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Mass defection: House member asks PDP national chairman to resign

Rep Rimamnde Shawulu (PDP-Taraba), has urged the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Uche Secondus, to resign following mass defection from the party to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Shawulu said this a letter addressed to the chairman and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday. He decried the rate at which the party was losing members to the ruling APC in recent times. Shawulu also urged members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to resign. “Today, unexpectedly, four members of the House of Representatives from Zamfara defected from the PDP to APC,” he said. He said unlike before, when leaders of the party at the House usually put up a form of protest, not a whisper was heard or a hand raised in protest against the defection. “Dear...

Copa America: Ecuador ends Brazil’s winning run, qualify for quarterfinals

Brazil’s ten-game winning run came to an end after Ecuador earned a 1-1 draw in the final Copa America group game in Goiania. Coach Tite made ten changes from the midweek win over Colombia as Neymar, Casemiro, Thiago Silva and Richarlison were rested. The reigning champions had already booked their spot in the next round as group winners and Venezuela’s defeat to Peru, means Ecuador join Brazil in the final eight. And it was nearly the perfect start for Brazil as Renan Lodi broke clear down the left and looked to be bundled over inside the box within the opening minute. The referee and VAR disagreed. Brighton’s Moises Caicedo was then stretchered off on 17 minutes with a knee injury in a blow to Ecuador, with Angel Mena coming on. Then Ecuador skipper Enner Valencia came close to scoring t...

Belgium send defending champion Portugal out of Euro 2020

Belgium have sent out defending champions, Portugal out of Euro 2020, with a lone goal victory on Sunday. Portugal dominated the game with 24 goal attempts and five shots on goal, while Belgium scored with its only shot on goal and six goal attempts. Thorgan Hazard got the only goal of the match for Belgium on 42 minutes. He latched on to a superb pass and breaks through the defence before firing a shot from mid-range that goes past the goalkeeper inside the right post. On 58 minutes, Diogo Jota had a chance to draw Portugal level. He picked up an inch-perfect pass inside the box and fired the ball just over the crossbar. On 83 minutes, Raphael Guerreiro fired a brilliant shot from the edge of the box, but the effort rattled the right post It could have been a superb goal for Portugal if i...

Euro 2020: Matthijs de Ligt takes blame for Netherlands elimination

Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt said he felt he was the player to blame for his team’s Euro 2020 last-16 exit after being sent off in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic. The Juventus centre-back was dismissed 10 minutes into the second half in Budapest for a deliberate handball after he was forced into an error by Czech striker Patrik Schick. As De Ligt fell to the ground he pushed the ball away from Schick to deny his opponent a goalscoring opportunity. He initially escaped with just a booking, but received a red card following a VAR review. “I had it under control. The ball came and I let it bounce. I fell to the ground and got pushed, which made me use my hands,” De Ligt told Dutch public broadcaster NOS. “The moment changed the game and I feel responsible. I saw how the guys...

Late goal gives Brazil controversial win over Colombia in Copa America

Brazil continued their winning romp through the Copa America on Wednesday, eking out a controversial 2-1 victory against Colombia after struggling most of the match to answer a magnificent bicycle-kick goal by Luis Diaz. The 11th-hour win gave the “Selecao” a perfect nine points from three matches in the South American championships, and extended their current winning streak to 11 matches. However, the victory was steeped in controversy: Brazil’s second-half equalizer, a Roberto Firmino header, was preceded by a Neymar pass that glanced off Argentine referee Nestor Pitana. Colombia heatedly argued afterward that play should have been stopped, but Pitana ruled neither side was hindered and allowed the match to continue. Disgruntled Colombia fans on social media turned the referee’s name int...

Euro 2020: Donyell Malen adds extra dimension to potent Dutch attack

The Netherlands had every reason to step down a couple of gears but instead upped their pace thanks to a fine display by speedy forward Donyell Malen in Monday’s 3-0 win over North Macedonia, advancing their claims to be genuine Euro 2020 contenders. Frank de Boer’s side had already qualified for the knockouts as group winners but whereas Italy’s Roberto Mancini made sweeping changes for his side’s 1-0 win over Wales, the Dutchman fielded his strongest team in their final Group C game. One of the two changes he did make was to bring in 22-year-old Malen in place of Wout Weghorst, making the Netherlands even more potent in attack as they became the top scorers in the tournament with eight goals. Malen, who provided an assist less than three minutes after coming on in the 2-0 win over Austri...

