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‘I Acted Like A Fool’ – Neymar Rues Marseille Red Card

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Neymar admitted he “acted like a fool” following his red card against Marseille but called on football officials to do more to combat discrimination after accusing Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez of racism.

The Brazil forward was one of five players sent off after a mass brawl at the end of PSG’s 1-0 loss in Ligue 1 on Sunday, and later claimed Gonzalez had called him a “monkey” in a series of furious tweets.

PSG have stood by the world’s most expensive player, saying the club “strongly supports” him, but Neymar conceded he would accept his punishment which is expected to be revealed by the French league’s disciplinary commission on Wednesday.

“Yesterday I revolted. I was punished with red because I wanted to hit someone who offended me,” Neymar said in a lengthy Instagram post Monday.

“I thought I could not leave without doing something because I realised that those in charge would not do anything, did not notice or ignored the fact.”

 

Neymar was dismissed for slapping Gonzalez on the back of the head, with team-mates Layvin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes also sent off, as well as Marseille’s Dario Benedetto and Jordan Amavi.

“In our sport, aggressions, insults, swearing are part of the game, of the dispute. You can’t be affectionate. I understand this guy partly, all is part of the game, but racism and intolerance are unacceptable,” Neymar continued.

“Should I have ignored it? I don’t know yet… Today, with a cool head, I say yes, but in due course, my companions and I asked the referees for help and we were ignored.

“I accept my punishment because I should have followed the path of clean football. I hope, on the other hand, that the offender will also be punished.

“Racism exists. It exists, but we have to stop it. No more. Enough!”

“The guy was a fool. I also acted like a fool for letting me get involved in that,” he added.

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Messi And Ronaldo Omitted From UEFA Men’s POTY Nominations

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been omitted from the nominations for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year awards.

For the first time in 10 years, the two greatest players of the modern game do not appear on the shortlist for the awards, for which Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski are considered favourites to win.

Despite their confirmed places in the pantheon of the greats, few could argue with the decision not to nominate Messi and Ronaldo after the 2019/20 season. While Ronaldo did help Juventus to win yet another Serie A title, both Juve and Barcelona were eliminated from the Champions League before the latter stages.

While both Ronaldo and Messi bagged a rather disappointing three goals apiece in eight Champions League matches, Lewandowski scored 15 on his way to helping Bayern Munich win the competition.

The final player on the three-man shortlist is Lewandowski’s Munich teammate Manuel Neuer, who enjoyed a stellar run of performances in the truncated knockout stage of the Champions League in Lisbon.

He made a number of key saves in the final against Paris Saint-Germain as his side defeated the Ligue 1 giants 2-0.

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Covid-19: West Ham’s David Moyes, Issa Diop & Josh Cullen Test Positive

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West Ham United manager David Moyes and two of the club’s players have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Premier League club were informed of the positive tests while preparing for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Hull City at London Stadium.

Moyes, 57, defender Issa Diop, 23, and 24-year-old midfielder Josh Cullen will now be required to self-isolate.

“The manager and both players immediately left the stadium and have returned home,” said a club statement.

West Ham said the three men were all asymptomatic and assistant manager Alan Irvine took charge of the Hull match, which both Diop and Cullen were due to start.

Public Health England guidelines state those with Covid-19 should self-isolate for at least 10 days, meaning Moyes, Diop and Cullen will not be able to attend training or the league game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 27 September.

BBC Radio 5 Live’s John Southall said the trio travelled to the ground with the squad in two or three separate coaches.

“They say they all social distanced, the squad, from when they met up and throughout the journey,” he said.

“As soon as they arrived, the results from the tests done yesterday came through and the two players and the manager were isolated immediately in separate rooms and left the ground very quickly, I’m told.

“West Ham say they are satisfied nobody else in the squad needs to self-isolate and that is why the game went ahead.”

The news comes after Leyton Orient v Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup third round on Tuesday was called off because a number of the home players had contracted coronavirus.

It came on the day the government announced a raft of new coronavirus restrictions for England which could last for up to six months.

As part of the stricter rules, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed plans for fans to return to watch live sport events in England from 1 October will not go ahead.

Sports bodies have been told not to expect spectators at stadiums and venues until the end of March at the earliest.

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Micah Richards Brilliantly Responds To Claims He’s Only On TV Because Of BLM

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Micah Richards expertly ended any claims that he’s only been given the job as a television pundit on Sky Sports because of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

The former Manchester City defender is high on a lot of people’s lists of favourite pundits, with his infectious personality really coming through on Sky.

However some have claimed that Richards is their for tokenism and has only been put on television because of the BLM campaign.

On Monday Night Football, after covering his former team beat Wolves, Richards brilliantly rubbished those claims. “I’m in a privileged position and I did this through hard work. And the hard work that I’ve put in is not going to be tarnished,” the former England international said.

“I’ve got people on Twitter, people on Instagram, ‘Oh, Micah Richards is only on because of this whole Black Lives Matter movement’.

“But I’ve had conversations with corporations that I’ve worked for way before this.

“And now I’m getting tarnished with the same brush, ‘He’s only on TV because of Black Lives Matter’ – which is disheartening for me.

“Because I put in the work, I work every single day at my craft. I’ve been a professional footballer, I’ve won a Premier League, I’ve played at the highest level… and I’m still getting stones thrown at me.

“So if I’ve got to fly the flag, people want to thrown stones at me – I’ll happily take it. Because I know, I put in the work.”

Internet trolls attacked Richards, and fellow pundit Alex Scott, after it was revealed that Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier were leaving Soccer Saturday, even though they weren’t anything to do with the decision and weren’t the trios replacements.

Richards defended Scott, who has been linked with the Question of Sport presenter role, adding, “Alex Scott is incredible. She’s one of the best I’ve ever worked with and it’s even worse for her because she’s a woman, and she’s seen as black as well.

“It’s double jeopardy. She’s in a worse position. She is honestly one of the best pundits I have ever worked with and all you see on social media is: ‘Why is a woman working in men’s football? She doesn’t know.’

“She’s played however many times for England, she knows football inside out and more than most people, and to see the abuse that she gets just because someone’s left their job or not had their contracts renewed, it’s disheartening to see.

“But, at the same time, it just shows we’ve still got a problem and it’s that awkward conversation we all don’t want to have but we’ve got to have the conversation.”

BLM and the decision of players to take the knee was in discussion again after QPR director of football Les Ferdinand put out a statement explaining why the team didn’t take the knee at the weekend.

Richards was again excellent in discussing the issue and you can see the whole discussion in this video.

After listening to him speak on Monday, it would be impossible to think Richards is in his position for any other reason than he’s very good at his job.

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