Ammon News, Sports

Zidane praises Ronaldo after ‘perfect week’ for the Portuguese

[12/10/2017 8:09:22 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said people write off Cristiano Ronaldo at their peril after the Portuguese forward struck twice in the 5-0 drubbing of Sevilla on Saturday as the La Liga champions and their prolific scorer roared back to life. Ronaldo has been widely criticized in Spain for his domestic form this season and before the game with Sevilla he had only scored twice in the league, his lacklustre form mirroring Real’s feeble defence of the title they won so convincingly last May. Ronaldo was crowned world player of the year for a joint-record fifth time on Thursday and showed off his shiny Ballon d‘Or trophy on the Bernabeu pitch before kickoff and when the game began he appeared to have an extra spring in his step. He latched onto a through ball from Marco Asensio to confidently sidefoot the ball inside the near corner to score Real’s second goal midway through the first half and then powered home the third from the penalty spot, his shot bouncing under Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico. “It has been a perfect week for him and I hope he continues at this pace, although I already said you have to be careful with him,” Zidane told a news conference. Ronaldo also scored in Real’s 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday to become the first player ever to score in all six Champions League group games in one season. *Reuters

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Saudis snap selfies with Crown Prince during his tour of historic city

[12/4/2017 4:25:52 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Twitter users in Saudi Arabia have been sharing pictures and videos of several people who met and were able to take selfies with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a tour of the al-Ula mountains in Madinah. Al-Ula is the largest archaeological city in the kingdom, and home to the Madain Saleh site - a carved rock facade and a number of Islamic monuments represented in a number of castles and forts. * Al Arabiya

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Six World Cup games to watch out for that mix geopolitics with football

[12/4/2017 4:23:37 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The official World Cup draw on Friday saw many national teams with geopolitical history come together in the same groups. Here are the games that will be played in the tournament between countries that share an eventful past. Egypt vs. Saudi Arabia The derby match will see both countries share a long history of shared mutual interest come together. Most recently, the neighbors are cooperating militarily in Yemen and politically in their joint actions against Qatar. And when it comes to football, for Egypt, it’s a case of revenge as Saudi Arabia won Egypt 5-1 in the Confederations Cup in 1999. Saudi Arabia vs. Russia The match between Saudi Arabia and Russia will bring together the two largest oil producers. The match comes amid a development in ties between the two countries as relations remained somehow distant considering the alliance between Riyadh and Washington on one hand, and the alliance between Moscow and Tehran on another. King Salman’s visit to Russia in October marked re-establishing geopolitical balances in the Middle East as Riyadh, the US’ historical ally, wants to have diverse options at a time it’s challenging Iran and Russia in Syria. Spain vs. Morocco Although there is a rule that stipulates keeping teams from the same confederation apart in the same group stage, Spain will play against two countries that it shares borders with: Morocco and Portugal. The border between Morocco and Spain is located along the cities of Ceuta and Melilla which Morocco believes they are colonized. These two cities are viewed as the immigrants’ gate to Europe. England vs. Tunisia This match brings back painful memories as during the 1998 World Cup, the match between these two countries in Marseille led to two days of violent clashes. Switzerland vs. Costa Rica The match between these two marks a match between two out of the ten countries which opted for diplomatic neutrality. Switzerland has been a neutral country since signing the Treaty of Paris in 1815. Costa Rica became neutral in 1949 when it abolished its military and in 1983 it declared “complete neutrality.” Belgium vs. Panama Panama is a tax haven as it includes the law firm Mossack Fonseca, made famous by the Panama Papers, while the EU commission has had its eyes on Belgium due to its tax benefits which attract fortunes and multinational companies. *Al Arabiya

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France questions FIFA former VP in Qatar 2022 World Cup probe

[12/2/2017 3:02:06 PM]

AMMONNEWS - French police have questioned former FIFA vice president Reynald Temarii in their investigation of suspected corruption in the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Temarii, a former Tahiti player who served as a FIFA vice president for Oceania, is serving an eight-year ban from football. A French judicial official says officers from a police unit that specializes in corruption and financial crimes travelled to Tahiti to question him this week at the request of French financial prosecutors leading the 2022 investigation. The French official spoke to The Associated Press about the police mission on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the probe. The official said Temarii was taken into police custody on Tuesday evening and held for one day while he was questioned. *AP

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Sudan’s Al Hilal ‘sarcastic’ message to derby rivals sparks global outcry

