Reuters

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Argentina keeper Romero out of World Cup with knee injury

(Reuters) - Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero is out of the World Cup after suffering a knee injury, the country's football federation (AFA) said in a statement on their website on Tuesday.<p>The AFA said that a decision on a replacement would be taken in the coming days.<p>The Manchester United keeper …

Soccer

Ghana president demands criminal probe into football body chief

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo on Tuesday called for a criminal investigation into the head of the country's football association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, for fraudulently using the President's name.<p>Deputy chief of staff Samuel Abu Jinapor told reporters that Nyantakyi had been captured …

African Football

Van Dijk has made me a better player, says Liverpool's Lovren

(Reuters) - Liverpool centre back Dejan Lovren says playing alongside Virgil van Dijk fills him with confidence as the pair prepare for the ultimate challenge of stopping Real Madrid's famed forward line in Saturday's Champions League final in Kiev.<p>They have forged a strong partnership since an …

Soccer

England director of cricket Strauss to 'step back' from duties

LONDON (Reuters) - Former England captain Andrew Strauss is "stepping back" from his role as director of cricket while his wife is treated for cancer, the 41-year-old confirmed on Tuesday.<p>Strauss's wife Ruth was diagnosed in December and is entering a new period of more demanding treatment.<p>Speaking …

ECB

Relegated Stoke appoint Rowett as new manager

LONDON (Reuters) - Stoke City have appointed Derby County boss Gary Rowett as their new manager as they set about reclaiming their place in the Premier League after being relegated this season.<p>The club's website said the 44-year-old had signed a three-year contract after Stoke agreed a compensation …

Soccer

AC Milan face UEFA sanctions after FFP referral

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan are facing UEFA sanctions for breaching financial fair play rules after the club failed to reach a settlement agreement with European football's governing body.<p>UEFA said in a statement on Tuesday that the Investigatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body had …

Soccer

Confident Kane says England can win World Cup

BURTON ON TRENT, England (Reuters) - England head to the World Cup with a youthful squad and lowered expectations from the public, but captain Harry Kane still believes the team is capable of returning from Russia as champions.<p>Manager Gareth Southgate has picked a relatively inexperienced group of …

Soccer

Liverpool, Roma charged after fan seriously injured

ZURICH (Reuters) - Liverpool and AS Roma have both been charged by UEFA over the fan violence outside the stadium, which marred their Champions League first leg match last month.<p>A 53-year-old Liverpool supporter, Simon Cox, was seriously injured in an attack during the trouble outside Anfield which …

Soccer

Du Plessis blitz puts Chennai in IPL final

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Two-time champions Chennai Super Kings marched into the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after Faf du Plessis smashed a blistering 67 not out to fashion their thrilling two-wicket victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.<p>Chasing 140 to reach the final for the …

Faf du Plessis

Spain boss Lopetegui signs new deal through to 2020

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has signed a two-year contract extension in a show of faith from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) before a ball is kicked at next month's World Cup.<p>The RFEF announced on Tuesday the extension to Lopetegui's deal, which was due to expire after the …

Soccer

Yates holds on to Giro lead after stage 16 time trial

(Reuters) - Britain's Simon Yates took another step towards winning the Giro d'Italia after coming through the stage 16 time trial with a 56-second overall lead on Tuesday.<p>Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) took a blistering victory at the 34.2-km course from Trento to Rovereto but it was …

Road Bikes

Ronaldo retains top spot as world's most popular athlete - ESPN

(Reuters) - Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo topped the ESPN World Fame 100 list for a third straight year, pipping American basketball player Lebron James and long-term Argentine rival Lionel Messi.<p>Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, was named the most popular …

Soccer

Peru captain Guerrero draws a blank after meeting Infantino

ZURICH (Reuters) - Peru captain Paolo Guerrero's hopes of winning an amnesty from a doping ban that will keep him out of the World Cup appeared to end on Tuesday after a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino.<p>Infantino expressed "deep understanding" of the 34-year-old's plight, FIFA said in a …

FIFA

Ukraine police raid 35 clubs in push against match-fixing

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian police raided 35 football clubs and arrested at least one football referee on Tuesday in a massive operation against suspected match-fixing.<p>The raids took place four days before the capital Kiev hosts Saturday's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, …

Match Fixing

FIFA says Russia squad doping-free after McLaren follow-up

ZURICH (Reuters) - Host nation Russia's World Cup squad was declared free of doping by FIFA on Tuesday after the global soccer body followed up on the McLaren report, which uncovered widespread cheating across more than 30 sports in the country.<p>However, global soccer's governing body said in a …

