Do you support it? Champions league set to introduce VAR in 2019-20 season

Video assistant referees will be used in the Champions League from the 2019-20 season, Uefa has announced.

VAR will also be used in the 2019 Super Cup and at Euro 2020, as well as in the Europa League from 2020-21 and the 2021 Nations League finals.

The system – used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia – allows referees to review footage of key decisions.

President Aleksander Ceferin said Uefa was “confident” it would have time “to put in place a robust system”.

He added it would also provide sufficient time to train match officials to ensure an “efficient and successful implementation of VAR” in “the world’s flagship club competition”.

VAR was under intense scrutiny at the World Cup, where its use was allowed to clear up incidents around the awarding of goals, penalties, red cards and in cases of mistaken identity.

Australia’s A-League was the first top-flight league to use the system in 2017, with Major League Soccer in America soon following.

England’s Carabao Cup is using VAR in all fixtures held at Premier League grounds this season.

This is going to be part of a general falling in line from the major confederations and the big leagues over the next 12 months.

I think Uefa were waiting to see how VAR fared at the World Cup in Russia. It is not without its critics but I think, on the whole, people thought it worked.

There is a lot of money at stake and I think the clubs, critically, are in favour of it. They want to see more fairness and more justice in terms of those big decisions, given what is at stake for them.

The interesting thing is that Fifa has a number of protocols in place that it has been refining for about two and a half years.

Anyone who wants to implement VAR has to stick pretty rigidly to the rules that have been set by Fifa, so if the Premier League falls in line with this – I think the expectation is that they will announce before the end of this season that they are bringing it in – they have to stick to what has been agreed.


‘The K’ogalo faithful, forever in my heart’ Dylan Kerr pens emotional letter as he ditches Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has penned an emotional letter to K’ogalo management, players and fans after he stepped down as their coach on Thursday.

The club through chairman, Ambrose Rachier made the announcement in a statement on Thursday evening and said he had accepted his decision to leave.

The news comes after immense speculation about the coach’s return.

“I have today received a resignation letter from coach Dylan Kerr. On behalf of the club, l accept the resignation because he has been good and candid enough. As per his letter, he is going for greener pastures and l want to wish him all the best,” Rachier said on the Gor Mahia website.

In his resignation letter dated November 15, Kerr indicated that he will be taking another coaching role for the new season and thanked all the club officials.

“With a very sad heart, l have decided to accept another coaching role for the 2018/19 season,” read part of the letter addressed to Rachier.

“I want to put on record that l thank you Mr Chairman for giving me the chance to work with you and more importantly for Gor Mahia FC.”

Kerr also thanked Gor Mahia players and asked them to remain focused on their careers.

“To players, all l can say is a thank you for being amazing – everyone played their part with fun, enthusiasm, hard work and most of all belief in what l demanded for both on and off the field. I hope you continue having the vision l constantly told you and always remember no regrets,” the letter said.

Being one of the fans’ favourite, Kerr did not not forget to thank Gor Mahia fans.

“The Ko’galo faithful ‘Tibim’ Gorrrr Gorrrr Mahia, forever in my heart, forever family, forever friends you made all this work with your lust for passion on the field and your quest for us to be the best… You are the best.”

Rachier said, “As a club, we thank him for the level he has taken the club. We truly appreciate his work… he was understanding, respectful and a man of the people l must say. He did his work with passion and that helped the team to deliver good results.”

On his replacement, Rachier said the notice is rather short considering the CAF assignment coming up in two weeks. He said the current technical bench will continue handling the team as they plan to get another coach.

“We have a CAF match coming up on  November 27 in Nairobi… the notice is short. We will not be in a hurry to get a replacement. We will continue with the current technical staff as we take our time to get a suitable replacement,” the chairman said.

Solari confirmed as Real Madrid boss on permanent basis as he signs three-year deal

Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari as their permanent head coach giving him a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Solari took charge of the first team a fortnight ago and promptly racked up the best start of any new manager at the club in its 116 year history.

His first four games ended with four wins and a 15-2 goals tally, and the players were left in no doubt that they wanted the 42-year-old Argentinian to take charge on a permanent basis.

On Tuesday Madrid said in a statement: ‘The Real Madrid board, meeting on November 13, 2018, have agreed to name Santiago Solari as the first team coach until June 2021.’

That makes Solari the 13th coach in the era of president Florentino Perez who first came to power in 2000, left in 2006, and came back in 2009.

