Peru captain Paolo Guerrero will miss the World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency to increase the length of his drugs ban.
Guerrero was initially banned for 12 months after testing positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, following Peru’s World Cup qualifier with Argentina in October last year.
Accepting Guerrero’s argument that the substance was accidentally consumed in contaminated tea, FIFA reduced the ban to six months, a period which would have enabled Guerrero to play in Russia, and he was duly named in Peru’s provisional squad on Sunday.
But CAS have increased Guerrero’s suspension from six to 14 months on the basis that he did bear “some fault or negligence” for the positive test, and must therefore face a ban of between one and two years under FIFA’s own anti-doping rules.
A CAS statement read: “The CAS panel confirmed the existence of an ADRV [anti-doping rule violation] committed by Mr Guerrero, but also accepted that he did not attempt to enhance his performance by ingesting the prohibited substance.
“However, the panel considered that the player did bear some fault or negligence, even if it was not significant, and that he could have taken some measures to prevent him from committing the ADRV.
“Considering that, in case of no significant fault or negligence, the sanction should, in accordance with the applicable FIFA rules, be in the range of one to two years of suspension, the CAS panel considered that the appropriate sanction would be 14 months in light of the Mr Guerrero’s degree of fault.”
Guerrero had also filed a case to CAS in an effort to be absolved of the original sanction, which ended this month. His case and that of WADA were consolidated into a single case in Lausanne.
Guerrero’s absence will be a big blow for Peru, who are preparing for their first World Cup finals since 1982.
Capped 86 times for his country, the experienced striker plays for the Brazilian club Flamengo.
Paris Saint-Germain have appointed Thomas Tuchel as their new coach, replacing Unai Emery after two years at the helm, the French champions announced on Monday.
Tuchel was most recently the coach at Borussia Dortmund but parted ways in May 2017 amid reported disagreements with the club hierarchy, despite guiding the club to the DFB Pokal title three days earlier. He signed a two-year contract with PSG.
The 44-year-old has been linked to the job for weeks, as sources told ESPN FC in March that owner Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani decided upon Tuchel as Emery’s replacement because he can speak French fluently and has always preferred an attacking style of play.
Emery led PSG to the Ligue 1 title and both French cups this season, but the domestic clean sweep was not enough to renew his expiring contract after consecutive Champions League round-of-16 exits at the hands of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Tuchel, who replaced Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at both Mainz in 2009 and Dortmund in 2015, said he was delighted to have been handed the task of continuing PSG’s domination of French football and succeeding where Emery failed in Europe.
“It is with much joy, pride and ambition that I am joining this big club, PSG,” Tuchel said. “I cannot wait to start working with all these great players who are all amongst the best in the world.
“With my coaching staff, we will do everything we can to help the team reach success, including on the international scene. PSG has enormous potential and it is by so far the most exciting proposition in football. I am also impatient to get to know Parc des Princes, a famous European stadium and one that boasts an incredible atmosphere.”
Paris Saint-Germain are delighted to announce that Thomas Tuchel will be the new first-team coach next season !
The German tactician has signed a two year contract with the French champions ???????? pic.twitter.com/JoeU0jMqFC
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) May 14, 2018
Tuchel, who started his coaching career with Augsburg’s reserves before taking over Mainz, turned down an offer to replace Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich this summer. Tuchel’s debut will be the International Champions Cup clash against Bayern in Klagenfurt, Austria, this summer.
He was chosen by PSG over a list of candidates reported to have included Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, Chelsea’s Antonio Conte, Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino — a former PSG captain as a player — and Andre Villas-Boas.
The new coach is reported to have met already with PSG superstar Neymar and is expected to make significant changes to the squad before next campaign, as well as potentially move the team’s tactics away from the possession-based 4-3-3 that has become familiar in Paris.
His major task will be to manage a dressing room full of high-profile personalities while working within a well-defined club hierarchy, but captain Thiago Silva said on Sunday that he thinks Tuchel is up to the task.
