2015: A year of sports scandals with a silver lining

first_imgPARIS (AP):For the past 12 months, scandals off the field of play eclipsed exploits on it. Beyond the usual cases of doping and cheating that are sadly common in modern sports, shocking corruption in football and athletics begged the question of whether the vast riches and accompanying greed generated by professional sports are rotting the entire multibillion-dollar industry to its core.On the upside, the stink got so bad that 2015 also saw the forces of law and order sit up and take action, opening criminal investigations, making high-profile arrests and recovering tens of millions of ill-gotten dollars. That legal pressure sped change, notably at football’s governing body FIFA, forcing administrators to abandon some of their old-school, shoddy, back room and amateur management practices, and enact reforms that should make them behave more professionally.”What we’re going through now, it’s like a tectonic shift,” says International Olympic Committee veteran Dick Pound. “Sports organisations are coming to realise – voluntarily or involuntarily – that they can no longer operate outside of the larger social and legal orders.””In the old days, sport was well outside of anything that governments had focused on,” Pound said in an Associated Press (AP) interview. “They were all private organisations and they were kind of run informally like clubs and so on, and have tried to pretend that they can do that even in 2015 – and they can’t.”Hope for brighter futureIn short, this was a year that left a sour taste for sports fans, but also offered some hope of a brighter future. It was bookended by “Deflategate,” which saw star NFL quarterback Tom Brady accused of throwing deliberately underinflated (and theoretically easier to grip) footballs in January’s AFC title game on his way to winning the Super Bowl, and by the disgrace of Sepp Blatter, kicked out of football in December forunethical conduct, ending his17 scandal-scarred years aspresident of FIFA.His heir-in-waiting, France’s former midfield star Michel Platini, also was banned for a dubious $2 million payment that Blatter approved for the FIFA vice-president in 2011. Their appeals of the eight-year bans that decapitated the leadership of the world’s most popular sport, as well as ongoing criminal probes in Switzerland and the United States of football bribery and corruption, promise to cloud FIFA’s ambitions for a fresh start with the election of a new president in February.In track and field, a cornerstone of the Olympic Games, a World Anti-Doping Agency-ordered investigation that Pound led concluded explosively in November that doping in Russia was not only widespread and deep-rooted, but also likely tacitly sanctioned by President Vladimir Putin’s government.A resulting blanket-ban from competition could see Russian track and field athletes miss the Rio de Janeiro Olympics unless the sporting powerhouse can convince the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that it has made real changes. In March, the IAAF’s ethics commission also started investigating alleged doping cover-ups in distance-running power Kenya, which topped the world championships medal table in August.Those probes were just the beginning of a scandal that threatened to sink the IAAF in 2015, gravely undermining not only the federation, but trust in the entire sport it oversees. In November, three months after stepping down as IAAF chief, Lamine Diack was taken into police custody in France, suspected of pocketing more than US$1.1 million in an alleged scheme to blackmail athletes and hush up their doping cases.Diack, who presided at the IAAF for nearly 16 years, is under formal investigation for corruption and money laundering. If proven by France’s investigating magistrates, the allegations could be even graver than football’s massive scandal. The US Department of Justice’s sprawling football case alleges more than $200 million in bribes and kickbacks in the selling of media and marketing rights. Although grievous, the schemes seemingly didn’t affect the outcome of matches. The alleged wrongdoing at the IAAF, however, raised the possibility that on-track results were corrupted by off-track criminality, and that dopers may have robbed competitors of medals by paying the sport’s guardians to look the other way. Contacted repeatedly by the AP, Diack’s lawyer has refused to comment.Nike scandalTasked with cleaning up the mess is British former middle-distance running great Sebastian Coe, elected in August as Diack’s successor. But just months into his new job, the credibility of the chief organiser of the 2012 London Olympics suffered a blow when the BBC uncovered in November that Coe had spoken privately to an executive at Nike, his long-time personal sponsor, about hosting the 2021 world championships in Eugene. The Oregon city about 100 miles south of the sportswear giant’s headquarters outside Portland was subsequently and controversially awarded the competition without an open bidding process.Coe denied that working for both the IAAF and Nike represented a conflict of interest and severed his ambassadorial role with the company. But the affair left doubts about Coe’s judgement and, more broadly, fed into a dominant theme of 2015, which was that sports administrators often appeared chronically out of touch with a shift in the public mood against their clubby ways, and in worst cases, their criminal habits.”It simply won’t work in this day and age,” Pound said. “You have to be more transparent, which doesn’t mean that you run around buck naked, but people have got to understand how a decision was reached, and by whom, and for what reasons, and that sort of thing that never used to happen. There was a code of silence.””Sport has got to change …,” he added, “or it’s going to be changed.”last_img read more

