FA Charges Ronaldo For Smashing Everton Fan’s Phone

In this file photo, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 7, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo was charged with “improper and/or violent” conduct by the English Football Association on Friday for an incident dating back five months.

Footage showed Ronaldo appearing to knock a fan’s mobile phone to the ground after United’s 1-0 defeat at Everton on April 9, for which the Portuguese was cautioned by Merseyside Police.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 for an incident that took place after Manchester United FC’s Premier League match against Everton on Saturday 9 April 2022,” said a FA spokesperson.

“It is alleged that the forward’s conduct after the final whistle was improper and/or violent.”

READ ALSOSuper Eagles’ Goal Is To Win Next AFCON, Says Peseiro

After the incident, which occurred when Ronaldo was making his way towards the tunnel, the 37-year-old issued a social-media apology for his “outburst” and invited the supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford “as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship”.

If found guilty of the charge, Ronaldo could face a ban from upcoming Premier League matches.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has only started in the league once this season under Erik ten Hag after failing to force a move away from Old Trafford during the transfer window.

In a statement, United said: “We note the FA announcement in relation to Cristiano Ronaldo.

“We will be supporting the player in response to the charge.”

AFP

Drop Ronaldo And Rashford For Liverpool Tie, Rooney Tells Ten Hag

A file photo combination of Rashford and Ronaldo.

 

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag can boost his hopes of securing his first Premier League point against Liverpool on Monday if he dropped Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford Red Devils legend Wayne Rooney writes in the Sunday Times.

United have opened their campaign with embarrassing defeats, Brighton recording their first ever win at Old Trafford followed by a 4-0 whipping by Brentford last weekend.

It leaves them rooted at the bottom of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.

United host a Liverpool outfit who are also seeking their first win of the campaign following two draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace.

United and England record goalscorer Rooney says his former side requires players who run their hearts out on the pitch and neither Ronaldo nor Rashford provide that.

Ronaldo in his second spell at United has been rumoured to be seeking a move away from the club as he wants to play Champions League football.

READ ALSO: Mendy Howler Sends Chelsea Crashing To Leeds Defeat

Rashford’s loss of form since playing in the Euro 2020 final last year has seen him lose his place in the England squad and there have been reports of him being linked with French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

“I wouldn’t play Cristiano Ronaldo, and I wouldn’t play Marcus Rashford,” said Rooney.

“If I was in Ten Hag’s position my main concern would be getting energy on the pitch, and United’s failure to recruit a No 9 means they relied on Ronaldo against Brentford, even though he hadn’t trained a lot with the team.

“He looked like he needs time to get match fit.”

‘Night And Day’

Rooney — who is now coaching another of his former clubs DC United in the MLS — said United should let Ronaldo leave, as at 37 he is not a player to build a potential title-winning team around.

“He has also let it be known that he wants to leave the club,” said Rooney.

“I don’t know his reasons but, as I wrote in my last column, I’d let him — he’s a great player and will always score goals but the task for Ten Hag is to produce a team that can compete for the title in three or four years’ time.

“That means rebuilding with younger players.”

Rooney says watching Rashford these days is “a real concern.”

“I think he needs to do a lot of soul-searching and figure out what he wants, for his own good, before anything else,” said Rooney.

“He looks like he wants to be anywhere but on a football pitch. I haven’t seen him smile on the field for a long time.

“He’s a lovely kid and a local lad who came through the ranks at United, who everyone wants to see doing well.

“But you look at the difference between Marcus now and when he first came into the team: the passion he showed, the smile on his face when he scored.

“It’s night and day.”

Rooney wonders whether part of the problem is that Rashford is keen to leave.

“There has been speculation about a move to Paris Saint-Germain, and it could be that he is another, like Cristiano, who wants a change of scene.”

AFP

Police Caution Ronaldo Over Smashing Of Fan’s Phone

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 7, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has been cautioned by British police after footage emerged of the Manchester United forward appearing to smash a phone out of an Everton fan’s hand at a match last season.

The 37-year-old was interviewed by officers in relation to an allegation of assault and criminal damage following the incident at Goodison Park on April 9.

Merseyside Police launched an investigation after a clip was circulated online of Ronaldo appearing to knock the supporter’s mobile phone on to the ground as he limped towards the tunnel following United’s 1-0 loss.

