Europa League draw, round of 32: Arsenal avoid Dortmund and Napoli

Arsenal's opponents in the last 32 are Swedish minnows Ostersunds, managed by highly-rated English boss Graham Potter, who has taken the club to four promotions.

The Gunners were seeded after topping their Europa League group, but they were still at risk of being paired with the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.

  • Nice v Lokomotiv Moscow

  • FC Copenhagen v Atletico Madrid

  • Spartak Moscow v Athletic Bilbao

  • AEK Athens v Dynamo Kiev

  • Celtic v Zenit

  • Napoli v RB Leipzig

  • Red Star v CSKA Moscow

  • Lyon v Villarreal

  • Real Sociedad v Salzburg

  • Partizan Belgrade v Viktoria Plzen

  • Steaua Bucharest v Lazio

  • Ludogorets v AC Milan

  • Astana v Sporting Lisbon

  • Ostersunds FK v Arsenal

  • Marseille v Braga

  • Zvesda - CSKA Moscou


https://twitter.com/EuropaLeague/status/940197786762514432

Kenya's former sports minister, 5 others accused of corruption

An investigation had laid the blame on Hassan Wario, the sports minister at the time, and five other former senior officials. They will be charged with 10 counts of abuse of office and failure to comp

Kenya’s former sports minister will be charged in court in relation to the siphoning of funds meant for athletes who competed in the Olympics in Brazil two years ago, the chief prosecutor said on Saturday (October 13).

The East African nation enjoyed its most successful Olympics in Rio, winning six gold medals, six silvers and one bronze, all in track and field, but the performance was blighted by claims of corruption among senior government officials and team bosses.

An investigation had laid the blame on Hassan Wario, the sports minister at the time, and five other former senior officials. They will be charged with 10 counts of abuse of office and failure to comply with the law, said Noordin Haji, the chief prosecutor.

Wario, who was appointed Kenya’s ambassador to Austria this year, was not immediately available for comment. The other five ex-officials, including Kipchoge Keino, who headed the national Olympics committee, were also not immediately available.

“The impact of corruption and siphoning of funds meant for the facilitation of our sportsmen and women has a negative impact on their ability to perform optimally,” Haji said in a statement.

Wario and others will be charged in relation to the loss of a total of more than 55 million shillings ($545,905), Haji said.

Dozens of senior government officials and business people are facing various charges related to corruption, part of a fresh attempt by President Uhuru Kenyatta since May to crack down on widespread graft.

Critics have accused Kenyatta of failing to deal with corruption during his first term which ended last year, despite promises to do so when he was first elected in 2013.

REUTERS

Video: Salah scores straight from corner as Egypt beat eSwatini

Coach Hany Ramzy said of Salah’s injury: « Primary diagnosis confirm it’s just a strain and no tear is apparent, but the player will need to undergo scans to determine the extent of the injury and the

Egyptian International Mohammed Salah was on target for his country in their Cup of Nations qualifier against eSwatini on Friday evening.

The Liverpool player scored a stunner after he struck a corner kick which went past all the players in the box, past the goalkeeper into the net.

It was the Pharoah’s fourth goal on the night even though eSwatini later got a consolation. It was Salah’s first goal after a mini drought.

Egypt’s earlier goals were scored by Ahmed ElMohamedy, sixth minute; Amr Wada on 11th minute mark and Mahmoud Trezeguet on half-hour mark. Salah’s goal came on stroke of half time.

There was bad news to come as he limped off the pitch with minutes to the end of the game, reports indicate that he had a muscle strain but the extent of damage had yet to be known.

Speaking on his injury, coach Hany Ramzy said: “Primary diagnosis confirm it’s just a strain and no tear is apparent, but the player will need to undergo scans to determine the extent of the injury and the time to heal.”

Usain Bolt impresses football fans with first professional goals

Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, who retired from athletics into football scored two goals in his first start for the Central Coast Mariners in a trial match on Friday.

Former World and Olympic champion, Usain Bolt is scoring his way into the hearts of people all over the world again, this time as a professional football.

The Jamaican sprinter who retired from athletics into football scored two goals in his first start for the Central Coast Mariners in a trial match on Friday.

32-year-old Bolt hopes to win a professional contract ahead of the Mariners’ 2018-19 A-League campaign was instrumental for the Mariners who recorded a 4-0 win over Macarthur South West United.

He scored his first in the 57th minute when he shrugged off a defender on the left before unleashing a hard, low shot past the goalkeeper at the near post.

Bolt pointed to the sky in his trademark ‘lightning bolt’ celebration, but the world’s fastest man still had more to offer.

His second goal came in the 68th minute when Bolt pounced on a defensive error to tap home from close range.

“My first start and scoring two goals, it’s a good feeling,” Bolt told Fox Sports after he was substituted in the 75th minute.