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Orquina shakes off flu, sizzles en route to Three-Point crown

first_imgAlso joining in the contest were San Sebastian’s RK Ilagan, EAC’s Sidney Onwubere, Letran’s Jerrick Balanza, Lyceum’s Spencer Pretta, JRU’s Karl Bordon, Arellano’s Brylle Meca, and St. Benilde’s Matt Johnson. Federer edges Youzhny in 5 sets at US Open; Nadal needs 4 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees MOST READ Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datucenter_img Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlmel Orquina shrugged off flu and came out of nowhere to win the Three-Point Shootout Friday in the 2017 NCAA All-Star at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Mapua sophomore shot 15 points in the final round, with the title-clinching basket coming from the moneyball of the fourth rack to fend off Perpetual’s Jack Hao, who had 10 points, in the championship round.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games 2019: PH’s Josie Gabuco boxing light flyweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 02:51SEA Games 2019: PH’s Josie Gabuco boxing light flyweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS)07:01In front of hometown crowd, Carlos Yulo captures SEA Games gold00:50Trending Articles01:40Filipinos 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 LATEST STORIES “I didn’t really expect this. I still feel weak, but I was able to recover,” shared Orquina. “In my mind, I just wanted to enjoy this because this is my first time.”The sniper said that wins like these are big for the cellar-dweling Cardinals as they look for a silverlining in preparation for the second round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“For me, this is really important. We’re already playing bad, so at least, awards like these allows us to redeem ourselves a bit,” he said.Orquina dethroned defending champion AC Soberano of San Beda, who only had 14 in the first round. Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal View commentslast_img read more

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Ugandan Female Drug Convict, 24, ‘Dying in Prison’

first_imgCredible reports gathered by the Daily Observer say a Ugandan woman, Shirat Nalwadda, who was sentenced to 4 years in jail to be served in her homeland, is “slowly dying,” after she was transferred  from the Monrovia Central Prison to a cell in Bomi County.It is not clear what is causing her ill-heath, but the source said her health had deteriorated to the extent that she does not eat anymore.She was found guilty in early 2014 and sentenced to jail in her homeland, Uganda, by then Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge Blamo Dixon on the commission of the crimes of unlawful possession, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs in Liberia.In that ruling, Judge Dixon declared that “The defendant is hereby adjudged guilty of the said crime, and she is hereby further sentenced to imprisonment for the period of four consecutive years with immediate effect. The defendant is also hereby ordered to be deported from Liberia through diplomatic channels to serve her sentence in the Republic of Uganda.”That order was intended for the Liberian government to immediately deport her to serve her prison term in her country.  But a source told the Daily Observer, “Unfortunately the Liberian government has failed to honor the decision of its own court, something which many consider as a “bad precedent,” between two separate and equal branches of government.”When her defense attorney was contacted yesterday, he could neither confirm nor deny the report but instead admitted that since she was transferred from Monrovia to the Bomi cell, the outbreak of the Ebola virus caused the Liberian government to send all female prisoners to Bomi, while male inmates remained in Monrovia.  He had never visited her since then, he admitted.“If her condition is deteriorating I believe it, because I was the only one who used to visit her at Monrovia Central Prison and also take food to her there,” Atty. Elisha T. Forekeyoh stated.“She does not eat rice as we do in Liberia.  The only foods that she eats are spaghetti, plantain, banana, tomato and fruits and whenever she needed food she would usually call me.”Shirat Nalwadda, 24, a native of Uganda, was arrested at the Roberts International Airport on November 30, 2013 with 1.2 kilograms of heroin found in her luggage which the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) put at a street value of US $30,000, an equivalent of LD2,400,000.She was charged with unlawful possession, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and subsequently indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on December 11, 2013. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Linden man jailed for narco-trafficking