The force said in a statement on Wednesday: “We can confirm that a 37-year-old man voluntarily attended and was interviewed under caution in relation to an allegation of assault and criminal damage.

“The allegation relates to an incident following the Everton v Manchester United football match at Goodison Park on Saturday, April 9.

“The matter has been dealt with by way of conditional caution. The matter has now concluded.”

READ ALSO: Ronaldo Blasts ‘Lies’ Over Man Utd Future

After the incident, Ronaldo issued a social media apology for his “outburst” and invited the supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford “as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship”.

Taking to his Instagram account after the match, the Portuguese forward said: “It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing.

“Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient, and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.

“I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair play and sportsmanship.”

It comes as Ronaldo hit out at the “lies” surrounding reports about his future at struggling United.

The Portugal forward missed the club’s pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia for personal reasons as speculation swirled over whether he would be leaving Old Trafford.

It has been reported Ronaldo wants to play Champions League football, but United maintain he is not for sale and remains an integral part of the plans of new boss Erik ten Hag.

The former Real Madrid star played the full 90 minutes of United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford on Saturday, which left them bottom of the Premier League.

In a reply to a fan account on Instagram that referred to a report linking the United frontman to Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo said fans would “know the truth” in a couple of weeks, adding: “The media is telling lies.”

AFP

Ronaldo, Maguire Most Abused Premier League Players On Twitter – Report

A file photo combination of Ronaldo and Maguire.

 

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire have received the most Twitter abuse of any Premier League players, a report published Tuesday has found.

Analysis by British media regulator Ofcom of 2.3 million tweets in the first half of last season found nearly 60,000 abusive posts, affecting seven in 10 top-flight players.

Half of that abuse was directed at just 12 individuals – eight from United.

Twitter was chosen due to its popularity with players, and because it makes data available for research but the study does not take into account the safeguards that are in place.

Ofcom is preparing to regulate technology companies under new Online Safety laws aimed at protecting users.

“These findings shed light on a dark side to the beautiful game,” Ofcom group director for broadcasting and online content Kevin Bakhurst said. “Online abuse has no place in sport, nor in wider society, and tackling it requires a team effort.

“Social media firms needn’t wait for new laws to make their sites and apps safer for users. When we become the regulator for online safety, tech companies will have to be really open about the steps they’re taking to protect users. We will expect them to design their services with safety in mind.”

READ ALSO: England Beat Germany To Win Women Euro 2022 Trophy

The report identified two peaks in the frequency of abusive tweets.

The first came on the day Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United — August 27 2021 — generating three times more tweets than any other day (188,769), of which 3,961 were abusive.

The volume of posts can largely be explained because of Ronaldo’s 98.4 million followers.

On this day, the Portugal forward was mentioned in 90 percent of all tweets aimed at Premier League footballers and 97 percent of abusive tweets.

The second peak came on November 7 when Maguire tweeted an apology following Manchester United’s 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City, with many posts using insulting language towards the England defender.

Twitter said it also removed more than 38,000 abusive tweets, with a spokesperson telling Britain’s PA news agency they were “committed” to combatting abuse and did not tolerate harassment on grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

At an Ofcom event at the National Football Museum in Manchester on Tuesday, Manchester United women’s player Aoife Mannion said using social media was a particular “deal with the devil” for female footballers.

“We do need it because we need the exposure and visibility we get from it, we don’t need the abuse,” she said.

AFP

Ronaldo Insists On Leaving Man Utd As Talks Breakdown

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo makes a rare appearance as captain during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 3, 2022.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Tuesday meeting has yielded no positive outcome as he has asked the club to end his contract to allow him to join a Champions League side.

Despite Ronaldo’s stance, Manchester United have insisted the forward is not for sale as they are yet to receive any formal bid for his services.

Talks over the 37-year-old to make commitments to the Red Devils proved abortive but he is expected to carry on professionally.

Ronaldo had missed United’s pre-season tour in Thailand and Australia respectively but was available for a medical checkup on Wednesday at which he watched his side’s 4-1 victory against Wrexham behind closed doors.

It is believed the Portuguese superstar will be available for the pre-season fixture against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Chelsea had withdrawn their bid for the superstar a while back while Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid appeared to publicly rule themselves out this week.

Atletico fans displayed a banner stating “CR7 not welcome” at a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

Ronaldo had taken a leave of absence from the club two weeks ago to attend to “family issues.” which called for a form of sanctions as he was seen to be breaking contractual obligations by missing the tour.

