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Rodri: ‘Playing 60 games a season is not healthy’



Manchester City midfielder Rodri has shared his concerns about the hectic fixture schedule and the Premier League and EFL’s new approach of increasing the minutes played in injury time.
Football league officials in England intend to add World Cup-style amounts of injury time to matches and accurately calculate the time added on to reflect certain stoppages in play.

As a result of the new laws, all 35 EFL matches on the opening weekend of the 2023-24 season featured at least eight minutes of added time, while all but two matches went beyond the 100-minute mark.

Rodri was one of the standout performers in Man City’s historic treble-winning 2022-23 campaign, providing seven assists and scoring four goals including the match-winner in the Champions League final triumph over Inter Milan in June.

The Spain international played 56 times for the Citizens last season and notched up a total of 4,478 minutes, 203 minutes more than goalkeeper Ederson and 349 minutes more than the next outfield star Erling Haaland.

Heading into the new season, Rodri remains a key cog in the Man City machine managed by Pep Guardiola – who stated last weekend that the ‘big brain’ match officials have never consulted him over the new injury-time rules – and the midfielder has concurred with his boss, admitting that playing an extensive number of games is “not healthy”.

“I don’t remember exactly the games I played, but I had a talk with the club and the coach because starting 57 or 59 games and playing in 60 or something is not healthy,” Rodri told reporters.

“You can do it for one season, but when it’s two or three in a row, it can be worse for the team because your physicality can drop. So I have to watch out. We have already spoken that it cannot always be like this.

“But last year, on the other hand, I had the feeling that we were fighting for everything, and I had to push my body to the limit. That’s why I sometimes feel bad at the end of the season – but for me, it was great.”

The 27-year-old added: “To be honest, I never get enough rest. I feel pretty well recovered after having about one month off. It was a good break, and we have a coach who understands and who gives us everything he can to recover.

“I think we are the last team in the Premier League to start pre-season because he understands that rest is important. So, yes, I’m very happy about last season and how it finished, and now we go into another season, and it’s going to be a long one.”

Asked if he is aware of Man City’s concerns regarding his fitness, Rodri said: “I don’t know. But when you look at the stats and look at the number of minutes, I played seven, eight, nine games more than the second outfield player.

“It’s not a problem now. The important thing for me is that they know the situation, and they know that for the next few seasons we will have to watch out.

“Now I am young, but maybe when I get to 30 or 31 I cannot do this kind of thing, so I have to watch the body because 60 games is not the best thing for a player. Also, the seasons get even longer every year. We have to adapt to this.”

Rodri played the full 90 minutes in Man City’s Community Shield loss on penalties to Arsenal last weekend and he is expected to be involved in their opening Premier League game of the new season away at Burnley on Friday.

Guardiola will also have summer signing Mateo Kovacic to call upon, while the likes of Kalvin Phillips, John Stones, Rico Lewis and Maximo Perrone are additional deep-lying midfield options at the Catalan’s disposal.

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Lagos FA Bans Dangerous Weapons At Match Venues, To Strengthen Security At Stadia




The current management of the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) has read out the insurgency that led to violence at venues in Lagos State and therefore provides a list of permitted stadium facilities and prohibited items.

According to a document signed by the association’s secretary, Akeem Rabiu-Okikioposu, the LSFA states that any item that could be used as a weapon and/or endanger public safety is now rejected. in state stadiums. These items include cans or bottles, glass vessels, knives and blades, laser pointers, pointed-tip umbrellas, poles thicker than a ‘pencil’ (0.5cm), smoke canisters, weapons and ammunition.

The Lagos FA Association also prohibits the placement in the gaming facilities of any item that may disrupt the conduct of the game or disturb other fans, regardless of whether such item is illegal or carried for a specific purpose.

These items include spray cans, audio-video recorders, balls, beach balls or projectiles, cameras with an external flash or interchangeable lenses (not intended for professional photography), drones, flares, fireworks/missiles/explosives, flares, electrical/optical illusions, Frisbee, laptop/tablet. not permitted on seats, large suitcases, large bags or large back, pets (other than service animals), signs/flags/banners, company signs or inappropriately marked signs or items, selfie poles, tripods/monopods, unauthorized flyers, unlicensed musical instruments such as trumpets, drums and other equipment that may cause disruption or nuisance, but supporters club must be accredited to bring these instruments into stadiums.

The FA noted that Lagosians have always loved match days, hence the LSFA’s determination to provide a security architecture that ensures people’s safety without disrupting them.

“Football events are exciting. They are full of intense emotions and passions. That’s why we attach great importance to making every event as safe as possible because it is special and the fans deserve to be safe.

“We use our experience and knowledge to develop and deliver football security solutions that make every football event enjoyable. Good security doesn’t mean the experience can’t run smoothly, and the most important thing about this big day is enjoying it safely. Based on this, we might highlight stadium-permitted items on each football event day,” the FA said.

However, Lagos FA management assured fans that “the security team has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the necessary planning and organization is in place behind this magnificence.”

“The team is overseen by facilities management over security and administration through to traffic and parking coordination. Our essential services are at the heart of every successful event.

“LSFA is committed to setting the standard for the industry, the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) personnel are well trained, qualified and full of initiative suitable for the project.

Meanwhile, the Lagos FA also listed some items that are not banned but allowed in stadiums. These items include bags that may be subject to security screening, cameras with a lens of 3 inches or less without lighting, tripods, selfie sticks or monopods, flags, food and fruit, plastic bottles, small umbrellas, small cameras and binoculars.

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Thomas Partey returns to Arsenal from injury




Thomas Partey has returned to Arsenal training ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash against Lens.

Partey had been absent from the Gunners’ line-up since before last month’s international break due to a groin injury he sustained on the eve of the match with Manchester United.

This injury led him to miss the 3-1 win as well as subsequent fixtures against Everton, PSV, Tottenham, Brentford and Bournemouth.

Partey is now back in full training with team-mates as they prepare for their second Champions League group stage match of the campaign. However, it is more likely that Partey returns for Sunday’s crunch showdown with title rivals Manchester City.

As reported by last week, Partey was recovering well from his groin injury and is aiming to be fit for the upcoming clash with City at the Emirates Stadium on October 8. While it is yet to be confirmed if Partey will be included in the Arsenal squad that travels to France, his imminent availability for selection is a significant boost for Mikel Arteta.

In further positive news for Arsenal, Bukayo Saka was also seen participating in Monday morning’s training session at London Colney. There had been concerns about the winger’s fitness after he suffered a knock during the 4-0 victory over Bournemouth at the weekend, which resulted in him being substituted in the second half.

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Excellence Reward: Super Falcons’ Halimat Ayinde Bags Award In Sweden




Super Falcons midfield General Halimat Ayinde has been recognised and rewarded by the Nigerian community in Malmo, Sweden.

Ayinde was celebrated and given an award for her patriotic and selfless service to Nigeria and the community during the last FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia.

” I am honoured to receive this meritorious award from the Nigerian community in Malmo, Sweden.
Your support and recognition means the world to me. I will keep working hard to make you proud”, she resounded on her official Facebook page.

The Rosegard FF player was greatly missed by the Super Falcons after serving out a red card suspension together with Rasheedat Ajibade in the third place match against Zambia in the last Women African Cup Of Nations in Morocco. The Super Falcons eventually lost the match by a lone goal.

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