Sport

Koeman hints at different approach from Barca after friendly win

Published

on


FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman on Saturday said his side could play a different style of football to which the club’s fans are used to this season.


His comments came after his side earned an underwhelming 3-1 win over Gimnastic de Tarragona in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

The Dutchman lined up with a 4-2-3-1 system with two holding midfielders, a shape rarely used by Barca coaches in the past.

He started Sergio Busquets and Carles Alena in the middle in the first half and then Frenkie de Jong and Riqui Puig, as he changed his entire team after half-time.

“It’s perhaps a little different and more defensive to what we have seen in the last few years,” Koeman told the club’s official television channel.

“But the aim is to move the ball, hold on to it and create space to play between the lines, behind the opponents’ midfielders.

“I think this team is capable of doing this because we have midfielders who are able to play in that way.”

Ousmane Dembele opened the scoring for Barca while Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho scored from the penalty kick spot in either half.

It was Koeman’s first game since quitting his role with the Netherlands to coach the Catalans.

The coach played close to a full-strength team in the first half.

He started Lionel Messi, even though the captain had only started training on Monday after ending his stand-off with the club following his request to leave on a free transfer.

Barca play Girona next Wednesday in another friendly and are in talks to face Elche in a final pre-season match before beginning their campaign at home to Villarreal on Sept. 27.

This will be coming two weeks after the official start of the La Liga campaign.

“It was important for those players to play now because this is not a normal pre-season, we only have four weeks together, not six and it’s very difficult,” Koeman added.

“What we want to do right now is focus on our fitness and then over the next two weeks focus on more tactical questions.

“The most important thing today is that fortunately there were no injuries and everyone was able to play 45 minutes.

“We showed good levels of intensity in spells, and although there are things we can improve in we are happy.

“We’ve only been working together for two weeks and now we have two more.”

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

 

 

https://nnn.ng/koeman-hints-at-different-approach-from-barca-after-friendly-win/

Sport

Rohr calls up 21 old faces, 4 new faces for Super Eagles’ 2 friendlies

Published

on


Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up 25 players ahead of October’s friendly matches against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, scheduled for Austria.


Ademola Olajire, the Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), disclosed in a statement on Monday in Abuja that five other players have been put on standby.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the friendlies are the three-times African champions’ first games this year, as a result of the prolonged global coronavirus pandemic.

Rohr has listed the team’s top names such as Ahmed Musa, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as new brooms Frank Onyeka and Chidera Ejuke.

Former FIFA Under-17 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Dele Alampasu returns to the group, as well as midfielder Mikel Agu.

Captain of the most recent Nigeria under-17 squad, Samson Tijani, will join up with the elite, as well as Portugal-based exciting wing-back Zaidu Sanusi.

Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, now in The Netherlands, is heading to Austria for the games, just as England-based forward Kelechi Iheanacho also returns.

Victor Osimhen, now in Italy with Napoli, and another former U17 World Cup winner Samuel Chukwueze are also called up.

The Super Eagles, now ranked 29th in the world and third in Africa, will take on the Elephants on Oct. 9.

They will four days later engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second in Africa in the rankings.

Both games have been arranged by the NFF to prepare the Super Eagles for the next rounds of 2022 AFCON qualifiers, home and away against Sierra Leone in November.      

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (FK Ventspils, Latvia); Matthew Yakubu (SKF Sered, Slovakia); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasary SK, Turkey); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Cyril Dessers (KRC Genk, Belgium)

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Standby: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands)

 

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

 

 

https://nnn.ng/rohr-calls-up-21-old-faces-4-new-faces-for-super-eagles-2-friendlies/
Continue Reading

Sport

Dutch Prime Minister tells cheering football fans to shut up

Published

on



Minister

Amsterdam, Sept. 21, 2020 Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday hit out at fans who sing and cheer at football matches, saying they were frustrating the fight against COVID-19 amid a surge in infections.

Limited crowds have been allowed back in Dutch stadiums since the start of the new season this month.

But that is only if they adhere to social distancing rules and refrain from singing and shouting.

“Just shut up when you’re sitting there,” Rutte said when asked about fans’ behaviour in the stadiums. “Watch the game and don’t shout. It’s possible.”

The fans have been far from quiet and many have left their designated seats during matches to stand and sing together.

“It’s utterly stupid,” the Prime Minister said. “That way we won’t get the virus under control.”

The daily tally of new coronavirus infections in The Netherlands topped 2,000 for the first time on Monday, setting a record for the fifth time in a week.

Rutte on Friday announced regional measures to limit the spread of the disease, forcing bars and restaurants to close early and limiting group sizes.

He has repeatedly warned that football stadiums could be closed down again if fans cannot restrain themselves.

The venues are operating at around a quarter of their capacity to make sure there is at least 1.5 metres (5 ft) distance between fans from different households.

Fans can only enter and exit stadiums at certain times, meaning some have to arrive more than an hour early.

Others have to wait a long while before they can leave after the games.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/dutch-prime-minister-tells-cheering-football-fans-to-shut-up/

Continue Reading

COVID-19

Italy to host Netherlands in Bergamo in honour of COVID-19 victims

Published

on


Italy will play next month’s UEFA Nations League home match against The Netherlands in Bergamo to honour the town that was severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year.