But due to the sensitive reasons for him remaining in Lisbon, United CEO Richard Arnold decided not to sanction him as Arnold is said to be “relaxed” about the fact Ronaldo might miss the entire tour – and is more concerned with resolving the striker’s immediate future.

 

Police Arrest Six Burglars Who Raided Ronaldo’s House

A file photo of Ronaldo. Credit: [email protected]

Six people have been arrested in connection with the three-million-euro burglary at the house belonging to former Brazil forward Ronaldo, AFP learned on Thursday from sources close to the investigation.

Paris Saint-Germain player Marco Verratti was staying at Ronaldo’s house in Ibiza but was not home when the burglars struck on Monday, making off with jewellery and money.

Two people were arrested in the port of Denia in eastern Spain and four others were held in the southern city of Malaga, these sources told AFP without further details.

According to the Spanish press, four of the six arrested are Albanian, the other two being a Spaniard and a Romanian, making up an organised gang specialising in burglary.

Press reports also claim that the Spanish police recovered a large part of the loot, estimated at around three million euros.

AFP

US Judge Dismisses Rape Suit Against Football Star Ronaldo

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 7, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

A US district judge in Las Vegas has dismissed a rape lawsuit against football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, castigating the legal team behind the complaint.

Judge Jennifer Dorsey threw out the case brought by Kathryn Mayorga of Nevada, who alleged she was assaulted by the Portuguese soccer star in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

In a 42-page ruling released Friday, the judge accused Mayorga’s attorneys of “abuses and flagrant circumvention of the proper litigation process” and said that as a result, “Mayorga loses her opportunity to pursue this case.”

Her attorneys had actually moved to dismiss the case voluntarily last month, US media said, but Dorsey decided that their repeated use of illicitly obtained confidential documents meant the case had to be dismissed “with prejudice” — meaning it cannot be revived.

“Nothing less than a with-prejudice dismissal will purge the taint that has permeated this case from its very inception and preserve the integrity of the litigation process,” Dorsey wrote.

Mayorga filed a complaint in September last year alleging she was sexually assaulted by Ronaldo, who strongly denied the accusations.

Mayorga said that while she had agreed to a financial settlement with Ronaldo shortly after the alleged incident — reportedly for $375,000 — her emotional trauma at the time did not allow her to participate in the mediation process.

But in trying to revive the case, Dorsey found, Mayorga’s lawyer Leslie Stovall made repeated use of “cyber-hacked attorney-client privileged documents.”

That use of the documents was “bad faith,” the judge ruled, “and simply disqualifying Stovall will not cure the prejudice to Ronaldo, because the misappropriated documents and their confidential contents have been woven into the very fabric of Mayorga’s claims.”

Ronaldo is one of the biggest stars of world football and is a five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player.

Things Need To Change At Manchester United- Ronaldo

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo makes a rare appearance as captain during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 3, 2022.

 

Manchester United forward has voiced his opinion on the current state of affairs at the club with the appointment of former Ajax coach, Erik ten Hag

United completed what was their worst season in Premier League history, barely finishing sixth with 58 points after a slip by the Hammers and 35 points behind league-winning City.

There were also reports of tension and in-fighting with several players angered by former interim- coach Rangnick’s outspoken comments in news conferences. It was also reported that some of the squad weren’t happy with Maguire as captain.

‘I know he [Ten Hag] did a fantastic job for Ajax and that he’s an experienced coach. But we need to give him time and things need to change – the way he wants,” Ronaldo said in an interview on the arrival of Dutch.

‘I hope we have success of course. Because if you have success, all of Manchester are going to have success as well.”

The Portuguese star was optimistic about the English giants getting back to winning ways

‘I believe that Manchester will be where they belong,’ he said. ‘As I said before, sometimes it takes time but I still believe,” he said.

Ronaldo had hinted that United’s younger stars struggle to take on criticism as he suggested they do not listen to the advice of the experienced pros.

However, the 37-year-old still intends to help United’s next generation as he believes they are the future of the club.

‘The new generation will be the future of the club. I’m in favour of giving opportunities to the young generation because they will be the future.”

 

Ronaldo Scores As Man United Record Morale-Boosting Win Against Brentford

Ronaldo: Source: [email protected] Utd

 

Manchester United took the sting out of their fans’ latest protest against the Glazer family as they eased to a 3-0 win against Brentford on Monday.

