For the first time in a long time, Chelsea yesterday, lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate over the controversial 2-3 loss to Manchester United.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo says the officials “ruined” the game as the Blues slumped to their first Premier League defeat of the season against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres were both given red cards in the space of five minutes just after the hour in United’s 3-2 win – with the Spaniard’s dismissal for diving disputed by Chelsea.
Chelsea also lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate over the alleged use of “inappropriate language” by referee Mark Clattenburg towards two of their players
A club spokesman said, “The match delegate will pass the complaint to the Football Association.”
Referees’ organisation Professional Game Match Officials later issued a statement which said, “PGMO is aware of the allegations and they are being treated with the utmost seriousness.
“Mark will co-operate fully and welcomes the opportunity for the facts to be established.”
United took advantage of Chelsea being reduced to nine men as Javier Hernandez scored a late winner from an offside position to leave Sir Alex Ferguson’s side a point behind the league leaders.
“The second yellow card [shown to Torres] wasn’t one and the decisive goal was offside,” said Di Matteo.
“It is a shame a game like this had to be decided in that manner by officials. Surely when the referee watches it he will realise he has made big mistakes.
“Fernando put the ball between Jonny Evans’s legs and he was kicked on the shin and went down. Whatever way you want to see it that is our foul and a yellow card for their player, not ours.”
“It is a shame because it was a good game of football with two good teams and the officials ruined it.”
Manchester United manager Ferguson admitted his side rode their luck with Hernandez’s winner, but believes Torres must shoulder the blame for his red card.
“We’ve never got breaks down here and had some terrible decisions against us in the last few years,” he said.
FORMER SUPER EAGLES GOAL KEEPER, PETER RUFAI SLUMPS IN OFFICE, HOSPITALISED
Former Super Eagles captain and goal keeper, Peter Rufai, yesterday night suddenly slumped inside his office.
According to reports, the retired goalkeeper was rushed to Toki Hospital, off Adeniran Ogunsanya, after he suddenly collapsed.
“I just got a call now from Bruce who is the younger brother of soccer icon Peter Rufai,”
He further quoted Bruce as saying, “Kayode, just to let you know we have a situation on our hands. Your friend, my brother Peter Rufai yesterday night just suddenly slumped at the office.
“We rushed him to Toki Hospital off Adeniran Ogunsanya where he is now. The doctors are doing everything possible although they don’t know yet what the real cause of the slump is.”
Peter Rufai, 49, who played for Nigeria between 1983 and 1998, returned to the country from his base in Europe to start a youth sports development programme. He had 65 international caps for the Eagles, according to his Wikipedia entry.
EL CLASSICO: BARCELONA 2-2 REAL MADRID
A brace each for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that the first league Clasico of the season ended in a 2-2 draw.
Ronaldo put Madrid ahead after 23 minutes on Sunday but Messi responded just after the half hour mark with Barca having shown little going forward.
The 98,000 capacity crowd of vociferous Catalans glimpsed the possibility of going 11 points clear after Messi struck a free-kick to put them ahead after the break but Ronaldo responded five minutes later.
In the dying stages, Barca had the chance to win with Martin Montoya hitting the woodwork.
On a tense night at Camp Nou, fans created a mosaic of the Catalan flag, "The Senyera", in a clear demonstration of the nationalist fervour in the region where many want independence from Spain.
In a cautious opening, Barca had possession but were generally too deep and the Madrid players were happy to sit on the halfway line, looking to pounce when their moves broke down.
Despite their impressive winning streak, which had yielded six victories in the opening six La Liga matches, Barca have lacked their usual silky passing and their hesitation was made worse by a lack of confidence in their defence.
Angel Di Maria had an early shot wide and Adriano was forced into a last ditch clearance but the first clear opportunity fell to Karim Benzema after 12 minutes.
However, volleying the ball on the full from a Ronaldo cross, he blazed wide.
Sergio Ramos had the chance to put Madrid in the driving seat after 20 minutes but allowed a clear header from a corner he was unable to hit the target.
Madrid looked the more incisive side going forward and they got their reward when Ronaldo beat keeper Victor Valdes at his near post with a low left-foot drive after being played in by Benzema.
The Frenchman then failed to double the advantage, leaning back with his shot from 12 yards, and the ball came back off the post while Di Maria hit the follow-up wide.
It got worse for Barca with Dani Alves limping off to be replaced by youth product Montoya.
But forced out of their shells, the game opened up and they equalised with their first opening.
Pepe jumped and failed to connect with the ball which dropped at the feet of Messi in front of goal and he slotted home.
The match lost its caginess but after the break neither side was able to take control with imprecise passing and niggly fouls creating few clear cut chances.
It was at this moment that Barcelona received a moment of inspiration from Messi with a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner after he himself had been fouled.
The goal was Messi's 17th in Clasico matches.
Ronaldo though was not to be outdone and, latching onto an Ozil pass in the area he finished clinically.
MIKEL OBI FLOATS RECORD LABEL
Chelsea and Nigerian midfielder, John Obi Mikel has made foray into music with the setting up of a label named Matured Money Minds.
To prove his seriousness the Champions League winner with Chelsea last season, has signed on four acts, Splash, Kido, Edgar and Charass.
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 and has already signed a couple of music acts
Mikel who has a relationship with P-Square, is hoping to take music promotions in Nigeria to another level. Mikel was born in Jos, a City that has produce great acts like P-Square, MI and Ice Prince.
“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.
It was gathered that the artists on the label have already cut their album and full promotions are in the pipeline to promote and make then rub shoulders with the biggest artistes in the music industry in Nigeria. The acts include: Charass, Kido, Edgar, and Splash. Mikel’s younger brother, Patrick will be in full control of operations.
