England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed that Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden have been dropped from the England squad for UEFA Nations League and will not be travelling to Denmark following their violation of UEFA’s Covid-19 protocols.
The Football Association (FA) launched an investigation in reference to media reports in Iceland that suggest that both Greenwood and Foden breached quarantine protocols in Reykjavik by inviting girls over to their team hotel. Both players will be sent back to England separately and will have to follow quarantine guidelines before being cleared to return to competitive action at their respective clubs, Manchester City and Manchester United.
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"Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that the two boys have broken the Covid guidelines in terms of our secure bubble,” Southgate said. "We had to decide very quickly that they could not have any interaction with the team, and wouldn't be able to train.”
"What is clear is that there was a breach of the coronavirus guidelines. We spent such a long time getting those measures in place, the whole squad followed that together,” he added.
Both City and United have condemned Greenwood and Foden’s behaviour. United say they are in close contact with the FA and are "disappointed with the actions of Mason Greenwood over this situation.”
Iceland Police have also revealed that they will be conducting an inquiry which could lead to further punishment for Foden and Greenwood.
High Expectations From Chelsea
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has acknowledged the pressure and rising expectation among fans followed by the spending spree by the club in the summer transfer window.
Chelsea have spent over £200 million ($263 million) on major signing deals ahead of the 2020-21 season. They have brought six new players including Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and might sign more new faces in the coming days.
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"I'm very aware that a club like Chelsea, even though we had a transfer ban, even though the year was difficult, expectations are going to go up hugely," said Lampard."And I just have to accept that as part of the job, and try and go about my job as well as I can. And then if I am having relationships, between managing up [to the board] or managing around me, I have to be as good as I can with those, because they're really important.”
"Because the tough times will come, and I'll rely on those, all of those little ones. And it might not be managing up, that might be managing the kit man or a member of staff around you,” he added. "Because I've seen how the dominoes can fall very quickly. And I think if you isolate yourself as a manager, or you don't want to open yourself up to all of those relationships along the way, I think they fall much quicker."
Life After Messi: La Liga Official
A key official at La Liga stated that the Spanish Football League will continue to grow even after Lionel Messi exits FC Barcelona.
Last week, the Argentine star confirmed that he will stay in the club for another season in order to avoid a lengthy legal process. Messi had initially informed Barcelona that he would like to exercise a clause in his contract that allows him to leave on a free transfer. However, both Barcelona and La Liga banded together to ensure that the 33-year old superstar stays, clarifying that the contract requires that an interested party pay the €700 million ($827 million) release fee.
"We always work long term. Leo Messi is the best player in the world and probably in history he will be among top four and five. But these are players approaching the end of their careers," the managing director of La Liga India, Jose Antonio Cachaza said in a virtual media interaction from Madrid.
"Players come and go, sadly. Clubs stay, leagues stay. We are starting the 90th season of La Liga. Real Madrid and Barcelona are clubs with over 100 years of history. We will always remember players like Messi and Cristiano [Ronaldo] who gave us one of the most exciting competitions ever in team sport. Nothing compares what these two guys gave LaLiga. But life will continue and we are planning for the future, knowing that these players will be replaced by other great players," he said.
Laporte & Mahrez Test Positive
Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte have tested positive for Covid-19 and are currently under self-isolation as per government protocols in the UK.
"Manchester City FC can confirm that Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte have tested positive for Covid-19. Both players are currently observing a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine," Manchester City said in a statement.
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"Everyone at the Club wishes Riyad and Aymeric a speedy recovery ahead of their return to training and the new season".
The Premier League is set to kick off on September 12 with Crystal Palace against Southampton the opening match of the season scheduled to be played at Selhurst Park.
Both Manchester City and Manchester United will not feature in the opening week as they were assured a month’s rest following the conclusion of the European season.
Caen Takeover Confirmed
Ligue 2 club Caen was taken over by US investment fund Oaktree Capital and French TV and video producer Pierre-Antoine Capton on Monday.
The takeover "marks a turning point in the history of Stade Malherbe Caen and forges strong sporting ambitions for the 2020/2021 season, the new owners said.
According to the statement, Los Angeles-based Oaktree, which specialises in distress and debts along with Capton, founder of the Paris-based audiovisual production company Third Eyes has obtained 100 percent of Caen. The French media reported that Oaktree would own 80 percent of the club. The two parties and the club, however, did not disclose the division of the ownership.
Capton will become the chairman of the board. He was also a member of previous ownership of ‘the club of 10’ a group of 12 local business people.
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