Ammon News, Sports

Reported Ronaldo link with Bayern is hoax of the day: Club

[6/19/2017 7:43:21 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Reports linking Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo with a possible move to Bayern Munich if the Portuguese decided to leave Real Madrid were a hoax, the German champions said on Monday. Bayern President Uli Hoeness has pledged a big-name signing in the close season and Italian media had reported in recent days the German champions were interested in Ronaldo. “We are used to a lot of speculation about possible comings and goings during the transfer period,” said Rummenigge in a club statement with the headline “Hoax of the Day for the Ronaldo rumors.” “As a rule we do not comment on these rumors but now in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo we want to make it clear once and for all that this rumor lacks any foundation and must be confined to the real of fables.” Ronaldo is seen as likely to leave Spain despite winning the Champions League for a second season in a row with Real following accusations of tax fraud in the country. According to reports in Portuguese media, the 32-year-old four-times world player of the year had already made up his mind to ask the club for a transfer, saying he was “deeply disenchanted” with the allegations against him. Spanish prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against the player accusing him of defrauding tax authorities of 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million) by hiding his image rights income between 2011 and 2014. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing. *Reuters

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Boxing: Mayweather says accepted McGregor fight as fans wanted it

[6/18/2017 8:08:36 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Boxer Floyd Mayweather agreed to a crossover fight with mixed martial arts champions Conor McGregor because his fans wanted it, the 40-year-old has said. Mayweather, who retired in 2015 with an unbeaten record of 49-0, and UFC lightweight champion McGregor will clash in a 12-round fight in Las Vegas on August 26 after teasing the event for nearly a year. “McGregor is a tough competitor. People all around the world demanded this fight so I had to give them what they wanted to see,” Mayweather is quoted as saying by sports website “They asked for this fight. I was in retirement, but they wanted me back and I’m back.” The multi-division boxing world champion is favorite to beat McGregor, who never boxed professionally, in Las Vegas. *Reuters

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France forward Griezmann extends Atletico deal by a year

[6/13/2017 6:38:26 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Atletico Madrid’s France forward Antoine Griezmann has signed a year’s contract extension through to 2022, seemingly ending what was shaping up to be one of the sagas of the transfer window. Griezmann, third in the 2016 Ballon d’Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, had been heavily linked to Europa League winners Manchester United in recent weeks. The 26-year-old last month told French television program Quotidien that a move to United was “possible”, before stating there was a “six out of 10 chance” it would happen. However, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said on Spanish radio on Tuesday that Griezmann had agreed an extended deal with a pay rise but the same 100 million euros ($112.12 million) release clause. The club later confirmed the news. “I want to apologize if anyone misunderstood my words,” Griezmann said on the club website ( “I may have expressed myself poorly or people have got headlines where there were none but since I’ve been here I’ve given everything for my club, my team mates and this coaching staff and I’m really happy to be here for another season with everyone.” Local media reported that Griezmann’s new contract makes him the highest-paid player in the club’s history, with an annual salary of about 14 million euros. The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to uphold a transfer ban on Atletico for signing minors has prevented them registering new players until January 2018. That appears to have played a big part in Griezmann’s decision to remain with the club he joined for 30 million euros from Real Sociedad in 2014. “It’s a tough time for the club and it would be a dirty move to leave now,” Griezmann had said when the ban was upheld this month. He also tweeted, “Now more than ever #Atleti”, in a pledge of loyalty before putting pen to paper on his new deal. *Reuters

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Real triumph again as Ronaldo double sinks Juventus

[6/3/2017 6:06:17 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as Real Madrid became the first team to successfully defend their European title in the Champions League era with a 4-1 win over Juventus in Saturday's final for their third triumph in four years. Real, who now have a record 12 European Cup wins, grabbed the lead in the 20th minute through Ronaldo, who slotted the ball low into the corner after a clever cut-back from Dani Carvajal following a classic counter attack. But determined Italian champions Juve drew level seven minutes later, with one of the finest goals seen in a Champions League final, as Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic beat Real keeper Keylor Navas with a perfectly executed overhead kick. The Spanish champions took charge after the break, however, restoring their lead through a deflected long-range shot from Brazilian Casemiro in the 61st minute before Portugal forward Ronaldo struck again, from close-range, after fine work by Luka Modric, to score his 600th goal for club and country. Juve finished with 10 men after Juan Cuadrado was sent off in the 84th for a second yellow card after pushing Sergio Ramos and in the final minute of normal time substitute Marco Asensio added a fourth after some poor defending from the Italians. *Reuters

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Jordan’s women climbers taking steps to conquer Mount Everest

[6/1/2017 7:25:22 PM]