MIKEL, MOSES & UTAKA NOMINATED FOR CAF AWARDS
A preliminary list of 34 African players, who are nominees for the 2012 CAF African Footballer of the Year, has been released. And it features three Nigerians – Victor Moses and John Mikel Obi (Chelsea) and John Utaka (Montpellier).
Mikel Obi, featured prominently, as the Blues won the Champions League and the FA Cup, while John Utaka, was part of the Montpellier team that beat high spending PSG to the Ligue 1 title. Moses was a key player, as Wigan Athletic avoided relegation last season, before linking up with Mikel at Stamford Bridge.
According to CAF’s website: “The GLO-CAF Awards Gala 2012 will be held in Accra, Ghana at the Banquet Hall, State House on December 20th.
“This year has seen three players make it on both lists. Zambia duo of Rainford Kalaba and Stoppila Sunzu from club side TP Mazembe join Tunisian, Youssef Msakni from club side Esperance on the African Footballer of the Year list which is largely dominated by African players playing club football outside the continent.
“The selection was based on performances for club and country. CAF will announce the top ten nominees for the African Footballer of the Year and the top five African footballer of the Year (based in Africa) by late October after the voting by CAF relevant Standing Committees, namely the Media, Technical and Football committees.
“The names of the respective ten and five finalists will be sent to National Association head coaches and secretary generals to select the top three.
FEMALE UNDER-17 TEAM CRASH OUT OF THE WORLD CUP AFTER LOSING TO FRANCE ON PENALTIES
The Female under-17 team few minutes ago crashed out of the FIFA Under-17 world cup, after losing (3-5) to France in a penalty shoot-out.
Marion Romanelli struck the winning spot-kick for France as they beat Nigeria to reach the semi-finals after a 0-0 draw as the African side fell at the quarter-final stage for the second tournament running.
Ghoutia Karchouni almost punished the Flamingos early on when they fell asleep during a short corner, but Gift Andy saved her curling shot. Aminat Yakubu then reminded France that they must stay on their toes, bursting down the right to cross, but it was well cut out.
A touch of brilliance almost brought Cousin the opener, her neat touch nutmegging Victoria Adelomon, but she could only fire straight at Andy. Griedge Mbock Bathy then missed a free header at the back post from Lea Declercq’s corner with Andy stranded.
Nigeria looked dangerous on the break but France were controlling possession and the play. Kadidiatou Diani was next to test Andy, with the No9’s header from Declercq’s cross sending her sprawling to her right.
It was Nigeria in fact who had the ball in the net first, with their No9 Yakubu heading between Romane Bruneau’s legs, but Chinwendu Ihezuo had long been flagged offside.
Ihezuo was gifted a golden chance on the stroke of half-time though. The prolific forward latched onto Mbock Bathy’s weak back-pass but Bruneau stood tall and saved well.
The pendulum swung marginally in Nigeria’s favour after the break, withholding possession much better, though chances remained scarce.
Declercq eventually jarred what had become a stagnant game back into life, charging into the Nigerian area and crashing a fierce drive off the underside of the bar. It was then cleared, but her corner found the head Mbock Bathy who headed narrowly wide for a second time.
The night took a turn against Nigeria when captain Adielomon received only the second red card of the tournament for her second yellow of the night. Her stand-in Halimatu Ayinde almost snatched the game on 84 minutes though, but she slid her shot into the side-netting when baring down on Bruneau's goal.
With time up, Sandie Toletti, Ugochi Emenayo and Declercq exchanged efforts before Sarah Nnodim put horribly wide. It fell to Romanelli to tuck home the winner.
SUPER EAGLES PLAYER, VICTOR MOSES, BECOMES DAD AT 21
The Super Eagles and Chelsea footballer announced on Twitter this afternoon that he's now a dad.
SPECIAL REPORT: SIR ALEX FERGUSON WANTS EITHER GUARDIOLA OR MOURINHO TO SUCCEED HIM
With whispers growing within Manchester United’s corridors of power that the flames could finally be ready to flicker on one of the greatest managerial dynasties of all, Ferguson is actively drawing up a precise succession plan to ensure a smooth transition when he retires as manager.
At the moment, Guardiola doesn't feel like returning to the game
Either way, next summer will be key. Guardiola will return to football at that point and will do so, no doubt, with a big club on a long-term contract.
Martin Langer | Goal.com Spain
The Scot, who turns 71 in December, wants to keep his plans shrouded in secrecy to avoid a repeat of the situation in 2001-2002 when he felt the team was destabilized after he announced his intention to retire at the end of that campaign, only to later change his mind.
However, the most successful manager in the history of British football is well aware of how crucial the timing of his departure will be in terms of United identifying a successor.
When he goes, be it next summer or in three years’ time, Ferguson intends to leave the club in immaculate shape.
“The succession plan is a delicate situation because of the club's need to continue delivering success on the pitch, and how any such change would impact their share price and wider perception as a club geared up for future success,” a source told Goal.com. “Gill doesn't feel it is pertinent to bring up the issue because he has been assured he will one day get the ‘phone call' from Sir Alex.
“He will go when he wants, and probably with zero warning. Sir Alex will also have the biggest say in his successor - the casting vote, if you like.”
Gill has said that the club will seek an experienced candidate whenever the time comes to make their first managerial appointment since November 1986 and Ferguson is of the conviction that the Old Trafford dugout can only be occupied by a select few who have taken an elite club to the heights.
