News Sports Trending

Midfielder Kristoffer Olsson, formerly of Arsenal, has been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator after losing consciousness at his home, according to his current club Midtjylland. The 28-year-old Swede is believed to be suffering from a severe brain-related illness. Midtjylland provided this update in response to growing speculation about Olsson’s absence from the team.

Expressing deep concern, Midtjylland stated that Olsson’s condition does not seem to be a result of self-inflicted harm or external factors. A team of Danish medical experts is working to diagnose his condition accurately and initiate appropriate treatment.

Olsson, who progressed through Arsenal’s youth system, joined Midtjylland permanently during the 2014-15 Premier League season. He has also played for clubs in Sweden, Russia, and Belgium. The football community, including Arsenal and the Swedish Football Association, has sent messages of support for Olsson’s recovery.

Since his hospitalization, Olsson has been surrounded by family, club staff, and medical specialists. Midtjylland has appealed for privacy and understanding to ensure Olsson’s recovery is as smooth as possible.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

During a EuroBasket 2025 qualifier in Riga, the Ireland women’s basketball team declined to shake hands with the Israeli team before the match. Israeli player Dor Saar accused the Ireland team of being “quite anti-Semitic,” which Basketball Ireland strongly refuted, calling the comments inflammatory and inaccurate.

Before the game, the Ireland players stood for their anthem beside their bench rather than at the center court, a departure from the usual protocol. Despite concerns expressed by Irish players and pressure to boycott the fixture due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, the match proceeded. Basketball Ireland reported Saar’s comments to Fiba Europe and explained their decision not to participate in traditional pre-match rituals.

Earlier, Basketball Ireland’s CEO warned of heavy fines and expulsion from the competition if the team boycotted their matches with Israel, stating it would harm women’s international basketball for years. Saar’s remarks were made in an interview on the Israeli Basketball Association’s website, where she suggested that the Irish team’s perceived animosity fueled a desire for a strong performance from Israel.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

Former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves is currently facing charges of rape in a Barcelona nightclub, accused of assaulting a 23-year-old woman. The prosecution is relying on substantial scientific evidence, video footage, and witness statements to support their case. The alleged incident took place on December 30, 2022, in the VIP area of the Sutton nightclub. According to the prosecution, Alves bought the woman and her friends drinks, invited her to a bathroom without surveillance cameras, and is accused of assaulting her when she refused his advances.

Alves, aged 40, could potentially face a 12-year prison sentence if convicted. The trial began with the victim testifying from behind a screen with her voice electronically distorted for privacy. The alleged assault came to light when the victim immediately reported the incident, leading to a medical examination and the collection of extensive evidence by the police in the nightclub’s bathroom area.

The case has garnered significant attention as it is seen as a litmus test for the judiciary’s approach to sexual assault cases, particularly after the controversial “wolf pack” case. Alves has changed his defense multiple times since first being questioned by the police in January 2023. Initially denying knowing the accuser, he later admitted to various activities, citing different defenses, including intoxication.

The trial coincides with other high-profile sexual assault cases in Spain, such as the incident involving Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation, who faces prosecution for forcibly kissing Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup victory celebrations. The Catalan equality minister, Tània Verge, has emphasized that these cases mark the end of impunity for alleged sexual aggressors, irrespective of their fame or power.

Notably, Alves joins a list of top-flight players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood, Benjamin Mendy, and Robinho, who have faced rape accusations. In most cases, charges were dropped or settled financially, but Alves’s alleged victim has consistently refused any financial settlement. The trial is scheduled to last three days, and the outcome will be closely watched for its implications on justice for sexual assault victims.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has received a four-year ban for doping, following an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Valieva had initially been cleared by a Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) investigation, which found no fault on her part for a failed test before the 2022 Winter Olympics, where she won team gold at the age of 15.

The ban, backdated to December 25, 2021, the date of the failed test, includes the disqualification of all competitive results achieved from that date. CAS clarified that the decision on whether to strip Russia of the gold medal would be examined by the relevant sports organizations, not within the scope of the arbitration procedure.

Valieva did not contest the presence of the banned substance, and CAS ruled that she failed to establish, on the balance of probabilities, that the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) was not intentional. The Kremlin criticized the CAS ruling as a “politicized” decision, while the Russian Olympic Committee stated that “in effect war has been declared on Russia.”

