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Barcelona President Says Tough Decisions Will Be Taken After Humiliating Loss

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images 49 Barcelona President Says Tough Decisions Will Be Taken After Humiliating Loss

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has disclosed some tough decisions have already been made insisting more still to be carried out, after their humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The LaLiga giants suffered their heaviest defeat since 1940 as they crashed out at the quarter-final stage of the competition in Lisbon, with reports in Italy suggesting boss Quique Setien has already been sacked.
The 61-year-old former Real Betis boss only joined the club in January as a replacement for Ernesto Valverde.
And reports have also suggested that Setien could be followed out the exit door by Eric Abidal, Barcelona’s director of football, in a complete restructure of the club.
Barcelona were trailing 4-1 after just 31 minutes in Lisbon, and an abject display was rounded off by Philippe Coutinho – who is on loan at Bayern from the Spanish giants – scoring twice and providing an assist against his parent club.
Speaking after the Bundesliga champions’ demolition of his side, Bartomeu said:”It’s a really heavy defeat. I want to congratulate Bayern, who played a great game. They deserve to go through to the semi finals. We weren’t at our best, nor near it.
“Today (Friday) was a disaster and now we have to make decisions. We’ve already thought about some of them.
“Today isn’t a day for decisions. We want to apologise to the fans, members and Barcelonistas.”
However, when pushed on who and what those decisions would involve, Bartomeu – who will now be under severe pressure from rival candidate Victor Font ahead of elections next year – did not reveal the club’s intentions.
“I’m not going to say what [decisions] they are because some of them have already been made and others will be made,”he added.
“Today is a day to reflect. From tomorrow, we’ll try to lift the spirits of all the Barcelona fans and we’ll make decisions from next week.”
However, Bartomeu himself has not avoided the pressure and has come in for severe criticism from Joan Laporta – who served as Barcelona president from 2003 until 2010 – immediately after the game.
Laporta vehemently claimed that Bartomeu’s post-match remarks were an act of cowardice and demonstrated once more that he was not the man to take the club forward.
“After this very painful defeat, the statements of President Bartomeu are, once again, a sign of cowardice and ineptitude,” Laporta posted on Twitter.
“The incompetence of him and his board disqualifies them from making more decisions that condition Barca’s future.”

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I have no doubts about Messi, says Koeman

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download 10 2 I have no doubts about Messi, says Koeman

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said he has no concerns about Lionel Messi ahead of their first La Liga game of the season on Sunday after the Argentinian took another swipe at the club over the departure of Luis Suarez .
Koeman was also keen to point out it was not solely his decision to let Suarez join Atletico Madrid , with the Dutchman insisting he is not the “ bad guy in the movie ” .
Messi criticized how Suarez was pushed out as Barca try to reduce their wage bill , saying “ you deserved a goodbye for what you are ” before adding : “ But at this point, nothing surprises me anymore ” .
Barcelona plays Villarreal on Sunday at Camp Nou and Messi is expected to start , having reintegrated with the squad since claiming he was denied a transfer this summer.
Koeman said in a press conference on Saturday he was not worried about Messi , despite his captain ’s latest show of frustration .
“ It is normal for a player to be a bit sad when a friend of theirs leaves after the years that they have had together , it is part of football, ” said Koeman .
“ But the most important thing for me is how he has been. In training and in games , I think Leo has been an example for everyone , in his commitment to the club and to the team. I have no doubts about Leo in this regard . ”
Suarez scored 198 goals for Barcelona to become their third – highest goalscorer in history but the 33- year – old was deemed expendable after the team ’s disastrous end to last season .
Koeman was reported to have held a direct and short telephone conversation with Suarez about his future but Barca’ s new coach claims the decision was not only his.
“ At first it was like I was the bad guy in the movie ,” said Koeman . “ It ’s not like that because from the first day or after my call with Luis I showed respect for the player and the person he is.
“ He trained to the maximum from the first day and I always told him it could be difficult for him to play but if he stayed he would be one of the squad and could work like the others.
“ That ’s what I told the club too but these are decisions made by the club . Before signing the contract the club was thinking about changing things and I have tried to support those decisions.
“ But it was not only my decision as a manager, but they are also decisions of the club as well .”
Suarez follows Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo , and Arturo Vidal is leaving Barcelona this summer but the club have struggled to afford replacements.
“ The economic situation of the club is very complicated and it could be that they can ’ t bring in what I want , ” said Koeman . “ I knew that and I accept it and if I stay with these players, I will work very hard to improve them. ”