He is among the many admirers of David Moyes, who has worked wonders on a shoestring budget during the last decade at Everton, but the lack of European success of his fellow Scot rules him and those possessing similar credentials out of the equation.
In Ferguson’s mind, the only coaches who he deems worth of consideration are Mourinho and Guardiola, whose battle for supremacy in the Iberian peninsula proved so captivating in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Spanish seasons.
The Real Madrid manager has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League when he leaves the Bernabeu, while former Barcelona boss Guardiola will have the pick of some of Europe’s marquee clubs as his year’s sabbatical draws to a close.
Some senior figures at Old Trafford are concerned that Mourinho could be too high maintenance, both in terms of his transfer market demands and capacity for courting controversy.
However, the Portuguese and Ferguson share a healthy mutual respect and the Scot sees in Mourinho a driven man who reminds him of himself during his early years, using similar motivational and psychological tactics.
And in a recent interview, Mourinho said he would like to emulate the United boss by continuing to coach in his eighth decade. “I understand perfectly why Alex is still in the job (at the age of 70) and I think I will be the same,” he said. In turn Ferguson has even gone to the lengths of saying that Mourinho would enjoy more power at Old Trafford than he has at the Bernabeu.
'WOULD MOU BE INTERESTED? ABSOLUTELY'
It is no secret that "The Special One" wants to go back to England as soon as he leaves Real Madrid. He even reiterated the point in an interview with Sky Sports a few days go. Would he be interested in Manchester United? Absolutely, for a man with Mou's ego, succeeding one of the best managers in history would be an honor and a challenge.
The question obviously is, when. When would Mourinho leave Madrid? Difficult to tell. If he wins the Champions League he might feel his task is over and look for a new challenge, but if he doesn't, the trigger-happy Florentino Pérez could decide that the Portuguese experiment is over and look for a more "manageable" coach.
Would Mou be a good fit for United, in terms of ambition and profile he surely would be, but after having the same manager for almost three decades, would the club's owners want to hire someone who has never coached a club for more than five years? I wouldn't be so sure...
Guardiola, too, ticks a lot of boxes for the United powerbrokers, including the manager. They remember not only the style in which Barcelona played while dominating European football for four years but the dignity the Catalan showed after his team ripped United apart in two Champions League finals.
The former Barca boss was even photographed with Sir Alex Ferguson in New York at the US Open tennis final during the recent international break, although United dismissed suggestions that the pair met to discuss the possibility of the Spaniard succeeding Ferguson at Old Trafford.
"The business of who succeeds him is paramount in Ferguson's mind - and Mourinho and Guardiola are the only two who, right now, he would considering entrusting the immediate and long-term future of the club to," another source told Goal.com.
Indeed, while the Scot is expected to remain involved at Old Trafford when he steps down and said earlier this year that he would be keen on a similar ambassadorial role to the one that long-time United director Sir Bobby Charlton has at the club, so keen is he to protect his legacy and safeguard United’s future, Ferguson is utterly mindful about the adverse effect it could have if the club miss out on Mourinho or Guardiola.
So much so, the Scot is prepared to time his exit to ensure United do not miss out on their top choice, heightening talk around the club that next summer - when Guardiola is expected to return from his sabbatical and Mourinho will have been at Real Madrid three years - could be pivotal.
Ferguson has a one-year rolling contract at United, designed to ensure there is no on-going speculation about his position and allowing him to feel backed by the club without being press-ganged into any decision about his exit plan. There is complete trust on both sides and a degree of financial security for the two parties.
However, the Scot - on the bench when legendary manager Jock Stein passed away during a Scotland v Wales match in 1985 - is also keenly aware of his own age and health.
Speaking last New Years’ Eve in an interview to mark his 70th birthday, Ferguson revealed his intention to stay in the job well into his 70s. He said: “I hope I have a long time left. As long as my health stays up, I would hope to have another three years at the club. I am still enjoying it.
“As someone who loves his job I am not about to let my years alone dictate my future. At my age health becomes the key issue for a man's work and I am happy to say I have been blessed with stamina and energy that sees me coping with what I admit is a very demanding job.”
In a separate interview two months later, Ferguson's outlook was similarly long-termist. “I don’t know how long I can last now but if my health stays up I don’t think another two or three years would harm me,” he said.
In both instances, the Scot highlighted the significance of his health and the events of the last few months may have contributed to a shift in his thinking.
Ferguson was treated in hospital at the end of May after suffering a nosebleed which, according to his close friend, the American broadcaster Charlie Stillitano, left him in “tremendous pain”.
Meanwhile, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, a fellow septuagenarian, is among those who believe Sir Alex is in the final season of his glittering United reign. Speaking in May, Whelan said: “After next season, Sir Alex will call it a day because he had a little scare.”
Gill has claimed that Ferguson’s retirement date is a “non-issue” and not a concern for the hierarchy, although he has spoken of the requirement for a “sensible transition to the new manager”.
And that is paramount in Ferguson's thinking as he juggles the demands of a 27th top-flight campaign with precisely planning the continuation not only his personal legacy, but that of the club's remarkable success over the past two decades.
Still, the decision on when to go will be left to the man himself to make. Similarly to Eric Cantona’s abrupt retirement announcement 15 years ago, few are likely to see it coming.
Nigeria erased the disappointment of the opening draw against Canada this afternoon with a fantastic 11-0 victory over FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup hosts Azerbiajan, seeing them eliminated, with Chinwendu Ihezuo playing a part in eight of them.
Right from the off the game was being played almost exclusively in the hosts’ half, so it was little surprise when the first goal came. Chinwendu Ihezuo capitalising after Madel Effiom’s cross cannoned fortuitously off the bar to tap in from a yard out.