AMMONNEWS - With Mount Everest in their sights, Jordan Women’s Everest Expedition 2018 have returned to the Kingdom after training in Nepal for their planned summit of the world’s highest mountain. The Nepalese trip, to take part in an introduction to high altitude mountaineering training course, was the first of four expeditions planned to prepare the team for their ultimate goal in April 2018 — to become the “first all-female team” from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to summit Mount Everest, a statement from RISE — Jordan Women’s Everest Expedition 2018, said on Thursday. The idea for the expedition was born two years ago, explained team leader Mostafa Salameh, who was the first Jordanian to climb the seven highest peaks in the world and conquer the North and South poles and cross Greenland, the statement added. Salameh explained that “he had a dream about Iman Al Majali, one of the RISE team members, dressed in white and standing at the summit of Everest which led to the current project. “It was a vivid dream of myself reciting the call to prayer from the world’s highest peak that led me to summit Everest the first time. So, when I had a dream of Iman on the Everest summit, I knew it was a sign,” the statement quoted Salameh as saying. “Yet, the idea had been on my mind long before that; the dream was just a trigger,” he added. “Ever since I summited Everest in 2008, I’ve been asked by many whether I intend to do it again, to which I have always replied: “the next time I attempt to summit Mount Everest, it’ll be to take the first Jordanian woman with me to the top”. ‘‘Today, I’m honoured to announce that I’ll be leading not one, but five Jordanian women to the summit.” Realising that only two Arab women, out of more than 4,000 successful climbers, had ever conquered Everest, none of whom were Jordanian, and never together in a group, Salameh reached out to the five women to ask if they would like to form a team to conquer the world’s highest summit and make history together, the statement said. The climbers will be Abeer Seikaly, Farah Abu Baker, Iman Al Majali, Israa Abu Soufeh and Maria Halaseh. Together, the team hopes to inspire people in the MENA region, particularly women, to defy stereotypes and rise with their communities in pursuit of their dreams, irrespective of their age, background or faith, the statement said, adding that the team also aims to engage men as advocates for women going after their dreams and to change the “oppressed and inferior” image of Arab women in the global media. *JT

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Arsenal deny Chelsea double as Ramsey seals FA Cup

[5/27/2017 6:01:52 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Arsenal salvaged some silverware from a traumatic season as they beat Premier League champion Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s late winner. Chelsea had been hot favorites to complete a remarkable debut season for manager Antonio Conte but were not at their clinical best as Arsenal, who finished fifth in the league, lifted the Cup for the third time in four seasons. They have now won it a record 13 times while manager Arsene Wenger, who is yet to say whether he will be extending his 21-year reign, is now the most successful manager in the history of the competition with seven wins. Chelsea made a woeful start and were behind after four minutes thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s controversial opener but when Diego Costa levelled in the 76th minute, it seemed they would complete a memorable season. Conte’s side had to play the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Victor Moses was dismissed following a second yellow card for diving. Ramsey’s header in the 79th minute knocked the stuffing out of Conte’s side and Arsenal could even have extended their lead in the closing stages as Chelsea finally buckled. Wenger, who failed to finish in the top four for the first time since taking charge in 1996, celebrated with his players in front of the massed red ranks of Arsenal fans at the end. “We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards,” the 67-year-old Wenger said. “This team has suffered. They’ve united and responded. I said last week this team will be in the championship with one or two good buys. They showed strength and unity and played spectacular football today.” Underdogs Arsenal enjoyed a dream start although there was huge debate about whether Sanchez’s effort should have stood. When his initial attempt to chip the ball into Chelsea’s area was blocked, he appeared to knock the rebound forward with his arms before running through and shooting past Thibaut Courtois despite Ramsey standing in an offside position. Confusion reigned as the goal was initially disallowed but after consulting with his assistant Gary Bewsick who had raised his flag, referee Anthony Taylor awarded the goal. Chelsea never properly recovered from that body blow and Arsenal could have been out of sight before halftime. Mesut Ozil had a shot back-heeled off the line by Gary Cahill while Chelsea had an amazing escape when Danny Welbeck’s header thumped against the post and Ramsey bundled the ball back against the same upright. Despite being all at sea, Chelsea did threaten with Costa denied by a perfectly-timed tackle by Per Mertesacker who was making his first start for Arsenal for 13 months. Arsenal keeper David Ospina also bravely denied Costa, receiving a blow to the head for his troubles. Chelsea started the second half with more tempo and Footballer of the Year N’Golo Kante warmed Ospina’s fingers with a deflected drive from distance before Moses brought a fine save from Ospina after Costa played him in. Chelsea were required to play the last 20 minutes a man down after referee Taylor’s second big call of the day, deciding that Moses had thrown himself to the floor under no obvious contact from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Just when it seemed their double hopes were slipping away, Costa equalized when his weakly-hit shot brushed off the excellent Mertesacker and past the diving Ospina. But Arsenal had the last laugh when Chelsea’s defense went AWOL again, allowing Ramsey the freedom of the box to head substitute Olivier Giroud’s astute cut-back past Courtois. *Reuters

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UAE football in major shakeup following club mergers in Dubai, Sharjah

[5/18/2017 4:49:39 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A major shake-up involving two mergers in UAE football on Tuesday took players, administrators and fans by surprise. In Dubai, Al Shabab Al Arabi Club, Dubai Sports and Cultural Club, and Al Ahli Sporting Club are being merged into a single entity called Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club. The order was passed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has been named Chairman of the new club, which will be headquartered at the Dubai Cultural Sports Club, just off Al Awir Road. Sharjah merger A similar order was passed on Tuesday night by Sharjah Ruler, Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, to create the Sharjah Cultural Club, merging Sharjah and second division Al Shaab clubs. These developments will certainly spell changes to the UAE’s tournament fixtures. The UAE Football Association and Arab Gulf League have to sort out the line-up for the 2017/2018 season now from the 14 teams to the present 12. Soccer pundits are quick to point out that the shake-up in the UAE follows a similar move in Qatar last month. It is also a fallout of the financial troubles and organizational weaknesses among some of the clubs and intended to strengthen the game at the national level. According to a tweet from the Dubai Media Office, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Our objective is to build a club that can compete regionally and globally.” UAE Football Association (UAE FA) president Marwan bin Ghalita has welcomed the order, saying the decision was in the best interests of the UAE football. *Al Arabiya

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