By Chansa Kunda

The Zambian Olympic team which will leave the country Saturday, July 17, 2021 for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games has pledged to mint medals for the country.

Athletes from the Boxing, Judo and Swimming Associations will be part of the latest batch leaving the country after the departure of the Copper Queens early this week.

Boxers Stephen Zimba and Patrick Chiyemba have told ZNBC Sports News in Lusaka that their aim is to mint medals from the respective categories.

Both Zimba and Chiyemba are confident that they will make the country proud adding that despite not having enough exposure they are ready for the challenge ahead.

Boxing National Team Coach Wisdom Mudenda said the target is to have the boxers make it past the first round.

And Judoka Steven Mung'andu said his aim is to become the first Zambian judo Athlete to make it past the first round at the Olympics.

Meanwhile, National Judo Coach Moola Lipimile declared his Athlete ready and that the country should expect Mung'andu to advance to the other rounds.

The Tokyo Olympic games will start on July 23rd to August 8.

Source: ZNBC《》RT

World champion Lewis Hamilton has signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes until the end of 2023.

The Briton, 36, has won six of his seven world titles with the British-based German team since joining from McLaren in 2012.

 

This season Hamilton is contending for a record-breaking eighth championship but is currently second behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"We still have a lot to achieve, both on and off the track," said Hamilton.

It is the earliest he has agreed a new deal with Mercedes for some years and will take his time at the team to at least 11 seasons and into the start of a major rules change next year.

The deal has come together quickly, in contrast to 2020, when the pandemic, a compressed season and then both Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff contracting coronavirus delayed talks and Hamilton ended the year out of contract.

Hamilton did not agree a new one-year deal with the team for 2021 until February but has been saying since the start of this season that he expected to continue in F1 beyond this year, and began discussing the terms of his new contract with Wolff in May. The pair completed a deal within two months, underlining their desire to keep working together.

Hamilton has not taken a pay cut, contrary to some reports. After an adjustment in salary as a result of the pandemic this season, his earnings will be back to pre-Covid levels, when he was said to be earning as much as £40m a year.

The bond between the team and their driver has been strengthened by their support for his push for increased diversity and inclusion in the sport, which gathered momentum in the midst of the global outcry following the death of unarmed African-American George Floyd at the hands of US police last May.

Hamilton said: "I'm incredibly proud and grateful of how Mercedes has supported me in my drive to improve diversity and equality in our sport.

"They have held themselves accountable and made important strides in creating a more diverse team and inclusive environment."

Wolff said: "As we enter a new era of F1 from 2022 onwards, there can be no better driver to have in our team than Lewis.

"His achievements in this sport speak for themselves, and with his experience, speed and race-craft, he is at the peak of his powers.

"We are relishing the battle we have on our hands this year - and that's why we also wanted to agree this contract early, so we have no distractions from the competition on track.

"I have always said that as long as Lewis still possesses the fire for racing, he can continue as long as he wants."

Hamilton and Mercedes have dominated the sport since 2014 - his former team-mate Nico Rosberg is the only man to win a drivers' title other than the Briton since then.

Hamilton now has a record 100 pole positions and 98 grand prix wins but is facing a momentous challenge from Red Bull's Verstappen as he seeks to move himself clear of Michael Schumacher in terms of championship titles - Hamilton equalled the German's mark of seven last season.

There is no word from the team on the identity of his team-mate next season, with the seat between his current partner Valtteri Bottas and British rising star George Russell.

Wolff said he wanted to spend a bit more time observing the two drivers in F1 this season before making a final call.

Hamilton has said he sees no reason to change Bottas, but Russell starred on a one-off debut for Mercedes at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year when he stood in for Hamilton after the world champion contracted Covid-19.

Source: BBC《》RT

 

By Lyonike Mughogho

Flames international Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango has conceded that his performance for Orlando Pirates in the 2020/2021 DSTV Premier Soccer League was below par.

Speaking to South Africa’s media recently, the former Bullets FC, Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows, and Bidvest Wits University forward said he did not reach his standards.