Ahead of a summer of change for troubled United, Ralf Rangnick’s side won for just the second time in seven games to keep the atmosphere from turning toxic at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes struck early in the first half and Cristiano Ronaldo converted a second half penalty before France defender Raphael Varane bagged his first goal for United.

Despite winning their last home game of the season, United remain in sixth place in the Premier League with two games left.

They sit five points adrift of the top four with no realistic hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Fittingly, it was under grey, rain-filled skies that fans protested against despised owners the Glazers for a third successive home match.

Outside the stadium before kick-off, a group of supporters held up anti-Glazer banners, set off red smoke bombs and made offensive chants about the club’s owners.

United fans had been urged by the protesters to leave the stadium with 17 minutes left in the match — one minute for every year the United States-based Glazers have owned the club.

But that idea proved a damp squib as only a handful left their seats.

There were more empty seats by the time United embarked on a post-match lap of appreciation, but no overt signs of dissent towards their underachieving stars.

“In possession that was one of our best performances this year. It was the type of performance we wanted to show to our supporters,” Rangnick said.

Regardless, there is no doubting the overall level of frustration at another trophyless season for United, who haven’t won the Premier League since 2013 and last lifted a major trophy five years ago.

 ‘Lacked Consistency’ 

Aside from a few scathing comments about the club’s direction, Rangnick has done little to jolt United out of their malaise since replacing the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.

“In the end I’m not happy with the results, especially in the last four or five weeks. In general we have lacked consistency,” Rangnick said.

“It’s obvious quite a few players will leave and there is a need for top quality players.

“Other clubs only needed two or three transfer windows to challenge. I strongly believe that if everyone works together we can bring Man Utd back to where we need to be.”

Rangnick was in charge of his last home game as United interim manager before the recently-hired Erik ten Hag arrives from Ajax to start his rebuilding job next season.

After such a wretched run, United needed a fast start to lift the gloom a little and they took just nine minutes to go in front.

Anthony Elanga beat Brentford’s offside trap as he raced onto Diogo Dalot’s pass.

He reached the ball just before it went out for a goal-kick and whipped a superb cross towards Fernandes, who volleyed home from six yards for his first league goal since February.

After several listless displays, this was a more energetic effort from United and Juan Mata fired narrowly wide from Ronaldo’s flamboyant pass.

Ronaldo won a penalty in the 60th minute as he powered past Rico Henry and was crudely barged to the turf by the Brentford defender.

Picking himself up, Ronaldo sent David Raya the wrong way from the spot.

The Portugal striker has scored nine of United’s last 11 league goals, taking his tally for the season to 24 in all competitions.

With the United fans’ much-hyped walk-out just seconds away, Varane volleyed the third goal from a corner in the 72nd minute.

That appeared to take the sting out of the revolt, with Mata and Nemanja Matic — both likely to leave in the close-season — departing to standing ovations when they were substituted.

It was a rare feelgood moment in a season of strife at Old Trafford.

AFP

Manchester United ‘Improved’ Despite Loss To Arsenal – Rangnick


Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes misses a penalty kick during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. Ian Kington / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United have improved despite the loss to Arsenal. He also thinks his team were unlucky against the Gunners on Saturday.

“Improved performance but poor result, I think we created enough chances to score more than that one goal, we bounced back well to that early goal that we conceded where again we didn’t defend well inside and around our own box,” he said after the defeat at the Emirates.

“This was the only negative issue regarding today’s game but after coming back from 2-0 down we had numerous chances, the penalty, the crossbar, we hit the post twice, and a few VAR decisions and that’s putting it in an extremely mild way, we were unlucky. That’s why we are very disappointed about the result but our overall performances were much better.”

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Rangnick also admitted Manchester United’s hopes of Champions League football next season are over after the 3-1 loss

Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka, and Granit Xhaka struck for Mikel Arteta’s men to move them three points clear of Tottenham, who face Brentford later on Saturday.

Sixth-placed United are six points adrift of the top four and could miss out on European football completely for only the second time since 1990.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd goal of the season on his return to the United side after missing Tuesday’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool due to the death of his newborn son.

However, Ronaldo will regret letting Bruno Fernandes take a second-half penalty with the game finely poised at 2-1 to the Gunners.

“For me, even before that game it was not very likely, but after today’s result the top four is gone,” said United interim boss Rangnick.

