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French midfielder Kondogbia not cleared for CAR’s Afcon trip to Guinea – football news

The Central African Republic’s hopes of handing Geoffrey Kondogbia his debut in Sunday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Guinea have been dashed, with the Valencia midfielder nursing an injury.

A former France youth international, Kondogbia went on to play five times for the World champions in friendly matches, making him eligible to switch international allegiance to CAR.

After availing himself as interested to play for CAR, the France-born midfielder had been included in the 23-man squad to face Guinea in Conakry on Sunday.

But according to the BBC, he will not be available for the Guinea match due to injury as well as awaiting Fifa’s approval to switch national teams.

Kondogbia is reported to have assured CAR coach Raoul Savoy that he would be open for selection next month when the Wild Beasts clash with Ivory Coast in back-to-back ties.

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Another former France youth international Quentin Ngakoutou has been roped in to replace Kondogbia.

CAR started the Afcon qualifying campaign brightly with a 2-1 home win over Rwanda.

But they now face a tough task against Guinea who humbled Ivory Coast 3-2 away in their opening qualifier.

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Southampton’s Mario Lemina hit with one-year driving ban, fined £96,000 – football news

Gabon international Mario Lemina has received the UK’s biggest-ever speeding fine and been banned from driving for a year.

The Southampton star was handed a massive £96,000 fine at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court on Monday – three times his £32,272-a-week pay.

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Lemina was caught by speed cameras driving at 95mph on a dual carriageway and twice driving at 60mph in a temporary 40mph speed limit.

He also claimed that he did not know if his brother or cousin were behind the wheel of his £50,000, 155mph Mercedes-AMG.

With 39 points already on his license, the midfielder earned a lengthy ban, while the size of his fine was described by magistrates as “the most ever seen”.

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‘A limit we will not cross’ – DFL chief rules out overseas Bundesliga matches – football news

Germany Football League managing director Christian Seifert has ruled out Bundesliga matches being played abroad in the United States.

A Liga fixture could take place in the USA during the second half of the 2018-19 season after a 15-year promotional agreement was struck with Relevent Sports.

The Spanish Footballers’ Association have reacted angrily against the announcement, however, threatening to strike if the match goes ahead.

But despite the commercial attraction to hosting a game in an untapped market such as the US, German officials view the move as a “lack of respect”.

“We will never play a league game outside of Germany,” DFL chief Seifert told Die Zeit. “That’s a limit we will not cross.

“An official league game, which is about points that decide promotion, relegation or participation in the international competition, abroad, is, in my view, a lack of respect for their fans, the players and in the end also Major League Soccer.

“You do not need help from overseas to promote football in this way.”

Relevent Sports’ chairman Charlie Stillitano is also the brains behind the International Champions Cup, the annual multi-country pre-season event.

The tournament has given Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund exposure to the United States market.

But Seifert does not feel the Bundesliga needs to sell its soul and has rejected suggestions they could follow the Liga model and have staggered kick-off times.

“You can rule out that there are as many kick-off times as there are games, as is the case in Spain,” he added.

Relevent are keen on ensuring that next year’s La Liga fixture includes “one of the top five or six teams” but it remains to be seen if the arrangement will lead to an overseas game.

Stillitano has confirmed no decision has been reached but has indicated that appropriate fixtures are being considered.

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“We are working with [La Liga] right now and nothing’s been decided. We just have to find the right game in the calendar and we want to do it this season,” he explained.

“The other part will be that we want it to be that there’s not a cup game [in the week between] so there’s a little bit of rest for the players.

“We’re trying to respect the game, we are trying to respect the players. We know it’s a new thing and obviously in Europe, outside of the Champions League, you are not travelling great distances and this would be a big trip without question.”

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‘Ozil controversy will have no influence on Euro 2024 bid’ – German FA president – football news

German FA president Reinhard Grindel says he is confident that the recent controversy stemming from Mesut Ozil’s racism allegations will not impact Germany’s Euro 2024 bid.

Ozil quit the national team in the wake of this summer’s World Cup disaster that saw Germany fall in the group stage. The Arsenal star cited “racism and disrespect” as the reason behind his international retirement while adding that he felt he had been made a scapegoat for Germany’s failures.

Prior to the World Cup, Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, both German internationals of Turkish descent, came under fire for taking a photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Gundogan has since said that he and Ozil were singled out following Germany’s defeat and that “the line to racism was partially crossed”.

Ozil was also critical of Grindel, saying that, in the FA president’s eyes, the midfielder is “German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose”.

Grindel continues to deny the accusations as Germany faces competition from Turkey to host Euro 2024.

“Everyone in the DFB and in UEFA knows me very well,” Grindel said, according to Sky Sports.”I have very deep trust that they can put this into perspective, so I think there will be no influence on the bidding process.”

Grindel added that his criticism of the photograph stemmed from personal beliefs rather than Ozil’s background.

“In the end, it has nothing to do with whether a player of ours has a migration background or not,” Grindel said.

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“If a German player would, in an election campaign, make a photo with, let’s say, a far right-wing politician in Germany, we would have the same debate and we in the DFB would react in the same way.

“We stand at the DFB for values: respect, tolerance, fair play, freedom of speech and freedom of press. This picture with Erdogan upset our fans, because their President Erdogan doesn’t stand for those values.”

UEFA is set to announce the host of Euro 2024 in Nyon, Switzerland on September 27.

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FIFA Puskas Award 2018 – Best Goals Of Year |HD

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Messi Vs Ronaldo ● 5 CRAZY Header Goals

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Training Day: Neymar and Filipe improvise footgolf as Brazil take to the field in USA – football news

Brazil took to the training field for the first time since World Cup 2018 when they headed to the Red Bull Arena on Monday.

