a change in the law would see social media companies “more accountable for what happens on their platforms”.