“He is a coach a little from our school,” Silva said at the Ligue 1 awards in Paris. “He is German but with a Brazilian way of thinking about the game. That will help us plenty.
“He likes plenty of order? In the world of football, a bit of order is necessary. If he arrives with the mentality that many have spoken about, he will add a lot.”
PSG Chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi hailed Tuchel’s arrival and firmly stated his belief that the German will prove to be a shrewd appointment.
“I am very happy to welcome Thomas as the new coach of PSG,” the Qatari supremo said. “Thomas is one of the best and most competitive European coaches to have emerged over the last few seasons. He abides by very strong principles of playing spectacular and clinical football that has always been the foundation of German football, especially on the international scene.
“His competitive spirit, his preference for attacking football and his strong character are in line with what we have always wanted for PSG — this style that our loyal supporters have always demanded and admired.”
Emery succeeded Laurent Blanc at PSG in June 2016 after spending parts of four seasons coaching Sevilla, but the Champions League failures convinced the club hierarchy that he was not worthy of an extension on his two-year contract.
The 46-year-old had been expected for weeks to leave the club following the season, though it was not until late last month that he acknowledged having met with Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Antero Henrique to finalise his departure.
“If the new coach needs something from me, I can offer my opinion,” Emery said at the time. “PSG’s project is very solid, and it will continue to grow and add major players. The next coach, whoever it is, will find a big club, with big opportunities — I am there to offer some help.”
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.
Benjamin Mendy hasn’t started a game since knee surgery in September
The exciting wingback insists he will be in peak condition for Russia 2018
Messrs Digne, Hernandez and Kurzawa provide competition to Mendy
Benjamin Mendy has insisted he will be in in perfect condition – physically and mentally – to represent France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
The 23-year-old left-wingback underwent knee ligament surgery in September, but made his second, short substitute appearance since recovering in Manchester City’s 0-0 draw at home to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
After saying he “felt something amazing” – a referral to the City fans’ support – he added: “I’ll do like everyone else and try to get as much playing time as possible.
“We’ll see when the [squad] list comes out. Physically and mentally, I’m at full power and I’m ready to go to Russia.”
Mendy has only won four caps for France, but did appear to have made a spot in their side his own. In his absence, Lucas Digne, Lucas Hernandez and Layvin Kurzawa have patrolled the left side of Les Bleus’ defence.
France play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C at Russia 2018.
FUN AND GAMES Panini
Join millions of fellow fans sticking, swapping and sharing!
FIFA World Cup Bracket Challenge
Who will finish first, second, third and fourth in the groups? Who will win the knockout ties? Challenge your friends and compete for some great prizes.
Team bus slogans
Each of Russia 2018’s 32 teams will have a slogan emblazoned on their team bus. You can vote for the winners in the Be There with Hyundai Contest.
2018 FIFA World Cup™
Blanc: France 1998 in three words? Work, joy and victory
This is the cheapest solution to use your FUT coins in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team to gain the prime icon Gheorghe Hagi in the squad building challenge. Easily the most decorated Romanian footballer of all time, Hagi is a very lucrative player to acquire into any team. Check out the full HD video guide below that showcases the cheapest way to get the card.
Now there are a few SBC’s to get through and they are the following:
Brescia & FC Barcelona
84 rated team
85 rated team
86 rated team
87 rated team
It goes without saying that the 87 rated is by far the most expensive and will cost close to 235K to complete. The rest are relatively easy and it is best to do these over time especially when there are market crashes in FUT. This is when you should snipe the most expensive players at the best times.
In total it should cost you around 650,000 coins which is by far the cheapest you’re going to find. Look out for more icon SBCs and general FIFA 18 gameplay tips by subscribing to the official YouTube channel to stay right up to date on all video publications.