first_imgA 32-year-old Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) man will be spending the next two years in prison after he admitted to a trafficking in narcotics charge.Orlando Montooth, of Victory Valley, Wismar, Linden, admitted to the charge which stated that on January 5, 2019, he had several ziplock plastic bags containing 138 grams of cannabis sativa.Magistrate Wanda Fortune also fined Montooth $35,000 for the offence when he appeared at the Linden Magistrate’s Court.According to the prosecution’s case, Police swooped down on Montooth’s home and unearthed the illegal substance. The prosecution’s stated that following the discovery, the man admitted to Police that he sold the prohibited substance to take care of his family.On Monday, in a plea of mitigation, Montooth begged Magistrate Fortune for leniency, noting that he was a “family man” who farms vegetables to support his children. He said he decided to sell the cannabis to supplement his income and expressed remorse at his decision.He further told the Magistrate that he was hoping to receive money from the sales to send his children back to school on Monday, but this had been unsuccessful since he was arrested. Asked by the presiding Magistrate what his idea of leniency was, Montooth said he is willing to pay a fine but was informed by the Magistrate that the offence carries up to five years in prison. As such, the two-year sentence was handed down.last_img read more

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Flyers blow third period lead, fall to Pirates in OT in Game 3

first_img“We weren’t ready to play tonight,” said head coach Andrew Leriger. “I could tell from the warm-ups that the team’s mood wasn’t right and we might be in for a long night. When we were up by three goals in the third period, guys were more focused on the sweep, then actually closing out the game. We need to come to play in Game 4 if we want to regain our two-game lead in the series.”The Flyers lead the series 2-1.Game 4 is set for Saturday night in Falher. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers blew a three-goal third-period lead and fell in overtime in Game 3, to the visiting Falher Pirates on Thursday night.In a fairly even first period, it was the visitors who opened the scoring on the power play at 8:30. That lead was short-lived as Reid Campbell fired home a shot from the point through a screened Pirates netminder Talon Walton to tie the score less than two minutes later, assisted by Justin Fillion and Rick Cleaver. Then with 2:23 to play in the period Adam Horst buried a rebound from in tight off a shot from Rylan Sideroff. The home side skated into the first intermission with a 2-1 advantage.The middle stanza saw each team trade plenty of chances as a total of 26 shots were fired on the goaltenders, but it was the Pirates who scored the equalizer with less than three minutes remaining in the period. The score after forty-minutes of action had the teams deadlocked at twos.- Advertisement -The third stanza was a roller coaster ride for both teams in terms of goals scored. The Flyers grabbed the lead not even a minute into the period as Brady Busche beat a screened Walton from the point with a high slap shot off a feed from Joey Massingham and Jake Ebner. Then at 5:21, Rick Cleaver took a Jeff Shipton pass in the neutral zone, skated down the left wing and ripped a shot under Walton’s blocker. That was followed by Jake Ebner finishing off a pretty passing sequence between Austin Braid, Brandon Millin and himself to put the Flyers up 5-2 with 13:26 left to play, as the home side had complete control of the game. However, the veteran Pirates slowly chipped away as they scored two goals within a two-minute span in the final ten minutes of play to cut the lead to 5-4. Then with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker they tied the game after a mad scramble in front of Travis McLean. Sixty minutes of play wasn’t enough to decide a winner in this crazy hockey game as overtime was required.The visitors carried the momentum from the final ten minutes of the third period and scored the game-winner at 2:14 as McLean couldn’t find the loose puck in the crease and the Pirates forward tapped it into the empty cage for the 6-5 goal.Cleaver and Ebner led the charge with two points each, while 11 players chipped in with at least a point.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Twitter banks on sport fans’ passion

first_imgLast year, when British voters chose to leave the European Union and Donald Trump swept to the US presidency, “in the United Kingdom sport was the biggest topic of conversation,” Luke said on Monday.“Indeed, twice as many used Twitter for that than either Brexit and Donald Trump being elected (for example the night Leicester City won the Premier League title saw 360,000 tweets and England being knocked out of Euro 2016 generated 331,000).”Luke said Twitter has around 15 million users in Britain and one in two of those who say they like sport are passionate about it.“This corresponds with a study by Loughborough University that looked at sports fans and what platforms they used. They found that the more passionate you were about a team the more likely you were to use Twitter because we are the home of real-time information.”Twitter sees a surge in users on matchdays, according to Luke. A panel of “Twitter insiders” with software on their phones enables the site to monitor the apps the users are interacting with.“What you find as you get closer to a live game is our usage spikes as people want to interact with the live experience,” said Luke.“The space we operate in and pound for pound where we are doing really well in is the live environment and that is why live clips and live videos make so much sense to us.”– ‘End of Twitter’ –Twitter has taken steps to keep up with the demand from fans, even though it faces a challenge to compete with rivals with deeper pockets — Amazon outbid it to acquire NFL streaming rights this year.“We acquired Periscope as an app for consumer experience and last year (signed) a deal with the NFL for 10 Thursday games,” said Luke.“We worked with the NFL to package up the live experience and lots of clips to take us out to sponsors. We didn’t win the next round for this season. Our friends at Amazon won it for a five-fold mark-up.”In Britain football is a major driver of activity on Twitter and the company teamed up with Sky on transfer deadline day.Luke, who has also worked at YouTube, said Twitter had defied the doomsayers who predicted that it was falling behind newer, flashier online rivals.“Eighteen months ago we were being faced with headlines like ‘End of Twitter’ and ‘Losing customers and stocks falling’. It was not a pleasant place to be.“We faced challenges such as an abuse problem which took a long time to solve but we are overcoming them and now seeing emphatic results shown by users coming back to the platform.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Twitter is exploring new ways to engage sports fans, tapping into their passion as it fights its corner in the cutthroat world of social media © AFP/File / Leon NEALLONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 3 – Twitter is exploring new ways to engage sports fans, tapping into their passion as it fights its corner in the cutthroat world of social media.Theo Luke, Twitter’s sports partnership director for Europe and the Middle East, told Leaders Week in London that sport is a major driver of activity on the social networking site.last_img read more

