ovak Djokovic has provided an injury update as he continues to assess the shoulder injury that forced him out of the US Open.
Djokovic retired injured in his last-16 clash with Stan Wawrinka in New York, and later admitted that he has ‘been in constant pain for weeks’ leading up to the tournament.
Reports this week in the New York Times claimed that the world number one may actually call time on his season and undergo shoulder surgery.
However, Djokovic appears to have curtailed those fears, at least for the time being, revealing that he hopes to be fit again for the upcoming Asian swing of the tour.
“Sorry for keeping you guys in the dark these days,” Djokovic wrote on Twitter.
“I‘m having a wonderful time with my family and actively working on my recovery so I can be ready for the Asian swing.
“My health is always top priority and as soon as I’m ready, I’ll be back,” he wrote on Twitter.
Maradona quits after just two months at Argentine club, Gimnasia
Diego Maradona has resigned as coach of Argentinian first division club Gimnasia La Plata after two months in charge and the club on the brink of relegation.
Gimnasia sit 22nd in the table with Maradona winning three and losing five times out of his eight games.
Maradona’s decision to quit his post comes after Sunday’s announcement by Gimnasia President Gabriel Pellegrino that he will not run for reelection. Pellegrino has been at the helm since 2016 and the Argentina legend’s resignation is perceived by the local media as an act of loyalty to the club president, reports ESPN.
“Maradona is no longer the coach of Gimnasia,” Pellegrino told Radio La Red. “He said that he was there to add not to subtract.”
The presidential elections are held every three years and will take place on Saturday. Maradona had considered remaining in charge for the last three games of the year but has decided to relinquish the reins immediately.
Pellegrino was responsible for bringing the 1986 World Cup winner back to work in Argentina for the first time since 2010, when Maradona left the helm of Argentina’s national team.
Argentinian newspaper Clarin report that Maradona is also going through a difficult personal time and also has health issues.
Earlier this month, Maradona, 59, played down concerns about his health and stated he was “more alive than ever”. Maradona left his job as coach of Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa in June after nine months in charge to focus on his health. He underwent a knee operation before deciding to take the Gimnasia job on September 5.
After Sunday’s game against Arsenal, Gimnasia play away to Banfield on November 29 before hosting Cordoba on December 8.
JUST IN: Spurs sack Pochettino
Tottenham have sacked head coach Mauricio Pochettino after five years in charge of the Premier League club.
The former Southampton boss, 47, was appointed in May 2014 and led Spurs to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool, reports the BBC.
But the club have made a disappointing start to the current campaign and are 14th in the Premier League.
“We were extremely reluctant to make this change,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
“It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste. Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.”
NFF commends Minister, submits report on teams’ outings
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has hailed the move of the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare to request for a report on the performances of the various National Teams in recent weeks, just as the football governing-body submitted the requested report on Monday.
“It was a good move by the Honourable Minister to request for the report. As he said, there has to be stock taking and after that, accountability. The NFF is enamoured by the move and we have submitted the requested report.
“For us, there is nothing to hide. We have detailed all the issues and the forces at play, and explained that in so much as these tournaments are important, they are mainly and strategically developmental. Even at that, we approach every match/tournament with the intention of winning, but it is practically and absolutely impossible based on indices, records and scientific laws of probability,” President of NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said on Tuesday.
In a 15 –page letter signed by Mr. Pinnick, the NFF detailed issues of funding (inadequacy and late release of same) and the toxic and disruptive environment in which it has had to operate for the past 18 months (with the Federation’s leadership and brand falsely and maliciously dragged from one investigative agency to the other and from one court to the other on same baseless allegations) as core reasons for the poor outings of the Super Falcons, CHAN Eagles, Golden Eaglets and Olympic Eagles in recent international matches/tournaments.
While acknowledging the importance of the qualifying matches/tournaments in which these teams participated and fell short, the Federation defended the technical crews of the teams and justified why they are the best for the positions as at the time they were hired by highlighting their track records.
Enrique returns as Spain manager following daughter’s death
Luis Enrique, whose daughter died from bone cancer in August, is returning as Spain manager five months after stepping down for personal reasons.
Enrique resigned in June after 11 months in the job and announced in August that his nine-year-old daughter, Xana, had died.
The 49-year-old former Barcelona boss was replaced by his assistant, Robert Moreno, reports the BBC.
Moreno was in charge as Spain beat Romania 5-0 on Monday.
It saw Spain wrap up qualification for Euro 2020 without losing a game.
Moreno, who also worked under Enrique at Roma, Celta Vigo and Barcelona, said after taking the job he would “step aside” if Enrique ever wanted to return.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales said: “Everyone knew that if Luis Enrique wanted to come back he had the doors open.
