Netherlands Sack Danny Blind

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The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has confirmed the termination of Danny Blind as manager.

Blind was appointed as manager midway through their qualification for Euro 2016, replacing Guus Hiddink.

Netherlands’ 2-0 loss to Bulgaria, left their chances of qualifying for World Cup 2018 hanging in the balance.

Blind admitted his decision to start De Ligt, 17, in defence was a mistake and would consider his future.

A decision KNVB has made for him.

“We have respect for what Danny did for us and for the team during his tenure,” KNVB director Jean Paul Decossaux said in a statement.

“But because the sporting results are unfortunately disappointing, and because qualifying for the World Cup in Russia is now in difficulty, we unfortunately feel forced to relieve him.”

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BREAKING: #BBNaija: Bassey Evicted From The Big Brother House

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Bassey was on Sunday night evicted from the ongoing Big Brother Nigeria – #BBNaija – reality TV show, ending his quest for the ‘ultimate’ N25 million star prize.

While Bassey was evicted from the show few moments ago, today, March 26, 2017 during the Live Eviction, Debbie-Rise, Tboss and Bally were saved by votes from viewers.

Efe had earlier emerged Ultimate Head of House, which automatically gave him immunity from eviction.

Last Monday, Biggie granted Efe, the special privilege to nominate Housemates of his choice for eviction.

He then nominated Bassey, Debbie-Rise, Tboss and Bally.

It would be recalled that Thin Tall Tony was last Sunday evicted from the house.

Tomorrow is another day for the usual Monday nomination, as the housemates will nominate themselves for possible eviction.

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Envoy Opens Up On Why Some Nigerians Were Denied Entry At US Airports

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The Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, Amb. Hakeem Balogun, has stated that several reasons are responsible for the extreme vetting Nigerians face during entry into the US.

Speaking in an interview with NAN in Washington, Balogun further added that President Donald Trump’s travel ban did not affect Nigerians.

He said, “The executive ban on immigration does not affect Nigerians. Whatever must have taken place regarding visa issuance, vetting at the airports, it’s all normal.

“All these things have been on even before President Trump. Let’s get one thing well. That you are issued visa is not a guarantee that you will end up wherever you’re going.

“It’s a global thing; it’s not just United States. Even with us in Nigeria, we issue a visa to you here in the Nigerian Embassy.

“There is no guarantee that you will get in when you get to Murtala Muhammed Airport or when you get to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.”

“The final authority is the man at the point of entry – immigration officers there. For instance, you can come to the Embassy here, we ask for all the things you need to get the visa.

“How much do you have that we feel will be enough for you to stay in Nigeria for the period you’re going.

“May be as at that time, you were able to show us evidence that you have a thousand dollars which we feel will be enough for you to stay in Nigeria.

“By the time you get to Murtala Muhammed Airport, the man at that end there asked you, all you have to show to him is 100 dollars, definitely, he might turn you back, and that’s normal.”

Balogun also said Nigerians are restricted from entering the US because they failed to meet other required procedures.

He continued: “Then there are other things. What manner of visa did you collect to come to the United States?

“For instance, a pregnant woman who comes to the United States on visiting visa will probably be turned back at the point of entry because she does not have a medical visa.

“You are coming in on a visiting visa and the immigration man sees you pregnant. Naturally, he will turn you back.

“Even if you have the medical visa, they want to know if you have medical insurance; do you have your medical documents for you to be able to come and use their medical facilities here.

“So these are issues. Nigeria is not being singled out. We are not one of those countries that have been mentioned. We are definitely not one of them.”

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Buhari Cancels Sambisa Forest Trip, Delegates Defence Minister

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President Muhammadu Buhari has canceled his planned trip to the Sambisa Forest to open the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship holding on Monday, March 27.

He, however, delegated the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, to represent him at the event, said a statement issued by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai on Saturday.

The chief of training and operations at the army headquarters, David Ahmad, had earlier announced that Buhari would declare the ceremony open.

While no concrete reason was given for the cancellation, Buhari would have been the first president to visit the former stronghold of the Boko Haram sect in Borno state.

Addressing pressmen in Maiduguri, Buratai said Sambisa forest was chosen for the event to consolidate Nigerian Army’s grip on the area.

He said: “We have been in the north-east, fighting the Boko Haram terrorists, and you know the significance of the Sambisa forest to them.

“It used to be one of their centres; in fact, we suspect that their command and control centre was located there before its eventual capture.

“We also want the place to be dominated by our troops and also to get firm control, so that we will continue to dominate the area.”

Buratai said the championship was part of the training activities of the Nigerian Army, aimed at sharpening marksmanship of its personal.

