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Fifa president Gianni Infantino says ‘no way’ with idea set to be scrapped

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Gianni Infantino has ruled out the introduction of blue cards as part of a sin-bin trial, stating: “It is red card to the blue card.”

Football’s rule-makers are set to approve sin-bin trials, but an idea to use blue cards is likely to be ditched.

It is understood senior figures within the game were taken aback by the proposals of a blue card when it emerged last month.

“This is a topic that is non-existent for us,” Fifa president Infantino said.

Plans of a sin-bin trial are due to be discussed by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) – the game’s rule-making body – at its annual general meeting at Loch Lomond in Scotland on Saturday.

However, Infantino says the blue card plan is a non-starter.

“Fifa is completely opposed to blue cards. I was not aware of this topic, the president of Fifa – and I think Fifa has a say in Ifab. No way,” he said.

“We have to be serious. We are always open to look at ideas and proposals and everything has to be treated with respect of course.

“But once you look at it you also have to protect the essence and tradition of the game. There is no blue card.”

Caution was also expressed at which levels of the game the sin-bin trials might be applied.

Further discussion on the subject will take place at the meeting, although debate is more likely to centre around whether sin-bins should just be issued for dissent and not cynical fouls, which had been thought likely.

The Premier League has already distanced itself from any sin-bin trials with numerous managers, including Tottenham’s Ange Postecoglou, saying they were a terrible idea.

BBC Sport has been told the intention is to introduce them at much lower levels, although this will also be clarified at the Ifab meeting.

Discussion around ‘cooling off periods’ will also take place, with a press conference due to take place at around 13:00 GMT.

Infantino is expected in Scotland for the meeting, before going to watch the Scottish Premiership game between St Mirren and Aberdeen in the afternoon.

VAR is part of football’s future

VAR will also be discussed at the AGM, although that will centre around an extension of the current trial of referees confirming what decisions have been reached rather than any in-stadium access to real-time discussions in the VAR Hub.

“It will be difficult in a stadium to hear what is happening in the VAR booth,” said Infantino. “But explanation by referee is an important step in the right direction in explaining to the public and people in the stadium why he took a certain decision.

“VAR isn’t that old. It has made a lot of progress and will make more.”

Asked whether he still believed in the concept, Infantino said: “Very much so. You can’t imagine football anymore without VAR. Nobody can do that.”

Temporary concussion subs is ‘PR’

Infantino also rejected the idea of temporary concussion substitutes, which many feel would be a good way of dealing with head injuries amid concerns some players do not leave the pitch currently.

“We will not introduce temporary concussion subs because, we care about the health of the players and concussion is an important topic for us,” he said.

“We have invested a lot of money, £1.5m, in research. We have an expertise in this area now.

“And medical experts are saying it is simply impossible in a few minutes to be able to determine whether there has been a concussion and if it is serious, or not.

“That’s why, in case of a suspected concussion, the player has to be substituted. If you want to care about the health of the player, the players goes out and another player comes in. That’s the end of it.

“All the rest is not protecting the heads of players, just making some PR announcements.”

 

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Highlights from UFC 300: Alex Pereira, Max Holloway seal KO wins

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Highlights from UFC 300: Alex Pereira, Max Holloway seal KO wins

UFC 300 featured one of the greatest knockouts on Saturday, as Max Holloway faceplanted Justin Gaethje in the final second of their ‘BMF’ title fight.

Holloway outclassed Gaethje for five rounds before capping off a stunning performance with a mesmerising KO, which left Gaethje out cold, face-first on the canvas.

With that, Hawaiian Holloway took the ‘Baddest Motherf***er’ belt from the American, while the other title fights at UFC 300 saw the champions retain.

In the main event, Alex Pereira knocked out Jamahal Hill in round one to remain champion at 205lbs.

Hill stands southpaw; Pereira is orthodox. The champion kicks low twice, and Hill responds with one of his own.

Hill tries a cross, but Pereira is out of range. Good lead right hook by Hill. A slower spell ensues, and the crowd gets a bit restless.

Pereira evades a head kick then jabs to the body of Hill. The Brazilian is pressing forward. Hill lands a kick right on Pereira’s cup, and referee Herb Dean steps in to halt the action, but Pereira waves him away.

Seconds later, Pereira sends Hill RIGID with a signature left hook!!! Hill falls back onto the canvas, his eyes rolling back in his head, and Pereira brutalises the challenger with hammer fists, forcing the stoppage!

Holloway outclassed Gaethje for five rounds before capping off a stunning performance with a mesmerising KO, which left Gaethje out cold, face-first on the canvas.

With that, Hawaiian Holloway took the ‘Baddest Motherf***er’ belt from the American, while the other title fights at UFC 300 saw the champions retain.

Zhang Weili retains strawweight belt in back-and-forth bout with Yan Xiaonan; Arman Tsarukyan edges past Charles Oliveira in close clash; Jiri Prochazka fights back to TKO Aleksandar Rakic; debuting Kayla Harrison dominates Holly Holm for submission win and Renato Moicano stops Jalin Turner with ground and pound to maintain momentum.

 

 

 

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Men charged with murder of Kaizer Chiefs’ Luke Fleurs remanded

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Men charged with murder of Kaizer Chiefs’ Luke Fleurs remanded

Six suspects arrested over the murder of Kaizer Chiefs player Luke Fleurs have been remanded by the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on Friday.

Ndumiso Moswane, 26; Fernando Siva, 25; Nhlakanipho Dlamini, 21; Franky Xaba, 25; Maredi Mphahlele, 36; and Thembinkosi Hlomikhawu, 31, have been charged with murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice.

The suspects are expected to apply for bail during their court appearance next Friday.

All six suspects have opted to apply for the services of Legal Aid lawyers.

State prosecutor Arnold Limekhaya said the state intends to oppose the bail applications.

“We will oppose bail,” he told the court, indicating the state was yet to get the profiles of the men and their bail statements.

The 24-year-old Kaizer Chiefs defender and South Africa under-23 international was hijacked and fatally shot in the chest at a petrol station in Honeydew last Wednesday.

It is understood that the assailants drove off in Fleurs’ vehicle.

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Lagos FA to debut Nigerian Ex-International cup

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Lagos FA To Debut Nigerian Ex-International Cup

The Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) has concluded arrangements to organize a tournament involving Nigerian ex-internationals and their clubs’ teammates back in the day.
The Lagos State Football Association Chairman, Hajj Gafar Olawale Liameed, disclosed that the ex-internationals coming together to play football will inspire lots of youths.

“We believe in our ex-players. LSFA is determined to carry along ex-internationals and drive the game forward at every level,” Hajj Gafar stated.

“The tournament will see former Nigeria internationals based in Lagos adopt teams. For instance, if an ex-international is based in the area of Dino SC he can adopt them.

“The competition tagged ‘The Nigerian Ex Internationals Cup’ would see teams play on a home and away basis in the first phase before we proceed to the knockout stage.

“We want to have a clear identity and organize lots of programs. This is one of our innovations and we hope to take blessings from the Lagos State Government and Nigeria Football Federation,” the football technocrat enthused.

Hajj Gafar also reiterated LSFA’s commitments to the proper development of football in the centre of excellence.

“We’re determined to lead that development at every level and have created a robust plan for doing so using all our resources and knowledge.”

Meanwhile, former Nigeria internationals like Joseph Yobo, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Wasiu Ipaye have already thrown their weight behind the innovation by the LSFA.

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