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Boost for Arsenal! Blanc reveals PSG could sell in-demand midfielder this January

first_imgParis Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc has revealed that the French champions are considering selling Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot in January.Rabiot was linked with a move away from Paris all summer after the midfielder refused to extended his current contract, which expires at the end of this season.Arsenal and Roma were reportedly the favourites for the 19-year-old’s signature, but neither club was able to complete a deal before the end of the transfer window.However, Blanc has now confessed that PSG will considering selling Rabiot in January – rather than lose him on a free next summer.“If we sell Rabiot, it will be in January,” Blanc said.“But there will have to be an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain. Our code of conduct preludes a free transfer.” 1 Adrien Raboit last_img read more

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Alwanga hits brace as Mathare bounce back

first_imgMeanwhile, Bandari FC temporarily moved top of the standings after a 2-1 win over visiting KCB in Mombasa saw them attain 45 points, one ahead of second placed Gor Mahia and Sofapaka respectively who play on Thursday and Friday.Yema Mwana scored a goal in either half to continue Bandari’s resurgence this month, three points that scaled them to 45 on the standings.Bandari’s Yema Mwana in action during their Kenyan premier League match against KCB on April 17, 2019. PHOTO/Bandari FCEzekiel Odera converted a 90th minute penalty for the bankers, but it was only consolation as the dockers had already sealed the tie for a third consecutive win.Elsewhere, relegation fighting Mount Kenya United and Zoo Kericho picked up vital wins that sees them revive their hopes of survival.Mount Kenya beat Chemelil Sugar 4-3 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos while Zoo Kericho won 1-0 against Vihiga United in Kericho. Zoo moved to 20 points, only separated from Vihiga by goal difference while Mount kenya moved to 15 points, five off safety.Elsewhere, Ulinzi Stars beat Western Stima 1-0 to climb to eighth in the standings.At the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Cliff Nyakeya provided a brace of assists with Kevin Kimani and Alwanga scoring either side of Vincent Ngesa’s goal to give Francis Kimanzi’s men a 2-1 lead at halftime.Alwanga then sealed the tie in the second half with a diving header as Mathare felt relieved following back to back losses.Mathare United’s Andrew Juma tries to block Nzoia Sugar’s Patrick Otieno during their Kenyan premier League match at the Kasarani Stadium on April 17, 2019. PHOTO/Mathare UnitedHansel Ochieng scored with three minutes left to leave for a nervous end, but Mathare held on for the three points.In an exciting game, scores were already 2-1 in favor of Mathare after quarter of an hour.Kimani broke the deadlock after three minutes, his shot from the edge of the box earning a wicked deflection to take it off the keeper’s path. Nyakeya had made a good run on the right before cutting back and the ball landing on an unmarked Kimani.Nzoia drew parity in the 11th minute through Ngesa who had the simplest of tasks tapping the ball home after Geoffrey Wandera had nodded back a set piece delivered to the back post.But, Mathare got their lead back four minutes later when Alwanga scrambled the ball home at the near post in almost replicate fashion like they had scored the first.Nyakeya made another daunting run on the right before slicing a low cross to the near post which Alwanga scrambled home despite a block from Ngesa.Mathare United’s James Situma tries to block Nzoia Sugar’s Collins Wakhungu during their Kenyan premier League match at the Kasarani Stadium on April 17, 2019. PHOTO/Mathare UnitedThe slum boys were destroying Nzoia with their intelligent wing play and three minutes after their goal, they almost made it three this time from the left, James Kinyanjui cutting back for David ‘Messi’ Owino whose well struck shot was turned behind for a corner by the keeper.Nzoia were playing their usual counter attacking football but were limited in chances. They had one off a set piece on the half hour mark when Thomas Wainaina swung a freekick to Jackson Dwang’s way, but the midfielder’s sweet connection on a volley was well collected by Mathare keeper Allan Owiny.Three minutes to the break, Mathare had a chance off a set piece with Kimani delivering a  corner that Andrew Juma headed over from close range.Kimanzi’s men kept their surge in the second half and regained their two goal cushion in the 65th minute when Alwanga dived in to head a well delivered cross from left back Owino.Four minutes later, some good movement on the left saw Owino put Alwanga through with the brace scorer squaring it back for Nyakeya whose shot was blocked.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mathare United players line up for a freekick before a previous Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – Clifford Alwanga’s brace saw Mathare United bounce back to winning ways and recover from back to back losses with a 3-2 win over Nzoia Sugar at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Wednesday evening.Mathare scored all their three goals in similar fashion, their wing play being too much for Nzoia to contain. The victory now sees the Slum Boys move to fourth in the standings pending Kakamega Homeboyz and Tusker FC results.last_img read more

