Category Archives: News

Donald Trump repeats appeal to nations to support US World Cup bid

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Donald Trump repeated his appeal to foreign nations to support the United States’ joint bid with Canada and Mexico for the 2026 World Cup during a press conference on Monday.

“I hope all African countries and countries throughout the world, that we also will be supporting you and that they will likewise support us in our bid, along with Canada and Mexico, for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump said in a joint White House press conference with Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari.

“We will be watching very closely, and any help they can give us in that bid we would appreciate,” he said.

The US president was speaking in the Rose Garden alongside Buhari, the first African leader to visit the White House during his presidency, following their one-on-one bilateral meeting and working lunch.

The comments on the World Cup directly followed Trump’s assertion that the United States hopes “to be the economic partner of choice for nations across the continent and all around the world”.

“You see what’s happening with respect to trade and the United States,” he said. “We are being respected again.”

Morocco is the lone competitor in the race to stage the quadrennial tournament to the ambitious three-country bid spearheaded by the United States, which under the current proposal would host 60 games — including every match from the quarter-finals onwards — with Mexico and Canada splitting the remaining 20 fixtures equally.

FIFA will announce the host at a meeting in Moscow on 13 June.

Lionel Messi: Argentinian ace registers himself as trademark

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Lionel Messi has won a seven-year fight to be able to trademark his name in an European court.

His original application had been challenged by the Spanish cycling brand, Massi, which argued that the names were too similar and would cause confusion — but the EU’s General Court ruled that the footballer was too well known for confusion to arise.

The ruling comes days after France Football magazine reported Mr Messi had overtaken Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest earner in football, with an income of €126m (£108m) compared to Ronaldo’s €94m.

Messi’s application to trademark his name was made to the European Union Office for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) in 2011, but the court ruled against the footballer, saying the names were similar, because their dominant elements, “consisting of the terms ‘Massi’ and ‘Messi’, are almost identical visually and phonetically”.

EUIPO said that only some people would be aware the two were different.

But the General Court, the EU’s second highest court, disagreed.

It said on Thursday: “The football player’s fame counteracts the visual and phonetic similarities” with Massi.”

“Mr Messi is, in fact, a well-known public figure who can be seen on television and who is regularly discussed on television or on the radio,” the court added.

Widely considered one of the world’s greatest soccer players, Messi, 30, scored his 600th professional goal last month and is the all-time highest scorer for both FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team.

Man in critical condition from Liverpool-Roma pre-match assault

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Two men from Rome have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was left in a critical condition when he was attacked before Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final match against Roma.

Police and paramedics were called to the Albert pub shortly before the first leg match kicked off, where they found the victim, believed to be a 53-year-old man from Ireland, who had suffered a head injury.

Merseyside police said the men arrested were aged 25 and 26 and one of them was apprehended inside the ground. They were among nine men, aged between 20 and 43 years, arrested on suspicion of various offences, including affray, actual bodily harm and possession of offensive weapons, among others.

Officers appealed for witnesses of the incident in which the 53-year-old was injured to come forward. They said forensic examination had been carried out at the scene and CCTV footage from the area would be reviewed. Police believed that the victim was in Liverpool with his brother for the match.

“Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground. Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Walton Neurological Centre, where he is being treated for a head injury. His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed.”

“The place where this incident occurred is right by the ground and was heaving with fans making their way to the game. I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage of the incident to contact us urgently, as information they have could be vital to our investigation.”

Such video footage does appear to exist, with clips posted to Twitter showing clashes between supporters with ambulances in attendance, and suggestions that a group of Roma fans had used belts as weapons.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes dream debut at LA Galaxy with brace and winner

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his LA Galaxy debut with a match-winning cameo as the Swede helped his side recover from 3-0 down to beat new boys Los Angeles FC by 4-3.

LAFC’s Carlos Vela scored twice in the first 30 minutes — with a sublime curling shot for his first, and Galaxy were 3-0 just after half-time when Daniel Steres deflected the ball past his own keeper.

Things looked bleak for LA Galaxy; even with Sebastian Lletget pulled one back for Galaxy in the 61st minute it appeared it would be little more than a consolation goal.

However, Ibrahimovic, 36, who just flown in on from Europe on Thursday night ahead of his debut, got the last say as he stole the show after he came on with 20 minutes left and scored a remarkable equaliser from 35 yards before heading in a stoppage-time winner.

He first contributed by helping in the build-up to his team’s second as his cross was deflected and eventually fell to Emmanuel Boateng, who set-up Chris Pontius’s powerful header.

The former Manchester United man then preserved his record of scoring on debuts in the 77th-minute, with the ball dropping to him around 40 yards out he ripped a dipping shot over Tyler Miller in the LAFC goal, although his ensuing celebration was slightly marred when he was booked for tearing off his shirt.

His winner then came in injury time when Ashley Cole crossed a perfect ball into the six-yard area for Ibrahimovic to head home.

“I heard the crowd saying ‘We want Zlatan, we want Zlatan,’” Ibrahimovic said cheerfully after the game. “So I gave them Zlatan. They were pushing me, and I was giving back.”

“My history when I come to a new team, I always score in the first game — I didn’t want to let it down this time.”