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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: Gareth Southgate invites Bukayo Saka, 24 others

Gareth Southgate hit back at the critics after selecting Trent Alexander-Arnold for England’s Euro 2020 squad as the Three Lions boss admitted Harry Maguire is a doubt for the opener against Croatia. Alexander-Arnold had to endure a nervous wait before learning he had made the cut after spending much of the season out of favour with Southgate. The 22-year-old was left out of Southgate’s England squad for their World Cup qualifiers in March. But Alexander-Arnold’s strong end to the season with Liverpool convinced Southgate to restore the right-back to his squad. Alexander-Arnold responded to his selection by tweeting: “Always believe in yourself. Silence the doubters.” Irritated by the inaccurate pre-announcement reports that he would drop Alexander-Arnold, Southgate insisted he never lost ...

Tyson Fury: I will still fight Anthony Joshua this year

Tyson Fury has insisted that he still intends to fight Anthony Joshua this year despite committing to a trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder in July. Only last weekend, Fury announced that his much-anticipated heavyweight showdown with Joshua would take place in Saudi Arabia in August. Soon afterwards, however, Wilder won an arbitration hearing which ruled that Fury was contractually obliged to fight him for a third time. Fury’s first bout against Wilder came in December 2018 and ended in a controversial draw. In the rematch last year, the self-styled Gypsy King stopped his opponent in round seven to win the WBC heavyweight and Ring magazine titles. A planned trilogy fight was initially postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, before disputes over the rescheduling saw Fury declare that he’d ...

Harry Kane tells Tottenham he wants to leave this summer

Harry Kane has reiterated his stance that he wants to leave Tottenham this summer. The 27-year-old has grown frustrated over the club’s inability to compete at the highest level, having seen his side fall out of contention to secure Champions League football for next season. Spurs have long been reluctant to entertain bids for their talisman but the England captain is hoping that they will soften their stance after his long service to the club. Daniel Levy will demand a huge fee for Kane – who prefers a move within the Premier League – as he is on a long-term deal until 2024. Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are potentially viable destinations, although it is still unclear as to whether a move will materialise. All three of the aforementioned Premier League giants have signif...

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...

U.S. envoy wants pope to attend climate conference, sway debate

Pope Francis has the moral authority to sway public opinion over global warming and might attend the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland, U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry said on Saturday. COP26 is being held in Glasgow in November and could accelerate measures by the world’s biggest polluters to tackle climate change, a challenge which activists, scientists and world leaders say could ultimately endanger the planet. “I think that his voice will be a very important voice leading up to and through the Glasgow conference, which I believe he intends to attend,” Kerry told the official Vatican News outlet after meeting the pope. There was no immediate confirmation of this from the Vatican. “Because he is above politics and outside of the hurly-burly...

Report: Barcelona open to selling Antoine Griezmann for the right price

Italian Sky Sports journalist Matteo Moretto has proclaimed that Barcelona are willing to sell French superstar Antoine Griezmann in the summer if they were to receive an adequate offer, in order to try and ease the pressure on their accounts. After a far from optimal start to his stint in Garnet and Blue, Griezmann has largely managed to turn his fortunes around. He has established himself as a very useful asset for Barcelona, and proved to be an instrumental part of the Catalans’ Copa del Rey triumph. However, despite his turn of form, there has been constant speculation regarding Antoine Griezmann’s departure from Barcelona. Considering the massive cost of his transfer from Atletico Madrid two seasons ago and his high wages, the club might be open to a sale in the summer. The upcoming t...

Minister charges para-athletics team to be worthy ambassadors

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has charged Nigerian Para-Athletics team to Notwil, Switzerland, to be worthy ambassadors of the country as they seek to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics taking place in Tokyo, Japan later in the year. The minister gave the charge when he bade farewell to the team for the qualifiers through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. He said: “Nigeria is solidly behind your bid for qualification for the Para-Athletics event in Notwil, Switzerland. There is no doubt about your abilities, which you have always proved over the years. You must be worthy ambassadors of our dear country by conducting yourselves well to attain the best standards for qualifiers. “Don’t be distracted; Nigerians are solidly behind you. You have always made ...

Andre Gray: Watford bench thought Isaac Success was tired before wonder goal

Andre Gray admitted that the Watford bench thought Isaac Success was looking ‘jaded’ before he netted a stunning goal in the 2-0 win over Swansea City at the Vicarage Road on Saturday. Success scored his first goal in 30 months as Watford ended their season on a high with the impressive win. “We were saying on the bench how knackered he was,” Gray told Hive Live after the game. “He hasn’t played much this season and then you’ve seen after he scored the energy that he’s come into! It’s quite normal when you score, you get a bit of an adrenaline rush, but it’s an absolutely great finish.” Gray was delighted to get a goal for himself in the game too, taking his personal tally to five for the season. “I love scoring goals, I always enjoy it,” he said. “Every time I play, I’m always trying to g...

Ex-President Obasanjo: If Nigeria breaks up, minority groups will be exterminated

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday described calls for the disintegration of Nigeria as unmindful and insensitive to the plight of the minority groups in the country. Obasanjo made the observation when he received the Tiv Professional Group (TPG) from Benue State, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta. The former president recalled a discussion between him and “a military friend” who, according to him, has described major tribes in the country as selfish and not sufficiently caring for the minority groups. Obasanjo, who aligned with his friend’s opinion, expressed worry over what would become of the minority groups if the major tribes decided to secede and begin to operate as separate countries. “If the Yoruba can stand as a country, if the Igbos and the Hausa/Fulani can s...

Thomas Tuchel ‘proud’ to become first German manager to reach FA Cup final

Thomas Tuchel says it will be “special” to be the first German to manage a team in an FA Cup Final after Chelsea win over Man City. The Chelsea boss has become the first ever German manager to reach an FA Cup Final after masterminding Saturday’s 1-0 semi-final win against Manchester City. Chelsea will face either Southampton and Leicester, who meet in the other semi-final on Sunday, in the Final on May 15. Told he would be the first German manager to lead out a team in an FA Cup Final, Tuchel told Chelsea TV after the City win: “Oh really, oh wow. That is amazing. “Honestly I feel very proud for my team but also for me, I was very excited to come to Wembley for the first time, it is a very special place in world football. “To be on the sideline, be there with the team, to win a semi-final ...

National Assembly legislative aides protest non-payment of arrears

The National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum on Tuesday in Abuja protested the non-payment of their 20 months’ salary arrears. Zebis Prince, who spoke on behalf of the protesting Aides, said that since the inauguration of the 9th Assembly, their salary arrears were withheld by the management. He said that the matter was referred to the House Services Committee with the mandate to among other things investigate the irregularities in the payment of legislative Aides. He however said that the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) insisted on getting directives from the chairman of National Assembly Service Commission before payment of the arrears. “We are disturbed that despite an express legislative resolution mandating the CNA to ensure payment three weeks after, the Chief Accounting Office...