“The Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship is part of the training activities scheduled for 2017,” he said.

“It is a championship among the formations of the Nigerian Army.

“The objective of the event is to sharpen the marksmanship skills of the army personnel.”

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Fear Of Imminent Attacks As Boko Haram Militants Raid Communities For Food

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Following the recent rampage by militants of Boko Haram sect on a village in northeast Nigeria to steal food and medical supplies, there are fears of imminent attacks from the ferocious Islamic death cult.

According to information from locals and security personnel, on Sunday, dozens of fighters loyal to the faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi raided Sabon Garin Kimba, some 140 kilometres (88 miles) southwest of the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

Clad in military uniform, the jihadists, it was learnt, arrived in a pick-up – Nigerian Army colours – at about 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Friday.

According to the civilian militia assisting troops, the militants, who claimed allegiance to the Barnawi faction, kept telling residents they would not harm anyone as long as no-one got in their way.

Militia member Mustapha Karimbe, who visited the village on Saturday, said that they took away food items and medical supplies from shops and a pharmacy but they didn’t harm anyone.

He said: “The attackers took away food items and medical supplies from shops and a pharmacy but they didn’t harm anyone.

“They kept telling residents they were from the Barnawi faction and would not harm anyone as long as no-one got in their way.”

Karimbe’s account was supported by another member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) militia, Suleiman Musa.

The Islamic State group last year announced Barnawi was in charge of Boko Haram instead of its long-time leader Abubakar Shekau. Barnawi has criticised Shekau’s indiscriminate violence against civilians.

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Manolas On Nainggolan Joining Chelsea: He Can Handle The Rain

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Kostas Manolas has told his Roma teammate, Radja Nainggolan that he may have to leave the Serie A club, as he continues to be linked to Chelsea.

Chelsea are looking to add more strength to their midfield and are keen on signing the Belgium midfielder. However, Nainggolan has joked about not liking the weather in England.

Manolas, believes if the midfield enforcer is to be considered among the best in his position, he must leave for a top European club.

He told Mediaset Premium: “Nainggolan doesn’t like the rain, but he is among the best midfielders in the world and has to get accustomed to that too if he wants to play in the best teams. He can do it, because he’s a phenomenon.

“Let’s be honest, we’re not up to the standard of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.”

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Ligue 1 An Option For Costa

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If there is an opportunity to move to the Ligue 1 in the future, Diego Costa has said he would consider it.

The spaniard has been linked with an exit from Chelsea, with an offer coming from China and the former Atletico man wanting to return to his former club.

However, both deals could not be completed, and Costa is aware future speculations could arise. He has played topflight football in both Spain and England and the challenge of playing in France is tempting to him.

“It’s true that Marseille has a great project and is growing up,” Costa told Telefoot.

“I’m very happy with Chelsea, but in football everything can happen, and if we have to change, France is a place where I’ve never been to I never played, so why not.

“Everyone knows that [PSG] is a respected team in Europe. Monaco also has a great project and great players.”

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Students React As UNIJOS Raises School Fees From N27,000 To N45,000

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Students of the University of Jos (UNIJOS) have reacted strongly against the N45,000 new school fees, and appealed to management to be “more considerate in view of the hard times”.

The institution’s Vice Chancellor, Sabastian Maimako, recently announced the review of the fees, from N27,000 to N45,000, citing dwindling budgetary allocations, rising bills and the need to upgrade some materials.

Mr. Maimako said the figure was endorsed by parents, old students and other stakeholders at a meeting in Jos, where all factors were considered.

But Sydney Daman, President of the institution’s Students Union Government, SUG, who briefed journalists on Friday in Jos, described the new charges as “too harsh”.

“The university attributed the increase to the economic recession, but it is clear that students are worst hit by current realities,” he said.

Mr. Daman appealed to the students to “hold-on a bit”.

“No student should be in a hurry to pay the new fees. We are consulting with management and shall communicate the final agreement to everyone,” he said

He said that the students union had met with management “three times”, where it discussed the fee issue and sought for a figure that was favourable for both parties, but that management eventually did as it wished.

“We have not exhausted all the options; we are still appealing and shall continue to meet all stakeholders,” he said.

Mr. Daman, however, called on students to be “responsible, mature and peaceful” while supporting the struggle for a downward review of the charges.

The students’ leader faulted management’s claim that parents and guardians had accepted the hike at a stakeholders meeting.

“The university has 18,000 students; less than 100 parents/guardians attended the meeting, while SUG officials, who attended the meeting were barred from talking. So, it is not right to claim that there was fair hearing,” he said.