“Luis Enrique will continue to the Qatar World Cup [in 2022].”
Enrique was appointed national team boss following Spain’s exit from the 2018 World Cup in the last 16.
He was in charge for the Nations League, where Spain failed to reach the semi-finals, and remained in place for the beginning of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
The Spaniard travelled back home for personal reasons before Spain’s 2-0 victory in Malta in March and Moreno was placed in temporary charge.
Enrique then stepped down three months later.
Female MMA fighter, 26, dies from brain injury during fight
An amateur MMA fighter has died after suffering a fatal brain injury during a fight this weekend.
Saeideh – known as Sai – Aletaha, 26, collapsed during the bout at Central Hall in Southampton on Saturday night and was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition but died the next day, reports metro.co.uk.
Hampshire Police said inquiries into exactly what happened are ongoing, while tributes to Sai, a British-Iranian student at Loughborough University, have been paid online.
A post on the Facebook page for Southampton’s Lookborai gym – where Sai was a member – said: “Following the show Saturday we regret to announce that one of our team mates unfortunately suffered an injury leaving her in a critical condition that she tragically will not recover from. “Saeideh Aletaha was a lovely character with a beautiful soul. Her dedication to the sport was 110% travelling miles every day just to train.
“She found her place with us just a few months ago but has become a part of the family and will be sorely missed.
“This news comes as a devastating blow to us all at the gym and the whole community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”
A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said an ambulance was sent to Central Hall to answer a call shortly after 8.50pm on Saturday reporting that a participant in a martial arts event had collapsed.
The lightweight MMA fighter, described by friends as a ‘beautiful soul’, was taking part in the Fast & Furious Fight series organised by Lookborai and Exile Gym, which had doctors and paramedics at ringside.
A post on the Fast and Furious Fight event’s Facebook page said: “All competitors get in prepared that they may be injured and this is something not expected to happen 99.9% of the time.
“But, it can and in this we make the environment as safe as possible with pre and post medicals from a doctor, and full medical cover throughout with doctor, paramedic and ambulance on site alongside our experienced team of staff with numerous first aiders, safety is not something ever skimped on in any of our 19 shows and all matches are made equal. “Thoughts of course go out to all family, friends and team mates, if anyone needs any support please come to us or your coaches.
“Thank you to our team on the night who acted with utmost professionalism and carried their duties out above and beyond to react to the situation, and again we are here for any of you that needs it in this sad time.”
Hampshire Police said: “We were called shortly before 1am on Sunday November 17 by colleagues at Southampton General Hospital informing us of a woman who was being treated in hospital for a life-threatening brain injury.
“The woman, aged 26, died in hospital later that day.
“Inquiries into exactly what happened are ongoing. Next of kin have been informed.”
Man United announce almost £140m increase in net debt
Manchester United have announced their net debt has increased by almost £140m in their latest financial figures, even after posting another revenue increase for the first quarter of 2019-20.
The startling increase in debt levels from £247.2m to £384.5m, a rise of 55.5 per cent, will do little to appease disgruntled fans, unhappy with the way the club is run by the Glazer family owners and executive Vice-chairman Ed Woodward, reports Sky Sports.
United have posted revenues of £135.4m for the first quarter of 2019-20 which represents a £400,000 increase on the same period for the previous year.
Commercial revenue was £80.4m, a 5.9 per cent increase on the previous year, but the club are expecting 2020 annual revenue to be down this year to somewhere between £560-580m, compared to £627.1m for the year ending June 30,
2019, even though the club’s wage bill has dropped slightly.
In part that will be due to the club’s lack of Champions League football this season. Broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £32.9m, a 23.1 per cent and £9.9m drop on the same quarter the year before.
“We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment,” Woodward said.
“The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our academy are already beginning to bear fruit.
“We are very proud to be shortly approaching a milestone 4,000th game featuring an academy player, and we are particularly optimistic regarding the considerable young talent currently coming through.
“Our ultimate goal is to win trophies by playing exciting football with a team that fuses graduates from our academy with world-class acquisitions.”
Euro 2020: Italy records biggest win in 9-1 demolition of Armenia
Italy recorded one of the biggest wins in their history as they completed their successful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign by thrashing Armenia 9-1.
Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo both scored twice while Chelsea’s Jorginho converted a penalty in the second half.
Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli, Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa also scored for the dominant Italians, reports the BBC.
Edgar Babayan did manage to grab a consolation for Armenia with a stunning long-range strike.
Babayan’s finish stopped Italy equalling their biggest win – a 9-0 defeat of the United States in Brentford in 1948.