Three minutes later it was 2-0, Oluchi Ofoebu squaring from inside the box to see Halimatu Ayinde squeeze her first under Aytaj Sharifova.
It was clear the hosts couldn’t handle Nigeria’s pace or physicality, and a third came when Effiom once again crossed for Ihezuo, who laid the ball off for Tessy Biahwo to fire from the edge of the box.
Ayinde then made one and scored her second, lay the first on for Aminat Yakubu before Ihezuo turned provide.
Ihezuo then doubled own tally, Yakubu crossing for her to put in at the far post. Ayinde missed the chance to complete her hat-trick when missing an untended goal, but her pass on 37 minutes saw Ihezuo complete hers.-->
Nigar Jalilli had two chances to score for the hosts, one drawing a fantastic save from an otherwise unworked Gift Andy.
The tune didn’t change after half-time, Ihezuo netting her fourth after Ebere Okoye’s neat through-ball. Substitute Joy Bokiri then got in on the act, converting Ayinde’s cross.
Ihezuo got her fifth, rising to head Biahwo’s deep free-kick, before roles reversed as the midfielder curled an effort into the bottom corner for the final goal.
50 CENT SIGNS HEAVYWEIGHT BOXER FLOYD MAYWEATHER
Rapper 50 cent has set up a boxing promotion business and signed on his friend, heavyweight boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Reports say Fif’ who has named the company The Money Team (TMT), already has a license in New York and is in the process of getting one in Nevada.-->
TMT Promotions is reportedly also looking to sign former featherweight champ Yuri Gamboa and super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell.
50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, also owns Glacéau Energy Drink, and recently teamed up with another company to release his line of body sprays called Pure 50 RGX and a condom line called Magic Stick Condoms.
DOPING GIVES NIGERIA, 2000 OLYMPICS 4X400 GOLD MEDAL
The Nigerians team took the gold originally won by the United States, who have since been disqualified because of the late Antonio Pettigrew confessing to having been doped at the time of the Games.
The United States of America, original winners of the medal, were disqualified and stripped of the medal following late Antonio Pettigrew's confession to having been doped at the time of the Games.
Pettigrew, who committed suicide in 2010, had been disqualified in 2008 from the 4x400m race in Sydney where the United States won gold with a team which included Michael Johnson.
"Pettigrew was disqualified in August 2008 but the EB delayed a decision on re-allocation until it had received information stemming from investigations into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) sports-doping scandal," a statement read.
"Having confirmed that no further information on other athletes would be forthcoming, the EB agreed to reallocate the medals and diplomas.
"The teams from Nigeria, Jamaica and the Bahamas that finished behind the US men in the 4x400m race will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals respectively."
Nigerians are elevated to title winners with Jamaica taking silver and the Bahamas the bronze.
However, the Executive Board were not able to perform such an exercise regarding the US women's 4x400m relay gold medal winners from the 2004 Games despite Crystal Cox admitting afterwards she took steroids from 2001-2004.
Whilst the athlete herself - who ran solely in the heat - had her medal taken back the IOC are awaiting clarification from athletics governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as to whether the whole team should be disqualified.
4 ARSENAL PLAYERS TO VISIT NIGERIA
In what appears as a move to compensate the millions of Arsenal/Football fans in Nigeria for postponing the Arsenal - Super Eagles match, The official Arsenal FC website, today announced that 4 of its first team players will be traveling to Nigeria.
Below is the full text from www.arsenal.com
Arsenal Football Club has announced four first-team players are to travel to Nigeria to take part in activities with regional partners and engage with supporters in the region.
Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker and new signing Lukas Podolski will be travelling to Lagos with Club officials for a flying visit the weekend after next. The players will take part in Club events and other activities organized by the Club's partners, Malta Guinness and Airtel.-->
The move follows the postponement of Arsenal's game against Nigeria which was scheduled for Sunday, August 5. Arsenal's head of global partnerships Vinai Venkatesham said: "We were disappointed to have to postpone the game and intend to visit Nigeria next summer. However we are delighted to be bringing this group of players to Nigeria to take part in events with our regional partners. It will give us a chance to engage with local supporters and reinforce our commitment to the market."
The players will take part in a busy schedule of events in Lagos. Emmanuel Agu, marketing manager for (Malta) Guinness Nigeria plc commented: "Malta Guinness is the Official Malt Drink of Arsenal in Nigeria and we are looking forward to welcoming the Arsenal players to Lagos.
"We are sure that they will have a most enjoyable visit as they experience the energy and vitality of their Nigerian fans. Over the next few days, we will be announcing how fans of the nation's No 1 malt drink - Malta Guinness - can enjoy not only the goodness of our new lower sugar variant, but also win the opportunity to interact and get involved with their idols at a number of exclusive events during their stay. You can get more information by going to www.facebook.com/maltaguinness."
The players will also be making appearances for mobile network operator Airtel. Deepak Srivastava, chief operating officer and executive director for Airtel Nigeria, said: "Arsenal has a very large supporter base in Nigeria and Airtel is eager to connect these fans with some of their favourite football players.
"Indeed, Airtel is extremely committed to creating opportunities to excite and engage telecommunications consumers just as we are passionate about realising our brand vision of being the most-loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians."-->
ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC’S COMPLETES PSG TRANSFER.
The Swede, 30, was already the most expensive player in the history of football based on the cumulative transfer fees spent on his services - based on calculations made by Sport360 - but he has stretched the mark even further with yet another high-profile switch.
PSG becomes Ibrahimovic’s seventh club in his fifth European league, and signing the striker never comes cheap.
