Watford cancel Qatar friendly after fans voice concerns over human rights

Watford canceled its friendly match against Qatar national football team after supporters’ groups voiced concerns about the country’s human rights record.

Watford have cancelled a friendly match against the Qatar national team, the English club said on Monday after two supporters’ groups voiced concerns about the country’s human rights record. The two groups – Women of Watford (WOW) and Proud Hornets – had urged the club to display its support for “all human rights, the LGBT+ community and women’s rights” at the game but the fixture will no longer take place. “The game was never finalised and it became abundantly clear this was a game not to play; as such, the…

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Penang record first win of the season

Penang finally notched their first win of the season by edging Terengganu 2-1 at the City Stadium in Georgetown today. The Panthers were expected to struggle against the Turtles in the absence of Brazilian striker Casagrande, who is recovering from a cheekbone fracture. However, Penang, under new coach Zainal Abidin Hassan, showed they were made of sterner stuff as they took the lead through Hilal El Helwe in the 23rd minute. Terengganu bounced back three minutes into the second half with an equaliser through Faisal Halim. The east coast side’s…

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Enter ‘Viktor Axelsen’ era

Viktor Axelsen playing against Zhao Jun Peng in the Indonesia Open final on Sunday.

FORGET about Lin Dan, this is the “Viktor Axelsen era”, this is what the fans around the world are saying. And few would disagree. He has dominated world badminton in the last three years. The statistics is imposing. The world No 1 captured 13 titles from 17 finals since 2020, including the Tokyo Olympics gold. And the 28-year-old has already won three tournaments this year, two of which came in Jakarta, the Indonesia Open and Indonesia Masters in the past two weeks after his All England triumph in March. The…

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Mbappe accuses French federation boss of ignoring racist abuse

France's forward Kylian Mbappe looks on during the UEFA Nations League - France international Kylian Mbappe on Sunday accused the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) of ignoring racist abuse after his penalty miss at Euro 2020.

France international Kylian Mbappe on Sunday accused the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) of ignoring racist abuse after his penalty miss at Euro 2020. The Paris Saint-Germain star’s decisive spot-kick against Switzerland was saved in the last-16 shootout, resulting in the world champions exiting the tournament. The 23-year-old was vilified on social media by furious fans, and even considered quitting the national team as a result. In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, FFF president Noel Le Graet spoke of the lack of support Mbappe had felt after…

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Alves confirms Barcelona departure

Barcelona right back Dani Alves will leave the LaLiga club when his contract expires at the end of this month, bringing the curtain down on his second stint with the Catalan giants a little more than six months after his arrival as a free agent. The 39-year-old Brazilian won six LaLiga titles and three Champions League crowns in his first spell with Barca from 2008-16. “After more than eight years dedicated to these colours, the time has come to say goodbye,” Alves wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. “Many more years…

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‘I’m no hero,’ says dancing keeper as Australia qualify for World Cup

Australia's Andrew Redmayne celebrates after saving a penalty during the shootout against Peru at Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar

Substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s dancing antics helped Australia claim a shootout win over Peru in an inter-continental playoff on Monday but he said he was no hero, only playing his part as they claimed a fifth straight World Cup appearance. The 33-year-old journeyman was brought on for his third cap with three minutes to play at the end of extra time and stopped the last kick as the Socceroos won 5-4 on penalties after the match ended goalless. “He’s a very good penalty saver and I did something that could…

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Benfica reach agreement with Liverpool to sell Nunez for €75 mln

Benfica have reached an agreement with Liverpool for the sale of forward Darwin Nunez (right) for an initial fee of €75 million, the Portuguese club announced on Monday.

BENFICA have reached an agreement with Liverpool for the sale of forward Darwin Nunez for an initial fee of €75 million, the Portuguese club announced on Monday. The agreement, which includes €20 million in add-ons, is dependent on Nunez signing an employment contract with Liverpool, the statement added. Nunez was the top scorer in Portugal’s top flight in the 2021-22 season and scored 34 goals in all competitions for Benfica, including goals in both legs of the club’s Champions League quarter-final defeat by Liverpool. His ability to play out wide…

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Salah, Kerr win PFA Player of the Year awards

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah was named the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was named the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year for the second time on Thursday and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr took the women’s award. Salah, who shared this season’s Premier League golden boot for the top scorer with Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, also won the award in the 2017-18 season. The 29-year-old Egyptian scored 31 goals in all competitions for Liverpool and helped them win the League Cup and FA Cup. “This one is a really good one to win, especially because it’s voted by…

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Belgium bounce back to crush Poland

Belgium tore Poland apart to win their Nations League match 6-1 in Brussels on Wednesday. Belgium lost their opening game to neighbours Netherlands but responded with an increasingly dominant performance and finished the game with five goals in just over 30 minutes. “It brings extra emotion when you lose against your rivals so that was definitely a motivator tonight,” said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez. “Against The Netherlands we were passive, waiting, insecure. Now we were a team instead of individuals.” Belgium suffered another early setback on Wednesday as the visitors…

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PSG’s Mbappe is world’s most valuable player, study shows

Paris Saint Germain's Kylian Mbappe has been named as the most valuable player in the world by CIES Football Observatory.

Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappe is the most valuable soccer player in the world, according Swiss research group CIES Football Observatory, followed by Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr and new Manchester City recruit Erling Haaland. Mbappe, who turned down Real and signed a new three-year deal at PSG last month, topped the list with an estimated transfer value of 205.6 million euros (US$219.5 million), beating Vinicius (185.3 million euros) and Haaland (152.6 million euros). Mbappe’s PSG teammate Neymar holds the current transfer record. The French champions paid Barcelona 222 million…

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