(NAN)

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NCAA Fines Airline N9.5 Million For Airspace Violation

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has imposed a fine of N9.5 million on a non-schedule airline for operating in the country without flight clearance.

This announcement was made in a statement on Sunday by the NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, who said that the Letter of Sanction conveying the penalties had been sent to Lyxor International, a non-schedule general aviation operator.

He said the NCAA sanction came after the operator severally violated the terms of its approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services.

Mr. Adurogboye said the NCAA found clear evidence from the flight records that the aircraft was operated within the Nigerian airspace in violation of its flight clearances between December 11, 2016 and February 15, 2017.

“Therefore, in accordance with IS 1.3.3.3. Table 2 viii (6) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015), the airline is hereby sanctioned for failure to comply with the conditions of approved flight clearances for non-scheduled international air services.

“This provides for a moderate civil penalty of N500,000 per violation.

“The airline is hereby required to pay the sum of N6.5 million (i.e. N500,000 x 13) for the 13 times the aircraft ought to have flown out of Nigerian airspace in compliance with the approved clearances but was stationed in Nigeria.

“In addition, for the six times the aircraft violated the approved routes, the operator shall pay a moderate civil sanction of N3 million (i.e. N500,000 x 6).

“The respondent shall however, pay the sum of N6.5 million only, having made a deposit of N3 million towards possible sanctions,” he said.

Mr. Adurogboye added that the airline was expected to pay these fines within seven days of receipt of the letter.

 

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Jose Mourinho Explains His Trip To Croatia Amid Ivan Perisic Transfer Rumors

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Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho wants to sign Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic this summer, according to reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Portuguese is understood to be prepared to offer as much as €40m in order to persuade the Serie A club to part company with the player, who is contracted to San Siro until the end of June 2020.

Jose Mourinho was spotted in Zagreb yesterday and attended Croatia’s 1-0 win against Ukraine.

However, Mourinho’s denied the trip was for Perisic and insists he just wanted to meet up with some old friends.

‘I have no hidden cause, I just came to enjoy my free days and visit some friends like Predrag Mijatovic and Davor Suker,’ Mourinho told HNTV.

‘I know everyone believes I came to watch some players, but in football today you don’t have to travel around in order to see some players, I know all of them well.

‘I came as a person that wants to relax and enjoy the nice weather, unlike the rainy weather in Manchester.’

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Toni Kroos Issues His Damning Verdict About Moving To Major League Soccer Or China

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Real midfielder Toni Kroos has ruled out a future move to China or the USA.

The Germany midfielder, who joined Madrid from Bayern Munich in 2014, signed a contract extension earlier this season which ties him to the Santiago Bernabeu until the summer of 2022, when he will be 32.

Kroos has hinted that he wants to spend the rest of his playing days at the highest possible level, ruling out a switch to the Chinese Super League or the MLS.

Speaking to Faz Sport, he said: “I want to play for a few more years at the highest level. As a player, China and the USA are not destinations for me.”

“I would like to travel to the United states one time and maybe even spend a longer time there with my family.

“But not as a football player. That does not interest me.

“No matter if’s China, USA or whatever, I won’t do that.”

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Chelsea Still Going After Real Madrid Striker Alvaro Morata

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is keen to sign Real forward Alvaro Morata this summer, reports AS.

Conte was the driving force behind Morata’s move to Juventus in 2014, although he did not coach the Spaniard as he took charge of the Italian national team that summer.

The Italian is insisting on the recruitment of the forward this summer and Chelsea are reportedly willing to fork out €65m to sign him. Madrid would be open to selling him at the price, especially as it more than doubles the €30m fee they paid to re-sign him in 2016.

Morata, meanwhile, would look favourably upon a move to Chelsea. AS reports that he has all but decided to leave Real at the end of the season as he has failed to secure a regular first-team berth under Zinedine Zidane.

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Sevilla To Face Competition From Roma To Sign Jesus Navas

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Sevilla will face competition from Roma to sign Man City winger Jesus Navas this summer, reports AS.

Navas is out of contract at City in June and is expected to leave, with his former club Sevilla leading the race to secure his services on a free transfer.

The Spaniard has also received offers from other Spanish and European teams.

Roma have shown interest in recent days and they are preparing a big offer for the wideman.

Jesus Navas has only made seven full appearances for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City this season

The winger signed for Manchester City in 2013 for a fee of around £17m and he looks set to leave for nothing.

The report also claims that Navas has enrolled his five-year-old son into school in his native town of Los Palacios and is set to start their in September this year.

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Fabinho: “Real Madrid,Barcelona Will Come Calling For Kylian Mbappe Soon”

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Kylian Mbappe will end up at Real or Barcelona sooner or later, according to his Monaco team-mate Fabinho.