His first major move saw him leave Ajax for Juventus for €16m in 2004, before two years later moving to Milan to join Internazionale in a move worth just shy of €25m.
After three successful years Barcelona bought the striker in a complicated exchange deal involving Samuel Eto'o worth well in excess of €60m, only for the Swede not to fit into manager Pep Guardiola’s plans.
He returned to Italy with AC Milan, first on a year’s loan, and then permanently on a €24m deal, before confirming his switch to France yesterday.
Despite his nomadic existence, Ibrahimovic has been successful wherever he goes, winning eight league titles in a row between 2003-4 and 2010-11.
Of the list of 10 players to have racked up career transfer figures in excess of €95m or more, six have had stints in the Premier League.
Perhaps the most surprising name on the list, however, is Robbie Keane. The striker had just a League Cup triumph to his name by the time he left Tottenham for LA Galaxy earlier this year, but had still been bought for fees totalling €109.2m over the course of his career to put him seventh in the all-time list.
As he moves to Paris, Ibrahimovic’s days of commanding major transfer fees may be drawing to a close, but with nearly a €50m gap over his nearest challenger, Nicolas Anelka, the record may be his for a while yet.
The Nigerian Premier League has been ranked as the strongest African league for 2012 and 24th in the world.
The classification was done by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics who assessed the performances of the clubs from January 1 to July 10 2012.
Last month, two Nigerian clubs Enyimba FC and Sunshine Stars were named in the 2012 top ten club rankings for Africa.
The performances of the clubs were assessed from January 1 to July 10 2012.
Tunisia’s top flight, which has reigning African champions Esperance, is in second place in Africa and ranked 31st in the world.
The Ghana Premier League is in third place but tied on points with Morocco.
With no competition taking place in Egypt since January 2012, the country’s Premier League is ranked 9th on the continent despite having two clubs in the CAF Champions League.
Top ten African Leagues:
24. (1) Nigeria
31. (2) Tunisia
38. (3) Ghana
38 (4) Morocco
40. (5) Mali
41. (6) Algeria
44. (7) Sudan
51. (8) South Africa
54. (9) Egypt
58. (10) Cameroon
* Africa’s ranking in brackets
DAVID MAKES HAYE AS HE DEMOLISHES CHISORA
The fight at Upton Park was a grudge affair after their public punch-up out of the ring earlier this year. Inside the ring on Saturday night, Haye twice floored Chisora with left hooks in the fifth round before the referee stopped the fight.
Afterwards, Haye said he had sent out a "scary" message to World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, whom the British boxer has wanted to fight for one of the world heavyweight titles. The other genuine title, the World Boxing Association version, is held by Vitali's brother, Wladimir, who won it against Haye a year ago.-->
Haye, however, does not expect Vitali to accept the challenge.
"I'll be surprised if Vitali Klitschko wants to fight me after that. He will no doubt try to fight some chump and then retire to be a politician," said Haye.
Vitali Klitschko, 40, is due to face Syrian Manuel Charr on September 10 and could then retire to concentrate on a full-time political career.
On Saturday night, Haye was impressive for someone who had not fought in 12 months - his last outing was the comprehensive defeat to Wladimir, in Hamburg.
After that fight, Haye retired but he is now back and ready to challenge again.
In Las Vegas, Danny Garcia stopped favourite Amir Khan in the fourth round to stay undefeated and add another super lightweight belt to his collection.
Garcia sent Khan to the canvas in the third round with a left hook, but the 2004 Olympic silver medallist for Britain was able to beat the count. At the start of the fourth, though, Garcia swarmed him with power punches, knocking him down twice quickly. Khan got back to his feet each time, but the referee ended the bout at 2min 28sec of the round.
The American now has the WBA title to go along with the WBC belt.
On the undercard, Fernando Guerrero beat Jose Medina by a unanimous decision and Phil Lo Greco, J Leon Love, Daquan Arnett, Jamie Kavanagh and Abner Cotto won their bouts.
Victor Moses at the moment does not know where he will be starting the 2012/13 season, but one thing is certain, the focus on him and his career will never be the same again.
He has been touted as one of the brightest young talents to have come out of England in recent years and the big clubs are circling like vultures, wanting him in their squads. Though it is applaudable to be wanted and desired, the merit or demerit of any move should be carefully weighed as he makes his next move.
And we all saw the qualities of this Nigerian winger cum striker which has made him a sought after player. First, we need to know some statistics about this player, whom Wigan bought from Crystal Palace just two years ago.
Moses is sought after for his strength and dribbling ability
Last season in the Premiership, Moses had the highest number of dribbles – yes highest number of successful dribbles over the likes of Luka Modric, Juan Mata, Valencia and some other stellar players playing for the top-six clubs in England.
He also scored six goals playing from the left side of Wigan’s three-pronged attack. He has incredible pace, good leg work and tremendous upper body strength and at 21, he can only become more consistent and able to take the right decisions. He will also become more experienced, but that is if he gets good playing time wherever he is going.
If he joins Chelsea with all their new signings like Kevin De Bryne, who is also a winger; Daniel Sturridge, who also attacks from the wings plus the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin – all good players who like to play from the left or right wings, there is then a glut which may mean that the Nigerian will be spending more time on the substitutes’ bench than on the pitch.
If he is ready for this then he can move, pay his dues by spending more time on the bench, but he will gain valuable experience from playing with better and more technical players, from whom he can learn whatever is missing in his armoury presently to take him to the next level.