FIFA World Cup

Ajaccio's promotion dream survives violence-marred playoff

PARIS (Reuters) - France's football league on Tuesday refused to annul a violence-marred League 2 playoff match between Le Havre and Ajaccio, but said the Corsican side would play its next game for promotion in an empty stadium because of crowd trouble.<p>Ajaccio fans attacked the visiting team's bus …

Soccer

Westwood, Harrington, McDowell, Donald named Ryder Cup vice-captains

(Reuters) - European captain Thomas Bjorn has named Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald as vice-captains for this year's Ryder Cup in Paris.<p>The experienced quartet join Swede Robert Karlsson, who has played two Ryder Cups, in Bjorn's backroom staff for the biennial …

Golf

Familiar foe lies in wait for Nigeria at World Cup

(Reuters) - Nigeria are the only African team returning to the World Cup finals after playing in Brazil four years ago and must get past a familiar foe if they want to reach the second round again.<p>Nigeria have been paired with Argentina for the fifth time in six World Cup appearances, having …

Soccer

Croatia out to match success of 1998 World Cup generation

(Reuters) - Ever since a talented Croatian side reached the 1998 World Cup semi-finals in their second major tournament as an independent nation, subsequent generations have been under pressure from the country’s fans and media to emulate the feat.<p>But Croatia have made group-stage exits in all …

Soccer

Iceland set to punch above World Cup weight in Russia

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup will also be the tournament's worst-kept secret as Iceland's giant-killing performances in 2016 sent a loud and clear warning that they will not be in Russia just to make up the numbers.<p>Having come agonisingly close to …

Soccer

Struggling Argentina must improve to hit heights again

(Reuters) - Argentina last won a major title 25 years ago and while the prospect of ending that drought has looked so close in recent years it now seems a distant prospect.<p>Argentina last picked up silverware at the 1993 Copa America, when Gabriel Batistuta and Diego Simeone were playing.<p>They …

Soccer

Dogged Danes bank on Eriksen's class at World Cup

(Reuters) - Best known for the flair, skill and character that enabled them to win the 1992 European Championship in stunning fashion, a more dogged, determined Denmark led by Christian Eriksen will arrive in Russia hoping to make a similar impact at the World Cup.<p>Up against Peru, Australia and …

Soccer

Peru deprived of captain but still dream of ending historic heartache

(Reuters) - Peru were dealt a shattering blow with the suspension of captain and top scorer Paolo Guerrero and their little-known squad will be motivated by a sense of injustice and determined to honour him by springing a surprise at the World Cup.<p>The last country to squeeze into this year's finals …

Soccer

Australia coach Van Marwijk tasked with Russia rush job

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia scraped into the World Cup after a series of far-flung playoffs and new coach Bert van Marwijk faces a huge challenge to guide the Socceroos into the knockout rounds in Russia.<p>The least fancied team in a Group C featuring France, Denmark and Peru, Australia needed a …

Soccer

Defence is a big question mark but France have the firepower

PARIS (Reuters) - France built their 1998 World Cup-winning squad around a rock-solid defence but 20 years on they could do just the opposite, with their dazzling array of creative, attacking talent ready to make all the difference at the 2018 edition.<p>Such is Les Bleus' firepower up front that …

Soccer

Scotland captain Barclay out for up to six months with Achilles injury

(Reuters) - Scotland captain John Barclay will be out of action for at least six months after undergoing surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon, Pro14 side Scarlets said on Tuesday.<p>Barclay sustained the injury while playing for Scarlets in the Pro14 semi-final win over Glasgow Warriors last week.<p>The …

Six Nations Championship

Villa and Fulham to battle for 'the biggest prize in football'

(Reuters) - Aston Villa and Fulham will be playing for a minimum 160 million pounds when they go head-to-head for a place in the Premier League at Wembley Stadium on Saturday in a match often described as the richest in world soccer.<p>According to Deloitte Sports Business Group, the winner of the …

Soccer

Real as hungry as ever, Zidane warns Liverpool

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has warned Liverpool that his side are as hungry as ever to win the Champions League, rejecting claims that the Spanish giants might have lost their edge ahead of Saturday’s final in Kiev.<p>There have been some suggestions that Real, having won the …

Soccer

Favre returns to Bundesliga to take over Dortmund

BERLIN (Reuters) - Swiss coach Lucien Favre took charge of Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, signing a two year-deal that club bosses hope will mark a change in fortunes for the former Bundesliga champions.<p>Dortmund parted ways with coach Peter Stoeger at the end of the season after the club finished …

Soccer

Lee ruled out of Korean World Cup squad with knee injury

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Asian Player of the Year Lee Keun-ho will miss out on representing South Korea at the World Cup finals in Russia after tearing ligaments in his right knee playing for Gangwon FC in the Korean league at the weekend.<p>Lee, who won the continental award in 2012 after helping …

South Korea