A Czech footballer identified as Frantisek Rajtoral has died at the age of 31.
Turkish media reported Rajtoral was found hanged at his home after Gaziantepspor alerted authorities to his absence on Sunday.
Rajtoral played 14 times for his country and was part of the squad that reached the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.
The defender joined Turkish top-flight club Gaziantepspor in 2016, having spent seven years with Viktoria Plzen, where he won the Czech league twice.
The Czech Football Association expressed its “deepest condolences to all his relatives”.
Plzen paid tribute to their former player, saying in a statement: “Rest in peace Rajt, we will all miss you so much, we will never forget you.”
“Unfortunately I can confirm that the news of suicide is true,” the club’s president Ibrahim Kizil told Turkish media outlet Sporx.
“His team-mates were concerned after Rajtoral didn’t participate in today’s training session.
“He had good spirits, he didn’t seem to have any problem. I really don’t know why he did such a thing.”
Lionel Messi has been handed a four-match ban just hours ahead of Argentina’s World Cup qualifier with Bolivia.
The Argentina forward was also fined 10,000 Swiss Francs (£8,100) for “having directed insulting words” at the official during his side’s World Cup qualifier with Chile last Thursday.
The Barcelona star was caught on camera venting his fury at an assistant who signalled he had committed a foul late on in Argentina’s 1-0 win. He was not shown a card at the time.
A statement from FIFA said: “Footballer Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FDC (FIFA disciplinary code) for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee.”
“As a result, Lionel Messi will be suspended for four official matches and sanctioned with a fine of CHF 10,000.”
It added that the suspension was “in line with the FIFA disciplinary committee’s previous rulings in similar cases”.
Nigeria could present a team of players with only four players on the substitute bench against Senegal on Thursday.
So far 17 players are in the camp of the team ahead tomorrow’s clash at The Hive.
According to Owngoalnigeria.com they are the only players expected to dress for the game unless some players arrive the team’s camp.
About 5 players who are supposed to join the team are currently facing visa issues.
Currently, there is uncertainty over the quick arrival of goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi.
Akpeyi according to reports has been ruled out of the clash totally.
However, Oghenekaro Etebo, Uche Agbo and Musa Mohammed are also feared out of the clash with Senegal due to visa issues, if they fail to meet up with the team for their last training session by 4pm later today.
Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick, has been elected into the powerful Confederation of African Football executive committee.
Pinnick will represent the West Zone B after defeating Benin Republic’s Moucharafou Anjorin in Thursday’s election.
Pinnick, who is a supporter of nrw CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, got 32 votes to Anjorin’s 17 to get a seat on CAF’s highest decision making organ.
Egypt’s best known archaeologist has angrily called Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi “an idiot” because the striker seemed to show little interest during a tour of the Giza Pyramids.
According to AP reports, Zahi Hawass, famed for his Indiana Jones hat and TV specials on Egypt’s ancient sites, showed Messi around the Giza Pyramids last month during a brief visit to Egypt by the Barcelona striker.
In a TV interview aired on Sunday, Hawass was asked how Messi’s reaction compared to that of Hollywood movie star Will Smith, who also toured the Pyramids with Hawass earlier this month.
“Messi is an idiot, and I am sorry to say that,” he snapped. “I was explaining the antiquities to him and there’s no reaction in his face. I was explaining things that would make a rock react, but he was just like an idiot.”
In a statement late Tuesday, Hawass said he was expressing anger over an inefficient interpreter when he was interviewed on the telephone by a talk show host. He made no mention of an interpreter in his original comments on Messi.
He however apologized.
“I apologise to Messi and his fans for the misunderstanding,” he said, professing to be an avid fan of the Argentine who watches all his games on television. “The nature of brief telephone interviews does not allow enough time to accurately explain what is meant. That contributed to the misunderstanding,” he said.