If he goes to Tottenham or Arsenal, he will likely be in the first 15 and get more games than he will at Chelsea. Also there is less pressure on these teams as they are not bankrolled by billions so the expectations are more manageable. Arsene Wenger is also an astute manager of precocious talent and the Nigerian can be sure to receive proper football tutelage under the French man.
And it is the same thing at Spurs with Andre Villas-Boas at the helm. His football mentality is all about attacking with the wingers used as the outlet. Moses would be an ideal fit for Arsenal and Tottenham’s short-term and long-term plans.
Liverpool is all a different matter as they are supposedly a big club but are not behaving or playing as such. Under new management, there is the added pressure to perform some magic which means that the players and coaches will be under tremendous pressure to deliver. This will not be the ideal environment for a budding talent, especially when he is not English.
But the decision rests with Moses and his agent Tony Finnigan. Though Nigerian football fans would like to see him at a bigger club, they will much prefer he is playing every week so that he will be ready for the national team whenever he is called up to the team.
The winger needs to make a sporting move instead of moving for money as he needs an environment to blossom into a world beater if he wants to see his potential fulfilled
YAKUBU AIYEGBENI SAYS N1.3BILLION PER ANNUM PAY WAS NOT REASON FOR HIS MOVE TO CHINA
At a press conference held on Wednesday morning, Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou R & F officially announced the signing of Yakubu Aiyegbeni on a three - year deal and will earn about N1.3 Billion per annum.-->
Aiyegbeni will make his debut on Sunday against the league champions in the Guangzhou derby. The 29-year-old center-forward has been handed the number 25 jersey, a number made popular in Nigeria by former Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu.
''I like the relatively large numbers, such as the number 20 and 22, or the 24. However, in the R&F team, these numbers are not available, so I picked the number 25. Of course the number is not the most important, what is important is that I always believe in myself,'' said Yakubu.
The ex Blackburn Rovers ace says he will adapt to the Chinese League, but refused to disclose the exact number of goals he will score at the end of the season.
''I have been able to see the training of our coach, every coach has a different style of training. I feel pretty good. As for the number of goals I'd score, I have no specific target.
''I heard that here there are more than 5,000 Nigerian citizens, but more importantly, for the time being my teammates, they are very nice to me,'' adds Yakubu.
The Super Eagles player said he did not join Guangzhou R & F because of the economic terms of the contract. Yakubu had studied the development plans of R&F, and decided it was the best move for him at this stage of his career.
VIDEO: SAMUEL ETO’S $1.4 MILLION ASTON MARTIN BREAKS DOWN IN PARIS
While in Paris, the footballer's 1.4 million dollars Aston Martin One-77 refused to start. And because it was raining, they had to tape over the open window with plastic sheets.
INIESTA CAPS EURO 2012 WIN WEEK WITH WEDDING
Tarragona, Spain: First Europe's most important football trophy, then a player of the tournament award and, now, marriage. It's been a good week for Spain's Andres Iniesta.
Iniesta, clad in a navy blue suit, posted a photo on Twitter on Sunday with his new wife Anna Ortiz saying "Amazing day! Just married."
The 28-year-old midfielder helped Spain become the first nation to defend its continental crown with last Sunday's 4-0 win over Italy.--> Iniesta, who scored the extra-time winner when Spain won their first World Cup two years ago, was named best player at Euro 2012 a day later.
Lionel Messi, Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez and Samuel Eto'o were among the guests.
Iniesta ties the knot
ROGER FEDERER WINS RECORD EQUALLING SEVENTH WIMBLEDON TITLE
Roger Federer won a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title and 17th Grand Slam crown Sunday, shattering tearful Andy Murray’s dream of ending Britain’s 76-year wait for an All England Club men’s champion.
The 30-year-old Federer finally equaled Pete Sampras’ record at the All England Club, and won his 17th Grand Slam title overall, by beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 Sunday.
”It has worked out so many times over the years here at Wimbledon that I play my best in the semis and the finals,” Federer said. ”I couldn’t be more happy. It feels great being back here as the winner.”
Once Murray’s forehand landed wide on match point, Federer collapsed to the grass with tears welling in his eyes. He got up quickly and shook hands with Murray at the net.
Up in the players’ box, Federer’s wife and twin daughters cheered and smiled as he took his seat to await yet another Wimbledon trophy presentation.
”When the roof closed, he played unbelievable tennis,” Murray said.
Federer is now 17-7 in Grand Slam finals, including 7-1 at Wimbledon. Murray dropped to 0-4 in major finals, with three of those losses coming against Federer.
”It’s amazing. It equals me with Pete Sampras, who’s my hero,” Federer said. ”It just feels amazing.”
Besides Sampras, 1880s player William Renshaw also won seven Wimbledon titles, but he did it at a time when the defending champion was given a bye into the following year’s final.
Sunday’s match was the first Wimbledon singles final to be played with the roof closed. The roof was first used at the All England Club in 2009.
NIGERIA WIN WORLD U-14 HANDBALL CHAMPION
It was a glorious weekend for Nigerian handball as the country on Saturday emerged the World U- 14 handball champion in Sweden.
The country’s flag bearers in the competition, Niger United handball club in the final defeated the hosts, Sweden 21-10 to emerge winners of the competition which attracted clubs from 40 countries.
President of Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Mallam Yusuf Dauda who led the country’s delegation to the handball fiesta said the victory was a clear indication that the federation’s catch them young program is yielding dividend.
NIGERIA TAKES FINAL OLYMPIC BASKETBALL SPOT
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Ike Diogu scored 25 points, and Nigeria earned the final men's basketball spot in the London Olympics with an 88-73 victory over the Dominican Republic on Sunday night.
