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Page 55 stories La Liga president admits to being Real Madrid fan La Liga president Javier Tebas has risked causing consternation in Clasico week by…

Page 55 stories

La Liga president admits to being Real Madrid fan

La Liga president Javier Tebas has risked causing consternation in Clasico week by admitting he is a Real Madrid supporter.

The 53-year-old, who has led the LFP since April 2013, confessed he has followed the club since childhood.

Tebas was born in Costa Rica but revealed his support for the club in order to avoid being called a hypocrite if the fact came out from elsewhere.

“If I say I don’t support [Madrid], then that would be hypocritical and I would be painted as a liar,” he said in an interview with AS.

“And I certainly don’t like to be called a liar. Imagine if I said that I loved all teams, and then it came out that I supported Madrid since I was a boy, went to 27 Clasicos in the past, that I celebrated Madrid wins with friends in a bar. I prefer to call it as it is.”

Tebas has previously voiced his desire for domestic fixtures to be played abroad and while he reaffirmed that desire he insisted the Clasico will never take place on foreign shores.

“The Clasico will never be played outside of Spain. It’s a key game in our league competition and has huge international prestige.

“We’ll study the possibility of playing certain games outside of Spain but at present this initiative doesn’t form part of our international expansion plans.”

Goalkeeper makes first league start after 13 years as sub

A professional goalkeeper has finally made his full league debut after 13 years on the bench.

Perennial reserve James Bittner was first named as a substitute nearly 5,000 days ago when he joined Bournemouth as a fresh-faced 21-year-old in 2002.

He has remained on the bench ever since and only made it onto the pitch ONCE – for the second half only – despite representing clubs in all four professional leagues.

But he got his big chance with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday when an injury to first choice stopper Luke McCormick handed him a place in the opening line-up.

Delighted James, now 33, played a starring role as Argyle secured a 2-1 away victory at York City.

He said: “I’ve started with three points and hopefully I can carry on.

“It’s hard for goalkeepers unless you get a break when you’re young.

“But if you don’t get that break early on as a goalkeeper it’s hard, you’re almost always seen as a second or a third choice.”

James was a youth team player at Swindon Town before being offered a chance to play in the Premier League with Fulham in 2000.

But he didn’t make any appearances for the Cottagers during a a two-year spell and went on to join Bournemouth in 2002 on non-contract terms as injury cover.

He made the first of many appearances on the bench on 16 March that year as his new team drew 0-0 at Tranmere Rovers in League Two.

James then joined Queens Park Rangers for a season without making an appearance before stepping down to non-league football in 2003.

Howe impressed by ‘positive and sharp’ Rantie

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was impressed with the way Tokelo Rantie performed in South Africa’s 3-1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Angola in Benguela on Friday.

The pacey striker has struggled for game time in England this season, finally making his English Premier League debut earlier this month having failed to make it onto the park in the Cherries’ opening 11 top flight fixtures.

Rantie, 25, has experienced the wrath of the passionate Bafana Bafana fans this year, with his penalty miss against Algeria in the 2015 African Cup of Nations still fresh in the memory.

The striker, though, went some why in proving his critics wrong with another outstanding performance for South Africa in a qualifier, scoring a superb equaliser before winning the penalty that led to the third goal.

“TK’s goal and all-round display for South Africa capped a memorable few days for him. He was a constant threat to the Angolan defenders and they found his pace difficult to deal with. He took his goal superbly and had a big hand in the third when he was fouled for the penalty,” Howe told the Bournemouth Echo.

“TK looked sharp when he came off the bench against Newcastle in our last game and I know how much it meant to him to play in the Premier League. Players always need to be ready when they are given an opportunity. He is a very positive character and will have taken great confidence from his recent displays.

“Hopefully, he can help South Africa put on another good show in the second leg of their qualifier and they can progress to the next stage.”

FOOTBALL

GLO PREMIER LEAGUE

Warri 5 – 1 FC Taraba

3SC 2 – 2 Dolphins

Abia 1 – 0 Sharks

Akwa Utd 1 – 0 Lobi

Heartland 2 – 1 El-Kanemi

Kwara Utd 2 – 0 IfeanyiUbah

Nasarawa 2 – 0 Giwa FC

Rangers 3 – 1 Bayelsa United

Sunshine 0 – 0 Enyimba

Wikki 2 – 0 Pillars

AFRICA WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

Guinea 2 – 0 Namibia

E/Guinea 1 – 0 Morocco

Congo DR 2 – 2 Burundi

Uganda 3 – 0 Togo

Zambia 2 – 0 Sudan

Gabon (4) 1 – 1 (3) Mozambique

Chad 1 – 0 Egypt

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Tanzania 2 – 2 Algeria

Ethiopia 3 – 4 Congo

Mauritania 1 – 2 Tunisia

Swaziland 0 – 0 Nigeria

Liberia 0 – 1 Côte d’Ivoire

Niger 0 – 3 Cameroon

Angola 1 – 3 South Africa

Libya 1 – 0 Rwanda

Kenya 1 – 0 Cape Verde

Comoros 0 – 0 Ghana

Madagascar 2 – 2 Senegal

SOUTH AMERICA WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

Peru 1 – 0 Paraguay

Argentina 1 – 1 Brazil

Chile 1 – 1 Colombia

Ecuador 2 – 1 Uruguay

Bolivia 4 – 2 Venezuela

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

Hungary 2 – 1 Norway

T Priskin (14)

O Nyland (og 83) M Henriksen (87)

Sweden 2 – 1 Denmark

E Forsberg (45)

Ibrahimovic (pen 50) N Jorgensen (80)

Ukraine 2 – 0 Slovenia

A Yarmolenko (22)

E Seleznyov (54)

Bosnia 1 – 1 Ireland

E Dzeko (85) R Brady (82)

Norway 0 – 1 Hungary

L Kleinheisler (26)

UEFA U-21 QUALIFIER

Montenegro 3-3 Latvia

Lithuania 3-1 Ireland

Serbia 1-1 Italy

Scotland 2-2 Ukraine

Wales 2-1 Armenia

Romania 0-3 Denmark

Austria 2-0 Finland

Germany 3-1 Azerbaijan

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES

France 2-0 Germany

Russia 1-0 Portugal

BASKETBALL (NBA)

Memphis 114-106 Timberwolves

Knicks 95-87 Pelicans

Grizzlies 114-106 Timberwolves

Celtics 100-85 Thunder

Hornets 106-94 Blazers

GOLF

WORLD CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP

Danthai Boonma (THA) 72-69-72-69

Nicholas Fung (MAS) 74-67-70-72

Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 69-75-71-69

Sam Brazel (AUS) 69-74-72-70

Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 71-71-77-67

Prom Meesawat (THA) 73-73-70-70

Chapchai Nirat (THA) 76-69-69-72

Scott Barr (AUS) 69-71-76-71

Danny Chia (MAS) 73-72-70-72

Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 79-68-68-73

LORENA OCHOA INVITATIONAL

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Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 72-69-69-63

Kim Sei-Young (KOR) 73-66-70-66

Ryu So-Yeon (KOR) 71-70-69-67

Sakura Yokomine (JPN) 72-70-69-68

Mariajo Uribe (COL) 71-73-71-65

Caroline Masson (GER) 73-71-70-66

Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 69-71-73-69

Cristie Kerr 74-69-69-70

Christina Kim 73-66-73-70

Jaye Marie Green 71-70-72-69

Min-Jee Lee (AUS) 69-69-75-70

Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) 71-70-71-71

Jennifer Song 72-73-69-69

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