Hawwas, a former antiquities minister, added that he would like to take Messi to visit the tomb of King Tutankhamun in the southern city of Luxor if he were to visit Egypt again.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the world’s highest-earning athlete for the first time, becoming only the second individual from a team sport to lead the Forbes rankings since they began in 1990.
Ronaldo, who turns 32 on Sunday, climbed to the top of the list by earning $88 million in 2016, ahead of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in second place with $81m and NBA star LeBron James in third with $77m.
Introducing the research, Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes said that Portugal captain Ronaldo had overtaken boxer Floyd Mayweather and golfer Tiger Woods to become the first footballer ever to be named the highest earner across all global sport.
“With Mayweather hanging up his gloves and Woods hampered by injuries, there is an opening at the top. Filling the gap is the biggest star in the biggest sport on the planet,” Badenhausen wrote.
“This year, soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest-paid athlete, with earnings of $88m over the past 12 months from salary, bonuses and endorsements. Ronaldo is only the second team athlete after Michael Jordan to rank as the top-paid since Forbes began tracking athlete earnings in 1990.”
According to Forbes, Ronaldo’s total income rose marginally in 2016, up to $88m from $80m the year before. However, the retirement of boxers Mayweather ($300m in 2015) and Manny Pacquiao ($160m in 2015) helped him to take over at the head of the list.
Other footballers to appear towards the top of the rankings are Barcelona star Neymar in 21st place ($37.5m), Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic at 23 ($37.4m), Madrid’s Gareth Bale at 25 ($35.9m) and Wayne Rooney of United at 49 ($26.1m).
When compiling the list Forbes tallied earnings including salaries, prize money and bonuses paid out between June 1, 2015, and June 1, 2016. They do not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees and do not include investment income.
This means the research is based on the contract Ronaldo had during most of 2016, which was worth more than $50m-a-year in salary and bonuses, and not the new deal he signed last November which runs until 2021.
Badenhausen also pointed out that that his status as a “marketing juggernaut” earned him $32m off the pitch over the last 12 months.
“Ronaldo’s Real Madrid contract is worth more than $50m-a-year in salary and bonus and runs through 2018,” he wrote. “He triggered one of those seven-figure bonuses by leading Real to the Champions League title when he found the back of the net on the clinching penalty kick.
“The three-time FIFA Player of the Year is a marketing juggernaut earning $32m off the pitch by our count. He kicked off a contract extension with Nike last year worth $13m-a-year. Other Ronaldo endorsement partners include Tag Heuer, Herbalife, Pokerstars, Clear Shampoo and more. He has his own line of suits, cologne, shirts, shoes, underwear and hotels under construction.”
Forbes maintains that a big part of Ronaldo’s value to his commercial partners was his extensive social media presence, which generated $176m in media value for his various sponsors.
“Ronaldo’s massive social media presence is a boon to marketers, encompassing 215 million followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,” Badenhausen wrote. “He posted 255 times on social media promoting a brand over the last year. Those posts generated $176m in media value, according to Hookit, which tracks sponsorship value in social and digital media.”
Ronaldo’s finances made less positive headlines in late 2016 when it emerged that he was under investigation by Spain’s tax authorities, amid reports that at least €150m of his income had been routed through the British Virgin Islands tax haven, and claims that like Messi he could end up facing tax fraud charges in a Madrid court.
Barcelona legend, Ronaldinho is returning to the Spanish club at the end of his playing career as an ambassador.
Ronaldinho enjoyed immense success in his five seasons at Barca, cementing his position as one of the best players of his time.
The club said in a statement;
“FC Barcelona and Ronaldinho have reached an agreement whereby the Brazilian will become a Club ambassador and representative at various events and activities over the coming years.
“Ronaldinho will also form part of the Legends project, a team of former players who, through matches around the world, will help to globalise the Barça brand and its values, and will take part in clinics, training sessions and institutional events, among other activities organised by the Club.