He will earn slightly less than the €6m (£5.2m) a season picked up by his predecessor Julen Lopetegui in what is his first big job in football after three seasons coaching the youth team.

‘He is a great coach and of course we want him to stay in charge,’ said full-back Alvaro Odriozola at the weekend after Madrid beat Celta Vigo 4-2.

Lucas Vazquez, another who has played more under Solari than under his predecessor, said: ‘It would be hard for him to have done any better.

‘We have got back the good feeling we had in the squad before. We are back winning football matches and in my opinion he should stay in charge.’

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is now first choice in goal in both La Liga and in the Champions League said: ‘We have got our confidence back.’

Real Madrid still lie sixth going into the international break but they are only four points behind leaders Barcelona.


Welbeck has second operation on broken ankle as doubts persist over whether he will play for Arsenal again

Danny Welbeck has had a second operation to repair his broken right ankle on Monday night.

It is understood the additional procedure was required after initial surgery, with Arsenal to confirm Welbeck’s diagnosis and recovery timescale in the next 48 hours.

Welbeck went under the knife at the end of last week to stabilise the ankle he injured in Thursday’s Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon. The second procedure was to repair the joint.

Arsenal medics are confident Welbeck will make a full recovery, though since his deal expires at the end of the season there is a major doubt whether he will play for the club again.

How long Welbeck remains on the sidelines will be down to the extent of ligament damage and bruising to the bone.

Meanwhile, Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has revealed the Gunners squad called their injured team-mate on video ahead of Sunday’s draw against Wolves.

Leno said: ‘We all are sorry for him, and hope to see him on the pitch because he’s an important player for the team and also in the dressing room.He looked happy to talk to us.’


Conjestina Achieng’s mother reveals the hurtful things people have wished her daughter

Its been a while since Conjestina Achieng’s career took a nosedive, having had been in the limelight she is now a shadow of her former self.

Conjestina Achieng’s mother says her daughter’s poor health and suffering have been difficult to bear for the family.

Speaking to The Nairobian, Conje’s mother, Getrude Auma, said her daughter’s mental illness has made her life miserable.

She claimed that some of her friends and neighbours insult and ridicule her, and that people have taken advantage of Conje’s illness.

“I have been called names. I have lost friends. People have wished that my daughter was dead. I have seen it all, but I believe God and expect a miracle,” she said.

Conjestina during her boxing days
Conjestina during her boxing days


She claims that after their family exhausted all their finances to cater for Conje’s medication, she turned to friends, something she regrets.

“Some people took advantage of the situation and started making money from her condition. We know of people who visited us, took pictures with her and used them to make money,” she claimed.


She revealed that Conjestina was early this year taken to a rehabilitation centre in Homa Bay courtesy of a local betting firm.

“It was supposed to be a six-month treatment plan and the company paid all the money. However, the facility’s management kicked her out after three months for what they termed ‘Conje’s aggression which threatened other clients,” she said.

Conje’s brother, William Ochieng, was summoned to pick her with no take-home medication nor follow up.

Adding that

“From that day, we have never seen peace in this home,” said Auma, adding that Conje has sunk into drug abuse, a situation which has seen her leave home very early in the morning and return late at night, sometimes violent.

“Sometimes we get calls informing us that she has been attacked for provoking people in the neighbourhood or in the market,”

Auma adds that her lowest moment was when a man from Kisumu visited her home to report that Conje’s son had stolen from him, only to later learn that he was an imposter, and wanted to get sympathy money from people.

Peninah Wa Njoki

Mourinho still hasn’t forgiven Aguero for getting Fellaini sent off

Jose Mourinho hasn’t forgiven Sergio Aguero for his role in getting Marouane Fellaini sent off in a Manchester derby 18 months ago.

Aguero fell to the ground clutching his face in a goalless draw at The Etihad and Mourinho complained afterwards: ‘If Sergio doesn’t go to the floor for sure it’s not a red card.’

Two seasons later with the teams due to meet again at The Etihad, it’s clear Mourinho’s feelings on 30-year-old Aguero still run deep.

‘There are little things in his game that I am not a big fan. I keep (the reasons) for me,’ said Mourinho.

‘I admire him because of his fantastic qualities. Clearly the numbers speak for themselves. He is a goalscorer all over the world. It is not about scoring for one season, it is about scoring goals in your career.’Mourinho poked fun at the Argentine’s dramatic reaction to Fellaini by saying after the game: ‘(Referee) Martin Atkinson told me in his opinion it’s a red card but I saw Aguero in the tunnel but no broken head, no broken nose, his face is nice as always.’