“I’m happy I could come here and show the world I’m improving. I’m keen to be a Mariner, to play my best and get into the team.

“The coach said to me, you’ll get chances, you’ll score some, you’ll miss some, don’t put your head down, keep your head up and try for the next one.”

Is Bolt ready?

Bolt’s last appearance for the first team was against an amateur select side in August, where he came on as a late substitute and appeared to lack match sharpness.

Former Australia goalkeeper Mark Bosnich said although there were improvements in his game, Bolt still had a long way to go to transform himself into a professional soccer player.

“Slight improvement if you want to say that but his touch is still very poor,” Bosnich, currently a Fox Sports commentator, said during the match.

“His speed endurance is a little bit better but he still looked tired after 15-20 minutes. He just looks a little bit sharper, not a great deal to be honest. There’s a slight improvement but not very much.”

But Bolt seems to have done enough to impress his millions of fans around the world.

AFCON: Museveni tasks football body to improve diet of Uganda Cranes

Museveni, who met the team on Tuesday after officiating the country’s independence anniversary celebrations said he had noticed that ‘their shots were lacking in power’ in Gabon.

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni has advised the country’s football association to improve the diet and training of the national team, ahead of the country’s crucial Nations Cup qualifier match against Lesotho.

Museveni, who met the team on Tuesday after officiating the country’s independence anniversary celebrations said he had noticed that ‘their shots were lacking in power’ in Gabon.

‘‘I hope the managers can do something about the diet and training to ensure the players are stronger, like the late David Otii was,’‘ the president advised.

The Uganda Cranes, as the national football team is called, qualified for the 2017 Nations Cup in Gabon, after an agonising 39-year absence from the continent’s biggest football tournament.

In Gabon, the team was eliminated at the group stage after managing a 1-1 draw against Mali and sustaining slim 0-1 losses against Ghana and Egypt.

Uganda is topping the standings in the Cameroon AFCON 2019 qualifying Group L, with 4 points. Other teams in the group are Tanzania and Cape Verde.

‘‘I hope the team maintains their top spot and qualifies for the 2019 championship in Cameroon,’‘ the president added as he announced government’s financial and logistical support to the team.

Museveni pledged to charter a plane to transport the team to Lesotho for the qualifier match next week, adding that each player will ‘receive a token of appreciation’.

FIFA ban jeopardises Sierra Loene's AFCON matches against Ghana

Sierra Leone authorities, who had petitioned FIFA to get the ban lifted, did not meet a Tuesday deadline to reinstate ousted football association president Isha Johansen, who is accused of corruption

Sierra Leone’s defiance of global football governing body FIFA means an African Nations Cup qualifier against Ghana in Kumasi will not go ahead on Thursday.

FIFA last week suspended the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) due to government interference in soccer affairs, specifically protesting the removal of SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara.

Sierra Leone authorities, who had petitioned FIFA to get the ban lifted, did not meet a Tuesday deadline to reinstate ousted football association president Isha Johansen, who is accused of corruption by government officials.

“Our appeal has been rejected,” Sierra Leone Football Association president Brima Mazzola Kamara, who replaced Johansen, told Reuters.

“It is not what we were hoping for, especially since this now means the CAF match won’t be happening. FIFA told us that Isha’s reinstatement was a prerequisite for our suspension being lifted, and when we told them she had not returned to work, they denied us.”

Mazzola Kamara said that the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission will not budge on their decision to oust Johansen and SLFA general secretary Christopher Kamara over allegations of match-fixing involving the national team.

Johansen and Christopher Kamara both deny any wrongdoing.

Defiant Sierra Leone

“The Anti-Corruption Commission will not stand for its judgement to be circumvented by FIFA or anyone else. Now we just need to wait and see what happens,” Mazzola Kamara said.

“But Isha won’t be reinstated, so the CAF match is definitely not happening. It’s unfortunate but it is what it is.”

The country’s Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Francis Kaifala, has slammed FIFA, calling their suspension of the country an attack on Sierra Leone’s sovereignty.

“Corruption is the biggest emergency Sierra Leone faces right now, and these actions from FIFA are nothing less than a violation of our national sovereignty,” Kaifala said.

“They may have their rules but we also have our own and will not be bullied around. We will play the game in our hearts even if they bar us from playing with them.”

ALSO READ: FIFA imposes its will on Nigeria, Ghana over football management disputes

Sierra Leone have three points from their opening two Nations Cup qualifiers and are also due to host Ghana in Freetown on Monday, with that fixture also in doubt over the impasse.

Confederation of African Football (CAF) has yet to comment on whether Ghana will be awarded a win for Thursday’s match or if Sierra Leone will be allowed to continue in the Nations Cup qualifying competition if and when they are reinstated by FIFA.

REUTERS

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