WADA emphasized the severity of doping involving minors and called for legal consequences for doctors, coaches, or support personnel providing performance-enhancing substances to minors. The United States is expected to be awarded gold in the team figure skating event in Beijing, with Japan and Canada receiving silver and bronze, respectively.

The controversy surrounding Valieva’s doping case is seen as another chapter in Russia’s doping scandal, with the country’s athletes competing at the Beijing Games under the neutral name of the Russian Olympic Committee. The CAS decision has sparked concerns about the credibility of the Russian anti-doping system, with calls for increased vigilance.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has announced that he will step down from his position at the end of the season. The decision comes after a 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal, leaving Barcelona 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid. Despite winning the Spanish title in his first full season in charge, Xavi believes the club needs a change in dynamic for the benefit of both the players and the board of directors.

Xavi, a former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, has been a loyal figure for the club, but he feels it’s time to prioritize his mental health. The 44-year-old, who won 25 honors during his playing career at Barcelona, will officially leave on June 30, even though he has a year left on his contract. Xavi stated that the demanding nature of the club, combined with the pressure of the job, has taken a toll on him, and he believes it’s the right moment to step back.

The decision comes after Xavi had previously mentioned that he would “pack his bags” if his players lost faith in him. Despite a response with back-to-back wins, recent defeats in the Copa del Rey and La Liga have led to his departure announcement. Xavi hopes that by revealing his decision now, it will de-escalate tensions and provide a solution for the rest of the season.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague suggests that Xavi, being a true Barcelona fan and having won the league, may not manage any other team. Balague raises questions about Xavi’s readiness for the Barcelona job, as the club’s president, Joan Laporta, did not initially choose him. The loss of key personnel within the club and the lack of a defined playing style have contributed to the challenges faced by Xavi during his tenure. Balague concludes that Xavi will need to reflect on whether the conditions were right for him to succeed or if his own readiness for the role played a part in the challenges faced.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation, has been unsuccessful in his appeal against a three-year ban from football-related activities imposed by FIFA. This decision follows an incident where Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final victory against England. Hermoso later filed a legal complaint, alleging that the kiss was not consensual.

FIFA stated that Rubiales violated the principles of fair play and displayed offensive behavior, citing Article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code. The governing body’s appeal committee expressed satisfaction that Rubiales behaved contrary to these principles during and after the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The ban could potentially be contested before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A Spanish judge has proposed that Rubiales should stand trial over the incident, describing the kiss as “not consensual and… a unilateral and surprising initiative.” Prosecutors had previously charged Rubiales with sexual assault and coercion. Despite Rubiales maintaining that the kiss was a “consensual peck,” the controversy led to his resignation as the president of the Spanish football federation, sparking a global conversation about sexism in women’s sports.

The incident also had repercussions in the coaching staff, as World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda was sacked in September and is under investigation as part of the criminal case against Rubiales. Jenni Hermoso, who claimed her image was tarnished by the kiss, made a return to the national side in October, scoring a crucial 89th-minute winner against Italy.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

Jude Bellingham played a crucial role in inspiring Real Madrid to a comeback victory against Almeria, who initially took a surprising 2-0 lead at the Bernabeu with goals from Largie Ramazani and Edgar Gonzalez. Bellingham scored a penalty in the 57th minute, and Vinicius Jr equalized 10 minutes later. In the ninth minute of added time, Bellingham’s header set up Dani Carvajal for the winning goal.

The dramatic win briefly put Real Madrid at the top of the table, but Girona reclaimed the summit with a 5-1 win over Sevilla. Both Bellingham and Artem Dovbyk of Girona now share the top scorer spot in La Liga with 14 goals each.

Almeria’s midfielder Gonzalo Melero expressed frustration, claiming his team was “robbed” due to several VAR decisions going against them. Goalscorer Gonzalez also emphasized the need for fairness in the competition. Despite Real Madrid being expected to dominate against Almeria, the visitors shocked the hosts with an early goal and extended their lead in the 43rd minute.

