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Ligue 1: Marseille end 45-year wait for win at Bordeaux

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Marseille won away to Bordeaux in Ligue 1 for the first time since 1977 as Cengiz Under’s first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory on Friday.

The Turkey international punished a poor kick from goalkeeper Benoit Costil by scoring the game’s only goal eight minutes before halftime at an empty stadium in Bordeaux.

The home side opted to play the match behind closed doors in response to league officials turning down their request for it to be postponed because of a host of Covid-19 cases in the Bordeaux squad.

Only 5 000 fans are permitted at football matches under new government restrictions introduced to try and curb spiralling daily infection rates fuelled by the Omicron strain of the virus.

Marseille end 45-year wait for win at Bordeaux

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Bordeaux on Wednesday said they had 17 players unavailable. They have returned 21 positive test results over the past three weeks and were forced to field several reserve-team players in their French Cup game last weekend, which they lost 3-0 at Brest.

The win for Marseille was their first in Bordeaux in 37 attempts and sent Jorge Sampaoli’s team above Nice into second place, 10 points back of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Bordeaux sit just one point above the relegation play-off place. They have won only three times in 20 league matches under former Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic this season.

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Denmark’s Eriksen starts comeback training with Ajax

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Danish footballer Christian Eriksen, who went into cardiac arrest at last year’s European Championships, is training with Ajax as he seeks a new club, the Amsterdam side said Tuesday.

Eriksen, 29, who has been fitted with a pacemaker, joined Jong Ajax, the reserve team of his former club after terminating his contract with Inter Milan by mutual consent in December.

Italian league rules bar players with pacemakers.

“Former Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen is training with Jong Ajax this week. The Danish international is working to keep his fitness levels until he finds a new club,” Ajax said in a statement.

Eriksen joined Ajax at 16 in 2008, made his Eredivisie debut in 2010 and moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.

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“I am very happy to be here. At Ajax I know the people, it feels like coming home because I was here for so long. All facilities are available here and with Jong Ajax I can train at a high level in a group,” Eriksen was quoted as saying in the statement.

“I want to be at my best again as soon as possible so that when I find a new club, I can perform well there as quickly as possible.”

Eriksen signed a four-and-a-year deal with Inter Milan in January 2020, helping them to win the Serie A title last season.

He suffered a dramatic cardiac arrest in Denmark’s opening game at Euro 2020 against Finland in Copenhagen on June 12 and had to be resuscitated on the pitch.

Denmark then rode a wave of emotion at the tournament, reaching the semi-finals where they were knocked out by England.

The playmaker spent several days in hospital and had a pacemaker implanted to regulate his heartbeat.

He said earlier this month he hopes to play in the World Cup in Qatar this year and was recently in training with his boyhood club Odense.

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Read Also: Eguaveon reveals plans for new Super Eagles coach after AFCON exit

“If a former player and, moreover, a self-trained product of ours knocks on the door of the club in this situation, we have no doubts, of course he’s welcome back,” said John Heitinga, the coach of Jong Ajax, in a statement on the club website.

“Christian is a footballer who is an example for many of our boys, a source of inspiration for the youth to move up.”

English Premier League Club Brentford – whose Danish boss Thomas Frank on Monday signed a new contract until 2025 – have shown an interest in Eriksen, news agencies in England and the Netherlands reported.

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Eguaveon reveals plans for new Super Eagles coach after AFCON exit

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NFF technical director Austin Eguavoen has revealed his plans for incoming Super Eagles coach Jose Paseiro stressing the Portuguese tactician will  be given all the support needed to perform in his role.

Paseiro is expected to take over the team from Eguaveon who led the Super Eagles to the 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoffs against Ghana taking place in March, Eguaveon recently returned to his role as the technical director of NFF, said Jose Peseiro will get the backing to perform.

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Read Also: AFCON quarter-final moved after deadly crush kills eight

“We have to sit down together and map out strategies. We need to give him the platform, we have already prepared the team for 80 to 90 percent.

“He just have to add his own style and leadership. We would support him with everything because the country comes first,” he said before the team left Cameroon on Monday evening.

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Olembe Stadium crush: Cameroonians express shock and anger

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As football fans reel over the deaths of at least eight people outside Olembe Stadium, questions have been raised as to how the tragedy unfolded. There had been concerns about poor preparation ahead of the tournament.

Investigations are underway after at least eight people were killed and dozens more injured in a stampede outside a match at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) football tournament in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

The crush took place as large crowds tried to enter Olembe Stadium, where the host country was playing Comoros in a highly anticipated final-16 knockout game.

“Eight deaths were recorded, two women in their 30s, four men in their 30s, one child, one body taken away by the family,” said a preliminary report from the Public Health Ministry.

The tragedy has realized ongoing fears over the capacity of Cameroon to stage the continent’s largest sporting event.

“The local population is angry because information isn’t coming in on exactly what happened,” correspondent Blaise Eong told DW. “People are also angry that security forces outside the stadium could not contain the fans that were rushing into the stadium.”

Cameroonian President Paul Biya has ordered an investigation “so that all light is shed on this tragic incident,” Communications Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi said.

read also:BREAKING: Mane strikes as Senegal send nine-man Cape Verde out of AFCON

Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe on Tuesday called for an immediate probe into the crush, with the first report to be submitted on Friday.

“There is no excuse for what has happened. We must show responsibility when people lose their lives and are injured,” he said.

“We will have very tough and very hard discussions behind closed doors,” he added.

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“According to police sources on the ground, people tried to force their way into the stadium, and that’s when the stampede happened,” Eong said.

Witnesses on the ground at the time of the stampede said the crowd was surging towards an open entrance gate after a long wait outside the stadium. When stewards closed the gate, people continued trying to push forward.

“When the security guys finally began opening the gates, with all the anxiety and having been locked out, people pushed the security guys away and forced themselves inside,” witness Marie Asongafack said.

People assist victims of a stampede outside a stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon

 

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