The German described his side’s display at Anfield as “humiliating” and “embarrassing”.

United reacted to that defeat by formalising the appointment of Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as the man to take charge at Old Trafford from next season.

However, the Dutchman will not have been impressed by another shambolic start from the side he will inherit.

It took just two minutes for the visitors’ defence to be breached as David de Gea’s fine save from Saka’s initial effort counted for nothing as Tavares swept home the rebound.

Support For Ronaldo 

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo looks on during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. 

 

There was another show of support for Ronaldo as just as at Anfield in midweek the entire stadium applauded during the seventh minute.

On the field, the Portuguese was receiving little help from his teammates.

De Gea stood up well to parry a piledriver from Eddie Nketiah from close range.

Seconds later, Nketiah found the net from another one-on-one.

A VAR review found the England under-21 international offside, but Saka was fouled by Alex Telles as he played the ball into Nketiah’s path.

Saka took responsibility to send De Gea the wrong way from the penalty spot to double Arsenal’s lead.

Ronaldo hit back within two minutes as he swept home Nemanja Matic’s cross for his 100th Premier League goal.

Arsenal’s nerves began to show and United should have been at least level by the time Xhaka fired home the final blow.

Tavares needlessly handled a corner into the Arsenal box on the hour.

Ronaldo stood aside to let Fernandes take the penalty, but his compatriot rolled the ball onto the post.

“Goals change games,” said United midfielder Scott McTominay.

“There is a whole load of problems, but we have to have pride when you go onto the pitch. Go home and take a look at yourself in the mirror. The last four games are about pride for us.”

Ronaldo had another instinctive finish ruled out for offside before he teed up Diogo Dalot’s shot which was turned onto the post by Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal had lost three consecutive games prior to a much-needed 4-2 win at Chelsea in midweek that revived their top-four ambitions.

The relief around the Emirates was palpable when Xhaka restored the two-goal cushion with a powerful shot that flew past De Gea from 25 yards.

“You can’t expect to win every match as that is only afforded to one or two teams in the league,” said Arteta.

“We have to earn our right to win games and need a bit of luck, and today we had it.”

AFP

FIRST 11: Serena Williams’ Chelsea Ownership Push+Top Sports Stories This Week

 

With the sanctions on Russian businesses biting harder, the quest for a new Chelsea owner has been ramped up. This time, tennis icon Serena Williams and F1 great Lewis Hamilton, are the ones pushing to own a stake in the Premier League club.  

The Super Eagles also knew their opponents for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers just as the team’s former coach Gernot Rohr awaits FIFA’s verdict over his sack.  These and more are some of the top sports stories covered in First 11 this week.

READ ALSO: Chelsea Bidders Set To Discover Their Fate

Condolences Pour As Ronaldo Loses Baby

We kick off from England where torrents of condolence messages have been poured in for Cristiano Ronaldo following his son’s death. The former Real Madrid star and wife confirmed their baby boy’s demise in a social media post.

Manchester United, his former clubs, players, and fans thronged social media to comfort the multiple Champions League winner over the sad incident.

The Portuguese star was excused from United’s tie with Liverpool earlier in the week. He, however, was available for selection as the Red Devils lost to Arsenal on Saturday.

Maguire Gets Bomb Threat

Still in Manchester United. Team captain Harry Maguire received a bomb threat but it was unknown who was behind it.

Cheshire Constabulary swept the 29-year-old’s home to ensure his safety. Maguire was up for selection against the Gunners.

The English defender, who stays with his fiancee and two kids, is having a turbulent campaign and has been the subject of stinging criticism from pundits and jeers from fans.

Man United Name Coach

Meanwhile, Manchester United has appointed Erik ten Hag as their manager next season.

The 52-year-old, who has signed a three-year contract, faces a huge task to revive the Red Devils’ fortunes after a fifth consecutive trophyless season. The Dutchman becomes the fifth permanent manager at Old Trafford since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 sent the 20-time English champions into decline.

Drogba, Others Inducted Into EPL Hall of Fame

Equally, Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes was in the news this week. The Englishman joined Didier Drogba and Sergio Aguero as the latest inductee into the EPL Hall of Fame.

Vincent Kompany, Ian Wright, and Peter Schmeichel alongside Wayne Rooney and Patrick Vieira are also in the “Class of 2022” inductees.

