Lionel Messi is ‘desperate’ to turn things round with Argentina, insists Javier Mascherano: ‘He’s frustrated…

Lionel Messi is under pressure to deliver in Argentina's final Group D encounter on Tuesday

 

Javier Mascherano insists Lionel Messi is frustrated with Argentina’s situation but is motivated to inspire an upturn in their fortunes heading into their final group game.

Argentina are on the brink of World Cup elimination after a 1-1 draw with Iceland and a 3-0 defeat by Croatia saw them take just one point from their first two matches.

Messi has looked under immense pressure during both matches and shouldered a lot of the blame after seeing his penalty saved in the draw with minnows Iceland.

Argentina must now beat Nigeria on Tuesday and hope to better Iceland’s result against Croatia to ensure their passage into the last 16.

And Mascherano admits Messi is desperate turn things around against Nigeria and ensure Argentina’s campaign doesn’t end at the group stages.

‘Leo is fine,’ Mascherano told a press conference via Goal. ‘But as a collective, where things don’t go as we’d like, we all have our own frustrations.       Continue reading

Advertisements

Erdoğan claims victory in Turkish presidential election

Men hold a banner with a picture of of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

 

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed victory in Turkey’s presidential election, but the opposition called the announcement premature, as not all ballots had yet been counted.

“The Turkish public has mandated me as president according to unofficial results,” Erdoğan said on Sunday night. “I hope nobody will damage democracy by casting a shadow on this election and its results to hide their failure.

The official Anadolu Agency reports that with 95.5% of votes counted, Erdoğan had won a 52.72% share of the national vote, while the opposition CHP party’s candidate, Muharrem İnce, was on 30.75%                  Continue reading

Taliban and Afghan forces embrace in Eid ceasefire

Taliban militants and soldiers mingle with residents of Kunduz during the Eid ceasefire

 

In scenes that would have seemed impossible a few days ago, members of the Afghan Taliban have been embracing Afghan security forces amid a three-day ceasefire called to mark Eid.

Militants also met Interior Minister Wais Barmak in the capital Kabul.

President Ashraf Ghani has extended the government’s ceasefire and called on the Taliban to do the same.

However 20 people died in a suicide attack on one gathering of Taliban and government officials in Nangarhar.

Taliban members and local residents were among the victims of the attack, carried out by a suicide attacker on foot, Nangarhar province spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told the BBC.

President Ghani wants the ceasefire to lead to a longer peace and has called for the Taliban to negotiate.

Earlier this month the Taliban denied that they were in secret talks with the Afghan government.    Continue reading

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, pays surprise visit to Super Eagles camp: Super Eagles squad to meet President Buhari in Abuja today

Super Eagles squad to meet President Buhari in Abuja today

Ahead of their upcoming friendly match against England this weekend, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, last night paid a surprise visit to the Super Eagles camp and wished them all the best and even greater success in the upcoming #Russia2018 World Cup.   Continue reading

Stacey Abrams becomes first black female nominee for governor

Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Georgia.

 

For the first time in the US, voters have chosen a black woman as nominee for state governor after Stacey Abrams declared victory in Georgia’s Democratic primary.

Abrams – a former state House minority leader and progressive who earned support from both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – beat Stacey Evans, also a former state representative. The result was among the most consequential in a series of primaries that brought successes for female candidates across the country ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.                  Continue reading

Saudi Arabia bans FIFA referee Fahad al Mirdasi for life over bribery allegations

Saudi Arabia bans FIFA referee Fahad al Mirdasi for life over bribery allegations

 

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation has banned referee Fahad al-Mirdasi for life over bribery and urged FIFA to remove him from the pool of referees for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

 

Mirdasi was suspended for offering to take a bribe to influence the outcome of a match, the federation’s disciplinary and ethics committee said late Tuesday. The 32-year-old is one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent referees, having earned a FIFA badge in 2011 and officiating at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 and the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017.    Continue reading

Sun Zhengcai: Former top Chinese official jailed for life

Sun Zhengcai attends the Chongqing delegation's group meeting in 2017

 

A former Chinese Communist Party official once tipped for a top leadership position has been sentenced to life in prison for bribery.

Sun Zhengcai, a former Politburo member, is the latest senior figure to fall in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

He was found guilty of taking bribes of more than $26.7m (£19.6m).

The 54-year-old, also the former party chief of Chongqing, pleaded guilty to the charges in April.

According to state media outlet Xinhua, Sun’s “illegal gains” would be confiscated.

President Xi has made it his personal mission to tackle the widespread corruption in China. More than a million officials have been punished since he became president.

But critics accuse him of using the anti-corruption campaign to silence his political opponents and rein in officials who challenge his position.