Aguero scored the only goal when City last beat United at home, 1-0 in 2014.

Daily Mail

Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich in 5 goal thriller

As the final whistle went, the Westfalenstadion broke out into a spontaneous chant. “German champions? Only BVB!” they sang.

Here we go then. Germany has waited long enough. Borussia Dortmund are back and the Bundesliga finally has a title race.

Two goals from Marco Reus and a thoroughly explosive second half on Saturday evening sounded the starting gun on what promises to be a thrilling season. For real, this time.Dortmund twice came from behind to beat Bayern 3-2 on Saturday evening. Their early season performances had earned them comparisons with the Jurgen Klopp era, and Dortmund lived up them against Bayern.

This top of the table six-pointer was football as Klopp would like it. Unpolished but entertaining. A bit of chaos, a bit of quality, and a lot of heart.

Dortmund weren’t at their best, but the win puts them seven points ahead of Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga. At times, Bayern showed that they have the potential quality to close that gap. At times, they looked like a rusty, clunky old team, run ragged by Dortmund’s bright young things.

Having twice taken the lead with brutal efficiency, Bayern were ultimately undone by a team who shook off their nerves to produce a spirited, exhilarating performance and grab a deserved three points.With their backs to the wall ahead of this game, Bayern snarled into action in the opening minutes, pushing Dortmund back into their final third and intimidating them with fierce pressing. Jadon Sancho in particular looked nervy, losing the ball with a couple of heavy touches early on.

If Bayern had come out ready for a dogfight, then Dortmund were cat-like, relying on the sharpness of Mario Gotze and Marco Reus to steal the ball and launch counter-attacks. Ten minutes in, they should have taken the lead, as Reus left Jerome Boateng red-faced but sent a tame shot straight at Neuer.

Neuer was called into action again five minutes later, snatching a low cross away from Sancho at the last minute. For all the heavy touches, the youngster was getting into good positions.Bayern, though, were methodically taking control of the game, and they carved out a deserved opener on 26 minutes. Serge Gnabry sent in a dipping cross from the right and Lewandowski, for some reason unmarked, headed the ball in from close range.

Both in the stands and on the pitch, those in yellow were increasingly frustrated by a game that, for Dortmund, wasn’t going to script. As half-time approached, the Yellow Wall howled in rage at the gamesmanship of Robert Lewandowski and in exasperation at the mistakes of their own team.

Yet Sancho, who had looked positively deflated at the end of the first half, gave them something to cheer directly after the break. His through ball picked out Reus, who reached it just before Neuer and was sent tumbling by the Bayern keeper. Reus then converted the penalty and, as Bayern fans set off flares in the away end, the fireworks on the pitch had begun.A few minutes of attacking fury came to nothing for Dortmund, before Bayern landed a cold blow at the other end.

Joshua Kimmich’s darting run down the right sent Dortmund sprawling, and the full-back chipped a dainty ross to Lewandowski. Once again unmarked, the Pole found the net. Dortmund had been level for all of three minutes.

Favre’s youngsters, though, were unimpressed, and quickly forced two chances from point blank range. First, Neuer denied Jacob Bruun Larsen with a world class save, and a few minutes later, Sancho rounded Neuer and squared to Reus. Only a diving block from Kimmich kept the Dortmund captain from netting a second.Even Kimmich couldn’t stop Reus minutes later, as he sent a sultry volley flying into the bottom corner and Dortmund were level again.

Inspired by half-time substitute Mahmoud Dahoud, Dortmund were suddenly stretching Bayern in midfield and bringing the centre backs out in cold sweats. On 74 minutes, Axel Witsel’s devastating through ball found Paco Alcacer in the middle. The Spaniard, who had also come off the bench, kept his cool and dinked the ball over Neuer. In the space of six minutes, the home side had turned the game on its head.

If Favre’s substitutions had been inspired, Kovac’s decision to bring on Renato Sanches for Serge Gnabry seemed a fittingly mediocre final roll of the die for Bayern. Yet still they came close to a late equaliser, Lewandowski pulled back by the linesman’s flag in the dying seconds. So there they were, and here we go. One, unpolished but explosive young organism against one outdated but effective old machine. It was a thrilling battle on Saturday night. It will be a thrilling battle until May.

