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Missing Burkina Faso footballer  reappears after nine days

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Enppi football director Mohamed Ismail announced on Monday that Burkinabe attacking midfielder Eric Traore called him and confirmed his stay in Egypt after being absent for nine days.

“Eric Traore contacted us to confirm his stay in Egypt,” Ismail told On Sport radio programme. “He informed us that he needed to spend time alone to rest.”

The 26-year-old attacking midfielder joined Enppi on loan last summer from Pyramids FC.

“We lodged a complaint to the Egyptian Football Association after Traore’s absence to save the club’s rights,” Mohamed Ismail said.

Late on Sunday, Ismail announced that Traore had been absent for nine days, and the team management was in contact with his agent to determine his fate with the Egyptian club.

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“The Enppi management decided not to offload any player in the team during the summer transfer window to keep squad stability for the next season,” the Enppi director said.

Traore played 236 games during his journey in Egyptian football, scoring 44 goals and providing 27 assists in all competitions.

He arrived in Egypt in 2015 to play for Aswan FC before joining Maqassa and, eventually, Pyramids FC

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Behold! World longest penalty shootout as 56 kicks are taken

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Israel’s SC Dimona and Shimshon Tel Aviv have set a world record for the longest ever penalty shootout with 56 kicks.

Their semi-final promotion playoff in the third-tier finished 2-2 after extra time, leading to penalties.

Dimona won the shootout 23-22 after each side took 28 penalties, opens new tab in the city of Dimona in the Negev desert on Monday.

The previous record of 54 penalty kicks was set in March 2022 in England when Washington beat Bedlington 25-24 during a first-round tie in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.

The competition is open to clubs competing in the Northern League Second Division – the 10th tier of the football pyramid.

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-Reuters

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Brazil great Ronaldo selling stake in boyhood club Cruzeiro

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Brazil great Ronaldo has agreed to sell his majority stake in Cruzeiro, the club where he made his senior debut, the Brazilian Serie A team announced on Monday.

Ronaldo, 47, agreed with BPW Sports company to sell the 90% stake he acquired in 2021 for $70 million through his company Tara Sports Brasil.

No details were given on how much BPW Sports are paying for the stake.

The former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid forward helped clear the club’s $195 million debt and led their return to the domestic top flight in 2022 after three seasons in Serie B.

However, a recent run of poor results sparked criticism and led to some fans to call for his departure.

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“Ronaldo and BPW Sports signed an agreement to acquire all the shares of Tara Sports Brasil, the company that owns 90% of Cruzeiro SAF,” the club said in a statement.

“(Ronaldo) led an administration that brought a new perspective to the club, implementing professional management and a governance structure in line with international best practice.

“Cruzeiro’s credibility was restored, attracting important partners and sponsors, with contracts that set record figures for the club.”

Ronaldo, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and 2002, will continue to serve as a member of Cruzeiro’s board of directors upon approval of the deal by Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, the club added.

Ronaldo made his professional debut with Cruzeiro as a 16-year-old in 1993 before going on to become one of the best strikers in world football.

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“A mix of feelings hit me today, but above all, the feeling of fulfilment,” he told a news conference. “It’s impossible not to remember when I took on the great challenge of buying Cruzeiro.

“We’ve faced many challenges, the majority of which we’ve overcome. We’ve stumbled along the way, but today I can say that I’m handing Cruzeiro over with a sense of having done my duty, given that the club’s situation was very precarious.”

Ronaldo now looks set to sell his 51% stake in Spanish second-tier side Real Valladolid.

“Valladolid is next,” he told reporters.

-Reuters

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Soccer great, Ronaldo presents to Sports Village Square publisher, Kunle Solaja a miniature World Cup trophy as acknowledgement of achievement for coverage of nine World Cup editions

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Chest pains land former Manchester United and Man City striker Tevez in hospital

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Former football star Carlos Tevez has been hospitalised in his homeland, Argentina, after experiencing chest pains.

The 40-year-old is currently in charge of Argentinian outfit Independiente, but is known for his decorated footballing career.

Tevez played his trade most notably for Premier League giants Manchester City and Man United.

A statement was issued confirming Tevez had been admitted to the hospital. It read: “Our coach, Carlos Tevez, went to the La Trinidad Hospital in San Isidro with chest pain. They carried out the corresponding tests and they were satisfactory.

“Today he will continue with a series of tests scheduled in advance as part of a general check-up. Carlos Tevez will be hospitalised as a precaution until the corresponding tests are completed.”

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Tevez assumed the role of head coach for Independiente in August 2023, and in December, he extended his contract with the club until 2026. This decision came after he transformed them from relegation contenders last season to contenders for trophies. The club currently sits in sixth position in the Argentine Primera Division.

Father-of-three Tevez made 201 appearances in the Premier League, finding the net 84 times, during his stints with West Ham, Man United, and Man City. He clinched two top flight titles and a Champions League trophy during his time with the Red Devils before switching sides to join the Sky Blues. There, he added another Premier League title to his collection.

After his tenure at Man City, he moved to Juventus before making a return to Argentina with Boca Juniors, where he ultimately retired in 2021. It remains uncertain whether he will be able to attend a club training session scheduled for later today.

The hospital where he is scheduled to undergo additional tests has been identified as the Finochietto Hospital in Buenos Aires. It is understood that Tevez struggles with high blood pressure and routinely undergoes medical examinations.

Speculation arose regarding his future as Independiente coach when he abruptly suspended a press conference following the club’s elimination from a cup competition earlier this month. Tevez, won 76 caps for Argentina between 2004 and 2015, was also hurried to the hospital last year after a domestic accident.

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-Insidethegames

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