“If I were to rate my season out of 10, I’d give myself three or four because I didn’t reach my standards,” said Mhango.

The 28-year-old also said it is normal for footballers to drop and regain their respective forms.

“But at the end of the day it’s football. Sometimes you drop form and sometimes you do well,’ said Mhango.

Gaba managed to score only five league goals last season. His poor performance followed a golden boot glory in the 2019/2020 season when he scored 16.

The Malawian international is expected to regain his good form ahead of African Cup of Nations which will be staged in Cameroon next year. He is one of the Flames’ top strikers alongside Richard Mbulu.

Source: M24《》RT

 

Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi is officially a free agent following the expiration of his contract.

The Catalans were hopeful of signing Messi to renewal before the June 30 deadline but the 34-year-old is now officially unattached.

It is strongly believed that the Argentinian international will sign an extension with Barca with reports suggesting contract negotiations have since started.

Messi becomes a free agent amid interest from a number of clubs including Manchester City, and Paris Saint Germain.

Meanwhile, a few clubs, including Barcelona, can afford his salary and still follow Financial Fair Play.

At the beginning of the 2020/21 season, Messi expressed his desire to leave the Catalans but they would not allow him to leave as he was not a free agent.

He later resolved to stay albeit making a number of demands including beefing up the squad.

If Barca resign Messi, they will have to register him as a new signing and find a solution to fit him into the framework of La Liga’s financial regulations.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has already warned Barca that they must bring their wages down, or they won’t be able to register Messi ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Source: Pindula News; Goal.com《》RT

 

Everton have appointed former Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez as their new manager.

The 61-year-old Spaniard has signed a three-year deal and succeeds Carlo Ancelotti, who resigned in early June to return to Real Madrid.

Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri described Benitez as a proven winner with huge experience and has expressed confidence that he will take the club to the top end of the league. He said:

Rafa impressed us greatly with his knowledge and experience but, above all, the passion and hunger he showed to join our club.

We are appointing Rafa because we believe he will bring success to our club and to Evertonians.

To put it simply – we need to be competing at the top end of the league and to be winning trophies.

Rafa is a proven winner with huge experience in coaching internationally and we have secured the best man to achieve that for us.

Benitez has a hugely impressive track record with the clubs he has managed throughout his career, securing seven major honours including La Liga titles, the Coppa Italia, the FA Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League during managerial spells in Spain, England and Italy.

Benitez last managed in the Premier League at Newcastle United before leaving in June 2019.

He moved to China to coach Dalian Professional FC and left them in January after 18 months in charge. Benitez said:

I am delighted to be joining Everton. Throughout this process, I have been greatly impressed by the ambition shown by the senior representatives at the Club and their desire to bring success to this historic Club.

I believe this is a Club that is going places. I’m determined to play a big part in helping this great Club achieve its ambitions.

Source: Evertonfc BBC Sport《》RT

Manchester United fans have been annoyed by Paul Pogba’s superb performance at the ongoing UEFA Euros asking why he can’t replicate the form at the club.

Pogba won the Man of The Match award when France clashed with Germany last night prompting fans to take to social media to question why their club-record signing seems like a man transformed when he plays for Les Blues.

The 28-year-old midfielder was integral to the move that led to the goal and was also involved in both Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema’s disallowed goals late on, as he helped control the game in the centre of the pitch.

His individual highlights package shows exactly why he was awarded the official ‘Star of the Match’ prize at the end of the game.

Commenting on Pogba’s performance, one Manchester United fan said:

you better play like this every damn match next season.

Some observers, however, believe Pogba’s performance at Manchester United is influenced by the players who surround him.

They believe that Chelsea’s midfield maestro, Ngolo Kante gives Pogba the freedom to move forward when they play for France while he is confined to a defensive role at Manchester.

Pogba confirmed that he is too restricted to a defensive role at United compared to how he plays in the French team. He told L’Equipe:

It’s true that at Juventus it was different from Manchester.

