September 22

Messi unlikely to change mind on exit, FC Barcelona presidential candidate says

first_imgLionel Messi is unlikely to change his mind about leaving FC Barcelona, a presidential candidate in the Spanish club’s elections, Victor Font, has said.Messi rocked FC Barcelona last month when his lawyers told the club he wanted to activate a clause in his contract. It is a clause that will allow him to leave for free before the 2020/2021 season.The club disputed the claim, saying the clause expired on June 10, with La Liga also releasing a statement saying his contract was still valid.But Font is not optimistic about convincing Messi to stay another year.“I really hope the decision can be changed,” Font said.“It doesn’t seem likely, though… If that’s the case, the focus should be on making the transition as smooth as possible. “Messi loves the club and he wants to win, he wants to compete. He has been saying this for many, many years, it’s not just been for a few weeks.“Unfortunately the club has not been able to deliver on the promise of building a competitive team.”Messi, 33, last won the UEFA Champions League with FC Barcelona in 2015.An 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals last month was the final straw for the six-times world player of the year.Messi, who failed to turn up for pre-season training on Monday, had previously labelled his side “weak” and “inconsistent” after surrendering the league title to rivals Real Madrid. The club has spent millions on players in the transfer market who have not come good in recent years.Transfer strategy is now something Font hopes to change if he is elected president.“Currently you have the president, the chairman of the board and even some directors making decisions about signings, about selling players and that needs to be changed,” Font added.He hopes to succeed president Josep Maria Bartomeu in the election next March.RelatedPosts Bayern Munich fans undergo Super Cup coronavirus tests Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi “That’s why we’ve been working on a project and we need people to lead that who come from the world of football.”Lionel Messi’s father and agent headed to FC Barcelona on Tuesday for what Argentine media said was a meeting with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.Television pictures showed Jorge Messi boarding a private plane in Rosario.The plane was destined for the US, from where he would proceed to Spain, local newspapers Ole and Capital de Rosario reported.Reuters/NAN.Tags: Bayern MunichFC BarcelonaLa LigaLionel MessiUEFA Champions LeagueVictor Fontlast_img read more

September 9

No Reprieve for Russia until after World Championships

first_imgUnder the current timetable, this will happen on a provisional basis in May and on a full basis in November.This means Russians would only be able to compete as neutral athletes at August’s IAAF World Championships in London.Thirty-five Russians have so far applied to participate under a neutral flag.To facilitate this process, more than 60 Russians are now part of the IAAF’s International Registered Testing Pool.Blanket approval has, however, been given to all under-15 Russian athletes to compete in international competitions, such as the European Youth Olympic Festival, which will be held in Györ, Hungary from July 22 to 30.Head of IAAF Task Force, Rune Andersen, insisted that Russia must either “convincingly rebut” or “acknowledge and properly address” evidence in the McLaren Report claiming that the Russian Sports Ministry and security services were complicit in a doping regime.Vitaly Mutko, the former Sports Minister who is now Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, was particularly singled out for his “negative and unhelpful” public denials and attempts to pin the blame on a Western political conspiracy.Insidethegames reports yesterday that he has admitted privately that they are struggling to deal with problems inherited from the Soviet Union before speaking differently in public.His successor as Sports Minister, Pavel Kolobkov, is also thought to be developing the same tendency.This was one of several “negative developments” pointed out in Russia since the IAAF suspension was first imposed in 2015.RusAF also continues to face “practical and legal difficulties in enforcing provisional doping bans”.There also continues to be “very limited testing of Russian track and field athletes at the national level” as well as “troubling incidents” where testing is taking place.To be reinstated, RusAF must “explain why in the past it has been unable to and how in the future it will be able to enforce all suspensions imposed on athletes and athlete support personnel under its jurisdiction in an effective and timely fashion”.They must also take “demonstrable objective and practical steps to cultivate the clean sport movement”.“Our priority is to return clean athletes to competition but we must all have confidence in the process,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.“Clean Russian athletes have been badly let down by their national system.“We must ensure they are protected and that those safeguards give confidence to the rest of the world that there is a level playing field of competition when Russians return.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Russia appears to have no chance of its International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspension being lifted until November, it revealed tuesday.This is because the Russian Athletics Federation’s (RusAF) suspension will not be lifted until the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is declared compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).last_img read more