The Selecao meet USA in New Jersey on Friday as the Brasil Global Tour returns to North America.

In their first meeting since a quarter-final defeat to Belgium in Russia, coach Tite insisted everyone available made it out onto the field, including the technical staff as a number of new players were given a formal introduction to the group.

Only three were missing from Tite’s 23-man squad. Defender Dede and late addition Eder Militao were yet to arrive while Porto’s Felipe sat out after only joining his new team-mates on Monday afternoon.

Tite divided the players into two groups, while some stretched, others played small-sided games in tight spaces. The two sides appeared to hint at Tite’s starting XI to face USA, with Neymar, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Everton, Casemiro, Filipe Luis, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Paqueta, Alex Sandro, Roberto Firmino and Willian all together.

Monday’s session was light and with a relaxed atmosphere, during which Filipe Luis and Neymar stole the show with their impromptu game of footgolf, using the lines on the pitch to practice their “putting”.

Brazil return to Red Bull Arena on Tuesday with Tite set to have his full complement of players together for the first time this week. 

The five-time world champions meet USA on Friday at MetLife Stadium.

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Valiant Bobichon gives Neymar’s PSG a scare – The Ligue 1 Performance Index – football news

Four weeks into the Ligue 1 season, and there is a familiar face at the top of the table. Paris Saint-Germain are leading the way with a perfect 12 points, with a thrilling 4-2 win over Nimes on Saturday maintaining Thomas Tuchel’s 100 per cent record in charge of the capital side.

But in that spectacular match, it was a Nimes player who came out, not only on top of the Opta ranking for that encounter, but for Ligue 1 as a whole. 

Antonin Bobichon was introduced at half-time with his side trailing 2-0 and inspired a thrilling comeback thanks to a superb goal. On the edge of the box, he planted a shot into the top corner of Alphonse Areola’s net; it was a goal from nowhere.

Ligue 1 Performance Index 2018 MD4

This was the catalyst to Nimes rallying to 2-2 – and with a little more luck they might even have taken the lead as Sofiane Alakouch hit the bar.

At the other end of the park, though, PSG’s attacking players hit the headlines, with three of them pushing into the top 10 of this week’s ranking.

Neymar got the opening goal with a sliding finish and was ranked 10th this week with a score of 86.8, while Angel Di Maria was once again in slick form, scoring direct from a corner to help him to a rating of 87.6.

Mbappe was the star of the show for the capital side once again, however. He might have been sent off in the closing stages of the match, but his overall display was eye-catching as he grabbed what proved to be the winning goal in what was another impressive show of strength by the teenager. The strike – his fourth of the season – saw him show feathery control but a fierce finish.

His score of 90.8 was not enough to break into the top three, however. 

Remarkably, there were two players tied for second this week, with Guingamp’s Nicolas Benezet marginally edging out Nantes midfielder Lucas Evangelista, whose fizzing strike at the weekend helped his side to a 3-2 victory over Strasbourg.

Benezet did not have such luck. He might have set up a goal for Marcus Thuram, who finished sixth on our list, but his side remain pointless after a month of play – and that despite playing opponents who played an hour with 10 men. 

Antonin Bobichon Neymar Nimes PSG 01092018

Also breaking the top 10 this week was Rennes midfielder Clement Grenier, who delivered an assist in the early stage of his side’s win over Bordeaux. His delivery from a corner was brilliantly attacked by Benjamin Andre to open the scoring, and thereafter he set the tone of the 2-0 victory. 

Two other goalscoring substitutes also make an appearance. Claudio Beauvue is back in Ligue 1 with Caen, and he marked his return with a cool late finish to help the Normandy side to a 2-0 win over previously perfect Dijon. 

His introduction might have been dramatic, but not as much so as that of Valere Germain, whose late near-post header helped Marseille to a 3-2 win over Monaco. He was only on the field a matter of seconds before getting what proved to be the decisive goal against his former team. 

Ligue 1, therefore, goes into its first international break with no shortage of drama already. Below PSG, there has been tremendous unpredictability, and already a sense that anything could unfold over these next nine months.

L1 Performance Index MD4

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Real Madrid learn Club World Cup opponents – football news

Real Madrid will face either CD Guadalajara or the winner of the AFC Champions League in the semi-finals of the 2018 Club World Cup.

Madrid, who are looking to win the competiton for a third successive season, will travel to United Arab Emirates in December to contest the competition between the various continental champions from around the globe.

And having missed out on the European Super Cup, it will present Julen Lopetegui with the opportunity to win his first silverware since taking over as coach at Santiago Bernabeu.

Following Tuesday’s draw, Madrid know they will kick-off their campaign on December 19, with a potential final date set for December 22.

The tournament will kick-off with UAE Pro-League winners Al Ain – who qualify as the representative of the host nation – taking on OFC Champions League winners, Team Wellington.

The winner of that tie will take on the CAF Champions League winners – with the African tournament currently at the quarter-final stage ahead of the final in November – with a semi-final against the Copa Libertadores winners the prize for the victors.

On Madrid’s side of the draw, CONCACAF champions Guadalajara’s prize for beating Toronto FC in April’s final is a match against the eventual representative from Asia, the identity of whom will be decided in November’s final.

Since the inaugural tournament in 2000, Real Madrid have won the title on three occasions – a record they share with Liga rivals, Barcelona.

European clubs have won each of the last five competitions, with Corinthians’ victory in 2012 the only occasion since 2006 that the winners have not come from UEFA.

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