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Fernandes’ 100th minute penalty hands Man Utd win at Brighton

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images 2020 09 26T162721.509 Fernandes’ 100th minute penalty hands Man Utd win at Brighton

Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty , awarded on a VAR review after the final whistle had blown , as Manchester United rode their luck to register their first Premier League points of the season with a thrilling 3- 2 win at Brighton on Saturday.
The Seagulls hit the woodwork five times and thought they had earned a deserved point when Solly March headed home to equalize in the 95th minute.
However , Neal Maupay ’s handball was penalized by referee Chris Kavanagh after he had blown for full- time and Fernandes converted from the spot in the 100 th minute.
Pre- season hopes that United could mount a title challenge to their biggest rivals Liverpool and Manchester City dissipated after a dire display in losing 3- 1 to Crystal Palace last weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes and got more of the same for the first 45 minutes as Brighton controlled the game .
Leandro Trossard hit both posts with shots from outside the box, while Adam Webster ’ s looping header came back off the crossbar .
It took United 33 minutes to muster a flowing move involving the front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood , who found the net but the goal was ruled out for offside against Rashford.
– VAR to the rescue –
Brighton finally got their reward when the tireless Tariq Lamptey burst into the box from right wing – back and was clipped by Fernandes .
The United midfielder was lucky to escape a second yellow card , but Maupay ensured they did pay the penalty with a cheeky chip down the middle of the goal as David de Gea dived to his left.
However , the lead lasted just three minutes as from a fiercely driven Fernandes free -kick , Nemanja Matic turned the ball back across goal and Lewis Dunk turned the ball into his own net .
VAR came to the rescue of both sides within the first 10 minutes of the second half .
United had already conceded a penalty in consecutive games for the first time in 11 years in the Premier League and thought they had given an away from a second spot – kick of the match when Paul Pogba was penalized for pulling back Aaron Connolly .
However , Kavanagh overturned his initial decision when he saw a replay of the incident .
At the other end, United ’ s front three was beginning to click as Rashford swept home Greenwood ’s low cross but this time VAR ruled against United with the goalscorer marginally offside .
There was no stopping Rashford moments later when he raced onto Fernandes ’s ball over the top and left Ben White trailing on the ground before his deflected effort found the top corner .
Brighton ’s bad luck continued when March became the next player to hit the woodwork as his low shot across De Gea came back off the inside of the far post before Trossard smashed against the bar with just the Spanish number one to beat .
The Seagulls seemed to finally have their reward when March ghosted in at the back post to head home Alireza Jahanbakash ’ s cross .
But in a chaotic finale, Harry Maguire ’ s header from a corner struck Maupay ’ s arm and to Brighton ’ s dismay , a penalty was awarded .
Fernandes has never missed a top – flight penalty and stayed cool under the pressure to ensure Solskjaer ’ s men escaped with all three points .

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NPFL: 9 Kwara United Players Test Positive For COVID – 19

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images 2020 09 26T102407.456 NPFL: 9 Kwara United Players Test Positive For COVID - 19

No less than nine Kwara United players have returned positive results for the coronavirus following tests that were conducted as part of the stipulated guidelines ahead of the Nigeria Premier Football League resumption.
The club in compliance with the regulation of the League Management Company (LMC) had all their members take the test on September 17. It was gathered that the Afonja Warriors mandated all players to take the tests as they return to training in Ilorin.
The nine positive players have been taken to the Sobi Isolation Centre in Ilorin.
All clubs have been ordered by the LMC to perform COVID-19 test for players and officials in line with the protocols and guidelines from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Since the Federal Government announced the return of sports behind closed doors last month, football activities is yet to resume. Meanwhile, with the gradual flattening of the coronavirus pandemic curve in Nigeria, the federal government has stated that it is yet to lift ban on contact sports including football.
Despite the gradual easing of the lockdown, the Nigeria Professional Football League 2020/21 season resumption is still uncertain as government say go-ahead has not been ordered.
Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, September 10, noted that the PTF had only removed restrictions on non-contact sports. “On the issue, I’m a football fan, but sadly, we have not allowed contact sports at the moment. We have only allowed non-contact sports, and so, football is not included.

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