"I'm very happy. We did what had to be done," Diogu said. "We knew we were going to face teams that are heavyweights, and we did what we needed to do — win."
Nigeria's Skinn celebrates after defeating Dominican republic to clinch third spot at the olympics
Yack Martinez led the Dominican Republic, coached Kentucky coach John Calipari,
with 16 points.
Russia and Lithuania also qualified with victories Saturday.
In London, Lithuania and Nigeria will join the United States, Tunisia, France and Argentina in Group A. Russia, China, Britain, Brazil, Australia and Spain are in Group B.
Here is sad one for Football fans in Nigeria.
According to the Arsenal FC official website, Arsenal Football Club, today announced it is reluctantly postponing its proposed trip to Nigeria this summer.
The Club has taken the decision as a result of complexities linked to the planned game against Nigeria on Saturday, August 5 in Abuja.
Arsenal marketing director Angus Kinnear said: "Bringing a top-level club to an international market is always complicated and logistically challenging. With the proposed match in Nigeria planned for early August, we could not get comfortable on everything needed to satisfy our requirements, so we have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the team's visit."
Kinnear continued: "We have a huge and loyal following in Africa, and we are sorry that the team will not be visiting this summer. However, we have a long-term commitment to Nigeria and we are already making plans for a visit next summer.-->
"In addition, we also have some exciting forthcoming activities planned with our commercial partners in Nigeria - Emirates, Airtel and Malta Guinness, which will kick off in the next few weeks."
Emirates are the presenting partner of the Arsenal 2012 Tour and Boutros Boutros, divisional senior vice-president of corporate communications said: "Emirates shares Arsenal's disappointment that the team's visit to Nigeria has been postponed. We look forward to working with Arsenal to bring the Club closer to its loyal Nigerian fans through new initiatives over the coming months."
ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS CONFIRMED NEW TOTTENHAM BOSS
Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas was confirmed as the new manager of Tottenham on Tuesday following the shock departure of Harry Redknapp last month.
"The club is delighted to announce Andre Villas-Boas as Head Coach," Spurs confirmed on their official Twitter feed following days of speculation concerning the Portuguese coach.
The appointment marks a dramatic return to the English Premier League for Villas-Boas, who was fired as manager of Chelsea in March just eight months into a three-year contract.
Villas-Boas' ill-fated reign at Stamford Bridge ended in dismissal after months of unrest behind the scenes, with rumours of player mutinies and a breakdown in relations with the manager.
However the 34-year-old — who arrived at Chelsea after a stellar quadruple-winning season with Porto — has successfully convinced Spurs chairman Daniel Levy that he is the best man to build on Redknapp's legacy.
Villas-Boas's priority will be aiming to restore Tottenham to the Champions League after their agonising near-miss last season.
Despite finishing fourth, Spurs were bumped out of the Champions League after Chelsea recovered from the dismissal of Villas-Boas to win the title in Munich.
ARSENAL SIGN OLIVIER GIROUD FOR £12M
Arsenal have bagged Montpellier marksman Olivier Giroud and will make an official announcement to that effect after France have been eliminated from Euro 2012.
According to France Football, the respected journal says the deal "has been completed" and Arsenal will soon reveal further details of what is believed to be a four-year deal.
Apparently, Arsenal paid £12m to secure the services of the 25-year-old striker, whose goals last season helped Montpellier lift the French league title for the first time in their history.-->
The Daily Mail confirms the deal and says Giroud will replace the misfiring Moroccan Marouane Chamakh and not skipper Robin van Persie.
He becomes the second summer signing for Arsenal, after German International, Lukas Podolski was transfered from Cologne.
MAYWEATHER TOPS LIST OF THE WORLD'S 100 HIGHEST-PAID ATHLETES
There’s a reason they call boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Money.” He fought twice during the past 12 months, knocking out Victor Ortiz in September and winning a unanimous decision in May against Miguel Cotto. He spent less than one hour in the ring to dispatch his two foes.-->
Click here for more athletes
His combined payday for the bouts: $85 million.
That helped make Mayweather the world’s highest-paid athlete over the past year, unseating Tiger Woods, who has been the top-earner since 2001. Woods ranks third this year with earnings of $59.4 million.
Mayweather maximizes his earnings by also acting as his own fight promoter through his company Mayweather Promotions. He collects all of the revenue from tickets, pay-per-view and sponsorships and covers the costs, including the purse for his opponent. His take home per fight is typically at least 50% higher than what his rival Manny Pacquiao earns.
Being a wildly polarizing figure doesn’t seem to have hurt his earnings. He charmed old ladies as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2007 and provoked outrage with his racially charged, hate-filled rant against Pacquiao in 2010. His antics create buzz, and the result is both boxing fans and people who are normally indifferent to the sport pay up for his bouts. He has been a part of the four biggest non-heavyweight PPV events in boxing's history. The Cotto fight generated $94 million in PPV receipts.
Pacquiao ranks second with earnings of $62 million. Over the past 12 months he fought Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley. The bouts netted him $56 million, including money he gets from their broadcast in the Philippines. He also made an estimated $6 million over the past year outside the ring through endorsements with Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Monster Energy and Hennessy.
Woods’ total earnings dropped $16 million from last year to $59.4 million and have been sliced in half since their peak in 2009. Despite his collapse in this year’s U.S. Open, Woods is playing much better on the course and his prize money doubled from the prior 12 months. But the $2 million bump in prize money does not offset the loss of sponsors like Tag Heuer and Gillette.