Besides remembering the people who died in Bergamo, the Italian football federation (FIGC) said on Monday the match was relocated from Milan’s Giuseppe Meazza to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.

It added that the Oct. 14 match would take place behind closed doors.

“The Azzurri, who will be in Bergamo from Oct. 12 onwards, will pay homage to the city, while adhering to all the necessary sanitary protocols,” FIGC said.

Bergamo and its province, which lies east of Milan, reported thousands of cases when the pandemic peaked in northern Italy during March and April.

Coronavirus deaths have since considerably dropped in the country, where more than 35,000 casualties have been reported.

The Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia has recently been renovated to host Atalanta’s UEFA Champions League games.

Italy last played in Bergamo in 2006.

Italy will play a friendly against Moldova in Florence on Oct. 7, a match originally scheduled to take place in Parma.

Four days later, the national team will visit Poland in Danzig for the third round of the Nations League.

Italy are top in Group A1 of the competition’s top tier.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/italy-to-host-netherlands-in-bergamo-in-honour-of-covid-19-victims/
Continue Reading

Sport

Suarez ends Barca contract, agrees terms with Atletico Madrid

Published

on


FC Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has agreed a deal with the club to end his contract and settled on personal terms with Atletico Madrid, according to reports in Spain on Monday.


The Catalans’ third top goalscorer of all time was told he was not wanted by new FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman and has been looking for a new club.

The 33-year-old Suarez, who has one year to run on his FC Barcelona contract, agreed a deal with the club to cut it short, the reports said.

A newspaper, Mundo Deportivo, said Suarez has fixed a contract with Atletico Madrid for two seasons, although the club will need to lighten their wage bill to accommodate the Uruguayan.

Media reports in Italy also say Juventus are in talks with Atletico Madrid to re-sign Spain striker Alvaro Morata.

Suarez had been heavily linked with Juventus, but coach Andrea Pirlo said it was unlikely he would come to Italy because of the difficulty in obtaining an EU passport.

The striker finished as Barca’s second-highest scorer last season behind captain Lionel Messi and scored 198 goals in 283 games for Barca, after joining in 2014 from Liverpool.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/suarez-ends-barca-contract-agrees-terms-with-atletico-madrid/
Continue Reading

Fayemi inaugurates steering committee on Open Government Partnership NCC set to commence cost-based review of new rates for International voice calls services Osinbajo Engages APC Social Media Influencers on hate speech NCDC, NIMR, partners to conduct COVID-19 antibody tests in 4 states Organisation trains varsity students on anti-corruption skills COVID-19: PTF warns against neglect of protocols Osinbajo, UNN students discuss technology, innovation ECOWAS Court set to resume from extended vacation on Oct. 7 Gov. Zulum inaugurates committee on LG pensioners, gratuities payment Rohr calls up 21 old faces, 4 new faces for Super Eagles’ 2 friendlies At 75, UN remains true to aspirations of founders -Buhari NAF trains 435 specialists to man its platforms Civil servants in C/River protest removal of names from payroll Oyo schools resume, comply with COVID-19 guidelines, staggered session NSE market indicators resume week with 0.01% growth Sokoto: Hisbah arrest 3 over alleged circulation of rape video on social media Akufo-Addo calls for stronger regional approach to quash terrorism in ECOWAS sub-region New Emir of Biu receives appointment letter Use standard road signs, FRSC tells construction firms in Lagos FG sensitises stakeholders on safe school reopening template FG urges states to provide infrastructure for film industry devt. Why FG is commercialising NFC — Lai Mohammed UN at 75: Guterres urges sustenance of world peace Sanwo-Olu vows to fulfil promises to Lagosians Niger governor calls for collaboration on maintenance of state roads LCCI wants urgent gazetting of CAMA 2020 Kano State Fire Service decorates 47 promoted officers Gov. Masari pays N70.99bn pension, gratuities to retirees-HoS Rainstorm damages INEC office roof in Kwara Okowa mourns Emir of Zazzau Bring oil thieves to justice, Gov Wike urges to security agencies Resumption: FRSC tasks school owners, managers on safety, COVID-19 guidelines in bus system Edo poll voter turnout decline worrisome in spite of credible conduct — CDD Bayelsa begins 2021budget process, pledges citizens’ participation World Peace Day: NGO organises arts exhibition to promote peace, peaceful co-existence NGO warns against monoculture plantation, illegal logging in C/River Attack on police officers in Sokoto ‘ll not be left unaddressed – AIG Darey Art Alade drops new EP ‘Way Home’ Emir of Zazzau’s demise, big loss to Nigeria – Kalu Club’s server collapses over demand for first Bundesliga game in 11 years NIBCARD Games to represent Nigeria in world’s largest game exhibition Nasarawa SDP lawmaker defects to APC Russian, WHO discuss cooperation in fight against COVID-19 Dutch Prime Minister tells cheering football fans to shut up Nasarawa NYCN gets acting Chairman, secretary Vote Buying: CSOS urge NASS to expedite passage of Electoral Offences Commission Bill Lawmaker donates 5 motorised boreholes, promises more COVID-19: Plateau surveillance team attacked in communities – Commissioner Ogun schools resume for 2020/2021 academic activities, comply with COVID-19 protocols FRC leads agencies to pay N1.8trn into Consolidated Revenue Fund – Official