Mbappe, 18, has become Europe’s most sought-after teenager on the back of his sensational domestic and Champions League displays for Monaco this term.

Madrid, Barca and a number of Premier League clubs are all reportedly on his trail, and his club team-mate Fabinho feels it won’t be long until he is playing for one of the Continent’s biggest clubs.

He is quoted as saying in AS: “[Kylian Mbappe?] We know that sooner or later he will go to a club like [Real] Madrid, Barcelona or a club of that calibre. But until that day comes, we are going to take advantage to enjoy him at Monaco.”

“Mbappé’s tremendous,” Fabinho added. “For an 18-year-old, he has such maturity both on and off the pitch. He’s playing a decisive role and scoring lots of goals.

“For someone his age playing in the level of competitions that we’re playing in, that’s not easy. And I haven’t even mentioned how quick he is…”

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Giroud Answers Critics By Scoring

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Didier Deschamps has hailed Olivier Giroud for replying his critics with scoring goals for the Les Bleus.

The France international who has not had much playing time with Arsenal, scored a brace in the 3-1 win over Luxembourg, and Griezmann scored the third goal from the spot.

Even though Giroud has not been a constant for Arsenal’s first XI and has not scored in the last two matches for France, he started the match against Luxembourg.

After being told he was right to keep his confidence in Giroud, Dechamps said: “Thank you, but that is his merit and I will not take it off him.

“The position of striker is always a big responsibility – it attracts a lot of criticism. Sometimes it is unfair like before the Euro, when he responded.

“I discussed it with him at length. He realises that he is not having his best season. He was a bit bothered by injuries, but despite everything, he scores.

“I trusted him by putting him in because I know what he can do in this type of game. Good for him.”

Giroud moved into the top-10 of all-time top France scorers with his double in a win that saw his side take another step towards Russia 2018 without hitting top gear.

“It was a complicated game because of an opponent who defended well,” added Deschamps.

“We had good control, but in the first half-hour we missed a bit of speed in our play.

“The pitch did not favour a fluid game, but we did what was necessary to create opportunities and score three goals.

“This is positive for our qualification, even if the road is still long.”

France, who sit three points clear of Sweden at the top of the group, host Spain in a glamour friendly match in Paris on Tuesday.

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Iker Casillas Reportedly Receives Offer To Join Marseille

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Iker Casillas could leave Porto to join Marseille this summer, according to sources in Portugal.

The veteran ‘keeper reportedly has an offer from Marseille, who are willing to offer the 35-year-old a two-year deal.

Casillas joined Porto in 2015 on a two-year contract, with an option for a further year, which both parties had been expecting to activate at the end of the season.

Iker Casillas  has appeared in 34 games for Porto so far this season as he has been pretty solid for the Portuguese club. His club have recently been knocked out of the Uefa Champions league as they faced Buffon’s Juventus. Porto are currently second in the Portuguese standings, 1 point off rivals Benfica. 

The Spaniard lifted 16 pieces of silverware with Los Blancos, including five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.

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Real Madrid Still In Pursuit Of Eden Hazard As They Hold Talks With His Representatives

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Real coach Zinedine Zidane wants to sign Chelsea star Eden Hazard this summer, reports Marca.

The Belgium international features on the front page of the Sunday edition of Marca, whose headline reads ‘Encirclement Hazard’.

Zidane, who wants to land Hazard this summer, reportedly recommended that the club sign the player back in 2012, before he joined Chelsea from Lille.

Marca says Madrid have sounded out Hazard’s camp, who have provided positive responses.

It is believed Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s interest in current Real playmaker James Rodriguez could help facilitate the transfer of Hazard, who is under contract until 2020 and earns €10m a year after tax at Stamford Bridge.

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Rafinha Considering His Future At Barcelona

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Rafinha is weighing up his future at Barcelona, reports Marca.

The Brazil international has played fewer minutes than he expected this season and is likely to mull over his future over the next few weeks.

The 24-year-old, who came through the ranks at Barca, has always wanted to succeed at the Nou Camp, but he has not ruled out leaving at the end of the season. Various European clubs are interested in securing his services.

Rafinha’s final decision will depend on how much he plays from now until the end of the season and the identity of Luis Enrique’s successor in Catalonia.

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Marquinhos Eager To Remain At Paris Saint-Germain

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Marquinhos has revealed that he has opened contract renewal negotiations with PSG.

The Brazil defender, who has frequently been linked with Barcelona over the past few seasons, is set to disappoint his suitors by committing his long-term future to PSG.