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CONFIRMED: Stoke City complete deal to sign Ramadan Sobhi from Al Ahly

first_img1 Egypt international Ramadan Sobhi Stoke have completed the signing of Eyptian winger Ramadan Sobhi from Al Ahly, the Premier League club have announced.The Potters have agreed a fee, which could rise to £5million, for the 19-year-old, who has been capped six times by his country.Winger Ramadan becomes Mark Hughes’ first signing of the summer with Stoke having also tabled a £17million bid, rising to £20million with add-ons, for West Brom’s Saido Berahino. Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told the club’s official site: “We are absolutely delighted to have signed a player of Ramadan’s undoubted quality and potential.“He’s a special young talent who is excited about the prospect of making an impact in the Premier League and we’re looking forward to giving him that platform.”Sobhi has been granted a work permit and is expected to receive his UK visa in the next 48 hours. He should then join his new team-mates in Orlando later this week where they are in pre-season training.He is a graduate of the Al Ahly youth system and made his professional debut as a 16-year-old, earning his first international cap a year later.He helped Al Ahly win the Egyptian League title last season under former Tottenham and Fulham manager Martin Jol.last_img read more

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HUGE TRANSFER CLAIM! Ronaldo tells Real Madrid he wants to QUIT club

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo is reportedly ready to QUIT Real Madrid this summer.It is understood the 32-year-old feels he is being singled out for disproportionate treatment after prosecutors accused him of defrauding the authorities of 14.7million euros (£12.8m).A source claims the “outraged” Portugal international “feels great indignation” with all the speculation about his tax affairs and a sense of “injustice” at the allegations – which he contests – and has made a decision to leave Spain.Earlier this week Ronaldo’s agency Gestifute released a statement which said: “‘There is no tax evasion scheme … There has never been any hiding nor any intention to hide anything.”On Thursday Ronaldo, who only signed a new five-year contract in November, posted a picture of him with his fingers to his lips on Instagram with the caption: “Sometimes the best answer it’s to be quiet.”The potential availability of the Portugal international, one of the most marketable players in the world, would alert a number of top clubs, plus big-spending Chinese Super League sides looking to make a statement.However, his Real contract is understood to have a one billion euros (£874million) buy-out clause and, in May, Forbes calculated his pre-tax salary as being close to £45m a year.Ronaldo has helped Real win the Champions League three times, scoring twice in last month’s final as they became the first club to retain the title and he only the second player to score in three different finals. He is also the competition’s record goalscorer with 105.He has also won two LaLiga titles with the club he joined from Manchester United for £80m in 2009.Arch-rival Lionel Messi took a similar stance in threatening to quit Spain in 2014, also claiming he had been singled out for special treatment, when he was accused of concealing 4.1m euros (£3.5m) from the authorities.The Argentina was found guilty and subsequently lost an appeal against a 21-month prison sentence – under Spanish law sentences under two years are usually suspended – and a 2.1m euro (£1.8m) fine. Ronaldo reportedly wants to quit Real Madrid 1last_img read more

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