[11/29/2017 3:57:35 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Khartoum - Vice president of Sudanese league champions Al Hilal, Saad al-Omda, told Al Arabiya English that the lifting of a Hitler banner during the Sudan derby against El Merriekh last Saturday was an individual action that does not represent the club and its supporters. A large banner of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s face flanked by the word “holocaust” was raised by ‘Blue Lions Ultras’ supporters of Al Hilal on November 25 in the final match of the Sudanese league and provoked angry international reactions that questioned the motives behind the move. The incident created an international outcry from European media and was described by football anti-racism campaigners as a “gruesome first” for Africa. Campaign group Fare Network, which attempts to curb discrimination within the game, said it is investigating the incident in a tweet. “Fare is investigating a shocking incident at a league match in #Sudan over the weekend. “Supporters of Al Hilal Omdurman displayed a banner with a portrait of Hitler and the words holocaust’. SFA investigation “The incident was caused by the individual actions of a group of people who do not represent the club,” said Al Hilal’s vice president Saad al-Omdah. He added that the Sudanese Football Association will open an investigation to know those involved in lifting the banner and hold them accountable. “The game was in Al Hilal Stadium, but securing the stadium and supervising it was the responsibility of the football association according to the system followed,” al-Omdah said. Blue Lions still defiant The Blue Lions Ultras supporters defended their actions on Saturday and said that the intention was “to send a sarcastic message to the rival club”. In a statement issued Wednesday on their Facebook page the group said that the Hitler banner was intended to “send a sarcastic message to the opposing club ... and it played its role perfectly.” The group added that they bear the full responsibility of their actions and are ready to face all the consequences of lifting the banner. *Al Arabiya

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Germany coach Loew wary of French firepower

[11/13/2017 2:48:45 PM]

AMMONNEWS - France will have more firepower than England had in their goalless draw with Germany last week, Germany coach Joachim Loew said ahead of Tuesday’s international friendly against their neighbours. The world champions are without a home win against the French in 30 years and Loew, whose experimental team drew 0-0 at Wembley against England in a friendly on Friday, warned his players that France was a “world-class strike force.” “It will be different than against England,” Loew told reporters on Monday. “France have a lot of quality in attack. You can swop the players around and you’ll still have a world class attack.” France’s front line includes, among others, Kylian Mbappe, who moved to Paris St Germain this season in a deal worth 180 million euros, and Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud, who were both on target in their 2-0 win over Wales. Giroud will be absent from the game due to injury. “They have some people out but they will be more dangerous than England were last Friday. We have to be prepared for that. We also need to improve our own finishing.” Loew said he would start with PSG keeper Kevin Trapp instead of Marc-Andre ter Stegen. First choice keeper Manuel Neuer is missing through injury. Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira will resume their World Cup-winning midfield partnership, Loew said. “I want to try things out against France. This is the reason we have these international friendlies,” said the coach, who led Germany to the 2014 World Cup win. “The result is not the most important thing. I can give some players a chance and rest some others.” The Germans have played a flawless World Cup qualification, winning all 10 matches, and have yet to lose this year after also clinching the Confederations Cup in July. They will play Spain and Brazil in friendlies in March next year. *Reuters

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Man City beats Arsenal 3-1, still undefeated in EPL

[11/5/2017 2:01:01 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Premier League leader Manchester City kept up its prolific and undefeated start to the season by beating Arsenal 3-1 on Sunday for a club record-extending 15th straight win in all competitions. Kevin De Bruyne lashed in a 19th-minute opener for City, before second-half goals by Sergio Aguero - from the penalty spot - and substitute Gabriel Jesus took the team’s tally to 38 in 11 league games. Arsenal recovered for 2-1 thanks to substitute Alexandre Lacazette's strike through goalkeeper Ederson Moraes' legs, and protested against City's second and third goals. Nacho Monreal only slightly nudged Raheem Sterling for the penalty, while David Silva appeared offside before squaring for Jesus to finish in the 74th. Win over Napoli This game came four days after City's 4-2 win over Napoli in the Champions League and it might have taken its toll on Pep Guardiola’s players, who weren't as fluent as usual even though they created plenty of chances. Arsenal changed its entire team from its midweek Europa League game and stretched City's defense at times, especially after Lacazette came on in the 56th. Still, City reached the latest international break with its unbeaten start intact - and another major rival defeated. Aguero received a blue boot trophy in an on-pitch presentation before the game after breaking the club’s scoring record in midweek. By slotting home his penalty off the post, he moved onto 179 goals for the club since joining in 2011. *AP

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