We were playing three in the middle, in a 5-3-2. I had the freedom, I had to be in the box, to attack. It was an obligation.
 
In Manchester, I have the freedom to go into the box, but the priority is to play, to defend.

In the France team, we play a 4-2-3-1 too. I’m a little more involved in the transition, in the construction. But I have more freedom than in Manchester to get into the box, to make runs forward.

At the same time, when you have Grizou [Antoine Griezmann], Kylian [Mbappe], you don’t want to enter their spaces, you don’t need to.

Pogba was a sensational attacking and goalscoring midfielder at Juventus prompting Manchester United to decide to resign him, for a record fee.

Source: Pindula News; Sportbile《》RT

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the all-time highest goalscorer in Euros history after scoring a brace for Portugal against Hungary in a delayed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament match played Tuesday.

Portugal won 3 nil thanks to a goal from Guerreiro and a brace from the Juventus star Ronaldo.

The brace makes Ronaldo the all-time highest goalscorer in the UEFA Euros history with 10 goals ahead of second-placed Michel Platini who has 9 goals while Alan Shearer is in the third position with 7.

This comes as his top “rival” Lionel Messi scored a free-kick against Chile in the Copa America underway in Brazil to become the player with the highest number of free-kick goals.

Messi now has 57 free-kick goals while Ronaldo has 56.

Source: Pindula News《》RT

 

By Chansa Kunda

2012 AFCON Winner Collins Mbesuma says there is need to invest in the development of grass root football if the country is to groom world class players.

Mbesuma says strengthening grass root structures will help Zambia get back to it’s Glory days and regain it’s dominance on the African continent.

He was speaking upon arrival at the Kenneth Kaunda international airport from South Africa.

The University of Pretoria Striker, who is also founder of the Collins Mbesuma King David Foundation said he will endeavor to contribute to talent identification and development of grassroot football.

The former Kaizer Chiefs goal poacher said it is his desire to see football grow in Zambia, that’s why he came up with the foundation.

Mbesuma also disclosed that he will on Thursday the 10th of June 2021 launch the Copperbelt Youth football tournament with the aim of contributing to Zambian football by providing a platform for young players to compete.

The Once Upon a time Roan United player said he is excited to kickstart the tournament that will be an annual event.

The Hurricane as he is popularly known, has since called for more stakeholder partnership towards the foundation and his Football Academy.

And Foundation Project Manager Charity Munthali said the tournament will be top notch and that teams are trooping to take part in the competition.

She said the club envisions to empower youths with football skills.

Source: ZNBC《》RT

 

Manchester City dominate the PFA Premier League team of the year as six of their Premier League-winning squad, Ederson, Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, make the team, which is voted for by fellow players.

Neighbors, Manchester United’s Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes are also in the team.

Pep Guardiola Responds To Kane Hint On Joining Manchester City
Kane Tells Spurs He Wants To Leave, Manchester City, United, Chelsea, Express Interest
Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah are in.

Despite winning the Champions League as well as reaching the FA Cup final and finishing fourth in the Premier League, no Chelsea players are included.

Source: Pindula News《》RT

Jamie O’Hara has slammed Manchester City coach, Pep Guardiola for the Uefa Champions League final loss to Chelsea on Saturday 29 May 2021 saying he made poor team selection decisions.

O’Hara says Brazilian midfielder Fenandinho who was introduced late in the second half should have been brought in earlier to provide a shield to the backline while Phil Foden should have played in his regular position, either of the wings.

Chelsea scored their only goal in the first half when an unmarked Havertz dribbled past Ederson and kicked into an empty net.

Manchester City were favourites to winning the prestigious trophy but failed to rise to the occasion.

They were also a bit unlucky, as their talisman, Kevin De Bruyne was forced out early into the second half after sustaining an injury from colliding with Rudiger.

Last year, Guardiola was also accused of making poor decisions resulting in Manchester City losing to Lyon who were underdogs.

Source: Pindula News《》RT