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Bulgaria coach apologises to England over racist chants from fans

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Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov has apologised to the England team after fans taunted their black players with Nazi salutes and monkey chants during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday.

England thrashed Bulgaria 6-0 to hand the hosts their heaviest ever home defeat but the game will be remembered more for the racist incidents that led to action being temporarily stopped in the first half.

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European soccer’s ruling body UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria over the racist behaviour.

While Balakov said after the game he had not heard any racist abuse from the stands, in an email to reporters late on Tuesday he apologised for the fans’ behaviour.

“I strongly condemn and reject racism as a norm of conduct that contradicts modern human relations,” Balakov said.

“This is a prejudice that comes from the past that must be eradicated forever.

“I want to say something very clear: given that there have been insults on such a basis, I, as a coach of the national team, apologise to the English footballers and all those who feel hurt.”

Bulgarian Football Union President Borislav Mihaylov resigned on Tuesday, a few hours after the Balkan country’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called for the former international goalkeeper to step down.

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Mihaylov had previously defended Bulgarian soccer from accusations of racism and criticized England for what he saw as a “fixation” on potential incidents that could raise tension.

 

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Bayern rout Chelsea to reach Champions League quarter-finals

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Robert Lewandowski struck twice as Bayern Munich cruised past Chelsea 4-1 on Saturday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals with a 7-1 aggregate victory and remain on course for a treble of titles.

The Bavarian giants were heavy favorites to progress following a 3-0 first-leg win at Stamford Bridge pre-lockdown, and they got off to the perfect start when Lewandowski stroked home a penalty on 10 minutes.

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The Polish hitman then turned provider as he laid on a pass for Ivan Perisic to tuck in the second soon after.

Chelsea was second best for much of the first half and was left frustrated when Callum Hudson-Odoi’s fine finish was ruled out by VAR. However, the visitors did pull one back on the stroke of half time when Tammy Abraham pounced upon an error from Manuel Neuer.

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Frank Lampard’s men improved after the break, but Bayern remained the greater threat. Substitute Corentin Tolisso made sure of the win before Lewandowski’s bullet header sealed a 7-1 success on aggregate.

Bayern will now look ahead to a one-off quarter-final showdown with Barcelona in Lisbon on Friday, August 14.

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Messi helps Barca sink Napoli to reach last eight

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A fired-up Lionel Messi led Barcelona to a 3-1 win at home to Napoli on Saturday (Aug 8) for a 4-2 aggregate victory which took the club into the Champions League quarter-finals for the 13th consecutive season where they face Bayern Munich.

The Catalans had a shaky start but took the lead in the 10th minute with a powerful header from a corner by Clement Lenglet before Messi scored a superb second in the 23rd, seeing off four defenders to curl the ball into the far bottom corner.

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Messi had the ball in the net again soon after following a superb team move but the goal was harshly ruled out for handball by the Argentine following a VAR review, although Messi later won a penalty which Luis Suarez converted for Barca’s third.

Napoli got one back when Lorenzo Insigne converted a spot-kick at the end of the first half and were the better side after the interval but Barca survived to set up a mouth-watering clash with Bayern in the Final Eight tournament in Lisbon next Friday.

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Messi had sounded the alarm after Barca’s rusty performance in the 1-1 draw in the first leg back in February, saying they stood no chance of winning Europe’s top prize, which has eluded them since 2015, unless they improved.

He would have been worried by Barca’s stuttering start which saw Napoli swarm all over the home side’s area and Dries Mertens clip the crossbar in the second minute with a scuffed shot.

But Napoli’s slack defending allowed Lenglet to score with a free header which settled Barca’s nerves while Messi effectively killed the tie off with his goal and by winning the penalty by chasing down Kalidou Koulibaly in the area and earning a foul.

However, the fact Napoli ended the game so well, with Hirving Lozano hitting the post and Arkadiusz Milik’s header ruled out for offside, added to the sense that Barca will struggle to beat Bayern, who thrashed Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate.

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Police arrest NFL Star, Derrius Guice, over domestic violence

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Police in Virginia on Friday, August 7 have arrested NFL star identified as Derrius Guice on charges stemming from “three domestic-related incidents”.

According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the 23-year-old running back was taken into custody on Friday on multiple charges, including one count of felony strangulation.

Guice faces one count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count destruction of property, a spokesman for the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia said in an email.

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Sheriff’s office director of media relations and communications Kraig Troxell said that the incidents happened in February, March, and April at Guice’s home in Ashburn, Virginia and the sheriff’s office was made aware of the allegations on July 22.

Police said the incidents were first reported to the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland where the victim lives.

The allegations were investigated by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Unit in coordination with the Montgomery County Police Department.

MORE READING!  Police arrest NFL Star, Derrius Guice, over domestic violence

Guice has since been released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

In response to his arrest, Washington’s NFL team have released the running back.

They issued a statement saying,

“On Thursday we learned of a potential domestic violence-related incident involving RB Derrius Guice.”

“We immediately alerted the National Football League and have continued to work with them during this process.”

“We then met with Derrius to inform him that he was excused from all team activity pending a review of the matter.”

“This afternoon we learned that there were multiple charges filed against Derrius.”

“Upon review of the nature of these charges ad following internal discussions, we have decided to release Derrius immediately.”

Guice was drafted by Washington in 2018.

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