Marquinhos joined PSG from Roma in 2013 but has has enjoyed his finest season to date having formed a solid central defensive partnership with compatriot Thiago Silva. 

Speaking to L’Equipe, he said: “We have started to talk about the [contract] renewal and some time is needed. I do not know more, it does not depend on me, I am calm because I have a contract until 2019. Things are clear from my point of view, I am at PSG.”

The 22-year-old has been ever-present for PSG this season who saw their Champions League hopes crumble on that unforgettable night at the Nou Camp earlier this month. 

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Lingard: My Heart Remains With United

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Jesse Lingard insists he is still committed to Manchester United and contract talks are still ongoing.

Lingard has featured in 15 games for United and has scored just two goals so far and despite contract talks dragging on, he has his heart set on Old Trafford.

“The contract is still ongoing with talks at the moment,” the England international said. “I enjoy playing for Man United and my heart is at Man United.

“There’s a lot of competition for places but I think that’s good for the group. It’s always good to have great players around you.

“You have to battle for your place and it makes you more hungry on the training pitch and you know when you get your chance, you have to take it.

“The likes of Mkhitaryan, Zlatan, Pogba, big names in our team, it always good to look up to them and see what they have achieved and obviously we gain that experience off them and learn off them, especially the young players.

“It’s always good to have that hunger to try to break into that team.”

United next face West Brom at Old Trafford on April 1, while England play Lithuania at Wembley on Sunday.

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Mbappe On First France Outing: I Had A Great Week

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Kylian Mbappe has thanked the big stars at France and has credited them with helping him fit into life at the international stage so smoothly.

The youngster made his international debut against Luxembourg, coming on for the final 12 minutes in the 3-1 win.

Mbappe played alongside Olivier Giroud, who scored a brace and Griezmann, who also got a goal.

“When big players like these accept you, you can adapt very easily,” Mbappe, a scorer of 19 goals at club level this season, told reporters after the match.

“I had a great week. I hope that the coming days will be even better.

“I am still the same. I am a young player in a squad of big players. I learn, I listen. But I try not to listen to things outside of us.”

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Crolla: There’s Still Fight In Me

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Crolla admits he was bested by the better man in Linares, but insists he still has a lot of fight left in him.

The Mancunian suffered a second straight points defeat to the WBA lightweight champion via unanimous decision in his home town.

Crolla was close to getting knocked out in the seventh round, but fought till the last round, before losing by 118-109 on all three scorecards.

He said: “I’m gutted. I genuinely gave it everything but it wasn’t enough. I lost to the better man tonight.

“His movement was very good, his variety too. He came back better [from the first fight] in most departments.

“After he put me over, he threw a lot of shots but I covered them. I thought I came back pretty well, I wouldn’t have minded that round going on a bit longer. The bell was better for him than me.

“I went the distance, although I won’t take any more comfort from that. It’s not nice losing. I never celebrate losing.

“But, maybe in a few years, I’ll look back and realise I shared the ring with a three-weight world champion.”

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Giroud Open To Lining Up For Conte Or Mourinho

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Olivier Giroud has stated he would have no problem playing for a manager as passionate as Mourinho or Conte.

The France international has spent the last five years of his career at Emirates, with a manager that is not considered demanding or passionate enough for the sport.

Whereas, Mourinho and Conte are known for their touchline antics and even Simeone in Atletico another known for his passion.

Giroud has stated he would not have a problem becoming a success under such managers, deity being coached by a tame manager for the last five years.

He told L’Equipe: “As an idea, why not?

“Each experience is good to live through. I would adapt.

“At Montpellier in 2011-12, Rene Girard was of the fighting mentality, of a player who never gave up, of open-mindedness, of fight. A barker.

“We were the champions of France with him.”

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Linares Beats Crolla Again, Retains Belts

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Jorge Linares came out on top once again in the rematch against Anthony Crolla, retaining his WBA lightweight and and Ring Magazine belts.

Crolla overcame a seventh round knockdown, but was still beaten by unanimous decision on points with 118-109 on all three cards.

Crolla was busy in the first round, hitting Linares with a body shot, who replied with one of his own. The second round saw more of that, with the champion replying with combinations.

The third round saw the challenger’s defence pried open with an uppercut that connected quite well.

Linares seemed to always hit his target and that paid off in the sixth round, as Crolla sustained a cut above his left eye. This proved to be a positive for the champion, who landed an uppercut in the seventh , that sent Crolla dropping to the canvas.

The Mancunian came out and delivered a fight in the eight and battled in the ninth, but his trainer looked poised to end the match in the 11th , when another hurtful uppercut connected.

However, Crolla came out for the final round, but it was not to be his day, as Linares claimed a well deserved victory.

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