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AFCON Qualifiers: Super Eagles step up preparations for Libya clash

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Super Eagles get new date for Seychelles tie

The Nigeria national football team, the Super Eagles, will on Wednesday have their second training session as they step up preparations for their crucial Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON qualifying matches against Libya.

Already, 22 of the 24 players invited to face Libya are on the ground in Uyo and they are all looking forward to Saturday’s game billed for the Akwa Ibom Stadium, as well as the reverse leg in Sfax, Tunisia three days later.

Stand-in skipper, Ahmed Musa, is top on the list of players getting set for battle against the Mediterranean Knights of Libya.

Three-time African champions, Nigeria has failed to qualify for the last two editions of the AFCON tournament. Even now, a three-point rating against present Group E pacesetters, Libya, is not negotiable, come Saturday.

Goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi, as well as defenders William Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Leon Balogun, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins, Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem and Kenneth Omeruo are among those at the Ibom Meridien Hotels and Resort.

Also on ground are midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Samuel Kalu, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu and Oghenekaro Etebo, and forwards Isaac Success, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Only Russia –based wing back, Bryan Idowu and China-based forward, Odion Ighalo are being expected on Wednesday.

There are however fears that the duo may be affected by the strike action at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, early Wednesday morning.

The Mediterranean Knights top Group E with four points (from their defeat of Seychelles and draw with South Africa), while South Africa (winner over Nigeria before they drew with Libya) are second and Nigeria, who lost to South Africa and defeated Seychelles, lie third.

The Libyan Football Federation confirmed on Monday that a 54-man delegation, comprising players, technical crew, backroom staff and LFF officials will fly into Ibom International Airport, Uyo, aboard a chartered aircraft on Thursday.

It was however gathered that erstwhile coach of the Libya’s national team, Adel Amrouche, will not be in Uyo, having reportedly resigned from his post owing to a backlog of unpaid salaries.

Meanwhile, the match officials for Saturday’s tie from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the referee assessor from Mali and the security officer from South Africa, are all billed to arrive in Nigeria on Thursday and then fly to Uyo Friday morning.

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New England Patriots boss, Robert Kraft charged with solicitation of prostitution

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Police in Florida have charged New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with misdemeanour solicitation of prostitution, saying they have a videotape of him paying for a sex act inside an illicit massage parlour.

Jupiter police told reporters on Friday that the 77-year-old Kraft has not been arrested. A warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified.

The charge comes amid a widespread crackdown on sex trafficking in the area surrounding Palm Beach County. About 200 arrest warrants have been issued in recent days and more are expected.

The Patriots won the Super Bowl earlier this month in Atlanta. The team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Chelsea banned from signing players for two transfer windows

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Chelsea has been banned from signing players for two transfer windows after being found guilty of breaching rules about signing minors by FIFA.

The Premier League club has also been fined more than £460,000, while the FA face a £390,000 sanction. The FA will appeal the fine, citing “concerns” with FIFA’s disciplinary processes.

The club were found guilty of 29 incidences of breaching article 19, which relates to the transfer of players aged under 18.

FIFA have given the club 90 days to rectify the situation concerning the players signed.

Chelsea say they “categorically refute the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision”.

The appeal will be heard by FIFA Appeal Committee, while the club can also appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sky Sports News understands the punishments are a result of a three-year FIFA investigation related to the signing of more than a dozen players by Chelsea.

One of the main contentious signings was that of Bertrand Traore in 2013. Chelsea also twice breached regulations relating to third-party influence, article 18bis, FIFA said.

Chelsea will be able to sell players, but not register any new signings.

“This ban applies to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and does not prevent the release of players,” FIFA said in a statement.

The transfer of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea should not be in danger as the player was registered in FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) in January, according to Sky Germany.

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FIFA slams transfer ban, heavy fine on Chelsea

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FIFA slams transfer ban, heavy fine on Chelsea

The world football governing body, FIFA, has placed a ban on Chelsea Football Club from signing players for the next two transfer windows.

The English club has also been slammed with a fine of £400,000.

It is understood that Chelsea are being punished having been found guilty by FIFA of breaching rules about signing minors.

FIFA also fined England FA £391,000 and Chelsea have been given 90 days to rectify the situation concerning the players signed.

As reported by Sky Sports News, these punishments are a result of a three-year FIFA investigation related to the signing of more than a dozen players by Chelsea.

One of the main contentious signings was that of Bertrand Traore in 2013. Chelsea also twice breached regulations relating to third-party influence, article 18bis, FIFA said.

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Chelsea will be able to sell players, but not register any new signings.

“This ban applies to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and does not prevent the release of players,” FIFA said in a statement.

The transfer of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea should not be in danger as the player was registered in FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) in January, according to Sky Germany.

Previous instances of similar infractions involving other clubs have seen the clubs involved appeal against the penalties, delaying the implementation of a registration ban and allowing them to sign players.

Chelsea were given a transfer ban in 2009 after there was a complaint about the youth player Gael Kakuta joining illegally two years earlier.
Chelsea appealed that and had the ban reduced

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