Tiger Woods' golf course design business has struggled like his game. (AP)
Woods’ golf course design business has also struggled. Development of his Dubai course was shut down last year and the developer of his North Carolina course, Cliffs Club & Hospitality, filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
LeBron James leads the 13 basketball players that made the cut. James ranks fourth overall with earnings of $53 million. James, like all NBA players, had his salary sliced 20% by the NBA lockout, but he continues to make a mint off the court from sponsors like Nike, Coca-Cola, State Farm and McDonald’s. James’ income also got a boost when he received cash as part of his marketing partnership with Fenway Sports Group last year, through which James received a stake in the soccer club Liverpool.
Thirty football players rank among the 100 highest-paid athletes, which is more than any other sport. Many NFL players had bonuses delayed until the summer of 2011 that normally would have been paid in March due to the NFL lockout. Several players, like No. 30 Eli Manning, had their 2012 salaries converted into signing bonuses and paid out in March to alleviate team’s salary cap issues, which further goosed the number of NFL players in the top 100. Peyton Manning is the NFL’s highest-paid player with earnings of $42.4 million, which ranks 10th overall. The Indianapolis Colts paid Manning $26.4 million in 2011 even though he missed the season recovering from neck surgery. Manning joined the Denver Broncos as a free agent in March, when he inked a five-year, $96 million contract that paid him a $6 million advance on his 2012 Broncos’ salary. Manning continues to be the NFL’s top pitchman, earning $10 million annually off the field from Reebok, Gatorade, Sony, DirecTV, Wheaties and Papa John’s.
Our earnings figures include salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, as well as licensing and endorsement income for the 12 months between June 2011 and June 2012. We do not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees.
Two women made the top 100 (the cut-off was $16.6 million). Maria Sharapova ranks No. 26 with earnings of $27.9 million. She has long had a coveted portfolio of sponsors that now includes Nike, Head, Samsung, Tag Heuer and Evian. Sales for the Maria Sharapova Collection, her line of products at Nike subsidiary Cole Haan, doubled last year. Her ballet flat is the best selling female shoe for Cole Haan. Sharapova has stepped up her play on the court over the past year and is now the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world. She completed a career Grand Slam with her French Open title and earned $5.9 million in prize money over the past 12 months.
Li Na ranks No. 81 overall with earnings of $18.4 million. She was a mildly successful pro with three career WTA victories before 2011, when she reached two Grand Slam finals and won the French Open title. The win in Paris made her the first Asian-born player ever to win a singles Grand Slam event. She signed seven multimillion-dollar endorsement deals after the historic win, in spite of the sluggish overall sponsorship market. Li shills for Babolat, Haagan-Daaz, Nike, Samsung and Mercedes, as well as multiple Chinese companies.
1. Floyd Mayweather ($85 million)
2. Manny Pacquiao ($62 million)
3. Tiger Woods ($59.4 million)
4. Lebron James ($53 million)
5. Roger Federer ($52.7 million)
6. Kobe Bryant ($52.3 million)
7. Phil Mickelson ($47.8 million)
8. David Beckham ($46 million)
9. Cristiano Ronaldo ($42.5 million)
10. Peyton Manning ($42.4 million)
(Culled from Yahoo)
EPL OPENING DAY FIXTURES FOR 2012/2013 LEAGUE SEASON
Manchester City begin their defence of a first Premier League title with a home game against Southampton on the opening day.
For neighbors Manchester United a tough trip to Goodison Park awaits as David Moyes' Everton look to break an unwelcome trend of starting new campaigns badly.
Arsenal open up by welcoming Sunderland to the Emirates, while North London rivals Tottenham face a tricky looking game at St James' Park as Newcastle United play hosts.
European champions Chelsea travel to the North West to face Wigan Athletic, while Reading's return to the top flight sees them host Stoke City.
Liverpool begin life under Brendan Rodgers with a trip to the Midlands to face a West Brom side that welcome a new manager of their own in the shape of Steve Clarke.
Another new Premier League manager making his bow will be Michael Laudrup as his Swansea City side have a capital date with Queens Park Rangers.
It's all change at Norwich City too as Chris Hughton begins his tenure as Canaries boss with a trip to Fulham.
The big time returns to Upton Park on the opening day as Aston Villa start life under Paul Lambert with a trip to West Ham
Opening day fixtures - 18th August
Arsenal v Sunderland
Everton v Man Utd
Fulham v Norwich
Man City v Southampton
Newcastle v Tottenham
QPR v Swansea
Reading v Stoke
West Brom v Liverpool
West Ham v Aston Villa
Wigan v Chelsea
MESSI IS GOING TO BE A FATHER SOON,
Arguably the greatest footballer of all time!!!! Lionel Messi is going to be a father, as Messi (Jnr) is set to storm planet earth soon... and Catalan giants, Barcelona is ready to sign the unborn kid, with the hope that he'd be a genius just like his father.
Lionel Messi confirmed yesterday that he is to become a father and it has emerged that Catalan giants
are ready to make a contract offer for the 24 year old’s as yet unborn baby. Barcelona
“I think it will be a boy,” Messi is quoted as saying by Ole. “We did not want to say anything because we never talk about our private life.
“But we were constantly asked about it, so we wanted to share our joy.”
Messi and Girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo.
The Nou Camp side will indeed hope that Messi’s offspring is indeed male as they ready to a bid for Lionel’s baby. Having already made advances for a talented Brazilian six year old
want to make sure they are ahead of the game with regards to the offspring of their star performer. Barcelona
As yet there has been no comment from
in relation to this speculation. Barcelona
Below is a video of Lionel Messi playing football at age 5.... Absolutely fantastic lad, what a genius, we do hope Messi (Jnr) takes much of his father's traits.