This is the cheapest possible solution for the Roberto Carlos Prime Icon SBC on FIFA 18 Ultimate Team. This will cost you roughly 900K coins in FUT but that is by far the cheapest you are going to get this card for. Take a look at the full video below that details how to get it by completing all the squad building challenges.
There are a total of 8 SBCs to complete and each one will reward you with a pack, below shows all that need to be completed in order for you to obtain this very special LB card.
Roberto Carlos – An Icon
83 rated squad
84 rated squad
85 rated squad
86 rated squad
87 rated squad
It goes without saying that the two hardest ones in terms of using up most of the coins to acquire the icon are the 87 rated SBC and the exchanging of an icon. You can of course complete the Peter Schmeichel or Marc Overmars squad building challenge and get them for around 350K mark and submit them which would save you a ton of coins in the long haul.
It’s always best to do these rather expensive icons over time and not in one really big swoop! You want to gradually do it and the best time to complete it and get players cheap is obviously when a market crash happens.
Make sure to subscribe to the official YouTube channel to stay up to date on all FIFA 18 tips and tutorials that are released every single week.
The Football Association has written to Tottenham and Manchester United to apologise for a tweet sent from the FA Cup’s official account that mocked striker Harry Kane after Spurs’ defeat on Saturday.
Both Spurs and United were left angry by the joke at Kane’s expense and sources said the striker, who could captain England at this summer’s World Cup, was bemused and disappointed by the tweet, which came at the end of a difficult week for the player and his club.
Just minutes after United’s 2-1 win in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium, in which Kane was unusually subdued, a tweet was posted from the competition’s official account with the message, “What’s in your pocket, Chris” — and a video of United defender Chris Smalling saying “Harry Kane.”
The account is run in-house by the FA and the tweet also left senior figures at the organisation furious. It attracted a huge response, being retweeted over 20,000 times, before it was deleted.
An FA spokesman told ESPN FC: “We have written to both clubs to apologise for any offence caused.”
Kane has been the subject of light-hearted ridicule after claiming a goal that was originally credited to Christian Eriksen in Spurs’ win at Stoke on April 7.
A source told ESPN FC that Spurs were also left angry by comments on Sunday by Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Ben Purkiss, who poured further derision on Kane at the PFA Awards.
“Harry Kane is so prolific that he is able to score without touching the ball,” Cambridge defender Purkiss joked.
It was the latest jibe aimed at Kane by fellow professionals — which have also included his England teammates.
Kane came third behind Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne as PFA Player of the Year and was runner-up to City’s Leroy Sane in the young player category.
Spurs sources said it was an evening to celebrate another fabulous season for Kane, who remains in contention for the Golden Boot, rather than continue to mock him.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has already said Kane, who has struggled for sharpness since returning from an ankle injury at the beginning of this month, was left disappointed by the furore.
Dan is ESPN FC’s Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.
Arsene Wenger will have “no shortage of offers” for new jobs and is already taking calls from interested clubs, former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein told Sky Sports.
Dein, who hired Wenger in 1996 when he was an unknown figure in England, also said that he debated with his old friend last season about whether he should stay on, and predicted that the 68-year-old will find life away from football “like a bereavement.”
Wenger announced on Friday that he will quit at the end of the season despite being handed a new two-year deal last summer, with Arsenal limping toward their worst Premier Leauge finish of his 22-year reign.
“He will have no shortage of offers. I personally had calls from various people yesterday, asking to speak to him,” Dein said. “So he won’t be short of offers from clubs, if he wants the job.
“He’s going to be 69 in October, but he keeps himself extraordinarily fit. He is the same weight as when I met him, 75 kilos. He keeps himself so fit. He’s got a very active mind, such a knowledge of the game.
“And over the last few years, he has been approached by some of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, the England national team wanted him at one stage.”
Dein added that he was not surprised by the announcement and that he has had plenty of discussions with Wenger about whether it was time to step down.