Real Madrid’s debatable penalty, awarded after VAR intervention, allowed Bellingham to score from the spot. Controversial goals, including one from Vinicius Jr initially ruled out for handball, further fueled Almeria’s discontent. Almeria boss Gaizka Garitano was sent off for dissent as Real secured the victory in the ninth minute of injury time.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged Almeria’s frustration but defended the VAR decisions, describing the game as strange and citing fatigue in his team during the first half.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

Brazilian football icon Mario Zagallo, renowned for winning four World Cups as both a player and coach, has passed away at the age of 92. Zagallo, a winger, played a crucial role in Brazil’s consecutive World Cup victories in 1958 and 1962, featuring in both finals.

In 1970, he managed what is often considered the greatest international team, guiding legends like Pele, Jairzinho, and Carlos Alberto to another World Cup triumph. Zagallo’s coaching success continued as he served as assistant coach in 1994, securing his fourth World Cup title. Despite reaching the 1998 final as Brazil’s manager, they were defeated by hosts France.

Mario Zagallo holds the distinction of being the first individual to achieve World Cup victories as both a player and a manager, a feat later matched by Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer and France’s Didier Deschamps. With Zagallo’s passing, there are no surviving members from the Brazil team that contested the 1958 final.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso, a World Cup winner, has testified in a Madrid court that a kiss from former football federation president Luis Rubiales was not consensual. The incident occurred after the World Cup final last year when Rubiales allegedly grabbed Hermoso by the head and kissed her on the lips. The judge will now decide whether Rubiales should face trial for sexual assault and coercion. Hermoso, Spain’s top scorer, emphasized that the kiss was unexpected and non-consensual during her two-and-a-half-hour testimony, reiterating her previous statements leaked to Spanish TV. The court is examining evidence, including CCTV footage, to determine if the case should go to trial.

The kiss, which took place during the medal ceremony in Sydney after Spain’s victory over England, initially seemed consensual based on a statement attributed to Hermoso shortly after the final. However, she later claimed that she was pressured by Spanish football federation officials to endorse the statement. Rubiales, who denies the allegations, is also being investigated for possible coercion related to the pressure on Hermoso. Other figures under investigation include the coach Jorge Vilda, federation executives Albert Luque and Rubén Rivera.

Hermoso stated that she did not want the kiss and felt like a victim of assault, highlighting that, under Spanish law, a kiss without consent can be considered a form of sexual assault. Despite Rubiales asserting it was a consensual peck, he resigned as president of the Spanish football federation following the incident. An investigation was initiated, and he was prohibited from approaching Hermoso within 200 meters by an investigating judge. The case has drawn attention beyond football, making Hermoso a notable figure in discussions about equality and solidarity.

On New Year’s Eve, Hermoso expressed gratitude for the positive changes in terms of equality and solidarity and congratulated her Spain teammates for the empowerment achieved. At 33, she announced a club change, leaving Pachuca in Mexico, where she played since 2022, for Tigres UANL, the country’s most successful women’s team.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Sports Trending

The head of A22, the organization behind the revived European Super League (ESL), believes that fans and clubs can be persuaded to support the new proposal. In 2021, the original ESL, involving 12 teams, faced strong opposition and collapsed within 72 hours. However, the European Court of Justice recently ruled against banning clubs from joining such leagues, leading to the announcement of a revamped ESL.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin dismissed the new proposals, stating that football is not for sale and jokingly looking forward to a two-team tournament. Five of the six Premier League teams that initially supported the breakaway plans in 2021 expressed commitment to Uefa competitions.

A22’s new proposal suggests a league system with 64 men’s clubs and 32 women’s clubs, featuring an annual promotion and relegation system with no permanent members. A22 CEO Bernd Reichart stated that the proposal addresses the concerns raised by critics of the original ESL, focusing on an open, accessible, and meritocratic league system alongside domestic leagues.

Reichart refrained from naming interested clubs but emphasized the importance of convincing both clubs and fans. The proposal aims to prioritize players’ health by aligning with the current football calendar, without increasing the number of matchdays.

Domestic leagues, including the Premier League, swiftly condemned the new project, reiterating their rejection of any breakaway concept. Despite the ECJ ruling, Uefa sees it as an opportunity to improve regulations, and Ceferin highlighted the need to maintain the connection between domestic and European football.

Champions League holders Manchester City and other previously involved Premier League clubs affirmed their commitment to Uefa competitions. The ESL saga, which began in 2021, faced criticism and opposition, leading to the withdrawal of several clubs. Ceferin mocked the new proposal, expressing skepticism about its closed nature and comparing it to the rejected 2021 version.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright