Declan Rice’s first England call-up after switching allegiance from Ireland was in danger of being overshadowed on Thursday as the West Ham United player was forced to apologise for a social media comment apparently supporting the Irish Republican Army (IRA).Shortly before England manager Gareth Southgate held his pre-match news conference ahead of Friday’s Euro 2020 Group A qualifier against the Czech Republic, reports emerged of a Tweet Rice made in 2015.The 20-year-old midfielder, whose paternal grandparents were born in Ireland, said in a statement that his “Up the IRA” message was a “poorly expressed” comment.“I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my team mates at the time could be negatively interpreted,” said Rice, who made three senior friendly appearances for Ireland before opting to make himself available for England.“While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”Defending Rice was hardly what Southgate expected to be doing on the eve of the game, and his problems increased as he confirmed that striker Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford was ruled out with an ankle injury.Rashford is the sixth player to withdraw from the squad.Asked about Rice’s comments, Southgate said: “He has apologised and it’s not representative of what he believes and feels, and outside of that the obvious point is that this was when he was 15 engaged in a social conversation with friends.“I think any of us at that age in those sort of situations have probably discussed things, said or written things that might not look the way we would want them several years later.”The Football Association has tried to deter England fans from singing political songs, including about the IRA, during matches, and Southgate has expressed his disappointment with the behaviour of some.He was asked whether he was concerned there might be a backlash against Rice, who is in line to make his debut.“We have to make sure that our messaging doesn’t change,” Southgate said. “I think Declan’s statement is consistent with that. Most people will understand that at that age you are still maturing. At that age you can get giddy and say things about things you don’t know enough about.“I think our fans and our public will recognise that.”Southgate said Rashford would miss the game and will also be unavailable for Monday’s clash in Montenegro.“We tried to progress his training throughout the week but it’s clear he will not be ready so we are sending him back to his club and he’s out of both games.“It’s a great opportunity for the others.”Rashford’s absence could see Jadon Sancho or new call-up Callum Hudson-Odoi in line for a starting place.
MOST READ Fighting Maroons coach Bo Perasol confirmed the news on Tuesday afternoon in a short text message.“Yes, Bright has committed to play for UP. We were also able to secure the release from Perpetual,” he wrote.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe Maroons bested Ateneo and defending champion La Salle in the recruitment war for the high-scoring center.Perasol explained that the UP management led by team manager Dan Palami and Akhuetie are still in the process of transferring his school records and the 19-year-old is set to enroll this coming academic year. From L-R: Taipan Millan, Dan Palami, Bright Akhueti, Renan Dalisay, Coach Bo Perasol, Rollie Fabi, Jayson Jorvina. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOAkhuetie averaged 17.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.7 blocks in his sophomore year for the Altas this past NCAA Season 92.If the Nigerian’s enrollment goes as smooth-sailing as expected, he can see action for UP in UAAP Season 81 at the soonest.“He will be definitely be a big positive factor to our program. He also needs that one year to make himself comfortable to the UP educational system,” said Perasol.NowheretogobutUP Foundation headed by its chairman, Renan Dalisay, as well as former Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla and UP alumni Ronald Mascarinas and Robina Pe also played a big role in luring the 6’8″ big man.The Fighting Maroons are coming off a morale-boosting 5-9 record this past year in Perasol’s first year at the helm.ADVERTISEMENT FILE – Bright Akhuetie. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of the Philippines’ future just got brighter.Bluechip big man Bright Akhuetie is set to go from Las Piñas to Diliman after securing his release papers from University of Perpetual Help – System Dalta.ADVERTISEMENT Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town The acquisition of Akhuetie is expected to boost the fortunes of the UP Fighting Maroons, who exceeded expectations and almost made it to the UAAP Final Four behind a strong showing in the second round of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES 15-year-old Gauff stuns Venus anew in first round Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Super Bowl a tossup at legal sports books Rodgers again falls short of another Super Bowl stint Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Rousey quotes JK Rowling about hitting rock bottom on Instagram ‘Old school work ethic’ pays off for immaculate Federer Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ View comments
PSG are now certain to at least match their performance in last season’s competition, when they lost on away goals to Barcelona in the last eight, but Blanc has urged his men to go that step further.However, with Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona already through, next week’s draw is unlikely to be kind on the French title-holders.“It’s not a bonus” to be in the quarter-finals, said Blanc. “We need to prepare well, be very professional, but I’m not worried about that. I think the players will respond to the challenge.“We have an end to the season that could become very exciting. First of all we are happy, satisfied, but we have won nothing. At the end of the season what counts is trophies.”PSG are eight points clear of Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 and are through to the League Cup final, where they will face Lyon next month.But while they are on course to win a domestic trophy double, going all the way in the Champions League will be a huge challenge.“I think first of all the objective is to go as far as possible. Ok, we have done as well as last year, but you want to win every tie,” said Blanc.“There are teams who have a legitimacy in the Champions League in terms of experience that we don’t have, but I think the consideration that our opponents have for us has increased.“They know we are a club who can go far. We will wait for the draw. Hopefully we can get a bit of luck in the draw, but the ideal opponent does not exist.”– Guarded on future –Blanc was disappointed with his team’s performance on the night, as they conceded an early goal to Sidney Sam before Salvatore Sirigu had to save a Simon Rolfes penalty with the scores at 1-1.He gave a guarded response following comments by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi on French television after the match that he would be offered a new contract.“I expected more. The manner was not great but the level in the Champions League is a lot higher than the French championship. I am still very happy.“I didn’t expect that question,” he added about his contractual situation. “I hope the president’s comments will be verified in the coming weeks.”Blanc, who signed on an initial two-year deal last summer, will now prepare his side for Sunday’s home clash with Saint-Etienne, while Leverkusen could hardly have asked for a worse game to follow their exit from Europe.The Werkself go to runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, where they must try to end a run of six defeats and a draw in their last seven matches to get their bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League back on track.“I’m feeling a bit sorry for the team that we didn’t get anything from game,” said coach Sami Hyypia, whose side were due to fly straight to Munich ahead of the weekend’s match.“I think today there were a lot of positive things in this game and of course after a defeat you can’t be 100 percent satisfied but I’m very happy for the team that they were running and fighting a lot. Its a pity that they didn’t get a draw because I think we deserved it.”Of PSG’s prospects, Hyypia added: “Paris are a very good side as they showed again. They can go far. There are other great sides but they have a chance.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000PARIS, March 13 – Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has urged his side to go as far as they possibly can in the Champions League but admitted that there will be no such thing as an ideal opponent in the quarter-finals.The Ligue 1 leaders came from behind to beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at the Parc des Princes in the second leg of their last 16 tie on Wednesday to go through to the next round 6-1 on aggregate, Marquinhos and Ezequiel Lavezzi getting their goals on the night.
While he would like to keep his squad intact for the rest of the season, Mourinho insists he will not stand in a player’s way should they ask for a move away from Old Trafford.“I am always open to listen to offers for every player. More than listen to offers, I am always ready to listen to the players themselves,” he told reporters.“So any player who knocks on my door and is not happy and wants to move, when the offers are correct, I will never stop a player from leaving even if it is to a rival.“When (Juan) Mata left Chelsea to come to Manchester United (in 2014), in my mentality, (it’s) no problem at all. I am always open.”When pressed on whether he was looking to trim his squad in January, Mourinho made it clear that he was happy with his squad.He added: “Sometimes in matches – and matches is the place where the evaluation is real – you get disappointed with a performance.“But in training, the professionalism and the way they do it, I can only say good things about everyone.“I am happy with the squad I have. I would like my squad to be my squad until the end of the season and I am not going to any player to say, ‘You are going to leave’ because I am not happy, because I don’t want to have him.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures to supporters after their match against Manchester City October 26, 2016MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 14- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he won’t block any players from leaving the club in January, provided the deal makes sense for the club.The futures of fringe players Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay have been the subject of widespread conjecture in recent times, with several clubs said to be interested in acquiring their services in the mid-season transfer window.
CALGARY, A.B. — Husky Energy Inc. is facing provincial charges carrying a maximum $1-million fine resulting from a pipeline leak that fouled the North Saskatchewan River in July 2016.The Saskatchewan government says Calgary-based Husky is to appear in Lloydminster, Sask., provincial court on Thursday to face one charge of unlawfully permitting the discharge of a substance that caused an adverse environmental effect.In a statement, it says Husky will also face federal environmental charges, with those details to be announced later this week.- Advertisement -The charges result from the spill of 225,000 litres of diluted heavy oil from a Husky pipeline near Maidstone in west central Saskatchewan.About 40 per cent of the leaked crude made it into the waterway, forcing communities downstream to shut off a main source of drinking water for almost two months.Husky was permitted to restart the pipeline in October after repairs to the line were tested and inspected. The company said the pipeline buckled and leaked because of ground movement.Advertisement
1 West Ham manager Sam Allardyce West Ham legend has offered his backing to under-fire manager Sam Allaryce to continue his role at Upton Park.Allardyce is the early favourite to be the first boss to face the sack this season having had a large majority of Hammers fans calling for his head last term.Since then it has been a challenging pre-season for Allardyce and the club – starting when record signing Andy Carroll was ruled out for four months with another injury set-back.Many fans remain convinced Allardyce is not the man to lead the club forward to their Olympic Stadium move in two years but Hurst believes the Hammers have the perfect manager in place as Allardyce heads into his fourth season in charge at Upton Park.“I’m very much in the camp of wanting to keep Sam Allardyce,” the England World Cup winner told Sky Sports.“We need to improve the team, there’s no doubt about that. He hasn’t got a great side but the way I see it if he can keep us mid-table then that’s a fantastic job.“It’s crazy that there’s pressure on Sam Allardyce before the season has started but that’s football.“They haven’t had a particularly good pre-season but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.“Down the years at West Ham, we have had good results after not doing well in pre-season and we’ve had poor years after making a good start so it doesn’t mean a lot.”
Monaco midfielder Joao Moutinho would be open to a move to Arsenal, Manchester United or Tottenham, according to reports in France.The Portugal international is reportedly unhappy with life at Monaco and is frustrated at the club’s willingness to sell star players Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez in the summer.Such news has alerted the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, who were linked with Moutinho before he joined Monaco in 2013 for £20m.And, according to L’Equipe, Moutinho is keen on a move to the Premier League just 18 months after moving to Ligue 1.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is said to see Moutinho as an ideal addition to his squad, if the Gunners miss out on Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira to Bayern Munich.Moutinho’s current contract does not expire until June 2018 and Monaco have set an asking price of £30m for the 28-year-old. 1 Joao Moutinho in action for Portugal
James Milner James Milner has withdrawn from the England squad for the friendlies against Spain and France.The Liverpool midfielder sustained a hamstring injury in the club’s Europa League win over Rubin Kazan last week.He subsequently missed the defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday and has now been deemed not fit enough to link up with the national squad.Milner will not be replaced in Roy Hodgson’s squad, which is already in Alicante ahead of Friday night’s fixture against Spain at the Estadio Jose Rico Perez.England will remain in Spain until Saturday before they return to London to face Euro 2016 hosts France at Wembley on Tuesday. 1
Is captain John Terry set to leave Chelsea in the summer? John Terry has been advised to ‘play as long as possible’ as his Chelsea exit seems to be nearing ever closer.The 35-year-old Blues captain revealed in January he would be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the season after a failure to agree a new contract with the club he has served all his playing career.Chelsea maintain Terry could yet be offered a one-year extension, the policy for those aged over 30.But the defender has a few options in front of him, including lucrative moves to Major League Soccer in the United States, the mega-rich Chinese Super League or the Middle East.Terry was a notable absence from the team sheet as Chelsea took on Aston Villa on Saturday, though Hiddink confirmed the defender was out of the team due to injury.The caretaker boss, who will leave in May, will have little say over a new deal for Terry, but he has advised the centre-half to continue to play for as long as he can before turning to management, if that is his chosen career direction.“If you love the game – and he loves the game – play as long as possible,” Hiddink said ahead of Saturday’s clash at Aston Villa.“Being a manager is okay, but it’s more or less a substitute for being a player.“To play is the most beautiful thing you can experience if you love the game.“So try to play as long as possible until they say: ‘Hey, grandfather, please leave the pitch now’.”The fate of Terry, who has made more than 700 appearances for the Blues since making his debut in October 1998, could be determined by the incoming successor to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in December.Antonio Conte will leave his role as Italy boss after Euro 2016 and has been heavily tipped to take the Chelsea job.Should Terry wish to become a manager, Hiddink’s advice would be to work as an assistant “in the shadows”.The Dutchman, who has had a long, distinguished and well-travelled career, added: “You have to get your [coaching] licence, but if you have that I would recommend going a bit in the shadows and try to get with a good manager.“Be an assistant if you have the ambition to be one day a manager, go with good managers and learn from them.” 1
Harry Kane Tottenham striker Harry Kane will relish the chance to prove his doubters wrong again, according to the club’s former captain Ledley King.Kane finished top scorer in the Barclays Premier League last season with 25 goals but failed to carry that form into Euro 2016, where he was one of England’s most disappointing performers.The 22-year-old was taken off at half-time in England’s second game against Wales and criticised for botching a series of set-pieces while struggling to offer a serious goal-threat.Kane was also under pressure 12 months ago, following a brilliant breakthrough campaign, and former Spurs skipper King expects a similar response this time around.“I’m entirely confident in Harry getting back to his best,” King told Press Association Sport.“He’s the kind of player who doesn’t seem to suffer from a lack of confidence, he always has the utmost confidence in his ability to score goals.“It wasn’t a tournament where he was missing lots of chances, he just wasn’t able to find the positions that he normally does.“I’ve got no worries for Harry, he’ll be back, he’ll be hungrier as a result and he’ll be looking to prove people wrong again.“He did that last season when people were asking if he was going to be a one-off and he can do it again.”Kane was not the only Tottenham player to suffer England’s miserable exit, with Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose all on the field for the embarrassing defeat to Iceland.Mauricio Pochettino’s first job will be to revive his players’ spirits, as Spurs bid to balance a renewed title challenge with the added test of Champions League football.“You expect criticism as a top player and even more so as a young player as well,” King said.“When you’re young you’re going to have games and spells where you’re not scoring or playing so well. When you’re young people question your ability more.“The whole squad received criticism and that’s what you expect, especially when you play for England. The players are used to that.“I don’t think they listen to it too much. It’s all about how they feel themselves. When you do receive criticism, it motivates you to come back stronger.”Kane may yet be eased into pre-season more gradually than his fellow internationals, which could give new signing Vincent Janssen an early chance to impress.Janssen’s £17million move from AZ Alkmaar was confirmed on Tuesday, the young Dutchman following midfielder Victor Wanyama as Tottenham’s second signing of the summer.“I’m pleased with those two signings,” King said. “Another attacking option was very important and Janssen has a great scoring record from playing in Holland.“Wanyama I’ve seen many times and I’ve been very impressed by him. He’s a bit like Eric Dier, you don’t see all the good work he does.“I saw him for Southampton at White Hart Lane last season and he was one of the best players on the pitch.“The manager knows him well so it’s no surprise he’s gone for him. I think both players will be a big boost to the squad.”King was speaking as two members of the Washington Redskins joined youngsters at Northumberland Park School. Tottenham will play host to NFL games at their new stadium, due to open in 2018. 1