“Through FCBEscola, FC Barcelona and Ronaldinho’s football academies will be seeking different ways to collaborate both in terms of the brand and possible associations with the same. The player will also appear in the opening and closing ceremonies at some schools and take part in activities in which he will share his experience in educational talks.
Nigeria Professional Football League top scorer in 2015/2016 season, Godwin Obaje, has emerged as the league’s highest paid player on the domestic scene.
According to Premium Times, the star striker who has now joined billionaire club, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, signed a three-year deal that would see him earn N2 million monthly.
It was gathered that Obaje had tried to seal a move abroad but attempts at joining a Russian club as well as another Tunisia outfit both hit the rock.
The 19-year-old who finished as top scorer with 18 goals, has said he is eager to start paying back the huge investment on him
“I have put all the recent disappointments behind me and my focus is now is to start scoring for my new team,” he stated
He added: “I’m happy to have joined a big club like FC Ifeanyiubah I can’t wait to start for my new team.”
Obaje is expected to make his debut for the Anambra Warriors against his former club, Wikki Tourists, on Sunday.
Usain Bolt is no longer a triple-triple Olympic gold medalist. Bolt and the Jamaican team have been stripped of their 4×100-meter relay gold medal from the Beijing Games in 2008 because one runner, Nesta Carter, was found guilty of a doping violation, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday.
According to The Independent, the sprinter was stripped of his title after one of his Jamaican 4x100m team-mates with whom he won gold at the 2008 Games, tested positive for a banned substance.
The world’s greatest track-and-field star can no longer lay claim to the title of “triple-triple” Olympic champion after Nesta Carter was caught out in the reanalysis of urine and blood samples from the Beijing Games.
Carter, the sixth fastest 100m runner of all time, ran the opening leg of the Olympic final eight years ago as Jamaica stormed to victory in a world-record 37.10sec, helping Bolt to a clean sweep of sprint titles as he burst onto the global stage at his first Games.
However, news emerged last summer that Carter was on a list of 31 athletes who failed a retest of their doping samples, which took place using the latest scientific techniques in order to weed out drugs cheats ahead of Rio 2016.
The Jamaican did not compete in Rio and has been fighting to clear his name, but the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday confirmed his sample had tested positive for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine.
All four members of the Jamaican relay team – which also included Michael Frater and Asafa Powell – have now been stripped of their medals, ruining Bolt’s perfect Olympic record of 100m, 200m and 4x100m triumphs.
Ronaldinho could be set to make a return to professional football, as he nears a move to Brazilian side Coritiba, ESPN Brasil reports.
The Barcelona legend last featured in a game in 2015 but has been offered a deal of around €22,000 per week, though the club are apparently giving him a mansion and private security. The Serie A side expect an answer from his agent on Wednesday.
Manchester United winger Ashley Young has asked manager Jose Mourinho to send him out on loan in January, according to the Daily Mail.
West Ham, Swansea City and former club Watford have all been sounded out over the possibility of a move while Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng are also interested.
Former West Ham and Chelsea striker Demba Ba is set to return to Besiktas on loan until the end of the season, according to NTV Spor.
The Senegal international has agreed to leave Shanghai Shenhua and is set to undergo medical tests with the Turkish outfit.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte intends to make a bid for AC Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez if Real Madrid succeed in luring Thibaut Courtois away this summer, according to The Sun.
Lopez has fallen out of favour at San Siro due to the emergence of talented teenage shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Islam Slimani is the latest Premier League star to be linked with a move to China as Tianjin Quanjian consider a €40 million move for the Leicester City striker, according to gianlucadimarzio.com.
Should Slimani follow the likes of Carlos Tevez and Oscar in heading to the Chinese Super League, Leicester will look to bring Guangzhou Evergrande attacker Jackson Martinez in the opposite direction.
Serie A clubs Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter are all interested in Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, according to Fichajes.
Despite not being a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge, Antonio Conte does not want to lose the Spain international and will demand around £25 million for his services.