“It’s been coming. At the end of last season I was discussing with him, ‘Arsene, what do you want to do? Are you going to stay? Are you going to leave?’ He was a bit undecided,” Dein said.
“In the end, I said, ‘Arsene, do you know what your problem is?’ He said, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘You love the club too much.’ He’s so attached to it. So loyal, so dedicated. He felt responsible for the players coming through.
“That was an option for him, undoubtedly. I was weighing up, ‘If you leave now, this is the situation. If you go on, you roll the dice another year or two, what’s going to happen?’
“He made his own mind up and decided to stay. I felt the last couple of weeks, it has been getting more difficult for him, particularly with the team results. I though that, on a personal level, it was unlikely that he was going to stay after the end of the season.”
Wenger admitted on Sunday that life away from Arsenal will be difficult for him and Dein said he went through a similar challenge after leaving the club in 2007.
“It’s going to be tough initially,” Dein said. “As I found myself, it’s a way of life. He’s the first one at the club, the last one to leave. It will be difficult.
“It is rather like a bereavement and the various stages, the first one is denial and finally you get to acceptance and you move on. He has to have a good holiday and decide what he wants to do next.”
Dein also paid a glowing tribute to Wenger’s contributions for the club and hailed him as Arsenal’s greatest ever manager.
“His legacy will be for global football. His style of play, the way he has conducted himself, his integrity, his honesty. The way he has handled players. What he has done for the club is immeasurable,” Dein said.
“He will go down in history as the greatest Arsenal manager ever. We’ve built a fantastic training ground, sensational stadium. It was back on the Invincible team in 2003-04 that we managed to get financing for the stadium.”
Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.
Toronto FC hoping to win first CONCACAF Champions League title
Canadian club face Mexican giants Chivas Guadalajara in the final
Osorio: The first leg is going to be key
Most youngsters growing up in Canada usually have aspirations to be an ice hockey star or reach the podium at the Winter Olympics. For Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio, his dreams led to a career in football – a sport close to his South American roots.
“It’s a huge part of who I am. I grew up in Toronto, but in my household, it was a very Colombian culture,” Osorio said in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com. “In Colombia, football is the big sport, and it was my dad’s favourite sport. He passed that on to me and my brothers and we grew up to love the game. I believe my Colombian roots have helped me get to where I am now.”
A proud Canadian, who has made 20 international appearances for the North American nation, Osorio is happy to share his favourite Colombian footballing moment. “It was at the last World Cup, James [Rodriguez]’s goal against Uruguay in the Round of 16 and Colombia making the quarter-finals for the first time. That was huge.”
Looking to make history
Osorio can relate to scoring an important goal on the big stage. Last Tuesday in the Estadio Azteca, his early strike against Mexican giants Club America was a key moment in securing Toronto FC’s place in this year’s CONCACAF Champions League final, as they won the semi-final clash 4-2 on aggregate. The result puts the Major League Soccer (MLS) club within touching distance of the region’s top club prize and claiming CONCACAF’s berth at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018. “It was amazing [to score] and an honour to play in that stadium, to represent my city and everything, and to play in such a big game,” Osorio said. “More than anything, I was just happy about what [the goal] meant in the actual game.”
Toronto FC’s journey to the two-legged final is the latest chapter in what has been a highly successful period for the Canadian outfit. They earned their CONCACAF Champions League spot by successfully defending their Canadian Championship title before claiming their first-ever MLS Supporters’ Shield (regular season champions) and MLS Cup titles in late 2017.
The focus now is on ending the dominance of Mexican clubs in the CONCACAF Champions League, having already upset the odds by eliminating the Liga MX duo of Tigres UANL and Club America. Standing in Toronto FC’s way of an historic first title is Club Deportivo (Chivas) Guadalajara, with the first leg taking place in Toronto this Tuesday 17 April before the decisive leg is played in Guadalajara on Wednesday 25 April.
