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Football Legend, Messi Banned For Three Months, Fined $50,000

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Football Idol, Lionel Messi was banned from playing for his national team for three months and fined $50,000 on Friday by CONMEBOL after he heavily criticised the South American football governing body during the Copa America.

The Argentina star  had accused CONMEBOL of “corruption” after he was sent off against Chile during the third-place play-off during the tournament in Brazil, which ended last month.

Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Barcelona forward, Messi was angered by two incidents during the June-July Copa hosted by bitter rivals Brazil.

Argentina were denied two penalty claims in their 2-0 semi-final defeat to the hosts, after which Messi claimed Brazil were “managing a lot in CONMEBOL these days.”

And when he was harshly dismissed in the next game, which Argentina went on to win 2-1, he couldn’t contain his anger.

“Corruption and the referees are preventing people from enjoying the football and they’re ruining it a bit,” Messi said.

He was given his marching orders after a first-half scuffle with Chile captain Gary Medel in which television pictures suggested he’d done little wrong.

Though, the CONMEBOL statement on its website didn’t specify why Messi was being punished but said it was related to articles 7.1 and 7.2 of its disciplinary regulations.

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One such clause refers to “offensive, insulting behavior or making defamatory protests of any kind.”

Another clause mentions “breaching the decisions, directives or orders of the judicial bodies.”

The ban means only that Messi will miss a handful of friendly matches as Argentina’s next competitive fixture is not until the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar begin in March.

However, he has already received a one-game ban from CONMEBOL for his red card against Chile meaning he’ll miss the first of those.

Argentina have two friendlies lined up in the United States in September against Chile and Mexico and another in October away to Germany.

Messi would miss all three of those but be free to play for his country again in November.

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3SC, Crown FC are coming back stronger – Oyo sports commissioner assures

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Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Seun Fakorede on Tuesday reassured football fans in the  state that the Shooting Stars Sporting Club popularly known as 3SC, and Crown FC of Ogbomoso are coming back stronger.

The Commissioner also added that he was sure that the clubs will perform excellently well and secure promotion back to the elite stage in the Nigerian football league.

Fakorede who gave the assurance in Ibadan, the state capital while featuring on Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio also  informed that Governor Seyi Makinde   has allocated a total sum of about five and a half billion naira which he regarded as a modest cost for the remodeling of the popular Lekan Salami Stadium Adamasingba, Ibadan, to meet international standards while promising to give facelifts to all other sections in the stadium.

He maintained that the present administration is committed to improving the economic infrastructure of the state and eradicate unemployment among youths in the State.

According to him, the governor  is working tirelessly to revamp all the sectors of the state as he  has given the approval of 500 million naira as a starter fund for youths’ empowerment in the state while engaging about 5000 youths to be employed by the state’s teaching service commission.

He also appealed for patience from Oyo youths on the issue of the dilapidated structures at the Ososami youth center.

“We are actually rehabilitating; we can’t possibly do everything at once. We have decided to put them in phases and fortunately, Ososami youth center is part of the project to enjoy the first phase of renovation”, he said.

Fakorede further assured that concerted efforts are being put in place by the various concerned ministries to see that youths and children roaming the street are catered for, while emphasizing that a lot of work still should be done to arrest the ugly situation of children roaming the streets.

The Commissioner, however charged Oyo youths not to be intimidated by any obstacle that might confront them as it is a “stepping stone to greatness”.

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Maradona to remain in hospital for treatment after surgery, says Doctor

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Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona is to remain in hospital for several more days to undergo treatment following surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain, his doctor said Thursday.

“We saw that in the postoperative phase Diego had episodes of confusion,” Leopoldo Luque told reporters.

Therapists treating Maradona had linked the behaviour to withdrawal symptoms and the necessary treatment would last “a few days,” he said.

Luque did not provide details, but Maradona has a long history of drug and alcohol addiction.

Although he has publicly said he no longer uses cocaine, friends and media reports have suggested he remains addicted to alcohol.

