French footballer gets 30-year ban for punching referee
An amateur footballer in France, described as a “fanatic”, was on Friday banned from playing for 30 years for punching a referee.
“The penalty is appropriate. These fanatics must not be able to set foot on a football pitch again. They have no place there,” said Benoit Laine, president of the Loiret football district in central France.
The 25-year-old player, who was not named by officials, was angry at being sent off while featuring for Entente Sportive Gatinaise in a local cup game on January 8.
He punched the referee so hard that the official was signed off work for two days.
The team was also kicked out of the tournament for the next two seasons.
Ex-Arsenal player, Mesut Ozil announces retirement
The former Real Madrid and Arsenal player, Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from football on Wednesday after an illustrious international career with Germany.
The 34-year-old helped Germany to glory in Brazil in 2014 but bitterly quit the international scene after the Germans crashed out of the 2018 tournament in Russia.
A statement on social media said: “Hello everyone, After thoughtful consideration, I’m announcing my immediate retirement from professional football.
“I’ve had the privilege to be a professional football player for almost 17 years now and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity. But in recent weeks and months, having also suffered some injuries, it’s become more and more clear that it’s time to leave the big stage of football.
“It has been an amazing journey filled with unforgettable moments and emotions. I want to thank my clubs – Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Fenerbahce, Basaksehir and the coaches who supported me, plus team-mates who have become friends.”
Ozil, born in the German city of Gelsenkirchen but of Turkish descent, played on some of football’s biggest stages but also became embroiled in international politics and accusations of racism.
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When Germany were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup at the group stage, a wounded Ozil accused the German public of “racist” attacks.
His club career blossomed when his deft passing and vision helped secure his move from the Bundesliga to Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side in 2010.
He soon led La Liga in assists while helping the Spanish club to their 32nd league title in 2012.
His big-money move to Arsenal in 2013 helped the London club end their FA Cup drought the following year.
In 2014, Ozil started the final as Germany beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina 1-0 in the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro thanks to Mario Goetze’s extra-time goal.
His statement continued: “Special thanks must go to my family members and my closest friends. They have been a part of my journey from day one and have given me so much love and support, through the good times and the bad.
“Thank you to all my fans who have shown me so much love no matter the circumstances and no matter which club I was representing.
“Now I’m looking forward to everything that is in front of me with my beautiful wife, Amine, and my two beautiful daughters, Eda and Ela – but you can be sure that you will hear from me from time to time on my social media channels.
“See you soon, Mesut!”
Ozil was repeatedly shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or but the later stages of his career were troubled by disputes over playing time and his close personal friendship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan was the best man at Ozil’s Istanbul wedding to former Miss Turkey and actress Amine in 2019.
Ex-Arsenal & Man City striker Emmanuel Adebayor retires aged 39
Former Premier League striker Emmanuel Adebayor has announced his retirement from football aged 39.
Adebayor enjoyed a 22-year professional career, which saw him play in France, England, Spain, Turkey, Paraguay and his native Togo. He scored 97 goals in 241 appearances in the Premier League, playing for Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
That record places him 35th on the list of the league’s all-time top scorers, between Tottenham forward Son Heung-min and Nigerian striker Yakubu. While he spent most of his career in the Premier League, he also turned out for Metz and Monaco in France, Real Madrid in Spain and Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey.
He has now announced his decision to hang up his boots. “SEA, from the highs to the lows, my career as a professional athlete has been an incredible journey,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Thank you to my fans for being there every step of the way. I’m feeling so grateful for everything, and excited for what’s to come!”
Adebayor made his name at Arsenal, who signed him from Monaco for £3million in January 2006. He stayed for three years in Arsene Wenger ’s side and exploded onto the scene by scoring 30 times in the 2007/08 season.
Okocha praises Osimhen, advises him to play for Premier League
Super Eagles legend Jay Jay Okocha has praised compatriot Victor Osimhen for his exploits this season with Napoli and offered some advice on his next career destination.
Osimhen has been in fine form this season with 25 goals in 29 games across all competitions so far, earning him praises from all and sundry including ex-Super Eagle Okocha.
Jay Jay went on to offer advice to the 24-year-old on a move to the Premier League, claiming that the league would help him improve as a player.
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When asked if Osimhen should move to the Premier League, Jay responded, “I think so, it’s a league that improves players as well and you just have to find the right club that suits your game to make things easier for yourself but without any doubt, I think he’s good enough to play in the Premier League.”
On the question of what team would suit Osimhen, Jay Jay said, “Well, I don’t know, a team like Man City but they’ve got Haaland now, I think Man United as well might be ideal for him because they’ve been struggling with a quality striker in recent years.”
“Yeah I think both Manchester teams might be great for him, Arsenal as well,” the 49-year-old rounded up on Osimhen’s career.
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