Daily Mail

Raheem Sterling signs new 39,788,601 million per week contract with Man City

Raheem Sterling hailed Manchester City’s ‘incredible’ development of him after signing a new five-year deal worth up to £300,000 a week.

Sportsmail reported last week that the England international had verbally agreed fresh terms after an 18 months during which he has flourished under Pep Guardiola.

Sterling has seven goals already this season and Guardiola has consistently said the 23-year-old is becoming stronger and more mature.
‘I’m delighted to sign – my development here has been incredible,’ Sterling said. ‘I felt from the minute I got here it was the right choice for me. It’s really paid off for me and I’m really grateful.

‘Every season you come in you want to do better than your previous season. You want to try and develop and get better.

‘With the facilities we’ve got here there’s no reason not to. With the coaching staff and the players we have in this team it’s the perfect environment to develop and get better.’

There had been concerns over the winger’s future as talks dragged on but he always wanted to commit to the Premier League champions.Manchester City sporting director Txiki Begiristain added: ‘This is a significant moment for the club.

‘Raheem has improved dramatically in the past two seasons and is now one of the Premier League’s best attacking players. His statistics tell their own story.

‘He’s quick, strong and excellent in front of goal – everything a modern-day forward needs to excel.

‘We’re all delighted he has committed his future to City.’

After increasing his annual salary from £180,000-a-week, Sterling is now England’s highest-earning player. But Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez remains the top earner in the Premier League, with the Chilean on £350,000-a-week at Old Trafford,

Daily Mail

Arsenal fear Danny Welbeck could be out for season after suffering ankle injury

Arsenal fear Danny Welbeck is out for the season as doctors consider the option of surgery on his right ankle, which suffered a ‘significant’ injury.

Welbeck remained in hospital on Friday after being carried off on a stretcher against Sporting in the Europa League on Thursday night, and was due to have an MRI scan before a final decision is made on whether the striker requires an operation.

Doctors are waiting for the swelling to reduce before making a definitive diagnosis — but there are concerns Welbeck has suffered a break, dislocation and ligament damage.
If an operation is required, Sportsmail understands world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon James Calder, who has worked extensively with Arsenal, would likely lead the procedure.

Calder has operated on Gareth Bale and Jack Wilshere.Arsenal said Welbeck was still being assessed with a definitive diagnosis due in 72 hours. Welbeck is facing an uncertain future. His deal expires at the end of the season and there is doubt whether he will play for Arsenal again.

Welbeck’s injury could force Arsenal into the transfer market in January, with Lille forward Nicolas Pepe a possibility.

Meanwhile, defender Stephan Lichtsteiner is facing four weeks out after sustaining a hamstring injury against Sporting.

Europa League: Welbeck injured as Arsenal and Chelsea progress into round of 32

Arsenal drew this Europa League clash against Sporting Lisbon – but that was the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Instead, thoughts were firmly with Danny Welbeck, who is facing another arduous road back to fitness after suffering a sickening ankle injury in the first half.

It was one of those injuries you wish you never saw. One that you cannot erase from memory no matter how hard you try. Welbeck was taken straight to hospital, but you didn’t need to be medically trained to realise the severity of his injury. We’re looking at months, rather than weeks.

Given Welbeck’s entering the final six months of his contract, and the gruesome photos of his ankle twisted in the wrong direction – you wonder if we’ll ever see him in an Arsenal shirt again.

But that’s a debate for an altogether different day. Right now, you simply hope Welbeck makes a full recovery.

Unai Emery confirmed: ‘This is the worst news, it’s clear we are all with him. He’s in hospital, we think it is serious ankle injury.

‘When a player has an injury like that, your mind thinks of the player but we had to concentrate on the game and try to forget.

‘But after the final whistle we asked about him straight away.’

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s London rivals, Chelsea, all but booked their round of 32 spot after former Gunners forward, Olivier Giroud scored the lone goal against Bate Borisov.

For Giroud, it marked the end of a personal ordeal, as he scored his first Chelsea goal for 794 minutes – a run that stretched all the way back to May. For Chelsea, the relief was palpable.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he has not been approached by Real Madrid over their vacant managerial position.

Real Madrid Castilla manager Santiago Solari has been installed as the interim boss at the Santiago Bernabeu following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui last month. But newspaper reports in Spain claim the Champions League winners are in search of a long-term replacement.

Wenger dismissed claims he has been contacted by Real Madrid and reiterated he would make a decision on his future in the new year.