At a press conference outside the private clinic in Buenos Aires where surgeons spent 80 minutes removing the clot on Tuesday night, Luque took pains to present an upbeat assessment of the 60-year-old’s overall condition.

“Diego is doing well. The CT scan came out well. We were even dancing. Yes, we danced!” the doctor said.

The doctor said Maradona “agrees” with the diagnosis and would remain in the clinic.

Earlier Thursday, he said doctors were happy with the former player’s condition: “He can walk, talk to me….It’s very early this, but the recovery is excellent.”

World Cup winner Maradona had been taken to hospital in La Plata — where he is the coach of top-flight side Gimnasia y Esgrima — on Monday for a series of tests after feeling unwell.

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A scan revealed the blood clot, and on Tuesday he was transferred to the clinic in a northern neighborhood of the capital.

Fans have flocked to the clinic to leave banners showing the star in his prime and messages of support for the ailing icon.

Alongside Brazil’s Pele, who turned 80 last month, Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

– ‘Depressed’ –
Maradona, who turned 60 on Friday, has suffered ill health before. He has survived two heart attacks, and also contracted hepatitis and underwent gastric bypass surgery.

Prior to falling ill, Maradona had been depressed, his lawyer Matias Morla said on Wednesday.

The famously fast-living icon had only been able to spend half an hour at his own birthday celebration at his team’s training ground on Friday, when he had difficulty walking.

“He was behaving strangely. He was very depressed and spoke about dead relatives that he missed,” said Morla.

He said Maradona was “very worried” about the surgery and praised Luque, adding that “if he hadn’t detected the clot, Maradona’s fate would have been different.”

Luque insisted on Tuesday that the procedure was “a routine operation.”

 

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Argentine football idol, Maradona to undergo brain surgery

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Argentine football great Diego Maradona will undergo brain surgery for a blood clot in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, his personal doctor said.

“I will operate on him. It’s a routine operation, he’s lucid,” said Leopoldo Luque.

World Cup winner Maradona, 60, was taken to hospital on Monday for a series of tests after feeling unwell.

A scan revealed the blood clot, which Argentine media are speculating was the result of a blow to the head.

Earlier in the day, Luque claimed Maradona was feeling “much better and eager to leave” hospital but insisted that the Gimnasia Y Esgrima coach was suffering from anemia — a lack of iron in his system — and dehydration.

Luque said it has left him feeling “very weak, very tired.” After further tests, he was diagnosed with a blood clot.

He is due to be transferred from a hospital in La Plata, 60 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, to a specialist clinic in the capital.

Luque had earlier suggested Maradona’s lifestyle had contributed to his condition.

“He’s an elderly patient with many pressures in his life. It’s a time when we must help him. It’s very difficult to be Maradona,” Luque said of the star, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday.

The doctor ruled out any link to the coronavirus pandemic, which is ravaging the South American country, much of it still under confinement.

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Maradona, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse and poor health, is considered at high risk of coronavirus complications should he be infected.

Last week he began self-isolation for the second time after a bodyguard displayed coronavirus symptoms, though he later tested negative.

He joined his players briefly at the club’s training ground on his birthday but had obvious difficulty walking and had to be helped away by his assistants after staying only 30 minutes.

“It breaks my heart to see him like this,” one of his daughters, Giannina, tweeted the next day.

He has suffered two heart attacks in the past and contracted hepatitis.

He has difficulty retaining iron due to a gastric bypass surgery he underwent in 2005 to lose 50 kilograms, leaving him prone to anemia, Luque said.

Though he has recovered from a well-documented addiction to hard drugs, Maradona takes medication in the form of tranquilizers and anxiolytics.

“With a patient on medication, there are times when hospitalization serves to adjust that medication. That’s good,” said Luque.

Gimnasia fans flocked to the La Plata clinic to leave messages of support for the ailing icon.

“What he needs most is the support of the people,” Luque said.

Alongside Brazil’s Pele, who turned 80 last month, Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

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AFP

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