Osorio believes the game plan that successfully guided the Reds past Tigres and America will be key to overcoming Chivas in the final. “Our belief is that we can play with them,” Osorio said. “In those four games, we didn’t just sit back and defend a lot. What we did was attack them. Similar to the other series, the first game is going to be key. We need to give ourselves an advantage before going back to Mexico, so that’s a huge key. If we put all our focus into the first leg, we’ll be in good shape.”
Making Canada proud [email protected] makes his mark at the @EstadioAzteca on the latest All For One presented by @Bell#TFCLive | #SCCL2018 pic.twitter.com/ZTm0DG9J3D
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) April 12, 2018
Did you know?
Only Mexican clubs have won the CONCACAF Champions League title since the competition’s formation in 2008
Monterrey is the most successful CONCACAF Champions League side with three titles, while Club America is the most successful club in the region with seven CONCACAF titles
Real Salt Lake (2011) and Montreal Impact (2015) are the only other MLS clubs to have reached the final
Osorio is one six players to lead the competition’s scoring charts with three goals
Should Toronto FC realise their goal of a regional crown later this month, a ticket to the United Arab Emirates and this year’s Club World Cup would also be secured by the Reds. Though his main thoughts are on the final, Osorio appreciates the potential of his side being the first from Canada and MLS to appear in the world club finals.
“I think it’s every footballers dream to play on the biggest stage,” he said. “The Club World Cup means you are representing your club and your continent, and that you are playing for a trophy that means you are the best in the world. It’s biggest tournament in club soccer, so that would definitely be a dream come true.”
The free to play Clash Royale esque MapleStory game MapleStory Blitz launched its first content update this week which introduced 36 new Zakum themed cards, a new dungeon, balance changes, and more. MapleStory Blitz is basically a 3 lane Clash Royale / Southpark: Phone Destroyer esque game based on Nexon’s popular MapleStory franchise.
Full list of changes:
Devastating Original Cards – Combine 36 unique cards found in Zakum’s Altar card pack with all the original cards;
Challenging New Dungeon – Join players around the globe and explore the perilous Zakum’s Altar dungeon;
Ranked Mode Enhancements – Ranked Match Season durations have been shortened from one month to two weeks;
Formidable PvE Battles – The PvE auto-battle feature allows players to seamlessly jump into PvE combat;
PvE/PvP Battle Guide – A helpful battle guide has been added to recommend which cards to use in specific battle situations;
Balance Adjustments – Players will notice additional balance adjustments for existing monster and skill cards;
Unique Events and Quests – Celebrate the update with several new events and quests.
Nexon has been trying to release a mobile hit in the West for some time now. MapleStory M seems to be the most comprehensive mobile MapleStory title thus far though in my opinion. Too bad it has the same auto-play systems found in most other mobile MMORPGs.
Richard Gariott’s Crowdfunded MMORPG Shroud of the Avatar is officially launching on March 27th, 2018. It’s been a long and tiring journey for Shroud of the Avatar (Original Kickstart was March, 2013), but the Ultima Online esque MMORPG is finally happening. The launch is coinciding with release #52 which introduces a lot of changes to the game including framerate improvements, scene rebuilds, offline spawning, tons of side quests, new recipes, and much much more.
Shroud of the Avatar will be a buy to play title, but those interested in checking the game out for free can do so through the game’s free trial system. It has numerous limitations (such as max skill level of 50), but still gives players a good glimpse into what Shroud of the Avatar is all about. The game plays very much like oldschool MMORPGs like Ultima Online and Runescape, so those looking for a modern theme park game should look elsewhere.
Other important dates for Shroud of the Avatar:
Mar 27, 2018 –Release 52: Launch Candidate April 26, 2018 – Release 53 May 31, 2018 – Release 54 June 28, 2018 – Release 55 July 26, 2018 – Release 56 Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57
Learn more about the launch of Shroud of the Avatar here.
A Collection Of FIFA Ultimate Team Tips, FIFA Guide FAQ