Serena, Hamilton Join Chelsea Bid

For Man United’s rivals, Chelsea, the sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich over Russia’s war with Ukraine are set to cause major changes in the team. The club has been up for sale and tennis icon Serena Williams as well as Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton have expressed interest in having a stake in the London side.

They will be investing about £20m into a consortium to buy Chelsea and both are part of a group of investors backing the European champions’ takeover offer spearheaded by Sir Martin Broughton.

Serena and Hamilton have each pledged £10m to the bid. Lord Coe is believed to be part of the British-led consortium.

Russia, Belarussian Players Banned From Wimbledon

Aside from football, the Russian-Ukraine war is creating ripples in other sports. Earlier in the week, Russian players were barred from Wimbledon. Belarussian players were also affected, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) said.

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev; Aryna Sabalenka, and women’s four Victoria Azarenka are some of the top players affected. The move drew wide criticism from players, fans, and others stakeholders in the tennis world.

But Russian officials have rejected the ban, describing it as “unacceptable”.

Nigeria Paired For AFCON Qualifiers

In Nigeria, the Super Eagles were paired with Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and either Sao Tome or Mauritius in the qualifiers for next year’s AFCON. The draws were held in Jo’burg, South Africa, and qualifications for the tournament will start in May.

The Super Eagles, who failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, will also be aiming to make amends for their early exit at the last AFCON. The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 editions and won bronze in Egypt in 2019.

Rohr Awaits FIFA Verdict

The development came as a former coach of the team, Gernot Rohr, awaits FIFA’s verdict over his sack. Rohr had reported the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to the football body for breaching contractual terms.

Reports suggest that FIFA had concluded their investigations and are set to deliver judgment on the $1m claims being made by former Niger Republic gaffer. The Franco-German had met all conditions in his contract but was sacked with one year left in the deal. While the NFF said it would pay Rohr his salary until the end of his contract, the ex-Niger boss took the NFF to FIFA. He is seeking compensation for his ‘unfair’ dismissal.

Kano Pillars Sanctioned, Banished

On the local scene, Kano Pillars were sanctioned for fans’ hooliganism. The former Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions were fined N9m and banished to Abuja for the rest of the season following the incident which took place last weekend. The club’s fans have, however, condemned the attack which led to the destruction of the visiting team’s bus.

Pele Hospitalised Again

Away from Nigeria, football great Pele was hospitalized in Sao Paulo as part of his treatment for colon cancer.

But the clinical condition of Edson Arantes do Nascimento is “good and stable, and he should be discharged from hospital in the next few days,” the Albert Einstein Hospital said on Tuesday.

Before his diagnosis of colon cancer, which led to Pele being hospitalized for a month last year, the former star of Santos and the Brazilian team was hospitalized in Paris in 2019 and transferred to Sao Paulo to have a kidney stone removed.

Five years before then, he was in intensive care due to a urinary tract infection that forced him to undergo dialysis on his left kidney. The right one was removed in the 1970s due to an injury when he was still a player.

Maradona Shirt Auction Opens

The auction for the jersey worn by Pele’s late friend, Diego Maradona, when he scored twice against England in the 1986 World Cup, including the infamous “hand of God” goal, kicked off with a bid of over $5 million.

Sotheby’s is selling the blue number 10 Argentina shirt in an online sale that runs until May 4. Hours after bidding opened, the site showed that the first offer of £4 million ($5.2 million) — matching the low end of the auction house’s pre-sale estimate — had been registered. That would set a new record price for a football jersey at auction.

The record for a game-worn shirt from any sport is $5.6 million, set in 2019 for a jersey Babe Ruth wore while on the New York Yankees.

‘It’s The Greatest Pain’: Ronaldo Loses Baby

In this file photo, Cristiano Ronaldo leaves with his Spanish girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez after attending a court hearing for tax evasion in Madrid on January 22, 2019. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

 

Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, has lost his baby boy, the Portuguese star said on Monday.

The 37-year-old’s partner Georgina Rodriguez had given birth to a twin boy and girl. But a brief statement released by the duo confirmed the death of the boy.

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“It is with the deepest sadness that we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away,” they said in a statement posted on Ronaldo’s social media handle. “It’s the greatest pain any parents can feel.

“Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness. We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all the care and support.

“We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time. Our boy, you are our angel. We will always love you.”

Ronaldo revealed in a social media post last October that the couple were expecting twins.

They met during Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid and have a four-year-old daughter together while Ronaldo has three other children.