However, the emphatic victory continues an impressive turnaround in fortunes under former Manchester City boss Robert Mancini.
The Italian took charge of the national team following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and led them to 10 wins from 10 in qualifying for Euro 2020 – conceding just four goals – as they finished top of Group J.
Contract impasse: Rohr gives NFF December deadline
…blames jet lag for slow start against Lesotho
…salutes Eagles’ doggedness
Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, wants contract talks with his employer the Nigeria Football Federation sorted out before the end of the year.
Sources close to the German disclosed that the 66 year old wants the issue trashed out before December.
Rohr has been in charge of the Eagles since 2016, during which time he has won 21 matches, lost 10 and drawn seven, but he declared after Sunday’s 4-2 win away to Lesotho in the second match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that he could now discuss the contract after the victories against Benin Republic and Lesotho last weekend
The former handler of Niger Republic wants it discussed before the next AFCON match in August 2020, according to a source close to him.
“He wants his future sorted out as soon as possible so that he will concentrate on the job of building a new team. He has spoken to them (the NFF) about his desire to continue on the job and encouraged his employers to sort everything out before the end of the year,” the source said.
Rohr has admitted he would love to continue with the Eagles, especially as he is happy to see his band of youngsters doing well, but he hinted further that the choice on whether he stays or not depends on what the NFF’s hierarchy have in mind and what they would ultimately put on the table for him to peruse.
”I enjoy coaching this team of course. We have a project also, we have young players, we are progressing and we started very well the qualifiers and the qualifiers will continue after the end of my contract. The ball is in the camp of the officials now,” Rohr submitted.
The Eagles came from a goal down to record an emphatic 4-2 win over Lesotho on Wednesday and the German blamed his team’s slow start on jet fatigue after they arrived Maseru, the venue of the match, only few hours to the start of the game.
“We know that it’s difficult to win in Lesotho especially when you concede the first goal. They played very well in the beginning, but we had to take the game in our hands.
“We had a long travel at night and you can see that at the beginning, my players were not fully concentrated, he said.
He praised his players for their doggedness after they came from behind to claim victories in their last two games.
“Some matches, you score the first goal and in some matches you concede first,” Rohr told reporters after the game.
“We scored first against Brazil and Ukraine but we didn’t win, so I prefer to concede first and win the match.
“This has proven that my players have a good spirit because they never give up.
Quadre, Mohammed win J5 Abuja ITF titles
Oyinlomo Quadre claimed her 3rd ITF Junior title of the season, with a sublime display to beat 2nd seed, Marylove Edwards 6-1 6-0, in the second leg of the NTF International Junior Championships in Abuja.
The boy’s final which was also an all-Nigerian affair, saw Musa Mohammed edged top seed Abayomi Philips in a thrilling contest with scores at 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-2.
NTF president Ifedayo Akindoju expressed delight at the performance of Nigerians at the two week tourney pledging support for development of junior players in the country.
Quadre, Nigeria’s No. 1 junior player, outclassed her compatriot adding the J5 Abuja title to the Megrine and Cotonou titles, she won in April and September, respectively.
US-based Edwards, who claimed the first leg title last week, came into Sunday’s final on a 7-match winning streak, but was overwhelmed by her Morocco-based compatriot, who dictated proceedings all through
While Quadre’s victory over Edwards was quick and efficient, Mohammed who was the vanquished in the final of the first week losing to Canice Abua, had to dig deep to beat the tournament’s top seed, Abayomi Philips, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2 and claim the boys singles title – his first title-triumph on the ITF Junior Circuit.
He thus denied Philips a second iTF title of the season following the youngster’s success in Benin in September.
Lesotho tough for Eagles despite easy win – Musa
…drops retirement hint
Super Eagles skipper Ahmed Musa has played down their 4-2 win over Lesotho in a 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, saying the Southern Africans gave them a tough tie.
The Eagles came from a goal down to record an emphatic 4-2 victory in Maseru Sunday evening and the Al Nasr of Saudi Arabia forward insisted Lesotho proved a tough nut to crack for them.
”The team played very good, as you can see we came back from a goal down to win, it’s not that easy. We played a very good team today,” the Super Eagles captain told reporters post-match.
One of the untouchables in the Super Eagles side that finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Musa, has not started a game for the national team since a 1-0 win vs Tunisia in July and the former Leicester City forward said it was necessary to give younger players more opportunities in the team.
With 13 games left to reach milestone 100 caps Musa hinted he could bow out of international football soon.
“it is about time we have a new crop of players for the national team,” Musa said.
“The young players are coming up and we have to give them a chance. Soon maybe Ahmed Musa may not want to continue playing anymore and we have to groom new set of players totake over from those that are retiring.”
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