Euro 2020: Swiss coach confident of last-16 spot despite tough travel

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic is confident his side have done enough to reach the last 16 at Euro 2020 after a 3-1 win over Turkey on Sunday but he criticised the long distances his side have had to travel during the tournament. Xherdan Shaqiri scored two superb goals as Switzerland secured third place in Group A at Euro 2020 with the win against Turkey, but they now face an anxious wait to see if they will reach the last 16. The Swiss, who finished level on four points with Wales but behind on goal difference, will hope to secure a spot in the knockouts as one of the four best third-placed finishers from the six groups. “We scored a few goals but unfortunately we had more chances we didn’t convert,” Petkovic said. “It wasn’t a perfect game but it was a good game.” “It should be enou...

Marcus Rashford penalty gives England win over Romania in Euro warm-up

Marcus Rashford’s penalty earned England an unconvincing 1-0 win over Romania in their final warm-up friendly ahead of Euro 2020 in Middlesbrough on Sunday. However, victory for Gareth Southgate’s men was again overshadowed by booing from supporters as the players took the knee before kick-off. Southgate’s selection will also be questioned as he named an experimental line-up with five players who are not part of his final squad making an appearance at some point in the game. There is still one place up for grabs in Southgate’s 26-man squad, though, due to an injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold. James Ward-Prowse, Ben Godfrey and Ben White were all given the chance to further their case from the start, while Jesse Lingard and Ollie Watkins came off the bench in the second-half. An inexperience...

Ahly defeat Berkane in Super Cup to claim 21st African title

Mohamed Sherif and Salah Mohsen scored in the second half to give Al Ahly of Egypt a 2-0 win over Renaissance Berkane of Morocco in the CAF Super Cup match on Friday, and a 21st African title. Forward Sherif finished off a sweeping passing move by hammering a left-foot shot past goalkeeper Zouhair Laaroubi into the far corner on 57 minutes. Unmarked fellow forward Mohsen doubled the lead eight minutes from time in Qatari capital Doha by rounding Laaroubi and pushing the ball into the net. Success for Ahly ended a run of upsets in the Super Cup with Champions League title-holders Esperance of Tunisia losing the 2019 and 2020 matches, also in Qatar. South Africa-born Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has now won four CAF competitions, one less than the most successful African, Tunisian Faouzi Benzar...

Sam Allardyce: Premier League is becoming boring

Press Association Sam Allardyce has warned that the Premier League is in danger of becoming boring because teams have been “brainwashed” into using the same playing style. The English top-flight has opened up to different tactical approaches over the last decade, with an influx of coaches coming from elsewhere in Europe. However the West Brom manager fears coaches are being prevented from sticking to their preferred style and that the league is suffering as a result. He said to Sky Sports: “What’s the point of playing out from the back against Man City and Liverpool, the best high-pressing team in this country. If they drop off, you play out from the back. Where’s the space? Exploit the space. I tried to get the players to think about that. It’s a simple game that’s been complicated far to...

Paul Pogba: N’Golo Kante star is a ‘smart kid’ and a ‘cunning’ player

N’Golo Kante “cheats a lot”, according to Paul Pogba, who has described the Chelsea star as a “smart kid” and a “cunning” player. Kante has established himself as one of the top midfielders in Europe since joining Leicester City from Caen in 2015, helping the Foxes win the Premier League title before also going on to lift the trophy with Chelsea. The 30-year-old has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name too, having been part of the triumphant 2018 France squad alongside Pogba, who has now revealed that his compatriot will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means bending the rules. The Manchester United talisman told beIN Sports of his international colleague: “He cheats a lot. A lot. At card games, board games. Honestly, I’m telling the truth. He cheats. “He says he doesn’t cheat, bu...

Thomas Tuchel reacts as ‘unlucky’ Chelsea suffer back-to-back FA Cup final defeats

Chelsea suffered late VAR heartache as they slipped to back-to-back FA Cup final defeats after a 1-0 loss to Leicester City, Youri Tielemans’ second-half strike proving decisive. In front of a reduced, yet undoubtedly noisy, Wembley crowd, it was Chelsea who made the brighter start, Timo Werner showcasing his electric speed to test the Foxes backline early on. Despite controlling the opening exchanges, the first real chance of the match fell to their opponents, Timothy Castagne getting in down the right and teeing up Jamie Vardy inside the area, the veteran striker’s effort well blocked by Reece James. At the other end of the pitch, Thomas Tuchel’s men almost fashioned a chance of their own, Thiago Silva’s dinked cross agonisingly evading the head of Cesar Azpilicueta at the back post, aft...

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